Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dear Virtual Friends,

I’m so sick of text messages…and IMs…and twitter…and myspace…and facebook…and the 700 other methods we use to contact one another which are completely devoid of human emotion and interpretation thereof.

The crazy thing is, we wonder where all the sociopaths and socially inept individuals that we complain about come from. Newsflash: it’s only going to get worse. I think by the time my children’s children have children, the world will have completely forgotten what a smiley face actually looks like - hint: it’s not like this - :)

What’s worse is that the dating game has also come to this point. Gone are the late nights, lying in bed, whispering sweet nothings in your lover’s ear, listening intently for his response. Now you know what happens? I get text messages that read “what’s up.” Nice. Now imagine we’re standing face to face, and you initiated a conversation with that same phrase. Imagine I respond, “nothing.” Now think of how many ways “nothing” can be expressed. I could be smiling, frowning, upbeat, down-trodden, overjoyed, distressed, so-so, or melancholy. All of which could be interpreted as: I need to talk, leave me alone, glad you asked, or why the hell are you bothering me?

We don’t talk anymore. We strip communication down to its nuts and bolts – 140-letter limited phrases. And we wonder where the love has gone. My guess? Love has become lost in translation.

It is said that 65-90% of conversation is interpreted through body language – all of which is lost in a text message. It is also said that communion is a human necessity. Yet, we try our damndest to isolate ourselves in imaginary boxes, disallowing all physical and verbal human contact. And we wonder what’s wrong with us...we wonder what’s wrong with society.

I know, you can’t see my face, or hear my voice, thus making it difficult to interpret the tone of this note – but I think I’ve made my message clear. Call me!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Chris Brown and Rihanna: My two cents.

I know I said my next note would be about “male bitches.” I lied - well sort of. Though we have been inundated in recent weeks with today’s particular topic for discussion, I just had to add my two cents.

I myself am not a Chris Brown fan, but my nieces clearly are…err – were. A couple of weeks ago, my mother and I used the unfortunate circumstance between him and Rihanna as an opportunity to discuss the cycle of domestic abuse with our girls. Then we all watched “What’s Love Got To Do With It,” and made futile attempts to understand why Tina just wouldn’t leave Ike. Remember how the movie ends? Well if you don’t, suffice is to ask yourself one question – what ever happened to Ike? Answer: he died in 2007 purportedly from a cocaine overdose. Who knew? Point is, as the movie ended I said to my nieces, “You reap what you sow. I bet Rihanna will only make more money, sell more albums, and become even more popular after this, and Chris Brown will be completely forgotten.” Wouldn’t it be nice if the world really worked that way? Wouldn’t it be nice if people actually got what they deserved?

As you know, Chris Brown was recently charged for the domestic violence incident (even though Rihanna declined to press charges). I’m sure the criminal justice system will deal with him at least on some level, at least for this specific occurrence. But you know what’s really starting to get my goat? While it’s becoming obvious that this is not the first time (or the last time) Chris Brown beat Rihanna, it’s also becoming abundantly evident that he is going to get away with this crap, virtually unscathed. He’ll probably be making albums, doing commercials, and selling out tours again in less than a year.

How do I know this? Six letters – R. Kelly.

Let me explicate myself.

The case? He’ll probably beat it. Too many times we have witnessed the legal system serve as nothing more than a temporary distraction and public relations device for the rich and famous.

Rihanna? She helped his cause tremendously by rekindling the relationship. Sure, there are the intelligent few who recognize the cycle of abuse, but simultaneously there is an irritating and undeniable sentiment that Chris Brown’s culpability somehow diminished the moment those pictures of him jet skiing at Diddy’s mansion surfaced.

The radio? Hell, they’re already playing Chris Brown’s songs again.

