Wednesday, October 27, 2010
What the DEUCE is going on in Middle America? Hell, even here in good old supposedly liberal Massachusetts it's happening.
Some random town in East BumFuck, Illinois is putting an age limit on Trick or Treating. Yeah. You heard me.
What the EFF is that noise??
Apparently some "Single mothers and senior citizens are less-than-happy" about looking through their peephole and finding 6' tall kids looking for candy. (Plus, who really has a peephole? Or looks out the door suspiciously on Halloween? You KNOW kids are coming to the door. Idiots.)
I guess a wholesome and innocent night of cavity inducing door-to-door candy obtainment is a terrible alternative to the same said teenagers looting, egging and drinking in the woods, but what do I know??
I mean sure, when I was a teenager, we did exactly that, drank in the woods, but on Halloween? We were out for, in the words of the immortal Garfield...CANDY CANDY CANDY CANDY!
My son is 6 years old. 6. He's not allowed to wear costumes to school. What? You take the fun out of Halloween for little kids too?? When I went to the very same school my son attends now, we had each class parade up and down the halls, getting candy from the Office, the Nurse, the Gym Teacher. It wasn't a shunned holiday blamed on Neo-Paganistic or Satanic ritualistic nonsense. It was kids in costumes getting candy. Simple.
It was a dentist’s nightmare sure, but it was FUN.
Have we really gotten that ridiculous as a society (ok yes, yes we have) that miscellaneous old folks in the Sticks are willing to ID potential Trick or Treater’s to see if they are over 12?? That's right; they think that anyone over 12 is too old.
Isn’t that a bit judgmental? To look at a child (and until they are 18, they are CHILDREN) and say, "Hmmm, you are tall, you can't POSSIBLY be allowed to have fun and dress in a goofy costume and get candy."
No Soup for You!
They want to fine the kids $100 if they violate the "Over 12" policy. I don't know about you, but I don't know ANY 12 year old kids who just happen to have $100 handy in case they are fined for breaking some ridiculous law. You're lucky if you can get them to clean their rooms.
It's not the kids taking the innocence and fun out of this holiday, it's the PC Police. It’s another beloved American holiday being twisted sadistically to shut the hell up a bunch of religious zealots and Politico’s. I mean, clearly a small child dressed up as a Princess and asking sweetly for candy is offensive, right?
When did this transition happen? When we did we get so worked up as a society that even the most innocent of things become wrong?? It was fine when I was a child, when my parents were before me. Going back generation after generation. And WE were all ok.
We were not over coddled or protected by things that may or may not have been offensive. We made up our own minds about it. We were taught values by our parents; we had the shit kicked out of us if we didn't adhere to those values, we followed rules and regulations, we respected our parents. We were even a little afraid of them. We didn’t get time-outs. We didn't shoot up our high schools or kill ourselves if we were bullied. We got through it the old fashioned way; by sucking it up and learning from it.
I'm not saying that bullying is a good thing by any means, and that with the over-use of technology by kids using Facebook and Twitter and texting that the school bullying doesn't stop now when that bell rings at 3 o'clock. I get it I do. (And I honestly feel for the parents and families of those unfortunate children who were not able to handle it and who took their own lives, it really is a tragedy.)
But to take away something like Halloween, to put a damper on Christmas and any other American Tradition because it could possibly piss someone off? Didn't all you people come to this country in the first place to escape JUST this kind of persecution? To avoid not being able to celebrate your beliefs due to the thoughts or feelings of others? To follow what our Fore Fathers set out for us in this supposed “Great” Nation to have a better life for the future generations?
Way to revert back to 1700's England, America. Guess that whole “Revolution” thing was a complete waste of energy.
Go Red Coats!
Monday, October 25, 2010
I'm thinking about harvesting a kidney.
Map out a diabolical plan to sell my own, or perhaps "obtain" one to sell on the Black Market. There's big money in organs they say. Like $10,000 a kidney.
$10,000 sounds pretty damn good about now.
I mean, if I was fiscally savvy a Ponzi scheme could be fantastic, but since the very public backlash of that whole Bernie Madoff thing, I'm pretty sure the powers that be would be on to me.
Perhaps one of those Spam emails that asks people to help me obtain my $2 million dollar inheritance?? Those MUST go over real easy all the time. I could feign the name of some foreign dignitary sounding person and I'd be a shoe-in for money to start rolling in, right??
