Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Thank You

It's hard to lose all of your shit and not question yourself and your existence. For the last 365 days I have thought long and hard about whether anything makes sense. I had what I like to call the "Katrina Grand Slam". I lost a loved one, my pets, my jeep, all of my possessions and my family got separated. It's amazing that I could have went to every single event for any type of loss and sat in the victim's section. I tried to find the remedy to turn the corner on my depression and feeling of low self worth. Nothing seem to do it. Then the "anniversary" came along. Between yesterday and today I have had about 50 phone calls, emails and text messages from co-workers, ex-coworkers, colleagues, friends, ex girlfriends, ex supervisors, and even some people that just read my blog from time to time. They were all worried about me and trying to see if I was ok. Some of them were people I haven't spoken with in months.

You know......

After all the stuff I experienced and lost...

My people reminded me that I ain't such a bad dude after all.

Thank You

Friday, August 25, 2006

Ray Goes Off Again

If you want to read exactly what Mayor Nagin said about The World Trade Center you can click here to read it.

I don't want anyone that normally reads this blog to get alarmed..

I am about to defend Ray Nagin....sort of.....

He shouldn't have said what he said about the "hole in the ground". That was wrong and insensitive because so many people died that day. However, I do understand the point he was trying to make. It's been 5 years since 9/11 and lots of people that were affected have yet to recover. They also haven't broken ground on any of the new plans that were made for that spot.
So why does everyone think New Orleans is supposed to look like a paradise by now? Everyone knows he wasn't trying to put down anything to do with 9/11. It's just the only thing in recent American history he could compare Katrina to. If Nagin would have paused a minute and thought about it, I think he would have said something like this.

"Look, I know we don't have a clear plan in place yet but does has nothing to do with receiving money to clean up things. That would have to be done anyway. Secondly, it's pretty hard to get certain things done because the population has been displaced to the point where we don't know the location of half of the property owners. Third, where have all you assholes been to show that we haven't got the money to do everything we need and put some pressure on the feds? You ought to be giving credit to the local citizens for making this place look half way clean because no one in Washington has sent the calvary in to help."

The question that I want someone to answer is this....Am I not a damn American? My grandfather fought in the Pacific in WWII. My dad went to Vietnam. I know for a fact that three people within blocks of the house where I grew up have died in Iraq and a guy I went to high school with has also. All of my family and friends pay taxes. Why are the people with the money taking their sweet ass time with the funding? Afterall, the feds built the levees that messed up everything anyway. We are not looking for a handout, we are looking for the government to correct their mistake just like the people in New York were looking for after the FEDS let those bastards get on the plane and crash them into the towers. As an American citizen, I have had to sit back and listen to hundreds of people discuss the faith of my city like it is no more than a pimple on the ass of American society. Some of these people have insulted our culture, our personality, our intelligence, and our families and it's been ok to do because we are just the poor coon asses sitting by the bayou. Now, our crazy mayor gets baited into making one inappropriate comment out of emotion about the mighty New York City and all of sudden everyone from New Orleans is in the Taliban.

God Bless America!!!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Lesson From Tiger

I’ve never been a big golf fan. Mostly because in my youth I viewed it as an elitist sport that no one from my neighborhood could afford to play. Then came Tiger Woods. Every time he is playing on the weekend I watch the tournament. I don’t watch for the golf though. I watch for the message in the story. I watch for the legacy of black fathers put on display at it’s best. I watch because even though I am just a working class brother, I totally understand Tiger’s sense of responsibility. Any black man with any admiration and respect for his daddy should watch and take pride in it too. See, every single weekend in front of millions of people around the world Tiger Woods shows his love for his daddy by the way he carries himself. Earl Woods spent years with his son practicing how to hit golf balls but during that time he also got him prepared to deal with the fact that whatever he accomplished on the course could be wiped out if he didn’t conduct himself in the right way. He had to make sure that he was such a man of character that people in country clubs that wouldn’t let his daddy take him to practice as a child would have no choice but to accept him and marvel at his ability. That’s what a man like that can give you. That’s what my daddy gave me. Honestly, there aren’t too many guys from my neighborhood that could deal with the different types of people I deal with on a day to day basis. Now I know it’s a partnership between parents and I am not trying to minimize what mama does. Most mamas do everything. I give all the love and respect to mom but I have to take time and give daddy his props. Black daddies hardly ever get all the butt kissing they deserve. They were interviewing Tiger Sunday between holes during the tournament and he said something that was very true. He said that everything his daddy said turned out to be right even if he didn’t think so when he said it. There are no truer words than that. For a father/son relationship there are three stages. The first stage is when you are a little boy and think everything he does or says is the greatest thing in the world. There’s almost a superhero quality to your daddy. The second stage is your teens and early 20’s when you just want him to leave you alone and look the other way so you can get into some things you shouldn’t. This is the time your daddy usually thinks something is wrong with you. Hopefully, if things go right you can get to the third stage which is when all the stuff he says starts to happen and fall into place. Dad goes back to being a genius and you both have a respect for one another as men. If you can give your son that then you should feel pretty good as a man. Here’s to all the brothers out there that have that connection.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Not A Day For Rhetoric

