Archive for September, 2010

SWPL as passive racism

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Before yesterday’s 113 degree hellishness, there was Sunday which was quite warm and offered a forewarning of what was in store for yesterday. I thought I would flee the smoky barrio and hang out in one of the coastal OC communities for a few afternoon hours. The beach cities are the place to be when the inland areas begin smelting under the voracious sun. The problem was that even the beach cities provided no refuge from the heat. The sun beat down and the wind barely murmured just a couple of miles inland. That should have told me something right there…

Anyways, I drove down there in order to catch a glimpse of how the “other half” lives. In other words, the White folks who enjoy the fruits of their labors in their delightful beach-front existence. And all the placid wonder that goes along with it. Quaint restaurants, specialized grocery stores, peaceful shopping areas, the stuff you aren’t likely to see in East L.A. or any other inner city environs.

I grabbed lunch at Wahoo’s, a tasty “healthy Mex” restaurant where you can choose between white or brown rice, black or pinto beans, boiled not refried. All the dishes have that wholesome fresh feel and heavy shortening or salt are not to be found. Unlike the type of plates you’d normally find in the typical hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant in my neighborhood. In my neighborhood the Spanish rice is fried and salty, the chips are so oily your fingers shine after eating a few, and the beans all come in pinto and refried (although I know of one restaurant that will serve them “a la olla,” or boiled, upon request). The food is typically lardy and rich and has that “authentically” heavy Mexican feel which leaves you feeling stuffed and explosive. Not so at Wahoo’s. I ordered a fish taco (whole fish fillets, none of that fishstick crap), brown rice and black beans and the chips were light and crispy. So healthy and filling, so unlike anything I could ever find in East L.A. It occurred to me that it was a very SWPL kind of experience. Light healthy faire with brown rice and black beans. This could only be the bastard Mexican child of a White mind!

Later, I shopped at a small farmer’s market called Sprouts that has the greatest, neatest and largest selection of fruit, vegetables and raw nuts for a reasonable price. The market’s products are obviously geared toward the healthy, clean eater, and once again, this is not the sort of place I’m likely to find haunting my own hood.
Never.

After lunch, I strolled around a pedestrian area with small shops that sold overpriced children’s items, frozen yogurt, expensive rustic furniture.
My God, this was such a White afternoon for me. Leaving the pounding world of over amplified Suburbans and screaming Spanish music behind is refreshing for the soul. While I sat at a table eating frozen chocolate yogurt, it occurred to me that many of the items I purchased this afternoon were not expensive. They were no more pricey than anything I might buy in my neck of the woods. Essentially, the price range of everything I’d spent money on down there was distinctly within the price range of most middle class Mexican-Americans in the East Los Angeles region. Yet, there was nothing like this to be found there. I would die for a Wahoo’s in my backyard, or a Sprouts so I wouldn’t have to drive over 20 miles just to buy a couple pounds of raw walnuts and almonds or reasonably priced produce. I would love to buy a lean-beefed enchilada with brown rice and black beans if the mood struck. But I don’t have that option being a resident of 90%+ Mexican inhabited East Los Angeles.

As I sat, I watched people stroll by, some carting strollers or slowly walking toddlers. Everyone wore crisp shorts and sandals and conservative shirts. The theme seemed to be “White Sensible.” Everything was self-conscious and strictly uptight. Friendly and welcoming, but not. Very cloistered and non-inclusive. It was an immaculate world unto itself with no uncontrollably harsh or rash behavior. Sensible. Yes, that word.

SWPL is…that.
The thought struck me that perhaps SWPL is really a surreptitiously disguised form of racism, folded behind the benign mask of efficient smartness while White people went their own way this warm afternoon, enjoying this secluded beach day and basking in all the things SWPL. The industries of healthy, light food and frozen yogurt are so very inherently SWPL. And the industries recognize that they must not venture into areas where SWPL is as foreign a concept as can possibly be. East L.A., definitely not SWPL. The Mexican blue-collar mentality in some respects is the antithesis of SWPL.

