Redistribution of Idiocy

I’ve just gotten done listening to a lecture by Walter Benn Michaels, the author of a book called The Trouble with Diversity.  In this lecture, he expounds on his belief that diversity is not so much an issue in America as is equality, more specifically, financial equality.  He talks at length about how the wealth gap is growing and nobody seems to care, distracted as they are by issues of race and gender discrimination.

What bothers me about this lecture is that several times he says he believes that rich people ought to make less money, that they ought to be taxed higher (with the money going to “name your cause”), and he mentions wealth redistribution numerous times.  What he doesn’t say is how this should happen, nor does he explain how taking money from a rich person makes a poor person’s life any better.

I’m especially struck by a comparison he makes between two sexual discrimination suits, one against Wal-Mart, one against a brokerage firm.  His major problem with these suits is that no one is paying attention to the fact that the suit against Wal-Mart is so that the women can make $21,000, while the broker is looking to make $1.4 million a year.  He’s appalled by the gap between the two sums.  I work for Wal-Mart, though.  I simply can’t say that the job I do is equal to the job the broker does, so why should I be paid equally for it?

Additionally, he seems to think it is wrong for a person to make more money who worked hard to get into medical school, got good grades, worked hard at an internship and got a good job as a doctor, then (by extension) someone who didn’t.  Apparently, someone who slacks off, flunks out, and flips burgers because of it, deserves to be paid as much as someone who devoted their life to getting ahead simply because it is unequal and unfair.

This logic bothers for another reason, as well.  First, I work at Wal-Mart and so does my wife.  From conventional logic, you’d think we would be destitute.  We’re not that bad off.  We own a car, we rent a really nice apartment, we eat well and I have so much technology floating around here it’s almost disgusting.  (Okay, it really is kind of disgusting.)  However, I would like my life to be better, even still.  I’d like a second car for my wife.  (Okay, actually a third car, but the Comet needs an overhaul before it’s even capable of running, so it doesn’t count.)  I’d like to buy a house.  I’d like to feel like I can afford children.  To that end, I’d like to become wealthy.

I know this may come as a shock, but I’m motivated to rise above my station in life.  Apparently, in Mr. Michaels’ world, I’m not allowed to do that.  If his desires for the world were to come true, it wouldn’t matter whether I worked at Wal-Mart or worked hard to make my writing talent become profitable, I’d make the same amount of money, either way.  And if I could do even less work for the exact same amount of money, then, let’s face it, I’d rather stay home and play video games.  Except, I doubt anyone else would have a desire to create games worth playing, so never mind.

(As an interesting aside, Mr. Michaels mentions in his lecture that he’s had a lot of criticism, very poor reviews and gets a lot of debate about his ideas.  The more I think about this, the more I realize what’s going on here.  He lectures about this because he actually thinks it’s a good idea, that people will eventually agree with him, if he just keeps explaining it.  In reality, it’s nothing more than a return to Communism, and a really terrible idea.  I mean, even China has adopted many aspects of capitalism.  It would seem to me that there’s clearly a problem with Communism, but it must have escaped Mr. Michaels notice.)

(As another aside, if you really do believe in what Mr. Michaels is saying, and you make more than about $25,000 a year, send me an email.  I’ll give you my address and you can send me a check to make our salaries more equal.  🙂 )

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Published in: on April 28, 2008 at 9:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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Cut Off Dates

So, I’m finding that there’s too much information in the world.

I’m working on a paper for my English class.  It’s supposed to be six pages, argumentative and finished on Friday.  I can’t decide if I want to write about a variation on the global warming debate, or simply advocate the overthrow of the government.  Every day I hear some new story which convinces me, at least till the next day, that one topic is definitely “the one.”  This is not terribly conducive to the idea of writing six pages by Friday.

So I’m thinking I’m just going to have to pick an arbitrary day this week, say, “This is the day I stop doing research,” and just start writing on whichever topic has me in its vile grip at the time.

I’m thinking Thursday.