This has nothing to do with all the people who tried to help evacuees after the storm. I will always remember anyone who did anything to rescue and help. This is about all the people who are about to fake the funk in the next week leading to the anniversary. I was not going to write anything about the Katrina anniversary because I didn’t feel the need to give the event that kind of power and status. However, I went to a meeting this morning and read some things that aggravated me. After this, I will not act like Katrina is something I need to mark on my calendar every year.

I don't want to sound ungrateful or bitter with what I am about to say. We are coming up on the anniversary of Katrina in 11 days. There will be all kinds of media and leaders coming here to "celebrate" the anniversary of a naturally disaster that changed the lives of thousands of people. We live in a society today where most stories are blown out of proportion or sensationalized by the media. There has never been a story like Katrina that has actually happened inside of America so the media went crazy with it. When the media takes whole of a story like this you can rest assured that two things would happen. Conservatives will try to turn the victims into the guilty to hide their own incompetence and liberals will run down and take pictures with the victims to show their compassion.This is the reason why I am asking Governor Blanco, George Bush, Jesse Jackson, Minister Farrakhan, Al Sharpton and any other member of any organization or political group that had nothing to do with or live in New Orleans before the storm. I have to explain why I feel that way. For years I have followed the news and kept up with what's going on around the country. Before Katrina, New Orleans was a forgotten place on the map except for the few days out of the year for Mardi Gras. It was almost like we were our own country. I have witnessed some of the worst disenfranchisement in the world take place in the black community here BEFORE THE STORM. I never saw any of the people that will be here next week come around to help us out of it. What you saw in the Superdome was the end result of neglect not the beginning. As my friend Sherri once told me months before the storm, New Orleans was a city that you could drive through and visibly see racism and lack of opportunity. Then came Katrina and everybody had an opinion on why we were so poor and underprivileged. We were the poster children for public education and urban flight gone wrong. Even the beloved Lower Ninth Ward where I grew up was "the den of crime and poverty" as a Dallas newspaper described it. Then the media frenzy died down and they all disappeared again. We went back to being the crazy niggas that like to fight and dance in the street. Jesse walked everybody across the Crescent City Connection so we could vote. He should have gone to Washington D.C after that to find out where the housing money is or why some people live in houses without water. No one has been here to help us speed up the rebuilding process. No one has been here to find out why these young brothers are still killing one another. No one has been here to see why FEMA is being allowed to treat people like criminals when it was there office that messed up in the first place. Now you want to come down to sing a few songs and make a speech on August 29. Keep your speeches and your songs and help us get a good plan for the future. Help us make sure that the Corp of Engineers explain why the levees broke only on the New Orleans side of the system, fixes the problem correctly and pays for what it caused. If you can't do any of that then don't come down here for one day to get in the next Ebony magazine. Many New Orleans residents are still living the storm a year later. The last thing I think we need is a bunch of empty speechless and marches by some so-called leaders who are going to go back to their own cities on August 30 and leave us stuck. I may dog Mayor Nagin sometimes, but at least he was here. That’s the only way you are allowed to come here that day and talk trash.

Please tell me if I am wrong………….

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Blogging to Keep My Job

Saying it here so I don't say it out loud...............

The restroom door is directly across the hall from me. It is shared by a few of the other agencies and doctors in this building. Some guy went in there this morning and sounded like he was bombing Lebanon. Can we get this room soundproofed? And does everyone hear me when I am in there?

