I learned a new word the other day- or I should say its a familiar word, with a meaning that's new to me. The word is 'cracker.' That's what I am, according to the argot used by a certain black activist in Philadelphia, and he wants to kill me. He doesn't know me, hasn't heard of me, knows nothing about me, but he hates me and wants to kill me. It's not personal, though. He hates me because I'm a cracker. I guess 'honkie' is obsolete. I can't remember the name of this character. Shazzam, or Shabubu, can't remember. He's pretty ugly to look at. Maybe that's why he hates crackers. He wants to kill all crackers, not just the ones who piss him off personally, men, women, babies, kill 'em all is his ambition in life. It's a matter of principle with this genius. I have a set of principles, too, but they are quite different. For one thing, I always believed that all men are created equal. That's what I was taught, that's what I've always believed. I was taught that God loves us all, and one of his commandments to me is that I should love my neighbour. That's why I have never cared for words like nigger, coon, spic, chink, DP, dago, kike, frog and the vast lexicon of contempt. But I guess it's all right to call me a cracker.
Anyway, I'm a cracker. I kind of like the sound of it. Maybe I'll change the name of the blog to Fat Man in Cracker Land, or Fat Cracker in Lotus Land. Nahh.
I'm not sure what it is Mr. Shabamba hates about us crackers, but my guess is it's because we live so well. I don't mean by that that we have a lot of goodies, and that one of our biggest problems at the moment is that we get too much to eat. What I mean is that we get along with each other pretty well, and we enjoy the simple things. We have interests to fill our spare time.
Art, for instance. This afternoon we had a Paint In on Moss Street. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the temperature in the low twenties. In other words, one of Victoria's patented summer days. And there were artists, and crafts people, and street musicians, and throngs of contented crackers just enjoying the day. It would have made Mr. Shampoo froth at the mouth.
Yes, the world is like that, my friends. As a thorough-going conservative I'm well aware that most of the artists and their patrons were thorough-going liberals. Most people of the artistic temperament are. That means they are for a lot of things I am against. Gay marriage, say. And they were all against the Iraq war, while I was in favour of it. Never mind. I love these people. Most of them just don't understand that they are hated for what they are by people who want to kill them, who spend every waking minute thinking how they will do it. They have no remorse, no sympathy, they delight in killing. Somehow, we have to learn to deal with it.
What was I doing there? I wasn't paying much attention to the art, I was there to take pictures of all these beautiful people. How lucky we are to live in such a place, at such a time. How precious it is.