Wednesday, August 9, 2017

TALKIN' and TALKIN' and TALKIN'. Millionaires and Celebs. Racist Gestures and Racist Slurs. Social Media's inyourface tact, and whoever and whatever

Millionaires and Celebs
MANY Times I think what if 25 percent of the world's millionaire sports stars and Hollywood elite donate a "mere" $10,000 each a month from their bloated bank account for hungry people in Africa, breast cancer (treatment) research, refugee rehab, housing for the elderly etc etcetera. It'd be so cool, isn't it? Yet many are so tied up with their lucrative contracts and product endorsements to even care. They sell shoes and burgers and stuff. Busy so busy life. Some even choose to embrace another country's color and flag, in sports competitions, in exchange for money.

          I am not saying though that these millionaire celebrities are bad. They are as human as you and me. Comfort from wealth is what most or all of us desire. But it also doesn't mean that there are no superstars who have "forgotten." Probably while perched up in their penthouse playing their X Arcade Machine PS3 or chillin' by the bay on their yacht sipping bottles of Vieille Bon Secours on the off-season or shooting breaks, they also read the news about those who don't have enough--or news about poor people in their old `hood. And they are saddened by what's going on. They'd like to say something about it--yet their publicists and agents say nope. Whatever comes out of their mouth must be filtered and reviewed--as per contract stipulations. Hence it is much better to just shut their mouth and just do the usual photo-ops while they hand a check to charity in front of ESPN or Fox.

          Yet some are not contended by those sweet gestures. They still want to talk. Because like you and me, they have something to say about what's going on. So they spoke--while knowing that a political backlash of their statements may ensue, media firestorm may be instigated, and their contracts adversely affected. So they spoke. And in so doing, they lost their money and subsequently pushed to the wall and into the darkness of oblivion. Yet they spoke just like you and me--while their millionaire colleagues go on selling shoes that only the moneyed could buy, as they dance with klieglights and handycams, and toast Dom Perignons with powerful politicos and corporate moguls. These crazy people, once millionaires and rock stars, are now forgotten as new kids in town hug the limelight and inhabit Times Square's marquee. But then let us ask ourselves this. Did we read the wisdom behind the message more than we were so consumed by the messenger's lunacy?

Racist Gestures, Racist Slurs
MANY racist gestures or racial slurs come out innocently or spewed out on random. Not premeditated or intended. But it doesn't mean we'd tolerate it. Most that we can do is let that person know that those words shouldn't have been said. I may be taking things lightly as a person, or I shrug it off--but I am very touchy when other people/ethnicity/diversity is maligned or "corrected" by others who feel theirs is the correct one. Those who know me as publisher/editor and concert producer/organizer, and just a mere pasckie--know how intense I could be when it comes to how we treat each other's diversity. In the tiny papers that I edited, I had columnists from different spectrum of faith or ideology--from a Communist based in Italy to a Wiccan high priestess in Asheville, from a devout Catholic social worker to an Atheist musician etc etcetera. 
         Same goes with Traveling Bonfires shows. People judge them whatever--but I produced events for Christians and Muslims, Pagans and Buddhists, rightists and leftists, punk rockers and classical pianists. We can co-exist. We just have to be sensitive and respectful and accepting that others' truths are theirs, but it doesn't necessarily mean they are wrong or incorrect just because they are not us.

          I am always asked, online offline, if I experience racism. I think it's a stupid question although I appreciate the concern. Of course, I do. But mostly subtle almost innocent (ignorant?) racism. That's how the world rhumbas and jigs, you know. It's okay. Many times just my mere accent moves someone to give me a kindergarten lesson on English, definition of English words, elaboration of English terms, and how these words are pronounced. 
         Place: Las Vegas Strip. While seated in a casino bar, trying to order wine. A blonde lady with bling-blings the size of an egg yolk on a skillet goes, "Chardonnay is wine, it is a kind of wine." "Chardonnay, do you have enough money for that?" "Chardonnay. You may want to have beer. It's only $7." "Chardonnay. Shaärdəˈnā. Nay." So I just said meekly like a behaved sharpei, "But I was asking for Dom Perignon. Just washing away a heavy dinner of Monk Fish Pate `Ankimo' with Caviar. It's pronounced An-kee-moh. I had it at Nobu. Noh-boo. Damn, I just lost 5 grand on blackjack." Racism? That's how I deal with it. Lightly. Smart-ass but still lightly.

Social Media's inyourface tact
I OBSERVE that some of people's frustrations and complaints these days--these days of social media's inyourface nakedness (sharing each and everyone details of nasty breakups and what they had for dinner afterwards)--is we demand our governments to reveal everything that we so desire to know that's in their mind or white boards. Of course. But that is not realistic or even common sense reflex (sic). No government on this earth will tell us what agenda they just tackled in their Oval Office or Malacanang Palace study. 
          That's just the way how the world spins, you know. That is why there is media and journalism. It's their professional calling to share info within and around their sworn duties and responsibilities—as per lawful/ethical parameters. That is why there are press conferences and press releases. Read `em, ponder `em—then follow through. Find out more. Research. Then write. I got a lot of feeds from White Press press office and other media liaisons from a number of government entities, as well as those from non-governmental groups. I read them and ponder over them. It's natural for me to think things over.