SWPL is racism for liberals and “socially aware” folks who might never quite bring themselves to accept their own racism, such is their sense of conformist shame. Hell, most of them probably voted for Obama amidst a self-congratulatory flurry of lever pulling. Lost in such self-denial, the concept of racism abhors them and the ostensible ends of racism are accomplished and derived in a very indirect, subconscious and backhanded manner without ever confronting the ugly “R” word for what it really is. Instead, they install shopping scenarios which exclude dark minorities by offering products which are avowedly White. The fact that I, a Mexican, enjoy brown rice and black beans co-mingled in a soupy side dish only means that it’s not unusual to find me in the restaurant all alone with myself as a representative of my ethnicity save for a few of the workers. Same with Sprouts…the product offerings of Sprouts, healthy, whole, clean, essentially alienate many shoppers of color, not by price but by nature of product. Of all the times I’ve been in Sprouts, I’ve only seen Hispanic customers a couple of times. SWPL is racist by lifestyle and SWPL flocks to activities and marketplaces which are guaranteed unofficial markers of largely White majority attendance and patronization.

Racism is an ugly word and people either find a way to express this unpopular facet of their character by avoiding recognizing their habits as such and dressing them up in pretty lifestyle affectations, or they own up to it behind the protective facade of logic and reason and science…ala, HBD. SWPL’s indulge in racism in the most passive and indirect manner possible…by partaking of a lifestyle which is guaranteed to exclude darker shaded people and which thus allows them to live the exclusionary lifestyle of a racist without ever confronting it.

In this respect, I find it easiest to respect racists who call themselves racists while making no excuses or cloaking their hate behind the disguise of science or lifestyle.

113 degrees and a fish market mirage

Monday, September 27th, 2010

When I disembarked the Red Line in Pershing Square this evening and climbed the stairs to downtown’s street level clusterfuck, I was greeted with the unsettling odor of a fish market.
Except…there is no fish market.
Not in Pershing Square.

It’s like…Los Angeles takes unkindly to weather extremes.

We are a balmy city.
That’s what’s great about L.A.
It’s never Caribbean sticky nor Kalispell frigid.
Our weather always straddles that inoffensive comfort zone.
Our typical weather forecast is boringly innocuous. It contains the maddening regularity of a senior citizen’s meal plan.

So once in a long-ass while, you get this.

Anyone who has spent time in the summer desert can understand a dry 113 degrees.
It’s probably the most emptily repeated refrain about the saving grace of desert aridness…at least it’s “dry heat” they say. And it’s true. I’ll choose 2% humidity and 113 degrees Fahrenheit over a 90-degree, 85% humidity day in Orlando (plus I despise all things Disney). If you pace yourself wisely in dry heat, you won’t break a major sweat and you’ll never experience the sensation of drowning. The problem is that by day 2 or 3, you start getting parched everything. Areas you never knew existed start drying up and cracking. Bleeding. And even though I hear folks say L.A. is in the desert, they fail to mention it is also on the coast. Often it is the competing elements of ice and fire meeting over the halo of the Los Angeles basin that bless us with the most merciful weather.

Unfortunately, one side won the battle today.

As I said, climbing to street level this evening I was greeted with the massive odor of fish.
Nasty-ass putrid fish.

If I was at Fisherman’s Wharf, it would have been delightful and appetizing.
At Pershing Square, not so.
See, the senses of smell and sight are inextricably and indirectly bonded.

If you smell Parmesan cheese while the image of sizzling baked cheese bubbles over pasta, you salivate.
If you smell Parmesan cheese while the image of a puddle of late night Italian vomit sits on the sidewalk, you gag.

That fishy smell is fine in the right context.

You do not want to smell it as you’re darting through scattered hordes of filthy homeless and overfilled public trash barrels and streets and sidewalks dotted with every manner of stain imaginable. And that fish smell lingered from the minute I walked up the 2 flights of stairs from the Red Line’s caverns up to the shitfest called Pershing Sqaure. Tracked me all the way to the bus stop like the dust cloud that followed Pig-Pen in the old Peanuts cartoons. Luckily the bus arrived quickly and mercifully.

