What if we are all being played? Do you ever pause and think about that? I know we have been trained over years to only listen to “authority”—those who wear suits, present badges, and have some lofty title—but what if these people are not necessarily interested in our welfare as much as they are interested in fairing well at our cost. What I am about to describe to you below could very well be cast as “alternative facts” by main stream media mavens who peddle sensationalism and outrage as news. I would like to think of it as an alternative narrative where I simply present another perspective and let you decide which scenario—that of the status quo or one being proffered by a fellow “struggler”—is more plausible about the socio, political, and economic reality before us.
Before I start deconstructing the present paradigm, let me first tell you how the art of pick pocketing works. I’m not doing so based on previous experience but because I have read enough books, shared stories with endless people, and yes watched enough movies, to have a repository of what I once considered “useless information”. But I realized that information is never useless, a data set resides in a dormant state until a situation calls for it to be leveraged. Case in point; a long time ago, after I finished reading “Oliver Twist”, shortly thereafter I saw the movie “the Prestige”. Between the book and the movie, a thought crystallized in my mind. Magic is all about distractions. I will return to this notion a bit later on.
Later on that year, I saw another movie where the protagonist was a pickpocket who was teaching his pupil the “art of the steal”. Ironic isn’t it, we have a president who wrote a book titled “the art of the deal”—sometimes they tell you who they through subterfuge. Though I can’t quite remember the name of the movie, there was one scene that stood out the minute I heard the dialogue. The “teacher” told his student that pick pocketing is all about “the bump”. Thieves work in pairs usually and when it comes to those who have perfected the art of picking pockets, the “art” demands two working in concert. It’s the slight of hand that victimizes people, the first person bumps into the unwitting victim and, as he is distracted by “the bump”, the second thief swoops in and robs the poor fellow clean.
It’s actually impressive if it was not so diabolical. To think that someone can literally take your wallet out of your back pocket or, in some instances even take your watch off your wrist without notice,. is astounding and sublime to say the least. Our minds pay attention to the “crisis” before us and our perception on the periphery is therefore always lessened during the times we feel a threat. There is a reason for this of course, it’s all physiological and a way that humans once dealt with an environment that presented all sorts of hidden and not so-hidden dangers. If a lion jumps out in our path after all, who has time to smell the roses let alone protect the food hunters labored all day to capture. To this day, that mindset is evident. Let an apartment catch on fire and most will flee and not worry about their possessions in order to save themselves. We assess situations and decide to either fight or flight in order to preserve life.
This is why “the bump” is so brilliant even as it is insidious. An unexpected jostling induces an immediate “threat” we have to assess. For a few nanoseconds, our minds start assessing the environment; without even knowing it, we go through a decision tree of whether we should fight or take flight. And it is in this moment of paralysis by analysis where we lose track of everything else except the perceived peril taking place before us. We are at a disadvantage during these few seconds; our minds focused on the person who bumped us as we try to figure out what action to take next. And it is precisely during these few seconds—as our minds are fixated on “the bumper”—that the second crook swoops in for the kill. Actually, let me quote a scene from Jurassic Park to amplify this concept:
You stare at him, and he just stares right back. And that’s when the attack comes. Not from the front, but from the side. From the other two raptors you didn’t even know were there. Because Velociraptor’s a pack hunter, you see, he uses coordinated attack patterns and he is out in force today. And he slashes at you with this. ~ Dr. Alan Grant
Killers and thieves work in packs, this has been the case since the dawn of times. Those who have perfected the art of taking from others, whether that is for the sake of eating in nature or the sake of greed in our modern crony-capitalistic society, do so by way of chicanery and deception. And when it comes to pick pockets, the ones who get away Scott clean all the time do so because they have perfected the art of team work and bamboozling.
Pick pockets though, their skill and beguiling is nothing compared to the thievery of politicians in DC and beyond. The whole essence of our “democracy” is nothing but one magic act, a manufactured drama meant to bury us into perpetual bickering and pettiness by feeding into our antipathy and grievances. Democrats and Republicans the flip side of the same coin; both are bought and sold minstrel shows tap dancing for their aristocrat patrons. I’ve talked about this ad nauseam in the past and I will continue to do so until more and more people wake up to this duplicitous government of ours and stop feeding into the friction that is burning the citizenry with the flames of economic injustice. They feed us politics so they can bludgeon us with policies.
Politics is nothing but one big BUMP. The “gridlock” in DC is on purpose and the petty infighting that you see on TV is nothing but theatrics. When the camera lights go off and they walk out of the MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News studios, the same Democrats and Republicans you see frothing at the mouth nearly coming to blows are getting drunk at endless bars in DC and most of them are inhaling blow as they bowl all of us over through economic policies which are really one big pyramid schemes. This is what politics, “the bump” distracts us from; Republicans and Democrats alike are implementing policies which are making our lives harder and harder to live. Forget keeping up with the rent, it’s hard just to keep up with the price of a damn sandwich at Subway.
Yesterday, as I was ordering a $7.00 “value meal” at the fast food dive that is Wendy’s, I shared a moment of levity with the cashier when I asked her how much for a cookie and she quoted an outrageous price. I recounted how I was at an ice cream shop not too long ago where I saw a father taking out his three kids for dessert. When the father asked how much for a scoop, the cashier said “it’s $5.00 a scoop sir”. I looked at the father’s face and instantly consternation overtook him but then he looked back at his children who were clamoring for ice cream and decided to shell out his cash. In one setting, he spent $25 for ice cream for and his three kids and himself. Just think about that for a second, a person making minimum wage would have to work half a day in order to take his kids out for dessert. Lest you think you are disconnected from the plight of those who make meager means, just ask yourself, how economically secure are you? How many paychecks away are you from disaster and feeling the heat of homelessness?
We keep fighting about politics when in realty we should be focused on policies. We are told that “the people” are the bosses of this government, that is about as laughable as Donald Trump’s asinine Tweets. When it comes to economic policies, not even Congress and the White House have any say for the most powerful way of setting economic policy is monopolized by the Fed Reserve. Did you know that the Federal Reserve is not a government entity at all, the Fed is a conglomeration of private banks from Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan to Wells Fargo, who meet on a regular basis to set the inflation rate and decide on policies like Quantitative Easing. The politicians are nothing but parrots and puppets of the gentry who run this country through their bank accounts. Hell though, at least the Democrat and Republican parrots get their crackers and cheese as they steal our crumbs to give our savings to the .01%! They use big words you see as a “bump”, take this to the bank, the minute you hear someone using a big word like “Quantitative Easing” or “renditions” they are just using lexicon to distract you from the fact that they are about to take something from you. It’s Orwellian really, euphemisms and talking points stay committing genocide on truth.
Alas, “we the people” are so distracted by “the bump” that we don’t even notice that we stay getting robbed. Parisians took part in the French Revolution over something inconsequential compared to the way our government keep bludgeoning us as tell us to eat Monsanto GMO cake. To be honest, if the founders of this nation realized that in time the government they gave birth to would take nearly 50% of our earnings by way of taxes, fees and inflationary scams, they would have gladly submitted to the authority of King George. From left to right, from “liberal” to “conservative” and all in between, all of us are up in arms because we realize the inherent unfairness and inequality of the system. Sadly, we let “the bump” distract us from the nefarious “invisible hands” of the wealthy pricks who bled us in 2007/2008 and have been dripping us of what blood that remains ever since.
Though the article mentions Trump in the title, trust me what I write is not about politics. Both parties are equal evils who are equally mauling us and maligning us with immoral policies domestically and bleeding the world over through malevolent foreign policies. But we are so focused on a cult of personalities that we overlook the root of the injustice that is bedeviling all of us. We let political, racial, religious and ideological labels get in the way of our common humanity. We become fractured, our strength which lies in numbers nullified, one by one we get picked off by pick pockets and jackals wearing expensive suits and titles. This is why “democrats” who were once applauding Potus Drone US Obama, a through and through the lackey of the military-financial complex, are now all the sudden outraged over the fatuous Donald Trump. Likewise, Republicans who were once outraged over the excesses of Obama and Benghazi are now all the sudden mum when Donald Trump goes about governing through executive fiat and he too starts to drone around the world.
For God’s sake, wake up! Stop saying “you are woke” when most stay consuming the Ambien of partisan hackery. Stop identifying yourself as the base of these nefarious parties—do you know how insulting it is by the way that they call you the base, as in something that is beneath them! Stop letting these criminals bump you or else you too will be pickpocketed into indigence. There is a reason why the political climate is heating up faster than a crab in boiling water. Let me wrap it up with that actually, look all of us are actually being slow broiled like toads in a pot. The flames are being induced for a reason, as the economic injustice mugs more and more of us the “system” keeps injecting hatred and animosity into the public in order to divert our eyes from the root of our misfortune.
I know what I am writing is like pouring water on rocks to those who hold loyalty to politics more than have fidelity to justice. But in my heart I believe in the goodness of people and if we just pause and realize that injustice does not know labels nor does it know political identification, we would understand that we are all in this together. There is only one way to repel the monstrous injustices that keep being unleashed upon all of us by way of economic jihadist wearing $10,000 suits. Hatred can’t cure hatred nor can do emotions beget solution. We need a clear eyed analysis to move forward or else we will keep moon walking towards our own insolvency. As long as we keep depending on hustlers from Obama to Trump to lead us to the promise land, all we will get is a bump by crooks who work in concert. Remember, pick pockets work in pairs—Democrats and Republicans are the bumps, the pluto-corporate fascists on Wall Street are the Velociraptors in the periphery who eat away at our dreams as we focus on politics. #NoToBump
The deception of our politics is that cyclical change, a perpetual perception of power replacement, hides the “invisible hands” of the gentry who have hijacked our government and civic institutions to transfer wealth from the masses to the few who prosper as we suffer.
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.