Tag Archives: Metafilter

Why did this group invite him to speak[?]

Because they’re stupid?

Seriously, though, this shit is so 19th century it beggars belief. White people telling just-so stories wrapped in a layer of pseudo-science to make themselves feel better about fucking people over is the oldest story in the book.

Look, I’m having my morning coffee and will, in 90 minutes be standing in front of a classroom of privileged (mostly) white college kids. Some of them are doing very well, others are struggling. For the ones who struggle, we have abundant resources to help them. Academic counselors, psychiatrists and psychologists, tutors, etc. One student of mine in particular is having an emotional crisis and has all but checked out for the last 3 weeks. She’ll check back in next week, make up a bunch of work, and I’ll pass her. Her academic counselor has all but requested that I do so.

In 3 hours, by contrast, my wife will be tutoring a young black man in community college on the south side of Chicago. Unlike my students, this kid has nothing. What money rattles in his pockets comes from his “big homie,” the guy on the corner for whom he runs drugs. When my wife took him to register for classes at the community college, his “advisor” sized him up and said, “I know your type. Don’t register for any classes that start before noon.” Time and again, he was talked down to and mistreated as he ran a gauntlet of administrators and school officials. Over and over again, my wife had to intervene on his behalf because a white woman would at least be listened to with respect.

Is he kicking ass in school? Nope. Is this an afterschool special in the making? Sorry. He’s been cutting classes and smoking dope and will, if he’s lucky, squeak through the semester with a passing grade. The whole time, he keeps telling my wife how he knows he’s letting everyone down. But he can’t seem to conceptualize a life course other than the moderately successful one he’s on.

Contrast this guy with my student. She’s nervous and anxious as well. But if we catch up with her in 10 years, where do we expect her to be? At worst a white-collar job somewhere. At best, chasing her bliss and describing the malaise of her 20’s as a phase in her life that she’s overcome. The disparity could not be more striking. She has a safety net that makes the mistakes of her post-adolescence an indulgence. My wife’s friend has an iron set of constraints within which he operates. The moment he deviates from them, he winds up expelled, incarcerated or dead.

Fuck Derbyshire and fuck his tired old white man’s burden schtick. He should live six months in that kid’s shoes.


In Case you missed it

“Asking George W. Bush to accept responsibility for anything is like asking my cat to fetch. Sure, it’s theoretically possible, but any such behavior would stem from motivations unrelated to the asker’s purpose.”

My Cat, Spencer, Loves to play fetch. Thinks it’s the bees knees and plays until I get bored and hide the toy, he’ll run away after it, bring it close but not to me and make me get up and retrieve it. Which is exactly like getting a Bush to admit they are wrong, sure, they will admit they don’t know the first thing about Scanning Bar Codes at stores or running a profitable company, but when it comes to brass tacks, they will leave you hunting down the object of the game and when cornered alternatively hiss at you, scratch you or piss on your bed clothes.

That was a terrible night in Texas; which I and Ted Nugent will not soon forget.

We Trashed-Out

This is a long-form response to this discussion on Metafilter (since I don’t want to sign in to yet another website this AM)

At 5:30AM August 22nd 2007, after a couple weeks of selling and giving away our stuff, and loading a trailer over the past two days we thought that it would take us about 2 hours to finish getting rid of the stuff in our house.  Over the next 6 hours we would struggle to get the last remains of our lives out of the town house we had lived in the entire time we live in the United States.  Hopelessly in debt and under the schedule gun, we had left the house empty but dirty.  We had filled entire dumpster with what we couldn’t give away along with the area around it (with beds and furniture) and a trailer incorrectly filled with the most precious things we could bring with us.  We had sweated through the last remaining bits of our home and still had several hundred miles of driving ahead of us, after my last “day” at the office.

When we did the same in Canada march 1st 2002, we had used the 14 foot long truck from U-Haul and had still left most of our furniture behind to be taken by a nice polish family, along with several computers, a whole kitchen and a whole hall closet full of “stuff”.  When we finally arrived in the United States, we had only what we could carry in our luggage with us.  It had taken us 8 hours to clean out our house and the friend I had promised to pay for coming to help us showed up after 7 of them.  We had needed his help badly and he expected to be paid the full amount for his minimal work.  I was too tired to disagree and he happily took his money after doing almost nothing. He was unemployed at the time, having lost his job in the same downsize that had taken my entire office out.

When we moved into the Apartment we would eventually leave in 2002, we had the contents of one room.  It was all we had in the world.  Enough “stuff” to fill one room.  My old roommate cleaned out the bits we had left behind and gave it to me in March of 1998.  We sat in a restaurant and shared the last meal we ever would, I haven’t seen that roommate again, and neither have most of the people we both knew.  In this case, Jen and I trashed out a friendship.

When I left my first apartment in 1996, I left behind all of the goods that my parent’s had gifted to me to make apartment life better, my desk, my furniture, cutlery, a vacuum cleaner, dishes, a microwave and random things.  All left, all listed with prices and resale vales to cover a bill my old landlord had given me for a backed up toilet.  80 dollars.  The landlord had rejected the notion that I be allowed to have Jen stay overnight or on the weekends, she was living with me, but the landlord had wanted her to pay rent while sleeping in my one room.  She moved into her own place, but visited frequently, the landlord felt she was over enough to pay rent (how many times have you heard that line from a parent) and so he actually called the police over it.  The police asked me if I wanted to charge the landlord with harassment and urged me to move.  I moved.

When we move on, we leave some of our stuff behind, its inevitable.  We live anywhere long enough and we leave an indellible mark, beyond the stains, on a place.  That townhome in Eugene might not have the pencil marks on the underside of the counters anymore, but it probably still feels like a home that as loved.  When I leave the condo i live in now, it will probably feel like leaving home again.  Sometimes a trash-out is the only way to say goodbye to home.

If you're going to be funny…

Be as funny as this:


posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:25 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]

Attached to Goooooood Morning Norway!