Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Bursar

Dear Tuition Man,

Well first, I'm not sure if you are male or not, I just assumed for some strange reason. Men and money. Hmmmm? Like if Donald Trump were to make a couple billion on the side, would he say, "I need to get into that college tuition MARKET." Somewhere, someone put a monetary value on "In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue" and someone else said, "I really need people to know about that Columbus guy for my high paying job as a cog-maker" and then that first someone said, "Oh well, you know we are the best at teaching people about that Columbus fella. Just look at all the people who went here and work at your company. Why don't you give us some money to keep teaching about that guy and other explorers/rapists" and the second guy said, "Great idea. And name that library after me while you're at it." And then the lowly graduate student gets a so-called highly prestigious fellowship that puts her just mere dollars above the poverty line and then the first someone said, "Well, you can have more. Just tell the undergrads about this Columbus fella. Work so much you can barely get your own work done without developing issues with your eyesight, blood pressure, and overall fat-ass-ness. And we'll give you more money to write an article or two about him and other murderers. And then you can go run that cog-making factory and tell everyone how you went here and how great we are." Or at least I think it went like that.

Lowly Grad Student

Sunday, August 17, 2008

On dating white people...

I have to put a few disclaimers out there before I get into the list. I can say that I have done the Jesse Jackson Rainbow Coalition of dating just about every color in the rainbow. There were times that I said no to white men because I figured the revolution would not be televised nor would it tolerate me with a white man. But then I watched that damn movie, “Something New” and it got me thinking and I opened the door to white men again. I need to also put my finger on the pulse of whiteness in the Bay for all the folks not from around here. It’s different. I mean, really different. You have older white folks reveling in their days kicking it with Marty, jr. chatting about the direction Marxist thought is going these days. You have younger white folks singing about Babylon while coming from their yoga class on their way to make samozas for the Sabbath. Trust me, it’s different out here. And I ain’t mad at them…typically…unless they have locks and that’s another story. Otherwise, they’re great: voting for Obama; expressing their disdain for charity, celebrity, and conservatism; saving the whales and stopping the spray. Bless them! Lastly, I had to convince B that I didn’t think he is racist. Now that all of that is taken care of, here are top ten things that I have learned or am now able to put into words by dating white people:

10. Racist thought is masked under the guise of getting to know people of color: “He is Latino so he learned to be sexist. It’s a cultural difference.”

9. Not all people of color (especially Cubans, Nicaraguans, Salvadorans, North Koreans and South Vietnamese) are pinko-commies or riding that liberal/radical train: “I don’t know what Clarence Thomas’ problem is. Isn’t he Black?”

8. Or that when people of color express these viewpoints, there are repercussions unlike those that white people receive: “If I were a Sandinista, I would just tell the world. I wouldn’t hide it.”

7. White folks (okay, most folks in this country) are a little clueless when it comes to maps, history, etc. as evidenced in this actual question that one asked me: “When was your family freed from slavery? I bet they were freed and then they could come to the United States. Maybe thirty years ago.”

6. It isn’t cute, funny, or entertaining in any way for White folks, especially the likes of the wealthy ones, to joke about the ghetto, hood, or the third world with phrases such as “that’s so ghetto.”

5. Green is not included as one of the colors in “people of color.” Nixing the car for a bike or paying top dollar to make my home more energy efficient are at the bottom of my “Things to Do to Save the World List” where “End Poverty, War, and Hunger” lead the way. And yes I know they are intertwined but I’m too busy trying to get these kids to stop shooting each other right now, so I need the quick (and cheap) answer.

4. When people of color watch the news, it is with specific questions in mind: “Do I need to use an alias?” “Are they trying to deport me again?” “Do I have to pay more for something?” “Are they going to bug me about joining the military again?” Jon Stewart, Steve Colbert, Bill Maher…all great political satirists (and I enjoy watching them) but sometimes that ish isn’t funny, especially when it directly affects you.

3. Those deep dinner conversations about the effects of slavery or the Hurricane Katrina aftermath make a meal damn un-appetizing.

2. One person of color does not rep for the rest of us. I can’t tell you if we prefer Black/African American or Chicano/Latino/Hispanic/Brown. As for me, I don’t care, as long as it doesn’t sound like this: “I work with a Black, oops I mean, African American [pause to look at me while waiting for a nod of acceptance that they aren’t going to get] man who is just delightful.” Now what do you reply to that? “That’s great” seems to suffice.

1. Even the most hippy-dippy, radical white person thinks in some way that there is an iota of truth to stereotypes. So for the last time, Black people are not inherently good at running and jumping because in Africa they have no choice but to run and jump from wildebeests or some other survival of the fittest mess; not all Latinos speak Spanish and no English, are day-laborers, or undocumented (if we believe everything we are told then there are like five people left in Mexico); and Asians are not inherently good at Math and Science because their parents push them harder than anyone else and because Math and Science are the same in any language (it’s not, ask the Egyptians).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Summer Hiatus

Sorry for the July hiatus, kids. July was just too exciting to do one blog so I didn't do any. Here are my top ten questions for the month of July (and some August):

10. Who is the alcoholic making new flavors for Orbit chewing gum?
9. And how can I get that job?
8. If the writers were on strike in the fall and we had to deal with re-runs, why do they get another vacation and we have to deal with re-runs again?
7. Why can't Jesse Jackson zip his lip? He is the same guy that advised Pres. Clinton about infidelity and it came out that the good reverend was cheating and then he did this entire campaign to stop the n-word only to use in reference to the good senator Obama on Fox News.
6. Since when did Fox News edit something (Jesse and the n-word) to our benefit?
5. Manny Rodriguez might as well play for the damn devil. Okay, not a question, but I had to put that in there.
4. Don't trans fats make doughnuts extra yummy? Thanks, governator.
3. Since Hillary dropped out, can I still be mad at her?
2. Did the Hiltons get their money back from the McCain campaign?
1. And can I have it? This player could use 4Gs.