What Are Words For?

When no one listens, there’s no use talking at all. –Missing Persons

So judging by the histrionics I have been witness to as of late, everybody is fricken’ racist, including people who are not traditionally accused by liberals of being racists, such as black people. Also my iPhone is racist, according to @ChrisMorris528, as it translated “Kegels” into “Negroes”.  However, @MeMo07’s iPhone is racist against white folk, as it translated “white” into “whore”. Obviously if you type the words in correctly, they come up correctly, but one typo, man, the iPhone goes straight to Racial Country.

All kidding aside, racism is not funny. Racism is the baseless founding of negative characteristics upon people based on their skin colour or other genetic physical characteristics. Some would argue it is the baseless founding of positive characteristics upon people based on their skin colour, too, such as “Black folk are good at sports” and “Asian folk are good at math.” Well, people of all races are good at sports and math, just as people of all races are assholes. Me calling a black person or an Asian person who is being an asshole an asshole doesn’t make me a racist. It makes me observant.

Sometimes, a newspaper or a blog or a person will say “So-&-So is an idiot,” and this is, remarkably, fodder for another newspaper or blog or person to cry “Racist!” if that idiot happens to be another race than the speaker.  They don’t bother to see if the speaker only ever calls people of that race an idiot, they just hear what they want to hear. Why would anybody want to hear racism?

Well, some people are conditioned to hear racism. Most of these people, in my experience, are white. I admit it; I was one of them. I was indoctrinated with the notion that people of other races & nationalities were an endangered species, and we ought to protect them by conducting our behaviour around them with such paranoia that ultimately, our politically correct behaviour was more racist than racism. Think about it. Are you one the many white folk who is terrified to say certain things in a room full of black people? Mexicans? Jews? What do you think will happen to you if you accidentally drop certain words or assumptions? Do you think something bad will happen to you? Do you think you will irrevocably damage that group’s psyche?

You’re a racist! If you think a group of people is going to beat you up, heckle you, otherwise deride you, or suffer psychological damage because of your words, you must think very, very poorly of that race. You, my pasty friend, are a racist.

Oh snap! Yeah, it sucks when your realize that, huh? All your carefully constructed behaviour, based on rules for certain groups of people, each different than the next, is not actual empathy or caring. It’s discrimination. Don’t talk about money in front of Jews, don’t talk about sports or dance in front of black people, don’t talk immigration in front of Mexicans…discrimination. You’d tsk tsk over immigration with Jews or black people, wouldn’t you? But not Mexicans.

“But they’re not all Mexicans! You should say Latinos!” you cry.

True story: I asked a friend if she preferred Latina or Chicana. “What?! I’m Mexican,” she laughed at me. You know what you should ask instead? “Where’re your folks from?” If it ever comes up. Which, you know, if you actually sit down & talk to somebody long enough, it probably will.

We don’t need terms like Latina if we get to know people. The irony in liberal squishy cuddlyism is that giving people politically correct names means you never, ever need bother to get to know anyone. Lump ’em all into a safe compartment. Heaven forbid you find out someone is Guatemalan. Or that many Korean folks don’t like Japanese folks. So “Asian-American” is not really doing anybody any favours.

You will not like this, & you probably won’t believe this, Whitey McLiberalArtsSchool, but the most racist-sounding people on Twitter? My tweeps in the hip-hop industry. “They get to use the N word,” you protest, “as they are taking it back.” Right. That would be a weak argument even if it had anything to do with what I was going to say next. Which is this: today I witnessed a barrage of tweets about how you should never hire any kind of lawyer except a Jewish lawyer, how Mexicans always carry knives, how N-words in the club dress like preachers, how white folks always snitch…the race of this person, if his avatar is correct, is black.

You may have noticed that hip-hop has utterly no interest whatsoever in political correctness.

Instead, hip-hop espouses a number of right wing ideals. Let’s do a quicky analysis based off stuff I’ve listened to this weekend, shall we?

