Not so sure about thoughts on the O-man

Not that Barack Obama gives a damn what a sista in Maine thinks about him or his campaign, but the beauty of this country is that for the most part I can say what I want and blogging allows me the chance to share it with others. Regular readers know I generally steer clear of talking about politics but this being an historical week and all, I feel the need to add my two cents to all the many other voices out in the blogosphere.

Where oh where do I start? Truth is back last year when I heard Obama was running, I wasn’t all that jazzed about him (I believe I have spoken about this a while back), I am from Chicago but didn’t really have an  opinion one way or the other. Honestly, I was more of an Edwards or “shudder” Clinton supporter. However around the time Obama won Iowa early this year, I jumped on the Obama bandwagon like a whole lot of other folks, after all and I am  adult enough to say that I was being rather simplistic but the fact that the cat was Black pretty much lured me in. Since after I spent several hours looking over his policies versus Clinton’s, the differences between the two were negligible at best, besides being self-employed, Clinton’s mandate that folks would have to buy insurance pissed me off. So for me the scales were tipped by the fact that Clinton had way too much baggage and Obama was a smooth talker and he was Black and shit like a lot of other Black folks, I think it would be nice to see someone who looks like me in charge of this bitch for a change. Granted after years of the Bush-Cheney regime, a 1 legged elephant would be an improvement.

Now as the primary season went on and the other Democratic hopefuls dropped out like dying leaves on a tree on a crisp fall day, I truly was getting pumped for my man. I loved his swagger, and the brotha could give a speech… shit, that speech he did on race was fantastic. Yet at the same time, as he started throwing folks under the bus like ole Rev. Wright, I felt a gnawing internally wondering what is this man all about? Then there was the the thing about his speeches, they felt so good but what does it all mean? Seriously, can you break down this change and this hope in a step by step list?

No, as time and those speeches went on, I was reminded of a paper I did several years ago in grad school on the subject of knowledge management. See, I did a large paper on the subject of knowledge management, basically a lovely abstract paper that to this day I felt was bullshit after all I am very good at getting abstract when it comes to academics but framing it in such a way that it sounds deep and meaningful. In fact my professor a man, with not one but two PH.D’s urged me to have the piece published… thankfully I chose not to since if for a million bucks you asked me a specific question on KM, I would not get the cash. No, Obama reminds me of that paper.. sounds so good but Negro, what are you really saying?

Anyway his O-ness became the presumptive nominee after her Highness realized the math did not break for her no matter what she did. So I was cool, but the O-man started getting too cocky, too full of himself and honestly started making folks like me ask what is goings on here? All this leads up to his choice for a VP, Joe Biden. Now I know a lot of folks think he did good picking BIden, but me, if I was the O-man, um, no…

Seriously, back when Biden was running he talked pretty greasy about Obama and personally you say I am clean and articulate (sorry the paraphrase, too lazy too look that up) but I remember that shit. Words like that tell me a lot about how you feel about me and guess what I don’t forget. I don’t know but if he was gonna go with someone who talked greasy about him, I feel like damn, maybe he should have picked Hillary who it turns out he never really had on the short list so I heard this morning.

Don’t get me wrong, Hillary is a world class bitch, but she is a bitch that had a lot of supporters, many who are still frosty as hell at how things broke for their girl. Making her #2 would be fraught with issues, since clearly she and Bubba are a package but right now if these polls are to believed the distance between Obama and McNasty is not that great and before Obama and Michelle start thinking of the move from Hyde Park, they are going to have to convince a lot of folks to vote for them.

No, Obama in my two cent opinion is not nearly as different as he lead many folks to believe, the change is that he is Black. At the same time, that Blackness means he needs to work twice as hard to convince Joe Six-Pack to vote for him, Joe “hate niggas” Six-Pack would rather have more wars and more instability in this country than to see a Negro in charge. Granted I don’t think Obama will be able to do as much to change things as he would have us to believe but we know if McNasty wins, he will make Bush-Cheney look like the opening act to the madness that will rain down upon us. I believe if McNasty wins, we will be wishing for George “Bumbling” Bush and his evil sidekick.

So while say  Biden will help him win over that crowd, well I just don’t know since the problem is now all the kids who got geeked riding the Obama love-train are feeling like O was  perpetrating and not being truthful since picking a guy like Biden does not say change.

Guess the problem for me is that ultimately while Obama tried to make us feel he was sincere and different at the end of the day, he feels likes the same old, same old just dressed in a different package. That said history is in the making this week, so that is a change.

