December 07, 2004
Once you go black.
Apologies in advance for another bitching-post. It's that time of semester -- which those of you attending or teaching at a university can relate to, I'm sure -- and I'm stressed out and in general feeling very critical about everything. So there. What's wrong with people? It's not bad enough that we have what I have heard called the civil rights issue of our generation that we're not dealing with very well: gay rights. We're still not through with the original civil rights issue regarding race, either. Before 1967, I would not have been allowed to marry the person that I did, because she is black and because I am white. Some of us got over that, didn't we? Not all of us, though. Remember that contraversial commercial a few weeks ago that involved Nicolette Sheridan and Terrel Owens? Come on, there was no more skin and no more sexual implications than in the very show that Ms. Sheridan stars in, let alone the soaps that the same network airs when kids are actually awake and flipping through the channels. People were pissed off because she was blonde and white and because Owens is black. You know that those Nascar dads and big Wal-Mart moms are horrified at the idea of a black man penetrating a white woman. You should see the stares my wife and I get sometimes around here. There are parts of the country I don't even like to get out of my car in while travelling, no matter how much I have to pee or how badly we need fuel. Is all hope lost? Are we really a country of bigots, closeted bigots and those very very few people who don't have their heads up their asses in 1630 or 1960? Are things getting better or worse? Shows like "Friends" continually put together inter-racial couples without having to point it out like something is wrong with it. Great. But the same show constantly made gay-jokes about all of the male cast members: "Dude, that's so gay." "Dude, you kissed a guy." While charges that the show was always a "white show" might be attenuated by their portrayal of inter-racial couples (which I think does really go further to advance true racial equality, at least on NBC, than merely having black cast members), the show was clearly homophobic from its debut in 1994 until that tearing ending in May 2004. And no one seemed to care or even notice. Gay jokes are funny, right [sic]? Can we assume that the generation leaving college and graduate school now is any less narrow-minded than our parents and grandparents? I knew plenty of homophobes in college and even a racist kid or two. That's just sad. Sometimes I want to run away to somewhere else. I can fake my way through a little German, and my wife is fluent in Spanish. If we could learn some French, we could run away to most European countries. I was a good Boy Scout and all that, and I have one of those yellow-ribbon-magnets on my car (that is, until some bastard stole it). I don't lack patriotism or love of my country. But I don't like it sometimes, more and more often now. You know how it is when you love someone, but they are in a stage where they are continually doing stupid and mean things, and you don't like them for a while, despite your continuing love? (Crappy example, I know.) That's how I feel about the US these days. It's not a giving up. If I ever left, it would never be for good, only to get away for a while and to return and remember what I love about living in the United States. I know that my veteran father always tells me when I call home and bitch that this is "the best country to live in." But is it right now? I know how whiny this all sounds, so please don't leave "If you hate this country so much, College Boy, leave" comments. Read what I said. I don't hate my country. It's precisely the love I have for my country that makes me so angry and makes me want to leave for a while. Besides, if you hate anyone who doesn't fit your narrow definition of patriotic (or you hate gay people and people of color and anyone who is a not exactly a Christian), then why the fuck are you reading this blog?