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Apr 23, 12 at 7:58pm ^Not Quite Politically Correct - Musings of a high school student (T)
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I'll be turning 16 in a month, and I've been passively writing things over the past few years. It's come to my attention that in 2 years and 2 months, I'll be leaving high school forever, and forced to pursue some form of a career. Friends, family members and teachers have been suggesting that I look into something in the writing field (because I apparently have a "knack" for it). I have some ideas for books that I would like to fully express, in addition to publishing a theory on parallel universes and how time is essentially in an eternal loop of the present for one's self.
I've been getting some decent feedback regarding some of the stuff I've been pumping out for my social class, so I figured I'd toss some of my work in here for some C&C. A lot of my writing will probably seem pretty biased, but unfortunately that's something that goes with the course; while I may or may not fully endorse everything I put down on the page, if it enlightens someone in any way, shape, or form, I'm happy to contribute to their knowledge bank.
To some degree, I feel as if we have started this social class off on a bad mark (no pun intended, my grades are complete garbage). Over the past few days, I’m sure you have learned a few things about me as a person; I’m very unwilling to disclose information about myself, and I am quite defiant in defending things personal to me or that I am certain about. Those are two facts that you need to understand about me to really read the rest of this with utmost comprehension.
When I was younger, I struggled with basic tasks, such as walking down a set of stairs, drawing basic geometric shapes, and even accomplishing menial duties with my hands. While taking geometry in grade four, my teacher noticed something peculiar about me; I was unable to properly view things as symmetrical, or answer any question related to symmetry. After being visited by a physiotherapist, she deduced that I had a motor skills disability - this is why it took me thirteen years to learn how to properly walk down stairs, and I also was unable to ride a bike until I turned fourteen. To this day, I am still not capable of playing any sport adequately. Due to this, I developed a bit of a complex, in which perfection is merely not good enough. That might sound a bit crazy, but it’s a very simple concept; if other people have fully mastered and conquered the use of their bodies, I should be able to grasp any mental concept to sheer perfection, without the assistance of other people. This eventually lead to me believing that perfection is merely mediocrity, and that true perfection is something that uninspired people will never be able to accomplish.
I believe that society has put such strain on youth that it is almost impossible to truly accomplish what we want in life. Our monetary system has made it so parents want their children to have a high paying job, such as being a doctor, lawyer, etc., and by doing so, it has made achieving our dreams very difficult. In fact, this is a case example of something that is wrong with society. Blue collar workers are the backbone of our entire civilization, regardless of what some people might believe, and are actually harder workers than the so-called “educated professionals” who run our world. As you might have seen on my “Past, Present and Future” poster, my goal in life is to become a worker at a coffee shop in Seattle. I want to fully understand how hard it is for a proletariat to make a living by working at a menial job, and coming home to nothing. Through blood, sweat, tears, and dealing with negative customers, I will learn life lessons that cannot be taught in an education system (which, I think is really just trying to make us ignorant drones). I will grow as a human being, and maybe reach the “true perfection” that I spoke of earlier. Maybe it’s possible for humans to reach a state of ascendancy.
While living in the suicide capital, where it rains 300 days a year, I will have a perfect opportunity to express myself through lyricism, artistic nature, music, and simply writing about how corrupt things are nowadays. I would like to view myself as a voice of the people; someone who speaks up for those that cannot fight for themselves, and Seattle has an extensive history of political speakers. I’m not looking to be a politician or anything, but just an average person who isn’t afraid to voice their viewpoints about things.
By merely looking at my hands, you can quickly identify one thing; I have long, slender fingers. My hands are not coarse, but rather incredibly soft and humane. My mother told me I would be an artist, and my hands signify just that. Despite being a very verbal person who adores the concept of a metaphor philosophy, I am very inventive when it comes to expressing myself. Something as simple as the color red symbolizes much more than just a person’s choice in hues; to them, it could represent the fact that they’re anemic. A hypoglycemic person could draw a fruit bowl, and suddenly it becomes so much more than just a fruit bowl: that fruit bowl represents things that they are lacking in life, or how they need to adjust their eating habits on a daily basis, just to keep up with the twelve minute run at school. A space capsule floating in an absence of gravity really isn’t a space capsule: it’s the twenty that pills they take daily, fluttering through the emptiness of their body. To that person, those twenty pills are what keeps them normal, but they also separate that person from our average population.
