Saturday, September 8, 2007

immutable social stratum

my twin and i were discussing the layers of society this morning. my position is that one never leaves the layer from whence one came to find comfort and true happiness in another layer. i don't mean leaving poverty behind and not being happy because the fridge is stocked. i mean the people with whom you deal. i can walk into any bar and talk at length with people. farmers and factory workers and coal miners are my roots.

regardless of the money and ease of life that has come and gone in my time, i still view life through my earliest lens. i see liberals as intellectually vacant. i believe that bill clinton is a slut, hillary is a dyke, and web hubbel is chelsea's real dad. i oftentimes point and laugh when harm comes to assholes. i have no patience for self-serving dickheads. my favorite joke is premised upon having sex with a nun (maybe you've heard it - the punchline is, "yeah, maybe we should bury her"). getting into a fist fight is not desired, but is understandable. i think the best way to deal with terrorists is to torture every last one of them in public places, handing out video cameras and laptops for you-tube uploads before the festivities begin. i love my dogs. i own a gun with hollow-points to kill-first-and-ask-questions-later (much later) of anyone dumb enough to enter my home with the intent to commit a crime therein. i think there is little more beautiful than a recently weeded vegetable garden. a field or patch of wildflowers has it all over designed "flower gardens." purple is a great color because it fucking is - how would i know why? if you want to make it, i think you need yellow, but i find it easier to just buy a set that has a purple crayon already in it.

you want to know why people lose money in the stock market? because they buy stuff they do not understand. they look at numbers. numbers? companies sell products - that is what to look at. energy stocks have dividends - built-in return or cushion against lose. the industry got deregulated. that created an opportunity to sell energy - that's the product after all - across territory not possible before. so the value changed from owning exclusive rights to territory to being able to produce product at the lowest cost per kilowatt. duh! so duke energy did well and socaled bit it. it isn't financial analysis with trends and charts and martini-laden tips. it is explaining why to buy something - a gas grill or common stock - over a few beers at a bar with someone you don't know. you better make sense.

it is that common sense that is driven into coal miners, because without you die. i maintain that as you rise through the social strata of life, common sense because more and more optional. in fairness, it is a structural thing - one has highly refined tools for what one needs to survive. if common sense in monetary matters is less important than in nodding politely and choosing a socialist view of the world, then the former merely recedes. it is not a condemnation. but it is ironic that the lack of common sense often leads people to venture into areas outside their knowledge base, and often to their detriment.

so the argument comes full circle. your social stratum defines your survival tools. when you deal with people all of the time that have survival tools that conflict with yours, the novelty wears off after a while and discomfort settles in. you find comfort again only in your stratum.

what some cold, hard truth? i married outside my stratum. she is a class above me. that is why it has been a train wreck. i did her a great disservice. she saw "lawyer" and thought one thing; i knew "coal trash" and stayed quiet. oh well. the pain of that recognition has greatly scarred over. it is the end game now. i hope she gets her dignity back soon enough.

so these two guys get stranded on a desert island with a nun ...

my twin shared with me a beautiful story. it is a perfect illustration of the complete lack of ability of one stratum to understand another.

The Little Match-Seller
By Hans Christian Andersen (1846)

It was terribly cold and nearly dark on the last evening of the old year, and the snow was falling fast. In the cold and the darkness, a poor little girl, with bare head and naked feet, roamed through the streets. It is true she had on a pair of slippers when she left home, but they were not of much use. They were very large, so large, indeed, that they had belonged to her mother, and the poor little creature had lost them in running across the street to avoid two carriages that were rolling along at a terrible rate. One of the slippers she could not find, and a boy seized upon the other and ran away with it, saying that he could use it as a cradle, when he had children of his own. So the little girl went on with her little naked feet, which were quite red and blue with the cold. In an old apron she carried a number of matches, and had a bundle of them in her hands. No one had bought anything of her the whole day, nor had anyone given her even a penny. Shivering with cold and hunger, she crept along; poor little child, she looked the picture of misery. The snowflakes fell on her long, fair hair, which hung in curls on her shoulders, but she regarded them not.

Lights were shining from every window, and there was a savory smell of roast goose, for it was New-year’s eve—yes, she remembered that. In a corner, between two houses, one of which projected beyond the other, she sank down and huddled herself together. She had drawn her little feet under her, but she could not keep off the cold; and she dared not go home, for she had sold no matches, and could not take home even a penny of money. Her father would certainly beat her; besides, it was almost as cold at home as here, for they had only the roof to cover them, through which the wind howled, although the largest holes had been stopped up with straw and rags. Her little hands were almost frozen with the cold. Ah! perhaps a burning match might be some good, if she could draw it from the bundle and strike it against the wall, just to warm her fingers. She drew one out—“scratch!” how it sputtered as it burnt! It gave a warm, bright light, like a little candle, as she held her hand over it. It was really a wonderful light. It seemed to the little girl that she was sitting by a large iron stove, with polished brass feet and a brass ornament. How the fire burned! and seemed so beautifully warm that the child stretched out her feet as if to warm them, when, lo! the flame of the match went out, the stove vanished, and she had only the remains of the half-burnt match in her hand.

She rubbed another match on the wall. It burst into a flame, and where its light fell upon the wall it became as transparent as a veil, and she could see into the room. The table was covered with a snowy white table-cloth, on which stood a splendid dinner service, and a steaming roast goose, stuffed with apples and dried plums. And what was still more wonderful, the goose jumped down from the dish and waddled across the floor, with a knife and fork in its breast, to the little girl. Then the match went out, and there remained nothing but the thick, damp, cold wall before her.

She lighted another match, and then she found herself sitting under a beautiful Christmas-tree. It was larger and more beautifully decorated than the one which she had seen through the glass door at the rich merchant’s. Thousands of tapers were burning upon the green branches, and colored pictures, like those she had seen in the show-windows, looked down upon it all. The little one stretched out her hand towards them, and the match went out.

The Christmas lights rose higher and higher, till they looked to her like the stars in the sky. Then she saw a star fall, leaving behind it a bright streak of fire. “Someone is dying,” thought the little girl, for her old grandmother, the only one who had ever loved her, and who was now dead, had told her that when a star falls, a soul was going up to God.

She again rubbed a match on the wall, and the light shone round her; in the brightness stood her old grandmother, clear and shining, yet mild and loving in her appearance. “Grandmother,” cried the little one, “O take me with you; I know you will go away when the match burns out; you will vanish like the warm stove, the roast goose, and the large, glorious Christmas-tree.” And she made haste to light the whole bundle of matches, for she wished to keep her grandmother there. And the matches glowed with a light that was brighter than the noon-day, and her grandmother had never appeared so large or so beautiful. She took the little girl in her arms, and they both flew upwards in brightness and joy far above the earth, where there was neither cold nor hunger nor pain, for they were with God.

In the dawn of morning there lay the poor little one, with pale cheeks and smiling mouth, leaning against the wall; she had been frozen to death on the last evening of the year; and the New-year’s sun rose and shone upon a little corpse! The child still sat, in the stiffness of death, holding the matches in her hand, one bundle of which was burnt. “She tried to warm herself,” said some. No one imagined what beautiful things she had seen, nor into what glory she had entered with her grandmother, on New-year’s day

No comments:

Post a Comment