CC, Carlos, Catwoman, and Caucasians

Mailing list will be up soon…I promise. In the meantime, send me an e-mail.
Had an interesting talk with my buddy Captain Cancel the other day. Many of you may know him as the Crown Prince of St. Vincent, and a few of you know him by his legal name. Either way, he had complaints about the last little ditty about Coondoleezza Rice (typo? maybe…).
“That piece was atrocious, man.”
CC wasn’t too keen on the lack of subtlety, which I can understand. However, that prompts me to make this warning…
Those of you that have met me more than once know that I’m not the biggest fan of conversational subtlety, and I intend this to be a conversation. There’s a comments page because I want to start dialogue.
Look here…talk is cheap. In that spirit, I do this here blog for free. But subtlety…that costs money. And since I’m not getting a check for this, don’t expect too much subtlety. For subtlety, check the links on the side. I’ll give you whatever intelligence I have, but that’s all I promise. Should you really want subtlety, holla atcha boy…and send a money order.

So what’s new? Not too much. Life’s turning into Groundhog Day. They all seem pretty similar. But this is the life of a graduate student getting ready for exams. After smacking the alarm, it’s pretty easy to tell what’ll come next.
A lot of math.
***
I’m kinda interested in Carlos Delgado’s refusal to recognize the playing of “God Bless America” at baseball games. It’s a pretty interesting issue, really. As you may surmise from his name, he’s not American. He plays for the Toronto Blue Jays, a team based in that country north of the US.
His issues are not about citizenship, though. They’re all about his opposition to American involvement in Iraq. This isn’t the first time this has happened. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf–nee Chris Jackson, owner of the quickest first step I’ve ever seen. So quick that he only had one move and still couldn’t be guarded–refused to face the American flag during games in the mid-nineties. A Division III female basketball player turned her back to the flag a year or so ago during the national anthem. Nothing new.
But how long Delgado’s actions be tolerated? When’s the last time you saw Abdul-Rauf on television? If you have, you’ve either got the uber-duber package from DirecTV or you’ve been hanging out in Europe recently. He couldn’t have played for free in the league had he wanted to after his actions became known. Yes, things like that do happen. Ask Craig Hodges.
Delgado’s a different case because he’s too good to banish. Mahmoud never was the pro many thought he’d become–just too small–but Delgado is an upper-echelon power hitter with a guaranteed contract. It’d be a helluva feat to banish him without anyone noticing. That he plays for the Blue Jays and his name is still recognizable says a lot. Plus, it don’t matter who it is…if a team owed Karl Marx tens of millions of dollars that must be paid rain or shine, he’d be lining up in right field everyday no matter what he did or said.
“Workers of the world unite!”
“Yeah, and there’s a spectre haunting Europe, yadayada…you bat third, commie.”
“Good lookin’ out…get paid on Friday, yes?”
Whether you agree with his stance or not–and I do, largely because I find the nation-state to be a foreign concept that shouldn’t necessitate allegiance–you’ve got to respect his conviction. Dr. King said the same thing about Ali in the ’60s, and that was in spite of his place as a Christian and Ali’s as a Muslim.
Not standing for the pledge, the anthem, or even daring to say something bad about John Wayne, apple pie, or Hulk Hogan can come with foul consequences. My old man only stands for the anthem at games because people used to throw shit at him when he didn’t, and it’s a tall order to have to fight every joker in a stadium section. I tend not to stand for anything because my knees are made of confetti, but I rise for the anthem to avoid the stress. Plus, I’ve got rules about people throwing things at me, and all of them lead to litigation. Now that I’ve got something to lose, litigation is all bad. And now that I’m kinda grown, litigation costs me money. The parental unit ain’t got nothin’ on bail, and neither do my friends.
Lots of ’em know the good bail bondsman, though. That’s good for something.
But isn’t it a bit much to ask non-natives to stand for “God Bless America?” Regardless of politics, religion, or anything else, I don’t think Tina Turner is in Berlin throwin’ bows when the German national anthem comes on. Perhaps many see standing as a show of respect, but people aren’t taking off their hats and bowing their heads out of respect. It’s out of something that borders worship, and worshipping another nation is called treason in most places.
Assuming any nation is to be worshipped, but that’s another post for another day. (My good buddy Ashy Larry, the Happiest Married Man on Earth, has been recommending I read an interesting book that posits that the state religion of the US is actually American nationalism. If that topic interests you, I’ll get the title from him and pass it along.)
Oh yeah, and there’s a really foul war going on, but you already knew that.
***
Not to downplay the war or anything, but what more is there to say about that? But while I’m on it, is “Fahrenheit 9/11” becoming Roots for liberal white folks? White folks have been coming out of that mad, burning with the anger that comes from having abstract atrocity put into a tangible, digestible package. It’s the same way that slavery was undeniably nauseating, but that point really gets hammered home by watching Kunta have his foot cut off. People were mad enough to help the film gross more than $100 mil.
And Moore didn’t even have to pay any movie stars. That’s how to make that dollar, jack.
***
How to waste that dollar? Go see “Catwoman.” Went to see it with this Dookie I know from Virginia (put your lip back in). I paid for dinner, and she paid for the movie. Now, we were definitely in the right frame of mind to enjoy a movie. We really were. Halfway though, she looks at me and says, “I’m not allowed to pick the movie anymore.”
And it was her money, not mine.
It’s the worst movie I saw this summer. And yes, I did see “Soul Plane.”
***
Yeah, longer than I’d expected, but you’ll be a-ight. Next entry…maybe something about the convention(s), definitely something about the column (coming August 6th…drop me a line so I can make sure you’re notified when it goes up), and probably lots of the rambling that comes from too much studying.
Tomorrow’s another day, but it feels like it’ll be a lot like today. Dammit.

