A Letter To My Younger Self

Dear 15-year-old me,

It’s me. That is to say, it’s you, but from the FUTURE!

I’m writing to give you some perspective on the years ahead of you, i.e. the years behind me. It’s 2020 now, and so much is different today than it is for you in 1991.

In the coming years, a lot is going to happen. Some of it is so insane, you probably won’t believe me. Then again, I’m assuming you’re going to believe that this is a letter from the future, so I should probably maintain this presumption of your gullibility for consistency’s sake. You were (are) pretty naïve, as I recall.

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The Millennials Are Alright

I was born in 1976, the child of two Baby Boomers. I guess that makes me a member of Generation X, a.k.a. The Generation Least Likely To Take BS From Anyone. We think everyone sucks—us included. We emerged from the womb jaded. Don’t take it personally.

We’re a unique bunch. We grew up with the Cold War, pay phones, three TV channels, having our questions met with “look it up in the encyclopedia.” Don’t have those?1 Don’t worry, a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman will stop by sooner or later to convince your parents they’re morally obligated to buy a set.

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These Are The People In Your Neighborhood. Sorry.

Every year, the Kennedy Center Honors are awarded to venerable artists in the United States for lifetime achievement and impact on American culture.

I check my mailbox once or twice a year in the hopes I’ll be recognized. Truth be told, I really just want a cool rainbow medallion. I could probably save a lot of time and money with a trip to Michael’s, versus all that “honing my generational talent into a marketable craft” crap. Not to mention I could stop checking my mail outright. I never get anything, except Bed Bath & Beyond coupons and angry letters from debt collectors. Exactly how do you propose I catch up on my bills when Bed Bath & Beyond has such great deals AND an extra 20% off? It’s a vicious cycle. Get off my back, Visa.

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To Tell The Truth, I’m Obviously Lying

Plausible deniability is a crucial component of any ongoing violation of laws or norms. If you’re going to intentionally engage in nefarious deeds, you have to have your story straight for when the eventual scrutiny (such as, let’s say, impeachment) comes.

That which you are straightening is indeed a “story” because it is, by definition, not a true reckoning of whatever drug deal you’re up to. It is at best a quasi-believable version of events that counts on the listener giving you the benefit of the doubt. At worst, it’s a thinly veiled lie.

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King Donald

In the past few weeks, we’ve gotten to see first-hand what happens when we replace a political party with a cult of personality. Every standard, once etched into stone in our memories and conscience, becomes malleable to fit the behaviors of the leader.

To paraphrase more intellectual commentators, we’ve discovered that one man in our country can literally do anything he wants and will suffer no consequences…as long as he can retain the support of any 34 members of the United States Senate.

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My Eye! I’m Not Supposed To Get Measles In It!

A fraction of the population believes that vaccines are an insidious part of an Illuminati-style conspiracy. According to these mental heavyweights, vaccines have been foisted upon the masses by profit-motivated pharmaceutical companies with the blessing and assistance of the United States government.

Occam’s Razor suggests that, all things being equal, the simplest explanation is usually the right one. The anti-vaccination crowd, unfortunately, has been boycotting Occam’s Razor ever since Gillette made that “anti-men” video.

When they hear hoofbeats in the hallway, they don’t think the sound is coming from zebras. Come on, that would be ridiculous! Zebras? At this time of year? Localized entirely within your hallway? That’s just dumb.

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Donald Trump: A Trojan Jackass

I have a theory. It’s so far-fetched, even I don’t believe it. But if enough people start talking about it, maybe it’ll help our country. Or it’ll hasten our demise. I have no idea, I’m just a blogger, so take everything I write with your daily recommended allowance of salt.

Unless I’m right, and then YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST, FOLKS.

Here goes:

Donald Trump is an agent provocateur, leading a false flag operation on behalf of the Democratic Party.

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Guide Him In The Direction He’s Already Falling

Imagine you’re buying a car. You do some research, learn the range of prices versus features you like, and check your finances. The bus pulls up, and you hop on board to make your way down to the only dealership in town. You apparently live in a crappy, one-dealership-having town.

A large man—maybe 6’3”, 239 pounds, if you had to guess—approaches you as you exit the bus. His Chinese-made suit is ill fitting. His Mexican-made red tie is far too long. He resembles an anthropomorphic raccoon, if that raccoon were a serial sexual predator.

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A Loaded Red Hat

High school boys in 2019 wear “Make America Great Again” hats for the same reason high school boys in 1992 wore Slayer t-shirts: contrarianism and attention seeking. Well, it’s almost the same, except the members of Slayer are actually good at their jobs and worthy of fandom.

It’s the reason we saw University of South Carolina baseball caps around the University of Houston during my tenure. South Carolina is a thousand miles from Houston, and most of us had never been there. But you see, Carolina’s mascot is the gamecock, and their 90’s era hats said “COCKS” across the front. To quote myself and every dude I knew circa 1998 (and 2019, to be fair), “Uh…huh huh…huh huh…he said cocks.” “Cocks” has a much more je ne sais quai than “Cougars,” no?

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You Never Even Called Me By My Name

My given name is Rickey. Not Richard. Rickey. In fact, I am Rickey, Junior, as I am named after my father. Among family, I’m sometimes referred to as “Little Rickey,” though I am 42 years old and 3” taller than my dad. I’ve stopped growing, but he’s bound to start shrinking any day now, so I fully expect that height differential to keep expanding.

People spell my name incorrectly all the time – Ricky is the most common, followed by Rickie. Sometimes people mispronounce it, sounding more like “hey asshole” than the phonics would otherwise indicate. I always respond, though, so I guess it works.

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