Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Things I know Nothing About: Episode 1

As my high school physics teacher Mr. Iverson (calling him this is an inside joke of sorts to those who went to my high school) could probably tell you, I tend not to retain information about things in which I have no sustained interest. It isn't a matter of subject difficulty. I can do math in context and I really enjoy certain aspects of science. Evolution and biological systems? Bring it. Geology? Rock on. Ask me to calculate the speed of a hypothetical object thrown at a hypothetical angle, however, and you will quickly observe a certain slack-jawed distance encroaching on my normally attentive demeanor. It's not just physics and math. There are volumes of things that I just don't care about enough to form an informed opinion on. I have decided that every so often I will dedicate a blog entry to ignorant musings on a topic that I have only peripheral knowledge of, and on which I have done no research. I will be candid. I will say a lot of completely biased, morally questionable, and undefendable things. It's going to be a lot of fun.

Today's topic: The Economy

So I'm a smart girl with a healthy smile and I've never had a problem getting a job when I needed one. I know that this isn't always be the case for a lot of people. I also know that people have babies and lawns to maintain and not everyone can afford to take any old job. Meanwhile some people have more money than anyone could possibly need. For whatever reason this doesn't bother me. Social injustices aside I don't really care what other people have as long as they aren't actively coming to my house and stealing things that I love, like my one nice pair of boots and my subscription to Netflix (OK that's not even mine. It's my parents...but you get the point).

So there are rich assholes in the world whose greed knows no bounds. When has that ever NOT been the case? We used to have lords and kings and now we have CEOs and Dick Cheney. Many would argue that because this never changes we need to do something drastic in the name of progress, hence Occupy Wall street and Occupy Burlington (I believe this to be absolute Horseshit. No one who spends any amount of time in Burlington, VT has any power to change anything, really, so just get out of the way and go to class already) and so on and so forth. I would argue, although not very enthusiastically because I actually don't think about it unless prompted, that the world is just kind of shitty like that and you're going to need to be more specific about your demands if you want things to change.

"Fuck rich people" is the general tone of the protests and I have yet to hear a coherent and rational statement about what it is that they are trying to accomplish, when they'd like it to happen by, and what will happen if it doesn't happen. I have no patience for martyrdom and self-indulgent yammering and I AM seeing a whole lot of that so my general patience for the whole thing is pretty limited. If you're thinking of answering these questions for me, please don't. I don't actually care. I'm just saying that as an uninformed observer the protest doesn't seem very effective. So here's my bottom line: My life is peachy. I feel bad for people whose lives aren't so great but I have no proof of whose shitty lives are the fault of some hedge fund manager and whose shitty lives are just a result of their own failures. It happens, you know. Some people are going to have bad jobs not because there are no better jobs but because they are not good at any better things. Also, if one has babies before one is financially able to support them that is just tough titties for one. I am in support of government programs that help feed these kids, but one should not complain about the economy being bad when the real problem is one's own decisions. Also, anyone who doesn't believe in welfare but also does not believe in birth control or abortions should be r euthanized. I am serious about that. I would protest for that if I thought it might help.

I know that some people really have just gotten a shit deal of life and I know that America still has all kinds of problems with racism and elitism and unfair things that might reduce the quality of someones life through no fault of their own. Then there are people who get up in arms because they have to buy store brand orange juice. As you might guess, orange juice is my little metaphor for moderate luxuries and convenience items that we as Americans are convinced were definitely addressed in the constitution somewhere. If you are convinced that you not only need orange juice, but specifically Tropicana, then your feelings of oppression might be somewhat out of proportion.

My favorite cocktail is Grapefruit juice and $6.00 sparkling wine (Cook's). I don't have any babies and I live with my parents so I can afford that. I guess could be sending the $10 that I spend for a few days worth of these things to someone who can't afford bread...but seriously no I'm never going to be that person. Also if I was told that I couldn't have that anymore and I had to walk six miles every day and I had to shop at goodwill I would really be O.K with that after a few minutes of pouting. It's called managing expectations and it's not that hard to do. That being said, I might want to own a home and have kids some day so I would really like to maintain or improve upon my current standard of living which means keeping my expectations high as long as it makes sense. Maybe I'll be attacked by a bear and lose my left arm, my right foot, and my uterus. Then I'd have some serious managing to do. Until then, I happen to have an education, both office and food service experience, and Internet access. Barring catastrophe I should be able to keep shopping at Kohls.

People in support of the protests have been saying things like "If you're not a multi-millionaire and you're not in support of the protests then you're on the wrong side." Just...fuck that entirely. I really don't want to go hang out in the street with a bunch of people who think in such polarized terms. I generally support protest because that's how things like civil rights and suffrage got pushed through. Distribution of wealth is a bit more of a sticky wicket (I assume...I get most of my information from the Daily Show and my New York times Twitter feed) and I think these protests in particular are just exacerbating class issues without solving any problems.

So was that good for you? Did you like that? Are going to stop being my friend now? I hope you understand the purely irreverent nature of this series and that I haven't personally offended anyone. Although if I have I think you need to have a good long think about what it actually means to be offended. You're not injured or traumatized unless you really are a whack job in need of counseling. You haven't been personally attacked. You're not sad or angry, or if you are then "offended" isn't the right word anyway. Taking offense to things is an awful waste of energy, isn't it? Why don't you have a glass of milk and go lie down.

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