Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Pause: The City: Amerika: Capital: Abstinence: The Coming Guillotine

I wish my life could be like this picture for once.

Right now, I am simply running from job to job, trying to figure out all the things that need to happen before September. I guess I just long for a slower lifestyle, as opposed to the road rage and gridlock I see everyday on the Route 27, US 1, and the Jersey Turnpike. Hmmmmm!

Yesterday, I sat in a co-worker's beat up car, and sped from Edison to New Brunswick to catch the Princeton local Suburban Transit bus which drops me off at my sub-division. There were three of us in the car. One co-worker was dealing with a boyfriend that was abusing her, the driver was dealing with the daily life of getting by on the small amount of money he had, and there was me, thinking about another drama that is amplifying itself into something I don't want.

Maybe I should take my father's advice and just sing the blues, which I guess is the same as a cigarette and a short shot of espresso. But there was something placid about the silence we all enjoyed despite the small talk. I felt like I was in the middle aged caravan lead by a wooden effigy of St. Martin heading out for a better life in the movie Flesh & Blood.

I am working on a larger blog entry, so that is why there has been a long absence on Unbeached Whale. And with the birth of Beached Bones, I think I am seeing this project a bit differently, which seems to happen from time to time. So, please bare with me, my cyber world, my literary world, and my physical world are not congruent; they are disfigured to the point that what I read and write finds no loci in the persons I speak to everyday.

Give me a day or two to entertain you once again.


For two years I have been working shitty jobs (America's insurance debacle started this journey). And, though many people have thought I have been absolutely crazy, or completely lost my mind, I must say that I never knew that this America existed. Or, rather I have not experienced it; life at $9.50 an hour is emotionally and spiritually confining.
Other observations:
-- Immigration is wrecking havoc with our pay scale.
-- Our national mythos regulates Spanish to a lower tiered language, which is a common occurance concerning dominate cultures and sub-cultures.
-- There is a sense of entitlement by this new crop of immigrants that falls somewhere between Ellis Island and the reclaiming of California, I am not sure how this will be addressed and I don't think it is really wrong.
-- The Achilles heel presented to the new arrivals deals with issues of race; the binary opposition of white and black are expanding to add a third. What will that mean? How can all these ideas I have be applied to current public policy? It is my blind spot.
-- The current disucssion of race includes very blatant accessments by everyone that the majority of blacks have low expectations and a poor work ethic. Sometimes I wonder if that is why people of all backgrounds ask if I am African, Dominican or Haitian when ever I entire the American work environment.

I hope to take these observations back with me to the academy, to my high school students, to my writing and to my artistic cohorts. This travel into the restaurant kitchens, retail stock rooms and sales floors is something that is harder for me to write about because of a certain air of upper middle class appearances instilled in me from childhood, but at the same time, as with my experience teaching mechanical and electrical engineering students, there is something liberating about what has just happened. I can somehow focus better on the task at hand, because reality has been re-defined and the fluff is being discarded . . . again.

I am going to stop here.

I have to finish my coffee and meet Ava for lunch in the city.

More later.

I promise "it" will included former promised subjects like adolescent fun and the story of Marie Antoinette.

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