AS · Community · friendship · literacy · time

Magic Is

Imagine wishing for someone to talk with who understands and remembers some of the places you’ve been, some of the thoughts you’ve thunk.

Imagine not having to explain the deep details of your memories because someone else organically understands because they’ve been there, in your memories.

Imagine making that connection through the impersonal web of digital communication.

Magic is.

aging · Class · Community · ethnography · excess death · Homeless People · racism · trauma · white supremacy

Causes of Black Excess Death

A friend sent me a video in Messenger that detailed many of the ways you can end up dead in America if you happen to have been born Black. It stung me. It is the 21st C. and we are still with this white supremacist bullshit.

The video made me think about Emmett, that and an article I read by Dr. GS Potter, who seems to be a phantom, about why we can’t automatically believe all women when they cry sexual assault victim. I thought about the parallels I drew between Emmett Till and Tom Robinson in To Kill a Mockingbird. Both dead as a result of doing something ordinary, both dead because of the believed white woman’s word.

When I feel more composed I will figure out how to embed the video. I want to have the ability to watch it several times. Emmett Till died as a result of purchasing penny bubble gum. Tom Robinson ended up convicted and dead because he offered kindness to a poor white girl, abused by her father and sneered at by the townies. Philando Castile hurts all the more because he was riding in his girlfriend’s car with a young girl child in the back seat, because he’s dead and mother and daughter are traumatized how many ways ’til Sunday?

Doing mundane things can get you killed in America if you are visibly Black. Sandra Bland is dead because she allegedly didn’t signal a turn.

What the fuck is this?

HOMELESS PEOPLE. IT IS A VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS TO TREAT HOMELESS PEOPLE THE WAYS WE DO. DENIAL OF A PLACE TO RELIEVE ONE’S SELF, DENIAL OF WATER, VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS.

Why do we have people living on the streets in large numbers in America and that shit’s okay? We officially have pavement dwellers like those I observed in parts of the Indian subcontinent that were, at the time, suffering large in-migrations of rural people into the cities, looking for work. They lived in the garbage dumps. In America, the area surrounding the homeless is turned into a dump because of lack of access to the basics: a place to cook, a place to squat it out later, a place to lay your head.

Seems so simple, the fix to this. So many rich politicians could afford to house all the homeless people on their many properties. Why do we, the people, allow these conditions affecting people just like you or me, to persist? Are we truly anesthetized? Are we truly that unfeeling? Is there no longer any creature recognition going on?

What the fuck is really going on, people?

In 1955 Money, Mississippi, Black people had a greater chance of being lynched, and of having the lynchers get off because of the low prosecution rates for violent crimes against Blacks, but in support of white female purity and white male superiority. Carolyn Bryant only recently confessed that she lied. Her believed lies got a 14 year old boy tortured, mutilated, slaughtered.

Hikkikomori looking better and better e’er day.

Community · ethnography · Language · observations · power · research · social observation · Sociology · trauma

I Don’t See Color

Here’s a phrase that sincerely chaps my ass. What if the police ask you to describe me? Whachugonsay?

Discovered my disgust with this statement after getting into a discussion about who can and can’t say nigger. We concluded with the thought that anyone can say anything (conditional) because this is a country that constitutionally guarantees freedom of speech. I added that saying anything means being ready and able to take the consequences of those utterances.

See, you can’t say nigger to everyone. I don’t care how you spell it, inflect it, think it’s cute or a term of endearment, you can’t say that to everyone. Some folks have a reflexive action to being called nigger. They will bust you in the mouth, with love, ’cause they ain’t having it. I think I am one of those people.

Nigger is a slur, an ethnophaulism. How’d you like it if I walked up to you and called you my Dago, my Wop, my Mick, my Chink, my Gook, my Buddhahead, my Guinea, my Spic, my Kike, (recent) my Beaner? Does it grate a little? If not, do you know someone who might not share your attitude?

It is difficult to find a slur for whites that carries the same punch as nigger. By becoming white, those ethnics who look more like the dominant group eventually became white. Hunky or honky no longer packed a punch. Even Jews thought, and think, they were white. It only takes a second to be disabused of that notion when faced with real crackers who think the kikes are out to replace them.

We are all color struck. We are overly concerned with the color of another’s skin because to be anything other than a variation of pink is to be diminished in the world. We don’t talk about slavery. We don’t talk about Jim Crow. We don’t talk about the Trail of Tears. We don’t talk about segregation, an active factor in our lives today. Why are we all color struck, especially those who come here from other countries where there may or may not be a racial history of torture and abuse? Loss of cultural and historical memory? Loss of self-awareness? Loss of our humanity? For certain, it is because we have been taught to be conscious of color, particularly for purposes of differentiation and separation.

We need to speak to one another in the way we wish to be addressed. Don’t come @ me with your nigger speak. I really will bust you in your mouth, with love, and dare you to call the police. Since you don’t see color, you won’t be able to give a credible description and I will go on my way, hoping I taught you something of value.

AS · Bad Faith · Community · Health and wellness · observations · social observation · trauma

What is Wrong with US?

Are we really all racists? Are we all irresponsible? Are we all trying to die? From opioids to laundry pods, are we really this stupid?

