An Irregular Column
for MRR 306
by Mykel Board
America has Race Fever. It's not an actual race war, but a sort of racial Cold War. A grinding war of nerves. And it's impossible to escape. A race war would be anticlimactic at this point. --Jim Goad
[NOTE: This is my LAST column about race and the elections. I promise! Next month, something more personal... from Trinidad and Venezuela. This will NOT, however, be the last column where I talk (about) shit. I LOVE shit.]
When girls shit do they do something dainty? Me? I pinch a loaf. Lay some cable. Drown the chocolate slugs. Slash the brown trout .... Macho, tough-sounding excrement. What do girls do? Drop some daisies? Plant the coffee beans? Dot the i's?
I've talked with a lot of girls about shitting. Sadly, the biological process doesn't satisfy them as much as it does the testiculared class.
“It's just something you do,” says Miranda. “Like taking out the garbage or washing the dishes.”
“I do those things every month,” I tell her. “I don't feel especially pleased afterwards.”
“Exactly!” she says, as if that proved something.
“That's sad,” I tell her. “It feels so good. Like shoving a carrot up your ass. Only in reverse.”
“If you say so Mykel,” she says.
“Okay then,” I ask her. “What do you call it? When girls have to paint the porcelain or dunk the brown klaxton?”
“What the fuck are you talking about, Mykel?” she asks. “We just do it. Do you have a special name for washing the dishes? It's just something you do.”
Of course! You only have special names for things that are special. You have euphemisms, funny names, tech-speak, graphic language. All this to describe what's important, fun, sexy. If taking a shit doesn't mean shit to you, you don't need a special name for it.
That's why I decided to again write about the up-coming election. Though, by the time you read this, McCain may have already been sworn in.
In any case, it's important to talk about language. I wrote about NIGGER before. This time, I want to write more about language and race. How we use special words for what's important. How words themselves make us think in a certain way. How language can confuse or obfuscate.
“Tom McCain doesn't have a racist bone in his body,” says Joe Lieberman after McCain makes some racist remark.
I wonder about this. Where is the racist bone? I don't remember one from science class. And I sure spent a lot of time with that anatomy textbook.
I check ask.com. It says that the human body has 206 bones. I check out the names. No racist bone. Maybe NOBODY has a racist bone.
I finally find a diagram of the appendage. You can see it at: http://tinyurl.com/6kev4r,if your browser will let you.
[Aside: tinyurl.com is a free website where you enter a long URL and it changes it to a short URL, starting with: tiny.com. For example, you find something cool at: http://www.somethingcool.com/pg8/analanomolies/ref#42/~leslies/432.23.
You plug it into tinyurl.com. The website generates a much shorter address, maybe tinyurl.com/321abc. That's what you forward to your friends. Great service right?
Well, spammers found the site is also useful for covering tracks. They put in their spam addresses. Tinyurl generates another, untraceable, address. Then the spammers use that one.
So, like in airports, where security security security trumps convenience, free speech, free movement, free anything, some browsers and some websites (like MySpace) block all tinyurl addresses. They might be spam, you see. Better safe than... I donno, annoyed?
Fuck Security! One of these days we'll be so secure we won't be able to do anything! But we'll be safe.]
If you can't get to the picture on your browser I'll describe it. The racist bone is at the tip of the right thumb. It's not clear whether it's the entire upper digit, or just a small extra growth. But that's where it is.
Is this fact? The picture is an artist's rendition, not an actual photo. It may be in the artist's mind. A figment of his idiomatic imagination. I still can't find a person who has one to show.
No one brags, or even thinks about the racist bone unless they DON'T have one. The lack of that bone defines it. I google for someone who HAS a racist bone, and is proud of it. I can't find anyone. Everyone denies it. Nope, not me. Not a racist bone.
Maybe it's like holding a candle to something. You only find people or things that CAN'T hold a candle to other people or things. If someone CAN hold a candle to something, you don't hear about it.
