Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I am black...

Let’s jump right on in, shall we?

I was going to post about some of the Supreme Court rulings that came down in the last couple of days – the one about not illegally searching students (love it!), the other one about supporting Fred Phelps and his rancid church’s right to protest at military funerals (they are the hate that’s gonna keep on hating, y’all) and the ruling overturning Judge Sotomayor’s ruling against firefighters in a discrimination case (this isn’t fuerte enough to tear down the Civil Rights Act but it will have long term implications).

I was going to dive into all that but a comment posted to yesterday’s post caught my attention and reminded me of a rather common comment posted to this bitch’s blog that requires a rather constant response.

The comments I refer to share the opinion that people need to cease viewing themselves as different...and that once we come to see ourselves as part of the human race the world will get along more better.

I’ve also heard the phrase “transcended race” so much in the last year that a bitch suspects a huge amount of the population has been eagerly waiting for the opportunity to pronounce the world…wait for it…post-racial.

Pause…roll eyes…continue.

When a body sees transcending race as an achievement they need to pause and consider what that is saying about the value of acceptance by the dominate culture and come to understand that they are really saying that success is based on acceptance by the dominate culture…and true success comes from not being seen as different by the dominant culture.

And that’s fucked up from the floor up…empowering to a group that honestly doesn’t need any more empowerment…and insulting as hell.

I am black.

I say that without the baggage so often associated with it...without apology or shame.

I wasn’t raise to like being black. I was raised to fret when the sun made my skin dark chocolate brown…to straighten my hair for fear that my lesser natural texture would be noticed…to devalue the music, food, religion, language, history, stories, regional truths and etiquette that come together with so much more to make up my blackness.

I was taught to blend…to down play the difference as much as possible…to make white people comfortable with the differences I couldn’t downplay, hide or chemically alter.

And it took decades for me to learn…

…think about that, I had to fucking learn…

…to love what others try to "not see" so they can "get past it" and "tolerate" me.

Shit.

My history is black American history…a part of America history that should be honored not ignored.

If you require assimilation to deal with difference then you have a lot of inner work to do.

As for humans - humans are a species of bipedal primates. Wink. Some are homo sapiens and others, well they may still be homo erectus…cough…but humans are a species and that species presents a lot of diversity.

The problem with the world isn’t diversity and it sure as shit isn’t my blackness.

The problem is that some seek to value some difference while they devalue or outright dismiss other differences…and, as a result of that, others can only conceive of peace in a world without difference.

In other words, some seek to simplify the complicated rather than do the hard work that is social justice work.

Being black isn’t about living life as a color…it never has been, isn’t now and never will be…and I feel sorry for anyone who can’t see that.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Pondering the importance of last wills and testaments…

A bitch is still trying to recover from viewing the BET Awards Show last night.

I must confess that it’s been some 15 years since I last watched an entire show on BET and, after last night, I’m pretty damn sure I won’t be watching the network again. I’d heard stories about the nature of the content but…well, daaaaaaaaamn.

The BET Awards Show, promoted heavily on CNN as a revamped tribute to Michael Jackson, was a mess sparingly accented by old school performances that highlighted just what a mess the rest of the show was.

Catch that knee…catch it!

I know that a few of y’all (okay one person who sent me a "don't be so mean!" email) thought a bitch was trashing on the BET Awards Show in my tweets…

…and you’re right.

This bitch trashed the BET Awards Show via Twitter last night.

I happen to have pretty low expectations of what any awards show is going to be like and BET didn’t even meet those.

The tone was wrong…it felt like the show was on a three-day meth bender but trying to act straight.

Jamie Foxx was a self-promoting and at times desperate fool…and a bitch couldn’t help but think that, for all his faults and flaws, Michael Jackson was a fantabulous performer who would have been appalled by that shit.

And the constant praise for Joe Jackson, who was in attendance, was beyond disturbing given Michael Jackson’s public statements about the man (more on that in a moment).

I was critical of that shit because I know we can do better…Michael Jackson deserved better…and this bitch was so disturbed by that show that I had to watch Eyes on the Prize – Awakenings to cleanse my soul.

Pause…sip coffee…continue.

Now, about Joe Jackson.

Joe Jackson, father of the Jackson clan, was at the BET Awards Show last night with Al Sharpton.

Joe sat in the front row and received tribute much like a king would from his people. This morning it is being reported that Joe Jackson has moved to take control of Michael Jackson’s estate…

…and both of Michael Jackson’s parents apparently have his children and are seeking custody.

Although there are reports of at least two wills none have been located…and Joe Jackson is clearly banking on none ever being found.

If ever there is a case through which people should take notice that they need to make their final wishes know…write a will, file it legally and make sure people know where it is…this is that case.

All I know of Joe Jackson I know from what his children shared in interviews throughout the years…and it wasn't all happiness, joy, affection and love.

Jesse Jackson (no relation, though someone may want to tell him that) and Al Sharpton vying for camera position next to Joe Jackson does little to legitimize his claim as protector of son’s estate.

As a person who is estranged from my mother, I am horrified watching this spectacle…

…and I’m reminded of the importance of last wills and testaments in a world where fathers and mothers are too often assumed to be in good standing and are legally empowered, absent a will to say otherwise, as next of kin to do anything they damn well please.

Blink.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson and Farah Fawcett…

Michael Jackson died suddenly yesterday at the age of 50.

Farah Fawcett left this world yesterday after a long battle with cancer.

As the media swirls and speculates, I can’t help but ponder the unique impact both artists had on popular culture. Their style…their lives lived in the public eye…and the connection people feel they had with them.

And I can’t help but wonder how challenging it must be to mourn someone you knew as a friend or loved one while to world mourns them as an icon.

