Saturday, February 20, 2016

He Who Laughs Last, Laughs Best: It's beginning to look a lot like I TOLD YOU SO.




Let's take a walk down memory lane.


The year 2011. The place: White House Correspondents' Dinner
The speaker:  President Obama
The fall guy:  Donald Trump!

He who laughs last, laughs best. Now, the year is 2015. It's the early race to the White House. By my calculations, unless Donald Trump pulls a Kaelin Clay (See video below) by prematurely celebrating his victory, it's a lock, he could get the last laugh by becoming the next President of The United States!  Who would have thought it?!


First, let's get something perfectly clear, the average person votes with their heart, not their mind.  Most know very little about the "issues", therefore, if a person moves them; emotionally engages them  (i.e., makes them laugh, inspires them to smile, cry or feel pain) , that person then sit in the catbird's seat. Unlike the other candidates who I'll refer to as "The Dud Dudes", Donald Trump has mastered the art of engaging the audience in a way that makes them believe as if he's one of them. 

It's a new day. It's all about the show. In other words, these days, politics is essentially SHOW-BUSINESS. As the infamous boxing promoter Don King would say, only in America, baby!

Today in America, the day in-which a candidate could win voters by simply being his party's head man, mouthing cookie-cutter rhetoric designed to show voters how  presidential they are, is long gone. Consequently, aside from their other obvious character defects "The Dud Dudes" are practically, emotionally lost in space, leaving Donald Trump to win the Republican nomination by a landslide.  His next opponent, the mighty Clinton train.  

But wait, like Kaelin Clay, the Utah Wide Receiver who committed the blunder of the year by dropping the ball prior to crossing the goal line, Donald Trump could drop the ball before crossing his goal line. 

That said, South Carolina is yet another state the Donald now has in his pocket, as the Dud Dude, Jeb Bush fades into the sunset. He wisely dropped out of the race. 


On Tuesday, November 8, 2016, will Donald do a Kaelin Clay or a happy dance?

This is a repost. With a smile on my face I looked back to say "I told you so".

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

JIHAD-JIHAD-JIHAD! Vengeance! Holocaust! Slavery!

Wrath Makes Him Deaf


In William Shakespeare's play 3 Henry VI, Queen Margaret speaks of John Clifford, nicknamed The Butcher, the military leader during the War of the Roses... "Wrath makes him deaf". 

The play deals primarily with the horrors of the Wars of the Rose, with the once ordered nation thrown into chaos and barbarism as families break down and moral codes are subverted in the pursuit of revenge and power. 

This post is not about war, slavery, the holocaust nor power seekers. It's about the family legacies of the leaders of conflict and chaos. The children in particular, although in many cases do not share the opinions of their fathers and mothers, will forever be left with the task of bearing the burden of their parent's misguided journey. 

Take for instance the Holocaust, the Nazi leaders and their blind followers. The doctrine of the Nazi party was  favored and trumpeted by many. The loyal followers unabashedly pledged loyalty to its cause. However, when the leaders were exposed, leading them into hiding, trials and executions, their children, although they may not have shared their parents opinions, were left to deal with the horrible stains of their parent's misconduct, because many unfairly believe that the apple does not fall far from tree.

Another example of the family stain that's hard to wash away can be found in the horrors of slavery. 

It once was a popular opinion that some Americans were inferior, and thus not human beings. Consequently, said non-humans could be hung, sold, raped and forced to mate, all with the blessings of the law of that land. Some Americans disagreed with the law, which in part led to a civil war, which saw the deaths of over One Half Million Americans.  At the end of the war when "right" triumphed, unlike the Nazi leaders who were jailed and executed, the racist leaders merely adjusted their bigotry and hatred. They did so by various covert means such as hiding behind hooded masks and hiding out in dark secluded places in fear of being the newly scorned and unpopular individuals.   

