By RM Franks
Remember upon the conclusion of the American civil war when Abraham Lincoln “freed” the slaves? There’s an ideal in Western society that everyone has it equal, anyone can prosper, and opportunities for success can be grasped by anyone. Let me paint a picture for you.
I’m 21 years old. I’m sitting at home on my ass right now blogging away on my personal Macbook Pro that my dad bought for me for my 18th birthday. It’s a Sunday afternoon and I’m flipping between the NFL Pro Bowl and the red carpet show for the Grammy awards (problem?) on my 52 inch flat screen LCD tv, also bought my dad. Suddenly Lady GaGa’s speech my Peyton Manning highlights are interrupted by a honking fuckin snow-blower in my backyard. Who’s operating this snow-blower? Some guy. Some fuckin guy named Dennis, who most likely has a drinking problem (I would if I had to do what he does). Some guy my dad pays a few hundred bucks a season to come and blow the snow off of our driveway and out of our backyard so we, the royal family, can get our cars out without hassle, as well so there is a clear path to the garbage pickup in the back lane. Not that I’ll be taking out that garbage, for then what would the Filipino lady do when she is done cooking my grilled cheese and folding my laundry? I suppose there is always something to be done, my bong water hasn’t been changed in a while, and my ass could use a more thorough wiping, but all-in-all Estella is doing a good job.
Bottom line, although we don’t whip them, beat them and make them live on our plantations, many of us well-off folk have slaves. They don’t seem like slaves to us of course, and because sometimes they work so closely with one family we call them our nannies! We love them! I don’t mean love the services they provide (although we CERTAINLY enjoy those) but I mean often times we love them. We think of them as second parents. After all, they did spend more time with us than our real parents as little kids. They did our shopping, cooked for us, bathed us, took us to the park, and most of all, they loved us. How could these people be our slaves? Little did we know that 99% of these women have their OWN kids back in the Philippines the same age as us, and were instead giving their motherly love in return for a paycheck to send back home.
Now before you start puking on your keyboards my disgusted readers, I of course am not proud of this; by no means am I bragging. Really, I feel awful about what I do, just not awful enough to actually do anything about it. I go to university a couple hours a day, but mainly my days are pretty relaxed and I would certainly have time to pickup a part time job. Will I? Fuck no. I have a Madden franchise to attend to. While my parents are certainly on my ass about picking up some type of employment to put a little extra money in my bank account and fill up my time, the activity of dropping of resumes in itself seems to do the trick. Now, here comes the point of this whole post.
I am applying to go away to school next year to a very well respected program where, if one graduates successfully, a decent career generally follows. (Of course there are no guarantees, but I’d certainly take my chances with school over becoming the executive grilled cheese chef to each community’s version of the Kardashians, or worse, be the child in Manilla who gets a postcard with a beaver on it once a year from his “nanny”/grilled-cheese chef mother working for a family in some city he does not know exists.) Anyway, to attend this school which is in a different city than where I currently live, I will of course need huge amounts of money every year for tuition, school supplies, a place to live, spending money for the essentials (use your imagination) and flights home to visit every long weekend (I’m jewish). If my parents could not afford to send me to privileged schools that are almost meal-tickets to good careers in themselves, I dont know what the fuck I would do. I’m nothing special, it’s not like I’d be some exception to the rule and overcome my socio-economic status like most rich people think they would. I guess I would be like Dennis’s son, pumping gas at the shell station until I was old enough to pickup a snow-blower and takeover the family business. My life and where I’ll end up was and is so dependent upon the simple trivial number that is the salary of my parents. Duh, obviously, I know. But if you think about it, it really is remarkable and humbling to realize that you have won the lottery just by being born into the situation that you were (not you person stuck under gumball machine in Haiti).
Sorry for the rant, but Dale has a guilty conscience. Getting a part time job could help, but that wouldn’t make anyone else’s life better, right? Just tell me I’m right so I can unpause my Tivo.