Family dysfunction. You don’t see me discussing it much because I’m a little bit raw from it. On the one hand, reliving pain is the best source of humor. On the other hand, reliving pain is the best source of relapse, which is the best source of a med-adjustment, which is on the road to Zombie Town and/or a new room at Harborview with built in straps, and new friends bearing needles for those all-important ’round-the-clock blood tests.
But I think I can avoid all that by not actually making family dysfunction the subject of my talk, but rather the day’s primary source of analogies. Therefore I will not be talking directly about situations as occur such as where Mommy “lovingly” corrects you too hard and breaks your brain permanently. Instead I’ll talk about other stuff that happens and only refer to those situations by way of illustration.
So my goal today is to piss away the rest of my column space talking about things that resemble family dysfunctioning that I’ve known.
How ’bout that 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness?
We’re all one big, happy family at the 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness! Why wouldn’t we be? We’re ending homelessness! In 10 years! We’ve said so!
Turns out that’s a bit like promising to honor and obey until death do us part. After about two or three years a promise like that has a way of morphing into, “You expect me to do what? You want to die?” Which, if you think about it, is the same thing.
Some of you might recall that back in January I had fun laughing about a thing, in the planning of the 10 year’s planning, called the 10-Year Plan dashboard. That was a document, or maybe it was a “device,” which was not finished, which WHEN finished would tell the big shots at the top of the planning process when the planning car was in need of oil or gas or a tune-up, so they could order their underlings to take care of that.
It turns out that it was totally dysfunctional of me to — using the day’s primary analogy source — “snicker at Daddy that way.” You’re not supposed to snicker at Daddy when Daddy is busy telling you how things are going to happen around here in the future. You’re supposed to hold your tongue until Daddy has made a new rule, and then, when you are spoken to, you may say what you think of the new rule, provided you speak respectfully.
It was especially dysfunctional of me because such things as governing dashboards are common in organizations. Even Real Change has been working on one. So I had snickered at Daddy for doing something all Daddies do. Next thing you know I’ll be laughing at Daddy for breaking wind.
In a slightly different vein, last week our director, Timothy “My Cage Is Too Dirty” Harris smelled something bad coming our way from the Seattle weekly named so. A writer at that weekly was asking questions of Real Change folks that made it seem like either a bogus exposé was being manufactured, or that someone had a bean and cheese burrito for breakfast.
We’ve seen these things elsewhere. A local “investigation” reveals that some vendors at a street paper make so much money they can afford apartments, and they aren’t fired for it! Some vendors meet the conditions of incentive programs to get guaranteed turf and other vendors don’t! Vendors are caught drinking alcohol in their time off, as if they were ordinary people, and the director does nothing to stop them!
So Tim did a dysfunctional thing. He had the audacity to use his blog, Apesma’s Lament, to object in advance of anything actually happening. The writer hasn’t even written a story yet!
What have we learned today? 1) Never giggle at your Betters. 2) You’re not supposed to scream before your Betters hit you.