We have been having some adventures in public transportation. Going to the Whitehead event, we shared the bus with a man who declaimed upon the subject of armpits. He exhorted us to join in a discussion as to armpit smell as compared to other bad smells. On the way home, as I mentioned in a comment, a couple of bros were harassing all the women on the bus. I asked my daughter if this was unusual, and she said no. She hardly notices such things, she says.It's just part of the urban scene. My friend Debby, who I just talked to, refers to this as the "underbelly of Seattle," the odd and sometimes crude or even dangerous behavior of people on the bus, that her son also observed when he lived here. She says Portland is not that way. Urban types know to keep their heads down and not to react, I guess. Anyway, the busses are usually packed, so obviously the oddballs don't stop normal people from using public transport. And of course oddballs need to get around, too.
Earlier that day we did some high end shopping at University Village. It's very nice, similar to Stanford Shopping Center. The salespeople were all dressed better than me and had better manners, too and were, of course, much younger and cuter. I do try not to be a hick from the sticks. A toy store and a clothes store painlessly extracted a fair but not excessive amount of money from me. I noticed that my daughters and grandchildren are so accustomed to all this fancy merchandise that they don't overreact to it. Even the littlest one was not too greedy.
Toy store and kid's hair salon:
A little boy was freaking out about his first haircut.
We finished off our shopping spree with lunch at an outstanding sushi bar: decor A, food, A, service: spotty but good natured; price, reasonable.
They even had starter chopsticks for the kiddies. We did a lot of damage here.
I must be frank. It is pleasant, every once in a while, to enjoy the emollient atmosphere surrounding affluent people.
I am reaching the finale of Whitehead's book, The Underground Railroad. It did seem to lose momentum in the middle, but it's picked up speed again. The characters are symbols, rather than people, and the tone of it is cool and distanced and intellectualized. There are good reasons for treating the subject matter of this book in such a fashion; it would be too hard to take otherwise. Will review seriously and have something by the end of the week about it.
Colson Whitehead, from a privileged upper middle class background, a man who has been to the finest schools and is married to a white woman who is his agent, is yet a black man, and, like the President, subject to the massive projections of whites onto blacks.*
His is a success story, like Obama's, like Oprah's. A way of thinking that he uncovers is that in the eyes of white America, success is not acceptable for blacks as long as there are white men who have failed. How dare a n** get ahead of a white man? That is going against the very laws of nature!
I did not take notes at his event that I attended last night in Seattle, but what I picked up is that he does not want to be regarded as a symbol. But of course he can't avoid that. He's always been successful but not wildly so, not at the celebrity level. Bookish people like me have known about him for a long time and read his work. He considers himself to be over the midlife crisis, the customary divorce and remarriage. He is like so many other men, almost to the point of banality, and yet he has written this book and put a black enslaved woman at the center of it. That is the most interesting question his book raises, and one he didn't really answer.
*Obviously, things can also be said of the projections onto Hillary Clinton, a woman (though white) married to a man who betrayed her sexually many times and who has refused nonetheless to be discarded, which would be tantamount to being expelled from her own life, who is a mother, who has aged as we all do, who has served as a U.S. Senator and Secretary of State and yet can be freely referred to by any loser as a c**t, a b**ch, etc. etc.
Rachel Maddow clarified a lot of issues on her program tonight. She also had California Congresswoman Barbara Lee on. The Black Caucus lays the blame for the resurgence and mainstreaming of once fringe racism squarely on Donald Trump, instigator of the birther movement. Lee says we cannot have this man become president.
I am sick of this! But it is wrong to ignore it, because we can't ignore fascism, not even for a minute.
I do like the way the cheap crappy podium where Trump spoke collapsed but I am glad that no one was on it when it fell, because unlike Trump and his rabid followers, I don't enjoy the thought of people being hurt or killed, not even my enemies.
I feel perfectly fine about feeling total contempt for these people. What about that leathery old bat from Hawaii? Eeew! I've always hated people like that, but I've tried to overlook their obvious s**ttiness. No more!
And that collapsed podium and all the made in China crap at Trump's new hotel in D.C?
At last, he finally blew it! He lost the press and they will no longer be his servile enablers, except for the truly insane ones like Limbaugh. He had the mainstream New York media right where he wanted them, too, and he just pushed things too far over the line even for them to put up with him any more.
Like I say, we ought to give a state to these boobs , wall it off and allow them to do anything they want while the rest of us can continue to lead our decent lives . Let's make it a state where it's really hard to get by, like Wyoming or Montana, where these prosperous yet under-educated fools can experience genuine hardship instead of the symbolic hardship of having to realize that the country is not the exclusive property of people like them. (revised) Anyone who thinks these deplorables are amenable to reason at all is unduly optimistic.
These days people are switching to laptops and notepads and such, and a lot of people just use smart phones. I do like my smart phone and have come to regard it as a necessity, but for many things I still prefer a big old desk top computer like this super speedy HP Pavilion I just got. Add the monitor from my old computer and the keyboard, and I'm ready to go.
This is a big family day and the weekend will be busy.
He is referring to the publicity event Donald Trump pulled today, tricking the press into giving him a free infomercial. I did not see it. He told them this was to honor the military and make some big announcement, which turned out to be the revelation that Obama was born in the U.S! (but that it is Hillary who started these rumors!!) So he made fools out of the press. Ha ha. He may pay big-time for this one!
Terry went to one of those junky used electronics stores in Seattle that you have to fight your way into and found me a scorching fast reconditioned hp computer for $130.00 with Windows 7! Nice to have all this computer power here.
It is very pleasant and warm this evening. Nice fall weather. A welcome break from the unreal humidity Hilo has been having lately.
Hilo has just been hammered by severe thunder and lightning and pounding rain. It even hailed at Volcano Village! The storms are getting more frequent and ever wilder, as climate change accelerates, and the Pacific region has been hit very hard this year.
And it went on to pound Taiwan and Mainland China. And the season is not over until December.
The woman at the office where Fred the cat is being boarded called to inform me that he is OK. He has been ill but is now much better. She told me the storm was very bad and frightening to the dogs, with all the thunder, and that it was still raining.