Gas stations have attained a greater level of utter disgust in my mind which is impressive in a gut churning sort of way. While in a gas station at around 4:30am I first noticed the forty ounce bottles of cheap Cobra malt liquor haphazardly strewn across a metal shelf. What met my gaze next was the abrasive LED glow emanating from inside the coolers, casting a cold hue on the plastic bottles that contained something that I once thought was worthy of putting in my body. Anger began to boil in me as the falsity of these items seemed to be so clear to me. These things are of no value yet so many get caught up into the western capitalist trap that snares the unwatchful into a devil’s deal with the rat race. The rack of sunglasses welled up fury of a similar form. What are these things here to do for anyone? Who is going into a Special K looking to spend $4.99 on an old Ben Stiller DVD? In my mind I was screaming “this is all bullshit and it is so goddamn obvious!”
The discussion that surrounded this gas station excursion touched on the idea I hold that the CEO’s and other men holding corporate office have no sense of empathy to the people that are affected by the decisions that they make because the chains of command have so completely separated them from the working class who carries out the necessary actions to see these corporate decisions seen through. This idea has helped me to find some compassion for the corporate officers on the basis that in a way “it’s not their fault” and “they’re products of their environment” but I have also held the idea that everyone is out here trying to do their best to help people along and I cannot comprehend the ways that the Pepsi-co and Unilever corporate directors can send out truckloads of sugar disguised as food sealed individually in plastic containers that will end up in a trash dump or on the side of the road, maybe in a stream where I have to pick it up once springtime rolls around.
The struggle is how do I find commonality with these humans who are the corporate officers when there is nothing that I can see about their actions that I can approve of in good conscience. I want to believe that they think they are doing something that is helping people. I want to believe that they are misguided and misinformed about how destructive the things they create are for people because the destruction on human beings by things that line the shelves of American gas stations is so blatantly obvious to me I wonder how an intelligent person could miss them. I do not want to believe that these people know how destructive these things are for people yet they do so anyway. I want to find a way to believe there is still compassion in the hearts of the greatest evils in our world for if compassion can be found there where could it not be?