In every office there is the person that wants to put a smart ass sign up for something that adults should already know. Over the newly installed kitchen sink is a sign that reads "Please wash your dishes. This ain't ya Mama's house." I know I am supposed to wash my bowl jackass.

Never ever ever send me an email with bold print and things underlined like I don't understand what I need to do especially if I am not the one that made the mistake. Look, I am young, gifted, and black. I already know the damn procedures. If I didn't these people wouldn't have given me a fake title and a set of keys to the storage room. You just don't get that being dumb.

Today is the very last day that I let my one leg director tell strangers that I lost all of my shit in Katrina. I'm not the lab rat or the refugee quota filler. I was here before all of that. The next time she does it I am going to kick one of her crutches.

Every time someone buys a get well card for a co-worker, they pass it around the office for everyone to sign. For some reason I always get the card last. You know what happens when you get it last? Everyone else has already used all the common cliches for well wishes and now you have to think of some original corny shit that sounds stupid, or you can just sign your name and look like you didn't care as much as everyone else. The only thing I came up with today was "To a super dude"..............I wanted to punch myself in the face.

And just because I am a husky dude does not mean that I want to move every piece of furniture in the office. Mike is 100lbs bigger than me and the last time we moved a desk all he did was slide the damn chair out of the way. My name ain't Kunta.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Scaring my way to Support George

I don't consider myself to be the biggest patriot especially since I saw people in government looking like a deer in headlights while my New Orleans people were stuck down here in dirty water. I am an American though and I try my best to support the troops, pay taxes, work hard and all that good stuff. I have been following politics since I was about 10 years old. What's going on right now is something I have never seen before. From my viewpoint, George Bush sucks as a president. I honestly believe that his foreign policy of not acknowledging anyone that he considers to be a terrorist supporter has made the situation worse in the Middle East. When you ignore crazy people they tend to do something for you to acknowledge them. That's why N Korea, Syria and Iran talk so much trash all the time. Their egos are big and they want attention. Bill Clinton used to talk to Yassir Arafat all the time just so the Palestinians would feel they were being taken seriously and maintain some calm. We went to Iraq to free a country that shows it's gratitude by burning American Flags and setting bombs for the soldiers. They act like they miss Sadaam. We also let Israel bomb the hell out of Lebanon and kill hundreds of innocent people just to chase Hezbollah and I am not even sure they weakened them at all. I won't mention the price of gas, the unemployment rate and we still haven't caught Bin Laden.

Here is my problem. Every time we get to the point where most Americans can agree that he sucks, some group of Islamic extremists get caught planning to blow up airplanes or some buildings and you almost have to get behind Bush enough to at least make sure these assholes don't get to do anything here. You can't even catch a plane with toothpaste and Afro Sheen in your carry-on bag. Pretty soon we will have to travel buck naked. Al Queda and all the other wannabe groups have done more for the Republican Party in this country than anyone. Americans can agree that gas is too high. We all don't like the fact that we call certain "local" companies and end up talking to somebody in Bombay India but I would rather talk to some Indian guy about my computer all day than get blown up on a plane headed to my vacation. Bush might be stupid but I don't think he would blow me up? If none of the Democrats can show they can lower gas prices, plus kick a little ass when needed we are going to end up with another four years of the same shit.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

No Sympathy for Maurice

The popular belief is that young black atheletes are signed to these big colleges and make millions for the institution while getting nothing in return. That might be true in some cases but it's very difficult for me to feel sorry for Maurice Clarette. Here is a young man that was so highly touted as a football player coming out of high school in Ohio. He had people all around him that were willing to help him out and take care of him. In many cases they did. He could have had that whole state at his feet for a few years after winning the championship. All he had to do was take a few classes in P.E. and hang out until he was old enough to hit the draft. What does this dummy do? He gets arrested, starts all kinds of trouble and tires to sue the mighty NFL to get into the draft early. It's been downhill since then. Even after he messed up and pissed off the league, he was drafted in the third round by the Denver Broncos. How did he take advantage of his second chance? He came in overweight and was drinking Grey Goose in the locker room before practice. Now he's been arrested for driving with guns, a machette, and wearing a vest like he's Tupac.

