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Archive for October, 2001

 
|| October 24, 2001 || 11:08 pm || Comments (0) ||

Maxim is horrified that I had not one, but two black nannies as a child. Had I just simply had nannies, no matter their number, he would nonplussed. The fact that my nannies were both black women, one in her fifties, the other in her early twenties, causes him to recoil.

“Lemme get this straight,” he says, each and every time the matter happens to come up, “Your caregivers, employed in your home, were black?” He says this not from a bigot’s standpoint, but from the standpoint of one disarmed and dismayed at the concept of having household help of color in the early seventies. As if my parents were big ole slave-trading fools and these women weren’t paid quite well for the trouble of caring for me, for enveloping me in their arms and allowing me to be carried in their hearts. Heh. This from a man who was raised in a mountain community that didn’t have one black student enrolled in ANY of the schools he attended, K on up through 12. Go figger.

Lately I’ve been thinking a whole lot about the manner in which I was raised, and for the most part I have no complaints. The one thing that dogs my my heart, however, is the way that the word ‘nigger’ and all its’ connotatations were thrown about in the household while I was a child. Hell, while I was a teenager. How it was a belief system that was basically unchallenged by me for many years that black people were inferior in some way. Largely unspoken, yes, but it was there nonetheless.

My parents had black friends, Okay, lemme just say something right here and now, because I can just see you, tongue-in-cheek, judging-judging-judging away while the thought, “Wellll….she does hail from a Southern family, after all….” chugs through your conscious brain. I have stomped all over this great globe of ours, but what I refer to will stay within the confines of Our United States. That reference being this: I have discovered patent, dogged racism is not limited to or carried more brazenly by or even alarmingly more prevalent in those due south of the Mason-Dixon line. Worrrd.

As I was saying, my parents had black friends, friends that they worked and socialized with, friends they respected. There was a subtle little line, though, and it oh-so-plainly emerged when I was planning my rather largish first wedding. The intended best man was black, and as I was reviewing the schedule for dances at the reception, my ma pulled a big fucking Whoa Nelly when I got to the part that entailed both she and I dancing with him in turns.

“You remember Mr. and Ms. So-and-so that your father and I used to go out with when you were a child?” Yes, momma, I remember. “Well, in all those times out with them, all the dancing we did, I never danced with Mr. So-and-so and your father never danced with Ms. So-and-so. They never broached the subject, and neither did we. It was simply understood that it just wasn’t done. It just isn’t done.” What followed was a quiet, nonetheless vehement, terse row between us. I said very ugly things about not intending to rip off my veil and lie down on the floor, crinolines raised and legs akimbo, to take some yummy ole down-and-dirty chocolate lovin’ like a good little subservient white bitch and didn’t she understand that it was JUST a DANCE, one eensy DANCE, and forgodsakes Derek is futurehubby’sbestfriend??!!

I threw out every single bit of logic I could fathom and when she ran out of answers, the fact was concretely raised that the redneck-cum-crossburning segment of the family would certainly be there and after a few drinks from the open bar would certainly be outrageous in their behavior if any white girl present (much less me, supposedly the female pride and joy of our overlarge extended family) was squired onto the dance floor by a large, handsome black d00d, fellow Marine or not, in uniform or not. Defeated, I could not argue with that. As much as I loved a good melee, I didn’t think it would make for great pictures for the kids or stories for future grandbabies. Thusly defeated, I placed a moratorium on dancing and nixed all booze as well. This negated the necessity for a rented hall, so the reception was oh-so-conveniently shucked into the church’s reception area. My mom used the location as an excuse for no dancing, no booze, not telling anyone that I had dug in my heels and marched down to get a refund on the rented place before she knew anything about it. *snicker* I used that money to order new invitations and threw the old ones with the former plans into the dumpster at work.

The Big Cosmic Fuck You was that Derek ended up being shipped out on a WESTPAC tour and couldn’t get leave for the date of the wedding. Anyway. Any. Way.

