Blog Archive

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Air Travel Is For White People....

This is not a racist statement, but a statement that you might make if you actually looked at the constituency of the ticketholding people flying in an airport, even a large metropolitan airport like O'Hare or LaGuardia.

Over the last few weeks, as DNA traveled across the country, he noticed that about 99% of his fellow air travelers were white. In Minneapolis, it was about 99.9%. In contrast, about 90% of all the employees he saw at the airport were not white (excluding pilots and flight attendants). He had noticed this before, but this time, as the disparity was pummeling him, he actively looked to disprove his current and previous observations. As he looked closer, at every airport he stopped at, his observations were confirmed. In the last month, DNA was in the St. Louis airport, Minneapolis, Detroit, Atlanta, Buffalo, and some others. This seemed like a representative enough sample.

Given these basic facts: Whites make up about 74% of the population (2008 census statistics). This is approximately 221 million people. Blacks make up approximately 12.5% of the population which is about 37 million people. Those that consider themselves Hispanic (of any race) make up about 14% or 44 million people. Some of those people consider themselves white, some consider themselves black and some consider themselves other. DNA is going to ignore hispanics for the sake of this argument. But, hispanics, this is nothing new, right? America has been ignoring your contribution to our society for about two hundred years already.

The number of white people considered in poverty is about 8.6% of the white population. The number of black people considered in poverty is about 24% of the black population. No other group, including hispanics, are even close to this level of poverty.

So, whites make the vast majority of people in this country, and at the same time, whites make up the smallest minority of the poorest people. Hmmmm.

Given the information above, if all other things were equal, how many black people should you expect flying from place to place? Well, if poverty were equal, you would expect about 12.5% of the flying population would be black. But, given that there are more blacks in poverty as a percentage of their total population, then the percentage of black flyers should be smaller than 12.5%, since financial ability to fly would impact who flies. By how much? Well, let's first throw out people in poverty, white or black from our pool of flyers. That's 19 million whites and approximately 9 million blacks. In other words, even though blacks only make up about 12.5% of the population, they make up about 32% of the population in poverty. Once we ditch all those freeloading losers of the two races that don't want to work and apparently like living at or below the subsistence level, (we'll just assume they don't fly very often) then, of the remaining population, about 81% are white and about 11% are black. So, you should expect to see, all things being equal, about 11% of the flyers in an airport who are black. Removing the poorest of the poor of both races, we still need to consider overall distribution of wealth. $50,000 or more is a good cut off to look at when considering who can afford air travel. Anything less than that, in DNA's completely unscientific perspective, and people don't have enough disposable income to afford flying regularly. Of the total population, 51% who make more than $50,000 are white. About 32% of the population who make more than $50,000 are black. So, only about 32% of the original 11% of the black population can actually afford to fly. One third of 11% is about 4%. Now we are getting closer to the 1% or so that DNA has witnessed in actual airports.

The effects of this obvious racial divide is not lost on blockheads like DNA, who blithely goes about his daily life untouched, at least directly, by the effects of racism. So, how much more apparent do you think it is to the vast majority of airport employees who are not white? How many times do you think they have to serve their customers before they begin to accept the message drummed into their heads which vibrates through the very concrete of the terminal, that white people afford the luxury to fly, and black people serve them food, shine their shoes, and carry their luggage? If DNA can see it, and honestly, he wasn't really looking for it, how obvious is it to a black traveler?

There is not a more stark barometer of our country's racial health than airports. Are there other reasons besides the undeniable economic divide which might support the hypothesis that air travel is for white people?

Yes.

Skymall.

Simply reading Skymall makes you white.

Airlines don't really share much information about the racial composition of their flights. Wonder why? However, airlines don't really need to. All you have to do is open your eyes and count the next time you are in an airport. Until 12.5% of our nation's air travelers are black, then DNA thinks it will be safe to say that racism is alive and well in the good old USA.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Let the Pizza Eating Begin...

So, once again, DNA traveled for his work, and spent the evening in Chicago. Mr. Kamikaze and DNA ordered from Leona's.

On the LaRoma's Pizza Nirvana Quotient (LPNQ) the pizza rated about an 84%. It wasn't bad, but the thin crust was just a little too thin, and bit and chewed more like a flatbread than a pizza crust. But the sauce was good. The cheese was appropriately browned, and the pizza was a circle cut into squares. DNA thinks tonight, we may go for something completely different.

Who Put The Cunt in Country Music....

