Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Towering Inferno of Cripples

As I sit in my privileged ivory tower surveying the mass of underprivileged normal folks around me, I realise that I have a great burden to share my status and wealth with these others. I am morally obligated to give some largesse to the masses in order to assuage my guilt for being such a privileged motherfucking asshole. So I thought the only thing that I could do was to write a book or screenplay celebrating those whose station is lesser than I my own. I should document the poor, downtrodden, and disrepected peoples like the minorities, the lesser abled, and the Angelina Jolies of the world.

So I thought I could write a heroic passage detailing the exploits of underprivileged casts of players who end up saving the hapless white old folks in a movie. I thought it should be something like the Towering Inferno. But in my version, the movie opens with two scenes. The first shows a bunch of wealthy, white, tall, males sipping martinis and smoking cigars.

The movie should open to the soft music being played on piano by a live lounge band. Minority-coloured waiters carry around trays and offer food and drink in a very subservient manner. The white males generally ignore the waiters and are brusque. Maybe one scene focuses on one waiter who gets stiffed for a tip by the well-off white man and we get a glimpse at how horrible the life of the minority waiter is by the quiver of the lips and a twinkling of tears in the corner of the eye.

Then perhaps we pan over the luxurious scene of this 75th floor party and overhear conversation snippets to enforce how vile and evil these white folks are:

Privileged Asshole 1: "Did you hear about the poor people in the news today? How terrible."

Privileged Asshole 2: "Yes, old chap, I did indeed."

They puff their cigars heavily

Privileged Asshole 2: "Fuck 'em."

they laugh together
music plays
continue panning

Then the camera looks out the window and pans down several floors to see the cast of heroes for our movie:

We have to have a non-privileged white guy of some kind to counteract the racism of the floors above. Maybe the white guy is in a wheelchair. He has no legs, let's say. And he's old. He's lost his legs in Vietnam fighting the gooks. Everyone asks him if he fought in Afghanistan and he'll say that he fought but not in the middle east. He fought in the near east.

And to make it even more juicy, he has a Vietnamese wife. In the backstory, we don't reveal that he mail-ordered her in the later '90s out of loneliness. We'll imply that he married her in '71 before coming back. It will be a love story where he had to fight valiantly to grant her citizenship so they could enjoy their love back home while she tended to his legs. But the weight of the lie will add depth to the performance. She is also working in the building and she helps push him along in his chair.

This couple should have 15 kids of various racial makeup. Not fake kids painted with colours in the movies. We'll put instructions that they should be actual ethnic kids that look authentic and aren't just actors. They have to speak English though, we don't want a bunch of brats running around on the set not following directions.

The guy in the wheelchair will die of course. Even though he's a hero and he saves several people in the building inferno, he's still white after all. He still killed a few too many coloured unprivileged combatants in the war. It will be very moving when his widow and surviving kids (a few of them have to die too, in the middle section) mourn his passing as he slumps over in his chair. It will be one of those weeping and wailing scenes that are so powerful:

White Legless Man: "Go, be safe. Forget about me. I'm done. I'm sorry I mail-ordered you. It was all my fault. I hope I've made up for my sins."
White Legless Man Widow: "Why you die? I need you long time! Why die?"
Child 12: "Daddy die! How he die?"
Child 4: "Daddy die. He gone forever."

Youngest child holds a treasured keepsake (like a bunny) his daddy gave him

Youngest child: "Daddy... White daddy no more..."

That's a great scene of powerful emotion.

The next characters need to be women of some kind. Most definitely coloured. I'm thinking actually of a white (but Hispanic) and black (African) gay couple. The Hispanic one is always accused of "passing", that is, of appearing too white and speaking in correct grammar so that the straight squares upstairs think she's one of "them". The Hispanic one has to prove her love and commitment to lack of privilege by saving the darker one in a scene. I'm not sure how it plays out exactly, but maybe the black lez is stuck under a pile of rocks. Naturally, the white males that were saved upstairs continue on. The Hispanic lover is torn between staying or leaving. The Hispanic has to run ahead to lure one of the privileged assholes back to help out. In the process she has to pretend to be attracted to him. She thus saves her lover by using the privileged asshole to help out with false promises.