Checking out early.. we don’t live long

Its starting to feel like every time I go on-line, I am hearing about another Black person dying, generally someone who is in the prime of life. In the past week and a half, both Issac Hayes and Bernie Mac died, within a day of each other. Today, I saw a report that LeRoi Moore, saxophonist and founding member of the Dave Matthews Band had died, he was only in his 40’s. Then a few hours later I saw a report that Stephanie Tubbs-Jones congresswoman from Ohio had died after suffering a brain aneurysm and she too was fairly young, only in her 50’s. I must admit I am wondering who next?

Then again, I don’t have to look far to see folks dying young, my own beloved Mama, died 4 days after turning 50 from a 8 month battle with cancer; her dad, my Paw-Paw was barely in his 50’s when he died. Thankfully there are some folks in my bloodline who live to old age but I must admit the older I get, I do wonder if I will live long since statistically the odds in my family favor checking out early, which is a damn shame since this is one instance I want to run on CP (that’s colored people time for readers not familiar with that term)  time, not regular time.

All jokes aside though, statistically on average Blacks die earlier than whites and while we know there are reasons for it as far as the inequities in the healthcare system, even when factoring for socio-economics, middle class Blacks still die earlier so its not just po folks with no money to see a doctor. Even when we have the resources our illnesses are detected later, a year ago Mother Jones magazine did a piece on this where the author, a Black man spoke of his own father dying in his 50’s and he was a physician. Shit, that’s scary when you think about it… you mean Black doctors don’t even live long?

Now we all know about the dangers to the young, especially  young Black men, but the folks dying young that truly trouble me are folks 35 and up who I don’t expect to die young. I find myself wondering what can I do? What can we do to stop Black folks from dying early, personally I do try to watch what I eat, thanks to the internet while I am by no means a doctor, I can read up on things. Truthfully though I must confess I have one bad habit I struggle with and that’s smoking. For the past decade I have wrestled with quitting, I have gone anywhere from 1-3 years where I quit but then something triggers me and I fall off the wagon. Right now I am off the wagon, but thankfully I smoke less than I ever have before in part because I don’t smoke in the house, car or around the kids which doesn’t leave too many places to grab a butt. I recently had my annual physical and everything came back good, in fact I was bothered by how surprised the doctor seemed that my blood-work was good… damn, Black folks in good health can’t be that rare? Then again, I know if I don’t quit smoking for good that may not always be the case.

I sometimes wonder is it the food today that has us all fucked up? Seriously, what is it that keeps us unhealthy? I guess I got no answers on this but I say join me in commiting to good health, for me that will entail quitting the butts once and for all and truthfully I can stand to increase my activity level a tad more. I am not sedentary but I would like to be more active.

After all when it comes to reaching the end of this game called life, this is one time being late to the game is better than being early.

Tropic thoughts

I must admit when I first heard about this movie, I was pretty much in the WTF camp. However after reading a few reviews and a desire today to not work on a pressing piece of client work today, I gathered eldest child and the spousal unit and decided to go check it out while mini-me lounged at daycare.

This is one of those films that on the surface I see why its getting good reviews, Americans are not that deep and on the surface it is a funny movie. I think Ben Stiller has some talent as a director and from a cinematic angle he did do some interesting things. To quote a Ben Stiller interview I heard on NPR, he satirizes satire and I will agree that he did that well.

However as someone who studied media images of African-Americans (specifically Black women though I will don my quasi-academic hat here) the use of Black face or rather Robert Downey Jr as a Black man is disturbing to me. Now my son on the way home, told me point blank he does not agree with me and felt that maybe I was looking to nitpick at the movie. Yet as I watched (by the way Downey is a talented actor), I could not help thinking of early films such as Birth of a Nation, which is the most offensive piece of shit I have ever seen.

No, looking at the larger picture as a society we are not a place where I feel black-face regardless of how we dress it is ok. We may have a Black man running for president yet we live in a world where there are too many negative media representations of Blacks for me to be ok with this portrayal.  Downey’s character does attempt some shucking and jiving and is in fact put in his place by a real Black man but still its too much for my taste. The  fact that Downey’s character even attempts to shuck and jive no matter how brilliantly acted, still lets me know how the greater white society often views Blacks. We are not taken seriously, we are expected to perform and while on a base level we laugh it exposes the racism that is still firmly entrenched in our society.

Would I recommend this film? That’s a tough one, to be honest, though while Tropic Thunder is deeper than a Tyler Perry film, it was still a hard pill to swallow.