Everything is demographic

by phil on Sunday Oct 3, 2010 12:33 PM

Rick doesn't get it

What was interesting about former CNN anchor Rick Sanchez's rant, is that when asked whether Jews felt insecure about being a minority, he back-peddled and said that maybe Jon Stewart's dad felt that insecurity, but not Jon Stewart. It's true, that between my generation and my parent's generation, the lot of minorities has gotten better across the board, including for Cuban-Americans like Rick Sanchez. But the way that relief for minorities spreads across a nation is probably not a level wave. There are certain bubbles, such as media jobs in liberal cities, where life may appear race-neutral. As an Asian-American, having grown up in a liberal suburb of San Diego, then going to school in the liberal San Francisco Bay Area, and now living in liberal Austin, TX (pretty much the only safe part of Texas), my race has been as much a benefit as it has been a deficit. And oftentimes the benefits and deficits are all in my head if I want to look for them.

I always liked Rick Sanchez because he injected FOXNews/MSNBC-style energy to the lagging CNN. But while his energy may be enough for those other two partisan networks, maybe the CNN execs have decided to carve out a niche as being the "last honest news network." Rick Sanchez had already been skating on thin ice given his increasingly noticeable track record for mincing facts on his show. And his latest rant about how the Jews in the media have it out for him because he's a Cuban-American was the last straw. The reality is that all the networks are trying to court Latinos, one of the few growing demographics in America. Unfortunately, that's yet another fact that Rick didn't get right.

Follow the reproduction

The future does not belong to the self-involved. There's all this lamenting about how wealthy Western countries are not reproducing as much as Third World countries, and therefore the world is doomed. But look within our own country, and you'll find communities that are reproducing well above replacement. It's the boring people who are reproducing. You see engineers, insurance agents, and middle managers with their multi-level, new-construction homes on the outskirts of densely populated cities, and they're filled with kids. The ones who aren't reproducing are the image-obsessed Hollywood types (and those who imitate them), who spend countless hours working on their bodies or take forever to find themselves. The future belongs to boring places like Salt Lake City. It doesn't belong to identity cities like Los Angeles or even my home Austin, TX. A hundred years from now, they'll look back and wonder what happened to the creative class. Just like we look back at Ancient Greece and wonder where all the geniuses went.

Actually, these trends are more like cycles. You have the Renaissance following the Dark Ages, you have the Great (Religious) Awakening following the Age of Enlightenment, and you have military-industrial Ancient Rome following the philosophical Ancient Greece. Culture is always alternating between fanciful, complex ages and practical, simple ones. What kind of age are we in now?

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