By: Ben Johnson
Congratulations. You certainly got my attention.
You guys sure know how to get my goat. I’ll give you that. And I can see how that’d be fun for you. I’m the over-educated liberal nerd who’d rather be right than happy, and you’re the country-smart redneck who gets to have a little fun at my expense literally any time you feel like it. You’ve been made to feel inferior to overeager puissant little know it all hand-raisers like me for your whole life. I’ve spent my whole life being stuck behind you while you fail to figure out how to exit a parking garage. We grate on each other, but I’m usually more fun to grate on than you are.
You might have noticed I seem oddly restrained right now. Usually with something like "An Open Letter To..." I’d be furiously and condescendingly trying to “teach” you something about how I’m right and you’re wrong. I bet that’s exhausting. I don’t blame you for being tired of that.
Teaching doesn’t really work unless you sign up for it. And while I wish you would, partially because I like the sound of my own voice, and partially because sometimes I literally can not believe how wrong you are while appearing to think you are right, you don’t have to listen to me. In a way, I respect that about you. Facts, after all, tend to come out of the mouths of people, and people can always be ignored. I'm as good a person to ignore as anybody. I admit it.
If I seem more subdued than usual about the whole being right thing right now, it's because your guy is probably not gonna be the president.
This is not me gloating, by the way. It hasn’t exactly been fun to get here. You, and your guy, put up one hell of a messy fight, and it took a lot out of me. It took a lot out of all of us. You had to stand up surprisingly strong for your God-given right to be wrong, which is a long and shamefully proud tradition in this country, and I felt myself, through my exhaustion and exasperation, behaving in ways I know to be wrong just to try to convince you that I’m right.
Anyway, what now?
We still have to share a country, is what. And it’s a pretty messed up country at the moment. We agree on that. We probably agree, more or less, on the basic idea of how it’s messed up. Namely: the squeeze is on. It feels, strangely, like it’s harder to be alive than it used to feel. Not that it was ever easy. But you know what I mean. Money doesn’t go as far as it used to.
We might even agree to some extent on who’s to blame.
Like I know you’re not a huge fan of Comcast. No sane person on earth loves Comcast. You and I might disagree on a lot of things, but there’s just no way you get a bill for $100 in the mail every month and then go “I’d gladly pay twice as much as that to be able to watch Ice Age 2 whenever I want, yes, thank you Comcast!”
Like you’re not tipping Comcast, are you? “You know what, Comcast, you guys did a really good job this month. Here’s a little something extra for little Joey Comcast.”
Maybe you work for Comcast. But people who work for Comcast probably hate Comcast the most. You ever call up Comcast and talk to somebody who works there? What’s the first thing they tell you? “Many of your questions can be answered online at Comcast.com.” Can you imagine how humiliating it must feel to tell every single person you talk to all day long that your company would prefer if you did not have a job?
And have you ever been to a Comcast customer service center? It’s actually worse than the DMV in there. The DMV has chairs in it. I’d rather go to the DMV all day long than go to a Comcast customer service center for fifteen minutes. I know I said I’d take it easy on the “teaching” thing, but I just find it pretty damn telling that Comcast is less nice to go to than the DMV. The DMV probably has more competition keeping it honest. Like you can actually move to another state that has nicer DMVs. Illinois was pretty good.
Anyway, yeah, you don’t love Comcast.
So you and I are not THAT different. I fucking hate Comcast.
I know you’re not fond of Wall Street. Who’s fond of Wall Street, except for Wall Street?
I know you don’t love Congress. Nobody, not even you guys, loves Congress right now.
Who else do we both not like? I don’t know… Kim Kardashian?
Comcast… Congress… Wall Street… Kim Kardashian…
Oh okay, there’s too much money (Comcast) in too few hands (Wall Street), and the system (Congress) is rigged to keep it that way, and it’s getting pretty damn obvious that money is not actually associated in any proportion with the holder’s actual worth as a contributing human being (Kim Kardashian).
We agree on that. Right?
And instead of doing something about it, together, we’re sitting around arguing about who is worse between Hillary Clinton and Donald The Fuck Are You Even Serious Oh My God I Need To Go Breathe Into A Paper Bag Right Now Trump. Which, okay, we disagree on, but holy crap. Holy crap.
I’m worn out. I don’t know how you guys feel, but I’m worn out. And I have a sneaking suspicion that my being worn out is a part of somebody else’s plan. Being worn out is what makes it easier for me to pay Comcast $100 a month than it is to march up to their headquarters in Philadelphia and burn the damn thing to the ground.
I’ve actually been in there before, and guess what? They basically have a gigantic HDTV in their lobby. Like that’s what they used our money on. And they don’t even let you watch movies or shows on it. It’s just this lame repeating series of videos of, like, local Philadelphia actors tap dancing on a big spinning globe and stuff. They couldn’t even spring for something cool with explosions and lasers. I mean, if you’re gonna rob me every month to build a giant HDTV in the lobby of a skyscraper, go whole hog. Lock the doors so I can’t get in and play Halo on it with your other rich buddies.
Seriously, though, you guys. We should forget about Trump and Hillary, get together, and I don’t know, like, do something about Comcast. Comcast sucks. And all the other problems, too. We’re going to need each other if we’re going to fix those, but in the meantime, Comcast. Let’s take it down. It’ll be like a fun team-building exercise.