Monthly Archives: March 2010

Syncrenicity

This is a picture of our household altar back in Thailand.

Syncrenicity.

That’s a Rosary and Crucifix my grandmother made by hand out of Russian olive seeds draped round an Emerald Buddha.  From left to right in front, a plaster of the Virgin Mary holding Jesus, an amulet of the Holy Family from the Vatican, an image of a revered Thai monk, a Brahman charm from some shrine in Bangkok or possibly a street vendor, and a Shinto charm from Meiji Jingu in Tokyo.

As the Thais say, the more you have on your side, the better.

Dayjobs

We have them.  A sad fact, but liking food and shelter as we do, we’re likely to go on having them.  Well, we’re not alone.

No doubt the following occupations inspired in their occupiers various one-liners, but my favorite belongs to Faulkner.  Upon losing his job in the post office, he is said to have said:

I reckon I’ll be at the beck and call of folks with money all my life, but thank God I won’t ever again have to be at the beck and call of every son of a bitch who’s got two cents to buy a stamp.

(click to enlarge)

Thanks to Jen Hiller for the link.

It’s good to be aware

As a father of a mixed-race child with one more on the way, naturally I keep tabs on these developments:

Racial Slur Development Not Keeping Pace With Mixed-Race Births, Nation’s Bigots Report

WASHINGTON—A coalition of the nation’s most fervent bigots convened in Washington Monday to address growing concerns that the production of hateful new racial slurs has failed to keep pace with the rise in mixed-race births.

According to representatives from the American Racists and Bigots Council (ARBC), the growing number of children born to parents of different ethnicities has posed a real challenge to the nation’s hate-speech developers—a challenge they say threatens their way of life.

“The world is changing, and we, the hateful and ignorant of America, need to change with it,” ARBC chairman Tom Branson said at a rally Monday. “The time has come for our ugly, intolerant rhetoric to step into the 21st century. Our disgusting, dehumanizing slurs simply must reflect the terrifying new global society we now live in.”

Added Branson, “In order to continue going backward, we first have to move forward.”

According to statistics provided by the coalition, a rise in the birthrate of mixed-race Americans has left millions of confused racists with absolutely nothing prejudiced to say when confronted by a person of indeterminate or complex background. What frightens the coalition most is data suggesting that by 2015, ignorant bigots everywhere could be powerless when it comes to reducing mixed-raced individuals to profoundly uninformed cultural stereotypes.

In response, a number of prominent bigots have proposed steps for developing new slurs and counteracting what many in the racist community believe to be the greatest obstacle to the advancement of racially motivated vitriol.

“It all starts with education,” ARBC strategist Michael McNeil said. “If you are at a bar drinking boilermakers in a desperate attempt to quell your rage and self-hatred and an Armenian- Brazilian man walks in, you have to be able to swiftly formulate the most vile and thoughtless way to demean him as a human being. Yell out an outdated or inaccurate slur in a situation like that, and you just wind up looking ignorant.”

Spotted, where else, at the Onion.

It's good to be aware

As a father of a mixed-race child with one more on the way, naturally I keep tabs on these developments:

Racial Slur Development Not Keeping Pace With Mixed-Race Births, Nation’s Bigots Report

WASHINGTON—A coalition of the nation’s most fervent bigots convened in Washington Monday to address growing concerns that the production of hateful new racial slurs has failed to keep pace with the rise in mixed-race births.

According to representatives from the American Racists and Bigots Council (ARBC), the growing number of children born to parents of different ethnicities has posed a real challenge to the nation’s hate-speech developers—a challenge they say threatens their way of life.

“The world is changing, and we, the hateful and ignorant of America, need to change with it,” ARBC chairman Tom Branson said at a rally Monday. “The time has come for our ugly, intolerant rhetoric to step into the 21st century. Our disgusting, dehumanizing slurs simply must reflect the terrifying new global society we now live in.”

Added Branson, “In order to continue going backward, we first have to move forward.”

According to statistics provided by the coalition, a rise in the birthrate of mixed-race Americans has left millions of confused racists with absolutely nothing prejudiced to say when confronted by a person of indeterminate or complex background. What frightens the coalition most is data suggesting that by 2015, ignorant bigots everywhere could be powerless when it comes to reducing mixed-raced individuals to profoundly uninformed cultural stereotypes.

In response, a number of prominent bigots have proposed steps for developing new slurs and counteracting what many in the racist community believe to be the greatest obstacle to the advancement of racially motivated vitriol.

“It all starts with education,” ARBC strategist Michael McNeil said. “If you are at a bar drinking boilermakers in a desperate attempt to quell your rage and self-hatred and an Armenian- Brazilian man walks in, you have to be able to swiftly formulate the most vile and thoughtless way to demean him as a human being. Yell out an outdated or inaccurate slur in a situation like that, and you just wind up looking ignorant.”

Spotted, where else, at the Onion.

Going to be reading Reservation Blues

You know that super saving shipping thing they have on Amazon?  Where if you order more than 25 bucks of stuff, you can get it shipped free?  It gets me every time.  So this morning I ordered a new mouse, which came to $19.  With shipping it was almost $25.  So, hell, I thought, let’s order something, get it over $25.

This turns out to be slightly more complicated than it appears.  For one, you have to find items that are “eligible” (i.e., are shipped by Amazon), which cuts out a lot of possibilities.  For another, being cheap is in my DNA.  So I was bound and determined to come as close to $25 as possible.  It took some clicking around, but I eventually settled on Reservation Blues, by Sherman Alexie, which goes for $7.75.  Close enough.

This is a book I’ve wanted to read for so long that I forgot about it when it came to compiling my 2010 reading list.  By rights it should have to wait until 2011, or at least until all the other books on the list are cleared, but owing to Amazon’s price structure, it skipped ahead.  This is no comment on the quality of the books skipped.

It occurs to me that something similar happens when it is decided what books are published.  Price structures ultimately outweighing considerations of literary quality.

Whatever.  I have that wonderful singing feeling you get knowing good reading is ahead, and that will work for today.  Actually, it has to last 5-9 days, which is how long it takes to get your stuff when you get it shipped for free.

I’m falling way behind in posting about books read.  (Short version: Jayber Crow is worthy of Dickensian accolades; Anathem is a pretentious bore; and you should pick up The Common Bond right now.)

Hell yeah.

No.

Get it.