Friday, November 19, 2021

It’s All a Con, Man

 A Conspiracies of Convenience column

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids — the Stickies — eventual selves to advise them and haunt them after they've become grups and/or I'm deleted.   

Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional meltdown.  

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlereader  

"Life isn't black and white, It's a million grey areas, don't you find?"
-Ridley Scott

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies and Great-Grandstickies (and Gentlereaders),

In a past life — and a long time ago in a state far, far away (Texas) — I found myself working briefly but closely with a gentleperson named Bob. We were co-managers of a company that ran ice cream trucks in Austin.

Managing the gentlepeople who drive ice cream trucks was the inspiration for the phrase, like herding cats.

Bob had a habit of saying, “It’s all a con, man” whenever something even weirder/stranger/more disturbing/etcetering than usual happened and peed on our Chi. I got into the habit of responding, “It’s a feckin conspiracy, what it is.”

I have written elsewhere that "A conspiracy of convenience is one that doesn't require a Dr. Evil or even a Simon Bar Sinister to concoct and control." People can find themselves involved in the same conspiracy without ever having met most, if any, of their fellow conspirators."

Multiple virtual conspirators who appear to be part of an organized conspiracy are, often as not, merely individuals who happen to be inspired by the same ideology — or following the money. 

I was thinking about my brief Texas adventure the other day, something I do from time to time. I met my late, great wife there, the culmination of the best year of my life (so far).

However, I'm sorry Bob, but I don't usually think about you.

{Let me guess, this is where you tell us about how although you haven't seen each other since 1985 you faithfully exchange Christmas cards and...}

Nope. Haven't seen hide nor hair (nor Christmas Card) since. But I've never forgotten Bob's world-class cynicism and great sense of humor, both of which shielded a man with a big heart.

This is why, when I was recently reminded that the Black Lives Matter organization still exists, I thought of Bob.

{Right. Obviously?}

Well... I knew that, like me, Bob would have two questions if he was recently reminded that BLM still exists (assuming Bob still exists). The first one would be, I wonder where all the money went? 

The other would be, what changed between the summer of 2020 and the summer of 2021 for African-Americans? And where did all the mostly peaceful protestors go?

{Wait, wait, wait. What was it that got you thinking about the BLM organization in the first place? You're clearly a POP (person of pallor).} 

I was reminded that the organization still exists, at least in New York City, when Eric Adams — former cop, current African-American, and the next mayor of the Big Apple — was "called out" by Hawk Newsom (co-founder of BLMs New York Chapter) after the group recently met with Adams.

Adam's promised that if he was elected, he'd take back control of the streets. Mr. Newsom said, "There will be riots, there will be fire and there will be bloodshed" if the new mayor fulfills his promise to reinstate plainclothes cops in NYC.    

Anyways... where did all the money go? Type something like the following into your search engine of choice (I prefer the Googs). "What did Black Lives Matter do with all the donations they received in 2020?

I followed several links and came to the following conclusion. Officially, BLM pulled in roughly $90,000,000 in 2020, gave grants of $21,700,000 to various organizations, and spent $8,400,000 on expenses. 

This left them with a balance of about $60,000,000. 

These numbers come from an Associated Press story that appeared in the LA Times under the headline, Exclusive: Black Lives Matters opens up about its finances, which was published last February, a variation of which all sorts of media outlets have used for their coverage. 

I'm probably missing something, but the article's point seems to be that factions within the organization have turned on each other and the money doesn't seem to be flowing downhill, and not much about how the money was/is actually spent.  

{So what did happen last summer? 2020 is ancient history. Where did all the mostly peaceful protestors go? After all, systemic racism is still a thing.}

I don't know.     

I googled the question, what happened to Black Lives Matter in 2021? Try it yourself. If I had to give an answer I'd say the movement is now a mostly virtual/social media phenomenon. Protests are relatively small, relatively rare, and mostly peaceful.

The BLM website itself now appears to be primarily just another focused news aggregation site. But you can buy $30 t-shirts and 3"x3" BLACK LIVES MATTER stickers for two bucks each by clicking on the SHOP link.    

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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