October 26, 2005

SAD JOKE

I'm sick and tired of people picking on Condoleezza Rice for not being black enough. Powerline cuts to the core of a very depressing and demeaning op-ed about how Rice just doesn't get it. According to Eugene Robinson, she was too busy playing the piano to understand racism, and she lives in this Fantasy World where people are judged by the content of their character instead of the color of their skin, which apparently is a bad thing.

Last night I caught an episode of The Chappelle Show that I'd never seen before. It included a "race draft", a humorous take on sports drafts where different races chose multi-racial people to belong to their group. (For example, Tiger Woods was drafted by the black race, defining him once and for all as black.) When the white group came to the podium, they drafted Colin Powell. The black race said they'd negotiate a trade: they'd throw in Condoleezza if they could have Eminem.

I know it's just a joke, but it's a shame there's an element of truth to it. It's sad commentary that the black race would rather embrace Eminem than Rice and Powell, two of the most educated and powerful people on the planet.

Posted by: Sarah at 05:26 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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October 22, 2005

THE NEED

Amritas writes about how the need for a foreign language can be an indicator of success (I'm really oversimplifying his post here; it's much more interesting in its entirety). One of my friends emailed me last week. We haven't talked in a while, which became obvious to me when she said, "I imagine your German's probably awesome by now!"

Before I moved here, I couldn't understand how people could be stationed in Germany or Korea and come home not speaking the language. Now I completely understand this. Until you see how a military community operates, it's hard to really imagine it. My Swedish friend bought me a German paperback book as a gift when she came to visit two years ago. At the end of her weekend here, she apologized for giving me the book, saying that she didn't realize how American my life still was, even though I was smack dab in the middle of Europe.

We speak only English all day long. We spend dollars at our stores, where we can buy 110-volt appliances and Region 1 DVDs. My husband and I don't have any German friends except for a few wives, most of whom speak English quite well and sit around moaning about how they'd rather be in Kentucky where they could go to Walmart at 10 PM. We don't need to speak German.

That said, we try to speak it whenever we're out on the town. We do just fine with our restaurant and department store vocabulary. Sometimes we get the Rolled Eye Treatment from German shopkeepers who'd rather conduct business in English anyway, like last weekend when I started giving someone my address in German and she looked at me like I was speaking Chinese. I sighed and repeated the exact same thing in English, at which point she finally wrote it down. The Germans in our area don't want us to speak German, so it's an uphill battle with the girl in the train station who begged, "Can you please just speak English so this will go faster?" when I tried to purchase a train ticket in German.

We're perfectly capable of learning German. I learned French and Swedish just fine, and my husband taught himself basic Arabic, for pete's sake. But the motivation just isn't there, because the reward for speaking German on the economy is rolled eyes and groans. So why bother?

(This is not to excuse those people who rave on and on about how much they loooove living in Europe but don't even bother to learn how to order food from a menu. I hate when we run into those types when we're out on the town. If you want to homestead here permanently and be a Squatter after you retire, then learn freaking German, you boors.)

Posted by: Sarah at 06:35 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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October 18, 2005

UN

OK, here's what I don't get. The top google hits for a search on Mugabe include the phrases "Zimbabwe strongman", "descent into dictatorship", "people dying in Zimbabwe", and "Mugabe's terror campaign". He's banned from entering the EU, except for when he's invited by the UN, like he was Monday for the 60th anniversary of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization. So Mugabe, dictator of a country where "an estimated 3.8 million people" are starving, has this to say in front of the UN (via LGF):

Mr Mugabe used his speech to lambast President Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, whose governments have been among his severest critics.

"Must we allow these men, the two unholy men of our millennium, who in the same way as Hitler and Mussolini formed [an] unholy alliance, form an alliance to attack an innocent country?" asked Mr Mugabe, apparently referring to Iraq.

"The voice of Mr Bush and the voice of Mr Blair can't decide who shall rule in Zimbabwe, who shall rule in Africa, who shall rule in Asia, who shall rule in Venezuela, who shall rule in Iran, who shall rule in Iraq," he said.

And what did the UN do after he went on this tirade that had nothing to do with feeding the hungry?

Some delegates to the Rome meeting applauded Mr Mugabe's condemnation of the Western leaders on several occasions during his speech and then at the end.

So a real life dictator goes to the UN to call Bush and Blair dictators? And people clap? The UN is such a joke.

Hey, Mugabe. Maybe you'd better look at your own tactics before you start pointing dictator fingers at others. I'd say "using violence and murder as an electoral strategy" is a far cry from Bush and Blair. But hey, you seem to fit in fine with the Oil For Food crowd.

Please, can we just end this charade that is the UN?

Posted by: Sarah at 04:00 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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October 09, 2005

CRASH

We watched the movie Crash last night. It was horrifying.

I went into this movie blind: the only thing I knew about it was that people thought it was good. I didn't realize that the entire thing was about race. And boy do I mean it was about race. Everything the characters say and do is racially motivated. Every scene is about race. The bottom line in this movie is that we're all racists.

Am I really too naive? I thought this movie was completely unrealistic. I'm sorry, but the DA's advisor is simply not going to mutter "f-ing black people" to a black detective. No way, no how. I'm not denying that we haven't all felt ourselves in these characters' shoes at one point or another, but the downright racist things they utter in every scene are over the top; people just don't talk openly like that. A white man might inwardly grumble about affirmative action, but he's not going to openly belittle the black woman working for the HMO.

I was disappointed with this movie because I had high hopes, and we don't rent movies that often. But I just can't enjoy a program where I hate all the characters, and the only guy I could stand in this movie was the locksmith.

I've never been to LA -- maybe LA is from Mars and the Midwest is from Venus -- but this can't be real life. People just don't think about race every waking second.

Posted by: Sarah at 05:04 AM | Comments (11) | Add Comment
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October 08, 2005

DALLAS

I was too young to watch Dallas, but thanks to the magic of DVDs, I've been enjoying that bit of TV history. I mentioned to my husband that it's interesting how simple the plotlines are. To a generation raised on M. Night Shyamalan and CSI, the thought that you could base an hour of TV around "Jock has a heart attack" seems amazing. Dallas is not boring by any means, but it's sure not fast-paced TV like we're used to.

My husband told me about the pending movie plans for Dallas. I had no idea this was in the works, but now that I know the characters, I certainly can't see Brad Pitt as Ray Krebbs! My friend and I were talking the other day about how the idea of beauty shifts over time. We remarked that Charlene Tilton would never have been cast as Lucy today, because by today's standards she's fat. Even though she's not fat at all; she's voluptuous and womanly. I was grossed out to find that they're thinking of casting Lindsey Lohan as Lucy for the movie. Maybe Lohan circa 2004, but not now. There's just no way I'd choose this

lohan.jpg

when Lucy's supposed to look like this

lucy.jpg

Give me a curvy, thicky-thick Lucy any day. And a JR who looks like Travolta.

Posted by: Sarah at 06:35 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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