Tuesday, March 28, 2006
- Don Marquis
As a Black person who was born Black, grew up Black, looks Black, thinks Black, Drives While Black, and LOVES being Black it has always been amazing to me when other Blacks attempt to define or question my Blackness. Apparently, all my life, i've unknowingly broken one or more of the Black Rules of Conduct. Let me see if i can remember them all:
1. Only protect, defend, or help Black people. If you want to help the poor, women, or any other disenfranchised person, they must either be Black or 'of color'. If unsure of a person's racial background, ask them to name their favorite entertainer. If they say "Michael Jackson", they are white.
2. If you break Rule #1 then you are disloyal to Blacks. In effect, you are either pro-white, you hate yourself and all fellow Blacks, or you just hang around too many white people.
I could go on but it's too annoying. All of that kind of thinking is dangerous for many reasons. Firstly, it doesn't allow for the diversity that is Blackness. We are not all the same. Nor should we be. We all have different ideas about social responsibility, multiculturalism, Black Nationalism, interracial dating, global consumerism and any other issue you can possibly think of. And that's as it should be. I personally love that about my people. That we each have so much we can learn from each other's experiences. But it seems like all alot of Blacks are content with criticizing and psychoanalyzing others instead of appreciating our differences. And that divides all of us even more.
Secondly, it completely disregards the similarities between people of all races and the shared responsibility of EVERYONE towards EVERYONE. If you have a Black scientist who is spending all of her time, money and resources to develop a cure for breast cancer, should she only make the cure available to Black people? Hell no. Imagine how pissed people would be if the Chinese developed a cure for AIDS and refused to share it with anyone else but the Chinese? I will acknowledge that racism, discrimination and plain old politics plays a large part in the rapid and devastating spread of AIDS in Africa. Its heartbreaking to think about it....
Racism is but a fraction of the problems that exist in this world. We are in a global crisis RIGHT NOW. Its bigger than black and white. Polar ice caps are melting each day which results in rising sea levels. Our ozone layer is so dangerously depleted, brush fires from drought are becoming an increasingly alarming problem, weather patterns are out of control. Global warming is no longer a future concern. It is smack, dab and squarely in the present. So I apologize if i ain't got the time to be Black enough for some of y'all...
The HUMAN RACE is gonna have to face some hard facts about itself and its abuse of its own habitat. And nobody is ready to do it. Maybe not even me.
tags: Race relations, Blackness, Environment, climate change
Monday, March 27, 2006
Newsweek recently published a very telling op-ed piece about one Dr. Mana Lumumba-Kasongo from NYC. Here's the part that tore me up inside:
"Only a small portion of the growing number of female doctors—not quite 4 percent—look like me. Perhaps that's why, for most people, "doctor" still doesn't fit the stereotypical image of a black woman in this country. Unfortunately, black children may be even more adversely affected by this than white ones. That point was driven home to me months ago, when a 6-year-old black girl refused to let me treat her when her mother brought her to the emergency room and left us alone. She insisted on being seen by a white doctor, leaving me feeling both embarrassed and humiliated."
Read the entire piece..
Ms. Pam Grier seems like she needs a dose of the REAL world..
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Okay, not really. Okay so Inside Man comes out tomorrow but i've already seent (s *not* ic) it in London. Dope. Dope. Dope. As i'm sure you've heard, its not your typical bank heist flick. Which is good cuz Spike Lee ain't your typical director. One review called it the Anti-Crash movie. I guess i can kinda see where he's going with it.
CNN is slacking. Not that that in and of itself is shocking, but i walked into the break room on my floor on 3 different occasions and saw this same story being featured non-stop on air. They had helicopter footage of homeboy running thru Central Park, they showed graphic maps of the area, they speculated intensely on where he might have come from, they interview'd park rangers and Coyote activists. I mean really. This is deserving of national airtime? There is nothing more important to be focusing on in the world?
