07 September 2010

Of Mice and Men and Little Boys and Spigots. And Dogs.

I was idly watching CNN the other day. Rick Sánchez was being interviewed about his new book, Conventional Idiocy. Apparently it is an autobiography which recounts, among other things, his very own Horatio Alger story of how he came up through the ranks, how the son of a poor Cuban immigrant became successful in The Land of Opportunity to become a Prince of the Mass Media Reporting Circus.

In the interview, he tells a story which became a Life Lesson for him. About how he used to help his father deliver furniture to people in Boca Ratón (= rich folks living in Mouse Mouth, Florida), and how he would often ask for a glass of water at the end of his grueling job. One Woman, with the Manners of a Blue-Nosed Mule, told him that he could just "drink from the spigot in the back yard where the dogs drink their water." He was, justifiably, very angry about that. Now for the incredible part: the reason why this was a Life Lesson. In the words of his father: "Son, that lady just did you a huge favor. She made you understand how important it is to work hard in this country, and then anything is achievable."

what? .... What? .... WHAT?? WTF?! Excuse me, Rick, but you were right to be angry. And you would still be right to be angry. I find it incredible that you could get through the School of Hard Knocks and not have a little more common sense. Was your flawed logic just for the sake of ingratiating yourself with your non-Cuban / non-latino peers? Because you forgot a couple of things on the road to becoming rich enough and famous enough to send a gold-plated spigot to the Non-Lady in Boca Ratón:

(1) You were not just angry. You felt humiliated.

(2) Everyone has the right to be the recipient of basic manners and human civility; you already worked very hard that day, and you did not have to work harder to just to prove yourself worthy of not quenching your thirst "where the dogs drink their water."

The dog in that scenario was the abominable homeowner.

And the Life Lesson was actually this: She made you understand how important it is to respect everyone, because that is when anything is truly achievable.


Nance said...

I'm not too sure I even believe this story. It doesn't have that 'ring of truth' to it. If it IS true, I'm with you. If you follow this crap to its logical conclusion, it would be: This woman made you realize that no matter how hard you work, it won't be hard enough for some racist, ignorant people, so just remember that. Duh.

Ortizzle said...

Nance: I don't believe it, either. I think the situation of working with his father was probably true, and the spigot anecdote is either made up, happened to someone else, or greatly embellished. Which makes you wonder how much of the rest of his autobiography is also a load of crap to continue promoting his career. The guy is a total suburban sellout, and frankly, I think his rise to relative fame in the profession is largely due to his pathetic pandering to antiquated WASP dictums. He isn't really proud of being latino, he is just using his background as a vehicle to show that, with Hard Work, anybody can be a famous TV reporter... EVEN somebody who started out as a poor latino. ¡Bravo! He has achieved The American Dream.