Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


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Like my brownhouse:
   test your lefty parents
Friday, September 13 2002

As I was walking to the Park Slope Food Co-op to help Gretchen bring home an unexpectedly large haul of groceries, the plump woman in the white Chevy Blazer pulled over on the side of Union Street, hoping to con me out of my pocket money with her incoherent tale of Jewish family woe. I smirked at her and said, "Oh, I've talked to you before..." She didn't seem even the slightest bit embarrassed. "Con" is short for "confidence" and she has plenty of that.
Later in the day I was standing in line at the Astoria Federal because I needed to move eight thousand dollars from one account to another and the machine wouldn't let me do it. The line was long and slow, since there was only one teller operating in the after-hours section. I was mostly tuned out of the soundtrack of the world, listening to my MP3 player. But this seemed to heighten my awareness of "the picture." A guy came into the bank and he had what had to be the hairiest human back I have ever seen in my life. The hair on his back was nearly as dense as the hair that grows on top of a human head, and each hair was well over an inch long and slightly curved. All the hairs were aligned with one another, as if he'd brushed his back before hitting the street. Interestingly, it wasn't as disturbing at such density as it would have been at, say, one tenth that density. It almost had the appeal of, say, a Golden Retriever's back. The guy was wearing a little tank top and didn't seem the least bit self-conscious about it. Neither did his female companion, a woman with long braided grey hair.

This evening Gretchen and I were talking about the hypocrisy of parents. One of our white friends is dating a black man, a native African actually, and her mother is finding this impossible to accept. Mind you, this mother is no Ann Coulter or even a Lynne Cheney. She chairs her town's anti-racism committee and fancies herself a committed liberal. But when racial acceptance goes from theoretical to practical, especially as practiced by her own daughter, that's when things have gone too far. This reminded me of the reality that parents have a different sort of relationship with their kids than they have with other people. Many of them live vicariously through their kids, and on some level they want them to live as if by remote control, responding to their own peculiar hangups with respect to such personal matters as sexual preference. I myself see no problem with having a personal sexual preference for one race (or, for that matter, eye color) over another - we can't change our sexual preferences so we might as well go with them; there are plenty of people to go around. I also don't see any problem with living vicariously through your kids. It's when a parent combines these things that the result leads to hypocrisy and unnecessary generational tension. For her part, Gretchen dealt with an almost identical issue with her parents back when she was living in a lesbian relationship with her old girlfriend Barbara. And if you don't think your lefty parents can act like a bunch of Rush Limbaughs, try testing that theory with an announcement that you're moving in with an uneducated person of the same gender who happens to belong to a different race.

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