Author Topic: The Parable of Sal the Insurance Clerk  (Read 1793 times)

LMNO

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Re: The Parable of Sal the Insurance Clerk
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2017, 05:15:02 pm »
There is a startling and appalling lack of compassion going around these days.

Q. G. Pennyworth

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Re: The Parable of Sal the Insurance Clerk
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2017, 06:33:38 pm »
Overheating Pheremone Pustule of Last Saturday's Jiggle Fun| _xgeWireToEvent: Unknown extension 131, this should never happen.

Don't fucking judge me, I've got tentacles for a face.

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Re: The Parable of Sal the Insurance Clerk
« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2017, 04:05:20 pm »
I really like this piece. I like how Sal is described as Ordinary. That actually gives me a little hope, if the average middle age insurance salesman out there really is dreaming of utopia. Like there's this benevolent potential in people, but it's being held back. Is it withheld by the grim realism of human nature? or is it merely something internal in Sal that makes him stay in the confines of everyday life?

What keeps Sal in stasis? Is it a feeling of helplessness? ie That Sal would be benevolent but he doesn't have the resources. That Sal would be benevolent but it wouldn't change anything.

If there is a message of hope in here somewhere it would be that the power to make a difference is within your grasp at just about any moment. It's just that it's so much easier not to, and easier by at least a little bit to make the wrong kind of difference. With the sheer immensity of problems on the scale of civilizations that we are confronted with thanks to the miracles of modern communication technology, good but small deeds seem impotent. There's really no excuse for it, but it seems like it's harder to give a shit about helping one person when there are seven billion in line.

Sort of the principle that it's easier to dream big and do nothing, than to take a small action that will mean something to a few people.

I guess maybe it's the "easier" part that's the problem. I keep telling my students, volunteer, volunteer, volunteer... but they say they don't have time, and they say "What's in it for me?", and they say maybe later.

I'm hearing a whole lot of this "what's in it for me/us?" lately. Why should we take in refugees. Why should we subsidize healthcare. Why should we feed hungry kids at lunch time. Why should we do anything. And yes those are bigger questions of public policy, but the reasoning behind not doing them an outgrowth of this "what's in it for me" thing that we all share to some degree. It's odd to hear this sentiment voiced so openly, because I could swear that as I was growing up, the very same Right-Wing Christians who raised me, but are now behaving abhorrently, used to tell me "a good deed is its own reward." What happened to that?

I find the same question puzzling. Like, didn't they used to say  that Atheists were selfish and immoral? And now, for them, charity work of any kind seems to be off the table.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


LMNO

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Re: The Parable of Sal the Insurance Clerk
« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2017, 04:18:37 pm »
Which is interesting, in that there's a parallel argument that if welfare is abolished, charity groups (widely assumed to be religiously based) will step in to cover.

tyrannosaurus vex

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Re: The Parable of Sal the Insurance Clerk
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2017, 04:34:04 pm »
Which is interesting, in that there's a parallel argument that if welfare is abolished, charity groups (widely assumed to be religiously based) will step in to cover.

That is the argument. But I find that entirely unacceptable, because no one should have to rely on serendipitous chance for their survival. And the people who insist that private charity will fill the gap have ulterior motives beyond simply "saving taxpayer money" (which itself is a farce), in that these "private charities" are nearly universally religious groups and sometimes require the needy accept some measure of indoctrination in return for assistance.  The most frustrating thing to me is how widespread the disconnection is for so many people from the fundamental theories underpinning civilization itself. We have grown so accustomed to modern convenience that apparently it is now possible for whole groups of people to assume that civilization is a natural law we can take for granted, that society simply is, and thus they are free to abstain from participating in it as a member. Wiser generations used to say "no man is an island", but these people are immune to such nonsense, I guess.
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LMNO

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Re: The Parable of Sal the Insurance Clerk
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2017, 04:44:50 pm »
My individualism is rugged, suh!
          \
 :redneck2:

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Re: The Parable of Sal the Insurance Clerk
« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2017, 08:02:31 pm »
Which is interesting, in that there's a parallel argument that if welfare is abolished, charity groups (widely assumed to be religiously based) will step in to cover.

Which is, of course, patently fallacious in that these presumed charity groups currently do not so much as fill the gaps left by government services.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


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Re: The Parable of Sal the Insurance Clerk
« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2017, 08:03:21 pm »
Which is interesting, in that there's a parallel argument that if welfare is abolished, charity groups (widely assumed to be religiously based) will step in to cover.

That is the argument. But I find that entirely unacceptable, because no one should have to rely on serendipitous chance for their survival. And the people who insist that private charity will fill the gap have ulterior motives beyond simply "saving taxpayer money" (which itself is a farce), in that these "private charities" are nearly universally religious groups and sometimes require the needy accept some measure of indoctrination in return for assistance.  The most frustrating thing to me is how widespread the disconnection is for so many people from the fundamental theories underpinning civilization itself. We have grown so accustomed to modern convenience that apparently it is now possible for whole groups of people to assume that civilization is a natural law we can take for granted, that society simply is, and thus they are free to abstain from participating in it as a member. Wiser generations used to say "no man is an island", but these people are immune to such nonsense, I guess.

