a thousand words

Saturday, December 24, 2011

ACTORS, ARTISTRY & LOVE



"The good thing about talent is that it burns 
brightly.  The bad thing is, it's bright and it 
burns." - Anonymous

There is something in an artist that has made him what he or she is. And it is not a nice thing. It could be alienation, depression, obsession, or even abuse. In any event, we are psychologically detached at an early age and we are saved by our imaginations, out of which comes talent. But our talent comes at a price and one of them is the toll in a relationship.

 I thank God that I was messed up enough to be a writer and not so much that I became an actor. Actors, truly talented ones, are just a little bit crazy, and the more talented they are, the closer to that chaos they tend to be. They may seem high-functioning, arrogant and vain but it goes with the territory and it is necessary to what they have to do, the confidence and courage they have to muster, for a business they love, but which does not love them back. They must believe they are great when no one else does.

And so we have this notion that actors are messed up and you shouldn't date them because they bring drama. In reality actors are just free. Free from delusion about life and sex, free from hypocrisy and free from caring about the judgements of others who cannot (or will not) assist their passion.

And so if you want to date, marry or even just hook up with an actor, then know this: They only thing they will ever love more than their art is their children. And they will never allow you to corrupt or destroy their dream.

So if you want to be in a relationship with an actor and you are not willing to share and support their dream, if you are not willing to be a cheerleader for Team Actor, then you will fail because --

You are a rock...

Trying to hold on to a rocket.

© 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"FEMALE" TROUBLE FOR "GOOD" BLACK MEN


SOMETIMES, IT'S NOT THE
WORD, IT'S HOW WE SAY IT.

"You just can't reason with these females...."

I can't say how many times I've heard the word female used in this way. Several years ago, I wrote a mean little book which I still have yet to release.  It is about a particular problem in Black relationships.  Anyway, during the writing of the tome, my protagonist (a woman) noted that many Black men like to refer to women as "females" and that it felt condescending.  If you think I am splitting hairs fellas, then how would you feel if a white man called you a Negro?  

Here is the passage from the book:

I hate it when a man says female like that.  For many, it’s just a nicer way of saying bitch.  As if any of them understand the scientific nature of the term.  I had a random thought about a scientist yelling: “Bring in the amoeba-- and the females!”

Why do we, Black people, who are so creative, waste our time finding ways to put each other down?  It's beneath us fellas and you know what?  Women can be unreasonable, too.

And ladies, the often used "Good black man" reference is similarly condescending. I hate it. It assumes that "good" is an aberration and I am happy to report that it is not. I get a lot of angry notes from men sometimes and it occurs to me they are upset because they are good men and they think I am talking to them.  

You say you need a good man ladies but it has been my experience that many of you (and please, spare me the "not me" post) use the term "good man" because you've intentionally spent a lot of time with men who are not good. You cannot indict all men because of your poor choices.  

To this end, also from the unreleased book:

Black women were wonderful, he thought, but so many had little time-bombs in them, a nasty little belief that all men were fucked up and would prove it sooner or later.  It was a hard, Impenetrable knot of sentiment built by bitter mothers, absentee dads and bad boyfriends who had failed to heal their wounded souls.  

It is so easy to be a provocateur in Black relationships. People are frustrated for themselves and their friends.  What's hard to do is to be curative, or at least try.  We can do better but perhaps it is best to start with the little things we can change.  These are two of them.  

No more "females" unless you're in a lab coat.

And try to just need "a man" and leave the color out.

copyright 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

THE CALENDAR GAME


This was told to me by a man who made me swear not to use his name. I only post it because it’s very funny and probably true.

Ladies, when is it good to meet a man? It might be good to know some of the reasons men approach you when they do.

Dear Fellas,

Many of you have wondered how to navigate your social life so that you are not always getting drama from these women. Here’s a method that works all year round:

New Years – I like to pick up women at New Years. People are drunk and will say anything and often won’t remember what they said to you, or who they said they were. You can get with her and then break it off quick and she’ll just put it on the champagne.

In February you should be careful not to hook up too quickly because of Valentine’s Day. The woman will expect an elaborate gift. Try to meet one after V Day or on it. That’s always a good move.

Now you can look for your Spring Fling. A nice little distraction before the summer. March, April and May are when a lot of relationships take root. You might have to duck out of that “Easter Trap” but this can be done easily by illness or a strategically placed fight. This is generally a good time and you can get a lot of booty. Enjoy.

Dump her ass before Memorial Day.