I could establish a Cult. Come up with a doctrine that is hard to deny and get all the wacko's to do my bidding. Forking over their savings and 1st born children in the name of some sort of Religious affiliation.
It could happen.
It's a rough road out there in this economy for an honest person. Those people who work their asses off and still are barely able to make ends meet. Those people who get up begrudgingly every day and work their 9-5 (or in some cases their 6-6) shifts like pack mules. Having a large chunk of their hard-earned money taken out for Uncle Sam and their health insurance policies.
Making too much on paper (because of course any and all government agencies look at things before you get taxed or withdrawn from, as if that were a true reflection of your actual income....idiots) to qualify for help, but too little to cut the mustard on your own.
There are options of course. Of COURSE.
A car is a luxury, did you know that? Having the ability to actually get to whatever employment you have in suburbia is an option. A luxury? I mean, I know that Massachusetts has a Public Transit system in order, but not every town has ease of access to it, especially once you get a little farther out from the Big City. And then, that TOO costs money…of course.
Or you could move. Yes some of them actually think you should give up your stable housing situations in lieu of some sort of degraded shelter or Roach Motel. Fascinating.
A second job is an obvious choice, but then again you are likely already utilizing some sort of child-care on a daily basis as it is. Having other people either helping you out, or paying through the nose for daycare. Add to that the costs of after hours and weekend kid-wrangling in that mix, and that second job's income is sent right back out of your pocket to pay those who are stuck with your offspring. Cancelling it out almost. Null and void.
You lose time with your family, your loved ones. You become a drone to the dollar.
Damn that dollar.
Who knew a little piece of paper, (well not even paper; 75 percent cotton and 25 percent linen, like some cheaply blended piece of your wardrobe) could yield so much power? Power to make or break you in the eyes of society. Power to rank you by class, the "Have's" and the "Have Nots".
It's silly really when you think about it.
The costs of all your necessities in life are driven higher, to make you spend more. Sad when they are things you actually need. Profiting on your struggle. You could cut out all your frivolous spending and still be in trouble.
Spend all your laboriously earned moolah on nothing but your bills, food and shelter. Cut coupons, shop in your own closet and wear holes in your shoes (or like me, wear OFF the heels you live in). Give up daily lunches and lattes and still fall short each month.
Yeah, so about that kidney....
Thursday, October 21, 2010
So at my new job, I am the Social Networking and Media Guru.
I know right?
I just brought my company into this century by creating them a blog and a Facebook and a Twitter page and right now I am the Prodigal Daughter of my workplace.
I am being hailed as the Technological Chief of the building.
It got me thinking. (Brace yourselves...)
All my Social Media nonsense started as an escape for me. A way to reach out and meet people when I was essentially trapped in a way. Trapped in various shitty situations and using the powers of the internet to seek out like-minded friends from around the globe to ease my "I am not the only one feeling this shit am I?" emotions.
No one I knew in my "real" life was on them when I started. Most never heard of them. Late nights after working the retail jungle, I would log on to my SWYDM and Friendster accounts and chit chat with people. Share comments and commentary about everyday things. Then all those Online friends I made, we became REAL friends. People I sought advice from, shoulder's I could cry on. People I still talk to today.
We would share our stories of relationships, families,school, work and pregnancies. We bonded. We would have phone calls and send care packages from state to state. It was pretty freaking cool. Out of the cold and desolate internet, these warm bodied and loving people actually existed. They seemed to care more than the people I interacted with on a daily basis.
We then made the transition to a new and exciting place. MySpace. It was shiny and new and we made profiles that were geared towards our own individual personalities. We shared pictures and sent "Bulletins" in ways of quirky survey's about our lives.
I generally filled these out with snarky and sarcastic answers. It was fun. Thinking about answers to everyday questions with whatever asshole answers I could come up with. (I miss it a little...)
We passed time, shared experiences.
A few years passed and our secret hidden gem became popular. Pretty soon EVERYONE was adding you on MySpace. Your friends list grew as people you went to school with, worked with or were friends with came out of the woodwork to join in the phenomenon you had been on since it started.
And then came Facebook. A not-as-flashy version of networking that was geared more towards the college set at the time. It was different when it started. No one wanted to convert from MySpace to Facebook. It wasn't as "Fun". It wasn't colorful or flashy. NO ONE was on it.
Funny what a couple years and a lot of media attention can do for a website.
