Saturday, August 2, 2014

Some truths can't be told nicely, so Jim Goad doesn't

I dunno if I'd love Jim Goad or hate him if I met him. I've read enough of him to think it could go either way. His strength and weakness as a thinker and a writer is he doesn't know when to stop. Sometimes that gets him to hard, hard truths that genteel people who rarely think about class cannot imagine, like this bit from I Told Myself To Stop Whitesplaining But Realized I Was Still Mansplaining | Thought Catalog, in which he speaks as a white man who has become aware of his guilt: "Drenched in my salty tears, I thought of all those dogs biting black people in Alabama, all those firehoses that were sprayed on them—even though, to be frank, it gets very hot and muggy down South and the occasional firehose might actually be refreshing when you really think about it—all those burning crosses, all those Jews screaming as they were shoved into ovens as if they were Domino’s Pizzas and not real human beings, all those black men swinging from trees (and I don’t mean on swings!), and all those women who were forced to launder our underwear and sit at home knitting socks while we were selfishly being blasted to bits in coal-mining accidents and having our faces blown off on battlefields."