Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Kicking Back

"Chilling out maxing, relaxing all cool and all, shooting some b-ball outside of the school..."

I'm going on vacay in little while. Just me and the wife enjoying some quality time in a tropical location without our little bundle of joy. I'm hoping to relax, re-connect with my woman and just enjoy myself.

I'm looking to chill out.

Most of y'all probably aren't going on vacay any time soon, but I would suggest that those of y'all focusing on this election daily take some time to chill out. It's been a long journey, but it's almost over, and I for one plan to savor these next 30 days instead of acting like a Hicken. (That's a chicken with it's head cut off for y'all slow folks.)

Truthfully, it's been pretty hard to relax in recent weeks. The Old Man and Bimbo seemed to be gaining some momentum initially that made for some scary moments in my household. The idea of Sarah Palin having access to nuclear weapons should scare every human being on the face of this rock we call Earth. That is one unprepared woman. The possibility that she might be in charge of American politics if the Old Man kicked the bucket was so troubling to my wife that she's damn near been having panic attacks.

But, after the recent debate, I've decided it's time to let the professionals worry about politics while I concentrate on preparing myself and my family for next Great Depression.

Just the other night, my wife turned to me while we were watching cable news and say "Big Man, just how bad is it going to get?" I told her we probably weren't going to have to worry about falling prey to cannibals, but we might want to keep the baby locked indoors because he's more tender.

Seriously though, in the midst of all the drama that has become the backdrop of life in America, I've found some curious calm. I've concentrated on praying, and looking at the direction of my life. In addition, I've taken my brother's advice and started using the Serenity Prayer as more of a guide. Y'all know that prayer, right?

Lord, grant the courage to change the things I can change, the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the wisdom to know the difference.

I must admit that watching Barack Obama deal with this election has really increased my appreciation for a calm demeanor and the ability to prioritize. Whenever I watch Big Homie handle himself I'm impressed with his apparent inner calm and ability to let things roll off his back. It's not that he's disengaged from the world, it's more like he has an inner purpose that allows him to ignore most distractions as he inexorably moves toward his goal.

I really like that.

In the past, I thought that I was a pretty calm cat, but as I've taken on more responsibilities in life I've learned that it's easy to be calm when you don't have any problems. Now, I'm learning that real peace, the kind that God provides for me, can only be gained through struggle. You have to have pain to truly feel joy. I'm working on my ability to narrow my focus, and also completely apply myself to tasks.

Anyway, there isn't much more to this post, I just wanted to share with y'all where my head was at after watching the debate and thinking about my life.

Everybody needs to get them some calm too.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Check it out on the Right

I added a new widget to allow y'all to share the blog on your Facebook pages. I'm not on the networking site but I've been told that it's all the rage. I also plan on having the "share" widget at the end of every post, so anybody who is interested can share particular posts.

Finally, I have added some sort of gadget that allows those of y'all who "follow" my blog to get your pictures shown.

Keep supporting a Lunatic.


Friday, September 26, 2008

What I Saw

It was probably a draw.

Senators Barack Obama and John McCain both did well staying on message and getting their points across. McCain surprisingly kept most of his temper in check.

Yet, what I really saw was an old man who thinks this young man doesn't belong here. An old man who wonders what all the hoopla is about and why everybody is so convinced this wet-behind-the-ears whippersnapper is wonderful.

You could feel his contempt in the way the told Obama, "you don't understand..." Maybe is it was simply a strategy, but it seemed real to me. John McCain really doesn't believe Obama has put in the time to deserve to challenge him for this position and it showed Friday night.

Funny, it was almost like a replay of the Democratic primary.

I remember Hillary Clinton giving off the same aura. She seemed surprised, annoyed and, most importantly, angry that Obama dared to challenge her for what she deemed her right to be president. John McCain become Hillary Clinton last night in many ways. He couldn't stop harping on certain small victories and interrupting and belitting his opponent at every turn.

It makes me confident.

We've seen this movie before. Sure, Obama only had to win over Democrats last time. But, let us make no mistake, many, MANY Democrats were just as skeptical of a black man as Republicans. Obama didn't win the Democratic Primary by luck, he won because he had a superior strategy and a superior message that resonated with the American people. He won because he had foresight.

That's the thing about Obama. The brother has vision. He's not perfect, he's not the Messiah, but he is an intelligent and uncommonly composed black man. He is able to absorb and deflect insults. He is able to parlay most attacks. Big Homie ain't no fool.

So, I'm cool.

I can't wait to see what Palin does next week. When was the last time presidential debates were must see television?

One of Those Days

Man, I was humping all day at work yesterday.

I didn't have time to string together anything overly long or involved for y'all today. See, I actually do a lot of writing when I should be....err I mean when I finish working. Anyway, I had a convo that made think about a question I'd like to ask y'all.

How do you all judge another human being's character?

Since all of us are incredibly flawed, I hope nobody holds people to some impossible standard of perfection. That said, we all decide who is and who is not a good person. We also decide whether people are admirable, whether we would like to emulate them and whether we actually like them.

I talked to somebody the other day who was telling me about listening to one of America's pre-imminent columnists discuss the character of Barack Obama and John McCain. He thought the guy did an insightful job of peering into both politician's souls. I thought it sounded like the guy did all right.

See, the columnist's description of the candidates' character didn't include any insights on what their handling of the racial issues raised during this campaign said about them as individuals. Race has been front and center in politics since Obama's candidacy became viable, and I think that the way each man and his surrogates have handled it is important. At least it's important to me.

Anyway, I'm going to spare y'all a long dissertation on exactly what conclusions I've drawn about both men. I think I'll save that for a day when I have time to really gather my thoughts and do the topic justice.

What I would prefer is that all of you intelligent readers tell me how y'all determine an individual's character and then discuss what character traits are important. If any of y'all are felling frisky, you can also bless us with your insights on Obama and McCain. Please do not depend on trite observations or descriptions.

Give me some of y'all's insight.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What To Do, What to Do?

The Old Man still has some tricks up his sleeve.

As most of you now know, John McCain made the decision to suspend his campaign and return to Congress to work on the economic crisis. Apparently, he believes that solving this problem is more important than running for president and he wants to put his country before his ambition.

And I'm actually a white guy.

Of course that's not really why McCain suspended his campaign. John McCain doesn't know crap about the economy, he's not popular with most Republicans and his ambition is bigger than his wife's bank account. No, John McCain discovered he was down by almost double digits in national polls, realized the public doesn't have any confidence in his ability to solve economic problems and decided it was time to make a bold unpredictable move.

That's the reality of the situation.