They could run, they could hide but their children are left to deal with their parent's past behavior and opinions, which are not the most popular today. Again, regardless, right or wrong, some people believe the apple does not fall far from the tree, and thus, their children are left to pay for the indiscretion of their parents. We've seen such with the children of the infamous American political leaders who spewed hatred and bigotry in Congress and on the steps of major Universities. Granted, some children may even   agree with their parents past ideologies, however, in this new day of political correctness, it's not wise to flaunt ones association with "suspect" characters. Well, this post serves as a cautionary note to Donald Trump's supporters. When Donald Trump, who really has little in common with many of his supporters, is exposed as what he truly is...  his pockets still flush with cash as he leaves the spot light, he'll walk up to his Trump Towers and leave behind those who believed he was just like them. Don't get me wrong, it's true, some of his followers share a popular opinion that there is a particular kind of individual who is beneath them, and thus should be feared, alienated and disposed of.  So I understand the persuasiveness/effectiveness of  Mr. Trump's, trump card, "fear mongering".  

However, in the end, those Nazi supporters who listened to and believed in the rhetoric that they were a superior race and those who didn't look like them or who may hold different beliefs (i.e., Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, etc,) needed to be banished from this earth, soon found out that because of their misguided ways, they and their families had become the alienated and the hunted . 

And, those who in the developing years of these United States who believed similar rhetoric about individuals who didn't look like them, and who some thought were beneath them, and thus just as with Hitler, set out on a mission to brutalize, torture and murder them, soon found out they were, simply, mislead. Unfortunately, although their intentions may have been good, nevertheless, they and their children, present and future, were forced to carry a burden that takes generations to dispose of. 

In closing, I must reiterate, let this post serve as a cautionary note to those who unwisely and unabashedly follow and trumpet the words of a suspect, self-severing individuals who may not have their best interests at heart, such as the current Republican candidate for President of the United States, Mr. Donald Trump. 

Question?  Do you love your children? If so, what type of parent would intentionally expose their children to future harm if it could be avoided, all for the sake of supporting a man who has little in common with the average American?

 Remember, it's unwise to harbor the ways of the military leader John Clifford, nicknamed The Butcher,  who let wrath make him deaf.  
  

Saturday, December 19, 2015

FOR OVER 80,000 DAYS, THERE WAS A NON-PERSON OF COLOR SITTING IN THE WHITE HOUSE.


ADDENDUM: Its been a few years since I wrote this post, however, the message is basically the same. As our sitting president nears his final days, don't let anyone tear him or his accomplishments down. As a popular commercial once said... "We've Come A Long Way Baby!". Now, enjoy the post one mo' time.

President Obama has a huge weight on his shoulders and so did my grandfather. At the beginning of their new voyage, each of them were up against the mighty Goliath. A formidable foe for sure. Sticks and stones could break their bones, but that was the least of their worries.


In 1865, my grandfather (above picture) of six generations past, was released from slavery. Since that time, there has been 28 white gentlemen seated as President of The United States. Over Fifty Three Thousand days ago, since my grandfather was released from slavery, except for approximately 700 measly days, there has been a white gentlemen sitting in the White House. For approximately EIGHTY THOUSAND DAYS, there has always been a white gentlemen sitting in the White House.



Lets move ahead a few years.




That little girl is my mother. Her parents didn't have an easy row to hoe. They had 10 children and were sharecroppers, but that didn't stop them from taking the time to dress my mother in her fine Sunday attire. The landowner wasn't very nice. Some of the other sharecroppers bowed to his wishes and helped him brow beat his tenants. However my grandparents knew they had to keep on, keeping on.


Come on, lets move ahead.


My mother made it through those days on the farm. That's her in the middle, with the glove on her thigh. Her life has not been a cake walk. Well, aside from being a black woman in America, the next picture will tell a more complete story.


She had me and my brothers. I am the confused looking guy on the left. Although I didn't have a nice bow tie like my oldest brother or a fancy pair of shoes like my brother in the middle, I am grateful for my mother and all my grandparents. My brothers and I fought amongst ourselves but we always fought harder for each other. If someone threw a rock at one of us, we threw 10 back at them. My grandmother is in the next picture.





Look at her, she's so proud. She made it through the hard times, and she's standing in the middle of a few good black men as they break ground for our new church. But the church wasn't about her, she was building something to pass down. She passed away a few years after this picture was taken. But if she had listened to some of the other naysay sell-out sharecroppers, the following event might not have taken place. She and my grandfather stayed strong, stayed together, pooled their resources and got off that man's property.