It really is a testament to how successful society IS, that so many people seem to feel they can opt out without immediate dire risk to their survival.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


tyrannosaurus vex

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Re: The Parable of Sal the Insurance Clerk
« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2017, 08:31:31 pm »
...
It really is a testament to how successful society IS, that so many people seem to feel they can opt out without immediate dire risk to their survival.

Truth. Just like only a person lucky enough to be born into the most fabulously wealthy civilization in human history could somehow end up believing that poverty itself arises only from bad choices or moral weakness, or only a person born under the fairest laws in history could somehow think injustice is a only a delusion in the minds of its victims. In past ages, when the whole world was hostile and the state really was out for your blood, no one would deny that some people got the short end of the stick by chance of birth and deserved something better than they had the power to earn for themselves. It's a serious indictment of humanity that once presented with the tools to eradicate disease, poverty, and starvation, we choose instead to just stop seeing those things as problems.
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Re: The Parable of Sal the Insurance Clerk
« Reply #24 on: March 24, 2017, 04:02:44 am »
...
It really is a testament to how successful society IS, that so many people seem to feel they can opt out without immediate dire risk to their survival.

Truth. Just like only a person lucky enough to be born into the most fabulously wealthy civilization in human history could somehow end up believing that poverty itself arises only from bad choices or moral weakness, or only a person born under the fairest laws in history could somehow think injustice is a only a delusion in the minds of its victims. In past ages, when the whole world was hostile and the state really was out for your blood, no one would deny that some people got the short end of the stick by chance of birth and deserved something better than they had the power to earn for themselves. It's a serious indictment of humanity that once presented with the tools to eradicate disease, poverty, and starvation, we choose instead to just stop seeing those things as problems.

Hot damn. I am impressed by your wordsing lately, and this is no exception. Nail, head.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


tyrannosaurus vex

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Re: The Parable of Sal the Insurance Clerk
« Reply #25 on: March 24, 2017, 04:19:23 am »
Thanks! The words are coming easier lately than they have in quite some time, and not just on politics, but I'm definitely motivated to punch the shittier elements of the human condition linguistically if not physically.
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LMNO

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Re: The Parable of Sal the Insurance Clerk
« Reply #26 on: March 24, 2017, 01:21:55 pm »
...
It really is a testament to how successful society IS, that so many people seem to feel they can opt out without immediate dire risk to their survival.

Truth. Just like only a person lucky enough to be born into the most fabulously wealthy civilization in human history could somehow end up believing that poverty itself arises only from bad choices or moral weakness, or only a person born under the fairest laws in history could somehow think injustice is a only a delusion in the minds of its victims. In past ages, when the whole world was hostile and the state really was out for your blood, no one would deny that some people got the short end of the stick by chance of birth and deserved something better than they had the power to earn for themselves. It's a serious indictment of humanity that once presented with the tools to eradicate disease, poverty, and starvation, we choose instead to just stop seeing those things as problems.

BIG WORDS THIS MOTHERFUCKER.

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Re: The Parable of Sal the Insurance Clerk
« Reply #27 on: March 24, 2017, 01:36:31 pm »
...
It really is a testament to how successful society IS, that so many people seem to feel they can opt out without immediate dire risk to their survival.

Truth. Just like only a person lucky enough to be born into the most fabulously wealthy civilization in human history could somehow end up believing that poverty itself arises only from bad choices or moral weakness, or only a person born under the fairest laws in history could somehow think injustice is a only a delusion in the minds of its victims. In past ages, when the whole world was hostile and the state really was out for your blood, no one would deny that some people got the short end of the stick by chance of birth and deserved something better than they had the power to earn for themselves. It's a serious indictment of humanity that once presented with the tools to eradicate disease, poverty, and starvation, we choose instead to just stop seeing those things as problems.

BIG WORDS THIS MOTHERFUCKER.

Seconded! Please.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


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Re: The Parable of Sal the Insurance Clerk
« Reply #28 on: March 24, 2017, 06:53:21 pm »
How do you guys want it credited? Seems like the best way to present it is as one block with the "Truth."  cut out, as one speaker rather than a conversation.
Overheating Pheremone Pustule of Last Saturday's Jiggle Fun| _xgeWireToEvent: Unknown extension 131, this should never happen.

Don't fucking judge me, I've got tentacles for a face.

tyrannosaurus vex

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Re: The Parable of Sal the Insurance Clerk
« Reply #29 on: March 24, 2017, 07:59:42 pm »
Maybe... "Truth" as a heading (or removed) and the first "Just like" removed. Credit vexati0n
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