Archive for the 'shit and stuff' Category

So That Happened

November 17, 2016

I have been trying to put to words my thoughts and feelings on the election. For now this video will have to do:

Aftermath November 2016 from Steve Cohen on Vimeo.

On ‘White Privilege’

May 21, 2014

Here is my reply to this post stating that we should stop using the term ‘white privilege’:

I think I get what the diarist is trying to convey, though I disagree. I can understand why whites, especially white males, get defensive when confronted with the term ‘white privilege’. I used to as well. After all, I came from a pretty piss poor background and had to work my butt off to get what I have. So I never felt ‘privileged’.

As I have grown older and had time to really reflect on my early years, several things have occurred to me. The big one being that I was privileged, I just didn’t recognize it at the time. I ran around with a pretty rough crowd, which led to numerous confrontations with the police. And magically we never got arrested. That magical part comes from my being white. There are times I can look back and see where a person of color would not have been let go. Hell, they would more likely than not have had to fear for their life.

The times I was followed in stores were times I should have been. We were generally up to no good and didn’t do a very good job of hiding the fact. The store employees weren’t being assholes. They were doing their job, trying to stop us from stealing.

I did get in a couple of fights where I was attacked for being white. As I see it now the guys who started them where targeting me for my race, but not as acts of racism. They were pissed off black youths, often living in impossible situations, who were lashing out against the people who they saw as oppressing them, white people, and I was a target of convenience. Hell yes they knew full well they were getting the short end of the stick and had little if any recourse. So getting a few licks in on a white kid gave them some kind of outlet. I don’t agree with their methods, but I can fully understand their frustration. I watched time again as black kids were kicked out of school or arrested for offenses that myself and other white kids were given detention for, if punished at all.

We always said that rich kids go to rehab, poor kids go to jail. I think it’s equally true to say white kids have a better chance of getting into rehab instead of jail, with the opposite being true for black kids.

Sometimes we have to look deeper to see the privilege. Sometimes it’s glaringly obvious. Sometimes it’s subtle. But I think most times we don’t see it at all because we are not looking for it. It’s not something white people necessarily experience in their minds as a ‘positive’. I don’t get free money from the bank (as Eddie Murphy comically assumed in a skit once). But I may very well get a loan that a person of color may not. Sure I still owe the money, but at least I got it in the first place.

But for someone on the other end of the spectrum ‘privilege’ is a direct negative on their life. I can’t ever recall not being able to get a cab. No one ever follows me around stores anymore. No one sees me as threatening when I walk down the road. Cops are generally nice to me, and I often get warnings for speeding over a ticket. If I wasn’t aware that this is not the normal experience for people of color I could claim that I am not privileged. But the opposite is true.

By not being white the person is subject to a plethora of negative experiences and treatment I am not, for no other reason than skin color. I am not aware of this on a daily basis as these experiences do not happen to me. But that does not mean they don’t happen. And I can choose to ignore the existence of this bias because of my skin color. That my friend is the privilege of being white.

There are some really great replies in the original diary. Read the thread if you have the time.

Life and Shit

March 20, 2013

Been a while. Didn’t really plan on using this blog anymore but things change, as they are wont to do. Like my marriage. It’s over.

It happens. Shit that is. But going through it can, and does, hurt. This fucking sucks quite frankly. You spend 15 years with someone and then its over, and all you can do is look around and think “What do I do now?” Still looking for an answer to that question. People keep telling me to give it time. I suppose they are right.

So I find myself sitting here alone. Up until she moved out we hadn’t been apart for more than a week, and even then we talked on the phone every day. But now its been almost 3 months. Sure we’ve talked since then, seen each other a few times. But its not the same.

All I can do now is accept that I gave it my best effort. I tried. Tried to be a good husband, a good friend. In the end of course none of that mattered. I would say I wish things didn’t have to go the route they are now heading, but divorces are never fun.

My plan for now is to weather this storm. To write, to live, to move on. More to follow.

One more post up over yonder

October 2, 2011

Go check it out.

Race – An Essay Question

September 25, 2011

Haven’t posted on DKos in a while (or here for that matter). Here is my latest: race.

Andrew Wyeth 1917-2009

January 17, 2009

Wyeth was one of my favorite painters. I caught an exhibit of his work at the Philadelphia Museum of Art a couple of years ago. He truly was a national treasure.

A moment of silence

February 23, 2008

Let us take a moment to honor a fallen hero:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s motorcade met tragedy Friday when one of these motorcycle escorts, a Dallas police officer, was killed as he failed to negotiate a curve and slammed into a concrete guardrail.

It happened about 9:15 a.m. as the motorcade was headed across the Houston Street Viaduct toward a rally in Oak Cliff.

Senior Cpl. Victor Lozada was one of more than 30 motorcycle officers whose job it was to hold traffic at intersections while the black SUVs and patrol cars of the motorcade rolled through Dallas.

As the caravan headed south across the viaduct, Cpl. Lozada rounded a curve during his leapfrog toward the front. He apparently was unable to manage the turn.

