Enough is enough 2016

Is it just me or has the Grim Reaper gone into straight “Honey Badger” mode in 2016?

Within the last three days, we’ve lost singer George Michael, comedian Ricky Harris, and now actress Carrie Fisher.  Let’s not even try to run down the other celebrity deaths over the past year.

It’s not just celebrities either.  There’s the Russian military plane crash, the Bolivian plane crash in Colombia, and other mass casualty events.  Add the number of everyday deaths, and I’m beginning to wonder if the Grim Reaper is trying to set a new high score.

The celebrity deaths stick out because of the news reporting though.  The award shows for next year may very well turn out to be two-hour long memorial tributes with an award or two handed out in between segments.

 

If I were famous, I would be sitting on pins and needles while waiting for 2017 to arrive.  I’d even consider hunkering down in the Cheyenne Mountain fallout shelter.  Then again, that could end up becoming a tomb as well.  Doesn’t appear that the Grim Reaper really cares about when and where he does his business.  Those assistants to the stars are probably all packing aspirin, epi pens, automatic defibrillators, and first aid kits with them at all times just to be safe.  Hurry up and get here 2017 before we lose many more.

It is finished

It’s Friday night, two days before Christmas, and the one phrase that has been going through my mind all week is “It is finished”.  It’s been a long week full of twists and turns, but it’s almost over.  After this one ends, however, another one begins.

Monday, the Electoral College electors met in their appropriate state capitals and cast their votes for the 45th president.  Of course, this was basically an exercise in formality as we already knew who would be voted as the next president.  My first thought on Monday was “it is finished” because I wouldn’t have to hear any more about this damned campaign.  This is my 7th presidential election that I’ve voted although I remember them all the way back to Reagan in 1980.  This is the first one where I have not seen people defend their choice proactively.  Instead, every defense I’ve seen of electing Trump devolves into some rant about Clinton or Democrats.  What does it say about our incoming president when not even his voters can affirmatively defend their choice less than two months after making it?  Buyer’s remorse already?

Tuesday, I took the youngest to the doctor because he was sick.  The test results showed a positive Type-A flu AND positive for strep.  So, for the past few days, I’ve been playing daddy doctor trying to get him back into fighting mode.  We have a date with the TV, snacks, and Alabama Crimson Tide football on New Year’s Eve, so there’s no time to get sick now.  Today was probably the best day as he only went into whine and shut down mode only once.  Well, it doesn’t matter because I’m going back to work tomorrow since mommy is off.  He should be back to full strength for her (bless her soul).  Nah, he’s really a good “big boy” as he calls himself as he’s not a baby anymore.

Then, there was the video making the rounds of the mother and daughter getting arrested in Fort Worth, TX after they called the police to report her 7-year-old son getting choked by a neighbor.  They were charged with resisting arrest, but I’m still scratching my head as to what the initial charge would have been for there to be an arrest to resist.  Maybe I’ll ask my family members who patrol the streets to see if they can help me out with this one.  I always find it hard to grasp getting arrested for resisting arrest when you haven’t done anything to get arrested for in the first place.  Had that been my 7-year-old son, the charge would have probably been aggravated assault or something worse.  Anyone who has the testicular fortitude to put their hands around the neck of any of my children had better be ready to deal with me once I arrive on the scene.  It’s going to be a long and detailed discussion about the who, what, where, when, and why.

Finally, I came across a…  umm…  I don’t know what to call it other than an opinion piece written by Chris Kluwe in regards to his feelings about the incoming president.  If anyone in America honestly feels like they don’t have any f**ks left to give at this point, it’s probably because Mr. Kluwe used them all.  Seriously.  After reading his post, I went to Amazon.com and put an order in for a case of f**ks.  I received an automated response that they were on back order because of Chris Kluwe.  I understand his feelings, but at this point, “it is finished”.  We can’t un-elect Trump.  We can only ensure that our actions help those who need help while trying to make sure those running the country doesn’t screw things up.

For those who follow the life and teachings of Christ, they should remember the last words he spoke before he gave up the ghost on the cross.  In the book of John Chapter 19, the story of the crucifixion is laid out for all to read.  His last words were written in Verse 30, “It is finished”, according to the King James Version.

After going through all I did this week, after seeing and hearing all that came before me, I realized that this is just the end of one phase and the beginning of the next.  I have my anxieties for the future.  I worry about the effects that the potential future changes will have on my friends, colleagues, and even my family.  I won’t allow myself to get discouraged by thinking about the future though.  I’ll just roll up my sleeves to get ready to tackle next week because that one isn’t finished yet.

Thanks for reading as always.  I know there are lots of different blogs to read, but I really appreciate those who take the time to stop by and read my vents and musings.