When summer approaches you want a new relationship to go with the new season. Summer is fun, vacation, barbecues and a chance to see a lot of body. No tricky holidays here but be careful of vacation. You don’t want her to try to go with you or get you to pay for it. If she presses, you can drop her and get another one quick. Lots of single women looking to hook up in the summer! But for the most part have fun, chill and enjoy.

Kick her to the curb after Labor Day.

Now the shit gets tricky. Fall and winter have two big ass land-mines in them: Thanksgiving and Christmas.

If you meet a girl too early in the fall, you’ll have to do Thanksgiving with the family. This is just a pre-husband examination with the mamas looking at you and saying shit like: “Y’all need to get workin’ on some grandbabies.”

But if you wait too late you miss some prime booty-getting in September and October.

And Christmas! All I can say is The Present. Women will judge you on it and what it means. You wanna trip a female out? Give her ass a cookbook!

So, this necessitates some dynamic womanizing, fellas. You will need the Four Women Of Fall And Winter.™

  1. Meet Girl #1 after Labor Day and date her until mid October. Dump her about two weeks before Halloween. You got six weeks to tap that. Usually not a problem. Enjoy. Then hook up with:
  1. Girl #2. Date her for about four weeks until mid November. This girl for some reason doesn’t like to put out. Often she has been a Spring Fling or just got dumped after Labor Day. If you encounter this, just promise to “spend the holidays with her,” Tap it, then drop her before Thanksgiving. Now you can go to:
  1. Girl #3. The relationship is so new that she may not want you to go home with her. And if you do go, it’s guaranteed booty! This is a good girl. She is excited and looking forward to being a couple during the fake ass holidays! Dump her about a week after Thanksgiving.
  1. Find Girl #4. It’s too soon for any elaborate gifts. (If she’s a Christmas baby, you’re fucked, just try to get something out if it, you know) This girl is usually just looking to close out the year with a bang. Don’t disappoint her. Now you’re good until New Years.
  1. Go back to the top of this article and start it all over again, my brother!

Pass this along to all of your friends.

JD

Monday, October 17, 2011

FIAT NATION


If America Backs Your Currency, Then What Backs Your Nation?

We talk about money every day. We need it and we use it but we never stop to think about what it is. Money has been assigned positive and essential value in our minds but we never stop the think about what it truly is. "Money is money," people will say, a reflexive and circular way of looking at it.

A dollar is just paper and cotton fibers. By itself it is pretty worthless. But it represents something else, something that is said to have value. So, money is not value but a representation of it.

Once upon a time, a dollar represented a dollar's worth of gold or silver. This was the Gold Standard. Literally, you could go into a bank a redeem a dollar for a dollar's worth of gold.

For 167 years, the U.S. lived and prospered without a Central Bank. Then in 1913, Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, made a deal with the devil, and agreed to one. Since then, we have had depressions, recessions, bubbles and economic chaos.

The Federal Reserve System is not a federal agency, nor is it a completely private bank. It is a banking cartel whose rules are enforced by partnership with your government but not for your benefit. The government protects the banks in the cartel.

Is it a coincidence that the IRS and the Fed were voted in together? After these laws, the government had to ask the Fed for money and the Fed would print it. And it used the new Income Tax to collect funds for deposits. This changed Wall Street, allowing it to create a business of currency manipulation and trading in financial commodities.

The Bank held sway over everything and hammered anyone who got in their way. Then in the 1960's, we had a cultural revolution like none other in modern history. And among the many things the new generation questioned was the viability of the Fed and the purpose of Wall Street. These new radicals elected a young President who shared their concernes.

Executive Order 11110 was issued by this new President, John F. Kennedy on June 4, 1963. It allowed the U.S. Treasury to print its own money for the first time in half a century. This new currency, was backed by silver and called Silver Certificates.

Five short months later, on November 4, 1963, President Kennedy was assassinated. Lyndon Johnson rescinded Executive Order 11110 on the flight from Texas to D.C. after he was sworn in. Kennedy's body was even cold yet. 

Later, Richard Nixon, a favorite of the banking cartel, was elected in 1968 and took us off the Gold standard, in 1971 making the dollar a fiat currency.

Fiat money is a currency that has value only because of government regulation or law. The term derives from the Latin fiat, meaning "let it be done", as such money is established by government decree. "Fiat" in the modern sense really means "fuck it."


So in essence, our money is backed by no tangible thing with inherent value. It is the value of our goverment that props up our money.

But what props up our government? Well, it used to be family, faith, intelligence and a patriotism based on the aforementioned qualities. Now we have familes in crisis, self-centered religion, a celebration of ignorance and we've turned "I love America" into a suspect statement.

Money is only as good as its country.

A country is only as good as its people.

People are only as good as their values.

