28 November 2008

The "Owners" of Our House

Let's pretend I visit your house.

You offer me food and rest. I decide to stay.

Then, I order you and your family around, use your things and rearrange the rooms.

I take down your photos and religious symbols, replace them with my own and make you speak my language.

One day, I dig up your garden and replace it with crops that I can sell.

You and your family must now buy all of your food from me.

Later, I invite my father and his buddies over.

They bring guns. We take your keys.

I forge a deed and declare my father to be the owner of your house.

I bring more people. Some work for me. Some pay me to stay in your house.

I seize your savings and spend it on my friends.

You and your family now sleep on the porch.

Finally you protest.

Being reasonable, I let you stay in a corner of the house and give you a small allowance, but only if you behave.

I tell you, "Sorry, I was wrong for taking the house."

But when you demand your house back, I tell you to be realistic."You are part of this family now, whether you like it or not," I say. "Besides, this is for your own good.

For all that I have done for you, why aren't you grateful?"

Some of Us feel like that. Some of Us who live on My Island would say that the little allegory above pretty much sums up what the U.S. of part of A. has done with Us. They came, they took, they took over, they marginalized Us, built Our house into a product placement McMansion and We sleep on an air conditioned back porch, part of "the family," but relegated to a step above the family mutt (called Dubya for obvious reasons.)

Some of Us argue that We should ask to be invited into the house and be given permission by the current "owners" to sleep in one of the bedrooms, ignoring the obvious century-old fact that the "owners" want Us on the back porch because We're not one of them.

Others of Us want a better porch, you know, one with a jacuzzi and maybe a few massage chairs. But those same folks aren't willing to work or pay for the "needed improvements" and the "owners" aren't spending another dime on the back porch unless it pays off immediately and lazyboys (double pun very much intended) just don't count.

A handful of Us want to take back Our house, either telling the "owners" it's time they moved out, or to a smaller group, forcing them out as the squatters they are. In either case, it means We take on the full responsibility of owning Our house, in every sense of the word, from maintenance to daily living to future improvements. And sadly, to the majority of Us, that is just too daunting. It literally strikes terror in the masses of porch-dwellers who look around and wail "But look at all We got!", whereas the small group of Us point out "But look at all they've got... that's rightly Ours."

And there We are, on the back porch, some of Us sunning Ourselves, most of Us parked in front of the TV screen that gets adjusted ever so often to avoid the sun's reflection; some of Us timidly tapping on the back door with a ragged fingernail, a few doing the same at a window; some sitting and boasting about who they knew who slept inside or who they know who once served ice cream to the third cousin twice-removed of someone who now sleeps inside; many grumbling about how the porch isn't cool enough and lacks enough ice to be really comfortable, but don't move from their lawn chair to try to solve either problem; a large group of Us sleep quietly, awakening rarely to squawk some name and wave some flag then go back to sleep and some of Us, too few of Us, mutter about how this is not the way things should be and spend Our days wondering why the rest don't get it and unable to come up with a rallying cry to get the people off their chairs, off the floor, off the damn back porch and striding confidently to the front door, knocking sharply and saying in a clear strong voice "We move in next week. And don't forget to take the damn mutt with you."

The Jenius Has Spoken.

P.S.  The quote is from the Free Hawaii blog. Their group of mutterers is certainly much larger and better organized than Ours. 


The Insider said...

Maybe they came for self-interest and hoped that the people would get hooked on the "American Dream"... but were shocked that the only parts of it anyone seemed to want were the cellphones and SUVs (pardon the anachronisms).

They don't want to relegate you to the porch. They don't even want to visit you. They don't like the garbage in your neighborhood. They don't want to be in your house when it floods. They don't want to get killed on "murder island 3x". And they don't want to put up with the attitude when they have bigger things to worry about.

Perhaps trash, guns, and floods are perfect for the independent movement. ;)

Anonymous said...

While I hardly care whether or not Hawaii wants to secede, I am very much interested in PR's status. Especially since Hawaii has a different political status than PR.

Anyway I think this entry will be my Feature of the Week this Saturday coming. It's that damn good.

GCSchmidt said...

Thanks, Ramona! On another topic, you might want to google "hawaii" and "coquí"...