Dear Mr. Limbaugh,
I've listened to you on and off since the 80's. And I know that you are one of the individuals who made talk radio what it is today. I wouldn't say that I loved you or that your opinion was an accurate representation of the truth. However, I have on many occasions said to my peers how much respect I have for individuals, such as yourself, who are able to make a living using their primary skill set. Most of us are not so lucky.
I work upwards of 100 hours a week (when I am unemployed and not wasting my time for somebody else's profit) exercising my gifts as a poet writer. I have made a little bit of money at it too in the past 18 years, but not enough to pay rent. And I've saved every penny that I've earned as a (spoken word) poet. I keep it in a bag under the mattress and when I feel beaten down by society, I open the bag and count all seventy dollars of it. I know it is a trifle in comparison to the millions and millions of dollars redistributed to you through ad agencies. Most of these monies were earned through being a featured reader at open mics venues and from performing as a street busker at the Public Market in Seattle. I have earned a few coppers through teaching too. I enjoy imparting what I have learned about the process of inspiration and creativity to others.
My American Dream is not so different as how I perceived how you've lived your American Dream to be. Personally, I don't particularly care about property ownership, houses, and cars. I loath driving simply because it is a waste of my time. I either transport myself from place-to-place using muscle power or through public transportation. When an individual utilizes public transportation not only are they being a conservative by conserving our finite resources they are earning back time wasted behind the wheel of car. Also, you may not have realized it, yet, that our resources are finite, because the earth that we reside on, believe it or not is also finite. Further, utilizing public transportation is a conservative practice, because an individual can conserve their time (while riding a bus or train) to do other things instead of trying not to kill or be killed driving. Yes, listening to books or (you on) the radio while driving is doing something, but if you’re a hardworking person like me, who on top of writing poems, blogging poetry, teaching poetics, and is banging away at a novel, I need all available time to accomplish these goals. Thus, driving is a colossal waste of time just as employment is. And I resent having my time wasted. Maybe you’ll think I am/was lazy because I enjoyed every moment of the 79 weeks of unemployment benefits, paid for by individuals such as yourself and the future generations, by spending that time on myself, and my own American Dream. (However, I wasn't slothful, Mr. Limbaugh, in my duties to Unemployment; I did send out an average of ten resumes each week. I got three interview, but was not able to acquire employment in my secondary skill set which is admin/accounting word). My only wish in this shitty economy is that I didn’t qualify for 99 weeks. Though I didn't vote for Obama (and I haven't voted democrat since Clinton's first term in office; I'm a staunch third party voter), I gotta hand it too him that he has some what redistributed wealth. I certainly never expected over twenty thousand dollars of your and business owners payroll tax monies to be redistributed into my pocket. Maybe this socialism stuff ain't so bad. Maybe I should change my voter registration from political atheist to the Workers Party in America or some other revolutionary socialist group?
As far as property ownership is concerned, how can mortal beings own anything anyway? How can we own the earth or the sky that was present before we were born and will be here long after we've passed to another existence? Ownership is an illusion just as political boundaries and geographical lines on maps are. From orbit around this earth there is nothing separating one group of people from another. And the few difference that do exist between individuals is so insignificant that it isn't even worth wasting our time noting them. When my grandmother was passing away she taught me this truth. When we come into this world we care little for the color of a persons skin or their governing-philosophy or their social class. All we see as young children is another child who is fun to play with. Then at the end of our lives when everything has been stripped away from us all that remains important is the relational bonds we've formed. I suspect that when you are laying on your deathbed that your American Liberties, Cadillac's, houses, and SUV's will cease to have meaning to you.
No, my perception of your American Dream is the ability to make your way in this life through your own talents. And your greatest gift is your voice in that you are an entertainer—a spoken word entertainer not too unlike myself. I suspect if you had failed as an entertainer---and instead were exercising your gifts on your own time and not making a dime at it and were working for minimum wage someplace too---that you probably would be the spokesman for the socialist party in America. You may have even been a member of one of the unions that you despise so much. I think you fail to realize exactly how much our environments and social strata dictate our political-economic governing philosophy. As a person, such as myself, who thrives in bottom rungs of American social-economic strata, the political-economic system that our country adopts is not relevant. We could live in a social-democracy and be just as well as off as we are in our current fascist-capitalist system.
I hope that you actually see this letter and that you take a few minute to respond to it. Anyhow's, thank you for being on the air blathering your word to the world and making talk radio a legitimate mode of modern entertainment. Because if you hadn't come into our world as a successful disembodied voice then my favorite show Art Bell and Coast to Coast AM would never have come into existence.
William James Lindberg
July 29, 2011