Wednesday, October 26, 2005
All Alone I Have Cried Silent Tears Full Of Pride
In a world made of steel... made of stone...
On days like this when I'm feeling sort of lowly, I often find comfort in the words of 1980s poetess/chanteuse Irene Cara. Or really anything from Flashdance. But you all know me by now: any excuse to break out the leg-warmers.
In a pinch I will take something from Footloose. Or OK, anything from Kenny Loggins. I don't think that guy gets nearly enough credit. A movie isn't a movie without a Kenny Loggins song as far as I'm concerned. Which is why I haven't been to the movies in over seventeen years.
But I'm all right. Don't nobody worry 'bout me. I'm actually not really sad today, just sort of... confused. And concerned
My concern is that yesterday, in some kind of memorial for late civil rights icon Rosa Parks, a few community leaders banded together to commit mass political suicide by disrupting traffic on a portion of Interstate 10, the part named the Rosa Parks Freeway. During rush hour.
This is California. We're pretty tolerant. You can be gay or Mexican or black or even a foreign-born serial harrasser of women with a ridiculous accent and still get elected to public office. We're definitely a blue state. But disrupting traffic... on a freeway... on purpose... well, I just don't know how to convey the seriousness of the offense to non-SoCal-ians. In any other state, that would be like sodomizing a puppy on live TV using the severed finger of a dead soldier. Or like in the South, it would be like being a Democrat. Some things simply render you unelectable.
It's only OK to stop traffic for no reason if first you put up one of those "Your Tax Dollars At Work" signs. We know it's patronizing and probably a lie, but we appreciate the effort.
I'm also worried that the youngest generations of Americans won't know anything about Rosa Parks beyond the bus and (now) the freeway. We're two generations past Jim Crow now. My fear is that the only thing young people will know about Rosa Parks is that she had something to do with transportation.
We must make every effort to make it known what her specific role in history was: totally stealing Jackie Robinson's thunder. Jackie had already done the "I'm not giving up my seat, Whitey" thing back in '44 while in the Army. He even faced a court-martial for it, only to be acquitted. What a relief it must have been for him to realize he'd made his mark on history and could move on.
And then this lady in Montgomery comes along and mungs it all up, stealing all the not-moving-back-on-the-bus historical mojo. So Jackie made up his mind to go out and be the first black man in Major League Baseball instead. Without that push from a callous, calculating, lime-light-stealing, far-sighted Ms. Parks, there would have been no baseball integration and I wouldn't have gotten to see Barry Bonds cry after his team was humiliated in the 2002 World Series.
Thank you, Rosa Parks. We shall never forget.
Rosa Parks fostered a nation-wide era of tolerance and acceptance, which I mostly agree is good so long as we don't include foreigners, who cannot be trusted.
I'm also not 100% sold on tolerance of other people's religious beliefs. Like the Scientologists and their crazy-ass "silent birth" idea where you're not allowed to talk to the baby or give it any medical tests for a week after birth. No drugs during the delivery. And (this is the best part) there is to be no sound during the delivery including screaming of the mother in the pain of childbirth.
I will recap: no drugs, no yelling. This is an idea so bad that even prominent Scientologists--including pseudo-actress and John Travolta spouse Kelly Preston--think it sucks. Lots of religions have tenets that they espouse outwardly that their adherents don't take particularly seriously. It's like us Catholics with the gays. And masturbation. And abortion. And Satan-worship. The leadership likes to talk about it, but nobody thinks they're going to burn in hell for it. OK, maybe that last one.
Some ideas (such as racial equality) deserve protection and beget champions in the mold of Ms. Parks. Others are so self-evidently lame that they can't even get an endorsement for the lady most famous for screaming "Never stop fucking me!" in Jerry Maguire.
What a feeling.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 3.3