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  1. Anne B permalink
    January 14, 2010 12:46 pm

    Gosh, man. That blows.

    I had another American Moment last night (very different from yours) — but, I am beginning to understand, my American Moments now seem to benefit heavily from the presence of others who were not born here.

    I shared a Happy Hour or three with a few other smart blondes from the office (there were four of us, all women) and a bunch of guys. Three white guys, American-born. The other five guys were men from India.

    So a few things are clear:

    1) Indian men are sidesplittingly funny.
    2) They don’t seem to need booze to get there.
    3) The moment of American world dominance is passing, and I wish it a happy bon voyage.
    4) I really have to do this kind of thing more often.

    “The order of the patriarchy”, whatever it once was, seems to have been a very Occidental thing. I don’t know why we ever felt we needed it. I will not mourn it when it goes. Nor, I suspect, will you.

    I invite you to embrace your past American Moment as an artifact of the disappearing world, and join the rest of us in our happydance to a brighter, browner future. 🙂

    You make me laugh, LOM. Keep on keeping on!

    • January 15, 2010 4:59 am

      So AB, you laugh. But I’m funny how, I mean funny like I’m a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I’m here to fuckin’ amuse you? I’m messin’ with ya Anne B. This is becoming my go-to movie quote and clip this week.

      Well I’m clearly doing this whole bloggy thingy completely wrong because I was trying to make you think, to introspect, to consider the importance of the consequences of our actual less-than-rosy-glowing past. I obviously need to re-read Writing for Dummies and of course continue to practice and practice.

      I carefully read your comment, at home, in my Cave, in an admittedly unusual (for me at least) state of complete sobriety.

      So a few things are crystal clear:

      1) All humans as individuals usually can be funny and charming and reasonable. One-on-one interactions require us to display our better nature. However, humans in larger groupings, carrying banners and donning traditional vestaments and uniforms, often quickly become irrational and unreasonable and dangerous. I don’t need to remind you of the importance of context do I?
      2) American world dominance is over. The American Empire is dead. The corpse still does violently twitch and lash about and the reflexive death spasms spew blood over mostly browner people, but they are generally other countries’ browner peoples so I guess that’s okay for most Americans.
      3) I really need a drink or four to understand your next paragraph though. Or maybe I should beat myself in the head with the bottle; brain trauma or perhaps lobotomy might help me to comprehend what you’ve written.

      “”The order of the patriarchy”, whatever it once was, seems to have been a very Occidental thing.”

      The dismissive quote marks and the attached dismissive phrase seems to suggest that an educated, fairly well-traveled, contemporary woman living in a relatively progressive community of diverse peoples is still thoroughly astoundingly capable of either basically not comprehending the concept of Patriarchy or not being able to recognize its persistent and pernicious influence in the greater part of this culture and the world today, still, as always.

      Here’s an allegory draped in the imagery of the story you and I currently share a common fascination with. The still privileged, still powerful Caldecotts of our real world have changed the label, and marketing campaign is more hopeful and colorful and slightly subliminal, and the sales pitch is smooth and soothing and seemingly affirming but the stuff in the can, the actual dog food itself, I assure you, is still horsemeat. Patriarchal Horsemeat! Read the ingredients Anne. Take some to the lab for independent testing. Develop your palate. It’s the same studly horsemeat it ever was.

      Perhaps because we all initially accept and feel comfortable with the “food” our parents serve us, and it takes determination and some fearlessness to objectively evaluate the nature of our envirionment, the Patriarchy no longer seems too imposing to you.

      Or maybe you need to remember world cultural history a little more clearly. Because the “seems to be very Occidental thing” is objectively an ignorant and/or oblivious statement to make. (I will be as condescending as I can be because I now feel again that you may be baiting me here.)

      Remember Oriental food binding and geishas? Ever read about the institutional encouragement to abort female fetuses in China? The tradition of arranged Hindu marriages and Indian widows throwing themselves on their owners’ funeral pyres? Clitoral mutilation in Africa and burkas in the Stans and no female drivers in the Desert? The tanks in Tiananmen Square weren’t about patriarchal authority? Yeah OMG, the Patriarchy was so totally an Occidental thingy. My head hurts so badly from having to point this out to you.