We now live in a Fiat Nation, a country whose foundation is the weakened values of a citizenry represented by a leaders who've been bought by the banks. And this is so because we haven't stopped hating each other long enough to demand better.

But there is hope and it comes in the form of old style protest. The media, the government and liberals blasted the Tea Party. The media, the government and conservatives now blast Occupy Wall Street. Both movements are a manifestation of the people to give substance to a fiat America. Our protest, our anger and yes our patriotism are the value that back the currency of our nation.

We are the Gold.

Let's reclaim the Standard.

copyright 2010

AMERICAN BRAINWASH



Herman Cain hit upon something that so many Republicans and Democrats are afraid to say because saying it leads to a bigger truth.

"Black people have been brainwashed!" said Herman Cain. It was a provocative statement, but he did not go far enough. We are all brainwashed. Our country is not in the hands of the people or our elected representatives anymore. We all know it but refuse to stand against the banks and corporations and choose instead to hate each other. How's that working out by the way?

But specifically, as to Black America, Cain is absolutely correct. We have followed Democrats down the rabbit hole of freedom but have little to show for it. We believe Republicans block our progression but when Democrats do things that hurt us, we either deny it happened or we blame others.
Get the anti-detergent, I am here to un-wash your brain with a little story about your country.

ONCE UPON A TIME, Black America loved Republicans. This was the party of Lincoln, the party who went to war with their brothers and died to end slavery. No matter what the revisioninsts say, the Civil War was about the sin of slavery and no matter what Democrats say, their party wanted to keep us in bondage.

Then after the war, America thrived and the Republicans, now in power thanks in part to black votes, aligned with wealthy industrialists, banks and companies. They took the dark people for granted, allowing Jim Crow, lynching, discrimination and a further disintegration of America's good heart. The Democrats fell to ruin.

The Black people got tired of this treatment, especially when the country went into a Great Depression. So, we realigned ourselves with the Democrats, the guys who loved slavery and everything about it and fought to the death to keep it. Talk about the lesser of two evils.

After this, the Democrats got behind the dark people, but only to the extent it took to use their millions of votes to keep power. Democrat FDR served 4 terms using black votes, died in office and the Republicans were so afraid that we amended the Constitution to stop a President from becoming a king.

Since then, Blacks have voted overwhelmingly Democratic. Politics have cast Republicans as the devil, the people who hate Black America and Democrats have been cast as the lovers of Blacks, the people who just want everything to be fair and to make up for the sins of the past.
Both notions are completely false.

The Republicans are trying to reset American values back to the days when we put God first and believed that our nation was favored because our Constitution contained basic Christian values at its core. Unfortunately, the reset also carries with it the implicit desire by many to place Blacks and others in eternal second-class citizenship and maintain a corporate power structure that reinforces this notion. Sorry conservatives, but you know this is true you just don't think it will apply to you. You are wrong.



The Republicans tell you you can do it without the government's help but then they stack the deck against you so you will fail by providing no protection against the evil hearts of men which they claim to abhor but which their policies covertly support.

The Democrats are trying to move America forward, to accept the changing culture and economy and fit it to the cause of Americanism. Unfortunately, their progressivism is an ideological dodge. The Democrats, like the Republicans are the tools of corporate America and the big banks and their paternalistic and condescending attitude toward Blacks have kept us in cycles of poverty, incarceration and stagnation.

The Democrats give you a Black President and then refuse to support him. Then when he fails you, they ask you to hate Republicans because you know, they are evil.

The Democrats tell you that you need them to get to freedom and they will protect you from the evil men but then they secretly stack the deck against you so you will fail and then they blame it on their enemies and nothing changes.

Black people hold a strong belief that history shows you the truth. America's historical treatment of Blacks says it all. If we believe this, then the history of the two parties gives us reason to doubt them or to consider them equally. If this logic fails you, then I submit that you are indeed brainwashed.

America is not perfect. Our Founders wanted us to keep working on it, to create "A more perfect Union." And we are doing it-- slowly. But we must not be fooled by divisive politics which divorce us from the truth: that our inherent power as citizens is the heart and soul of this nation.

So, toss your brain into the machine. Bypass "white" and "colors' and set it on "tough stains."

America will be great again, when we are.

copyright 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

REALITYSHIP


Marriage And Relationships Are Never Going To Be What They Were, So We Should Concentrate On What They Can Be.
Relationships between American men and women are at an all time low. As the marriage rate declines, divorce and vitriol have risen. Since 1970, the marriage rate has been in free-fall according to The National Marriage Project and if the trend continues, unmarried couples will be the norm.

If marriage isn't working, then we need to examine not just the institution but the basic relationship that underlies it and we cannot be afraid of theorizing about ways to solve the problem.

