WAZ Awards 2021 Winner Number 9 An educated lady (Sven)
Having inherited a hefty streak of Lutheran masochism, Sven goes to sea for the black cod openings every year, and every year he and Ole get the stuffing beat out of them by weather. He swears about it but rich, oily, cold-water black cod from 300 fathoms on down sells high because it’s hard to come by so they usually catch enough to make it worthwhile. Sven always smokes up a few hundred pounds of fillets for the freezer. He pulls it out for special occasions like Christmas smorgasbord, Easter, and the King of Norway’s birthday. This particular night he brought a platter to the bunker. His wife Sissy sent along flat bread, blue cheese, sour cream, and baked potatoes. We tapped some IPA and settled in to hear the old man of the sea.
Roy in a top hat and Hawaiian shirt, started things off with the ceremonial pounding of the rubber chicken of destiny. “White, light, bright, height, erudite, privileged brethren. Your attention please. Tonight the Woodshed Autonomous Zone’s own Sven Johansson will hold forth on some wealthy person of color so sublime only a gathering of such estimable sagacity as our good selves should rise to the occasion for a vote on whether or not said person should be inducted into the WAZ hall of fame.”
Sonny took a bite of flat bread. “Roy’s been readin’ them English novels from the 1800’s again.”
Cosmo said, “Sven’s got the floor, Roy.”
Which was true.
Sven took up the rubber chicken and passed the first clue to Al. He and Ira confided a minute and began to sing.
“Now in India’s sunny clime, where I used to spend my time,
serving Her Majesty the Queen.
Of all the black faced crew, the finest man I knew,
was Regimental beastie Gunga Din.”
“Rudyard Kipling.” Gene said. “India?”
“Hey,” Jake put in. “I thought the WAZ Awards was for black racists.”
“Hundreds of millions of black people in India, man.” Cosmo said. “Like ‘Little Black Sambo’, you know.”
“What? Little Black Sambo was from Africa.”
Gene shook his head, “Cosmo’s right, Jake. Sambo was from India. He was a Tamil. Sambo is a Hindu word for Shiva. Plus he gets chased by tigers. There’s no wild tigers in Africa.
“Yah, well like I was saying, this guy Langston Hughes, had a lot of white people in the wood pile. One of those part-white privilege guys. He didn’t like Sambo.”
“I dunno, his grandmother went to Oberlin College. Maybe they were woke way back then.”
“Oberlin, well, say no more.”
“A white woman wrote the story down got it published.” Tim said. “That’s cultural appropriation.”
“Yah, Langston wasn’t from Africa or Asia, either. But there you go. So it’s a banned book in American school libraries now. Cultural appropriation by Langston.”
Before Tim could object, Gene put in that ‘Little Black Sambo’ was one of his all-time favorite books. “I loved that story when I was a kid.” he said. “I didn’t know any black people back then, none. Had had no concept of race at all. What I saw in my mind when my mother read that book was a little kid like me; my size, my age, and he could outrun tigers. Not one or two tigers. Four tigers. and he could outsmart them. He climbed a tree and they chased him round and round until they turned into butter. And he ate them on pancakes his mother made. That’s a story of power. He had a close-knit family. His mother and father worked hard. Did the right things. Can’t portray people of color that way today. Doesn’t fit the victimhood mantra.”
“Okay.” Tony said. “India.” You got any other clues, Sven?”
Sven passed Al and Ira the next one. They had a little huddle. Ira began to sing.
“Remember when you went away
and I got on my knees and begged you not to go because I’d go berserk?
Well! You left me anyway and then the days got worse and worse
and now you see I’ve gone completely out of my mind.
AND! They’re coming to take me away, HA HA!
They’re coming to take me away HO HO!
To the funny farm, where life is beautiful all the time…”
“Someone nutty.” Sonny said. “Nutty black person from India.”
Sven nodded. “That’s about as close as you guys gonna get ‘cause this story didn’t make the news like it would have if it was about a white racist.”
Roy looked around the room. “We’re used to that. Anybody got any ideas?”
No one did. “Have at it, Sven.” Roy said.
“Yah,” Sven said. “Got a woman of color I think, hard to tell, Aruna Khilanani’s her name. Piece of work, too. Gave a lecture on her fantasy about shooting any white person in the head who gets in her way…”
Gene raised his hand, “Hold it. What do you mean, ‘woman of color you think?”
The fisherman shrugged, “Look at her pictures, ya know.” he said. “In some she got white looking skin with straight hair, blonde streaks in it, and big red lips like them wax ones they used to sell at candy stores when we was kids. In other pictures, she got dark looking skin, dark hair, not so straight, dark lips. Looks like that colorism Cosmo talked about last year. Trying to be something she ain’t and blaming us for it.”
“Press on, Sven.” Roy said. “Is she rich? Is she dialed into the machine?”
“Oh yah, you bet. She got a New York office and more degrees than I got halibut shares. She’s a psychiatrist.”
“That might explain some things.”
Sven nodded. “She’s a load of bait in an unplugged freezer. Anyway, she gave a lecture at Yale School of Medicine Child Study Center, called “The Psychopathic Problem of the White Mind.”
“You think a guy like me could make it up? ‘The Psychopathic Problem of the White Mind.’ And the ‘target audience’ was trainees in child psychology, and social work, faculty, clinicians, scientists.”