You? Yes you. You’re well on your way to forgetting about the whole incident. Hell, you’re annoyed that I even wrote this blog. You are SO tired of hearing about the whole sordid drama. You just want to get back to the regular schedule of misogyny that you’ve become accustomed to…you know, listening to Jay-Z talking ‘bout how he left ‘em in the cold with a thin sweater.

Side Note: I love Jigga, but ironically, he has quite possibly done more damage to women as whole than Chris Brown ever could – in fact, Chris Brown’s behavior will likely prove beneficial to the women’s movement, as it continues to serve as an impetus for pedagogical dialogue, meanwhile, Jay-Z’s “bitches” and “hoes” will be sustained on wax for all eternity…but Sean Carter’s mad at Chris Brown. Cute :-)

Well, I suppose there isn’t anything any one of us can (or is willing) to do individually to ensure that Chris Brown is appropriately punished for his actions vis a vis the demise of his career…except maybe this: let’s NOT get swept up - stepping in the name of love - as we have so naively done in the past. Let’s all do our part to make sure Chris Brown ends up less like R. Kelly, and more like the Ike Turner that he is.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Bitches and Sisters

I’m really trying to understand bitches. I mean bitches in the sense of Jay-Z’s “Bitches and Sisters.” Yeah, I’m about to start some sh*t, but I can’t help myself! Sisters: this ain’t really for y’all, but please, feel free to co-sign!

I don’t know, maybe it’s because myself, my mother, my sisters, and my girls have always possessed the means to take care of themselves. I can’t remember a time in any of their lives when they would have been helpless without a dude to take care of them. I guess if that’s the character of the women in your immediate vicinity, anything else appears ridiculous.

What is with these bitches who just want to suck a man dry? Take advantage of him? Use him until he’s used up? I mean, what do you get out of that? Does it make you feel like more of a woman? I just can’t comprehend that. You see, what makes me feel like a woman is GIVING myself to a strong and deserving man – not taking him for everything he’s got.

Side note: please bitches, stop talking ish about some dude and how wack he is when you’re not even in his f-cking class. How you talkin’ ‘bout how busted his ride is when you ain’t even riding ya damn self?!

Please bitches, stop looking for qualities in a man that you don’t hold for yourself. It’s one thing to look for a man who’s doing better than you. We all do that, it’s natural for a woman to look for a man who’s capable of fulfilling his intrinsic role as a provider. But come on, wake up and realize when yo ass is chasing waterfalls. If you’re broke, don’t be expecting a dude to have mad money in his pocket. Hell, we’re all struggling – we in a recession! If you can’t afford to go out to dinner, how can you expect him to pick up the bill? If you don’t have $10 to pay for your own movie ticket, why the hell do you expect him to?

Men are a beautiful thing. Especially my dope-ass, educated, strong, fine, and sexy as hell, more powerful than they fully realize, black brothers!! Lol, maybe I’m just feeling really enamored right now! But damn, how could a real woman EVER want to take advantage of such a thing? How could a strong black woman ever want to do anything besides wrap her chocolate legs around him and be enveloped in his power?

A friend of mine has been challenging me lately to define “strong black woman.” Boo boo, I don’t have the words to fully articulate what that is, but I can tell you this: any black woman that would take advantage of the kind of man I’ve described is exactly the opposite of strong. A strong black woman has no desire to drain a man who she doesn’t deem worthy of her love of his worldly possessions. A strong black woman doesn’t need to do that, because physically, financially, and spiritually she doesn’t need a man. But much of what distinguishes us as women is our emotional need. We need to be that orange moon, reflecting the light of our sun…

Anywho, back to bitches. Get it together. If you wish to define yourself as a strong black woman, then you must accept your obligation to society - and society doesn’t benefit from you sitting on your ass, waiting for some man to “take care of you.” Go work on yourself. Make yourself a more powerful moon – a moon that’s capable of harnessing the power and reflecting the energy of the brightest suns. Become a strong black woman who participates in cultivating our communities, building up our strong black men, and making the world a better place for everybody! Become a sister - BITCHES!