Monday, June 07, 2010

Results may vary

Sometimes it doesn't pay to get out of bed. Sometimes, it pays to stay in bed. Just think, you too can be your own boss of your self-generating web site that auto ships your products to your customers! You too can receive checks in the thousands every single Friday!! Just pay $2.95* (*recurring billing is $49.95 a month after 14 days) and you'll have access to all the tools you need, plus 24/7 customer support that even builds your website for you! Get your own check just like I did!

Oh please. If it actually worked like that -- if the "results [didn't] vary" -- then no one would go to work at the ole nine-to-five.

Sometimes I wish I had a time machine. I'd like to know what the world was like pre-McDonald's. How did society deal with the grind of patience, before the drive-thru, before fast-food, when families cooked meals from scratch instead of out of boxes and cans, when instant gratification wasn't so instant. When microwaves weren't kitchen staples.

Our living history gets older every day. People who remember the Great Depression, remember WWII, remember JFK and MLK and the civil rights' movement of the 60's... remember McCarthyism and the Cold War and the Bay of Pigs... they're all getting older and that history is slipping away from the oral tradition into the pigeon hole of written tradition. Myself, I have no grandparents left to tell me stories; I lost them all before I was old enough to appreciate them. And it seems that we're so consumed by the pop culture of the moment that by and large, those stories aren't getting told like they once were. Perhaps I'm jaded in this opinion, but that's to be expected** (**see blog title).

I think it would be incredibly interesting and poignant if a grandparent somewhere created a series of you tube postings telling stories. Stories about outhouses and the use of a JC Penney catalog in the mid-twentieth-century Midwest. Stories about growing cotton and what "fair to middlin'" really means. Stories about how their family got through the Great Depression. Of course, results would vary, but then, that's the point! To record for history more than the text books ever will, to talk about things that were never interesting enough to get written about in newspapers, to give that slice of life that means something when front-porch sitting and drinking tea. To pass on life lessons in the oral tradition.

Nostalgia is in many ways the greatest history we have, with 20/20 vision and wisdom and romanticism that nothing else can touch or replicate. The real color of life is in the details, and the details are often opinionated. No reporter can ever accurately give us the color of life, as they're trying too hard to be objective to the point of monochromatic grey. No flavor, no color. "Just the facts, ma'am." No, I want the color, the flavor, the aromas, the sights, the feel of history. I want what only our eldest generation can give to the rest of us, and moreover, I want it to be desired by us all. Cue the coca-cola jingle "I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony...."

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Aiiiyyaaareeeeevaaaah! Or, "Let's dance!"

The border issue between the U.S. and Mexico is a hot debate, particularly in places like California and Arizona right now. So I did some brainstorming, and have come up with as viable solution as anyone has offered about handling the issue:

Perhaps the problem is not any more difficult that "party envy" or "fiesta envy" if you prefer. If it's one thing we Americans have learned how to do, it's throw a good party. From tailgating to fraternity parties to Mardi Gras, we know how to really live it up. I think, in part, that's why Cinco de Mayo is so celebrated here; for one, it's another excuse to drink and have fun, and secondly, it's how we show other cultures we appreciate their customs -- by adopting* them and making them our own (*read "stealing" if you prefer). But even if you think we hi-jacked Cinco de Mayo, at least we kept the name, which gives credit back to Mexico. And Ford has recently reintroduced the Fiesta, so isn't that another great American display of brotherhood? But I digress....

Let's take the party back to Mexico! Not just any party, either, one that really lends itself to supporting economic and cultural expansion. Let's open a string of strip clubs!

Why strip clubs? Well, let's look at two of the (stereo)typical types of strippers: drug users and young women/mothers trying to pay their way through college to get better educations. As for the drug users, well, we're just taking the demands back to the supply. Think of all the issues that will be solved if Mexican drug lords don't have to worry nearly as much about all that interstate/international commerce. Not to mention, prices can be cut or profits can be increased by simply removing some of the travel currently involved. Moving on.

As for the women who are dancing for their education, I say we partner these strip clubs with U.S. and Mexican universities, where these women (and men, if you want to expand as such) can work as exchange students, stripping for their schooling, but also immersing themselves in the Mexican culture and language. Think of it as supporting the arts and education at the same time.

Now this all may seem a little cheesy, but let's think outside the box. With these new strip clubs, we create jobs in Mexico such as bouncers, DJ's, bartenders, cocktail waitresses/waiters, and club management openings. With bouncing and bartending, opportunities for education open up, including trade schools related to both jobs. That would produce a demand for educators in bartending and in crowd control/self defense. The increase in bouncers alone could stimulate entertainment sales, with everyone purchasing a Mexican dubbed version of "Road House" to learn how to be Swayze cool on the job! Not to mention that with the demand for house music and DJ's comes the opportunity to give play to an untold number of currently popular and yet to be "found" musicians, with no preference to nationality! Can you imagine the artistic expansion of salsa into a stripper routine? Well, try for a moment. It's like breaking down a cultural Berlin Wall! (ok, not really). But with all this expansion in entertainment, there will be a need for an increase in public works and government employees (trash removal, police -- don't get me started on the current system, and this is my Utopia here), all night diners would have a place, thus creating a new demand for Denny's, IHOP, or something else in their place. That means cooks' jobs, waitress jobs... pretty soon Mexico starts looking like downtown L.A. or the Vegas strip, depending on how it's all planned out, and then WHAM! no one cares about the border, because the party is in full swing in Mexico and it's Fiesta all the time! and suddenly Arizona goes back to making headlines for golf courses and Maricopa County and North America collectively drinks a margarita and says "thanks for the great advice!"

**This is meant to be read tongue-in-cheek for all those that do not recognize my brilliance, and is meant to cause laughter in everyone else. If neither of these options fits you, oh well.