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I Don’t Want to be Robin the Rest of My Life

April 24, 2010

The blog negligence continues but not without cause.  Last Saturday I was circling Atlanta like a migratory bird in search of a southern roost.  This week I’m home, in Tennessee, but my writer’s motor needs a kick start.  Regardless, I have some vittles for you.  Here it is: The Weekly Wrap.

Batman, you just don't get it. I'd like for people to dream about being me, too.

  • I suppose that one of these days it’ll become necessary to tell everyone in no uncertain terms that I’M RETURNING TO ATLANTA.  As a writer I tend to throw out hints when most people, I’ve found, prefer to stay away from the mystery meat.  So there — you know as much (relatively) as I do.   Call me Arnold Schwarzenegger.  I’M BACK.
  • How about, last weekend when I was visiting friends, the discussion turned to book writing and I realized once again — in a matter of minutes, no less — that this eight year metamorphosis into CELEBRITY AUTHOR has made me more than a little jaded in the process.  Here they were asking me for advice and there I was on my soapbox, needle in hand, bursting their balloon.  I’ll say it again: I’m a hater.  Never thought I’d be the one fessing up to that, but it’s the truth.  Things are better than they used to be, of course, and when you’re less than 20% of the population how much advancement can you reasonably expect?  But my mind is continually gathering up the haterific details.  In commercials, I’m always noting the token black actor, usually inserted for comedy.  In the book store, I feel self-conscious standing in the African American literature aisle.  When I think of books I don’t see what a standard publishing contract will do to make my career successful when it’s done precious little for my contemporaries.  I dream at night, but not about being Robin.  One day soon, I’d like to be Batman.  Who would you rather dream about being: the hero, or the sidekick?
  • Which makes stories like this one, which I found in the New York Times, both enlightening and infuriating in equal measure.  I’d never heard of the Tea Party Movement before this story, but it’s a perfect case of the Batmans of the world — of this country — feeling needlessly threatened by the Robins.  The two items that obviously stood out to me: (1) “25 percent [of Tea Party Members] think that the [Obama] administration favors blacks over whites — compared with 11 percent of the general public”, and (2) the Ignorant Christian/Republican Comment of the Week:
  • “I just feel he’s getting away from what America is,” said Kathy Mayhugh, 67, a retired medical transcriber in Jacksonville. “He’s a socialist. And to tell you the truth, I think he’s a Muslim and trying to head us in that direction, I don’t care what he says. He’s been in office over a year and can’t find a church to go to. That doesn’t say much for him.”
  • I almost spit up my milk reading this story, but I don’t remember if it was because I was mad or laughing at the time.

And that’s the Weekly Wrap.

Next Vista: Wednesday, April 28, 2010, “One Day at a Time, Sweet Jesus.”

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