The Words of Kabutroid
Sorry, have to get all *adult* on you here. Shit's got everbody worried, nobody wants to bring it up, figured I'd make this comic to get a brief version of my thoughts out. Been noticing it come up more in the past few weeks though. Don't know if people are talking to me more though just because I'm generally one of the more upbeat people in the office. As you can probably assume, I've otherwise been the one just... doing my work, keeping to myself, chainmailling during lunch (gotta say... now that it's almost done, people are REALLY getting curious to see what it looks like finished... pics to follow, except it's after midnight right now), and overall typically just keep to myself. Always been the type that doesn't talk to anyone unless they start talking to me first. I just don't want to interrupt peoples train of thought or whatever they happen to be doing.
Also, I'm posting all of this since it seems like a lot of webcomic artists have been doing something similar lately. Hey, may as well jump on the bandwagon. I've said it before, making the website has helped me through a lot of crap in the past, and I'm glad I had you guys to help me through it. The feedback and support I've gotten from the rare, the few and far between that have somehow found this long lost slice of the internet.
No, seriously, It was brought up recently, and got me thinking... how in the world DID anyone even stumble across this place? I honestly don't even know HOW to advertise the site. Maybe spamvertise the name here and there for shits and giggles, but I haven't really bothered getting advertising done, or... I have no clue how else you shove your name at the top of a page, or however else websites advertise... whatever. But yeah, kinda curious now, if people want to post in the shoutbox or on facebook or something how they happened across the place, I'd be curious to hear. Although postings on message boards back in the day was probably the main source, or those webcomic rating sites.
But figured I'd post this while it's on my mind. The conspiracy theorist in me is telling me the above comic, and the pessimist in me is agreeing with him. The optimist has been screwing around with more local things, and is almost done his next chainmail project. Any others are either worried about being laid off, looking forward to being laid off, preparing for the worst, hoping for the best, or generally screwing around. Seriously, this job has been leaving a bad taste in my mouth since they announced it. Seems my willingness to give 110% for the good of the company (rather not say which until I'm officially out of there... why create a reason to get rid of me sooner) doesn't hold up so well when the company basically tells you that they're perfectly fine seeing tons of people in multiple cities become jobless at a time when unemployement is at its highest, wages are at their worst, and companies are being specifically looked poorly upon when you announce a ton of layoffs. Not sure if they've announced it yet, although I imagine word of mouth has gotten out ages ago.
*sigh* All that said, I'm actually in surprisingly good spirits lately. Just spent the afternoon after work with my cat in the park today, enjoyed the outdoors while working on that chainmail shirt on a bench, cat on a long leash.
On that note, I'm actually very surprised I don't see more cats being walked through parks. I mean seriously... they love the shit out of that. What cat doesn't like eating grass? They're SUPPOSED to eat grass! So if you have a pet cat, and it doesn't freak right the hell out at the big outdoors, where there's no ceiling, and the walls are forever far away! OH MY GOD, WHAT'S THAT GIANT LOUD THING! OH GOD, THEY'RE EVERYWHERE, ONE AFTER THE OTHER, OF BRIGHT COLOURS AND LOUD RUMBLING!!! WHY THE HELL IS THERE NO CEILING?!? WHAT IS THIS PRICKLY STUFF ON THE GROUND?!? I WANT MY FLAT GROUND AGAIN! I WANT BACK INSIDE AG-OH GOD!!! SOMETHING SCREECHED FROM OVER THERE!!! WHAT'S GOING ON?!? GET ME OUT OF HERE! NOW! NOWNOWNOWNOWNOWNOWNOWNOW"
That would be my other cat.
So, took Jack to the park (another sob story behind that one too, poor bastard turned diabetic, so THAT dying is something to look forward to), screwed around for a while there, making chainmail, listening to music. Seriously people who stay indoors all day... you're missing out here. I know there's a lot of types that hate the outdoors, but y'gotta admit... a relaxing day, not too sunny, not many bugs, cat/dog/<insert animal companion here> asleep at your feet, doing something you enjoy doing... shit, you've gotta enjoy times like that. Haven't gotten to do much fishing yet this year. Kinda got a lot of flooding happening around here. We're on a higher-ish area though, not on the ground floor of an apartment though, so no worries there.
And on a note about any crap going down I was mentioning in the comic. Cross the fingers it doesn't y'know, but not like I'm able to control any of that shit. We've long since written off the idea of buying a house... just seems like a bad idea all around. We've got that new car, but technically with my parents' inheritance, we're technically not in the hole. Going to keep paying the car off the 'normal' way... over 5 years... since I'd rather not see the inheritance just vanish in a puff of motorized aluminum. Actually quite proud of us for right now being 100% debt free :D. Been having to live with basically no purchases other than food and bills, but still, we're better off than most in all actuality.
