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A lawmaker in Arizona has gotten some ethnic studies classes outlawed for promoting "racial hatred" primarily because *gasp* they teach that other races have been oppressed by white people.  He feels that this will lead to the overthrow of the US government.

He also compares this "hatred" to the Old South.

And this is where I went from "outraged" to "posting".

Lemme explain the Old South to you, mister, as a history student and a scholar and as somebody whose ancestors were part of it.  From what I know, most of my ancestors didn't own slaves.  This wasn't, as far as I know, anything moral- most of my ancestors were dirt poor smalltime farmers in a state that didn't have many rich plantations anyway.  I am somewhat suspicious of where the big white house down in South Carolina came from, but that's my grandmother's family, which I don't know much about.  My ancestors were confederate soldiers, except for one distant cousin, who was Abraham Lincoln.  After the war, some relatives had black field hands or nannies.  One great great grandmother might have been black, or she might have been Cherokee, or she might have been just dark skinned.  Whatever it was, they didn't put it in the records. 

What I'm trying to say here, is, the New South is complicated, and the Old South was worse, and is essentially covered by a generation and a thin scab.  The old South was lynchings and slavery and death and blood and hatred.  It was a thin veneer of honor and scattered rich folk in dress uniforms sewn by women who'd seen their children torn away and sold like they were no better than the cloth and needles.  It was going to church one day and whipping the back of a child the next.  It was murdering some idealistic Yankee schoolmarm who'd come down South to teach free black children.  It was men in white sheets gathering in the pinewoods.  It was some sixteen year old boy who'd never seen a slave fighting and dying for what they told him were his "rights".  It was a woman on a bus who'd had a long day and a hard life and was tired of moving back.

What I'm trying to say here is, it wasn't an ethnic studies class.

Come around here, mister lawmaker who actually got his hateful scared little bill passed.  I'll even get my license, so I can drive you around to a little cemetary with bright new Confederate flags, to a battlefield where they say they still see ghosts, to an old plantation where they keep the stocks in plain view.

And hey, maybe I'll get my little brother to build a time machine, and I'll take you back to the Old South itself.

I think you'd fit in well there.
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Failiness of world, in a few notes.

1. The Last Airbender was cast in a racist manner.  Yes it was.  Katara is not /whiter than I am/.  That is kind of fail on a special level.  I'm sorry if you do not want to face this being a problem.  It kind of is.  That's kind of common sense.  

2. Unrelated: The fact that I am religious and Southern doesn't make me an ignorant bigot. 

3.  Other religious, Southern people: please to stop perpretrating this stereotype.

4. People in fourth block: insulting my best friend is not the new, highest form of entertainment.  He was the first person in years to show overt friendship to me without getting something in return.  Stuff that up your pieholes.

And good things lately?

1. I got to go to a Bobcats basketball playoff game (we got swept) and sit on the same row as Stephen Curry.  During halftime, my father went over to introduce himself.  I'd put in a bit here about hating to do that to celebrities, but, honestly, that's kind of how my dad reacts to anyone who went to his college, whether they starred in basketball there or not.  Also I got a picture with him, and apologized profusely.  (My dad is also obsessed with his new cell phone camera.  Hey, I love you Dad.)

2. I've read several excellent books lately, and reread many more.

3. GENERATION LOST IN LIKE TWO WEEKS!  YAY!  There shall be Booster, and Jaime!Beetle, and Ice, and Fire, and unfortunatelyevil!Max and YAY!
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I'm really, genuinely angry.  I mean, really, genuinely angry.  And - I cannot believe I'm saying this in a public post- I'm actually also angry at my dad.  Legitimately and morally.  I don't think that's something I'm supposed to admit, particuarly about something I doubt he remembers saying. 

But, screw it.  I'm mad.

Still mad.  The operative dang word is still mad.

Everybody on the internet went through the brouhaha over the Avatar- sorry, "Last Airbender," thank you, J Cameron - casting.  I was angry then, but it coalesced into a sort of seething rage that's only recently broiled up to the surface.