Have a safe and wonderful:

 

  • Saint Nicholas Day (Christian)
  • Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexican)
  • St. Lucia Day (Swedish)
  • Hanukkah (Jewish)
  • Christmas Day (Christian)
  • Three Kings Day/Epiphany (Christian)
  • Boxing Day (Australian, Canadian, English, Irish)
  • Kwanzaa (African-American)
  • Omisoka (Japanese)
  • Yule (Pagan)
  • Saturnalia (Pagan)

Just want to make sure I don’t forget anyone or leave anyone out.  If you don’t celebrate holidays, then just be safe anyway.  There is far too much crazy going on in this world to not be cautious.

 

I support #BlackLivesMatter

I came across this on a message board that I frequent. I couldn't think of anything better to show the disconnect many display with their sloganeering.

I came across this on a message board that I frequent. I couldn’t think of anything better to show the disconnect many display with their sloganeering.

I’ve debated writing this for a while.  Given the media’s insatiable appetite for sensationalism, I have too much on my mind and heart to not write it now.  So here it goes….

*please bear with me if I get long winded…

First and foremost, I am 100% American.  My ancestors arrived on American soil in the late 1790s.  Yes, I am Black, and my ancestors arrived here from Africa.  I wear Blue as do many of my friends and family members.  I support #BlackLivesMatter.  I support them just as I support any other American individual or group that wants their rights respected and protected.  Also, just as any other American person or group, that support is not unconditional.  I don’t suffer foolishness, intemperance, or criminality.

#BlackLivesMatter is not racist, nor are their motives steeped in racism.  To the politicians, talking heads, and media outlets that only seek to portray them or label them as such, look at that photo at the top.  They are not the racists.  They are simply asking that their rights be respected and protected just as yours are.

I’m sick and tired of the single-sided portrayal of Black people by the media and politicians.  It’s constant jibber jabber of how Black on Black crime is rampant.  It’s how Blacks are prone to being criminals.  You constantly hear about inner-city crime and poverty.  That is not Black America.  We are more than what you hear on TV.

We are doctors, surgeons, nurses, and administrators.  We are lawyers, judges, paralegals, and stenographers.  We are astronauts, scientists, and engineers.  We are professors, principals, teachers, and secretaries.  We are workers, managers, vice presidents, and even CEOs.  We are carpenters, electricians, brick masons, farmers, and other laborers.  We are not simply a page full of crime statistics and poverty.  So, PLEASE quit trying to portray us as a single monolithic crime statistic.

I support #BlackLivesMatter because I listen attentively.  I hear what they’re asking, and I understand why they’re asking it.  Perceptions shape reality in many instances, and the reality is this.  Many Americans in the public and prominent positions to positively or negatively affect others tend to negatively portray Black Americans.  The continuous negative portrayal is ingrained into the daily lives of others to where there arises a bias against Blacks.

I’m not accusing people of being racist, and this is where the disconnect arises.  Some people jump to the assumption that claiming that Black Lives Matter is a racial claim that Black lives are more important than everyone else.  That is not what the movement is claiming or attempting to put forth.  They’re simply saying that Black lives matter TOO.

When we don’t see or address our biases, we react to things without understanding or realizing how our reactions are received by others.  That image above is the perfect example.  If you suggest that all lives matter, then you should have no problem with supporting the statement that Black lives matter because Black lives are indeed a subset of all lives, right?  If you support Blue Lives Matter, would you say that you’re support means that firefighters don’t matter?  I don’t know of a single person who supports law enforcement who would ever agree to that.  Yet, yelling Blue lives matter to someone who suggests Black lives matter is exactly what you’re doing.

Every single American should support #BlackLivesMatter if you sincerely believe the U.S. Constitution is there to protect our rights.  If we don’t protect the rights of a subset of Americans, then the Constitution fails to protect us all.  It’s not a matter of treating someone better than others.  It’s simply treating us all one and the same.

If your response to #BlackLivesMatter is to segue into Black on Black crime, then why not address White on White crime?  To do that is to do what I talked about above, which is to claim that all Blacks are criminal.  #BlackLivesMatter is asking for law enforcement to NOT treat us all as criminal.  How many White people can tell multiple stories about being stopped, patted down, or hand cuffed because they “resemble” a wanted person?  Now ask that same question to Black people.  Both racial groups commit crime.  Both racial groups are arrested for committing crime.  Let the media tell it, we Blacks are disproportionately arrested for criminal activity.  Now, think about the question about being stopped and ask yourself who’s being stopped more?  Why would Black people NOT be disproportionately arrested for criminal activity when they are disproportionately stopped or detained for criminal activity?

I won’t make a claim that there is no crime in inner cities.  It’s there.  The citizens look to the police to protect them from criminal activity, so why people think Black people hate the police is beyond me.  If that were the case, Black people would be more like Charles Bronson and applying vigilante justice in the inner cities instead of asking the police for better protection.

