What tweets are worse than those of a political nature, you did not ask?

Disclaimer: This post is not meant to offend anyone, although I’m sure that it will. I am not directing this post towards people who don’t post political tweets, but rather those individuals who feel that posting political tweets are a waste of time; meaningless. I fully intend for this post to be harsh, however, and these are my opinions, which I acknowledge as opinions and not indeed, fact. I will acknowledge that politics is generally about bullshit, and will also acknowledge that life in general, is about bullshit.

Do you remember when you were a child, at the dinner table? Think back to when your parent(s) had to literally beg you to eat your vegetables. Do you recall the “propaganda” they spewed to you? You know, telling you that if you don’t eat all of your vegetables, you’d get sick and wouldn’t grow up to be big and strong? (Hey, Karen, all of those damn peas and sweet potatoes you made me eat didn’t do a damn bit of good, you jerk.) Of course, as a child who knew everything there was to know, you vehemently refused to eat said vegetables. There was no way in hell you’d even begin to consume something that was so disgusting, and to you, a waste of dinner plate space. Then…you grew up. Despite the assumption that as you grow older, you favor intellect and intelligent discourse more and more, political tweets are just one of the things that for some reason, draw the ire of so many fully-grown adults on a regular basis.

This morning, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney (MA) officially named Congressman Paul Ryan (WI) his running mate for the 2012 presidential election. A few on my Twitter timeline, like myself, chuckled. Some seemingly either didn’t know about this, or chose to ignore it. And then there was the group of people who just felt so inclined to post tweets like, “I guess I’m going to have to get off of Twitter until December” or “I can’t take all of this political crap on my timeline” or my favorite, “It looks like I’ll be muting/unfollowing a lot of people in the coming months”.

I get it: Politics isn’t exactly a popular topic to discuss. I should remind you, though, that politics is not sports. Nor is it entertainment, technology, or even dumb ass gossip. Politics are vital to the structure of the US, and if you don’t agree with that, I will just chalk up your belief to either you being far less than politically aware or making a blatant attempt to fit in with the cool crowd. Since so many of the people who feel that tweeting about politics is essentially “like jerking off into the wind” don’t often opine on a lot of the literal mundane shit that floats into their timelines, I figured I’d take the liberty of doing so myself.

  1. Retweeting parody accounts. Oh, how do I hate 99.9% of parody accounts found on Twitter. Initially, the idea of them didn’t seem so bad. In fact, I actually ran one myself until Twitter basically told me that I was impersonating an actual person…which is essentially the concept of a fucking parody account. As time passed, these accounts have become more and more annoying. Whether the account is one of the dozens of condescending Waldo accounts, fake Bill Walton, faux John Madden, Ted accounts, or just a parody account of the average celebrity, it’s gotten tired. Enough is enough. What makes a good number of these accounts even worse is that they steal tweets and post them as their own. Alas, there are folks on Twitter who still continue to be amazed by these accounts. If you are a theist of some kind, pray for them to learn what real humor is.
  2. Tweets that alert your timeline of the minutiae that is your daily life. There was once a time when Twitter was struggling to find its footing on the internet. With its perceived chief rival to be Facebook, the Facebook loyalists would not make the switch, or simply create a Twitter account because of the general idea that Twitter was more about “I just took a shit. It smells.” than actual meaningful information being exchanged between people all over the globe. Don’t get me wrong; there are still the people who feel the need to let their timeline know that they just ate a cheeseburger with no cheese. It’s just that the people of Twitter have progressed, a bit. Only a bit, though.
  3. “I’m about to go work out” tweets. I don’t include these with #2 because I wouldn’t exactly characterize working out as minutiae. While I don’t actively work out, I don’t have a problem with those who do. My qualm lies with the people who I assume think they’re earning some sort of cool points by announcing to their timeline that they are about to hit the gym in an effort to tighten up, or spy on people, usually of the opposite sex. This would also include the attractive women who post pics of themselves in their workout gear to Twitter. You’ve seen them: The shapely woman who rocks the silhouette pose in her new Nike attire so everyone can see just how shapely she truly is. You want attention, people. To deny as much would only hurt your cause.
  4. The Instagram craze. For personal reasons, I don’t take many pictures. Again, I don’t really have a problem with people who choose to. Again, my qualm lies with the people who are seemingly taking pictures for others. Check the fly shit: I don’t want to see yet another picture of your baby with his/her eyes open. No, I don’t care about what you had for dinner. Do you really think I want to see a morbidly obese woman at the gas station in a tutu, chugging a gallon of chocolate milk while playing the ukelele? Congratulations, you smoke weed, drink liquor and/or own a motor vehicle. I believe everyone should as often as possible think about what they’re tweeting, and whether or not it does anyone else any good. This same strategy should apply to Instagram.
  5. #TeamiPhone and #TeamDroid. You people literally sicken me. Please tell me how much money you’ve made by endorsing either product. It’s safe to assume that you get some sort of discount for turning yourself into a label whore, no? I have a Droid, and it’s only because I needed a new phone and at the time, it was free. I couldn’t care less about what brand my smartphone is, as long as it functions the way I want it to. Maybe my indifference can be attributed to my lack of savviness when it comes to technology, or possibly my realization that materialism is sophomoric and should be abandoned upon graduating from high school.
  6. Retweeting or tweeting sports rumors. These people are mostly sheep. I’d even go as far as to say they are slaves to the media. News is 24/7, but that doesn’t mean that every journalist has something to report at all hours of the day. This goes double for sports journalists. During a period of time in which there isn’t much news to report, you can find so many baseball, basketball, hockey and football media types spamming timelines with rumors on signings, trades, hirings, firings, and other transactions in their respective sports. As if posting this type of crap isn’t annoying enough, the mention of “sources” makes it much, much, much, much, much worse. Could you imagine giving a professor a term paper and listing anonymous sources, then expecting to be viewed as a good student?
  7. Twitter beefs. I love debate. I hate senseless, immature bickering. I do not hurl insults at anyone. Regardless of what anyone thinks, I do not post subliminal tweets. If I have a genuine problem with someone, I will do my best to hash it out, and if the issue can’t be resolved, they will be blocked. I’ve personally witnessed two grown ass people going at each other’s throats over shit that belongs only on an episode of 90210. All you’re doing when you resort to petty back and forth with someone is making yourself look like a jackass in the eyes of others who are easily more mature. Now, don’t construe a heated disagreement as my beefing with someone. I challenge almost everyone on my timeline at one point or another, and believe I am generally respectful. However, I will never digitally voice my disdain for someone because they wouldn’t play nice during recess, or because they are friendly with someone who I don’t particularly like.
  8. Endorsing ratchet behavior. We all have our “ignorant moments”. I prefer to keep mine private. Twitter, for most, is a public platform. Why would you want potentially every person on the planet to think that you’re ignorant? The amount of sexism, homophobia and racism on Twitter is disheartening. Of course, I’ve weeded out a lot of it from my timeline, but every once in a while, it creeps up again. I’ll save my controversial jokes and views for those who understand me best, because things often get lost in translation when in text, especially when the reader doesn’t personally know you.
  9. Using Twitter as a diary/journal. Yes, Twitter is technically a micro-blogging website. Or, at least that’s what it was originally intended to be. Since I joined in August of 2009, it has slowly transformed into more of a social networking site, and I am not totally adverse to the change. What really fries my chicken are the the people who whine incessantly. They bitch about failed relationships, their imaginary haters, incompetent co-workers, goals that they’re most likely not working towards and annoying family members. In moderation, tweeting about each of these things is perfectly fine. If I scroll down your timeline and see that you’ve devoted 45 out of your last 46 tweets to harping about how you can’t get a date, that a store you visited didn’t have a product you wanted, or expressing your displeasure with your selfish roommate for using the last of the ketchup, you may want to look into bidding on a life on eBay.
  10. The “Politics on Twitter is stupid” clan. Don’t care about politics, I beg of you. Let the rest of us virtually decide your future for you. I understand that not everyone is politically inclined, and that those people would rather not discuss politics. In addition, I realize that there are people who don’t talk about politics, for fear that their opinion(s) will be attacked. Some of these people are actually knowledgeable when it comes to politics, but would rather not have to deal with perfect strangers attempting to eviscerate them because of their belief(s). But you folk who practically insult something that is a passion of mine can kick big rocks while barefoot in the winter. You are not “dissing” my love of building model planes (which I actually suck at because I have no semblance of patience), but a subject that I decided to pursue in college, as I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. Feel free to express how uncomfortable you are when talking about politics, or even witnessing it in any way. Just don’t bring yourself to denigrate something that impacts your life so greatly, whether you choose to accept it or not. Basically, grow the entire fuck up.