Music, art and writing are three things that I use to convey my thoughts. ⅓ of my life has been spent as a graphics designer, and art is easily my favorite way to communicate myself. You can make accurate judgements about a person based on how they view art: you can tell how educated they are, what their prejudices are (ironic), and tell what symbolism means to them. This is actually one of the reasons that I hate doing art projects in school - my physical art gets judged and I get graded based on that, as opposed to the metaphors I am trying to portray through visual representation. I wrote a paper on slang & jargon instead of doing a poster, and this is partially the reason why. Another reason why I chose to do a paper instead, is that slang and jargon are not real concepts. They are merely using alternative words to represent ourselves. This is something that we have done all throughout history, and these “concepts” do not need special words to differentiate them from what they truly are. In essence, they are nothing but expansions of our vocabulary, or a second definition for certain words. Due to “slang and jargon” really just being ways of determining how educated someone is with modern society (and the English language), I found making a poster on this topic to be impossible. If I were to rearrange my paper as a poster, it would contain the exact same content, just in a lateral format instead of linear. This would be completely redundant, because grading is based on content, not the direction my paper faces. I did find it somewhat outrageous that people got higher grades than me for finding pictures and pasting them instead of actually putting real work into their projects, but I am not in a position to question the way you run your class. However, I would ask that you review my paper with hindsight. Through reading this, I’m positive you have noticed that I rationalize things through sheer logic, and I do not conform without good reason to do so. I appreciate you reading this, and hope you can view future engagements involving us with clairvoyance.
A minor glimpse into me as a person. I started my term off with horrible marks in the class because I wouldn't conform to doing a poster (I wrote a paper instead). Sadly, my marks were never adjusted for either my Identity paragraph, or the supposed poster I was meant to do, but my teacher treats me with a lot more respect now, which I would rather have in place of meaningless marks.
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A Proletariat's Austerity
Spoiler:A Proletariat's Austerity
A Proletariat’s Austerity
Eighty three percent of all U.S. stocks are held by one percent of the population, the bank owns more houses than the people do, and the amount of people filing for bankruptcy continues to rise (Disappearing Middle Class in the USA). Meanwhile, the rich continue to get richer, and the poor gradually sink lower and lower; the unemployment rate stays excessively high, and the average job searching period remains over thirty weeks (Disappearing Middle Class in the USA). More students are beginning to pursue jobs requiring higher levels of education, and this only continues to further the gap between poor and the rich. Those that cannot afford education past high school are caught in a vicious maelstrom they simply cannot escape. These alarming statistics are as clear as glass: they are sure signs that the middle class is disappearing, and it won't be long before it vanishes entirely.
After the triumph over Nazi Germany, the United States were in a state of prosperity: the unemployment rate was very low, (most) people were being paid well, and it was a time in which one worker, usually a husband, could support his family of six to seven while sustaining a surplus every week. During this point in time, companies supported their country, and there was a great sense of patriotism instilled within their workers. This began to shift once the free trade agreement was implemented. Companies that once had great pride in their American workers started using foreign workers to fill the gap in their work force, and this is what eventually lead to the unemployment rate increasing as the years dragged on. These foreign workers are being paid very little compared to that of an American worker. This outsourcing of products and labor has led to a lack of jobs in the United States- why would a company pay an employee eight dollars an hour, when he can pay a Chilean worker one dollar an hour? The “sweat shop” labor being done is an incredibly effective way for capitalists to maximize profit gain, while paying these foreign workers reasonable rates in their home countries, but a very low sum of U.S. dollars (Disappearing Middle Class in the USA). If an American employer has ten employees working for eight dollars an hour, working eight hours a day, this equates to being $640 per day. Instead, the employer can have ten workers being paid $1 an hour, working eight hours a day - equating to $80. Over the course of a year, this would end up being over 233, 000 dollars in wages as opposed to paying their foreign workers 29, 200. Our world is driven by currency, a currency that is starting to become distant to average class American citizens.