With this in mind, I believe that the western version of the 20th Century "relationship" is now obsolete and in the 21st century, what people need is nothing less than a new paradigm of intimate interpersonal connection.

We need a Realityship. (C) 2011

Realityship - noun.. 1. An intimate interpersonal involvement which is commensurate with true nature, the limits of love and the necessity of respect and friendship. 2. A relationship devoid of hypocrisy and devoted to longevity. 3. Gary Hardwick's latest brain fart.


So, what does this mean? Well first, it means the end of marriage.

For most of history, marriage was more or less a business agreement between two families who set up the marriages of their children. Romantic love, and even simple affection, were not considered essential.

Monogamous marriage is now an old institution and now that we don't die at 35, people find it hard to sustain. You didn't live long enough to get tired of each other, then suddenly we did. (Thank you modern medicine!) So once we lived longer, we invented no-fault divorce, community property and ushered in The Age Of The Disposable Relationships. This has led to The Children Of Divorce who have since sent divorce rates, birth rates and psychological analysis soaring.

I know this is jarring. Most of the people in my generation were the product of marriages. It's all we knew and what we were taught to want one for ourselves. The baby boomers are the first generation to falter in our quest for lasting matrimony. But if we can accept that in our lifetime, we have gone from rotary phones to satelite-phones, from TV tubes to flat screens and from landing on the moon to landing on Mars, then we can certainly conceive that the next generation will not need a relationship theory that does not work for them.

I know what you're thinking.

"Marriage doesn't need to change: we do. People are selfish, weak, narcissistic and love shitty reality shows and bad music, that's the real problem, man! Also, you heathen, it is obvious that marriage is failing because people are losing faith in the God whose Word marriage is based on."

If this is true, then how successful have we been in changing people by reversing societal evolution to fit long-standing convention which has fallen from popular favor?

The answer is never. Society changes, the tradition falls and a new one is built from the old. And as for the religious argument, it's a long story but my sentiments are pretty much expressed here.

The goal instead should be a friendship, a sharing of resources and in the advent of a child, a life-bond and commitment to that child that takes precedence over the couple's individual desires.

With 75% of black children born out of wedlock and 52% overall, it is clear to anyone who is watching that people are giving up on marriage but still want children. But if parents don't form some kind of alliance in favor of that child, we are lost.



We've all been taught that marriage comes first then the rest and if you go against that order, then there's something wrong or bad about you. But at this point in time, we can no longer live and judge by a code which bears no impact on reality. Either we accept that society is changing or we accept that we are all a pack of devils who are going to Hell in a handcart in which case all of this is moot.

So what are the rules of a Realityship? So glad you asked.

Men cannot trade sex or extended adolescence for responsibility to family. At some point, a man has to become an adult and do adult things. Running from a stable relationship and the care of children will only find you old, alone and bitter. Men who abandon their kids take away a negative psychological baggage that ruins them and poisons everything else they touch. And under this burden, men crumble succumb to weakness and pathology and become the self-fulfilling prophecy.

Women cannot trade their most fertile and productive years for the fallacy of male equality. Women and Men are not equals anymore than apple and oranges are. Legally yes, women and men should be seen as equals but the social notion is a trick that tells women to trade female power for male attributes which they can never possess and do not need. The result is a Sisyphean-like social life where women struggle to "have it all" and end up with nothing. (See Faludi, Susan Backlash.) Women should instead seek to increase societal respect for female power which men and women have been trained to see as inherently inferior.

We must respect the time value difference of the sexes. A single woman at 40 is a very different thing than a single man at 40. A young woman is ripe; a young man is green. A woman's youthful years are more critical than a man's especially if she wants to have children. The upshot is, if you want to have children, don't think you have twenty years to do it and men don't waste a woman's time with bullshit. If you don't know what you want, do her a favor and keep it moving.

Children take precedence over personal animosity. Not much to say here. We clearly know now that kids are the only losers when parents are stupid.

Chivalry and Modesty must return as accents to romance. Without a silly tug of war with women over pettiness, men can afford to be a gentlemen again. And women can afford to accept this behavior as a tribute to their charm. If no one seeks to take advantage, then everyone has an advantage. And yes, I know this is easier said than done.


And the big one, we must at last, leave behind juvenile notions of sexuality. Every man I know who left his wife and family to get some "new stuff" has ultimately regretted it. And every woman I know who divorced a man because he "cheated on her" has regretted it. In both cases, the men and women find that the people they hooked up with next were no better than the ones they left and the value of sexual fidelity can't pay a bill, raise a child or keep you happy.

