Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Recent Interview with My 11 Month Old

My Baby: Daddy, why haven’t you posted any of our conversations for the last two months?

Me: Ever since you actually started saying words, I’ve felt uncomfortable making up what you would say to me.

My Baby: Everyone knows that these “interviews” are just projections of your internal dialogue, a way of making your always-keep-it-complicated politics palatable…like when you tried to mix iron drops in my sweet potatoes. So why stop now? You should keep casting me as the Marxist Feminist, the naive radical without real experience in the world.

Me: You’re making me feel stupid.

My Baby: No, you’re making you feel stupid.

Me: Oh, right.

My Baby: Let’s pick up our conversation where we left off in October. I was saying that crises can also be opportunities. We live in a world where money and goods move from one country to another so fast that all social structures, including families, are always on the verge of collapse. You think your daddy has a good job in a Michigan car factory. Boom! That factory is on the Mexican border. Slam! It’s in China. Kablooeey! Myanmar. The union is gone and the health benefits are history. Daddy has to make ends meet and asks to mow the lawn of the CEO who moved the factory, but the Mexican guy who migrated here after his factory moved to China charges less.

Me: You’re depressing me.

My Baby: No, you’re depressing you.

Me: Right, I forgot.

My Baby: What you need to remember is that the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) successfully organized the janitors in Houston and that they went on strike until their employers gave them contracts guaranteeing full-time work, health benefits, and a living wage. What you need to remember is that the Democrats took control of the US Congress and although that doesn’t mean fair trade policies will automatically prevail, it does mean our demands for protection of labor rights and the environment will not fall on completely deaf ears. What you need to remember is that even if the US government doesn’t change, the efforts of Brazil, India, and dozens of other developing countries, combined with the efforts of scholars, NGOs, and grassroots activists, have already stopped the Doha Round negotiations. What you need to remember is that mommy has way more opportunities to get a good job than she would have had fifty years ago and that the Salvadoran nanny we would have to hire because the government doesn’t provide childcare just might organize the other nannies with SEIU one day soon. Remember that Barrack Obama is just the beginning, that there are going to be legions of interracial leaders who seem to defy the old rules, people who don’t even remember when the world was divided between so-called capitalists and communists.

Me: I don’t know, BabyG. You’re just telling stories. The first story made me depressed. Now I’m supposed to be elated about the messed up world you are inheriting? You’re not even a year old, how can you tell me about hope?

My Baby: Our birthday is only three days away. I’ll be one. You’ll be twenty-nine. Together we’ll be thirty. That’s how old Jesus was when he taught the world about love and hope. This is a time to be excited.

Me: You’re right, I am excited. We’re going to get lots of presents! Boogey boogey boo, tickle tickle.

My Baby: Daddy, I feel like you are not listening to me.

Me: No, I am not listening to me. Ha! Got…me?

2 comments:

Henitsirk said...

I always find that a good tickle fight fends off the military-industrial capitalist patriarchal blues.

Dylan said...

I love these conversations, and hope you not only continue them, but develop them into a book someday!