Los Angeles is not constructed with the ostensible purpose of exposure to extreme elements of rain or heat. Putting this city under the desert lamp is analogous to sticking a dirty pair of underwear under a heat lamp in order to loosen up all the wonderful odors so they may waft thickly into the air. Pour too much water on this city and you jar loose and wash away clumps of decayed matter into the drain and you end up with a clog. Los Angeles can handle the mild. It can handle the palatable.
Los Angeles shines when she is not put to the task.
Ask her to do something other than that and she falters.
She stinks and and she jams. You throw her into chaotic frenzy if you make her think.

Los Angeles. She is a company town.

How I almost became the Pick-Up Bandit

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Check it out, I’m about to let you in on a secret.

I haven’t always been this suave, charming, sexual conquistador you see and read now.
Enrique Iglesias eat your half-breed heart out.
That’s right man, I was once an unpopular and socially maladjusted geek.
Seems so long ago now.

When it came to women, I was terrible.
I made every conceivable mistake out of the Player’s Handbook. See, back when I was young(er) there was no PUA community to read up on and smooth out my non-existent Game. I was a babe in the wilderness and I didn’t enjoy the privilege of feeding off the scraps of accumulated male wisdom of the many who walked before me. Nope, I once struggled and deliberated like a simpering half-man.

I made ridiculous and embarrassing moves in my quest to get laid and find the perfect “girlfriend.”
I went on dinner dates, I bought gifts for women I barely knew, I wrote ridiculous and shameless letters of devotion to girls who hadn’t even put out. I sent Roses, damnit. My hair was poofy and ridiculously mountainous and I had no sideburns. I was chubby and my face looked vaguely chipmunk-like. I was a walking blue-balled disaster. With a personality to match. I simpered, I cowered. I lowered my snout to the ground whenever a beautiful girl strolled by.

Women were god. And that’s how I treated them.

Lacking self assurance, lacking confidence, I was a sorry excuse for masculinity.

Sometimes, sitting here in my apartment on a lonely Friday night while I surf and act like a hard-assed Online Man while the real world buzzes in all its lively glory outside my window, I reminisce about my days of utter pussified wimpdom and shake my head in disgust.

I remember. I recall incidents of debilitating and soul-wrenching shame.
I was such a poor excuse for a man!
How the tides have changed!

I am a man now, a man of strength, stoic in the face of adversity, resolute against the capricious nonsense of the modern woman. I stand my ground and don’t take shit.
Of course, I don’t expose myself; I don’t risk anything because I’ve retreated into this little bubble called my inner sanctum where the distasteful world is kept distantly at bay by my private and non-exploratory nature. Not risking, I don’t lose, and not losing, my self-esteem thus has a chance to blossom out of control beyond all logic and reason. So I can honestly sit here and proclaim my utter manhood.

But tales from the past do recall…

So many to choose.

Let’s pull one from my hat of ill-fated infamy.

Like, back when I was…hmmm. 25?
I did my banking at a small credit union in Koreatown. The credit union had it’s central office in another city far away but since I worked near a small satellite office, it was very convenient to take my paycheck there every couple of weeks for deposit. Electric and digital options weren’t quite as plentiful as they are now so I needed to take precious lunch time to go deposit that slip of paper into my bank account. I don’t recall if my employer offered automatic deposit, but in any case I spent a few minutes driving through the turbulent streets of K-town in order to reach the quiet little credit union which was located on the 2nd floor of a small building interspersed with rows of gated apartment buildings. The same tellers were there every week. This was a small credit union and there was no major mother ship head office to report to and the service was chummy and personal.

There was the time a new chick started working as a teller. I instantly eyed her in all my bumbling ineptitude. She was Latina with very narrow features, beautiful porcelain skin, and she possessed what is my greatest downfall in women; dark, sultry cat eyes. Rawr. I love that shit. The few times I was lucky enough to end up at her window convinced me that her mandated smiles were not only the result of a warm business script, but also due to an unmistakable passion on her part. She wanted me. I wanted her. And that beaconing and coy “hi” she greeted me with each time I handed her my paycheck was proof. She was mine for the taking, and I planned on taking. I had no idea if I was tough, I had no idea what to do. But I proceeded with my plans. My motives. I honestly forget her name, but let’s say it was “Maria.” Her eyes and smile knocked me off my feet. She had no wedding ring. If only I could squeeze out some alone time with her I could let my charm do its magic on Maria…!

