Wednesday, April 26, 2006

few cents here

proposed immigration laws against illegals.

Haven't really kept up much in detail as of late but the good ol' WASPy white boys on the hill have it wrong again. Out of touch with the current and so far into their comforts that they've no idea what's out there or forgotten where they came from. It's astounding how folks have turned out and the march in LA a while back - someone reckoned that it's the biggest civil rights march seen since the King days in 1960s. Good for them.

History repeats itself.. "Those Who Forget the Past Are Condemned to Repeat It" by Santaya (sp)... A tempting piece of arable land with clean water and raw materials aplenty. People move in and adjust to way of life by depending on the local resources and climate. Several centuries later, give or take, a next wave of people come in and flush out the original inhabitants if neither group adapt to the other. One way or other assimilation occurs. Course, there's few pockets of resistance or preservation. Some people mix in and intermarry or keep their respective distances. US of A is long trumpeted as land of opportunity. My family's been in New York State six generations now and my parents tell me how our ancestors came here for a better life from the Irish faminine to lacking opportunties in Central Europe.

The Native Americans, Anglo Saxon Judeo-Christians, Catholics, free blacks, the Irish.. then the swarthy folks from southern Europe (Italy and Greece).. more waves of people have darker or yellowish skin color, slanty eyes, wearing ponchos.. The 'natives' dismiss them because they take worse paying jobs in poorer conditions. Immigration always always provide cheap labor that the previous wave no longer touch.

I heard about this indie film that came out few years ago.. can't recall the name but I think it's part of Tribeca film festival that's now happening in town. If one day all immigrants left or stopped in California.. 20 percent of the population, gone affecting significant number of teachers and all fruit pickers.

land and people change, fool.

Additional note: protest in Union Square today (4/29). Good for them! I'm not going because I have laundry to do and my apartment especially my bedroom begs a lot of cleaning. I work in social services with many deaf immigrants. that's my contribution to society and I need to maintain a balance for myself.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Locked out

Was locked out of my apartment last night from 8p-10:35pm. I didn't realize that I forgot my keys until I was at the door digging through my Mary poppins bag. I paged and texted my roommates - they're not home til 10 30pm. I'm not going to ruin their plans. I saw it as an omen that I needed a medium between work and home. In recent nights I've been coming straight home and flop self in front of TV or go on-line. Thankfully I live in Midtown West so there are things to occupy myself with.

Went to a Mexican place - Ariba!Ariba! and had their sangria and vegetable tamales. Not bad. The place was full of yippies and folks of all ages both straight and gay, flirting, eating and drinking. I read an old issue of Economist magazine that appeared out of nowhere in my Mary poppins bag (darn no In Touch), vee-veed the scene at intervals and my waiter was cute. No complaints.

Having enough of the scene at Ariba! I hoofed it to Border's book store at Columbus Circle and browsed a bit. I haven't splurged in quite a while (maybe it's because I found out I'll get some tax money back because I paid union fees) so I settled on the last of Dune Houses sagas - House Corrino. I read House Harkonnen last month. And I also purchased "The Island at the Center of the World: the Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and The Forgotten Colony That Shaped America". I'd been eyeing that book for months and now forced myself to get it. And Premiere Magazine with X-Men 3 on the cover. A must! I was happy to see two of the *original* X-Men brought to the screen - Archangel and the Beast. Kelsey Grammer (Fraiser?!) is the Beast. Nice surprise.

I haven't gotten around to reading Deaf People in Hitler's Europe as I knew most of the materials in the book from '99. And it's not exactly easy on the eye.

About the "Island" I've always been intrigued by the history of Dutch colony and the city. We all know about the sale of Manhattan in $24 beads and trinkets and the autocratic Governor Peter Stuyvesant. I was born in Amsterdam (upstate NY not the Netherlands), have gone to nearby cities such as Rotterdam and Rensselaer among quite a few. A region full of towns and villages named by Mohawks, German Paletines, the English and Dutch. Whenever I take the Amtrak from NYC to Albany (formerly named Fort Orange before the English takeover in 1664) alongside Hudson River I would sometimes imagine what it is like for Henry Hudson to sail up thinking he's found the NorthWest Passage to the Orient.

The writer wrote the book based on research and translation of 12,000 pages of 17th century Dutch papers that was sitting in some obscure and musty area at New York State Library in Albany.

I'll read Deaf in Hitler's Europe as Sano has been patiently waiting all these months for a review and it's a quicker read than the Island. I'm off for laundry and pedicure before the Seder.. Happy Easter and Passover. May all Chocolate Bunnies and Peeps live in fear!!!