May the Divine One shower both families with peace and may they find comfort in their memories of the people behind the public image…

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Something “exotic” - Another quick exploration of a politician’s violation of the sanctity of man-on-woman opposite marriage…

Another week means another sin saturated attack on traditional marriage by a traditionally married self-proclaimed protector of traditional marriage!

Well of course a bitch is horrified!

Governor Sanford from South Carolina wasn’t just walking the earth…um, err the Appalachian Trail.

No, no, no…he needed something more “exotic” which we now know translates to mean Governor Sanford needed to fly to Argentina and have some unsanctified man-on-woman alone time with a woman who is not his sanctified and oh so very legal wife.

A brief aside - let’s call this shit what it is. Adultery. A bitch is really tired of the phrase “extramarital affair”. Something about that language fails to convey the enormity of this affront to traditional values! Since everyone and their hairdresser knows that man-on-woman marriage is a crucial…critical… beyond important component to the foundation of all things social in America...

…and chil’ren simply must…absolutely must…and you’d best just forget any examples that disprove that they MUST…be reared in man-on-woman-married-before-Gawd-and-thus-honored-by-the-state-with-tons-of-rights-and-better-than-folks-who-aren’t family units…

…people need to be made to see Governor Sanford’s expedition to Argentina for the aggressive attack on traditional marriages and Gawd fearing society in South Carolina that it is!

Pause…sip ice water…continue.

Mmmhmmm, you heard a bitch right.

Governor Sanford didn’t just step out on his wife.

He has declared war on the marriages of every married South Carolinian…their chil’ren…their chil’ren’s current crushes…the dawgs and cats that also benefit from that strong traditional values household…and the neighbors and family and friends who now must take up spiritual arms against the fearsome weapon of adultery Sanford so wickedly conjured up with his acts of adulterous freaktitude!

Blink.

Anyhoo, this bitch is confused…troubled…disturbed to see reports that seem to show South Carolinians more concerned over whether Sanford used tax dollars to satisfy his desires in Argentina.

Have y’all lost your fecking minds?!?

Given how important other people’s marriages are, how can all y’all even think about forgiveness?

Aren’t South Carolinians afraid?

Don’t married South Carolinians realize that they should be at this very moment rushing to the nearest Bible loving church and dropping to their knees so they can receive some anointing as protection?!?

Lawd, have mercy…wake up people!

Why just last week I pondered the possibility that dinosaurs may roam the earth once more and eat wee little chil’ren for breakfast while dawgs and cats get married every Thursday and rivers reverse course and people spontaneously turn into pillars of salt after Senator Ensign leapt from grace!

And now here’s another politician…the now former head of the Republican Governors blah, blah, blah no less…come a’cryin’.

Meanwhile this bitch still doesn’t understand how the fuck this fucking happened?

I thought South Carolina was protected from adultery because same-sex marriage equality has been prevented from entering that state’s borders. ‘Tis so very very confusing then that Governor Sanford was able to achieve lust for someone other than his wife.

Unless...

GASP!

Could it be that the success of an opposite marriage is actually about the commitment of the two people who are married and not about other people’s commitments to other people?

***clutch Afro***

Maybe that’s why divorce still happens in Missouri even though one man and one woman marriage has been “protected” here since 2004.

***begin to fix mussed Afro***

Well, fuck a duck.

That would mean that folks like Governor Sanford and his wife should have been spending time working on their own union instead of working to prevent other people from uniting…

…and it also means that Focus on the Family should have sent out some Wanna Protect Marriage? Focus on Your Fucking Family! action alerts to the faithful instead of constantly rustling up hate and promoting ig’nance.

***blink followed by blink followed by another pat on the Afro***

But that would have been too much like right…

…kind of like Governor Sanford telling the damn truth from jump would have been too much like right.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pridefest – St. Louis – June 27 & 28…

St.Louis gets our Pride on every day (wink) but the official and 30th Pridefest is this weekend.

Join this bitch and thousands of other people in Tower Grove Park June 27 and 28.

Be sure to visit the Planned Parenthood booth, where a bitch will get my volunteer on and eating funnel cakes and try not to fall out from the heat.

Sigh.

Gawd, I love funnel cake.

Happy Pride!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pondering the Supreme Court’s Voting Rights Act decision…

"The South has changed." … "The evil that Section 5 is meant to address may no longer be concentrated in the jurisdictions singled out for preclearance. The statute's coverage formula is based on data that is now more than 35 years old, and there is considerable evidence that it fails to account for current political conditions." Justice Roberts

The Voting Rights Act has been upheld but the Supreme Court, as stated by Chief Justice Roberts above, has indicated that survival may have a time limit.

As a volunteer I have spent that past five years teaching voter education classes. In that role, I have gotten to know a lot about voting rights and voting realities in America. Justice Roberts is right…the South has changed. America has changed a great deal in the past 35 years. But change isn’t always for the better.

In a lot of ways the South was forced to address the disease of racism and the voting system that maintained it through legislation. Voting Rights advocates correctly fear that, without the power of law, people will revert to manipulation the system and suppressing votes to seek power. We have only to look at the middle of the country to see from whence their fear comes. Voter Identification laws and initiatives have sprung up in my home state of Missouri and others…gaining steam from the bullshit that masses of people are voting over and over again or dead people are voting even though those of us intimate with election happenings know that registration irregularities have not translated into voting irregularities.

Even though we know that Voter identification is really set up to target renters who move a lot…poor people who may not have one of the accepted ids…older people who may not have up to date identification…and new voters who often don’t know what their rights are when they go to the polls.

This challenge to the Voting Rights Act…and the challenges sure to come…are more about redistricting and political manipulation than a legitimate concern for the rights of the masses.

