The Idiom

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Friday, May 27, 2005

Terrible Sadness, Cont'd.

Kid Various fisked an ugly essay a few days ago by a guy who has no idea just how fortunate he is to have the privilege of being born an American.

Bill Whittle, essayist extraordinaire, is also talking about this topic here.

Money grafs:

And then, on the way to my stunning girlfriend’s apartment to bitch about how unfair life was treating me, I saw a fairly common sight in Los Angeles. I saw a group of young Mexican men gathered on a street corner, waiting for any kind of work.

And there, through some act of grace that occasionally opens my eyes and reveals to me a better person in my reflection, I suddenly realized that these men are waiting – fighting -- to work long, backbreaking hours for next to no pay. They sleep in small, cheap apartments, hot-bunking it, working sometimes two or even three jobs and keeping nothing for themselves. They never eat out, never go to movies, and planning for a future is not an easy thing when every penny you make above what you absolutely need goes back home to Mexico to feed your family.

And I stopped at that light, and looked at these men. And I realized right there that I, this wide-eyed idealist that writes about America, am in point of fact exactly what is wrong with America today.

I make a fortune. I make a fortune doing creative work with gentle and funny and artistic people. On a normal week, I work from ten until six, three or four days a week, and all I do is sit behind a computer in a dark, air conditioned room and make decisions: who says what and who is looking where. And that’s it. For this I get paid in two to three weeks what these men will have to work an entire year of backbreaking, hopeless labor to achieve.

And there I am: bitching and complaining and wondering why things are not better for me. Boo-freaking-hoo.

This is the poison that will eventually kill us all. I should spend an hour a day prostrate and thanking God I was born an American. How many struggle and die for this privilege?

Kid Various wishes he could write one tenth as well as Whittle...


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