Take Chicago for example as it’s the conservatives favorite whipping post in relation to this topic.  Chicago has a serious issue with violence.  Gang issues are rampant just as the gun violence has people on edge.  Now answer these questions.  Where does the drugs and guns originate?  Where are the marijuana farms, meth labs, or cocaine labs in Chicago that produce the drugs found on the streets?  Where are all the guns being purchased that end up shooting and killing the residents of Chicago?  They don’t originate there, and Chicago pays a heavy price for their importation into the city.  As much as you hear people clamoring about the number of shooting victims in Chicago, you never hear of them offering any suggestions on how to decrease the gun trafficking that leads to the high number of incidents.  When you hear people talk about the drug and gang issues, there are never any ideas given on how to decrease the drug trade or how to improve the economic situation of the inner city to lessen the appeal to sell drugs to make a living.

THIS is why Black lives matter.  It’s all about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  If you only see a criminal when you see me, then you don’t know me.  If you support policies like Stop-and-Frisk because you think it helps, then you don’t value my 4th Amendment right against unlawful search and seizure.  If your knee-jerk reaction is to shoot me because I tell you I’m armed, you don’t respect my 2nd Amendment right to bear arms.  If you advocate for policy or legislation that restricts my right to vote, then you show that you don’t care about my Constitutional rights.

Black America doesn’t want special treatment.  Black America wants to be American.  That’s it.  No more.  No less.  That’s why I support #BlackLivesMatter.  If we allow any single group’s rights to be trampled, then we are not American.  I am 100% American, are you?

Is it time yet?

It’s always claimed after a national tragedy that “it’s too soon” to talk about whatever needs to be discussed.  With 50 dead and 53 injured, is it time to discuss ways on how to minimize the threat to the safety of ALL Americans within the confines of our own country?

After reading the comments of numerous political asshats, I think this is all I’ll post for now.  I do have a job to protect, and I don’t want to say anything out of anger that will jeopardize my employment.

To those affected by the shooting at Pulse in Orlando, please accept my heartfelt condolences, prayers, and wishes for healing.  At this point, I don’t think there’s anyone that was hurt or killed that I personally know, but there were numerous people in the club that were either family or friends to people that I know or talk with online.  This attack feels much more personal because of that.

2016 strikes again

Not a day goes by that I don’t have something on my mind that I want to discuss.  The problem nowadays is finding the time to sit long enough to draft something out.  Every now and then, you just have to make the time.

I’m tired of 2016 already.  If it wasn’t bad enough that my allergies got me so bad that I looked like I had been punched by Mike Tyson in a street fight (remember Mitch Green?), it seems like rarely does a week go by without hearing about the loss of a cultural icon.  April 20-21 was bad because I got hit by a one-two combination with WWE’s Chyna and then Prince.

Those who really know me can tell you that I am a huge wrestling fan.  I know it’s choreographed.  I can also tell you that it’s not fake as people like to say.  When you know people who have more metal in them than a Megadeath concert, those injuries don’t just pop out of thin air.

Chyna was a beast in the ring.  Branding herself as the 9th Wonder of the World wasn’t as much as hype as it was reality.  She was probably the strongest female wrestler I’ve ever seen perform, and she mixed it up with the guys as much as she did with the ladies.  At one time, she even held the Intercontinental Championship Belt which was no easy task to get.  I never had the opportunity to meet her in person, and I’m not really sure what she would have been like if I had.  Most wrestlers that I have known were pretty cool people who were just like the person next door minus the notoriety that comes with their jobs.

May she get the peace she deserves away from the demons that chased her after she quit wrestling.  I think she deserves that much.  Kinda like Farrah Fawcett, she’ll likely receive fewer tributes in death because of her death being overshadowed by someone else.  In Farrah’s case, it was Michael Jackson.  For Chyna, it’s Prince.

That album cover was my official introduction to Prince.  I had heard his songs but never knew who was on the other side of those speakers.  Controversy changed all that.

I didn’t want to be Prince, the artist.  I knew I couldn’t sing that high, and I didn’t have perfect pitch like him.  I wanted to be Prince, the musician.  Dude kicked ass on any instrument that he touched.  I bet he could have probably done the Star Spangled Banner on a kazoo and brought the crowd to its knees before it was finished.

I play the drums, taught myself how to peck away on the piano, and I took up the trumpet in my senior year of high school.  To this day, however, I can’t hold a candle to Prince’s guitar talent, even in my dreams.  It’s one of those things that I think I would need a Matrix-styled download right into the brain to even come close to being able to play like that.  I hate that I never got to see him perform in person live, even as his last performance was right up the interstate from me at the Fox Theater in Atlanta.

Gonna go and look at my Purple Rain album and cover.  Yes, I still have it in the house, and no I will not sell it.  That is, in my honest opinion, still a very high watermark for a movie soundtrack to hit, and very few will probably surpass that mark.

Rest in Peace Prince.  Your talent, drive, and music will continue to inspire others for generations to come.  I see no way that your footprints on this planet will ever disappear.

Update 4/22/2016 7:25pm

Going through storage in my crawlspace produced the following…

image

If you don’t have a physical copy of Prince, then you don’t have a legal copy as only his Tidal releases were available in digital download format. And, yes they are original vinyl.