Free enterprise:

“With my mind on my money and my money on my mind.” –‘Gin & Juice’, Snoop Dogg

“Makes sense, don’t it? Now make dollars.” –‘Watch Me’, Jay-Z w/ Dr. Dre

“I sold kilos of coke so I figured I could sell CDs.” –‘Diamonds of Sierra Leone’, Kanye West w/ Jay-Z

Free speech (including the offensive):

“This ain’t politically correct. This might offend my political connex.” -‘D.O.A.’, Jay-Z

“Told the rab get off the rag,” -‘Welcome to the Terrordome’, Public Enemy

Numerous times women are called bitches & hos, copious use of the N-word

Freedom of religion:

“Farrakhan’s a prophet who I think you oughta listen to. What he can say to you, what you oughta do…” -‘Bring The Noise’, Public Enemy

“There’s only one true judge, and that’s God, so chill, & let my Father do His job.” -‘None of Your Business’, Salt-n-Pepa

The Right to Bear Arms:

“Talkin’ ’bout guns like I ain’t got none, what, you think I sold them all?” -‘Forgot About Dre’, Dr. Dre w/ Eminem

“Click click, who the fuck wanna feel this?” -“Can’t Deny It’, Fabolous & Nate Dogg

Family values, plus free enterprise, employment…heck, Reaganomics:

“Love to see young blacks get money, spend time out the hood, take their moms out the hood, hit my boys off with jobs, no more livin’ hard. Barbecues every day, driving fancy cars.” –“Still D.R.E.”, Dr. Dre

Safe sex/no abortion:

“I got a pocket full of rubbers and my home boys do too. So turn off the lights & close the doors, but, but what? We don’t love them hos.” –‘Gin n’ Juice”, Snoop Dogg. Ok, so this one is kind of a stretch.

So when you say the right wing is racist, shouldn’t you actually be saying that hip hop is fascist? Since you erroneously believe the right wing to be fascist, right?

Come on!

I have seen people I know for a fact are not racist be accused of racism without any evidence, no chance to defend themselves (were they inclined to dignify such rubbish with a response)…summarily judged based on–well, I don’t know!

I was accused of racism once…by a white girl, of course.

It was by someone who knows better, because I relayed to her that I spent much of my junior semester of college playing Uno with my black friends, eating chicken wings & drinking 40s. It didn’t even occur to me that this could be construed as a racial stereotype; it was simply a fact. I lived on the Quiet Floor, for allegedly studious people with 3.5s or higher. We were not so quiet. However, most of the girls on my floor were black. Seeing as how I shared a bathroom with them and we were all nerds, we met quickly and got on great. Our singular most uttered phrase that semester was “Bitch, you ain’t got Uno!” That includes myself. The local pizza joint had a special on a bucket of wings, and we liked beer. So we played Uno, ate wings, and drank 40s.

I told this story in tears because there were a lot of funny instances that whole semester, including nearly getting busted by Reno PD for witchcraft (long story), myself being discriminated against & told I was a stupid white person who should die of cancer, someone almost getting arrested for check fraud, Kato Kaelin, the leprechaun guy, and the time Pam thought I was having a seizure (but I was actually just laughing).

When I got done, the person listening to me said, in a big fat sarcastic Valley tone, “Wow, that wasn’t racist or anything.”

Um…what part of “My best friends that year were all the black girls on my floor” did you not understand?! But because we frequently participated in activities that were stereotypical, and I failed to relay them with shame or self-hatred, I’m racist?? She totally ignored the part where we Mystery Science Theatred Forrest Gump, where one girl had a crush on the guy I was schtupping, where they all wanted to see Brooks & Dunn and I bailed. She heard the racist stuff because she is conditioned to hear racism when white people talk about black people.

Intriguingly, she has no black friends. Or didn’t at the time. I don’t know what her situation is now, as I haven’t talked to her in a while.  Black people, you see, have to be in protected areas. You can’t actually befriend them, lest you offend them. This seems to be the impetus for such shunning, anyhow. I’d like to think it’s not because they actively dislike people of other races…

Hmmm.

James O’Keefe was recently accused of being racist because he wore a pimp costume (or didn’t…the accuser wasn’t terribly clear on that point). So…is the accuser saying that a pimp costume denotes black people? Is that not inherently racist? Aren’t most pimps these days Italian anyway? I kid, I kid!

I also lurve when a liberal comes into a conservative chat room & accuses all of us of being racist, much to the amusement of the black people in there. Those liberals assume there are no black people in conservative chat rooms. That’s racist.

What do you think? Have you ever been accused of being racist? Was it by someone of that race, or someone of your own race? Tabin, I know who accused you of being racist but if you want to relay that story again, knock yourself out.

Here is my favourite “Racist Saying He’s Not Racist” story. I will not say who the speaker is. But it went like this:

Me: “You’re racist.”

Racist: “No I’m not.”

Me: “Shyeeah! You are the most racist person I’ve ever met!”

