oh beezy

miscellaneous cultural commentary from two urban twenty-somethings. on this here interweb, we go by "bee" and "zy."

news, recession blues roundup

So, there are a lot of amazing and informed writers out there, and I’m loathe to summarize what they’ve put out on the interweb this weekend. So I’m gonna let them do the talking today! Note: All of these subjects deserve endless amounts of discussion; the length of these summarizes is not meant to be dismissive. But the writers, artists and politicians mentioned below have already done the original thinking.  So please click, and respond, and hopefully we’ll continue discussing them here.  Three issues today:

1. The recession puts (or rather, keeps) women in the workplace, with backlash potential: Emily Bazelon sums it up.  But one, actually great, point: men are distressed by their female partners’ job losses.  Which is a great indication of respect for those jobholders.  And the opt-out trend is being exposed as a myth. Finally.

2. Immigrants in America are being worked to the bone, in industries ranging from meat-packing to harvesting to sheepherding.  Dan Frosch’s article highlights a slightly different angle than the one of overcrowded sweatshops we’re used to: the image of the isolated immigrant worker.

On a related note, watch Chambao’s “Papeles Mojados” for a Spanish take on the desperation that drives (and kills) those immigrants attempting to reach Spain, only to be treated as disposable workers until deportation.  The title and lyrics of the song refer to wet papers–the lost documents of immigrants who have drowned on the boat voyage from Morocco and other parts of Africa to the south of Spain. La Mari’s singing evokes the anger of the worker forced to swim to better work, and the unspeakable sadness of the realization that her companion has not survived the crossing.

3. There are psychological tests for hidden racial bias, and as Charles Blow shows, the results aren’t that surprising.  But I think we should respond to Eric Holder’s call for a more dramatic increase in the study and appreciation of black history without being afraid of confrontation, anger and hurt.  He is right when he says that “in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards.” We’re not in a post-racial age; if black officials can’t tell the truth like this, then Obama’s election will just be a comfortable stopping point for liberal America.  This is the chance to push it, not to stay comfortable.

4. Ok four. I lied. But we’ll be discussing the return of indulgences later! Yeah, that’s right. Indulgences are being granted in NYC churches. TBC, beezies…


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