Okay, if that didn't grab your attention, nothing will. DNA has long lived by the motto, "Seem innocuous, Be virulent." Don't be the suspect, be the instigator. Don't be obvious, but be subversive. You get the drift. As far as musical forms go, most rock and roll isn't very subtle, very little is truly subversive anymore, and most of rock music, unfortunately, is predictable. However, country music, the little DNA knows about, actually still seemed to have some of that subversive power. Most pop country appeared on the surface, to be conservative, traditional values anthems, but underneath, a strong sexual undercurrent rippled through the songs, hiding under the guise of "good ol' boys" just sewin' their oats. There was kind of a nod and a wink even among the most conservative religious people that guys like Toby Keith were okay, even though they pretty openly sing about smoking weed with Willy Nelson and party like rock stars (drugs, sluts, you get the picture). Yet, at the end of the day, all was forgiven, because they loved their moms, and their country, and were proud of their down home common roots. And ya can't fault a good ol' boy for being human, can you?

Notice, DNA said country music "seemed to have some of that subversive power" a moment ago. Country had that power until Brad Paisley wrote and recorded the song, "Ticks." This song is about as subtle as KISS's beautiful rock anthem "Burn, Bitch, Burn." Country had not crossed that final rubicon, even with the song, "Save a horse, ride a cowboy," until "Ticks" hit the airwaves. As of now, country music has sold its soul to the devil.

Without further ado, DNA presents the lyrics, and the line by line commentary, for the song, "Ticks," by Brad Paisley.

Everytime you take a sip
in this smoky atmosphere
you press that bottle to your lips
and i wish i was your beer
(you simply can't get more pathetically sophomoric and juvenile than wishing you were a bottle of beer so that you could feel the girls lips...and presumably, the bottle really is a phallic symbol here. This is what 7th grade chess club uberdorks say when they are trying to sound coool.)

and in the small there of your back
your jeans are playing peek a boo
id like to see the other half
of your butterfly tattoo
(Yes, the blatantly christian, made his reputation off of being a family man Paisley is saying, while he is drooling over his own beer in the corner, and staring at this chick in a bar, that he wants to see her bare ass. Nice. You know who else drools over their beers and says stuff like "I'd like to see the rest of that tattoo"? Sexual predators, that's who : D)

hey that gives me an idea
lets get out of this bar
and drive out into the country
and find a place to park
("'Scuse, me, I know we just met, but your tattoo made me think about seeing your naked ass. Since you obviously want me to act this way, how about we go make out now?")

cause id like to see you out in the moonlight
id like to kiss you way back in the sticks
id like to walk you through a field of wildflowers
(Okay, that part is actually kind of nice...)
and I'd like to check you for ticks
(Huh? Wait a second. Did he say he wants to check you for ticks? What the fuck? Again, only 13 year-olds think that any aspect of being checked for ticks conjures a sexual image. This is the same kind of thinking that boys employ when they learn what gynecologists do for a living. As if there would be anything sexually exciting about a pap smear. Besides such imagery being firmly planted in the amygdala of the pubescent male brain, it needlessly sexualizes imagery that can't and shouldn't be sexualized. It would be like being aroused by pictures of naked women outside of Auschwitz.

Of course, he's not really saying he wants to check her for ticks. He's saying, "Let's go out in the woods, and under a pretext of looking out for her safety, let's get naked and get our hands on each other, in the thorough way you would do if he were checking her for ticks. DNA gets it. It's just pathetically bad imagery.)


i know the perfect little path
out in these woods i used to hunt
(and what rhymes with hunt? There are several times that Paisley purposely uses words that conjure sexual words as rhyming pairs.)
don't worry babe I've got your back
and I've also got your front (really? Did he really just say that? This isn't sophomoric anymore, it's fourth grade. Like the first time you thought of girls having boobs. This is how Paisley sounds cool with girls? Echhh. DNA feels kind of dirty.)
id hate to waste a night like this
I'll keep you safe you wait and see
the only thing allowed to crawl all over you
when we get there is me (Or, "I won't allow ticks to crawl on you and touch your boobies, and tickle your cooter, those perverted little bastards. The only parasitic, disease-carrying insect that will grope you is me.")

you know every guy in here tonight
would like to take you home
but I've got way more class than them
and that ain't what I want(Yes, he has way more class. He doesn't want to take her home and fuck her, like those other loser bastards. He wants to lead her out in the woods, strip her naked and molest her. He wouldn't think of fucking her. That wouldn't be very respectful.)

