Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Pop Gun

Half German

Big Brother: Für welche Klasse hast du eine Aufgabe?

Little Sister: For English Class.

BB: Ist es einen Aufsatz oder eine Übung?

LS: It is an essay.

BB: Was ist das Thema?

LS: Uhhhh?

BB: Was ist das Thema?

LS: I don't know what Taahma . . .

BB: 'Thema' means theme. What is it about?

LS: The day I was born. I have to interview my mom and tell them about it. We are writing an autobiography this semester.


BB: Did you download any of Parliament Funkadelic?

LS: Gross.

BB: Why is it gross?

LS: They are gay.

BB: Why are they gay?

LS: Anything from the 60's or 70's is gay.

BB: But you love Carly Simon.

LS: Look they are gay because they wear make-up and those high heeled shoes and tight pants that show their . . . ugh! . . . it is disgusting.

BB: But . . .

LS: . . . Carly Simon has class.

As I get ready to move out from my father's basement (thank you Jesus, I just need to get a definitive plan off the ground) I realize that I am going to miss my youngest sister. I have not spent this much time with her since she was 5-years-old. And now she is in the 7th grade, a year ahead of everybody and heading off to a model government program for one week in DC this summer.

Before our brief run in at the computer was over, I gave her more details about the day she was born.

And now, I am getting ready to leave, and maybe life won't bring me back to her until she is full grown. I wonder what her taste will be like then. I wonder about me too. I wonder how one can explain black men in tight clothes and glitter. Is it safe to say they were not sleeping with one another? I won't bring up George Clinton again until she is 18.

Alyce brought up the point that gay is a negative word and I should ask her where those connotations come from. I know that that is part Jersey slang; kids in the suburbs call anything "gay" from commercials, to restaurant hang-outs, to television shows. It means it is old, weird and out modish.

Sometimes I wonder about such conversations with my young sister. Do I wave a flag and bring up those connotations when she uses the word? But what about subsequent generations that have experienced the ultra-masculinity of hip-hop and the UFC, can they interpret the signs, symbols and signifiers of George Clinton, Prince and David Bowie in any other way? Maybe not.

No comments: