My blog contains a large number of posts. A few are included in various other publications, or as attached stories and chronicles in my emails; many more are found on loose leaves, while some are written carelessly in margins and blank spaces of my notebooks. Of the last sort most are nonsense, now often unintelligible even when legible, or half-remembered fragments. Enjoy responsibly.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Note To My Christmas Dinner

In my heart I know that making the conscience choice to eat another living creature, killed only so I can enjoy it, is probably not the right thing to do. Just as I know that, even though millions of years of evolution have made me crave meat, I now have a variety of acceptable alternatives that could easily keep me healthy and well fed. That being said, I love meat.

This afternoon I perfectly roasted a 14lbs, Kosher, organic, grain-fed, brined, turkey that produced some of the finest gravy ever made. So maybe it is a fetish, a perversion that allows me to do something that I know is probably wrong, but feel the need to do it anyway because I like it so much. Maybe that is why I don’t give a second thought to how and why this turkey was given life only to have it brutally taken away. I guess that I could have insisted on its humane treatment while it was alive, but really that’s missing the point. Nothing will change the fact that this delicious looking dead creature lived and died so that I could find it yummy. And somehow that really doesn’t bother me enough as it probably should.

Call it the evolutionary programming, my apathetic or underdeveloped sense of morality or maybe it’s something more akin to the norms and moral of my culture, but I just can’t convince myself that it’s ethically evil enough to stop. Sure, I’ve seen the videos of slaughterhouses and the disgusting environments that most of the animals that we eventually decapitate and disembowel live in; just as I’ve killed and eaten several creatures. I have been present at, been part of and have experienced life leaving a body both voluntarily and involuntarily, and yet I cannot mentally link the two with something that I will soon eat.

So I’m sorry, sort of. I know that you had a horrible existence, brought into consciences only to live in deplorable conditions and die at a young age. I am sorry that your cooked, dead corpse is now resting on my counter, so that body you once called your own still retains the same juiciness it had before your head was mechanically separated from the rest of your body. I am sorry that I used your entrails to make a sauce that I will soon ladle over a plate full of sliced you meat. But most of all, I’m sorry that I just can't bring myself to stop. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to carve you up and devour you without feeling immoral or dishonest in any way. And for that, I apologize.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

I No Longer Support Breast Cancer Awareness

This being Breast Cancer Awareness month, I feel that it is a good time to announce that I am no longer in support of breast cancer awareness. That’s right, I, Brian Hamilton, am publicly refusing to continue to support breast cancer awareness. I’m taking the pink ribbons off of my car, will be throwing out all of my food, clothes and random products adorned with some sort of pink awareness support logo and refuse to purchase anything else emblazoned with anything labeled “Breast Cancer Awareness.”

I can feel comfortable with my choice because, between the concerts, walks, celebrity commercials, endless product placement, nonstop rallies and general pinkified everything, I think that we’re all pretty damn aware of breast cancer. It’s gotten to the point where I’m checking myself, hourly, and have started to lecture larger breasted women on the benefits of regular mammograms – without once offering my own services. Moreover, I have no idea what, if any, of my money spent on something bejeweled with a pink ribbon or covered in pink is actually going towards breast cancer or if it’s just some company using that as a marketing gimmick.

So there, no more pink ribboned anything. I even plan on staying away from anything pink. Upset stomach? Mylanta only. I’m pulling the Owen’s Corning insulation out of my house. And I may even protest outside of Victoria Secret. We get it; breast cancer is a horrible, horrible disease that has killed millions of people, several friends and my aunt, but enough with the Awareness. We’re aware, I promise, now can we please focus on actually reducing deaths and not just painting the world pink?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dinner with the Proles

The other night started off as an evening of great calamity: Sebastian hurt himself, causing everyone to forget about the pot on the stove, which promptly went up in smoke, forcing all of us to flee the house, still dressed from the formal gala earlier in the evening. So out to dinner we went, reeking of burned rice and wearing our Sunday best, heavily accessorized with facial woes. In the car minutes later, and after the all too familiar argument of, “Anything is fine.. ..except that,” we decided to find the biggest dive in Anderson that was still suitable for a two-year-old on a busy night. A few minutes of Garmin searching and wasted gas later, we were walked into the overflowing dining room at a local CiCi’s Pizza.