      I did feel this was all one big joke again. And I took the bait; I’m bored and had some time to play around, and I like a good rant and ridicule. But then you punctuate things with a sentence that reads primarily genuine and non-ironic, encouraging me to forget my past grievances and dance into the brighter future. There’s even a Happy Smiley Face Emoticonny to express, as I interpret, your sincere warmth and humor and fellowship. Or is that a smirking sarcastic emoticon? My mind reels. And I become greatly disturbed and confused again.

      I may make you laugh but why? I profess to be the Idiot, the Jester, the Clown, that’s true. But am I wrong about the facts and content of what I wrote?

      You make me shake my head, Anne. Turn off the White Noise.

  2. Ruth permalink
    January 18, 2010 11:47 am

    Great writing again, Less of Me. Considerable bravery in a same-sex kiss in South Carolina in the 80s, I’d say. You were lucky to get out alive.

    There must have been a positive “American moment” for you though? Aren’t you Americans supposed to be so positive and go getting and can do compared to us negative back-biting begrudging Irish?

    I may need glasses, or just be a bit thick, but what’s in the photo? It’s been preying on my mind since I saw your post over the weekend. Am I missing the point of something? Do tell.

    BTW MadMen has just started over here – Episode 2 is on tonight. I’ll try to transcribe the Don Suzanne dialogue & send it to you when done – I have a lot of this transcribed already from You-Tube/Jezebel/Gawker clips.

    • January 18, 2010 1:10 pm

      Ruth, you get the quicky reply this week. i hope it’s good for you, too. My home PC has been a mess this week, I’ve had to reload and update almost everything, I should have bought – stolen – a whole new computer. The offline time allowed me to finish S1 this past weekend so I hope to post up relationship analysis, I’ve been mentally comparing Suzanne to Rachel and Midge, and Roger’s heart attack was much more moving to me this time around. (It felt like a narrative stunt the first time I watched it I remember). I hope to get to it this week.

      I’ve had many traditionally positive “American moments”, don’t get me wrong, but I have issues with the implied Exceptionalism in the phrase. And my dad’s family tree has plenty of blarney in it, I got me shanty Irish skin from him. (That’s my grandfather’s phrase btw, take no offense.)

      I politely refuse the compliment of bravery regarding the brotherly buss; I just rolled with the tidal wave there. Mike really was a large, slightly unstable ex-Marine, if I would have taken a swing at him I may have been the one pummeled before all others. I am still confused why and/or how the pummelees would let their homophobic disgust overrule what should have been their better judgement. Then again maybe they had no better judgement, maybe they were demonstrating the way natural selection works to thin the herd. The greater impression on me was that the females seemed to take the lead in running me out of there. They took the hard line of no quarter to the remaining enemy.

      The image I used was from the movie “Memento“. I enjoyed it. The image in the photo he’s holding I forget, it’s of no significance to my purposes. I read that the words memento and momento were sometimes interchangeable though their etymology is different, and I liked the wordplay, that’s all.

      We have wait for the AMC to re-run S3 in March I guess, the same time the DVD’s come out. You are transcribing clips? I like your enthusiasm Ruth. Please let me know your impressions. Do you really think it’s a gender dynamic that pulls the most weight in the opinion forming regarding Suze? You hinted you thought that was the primary driver. I’m not so sure.

      Lunch is over, got to go. thanks.

  3. Ruth permalink
    January 18, 2010 6:17 pm

    You’ve definitely kissed the Blarney Stone – don’t know how you manage to keep the allegory from falling off the imagery & all that. Although I managed to go to the cinema pretty often in 2001, I seem to have missed Memento – it’s always good to find a new film to watch, so thanks for alerting me to this.

    Got to go as the 2nd episode of Mad Men is just starting. Will keep you posted on my impressions. Episode 1 didn’t quite have the bounce of the previous series but I think that might have something to do with the “no life in the office” thing discussed on the Basket.

    Best wishes & if you’re still thinking of doing it I look forward to reading that Tiger Woods post when ready – don’t put yourself under pressure though as we’re all busy at work in the New Year.

  4. esme permalink
    January 20, 2010 6:52 pm

    great post.

    it’s a hard time right now. all the winds blowing Dorothy at the Graumans like it were Kansas and discombobulations of the earth shaking the first freed slave uprising… and Elmer Gantry on the teevee telling us Satan controls Haiti – and scripture on bullets and bombs to spread the word of god with a quite bit more than a fist to the mouth.

    here’s the way to handle that situation, should you ever find yourself so placed at your birthday or any other time: Good lord, (fill in the blank name) what in the heck are you doing? – followed by big laughter.)

    a little snippy, r we?

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