Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Labels: getting settled
Saturday, December 04, 2010
Arizona is a rather ultraconservative state, not unlike much of Texas. If I can't have earnest discussions with my Dad over economic and political policies, then what chance do I have with a stranger almost a thousand miles away from my home in Dallas? I tried to tell my Dad that I didn't argue with him to win, but to make him think. I got a lecture from him about how he grew up poor, the struggle he's had all his life to earn money, and how life is all about survival. It's kind of sad. Dad is not starving. His house is paid for. I do not know if he is having trouble paying bills, but he does not appear to be. It is as if he still sees himself as economically poor in some way, or he's economically insecure. It may not be the retirement he envisioned, but it is the retirement he has.
I tried to tell him that these are scary times and that I'm scared as well. He tells me that I am reading the wrong things and wrong people rather than rebut my factual retorts. He doesn't believe me when I tell him that he's being manipulated by Fox News and that he shouldn't watch so much television. The corporations behind the media are pushing their own subtle agenda, especially in television, and it is not to help anyone but themselves. Television journalism has deteriorated severely since the Cold War ended. It is obvious. I tell him that the world will not end literally like Revelations states and that any of the Bible based sects believe at the end of any century. Psychological worlds may end, but not this planet until some time in the distant future billions of years from now. I know that nothing I say to my father matters. My arguments and convictions fall on deaf ears because his mind is made up. I know that whatever opinions I have will not matter in the long run. They are just fragments of one person's assessment of what he perceives. But, I was trained in academia to find the truth and to argue for the evidence and facts in a case. It is one way to learn, and old habits die hard. Unfortunately, I am beginning to understand that people will defend invalid ideas and theories, and ignore the evidence that contradicts their belief systems. I used to think that only ignorant, simple men were that foolish, but it appears to apply to supposedly intelligent and sophisticated men who should know better. We see this with elite economists, bankers, and politicians who appear to favor the Wealthy over the Middle Class and Poor. Such obstinance may be due to cynicism by the latter, however.
So, I tell myself that my political opinions don't matter in the hope that I won't open my mouth and get myself into trouble with my new employers. I can't afford to lose a job due to an idle comment even if it does not pertain to the job, does not break any laws, and is essentially free speech. Contractors are at will. They can be released on a whim. I must remember that almost all fears are illusions, but it doesn't hurt to be cautious in a new situation or job.