Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Heaven and Earth

"You're so heavenly-minded that you're no earthly good."

This is a pretty interesting dualistic phrase that I've heard a few times before. It brings to bear how our spiritual (or religious, depending on who you talk to) lives dictate our day-to-day conduct. From idea, I have a couple of questions:

1. Do you think that it's possible to be too spiritual (and/or religious)? If so, how can you tell where to find a balance?

2. Does the idea of living for Heaven (or whatever Utopia you believe in) have a positive or negative impact on our lives here on Earth?

Any takers?


Monday, April 16, 2007

Mass shootings at Virginia Tech

No commentary. No analysis. No rants.

Just prayers will do for now.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Imus: My critical response

The people have spoken. Because of his bigoted and inflammatory remarks, Don Imus was given the boot.

OK. What now?

I’m left to wonder if this story will merely get filed away as another sad display of public bigotry that leads to no significant change or if it will be the catalyst for raising awareness and sparking intelligent debate about the idea of freedom of speech, dissipating bigotry, and the responsibility of the media. While its my hope that this incident (using the many years of our nation’s despicable history as a context) will lead to an open and honest discourse about race and gender relations in this country, the pessimistic part of me (or perhaps the Keepin' it Real part of me) isn’t counting on it.

Now that Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have gotten what they exhausted their airtime protesting over (Imus’ firing and, of course, boosting their own publicity), I’m interested to see how (or if) they’ll shift their attention toward fumigating the airwaves of these so-called “artists” in the music industry who perpetually produce the same shit for which Imus was fired (in fact, I would argue that their “entertainment” does more damage to black folks than what Imus could ever do.). To not have the same passion against the music industry (rappers and producers alike) for committing similar offenses will make folks like Sharpton and Jackson larger-than-life hypocrites. Some may disagree (it wouldn’t be the first time), but Imus’ insensitive comments pale in comparison to the imagery generated by music and movies that manage to find its way into millions of homes every night. Let’s keep it real here. There are more people who watch videos on BET than who listen to Imus.

That being said, entertainment companies who make a fortune by using exploitation as their medium must be challenged to stop their highly profitable cultural degradation. Or else, this hoopla about Imus will be nothing more than an individual crusade against one bigot, a total waste of resources, and a major defeat toward any progress that has been or could be made.

Now, I’ll admit: there are millions of folks in this country who could care less about any of this. Regardless to the progressive ideas that could come out of this story, BET will still be a popular choice for entertainment. The objectification of woman, the obsession with material, and the embracing of violence as a means to secure credibility are all concepts that will continue to be sold to the masses; as long as a demand is evident. Also, as I suspect, strong proponents of the 1st amendment will view any attempts to censor this nonsense as a violation. Given these irrefutable facts, I frankly consider it unnerving to think that Black America and the media have somehow allowed for people like Sharpton and Jackson to become our more forefront vocal advocates. While I give them credit for being able to forcefully and eloquently speak for the marginalized groups in this country, I also see them as being opportunists, blatantly self-ambitious, and contradictory. The incredible amount of self-significance with which they crown themselves is not only unwarranted, but it’s a clear indication of the extent to which ‘black leaders’ have failed us. There's far more to being a leader than jumping in front of a camera threatening to boycott every time someone cries “racism”.

Again, I give them credit for standing up to challenge Imus; a challenge that ultimately led to change. MSNBC, CBS, and co. would not have likely responded had someone not plant the seed of protest. But now that that’s over with, will it lead to a more involved movement against the ills of society? Will it lead to a much needed reform in the black community?

I guess that remains to be seen.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Imus: My apathetic response

Ever since Don Imus has finally been brought to bear because of the sheer stupidity of his comments, people have been trying to grill me on what I think about the situation. Controversy sparks and folks start looking at me. Imagine that. At any rate, I'll keep my commentary on this issue short and simple.

I don't care.

Well, that was easy.

I, like most people who aren't sexists, bigots, and well...brainless don't subscribe to this man's lunacy. So I'm not bothered either way. Yes, this man, his producers, his followers and, apparently his copycats are clearly ignorant. Yes, his viewpoints (and frankly, his entire platform) are socially destructive. Yes, he should be made to face the consequences of his mindless and blatantly bigoted comments (though I read that MSNBC along with a few big time sponsors have all ditched this dude; all right before CBS fired him). But I think shit like this makes mobilizing against greater problems that we currently face even more difficult.

If we spend our time and resources generating some temporary outrage over one idiot (an idiot, ironically, with pretty nappy hair himself), then our ability to contest with more socially relevant struggles gets seriously compromised. Besides that, he'll be back on the air in no time. What's the point of losing sleep over this?

There. I said it.


Saturday, April 07, 2007 100 words

An unused womb.

