Being the selfless employee that I am...I was out late last night. I didn't get home from the Coast 'til around 8 o'clock. Always thinking of the company. Rarely thinking of myself. I did that knowing that I would probably end up having to eat a meal from Mack Donald's...and so I did. That's dedication.
It did afford me the opportunity to drive in the dark. For all the time I spend in the car, most of it is done in sunshine. During the day, Magee is two miles of irritating stop lights and dingy strip malls...at night it's like driving up the trunk of a Christmas tree.
The Radio's different too. It's second string, non-league radio. Among other things, this means they'll take any caller they can get. It can be highly entertaining...or, it can be extremely irritating. Callers that are nervous all the really get out is a lot of heavy breathing. Some don't call for a conversation but to state, and stick to, their point no matter what. The worst of all is when the host misreads what the caller has said. I get so frustrated listening to failed communication...it causes a kind of physical irritation in me.
Of course, sometimes it would be better if I didn't understand what was being said. Last night it was the Schnit show...Schhhyt. Some school up north has decided that along with the U.S. National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance, to start the day, the children will also stand for the Black (or African-American) National Anthem. That's dumb...I think the U.S. National Anthem's dumb and they can take that fascists-one-nation-indivisible-my-ass Pledge of Allegiance and shove it where the sun don't shine but, adding the BNA to the mix is just begging for trouble.
For one thing, it sets the "colour-blind" into a tizzy. First it was the host...Schhhnyt, "I worrrk with alat of Ayficayn-Amyricayns...and they are Amyricayns just like me." Then the caller...distraught caller, will call her Bayrb, "I'm ah teaycher and thowse kids I teaych are mostly Ayyfican-Amyricayns but, I don't see a color. Thyyre just Amyricayns to me. Weyyre awwwlll Amyricayns."
No! Schhhhnyt and Bayrb...we are not all Amyyyyyricans. Certainly not in the all consuming glazed over sense that you two mean it. Black folks have had their own history and challenges that have shaped them, as a group, into something distinct. It's called an identity. A concept that is extremely confusing and frustrating for the Amyrricayn.
"Why wouldn't sambody wanna by an Amyricayn Walley?"
"Gosh Beave, I duh know. It's the best darn country that's ever been."
"Gee Walley...do haveta swear? Now I gatta tell Mom."
Then, there seemed to be some hope. An older Black lady called and tried to explain the significance of the Song...Lift Every Voice and Sing...and why it matters so much to Black Folks.
"Well that's fyyne...if people want to be entertaaayyyned by the sang but..." At that point I turned the radio down so I could rant uninterrupted.
"Entertainment??? You stupid...it has nothing to do with entertainment you dumb...it is a part of who they are. It says something profound about their own history...about who they are as Black folks. It's not up to you, and your dumb as... to decide...blahaha bblaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah."
Those that know me, and careful readers of the blog, will know that I am not merely jumping to the defense of Black identity. That this issue is a sensitive one because, I too, have an identity that separates me from the Amyyyricayns. One that I expect to be respected.
Right on cue....I cut the radio back up and there's an older Black gentlemen complaining that he had to sing Dixie as a kid in the South. It must have been Mississippi because he was making thinly veiled complaints about what's left of Confederate symbology at a major state university.
"Oh gayd...OH GAYD...No I can't believe that...OH GAYD...you had to sing Dixie..OH GAYD. That's wrang...that wrang. I wouldn't staynd for that eitha. OH GAYD Dixie? OH GAYD."
Then even worse..."The Sowthh has chaynged alat since those dayys."
Stop right there moron....listen carefully, write it down, take a picture and hide it in a hole, our reverence for our ancestors and the sacrifices they made defending our home from the likes of you and Bayrb has not ceased or diminished one iota. Don't think for one second that because people like you and Bayrb have managed to stop the Ole Miss band playing From Dixie With Love or, that because some other Amyyricayn has gotten Confederate Battle flags removed from the stadium, that we have budged an inch on the issue of our identity. You and Bayrb can go pound sand then ride of on a tandem bike.
As for the caller....I don't think you or anybody else should have to sing or stand for anything...not Dixie, not God Bless Amyyrica, or Happy Birthday but, NOT everything is about your skin colour! Ole Miss, for instance, has a profound connection to the Confederacy...100%, that's everybody, casualty rate for the Mississippi GrEys from Ole Miss during the war. The town of Oxford was burnt to the ground by Yankees. The importance of the Confederacy at Ole Miss, and throughout The South, is not something that was invented just to spite you.
RRRRRRRRRRRRGHHHHHH Calgon take me away for the love of kittens...TAKE ME AWAY!!!!
Besides, the most serious, and yet stupid, differences that separate black and white Southerners have their roots in the Occupation...euphemistically called Reconstruction by the Amyricayns.
Everybody was pissin' me off last night :)...and it was with great relief that I pulled into the drive.
Listen to the Song...it's gorgeous. If you're gonna stand for something it might as well be Ray Charles.