“What was the objective of this so-called training, Sven?”Roy asked.
“Lemme see, there was three things on the flyer,” Sven said. “I wrote ‘em down.”
*Set up white people’s absence of empathy towards black rage as a problem.
*Understand how racism is part of the mind that white mind (sic) that arose during colonialism with a series of lies around violence.
*Understand how white people are psychologically dependent on black rage.”
“All unproven premises.” Gene said. “Did she try to back them up?”
Sven shook his head, “Mostly she talked about what makes her mad. I’ll yust say it in her own words.
“Nothing makes me angrier than a white person who tells me not to be angry, because they have not seen real anger yet…I had fantasies of unloading a revolver into the head of any white person that got in my way, burying their body and wiping my bloody hands as I walked away relatively guiltless with a bounce in my step. Like I did the world a fucking favor.”
“Shoot any white person in the head?” Gene asked. “C’mon Sven, how can you possibly find anything racist in that?”
“Oh, plenty more where that came from.” Sven went on. “White people are out of their minds and have been for a long time…”
“We keep forgetting that directly talking about race is a waste of our breath. We are asking a demented, violent, predator who thinks they are a saint or a super hero to accept responsibility. It ain’t gonna happen.”
“Pazza with violent fantasies talking about demented, violent people.” Tony said.
Sonny said, “The pot calling the kettle black.”
“I don’t think she really meant all white people.” Tim put in.
“Oh you don’t think so, don’t you?” Sven said. “How about she said, “There are no good apples out there. White people make my blood boil.”
“Sven, this dame’s lecture at Yale must have got out to the public. What happened?”
“Well now that’s a whole ‘nother story. First, it was s’posed to be open, like the flyer said. Then after she gave the talk somebody at Yale decided to only make it open to people at Yale. ‘Dr. Bang Bang got all hot and bothered at that. Wanted Yale to put it out there. Called it ‘white amnesia.’”
“Well, whut happened?” Sonny wanted to know.
“Oh , somebody who was at the lecture recorded the audio and leaked it. Most grown-ups could have seen that coming. Not Aruna. Big rolling shit wave washed her across the deck and out the scuppers.”
“Careful what you ask for.” Roy observed.
“Next thing you know she’s back-stroking like crazy. She did an interview where she said “So, when I was saying that talking to white people is useless, I’m not actually really saying it’s useless…”
“Sven, when she says she’s not actually really saying what she said, is she actually really saying what she said then, or is she still not actually really saying what she said?”
The Norwegian thought about it, “Hell if I know.” he said. “But when the interviewer asked uncomfortable questions Dr. Bang Bang accused her of being defensive. Also, she said she cut most of her white friends out of her life.
“Bet that was a tough minute and a half.” Tommy said.
“She did another interview where she said “Of course I don’t really wanna kill white people. That’s completely ludicrous.”
Then the guy asked her, “Would it be fair to say, based upon your expertise, that white people are psychopathic?”
She said, “I think so. Yeah.”
“Was that interviewer black by any wild chance?” Gene asked.
“Course he was. Let’s see, what else,” Sven looked around. “She says white people don’t eat bread.”
Sonny paused with a mouth full of flat bread, “They don’t? Good. All the more for me.”
“I should tell the white people who eat all my garlic bread at the restaurant.” Tony said.
Roy asked why she’d say something as wacky as that.
Sven (with a straight face, swear to God) said. “We don’t eat bread ‘cause of white guilt.”
“The hell you say.”
“The hell I don’t. I wrote it down. “I have never seen a level of guilt that I see among white people. I mean, white people don’t eat bread. Think about that. There have been wars all over the world over grains and bread and only here, white people are depriving themselves. Think about that shit. Everyone has this gluten allergy and you’re like, what the fuck is a gluten allergy? That’s a psychosomatic symptom…It’s all the guilty gluten people.”
“Guilty gluten people. Who knew?”
“Lot of black people who come to the restaurant are lactose intolerant.” Tony said. “Are they guilty lactose people?”
Sonny nodded, “Mardell’s sister’s allergic to shellfish. Guilty shellfish sister-in-law.”
“My nephew’s so allergic to peanuts they put him in the hospital twice with anaphylactic shock. Guilty peanut nephew.”
Roy mentioned the biggest wheat exporters in the world are Russia and Ukraine. “Not countries known for people of color. They’re the bread basket for North Africa, or were before the war.”
“She didn’t say nothing about any of that.” Sven said. “Oh, but she says white people have five holes in their brain.”
“I got more’n five.” Sonny tapped his forehead. “And that ain’t even counting whut’s on the other side of this plate whut sets off the metal detector at the airport.”
Roy studied the rubber chicken of destiny. “Some people are allergic to chicken feathers. Guilty poultry people. Well, guilty ones, before Dr. Bang Bang cuts us out of her life and departs our consciousness with relatively guiltless bounce in her step, we should hold a vote on whether to pinch a big, gluten rich loaf for such an original and deserving candidate. All in favor of giving Aruna Khilanani the WAZ say ‘Aye.’
Aruna, you won it walking away. Applause filled the air. Winner number 9 of the Woodshed Autonomous Zone awards for 2021 we salute you. Take a deep breath, dear. You’ll be fine.