Pretty soon, MySpace became boring. Stale. We started giving Facebook a chance and BOOM! Social Network explosion.
Now there isn't a business, a person, hell even a grandparent who isn't on Facebook.
Much like the hesitance with Facebook among MySpace junkies, Twitter was close on it's heels. People mocked it as a "Status update only version of Facebook".
It wasn't fun or exciting. There weren't virtual Mafia's to contend with or Farms to tend. It was just up to the minute 140 character snip-its of what you were doing.
And again BOOM! Tweets are now the new text message. (which of course is the new email, which was of course the new phone call...)People are forever connected to some sort of technology. You update them from your phone, your computer, even from your TV if you gave Fios.
It's funny to think that I started this technological venture before it was "cool". That I was ahead of the curve with it all. As soon as I heard of each new thing, I instantly would create an account. I would delve into the ins and outs of how each site worked. I would ask people about if they were on it and they looked at me as if I had 10 heads (still do most of the time, but that's likely for other reasons beyond my control).
So now I wonder what's next. What Harvard or MIT genius, who sits in his dorm room alone and girlfriendless, will become the next Fortune 500 billionaire? Who of those World of Warcraft playing addicts sitting in their underwear in their parents' basement for hours on end will emerge long enough to attent their IT classes and come up with the next technological craze?
Funny, I'll likely be on that bandwagon, too.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
I grew up in a small town.
Not exactly sure what the population was when I was growing up, but I graduated high school with a class of a whopping 61 students. Yeah, THAT small. Like a Mellancamp song, without little pink houses.
It was the type of town where you knew everyone. Same kids you were in Kindergarten with all the way through your senior year. Give or take the ones who went off to the Vo-Tech or to the miscellaneous area private schools, but even then you still hung out with them on weekends, usually drunk and in the woods.
It was easy to get caught up in niches. To get labeled and cast into one group or another. I tried as I might to not get cast, as I knew my older sister before me had. She had been a "Nerd". Smart and artsy. Awkward and bespectacled in a decade that looking back was not the most idyllic fashionably for such a person.
My sister was never popular. She had her small circle of quirky close friends, but it wasn't what you would call the "In" crowd. Fellow brainiacs and artisans. Members of the AV club. She was tormented by those "In" people. Shoved in lockers, ridiculed. For her, high school was torture. That mortar board and gown couldn't come quick enough.
As the sun set on my sister's high school experience, mine was rising. The year she graduated was the year I entered that very same school. A school that harbored grades 7-12 and held roughly 500 students...total.
As I cruised through junior high and all it's necessary standards of awkwardness, I seemed to thrive. I had a large circle of friends. I was involved in sports and clubs and activities.
Soon as 9th grade hit, I tried out for cheerleading. Boom. Done.
I was little Miss High School. I was a cheerleader for football and basketball. I played soccer. I even played a season of basketball (at 5 feet tall no less). I was in music and clubs that helped run the class. I went to parties in the woods on the weekends, drinking from underground kegs and running when the cops showed up. Smoking cigarettes in the girl’s bathroom. I was in my glory.
I was everything my sister wasn't. It came easy to me. I could talk to anyone, I had no shame. I would make jokes and flirt. I had the boobs, I had the power.
I would go camping those summers with my family, and would always be allowed to take a friend. We would parade around those wooded havens like we owned the place, and in a sense we did. Scouting out the playground basketball game looking for the other "cool" kids to hang out with during our vacation. Our twosome quickly growing to at least a 15 person posse for the duration of our trip.
It was different for my brother though. Being only a year younger than me and 2 grades behind. He was shyer. He was smart and funny, but in an awkward phase. Not yet hitting his growth spurt yet so a little on the chunkier side and bifocaled. A bowl-cut and acne.
He came to the same school I did. As I had after my sister. What had been a glorious time for me, not so much for him either.
My male friends, knowing he was my little brother, would stand beside his locker and when he would open it, they would close it. Until he just got fed up and stood there until near the time the bell rang, waiting for them to tire of the game. The only reason they did it was because he was MY brother. He had no other offense other than sharing my last name.
My parents and he came to the decision to send him to the Vo-Tech. To make things better for him between the "friends" I had and the academia his supposed ADD had him struggling from at the time. (Back then his academic boredom was diagnosed as ADD, turns out he was just smart, who knew?)
