Good Night, Irene

I’m convinced that my grandpa used to sing this song.  And yet, there’s not a whole lot to suggest that my grandpa would have ever sang to us.  My grandma used to sing to us all the time, but I don’t ever remember my grandpa singing to us.

And yet, I am convinced I’ve heard him singing “Good Night, Irene.”

I need to remember to ask my dad about that.

This is a sorry excuse for a post, I realize. I’m up to some other writing project.  If I stick it out past thirty pages, I’ll tell you about it.  Otherwise, I don’t want to jinx myself.

You Know What They Say about Assuming–Another Open Letter to Kleinheider

Dear Mr. Tiny Pasture*:

I could spend my afternoon fretting about the Butcher, who is spending his afternoon sitting in a doctor’s office.  I could spend my afternoon coming up with reasons why men with big brown eyes should beg me to let them plant gentle kisses on my cooter**.  Hell, I could finish up lunch and get back to work.

But instead, I’ve got to ponder your latest immigration nonsense.

On Friday you were all “Oh, boo-hoo amnesty is not fair.” Today you’re all “Oh, boo-hoo amnesty is not fair.” Again.  Christ Jesus.  Most folks wait to see if a song is going to hit the top of the charts before they turn around and put out the remix.

And here’s me, putting out the answer song.  That’s how nerdy I am.  When was the last time anyone put out an answer song?  1964?  And, really, with the exception of Kitty Wells’s “It wasn’t God who made Honky Tonk Angels,” has there ever been a good answer song?

Not that I can think of.  Which means, Sir, that you’re forcing me into a genre that is, by definition, failed.  Thanks.  Thanks a lot.

Anyway, I have some questions for you.

You say, “Well, I could point out the fact that you cannot simply issue conditional pardons for mass amounts of people who break the law. What does it say about the seriousness in which we hold our laws?” And yet, are you not the same man who said, when talking about issuing conditional pardons for mass amounts of people who break the law, “Now, personally, while I believe civil disobedience is preferable violent insurrection I wouldn’t have a problem with excusing an aggravated assault as long as no one was permanently injured. But that’s just me.”

Go on, ponder that.  It’s such a good point that I, myself, need to take a minute and spend some time delighting in my own brilliance.

Whew, okay, I’m done.

Next, you say, “The reason we cannot grant amnesty, apart from all the issues surrounding the preservation of the rule of law, is that we simply have more immigrants coming into this country than we can properly absorb either economically or culturally.”  To which I must say, “Says who?”  Really, by what standard are you judging whether folks can be “properly” absorbed?

Today, you’re all, “Why should we need an amendment to make sure that illegals return to their home country in order to apply for legal residency? Is that not a given?”  You realize, of course, that there are people who have been in this country illegally since they were small children.  This is their home country.  You must also realize that there are people who are here in this country illegally because their home countries are dangerous shit-holes, often made that way by our fucked-up foreign policy.  Shall we inflict probable death sentences on them?

Also, Mr. “Conservative.”  Who will pay to remove these folks to their “homelands?”  Who’s paying for the plane tickets for 15 million people?  You’re going to go to the American tax payers and ask for international airfare for fifteen million people?  Woo-hoo!  I CANNOT wait to see how that goes over.

You tickle me, Tiny Pasture.

Love,

Aunt B.

P.S. I’m thinking about writing an open letter to the Blue Collar Muse.  Do you think it’s too soon to subject him to such hazing?  And yet, today, when talking about how to solve the problems of Black America (whatever that means), he actually says, and I quote, when talking about the promises he thinks Obama is making to his potential voters, “Evidently, a return to economic prosperity and the 1950’s heyday of ‘a chicken in every pot and two cars in every garage’ is just around the corner in January of 2009 when George “Just call me Sauron, all my enemies do!” Bush is no longer President. [emphasis mine]”

Let me just reiterate, Carter, your fellow Rightie, a man you quote today, is offering up political analysis in which he posits that Barak Obama is promising Black America a return to “the 1950’s [sic] heyday of ‘a chicken in every pot and two cars in every garage'” if only they vote for him.

One more time for the slow: Blue Collar Muse thinks that Barak Obama is promising Black America a return to the 1950s if they vote for him.

Because Barak Obama wants to commit political suicide?!  What the fuck?!

How can I not open-letter than nonsense?

And yet, I don’t because I just met the dude and we talked about “The Blues Brothers.”  We bonded over the Joliet prison.  But this nonsense?

Ah, well, I refrain.  But I will snicker about this notion of folks in the 50s all having two cars in their garages.

*I assume you prefer your non-immigrant name?

**”Reason #4: It’ll make Kleinheider uncomfortable to imagine it.”

Just How Far Reaching is this Anxiety?

