“I couldn’t tell you in any analytical fashion, but I assume I realized instinctively that if I were going to write vignettes of contemporary life, which is what I was doing constantly forNew York, I wanted all the sounds, the looks, the feel of whatever place I was writing about to be in this vignette. Brand names, tastes in clothes and furniture, manners, the way people treat children, servants, or their superiors, are important clues to an individual’s expectations. This is something else that I am criticized for, mocked for, ridiculed for. I take some solace in the fact that the leading critic of Balzac’s day, Sainte-Beuve, used to say the same thing about Balzac’s fixation on furniture. You can learn the names of more arcane pieces of furniture reading Balzac than you can reading a Sotheby’s catalogue. Sainte-Beuve said, If this little man is so obsessed with furniture why doesn’t he open up a shop and spare us these so-called novels of his? So I take solace in this. After all, we are in a brand-name culture.”
-Tom Wolf interviewed by George Plimpton, Paris Review
When I first read
that white Americans feel like they’re more discriminated against than black Americans, I laughed. Then I went full Kubler-Ross cycling through all the stages. Fine I thought. It still doesn’t make it true.
But I have a curious mind and a lot of time, so I went back and re-read the articles and saw that the key lay in one phrase. “[W]hites see racism as a zero-sum game that they are now losing.”
That sound you’re hearing is the echo of the argument that took place in America about affirmative action.
But I’m sure (as you are, dear reader) that the people surveyed were not the moneyed elite with children enrolled at prestigious colleges. Obviously Lloyd Blankfein, or Stephen Schwarzman* don’t feel like they’re on the business end of entrenched institutional racism, but as you journey down the pay scale, I’m sure it starts to crop up. After all It’s a hackneyed trope that gets played for laughs in sitcoms that the white guy will get the job unless one of the other applicants is black. Because in order to not be seen as racist, or to promote so-called “diversity” (that cerberus-headed monster) the company HAS to choose the black person.
(But even if that were true, wouldn’t that just be a IRL version of Trading Places? And by the way, taking away someone’s favored status and giving it to someone else doesn’t yet rise to the magnitude of Jim Crow or segregation since either of those applicants could do the job. It just sucks.) (Another parenthetical. I’ve seen Trading Places so many times and I still don’t know what it means to “corner the market” on something.)
More likely the (white) people surveyed were of the turbulent working classes, no longer protected by unions (who’s fault is that?), or even the place of their birth, and forced to compete in the open global market and not having an easy go it, like their parents before them. Their parents who lived in postwar segregated America**.
So in the end we’re really just substituting race for class, like we always do.
*Peter Thiel might. I would totally not be surprised if Peter Thiel opined from atop his pile of money, that white people did have it worse than blacks.
**Europe was destroyed by war, Asia by war and atomic bombs, women and blacks were subjugated, and the government paid for their college via the (Socialist- transfer of wealth, whatever) GI bill. Of course those gritty white men were able to succeed in that environment. They truly were the Greatest Generation.
The event that I wait for every year has finally arrived. The new ponderously long promo video for the 13(!) Annual Gathering of the Juggalos! This year’s video is 23 minutes long. I won’t link to it, you wouldn’t watch it anyway, but I did watch (scan through and let it play in the background on an inactive tab) the whole thing.
is a Butterfly Stories mascot and according to my succession plan the next in line to run this joint.
That’s his name. What’s your whack ass rap name? Btw, he abbreviates that ABK. Ok.
George Clinton and Funkadelic will be there. The Fat Boys will be there. Will you be there?
There’s a band called Swollen Members. It must be hard to google that band.
They have a comedy stage. Cheech and Chong, Bobcat Goldthwait and Jaime Kennedy will be there. Once again I must ask, will you?
I actually am impressed at how well these Faygo drinking motherfuckers have built their brand, especially when you consider how bad they are at the thing they’re famous for (rapping, not makeup wearing).
It all goes down in August 8-12. See you there ninjas!
Stolen from McCovey Chronicles. But that’s Kemp making the last of out an inning…ignomoniously. And we all know, if you search your feelings, that Kemp is going to end our season this year.
I live in tract 207- there has been a 20% decline in the “Hispanic” population. 208 has similar numbers. I spend 90% of my time in this part of the world/ state/city so it explains why I think the Man released a virus that targets brown people, and which is only abated by standing in a kitchen. Because they work there.
One of the maps is about babies and dogs, and starts with the words: “The Mission is becoming a known as a place for families…” I just can’t with that. Ok. Look. There are so many schools in the Mission… let me try again… You know how the pope says no condoms and how people from Latin America are Catholic… Hmm.. is this because when THE HELP has kids they don’t count?
Or is this is really a veiled reference to the fact that the Mission is becoming Lower Noe? Pretty clever.