Archive for November 22, 2011

First off, I survived my 40th birthday insanity and came out the other side with only a few bruises and minor flesh wounds…and a hangover.  It was one heck of a time and a whole lotta fun, and well, I looked upon it and found it good, except the hangover.  Those are never good.  But celebration time is now over and once again, I shall now press my crooked nose to the grindstone and make good on my promise to say shit some people are thinking and don’t wanna say and others sure as shit don’t wanna hear….so let’s get back to that elephant, I reckon its about time…

I’ve discussed the Elephant in the Room before, overview and prologue style.  But hey, I like to dig, I’m a digger.  I gnaw on things, digest, consider, and dig some more.  And as I have been doing that, mentally feasting and such, I reckon it is now time; time to do the unthinkable, something real unpopular, but something that needs doing.  It’s a double fuck for certain, but I’m gonna do it anyway.  It’s time for not only a history lesson, but some defense of white folk…especially and including…white dudes.

Oh shit, now I’ve gone and done it, yeah?   Oh well, what else is new?

Now, I have talked before about how there is still one group of people it is socially acceptable to make fun of, a group that is mocked and belittled in a way that well, if one were to mock or belittle other groups of people in such a fashion it would kill their careers and they’d be persona non-gratis pretty much anywhere for a long time.  I mean, if Gene Weingarten had said something similar about Hispanic, black, Chinese, Iranian or any other sort of folk…what do you honestly think the reaction would be?  If he’d made it a “humorous jibe” about someone defending their opium den and Cantonese fried cat or low riders and burritos or crack house and chicken or gold coins and matzoh balls or any other countless insulting cultural stereotypes…do you think he’d still be a popular unsanctioned writer and humorist for the Washington Post?  Really?  Seriously? For some reason I suspect otherwise.  I really do.  Folk who have done such have paid for the crime, because its not okay to do that…unless you do it to certain kinds of white folk…and Weingarten proves just how okay it is.  Which burns my biscuits, actually.  Why, you might ask?  Well…

Let’s talk some history first, shall we?  I am a fan after all.  History can be very informative, interesting, scary, and well, it is the story of humans.  However, it is the story of humans as written by the winners and in truth, for the most part…rich white dudes.   Not all white dudes…rich white dudes.  And being mad at rich white dudes?  I’m okay with that.  They have- historically and all- proven themselves to be greedy douchebags who will use, abuse, and sell out folk- of all races, colors, and genders- if it will earn ‘em a buck.   This has been historically proven even!  And while rich white dudes do have a tendancy to try to control and regulate everything, from cash flow to the info that makes it down to us plebians, they don’t always succeed.  So yeah, lets get on with that, shall we?

As everyone here knows I should hope, the US engaged in slavery.  We all know that.  We also know that colonists did absolutely horrible things to the Native Americans/First People of North America; everything from land theft to mass murder.   But, as I sit here, in history mode and all, I want y’all to consider your own roots.  Are ya Irish?  Or Scottish? Or English? Or German?  Or Slavic of any sort?  Then chances are, when your people arrived here on a boat, if they did so before oh, 1865 or so, chances are they did not necessarily do so by choice.  They were probably coerced to come here, or did so as indentured servants, or to work other (rich, white) peoples land, or fight in wars, or as convicts (oddly enough, England sent convicts here prior to the Revolutionary War, then they turned to Australia) or in countless other ways that hardly count as bold and noble endeavors.   Much like a great many of the non-white folk who got screwed by rich white folk, tons of white folk were also screwed: lied to, abducted, abused, tortured, killed, owned, and otherwise fucked over…and they may very well be your ancestors.  If you read up on the ships who brought non-rich white folk over here, or the lives they lived, or how they were treated, worked, abused and screwed, you might see some similarities- many, many, many similarities- to how the non-white folk were treated.  Terminology was sometimes different, sometimes the same…but to me, an Irish indentured servant shipped over to the new world by Cromwell who ended up being sold and worked to death in a field is really not so different from anyone else who ended up in a similar situation.

