I’m sure you all remember me telling you about the MIHOW program and how great it is and blah blah blah. Well, they’ve got a video up now on the internet! which you should check out because… well, because why not?
If “English Only/First” doesn’t pass, I will faint in shock. But I was talking to John Lamb about this and he said, and I believe him, that even if it does pass, this won’t be the end of it. This is an issue perfectly designed for Crafton to ride it for as long as he likes. If it doesn’t pass, he’ll bring it again and again and again. If it does pass, it’s not going to work. Everyone knows that. There’s no way that the city is going to give up that federal money, so people will still hear languages other than English, so Crafton will be able to bring up more measures designed to “strengthen” English only.
This fight is going to go on. There’s only one way to stop it that I see: point out that it’s racist as fuck.
“First it was ‘Whites Only.’ Now it’s ‘English Only.’ Stop the hate.”
“Why am I against ‘English Only’? Because I’m not a bigot.”
Why bother pretending otherwise? And it’s going to win because we don’t want real change, we just want to be the ones who get to inflict misery.
Gah, the whole thing pisses me off.
Republicans, how are you going to make Tennessee better? How do you intend to use these three planks to benefit the people of the state of Tennessee? How will your 3G platform provide economic development and jobs to the thousands of Tennesseans who are either out of work or underemployed? How will the platform you ran on ensure that Tennesseans are safe in their homes from the predatory lending practices that have contributed to these unstable economic times? What will your platform do to educate our children, not only for the jobs of the 21st Century, but a job market that is contracting? An increase in violent crime almost always follows uncertain economic times, what does your 3g platform do to keep our communities safe? Seriously, I want to know.
And, I, too, have been wondering about that. I keep having these half-formed thoughts, about the ways in which the Republicans seem to be behaving like it’s the middle ages and they are all knights of the round table. And then there’s all the “Judas” talk and the poignant, “But Mumpower brought his family Bible” stuff, and then the preaching in the Statehouse and the bizarre inability of the Republicans to anticipate what seem to be pretty par-for-the-course political shenanigans and the mourning for the Belmont kids who don’t have the cushy political jobs they thought they had and, suddenly, it’s like there’s enough dots to connect to make the outline of a picture.
And I think that the picture looks like this–1. The Republicans are on the side of God; 2. The Republicans are willing to advance what they believe is God’s agenda; and, therefore, 3. if they are able to advance God’s agenda far enough, God will take care of the rest. Jesus, my friend, will fix the state, if only we are willing to let the Republicans enact Jesus’ will.
I know it sounds ridiculous on the surface, but give it a moment to sink in. Once you’ve decided that God will take care of you, if only you really really committ to him, then proving your committment becomes tantimount. God doesn’t like gay marriage? Then it doesn’t matter if it’s already illegal in the state, you’re going to continue to make it illegal until it appeases God. Federal laws prevent you from outlawing abortion? It doesn’t matter. We want God to help us, so we’ve got to show Him we’re committed to his will. (I’m not sure how guns figure into it, so I won’t speculate.)
I think it doesn’t matter tha these things won’t do anything to help the State, because I think they believe that the State will get help from God when God has decided that we deserve it. And the fact that these things aren’t resolving themselves is only proof–not of failed tax policies, not of failed governmental policies, not of anything secular at all–that we have not yet pleased God enough to fix our problems.
When I was in grad school, I tutored this kid whose mom had sent him to a private Christian school because it was the best school in town. He was not Christian. And he had a question on one of his tests–“How do we know that so-and-so is a Christ figure?”
Well, let me tell you, this kid did not know how we knew that so-and-so was a Christ figure because the kid did not understand what a Christ figure was. So, he bombed that question and the test.
And so I, the minister’s daughter, was brought in to teach him about Christ figures and other tropes of literature. I think it went okay, but I don’t know. I never, ever did get him to understand what a Christ figure was and how he could find one in a piece of literature. In some ways that we just take for granted, that I just took for granted, you understand beyond words the cultural symbols you’re immersed in.
About this time, Dr. J said something to me–that a metaphor is a boat–that has always stuck with me as being such a useful image, that a metaphor is a little, fragile vehicle (I imagine it as a rowboat) that takes you from one idea to another one that you would not necessarily otherwise get to. She might have been drunk when she told me that a metaphor was a boat, but it is, a way of conveying a person from idea to idea.
But what is an idea? If we’re going to stick with a nautical metaphor (if that’s the boat we’re floating in), I’ve come to think of ideas as rocks that drop and break through the surface of our mind so to create ripples. So, we might see a metaphor as a way of taking us from one site of impact to what we hope will be another.
We can see then, the realm of poets as being writers who play in the outermost ripples, stretching to see how far away they can get from the point of impact (or honestly how close) and tell you something about what’s going in in your mind between the ripples.
But I was thinking again about Lee’s post from another angle. Can you plop a word like “Judas” out there in the water and expect the boat to only travel from “Williams is like Judas in that he’s a betrayer”? How does the term “Judas” as “betrayer” even have any resonance if you don’t know who Judas betrayed? And, if you do know who Judas betrayed, how is it somehow unfair to ask “If, in this metaphor, Williams is Judas, who is Jesus?”
It’s not. You cannot want to bring the weight of the word “Judas” against someone and then piss and moan when people call you on what gives that name its weight. You cannot, in other words, bring us to the beautiful lake, plop us in the boat, set us off from “Judas” to “Williams” and expect that half way to “Williams” we’ll forget what brought us to “Judas” in the first place.
It just doesn’t work that way.