No vacancy.

A dirty stable.











More miracles.

Even more miracles.





Temple cleansing.












Bloody sweat.

But Thy will.

Friends asleep.


Broken loyalty.



High priests.



Pilate again.

Barabbas’ replacement.



Thorny crown.


Unforgiving wood.

Long walk.





The nails.

The sign.








For us.

Three days.


Empty tomb.

Last appearance.


At the Right Hand.




Friday, April 06, 2007

Dem language

For you fans of the left, I hope you enjoyed yesterday's assault on the Grand Ole Party. But, your guys aren't off the hook. They too are guilty of using double-sided political talk. Here's an example of some of things Democrats say and what they really mean:

What they say: “We believe in the separation of church and state.”
What they mean: “Until we need politicize to black people during their worship services.”

What they say: “The people spoke during the last election.”
What they mean: “Thank God (or whatever diety doesn't offend you) for the two-party system. The people had to choose one of us…”

What they say: “Support the troops.”
What they mean: “But not at the risk of spoiling our chances in ’08.”

What they say: “Freedom of speech is at the heart of our existence.”
What they mean: “Ann Coulter said what?! Boycott Fox!”

What they say: “You two will have beautiful children together.” (A liberal's favorite line to interracial couples)
What they mean: “…who will then force us to add another checkbox on applications. Thanks for nothing.”

What they say: “It’s about time for serious lobby reform.”
What they mean: “Unless, of course, we can bring in as much as Tom Delay did.”

What they say: “It’s time to reach across the aisle.”
What they mean: “ give the Republicans a thump on their skulls.”

What they say: “We support a woman’s right to choose.”
What they mean: “We support passing out “Get-Out-of-Responsibility-Free” cards.

What they say: “Bush stole the election twice.”
What they mean: ‘Bush had our ass twice.”

What they say: “Social programs.”
What they mean: “Handouts.”

What they say: “God bless America.”
What they mean: “If that’s OK with the rest of you.”


Thursday, April 05, 2007

GOP language

For anyone who finds it difficult to translate some of the GOP's political language, please consider this a guide on how to interpret what they say and what they mean:

What they say: "Girly men" (a phrase coined by Gov-ee-na Ah-nold)
What they mean: All grown men who don't grope women are punks.

What they say: "We're being honest."
What they mean: "We're telling lies or being delusional; but we do so by using declarative statements." For example, 'We'll be treated like liberators' and 'Victory is on the march'.

What they say: "Stay the course"
What they mean: "Let's keeping doing the same crazy shit over and over again; even if it's clearly not working."

What they say: "You're being an alarmist"
What they mean: "So what you've got all that fancy-shmancy science to prove your point. We've got God.

What they say : "We need to teach abstinence"
What they mean: "Ignore the reality that youth really are having sex."

What they say: "We're pro-life."
What they mean: "We're pro-life up until the person is born. At that point, they're on their own."

What they say: "We value our environment."
What they mean: "We value the areas where we allow corporations to dump their waste."

What they say: "God is on our side."
What they mean: "God is our senior presidential advisor."

What they say: "Let me clarify something."
What they mean: "Let me keep reusing the same lie and/or delusion over and over again."

What they say: "We're experiencing job growth."
What they mean: "Americans are now working two and three jobs to make up for losing their good paying jobs to India."

What they say: "We don't support junk science."
What they mean: "We don't support any theory based on data, research, experimentation and rigorous testing that interferes with corporate profitability. What we do support is religious text."

What they say: "We will not tolerate incompetence."
What they mean: "Except if it comes from our President or anybody his administration. We'll support them through and through.

What they say: "God Bless America."
What they mean: "And only America (and maybe England)."


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Gator raid

Sigh. I hate being a man of my word.

I promised my boy Aldo that if his beloved Florida Gators won it all, I would write a stirring tribute to them. Well, they did win (nay, they completely dominated), so here I am: eating my words again.

As if getting decimated in the BCS championship game wasn't enough, the Ohio State Buckeyes were completely devoured by the defending NCAA Men's College Basketball Champs, the University of Florida Gators. Although UF only won the contest by nine points, the game was much more out of reach than the score indicated. Simply put, Florida had their way -- in the second major championship game this year -- with OSU. In so winning, Florida became the first team in sixteen years to win the championship back-to-back.

There's your 'stirring tribute', Aldo.

To steal a little thunder from comedian Bill Maher, I'd like to establish my own New Rules.

New Rule
: Ohio State teams must stop trying to beat Florida and leave the job up to the boys in the Maize and Blue.

Congrats Aldo. From the NBA Finals to the BCS championship, to the NCAA championship; it might be safe to say that Florida buys...I mean...uh...has the best athletes in the country.

Let the basking begin.