Monday, September 3, 2007

14932-I guess we'll just have to keep beating this horse until it dies...

It was recently brought to my attention that a woman developed a graduate school project out of the use of what is politely referred to as "the N word" in America. When she made the presentation of her thesis proposal to a panel of white professors, way back in December of 2006, it was suggested that she needed to find a positive aspect of the word because it has been included in classic poems. The very notion of educators suggesting that some "positive aspect" be found to the word really made me snort a laugh. It would be easier to find positive application to "nazi" or "bitch" or "whore". Let's start up a survey to find all the nice and sunny ways to apply the word "cunt". Think of the target as a loved one, that should help, right?

We are dealing with a word and mindset that has come to target an easily identifiable group of people, kept at the lowest of social classes (during slavery, institutionally quantified as only three-fifths of a person), with a weapon whose use is to drive them even lower still in their own hearts and minds and in those of anyone within earshot. These are words that have grown from descriptive tools into weapons used to demean and insult. Unlike other words, with their fluid and complex definitions, challenging the choices that people make or don't make, the dreaded "N-word" strikes the nature of how a person was born. Whatever else you make of yourself, you're always either a star-bellied sneech or a plain-bellied sneech and that's the only way some people will ever want you to be seen. For a truly thorough oppressor, it's not enough for them to put you down. They want you to feel and believe that you deserve nothing else. It helps keep the oppressed in their place, otherwise they start getting uppity...and not in a positive way.

The closest thing I've ever found to a positive aspect for this weighty word, was that it too seemed to start as a simple descriptive: "negger" is German for "plowman". With all the immigration going on way back when, German was as popular and common as Spanish is. In fact, when the time came to vote on it, German ran a very close second to English as our national language (if anyone was still wondering about some of the things that slowed our entry into WWI). Anyway, since it was still your great-great-grandfather's calendar on the wall, it should take little imagination to see how in America "plowman" could be tied so readily to "black man" a couple of centuries ago. The Germans apparently didn't think that way, though, or the name "Schwarzenegger" probably wouldn't exist. Why go to the trouble of a mouthful like that if you already associated "schwarze" ("black") with "negger". I gather that it must've been uncommon, as there were probably not a lot of black plowmen in Germany or Austria at the time. There may be one in the California governor's ancestry, but probably one of the few.

Regardless, no I'm not a user. No matter how cool and en vogue the word becomes, it still sounds like a fight starter to me. I'd give a more positive reaction to someone throwing a rock at me, really. I don't check whether a belly is starred or not. I know the rock or the word came from a sneech and it stings the same. The weapon doesn't care who's wielding it. Maybe, just maybe, one day the whole sneech population (that being "We the People") will grow beyond the divisive level of fear-anger-hate mentality, both internally and externally that seems to have turned this word into a weapon and continues to fuel its use. Then, we can work on helping each other along, instead of trying to tear each other and ourselves down. It truly is important. Until we get to the point where we're all Free, none of us is.

Thanks for your time.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

14886-Give me liberty or die

I was talking with my wife one recent day about health care. She related to me someone's proposal to nationalize America's medical care. I suppose this is an issue that's just not going to go away. It's certainly not the first time I've heard it and I doubt it will be the last. The federal government isn't supposed to be involved in this and doesn't have a track record that shows it'll be able to run such a program to our benefit. This isn't to say it can't be done. Many countries have excellent healthcare programs that are nationalized and their people are very happy with them. They do not live in our country. We have a government that once took control of a brothel (through the IRS) and mismanaged it out of business. I can't even begin to fathom the depths of ineptness required to mismanage running a brothel. That alone should make enough of my point, since medical care is supposed to be for the benefit of those receiving care, nationalizing it isn't likely to put it into the best hands.
Our federal government has an instruction book that defines how it's supposed to work. It's called the Constitution. It's the law of the land, but it gets ignored a lot. That's not the way the system is supposed to work. You don't sit down to a board game, play around the rules that everyone's agreed to and expect it to work right. If you don't like it, find another game. Oooh, listen to me, sounding all radical and conservative simultaneously. Face it, we have a lot of rule-breaking politicians in the game. Many seem to want to get into it, just to see how much they can cheat the system.
Anyway, with our government being run that way (don't act like it's a surprise), the people who keep getting into it try to meddle in ever more areas outside the set boundaries. With more meddling comes more mess (classic red tape, price increases) and less of people taking care of their own affairs. Unfortunately, people receiving "free" stuff (actually, the stuff of others that's been legislated away from them in a Marxist redistribution of wealth), is one of the great lures of a governmentally run program. Under such relentless socialistic assaults, personal responsibility is very nearly dead. Once the ball gets rolling, people just keep asking the government to do more and more for them. "Somebody should do something!" "There oughta be a law!" Personally, I feel like we have plenty of laws already. I don't get up in the morning and phone a politician to ask how to get through my day. I wouldn't even ask one to hold my wallet for me, let alone housesit. Or babysit, there we go.

