Sunday, April 27, 2008

How Come...Hmmmm

This is a dedication to all the faux pas that are in today's and old school television shows. Things that make you say, "How Come...Hmmm." Questions about why certain things were allowed to happen in a show, things we were not supposed to notice.

Let's start with one of my favorites: Good Times

How come: They lived in one of the most violent and dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago, yet they never had their door locked? Wilona walked in at will, the kids ran in and out of the house. No one ever had a house key. James had to knock every now and then. He worked all these jobs, paid the bills, and couldn't get a key to his own house. Talking about scratching and surviving.

How come: James was J.J.'s father, but in real life they are almost the same age. J.J. may be older? And Florida was married to James, but in real life she was old enough to be his mother. (Evidence in the episode she made James give back the money, her dye was running all down her face). Explain that at the next family reunion.

How come: Florida always prayed for God to help them get out of the ghetto, but everytime he provided them with an edge, she talked them out of it? I.E. James found the stolen money. The pastor even said it may be God providing. Or when James wanted to go to Alaska for a year to make $500 a week. WOW! She made him feel guilty. Which leads to my next how come,

How come: Florida didn't want James to go to Alaska to make $500 a week, but allowed him to go to Mississippi? Hell he would have been back in a year, he never came back from Mississippi!

How come: Thelma dated her uncle? Louis Gossett Jr. played her 40 year old boyfriend in one episode, but came back a couple of episodes later as her uncle Hubert. EXPLAIN THAT AT THE FAMILY REUNION!

Enough of the Evans family, lets move on to the Golden Girls. (Yes I'm addicted)

How come: Rose could not remember how long her husband Charlie had been dead? In the first season he was dead for 15 years. Later she was heard saying he had been dead for 5 years. Was Charlie faking his death for 10 years? Was he in a coma and they were assuming he was dead?

How come: Rose had sex for the first time since Charlie died, TWICE? In the first season, she had sex with then dance partner Arnie, (who later came back as Miles, how come she didn't remember that?) on a cruise ship. She was worried because she had not been with a man since Charlie died. Later that season she brings a mysterious visitor home whom she sleeps with, alledgedly for the first time since Charlie died, and he, the mysterious visitor, dies after sex with her. She told the girls the last time she had sex was with Charlie and he died. She thought she had killed this guy as well. Did she have the "white liver?" What happened to Arnie after that fateful trip? He never came back again, but reappeared in new form to come back for his revenge of the killer pu...

How come: None of the Girls had caring family members? When Blanche's daddy died, where was the youngest sister Charmaine? She did not come to the funeral. Neither did Blanche's gay brother. Only Virginia showed up. Where were her children? Wouldn't they want to come to their grandfather's funeral, especially since he was such a great man. Where were Dorothy's kids when her brother Phil died? Didn't care about their uncle huh? Where was Phil's 10 kids? Only the wife cared to see her husband buried. Even his cross dressing poker partners came. But his own kids couldn't.

How come: Dorothy never got that grandchild from her daughter? If she knew that wasn't going to happen, she could have kicked Dennis' butt when he cheated on her daughter.

How come: Only Dorothy and Rose wrote the "Miami You've Got Style" song, but Blanche and Sophia joined in and finish the song off as if they were co-writers?

How come: We never find out what happened with Stan's third marriage to the woman Dorothy confronted in the bar right before their wedding? The next thing we know, Stan and Dorothy are preparing to re-marry. Bigamist?

Wow, moving on to Tyler Perry's House of Payne:

How come: Allen Payne has forgotten how to act? He was great in the Cosby Show, New Jack City, not to mention the foot wash of Jada Pinkett in Jason's Lyric. It's like he got actor's amnesia.

How come: Ella throws her hands to the side everytime she says something?

How come: Curtis' hair is not as gray as it used to be? He started using that Walt Frazier hair dye?

How come: The mortage for the house that was burned down was only $20,000? What kind of sub prime loan did they get? And how long does it take to pay that off? Most cars cost that much and they are on a 5 year plan. How much does CJ make as a fire fighter. You would think that uncle Curtis would give him a raise or something.

How come: Calvin's catchphrase: "Be Breezy!" hasn't caught on yet? I don't hear people shouting it out as they leave the room. Not like "Dynomite!" or "What you talking about Willis?"

Here are just some random how comes:

How come: the guy dies off of Dallas and they bring him back as if it were a dream? I know the fans wanted him back, but come on.

How come: on the Cosby Show, Martin was first introduced as the guy Cliff wanted to take Sandra out so she would break up with Elvin, then later came back as Denise's husband? Sibling rivalry?

How come: Cockroach and Theo wanted to fly, and the next thing you know Cockroach is gone? Where did he disappear to?