The fact she was secluded behind 2 panes of thick glass (K-town is a rough neighborhood) didn’t matter. Maybe it should have, for I didn’t have the slightest clue how to handle this obstacle. But like a dog driven by the heat magnet of a fertile bitch, I was unstoppable.

Maria needed me. She was single.
She had beautiful eyes.
And she smiled at me.
How long did I plan and strategize this fiasco?

For months. Each time I ended in her line I smiled weakly and fizzled. I lost my balls in her presence. It was so quiet in the credit union. You could hear a pin drop.
But I needed to work it. But how can you work it when everyone and their uncle can hear you work it?
I minded, so I refrained.
How many weeks and months passed of agonizing longing and guessing and wondering.
If only I could break through that double-paned glass!
Just a moment with her and I could guide her to my side with a few well-placed charming isms.
I could have her. This I knew.
One day, it struck me. The plan.
Like a group of bank robbers stumbling onto the perfect heist, I came upon the perfect plan to draw my soon-to-be-girlfriend out of her guarded prison.
I would write her a note!
I would write a note in which I would ask her to lunch, slip it under the glass, let her read it in joyful wonder and await her enthusiastic acceptance of my invitation. The plan was a no-lose proposition.
It was such a cinch.
It was only a matter of execution, and baby, I was ready to execute!

On the appointed day, I wrote my note on a small piece of paper.
I can’t remember the precise words.
How I wish I had kept the note for posterity.
It might belong in a museum if people bothered to create such monuments to commemorate utter idiocy.
But I must have thrown it away or stirred it into a Jack Daniels Manhattan, for it is gone. The note I wrote asked her out to lunch.

The hands of fate seemed to carry me on a flight of victory because I happened to land in her line that day. There was one other teller on duty, an old lady, and as I approached Maria’s window I withdrew the note and handed it to her along with my paycheck and waited for her face to light up. Instead, she looked puzzled and alarmed as she opened the note and read it. Discomfited, maybe? She fidgeted and said loudly enough that the whole fucking office could hear, “Oh thank you, but I can’t. I’m married!” The other teller glanced over and they traded looks. I don’t recall how I played it off, but my life crumbled for a few seconds. After she handed my deposit receipt back to me, I grabbed it and fled that building like a desperate robber.

I never seemed to end up in her line again after that incident, oddly enough.
I remember once she specifically got up and vanished after I walked in the front door.

“Cool” as an expression of anti-Western consumerism

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

I found this very detailed examination by Chuck on a subject near and dear to my heart.

Coolness.

Apparently, the least cool happen to be the most prone to diligently immerse themselves in the practice of deciphering and reverse engineering COOL.
Cool.
Are YOU a cool motherfucker?

Chuck examines the elemental structure Cool from a racial perspective of “black Coolness.” He illustrates the ostensible trend-setting Coolness of black entertainers, athletes, and the American black populace in general. He chides Cool for representing an existential opposition to the values of “Western culture.” Actually, he demonizes Cool as a slacker black quality which represents the strict antithesis to the glorious American way of life. He points to Cool as the reason, or symptom, for blacks’ inability to embrace materialistic American society and all its trappings of education, consumerism and status obsession.

Therein lies a problem.

As outlined, Cool is primarily a black quality.
But.
Cool also represents a broad range of qualities which blacks, by virtue of their historic path, fall into, and the problem that has become the modern criminal-minded pop culture has thus usurped Cool and twisted it into a psychopathic self-absorbed clown show. Cool, as expressed by spoiled and self-involved athletes and entertainers has transformed into a mythical and pre-ordained trait which blacks automatically inherit by being black. Cool, perverted by what we see on MTV, is not what Cool truly is. Chuck himself has bought into the pop culture paradigm which redefines Cool as a veritable feast of stupidity and one-dimensional thoughtlessness.

