It Ain’t Over

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Re: yesterday’s post on Donald Sterling.

Developments since present a slight problem.

The NBA fined him $2.5 million and banned him for life.

Everyone rejoices that racism has been swiftly ejected from a glorious American institution.

It hasn’t. The mentality that business owners gift upon workers the sustenance of life, and that they also gift upon the public the fruits of their worker’s labour is still entrenched in capitalism. Entertainment industries, including professional sports, are overwhelmingly white capitalists thinking that without them, their (black) athletes or entertainers wouldn’t be worth a damn.

Don’t use the outcome of a single case to assume a problem is gone.

Oh, and while I’m on a righteous rampage: don’t pretend that the death penalty is based on justice. It’s a cultural ritual of institutional sadism and revenge celebrated by the establishment. Okay, bye bye for now.

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The Persistent Slave Owner Mentality

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Donald Sterling, with whom I was entirely unfamiliar until this recent controversy in large part because I’m uninterested in both basketball and crotchety rich old white men, has said things that go much deeper than most racist ramblings you hear from crotchety (rich or not) old white men. Cliven Bundy, a not-as-rich bundle of contradictions and cognitive dissonance, has spewed more predictable nonsense that many more people are thinking. The danger in his racism getting attention is that it’s treated as a farce rather than a symptom of the American mentality towards race and class that goes hand in hand with libertarian stubbornness. For the entire time since African Americans were un-enslaved, White America has complained that they don’t work as hard when not violently coerced to. Attempts to dispell these prejudices and enable social mobility have just changed the wording that racist fucks can use – meaning that judges who overturn affirmative action and say the United States doesn’t need the Fair Elections Act anymore are mirroring the essence of Bundy’s comments.

But I digress. Donald Sterling, along with telling his non-white girlfriend to stop bringing non-white people to games of a predominantly non-white sport, made comments that expose the mentality of re-enslavement as it’s already happening. In his mind, he believes he owns the black players on his basketball team because he pays them.

His quote:

I support them and give them food, and clothes, and cars, and houses. Who gives it to them? Does someone else give it to them? … Who makes the game? Do I make the game, or do they make the game? Is there 30 owners that created the league?

(Source: Slate)

There is an alarmingly vocal attitude in American public discourse reflected in propaganda language. “Job creators” are the best kind of Americans and shouldn’t have to pay as much in taxes because they bestow upon the layman the gift of an income. It’s not about the need filled by the person who works the job. The person who dares get richer by allowing other people to do their work for them shy of 100% exploitation is admired, rather than the person who puts labour into a product that other people, who get their money by putting labour into other things, will buy. Tax dollars are owned by the tax payer and public servants are leeches on those taxes. Never mind that public servants are doing a job that needs to be done. If that job isn’t sucking John Galt’s cock then what purpose does it serve for the Job Creators?

Work is seen as a privilege granted to the population by those who have money, instead of the reality that it’s the willingness of the population to work that makes money for the rich. That’s the essence of capitalism, but it’s being reworded to make the rich appear to be both the heroes and victims. The same brush was used to paint sympathy for slave owners instead of slaves – but instead of money, which slaves were never given, the owners spoke of how generously they gave food and shelter to their slaves. Donald Sterling speaks of giving his mostly black players their “food, and clothes, and cars, and houses”. No, Sterling – they exchange their skills at basketball for money. That money is made off of revenue from the industry of professional sports, which serves a market of people interested in paying to watch athletes demonstrate their skills. It is you who owes the athletes money for their work.

The athletes make the game. The athletes make a demand for the game. The demand for the game makes the league possible. And furthermore – to ALL employment relationships – it is an EXCHANGE for MONEY, and not a gift of the needs the money is spent on. Employees support the business owner moreso than the business owner supports the employees. Advocating for race-based slavery like Donald Sterling does might prompt the mass resignations to demonstrate that.

Institutional racism is alive and well.

Sticking Stream of Consciousness to the Man

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The absence of writing is, in itself, a written expression.

