Forced ambivalence and the simplification of immigration issues “because I said so”

This is a post I started several weeks ago, so I wanted to finish it. It starts below:

Just read an interesting August 27th blog entry by Maira Kalman of the NYT. At first, I was excited to see another voice speaking in what seemed like support of immigration. As I kept reading down the page though, it became evident that Kalman’s position is ridiculously simplified and makes assumptions about the nature of immigration, “legal” and “illegal.” While she reflects on and seemingly celebrates the diversity seen in her neighborhood in (I assume) Brooklyn, she naively rejects the overwhelming facts of the unjust immigration system currently in place in the United States. At first glance, she seems very supportive of some sort of change to the system; yet gradually, any observant reader will realize that she’s advocating the status quo; if not the status quo, at least the willful ignorance that pervades this country, the idea that if it doesn’t concern you, you can simply ignore it and move on.

Posting a blog entry full of non-sequiturs (both illustrations and cutesy ideas) does not excuse you from this statement:

“What of the 12 million people living here who are undocumented? They are here illegally. Do they deserve to stay? There are groups lobbying for immigration reform. At community centers you meet dedicated organizers and undocumented people, and you think these are GREAT people and they CANNOT be sent back to their countries of origin. The problems are SUBSTANTIAL: Health care. Employment. Taxes. Detention facilities. Impenetrable bureaucracies. Is it naïve of me to think, while acknowledging the myriad problems, that the system is basically just?”

What in the world lead Kalman to believe that the system is just? Could it be the separation of families due to the flawed petition/visa system? Could it be the deportation of US citizens to Mexico? Maybe she doesn’t know how USCIS has broken the law, time after time, by not allowing derivative beneficiaries of green card petitions to maintain original priority dates; I am one of those beneficiaries, as are several others I know. Instead of being productive members of society, we’re forced to wait ten more years while USCIS plays the “because I said so” card. Or could it be selective memory? After all, Kalman herself is an immigrant.

Perhaps she should take a good look at what is happening in this country before making such statements and then following them up with shows of appreciation for diversity through images of mango lasse drinks and boxes of cookies from Pakistan. “Think small,” she says, “It helps me handle the complicated too-muchness[sic] of it all.”

Gee, Maira, could you think any smaller than the last sentence of your blog? “Happy to be here,” are you? Maybe you should be the first to get back in line.

There’s no other witnesses, just us two

I removed some blogs from my follow list, mainly because I follow too many blogs and it seems to be affecting Blogger’s ability to update my new item list on the dashboard. If you don’t post something every couple of days, I usually stop following. The exceptions are people who are important to me in one way or another, usually because they always post interesting things, so I’m willing to wait them out for a bit.

Found an interesting blog that I’d like to share with you: Jong-Min lives on the east coast and blogs about being undocumented. I haven’t seen a lot of well-written blogs by undocumented people, so this is a really good example of one. Check it out. I’m not the only undocumented writer on the internet.

On the subject of writing and the DREAM Act, I’m continuously amazed at the rancor and infighting taking place daily on the DREAM Act forums. You’d think a community of similarly disenfranchised people would stick together instead of trying to prove how much better they are than the rest. For a group of students who are supposed to be the enlightened future of the nation, they sure do act like a bunch of fucking idiots.

Example: one guy constantly asks every new female poster what she looks like and whether or not she’ll date him, and argues with other people who tell these new posters to be aware of this tool. If you search for threads where he’s posted, I guarantee you’ll find some mention of how much of a player he is, and how ugly all the girls on the forum are. He also has a wonderful blog where he writes about his daily failures in the realm of picking up girls, grammatical/spelling errors included.

It’d be nice if this community were an actual community, but I guess that’s also a dream that will be unfulfilled.

Speaking of unfulfilled dreams, immigration reform is going down the drain fast. I hope Obama decides to stand up for what he advocated during his campaign.

I finally updated my links list in the sidebar. Sorry if you linked to me from your blog and never got your link back until now. I’m working on it, and Blogger’s template sucks. I need to switch to WordPress.

I’m stuck in my memory

I hate blogging. Whenever I think of something to write, I sit down to write it here and instantly forget what I was going to say. Some blog posts stay unwritten, while others are written over the span of three to five hours.

