Thursday, September 29, 2005

Dating, pioneers

That’s the way it goes I’m guessing. I was all ready to get on and find out that Blogger is down. I called Elaine to make sure she was seeing the same thing I was seeing and she was.
I told her I’d go into Microsoft Word and do my post and if she wanted to take the night off that was cool. She picks up Wednesdays for me. That’s a church night and you’ll probably never find anything here on a Wednesday night. So always just head on over to Like Maria Said Paz.

So we have a new blogger in the community. His name is Seth and he blogs at Seth in the City. I had planned to add him to my blogroll but now I don’t know. Blogger being down really screws up my plans. I’d thought I’d do an entry and then head on out for dinner at my aunt’s. We’re all going there because my cousin just got engaged.

This isn’t a formal dinner. That’ll come tomorrow night. But my aunt wanted to have everyone over from my cousin’s side of the family. I don’t know about other people and maybe I’m the only one who ever feels this way but . . .

I’m glad for my cousin. He’s got a great woman who loves him and she’s got a great man who loves her. I have no problem being with them. But I do have a problem being with the family during events like this because I’ll hear, "When are you getting married?"

When I find the right woman. Haven’t found her and I’m not desperate to. I date and there are some nice ladies but it’s just not been where you think, "Okay, I want to spend all my life with her."

I said that to this aunt last time when another cousin got married this summer and she grabbed pen and paper and started saying we were going to make a list and then find me someone. I don’t think you go shopping with a list. It happens when it happens.

If I was shopping, it would be probably someone like Betty and that’s not me trying to make a clumsy pass. But Betty’s the sort of woman if I was looking for a type and not that moment when you know "This is the one." She’s pretty, she’s got a great laugh, she’s obviously great with her kids and she’s just really interested in the world.

I can find pretty and beautiful real easy. But it’s not that easy to find someone who’s interested in the world. Two weeks ago, I was out with a woman and she said she’d heard I liked current events. I’m sure my eyebrows shot up because I know I was eager to hear what she was going to talk about.

Turns out that she wanted to talk about this man who’d killed someone or someones in his family. So I listen and wait thinking she’s going to talk about domestic abuse or something like that. But all she did was talk about the gruesome details. She says, "And I love CSI!"
So that date went no where. I don’t care for CSI and you can read Ava & C.I.’s review of CSI Miami to figure out why. I just don’t like those shows and the way we’re supposed to root for the trampling of people’s rights. 24 is just disgusting and I can’t stand that show either.

But I’m not someone who thinks talking about blood stains on the carpet is talking about current events. Maybe I’m crazy or the only one who feels that way but that’s how I feel.
If she’d even done a Headline News kind of thing where she just tossed out factoids and didn’t offer anything of her own, I might have thought about asking her out again. But it was one hour and ten minutes about the crime scene and about her going, "I just can’t believe it! Can you believe it?" every five minutes.

Usually, when it’s obvious that I’m with someone who doesn’t know one thing about the world around them, I’ll try to talk about music. That’s a waste of time too. Unless I want to hear about Little Kim’s trial. Or probably this week, hear about Diana Ross’ DUI bust. Paul Mooney did a thing on that on BET this week. Maybe you saw it, maybe you didn’t. But I agreed with Steve Harvey about it being disrespectful to Tracee Ross who was sitting out front.

I also felt like, that was two years ago. Is that the best Mooney can do? A joke built around something that happened two years ago?

I’m sorry Diana Ross had a drinking problem. Since she’s not been arrested since, I’ll assume she’s gotten help.

But the woman’s been making music since the early 60s. She had her first hit in 1964. That’s over forty years of being a public personality. I don’t think one arrest is that big of a deal. Alcoholism is a disease and she obviously had a problem. It’s not really about who she is to the black community.

Even if Tracee Ross hadn’t been out there, I still would have thought Mooney was tasteless. I hear a lot of jokes about Smokey Robinson’s hairstyle in the Dr. Pepper commercials and it did look weird. If Mooney was doing a joke on Diana Ross like that, I might have laughed. But to pick a moment from two years ago that was disappointing and to be making fun of her like that. I just felt like he was crapping where he eats. He was coming and trashing someone who really broke barriers for us.

Glen Campbell got busted and they had crazy photos of him all over the net. That’s more recent. Why didn’t he make fun of Campbell?

It just seemed to me like there was a line and he crossed it.

