log

My Korean class starts tomorrow. I’m happy to get that going.

Shortly before COVID hit, I was planning on taking a class at a community center but, well, we all know what happened there. (The world changed.) My skills (if they can be called that and they really can’t) basically stalled out. There just wasn’t any interaction or any chance to use what I had learned. Happened at a bad time. Was just starting to get comfortable making a fool out of myself. But, these days, there’s a lot more contact with other humans. So, I’m hoping that keeps up and the timing of this course is pretty good. Gives me a chance to use what I learn.

We’ve had a bit of a heatwave. It gets very humid here with foggy nights.

My wife, with her senses set to California has some problems with humidity. It’s hard for her to understand, on a gut level, that it can be gray and hot. She had the same problem in Toronto, where clear blue skies and bright days during the winter often indicate that it’s going to be really cold. Seeing a heatless sun was just outside of her experience.

Outside my window. pigeons.

The pigeons never had any interest in the taller pole. While the crows and magpies fought over that pole, the pigeons laid an early claim to this pole. I can now see why.

They fuck on that pole. All the time!

I don’t personally see why anyone would want to fuck a pigeon but the pigeons seem to enjoy it. There is so much pigeon fucking on that pole that I now call it The Pigeon Fuck Pole. (Just Fuck Pole for short.) The pigeons fight among themselves about who gets to fuck on Pigeon Fuck Pole. And if you’re a pigeon looking to fuck, I suggest you try sitting on that pole. It seems to work.

Aside from lurking around the foggy streets at night and looking out the window, I’ve been in a bit of a trucker movie hole.

For my money, the most politically subversive genre of cinema America ever produced isn’t some art-house crap. It’s 1970s trucker movies. Their analysis goes right to the heart of the matter. The boss is always a racist crook, who puts his workers lives in danger to make a buck, the cops are in his pocket, the foreman is his criminal stooge, and the only way to defeat these forces and get back to the good straight truckin’ life is to band together.

What typically happens in these films is the racist cops beat a trucker up. The truckers fight back. They kick the cops’ asses. As every half-decent trucker in the world knows, cops can’t fight for shit. The cops only ever win fights because people are to afraid to hit them. But beating up a cop means more cops! And that means you get arrested, processed by a rigged judicial system that favors the cops, and you’re dead meat.

So what do the truckers do? They hit the road and band together. They engage in collective direct action to gain rights and respect. They typically form a convoy and use their trucks to attack the police and their boss who controls them. They make demands and, depending on just how epic the particular movie is, their actions may inspire a nation, who joins them, leads to a smaller victory, or results in a more tragic end.

These movies are strongly and ruggedly individualistic but not in some Ayn Rand or neo-liberal mode. It’s an individualism that reaches its full potential in the efforts of the group, where even that stinking drunk in the dirty baseball cap, can be of some worth, and he can even still be a stinking drunk.

Add to this, the genre’s humanizing of sex workers, its handing of non-corporate media (CB radios) and its basic love of vernacular speech, and you have a pretty good set of really pretty fucking subversive movies.

And Sam Peckinpah even made one.

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