Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Doing Stuff; Day 14: The Social Security Admnistration Office

I'm a little bit under-the-weather, so I decided to not head out to an event tonight. But this does not mean I did not find sublime entertainment elswhere in my travels.

I had to get a social security card today in order to get my driver's license renewed. The closest SS office is about five minutes down the road from me in a federal office complex guarded with alarming ferocity, as if it's the place where Dick Cheney will receive May-December oral sex during the next time we face a national crisis.

For some reason, I never expect long lines when I head out to a large bureacratic enterprise like the Social Security Administration. Modern convenience has spoiled me, but then I do something dumb like nearly let my driver's license expire and it all comes back to me that human beings are meant to live in lines and kiosks.

Luckily, the Social Security office provided its guests with a video broadcasting information about the history of the program and its many benefits. The tape loop of quotes from FDR, Reagan and Clinton eventually faded into a blue screen.

Thus began one of the great unknown movies of our lifetime, entitled "Social Security and You," featuring the turbulent tale of a high school rock band (in the vein of Glass Tiger or Lou Gramm) as they investigate the pros and cons of Social Security.

The band (Takoma) was hoping to make a demo tape, but were unable to pay for the costs. They blamed their penury on money being taken out of their paychecks due to Social Security. In response, they decided to stage a rock concert in protest of Social Security.

Band members walked around their community and high school holding up flyers and posterboard with a big red no slash over the word FICA. Along the way, they talked with many other community members. Outraged senior citizens yelled at them about social security. A kindly political sceince teacher told them the benefits. In the emotional triumph, the lead singer/ringleader of this rag-tag group of protesters had a heart-to-heart discussion with his grandfather about social security.

"It's a great system, kiddo," grandpa said. "It's actually very flexible. I can't say that about some private programs."

In one sub-plot, the band's drummer (portrayed by a bearded 40-year-old who may have been the same actor who played basketball legend Hank Gathers in Final Shot: The Hank Gathers Story) has a crush on a classmate. He gives her a flyer about social security and asks her to come to the concert. She tells him to buzz off and rips the flyer and throws the remains to the ground. The reason? Her father died and she recieves his social security benefits.

The band was now wondering if they truly were against Social Security. But despite this internal debate, they still played their rock concert.


EDIT: The band kind of sounded like this.
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