While I am a bit of a PoliSci nerd, my timeline is more than politics. Believe me, I have unfollowed people who only tweet about politics because I mainly use Twitter to find diversity. Besides, one-dimensional people are a nuisance, regardless of what it is they’re so scarily devoted to. The problem with many assumptions of political tweets are that most of them are not really soapbox-worthy. At least from what I’ve read, these people are mostly just sharing their beliefs. Occasionally, the shit can be a little preachy, and like the pointless Twitter beefs, some debates about politics turn into full-blown mud-slinging matches. Yet, I am a self-proclaimed scatterbrain, and my timeline definitely shows as much. Fortunately, for myself, I always manage to come back to what I feel is important. Now that Romney has his running mate, the presidential race is officially on. There will be lots of spirited debate, faulty claims, corrections and the like. You can be assured that my timeline will become a bit more political with each passing day. If you have a problem with that, you know what to do. Just let me know, so I can return the favor.

“Stranger in the Village”, James Baldwin.

From “Notes of A Native Son”

From all available evidence no black man had ever set foot in this tiny Swiss village before I came. I was told before arriving that I would probably be a “sight” for the village; I took this to mean that people of my complexion were rarely seen in Switzerland, and also that city people are always something of a “sight” outside of the city. It did not occur to me-possibly because I am an American-that there could be people anywhere who had never seen a Negro.

It is a fact that cannot be explained on the basis of the inaccessibility of the village. The village is very high, but it is only four hours from Milan and three hours from Lausanne. It is true that it is virtually unknown. Few people making plans for a holiday would elect to come here. On the other hand, the villagers are able, presumably, to come and go as they please – which they do: to another town at the foot of the mountain, with a population of approximately five thousand, the nearest place to see a movie or go to the bank. In the village there is no movie house, no bank, no library, no theater; very few radios, one jeep, one station wagon; and at the moment, one typewriter, mine, an invention which the woman next door to me here had never seen. There are about six hundred people living here, all Catholic- I conclude this from the fact that the Catholic church is open all year round, whereas the Protestant chapel, set off on a hill a little removed from the village, is open only in the summertime when the tourists arrive. There are four or five hotels, all closed now, and four or five bistros, of which, however, only two do any business during the winter. These two do not do a great deal, for life in the village seems to end around nine or ten o’clock. There are a few stores, butcher, baker, epicerie,a hardware store, and a money-changer-who cannot change travelers’ checks, but must send them down to the bank, an operation which takes two or three days. There is something called the Ballet Haus, closed in the winter and used for God knows what, certainly not ballet, during the summer. There seems to be only one schoolhouse in the village, and this for the quite young children; I suppose this to mean that their older brothers and sisters at some point descend from these mountains in order to complete their education-possibly, again, to the town just below. The landscape is absolutely forbidding, mountains towering on all four sides, ice and snow as far as the eye can reach. In this white wilderness, men and women and children move all day, carrying washing, wood, buckets of milk or water, sometimes skiing on Sunday afternoons. All week long boys and young men are to be seen shoveling snow off the rooftops, or dragging wood down from the forest in sleds.

The village’s only real attraction, which explains the tourist season, is the hot spring water. A disquietingly high proportion of these tourists are cripples, or semi- cripples, who come year after year-from other parts of Switzerland, usually-to take the waters. This lends the village, at the height of the season, a rather terrifying air of sanctity, as though it were a lesser Lourdes. There is often something beautiful, there is always something awful, in the spectacle of a person who has lost one of his faculties, a faculty he never questioned until it was gone, and who struggles to recover it. Yet people remain people, on crutches or indeed on deathbeds; and wherever I passed, the first summer I was here, among the native villagers or among the lame, a wind passed with me-of astonishment, curiosity, amusement and outrage. That first summer I stayed two weeks and never intended to return. But I did return in the winter, to work; the village offers, obviously, no distractions whatever and has the further advantage of being extremely cheap. Now it is winter again, a year later, and I am here again. Everyone in the village knows my name, though they scarcely ever use it, knows that I come from America though, this, apparently, they will never really believe: black men come from Africa-and everyone knows that I am the friend of the son of a woman who was born here, and that I am staying in their chalet. But I remain as much a stranger today as I was the first day I arrived, and the children shout Neger! Neger! as I walk along the streets.

It must be admitted that in the beginning I was far too shocked to have any real reaction. In so far as I reacted at all, I reacted by trying to be pleasant-it being a great part of the American Negro’s education (long before he goes to school) that he must make people like him. This smile-and-the world-smiles-with-you routine worked about as well in this situation as it had in the situation for which it was designed, which is to of phenomenon which allowed them to see my teeth-they did not, really, see my smile and I began to think that, should I take to snarling, no one would notice any difference. All of the physical characteristics of the Negro which had caused me, in America, a very different and almost forgotten pain were nothing less than miraculous-or infernal-in the eyes of the village people. Some thought my hair was the color of tar, that it had the texture of wire, or the texture of cotton. It was jocularly suggested that I might let it all grow long and make myself a winter coat. If I sat in the sun for more than five minutes some daring creature was certain to come along and gingerly put his fingers on my hair, as though he were afraid of an electric shock, or put his hand on my hand, astonished that the color did not rub off. In all of this, in which it must be conceded there was the charm of genuine wonder and in which there were certainly no element of intentional unkindness, there was yet no suggestion that I was human: I was simply a living wonder.

I knew that they did not mean to be unkind, and I know it now; it is necessary, nevertheless, for me to repeat this to myself each time that I walk out of the chalet. The children who shout Neger!have no way of knowing the echoes this sound raises in me. They are brimming with good humor and the more daring swell with pride when I stop to speak with them. Just the same, there are days when I cannot pause and smile, when I have no heart to play with them; when, indeed, I mutter sourly to myself, exactly as I muttered on the streets of a city these children have never seen, when I was no bigger than these children are now: Your mother was a nigger. Joyce is right about history being a nightmare-but it may be the nightmare from which no one can awaken. People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.

There is a custom in the village- I am told it is repeated in many villages- of buying African natives for the purpose of converting them to Christianity. There stands in the church all year round a small box with a slot for money, decorated with a black figurine, and into this box the villagers drop their francs. During the carnival which precedes Lent, two village children have their faces blackened-out of which bloodless darkness their blue eyes shine like ice-and fantastic horsehair wigs are placed on their blond heads; thus disguised, they solicit among the villagers for money for the missionaries in Africa. Between the box in the church and blackened children, the IJ village “bought” last year six or eight African natives. This was reported to me with pride by the wife of one of thebistro owners and I was careful to express astonishment and pleasure at the solicitude shown by the village for the souls of black folks. The bistro owner’s wife beamed with a pleasure far more genuine than my own and seemed to feel that I might now breathe more easily concerning the souls of at least six of my kinsmen.

I tried not to think of these so lately baptized kinsmen, of the price paid for them, or the peculiar price they themselves would pay, and said nothing about my father, who having taken his own conversion too literally never, at bottom, forgave the white world (which he described as heathen) for having saddled him with a Christ in whom, to judge at least from their treatment of him, they themselves no longer believed. I thought of white men arriving for the first time in an African village, strangers there, as I am a stranger here, and tried to imagine the astounded populace touching their hair and marveling at the color of their skin. But there is a great difference between being the first white man to be seen by Africans and being the first black man to be seen by whites. The white man takes the astonishment as tribute, for he arrives to conquer and to convert the natives, whose inferiority in relation to himself is not even to be questioned; whereas I, without a thought of conquest, find myself among a people whose culture controls me, has even, in a sense, created me, people who have cost me more in anguish and rage than they will ever know, who yet do not even know of my existence. The astonishment, with which I might have greeted them, should they have stumbled into my African village a few hundred years ago, might have rejoiced their hearts. But the astonishment with which they greet me today can only poison mine.

And this is so despite everything I may do to feel differently, despite my friendly conversations with the bistro owner’s wife, despite their three-year-old son who has at last become my friend, despite the saluts and bonsoirs which I exchange with people as I walk, despite the fact that I know that no individual can be taken to task for what history is doing, or has done. I say that the culture of these people controls me-but they can scarcely be held responsible for European culture. America comes out of Europe, but these people have never seen America, nor have most of them seen more of Europe than the hamlet at the foot of their mountain. Yet they move with an authority which I shall never have; and they regard me, quite rightly, not only as a stranger in the village but as a suspect latecomer, bearing no credentials, to everything they have-however unconsciously-inherited.

For this village, even were it incomparably more remote and incredibly more primitive, is the West, the West onto which I have been so strangely grafted. These people cannot be, from the point of view of power, strangers anywhere in the world; they have made the modem world, in effect, even if they do not know it. The most illiterate among them is related, in away that I am not, to Dante, Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Aeschylus, Da Vinci, Rembrandt, and Racine; the cathedral at Chartres says something to them which it cannot say to me, as indeed would New York’s Empire State Building, should anyone here ever see it. Out of their hymns and dances come Beethoven and Bach. Go back a few centuries and they are in their full glory-but I am in Africa, watching the conquerors arrive.

