July 14th, 2014


One Size Fits All

Jim Wright has a new piece up on Stonekettle Station. It is, amongst other things, about those famous words inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty. And not just the 2½ lines that always get quoted, but all 14. It's a piece about immigration. And who gets to be let in. You should read it. I'll even wait here while you click the link.

Of course, realistically the Statue of Liberty is not a law. So the words we present to the world, or at least Atlanticward from New York, mean buggerall for official American policy. If Congress were to decide to do anything to affect immigration, then that might be the new law of our land. Whether we like it or not.

Which leads us to the "ah buts".

We are, as a nation, too quick to paint with a wide brush. Irish, Italians, Blacks, Jews, Muslims, Japanese, Hispanics, Gays, and on and on. As if one label applied to thousands or millions truly describes a race, an ethnic group, a religion, a geography, any class of people.

And we, as a people, are too easily led into arguing in those terms. I'm Puerto Rican, not Mexican. I'm trans, not gay. I'm peaceful, not jihadist. There's nothing wrong with having an identity, an affiliation, a membership. It's even something to celebrate. But not as a weapon.

xenophobia (n) intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries. Or strange. Alien.

That word alien -- it packs so much, including fear and anger, in those five letters. I have a better word for those who would be immigrants, whether legal or not. People.

And at the heart of the latest flap? Children.

What parent wouldn't work to help their children? To get out of poverty, drugs, gangs, corruption -- any number of things that were not brought on by the parents and that none of us, by ourselves, would be easily able to stave off.

I don't have answers. But words have meanings. They can describe, they can hurt, they can help.

I believe in a nation that can stand by the words posted on its shores for a hundred years. Words my grandparents passed...
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Dr. Phil

HBO THIRTY -- Tequila Sunrise

Thirtieth session: Tequila Sunrise
Ah, 1988. Pay phones. Handheld radios. And very young Mel Gibson, Kurt Russell, Raul Julia. And Michelle Pfeiffer. (sigh) High end Italian dining. (yum) (We ate at Pereddies in Holland on Saturday. Seriously lovely food -- Caesar salad with extra anchovies, lasagne with meatballs, wondrous Preddies bread, and the best Key lime pie.) (double-yum)

I remember liking this movie when I first saw it 26 years ago. Mel has moments of those crazy eyes, yet is good with kids. Kurt is conflicted, but is having way too much fun putting down idiots. Raul is suave, sophisticated and way over caffeinated -- or something. Michelle is elegant running her restaurant. But everything is in flux. Mel's friendships with Kurt and Raul complicate things -- and two people are trying to get the same girl -- all in the middle of a $50 million drug deal.

As things are crumbling, Michelle is diminished, crushed, no longer in control. We don't always think of those in service industries as having lives, as we only see the public face and expect great service.

This cannot end well.

And it does end. But at 117 minutes, it runs too long for one dive -- and the Wikipedia and IMDb entries don't give a lot of detail. I guess I'm spoiled with the extensive writeups for current shows and movies. Have to find it on Netflix, because...


This ends the first set of thirty ordered dives in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber. To do more, the teams have to meet. I see Infectious Diseases this week and my Podiatric surgeon next week, so if we do more dives it'll be in two weeks.

Said goodbye to Mary on Friday, Doug and Darla today. They're happy to have someone complete their runs and hope it did its job. Some people have to do a lot more than thirty. Forty, sixty, over a hundred. Over two hundred and they nickname your tank after you. Mine is just A.

Was amused on the drive in today, hit downtown G.R. and made all the lights and lane changes to Ionia -- not bad.

With that four hour door-to-door block free now, I'll have to slow down on movies, I reckon. And for the record, it was:

26 movies in 30 days. Plus 30 blog posts.

Whew. I'm exhausted. Maybe I'll take a nap tomorrow. (grin)

Dr. Phil