Now I am by no means the classiest person in town. I forget table manners, have a body that constantly accumulates construction and automotive repair damage and my social mistakes would cause Emily Post to publicly shit herself (classy, I know). But through it all, I think that I probably maintain a slightly above average level of refinement. That being said, upon entering into CiCi’s I realized that we, sadly, would clearly skew the regular clienteles previously established level of decorum by quite a margin.

The only open table in the restaurant was next to an infant, alone and crying, in her car seat. Her face was covered in marinara sauce and, by the accumulation of tears, both of her parents had been gone for more than a couple of minutes. Eventually her mother returned, dropped a cheese stick into her lap and went off to refill glasses. The crying persisted and I had to hold Kela back from going over to sooth the ignored child.

We took turns collecting our pizza and drinks, and once we sat down we immediately realized that the table adjacent to us contained nothing but children under the age of twelve. Listing in on their conversation we soon found that their parents had dropped them off and gone to dinner at another restaurant. Their meal had been paid for and they were given ten dollars to play games until their parents came to get them. They were having a discussion as to whether or not they would spend the money on games or split it up for later use. After several minutes of heated argument, they agreed that they would spend half of their money on arcade games and half on Rockstar Energy Drinks at the Dollar General located in the same shopping center.

On the other side of our table was a family with a dad sporting a bandage from a fresh neck tattoo, his wife, a very large woman sans one desperately needed bra, and three young children emblazoned with ads for G-Force the movie, WWE Raw and Coors Light. I’m not sure where you even find a Coors Light shirt in 2T, but I’m guessing that it’s somewhere that you shouldn’t take a two-year old. They sat quietly, not looking at each other, inhaling pizza by the stack and only occasionally looking up to see if the dessert bar had been restocked.

The entire restaurant seemed to be populated with similar groups. Things outside of what we would have considered normal, but in this environment, was typical. I know that social norms vary from class to class, and even with classes, and within each subset are clearly defined rules and mores, equally punished and rewarded for adherence, but it was extremely interesting to experience those differences first hand. No matter the food, location or socioeconomic status, a meal is a time for sharing and coming together. Sometimes that is a dinner at home with the family and sometimes it’s bad pizza surrounded by unfamiliar stories.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Entry for August 25, 2010

The ignorant can never be truly blissful because fear sells better than peace.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fig Spice Cake with Fig Cream Cheese Icing

Fig Spice Cake

1 lb fresh figs, stemmed
1/2 vanilla yogurt
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tsp double-acting baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs

All ingredients should be at room temperature when starting.

Preheat oven to 350F and prepare cake rounds by lining with parchment and spraying with Pam for baking.

In heavy pan, melt 1 tbsp butter. Halve figs and pan fry on medium until fragrant. Move to food processor, process to liquid and allow to return to room temperature.

Combine eggs, sugar, butter, yogurt and figs into small bowl and mix well.

In a larger bowl combine cake flour, double-acting baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves and baking soda.

In several batches and using your largest spatula, fold the contents of the wet ingredients into the dry bowl until mixed well. Use large folding turns and try not to over mix. Allow to rest in pans for five minutes.

Bake for about 45 minutes, checking regularly for doneness.

Remove from pans and allow to cool thoroughly before icing.

Fig Cream Cheese Icing

8 oz cream cheese
1 lb box + 2 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 tbsp soft butter
6oz figs, chopped fine or blended, but still chunky
Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Let stand for at least ten minutes and then ice cake.

* Cake best when covered and stored in a refrigerator.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Your Sport Bores Me

I’ve tried for years to get into watching sports. Professional and college football, baseball, basketball, boxing and soccer, but I can’t. I enjoy being with a group, grabbing a couple beers, eating fried foods and rallying around a shared experience, but I just don’t care about the game itself. For a while I thought that there was something wrong with me. I went to a myriad of live games and even tried following a couple of teams. A couple of years ago I even let a friend talk me into a fantasy football league to see if that could spark any interest. In the end, I just couldn’t be bothered.

This last week a friend of mine invited me to a strip club as part of a bachelor party and, much to my surprise, I had the same “Meh” reaction that I would have had if he had invited me to mind-numbingly boring NASCAR race. As much fun as the party portion would be, I could care less about the rallying point for the event itself. So after a couple of pints at the pub, I think that I’ve figured out the reason for my disinterest: I’m not really involved in any way. When I played sports I was physically invested in the game itself. My performance could directly alter the outcome. Whereas, when I’m watching sports or half-naked dancing women, I am in no way involved in what is actually happening and I have no chance ever getting to take part in what I’m watching. Sure, what I’m watching can be an amusing distraction, but I believe too deeply that life is not a spectator sport. So I just sit there, watching, and wonder when it’s my turn to go in and play. And when I realize that it isn’t going to happen, I lose interest and want to move on.

