Life, America, Randomness

Posts Tagged ‘Arabs

America’s Backbone

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Aside from Baseball and steroids, no connection in America is deeper than the one between Americans and the institution that provided them with their post high-school education. In the spirit of March Madness, I thought it’ll be wise to stop and talk about ‘College’ and its significance in American society.

Every nation needs a backbone. Something that will connect EVERYONE, an experience that one way or another had affected all during his or her lifetime. In Israel, for example, it’s the IDF. Mandatory service laws dictate that every 18-year-old Israeli boy or girl has to serve three and two years (respectively) in the national Army. Put the war issues aside, this is a great bonding experience, a true melting pot for society. It’s something every citizen can relate to, a place where everyone meet and are forced to live together and persevere. America doesn’t really have a melting pot, but College is definitely the closest one. In 2004, 52% of Americans attended college. That’s huge. But that’s barely half the country, not to mention I’m way too lazy to break the 52% into socio-economic backgrounds to get a clearer picture (I tried reading the census and failed due to severe boredom).

The reason that this occupies me is that I always felt that if it weren’t for ‘The Arabs’ who are inescapably trying to kill them, Israelis would hate each other to the point of a civil war. But lucky (or not so lucky) for Israel, the fact that the Arabs are trying to annihilate them from the face of this planet unites them. This is obviously not the best of situations, but the result, I believe, is that no other people in the world care for their fellow citizens like Israelis do. Now answer this – does anyone in Santa Monica cares for anyone in Detroit? Better yet, does anyone in Santa Monica cares for anyone in the San Fernando Valley?

How much of this dog eat dog world has to do with the capitalistic nature of Uncle Sam? Is there a fault or blame here? And who cares if there isn’t really a connection? America has done fairly well without it, so does a country even need to have a correlation between its people? And how come people get along here but can’t stop fighting elsewhere? Is it because of Woodstock? Burning Man?

It’s a tad weird to live in a place where the people are so different from each other, so disjointed and far away. I guess America is like a Paralympic Athlete: not all body parts are connected, but they somehow pull it together enough to be champions. Odd metaphor, I know. Now, if in fact ‘College’ is America’s melting pot, and if in fact we’ve established there’s some sort of Paralympics-ness involved here – isn’t it suitable that the man who represents ‘College’ (and as such, connects America) during this fine month of March is Richard ‘Dick’ Vital?


Written by Frankelstache

March 23, 2009 at 8:22 am

Thank You

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In America, people are obsessed with saying ‘Thank You’ and it doesn’t really matter if the person they’re thanking had done something worthy of an expression of gratitude. Americans just like to thank. They’re also obsessed with written notes. This is actually something I really like about Americans, for they enjoy expressing themselves in writing. Which is way better than expressing themselves through shouting (Arabs), cussing (Jews), or violence (Middle-Eastern’s). The two phenomenons mentioned above created a lovechild known as the ‘Thank You Note’. I shall now refer to it as TYN.

Life used to be very simple for me. If someone invited me over for a beer I’d show up in his house, hangout, eat whatever’s in his fridge and leave right before my farts become to much of a hassle to disguise. On the way out I’d probably give him a man-hug or a high-five, but that’s about it. Nowadays, if someone invites me over I have to write on his Facebook wall to thank him for the orange I gathered from his kitchen. It just doesn’t make sense.

The guidelines as to when exactly you should send a TYN are borderline mysterious. I have researched this issue thoroughly and relentlessly, but the best answer I can give you is – who the fuck knows.
I did, however, managed to gather enough information indicating that there are certain occasions / situations where a TYN is a life-threatening necessity. Neglecting to send a TYN during those occasions / situations is a huge violation of etiquette codes, one as rude and as severe as not spending the night after having sex. With your wife.

These occasions / situations are:
1.    You were interviewed for a job.
2.    You had a birthday bash and someone came to celebrate you.
3.    You got married and someone sent you a gift.

Now these fine examples that I researched thoroughly and relentlessly had become rooted in American society. So much that me suggesting it’s idiotic would be totally rude and obnoxious. But who cares:
1st, why, in the name of Lisa Ann, do I have to thank someone for interviewing me for a job? If I’m hired for the position, 90% of the time I will be underpaid and 96% of the time I will, at some point, get yelled at for something I didn’t do, or had no control on. Not to mention the fact that the company I’m working for will eventually fire me and move my department to Uzbekistan, or, more likely – China. Why am I thankful?

2nd, I’ve never seen so many people who care so much about their birthday like people do in America. I get that everyone likes to feel special for a day, but if that’s the issue why don’t you celebrate the first time you’ve beaten another kid in kindergarten? Or the day you got your 1st A in school? College graduation? The 1st time you cried in a Tom Cruise movie? Anything other than your birthday, which is essentially celebrating the fact that your parents used to fuck. I know this doesn’t necessarily contradict the TYN subject, but I had to get this off my chest.

3rd, the people who sent you a ‘gift’ did it because you got married. They wanted to do something nice for you because they are happy for you. To me, sending them a TYN is not only dumb, but also extremely offensive. Think about it this way: If I gave you a candy as a gift, a token of my appreciation – the last thing on my mind is “oh I wonder when he’ll give me something of his own in return”. I mean, this candy was a gift from me to you. I don’t want anything back nor do I expect anything back. A verbal thanks is suitable. Or better yet, just eat the fucking candy.

As for the rest of the occasions, it starts to get blurry. I have seen people send TYN’s after meeting for dinner at their friend’s house (‘Thanks for having me’), after hanging out together in public (‘Thanks for seeing me’) and even after the TYN’s recipient loaned them a pen for two hours (‘Thanks for helping me’).

I just had an  epiphany: Is it possible that TYN’s are all about the sender and not at all about the recipient?

Written by Frankelstache

March 4, 2009 at 10:50 am