Saturday, March 14, 2015

Sooner Be Somewhere Else

Jon Stewart summed up the latest in a string of embarrassments for those of us unfortunate enough to live in what's known as The Sooner State (I guess that title nowadays is best translated as meaning "sooner be somewhere else").

Video of the Jon Stewart segment is HERE.

What irritates me, in tandem with the ignorance and ugliness displayed by university students, is that people consider these yobbos still to be "kids". To my mind 19-year-old people are not kids. 9-year-olds are kids.

Take a time-travelling trip back to the 1940s in Europe and Asia - we'd encounter 19-year-olds risking their lives every day in armies, navies and airforces. Sad to report, though, as far as American military personnel were concerned racism ruled, whatever the age of those concerned. Segregated units existed, no better than the segregation going on in their hometowns. That is where the cancer originated, it's a cancer that keeps on coming back, no matter how many good people have done their their best to excise it and begin a healing process.

So the two students leading the racist chanting have apologised. They said, as new members of their fraternity, they were taught the offensive chant. Yep!

That's the lamest excuse I can imagine for a 19-year old to give. I'd take that from a 6-year-old maybe ("Johnny taught me to pull the cat's tail and make it squeal"). Dang! FFS, doesn't a 19-year old have the gumption to question what someone is "teaching"? So what would happen if a student being taught a racist chant questioned its content? Has anyone even tried this? No? Why not? The answer stares back at me. Racism has already been taught, at home, from an early age, the lesson was learned; any thought of protesting wouldn't even enter their minds.

Members of the small sensible fringe of folk in this backward state wait, depressed but sure that it will not be long before another embarrassment hits the websites, You Tube, Twitter, Facebook. "Senator takes snowball to congress to explain why global warming is a hoax"; "education department seeks to change history books to put the USA in what they think of as more "exceptional" light...." they keep on coming.

The Rude Pundit posted a story this week, relevant to the above, about his own experiences with members of one of those ridiculously juvenile, elitist, fraternity cliques. It's an interesting read.

Why should America tremble with morons like these in the wings to take over governments, corporations etc. in due course?


mike said...

Conformity's reward is to be accepted into the vast ocean of similarity, with adulation provided by servitude and subordination of the liberated, creative self. Obedience to our group has a denigrating requital that each of us appraises and none of us are without group convention and regulation.

Astrologer Leigh Oswald states, “We are shocked when we suddenly have discovered under Pluto in Capricorn, that the power bases often tacitly sanction a prevailing culture that is much less than fair or sensitive to all. What is the definition of a civilised society? That is a big question now and it is not a question that is asked, as we assume we live in one, whilst not questioning the criteria.”

Incidents like the ones in Ferguson or Oklahoma help us to update our definitions.

Sonny G said...

I have to say I have always wondered how you and anyjazz chose okla as a home base.. seems like the air there would be dang near unbreathable to you two. sorry Mike but same for you in Texas..
granted NC has its issues but it seems like those 2 states would increase my anxiety issues simply from the vibration of the atmosphere. ugg lol good thing I live in my own mind 90% of the time and even then it can go askew:)

Twilight said...

mike ~ They don't though, do they - "help us to update our definitions"?
There have been countless opportunities for updating, from even worse incidents than current ones - and was a lesson learned, definition updated?
Seems not.

Twilight said...

Sonny ~ Anyjazz was originally moved here from Kansas long ago, during his working life; two of his 4 offspring and their families have made their homes and career bases here. So the reason we based ourselves here was basically family ties, I guess. Because we're both retired we don't have to mix and converse. We can avoid the worst danger of constantly rising blood pressure that would ensue if we had to mix more! :-)

mike (again) said...

I believe definitions ARE updated, but in increments proportional to overall acceptance. The history books provide a large contrast between a century or two ago and now. Racial, sexual, and sexual preference equality have made measurable progress, though it may seem as if it's two forward and one backward (at times, two forward and three backward!). A hundred years prior and you would have been anyjazz' chattel...LOL.

I'm Native American, but appear Anglo, so I can't speak for non-whites, but I would think I'd rather be in today's culture than 100 years ago, and certainly not that of 200 years ago. As painful as our current headlines are regarding equality of any nature, I'm glad the headlines are there...I'd be more concerned with silence.

Sonny - I willingly exiled myself to Texas, due to my mother's problems...I wanted to be within a day's drive of Kansas. Mother had a series of emergencies, which required next-day airline reservations from CA to KS, and those were killing me financially and it made for 18 hour travel days. I didn't want to move to KS (ugh) and I desired warmer winters and water nearby. I underestimated the duration of my mother's illness and thought this would be a temporary fix. It was a mistake for a number of reasons, not just the duration and the red politics of TX. One salvation is that I came very close to relocating in New Orleans, which would have placed me in the winds and flooding of Katrina. Oh, that silver lining.

Twilight said...

mike ~ But...You can prove anything in this type of debate if you go back far enough, mike! Staying within human memory - how much updating has been done that is universally accepted - and we'll stay within the USA/UK for this, otherwise it gets too messy.