One of the ongoing battles involves the efforts to use legislation to protect children from internet and television content. The danger of tarnished innocence is just a click away they tell us, whether it's from a remote control or a mouse. These cries always smack of hyperbole to me and make my eyes roll of their own volition. Whether the dangerous content is on your TV or on your computer, the safeguard is a simple one. Follow: it's YOUR television and YOUR computer. What shows up on them is up to YOU. You have the right to make those choices. These are rights that have been fought for and it is of criminally tragic proportion to give them up without as much of a fight. If you don't like what's on, change the channel or turn the thing off.
Likewise, the law and the nature of Freedom saddles you with the burden of making decisions for your children. Anyone attempting to change that should make any responsible adult spew forth bile like a geyser from the depths of his enraged innards. They're your kids watching whatever on your stuff in your home. Should a bunch of strangers you wouldn't let babysit really be responsible for what you can watch? No. The solution is (write this down) that YOU pay attention to what your kids are doing and watching. No, you don't get to cop out and tell me you're too busy. I pay attention to what my kids are watching on TV, whether we're watching something together or not. I know what's in their video games and sometimes play them with them. They ask for permission to use the computer and are subject to having their shoulders peeked over frequently and randomly.
Blame my parents. Yes, both my parents worked in demanding careers, but I still managed to have home cooked, balanced meals so often that I don't remember it not happening. With such dedication came parents who knew what my favorite TV shows were, what music I liked and sometimes even watched Saturday morning cartoons with me. We were also known to actually talk with each other and they encouraged me to read and...Well, the point is, be in control, don't hand it away. Exercise self-discipline and taking charge of your home will be easy.
We have all the local cable channels available and high-speed internet. External media product is piped into our home daily and the only nakedness I see on a regular basis is my wife's. How is this possible? My choice. I click and click and click, yet I don't find myself accidentally staring at hours of erotica. Neither do the kids. Trust me on this. I don't sleep much, so I know. Maybe Congress is keeping me awake with all the noise they make. If only there were some way to keep those government guys under control. There oughta be a law.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

14865-What do you mean I can't have a flying car?

And here we are, the first day of Summer, longest day of the year. Happy Thursday.

I have dreams. Little black children and little white children playing together? Not those exactly. It's a fine dream, but not one of mine. Mine tend more toward dialogues with dragons, flying through Neverland, unravelling superstrings, monkeying with the relativity of time, rampant gunfire, werewolves, travelling to other worlds, the occasional nuclear explosion, conversations with strangers and reconstructing the unravelled superstring that some bozo (let's not name names) left unravelled. We don't want to leave things needlessly messy, after all.

Anyway, those are a few of the elements, bits and pieces of things that romp through my mind. Some are more random than others. You may get used to it. Some never do. Don't worry about it, I'm used to the strange looks.

Yes, it's the 21st century and I still get strange looks. I'm actually glad that the mavens of political correctness haven't gained such sway that they've gotten rid of those. Hell, if that ever happens, I'll probably think I'm starting to get through to people on a regular basis. We can't have that. Everyone's entitled to some delusions in Life, but c'mon...

As I was saying, it's the 21st century. No, I didn't just wake up and realize that, smarty. I've been aware of it for at least the last few years. What I did realize was that while I do have access to my personal communicator (Santa finally came through on that, though I'm still waiting on the phasers) and a form-fitting, comfy jumpsuit, I don't have a flying car. And before you go acting like I'm behind the times, I already checked and found that no one I know has one either. Now I started to feel a bit ripped-off. You may, too, but a friend of mine reminded me that there are lots of stupid people running loose in the world being aggravating. I think it may have been one of those days when I was yelling, "Thin the herd!" It's not that I don't like people. To the contrary, in my calmer moments, I actually like people. To that end, I also expect a lot from them. Not that I ask people for stuff, I just expect them to do better at living up to their potential. My friends tell me I give the general populace too much credit. If this is true and there are vast numbers of stupid people all around us (certainly none of them being the very bright readers with me now) that we others must endure sharing the days with, then it's good that we don't have flying cars. Too many drivers have a hard enough time with two dimensions, they don't need to deal with a third, especially when it increases the number of people they can take down with them.

Let's face facts, we've got a long way to go before we catch up with our wildest dreams. Truly, we've probably got even further to go before we're ready as people to arrive at our wildest dreams. As long as we're willing to keep driving, I trust that we'll gradually figure out the right direction. Call me an optimist, but part of me even believes that we'll be able to find that out working together.

Check back with me soon and we'll see how we're doing.