Monday, October 24, 2005

I was riding on the bus yesterday when a person got on. This person resembled a man who might be in the process of transferring to a woman, whether by surgery or on the outside. The person sat down in a seat, and the guy directly behind looked around, with a mean smirk, and got up to move away. He moved to the seat next to me, his eyes searching for someone who felt his pain for having to sit next to that person for an agonizing three seconds. He kept chuckling to himself, as if to say, "I can't BELIEVE I had to sit next that...", because I'm sure that's all this person was to him - a that, something less than human. He got off at the next stop, which is good because I was about to get up and move myself.

This annoyed guy had a single cigarrette in his hand, and as he exited the bus, I realized that I probably had him pegged as a homeless person. He was disheveled, with a bag that might have contained all his belongings slung around his shoulder. I don't know if he was or not, but let's just say for a moment that he was on the streets. I wonder if it's nice for him to have someone to look down on, even if it's just on a bus for a matter of minutes. Flashbacks of news footage during the 60s went through my head as I watched a disgusted person get up and move from another person who sat down next to them. Pure disgust registered on his face, and I was sickened.

But, is that what we do? Look for someone, anyone, to be higher than? It sure seems like it. I am essentially a WASP, so I have plenty of people that are "lower" than me, according to the society in which I was raised. That's sick enough, but to see people who are so low on the pole that other marginalized people look down on them must be more than they can handle. It's like the movie I was watching where a guy says, "I may be poor, but at least I'm white." Or, even worse it seems, a Katrina refugee who got angry when a reporter referred to him as a 'refugee'. "I'm not a damn African with flies buzzing around my face," he retorted. "I'm an American citizen." With all that Katrina unmasked in our country, this guy wanted to make sure he was separated from poor, helpless Africans. When, in theory, they would have a lot in common.

If we as humans continue to find someone who is lower than us, then at least we can hold our heads high and walk around with the peace of knowing that "we" are not "them".

Karlyn apologized on the phone with me last week, saying she was sorry that she always brings up politics in our conversations. Sometimes that's all I can think about. It's so immense, it's overwhelming. Nothing else seems to matter except this broken world. Not to be pessimistic, but sometimes politicians are too optimistic for their own good. There is a lot of shit in this world, and we gotta be at least cognizant of the reality if we are to do something about it. In the words of Ben Harper, "We must let the future become our past/If we are to change the world."

So, last entry was love, this one's politics. I guess it's all downhill from here.

3 Comments:

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At 8:08 PM , Blogger Jessie said...

As usual, my friend, you make fine points. I know your entry isn't about this, but its funny how the "T" in LGBT, or GLBT or LGBQT or, however people want to put it, is always last. Being transgendered must be harder than any of us can imagine, especially during transition.

In a way I wonder if its not a part of the natural order for people to be able to feel a little better for being "superior" in some way to someone else. Then I realize I don't care if its natural or not, I don't like it one bit.

But I guess I realize that man moving on the bus isn't that different from me when I give a man in a Hummer the finger. I feel superior to that man because of the choices he is making in life. I don't like him because of what his vehicle stands for. I imagine that's a lot of how "conservative" people feel about gay, black, brown, female, etc. people. Perhaps we should all be a little ashamed. I know I am.

Okay. That got a little out of control. I clearly need to talk to you sometime soon, because well. I miss you. So, hell, I'll do like Karlyn. If you'd enjoy a call, give me a time, any time, and I shall call.

 
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