My anger had nowhere to go. It was
huge. The headline that enraged me? “50 chief executives in
finance saw their pay rise by an average of 20.4 percent.” Huh?
I scurried back into my dyke cave and
plunged my brain into fiction.
I really dislike the term man cave. It
creeps me out with images of unpleasant smells, hairy limbs and
terrible hygiene. Then my sweetheart referred to “my” end of the
couch as my dyke cave. Ick, was my fleeting reaction. I looked
Behind the couch was my special Verilux
floor lamp. In front were two hassocks, the kind with storage, filled
with books, maps, pens, paper cutters, scissors, rulers, book covers,
newspapers, magazines, a heating pad, pet toys and brushes, a good
supply of index cards, an iPad, calculator, ear buds and ear plugs,
magnifying glass, jackknife, and more—all jumbled together.
The dog was on a pillow between us. A
cat was curled up on one of the hassocks. Mail and library books
were on “my” side of the coffee table. Two favorite throws lined
the back of the couch. I’m surprised there was room for my
sweetheart, though it would be awful lonesome with her further than
the reach of my arm. Yeah, I guess my setup could be called a cave
I need a cave. Maybe we all do. The
Huffington Post went on to report, “Bonuses didn't fall nearly
as much as anyone expected. And compensation at a number of major
banks even approached record levels.”
Wait a minute. Did the bonus money
trickle down? Did all the workers get a 20% raise or only those who
were already earning half a million or more? If there are enough
funds to pay such a huge raise to the highest wage earners, why are
they laying off so many employees while adding more work to those who
Some of us are hoping to have enough
money from Social Security to survive old age and there are plans for
deep cuts. That bonus money? Maybe it’s going to the wrong people?
Others are scraping by – or not – on disability payments, which
also face deep cuts. Doesn’t someone who makes multiple millions in
salary and then gets millions more for, maybe, increasing his (seldom
her) company’s income feel kinda uncomfortable as they pump people
Or maybe they didn’t notice all the
job cuts in the financial sector – their own employees – and how
they are now living high off the hog because they laid off or froze
wage increases for loyal, productive, long-term employees whose
paychecks wouldn’t cover the furniture in one room of a penthouse.
When I read the local paper in my tiny,
cluttered dyke cave, I’m frightened by the increasing disparity
between the superrich and the working stiffs. I wonder, what can I
do? What can anyone do?
Occupy Wall Street has definitely had
an impact. The Republican National Convention will be here in the
Tampa Bay Area this August and the media turns to the local Occupy
folks for information about the protests. Of course, the city of
Tampa has declared certain natural protest areas to be completely out
of bounds. The Republicans are claiming whole parks as their
territory. The papers are running front page stories about the strip
clubs and other adult entertainment venues spiffing up for the
upright, uptight conventioneers.
I simply can’t understand.
Conservatives vote over and over to take away everything they can
from the poor and the middle class. They vote to take less and less
from the obscenely rich. They run on archaic moral platforms yet are
not expected to disappoint the owners of local dens of iniquity.
Inequity, iniquity. Cave men; man
I used to live in a city which greeted
visitors with an enormous statue of a cave man right off the freeway.
Every year there was a parade and the Cave Man Club float featured a
rough-hewn cage. The “cave men” would go into the crowd with
their “clubs” and, to wild cheering, grab women to drag into the
I sense a direct relationship between
that sort of behavior and the callousness of the modern man cave
dwellers. I am so angry that the governor of Wisconsin is still in
office. I am so angry that Karl Rove expects to buy the presidency
with billions of dollars that are so needed elsewhere. I am so angry
that the Supreme Court made that possible when it decided that
corporations are people.
With the return of cave man mentality,
perhaps it’s best to live simply and enjoy what we have. That may
be the only insulation possible against greedy, uncaring, destructive
powerfreaks. That, and our dyke caves.
[Editor's Note: Lee Lynch is the author
of over 12 books. Her latest, Beggar
of Love, was called “Lee
Lynch's richest and most candid portrayals of lesbian life” by
Katherine V. Forrest. You can reach Lynch at
Copyright 2012 Lee Lynch