Yo quiero a aprender Espaniol. I’ll have to get back to you, Sadie. My language learnin’ device … well, read on.
GODSPEED, MUSIQUARIUM 2
Someone just got a 60GB video iPod with about 45GB of music and videos on it. Someone is very happy. That someone is whoever found the iPod that I dropped on the street somewhere in Alexandria or Arlington during the lunch time hours on Friday. Sigh. At least that’s what I’m assuming happened to it. I really have no idea other than the fact that one moment I had it and about two hours later I didn’t. And that was that. Gone. Poof. Six months, a few really good playlists that I just put together and … well, that’s life, isn’t it.
Do I buy another one? Do I drop another $400?
1. Put contact info on your iPod.
2. Buy a GOOD case with a sturdy belt clip. Ask the clerks at the store if you can open the box and take a look at the clip if you have to.
IN RESPONSE MAINLY TO SADIE’S COMMENT ON “THE SHELL GAME”
Yeh, my Indian friend has been in the US for about five years. It’s kind of a hip-hop, slang thing but not quite used approriately. We’re all learning.
Dave Chappelle seems so torn, doesn’t he? Tormented by his comedic expression and the audience it garners. He’s got, like, a black Kurt Cobain thing going on. Is possession of a slur 9/10ths of its power? It is kind of funny that he did that “Actor’s Studio” skit and now he’s really being interviewed by James Lipton. Sometimes truth is stranger than fickshuuuuuuun!
I think what Dave Chappelle realizes is that just because he can entertain people, it doesn’t make people really respect him. When I was in high school all my friends were white. I was hanging out with some of them, Chris (rest in peace) and Adam, and they wanted to go to this other guy’s house. Someone I knew but not really all that well. So we’re in that guy’s basement with a bunch of other people and they’re watching TV, flipping channels. There was a rap show on MTV, a basketball game and a bunch of other stuff. They were on the basketball game for a while and then “Yo! MTV Raps” and whoever had the remote changed the channel. Someone said, “Aw, c’mon man. Put the niggers back on.”
I did a fake cough and it got reeeeally quiet. I also picked up something small but heavy just in case there was going to be any fisticuffs. Wasn’t necessary, of course, but I’m kind of paranoid. My point is that no matter what you do, it doesn’t make people think of you as five fifths human. If you’ve seen Dave Chappelle’s most recent HBO special you’ll see him get political and he’s as poignant as Chris Rock. He’s one rich, angry black man.
I think it’s because he’s got something to say and he hasn’t really been able to say it. Or maybe he’s been sayng it all along and everyone’s been missing the point. Dave’s been saying, “Look at the injustice! Look at the racism! I’m making jokes to make a point.”
And we’ve all been saying, “That’s one funny nigger!”
KKK RALLY AT THE SITE OF THE BATTLE OF ANTIETAM
You know what I enjoyed most about this news segment? The Klan people looked like you expect stereotypical Klansmen to look. Fat, dumpy and ignorant. Wearing Nazi insignias, doing the “Heil Hitler” salute and the whole nine. I felt a sense of pity. All they want is respect and to be taken seriously … so they can get their race war off to a good start. They think the problem with this country is Jews and Mexicans. Meanwhile, the govt. sends their kids off to die and corporations violate and exploit them just like the rest of us. If downtrodden white people joined forces with downtrodden black people and downtrodden brown people in order to change things, things would change.
I was surprised by the counter demonstrators, though. It made me think of a conversation I had with some friends the other day. We were driving through Alexandria. Old Town Alexandria is a bustling upscale, historic tourist down that happens to have two pockets of low income housing inhabited by poor black folks. We were driving through one of these pockets and the subject of people being afraid of black people came up. Maybe I brought it up and my friends admitted to being afraid of black dudes. If you know me, I don’t really like bulls—. I mean, I like the truth. I don’t like it when people make excuses or ignore the polar bear in a top hat and spats at the dinner table. So I’m going to be real here. Black dudes can be scary. Jessie Jackson said it. Young black guys, especially with an urban vibe, often go for the thuggin’ attitude — the fashion, the body language, the language, etc. It perpetuates the cycle.
And in the DC Metro Area there’s a lot of crime. A lot of that crime is committed by black dudes. Sure, the news may distort the issue but … c’mon. I hear or read about this stuff and I wonder what the hell is going on in black communities. Where are the parents? Where are the institutions? WTF.
I was trying to explain a phenomenon that I’ve experienced many times. Without dragging it out, white people often don’t see black people. They can be walking through a mall, pass by some black people, and they won’t see them at all. They’ll avoid making eye contact, won’t give any greeting or indication of acknowledgement. It makes sense, though. It never dawned on me (until after I was complaining about “Friends” and then visited some friends in New York) that a lot of white folks have very white lives. They don’t have any black friends. They may have never had a black person in their home who wasn’t working for some utility service. Their lives are homogenous. Their lives are voluntarily and circumstantially segregated. It bothers me. It shouldn’t, but it does.
On multiple occasions I’ve walked by non-black friends or co-workers in public places and they won’t recognize me because they won’t see me. Reeeally see me. And if I approach they’ll be scared until they finally look long enough to recognize me. And lord help me if I’m knocking on their front door when they don’t expect me.
This plays and has played out socially in school and work and social situations. But what if I’m going on a job interview? Applying to schools? Trying to strike up a conversation with an attractive young lady? Trying to befriend a colleague?
While we were driving through the ‘hood — well, after the fact, really — I wished that I could open my friends’ eyes so that they can see the humanity in those black faces. That they’re trying to make it through this life thing just like everyone else. They look tough, yeh. They play the part. Some — very few — may actually be dangerous, but all anyone wants– from the young black thugs to the Klansmen — is respect and to have their humanity recognized and reciprocated.