So F@*&ing What

I know it’s yesterday’s news, but I need to say a little something more on the blackout even though “so fucking what” is my official position. I feel I must explain SFW a little more, since i got called cynical and bitter for it the other day by a friend who said, “But I heard it was the funnest day of the year?” Oh blah. I say this for 2 reasons.

First thing. There was, I heard, lots of impromptu drinking and self-made entertainment on Thursday night. Both of which I’m certainly a fan of. I didn’t partake since by the time I reached my apartment all I could do was drop from exhaustion. Without electricity there was no TV, no movies, no pre-packaged entertainment so folks had to make their own fun, talk to each other, play music. Yay – all good things. Also, might I add cynically, all things that are highly available the other 364 days of the year when the power is on. In the mix with all this self-expression and subversive partying I can’t help but detect a phenomenon I call to myself, Bored White Kid Syndrome. In my office building when the lights went out and before people knew it was just a glitch in the wires, everyone was a bit jumpy. I looked around and was happy that there was one other guy I worked with that i had known for a few years and I felt ok with, in case we had to do some major dealing. So after 10 minutes or so most of the people I make websites with were out in front of the building, nervously smoking cigarettes and trying to agree on a bar to go to. Meanwhile, inside the building, the guys that make sure stuff works were on their walkie-talkies keys in hand, opening exit doors, and worrying about the poor souls that might be in the elevator. All over the city are these guys, getting people out of subways and elevators, fiddling with emergency lighting and the rest. They keep shit working when everything runs smoothly, fix it when it breaks, and catch hell for it when it’s all fucked up. And for the most part they are black and brown.

Back in Fort Greene, there was some rumblings from the older folks about hoping kids don’t take advantage of the dark night to forget what’s right. Of course they were talking about the black and brown kids, not the white 20 somethings passing around PBRs and marvelling at the brilliance of drinking outside in the dark. Don’t get me wrong, I had a beer on the stoop when I got home and it hit the spot. Friday wasn’t as exciting to me since I get paid by the day, so no work means no pay, which I suspect many more on the nonprofessional side of the working world have to contend with. I guess I see a race issue here, and I see a class issue here, and it bothers me. It bothers me that it’s so easy to count yourself as subculture when someone else is fixing all your utilities, cleaning up the cigarette buts the next day, and worrying about water safety. It also bothers me that it goes unacknowledged that if the racial makeup of these impromptu parties skewed more to black or brown, someone would break it up faster than a failing power grid. I’m not saying that only the working class is keeping it real, just that there’s a lot more to being subversive than violating open-container laws. And I mean that the other 364 days of the year too.

The second thing is about all this being a national tragedy/emergency/whatever. Though it smacks of “starving kids in Asia” there are people driving trucks with bombs into buildings. There are people who’s doors get knocked down daily by an occupying army that doesn’t speak their language. There’s several countries full of people who are afraid to leave their homes after dark. We just have it so freakin easy. And that bothers me too.

So that’s my explanation of my official So Fucking What stance on the blackout. Don’t worry, you’ll here no more about it from now on.

Comments are closed.