Chamblee54

Pass The Popcorn

Posted in GSU photo archive, Music, Race, The Internet by chamblee54 on October 28, 2014

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PG was editing pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. Some of these images decorate this post. He had been working on a batch of pictures for a few weeks, and was weary. It was time to blow through the remaining 200 images, and get them out of the way. What this means is to focus on what you are doing, and ignore the distractions.

Sometimes, the old fashioned interruptions intrude. At one point, the telephone rang. The recorded voice of Pat Boone (?) urged PG to vote for David Perdue in the coming election. Did you know that Obamacare is causing cutbacks in Social Security? Did you know that the Republicans think you are a total idiot for believing this nonsense?.

The online noise machine can provide background sounds. There was an eight part youtuber, with Henry Miller reading “To Paint is to Love Again.” Every fifteen minutes a segment would run out, sometimes in the middle of a sentence. When this happened, you had to bring firefox up to start another segment. What has happened on facebook in the last fifteen minutes? There are urban legends of people using a device in the bathroom, so they will not miss a facebook status update while taking a dump. As people used to say, when you were leaving, keep in touch.

One status provoked 139 comments. PG ran out of popcorn. “White queers should really check themselves when you think it’s okay to show up to a party in blackface. Whether or not you think it’s artsy there is a history of racial oppression that goes with blackface. You’re not being cool, you look foolish, you should edit yourself and check your fucking privilege.”

Someone in New York had a Rocky Horror Show party. A person paid homage to the opening number, which features a pair of lips against a black background. This detail did not come out until 45 comments had hit the innertubes.

It was a lively discussion. PG is a known caucasian. He does not know what it is like to live as a POC. PG does suspect that some incidents do not merit high octane rhetoric. In this virtual town hall meeting, an party costume became a chance to opine about “the relationship between systemic racism and oppression.” So many big words, so little time.

“… epic insensitivity to the experiences People of Color face in our white supremacist society, which is totally uncool, and an example of implicit racism. The fact that Cher would not even consider that painting her face and body could be offensive is blatant proof of her privilege.”

Meanwhile, the pictures were not editing themselves. After a while, PG is less picky about details. Fewer dates are looked up. Just get it done. Perhaps this is when PG does his best work… without being a perfectionist, and just being focused on getting the work out.

“To dismiss someone’s comments and to challenge the fact that Cher’s look resembles blackface and could offend someone is the exactly a page from the playbook of white supremacy. The very act of saying this isn’t racist is you forcing your asinine opinion on people. … We can only move forward with open dialogue and not by dismissing people’s feelings.”.

“I mean for real. No shade let’s talk about trauma and white supremacy. This idea that there are not competent black leaders is implicit here. The reality that white supremacy is a constant trauma white folks can choose to pay attention to is real. The fact that “lifetime minority status” for people of color shortens the lifespan is fact. Any ou going to tell my home girl that she is out of line for developing community, decolonizing and coping strategies smash that system girl it’s tired and dying out anyways. I’ll be dat black supremacist for you any day of the week.”

Part of the background sound was the Lester Bangs Interview May 13th 1980. Mr. Bangs was a rock n’roll journalist. He died April 30, 1982, after overdosing on Darvon, Valium, and NyQuil.

The interview was fun, with a 34 year perspective. He says that the Rolling Stones should continue to play until they are sixty. Would you rather listen to Tony Bennett? The 2014 reality is the septuagenarian Stones playing in stadiums, while Tony Bennett does duets with Lady Gaga.

Eventually, PG ran out of steam, and went to sleep. The next morning saw the end of the pictures, while listening to Peggy Caserta talk about Jania Joplin. Miss Caserta wrote a book, Going Down With Janis The opening line: “I was stark naked, stoned out of my mind on heroin, and between my legs giving me head was Janis Joplin.”

You are going to miss something. Another facebook exploration began: “How can we respond to public accusations about things like rape or police brutality when the evidence isn’t clear? I’m not okay with violence but I also firmly believe in the idea of innocence until guilt is proven.” This assumes that the incident is your business to be concerned about.

Somehow, this is connected to the next to last comment of the Rocky Horror discussion. “The contents of this conversation are bigger than all of us, white people need to realize that and stop taking everything so personally.” Maybe the non-white population could do this as well.

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