Despite my show of equality, I long carried my parents’ belief system with me. While I had black friends and party buddies, I would have never dated someone of color, and I can say in all honesty now, as an adult, that it was not simply for fear of familial castigation or excommunication. It had been ingrained in me from the time I was small that I was expressly forbidden to date outside my color lines. There was a definite recoil at the notion. Funny that, as I am a mutt of the highest order, born of dichotomous ancestry: Native American, Irish, German, Italian.

In all honesty, the most blatant acts of racism I’ve seen in my life have been initiated by someone black, aiming hostility at someone white. This fed my parental-fueled off-kilter way of thinking for the longest time. Maxim used to get absolutely FURIOUS with me when the word ‘nigger’ crossed my lips, usually flung out in disgust or as a pitying aside. Carelessness with words. Inexcusable, as words have an innate power, no matter what those “sticks-and-stones” bastards say. I cringe now, quite sickened, even as I think of it.

I know this is going on looooong, so I will tell you of my own personal little road to Damascus next time around. It completely revamped my thinking and happened only a couple of years ago….

 
|| October 24, 2001 || 7:33 pm || Comments (0) ||

Does anyone else find it smashingly funny that the sanctimonious fucktards can’t spell??

 
|| October 24, 2001 || 1:44 pm || Comments (0) ||


Daisies in the chain / Woven in your hair that falls / Into a braid / Woven ’round the statue’s toes / In the gardens you made

Bells that sing and chime / Little crystal bells that toll / All through the night / Never once did angels break / Away from your side

Won’t ya hurry home / Won’t ya hurry home / Hurry down that lone eight mile road / Won’t ya hurry home / Now your seeds are sown / Hurry down that lone eight mile road

Poppies red and gold / Growin’ wild as weeds beside / Yellow Brick Road / Growin’ in the ditch where I / Sailed a milk carton boat

But how can you deny / When the spirit wraps in broad / Daylight / And it looks you right between / The eyes

Won’t ya hurry home / Won’t ya hurry home / Hurry down that lone eight mile road / Won’t ya hurry home / Now your leaves are strewn / Hurry down that lone eight mile road

Ooh

All those talkin’ skulls / Ma they don’t scare me much / Not anymore / Think I finally got my head / ‘Round the door

Won’t ya hurry home / Won’t ya hurry home / Hurry down that lone eight mile road / Won’t ya hurry home / While the breeze is blowin’ / Hurry down that lone eight mile road

Won’t ya hurry home / Now won’t ya hurry home / Hurry down that lone eight mile road / Hurry home / Down that lone eight mile road / Hurry home

Hurry home / Down that lone eight mile road / Hurry home / Ooh ooh / Hurry home / Ooh ooh ooh

// Grant Lee Buffalo, ‘8 Mile Road’

I don’t belong here. I want to be back where I belong, with the people I belong with. I miss Memphis terribly.

 
|| October 23, 2001 || 3:42 am || Comments (0) ||

I returned from Memphis and this sweet little piece was waiting on me:


My, how I love PRESENTS!! *does the Peavey dance*

I’d run you through all the bells and whistles, but hell, it’s later than late and I am all out of beer and sausages and MAN, am I just BEAT. Clicky the eedle linky and share my joy. Okay then. G’nite.

 
|| October 16, 2001 || 10:35 am || Comments (0) ||

I saw you. You weren’t even aware of my presence, probably don’t even know who I am, sir, but I know who you are, and I saw you.

Your son probably didn’t know me or my family from Adam, either, but he saw us. I caught glimpses of him continually looking up from his food at us, watching Maxim and the kids and I talk and cut up, watching Sam and Scout fuss over and pet Mathias throughout the meal. How could I miss him? Though you had your back to us, our booths were neighbors and he sat facing us, facing me.

Of course, you wouldn’t have seen him furtively glance from his pizza to us time and again, for throughout the whole meal you kept your paper perched high, just inches from your hypocritical face.