Let me be clear. A couple would have the option to take themselves out of penis and vagina prison and spur the notion that you go to hell for sleeping with people because you broke some cosmic or divine rule of copulation. You see, the people who are going to screw up were going to to it anyway and we have thousands of years of history to prove this is true. I know it will ruin TV, film and books but it's a small price to pay.

So how would this work as a practical matter?

Leslie and Steve both want kids but neither of them wants the perceived hypocrisy of an institutionalized, religious-influenced sexually-limited union. So they put all of their cards on the table and agree to support their kid and live together or in near proximity. As long as both are reasonable and committed to the child, and each execute mutual wills, it should work.

This is usually the place where I put my last pithy remark and close with some "How clever am I?" but I'm afraid I don't have one this time.

By the way, I still hope things will get better. I still hope that people will somehow magically be propelled by love, passion, faith and family. I hope that men and women will find some kind of power to defeat our proclivity to attract then destroy. And I hope we will learn to put our natural tendencies aside or at least learn how to hide them better. But most of all, I believe in the resilience of human beings and I know somehow, we will find a way to make it all work.

Copyright 2010

TO LOVE, FALSE GODS AND ALUMINUM FOIL

Today Let Us Remember That Love Is More Than A Notion.

There's an old joke that the most confusing day in the black community is Father's Day. The joke is funny because under the irony and sting there is truth.

And if it's true, then Valentine's Day can be the most depressing day.

Each year as the day approaches, legions of people face the terrible moment when they realize they have no Valentine, no love. Sure, you may have your children, a friend, your mother but what about LOVE, romantic love, sexual love, love that makes you blush when you recount it? Well, that's the problem. Many are living without it or with poor substitutes for it.

Which brings me to the title of this piece. Many years ago, I wrote a bad poem with this title. In essence, it said that there was Love with a capital "L" and then there was the False God of love, a poor substitute which was presented as Love but was really like aluminum foil, smooth, pretty to look at but as soon as you applied any pressure it wrinkled, cracked and fractured, showing its frailty. ( I know, but I admitted it was a bad poem)

Love is elusive, fickle and indescribably beautiful. It is not one emotion but all of them tailored to an individual and perhaps moments in time. Love started life, straightened our spine and taught us to walk upright, it built cities then tore them down and it has propelled human beings through chaos that has washed away all the lesser species. It is rare and there isn't a lot of it in our world--




But there's a lot of aluminum foil.

So as we celebrate this day let us look past the false gods of love. Let us shun those who write eternal checks to God that their asses can't cash, then leave their children loveless. Let us condemn those who fill life's promise with lies with hidden selfishness and leave those who loved them unrequited.

We must remember that the First Love was a spark of pure energy, a notion that illuminated the universe and made order of nothingness. It filled the heart of its own creation and allowed a lowly species to dream of civilization, nobility and greatness.

And later, this same love sustained a humble priest named Valentine as he was tortured to renounce his faith but would not and died a martyr on February 14th.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Copyright 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

INTERVIEW WITH OLD TESTAMENT GOD


We often forget about the God of the Flood. He kicked butt, took names and brought the pain. He did not like coveting and cared about people right down to their ass and their ox.

I met Old Testament God (OTG) at a Starbucks in Century City. He was turning heads as usual, mostly because he had just turned a banker into a pillar of salt.

GARY: So, what did that banker do?

OTG: He cut the line. Also, I hate bankers.

GARY: Let's start there. How can God hate?

OTG: All this loving benevolent stuff was man's invention. Read my book. Wrath, fire, death that's how I roll.

GARY: Yes, so why did you change?

OTG: Why does any Father change? I had kids.

GARY: Yes, Jesus. Thanks, by the way.

OTG: No problem. He's a good boy. After you guys crucified him, he talked me out of destroying the world. (LAUGHS) The things you do for your kids. So, I decided that maybe I should follow his example and spread love.

GARY: It's not going so well.

OTG: Tell me about it. You people are worse than ever! We have more sin than we did in the middle ages and them dudes had the Inquisition. It's like the whole world has turned into Baltimore.

GARY: So, I hear you are coming back, I mean going back to the old testament ways.

OTG: Sorry but I have to do it. It's the only thing you people understand. We tried the love thing and look what it got us. Celebrity murderers, sex as recreation, marriage as some kind of joke and people perverting My Word and My Existence to please themselves. Makes me want to dry up the oceans and you do not want to know what's down there.

GARY: So, what are your plans?

OTG: First, I'm going to turn all the atheists into hamburgers and glasses of water. This will solve world hunger and drought problems. Then I'm going to get rid of all the distractions and vices. Sorry but smoke 'em if you got 'em because soon there won't be none.