Then a strange thing happened. He flourished. He was still awkward in his own right, growing a pompadour and sideburns and falling into the Punk Rock phase of the 90's, but he thrived nonetheless. Even earning the moniker Elvis. He had a circle of close friends, he was HAPPY. Working on cars and going to concerts. A different high school experience, but a better one than he would have had if he stayed at my school.
It's funny to think about how 3 kids from the same family could all be so different. How those same kids, with the same raised ideals and values could have a completely different experience in high school. That we had the Nerd, The Cheerleader and the Punk. It was like living a John Hughes movie.
And all of those experiences, good and bad, for all of us, shaped essentially who we are now.
My sister is cynical and smart. She doesn't care now what anyone thinks of her. She is set in her ways and routines and lives her life not by anyone else's expectations. She is quirky and different, and happy. She has a job she loves for an Alternative music store, her boyfriend is an artist and musician. They are perfect for each other. They live in the city and have cats. And it all makes sense.
My brother is hilarious. He ditched his Vo-Tech career in auto mechanics to follow my dad's footsteps in the carpentry trade. He is beyond talented with wood and I wish my dad was around to see just how amazing the stuff he makes is. He traded his high school pompadour for shaggy scruff and long hair. He has a garden and a big truck and has a bevy of activities he does every week with his friends. Darts, volleyball in the summer, a fire pit night. And he's the best uncle to his nephew.
And me? I may still have a bazillion acquaintances, but only a handful of what I call real friends these days. I will still talk to a lamp post and meet people almost daily. I'm a single mom, a SOCCER mom. I still try at times to be fashionable, but that takes a backseat now to clothing my son. I have been through the ringer to get where I am, but I too am happy now. I have a wonderful man and his boys, who I love, and I would oddly not change a thing.
Funny how it all started with hallways lined with lockers and miscellaneous stereotypes.
Friday, October 15, 2010
You go food shopping or on some other miscellaneous shopping excursion and come home with a bevy of products in those nifty convenient plastic bags.
Sure, you could be on that "I'm GREEN" bandwagon and use those cloth re-usable bags. Seriously? I re-use those plastic ones. Trash can liners, left-over lunch carriers, etc. I am green too....they're usually recycled...and FREE.
Those bags have this warning on them, because clearly some parents didn't put 2+2 together and realize that kids with plastic on their heads could choke on their own. "WARNING: Do not put bag over face, you will die"
I get it, it makes sense.
What does NOT make sense to me however, knowing full well the suffocation hazard of covering a small child with plastic will likely cause impending doom, is those ridiculous baby carriage covers that envelope your child....ENTIRELY IN PLASTIC.
Is it me?
I know, I know, it's raining out. You don't want your precious spawn to melt. You know what smart parents do when it's raining outside??
They stay in the house.
They do not put their kids into a carriage and then Saran Wrap them into it with the hopes that maybe perhaps they won't get wet. It’s freaking water. From the sky. A natural occurance.
Because clearly staying dry is far more important that keeping your child alive. Idiots.
I drove to grab some lunch today and saw just a contraption. A portly mother pushing her plastic-packaged off-spring down the street. And I thought to myself, the things they have for babies is ridiculous.
My cousin had a baby 2 days ago, so I feel the relevance of a baby paraphernalia rant is warranted, seeing as I am going to be hitting Babies R Us to purchase a "Welcome to the World" gift for the newest member of my family.
However, I look back on stories from when I was a baby, hell even remembering when my son was one just 6 years ago, and I think the over paranoia and laziness of parents is astonishing.
When I was a kid, I think the extent of child safety precautions boiled down to a plastic outlet cover and moving your breakables up a shelf.
Car seats were essentially useless. No mass amount of padding or headrests for safety. Oh no. It was like a sled turned right side up and strapped in. No slide out cup-holders and Eddie Bauer branding.
My parents didn't need to lock the fridge or the toilet. They didn't need a tent to keep us from climbing out of our cribs. (Although out of all the neo-safety products, I DID have this one for Dylan as a baby and it was a wonderful and torturous device to lock them in at night...also doubled as a great tool for punishment...they should make them for adults.) I mean sure, the cabinets under the sink where the poisons were was locked somehow, but everything else was fair game.
We didn't have a special soft form-fitted thingy to go in a shopping carriage in order to stay sanitary. We sat in that bitch freestyle and liked it. We got germy. We didn't attack ourselves with hand-sanitizer and antibacterial crap like an old man with OCD. And oddly, we didn't get sick very often.
