|An Early Start
||[Feb. 5th, 2008|10:29 am]
I tend to sleep badly when we've got an alarm clock set- which is stupid, but that's the way it goes. The one good thing about broken sleep is it means vivid dreams- and I enjoy those. Last night I dreamed I was walking to Ashton with an Irish tinker girl called Issy Boyle- who was dangerous company but rather sweet. She told me we'd met before on another plane (meaning the astral not Ryan Air). |
We had the alarm set because we'd arranged to take my father-in-law to Oldham Royal for an early morning appointment- and he's someone who likes to turn up half an hour early just in case. There was a striking grey and yellow sunrise. We delivered him to the clinic and went and sat with our books in the hospital canteen.
I'm reading The Wild Asses Skin. This is Balzac being mystical. And Balzac being mystical lays it on with a trowel. Why is so much 19th century art so heavily encrusted? I think it's because they were being bombarded with information as never before and felt they had to accomodate everything. What I've read thus far reminds me of Poe- only Poe was more fastidious and economical- less of a genius but more of an artist.
The hospital canteen is called the Cafe Royal. I have dreary memories of the place from when Ailz was in with her gall bladder a couple of years back. I'd visit in the afternoon and we'd go to the Cafe Royal and drink our tea and twiddle our thumbs.
It's good to be home again. I must remember to check in with the BBC radio news every once in a while. There was one of their reporter's stood outside Sainsbury's yesterday afternoon with a microphone asking questions about the government's new immigration policy. We heard this old white bloke saying "we'll never integrate" and we wanted to dive in after him and put an opposing point of view. Ailz said something cogent. And then the guy switched to me and I said "I agree with her." I wonder if we'll get an airing.
What do we mean by integration, anyway? Ailz says "accepting difference." And how hard is that? It surely doesn't mean we have to be in and out of one another's houses all day long. This is an integrated street. We have white neighbours and we have Asian neighbours and we ignore them all equally. No, that's not entirely true- we interact very nicely with our immediate neighbours- Rene to the left and Sameena to the right. We don't pester one another but we chirrup when we meet on the street and occasionally lend a helping hand. That's all that's needed, innit?
Unless I am absolutely exhausted, I will always wake up before my alarm. Always - and it doesn't matter what I've set the alarm for, either. It's because I really don't like alarms. I think it's from when my father tested the fire detector's in our house when I was 5-6 years old. Ever since then, I don't like sudden alarms.
Me too. If there's an alarm set I'll almost always wake up ahead of it. Unlike you I can't think of a reason why.
An alarm clock set to go off keeps me awake all night. I think that subconsciously, I fear the batteries will die in the night and I'll miss my plane or appointment.
Integration? Yes, it is accepting difference but it also means not considering those differences important enough to make issues of them.
And why should we shy away from difference anyway? Why not see it as interesting?
I didn't mean we should shy away from them at all. Look them straight in the eyes! But in the end recognize that we're all human beings is all. So many people use differences as a way of separating people.
Sorry, I didn't mean to suggest that you were advocating we "shy away" from different cultures. I know you're not like that. I was thinking of racists like the old chap whom the BBC man was interviewing before we stuck our oar in.
I have to agree with pondhopper on integration. We have been integrated in the USA since the 60's, and there are issues galore - on ALL sides! Also, I have noted during the last thirty years that the policy of "ignore thy neighbor" does not work here. We have been somewhat forced to "embrace" each other over the past three decades, whether some of us liked it or not. What strikes me as mostly strange is that here in the USA where "everyone is equal" there are still issues of race and/or gender in the upcoming presidential elections. We Yanks are a strange breed, aren't we?
I don't think you Yanks are any stranger than the rest of us. All societies are divided along fault lines of race, gender, tribe, class, religion. I think you guys deserve a lot of credit for facing up to your problems and- over the past half century- trying to move beyond them. Whatever the outcome of this election- the fact that the democratic nomination is being contested by a white woman and a man of color represents a remarkable milestone.
I think that there is more chance to get integration between people of the same age and different cultures than there is between people of the same culture and different ages.
There are issues - but there again there are issues in every relationship, in part I think that we have to accept that there is a relationship, no matter what colour, creed or language.
We have a lot of Pakistani neighbours, many of whom asked us not to move when our house was up for sale, they thought we were good neighbours. Our white next door neighbour - who, for some reason, is terrified of us - didn't want us to move because we're white!