Friday, March 25, 2011

Daughter From Danang

I originally posted this as a comment on Resist Racism and decided to put my comment here.

I saw it and found it fairly sad. She did not understand the desperate circumstances that her birth family was in. Unfortunately some of her cousins who assumed that she was wealthy were too much to handle. I think she became afraid that these people she had never known did not see her as a real person and she decided never to go back.
She was trying to get a long with her birth mother but the male cousins who assumed that she would understand the nature of extended familial relationships in Vietnam probably scared her off. The mother was very sad since she had never wanted to loose her daughter.
As to the daughter I think that without really knowing it she might have bought into stereotypes about Vietnamese people that her southern adopted mother her Caucasian husband, friends, neighbours and others might have unconsciously feed her without knowing.
I saw this film after spending a year reading what you have to say about international adoption and I think it raised many issues that you are familiar with and that you have probably seen already.
I felt some sympathy for everyone especially since I immigrated to the US from an African country and can see why the extended family people might have acted the way they did. I also know how people helping their relatives has been abused.
When I think about it too there might have been some things have to deal with gender since as I said it was some of her male cousins who asked her to help them.
As a person of colour I found the documentary somewhat problematic. On the other hand it was about the adopted lady and her family all speaking in their own voices and being who they are which was good. I don’t think she ever plans on getting in touch with her Vietnamese extended family which is unfortunate since she might be closing the door to an aspect of her self.

I saw the film in August and cannot remember all the details. I think that if I met an African who was taken from the land of his birth as a very young child ad returned there from the United States as a mid thirties adult to see their extended family and then decided that they never wanted to go back there I think I would be disturbed by that.
However, if the African-American was able to really articulate why and they had been spending time with their relatives via email, phone calls, facebook and other things for some time then it would be even more weird. However if they just up and left one day and had only been exposed to Boston Brahmin culture and then the next day are in Ivory Coast and decide to never go back to Ivory Coast I might think that they were a little naive in expecting it to be easy.
It would not mean that they are bad or anything like that simply that they were in over their head and might have setup potentially enriching relationship up to fail from not exposing themselves to their birth culture and its people on its own terms.
Their relatives would also be as naive and ignorant for expecting the person who has been separated from them throughout their childhood and adulthood to be like them.
The documentary could have got more into the people’s internal lives and showed us more about previous interactions between the woman and her extended birth family.
Again I watched the film some time ago and might have missed some things.

A Joke

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It starts with sit down and tell us all a tale....

I was tempted to fall in love with a Gun Street girl
who could blow a hole in a yellow corvette.
I saw her pole dancing in a Birmingham jail.
But I get nervous when I hear slamming doors.
and don't want to leave Waukegan anymore.

I saw a weeping Smith & Wesson wise man
fix a broken toilet with an old trombone and
day old bread soaked in kerosene. And he kept saying;
"John, John he's long gone.  Gone to Indiana and he ain't never coming home."

Now I ride the rails to Barstow before the Free Train Riders of America finds me here.
Tomorrow I will buy a second hand nova from a Cuban-Chinese
As the Burlington-Northern went click clack on rain rusted tracks.
He kept one hand on his pistol and the other on the hatchback's driver door

The gun street girl bangs on the table with an old tin cup and sings about John, John
But he's long, gone to Indiana and he ain't never coming home.
So she get all liquored up on that road house corn.

We saw Zaitochi's moment of zen stitched onto a heart on a Saturday night,
It was special.
With his head full of bourbon and Kurosawa dreams in the straw. he stayed out
of circulation till his dogs got tired.

I took a hundred dollars from Slaughterhouse Joe
and bought a brand new Michigan twenty gauge.
As I walked out the door in my fireman's raincoat I said
I will never kiss a Gun Street girl again.
I will never kiss a Gun Street girl again.

The thunder and the roar
sumbitches never coming back here for more
I lay my hand of the pocket full of rain
Malcolm went up to Haarlem with a 45 in his jeans
He tried to use it on all his bad dreams
Steam steam, punk all those made schemes
Look at the shine, the shine of this Roosevelt dime
Its taking me to Baltimore because I am running out of time.
Riding on the the train in my Cincinnati jacket with a sad luck dame.

Steam, steam punk all those mad schemes
Malcolm went to Haarlem with a 45 in his jeans.
He tried to use it on all his bad dreams
Time, time, were running out of time
Can't buy principles unless you put them on the line.

We will hang down our heads tomorrow
Hang down our heads for Poe and his sorrow
Lend us your memories for tomorrow
So we can hoist that rag.

The sun is up and that will draw fire to the baby's cries.
Smoke is blackening out the sun
Tonight I read Company Aytch and clean my gun.
We have to open fire when we hit the shore
Incoming makes my ears ring as the tommy guns sing
Steel jackets with tracers declare all is fair in love and war
Hoist that rag.

Handsome Johnny cries for his mother and dies.
he drove an MG and listened to the Bee Gees.
I think of Keep The Aspiridita Flying as I lay dying
The sun is up and our world is flat
This rag will make damned good address for us rats.
Hoist that rag.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Testament Of The Granola Chronicles

And the Banji said let a glass mixing bowl be brought forth
And the mixing bowl was brought forth.

And the Banji said let a measure of the oats known as rolled be poured into the mixing bowl.
And as it is written so it was done.

And the Banji said let a pinch of salt, a tittle of vanilla, a jot of honey, a sprinkling of sugar brown, a graspling of cinnamon, and a pour of syrup of maple be added to the glass mixing bowl.
And as it is written so it was done.

And the Banji said let a handful of raisins be added to the bowl of mixing.
And the handful of raisins was added to the bowl of mixing.

And the Banji said let the contents of the glass bowl of mixing be stirred and mixed in a forthright and vigorous manner to ensure that the raisins, cinnamon, sugar brown, syrup of maple, honey, salt, and vanilla be homogeneously distributed among the oats known as rolled.
And is is written so it was done.

And the Banji said let the receptacle of heating be set to 325 degrees and
And as it is written so it was done.

And the Banji said let the contents of the bowl of mixing be poured into the pan of baking that has been greased with the butters of Wisconsin.  Furthermore let the mixture be spread evenly on the pan of baking.
And as it is written so it was done.

And the Banji said let the pan of baking be placed into the receptacle of heating for a time of 7 time five minutes.
And as it is written so it was done.

And the Banji said, "Thus sayeth the Banji verily, verily I say onto thee that after a period of 7 times 5 minutes the mixture in the pan of baking will have turned a golden brown and I will bring it out of the receptacle of heating for its roasting and caramelizing will be complete."

And it came to pass that in the time interval of seven times five minutes that the Banji brought out the golden brown mixture for it was caramelized and it was roasted well nigh to completion.

And after an interval of cooling the Banji said, "Behold I have brought you forth granola for pennies on the dollar that granola mafia charges for the similar product.  So from this day forth may all your birkenstock wearers, hippies, regularity chasers, and ancillary consumers of the oatmeally derived goodness cease to worship at the doors of Cascadian Farms, at Kashi, at Kellogs, or at the one known as Bare Naked brand."

After he had completed speechifying his speech the Banji poured the wonder called granola into the bowl of eating and added milk of soy.  And the Banji said let the golden brown granola be tasted and he proceeded with the tasting and the snacking and the eating, and the chewing till the granola was eaten up and verily the soymilk was drunk up.

And after the completion of this act the Banji pronounced the granola good and he slept for he was sated.