How come: Judy goes upstairs on an episode of Family Matters with the little boy, but only he comes back down? We never see Judy again! Did he kill her?

How come: The youngest daughter on My Wife and Kids goes upstairs older and darker, but comes back down younger and lighter? The same thing happened with Aunt Viv on Fresh Prince...hmmm...

How come: Weezy on the Jeffersons was so ghetto and so nonchalant about their success in the beginning, but soon turned bougie and couldn't stand going back to the ghetto? Wow money sure changes a chick.

How come: There weren't any black people in Mayberry? Yet it was such a friendly town.

Well that's all for now, if you can think of any more, feel free to post them. So, Be Breezy, this has been Dynomite! Huh, do more? What you talking about Willis?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Why Did I Get Married

While watching Tyler Perry’s best movie to date, "Why Did I Get Married?" (not saying the others weren’t entertaining,,but this one was more on the serious note). I digress, the movie had me thinking, why DID I get married? Not clear on the answer, I turned to Chris Rock who also shared the same dilemma as I. I THINK I love my wife. Hmm. No I KNOW I love my wife. Maybe. Definitely. Possibly. After almost five years of marriage, I sometimes lie next to my wife and wonder why did I get married? I was living the bachelor life with ease. The next thing I know, I’m in Florida, working for FedEx Kinko’s. A friend of mine and I were talking the other day and we were discussing this problem. Is it the fact that as an Aquarius I tend to not want to be in long term relationships, secretly wanting to dwell in the fantasy of being a 31 year old player, hopping from house to house, screwing chick after chick that will let me turn her from a woman of substance, to a woman of substance abuse? In this debate of the ever wanting to be single minds, we came to the conclusion that most men and women, are in love with the idea of being married, not marriage itself. As children we were taught, if you had decent parents, that you should go to school, get a good job, find a suitable mate, get married, and have 2 1/2 children. (That half one will need special attention).
So, as the decent ones, we try to live up to the lessons our sensai’s taught us. And after we secure the school, the job, sometimes the child, due to unforseen circumstances, we find that we are over 25, and still not married. Women, tend to then tolerate the mate they are currently with because they feel this is their last chance to get married, and they don’t want to be another single, unwed Baby Mama. So they deal with the cheating, lying, abuse, or whatever, in hopes of completing that final task, achieving that last medal, right before obtaining the GLOW! When you got that glow, you feel the...Sorry, Last Dragon memory.
FINALLY, he asks her to marry him. After 10 years of begging. They plan and have the big wedding, and 10 days later they are divorced, or she realizes that she just made the biggest mistake of her life. She was just in love with the idea of being married. Lulled into a falsehood of being with someone for the rest of her life, till death do you part. That was all well in fine, in the 50’s and 60’s. Then came the 70’s, the beginning of the end of monogamy and the death of us not being part.
As men, we sometimes feel that we just need to be married, either out of responsibility (kids), or obligation (she stayed around despite all the bullshit we put her through, or she helped us get to where we are today). So we break down, buy a cheap ring, (which she will take back later) ask her to marry us, and seem sincerely interested in the wedding plans, hoping we run out of money and the whole thing gets called off. BUT, somehow, that aunt, uncle, missing father, or hardworking mother who has been saving since the day she was born, mysteriously comes up with $10,000 to cover the wedding. We reach the bachelor party, forget there is a wedding the next day, then snap into reality when we fuck up and say "I Do." or "I will." Will what? Honor, cherish, in sickness and in health, TILL DEATH DO US PART! In front of God and all these witnesses.
Wow! They threw God in there, so now you have another obligation. We are talking an eternity here. Now it’s a month later, she is getting on your nerves, because she keeps you from going out with your boys, won’t let you watch the game in peace without asking, "hey why do they have to hit each other so hard?" Not wanting to give you Piece/Peace in either sense. All while your personal room is covered with lace curtains, paintings, and a rather nice chair that seemed to replace the comfortable recliner you had. You no longer have ME, its now WE, MY is now OURS, I is now US! We are sharing and compromising so much that we never stop to realize that the compromise and sharing is one sided.
It all seemed like such a good idea a year ago. So how can you end this without breaking the heart of the woman that has been loyal to you, or had your kids? Not to mention the razor blade carrying mother who put her whole life savings up for this little house party.
Now five years later we are sitting in a room, trying to find some solitude, some peace, or a piece, and ponder, "WHY THE HELL DID I GET MARRIED?" So why go through it in the first place? Why tell God and all the witnesses that you will devote your life to this person till death do you part. Suicide. Murder. Missing person. Sorry, mind wondering...It’s the fascination of having that big wedding, the moment being about you and her. The honeymoon to Hawaii, all the preparations, not realizing that we still have to live with this person after the glitz and glamour of the $10,000 house party decked out with ugly bridesmaids dresses, endless lines of the electric slide, waiting forever for the wedding party to arrive so we can eat, cutting the cake, the drunk toast from your best man, the beautiful sex filled honeymoon...Then it all ends. NOW the marriage begins.
Now if marriage was just the bachelor party, the wedding, and the honeymoon, marriages would be more popular and successful than ever before. But we get lazy after the week of uninterrupted screwing and loose the desire to put in the work that’s needed to actually make a marriage work. We still want to go out when we please, not answer to anyone, screw who we want, and be who we were as singles. Hence, marriages in today’s society are just momentary dream sequences, fantasies screwed up by the matrix, perfect scenes depicted by divorced or never married film directors, illusions if you will of what can be, but possibly will not be. It’s not Donna Reed, Mickey and Mallary, Harold and Maude, or even Ozzie and Ruby Dee, but what you make it. And sometimes, most of the time, we choose to make it a mess.
The solution: Wait until we retire, in our 60’s, tired of running around and REALLY ready to settle down. Then get married. Then the answer to the question, "Why did I get married?" Will be "Hell I’ve done everything else."

