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Saturday, November 21, 2009

The New America

As I was leaving the house yesterday Jerry Springer happened to be on television even though nobody was watching. I stopped long enough to catch the topic. There was a stripper dancing scantily clad as the woman being interviewed was bragging that she was a single mom, a student and a stripper. Later when I was logging on to facebook there was an animation of two dancing women with an advertisement “Obama is sending Mom’s back to school.” Within the same week California college students protested the raise in tuition prices. This is the same time that the new government health care bill is being beaten to death in DC. What the hell happened to America?
A few weeks ago I was in New York City. I used to live in NYC so I was there to visit and run the marathon, not necessarily to sight-see. Still it is impossible to go somewhere and not sight-see some, if nothing else you see your favorite places. The one place that I love seeing over and over again is the Statue of Liberty. It represents the dreams that America was built on:

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door

We all have stories of how our ancestors struggled – whether it was the Native Americans we stole land from and spread disease to or how our parents or great great great great grandparents crossed a sea, fled a country, did whatever so WE could have a better life. My generation is reigned by apathy. We don’t vote. We don’t care that our freedoms and rights are being taken away in between lines of bills and acts that we don’t read through because we’re too busy playing video games or drinking beer and watching football. We feel entitled to free educations and healthcare because we’ve never had to work for anything. Technology is making life easier and kids fatter. It’s sad. Really I watch knowing there is little I can do because I am part of this generation. Why stand against the current when you know nobody else will stand with you? Why wage war when you know it’s a battle you can’t win? These days we praise women for getting knocked up and trying to raise their kid on their own, but nobody praises me for being responsible and NOT getting knocked up. Nobody gives me a break on my school loans because I only have a couple thousand dollars in credit card debt. I don’t get bailed out because I didn’t buy a house I couldn’t afford. In the animal kingdom the weakest of a group gets weeded out by natural consequences, yet we continue to bail people out. Now, we have a culture of American’s who take and take and take and expect more from the government. The few who live responsible lives are being punished for others irresponsibility. It’s not going to end with government health care these programs perpetuate the program. I’m being punished for living a healthy lifestyle because I don’t weigh three times my proper body weight. It’s like feeding a tape worm. The problem is only going to keep growing.

When did the American dream go from “land of opportunity for those who are willing to work for it” to “land of entitlement for those who are willing to give up freedom for government payouts.” Since when did we stop dreaming for a better life and just expect it. When did we stop working towards a better life and start sitting on the couch waiting for a government representative to stop by and hand it to us on a silver platter? Seriously America. Probably those who are reading this are still part of the America that works hard for what they have, so it’s time that those of you who work for what you have to stand up and fight for your rights. Fight for your freedoms. Fight for a reward for living as an upstanding citizen rather than being punished for it. If you don’t stand up for it nobody will and if you don’t exercise your freedoms and rights they will be taken away.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Warm house on a cold Indiana night

I’m home. Not the place I currently live, but home. My parents house. Unfortunately, not the house I grew up in, but the house that is now called “home.” These visits start out very exciting, go through a period of relaxation and then mixed anxiety and guilt about having to leave again. I love it and I hate it. I know if I stayed I’d go insane, but at the same time it’s so hard to leave and the guilt of missing everyone. Really you just can’t win. I forgot what cold is like. It’s only November, but I think these nights are the coldest of the whole year, because they seem so sudden and out of place. The temperatures have been warm enough lately to not feel like winter, but there is a looming chill in the air reminding you it’s coming. The leaves have almost all fallen off except for a few stubborn pieces. The farmers took down the last bit of corn this week so the fields are bare. That was the last event of fall. Now, the wind blows over the land with nothing to slow it down. The temperature dropped a few more degrees, the air is a little damp and the clouds are gloomy and overcast. I will go back to San Diego in a few days where it will remain sunny all year, even on the chillier days, but For now I’m enjoying my parent’s warm house on a cold Indiana night thankful for heat and thick blankets, hot coffee and good conversation, school days and hectic nights. It’s nice to be with a family again, even though like the corn I know I’ll be gone soon enough.