the art of cynicism: Freedom Through Self-Reliance →
It has been a long running joke taking jabs at rednecks and hicks about being “backwoods.” Hell, I remember the days when I would laugh at how outdated their mentality was – the “rednecks,” the Amish, all of the groups that act like independent shut-ins – they’re just living in the Stone Age,…
So I think I understand the immigration policy problem.
When I was taking classes at Georgia Southern, I had a total of five professors. Out of the five, only three of them were native English speakers. The other two could barely speak English. Two out of five. That may not seem like much - but I was a first year student and these were my first five professors. What are the odds of that?
In Australia, you have to apply for citizenship and your acceptance is based on your ability to contribute to Australian society. So if you have no particular skills or education, they won’t take you.
In America, we are letting unskilled, uneducated people from Mexico flood into the country illegally. Now we SAY this is a problem - but lets get real. These people will work hard for peanuts and they are willing to do the shit that none of us want to do. Janitors, trash collectors, field workers - these are the types of occupations that they fill because Americans are too good for that shit. So we SAY it’s a problem, but in reality business owners are profiting from it. It’s just better for business.
I think America has adopted Australia’s thought process also. If you ever go into a convenience store and notice it’s being run by a person with the last name “Patel”, you can bet your ass that they received a grant from the government to come over here and start a business. So the government IS promoting small business, just not American owned small business. Professors at colleges come over and have to learn to speak English so that they can teach us and our children - but they are qualified.
So we have highly qualified immigrants, small business owning immigrants, and unskilled laboring immigrants.
I think America is trying to create an elite nation of the most wealthy and intelligent immigrants to fill the upper class (except of course the rich white folks who will always run shit). In this elite nation, the middle class will be non-existant, with the exception of course of the foreign small business owners. And finally, all the shit jobs that no one wants to do will be filled by the unskilled illegal immigrants that we don’t really want to throw out.
Where does that leave us. Where does that leave YOU. Where does that leave me?
Americans are told to go to college and get a good job. Ask yourself how many college graduates that you know have to flip burgers after graduation. Ask yourself how many teaching jobs there are. What about nursing? All the jobs are filled, because there has been an enormous influx of college students - after all, that is the only way to get a good job, right?
I think the inevitable end result will be a mass migration of middle class Americans to other countries in search of work and a better quality of life.
Let’s just hope they don’t remember how we act towards our immigrants.
There’s some new essays up.
I watched my grandmother die.
It was a horrible way to go. When they removed the ventilator, I couldn’t help but to think that she looked like a fish out of water the way she was gasping for air. She wasn’t conscious, so I’m sure she didn’t realize how much suffering she was enduring, but I did. I realized how much suffering she was enduring.
I realized how much suffering I was enduring.
When she finally flatlined, everyone in the room began to sob.
I was stuck in the surrealism of the moment. The moment she flatlined, a single tear ran down her cheek. I had just watched my grandmother die. I don’t think I knew just how to handle that.
Before she passed, I told this funny story I remembered my mother telling me. My grandmother had a green thumb. There was nothing that she couldn’t grow. She would grow them, give them to my mother who would then kill them and give them back, and then nurse them back to health. Her house, her yard, the greenhouse - covered in flora. So my wise ass uncle told her that she couldn’t grow pot because it was too hard to do. Of course, she proved him wrong. So she would grow a pot plant that would mysteriously vanish. My uncle was picking it, drying it out, and smoking it.
Everyone chuckled at the story. For the first time in weeks I felt good. I smiled. I thought that maybe this is how she would want us to mourn - with uplifting stories and good cheer and not somber expressions and tears. Maybe that was why she shed a tear - we weren’t celebrating her 65 years life but rather dwelling on the single moment that the cancer would take her.
Then I cried. That was the only story I could think of. I begged someone else to tell a funny story, but no one would. So I cried because my grandmother died and I had one story.
I only had one story.
"Nobody is perfect. Hell, most people aren’t even great."
By the way
I just posted a new piano bit. I have a few songs as well as some poetry and other things posted. You can find them with those links on the left side of my page.
Right over there:
If you have time, look around a bit.
A Tale of Passive Aggression
When I was in the second grade I had this teacher, I forget her name, whom I had a strong and genuine distaste for. She was way too stern and mean-spirited for children if you ask me.
