MAIN EVENT. A Good Place to Get Started --- a.k.a "Table of Contents"
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Baltimore - 16 January, 2000 - Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot dead while continuing to agitate against American injustice. Few, if any, will make that the first fact they remind you of on 17 January, the day set aside in the United States to honor the man. You can be certain that every politician out on the campaign trail that day will make reference to King's memory; just not that part of the story. I'm sure Republican candidates will be more than eager to mention King's Dream speech and talk about his vision of a color-blind society. It's easy for them to segue from there to their mealy-mouth justifications for eradicating effective affirmative action in this country. They leave out the part where members of their class, their former colleagues in the American political elite, were referring to King while alive as Martin Luther Coon. They'll forget that part, and forget how the American political establishment thought King was getting uppity when he started criticizing American foreign policy in general and the Vietnam war in particular. They'll also forget to mention how the US Federal Bureau of Investigation hounded King so unmercifully that he had no privacy even in his bedroom. And let's not dwell on the fact that he was shot.
The message of Ameirca is not the Dream speech. The message of America has prevalently been that ANY white man, no matter how venal, ignorant, or disgusting is worth ten niggers, spics, gooks, ay-rabs, redskins, chinks, kikes, darkies. That's been the message in Western literature, pamphlets, films, songs, video, television for the past 200 years. And --- if you aren't white --- that has been the message you have been asked to swallow even as it stuck in your craw and made you want to disgorge your latest meal.
RAGE? Why should people of non-European ancestry feel rage with this society? I don't know.
We should accept that some of us were declared less than 1/4 of a person in the United States Constitution (A model for the world!) for decades, and that we were relegated to the status of chattel. Life is cheap, after all. And human dignity is ephemeral. OR WE CAN DRAW THE LINE HERE.
Like I said last week, Rod has decided it's his mission to COLLECT DUES. I have paid enough dues in this lifetime to cover any grandchildren I might ever have. It's time for a new regime in these parts.
The program of the GENERATOR 21 continues to be to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. That's what a free press is all about.
So you can drink champagne about Steve Case swallowing Time-Warner; enjoy your Wall Street gamble. In these parts we are going to provide the Reality Check you deserve. We're mad as hell!
We still remember the defining fact of Martin Luther King , Jr.'s legacy: He was shot dead while continuing to agitate against American injustice.
FEED THE HUNGRY. You can help someone else in this world and IT WON'T COST YOU A DIME. If you simply remember to drop by The Hunger Site every day that you surf and click a simple button ONE LESS PERSON WILL GO HUNGRY. The food is distributed by the United Nations World Food Programme and paid for through the sponsorship of companies that care. Do your part.
I can't say enough good things about this week's AMERICAN DREAMS piece on American education by Guest Writer STEVE VIVIAN, "Wall Street's Cum Laude. If you only read one other article in this edition, read this one. It's both thought-full and powerful.
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Event # 199: A MOTHERLESS CHILD
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LAST WEEK's EDITION
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Here's another take on under-reported stories in the media.
And this is kind of a fun way of looking at living with earthquakes in California, like I used to.
There I was in the back seat of an Olds Cutlass, steaming up the windows, in the middle of an apartment complex parking lot in Santa Rosa, CA. I was giving myself completely to Peggy. I knew that I shouldn't have told her that I had never made it in a car but the music had been intoxicating. We had been dancing all night. "Might as well face it, you're addicted to love. Might as well face it." Peggy had insisted that we remedy my deficiency right now, tonight. As soon as I parked she had been on me.
I fumbled to get the key into the apartment door, as we kissed ravenously. The door flew open and we fell onto the carpet. It seemed like our bodies could not be separated. At some point, I managed to push her off me, grab the key, kick the door shut. We crawled on all fours into the bedroom laughing like maniacs. There we were, too "professional" adults, who had just rutted like minks, risking exposure, less than fifty yards from a bed.
Most of my intimates know to divide my life into two segments. B.P. and A.P.; Before Peggy, After Peggy. Before Peggy, as Von Helsing has said, people circulated around me like satellites around the sun. After Peggy... Well, I was as I am now... My friend Barbara would not talk to me for more than a year because of my complete obeisance to Peggy. Von Helsing, who was the best man at my own former wedding, referred to her as a succubus. He even punched me out. He said that she ruined me. Sharon, the wife of my friend George, for whose wedding I had been best man, refused to be in the same room with Peggy. So I systematically began to relinquish my friends in order to stay with this woman.