This is about power…just like asking a black woman to count the number of chickens in a chicken coop in order to register to vote before the Voting Rights Act was about power…like burning crosses in front yards the night before elections was about power…like robo-calls announcing the wrong date of an election is about power…like not having the right ballots on file or accurate registration data is about power…like voting machines that curiously default to the incumbent’s name no matter how many times the voter tries to select the challenger is about p-o-w-e-r.

And now the Supreme Court has indicated that the Voting Rights Act may not hold up to a better-crafted challenge.

‘Tis now up to Congress to address the updates that may be required.

The election of this nation’s first black president did not close the door on our nation’s tradition of fucking with people at the polls…people were fucked with at the polls during the election of this nation’s first black president.

We are not post-racial…we are not a society that seeks to empower the poor, the workers or rural voters or people of color at the polls.

The Voting Rights Act may need an update…

…but we the people still need a Voting Rights Act.

***logs off the call Congressperson and tell him to add one more item to his legislative to-do list***

Monday, June 22, 2009

You better think, think about what you’re trying to do to me…THINK!

Let your mind go, let yourself be free!

Mmmmhmmm, a bitch doesn’t like what I’m reading on the internets about Congress people fretting over whether healthcare reform will happen.

Uh, uh…not one bit.

The chorus to a bitch… “But why, bitch? What disturbs thee?”

And a bitch replies to the chorus… “People are talking as if they have lost their damned minds!”

Allow me to explain.

Healthcare costs too much…right now.

Healthcare is not working for millions of Americans…right now.

Healthcare costs are crippling families and businesses…right now.

Americans have to wait, make unhealthy choices, and ration our care…right now.

Republicans have not proposed a plan, ‘tis more of an insult with no specificity on how it’ll be funded, implemented or benefit anyone but Republican legislators through thanks-for-taking-care-of-that-pesky-problem-for-us-here's-your-cookie campaign donations…and that’s what they have on the table in response to the Democrats proposal RIGHT NOW.

Paying for the treatment of uninsured Americans in emergency rooms is costing each and every one of us…right fucking now.

Pause…sip coffee…continue.

So, this bitch doesn’t want to hear anymore nonsense from Congress people fretting over whether reform they are empowered to make happen will happen.

What I do want to see is grown ass elected people sit their legislative selves down in a conference room, roll up their sleeves and start brewing coffee, and get about the bitness of making what can work actually work.

Our healthcare system is suffering from a disease that has an identifiable treatment. The patient fears the treatment because the patient is still holding onto the delusion that should no action be taken she will survive.

And our healthcare system will not survive without reform.

Americans will not benefit from some fantastical journey through a Republican maze designed to lead nowhere. And Democratic legislators who skip gleefully into that maze for fear of actually making a decision on healthcare reform will not benefit either…trust a bitch.

All this bitch can say to those who have stepped up to represent the masses is – get about the bitness of representing the masses!

Get this done.

Go ahead and explain, through ever step of the process, why it must be done.

And think.

Hit it, Ree-ree!

Let's go back, let's go back, let's go way on back when
I didn't even know you, you came to me and too much you wouldn't take
I ain't no psychiatrist, I ain't no doctor with degree
It don't take too much high IQ's to see what you're doing to me

You better think (think) think about what you're trying to do to me!

Yeah, think (think, think), let your mind go, let yourself be free!

All together now!

Oh freedom…

Freedom …

Freedom…

Ooooh FREEDOM!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Soda pop joyification - A father’s day post…

Yesterday my sister and I headed over to see my brother Bill for dinner. Bill is autistic and likes his meals at the same time every day, so we made sure we had enough time to pick up barbequed yumminess and get to his house by 5:30pm. When we got there, Bill was in great spirits. He wasn’t making those intense high-pitched sounds that mean he’s frustrated or annoyed. His face was clear of raw patches, so he hadn’t been picking at it as he sometimes obsessively does.

Eyes clear and bright, smile firing off at a thousands watts…there he was, working his way through a barbequed chicken as if he were in a race against the clock to win a million trillion dollars.

Healthy…perfectly imperfect…and happy.

Almost a year ago, my brother jumped out of a moving van in heavy traffic.

We still don’t know why…he’s aphasic and lives very much in the moment, so we probably never will…but that incident has changed a lot about our visits with him. My sister and I no longer feel comfortable driving him…our fear over his safety is only heightened by the fact that we don’t know why he jumped out of the van so we don’t know how to prevent it from happening again. And my nerves were bad before spending several hours in a hospital holding his hand while doctors and nurses marveled over his lack of serious injury.

Driving…or rather, being driven (trust a bitch, you do not want him behind the wheel...wink)…is one of my brother’s favorite things. But my guilt over not taking him out in the car is tempered by my concern for his safety and my personal anxiety level. He has regular outings with staff from his residential placement facility…he goes out with our family friends…but I’m just not ready yet and I’ve given myself permission to not drive him about until I am ready.

Anyhoo, we had a nice dinner with Bill. He ate and we enjoyed watching his eat. Lawd knows he loves food in general and barbeque in particular. And Bill also adores soda pop. He’s only allowed soda pop as a treat for health reasons and he now approaches an ice cold glass of cola like this bitch approaches a sometimes food dish of dulce de leche ice cream. Before his jumping out of the van accident we used to drive to a local convenience store where he could pick out his favorite pop and some chips before we’d drive through our childhood neighborhood then return to his home. Now, we bring soda pop and snacks with us to his house. We’ve all adjusted to the change…and Bill doesn’t seem to mind as long as he gets his pop…but yesterday we were told that, due to some roommate drama that did not involve Bill, soda pop was no longer allowed in the house.

Shit.

Shit, shit, shit and another shit.

Throughout dinner he asked repeatedly for the soda pop he knew we had brought with us and I sat there wondering how I could respect the house rules and still give him his treat. We had the pop in the car but, since he wasn’t allowed to bring the pop into the house, we’d have to give it to him outside. After getting the okay from staff we made our way outside and I internally fretted that Bill would get upset by being outside next to our car but not getting to go for a drive.