McCain has positioned himself to put pressure on Obama to suspend his campaign just when the Obama campaign has mega momentum. If Obama refuses, he runs the risk of being a labeled a typical politician who cares more about getting elected than solving problems. It's a very creative move. Plus, McCain is using the move to postpone the upcoming economic debate where he was certain to get reamed out.

Obama has to decide what he wants to do in this situation. Early reports are that he won't suspend his campaign. Honestly, I don't feel qualified to give him advice (not that he would listen to a random internet lunatic), and I trust his instincts in these things.

The sad thing is this is clearly a political move by McCain that he is cloaking in love of his country. He doesn't want to debate because he would get his ass whipped. However, his decision plays on the mostly justified skepticism so many Americans have for politicians.

Look, we all pretend that we hate politicians because they can't work together, don't get anything done and argue too much, but that's utter bullshit.

First, most Americans care more about themselves than they do about their fellow man. Second, most Americans are so entrenched in their political opinions that they cannot objectively consider any issue.

Why do we hold our politicians to some hypocritical standard of cooperation? Do most Americans work together to accomplish goals? Not really. We rarely look past our own issues regarding, race, gender region, yet we expect our politicians to be masters at it. The main job of national politicians is to bring back pork to their home states, and while some folks love to rail against this, most of them also prefer roads without potholes and shiny new parks. The fact is, Americans expect their politicians to do what's best for the people who elected them, not the country as a whole, and that's exactly what most politicians do.

On the other point, I'll admit that I'm as guilty as everybody else when it comes to pretending that I can truly look at opposing positions objectively. Sadly, I can't.

I may do a better job than most of considering multiple angles of an issue, but I have some pretty glaring biases that come into play with every issue. Shoot, when that news broke recently about Obama and his support for the bridge to nowhere I was spinning it before the campaign was.

I raise these points because if people were honest about their expectations of politicians this move by McCain would fail miserably. People would see his posturing for the smokescreen it is. They would understand that McCain is suspending his campaign because he wants to avoid the constant questions that come on the campaign trail and also pretend to be hard at work on a solution to a problem he barely understands.

That's what should happen.

But, I doubt that's what is going to happen.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

These Bastards Are Crafty

Man, I was watching cable news the other night and I swear I wrote at least three blogs in my head.

As I learned more and more about the potential bailout and the maneuvering by the Bush administration to turn this disaster into a boon for their cronies, I just started fuming. But, my anger went to a whole new level when Pat Buchanan hit the screen.

Earlier in the day, I'd heard that conservatives had come up with their strategy to deflect blame for the crisis away from their deregulation ideals, and towards a familiar target. Pat confirmed all the rumors.

They're blaming the niggers.

It really shouldn't have been surprising that conservatives blamed "minorities" for the financial crisis, but I must admit that I didn't see it coming. I thought they were going to have to take the hit, and maybe divert some of the blame to Democrats who also favored deregulation. Instead, these slick suckers managed to flip the script and say that the only reason banks collapsed was because they were forced to make loans to minorities who didn't deserve them. It's the Affirmative Action defense with a financial twist!

I told y'all they were crafty.

Of course this new talking point is being repeated by every Conservative given air time, it's being beaten into the ground at Fox News and pretty soon it will be accepted as fact by most Republicans. One thing about conservatives is that they stay on message and they know how to get their message to the masses.

Too bad the message is built on lies.

Sure, sub-prime mortgages were a huge factor in the banking collapse and those loans were held disproportionately by minorities. But, that's not the fault of federal guidelines about discriminatory lending. The federal standards were enacted not to encourage banks to give loans to minorities who didn't qualify, but so that they would give loans to qualified minority applicants. Bankers had a bad habit of denying minorities loans while at the same time granting loans to white people with the exact same qualifications. They also had a tendency to offer minorities higher interest rates than white applicants.

Instead of correcting their discrimination, banks decided that the best solution was to create a new standard for lending that would justify them charging ridiculous interest rates. These relaxed standards allowed them to make sub-prime loans, but they also allowed them to give white applicants way more money than was justified. Shoot, one of the key components to the housing collapse in California was that banks were giving something called "good faith" loans where applicants for a mortgage self-reported their income, and the bank did nothing to verify those figures.

Now do y'all think black folks were getting "good faith" loans?

I don't think so.

Anyway, the conservative talking points are easily countered if you have a basic understanding of the banking crisis and a willingness to challenge popular assumptions about Affirmative Action. Unfortunately, most reporters do not have both. I saw Rachel Maddow go after Buchanan, but she didn't use the same angle I just did. She just pointed out that the core problem is still deregulation, which meant that the convo basically turned into a shouting match between she and Pat. She didn't see that he was fundamentally misrepresenting what caused CEOs to loan money to minorities. It wasn't liberalism, it was greed tinged with racism.

Anyway, I just wanted to arm ya'll in case you run across a conservative trying to advance this hogwash all while encouraging us to give Henry Paulson and George Bush a blank check to fix the problem. Don't let them fool you.

They may be crafty, but when your house is built on lies, it cannot stand for long.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ooh, You're So Strong!

If you're a sucker for flattery raise your hand.

Y'all better raise those hands!

Everybody likes compliments. They're the reason we spend a few extra minutes in front of the mirror in the morning, or wear clothes that are perfectly tailored instead of dirty sackcloth. Our egos need to be stroked by our friends, our family and our mates, or we become very unhappy.

Unfortunately, we are now looking for that same thing from politicians.

"The American worker is the most innovative and most productive in the world..."

John McCain said something like that recently. Granted, he was trying to weasel out of his "fundamentals of the economy" gaffe, but he still made that statement with a straight face and without drawing any questioning from the media.


I don't about in y'all's house, but in the Lunatic Casa most of our lovely items say "made in China." And from what I've gathered from "the Google", Japanese residents tend to have far more advanced gadgets then we do in here in the home of the red, white and blue.

So I'm wondering, if we're clearly losing to those two nations as far as goods produced and innovations made, how did McCain get away with making that cockamamie statement? And I don't want to pile on the old guy because Barack Obama has been known to spew a whole bunch of platitudes about the glory of the American worker. Both candidates take any opportunity they can find to praise workers, particularly those who vote.

It's silly. Yes, many folks in America work hard. So do folks everywhere. Yes, we have a better lifestyle than many other countries. We're also up to our necks in debt. Sure, we're living high on the hog, but we're also ducking the bill collectors and only answering our phone at certain times of the day.

It's nice that Obama and McCain want to laud the accomplishments of American workers, but just once I'd like to hear some real talk from somebody seeking political office. Working hard is not enough. Just working hard does not guarantee you the American Dream. You have to work smarter, you have to work longer, you have to work faster. But, nobody is telling the American people that because they are too busy telling us how wonderful our new muscles look.

