Raul Malo / Blog

“Three Little Pigs” - June 06, 2010

It’s not really surprising that this child’s tale is one of the most important, yet easily forgotten lessons in our society. Unfortunately we do so at great risk to ourselves, our children, and to our very own existence. While the first “two little” pigs built their houses of sticks and straw for whatever reason…(bricks are too expensive; straw and sticks are cheaper and quicker to build and require less-skilled labor; there’s more time to party and have fun…etc) the third “little pig” diligently built his house of bricks. We all know how the story ends and yet we continue to build our world of sticks and straw. We continue to live for today instead of tomorrow. This flood has highlighted the importance of this lesson and the continued relevance of this child’s tale. Take me, for example…Of all the material possessions I have (and I don’t have many, trust me) the only ones I really cared about were my guitars. Yet they sat in water for five days because my locker was filled with such useless crap that I’ve never cared about, there was no room to put the guitars up on the shelves where they should have been. Well guess what survived? all the “useless crap”. I never took the time to clean out my locker properly. And so as the guitars were piled in there the only place they could be was exactly where they were…underwater! Now, believe me I am not beating myself up over this. I know this was a natural phenomenon that no one could have predicted. Nonetheless, when something like this happens if you don’t at the very least learn something, then all the trouble, turmoil, and pain that you go through at a time like this, is in vain. It’s amazing to drive around town and see houses (literally) in the middle of the road. There are houses in Green Hills (miles away from the Cumberland) that are completely destroyed. Many of the folks did not have flood insurance because they’ve never needed it. There’s nothing in the record books to indicate otherwise. A lot of people have lost everything in this flood with no chance of recovering any of it. Some lost their lives to the muddy waters. The impact of this flood cannot be underestimated. Oh yeah, and for all the “tea-baggers” out there that want less government in our lives and more “free-market”, etc… my flood insurance is through a federal program. They have been outstanding and accommodating and we will rebuild our house because of it. My equipment (guitars) is through a private insurer. And guess what? That’s right. They are only going to cover about a third of what I lost. Why? Because they can…there’s your free-market capitalism at work. Personally, I believe that we are at a crucial point in our history. Do we let “free-market” capitalism and all its collective baggage continue to rule our lives? Do we continue to let the unreasonable voices of corporate fascism turn us into a real life version of “Lord of the Flies”, where the weak, and the poor, and the different are discarded, and only the strong survive? Or will we realize that enough is enough? That a society that does not take care of the weak, and the sick, and the poor, and continues to destroy the opportunities for those less fortunate to improve their lives (i.e. education) is an unsustainable society. Oooh…I sound like a socialist. Everybody say it with me…”SOCIALISM”. It’s not a “bad” word. It’s not a “dirty” word. We have had socialism in this country for a very long time. Unions, social security, medicaire, are just some of these examples. FDR, arguably the last great president, stood up to hostile forces within the government, much less within his own party, to implement his “socialist” policies. He did so because he cared about his people and about his country. And they cared back.