But he didn’t get upset, thank the gods.

He carefully poured his soda pop into his cup and took small…damn near elegant…sips.

He spun around the driveway and sang some song of his own creation, filling the air with the soundtrack of absolute joy.

Off in the distance a storm was brewing…a clear line between the peace of the moment and the disturbance that could come. I listened to Bill’s music and laughter while watching the clouds fold into each other, heavy with rain and hail and drama, and thought them a clear message from nature.

As Bill paused and sipped soda pop with great concentration from his cup…

We’re lucky if we can see a storm coming,

...twirling and singing songs in the key of cola…

if we can prepare and prevent damage or pain or upset.

Laughing a laugh so sweet it brings tears to my eyes…

But balance comes when we can dance in the moment knowing that the storm may just as likely pass us by.

...followed by a loud burp before a final sip of cola…a hug for both of us and a kiss and a bye-bye wave…then off like a flash back in to the house.

As my sister and I drove away I couldn’t help but savor that good…just solid good.

You feel me?

There we were, our father’s children...Sonny’s kids…grown ass people enjoying a Saturday evening together.

Healthy…so perfectly imperfect…happy even though we know that the storms will not always pass us by.

Solid good.

Our father’s legacy, bless his soul.

And may he keep on keeping it real in peace.

Happy father's day...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A quick exploration of Senator Ensign’s violation of the sanctity of man-on-woman opposite marriage…

Senator John Ensign R-Nevada has admitted to violating the sanctity of man-on-woman marriage by having an affair with a married staffer.

Pause…consider…continue.

Does that count as a double violation since both he and the woman were legally and sanctity-ably man-on-woman married?

Or is it a one affair = one violating kind of deal?

What?

I’m just asking.

Cough.

Senator Ensign had been one of the many Republicans positioning for a run for President in 2012. He was also a big time anti-equality opponent of same-sex marriage ‘cause he just knew that if gays could get married then opposite marriages all over Nevada would explode into sin.

Mayhap he could sense that the domestic partnership law was going to pass and even the thought of that produced a large enough crack in the sanctity of his union to…oh, fuck that shit.

Let’s jump right on in, shall we?

This bitch isn’t litigious by nature, but I’m feeling that something must be done here!

According to standard Republican talking points, Senator Ensign did more than step out on his wife – he engaged in acts that violate the sanctity of a social institution that is the very foundation for American society!

Because of Senator Ensign’s infidelity, dinosaurs may roam the earth once more and eat wee little chil’ren for breakfast while dawgs and cats get married every Thursday and rivers reverse course and people spontaneously turn into pillars of salt.

And, if this bitch were the litigious sort, I’d take legal action against Senator Ensign and his one-man campaign of social destruction. True, I don’t live in Nevada…but I do like to visit when I can and since when does a body have to live in a state to dabble in it’s marriage politics?

Blink...followed by a wink...followed by another blink.

Anyhoo, if I were the litigious sort I’d file a lawsuit on behalf of all man-on-woman married Nevadans demanding that Senator Ensign be removed from office and banned from representing the masses because he is clearly a security risk…and he owes the folks who got divorced while he was getting his affair on something too since everyone knows that his marriage influences other marriages the way same-sex marriage would influence opposite marriages.

Right?

So, since Senator Ensign’s sex life is clearly a threat to social stability…and, given his previous statements on marriage, he would be the first to agree that marriage should be protected…he’s gotta pay.

And the chorus said… “But Shark-Fu, you’re not a litigious sort!”

And a bitch replied… “Good point.”

But ‘tis long past time for these marriage equals one man and one woman people to start living the values they feel entitled to impose on the masses!

Come to think of it, what we really should do is oppose his separation from his wife and any future divorce that may be in the works.

Yeah…uh huh…I dig it.

The problem isn’t that he cheated…the problem is that he thinks he can separate from his wife and have an affair and then reconcile much like folks over-eat while on vacation and then go back to counting points.

Well, this bitch says that the Ensigns can’t be separated again and sure as shit can’t get divorced.

They just can’t!

Because separations are disgusting and insulting and wrong according to the Bible and threaten our society and undermine traditional values and will make children think that fucking around while married is no big deal but still a big enough deal to toss aside a union made before God that is supported by the great state of Nevada.

Mmmhmmm, the Ensigns are just going to have to shut up, sit down and stay married.

Mayhap one of his anti-choice supporters will loan him one of those quarters they are always suggesting as an affordable option for birth control to put between his knees and assist in his effort to not violate the sanctity of his union while at work?

And the chorus said… “But Shark-Fu, what right do you have to judge Senator Ensign and make decisions about his marriage and relationships? You don’t even live in Nevada and his marriage is a private matter between him and his wife that has nothing to do with you and doesn't threaten you in any way!!”

And a bitch replied… “Exactly.”

Here endeth the bitchitude…

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The revolution will be live…

This bitch has been following the post-election protests in Iran. Thank the gods for Twitter, because Lawd knows that traditional media outlets aren’t breaking news on this one.

That’s not surprising.

The selection-based Iranian election and protests that have followed aren’t the kind of quick hit and then move on story that traditional media is currently set up to deliver. That explains why even the Sunday chats were full of talking heads trying to spin whether the election results in Iran…the same results that are being disputed…are good or bad for President Obama.

It would be too much like right for them to explain how politics function in Iran, who has taken to the streets and why, who the key players are, and why we should all give a damn about this…to cover protests instead of assuming nothing will come of them, to document the crack down instead of smugly discussing how predictable it is and to explore the possibilities even though the current regime says that the election is over.

Sigh.

