Yikes, don’t read this one unless you are really bored.
I was lying in bed just now, full of that Thai food from the last post (the one with the red curry burps) and was thinking about regrets. Or maybe Disney. Or maybe large automobiles, I don’t remember, but however it came about, I remembered driving through Africa this summer with K and our friend Lisa.
K and I disagree on some things, but demographically we are pretty darn similar. We have interesting conversations of course, but we share enough assumptions that there are a number of areas we don’t really wander into.
At work I have conversations with M (look at me, being all circumspect and shit) who was a cop in Detroit before serving in Afghanistan for a year. A conversation about gun ownership or US foreign policy is more interesting with him than with…I dunno…a mirror. (You get the point. It’s late, okay?)
It seems clear to me that one of the fundamental problems with the US and the world today is that we are unable to have actual productive and respectful discussions with each other. I doubt I would be able to be in a room with Sarah Palin for more than 20 seconds without having an aneurism or breaking something.
The word “argument” immediately brings to mind shouting and airborne spittle, instead of exchange of opinions. Saying something like “one could make an argument that Top Gun is the most homoerotic movie of all time” sounds almost out-dated in it’s use of the word to refer to simply an interesting notion, not adrenaline-based emotion. (I am wilfully ignoring the awareness that anything touching on homoeroticism will inevitably rile up certain folks cuz I’m being optimistic like that.)
Shit I am off track. The point was that it is good and right and necessary to talk to people with different fundamental ideas than oneself. That’s what I meant to say, and it’s late enough that I just don’t feel like editing, okay? Fair warning. (Albeit too late.)
One of these different-assumptions-people for me is Lisa (from way back in Africa and the beginning of this mess) who wholeheartedly embraces a certain zone of Christianity and its associate edicts. Not to simplify her entire belief system into a single demographic label (because that is what pissed me off in the first place) but in a blog already long enough that I don’t actually expect anyone to read it, it serves the purpose.
During those hours and hours of driving across Botswana we could have been talking about any number of interesting topics, but instead we just sort of zoned out most of the time, then the frustrations and irritations of having spent days of low blood-sugar in an automobile with the same people further limited discourse so that when the topic of Disney came up one evening, I had zero energy or enthusiasm for expressing my opinions, and I didn’t particularly care about the 1% representation of them. I just wanted to enjoy the sunset and keep a watch for mosquitoes on my ankles.
Lying in bed just now I was thinking about Disney, it’s portrayals of yellow-jacket-shaped females (are they generally wearing Victorian intestine-crushing corsets below their relatively voluminous bosoms and insanely large Maybelline eyes?) or its reliance on tired racial stereotypes (that stuff about all the “Arab-looking” guys in Aladdin are the villains and the Tyler-Perry-esque one dimensionality of black people) or the possible links between Disney/ABC (www.disneyabctv.com) and the military-industrial complex (way too big of a topic to mention off-handedly, but in a couple minutes of googling I show $14,598,158 in contracts since 2000 between Disney and the Department of Defence & Homeland Security at http://www.usaspending.gov/) but now I realize there are a million-and-one term papers about each of these things, and it really isn’t the point.
Not that I have a point. It’s 23:37 and I have been typing this up for the better part of an hour on top of the dirty laundry hamper in the bathroom to avoid disturbing K, who has a cold and is having trouble sleeping tonight, and the only seat available is the Porcelain Throne and my thighs are cold and sore and when I stretch my back it sounds like chewing gravel and I really don’t remember what I thought might be worth getting out of bed for, and like I said I don’t feel like editing or worrying about coherency, because my true purpose is to make myself tired enough to sleep and you just had the bad luck to stumble into my midnight stream of consciousness.
So yeah. I wish I had had better conversations with Lisa, and I suspect Disney is a massive modern octopus of corporations with tentacles in unsavoury things (Gasp, right? Who’d a-thunk it?) and they could do a better job of not perpetuating our culture’s bullshit and I think, judging by the ache in my upper thighs, that I am ready for bed.
Damn, and I didn’t even get to the part about my other coworker and race identity. But I don’t have the energy for the disclaimers so maybe we’ll talk about it some other time.
Man I love Thai food. Man I love food. Did I mention I am trying to plan a trip to Thailand and radically alter my life again?