Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sacco Vanzetti Grinders and Journalists



I was in the Atlanta Airport and to my delight I found a copy of a book published by Dalkey Archive Press.
Dalkey is pretty close to my favorite press- there is such a range of great writers and poets.
Mark Binelli's Sacco and Vanzetti must die is a fiction book about two friends who just happen to have the same names as two notorious Italians, Sacco and Vanzetti.
Binelli's book is really great.
I personally share in common with Binelli the fact that both of our grandparents come from Pinzolo a fabulous town on the road between Brescia and Innsbruck. There is a section where he describes a Danze Macabre on the Parish in Pinzolo that is very moving. Binelli's book is profound and interesting and after reading it I was compelled to think about one of the things that Binelli's work brought forth- injustice and humor at the same time.
Binelli says is that this book is not the story of the original Sacco and Vanzetti.
Whiteness and Americanness are acquired traits.
Sacco and Vanzetti who were killed because in the words of the Onion "for profound swarthyness" were not White in 1920. These inferiors- Italians, Jews, Slavs became White through a forced assimilation. The reason that so many of the hystericals are worried about immigration is because they have lost control of assimilation. Today there is a way from other cultures to be fed in the USA. TV, Internet and Airtravel all make assimilation less important.
The dream of today's immigrants is not to become White and this challenges the Hystericals notion of what America is. I think one of the things Binelli brings out in his book is that the world is complex and that irony is ok. It also brings forth that we are no longer a people separated by a dream of whiteness.
It is also true that Political Correctness and the need to create victims and victimizers have made classes of people who are not victimizers- suspect. One of the favorite whipping boys of the Left in the USA is the White Working Class. When factories close or Unions are destroyed as happened here in the Midwest many on the left just shrugged their shoulders. they say the factory was polluting- they are not comfortable around people who might go to Church or go to taverns and who might not care about Organic Groceries or rights for Lesbians.
The Working class in America- they can be of European, African or Latin American origin and their marginalization are the reason that our society is in such turmoil and lifestyles are so uncertain. Many of these people live in places or neighborhoods where intellectuals like Mark Binelli or I might not feel comfortable- but at least Binelli talks about them- but the reason that the Left and Leftist ideas are never enacted here in the US is because we have forgotten solidarity and only want to support our local parochial causes.
Are we are brother's keeper? Would there be protests today for Sacco and Vanzetti? Or would we be too concerned with our own parochial causes to care?