As Gil Scott-Heron said, the revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will be live.

Mayhap there is a revolution in that too.

Tweet on, people.

Tweet on…

Monday, June 15, 2009

Belated congrats to the Stanley Cup Champion Penguins!

A bitch didn’t get to see the game, but I heard it was some serious hockey.

As a Blues fan, a bitch knows the agony of the d-word…sob…so my heart goes out to Wings fans all over the world.

But don’t get used to that shit…’cause a bitch is all about rooting against the Red Wings and the Penguins most of the time! ‘Tis the natural hockey-based order of things…like arguing over which city makes the best pizza and despising the Blackhawks (wink).

Anyhoo, congrats to the Penguins and their fans. A bitch shall watch the cute videos of Lord Stanley’s Cup as it travels the globe and is used as an ice cream dish…

…and I’ll dream the dream of a crazy Blues fan – that our boys will be eating frozen custard out of that cup same time next year.

***logs off to gaze longingly at packages for Blues trip to Sweden (vodka + hockey + Sweden = fantabulous and totally unaffordable)***

A quick pondering of healthcare reform…

Let’s jump right on in, shall we?

A bitch heard some shit over the weekend that gave me pause.

Some politicians who oppose healthcare reform are spinning a tale that everything is cool/okay/fine/not-even-sorta-broken and functioning exactly as it should to benefit the health of the masses.

Blink.

They are saying that most Americans will have to wait for healthcare or get prior approval for non-emergency procedures.

Blink again.

And this bitch can’t help but wonder if they have lost their damn minds.

Let’s add a question for those folks interviewing the politicians who are saying that shit…have y’all lost your damn minds too?

Is there some sort of healthcare insurance never have to make an appointment or get non-emergency procedures approved hook-up that a bitch doesn’t know about?

***cue crickets***

Is there some sort of insurance coverage that the millions of uninsured and under-insured Americans could score but are not aware of…or are willfully not taking advantage of?

***tell crickets to keep it going***

Yeah…uh huh…right.

This bitch isn’t going to get into what needs to be done…that’s a discussion that’s long over-due and thankfully happening now. But I damn sure am going to address the deliberate misrepresentation of what is.

When I had to have my fibroid surgery, I had to wait to see a specialist...wait to get my surgery approved by the insurance company...and then wait to get that shit scheduled.

The only thing I didn't wait for was the motherfucking bill.

Congress may have all kinds of coverage for all kinds of procedures at affordable rates with a huge provider list to choose from…that may be the reality for those who represent the people and that may be why they can’t grasp why their pesky constituents are complaining.

But the people experience a very different system that could use some damn reform…and millions of Americans would fall on their knees and thank the gods if they could just experience the system the rest of us are fucking fed up with.

Now part of that reform should be addressing the waiting and approval end of healthcare...but some of these fools need to get educated on the fact that people are already waiting and struggling to get approval from the big insurance companies the fools are protecting.

Pause…admire stamina of cricket crew…continue.

But hey, those politicians could put an end to all the fussing if they would just extend to the masses what they are currently enjoying so much that they have no fucking clue how fubar healthcare in America currently is.

“Go cricket…get your groove on…it’s your birthday…work it!”

Lawd, give me strength...

***log off before uninsured cricket crew collapses and needs medical attention***

The Trevor Project's annual summer gala…

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.

And they are having their annual summer gala in New York City.

No, a bitch will not be there.

Y’all will just have to make do with a performance by Jewel (wink).

Monday, June 29, 2009
Trevor NY 2009
At Capitale
130 Bowery Street
New York, NY 10013

6:00pm - 7:30pm · Guest Arrivals, Hosted Bar & Silent Auction
7:30pm - 10:00pm · VIP Dinner & Show
10:00pm -11:30pm · Titanium Celebrity After Party

Click here to buy tickets & stuff

Friday, June 12, 2009

A bitch is on the road…

Good thing?

This bitch will be traveling today!

Not so good thing?

A bitch will miss the final game of the Stanley Cup finals.

Sigh.

Oh well, there’s always something.

Toodles ‘till Monday!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Isolated incident, my black ass…

My thoughts are with the family of security guard Stephen Tyrone Johns, who was murdered yesterday during the terrorist attack on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Shall we?

My father liked to say that if a thing walked like it and talked like it, folks should be willing to call it like it is.

Damn if he wasn’t right.

Yesterday's attack was not an isolated incident. Neither the terrorist who perpetrated it, the movement that demanded it or the rhetoric that fueled it…none of that shit is “isolated” or “lone” or “random”.

This was an act of terrorism and, if we the people continue to deny that we’ve got some serious home-grown terrorists roaming amongst the masses, this shit will only grow stronger.

I’m forever amazed at this nation’s ability to see in others what we are blind to in ourselves…but there you have it.

Terrorists are over there, brown and Muslim…lone crazies are over here, incidents are isolated and a corrupted view of religion is not seen as a factor.

Never mind that the rise in this activity was predicted…not just by the report from the Department of Homeland Security that was sadly greeted with mockery rather than the seriousness we now know it deserves, but by other reports issued across this nation.

Never mind that it walked like it, talked like it and now has murdered like it…again.

My people call that bullshit.

Here's the real.

We have an increase in domestic terrorist activity.

It has taken lives.

And not a damn thing about it is isolated.

Google the Department of Homeland Security report on domestic terrorism…and you’ll see the organized effort from the right to discredit a report that should have put all Americans on alert.

Open the door on the militia movement and you’ll find the Christian Identity Movement cooking breakfast for radical anti-choicers who have signed manifestos stating their support of homicide as a viable and "honorable" tactic for which they will be rewarded in heaven.