It's our family reunion! Grandma ironed a few white people's clothes and so did her mother, and so did my mother, but they didn't let that stop them.

My father lost his dad at an early age, but he didn't let that stop him either. In the next picture, see if you know where he's standing?




That's my father standing in front of the White House. Since 1789, there had been a white man living in that white house. Our president is now a black man. He's only been living there for a little more than 700 days. Forty three white fellas had called that place home. In their tenure, they managed to keep racism alive, and hope but a distant memory. For 80,000 days and several wars later, they've managed to build a castle in the sky for them and theirs, and yet, a few of my black friends are quick to point fingers at President Obama. They say he's not moving fast enough and he's staying mum on black issues. I wonder if my nay say friends can trace their family history, or the white president's history? I also wonder if they've read a few history books - about our history? More importantly, I've often wondered what rewards they are receiving from regurgitating negative opinions about our president? Could it be they adore speaking in a quasi intellectual tone, while missing the fact that they are being ineffectual? Frequently, their misguided "constructive criticism" is nothing more than 10 dollar words of bubbling babble that's used to stroke an inflated ego.

My father has gone home. I miss him, but I remember his words of wisdom.

He was my little league coach and I was a pitcher. One day, a player on my team dropped a fly ball which caused me to lose my cool. As he scrambled to retrieve the ball, another player stumbled over him. The opposing team laughed and ridiculed the players to a point they both started crying. I didn't make things any better with my mean look and foolish antics on the mound. Consumed by my emotions, I threw my next pitch with the fury of a Tasmanian Devil. I hit the batter square upside his head. My father called time out and approached the mound. His following words I will never forget... "look boy, don't ever play another man's game and don't be nobodies fool. Their job is to get you mad at your players and have you act a damn fool. Don't let them see you get rattled. Go out and tell Tommy it's alright and we are going to win this game. We don't need enemies on our own team"

President Obama has a huge task in front of him. He's standing on the mound and the ball is in his hand. We don't need enemies on our own team. If someone tries to engage you in negative criticism about President Obama, stop, look and listen, and then ask them where they are going? Don't play another man's game and don't be nobodies fool.

Remember, Rome was not built in a day and 43 white fellas have played in the white house for over TWO CENTURIES - THAT'S 200 YEARS YAWL! And that's a loooog time. Taking that into consideration, President Obama has been there but a blink of the eye. My grandfather didn't go back to slavery. He took the good with the bad, and kept on stepping. Step up... when someone tries to bring Obama down.

Lets build something to pass on! I say, move the petty indifference's out of the way and look ahead to a better day. If not Obama then who? Don't be led astray.

ONE MO TIME..... WE DON'T NEED ENEMIES ON OUR OWN TEAM.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Sweet Drops Of Rest

Patience is man's best virtue - that's what they say. Well, I doubt if I'd be considered of moral excellence, but I'd like to think I have some admirable qualities. Yet, patience is not my best virtue. I've known for some time that it's been hard for me to accept delays and inconveniences without complaint. I hate waiting in long lines.

So I love sweet drops of rest. I love a good thunderstorm. When it rains I sleep like a new born baby that's nursing on it's mother's breast milk. I am full and content and the world is my oyster. However, one day, many years ago, a thunderstorm caught me by surprise. I lived in an area called the corn belt. Life was good, jobs were plenty; everyone could get a job. The home offices of major farm implement companies were in the area. John Deere was there and so was International Harvester. The Case Company was nearby. They all make tractors and combines. I could look out my window and see the smoke billowing from their foundry's. Blacks folks could even get a job. Some of the work was very hot and very dangerous.

The Companies raw materials and finished products were transported by railways and river barges. The barges could be a nuisance. The bridges on the Mississippi river had to be raised so they could pass through. I hated the trains, there were hundreds of them and many of them passed through the city.

Having lived in the area for some time, I sort of became accustom to delays, sort of. Well, I knew the times in which each manufacturer would likely be shipping out large orders. Train traffic slows down at night, the loud whistles can disturb the peace. Without failure, early in the morning the loud roar of train engines and their warning whistles permeated the air. On my usual route I had to cross three different train intersections but I had a plan worked out. A plan of action was necessary because these were not small engines and several were used in unison to pull hundreds of box cars. Waiting for a train to pass could mean being late for work and the boss didn't play that. My plan involved timing.