NO, Cool is the indomitable standard that can be expressed through anyone in our society, but which, finding a most suitable home in the conscience of the modern black American, has allowed black celebrities to usurp and conquer the Cool moniker for the sake of the legions of pop culture connoisseurs.

It’s tempting (and easy) to buy into the concept of Cool as the putative province of Black culture. But Cool comes in all colors and guises. In principle, Cool is ageless and “raceless,” but I’m a pragmatist and I admit that in the real world where perceptions are generally shaped by the mass media, Cool hinges upon the ability to act and dress like a rapper or a baller.

My point is that anyone can be cool if they first surrender the suffocating trappings of modern consumerist society.

In this respect, I would venture that “cool” as a personal quality is more closely aligned with class than race. Black Americans, generally falling into the lower economic classes, are also culturally aligned with the Cool factor which closely parallels the Cool paradigm. Cool as a behavioral quality is difficult to maintain for the upper economic classes.

A Tale of Two Worlds

On Thursday, I posted about the first leg of an eventful public transportation commute to work. I did not go further into the second leg of my trip because at over 1,000 words, the post was in danger of turning into a saga (much as this one is/has). If I had continued, I would have described the portion of my commute in which I boarded the Red Line to Hollywood and watched in dismay as my empty car was suddenly swarmed by a mass of inner city high school kids at one of the ghetto-trodden stations. I stood in the corner, pressed, and a couple of black guys with chicks in tow stood next to me. They were accompanied by a black girl who stood to my left, away from them. One of the kids was relatively quiet and undemonstrative, but the other, a taller dude dressed with all the accoutrements of a young urban black male, was an explosion of animated and boisterous physical expression. He entertained his friends with a constant stream of dialog and festival of gestations and he stood directly to my right easily out-Alpha’ing me with his spacial invasion and even grasping the bar I leaned against above my head. I listened to my earphones, so I could not hear what he was saying, but even without sound I could tell he was Cool Incarnate simply by his body language and the rapt feedback he elicited in his small audience. He epitomized the notion of Black coolness as perceived by the inhibited White audience.

You know….cool is loud, it’s obnoxious, it’s rhythmic.
You know cool, right?
Interestingly, the black girl who boarded with them was very much the “stoic” symbol of coolness who remained apart. She stood calmly with a serene expression molded on her face. Her eyes sparkled and a slight smile bent her lips when amused. She was a very pretty girl and stood in fixed, statuesque position. She did not talk loudly nor laugh like a crazed hyena even though the guy to my right continued to act out in a self-fulfilling manner which was most likely shaped by what his favorite celebrity cultural icon blueprinted for him.
The girl was Cool. But not in the manner which most are likely to visualize as Cool because the quality has been distorted and corrupted by the mass media. The kid…played the clownish Cool we accept as the iconic representation of that word.

By the time I reached Hollywood (a journey delayed multiple times as the train slinked lazily through the darkened tunnels for whatever reason), I was exhausted and after I made my way into the corporate catacombs I call Home during the day, I was ill-prepared to brave the un-Cool vibe of the modern Anglo work place. People rushing around like chickens without a head, people with bloated senses of self-importance and purpose, rushing, racing through hallways, Blackberry’s at the ready, a sea of self-important bullshit. The modern business world presented a stark contrast to the Cool images I beheld just minutes earlier on the train ride.

Cool runs deeper than race.

Cool is an attitude, as they say. It’s an inherent outlook.

Fifteen years ago I worked for a Hollywood company, and the head of Sales was a middle-aged white dude who was the coolest workforce cat I’ve ever worked with.

He sauntered around deliberately, maintained a neutral and expressionless face, and never appeared fazed by anything the typical Industry work day could dish out (which is a lot). He strutted through the halls and effused the image of someone without a concern in the world. He was fucking cool. Made triply amazing by the fact that he was an executive level participant. He had a lot to lose but he didn’t act it. He was not a jovial or loud man. He was not clownish. His speech was steady and moderately leveled.