Visit the Anti-Defamation League’s website and you’ll find page after page detailing the connection between militias, the Christian Identity Movement, acts of terrorism, homicidal anti-choice terrorists, hate crimes against LGBT people, the burning of black churches, the murder of immigrants and on and on and on until the notion that this is isolated becomes the laughable myth that it should be and the fact that we have a domestic terrorism threat becomes the real.

And it is the real…not the spin, not the desperate attempt to deny the connections, not the mainstream media’s willingness to report on the pieces as if they didn’t come from the same pie…it is the real that we must address.

If it walks like a terrorist, talks like a terrorist and murders like a terrorist we must call it what it is.

Isolated incident, my black ass.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals…


Holy shit!

After a mad dash in the last 2 minutes of the game…with the Wings tossing all they had at it and a kitchen sink full of dishes…the Penguins held on to win Game 6.

Holy fucking shit!

Ladies and gents, we’re heading to Game 7...in Detroit...Motor City, baby!

Fantabulous hockey...and a hell of a series too.

5:01 left to go in the 3rd.


Pens still up 2 to 1.

Lawd, have mercy!


Another Update from the Third Period!

Lawd, have mercy! Kris Draper of Detroit has scored.

Penguins 2.

Red Wings 1.


Note to Riley @9:10pm CST...breathe in and release, my friend.

Breathe in and release!


Update from Third Period
Penguins score...not a Staal (wink) but Tyler Kennedy! The Pens are up 2 to 0 with 13 minutes left to play.

Update after end of Second Period

Penguins lead the Wings after 2 periods of serious hockey.

The only goal of the night has been from one of those Staal brothers...there are so many of them...ummm, Jordan. Great goal, btw!

***logs off to let dawgs out to pee and then score another beverage***


Oh, my gods.

What a first period!

The Cup is in the building...20 minutes of hockey have gone…Penguins with 12 shots on goal and Detroit with 3…but no actual goals were scored.

Mercy!

***logs off to freshen beverage for second period***


Some thoughts on comments before the big game...

A bitch has been pondering a comment policy...but I really don't have the strength to adhere to one. I guess I like to take each comment as they come. But some recent happenings have inspired me to put down some thoughts regarding comments posted to this blog.

So, while I wait for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup to begin, this bitch is going to explain some shit that most of y’all already understand but some of y’all clearly need explained.

This is a bitch’s blog
With the exception of a guest blogging stint years ago by Brother Rob Thurman, my blog father and co-founder of the United Church of Bitchitude and Latter Day Drunks, posts to this blog are mine.

Mine all mine.

Pause, indulge in the chorus of Been Caught Stealing by Jane's Addiction, continue.

I used to allow the comment section to run free…like Homo Erectus roaming naked amongst the glory of unpolluted nature…but then some ig’nant trolls broke the Thou Shall Not Trifle commandment and the era of moderation began.

That's right - I moderate the comment section
Now, this bitch isn’t all that fond of moderating comments but I’m less fond of folks trying to use my comment section to take anonymous bowel movements in hopes of driving a bitch offline through the power of stank.

And I get to decide what stank is…which unfortunately involves wading through the muck (Lawd, what have y’all been eating!?)…because this is a bitch’s blog!

I’ve been called that before
A bitch has lived over three decades and all of them as a black woman. For the life of me I can’t understand why fools think they’re the first person to “go there” with me. Shit, if I had fifty cents for every time some asshole desperately tried to shake a bitch up with [insert traditional racist/sexist/homophobic/generally bigoted term here] I’d be able to put forth a stimulus package my damn self.

Shit.

I don’t remember asking you a Gawd damn thing
Blink.

Just kidding…sort of (wink).

I’ve always wanted to channel my inner Jules and say that shit to someone!

Cough.

I don't believe I called you a racist
When this bitch thinks someone is a racist...I call them a racist.

Every post about racism isn't about you...unless it is about you, in which case I'm probably calling you a racist.

Pause...allow to marinate...continue.

Reader discretion is advised
A bitch is not a fan of the school of tolerance. That does not mean I adore bullshit. Folks should know that some of the shit discussed here isn’t pleasant, easy or suitable for people of all ages…or suitable for those who have problems with race/class/orientation/identity/gender/poor people having something to say/liberals/progressives/dawgs and the people who adore them/Afros/feminism/Smartie-based goodness/reproductive justice/soul food/liking people from other countries or ice hockey.

A bitch was not born to educate your ass
Sometimes I want to school folks on why my ass is angry…and sometimes, most of the time, I don’t.

Since I don't have to do anything but stay black and eventually die, I don't have to.

But if I had a dollar (wink) for every time someone jumped up into the comment section of a post they clearly didn’t read demanding that I help them understand why I'm angry (translation - debate whether I should be), this bitch would be able to start the AngryBlackBitch exploratory committee and run for Ruler of the Known Universe.

That’d be nice, but so far no one’s established a cash for insulting as hell comments exchange program for bloggers.

If only...sigh.

Anyhoo, I could go on and on but the Game 6 of the Stanley Cup is starting and a bitch must be off...

Pondering the acceptance of the unacceptable…

Let’s jump right on in, shall we?

A bitch caught Good Morning America yesterday and…what?

Millions of people watch that shit and it often explains their confusion over all manner of news-based happenings. Watching is challenging (wink), but a bitch feels strongly that the NPR set should take a look at morning network news shows every now and then lest they find themselves digging out from another when the fuck did this happen outbreak of traditionally ig’nant so-called values.

Cough.

Anyhoo, a bitch watched GMA and I really watched the piece about a 14-year-old Maryland teen that was killed by a gang in a suburb.

And it is crucial to note that he was killed…by a gang…in an affluent suburb because that was the get it, get it, or they’ll hit you over the fucking head with it until you do get it point of the piece.

The piece covered the bullying of the teen…his mother’s attempts to protect him…and the shock his parents feel over gang violence taking their child’s life in a picturesque affluent Maryland suburb.

