As part of the National Shutting Down orchestrated by Washington, the cash-strapped Postal Service said Tuesday that it’s considering closing 3,653 branches nationwide. Many in rural areas and places like Scranton and Bangor. Oh and one in Philadelphia, that predates the American colonies.
Precisely 236 years ago yesterday, on July 26, 1775, Ben Franklin opened a post office at what is now 316 Market Street, in Philadelphia. The post office didn’t fly an American flag. No, FOX NEWS, it’s not because Franklin was a progressive liberal and a socialist fruit who thrust upon us many socialist institutions that destroyed America like public fire departments, public mail service and public libraries, an intellectual sort, you know, an “elitist”. It’s because America wasn’t a country yet.
Franklin was appointed the nation’s first postmaster general of the colonies in 1753, customarily taking his job very seriously, schlepping all over the colonies, making improvements, establishing new postal routes. It’s 2011 and the U.S. Postal Service is just not a “profitable venture”. Of course, it was never designed to be. It was designed to serve the people, particularly those living in rural areas who rely on the service for communication with the civilized world. Maybe the government has a plan - that Steve Jobs will be pompously announcing any day now – that will involve stringing up internet wires like Christmas lights in remote areas, and supplying every poor household with a Blueberry iMac and a team of very patient IT guys to teach the geezers how to boot up.
The closings will cost 4,500 postal employees/human beings their jobs. But what we lose in 4,500 jobs and in a post office that pre-dates the Revolutionary War, we gain in a CVS, a Wawa or “other appropriate business ventures”. Seems weird, short-sighted, unromantic, and a little disrespectful to the guy who brought us eyeglasses, the stove, the printing press, electricity and the urinary catheter, to lump his Post Office in with all the others, but, hey, Ben Franklin was SO long ago, who even thinks about him anymore? Ben Franklin was a deist, patriot and libertine, student of the Enlightenment, whose sensibilities as an American thinker and intellectual would be unrecognizable to your average teatard, whose idealized version of a founding father resembles a cross between Hitler and Oliver Cromwell but also kind of gay, in a powered wig and waistcoat.
Never mind that the Post Office is one of the few things actually mandated in the Constitution. Further proof that Conservatives don’t give a rats ass about the Constitution or the founding fathers whenever a belief or intent might not quite fit with Jesus or whatever. It doesn’t matter that the constitution says otherwise, they just care about keeping their filthy mooola for themselves, and fuck civilization:
Article I, Section 8, Clause 7 of the United States Constitution, known as the Postal Clause or the Postal Power, empowers Congress “To establish Post Offices and post Roads”.
One of the Postal Service’s strengths is its ubiquity, as something safe and enduing for American, because you know, it’s been around for 236 fucking years. Now it’s 2011 and: ”The Postal Service may close more than 1 in 10 of its retail outlets”. “RETAIL OUTLETS?? The storied post office of yore, that provided all Americans, rich or poor, with access to communication, is now just another fucking HOME GOODS?? “History” doesn’t make money for the Koch Brothers, they’ve already won – now they’re just rubbing it in . (Disclaimer: I cried at the disappearance of the phone booth. It was the 1980s in NYC, and they did it secretly and slowly, the phone booth bandits, under the cloak of night, when no one was watching. The phone booths (the real ones, with doors and phone books), disappeared and poles with phones stuck on them popped up in their place. My sister said at the time, that it was just another way in which day to day life would be more miserable. But no one else really even noticed). I’m telling you this because this is how it happens – when change happens quietly and gradually, people easily, mindlessly adapt to the new conditions, even if conditions are getting worse & worse over time. It’s called “creeping normalization” and is a creepily powerful phenomena. It’s why we allow ourselves to slide slowly into the darkness… kind of like the old frog in the water adage.
As the country’s first post office goes, so goes America. And if America falls, it won’t be from “terrorists” or “Casey Anthony” or any external enemy. It will be by her own hand. That is the inescapable conclusion that any sane person would come to, any person with a regard for the United States, or with some surviving faith in the virtues of representative democracy. Ben Franklin’s post office is a symbol of what has become of this decaying and careless Republic. America is crumbling faster than I ever imagined possible. The evolved among us know we need to keep our past alive if for no other reason than to remind our future, mindless generations that we were once strong.
The whole thing just made me sad. Ben Franklin is the past. Dignity is the past, trucknutz is the future. We are doomed.