He proudly appoints himself Pigface, a title that exemplifies his bold, entertainingly spontaneous and captivatingly aggressive demeanor.
Within seconds of knowing my new Harley riding friend, I know he is a man who holds no punches; and in what he expresses, he mixes no words in calling it as he sees it.
I ask him of his council.
“Learn mandarin and Hindi…!” Pigface accounts with a sarcastic tinge of wit, “…You better know it for the future… We’re F…ed!
It’s all about American greed… and we created the monster.
I work in Aerospace and all of our jobs are going to people who will work for fifty bucks a month. Bottom line, the few rich here will reap the benefits… The rest of us are F…ed.”
As I said, Pigface holds no punches.
Like it or not, he flies with his opinion, and in it, slaps us in he face with reality. I’m not going to point a finger at China or India. For as Pigface charges, the problems start at the core of big greed, and in the end, pulling from the tone Pigface has started, we… the working people… get it in the proverbial end.
It’s strange how themes come in bundles with 365. I don’t look for any specific weekly agenda, profile those I approach or guide our conversations in any way… other than asking the same two common questions of everyone. But, somehow this last week has been charged, in both fearful and accepting tones, with the topics of patriotism and immigration. The sum whole of which I’m sure has stirred a great variety of emotions in all of us.
And to finish the week with Pigface’s aggressive stance might possible be the kick that gets us thinking as to our views on the subjects. Trust me, in all that we have spoken of this last week, I do not sit on the fence. But in respect to honest journalism and to allow all a fair representation of their views I charge no arguments. To do so would be wrong and disrespectful to those who have continued to trust me and have the courage to make their opinions heard.
I will however politic on one disclosed agenda. That being my mission of being an ambassador to the one statement I will not bury. I’ve written it many times this week… not planned… just happened. And in even writing it I will admit that I am a little charged by the energy of the topics of the week… “We are in this thing together!”
Truly the power to tolerate is within us all… and tolerance in the most powerful weapon in our arsenal of humanistic outreach. There is no way we will all ever agree on any one given perspective. It’s a wonderful dream, but we need to keep our heads grounded in reality. Sure, I’m an optimist, but even with the quest to seek the best in all, we sometimes walk through mud.
Pigface is a cool dude, who is doing his best to eek out his living in a rapidly changing economy. And in his Aerospace experience, he has seen first hand the many who have lost their livelihoods to the low bidder. Yea, he does point a finger, and many fingers have been pointed back at him as an American.
I don’t think he is speaking with any form of supremacy; he speaks of fairness. A fairness that we all may receive a wage comparable to the product or service delivered, no matter who offers it. And in pointing to other countries he is accurate. Too much undercutting is happening between boarders. I’m no economist… Not even going to claim that I make my observations based on any mathematical facts or corporate training. Its just opinion… Opinion that in the case of 365, is not wholly of personal or political objective, but a compilation of emotional response spurred on by the hundreds of people I have spoken to during my 365 travels.
Yes, I’m a little charged this week. Not ranting, not raving, but at the core I confess that I am feeling an overriding emotion. One that makes me want to stand on the roof and yell, “Listen people, we need to respect one another, no matter what!”
In that I will give one more confession, perhaps a hidden agenda… I really don’t know. But if I was to give a theatrical definition to an outlook, it might read like this, To self and to each other, “I’m not trying to cut your legs off… so please don’t chop at mine!”
Personally, I don’t care if you are American, Chinese, Indian, Canadian, Arabic, European or whatever, just listen to each other and look past the words in a shared camaraderie of temperance.
I’m no Gandhi, just a balding white dude in Middle America who has now spoken to almost two thousand people, and in doing so, has received a countless number of blog, Facebook and direct email comments. Some are endearing, some are freighted, others scornful. One thing I can say is that in all, whether positive or negative, and as passionate as they all are, I can honesty collate; the majority of them have been addressed and are resolved. Not by me, but by the very soul of 365, it’s readers… and how cool is that. In it is evidence that we can learn tolerance and respect, or at least gain the skills to bridle our reactions, reformatting them into a more constructive use of intellect and emotion.
Enough said, and still I’m clueless why I have orated so much today and over the last few days. Must be the chili I’ve been eating or quite possibly the triple digit weather is affecting my mood.
“What about the future?” I ask Pigface.
He takes a very long silent breath, then responds, “Learn to tighten your belt.”
“Do you mean financial belt?” I ask.
“Is there any recovery in store,” I second.
Soberly, “I don’t know…” he responds, “… by that time I may not be here.”
Despite his colorful countenance Pigface is short in words, so I inquire if he has any final thoughts.
“We should legalize Marijuana and never elect a Republican…
Better yet… we need a pot smoking atheist in the White House.”
I leave that one alone; the week has been political enough.
We resume back to the world of jesting.
“I’ve been working out,” Pigface jokes, “…Does it look like I have a six-pack or does it look like I drank a six-pack?”
I buy into his humor, “Sure, you look tight… better than me. I’ve been working on my one pack.”
We start taking pictures and inspired by the “Are you modeling?” comment from the employees of the Harley Davidson dealership at which I have met Pigface, he grows our laughter, “Am I not photogenic or what!”
He puts what he calls “his ridiculously legislated helmet” on the seat of his bike, and showing off his tee-shirt logo, asks me for a favor, “Can you get me on the Sons of Anarchy?”
Anarchy or not, Pigface has made us think.
Signing off now… I’m toast.
Talk tomorrow my friends.