aging · AS · Class · Community · Criminal Organizations · Economic Anger · ethnography · Health and wellness · Paralegal Studies · research · Sociology

Real/Real

On Thursday, my neighbor of 50 years said to me, “Fuck your mother.” Unfortunately, I wished him the same. However, I think his remark was out of bounds as I only asked him to move his car forward a little bit to make it easier for me to get out of my driveway. We had a screaming fest, heavily laden with expletives, as I mainly parroted back what was shouted at me, as it is not customary for me to be playing the dozens and yelling in the street like a fishmonger’s wife.

So, I’m taking his mother to Small Claims Court to get my $7500. I think I have a great torts case. Got some negligence involved, intentional injury, PTSD, and possible punitive damages. Most important, I have years of supporting documentation. Preliminary research begun. . ..

Class · Community · observations · Sociology

Todos los Dias

Every morning, no matter how I try to avoid it, I am forced to listen to the crazy woman across the street rant, rave, and rail at her children. I believe she is mentally ill. She has referred to herself as a time-bomb, ready to explode. I guess these morning outbursts are the prelude to the major eruption. Is this the new motherhood?

This household is thug central. Too many have died prematurely from this house. Too many from this house have made jail and prison their constant domiciles. Thieves, murderers, drug dealers, gun runners, abusers. These are the fruits of this household’s family tree.

After listening to the morning harangue, which lasts from 30 to 45 minutes, I’m in a mood most foul, and I wonder how the children feel. The past two weeks, for example, I have never heard SB, say good morning, I love you, have a good day. I’ve never heard her ask do you have everything you need, is your homework in your backpack, do you need lunch money? Instead, I hear her screaming about how much work she has done cleaning the house, how the utilities are all still on even though she doesn’t have a job. Oh, I do recall her telling her daughter that she had love for her, but that she didn’t like her at all and wanted her to move out though the daughter is only 15.

Now, I think I must be quite odd because no one seems to be disturbed by the madness except for me. Perhaps no one else hears what I do. Acoustics are such that if SB has her front door open when mine is also open, all of her noise comes into my home. If I close my front door, and stifle in the heat, I can still hear her through my bedroom window that is all the way at the rear of the house. Her voice is always filled with angst, rage, and screeching. There is no escape.

So, I listen and wonder why I have been chosen to witness this new behavior that really isn’t new any more. This new way of parenting has been a staple of lower-class life for a couple of decades now. Fewer and fewer of these families exist in the community because they have been forced out by losing property that belonged to their parents, or they’ve died out. But the few that are left more than make up for the loss of the others.

Keeping a cheerful spirit is difficult when in the midst of the maelstrom. I don’t judge. But I am negatively affected by all I’ve observed coming from that house. If ever I get enough money together, I’m outta here. Thirteen years of observing bad luck and worse behavior is enough.

Class · Community · Fiction · Health and wellness · metaphysics · observations · Uncategorized

The Morale Officers

Ever met a Morale Officer? It is this officer’s duty to see that the troops are happy or, at the least, not dismally unhappy. To help maintain healthy mental and emotional behaviors while in the midst of struggle, the Morale Officer plans diversions and activities for the troops to help lift the oppression of battle and add a bit of light and levity to an otherwise brutal situation.

Once I quit my man, I discovered I had need of such an officer. It takes time to recover from a romance, no matter how long or short the affair. My man was raising his voice at me, calling me names. He couldn’t kiss me right. One night, he didn’t come home. I had to leave him.

I petted and cossetted that man as if he was a spring lamb, but he was never satisfied with me. He didn’t like the way I dressed (too modest), the way I spoke (to low and like a white girl), the way I ate (too international). He yelled at me to talk like a Black person, otherwise he wouldn’t hear or understand what I was saying. He actually seemed to want me to behave like a street woman. I had to leave him.

Having nearly lost myself, collapsed myself into his world, I needed to get me back. Whenever I feel like I’m losing my sense of self, I head to the library. Reading prevents the loss of self and can often help when regaining self is imperative.

I have to walk 20 minutes to get to a library in the local strip mall. The library doesn’t even have a bathroom for patrons. You have to go to Mickey D’s or Food 4 Less if you need the toilet. But there are books, videos, and free wi-fi, so off I go.

Along the main highway there is plenty of traffic, liquor stores and churches on every other corner, some homes, and many apartment complexes. I wonder how people live with their front doors so close to the sidewalk and pedestrian traffic, how they sleep with the constant traffic noises, how they breathe so near the pollutants of the road.

About midway in my journey, I pass in front of a large apartment complex, in front of which are usually a number of men. They stand around, smoking blunts and cigarettes, pants hanging way below their waists, profanities flying. Often, there is someone who is very high on some substance. They are said to be “on one.” Once, I encountered a brother draped over the trash receptacle that stands in the corner in front of the complex. His pants had fallen to his knees as he leaned his upper body along the side and top of the container. I was returning from the library when I saw him and stopped to ask if he as alright or needed me to call 9-1-1. I stood with him for about 5 minutes before a oouple of men who knew him came from the liquor store across the street and informed me that he was on one and proceeded to help him get himself together. After their arrival, I continued home.