8 comments on “CC, Carlos, Catwoman, and Caucasians

  1. “But while I’m on it, is “Fahrenheit 9/11″ becoming Roots for liberal white folks? White folks have been coming out of that mad, burning with the anger that comes from having abstract atrocity put into a tangible, digestible package. ”
    That’s exactly right, Bo. Definitely true for me. I have one quibble with you, though – I don’t like to be called White. It’s “Cracker American,” thank you very much.

  2. katrina says:

    i read an article last week regarding Delgado and his views on the massacre, i mean “war.” there was a quote from a new yorker that said his lack of participation during the 7th inning was not only a slap in the face to him as a new yorker but as an american. i immediately thought…THIS IS WHY THE WORLD HATES US…we tend to feel ourselves entirely too much. ah, chris the best guard sporting purple and gold since pete!

  3. Katie says:

    I’m so glad I’m not the only person who realizes that standing to honor a flag that flies in the face of everything it was created to stand for or some song that’s full of lies is asinine. And I’m tired of people looking at me cross-eyed for not doing so while I’m staring back at them thinking they should be locked up in some rubber room for worshiping such things. Although I never see myself becoming famous, I wish I was so I could take the same stand, because the stand that I take (as one who lacks national fame) doesn’t matter much apparently. As a teacher it burned me up this past year to have to stand idle in the hallway while an entire school full of uninformed children were indoctrinated on a daily basis with lies like “…one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” I’m supposed to be teaching them that the truth is the way to behave in a democratic society, and I’m told by my administration that I’m obligated to instruct them to repeat national lies to instill patriotism in a nation that could care less about them. What B.S.!

