I sell vintage clothes and in the LA area a number of the wholesalers are Mexican, oftentimes having come here illegally decades ago. Just this afternoon as I was finishing up a long day in a hot warehouse picking merch, another wholesaler came by to pick up some clothing of his own. (It’s common for wholesalers to buy from each other when trying to fill large orders.) I’ve known this guy for years even though I don’t buy from him too much anymore.
So one time back in 2007 when I was at his warehouse I had a laugh with his teenage sons who were killing time looking up funny stuff online. They were all born here and are totally Americanized, by the way. When I was their age in the early 90s death metal and black metal were making their way around the world’s underground metal scene, and back then before the internet had merged us all into a sort of savvy, shadowless mindset, that stuff was pretty powerful and profound. But now some if it seems pretty ridiculous, like this video of Norwegian band Immortal’s song “Call of the Wintermoon,” which I showed to these young guys.
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One of them said it best with his exasperated reaction: “Who does that?!” You ain’t sending that kid anywhere.
So back to today, their dad the wholesaler asked me, “So Phil, how is your friend?”
“Who’s my friend?” I replied.
“Your friend Donald Trump! What do you think about what he’s saying?”
I had to laugh because at this warehouse run by a Mexican along with his 4 Mexican-born employees, I was now the default representative of gringos. I basically told him what I came up with in the last 2 posts on this site (here and here), that it’s too damn late for TPTB to undo their Faustian bargain and it’s probably all part of a plan to make up for stunted population growth. An even more jaw-dropping insight that’s probably not for polite company that I had the other day is that as the next generation spends most of its life working indoors “they’ll soon lighten up,” meaning it’s all really going to work itself out just as the emotionless, number-crunching policy wonks planned.
I finished by telling the guy not to let the news get him all riled up because they’re just trying to get ratings while they kill the next 6 months before election season actually begins. In the end it’s all just conversation anyway–in the utterly not sexy trenches of making a living outside of the corporate world where no one has 401Ks or sweet benefit packages, it’s all about finding and moving merchandise, and in that light I am no different than them.
For years I never understood why I preferred to spend my time grinding through the dusty piles in rag houses while surrounded by people who barely speak English when I could have easily chosen a career path replete with fully air-conditioned offices, the newest computers, and coworkers with far more than an elementary school education. But now that I’ve got 14 years of experience in the adult world–running businesses that I started with all the peaks and valleys, while also pursuing every creative avenue that got me fired up–I’m beginning to get a grasp on what mysterious core idea has been driving me so hard. It’s got something to do with fulfilling that age-old tale of young men going out to prove themselves, and maybe in this modern world with no frontiers and so many stifling networks to join, I found a way to hack through a wilderness by doing my own thing running a small business in the post-industrial wastelands of Los Angeles.
(When I think of all the health and safety code violations, cash dealings, and undocumented workers that constitute not just this microcosm but much of the whole undercurrent of labor that paves, installs, and maintains this state I can’t help but scoff at all the liberal armchair crusaders who, drugged up on NPR and the Daily Show and Huffington Post, think they know what the fuck is going on as they decry Volkswagen for fudging emission test results. They should come up to the jury-rigged wooden loft where I just spent an hour in sauna-like conditions poring through piles old Levi’s jean jackets and shirts because that’s where they were stored and only the man who puts in the sweat effort get the goods.)
Now to the point of this post! On the ride home a close friend who’s on the same page as me called and we got to talking about politics, sheeple, and what’s going on. Somehow in the course of our chat we got onto Donald Trump and I stumbled upon this thought: what if the whole purpose of this Trump phenomenon is to alienate an entire generation of young Latino voters and make them lifelong Democrats just like blacks have been for the past several decades? I believe that Trump has not been a Republican his whole life, and anyone who has his name on buildings in NYC and Vegas is not a “renegade” but a team player, so this would be a brilliant ruse to play that could potentially ensure Democrat domination for many years.
But then when I got home it occurred to me that it could actually be the complete opposite: that Donald Trump will be repudiated and essentially be burned in effigy by the Republicans as a demonstration that they are not racist, they’re not living in the past, and that they’re ready to face the future representing Americans of all colors, cultures, backgrounds, derpity do dah.
Regardless, I stress topeople in my life to ignore the news as much as possible and allocate all that precious mental bandwidth to what they can do with their own lives. The preposterous fake shooting of the local TV crew in Virginia a couple weeks back should be proof positive to anyone with open eyes that we live in an age of manufactured realities where our consent is steered by mischievous forces. Alison Parker’s father has been an actor for many years and said on TV that he would be “the John Walsh of gun control.” That line is ingenious, not something to be thought up on the fly by a grieving man whose daughter was allegedly brutally murdered on live television.
I call bullshit on it all. Mark it, dude.