Racist: “I treat all people equally!”

Me: “Ok, yes, you do. But you don’t talk about them the same. It’s disgusting.”

Racist: “What? What do I say?”

Me: “Hah! I dare you to say something nice about Jews!”

Racist: “Uh…the Jews are good at taking your money.”

Me: “WOW. Uh, say something nice about black people.”

Racist: “Oh, they are good at sports & music.”

Me: *eyeroll* “Oh, here’s a good one. Say something good about the Irish!”

Racist: “Oh, that’s easy! The Irish are good at killing people!”

And scene.

Except that was a real conversation. Yeah. *sigh*

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My Vox + Finnish Electronica For Your Amusement

A very long time ago, when I was still a rabid, quivering, gelatinous mess of a Depeche Mode fan, I volunteered to lay down some vocals for my friend Kim Johnsson. Kim is a Finnish man with an impossibly deep, heavily accented voice who composes his own electronica & laughs easily & menacingly. We would call ourselves KJ2 (pronounced KJ Squared).

Kim wanted to do a track for the fifth incarnation of Modeified, the Depeche Mode fan tribute project. If you are curious enough to go online & suss out those recordings, they are a hell of a thing. I was more than willing to work with Kim because I’d heard his original music and it was fantastic. He proposed we do “It Doesn’t Matter Two” from Black Celebration, which I dig tremedously, so I asked him to make it slower & higher & I would attempt it.

I recorded it in my living room on equipment from the Dark Ages. It in fact had to be sent back to America so Danny “The Brat” Barassi could do some noise reduction. The guy is a miracle worker (in addition to being a beloved brat). When you hear this, you will realize I needed it higher because I was still a soprano back then. I also had very little control over my vibrato at the time, which was fine because Martin Gore (the original vocalist) never managed to wrangle his. However, looking back on it after I unearthed it while packing for my move to L.A., I find myself embarrassed by the wobblies, & a rather unfortunate mic pop on one of my Ps. And a heinous run in the beginning.  Meh.

BUT I promised James, Denise, & Mal that I would share any music I’d ever recorded with them once I located it. So. Here I am. Stuck fulfilling a promise I made before realizing I sound like the strangled goat child of Stevie Nicks. Ba-a-a-a-a-ah.

Enjoyish.

It Doesn’t Matter Two _ KJ2

Yes, I still have an accent when I sing.

Your Intolerance of Intellectual Diversity

Over the past couple of days, I’ve been confronted with the alarming reality that many of you do not know what Adam Baldwin is doing when he tweets “Your intolerance of intellectual diversity is noted. Farewell.”

Now I don’t claim to read Mr. Baldwin’s mind, & I sure as hell do not speak for him, but I will let y’all in on a little secret. I enjoy reading, & I am fascinated by discourse. Twitter lets me participate in both at the same time, with millions of people. Fricken’ score!  I enjoy reading & discourse because it helps me to understand people’s intentions and ideas. It’s pretty clear to me why he posts that parting remark.

The first time Adam posted that, I thought, as many of you still do, “Whiskey tango foxtrot, what’s that all about?” so I clicked on the “in reply to” dealie & was confronted with the first of many tweets like this:

@yayzomg6969 I’m not following @adamsbaldwin anymore cuz he’s a republican & eww already. Makes me sick. Meanie!

We can deduce, based on the content of the crass “I’m not following you any more” tweet (look at me, I’m bossy & important!), that the tweeter is not Republican or Libertarian or Conservative as such concepts, which Adam Baldwin does admittedly espouse, make the tweeter “sick” & they think he’s a “meanie”. No engaging him in conversation as to why they don’t agree or think that’s mean, just out & out dismissal. Hoo. Rah.

This person probably either clings to no political philosophy, or the opposite of Adam’s. Or, if they themselves are what they hate, nuts. So anywho, the idea here is that this person has a set of ideas & doesn’t even want to be exposed to the other set.

Some of you, without irony, have expressed bafflement so I will break it down for ya (& if you think this is in response to you, it’s probably not. No shit, like 8 people over the past 48 hours have been questioning this very sentence, for different reasons, in different ways):

Your = possessive you

Intolerance = unwillingness to even see tweets from the other side, let alone click on ’em

of Intellectual = thoughts

Diversity = different from yours

is Noted. = I see your obnoxious unfollow announcement, you dolt. Like anyone aside from you, even the 153 Jo Bros fans & porn bots following you, could give a shit.

