Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fantasy Victim

I’ve been watching some sports news and now I’m watching Jay Leno and he has Cuba Gooding Jr. as a guest. Jay is asking Cuba how he feels about being an African-American with Obama being elected. As with the sports shows, he gets to talk about the struggle, how he never saw it happening, etc.

So I thought I’d imagine an interview with me, if some other middle class, white, schmuck from Nepean, Ontario, was elected Prime Minister of Canada (we’ll call him John Jones).

Here’s the interview:

Jay Leno (JL): So Sea Salt, tell me how you feel about John Jones being elected Prime Minister of Canada.

Sea Salt (SS): Jay, tears were pouring from my eyes. I phoned my father and he was choking up. Dad, I said, let it go, man. (Hold up hand, emotion taking over.)

JL: When you were accepted at Carleton University, mocked as “Last Chance U” did you ever think you’d see a fellow alumni at 22 Sussex?

SS: Not only did he go to Carleton like me, but also lived at home with his parents while he got his degree. He had to battle this stigma. People treat you as less than human. (Hand up, tears again)

JL: Gosh. Times were tough back then.

SS: A girl would say, where do you live? I’d say west of here. She’d say, where specifically? I’d say, the suburbs. She’d say, why is a 21 year old living in the suburbs? And then came the killer line. Wait, you live with your mom don’t you? Yes, and I watch Star Trek dammit!

JL: It’s like you were less than human.

SS: I’ll confess, sometimes, I just hated who I was. Why does this repressive majority with their rich parents and student loans get to live in cool places downtown, while I was barred and stigmatized.

JL: Jones’s victory speech?

SS: My heart filled with hope, when he said: “This is a great country when a plain featured white guy, educated in the streets of Trend Village, in Nepean, Ontario can grow up to be Prime Minister one day.”

JL: It’s not only what he says, it’s the way he says it, isn’t it? That line gave me chills.

SS: I’ve lived my whole life to hear it.

JL: Nepean doesn’t even exist anymore does it?

SS: That dark chapter was closed with the City of Ottawa Amalgamation. One hundred years from now, they probably won’t even know what went on there. The name may have changed, but the scars never heal.

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