Cpl. Lozada’s motorcycle ran up onto a sidewalk lining the viaduct, its momentum forcing it against the concrete railing, according to sources with knowledge of the investigation. Then it slammed head-on into a concrete outcropping.

The 49-year-old catapulted dozens of feet forward along the roadway, the force of the crash knocking off his helmet.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Cpl. Lozada’s family and friends.

once upon a time….

December 24, 2007

In case you just emerged from a coma it’s Christmas eve. Tomorrow morning the baby Jesus will rise from the pumpkin patch and give all the good boys and girls boiled eggs that explode into dazzling fireworks displays. Not really, but that would be pretty cool. Actually tomorrow is about discovering what a fat white man left for you under a dying tree after breaking into your house and possibly kissing your mother.

This is a strange time of year for me. I get those “holiday blues”, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense because I am doing pretty well right now. Maybe it’s that longing for days gone by, the regrets of the past year, or angst about the year to come. To counter the annoying sense of despair I seem saddled with, I went a little Christmas ape-shit.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not tacky enough to go all Griswold. Our lights outline the roof and chimney, and I did a little number on a tree in the front yard reminiscent of Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree. We do have three trees in the living room though. One seven foot, one three foot, both fake. And one two foot ceramic tree that my parents bequeathed to me this year. The ceramic tree was always in our living room growing up, and so it kind of symbolizes this time of year for me. Now it sits in our living room. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll pass it on to our kid. I did go a little overboard on the presents, but who’s going to complain? Just doing my part to fight terrorism by participating in capitalism.

Getting into the decorating spirit has been good for me. And I don’t care if it’s a religious holiday, or who stole who’s festival and co-opted who’s symbols. Put up lights on everything! Go ahead and put a manger in your yard, a pentagram or a giant lit up dreidel. Just go with it. How often is it not only ok, but encouraged, to decorate your house in crazy lights? Why pass up a chance to give gifts to the one’s you love?

And the music. I have had Christmas music living in the stereo since the day after Thanksgiving. I found this set called “Ultimate Christmas Cocktails” and it’s the swankest Christmas music around. What I want to know is, what ever happened to caroling? We used to go caroling in my neighborhood growing up. All of us kids would stand there singing at the doorways of strangers, then go right inside for fudge and cookies, and on to the next house. I even sometimes want to go to church this time of year for the singing. I wonder if they sing at midnight mass.

Anyhow, add the food, the drinks and the fact that I got the week off, and this holiday season thing rocks. Hell yes Merry Christmas. I’ll celebrate damn near anything that gets me out of work. Hanukah would be a lot more popular if people got those eight days to sit at home and get pissed drunk.

One thing I have been thinking about this year is traditions. This is most likely our last winter just the two of us. After this it’s all about the little one. We have always enjoyed quiet Christmas mornings, just us and some coffee. In a few years it will be paper shredding, squeals of joy and a lot of picture taking. And we will have to start visiting relatives for the holidays, the horror. But at least I’ll finally have an excuse to go toy shopping.

If only it would snow. Start an ice age if need be, I just want some damn snow tomorrow morning. We need to move further north. Right now it’s just cold. Really cold, like stay in the house because there is no reason to go outside because there isn’t any snow to play in so why suffer cold. I miss sledding. It’s a great feeling, the wind on your face as you barrel out of control faster and faster down a hill side, screaming with exhilaration and fear. Plus building snowmen, and snow forts for the snow ball fights. I remember all of it, and it was fun. I would suffer snow shoveling to give our child those memories.

Hope you got tomorrow off work. If you don’t, I hope you are at least getting holiday pay. What ever you do this year, spend some time with those you love. Me, I’ll be curled up with the mrs. and a glass of hot rum and cider.

Merrappy ChristmaHanaFestivuKwanzaKa!

For Crying Out Load

August 1, 2007

Get a clue people. I am fucking over it. It’s all poison to the mind. We have turned the “Garden of Eden”, the only glimmer of paradise in the cold vacuum of infinite reality, into a shit hole. And I mean every one of us. Pay taxes? You’re part of the problem. Drive a car? Surf the net? You are sponsoring your own destruction. So what the fuck is the point of this whole god damn game? Why do I get up everyday and participate in this crap? Why do we prop up a government that could give a shit about us? Or religions that fill us with hate? Is there some flaw in our design? Are we just acting like the apes we are, just with nukes instead of bones?

I have tried for years to understand the human animal. But what escapes me is why this, this world around us, is the reality we choose to make for ourselves. We have virtually infinite potential. We can do damn near anything we want, and this is what we manifest? Really? Fuck us, fuck us all. We deserve nothing because we have been given everything, the keys to the gates of paradise, and we turned the fucking place into a strip mall.

I just don’t know what to do with it all anymore. My head is a god damn mess. Politics, religion, war, environmental collapse, economic collapse; it’s all coming to get us. Run for your lives. Too bad there is no place else to go. So sit in the shit like the rest of the monkeys and throw some at the windows.

But whatever. Move along, nothing to see here.

Missed my blog B-Day

June 7, 2007

This blog turned 4 years old yesterday. Happy belated birthday to me and my monkey.