“However stupid a fool’s words may be, they are sometimes enough to confound an intelligent man.”
― Nikolai Gogol,
“However stupid a fool’s words may be, they are sometimes enough to confound an intelligent man.”
― Nikolai Gogol,
“Working together, we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding our nation and renewing the American Dream. I’ve spent my entire life and business looking at the untapped potential in projects and in people all over the world. That is now what I want to do for our country.
Tremendous potential. I’ve gotten to know our country so well — tremendous potential. It’s going to be a beautiful thing. Every single American will have the opportunity to realize his or her fullest potential. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.
We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals. We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.”
– President Elect, Donald Trump Victory Speech Excerpt, November 9, 2016
The idea of ‘the forgotten man’ has a storied history in politics – it’s a concept that was used widely during the Great Depression and first introduced to the public conscious by Franklin D. Roosevelt in a 1932 radio address. The expression, when used by Roosevelt, was meant to represent the people on the bottom of the so-called ‘economic ladder’. Trump insinuates that same feeling in his victory address; which is the understanding of that phrase that most American’s also share.
Most American’s share this view of the phrase – except for Amity Shlaes, author of THE FORGOTTEN MAN A NEW HISTORY OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION. This is a book that was published in 2007 and became widely popular* as people tried to interpret what the recession of the following year; 2008, meant. Shlaes understanding of what ‘the forgotten man’ is is summed up in a quote by William Graham Sumner of Yale University from 1883 which she quotes at the beginning of the book:
“As soon as A observes something which seems to him to be wrong, from which X is suffering, A talks it over with B, and A and B then propose to get a law passed to remedy the evil and help X. Their law always proposes to determine what C shall do for X, or in the better case, what A, B, and C shall do for X. . . . What I want to do is look up C, I want to show you what manner of man he is. I call him the Forgotten Man. Perhaps the appellation is not strictly correct. He is the man who never is thought of. . . .
He works, he votes, generally he prays – but he always pays. . . .”
When I got this book, admittedly I did not know it’s importance in the current political realm. I purchased this book believing – from what I understood of the summary and of the phrase ‘the forgotten man’ that this book would be a compilation of sorts of stories of people who struggled to get by during the Great Depression. What I got instead is a critique of the New Deal and how many of Roosevelt’s policies hurt the bottom line of rich corporate overlords.
I’ve considered DNFing this book (DNF = ‘Did Not Finish’) as the first two chapters are a mess. Shlaes writing is, simply put, atrocious. She spends nearly 70 pages just name-dropping rich business men of the 1920’s and so without making any sort of recognizable point. Her editor (if she even had one) really dropped the ball here. Some of her praise comes across as border-line worship of these people who, quite simply, brutalized their own workers in the name of profit.
As I considered giving up on this book that I began over a week ago, I noticed it started to get heavy attention once again in the media. For example, Media Monarchy just did a short talk about this very book – among other sources and this rejuvenated my interest, so I pressed on.
After the mess of the introduction and chapters 1 and 2 of this book, I just finished chapter 3 and am happy to say that Shlaes writing is becoming more coherent. The point that I was craving that she’d make in the first and second chapters is beginning to formulate now. I see the reason why people are dusting off their old copies of this book.
Although Roosevelt spoke of the people on the bottom rung of the economic ladder, I’m beginning to believe that Trump is referring to the same “forgotten man” that Shlaes is in her book – the wealthy business person who is being put in a ‘disadvantage’ due to policies and regulations set in place by a powerful Government. Trump is looking out for “C” and not “X” and his past 100 days (roughly) in office have reflected this as he rolls back numerous regulations put in place over the past several years to help remedy the 2008 recession.
As of right now, I plan on pressing on with this book. I just began chapter 4 – which is page 105. Considering it took me a week to get this far, perhaps next weekend I’ll be able to write another post covering the next 100 or so pages.
Easter morning started at 3:30am for me, not for any religious reason – I just badly wanted to finish the book I was reading (The Johnstown Flood by David McCullough). Right now I’m contemplating what I want to eat for lunch.