The Huxtable family of “The Cosby Show” was once the iconic middle class family, with both parents being paid well, and their immediate family having a great lifestyle. However, when we compare the few middle class jobs still alive today, they do not have nearly the amount of wealth or quality of life that the Huxtable family had. The United States continues to “pump up” the economy, and by doing so, the price of all products continues to rise, without the wages of lower class jobs increasing incrementally to match the price of bare necessities. 8.3% of the population already remains unemployed (Bureau of Labor Statistics), and recently, 46 million Americans have confessed to using food stamps; something that is a sign of a “failing economy”, according to the Republicans (U.S. Food-Stamp Hit Record 46.5M in Dec). However, the Republicans do not seem to realize that the failing economy is a result of the free trade agreement, and the multinational corporations taking advantage of people willing to work for dollars a day.
More students are continuing to pursue higher levels of education after high school, such as college and university. The majority of these students are chasing after jobs in the higher paying fields, and some are only considering six figure jobs. Our entire economy is based on the amount of money we have, and this increase in funds is only going to have a negative effect on the lower class. As more people approach these six figure numbers, companies can continue to increase the prices of their goods, knowing they will still be purchased by people who readily have money at hand. In doing so, the gap between the rich and the poor continues to increase, and the middle class is caught somewhere in the middle - but in the current state, the middle class is being driven lower as opposed to higher, simply because the economy is based off of how much money you have. If the wages for blue and white collar workers increased, more people would feel inclined to undertake lower class jobs, knowing that they would still be able to make ends meet, and simply have a lower standard of life; however, in a country like the United States, the standards of living are already incredibly high, possibly even exceeding reasonable attainment for the majority, as can be seen through the poverty level and other various statistics. As well, with less people being on top of this metaphorical food chain, people at the bottom would also begin to rise up, and this would essentially revitalize the middle class. The only group that would have an aversion to this would be the multinational, large scale corporations, who already have pockets hanging from their waist down to their feet. The companies that have excessive amount of funds just sitting there, doing nothing for the people, apart from the opposite of what is good for the people - and in this case, “what is good” would be a redistribution of funds to the working class, and bringing back prosperity to America. “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” would become a realistic concept for Americans, but until the companies unchain the slaves (that is, their own home country), there can never be fire for the people.
Multiple states united by nothing but lust for the dollar is what the United States have become, and this pitiable condition was delivered, as if sent by God, by the unquestionable deities that we addressed as “family friendly companies” - the same companies that were once proud of their American heritage. But as of late, it seems they are degressing back to the days of Negro slaves working on the cotton fields, for that is the equivalent of a proletariat currently struggling to survive, to work, or even to find a job. Racial tensions have ceased, but we are not living the dream that Martin described in 1963.
Bureau of Labor Statistics “Employment Situation Summary” 9 March, 2012. 15 March, 2012.
Bjerga, Alan “U.S. Food-Stamp Use Hit Record 46.5M in Dec.” 2 March, 2012. 15 March, 2012.
Snyder, Michael “The Middle Class in America Is Radically Shrinking. Here Are the Stats to Prove it” 15 July, 2010. 15 March, 2012.
Staples, Jason “Disappearing Middle Class in the USA” 27 July, 2010. 15 March, 2012.
*** Disclaimer: I put my works cited page up just to clarify any references used in my work.
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“The demons inside of us,” as described by Mahatma Gandhi, are nothing other than the capitalists and imperialists in our society. The lust for money has shaped history since the time of man’s creation, and has dictated our actions, beliefs, judgements, and has shaped our world’s geography into subdivisions called continents. These continents have further been severed into social groups based on economic power, in which wars were fought to gain independence from imperial powers. The globe, our global village, has been altered dramatically as a result to gain more currency; a piece of paper with a number assigned to it. A number that represents how strong we are as a nation, and how each individual stands on one’s own.