And we have a beer gut!

I'm not writing this because I'm the ultimate worker bee. I'm not. Yet, I'm honest with myself about what I do and what I don't do. I believe that too many people are not honest. They truly believe that Americans are the greatest employees in the world, and as long as politicians keep validating that opinion, there will no incentive for workers to improve.

I want a politician who lays the facts bare. Who doesn't pull punches about anyone or anything. A politician that tells black people we need to step it up in our homes and communities. A politician that tells white people that it doesn't matter when their ancestors came to America, they benefited from slavery and discrimination. I want a president that says that our nation is filled with borrowing bastards and that's a recipe for disaster.

I don't need my ego stroked, I'm straight.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

No, No, No

My little boy says "no" these days.

Well, he actually says "Oooooooooo" with an exaggerated mouth motion that puffs his cheeks out and makes him look like he ate something sour. It would be so cute if he wasn't practicing disobedience every time he does it.

Experts say that "no" is one of the easiest words for children to learn. It makes sense because in most households it's one of the words they hear most often with "stop" not far behind. Toddlers get into a lot of trouble, and all parents are hard-pressed to deter them without using the word "no."

America is in trouble. Rather, from my fairly uneducated and uninformed vantage point, it appears that the country is in trouble. Everybody is realizing that our money isn't worth jack, our homes aren't worth jack and our jobs are disappearing faster than an Oxy tablet in the Palin household.

At the core of this problem is our inability to say no.

I'm not just talking about politicians, although I will get to them. I'm talking about we, the American people.

Granite counter tops, Kohler faucets, stainless steel kitchens, second mortgages, balloon payments. I love me some HGTV, but if you watch that channel for any length of time it becomes quite obvious that the vast majority of Americans have some serious issues with the word "no."

This crisis was in part the result of people borrowing money to purchase things they couldn't afford. Sure, lenders preyed on the uninformed. Sure, some folks lost their houses because they lost their jobs or had some other family disaster. There were tons of factors including corporate shenanigans that led to our current state.

But, the real problem stems from everybody being unwilling to deny themselves the American Dream they thought they deserved, even if that American Dream was outside of their means. Wall Street gurus who needed that extra million or five. Susy Homemakers who just had to have granite because anything else might make the neighbors talk. Joe Schmoe's who decided that environment and gas mileage be damned, they just had to have that Big Boy truck. (And that last one includes me since I drive a gas guzzling pick-up truck.)

Phil Gramm got pilloried for calling Americans whiners, but there was some truth in his comments. Not because Americans are natural complainers, no, he was telling the truth because we, all of us, make dumb, short-sighted decisions and then whine when we have to deal with the consequences.

As I watch our government prepare a $1 trillion bailout, the value of self-control and the virtue of moderation has never been more evident to me. I know everybody who reads this blog isn't a Christian, but man, The Bible is an amazing book when it comes to life lessons.

We have become comfortable with satisfying our present day desires instead of concentrating on our future needs. All of us are guilty to a certain degree. I pray that this country can right itself and forge a brighter future, but that will only happen if we learn to control our cravings.

And tonight I'll work on teaching my son when it's the right time to say no.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Silence is American

If you check out my sidebar there is an American flag in red, black and green. I stole that image from The Truth, a regular reader and blogger, because I found it really powerful.

See, when it comes down to it, I identify as a black man before I identify as an American. Lots of folks consider that blasphemous and proof that black people are all screwed up in the head. Whatever.

Anyway, according to this article Josh Howard of the Dallas Mavericks might share some of my views. At a celebrity softball game, Howard made a tongue-in-cheek comment about how he doesn't sing the national anthem because he's black. I say tongue-in-cheek because clearly the matter in which he delivered the message was joking, but I'm guessing he has put some real thought into why he feels that way.

Howard is a guy who counts graduating from Wake Forest as one of his greatest achievements because so few black men graduate from college. He's offered some on-point comments about the world in the past, and he seems fairly aware of political stuff.

Unfortunately, Howard also has admitted to smoking marijuana during the off-season and been caught drag racing. So, when his comments hit the mainstream media, well let's just say Josh Howard isn't exactly popular in the Big D right now.

I've had multiple arguments over the past few days about Howard's remarks and read several takes on what happened and what it means. Of course people have attacked Howard as an ungrateful pothead for what he said, but if that hadn't happened we wouldn't live in America.

See, Americans pride themselves on the right to free speech. Most Americans erroneously believe that the First Amendment grants them the right to say whatever they want. It doesn't, but that's the definition most people use when they talk about free speech. Unfortunately, those same people prefer to extend the right to free speech to people who say things they agree with.

This isn't a white thing or a black thing, this is an everybody thing. However, white people have set most of the parameters of what is and is not acceptable in America, so it's typically white people who are telling folks what they can say.

Now, some folks are rightfully upset with what Howard said. It's not surprising. If you see the national anthem as a symbol of everything that is great and wonderful with America, I can see how his comments might offend you. However, if you see the national anthem as a song sung about a mythical time when everybody was treated fairly and justly regardless of race, gender or religion, I can see why you might not be a fan of it.

And, to be honest, I have no problem with there being a controversy surrounding Howard's comments. He made a controversial, albeit justifiable, statement and if he is surprised that it generated outrage, then he really should have kept those thoughts away from a video camera. Anybody who knows anything about American history would have known that the vast majority of this country's population would have a problem with the statement.

Nope, my beef is that people have responded to Josh's comments by questioning whether he has the right to be disgusted with this country because of it's ITS past and present actions, particularly those towards black people. Apparently, once Josh Howard became a millionaire through basketball he lost the right to complain about racism or discrimination.

Ain't that a bitch?

I'm sure some of y'all can relate to this. I don't think any millionaires read the blog, (judging by my t-shirt sales I'm positive they don't) but I would wager that all of us have had a white person tell us that our lives are too good for us to complain about racism. Apparently, the trade-off for sucess as a black person is the ability to point out injustice.

Helluva bargain.

Well, I've taken to asking white people directly where exactly the threshold is for complaining about racism. I want them to explain how much money I can make, and what type of neighborhood I can live in. What jobs force me to give up my racism trumpet?

I've found that when I put things in those terms it makes folks uncomfortable. It forces them to think about what they're saying. See, I've been black my whole life. No matter what success I've attained, and it's only been meager success, I've had to get to where I am today while being black.

That means I've been harassed by the police, I've been followed in stores, I've called a nigger, I've been discriminated against and I've been scorned. More importantly, even if I haven't had every racist experience, people I know and care about have had them for me.

