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My email is

janotec77 at gmail dot com

Please feel free to email me any time.

Thanks for the response. It gives me a lot to think about. Some of it has rather forcefully impressed itself on me in the last few months.

As for more specific direction, could I possibly have your email? I have a few questions and don't like putting some of this stuff online.

I will turn 40 this year, but the adolescent urge presses on. Though never suffering Dickensian consequences of American economic policy personally, I have always been in the position of immediate collapse into them should any of the plates I have spinning, fall.

To medicate this fear, I continue my rituals of enchantment and phantasmagoria to distract and amuse myself to death. Others prefer alcohol, and I can see the appeal.

The Church, my spiritual father, and the few brave souls that bother with me on the internet may yet provide a more lasting balm.

However, I don't see maturity having much to do with it. Maturity is nothing more than the realization that if I do not work, we will not eat. Some men drink so that they might avoid work, other men drink so that they can stand to work. Who can say which man I am?

Depressing. Do you see something similar in young women? And if not, do you have any advice for young women who have to live in the same world with those young men?

Unfortunately, that phenomenon is not limited to the metropolis, but the thrill-addiction of adolescence is seeping now into the post-farm culture from which I came.

When I read that quote I thought of the 20-something men of the large city in which I live, who have started careers as engineers, lawyers, and other professions, but who seem to go from one sexual thrill to the next, or, if they are in a relationship, won't take it to the next obvious step of marriage, despite years of living together. This is the prolonged adolescence that I experience most often.

Here is my quandary, Owen, as a human and as an Orthodox priest (I hope the latter is always subset of the former):

If the rich and the powerful are in charge (and are hidden from the ballot), then am I responsible to pray for them, as directed by the imperative in 1 Timothy 2.1-2?

Without sounding too sardonic, that is tantamount to making Bob Jones pray for the Illuminati. But I wonder if that is the sort of painful intercession we are called to make -- to supplicate in behalf of the oppressors of the poor.

Utterly distasteful.

A throw-away McDonalds job as now Dickensian! That may be the best expression of our current situation I've read.

Yes, sorry about that. In happier bygone days that line about McDonalds was a throw-away. Now it is too Dickensian. I'll pray for Joy.

You know full well already that I harbor deep suspicions about the enormous transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to the wealthy in the last 10 years. The high-powered (who are probably never on the ballot) have learned their historical lessons: fragment the mass of poor into ragged dispersed communities, so they do not solidify into a critical mass (as is what happened in 1848 and the 1910's & 20's).

But I'll keep McDonalds as only a rather forlorn symbol. The young men I worry about are ones who avoid work and seek immediate gratification, who think they are "really alive" only when they are thrilled.

Thank you for the link.

http://www.alternet.org/economy/150839/shocker:_only_6_out_of_100_applicants_can_get_a_job_at_mcdonald's_--_it's_time_for_politicians_to_stop_ignoring_our_jobs_crisis/

Good luck to your young man getting the McDonald's job, with only 6 out of 100 applicants getting hired, and most of them part-time.

At my local McDonalds in 2008 almost everyone working there was a young African-American. Today almost everyone working there is a white person over 30, and most of them look to be well over 30. The lady who hands me coffee in the mornings I go there is probably about 55. Her name is Joy, which I remember because my wife's name is also Joy, and some years ago she took one of my wife's knitting classes so my wife knows her. She (the McDs coffee lady) used to work at the local Brother sewing machine factory until she got laid off. Joy has an adult son at home who has Downs Syndrome. When she worked full time at the factory I assume she probably made in the low 40k-ish ballpark or so a year. Now she gets about 30 hours a week at McDs at what I can't imagine is much more than minimum wage. But she is always chipper and happy and you can tell she is the sort of worker who always gives her best. Maybe remember her in your prayers.

Even menial degrading uberlowpay employers like McDonalds get the pick of the litter in the employment pool these days. A young man who doesn't already have a solid employment history and his life very apparently "together" might have a real difficult time finding even menial labor, unless he has some sort of connection via family or friends. It's never good for a culture when there are a lot of young unemployed men around with nothing to do.

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