Saturday, April 17, 2010

When you start your morning off with some Naomi Klein on the radio as you're driving the kiddo to school, you know it's going to be a different sort of day.

I listened to her discussing how much the current California officials and the federal government's bailout of AIG and the banks had a hand in the situation in which Berkeley students find themselves paying even more money for the education they get and there are still layoffs of the school faculty and personnel. She kicked it off with how an emergency situation created by man-made levee failures in New Orleans helped kick off the Friedman-esque privatization of the public school system. Though it was only the first part of the lecture that was broadcast, Klein detailed how current officials, think tanks, and the decisions they all make in reaction to the emergencies they are at least partially responsible for get us all paying more just to live. What can we do in the face of all this? Tune in for part two next week, the radio said. Just my luck...

Yesterday, I checked out the open thread here and found the observation that, thus far, in David Simon's latest show, "all most of the men (characters) want to do is party and the women are the serious ones". I couldn't resist jumping into that fray, as it's been my experience that even in damn-near-everything-goes New Orleans, women have to at least have a veneer of responsibility about them. God forbid you should let your kids get sunburned at an outdoor festival here. If you don't at least have more control over your household than your man does, you ain't worth much. And, as a woman, if you are the one who goes completely insane from all the crap involved in rebuilding your life here - even though trying to rebuild around here would drive a multicolored many-eyed-and-eared alien from another galaxy insane - you're already of the "weaker sex" and your reaction simply confirms this. Hell, even Naomi Klein isn't immune - DJ Pop Tart made it a point just after the radio broadcast of complimenting Klein on her mad research skillz, and I couldn't help but think that the author and lecturer had to be extraordinary in some part because she was female.

So, atop disaster capitalism and sexism comes the NIMBY-ism: my husband was told recently that feeding the city's homeless was somehow unseemly because of the large numbers of people that were lining up to receive what was probably the only good meal most of them had all day and how the line was snaking outside of the building in which they were receiving the food. No real mention of why there were growing numbers of "those people" lined up in the first place. Complete and total ignorance of the causes of poverty and of the funding cuts to social services were the hallmarks of this call to cease and desist. You homeless people get off my lawn and out of my city!

Some days, the -isms will kill you if you let them.

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