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Saturday, November 29, 2003

Bamboozled 

I just saw this Spike Lee creation for the first time tonight.

I needed that.

I get caught up sometimes...I think we all do. I allow myself to forget things. What did I say awhile ago about classism being "the new racism"? What did I THINK about that?

Where was I this weekend? At the Houston Country Club at a debutante ball? I didn't even know places like that existed. Right there in the middle of the city. Less than a mile from where people lay homeless in the street...

Who was there with me? The door man was there with me, the black guy who opened the door. Who else was there? The debs, one of whom is a good friend and an even better person. The people to whom she was "presented", the white people in tuxedos and ball gowns. Who else? The latino men who cleared a stage right beside me and before I knew it there was a table, where I could eat free food. Do I need free food? I grew up a few miles from there, and never wanted for a thing. Who else was there with me on Wednesday night? The all-white band covering Earth, Wind, and Fire terribly. That's who was there. What did I do? I ate the free food...drank the free booze...and watched all the other people drinking the free booze around me so they didn't notice that the only black man there was opening the door. I talked to him for a bit. If I'd sat next to him on a bus, I bet we could have found some common ground...but not there.

Then I looked at myself and realized I had almost fallen for it. I made a comment to friends...good people with good hearts...that in aikido you use the enemy's momentum against him, and that we were sitting amongst momentum. Money...power. We were also sitting amongst hate...and oppression poorly masked to appear as tradition. I almost fell for it.

Revolutionary change may have to happen in baby steps. But I almost babystepped off track. I almost forgot why I came to law school. Not to make a comfortable living. To make some baby steps.

I hate white guilt. That's why I try to laugh it off when my grandfather describes how much he likes his car by exclaiming, "I wouldn't trade it for a gold nigger". That's another thing I did while at home this Thanksgiving. I told myself, "It's not worth it...I can't change him...he's old...he didn't have the same perspective that I do."

Did I THINK that?

Postmodern cynicism is all well and good...until someone ends up starving on the street a mile from the country club.

I'll forget again. I just hope there's another reminder.

It's not all about race or class or religion or any other one thing or another. It's all those things and more. The systemic nature of injustice is complicated, and I don't pretend to have it figured out anymore than I pretend like I know what's going to happen to me when I die. I just know I have to live in it, and so do the people around me...every one of them from here back to here again.

I have to study now...so I can get a good grade...so I can get a degree...so I can get a good job...so I can...

UPDATE: Patrick brings to my attention that I come off as generalizing. This was a rambling after watching an intense flick, and not a statement of my social or political views in sum. I don't think I could ever distill my worldview down to a blog post, and I don't intend to ever try. That there are some "journal entry" posts on this thing, though rare, will continue. Perhaps I'll make the switch from asserting to musing with a bit more clarity from now on.

Further UPDATE: Just to assuage my...what's that thing that makes you feel bad? Ah forget it...point is I didn't mean to attack anyone and if it came off that way I apologize. I'm don't hate people in country clubs. I don't think people in country clubs are necessarily hateful. I hate that country clubs exist (and what that entails)...the situation, not the people stuck in it regardless of where in it they are stuck.

I give up.

AFTER GIVING UP UPDATE THE NEXT DAY: Even Jess, my girlfriend, misinterpreted this post. If she couldn't get it, knowing me as she does, then nobody possibly could. I'm not going to take this one down...and this might make me shy away from philosophical/ethical musings in the future on the blog...but prolly not, and I'll prolly stick my blog in my mouth again...c'est la vie.

The GOP Recipe for America 

Sakitume posts on Gore Vidal's new book.

Looks fairly interesting. Vidal's "genesis of the great American formula" sounds like the GOP platform to me:

Socialism for the rich, free enterprise for the poor.

All too often that's what comes out of conservative mouths these days. We need to support important industry through corporate subsidies from tax revenue, but when the workers who are paying those taxes get laid off from those corporations, it's every man for himself. Then cut the taxes on the wealthy, and you've got the American dream according to the Founders according to Vidal.

I'm not endorsing Vidal or the book...just thought the quote was applicable.

Someone ring Tom DeLay and Dick Cheney and let them know someone penned a cheer for them.

UPDATE: I don't endorse ANYTHING that Gore Vidal says...just thought this quote was easily twisted to my own twisted opinions. That's all.

Kinky for Governor! 

Oh please God...if you do exist...PLEASE just give me a chance to cast a ballot for Kinky Friedman for Governor.

Man...how fuckin' sweet would THAT be.

I'm not saying this just because I think Rick Perry is a scary plastic semi-human creation of the landed gentry...I'm also saying it because it's about time someone like Kinky threw his hat into a ceremonial race like this. I mean, we all know damn well it doesn't matter a bit who the governor of this state is at any given moment. We went through years of W. and the place didn't fall apart like the country has since he was washed up all pretty in a baptismal pool and sent up to Washington. Just let us have some fun for a change.

Just imagine if Mark Twain could run for presidnet.

Kinky's no Twain, and I haven't read enough Robbins to make up my mind (but girls like him too much), but it sure would be a good time.

