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We’s Lives in Da Ghetto

February 27, 2010

The Weekly Wrap: Another week away and so very little time for trivial asides.  Still, though, here are some highlights.

  • I just finished Erasure by Percival Everett, and let me just say: I was touched.  There’s so much here.  As a writer, it’s  one of the few times when I’ve said in the midst of reading: “I couldn’t have said it better.”  Here’s my Black History Month Recommendation for 2010: READ.  THIS.  BOOK.
  • A lot of activity going on in my life that I really don’t want to disclose until the dust is settled, but I’m struck more than ever by the thin line that exists between achieving individual dreams and achieving (or even sustaining) the so-called security of the American Dream.  What Dream is that exactly?  Well, that’s the one where you go to school to get a diploma, and then use that diploma to maintain employment until you retire to pasture in your old age.  There’s supposedly a wide job security gap between doing this and say, trying out for American Idol, but I think it’s hyperbole.  The gap isn’t as wide as we make it out to be.    The percentages are in your favor if you go to college, but one should look at the current unemployment rate for clarification on the true meaning of security.  Before, in my mind, there was a light year’s worth of space between the two, or just under 10 trillion kilometers.   Now it’s more like an astronomical unit, or 150 million kilometers.  That’s a big difference in mindset, and I like those odds better.
  • As for the diploma in the above bullet, I’ve learned that, as an experienced professional, it’s only as good as your current “industry” job experience.  Try switching from health care to consumer goods and you’ll see the limitation — the distance will shrink for you, too.
  • And retirement?  Personally, I think it’s a rook.  From a corporate standpoint, retirement equals attrition, which is simply a way for replacing expensive labor with cheaper (younger) labor.  Sure, it looks like they’re doing you a favor, but if it made better fiscal sense working you literally to death, trust me: They’d already be doing it.
  • And, oh yeah: Did I already mention ERASURE by PERCIVAL EVERETT?  Read that book.  Read it.  Save for the abstract content at times, you’ll be glad you did.

And that’s the Weekly Wrap.

Next Vista: Wednesday, March 3, 2010, “MULA, Part Two”

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