RIP Gil Scott Heron

There was very intimate article written about him in the New Yorker in which he actually smokes crack while being interviewed.  Apparently he’d been struggling with addiction even whilst back in the studio recording new material. Sad story ending for a pioneer and one of the Godfathers of hip hop. 

My favorite line by far in The Revolution…

There will be no slow motion or still life of Roy

Wilkins strolling through Watts in a Red, Black and
Green liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving
For just the proper occasion.

It so elegantly describes the frustrations with “working within the system” and has definite echoes of the Malcom vs Martin dichotomy.  

Math is hard.

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“I wish they taught shopping in school.”
“Let’s bake some cookies for the boys!”
“Don’t ask me; I’m just a girl <giggle> <giggle>.”
“Now let’s forget our troubles with a big bowl of strawberry ice cream.”
“Thinking too much gives you wrinkles.”
“My name is Stacy, but you can call me <two-note wolf whistle>.”

Towel. Thrown.

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This is probably what I look like when I’m playing soccer. 

I tore my calf muscle yesterday. This is a brand new injury the likes of which I’ve never had in my life. I was playing soccer, switched directions real quick (’cause I still got it) and I heard a pop, and then I went down. I thought something had hit me. Apparently I’m the ideal candidate for such an injury, to wit: 

“Calf (Gastrocnemius) muscle tears typically occur in moderately active individuals in their 30s, 40s, and 50s while performing actions that put maximal tension on the gastrocnemius muscle. “Weekend warriors,” who have often lost flexibility in their muscles are at greater risk for partial or complete muscle rupture.” 

So if you see someone limping through the Mission at an unbelievably slow pace for someone so young and fit looking (!)- that’s me. This has been a setback to my Club Soccer Career, for sure, but it has also caused some additional problems. 

See, I know most if not all the people on my block by sight, some could even be considered a type of cordial acquaintance.  Usually a respectful nod or short greeting is all that happens and I’m spared small talk about the Giants, or the weather, or griping about the way the Hipster-Locusts have just ravaged our neighborhood, leaving in their wake tags on every flat surface, vomit, and urine, simply because the weather rose about 70 degrees. 

Usually I can walk fast enough to make it seem like I’m in a rush. Everything has changed.

Today as it took me approximately 30 minutes to go the corner store, I ran into about four neighbors and recounted in shorter and shorter sentences the events leading up to my gimping. And then I ran into Jim. He is actually quite nice. Just a lonely older Vietnam Vet who lives a few doors down from me and has no family or visitors and so he’s really talkative.  And like I said, he’s a nice guy so I indulged him. 

Recently though I hadn’t seen him and except for a few drive-by ‘Go Giants!’ I had managed to avoid a full conversation with him in some time, so in a way i was due. Here is the transcript of our conversation.

Jim: Oh no! What happened?

Butterfly Stories: Yeah, torn calf muscle playing soccer last night.

Jim: Well, you’re getting older now. Ha ha ha.

BS: Yeah.

Jim: Hey! So I haven’t seen you since our boys took down that raghead.

BS: … Bin… (sigh)… Bin Laden?   

JIm: Yeah. We got that sonabitch sand… camel jockey*. You can’t hide in your cave forever. 

BS: … Yeah. (pause) Well, I better get going. I’ll see you later.

Jim’s a vet, he served, he’s been shot at, so he can say whatever he wants. He earned that. But still, it’s going to be a long two weeks. 

*I don’t think Jim’s racist, but I’m fairly certain he uses the term ‘sand nigger’ quite frequently. 

Trend Watch

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(Can you really call yourself a Libertarian if you represent a Welfare State?)

See? This is what I meant when I said we can’t organize our society around the ridiculous conclusions reached by Ayn Rand.  The other day Rand Paul, who at times really does sound like a sensible voice coming from across the aisle dropped this failed metaphor on us:

With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to health care, you have realize what that implies. It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery. It means that you’re going to enslave not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurses.

His argument, such as it is, is succinctly, and handily refuted here, but I have another small issue with this. Why are Right Wingers always using the language of America’s troubled racial history to make their points? Always with the slavery too. And then there’s that whole billboard thing. My only guess is that they’re taking a page of the Luntz playbook and turning their weakness into a strength. By comparing things to what Black people have suffered they can join in the oppression. Oppression being way more authentic than subjugation after all. 

Are they just getting hip to playing the victim? Are they subconsciously preparing for Majority Minority? Is Rand Paul really just a white Al Sharpton? Are White People the new Black?