I grew up with two liberal parents, socialist relatives, liberal New York Public School teachers, and liberal University professors. Because of this, I think I came away with a distorted view of the world — I was led to believe that that those who weren’t a part of the power structure — minorities, women, the poor — were somehow “better” people than the white male CEOs who screwed up the world. One of the biggest disappointments of adulthood is to learn that this isn’t true. It isn’t just the fault of white middle-aged men. Whoever gets into a position of power, usually ends up sucking.
I think this is one of the reasons I’ve been making so much fun of BlogHer lately. It’s a little sad to read that when women get together, they are as exclusive and hierarchical as a men’s private club of the 1950’s. For years, women have complained about the old boys’ network, but when it is their turn, they act exactly the same way. Should I vote for Hilary Clinton for president because she is a woman? What will she do differently because she is a woman? Can you believe that I actually once thought that if women ruled the world, there would be no more war! That is — until I actually got to know women, and saw how nasty they could be to one another.
Jews have been the ultimate victim throughout history, and a lot of people have been disappointed in Israel because the country acts so aggressively against its enemies. Sometimes I think Israelis should be more compassionate to the Palestinians, considering their common sad history. Of course, having your own country requires certain small responsibilities, like making sure you survive. On occasion, I read some commentaries by Europeans journalists who still prefer their Jews to be like in the old days — nice and willing to go on the train to their “relocation camp.” Maybe one day, the Palestinian leadership will overcome their victimhood and accept some responsibility for themselves.
I think it is great that those who once had no power have started to gain power. Will California be a different place when the majority is overwhelmingly Latino? Will all the politicians be Latino? Will there be enough Telemundo anchorwomen to go around? (note: inappropriate joke about the LA mayor’s recently discovered affair) I think in the future, the power structure will become more complicated… and more fluid. There are plenty of women and minorities in power. And what about those who are over 65 and forced from their job? Someone who is 25 and would never think of discriminating against someone black or gay, sees no problem with firing someone who is “old,” or not hiring someone who is “fat.” How do we know who we should support in their struggle for equal rights? Why do we always visualize the powerful as middle-aged white, heterosexual men?
Recently, Sophia had a UN-type interpreting job in the City of West Hollywood, glass booth and all. It was an induction ceremony for the new mayor of West Hollywood, and Sophia was there to translate for the Russian residents in attendance at a large concert hall used for the occasion. The newly elected mayor is gay. West Hollywood is known to be the area of LA where most of the hip gay clubs and bars are located. During the ceremony, there were many city pronouncements dealing with gay rights, Bush, AIDS, and gay-related drug issues. All of this is great, but Sophia told me a very surprising fact — despite the city’s “gay reputation,” the majority of the city’s population is Russian immigrants. They live in the crappier part of town, segregated away from the hip clubs and the gay power structure. So, here was a city, run by a minority population which does very little to include the majority in city politics. Is this wrong? Maybe the Russians just don’t choose to get involved — which sounds very much like the argument the Republicans made in Florida during that infamous election.
To me, it just proves that whoever is in power becomes as insular and selfish as the next guy. Meet the New Boss, same as the Old Boss.