No, wait, that sounds stupid.

There is as much between the lines of writing as there is in no writing at all.

Okay, that sounds better. It’s still waxing bullshit, but it sounds better.

Hi, this is Khrisnege, and I’ve been neglecting one of my favoured forms of self-expressions.

I’ve been neglecting a few, actually. Doodling has died down without a conducive pencil-and-paper surface in my apartment and with actual work to do at work. My time and energy has been much more easily spent on playing video games – creatively, I assure you, building an entire world – and pacing back and forth neurotically just like the good old days.

But unlike the good old days, I’ve also been keeping myself busy with, not creative, but constructive things. Financial planning. Consulting health professionals. Community involvement. Shopping smarter rather than faster. And each time I do one of these things, I feel a moment of regret, questioning whether growing up has been worth it at all.

I dared to step out of my shell and ask a harmless question that gave me an answer that changes nothing. It cost me nothing to ask the question and, while I was looking to get a bit of a financial break from it, I earned nothing in return. No harm. Doesn’t hurt to ask. But it does, in that now I question all of my life’s choices up to now and in the future, doubting that anything I’ve ever done, any “investment” I’ve made in myself has had any return. I’ve had a few years of renewed optimism and I think that’s about to expire.

I don’t get a rush out of gambling, but other choices I continue to make seem like that, or worse yet, well disguised pyramid schemes. Adulthood is embedded with them. The economy built around us is a pyramid scheme. The employment contract and increasing longevity are pyramid schemes. Trapped in this system as I am, do I continue with the small contributions to what I’ve never believed in but in happier days appealed to me as a joke’s-on-them game of make-believe?

Seriously, I could use an actual answer.

Letters to Grandpa, Part One

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My grandfather did the same thing as every year: wrote me a cheque for my birthday. It’s always appreciated, even though I’ve told him that it’s not necessary given that we’re grown people. He wants to help us enjoy more things while he’s still alive. I suspect he also wants to see other things while he’s still alive, but he ain’t getting a lot of that from me.

I kind of made a point of that in the thank you letter I wrote back to him. I haven’t sent it yet because I’d like to absorb it just a bit more, for its brilliance and to make sure that I’m not being an utter dick to my elder.

It could be read as rude and defensive, or it could be read as the nuanced commentary it’s intended to be. Those two things are fundamentally who I am though, about 20/80 per cent respectively.

I start with this:

Thank you for the birthday money. Time does not seem to be linear anymore, so I’ve been more likely to forget that a) it’s my birthday, b) my birthday should be important to me, and c) I should be important to myself.

I’m sure a lot of people who know me, and who could very well read this, think I’m obliviously self-centered and out of tune with how pretentiously I come across. They will scoff at the notion that I didn’t really have a sense of it being my birthday this year and not even get what it means for time not seeming to be linear. But I think my grandfather will understand that.

The bulk of the letter goes on describing what’s happening and what’s to come. It talks a bit about what I’ve been doing and makes satire of itself. It’s just a few paragraphs; it looks like more than it is because I increased the font size for legibility. In the closer, though, it gets quite deep. I wasn’t high while writing this.

Your very generous and much appreciated gift helps keep me in perspective on how important self-reward and self-care are. I’m navigating through an unfamiliar adult world of stability and self-reliance that I thought I would never see, given the past few years of runoff from the global financial collapse that was right on cue for derailing my opportunities. My life improvements over the past several months and the incessant phone calls from my bank to discuss investment options have been gradually drilling it in that I might have a future and perhaps I should put some thought into it. Then again, when I get a clearer vision of where I actually want to go in the future I also see impending failure and consider walking straight into the river instead.

The river is still very cold, though. I’ll put that idea to the side.

There needs to be more to a letter like this than “Work is going well. I’m excited for [thing] to happen. I think I might be out there to visit you within a period of time that appears real but is not yet within reach.” If your letter to your grandpa doesn’t say “I’m very much aware of my shortcomings, and there are contributing circumstances that I’m working around because apparently adulthood is, in concept, a sham” then how does he really know you connect anymore? This is a slight nod and a tap on the nose, in 16pt font so he can read it himself…and hopefully won’t get any other relatives to read it out to him.

