Since President Obama’s trip to Mexico this week, immigration(that is, immigration concerning people from Latin America), never too far from the news these days, has become the sexy topic du jour. Or del dia, rather. If I had a shot of tequila for every time I have heard the phrase “comprehensive immigration reform” since Tuesday, I would be having my stomach pumped right now. Says Obama, we need it. Says Calderon, the U.S. needs it. Says Lou “Ass Hat” Dobbs, we need it. But at this point, what is anyone really calling for when they say, “we must have comprehensive immigration reform”? Like most buzzwords employed ad nauseum by the political establishment and mainstream media in this country, it has become so vague and stripped of meaning that it may as well be framed (or not) and hung in a gallery for post-modern art.
Archive for April, 2009
My sadness at leaving Larry behind–or rather, approximately ten yards down the hall and in another office–has been somewhat mitigated as I have gotten to know one of my new colleagues, a perpetually flannel-clad woman with a shape and gait somehow similar to both Jerri Blank and a bowlegged construction worker. This character, who we’ll call Deedee, barely reaches the height of my chin, has an iron-gray ponytail that she pokes through the opening in the back of her ball caps which usually advertise mechanics or tourist destinations in upstate Michigan, and owns enough mood rings and turquoise finery to bedeck each and every finger. Her cubicle is tucked into a sunny corner, and though our positions require extensive outreach and field work, as far as I can tell Deedee never leaves the office. I was struck by Deedee when, as I was being introduced around by my supervisor on my first day, I noticed that she has somehow affixed a very thick braided rope (perhaps the kind you use to tie canoes to docks, I’m not sure) between the two partitions that form the ‘doorway’ of her cubicle, so that you either have to step over it or duck under it to get inside. Deedee gave me a perfunctory and firm shake of the hand and remarked loudly, “Wooooo, the ice queen.” She could see that I was obviously taken aback, and hastened to say, with a hint of either shyness or slyness, “Your hand. It’s really cold. Icy.”