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Archive for July, 2013

July 28th, 2013

State Of Mind

Depression is when I decide to go for a short pleasure drive and don’t bother taking a camera along.  Depression is when I go downstairs to do a laundry, look at my drafting table, and then look away. Depression is when I just want to sleep all day long over the weekend, until its time to go to work again Monday morning.

I took his Christmas cards down off the fridge this afternoon while cleaning the kitchen, and put them in the box with all the other cards and letters I’ve received over the years.  All but the first one, which was just a post card it seemed he’d tossed in the mail to me on the spur of the moment.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on State Of Mind

July 18th, 2013

A Wee Correction

“The attorney general fails to understand that self-defense is not a concept, it’s a fundamental human right of white people.” -NRA Executive Director Chris Cox

Fixed it for you Chris.  You’re welcome.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on A Wee Correction


Thugwear

Something that needs to be understood about this notion that his wearing a hoodie meant Trayvon Martin’s was a thug or a thug wannabe, is if young black men started wearing bow ties they’d be calling bow ties thugware.  And all the nice people living in those gated communities would be telling each other that it’s the bow ties, not the color of their skin, that makes them thugs.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Thugwear

July 14th, 2013

Why didn’t you just button up your britches and go home George?

Via Death and Taxes

Now that Zimmerman has a legitimate reason to fear for his life, the threshold for what constitutes a personal threat has got to feel awfully low. What about an unarmed person wearing a t-shirt with George Zimmerman’s face in crosshairs who sees him on the street and swears at him? Could Zimmerman shoot him? Trayvon Martin was unarmed and was wearing a plain sweatshirt. What about a group of protesters shouting hostile messages about him as Zimmerman happens to walk by? Based on the jury’s handling of the Trayvon Martin case, it seems Florida law would allow Zimmerman to pull out his gun and, if he continued to feel threatened by these people for whatever reason, shoot them all in good standing under the law.

You thought the gun made you somebody and it didn’t after all, did it George.  You had to chose, as everyone who puts a gun, or any other sort of weapon in their hand, has to choose, between the rule of law and the law of the gun…and you chose the gun…because you thought that made you somebody…and now the gun owns you George…it owns you…

“If I was doing you a favor I’d let them hang you now and get it all over with. But I don’t want you to get off that light. I want you to go on being a big tough gunny. I want you to see what it means to have to live like a big tough gunny. So don’t thank me yet partner. You’ll see what it means.”

-Gregory Peck in The Gunfighter

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Why didn’t you just button up your britches and go home George?


But This Is Not That World.

This came across my Facebook stream just now…

Scott Spencer-Wolff: “I imagine a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home on a rainy night.”
[Diana Butler Bass]

But this is not that world.  Spare some anger today (assuming you are angry) to think about why that is.  Because that’s the problem.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on But This Is Not That World.

July 13th, 2013

The Vigilante It Is…

Zimmerman walks, which is the outcome we should all have expected from Florida, but still…

I was born in the early 50’s and spent most of my grade school years in the 1960s. During that time, probably largely due to the homosexual panics of the 1950s, I got tons of warnings in and out of school about being followed by strange men and how I shouldn’t let them get too close and needed to fight like hell if one of them tried to grab me off the street because I might never be seen again. Maybe they teach kids differently these days, but one of the most striking things to me in this whole episode is Zimmerman could stalk a teenage boy and get away with shooting him dead by claiming that he was mortally afraid of him and people keep saying with pious straight faces that Martin shouldn’t have fought back and because he did Zimmerman was justified in killing him and his race has nothing to do with that.

