why aren't the rich doing anything.


what was it that made me just want to drink every night and act a fool the last three weeks? maybe it was the feeling of finally being free. no larry king and anderson cooper and chris matthews and james carvel and bill o'reilly. no more stupid talks of a failing economy and pointless bailouts. i put aside thinking about having to get my master's to stay competitive to get a job to eventually get married, get an apartment full of newly bought furniture from crate & barrel. there wasn't going to be a gated community and i wouldn't send my kids to private school where they would feel out of place in such a hostile, homophobic and racist environment. fuck my resume and my networking and job hunting skills. fuck my debt, my degree and my isolated upbringing.

susan sontag is my new hero, though i haven't even read her yet. i've only read a little bit about her new book in a time article. this is what she had to say: "i know what i want to do with my life … i want to sleep with many people— i want to live and hate to die—i will not teach, or get a master’s … i don’t intend to let my intellect dominate me, and the last thing i want to do is worship knowledge or people who have knowledge!" maybe i was tired of getting it right, of being the good, obedient kid. i want to disappear and start over. i want someone who really cares to track me down at some hotel and say, "how long have you been here? more than a week?" and i'd say, "more than a week." she'd say, "more than a month?" and i'd say, "more than a month."

my dad asked me, "why do you think the rich don't help the poor in this country?" i told him i didn't know, but why weren't we doing anything? all we did was talk about the poverty in the philippines. we didn't roll down our windows to hand over pesos when some kid came tapping on the glass. we didn't offer to take in those kids washing themselves with water that had collected by the curb. we didn't set up a school or homeless shelter or anything like that. there's a real fear of the poor there, just as there is in america. how was anyone planning to help the poor when they couldn't even walk through a village of squatters to figure out what the people needed?

there's a lot of criticism about programs like peace corps and teach for america. it's a bunch of young, idealistic fools who think they all know the solutions for society's ills. it's easy to say, "oh, they need food and water. they need money. they need education." everyone gets on his high horse when it comes to eradicating poverty and figuring out what's best for everyone else. my thinking wasn't any different when i signed up for americorps, or when i first became conscious about third-world poverty. what i keep hearing, though, is that one has to start small, and start with himself.

most of the time, i don't know if i'm learning anything, or if i'm making any sense. i'm so used to having knowledge handed down to me, to learning in a classroom, that i can no longer tell if i'm growing or just being stagnant. i want to go big and take on many projects and have my life amount to something more than just a few scatterbrained blog entries. i want to finally admit that, like susan sontag, i want to live and hate to die. i don't want a condo full of crate & barrel to be my destiny. i don't want to be in the position of trying to fix my marriage by traveling to foreign countries, or else taking long road trips on long weekends. we will argue and we will fight, and it will all be too much for me to bear.

i've found that i've started doing things and not doing things for the mere sake of writing about them. i've created this world of readers in my mind that may or may not exist, and i live my life to keep them entertained. blog has become my big brother, and i can't do anything too ridiculous or dangerous because that isn't the kind of character i've created for myself. i am living in this world now, i think, as a character in a story that i continue to create. i don't know if that means i'm losing my grip on reality, or if it really is just living in reality and writing about it.

as it turns out, i love my nieces and nephews in the philippines, and i hate that the rest of my family, mostly those living in america, have almost completely forgotten them. they are good kids who've never been to the states, and they are more grateful and respectful than any other group of kids i have ever met. i wish that i could see them more often and converse with them in tagalog. i think it's outrageous that it took my twenty-six years to finally hang out with a group of filipino kids my age.

yeah, i had filipino friends growing up, but i would grow to resent them. there was joseph, but he would close in on himself any time other kids were around. the way i felt about him was probably the way most of my close friends have felt about me. it's like that looney tunes cartoon with the singing frog. this construction worker finds a frog that sings and dances, but only for him. he puts the frog in a lunchbox, and tries to make money off the frog, but when he shows the frog to an audience, the frog doesn't do shit. joseph was my singing frog, just as i have been the sinigng frog to many others. later, he would only care about getting high and downing jose cuervo. not that there's anything wrong with that.

then there was edgar, who had way too much filipino pride. he would carry around a miniature model of the filipino flag, and i would resent him for being such a f.o.b. i think i hated that he thought we were friends just because we were both filipino. in reality, he was what most filipinos would call "mayabang," or arrogant. he would play the piano and think he was the greatest filipino to ever walk the earth. he was the only one who had a date for homecoming freshman year. he took his date to chuck e cheese, and my asian friends and i were supposed to meet him there, god knows why. anyway, he came out of his dad's old busted up van with his date, and he was all dressed up. i felt bad for him then, and i still don't know why.

that's all there ever seems to be these days, feeling bad for people. feeling bad for myself. my new year's resolution is to not have to feel bad about anything, or anyone.

No comments: