I was a comic book geek. Comics taught me how to read. They also taught me everything I needed to know to be a good person, well, at least the X-Men did. The X-Men taught me, if nothing else, that being a racist was bad. Very, very, bad. It also taught me that Mutants were just like you & I, only, you know, with super powers. I’ve never met a mutant before, but I’m sure that when I do, I’ll treat them like everybody else.
No, this post isn’t about racism.
I really don’t think I’m a racist. I mean, I actually know people of diverse backgrounds both racial & ethnic. I know enough people from diverse enough backgrounds to realize that, well, their just people, like you & I. I know Black people, some of them are good people, just like you & I, & some of them are raging assholes, just like you & I. Some of them I like, a lot, & some of them, the ones that I know that are raging assholes, I hate. One of them is so jovial that I’ll challenge any racist to get to know him & hate him. Sure, he might be a Cheese-Eating-Surrender-Monkey of a Black man, but you know what? French people are just people too. I know a fair few of the French, they run the gamut of human existence too.
But I do believe that race is real. I believe that race is real & super important. I believe this the same way that any good historian believes it. I mean, if you find a three-thousand-year-old Black body in China, that’s super important, that rewrites a lot of history.
So no, this isn’t about race. Read the title, I can honestly tell you that I’m not a racist.
But the X-Men did teach me a hell of a lot about race. Race & mutants & super powers.
I still like to play that game: “If you could have a super power, what would it be?”
There are two general answers to that question. Flight versus invisibility. The more heroic among us would opt for flight while the people that chose invisibility will always get labeled with the “crouching masturbator” title.
I tend to go the other way. I tend to go in the completely opposite direction. The non heroic & the non masturbator way. I choose the lazy super power. I chose teleportation. Think about it, you get up & in the blink of the eye you are in the shower. In the blink of an eye you teleport into your clothes, in the blink of an eye you are at work. No commute, no car, super lazy. Life would be more convenient if you could teleport. Nightcrawler, or Magik, or Lila would be the Mutants that I’d want to be today.
But when I was a kid, being a latch-key kid, It was Multiple Man that I wanted to be. Sure, I’d still be alone, but I could play with myself while I was doing my chores & going to school & doing all the bull shit that mom & dad were supposed to do for their children but were, you know, at work.
Today it is teleportation. But back in the day it was totally multiple me’s.
I’ve found out that having ore than one of me is a pain in the ass.
Sometimes, after getting a background check for work, I have to prove that I’m not a dead convicted felon.
There was a man with my name that got arrested for an illegal abortion in the year that my father was born & the cheaper background checks red flag me because they don’t bother to check the date of birth. I wasn’t born in 1923, I wasn’t alive to do an abortion in 1952, & I certainly didn’t die three-years before I was born. The only thing that I have in common with that dead doctor, aside from my name, was that he lived in St. Louis & I have visited St. Louis a fair few times.
Clearing that up is only a slight pain-in-the-ass, but otherwise fairly easy. Social Security tends to agree with me, but FASFA is still suspicious that I could be a dead man.
Now that I have to take a $2,000 CE class to keep my teaching degree & therefore my master’s active, that dead man is fucking me again.
Having that multiple me buried somewhere in St. Louis is a real pain-in-the-ass. He keeps fucking me. Once I get a job & vacation time, I’m going to visit him & place flowers on his grave. Maybe even a wire hanger.
But the me that really fucks me is the me that graduated from UC Berkley. That me is a real mother fucker. That me has my social security number & started attending college about the same time I graduated from high school. The only difference between us is that that me doesn’t have my name & majored in something other than history & education.
When I went to college for my undergrad, he wasn’t much of a problem. I didn’t even know that he existed until graduate school.
Because of him, I had to postpone graduate school for an entire year while I cleaned up that mess. Now I have to do it again.
It is fairly easy to prove that I attended certain schools. The difficulty arises when I am forced to prove that I DIDN’T attend a specific school. The records are there saying that I went to such & such school & got such & such a GPA & majored in such & such subjects. But obtaining evidence that I didn’t do it is an entirely different matter altogether.
Have you ever tried to do that? have you ever called a University that you never attended & attempted to request a transcript proving that you never went there? It tends to confuse people.
For starters, the University that you didn’t attend doesn’t have proof that you didn’t attend it.
And then there is the University that you are trying to attend…again, they don’t seem to understand why you are denying the fact that you graduated from a school a lot better than the one that you really graduated from.
All while FASFA is insisting that you are really a long dead doctor & you are in the process of trying to convince Social Security to call FASFA & tell them that you are still alive.
Having Many Me’s is a pain-in-the-mother-fucking-ass.
But it beats the alternative. NIU insists that I take my BA over again at NIU because my original BA was from an Illinois State University that wasn’t NIU. I can’t afford to go into debt & just to retake my major so I can attend NIU. How the fuck does NIU get off being that fucking pretentious? They are an OK school, but only an OK school, I mean, their not fucking Harvard. Howard Zinn never taught there.
Meanwhile the University of Chicago is more than willing to accept my BA, but it will charge me three times what NLU is charging me for the came classes.
UIC, meanwhile, won’t accept that I got my BA without going into debt & won’t accept the fact that two jobs allowed me to pay for college without student loans & doesn’t seem to understand how I can be in my 30s without having a car loan or mortgage under my name. UIC won’t take me until I acquire debt & pay it off. What the fuck? No real credit history is still bad credit history.
If you can make it to thirty without establishing a credit history, you probably did something right, right?
So yeah, having Multiple Me’s sucks. I’m sticking with teleportation.