Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Commish

In this photo, I really thought that Manny was actually Johnny. The angle, the new hair, the beard. Wacky. It was one of those double-take type of moments. Well, it really couldn't have been Damon, anyway, since he's having shoulder problems. This is what happens when you fly too close to the sun, my boy. It's just a matter of time before the inflata-boob wife leaves you and makes off with your cash. As Cosmo Castorini says in Moonstruck, "She'll have your eyes open for you, my friend."

Congratulations to Francona on the contract extension. I love watching Tito go ape shit during games. The crazy rocking back and forth, the enormous wad of big league chew in his mouth. Classic skipper. Glad to have you for a few more seasons.

Last night, I had the pleasure of sitting in a historic commission meeting. You see, the Salem property is going up for sale soon, and in order to get it "ready," four windows need to be replaced on the top floor. No big deal, right? Well, it is a big deal if you live in a historic district and your 1775 home is registered. I have never experienced anything like this in my life. I attended with my contractor who lugged not one, not two, but three sample windows up to the third level of the building (where the meeting was held) plus a sample of the sill. The windows that we were hoping to replace the existing ones with were identical-looking from the street level, but much more energy efficient. We were fourth on the agenda, which translates to waiting two long and anxiety-ridden hours before it was our turn. The first few people were really scrutinized. Everything was put under a microscope. What were their motivations to replace their front door or widen their entranceway by four inches? Polaroid pictures were passed around and studied. Architectural plans were rolled out. Considerations were made. Some people walked away happy. Others, not so much. I fall into the latter category. Even though the case was pretty straightforward, a motion was made to explore window restoration rather than replacement. And this motion was unanimously voted on by everyone on the board. At various points in each case, one of the board members asks all the attendees if they have any questions or commentary. As if the environment wasn't intense enough, a man in a three piece suit showed up and sat in the back, taking in every detail of each case. When asked if we had anything to add, he stood up like some kind of prosecutor, explaining that the board should be looking at things from a different perspective. I sort of guessed that he was a resident in the historic district and wanted to make sure that he, too, was doing his part to preserve the integrity of the homes. In other words: He was there for his own amusement. This really stunned me since every second of the two point five hours of the meeting, I was sick with panic. So, long story, short (too late), I have to call the window restoration person.

One other quick note - I have become obsessed with the new reality show Black.White. I will devote an entire post to this soon, as I have a lot to say about it. For now, I will just say that I think it's one of the most important television shows to air in a long time.


At 5:47 PM, Anonymous empyreal said...

I think Black. White. is an excellent show as well. As an Asian American, I have often wondered what it would be like to be perceived as a white person. I think it would be worthwhile for the series to explore other types of crossing over as well.

I truly appreciate Rose's honest and perceptive nature. It's hard to believe she's a product of the resistant Bruno.

At 11:11 AM, Blogger 01245 said...

I know. I feel like her sensitivity gets lost or tuned out by her mother's boyfriend. I, too, hope it is successful because I think it would be great to see other races catch a glimpse of life in different skin.

I think that Bruno didn't have the right mindset going into it and he ended up not getting a heck of a lot out of it. It seemed that he was only out to prove that his perception was correct.

At 12:11 AM, Anonymous Empyreal said...

Oh, so Rose isn't Bruno's daughter? I missed that.

Dashiki issues: Clothing and political statements have always interested me. In college I read a lot about hijab. It's far more complex than a certain piece of clothing only signifying oppression because of the colonialism that denied Muslims the right to practice their religion and culture.

That said, wearing a dashiki is of course not the sum total of African American expression. But Carmen doesn't seem to understand this. She fetishized exotic clothes as a way to show that she is open to difference, but then over-estimated its significance.

Poetry coming out: Riveting. I haven't processed it entirely yet. What did you think?

At 4:10 PM, Blogger 01245 said...

I'm not sure if Rose is Bruno's daughter or not, but he's a live-in boyfriend. He and Carmen aren't married.

I completely agree with you on the Dashiki concerns. What's worse is that they were wearing them like they were at a costume party or something. Did you seem them in church? What the hell was that? I understand giving yourself permission to fully experience everything, but I thought it was overboard. And embarrassing.

I am curious to know what other types of situations they are going to explore. There's a great old segment from ABC's Prime Time called "True Colors," which explores 2 men going into identical situations and noting the differences in their experiences because of their races (one is white, the other black).

The poetry was really interesting. Rose really had guts, putting herself in such a vulnerable place, then witnessing the vulnerability of others. So far, I think she's getting the most out of it.

At 8:42 PM, Anonymous Empyreal said...

I finally put a finger on what bugs me about Carmen. She doesn't question her white privilege. It's that sense of entitlement that puts indigenous people on display at World's Fairs. It's the mindset that you can know all about others and their culture by picking up a postcard or article of clothing. It's a show of empathy through consumerism and superficiality.

When I was in college in Hawai'i, there were many military wives and housewives going back to school. The majority of them were white. Some of them were very much like Carmen, who thinks people that aren't white are there for her. Heaven forbid she try and learn something from others.

I think that is why Brian and Renee were upset with Bruno and Carmen's behavior at the church. Rather than observe, they treated it as if it were some sort of historial recreation park. Comparing how Rose behaved in her poetry group to Bruno and Carmen in church is very telling.

Sorry I'm getting so verbose about this.

At 9:46 PM, Blogger 01245 said...

The dangerous thing about Carmen is that she thinks that she is opening herself up, when, in fact, she is not. I hope that as the show unfolds, we see more of her breaking down the walls of her own perception and opening herself up to a non-white experience. In an honest, non-pretentious way. How about listening more and not talking so much?

As a white person, I try very hard to be aware of the "invisible back pack" of priviledge I carry around with me every day. I know that I have advantages that non-whites don't. I try to be fair and balanced in my daily life, and always aware of my privilage, but I know that there are times that I take it for granted.

The worst thing that a white person can be is complacent and I fear that so many of us (whites) have become just that. The problem is that racism (particularly systematic/institutional racism) is a powerful machine, now operating on cruise control.

Empy, thank you for sharing your views. They are always welcome here. Once this Bronson stuff blows over, I will be keeping up with White.Black commentary. And please feel free to chime in.


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