Apr. 19th, 2017

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I’m feeling incredibly cranky. Like if I were Jehovah, Zeus, or Odin, I’d be smiting revenants left and right, and thinking up incredibly inventive plagues to visit upon them.

###

Like yesterday… The last day of taxes, right? Jerry, the administrator at the TaxBwana site at the Dead & Dying Mall, asked me to come in even though I wasn’t on the schedule because he was anticipating that a great hoard of taxpayers who’d put off doing their 1040s till the very last minute would drop in – and he was right.

There’s a certain art to providing services for huge numbers of clients.

You gotta assembly-line them somehow. Those long, personal conversations one enjoys having to establish rapport must be deferred – in the interests of serving as many clients as possible.

Likewise the giving of helpful advice that one knows clients will ignore.

So anyway, one of my first clients was a cook holding down three jobs. He was getting a small refund from the Feds but he owed a shitload of cash to New York State because he wasn’t having enough state taxes withheld from his various paychecks.

True, English was not his first language. However, I think he understood enough English to follow this conversation. I base this deduction on the fact that he was also paying child support, and when I asked him, “Any chance that the mother of your kids would let you declare any of them as dependents?” (since that would be an alternative method of decreasing his tax liability), he snorted and said, “Absolutely not – she hates me.” That’s actually a fairly high level exchange so far as English as a Second Language is concerned.

After I finish crunching the numbers, I always sit down with clients and give them the opportunity to review the form with me and compare it to their 2015 form. During this brief discussion, we’ll talk generally about ways they might be able to reduce their tax liability in the coming year: I am not a financial advisor, but I play one in the world of nonprofits!

About half the time, they’re interested in having this conversation; about half the time, they’re not.

This man was definitely not.

The next step is to trade places with a colleague. I will proceed to reduplicate all the work my colleague did preparing the tax forms, and he or she will reduplicate my work. This is our quality assurance process.

So anyway, the woman who QAs the cook is Little Miss Bleeding Heart Liberal who decides he needs a Spanish interpreter to explain the complexities of the state withholding system. And this proceeds to take up 45 minutes during which time the line of people actually waiting to have their taxes done grows longer and longer.

And frankly, I am wanting to grab Little Miss Bleeding Heart Liberal by the hair, pound her head into the nearest wall, and then invest my life savings in Make America Great Again baseball caps because everything she’s doing is a total waste of time. Plus – and vanity is everything, after all! – she is majorly disrespecting my assessment of what needed to be done in this situation. It isn’t virtue signaling, exactly; I could see she was a helpful sort who goes out of her way to have pleasant conversations with strangers on supermarket lines when said strangers look stressed. She had a good heart.

But it was just so unnecessary.

I would bet $100 – serious bank for me! – that the cook will not march into his HR office this week demanding to fill out a new W-4.

###

From taxes to my intermediate English class. With a brief break to eat bad pizza but helas! not to exercise.

Can you tell I need my exercise?

Because it uses up all that kinetic energy that otherwise gets channeled into fantasies about pounding well-meaning individuals’ heads into walls!

###

Got home and Max called. He’s doing well. We discuss Imane’s latest misadventures –

Max laughs. “It’s so funny the way you keep calling her, ‘My little bad girl.’”

“Well, she is a little bad girl! I mean, I feel an enormous amount of affection for her. But there’s no denying that she’s got that grifter thing going. Of course, most 20-year-olds I know kinda do.”

“Really? You think so?”

“Oh, absolutely. Not in their interactions with other 20-year-olds necessarily. But don’t you remember? I remember very clearly! When I was 20, everyone over the age of 20 was old, and old people really don’t matter very much unless you happen to be related to them.”

“Huh,” said Max. “You could be right.”

“I am right,” I said. “And furthermore, 20-year-olds don’t distinguish between old people. You could be 30 years old; you could be 60 years old. Thing is you’re old, so you don’t count! You should be starting to pick up on some of that yourself since you just turned 30, which makes you officially old –“

“Huh,” Max said again.

###

One of the things Max told me in that conversation was that he was going to delete his Facebook account.

Second person yesterday to announce the imminent deletion of a Facebook account.

Really, I should delete my Facebook account. Facebook is an enormous time sink. Plus it’s a guaranteed method for fanning suicidal thoughts should you happen to log on to it while feeling depressed. Look at all those happy selfies! you'll think. All those people are living rich, rewarding, successful lives! Meanwhile, my most meaningful personal relationship is with Dr. Who. Who never pays any attention to me! And come to think of it, neither do any of those people living rich, rewarding, successful lives on Facebook.

I don’t delete my Facebook account for the following reasons:

1. It is my only way to keep in touch with the scattered DiLucchio Tribe.

2. I communicate regularly with Lois Lane on Facebook.

3. I am an administrator for the Sooper Sekrit Political Group – which is busily gearing up for world domination.

And that means that some day, there will be a big bronze statue of me with an inscription, Mother of the Revolution! Right there on Wall Street, right there between the bull with the big balls and the petulant little girl! But only if I remain on Facebook.

The Sooper Sekrit Political Group, though, is really fucking annoying. Constant thrashes over identity politics.

I loathe identity politics.

Though I’m completely on board with many of the constituent movements commonly filed under the general heading of “identity politics.” I think Black Lives Matter, for example, has an incredibly important agenda, and I thought it was smart of them to hire mega-ad agency J. Walter Thompson: Their message must go mainstream; it’s too important to remain marginalized.

But so far as I'm concerned, the only important battle in a political sense is the battle between the 99 Percenters and the One Percenters.

Everything else is a complete distraction.

What’s called identity in today’s "politics" (sic) is really just an extension of the Starbucks divide-and-sell-more-beverages doctrine, a way to distract people struggling to keep their heads above water from the fact that they have more in common than they have to disagree about.

Identity politics is a reflection of market segments, a methodology that was created to sell ads to television networks. It’s kind of the Left’s replacement for class, but it can only exist under mass market conditions.

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