GARY: What about sex?

OTG: Oh that's still cool as long as you get married first. If you don't, you'll be going to Hell faster than you can say debt ceiling.

GARY: What do you think about that?

OTG: Nothing. Because I just turned all the politicians into ham sandwiches two minutes ago.

GARY: So what about Gay Marriage?

OTG: Excuse me, what does the Old Testament say?

GARY: Says it's wrong but--

OTG: End of story.

GARY: But is also says slavery is cool and people should not wear mixed fibers.

OTG: Sorry but the word is the word. You don't like it, find another God, oh that's right, THERE ISN'T ONE! Hey, what's that shirt made of?

GARY: 100% cotton. So basically, the party's over?

OTG: You know it and to celebrate, I'm creating a new Commandment. This time there's only one: I AM THE LORD THY GOD. AND I AIN'T NO JOKE.

GARY: Amen.

OTG: You got that right.

Copyright 2011

DEATH OF THE HONOR SYSTEM


We Cannot Police Or Legislate Morality. So Many Crucial Decisions Have Been Left To The Will Of The Individual.

A President and his cabinet lie about the reason for war. An author makes up his biography. Athletes use drugs to perform better and teachers cheat on student's tests to get money.

In each case, we relied upon the honor, nobility and heart of an individual to do the right thing. In our life the Honor System has been the foundation of day to day life. We do our own taxes, check out our own groceries and are asked to only take one mint from the bowl at a restaurant.

An honor system or honesty system is a philosophical way of running a variety of endeavors based on trust, honor, and honesty. Something that operates under the rule of the "honor system" is usually something that does not have strictly enforced rules governing its principles.

For years this worked because there were more honorable people than dishonorable ones. So we always had cheats and liars but the good outbalanced them every time. America fought off its enemies and survived a civil war. We plunged into the Industrial Revolution and changed the way the world lived.

From the mid 20th century to the end, the notion that it's okay to cheat, lie and steal in some cases became pervasive in our society. We began to worship heroes who bent the law, and subverted societal convention. And as long as they got paid for it, we forgave them.

Don't get me wrong. I do not hold people to a standard of perfection. Humanity is a delicate mix but what has built civilization is not just intellect but humanity and compassion and without those last two elements, civilization crumbles. Man has always been more good than not and that has kept us from destroying ourselves time and time again. But if you think we have lost our way, if you believe that something is rancid in our culture, you have to look no further than what you tolerate. No system of government or society can be held together by a corrupt people because:

Where there is no honor, there is no system.

So teachers cheat, politicians lie and someone empties the mint bowl at the restaurant. And our respons is
"Damn, he beat me to it!" And when there is outrage, it is only because we want to hold someone else to the honor system so we may defeat them by using our own dishonor.

And i know you think this is all nothing new. You're wrong. America has never had this level of casual acceptance of bad behavior. We have always struggled with our conscience but only now do we teach our children the art and benefit of being an asshole.

When he was in high school, my son found a $100 bill and turned it in to the school administrator, a priest. The Administrator was so overwhelmed at the act, that he wrote us a letter praising us for teaching out son the value of honor. As a parent I am proud of course but when I look at our society I wonder if I am doing a disservice. Am I sending a lamb to a slaughterhouse filled with men and women who look a nobility as weakness?

Since the beginning of the world, people have speculated about the end of it. We always picture explosions, disease, war and violence. I think that the end, if it comes, will be quiet, soft and almost unnoticed. It will be when there are more dishonest people than not. This will tip the balance, break the system and that's all she wrote.

I would certainly like to know what you think. I have just one requirement:

Be honest.

Copyright 2011

VISIBLE MAN


There Is One Aspect Of The Obama Presidency That Could Never Fail And All He Had To Do Was Show Up.

A little boy walks along the beach and comes upon two men. Both men are holding a large rock that is protruding from the earth. The boy asks the first man what he's doing and the man says: "Isn't it obvious? I'm holding this rock." The boy asks the second man the same question. The second man responds: "Isn't it obvious? I am holding the world and this is the handle."

Perspective is the truth of its possessor.

Since Watergate, every elected President has been subjected to political and personal attacks that are designed to hobble, humiliate and destroy. Bob Woodward points this out in Shadow : Five Presidents and the Legacy of Watergate.

So when Obama was elected, I thought there is one thing for sure that will be good. America will finally see how deep and hard-wired racial bias is in our country and in our hearts.