One day my lover, Mrs. Thunderstorm didn't love me anymore. Well, she threw a wrench in my game. Did I mention the fact that the area is frequently visited by tremendous tornadoes? Yep, it is. One morning while I was on my way to work, my progress was impeded by trees in the street and downed power lines. I could weave through the down branches and drifting garbage cans but trains were stalled across several tracks. A tornado had come through overnight - my time schedule was shot. I became annoyed waiting in line and decided to take a different route. My lack of patience took me to a place I will never forget.

I thought I'd be clever and go through the white part of town where the trains were not so prevalent. It was a longer route but I thought I could gain time if I didn't get arrested for being a black man on the wrong side of town.

Don't most funerals take place in the afternoon? I didn't know what was going on but I turned a corner and again I was stopped by a long line of cars. This time a funeral procession was passing. The deceased was in a horse drawn carriage. I didn't know the name of the deceased but the person was popular -very popular! There must have been five hundred followers. So, while waiting, I noticed a pay phone. I got out of my car and called my employer. I told him I was going to be late and might as well take the morning off.

As my patience wore thin, my curiosity peeked. I was wondering who this person could be that had so much family or so many friends. I decided to follow the procession to where ever they were going. After driving several miles it was obvious this was not your ordinary run of the meal type person. I found myself in a secluded area. I parked away from the gathering crowds and slowly approached them. They all were dressed in strange attire - several were crying. One said if the deceased had only waited he'd still be alive. Others questioned if he jumped to his death. I stuck out like a sore thump but I had to find out the identity of this person. I walked closer to the crowd that had gather around an open casket. At first I thought the person had died from a broken heart because I heard one saying "all of those men couldn't put him back together". When I heard another say that he had no business going up there, I realized he had fallen to his death .

As I was about to peek my head through the crowd to get a look at the person, I heard children begin to sing. I thought I heard the words king and horses, then I heard the sounds of car horns. The children continued:




..." Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall/ Humpty Dumpty had a great fall/ all the kings horse and all the kings men/ couldn't put Humpty back together
again"

I woke up to the sounds of someone taping on my car window. I was still in my car waiting at the train tracks. Sweet drops of rest. The thought of a passing thunderstorm must have put me to sleep and my impatience took me on a ride to Humpty Dumpty's funeral. I can't wait for another thunderstorm. Maybe next time I'll be the president of the United States. Well, maybe I should think about that?

Sunday, August 23, 2015

LOOKING OVER THE WALL: I can't go back there!




Several years ago when I first started participating in Internet discussions, I was lost. I had a distorted image of happiness. Well, maybe not lost, but certainly adrift. I am reminded of those guys in the movies, you know, the starving castaway on a makeshift raft, peering over the tops of waves, looking for land, and just living on hope. Yet, somewhere deep inside, I couldn’t give up.

Today I have a motto “What About A Time Called Now”. It’s here and now, in the moments of creating and expressing my thoughts, where I feel the most at ease and confident. In many ways  it’s always felt just right, and it always brought me a rush of emotions, most of them the best I’ve ever known.

Now the downside of it is, there’s always some jerk who stands in judgment of what you do. The harshest criticism always seems to come from those that truly have no idea what you’re doing and truly has no gift of their own. And,  are just plain pissed off that you’re happy and happily plying your craft. That is of course, if you’re making the world a little more ugly, then that type of personality will gladly hold your hand and dance through the stankin' muck filled sewer, proclaiming that you, just like they, see only how awful it all is, and take pleasure in the celebration of it. But somewhere along my journey, I came to understand that any D- minus person can see how terrible things are. That didn’t take any skills.

If a person wishes to be a full time cynic, that’s their very unfortunate choice. They are sometimes right, and romantics are generally wrong, but a romantic needs to be right only one time in their life, and that’s when they find something or someone they truly love.

I guess love is what this post is really all about. I know it’s not common for a dude to write about love, and maybe it would be best served if that’s all I said, but then you wouldn’t get the full flavor of my thoughts and me. That would be unfair to both of us.