I think that the over abundance of child safety precautions and gizmos and gadgets is absurd. That again, this "Time-Out" generation is going to be screwed.
We didn't have any of that. Nor did our parents and theirs before them. I wonder when we became so paranoid. Too paranoid to not hover over our children, too paranoid to not put a pretty little bubble over anything that could physically or emotionally "harm" our children, too paranoid for real discipline.
I find it ironic that the generations that didn't have these so called advances in safety, the generations whose parents beat the snot out of them if they screwed up, are the ones who weren't shooting up their high schools. Funny.
Maybe it was the lack of warning on the plastic bags.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Once upon a time, I had drive. Ambition. Lofty dreams and ideals. I was going to change the world.
As the dust settled on my simple existence, I came to the conclusion that all the champagne wishes I once thought so possible, were not exactly feasible on a beer budget.
Once a partaker in so many things in high school, I am now content with a more miniscule part in society. All those classes and clubs and extra-curricular activities I once shone so brightly in, took part in to boost my college application appeal. To look good on resumes I thought in the future.
I realize now how useless they are in real life.
Sure it was fun at the time. I was involved in so much, a diverse amount of Yearbook-worthy opportunities, from music to sports to academia. But in all seriousness, not a single modicum of that translated into anything I would be able to use later in life.
Of course, half the classes I was forced to take as requirements per the Board of Education didn't really either.
I mean sure, knowing how to diagram a sentence in English class seemed like something you needed to master at the time, but unless you too plan on shaping the minds of listless adolescents when all is said and done, you will never (and I mean never) use this skill again.
Unless you plan on being some sort of Good Will Hunting/MIT math genius, most of those A+B=Z to the third power math equations you are forced to delve into for 3 hours of homework a night are not going to apply to real life either. However, that remedial class that teaches you how to balance your checkbook, now THAT comes in handy.
After a lifetime (it seems) of having worked the Retail Jungle, I am content (to a point) with where I ended up. Sure I still have a couple classes looming over my head until I officially graduate from college, and I plan to finish...eventually. But on the whole, there isn't much a college degree is going to change for me.
I could have gone into something more specific. And at first, I did. I went to a small specialized school with every intention of changing the rules. Making a difference. Getting a background in Ecology and Environmental policies so that one day, I could go to law school and make things happen.
Sooo didn't happen. (clearly)
I was there for a year and miserable. I loathed and despised being away from a city, away from a town actually. (Yes my college was somehow nestled quaintly in a VILLAGE in up-up-up state Vermont) I hated being in a rural place. I didn't want to be involved in what I had thought for so many years idealistically in high school. I was there, in the trenches, and I changed my mind.
Back home I went to re-enroll in another school. Local and small still sure, Community College, but still college nonetheless. I had changed my major of course. No more Environ-anything for me. Nope. I stuck with my passion. English. All things English and relative to the subject as a matter of fact.
Literature, Shakespeare, Creative Writing, Journalism. Any and all classes I took if I could. And I thrived. I loved it. I was on the Dean's List every semester, and somehow managed a 3.98 GPA. I played soccer for the school, I was back on track.
Then that pesky little nagging feeling came back. People would ask me what I was going to do when I was done with school. With all that English concentration, was I going to be a teacher? I thought, no. A writer. SURE! A writer. I would pen my thoughts and ideas and poetry with the world. I would become a journalist, a novelist, a poet somehow! A collaborator of poems and short stories, essays and more.
And then I thought about the likelihood of that happening. The realism that most writers I admired became so posthumously.
Well that's not going to work.
No sense in waiting for success until after I'm dead!
So again, those dreams and ideals lay idle. Hidden behind the retail life I worked in. I was management there; sure, I was on the road to success! (Insert eye roll here) And I hated every minute of it, boss or not. Long hours, late nights. Learning firsthand the customer is FAR from always right, in fact more often than not, completely fucking wrong, and usually an asshole about it.
So I again transitioned. Adapted like a chameleon to new surroundings. I moved into administrative work. And I liked it. Loved it actually. I worked for a world-renowned company. I was a part of important projects. I was the glue that held those high-level executives together. More importantly I was appreciated. I helped run charities and I ran my own little world within a larger universe. I was coming out on top.
