Dear Diary—Unpopular Opinions, Financial Melodrama, Landlords

Unpopular opinion (I have many): I love Keanu but tried watching John Wick multiple times and found it exhausting—so much energy, it exhausted me watching it. I just cannot. He’s brilliant and it is brilliant but I cannot. Woo. I did watch Nope and LOVED IT. The second season of Shadow and Bone on Netflix was good. I’m not really watching much tv lately. Still. 

On UBI for artists: Ireland’s new pilot program for artists (Gift) would be the dream though it would probably need to be $450 a week and that’s if rent and electricity were paid but wouldn’t this be lovely??

On the SVB & banks & financial melodrama: I have learned quite a lot from the last couple of Ezra financial podcasts. I realize I’m ignorant about lots of financial things, but I’m also quite aware and experienced in certain matters, like life in these United States, and being poor, and while certain financial people condescend to those without a finance degree, like myself, they also allow their egos to impede much needed wisdom learned from listening to the lower classes, and those not privileged enough to be able to have multiple bank accounts filled with $250k or more. That said, I’m thankful to Ezra and his guests for trying to educate all us poors on our U.S. and world finance illiteracy. 

Speaking of rent: Our landlord raised the rent, again! This after telling us about having to pay for his daughter’s $65k wedding. So we know who is really paying for that expensive wedding—all his tenants and apparently he has many. Said landlord told mom not to tell the duplex neighbor her rental cost because his rent was more. Yes, I’m guessing this was probably the standard reply to every tenant. This is the same landlord that saw all the jugs of water lined up in the living room, to which my mother, noticing his gaze, said my daughter won’t drink the water here because it turns everything black—he replied: I put a water filtration in my house. Well, okay, how nice for you. Mind you, this person told all this to only my mom who is basically terrified of men and hates confrontation because it typically got her a fist in the face 40-some odd years ago, whereas I have no problem whatsoever with confrontation but was unavailable at the time because I was working. Our landlord, a tattoo-bearded-tough-talking-NYer that drives new shiny big expensive trucks every other week, told us once that he moved from NY to the South because the Black people were mean to him there. Me, eyes wide, stood there gaping at him and my seventy-four year old mother started talking about her days in a Cleveland high school about them, which is her code. I’ve tried to educate her about this sorta racism; she has improved her language somewhat. Methinks she was rapidly deploying it because she was worried I would confront him about his and get us thrown out of her home that she loves a lot. Normally, I would’ve said something like you think you, a rich white man, the same demographic that enslaved and oppressed them for the last hundreds of years, is entitled to their deference?, but I was caught off guard and had perimenopausal brain fog and yes, worried I would get us thrown out. Her previous landlords were a white man and his Cuban-American wife. After a friendly political discussion with the husband in which I told him that I have always campaigned and voted for Democrats but that I wasn’t actually a Democrat and never had been because I’m far too progressive, he confessed to being a libertarian and despising Obama and the Democrats. This was a few years before 2016. Having never met the wife before, she showed up one day after that conversation and without any evidence accused me of taking advantage of my mom and gramma. Me and my mom looked at each other and laughed then sobered when we realized she was serious—Me?, I asked agog. Apparently, me being a Progressive and Democrat and Obama supporter immediately placed me in the category of fleecing and abusing my own elderly mother and grandmother. To say that mom and I were stunned was an understatement. This was all quite apparent and ironic given my earlier political discussion with her husband in which I pointed out that libertarians and conservatives were attempting to get rid of the social safety net for the elderly and everyone else who is vulnerable. Republicans are masters of projection. So, my history with landlords here has not been ideal and this was in the back of my mind as I stood there gaping at the current landlord’s overt racism. The power that conservatives, especially rich white men, have over every little niche of our lives here is wide ranging and breathtaking. You can also imagine how that accusation went over with my family who have always been wary of me, my politics, and that I’m not a Christian. Even my gramma eyed me suspiciously afterwards. When a person tells me that their family environment is hostile, I get it, I really, really do get it. Regardless, if the rent keeps going up how are we supposed to live?? The rich are passing inflation off to the lower classes and hoarding their wealth. What happened to noblesse oblige? Was there ever such a thing in the U.S.? I would dearly love to have been there when Southern people educated that man on how we Southerners do mean, and I’m sorry I failed my Black brothers and sisters for not speaking up, especially my Southern ones by not looking at him, smiling, and saying bless your heart.

You are a dumb blonde, says a commenter: The fact that I began that post on being blonde with like so many things in my life, those things went right over my head, did not clue you in there, puppy? Bless your heart. 

Until next time.

© 2023 Matilda London/Pamela Gay Mullins

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