I felt immensely sorry for the boy; I wanted to invite him over to our already-stuffed table. He looked so small and pining. I wanted to sweep him into the carnival of mayhem that is our family, if only for that brief time we shared a “Kids-Eat-Free!” meal. It felt as if we were feasting in front of the famished.

I was angered by his accompanied solitude, by his quiet refilling of his plate and resuming his seat unnoticed but I was absolutely FURIOUS when someone you knew, someone of some ’stature’ in our little city came in and you put your paper down to rapidly rise and become animated and friendly in their presence. I wanted to heave garlic butter and marinara sauce and flaming insults at you, but there was the boy to think of. He made no effort to join your amiable exchange with the newcomer, and neither of you acknowledged his presence…..it was obvious that the child was painfully well-aware of his place, beyond the simple courtesy of not interrupting when the adults speak.

It was also obvious that he had been a part of this little scenario before.

Let me tell you something, Mister Pastor to The First Almighty Church of Community Power With Stress On Being Fiscally Established, you are indeed teaching your child a lesson. The lesson that you are teaching him will come around one day to bite you and your over-inflated sense of self-importance in the ass. Hey-hey, Pillar Of The Community, Servant Of God, charity (to read in the biblical sense as ‘love’) begins at home. I tried attending your church once, twice, three times, and am glad to see that I wasn’t simply being judgemental or spiritually misled. If the head is rotten, the body follows. Oh boy, does it follow, and I am immensely relieved to see that if not perfect, I am at least blessed and centered enough in prayerful discernment to gather what I gathered.

Shame on you.

 
|| October 15, 2001 || 10:17 pm || Comments (0) ||

Ain’t she beautiful??

 
|| October 15, 2001 || 9:45 pm || Comments (0) ||

So Maxim sits behind me in our large studio/office making some of the most beautiful guitar music I’ve ever heard. It reaches down inside of me and makes me want to drive down long, winding roads, fat tears rolling silently down my face and plopping suicidal into my lap….

And I am as stuck as stuck gets. We’ve been attempting to float some new material for a couple of weeks now, but my end of the ship is sinking and I don’t even care anything about bailing water anymore. When it’s forced it’s all so much crap, anyway. I have a trip to Memphis planned for the week; I’m leaving out Wednesday night. Being part of the Delta always enriches me with words again. I think my muse (Delores?) likes the atmosphere there because we can draw on all of the ghosts and still leave something for others.

So anyway, my ma and I are gonna go take in an antique toy exhibit at the Pink Palace museum, and that’ll be really cool. Milton wants to take me and the threepack to the horse show, so I think we’ll partake in that. If there’s time, I’ll holler at Rob and Bri so we can swill beers and annoy fellow bar patrons….

And so, right now, instead of creating heady, insightful, jaw-dropping lyrics, I am cruising e-bay, hey-hey. So lemme ask you something: Am I the only idiot in the free world that views this nonsense as utterly retarded and mildly insensitive right about now?

“Hi, hijack some more airplanes, please, and allow ME to make it easier on you…gimme twenty-five bucks and take my old stewardess uniform!” For fuck’s sake. Everybody KNOWS that I am about as non-PeeCee as they come, but this one even chapped MY ass.

Long as we’re perusing e-bay crap, how d’ya like this particular bed? Because, after all, what says, “I AM THE GREATEST.” or screams “HEY, WHO’S THE CHAMP IN BED??!” more than a big fucking iron star atop your headboard?? Or how ’bout this one, which not only has THREE stars, but is PURPLE, as if to signify royalty (or “…yippee-ki-ay, stud!” with a lisp).

Alright, now, the guinea pig rapist?? Have I missed something here?

And who knew that people collected shit like this?? And the poor dinosaur…he must be rolling over in his tar pit; bet he never went out and copped a squat whilst thinking, “Hey, let’s make this one nice and flowery-looking, ‘cos it’s bound to be the keeper…” (to quote a wise man named Maxim Superior, “I wouldn’t feel too confident purchasing MY dinosaur poop on e-bay.”)

But I digress (or regress, whatever), because who couldn’t use a nice thermometer anchored in seaman?