The privileged asshole tries to collect on her false promises a later scene. The Hispanic lez is carrying her African lover on her shoulders. There is a smear of black soot under one eye. The Hispanic lez stares down the predator and tells him how much she loves her black mama and how much she means. The African lover is shocked to hear the declaration of love and support from her lover. They kiss passionately and the privileged asshole is suitably regretful. He apologises for being and asshole and is grateful he offered his services to help them from their trouble. Then of course, he dies from a falling beam. Or, he's not dead yet. He begs for forgiveness and is still alive. But the lezzes sneer and stumble off so he burns. That would be best.

In the end, virtually all the white privileged assholes die a violent death and the minorities, cripples, and retards are joyous in their escape, greeted by a multicultural rainbow of fire fighters and first responders. They gaze upon the burning Towering Inferno and are grateful for their gifts and status in life. They are grateful to be alive. The music swells, eyes brim with tears and the screen fades to some colour I haven't determined yet.

So you can see how this movie would play out and I'm sure it would get great reviews and earn a lot of money for the producers. I, as a privileged asshole myself, would not be able to make money from it; I should die in a tragic accident on the red carpet or something. Even better, die at the Academy Awards as I try to get an Oscar. That would be phenomenal!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Road Trip

We drove out past the reception of the radio stations and kept going. It was unbearably hot and the air conditioner creaked and groaned ineffectively trying to keep up with our demands. The sun wilted all the animals while the plants stood upright soaking in the blazing light. The heat was close and present; it made itself known through the windows and against the will of the poor compressors.

My passengers heads lolled and rolled with each bend and bump in the road. The stations had turned to dust and static long ago, but we keep it going on a constant scan through the FM dial. Occasionally we would hear a lost voice trying to talk through the white noise before the scanner started looping again. When there were snatches of music my mind would jump at the chance to identify it, usually in vain. It was mostly mariachi music: blaring horns, warbling bass and sometimes human cantantes lloronas.

The miles melted under the melting tyres as the sun declined in strength. Miles were measured in hours and the sun measured our travel in days. The mountains were closer and despite the climb of the grade the engine has quieted its wheezing. None of the stations worked now; the scanner kept looping in giant frequencies from 88 to the 107. We had briefly switched to AM about 3 hours ago when it was much hotter. We were surprised to hear christian music and voices talking to each other or us about how God wanted to save our souls. Jesus was his ambassador and wanted to get to know us. Another channel wanted to sell us a lot of different things from a new super vacuum or a diet shake or a sponge that cleaned up any messes. We thought it might be good to get a sponge to mop up some of the bodily fluids my passengers were leaking from every pore.

That was back near the last crest of the hill. Now we were close to the other side of the valley and my eyes scanned a good place to turn off. The sun was going down and the sky at our backs was yellow turning to orange. Ahead were deepening purples and violets turning to blue and pink overhead, hidden by the roof of the van. We were anxious to arrive at the spot and unload but patience was required. A vista could appear a few minutes away only to drive for another 45 minutes and not approach any closer.

The van started to sway and buckle as we turned off onto a side road that was cracked and full of holes. My passengers jostled and swayed ludicrously, but didn't wake. The van headed up toward a hill we had noticed from down below. The sun had gone down completely by now but the van lights did not get turned on; they wouldn't be needed yet.

Winding around a sand dune, the van struggled and finally gave up with a gasp. The driver side wheel had slipped off the broken side rode and sunk into the fine sand. The air conditioner had stopped a while ago but we hadn't realised it. The pools of sweat in every fold of skin had collected without notice.

Trudging behind the dune I decided this was the best spot and was meant to be. As the light faded, I started to dig four person-sized holes in the sand as sweat accumulated and fell into my eyes and dripped off the end of my nose. My passengers weren't moving and carrying them here would be the hardest part. I had a few hours left, at least.

I stared at the moon rising behind two peaks in the distance and tried to memorise the details and landmarks of the area. I'd need to remember these details when the police questioned me, if they ever did. I'd need to remember this spot and the sweat dripping from me as comfort. I would be able to look back on it and laugh at their impotence in trying to find out the answers they sought.

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