So, I find it incredibly arrogant that white people think that once a black person "arrives" he/she should just shut up and smile. I find it appalling that the pricetag for my success is my ability TO speak out about injustice.

Now some might argue that those who tell me to shut up are only exercising their right to free speech. And guess what, they are right. But, that doesn't make Americans' willingness to suppress and attack viewpoints that don't follow societal norms any less disturbing. When we attempt to drown out viewpoints that differ from our own, or even try to silence those voices, we are trodding on dangerous ground.

We cannot arrogantly assume that those who think like us are always correct. We cannot demand conformity as a down payment for being a "real American."

We just cannot.

(Update: Josh Howard's employer received a ton of emails about the incident. Click here if you would like read what people thought. Gird your loins though.)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

How Far Can He Go?

Y'all know that I have taken to calling McCain's campaign strategy the "Eff It" plan of attack. Basically, he says "Eff It" and then lies. He's almost daring the American public to call him out.

Anyway, a friend of mine thought it would be funny to think of several comments that McCain could potentially say that really wouldn't shock anybody because of how much he lies. I'm going to try to jot down the top five outrageous comments that John McCain might make, and I encourage y'all to contribute your own entries in the comments sections.

5. "I've heard my opponent Barack Obama promise that he will bring change to Washington. I don't doubt that because scientific studies have shown that tragic mulattoes are notorious for being unstable and flaky. Can we trust someone whose own parents couldn't figure out what team they were on?"

4. "My opponent has chided me for failing to keep track of how many homes my wife and I own. He has complained that I don't relate to regular Americans. I believe this shows how scurrilous my opponent's attacks really are. All hard-working Americans understand that you need to have options in case undesirables move into your neighborhood. My homes are not a sign of wealth, but an example of old-fashioned American values"

3. "Democrats would have you believe that America invaded a sovereign nation when we went into Iraq and removed Saddaam Hussein. I tell you today that they are liars. No nation made up of Muslims can be sovereign. Sovereignty is directly tied to Christianity, so there was no invasion, but a returning to America of what was rightfully our property."

2. "The egg-headed elitists in the liberal media would have you believe that Sarah Palin is not qualified to run this country. I call them all arugula-eating liars! Who is more qualified to lead a nation of 300 million than a woman who has led a town of 10,000? Are 300 million people really that much more different than 10,000? Are the people in your lives really that much different from you? Don't you all know everything you need to know about the world by talking to your friends? The media are not the arbiters of intelligence or qualifications. Only the American people and their friends can truly identify intelligence. Most media members aren't even Americans!"

1. "Obama-Biden Democrats would have you believe that Republicans have ruined this country. While it's true that some rogue Republicans have made some bad decisions, I promise you that during my two decades in the Senate I always fought for change. Even though I never made that change happen, I promise you that I will now...

"In conclusion, let's be honest, Barack Obama is less experienced than I am and, according to scientific studies, probably has a smaller brain than I do. I am John McCain, and I approve this message."

What do y'all think?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Well-deserved Shout Out

Roynell Young is a real man. A former NFL-player, he's making a huge difference in the lives of troubled black boys.

This is his story.

Does the Tipping Point Exist?

Short post today.

I'm listening to the drumbeat from the media about the lies of McCain and Palin and trying to get excited.

Like most of y'all, I've been one of those people complaining that if Obama lost to the Disastrous Duo it would be because the mainstream media thoroughly failed the public. Since Johnny Boy unveiled Mooselini at the Republican convention, the media has gone out of its way to avoid calling her a liar despite all the evidence that makes that characterization justified.

Which reminds me, does the mainstream media view the word "liar" the same way white people in general view the word "racist?" So, I guess if you're a lying racist, you just get a total pass in this country? Well that does explain the careers of Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond.

Back on topic. The recent pushback by the media against the falsehoods being spread by the McCain campaign about themselves and about Obama has been heartening. Yet, just as I was starting to believe that this change in attitude might result in more people seeing the truth for themselves, I was struck by reality.

Do people even listen to the media anymore?

I mean, we all take in stories, and sometimes we even pay attention. But, when it comes to politics, do regular citizens actually believe that people in the media know what they are talking about? After all, the mainstream media has admitted to being duped on Iraq, being duped by Wall Street and now, duped by McCain. Most people already had very little respect for journalists, and I'm guessing that those three eff-ups didn't help things at all.

More importantly, I read something interesting about decision making the other day. The report said that most people make gut decisions and then find ways to rationalize those decisions later. However, when questioned, those same people state that they considered all the facts and then made an informed decision.

I make that point because when the media actually does their jobs, it's based on the assumption that people will take information and then make good decisions. Yet, it's becoming increasingly clear that is not the case. The simple truth is that no matter how many facts the media hits the public over the head with, most folks have already made up their minds and don't care. In fact, that goes double for folks that vote Republican because they believe that every media company not named Fox News is out to get them.

So, while I was having this delicious fantasy that Palin would be exposed and make McCain look even worse, reality intruded. Now, I'm thinking that no matter what happens, the Duo will remain together, and the Alaskan Assassin could make it to the White House.

There is no tipping point.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Money, Money, Money

It's the number one problem in most marriages, according to independent experts.

It's the number one concern on most American voters' minds.

And John McCain could wipe his ass with it.

I'm talking about greenbacks, dividends, scratch and dead presidents. I'm talking about money.

Political analysts claim that when times get tough, people vote Democrat. When the country's doing fairly well but seems to be changing too quickly, the populace tends to swing Republican. That is interesting, but not surprising.

When people are worrying about making ends meet, they really don't give a damn if two men want to have a wedding in Vermont. When folks have extra time and money, then it becomes important to protect the sanctity of marriage. If you can barely afford to take care of the three children you have, it's probably easier to consider abortion when your teenage daughter comes home pregnant.

I'm guessing that's why black people have trended Democrat since the 1960s. After the liberals made their initial inroads with black folks by showing some token support for Civil Rights measures, (JFK is hugely overrated when it comes to this), they maintained that support by coming through with the money. Lyndon B. Johnson was a pretty typical good ol' boy when it came to his views about black people, but his idea for a Great Society was music to our ears.

Truth be told, most black folks will put up with racist attitudes as long as we don't have to be poor and put up with racist attitudes. Y'all know what I'm talking about. Many of you work with a racist prick right now, but you don't ream that person out because you need your job for the mortgage and groceries. You let the little stuff slide because you've got bigger fish to fry.

Like Lil' Tyrone's college scholarship fund.

What I'm wondering now is how do black folks convince our white brethren that they need to come over to our way of thinking for this election? It's obvious which candidate is going to put money in most folks' pockets, and which candidate is going to get more people fired. Obama is proposing tax cuts for the middle class, higher taxes for the rich and more regulations for companies. John McCain is proposing to finally get that beach house Cindy always wanted in Cabo...