In my lifetime women have never been considered property of men, actually evren in my grandmother's time - in Yorkshire at least! Men knew their place! ;-)

Sexual preferences have been updated, true, in many areas - though it's still not universally accepted yet.

Racial equality, though on paper has been updated, in reality is lagging behind, especially in the USA. In human memory segregation forced African Americans to remain separate in all walks of life, to use different drinking fountains, different eating places, different schools, regiments etc. The detail on the surface has been updated, it looks good, yes, but a deeper feeling of separation hasn't caught up with the theory yet - evidence of this is easy to find.

I suppose the 2 steps forward 1 back fits - kind of.

LB said...

Even in more liberal parts of the country (and within our government), liberals and progressives who would never speak racist *words*, are perpetuating a system that leaves low-income folks -including many minorities- without affordable access to healthcare, reliable transportation, nutritious food, and safe housing and working conditions.

I left another comment. I'm assuming it's awaiting your approval.:)

LB said...

On second thought Twilight, now that I see my last comment appeared, I wonder if my previous comment was left on another post??? It mysteriously popped up after I hit 'publish', though I'd assumed it was being held for your approval, which is what it said.

Twilight said...

LB ~ I've just investigated the "Awaiting moderation" file and your comment was there (because Blogger seemed to think it was for an older post (last weekend's I think). I've published it there, but will copy and move it to here in a mo.

Twilight said...

LB's post which went astray to wrong post:

You can probably already guess what I'm going to say, which is that it's a human problem, one not unique to 19-year-old Oklahomans. Racism is just one of the many ways in which humans abuse their power by dehumanizing the 'other'. It's so much easier to rationalize our behaviors when we have the support of our peers.

Related to this, I just read something about someone who was convicted back in 1976 as one of San Francisco's "Zebra Killers". he just passed away in his prison cell.

In both cases, the men involved were relatively young and impressionable, which doesn't mean they shouldn't be held accountable and also be given an opportunity to learn and make peace. Nothing more was said about the inmate who died; I wonder if anything changed for him while he was incarcerated.

It's easy to point fingers, much harder to examine ourselves and root out our own darkness and forgive, which is why I believe we're all here.

Twilight said...

LB ~ Well yes, it's a human problem (one of many), but whenever it raises its ugly head, and in in public spotlight, I think it's good for people to point fingers.
If they didn't it'd pass as being acceptable. I think too much of that kind of acceptance has gone on for years, decades, maybe even centuries. The internet's laser beam shined on incidents like this might, eventually, do something good in this respect.

LB said...

Twilight ~ We absolutely need to speak up about wrongdoing! Sorry if my comment wasn't clear.

Thanks for retrieving it, btw.:)

mike (again) said...

"Why are white people expats when the rest of us are immigrants?"

Twilight said...

mike ~ How quinky - I was reading that and a couple of other pieces on the same topic yesterday! I was tempted to leave a comment in one or other of 'em but desisted.

Everyone has their own agenda and translation of the difference, if any - I'd never even though about it until yesterday.

I got used to being called "an alien" on countless official documents during my trek through US immigration and citizen procedures - that's their coverall term for people wishing to come to the USA from other lands, for whatever reason. Anyjazz and I decided to pronounce it aileen - I was an aileen for quite a few years, stranger in a strange land.

Now I'm an immigrant, ex-patriate of Britain, and an American citizen.

You make the terms mean what you want 'em to mean, I guess.

mike (again) said...

LOL! Now you're Exaileen (sounds like an energy provider or petroleum company). I'd never considered expat vs immigrant as having unequal, racial tonality until the Guardian article. I suppose it's similar to the difference between "healthcare" for Congress members vs Obamacare for the public.

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Yes, I guess so. The kinds of issues raised in The Guardian piece, IMO, is just another excuse to divide, and cause bad feeling. Most who come here couldn't give a damn what they're called, as long as they are here, and not pestered by DHS every other week.

Really, every single person here apart from people like yourself and your ancestors can be referred to as immigrants or descendants of immigrants - and even Native Americans - or some of them, came from elsewhere originally - and were ex-pats of some other land. ;-)

R J Adams said...

This country is truly the pits right now, and it can only get worse given the political situation. Too many spoiled brat kids brought up in an undisciplined society for too long.
I'm not sure I can take much more of America. Maybe time to move on.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ Really? Well, you're close to Canada where you are living now - you might be able to sneak in.

If we were much younger we'd be feeling the same. As it is, we're here until the curtain falls, for better or worse. :-/

R J Adams said...

Definitely not Canada, Twilight. It's becoming too much like the US - and the weather's even worse in winter!

We're flying over to France soon to take a look at Brittany. If Mrs RJ likes it we'll be putting our house on the market when we return. Nothing definite yet, but I can't take much more of this nation and Europe seems quite sane by comparison. I'd consider returning to Britain, but property prices are silly over there, and besides, it's become America's puppy.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ Oh my! That'd be a big move - I wish you and Mrs RJ the best in whatever you decide. It'll be wise to move now, wherever, while you're both youngish and fit enough.