I am drinking a mix of Kombucha and cheap Cabernet savignon. I do the latter cuz it seems to have the least sugar. Mixing caffeine and alcohol is not a great idea, and can lead to sleep paralysis / night terrors. (And heart attacks). So, I am tapering off. I just needed a morning boost, and less wine. Also, I took garlic ahead of time, which really helps. So much of my symptoms are reduced by garlic, which makes it obvious to me that CFS involves toxic yeast or (myco)bacteria.
Begin here: For a few boyhood years, a kid from Hong Kong was my best friend. We took martial arts lessons together. Up in the balcony of a converted church. During a break, we looked down on the Koreans doing their training, in formation, and he said, "They aw tewwible peopooh!" I later figured out that he meant North Koreans, not South Koreans. because his dad must have been some kind of Chinese Archie Bunker, railing against the Commies - since that's the sort of biases self-made immigrants bring with them. Look at the Cuban community in Miami.
One thing I have learnt is that suburban white Americans are not the only people who pass judgements and promote stereotypes, racial, religious, ideological, and so on. I have found that these biases are in fact the currency of all people, white, Chinese, black, Latino, etc., etc. In fact, rich white Americans tend to do it less, since they have a belief in mutual prosperity and all that, although their biases therefore tend to be sublimated, much to the consternation of minorities.
But, I am telling you, it is better than being sent to reeducation camps. The minute immigrants stumble into this country, Americans are all concerned about their well-being. But they don't learn about, or do anything about, the horrible conditioned in the countries from which they came. The conditions in these countries are usually horrible because of the imposition of American policies and agents and corrupt money, all encouraged by the good American's sweet benign tax money. So, they go church, favour their local marginals, and hope for the best, but they forget how those churches, etc., were built. But, again, it is better than being in Central America, which is the whole problem.
OK - now I am going to give an example which may not be based in reality, (or may be), but which is reflective of what happens in reality... I frequented a Mexican store here, downtown. A tiny guy ran it, and he liked me. I convinced him to sell GF products, and health-oriented products. That was stupid of me, because there is no market for that around here. Not my fault, but ironically, he sold the business to a whole bunch of new Hispanics. I continued going there, and complimented them on the massive improvements they were making, tearing out walls, putting in delis, etc. Loved their hot tamales. Enchiladas.
But, one of the females got a crush on me, that was overt and embarrassing. I entertained the idea, but resorted to subtly fighting her off. She had male friends in, "Flirting!", they shouted - but I am just nice. I hate when people think more. Just plain western niceness. So, next I am getting angry at these guys because they are mocking me in Spanish, out of jealousy, or just plain male retardedness. Soon, I was out of there, deciding never to go back. What did I leave behind? Possibly gossip that I thought I was more important than them. Spurned females like to start up such gossip. Jealous males do as well. All I wanted to do was patronise the store, and buy my produce. But all this dysfunctional personal politics flooded in on me.
So - yesterday, at the supermarket, there are a couple of Hispanic-speaking people just yammering away. It was as if it started up every time I was near them. It was mainly a woman negatively complaining about something... something something, "Importante!..." (Imagine that this was about me - I am not saying that it was)...
Here is an example of me walking into a cultural miasma which, if it doesn't absorb you, it decides to blame you. It decides to project upon you assumptions and stereotypes and hate, because it never took the time to open up its mind to see what the reality actually was. I am basically a triple-major college graduate who is, yes, stuck in the middle of nowhere, but, more importantly, I am limping along with an illness that no one can ever see. So easilly, I become a target for negative biases, right? In fact, like no other white American, I went well out of my way to patronise and honour this shop and these folks, and spoke to them in as much Spanish as I could conjure. So many times, it is when you are nice to groups, that makes you vulnerable to being hated. Maybe because it reminds the members of some of their own self-hatreds. Which all groups have.
Here, in this black neighbourhood, I have experienced very much of the same thing. It didn't help when Trump was elected. Instead of going into all this, I refer you to my tags: 'local customs', 'nether people', or, 'black and white', maybe. Anyone who wants to comfort themselves in believing that there is no such possibility as black racism is insulating themselves from reality. Every group and race displays and exerts racism. In Uganda, the Tootsies and the Hootoo, (sp?), were set to killing each other, based not even on race, but on the shapes of their noses. I venture that one of the main reasons that people left Africa, 80,000 years ago, was because of racial abuse or deprivation. The way that blacks try to hang on to their territory, even if it is legally public property, is obscene. And Moslems who have moved into concentrated areas in Europe may try to kill any whites who try to walk through their cities. This crap is just a fact of humanity, which does us harm if we do not recognise it. The Founding Fathers spent a lot of time trying to get away from ignorance like this.
