• author
    • Gary Huerta

      Columnist
    • July 12, 2013 in Columnists

    This just in…

    In social sciences: Millennials are optimistic about the future. At least they are according to the LA Times.

    In case you have trouble separating the Boomers from the Gen Xers from the Millennials, the latter are a subgroup of unrealistically optimistic Americans born in the ’80s and early ’90s.

    Evidently, this societal category believes they have a really bright future, with a vast majority thinking they have enough money, or would have enough in the future, to meet their long-term financial goals, the Pew Research Center’s Social and Demographic Trends project found last year. Additionally, nearly three out of four believed they would achieve their goals in life — or already had.

    I guess one can die happily knowing they attended Burning Man.

    As a Baby Boomer – one of the most pessimistic generations – I’m envious of this positive outlook. In fact, I’m completely blown away by it. In the face of global economic crises, jobs disappearing, class warfare, choking greenhouse gasses and a government hell bent on destroying everyone but the über rich, these kids actually think everything’s coming up roses.

    I have got to change my outlook. Or start smoking bath salts.

    On the one hand, this level of optimism is what we should all aspire to achieve. After all, we manifest our destiny through our thoughts so perhaps this group of life-loving, cheery Americans are just what the world needs to pull mankind out of its eternal pity party. I’m willing to give it a try, despite my inclination to believe it will only lead to bigger disappointment. But, for the sake of experiment, I’ll adopt the Millenial way of being for the rest of this column and see if looking at the silver lining to the rest of the week’s fodder makes me feel better. Here goes…

    In environmental news: According to the Energy Information Administration, coal’s share of total domestic power generation in the first four months of 2013 averaged 39.5 percent, compared with 35.4 percent during the same period last year. During the same period, the use of natural gas dropped. If you are a Millenial, the news gets even better. Why? With gas prices going up, you can count on the trend to continue with the end result leading to even more greenhouse gases! Yay – longer summers!

    If I were still a glum semi-suicidal Baby Boomer, I might pour myself a gargantuan Jack Daniels and drown my misery by thinking this turn for the worst is yet another example of how the president I once had so much faith in has failed to hold the line in the sand when it comes to improving the environment.

    But for the next 631 words, that’s not me. For now, I’m full of hope. I’ll just put down the bottle, whip up a spirulina and whey protein shake, and be grateful that soon we will simply run out of coal to burn and that will facilitate a positive change towards more green energy sources. Problem solved! Huzzah!

    Of course, I’ll also remain upbeat that the ozone layer does not disappear and we don’t all spontaneously combust before that happens.

    In business news: Earlier this week, ThinkProgress.org reported that Walmart was threatening to close down three planned sites in Washington DC if the city council passed a “living wage” bill that would require them to pay workers a minimum of $12.50 an hour.

    In a Washington Post editorial, Walmart general manager Alex Barron issued an ultimatum to Mayor Vincent Gray: veto the bill, or Walmart will halt construction on three stores.

    Hell, I don’t even have to be a Millenial to see this is great news. Walmart wants to cut off its own nose to spite its face and shut some doors? To that I say, “Be my guest! Halt construction. Keep your shitty products in your warehouses. I dare you. I double dog dare you!”

    Having Walmart proactively expose its own inhumanity towards the working class does provide reason to believe there is light at the end of the tunnel of corporate greed. The implosion of Corporate America as a result of its own stupidity will always make me giddy with happiness.

    Could anything make me happier? This could. On July 10, the DC City Council passed the living wage bill 8-5. The bill is on its way to Mayor Gray, who was issued that moronic “do or die” by Walmart.

    Here’s hoping the mayor is an optimistic Millenial with a desire to see that the future remains bright for the working class!

    In local news: Meshael Alayban, a real live Saudi princess living in Orange County, was charged with felony human trafficking after a Kenyan woman claimed that Alayban forced her to work 16 hours a day, seven days a week, for only $220 a month.

    “The law of our nation and California does not tolerate people who deprive or violate the liberty of another and obtain forced labor or services,” Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas said. “If any person is being enslaved, he or she should contact law enforcement.”

    Hmm. The curmudgeon of a Boomer that I was would be quick to point out that this is yet one more example of the rich thinking it can exploit those less fortunate for their own gain. But that’s a low-frequency, negative outlook. Looking at it through rose-colored glasses with my chakras spinning free and clear, I can easily envision a positive outcome.

    First, the Kenyan woman has ample experience at being taken advantage of and would be an ideal candidate to work at Walmart should her former employer end up in jail for the next 15 years as a result of a human trafficking conviction. What store manager could pass up on someone so well qualified? So she most likely has more steady work in her future. Awesome for her!

    Second, Alayban, the Saudi princess, shows real potential as a future Walmart executive. Her knack for dehumanizing people, not paying them overtime and then denying any wrongdoing puts her in line for nothing less than an executive vice president position within the megalomaniacal retailer’s corporate offices. Even if she is incarcerated, I have to think that job will be waiting for her. It really is a win-win for everyone!

    In the end, it looks like the Millenials are right: if you look for positives, there’s no reason whatsoever to think we are heading in the wrong direction.

    For this week, I’m over and out. But in a good way.



    • Gary, your column cracks me up and I truly do laugh out loud when reading it. Today’s was equally as great as all your other ones. Love your sense of humor.



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