There are nothing disappointments for African-Americans, he doesn’t have to dig two years back or try to burn a pioneer to get a cheap laugh. I quit watching Saturday Night Live because Maya Rudolph was always doing Diana Ross skits. I didn’t think they were funny or even well thought out. I felt like she thought, "I put on this wig and I play with the hair and act stupid and it’ll be so funny."

I wonder how she’d feel if that was Minnie Ripperton someone on Saturday Night Live was making fun of. In case anyone reading this doesn’t know, Minnie Ripperton was Maya Rudolph’s mother.

There are enough attacks on the black community without us needing to hear them from members of the community. Diana Ross was busted once. Why is it a big deal? Christian Slater’s been busted how many times and I don’t see people doing jokes about that. And Christian Slater’s not even a big star.

Diana Ross is a big thing. She never needs another hit, we’ll always know she came out in a time when black people didn’t have a lot of crossover success. She and the Supremes got on Ed Sullivan a lot. Her group was second only to the Beatles for having number 1s in the 60s. That’s a big thing. She went on to a solo career, had more hits, got an Oscar nomination (which Halle Berry didn’t mention in her long acceptance speech – probably the only woman Halle didn’t mention), raised three daughters into beautiful strong women and is still raising two sons.
There have been highs and lows but she’s like the black community, we keep on going. So hearing Paul Mooney dig two years into the past for stale jokes to attack a pioneer with just rubbed me the wrong way. I also felt sorry for her daughter Tracee who was in the audience with the camera on her while Mooney was mouthing off and making a jack ass of himself.

Steve Harvey said he would have slugged anyone who talked about his mother like that. I think if Tracee had done anything other than sit there, the press would have been all over it. If she’d gotten up and walked out, the headlines would be "Prima Dona Tracee Ross Storms Out of BET Celebration!" If she’d done like Harvey, it would have been "Tracee Ross? No, Trashy Ross! Ross Slugs Paul Mooney."

I think she was in a difficult situation and you saw that Ross and others in her family had taught her to hold her head high and conduct herself correctly. I don’t think there was anything else she could have done.

But I think Paul Moodey owes her an apology and I don’t think he was funny.

Blogger’s still not up. I didn’t plan to write about Tracee Ross tonight. I was going to do some links and note some stuff that members have been doing at their sites. But I’m going to have to hit the door in a bit. If I have to leave before Blogger’s up, I’ll post this when I get back. It’ll be late so I won’t be adding to it.

Go read Betty's "Thomas Friedman's Endgame Should Start With A Shower," Mike's interview with Betty, Rebecca's "Christine & Pop Politics" Ava & C..I.'s "TV Review: Three Wishes," Kat's "Kat's Korner: Stones Keep Rolling," Ruth's latest "Ruth's Morning Edition Report" and C.I.'s "Quick note." And Elaine's "The gloom of the world is but a shadow." She did that yesterday and it's amazing.

And let me just swipe from C.I. because I've got to run out the door.

From "'Why Are You Here' and 'What's Changed'" (The Third Estate Sunday Review's voices from the protests in D.C. article), we're again noting Benny with apologies that he was overlooked. Thanks to Shirley for catching that.
87) Benny, 17, high school student: For the first time it feels like maybe a difference can come. We're studying about government and it really seems wild and out there but it's about us and I guess Cindy Sheehan drives that point home to me. So I am here for that reason and the change is that people wake up and you can see it in my class. We're debating and discussing what does free speech mean and what are your duties to be an American and stuff that I have never taken time to think on and it just seems real and connected to me. Maybe it's selfish and all too because we got the guys on campus goin, "Sign up and we'll take care of you. Free college." All these promises and you ask about war and like injuries and they don't talk about it. They brush you off or say, "You just watch out for yourself and you're fine." And I bet the 1900 men and women who are dead were watching out but that didn't save them. So it's just a lot to think about and maybe having government this year drives it home.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Back Home and Blogging

I didn't post last night. I was tired when I got back from D.C. and I had promised the guys at the nursing home that I drop by and tell them all about it. So last night, that's what happened.
I thought it would be an hour but it ended up being three. It was a great visit but I was wiped out.

They care, my three friends. They did their own protest at their nursing home. They're good looking men so they had some ladies helping them out too. They took pictures of their Saturday protest and they were showing me those and I was so proud of them.

I'm not just saying this because they'll be reading it. But they will be reading it because we raised enough money at the church to get them their own laptops. I was so happy about that. I didn't have time to check on that before I left but I knew there was enough for one laptop. But the church really showed them how much they mattered to the congregation and kicked in heavy and hard.

It's also led to the start of a program. Most of us switch computers. And we toss out our old ones or sell them. If we toss them out, they're just going to a landfill.