Now there are occasions where the game itself is actually so big that it is a rallying point, but when those happen more than a couple times a year, they really lose their impact. Other than on those special occasions, the distraction of the game is just that. Besides, we’re all adults who are perfectly capable of throwing a party without needing an excuse. Watch, I’ll prove my point:

Friend: The game is on, the BBQ is lit, beers cold and bunch of people are coming over. You in?
You: Yeah, be there in a few.

Friend: The BBQ is lit, beers cold and bunch of people are coming over. You in?
You: Yeah, be there in a few.

See? It’s the same thing, except that, instead of drinking beers, eating junk foods and making jokes with a group of friends, you have to pretend that the reason that you’re there is to see some boring game – and I just don’t want to have to pretend to give a shit anymore. So please don’t stop inviting me to these parties, but please don’t ask me to care who wins.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Phone Groan

I have a friend, we’ll call him Michael, because that’s his name, who has a Droid phone. I mention this not because I feel that he needs recognition for his purchasing power, but because I needed a new phone and after experimenting with several other friends phones, found his to be the best. Moreover, the new version, the Droid X, had just hit the market.

But let me back up for a moment. My previous phone, which was the most durable, long-lasting, dependable phone that I’ve ever owned, finally decided that it had a good life and died on me. I originally paid $20 for this phone and it did everything from the basic phone features, to double as my iPod after my iPod bit the dust. It was a good phone, but it was a piece of technology and thus doomed from the start.

So into the local Verizon store I went to get the new hotness, which I hoped would not only last me as long as my previous phone, but would also giving me options that that my old phone lacked. I spent the next hour playing with every phone in the place, only to come to the conclusion that indeed the new Droid X was by far the best phone in the store.

So up to the counter I went, sure, confident and fully prepared to commit the next several years to being dependent on this one device. The young girl walked over, smiled and asked me what she could help me with. I explained that my previous phone had lived a good life, but it was time to move on. She agreed and we went about the business of ordering my final choice. And that is where things went bad.

So there I was, ready to shell out the $200 for a phone and she hit me with the first bit of bad news. If I wanted the new Droid X, I would need to pay an additional $30 a month for a data package. That was in addition to $45 a month fee for regular service, unlimited texting and plenty of minutes. But being the math wizard that I am, I quickly calculated that the new hotness was going to cost me about $1200 for one year of use.

But that is when I took a step back and rethought the phone. The Droid X was nice, but Kela’s new i5, blu-ray, 500GB, Windows 7 laptop was half of that price and does twice as much. I liked the Droid X, but $1200 is a weeklong cruise in the Caribbean even after paying for drinks. For the same price as a year with the Droid X I could have paid someone else to finish the concrete stucco work on the outside of the house.

I now have a nice low-end Samsung Alias 2, which does everything that my old phone did, except a little faster. I just couldn’t justify $1200 a year for what is little more than a toy. But maybe I’m looking at this wrong. Maybe I’m supposed to just buy these things because they are the new hotness. Maybe I’m extremely uncool for analyzing this more monetarily than socially. Maybe I’m a dork for even writing all of this down, but hey, you’re the one who sat there and read it.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

To Have and Have Not

Having lived just long enough to have gained the appreciation the art of complaining, I would like to have a minute of your time to bitch about having to listen to certain individual’s overuse of the word “have.” Given there are certain situations in which said word is needed, rarely should that ever be in place of a verb. It is nothing more than sheer grammatical laziness or a conversational nightmare. Listening to some continually use it in place of a millions of more suitable action words is mind numbingly insulting and makes me want to beat them senseless with a college thesaurus.

So in the spirit of conciliatory, non-bludgeoning, peace I would like to offer the following corrections to a few simple sentences so that we can all treat each other with a bit more linguistic civility:

Lazy: I’m having breakfast.
Better: I’m eating breakfast.

Lazy: I have a new phone.
Better: I just purchased/received a new phone.

Lazy: Have a seat.
Better: Please take a seat.