I bring this racist bone thing up to a Democrat pal of mine. She wears an Obama campaign button bigger than Obama himself. She once clobbered a Ralph Nader supporter for “giving us George Bush."
“So,” I tell her, “I've been looking for the racist bone. The one that John McCain doesn't have one of in his body. I heard it's at the end of the thumb. Which bone do you think is the racist bone?”
“They all are,” she says.
We're all racists. At least all of us in America in 2008. We live, breathe and think race. Race is what we first notice about others. (Unless they have a physical handicap. Then THAT'S first). Race is what we're drawn to or repelled by. It's what completes the phrase Some of my best friends are... We're all racist. We have to be as much as we have to shit. Now I'm beginning to see. But wait! There's more...
Besides bones, There're cards. This or that politician is playing the race card. That's even harder to find than the racist bone. I locate a chart of the picture cards in a 52-card deck.
I figure that the race card must be one of the picture cards, not a number card. Except for the Ace of Spades I can't imagine how the numbered cards would have anything to do with race.
For the picture cards, I find out the King of Hearts is Charlemagne. The Queen of Hearts is Judith (of the Book of Judith,”an Apocryphal Book of the Bible.” Something Christian, I guess.) The Jack of Hearts is "La Hire," a famous French warrior. The King of Spades is King David of Jewish Star fame. The Queen of Spades is Pallas, a.k.a. Minerva. The Jack of Spades is Hogier the Dane, one of Charlemagne's paladins. (What the fuck is a paladin?) The King of Diamonds is Julius Caesar. The Queen of Diamonds is Rachel (of the Bible). The Jack of Diamonds is Hector of Troy or Roland of France. (I've heard of neither.) The King of Clubs is Alexander the Great. The Queen of Clubs is an anagram of Regina, all the queens of England put together. And the Jack of Clubs is Lancelot.
Except for the Jews, David and Rachel, the rest of 'em seem like generic white Europeans. One, not much different from the others. Which is the race card? And how exactly do you play it? No telling from this chart.
I go to Ask.com and ask Which card is the race card?
For an answer, I get some references to people playing that card (always negative... usually involved with politics), and some sponsored ads for Visa and American Express. Not very useful.
As any student-with-a-last-minute deadline has learned, when you want well-researched and consistently incorrect answers, you go to Wikipedia. This is what it says about the race card:
Playing the race card is an idiomatic phrase referring to an allegation against a person who has brought the issue of race or racism into a debate. It is a metaphorical reference to card games in which a trump card may be used to gain an advantage.
The phrase is commonly used in two contexts. First, it alleges that someone has deliberately and falsely accused another person of being a racist to gain some sort of advantage.
An example of this occurred during the O.J. Simpson criminal trial, when critics accused the defense of "playing the race card" in presenting Mark Fuhrman's racist past as a reason to draw his credibility as a witness into question.
In the second context, it refers to someone exploiting prejudice against another race for political or some other advantage. The use of the southern strategy by a political candidate is said to be a version of "playing the race card", like when former Senator Jesse Helms ran an ad showing a black man taking a white man's job. The ad was interpreted as trying to play to racist fears among white voters.
On the other hand, George Dei and Karumanchery, in their book Playing the Race Card, argue that the term itself is a rhetorical device used to devalue and minimize claims of racism.
That's it! The charge of playing the racist card is racist! It's a racist attempt to either inject race or falsely take race out of the sphere of debate. It's using race, and, in a racist way, tries to invalidate it.
The American presidential election in 2008 is all about race. No bones. No cards. No nothin'. No matter what Obama says. No matter how awful his religious proclamations, his self-cultishness, his stupid Russia bashing or his fawning over war in Afghanistan. No matter what, this is about race.
For the first time, America has a real chance to put a political end to the racism that's defined America since The Constitution. It has a chance to trump the racist card. To break the racist bone.
