Sunday, 24 February 2019

Being Affluent or Not

The word 'affluent' got brought up in the past couple of days, by Bill Mahler (HBO's comedian) over redstate people who just aren't as clever or affluent as bluestate people.  Naturally, it begs questions.

Where did the word affluent come from?  Around two-thousand years ago, the Latin language folks came up with this word, and it was supposed to mean (in the beginning)....'to flow' or that things could happen with this event or prospect occurring.  Eventually, the Latin word got taken over by the French (old French, not that modern stuff), and they gave it a kind of slang term meaning....that you don't move up in life or be someone of status, unless you had affluent things going on (flowing).  Somewhere down the line....some British folks got sophisticated and started to share the word in the UK, and it was a status-type word, where you were someone clever, smart, witty, sophisticated, and with profits somewhere in the background.  Two old Brit gals on the street could talk about up-and-coming Mister Jameson in a respectful way, hinting that he was affluent, and would get a 'fine' wife one day. 

The trouble with Mahler's meaning and use of the affluent, is that we are in a 'Twilight-Zone' situation with most Americans, and a lot of folks are affluent without even knowing about it.

You could be living in a double-wide trailer home, with a Ford F-150 truck in the carport, and be affluent. 

You could be living in a cottage in upstate Michigan, with $22,000 a year rolling in from your waitress job, and be affluent.

You could be making $1.3 million playing for the San Diego Padres as a relief-pitcher, with a trampy girlfriend, and NOT be affluent.

You could be a Detroit dope-dealer making $300k a year, and living out of a crack-house, with a brand-new $60k car in the drive-way, and having vacations in New Orleans each year, and think you are affluent. 

You could be a mobster for the Akron, Ohio mafia, and be absolutely sure about your affluentness. 

You could be an idiot who got $120,000 in student loans back in the 1990s, and still age 47....still be paying off that stupid loan....feeling absolutely no affluentness.

You could be an electrical engineer driving an Oldsmobile 88 model (the last one made in 1999) and feel some surge of affluentness each morning as you rev up the the forty-two miles to work, and hum along with Led Zepplin tunes coming out of the twelve speakers you installed in the car.

What Bill missed here is that affluentness is a mathematical 'estimation' of where you were, how far you traveled, and where some nifty end-point exists in your mind.  Only you can prescribe your affluentess scale number.  You might be a might be a ten.

Does being affluent make you a conservative or a liberal?  No.  That's the sad thing about this whole discussion and argument.  That seventh-grade nutcase in your class, that you regarded as a potential psychopath?  Well....he might today be the carpet-king of Jefferson City, TN and fairly affluent.

What is a Life Energy Coach?

The term came up today in the news, with the Smollett episode. 

At some point, prior to the fake MEGA attack, Smollett had gone to his two Nigerian (fake) associates, and wanted to bulk up like they were.  If you go and look at pictures of the two....they look 'Hulk-Hogan-like'.  Naturally, they hype that they've got the nutritional program, the work-out exercise, and the stamina to look this good.

Smollett....a couple of weeks prior to his MEGA episode, had come to view the 'look' and the $3,500 often discussed (payment for the attack)....actually was for the life energy coaching business.  The brothers were going to help Smollett train, eat, and look fantastic.  No, the money wasn't for the fake assault.  At least, that's what the brothers say.

The brothers were basically life energy coaches.  In Alabama plain-speak....someone to 'kick' your ass, make you eat spinach and low-fat foods, drag you through the dirt to live off 1,200 calories a day, push you to spend two hours a day working out, and to yell at you over health habits. 

Most of us don't have $3,500 to throw around, and if we did.....we sure wouldn't have life energy coaches (we would have spent it on resodding the yard, a gas-grill, or a week-long trip to Aruba). 

It is a modern-day development where life energy coaches now exist....some with special certificates, and some who've developed a national image (having appeared on the Today Show, or Doctor Phil).  I think if you'd told your parents back in the 1970s that you were intent on becoming a life energy coach....they would have thought it was a basketball team or rugby-type sport situation.  After the long explanation, your dad would have suggested grain sales, professional golfing, or agricultural implement belt dealer.  He would have been blunt in that this life energy coach business....sounds 'fakish' to him.

The potential for this to be a major skilcraft?  I'd question that.  I spent 90 minutes last night looking around and browsing over people who got into this.  Most had some type of two-year degree in nutritional science or physical rehab, and then they went onto to get three or four certificates to round out their resume.  Their anticipation is that people just can't go and diet or train on their own anymore.....they need someone to 'yell' at them, and pester them stay on some plan to evolve themselves.

How did we get into physical work-outs or body changes prior to this life energy business?  I can remember the 1980s and 1990s....where people simply made up a 90-day plan....stuck with it, and about half of them reached the end-point with success, and out of that group....maybe a quarter of those folks found enthusiasm to continue the nutritional diets and significant work-out routines.  So the bulk of folks just never stayed with the program.  This life energy coaching business is the solution to overcome that shortfall. 

A permanent thing?  I have my doubts.  But I suspect these two Nigerian (fake) guys probably have two-hundred people calling up and trying to get signed up with their program.