To those who say that Jena isn’t about race

I was struck by how these wise words from W.E.B. Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folk are still so applicable today: (emphasis added)

It was a phase of this problem that caused the Civil War; and however much they who marched South and North in 1861 may have fixed on the technical points, of union and local autonomy as a shibboleth, all nevertheless knew, as we know, that the question of Negro slavery was the real cause of the conflict. Curious it was, too, how this deeper question ever forced itself to the surface despite effort and disclaimer. No sooner had Northern armies touched Southern soil than this old question, newly guised, sprang from the earth,–What shall be done with Negroes?

why is toothpaste so complicated?! (AKA “I’m detecting a ‘teeth’ theme, part 1”)

(so I wrote this over the weekend, after having been writing it in my head for about a week, and was “storing” it so that I wouldn’t release all of my blog entries at one time . . . but as you will see, this was perhaps more timely than I could have guessed. If I believed in karma, I would say that I had somehow angered some tooth god, or otherwise upset the balance of the universe, by complaining about toothpaste . . . but no, I think it’s just a coincidence. oh wait. I don’t believe in those, either.)  

Seriously, though. I find myself dreading the moment when I reach the bottom of a tube of toothpaste. I take great pains to  squeeze out every last bit from the tube, so as to avoid the inevitable barrage of choices that will face me when I go to the store for a new tube.

I just want toothpaste. I don’t want whiter teeth in thirty days. I don’t want to be “luminous“. I don’t want to experience the taste of vanilla mint at 7 in the morning. I don’t want sparkling expressions in fruity flavors. I don’t want a baking soda and peroxide party in my mouth.

I JUST WANT REGULAR, GARDEN-VARIETY, NON-WHITENING TARTAR CONTROL COLGATE GEL!

but I couldn’t find it, so this time I got this instead . . . 

(sigh . . . ) it will have to do for now . . .