Seriously. Who tells teenage boys to just do whatever the strange man with a gun tells them to do and everything will be all right? I’m not trying to be snarky here. If you subtract Martin’s race from this, then all the people saying that Martin caused his own death by fighting back are not making sense. That Martin, if (If) he took a swing at Zimmerman, did because he was afraid is obvious. Unless you think that young black men don’t need any reason to try and kill someone with their bare hands because they’re all just animals really.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The Vigilante It Is…

July 11th, 2013

The Vigilante Or Civilization…Pick One

Digby:

The facts show that George Zimmerman armed himself with a gun loaded with hollow point bullets and ended up killing an unarmed teenager who was just out buying some snacks. How that happened is disputed but to me it’s obvious that when you strap on a gun, go looking for trouble and end up stalking and killing an unarmed 17 year old, you’ve done something wrong.

Digby goes on to say “To me, the carrying of that gun morally requires that he be held liable in some way for the unarmed Trayvon’s death”, but there is where I often part company with my fellow liberals on the issue of guns: I am fine with the concept that you have a right to own a gun and defend yourself with it. In fact, I consider that right to be a fundamentally democratic thing.

What isn’t are things like vigilantism and racism.  These are poison.  They are poison to the person, they are poison to the nation.  This case is positively dripping with racism that nobody in the corporate news media wants to look closely at, because we’re all supposed to be beyond all that now. Except we’re not. Zimmerman’s suspicion and fear of Martin only makes sense in the context of Martin’s race, his sex, and his age. There is literally nothing else there but those three things. Zimmerman stalked that kid because of those three things, and his rational for killing an unarmed teenage boy who was out buying snacks can only seem plausible due to those three things. Fear the black male, and especially, fear the young black male.  Look, for as long as you can stomach it, at the breathless agreement that Martin posed a threat to Zimmerman’s life, solely on the basis of Zimmerman’s say-so, and the ephemeral signs of a fight on his face and head.  That was no beating.  You want to see what a beating looks like, look at the photos of recent victims of gay bashers.  But it’s simply an accepted fact in certain quarters of the country that Zimmerman’s life was threatened. Were Martin white it would not matter what the race of his stalker would be, other than if his stalker was a black man he’d already have been convicted and on Florida’s death row. Picture it: a white teenaged boy stalked by a strange man, fights back and is found shot to death. Would anyone doubt the adult male had done something horribly wrong?  Why is it never considered, that Martin was standing His ground when Zimmerman confronted him? Well, of course a young black male has no such right.  Racism was always at the rotten core of this.

But if Zimmerman was a racist, he was also a vigilante and if you approve of vigilantism anywhere outside the pages of a comic book you are no friend of civilization let alone democracy.  All those people waving around the second amendment as a defense against tyranny are no defenders of democracy…if anything they are the useful tools of anarchy.  The gun is what you need when the the peace is broken, so the first thing, the basic responsibility of the believers in civilization and democracy is to preserve the peace.  That means the rule of law and the ballot box as the agent of change.  Peaceful disobedience, where the conscience requires disobedience, and responsibility for ones own conduct toward your neighbors.  Responsibility.  What a concept, that.  Zimmerman acted like the gun came with a badge and they don’t. But more than that, he acted as if he had character enough to bear the wearing of a badge and it’s sickeningly obvious he is no such person.

However this trial turns out, if nothing else this case really raises a lot of questions about the kind of nation we are, or should want to be. So many virtuous moral all-American values types cheering on what Zimmerman did. It’s been a while since I’ve been this completely disgusted. Digby’s right, what would be a just punishment for what Zimmerman did isn’t obvious, but what is staringly obvious is that he did something terribly, horribly wrong. A teenage boy went out for snacks and never came back home, because Zimmerman saw a young black man somewhere he thought a young black man didn’t belong, and took that matter into his own hands.

[Edited slightly…]

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The Vigilante Or Civilization…Pick One

July 6th, 2013

Stuffed Rabbit

The evening of my abrupt trip back home from Walt Disney World I had a dream. I’d made the trip back from Orlando in a haze of deep depression; the kind I usually endure over the winter, around February, around Valentine’s Day.

