The Help and why I need sleep

April 30th, 2012

There is some point near the end of the semester when I feel I could sleep for weeks. Or at least days. When days and hours tumble over and over each other until I can’t tell the endings and beginnings of things.

We watched the movie The Help this weekend and despite Cicily Tyson, Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis who make the movie worth seeing and heroic acting by Bryce Dallas Howard; it was sort of horrific watching Dallas Howard, one of my favorite actresses playing a racist. The movie shows the South as a painful place to live. I think I’ll stay right here in California. You wonder how it is possible to be raised by someone and then grow up to despise them. African American women raised white children in the South and those children grew up to hate them. “Separate but equal,” is an oxymoron.

While we are on that subject, the Ku Klux Klan is still alive and well in the South. In 1997, four members of the KKK were arrested by the FBI in Dallas for conspiring to commit robbery and blow up a natural gas processing plant. In fact 34% of the hate crimes in this country are committed against African Americans. And Rush Limbaugh’s racist remarks aren’t helping.

On a different note, I am going to Chicago this week for our sales meeting. I have only been to two interesting places in Chicago: Russian Tea Time and the Art Institute. I’m sure Chicago has a lot more to offer and since I go there twice a year, sometime I am going to find out.

And then next week going to San Francisco for Mother’s Day. Two nights with our daughter, one night with our writer Doug, one night at the French Hotel and one night with my friend Dana Gioia. Should be great. The weather all cool and rushing. Here the heat is already dense and heavy. My shoulders are burnt from two days running and one day swimming. The heat inhabits Southern California; it’s like an animal sitting on the trunk of your car. You can’t get away from the heat once it starts coming up. It’s all over you.

We are going to Golden Gate park and the DeYoung Museum which I really like. Of all the many things I’ve done in San Francisco, Golden Gate Park is my favorite. Although I still like Fisherman’s Wharf, just the whole kitsch of it, the smell of fish, the salt water taffy, the oysters, and the clam chowder in bread bowls. I like Chinatown and walking over the Golden Gate bridge and taking the boat to Alcatraz. I can’t live in San Francisco at this point, the press is here, but I can visit there.

Worth visiting in Los Angeles: the Huntington, the Getty, Disney Hall, Venice Beach, and Zuma Beach. If you have kids, there are also the theme parks.

It’s funny how people don’t like to just stay home. Most people like to get out a bit, look around, stretch their brain, feel it expanding like light and heat.

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Published in: on April 30, 2012 at 12:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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