Thursday, April 13, 2006

One night [after 9/11], about 11 p.m., I was walking home with friends, going north on the wide, dark highway, and we came upon a woman, a thick middle-aged woman, dark skinned and dark haired. She was with a baby in a stroller. She was, I think, not the mother but the grandmother. They were there alone, in the darkness. Affixed to the stroller was a hand-lettered sign, and on the sign were these words: "American You Are Not Alone -- Mexico Is With You." All alone and she came out with that sign, at that time. I have tried to tell that story in speeches and I can never make my way through it, and as I write my eyes fill with tears...
...of laughter, Peggy? Please say they were tears of laughter, provoked by the sight of new Mexican ambassador Juanita la Loca, offering America the protection of Mexico, and perhaps a bag of peeled oranges!

No, the Crazy Jesus Lady is still Crazy and Jesus and Lady, and now she's on about immigrants, in this case Hispanics who recently marched gleefully in New York while other ethnic stereotypes labored:
In fact, I did not see a single Asian in the march. They were all working, in the shops and on the street. They had no intention of letting yet another New York march get in the way of business. And you know, the marchers seemed to sense it. They didn't spend long in Chinatown. As far as I could see they didn't make it to Little Italy, either.
Actually I understand the Italians didn't march because they were all in jail. Or was it church? I do remember that the blacks were washing their cars -- oh wait, shit! That was the Puerto Ricans!* How did this march ever get started?

In the main CJL wants to tell us Routine Twelve, aka The Responsible Republican Position That Is No Position at All: "I think those whose primary concern is preserving the Hispanic vote for the Democratic Party, or not losing the Hispanic vote for the Republican Party, are being cynical, selfish, and stupid, too." The solution being a furrowed brow, an insistence on "continuing a system of laws" (which has obviously not worked and thus means the status quo), and another round of Johnny Jameson.

Things were no different in the days of Pegeen's immigrant forebears, as is shown by a recent black-and-white two-reeler that has mysteriously come into my possession:
East Side, New York. Someone plays "She's the Daughter of Rosie O'Grady" on a concertina. Camera pans up from kids playing skelly and stickball in the streets, along the blackened bricks of a tenement, to the window of the Noonans' two-room apartment. We enter as PA NOONAN holds forth to MA NOONAN and their brood of 19 children:

PA NOONAN: Can yez believe it! They're givin' our jobs t'a doorty Eye-talians! An' thim livin' roight down oor strait! Ha, but tonight -- (Holds a paving stone in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other) we'll giv 'em a party, complete wit' Oirish confetti! (Drinks deeply).

MA NOONAN: (Eyes rolled back in her head) Yerra, 'tis a power o' sorrow surely! Holy Mary, mither a' Gawd, pray fer us sinners...

(Six babies cry at once. MOIKE, a fellow-bricklayer of PA NOONAN's, comes into the apartment.)

PA NOONAN: Moike, ye stink loik a brewery, ye doorty beast!

MOIKE: Is it me, is it? I t'aught it was a diaper. (Quietly) I'm after sendin' the guns to Michael Collins an' the' boys. Sure an' Oirlan' will be a Republic afore Spring, I'm t'inkin, if we spill enough innocent blood! Here's yer cut o' the loot. (hands him money.)

PA NOONAN: Saints be praised! Now I c'n buy more whiskey! An' git Thomas Nast t' do me por-trait!

MA NOONAN: Now, Pa Noonan, ye should lay that money up. We c'n be good citizens now, I'm thinkin', an' be Senators and Presidents and maybe even socially-conscious fellas as sings on th' grammaphone.

MOIKE: (pointing out the window) Look, Pat! Chinkees!

PA NOONAN: (runs to window, roaring) Ye yella bastards'll niver take jobs from proper Americans such as oursilvs!

(They heave everything but the money and the whiskey out the window as the music swells.)
* It is well-established, of course, that the Polish thought it was Sunday.

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