One Friend Less

I see when I mess up in English, I was actually having a conversation about languages this week at work and saying how sometimes this language really limits me in expressing how I feel. There are words that simply don’t exist in this language (I have been writing a post about that one for a while.) One of my favorite examples is “Saudade.”

This week I also talked a lot about my blog to someone that does not blog. I explained how it was something I used a lot more back in the day but have since stopped using for various reasons. I do miss it, but today I got a chance to be motivated enough to actually post something. I was “unfriended” on facebook. Since the conversation was removed and probably nobody that knows the participants in the conversation even saw the exchange I figured, lets preserve the exchange without the authors… except for me. One disclaimer though, I do realize that people, conversation and context don’t exist on the internet and for the person that unfriended me this was probably the short end of the stick in the sense that it escalated without proper background. The person that unfriended me was someone that I was already questioning even having as someone that I read. They did survive several cullings (I love doing that on facebook for some reason) which is an activity that brings me almost as much inner peace as detailing my car.

Some more context. I am starting to hate facebook. It has amazing ways of viewing other people’s life unfold and it makes you almost feel part of things that happen oh so far away. It also lets you hear what I call “facebook prayers” which makes me wonder if some people just never talk to any other humans. The part I am tired of is the constant regurgitation of talking head points about racist, sexist, and just plain ignorant things. Some people seem so conditioned to it that at every slight opportunity ignorance comes out, and then the diatribe of the topic already regurgitated several times comes pouring out like a river that smells like the streets of New York. Aside – (Someone needs to come up with a true New York Perfume that smells like sidewalk piss.) Long week in New York… too much work not enough play I guess. After spending time there where the language you hear the least is English I come home to this little discussion.

Original Status – Heavily Redacted
Person 1
Carpet guys are here and I’m getting an education on country music. Apparently “country boys and girls getting down on the farm” is worth singing about. I also have become aware that there are women who thinks trucks are sexy. #TheMoreYouKnow
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3 people like this.

Funny, witty, entertaining. The reason this person survived multiple cullings.

Person 2
Let me know if they are any good. I’m always on the lookout for good flooring guys. Just be thankful they speak English!

Person 1
They’re from XXXX XXXXX. Super polite. One of the guys is an apprentice and I can hear the older guy teaching him along the way.

Nothing to see right? Simple exchange. Well, not for me. My facebook feed feels inundated with this type of crap, not just by Person 2 but many other friends of friends that say just ignorant stuff without realizing it. I stay quiet and say nothing 99% of the time, but maybe because the topic had NOTHING to do with English speaking in the first place, or because I saw so many NON English speakers living and working in New York which for you geography buffs is part of ‘Murrica!

Logtar
I’m curious Person 2, what does speaking English have to do with any of what Person 1 said? Furthermore, if they did not speak English and were contracted and did a great job why would it matter if they performed and maybe educated Person 1 on some Latin music? How many languages do you speak again Person 2?

I know. I am wrong… I opened up the door, you could even say I baited… but this was my hope. Maybe, people can see that jumping to the whole “SPEAK ENGLISH PEDRO!” BS is kind of offensive and most first generation naturalized Americans are tired of hearing that. Maybe people will stop assuming that every worker in this country that does something construction related does not speak English. In fact, if you talk to contractors in some areas of the country they will tell you that skilled labor left, to the point that they are poaching framers from each other’s jobs. I digress though. I just did not see where the whole, “be glad they speak English fits.” What kind of people do I associate with when they are glad that their ‘Murrica speaks only English? Assimilation complete at all. So here is where it gets very interested.

Person 2
It is VERY difficult for people to communicate with people who don’t speak English. I work with MANY hispanics, some from Mexico, some from El Salvador (and even guys from Eastern Europe). ALL of them speak English! It is a requirement because my guys have lots of interaction with homeowners. I also listen to a lot of latin “Polka sounding” music when around my guys. Not sure I like it any less than country music! I speak only one language, English.

Logtar
I figured Person 2, but your comment is really offensive because the conversation had nothing to do with speaking English at all. Thank you though, I now know where not to take my business. I work in a environment where many of the people I interact with don’t know just one language, and English is not even close to being their primary language. I kind of chuckle at your VERY difficult, try to understand the word “Policy” in a legal environment where the meaning translation is “Politica”, which does not match with the literal translation. Its ok though Person 2 I am sure communicating with people from all over the world is can be very difficult when all you know is English. I like to communicate via food, but that is just me.

Here is where it kind of got surprising, one of the reasons that Person 1 was considered for previous culling was that I figured the antagonistic stuff came from a place of intelligence and not close mindedness.

Person 1
So (for the sake of being a dick because I’m bored) – if I move to Colombia I should just expect to speak English?

Person 2
I respect your opinion, John. I’ve heard countless stories of customers asking a worker a question about their specific project only to get either a blank stare or an “ok” from the worker. It has nothing to do with the quality of their work, but customer service. I’ve made a conscious effort to employ skilled people no matter where they are from! They must be legal to work in the US (no matter where they are from) and be checked through E-Verify. They must also be able to communicate with my homeowners. Heck, some of my hispanic guys do a better job of that than my American guys!

