Tag Archives: privilege

Sorry I’m Late

He’s in the woods, probably looking for a place to, you know.

I’m late because I had to go to Arizona to collect some rent yesterday. On the way, I started seeing double, and the faster I drove, that is, the faster my field of vision slipped past me, the worse it got. No way that’s a problem at 80 mph, is it? Something to do with sinus congestion, I believe. Swiftly may it pass.

Besides contemplating language in general, I’ve also been thinking about ways to be genuine. Successful artists of any stripe are those who are simply true to themselves whatever else happens. Which makes me think: what am I, then?

Well, I have never had what most people would call a “real” problem in my life. I had pneumonia once, M, M, and R. Hepatitis A, Pertussis, and a bunch of broken bones, all of which cause problems, but only the temporary sort that go away with care and time. If you look at that list, you’ll see that I was born before the vaccines for those diseases became available. Why anyone would want to contract one of those when one doesn’t have to is beyond me, but I digress. Those have been my problems. Well, that and the fact that mom was too cheap to let me buy the briefcase I wanted in elementary school. Or the pool table I wanted for Christmas (I told Santa he could set it up in the basement, for cat’s sake!) I wrote a song about this situation, I call it theĀ I Ain’t Got No Troubles Blues. I sang it as part of a stand-up bit, and it worked.

I’ve always been led to believe that the best artists suffer, either for the art, or their art arises out of their suffering. Which means that a guy like me, a man of great privilege, probably can’t be a good artist of any sort. I’m more of a Nero type, maybe, but not really an artist.

Or am I?

Well, you tell me. It’s as existential as I can get, given my fortunate upbringing. I am, I must admit, fascinated as to where this line of thought will ultimately lead. Stay tuned, dear readers (you know, both of you.) We’ll find out together.

Racial Tension

Today we’re going to see a great deal of punditry about the situation in Ferguson, Missouri. Fine. This post is not about that, but it is about the source of racial tension in America. I recently read a Facebook post claiming that the source of racial tension is that one black kid gets shot and the press goes nuts, but four hundred and something police officers are killed on duty every year and nobody says diddly. Well, that’s not good that nobody says diddly, but consider this. We pay police officers to put their lives on the line. Not enough, in my opinion, but their job is to stand between us and danger, so that it isn’t national news when somebody who voluntarily steps out into a dangerous situation pays the price. It’s to be expected, really. In Vegas, the local news makes quite a big deal out of an officer’s death, I can vouch for that, so it’s not true that nobody notices when a police officer dies on duty.

On the other hand, what I witnessed in the local supermarket the other day is not expected, at least not by me. There was a man in front of me buying some wine for a party for his girlfriend. The clerk called him “darling” and “honey” a lot. That is sometimes passed off as “Southern Manners,” and is common amongst waitresses and others around these parts. I’ve never cared for it, because I don’t think any waitress knows me well enough to be that personal. In fact, it is done deliberately to let customers know who is in charge, and it ain’t the customers. Okay, I can’t stop it, but I do dislike it. This particular clerk was being really egregious in her usage of terms of endearment on this man she never before met. To the point where I was planning to use some right back at her when it was my turn, to see how she liked that crap. But when I came up, it was “Sir this, sir that, thank you sir!” Also probably overdone, but at least it was respectful. Then when the guy behind me stepped up she was right back to the “darlings” and such. Guess what the difference was. I’m a white guy. The man in front of me and the man behind me were black guys. That’s the difference. If that clerk were my employee and I caught her treating customers that way, I’d fire her ass. But my point here is that such idiocy is the actual source of racial tension in America. Do you think that those two black guys were so dim that they didn’t notice? Hah!

So, whatever happens in Ferguson today, keep in mind that black people did not start the racial tension merry-go-round turning. If you’re white, you have it in your power to at least not keep pushing it.

Otherwise, you’re just a bigoted a-hole like that clerk at the market. And that’s where racial tension comes from.