Now Politics: the Political Opinions of Thomas Sarebbononnato

A Friend of the People Opposing Elites; Social and Political Commentary of Thomas Sarebbononnato; Publishing and Contributing Editor, Jay V. Ruvolo [Copyright (c) Jay Ruvolo 2018]

A Few of the Opinions in the Life of Thomas Sarebbononnato [flash fiction]

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Gentrification is a Bourgeois Phenomenon, which means it is White, Non-White Caucasian, Black, Latino, Arab, Asian of all persuasions . . . it is everywhere, and that means in New York, Paris, London, Berlin, Shanghai, Caracas, Santiago, San Juan, Mexico City, San Jose California, Hawaii, Russia, Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Baku, Alexandria, Istanbul, Athens, Rome, Naples, Madrid, Barcelona, wherever else have you .. . . and so entirely grossly, San Francisco . . . yes, in Philadelphia, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo, Pittsburg, Portland Oregon . . . do I really need to continue?

Thomas said one day at a bar we were standing at––and we were the kind who stood at bars when we drank, that is, you were supposed to stand at a bar when you were drinking, something I know I had been taught a long time ago to do because if you had to sit down, it was time to stop drinking and go home . . . anyway, Thomas said that there was one thing “I find disingenuous about the critique of gentrification, and that is that too many people who seemingly look similar to me will shake their heads in assent to what Spike says about gentrification, all the while they themselves help perpetuate it, as has he, in a way, some ways, to some extent, with pros and cons attached to these, independent to what you think about gentrification, which if we were honest is more than just a white phenomenon, and is thoroughly a bourgeois one, which would point to class and not race solely; but then, if we focus on gentrification as a race issue only, it will always only be partly, that is, ineffectively addressed, which is exactly what Power and Money wants.”

Yes, Thomas said as much, but went on to say that there was something even more interesting about those who agree, not only agree with but applaud Mister Lee’s assessment of the culture and customs and habits of black residents in black neighborhoods that are coming under the assault of economic shifting and in the process are being disrespected, and that is, as Thomas said, “if I make a similar claim about Chinese, Pakistani and Arab Muslim residents disregarding anything I understand to be matters of custom and habit, what I will specify as courtesy, safety and health––that is, specifically about my Pakistani neighbors throwing food out the window for the birds, presumably, and not just bread, but lamb and rice and tomatoes and pickles; and even if I object to these things as also feeding rats, or that I just might not like them landing on my air conditioner or the fire escape out my window––which I have made clear to the to two assholes who live upstairs from me and whose kitchen windows share the fire escapes with mine (and they are not assholes because they are Pakistani or because they are Muslims, but because they are assholes) . . . I then become either a racist or xenophobe in the eyes or minds of those who agree with Spike’s assessments on gentrification.”

He paused.

He went on to say, “Don’t get me wrong and label me as xenophobic, but the he neighborhood is dirtier––and I did note well how much dirtier it had become, when I was living elsewhere in Bensonhurst, correlative to the increase in Chinese residents and the decrease in Italian and Italo-American residents.”

Facts are facts, Thomas said. Observations are observations and empiricism reigns until it exposes things White-white liberals don’t like or do not think fit in their narratives––and of course,Thomas knows that conservatives have their narratives as well. But we do not have an empirically based society, not in our socio-political realities, but a religion-mystical one.

“The streets are more litter strewn, and yes, Pakistani cab drivers do drive more dangerously than other drivers––and stop right there with your objections. I used to administer the Best Plus examination for ESOL student evaluation, and there was a question we had to occasionally deliver, How do drivers here compare to drivers in your country? There was not one Pakistani woman who did not say that drivers here were better, much better, that the streets were safer, that they felt safer crossing the streets, that drivers here obey the law, that they respect people in the road––all to the contrary of Pakistani,” Thomas said.

“Yes,” he said “it has become more dangerous crossing the street because many drivers have little care or respect for pedestrians, unless it has to do with me being not them and if I were, I would be considered their neighbor and thus due more respect? No.”

Thomas said that his neighbors should “stop feeding the pigeons; it feeds the rats,” he said. “And pigeons don’t eat lamb and pickles,” Thomas said.

He went on to say that he has “never lived anywhere where people throw as much trash in the halls and elevator as I have now seen since the residents have shifted from American and Russian to Pakistani and Arab, which some are going to be offended by, but it is an observation, which I might assume has something to do with class or education level, but then that is very tenuous, and I do not think it is a complete explication. I asked a Muslim woman of she were going to pick up the ice cream her child threw down on the elevator floor when she made no attempt to do so . . . and she pretended not to understand me when earlier that week I heard her using English. I did say to her that she could hold the door when it came to my floor and I will get something to clean it up but she again pretended not to understand me. The elevator went up and I brought it down and saw the ice cream still there. I closed the door to see if it would be called to her floor and it was not. I waited five minutes or more, maybe closer to ten, and then I cleaned it up.”

He continued, “Just the facts––and I do understand that there is discernible trauma in immigrating; as I also understand that there is a liberation from former constraints which might equal licentiousness, not so unlike, yet much lesser, than colonialist licentiousness in colonial lands, of course the latter much, much more greatly severe,” he said.

“I do say,” Thomas said, “when I sense being disrespected because I am not of the body that that person disrespecting me is, I say that he or she is not here to colonize––oooh! I know, I am not supposed to use this, but it is an analogy, and only a stupid person would assume right off that this assertion is an attempt to equalize these experiences. Yes, the Observations are certainly not all, and no one can ever accurately say most––but they occur enough times to be not just incidental.

Why has broadcast and print media fallen so in love with the race-only narrative toward garnering an explication of our most immediate and yet deepest social problems? Because it remains incomplete and doomed to failure.


Written by jvr

September 4, 2019 at 10:28 am

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