Floating into Eternity

So here’s the thing. People float.  They finish high school, or maybe they don’t. They get through college, or never try. They get married. They get divorced. They have babies. Babies grow up and learn to float. All the time; they float. Most of them. Almost all of them. Us, too. We float, right?

You can’t afford a new car, or that trip to Europe, or to buy a house. You can’t save enough money because you don’t earn enough. And you don’t earn enough because your job sucks. It really sucks.

Some people have jobs they love.  Sometimes those jobs pay well.

Yeah, but they just got lucky, like winning the lottery. Right place at the right time. Lightning strikes, but it doesn’t strike me.

Horse hockey. You make your own lightning. But not if you’re happy just floating.

You have to know the right people, you say.

So go out and meet those people. There’s nothing wrong with networking.

I did everything I could, you say. It just isn’t the right time.

That’s a crock. You applied for one job. Or you dropped out of the community college after one semester. It got hard. You quit.

I had a child, I had to quit, you say.

You have a child; you have to show them how to swim in this life. You have to get yourself a better boat. Quitters don’t get boats.

Naw, you say, because only the rich have boats.

So go get rich, quick or slow, but do it if that’s what you want. Get some better tools, or learn some better lines, because these are getting old.

I can’t afford college, or starting my own business, or moving to a better town, or anything else, you say.

You can’t afford to work for minimum wage, or live in a drug-infested neighborhood, or spend your time with all of those people who just want to float. Some of them are drowning and you just watch.

I can’t swim, you say.

You never tried, I say.

I’m drowning, too, you say.

Swimming is about moving your arms and legs. It’s like walking, only wetter.

I don’t like the water, you say.

You’re freaking soaked with it, I say.

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Why We Blog

I think most people blog for selfish reasons. Don’t take that wrong. If no one knows you exist, then how else can you tell them? Go door to door, showing off your poems, photos, recipes, indie news reports? I don’t think I want to sell my novel that way.

But I want to sell my novel: Virtual Silence. It’s about a huge corporation taking over the world, our governments, our lives. It’s only a little far-fetched. Less and less so these days, I think.

It has romance, like Harry and Callie. Simon and Morgan have a great romance. Or they could, if one of them would just say something to the other one.  A little tap on the shoulder and say, “Hey, I think I love you.”

Garrison and Janna have a great romance, once they both get fired. And they meet Obadiah and Ruby, who have a fantastic romance, thanks to all the times they were nearly shot. And don’t forget Kitty and Ronnie. He launders money to buy American slaves back from a Mexican drug lord.

You have an evil villain, Tim Dank, who uses people and runs someone over in his Mercedes, but doesn’t stop. He’d own the whole stinking company if not for that fact that he talks about his illegal business dealing in his sleep, and Miami Anderson wrote it all down.

Everyone is trying to find their way, including the taxi driver, whose brother fell off a window washing scaffold, and yelled at the people below to get out of the way so he wouldn’t hurt them when he hit the pavement.

Maybe all of us can be heroes.

Complaining About Garbage Food Can Produce Results

Terry Gross interviewed Tom Philpott from Mother Jones Magazine on her show Fresh Air on Natl Public Radio yesterday, and they talked about the meat industry in America. One of the many things they discussed was Pink Slime, and how public outrage over the USDA’s decision to feed this dog food to school kids is shutting down Pink Slime. Apparently, 4 of the 5 factories where this garbage (bits and pieces of meat, gristle, other low quality parts ground up into a paste and treated with ammonia) are being shut down. Let’s get that 5th one shuttered!

This crap may actually be worse than Chicken Yogurt.

Chicken Yogurt

The Huffington Post ran a story a few months back about how chicken nuggets are made from this chicken yogurt garbage. I looked at the label of my favorite brand of chicken hotdogs today. They are made from the same crap. Back to beef hotdogs here. Yes, the Hebrew National hotdogs are much more spendy than the giganto-pack of chicken dogs I used to buy, but they seem to be better quality. Looking at their site, they are also made by a megalithic company.

Sometimes you feel you can’t win.

The Book of Dissent

http://www.versobooks.com/books/504-the-verso-book-of-dissent

I like the idea of this book. Haven’t read it.

My thing about the Occupy movement is that I don’t believe in the 99% versus the 1%. There’s a small group of very wealthy people who control an inordinate portion of the world’s resources, but they are a heck of a lot smaller than 1%. They are maybe 1% of 1%.

I don’t believe that 99% of the world (or this country) wants or needs to protest anything. The disadvantaged and disenfranchised people of the US are more like 25 – 30%.  Maybe another 30% are underemployed, stuck; but otherwise reasonably well-off and mostly healthy. So a good 40% of the US is happy, healthy, and well-enough to-do.

Americans are still very well-fed, on the whole.

Maybe it’s harder to market terms like The 30% or The .001% as the primary players in your drama.

But that’s the real conflict in my opinion.