Through my blog I try to produce something that makes people feel. Feelings are the enemy of the lazy, blind followers and the so called elite. You can’t be smarter than them or do things different than them, or have more courage to express your true thoughts, than them.  They might crucify you. The common man, on the other hand, has a conscience. He has little time for BS. The common man can spot BS ten miles away, and that’s why, in some circles, there’s a small place for him.

However, having said that, I’ve come to believe that a journey shared with whomever, is more deeply moving an experience than a journey taken alone. Human beings need validation, that’s how we learn. I might say or feel something that’s not clear to me, others will say something similar, and then it’s heads straight ahead. Art, in all it’s forms, that is shared, is part of the feeling process. When there’s no feelings, there’s no statement. Where there’s no statement, there’s no sharing. When there’s no sharing, there’s no beauty. When there’s no beauty, there’s no art, and consequently, there is no love.

When I see beauty everywhere and in everything, my soul is set free. No one can take that from me. Then I am free to love and express my feelings and emotions in a way that might seem strange or different to others...  and that's okay.

In short, I’ve been places that I never wish to return to. Not just a place on the map, but in my heart and in my mind.  There are certain things that I can no longer afford to embrace.  My motto.... What About A time Called Now!

Thanks for reading my reflections of today. Thoughts?  Opinions? Feel free to share them.




Santa Claus vs The Christian: Robbing Our Children?


Over at The Old Black Church, Santa Claus was under review. So lets pull the Bunny Rabbit out of the hat and tell the Tooth Fairy that love don't live here anymore, right?


Well, here's a viewpoint supported by The Old Black Church which happens to be my favorite Christain blog http://theoldblackchurch.blogspot.com/2010/12/how-can-christians-explain-santa-claus.html



" Mark Driscoll who's one of America's most prominent young
Christian voices says Christians have three options when it comes to
dealing with cultural issues like Santa....We can either reject it, receive it,
or redeem it....I tend to agree with Driscoll that the third option is
best....As Christian parents we should tell our kids Christmas is about the
birth of the Savior, not Santa Claus....every since I can remember most
little children have unintentional worship Santa Claus as the reason
for the season"

MsBrock: "I believe it's possible for a child to learn to distrust a parent when they realizes that Santa Claus is a lie"

On this issue, I think Ms Brock and I are somewhat divided because I do not view Santa Claus as a lie. So, since I had this post sitting in my ready set go file, here it goes.

I Don’t Like Grinches That Try To Steal Christmas
 
Well, Christmas is but a few months away. In that far too brief a time, when we pray and play and talk and laugh together, I wish I could somehow box those moments of bliss, only to revisit them at my pleasure. Unfortunately, unless I have my own personal time machine, one that could whisk me back in time, that journey is an impossible task. Consequently, I am forced to sing satisfied, but I can dream, can’t I?


I can dream about the days my brothers and I gleefully took center stage on our linoleum tiled floor, Spiegel’s catalog in hand, pointing, pondering, and wishing for the captivating toys on the glossy pages. We knew our parents couldn’t afford most of them, however, since Santa Claus had Rudolph and several helpers, he might stop by our house, leaving everything our heart’s desired. That hope, that desire, that magical possibility, plays to a child’s heart; that no one has the right to abuse , deflate, belittle or to inject their adult sensibilities. That world of awesome wonderment, imagination and innocence, is a child’s right of passage.Having said that, last week, my grandson, who is six years old, informed the family that his teacher said Santa Claus did not exist. What?! No Santa Claus? Those words of “advice” may not seem like a major indiscretion to some parents, however, feeling the disillusionment my grandson must have felt, I was crushed. I mean, is the tooth fairy real? Should we take the Easter Bunny off the table?



“No need to worry. No need to fear. Just being alive, makes it all so very clear. That's with a child's heart, nothing can ever get you down. With a child's heart, you've got no reason to frown. Love is welcome as a sunny day. No grownup thoughts, to lead our hearts astray” ~ Stevie Wonder


I remember those days when my anticipation of Santa Clause’s arrival was enough
to find my eyes closed long before my normal bedtime, in the hope that a new day would appear at the blink of an eye. On Prancer, On Vixen, On Carey... straight to bed.... on to Christmas morning.


