Archive for September, 2008

This video has been circulating around the cyber world through e-mail and I came across it today. It’s a really touching video that sent chills through my body as I watched and listened. Not to mention the footage is set to one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE songs, “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke. This song was brought to my attention as the fitting, yet erie sounds that filled the theater during the famous scene in Spike Lee’s classic film, Malcolm X. As Malcolm drives to The Audubon Ballroom to speak, he stares ahead with a blank gaze, realizing his impending demise. From that point on, this song has made such a powerful impact on me every time I hear it.  The words fit well with this video and are quite appropriate for what may soon come to past in the oncoming election.  Anyway, check out the video and be inspired. 

PEACE

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There is a notion that a man must face in his everyday life when visiting any public restroom know as “Urinal Etiquette”.  The above picture is pretty self-explanatory, demonstrating the unspoken rule. For those of you who aren’t too sure as to the details of such rule, or can’t seem to figure out the blatant illustration, I will explain. When a man enters a public restroom, or any facility containing urinals, one must be courteous to the fellows already occupying a station of relief, and utilize every other urinal, leaving one in between each occupant. If you enter and all “useable” urinals are taken, then you are to use the toilet in the stall, or just wait it out. Every now and then, someone comes along and breaks the law of the land and violates the code. Today, as I was dropping my daily deuce, I witnessed what can be considered one of the most outlandish violations of the rule. There are only two urinals in the restroom at my place of employment, but plenty stalls. (No doubt, the result of a female bathroom designer. Figures!!!) Guy #1 came in and began to use one of the two. A few seconds later Guy #2 entered and started to relieve himself on the other urinal. That was his first mistake. Guy #2 finished before Guy #1 and as he stepped away from the urinal he said, “I beat ya.” and Guy #1 let out a short, fear filled, uncomfortable laugh. No, it was more like a whimper.  Sirens began to wail feverishly in my head. VIOLATION, VIOLATION, VIOLATION!!!!!! Too bad I hadn’t wiped my ass yet because Guy #1 and I would have had to beat the shit out of the inconsiderate rule breaker that is Guy #2.  Even I felt violated, and knew that Guy #1 wanted to run to a corner and slide down the wall into the fetal position as he sobbed, helplessly.  The reasoning behind the rule is pretty obvious. With the double standards that exist considering sexuality, and the “No Homo” society we live in, the rule has it’s place.  (More on the “No Homo” society in a later post.) So, all you men out there, PLEASE school your sons, nephews, cousins, and younger brothers on the rule, so we can prevent anyone from slipping through the cracks, or should I say, in between the “useable” urinals.

I am finally at a point in my life where I can come out and say that I have Schadenfreude, pronounced Sha-den-froid. Yes, me. Like countless others, I have had this ailment for many years, but I enjoy my disease. I shouldn’t refer to it as a disease though, I’d categorize it as more of an inappropriate reaction, sometimes. Schadenfreude means that I take pleasure in the misfortune of others. My strain of this inappropriate reaction is solely attributed to people doing dumb things and being hurt as a result of such uninformed, asinine actions. No one is safe from my Schadenfreude. Old people, children, it doesn’t matter. If you put yourself in a position where something may go wrong, you give up your right to be spared from painful, ab-tightening laughter. Please view the videos I have posted below and bask in your Schadenfreude.

PEACE…

Dr. Phil did a whole show on the controversial term late last week and quite honestly, I am tired of the “let’s talk about it and make it all better” approach to the eradication of this word. Although bringing certain issues to the forefront and making problems known, in order to drum up a solution for said problem, works sometimes, this is one of those times that talking isn’t going to cut it. To get rid of a word, or stop people from using it, is something extremely personal. The individual must take it upon themselves to remove it from their vocabulary. On Nas’s latest album, Untitled, a member of ‘The Last Poets’ makes a bold and undoubtedly spot-on statement during the song, Project Roach. He says…

“It is absolutely silly and unproductive to have a funeral for the word NIGGER when the actions continue. We need to have a movement to resurrect brothers and sisters, not a funeral for NIGGERS, cause NIGGERS don’t die.”

The quote is referencing the recent attempt of the NAACP to bury the derogatory word and ban it’s use with a mock funeral. Rev. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton were both at the forefront of this movement, being the most prominent “leaders” of our people, these days, and they put a challenge forth to the record industry and the people in general to stop using the “N” word.  Just a short while after the racial slur was six feet under, Rev. Jesse “Hypocrite” Jackson resurrected the dead in the same interview where he spoke of Barack Obama saying he wanted to “cut his nuts off”. He didn’t call Barack the “N” word but he used it, nonetheless. Great example your setting REVEREND. 

Anyway, during the Dr. Phil show, Hill Harper, who was a guest on the show along with comedians, Sheryl Underwood, and Paul Mooney and Radio Host Michael Graham, said something that made sense to me. He said that history has shown us that African Americans have turned a lot of negatives into positives and gave the example of soul food. Hog Maws, (the stomach of a pig) Chitterlings, yes that is how you spell it (the intestine of a pig), and pig’s feet are the scraps that were thrown to slaves after their owners consumed the actual meat. These items are still enjoyed today by many black families, and as we all know, food brings a lot of black families together, for many reasons. He uses this fact to suggest that blacks are trying to turn the extremely offensive word into something less toxic, but then goes on to say that there is no way to change the poisonousness of the word, which I agree with. It’s hard for me to accept the whole “term of endearment” excuse because a term of endearment holds absolutely no negative connotation. The “N” word originated from hate, forced superiority, degradation and oppression among many other negative means. I don’t see how anyone can see the “N” word as a loving, affectionate word.  