Chicken Little is gone from American Idol. No biggie but the _real_ tragedy is that he somehow got it in his head that he was some kinda sex symbol. *shivers* Now only 3 more duds left to get rid of then we'll *really* have a competition. Am I the only one who wants someone to break down crying when they get voted off and refuse to sing a swan song? I just hate the puppetry at work in those instances...
and i want one of these.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
That's one year ago, tomorrow. That was the day that J first sent me a photo of him. That was the first time i saw his face but had no idea that it would be the catalyst for so many changes in my life.
I was planning a trip to London just cuz i'd never been...i knew J thru some 'mutual friends' but we'd never met...he agreed to meet up with me while i was there to show me around a bit. But i felt a little weird not knowing what he looked like at all so i asked for a photo...just to be safe and all. He was very very reluctant as he didn't think he was attractive. So i was bracing for this hideous man that i'd have to endure looking at for an entire day. Hell i figured it couldn't be so bad.
So then he finally relents and sends me one of him and his lil cousin. I open the email and there's this fine ass, fly brother looking back at me. He had a goatee that framed one the sexiest pair of lips i'd ever seen. Not attractive?!?! Right then and there i knew he was crazy. And i liked crazy.
Now here we are...a year after that photo. Deeply in love with an ocean between us. Thank goodness we are fortunate enough to be able to cross it with a good amount of regularity. It was so fun coming to work on Monday and having people say "How was your weekend?" and i reply, "oh it was great. I spent it in London." then i smile to myself as i cherish all the memories...
every now and then
i look up
at nothing, really.
but i just picture giant hands coming down
they set themselves just so
on both sides of the Atlantic
and push push push
and push some more
until Journal Square is just a 20 min tube ride
from Ealing Broadway.
Monday, March 20, 2006
This blog contains only my own personal thoughts, feelings, and opinions at the time that i post them. They are subject to change at any time.
You may read things that you don't agree with or find objectionable/offensive. If it bothers you, don't read. I have no obligations to answer to anyone for what i write in my blog.
This is my personal space to express myself in any way i see fit. This does not represent who i am in totality. As much as i choose to write about, there are 10 times as many things that i never write about.
and etc etc. you get the gist. can't think of nothing else so i'll probably come back to edit this numerous times in the future.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
How does this help? Who is this supposed to help? Iraqis? Oh I see, so the US killing a bunch of Sunnis is gonna make everything all better?
War is a cancer on human existence. And i'm disgusted that i live in a country and am a part of a society (maybe even a global consciousness?) that thinks that war (and to a further extent, violence itself) is the answer to every problem.
I'll speak more on this later. I'm at a loss for words right now...
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Because no one would be able to read it. I WANT the interaction with others...its a part of who i am. I love people; always have and always will. And i love technology; always have and always will. So this is the perfect marriage of the two things that have meant the most to me in my life.
One of my favorite toys growing up was a Speak and Spell (Merlin was a close second). I remember just being so fascinated about how it worked..where that creepy voice came from, how the block letters were able to appear on the screen. To me, it was my first 'computer'. I've been hooked ever since.
The first real computer I ever owned was an Apple SE. This was in 1989 and i had just enrolled at Drexel University. At that time, all freshman were required to purchase a computer in order to complete and turn in assignments. They were well ahead of their time because i remember being the only person I knew, outside of school, that actually owned a personal computer. The sun rose and set on that machine...i used to dust it every other day and couldn't get enough of all the programs. I used to carry it to the dorms and we'd get like 5 to a room, hook up our computers together and have some serious Tetris tournaments. There was even a rumor floating around campus that Tetris contained some secret mind-numbing codes implanted by the KGB that was meant to brainwash American kids. Of course, we played anyway...what's a little Cold War espionage when you need to get that square block to fit somewhere? So yeah...i loved my puter.
But then something even more extraordinary happened. It was 1995 and i was working a temp job at some no-name ad agency. Anyone who's ever temp-ed knows that usually, you bored out your skull. So some no-name chick was like "hey why don't you sit at this computer and use the web?"