Seriously though, this is a pocketbook election. Times are tougher than B.A. Baracus and I pity the fools who would select McCain to solve this crisis.

McCain suffered in a POW camp and I really can't comprehend what that was like. But, since he's been back stateside he's been living the good life, particularly after he hooked up with The Pharmacist.

With her beer money, and the bribes McCain has collected as a politician (Keating 5 for life homie!), they have been doing just fine. I don't know about y'all, but I would rather have somebody who used to be poor and worked to make themselves rich, than somebody who hasn't pumped gas in a decade.

So, how do we convince all the white folks worried that Obama is a Black Muslim intent on bringing jihad to American soil because his pastor hates Ameria that Barack is really a pretty smart guy who wants to put money in their pockets?

Well, first of all, we should just stop talking to anyone who thinks Obama is Muslim terrorist. They are a lost cause. And if they mention that Obama will only help the "coloreds", just back away slowly. Second, when we're discussing the election with white folks who think Obama is a bad choice, we have to force them to explain why they think McCain and the Republicans are better when it comes to money. Rather, they need to explain why they think Republicans are better at non-rich people more money.

Unemployment is ridiculous, we're spending billions in Iraq and the economy is shedding jobs like Star Jones moves weight. Unless you're a venture capitalist or a failed CEO, life probably sucks. And, we can lay the blame at the feet of George Bush, the Republican Congress and the man who voted with Bush so often that they might be conjoined twins.

We need to make people look at the facts and explain why they have such confidence in a man who once admitted that the economy really wasn't his thing. Keep pushing until these people are forced to seriously consider both candidates' economic policies. It may not change their minds, but at least they will be exposed to the truth.

Cause right now, times are tighter than frog vagina.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Dummies Within

Arrogant idiots.

There are too many arrogant idiots in America. Widespread stupidity has been a problem in every large population, but we're special. We've combined idiocy with arrogance and produced a toxic brew that poisons everyone who drinks it.

I was watching cable news the other night and this analyst was discussing how George W. Bush was able to defeat Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election. She noted that in every debate Bush made ridiculous gaffes and generally knew very little about how this country works. Yet, people responded favorably to Bush instead of penalizing him for his mistakes. Her explanation for this bizarre occurence really got to me.

She said people thought "Well, I wouldn't have done much better answering those questions myself."

Arrogant idiots.

It's human nature to compare ourselves to others. Most of us determine acceptable behavior by what we would do in a similar situation. That's why you see so much outrage from the evangelical right about gay marriage, but few calls to outlaw divorce. Both actions clash with Christian beliefs, but only one of them is something most evangelicals worry they may need one day.

There are two problems with judging everybody by our own personal ruler. Sometimes we unfairly raise expectations and other times we stupidly lower them. It's unfair to expect a teenager to think like a 40-year old when it comes to sex, and it's pretty stupid to want a president who is only as smart as the average citizen.

Simple, right?

Most of us understand that we should have qualified people doing difficult jobs. We wouldn't hire a janitor to re-wire our house unless that janitor was certified as an electrician. The janitor may be just as smart as we are, but that doesn't make him qualified for the job we need done.

It is impossible that anybody has objectively considered John McCain and Sarah Palin and decided that they are more qualified to run this country than Barack Obama and Joe Biden. There are several reasons why people might vote for McCain and Palin, but their qualifications are not one of them.

No, besides race, abortion and gay marriage, the main reason people are supporting the Republican ticket is because they feel comfortable with McCain and Palin. And people feel comfortable with the duo because they believe the Republicans are their intellectual equals, if not their inferiors.

See, many Americans have been taught to think highly of themselves. They've learned this lesson so well that when somebody challenges that self-image they become defensive and uncomfortable. Not only does Obama challenge the classic stereotypes about black males, but his intelligence and accomplishments make a segment of the population question why they haven't done more with their lives.

Unfortunately, instead of just being impressed and inspired, these people become envious. Thanks to their own arrogance, these people view Obama's hard-earned self confidence as a personal affront. Instead of being comforted by the idea of electing someone they can depend on to be qualified for the job, these people search for someone who doesn't make them notice their own squandered potential.

It's a sad situation. People are celebrating mediocrity instead of greatness. Instead of seeking a leader that challenges them to be better, they want a leader that makes them comfortable.

I know what Fred Sanford would call them.

Big dummies.

Friday, September 12, 2008

"I'm John McCain, Bitch"

"Eff your rules, nigger."

That's what John McCain is yelling while jumping up and down on the rules of "polite" political discourse. It's very similar to when Rick James left footprints on Eddie Murphy's couch. McCain ain't just walking all over the rules, that wrinkled bastard is doing the foxtrot, jitterbug and Charleston.

Remember how I used to be so outraged at Hillary and Bill for the racist crap they pulled during the Democratic primary? Their innuendos and wisecracks seemed so horrible back then. Now that seems like the good old days. People said the Republicans were going to be worse than the Clintons, but I really couldn't see it.

The sunglasses are off now.

The veil has been lifted and things are getting trill. Black people are getting called uppity, white people are telling outright lies with no shame and the media is wringing its hands asking "Why can't we all just get along?"

There is a real 1960s vibe about life these days.

Now some might call that comment hyperbole, but I just call it honest evaluation. During the Civil Rights era, white folks in power had a habit of letting black people know exactly how they felt about us and also telling massive lies whenever it was convenient. That sounds mighty familiar right now.

For years, most of us have adhered to the rules and been politically correct during public conversations. Of course, Republicans have always been habitual line-steppers, but with this election they've shot right past that. They appear to have embraced the idea of slapping people in the face with racist insults and then daring ANYBODY to check them on it.

In a perverse way, you almost have to admire their collective cojones.

I'm both outraged and amused at how easily John McCain and Sarah Palin have cast off the thin veneer of respectability McCain first embraced. It's like he took an honest look at his chances to beat the political phenomenon known as Barack Obama and decided:

"Eff it."

Obviously, I don't appreciate the racist attacks that have been leveled at Obama, and I'm disgusted by the blatant propaganda that the McCain campaign has circulated. But, I must admit that I'm entertained by how seamlessly McCain has co-opted the tactics of George Bush, and managed to become even more despicable than Bush. I can't really explain why McCain is more despicable, but for some reason it just feels true.

Anyway, I hope McCain keeps bitch slapping the media, jumping on Obama's couch and making Sarah Palin show the world her boobies. My blood pressure is rising, but I honestly think this campaign needed to happen in America. People, particularly black people, needed to see just how many folks really haven't changed their minds about black people's place on the totem pole.

