80s Friday Makes a Comeback

I used to hum “There is a Light That Never Goes Out” all the time but hadn’t thought about it in years. (In fact, The Queen is Dead was one of my favorite albums in 1986 but some how I lost the Smiths and Morrissey in my old age.)  Going through my emails tonight in anticipation of returning to the states tomorrow, the song came back to me. In truth, despite my critical view of much of academe, my recent interactions with middle class social service providers who think the people they serve come from “cultures of poverty” and implied ignorance and will subsequently “amount to nothing” or “be lucky if they take one class at community college” are … well, there aren’t really words for it in any of the 5 languages I speak; though probably the best reaction to it I can think of is “aso des ne” or maybe even “aso datanai yo” which I like both for its knowing resignation/irony and its phonetic similarity to a word in English that is equally fitting. (And yes, those are real quotes said to my face about people from similar socio-economic backgrounds as my own.)

So though this song is actually about homophobia, it still resonates for me in this context because I’d really rather play chicken on the back of a motoconcho on the main highway out of town at 4 am than come home and deal with these people who are taking over “services” in our region.

Note to racists, if you are so racist that you cannot bring yourself to see people of color as human and treat them as such but are also so worried about how racist you are that you keep inviting them back to abuse them some more, get help and leave us alone until you do.

If a person makes you so uncomfortable you just can’t help thinking or saying offensive things but then really regret it and start the cycle again, especially if you don’t apologize in between, I am talking to you.


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