I came dangerously close to calling JJ the other night. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve decided to do something and then gone back on my decision a couple of days later. Only this time it’s been three weeks. At least I think it’s been three weeks. Each day has blurred into the next.

I don’t have anything interesting to say today, except that I’ve found a place to live, and hopefully this whole thing works out. I’m still deciding on a day to fly out, but it will most likely be the 25th, and I’ll be flying to Raleigh and taking the Greyhound to Roanoke. Flying to Roanoke isn’t possible because every airline that flies there charges for bags.

I’ve been practicing my southern accent. Hopefully I’ll be able to impress some of you in the future.

New collaborative MFA blog

Please check out the new collaborative MFA student blog The MFA Chronicles. I’m thrilled to be taking part in this effort, and I hope other people will be interested in reading about the experiences of many different students at different schools.

If you’re an incoming MFA student about to start your first year and are interested in getting involved and writing about your experience, please contact JaytotheTee for blog access.

Analytics is serious business

Curiously enough, 57 new people read my blog because of that MFA Blog post about my adventures with fundable. Considering the average time spent reading my blog by people who came here from fundable was over 7 minutes, I am very impressed. Compare this to an average of 6:40 minutes by people who come here directly (typed in this address or follow a bookmark).

I’m kind of a geek when it comes to statistics and social engineering as such. I mean, putting information out there is social engineering at its best. You dress up your cause or your thoughts, mask everything or put an appealing spin on it, then send it out to the world, hoping that people will come and read whatever it is you’ve written.

Analytics is cool because it allows you to find out where people are coming from, who they are (in a very basic sense), and what they do on your page. In terms of making your site popular, analytics play an important role. For those of us who know they will never be super popular, analytics is a cool way of finding out who is interested in our work.

Anyway, I guess I should start putting out more serious posts filled with words, instead of videos, to get your attention. Maybe some more meaningful posts would be beneficial as well.


I just realized that this will be my 101st post. It isn’t really that important, except in the fact that this is the longest amount of time I’ve spent on a blog. This doesn’t count the LiveJournal account I’ve had since 2004 because I haven’t posted continuous updates on there. This is also completely different because all my entries are uncensored, which has lots of implications.

My mother offered to let her friend stay at our place tonight because she can’t say no to people. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the woman hadn’t brought over her overexcited dog. I forgot how much I hate big dogs. No matter how much I would like a dog, I don’t think I’d be able to handle anything larger than a pug. This lab is crazy. He’s 5 and still super excited at everything. I wish people would train their dogs a bit better. Then again, this brings up the issue of animals as pets, and proper treatment of animals as pets. I don’t think it is cruel of me to ask for an animal to be well-trained.

This woman is also in her sixties or possibly in her seventies and has an attitude of being wanted everywhere she goes. Some people don’t seem to recognize when they should be thankful for the help they get. Instead, they want to take over the entire environment surrounding them. It makes me angry. She also has an irritating east coast accent that just makes everything worse. Sorry east coasters, but she sounds pretentious and bitchy.

And now for something completely different –

Ever wonder how you should approach the idea of getting on with your life after a potentially damaging relationship / incident with someone you cared about? I have the answer, and it’s easier than you think!

Just stop communicating with that person, and you’ll feel better. Ignore their phone calls, remove them from your instant messaging lists (if you’re still using IM services), remove them from your Facebook friend list if you have to (how strange it is that Facebook is taking over our lives in such a way that access to information is the key to relationships). I know it may be difficult to stop talking to someone you loved, but the benefits of self-reliance outnumber the pain of never speaking to said person again. You’ll feel better in a week. When the person will try to talk to you, just walk away from your computer or don’t pick up the phone. It’s easy to avoid someone if you have no way of seeing them or communicating with them.

I’m being completely serious.

I spent an hour yesterday on the phone with my ex, trying to give relationship advice. I should never give relationship advice. All my advice tends to move along the same vein: break up if you want to, but I don’t want to be telling you what to do.

I think that if you make up your mind to get someone off your mind and out of your life, you can do it. Sure, it hurts to think that I’ll possibly never speak to JJ again, but it isn’t worth feeling bad when I can actively improve my life. My goal: not to speak to her until December.