What’s In A Name?

What’s in a Name? Well plenty, since this is the new form of job discrimination, along with credit checks, that employers are using to keep our more than qualified offspring from having a future at their company. We all say that we want to provide our children with a better life than we had, all the opportunities they need to be successful in life, all the tools, all the hopes, and yet we curse them with a title that limits their success unless they plan on being strippers, porn stars, rappers, hookers, etc. A young lady I know recently had a child. So she pondered the many illuminous, illustrious names to choose from. She thought long and hard, created numerous beads of sweat on her head, went into labor and after several epidural shots she came of with the greatest name ever: *in a ghetto tone* "Ameretto Alize Brown! That’s hot! That’s it right thurr!" Well that prepares her for her future as an A.A. adviser or participant.
So what is truly in a name? Have names like Akbar, Mustafa, Kareem, become to hard to spell and pronounce? No, but they are putting a bullseye on the backs our people. Are we really trying to make our children so unique (no that is a not a sign for a name), that we make them as common as most Blacks, African Americans, Negroes etc...? As much as we try to deny it, this stereotypes our children who already have several strikes against them. When an employer looks at resumes you better believe that names are the first way of filtering out those who they do not want in their company. It’s the easiest form of job discrimination that is the hardest to prove. Now some of us believe that names should not be a determining factor in our child’s future, but we must realize the society in which we are living. Racism is more hidden now, yet rapidly becoming more prevelant, especially in today’s election between Obama and Hilary.
We are providing them with more ammo to keep our children out of work and in poverty. Is it really necessary to name your child after your favorite car, food, alcohol, a movie character, and expect them to be unique? Kind of defeats the purpose. We are limiting their success. I am for keeping what’s left of our heritage, our roots, our ancestory, but we can hold onto all of that in other ways. Now some of you may say we have to keep some identity for ourselves. Well for the majority of us, our last names are just as white/american as would be the first names. Check your last name with one from Africa and see how close you come to a connection.
*history lesson* When slaves were brought over from Africa, they were given the last name of their slave masters. They were also stripped of their origin names and given a caucasian name. (I said your name’s gon’ be Toby boy!)
So unless we are already celebrities and have millions for our children to nest on, making it almost irrelevant if they get a good job, we need to choose better names and provide our children at least some leverage in getting a job. I was one for naming my child something "different" to establish their identity. Then I joined the workforce and saw how many employers are not hiring people named, Shawnquesha, Elexus, Chardonnay, Chamomile, Epiphany, or the infamous Clitoria, (yeah they did) you get the point. When a name like Shawn, Elaine, Charlene, would help them gain an advantage, or at least get an interview.
Let’s face it, not many of us are starting our own business, and if we did, the stereotype of dealing with black people, usually cause the business to fail, so we have to practice so we can be mvp’s in the game. Granted we may never own a team, or coach it, but we can be stars in it.
So what’s really in a name? Would a rose by any other name still smell as sweet? Well it all depends on what garden it was grown in. Give your child a chance, their identity will still shine through with what you instill in them.
This blog is dedicated to my girl, TaTa Talicious! Keep your head up!