The weather isn’t as bright and cheery as it was yesterday. It appears that at any moment it could rain and I am anticipating a down pour.
But that is alright.
It came to my realization a few weeks ago that the reason it is so difficult for me to work on my “Bad Dinosaur” project is that it carries with it so much baggage. It was a project that my [former] best friend and I were supposed to be working on together. A lot of the ideas behind it were the results of brainstorming between him and I.
And that has created a mental road block when trying to work on it.
So I am going to divert my attention elsewhere – to an entirely different project all together. And this morning I spent a little bit of time outlining that project. How that project will ultimately manifest itself is unknown to me at the time.
I figure that I will begin it once my “Daily Donald Trump Political Notebook” is finished – that would be the 90 page notebook that I hand-write a daily essay about the Trump administration in. I have 13 more blank pages to go before that is complete. The notebook has been a nice way for me to get into the habit of writing on a daily basis. Although, I will admit that there was a 10 day period where I didn’t write a single word as I was trying to come to grips with my [former] best friend vanishing on me.
When that notebook is done, I think that I will also log off Twitter so I can focus on the new writing project. Perhaps even this blog will go on the back-burner for a short time.
I need things to start looking up for me.
That’s all I know right now.
I have technically lost count as to how many day’s my best friend has been gone. All I know is that his absence is the source of this depression that I’m dealing with. Since his phone is turned off, I do not have a way to get a hold of him – or to technically even know where he is. I can only assume he is at his baby-mama’s place, but that, at this point is just speculation on my part.
In order to deal with this, I’ve resorted to writing political essay’s everyday in a notebook. I realize that I’ve mentioned this before however outside of work, these essay’s take up a majority of my time.
I do want to be a writer someday. In pursuit of this dream, I also bought myself a used (like-new) Brother electronic typewriter. I think that if I can hand write a page or so a day in regards to the latest political controversy, I can also type a page or two a day as a basis to a novel of some variety.
Of course other chunks of my morning’s entail dealing with the cats, the plants I’ve started growing that will eventually go into a garden and copious amounts of reading.
All of this as an attempt to get my mind off the absence of my best friend.
There aren’t any real developments in my life aside from the fact that this is the first weekend that I’ve had off since December and I spent a majority of it sitting alone in my house wondering if maybe my best friend might stop by before I just fell asleep from exhaustion.
I’m just not liking this situation at all.
For those who aren’t aware – I’ve always been into politics, especially geopolitics. I realize this blog – so far – has not really shown that. The reason for that is that when I began this blog – which was around this time last year – I was in a very transitional part of my life.
At the beginning of December 2015 I had collapsed at work and had to be taken to the ER. I spent four days in the hospital and had to have three blood transfusions. I quite honestly nearly died. My hemoglobin levels were at 4.8, the doctors were surprised to see that I was even conscious.
I have an internal bleeding problem, and at the end of 2015, it had caught up to me.
After I left the hospital, my life was in disarray. I began re-evaluating everything. Things I had once found interesting no longer were and my ability to focus on stuff had diminished to the point I didn’t even feel like myself any more. I didn’t feel like a “new” person but rather, I felt like my life had shattered and I was having difficulty recognizing the pieces.
Meanwhile my best friend lost his job and was putting himself through a whole bunch of needless drama which I inevitably got pulled into.
While I was going through all of this, I realized that I desperately needed a change in my life. The apartment that I lived in for nearly a decade no longer felt like home and the community I was living in continued to make me feel alienated. I came to the realization that the only way I’d be able to collect myself was if I completely uprooted my life and changed my entire environment.
And over the course of 2016, that is exactly what I did. During the summer months I went through the process of buying a house (which is loosely documented in this blog) and moving an hour away to an entirely new community. Instead of living alone like I had for eight and a half years, I was going to move into a house with two roommates.
I would have to share my living space with two other people. On top of that, I would take on new endeavors as well.