Get it…got it yet?

That’s not the way shit is supposed to go down.

Gang violence isn’t supposed to happen in neighborhoods where people pay $300,000 for a house and the color of the shutters is regulated by a neighborhood association…gang violence isn’t supposed to touch those people.

Didn’t they do everything right?

And c’mon…everyone knows those people who deal with violence in the hood have done something wrong.

Pause…roll eyes…continue.

The GMA piece could have covered the rise of gang related violence in suburbs…it could have explored the how and why of that…it could have provided details on the alleged gang members, their background and the nature of their “gang”…it could have broken down the many misconceptions people have of gangs and where they reside…and it could have served viewers by deconstructing the insulting assumption that inner city families deserve to live in neighborhoods that regularly erupt in gun fire and where children can not go outside to play because they did something wrong.

But why bother…everyone knows that not being able to purchase a house valued at $300,000 where the color of shutters is regulated by a neighborhood association is the result of having done something wrong and thus deserved of all the crime and violence and stress and inadequate services that result from that wrong.

So instead the GMA piece focused on the wrongness that a suburban teen was the victim of violence that jumped the border…left it’s acceptable zone of the hood to take a life that should have been protected by the bullet proof armor of money and those color coded shutters.

‘Cause just in case you don’t get it …people who live in neighborhoods plagued by violence have fucked up and earned that shit. Or they are a part of it. Or they don’t love their children the same way folks in the ‘burbs do or mourn their loss to violence or question why violence happens or wonder what they could have done to prevent it.

The message was about as subtle as fuchsia shutters on a lime green colonial. There are places where the violent murder of 14-year-olds is acceptable and expected…where that violence is the wage of poverty. And there are other places where the murder of 14-year-olds is shocking and unacceptable and a violation of the American dream.

And that message fuels fucked up from the floor up policies and stereotypes that perpetuate ig’nance and fear…it nurtures the notion of acceptable violence which nurtures the notion of acceptable victims which nurtures the belief that some people deserve that shit while other people do not...

…that our national apathy toward the young people who died this month in St. Louis city or Chicago or D.C. or New Orleans is more than understandable.

‘Tis, dare I say, acceptable.

Some people deserve police protect while other people deserve to be seen as parties to their own violence.

Some people deserve to bury their children…

…while other people, who did everything right, do not.

Yet the words of the victim’s father speak to where we need to be…

"Stop the violence. This is obviously, just look at this -- no parent should go through what we are going through."

No parent…no child…no neighborhood…no one.

Unacceptable, no matter where a family resides.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals…

Red Wings and Penguins @ Detroit with the series tied at 2 games a piece.

C-Money and this bitch scored some soul food yumminess from Sweetie Pie’s for our pre-game dinner.

BBQ and mac & cheese...yum!

The crowd is on fire...loud as a motherfucker on the telly has got to be unreal in person!

Wings scored the only goal in the first period and we are at intermission.

Pause…consider…continue.

Yep, 'tis time for a vodka cran in preparation for the second period.

The some more old time rock ‘em sock ‘em hockey up in the Motor City!

Fantabulous.

Update - Detroit has opened up a vein on the Penguins and is sucking their life blood out on live television! 4 goals in one period...the Penguins have pulled their goalie...and this game is shaping up to be a royal ass whooping of monumental proportions!

Damn!

Theo the sorta-beagle has turned away in horror. Okay, so maybe he's just sleeping...but daaaaamn.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Pondering the assessment of needs…

Shall we?

As some of you know, a bitch is co-guardian of my older autistic brother. He’s in residential care and we’re very lucky that his program is with the same center he received treatment and education from as a youth. Critical to a person’s residential treatment is a series of yearly assessments and one big Person Centered Plan. As guardians, C-Money and this bitch get to participate in all of that…and that participation is beyond illuminating of all the various bits that make up a life.

This past Tuesday we participated in my brother’s Needs Assessment. This is a new thing in Missouri where a representative from the state department of mental health comes to a client’s primary residence and goes through a detailed assessment of all the things that client needs.

Not wants…needs.

Of course there is not guarantee that Missouri will fund all of my brother’s needs…we actually anticipate a serious reduction in funding, which is some of the drama that’s been weighing on a bitch’s soul. But there is power in documenting how things should be even as we prepare for how things will be.

During the Needs Assessment, the State Coordinator of Assessing Needed Things asked about my brother’s emotional and physical needs…everything from time with family and friends to nutrition to support and assistance required. My brother was able to participate as much as he wanted…which wasn’t much, since he was busy lobbying for French fries and soda pop (his favorites), but I really liked the fact that he had the option to be involved.

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the needs assessing experience. I have long marveled at my brother’s Person Centered Plan…a single document that represents his life…and wondered if I could do one for myself. Oh, I have lots of plans…but I never seem to combine them all into one central location. After witnessing the planning process with my brother I know that a lot of unrealistic stuff gets revealed when plans are combined,

Now I’m pondering the possibility of assessing my needs.

Think about it for a moment…an assessment of your emotional, physical and financial needs and whether they are being met.

Does my work fulfill me emotionally…am I physically able to do it…does it provide me with the funds I need to survive?

How often do I need to be with family and friends…how often am I? How often do I need down time…how often do I take it? What are my nutritional needs…are they being met (wince and remind self that sometimes foods are to be eaten some of the time, not daily)?

Who couldn’t use that kind of break down of all things you?

Too often I find myself moving from situation to situation…from action to action…from struggle to struggle. I find myself getting burned out and then avoiding any analysis of how that shit happened…because I want I avoid any discussion of what I need for fear that it won’t jive with what I want.

But it is that avoidance that gets in the way of getting to what I want. I’m tired, because I haven’t been taking care of myself. I’m stressed out, because I say yes when I should say no.