Before sleep, as I lay in my motel bed and read my Facebook stream, I saw Wil Wheaton fretting about not wanting to go to sleep for fear of having night terrors. He has very bravely and publicly talked about his struggles with depression and I assume that the night terrors are a part of that. The deep depression I feel now as I turn in for the night isn’t of the clinical sort, or at any rate I don’t think it is. The evening before I had given a small gift of gourmet chocolates to a certain someone for his birthday, and he handed them back to me. The lonely ache I am feeling this night is almost like a second home to me now, and it is not night terrors I am worried about. Some dreams scare the steaming shit out of you but then you wake up and it’s just a dream. But some dreams, not terrifying, play with your emotions like a dog plays with a stuffed rabbit.

I’m in a coffee house somewhere I don’t recognize, chatting with a handsome guy who I’ve never seen before but I somehow recognize in this particular dream as an old boyfriend from many years. We chat casually about this and that and then out of the blue it seems, he asks me to marry him. Overjoyed, I tell him yes, yes I will.

Then we are in in our tuxedos standing together at the altar. The church is old, but more of a simple meeting house kind of church than the Baptist churches I grew up in. Its old wooden pews seem relaxed and comfortable, not stiff and unyielding. There are tall windows of unstained glass through which pure golden sunlight shines through, free and clear. Oddly, I see rows of old wooden bookshelves tucked between the windows, full of books. In my dream the thought of a church chapel doubling as its library delights me. It speaks to me that my boyfriend, now my spouse-to-be, brought me to this place to be married. I am overwhelmed with joy.

We make our vows and the minister pronounces us married. Oddly, he holds up the marriage license for us and everyone there to see and says that “Now it’s official”. I can’t read what the document says but that’s not unusual. I’ve written before about how for some reason I can almost never read anything in my dreams.

Everyone adjourns to a room next to the chapel where a reception is taking place. I suddenly realize there was no marriage kiss at the altar, so I walk over to my spouse and embrace him happily, give him a delighted kiss on the mouth, and tell him how much I love him and how happy I am to be married to him. As I do this I am thinking how sure I was this day would never happen for me, and it did after all. I am overwhelmed with joy.

He pulls gently away, smiling, but I can see he is very embarrassed about something. So are the people standing nearby. I step back and my spouse and our guests begin talking among themselves, as if to ignore what just happened. Something seems very wrong all of a sudden, but I don’t know what.

I step outside, confused. Didn’t I just get married? Didn’t he ask me to marry him? Then I realize there was no exchange of rings either. I am walking though an old part of town where the church is situated; a smallish main street with shops, all closed I am assuming because it is Sunday and here they still don’t open things on Sunday. As I walk I can see my reflection in the little shop windows, in my tux, walking alone down an empty main street. I begin to realize that this wasn’t a wedding after all, it was a rehearsal, and I was not the one getting married to my old boyfriend, he had merely asked me to stand in for someone else, who could not be there for that rehearsal.

But this theory is confusing too.  Didn’t he ask me to marry him?  Didn’t we have a marriage license? But I could not read the names on it.  I glance at myself in the shop windows again, and oddly, for some reason, start practicing skipping down the sidewalk, like I used to do when I was a kid.

Still not sure that was what happened, I go back to the reception trying to think of a way of asking my boyfriend if he was satisfied with how things went without admitting that I don’t actually know what is going on and getting an answer from him that will tell me. The ersatz reception has moved outside now and everyone is enjoying themselves. I walk up to my boyfriend but before I can say anything his spouse-to-be drives up in their car, towing a small hardware trailer full of gardening things.  Now I know.  The Spouse-To-Be was out buying things for their house and could not be there, so I was asked to stand in for him for the rehearsal.

They embrace and he asks my boyfriend how the rehearsal went and I wake up.

A dim morning light filters through the motel curtains. I check the clock. It’s a little after 6am. I get up to pack the car and finish the drive home, alone.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Stuffed Rabbit

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