I mean, getting laid off was a huge detour, but now am again working for a company I love. That appreciates me. That I don't hate getting up in the morning to go to every day.
Sure I look back on what I once thought I wanted to do with my life, and sure as hell never thought I'd end up here. I never pictured myself a working single mother. Well working yes, but a single mother no. I had that idea like every young girl that I would go to college, get married, have kids and live happily ever after. I never pictured the hard road I would have had to take to be happy.
THAT'S what they need to prep you for in schools. Prepare you that most plans don't necessarily work out how you imagined. That out of most of the majors you choose to take in college you will likely never actually do work in that field. That you could have kids out of wedlock that could derail every plan you may have had for yourself growing up. But despite it all I am happy.
For all intensive purposes, I am. I like my job, even though someone else may find it mundane. I love my son, even though it's a struggle every day to support him and think I am raising him to be the least dysfunctional. I have the support and love of my family and friends, even if I've lost a few along the way. And I have the love of a man who I am lucky enough to call my best friend.
Are there things that could be better? Sure. I'm not dead. It's all still a work in progress. But I'm on the right path.
Sure the road was windy, and bumpy, and still technically under construction, but I think if I had to do over, as long as I knew I would end up where I am now, I think I'd take it anyway.
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less travelled by,
and that has made all the difference"
Way to go Robert Frost, you nailed it.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
SO the other night the Boy and I were having a discussion.
We were talking about how you can no longer just go into a restaurant these days without some gangly group of wait staff attempting to sing half-assed to some poor sap in a booth some chain-related Birthday song, of course mentioning their restaurants name and some sort of insidious clapping.
How this used to be an occasional occurrence and a few people would smile and think, "How nice" and then go about their meal as though that momentary lapse in silent atmosphere had never happened.
But now it's every 5 minutes. It's always someone's birthday, and every day is special. La-di-frickin-da.
We then got to talking about a place we went to as kids. Where kid's "Paid what they Weighed" for their meal.
How nowadays that would NEVER be allowed to happen. That due to the over sensitivity of the PC Police and the abundance of childhood obesity and fear of creating some sort of eating disorder in the apparently frail psyche of a 5 year old over the possibility of them weighing something more or less than another 5 year old and insighting mental chaos and agony. Clearly.
My boyfriend lovingly refers to this as "The Pussification of America".
As crass as it is, it's true.
There is a Massachusetts town whose high school is eliminating sports team captains. That the school would be looking into "shared leadership". I mean seriously?
Some kids are cut out to be leaders, other to follow that lead. Some kids do not possess the ability to inspire people, but are able to BE inspired. How do they grow up to learn a sense of self, of trying if they are all coddled and babied into thinking we are all equal in life? Because really, we MUST all be the same.
Or how in young kids sports that every team gets a trophy, win or lose. They don't keep score because "everyone is a winner".
No. No they are not.
It's becoming a sort of epidemic really. Kids are made to believe this false sense of security. That they are all going to be treated the same when in reality that is the farthest thing from the truth. Does it suck? Sure. Will their feelings get hurt? Possibly. But how the hell are they going to learn coping or problem solving skills to carry them into adulthood if they are handed everything like its all hunky-dory and will be ok regardless?
We as a society in this country become far too worried about collateral damage. About offending people to the point that I have become offended by the over abundance of political correctness.
It's absurd. Kids can't dress up for Halloween in schools anymore because it may be upsetting to some sort of overly religious people. Christmas and even Hanukah are not celebrated. It's all about "winter".
Fuck that noise.
When I was a kid we had a Halloween parade down the halls of school and it was awesome. We had Christmas parties and even learned about Hanukah and each kid got a tiny dreidel. We didn't grow up offended, we grew up cultured.
We said the Pledge of Allegiance every morning, even though it said God and no one thought twice about it. We celebrated things like Flag Day and honored the American Flag because, well , we are American!! We didn't have things translated into 37 different languages because some people may have come from different backgrounds. You were HERE now, and English it was!!
The fact that we bend over backwards to not offend anyone is ridiculous. People come here because we were a country that was based on freedoms and lack of persecutions. But we have been persecuting ourselves and losing our own identity that we tried so hard to define as a nation in its infancy.
If we went anywhere else in the world, no one would cow-tow to what we believed. No one would change laws or policies to not piss anyone off. It would be "my way or the highway". If you don't like it, there's the door.
The Pussification of America is right.