  4. Kirk says:

    I’m not saying that anyone has to agree with the war, the pledge, the anthem, or anything else. I personally AM pretty much on board with the pledge and the anthem, and even to the war to some degree. To each their own.
    However, all that aside…
    Michael Moore?!?!?!
    Let’s not forget that this movie had a very formidable PR machine behind it in the form of the Weinsteins at Miramax long before it even was released. The success of the movie is a success of marketing, not truth and fairness. After all, when it comes to the box office, we’re all Monty Brewster at heart; we’re dying to give our money away. You admitted yourself you watched Soul Plane, see what I mean?
    In other words, if we’re supposed to take Money Mike at face value, then we have to take Bill O’Reilly at face value too. And I don’t think even the staunchest conservative can say that with a straight face.
    I’m cool with it if Carlos Delgado doesn’t want to stand for the anthem, or salute the flag, or get the Anthrax vacination, or recreate the Slim Pickens scene from “Dr. Stranglove” over Baghdad. However, that doesn’t mean the people that do salute the flag are an less sensible. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who doesn’t stand for the anthem is no more controversial or unlikable than someone who does.

  5. Killacal says:

    More power to Delgado! I hope he gets traded to a contender and CONTINUES to not stand or even acknowledge “God Bless America”.
    As for Moore and his movie, I see it as a bit of counteraction to Fox News and it’s “Fair and Balanced” perspective on things. Moore’s work is no more biased than the daily drivel there. And say what you will about Moore’s motives, he’s made the movie available for free streaming on the internet.
    On Catwoman, I’ve applied Nancy Reagan’s drug policy to movies of that ilk….JUST SAY NO! It’ll take more than Halle Berry in leather to get me to the theater, especially when her stunt double is a man!

  6. Justin says:

    I’m feelin both sides of this debate. Ultimately, it’s up to each of us to decide where we stand on all of these issues. (Although that Catwoman crap is already voted the 34th worst movie in history and it’s only been out a week, pretty unanimous. Haven’t heard one good thing yet.)
    But despite our issues with the good ol’ U.S. of A., we must remember this: the U.S. is one of the few countries in this world where you have the OPTION to not stand for a song or repeat the pledge. People throwing cans, trash, etc. at you is more appealing than being thrown in prison (or worse) for expressing your opinion. So let’s just be grateful that we face only the ridicule of our peers when we express distaste for America and not persecution/execution at the hands of a ruthless, controlling government.

  7. Phil says:

    I’m new here, so maybe I should keep my opinions to myself, but I think Killacal made a great point about being able to not stand. I’m an American and currently living in a foreign country, and if I’m at sporting events or what not, I do in fact stand and respect the anthem of the nation. Not because I agree with its foreign or domestic policy, but because I respect that I’m in that country.
    But maybe that’s just my slanted reality.
    And here’s where I have a problem with Delgado. Hey Delgado, you want to make a political statement about the USA? Don’t cash your checks from the USA earned revenues, or better yet, decide you detest the country so much that you won’t step foot inside it until they change their ways. But to disrespect the flag, while cashing your USA earned checks (even playing for Toronoto, probably 90% of the income of that team is from US licensing deals, televisions, etc) and enjoying all the privileges of that country is the height of hypocrisy.
    Enjoy that you have the right to disagree, but respect the symbol of the nation that gives you that right (at least when you are in its borders).

  8. Kirk says:

    To respond to Phil’s comments, yes I agree that Carlos is enjoying certain rights and privileges that he may not find elsewhere, and is doing so while earning a living off of the same people he has offended. That being said, it is still his right. I agree that he should show the US flag more resepect; the flag represents ideals that are above the ideals of any person or administration. Thus, if you disagree with George Bush, so be it, but the flag still represents the same things it always has. So, Phil, I would suggest that if Carlos Delagdo can make gestures and political statements that we both find offensive or distasteful (which I do), and still earn that paycheck, then it is a perfect example of what makes that flag so special, and the ideals that it represents so special. If only we all could enjoy such a luxury that this is all we have to bitch about.
    In short, yeah he’s a spoiled brat, but at least he didn’t steal from you or get drunk and drive his car into a crowded crosswalk in front of an elementary school. Lighten up, and get a grip.

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