Farewell = But I wish you success & happiness. And KABLOCKA!

Does that make sense now? This person with different ideas than Adam doesn’t want to hear different ideas. They are intolerant of intellectual diversity. This is a very pleasant way to respond to the Twitter equivalent of “Fuck off even though I chose to listen to you.”

Those on the receiving end are lucky they’re getting Baldwin & not any of his characters. How would Casey respond? “Yeah, get outta hear, ya moron, before you get lead poisoning of the brain.” How would Jayne respond? “I don’t like folk following me no how anyhows <blammo>.” How would Animal Mother respond? Well, I think there’d be a lot of “motherfucker” and then some machine gun fire & then quite possibly collateral damage.

So…that should make sense now. He isn’t claiming he’s posting a bunch of different perspectives (though he does give the opposing view point airtime on occasion, for which he is rewarded with “Fuck off”); he’s saying that the trog announcing they are unfollowing him appears to be intolerant of even the concept of other ideas. Because on Twitter, you click on the links you want. You can look at Metallica photos or you can read about sustainable development. It really is up to you.

When he says “intolerance of…” in chat rooms (ahem), he is A. being snarky B. responding to you making a disrespectful comment about his views. If you get to be funny at him, he gets to be funny back. Fair’s fair.

When I say “intolerance of”, I am giving you shit. This is something you should be used to by now if you talk to me a lot. It’s fair to say that the more shit I give you, the less afraid I am of you & the more I love you.

Please don’t be intolerant of my amicable expressive diversity.

*kisses*

You Got Pwnz0red

I don’t want to hear anybody bitch about an “ownership class” in this country & I just can’t be nice about this any more.  If you live in America & you think there are classes, you have clearly never lived anywhere else. Yes, there are substrata of the overall society, but the fact is, anybody can go from anywhere to anything. Jay Z can go from selling keys to selling CDs. Kanye can go from the buffet at KFC to Louis Vuitton Don Night. A stupid clueless white girl can quote any number of hip hop records.

Ooh, some of you are bristling. I got Twitterload of what basically amounts to “You’re mean” from a couple of buddies over the last couple of days, because I refuse to acknowledge something as absurd as the “ownership class”, so I am expecting a little bristle cone whine. Look. As I told one person (& this was of course ignored), if someone in America has survived what I’ve survived, yet is not a heroin addled whore or dead, anybody can do anything in this country, period. Don’t give me nonsense about someone without legs never being a runner because physical stuff is just that. That same person has as much chance of being a billionaire stock broker or the world’s best cook. Hell, he can become a woman if he wants. This country is loaded with the ability to become anything.

You just. Have. To bother.

One friend made the argument that we all have different obstacles. That is correct. How an obstacle denies you opportunity is beyond me. It makes trying to achieve success with that opportunity more exciting and certainly unique to your experience, but it does not take that opportunity away. “I don’t have any money,” “I’m the wrong race,” “I’m the wrong gender,” “I wasn’t born into the right family” are not excuses in this country for not doing all you can to do to be what you want. Not having talent is one thing. Not having legs would make it extremely difficult to be a runner. But if you want to be a tenured professor of calculus at MIT, if you want Simon Cowell’s job, if you want to be the number one baker in your town, if you want to be the best wife & mother that ever lived, seriously, nothing is stopping you but you. Get on that! If you have the mental capacity to make choices, make them.

I can tell you from long experience that the only thing preventing you from achieving anything in a free society is yourself. I came from a…well, let’s say my background was not ideal. I went through several dark periods and for all intents & purposes should be dead or committed. Really. I don’t owe you details, but I do owe you honesty, and the fact is that I was very self defeating for a long time. It’s expected of someone with my psychological make-up, and I don’t dishonour the pain of my previous existence by being mad at the girl I was. I do, however, get annoyed with her for not realizing sooner that the second she was 18, she became the author of her destiny, & should have done everything in her power to be who she wanted to be, not what others demanded of her. She should not have so easily been turned away from any of her callings. She should not have so easily accepted mediocrity.

She’s done with that now. And done with referring to herself in the third person. I am done being your bitch. I am done being your error in judgment and your excuse. I am done being your whipping girl, your punching bag, your horrible secret. I am being me now. I belong to God and my purpose is clear. Your purpose, apparently, was to make me strong enough to handle that purpose. You were a trial to overcome, a fear to master.