cause id like to see you out in the moonlight
id like to kiss you way back in the sticks
id like to walk you through a field of wildflowers
and id like to check you for ticks("I'd like to purposely expose you to a risk of parasitic infection, so that I could have a chance to touch you naked." WTF????)

oooh you never know where one might be
and oooh there's lots of places that are hard to reach(DNA simply can't get the image of a 60 year-old man saying this to a 9 year-old girl out of his freaking head. This is the kind of dialog that child rapists and catholic priests say to their victims. This is not witty banter and sexual innuendo.)

id like to see you out in the moonlight
id like to kiss you way back in the sticks
id like to walk you through a field of wildflowers
and id like to check you for ticks

oh id sure like to check you for ticks

DNA for one, would like to check Brad Paisley with a hayfork to the face. Brad, you have single-handedly destroyed country music, which is too bad, cuz you're a really talented guitar player. DNA is sad that now, almost all pop music in America is exactly what it seems like: Silly, simple, inneundo and vapid, vacuous hooks.

DNA recommends buying the new Brad Paisley album. It will hasten the end of the world. We need a good apocalypse after that record.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hey Everybody It's Pizza Time!

DNA travels for the program at which he works. Part of the ritual of travel is to find a good pizza joint wherever he goes. A couple of weeks back, he went to Minneapolis, had a nice reunion with Max, Pat, and Suanne, and then made it back to the hotel. DNA asked the locals where a good pizza place was, and they recommended Carbone's Pizza.

The menu had some good pictures which reminded DNA of LaRoma's Pizza, which is possibly the best pizza ever made, a restaurant which has long since went the way of all pizza joints which were used to launder money.

Wait...you haven't heard of LaRoma's? You weren't in Carbondale during the too few years it was open? You never tasted the deceptively simple perfection of either the thin or the stuffed LaRoma's pie? DNA is sorry for you. DNA was lucky enough to be here when it was here, and some days, the memory of LaRoma's Pizza is the only thing that keeps all the inhumanity he wallows in worth enduring...

Carbone's Pizza had a thin, but not crunchy crust, with lots of cheese cooked to the perfect golden brown. The sauce was a nice mix of spicy, tomato-y, sweet and tangy. It was a circle cut in squares. In other words, it met all of the criteria of the LaRoma's Pizza Nirvana Quotient (LPNQ). Only one pizza has ever score a 100% on the LPNQ. That's a LaRoma's extra large pepperoni. You didn't have to specify a crust, because the extra large was only thin. It came with two 32 ounce cokes, served with pellet ice, which, if you didn't know, is the only way to drink a coke. It was perfection. Well, the pie Carbone's delivered rated about a 91%, and is as close as DNA has gotten to LaRoma's since LaRoma's went out of business. It was a worthwhile trip.


DNA also traveled to Buffalo, New York. Again, on one free evening, DNA talked to the locals, and was recommended Picasso's Pizza. The hotel staff gave DNA a menu, and DNA was faced with two choices: DeNiro's or Picasso's. A heavy-set, pizza lovin' girl behind the counter said between the two, she would go for Picasso's. DNA ordered a large extra cheese.

Now that looked somewhat promising, but when DNA opened it up and had a few slices, he concluded that unfortunately, the heavy-set girl at the counter appreciated quantity over quality. If this was "Western New York's Premier Pizzeria," as the box proclaimed, DNA could understand how chicken wings dunked in hot sauce was the quisine for which the area was known. Picasso's was certainly a step above Little Caesar's, but just a baby step up.

DNA should have suspected that Picasso's was going to be generic, when none of the menu items played up on the obvious art motif: You know, the box should have said something like, "Picasso's Pizza: A Work Of Art!" or on the menu, it should have had a section of specialty pizzas called the "Blue Period" or something like that. Instead, generic. DNA wishes he would have tried DeNiro's. Next time. Next time.

DNA also traveled to Chicago, and stayed with Mr. Kamikaze and his family. Here is an action shot of Mr. Kamikaze:

Every time DNA has traveled for his work, he has ended up crashing on Mr. Kamikaze's couch. But before that happens, we order pizza. DNA doesn't remember the name of the pizza place we ordered from this time, but it rocked. Mr. Kamikaze agrees that the LPNQ is the measuring stick by which pizzas are judged. This pizza probably earned an 85% on the LPNQ. DNA is on his way back up to Chicago next week. There will be a pizza joint or two in his future.