Friday, September 16, 2005

Dumber than a Bag of Dicks

Lately a lot of things have come to my attention that are both figuratively and literally "dumber than a bag of dicks". And I will talk about them at length, but first:

I would like to give big ups to the wonderful young lady who introduced me to the above-mentioned phrase. It never ceases to make me laugh, either for the people/situations it describes or the mental imagery it offers. So, thanks, El Dub. Both for the quote, and just for being you.

Alright, this one is probably going to get lengthy, because I haven't typed in a while, I have a morning to kill, and I am trying not to turn on the television. So get out your spectacles kids!

Number One- Picking your fights. (There is some saying about picking your friend's noses that I think might apply here, but probably not.) Personally, I think there are a lot of kids who are upset about the wrong kinds of things on my college campus. There is a local resort for skiing, known as Wolf Creek. At present there is a plan on the table for said ski area to be expanded into a sort of destination resort for the rich and famous. There is a coalition of locals who have come out against this project. That's just fine, I get it, right now Wolfie is a small ski area with great terrain that is very "local-oriented" and it has its charm. What I don't understand is why it takes some impingement on their valued free time activity to motivate the young people today to be upset about irresponsible civic expansion in the region.

Let's face it, Durango is a bit of a dump. For all the money being poured into development in the area there is a lot of shitty real estate that is going un-improved. If I were to be mad about anything involving development I would show a little outrage at the fact that there are many houses--particularly on the south side of downtown--that are barely fit for human habitation. However, because knocking down these homes to make way for newer affordable housing is less profitable for builders they would rather just raze previously untouched tracks of land and throw up a quickie development. (I'm not even going to get started on the quality of construction in the region right now...) Fuck these builders. For a town that claims to love the wilderness there sure isn't much resistance to destroying it. Alls I'm saying is that concentrated urban renewal seems more responsible than outward expansion. On the other hand the people here love the wilderness and seem to hate each other, and can't stand being close to other people. So it's a dilemma.

One solution that I like, and I think might have a chance, is for the college to buy up houses in town and use them for housing for upper level students. Word on the street is that Fort Lewis has plenty of money for acquisition and building, just not a lot for upkeep. Maybe the bulk of students throwing some rent their way would help out both the city and the school. I don't know.

Number Two- I went to see that movie, The Aristocrats, last night. There was very little actually funny about the whole thing. Oh, there was a lot of laughing, but it was more that nervous laughter when someone says something so horrible you cannot help but laugh, otherwise you might throw up a little bit in your mouth. There were three things that I found genuinely funny in the movie, though. 1. When Eric Cartman was telling the joke and enumerating the participants he used his fingers, which I found amusing because he was wearing mittens. It didn't make a lot of sense, but was cute. 2. An aging Eric Idle wondering aloud why the joke works at all in America, because there are no Aristocrats in the U.S. First of all, BURN. Second of all, it's kind of true because many Americans are dumber than bags of dicks and probably only like the joke because it has dirty words in it. 3. There was some discussion about how the sexual and scatalogical content of the joke just do not cut it anymore, so in order to continue to shock the audience new and horrible references must be included. So, to my mind, the funniest thing said in the movie was when Taylor Negron reminded us that we should not forget the terrible events of January 3rd...when he left his Visa card at the Four Seasons. It was refreshingly funny amongst the filth.

Number Three- I have started reading again. Time consuming, I know, but it also means that there will be a lot of stuff for YOU, dear reader, to process here once I have processed it in my little head. So, I read this morning that there is a not-so-new problem facing the city of Chicago. Apparently the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA)--when they are not too busy worrying about people's back porches--is systematically eliminating low-income houses with no positive change for the former residents. The interesting question, I think, that is raised by this is the fact that these people are being moved out of segregated communities into other segregated communities or neighborhoods. Now, it's no secret that Chicago is one of the most segregated cities in the U.S., but what is the alternative. I haven't yet come down on either side of this issue yet, because there are pros and cons both ways.

Of course, you could continue business as usual, sweeping the problem under the rug and turning a blind eye to poverty and blight. OR, you could relocate these people by interspersing them into established communities. There are problems either way. In the former case chances for advancement remain limited, schooling is sub-par, and only the scenery changes. However, there is safety and comfort in groups. If the people of the low-income areas were moved into random houses and apartments around the city would their lot be any better? Should the CHA be responsible should their new neighbors treat them badly? Would the simple act of the move really offer any chance at betterment, or would it accentuate the problem? Like I say, I am not making any statements one way or the other, just sort of thinking out loud about the situation. If I am going to someday save the world these are the problems I will need to have figured out, right?

Number Four- Evidently in Columbia the Coca Cola company is implicitly involved in the terrorization, intimidation, and sometimes assassination of attempted unionizers by paramilitary groups. This has prompted several colleges and universities here in the States to boycott Coca Cola on the campus. Not that the kids should be drinking that much soda anyway--it's not good for you...Rots the teeth. I don't really know how to feel about this. These sort of tactics certainly don't seem to be limited to the soda (or "pop", if you prefer) bottling industry. And overall it presents a problem for my overall ideology on globalization. Namely that I think economic expansion is just fine, and will be kept in check if the people of developing nations stand up for themselves and do not work for cheap wages. That way companies can expand their markets and improve profits without abusing human rights. The introduction of force and coercion into the situation kind of puts a kink in my theory. It is kind of a Catch 22. As the book says, "Catch 22 means that they can do whatever we cannot stop them from doing."

I also think that arbitrary growth rates set by corporations are unrealistic and greedy. Making a good product at a decent price while treating your employees well seems much more beneficial to society as a whole to me. But what to I know, I study English which is basically another way for saying that I am in a very expensive book club. I guess I just want everyone to be happy for a while before they inevitably shuffle off the mortal coil. I think the re-introduction of the middle-class to the wild would allow a lot more people to be happy without amassing so much shit that just goes to waste in the end.

Finally- Whatever the case may be, I think I may be an idealist, but I am also a realist. I am also a "happy-go-lucky-misanthrope". I might also be a socialist. I just want everyone to get-on and have a good time of it. With that in mind I have to allow myself every day, in every way, to be keen to give-'er. Things can get pretty muddled pretty quickly, you just have to make the best of it and not be afraid to draw some lines.

Okay, enough moralizing...especially from a kid who's barely holding it together lately, right? I'll let you go, but still send me any topic ideas you want me to write on. I like to hear, and hopefully offer some different views on the world...

-A.R. Leith

Quote- "Andy, you have a very tenuous grasp on reality." -My dear Ma


Morgan said...

Do you plan to give the middle class bows and arrows with which to assist them in feeding? Because if you are, I am vehemently against it. So much so that I might take a dump in your pillow case...

Gotcha bitch!

T-dizzle said...

I loved this post because it gave me something to read this morning and it passed the time until I started work. Thanks.'re just a lot of fun and I like when you have a lot to talk about. I agree with you on the film we saw. Lots of nervous laughter. Hmmm...Anyway, just wanted to drop a note and say hi! Have a good day!