So now its a tag team!

Logtar
Funny that you bring that up, many Americans actually do and live in closed communities sending their kinds to English only schools. That’s ok though Person 1, I now know what I am dealing with.

Person 2
If you move to Colombia (not Missouri!) you should expect to learn the language and assimilate into that culture.

Person 2
Those folks can attend the English only schools, that’s their prerogative. But don’t expect the locals to go out of their way to accommodate it!

Person 2 By the way, Person 1, I love it when you call yourself a dick!

I should have known better and stepped away after the flirting started, that should be private but it is facebook right?

Logtar
People that take every opportunity to shine the light on topics that are not theirs but that a talking head gave them to discuss and use. It is really sad that a post that has nothing to do with “Speaking English” was taken there. I thought pointing that out would make it stop and maybe open a mind but I see that immediately where I a from is being questioned and now the word assimilation is brought up. I am as America as you two are.

Person 2
I never asked where you were from, nor does it really matter to me.

Person 1
You’re not making sense. What talking head? What topic that is “not mine”?

Person 2
It must be “Offend me Friday” or something.

Logtar
What does your post have to do with speaking English? which is the first thing that Person 2 brought up. What does me being from another country have anything to do with pointing out that it is ignorant to bring up “people that don’t speak English” in a topic that had nothing to do with it.

Logtar
I said it is offensive, not that I am offended. It does make me sad when I see this kind of ignorance though.

Person 1
This is done.

Topic deleted, Logtar was unfriended. I thought about posting the actual screen grab or posting it to lamebook for other people to comment on, but I figured I would use my little corner of the internet for my rant.

This is the thing. I am tired of being around people that are semi racist and intolerant of others but when called out on it they simply shrug and say, I am not racist. I am from another country and I personally can be racist in some situations. We don’t even want to do it but our brain is trained to… how, by being exposed to images and writing that is racist or intolerant. You might not think anything of it, but constantly being bombarded with, people should speak English, and undocumented workers are taking our jobs, and bla bla bla eventually becomes what everyone goes to when anything remotely related to the topic comes up. Why do I have to explain to people that even though I am from another country and speak more than one language I am American… BUT that does not make me one of the “good” ones or in any was assimilated, if anything I infect people with as much food and culture from other places in the world as I can. It is almost like my mission to make people see that communication is not just about language and that 20 seconds trying to look up what you are trying to say in a dictionary is not going to kill you but maybe teach you a thing or two. Tell the people of New York that they have to all speak English and be assimilated and they will laugh in your face, or a good portion not even understand you. I seriously thought that xenophobia was on the decline in this country. I guess it is alive and well.

Btw, I was not remotely offended by any of it. I was just more sad that I was right about the level of some people’s quick response to a topic that to me is much, much broader than just! “Learn English Pedro! You are in ‘Murrica!” Then again, the original post had nothing to do with it… that was my only point.

To Blog or not to Blog

I have been struggling to create content lately, not because I don’t have the content to put out but because I don’t know the right medium anymore. It used to be that the blog was the default for my rants, random thoughts and the like but today I have no clue where it should go.

Facebook has turned into a prayer book, and no I am not jumping on my religious friends at all but basically at the notion that instead of picking up the phone and calling a friend about an issue people now leave it to facebook to answer their prayers… or air their dirty laundry. A lot of my thoughts that used to fit so nicely here have now become displaced passengers stranded in an island where they don’t have the money to get into the next ship.

I used to feel like I could put anything I wanted here and most readers understood that I was being devils advocate and trying to make them think of another point of view, or simply exploring my own point of view. The internet is not the same place anymore. Can someone really become radicalized simply by reading the internet? Do I seriously long for the dirty place where the worst thing you could find was rotten dot com?

Having a lot to say does not cut it anymore, and frankly facebook discussions with people that barely understand the difference between religion, conviction and morals is really futile. Twitter is even worse. The podcast I wanted to start has some merit but it will not be a complete outlet, only a small drip… lol

Pair that with the fact that now things are more and more available to everyone and YES your Mom knows that you blog.

I have a couple of entries that should make an appearance soon, but then again is it time to move to a new format and maybe create a serious YouTube channel? Did the blog really die with the first decade of this century?

Back to the same thing, at this point I am not sure if I should blog or not. /sigh

Random Violence

Weird freaking dreams right? That is the consequence of not writing as an outlet.

That is the conclusion Heather and I came to last night.

A lot has happened in the last year, new job, more travel. There is a chance that I will spend some time in Brazil this year and I should be looking forward to it but sometimes I just want to stay close to home. The world is getting to be a little to scary with random acts of violence… or are they really random.

Two tourists in Brazil were kidnapped yesterday, one of them raped. See earlier this year we took a cruise and after reports that there was local unrest in Belize I decided that we would not get off the ship on that port. I rather not chance getting shot at over some local unrest. Funny thing is that most people think that Colombia is an unsafe country, but don’t understand that there are unsafe areas. The country overall has not been unsafe since the mid 90s in my opinion, well not more so than any other.

