I've been housesitting for a real estate agent in Simi Valley for the past couple of weeks, which is (as many of you know) home to... The late, great, Ronald Reagan. The man was most certainly (as the youngin's say) a "badass."
Let's face it. It takes a fuzzy pair to stare down a chap like Gorbachev.
Have you ever tried to stare down a Russian? It's virtually impossible. They have cold, lifeless eyes. Eyes that pierce straight through you... They have the devil's eyes.
Proof: Take a stroll down the shadiest parts of your city, observe the tough "gangsta's," and you'll quickly notice that they avoid Russians (particularly the fresh off the boat variety) like the proverbial plague. While over the years the American thug culture has bred an intense, angry scowl, the Russian stare says, "I don't need to try and look tough.... I am simply going to kill you."
Why do "American Gangsta's" fear them? It's quite simple.
While many people in America continually complain about how "tough" life is, or how "hard they've had it," they are all too often fully aware that their circumstances pale in comparison to those of citizens abroad. The same thugs who claim to have been "raised on the streets," know deep down that the crazy Russian gentleman next to him probably had to fight a bear for his food or kill his neighbor for toilet paper.
We Americans can just be so damn whiny! We complain about how terrible things are - the current economic trials we're facing, the country's state of crisis and imminent demise - while foreigners come here, having faced much MORE adversity, and flourish (with a smile on their face).
I feel like a terrible pansy.
It wasn't too long ago that I was scurrying across the tundra-desert wasteland that is Quebec, searching for scraps of food and government-provided painkillers.
Oh, how quickly I've become spoiled. What Americans call "crisis" immigrants call "a great life."
Please don't misinterpret what I'm saying as some sort of "feel good" message proclaiming the joys of contentment with mediocrity. What I'm saying is that there is a very large pie out there. Go out and get a piece. Black, white, brown or yellow (Jaundice-sufferers, I'm talking to you), go out and get a piece. Or better yet, go out and bake more pies.
And if we want to get into the whole "who's more oppressed?" or "who's had it tougher?" contest, I would formally like to submit my nomination for the Russians. Let me explain why.
It is said that throughout history, the more oppressed people of the times dominate combat sports. For years it was the Irish, then it was the African Americans... And finally, now it's the Russians (or as they prefer, "Ruskies").
That's just science, people.
How is this relevant to politics, you ask? It's not. I just like to talk about how tough the crazy Russians are. Not only is it true, but by default, it makes The Gipper look even more awesome. God, I miss him.
My video column
will resume next week.