So from now on, when a church member is upgrading to a new computer, the older one will be given to an elderly person. That'll be great. And my best friend who kept saying, "Well I don't know how to talk to old people" and using that as an excuse signed up to be the one who teaches them how to use their computers. I had asked him to visit on Sunday afternoon because that's one of my usual visiting times but I was in D.C. He visited Saturday and Sunday. Saturday with our preacher and his family to bring them the laptops and then he spent most of the day getting them set up and showing them how to use it.

They were e-mailing each other Saturday. "Is this working" and that sort of thing. They have e-mail down. And my friend Carlton's coming back this Sunday to check them more tricks.

We have a bulletin board at our church. Everyone checks it out on Sundays but it updates all the time. So if you're not coming in for a group or a choir rehearsal or a Wednesday night service, you can miss some things. My preacher's oldest daughter is going to e-mail out the items on Mondays and Fridays to all of our older members with computers so that they can know who's selling what, who's had a baby, who's in need of what and all that.

Guess what they did Saturday night? They listened to The Laura Flanders Show. Online. Their first time hearing that. C.I. had noted it Saturday morning and they wanted to check it out. I didn't hear it because we were still taking part in activism and the fun when it came on but they said she did a great job and had all these people on talking about the protests. They were really impressed with a state senator but they didn't know her name and I haven't heard the show yet.

I got an earful about my site. They said, "You didn't blog since Thursday!" I told them that I blog when I have the time and that I thought I would be blogging but it didn't happen and then there were all the problems with The Third Estate Sunday Review stuff getting lost in posting.

But one thing I did do last night was e-mail Gina and Krista. They wanted to know if they could get signed up for the gina & krista round-robin. Gina and Krista had closed off that a week or two ago. And that is a firm cut off. I knew that, I respected that. But like I told them in my e-mail, these are great guys, they just got online Saturday, they want the round-robin and it would mean a lot to me if they could get it.

So this morning, I'm rushing around trying to get ready for work and the phone rings and it's Gina and she said this once they can waive the cut off. She said not again. She said if someone else at my church wants it, they'll have to get the guys to foward the ones they're sent. But she said these guys are practically part of the community already because we've heard about them and they're like family so this one time.

Thank you, Gina and Krista. This is going to make them so happy.

They really are great. I asked Carlton what they talked about because his big excuse has been he doesn't know what to talk to "old people" about. He said if they were all like my three friends, he'd have no problem. My guys are the best but I bet he'll find out when he starts teaching other people how to use computers, that there are many people out there he can talk to and they've got interesting stories and thoughts.

They had one complaint about C.I. and it was, "Are we supposed to go to all these links?" I told them no and that the whole point of the pull quotes was to give you the information that C.I. or whichever member selected it thought was most important. "So it's like a greatest hits 8-track?" That made me laugh. (Still does.) Exactly. You can just read the pull quotes. A lot of members do that.

They said Mike makes them laugh and they loved the competition between Mike and Rebecca over who was going to declare themselves president with Bully Boy out of D.C. The big surprise to me on Monday night was that they each got e-mails from C.I. They were using the published address and they tell me that they e-mailed C.I. to say how much they liked The Common Ills. I was trying to explain to them that C.I. was still in D.C. for most of the day Monday and that C.I. wasn't checking that account so don't be upset about not hearing a reply yet and they asked me what I was talking about?

C.I. had already written them.

They played it off real cool at first and then they started laughing. They said they had figured it would be a few days before they heard anything so they were surprised too. They were also pleased about having the private address for members because C.I. told them to use that from now on. So they were saying, "We're members now." They are members now. They better start looking for some things to share with the community. I also told them they should think about starting a site. They don't think anyone would be interested. I told them Ruth used to feel that way too and now she does Ruth's Morning Edition Report. They read that Saturday.

I didn't. I am so far behind and need to catch up. But they read it and they were asking about Ruth and Tracey. Mainly they were asking why Ruth didn't think anyone would be interested because they really like her writing. I tried to tell them that the same thing applied to them but they aren't convinced. I'll keep working on them though.

Tomorrow I've got church so there won't be a post. But tomorrow Elaine will be posting at Like Maria Said Paz and she's grabbing Wednesdays at her site so I don't have to feel guilty about always missing them. Rebecca will be blogging tomorrow as well so people should check out Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude. And let me plug my good friends Mike and Betty. Tomorrow Mike will have an interview with Betty at his site Mikey Likes It! So there will be a lot to read without me.