Jun. 28th, 2017 12:35 am
cz_unit: (broken heart)
[personal profile] cz_unit
Who Killed Cock Robin?
I Said the Sparrow
With my bow and arrow
I killed Cock Robin.

So what's up with White People?

Jun. 27th, 2017 06:21 pm
cz_unit: (Default)
[personal profile] cz_unit
Perdido Key is an interesting place: It's 100% White People, redneck class for the most part, working class people, probably 100% Republican and we counted 50 churches of some sort (many creepy trailers) from the Flomation AL/Florida line to the condos. Trump bumper stickers, 100% Republican. It's the White Trash Riviera. My kind of people.

But the people are exceptionally nice, the beaches are beautiful, the water is nice, and this condo is really snugly. It's not like OC where people step on you all the time, it's more like Dollywood. And Alex's family comes in from Mississippi so we get to see her sister and family and her parents.

Nice people. All vote Republican. Why? They must be stupid slack-jawed morons, troglydes, fucking idiots who totally screwed themselves in the ass by not electing Hillary and instead elected a complete batshit evil con man who is going to fuck them over so hard they will feel like they have been raped by a steam engine. Yet they seem nice here. So why.

A log time ago I read a great book about class called Class. Well written, described the concept of prole, middle, upper, bottom out of sight (druggies) and top out of sight (Gates, Bezos, that stuff). Good book but written in the 50-60's and thus a trifle out of date. So I wandered around the net a bit, found an interesting article by a woman working for the Harvard Business Review (um upper dude) and bought her book: White Working Class (Williams, Joan, 2017). Reasonable read, did it in a day. And interesting.

She starts with the concepts of class but drops prole middle and upper. Everyone thinks they are middle. I think I'm middle middle. Alex thinks she is middle. janitors think they are middle. Lawyers think they are middle. So the concept of the middle class is hopelessly tanked because everyone thinks they are middle. So her classes are Poor (bottom 20%), working (middle 60%) and elite (top 20%) with the caveat that you have to have a college degree in the household to be elite. Because of fucking course, college is sooooo important.

But 70% of American adults do not have college degrees. I didn't have a college degree until last year, and many would consider my AS in Computer Science to be a bit of a cheat. So maybe I'm not elite, right?

First let's clear the slate: Alex and I are elite. I make 200k plus a year, I have an AS and a CISSP, and Alex has a MA degree from Oberlin and is a stay at home mom who edits fanfic. Alex's degree from a top tier Ivy is enough to toss us in the top tier and it's telling in an interesting way that the book points out. But any illusion that I'm middle is shot to shit here. Yes I can fix cars and computers and anything technical and yes I am a Mason but guess what: I'm fucking elite. Thank you.

So with that, what about the 60% of White people? They don't have anywhere near the resources Alex and I do, they lead different lives and have different problems. As the author points out: Both parents have to work to raise kids, and a lot of times the male's job is in jeopardy because he doesn't have a degree and ain't going to be getting one (as I can point out it's expensive and time consuming. I spent 2 years banging away for the AS with 30 credits in the bag and will spend another 2 for a BS before done and I am god-like smart and have the time to do this). Which brings up an interesting point: When the elite goes for higher minimum wages at Wendys or paid time off, the middle says fuck that, I want a job for my husband that will pay a decent wage, enough to live on that's also stable. The guy who promises that has a big leg up on a person who makes minimum wage a priority (which benefits the poor, who the working class whites *hate* for an interesting reason).

Likewise Obamacare. It brought 20+ million people into health care, this is true. But most of those were from the poor (bottom 20%) who got heavy subsidies. The middle didn't get much and the elites (me) got HSA's that I can write off 6k in medical expenses. I like being me. So although repeal Obamacare sounds like it will fuck the WWC (it will) it will fuck the poor more and the WWC is ok with that. Plus it is a finger poke at the elites who (to the WWC) don't get it (and maybe we don't).

Glass ceiling? Clinton made a big deal about breaking that ultimate glass ceiling. I know it really lit up a lot of my friends and I agree: She is right and it does suck. But as the book points out, that ceiling is like breaking into the C suite. Guess what: WWC women don't have a chance to even be near the C suite (nor do WWC men) so that whole story meant shit to them. Clinton is elite, who gives a fuck if she breaks the C suite ceiling, it means nothing to me (WWC person). By the way, this is why I am finally finishing off the BS: It is something that keeps me out of the CIO suite (50 is the time to move into that role) so I'm checking it off so nothing will stand in my way. I can get around it because I am cool anyway, but you know: I don't give a fuck. So graduate next summer at 49. I rule again.

Maybe instead of focusing on that focus on the fact that Trump is a fucking rapist. She didn't do that much, instead stressing her credentials (which were stunning, no question) against Trump's lack of (which sucked eggs). But to the WWC that didn't matter: She was elite, Trump was one of them, so the experience thing failed. WWC women are raped and harassed at work to an exceptional degree, maybe by focusing on that she might have made a connection. But she didn't because elites don't get raped in the boardroom maybe. Hm. Interesting.

Bill Clinton was trying to engage with the WWC. Hillary just didn't. She threw out elite ideas which are great and do mean a lot but ring hollow when what you want is a fucking job. Granted: THERE ARE NO JOBS LIKE THAT ANYMORE, she didn't stress retraining much except to make it seem like only fucking losers got retraining. Trump promised jobs for everyone. He lied of course, and it will be interesting to see what happens now that this will be proven false, but that's another issue (see riots, etc).