I was especially awed by his deliberateness. He never knew, but the dude was my furtive mentor. I found myself mimicking his demeanor from that moment on as I made my way through a gypsy path of various employers while managing to skirt the self-important edges of the corporate Industry. Having glimpsed his Cool aspect, I came to an important realization. He was the only truly Cool guy I’ve ever seen in an executive position. Most executives are anything but Cool. They look frazzled and worried and distracted and overly involved in maintaining their precarious role and position in their fetishistic environment while simultaneously sneaking looks at their email while sitting in the bathroom-stalled anonymity of the crapper.

What I realized about Cool is that one necessary element of Cool, regardless of race or creed, is this:

A Cool person owns himself.

That’s what being a cool cat is about.
You must own yourself.

Meaning that you have everything under complete control. Your life is under your thumb. Unfortunately, in this scattered and status-driven consumerist era, it is increasingly difficult for most people to keep their life under their thumb. The modern economic era is indifferent and damaging to the maintenance of Cool for those involved in the intricacies of society. To be Cool is to eschew that which drives the modern animal.

Cool is a manifest expression of not needing.

Most kids, regardless of other factors, fall somewhat in a “cool” category simply because they are young and have not learned to develop the ability to procure needs. The minute our youngster grows up, gets a job, earns money, discovers the ability to develop achievable needs, he loses his Coolness in gradually lessening increments, and the acceleration of this Cool drain is compounded by the pace and madness to which he seeks a lucrative life. The more we seek, the more we need, the more we devote our life to filling the void with status and wealth and stuff of various sorts, the less we are inclined to be Cool.

Cool is a luxury item for those with nothing (or less) to lose.

Cool has been monopolized by the pervasive image of the frolicking black inner city youth, and to a lesser extent, frolicking youth in general (see “Jersey Shore”). It’s not a black thing nor are blacks to be “blamed” for inciting the prevailing Cool image. The media, intent on selling and making a gruesome show of humanly extremes, enables and perpetuates outlandish behavior by abundantly portraying it in popular entertainment. The only people I see acting out like this are black youth, and once again, it is a youth- and class-driven phenomena, this Cool thing. Most black adults do not act out this way and to lay the Cool blame at their feet is delusional.

And the ones with the most to lose are those with the most to prove. Those who emanate from generational lineages of inbred accomplishment. A normal White or Asian, thus grounded and spawned from a childhood with the parental, familial and pop culture-ridden belief that they must scale certain minimal monuments of accomplishment (as set by peers and siblings) are thus born with a foot in the un-Cool grave before they have a chance to take their first step. Societal expectations dictate that they must uphold their reputation of consumerism and reflexive instinct to max out SAT scores and exaggerated driveway ornamentation. Thus grounded, how can one be Cool when he is already fractured of soul which has incidentally been sold to the highest bidder? How can you maintain Cool when you are in emotional and spiritual debt before you have a chance to claim your own sense of self? The day you can proclaim that you will be “somebody” with a “big house” and a “big car” with children and “the right school” and “the right diet” you immediately have relinquished your Life Ownership rights to the Big Society monster.

Thus immersed, you can no longer be Cool. For Cool is to not care. It does not matter if you arrive at Cool through the route of laziness or asceticism. All that matters is that your attitude unabashedly scolds the world, “Fuck you. I do not care. You cannot hold anything over my neck because your values of buy buy buy earn earn earn mean nothing to me.” Most black people, raised in a generational-induced environment of non-needs and low-to-existent expectations, are consequently able to assimilate a Cool attitude the moment they begin rocking their little crib, so to speak. Born into a world of diminishing needs is to be born into freedom from the stranglehold of Need. Writ as Cool. And distorted at the hands of MTV into a hybridized and disgusting sort of apish behavior.