I can’t watch the news unless it comes from someplace outside of America. I am sick of being exposed, on the daily, to the lies, misdirection, and hatred coming from the top. I don’t want to see that ugly man’s face, but it is plastered everywhere. I can’t use social media because he is everywhere there. He gets way too much publicity. Is this all a ratings race? Who is winning because it certainly is not the public, who is exposed to “information” we cannot trust the truth of, nor can we believe.

An orange ass, who has done nothing in his life but lie and cheat, has no right to be in office. He has no right to expose me to his ignorance.

Is money the only thing that matters in this country? Being stupid certainly seems to be the movida of the hour. Eating laundry pods? How are people being raised nowadays? Where is the sense?

My son tells me that people now have pet children. They have a child, children, but fail to parent them. Single mothers look for mates, children in tow, rather than parenting the children presently in the world. Children have smartphones and tablets to babysit them before they can talk. No wonder they are sexting at age 8. What happened to childhood? What happened to responsible parenting?

The airways are full of the lowest of the low in terms of showing us what behavior is extant. Incest, hatred, murder, bigotry, jealousy. Every day we are exposed to the most negative, loathesome, debilitating, demoralizing behavior. Is this what we are expected to become? I have never seen upright behavior spurred by constant exposure to nastiness.

Like the little dog I saw in my twitter feed. He’d been abused all his life and cried when touched gently. It took a handler a while to calm the poor animal, but she broke through by showing patience, gentleness, kindness. Eventually the wee beastie stopped crying, relaxed and was able to begin responding in kind. It didn’t take long, but exposure to something other than the abuse he’d experienced was required for him to make a change.

I suspect our media is attempting to turn us all into mindless drones. Thoughtless, without empathy, stupid. I don’t like thinking this way, but I am continuously shown this behavior, encounter this behavior in the world, where I know I cannot trust anyone’s word, where I expect the worst and always receive it.

I wasn’t always like this. I was once an optimist. My son says I still live in fantasyland because I want to believe in people. It is getting more difficult to stay in fantasyland, though. I have been robbed, cheated, lied to more often in the past two years than at any time in my life. Confronted with the unending hubris of humankind, I am stunned by how far we seem to have fallen in the US.

Completely distressed.

AS · Community · Craft · observations · social observation

Casting Back

No, this isn’t about knitting, though that is my world nowadays. No, this is about remembering, triggered memory. Read the name Owen and cast back to my neighbors, the Owens. Large family, all varying shades of mocha with the exception of the only son, Anthony. I secretly adored his handsome chocolate brown frame. It was never curious to me that he was the only brown child; it was marvelous. I wonder if he ever experienced discrimination because of the lovely color of his dark brown skin.

In southern India, I saw the most beautiful dark brown people with glistening black hair. Gorgeous! Then, I learned they were as colour-struck as American Blacks and used terms like “wheatish” to describe the most desirable skin colour. Dalits I met were universally brown-skinned. The women and men who tended my household, bathroom, and garden were universally brown. The owner of the flat was that wheatish color I first encountered reading Indian newspaper personal ads. Wonder what causes wheatishness? Black people have white folks in slavery to thank for some of our wheatishness, as well as for the concept of colour-struck in American culture.

Considering such castings cause me to take refuge in my knitting. I’m not a writer, Yann! I’m a maker, an artisan, a handcrafter, a sample maker. Mom was a sample maker. There are entire businesses devoted to the making of samples. I saw one recently featured on NHK. Sample makers typically make the first draught of a pattern, testing theory as it happens. If everything is good, only one sample is needed. If more work is needed, revisions, and additional samples will be made. I like making one or two of a thing, then off to a new project. I have a research scientist’s ability to focus intently on a topic for a long while, but I have a child’s curiousity and want to explore many things, hence the making of one or two gloves, or pattern tests, or blog posts, then it is off to a new project.

Anthony. One of his sisters was a doctor. Another worked in the university system. They were a good family. I hope all is well with them.

aging · Community · Disaster · Homeownership · Law · Neighbor Law · observations · Paralegal Studies · Uncategorized

Blessing in Disaster (Real/Real)

The winds were high and apparently gentle, but the property-line tree fell on my home. Happy Earth Day! The tree was over 60′ tall by a ways. The utility pole stands that high and the tree towered over that, all five branch trunks growing from the main stem. Hard to believe the tree started from something like a weed, easily yanked out of the earth before it can grow into the heavy colossus guarding the property line.

When the branch cracked away from the central trunk, I was sitting under it in my bedroom. You know that sound you hear in films about the lumbering industry, hacking down the forest, shouting,”Timberrrrrr!” The tree cracks away from the base and the upper branches whoosh earthward through the air. I heard the crack, heard the whoosh, and was out of the room by the thud that signaled the trunk had come to rest on the roof and on the roofs of the next two houses. No damage to any roof but my own. Thank you, Mother Earth.

The ceiling was kept up by things sitting atop the closet. I can see daylight where the wall of the house buckled and burst at the seams from the weight of the limb that laid atop the roof for 3-4 days. The general contractor said the only reason the tree did not come into the room is because it was small. Saved by geometric configuration and physics.

The general contractor also said the house must be razed.

I await the adjuster/appraiser. Long wait in a precarious shelter. I refuse to go into my bedroom. Just moved to the living room, though it is somewhat dicey up here as the neighbor continues to host a colossus, some of its branches overhanging my property….