Published in: on April 26, 2008 at 9:59 am  Leave a Comment  
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April Twenty-Six, Two Thousand and Eight

It’s snowing.
When we got home from work
The Sun was shining,
The Sky was clear,
The Birds were waking up.
Now, two hours later, 

It’s snowing.
I made dinner for my wife,
Steak and potatoes and mozzarella salad.
She jammed her leg at work, so
She hobbled down the hall, and
She was the first to notice

It’s snowing.
Children in shorts and tees ran inside,
Red-breasted robins struggled against the wind,
And everyone seems a tad bit annoyed because

It’s snowing.
I’ve got homework to do
(A paper on global warming).
I’ve got housework to do
(My wife’s injured after all).
I’ve got writing to do
(God, have I got writing to do).
I’ve told my friends
To check on my progress,

But all I want to do is
Open the blinds,
Turn on some music,
Lean back in my chair,
And watch the snow fall. 

Published in: on April 26, 2008 at 9:49 am  Leave a Comment  
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Burning Up on Re-entry into the Blogosphere

I guess I shouldn’t assume any longer that no one will read my blog, if for no other reason than I hope to make this and Dreams & Dragons my evolving portfolio of writing.  As such, I should probably post just a tiny blurb about what my plan here is.

I doubt this is unique to the blogging world, but I want this space to be where I just basically vent.  I’m one of those people who, when my brain gets going, I can’t get it to shut off.  There’s often no rhyme or reason to my thoughts, and it’s rare when anything develops from them, but, if I’m trying to go to sleep when my brain spins up, I’m basically screwed.  So this is where I’ll just dump the excess thoughts I’m having when counting sheep and running in circles has failed to knock me out.  I expect posts to be sporadic, with little to no organizational method, nor editing or fact checking or anything else.

Dreams & Dragons, though, I hope to turn into a different beast.  The name comes from an e-zine I edited and maintained nearly a decade ago.  It was pretty popular for a little while, and then school, cross-country moves and college got in the way.  I don’t have any intention of trying to revive the zine, that’d just be too much work, but I do want a place where I can put up the writing pieces that either mean something to me, or that I’ve worked on and am proud of.  Hopefully, I can leverage that site as a sort of online portfolio of my writing ability.  Who knows if that’ll work.

Anyway, I still highly doubt that anyone will see this for a long while, and that’s all dependent upon my ability to update on an even remotely regular basis.  Somehow I don’t think two years between posts is going to cut it.

Wish me luck.  I’ll do the same for you.

Published in: on April 10, 2008 at 5:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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Brain Dropping

You don’t so much hear the music as feel it. It moves through you. Surrounds your body, surrounds every cell, every molecule, every atom. It moves you. Not in any emotional sense, but truly moves you, moves your very components. The music is a force to be reckoned with, fought, embraced, triumphed over, succumbed to. It is sensual, torturous. It is dangerous, all the way around. You will be changed by it, rearranged by it.

Published in: on March 20, 2008 at 7:04 am  Leave a Comment  

Two-Faced Females

I am going to assume that nobody’s ever going to read this, and skip any introduction or explanation. If you’ve stumbled upon this page, I apologize, but not too much.

My friends and I were waiting for Ghost Hunters to come on the SciFi channel last night. While we were waiting, we switched over to Comedy Central and watched The Daily Show. On it, there was a clip of Condaleeza Rice, and an interview with Madeline Albright. One of my friends, a female, started ripping into Rice as a liar, manipulative, and “it’s a shame that she had to be the first black female to rise that far” or some such comment. Then she praised Albright as being intelligent, funny, and all around likeable.

This annoys me. I don’t care what my friend’s politics are, but the fact that she’s decided that Rice is evil while Albright is good, despite the fact that they both are intelligent, manipulative, funny, and occasionally dishonest, bothers me.

All politicians talk out of both sides of their mouths.
All politicians will do everything in their power to slime the other side.
All politicians are looking to ensure they stay in power.

Especially coming on the heels of Albright’s outright lies she told a couple of days ago about Clinton being offered binLaden by Sudan, the idea that she’s some sort of saint compared to Rice was just ridiculous.

Anyway, Ghost Hunters was fascinating.

Published in: on May 4, 2006 at 4:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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