I was in the car, listening to the local NPR affiliate as I always do—when not classic rock, or Top-40 Hits.
It was a forum with a host and several local professionals; least, that’s what they call themselves—professionals. They really like to use the word a lot to describe themselves. I was told these professionals constitute a $10 billion industry, so good for them, I’m guessing. They were talking what seemed to me to be really weird shit about some deadline that happens April 15th, and they use this 3-letter word to categorize it. My mind flashed to a 5-letter word that might better described what I was hearing, but then I realized that I’m just a citizen, and they’re just talking about some sorts of obligations us citizens have. Apparently, that important obligation is that you have to do a bunch of accounting of your affairs that involve any sort of net financial benefit to you, file papers before this certain date (April 15, any given year), or serious shit comes down on you. I couldn’t immediately discern whether this was a right, obligation, or privilege of citizenship—or whether it was just best left ambiguous.
Eventually, as I listened, I took it to mean that you’re supposed to have trepidation, fear, loathing and above all, submissive obedience to a stranger you were taught was your authority. I was just guessing, though, so just me. But it also seemed to me—on the weirdest level of all—that lots of people actually love all this complexity, accounting, filling out of paperwork…feeling really good about licking a stamp—even driving miles to drop it it a mailbox before The DEADline—right before they turn into pumpkins. Does it mean that if you don’t, you’re actually dead? I wondered. Or, is it meant to just scare you? I wondered that, too.
In a flash of silly thought, it seemed tantamount to being told to go kneel, do Hail Mary’s, and then feel AWESOME! And likewise, I’m not dead! So, is it the exersise that saved me?
I want to know.
For a second, I wondered why I wasn’t really feeling it; perhaps, it’s because I have a really hard time feeling a sense of guilt when I haven’t used force against anyone. But then again, I’m a miscreant of the worst sort.
So I immediately dismissed it as a totally dumb thought (it happens). See, I recalled how, in the 1960s and 70s, tens of millions were persuaded to pay to cover their beautiful hardwood floors with wall-to-wall carpeting, some shaggy. Then, they did away with perfectly functional white appliances in order to pay for ones colored in avocado and harvest gold. …And the entire nation might now suffer compromised vision owing to the wallpaper that covered perfectly functional white walls. Oh, yea, and wasn’t there those very dark, dark, dark cabinets? I think they were touted as Spanish style, or something.
It was all so confusing and complex, and especially in the retrospective; those clever home remodelers paying for those services, being very happy with themselves. They even had friends over to show it all off, so that everyone could share in the mutual joy and comfort of everyone being exactly like everyone else.
On the other hand: forms, boxes, numbers—some numbers being so powerful as to confer security of a social dimension—and thousands of pages of rules (I suspected that the complexity was so that some people could do better—maybe those who can afford “professionals”—than others).
Spending time in perplexed, deep analysis, I think I get it, somewhat. It appears to all be entangled in some earthling concept of services. Oh, I get it—I thought—at first, thinking I had made some bit of sense of it—I know about that! I pay for a lot of services, from the various merchants I deal with daily, to the bills I pay monthly…because the trade seems mostly worth it and I seem to have more and more options. Moreover, Division of Labor is pretty cool, too. Imagine if you had to go bag groceries for 10 hours every week to trade for your family’s food—much less cultivate and harvest crops, or raise and slaughter pigs, cows, chicken and fish, between attending to your Alaskan salmon tanks, with seawater piped in from Alaska.
But it was only a wistful euphoria, by which I was captured, blissfully shuttled away into fantasies of absolute security at the expense of others. What services, really? Is it a “service” to me to face deadlines and file paperwork? How is that a service? Or, but is it a service and I was simply confused over who was being served? I’m trying my best, and I think I figured it out. It’s apparently a service centered around something they call “internal revenue.” When I thought about it, I immediately dismissed the “revenue” part. Duh. Follow the money. It’s that “internal” part I found interesting.
I immediately thought of Guido and Vinny, well known in the hood-lore-metaphor. They too provide internal revenue services. But to whom? Yea, I know, they protect all those mom & pops from getting their places broken into, firebombed at 1am, all that. It’s why we love to watch movies about them.
Their service to the public is noteworthy and you will do well to file your annual papers with them, not to mention hire a professional (friend of the family) to help you. What’s really cool about Guido and Vinny, though, is they really go to lengths to serve. They come to your door so that it’s so easy for you to purchase their services.
They are very competitive service providers. You do not have to drive. You do not have to lick a stamp.
I’m just waiting for the online version, where you can file electronically: TurboGV.com.