And so Obama got push-back and ridicule like other Presidents but they were all too often wrapped in ugly and familiar racial insults and imagery. We witnessed people send out racist cartoons, draw monkeys with bullet holes in their heads and indulge in vile, ignorant, demeaning and dehumanizing statements we had hoped were gone forever, like the term tar baby recently used by a congressman to describe the President. Or Pat Buchannan's ignorant statement that "your boy Obama got whipped".

For some, this was politics as usual. But for others, black and white, it was an eruption of racial hatred against blacks, a long and abiding resentment of the people who embody the unrepented sin of slavery.

I guess it all depends on which rock you're holding.

I prefer to hold the rock which is the handle to the world because it offers a clear vision of the truth: that the molecules of race are scattered throughout the body of our nation and they are born of blood, death, sex, triumph and inhumanity. And part of our continuing problem, is that often none of us can tell a bad molecule from a harmless one.



Race is so embedded in our culture that over time, many words, phrases and idioms have been covered by tradition or usage and their negative pasts forgotten. If you ever heard some one call coffee a Cup of Joe, or been on a picnic. or ever referred to something as mumbo jumbo then you have brushed against it.

And so the insults continue and while well-meaning people are outraged, others just issue dishonest apologies and the media uses it to provoke and get ratings.

The last generation of men and women who really believe in the fallacy of racial inferiority are dying off. And while their sons and daughters may have a milder version of the same sickness, they at least know they are wrong and that is the beginning of enlightenment.

People always disagree with me about this. They don't want to believe that we can change. But it's because they haven't. Blacks and whites seek to move beyond race but desperately cling to it because we have in part defined ourselves by it. True equality means there is no racial priviledge. It also means there are no victims, just the circumstance of humanity and fate.

In the next two generations, we will find a true humanity emerge which will be the real start of Dr. King's coloblind society.

Because of Obama's Presidency, Ellison's legendary Invisible Man can now be seen and he is a man in full, a man of flesh and blood and mind. And the reality of his existence cannot be undone by words, or the silent resentment of hateful hearts.

Understanding this is the rock, that is the handle, that can lift the world.

MUTHAFUCKIN' MAN


THE SWEET TEA PARTY


It's time The Independents Stood Up. We Are 40% Of The Electorate And 100% Of The Non-Kool Aid Drinkers.

I like political trouble-makers. They shake things up while other cower in fear of reprisal. Our government officials have grown arrogant, complacent and greedy. They act as if if We The People has been changed to "We The Suckers."

Independents have decided every election since there were elections. Indys of all religions and races don't like political parties and vote for character, leadership and vision. Unfortunately, politicians have learned to fake those things and when they get into office, they hire Wall Street to run the government.

I am officially forming the Sweet Tea Party. Named after the beverage made popular by southerners. We are an organization of logical, reasonable people who want our government to work. We are patriots and we don't suscribe to ideologies, we just want shit to work and people to be free.

For example, if you are pro life and yet you believe weed should be legal. You're a Sweet Tea-er. If you are for gay marriage but think businesses are taxes too high. Join up.

Reasonable people do not hold the same ideological view on everything. Crazy people do. It is the hope of the failed two party system that we will agree with a ideological agenda instead of a logical one.

Some come on Sweet Tea-ers join up. Here are some of our ideas:

1. No Party affiliation.
2. Reason over ideology.
3. Never vote for personality over intellIgence.
4. No bias of any kind.
5. Abolish the Federal Reserve
6. End lobbying.
7. End The Electoral College.
8. End the wars.
9. Burn the tax code.
10. End reality shows.

Okay so that last one was just me maybe but still it's an impressive list of reasonable, pro-American ideas.

And lastly we'll need a motto. All the good ones like "Don't Tread On Me" and "Kiss My Grits" are taken. I propose this: The Sweet Tea Party: Vestibulum aliquam nunc at.

Roughly translated it means "We will whip your ass."

Copyright 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011

AMERICAN BITCHASSNESS


There is one slang term that's useful in defining the nature of the ongoing failure of our government and society.

I don't usually subscribe to slang as intellectual expression. In fact, I've been known to hate it. However there is a fairly new, colorful and saucy expression that has gotten my attention. But not in the conventional, hip-hop vernacular "I-have-to-use-it-to-be-cool" way. No, this is In the "ironic-that-this-meaning-is-also-reflective-of-serious-shit" way.

Bitchassness [bich-as-nes] Noun. 1. Weak, stupid, cowardly or unfair actions or attitude. 2. A disagreeable act or attitude marked by cowardly or jealous behavior. See, e,g., Diddy, P. Making The Band 4.

Our country has a lot of problems, wars, unemployment, debt ceilings, morality floors. And we argue 24 hours a day on TV about the cause of it. But now I know. We got a bad case of American Bitchassness. Here are some examples:

Rewarding the greed, dishonesty and failure of Wall Street with bailouts, slaps on the wrist and silence.

