Re: if a black physicist invents time travel

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Sat May 19 2001 - 20:32:20 MDT

At 03:52 AM 5/19/01 EDT, Spudboy100 wrote:

>what does melanin have to do with electrons?

A clue to my imagined joy is that `black' has so very little to do with
melanin. Thomas Jefferson's children with his beloved slave Sally Hemings
were themselves slaves, able to be bought and sold like horses. Fifteen of
their 16 direct ancestors were `white' and free. So melanin titer didn't
count all that much in naming them as `black'.

>Is it the
>love of the unexpected

In part. It's the empathic pleasure of seeing some feat generally held to
be impossible achieved by a member of any despised, excluded and restricted
underclass. It enhances my delight in Samuel R. Delany's wonderful fiction
to know that he was born in Harlem, and is gay and severely dyslectic; of
course, the peculiar insight in his work comes in part precisely from his
experience of oppression (even though his family is a member of the `Negro
aristocracy' in America and had a comfortable upper-middle class
professional income, and despite the fact that Chip's school education was
considerably better than mine as a poor white kid in suburban Australia).

I'd feel the same buzz if a Russian exiled to Siberia by Stalinists
invented a powerful new theory of particle asymmetry at the Big Bang. Oh,

As for Lee's question about `Empire writers' (Clarke, Egan, me, etc): I
think in part this is a heightened awareness of the miseries our culture
has inflicted on the peoples it ran roughshod over; oddly enough, this
recognition has been made easier by the fact that by and large none of us
ever lived surrounded by a tenth of the population literally regarded as
worth less than dogs. True, in Australia, our white ancestors treated
aboriginal people appallingly, and their suffering today is a consequence
of that: people whose parents, grandparents, great grandparents have been
systematically denied their traditional languages and culture and excluded
from the dominant culture are truly and almost hopelessly fucked up. To see
the recent radiant explosion of art from the desert peoples in Australia,
combining with amazing inventiveness and beauty their ancient themes,
tropes and iconographies with acrylic paints, canvas, and freshly minted
visual vocabularies, is awe-inspiring. It brings tears to my eyes.

That's why.

Damien Broderick

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