Monday, October 29, 2007

Pacific Northwest "Humor"

The Pacific Northwest is heavily influenced by very White - Norwegian (and neighboring) folks whose humor is "different" (particularly to that of my Black Partner).

Saturday - at Arco Gas Station - a deafening car stereo (fairly unusual here - usually in a car of an 18 year old White Boy - with an ancient junk car) - booms at all of us there. Late 40'sish White Man says to me: "It's after 5:00 p.m. so I can't turn up Prairie Home Companion" (it goes off the air at 5:00 p.m.) - and we both laugh! (Not funny to my partner!)


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Iran-ing It

Reading an excellently recently written writing of Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker about Iran and Iraq was most informative! He believes that the - "scare them about the Nuclear Threat" - strategy related to Iran has failed with the USian public. Now, he indicates there is an effort to convince us "uninformed folks" that there is a great terrorist threat - Al Quaida - based coming from Iran.

Hersh points out the internal contradictions in current U.S. policy and how so much is trying to get the political spin right (what else is new!). Supporting the Iraqi Government is supporting Shiite leadership which is allied (somewhat at least) with Iraq. Iranians have strong economic and religious ties to Iraq - going to shrines in Iraq, etc. - based to a significant degree on the facts that Iran is a Shiite country and Iraq's largest population is also Shiite.

We are also pushing the supposed success of alliances with Sunni forces outside of the Shiite Areas of Iraq. Purportedly we are getting these forces to turn against Al Quaida. The problem with this is that - much of the end result is - ethnic cleansing - of Shiites from Sunni areas and vice versa.

We are pushing supposedly for a unified government and a single country remaining, while our actions in many ways may lead towards partition into 3 separate countries.

From Hersh's picture, which seems well thought out and researched, it seems obvious that US policy remains confused and not thought out, as it has always been in Iraq. One can only hope that "the politicians" - will heed the warnings and help prevent Bush, Cheney, etc. - from attacking Iran before the 2008 Election.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Why ?

Do I
Hurt the One
I Love - So Much?

with Excuses
and sometimes
No Excuses

I had feelings
of Anomie
or similar

Excuses -
More Excuses

Now - I've
No Idea
I'm hurting
but Why
should that translate
to being Insensitive
and Lost
in the Moment

I Hope
I'll do
Not Only
..... but

Much Better
so - I won't
Need to say
these words

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Goodbye B-mer - Hi Little Wagon!

This morning was farewell to our '98 BMW and welcome to our new 2008 Toyota Matrix. We needed better Rojo (dog) space, and the B'mer - was having far too many - little - not-so-little expenses. I'm happy to have a much smaller and less powerful car - much simpler - more at my level. I'm not happy at all our debt!

I never liked the B'mer, though at times it was convenient. I always felt like I didn't belong in it - having trouble parking it at times, feeling - like I belonged in a smaller, simpler vehicle. The B'mer designers seems like idiots! They spend so much money on their engines and similar - which makes the car ride very nicely and rapidly. They scrimp so, so much on cup holders and similar - which are cheap and for us caused numerous spills in the car. It seems so silly - that they can't take care of the "little things" which cost relatively little.

Before yesterday there was plenty of back-and-forth - until my partner finally agreed reluctantly that such a small, for her unattractive, type of car was the best alternative that I would agree with - for the vehicle that I drive 90+% of the time. It felt good that I could have my priority respected!


Monday, October 08, 2007

Confronting our Privilige

Several months ago an 86 year old area character in the subdivision I live in shocked me when I stopped to tell him about our new neighbors-to-be. His first question was "Are They White?" Given that my partner is Black, I like to think I'm a little sensitive and aware related to issues of race and tolerance.

Then he commented on how beautiful my (Black) car is using the "N" word twice in extremely racist ways. I ended the conversation immediately and left - stunned. I told my partner later what happened and she asked me about Confronting his Racism. I lamely said that he, an 86 year old wouldn't change.

The next morning I confronted the man. (I realized that my passivity was part of the problem!) Bob didn't know that my partner is Black - obviously! He apologized. I've never talked with him directly since then by choice though I see him all the time. IF his words of apology or actions thereafter had indicated a desire to share and talk and change it would be different for me. I don't want to tacitly support his racism.

My natural reaction to areas like this that bother me a lot is to think and "care", but not really to do much to change things.

In the 1960's as "Black Power" gained strength and "Civil Rights" became less common, we White Folks were told over-and-over again that it was time for us to begin the serious work of ending Racism in the White Communities of the U.S. It was time to let Black People lead their Movement and for we, the "bad people", to make serious change where it needed to be made.

To a large degree we've never done our job and racism continues to this day largely as a result of this.

We may be "liberal" and thereby "aware". We tend, however, not to translate our purported insights to action.

Racism may be the best example of this however it also applies in other areas. We men don't work with other men to end sexism. In a slightly different way We who oppose the War in Iraq don't really seriously work to end the War.