The jerk who keeps buggering me, thinking he owns everyone in the neighbourhood, calls himself cool, and yet he blows up and shoots his mouth off like the stereotypical angry black male, doing unseen damage to himself and his neighbourhood. He is so free that he gets to defy the ideals of freedom.
So, my beloved Hong Kong friend: He lived with his family, in an efficiency apartment. They had a paper partition going through the middle of the apartment. On the other side of the partition lived all of his cousins and their parents. It was a peculiar joy to be up there with them all, watching them slurping noodles from a dish. Always, that raw goose Chinese smell. What a wonder that these new Americans were roughing it so nobly. Or, am I concocting stereotypes that I should not mention? The fact that they were, e.g., living in a Chinese way? Guess what? They all lived above a DRY CLEANERS, where my friend's parents worked. Typical stereotype!
Well, stereotypes. They happen partly because they are based on reality, and certainly how a dominant culture or group perceives what is real. We have had a problem thinking that stereotypes are point-blank falsehood, but they usually are not. They betray realities, about the targetted group, and/or about the usually opposite culture. But, if you deny that blacks, e.g., love chicken, then you are denying a fact. But, lots of other groups love chicken. Blacks got used to loving chicken, and collard greens, and black-eyed peas, etc., because these were cheaper foods to eat. But, there is nothing unusual about living cheaply, which blacks did in Africa for centuries.
I eat porridge because it is cheap and healthy. It is also a stereotype of the frugal Scots people. The only reason I have given up potatoes is because they are not good for my CFS. But the reason the Irish got stuck with that stereotype is because the English took all other crops away from them. (Then you have Americans celebrating the Irish by eating corned beef and cabbage, which isn't even an Irish dish). So - show me the person who doesn't love turkey or lobster.
Everybody loves watermelon, but the cheapster history of the blacks claim it as an enjoyable practice. So, is it mean to say blacks like watermelon? I like watermelon! And everything else. It is the same thing as this: Only a black can call another black a nigger. Because, it is all about group versus group.
Morrissey said the Chinese were like an evolutionary throw-back. Well, I see them as one version of an already vastly decrepit human race. China has done things in a Chinese way, which is to be expected, because they are crowded into a unique environment, and they have a somewhat different genetic and cultural inheritance. Mao killed 60 million people. The one-child policy resulted in 60 million more males than females, leading to a vast social fuck-up.
I will tell you that China today is a scourge upon the earth - and it also has positive qualities. It is just a version of humanity doing things in a somewhat different way, somewhat competing for the future, against other versions of humanity. It is like whites who enjoy a cooler climate hating on darker-skinned people, when in fact, due to global warming, maybe it would be better if the darker skinned people prevailed.
However. There are certain ideas of the West that I find to be progressive, such as democratisation, fair justice systems, civility, the work ethic, pro-woman, environmentalism, individualism, and so on, which should trump many other ideas, such as, "Ali Akbar!," terrorism, bullyism, and so on. While I am a progressive, I also believe in conservative values advancing law and property rights. For example, when people are given charge of property, over the influx of corporate profiteers, then they tend to take better care of the environment. Dis-empowering people never works. Neither do negative stereotypes - OR - not learning from the reality behind stereotypes.
I think the major problem with stereotypes is not that they may be incorrect. Certainly, many stereotypes are over-the-top, as in those NAZI cartoons which depicted Jews as actual rats. But there usually is a germ of truth behind most stereotypes. If not, then you can learn from them about the opposite culture. However, overall, I think the main problem with stereotypes is that they tend, sometimes even try to, trap people in old definitions - definitions unsuitable to a possible changing or improving world.
For this reason, I think it is OK to chuckle together at stereotypes as they did in the 1960's, or as they do within groups, so long as we are sufficiently agreed that we all mean to move together into a better future. Once we see no better future, well, that's when all the monsters rear their ugly heads, right?
So, what we need to focus on is making a better future together, despite all the odds. There may come a point where this is no longer possible. But that time is not yet here. So. Get on it! And...
Enough with the identity politics!