Tag Archives: culture

In Defense of Immigration

Last time, the Master of the Extraordinary got mad at me because my topic wasn’t sufficiently polemic. “Controversy sells, Carlos, pick something that will piss people off!” So after scratching my head for a while, I finally settled on immigration.

Now I’m sure this will leave no doubt in the rabble-rousers’ minds that I’m up to no good: “Carlos is at it again, corrupting our good old-fashioned American values. Just look at his name, he is probably one of them [a proud Irish-Jewish mutt!]. Let’s deport him now before he causes any more problems.”

As our world has become increasingly globalized, immigration in turn has been rising steadily: Just look at all the immigration to countries in western Europe that until recently had been sources of significant emigration to the Americas. So while we can certainly argue about its pros and cons, the fact of the matter is that there will continue to be an  “immigration problem” as long as significant differences in economic opportunities between neighboring countries persist, and no physical or legal barriers are going to prevent this.

Furthermore, if individuals are willing to travel long distances, braving great dangers both human-made and natural in order to be justly compensated for their hard work, then we should welcome them with open arms. Now some may say, “Carlos, we don’t have a problem with the one’s who enter the country legally, just the one’s who are entering illegally!” This argument might be persuasive if we could all honestly agree that the current laws are sound. However, the desire to change them appears to be one of the few universals in this debate.

Others fear that the immigrants are somehow going to irreparably pervert American culture (Oh God, not tacos, accordion music and Catholicism!). Ultimately, as long as we teach them English, share with them our cultural values, and are willing to learn about theirs, the concerns about Latino, Indian or Arab immigrants today will prove to be just as unfounded as the concerns about Italian, Irish or German immigrants 150 years ago. Call me old fashioned but I still believe that there is inherent value in accepting the world’s “tired”, “poor”, “huddled masses” and “wretched refuse” (Emma Lazarus, 1883).

- Carlos de la Gringa

 

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TES Artist of the Week VI

Once upon a time, I was reading a book, a collection of short stories. I didn’t know who the author was, but the title and the cover looked promising. In the first short story, a little girl says, “I like you Bukowski. Tell me a story!”

“Well, all right. Jump here on my legs. So… There is this little girl. Alone. In a forest. With an old man…”

The mother comes over, “Bukowski!!! Hands off of my daughter, you pervert!”

All the other stories are about this author who pretends that he is constantly writing in his smoky apartment. The protagonist turns out to be a drunken womanizer, involved in the most terribly sordid love affairs with fat women, middle-aged hags and young prostitutes. This lazy guy, who find himself in the midst of all these crazy adventures, gambles on horse races and spends his money as fast as he can drink it. It soon becomes hard to believe that the “unknown” writer, Henry Chanaski, protagonist of all the stories, is anyone other than Bukowski himself.

So you’re probably wondering what’s so interesting about this guy? Well, it’s amazing how his brilliant short stories are capable of teaching the fundamental truths of everyday life through the tales of the scum of the earth.

I know that I’m a little bit late with this, but nevertheless I am pleased to present as the 6th TES Artist of the Week, American poet, novelist, and short story writer, Charles Bukowski! As an active writer during the second part of the twentieth century, Bukowski was particularly famous for his satirical poetry and his peculiar style of short stories. He rose to international fame quickly and nowadays is considered a pillar of postmodern literature. Sad as it is to say of an author of his caliber, however, he was never able to achieve the same level of recognition in his own country, most likely a result of working for underground magazines. It should also be mentioned that he was especially critical of the lingering influences of Puritanism in American society.

He has always been a great inspiration for us, here at Tales of Extraordinary Sanity, who are trying to achieve a fraction of what he did during his lifetime. Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I give you, Charles Bukowski!

- Simone la Cuercha 

Ed. If you would like to read some of Charles Bukowski’s writings, look here.

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