"The World Wide Web. Its a bunch of computers that are connected. just go to www.theglobe.com and you can chat with people there.."
and down the rabbit hole I went. Pardon the cliche, but a whole new world opened up to me. And as hard as it is to explain to some people, i know i'm not alone when i say that its a world that is just as real and valid and important as the terrestrial one.
So i have a request. Whoever reads this, please comment and tell me what the internet means or has meant to you. I ask because i have a very hard time explaining it (even to myself) and i've found that often others can just nail exactly what i'm feeling/thinking...
Holla at your e-girl.
So i get to the deli and as i was paying for my Honey Nut Cheerios, i casually asked the check out girl, "So what are they filming out there?".
"oh just some George Clooney movie," she says.
Oh my way out, I lingered for a few beats to take in the all-too-familiar scene: A production asssitant keeping all non-essential people away from the area where the next scene is to take place; a camera assistant gingerly checking his apparatus, two grips setting up some light poles, another PA on "fire watch", i.e. guarding the equipment while daydreaming about what they will get from the craft services truck for lunch.
The slight twinge in my gut flares into full-blown regret and sadness. I quickly walk away lest i be mistaken for some celebrity gawker. None of them would know that filmmaking was my life for almost two years.
I produced a short film called The Apologist and even got to see it premiere at the Raindance Film Festival. I've also worked on other feature films , television show pilots, and viral ad campaigns. It's noteworthy to me that I've always thought of myself as more of a performer: singing, dancing or acting. But when i was watching the goings-on outside my office building, i imagined myself as part of the crew and not in front of the camera. Definitely a significant change for me.
I can't even begin to describe what an exciting time in my life that was...as with most things in life, i appreciate it so much more after its over. Just the constant hustle and bustle, being out at night alot networking and meeting people. Creative juices flowing non-stop. Brainstorming with like-minded folk. Never knowing where you're going to be from day-to-day. Being a part of a real community that exists online and off. Struggling to keep the bills paid while hoping to land that next great project. Its a far cry from the routine of my current daily life.
Of course I'm happy to have a steady job and to have the opportunity to finally get out of debt, but knowing that there's so much more out there beyond this desk/prison...all I have to say is: I'll be back one day.
Monday, March 13, 2006
Not Without Laughter by Langston Hughes
The Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama
Stupid White Men by Michael Moore
oh there's more but i don't have time to list them all...
I have a horrible, awful, embarrassing habit of buying things just to have them. Mainly books, CDs and DVDs. I have numerous items that i've purchased over a year ago and have yet to "consume". I mean to. I really do. But somehow i just don't get around to it. There are DVDs still in plastic; CDs untouched and unlistened to. Book spines uncracked. Magazine issues unperused.
What does that say about me? I could answer that but i'm afraid to. But i do know I'm working to change it.
Before i'd ever been to London, i'd imagined it very differently than how i found it almost a year ago. In my mind, everybody was trendy and fashionable, house and funk music blared from every open window, people ate fish and chips all day and worshipped the Queen all night. The streets were a blur of tall red buses, buskers and guardsmen and every businessman wore a tweed blazer. It represented success and wealth.
Although this weekend will be my fourth time there, I still have so much more of London to discover. I've found it fascinating but confusing. I'm used to the street grid of New York City, so to find myself in a place where you need a map to walk around the block, was shocking. I enjoy being out of my element tho. My comfort zone is often not very comforting. Especially as an American. I can't help but wonder what some Londoners are thinking when i start talking...I see the double-takes. Do they regard me, a Black American, with disdain or pity or wonderment? A mixture of all or none?
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
So i've been contemplating blogging. I want to be a better blogger. But what i've learned from reading many other blogs that i consider good is that:
These people spend ALOT of time online. And they read EVERYTHING.
I just don't have that kinda time. Work is busy, i'm a mom, and i need time to sweep. Don't laugh. I've won shit. Lot's of shit. In fact, i even won a trip to England once. So i'm hooked for life. I spend about 1-2 hours per day entering sweeps. Its a hobby/obsession. Yo, if free shit started showing up periodically at your crib, you'd be doing it too. And it doesn't cost me anything but a lil extra bit of email spam. And let's face it; spam ain't that damn bad.