Basically 2016 – the year that I turned 32 – was the year that I decided to start over and begin to actually pursue my dreams in a much more aggressive way. The situation that I ran into however is that the people I live with don’t share this renewed desire I have to get stuff done. I feel like their laziness is becoming an impediment to the things that I want to do.
…and the things that I want to do include:
The booktube channel of course would focus on books, the weekly (or monthly) publication would focus on politics AND books which the podcast/radio show would include talks on books, politics and include short radio drama’s written by me.
(All that while maintaining this blog and working 40+ hours a week. Ugh!)
So, as I was stating at the beginning of this post, my interest in politics (or “anti-politics”) will begin to be more evident in my blog postings. Don’t be alarmed, “personal” type blog posts will dominate most of the entries, but there will be times where I’ll have to completely rant about something our Cheese-puff-in-Chief has done.
So, no – this blog isn’t “changing”, this blog simply documented a life change I was going through and now that my life has re-aligned itself to some version of normalcy of what my life used to be like before I started it – this blog will simply be reflecting that.
So, until next time….
I’ve been living in my house since late July 2016 and since that time I’ve been able to develop a routine of sorts.
I work third shift which means I get home from work at approximately 7:30am every morning. Typically I’ll pick up a cup of coffee on the way home. Once I reach home the first thing I do is clean out the cat’s litter box – which they both instantly go and use. Since the litter box is in the basement where all my plants are beginning to grow, I’ll go and check them as well.
If the plants need watering, I’ll water them.
Next I make my way up to my bed room where I take off my work shoes and read one page out of THE WRITERS DAILY COMPANION by Amy Peters. I’m on week 28 in that. IF my best friend were here, I’d go and join him where ever he may be and talk to him for a few hours or so as I finish my coffee.
After this I’ll do one of two things, either read for awhile OR write in a note book about what is going on in the news. It should be of no surprise that Donald Trump is the focus of these writing’s as of late.
I’ll include an excerpt of yesterday’s essay for an example:
“It has become almost too exhausting trying to keep on top of the latest Trump related out-rage. By the time you’ve learned about one thing he’s done, he has gone and done something else equally troubling and equally deserving of ones attention. I am beginning to wonder if the desired effect is to get people so jaded in regards to what he is doing that once he absolutely crosses the line into dictator – people will have become complacent.
New massive, worldwide protests erupt daily on behalf of Trump and his big mouth and ego. He seems to have something to say about everything and little understanding of anything. He recently wrote and EO (executive order) that put in place essentially a Muslim ban that restricted people from seven primarily Muslim countries access to the USA.
Clearly he wasn’t aware that this type of action is illegal and unconstitutional. Therefore a federal judge overturned his EO causing Trump to have a temper-tantrum – on Twitter.
HE’S ONLY BEEN IN OFFICE FOR TWO WEEKS!
That deserved emphasis. Once complacency sets in among the American people, who knows what this whiny billionaire will try and get away with. Keep in mind that his so called “Muslim ban” was put into practice until it was overturned a couple of days later.
I’ve personally gotten tired of all of his bullshit to be blunt, but I think I’ll persist for awhile longer.
With Trump there is a large problem that continues to happen. There are people who hate him so much that ANYTHING he does immediately becomes a controversy – when in fact what you get are a whole bunch of nontroversies cropping up that act as distractions to real issues.
So weeding through all of that becomes a chore all on it’s own. It can get difficult to decipher sometimes what issue to spend time on. The news cycle changes so swiftly it is hard to know what is and is no longer relevant. Characters like Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow inflate stupid, meaningless issues into things that they are not; sometimes to the point that you begin to side with Trump (which is a scary prospect).
This particular essay continues on, but you get the idea. I guess they are more like reflections of the day’s happenings. They rarely discuss personal things – I attempt to save that for this blog.
But yes, now you’ve got a small taste of my daily routine. In the future I’d like to be able to do weekly podcasts and be MUCH more active on this blog.
On a side note: I don’t know if this would be a good place for my more political stuff. Politics lately has a tendency to alienate people and I’m not sure I have the energy to deal with some things along those lines…
So, until next time.