Posted by: The Amoeba | October 22, 2009

Dude and Dude: Furloughs R Us

“Hey, dude! How come everybody’s so grumpy today?”

“A lot of ’em got the day off, dude.”

“They do? And this is bad how?

Without pay, dude. Kinda wipes the aloha right off of ‘aloha friday’. And a lot of people who should be workin’ can’t.”

“Why not?

“Because they have to stay home with their kids. The furloughs have closed the schools.”

“Not. That one’s open.”

“Private school, dude. You think the captains of industry are going to stand for their kids sitting at home on a school day? Hell no. It’s only the public schools that have furloughed the teachers and sent the kids home to get their parents fired for for not being able to be in two places at once.”

“But, dude, it says here that the State Legislature has lined up plenty of places for kids to go and do stuff during the furlough!”

“Government offices open today?”

“Yeah.”

“They can dish it out but they can’t take it, right? Why am I not surprised? Hell, they’re even hiring for themselves while they’re screwing teachers and ripping up the lives of kids whose only sin is they can’t afford Punahou. I love it. You wanna show me that list?”

“Sure, dude. Here.”

“Dude?”

“Yeah?”

“I thought you said this was a government site.”

“Hawai‘i State House is where it’s announced.”

“But this page comes from the Chamber of Commerce, dude! And you know what the Chamber of Commerce does, don’t you, dude?”

“What, dude?”

They sell stuff, dude!! Every last one of these goddam ‘resources’ has got a whackin’ huge fee attached to it! This flippin’ list is a service, all right. Frickin’ self-service!!

“Jeez, dude, chill, willya? You’re turning red …”

“Look, dude. Let’s say I’m a parent, right? I’m payin’ taxes on schools that aren’t open, which means I’m staying home with the kids, sweatin’ bullets over the job that if I lose it I won’t have a home to stay with the kids in. And then my government tells me about a list of stuff that’s supposed to help me through this, and all they want to do is soak me some more!

“Dude?”

“Yeah?”

“Let’s go surfing.”

“Right, dude. You know, don’t you, that, in Old Hawai‘i, if the nobles caught a commoner surfing, they’d kill him?”

“Oh …”

LATER …

“Dude! Look at this. Demonstrations, petitions, even a walk-in! Whaddaya think of that?

“Mmmffrrmmf.”

“But, dude, I thought you’d be happy! These people are supporting education!

“Education, smeducation, dude. All they’ve managed to figure out is the high cost of babysitting. And it took them a month to manage that.”

“Dude?”

“Yeah?”

“Go back to bed …”

  – O Ceallaigh
Copyright © 2009 Felloffatruck Publications. All wrongs deplored.
All opinions are mine as a private citizen.

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Responses

  1. Sweet liberty.

    • But, Dawg, sailors get paid shore leave …!

  2. That was great.
    Education, something rarely considered these days it seems. Proven by the fact that Stumbled Upon doesn’t have a category for it.

    I read about those furloughs last week and assumed there would be be something here soon.

    • Cooper, StumbledUpon is just another in a long line of Johnny Carson followers who realize that folk will pay ten times more to be entertained than to be educated. The Gods of Profit wish nothing to do with educating, or educators.

      Grad school must be keeping you hopping, or you would have seen this.

  3. As hubby said last night: “What is the alternative? They have run out of money. No choice but to furlough. All of these demonstrations are just plain stupid! Go find the money!”

    • Gigi, I can’t argue the “stupidity” point, and I agree that we would be far better off with a cooperative rather than a confrontational approach to all this. However, the income gap in these Untied States is at a record high, and we’re putting the “go find the money” burden on those at the bottom? Be careful that they don’t decide to go find it after the manner of Paris, 1789.

  4. “You know, don’t you, that, in Old Hawai‘i, if the nobles caught a commoner surfing, they’d kill him?”

    Seriously?! So much for Aloha!

    • Karen, Hawai‘i before European contact was very much a stratified society, with clear class and role distinctions between noble and commoner (for example, seaweed [limu], a key source of vitamins for an island culture, was inaccessible to any but the male ali‘i), and draconian punishments for any violation of kapu. To my knowledge, Hawai‘i is the only Polynesian culture for which the symbolically weighty word aloha has degenerated to a throwaway greeting. Where before, I reckon, it was a concept that kept living in Hawaiian society from becoming even tougher.

  5. Our government’s doing the same thing, cutting back school budgets while buying themselves new cars.

    Our son’s Special Needs Assistant has been cut back to 12 hours a week—I don’t know if he can manage without her, and the only to find out is the hard way. I’m expecting that *she* won’t be able to manage on 12 hours a week salary (her daughter just started at nursing school, her son goes to college next year), so she’ll quit when she finds a new job—and then he’ll have nobody when they don’t replace her.

    I’m just sick. Going surfing sounds pretty damn good right now. If only!!

    • Susan, Gigi’s hubby has a point. The treasury’s empty, something’s gotta give. However, alienating those “ordinary” people whose cooperation and labor are essential to recovery doesn’t strike me as the best of strategies.

  6. What we need to do is slash every single politicians salary and start there. Let’s see…then they wouldn’t get a paycheck. But I seriously say I don’t see any of them offering to do that, or work harder. And then according to Capsun’s post yesterday the state is hiring for the legislative season? Why can’t they take that money and pay our teachers and keep our kids in school. Every politician should be ashamed of this. But let’s not touch their salary. kcinnova it was a way of life. There was and still is much aloha here and it’s anything but a throwaway greeting. It’s part of the heritage here.

    • Thom, lots of us keep railing at the politicians. Wonder who elected them? Wonder if we actually would elect those who would behave as we told them to – this week dance left, next week dance right, the following week both at once, with one foot on O‘ahu and one on Maui – or would just keep on voting in the ones who tell us what we think we wish to hear? We can’t be ashamed of our politicians without being ashamed of ourselves. As for aloha, yes it persists in Hawai‘i, but in comparison with other places in Polynesia where I’ve been, it’s downright vestigial IMO.

  7. […] “After yesterday’s, it probably should be. Hey, waitaminute […]

  8. […] never left the driveway. Last I knew, Hawai‘i was in a recession so bad, the state has had to close the public schools. So how is it that all these people can afford to […]

  9. […] how that’s used as a reason why we can’t afford to be losing teaching days out of the school year here in […]

  10. […] else, when you factor in the cost of living on this rockpile. And that was before the damned furloughs. Teachers are hard to get. And if we didn’t have these little perks here and there for our […]

  11. […] could pass it. He does, of course. That way, the State gets Uncle Sam’s money and gets to furlough teachers all at the same time. It’s […]

  12. Sadly insightful.

    • I wish it didn’t have to be so sad, Wiersdo …


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