30 for 30

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I have 30 hours left of being 30.

If you go by the calendar date, at least. If you go by the hour I was born I have until about 7am tomorrow – but tomorrow is a holiday so I am sleeping the fuck in. (I don’t turn my alarm off on weekends, though, so I’ll be semi-awake in a haze of shut-the-fuck-up.)

Two months ago I should’ve reflected on my age and realized I was the same age at which my mother had me, but she is not yet a grandmother. The average age at which a woman had her first child when we were being born was 25. It is now 28. This is all irrelevant to me because I’m not having children, but it is strongly instilled in me to always compare myself to others.

That’s why I have to make these last 30 hours count.

A Weapon on Four Wheels

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A young woman got struck by a vehicle very close to my home on Saturday. The street was closed off and police were directing traffic around their yellow tape that covered a block and a half. Initial reports said that the driver kept going after hitting her, but was stopped by others a couple blocks later. Maybe the driver would’ve gotten away if there weren’t stop lights at each of the following three streets before he would’ve turned into the oblivion of multi-lane thoroughfare.

Yesterday morning when the world was going to work, a man on a bike stopped on the median boulevard between each side of the street on which she was hit. He was laying flowers on the ground. There’s no reason for anyone to do that beyond a personal connection to the tragedy. She hadn’t passed away yet, but the prognosis might have been not if but when.

A block north of where I live, at an intersection I cross to and from work every day, there’s a plaque attached to a lamppost in memory of a young woman who was killed there by a drunk driver several years ago. There used to be flowers put there, for a long time afterwards. She was a tow truck driver, just out doing her job in the dark hours, and somebody got drunk and decided to be criminally responsible for somebody’s death.

These two deaths are not a sign of danger in my particular neighbourhood. This can happen anywhere in this toxic driving culture. There aren’t enough pedestrians on the street to put drivers in their place and impose a sense of humility and respect for others from within their comfortable exoskeletal shell. Driving is just the way most people do things and how they get places. If it weren’t so culturally dominant, there wouldn’t be as many drunk drivers because there wouldn’t be this assumption that everyone everywhere at all times is going to be getting from A to B with their own personal vehicle.

In middle school a student a year older than me was struck on her way to the bus stop – yes, in a school zone going to a bus stop where hundreds of students catch the bus at the same time every day – and because a paraplegic as a result. A family member got in a terrible crash in a flash thunderstorm on a country road and her unbuckled friend died from injuries from bouncing around throughout the interior of the car. There are so many lethal elements to driving, yet there’s a disease in our culture that it doesn’t change how fundamental cars our to our lives, and those who are still around and driving haven’t gotten in these severe accidents yet, so they don’t need to acknowledge the rules designed to mitigate the risks.

People can still drive in a healthy transportation culture, but more people need to walk and cycle to gain mass and force drivers to cooperate rather than intimidate and threaten just by the function of their vehicle. Keeping an eye out for other people – NOT just other cars or inanimate objects like stop signs or traffic lights – is what all people should be doing when moving in public. Individual responsibility should be assigned to the relative size of the method of choice, because drivers don’t get killed by the feet of pedestrians; pedestrians get killed by the cars of drivers.

Let’s take it to the streets, people.

Le Nation Blanche

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White countries are afraid of becoming not white countries.

White countries are experiencing increases in their non-white populations through immigration and higher birth rates.

White countries are vastly outnumbered by non-white countries. They are vastly out-populated. They are vastly out-sized.

White countries used to think the world was theirs to conquer.

White countries still think that but use different language.

This is backfiring, and that’s why Parti Quebecois was defeated in the provincial election yesterday. Well, one of the reasons.

White people: we need to take a serious look at ourselves and figure out how we can stop being such…white people.