Sunday, January 16, 2011


I was on my way to my church today (it's the mother church for America, of course), and I drove past a number of businesses whose names I only noticed for the first time. One of these was tucked away into a dying -- which is to say non-Wal*Mart -- shopping center and had been in business for several years. I had seen it and its storefront and its sign and its customers on many occasions, but I had never noticed it.

(Who knew? It's a chain! This one is in Virginia.)

That's right: Star Nails. I see now that "Star Nails" is a thing that one can get a franchise for, that it is a company that sells kits and licenses, rather than an actual company that staffs. I do not know if being Vietnamese and female is required for getting the franchise, but, given the uniformity of operators, it seems like it could be. (The mini-icon for the franchise company looks like a lotus flower.)

I have nothing particularly against immigrants, myself. About half of you, I understand, are "very concerned" by those immigrants and want them to "go back where they came from." It's easy to feel that way -- harder to think that way. According to a recent study, most of the folks taking the hard "conservative" stance these days are, in fact, not thinking, but feeling, to start with, and they have enlarged amygdalas. (Some time I mean to write about that study, because I'd say that it's not conservativism that appeals to the reptilian brain.) It's lovely to think in big, gelatinous lumps, to feel secure that the problems are "those people" and that they "need to" do something simple like "go back." It feels wonderful to have an answer.

Unfortunately for me, my family arrived on these shores in the 1630's, so I have had to give up on anti-immigrant feeling. Ever since those nasty Scots started showing up in the teens (1810's, I mean), things have been going down hill. The Germans, Jews, Irish, Slavs.... If we're going to complain, then can't I complain that they're all filthy immigrants coming in to take jobs that belong to the colonials like me? The only ones who have any right to complain -- aside from the Indians, of course -- are the descendants of the enslaved Africans. They've been here as long as the planter families and colonists and frigid Puritans. Curiously, when I see anti-immigration protests in Arizona or Texas, I don't see Black people or Colonial families.

It could be, of course, that the Colonials never did protest immigration, that the "Know Nothings" and the like were always a product of immigrants themselves turning on immigration. In The Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson is listing all the violations of divine law and common rights that George III had made, and he lists:
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
You see, we of the Colonies wanted immigration. We even went to war to allow it. Now, yabbos want to arm themselves to prevent it, and one Great Tit demands the use of Predator drones to blow up economic migrants.

Vietnamese tend to face less of the hatred than "messicans." Nevertheless, the Americans who hate immigrants hate them, too. They say the immigrants stick together, that they talk their foreign language to each other, that they use only their own family members, etc. (They say the same about Indians, of course.)


I want to know what the heck a star nail is.

Is it a nail made of flaming gas? Is it what a person uses to tack a star in place so that it doesn't slide down the wall? Obviously, if the salon were offering fingernails and toe nails that look the same as Hollywood and Broadway stars, it would be called "Stellar Nails" or "Starring Nails." If it offered nails that shone as if stars in the sky (would anyone want that? it would require them to be 6,000 degrees C), then they'd call the place "Sparkling Nails" or "Twinkling Nails" or "Fusion Powered Nails" or "H-bomb Nails," since I doubt they have the secret of sustained fusion chain reactions (and, if they did, would they not be Topamak Nails?).

We know the place is owned and operated by immigrants, but what if their sign means exactly what it says? What if they really are selling star nails? What if the ladies (and always one boy) working in the place are not from an indistinct far eastern nation believed to be Vietnam but some place... farther away?

Think about it, man.

1 comment:

The Geogre said...

The last link, folks, is one of the weirdest things I've seen.