Monday, November 28, 2011

Velvet, Van Wilder & Character Development

According to the headlines, retailers have cause to celebrate the holiday shopping season.  Apparently, shoppers flocked to stores, both in meat space and online, and whipped out their credit cards.  I have heard that the level of Black Friday mayhem has become an economic indicator in the USA.  Some analysts somewhere count the number of violent incidents and injuries to make projections about our near economic future.  They must be like actuaries.

You have to wonder what would happen if all those crazed Walmart shoppers - and Best Buy and Target and Macy's and Home Depot and Bed, Bath & Beyond, and Barnes & Noble, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera - would stop consuming shit on a sandwich and devote their resources to overturning Citizens United, for example.  Instead of pushing through the doors at Walmart, they could push through the halls of justice and pepper spray Clarence Thomas.

Before that could ever happen, though, the shoppers would have to stop to analyze their own behavior and Contemporary Non-Thinkers in America do not examine the content of their own character.

As hopeful as I am about the spirit of Occupy Everywhere sweeping the nation in the coming months, I'm pretty sure that the consumer crowd doesn't even know that Hillary Clinton was telling the Arab world to pay attention to their disenfranchised youth while our own department of Homeland Security was coordinating a national effort to beat disenfranchised Americans into submission once again.  Like George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan before them, Obama and Hillary use every tool at their disposal to make sure that We the People STFU and shop.  God Bless America.  I can't shake the feeling that somehow Hillary Clinton, as she ages, is turning into Margaret Thatcher.

In other news, there was a family summit in the Triciasphere.  Buzz Kill, Velvet and I sat down together to discuss Velvet's college fund.  His performance this semester has been such that we are all pleased to continue funding this project, but Velvet himself is concerned that he's turning into Van Wilder.



Although I was unfamiliar with the specific character, it was heartening to see that Velvet is focusing on his own character development and does not want to live in Hookah House indefinitely.  He remains more interested in life with his brothers than in school - but that's just because he has no clue what he wants to do with himself and feels certain that his future is pretty fucked.

I wish I could tell him otherwise, but all I could only say that when I was his age and Ronald Reagan was elected, I was convinced we were all going to die in a nuclear war.  We didn't, and I had to get a job.  The same is true for young Velvet.

I'm not sure how things will play out as far as his schooling goes since he clearly needs a program for Non-Traditional Students..  He's planning to take four classes in the spring.  Then he's moving out of Hookah House once and for all.  Cupcake wants for him to come home and go to one of the many fine colleges here in New York City, and maybe he will.  Maybe he'll work for the Parks & Recreation department again this summer; or maybe he'll work for the Fish & Game Department in Alaska and spend the summer counting salmon.  Either way, he's working somewhere.  I have proposed that he remain enrolled at Tree Hugger and do another 90 days in a wilderness environment - but for Tree Hugger credit this time as a semester abroad.  He would be enrolled in the same program where he did the Semester in the Rockies, only this time he'd go to the desert southwest.  I kind of like the idea of sending him on the Semester in New Zealand to spend some time among the Maori in addition to learning about marine ecology via sea kayak.

20 comments:

Oso said...

Trish, your work suggests at some level Molly Ivins and Hunter Thompson hooked up and produced a child who does incredibly heart-tugging and brain-tweaking gonzo journalism. I mean that with complete devotion, because their work was great and yours is too.

Like you, I try to draw a parallel with my own life at my kids ages, for me it might be the Nixon days. I was sure the revolution was coming, my cousin Jesus and I would discuss going into the mountains armed and holding off the Americans as long as we could while we passed a liberated bottle of tequila around.

The closest we got was occasional trips to the desert, drinking and firing randomly at plant life. Sort of HST'ish in a way.

Sherry said...

you can be very very proud of him

Gingi said...

I like the idea of New Zealand for the young lad. I met two yesterday at work and they are fantastic!

Patricia said...

You are an amazing parent. Your patience and fortitude shines. Your kid will do amazing things, because you are an amazing mother. I am a single parent too, I know how challenging it can be. You must be so proud.

PENolan said...

Well thank you, Patricia.
and Sherry, Gingi and Oso too.
I'm fixing to head in for the biopsy on my shoulder this morning. We're finally sending the TV cameras in to see if there really are tiny pac men eating my bones.

I'm kind of scared and a little shaky being alone this morning - so it's nice to know there are so many good friends out in the ether somewhere.

ellen abbott said...

Tree Hugger. Man, why didn't they have that school when I was that age?

Oso said...

Bless you Trish.Don't know if you're one of us religious loons, but since I am you'll be in my prayers.

Gail said...