I have friends whose lives were in many ways decidedly worse than mine. They too overcame insurmountable odds, insurmountabler odds, I would argue, to be where they are. They are disabled, or the wrong colour, or the wrong gender, grew up in the wrong countries under the wrong governments, and they have overcome these “obstacles” to do what it is they want to do. They were broke, uneducated, sick, beaten down, imprisoned, abused, addicted, afflicted. Now they thrive because they chose to thrive. No, it wasn’t easy. No, it didn’t seem like things would go well for these folks a lot of the time. Yes, they wanted to pack it all in, railed at God, thought they would die or tried to kill themselves. Yet they survived, and thrived. Choice. You make a decision to stop letting life happen at you.

They saw what they wanted from life and, taking care not to deprive anyone else of their opportunities, took it.

You want to whine about your life? Several years ago, a guy with ALS completed an Ironman Triathlon. You want to bitch about how you can’t get fit, are getting older, can’t raise the money to do whatever? Screw you. A guy with ALS finished a fricken’ Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii. I dare you to whine to him. I dare you to whine to the wounded warriors who complete the Ride to Recovery. I dare you to unload to the cancer patients at my office.

Conversely, if you hear me whining, remind me of all these folks, ok? Sometimes, I forget.  Like ya do.

What has this to do with an ownership class? Well, jeez, if you haven’t sorted out now that money & possessions are the least of our problems in life, you are beyond my reach at this time. But let’s talk about money & possessions for a little bit, since people are kinda obsessed with them.

First of all, if you have the hypocrisy to be angry at a so-called ownership class, you best turn in everything you own right now to Goodwill and move to China. You own stuff. You may not own a home (I don’t), you may not own a car (I don’t), you may only own the clothes on your back and a toothbrush, but you like owning stuff, don’t you? You like having your own crap.

What you don’t like is that other people have more crap than you. Why? How does other people having more crap than you hurt you? If you really want more crap, work to get it. Then, angry hypocrites can loathe you for having more crap than them. There is always someone who has less crap than you, whose life is worse than yours, who wishes they were as lucky as you. Yes, as lucky. Look outside this country for several seconds and you will see people who wish they had the opportunities you have here. People break the law to get into this country just to have a snippet of what you have. Don’t tell me you have no opportunity.

Something I’ve noticed about the “Everybody should be equal” crowd (please note that this is not the same as “everybody has the same opportunities”): they want the unconditional love of the mother state (walk into anywhere & get everything for free, like  a celebrity or a dignitary or a child), but they don’t want everyone’s talent to be the same. If you’re a better artist, you want to be acknowledged, do you not? Well, in the free market that means people buy your work. Art is tricky because it has to do as much with the zeitgeist & other people’s taste as it does your talent, but the fact is you want to be compensated for your work because A. you want to eat B. You want to thrive and C. you need a way to sort out how good you are. Critical praise is lovely, but doesn’t get you a VIP table with bottle service at the club.

And really, that’s what everyone thinks should be equal. Why can’t we all have bottle service? Well, we can, but if everyone gets the same things in equal distribution with no thought to talent, hard work, and tenacity, then the bottle service we will get comes with a rubber nipple. Yeah, it’s nice to be babied & have parents who pay for everything & take care of it all, but they can also ground you, take your toys away, arbitrarily decide it’s your bed time. Allow me to butcher Jefferson for a second, but the government who gives you your lotion can also take it away. That same government can scream at you “It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again!” Do you really want to put this country at the bottom of a basement well so you can have free crap?

If we can blame Red Eye Robot Theatre for anything, it’s for making lotion even creepier than Silence of the Lambs managed.

Sigh. I know some of you are going to think I’m mean. Instead, I wish you would see me as the person giving you the keys to the castle. Here, take them! Don’t stand there waiting for me to take you inside & make you a sandwich. I only have gluten free bread. Wouldn’t you rather take the keys and get a sandwich you actually want, with bread that doesn’t taste like drywall?

It’s your castle, babe. I’m showing you that it’s yours. How is that mean? I is teh cuddly conservative, ‘member? You go play in there now, kid. Yes, I did just smack your arse and wink at you. And do the cutesy voice. ‘Cos I wubzes you. No, I do! Don’t you unbelieve that for one second. I want you to do well, but you won’t until you try. Blaming some nefarious, nebulous Other is not going to get you there. Personal responsibility really is as much fun as a day at Six Flags. Yes, there are scary moments, but when you are done with the ride, you regret nothing. NOTHING. Get up on it.

xoxo