Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Be humane, or be a dick, you can't be both.
I am currently on a bus, returning to Oswego, NY from my old nothome place in MassachuHampshire (there's a lot of 'bleed-over').
While waiting for a bus at Boston's South Station--one of the few, like, actually pleasant buswait envioronments--I engaged the following folks in conversation
1.) A couple from Ghana, going to Syracuse to see their family who lives there.
2.) A young, recent immigrant from Haiti who plays soccer for a Boston university and is going to Syracuse to see some of his family who live there.
3.) Another young man who is studying sociology at a Syracuse area school.
4.) An anthropologist who teaches at a SUNY campus.
4 of the 5 folks I spoke to were African or African-ish American.
The couple from Ghana; lovely, older people who seemed sweet, educated and happy to be visiting kin.
The young Soccer player; busy, as young people tend to be, with various digital accoutrement but friendly. He asked me to watch his bag, while he got a quick bite from McD's in the concourse and, after a cursory look inside, I said sure.
The sociology student, likewise, asked me to keep an eye on his huge piece of aluminum luggage. Again, I complied.
All of us had a chat, short enough to remain uncreepy, long enough to establish that we are all good with one another.
The anthro guy was not a bad person, but he was either a liberpublican or jerking my chain.
He don't like him some NPR getting money from the man. He's convinced that people who can't read and drink/drug/beat their kids or spouse, etc., would be all good if they could be made to stop drinking*. I'm running into a lot of this sort of person, lately, the person who can't understand why other people can't just get their shit together and be successful, like them, I guess.
The fact that he self-reports as an adjunct at a SUNY campus might indicate to some that his "success" is not, um, notable.
OTOH, he says that teaching people who drink, do drugs or otherwise live a less than probitive life should not have resources, such as literacy programs wasted on them, as they have chosen to be the way they are. I told him that I was on welfare (SS and VA Healthcare), I did not, however show him my EBT (good for 16$/month of sweet, sweet gummint sugar) or my Bamaphone.
He kept accusing me of changing the subject (I admit to touching on numerous, interconnected points of debate about how "welfare" can mean LOTSA different things) and asked if I just argued until people got tired of it and they gave up. I think that those of you who know me (and, in some cases, revile me) know me better than that. If I want you to stop arguing, I tell you to go fuck yourself--hey, it usually works.
It's really not so much that I want people to stop arguing. What I want is for them to stop offering up canned points that they are getting from so called, "conservative" commentators and pols.
Here's a hint: if you're telling me something that can be traced back to Rush or any of the dozens of talkingshitheads on ReiKKKwing Radio and television, well, go fuck yourself.
* FWIW making people "stop drinking" is an exercise with almost zero long term deterrent effect.