The rage of the disesteemed is personally fruitless, but it is also absolutely inevitable: the rage, so generally discounted, so little understood even among the people whose daily bread it is, is one of the things that makes history. Rage can only with difficulty, and never entirely, be brought under the domination of the intelligence and is therefore not susceptible to any arguments whatever. This is a fact which ordinary representatives of the Herrenvolk, having never felt this rage and being unable to imagine, quite fail to understand. Also, rage cannot be hidden, it can only be dissembled. This dissembling deludes the thoughtless, and strengthens rage and adds, to rage, contempt. There are, no doubt, as many ways of coping with the resulting complex of tensions as there are black men in the world, but no black man can hope ever to be entirely liberated from this internal warfare-rage, dissembling, and contempt having inevitably accompanied his first realization of the power of white men. What is crucial here is that since white men represent in the black man’s world so heavy a weight, white men have for black men a reality which is far from being reciprocal; and hence all black men have toward all white men an attitude which is designed, really, either to rob the white man of the jewel of his naiveté, or else to make it cost him dear.

The black man insists, by whatever means he finds at his disposal, that the white man cease to regard him as an exotic rarity and recognize him as a human being. This is a very charged and difficult moment, for there is a great deal of will power involved in the white man’s naiveté. Most people are not naturally reflective any more than they are naturally malicious, and the white man prefers to keep the black man at a certain human remove because it is easier for him thus to preserve his simplicity and avoid being called to account for crimes committed by his forefathers, or his neighbors. He is inescapably aware, nevertheless, that he is in a better position in the world than black men are, nor can he quite put to death the suspicion that he is hated by black men therefore. He does not wish to be hated, neither does he wish to change places, and at this point in his uneasiness he can scarcely avoid having recourse to those legends which white men have created about black men, the most usual effect of which is that the white man finds himself enmeshed, so to speak, in his own language which describes hell, as well as the attributes which lead one to hell, as being as black as night.

Every legend, moreover, contains its residuum of truth, and the root function of language is to control the universe by describing it. It is of quite considerable significance that black men remain, in the imagination, and in overwhelming numbers in fact, beyond the disciplines of salvation; and this despite the fact that the West has been “buying” African natives for centuries. There is, I should hazard, an instantaneous necessity to be divorced from this so visibly unsaved stranger, in whose heart, moreover , one cannot guess what dreams of vengeance are being nourished; and, at the same time, there are few things on earth more attractive than the idea of the unspeakable liberty which is allowed the unredeemed. When, beneath the black mask, a human being begins to make himself felt one cannot escape a certain awful wonder as to what kind of human being it is. What one’s imagination makes of other people is dictated, of course, by the Master race laws of one’s own personality and it’s one of the ironies of black-white relations that, by means of what the white man imagines the black man to be, the black man is enabled to know who the white man is.

I have said, for example, that I am as much a stranger in this village today as I was the first summer I arrived, but this is not quite true. The villagers wonder less about the texture of my hair than they did then, and wonder rather more about me. And the fact that their wonder now exists on another level is reflected in their attitudes and in their eyes. There are the children who make those delightful, hilarious, sometimes astonishingly grave overtures of friendship in the unpredictable fashion of children; other children, having been taught that the devil is a black man, scream in genuine anguish as I approach. Some of the older women never pass without a friendly greeting, never pass, indeed, if it seems that they will be able to engage me in conversation; other women look down or look away or rather contemptuously smirk. Some of the men drink with me and suggest that I learn how to ski-partly, I gather, because they cannot imagine what I would look like on skis-and want to know if I am married, and ask questions about my metier. But some of the men have accused le sale negre-behindmy back-of stealing wood and there is already in the eyes of some of them that peculiar, intent, paranoiac malevolence which one sometimes surprises in the eyes of American white men when, out walking with their Sunday girl, they see a Negro male approach.

There is a dreadful abyss between the streets of this village and the streets of the city in which I was born, between the children who shout Neger! today and those who shouted Nigger! yesterday-the abyss is experience, the American experience. The syllable hurled behind me today expresses, above all, wonder: I am a stranger here. But, I am not a stranger in America and the same syllable riding on the American air expresses the war my presence has occasioned in the American soul.

For this village brings home to me this fact: that there was a day, and not really a very distant day, when Americans were scarcely Americans at all but discontented Europeans, facing a great unconquered continent and strolling, say, into a marketplace and seeing black men for the first time. The shock this spectacle afforded is suggested, surely, by the promptness with which they decided that these black men were not really men but cattle. It is true that the necessity on the part of the settlers of the New World of reconciling their moral assumptions with the fact -and the necessity-of slavery enhanced immensely the charm of this idea, and it is also true that this idea expresses, with a truly American bluntness, the attitude which to varying extents all masters have had toward all slaves.

But between all former slaves and slave-owners and the drama which begins for Americans over three hundred years ago at Jamestown, there are at least two differences to be observed. The American Negro slave could not suppose, for one thing, as slaves in past epochs had supposed and often done, that he would ever be able to wrest the power from his master’s hands. This was a supposition which the modern era, which was to bring about such vast changes in the aims and dimensions of power, put to death; it only begins in unprecedented fashion, and with dreadful implications, to be resurrected, today. But even had this supposition persisted with undiminished force, the American Negro slave could not have used it to lend his condition dignity, for the reason that this Jsupposition rests on another: that the slave in exile yet remains related to his past, has some means-if only in memory-of revering and sustaining the forms of his former life, is able, in short, to maintain his identity.

This was not the case with the American Negro slave. He is unique among the black men of the world in that his past was taken from him, almost literally, at one blow. One wonders what on earth the first slave found to say to the first dark child he bore. I am told that there are Haitians able to trace their ancestry back to African kings, but any American Negro wishing to go back so far will find his journey through time abruptly arrested by the signature on the bill of sale which served as the entrance paper for his ancestor. At the time-to say nothing of the circumstances-of the enslavement of the captive black man who was to become the American Negro, there was not the remotest possibility that he would ever take power from his master’s hands. There was no reason to suppose that his situation would ever change, nor was there, shortly, anything to indicate that his situation had ever been different. It was his necessity, in the words of E. Franklin Frazier, to find a “motive for living under American culture or die.” The identity of the American Negro comes out of this extreme situation, and the evolution of this identity was a source of the most intolerable anxiety in the minds and the lives of his masters.

For the history of the American Negro is unique also in this: that the question of his humanity, and of his rights therefore as a human being, became a burning one for several generations of Americans, so burning a question that it ultimately became one of those used to divide the nation. It is out of this argument that the venom of the epithet: Nigger! is derived. It is an argument which Europe has never had, and hence Europe: quite sincerely fails to understand how or why the argument arose in the first place, why its effects are frequently disastrous and always so unpredictable, why it refuses until today to be entirely settled. Europe’s black possessions remained-and do remain-in Europe’s colonies, at which remove they represented no threat whatever to European identity. If they posed any problem at all for the European conscience, it was a problem which remained comfortingly abstract: in effect, the black man, as a man, did not exist for Europe. But in America, even as a slave, he was an inescapable part of the general social fabric and no American could escape having an attitude toward him. Americans attempt until today to make an abstraction of the Negro, but the very nature of these abstractions reveals the tremendous effects the presence of the Negro has had on the American character.

When one considers the history of the Negro in America it is of the greatest importance to recognize that the moral beliefs of a person, or a people, are never really as tenuous as life-which is not moral-very often causes them to appear; these create for them a frame of reference and a necessary hope, the hope being that when life has done its worst they will be enabled to rise above themselves and to triumph over life. Life would scarcely be bearable if this hope did not exist. Again, even when the worst has been said, to betray a belief is not by any means to have put oneself beyond its power; the betrayal of a belief is not the same thing as ceasing to believe. If this were not so there would be no moral standards in the world at all. Yet one must also recognize that morality is based on ideas and that all ideas are dangerous-dangerous because ideas can only lead to action and where the action leads no man can say. And dangerous in this respect: that confronted with the impossibility of remaining faithful to one’s beliefs, and the equal impossibility of becoming free of them, one can be driven to the most inhuman excesses. The ideas on which American beliefs are based are not, though Americans often seem to think so, ideas which originated in America. They came out of Europe. And the establishment of democracy on the American continent was scarcely as radical a break with the past as was the necessity, which Americans faced, of broadening this concept to include black men.

This was, literally, a hard necessity. It was impossible, for one thing, for Americans to abandon their beliefs, not only because these beliefs alone seemed able to justify the sacrifices they had endured and the blood that they had spilled, but also because these beliefs afforded them their only bulwark against a moral chaos as absolute as the physical chaos of the continent it was their destiny to conquer. But in the situation in which Americans found themselves, these beliefs threatened an idea which, whether or not one likes to think so, is the very warp and woof of the heritage of the West, the idea of white supremacy.

Americans have made themselves notorious by the shrillness and the brutality with which they have insisted on this idea, but they did not invent it; and it has escaped the, world’s notice that those very excesses of which Americans have been guilty imply a’ certain, unprecedented uneasiness over the idea’ s life and power, if not, indeed, the idea’ s validity .The idea of white supremacy rests simply on the fact that white men are the creators of civilization (the present civilization, which is the only one that matters; all previous civilizations are simply contributions” to our own) and are therefore civilization’s guardians and defenders. Thus it was impossible for Americans to accept the black man as one of themselves, for to do so was to jeopardize their status as white men. But not so to accept him was to deny his human reality, his human weight and complexity, and the strain of denying the overwhelmingly undeniable forced Americans into rationalizations so fantastic that they approached the pathological.

