First Posted 02-Aug-2015
That guy, James Rustler? He’s had a few aliases. I think that’s the one he uses these days. There was another one from a few years back when he came home broke after flying to Thailand to meet a girl who promised him a happy ending. They all promise that. I seem to remember his face was bruised up when he met me at my job after work a few years ago. I guess Thailand went about as expected. Anyhooo. I saw some e-mails lately that sounded like he’d returned to crashing on his Dad’s couch. Wonder what it was this time? Yeah, James Rustler told it, got some of it right, but mostly told it wrong. He also talks too much and writes too long.
- Interracial Romance My son’s Mom is Taiwanese. Nationalist Taiwanese of a father who was a general in Chiang Kai Shek’s army. The family ran casino’s in the resort area of Bei Tou for many years. Some of them hustled unsuspecting rubes in Ma Jong. When I say casino, I mean asian pleasure palace with bar girls, bottle service, happy endings and any number of casino games. The sort of places that were on the Japanese Salary Men sex tourist list of places to go. Understand now? Good. I married the shunned daughter of this family. 28 and unmarried means something in Taiwan. A Taiwanese businessman I met at the International student dorm told me that any woman shopping for a white ghost husband at her age could not be a good woman. She put herself through college and worked as a fish processing chemist because it was that or be human trafficked. So, the Triad Princess nickname has some merit.
Whether Russian, Philippine, Brazilian, or whatever gets your dick hard, all of them face a similar challenge. America isn’t like their home country. Things are different. The English they speak is a small, pale shadow of American English spoken by natives. Reading anything takes great effort. For the Empress, the Totalist attitude toward conflict–that even playful insults were abuse worthy of arrest–were at odds with her upbringing. At home in Taiwan big arguments were fights settled with fists or worse. We don’t tolerate that here.
The most common story among those fresh off the boat is that they lose a lot of their status and prestige in coming here. All the options are bad. The golden mountain they thought was here turns out to be a useless pile of brass tokens for Dave & Busters. It’s very common for the first generation to emigrate here to fight just to be poor, to afford the “or” in that word. Marrying a rich white guy as many of them hope to do, too often does not shortcut that struggle. So it was with the Empress and I. We have a son that is doing well. We could never bridge the cultural and language gap, the ways in which she was wounded from growing up hard and the lessons she brought from home on conflict resolution. You are stupid if you imagine you can escape the struggles of most marriages with a mail-order bride. That she is FOB doesn’t make it easier. It makes it harder.
- MGTOW Men Going Their Own Way are pussies. Own your shit. Do the inventory. Figure out where you are broken, in pain, still carry resentment, where your empathy muscle is weak, and fix that. Remember that we are to love God with all our hearts, minds and strength, that we are to love neighbors and enemies alike. Be the temple reconstructed, the kingdom resurrected today, not later, not after the rapture. *THE* way to do this is in healthy relationships. God was right that it isn’t good for men to be alone. He made us for relationship. We are most alive in marriage. Are women annoying? Yes. Men are annoying as well. Ditto kids. It’s how we surrender to God, die to live, and allow ourselves to be transformed in relationships that makes us better. Suck it up, MGTOW, and let her put her toothbrush in your bathroom. You are welcome.
- Personal Responsibility It happens to all of us. We get older. We can’t rave all weekend and be back to work Monday morning without some damage to our health. Our hurts, habits, or hangups really start to make a mess of things. As hard as we work to patch up our teflon suit so nothing sticks to us, that suit wears out and begins to fail. The escalating negative consequences accumulate until they become intolerable. Remaining irresponsible becomes nigh impossible. Some of us never quit and thus find ourselves in the hospital, morgue, jail or rehab. If we end up in the morgue then there is no further. We lived a hard, fast, indulgent life and left a ?pretty? corpse. From the hospital, jail or rehab there is another chance, another iteration of promising to change and perhaps, this time, actually sticking to it. Anyway, personal responsibility happens, get used to it.
- Work Ethic I’d rather work. Simple as that. I’ve been on welfare and food stamps, unemployment, psych disability was offered to me, as was public housing. I made a choice a long time ago to struggle through keeping a job. I’m not very good at holding down a job. I get fired a lot. I’m also not very good at money so more than once, the lack of savings and the frequent firings mean I end up homeless again. As I edit this (20-Jan-2016) I had my unemployment cancelled by my former employer. Even that safety net isn’t as safe as it once was. Still, of my choices, I’d rather find the next job and try again to get back on my feet. It’s hard, sucks a lot, but having seen the other way, for me, it’s better.
