white like obama’s mom

I was at my boyfriend’s roommate’s birthday party in May and ended up talking to this annoying Venezuelan dude for a minute. He insisted on speaking English to me, not out of enjoyment of the language but rather out of his enjoyment of acting condescending. I think from my annoyance sprouted some talk about how I had lived in Panama as a child, and then I said something about Panamanians being different from Mexicans. He asked me oh, and how is that, and I said well, I guess one thing is you can tell a lot of Panamanians have African blood. And he gets all uppity, like, “and can you tell I have African blood?” I could a little, but right then I realized there was something I had been waiting to say my entire life: “I dunno, can you tell I have African blood?”

Not well received, although I did get some sense that I had disarmed him. Still he brushed off my “evidence.” My boyfriend thinks it’s hilarious, but I want to insist that it is probably true. Parts of my family arrived to Virginia in the 1600s , some others to North Carolina in the 1700s, and still others to Georgia during that time. Statistically there had to have been something. Ok well, I don’t really know how likely it is, but something tells me it is not unlikely. I think there was probably at least one black person in my ancestral family in the last 400 years given the racial makeup of the population where my family lived.


Alright, so there are some things I think about frequently. Miami, dance music, regular music, race, nationality, whether or not I am gen-X, linguistics and etymology, the money trail, infrastructure projects, tacos, juice… since the weekend I have also been thinking about this drunk frat boy who wrote a book, Tucker Max, a lot, who’s book I am reading because my boyfriend’s libertine friend gave it to him and it’s in English. Back to race: I just concluded while walking to work this morning that okay, I accept that Barack Obama is black even though he isn’t descended from slaves, because he chose to identify as black. Not all of us can choose to be black, but he could, and he did, and I respect and possibly envy that, and then he became president and won the Nobel Peace Prize. Okay, that was around 9:30 a.m.

Then I get on twitter this afternoon and see the collective answering me that in fact, yes, genealogists have confirmed that Barack Obama is black in the “descended from slaves” sense, through his (white) mom. So this was nice for me because I had reached my peace on this burning question in my own terms, just hours before, and now the collective/Ancestry.com/god is telling me that my own conclusion had scientifically, really been true, and it wasn’t just true because I chose to believe it was true. It is nice when that happens, you know? And not only that:

SEE I TOLD YOU, BOARDING-SCHOOL EDUCATED AFRO-VENEZUELAN DUDE AND ARROGANT FRESA BOYFRIEND. I believe there is actually maybe a chance that I am also part black, and there is actually maybe a chance that I am also part black.

Obama’s Mom ^^^^^^ and Obama. Both part black.

p.s. This also touches on my gen-X question. I don’t think the millennials obsess over race like this. I get that race is increasingly flattening out into just a social construct, but… Cross Colors


20-minute goldie track

What the hell, I never knew the original of Inner City Life was 20 minutes long. Awesome! I had always just accessed the 7-minute edit from the Urbal Beats compilation I guess.

Just so you know, I am all in favor of super-long electronic (and prog) songs. It is sort of like the big pants argument in high school in the 90s– there is no ultra-wide leg opening too ridiculous, no arguably monotonous track too long. P. Diddy also thinks really long tracks are worthwhile:

also note the plaid shorts

I’ve never really been anti-gun. Actually one particularly rebellious year in college, I joined the NRA kind of to make a statement about bandwagon politics (I was studying a lot of “pomo” and absurdist narrative theory). But… well I found this photo on Facebook today, because someone I know posted it, and it just doesn’t sit right. I think for a number of associations it gives me, aside from the Aurora shooting news coverage:

1) The picture was taken in O’Fallon, Illinois (scary).

2) Not sure what kind of gun this is, but it looks like the Colt .45 I fired a couple years ago, which was ferocious and scary.

3) He is using this weapon to open a Mexican beer.

4) I just read a really in-depth story last night about escalating narcoviolence in Guadalajara due to the Zetas encroaching on the Sinaloa Cartel.

5) The Sinaloa Cartel is speculated to be one of the largest crystal meth producers worldwide.

6) Not saying this dude actually does crystal, nor that I even know for sure who he is, but this furniture, carpet, and the city of O’Fallon, Illinois, all make me think of crystal meth consumption.

In other words, this photo sums up for me, if only tangentially, a business relationship between the United States and Mexico that is estimated to be worth 10s if not 100s of billions of dollars… plus tens of thousands of lives in Mexico alone. Pinches gringos locos, culeros.

more cool photography and the desire to own

Thanks to WFMU‘s twitter account I just found this:


Post-its #2 by Thomas Jackson. Thomas Jackson constructs and photographs these structures. He has ones of disposable plates, cheeseballs, yarn, dixie cups. I like the contrast between crap (deferring to WFMU’s term) and the nature behind it. This morning I woke up dreaming of one of the yarn images, but in a sort of sparkly animated version.

Whenever I find art that I like I immediately want to buy it, sometimes even before I have the chance to sit back and think about why I actually appreciate it. It’s kind of materialistic, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I want to possess it, put it in my home, stare at it, show it to my friends, find out what they think about it. It’s kind of like fish tanks. I also felt this way about Sally Mann.

I am not saying I actually do buy the art, just that I want to. If it is a hundred bucks or less I do, but that is unusual.

earnest confessions of the week

I have said two kind of cheesy things this week which were true. Might as well publish them, eh?

1. I really admire and want to be like George Washington. I went to Mt Vernon (George Washington’s house) a few years ago with my parents and sister, and I was really inspired. Aside from the fact that I thought it was badass he had the key to the Bastille (it’s hanging in the foyer), Washington was really a Rennaissance man. He was always learning and trying new things, and he had a diverse career. (Said to my friend Cory on Tuesday night while eating pizza.)

2. I just told my boyfriend of nearly a year I think it’s really great that I feel like I know him better now than I did a month ago.