When I pass, I always speak to any man I see. I don’t want a scene and it costs nothing to speak. It’s always, “Good morning/Good afternoon, Brothers.” The first time I did this, there was a visible change in attitude and I was greeted in a like fashion. Then, I began to get compliments. “God sure did bless you. You’re summery and stylish, and you’re pretty, too.” My favorite is,”You’re a real woman!” If the corner men could see my virtues, why couldn’t my man? “If yo man ain’t treatin’ you right, I will!”

They were so good for my morale with their ego-boosting comments. I started going to the library twice a day for a while, just so I could hear something sweet said to me while I worked to get that man out of my system and regain my sense of me.

The Corner Brothers, often high as Coota Brown, eyes red as crimsonite, sagging and looking crazy, became my Morale Officers. In passing, they treat me like a queen, pulling their pants up, saying excuse me, always with the compliments and sweet words like brothers used to use in the ’60s. With their help, and immersing myself in my books, I got that man out of my system, regained my composure, and took back my life.

In the most unlikely locations, among the most unlikey people, it is good to find Morale Officers on duty.

Class · Diversions · observations · power · Sexualities · Sociology

“Race”, Gendered Relations, and Sterling

What is really troubling about the whole Sterling affair is not his racism, which has been common knowledge for some time, but the gender relations that have not been discussed at all. Sterling’s racist rants were only made public by his former mistress when she found her back against the wall, put there by the lawsuit filed against her by Sterling’s wife. What kind of witch is she?

Mrs. Sterling is seeking to obtain more than a million American dollars from the mistress who seduced her husband, duped him into giving her millions in money and goods. Could such an arrogant bastard really be that easily convinced to part with a few of the dollars he has amassed from the labors and sufferings of others? No, I don’t think so.

Why isn’t Mrs. Sterling putting pressure in the proper place, on her beast of a husband? I’m sure she isn’t afraid of him. Is this typical behavior of a woman whose husband is an adulterer, to put the blame on the other woman? Surely, she’s done this because she won’t give up the lifestyle being married to such an anal orifice affords her. I can’t help feeling she’s a bit of a coward and as much of a bully and control freak as her husband. They were made for one another.

The mistress is, of course, wrong. She should never have made the decision to have anything to do with a married man. She was the one seduced by the money, gifts, and I suppose the prestige (?) of being Sterling’s other woman, of which I’m certain there have been many. However, none of these issues has been discussed in the media. The focus has been on “race” and race seems to mean only black. I have a problem with this.

There are, to my way of thinking, several ethnic groups represented in this menage. There are the players, who are Black and Anglo. There are the Sterlings, who are Jewish, which might mean Anglo with a cultural twist. There is the mistress, who is both Black and Latino. These are all cultural, or ethnic, groups. Race is about skin color, pure and simple. This is why news articles always write black with a lower case b. They are not talking about a cultural group, but about skin color. They then confuse the issue by capitalizing the misnomer African-American, a term that applies, rightly, to President Obama, but not to Blacks who defined themselves using the pan-African term Black in a show of global solidarity with all people of color, and a demonstration of self-definition and power in the 1960s.

A very big deal was made about denigration of others based on skin color. Nothing was made of the immoral, adulterous behavior of Sterling or his mistress. Nothing was made of the bullying, passive-aggressive behavior of Mrs. Sterling.

Why talk about any of it if all of the mess isn’t going to be addressed?

Class · Community · Diversions · ethnography · Fiction · News and politics · research · Sociology

Sourest of Grapes: A letter from the great-great-granddaughter of Jesse B. Semple

 

Hey, Grrl!

Mom told me that them Texas crackers didn’t ‘preciate seeing Black people doing better than they were. Didn’t like the fact that even though they had their collective foot on Black folks’ neck that they had better cars, better houses, dressed with style and flair, and the men had far more sexually exotic women.

My bf told me his dad would not drive the new car he’d earned working hard for Mr. Chawly every day because he’d never get another raise or promotion if he did.

Bronco Baama didn’t carry the white, working-class-wanna-be-middle-class men because they don’t like the fact that he’s got a better car, better house, is better dressed and has a wife who is way hotter than theirs. He irks Congress because he’s beaten them at their own game, broken down the gates of the last bastion of the good ol’ boys, and looks better while he plays.

Let us not forget he IS a lawyer. Indicating he’s better educated, well-traveled, intercultural, and while many have tried to question his birthplace, no one has challenged his credentials.  Yet, I heard Mittens call Bronco Baama a boy and a liar, in front of millions, with the recalling of one anecdote during the first presidential debate. He’s the mouthpiece of his undereducated, working-and-lower-class, underinformed, tea-party base (crackas), which is ludicrous as he’s rich as Croesus and hasn’t much of a clue about how the little people live, despite his experience as a Mormon bishop.

The last gasp of a redundant class smells of the sourest of grapes.

Chin-Chin; (I learned that watching Call the Midwife. I absolutely adore Chummy!)

Jesseca

Why Uncle Joe can do what he do