          Societies are bound by law/s whether we like it or not. Hacking. Breach. Contempt. Libel. Treason. Etc etcetera. If we suspect that the government itself is guilty of such unlawful shenanigans? Then we work things out to help correct those or amend ills of governance--again, within and around sworn duties and responsibilities. If we delve beyond those bounderies—that'd be the time our passion for change, no matter how sublime that'd be, is cut or delayed or trashed. We get arrested, demobilized, paralyzed, delayed. Because we did it unlawfully.
          Simplified. Do our parents share us 101 percent of what they talk about in their bedroom? I don't think so. We give them the benefit of the doubt and then we wait. Otherwise, if we don't believe in them at all--the logic is, we'd be out of the house pronto. Conversely, those who lose trust and belief in their government--leave their country. 
          But we know we can't fly all the way to Planet Whatever--and even if we can, we will still be under some kinda governance or system of leadership/adherence. So what I'm saying is, chill. Don't just believe in what you just got on your inbox or Facebook page or whatever your choir just howled--just because these cater to your personal fire. Find out. Explore. Navigate. (Re)discover. And then we do the "change" gig.

          The “change” gig. Protest but protest via proper channels so you'd be heard—and do it consistently, multipronged. Lobby—in your City Council, county community centers, Congress, summits etc. Advocate—multi media, concerts, public forum. Or launch a revolution—which I don't suggest. Now, if you feel can't do any of these in an orchestrated, consistent manner—because you got kids to feed, work to attend to, cats and dogs to care for, a boy/girlfriend who may break up with you, you may miss an episode of “Game of Thrones,” you are allergic to sunlight etc etcetera? Then just enjoy funny stuff on Facebook—like cat videos, relationship jokes, and silly love songs. Or shut up.

More Rants on Racism
RACISM and Stereotyping/Profiling—or the subtlety and blatantness of our collective guilt. I always write about this. Do I get discriminated upon due to my skin color? Or do I get stereotyped a lot? Of course, I do. You too, I guess. I always say that I get ruffled or angered not by choice of words pointed my way or a nature of a joke shared me. I get hurt by how I am treated, in general—irrelevant a word was said or not. It's how we treat people and not how we “call” them that are offensive. 
         It's how we feel or think about a certain person (or culture) that matters in a basic crowd dynamics or person to person interaction. Just a certain look of the eye could be racist, or by simply ignoring someone because of an accent as accentuated by his/her skin color could be subtle racism. 
       I get those a lot. 
       When I talk and it so happened that my accent gets in the way, I get looks that almost say, “Shut up! Learn English. You are in America.” Believe me, even nice gestures like, “I can clean your barn...” or “Want me to cook you dinner?” would be misconstrued like I need a job or I may not have food for dinner or uhh, am I hitting on you? I just want to be nice, you know. Sorry. Or, if I seem to exude some assholeness (I got attitude, I'm warning you), immediately I get this. “Is that how Filipino (or Asian) men treat women?” One of the most classic ignorant retort that I ever heard.

          We should teach humanity how to be human first before we teach them how to speak a particular language, master it, and then be "human" next. You see, and believe it or not, I get more racial slurs from or gets profiled a lot by supposedly educated people from big cities than small-town folks or what we call “rednecks.” Why? I don't know. Maybe they imbue the good old American values (that I could easily connect with) more than the politically-correct “I know shit! Don't mansplain that to me!” arrogance of today's life. Now, that'd be a huge discussion, right? I guess, some of you will box me again as a rightwinger dumbass. Narcissist, self-righteous, misogynistic jerk. 
       Good, I wasn't stereotyped as White Anglo Saxon Conservative Moron (as how The Enlightened consign Caucasian GOPs), uh huh. Because my skin is nowhere white. It is as brown as volcanic mud earthy. BTW, I am not Republican or gadDem. Not rightist or Leftist, either. I am Pasckie. And I am Straight as a Curveball.

Whoever. Whatever
WHATEVER political/ideological or political partyline some may think I lean on, it doesn't bother me much. No big deal. I can rock with you. Those who know me longer are aware of what side of the fence I tend to gravitate to--which is the Left side of the ballroom. Yet I currently live with Republicans and have fun with their Republican friends and family for many years now. My second family. My own family is kind of divided--left of center to moderate right. Yet we party as one. I know who they voted without asking them. I don't have any difficulty discussing stuff with Republican Right or Democrats, liberals or radicals. I worked with all these people, actual work with concrete results, for years. Years before Steven Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg gave us these awesome toys.

          For me, whether you are Right or Left, Catholic or Pagan, Baptist or Atheist--you got something good to say and share on the table that would benefit a diverse world other than you. But if one declares I am this and you are that and so you are a moron just like your leader! on the get go--then there will be no room for compromise and negotiation. You see, if you march only with your Right or with your Left like a zealot or fanatic--you will trip eventually.

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