“The Way the Cookie Crumbles…”

A new pair of shoes will do you a world of good” (Chinese Fortune Cookie) #2 mixed media by Katie-Rae Jean (March 2020)

Danny Boy says, “I was truly moved by her, when she said to me, ‘Heck yeah, I’m a functioning illiterate Doc Fancy Suit.  What Makes YOU think I wanna learn how to feel the way you do?  I’m not gonna read those books!  Them teachers think I can’t read, but I can read.  I been reading as long as I can remember, but I’m not telling any of them teachers at school I can do it.  If they know I can read, they’ll make me read their books.”

Dickey Boy asks, “Well, so you encountered an actual resistance to facts and information, huh Danny Boy?  So then what do you do?  How do you teach?”

Danny Boy says, “Dickey Boy, that’s an excellent question and I’m glad you asked me about it;  because I want to impress upon you, and I do not mean this in any kind of sentimental way, you know, like how one is supposed to feign humility, but you see… it really was this young woman who was teaching me and not the other way around.”

Dickey Boy nods and he says, “Uh, huh.  Uh, huh.  Okay and so how do you feel about parents or teachers who say to their children and students, ‘Stop reading those comic books…’?”

Danny Boy says, “Well Dickey Boy, if a boy wants to read a Playboy Magazine he should read what interests him, that’s what I’d tell them.  Because any boy who hasn’t read a Playboy Magazine isn’t in the world yet. Even MIT offers a course on Porn.”

Dickey Boy laughs.  “Heh, heh… I guess that’s true!”

Danny Boy says, “It’s true.  It’s true, Dickey Boy.  Mind you, Heff’s daughter took over the business after he croaked and the only thing left, are the articles! But the concept remains the same.”

Dickey Boy asks, “Are you saying a boy’s interest in porn can lead him to rocket science?”

Danny Boy says, “Well, the professor at MIT has taken a scientific approach to porn and happens to be a woman with a lotta healthy recommendations to female directors, which can be pretty confusing to a male teen, at least at first, but what’s more, we need to not give books to kids that tell them how to be like us.  We should give them books to read that reflect who they are so we can help them become them, not us.”

Dickey Boy asks, “Does that mean writing one bad short story is better than reading one well written novel?”

Danny Boy says, “Well Dickey Boy, not really, but there is a kernel of truth at least to what you are suggesting.”

Dickey Boy asks, “I mean do you think of reading as an idle activity in comparison to, oh say taking a walk?  That the physical experience of being in the world is more beneficial than reading about taking a walk?”

Danny Boy says, “Well yes and no Dickey Boy.  It’s our memories that set us apart from the other animals.  It’s our memories that make our animal unique.  And we capture those memories in books.  But of course, the physical experience of life is going to inform those books and this is where we discover our shared humanity.  That’s why I’m saying this student taught me more than I taught her.  She made me a better listener.  And she wasn’t wrong.  She knew who was telling her to be more white.  Who had the money.  She wanted the money; she just didn’t want the bullshit that came with it.”

Dickey Boy nods.  “What was the bullshit Danny Boy, that came with it?”

Danny Boy says, “In those books nobody believed a black girl would grow up to be a doctor.  It’s like how sometimes on airplanes when a passenger is having a medical problem and the white stewardess asks if there is a doctor on board and a proficient black doctor steps forward, but then the stewardess looks her up and down and hesitates.  Literally this passenger’s life is on the line and the stewardess asks for her credentials, only then to reject her for the white man who says he too is a doctor, but without asking to see his credentials.”

Dickey Boy nods.  “Wow.  Yeah.  I see what you mean Danny Boy.  I wouldn’t want to read those books either and I have been!”

Danny Boy laughs.  “Well there you are.”

Dickey Boy chuckles.  “Indeed.  Indeed.”  He says and he turns to the Elephant Man and asks, “So, what do you think about all of this?”

Elephant Man says, “Well, it’s true people laugh when I tell them I talk to the elephants and they talk to me and we have a true connection.”

Dickey Boy and Danny Boy laugh.

Elephant Man smiles like a shy but curious little boy.  He says, “They are a little mysterious the way they scatter and hide their bones all around the jungle.  They have a real sense of death.  And they are an extremely private group.”

Dickey Boy says, “Wait, you mean they told you that the elephant graveyard isn’t real?”