Race is a touchy subject, and it's a damned touchy subject around here.  Polite people polite company just don't bring it up.  We really, really don't want to remember that two generations ago my best friend and I couldn't have hung out together in public- not that we'd have ever met.  People really want to have a sense of "oh, that's over and done with."  About the only place it's mentioned is the opinion portion of the local newspaper, and while that would seem big, the opinion page of the local newspaper is generally devoted to arguing whether said newspaper is a puppet of the conservative warmongering fascits, or of the America-destroying liberal communists.  Godwin's Law gets broken like the place is an internet forum.

But I digress.

I'm mad about theAvatar casting.  I'm mad that only the villains and possibly one sacrificial love interest are Asian.  I'm mad that Sokka and Katara lost about twelve skin tones.  I was never naiive enough to think they wouldn't cast Aang white, but EVERYBODY just makes me want to splat things even after all this time.  And you know what else still bites me, after months?  The assumption made by the man who taught me that all people are created equal that white audiences are going to relate more to white characters.  "Who's going to be watching and paying for the thing?"  indeed.  The Asian style didn't stop me from falling in love with the show.  It didn't stop anyone from falling in love with the show. 

And then there's that argument I keep seeing, "Would you complain if they cast Harry Potter (or some random chara, doesn't matter) black?"  Guess what?  They didn't.

That's not damn relevant, because they didn't.

And I- you know what, LJ?  I feel personally insulted that someone thinks I need people of my own skin tone to relate to.  Frak that.  Society wants to move on, you know.  And I give this message both to the the Move I Won't Be Seeing, and, unrelatedly enough, to the man in charge of the Company Whose Comics I Don't Buy: When you let people move on, they will.  And when you don't, they won't.

Nothing about this fiasco, or about the promo pics, or about the reviews or the fandom has convinced ME to move on.

I'll tell you that, right now.
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Today I drove to school again, which was, as usual, interesting.  I'm getting much better at it.  I'm almost certainly not going to take my driver's test in Charlotte- the DMVs here are horrible, slow and crowded and just outright miserable at times.

I'll probably head down to Raeford, where most of my relatives live.  Chances are down there that whoever gives the test is either in my family or hates it, but the roads there aren't busy, and it's the county seat, so they should have a DMV. 

I like Raeford.  The greatest barbecue in the known universe comes from a little church there.  They make it every year and every year we get some, along with my great uncle's homemade barbecue sauce.  And it's always nice to go somewhere you've got history.  My grandfather was born there, and most probably his grandfather, and everyone there seems to know me- "oh, you're Aline's great-grandaughter"- and there are arrowheads and deer and turkeys out in the pine forests.

It's sort of cool.  On both sides of my family, no one seems to have moved in centuries- you've got my dad's family out in Raeford, and my mom's family out in the old farmhouse in Gaston County, and even my paternal grandmother's family down in South Carolina.  My family has our own ghost. 

As you can probably tell, i went through a bit of a family tree stage when I was younger.  When we go to Scotland, we're hoping to find out more, but until then, I leave you with this: I am related to both a large number of Confederate soldiers and Abe Lincoln.
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I am now home from Atlanta, and good times were had.  The city was nice, I only had severe anxiety issues once, and OMGOSHTINYGORILLAYAY.  But I'll get to that.

I ran into some of my pet peeves, namely that Hotels Do Not Need To Charge Twenty Bucks For Every Single Little Thing You Do.  Blurg.  One of the fun things about Dad being a lawyer is that he frequently goes to Lawyer Conferences, which are held at nice hotels so that people will have a reason to come.  So I have been to nice hotels.  Many of them had this feature in common: they did not charge for wireless.  I have also been to many standard hotels, and a few hotels where the beds were Pre Hair Covered For Your Convenience.  As I recall, these places did not charge for wireless either, though to be fair that was not always what I was focused on.  (It's difficult to think about the internet when the carpet sticks to your feet).

But the rest of the hotel was nice, even if THEY CHARGED FIFTEEN BUCKS FOR A DAY OF WIRELESS THAT'S ENOUGH FOR SEVERAL BOOKS ON THE CIVIL WAR.  It had a rotating restaurant on the top, which was terrifying but had decent food and an incredible view when I could convince myself to look at it.  And we didn't fly down there, so I suppose I had to have my requisite Terrifying High Up Experience sometime.

