In other words, to some degree, modern conservatism owes its success to a recovery of and an effort to root itself in the Founders' constitutionalism. Frank Meyer was famous for his doctrine of fusionism -- a fusing of libertarian individualism with religious traditionalism. The real fusionism for contemporary conservatism, I would suggest, is supplied by its effort to recover the Founders' constitutionalism, which was itself an effort to fuse or blend critical American political principles like liberty and equality, competent governance and majority rule.
Everyone in Death Valley wants ice-water. Everyone wants a personal God, ideally right next to your personal barrista of your personal Starbucks in your personal walk-in closet– “I’ll have a double-shot Americano and a 378 year life-span as a blonde teenage cheerleader, please.” Hey, you don’t ask you don’t get.
A few Filipino-run businesses in New Orleans serve important functions in the community. Business owners, like Gerardo (Gerry) and Thelma Yumul, maintain connections to larger business organizations for American Filipinos and also serve as mainstays within their local communities. The Yumuls, who operate Yumul International Enterprises and Yumul Travel International, also are prominent members of state and local groups such as the Philippine American United Council of Louisiana and the New Orleans Filipino American Lions Club. Business owners in the community know that they can rely on people like the Yumuls for advice.
Yes, ever since Mrs. Fields rightly determined that her days of getting on the covers of the Adam and Eve and Victoria’s Secret catalogues were over and she went into the sidewalk-blower bakery business, these evil simulacra of chocolate chip cookies have spread over the American landscape like the Eighth Plague of Egypt. The results are murder, insanity, death and an obesity so monumental that the victims do not so much walk our streets as teeter through them — a threat to passersby, lost pets and unreinforced brick structures.
We encounter the same problem whenever we reverse time. It changes everything going forward. We enter an entirely new time series, in which the shares we buy in, say, the Apple corporation, turn out worthless. Gold will rise and fall in different order, and so our scheme to get stinking rich quickly ends in the usual bankruptcy. Similar things happen on all other channels, so that our plan to fix history also comes apart. This is a problem with alternative worlds; bigger than we guess in any Faustian bargain. Best leave God in charge of this one; and the young to endure the advice of the old.
In interviews, Filipinos stress that theirs is not a closed community, and that Filipinos in Louisiana welcome and value their friendships with non-Filipinos. Gatherings such as Independence Day celebrations, the annual Filipiana gala, and even Filipino religious observations all welcome respectful non-Filipino guests. Sometimes the interest of an outsider, such as an interviewer or festivalgoer, can offer a welcome opportunity to proudly explain Filipino culture and history. The most valued traditional gatherings, though, are those that include active Filipino community members and new arrivals from the Philippines. These occasions allow Louisiana Filipinos to welcome new arrivals, grow their community, and keep in closer touch with their homeland. Hermie Urcia reflects on his community in Louisiana:
It's always a great feeling of accomplishment after I have performed a dance. The stress of learning the dance and wanting everything [to] be executed perfectly all falls away once you are finished and everyone tells you how much they have enjoyed watching you perform. As a half-Filipino and Caucasian American, [this] always leaves me feeling closer to my Filipino heritage. You obviously feel that you know yourself a greater amount when you do learn more of where you come from. This has to be my favorite thing about traditional dancing. Everything and anything that I do take away from it, I would like to teach my future children.
Mrs. Elsie Tuazon is all of the dance group's instructor and was a dancer herself on the Philippine Independence Day; she danced the pandanggo sa ilaw. I've danced for the Filipino community before when I was a teenager, but it was a modern pop-culture dance. la simpatica was the first folk dance I learned in 2005, from Mrs. Tuazon, for the APAS [the Asian Heritage Festival coordinated by the Asian Pacific American Society].
Male and female dancers explain that the best performances are those that seamlessly combine Spanish with Filipino dance movements and steps, and that graceful hand gestures are very important because they convey a great deal of the interaction between the woman and her suitors. Catherine Moreau danced la simpatico at the Asian Heritage Festival and at the Philippine Independence Day celebration. She learned it from Elsie Tuazon, who has taught many younger dancers and is valued in the community as someone who keeps traditions alive. Catherine acknowledges that national pride is a primary reason that dance remains important to Filipinos and that she feels the importance of the dance to the audience when she performs for a Filipino group, but she also expresses feelings of joy in movement and in community with other Filipinos and with other dancers:
Jessie Urcia adds that all of the traditional dances provide more opportunities for fellowship and visiting among Filipinos, and that, because everyone who grew up in the Philippines knows many of the dances, locals are able to reach out to new arrivals by including them in dance practices and performances:
All Filipinos in Louisiana speak English and are familiar with American popular culture, but there are several factors that help Filipinos to remain connected to the islands and to their culture. Many Filipinos remain in close contact with friends and family members who live in the Philippines, and visit regularly. Children, even those who do not become fluent in Tagalog, at least learn some traditional songs and expressions, and pick up some of the language if their families visit the islands. The current popularity of traditional-pop fusion and traditional dance has young people interested in learning from their elders. The large number of Filipino organizations in Louisiana, which support Filipino enterprises in the United States and the Philippines, gives residents a variety of ways in which to be involved with other Filipinos and with causes of importance to the larger community. Like all of the Filipinos interviewed for this essay, Hermie Urcia expressed thankfulness to all of those individuals (more than could be named in this essay) who spend their available time organizing Filipino events and sharing the culture:
Certainly, what was learned through poverty and mayhem by those Americans born in the 1920s became invaluable in the decades following the war. The World War II cohort was a can-do generation who believed that they did not need to be perfect to be good enough. The strategic and operational disasters of World War II—the calamitous daylight bombing campaign of Europe in 1942-43, the quagmire of the Heurtgen Forest, or being surprised at the Battle of Bulge—hardly demoralized these men and women.