Elephant Man says, “That’s right Dickey Boy.  They are mums the word on why they do what they do, scattering and hiding the bones, but the elephant graveyard is a fantasy.”

Dickey Boy says, “That’s amazing.  You have a real way with them.”

Elephant Man says, “Well, that’s because I am an elephant.”

Dickey Boy and Danny Boy laugh.

Danny Boy leans over to pat Elephant Man’s knee.  He says, “You know what?  I believe you.”

Elephant Man smiles like a shy but curious little boy.  He says, “Do you want to know what the dumbest of the big animals is?”

Dickey Boy says, “Sure do.”

Elephant Man says, “The Rhino. He’s so transparent, you know, you can see his mind ticking… before he impulsively charges a bush.  For no reason at all he just goes off and attacks a bush!  And then he’ll actually throw himself onto his back like he’s having a tizzy fit.  A rhino boxes his own shadow and loses every time.”

Dickey Boy and Danny Boy laugh.

Dickey Boy says, “Well maybe the rhinos are harboring deep feelings against the Chinese.  Maybe it’s post traumatic stress because after all, the Chinese have been hunting them and sawing off their horns to grind them into what has been proven as false ‘medicine’ and so maybe the rhino species is energetically messed up now because of that long brutal history.”

Elephant Man appears pensive.  He says, “That’s deep.  I never would have thought of that.  Maybe you’re right Dickey Boy.”

Danny Boy says to Dickey Boy, “I believe it.  And who says we can’t use television to teach the children?  When my daughter was six years old she got bored with Sesame Street.  She knew when it became condescending to her.  She knew when she could out smart them and she made her own choice to move on.”

Dickey Boy says, “Well Danny Boy, I’m not going to argue with you there!”

Danny Boy and Dickey Boy share a laugh and Elephant Man smiles like a shy and curious little boy.

Danny Boy says, “You know that rhino-Chinese analogy is pretty much how my student explained Woody Allen to me.  She said Woody is a thief.  She said don’t trust that mutha fuckin’ Jew ‘cuz he be like all them Jews.  He jus’ gonna rob ya’ll and make ’you pay one way or ‘nother to watch him screw his adopted daughter.'”

Dickey Boy gasps.  “Wow!  I never thought of the movie biz as so all about Holly-Woodies before.  Your student had a point, didn’t she?”

Danny Boy nods.  “I couldn’t argue.  I wouldn’t argue.  There was nothing to argue.”

Elephant Man nods.  “Maybe rhinos aren’t dumb.  I never considered the body language as anything other than unproductive rage.  But it’s a signal to us.  Perhaps it’s their recorded memory.  Maybe they role model this to condition and steel and submit themselves for what the future holds.”

Danny Boy says, “I believe you’re on to something there, Elephant Man.”

Dickey Boy says to Danny Boy, “Which isn’t to say there is no hope?”

Danny Boy says, “Oh, no… of course there is hope.  Yes there is hope.  My student who didn’t want to read the books, went to college to become a nurse, and then she ended up a doctor.  People say to me, you must be so proud and gratified because she wouldn’t have done that if she hadn’t met me, but that’s not true.  She did that work by herself.  She did that for herself.  And she taught me how she could and would do it.  But me?  As a white man?  I didn’t have to sacrifice a thing.  I just had to listen and then I got to write a book about her and I got on television for it.  She gave me that. But only she could walk in her shoes.”

A new pair of shoes will do you a world of good” (Chinese Fortune Cookie) #4 mixed media by Katie-Rae Jean (March 2020)
The Tierra Whack “Whack World” (Music Video) is being featured by Bitter Sweet Place, a Fleeting He(art) Gallery for No Commercial Purpose. Music video by Tierra Whack performing Whack World. © 2018 Tierra Whack. 1.”Black Nails”2.”Bugs Life”3.”Flea Market”4.”Cable Guy”5.”4 Wings”6.”Hookers”7.”Hungry Hippo”8.”Pet Cemetery”9.”Fuck Off”10.”Silly Sam”11.”Fruit Salad”12.”Pretty Ugly”13.”Sore Loser”14.”Dr. Seuss”15.”Waze”
“A new pair of shoes will do you a world of good” (Chinese Fortune Cookie) #1 mixed media by Katie-Rae Jean (March 2020)

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