And I pretended that we were not involved when her "former" lover, Pam, would fly out from Oklahoma. I would feebly protest as Pam took my place in her bed. I would sneak away to a hotel in Petaluma with her to rut like minks, swearing even as we engaged each other that I would never tell Pam. It was, thus, ironic that this would be the first time we would conceive a child. ("But you told me you had contraception!" "I was using the Rhythm Method." "The Rhythm Method?!? That's like using Russian Roulette to keep from killing yourself!" "I'm sorry! I want to kill myself!") When Peggy knew she was pregnant she told me that she would kill herself.
- Because my divorce was not yet final and, being the "perfect" daughter of her parents' two, she would not put them through having a child out of wedlock as her sister had done.
- Because she was not certain, yet, that I loved her --- even though I had abandoned all of my friends and plans for her.
- Because she could not marry me until my divorce was final and I was hers alone.
Despite my own personal abhorrence, I went along with an abortion. I paid for it.
And then I ran away from her. I left town, as I promised her I would, while she was spending Christmas with Pam in Oklahoma. I moved almost a hundred miles away. I thought it was over.
She tracked me down, through my friends George and Sharon, and arrived at my house-warming party, where we conceived our second child. Peggy telephoned me weeks later, after I expected her to show up for the weekend and was stood up. She told me that she would not marry me and rather than face my anger opposing another abortion she had done it on her own.
Peggy had given me the soul-fuck. Knowing from the first how desperately I wanted children, she had given them to me and then killed them both, once with my grudging consent, the second time knowing it would not be given. Everything she could control, humiliate or destroy in me she had; the rest she left for dead... In my nightmare of Peggy, my eyes are bleeding.
After Peggy, I began giving my girlfriends nicknames. Jacqui "The Count," Lisa "The Snake Killer," Susan "Monkey Girl," Roxanne "The Zombie." I did this because I could no longer trust anyone. I was in terminal disconnect. But I never gave a nickname to Beth, the last woman. And I kept my solemn pledge never to write anything in my fiction about her.
Everyone expected that Beth would be my second wife. But it was not in me. Worse yet, at a party in San Francisco, a man who barely knew me, caught me out about her. When he learned that we had broken up, he poked and prodded me, and finally declared that I was "cavalier" with my women. He had found my button, in front of a room full of people, and I was incensed. "Cavalier! How dare you have the nerve to call me that?" I hissed. And he looked at me, glassy-eyed and said, "Got ya!"
Beth and I went out again two years ago. I wanted to see the re-release of Star Wars until I learned that she had never seen The Godfather. We went to see its re-release at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco. There we were, two motherless children if there have ever been any, watching the quintessential film about family relations in recent American cinema. That was when I learned that she had given herself her own nickname. It was "Hacker Barbie." She had it on the license plates of her Sports Utility Vehicle. After the movie, I listened to her rant about how much she hated her mother and realized that someone had suffered more deep injury from their mother than me...
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Things That Bother Me This Week
- The riddle of moving the G21 up to the next level of visibility and readership. Heck! Maybe even getting it to pay for itself for a change.
- That, as expected the Mouthpiece Media is more focused on the "horse race" of this national Presidential election than on issues or what We the People might think.
- My rubber plant seems to be doing poorly and I can't figure why.
- Painful memories drifting to the surface to haunt me.
- The increasing cheapening of the value of human dignity by corporate and bureacratic types obsessed with self-agrandizement and profit.
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EDITORIAL CORRECTIONS: Another good week. Let's hope I was as lucky this time.
ROD AMIS has published this magazine since 1990. It first appeared as a hardcopy 'Zine. In March, 1996, he launched it here on the Web. Rod was a Contributing Editor at Suite101.com, where he wrote the " 'Net Publishing" feature. His work has been featured in the San Francisco Bay Guardian Online, NRV8, and at WebLab's Reality Check site. Rod was also a contributing writer on technology for Faulkner Information Services.
Rod is now a columnist for the Andover News Network, where he writes on web design and development issues every Thursday. He is principal writer and Editor for IT Manager's Journal, where he reviews technology issues five days a week. His opinions on the Info Age began appearing on MethodFive's HYPER technology newsletter in March. 1999.
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