Sympathy for the Devil

Kate McKinnon as Satan in Saturday Night Live. clip at bottom post

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara
Before our coaching call, I always give her a headsup.

Dear Sara,
From the fact that you get this headsup hours before our call, instead of days, you’ve probably already guessed things are not exactly “in full swing” here.
They’re not exactly rocking.
In fact they’re not rocking at all.
And I feel my role in all of this will come out with a bang. It’s closing in.
At least I have some idea of what is coming, I can feel it’s brewing.

To the rest of the world, it will be one of those:
“I had no idea you thought that way!”
“That is horrible!”
“We’re all in this together.”
We’re not in this together, Sara.
There is the privileged and the even more privileged who can afford staying in their houses. And then there are the people with real professions, who “we” are underpaying and letting do the real work while (also) we work in sectors that make more money.
As a result (three times is a strike) we, feel so extremely guilty over having entire armies of underpaid workers doing the things we don’t want to do, such as spending a day with 25 eight year olds screaming their lungs out, or taking care of a ward with six elderly people with dementia,
that our guilt becomes this oppressive mechanism, where we expect EVEN MORE from them.
And to show we mean well we kill our layer of the economy, where we had been doing pretty well, to show them we’re not secretly making money.
We have innocent faces!
“Money? What money? We’re in this together!”
We flush our entire economy down the drain like drug dealers with the police at their doorstep, because we darn well know what we have done could not stand the light of day.
But no matter how bad things look, drug dealers always manage to recover. And the police always manage to stay underpaid.
Not only does evil survive; It thrives.
It’s always the same who manage to turn out richer, and I feel my blood absolutely boiling from this entire “We’re in this together” crap.
And civilians checking in on each other.

Is everybody obeying the rules? Is everybody obeying the interpretation of the rules? Is everybody living according to the underlying principles, of the rules? 
You can see the upper class judging anyone going out.
“We’re in this together!”
They shout from behind their fences, where every family member has a room to him or herself.
And I yell back at them, that No, we’re not In This Together.
The ones who have entire houses to themselves, or entire rooms or floors when they’re a family;
We are so extremely privileged. 
For many of us- and boy oh boy can we for a moment start realizing how privileged this is???- for many of us the ONLY concern is the virus itself!
In its most toned down, watered down version of: “Can I get it from a shopping cart.”
Fuck, fuck, fuck; HOW PRIVILEGED IS THAT???
A shopping cart?
Someone standing a little too close?
You’re worrying about “catching” something, from your fucking VILLA, and you have the audacity to judge people who do not have all that economic freedom, for being irresponsible?
Boy, oh boy, fast pass to hell if ever there was any, my friend.
And you can see the essential worker class judging anyone going out, because they’re the ones who are cleaning up after us.
They’re the ones taking care of the sick, while being underpaid and underprotected.
They feel it’s a small favor to ask of us, to not take any risk, because they’re holding the line for us.
When I want to yell at the top of my lungs:
“When will you FINALLY stop holding the line? 
When will you say: “Here’s your elderly and your sick; here are your criminals and here are the children you put onto this earth.
You go take care of them yourself!
I need a fucking vacation!”
You may be going to heaven for being an angel and never letting people die or fall off the wagon, but you’re in living hell, right now.
And nobody gives a damn. Or they give a damn, but to the level of those drug dealers when the police comes in to bust them.
Right now, we feel busted.
But do you really think we’ll change our ways of taking advantage of you?
We won’t.

I say “we” because I am guilty too.
Not of abusing our medical system: I ll die when I die.
I ve always said that, and I ll keep saying it, and from that perspective my hands are relatively clean.

And I love vaccines; Give me anything you’ve got.
So with that too, I am not someone who taxes the medical system.

Unless I can no longer live independently and need nursing, I ll end up being really cheap.
But have I done anything to improve the wages or lighten the workload of the essential workers?
Have I participated in work that was only aimed at making money?
Probably, yes.
Did I care?
Not at all.
I ve said: “I don’t care if I have to sell nuclear heads. As long as it’s a fun workplace.”
I ve been absolutely ruthless.
What I would also love to do, is to not work a job at all but instead make art all day. Be creative.
But that doesn’t make an income unless I have some kind of automated or full-on sales going on; And I don’t want that hassle.
So I ve watched the world, and thought: 
“Then what are my options?”

And I saw I had two:
Either do work that requires emotional involvement.
Work that will haunt you at night, and that will entail impossible choices.
A job that will require a saint, a wise woman, someone who accepts that she’s not perfect;
But that all that matters is that you’re there.
A job that is, in basis, humanitarian.

A job you do, despite it being an impossible one.
Or, my other choice; 
A job that will make you jump out of bed in the morning, and that will entail exciting challenges.
A job that will require a trickster, a cunning woman, someone who accepts that the world is not perfect;
But that all that matters is that you play your cards right.
A job that is, in basis, entrepreneurial.
A job you do, despite it only being a game to you.
Years ago, a Dutch left-wing political party leader fired two staff members because they had been having a secret affair for years.
I was absolutely appalled.
Not over the affair, but over firing them.

I didn’t like the moral do-goodie tone of it, I didn’t like the judgement of it, and I didn’t like that there wasn’t a ce-le-bra-tion, that the party owned two members who could move through the night, like foxes!
Who knew the ways of the world.
Who knew how to bend the rules, and play.
Who knew how to get what they wanted.
I bet they were not even “busted”, right? I bet after years they were just like:
“God, let’s just tell them. This is getting boring.”
I know all about secret affairs, they’re only fun if they tether on the edge of being discovered.
If nobody comes looking, it ultimately gets boring.
So the party threw their most capable politicians out.
You could have brought peace to the middle east with that kind of secrecy, but No (make face from The Scream from Edvard Munch):

If you would ask me why I hate being good and just, and doing the morally right thing to do, transparency would sum it up pretty nicely.
Fuck transparency.
It’s horrible, it’s terrible, and it’s no fun at all, trust me.
What is fun however, is hiding in plain sight. But that’s usually not what transparency is supposed to mean.
So I think the reason I feel more than others that we are NOT in this together, is because I see a choice between going to hell or to heaven.
Even if we are in this together, our ways would part later.
You can go to heaven by doing the right thing.
The REAL right thing.
And to do the essential work. Teach. Guard. Heal. Nurture.
To take it all upon you, like carrying the cloak of original sin, and do something about it.
Really do the work of God, and be his angel, and you will feel this as you do this.
You will feel His work flowing through you, and He will give you strength.
I don’t have any doubts about that.
Other choice.
You click your tongue, wink your eye, wave your finger as if you’ve caught someone stealing from the cookie jar and you say in a husky, terribly sexy voice, and with a big smirk baring your perfectly white fangs:
“Not so fast, young man.”
This game is not over.

the writer currently residing in 1995*
~Lauren/LS Harteveld

* the last two weeks have been in 2020, unfortunately. I have no idea how to get back. Or if I want to, if I can also just be evil in 2020.
The fun thing though, about going back to 1995 is that turning your back on this time, is an act of rebellion in itself.
I’ll think about it.


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The devil starts at minute 3:

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