At the root of the American Negro problem is the necessity of the American white man to find a way of living with the Negro in order to be able to live with himself.And the history of this problem can be reduced to the means used by Americans-lynch law: and law, segregation and legal acceptance, terrorization and concession-either to come; to terms with this necessity , or to find a way around it, or (most usually) to find away of doing both these things at once. The resulting spectacle, at once foolish and dreadful, led someone to make the quite accurate observation that “the Negro-in-America is a form of insanity which overtakes white men.” In this long battle, a battle by no means finished, the unforeseeable effects of which will be felt by many future generations, the white man’s motive was the protection of his identity; the black man was motivated by the need to establish an identity .And despite the terrorization which the Negro in America endured and endures sporadically until today, despite the cruel and totally inescapable ambivalence of his status in his country , the battle for his identity has long ago been won. He is not a visitor to the West, but a citizen there, an American; as American as the Americans who despise him, the Americans who fear him, the Americans who love him-the Americans who became less than themselves, or rose to be greater than themselves by virtue of the fact that the challenge he represented was inescapable. He is perhaps the only black man in the world whose relationship to white men is more terrible, more subtle, and more meaningful than the relationship of bitter possessed to uncertain possessors. His survival depended, and his development depends, on his ability to turn his peculiar status in the Western world to his own advantage and, it may be, to the very great advantage of that world. It remains for him to fashion out of his experience that which will give him sustenance, and a voice. The cathedral at Chartres, I have said, says something to the people of this village which it cannot say to me; but it is important to understand that, this cathedral says something to me which it cannot say to them. Perhaps they are struck by the power of the spires, the glory of the windows; but they have known God, after all, longer than I have known him, and in a different way, and I am terrified by the slippery bottomless well to be found in the crypt, down which heretics were hurled to death, and by the obscene, inescapable gargoyles jutting out of the stone and seeming to say that God and the devil can never be divorced. I doubt that the villagers think of the devil when they face a cathedral because they have never been identified with the devil. But I must accept the status which myth, if nothing else, gives me in the West before I can hope to change the myth.

Yet, if the American Negro has arrived at his identity by virtue of the absoluteness of his estrangement from his past, American white men still nourish the illusion that there is some means of recovering the European innocence, of returning to a state in which black men do not exist. This is one of the greatest errors Americans can make. The identity they fought so hard to protect has, by virtue of that battle, undergone a change: Americans are as unlike any other white people in the world as it is possible to be. I do not think, for example, that it is too much to suggest that the American vision of the world-which allows so little reality, generally speaking, for any of the darker forces in human life, which tends until today to paint moral issues in glaring black and white-owes a great deal to the battle waged by Americans to maintain between themselves and black men a human separation which could not be bridged. It is only now beginning to be borne in on us-very faintly, it must be admitted, very slowly, and very much against our will–that this vision of the world is dangerously inaccurate, and perfectly useless. For it protects our moral high-mindedness at the terrible expense of weakening our grasp of reality. People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster.

The time has come to realize that the interracial drama acted out on the American continent has not only created a new black man, it has created a new white man, too. No road whatever will lead Americans back to the simplicity of this European village where white men still have the luxury of looking on me as a stranger. I am not, really, a stranger any longer for any American alive. One of the things that distinguishes Americans from other people is that no other people has ever been so deeply involved in the lives of black men, and vice versa. This fact faced, with all its implications, it can be seen that the history of the American Negro problem is not merely shameful, it is also something of an achievement. For even when the worst has been said, it must also be added that the perpetual challenge posed by this problem was always, somehow, perpetually met. It is precisely this black-white experience which may prove of indispensable value to us in the world we face today. This world is white no longer, and it will never be white again.

i didn’t make you live this damn long

this morning, I encountered one of those old people on the bus… you know, the ones who feel as though they’re entitled to everyfuckingthing (typically in terms of respect) from young people just because they have lived on the earth as long as moses. well. I’ve come to say one thing to them, fuck you.

I am well aware that I am being disrespectful, but I am doing it for a reason. I do NOT see the need to respect someone who is rude to me. I am not going to treat a 5-y/o with respect if they don’t show it to me, so why would I show it to someone older just because they are older?

when someone shows respect for me, I will do the same for them.

I didn’t give them a hard ass life, I didn’t make them stay on the earth since dinosaurs were born. you have a problem with how long you’ve lived, or how hard life has been, don’t take that shit out on me, as one of the people I follow (@amberalert123) likes to say, #takeitupwithchrist.

old people have done that shit for far too long. how many of us have visited an old aunt/cousin/family friend who has felt the need to ask/tell us, “you’re getting fat,” or “why are you dressed like a floozy,” or, “when are you going to get married,” whatever the fuck other intrusive ass, unnecessary ass potentially offensive shit? well I don’t see the need to just accept it and laugh it off. if the shit is rude, I will let an old motherfucker know. and that goes for any person.

now, this is not to say that I don’t recognize that some old people are sweet, loving, and cute. those get my respect, not only for their age, but because they are nice.

get your grandmothers, people, cuz I’m not gonna kiss the ass of some old person because they demand I do so. rude bastards.

Fellas…we really need to grow up…

“Old School” is one of my favorite movies. “Frank the Tank”, Mitch, Spanish, Blue and other characters have me dying in laughter everytime I watch it. I’m not sure how many movies about fraternities there are, but “Old School” has to be on the best. The premise is almost similar to that of “The Hangover”. A group of older men that wants to live like guys half their age, one last time. Both of these movies were hugely successful in the box office, and are still wildly popular, especially amongst young- and middle-aged males. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that these types of movies tend to make males look immature.

I know that there are movies that make it hard for women to be taken seriously. “Clueless” and “Legally Blonde” are just two examples. But those movies weren’t, and still aren’t as accepted as “Old School” and “The Hangover”. While they’re all clearly comedies, and an exaggeration to an extent, I believe you’ll find more people who believe that “Old School” and “The Hangover” are near-accurate descriptions of males than those who will find “Clueless” and “Legally Blonde” to be near-accurate descriptions of women. With some women believing that no matter the age, we (males) are immature, it doesn’t really help our image when we flock to see these movies. My aunt, an intelligent and reasonable woman, once told me that “Animal House” scared her away from dating fraternity members. She’s not the only woman to have told me that, either.

Comedic movies aside, a good number of us don’t really do much to dispel the notion that we’re sophomoric, homophobic horndogs that lack even the most minute amount of compassion. Allow me to elaborate…

The Desean Butler injury.

Many people watched this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament, including the Final Four. The second game of the Final Four, on April 4, was between Duke University and West Virginia University. With Duke well ahead in the second half, West Virginia star forward Desean Butler drove hard to the hoop, planted, and forced up an awkward shot. He collapsed in a heap, writhing on the floor in pain. After seeing the replays, anyone who’s watched sports long enough knew he suffered a serious knee injury. He lay on the floor, in tears, clutching his left knee. His coach, Bob Huggins came onto the floor to console him, assuring Butler that he hadn’t let anyone down, even though Butler profusely apologized. In the world of men’s sports, where sometimes testosterone matters more than talent, here was a grown man wiping the tears from another’s face. The crowd sat in stunned silence at the display of raw emotion from two competitors. How did a good number of men react? Men tweeted that Butler was gay, because he cried. He’s a pussy, because he should’ve gotten up and walked off of the court instead of causing a scene. Huggins is gay for wiping away Butler’s tears. Butler is weak. One of my friends called me after Butler had been helped off the court, and immediately asked, “You see that gay ass shit?!” Seriously, fellas, imagine if Butler were your son. Would you want his coach to ignore his pain and demand that he “man up” and limp off the court on his own power? How would you feel if your son’s coach gave him a dismissive wave of the hand, as if he and his injury didn’t matter? I’m sure you’d be outraged, and if you wouldn’t be, that speaks volumes about your integrity. Anyone that has read a Science book knows that we are filled with testosterone, and we don’t need to go out of our way to show it.

Homophobia.

If you don’t condone homosexuality, that’s your prerogative. Whether you feel that way because of religious reasons, or because you just can’t wrap your mind around the fact that two people of the same sex could be romantically involved, again, that’s your choice. But to opine whenever you get the chance about how much it disgusts you is ridiculous. To insinuate that you couldn’t be friends with a homosexual is just asinine. Here’s something you might not have known: Just like 99.9% of women, 99.9% of gay men don’t want to be involved in any way, shape, or form with you.

