Sunday, May 2, 2010


A phone call last night led to a tale of the trials and travails of assembling a caja china in the Southern heartland aided and abetted by a good ol' boy. Later an email brought a poem by Sonia Guerra which spoke to me as the child of Cubans.

As I wiped the tear from my eye, I spied a theme to the evening. In high school, I was introduced to the concept of the "marginal man." (That was in the days before political correctness. One has to wonder what it is now...) Anyway, the marginal person has one foot in either culture, in my experience belonging to neither. Although inconvenient at times, like when you're sixteen and trying to get permission to go to the movies with your friends on a Friday night, it is often incredibly comforting, like when you are cosseted and coddled in a most unAnglolike way, being called El Niño long past the threshold of adulthood by an overly fond grandparent.

As I explained to a young relative in the middle of a genealogy project who was bemoaning that the kids in her class could trace their ancestors to George Washington and the like, leaving her feeling so different: her classmates only have one cultural pocketbook to dig into; we have two.

I Gotta Get Outta This Place!

Wow, man, it's like deja vu all over again. I'm going through the channel guide tonight and come across a program about a family with congenital insomnia on National Geographic, leastwise that's what the guide says. When I choose it, though, they manage to make it about sleep deprivation at Guantanamo and who knows what the long term effects are going to be. Whatever happened to like climbing Mount Everest? Later, I turn on a rerun of what used to be my favorite program, Cold Case, only to find that in a story line about teen pregnancy which resulted in murder, the main culprit is apparently not the killer, but the school nurse who when asked for advice informs the young father to be that "taking care of it" would result in sterility for the mother, which information she follows up with gruesome pictures of aborted fetuses. Of course, she's a hypocrite who's getting it on with the married math teacher. No agenda here, huh.

It has spread like a virus. Used to be that if you stayed away from the news channels, you could avoid liberal propaganda. Nowadays, you can't even watch the commercials. Witness the Amex spots enjoining viewers to volunteer. Really, I don't need a credit card company telling me to be kind to my fellow man. When corporations jump on the bandwagon, it's a sure sign it's time to get off at the next stop.

I've been here before. The mindless adoption of political positions as a badge of coolness is something I lived through in the late sixties. Difference was that in those days, there were adults to keep the country from going to hell. As my father would have said, "Sheesh."