Da Whiteman Whitens Whitely

Whitemen, as we know, are being discriminated against and “silenced.” They need to be saved by Martin Luther King and perhaps Gloria Steinem, who have explained to the masses what discrimination and silencing are. They also do not understand leadership. They confuse it with authority, which they understand only in its most vulgar form.


WM: Let’s go to Chile.

Z: Great idea. When and how shall we go?

WM: Right now, with the $500 we have.

Z: Well, the flight to Chile costs $1500. We’ll need to apply for external funding and that will take until next year. Alternatively, we can go to Mexico for $350. Or is there other money now that I am not aware of?

WM: There is no other money. I want to go to Chile, now, for $500.

Person A: I want to go to Chile, but I know it costs more than $500. Let’s apply for the external funding and go next year.

Person B: I want to go somewhere now, so let’s just go to Mexico. Or maybe Guatemala, hotels there are cheaper.

Z: Well, we could go to Mexico or Central America now, and also apply for external funding so as to go to Chile next year.

Persons A and B: Yes, yes! We will have fun! Let us start the paperwork now!


WM: You are undemocratic, Z! You have again imposed your views on everyone! Because you wanted to go to Mexico you have prevented us from going to Chile immediately!

Z: Chile is actually where I most want to go. Since you are also very interested in it and there is also some interest among the rest of the faculty, I would like to make sure we really get there.

WM: Your efforts are self-serving, then. You are forcing us to go to Chile, only because you want to!

Z: Now, now. I am not forcing us to go to Chile. I am only trying to make it possible, if that is what we really want. I would be happy to go to Mexico, Guatemala, Spain, or anywhere else the faculty decides it wants to go.

WM: [Starts to cry.] You are making me cry, Z! You are so mean! Why do you think you are so special? Why is it that you know the prices of flights, and are able to think ahead to external funding for next year?

Z: Special? What you are referring to are just normal skills, I know you have them as well.

WM: But it isn’t fair! And you could not possibly understand how difficult it is to be in my position!

Z: [Aside] Indeed, I do not know what it would be like to be as rechingado as you.


9 thoughts on “Da Whiteman Whitens Whitely

  1. Nice aside.

    I have seen this interaction before, too–usually it involves three-year-olds.

  2. It’s the paradigm of every interaction with one of my chairs. It seems that many people are like that, though … HRM keeps asking me questions designed to reassure itself that I am not like that, and Reeducators do the same thing. Immaturity R the USA?

  3. Yeah, it’s just like a three-year-old! My daughter is five and if I read this to her now she would giggle helplessly and imitate it for hours afterward. But at three she was like WM.

  4. And what is rechingado ?

    I don’t really understand the mentality — but there is a great deal that I don’t understand about the late, great Western culture that surrounds me like an ocean.

    It seems to have to do with the preciousness of desire and the need to protect it as a sensation, yet somehow at a level of unarticulated feeling rather than as a plan for action.

    Perhaps this links in with some people’s ideas about romantic love — for instance what I have seen shown in some Australian soap operas. It seems to have to do with, “If you can read my unarticulated desires and know what I want out of life, then you must be the one for me! However, if you cannot read them accurately enough, and with sufficiently good timing, that means that Cupid’s arrow has missed, and we were never meant to be together.”

    So there seems to be a tendency to rely upon superstition and mystery to create the magic that is considered necessary to bind two people together. It’s almost like the authority of human will isn’t good enough. There has to be the authority of some kind of divine essence manifesting as ‘fate’.

    And similarly, Zero, you seem to be usurping the role of this divine essence which could give its blessing to the nice trip to Chile — which has to come about not through human will, but through magic.

  5. At what point did WM decide that he could leave Reality World behind and fly to Chile for $500? If he were indeed a little kid, you could point him to Expedia and say “Do you see flights for $500? No? What does that tell you about your plan?”

  6. T – I only wish it were an actual three year old. And yet it seems that more people are like this than one would think … this chair and his right hand man, both very officious and officially calm, are on hair triggers at all times and when they fall apart, they turn into three year olds.

    J – Yes, wanting to desire but not to act, this appears to be key. Usurping this role of divine essence, that explains a lot.

    “Rechingado” means really fucked up. I hope a Mexican comes by here and creates an even better translation. In Spain they used to say “Me cago en la leche de la Virgen,” which sounded bad enough [‘I shit in the milk of the Virgin’] but it is mild compared to something like “Me cago en la leche de tu rechingada madre [your rechingada mother].”

    Actually, perhaps I shall begin thinking of this chair as El Rechingado. This will remind me not to expect good behavior. We had one before to whom we referred to as El Enano [The Dwarf] and it was useful as a reminder that he was less powerful than he claimed to be.

    U – I do not know when he left Reality World, but I have never known him to be in it – although he can *appear* to be in it. Last time I tried to call him back to Reality World, I became a Conservative, Cervantes-addicted Canon Defender!


  7. Excellent. I’d heard about the incident but hadn’t read this article. And yes, it is truly amazing to have men explain the obvious to one. Or “explain” “truths” which are manifestly false. Here’s a really relevant quotation for this week:

    “Most women fight wars on two fronts, one for whatever the putative topic is and one simply for the right to speak, to have ideas, to be acknowledged to be in possession of facts and truths, to have value, to be a human being.”

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