Archive for the ‘war’ Category

“Wright” and wrong

I just didn’t want to do this. Not another post about race. Feel free to peruse past posts here where I have spoken out against how race shouldn’t matter in the scheme of things. But here we are again, and this time in regards to presidential hopeful Barak Obama. Surprise, surprise.

The remarks of Sen. Obama’s pastor Jeremiah Wright are not only embarrassing but have set us back quite a pace. Stating that blacks should “damn” America instead of bless it is not only presumptuous but it’s a self-indulgent statement. How can he speak for me as a black American? Scratch that. An American. I know that in the times not too far from my own, I would not be sitting here, writing this to you all, living the life that I live today. We have our issues of race, unfortunately, but we are still leaps and bounds beyond where we were.

But maybe I’m wrong. If race was no longer the issue it was centuries ago, why are we even here now? Here RIGHT now with a half-black man who may very well be president. Everything that has surrounded this candidate has been shrouded in a cloak of racial separation. Is he black enough? Is he too black? I want to believe we are in an America that we can look pass all of this but obviously we aren’t. On all sides — whether it be the Pastor Wrights in the world or the David Dukes.

I am not saying that Obama didn’t have to speak up for his stance on his pastor’s words. They were sorely off track and because everyone became aware of this pastor’s thoughts, Obama HAD to discuss it. However, I think the reason this has become such a grand deal is because of Obama’s ethnicity. No. Half of it. I don’t think Mitt Romney had to face this kind of attack when he was questioned on being a Mormon. Not exactly the same comparison given Pastor Wright’s remarks, but if we are going to make the connection of what happens in a person’s place of worship, we should be looking at everyone’s place of faith. Not just the select few.

Religious leaders say a slough of things we don’t usually agree with — every week. Right now there is probably someone’s priest molesting a child, somene’s reverend having an affair, someone’s pastor saying something ignorant. Oh yea. That already happened…

Let’s start worrying about who is going to pull us out of this war.

A New America

Stumbling around old junk and filing things away tonight, I made a very ironic discovery. An old editorial I had written while in college about THE day. September 11. How eerie being that the very Tuesday is upon us.

Another irony: The editorial was attached with a rejection letter from the company I work for today. I don’t blame them for the rejection. However as I was retyping the letter for this blog, I felt all that terrifying emotion of 9/11 all over again. I will admit the tears from remembering that day came upon me. And in the end I had written what was/is still raw to me. Look pass the green around the gills nature of it and think back to what you were doing that day…

A New America

I should have known by the way it stayed wet and gray for a week before it happened.

The air seemed different somehow but it wasn’t just the constant rain that made breathing hard or the constant humidity. Humidity so thick the atmosphere hung like a noose over every passerby. The depression sunk in and I suddenly wondering why the rain bothered me so much. Texas is notorious for strange weather but it seemed to be something more — something felt wrong.

So that morning I peeled myself from the warmth of the covers. The sleep I attempted the night before was unsettled and sporadic. As I tried to shake off the exhaustion, my forehead crinkled a bit and I whimpered at the idea of starting my day. My thoughts were still wrestling in the waves of melancholy. First instinct: Turn on the radio. Second instinct: Make sure it’s loud. I had forgotten that I had left the stereo on an alternative station but my anxious dial turning fingers froze at the news my very non-favorite DJ delivered. He was speaking about something no American plans to hear at 9 a.m. For some reason the only words I understood followed this order: Pentagon. New York. Terrorists. All the other words blurred as I ran to the television.

To my rapidly gained realization, the pieces of my confusion were suddenly being glued together with images too shocking to compute. I called my father who I was extremely surprised did not call me first considering he is the master of current events. He did not know. It happened so quickly. School seemed unimportant somehow but I still needed to get to class. How could I not being that my father encouraged me to go? I got showered and got dressed to the news blaring in the den. I rushed to the car and every radio station I programmed was covering the tragedy, our tragedy.

Two planes ripped into the World Trade Center towers in New York; another destroyed a part of the Pentagon. More than thousands lost or dead. I called my mother as soon as I was on my way. She had just finished crying — one of the towers had collapsed due to the extreme impact of the plane. Mom cried. I can count on my hand how many times I have actually seen her weep.

There is no need to go into detail. We all know what happened. Every business has a lowered flag in front of their building as cars pass by with red, white and blue ribbons flying high on antennas. Every store is sold out of our nation’s flag as billboards of churches and restaurants proclaim God Bless America and United We Stand.