An acquaintance of mine, Kathleen Fitzpatrick, wrote this book I love called, The Anxiety of Obsolescence: The American Novel in the Age of TelevisionShe even has a website in which you can peruse many of her brilliant ideas.

I mention this just because, courtesy of Kevin, comes this charmer from the LA Times.

I would like for Fitzpatrick to write another book and call it “The Anxiety of Obsolescence: Book Reviewing in the Age of Blogging.”

Christ, have you seen any better “But I’m an important white man with credentials!” whining than this?

Seriously, if this is what elitism breeds, bring on rabblism.

I Believe in Love, but How Can Men Who’ve Never Seen Light be Enlightened?

Here’s something y’all don’t know about me, really, because I don’t think about it that often.  I cannot stand to have my shoulders rubbed too hard.  Or hard at all.  It makes me want to throw up.

When I was in college, some well-meaning person was convinced that I “carried all my stress” in my shoulders and she would sit behind me and start, very lightly, rubbing them.  This felt like Heaven.  But then, as she got a feel for the lay of the muscles under the skin and where she felt like they were knotted beyond most relief, she’d start to rub harder, one thumb and then the other along the grain of my shoulder blade while her fingers held tight to the tops of my shoulders to keep me from running away.

And I would feel, along with excruciating pain, this release of something that almost had a smell.  I don’t mean that literally, it’s just that whatever happens in those muscles when they’re rubbed too hard, releases something that my brain doesn’t quite know how to process.  It feels like a chemical spill inside me.  My shoulders get all hot and then the heat starts to slide down my back and then there’s just this feeling of nausea, I guess like there should be a terrible smell, but isn’t.

So, yeah, I would guess that I do carry a lot of “stress” in my shoulders, but that being the case, I’d rather we not work on releasing it all in a big flood of toxic blah, but instead maybe just rub gently, peeling away layers at a time.

The recalcitrant brother doesn’t believe in evolution or in man-made global warming or in living on a lot of land that you don’t hunt.  He was tickled by the idea of going back to his boss and telling him about the crazy weekend he spent with the “real” liberals.  The recalcitrant brother is considered a liberal in his neck of the woods because he didn’t vote for Bush.

I’m not sure he voted at all.

I was also thinking about the blogger meet-up on Thursday, which, I have to say, was weird for me.  I’ll just say that up front.  It was weird.  And here’s why.  Because I used to be the type of person would didn’t go to those things because there’d be one other person or a couple of other people there who I wanted to talk to, if that, and otherwise, it’d just be a bunch of strangers.  And yet, I walked into this one and I was all like, “Well, thank god, there’s Kat Coble.” and then a second later, “Well, thank god, there’s Jag” or Ivy or Ginger or Kleinheider (speaking of which, if this is not proof of Wage’s talent, I don’t know what is.  Look how beautiful he manages to make them both look.) or Smiley or whoever.

I looked around the room and saw a bunch of people I just adore and a bunch of groups of people I wouldn’t mind spending the whole evening talking to.

I don’t know.  It’s weird.

I didn’t tell y’all but I saw a shrink on Wednesday.  It was the most unbearable thing I’ve ever been through, including having my shoulders rubbed by well-meaning, but too strong people.

As shrinks do, she wanted to know about my childhood and my transition into college.  So, we were talking about growing up in a fish bowl, feeling like I was the church’s pet, and the relief it was to go to college and be unknown, what a luxury it was to not be known.

And I do still feel like that’s a luxury–to have no one know who you are.  But it’s a luxury that becomes binding and I think I’d let myself be bound by it for a long time.  You see what I’m saying?  That I’d gone so long with being known in ways I couldn’t control that I went to the other extreme and tried to keep myself in some controlled state of anonymity.

And now, maybe, I’m striking some kind of balance, to be known and liked on my own terms, for who I am.

It makes me wonder if I can do that for my brothers.  I hope so.

Anyway, this is wandering all over the place, but the shrink thought, after listening to me for an hour, that I don’t need her services, but maybe the services of a sleep specialist.  Still, my point is that opening myself up like that was really, really difficult.  I felt very exposed and, again, like my life was up for scrutiny and that any abnormalities would be weighed against me.

But I guess not.

I hate those times when you can feel time slipping away from you.  That’s really how I felt all week, that no matter how much we did this stuff, I would never be here with these folks in this way often enough.

That, my friends, is why I get drunk and want to fuck you.  Not because you’re gorgeous, with your lively smiles and your dancing laughs, and not because I’m in love with you and want to break up all your relationships and force you to devote all your energy into worshipping me, but because these moments seem so fleeting and I want to carry you with me after this all passes.

It’s fleeting, time.  It’s a cliché, but it’s a cliché because it’s true.  And there will come a time when we don’t have this any more and I just can’t help but long for something to remember you by.

Ha, you know, maybe that would have been a more productive hour with the shrink–instead of talking about my childhood, we could have talked about how being happy makes me sad.