And speaking of scary plastic semi-humans...any Houstonians catch a glimpse of that Orlando Sanchez figure running for mayor? DAMN. That guy looks like he JUST came off the assembly line. That White guy (and he really is, too) looks like a frightened substitute teacher, but I'll take him over the demonic Ken Doll any day of the week. Jesus.

NOTE: The dual references to God in one form or another in this post is in no way an endorsement of religion. I'm not a gambling man, and I just don't KNOW. It's for effect...so stuff it.

NOTE: Finally getting my irreverence revved up (and my alliteration!)...sounded like a pussy for the first week of bloggin'...

UPDATE: Edited for stupidity.

UPDATE: Just kidding.

UPDATE: Hee hee.

Friday, November 28, 2003

Drug War Blog 

Just ran across this...check it out.

I'm "studying", so I don't have time to peruse the thing, but looks like a pretty well-informed blogger on the Drug War issue at first glance. If it turns out to be really substantive, I'll add it to the ol' links list (which is in dire need of a good updatin' anywho).

Stigma BEGONE!!!! 

Finally people are realizing that smoking pot doesn't make you a bad person.

Well...I hope this trend in destigmatization continues. I hope eventually it leads to the decriminalization of marijuana possession in this country (no Patrick, not legalization...though for marijuana I think the argument for legalizing is stronger than with other substances).

Either way...since the stigma still lingers in some circles, I will unequivocally state that I may or may not smoke marijuana often, occasionally, or not at all, depending on how you, the reader, feels about the issue!

4-0 for the UT Seniors 

Nice run of wins against A&M...

Now if we could just rub some cream on that Sooner problem...

Oh...and Cedric Benson is one hellova running back...that fumble just proves he's mortal as far as I'm concerned. If it wasn't for following Ricky as a starter, he'd be a superstar. Either way he'll be an asset to whichever NFL team is lucky enough to have him in the backfield.

Rare Kudos to Bush Lite 

I've gotta give some credit to our spoiled brat of a president for his trip to Iraq this Thanksgiving.

I'm gonna put my cynicism on the shelf long enough to believe that he really meant that as a much-needed morale booster for our troops and pretend like there was no political motivation for the stunt. At least he didn't have a "Mission Accomplished" banner this time and decided to forego the fatigues.

Big ups Georgie-boy, and I only hope he cut off Rove in mid-"but if" to get over there.

Now I hope he can do the right thing...admit we were wrong to go in and turn some power/control over to the UN to give some of our troops an even better Christmas present than just a morale booster...a ticket home. The lives of our troops and our reputation in the world is more important than securing contracts for our oil companies.

UPDATE: Even more kudos to Hillary. I hate the Clenis only slightly less than I hate the Shrub (for the double sin of selling out populist politics and ruining the reputation of the left in this country by screwing ugly women to whom he wasn't married...it's a pecadillo, I know, but at least make it hot models or something). Hillary, however, I can't help but like...even though I disagree with her as often as not. The fact that she is an enormous thorn in the side of the facists in our great country makes me snicker and smirk with a smug contentment rivaled only by that of our ignoramous-in-chief.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Happy Turkeyday 

Happy Thanksgiving!

My brother got a tofurkey (he's a meat-hater) and I tried it. Don't fall for that shit.

Yeehaw!


Tuesday, November 25, 2003

More Republican Shinanigans 

I'd gone on before about the Bill Frist "poll changeroo" episode...

Well, now it's out that staffers for Orrin Hatch were coming across unsent Democratic memos in the most...uh...what's the word...oh yeah...ILLEGAL of ways.

I don't mean to say that consistent and unending episodes like this (not to mention the ones that REALLY matter, like the Valerie Plame episode and similar acts that, were they the doing of non-Rethuglicans, would have Anne Coulter's panties so far up her cooter she'd say something nice for a change) are necessarily indicative of the established tactics of the GOP...well, actually that's excatly what I'm saying.

Fuck the GOP...

Give me the time when you could at least rely on them to have more balls than Democrats...now they're equally shrill and pathetic, only more wrong about everything.

NOTE: Edited several times to try to correct mistakes made in a fit of moral outrage that I am now over. I have now returned to the warm fold of cynicism and a severe distrust of any authority that borders on the maniacal. Please return to your sheepdom, fellow bah-bahs...

The Myth of a Drug Free America 

I'm constantly reading a steady stream of information from the bowels of the drug policy reform movement as part of my daily routine. Sometimes I get a little lax in my attention because so much of it is repetition of the same axiomatic truths that are consistently ignored by our government and far too many otherwise seemingly cognitively unchallenged Americans.

This one is no different.

It just happens to be very well articulated and brief enough not to bore the layman to tears.

For any law students reading this, I am trying to get some concerned students together for a "Law Students for Drug Policy Reform" group here at UT Law. If you're at UT and interested, hit me up (I've already spoken to a few, but hit me up anyway so I can put together a list of e-mail addresses). If you're not at UT, but a law student elsewhere, I urge you to attempt the creation of a similar organization. If you plan to do so (or already have one, or one is in the works) hit me up.

It's time for change.

UPDATE: I keep catching myself actually believing that tons of people are reading this thing. Oh well, maybe someone with a real blog will crosspost it or something. Hint hint...

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