Last night the office building where I go to the office at (when I go to the office) had some windows broken due to gun fire. The way it is being told right now is that it is totally random someone walking through the street and just firing. The skeptical person in me says that there is more to that but who knows.

I grew up in Colombia with violence being something you grew up with. I had a baseball cap snatched from my head, had a knife pulled on me in a mugging, my family was shot at, I was blocks away from a car bomb. I have seen my share of violence. I don’t want it in my life. As I get older I try to figure out where it comes from.

Violence is born from frustration and most of that frustration has been born out of poverty and hunger. There are people that do lose it and see violence as a viable outlet, but I think frustration because you cannot feed yourself or your family is a great motivator.

The economy hit this country hard, and while the political process continue to be about everything but the real problems I get more and more concerned about the future. Should I get an arsenals and get ready for society to crumble? Should I be afraid to travel to countries where I have to work but might not be all that safe? Is violence really random or something that can be prevented?

I wish I had more answers than questions.

Packaged Deal

This outlet seems to has falter in the last year or so for me. I used to organize my thoughts here quite a bit and it made it interesting when other people were somehow inspired or pissed off by what my inner monologue sometimes came up with. Life changes thought, and the last year saw a lot of changes for me. The most significant to me was the death of someone really close to me which shook me… a lot… a lot more than I sometimes let on. I know how irrational it can sound, but sometimes when my leg falls to sleep for sitting in a weird position on the couch it brings terrible thoughts of ALS and paralysis… i know, irrational, but stills scary.

While a lot in my life has changed, a lot has stayed pretty much the same. I think I have changed a lot more than life around me. Even though I have spent my life preaching about opening your eyes about what is right in front of you, at times I was just as delusional as everyone else seemed. So yea, it still me, still the same rambles, still hoping it makes you think when you read what the weird voices in my head say.

I am still thinking that this place might have run its course and it might be just left to be an old book that I come back and read. Even though some entries are still living and getting comments, overall I don’t create content here like I used to. Some days I want to change that, some others it feels like the medium is tainted like photography still is to me in some levels. Something that you do for fun, should be enjoyed.

Which brings me back to packaged deals. I am told constantly that I deal too much in absolutes. I am aware of this deficiency on my way of thinking. People are not computers, or math equations… even if they do behave as such sometimes. At least that is how I understand some of them. I try, really I do, but seldom do people really tell you what they are really thinking or feeling, and often times people don’t even know how to put into words what they are feeling either.

Friends and groups of friends always come with some added benefits. Sometimes it is that some of them get you access to cool underground parties or a shorter line at the DMV. Other times those same groups of people come with a price, the person that makes everyone uncomfortable but nobody calls out. I always see those as packaged deals, you kind of have to take the good with the bad and just ignore the losses. I know that applies with not just groups, couples, etc but also with people.

Do you take all the good of a person and try to ignore some of the bad, or most of it? Is the friendship really worth it? Is the time investment something that truly will benefit you in the end.

I spent a good part of the first decade in this century figuring out that cutting people that are destructive in your life need to go. They are a waste of energy. What happens when those people come in a package though? What is then the deal breaker? When does a second chance come into place?

Confusing, I know. Maybe that is why I need to write more again. It seems like my brain is quite a mess at the moment. Funny thing is that it isn’t. I am at a very peaceful time at the moment. It is not void of issues and problems like life is, but I am ok with them and with the plans I have in place to move forward. However, the “nice” person in me feels like I should always reach out and give second chances in situations and not call things done. Maybe that is the part of being human that I am so uncomfortable with. You know the pan handle is hot, you know that you should get the oven mitt before you touch it, but how much can a little test touch can hurt?

First Ramble of 2013

- I need to invent a device that lets me post via brain waves… I thought I had already posted this year!
- I went on a cruise and I did not die.
- I am also not deathly ill now… maybe the last time was food poisoning?
- Maybe the seabands do really work.
- Maybe I do have a little of vertigo but more used to it.
- Hoping it stays this way.
- Still torn about the whole cruise thing. The big things that annoyed me before about it are still there.
- The people that serve you there are so underpaid.
- It was nice to have some candid conversations with some of them, truly nice people.
- Cozumel might be my favorite place in the planet now.
- Ceviche might be my hands down favorite food ever too.
- Pescaterian thoughts are swimming in my head.
- People’s bad attitude are something I really want to stay away from in 2013.
- I will be in Chicago soon! WOOT.
- I love having cops for neighbors.
- Nice knowing someone looks over your lootz.
- The more I have to talk about and say, the less I seem to post.
- I really don’t like not feeling like this is a true outlet anymore.
- I might have to start painting.
- Reading abstract art might not be as fun.
- Self censorship.
- Flu sucks… but I am kind of glad that we had it before vacation.
- Sad so many of my friends are suffering through it.
- Sand beaches or Sand! Bitches!

Bottle opener

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