Thursday, April 2, 2015

Houthi Frutti

Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin must be thankful Ted Cruz came along. He's drawing a lot of internet barbs now. This one might delight you if the old Buce Springsteen song Born in the USA spontaneously plays in your head now and then, like it does in mine. If that crashing drum back beat is interspersed with things my ex did that still make me cringe, see me.

On a somewhat related matter, if you're wondering what Yemen is all about, US academic Sheila Carapico has studied Yemen for a long time and has an article about it in The Nation.

Carapico explains where these Houthis who are taking over the place came from and why they're mad, and why they have a lot of support among the public. She starts out with a several paragraph condemnation of Saudi Arabia, I suppose because it's attacking Yemen along with the US and because it's long meddled in Yemen, which is on the same peninsula as Saudi Arabia. Or maybe Carapico just wanted to get some things off her chest.

Anyway, I heard her interviewed about Yemen in a podcast recently and she knows the topic. She was interviewed on a program called Voices of the Middle East and North Africa which is on the Berkeley Pacifica station.

Pacifica is a little network of five listener supported stations where you hear a pretty wide variety of voices coming mainly from the Left. There's also many programs that play music you don't hear anyplace else, and with modern technology you can stream any of the stations live. They have a Pacifica "app" now.

I've sometimes been listening to the morning program from WBAI, the New York station, on my cell phone on my way back from Holbrook. WBAI is where Amy Goodman came from. Currently it is has an African American station manager and predominantly African American on air people and it's interesting for that reason. I'm probably not the only Anglo who wonders what it would like if my race wasn't the dominant one. If, say, Latinos were in charge, what would life be like for me? (I had a little taste of that in my year driving the Albuquerque city bus.) Or if African Americans took over, would the issues important to me get aired on Pacifica radio, as often as I like and in the way I like?

Going by WBAI's morning program and the recurring bouts of uneasiness I feel while listening to it, the answer is no. Things like that, and the experience at the bus garage, may give me a little insight into what it's like for other groups, but I'm not sure if the experiences quite equate. It does though force me to investigate my own psyche. The fear of no longer being the master race, of course, is a lot of what's driving politics in the US right now. It isn't operating at a conscious level in most people. It's deep in the unconscious. It's there, though, and is causing anxiety and fear. Maybe not as much as what's being caused by the economic transition we're going through, but it will increase over time.

It's what makes these preachers and politicians get on the air and lie about what Indiana's discrimination law is all about, and it's driving a lot of Republican politics. Anglos, not just in the US but throughout the West, are going away. Our numbers are declining, in relative terms everywhere and in absolute numbers in many places. Our birth rates have declined while others have increased, and everybody is catching up to the advantages Anglos have enjoyed that came from technological superiority and Capitalism, and they are figuring things out, and we'll eventually lose our grip on power. It's going to be interesting. It will get ugly, I'm sure.


  1. Interesting post. As a Hispanic New Mexican who grew up in a Hispanic community in Northern New Mexico and whose family goes back to the beginning of the historical period I have a few thoughts.

    I never considered myself a minority until June of 1954 when I traveled to Denver to visit my older sister and her family. I went on the Greyhound bus and as soon as we stopped in Raton, NM, then Trinidad, Walsenburg etc., I figured it out. Real quick, everything I had heard before came into sharp focus as non Hispanics got on the bus. It became clear why my parents/grandparents insisted I learn English. My argument against that had been that everyone I knew or interacted with spoke Spanish. There were zero non Hispanics in the schools I attended through the 8th grade and none lived in our community.

    By the time I reached Denver, no one was speaking Spanish, my sister and her family all spoke English. I was one of the few who spoke Spanish there. The older folks in Colorado thought it was cute to have a 10 year old speaking their old language.

    Over the years different things have influenced my life and I have never been patriotic, not all, sort of like Muhamed Ali who once stated that if he thought going to war would help the 22,000,000 Blacks in America they would not have to draft him, he would go voluntarily. He opened my eyes.

    The main reason I live in New Mexico is because New Mexico is my homeland, I was born here as were my ancestors going back 100's of years. The Hispanics are involved in the political system, we may have a crook or two in the system, but they are our crooks. I love New Mexico and would never live anywhere else.

    1. Great comment, NM. Thanks.

      The writing, too. Showing, not telling, is advice you hear when you read about writing. I do too much of the latter but that's another story. But used in your comment very effectively. The story says something, sets the scene, on which you then elaborate.

      I'm curious. Good writers have usually read a lot. Do you still read things in Spanish? An ex girlfriend was always reading novels her Auntie Lupita was sending her. I never got around to asking her what the difference is.