So i sweep instead of scouring the internet for cool links. Sue me.
Ok don't sue me. I have enough legal problems. Thanks.
Your newest Baby Blogger. watch me grow.
Martin Scorcese: 0
Three 6 Mafia: 1
I love Jon Stewart. And now i'm sad because i'm too tired to stay up and watch him on the Daily Show tonite.
My least favorite thing about any award show: When they show the "folks who recently died" montage and heads be clapping at the photos...what's that about? Am i the only one who considers it inappropriate to clap when one is reminded of someone's death? And then to make matters worse, it turns into some kind of morose popularity contest. Some Poor Animation Editor gets no love while Ossie Davis' photograph gets a cacophany ( i love that word) of applause. Now imagine Poor Animation Editor's family chillin' in the audience...they might feel slighted or dismayed at the lack of emotion for their dearly departed. Its just unfair and rude. If you must clap, clap at the end.
On another note, this blog sorely needs photos and cutesy links but i gotta figure out how to do that shit, ok? Excuse me whilst i retire for the evening...
Thursday, March 02, 2006
In this blog I will continue to explore and examine the words that Lauren "wrote"...the Earthseed verses. I so wish i could have had a chance to talk with Octavia about these and what they meant to her. I wanted to know if she'd ever planned/hoped to publish them seperately. Probably not but you never know. Anyway verse 2:
A gift of God
May sear unready fingers.
what i find interesting about this is that someone who is unready would even be given such a gift. its funny how people love to say that they are never given more than they can handle. I don't think that's always true. I think we often have to be given more than we can handle in order to continue to challenge "how much we can handle".
But in the realm of Earthseed (and i happen to agree), God is Change. And Change generally always comes when we are not ready. Unless we personally initiate the change ourselves. And even then, its often more than we can handle; thus we get 'seared'.
ok wait. Change is a 'gift'? wow. I know that most of the time, i don't see it as one. So maybe THAT is the first thing that needs to change. I'm really tryin...
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
I wonder if there are others.
Women who's children don't live with them.
Women who have fought and fought to no avail.
Women who have been treated unfairly by the courts.
Women who are humiliated by judges.
Women like me.
I wish i could talk to one. Just one. so she could share with me how to get thru this...i'm dying inside and no one can help. no one understands. every other mother i know gets to put her kids to bed every night and wake them up gently every morning.
Its been almost 6 years and my sons still don't live with me. And the longer they are not here, the harder it is to get them back. I see them alot but its not enough. I'm better at taking care of them; i'm better at loving and nurturing them. Milan is struggling in school and he needs more constant academic guidance than he can get from me twice a week. i'm so worried for him.
i feel sick inside. my head hurts. my heart hurts. if i'd known then what i know now, i wouldn't have moved out. i'd have stayed and fought and cried until he left me there with the kids. but i thought i was doing the right thing by moving out; putting an end to the constant arguments. but i didn't think it thru and it ended up costing me my kids. at the time, i had no idea. it didn't occur to me that i was making a bad decision. i really thought i was doing the best for them at the time. But today the judge made me feel like i had abandoned them. Like i didn't want them. I wanted to scream and yell at him and pound on his chest in protest. I did not abandon them!! But how can i make anyone understand what it was like back then? I barely understand...
i was young; still in my late 20s. too idealistic for my own good. i trusted my husband and didn't think he'd take me to court the way he did. how wrong i was.
like everyone does at some point, i wish i could go back in time and fix that mistake. but i can't. i know its my own fault...that's the hardest part to face. its one thing when life is unfair to you, but how does one recover in the face of their own fuck-ups? i know in my heart that i should keep fighting. i know they're better off with me but at the moment i can't find any strength at all.
this is the part where i'm supposed to talk on the phone to my best girlfriend and she's supposed to console me and tell me how everything is gonna be fine and tell me stories of all the strong women she knows...but i don't have that. i used to but they are gone. and i miss them. so many many regrets..