Culture Pie

“They’re destroying our culture!”

Nothing is more sacred to us than our deepest sense of identity, and anything that threatens said identity really seems to bring out some sort of primal rage in us. For some, a threat to the majority culture of the country provokes the rage. For others, it’s the threat of some minor, marginalized culture becoming extinct that provokes the knee-jerk reaction of grave concern.

But they’re both missing the point. Culture isn’t an established system of perfection that must be preserved at all costs. Culture is us.

It’s our words, our thoughts, our actions. It’s our way of living, our way of working, our way of playing. It’s our manner of loving, our manner of fighting, our manner of mourning our loss and misfortune. It’s what gives us comfort and sense of purpose when all other moorings have failed us. Culture, quite simply put, is all of us, and the footprints our lives collectively leave behind.

As such, as we collectively change, so does the culture. We can’t “lose our culture,” our culture simply morphs to more effectively serve as our mirror. To preserve the memory of a past culture is to preserve the memory of our past. But to try to preserve and keep current a culture that is no longer current is to force us to be what we are not. It is to live a lie.

Celebrate our culture. Celebrate its ingredients. Celebrate cultures past. But remember, our culture is a pie baked from the ingredients that constitute our current reality. To keep baking it with the same recipe of the past means using old, stale ingredients… and that’s not going to make for a yummy pie.

Fresh culture pie for all!

Home Depot Personals

Where have all the good men gone?

Gone with the wind. Or rather, gone with the winds of prosperity and feminism. It’s now okay to be a fancy pretty-boy, and you can go without getting a real job and not starve to death. The traditional man, with all his wood-chopping, teardrop-shirking, bacon-homebringing (still working on making that a proper English term) bravado, that man is gone. Gone for now, but rest assured, he will be back. How can I say this so certainly? Because I can think like an economist. There is a demand, and where there is a demand, a supply will follow soon afterwards. Additionally, foreign competition will force domestic products to improve.

How is the domestic supply of men lacking? For starters, the breaking down of the stereotypical hard-bodied, hard-hearted, strong, dependable man. Just as women are more accepted in roles more typically associated with men, guys can now get away with downright girly actions such as crying about their feelings and using as many beauty products as their female counterparts. Now, I can’t say the feminist challenging of traditional gender stereotypes is all bad without being a hypocrite. I enjoy my relatively long hair, fitted clothing, and daily lattes, thank you very much. But I can still take a 12-hour day of physical labor. I can take a punch to the face. Growing up I chopped the wood to heat my own bathwater.

The aforementioned masculine aesthetics, however, aren’t the real problem. The tragedy is that men aren’t reliable and self-sufficient anymore. This is because they don’t need to be. Women have done so well for themselves that they don’t need anyone to take care of them financially. Add this to an affluent century unlike any other (current economic woes aside), and you have very little incentive to actually become a productive member of society. Aging parents with plenty of money are much more tolerant of having their precious little boys come home. And, with enough equally maturity-challenged roommates to split the bills, a part-time job down at the obscure bookstore you’ve probably never heard of can go a long way.

Ladies, in this dismal market of irresponsible, underdeveloped girly man-boys, where can a real man be found? I’ll tell you where: in the Home Depot parking lot. There you’ll find plenty of real men. They’re adventurous and industrious. They’re not afraid of working with their hands, working long workdays, or slaving away all weekend, starting before dawn. They can survive on their own in difficult and foreign environments and still be able to send money home to their extended families. They don’t need to cry about how their mother never paid attention to them, because they’re too busy trying to be the man in the family since their father died of dehydration on his journey through the desert. They wear practical clothes. They don’t need no stinking exfoliant. And don’t forget that they won’t be so shy of commitment, especially since a marriage can solve their legal problems and pave a path to a better life.

Congratulations ladies, I just solved your man problems. You’re welcome. Gratitude can be expressed in the comment section. Have a nice day.

America’s Covert Elite

America's Covert Elite

America has a hero culture. From SEAL Team 6 to Chuck Norris to Steve Jobs, larger-than-life figures of great heroism and/or incredible achievement continue to be an integral part of our culture. Two strangely opposite forces keep on contributing to the hero mythos. The first is a high standard of living that produces pampered citizens yearning to be truly challenged as human beings. The second is the fact that people of great drive, vision, and accomplishment have contributed so much to America’s past, as historically this has been one of the few places on earth where personal achievement has been virtually unchecked. And so, I feel it is my civic duty to add another real-life legend to this country’s mythology. I’m going to tell you about an elite group so resourceful, so legendary, so secretive, that they don’t even officially exist. A-Team and James Bond, move over: this is the real deal.

