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Bella Mondos Magazine - Beautiful Worlds. Home for aspiring artists.
Bella Mondos Magazine - Beautiful Worlds. Home for aspiring artists.
  THE DOUG OUT  

SWIMMING AGAINST THE TIDE



Are you brave enough to swim against the tide? And no, I'm not talking about the shark infested rip currents that we've become used to here in the Treasure Coast. For this installment of The Doug Out the "tide" is referring to the establishment. That big machine of society that consists of, but is not limited to: The CIA, the FBI, the IRS, and every other government agency that is currently causing the gross national product to get even grosser! Think about it, we have a Department of Defense that has a sole purpose of keeping us safe in our beloved homeland we call America. Yes, the men and women of our armed forces do a great job of keeping our homeland secure. So, why do we need the Department of Homeland Security? If this seems like a legitimate line of reasoning to you, don't agree with me just yet. If I were doing research for this column and I approached you in a social setting and posed the question; what do you think of the Department of Homeland Security? I'd be willing to bet that 90% of my readers would go off on a tangent about how badly our country needs it, and the terrorists, and the airport security and blah blah blah. My point is it's a lot easier to talk about swimming against the tide than it is to actually do it.
For me I knew I was an against the tide guy at the age of 10. My epiphany happened while playing in a Christian Youth Basketball League. I had my best sports season ever. Why was it my best season you ask? Because the church that sponsored our team didn't have a court big enough for the games. That meant for the whole season all of our games were on the road. I LOVED IT! I liked knowing that the other team had a lot of "fans" watching and I could send them home sad. I wanted to embarrass the other teams in front of their moms. I had more fun making my opponents parents sad, than making my own parents happy. That my friends, is truly swimming against the tide.
Now, my feelings on this matter are partly due to me being raised in an Italian family with a dad old enough to remember being discriminated against. I was no more than seven or eight years old and way ahead of my time when I posed the question to my father; "Daddy, do you cheat on your taxes?" His response, "Everybody does! If you give the IRS what you're supposed to, you can't afford to feed your family." And yes, at an age when most kids are playing with GI Joes and riding Big Wheels, I already knew what IRS stood for.
A couple years later when I was considering getting a paper route, I didn't look at it as a part-time job, I looked at a paper route as a good cash business with a lot of write offs. Some people would say that swimming against the tide, as a lifestyle, is hopeless. Others might suggest after years of banging your head against that brick wall known as the establishment, you will end up lonely and depressed. I couldn't disagree more!
What's depressing to me is seeing a healthy young man go to work in a factory just days after graduating high school. What's even more depressing is seeing that same young man five years later and the factory job has aged him ten years. He has accepted his fate and decided that he will stay in that factory until he retires, long after the best years of his life are gone. What's depressing to me is seeing a young lady give up her dreams of being a singer or a dancer, so that she can please her family by having 2.3 kids by the age of twenty-five.
I have often wondered what it would be like to live life as a "company man". I don't think I'll find out in this life, I'll be swimming against the tide.
I am Doug D. and this is The Doug Out!

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