Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Real by Sage Paisner and writng about working on the ranch with Greg and Gerardo

The Real
  • being or occurring in fact or actuality; having verified existence; not illusory; "real objects"; "real people; not ghosts"; "a film based on real ...
  • real(a): no less than what is stated; worthy of the name; "the real reason"; "real war"; "a real friend"; "a real woman"; "meat and potatoes--I call that a real meal"; "it's time he had a real job"; "it's no penny-ante job--he's making real money"
  • not to be taken lightly; "statistics demonstrate that poverty and unemployment are very real problems"; "to the man sleeping regularly in doorways homelessness is real"
  • capable of being treated as fact; "tangible evidence"; "his brief time as Prime Minister brought few real benefits to the poor"
  • actual: being or reflecting the essential or genuine character of something; "her actual motive"; "a literal solitude like a desert"- G.K.Chesterton; "a genuine dilemma"
  • of, relating to, or representing an amount that is corrected for inflation; "real prices"; "real income"; "real wages"
  • real number: any rational or irrational number
  • substantial: having substance or capable of being treated as fact; not imaginary; "the substantial world"; "a mere dream, neither substantial nor practical"; "most ponderous and substantial things"- Shakespeare
  • the basic unit of money in Brazil; equal to 100 centavos
  • (of property) fixed or immovable; "real property consists of land and buildings"
  • very: used as intensifiers; `real' is sometimes used informally for `really'; `rattling' is informal; "she was very gifted"; "he played very well"; "a really enjoyable evening"; "I'm real sorry about it"; "a rattling good yarn"
  • an old small silver Spanish coin
  • veridical: coinciding with reality; "perceptual error...has a surprising resemblance to veridical perception"- F.A.Olafson

The Real is very subjective but I feel that farming, relying on the land and being part of the community is real. The reality at the ranch is that 200 acres is made for many people to live and work on and Ellen and David understand this by sharing their home with the community and many other family and friends. The artist residency program is one further step to helping the ranch grow survive and become and stay a working farm, ranch and artist community. I don't believe you have to have the amount of land the government says to be a real farm. Emilio Ortiz a friend and is in his seventies and has orchard on 10 acres and a garden the size of two football fields I think this is a real farm using the land and living off its fruits from you and your communities labor.

The labor at the ranch is real and joined Greg Wells and Gerardo in Greg's assignment was a refreshing reminder of the real. I arrived and we got coffee and started to work.
The first order of business was to turn on the irrigation system. The bacon avocado trees were chopped down to be graphed to Haas avocados and we loaded the wood onto the tractor and moved it to a big pile to made into wood chips. It is hard labor, but Gerardo invited Greg and I to have lunch and it was amazing. It was really nice to work and get to know Greg and Gerardo better. This work is rough and never ending always something to do. I feel Greg's point was that no one wants these jobs in America but yet we criticize and lack the understanding of the situation at hand. This country was built on immigrants from Europe etc. now it is being held up by Latin America and Mexico and other countries and we are not allowing for hard working people to have the right to a happy and healthy life and attack them by saying things like the immigrants take all our jobs when no American wants to have these labor oriented jobs.

1 comment:

  1. i think it's less that no American wants a labor-oriented job, especially in this economy- case in point:
    Ohio Junior High gets 700 applicants for janitor position

    and more likely that American citizens will expect to earn at least minimum wage, have union representation, and get some kind of medical coverage-- so employers are much less likely to hire American citizens to lessen costs and avoid legal repercussions.

    In this way, the argument of "immigrants taking all our jobs," as truncated and amassed in circular logic as it seems, has some basis. I'm sure there are many Americans who would take any job, labor or otherwise, but Americans won't get hired for these positions while there is an immigrant labor force who will do the job for less and a ruling class that can get away with paying their workers so little. And the immigrant labor force, in turn, devalues their own hard work and are pressured into thinking they can't have representation and can't earn a fair living wage.

    The issue of how the United States undervalues and criminalizes the non-legal workers that live in this country is a separate but related enraging issue, and has much to do with projected xenophobia coming from the very people whom, for morality/religious reasons, vote for a political party that makes a point to protect the companies that create the reliance on unfairly cheap and unrepresented labor in the first place. It's a 'divide and conquer' strategy and it seems to be working.