What should we do about the Syrian refugees, oh Zamboni?

This question came to me today via a tweet from a friend back in Arthur,  Nebraska, where I spent my youth.

This question is close to the heart of Zamboni, as I myself am an immigrant to this country of America which I love so much despite all of its warts and all.

The only thing we can do is let all the immigrants in and make them to love this country so much that not only never would they harm it, but they would tell someone if they heard of anyone about to do so. Every honest hard-working person deserves that feeling of freedom exemplified in this tableau from The Breakfast Club.

breakfastclub-bender

I remember when I was in California in 1941, after Pearl Harbor was bombed. Many people started to look at the Japanese immigrants as dangerous. They must all be spies etc. They were herded into concentration camps. I heard the same mutterings just this morning, “we must not let more Syrians into Tennessee” etc, “they are dangerous”, yadda yadda. Trust me, they are ECSTATIC to be safely here, it is so much more peaceful than where they were.

We really have no choice peoples. This country was built and is built everyday by immigrants, legal and not. If we let everyone in who wants to be in, once again these huddled masses can build this country.

Masses of new immigrants do not drain or bring the economy down, they actually grow it, in a  2015 paper for the Hoover Instutution, Timothy Kane wrote ” – immigrants increase labor supply and demand for goods (and labor)–shows the wage level unchanged and that the amount of new jobs is equal to the amount of migrants.” So as crazy as it seems, it’s like this:

oodles of new immigrants=no major change in economy.

But Zamboni also sees this equation:

Oodles of new immigrants=oodles of new Americans excited to be Americans, make things, contribute to society

So should we do background checks? Of course. Should we ask a lot of immigrants, maybe to learn English and  the capital of Nebraska, sure, why not. But should we adopt the fear and distrust that the Isis wants us to? No. Or as the French say, fuck Non. Like it says on the statue:

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” Oh, thanks to the French for the statue too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Will George R.R. Martin finish writing Game of Thrones series and if he does not, what will happen to the TV show?

The above question came from a crazed Zamboni fan who slipped this question inside the olive of my Martini, and so I willingly answer, because all Zamboneheads deserve an answer from me.

Who really writes a book? Is it the author who writes it, or is it in fact the story itself  that only uses the writer as the human vessel through which it tells itself? After all, a story has a longer life than its author, and in many cases it even predates its teller. The farcical story of Romeo and Juliet was around before Shakespeare, and centuries after it was alive and well as West Side Story.  Perhaps stories come to us because they are needed at that exact time and place. Many years ago -as of course Great Zamboni has been alive forever, and I wrote the very first song-  I was hanging with my old friend Homer, the Greek tale spinner. At the time, he was composing the 38th chapter of The Odyssey, all from memory as he was blind and preferred not to commit things to paper. I said, “Yo, Homey,” as I called him quite appropriately, “Homey, don’t you think you could have one of your interns simply write these amazing verses down as you think them up, that way it could be a sort of book and-” He interrupted me.

“Zamboni your skull is as thick as the iron in the sword of great Achilles

and you understand less than a dim child. If my story cannot live in the

memory of its hearers, than it is not worth writing down. If it lasts for

a thousand years, then someone will take the trouble to scribe it down

in wine-dark ink because it will be worth the time”.

I didn’t get Homer’s words at the time -truth be told I was pretty wasted as I always forgot to dilute the damn wine, which in those days was as strong as the thighs of an Olympic javelin hurler- but now I think it becomes clear to me as I answer this question of George RR Tolkien or whatever his name is. TV moves faster than books. The modern man wants everything fast and now, everything all at the same time on three devices with screens. Since his books became TV, and the characters have lives of their own in our imagination, they will finish telling their story whether he writes it, or the TV people write it, or the fan fiction nerds write it. In other words, the show must go on, without him or with. Will it be better if it comes from his books? Either way it will be a show filled with very cruel sex between siblings, plenty ‘o people getting sliced, diced and flayed, and lots and lots and lots of fucking snow. Once a person has created a story- it’s out there and lives its own life. Game of Thrones exists for these people who are vehemently anti sunlight.

I once asked J.D. Salinger over an omelet if the popularity of catcher in the Rye, and all of the interpretations of it,  bothered him, and if so, why not just do an interview for once in his life where he talked about his art? “Holden Caufield is no more mine than anyone else’s’ old sport, in fact, i’m just the old phoney that wrote the stuff down, Holden would have had some other hack do it if not me.”

So to answer the question, G.R.R.M. need not finish the books, because the show will be fine, people will watch it all, as long as it  has the aforementioned sibling sex, and oodles of snow and doom laden backstabbing- people who like that stuff will watch. Personally, reminds me too much of my twenties so I prefer Oprah and Welcome Back Kotter reruns.

The show and the story, like all stories, will exist as long as we need it to. And when we need other stories, they will come.