Lazy: I have had enough of this.
Better: No, you haven’t.

Now let’s all bask in the glory of simple, honest language that conveys a message without resorting to unnecessary substitutions.

Feel free to now have at me.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Fish of the World

A Fish of the World

A herring once decided to swim right around the world. 'I'm tired of the North Sea,' he said. 'I want to find out what else there is in the world.'

So he swam off south into the deep Atlantic. He swam and swam far, far away from the seas he knew, through the warm waters of the equator and on down into the South Atlantic. And all the time he saw many strange and wonderful fish that he had never seen before. Once he was nearly eaten by a shark. And once he was nearly electrocuted by an electric eel. And once he was nearly stung by a stingray. But he swam on and on. Round the tip of Africa and into the Indian Ocean, and he passed by devilfish and sailfish and sawfish and swordfish and bluefish and blackfish and mudfish and sunfish, and he was amazed by the different shapes and sizes and colors.

On he swam into the Java Sea, and he saw fish that leapt out of the water and fish that lived on the bottom of the sea and fish that could walk on their fins. And on he swam through the Coral Sea where the shells of millions and millions of tiny creatures had turned to rock and stood as big as mountains. But still he swam on into the wide Pacific. He swam over the deepest parts of the ocean where the water is so deep that it is inky black at the bottom and the fish carried lanterns over their heads and some have lights on their tails. And through the Pacific he swam and then he turned north and headed up to the cold Siberian Sea where huge white icebergs sailed past him like mighty ships, and still he swam on and on and into the frozen Arctic Ocean where the sea is forever covered in ice. And on he went past Greenland and Iceland and finally he swam home into his own North Sea.

All his friends and relations gathered around and made a great fuss of him. They had a big feast and offered him the very best food they could find, but the herring just yawned and said, 'I've swum around the entire world. I've seen everything there is to see and I have eaten more exotic and wonderful dishes than you could possibly imagine.' And he refused to eat anything.

Then his friends and relations begged him to come home and live with them. But he refused.'I've been everywhere there is and that old rock is too dull and small for me.' And he went off and lived on his own.

And when the breeding season came, he refused to join in the spawning, saying, 'I've swum around the entire world. And now I know how many fish there are in the world. I can't be interested in herrings anymore.'

Eventually, one of the oldest of the herrings swam up to him and said, 'Listen, if you don’t spawn with us, some herrings eggs will go unfertilized and will not turn into healthy young herrings. If you don't live with your family, you'll make them sad. And if you don't eat, you'll die.'

But the herring said, 'I don't mind. I've been everywhere there is to go, I've seen everything there is to see, and now I know everything there is to know.'

The old fish shook his head. 'No one has ever seen everything there is to see,' he said. 'Nor known everything there is to know.'

'Look,' said the herring, 'I've swum through the North Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Java Sea, the Coral Sea, the Great Pacific Ocean, the Siberian Sea, and the frozen Arctic. Tell me, what else is there for me to see or know?'

'I don't know,' said the old herring. 'But there may be something.'

Well just then, a fishing boat came by, and all the herrings were caught in a net and taken to market that very day.

And a man bought the herring and ate it for his supper, and he never knew that it had swum right around the world and had seen everything there was to see, and knew everything there was to know.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Quick One Pan Lemon Caper Scallops

Quick One Pan Lemon Caper Scallops

1½ pounds dry, sea scallops
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium shallot minced
1 cup sauvignon blanc
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh parsley minced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of capers, drained but not rinsed
Salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy 12 inches skillet, heat the oil and butter. When the butter starts to bubble, add the shallot and cook until soft and then add the garlic. Cook until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds, and add the wine, parsley, lemon zest and capers. Reduce by ½, about 10 minutes, and then stir in the lemon juice. Add the scallops and cook uncovered, turning scallops gently to cook evenly, until desired level of tenderness is achieved – 2 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately over rice or thin pasta.