And on that note actually, another reason why I'm generally the 'upbeat' guy at work, I'm fairly certain I'm in the best physical shape I've ever been in my life. I was always that scrawny, tiny kid in class... was actually the shortest, including girls, until grade 9. Been doing a lot of biking lately, still get the occasional use out of the rock-climbing wall thing, chainmailling has been helping, and generally a lot of activity and somewhat healthier eating. More veggies, less crap type thing.
On a note related to the comic... doubt it'd ever come down to it, but I'm kinda glad I grew up in the country, had a garden, generally have a good understanding of how to make it in the wild, if worse comes to worst. Don't know if bitcoin will be useless down the road or the greatest thing since the internet. Got a little bit though, just in case. And seriously... enough with trying to kill net neutrality. OBVIOUSLY it's not good for the populace. Stop being dicks and trying to push through shit to OBVIOUSLY throttle sites that pay less to whoever. There is NO WAY anyone thinks that it will be used "for the good of the people" or whatever. Everyone and their dog knows it's all corrupt as hell at the top, you're going to keep raping the public to make the unfathomably rich even more unfathomably rich, and that big business, the government, the drug cartels, real estate, and all that other stupid shit is tied together. You DO realize that people have memories, right? Ok, a lot of people may not pay attention, yes, or buy the feelgood bullshit you're feeding people... I'm looking mainly at the older folks here, who actually keep voting for the same idiot parties. THEY'RE THE SAME GODDAMN PARTY! How is that not obvious?!? Yeah, they've got their little "wedge" issues, that they use to keep the population fighting kicking and screaming against eachother. Gay marriage, abortion, weed, religion, or whatever the "controversial" topic of the day is. Seems like they're burning through more and more wedge issues lately though... they're going to have to start inventing some more. But on the broader scope... in the big picture, they're doing the exact same goddamn things. Yes to big business, no to the masses. You've got scandals on all sides popping up just about every week (although it's been quiet for the past month or so... guess they're getting better at hiding things), whistleblowers calling you on all kinds of shit, people being thrown to the wolves so cases can be closed and never brought up again until election time... come on, people aren't that stupid. They might not like bringing it up, but they're not that stupid.
So here's what I propose, 1% (or 10%, if you want to be more accurate). Don't worry guys, I'll keep it how you're used to seeing the world... like people are worthless, and discount everyone's life as meaningless. Now look, you guys are rich enough. Whoever the fuck you are at the tops of the food chains, with the billions of dollars, whoever owns these conglomerates and corporations and... yeah, you know. They have names, but I'm not being arsed enough to bother looking them up, not like I'll bother remembering them anyway. Insert richest people on earth list here type thing. You guys have enough. You could literally buy countries if you wanted to. But you're not, it's just sitting there tied up in stocks (and don't get me STARTED on the stock market. High frequency trading can kiss my ass) or wherever else, very likely not being taxed, and in some country somewhere that lets you avoid paying what the rest of us do. I don't know if Switzerland is still the 'place' to hide money, or where they're using now. Not like I'll ever have the money to have my own accountant to fuck with numbers and hide money, anyway.
So anyways... people. They're everywhere. Work. Not enough of it. Gotta realize something here guys, we're in a technological age now. Lot of manual labour isn't needed. Like... 99% of office jobs? They shoulda been gone long enough. Text recognition software, standardized invoices or whatever other important paperwork. Scan, parsed, processed, completed, never mind all this data entry position crap. That's just busywork, and should have been ditched long ago. So... killing off tons of people is a shit idea... people don't really like it. You don't care about that though, but you also need people. Stuff's being made, stuff's gotta be bought. If everyone's broke or dead, nothing's gonna be bought. You get no money, nobody to lord your power over, anyone outside of your happy little rich bubble will kill you on sight... generally going to be a shitty time for you guys. And I know you, you don't want shitty times. You want more money, more power, more... whatever the hell it is you're doing way up there where none of us can see you.
Guaranteed minimum income. Now... never mind pulling this from the middle class, or taxes, or whatever lets you bleed people. We're bled dry. The well's empty. That just isn't going to work any more, sorry, you're gonna have to live with that. You can try, but remember... need people alive. We buy the shit that makes you rich. So... you can sort it out amongst yourself, wealthiest 10% (in North America, unless the rest of the planet wants in on this). You're going to have to pay for it. Gonna have to sell a few of those stocks, turn it into useable money. Or bitcoin. Make whatever quantity bitcoin the base minimum wage. That way, you have your regular money for business shit, and bitcoin can be what is electronically divied out to everyone.