Our incredible journey starts in the remote jungles of South and Central America, where Phase 1 of basic training begins. Future commandos start their training when they are barely able to walk. Like the Spartan warriors of yore, they are taught from a very young age to survive in a hostile environment. This includes, but is not limited to, poverty, high crime rates, drug war violence, and child labor. Only those with the smarts, toughness, and tenacity to survive and thrive in this environment are selected to move on to the next phase of their training. Now on to Phase 2: a harrowing three-part journey to northward, a journey that many do not survive.

Phase 2, Part 1. Commando recruits, having survived at least to young adulthood (though many are much older and have wives and children), now proceed northward towards their final destination. They must journey thousands of miles across deserts, through jungles, over mountains, across rivers. No directions. No assistance. No budget. They must scavenge for whatever resources they can before their journey, and complete it entirely through their own means. Any combination of boat, bus, car, animal, and good old-fashioned foot travel is used to complete the voyage. It is not uncommon for operatives to become stranded or robbed, forcing them to struggle to regain their momentum. Many die along the way. But for those who survive, it’s on to the second, and most deadly, part of Phase 2: the infiltration. Be forewarned, this is not for the feint of heart: this part of the operation has already claimed thousands of lives.

Part 2 takes agent recruits off the map completely as they attempt to infiltrate a massive nation with the most deadly and awe-inspiring military this planet has ever known. In order to complete their mission, they’ll have to face an armed and elite special unit of over 20,000 members, whose sole purpose is to thwart the completion of the operatives’ secret quest. The commandos must avoid detection and cross a fortified border to proceed northward and complete their mission. Again, no assistance. No direction. No equipment, save the clothes on their backs. They are completely left to their own devices to penetrate the border and cross hundreds of miles of desert, with no rest or amenities along the way. Nothing but what they brought with them to save them from the harsh desert sun, from starvation and dehydration, from wild animals. And all the while, they’re being hunted by enemy officers who will stop at nothing to see that their mission meets an untimely end. The contest is one of the most incredibly lopsided in the world: feet versus helicopters and ground vehicles, lone operatives versus scores of precisely trained and coordinated officers, raw human senses and intuition versus radar, infrared and computers.

But it’s not over. Not by a long shot. Even after successfully completing a nearly impossible infiltration operation, the few commandos that manage to make it through still have to reach their final destinations to complete Phase 2: Part 3. These destinations can be anywhere in a country that’s one of the world’s four largest, a country of more than three-and-a-half million square miles. Now it’s a repeat of Phase 2’s harrowing first part, with a nasty new twist: they are now in enemy territory. They stick out like a sore thumb, don’t speak the language, and are continually hunted by enemy agents. They must proceed covertly to their final destinations, where they must accomplish the final phase of their grand operation.

Phase 3: Operations. Once they’re in, operatives must now settle and create undercover bases of operations for themselves and other friendly agents. With little knowledge of the local language and surroundings, no legal protection, constantly wary of discovery and apprehension by the enemy, the commandos must now use every skill and ability at their disposal to survive and thrive. To complete their missions they must best a massive force of almost 14 million unemployed locals (almost all of them with superior education, language skills, contacts, and resources) to secure means of funding their continuing operation. This often means taking on jobs that are dangerous, dirty, and difficult. No job security. No retirement plans. No minimum wage, or guarantee of any pay at all. And all the while, they have to avoid detection by the authorities. As if surviving these brutal circumstances wasn’t difficult enough, they have to religiously scrape together any funds and resources they can spare after ensuring their own survival, and covertly send them back to their home offices thousands of miles away.

Has their dangerous mission proved successful? Overwhelmingly, yes. It is estimated that these covert operatives could be sending back billions every year. Their operations have also become so well-rooted that they have a significant impact on local economies. So well-rooted, in fact, that a localized pullout of operatives in the East shook entire industries. Make no mistake: these commandos are a force to be reckoned with. And with over 10 million currently operating, they’re not going anywhere.

And now, the most incredible part of this elite unit: their leadership. Quite astonishingly, they have none. No superior giving orders. No meticulously-planned operation. No organization whatsoever driving them on their incredible mission. Their entire motivation, mission, drive, planning, training, purpose… it all starts and ends in each and every commando’s own mind. With no skills and at no one’s urging, they take on one of the most dangerous and difficult missions in the world. They have their reasons. Family, friends, a better life. The chance to live a dream. But whatever the motivation, their extraordinary operation is created spontaneously by every operative, almost a divine calling to go forth and conquer all odds.

America is about innovation. It’s about drive. It’s about tenacity. It’s about hard work. And, more than anything, it’s about making a patriotic stand against government oppression. It’s time to meet the next all-American hero. An underdog who braved untold dangers, armed only with his wits and determination. A freedom-lover who, in the spirit of the Boston Tea Party, acted in defiance of an unjust law. An innovator who single-handedly bested and obsoleted the traditional American worker, with all the odds against him. Meet… the Migrant Worker.