All of that sure as shit doesn’t add up to a body that will be able to continue the struggle or do a good job at it.

What it does add up to is a person who is anything but centered getting fed up, burned out and too frazzled to function.

And a bitch doesn’t require a three hour meeting to know that that’s not what I want or need.

Blink.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Watching Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals...

Update - Penguins won this one and now the series is tied at 2 games each! Look out, chil'ren - we've got ourselves a series!

A bitch is watching Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Penguins and Red Wings. Wings are up 2 games to 1 in the series...this game is being played in Pittsburgh and the crowd is out of control.

Fantabulous!

Malkin scored early and the Penguins are up 1 to 0, but Detroit is on the hunt.

Oh, the drama!!

***logs off to fix a vodka cran***

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Torture, a case study and debating the un-debatable…

Let’s jump right on in, shall we?

A bitch read this piece about a new poll that found that just over half of Americans think torture can be justified as a tool to “thwart” a terrorist attack and it made my soul ache.

Actions have consequences and, in this case, the campaign to amplify fear while at the same time twist reality has apparently resulted in more than half of Americans having lost their motherfucking minds.

I don’t give a hot damn if knees jerk at this…trusting the integrity of information gleaned from torture is no different than an employer trusting feedback on a project from an employee she just threatened to fire for not being a team player. Odds are Person B is gonna tell Person A what he thinks she wants to hear because Person B knows his ass is on the line.

When Person B’s ass is literally on the line, the motivation to toss out bullshit that will please Person A increases and the integrity of the words that come out of Person B’s mouth is diminished.

But we know that shit.

Yes, we do…and this bitch is tired as hell of pundits and others acting like we don’t have over 100 years of terror, war and torture to examine and deduce that TORTURE DOES NOT FUCKING WORK…cough…and, therefore, is both a waste of time and a dangerous way to get data. I’m not even going to mention that it’s morally wrong because clearly our moral compass has been shot to hell. So fuck morality – torture is unreliable and, if more than half of Americans want to reliably thwart (Gawd, what a word?!?) another attack then they should turn to their Nation Handbook of Guaranteed Ways to Prevent Future Violence (‘tis a quick read, trust) where they will discover that there is no chapter titled Torture.

Lawd, give me strength.

If we the people were to examine moments when torture, along with general violent oppression, was used as a means to prevent attacks we’d see the error of that thinking. A bitch would like to direct more than half of we the people to the award winning movie The Battle of Algiers. The film is based on events that took place during the eight year Algerian War against French colonial rule in North Africa (1954-1962). They should prevent themselves from falling into the intellectually lazy pattern of thinking French torture was different from American torture and that the French didn’t torture Algerians enough. Trust that the French gave torture a solid multi-year run during the Algerian War…and it was successful - Algerians coughed up all manner of information as a result. Algeria also won the war and independence from France.

The Pentagon screened The Battle of Algiers in 2003 because it provides a lot of insight into insurgent opposition to an occupying power, so this bitch isn’t the only one who thinks the film is a useful learning tool. Unfortunately, the film was not viewed prior to the Bush Administration setting their course and fixing those blinders upon their relatively empty heads.

Anyhoo, the failure of torture and brutal oppression during the Algerian War is but one of many examples of how TORTURE DOES NOT FUCKING WORK.

But this bitch gets that torture is less about using a proven tactic and more about frustration on the part of the torturer over the reality that determining the plans of the torturee is fucking hard to do.

Be that as it may, more than half of Americans need a reality check. Even if a body is able to dismiss the moral complications of torture one cannot argue with the history of that shit failing to thwart.

Pause…consider…continue.

Well, one could argue with history but then you’d be debating the un-debatable.

Speaking of debating the un-debatable...

During recent Senate hearings…lost in the political storm over what Speaker Pelosi knew about American use of torture and when she knew it…former FBI interrogator, Ali Soufan, and a Bush State Department deputy, Philip Zelikow gave testimony on how fubar our use of torture has been.

Soufan also said that his use of psychological manipulation did result in solid data but torture didn’t.

When Senator Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) argued that“One of the reason these interrogation techniques have survived for 500 years is because they work.”

Soufan replied… “There are a lot of people who find it easier and aren’t smart enough” to interrogate someone without torture.

Blink.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Untitled...

I’m just going to let this one go where it wants to go.

When I think about the murder of Dr. Tiller, who was shot and killed while attending church yesterday, I can’t help but think of his family, friends and colleagues. I can’t help but hurt for them and their loss…for the church members who will be forever changed by this terrorist attack…for his children and grandchildren who are now left with memories…and for the staff of his clinic who have been so brave in the face of vicious attacks and the constant threat of violence.

And I hurt for his wife…oh, how I hurt for that woman…who was at worship when a shot rang out and took her husband’s life in their church home.

My thoughts also turn to the impact of terrorism…to the root motivation of acts of violence that centers around increasing fear to a level that discourages action.

But my mind always returns to the work…to the patients and the practice of providing safe and affordable reproductive healthcare to women in America.

And I shall not be moved.

Oh, I am also thinking of the walk many of us take from parking lots into reproductive health clinics that are targeted by anti-choice protestors…protestors who, despite their well phrased statements of condemnation, will seek to gain power through the residue left behind when a terrorist attacks a provider.

And I know…I am absolutely certain…that I shall not be moved.

Today those of us who work for reproductive justice will continue our work with heavy hearts, mournful concern and dedicated service.

And we shall not be moved.

The struggle to protect the truth of Dr. Tiller’s work…his faith that "Women and Families are intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, and ethically competent to struggle with complex health issues -- including abortion -- and come to decisions that are appropriate for themselves."…will continue.

Because we are fighting for our freedom, we shall not be moved.