Do you ever wonder why the question “Will a male active pro athlete ever come out of the closet?” still looms over our heads? Or why it sometimes dominates the news, both on television and in print? This is 2010, and it shouldn’t be a big deal, but it clearly is. It is, because WE WOULD THROW A SHITFIT. Some of us would refuse to cheer for that athlete, or even that team anymore. Some male athletes would request to be released or traded, and some have even gone as far as saying they wouldn’t even want to shower with him. If you have a gay teammate, do you really think that after a loss, he would be more interested in catching you in the showers alone, rather than simply trying to get cleaned up and prepare for the next game? The sad thing is, a good number of you would think exactly that. It’s also funny how we choose to ignore the flamboyance and gaudiness of certain male celebrities (mainly rappers), because they rap about “fucking bitches and hoes” or are constantly seen in public with different women. Has it ever crossed your mind that he could be…putting on a front?

How we treat women.

The popularity of girl-on-girl still confuses me, at 24. After the age of 16, what’s the point? Yes, I know that in most cases, two women are fully aware of the attention they’ll receive by even exchanging glances with each other, but why is it that there are some grown men that still become so easily aroused by this? Does the objectification of women EVER get tired? Maybe in your fantasy, a Kerry Washington/Eva Mendes scenario (actually, that’s mine) would do the trick…but any two women, going at it? Your imagination…and you came up with that? This is what you chose to record with your camcorder or phone, to show to your friends, as if it’s some great accomplishment? Could it be that we lack the sexual prowess that we are so quick to inform the world about? I can’t imagine how a grown, heterosexual man could fantasize about two women with any regularity. More than a few women don’t understand why we wouldn’t want to substitute one of the women with ourselves, and I don’t, either.

The word “bitch” and “hoe” are thrown around too loosely, as well. Actually, the fact that we use them when talking about women in general is pretty pathetic. Just because Katt Williams likes to “play pimp” doesn’t mean that we should. We’re talking about our mothers, aunts, grandmothers, sisters, cousins, nieces, girlfriends, fiancees, wives, and the mothers of our children. I can’t think of a word, that when said, offends men as much as bitch and hoe offends most women. It doesn’t even matter that there’s a growing number of women that actually address each other with those unkind words. Let them make fools of themselves and each other.

We seriously need to stop taking women for granted. Women are not here for our disposal. If you want another hole on your belt, grab a knife and make one. It’s safe to say that there are more than enough women that are desperate enough to basically raise us during our “2nd childhood” (Nas!), but I’d like to think that we have more pride than that. The year is 2010, and I know that women now have most of the same opportunities to be successful that we do, but that doesn’t mean that we should sit back while they provide for us, as if it’s their turn to be the breadwinners. Most of you who sit on your girlfriend’s couch for hours on end, playing PlayStation like it’s going out of style, have never provided for anyone, let alone an able-bodied and able-minded woman. So it’s unfathomable that you could (or better yet) would use the excuse of “For years, we did for women. Now it’s their turn.” I’m not mad at the guy working as a cashier at McDonald’s. But I am angered by the guy who feels that, even when he’s dead broke and unemployed, that job is beneath him. If you want a woman to wipe the oatmeal off of your chin, move back in with your mother…if she’d let you.

Our children.

The Black community is filled with fatherless children. That doesn’t mean that all men of other races and cultural backgrounds are exactly shining examples of fathers, though. All across the board, we are man enough to have unprotected sex with a woman, knowing we run the risk of impregnating her, and still don’t want to raise our children. I’ve written that women should be more selective, but so should we. We don’t have to have sex with every woman that is willing. I’m sure that we all have access to condoms, and know how to use them. We’ve heard stories of shady women that promise us they are using birth control, only to reveal her pregnancy several weeks afterwards. I was raised by a single mother, as were many others, but that doesn’t mean that we should allow it to happen simply because it can work out. I know men who complain about being taken to court on a child support order. This, coming from men who have no problem spending their money on material items and random women. A cable package is a higher priority than a young son or daughter. A child’s school supplies can wait one more week because of a Gucci Mane concert. We hear so much about deadbeat dads because there are so many of them. What makes the issue of deadbeat dads so much sadder is that so many of us fail to see this as a serious problem, don’t want to sit down and discuss possible solutions, and that sperm donors don’t seem to show much remorse or want to rectify the situation. More thought needs to go into the consequences of helping bring a child into this world before we lay down as if that’s what we were born to do.

It’s not easy being a man. It takes commitment, pride, dignity, integrity and making each responsibility a priority, and not an option. We will be pushed, by members of the opposite sex, and by each other. Hopefully, we will challenge each other in years to come to be better brothers, boyfriends, husbands, fathers, and men. Frank the Tank was hilarious and is one of my favorite movie characters of all-time, but he’s fictional. Fellas…grow up.

P.S. I miss Karen!!!

P.P.S. Down with Gucci Mane!!!

Tit for tat? Really?

I don’t like man-bashers and woman-bashers. Nor am I fond of people that set out to have sex with as many people as possible. I choose not to associate myself with people who perpetuate negative stereotypes and those that use racial epithets. People that prefer to “dumb it down” won’t get a piece of me, either.

What annoys me more than the people who possess those characteristics are the ones that feel it’s acceptable because others do. You know, the “Well, I only do it because they do it” people. For example, women who bash men because men bash women. Or Blacks that make racist comments about Whites because they feel “Whites did it first”. Anyone who excuses their immature, ignorant behavior because someone else does it seriously annoys me. It’s tit for tat behavior. It’s sophomoric.

If you like to sleep around, act in a childish and irresponsible manner, or make racist jokes, I can’t stop you, obviously. I have more respect for someone who genuinely acts that way, though. I’d rather know exactly where you stand and why than be exposed to a side of you that exists only because others act the same. My biggest issue with the tit for tat craze is that people who would normally be sensible resort to juvenile tactics in order to even the score, which only makes situations worse. These people have no clue how ridiculous they look and sound.

I’ll give just two of many examples of this wackness.

Many women have chosen to not only establish themselves in the workforce and on the playing field, but to also own their sexuality now. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, in my opinion. For years the legal system and society has, in its own way, placed limits on how women could express themselves. It was almost as if a woman weren’t seen as a dainty, submissive, aspiring housewife, then she wasn’t woman enough. Many men scoffed (and some lame, insecure ones still do) at the idea of a strong, independent woman. However, there is a difference between owning your sexuality and exhibiting whorish behavior. Engaging in sexual relations with as many partners as possible does not speak well for your character, whether you’re a man or woman, gay or straight. I’ve heard some women say that women shouldn’t be criticized for this because men have done it for years. Who said that we were right to do it? It’s appalling that there are men that view women as nothing more than potential sexual conquests. Yet I refuse to give a woman who sleeps around a pass just because a number of adult men act like teenage horndogs.

The Don Imus situation was definitely a scandalous one. He obviously could’ve used a better choice of words to tell his listeners what he thought of the Rutgers and Tennesse women’s basketball teams’ looks. Still, it caused me to think of how many Black men and women I’ve heard use the same words to describe Black women. As Imus stated, you can hear some of the same words in rap lyrics. In addition, Spike Lee’s “School Daze” devoted a musical number to “Jigaboos vs Wannabes”, where dark-skinned and light-skinned women squared off in a hair salon. Since when have we been the sole owners of the right to belittle and demean our own people by speaking and expressing ourselves in a way that would make most of our parents and grandparents vomit? Is it really okay for a Black comic to use “honky”or “cracker”, or stereotype Whites, Latinos, and Asians, but when the tables are turned, there’s an uproar in the Black community? If we find it so offensive to be ridiculed, then why do so many of us do the same to other races? Yes, we’ve been discriminated against and made fun of for years. But we’re no better when we do the same, and it doesn’t help matters to feel as if we need to get some sort of vengeance now. Pathetic is the word I use to describe  those Blacks that feel it’s alright to lose all common sense simply because they feel it’s our time to look down on others of a different ethnicity or cultural background.

Tit for tat didn’t work when we were children, so I’m not sure why so many think it’s plausible to suggest that it would, or should be accepted now. You might feel that you’re accomplishing something by insulting others, whoring yourself out, or carrying on like a fool, but I assure you that you’re not. People that exercise sensibility look at you and listen to you, and shake their heads in bewilderment. So many people my age don’t offer reasoning for their behavior, only excuses, and I’m starting to realize that it’s slowing our development as a people, nation, and generation. If you feel as if you’ve been forced to respond in a way that you don’t want to, or normally wouldn’t, chances are it’s wrong. Knock it off. NOW.

P.S. I miss Karen!!!

P.P.S. Nah, miss. Keep the sneakers on…

Dear Tim Tebow fans…

A Tebow fan's view of a Florida football game...

Jarvis Moss, Reggie Nelson, Percy Harvin, DeShawn Wynn, Brandon Spikes, Derrick Harvey, Joe Haden, Riley Cooper, Andre Caldwell, Jeffrey Demps, Aaron Hernandez, Major Wright, David Nelson, Michael Pouncey, and Phil Troutwein. Do you know who they are? They were Tim Tebow’s teammates at the University of Florida from 2007-09, when Tebow established himself as “the greatest college football player ever”. Defensive linemen, linebackers, cornerbacks, safeties, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends and offensive linemen. 5-star recruits, All-Americans, All-SEC, NFL Draft picks, and even an NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year is in the bunch. I mention them to let you Tebow fans know that he did not single-handedly win football games, conference championships, and national championships.

