20something profile: Brian
The first thing you should know about me is that I destroyed my own house. Don’t worry, that is important, and it comes up later.
I am a Classical Studies Contractor. In my daytime, I manage rental properties for Butler University seniors, my Alma Mater. I graduated in May 2012 a Classical Studies Major. Yeah, Latin and Greek. At night I tutor those poor lost students learning dead languages, I read obscure authors and I write about America the way Cicero wrote about Rome.
In 2007, my brother and I started a project our mom had dreamt of in all the years I lived in Illinois. We started a renovation on my childhood home, and my brother and I were the demolition crew. We punched sledgehammers through walls. We tore out the knob and tube by hand. Laughing, I ripped down plaster and lathe with my own hands. The fools we were, blinded by architectural plans that would never be.
Important side note: the Trojans brought in the horse, tearing down their own walls to fit it, out of their greed. We brought that horse in and called it a wise investment.
The housing market, built on false promises, crumbled beneath the weight of people just like us, trying to find our slice of the pie. The loan taken against the value of the house for the addition was withdrawn; we left with a box stripped to the studs and a bill.
Fun fact: I am currently a good enough contractor to have saved my house if I could go back in time. It’s gone now, sold at a loss to pay the tab. That is the type of irony that sticks.
And now I fix up houses that are not my own. Some of that old-fashioned double irony.
I started studying the Classics because I saw a few overlays between Rome during the Crisis of the 50’s B.C. and America today. Now I am impressed when I can find an issue they were dealing with that we resolved — i.e. problems with immigration, inflation, unsound monetary policy, muddled foreign policies, wars in the Middle East needing to be resolved, threats of mass redistribution, the rich getting richer and the poor footing the bill, and a belief that, after an international war that set the country up as a superpower, the citizens were becoming lazy and spoiled by the government. I could go on.
I am plugging away at my writing, getting dragged into the slugfest that is American political spectating. Classics prepares me for that or being a professor, and I feel more fulfilled breathing contemporary life into those old stories (and I found out being a prof is not like Indiana Jones all the time). I’ve started a politiblog under the pseudonym of His Grossness, an old nickname pointed at my quasi-imperialist views, with the dream of sitting behind a microphone one day to laugh about the absurdity of it all like Roe Conn on WLS.
It’s hard (confusing) trying to get a start as a political commentator, not necessarily wanting to go into sheer journalism but knowing, at some point, I’ll need to if I’m serious. For now, I’ll need to do it for the love of being snarky and hope that when the opportunity arises, I’ve sharpened myself enough to jump in.
Honestly, I’m not terribly worried about getting there yet. The job market is absolutely awful for landing a dream job out of college, but no one should be counting on that. Obviously it’s an uphill hike, but whose by-the-bootstraps story starts with the ending?