Yet, on one occasion, I wanted Santa to slow his roll. See, my brothers and I were a mischievous bunch, sometimes in the neighborhood and school and city parks, sometimes at our house, sometimes gracelessly throwing caution to the wind, we sometimes - well- were naughty and not very nice. Consequently, since we knew Santa didn’t suffer misbehaving kids lightly, we needed a few days to make amends.

And everyone knows, if a child does not go to sleep on Christmas Eve, prior to Santa’s arrival,, and then, happen to see him, he might vanish, taking his toys with him. So woe was me and my brothers. On that memorable day, we went to sleep when the street lights came on, only to be awaken with the urge to use the restroom. However, before we opened the door of our bedroom, we heard a rustlings sound coming from the other side. Oh no, Santa was leaving gifts, we couldn’t go out there! Nevertheless, it was decision time. My oldest brother, who may have been on the fence about this jolly old man that brought gifts, decided to crack the door to sneak a peek. He quickly closed it! In a shaky voice, he said, “Santa Clause is out there”.

With startled looks, we grabbed our little wee-wee’s and paced the floor in an attempt to stop the flood gates. After about an hour of dancing under the stars, my oldest brother decided to take another look. Santa was still there. Our next move didn’t require a vote and none was taken. We all started crying, loud, uninhibitant voices of pain leaped from our mouths.

The door sprang open, mom and dad rescued us from our claustrophobic terror, created by not only the fact that Santa was in our living room but by the knowledge that we would receive a whooping if we wetted our PJ’s. Lost toys were not the culminating factor to our tears, lost “rear end” parts were more of an issue.

Anyway, low and behold, our sentry, who we thought was Santa, was merely one of those 4ft rubber punching bags, with a red and white Christmas stocking atop it’s head.

Childhood memories; what would I do without them? The relevance here is that I, nor my parents, ever spoke of Santa Claus as a figment of someone’s imagination. And personally, I can’t understand why a person would rob a child of that joy. I thought those opinions was reserved for Grouchous Grinches that try to steal Christmas.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

I Think I am Back?

OMG!!! I haven't been able to write a new post in years. In fact, I don't know how or why, today, I was able to gain access? Is anyone still there? Please let me know if you received this post?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tim Moore, aka "KINGFISH" TRIBUTE!








These clips are a small part of a tribute to Tim Moore. Many entertainers are standing on his shoulders. He played the part of "Kingfish" in the CBS series Amos & Andy...  the first all black cast on a national television network. He was in show business for over 50 years (he paid his dues). He worked with Oscar Devereaux Micheaux who made over 40 films, and many of the noted entertainers of that time period. He received his most noted and famous role at the age of 65! We titled this tribute "giving something back, never forget those that have gone before us and uncovering a lost treasure".

The nights (several nights) were filled with "talking" (and laughter)and speeches and clips from his movies and television series. Along with all the proceedings (dinner and such) these youtube offerings (the first clip) came from a play that was part of the evening's affair.  This was my attempt at humor and film-making.
Btw, I did not run the cameras ( I am playing Kingfish), nor was this event meant to be filmed. So keep that in mind and be forewarned :-)

Enjoy... comments are welcomed.

Monday, August 17, 2015

MY MIND IS ON SPIKE LEE

Spike has a fantastic new book. Take a look at a few pages. That's the cover.



















Now, the rest of the story.


I’ve come to believe that a journey shared with another, is more deeply moving an experience than a journey taken alone. Consequently, although I, like everyone who has been caught in the pounce of life’s struggles; that which makes us question our existence, I have managed to maintain my love of watching movies as a form of escape.

Not only do I escape, movie watching affords me the opportunity to visit emotions, sights and sounds - much like reading books - that I may not have otherwise experienced.

See, I am just a black hick from the flat lands of Iowa (yes, there are black folks in Iowa) that loves to stretch-out and view the world from different perspectives. And, as I said, I love watching movies.
That’s me - in the above picture - standing in Harlem waiting for the Apollo Theater to open. I don’t remember who I saw that day; possibly the famed amateur night, but on that same trip, I do remember catching Debbie Allen in a Broadway play.