- Communism and Anarchy Communism fails. Once you declare the dominant paradigm to value need and deprecate ability people set about accomplishing just that. They arrange their lives so it appears they have tremendous need while hiding or sabotaging ability. Anarchy–the large scale governance without rulers, is a childish impossibility. Leadership does more than force you to do things you’d rather not. If humanity has any common thread over history it is our talent for conflict and unruly behavior. Collectivist, communal, socialist or other utopian schemes for removing distasteful structure and governance are only as good as the least well behaved in in a group. Us malcontents are going to drive the agenda, like it or not. Without governance to reign us in we foster chaos and crime. It doesn’t take long for those of us who were so happy about the loss of governance to start asking for the heads of the others of us who are being transgressive and transgressive. Poof. Anarchy gone.
- Capitalism I had two hard & fast rules as a cab driver. Pay me and Shut Up. It is common to pay for the ride at the end in a cab. Most of the time I let that happen. But . . . for fares that gave me pause, gave me a reason to need control of the next 15 minutes with them, things changed. I’d stop the cab. I’d tell them, politely at first, that I needed at least $20.00 up front before continuing the ride. If they resisted in any way I’d get rude and demand that $20.00. If they argued I’d give them a choice. Pay me or get out. Simple. In over a decade I only had a few who decided they would neither pay me nor get out. The last guy to try that found himself in a cab parked in the middle of a busy intersection and I, his driver, sitting on a bus bench waiting for a bus to take me home. He asked me what I was doing and I told him, I was going home. He asked me how he was going to get home. I told him I didn’t care. He asked me what I planned to do with the cab. I said I didn’t care. I was going home. He thought about it for a minute, then stumbled to the bus bench to wait for a bus with me. Good. I left the bus bench, got back in my cab and went back to work. As for “Shut Up”, mostly I don’t care about you. I care about getting paid. I talk to you, dear customer, because I want to get paid. I don’t mind talking. Unless . . . for some reason you are annoying then I do mind and you need to pay me, now.
Capitalism is easy. I have a good or service to offer. In lieu of barter, you offer me money at a price we agree on. I get the money, you get the good or service. Simple. Communism, socialism, whatever, introduces a third element that attempts to arbitrate the transaction so it is fair. We, collectively, as a society, agree to own nothing individually and let the commons own everything. In practice, this means that the government owns & operates most everything. The government has 350 million opinions on the definition of fair that in large part, don’t reconcile. There is no way to arbitrate commerce, to assure fair distribution of resources, and not piss somebody off. It’s almost assured that there will be winners and losers, but this time, it is the bureaucracy that chooses the winners and losers in the name of fairness. That never goes well.
Since everything is owned by the commons there is no reason to value it or be good stewards of it. As a result, we don’t take pride in the condition or value of the resource and instead, tend to let it go to shit. Capitalism thrives as a black/grey market and you have Cuba, where there is the dollar economy, an avaricious Capitalist economy where the haves have always had and the peso economy where there is rationing and perpetual shortages. Oh, and . . . you can’t stop Capitalism. You can only drive it into the underground where it becomes controlled by organized crime. Every communist or socialist economy has a horrid problem with corruption and black market/capitalist trade. Yet, yet . . . if you remove government, society, us . . . as the brokers of fairness and let people own, buy & sell goods, services, land and other resources, there are still winners and losers but as we have seen in China, the wealth created is off the chain. Plus, it becomes possible to reign in the corruption and black market trade. We are seeing this now with the legalization of marijuana in some states and in defiance of Federal law.
- March of Time Albany Hill is fine. The top of it where my grandmother walked so often and love so much, is preserved as a park. The evil capitalist real estate people she fought got to build on parts of the hill. Our favorite Asian grocery is built on the north side of the hill just over the city line in El Cerritto. My grandmother might have been pissed, but at some point we age such that the short trip to vertical becomes a victory. The one thing that has the best shot at immortality is our legacy, is the stories people will tell long after we are finished being worm food. I didn’t care about that when I was young. In my mid-thirties I was intent on being a Dad. My son got told by his Mom in one of her uglier moments that he was a mistake. She didn’t want to be pregnant with him. Doh. Too late. My son is here and that is a very good thing. The Webb name is in good hands with him. My grandfather, my father, me, and now, my son, all first born sons, all inheritors of a good name. We can’t change the linearity of time nor prevent our eventual move to 6th & Green. We can, though, consider our legacy and the stories people will tell after we are there. I have fond memories of Albany Hill, even with the condominiums that were built on its west side.
- Mary Parker I think she failed out of rehab a bunch of times, relapsed a lot, learned the talk so the psych-ward docs let her out, learned what all ex-offenders learn about talking to Probation and Parole so they ended her supervision early, nearly spent her fortune in Reno and on cab drivers, until someone from the Ashram there at 52nd & San Pablo in Oakland, Ca. invited her to a weekend workshop and she found religion there. I’d rather she came to church, to Christ, but for Mary, the thing that worked was yoga and Hinduism. Fair enough. At least the last time she tried to bribe me so I’d buy an axe and cut down the pecan tree in the front yard of a North Berkeley neighbor of hers will remain the last time. I didn’t take the bribe. I talked Mary down and dropped her off at the Royal Cafe in Albany. She paid me with a generous tip