Om Malik

In the first episode of the second season of British television show, The Hour, its protagonist, Freddie Lyon upon returning from America explains why he was intoxicated by the new world:

“Being nobody in a country where everybody thinks they can be somebody…”

That one utterance by a fictional character sums up why every immigrant wants to come to America and that does include me. This is the country where Albert Einstein and Nicola Tesla were somebody. This is the place where Kim Kardashian and Alex Rodriguez are somebody. Kanye West and Steve Jobs, they are somebody. At one point they were nobodies. This quirky, burger munching, frappuccino swigging, football loving, gas-guzzling cross between utopia and Disney Land is a nation of nobodies who are on their way to be somebody.

And that is the beauty of America…

Today, in a ceremony at the Paramount Theater in Oakland, California, I was sworn in along with 1224 others and we became Americans. I am still memorizing the Star Spangled Banner and trying to imprint the oath of allegiance on my heart, but I have always known that I was an American.

Long before I left my parents home, in those hot summer nights when I read American magazines and dreamed of New York, I knew where I belonged. That America was brought alive by pulp fiction and noir writers. America was Michael Jackson. America was Wall Street. America was Tom Wolfe’s Electric Acid Kool Aid Test and his Bonfire of Vanities. America was Bell Labs. It was Bruce Springsteen.

The America I found was a kaleidoscope of all those fictions and many more realities. Random acts of kindness from absolute strangers, failures that taught more than successes, disappointments that taught the meaning of joy, but most importantly the America I found was a place where my mind could finally roam free. It was a place where I learned that tomorrow is another opportunity…

In most places in the world, outsiders like me don’t have that chance. That simple truth is what makes America so special. A chance – to be somebody even if you are nobody. America is a state of mind and I have opted-in!

Congratulations, Om.

  1. Uncle Patso says:

    Damn, the man can write!

    Congratulations, Om, and welcome!

  2. dcphill says:

    Welcome aboard.

  3. Mextli says:

    It’s people like you that make America so special. Glad to have you.

  4. Tim says:

    Welcome. Please stand for our national anthem:


  5. AdmFubar says:

    welcome to the united stasi of corporate amerika!

    america founded by the casts offs of other countries… ever wonder why those other countries got rid of them?

    • Bracketcreep says:

      America was founded by colonists and settlers. The cast offs came later.

    • msbpodcast says:

      For the same reason that your corpse will be left to rot on a pile of other 99%er bodies. (They’ll make other 99%ers cart them all away.)

      When then 1%ers declare war on the 99%ers, its a bloody thing.

      The 99%ers’ only crime is the one of being alive while superfluous, but the sentence is death.

      As the world economy contracts, do not expect the 1%ers, those greedy, grasping, psychopathic bastards, to shed any more of a tear for you than did the Nazis in WWII.

      Some people are clearly infected by a delusion of their own superiority.

      Unfortunately, they have positioned themselves at the apex, the pinnacle of our governments (and its’ mismanagement.)

      (Man, that sounds foreboding…)

  6. AlanB says:

    Congratulations Om!

    You are somebody.

  7. CG Fan says:

    Ditto! Congratulations Om. Welcome to the melting pot. You already know more about America than most native born Americans do. (Just read this blog!!!)

    Maybe now you might understand why some Americans are passionate about exporting freedom since you, yourself said that our particular kind of freedom was (is) just not possible for much of the rest of the world. (For now, anyway.)

    I’m also pretty sure that naturalized Americans like yourself are keenly aware of the importance to preserving our Constitution rather than finding ways around it too. And in that regard, I think you are MORE American than you probably take credit for.

    BTW, Om’s comments on Crankygeeks is still resonating with me. I seem to recall something like the following being uttered: “Why give children who don’t have food to eat or even homes to live in laptops? It’s crazy thinking!”

    • twotothehead says:

      “exporting freedom” euphemism for killing brown people in the sand.

      We are not interested in exporting freedom but in grabbing the worlds resources for our own consumption.

    • CG Fan says:

      … Like I said, read this blog.

      Where else would you see such educated and rampant stupidity?

  8. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    He’s actually about 50 years late to the party. USA has been losing social mobility that long. One such study (“Do Poor Children Become Poor Adults?”)[4][21][22] found that of nine developed countries, the United States and United Kingdom had the lowest … social mobility

    Its the LIE told to us by the RICH and the FERP’s to keep us all comatose and not voting.

    Just LOOK: its working……………………who posted this tripe?……………………………………………pimping the boys are we now?…or did Pedro’s threats become credible?

    • Bracketcreep says:

      The biggest single reason for lack of social mobility and widening gap between rich and poor is the massive and on going importation of poverty that the 1965 immigration law started.

      • msbpodcast says:

        I’d buy that if only there was still a thriving middle class.

        There is not.

        The 1%ers got the mine and the everybody else got the shaft*.

        *) Except for the oligarchs, the 12,400 Überrich. They get to live out on the surface, where the sun shines.

        • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

          Quite right Mpod. “Adding to” (addend) doesn’t remove or reduce the original item (augend).

          Simple math.


          What “takes away” from social mobility?===most of the provision/platform of the FERP.

          Just Look: lower taxes, more loopholes, less education, jobs exported, automation, computerization, internet.

          Blaming the newest immigrants? Ignorance of a most malignant kind. Selecting easy lazy targets instead of thinking.

          Same as it always is.

    • CG Fan says:

      My bet is that you never watched Dvorak’s show – Crankygeeks.

      The quote I referred to (paraphrasing) was from one of the few times when Om Malik was a guest and they were talking about the then new One Laptop Per Child program for impoverished African nations like Somalia. Somalia, which, if it isn’t dead last, is one of the most poverty stricken nations on earth.

      On the show they were talking about this program and how a group of uber-elite rich Silicon Valley types were looking to help out by giving away laptops which we American consumers would probably be funding through higher prices on our own products – or so was the implication.

      Watch the show! Because Om mentions how it’s crazy thinking to believe that giving away laptops to someone who has no bed to sleep in or enough food to eat or even any clean water to drink is going to help. “How can anyone learn – or even use a laptop – when, at best, you’re starving to death?!” I seem to recall that Om goes on to say that if these rich guys really wanted to help that they would do something about the abhorrent living conditions. (Update: Seems only rich guy #1 heard it when you see what Bill Gates is now doing.)

      And that little bit of inarguable LOGIC pretty much describes Om Malik. And I’m proud that he’s now an official U.S. citizen since we need more (brown) guys like him. I’m just a little surprised since I was under the impression that he was already a citizen.

      • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist who is not controlled by the labels our gubment puts on free speech says:

        You are right, I’ve never watched the show. Do you have a sample link?

        Lots of smoke and fog in the air about just any issue you can name. PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE. “Perhaps” immigrants as a group have more drive than the natives …. AS A GROUP==but basically, people are people. We are all more the same than different. Whatever “good ideas” an immigrant provides is more than likely shared by a native.

        I agree that “if” you are starving to death, a laptop is worse than naive. But what about the people who could benefit from a lap top and avoid starving if they had more information/connectivity? Several shows on how the very poor in Africa are benefiting from cheap third hand cell phones leap frogging what was the tech curve in the west.

        Problems are open to many solutions.

  9. Fred Jones says:

    Pretty words, but Om Malik is a part of the problem prick.

    • god says:

      Another timely whine from someone who still resents electricity. Har.

      • CG Fan says:

        Check the NAME!

        “Fred Jones” is that crazy hypocritical “man of GOD” who goes around celebrating the deaths of U.S. soldiers and saying that they deserved to die for fighting for homosexuality. (Sounds like someone didn’t even make the POOL – let alone the “deep end” – when it comes to homophobia. But I digress.)

        And yet, even Reverend Freddy has a following of other complete morons. People (or should I say “things”) like Dallas!

        So say what you want. It is America after all and I appreciate the ability to more easily distinguish the idiots from everyone else when they decide to open their mouths – or decide to blog.

  10. msbpodcast says:

    Àpropos of nothing, this is what you can expect from our failing education system Om:

    From the Lazyboy song “Underwear Goes Inside The Pants”

    The schools now: It is all about self-esteem in the schools now.
    Build the kids’ self-esteem, make them feel good about themselves.
    If everybody grows up with high self-esteem, who is going to dance in our strip clubs?
    What’s going to happen to our porno industry?
    These women don’t just grown on trees.
    It takes lots of drunk dads missing dance recitals before you decide to blow a goat on the internet for fifty bucks.
    And if that disappears, where does that leave me on a Friday night with my new high speed connection?

  11. spsffan says:

    Oh, I forgot. Welcome to the greatest nation ever founded by treasonous, slave holding, plantation owning tax evaders !

  12. NewformatSux says:

    Is he related to Mayam Bialik?

  13. The great ORB says:

    For anyone who has ever listened to Om you know he speaks with great clarity and understanding. He has a way of explaining things that cuts out the chatter and just gets to the relevant facts of the matter.

    Congratulations Om and welcome to our country, it is people like you that make me proud to be an American.

  14. deowll says:

    A large slice of the public is giving up on the American dream. To much government in the way. Oddly more Democrats are giving up on the dream than Republicans but it is becoming more and more obvious that the elites don’t want others to succeed because it threatens their power. Why else would it take months to years to get the permits to and cost huge fees to open up a restaurant or do much of anything at all at most locations?

    If you look at what is going on the government now pretty much knows everything anyone says or does and the IRS and other government agencies such as the EPA are using their power to oppress anyone that gets in the way of their political agenda. The real agenda is to keep the ruling elites in power and everyone else down on the plantation working for the man or living in subsidized housing, poorly educated, and afraid to open their mouths because they will be cut off if not thrown in jail.


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