Thursday, January 22, 2009
Back in the bureau
I had a rendezvous with my public aid lady. They want me to start inserting myself into the economy - on a non-black status. They are willing to help me, they just want to know what it is I do here other than ‘being a stranger’. If really pressed I say I am an artist. Even so, they set me up with the rendezvous today. It was with a group funded by the state who is in charge of doing something with artists. In France they believe artists still exist. But here, like everywhere else, no one knows what to do with them.
So to get my 390 units of currency mailed into my checking account each month I need to get myself a statute. You know, something a little more concrete than ward of the state. But it’s still socialized here, everyone is a ward of the state in different degrees. Everyone is getting something. Everyone is paying something too. That’s how it goes.
On my end at least it all goes back into the pot. Gas, food, a few items for the home front and voila I have seeded the local and national economies with my little economic germs. If they gave me more I would buy a car. You could think of it as an economic bailout of minuscule dimensions.
Couldn’t everyone in the USA have bought a car with the 825 billion dollars that they are doling out now. Or for that matter everyone in Iraq could have bought a Ford Chrysler or Chevy too. Who doesn’t love a new pick-up, it keeps the Indians from fucking us up, why wouldn’t it work in Iraq. We’ve spent 650 billion there and what do we have. Even worse what do they have. We should have attacked Saddam with 22 million Ford F250 pickups.
But that seems to be old business now that Bush has rounded up his wagons (well protected by the Wells, Fargo, and Brinks brothers) and headed back to Texas. Back at the ranch they’ll discourse again how it helps the little man when a new office building goes up in Dubai. Those dudes are artists with serious black projects. I need a project too. That’s what the public aid lady said. She says if I can’t get something going after six months they will start talking street sweeper. Hmmm? a union job.
But I have a job. Though I can’t say that it’s artistic. I can’t even say it’s a job. You see it’s black work. That means when in the social service building we all adhere to a don’t ask - don’t tell policy. It has to be that way, that is how the farm lands run here. We are all itinerant workers. The monthly checks are for the butter and cheese, perhaps a bottle of wine, with the fantastic local bread. Think of it as a bailout without the need for a crisis. Now that is an artistic project.
To make my rendezvous I had to leave the vines early again today. It was a good day for the taille. I was happy to go but would have liked to stay too. Though it wasn’t sunny, It wasn’t windy or cold or raining either. The vigneron took a break in the afternoon from tiling the well subsidized dream house he built, is building, in his natal village where he has his vines. For the first time this year we are three in the field. The work seems to progress rapidly, the rows fall every hour, we go back and forth at seemingly great rates of speed. But just in comparison. Quickly it will seem plodding again, like Washington politics perhaps. But for a moment it seemed fast, we were moving quickly in the right direction. A sensation that had me half wanting to participate, just to see how far we could get.