Keep Your Papers In Order. Don’t Wander Off The Reservation
We had to make the dreaded trip to the D.M.V. yesterday. I don’t recall how many times I’ve had to do this during my adult life but I do know that even though it’s always been a pain in the ass, it’s clear to me that it’s getting a lot worse.
It was take a number and sit with a room full of people (my head count came in around 30), all clutching their various documents…birth certificates, pay-stubs, leases, power bills…waiting to have their personal details perused by one of two authoritarian figures of foul continence.
A lot of folks were very grateful, effusive when they finally finished the process. A kind of minor league Stockholm Syndrome that left me puzzled and irritated.
It’s not just about your privilege to drive either. You go through the rat maze because you must keep your papers in order Comrade. If you don’t have a birth certificate, you can’t get a photo ID…if you don’t have a photo ID, you can’t get a copy of your birth certificate.
The people on the other side of the desk don’t have empathy, they see your kind hundreds of times a day. You need them, they don’t need you because you need that document or you won’t be able to function in what has become of society.
As a younger man, a white man…outsider, I spent a month at the Pine Ridge reservation. I didn’t know any of the history…well, I say that but, of course I’d heard about hundreds of treaties being broken and Wounded Knee but not that Pine Ridge and the reservations that followed were originally considered prisoner of war facilities and that Hitler’s concentration camps were partially designed after the reservation model.
I heard Chris Hedges talking about Pine Ridge a few days back…
They make self sufficiency impossible and create this kind of culture of dependence which destroys dignity, self-worth, community with all of the attendant problems…
…I think the reservation model is in fact one we’ve spent a lot of time reporting on and looking at for precisely that reason; when you reduce people to a level of desperation, it becomes far easier to control them.
Like I said, I have actually spent time there and, in my naive youth, I still came away with impressions of lost souls, bitter men under a specter of power they had no way of escaping.
I saw a good deal of desperate people at the D.M.V. yesterday…it’s looking more like the res…..
You may think that’s far-fetched. Might do you good to look in to what Hedges has to say.