07 March 2009

on Obama

Well, it all came together for me rather beautifully last night. I was at First Friday with David, when behold, we witnessed the most interesting of modern-art novelty items: an Obama prayer candle.

I kid you not: a screenprinting company in Southtown mass-produced some tall, skinny "Our Man of Guadalupe" prayer candles for the new God Himself. Styled like the red and blue "HOPE" campaign posters, Obama's beautiful face was printed onto these glass jars, vigil-ready.

This struck me as funny for many reasons, but two stuck out. One, that Obama has finally been elevated to God status, and two, that most of the liberals who "believe" in Obama don't even believe in the Christian God these candles were made to represent in the first place. Perhaps this makes the fact that they're prayer candles irrelevant, but I can't help but notice a hilarious hypocrisy beginning to surface here.

I suppose people have to have something to believe in. If it's not God, it might as well be someone that masses of people have elevated to fix things, to change things, to build a hope and a trust and a faith that this mass of people can believe in.

If I remember correctly, the tight-ass conservative tax payers/collectors 2000+ years ago didn't believe Jesus was the guy for the hope/change/faith job. Now, those same tight-ass conservatives are the ones who uphold Jesus for all he's worth, and all they're worth as well. If Republicans are rich and also Christian, then the Democrats aren't rich and don't believe in God. Stereotypical, judgmental, and close-minded on my part, but from what I've seen on social networking sites, favorites sites, and in diggs, reddits and stumbles, my generalization seems for the most part to ring true. Comments from Obama supporters bash comments from Bush supporters. Comments from atheists slam comments about intelligent design. Comments about change challenge comments about tradition and the list goes on. No one is right and no one is wrong, but the voices are loud: there is a clear division between those who support conservative Christianity and those who promote a liberal freedom from religion.

But enter Obama: a lowly, selfless politician preaching hope and change, a beacon of light from the Republican darkness. No longer will the poor suffer at the hands of the rich. No longer will nationality be synonymous with greed or bloodshed. No longer will we take take take--we will give give give, to those in need and those in need of a handout.

Seems only fitting that Obama has a prayer candle. If we're putting in His hands the power to hope and to change, then why the hell not toss a little homage His way? If this man can open the minds of the anti-religion, anti-fish-school, anti-God-in-general masses, then more power to him.

In my opinion, he's going to need all the prayers he can get.

02 March 2009

on Jobs

"Express-News to lay off about 15% of workforce"
Read here

Yeah, part of that 15% was me.

I don't count for much in 15%. 75 people in the newsroom were laid off; 60 from the other departments. Sure, it sucks. It sucked getting the news and it sucked packing and it sucked saying goodbye.

But I'm 22 years old. I have an amazing degree and an amazing future ahead of me. I am still able-bodied enough to be a UPS driver or a waitress and I am not yet too cynical to do anything in between.

No, I don't count for much in that 15%. But what about the guy sitting next to me, who was commuting from Austin every day without his own car? Or the lady who trained me, who is wondering if she has to find new homes for her animals because pet food is expensive? Workers with car payments, mortgages, children in diapers, children in high school, children in college? Workers caring for their parents? Workers with spouses who also lost Jobs in "this economy"?

I was sad to leave my little cubicle and 24" monitor behind, but I was even more sad to see the people who had legitimate reasons to be really sad. My boss with a brand new mortgage; my boss's boss with a family of five. As whiny as it sounds: it's not fair.

It's Monday morning at 10:18 a.m., and normally, I'd be panicking that I was way late for work. Instead, I'm enjoying my morning by drinking a cup of tea, cleaning my apartment, and clipping my cat's toenails. Later, I'm going to the store and later after that I'm having lunch with my boyfriend. Maybe I'll work on some freelance stuff, maybe I'll play Guitar Hero. And I feel way too lucky to be in the situation to do so.

As of Marc 20, 2009, there will be 75 people with amazing skills and talents in the field of journalism without a Job at which to use those skills and talents. There will be 75 people looks for the same job in the same small town. There will be stress and anxiety and resumes and interviews, and I can only pray that every single person with whom I worked will be able to stay on their feet, as strong as they were on the 3rd floor of Avenue E and Third Street.