No one seems to believe me when I say I’m not going to drink or party as much this year. It was an experience. And I’m not necessarily against drinking. But I don’t need to drink the way that I used to feel was needed and I don’t need to go out practically every other night like I used to. I need to focus on myself and my goals this year, and partying every weekend isn’t too high on my list of priorities. I don’t need anyone to say, “I don’t believe you” or “That’s disappointing.” A little support or encouragement would be nice. Alcohol isn’t going to help me better myself. My priorities have changed.
Seriously? Fuck what you heard. If you’re going to let the things people say about someone affect the way you think about them before really getting to know them, then you automatically deprived yourself of that privilege. People change. Just because something happened once, don’t let that be the overall impression of who that person is. It’s just so sad to see that no one is ever given the chance. Society and people are so corrupt. Everyone is given a label. Everyone is given a reputation and people talk. By giving someone a preconceived label, you already cheat them out of what they could potentially be. Even if what was said about them is in the back of your mind, you’re still thinking about it. What’s even worse is when they say “You’re exactly what people said” way before they’ve even taken the time to know you. Personality isn’t just on the surface. It extends way beyond what’s on our outer shell. Next time you want to get to know someone, really get to know them. People talk about other people as if they really know that person. Fact is, they don’t.
I know a boy who called his girlfriend’s body a “crime scene.” Dad, my body is a crime scene. My body is lint and gasoline and matchstick. My body is a brush fire. It’s ticking, Dad, a slow alarm. I have rain boots. Lots of them. It isn’t raining anymore. The words are coming back, Dad. The way they fit and jump in the mouth. I want ice cream and long letters. I want to read long love letters but I don’t think he loves me. I think I’m used up. I think I’m the grit under his nails, the girl who looks good in pictures. I don’t think he loves me. I think they broke me, Dad. I think I drink too much and it’s because they broke me. I heard about two girls recently, two women crushed like cherries in a boy’s jaw. It opened me, Dad. My body is melted wax, it is ripe and stink and bent. It is a mistake. I walk like an apology. I don’t hate men, Dad, I don’t. I want a washing machine. I want someone else to do the dishes, someone to walk the dog. I have a hornet in my head, Dad. A hornet. She’s an angry bitch — she hurls herself against my skull. She stings. And stings. I know I don’t make sense, Dad. This is the problem. I’m a sick girl, a crazy wishbone. I have razors under my tongue. I’m sorry I cut you, Dad, I’m so—so sorry. I gave you a card for Father’s Day once, it said you were my hero. You are. Your laugh is a thunderclap, you love like surgery. I think they broke me, Dad. I can’t erase their faces. I want to swim, Dad. Remember when I used to hopscotch? I used to make you laugh. My feet are hot. The bottoms of my feet are scorched sand, August asphalt. My body is a slug, a mob of sticky wet rot. No one touches me anymore because I’m rot. Because my body is a spill no one wants to clean up. They cracked me open, Dad, I know you don’t want to hear about it. You don’t want to hear how they scissored me, how they gnawed me like raw meat. No one wants to hear how they made me drink lemon juice, how they kicked the dog, how they upturned the furniture, no one wants to hear how my skin turned to a dark thick of purple and black and lead. I watch the homeless a lot, Dad. I watched a man with a cup of coins and chips of skin carved out of his face. He had freckles. He needs medicine, Dad. He needs to stop the hornet. My body is a hive. I am red ants and jellyfish. A yellow sickness. My body is a used condom in an alley in Jersey City. I don’t think he loves me, Dad. My body is a fetus in biohazard tank. A Polaroid pinned to a corkboard in Brooklyn. I think I’m hurt, Dad. I think I was the tough girl for too long. My body is a wafer, a thin, soft melt on a choir boy’s tongue.
It’s always weird when people send me a message asking me for a favor or some question, and then attempt to start a conversation afterwards. I know you don’t really want to talk. Stop making this awkward.
“All courses of action are risky, so prudence is not in avoiding danger (it’s impossible), but calculating risk and acting decisively. Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer.”—Machiavelli
In a post earlier this week, I noted that my sociology students are consistently more concerned about the fictional rise in teen delinquency and the fictional rise in divorce than the actual rise in economic inequality in America. Then, yesterday I came across a couple of striking illustrations of just how bad things are getting. In the Twin Cities Daily Planet, Mary Turck republished a PBS chart comparing the American wealth distribution (Country C) to that of Sweden (Country B) and a fictional utopia (Country A).
And in a searing Daily Show clip, Jon Stewart demonstrates the absurdity of Republican demands that the lowest-earning half of Americans—who currently pay no income taxes, though they do pay excise and Medicare and payroll taxes—put, in the words of one Fox News host, “skin in the game.” As Stewart points out, the least wealthy half of Americans have so few assets that to equal the $700 billion revenue that would be generated over the next decade by allowing George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthiest 2-3% of Americans to expire, the poorest half of Americans would have to be stripped of fully half of everything they own.
I don’t spend a lot of time paying attention to politics, because I have more important things to worry about—like whether or not that was actually piss in the jar thrown at indie rockers MGMT last year. Anyway, political winds change, and the economy goes through cycles. Things get worse, and then things get better. But this isn’t a fleeting problem, or one limited to the current recession. If you’re 40 or younger, income inequality in the United States has been growing for your entire life. And still, people look at that Pac-Man chart above and seriously say, you know, that’s not skewed enough. Let’s take that half of America that has so few assets that they barely even show up on a pie chart, and get them to “put a skin in the game.”
Why aren’t my students worried about this? At my college students are largely studying for associate’s degrees to get jobs as cops or preschool teachers; and are currently working at jobs that don’t demand specialized training, hence jobs that pay very little. Many of them, no doubt, are in that increasingly squeezed sliver. I don’t think they’d be in favor of raising their own taxes, but many of them are glad to celebrate the rollback of social welfare programs that form a safety net for low-income Americans.
Why? They cite abuses they’ve seen among their friends and family, people who in their judgment don’t work hard enough yet reap the fruits of government “handouts.” We’re working hard to take care of our families, my students say. We’re working full-time jobs and going to school. Go ahead and pull the rug out from under my freeloading cousin.
This isn’t how all of my students feel—probably not even the majority of them. But a lot of them do, and there you have it: a working-class and middle-class Tea Party base that, combined with the pressures brought to bear by the wealthy who have an obvious stake in perpetuating economic inequality, is preventing liberals like President Obama and Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton from raising taxes—even simply rolling back recent tax cuts implemented by Republicans George W. Bush and Tim Pawlenty, respectively. So the rich keep getting richer, and the poor keep getting poorer.
I’m a sociologist, not an economist—but 71% of economists believe that the distribution of income in the U.S. should be more equal. Money is the lifeblood of a capitalist economy, and if the blood is all flowing to the head (or, as the case may be, the ass), that can’t be good. Our economy can only remain stable for so long when a huge proportion of workers are living close to the edge, maybe as close as being a paycheck away from being on the street.
Maybe this situation will change as the vice really starts to squeeze the middle class, as health care becomes a luxury and family vacations become infeasible. Or maybe the country will fall into another recession—maybe even a depression—and it will become clear that radical change is necessary. But wouldn’t it be nice if, before that happens, we all just started to give a damn?
These trashy bitches tried to start shit with me today and it was so strange. I hadn’t even said a single word to one of them, but all of a sudden this entire group of rabid females is in my face yelling at me in Spanish. Like what the fuck? I may not be fluent, but I know enough to understand you calling me a bitch. I didn’t know whether to laugh or actually engage. But after they were done yelling who knows what, they did some “thug” pose and said “What now?!” before just turning around and walking away. Meanwhile, I’m just standing there the entire time in the Steve Madden heels I was trying on, wondering what the fuck was going on. The whole situation was just absurd. I don’t understand people sometimes.
I tend to think about what could have been had I made another decision. Wondering what outcomes could have been if I would have done this or that. At the end of the day, I have to remind myself that if I felt like it was the right thing to do at the time, then I would have done it. If it was that important for me to do, I would have found a way to do it.
That actually goes for a lot of things. If it is that important to you, you’ll figure out a way.
whenever the internet is really quiet it always makes me nervous. like i always imagine the president is addressing the nation on some impending nuclear strike and i’m just sitting here like, “hm. not much going on today.”
a far more likely cause is that everyone’s just out on a friday night doing stuff.
So my sister’s ex-boyfriend just started talking to me on Facebook chat. Not in a creepy , “I’m hitting on you” kind of way because he’s just not that type of guy. But more so just to check up on life apparently. It was weird though because, while he is quite possibly my favorite of my sister’s ex-boyfriends, we haven’t had any online interaction whatsoever, even when they were dating. I think the most interaction we’ve ever had through Facebook was wishing each other a happy birthday and him congratulating me on my college acceptances, which was over a year ago. I don’t know if he wants to get back together with my sister or what, but I am so confused. I don’t know what’s happening here. And I seriously just think that he may be drunk.
Today the doctor told us that my mom is officially cancer free. She still has to finish out the rest of the treatment series, but all of the scans show “no evidence of recurrent or residual malignancy.” This is the best news we’ve had in a really long time.
Like, legitimately insane. Where you don’t know that you’re insane and you don’t give a fuck about who thinks you are. I wonder how I’d see the world. I wonder how I’d interact with people. Would I be paranoid, carefree, afraid?
Man.. I wonder what it’d be like to be “wired” differently from everyone else.