I swear...Today we had our Labor Day "celebration" at my aunt's house, which consisted of eating and talking about controversial subjects including:
- The Prison System
- The Stereotypes of Judaism
- National Disasters
We were first discussing my mom's friend Julie, whose son is in prison for heroin issues. Julie apparently goes into Chester, which is a nasty little area outside of Philadelphia, to pay off a prison guard to sneak cigarrettes into her son-of-a-bitch son.
Then we were talking about the stereotypes (meaning not necessarily true) of Judaism, since I'm moving to an area with a rather large Jewish population and my cousin, Meagan, is working at a Jewish deli. Gefilte, lox, the most popular Jewish "wine" (aka "whine," "I wanna gota Florida..." says my uncle), and Jewish foreplay (four hours of begging...HOUSE QUOTE, said I: "Unless you're only half Jewish, then it's two hours." My uncle got it.). We're seriously not bad people. At least I'm not...see the next discussion topic.
Katrina came up several times during the night. I kept insisting that it was foolish of the US government to turn away any offers for monetary help. My grandfather agreed with me. My grandmother insisted that no one ever offers to help us and no one ever will (um, okay, I guess that all those other countries were just kidding). They also think that the entire state of Louisiana lives in total poverty and exsists solely on welfare (granted, Louisiana has the highest percentage of families living in poverty [the poverty line in the United States is slightly over $21,000 for a family of five, or three times the cost of what it would take to feed the family for a full year.]). They also think that the entire state of Louisiana is black (USCensus in 2000 says 64% white, 33% black, the rest varies. Pennsylvania is 85/10.). Alright. I swear, the weirdest thing I heard all night was, again, my grandmother: "I'm sure the blacks will give the other blacks places to live. They all have families somewhere that they can live with." What???
We were talking about why government aide is so lacking. I said that I bet that a fair few of the people who voted for Bush are regretting it. She did agree that it was his second big catastrophe, but not that it's the Republican's fault. I didn't say it was anyone's fault, just that people are really kicking themselves right now.
Oy vey. I can't stand having serious discussions with my family anymore.
THEN! My dad says that a local used bookstore found a first edition copy of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby in a pile of unsorted, donated books. We were discussing whether or not the owner of the shop could attempt to identify the previous owner of the book by having the book dusted for fingerprints. I told him that with the age of the book, storage situations and the fact that the store probably would have ruined most of the fingerprint evidence, few usable fingerprints would probably be found. He got all huffy with me and pulled one of his, "Oh, right, I don't know anything." moods. I was like, "If anyone in this car was to know anything about fingerprinting, who would it be?" "Whatever, I don't know then." Urggggh.
I totally forgot, my dad and I went to see The Great Raid. It was so moving and just amazing. Of course, WWII, duh, I'm going to love it. I've never really seen anything about the Pacific though, I'm usually interested strictly in the European theatre. I think the worst part, for me, was that there was a woman in front of us who was probably in her mid-late seventies. She kept sniffing and crying. It really got to me.
I'm starting to collect old photographs. Like early-1900's photographs. I can't find my grandfather's scrapbook of when he was in Japan after surrender, which really ticks me off.