Friday, 6 July 2018

We Used to Talk

“Out on the road the other day I saw an affluent black man driving a BMW with two bumper-stickers. One was pro-NRA and the other one was a Tea Party sticker that read, ‘Don't tread on me'.  This left me very confused.”

-- Kimberley Johnson, feminist writer (HuffPost), in a Tweet

Normally, I don't care about what people want to Tweet on, or about.  About fifty percent of what I tend to notice is garbage remarks that someone had pop up in their mind, and didn't think much about.  Had they spent an hour pondering the episode.....they would have reached a conclusion, and just skipped broadcasting it to the world.

The trouble with Tweeting is that you just want blabber rather quickly, and not think much.

In this case, she wants to suggest that she is keyed 'in' on what black guys think, and they should not be pro-NRA or pro-Tea Party.  My humble guess is that she also would like to believe that 95-percent would always vote Democrat and most all blacks are anti-Trump. 

But I just don't see how in this day in can go around and 'label' folks. 

I got into a conversation one day with a black guy I worked with, and came to discover that he was also in DC comics as a kid.  Yes, he knew Green Lantern, Wally West, Arthur Curry (aka Aquaman), and Doctor Fate.  We got into a 20-minute conversation about comics, and the story-lines. 

I suspect if you gathered a group of a hundred black guys who are in the $30k to $70k wage least fifty percent own a handgun, and half of those are NRA members.   Course, for Kimberley, this might be an additional shock that she might not be able to handle. 

The trouble here is that folks tend to live in bubbles and never seem to go out and grasp the outside of their bubble.  It's ok for Republicans to sit down and have a coffee with a regular Democrat....discussing fatty bacon, poorly landscaped lawns, forgettable vacations, or the upcoming NCAA season.  Before all this 'war' business started was a pretty regular thing in the 1970s or 1980s for folks to discuss non-political stuff, and exchange bits of discussion. 

My impression is that Kimberley has lost that skill, and the best she can manage is to hang around folks who are like herself.  It's pretty sad, if you think about it. 

The Thousand Points of Light Quote

"It's your pasture now, and it's not so big--only three thousand miles from east to west, only two thousand miles from north to south--but all between, where ten thousand points of light prick out the cities, towns, and villages, there, seeker, you will find us burning in the night."

-- Thomas Wolfe, 1939, in the book "You Can't Go Home Again"

My brother, this week, brought up this phrase used by President Bush (the senior) back in the late 1980s, and how it was some key 'phrase' that you'd think about all the time.

Few realize, that while Wolfe was beginning to really pick up steam and be recognized in the mid-1930s as a great writer....he'd be dead by 1938, from TB.  He was 37 years old.

The book "You Can't Go Home Again", 700 pages?  It basically got published two years after his death, and most suggest that the majority of the book (maybe the quote itself) was some message that Wolfe wanted to convey as the goodness of America and folks who reside there.  In the book, Wolfe wants to say something about the fondness of memories, and that it's awful hard to relive those memories.  In a way, he was saying that when you think you've hit some lucky streak in life....enjoy that while you can.

I suspect that Wolfe would today be put in the top forty American writers of all time.  If he'd lived through WW II and into the 1950s?  He'd probably be ranked as either number one or number two of all time.

The $9-A-Bundle For Socks Story

I sat and read a piece today, which started me to pondering.

This older gal was responsible for clothing requirements for her husband.  Naturally, she was always the buyer and tracked prices.

So for years.....she'd always gone off to Wal-Mart and procured a simple six-pack of socks (I've bought the same socks myself on occasion)  for roughly $9.

In the past month, she went over to buy another six-pack, and the price had finally escalated to $15.  She noted, upon getting home and really examining the pack (it was the same company manufacturing them as always) now said on the side "Made in the USA Finished in El Salvador".

What did the label really mean?  It's hard to say.  I have a theory that the company felt compelled (maybe by Wal-Mart) that they really needed in some way to say "Made in the USA".  The trouble is....they couldn't really go and make that claim if it crossed the border.  So they ended up making all the raw material in some US state, and trucked it down to El Salvador where 700 women likely sit and earn $2.50 an hour, and then every evening....two tractor trailer-loads of socks get pushed out and head toward the Texas border and some big warehouse.

She was angry, and openly chatting about this frustration over escalating sock prices.  For years and years, she stated....the price had been the same, and she felt it was the Trump business which shifted her socks up $6.  Very unfair....was her message.

Here's the thing....back in the 1970s, you probably could have bought the same six-pack of socks for $3.90 at K-Mart.  These were all made at some sock factory in southern Georgia or western Kentucky.  Every six to eight years....the price went up another dollar.

In the late 1990....the golden ticket was established....NAFTA.  For this woman, things were now fixed up and resolved.  There weren't going to be any more US-manufactured socks.  The El Salvador crew could make them (the six-pack) for $5, and Walmart could pump the price up to $9.  If you quizzed her enough, she'd admit that the price has been locked down for twenty years, and she didn't mind if folks in Georgia or Kentucky lost jobs.  The fact that a million jobs just dissolved?  No, she doesn't care.

What would real real socks a six-pack, at Wal-Mart....if they were entirely made in the US?  I'd take a guess near $12 a six-pack to manufacture, and Wal-Mart would sell them near $19.

All of this is too much for some Americans to grasp.  They just want to blame someone because they can't buy socks at $9 for a six-pack anymore.  The truth is....they just didn't care about their neighbors, their lack of jobs, or the rigged-up economy that existed for the past twenty-five years.