September 18 1998, Friday
see, at least in some places, we're still living in a sad, disingenuous time, when a white man, if he discusses them at all, must patronizing extoll the virtues of our third world neighbors, speaking only of the cultural richness they bring, and perhaps the hardships they've endured under the leaders whom they allow to govern them. Fuck all that! If I see an expensive wall that looks like the Berlin Wall only 30 minutes from my comfortable home, I'm fascinated. Describing it in excruciating detail, I'll wonder at the social and political forces that have shaped and maintained it. When one culture is so frightened by another that it is willing to build such a monument to its terror, there's a story to be told. I want to know where this terror comes from and where it's going, and how it affects both the terrified and the terrifying. The terror I'm referring to isn't rooted in the Macarena, tacos, burritos, sombreros, gorditas, Mariachi music, chihuahuas, or even old rusty VW beetles with lots of flower and not much power. It's rooted in poverty, drugs, violence, ruthlessness, anarchy, socialism, spunky water, bullfights, overpopulation, bastardized Catholicism and other nasty stereotypes we as a nation have come to associate with Mexico. My being white and pointing these out does nothing to change the facts. I'm no less critical of my own culture, certainly.
y being irritated by the above issue was just a small part of a general funk that clouded my day. I had a conflict with Kim over a "deep dark secret" that I didn't think was any big deal. I told her that my morality isn't the same as hers (or saccharine sex-obsessed puritanical mainstream America's) and that there'd probably be other things she wouldn't like about me and that if she was going to run me off I'd rather she'd do it sooner than later.
Then there was the incident in the shady QuickCorner on University Avenue, the local Western Union outlet, where the guy charged me $5 to cash a Western Union money order sent by Matt Rogers from the sale of my Dodge Dart. That's highway robbery! It only costs 2% to cash checks of uncertain legitimacy at an unscrupulous check cashing place in Ann Arbor.
im dropped off her Volvo at a garage in Hillcrest to get an oil change and a lube, and while it was being worked on, we explored the surrounding neighborhood. She picked up applications at several restaurants, places where she'd be the token female in largely gay male workforces.
bought a cheap computer keyboard near University Heights and then spent much of the evening trying to hook up a working hard drive to my 486 box, experiencing frustration after frustration. When I found a working combination of components, my attitude improved enormously.
It also helped that I made some progress in my goal of seeking employment, creating an up-to-date resumé, for what it's worth.
one year ago
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