Thursday, July 25, 2013

Grasping at Straws, Episode 546

Does anyone remember that Sex and the City season 5 episode in which Carrie suffered from horrifying writer’s block, leading her to contemplate writing a column entitled “Socks and the City” where she wrote about her sock drawer and compared men to socks.

Probably the dumbest article ever, right?  FALSE.  A writer for The Atlantic, Owen Strachan, clearly had an indomitable case of writer’s block when he wrote a full-length article discussing the “inhumanness” of abortion and abortion rights as indicated by the use of the term “the Royal Baby” to refer to Prince William and Catherine Middleton’s newborn.

Writer’s block sucks.

I do wonder, however, how much Mr. Strachan got paid per word.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Random thoughts on the Zimmerman verdict

- The Atlantic had some good pieces from Andrew Cohen and Ta-Nehisi Coates post-verdict.

 - Obama's statement on the verdict initially annoyed, because he made it about gun control.  On further reflection, I think he has a point.  Florida being a gun-loving state has some laws in place that make things skewed favorably towards the person who pulls the trigger in any scenario.  It is highly doubtful Zimmerman would have walked in a state that was less favorable towards guns.

- For the first time in my life, I worry about my younger brother.  He has often talked about how he is stopped a million times while driving in his home city of Dallas.  He has always shrugged it off as a mere symptom of being black while driving.  But for me, it is now a little frightening to think he could also be senselessly killed, merely by running into the wrong person at the wrong time.  Such a thing bothers me because I really like that kid.  He's fun to have around.

- Last night I watched Fruitvale Station.  Frutitvale Station is based on the true story of Oscar Grant, who was shot by a police officer while restrained and while unarmed.  The timing could not have been more perfect.  What I found fascinating, watching this film, is I could see the places where we could judge Oscar:  "Well, why did you even fight back with that guy?"  "Why didn't you turn around when the police officer told you to?"  "Why were you talking back?"  etc etc.  And that's when it hit me:  Black male victims of prejudice are like rape victims.  They are never seen as victims.  First, they are questioned for performing actions that are natural in any other scenario:  "Well, why was he even out there in the first place?...Why was he fighting back?...Why was she wearing a mini skirt?...Why was she drunk?"  Of course the truth is, a woman should feel comfortable wearing whatever the fuck they want, without being blamed for a rape because she wore a mini skirt.  And a black man should feel ok being annoyed when a police officer is roughing them up, since that is a natural reaction (See Occupy Wall Street-related videos of mostly white people being visibly annoyed at cops roughing them up).  It is frightening that humans are inconsistent over who they show fairness/empathy towards.  So long as we, as a society, choose not to protect women from the actions of rapists, and so long as we choose not to protect black men from the prejudices of others, we will continue living in an intensely ugly society where Trayvon Martin and Oscar Grant* are senselessly killed.

And Jordan Davis.  And Amadou Diallo.  Etc, etc.