Monday, August 16, 2010

A more complete accounting begins

Now that I am safely removed (physically anyway) from the beginnings of my Ph.D. education at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, I thought it would be prudent to describe it and the lawsuits emanating therefrom.

As I discussed before, I came to Louisiana because they posted a scholarship opportunity: four years of paid tuition and a stipend for earning a Ph.D. I applied and in that application explained to the then-department Chair, a thoroughly indolent Welshman, that I needed accommodations because of a documented learning disability.

Shortly thereafter, I was accepted and granted a scholarship. The first issue which arose is where I would stay. I was coming over from Hungary (with a brief stay-over in New York City) and being on uncertain financial footing and not knowing a soul there I expressed- repeatedly- that I will need housing. (Whether this is something that needs to be stressed or whether a reasonably intelligent person can gather that if coming from 2000 miles away, you may need housing, is something we can totally discuss.)

Now Louisiana being the south and having, shall we say,certain social customs (from the link: "Louisiana is the 10th most segregated state for African Americans, with 42.3% of Black students in extremely segregated schools (those with a 90-100% minority student body"), I was unsurprised when they paired me with Mitch, the only other New York Jew in the program. (Heather was suspiciously nasal but I think she was from the Midwest.) An extremely literal fellow, Mitch stated that I could stay "a couple of days" while looking for housing and going to classes.

Somewhere on day 4 or so, Mitch stated that he wanted me out of there because a couple means two and wouldn't you know I was past my expiration date. Now, prior to my arrival, Mitch had penned a magnanimous note to the entire faculty that he would accept me as his houseguest. Like many generous souls, Mitch found that pontificating about generosity was a lot easier than practicing it. He unceremoniously dumped me on campus one day, stating that he volunteered to let me stay but was now "unvolunteering."

Needless to say, this pleased me to no end. Already displeased by the fact that I just traveled 5000 miles over the course of the prior week, I wrote the following to the faculty:

"Dear All,

As a piggyback to this email- as you may know, I have been staying with Mitch who has volunteered for it while I try to find a place. However, this afternoon Mitch has informed me that he is "unvolunteering" and would want me to find a new place starting tomorrow (Friday). If any of you are in a position to grant this request, please shoot me an email or call _______. Please do so only if you are genuinely capable of and interested in helping me so as to avoid such situations in the future. I am, by sheer luck, well set funding wise so can certainly pay. A permanent place- one that can last a semester without any such last minute surprises- is much preferred. If you do not wish to assist please do not feel pressured to act otherwise.

Thanks bunches

P.S: Do to a phone reception that can only be described in tragic terms, please do not be surprised if I do not pick up and just leave me a voicemail."

I did this for three reasons: first, being dumped on campus with much of my worldly possessions displeased me to no end. Second, if Mitch was going to get brownie points for being such a kind soul, he should earn them. And finally, as I noted before, it wasn't as if my arrival in Louisiana was a surprise. I did not simply land on their front steps like a lice-ridden urchin and plead for a warm cot and a ration of bread.

While not the most courteous writing of my life, it was miles better than my initial impulse which was along the lines of "fuck you you fucking assholes get me a fucking place to live right this instant motherfuckers!" This was especially so since, in dumping me on campus, Mitch explained that he was having personal issues and has no interest in my welfare. I should add that I offered to pay him so that his generosity would have earthly rewards.

Now, one might think that having accepted me and gotten money from the government to host me, the University would have some concerns for my welfare. Okay, that's a lie. America, becoming more sociopathic by the day, seems proud in its lack of concern for people. Jack Da, a professor mentioned here previously, nevertheless reached out to me.

I am going to give you a bit of free advice. You don't arrive at a new
place and take advantage of someone's hospitality and then "dis" them to
everyone else in the program. I don't know you are from son, but it is

A couple of things there hoss: 1) I ain't your son. If I am, you owe child support big time. Call me Mr. _____. 2) A pretense of concern would've been nice. "Where are you staying?" "Do you have cooties?" "I know a park bench." That kind of thing. 3) I did not "take advantage" of Mitch any more than I took advantage of the pizza I paid for. Mitch, rather publicly, offered his services so that he could accrue brownie points. Having done so, he needed to buck up and do what he promised. 4) It's none of your fucking business where I'm from you degenerate Republican.

With much self restraint, I did not voice these thoughts. Nevertheless, the fun didn't stop there.

Friday, October 30, 2009

A man after the shriveled vessels of my rock hard heart

At the core of the legal system is a fiction. We all know it to be a fiction, but without it the system would be incapable of functioning, and so in the interest of maintaining a system to resolve disputes that doesn't involve swords or pistols at twenty paces, we accept the fiction as necessary and turn a blind eye to its existence. The fiction is that the players in the system representing the power of the Sovereign are inherently trustworthy.

From the police officer on the street, to the prosecutor in the well, to the judge on the bench, we accept their word because to do otherwise would be to have no starting point for a credible system of justice. We presume good faith. We presume integrity. We presume that they execute the functions of their office with integrity.

Why is this a fiction? Because they are all human beings, clothed in their respective official positions. They carry the same baggage that all other human beings carry, prejudice, misperception, ego, antagonism. Like all human beings, they are flawed. But to admit that we've put the system in the hands of flawed human beings is to concede that it is impossible to craft a system that has inherently integrity. Instead, we would admit to a system that is no better than the players upon which is relies, and we would be left with the system that could never be trusted to produce justice.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

4 core values

The four core values are laziness, greed, fear and ego. Lets take them by turn.

Laziness- "I don't wanna" is the rallying cry of the world. Be it niewazdnie in Poland, unom in Hungary, whaaaat throughout the English speaking world, it's our unifying core value. There is no stronger force out there. Eons go by as everyone waits for someone else to do something.

