Walking into our third year in Frederick, Maryland.
We are voting, we are participating, we are part of the neighborhood (including action against the criminabes and their landlord Tom Heilman, narcissist idiot prince of the Ceresville Mansion, who does nothing while his property dissolves into a wreckage of dog poop, Oxycontin sales, and tenants who spit out windows and off the porch, and cigarettes, thrown out windows and off the porch, right next to us) which is mostly full of decent, hard-working people just looking for the next step up in life.
Why ever did we come back?
We had to. Neither one of us, given any stable bridge to a future in Europe, would have bothered to come back to the US.
However, our vote, as we were actually HERE and our votes had to be COUNTED, as opposed to on a US Army base and absentee vote, counted only "if needed" perhaps got our New Hope into office.
I still think of President Obama as the New Hope.
I thought of young black men dressed in suits and ties, headed to college, instead of the dead man's uniform of "dumbass pants" (if they can see your underwear, they think you want to "catch" in jail, BTW) and ugly hoodies.
I was hoping that his bidding to call the "brothas need to pull your pants up!" was going to echo more than it did.
My father was raised by the black help around his family's house in East Texas, and tells me that he didn't know he was white, until he was about 10 years old. I spent time in the kitchen with Jessie May, his mother's maid, and not with my own grandmother, because she wasn't fond of small children. I sat by the kitchen table on the floor, as she told me stories in an unintelligible local dialect, deeply affected by the snuff she kept in her lip, and possibly lax dental care. I will never forget it, and listen for it sometimes.
My father drove her home once- she never drove, one of her kids always picked her up. We saw the little white, neat house, and the round, healthy children running all around.
It was then that I understood that this woman was a kind of aristocrat in her own culture, because she worked for my grandmother. It was then, that I understood that I was part of a kind of "underclass aristocracy" that is the American blue collar upper class.
So when it comes to black culture, I am deeply at home in it, but somehow mute, unable to interact as effusively as is required. So I am still white and uptight.. until I start to dance.. then the reggae boys ask me out, and the white girls ask me what I am on.
I have this umbilical connection to black culture, and I make a direct point of greeting, personally and politely, everyone I encounter in Frederick.
The black folks who seem surprised, just break my heart. I understand, that there are generations of abuse present, but I mean to reach, at least a little, across them.
My ancestors were Irish, who were also discriminated against, had their only escape in this country.
Now, I feel so sorry for them, that this criminal, dangerous, filthy, antisocial place is what they signed up for.
I have lived in a place where I can walk, dead drunk, into a subway station and end up safely back at my own place, if I maintain those faculties for myself.
I have lived in places, where children can take public transportation safely, to school and back. There are no school buses in Europe or Japan, kids just take the bus or the train, like everyone else, because everyone takes care of them, and the public health system keeps the crazies maintained and restrained.
We will have as good and safe a society, as we are willing to pass laws to maintain.
So far, in the US, we are at Massive Fail.
This criminal, dangerous, filthy, antisocial place, at nearly three years of trying to adapt, is still criminal, dangerous, filthy and antisocial, with an extra special dose from Super Negligent Landlord Thomas Heilman.
No one would put up with him, back in Germany.
We aren't putting up with him, and the fact that it takes personal risk, persuading the neighbors, and special effort, is not heartening.
This guy is the jerk, he made the mistakes, and doesn't care enough about anything other than his own problems, and won't bother to fix mistakes he has made in any other location.
This is my blog, and I can say what I want.
Review the First Amendment, before you talk to me about anything else.
I would like to be able to stay in Frederick, but it has been increasingly painful.
My practice, is the only orienting force.
The rest of it, including Chuck's employment, has just been a wall of annoyance and pain, the neighborhood is a pain (though we intend to pay that back directly to the causor, Tom Heilman) and there is a huge squirrel problem..
I really like this part of the country, from a naturalist perspective.
From the perspective of dealing with the mass of humanity... I can only hope for an epidemic.