Look, not only is the truth being revealed, but thanks to McCain, the country is being bombarded with the truth every single day. That truth is simple; rules don't matter when you have power and niggers will always be niggers.

That's John McCain....Bitch.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Finding a Balance

My homeboy and I had an interesting debate the other day.

We're both Obama supporters, both college-educated and gainfully employed young black men. (Well, I guess we ain't that young anymore.) We tend to view the world in racial terms and neither of us is in the habit of giving people the benefit of the doubt.

Anyway, we were discussing the upcoming presidential election and trying to decide just how realistic an Obama victory might be. Previously, we had been cautiously optimistic, but with the introduction of the Alaskan Vixen, we're not so confident.

It's not so much that Palin is threat, it's more that what she represents is a threat. For some reason, Rip Van McCain couldn't get the Republican base excited enough to buy into his bullshit, which was a boon for Obama. Big Homie still had to deal with the ridiculous coverage he received from the media, but for the most part I felt good. But, with Palin's staunch opposition to abortion, her pretty smile and the faint whiff of trailer trash she gives off every time she walks by, well I think the base has found a reason to support the Crypt Keeper.

Now the race has tightened and my fried and I are trying to decide if we should chalk this up to general prejudice, or whether we needed to acknowledge that Palin appealed to the Republican base the same way Obama appealed to the Democratic base. With the latter, race is definitely factor, but it would be more difficult to say it's the deciding factor. My friend quickly decided that it was racism, pure and simple. I, however, was not so sure.

See, I can understand that there are many people in America who just don't agree with Democrats on much. They like school vouchers, think abortion is amoral, think public healthcare is socialism and fear taxes like the bubonic plague. These folks think we should stick it out in Iraq, think Iran needs to be humbled and are really afraid that the gays will marry one day. These people are blood red Republicans.

Many of these folks would vote for Satan if he had an R behind his name on the ballot.

But, there are a lot of folks that share many standard Republican values, but who are in pain because Republican policies don't benefit anybody but the uber-rich. These folks like the idea that the government could be there to help them out, even if they would never see themselves as looking for a handout. They want affordable healthcare and they would prefer to have their sons and daughters back from Iraq soon. These folks might consider voting for a Democrat if his/her plans sound good, and the Republicans have shown themselves inept. They probably have voted for Democrats in local and state elections.

But, a black president is still a stretch for them.

See, I'm thinking that if the Democrats and Republicans both were running white men, this race would have been over months ago. Because Americans have been conditioned to see white and male as the default for any position of power it would have been much easier to focus on the issues important in this campaign. And, on the issues, the Republicans get their butts whipped. Most logical people agree that George Bush and his Republican friends have screwed us all.

However, Obama introduces a wild card. The issues are still important, but what's also important is how a black person will handle ruling America. Because, despite the reality, most Americans view the president as the "ruler" of this country.

For many white people, the idea of placing a black person in the supreme position of authority is a scary prospect. They worry about retribution, about shifts in power. They wonder if a black person is really qualified for that kind of power and they are concerned about what seeing a black person in a position of authority would do to the minds of other black people. Truthfully, these are all legitimate concerns that I can understand.

And that's why I can't just chalk up the closeness of the race to pure racism and prejudice. Many voters are not certain that voting for a black guy will truly serve their self interest. They are also not certain that voting for a Republican will serve their self interest. So they are trapped in a sort of no-man's land where it seems like there is not great choice, but simply a choice of the lesser of two evils. ( Black people know all about that, don't we?)

Looking at things that way makes it easier for me to understand why Obama isn't destroying McCain. It's like there is a giant balance with black fear and Republican fear on opposite sides of the scale. That means race is a big issue, but I'm not sure if it's solely about racism anymore.

That's a tough position to be in.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Little Stuff

"Hey mister, you want to play?"

Mister? I'm a mister now?

Yep, the kid is getting old. I had a birthday this weekend, number 28 to be exact. In most people's eyes, particularly the old bastards at my job, I'm still a young buck. But, when I walked on to a baskebtall court filled with high school kids Sunday evening, I was "Mister."

Times are changing.

Sunday's encounter made me think about exactly how fragile self-image is. I've always been told I have a babyface. On Sunday, I had cut my hair down really low and shaved off the small amount of facial hair I am able to grow. It's the look my wife calls my "kiddy face" because it makes me look so young.

So, it was a bit jarring to have this young punk call me "mister." I had on shorts and a tank top and I was carrying a basketball. I shouldn't have been mister, I should have been "dawg" or "brah." Instead, this little bastard called me mister and shattered any illusions I had of blending in.

Has that ever happened to y'all? Not neccessarily the age thing, but just having your self-image irrecovably changed by someone who had no idea?. To them it was a random comment or a minor slight, to you it changed the way you viewed the world.

One of my earliest memories is of sleeping in daycare. I rembering waking in a dark room filled with children, and going towards a nearby door where I saw a light. After I entered the room, still blinking away sleep, a young Asian boy ran past me and punched me squarely in the stomach. I turned to the teacher, a young white woman, completely certain that she had seen this injustice and would make things right. She told me simply:

"You shouldn't be up anyway."

Another memory, came in middle school. Following the advice of my father, I tried out for the drama club. Pops always loved productions and would make my brother and I practice for hours on any speaking part we received. I can still hear him chanting "ennunciate" as he castigated us for not projecting our voices.

The drama club put on a production of "Ten Little Indians" that year. I thought I had shined at tryouts, but I was cast in a secondary role as a butler. Instead of being glum, I studied my lines diligently, learning them before everyone else in the club. I was ready for our big night.

Unfortunately, no one else in the play took their roles as seriously. On opening night they stumbled and skipped over lines, butchering the flow of the play. At one point, I was on stage awaiting my cue, when one bumbling actor mistakenly skipped further along in the script to a scene where the characters were supposed to discuss their suspicions that I might be responsible for several unsolved murders. I froze, uncertain whether I should flee the stage, or wait for the actor to correct himself and dismiss me with the proper lines. Eventually, I just walked off the stage confused.

Later, as the actors gathered backstage, one of the female characters chastised me for not leaving the stage when it was obvious that the scene didn't make sense if I was present. Of course, she ignored the fact that this incongruity would not have occurred if she and the other actos had learned their lines. yet, as I looked around the circle of actors, I saw them all nod at her words as if I was to blame for the mishap, not them. I didn't show up for the next night's performance. I was the only black kid in the drama club.

Both of those incidents, and countless others, were important to me, but likely very forgetable for the other individuals involved. These memories are cherished nuggets that I fish out of the darkness in my mind whenever I'm thinking about human nature. At times, I am ashamed of the prominence I've given such minor incidents, but I still cannot resist playing these scenes on a continuous loop in my mind.