What Happens to a Dream Deferred? A Message to the 2008 Enslaved Negro

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore-- And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over-- like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

This is the question that Dr. King is probably asking right now: What happens? Simple, catastrophy. 40 years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and we as a people are still stuck in a dream world. A sequence of events once again created by the matrix. What Dr. King and many others before him fought and died for, we continue to take advantage of are subjected to the fantasies of the trap they warned us about. In his last speech Dr. King said "Together we will get to the promise land, I may not get there with you, but we will reach the mountain top." Wow, powerful, touching, yet if only he knew how far we are from the top. Yeah, we have reached high peaks, steep plateaus, bumpy hills even, but the mountain top is still quite a climb. Especially when you are looking up from the bottom.
We have taken advantage of every single opportunity alloted to us and pissed them away. They fought for our right to vote, yet we still walk past the polls as if there is an invisible sign that says, "Whites Only!" They fought for our right to go to school where we pleased, yet so many of us are still not gradutating from high school, let alone college. They spent numerous days and nights in jail, so we would not have to, yet we are the majority of the population in today’s prisons. They fought for our unity, yet we remain divided, they fought for our freedom, and yet we still remain enslaved in our minds. They fought and died through struggles, so we could live in peace, yet we solve our disagreements amongst one another with violence. We live in fear of each other. We lock our doors, roll up our windows, clutch our purses and check our pockets whenever we travel through our own neighborhoods. The same neighborhoods that were a place of santuary when the outside beat us down.
And now we degrade one another, we kill each other, and for what? Respect? Because the "man" is holding us down? Because it’s hard out there? Do we even know what hard is? Are we being beaten down by clubs, attacked by dogs, sprayed with water hoses, lynched, mobbed, spit on, shackled, whipped? YES! Just not in the physical sense. However, they were, but they marched on, they sang on, they fought on. And WE have been spoiled by the fruits of their labor. We are allowing the mental aspect of lynching, shackles, whippings, to tear us down and apart. Why? If we inherited anything from our ancestors it was strength. They tell us that once you take a person’s mind, everything else just falls apart. The body can not survive without the mind. So we have got to learn how to stay strong mentally, and release the shackles that bind us, MENTALLY! Realize that the only "man" holding us down is us. We have so many opportunities but we have gotten so complacent in our old age that we never look past our own neighboorhoods for answers. So we lean on the streets for support, and not each other.
If selling drugs is your way of beating the system, hell, become a pharmacist. We need to teach our children that the images they see on television are not the way of life. And those on television need to realize that although they had a rough life, it is not to be glorified. Many criticize Kanye West for being arrogant, but learn from him. If you aren’t your biggest fan, who else will be? Take what you have been through, turn it into a positive and reflect on it only to teach others what not to do, so their life will be better. Stop glorifying death, drugs and sex. Is that the dream Dr. King spoke about? He dreamed of world where we would not be judged by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character. Either way, today, we are still going to come up short. Our characters are in serious question, and we could not be the witness for our freedom. Right now we would be tried, sentenced, and locked away. Still enslaved, still degraded.
We are all victim to this. If you degrade your brother or sister instead of helping them, you are no better than them. If you sit successful, yet refuse to help others reach your level, you are no better than them. A house negro, a porch monkey, a token, a sell out. And, unfortunately, in some way, we all fall in one of those categories. We shake our heads, point fingers, turn our backs on our own people, commenting on how stupid they are, how ignorant they sound. When in actuality we are all the ignorant ones. They fought for our freedoms, they were granted, but other tactics were invented to continue holding us down. They now do credit checks in order for you to get a good job. Knowing this, what do we do? Get credit cards, cars, furniture, etc, and never pay our debts. Ruining the same credit that will keep you from owning a home, or getting that dream job. Affirmative action is gone, so that adds to the trouble of getting a good job. And since many of us are not receiving college degrees, or obtaining the proper training for such jobs, we remain without. In our efforts to remain different, we are naming our children outrageous things. Wow! Give them more ammo! When they look at your resume and see your name they know from the start if you are black or not, and that opens the door for job discrimination.
Yes! It’s still out there. The fight is not over. Nobody said it would be easy. Nobody said it would be fair. Contrary to what we may believe, we are still far from the mountain top. WAKE UP! We are still fighting for our freedom. It is not a law, or a right, but take a look at the books. It’s an Act! Meaning at anytime it can be taken from us. We need to realize this is not our game, we are merely players, some of us MVPs, but none of us coaches or owners. It’s hard to defeat the inventor of the game, especially when they reserve the right to change the rules. We just have to learn how to adjust with the rule change, become better at the game, and continue to strive. We are no good if we are riding the bench.
They say that history repeats itself. If you stop and take a gander at the world we are living in, how long before we are physically shackled again?
So what happens to a dream deferred? Take a look around you!
Dedicated to the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Medgar Evers, and all others who fought and died so that I may have the many advantages that I take advantage of.