Sunday, August 19, 2007

This Article Is an Appetizer and a High Colonic

Yeah. How many other bloggers feed you and clean you out (uh...intellectually speaking) before dinner, eh? One, that's how many.

Several years ago, I met a young man in Shanghai who was living a very dangerous life. I’ll call him ‘Deuce’. He was American, and two years before he had been a student at an Ivy League school. Deuce went to Beijing during his junior year abroad. He never went back home. He dropped out of school and worked as a laborer in a noodle making factory in northern China for several months before eventually becoming a drug addict, a gigolo, and a pimp. If you think that perhaps he was just a liar - I can vouch firsthand for two of the three items on his C.V. after spending only 3 hours with him and his friends. I met him 6 years ago. By now he has become less of a memory and more of a story for me. But I remember one thing he said: “I won’t take an AIDS test. I don’t want to know.” He spent most of the night talking about how much better it was being a pimp than a gigolo.

Deuce came to mind because I was thinking about Soccer Moms and the recent recall by Mattel of 9.5 million toys. Same damned thing. We humans would rather focus on trivial or insignificant problems that face the panic that rises in us when we attempt to address real ones that affect us at the core. When we are angry we would rather kick our toys than face the schoolyard bully. But we have anger and fear for a reason. They can provide us with the energy to change our environment in both large and small ways. Kicking the toys is like whitewash, masturbation, and painkillers. It doesn’t change the rotten fence, or the fact that you are alone, or your sadistic boss. It just lets you survive another day without addressing your problems.

If you want something, if you are afraid of something, or if something makes you mad, declare your own personal “No B.S. Day” and on that day try directing your fear and frustration at the problem. See what happens. If you don’t like it you can always go back to being dysfunctional. My personal "No B.S. Day" is the coming Tuesday, August 21st and I'm going to use it to talk about Immigration Reform. I have this idea that lefties think is horrifying and righties thing is too harsh - but everyone in the middle seems to like it. Weird eh? Tuesday.


Random Magus said...

I like the idea of a No BS Day. But will one day make that much of a difference? And is it for everyone?
You live in a different world. Think about someone who has very little money and backbreaking responsibilities, a man who lives in a third world country who probably has to look after his mother and father as well as his wife and 5 kids. He has a bully of a boss, what is he to do?
Quit his job on a no BS Day? Then his family will starve. So he HAS no other way then 'kicking the toys'

PS: Glad to have you back - one of your very faithful blog visitors!

Rib said...

So.... what happened on Tuesday, 8/21? What's this big, controversial idea? Your readers want to know...

Welcome back!

Old-Things said...

Hiya Rib and Random - thanks for the welcome back!

In response to random's comment - I'm not sure I agree. I have spent quite a bit of time in 3rd world towns in China. While you are correct that many people who are lucky enough to have a job that allows them to work backbreaking hours, ruin their bodies at a young age and die a painful early death are not in a position to start a quibble with their slavedriver boss...I defy you to find me a person anywhere that could not benefit from trying to emotionally simplify his/her relationships with his/her loved ones. :)