My wife and I are in the next picture. We’re at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado. Wonderful times, wonderful days, a wonderful experience.



See if you recognize anyone in the following picture?



Okay, that’s sort of a gimme. That’s me on the left and Harvey Keitel on the far right. But I bet you don’t know the guy in the middle? Well have you heard of the actor Gérard Depardieu , a French actor and film-maker. He has won a number of honours including a nomination for an Academy Award for the title role in Cyrano de Bergerac and the Golden Globe award for Best Actor in Green Card. In addition to a number of American awards, Depardieu is a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur Chevalier of the Ordre national du Mérite and has twice won the César Award for Best Actor. Well, the above actor is his son. He was an experience and a story all in itself. He later went on to gain popularity - in not a very respectable way. Well, Guillaume Depardieu never fully recovered from a life of drug addiction, a road crash and a hospital infection which forced the amputation of his right leg. He also had been a male prostitute and gigolo as part of a teenage revolt against his father's famous name. He also served two jail sentences for theft and drugs offences.

Shortly after that picture was taken, he boarded a plane and later was arrested in Paris - for Heroin possession. In 1992, he received the Cesar award for the most promising actor. At the age of 37, he died of pneumonia.

Wow! But now, on a more upbeat note, Spike Lee is my guy. I’ve never met him, but the following story is my detailed account of how I’ve been trying to rectify that problem and why I believe our visit is right around the corner.

I’ve been riding with Spike Lee since his 1986 breakout movie She’s Gotta Have It. Back then, aside from a few movies starring Bill Cosby, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte and Richard Pryor, I can’t remember if a movie featured a black cast or if the directors were black. Well, there were movies like Super Fly, Shaft, Cotton Comes To Harlem, and those black exploitation movie, but Spike‘s narrative and direction was a new day.

Before Spike Lee’s arrival, many black faces in cinema were reduced to caricatures that displayed people of color in a negative light. We took it all with a kind of astringent good humor, refusing at times, even to consider defending those false images, because, for the most part, we didn’t have enough avenues to do that.

But now, as the world turns, we now have a black president, and I, a black man, was given the opportunity; in this racist society, to express my opinions in a local newspaper, that in which I intend to share parts of this post.

Much has been written about race and racism; I personally feel that it will demand a far less guilty and constricted people than the present-day American to be able to assess it all; it’s importance to the survival of our society, however, I can safely assume that others, albeit begrudgingly, need to hear the narratives/voices from people of colors.

Anyway, before I get too far off the core of this post, in short, I believe Spike Lee was a fresh new voice of black consciousness. And, I’ve been following him every since he hit the block.

So, a few weeks ago I was tickle pink (dark brown) when an acquaintance (Sergio Mims, a writer for Ebony magazine) informed the blogsphere that Spike Lee was going to be in Chicago, promoting his new book Do The Right Thing. The book is celebrating just more than 20 years since the seminal debut of the movie by the same name. Okay, now it was my time to met Spike and get an autographed book to boot. However, two days before the scheduled day of the event, Dec 22nd 2010, I had reservation on a flight to Atlanta. I caught my flight but all goodbyes were not gone. I have a cousin that lives in Chicago on South Lake Shore Drive that let me convince her to stand - tall and proud - in my place. I got my autograph “to Carey, my greatest fan in Iowa”, (Photos above) but I didn’t get a chance to meet Spike.

But wait, remember my friend Sergio Mims, he again informed the blogsphere, through one of my favorite blogspots, Shadow and Act http://www.shadowandact.com/, that spike had booked a return engagement in Naperville, a suburb outside Chicago. Spike is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at a Martin Luther King celebration, Jan 18th, 2011. Oh boy, here we go again.

I have another cousin - a niece - that lives right in Naperville. So, upon hearing that great news, I scurried to the phone to apply for my hookup tickets. I also contacted Sergio, who lives in Chicago, to see if he’d like to join me. At first he said it was too far for him to drive waaaaay out to Naperville, but if I came to pick him up, he’d be glad to ride along. Now I’m thinking, I would have to drive 200 miles to attend this event and he lives a stones throw away, but I said okay. You know, "a journey shared with another, is more deeply moving an experience than a journey taken alone"
Now... the tickets.

