Don Bauder 1:30 p.m., Dec. 12
I was born, raised, and still live in the epicenter of cultural desperation, within the borders of San Diego at least; Paradise Hills. As a child, it never particularly struck me that not only my aesthetic features, but my overall tendencies towards iconoclasm, were remarkably individual in nature in comparison to my peers. I suppose the wide-eyed and ever encompassing innocence of childhood would indeed take away from the vortex-like thought patterns that we call analytical thought, so it's understandable why certain observations didn't come to the forefront of my perception until adolescence.
According to all demographical statistics that I have seen, this microcosmic neighborhood is populated by primarily Latinos and Pacific Islanders (who most group into the unnecessary generalization of "Filipino"), who have come here either through the Naval Force or because of the supposedly eternal American delusion that our land is an oasis of opportunity and democratic representation in a world populated by post-Cold War communists. It should be noted that both of these cultures have spent centuries being bombarded and colonized by superpowers in an attempt to claim land and assimilate the native people, and this is where my dominating point lies; even on a second generation level, these cultures are in a constant pursuit of assimilating themselves to what they believe to be American. I recently dropped out of high school due to dissatisfaction with the local Academia as a whole, but I've never lost interest in observing my peers from an outside standpoint. Many Pacific Islanders and Latinos in this country find it hard to truly bring together their native culture and the conventions of the land they live in now. Every individual I find has a tendency towards avoiding individualism. Many of their parents are somewhat recent immigrants who believe success lies in the subsistence that is the expected American lifestyle, so this generation has been raised from a very early age to believe that a blind synergy with the shallow image of their place of residence is the road to overall fruition. That's how you get teenage Filipino-Americans dressing like thugs, but with voices and identities that completely contradict this image they assume that they understand.
It's an interesting concept, really. That an entire generation of Americans will live the rest of their lives believing that an undying mentality of injudicious acclimatization will lead them to the promise land.