G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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I have pretty much no tolerance for whining, and therefore have zero tolerance for this guy named Dave Dickerson who sometimes appears on NPR. He writes, from the 47% camp:
You may have heard me on public radio a few times, and thought, “I bet that man’s doing all right.” Actually, I was homeless for most of last year. Not on-the-street homeless, but staying in a series of fold-out beds and couches in different cities, trying to work out how the hell I was going to get enough money for a car. (I asked around, but my family and friends have no connections in the automotive industry.) I had risked everything on a book that didn’t sell, and then I wrote another, and that didn’t sell either, and by the time I realized I was in trouble, I was out of money and my problem was deeper than I thought. It’s a risk of the job. I guess you’d call it a bad year.
I had actual job offers this time–low-paying jobs that I knew I would hate, but could eventually get me a car if I took the bus to work, never ate out, and socked away $8-an-hour paychecks for 8 months. But—whoops!—they were all off the bus lines, or were on weekends when the buses didn’t run. Half the time I couldn’t even get to the interviews. (You might ask, “But Dave, why didn’t you just start two hours earlier and walk to the interview?” You got me: I’m lazy.) And by the way, if you’re traveling by bus, you can only hold one job at a time because the commutes take 90 minutes each way. It’s exhausting. If you can borrow thousands of dollars to start your own business, Mitt, I highly recommend that route instead.
I liked my starving artists when their trials and tribulations were acknowledged to be a part of the overall package of artistic freedom. The struggle was the journey, and this fueled their endeavor. I don’t consider myself an artist and I’ve never uttered the words “I’m a writer” out loud because I think it would sound weird. But I blog and I try my hand at journalism, and it would be cool to make a career out of it.
I’ve spent the last several years blogging and also waiting tables. I’ve achieved a nice little balance in my life, but my blogging infringes on my ability to get a career and make good money. But a career would definitely hinder my writing. But I know all of this and accept it. I know that I’m taking a huge risk and that every day that I don’t drop the dream and develop valuable work skills that I might wake up at the age of 40 and find it’s too late. I also know that one day I might wake up at the age of 60 and discover that I don’t have a dime in retirement and that Social Security has been gutted and that I won’t have a very luxurious life for myself. I am accepting immediate happiness and freedom at the expense of possible struggle later in life. I know all of this just as Dickerson had to know what he signed up for back when he decided he wanted to live a life away from the corporate grind.
Lots of people are struggling. But most writers are intelligent, and it’s therefore a gross affront to the people who really don’t have the skills to get by even if they wanted to. If they had applied themselves differently, they could have earned a better living for themselves. But for writers and bloggers, their currency is attention. They want to be important and respected and have an impact on the thoughts of others. But the market is saturated. Everyone wants attention for their thoughts.
I mean, this guy is a poor example of Romney’s hard-heartedness towards the 47%. He actually reinforces Romney’s point because he is not a sympathetic character.