Here's the important part. Make it a universal right that all businesses have to take both local (and whatever other they want) currencies, AND bitcoin. It's just another currency they accept, that's all. We've got the technology available already, just USE it! Or if you're still thumbs-down on bitcoin, just make it local currency, no problem, we'll take that too. Just don't go hyperinflating it, that might be 'round the bend too. Might suggest you get a rein on that too by the way. Give everyone X amount... say 20 grand a year. Enough to live off of, not much else. I dunno, whatever can't-buy-much-except-the-basics is these days. And ACTUAL numbers, since we all know you'd try to lowball the hell out of that number. No fucking with making people too poor to survive, that's what's causing all the shit going on right now. Remember... it being proper is GOOD for you rich guys. YOU'LL be better off if WE'RE better off. And hey, you can get rid of welfare or any of those other income assistance programs... all the money from that can go straight to this guaranteed minimum income. If they're getting guaranteed THIS wage, the other programs have no reason to exist. Have the pay go up with the ACTUAL inflation... not this bullshit 1-2% you keep trying to feed people. My food and gas have gone up by far more than that, and you don't even WANT to know what housing is doing right now, if you're not bothering to pay attention to what's happening there.
Jobs, wha happen to them? Think nobody will work? No, obviously people will work. Most people don't like being left alone with nowhere meaningful to go. A lot of people LIKE work. Hell, I'D still go to work somewhere part-time! You still get interaction with others, more income means you can buy more stuff. Video games ARE fun y'know... not like everyone WANTS the bare minimum. Some people will still wanna be millionaires. More power to 'em, go be a CEO. Although, if you could straighten out that separation of wealth between the highest up and the lowest... maybe make it a bit less harsh of an income curve, that'd be fantastic. I'm sure the highest rungs on the ladders can get by on only a few million a year. That would also kinda free up a ton of money to pay off federal debt, repair infrastructure, build more apartments (seriously... enough with the giant homes that cost half a million. A) fix the housing market prices first, seriously, that shit's about to burst. B) Very few people need a house with a dozen rooms. More apartment buildings, small houses and lots. Let's get some room for people to live here, never mind these sprawling yards), and generally do all the maintenance/etc that the government is actually supposed to take care of. Speaking of, telecommunications... yeah, that sucker should be universally available. Again, pay extra for more speed, but like the base income, there should be a base wifi or whatever. And net neutrality, again, neutral is what you want. That's what people want, and happy people buy shit, eat out, keep the economy pumping, and you guys richer. Long term guys, stop thinking only about the next quarter. Hell, medical technology is getting pretty good lately, you old bastards at the top can probably live to be a few hundred (or more? Wouldn't mind some kind of brain-computer cyborg shit here). Push a whole lot of R&D towards science, medicine (PROPER medical R&D, not pharmaceutical companies raking in obscene profits for questionable drugs rushed through approval. Don't think we forgot about THOSE scandals), and shit like that. Things are looking really, really good if you look at the cutting edge of medicine, computing, technology and science in general. So THAT'S what you want to start pushing. You old goats live longer so you can overlord your power for even longer, or whatever it is you enjoy doing with all this wealth and control. Now you can do it longer. Hell, maybe for as long as you want, until you get bored. So push that, see if you CAN look long term (because otherwise... y'know... hope you really trust whoever your successor is going to be, because generally speaking if you're fine with watching millions starve around you while you bask in opulence, you probably don't have the best of morals.
Anyways, guaranteed income. You'll still get people working, because people like their shit. A lot of it is fun, and worth working for. There'll be a really big shift around though... lotsa shitty businesses will go under, and there'll be actual competition between businesses for workers. Y'see, people will actually be able to CHOOSE where they want to commit the best hours of the day of the best years of their life. Rather than working somewhere because you enjoy food and shelter, people will apply in fields they WANT to work in. The industries that treat people like crap and pay terrible wages will go under, because people will simply choose to work for the places that are better, or otherwise not at all. And you DO know that a TON of jobs don't need to be done, right? Like I said, data entry, gone. Get a pile of programmers together, get software for scanning/processing invoices, standardize tariff classification to have on the paperwork, and *bam*, you just freed up having to pay the wages of every data entry person for every company ever. You'll have a handful kicking around for the shit quality paperwork, but virtually all gone. There's tons of other places I won't bother to get into, but trust me, you can get rid of all those jobs. It's all busywork anyway, and we all know it. Companies are too cheap to upgrade their systems, but that's screwing you guys over. Again, thing slightly longer term. Not even THAT long term... that invoice thing could probably be cranked out in half a year with the right focused programmers and experts.
