Thursday, February 2, 2012

Race sounds expensive

We all know the feeling of not wanting to fail at posting a Classic Brian for the second week in a row. So let's gut this one out for old times' sake.

Right now I'm in ISR's lounge, home to Lauren Leonatti and Raeann Sheley, and two, oh, how do I say this, Indian people are singing Chris Brown. Across from me is a guy doing some work for a class. Across from him is someone who probably should be (talking about me there, in case you missed it you idiot).

Got a lot of things on my mind, a lot of ideas have ran through my head, most of which made it to the other side and escaped, but let's just half-assedly go over some of them.


I hate racist people. If you're racist and want to be around me, be in the closet about that shit. And be embarrassed to come out. The word "nigger" is so strange. It sounds different to people of different races, it just does. I try to empathize with everyone I interact with, which is hard when they're not in person, but that's beside the point. Point being, I've often tried to sit and think of what it would be like to hear someone use the N-word (here meaning "nigger") and hear it with the context that black people do. I can't fully comprehend it even, so it's hard to understand the heavy offense. Well, not to understand — I get why it's offensive — but to try and empathize is nearly impossible. I think there should be a class about it. Digesting the N-word "nigger" and its history and what sort of meaning it carries now compared to when it was slung around like rocks at a playground that still has rocks at it (way-too-not-serious-when-compared-to-current-racy-subject tangent: stop making playgrounds with rocks at them. use woodchips or rubber bits. and also, I was never that kid who threw rocks. to you who was, you're a fucker.); the kids throwing them don't realize how it actually hurts.

We shy away from nigger because it's so offensive and is jarring to hear. Whenever I hear it, I wish I hadn't heard it. Maybe that has a context to ancestral slavery (mine never owned slaves, ps.) like how it upsets black people because of the context of enslavement, it's tough to hear because of the white context of regret. Speaking of which, it's black history month,


That word is less abrasive, for some reason. "Did you just say "nigga?" and "What the fuck did you just say?" are very different reactions in severity, more so than in causation (the latter being to the N-word spoken with what is called "the hard R"). When you think of a nigga, you think of a friend; you know, yer boy and whatnot. I really dislike that black people call each other this, despite how it's a lazy pronunciation of nigger. That is forgotten through the medium of connotation.

Some white people think they can say this. I don't know if they can, but it makes me uncomfortable. White people calling other white people niggas as a joke is strange. Thom and Peter do it and I don't know why. Listening to rap, being hip-hop, it doesn't make you African-American, those to whom the term nigger has an especial connotation. Should nigger and nigga be tied in meaning? They are so closely tied in sound that it is really difficult to justify differentiating them.

• • • • •

I like music. I have two iPods, one of which contains music from my home desktop's old iTunes files, which have been lost to computer cleansing. So when my iTouch died last week, and I threw the old Nano into the spotlight, it shined quite brightly. Hearing music that used to be my favorite jams brought up nostalgia to high school, which has pros and cons.

I wanted to do a shuffle-bored using my old iPod, and thought of explanations I would give to songs I had. Boy, that would have been defensive. My music tastes were much more limited with rock and general with rap. Since my junior year of high school, I've started only listening to hip-hop artists that I feel "matter," and not merely the ones that can turn a phrase.

Speaking of hip-hop artists that matter, Kanye West. I think he's the most fascinating musical personality around today. Music changed his life, which changed his music, and thus you have this artistically and noncontrived expose of a man who is able to make it, and subsequently doesn't know how to handle it, but then-subsequently churns a gem out of this hectic, rapid, frenetic life he leads. I listen to Kanye's music and I visit Kanye through time — like visiting one city in different eras if time travel were possible.

Kanye begins so genuine, innocent and determined. He now stands accomplished, spoiled and overwhelmed. He is at the base of something and at the peak of something. Jay-Z found himself in a similar position years ago, before he became a billionaire. Jay-Z's a billionaire, right? I don't know if I'd enjoy being named Blue Ivy.

• • • • •

Man, I cost my parents $10,000 the other day. Shit, me. Paying for college is unreal. It's, I mean, worth it I guess. But it is so vast in price, it's a hard purchase to make. Guilt and embarrassment are a couple things that come with necessitating such a loan that you won't pay. I'm feeling those. But relief is the prevailing feeling. Whatever it takes, man, college is the top priority. I'm doing well here. And, this whole late registration business has forced me to talk to each of my professors personally, and actually allowed me into a class that I would otherwise be unable to take due to my standing as a sophomore.
Things continue to fall into place for me, with my errors just working themselves into beneficial resolutions.

$10,000 bucks says these actions have their consequences, guys.

Good talk.

--Eliot Sill

1 comment:

  1. Your first couple sentences were a real seller.

    Also, I'm glad you made it into school this semester.