How will this affect the way people perceive life? In my generation, being a young person means our sense of direction is ornamented with responsibilities, the quest for complete education and the hopes of achieving every goal we set. I may not speak for the nation’s youth, but for me the path is now marred. The edges are rough with uncertainty, jagged with sorrow and covered in the debris of disbelief. What now? Business as usual is difficult. Everyday new coverage and constant red, white and blue reminders populate the city. We shouldn’t forget. We dare not. But where do you go from here when an already undetermined future becomes even more uncertain and laden with catastrophe?

Road to happiness: Think like a dog.

Last week I was asked to be a “celebrity” judge for an event called Doggie Splash Day. If you are unfamiliar with this kind of event, it’s basically a free for all for dogs and their owners to swim together, goof off and enter funny contests. My category: Talent.

I arrived in a khaki skirt of all things (I had another event immediately before the splish-splashing fun) and some less-than-safe sandals, which I know was kind of dumb but I forgot my sneakers to change into. Anywho, one of the park staff helped me up the very tall and slippery lifeguard chair and I waited patiently for the contest to start while chatting it up with the other “celebrity” judges (one of which was an elementary school principal. Talk about red carpet…)

While I was up there I noticed that a large Labrador or Golden Retriever, I admit to not knowing the difference, stopped at the bottom of the lifeguard chair near my feet. Then I noticed that he was slowly raising his leg and … yea, let’s just say I propped my feet up so quick you can probably still feel the breeze from them swiftly rising to the sky.

Then the dog just walked away without a care in the world. I envied that dog. He didn’t care if he came off rude. He didn’t care if he offended me. He just needed to take a leak and that was mission no. 1 between chasing a ball and taking a leap into the pool.

Well, after the silliness of one too many dogs saying “I love you,” Frisbee tricks, roll over-play dead-shake attempts and one dog that appeared too shy to perform in the talent show, I decided to take a real hard look around the pool. Not a care in the world…

Dogs aren’t stupid but they live simply. They just need some stroking, food, water, playtime and a place to lay their heads. They don’t care if they shit in front of you and you then have to pick it up and dispose of it. They don’t care if they have stinky breath when they lean in to give you a big kiss. Their privates are out for the world to see, they don’t give a rip. They lick themselves and aren’t ashamed. They don’t care if you have cellulite, aren’t the perfect size or have the best wardrobe in the world. They don’t care who you date, what you do behind closed doors, your political opinions.

They just live. And they do so without the trappings we live with every day.

I am convinced that if we all lived that way, there would be world peace — well that and a lot of butt-sniffing …

Dubya meets The Dead Zone: My encounter with the pres.

Several years ago in college, I shook hands with then governor of Texas — George W. Bush. He came to my school around the time he was campaigning and had a very blanket speech about vocational jobs of all things. It was cookie cutter. It was dry. And he was surrounded by his “yes” men as you would expect, controlling our questions.

But he still had to do the whole “kissing babies” routine so when he got to me I had my question ready. Back then I was a huge non-supporter of capital punishment. I have mixed feelings about it today, though. But at that time, it was a very passionate topic for me. I don’t really remember the exact question but all W. gave me was a very glazed over face and a fake smile and sputtered, “Well, I am a capital punishment governor,” and then he shook my hand and that was that.

Now I don’t know if you follow the USA Network, but good old 1980s geek turned hottie Anthony Michael Hall  plays a psychic named Johnny Smith on The Dead Zone. The show is based on the old movie with Christopher Walken in the lead role which was an adaptation of the book by Stephen King.

Smith can see the future and the past by touching things — or people and after shaking the hand of a to-be president named Greg Stillson, Smith sees the end of the world, literally.  Now I know I’m reaching well around to make a point and I’m sure not saying I’m psychic but I have to admit that I had such a Johnny Smith moment when I shook Bush’s hand. It’s hard to explain. I just got a bad vibe and a chill …

Whether or not you are a democrat, or republican, there is no denying the severe left turn the War on Terror has been steering down for quite some time. I claim no side. I’ve always voted for who I thought was the best person for the job — no matter the affiliation. But what are we doing here? And what happens, and it will happen, when the torch passes on to the new president? Campaign runs are a funny thing. You hear every day all kinds of promises from the candidates. The media does it’s take, covers the story, opens up the forum for discussion. Some instances like CNN take it a little further with some of their biased coverage. But overall we have the ultimate say about who deserves the job.

However I worry that the situation in Iraq will be like putting together a jigsaw puzzle without having the box with the picture on it to reference how it is all supposed to fit. Ultimately, whoever gets into office, where the hell do they start?!

And why didn’t I write to Washington when I had my Johnny moment? 🙂