I ain’t got no crystal balls

john-edwardI was driving somewhere in the Valley when I saw a billboard with John Edward’s face on it. You know, John Edward. That psychic that had that television show sometime over the last decade. He would assemble people in a room and start calling out random numbers and letters until a person (sucker) in the crowd made sense of his ramblings.

I can’t remember what happened to him. I think he was dogged by some scandal. Something about his ability. I think it started with the letter B and ended in shit.

Or maybe it’s real. What do I know? I’m an atheist that is afraid of ghosts.

That billboard was long behind me, but his name kept swirling in my head, John, Edward, John Edward, until I landed on the spirit of the Democratic Party’s past: John Edwards.

john-edwardsOh my God, John Edwards. He came back to me like an old nursery rhyme. His father worked at a mill, he put himself through law school, his hair was impeccable, he was John Kerry’s running mate, and then he ran for president. He stood out between Clinton and Obama as the only candidate to really talk about the struggle of the working poor and explain, in simple terms, the solution for helping them thrive.

But everything went to crap. He was dogged by some scandal. Something about his personal life. I think it started with the letter D and ended with a baby out of wedlock with a woman that was on payroll, while his wife was dying of cancer.

Or maybe that’s normal. What do I know? I’m a lesbian that has never been with a man with hair so irresistible.

Similar to the way the Republican party erased the entire presidency (and failed economic policy) of George W. Bush, the Democratic party expunged Edwards from existence, along with his legitimate platform on combating poverty.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone else that came after him repeated his words. But he was the only one among them who lived it. He was as authentic as his sex scandal, and as vain as he was magnanimous. His southern drawl was ever-present. It didn’t disappear at fundraisers on the west coast and re-emerge stronger during rallies in red states. He was him, flaws and all.

I understand that things were different back then. The country was exhausted of hearing gross stories about powerful men and their weak penises. That’s why the populous elected two wife-loving, monoga-men to the white house back-to-back.

But those days of oppression are over.

As a society, we put a middle finger in the air to all that evangelical pretentiousness and silly talk about family values and elected a thrice-married sexual assaulter who is very (small) handsy with one of his daughters. The prettier one, of course.

So this means that we can bring back John Edwards. After years of quietly helping poor people from his tiny law firm in small-town North Carolina, it’s time to dust off his gorgeous hair and set him loose.

Let the conversation return to what it’s like to live paycheck-to-paycheck or to have to send your children to terrible schools because you can’t afford the rent in the better districts or to be unemployed because you have to check a box that says you have been convicted, regardless if you paid your debt to society.

And let that conversation be led by the guy with two crystal balls.









If I was a rich girl

It is a generally accepted notion in the United States that if you work hard you will undoubtedly be rich. I’ve been pondering this notion for quite some time. Particularly this “working hard” idea. Does Kanye West work hard? Harder than, let’s say, a factory worker? Probably not. But, that’s because once you’re rich, the last thing you want to do is work hard. This leads me to believe that “working hard,” kind of sucks.

So, how exactly does one get rich? Sure, there has to be some work involved. No one is going to reward you for just being you, unless you’re an heiress. But, more than just work you have to have luck. You have to land a job that you’re good at and have your exceptional talents noticed by superiors. But, what good is a promotion and money if you don’t know how to save? The most important part of being rich is learning to be fiscally responsible and saving your hard-earned money.

Before Suze Orman weeps happy tears from the above statement, I’d like to point out that this getting-rich-formula is nearly impossible for Generation X and Y. We are horrible at saving money. Everything we own is owed. We work to pay day care and student loans. We hide from our parents extravagant purchases from the Apple Store and Zappos, so we can later ask them for rent money. And for those of us that have a mortgage, I’m sure we’re strongly considering walking away and moving back in with mom and pop.

Our parents and grandparents aren’t any better off. Sure, they may have a home that’s paid for, but the insurance on it is killing them. They have medical bills and co-pays and a 401K that isn’t worth the computer that they use to download their statement. They will most likely work until they die. And what for? So they can leave us $30,000 so we can finally pay-off our pesky debt.

What good is all the money we earn, save, inherit, win if we don’t have the time to enjoy it?

Time. That’s real money.

Tell me, what good is making a million dollars a year if you don’t have the time to enjoy it with your family and friends? With such a high paying job, I’m sure you’ll have to be on call all the time. And, unless you work for the government, you’ll only get two weeks vacation to rent out a private island (that will undoubtedly need to have WiFi).

Hard work, plus saving money equals being rich, minus time. This doesn’t add up.

After much thought, I’ve decided that the only way to get rich is to work to earn at least ten dollars per week and enter a lottery pool with your friends and family. This way, everyone you know will be rich with nothing to do, but hang out. And, once you blow your share you can still mooch off your parents who have cleverly figured out a way to double theirs, as they had a feeling you weren’t going to make it as a rich person.