One day we were learning about syllables. She had us all sit down in the floor in front of her and she would call out a word. We then had to show how many syllables were in that word by holding up the number of fingers corresponding to the number of syllables in front of our chests, so that she and not the other students could see. I wish I could remember what the word was.
She called out the word, which contained two syllables. I held up two fingers. I remember it taking longer than usual for her to reveal the answer. I saw an opportunity. While she was scanning all the other students for the right answer, I began to wiggle my index and middle fingers back and forth. As I did this, I watched where her gaze fell. At the right moment, I would wiggle my middle finger out front and flip her a bird. It was genius. I would flip this lady off and she’d never even know.
As soon as I executed my genius plan, she spotted me and sternly said “Don’t do that again. You know what you did, don’t you.”
“Yes ma’am” was all I could say. This lady had me dead to rights. I was frozen in terror just waiting for her to send me to the office to face the principal.
She never did.
A few more moments went by, and at last she revealed that only one student had the correct answer - me.
So it turns out that I was number one after all.
Mice, Mazes, and Mirrors
So I was sitting in my apartment long ago people watching. My apartment was always a revolving door for the nerds, freaks, and the various “shunned”.
There was never a dull moment.
Most of the people that came through were friends in one way or another. However, some were not. Some were people whom I downright loathed, but through some connection with so-and-so had some seemingly legitimate reason for being there. Anyway…
So I was sitting around people watching when I noticed something. Something that was very interesting. Something that became exciting. Something that became terrifying.
One guy was talking to someone else when I started to notice him. I started to look past and through him. In this social setting, he was outgoing but reserved at the same time. I could tell that social interaction was not his forte, but he was trying to learn to be more comfortable with it. I could see this in him because it was in me as well.
I noticed another guy who was there with his overly flirtatious girlfriend. She was taken with anyone and it made him jealous. He wasn’t exactly visibly jealous - but I saw it. I could see his struggle to contain it. I saw his conflict, and I understood it.
Another guy was hanging around in his punk uniform and perfectly groomed liberty spikes. This guy annoyed me. His attachment to an idea of what would make him cool drove me mad. However, I saw in him an admirable willingness to do whatever it took in order to exemplify that ideal that he held onto - despite his mendacity. I recognized his bad qualities as well as his good qualities. I saw them because I had them.
I watched everyone around me, and could see parts of myself in them - both good and bad.
Which brings me to my point: There is a fine line between madness and enlightenment.
What is reality? What is real? As I watched all these people I started to wonder - what if none of these people are really here? What if all the people around me at any given point in time are merely reflections of myself? What if all these people are just different parts of my own personality that have been exaggerated and personified? How could I know that when these people were not around me that they still existed? When they call on the telephone am I just talking to myself?
Could it be that I am nothing more than the quantity of my environment because my environment is nothing more than fractions of myself?
So maybe we are not all mice in a maze with other mice, but a mouse in a maze made of mirrors.
Running on Empty
I think that people are filled with emotions - both good and bad. There is a reservoir that holds these emotions, and when the tank is filled more with one or the other an imbalance occurs. As we live each day, we expel energy from this tank. When the contents of the tank are more filled with good emotions, those are the fumes we expel. When it’s more filled with bad it works the same way. Other people are directly affected by us because they are forced to inhale the exhaust.
Lately, all I’ve been able to smell are toxic fumes and it’s getting a little hard to breathe. My tank has run dry, and the only thing I’m left with is the trash that has settled to the bottom.
The tragedy of it all is that when I try to keep running on what’s left in my tank, everyone around me will be repelled. The exhaust stinks. But when I can’t seem to refill my tank with anything but the shittiest grade, what option am I left with? A friend told me that “Life sucks and there’s no easy way to handle it so if want to give up and be real about it, cool. No one could blame you.” The problem is that they would. No one would see that when you give so much of the good of yourself to others and get shit in return, your tank runs empty of the good parts. It would be “damn, that guy is an asshole”. No one would stop to wonder why.
I’m not depressed or angry about it. The best way I can think to put it is that I’m disgusted with life right now, but I’m not unhappy about that.
So I’ll keep looking for a place to refuel and if anyone has any ideas - let me know.
"The good thing about not getting any sleep is you live longer."