. . . you knew people who receive unemployment benefit and use it to go traveling in Europe? (Obviously, these are people who have ample untaxed income). This isn’t a theoretical question. I really want to know what is the acceptable North American way of reacting to such things.
People often seem to assume that immigrants leave their countries because they want to improve their lives financially. If we are talking about those who emigrate out of a situation of dire poverty, that assertion is true. However, a person who has a middle class existence in their own country mostly loses out financially as a result of emigration.
I lost a lot in terms of my economic status when I emigrated. I was very aware when I made the decision to emigrate that I would never achieve a comparable level of economic well-being in North America. It didn’t matter to me because I’m not materialistic, so I emigrated anyways.
Anybody who emigrates from a middle-class (or higher) existence in their own country with the express purpose of enriching themselves is very unintelligent.
P.S. If you are an immigrant from an FSU country and you want to make an argument that you are better off financially in North America, please ask yourself the following: Who owns the place where you live? How much do you owe on your mortgage? On your car? On your credit cards? And how much did you owe back in your country?
I rest my case.
I know I made fun of its tweets a lot, but the following definition from the Overt Dictionary rings true: “Goldman Sachs: a banking company which gathers all the bright minds in the world and plugs them inside of its hierarchal machine.” This might just be true, given that the author of the Overt Dictionary has anything but a bright mind. I don’t know if all those bright people truly went to Goldman Sachs (I, for one, seriously doubt it), but one thing is for sure: they didn’t join the group that created the Overt Dictionary.
I just saw a commercial on Canadian TV that said, “48% of Canadian women wash their sheets once a month. Even more women wear their clothes at least twice before washing them. This is why our detergent…” This is just weird. Is the commercial suggesting that Canadian women are dirtier than Canadian men, which is why we need to pay special attention to their dirty habits? Or that men never do their laundry and can’t be interested in the detergent?
This is one of those cases where ideology trumps profitability. There are crowds of single men who do their own laundry and partnered men who do the family’s laundry. Yet, the commercial fails to target them entirely. This would be a much better world if profit trumped ideology. But it rarely does.
I’m reading a book titled “Aquamarine Blue” that offers stories by autistic people about the way they see the world. Here is one quote that resonated deeply with me: “I never could understand why anyone would want to parade their lack of interesting thoughts, the fact that they have nothing to say for themselves and lead completely uninteresting lives, and therefore need other people’s private lives to have at least some conversational topics.”
I like this quote because it explains to me the baffling mystery of why there are so many people who eagerly follow every development in the personal lives of excruciatingly talentless starlets and TV personalities. I remember how after Obama was elected, dozens of people kept recounting to me some story about a puppy he was going to buy for his daughters. These are the same folks who buy all those tabloids and devour the very trivial gossip about the lives of the so-called celebrities.
Over the past week, I have had an opportunity to observe my sister and her partner with their 20-month-old daughter Mika. Mika is a very active, curious and rambunctious child. She is like a little tornado that is always on the move. She needs to be involved in new exciting activities and be exposed to new impressions on a constant basis.
Mika’s parents adore their little girl and are unwavering in their determination to provide for her developmental needs. It’s hard because these two very hard-working adults need to find extra time and energy to invest into their daughter. Mika is fortunate in that her parents are not inclined to pathologize her very active personality and will never strive to make her more comfortable to be around at her own expense. They teach her to be polite and responsible and provide her with a calming routine. It is all done through communicating with her and never through recurring to medication.
Many kids, however, are not nearly as fortunate. Born into a culture of entitlement where many adults see any kind of mild discomfort as a horrible imposition on their freedom, kids are often medicated into compliance with drugs that zombify them and make them easy to handle. The temptation to avoid the hard work of finding ways to channel an active kid’s energies into positive, creative directions by pumping them full of drugs is always there for people raised in the culture of instant gratification.
I’ve recently had a chance to observe a newlywed couple. They are so much in love that one feels happy just to be around them. The sun starts shining out of their ears whenever they talk about each other. Their eyes glaze over when they look at each other. It’s just lovely to behold.
The curse of being an older person, though, is that one has seen many passionately loving couples who, over the years, turned into bickering, miserable people whose favorite form of entertainment is barking at each other.
“So how is Jay?” you ask the formerly star-crossed lover who used to bore everybody stiff with the endless stories about their partner’s perfections.
“Oh, don’t ask me about that loser. I come home and there is a pile of dirty laundry. Like I’m some sort of slave, or something. Ooh, there are so many hot young bods in this bar. I like-y.”
And that makes me really sad. I’m not sad for them, though. Their lives are their business and their choice. As a happy participant in a love-struck, sunshine-coming-out-of-my-ears couple, I don’t want to experience this sad denouement to my relationship, that’s all.
I don’t have any interesting insights to offer here. I’m just sharing my worries. As a blogger, I will have to report it
when if my relationship gets to the sad stage of “bleh, enough about that boring person.”