friend: can i call him a slur?
me: only if you want to be disbarred
because, i mean, you certainly aren't getting any Good Person awards
i think we are past the point when we can turn in applications for sainthood
that goes for both of us
friend: no way
i could be canonized
you just wait
and do you really want to be in the catholic church right now? not so much
friend: the poor Pope
me: i hope you're kiddingReaders? HE WAS NOT KIDDING. His response to the Catholic Church scandal that resulted in the abuse of all those children, just so the Church could save face? The poor Pope.
I wanted to throw my laptop across the room at him.
And only yesterday I had this chat conversation:
friend: what do u worry about?
me: um, having enough money for food and rent?
friend: i don't like being on loans
it makes me feel enslaved
me: i've always been on loans - my parents couldn't pay anything for college - only way i could go
it doesn't bother me anymore
friend: i am privileged so that this is new to me
it's no big deal
it's funny how many people here freak out because they haven't had to deal with it before . . .
it's only scary in theory
and i think you might want to unpack the privilege in using the "enslaved" comment, dudefriend: my response: ha, that is funny. i mean "enslave" as a metaphor for trapped.
So I emailed: and i meant my response: we need to stop fucking whinging. we are privileged as shit, and using words like "enslaved" highlights that.
But THEN, another white boy (these are all white boys) argued with me for 5 minutes about how he was allowed to say that he was a slave to the student loans that allowed him to go to law school. And ANOTHER white boy, when I expressed my frustration as to the first two white boys, argued that he thought that using the word "enslavement" might be too much, but "indentured" was not. Here are some pictures of what indentured servants look like in modern day. They are very small children doing hard labor in Pakistan. As if we could divorce words from their historical meanings and usages and pretend that as long as one definition was applicable, we could use a word. As if there wasn't something really wrong about a bunch of white adults having the opportunity to further educate themselves and get well-paying jobs after school bemoaning their "indentured servitude" or "slavery" to the very loans that have made them among the most privileged people on earth by allowing them to go to law school in the U.S. As if we could just shrug off the baggage and history those words carry, and erase the very real experiences and existences of millions of human beings by co-opting those words to the point where they mean almost nothing at all. We might as well walk around and say that everything that is unfair is "raping" us. Or it's ok for a white person to call a black person "uppity" if they really just fit the definition. Or, oh my god, you guys, people got so mad at me, they could have "lynched" me!
For fuck's sake.*
Readers, I am so strung out. Fuuuuuck this week, is my thought on this. Because, so, there was my rape brain. Then there was the just total fucking inhumanity of the people around me, as illustrated above. Then there was the WikiLeaks video. The exposure of NATO lying about the execution of three women. The Catholic Church bullshit. The fact that I am watching very closely what is revealed about Abu Zubaydah and the ongoing leaks on the CIA torture program, and reading about torture, the details of which keep getting worse, a couple of times a day, for my academic note. And poking through again the hundreds of pages of torture memos I read last semester to write that damn note about the doctors at Gitmo, so I can cross-reference with what is being leaked. Obama authorizing the assassination of Americans. Being in the middle of law school finals. Worrying about money. Missing therapy, which I had to cancel, because I don't have the money for both therapy and feeding myself.
So, remember in that post when I talked about it's ok to despair? I am clearly still in the despairing stage, here. I am over everyone and everything. And I will be better in a couple of days.
But some kid from one of my classes yesterday brought up on the metro that I hardly ever smile and that is bad for me. Which, ok, fuck him, yes, because women are not there to smile and please him, but also I just want to put this out there: so often, when I am sad or unhappy, people try to make me feel better. Friends try to tell me to stop being so negative, or to stop dwelling on bad news, or to try to think positively and maybe take a bath and listen to good music and just stop being so sad. They try to fix me, and this annoys me, because in this world we live in, I don't think you can always be happy. Not if you are paying attention. Or, like, leave your house or ever interact with another human being ever. Basically, if you are sentient, you are just going to be unhappy sometimes.
And that is all kinds of ok, Readers. Anything deviating from happy is not an aberration, it is not a problem, it is not something that immediately needs to be mediated. It is life, and it is being human, and these things are messy and hard, and sometimes? It is just not in the cards for me to be happy. Or for you. Or for anyone. Not all the time.
So if you are unhappy - I hear you. I totally get it. We'll all be fine, and breathe through it, and work it out, but for right now? I raise my glass (there's water in it, I have to work tomorrow, so use your imagination here, Readers) to all the folks who right now are so busy they can barely breathe, are stressed out, sad, lonely, having a crappy week, overwhelmed, feeling anxious or fearful, or just generally cranky. Here's a toast to us getting through this, and managing each and every day, and at some point in the future, when we are in a place to be happy, we can toast to that too.
*If this confuses you as to why this is a problem, go read this.