It's hard to get out the hood under normal circumstances. It takes hard work, discipline and a little luck. The best thing that could happen to you is that you can be born with the physical gifts to play a sport that rich people love enough to pay you for performing. Don't think for one minute that cats like Shaq, Lebron, or T.O. don't count their blessings and realize that they could have easily been on a job interview somewhere trying to get an entry level position or one of these corners playing life or death games like so many other brothers. They were born with the golden bodies to take an entire family out of poverty. That's why I have no remorse, sympathy or pity for the fools who don't have enough sense to take advantage of the oppurtunity that they were blessed to have. I'm sure Jesse Jackson will go down to Ohio and stand by his side talking about how all of this happen because the NFL wouldn't take him a few years ago. Hell, if every black man that wanted to get drafted went crazy there really wouldn't be any of us left on the street. All of this is happening because he's a dumb nigga who didn't take advantage of the numerous chances the man gave to him. Regular cats don't get as many chances to come up big. These fools get many and still don't get it right.

Keep On Blogging

This blog is dedicated to Another Conflict Theorist and anybody else who takes the time to keep blogging.

Lately I haven’t been feeling like blogging that much. I even had a friend question whether I was just doing it as a way to voice my anger from Katrina. I have not been posting that much and I have been trying my best not to dwell on New Orleans too much. After reading the last post from Conflict Theorist I realized that I am not the only one that feels a little tired with the whole process.
Back in 2004 before the storm, MySpace and Yahoo 360, I was bored at work one day and started reading Funk Digital. I don’t even remember how I found it but I started clicking on the links section and I realized that the websites I was looking at were actually created by regular people just like who felt they had something to say. Since I always thought I could express myself pretty good I decided to start one of my own. I got hooked on it. I even got a few friends to start one of their own. I used to blog about anything and everything. Sometimes I would just put up a list of songs I was feeling at the time. Lately I have been waiting around for something that inspires me enough to write a long detailed post about something deep. I figured that was the only way for people to keep reading. I thought about it and I don’t think that’s true. When you have a blog like this you can’t judge it by comments or anything because its not part of a network of people like MySpace where you just add people randomly. This site is for me to express how I feel about what’s going on around me. I can’t worry about how many hits I have or comments because the fact is that I will never get as many as some body with pictures of celebrities or big booties. That’s the reason I am taking the hits counter down and I am going back to my old template because I love it. If you write about the world from your perspective you will find that there are thousands of people out there that share the same views you do. They might not all pull up your page and make a comment but you might inspire them to share a part of their own mind and then we can learn from one another. At the least you might get a good debate out of the deal.
I have been online in one way or another for years now and to this day I have not found a commercial site that expresses what I think as a young working/middle class black man today. The only way I found anything of substance was when the blogger phenomenon took off. It’s an unedited way for our generation to talk about all the things that mainstream media won’t publish. So with that in mind, I am about to start getting back to saying how I feel about all kinds of shit. It may only be a post about how driving through these potholes in New Orleans are like a real life video game. I hope you all keep writing too.

Yolanda needs to write something.

Friday, August 4, 2006

Devastation Cracks Me Up!

Nagin drops plans for fireworks, comedy on Katrina anniversary

11:12 AM CDT on Thursday, August 3, 2006

Mayor Nagin has dropped plans to include a fireworks display and a comedy show as part of the memorial slated for the anniversary of Katrina.


Mayor Ray Nagin

The plans, which were slammed by some critics, were simply part of a total package that Nagin said would have included somber reflection and a celebration of the cityÂ’s rebirth.

“The events came through a planning session,” he said. “This is New Orleans. We mourn funerals and at the end of the funeral we have a second line.”

Full plans for the one-year anniversary are still in the works but are scheduled to include a memorial mass and some citywide bell ringing.

I don't know why everyone down here is upset about our mayor planning a comedy show and fireworks to celebrate the worst day in most of our lives. I sit around with my friends and we laugh hysterically everyday at the thought of losing everything. Personally, when I think of my grandmother dying, my family homes being destroyed along with all my possessions, and my dog...I PISS ON MYSELF WITH LAUGHTER! Maybe I should call my sister who I haven't seen this year after the state fired her and all the other teachers like low wage immigrant workers. I might call my 87 year old grandmother who has to start over after the house her husband built for her 50 years ago was blown away so she can laugh too. Our mayor and his administration are so out of touch with the average citizen. They should have sent in the troops to remove their ass. We are in trouble.