So you've got a ton of people freed up, either volunteering or working where they want. The needed-but-crap jobs will still be taken, because again... people will still want more money. Those crap jobs might have to pay more, but generally there should still be a ton of low-pay jobs, because a lot of people won't even want that much more. A lot of people DO like a somewhat more simple life, y'know. I'd be on board with that crew, working maybe two days a week somewhere.,br>
So now, there's a ton of people not working. Are you worried they'd just be leeches on society or something? Because what you'd get is a massive boom in the arts, sciences, and any fields or categories that people have an interest in. Instead of everone's mind being filled only with "ugh, how the hell am I going to eat next month", people will be innovating things, inventing things, painting, drawing, studying up and contributing to research in science, biology, computing, whatever else. You would have hobby farmers making higher quality foods, just because a lot of people DO like farming. You guys like good food, right? There'll be all KINDS of tasty stuff out there! People who enjoy cooking will come up with new recipes. With their minds freed up from the constant worry about rent and generally just surviving, they'll have time to actually use some imagination and come up with things.
So if you want the next burst of innovation... innovation that you guys can TOTALLY market and sell, and make an absolute FORTUNE off of... then you want to free up people's time. Pay us all a fair base wage just to survive. Get rid of all the shit busy-work jobs that shouldn't even exist. Wherever you go, it'll be nicer and cleaner, too! Y'think people will just dump garbage everywhere? NO! With a ton of free time, the people who like outdoors... and there's a lot of us... will have more time to do just that. And with a ton of free time, we'll want to enjoy the places we like going more, so we will actively be TRYING to keep it clean. The people who like the outdoors often DO clean up minor things when they can. Imagine what they can do if they were free for all of their waking hours, instead of just the ridiculously early morning or late afternoon?
Oh, and hey, crime should drop too. A lot of crime is because people are dirt poor, and don't have a choice. You've fired god knows how many people into prison for stupid reasons because the legal system loves their money from full prisons... which by the way everyone knows has corruption scattered all over the goddamn place too. Start cleaning that shit up, it's obvious to the point of being just tiresome to hear about whatever dumb shit laws being passed to screw over people, or spy on them, or all of that wonderful stuff that's having a harder and harder time being kept under wraps. More and more of these corruption scandals in the news is starting to look worse and worse guys. And I know you don't care about your image to us peasants, but again... that's kinda what's biting you in the ass right now.
So c'mon guys. Shit's going downhill really fast right now, and this house of cards isn't going to stay standing for all that much longer unless you do some serious stabilization work. And just stop doing stupid things. Actually, that goes for everyone, not just you 10%. Don't be stupid. There's always some shit in the news where you just shake your head and think to yourself 'ugh... what would possess you to think that's a good idea?' I have a simple rule everyone can follow for that, rich and poor alike. You can make it a universal law.
Don't be stupid.
It's just that simple, don't be stupid.
"But how do I know if something is stupid?"
If you have to ask if something is stupid, the answer is "yes". Don't be stupid.
I realize the joke is that common sense isn't common... and while that's unabashedly true in far too many cases, it can also be easily corrected. For the most part... if what you're doing will in any way negatively affect anyone else who isn't associated with what you're doing... then it's probably stupid. But hey, if you want to do something stupid that doesn't affect anyone else, go for it. Stupid shit is fun, amirite? No seriously, I love doing silly, fun things, a lot of which can probably qualify as stupid. However, I also do things safely, think of any potential consequences, etc, etc... do my due diligence type of thing. And that way, we never run out of funny news stories of what will come to make up the next failblog video on youtube.
And on a final, somewhat related note... people have to stop being so damn offended by everything. Yeah, if someone's being hurtful, or y'know... being stupid... then that's stupid, don't do that. If someone wants to walk around *gasp* scantily clad, or a public display of affection (to a point obviously... again, don't be stupid), or wearing something that offends you, or saying something you dislike... IGNORE THEM! Just fucking move on, walk faster if you must to get them out of your precious eyesight, pop in headphones if you need to, or just put your fingers in your ears. Just... ignore the things you don't enjoy. Not everything in life is liked by everyone else... deal with it. We're all the same damn sacks of flesh stuck on this rock, and surprise, some of them will like different things than you, or have different values. Deal with it, you have no choice but to. Different people are different, it's a thing that exists, too bad, so sad.
So... tl;dr: Shit's going downhill, minimum guaranteed income fixes a lot (and don't say it'll never work, it's been tested, and lately a lot of experts have been promoting it. Just google it), and don't be stupid. If I stop updating for a really long time, or the site goes down, that means something stupid happened.
Make pages in the Stuff section for new chainmail... stuff.
Update profiles page