The tourist destinations were nice if crowded.  The aquarium was astonishing.  There were belugas, and jellies, and absolutely adorable otters.  The Coke place was basically a giant commercial, but it was at least a decent giant commercial that gave out free soft drinks.

And the zoo.  Omigosh, the zoo.

There was, of course, the baby panda, but while it was absolutely adorable it was also sleeping with its back to the audience.  I completely understand why it was doing this and everything, but all the same it wasn't something you could stare at for more than a couple of hours.

But the gorillas. 

There were several- I don't think they were quite baby gorillas, but kid gorillas, at least.  Very cute.  Two of them were wresling and shoving each other off of rocks, but a third was sitting in the corner eating.  After a while the rambunctious apes came over near the third one to annoy an adult gorilla, and the quiet one stood up, clearly having none of this.  And there are few things more adorable than a tiny little gorilla standing up, pounding its hands on its chest and then clapping.

And then today it sleeted after we came out of the CNN building.
  Seriously.  We come home to Charlotte, and it's much warmer here.  I feel like I need to explain the concepts of "spring" and "southern" to Atlanta.

Oh- and I got the first season of JLI, but Mom says I can't have it until Easter.


Mar. 20th, 2009 03:36 pm
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And my mom is going up to the mountains without me...  *Sobs*  She's leaving me with two siblings and dad to be the Only Person  In The House Who Can Prepare Food. 

In other news, the weather is now becoming jacket-less, which is nice.  First day of spring!  This is really the most beautiful time of the year around here.  All the dogwoods flower and everyone's lawns fill up with wildflowers except for those of most of our neighbors, people who engage in an odd practice known as "weeding".  We have a baby magnolia in the back yard and it might flower this year, which would be nice, particularly since it a few months ago survived having half of our old dogwood land on it.

And then it will reach 80 degrees Farenheit, and then 90, and then it'll be June and over 100 and I'll begin plotting to move up North. 

And then I'll remember that the beaches up there aren't as nice as Holden, and I'll change my mind.  I've only been to a couple beaches up there, thought- Cape Cod once, which was freezing cold and completely packed and overall Not A Destination I Recommend, though the hotel had about twenty cats and was awesome.  And a couple in state parks in Maine, which were not, as the tourist pictures had indicated, covered with baby seals, and then to one in Nova Scotia.  That one was best, because we were the only people there.

But none of them came close to Holden.  To be fair, none of the other Southern beaches come close to Holden Beach, either.  Myrtle Beach is tacky and packed, the Outer Banks are very nice but aren't really a place to just play in the water.

Holden is perfection.  No high rises- just family beach houses.    Holden is the sea turtle nests, and the three ice cream stores, and the Big Bridge that's still the biggest thing in the world.  It makes me want to spout out poetic purple prose about delicately twisting golden fronds of sea grass clinging to life forsaken on the guardian dunes.

The house there ithat we visit s my grandparents', and we go for Easter and Summer and Labor Day and...  yeah.

I'm actually looking forward to summer now.

Bring on the sweltering!  I've got my melodramatic descriptions!


Mar. 13th, 2009 06:01 pm
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Yay!  We're headed up to the mountains with my maternal grandparents this weekend, which should be fun.  We've got a little cabin out in the middle of absolutely nowhere near Pisgah National Forest, and while it's basically the home of the Beverly Hillbillies albeit with more seventies carpet, we love it dearly.  The relatives seem to like it too, as they can now go turkey hunting and it's got a deer stand. 

(I'm not ashamed of my redneck relatives, or anything, and I don't mean redneck as an insult, just more in the general Southern "that guy with the dead possum in his yard" except fewer dead possums). I really like them, they're good people, and they make great barbecue.  It's just that it's only now begun to hit me that most people don't have a bunch of cousins who decorate their living rooms in Furry Things I Have Shot.)

We might bring the kitten.  She likes it up there, because she's allowed to claw the furniture.  She also adores my fuzzy blanket that I have up there.  She kneads it like its her mother (that's a whole 'nother redneck relative story) and purrs and purrs.


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