• Recipe can be easily doubled if you have a deep 14 inch pan
• Scallops come either wet or dry. Wet scallops contain preservatives, extra water and taste like balls of rubber. Dry scallops, especially sea scallops have more flavor. Only buy dry scallops.
• Don't rinse your scallops, but make sure that they have been thawed and drained
• You should be able to get both enough zest and the juice from one good sized lemon
• Finely chopped parsley cooked in with the rice adds a nice touch
• A good hearty bread is almost essential when serving this over a thin pasta like angel hair

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Brian’s Perfect Pancakes

1½ cups of a good, unbleached AP four (like King Authors)
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons of sugar
1¾ teaspoons of double-acting baking powder
1 large egg, room temperature
3 tablespoons of melted butter, cooled
¼ cup of buttermilk, room temperature
1 cup 2% milk, room temperature

Sift flour into a large glass bowl. Add salt, sugar and double-acting baking powder, whisk to combine and resift.

In a second bowl combine egg, butter, buttermilk and milk.

Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture. Quickly and gently combine using the largest spatula that you have. Smell your new mixture. Leave it uncovered at room temperature until the doughy pancake smell has doubled from its original smell, usually about five minutes.

Bring a skillet or large heavy pan, I prefer cast-iron, to a medium-high heat and melt enough butter for a generous coating. Turn oven to lowest temperature and place a cookie sheet with rack on the middle rack of the oven. Using a 1/3 measuring cup, scoop and pour the batter onto the hot pan. Flip, rotate and shuffle until the first batch has developed a light, even crust on all sides and then transfer to the rack in the oven. Because your pan is hot, the insides may not be fully cooked, this is okay as they will be finished in the oven for an evenly cooked pancake.

After finishing cooking each round of pancakes, add more butter and let it come to temperature before adding more batter. Spread the pancakes out evenly on the rack, making sure not to stack them if possible. Once you have cooked all of your pancakes, remove rack from the oven and leave let the pancakes rest for two minutes before transferring to plates. Add your favorite toppings, syrups or sugars and eat immediately.

• The sifting is important. Do not skip this step.
• Make sure that all liquid ingredients are at room temperature. This will make sure that are properly combined and the end mixture will develop evenly.
• If possible, slightly warm your plates in the oven. This will stop them from cooling the pancakes off the second that they are plated.
• Pour your syrup into a vessel with a large open top and heat in the microwave, occasionally stirring to make sure that it is evenly warmed.
• I prefer Grade B Maple Syrup. Grade B is a late season, medium amber syrup that has not been refined as much as the common Grade A syrup. It has a mapleier flavor without being as overwhelming as the dark amber varieties.
• For whole grain pancakes, substitute 1 cup of finely milled whole wheat flour and still use ½ cup of AP white. Increase to 1 cup of buttermilk and 1 cup of milk. Let sit for at least 7 minutes before cooking.
• Recipe can safely be doubled

Thursday, May 13, 2010

What’s the Matter with Arizona?

On Tuesday the Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed a bill that directly targets minority studies meant to show the ethnic differences in history. This is on the coattails of the new Arizona immigration law in that encourages the police to target people on the basis of ethnic origin. The TV heads immediately sprang into action by either asking why Arizona has become so insatiably jingoistic or wholeheartedly supporting any and all measures – but that is what they do on every topic.

The real story is that we never learn from history. Every time that a minority immigrates to the country en masse during a time of economic hardship, the native population sees them as the reason for their difficulty. In reality, the new group is the solution to the problem. The massive Irish immigration to New England resulted in Hibernophobia, or hatred of the Irish. They were labeled as lawless addicts who took all of the low paying jobs away from good Christians. They were demonized to the point where businesses openly displayed signs that said “No Irish Need Apply.” But in the end, the Irish workforce created more jobs and a higher quality of life by added a fresh jolt a working class of people into a much needed economically stagnant society. Our open system is built on a constant influx of foreign laborers to bolster the previous proletariat.

What we are now seeing in Arizona is the same unfounded fear of a new group. The Arizonian people incorrectly assume that if they were to rid the Latinos from their area, they would somehow rebound economically; but this thought process is not complete. There is no reason for an economy to rebound by simply throwing out the cheapest workers because there is no great supply of jobs that the native population could then take. The jobs that the Latinos are doing will never pay enough for the home-grown population to continue their current quality of life. Moreover, the resources being taken by that new group are barely more than an offset of any poor population. Ridding Arizona of “illegals,” a very thinly veiled code word for Latinos, would only move out one poor minority for another.

