You won’t get the reference unless you are old enough to remember Herb Caen. No worries. I’ve been trying since early April to find more to say about five stars. I got 600 words or so. So . . . like Herb I’m just going to be adhd about it and mash together a few shorter ideas into this post.
Working With a Brahmin Five Stars
First, an apology. It’s been a couple of months since I posted anything in this space. I pay my bills with a job called Deskside Support. What that means in practice is that I get work because something is fucked up. Most of the fuckups are things that can be fixed in forty hours and the stakeholders are our clients. These last two months have been ass-puckering for my bosses because they got caught out covering for a couple of coworkers who had patronage jobs.
I’m not used to working alongside someone who has a job because he has attributes that fit the current fashunabull identities. Nor am I used to someone who is effectively tenured because they fall into the right adjectives and are friends with someone important enough to protect them from layoffs. Until this job. Holy crap. It hasn’t happened yet. But, I swear, these two swinging dicks could be caught fucking each other on a table in the cafeteria and nothing would come of it.
I’ve had two months of late nights at work dealing with the fallout of these two princes. Self-care things like working out and cooking for myself so I don’t eat crap have been ignored. Too many nights I get home, change into pajamas, and crawl under the covers to wait for dawn. I’m in a cafe writing tonight because if I don’t I’ll do something self-destructive. So . . . moving on.
Five Stars is a thing. The thing is, it’s gotten silly. Every place that has a presence on Yelp wants to get a five-star rating from you. So many that a five-star rating has become stupid.
I stay at the Paradise Hotel in the Valley. I have a room over the Last Chance Saloon. The Paradise Hotel has a five-star rating from TripAdvisor. We are a spring break destination because of Saito-San. Those five stars come from the cheap well-drink prices, generous happy hour and indifferent attitude of Saito-San towards bacchanal.
Pro-Tip: If you are married, married with children, this is not the hotel for you. It is a dump. The maids clean every few days. You can’t tell. The sheets are threadbare. The rooms that don’t have bedbugs stink of pesticide. Don’t drink the water. The most reliable toilet is the outhouse in the alley. You get the idea.
Not Your Paradise Hotel
The Paradise Hotel’s 5-Star Rating is a joke. The Valley is a shit-show. Saito-San has had a blood feud with the cartels for a decade. Waking up to a body in the street is a regular occurrence. You can find feces along the curbs near the hotel. The alley beside the hotel stinks of piss, shit, and puke. Behind Saito-San’s gas station is an outhouse littered with used needles. It’s not safe here. People get hurt.
So . . . what’s up with that 5-Star rating? We are a spring break destination. People come here to get drunk and screw. One month out of the year we grow from a few hundred regulars to nearly ten-thousand. For that month we are a vibrant, pulsating mass of partying youth. Gringo prices for a room at the Paradise will run you 400 pesos a night off-season. During spring break it will be at least 1500 pesos per night. We charge the parents $250/night for room and board. Liquor is extra. For your 1500 pesos, though, we keep the Last Chance Saloon open. The hotel buffet is open 24/7. Good stuff.
We are also a 5-star missional tourism destination. We put on quite a show for the white-monkeys who show up in their chartered buses from churches like the New Pentecostal Deliverance Evangelical Bible Outreach Center. They build houses, churches, and wells we tear down after they leave. They feed the starving children. We don’t have to buy toiletries, socks or underwear. And certain of their leadership has a running tab at the Last Chance Saloon.
A Dollar a Day
Somebody asked me how the town makes money. Well . . . when you are a town that does fine on pesos it doesn’t take much to keep the lights on. When the white monkeys go home we go back to farming and barter. Off-season the regulars pretty much know each other and what everyone needs. We do for each other.
You can easily live on a couple dollars a day if you don’t try to live like a white monkey. You can live even cheaper if you can maintain a garden and some chickens. What you can’t do is keep your white monkey life. For that, we have the Paradise Hotel and we charge for that.
