Rules, manners, protocol…

I find that when I write about world events my readership drops off, its all good, by my own admission I am a lightweight when it comes to commenting on world affairs but by the same token, its my blog so I write what I feel… That said, what is the deal with folks blasting Barack and Michelle Obama over their lack of manners and style on the international stage.

See, this is why I couldn’t be the president or the first lady because my outspoken behind would be on the telly telling folks where to stick it….ok, no I wouldn’t but it did sound good to say that. Seriously though, the blogosphere was all ablaze because Michelle Obama dared to touch the Queen of England….and the problem is???? Oh, turns out mere humans should never deign to touch the woman. Now I have heard folks saying this was a mere blip to folks even in the Black blogosphere lamenting over Michelle’s lack of knowledge when it comes to etiquette.

Now I have seen the picture and the Queen didn’t look pissed, shit the woman was probably glad to have someone treat her like a fucking human being. Newsflash the Queen is a human like the rest of us, meaning she even makes stinky in the potty like us plebians. Imagine that the Queen wakes up and goes to the bathroom just like you and I? The horrors.

Really so what Michelle touched her!!! Of course then there is Michelle’s tendency to wear outfits that some find questionable like being sleeveless, um she is in her 40’s and very possibly starting to feel the flutters of menopause, maybe she gets hot flashes. Again this is all silly shit…world is going crazy and we are all in a tizzy over who the First Lady touches and what she wears.

On the other hand, the more I thought about the issue, I found myself bugged about how she is being asked to follow some “rules” that others of her stature have done before…you know other First Ladies. Well maybe its time to change the rules, after all the rules pretty much dictated up until recently that only White Folks were in charge, maybe having a Black president and First Lady will allow us as a nation and world to see there many different ways of being. So what Michelle is overly expressive (yeah, Michelle…you do make a lot of facial expressions) as long as she presents a proper front who cares? I don’t.

Now let’s not leave Barack out either, our favorite smooth talker is gaining a reputation for being a shitty gift giver, after all he gave the Queen an I-Pod, imagine that? Now I read that it was actually something she requested, not sure if that is true or not. On the flip side she is the fucking Queen, I suspect she doesn’t lack for much so what do you give someone who has everything? Yeah, I know if it was me I would be stumped, shit, I would baked her some damn cookies.

Of course lets not forget Obama’s gift to Gordon Brown, a  box of DVD’s of American classic movies. Rumor has it that Brown isn’t much of a movie buff and Brown and his wife did bring a nice array of gifts for the Obama family. Well I admit the movies probably weren’t the best gift but again, hey he got the man something. Plus truth be told with the country on the brink of economic collapse I want this man working on our issues not looking for the best gifts to impress.

Again, things change and with the Obamas in the White House that is already a visible sign of change, maybe its time to rethink some of what we consider protocol. After all who really decides what’s right or not?

They don’t know what to do

So I woke up this morning and as usual was listening to NPR and the discussion was focused on President Obama signing this massive stimulus package. On the surface that may sound like a good deal after all, at this point everyone agrees that the economy is in shambles and needs some help like yesterday. Crazy to imagine that just less than a year ago, Americans were running around spending money like kool-aid and now folks is holding what shekels they have left close to their vest.

I don’t know but I am starting to wonder does Obama and his crew really know what’s going on and do they really have some solid answers to attempt to fix this problem. I will admit I don’t know all the specifics about this stimulus deal but what I have heard has me feeling a tad confused about how this is going to solve the problems we face as a nation.

So Jane and Joe Worker will see a few extra bucks in their pay checks, I believe the figure I heard was $8 a week for a single person and $16 a week for a couple….um, how the fuck is that going to stimulate the economy? Some behavior economist I heard this morning was saying that with small amounts like this that the average Joe is going to see unlike the big stimulus check of last year, people are more likely to actually spend these small amounts of money rather than save. Ok, Mister Educated Economy Man, but um….I think you are wrong. Folks are not going to foolishly spend that extra $32 a month on fun shit, sorry but we have tasted the juice of hard times and even a former shopaholic like myself is down with saving. I just don’t think its going to work.

Problem as I see it is, we still want to hold to this model of Americans as consumers and now Americans with any iota of common sense are realizing that spending for the sake of spending is a bad idea.  I know that by and large Americans have short term memory but with credit lines reduced and no more equity to tap from, we are confronted with the reality that American wages have not kept pace with reality for most folks. I’m sorry but now that creditors have come face to face with the fact that the average Joe has no money, I just don’t see that easy credit being extended anymore.

Gone are the days of buying a car with no cash down or only a thousand down. Instead folks will be fixing up their clunkers and we will be like the cats in Cuba driving these rides until they really cannot run any longer. Shit, I just heard a story about how in Westchester County NY, the auto repair places are doing a booming business. Folks cannot afford new cars, who has 20-30G’s just sitting around to buy a car outright? Yeah, I thought so. Nobody.

Look Obama and company, right now all your policies sound like the same shit that has been done before…O-man I like you, you seem like a cool cat and your wife and kids are adorable but where is the change? I know some of us keep saying give you time. Well I hate to tell you but some of us are drowning, we need that same energy and drive that convinced a racist nation to vote you in. Honestly watching you try to be bipartisan is starting to piss me off, guess what? Them republican cats have no intention on working with you, so quit trying because all you are doing is pissing off folks who voted for you.

I don’t know but maybe Obama needs to start reading James Howard Kunstler for ideas on how to really stimulate the economy, whatever he does though it better be quick since states like California and Kansas are facing some rough times.

You must quit

Barack Obama and I share a vice, we are both smokers in a time where smoking is seen as a really bad thing. Like Barry (can I you that Mister Prez-Elect?) I have tried quitting. In the past I have gone a few years without quitting but life will throw me a curve ball and since I gave up all my other vices (no drinks and drugs for me anymore) and after once taking a Louisville slugger to some furniture in a moment of stress, it seems nothing soothes that stress like a Benson and Hedges Ultra Light.

Now let me be clear, I am married to a non-smoker, I don’t smoke in my car or house or around my kids and since I only have 2 friends that smoke, it pretty much means I don’t smoke as much as I used to. Many years ago, I was a pack a day smoker, now a pack lasts me days. Pretty much I like a smoke in the morning with a cup of steaming hot coffee and now that its 8 degrees outside it really makes me not want to smoke. I also like to enjoy my afternoon hot berverage from Starbucks with a butt.

Before you feel compelled to tell me how bad this habit is, let me make it clear that I do know how bad it is, see my Mom died from lung cancer that metastisized to her brain. Yeah, my Momma was a smoker and like a dumb ass at 14, I picked up the habit. Thankfully my little brother hates smoking so at least one of us didn’t follow the dumb path.

I must admit that with a family history that includes my Mom dying at 50 thanks to cancer, its always on my mind that even though I am not a heavy smoker anymore that I need to quit….really its a filthy ass habit.

Which brings me back to Obama, frankly the fact that this guy is not caught with a butt in his mouth or hand constantly is great testament to what he is made of, shit I think I have stress, I know he has stress but dude you about to be the president, so guess what you gotta quit. After all you promised your wife, now after peeping those photos of you in Time its clear your love affair with the tobacco goes back aways like mine, but dude we are not cool.

So as I enter 2009, my only resolution is to slay the smoking beast and get it out of my life once and for all, Barry I encourage you to join me, its time…we must quit. We both have kids and you have a country to repair, yes we can!