I have a younger brother and we often remininsce together. It's always amazing how we can share so many memories, yet also see those memories from very differenct vantage points. In addition, despite the fact that we spent much of our young lives glued to each other's sides, my brother will often dredge up some incident that I can't remember at all.

Simply put, my life is filled with moments that were important to me and only me. I'm sure it's like that for most people. In fact, it's this reality that makes an event like Sen. Barack Obama's potential presidency powerful.

All us, those who admire him and those who despise him, can agree that right now is an important moment in the history of the world. That agreement and acknowledgement binds us throught the simple act of sharing realities. No matter what vantage point we view these events from, we can all agree on their importance and, thus, their power. It seems like a little thing, but it is not.

Not little at all.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Questions to Ponder

When did it become cool to have "normal" leaders?

When did leadership become a normal trait?

Why is "average" suddenly such a great thing?

Did you want to be average as a child?

How about "just like everybody else?"

Who counts as everybody?

Who does the counting?

When did intelligence become a liability for people seeking power?

How did I miss the fact that Harvard education was something to sneer at?

If you own seven houses and your wife is worth $100 million, how can you be running as the average guy?

When did it become average to have a father and grandfather who were admirals in the Navy?

Did I miss the memo that declared that secession from the United States was a good thing?

How can you love America, but marry somebody that doesn't even want to be a part of America?

Does any of this make sense to y'all?

Why does Obama have a "hard-working American" problem, but John McCain doesn't have a "black problem?"

Do black people even work?

Do we even think?

If you can barely manage to keep track of your booze drinking, fornicating daughter and can't convince your husband not to hang around with secessionists, doesn't that raise questions about your management ability?

Why does a town of 10,000 residents need a $15 million sports complex?

Why did a fiscal conservative push to give her state's citizens more free money from the government?

If it took you six years and five schools to get a degree in journalism, are you really qualified to lead this country?

How come an ex-journalist can't answer simple questions from reporters?

Did you know John McCain finished fourth in his class in Annapolis? fourth from the bottom that is...

How can Republicans run on change, when we've had Republicans running the country for six of the past eight years?

Who do they plan to change into?


So many questions, so few good answers.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I Love The Smell of Napalm in the Morning

The forest is burning.

The thick smoke is burning my nose and throat as I gasp for air. That should worry me, yet I find it strangely invigorating. Once the forest is destroyed, I will be able to see clearly for miles.

The forest of lies is almost gone.

Lies have shielded this country. They've enabled us to remain in the comfortable shade and ignore the reality of race relations in America. Thankfully, the winds of change have blown an ember of truth into the forest and ignited a conflagration.

Fire is good for removing dross.

Things are better between "the races" but we're nowhere close to where we should be, and it seems that the world is regressing. Those are the facts. We've tried to ignore those facts, to pretend that it was only a small chunk of the population that clung to the outdated ideas of the past, but that time is past. The viable candidacy of a black man for the highest political office in our nation has made it impossible to pretend any longer.

Most of the population is sick, and they don't want a cure.

And it's not just the older folks, the ones that are dying off that are infected. No, they may have been the original carriers, but they have passed along their disease to their offspring, who have passed it along to others. They wouldn't call themselves prejudiced, they definitely wouldn't see their actions as racism, but they are wrong. How could they not be?

I had hoped that things would be better by now, I'd hoped that we would be further along so my son would grow up in a different sort of world. But, now I wonder. When a congressman thinks it's ok to call a black presidential candidate "uppity" to a reporter, that's a sign of severe sickness. When a lying, corrupt philanderer can take the moral high road without being challenged, that's a sign of an epidemic. And when 50 percent of the voting population is might vote for that same morally decrepit man, well, what can I say?

But, the positive thing about this is that it's becoming increasingly easier to identify the carriers of the disease. Either through their own revelations, or their unwillingness to truly condemn the revelations of others, we are all learning a lot about our fellow Americans. We are learning exactly what level of prejudice, discrimination and racism most people are "cool" with.

Sure, few people would put their feelings in those terms, but that's how I see it. It's frustrating and angering, but it also provides a certain sense of freedom. I know where everybody is standing on the playing field. I know what moves they are likely to make, I know how they truly feel. Their feelings may infuriate me, but at least I know about them. I know just how far they are willing to go in the fight for equality. I know when they are going to quit and what prejudiced mindsets they actually agree with, but haven't had the guts to espouse themselves.

In a strange perverse way, I'm enjoying this experience. Even as I feel beaten down and abused, I'm enjoying it. Finally, my suspicions have been confirmed. Now those with an inclination to look are finally seeing the world for what it truly is.

The smoke is a sweet perfume.

Friday, September 5, 2008

I Take It Back

Everything I said in the post below, I might have to take it back. Seriously, I got all on Obama for not punching back and I hadn't seen his interview with Bill O'Reilly because I refuse to watch Bill O'Reilly.

But, her is a transcript of Part One of that interview.

Obama is a master. See, apparently he's just been holding back. He handles Billo masterfully. Obama fights his attempts to cut him off. He won't give in to stupid comments. He's amazing.

Me, I would have had to cut his ass.

Always the Punching Bag, Never the Puncher

After I wrote my last post, I realized I had more to say.

I don't know about y'all, but I'm getting tired of Team Obiden taking the high road when it comes to personal attacks. Look, I know Obama can't get away with talking too greasy about whitey, and I comprehend that Biden, as the Obama's Trusted Whitey, can't do too much either. Anything bad that Biden says will automatically reflect poorly on Obama, in a way that McCain and Palin never have to worry about. I get that.

But, this whole rope-a-dope routine is getting old.

Not only do conservatives not mind attacking, they don't let themselves get bogged down by insignificant details like the truth when they do their attacking. This Palin character was distorting so much in her acceptance speech that I'm shocked it wasn't a birth certificate! (Ooooh Big Man, Obama said to play nice... Man, Big Homie can kiss my hairy arse.)

She lied about taxes, she lied about Obama's record, she lied about the record. She was lying so much I think even Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld were impressed. There is no doubt she will fit right in with the rest of the conservative crowd if Rip Van McCain gets elected. Not only is she a gifted liar, she has the enviable ability to work up realistic outrage while lying; that's a skill for real.

Palin, Mike "The Huckster" Huckabee and Mitt "It's not a cult!" Romney took turns slamming Obama with outright lies that sounded great to the small-minded idiots that would rather die than vote Democrat. Particularly if the Democrat is a Negro. I'm not complaining that the conservatives put on the gloves and took some shots, I'm pissed because Team Obiden is unwilling to do the same.