Well, you know how it is when a friend or family member says they have you covered, and then, they don’t. Yep, my niece carries all the genes of a young black woman, and so, things got a little shaky. I had faith that she could acquire ticket because she copped six tickets when Cornel West spoke at the same function - just last year.

After I informed Sergio of our quandary, he went to work. He told me that he might be able to get a couple of press passes. I forgot Sergio was the man, who probably was on the A-list of writers in Chicago, so I was thrilled when I heard that great news.

Now we’re set to go, but wait, Sergio hit me with another e-mail... “Well [Carey]I've got good news and bad news. I just got a call from them. They gave me a ticket for the Lee event. That's it's ONE ticket. I couldn't get another one”But like a true trooper “the show must go on” he hit me with another message saying, “O.K. but we're still going together right?”. I started to call him back and tell him, hell no, there’s no way I was going to let him in my car, wearing a tuxedo, smiling, as he waved his front row pass - in my face. But again, I wavered and said, yes, we’re still going together. So it's on, the two of us are off to see Spike Lee. I finally managed to get a ticket in the nose bleed section.

But see, Sergio doesn’t know this (unless he reads this post) but I am planning on getting a big ass camera and pretend I am his camera man or personal assistant. Yes sir, it’s my plan to buy a fake, but great looking press pass, and strut to the front, like I am somebody. And then, when the evening progresses to the Q&A portion of the program, I’m going to drop that camera, jump to my feet, frantically waving my hands in the air and say “Right over here Mr. Spike Lee, I have a question for you” . Hopefully he will say “Yes, Mr. CareyCarey, what can I do for you?”. Then I’ll say, “Nothing, I just wanted to tell everyone who will listen, that I met you”

Friday, August 7, 2015

THE NEXT PRESIDENT!

Grandfather & Grandson


There are many things I should be doing today, but I am consumed by the current events. There was an article on Yahoo asking the question "Why Did Obama Win"? I'll get back to that.

I am sure we all have stories of struggle. It's been said that if a man controls your mind, he controls you. I am not the type that blames others for my faults. However, if a person's dreams and hopes are deferred by limited exposure -- who's to blame? Maybe no one, because in doing so, we look back and not forward. When I think about the dreams of my grandfather, seven generation past, I know he looked forward to a day in which he would no longer be a slave, that day came. In 1861 he was released from slavery and joined the 108th Colored Infantry, made up of former slaves from Kentucky. While a slave he was responsible for the care of the farm animals. He was in essence an animal doctor. Skills in hand, he headed North. He was stationed at Fort Armstrong, later renamed Arsenal Island, a picturesque 3-mile strip of land in the Mississippi River. After his stint in the Civil War, he settled into a white community on the banks of Mississippi River in northern Illinois.

Generations later, my Great-Grandmother's dream was to simply go to school. She never had that opportunity. She raised 10 children while working beside my grandfather as share-croppers. One of my mother's dreams was to go to high school and graduate, she did that.

I was talking to my daughter this morning and we conversed about my grandson. Her voice made me stop and think of a dream my wife shared with me. See, my daughter was not planned. My wife became pregnant while we were in high school. There was talk of abortion and adoption. We married and struggled as young parents, yet, we shared dreams and passed them along to our children.

My daughter went back to Kentucky, not as a slave, nor to find her roots but as a student at the University Of Kentucky. My wife passed away 6 months before the birth of our grandchild. While talking to my daughter she told me that my grandson, who is 6 yrs old, said that he and Obama were just alike. My daughter said, yes, you are both black. He declared, NO MOMMY! We are both presidents. His school held class elections to familiarize students with the voting process; he was voted president of his 1st grade class. Ignoring the comparison that most adults would make, my grandson focused on something greater than race. He was proud of the fact that he won the presidency. He knew the job of president was important, yet too young to understand the significance of skin color in the past election. It wasn't important to him that they shared a color. He was proud of the fact that he was good enough to be president. Maybe one day a person's skin color will cease being a big deal. My grandfather didn't look back, he didn't have a desire to go back there. I have a grandson - his name is Carey -- he's the President.


Why did Obama win? Because he was the best man for the job!