COVID-19 Journal: Day 97

Blog had a haircut. I was going to save it for Day 100, but just did it today instead. It's just a template. I changed the font. Even though I quite liked that you couldn't really differentiate the posts before and that felt like it felt for me because I couldn't really distinguish one day from the next, it's nice to see the pictures. Although given how many of the pictures are my lunch, the photos aren't that helpful.

Happy Friday! 

I've started a book called The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter. It reminds me of one of the great histories, like Herodotus, and it covers over two thousand years of how humans have treated - or, exploited - each other. Women have been bought for tobacco, etc. It's good to say again and again and again that race is an idea. I'm looking forward to seeing how Painter unpacks that through history.

I met Daniele and Yair in the park this afternoon for a chat and a beer. It rained a little.

Daniele and I obviously fancy ourselves as reincarnated 60s French philosophers, so conversations are always interesting. Yair's hair was longer and bigger. We found a public toilet! I was postulating and hoping we're going to witness a great recalibration in the next fifty years. I was buoyed by Nikole Hannah-Jones in the New York Times writing "it feels different this time," in her article, It Is Time for Reparations.
Unlike so many times in the past, in which black people mostly marched and protested alone to demand recognition of their full humanity and citizenship, a multiracial and multigenerational protest army has taken to the streets over the last month. 
But, she also writes that actual and real wealth redistribution is what is required to create balance. Talk is cheap. 

I've been contrasting the compliance that we have all exercised to stay at home and protect each other from a virus with the complicity that we have all exercised to help keep "the government-sanctioned segregation patterns remain stubbornly intact," as Hannah-Jones outlines in her article. We have to be more conscientious than we might ever have been to not gloss over the depth of this. Combine that with the bizarre anti-social yet highly social behaviour we've seen here over these last few warm days. People are ignoring basic rules completely to be together. Shitting at the park? Are you fucking serious?

Personally, I'm trying to recognise my complicity, where it has been, where it is, so I can do something the fuck about it all day, every day. I think I have started to identify elements of it as I learn more about larger, deeper, broader social elements. Staring at your own prejudice is perverse. One tiny thing that's been useful is to strike the word privilege from my vocabulary and replace it with advantage. 

As I was walking home from the park, I came towards a woman having a ciggie at the bus stop. I smiled at her as I walked past, looking at her, then realised she couldn't see my smile because I was wearing a mask. I clumsily said "I'm smiling under here," as I reached up with my hands. Then I noticed she was wearing headphones, but she did make a noise. What a botch.