Ever get annoyed? Ever feel like someone needs to be told where the dog died? Or handed a crowbar and a tub of Elbow Grease to help them pry their head out of their arse? Congratulations--you've come to the right place.

And when I'm not commenting on the latest thing to piss me off, I'm trying to figure out my own twisted life. Because, hey, I'm like that.

On a gentler note: for anyone dealing with depression, anxiety, and other assorted bullshit: You are NOT alone.

And if you're looking for a laugh, search on the key word "fuckery." It's just my little thing (as the bishop said to the actress).

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Woo! Dey Darker Den Us!

If You're Brown, You're Goin Down

Especially if your country is full of brown people. Oh, we like that, don't
we? That's our hobby now. But it's also our new job in the world: bombing
brown people. Iraq, Panama, Grenada, Libya. You got some brown people in
your country? Tell 'em to watch the fuck out, or we'll goddamn bomb them!

Well, who were the last white people you can remember that we bombed? In
fact, can you remember any white people we ever bombed? The Germans! That's
it! Those are the only ones. And that was only because they were tryin' to
cut in on our action. They wanted to dominate the world.

Bullshit! That's our job. That's our fuckin' job.

But the Germans are ancient history. These days, we only bomb brown people.
And not because they're cutting in our action; we do it because they're
brown. Even those Serbs we bombed in Yugoslavia aren't really white, are
they? Naaah! They're sort of down near the swarthy end of the white
spectrum. Just brown enough to bomb. I'm still waiting for the day we bomb
the English. People who really deserve it. -
George Carlin

I want to add this to Carlin's rant: we especially like to bomb NON Christian brown people. Because, hey, they just don't know any better.

Today's title comes from the amazing 1974 Mel Brook's film Blazing Saddles (which I hope he never turns into a musical).

I'm having issues today. Yeah, know, says the Greek chorus in my head, what makes today any different from any other day, Riz?

All this week, my newsfeeds have been innundated about updates on the Haitiian earthquake aftermath, one year later. OK, yeah, I get, Haiti is a third world country that the U.S. and other Euro-derived nations have exploited the fuck out of. It's one of the places our garbage (in the form of exported salvage) gets deposited (and yeah, we won't discuss the rotting hulks off the coast of southeast Asia), and honestly, there is bloody little hope for their recovery.

There's news about Brazilian flooding all over Yahoo right now--ditto Sri Lanka--lots about Tunisia--but only a sidebar about new flooding in Australia.

This is annoying me, but not for reasons that might be obvious.

See, I have an odd view of racism, one that's been developed through spending more than half my life in academia. I've bitched before about it--the result of misplaced white guilt that instead of producing better human beings produces a far more insidious and ugly form of racism disguised as compassion and charity.

I'm annoyed that we're not hearing more about what's going on down in Australia. I like the country--aside from the fact that it has produced some very hot men and damn fine actors, it's a place I really want to check out at some point (it's the whole Brit penal colony thing--America plays it down, but in reality, in the beginning, we weren't much more than a penal colony for England). I think the other reason we're not hearing a lot about Australia is that there are a lot of white people who live there, at least in the eyes of the rest of the world, and in our current white guilt-ridden view of the world, white people can take of themselves.

(And my apologies for getting the stats wrong the other day. I didn't have an internet connection at the time, so I couldn't do any fact checking. I think I used the stat of 100K--WAAAAAAY elevated. Hey, it was 3:00 in the morning and my memory ain't too sharp on remembering figures these days. I'm lucky I remember how much is in my bank account, aside from "too damn little for comfort.")

I have a problem with this. Because we all need help. Every single one of us. I have friends "of color" (I have a problem with that phrase--what am I? Translucent?) who, like Dr. Cosby, have an issue with this demeaning attitude. When one of my friends was applying to grad school and was given the advice to underline the fact that she was African American, she was incensed that this would garner her more scholarship and funding options, and ditto a better chance of acceptance to the school of her choice. INCENSED. She wanted to be accepted solely on her artistic merits and nothing more.

We've also reached a point in human history where it's really hard to tell sometimes what someone's ethnic and racial background is. This is not a bad thing; Heinlein talks about it Time Enough for Love--set 3,000 years in the future, it posits that the intelligent people left the planet and went out to colonize and intermarried without regard for the trivialities of race and ethnicity; occasionally, distinct characteristics would appear when a recessive gene came to the fore, but the point was, humanity had evolved beyond it.

Because the people with the brains to put a person's quality over their appearance were the ones who survived. Darwinian adaptability at its best.

Now, I am speaking from the point of view of someone who grew up working class in a predominantly white working class city. Most of the people I knew growing up were European-descended Catholic, generally Irish or Italian, first or second generation immigrant (I was a bit of an anomally, being third generation). However, because my mom actually had a fairly diverse group of friends, I was exposed and encouraged to be open to other cultures and ethnicities, and taught NOT to discriminate but accept.

In short, we're all people. We're all human. This is why I hate the "white guilt" approach I see from so many in the circles I have to travel in. I think we have to help others, but I think we have to be equitable and intelligent about it. I also think helping others means making sensible decisions in your daily life about where you travel, what you buy, how you use it, and how you behave.

It does mean making sensible judgments. Sorry, but seeing two kids in urban hip-hop style dress, standing at the head of the alley in my neighborhood, nowhere near the bus stops, looking over their shoulders, pulling out the cell phones periodically, jigging up and down, and generally looking like drug dealers tells me that I need to pull out my cell phone and call the local constabulary and have them do their job. Sorry--you want to call me a racist, fine, but I know the kids in my neighborhood. They weren't them, and I don't want that shit going on in my neighborhood.

I don't feel great about affirmative action these days; I've seen too many qualified people not get jobs because of it. I've also seen too many dedicated and quality people lose jobs because they weren't the right shade on a color chart. I just don't think this is the way to run the world.

Do I think the world is fair? Hell, no. And I can sit here on the edge of the People's Republic of Cambridge and bitch about the racist political correctness of academia because I live in a place where it's gone way too far. Other people have different experiences--they're living in places where the Confederate flag is still flown (think I'm kidding?) proudly and the idea of NOT judging someone by the color of their skin is baffling. It ain't right, but it's the way of the world.

I don't even know what my point is at this point. I guess I'm just tired of double standards all over and bitching. I'm tired of people making assumptions based on the surface of things. And while I accept that, yeah, there ARE racial and ethnic characteristics, both physical and social, it's still not right to make assumptions that everyone in a given group has them and is handicapped by them.

If that was true, I'd have ten kids, be a stone drunk, a devout Catholic, and still married instead of single, childless, and writing this. Although I do still have the Irish temper. ;-)

And if you want to donate to the Australian relief effort, here's the URL: http://www.qld.gov.au/floods/donate.html

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