You know what's nagging at me about this shutdown?
The notion, quiet in all of our hearts, that while we regret that these federal workers are suffering a hardship, we really do expect them to go to work anyway.
You know, out of patriotism.
The same way we expect public school teachers to keep on teaching 30 maniacs an hour for cheap, because "they're heroes."
The same way we thank military folks "for their service," even though we have no curiosity about what their service or sacrifice actually was—or what are their compensations, fiscal and otherwise.
The same way your boss pretends the mission of your company is sacred, somehow, and your kids or your sleep or your Sundays are really incidental—you know, to the greater cause?
I do admire the patriotism of air-traffic controllers and TSA workers and the remaining six food inspectors frantically sifting through our lettuce. They keep us safe; that's what they do. Binging on Netflix during the shutdown and letting planes crash into one another is not an idea that comes naturally to them.
But almost a month into this shutdown, I'm thinking maybe the better thing would be to stop going ahead and coming in for free, and really fuck things up in this country to force an end to the Washington farting contest.
Because freedom, as we are always being reminded, isn't free: and neither should the labor of federal employees be.