Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Yes and No

Opinions are great, especially when they align with my thoughts. It saves all the time and effort of disagreeing, arguing, and eventually karate chops and arm wrestling to determine who has the right opinion. This is why I try not to disagree with my friend Mike because I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't have a prayer in any sort of arm wrestling contest. He's compact and built solid, so he has both a shorter and stronger lever arm in this potential contest of strength.

This is why I was happy with the general message in an opinion piece (link unfortunately removed for now, the Free Press isn't playing ball. This is annoying because it worked 20 minutes ago. How will everyone understand my outrage?) from the weekend in The Free Press. Here's a cached excerpt, printed entirely without permission:

I am 25. I live and work in Ann Arbor. I am what many classify as a "young professional," although I am still shocked to hear myself say such things as "401(k)" and "home equity."

Here's the kicker: While many of my fellow Gen Y'ers jump ship, I am staying in Michigan. I see my opportunities right here. I believe in renaissance.

So permit me this manifesto.

It's no secret that the state is bleeding college grads, and with them the creativity and innovation that could get us out of this economic rut. There has been so much written and discussed about Michigan's "brain drain" that I think a greater point has been missed.

What is our responsibility? Where in all of this mess are we held accountable for making our own state a great place to live and work?

The only way Michigan is going to hang on to us is if we are equal partners in planning this state's future. So here are three things I think would plug the drain: etc. etc. etc.

The woman who wrote this happens to be a coworker of my wife. She is young and educated, employed, and has consciously chosen to buck the trend and live in Michigan. This is all great, and it also happens to sound vaguely familiar to pretty much every single thing I've said over the past 1.5 years in this blog. It is also pleasing to see other people, not unlike me, visibly participating in the movement I have been outwardly supporting for much of my adult life. It takes a whole bunch of people to help spread the word that living in Michigan doesn't suck, and more than that, can actually be pretty enjoyable. The more people who are young and feel this way, the better chance we stand looking toward the future.

While I remain strongly behind this viewpoint, it stings ever-so-deeply (as Louis C.K. puts it, "took a shit like right in my heart") that someone can spend an hour typing about something on which I've been spending a significant quantity of time, send it over to the Freep, and then actually get published in the newspaper. It feels exactly like that time Microsoft stole Xerox's operating system, minus the interest, money, fame, and most of the points of comparison. Is it all my poop references, because I can cut those out. OK no I can't, but everybody poops, so this should not be a limit to one's fame. In fact, I pooped twice today.

Envy is a lamentable component of the human condition, but it always helps to realize that there are at least a few vocal like-minded individuals out there. I just wish that they were less famous than me. Like way, way less famous - which I realize is pretty freaking hard to accomplish.


Dan Anderson said...

i think the link is broken

Ken said...

Thanks Dan. Internet Fail.