Obama engaged with the WWC. Biden is a WWC guy. So was Bill. Tim Kaine? Fuck no. Total failure there.

So you might think fuck the WWC (White Working Class). No problem. They do seem like nice enough people, different issues, different values. I don't like writing off whole chunks of the country but even if you get all the poor (20%) and all the Elites (20%) you're still only at 40%. And given the way the EC tilts, WWC class people can't be totally written off.

What to do? I'm actually not sure. I'm going to try and understand them a bit better, my lack of a degree for 30 years coupled with my ability to fix cars and having lived on steam grates does give me a bit of perspective, although man if I start whining about only being able to afford an 85-86 Porsche 928S instead of an 87 928S4 then I might have problems. But to be honest it hit me when the Wal-mart person asked me if I wanted to take the old tires to save on the $4.00 disposal fee: I have a fucking fuckload more resources and blessings than people down here. That's a problem, and that's something that can create an interesting communication gap.

I need to think about that for awhile.
cz_unit: (Default)
[personal profile] cz_unit
Well, it's beach week down here at Perdido Key Fl. Beautiful weather, spent the past 3 days on the beach relaxing, taking it easy, all that. Power went out on the island last night, guess this is not unusual as there was nothing in the news about it today. Odd.

The drive down was pretty good; the kids are being remarkably ok in the minivan, and the only major problem was running smack into a tropical storm Friday night in Knoxville TN. The van started to hydroplane and I got it slowed down and under control but it was still rather dicey there. Made the hotel in Athens, took a good sized break, and drove the rest of the way Saturday.

Sunday morning I realized I had left the keys in the car and drained the battery. Oops. Fortunately Nelson (FIL)'s truck was next to us and he had jumper cables. Got the van running, then drove it over to Wal mart for an emergency battery. While there spent an hour and had them swap out the front tires and the battery (it was about 6 years old anyway, time to go) for like $250. Not bad, but I realized it was nice I could just drop $250 on doing car repairs right instead of having to do it myself or shop it around. We have money, we are elites. This is important for my next post, which is on class and white people in general and why Trump won the election.

Monday was beautiful, had a great dinner out with the family, and today was spent reading books at the beach. Not enough wind for kite flying, after a major storm it tends to be pretty calm. Which can also bring on some jellyfish and such. However it is somewhat cloudy and cool, which is perfect for white skinned me.

Tonight it's dinner at the Oyster Bar then some food shopping. Alex is doing quite well actually, she found a drug combination that helps her breathing and shuts down the whole stomach acid/feeling like dying thing. This is the first time this has happened and it's predictable so I have hope that we may get out of this endless sick. Sleeps a lot, but that's ok.

Now on to the whole political post next. Meantime it's nice to see a major cyberattack unfolding on the internet and knowing that it doesn't disturb my vacation because my company is ahead of that game. I rule.


And techie stuff

Jun. 18th, 2017 02:27 pm
cz_unit: (Default)
[personal profile] cz_unit
Fixed the AC on the 87 Porsche again this weekend. The condenser (the part in the front of the car) had sprung a leak and it was time to pull, clean, and fix the AC system again. Took most of the weekend; hardest part is working with all the filth and grease under a modern car; I forget about this when working on electric trucks and such; so much cleaner.

But it's all together, working, and I now have super cold inside the car again. Glad I can fix this kind of stuff, but for the filthy things I am starting to think about getting a mechanic again. Man, it's a mess. And I want an 86 928S Porsche?



Jun. 18th, 2017 10:08 am
cz_unit: (Default)
[personal profile] cz_unit
Breakfast in bed, made by Alex and Dylan. Delicious, cherries, amazing omelette, toast with jam, sausages and bacon. Dylan's turned out to be a really good cook, that's good.Then Boo and I talked about trolls on her blog.

And I'm glad I have such a good family, I'm a lucky dad.
karen2205: Me with proper sized mug of coffee (Default)
[personal profile] karen2205
The fire at Grenfell Tower is amongst all sorts of other things, a reminder of something I learnt on 9/11.

Sometimes people, seemingly in authority, get it wrong and give out advice that is wrong for the situation. Blind obedience to advice can kill. Equally, in other circumstances, not following good advice can also kill. I know if I'd been in one of the World Trade Center Buildings and had been told to stay where I was I'd have done that. I'm older and less compliant nowadays. What would I have done if I'd been in Grenfell Tower? I don't know:-/

So, my advice, for what it's worth goes like this:

1. Nearly always you are the best judge of the situation on the ground, because you are there. There's an amusing pseudo-safety sign I've seen online that says something like "in the event of fire, evacuate the building before updating Facebook" and it's right. In an acute situation don't phone/email/poke the internet for help from friends or family instead of acting to get yourself somewhere safer. [Phone/email/internet for getting help if you *can't* help yourself to somewhere safer without help is different]
1.5. Teach children autonomy by stages as they can cope with it; the correct response to fire is to get out of the building and phone 999 before contacting a parent. You don't want your children not knowing how to act without your assistance, because there may be circumstances when you aren't there.
2. Advice from authority figures who are physically present with you vs. being on the phone stands IMO, a better chance of being accurate to your situation, but should still be subject to critical evaluation. Part of that critical evaluation might be that it's best to go along with for now, but that you need to keep the situation under review.
3. Advice can be perfectly good advice for most situations and still be wrong in your circumstances. Assume good faith, but remember they're people too and they make mistakes/don't have the same information you've got.


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