Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   African American Thanksgiving
Sunday, December 1 2002

Darren the drywall Jedi came today with Curt and Antwon, two of his helper guys, both of them African-American (Darren himself is white). I was in a friendly mood so I asked Darren's guys reflexively if they'd had a good Thanksgiving, since (judging from how often that question has been asked of me) that seems to be the socially-appropriate conversation starter when you have no other smalltalk in the queue. In response, Antwon piped up immediately, "Oh, I don't celebrate that holiday." As he said this, he assumed a slightly combative posture, as if he was expecting to be assailed for his contempt of American ritual. I didn't expect this answer, so I wasn't ready with a well-formulated response. Indeed, so set was I in a conventional-American mindset (one I subconsciously shift into when dealing with other Americans whom I don't know) that I was taken a little aback, and this probably manifested on my face. To him I'm sure I looked like just another stupid white man, befuddled by the odd ways of a black man. Antwon then backed up his remark by something he'd heard on the news about turkey being tainted. "Yeah," I agreed, "turkey's probably not that good for you." What I should have said, had I snapped for a moment into my native operating system, was, "Yeah, you're right. Thanksgiving is an idiotic holiday." I got to thinking about it later and I wondered if any self-respecting black American actually celebrated Thanksgiving. What, after all, is Thanksgiving? The commemoration of the amazement of a bunch of uptight white people because for once their crops hadn't failed. For me, well, Thanksgiving has a certain relevance in that I actually descended directly from some of those uptight white people, a fact that will never change no matter how greatly my world view diverges from the one that could make them burn "witches." Still, I can't think of a single element of relevance in the experience of the Pilgrims to black culture. If anything, Thanksgiving is just another insult mindlessly delivered by white American society, like the exclusively black actor pool reserved for television laxative advertisements.
Darren, Curt, and Antwon busted their asses today and hung all the sloping sheetrock (the stuff attached beneath the rafters) in my studio.

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