But How Will Flipping Burgers Affirm My Life Choices?

by Benjamin Domenech on 5:45 am July 7, 2010

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Yesterday I shared a graph illustrating the number of Americans unemployed for 27 weeks or more. This morning, I read in the New York Times about one of these Americans, Scott Nicholson — the difference with Mr. Nicholson being that he has never been employed, and in fact turned down a $40,000 a year job because he thought it beneath him. Mostly, the Colgate grad is unemployed because of lack of self-actualization.

Young Mr. Nicholson’s story brings to mind “The Texas Panhandler,” an episode of King of the Hill, wherein Hank’s son Bobby discovers that it’s much easier and more profitable to hang out with a group of lazy twentysomething hipsters “begging” on a street corner than it is to work in a real, and rather humiliating, job. But Bobby eventually discovers the value of hard work, and breaks the truth about the hipsters to the passing crowd, leading to this confrontation:

Bobby: Don’t give them money! Why shouldn’t they have to work like the rest of us? I’m busting my tail, and they’re just sitting on theirs with their hands out. They’re not homeless. They’re not street people. They’re not even bums. They’re just posers. Lazy posers. I know for a fact he has basic and premium cable. And he takes tennis lessons!

Poser: Cut the crap, dude.

Hank Hill: I wouldn’t do that. If I were you, I would get out of here right now.

Poser: Or, or what? You’ll tell my mom? (laughing)

Hank Hill: No, I’ll kick your ass up one side of the street and down the other.

Poser: (Realizing Hank is serious) This place is weak.

Pursuing happiness is just too tiresome. It’s so much better to live in a country where you can demand happiness as a basic human right.

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