Sedaris’ ‘I’ll Eat What He’s Wearing’…. Really? I wouldn’t. Some Thoughts.

When was the last time you wanted to eat a rotten apple? How about a piece of your hat? For me that’s been about never. Well, for this father it is certainly nothing new or even out of the ordinary for that matter.

In this short narrative, it details a father that has some rather bizarre eating habits that he developed during his experience with the Great Depression. No matter how old a piece of edible ‘goodness’ is, it seems to be fair game. Day, week, even year old items don’t bother this man at all. “There was nothing so rotten that it couldn’t be eaten.”

Mmm. Now that is a tasty burger! The ‘not so happy’ meal.

To actually understand the point behind this reading, one must look past the habits and rather look at the origin of this behavior in the first place. He learned to not waste anything; that anything could be saved. In a time like the Depression, money and food were hard to come by. It isn’t odd to him because it is all he knows.

I cannot begin to imagine what it is like to starve and have to eat anything edible, but this man has experienced that. The fact that he never left that state of mind just puts me in awe.

August 30, 2012, 270 Mine Workers Charged With Murder in South Africa

Within the past two weeks, riots have broken out in South Africa among the workers of a platinum mine due to protests of lack of wages. They refused to enter the mines until they were promised higher wages, and when that didn’t happen chaos broke out. Quite recently, 270 workers were arrested and charged with murder using a law often used under apartheid, even though it was the police cited as being the shooters.

South African Police surrounding the bodies of some of the victims.

Being covered by The Wall Street Journal, ABC Australia, and CBS World News, there isn’t any shortage of coverage. All three cover the story in detail. No lack of shock among the world community that the South African government is regressing to former apartheid law. ABC Australia seems to have the most personal news cast with it being a recording, allowing one to hear the side of the victims in person.

The fact that many of the workers killed were shot in the back does not help the situation. No police were charged with anything illegal, and is “a serious blow to South African Democracy,” says ABC Australia. I have to agree.

What about ‘The River That Runs Through Me”?

‘The River That Runs Through Me’ is a about how Beatriz Terrazas feels about her connection to how the Rio Grande both connects and splits her worlds apart. She is torn by the fact that the river is now no longer a place of enjoyment, but a dividing wall. Dried up and hardly a river in the summer due to damming for farm use, it barely lives up to its name. She also mentions that it is no longer recognized as a river, but rather a political boundary; something for governments to argue over.

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The Rio Grande. A little old, but it looks grander.

The feeling of being a part of two countries is something that I am not entirely unfamiliar with. My mother being from Belgium and father from the U.S., I have grown up and seen what both have to offer me. Her mentioning about going back just to see her grandfather buried really hit home. In fact, the last two times that I’ve been back were to bury members of my family; loved ones.

There is, however, not a sense of boundary for me like there is with Terrazas. No thoughts of disconnection exist in my relationship with Belgium.

 

Algranati’s ‘Being an Other’. A few words on it.

Being an ‘other’ is not something that I have experienced when it comes to how I look to others. However, for Melissa Algranati, this is an everyday reality.

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George Zimmerman. Another case of “what race?”

Being an Egyptian Puerto Rican Jew is not something common, but having light skin and hair she is often mistaken for being white. On the inside I’ve never felt a part of the ‘masses’, but as far as my race and upbringing I’m just a middle class white person.

She details in her essay, named ‘Being an Other’, how her particularly unusual racial combination came to be through a description of her parents’ lives and how on the SAT she didn’t know what to check when it came to her racial background; other being the only appropriate option to pick, appropriate being used in the loosest way possible, as to her it didn’t seem very appropriate.

Before reading this essay, I never really thought that it would be such a big deal to some people. I’ve figured it was just a governmental way of slapping a generic label on its citizens and never really cared, but then again, I’ve never been through what she has been through. It has certainly sparked a bit of change in my thought process though.