the best and worst of humanity
a.k.a. good-intentioned girls and
route 7 debacle: episode 1.



last night we had this event at the school for students to meet with members of the legal aid community. i had to stay an extra two and a half hours after work to do meet-and-greet, but there was free food, so it wasn't so bad. the same group of students showed up last night, and they were all women. let's face it: women are the only ones who really care about social justice. anyway, i've seen this group of girls at just about every event we've put on, and i have to say they are inspiring in that they stick around after hours just to hear some old geezers talk about how they put in 80 hour weeks toward a losing battle all in the name of social justice.

they remind me of the kind of girls who all get dressed up and go out together on valentine's day to make a point. i suppose the latter's point is to say, we don't need dates to have a good time. and these girls are making the point that, even if you're losing, even if you're setting yourself up for a lifetime of defeat and having to perpetually deal with bullshit bureaucracy and endless debt, it doesn't matter so long as you have a small group of people willing to do the same. i think it's cool.

but of course i can't end on that note. last night, on the number 7, we stopped somewhere along jackson for quite some time. i couldn't tell what was happening, but when this black teenager came charging towards the back of the bus while spewing profanities, i knew something was up. "just get the fuck up and move!" suddenly, i saw the bus driver taking the wires off the bus. i took off my headphones and asked this punk rock guy with his studded black leather jacket and ripped black pants what was going on. he slowly shook his head and said, "i don't know."

his stoner-like demeanor and his inability to respond irritated me. i was sandwiched between two stereotypes: johnny punk rock asshole and hip hop fuckup. hip hop fuckup wouldn't let up. "dumb fucking bitch! ahh, she takin' the rails off now! what the fuck she doin' that for?" the kid was obviously on crack, or else had drank two pepsis because he was really wired up and had to let everyone on the bus know exactly how he felt. during this brouhaha, and hip hop fuckup's semi-abillity to communicate in the english language, i was able to gather that the bus driver had become obviously agitated, and she refused to drive the bus, since passengers at the front of the bus were unwilling to move for a wheelchair-bound passenger.

"it's mandatory! it's against the law! people need to get up for somebody in a wheelchair! bet i would have to move to the back of the fucking bus 'cause i'm black!" hip hop fuckup was having a field day with this. i felt like an old man, and i had to resist the impulse to tell him to calm down. but other passengers were getting visibly uncomfortable. finally, the metro cops or whatever they're called, showed up in their white truck with the yellow lights. i saw two people finally get up from the front of the bus and move toward the back. they were asian, and it's quite possible that they didn't understand english.

when all this finally settled down, some black girls boarded the bus and started talking really loudly, calling each other "bitch" and all this. then the black girl next to me started making jerking off motions with her hand, and this sent her little group into an uproar. maybe if i had really listened to the joke, or maybe if i was in the mood, i would've found what she was saying to be funny. or maybe if i hadn't attended the evening event just hours before, and saw the good-intentioned, primarily white girls gathering to hear people speak about social justice, i wouldn't have felt so put off by it.

on another note, mia kirshner, who provided me much solace in high school by wearing a catholic schoolgirl outfit in the terrible b-movie, exotica, and continued her bad movie streak with winners like the crow: city of angels and not another teen movie, has finally gotten her act together and done some good. she wrote a book which she co-produced with ex-adbusters staffers called i live here, and she'll be reading at town hall next monday.

sexy social justice, such a rarity these days.

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