So, to answer the question, we earn enough over spring break to carry us through the year. We also do nicely with the missional tourism. There are also some things that Saito-san does to help manage money for the cartels. But the big thing is the stark contrast between a livable income on pesos and a similar livable income on dollars if you are a gringo. So, that’s a thing.
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One last thing. We seem to have settled on male attributes as normal and acceptable while reserving femininity for taboo. A woman can wear men’s clothes and be butch and not draw scolding eyes. She can wear pretty much anything she wants and it’ll be ok. A guy, though, still can’t dress in drag without attracting gossip and uncomfortable stares.
There is also this, that in Mecca, to be with the fashunabull crowd, you have to signal inclusion in some way. Guys have to be brown skinned or a bit fem or both to be accepted. It’s bad if you are a cis-hetero male WASP. That bunch, the ones that drive Subaru’s with four doors and live in cul-de-sacs with detached homes–those guys are on their face evil. This explains the pink golf shirts of some.
I’m friends someone who lives in the mecca of PUDFARB. Berkeley is the spiritual capital of PUDFARB. San Jose is its financial center. The real power of PUDFARB is in the South Bay where she lives. A thread of our conversation is gender identity. What defines a man? What defines a woman? Is it the costume? Mayhaps visible genitalia like dicks or boobs? Are surgery and cosplay enough? What of those who say they can declare a gender identity regardless of the body they reside in?
IRL my friend looks like a Scottish farm-girl who could wrestle a bull and win. A lot of what is fun to her falls into the realm of guy stuff. She’s an accomplished yacht captain and a mucho multi-rated GA pilot.
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So, she’s not very girly. But she is a girl, no question. So, what defines a woman? Doing woman things—house-frau, Mary and Mary and such? The clothes? It’s not hard to walk around SJW Mecca and see a person with a beard and Adam’s apple wearing heels, stockings, a short skirt, a silk blouse and a bra. Guy or girl? More frequent is a person who clearly has hips and boobs and no Adam’s apple but is wearing a button-down Oxford, boyfriend jeans, and Converse All-Stars. Girl or guy?
I’ll give you my answer: a woman was born with the potential to make babies. She had a womb at birth. Whether she keeps it or uses it to make babies isn’t material to my definition. Conversely, a guy is born with the potential to get a girl pregnant. The central difference for me is children.
I really don’t care who you marry. I really don’t give a shit whether you yourself have a sausage or an oyster between your legs, whether you were born with a body that might one day nurse a baby or not and who you choose to partner with. Partner with the one you love, gender identity shouldn’t enter into it.
Are You Now or Do You Plan to be a Parent?
That said, what I do care about is this: are you going to have kids? No? Go away. Do you. Just . . . please don’t shove your life in my face and demand that I love your chosen path.
And . . . please find a spiritual life of some sort. The second thing I care about is evil. If your chosen lifestyle includes darkness that bleeds into the community around you then please repent. Do what you have to do to get spiritually healthy. I happen to be Christian and believe it is the best way. The topic of ways is vast. Find a spiritual way and stick to it.
So, for me, the binary divide is between those who were born with the potential to carry a child and those who were born with the potential to initiate a pregnancy. If you were born with a uterus you are a woman. If you were born with a dick you are a dude. All the rest of it is foolishness.
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There was a news story this morning about the Supreme Court deciding that Ohio can purge its voter registration rolls of people who have not voted in a while and also have not responded to attempts to contact them.
This is horrendous. How are dead people supposed to vote if Ohio just deems them illegible to vote? How dare they! It’s outrageous. Dead people have rights too. Dead people matter!
What do you mean dead people can’t vote?! Who is going to vote for reasonable leaders who will do right by the people? Somebody has to make sure the welfare checks get mailed and our grandparents can still buy cat food. I mean, seriously.
Last, I find it curious that politicians who campaign on populism, on being a champion for the people, once elected, turn out to be vicious imperialists. There is a class of elites in this country who will do anything to protect their caste. Letting dead people vote is just a piece of it.