HI TRISH - I love how you blend and flow with Velvet as he finds his way. Your gentle guidance is wonderful. He is a lucky young man. :-)
Love to to you
Gail
peace....

okjimm said...

I did no shopping Black Friday....no, that is incorrect... I went to the pub and vacillated heavily between the pale ale and the porter.

Good luck with Velvet.... my daughter, Girl Wonder graduates this Spring... and wants to go back to Rome....ha!, we tell her...getz a good job

Cali said...

I also avoided the Black Friday nonsense all the way through Cyber Monday and, like Buzz Lightyear, beyond. Our Christmas giving this year is only going to be things we NEED.

I need to get Ellie fixed before we end up with three or four Chihuahua puppies to care for. That's a present for all of us, believe me. I need a good, soft yet supportive mattress pad. Latex, perhaps. I need a new flange for my C-PAP machine. The Kid needs new jeans, his own domain name for future business ventures concerning his graphic art and maybe something playful. I don't know what the Suicide Girl fiancee wants. I'd get her a book on fair fighting in relationships, but she doesn't "believe in" psychology. Reminds me of someone who tells me they don't believe in abortion. I always think, "Huh. I could take you down to the clinic and SHOW you that it does, in fact, exist." I mean, it's not like unicorns or zombies, ya know? With any luck, that fighting won't last much longer. If only she'd get off her ever-widening ass once in a while, I might even take her convoluted side once in a while. At least I know what to get for the helpful, live-in buddy of the Kid-- he wants a Big Bang Theory t-shirt, and he needs it. Bazinga!

PENolan said...

Oso, I'm not sure if I'm a religious loon or not. I seem to have developed a bit of a reputation as a theologian, however. Must be from wrestling with G*d so much.
Love and Light back at cha, man.

Gail, I think I'm pretty lucky too. Not only because of Velvet - but because of dear friends like you.

okijimm, we're going to have to start singing that old song - Get a job, job, gotta get a job. Sha Na Na sang it, so somebody else must have sung it first.

Cali - she doesn't believe in psychology?
Oy vey!

Mr. Charleston said...

Wish you were my mama.

jadedj said...

As you know, I don't even want to discuss the Black Friday bullshit (I have just gotten my head stuck back together).

On the other note, I have mentally recorded, but perhaps never told you that you are indeed a caring mama. I know this because my mama simply packed my ass off to my grandparents when I was eight, so that she wouldn't have to deal with the hate relationship of my stepfather and moi. This also gave her more time to get soused with him. Perhaps she could foresee my killing him at age 16, had I stuck around...just guessing. To her credit, she did check in every three or four months, or so. Just to see if I was still alive I presume. I don't recall every discussing my character development, or much of anything else in my life, for that matter with her.

All of this is by way of saying, Kudos to you, Tricia...you're doing a splendid job as a parent.

Cali said...

I've started blogging again. I thought you might be interested in a look. You can find it here.

PENolan said...

Mr C, I have often thought that the real reason that preacher came down from the mountains to see me had to do with wishing I were his Mama, too. Velvet has a good life . . .

JadedJ, I'm touched and honored. Seriously

Cali - glad to hear it. I'm following the link right this very second

Vancouver Voyeur said...

I just read that cops are using LRADs to break up occupy protesters. That's the sound device the military developed to fight terrorists. It sends out a wall of sound that can literally knock people down and it hurts. I read they have them mounted on trucks and have handheld devices. Have you heard anything about this?

Jennifer said...

Re: Black Friday - I don't get it. Every year I get it less because it seems to top itself. Lots of Canadians up here are about it now - taking time off to go shopping.

Re: Velvet - I'm not surprised. I vote New Zealand.

PENolan said...

V.V.
The cops certainly are using those sonic devices mounted in pick up trucks. NYPD used one on the night of the Nov 15 raid. Before Occupy, some cops in Pittsburgh (I think) used one in a residential neighborhood and caused serious, permanent injury to an elderly professor. He's suing. Many, many "non lethal" weapons like these were moved into positions around the country last summer for use by the national guard and local police in the event of Civil Unrest. Coincidently, the Senate just passed that bill saying we can all be put in detention . . . Look out Summer 2012

Jen - New Zealand or maybe Patagonia. We'll figure it out next semester.

Susan Tiner said...

Hello, I've been following, not commenting, but wanted to say I'm worried about your shoulder and look forward to hearing that all's clear. You're such a good mom Patricia. And you always make me laugh.

The reason I've not been commenting as often is that I doubled the number of blogs I'm reading and prioritize commenting for bloggers that visit me too, which means I tend to run out of time trying to visit and comment on all of the blogs I read.

You'll be in my thoughts.

PENolan said...

Hi Susan
I know how hard it is to keep up with all the blogland relationships. Thanks for being there . . .

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