January 31, 2002
@ 11:58 PM
Yesterday, my roomate and I caught the HBO Special Gang Banging In Little Rock about the hopeless lives that teens live in the ghettos of Little Rock, Arkansas. Stories of girls getting "raped in" or "beat in" so that they could bang with the clique, teenagers who had lost five or six friends to gang violence and gang members who started going on drive-bys in their preteens. However, I didn't catch any of these kids lolling about listlessly about how they wanted to end their lives. But I digress...

The HBO special was particularly poignant because it reminded me of Steve, a friend of mine from Blytheville, Arkansas which is a small one-horse town close but is consumed by violence, unemployment and high teen pregnancy rates. When Steve left high school, he realized that the lives of most of the people around him was rather hopeless; working a minimum wage job or selling drugs all day, drinking and getting high at night and then getting into trouble was the order of the day for practically every high school graduate he knew. So he decided to go to college in Atlanta which is where we met.

Steve and I hung out together with a third friend (La) for most of freshman year. Once the summer came around I was stuck with a dilemma; my dad was still in prison where we feared for his life with good cause, my mom could not afford to pay my tuition let alone give me money for living expenses, I did not have a work permit and the few relatives who had promised to take care of me if I ever came to the United States gave me the cold shoulder or could not help. I had nowhere to stay and was intent on not becoming a burden on the few people who had shown me kindness since I ad gotten to the US. Thus I asked Steve if he would mind being my roomate which he agreed to since he felt that going back to Blytheville for 3 months in the summer could lead to his demise (side note; I used to think he was exagerrating about how gritty life in Blytheville was until I went there with him for the 4th of July and was caught in a crossfire and almost participated in a drive-by by virtue of being in the wrong car at the wrong time. Rest assured I haven't visited again).

Anyway, Steve and I eventually ended up in a two-bedroom apartment in the Lakewood part of Atlanta that cost $350 a month. We thought we had gotten a good deal until we moved in. The apartment was in the middle of one of Atlanta's worst neighborhoods; the apartment was infested with cockroaches, the street corners were lined with crackheads and gunshots rang out several nights a week. Steve and I persevered, encouraging each other with the knowledge that no condition is permanent. Just when I thought I would get kicked out of school for non-payment of fees, I found out how to obtain a scholarship from the school even though I was an international student and also where to obtain student loans for international students.

That was about 3 years ago, since then my dad's made it out of jail, I've moved out of the ghetto and I just graduated from Georgia Tech from where I will start work making above the industry average at everyone's most hated software company. Life goes on, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Either way, no condition is permanent besides Death.

Hopefully this little background story, will help explain why I despise Signal 11's whinings of how the world has shit on him because his overrated "web developer" skills no longer enough to earn him a life of luxury. There are millions of people who'd give their all to be a middle class, semi-educated, healthy white male in the United States of America in the year 2002 instead Signal 11 whines about how the world hasnm't been handed to him on a silver platter. Signal 11, you DISGUST me. I wouldn't have written this if you'd actually seemed suicidal in your story but all I saw was another whine and a grotesque attempt to garner attention in a long line of online publicity stunts. It probably also doesn't hurt that you think men impregnating women and refusing to handle their responsibilities is a good thing. I only hope and pray that your real life persona is not a selfish, narrow minded and misogynistic as you come off online because if you are I feel sorry for those that actually have to spend time with you.

As long as I am breaking resolutions I may as well break my resolution not to blame greenrd and wiredog for the degradation of Kuro5hin and its shift from Technology and Culture from the Trenches to Rants, Speculation and Flameware about Politics from the techies. I ardently wish both of you lose your ability to post diaries, stories and comments for as long as I use Kuro5hin.



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