Greed- "Me wantee" they say, usually about 10 minutes before or after "don't wannaa". Everyone in life sees an opportunity in you. Whether its a job, a dinner, a fuck, a reference letter, a present- everyone is looking to get something. In fact, greed is the only force in the world that has any chance of competing with laziness.

Fear- Ahh the adreline rush. Its like the flipside of greed but much more short term and much less effective/motivating. Its fun to what tho when folks run around like chickens without heads but counterproductive. Usually, fear is the flipside to arrogance with is part of...

Ego- The New Testament may have said that the meek shall inherit the Earth but your pastor/preacher still wears $5,000 suits and drives a Mercedes while telling you that only sinners fail to tithe. 'Nuff said. No? More? OK. Greed (see above) comes from entitlement and no nation on earth is more entitled than the one I live in which has spawned an entire culture around "you're worth it." Youtube, Loreal, facebook, therapists, dates, meetups, etc are all based around the fact that with next to no effort you too are the best even if you're not. The rest of the world is catching on and this idea is spreading like a virus- it is not uncommon for Eastern Euro women to take voice lessons to sound like a movie star: because, see, if you sound sorta like a star, you actually are one!

Friday, October 2, 2009

"Women want you to be mean to them"

Sounds counter intuitive right? Men are raised, or should be raised, to respect women. But, as many a single man has discovered over the years, respect doesn't get you very far. So the above advice, from a divorced lawyer in southwestern Louisiana is pretty spot on and experience backs it up.

Now lets be clear: I am not saying that you should get drunk, beat your wife and cheat on her and then beat the woman you cheat on your wife with, although that certainly seems to work for many men. Take my beloved state senator, an ex cop who is presently on trial for grinding shards of glass into his girlfriend's face. The girl got on the stand and did her best to take the blame. Why? The prestige of being senator so and so's main squeeze? The security provided by a hefty salary? The idea that she can hold this over his head forever? Pick all three and then some. From that perspective, being with a decent guy who doesn't cheat or steal or beat you doesn't pay. And as a young lady once explained to me, in a fit of frustration that the monetary and ego-related rewards of our relationship were unsatisfactory: "I am invested in this relationship." Plus, a few stitches is worth it for someone who thinks "I got senator such and such by the balls for-ever!"

Sure to a normal person all this sounds repellent, sociopathic, wrong wrong wrong. But look around you: see any normal people?

Didn't think so.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A few tips from Asiatown

1) You are paranoid and they are after you: Ages ago, I was in a minor car accident in Arkansas. No big deal right? I get his insurance, he gets mine, we part ways, right? Uhhhh no. His first words are, after exchanging insurance info "Now that I think about it, my neck is really hurting." For more recent examples, take a peek at the stuff about Sylvie Ditman A/K/A Patty Patchrint and the Grant Foundation Center.

2) Take a tip from Mae West: "I never listen to what men say anymore. I just watch what they do." She was right and the same goes for women. Do you have any idea how many people made promises to me in my life? Do you know how few kept them?

3) Ambition is considered threatening, not inspiring. The goal of most people is to have a place to live, a car to drive, someone to have sex with, a tv to watch, cheetos to eat and a check from the government. Pulling themselves together and bettering themselves is hard, risky work. Watching you do it just pisses them off. This is true whether they live in a trailer in Utah or a penthouse on the Upper East Side. Most will reflexively try to undermine you every step of the way.

3a) People love comfort. Even if comfort is living in an outhouse. The worst thing you can do is disturb their comfort.

4) "Tell someone to go to hell in a way that makes them want to drop dead right there." I heard that on the Emmys and its true. Damned tough to do though.

5) Loyalty is dead. My godfather worked for almost fifty years: he had a total of two employers. I have been working for about sixteen years. I have had at least 200 employers, including freelance work/clients. Everyone is looking to get over on someone else. This goes beyond work. You can have a new BFF (best friends forever!) every three seconds, a new spouse every three months. Not long ago, a woman in Westchester, an attorney at a Manhattan firm, had the bright idea of hey, my kids are fighting in the car, so why not pull over and kick them out right there on the highway? Tom DeLay once adopted a kid- and then gave the kid back to the orphanage. Newt Gingrich ditched his first wife while she was ill with cancer. Get the picture?

6) Shame is also dead. Recently, I was in court. The lady testified that she and I never emailed each other. I promptly had her read the emails we exchanged into the record. She did. Then she repeated that we never emailed each other.

Now the hard part is not learning these tips, its putting them into practice.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Another update on the grant foundation center and Sylvie Ditman

Sylvie is most likely the alias of a lass named Patty Patchrint. She and her boyfriend (the lad who called and threatened to kill me) run the Grant Foundation Center, pitching themselves to government agencies as trainers. The two live in L.A., not far from the Hacienda Heights hangout of Suvadepa (spelling?) Patchrint, who at 58 is probably Patty's proud pappa.

They then hire a schmuck (that could be you!) a week ahead of time and throw him/her/it into the classroom. Mass student dissatisfaction ensues over matters like lacking coursebooks. Its all very South Korea-i. By the time the students vented on the aforementioned schmuck, Patty and her loverboy are off to the next town. The grant foundation center used to be called the ICI- institute on communications something something.

They either pitch themselves to government agencies as people who know all about getting stimulus moolah: or at least they say they pitch themselves to government agencies. Its possible that no government body has ever heard of them.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A few more words about the grant foundation center and sylvie ditman

I won a default judgment against them in small claims court here in nyc. Three default judgements would mean the ability to sue again, this time for triple damages. Just sayin'.

If you want to get in touch, make a paypal contribution. It can be a nominal amount: the sum is not the point- the point is to leave behind an email address that only I can see.