I am not a “Tebow-hater”. I believe he was a great college football player. His games were usually a joy to watch, because of the enthusiasm and effort he played with. Couple that with the fact that I’ve loved UF football since the Steve Spurrier days, and it’s easy to see why I didn’t mind seeing him succeed on the collegiate level, even though I’m a huge Michigan and Michigan St. football fan.

HOWEVER, all of the Tebow love is seriously starting to annoy me. What makes it worse is that most of it doesn’t even make sense.

I’ve heard many say that Tebow won 2 national titles. True, he was part of 2 national title teams, but he was Chris Leak’s backup in 2006. He definitely was a piece of the puzzle, but nowhere near a large piece. Someone once argued with me that Florida wouldn’t have won the 2006 title game without him. Word? Florida beat Ohio State (how I loathe the Buckeyes), 41-14. Tebow ran and threw for a touchdown. That touchdown pass? A one-yarder before the end of the second half to put Florida ahead, 34-14. Clutch.

Have you Tebow fans ever heard of Alex Smith? He was just as much a beneficiary of an offensive scheme designed to take advantage of his strengths as Tebow was while playing for Urban Meyer, who transformed Smith from a good WAC quarterback into the #1 NFL Draft pick in the 2005 draft. The shotgun, spread-option offense made Smith look like a world-beater, and it’s done the same for Tebow. While Smith did not play in arguably the best football conference in the country, or even a very good one, he was seen as a more prototypical quarterback coming out of college than Tebow. How has he done in the NFL, you ask? Next question.

Please, don’t bring up “The Speech”. What irks me about it is that it’s given Tebow fans one more reason to bring up how great of a leader he is. Excuse me, but I’m 99.9% sure that Tebow is not the first college football player (or college athlete, period) to deliver an emotional, fiery speech to his team and its fans after a disappointing loss to an inferior opponent. I don’t really have a problem with the speech. As a matter of fact, I actually thought it was great. I became irritated when ESPN and damn near every other sports and news outlet hyped the speech up to be on the level of the Ten Commandments. The speech has even been engraved on a plaque and sits outside of the Florida Field football facility. Wow.

"The Speech"

We get it. Tebow is a great guy. He’s got intangibles. He was a Christian missionary in the Philippines. Despite being home-schooled, he appears to be perfectly normal. He’s an uber-respectful, God-fearing virgin. There is a bill pending in the Alabama Legislature, called “The Tim Tebow Bill”, which would allow home-schooled students in the state of Alabama to play sports for their local high school. But…um…that does not equate to success on a football field, nor does it equate to having a productive professional football career. A speech does not win Super Bowl rings, playoff games, division games, or even mean that he’ll have good quarters. It seems like everytime anyone offers criticism of Tebow, it’s met with “You’re a Tebow hater!” People who can’t accept that Tebow isn’t perfect obviously don’t know much about football, and are most likely current students or alumni of UF. Granted, some of the criticism is unnecessary and a little harsh, but like every other athlete in the public eye, he’ll be praised as well as “dissed”. Stop being sensitive.

I made a point on Twitter yesterday about Myron Rolle and NFL teams shying away from him because they aren’t sure whether or not he’s focused on playing football. Rolle is a safety and graduate of Florida State University. He earned a Bachelor’s in Exercise Science in 2.5 years and earned a Rhodes Scholarship for his success in the classroom. Rolle chose to forgo his final season at FSU to study at Oxford, to earn an M.A in medical anthropology. Instead of attempting to help his draft stock, he took one step closer to becoming a physician and neurosurgeon and doing what he could to dispel the notion that Black athletes from the inner-city are only after the money. He has dreams of going to poverty-stricken countries and utilizing his degree to provide health care to their citizens. He’s acknowledged that he’s heard he will be a 5th or 6th round pick, which usually doesn’t guarantee a guy a spot on an NFL roster. Even though he’s extremely talented on the field, and has shown it during his career at FSU, some NFL front offices aren’t sure whether professional football would be his top priority.

Myron Rolle, safety and Rhodes Scholar

While Tebow gets praised and is glorified for ending every speech/presser/comment with “God bless”, his intangibles, and missionary work, Rolle has gone without nearly one-quarter of the same fanfare for over a year. Tebow fans cry out how selfless he is. How else could you describe potentially sacrificing millions of dollars to study abroad, with the hopes of helping impoverished people? Rolle didn’t play football for a “mid-major”. He played for FSU, and the great head coach Bobby Bowden and defensive coordinator, Mickey Andrews. And yet, his accomplishments have been lost among the latest stupid, heinous act committed by Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, Mel Kiper’s hair, and of course, Tim Tebow, and all that is great about him.

Tebow fans, practice logic. Understand that everyone in the limelight will be criticized at one point or another, whether it’s warranted or not. Even Michael Jordan received his fair share of criticism throughout his playing career, and even after. Go ahead and jump on the Denver Broncos bandwagon and cheer for every 3-yard run and jump pass thrown by Tebow. If he has a successful career, it will be mostly because of his talent. If he fails, it will be mostly because of his talent. Please, please, please…understand that just because you hear/read someone express that they are not a Tebow fan, does not mean they are a “Tebow-hater”…

P.S. I miss Karen!!!

P.P.S. Go Bulls! Go Blackhawks!

I DO NOT hate the White Sox…

I was born in Harvey, Illinois. I was raised on the South Side of Chicago, 86th and Champlain and 70th St (near Stony Island) to be exact. I am Black. I love the South Side of Chicago with a fiery passion. I graduated from Kenwood Academy, and frequented the campuses of Morgan Park, Simeon, Dunbar, Prep, Hyde Park and other schools on the South Side to get my social fix. Even when it shows me its worst, I still proclaim the South Side to be the best part of the best city on the face of the Earth. I don’t hesitate to let people know where I’m from, and I couldn’t care less when I hear disparaging remarks or praised heaped upon the South Side.

However, I am a DIE-HARD Chicago Cubs fan. I attended my first Cubs game at Wrigley when I was five (1990), and have been to almost 200 games at The Friendly Confines since. I was a fan during the days of Dunston, Sandberg, Dawson, Grace, Guzman, Harkey, and Morgan. And one during Sosa, Blauser, Wood, Prior, Beck, and Grudzielanek. I’m probably an even bigger fan now, during the *gulp* Soriano, DLee, Lilly, ARam, Soto, Zambrano and Marmol Era. 1998 gave me reason for optimism, but I knew the Cubs were overmatched against a far superior Braves team. 2003 broke my heart, because I knew the Cubs were going to win it all once they defeated the Braves in the NLDS. Unfortunately, South Beach fish ruined the party. 2007 and 2008  gave many Cubs fans reason to be excited, only for the Cubs to dash all hopes and dreams with subpar (understatement) performances in the NLDS in both years.

Let me clear something up with you Pale Hose fans. I DO NOT hate the White Sox. To be honest, I was a White Sox fan up until after the 1993 season. The White Sox had been eliminated by the eventual champion Toronto Blue Jays in the ALCS, and suddenly, I just wasn’t as big a fan anymore. Still, Frank Thomas was my favorite player (I even wore his signature spikes), and I enjoyed watching Jack McDowell, Joey Cora, Carlton Fisk, Ron Karkovice, Bo Jackson, Wilson Alvarez, Roberto Hernandez, and Robin Ventura play, too. The way I saw it, I had two baseball teams in Chicago to cheer for. The only difference I saw was that one played in the American League while the other played in the National League, and one wore black and white while the other wore blue and white.

I wasn’t quite old enough to completely understand the differences between the North Side and South Side. I had an uncle that lived on Sheffield (and still does), three blocks away from Wrigley, and I can say I noticed that there were more Whites than Blacks on the North Side, similar to there being more Blacks than Whites in the area on the South Side that I lived. Other than that, I didn’t know about “blue collar vs white collar”, or “rich vs poor”, or “middle-class vs elitists”, or any of the other bullshit that some moronic Cubs and Pale Hose fans buy into.

Again, I DO NOT HATE THE WHITE SOX. They barely register as a blip on my baseball radar, to be perfectly honest. I’m not one of these Cubs fans that sits around all day, thinking of insults to make about them and their fans. I’m more worried about the Cubs’ problems than the Pale Hose. Obviously, Pale Hose manager Ozzie Guillen is a moron, but everyone not named Ozzie Guillen knows that.

What irks me about the organization and its fans are the way they’ve acted since the 2005 World Series. You’re NOT a dynasty. I don’t care what your cocky general manager and manager feed you. Fuck Pierzynski and “Big Bad” Bobby Jenks. I couldn’t care less about your hick homer for an announcer, either. One title does not a dynasty make. Yes, I know it’s one more than the Cubs have won over the last century, but that’s not the point. To celebrate is one thing. But to only celebrate when rubbing it in the face of a Cubs fan is just wack. Pure, unadulterated, wackness. This would be different if Pale Hose fans were Yankees fans, and Cubs fans were Mets fans. If the Pale Hose had 27 titles under their belt, Cubs fans couldn’t say a thing. That’s not the case here. The Pale Hose broke a title drought of 88 years, so it’s not like the Hose had a great history of winning.