Within the hour of the show, Dr. Phil asked, ‘is it a double standard when it comes to who can and who cannot use the word.’ A white woman in the audience said, ‘if I can say that word and not have any racism in my heart, it should be alright.’ Uhhmmm, Not so much, lady. Regardless of how any white person may utter the word, or in what context, it will NEVER be acceptable. Personally, I don’t like it when it’s used by blacks either, but I have no control over neither. Oh yeah, who told certain members of the Latin community that they could throw the word around? I’m just as offended when they use it. 

All-in-all, absolutely nothing was solved by the discussion, as usual, and I don’t think it brought us any closer to a solution. Nor do I believe that the controversy will ever come to an end. Few things in this world are constant and I strongly think that racism is one of them. 

PEACE…

Is anybody else as tired of “Run’s House” as much as I am? I mean come on… At first it was great to see a black family on television that didn’t perpetuate every stereotype in the book, but now it’s getting a little, monotonous, scripted and predictable, not to mention outright boring. Doesn’t it seem like everything always works out at the end of each episode? Like in a SITCOM? That’s realtiy T.V. for ya.

First I must address the Hip Hop Career, or lack there of, of Jo-Jo and his crew, Team Blackout. You have got to be kidding me. Either his father, the former member of a pioneering Hip Hop group, is that out of touch, or he is now out of his mind. Wouldn’t you tell the people you love that they are making a fool of themselves?  Just because you are the offspring of a legend in the game of Hip Hop doesn’t mean you can do it too, Jo-Jo. Funny name right? Jo-Jo.  🙂

And those beautiful girls, Vanessa and Angela. To use Vanessa’s words, “Nepotism is alive and well.” You damn skippy it is. They wouldn’t have a sneaker line, Angela wouldn’t have her own Magazine, and Vanessa wouldn’t be a “hollywood actress” if their Daddy wasn’t Rev. Run. 

I’m also tired of seeing Justine in a Moo-Moo every time the camera captures her. Anyway, check out “Team Blackout’s” video “J5 on ’em” so I won’t be the only one laughing. WTF is the turquoise jacket guy doing at around the 2:30 mark???? 

 

The Result of Run’s House…

 

Greetings!!!! I don’t want you all to get too aroused at the expected political commentary to come in this blog, because I am far from a connoisseur of Politics. I just wanted to talk about the most important program that has graced the boob tube in recent history, The Democratic National Convention.  I was watching Senator Obama’s running mate for the 08 Election, Senator Joe Biden’s speech, and after he was finished, my Grandmother turned to me and in the ‘on the edge of tears voice’ uttered, “I am so grateful that I’m still alive to see this happen.”  Although I hate to hear the elderly folks in my life speak of their pending demise, these words touched me in a different way. It made me realize the magnitude of this election for those who never even imagined the possibility of such an event.  

My grandmother grew up in a “separate but equal” south, and was the youngest child to an illiterate, widowed mother. She would hear her mother crying herself to sleep each night because all of her sons were in the Military, serving a country that barely cared for them. What added to her heartache, and brought great irony to her life, was the fact that the allotment checks the government sent to her for her sons service, afforded her the much needed opportunity to support her family.

My father, raised in New Jersey, expressed the same sentiments as to the perceived unlikeliness of this monumental event in our history. He recollected anecdotes as to what lead his mind to believe that something like this would never happen and a few stuck in my mind. He would visit the south each summer and stay with my aforementioned Great-Grandmother, and once, he joined her on trip to the local store. After she gathered the items she desired to purchase, she removed a handkerchief containing money from her pocket, and placed it on the counter, for the cashier to take what he pleased and return to her what he saw fit, if anything. My father witnessed this, and being educated and able to count, he snatched it back and gave the store owner the proper amount. Another story went like this, my dad, again while in the south, went to a tobacco market with my grandfather and trailed off by himself to get a little something to eat and drink. Once he arrived at the counter, he was told to “go around the back”, to the “Colored” area. My father didn’t realize what he had experienced until he returned to school in the fall and was going through a lesson on racism. As recent as the 70’s, another trip below the Mason Dixon line brought my dad upon a sign that read, “POSITIVELY NO BLACKS!!! WHITES ONLY” as he almost entered a blatantly racist town. 

Be it the lack of education a vast majority of our ancestors possessed, the overt racism they suffered for centuries, or the progress America has made since the ending of slavery, an innumerable amount of African Americans never saw this day coming. To witness tears run down the cheeks of my grandmother, someone who has experienced outright racism, something the youth of today know ABSOLUTELY nothing of, and undoubtedly take for granted, gave me a greater sense of just how grand a black presidential nominee, not to mention a Black President is.  Or in the case of my Great-Grandmother, Grandmother and Father, just the thought of such is a awesome achievement for blacks that will indefinitely be etched into the minds and lives of ALL BLACK AMERICANS……..