Calling the President a "liar" in congress, a "dick" and any other inappropriate, thinly-veiled or not so thinly-veiled racist comments.

Extending tax cuts which would have gotten rid of 75% of our debt, then trading them for DADT and an extention of unemployment benefits. This is the political equivalent of being sent to market to sell a cow and coming home with magic beans.

Threatening the entire country with economic armageddon because one ideology refuses to take changing entitlements seriously and the other refuses to have a fair tax system.

Allowing our system of faith to be eroded by poisonous thinking which has created a God who doles out cash in lieu of salvation. Perhaps in the next Bible it will read: "...whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have points in a hedge fund, a Bently and a phat crib."

And the worst bitchassness of all is that We The People are no longer deserving of that first line in the Declaration Of Independence. It should read: "We, The Fortune 500." We have mired ourselves in such pettiness, bigotry and self-interest that we have lost sight of what made America great.

It was us, the people. One person one vote. One nation under you know who.

Not only have we fallen to bitchassness, we now reward it as the prevailing atitude and proper way of doing things. You only have to look around you to see the exalltation of this behavior in just about everything we do. From our crumbling schools, to the nasty way we treat each other to the mind-numbng stupidity of the new millennium pop culture, bitchassness rules.

Well, I will not go gentle into that diminished good night.

NO MORE AMERICAN BITCHASSNESS!

It only takes one voice to begin a revolution. Let it be yours.

It only takes one act to start a war. Take that action.

We can become Super Heroes of society. Fighting our arch enemy with logic reason, love, compassion, faith and a heavy dose of old fashioned patriotism.

Now, take the pledge with me:

In brightest day,
In blackest night,
No bitchassness will escape my sight.
I vow to use all my might.
Beware my power,
Bitchassness fight!

Copyright 2011

THE BOOMERS' LAST BOOGIE

The Baby Boomers Changed The World.
What Will America Be When They Are Gone?

I was in college when I first heard a rap record. That song, Rapper's Delight signaled the end of the Soul Generation. The hip hop generation was upon us. And at the same time, two guys named Gates and Jobs were about to open the minds of the world with the simple notion that everyone could own a computer.

It was the end of the influence of the 1960's, the end of conventional wisdom and the end of spiritual morality's dominance over earth-bound behavior.

Boomers were heading toward the last mile.

In my neighborhood, they were the men and women who fought for civil rights and could do a handshake for a full thirty seconds. They defied their parents and dared to suggest that free love was better than abstinence and they challenged what they believed to be the hypocrisy of their parents, The Greatest Generation.

We can all agree that the 1960's were the defining decade of pre-millennium America. Hell, I wrote a novel using it as a backdrop (shameless plug) But I don't think we fully realized how the Boomers freed us and hobbled us at the same time.

In the 1950's, young people began to reject the last influences of Victorian America. it signaled a sea change in the social and political structure of our country. Suddenly, kids challenged everything, the voice of music, the worth of money, the place of women, the equality of others and even the existence of God.

In the end, they changed this country and probably, the world.



But the mistake of the revolution was the idea that none of what was formerly believed in was good. Free love spawned, disposable relationships and a spiraling divorce rate and the destruction of the family. Aggressive individualism created The Me Generation and bolstered the notion that greed is good and money is everything. And the questioning of God opened the door to those who have perverted the very cause of religion and brotherly love.

The Boomers were great for America but they forgot the basic rule of freedom in this nation. The U.S. was founded by progressive/liberals and conservative/religious men and women. The mixture was always volatile but inevitably balanced by reason, self-preservation and faith. We even survived the ultimate family squabble: a civil war. Always the twin notions of freedom won out. We moved society forward but with a strong foundation in our beliefs and family.

So what will we do when the Boomers are gone? The leaders of tomorrow will have grown up with technology that seemed like magic a generation ago. They have come to age in broken or blended families that belied the promises of religious fidelity. And they will have a cynical self-awareness that buffers vision and imagination.

I used to worry about this but I think the next gen, the pure hip hop generation, will find a way to win and keep America great. Within their culture are the same progressive and conservative powers that lifted us above other nations. Sure, Lady Ga Ga and The Jersey Shore seem like the end of the world but there is also innovation like Facebook and indications that young people will create a new kind of family where there is love and bonds that give positive foundation.

We must remember the lesson of the baby boomers: Progress is good but without structure and humanity, it destroys morality which in turn destroys society. And we must always look to the past but we cannot live in it or we create narrow minds and stagnate freedom.

So long Boomers.

I'll see you on the other side.

Copyright 2011