B RANT: The Micro-Aggression Sweet 16!

by Brantly Martin

12 December 2015

B = me 

Rant = declaim violently and with little sense; rave

Get ready! Soon(ish) I’ll be reporting live from the Micro-Aggression Sweet 16. The winner receives an adult-sized tricycle and a life-long Safe Space in virtual reality. The contestants will be announced any day now. The competition will not be streamed live, nor will it be open to the public, nor will it be transparent in any way. But don’t worry—I’ve infiltrated the cracked mirror mirror on the wall dimension running parallel to America known commonly as The Stunted Loop and have full access to the games they play. Stay Tuned!

Un Poco Hoops

Doc Rivers and DeAndre Jordan need a safe space. Poor guys. The Champs—the Golden State Warriors—are apparently immune to micro-aggressions from teams and “superstars” that can’t make it past the 2nd round of the playoffs. I broke a promise—(more of a light plan)—to myself that I wouldn’t consume mental Funyuns in the form of two-dimensional insurance skits delivered via NBA commercial-break-fluoride until at least … (Valentine’s Day?) … when I sat on my couch and rolled a few up for the Warriors-Clips game a couple weeks ago. But it was sorta worth it. The Clips went up a zillion points early in the game and got mad excited—cut to fans and famous people and Funyuns—cut to Chris Paul dribble dribble dribbling and Funyuns—cut to Steve Ballmer aka the anti-Sterling and Funyuns—cut to Blake as a Funyun—cut to DeAndre shooting Funyuns … then Stephen Curry re-entered the game in the 2nd quarter with that mad calm shamanic groove and You, the couch-sitting retinal-mainlining observer, realized that the Warriors were collectively manifesting Bruce Lee and had just gone an entire quarter refusing to throw a kick or a punch. Because this shit is just too easy and WE ARE BORED! Dude, it was like when I’m in Rome having dinner with friends and fam: at first they speak mad piano and throw in a lot of just-for-me eye contact. Then—boredom. Then—flow, dialects, inside jokes and a whole lot of B, just watch and listen, you might learn something. Yeah, basically the Warriors are speaking a new—(or very old)—language. DeAndre, Blake and (especially) Paul became a trio of sons experiencing a new method of conjugation. Throw Doc in the mix and you have a traveling quartet making over $100 million a year that complains more than Danny Ainge after Mario Elie takes his candy while inside a multiversed wormhole.

Okay, maybe I won’t postpone hoops until Valentine’s Day, but at least the new year. (Or … if StubHub, ya know, “does the right thing,” maybe I’ll head to Brooklyn tonight for the Rockets game.)

One does wonder: When StubHub is bought by whatever version of GoogAppAzonBook becomes the go-to for watching hoops in virtual reality and, of course, forces the user to User Agree to give away their first-born for the right to tap tap tap away a few thousand (tens-of-thousands?) bucks for the Jack Nicholson or Spike Lee experience (from you couch!), will we still have the shite LA players of the moment rammed down our throats during ever longer timeouts? (And which stigmata of Palmer Eldritch will they be?) When I say K you say Cat-So!

In the meantime, my friend Rowan Ricardo Phillips is writing a hoops column for The Paris Review. Check it out

American Doings Mad Breve

Refugees? Complicated, sure. But if You are for taking them then You should take them. Micro NIMBY—or, I suppose, Micro IMBY. More on all that soon, but if one screams WE SHOULD ______ then make sure You would ______. Would I take in a refugee? Maybe. Or maybe if I had more room or if I lived in the countryside or if my wife was cool with it or if I “got to know them” … blah blah. Or if it changed from existential videogame to a more “real” videogame—a funded HD campaign to … sway thoughts and sympathies. Wait!—I’m not susceptible to that shit. 

“Boots”—(I mean sons and daughters and brothers and sisters)—“on the ground.” Complicated, sure. But if You are for that but haven’t done it yourself or aren’t about to have a son or daughter or brother or sister “on the ground” then You soap-box last. Which means I also soap-box last. 

The battle for capital-mother-effin-T trending Amendment has gone from a race between 2 and 4 to … 1. Free Speech ain’t—(Duh: social ostracization, biz lost to dipping and diving outside the flock: all real prices to pay)—but it really really is an American something. And this PC shit is getting veramente folle. Sometimes I wanna reach through the digiverse and shake the shit out of these young cats. Quit lying! Quit exaggerating! It does not serve you well long (what does long mean these days?) term! I was feeling you ragazzi, but you BLEW IT! But of course it may serve a few individuals well long term: by adding to the polarization of this—“my” says 350 million souls—country by doing the only thing sure to get you a job: make yourself sorta known. Hmmm … What is a micro-aggression? Perhaps it’s a signpost of what’s referred to as progress—That’s what these cats are complaining about? What is a safe space? Come on. Dai. Institutional racism?—no doubt it exists. But when the college dude starts claiming The Klan was on campus … (The Klan!) … come on man. The Klan was not on campus as the young man admitted a couple days later: Never mind, my bad (The Klan!). Well young fella—if you want to be seen as the leader of something legit in the times of mass shootings and terrorist attacks don’t be surprised when after you scream The Klan! then whisper nevermind from a safe space the ADHD social media lot-of-energy shifts elsewhere. 

Maybe we’ve entered an era best described as post-intent. Whether or not one is lying, race-baiting or PCing on purpose may not matter. 

(Ya seen Bone Tomahawk? Talk about some folks in need of a safe space.)

*

The Pew Research Center reports that 40% of Millennials are okay with limiting free speech. Their exact lingo: “The government should be able to prevent people from saying offensive statements about minority groups.” 

In Germany 70% of the population is for censoring offensive statements about minority groups. In Italy 62% (interesting). 

But the Millennials in Germany and Spain appear to be reassessing as fascist scar tissue drifts further into the past of the only board game played in Flatland—Timeline. 

“In contrast with American Millennials, those ages 18 to 34 in Germany and Spain are more likely to say people should be able to say things offensive to minorities compared with those ages 35 and older. On the other hand, in the UK, the younger generation follows the lead of American Millennials by being less open to this form of freedom of speech and more willing to allow government restrictions. There are no significant age differences in France, Italy and Poland on this question.”

Either there is free speech or there is not free speech. All exceptions are politics and make-ups/do-overs for past “national sins.” This phenomenon will soon be investigated in the upcoming erotic treatise on gravity, The Pendulum Always Rings Twice (Or More).

And what are “minority groups”? How wide is the net? We Americans apply this geo-math only to those in the US. (The formula has both shifted and remained static since Euro cats hit the East Coast—our only enduring social triumph is rejecting men in speedos.) Okay, fine, but then let’s remember we’re on that nationalism steez (oh no!) and are provincially denying that we’re on that provincialism steez. America is a big place—Texas is twice the size of Germany. One American region’s majority is another American region’s minority. (#facts) 

Hard to see in the midst of Stunted Loop digiverse surface living but, I promise, some of today’s (capital quotes) “minorities” will soon be a “majority minority” before becoming an outright “majority.” Again—this has already happened. And again—it’s commandeering of language. Transmogrifying words. No different than retarded or worth. It’s exhausting. We’re dealing with placeholders that mean nothing. Rapacious reinventions of marketable syllables. The only oscillation is between ignore/fuck it and call it out

*

Happy birthday to Philip K. Dick and John Kennedy Toole. 

In 2015 Dick’s Sci-Fi has a much safer space than Toole’s Ignatius Reilly and his valve could ever hope for. Half progress. Half societal retardation. 

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