Now, some of y’all probably know there was an East coast – West coast feud back in the 90s, but fortunately at this time, it was in the way early days of that foolishness, so I didn’t hesitate to say New York. Never do whenever I venture to flyover America, which is basically anywhere but New York — to a New Yorker.
“Oh word!?” one said. “What you doing in these parts bruh?!”
“I’m a tourist,” I confessed.
This is clearly a thing, so people who have not had this happen to them could you please refrain from suggesting that it doesn’t happen, or from suggesting it’s something that doesn’t require addressing because “at least they’re not killing you like in America…you guys are never satisfied”? Why? Because it’s disrespectful to the people who have endured it consistently.
The Republicans don’t have a Mommy Problem. They’re Daddy, even in most democratic eyes. When we needed a strong safe country, Americans didn’t turn to the party legalizing gay marriage, marijuana, protecting women’s rights and social security. We went to the warriors / warmongers who give no fucks about you, your woman, and your domestic partner…they love to make money, make bombs (and drop them), shock and awe and dance in the blood of their enemies.
What I misunderstood to be capitulation I now recognize as a form of spiritual confrontation, calling their spirits to task. What I misconstrued to be passive, I see now was a sign of strength beyond measure, the discipline to use your opponents aggressiveness against him, a judo of the mind. What I interpreted as an appeal for sympathy, or for pity, was actually an invocation, an appeal to that great mystical energy that flows within all of us, that unites us regardless of our superficial differences. Something we all share no matter how we worship, and even if we don’t worship at all.
I checked out this new Cat Cafe in Kannai, Yokohama today. I’ve always been a cat person, since childhood, but the idea of a bunch of them swarming around me just didn’t work for me. I imagined that it, for one, would smell like god knows what in the place, and that, once the novelty wore off, I’d be this black guy, sipping cappuccino in a room full of finicky cats and flustered Japanese.
I wasn’t in Japan long at all before I came to learn that here, particularly for non-Japanese, you are what the image of you portrays you as, nothing more, nothing less, until you’ve made personal contact. And, even then, you’re placed in the (awkward, at best, humiliating, at worst) position, with every new acquaintance made, of having to dismantle the image that proceeds you wherever you go. (Assuming you find the premise “Image is Everything” problematic – some people don’t, I’ve found, and these people tend to LOVE Japan unreservedly).