Planned Parenthood: A Different Kind Of Event
I had been eager to go to this event. And I showed up on time, at six. A night out with women in politics. There was one State Senator, Liz Krueger, and an elderly lady on the City Council from the Upper West Side who was the funniest. She looked like she had a walking difficulty. She walked in just in time to be announced.
"No, don't read my bio," she said. I was laughing. She also used the f___ word in her speech, just the first letter, as in nobody gives a f about.
There was Jessica. There was a staffer to Congressman Yvette who one false DFNYC rumor had it I campaigned for when she ran against Chris Owens. I had seen her at a Park Slope event where Weiner was a panelist, and I asked a question, and I decided this is not the next Mayor of New York City.
There was Suzie. She was the Asian woman I saw at the DL21C women's issues committee meeting I showed up for. Today I got to know more about her, like her name, I learned she works for Betsy Godbaum. She is a policy analyst. She did her grad school at GWU.
The setting was a great pick. This place actually had been a zipper factory in the 1900s.
There were a few things I noticed.
The planners had set out an entire hour at the end so people could mingle. My bet is this is one of those women things. Their take on group dynamics is different, slightly different. I greatly appreciated that hour. Most events tend to be in and out. Except Obama events of course. We linger around too.
Some things were not different at all. Once in a while you walk over to join a group for its conversation, and they will act like you are not even there. That is statistical. You can find a few of those at every event.
And then there is the 99% rule. That is the guarded white women. They will go out of the way to make sure you don't get the wrong hint. As in, I am cool and all that. But it is not fashionable, you know what. There is a flip side to that 99% rule. Since you are so less likely to bump into Indians, 99% of those are going to end up the no chemistry variety. But if it is about cultural overlap, I don't get that with either Indians or Nepalis.
But then I really did show up for the event. I wanted to meet women politicians. I had no hidden agenda. But one Planned Parenthood person was trying to get me to come to future events because there are mostly women and so "the odds are greater!" Okay.
Met a couple who lived in my part of Brooklyn: neighbors. How often does that happen?
Met Rosemary. She talked of her partner, so I guess she is gay. She had a comfortable body size. She talked so pleasant, the most pleasant of anyone I talked to at the event. She was working so hard to get me onto something called the Activist Council, whatever that is. I guess it is a Planned Parenthood thing.
I mean, I would like to meet New Yorkers who have a passion for going after Third World dictators. Then we can trade. Until then, I have to be fleeting. The eagle has not landed.
How do you explain? I have been so hard core for Barack, but I refused to be part of any structure. I don't join organizations. I just show for select events. I have zero interest in event planning: that has been true also for Obama 2008.
There was someone of Trinidad background.
"I could tell. I had a friend called Keisha at college. She was from Trinidad, and she had this sing song accent."
"I don't have an accent," she said. But then she gave me a flyer for the next event. I did not think I was planning on going to another event. But I might go for this one, if only to express some Third World solidarity to her.
Let's Talk About Sex
Monday, February 11
26 Bleeker St
Elizabeth Caputo showed up late. After the formal event was over, we both lingered around for more than an hour, and at one point the crowd got very thin, down to maybe half a dozen, but then a new crowd came in and the place was full all over again. I went downstairs for a little while, then I came back up once, then I left. On the sidewalk I realized I was not walking too straight. The drink downstairs.
Partly it felt like an issue unresolved. Part of it even felt like circling each other from a distance. But we are two individuals who never really have had a conversation. And that perhaps is the way it will be. When you are having to ask if it might even be proper to say hello, stay away. It is Safety 101. I just find the predicament weird though. Or did you lift the ban? Where do you get that info?
Caputo and I got major culture clashes. There is the obvious white, nonwhite thing. But the bigger might be 2.0. Hers has been the textbook route, Indiana to Harvard to Stanley. Mine has been wilderness to wilderness to wilderness to startup.
I also feel distant for another reason. The peace process in Nepal is back on extremely thin ice. I had not noticed while distracted by February 5 for weeks. People who did not care about Benazir - blip on the screen - are not going to care about something much more abstract, like the political predicament in Nepal. During my intense Nepal phase, I would be at an event in Manhattan and my mind would be 10,000 miles away.
After the April Revolution, I got a few DFNYC overtures. The time to like me was before not after.
I am also in the surfacing phase of my life when you don't abandon 2.0 but you go reclaim 5.0. This is not like claiming wisdom as inheritance. This can be to create, invent. 5.0 can be reshaped.
DL21C is very clear in my mind though, this is what I have to say.
Dan Berger is a racist mofo. Two times he has gone ahead and described me a physical threat to Caputo. This asshole's claim has been that in a one on one with him I issued a physical threat to Caputo: he invented that stuff and found ready buyers. I am offended. He sure managed to engineer a compulsory coat check based on that invention of his. I have talked to this guy for a total of 20 seconds in this lifetime and those have been extremely unpleasant 20 seconds.
I am on my way to winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Berger's image of me does not quite chime in with that possibility. Stupid jerk.
Caputo never asked him to racially demonize me. He went ahead and did that on his own. He acted entrepreneurial.
I met racist people in Kentucky whose excuse for racism was that they were poor and uneducated. What is this asshole's excuse?
He talks and acts racist because he thinks that will make him less Jewish and more white. That is the gameplan. In his mind it is pretty darn sophisticated. Mitt Romney tried the same thing on Barack. He figured out talking racist was his ticket to becoming less Mormon and more white.
Berger does his DL21C work for his boss Charlie Rangel. He does not do it for me, or anyone else. He gets paid for it in a roundabout way.
This guy has a friend called Aaron. Aaron I knew myself from meeting at many events. I liked him, I thought he was funny. Aaron had a so so job. Looks like he lost that so so job and got another so so so job. Somewhere along the way these two assholes decided I am the reason Aaron lost his first job. Can it get any more ridiculous than this? These two toothpicks have a bonding thing going on.
So if I were to talk like Arabs who hate Jews, would that make me a macho man? The point being it is a progressive thing to do to not tolerate racism, especially the petty racism of the Burger kind.
I have a much more sophisticated appreciation for the Jewish predicament than this Berger dude ever will. One rotten apple is not going to color my perception of the Jewish people. There are assholes among all peoples. There are white assholes, there are black assholes, there are brown assholes. Assholes have planted themselves among all peoples.
This asshole bought himself a one way ticket out of my personal space. That's final.
The last time Caputo tried to talk to me was in the presence of this Berger guy. I was not exactly in the mood, no thank you. The next two times she sent him to tell me to leave.