The reason for this ethnic blame game is nothing more than laziness. The majority does not wish to be forced to work as hard as someone with everything to gain. They believe that their lineage paid for their position within our class system and they are happy to spend just as much energy fighting against proving their place in society as they would if they had to directly compete for the jobs in question. But this is how our system works – think of it as an initiation. Put up with our xenophobic nationalism masquerading and poorly placed patriotism and we’ll let you stay. Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, and we’ll beat them up for about a decade and let them fin. So next time you see a talking head, say Irish descendant Bill O'Reilly, ranting about the scourge of the newest immigrants to land on our shores, try to remember that in 40 years it could just as easily be a Bill Ortega ranting about the invading immigrants from South Africa. The story is always the same, only the last names change.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Vote Your Wallet

I’m about to tell you a secret: You will never be rich. Sure, you may one day be comfortable and have a good bit of savings, but you will still only be fairly well-off. The odds of you becoming rich are about the same as you winning the lottery. Even then, you have no idea how to preserve that wealth or how to pass it on to your future generations.

Now I’m going to tell you another secret: Those people who are rich spend a lot of money to try to convince you that you could be one of them someday. This lie, and it is a lie, is meant to give you just enough hope so that you don’t punish what you think you may one day become or foolishly think you already belong. We teach our poor and middle classes that we are a country of equals – this too is not true. There is a class far above you, in every way, who operate in a complete welfare state, taken care of from votes they can easily afford and who’s only job consists of making sure that things never change. They can convince you that they are moral, specifically religious and right, but only because they write the checks to those who matter. It is not a conspiracy; everyone knows it to be true and we only argue about the extent in which directly affects our individual lives.

Last secret: You are the reason that you will never be rich. By supporting the people who keep you in your economic place, you empower them to maintain the status quo. There is a very clear division of classes in this country and, while that will probably never change, there has always been a historic balance between their power and our skepticism. People, sad and undereducated people, vote against their own causes, mostly out of misunderstanding, fear or ignorance, and their numbers are growing. Predictably, their numbers increase in line with the relative comfort and quality of life in the US. And predictably, they do not see that their lack of understanding only widens the class gap and lessens their power. Moreover, their quest to conserve their small level of comfort shrinks the space in which every future generation can find that comfort.

In time, the benefits of being any part of middle class will lessen. Sure the toys and essentials will be there, just in smaller and more expensive amounts. It is easy to see it slowly happening in every sector from health care to education. People see the creep and point blame in every direction but the one that matters. They continue to vote against their own path, continue to support policies that can only harm them and continually shrink their own socioeconomic class in hopes that they will someday become rich. They know that they will soon not be able to afford good health care. They know that they are living with all sorts of ecological problems that they not only know are bad, but are getting worse. And most importantly, they are giving away power that they will never get back.

Now I’m going to ask you for a favor: Know your place. Accept your economic shortcomings and stop voting like you belong to something you never will. These are not moral or faith based decisions, they are simply and only monetary choices. You are not rich, you will never be rich, so stop voting like you are.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Come on People, Give 90%!

It was announced this week that the US economy lost 85,000 in December, a number much higher than analysts’ had expected. This is on top of our current 10% unemployment, a number that is a lot lower than the also reported 17.3% of underemployed who are comprised of discouraged workers and part-time workers who would prefer full-time jobs.

So this got me thinking, we’re always going to have those who are underemployed, but we as a nation can easily help the unemployed individuals. So with understanding that we will never hit 100% exactly, and not counting those who would like a better job or one with more hours, the rest of the solution is nothing more than a simple numbers game. All we have to do is stop trying so hard at our current jobs.

Now stay with me here, if we all decided to care a little less, do a little less work, try less hard, we would create a backlog of work that needed to be done. Then, those unemployed could be hired to pick up the slack. The 10% of work that we have left on the table would have to be picked up and done by someone else: Someone who recently had not had a job. And we would all have a little more time to do the other things that we would like to do. Our general quality of life would improve, our new positive economic outlook would encourage other countries to invest in us and we would transform into the country that all of those TV pundits believe once existed.

All of this can be achieved if we simply just don’t do as much. So here and now I’m making a declaration, I, Brian Hamilton, will do at least 10% less in life. I do this not out of laziness or for any personal gain, but for my country. I will care less, do less and give less of myself – everyday and from now on – because I love my country that much. What I ask of you is simple; give less of yourself as well. Join me in helping our country; because giving 10% less of yourself is not lazy, it’s patriotic. Today I call on all Americans to unite with me, kick back, have a beer and do your American duty by doing less. Together, we can slack off for a better future.