Friday, June 6, 2008

On Feeling at Home

So, tomorrow I fly home to Alabama. Via Newark. Yech. I must say that American is going to get quite a bit of my money and irritation (and not necessarily in that order) during the LONG day of travel in store.

Regardless, I am looking forward to being home again... in a different home than this one. I sometimes wonder about the propriety of using that word, "home" to describe so many places (NYC, Austin, Huntsville). But, I think, if it feels right in my mouth when I say it, then it must not be an incorrect description, right? The things that seem to make the word feel right are the same in every place (people that I love, places to sit that are comfortable, food that is familiar and delicious, animals I want to hug)... That said, there are disparate things to get from each of these homes. (And, I wonder, when dear E! moves to Chicago this summer, will Austin still feel like home? I'm thinking maybe not.)

And, on an entirely separate note (perhaps, or there may be something about not-home that is working in this book), you should read A Practical Guide to Racism by C. H. Dalton (but actually by Sam Means, an Emmy-winning writer for the Daily Show). It is hi-larious and super-disturbing, all at one time.

The thing that keeps me coming back to Dalton's book, though, is the very very very thin line he walks. In order for this book to be effective, he has to be funny and sneaky. Similar to "America, The Book," this work is a disguise... a palimpsest for leftist thought/social critique. And it works because it makes you laugh and feel uncomfortable about laughing and think about the reasons that you're laughing and then tell your friends about laughing. There are multiple levels here, people.

Either way, here's a mental image for you: an Alabama blonde, sitting at a bar in a Mexican restaurant in Queens, reading a book called "A Practical Guide to Racism."


I'll take "Ways to Meet Scary People" for a $1000, Alex...

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