One interesting note is that though Chuck has focussed on black people, I think it’s very pertinent to mention that Hispanics have a similar perspective. True, Hispanics are not portrayed very romantically in the mass media, but hang out in East L.A. or south of the border for a day or a week and you’ll note the differing pace of life. I’ll speak to the Mexican perspective since that is my origin. Talk about slow paced! Mexican culture, a culture based an a timeless (literally) American Indian notion of non-clock watching, is one of the most serene, non-materialistic and laid back right-brained worlds imaginable. I guarantee the “siesta” culture will never take root in modern America. It’s had centuries to try but has never caught on. Siestas are the antithesis of the modern make-every-second-count American mentality. Mexicans do as they wish, it seems. If you plan a party to begin at 1pm, most guests won’t begin spilling into until 2:30 or 3. I jokingly commented to my family that there should be an new time zone designation of “MDT” for Mexican Standard Time which is computed by adding 2 hours to any existing appointment/start time.

In spite of this Chuck-appointed quality of lackadaisical-ness as an intrinsic element of Cool, I would hardly call Mexican culture the epitome of “COOLNESS” according to the dictates of pop culture. Mexican men and their society have not typically been presented as a physical threat to the individual American white male. We are generally thought of as peaceful, short and dumpy. Truth hurts, but as they say on this side of the border, it is what it is. I think the rise of the Drug Lord Culture will somewhat ameliorate this image, but at what costs?

This runs deeply and is only possible at the hands of the Whites, Asians, and other purveyors of consumerism who unknowingly spawn the Cool matrix on their Five-Thousand inch TV’s.
Not blacks.
Blacks, the clownish entertainers, the actors, the easily-distracted athletes, though they are hardly representative of black people, have been placed on the center stage and asked to uphold behavior which mass media seeks to reinforce. And we, the hungry and lazy consumers…consume. It’s what we do. We do not ask to think or dissect. Chuck’s fixation on the black Cool factor is an extension of this. So while I do agree that black culture is the template against which all Coolness is portrayed, it does not define Cool. People are unable to recognize that Cool is not a racial hiccup. It becomes such only because the mass media and HBD closet racists are fond of defaulting to this mindset. It’s easier to blame another group for the usurpation of Cool than facing the fact you too are capable of Cool if only you would just drop the materialistic facade.

The day that self-deluded societal strivers (and the ethnic groups that compose most of them) repossess their own lives, slow down, realize that blind, frenzied, single-focussed madness is not Cool and not ironic is the day they will realize the roots of “coolness” that elude them.

Cool people ooze irony. They ooze comical insincerity and self-effacing daring. Cool is slightly aloof of one’s own conception. Uncool (you know, the crazed dude in his Prius who darts in and out of traffic with his Ferrrari balls) people need to reclaim their sense of Self. Stop the rushing, stop proving to the world that you are worthy of some vague notoriety because you have have all this ridiculous bullshit. Don’t take yourself so seriously. This world functioned well before you were born; it will function splendidly long after you are gone.

So you can drive a $50,000 steel coffin encasing you and your familiy?

Cool is not caring.

But at what cost?
Do we choose to care or do we choose to be Cool? Once we weigh our cargo down with possessions and people, it is difficult not to care, isn’t it? And thus, not easy to be Cool.

The Masters benefit from the perpetuation of the “Cool image” but they also benefit form the perpetuation of the Uncool contribution to society. Stop contributing. Be Cool.

Drop the pretense.
Lose the facade.

Embrace the Cool.

Alpha Bus Battle

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Back when this blog still had the pretense of normalcy, I used to have actual, orderly categories which made sense. I had one I called “pointless ruminations” which is pretty self-explanatory. It was filled with meandering posts that reflected a state of heightened creativity which unfortunately coexisted with an equally diminished sense of anything important to say. I felt like writing, I felt like pounding some shit out on the keyboard, but I could not think of anything worthy of noting. It’s probably what Hollywood writers experience daily; it best describes the creative force which drives the Industry for chrissakes.

My point being, this may very well be considered a “pointless ruminations” post because I’m feeling awfully wordy but I have absolutely nothing to say which can be construed as pertinent subject matter. Just a ridiculous whirlpool of thoughts log-jamming the pathways of my mind. Scary indeed.

You see, some days start out like pure Shit. Unadulterated, skunky, SHIT. Beginning the moment you leave the house to the moment you return. An incessant and veritable shitfest.
I think today ranks such for me.

