Thomas Wictor

The Caravan Passes By

The Caravan Passes By

I’ve been searching for the best way to put into words the sense of exasperated disgust I have with the vast majority of what I see or hear every day. My parents’ suicides and the murder of my writing career have changed me. I can no longer stomach vacuity.

For example, women are defiantly refusing to shave their pubic hair, finally standing up against the myriad forces demanding that they be denuded. This is a lie. Not that women are no longer shaving, but that they’re doing it because they’re defying the “capitalist drive to convince us that female body hair is unnatural and unclean[.]”

Hogwash. It’s just another fashion statement. In a few years, women will be shaving again. Right now, hirsute is the trend. Just ask popular male fashion model Patrick Petitjean.

Petitjean

I don’t care what women do with their public hair. What irritates me about the discussion is that aside from a handful of people, who in your life knows about your public hair? Let’s say that in the coming years, massive societal pressure will be put on women to not only grow their public hair but also wax it, part it in the middle, and comb it into an upturned Kaiser Wilhelm II mustache.

Kaiser

You’re a woman who doesn’t want to grow, wax, and comb your pubic hair into a Kaiser Wilhelm II mustache. Who the hell is going to know what you’re doing with your pubic hair unless you tell them or show them? When women meet in private, do they immediately flash each other? Is this why women always go to public restrooms in pairs? Are they checking to see that they’re conforming to the law?

If you and your mate accept you the way you are, why in the world would you care what anybody else on the planet says or thinks?

Another thing I read that irritated me was “4 Things I learned from the Worst Online Dating Profile Ever.” A woman named Alli Reed wrote a fake profile on OkCupid, presenting herself as AaronCarterFan, “mean, spoiled, lazy, racist, manipulative, and willfully ignorant, and I threw in a little gold digging just for funzies.” Then she used a photo of her “hot” friend, who’s supposed to be a model.

Well…okay.

Reed was shocked—shocked!—that she got inundated with requests to go out. The piece was a complete waste of time for several reasons. For one, there was no evidence that she presented herself as racist. At one point a guy quoted the lyrics of “Girl From Ipanema” in Portuguese.

Moça do corpo dourado (Girl with body of gold)
Do sol de Ipanema
(From the sun of Ipamena)
O seu balançado
(Her swing)
É mais que um poema
(Is more than a poem)

“I DON’T SPEAK CHINESE. THIS IS AMERICA,” Reed replied.

That’s actually funny. The Brazilian writer thought so and said he loved America.

“HOW CAN U LOVE AMERICA IF UR WRITING TO ME IN KOREAN,” came the answer. I suppose this was the “racist” part, even though there’s nothing racist about it. What’s annoying about the “racist” trope is that the bar has been lowered to the point of complete absurdity. And the accusation has been so overused that it no longer means anything. Another perfectly legitimate concept, debauched into oblivion.

Reed ended her piece with an impassioned plea.

Men of the world: You are better than this. I know many of you would never message AaronCarterFan, but many of you would, and a whole bunch of you did. You’re better than that. There are women and men out there who are smart, and kind, and challenging, and honest, and a lot of other really positive adjectives. You don’t want someone who will pull out your teeth and then sue you for child support; you deserve someone who will make you want to be better than you are, and will want to be better because of you. You deserve happiness, and love, and adventure. Be brave. Don’t settle. Figure out how to be happy with who you are and then look for someone who makes your great life even better.

So moronic. A certain type of person replied to her intentionally off-putting profile, and she then used that to broad-brush an entire gender. Richard Ramirez—the Night Stalker—was swamped with love letters. Should I write a plea to women of the world, telling them they’re better than that? Or should I recognize that sickos attract sickos? How many utterly dysfunctional families do we all know? There’s someone out there for everyone.

Do these two represent all women?

“A message to women of the world: Don’t fight like alley-cat skanks! Please! I beg of you! There are women out there who don’t bash each other in the face and pull each other’s hair! Really! Please stop this senseless bloodshed!”

Back to racism.

Years ago I read the stupidest thing ever published: “Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination,” a “study” by Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan.

We perform a field experiment to measure racial discrimination in the labor market. We respond with fictitious resumes to help-wanted ads in Boston and Chicago newspapers. To manipulate perception of race, each resume is assigned either a very African American sounding name or a very White sounding name. The results show significant discrimination against African-American names: White names receive 50 percent more callbacks for interviews.

Utter and complete garbage. For years people have pointed to this phony, worthless propaganda piece as evidence of institutionalized racism. Anyone with half a brain can figure out why Bertrand and Mullainathan’s conclusions are without value: They didn’t use all the white names they could’ve.

What if they’d sent out résumés with the names “Billy Bob,” “Jimmie Sue,” “Cletus,” and “Twyla Fay”?

Or such white names as “Moonrise,” “Rainbow,” “Understanding,” and “New Sage”?

How about “Ecky Ecky Ecky Ecky P’tang Zoom Boing Oom Zowie”?

If you were the head of an HR department, would you call back “Brian” or “Ecky Ecky Ecky Ecky P’tang Zoom Boing Oom Zowie”?

Much of what I read and hear now irritates me because it’s so trivial and such a squandering of our precious, irreplaceable time. I couldn’t figure out how to express it until today, when I learned an Arab proverb. It shows me that others have been as irritated as I am.

The dogs bark, but the caravan passes by.

And now, I’m no longer irritated. This caravan will pass by while the dogs stay chained to their posts, rending the night with their meaningless hysteria.

Along the way I’ll find other caravans. I’m sure of it.


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