Living in Crewe

Hello bloggers.

I have taken a short break from blogging. No, I haven’t. I just have not blogged for a while. I haven’t been busy, as such. Well, I suppose I have, in the grand scheme of things!

I have edited (finally) my husband’s 24,000 word dissertation. I even did some research on the history of cars, from the designs of Leonardo Da Vinci to the Model T created by Henry Ford. As a non car-enthusiast, I can honestly say I found it all immensely fascinating. What really stood out starkly for me was the revolution in all economic systems that was created by cars. Traffic control systems had to be created from scratch through trial and error, 60% of the deaths caused by careless driving and speeding, at a time when speeding was a concept nobody had ever heard of let alone contemplate, were children. The growth of the car industry was a tragic and nostalgic business. However it sure has saved us a LOT of time and hundreds of feet worth of horse manure! (I speak very literally here when I say hundreds of feet – in the year 1900 the horse population outnumbered the human population in New York city!).

I have also been working on my own dissertation, which is far less fascinating and a whole lot of nonsense, really. I am taking a creative analysis course, where I have to analyse creativity in language. All the theories are entirely subjective, so it’s a little tedious to hear somebody’s opinion on something and quote it as fact. In all honesty, I don’t think much of it at all. But shhh, don’t let my lecturers hear you say that! It would be a travesty and might potentially affect my final grade! The grade which determines the outcome of my degree! Huzzah! It could NOT come sooner, I tell you.

Britain is sunny, the dogs are barking cheerfully and sometimes suspiciously, and the small town I now live in is a piece of literal crap. *insert taped laughter*.

It’s called Crewe, in England, about an hour South-East of Manchester and two hours East of Liverpool and three and a half hours North-West of London. I could cycle the entire town in about fifty minutes, and walk it in around two hours. The people are remarkably racist and treat me as a second class citizen because of my olive complexion and my dark black hair. I know this because they give me English looks of disapproval (I do it myself so I KNOW) and they also make comments about ‘immigrants’ and ‘they shouldn’t let them in’. I am not an immigrant. My maternal grandmother was. So was my paternal grandmother. I am just a very diluted English person. Even if I was an immigrant, one oughtn’t to treat immigrants like that. It’s rude and unwarranted and plainly ignorant. Also inhumane. When I open my mouth they are often taken aback by the British accent. They are uneducated, pro-Brexit and against Islam, brown people, and immigration. They are also remarkably poor, and very uncivilised, often leaving their homes at 3am in their pyjamas (oftentimes without) shouting at each other and toppling bins over.

It isn’t all negative, though. The shop ladies are lovely, and my neighbours are a sweet Polish couple with a bubbly little blonde daughter. Once I was cycling on the road and my long cardigan got stuck in my chain (fashion over logic, in this case, ha ha!), so I had to stop and yank it out on the road. While I was thus occupied, a woman darted out of her house and asked if I was okay and did I need any help? I was mighty touched, thanking her for her kindness. Another time I got my chain caught (on nothing, this time), a couple of really shifty looking young men came up to me when I was trying to fix it. I panicked because they did look menacing, but one of them said, as they drew close, ‘You alright, love!? Need any help?’

I was pleasantly surprised by their helpful kindness. I suppose it isn’t all black and white, and there is some ying in this yang. Or was it yang in this ying?

 

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Walk Away

Sounds so easy doesn’t it?

So why don’t people do it more often. Personally I think they darn well need to.

And in some sad and tragic and heart aching situations, they can’t walk away. Else they will get shot. And if they don’t walk away, they will still get shot. They will get shot because they have more melanin in their skin than those shooting them. They will get shot because people believe in stereotypes. They will get shot because the people who run the world don’t care enough, they will get shot because immorality is rife and society is breaking down.

I won’t say ‘spread love’ because that is what we are DOING. It’s not working. So many systems are flawed, and we are run by clowns.

I do, however, send my warmest wishes and condolences to the mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers and children of those lost. I feel their misery, even though I cannot know how deeply it sets within them. I feel their pain and suffering and I want them to know that even though much of the world is harsh and cold and unfeeling, there are masses and masses of us out there who will speak out for them, who will keep shouting for justice until our voices are hoarse.

 

There Ain’t No Klu Klux, on a 133rd.

My last exam of the year today.

Did I study enough? Does anyone ever?

Eh. Who am I kidding. I didn’t study enough. I know what good studying is. At this point, there is nothing more I can study.

I will write down this poem by Langston Hughes that I memorised, though. For practise, and because it is absolutely heartrending, and it is also one of my favourite poems.

I might make some mistakes.

‘Not a Movie’ – Langston Hughes

Well, they rocked him with road apples

because he tried to vote

and whipped his head with clubs

and he crawled on his knees to his house

and he caught the midnight train

and he crossed that Dixie line

Now he’s livin’

on a 133rd.

 

He didn’t stop in Washington

and he didn’t stop in Baltimore

neither in Newark on the way.

Six knots was on his head,

But thank God, he wasn’t dead!

And there ain’t no Klu Klux,

on a 133rd. 

I probably made some mistakes. But oh how sad this all is. Hopeful, of course, but so sad that it had to happen.

‘and there ain’t no Klu Klux on a 133rd’.

I could cry.

Out of nerves, out of sadness, who knows.

How To Be a Tolerator

In the face of blatant racism and cultural appropriation.

In the face of apartheid and illegal occupation.

In the face of brutal murder and genocide.

In the face of hatred and injustice.

In the face of cruelty and abuse.

In the face of persecution and mercilessness.

There is something so tantalising about life and hope. I haven’t experienced it as fully as I have read about it. Sometimes we tend to dramatise the things that happen to us, and think of them as bigger than they actually are.

We can overreact and respond to hatred with equal hatred, all of us throwing insults at each other over the protective screen that is the virtual world.

We think we have been treated unjustly from the safe comfort of our homes, the ceilings above our heads, curtains at our windows, food on our tables. And we might have been, it’s true. We each have our own stories. None of our stories are the same.

And it’s true that there are evil people hiding behind civilised masks, their words pouring like honey into the ears of all those who surround them, while they separate families and devastate society.

How can we be tolerators when the world around us is in chaos? How can we tolerate when those in power steal our lives and our rights, sitting in thrones of capital gained at our expenses?

How can we sit back and allow this brutal murder to just happen?