Fascinated by this notion,  I myself did some digging into my own family tree, and while my direct people only got here recently- pre WWII/post WWII and all- I did find some interesting shit…it seems a whole bunch of my dad’s side of the family (the Russian side) were hung for stealing horses, and those who weren’t were tossed outta Russia…they eventually made it to America…where a bunch of ‘em were hung in Colorado/ Wyoming/ Utah…for stealing horses (apparently my people had a one track minds and never learned nothing at the end of a rope!).  Many of my Mom’s side of the family left economic destitution in North England and ended up in Louisiana and Georgia… during the Civil War.  They did not travel for free.  I found all this very interesting, and wondered just how many other white folk like me…well, how did their families get here?  Surely they were not all rich land owners, blue-bloods, people who owned other people…and sure enough, I bet you a pair of snake skin boots that a great many of us?  Well, your ancestors or family relations made it here to the New World just like some of my people did; as convicts or labor or kicked out of their own countries- kidnapped or lied to or led on- bought, sold, owned, worked hard and treated poorly.   And you know what?  None of us got acres or mules either.  In fact?  Those folk sorta got fucked.  After all, rich folk have been fucking not rich folk- of all colors- since feudal times…and they still are.

History lesson done.  But History lesson in mind…how the hell is it okay to think that every white person in the US is the same, starting from the same place, and with all the same privileges?  Even the white dudes?   For years now, rich white dudes have been running the show and shitting on everyone.  Poor white dudes- like poor folk of other colors and genders-they’ve been taking it up the ass, no kiss, no lube, no reach around, for eons.  Just like everyone else.  They don’t start wars, they just fight in them.  They don’t own factories, they work in them.  They don’t drive BMW’s, they repair them.  They work in coal mines and on oil rigs and in processing plants- doing often dangerous jobs for often decreasing wages and being thankful that they work at all- just like everyone else.  They worry about their futures and families, just like everyone else.  And even those who bought into the White Collar American dream?  The tech guys and business guys and such?  They are finding their jobs outsourced and their positions downsized and their hours increasing while their paychecks grow smaller- just like everyone else.  Why?  Because if history teaches one anything, its that money is and has always been the bottom line, profit is king, people are cogs, and those few with the power and the money will do anything and everything to keep it, screw everyone; regardless of color, race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual preference or any other difference.  Other people, even poor white dudes, are nothing more to them than a bottom line of productivity.  That has not changed.  From the feudal holds of Europe to the plantations of the South to the Factories of the North to the Railroads of the West to the Mines of…well, any goddamn mine, from West Virginia to Colorado…men, women, children worked and died and made very little headway in doing so, but they did make a very select few rich…and it did not matter if they were white, black, yellow or brown, Chinese, Irish, Former Slaves or Free Men.  Profit is color blind.  And it still is.  To this day.

Yet, that truth, that very real and historical fact, does not change the fact that not rich white folk, including and maybe even especially the dudes, get to eat shit and take blame for rich white folk even though they got screwed too, and are still being screwed too.  They get blamed for shit they never did, accused of holding attitudes and power they do not have- and likely never had or will ever have- they because they are white, and some of ‘em are male, get to take all the hate and blame for shit they not only had no hand in, but were victims of too…and they don’t even have the modern politically correct mode of thinking that makes racism or sexism or religious intolerance against other folk unsavory and seriously life impacting on their side at all.  It’s STILL okay and funny to make fun of “those people”, the men and the women.  Why?  Cause well, “those people” are white…and all white people are the same, and started off with all the good shit, and historically have always had the good shit, and all that other crap too, right?

Say it to me with a straight face, I dare you.  Especially to my face.  Tell me how the majority of white people are Rockefeller’s or Vanderbilt’s.  Tell me how the majority, historically and culturally, have really always had it so good and had a head start over everyone else in life…especially the dudes.  Tell me we all look alike and are just the same.  Tell me it’s okay to trash those people because they are trash and are just lazy and failed to excel because they started off so ahead in life just because they are…white.  Tell me that, and I’ll call ya a liar.

Clue here, nobody, regardless of color or gender or any other thing, has an easy time pullin’ themselves up by their bootstraps if they have no boots, and rich white dudes have done a good job of keeping boots off a whole lotta feet- because passing out boots to everyone, even other white folk, would not be profitable!

But who want to talk about class and how its not okay to make fun of white people who aren’t rich and aren’t the people who fucked everyone (and are still fucking everyone) over and how  we got no reason to be angry or feel slighted?  After all, it ain’t popular…

Elephants in the room never are…