Watching Legion on Netflix. I don’t get the low ratings or whatever for this flick, or similar info, on Wikipedia; so far it has utterly failed to underwhelm me. Michael’s talking about the faith he has in mankind, and says it’s because of Jeep Hanson. And some may call it simple. And it brought memories of a pal I had for many years who others compared us similarly; she had traumas that affected her learning skills and had serious issues overcoming those.
At everyone’s core, everyone is simple. It’s why, on a fundamental level, I find it hard to think of myself as inherently better than those others may call ‘simple’ in a derogatory manner, or ‘simple-minded’. It’s also why I always feel bad if I’m unable to lend a homeless person change if they ask me. It’s how the simple aspects of ourselves intermingle to create who we are that causes complications. But go deeply enough, the simplicity of the strains come stronger and stronger into play. It’s why the most intelligent can sit and have a drink with those who are deemed most ‘simple’. It’s what I believe at any rate, anyway.
I’m cooking pancakes. At 7pm. On a Sunday. And in between checking in on them, I read. And I finally understand this “swarthy-skinned” business I’ve seen bandied about as of late. At the #DiversityinSF twitter hashtag discussions that started a few days past, I noticed this unusual turn of phrase that I’ve never focused attention on before. That’s when it dawned on me it wasn’t referring to sunburn-beet-red folks on ships, it was referring to a skin tone seen on persons of colour. Then the last piece clicked. I saw it used in context that ended my nebuluous understanding, on a “Big Idea” post over at scalzi’s website:-
“Cultures have been clashing throughout existence. It’s not a new idea for a book, but it is pervasive, arguably the fundamental theme of our times: from 9/11 through Iraq and Afghanistan to the financial crises, engendering many cultural responses. Some are overtly on topic, like Zero Dark Thirty, while others are directly influenced (any movie with a swarthy Eastern-looking villain)”
“AH”! I went.
Like not knowing what “Stag & Doe” meant going into my early twenties, until having to do some printing at Kinko’s, (I came To Canada just a few years before, at 14 1/2, after all) I assume it was one of those culturally “late to the party but arrived nonetheless” moments.
Like finding out about watermelon and fried chicken stereotypes.
Or being referred to by the colour, or the specific tone of, my skin.
One of those moments.