Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Back When I Was Homeless

Life at the mobile home park: not bad for a starter home
Believe it or not, Lyn's fondest life memories include a very brief homeless stint. Allow me to fully elucidate. Ages ago, your author arrived in Canada to work as a communication executive. The first weekend, I purchased a luxury SUV to use in my prestigious and lucrative new career. As I drove away, the salesman yelled something that sounded like "You need to go see AC/DC on Monday." Despite my passion for the Australian band, I hadn't heard of their concert and couldn't understand the urgency in his voice.

Dirty Deeds Done Cheaper Than ICBC
Weeks later, I learned of ICBC. The Insurance Company of British Columbia is a provincial government monopoly that proclaims lofty compassionate ideals then provides lousy complicated realities (like almost all such bureaucracies). Nice people though. They explained that my now overdue insurance premiums (plus penalties) would be helpfully and automatically deducted from my bank account starting in about 5 minutes. I thanked them for this thoughtful and convenient service but offered no hug.

The tireless public servants further elaborated that I'd receive an excellent low rate, as soon as I presented a letter from my U.S. insurance company verifying my coverage and claim history. Until then, they'd graciously provide me coverage at the same rate as a teenage male with a Ferrari and multiple drunk driving convictions. Oh goody! When a phone call revealed that my U.S. insurer had just been merged with several other companies and my records would take weeks to locate, I faced the sobering fact that I must vacate my hotel and wouldn't have funds to rent an apartment for a while.

Boulevard of Broken Canadian Dreams
I was technically homeless. Still, I somehow resisted the natural tendancy to get drunk or write a country song. Wandering down Granville Street, I came upon a thirtyish man with a tin begging cup and a sign that read "Need to buy marijuana, please help!" That was the last straw. I mustered my personal jedi power: male ego. I drove to the poshest gym in Vancouver and forked over a hefty membership fee that was much less than rent. I drove to a secluded park after sundown to sleep in my SUV.

The best damn advice for anyone
Rising before the sun and park security, I hit the barbell, the treadmill, and the showers before arriving at my office as the most energized and best dressed homeless man in Canada. I then shampooed, rinsed and repeated for the next couple of months. Of course, I'm not seriously comparing my ordeal to abandoned mentally-unstable people who freeze their asses on cold ground in urine soaked clothes and deserve our compassion. However, it was a triumph for me. Life gave me a lemon and I made some lemonade. Within months, I was sailing English bay with grilled salmon, white wine and a district attorney (solicitor) in a bikini.

A senate race matters; a senator's race doesn't.
Last week, a rude critic tweeted Senator Tim Scott that he's a house nigga. His single word response was "Senate". Don't be a House nigga; be a Senate nigga. Our actions and attitude in life are far more vital than our color, gender, class roots, or bad luck. Don't be a homeless man; be an outdoorsman. Don't be a victim; be a victor. Some white Americans live in fear of foreigners. Some black Americans live in fear of cops. Some bitter authors whine about cruel insurance-demanding Canadians who took all their money then demanded an extra vowel that took all the humor, color, and flavor out of life. Don't overdramatize; overcome. Don't whine; win.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Write Beyond Sensitivity Police Jurisdiction

North Americans often assert they want to learn from other cultures, but travel writing is still expected to fit into the politically correct box of ideas that don’t shock sensibilities. This is contradiction. Authentic travel writing must journey outside that box, both to accurately report culture and to protect the free speech rights authors and readers depend on.

A recent study suggests that North American children are developing more allergies to certain foods because of protection from exposure during the years when immunities develop. Likewise, political correctness has shielded North Americans from encountering a rich diversity of global perspectives that conventional media deem offensive to their sensitivities.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Snowden Job of Oliver Stoned

When you call someone an America-loathing communist, it's usually hyperbolic insult, but with director Oliver Stone, it's his official job title. Still, his latest film Snowden has great merit. So, let's admit the virtues before we cast stones at Stone. Let's weigh the evidence before we commence any executions.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Mother Superior Inspires Author Superior

When I wrote about my mother's death, I never expected the story to be chosen as one of the best nonfiction works of the last twenty years. It's truly a moving honor. Of course, she was one of the best mothers ever, so that's the real accomplishment in all this. I want to thank Eclectica Magazine. Their anthology of the best nonfiction is now available at your favorite bookstore or here. I'm excited to get my copy. Since it has been mailed during the holiday season and is later to be entrusted to the Mexican postal service, only a Christmas miracle arranged by mom's heavenly intercession can possibly result in its arrival at the doorstep of this prodigal son.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Last Call For Resident Author Applications

Thanks to all who have submitted resumes for the writer-in-residence jobs we announced two posts back. Quite an impressive group. From Random House authors to Playboy magazine columnists to Fulbright research fellows to Sundance film screenwriters, the competition has been fierce. (Well, as fierce as a bunch of writing geeks can be.) We've already offered one professorship and will soon rudely though metaphorically slam the door on further applications. This is the last call. If you're still considering whether to apply, here are more details:

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Is Donald Trump America's Pancho Villa?

This week celebrates the revolution here in Mexico, so I would be remiss not to note some uncanny parallels between Donald Trump and Pancho Villa. Yes, I'm serious. I've discussed this theory with over 200 real Mexicans in Oaxaca who generally validate that comparison. So, you faux LA (Latino activists) in faux LA (Los Angeles) can stop practicing your deeply-offended looks and go get a Thai fusion taco then whine to CNN about the cultural appropriation on behalf of all Mexicans and people of Thai descent. If you crack the taco shell, CNN will even dub it breaking news.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Travel Writer In Residence Dream Job

Not many folks get paid to write. Much less to apprentice with a critically-acclaimed author. Yet, that opportunity is now available to you for a limited time. The daily routine of this job includes writing travel stories for three hours in a private office overlooking the Oaxacan rainforest, coaching university students for three hours on their communication skills, and being mentored for one hour by writer Lyn Fuchs.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Author Lionel Shriver On Political Correctness

I hate to disappoint you folks, but unless we stretch the topic to a breaking point this address will not be about the assigned theme of “community and belonging.” In fact, you have to hand it to this festival’s organisers: inviting a renowned iconoclast to speak about “community and belonging” is like expecting a great white shark to balance a beach ball on its nose.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Black Lives Really Don't Matter

I was the white-skinned member in a black church through most of university. Not because I was making a human rights statement. I just liked the blues-based music better than the country stuff across town. Most of the women I've loved have been Latina. Not because of a fetish. Just because I've often lived in places where the hotties within reach were brownies. I care about skin color about as much as I care about eye color. The lack of racism in my heart isn't because I'm righteous. I think I've committed every other sin except orgies, and that's just because no one ever invited me.