Turmoil. Turmoil is one word that could describe how askew the world was when nations began fighting against the colonial powers that held control in their native lands. “If there is a will, there is a way” is an accurate phrase that describes how these countries pushed sovereign powers out of the Terra that they call home. Blood, sweat, and tears covered the grounds and metaphorically expressed the nations, yet their former captors still hold dominance over the people. Today, these liberated lands serve as plantations to the white puppet master, where colored and pale folks work alike for coin to support their families. These people - average people - will never hold power in society, because society is driven by the one thing that they work for; and even though they toil the grounds for it, they simply cannot collect enough to make a difference in the world. Meanwhile, the slave-driving corporations that the masses work for are at comfort and rest, successfully pocketing riches, as if they were looting it from the poor; from their poor, underpaid workers. Imperialism set the ground works for the rich to continue to collect, as if the original monarchs were the pioneers who started it all; now the capitalists in our modern day society benefit from the previous works, and it has become a vicious cycle that will not end.
Independence of these crooks is something that people have sought throughout the entire timeline that our planet has lived, but in very few cases have the voices been heard. When these voices are heard, the people amass behind the head of their current state, and a revolutionary is born. Mahatma Gandhi, arguably the world’s most prominent plebian leader, oppressed the British empire, and India was born. Hindus and Muslims finally gained control of their own countries, India and Pakistan respectively, and were free to govern themselves. The emancipated rejoiced, until racial tensions grew as Hindus and Muslims flocked to their own countries, and fighting broke out. This further separated the two religious and racial groups, and caused immense trouble for the people caught in between the two; that is, the Indian Muslims, and Pakistan Hindus. Deported from their country and forced to practice their religion in a place where it “didn’t belong” continued to increase the separation of our global village. To some degree, the assassination of Gandhi was probably the most crucial role in uniting different cultures in this region, and allowed people to see eye to eye - Gandhi was a Hindu, a Muslim, and a Christian, but still continued to treat everyone with the same amount of underlying respect and dignity. The “Great Soul” served as a martyr of discrimination and separation of people as a whole, and pioneered the concept of non-violent, non-cooperative protesting to modern society.
The world has become a saddening place, where your power and role in society is dictated by how much “green” you possess, as opposed to who you are as a person, and what you contribute in the grand scheme of things. The meticulous planning of our overseers, the capitalists and imperialists, have made advancement incredibly hard for people, and unifying as one collective group even harder. Proletariat Joe is never going to amount to being as “good” as the six figure paycheck collecting worker at Microsoft, simply because his paycheck reads “28, 000” at the end of the year. It sickens me that we, society, can be so archaic - to the degree that we might as well still judge people based on the estrogen in their bodies (lack of women’s rights). The poor and hard-working do not have rights, and are merely a “burden” on society.
Those that serve the imperialists only continue to extend imperial reign, and those that rise against only serve as a bullet in the middle of the belly of the beast, not as a fatal wound. We are marionettes to our non-submissive, antagonizing leadership. The pursuit for money has only separated nations and divided us as individuals, instead of allowing us to embrace everyone as the brother and sister that they are. Separated we stand, and united we fight, but not against our pretentious leaders, we fight against ourselves; seemingly the result of the “former” powers that dominate our lives today.
*** Disclaimer: There might be some minor issues with the typing of this one, so feel free to point them out if you notice any errors. I considered the entire piece to be an atrocity by the time I had it finished (around a ~40 minute time frame, it was written as a test), and so this was promptly deleted from google docs, but I decided to retype it for you guys given the amount of good feedback my peers gave me.
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Feel free to provide as much constructive criticism as you can, and feel even more free to contradict the fallacies in my writing. In addition to improving my ability to elaborate, I'm hoping this thread can foster intellectual discussion. Thanks for reading, and take care. Some of my work might be considered "controversial," hence the teen flag.
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