First, the bus was really late.
There’s not much worse than waiting for a bus because buses run very loosely on any kind of set schedule. There are all manner of delays a bus can experience. Traffic tie-ups, incredibly slow geriatric riders who almost need to be carried on and off the bus while defibrillator’s stand at the ready, the idiot who doesn’t know how to fasten his bicycle to the front and holds the bus up for 5 minutes while he figures it out (I want to tell the bus driver “step on it, fuck him”), to the absurdly timid bus driver who drives like a complete pussy and turns a normal 35 minute ride through downtown into a 45 minute trek. Bus schedules are notoriously flaky, and for this reason, a “late” bus is a very anxiety-ridden endeavor. You stand there, and stand…and stand. And stand. Or, if it’s your thing, you sit and most bus benches are wretched gagfests that you wouldn’t even dare to touch with your ass. Bus benches are where people pass out, drool, vomit, piss, God knows what else. There’s a bus bench around town that is home to an incredibly repugnant homeless dude who is very overweight (never understood this dichotomy in a homeless person) and looks like he rolled around in tar and shit for an hour and his ass crack, Grand Canyon mammoth-wide, a dark and cavernous crevice of ickiness, slithers back and forth across the bench all hot day long. So if that’s your thing, please have a seat, but I prefer to stand, thank you. And I’m not a priss. I stood waiting for-fucking-ever while the morning rush hour droned by. Finally the bus pulled up and it was packed. I loaded myself in and it was standing room only. I tried to grasp a rail, but the bonsai driver didn’t know how to drive smoothly and his jerky procession threw me off balance. I looked like a complete spaz, and compounding matters was the fact that I was gloriously splayed out in front of the bus (because I couldn’t burrow in any deeper because of the dense crowd) and my less than graceful movements and herky-jerky off-kilter shit was visible to all. I felt like I was on the retarded stage and everyone could see and laugh at my antics as I tried to maintain my balanced dignity while the driver apparently delighted in firing the gas pedal at will.

I’m happy to report that after a couple stops and the exiting of a few more deadbeat passengers, I was finally able to make it to a seat which had the most cramped floorspace imaginable, and this from someone whose “vertical limitations” frequently leave me in a comfortable state of existence while others of normal or above-average stature may not be enjoying the free range of leg motion I do (when sitting).

I had the window seat, and some guy, after climbing the bus, came and sat next to me. Here you have two grown men, sharing a space which a couple of 6th grade girls would be hard-pressed to share comfortably. As a man, you must air out your balls and sit like a man. A man spreads ’em. A straight man does not let his knees touch. So you scrunch two guys together and you may get some “jockeying” so to speak…jockeying for space, for that precious Alpha space. Who will nudge the other out of competition? Which of the men will pussy out and retract his knee from the playing field? Who is the first man to relinquish his manhood and let his knees approach each other in a sweet swelling position? Well I wasn’t about to give up space, but at the same time, I’m not one to nudge. My knees were placed a realistically masculine distance apart. My gonads were not squeezed or suffocated, but conversely, I was not impinging upon my neighbor. Well fuck. Turned out my neighbor was crowding me…but I didn’t budge! The bastard was rubbing my knee with his but I refused to surrender an inch. A Battle of Men was underway. Who would surrender his space, his cock, to the male intruder, who would allow his manliness to be usurped by the careless and reckless spacial thoughtlessness of his neighbor? Well, his exit came before we could find out. He left the bus (he had a peculiar and creepy comb-over) and was soon replaced by another guy who was much taller and larger and my heart sank. I was exhausted from the previous battle, I was not up to another with this big bruiser. Defeat was mine. My knees trembled in anticipation of this assault….but.

The big dude sat down and never once made contact with my knee. A big guy, taller than my previous neighbor, was able to sit in the seat without making the slightest contact with my knee.
Ugh.
Which meant that neighbor #1 was freely and joyously letting his knee buffet mine and I misread it as masculine knee-butting one-upsmanship Alpha posturing… And with further horror I remembered that when he first sat down, he sat on a loose portion of my earphone strap that was resting on the empty seat. Realizing there was no loose play on the wire, I pulled it from under his ass and he looked at me in a not entirely irritated manner.

As chicks say. Eww.