It’s clear: White Sox fans in Chicago barely care about the White Sox, unless they’ve just won a World Series. How else can one explain the fact that US Cellular is rarely sold out? The White Sox know they’ll sell out twice during the regular season. Opening Day, and the Cubs/White Sox “Red Line Rivalry”. That’s it. A park with much better amenities, food, more aesthetically pleasing to the eye–is usually in the middle of the pack when it comes to home attendance. There’s enough parking, and it’s not hell on Earth for train riders after a game. Chicago is the third-largest media market in the country, and 40,000 fans can’t show up 81 times a year? I don’t want to hear that White Sox fans are too busy working. Shut that shit up, please. Cubs fans work, too. Granted, we might play hooky in order to catch a 2:30 game every once in a while, but we’re not all unemployed deadbeats. Also, I’m not sure how some Pale Hose fans can label Cubs fans as rich snobs, and then turn around and call them lazy, unemployed drunks. Pick one. Stick one. Thank you.

It’s sad that a good number of White Sox fans have an inferiority complex. To assume that all Cubs fans are rich yuppies that want nothing more than to get drunk and watch a team lose is idiotic and very ignorant. It’s hard to understand where Sox fans come up with the theory that Cubs fans think they’re any better than them. Most likely, it feeds into their belief that the Cubs and their fans hate everything about not only the Sox, but the South Side, in general.

The White Sox would absolutely love it if someone actually hated them. It would give them a true rival, which would create more publicity, putting more people in the seats. The Cubs and White Sox are not rivals. I repeat, they are not rivals. So if there are any Cubs fans that hate the White Sox, or vice versa, they’re morons. The Cubs main rivals are the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers, in case you were wondering.

Sometimes I think Ozzie talks so much shit about others because he actually wants to be loathed, disliked, despised, and hated. His act is contrived. The White Sox don’t win enough to be disliked on the level of the Yankees, or Duke, and don’t have a 25-man roster full of douches, so Guillen and AJ pick up the slack, which is fine. When a franchise decides that those two will be the unofficial lead singers for their band however, don’t be surprised when people line up to shoot darts at your team. I do the same at times, but that’s only because I know more about them than the Cardinals and Brewers, and because they make it easy.

In conclusion, I, along with most Cubs fans, do not hate the White Sox. It would be almost pointless for any of us to feel that way, the same as it would be pointless for White Sox fans to hate the Cubs. Be honest. We all know which baseball team runs this town. Ozzie and Ken Williams know it, and have said it. The players and the media know it, too. The quicker White Sox fans stop worrying about what the Cubs are doing, and focus on Ozzieball (Honestly, why would a team with sluggers that plays 81 games a year in a homer-friendly park play smallball?!?!), the better for all of us. I acknowledge that there are some idiot Cubs fans that worry too much about the White Sox, but the purpose of this post wasn’t to address them. Trust me, the Cubs have their share of problems in many areas, and the last thing that’s on my mind is a team that plays in a different league, who we’ll face only 6 times a year. Grow up, people…

P.S. I miss Karen!!!

P.P.S. President Obama may be the White Sox most popular fan, but that doesn’t take away from the face that he throws like a girl(no offense, Karen).

Celebrities and their stans, oy vey…

I’m pretty sure that most of you have seen, if not heard of Erykah Badu’s latest video, “Window Seat”. “Window Seat” is the first single from her latest album, “New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh”. The video was shot in Dallas, Texas(the birthplace of Badu), in Daley Plaza, which is known as the site where President John F. Kennedy, Jr. was assassinated in 1963. It was shot guerilla-style, in one take. Controversy surrounds the video because Badu stripped down to nothing in broad daylight, in front of complete strangers, including young children. She was fined $500 for disorderly conduct, and is lucky, because the penalty could’ve been much worse. Had police officers been present to witness the act, she could’ve faced up to a year in a jail and a $4,000 fine. When hearing of this, most of her fans became outraged.

Why?! She broke the law! Point. Blank. Peri-ahd. Tons of artists have conveyed a point through song, dance, and video without having to get naked. I don’t believe it’s okay for anyone to make a mockery of the law, regardless of their intentions. Badu knew she was in the wrong; she and her camera crew immediately fled the scene after the video was done. All she had to do was obtain a permit, and she would’ve been allowed to shoot the video as she pleased. She didn’t. She was fully aware of the possible consequences and repercussions. She broke the law, and people are arguing that she’s been unfairly treated. Their main argument? “Artistic expression”.

As far as the “groupthink” theme of her video, please. This is something that a good number of us have been familiar with long before Badu brought the term to light. PoliSci, Critical Thinking 201, 2003, first semester, is when/where I first heard of it. Badu simply tied it into her extraterrestrial persona in order to get people giddy for her video/album. I read the tweets in which she asked people to define it. Most failed. In my opinion, if she’d shot the video without using the groupthink theme, most would’ve been confused as to what her message was. (She sings that she doesn’t want anyone to be near her, but also that she needs you to want her, to miss her, and even clap for her. Kind of confusing.) In addition, for her to feign her metaphorical assassination is ridiculous. To my knowledge, she’s been embraced her entire career because of her uniqueness. Whether it be her head wrap, song topics, her eccentric behavior, singing voice, or love interests, they’ve contributed to her fame. So how exactly could she “inspire” those that live outside of the box, when that’s the very thing that has brought her so many fans?

I won’t get into whether or not I think her video was a publicity stunt, or attempt to get pub for her latest album, even though I believe her nudity was more contrived than anything else. But enough of Ms. Badu…

I have a serious problem with those of you that have expressed outrage over the charge that she’s facing. I’d like to assume that she can pay a $500 fine, with no problem at all. I don’t have  any information in regards to her annual income, but again, I’d like to assume that she’s more than financially stable. Why do you, and so many other stans, cry out in pain over your favorite actors/actresses/athletes/rappers/entertainers being imprisoned/fined/having their names tarnished?

Celebrities are fully aware that they are different from everyone else, and will be treated differently from everyone else. Have any of you ever asked yourselves why celebrities constantly get free goods? Why they tend to get lighter sentences when a normal person would have the book thrown at them? Why you fawn over them even when they won’t show you the common courtesy of acknowledging you? Or why they get preferential treatment, period? Yes, there might be the rare occasion when a celebrity is targeted, but that is a rare occasion.

Talib Kweli used his Twitter account to suggest to people that they pray for Lil’ Wayne, who recently began a one-year prison sentence on a weapons charge. Mr. Kweli, really? Dwayne Carter is not a newbie when it comes to dealing with the judicial system. He knew he was in the wrong, and he is now paying the price. I did not read one tweet that reached out to Wayne’s fans, or better yet, his CHILDREN AND THE MOTHERS(yes, mothers)OF HIS CHILDREN. Or maybe it was lost among the “Pray for Lil’ Wayne” and “Stay up, Lil’ Wayne” tweets that came from your tear-soaked keyboard. Who’s really suffering more? Lil’ Wayne, who, unlike 98%(my own estimation, which may be off a percent or two)of released convicts, will have a career to return to, or his children and their mothers, who will live for the next year in constant fear that he will never return home. I’ll take the latter. I understand sticking up for a brother in your fraternity(as I’ve done many times), but use that “conscious” label and think about the people around him that have been affected in a negative way.

I express the same disdain towards those that blatantly ignore celebrities’ irresponsible acts. The example that sticks out most was the Paris Hilton DUI. So many people across the country acted as if she’d been sentenced to death. She spent 32 seconds in jail, even though she could’ve killed someone with her reckless behavior. The woman has millions of dollars to her name, and she couldn’t have hired a driver? Called a cab? Asked a sober person to drive her home? Please. Stans, stop. If she hadn’t been apprehended, driven off drunk, and killed someone you knew, would you feel the same? Unfortunately, I’m sure more than a few of you would’ve pulled some weak excuse out of your ass for her actions.

It’s gotten to the point where celebrities must feel that they can do just about anything short of killing or raping someone and still have a large fanbase. I feel this way because they continue to act as if they’re not in the limelight. It’s unfair that every little move they make is heavily scrutinized, but they could’ve just as easily turned down the fame and fortune, and worked a regular 9-to-5. Instead, they chose to take the good. It’s ludicrous that they don’t want to deal with the bad.

I’m not anti-celebrity, waiting for the next celeb to fall from their pedestal. I genuinely respect what most of them do, even if I don’t happen to be a fan of theirs. However, when they act with a total disregard for the law and their stans(because to some, unfortunately, they are role models), I can’t help but lose respect for them, and their stans as well.