Every voter has a duty to put the period on the 200-years-of-slavery sentence. Negroes were slaves. Now one can be president. If this fails (and I believe it will. Americans are just too... well.. racist... to allow a colored president), America will fail again, and continue being the most evil country on earth.
If it succeeds, the America disease will not be cured over night. Objectively, America may not get any better. But we will have won with the race card. We can finally make it as valuable as any other card in the deck.
Am I saying that NOT voting for Obama is racist? Am I saying that even if you vote for Nader or don't vote at all, you're committing a racist act? Am I saying that voting against Obama because you don't like his stand on religion in government, or the Afghan war, or gay marriage, is STILL racist?
YES! That's exactly what I'm saying. Not voting for Barak Obama is racist. Bone or no bone. Card or no card. Race isn't the main issue here. It's the only issue.
ENDNOTES: [email subscribers (firstname.lastname@example.org) or website viewers (www.mykelboard.com) will get more endnotes (There's a new column length limit at MRR.) live links and a chance to email comment on the column. Subscribers will not get the columns any earlier than anyone else.]
-->Target practice dept: King Abudullah of Saudi Arabia has offered his country as a meeting place. Who for? “Representatives of the world's monotheistic religions.” Why? “to discuss how to "shore up faith" in a world of "declining family values and rising non-belief."
Says the king, "The idea is to ask representatives of all monotheistic religions to sit together with their brothers in faith and sincerity to all religions."
Wow! What an opportunity! The leaders of all the world's monotheistic religions together in the desert. Makes you think of one giant bullseye, doesn't it?
-->Pervert dept: This year, Police arrested Michael Bessigano for downloading bestiality images from the internet! Who knew THAT was illegal? I donno, maybe it violated the conditions of his parole.
In 2002, he was convicted of having sex with a chicken and in 1993 for "a matter involving a dog." Two years in jail for sex with a chicken... probably getting raped there. That's supposed to cure him? Maybe it'll cure him of his animal love so he can start raping humans, like normal people do.
-->More jailbird's addresses dept: I think I already wrote about Cassidy. He's been in the clink for ages for stealing a pair of socks. He's put together a prison project, collecting real pictures taken by real folks from places around the world. If you've got some good ones, send 'em to him: Cassidy Wheeler, #14282456, 82911 Beach Access Road, Umatilla OR 97882
-->Sometimes I forget how much I love Mexicans dept: Yowsah! My pal Gilberto tells me that Sucieded Discriminada is coming to New York. 40+ year old punks, still doing it! From Sonora in North Mexico. I'm there (ABC NO RIO).
The Mexis are sandwiched by two younger punk bands, both Boston based. I like 'em both and BOTH of 'em give me free recorded material. A 3-CD set from Max and the Marginalized (maxandthemarginalized.com). Their shtick? They write, record and post a news song every week. That's not a typo. They write NEWS songs. Topical stuff. Like about Lou Dobbs. One a week.
Talk about productivity! One of these columns a month kills me... and I don't have to worry about a drummer Speaking of drummers, the other gringo band: LIBYANS, has the best drummer I've seen this century. Amazing!! He's only in two bands.That's because he lives in Boston. In NY, he'd be in 40! Punk rock with a girl singer too! Contact: email@example.com
As for the Mexis. Holy Frito Bandito. Great show! Complete with rubber masks of famous Mexican politicos. I danced with one over my head. It did not smell of nachos
Contact them at www.geocities.com/suciedaddiscriminada
-->They've started coming-- me too dept: I wanna thank Dick Berger and Tom Washington for the homemade DVD they sent me. Yeah, I believe your name's are Dick and Tom, like I believe America invaded Iraq for humanitarian reasons. But thanks in any case, by any name. It's a DVD that'll get a lot of use. And Dick, that's a nice Tom you've got there.
Keep those things coming. Send me your homemade sex tapes. As usual, I'm at POB 137, Prince St. Station, NYC 10012 USA.