Black Lives Matter: who are you listening too about “them”?

If you are a White person and think calls to reform or even defund police departments sound ridiculous, or extreme, might I request that you consider the following:

If you are not Black, or do not live in a predominantly Black neighborhood, then how are you getting information about what is happening in the Black community? Is it from Black people in those communities? If not, why not? Is your source a Black person you know personally or is it via mass media or reposted social media? How reliable is your information and the perspective it brings?

What is different in their experience that would lead them to such a proposal? Perhaps, the danger you foresee in a police-less state, already exists in some communities. If you lived in a violent neighborhood, and the police department is part of that violence, is it really crazy to want to change? Or crazy to want to shut down a department?

Have you read the Ferguson Report?

Do not assume that those calling for these measures are stupid, or that you are simply smarter than them.

Black Lives Matter

1. Bad intentions and bad choices are equally distributed throughout the population without regard to race or wealth.
2. The consequences of bad intentions and actions are NOT equal for all races and social classes.

This indicates there is a systematic issue that cannot simply be solved by teaching one group to make better choices.

We Have Known Better All Along

One of the more troubling aspects of studying American history, is that there have always been, right from the very beginning, white people who knew racism was wrong.

These characters are troubling because they remind us that not only has it not always just “been that way”, but also that it could have been different. Our history with racism exists as it does because We the People intentionally made it that way- not because we had no way of knowing any better. There were people there shouting out the truth all along.

This should trouble us today, because right now there are plenty of people telling us ways to be better, and a lot of us are finding excuses to not listen.

Sober Doesn’t Need to Mean Bored: Seedlip

Five years ago I saw a bottle with an odd label sitting on a shelf and picked it up. The writing on the back said that inside was “A floral blend of hand-picked Peas & homegrown Hay”.

What?!?

I had no idea if what I had read would be a good thing or not, so I turned the bottle upside down looking for a price, and instantly decided I would never know. $50 was too rich of an experiment for me.

Fast forward to late last year when the magical interwebs having eavesdropped on my retelling this tale, suddenly served up and ad for Seedlip.

There it was, that same odd label, same description, but with a much revised number. Thank you spyphone.

I say thank you sincerely as having done the experiment I have now concluded it would have been worth spending the fifty.

Turns out the high price tag was connected to the products importation from England. What I had been unwittingly waiting for was the US launch.

So now I can easily order from Amazon unique flavors of non- alcoholic mixers with which to shake and not stir something tasty to sip that isn’t 90% sugar or 10% caffeine.

And yes, thank you, because sometimes we boring sober people get bored of what is available and want something better.

Seedlip is that.

Mr. An Expert’s Guide to Comparing Colleges

I read a lot of books by very smart people on various subjects. One of the most relevant and important subjects, is education.Screen Shot 2019-12-03 at 11.03.24 AM

Thankfully, there is an expert doing the work to help us really understand the world of colleges and universities.Screen Shot 2019-12-03 at 11.05.22 AM

Within Mr. Expert’s book lay  the secret to obtaining the knowledge and debt associated with American higher education. This is important because without this debt it is very hard to get membership in the right clubs or club seats for the big games.Screen Shot 2019-12-03 at 11.07.09 AM

Go buy it now before you pick the wrong school.

Things Worth Skipping Sleep for in Seattle: part 2

                                                                          FILSON

Not everything has left. Some things have stuck around, like the image of grunge rockers wearing flannel shirts. These are the same plaid shirts worn by Brooklyn lumberjacks circa 2009.

You can thank Seattle. They birthed the fashion long before Mother Love Bone became Pearl Jam. Long before anyone anywhere else.

Pendleton in Portland didn’t start making wool shirts till 1924.

Carhart was founded in 1889 but they were all about overalls and that canvas coat.

L.L. Bean was just inventing their boots in 1911

Filson started manufacturing wool clothing to outfit Klondike prospectors and lumberjacks in 1897. I, because I naturally claim the authority to do so, award the title of first flannel shirt maker, to Filson.

Now sure the fabric was around before them, and it was even made into shirts, but there is no other existing American manufacturer who has been making what we think of as the plaid flannel shirt longer, or in a place more directly associated with that clothing item, than Filson in Seattle.

Today the catalog features cowboys and fisherman, but the shop floor is populated with Brooklyn style sales associates, which suited me just fine. Their stuff is heavy, bulletproof, and so far beyond my price range that the only item I left with, or that I can afford to own, was a little button pin the size of a penny.

It cost $2.

The other stuff is well worth the price, but it is hefty.

 

I myself am quite hefty.

I got this way in large part by enjoying a good meal. Seattle accommodated…

[continued tomorrow]

Things Worth Skipping Sleep for in Seattle: part 1

I realized on the plane that the only things I knew about Seattle were based in the early 90’s. This makes sense as the Emerald City’s golden age coincided with my own coming of age but what surprised me just a little was the empty gap between then, and my now middle age.

Granted, the Seahawks did win a Super Bowl between then and now, yet in my mind, and I might argue most minds, Marshawn Lynch and Richard Sherman were the whole story there. So much so that for all I can remember the Seahawks might have played all their games in Sherman’s back yard- in some undisclosed American town.

If I try real hard I can remember the show Frazier, but no one remembers Frazier until after they remember Cheers, and that is all Boston. And, if anyone remembers Cheers they will either remember Sam Malone or Woody, then maybe the Red Sox, and none of that will lead you back to Seattle.

Wait, but if you think of Woody, you will drift over to Toy Story, which is Tom Hanks, who was in Sleepless in Seattle, so maybe you can get back to that town- but only if you do so by also going back to 1993.

And that is a bit of a shame since the place is worth a visit.

I knew about the place where they toss the fish, and back in 1992 I went up to the top of the Space Needle, but what I didn’t know was that at the base of that tall pointy tower is something even better.

MoPop, or the Museum of Pop Culture.  

It looks a lot like the Disney Concert Hall on the outside, but the inside is much more Nirvana than Beethoven. Literally.

There I saw Kurt Cobain’s cardigan, Eddie Vedder’s demo tapes, and a whole pile of guitar’s broken by both of them. I also saw Jimmy Hendrix’s guitar from Woodstock,

Prince’s blouse,

Spock’s shirt, The Wicked Witch of the West’s hat, the Hobbit’s sword, the Swamp Thing’s face, The Shining’s axe, and a six fingered glove from the Princess Bride.

It was fascinating, enjoyable, and oddly validating that they had artifacts from all sorts of pop culture things from when and wherever, but when it came to things from Seattle, they only had the things I remembered.

Except the Sonics. I cannot forget the “X-Man” Xavier McDaniel terrorizing the Jazz. But both he, and the team, have left town.

But not everything has left…

[continued tomorrow]