You don't have attack Palin on the rumors about her kids, but at least point out that her claims about being a reformer are bogus. Plus, she appears unwilling to wield power without punishing those who oppose her, a problem John McCain also has. Let's attack both McCain and Palin when they lie. Point out that lying makes you a liar, which makes you dishonest, which makes you suck as a human. Let's get on that train, I like where that train is headed.

Instead, we get sensible complaints about McCain's tax policy and other stupid crap. Yes, these things are true and make sense to attack, but they lack the bite of pointing out that John McCain once almost went to prison because he was helping rich people steal money from regular Americans.

I'll admit it, I probably want Obama to hit back because too often in this world people who look like Obama aren't in a position to strike back. We have to swallow stuff, accept things, bite our tongues. I guess a part of me envies the platform Obama has, and wishes he would use that platform to say the things to Americans that I've always wanted to say.

But, for the most part I just don't like people talking greasy. Really, I have a real problem with people getting flip with me or talking to me like I lack intelligence. So, in projecting myself on to Obama, I have a problem with people talking greasy about him and questioning his intelligence. Especially people who are as intellectually challenged as Johm McCain and Sarah Palin. I want him to hit back because I want him to let them know that they aren't winning, that they aren't right and he's not going to take their foolishness.

But he won't and he has good reasons. Yet, I still would like to see those punches.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

You Say "Double Standard," I Say Utter Bullshit

This might be late, but hey, I've had other stuff on my mind.

While catching up with the world, I stumbled on to this post over at Talking Points Memo. Apparently the potential Vice President of the United States hates America.

Really, she does.

Well, to be technical, she might not hate America. An associate of hers vehemently hates America and has been saying this for a long time. And her husband once belonged to the same political party as this associate, The Alaska Independence Party, which still wants Alaska to secede from the union. She also spoke at that party's convention just last year.

Now, I'm not saying that if you know somebody who hates America and your husband belonged to a political party that hates America you actually have to hate America, I'm just wondering if you can actually be qualified to be President of the United States with those things in your past. Because make no mistake, if she's Rip Van McCain's running mate, she's actually running for president because his old ass could die at any second.

See, a few months ago I learned that if you want to the first black president of the United States, you can't be a member of a church where the pastor says "goddamn America" when this country does heinous things. I learned that you can't have political contributors who once were terrorists, even if they are now respectable professors at public universities. I learned that a black presidential candidate even has to denounce Louis Farrakhan because, well, them's the rules.

The rules.

Now, I invite all of you my loyal readers to pay attention in see if John McCain and Sarah Palin develop an "AIP problem". You know, the way Sen. Barack Obama developed a "Rev. Wright problem." I want to see if we're asked whether Americans who love their countries would be comfortable voting for somebody who might not. Kind of the way the public was asked whether they could trust someone who sat under Rev. Wright for 20 years.

I'm going to wait and have my news-obsessed father watch all the stations to see if the level of outrage and questioning is the same. I'm going to see how many quotes from Joe Volger, the guy who hates America, are played on the news. This one here is a beauty:

The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government," Vogler said.

Doesn't that just send shivers up your spine?

Anyway, I'm going to wait, I'm just not going to hold my breath. The funny thing is that in Sen. John McCain's rush to pick someone who could combat all of Obama's strengths, he also picked somebody that shares quite a few of Obama's weaknesses. The interesting thing to see will be whether the American media and the public hold this woman to the same standard they've held Obama too.

Like I said, I'll keep breathing.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The World is the Matrix and New Orleans is Neo

Cause we be dodging bullets like a mother.

Katrina was like when Agent Smith shot Neo in the chest and it looked like it was over for son. But, then he got up, shook off that chest wound, and then stopped a whole hail of bullets before whipping Smith's behind with one hand.

We ain't do all that, but we have started shaking off Katrina and it looks like Gustav is going down too. Plus, I just like remembering that scene; it was so gangsta.

Anyway, as y'all can tell from the tone of this article there will be no horrific stories from New Orleans long as things hold the way they are. Sure some folks are going to have to rebuild but it's nothing like the massive problems from last time.

I can't really concentrate to write much more because I'm operating of like 4 or 5 hours sleep, but I just wanted to let y'all know that I read your comments and I appreciate them.

I'll be back on the grind soon.

Red pill or Blue pill?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Waiting For The Shoe to Drop

Sitting here waiting for things to happen.

Gustav is galloping towards the city, and I'm just waiting.

Ain't much wind outside right now. Gustav is playing a massive game of Red Light/Green Light. At times he accelerates towards us forcing everyone into panicked activity like an ant colony ripped open by a careless foot. Other times, the German(I think Gustav is a German) retreats like a shy suitor witholding his amorous advances.

Rain, rain go away, come back another day.

I never chanted that refrain as a child. Yet, it runs through my head now as I try to right something eloquent and profound.

I've always liked the rain. I loved to play in it. My mother forbid us to play in the rain before May, but as soon as that day come I would take particular delight in catching the fat droplets on my tongue and nose. In the oven of summer, the rain would be like thick spit; warm and viscous as it drenched my shirt while I played basketball barefoot in the street.

Hurricane rain is colder.

Often it's a driving rain, piercing droplets that feel like needles as they collide with your bent head. When I covered Katrina I had to go out in those winds and rain. Thankfully, I didn't see the full horror of the storms aftermath in New Orleans, but I remember driving past those snapped branches, downed power lines and collapsed roofs marveling at the destructive power of wind and rain. Simple wind and rain.

No doubt my wife watched the approaching rain in fear. She's safe with my son, far away from the most serious dangers of Gustav. Yet, since I am here, she worries. She wonders if I can just pick and leave if things get to bad. When I tell her no, I can hear the pout in her silence. She wonders how long all of this will last, I tell her I have no idea.

The pout again.

Marriage. A binding that makes you forever accountable to another human and any other humans you all decide to bring into this world. It's funny to have someone besides my mother worry about it. Touching really. Yet, it's also a burden because her cares become my cares. I am no longer unfettered, unconcerned with my welfare in dangerous situations. I now have responsibilities, people depending on me.

It all depends.

That's what we're hearing from the weather people. It all depends on where the storm lands. In the right place there would only be minimal damage to New Orleans and its suburbs. In the wrong place, well, let's not discuss the wrong place.

I don't worry though. I think about death, but I think about death on a sun-filled morning when life is grand. I don't worry, at all. Well, maybe I worry in the middle of the night then the house is silent because the breathing of my wife and son haven't created the rhythm of sleep. Then I worry a little.

Just a little worry.

(Happy Birthday to my best friend.)

Raving Black Lunatic