Walking To the ‘Barack Candy Mountain’

The election over, a page has turned.

As I have opined previously, a major crossroad has been encountered.  The partisan battle for control of the rudder of the ship of State has resulted in a hard turn to ‘port’.  This nautical ‘left turn’ is frightening  to half of us, and cause for celebration  to the half who were able to veer the ship to the left of the fiscal iceberg which loomed ominously ahead.

Perhaps it will not matter which direction we veered to avert the fiscal disaster before us.  After all, any (hopefully) school child knows that the greater part of any iceberg looms low and wide beneath the surface.  It may be that the inane bickering in Congress and on the airwaves has kept us from realizing that we have long since passed the point, some nautical miles behind us, where prudent diversion of course either way would have kept us from the danger that looms below.  If this is the case, a ruptured keel will soon doom us all, regardless of whether it is torn asunder on the  port-side  or starboard.

If it is not the case, though, and we steam on, unscathed, to a sunset on an uncertain horizon, it is obvious that things will be different in latitudes closer to Greece than they would have been in a veer to starboard, where the latitudes are closer to Lake Woebegone.

The direction has been chosen, though, and it is clear that the momentum of the administrative and bureaucratic tonnage that groans beneath us will change our cultural sensibilities for decades to come.

As I was driving home two days after the election from my menial position as a cashier at a gas-station/convenience store, I noticed not one, but three well-illuminated billboards within a span of about twelve miles, advertising ‘1-800’ phone numbers to call for quick and trusty service for those who have :   “Had your disability claim denied?  We can help get you what you deserve”.  My mind flashed back to sit-downs with insurance clients who were exercising their disability riders on life insurance policies so that the premiums would be paid by the company.  Filling out their paperwork, it was mandatory to ask for the nature of the disability.  In every case I experienced, the ‘disability’ was not physical, or even really mental.  Matter-of-factly, I was informed by the policy holder that “work is just pressure I cannot handle”.     The Doctors’ name and number were dutifully noted, and the forms were sent in.  I never received notice that any of these claims were denied.

The dozen or so patrons I meet daily who use EBT/food stamp cards over the last year have never bought a gallon of milk; a loaf of bread; or even lunch meat.  The purchases are predominately sodas; juices; potato chip products; candy bars; ice cream and, of course; slurpees.

Two Slurpees in a car cupholder.

Two Slurpees in a car cupholder. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m no judge here, don’t get me wrong.  I cannot help but notice, however, that these products, regardless of what can be said about their nutritional or caloric values, are in fact the products we vend which have the highest profit per unit.  (Ours is not to wonder why; ours is just to bag the pie).

Someone should make Michelle Obama hip to this.                                                   

On this same drive home, fretting about the maxing out of my hours  at twenty-nine since the election due to the Obama-care mandate, I happened upon a sound clip on the radio of Dennis Miller,  who now has his own conservative talk-radio show, (and who is, in my estimation, much more tolerable now that he has left sports commentating.)  His reaction to the election was not one of  bitterness; vitriol; or vindictiveness, but, rather one of resignation.   He noted that a guy with a family these days who makes a little over $50,000 a year can make about the same by going on the public dole.  Indeed, I know many at work who purposely cap their hours to less than twenty per week so as not to limit their eligibility for the free healthcare; food stamps; and income supplements they get by NOT working.  There are many small businesses today which cannot find needed help because they cannot match what ‘Big Brother’ pays them to be idle.

Once you latch onto an “Obama phone”; it is apparently difficult to give up those 4 or 5 hundred free minutes per month.

A switch of the radio station resulted in hearing an old “hobo” song from the twenties and thirties:  “The Big Rock-Candy Mountain”.  As I listened to its’ lyric describing the reverie of a perfect world from the point of view of  a hobo, I could not help but think of the similarity of that dream to what is unfolding today.

I’ve modified the lyric……the tune can be heard by clicking on the link below:

“The Barack Big Rock Candy Mountain”
(originally by Haywire Mac, 1928)



One evening as the polls shut down

And the pundits’ bile was churning,

Down the street came a vagrant hiking,

And he said, “Folks, I’m not turning

I’m headed for a land that’s far away

Besides the crystal fountains

So come with me, we’ll go and see

The Barack Candy Mountain”


“On the Barack Candy Mountain,

There’s a land that’s fair and bright,

Where the handouts grow on bushes

And you sleep warm every night.

Where the Swisher Sweets are plenty

And the sun shines every day

And the birds and the bees

And the cigarette trees

And the Red Bull springs

Where the bluebird sings

On the Barack Candy Mountain.”


“In the Barack Candy Mountains

The Obama phones are ‘smart’

And the TVs all are HD flat

And Republicans have hearts

Convenience stores are full of booze

Your Lotto picks win every day

Oh I’m bound to go

Where there ain’t no snow

Where the rain don’t fall

The winds don’t blow

In the Barack Candy Mountain.”


“In the Barack Candy Mountain,

All the churches give to you

And the little streams of Rolling Rock

Come trickling down so cool

The police have to tip their hats

And the store clerks all are blind

There’s a lake of brew

And of Slurpees too

You can paddle all around it

In a big canoe

In the Barack Candy Mountain.” 









“In the Barack Candy Mountain,

Networks all are CNN

And there’ll be more reality shows,

In slots where Fox has been.

You stay on ‘disability’,

And your checks come EFT

I’m bound to stay

Where you sleep all day,

Where they hung the jerk

That invented work

In the Barack Candy Mountain.”

“On the Barack Candy Mountain

All the ballots are absentee

And the only lines to stand in

Are for RedBox DVD’s

On this mountain have no fear

Of Tea Parties or of work

To us it’s owed

A tattooed bar-code

small price to pay

To not have to pray

On the Barack Candy Mountain.”




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