Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Datapoints 2008

My absence is attributed to a cross-country train trip. I enjoy meeting people on the train. This is probably as close to an American cross-section as I am able to produce.

Datapoint #1
Middle-aged white male with European accent and United Nations emblem on his jacket. He keeps looking at me oddly. I’d like to think that the presence of a traditional American male is troubling to him. But I worry that he is a queer. In any case, he is drinking Bloody Marys at 10am.

Datapoint #2

Senior Iowa lawyer, Alpha male type. Higher-level discussions on energy and politics. He has read books on the impending energy shortage and was concerned about it (more truth on energy was revealed to him during the conversation). Called southerners ‘rednecks’ and is worried about the new President’s health. Shares my concerns about the money supply.

Datapoint #3

Young London couple. She wears the pants, he goes to bed early. Global warming believers who are touring the US after a trip to Belize. She is big Obama supporter who is angry at her Chicago brother-in-law for not supporting islands of rent-control in his prosperous neighborhood, formerly known as Cabrini Green. When I mention that 410 school children have been killed in that neighborhood, following the closing of the projects, she gets in my face.

Then we talk about voting rights and my view that there should be Citizenship performance standards in order to vote and she yells some more. I explain the Belize democracy model with the oligarchy of British Knights and she literally stamps her feet and runs out of the car telling me congratulations on figuring out the politics of a small country of 200,000 people, to which I corrected her (the number is 300,000). I enjoyed that interaction greatly.

Datapoint #4

California Zephyr lounge car attendant. Charismatic middle-aged black male. He knows the rules and I know the rules regarding coffee refills, clandistine booze, and tipping. Code language is established and we get along well, avoiding the subject of politics. ‘Two glasses of ice with that Pepsi sir?’ ‘Two would be better.’ As far as I can tell, we enjoy each other’s company. I had a nice trip at least.

Datapoint #5

Iraqi Veteran. Junior army enlisted from Iowa, just back. Has read the Qur’an and had questioned Iraqis on the whole ‘Religion of Peace’ theory. He didn't like the answers he received. People on the train had been pushing him to attend some degree-machine local college and he questioned the value of using his time in that manner. We exchanged phone numbers and, if the current business venture is successful, this guy will have a place in the organization.

Datapoint #6

New Age Female from Napa Valley and Iowa, enroute to a new commune in New York. Offered me herbal and oxygen supplements, watch out for the Oxybliss cleansing stuff, especially before you are to meet your parents for a nice dinner.

Very attractive, nice, nice girl who apologized that she did not stop the conflict I had with the London chick. I hope she finds whatever she is seeking.

And here we are. I love the train.

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