Many of you are in school, have jobs, and are raising families. To overly concern yourselves with the lives of people that I’m 99.9% sure you’ll never make the acquaintance of is asinine. I wouldn’t say Ms. Badu, Mr. Carter, or Ms. Hilton don’t care about you, but if they and other celebs would think about who their actions affect(besides themselves), maybe they wouldn’t find themselves in such predicaments. It’s not a conundrum. You shouldn’t feel conflicted over a celebrity. Yes, these people are here to serve as entertainment, but they were people before they were celebrities. Please, remember that the next time you decide to protest their arrest, or defend their honor.

P.S. I miss Karen!!!

P.P.S. Dear Kerry Washington, If you want to make your own version of “Window Seat”, I wouldn’t have a problem with that at all. I’d even help you pay for legal representation if you were charged because of it. Sincerely, Erik

President Obama’s Bill of Rights…

It has been reported that President Barack Obama has rewritten the United States Bill of Rights. “I would first like to pay homage to James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and all of its original supporters. Without these basic civil liberties, our society might not exist the way it does today. But, as I said during my inaugural speech, I am about change.”

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President Obama talks about the new Bill of Rights...

The original Bill of Rights and The Obamaments:

First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

First Obamament: This country is mostly a Christian nation, but will not shove it in everyone’s faces anymore. There will be no more swearing on the Bible in court, and “In God We Trust” will be taken off of all US currency. This country will make a more conscious effort to acknowledge followers of all religions, and those who are Atheists as well. Everyone can say what they want, as long as they think before they speak. TMZ, National Enquirer, The Sun, et cetera, will not be recognized as members of the press, but as douchebags from now on. Rallies will no longer be allowed, because we all know they’re just an excuse for people to miss work, or cause a scene.

Second Amendment: A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Second Obamament: If you qualify for a permit/license, you can carry a gun. Only after you prove that you don’t have the aim of Shaquille O’Neal at the free-throw line.

Third Amendment: No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Third Obamament: It’s bad enough that some of you live with people that don’t pay rent/mortgage, bills, cook, clean, or even practice good hygiene. I assure you, that even in time of war, you won’t have to worry about a soldier firing a M-16 from your bathroom window, or having to take hand grenades out of a soldier’s dirty laundry. Your homes are your homes.

Fourth Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Fourth Obamament: This amendment will basically remain the same. However, I plan to crack down on Chicago police officers with vivid imaginations.

Fifth Amendment: No person shall be held to answer for any capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Fifth Obamament: There will be an IQ test given to all members of a grand jury, and new measures are being put into place to ensure that members don’t exhibit any prejudices or discriminatory behavior. The same will go for military proceedings. For those with an extensive criminal record, you could find yourself subject to being tried twice if you aren’t convicted the first time. No whining. No longer will you be allowed to “plead the fifth”, and anybody who withholds information from law enforcement will be promptly charged with obstruction of justice and hit punched in the face by Manny Pacquiao. Your house and personal property cannot be taken from you unless you are/were a supporter of John McCain. And Gucci Mane.

Sixth Amendment: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Sixth Obamament: You will still be entitled to a trial in a reasonable amount of time. If you commit a crime that warrants you a spot on “World’s Dumbest Criminals”, your sentence will be much harsher. Trials will still be public, but shows like Sportscenter and Entertainment Tonight will be prohibited from reporting about them. Only unemployed people will serve jury duty.

Seventh Amendment: In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Seventh Obamament: Juries will still be allowed in civil cases. All judge shows, except Judge Judy, will be taken off the air immediately. Judge Joe Brown will be imprisoned for loquaciousness and incessant rambling.

Eighth Amendment: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Eighth Obamament: Excessive bail and fines, nor cruel and unusual punishments will not be levied against you. Unless you are an arrogant, pompous, undeserving celebrity. Also, anyone that wears a “Free (insert celebrity name here)” tee shirt or urges others to pray for an imprisoned or embattled celebrity will be exiled from their communities and placed on a deserted island with other morons.

Ninth Amendment: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Ninth Obamament: I hope that the majority of you are intelligent enough to know that you have more rights than those listed in the Constitution. If not, become a member of the Tea Party Movement.

Tenth Amendment: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Tenth Obamament: If the Constitution doesn’t give a certain power to Congress, I trust that the states and the people will responsibly enforce certain laws, limits, rules, and regulations. If Sarah Palin holds political office, that state shall have its ability to govern its people taken away.

Tiger’s original apology…

Elin, I’m sorry. You have no clue how horrible I feel for the way I’ve treated you. I have publicly humiliated you, time and time again, for the past 4 months with my actions. I love you, and I am not too proud to say that I am not worthy of you.

Seriously, I’m not worthy. C’mon, look at me. Now back at yourself. Now back at me. Now back at yourself. *chuckle* I was doing the Old Sp…ya know, the black dude… *crickets*Moving along. Elin, you are HOT. I mean, like, DAMN. Educated at one of the finest institutions of higher learning in the country, that is the word I use to describe you. I, on the other hand, look…well…kind of funny. I’m not really “conventionally handsome”, but when you’re worth a few hundred million, you suddenly become a “sex symbol” if you don’t look like an ogre. My first name is Eldrick, and I go by Tiger. I’m not exactly “suave”. I never got the girls like you in high school or college. And I was on the golf team. I finally got the hot girl, and I got cocky. Call it what you want, but it’s the truth. I know a lot of people are telling you to do this and that, but listen to your heart. And the $10 million diamond ring taped to the bottom of your seat.

To my daughter, Sam, and son, Charlie, I hope when you are able to understand what I’ve done, it won’t affect our relationship. I don’t care what that snot-nosed little brat says at recess, I will always be here for you. Hopefully, you’ll look more like your mother and become a new breed of bourgeois socialites.

Mom, I have shamed you. Still, it really didn’t help to see the woman I love most be so submissive to someone else while I was growing up. I gotta be honest. I thought women are supposed to walk behind their spouses, everywhere, until I was in college.

I want to sincerely thank and apologize to any of my friends and peers that have supported me through this ordeal. I realize I’ve put a few of  you in a bad predicament with your families, and I could not be more remorseful. But let’s not act like I went to Atlantic City, Vegas, The Hamptons, and Paris by myself.

My sincerest apologies to Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh, Steve Stricker, Y.E. Yang, Padraig Harrington, and everyone else on the PGA Tour. I think it would be better for all of us if I would just take over for a while.

To my detractors. Not only am I going to break Jack Nicklaus’ record, I’m going to obliterate it. No offense to “The Golden Bear”, but even he knows its simply a matter of time. He won his 18th at 46 years old. I have 14, and I’m only 34. I know most of you didn’t go to Stanford, but you should be able to do the math. In addition to that, Nicklaus did his winning over a span of 25 years. I’m beginning my 14th. Also I’ll break Sam Snead’s record for career PGA Tour wins by the end of 2011, because I just love seeing my name in the record book.

I’d also like to express my disgust with a few of you in particular.

You ask me question after question about my private life in some Buddha-awful interview, you community college journalism hack? I’m smarter than you. How could you possibly think you’d get me to answer a question the way you’d like by “attempting” to reword it?

Addressing TMZ, and especially Harvey Levin: Grow the fuck up. Anybody can walk around with a pen, pad, and a camerman while being a flaming douchebag and call themselves a “reporter”. You’re nothing more than the National Enquirer magazine on TV. Another thing. I’m a little sick of some of your white staff seemingly thinking that all Black people look alike. And why the hell am I still seeing Levin on “People’s Court”?

Any of you endorsers that chose not to stick with me, your loss.  When I’m sitting on 25 majors in 2015, you’ll be “all up in my grill”.

Et tu Parnevik. Parnevik, Parnevik, Parnevik. YOU. ARE. TOAST. “Elin should’ve used the driver”. What the hell, man?! You better pray on your kids’ lives that we’re not paired, ever, because if we are, I will make it my personal goal to embarrass you. I’ll throw away my driver, and destroy you using irons and wedges. Maybe hit  3-wood every now and then. Left-handed. You can bet your broke ass we’ll be seeing each other on the course.

Some of you have expressed your dislike for my decision to return at the Masters. Allow me to explain. Jump off a bridge. If you’re so offended by my actions, don’t watch me dominate. When I go, golf goes, and you honestly won’t be missed. People will still fill the galleries, watch major tournament rounds on the weekends, watch the GOLF channel, and listen when ESPN mentions golf–because of me.

The therapy was just a ploy. I’ll give you that. I did what I wanted to do, because I knew I could. It wasn’t a sense of entitlement or the result of straying away from my religion, just cavalier behavior. But if you think I’ll lose my passion to play golf because 46 year-old Michael Waligora from Austin, TX won’t cheer for me anymore, you’re nuts. Hell, I wouldn’t mind it if I had a few less fans. Seriously, what other golfer has to deal with the shit I have to deal with? And if you really want to light a fire, come to the tournaments and heckle. I’ll find out who your favorite player is and find a way to embarrass him, too, even if it’s on a mini-golf course.

I see that some of you are bored, and frankly, I don’t care. Your ears perk up when some sleazy broad tells you about me choking her during sex, but not when I’m being genuine for a change? Showing real emotion?! Tốt!

See you bastards at the first hole. Woods, out.