Tuesday, May 29, 2007

An Open Letter to Number Seven

Dear Michael Vick,

Before we get to what the subject of this letter is let me start by saying that since you have been a professional player I have never once wanted you to win a game. I don't like you as a player or the team you play for. See, I am a Saints fan and the thought of you with the ball in your hands scares me. I can just see you running right pass Fred Thomas. That's why you need to hear what I am about to say from a person who is not a fan. I am sure you have male groupies and Falcon fans who are probably kissing your ass all day and making you think everything is ok. Things are not ok Mike. I am sure you know the history of black coaches and quarterbacks in the NFL. For years billionaire owners and there millionaire coaches have always been reluctant to let brothers play quarterback on the professional level. The reason is that since football was invented the quarterback has been the premier position in the sport. Quarterbacks reflect leadership. They are the face of the franchise. There was actually a time when people thought a black man lacked the intelligence to play quarterback. Some people probably still think that way. Your status in the league from a marketing standpoint is the evolution. People actually pay just to see you play quarterback. Except for here in New Orleans there are #7 jerseys everywhere. The Falcons gave you, a brother, 100 million dollars to represent their team. I hate the Falcons but that’s a really big deal. Cats like James Harris, Doug Williams, Warren Moon, Vince Evans, and Randall Cunningham paved the way for you to have the kind of exposure you have. That's why for the benefit and legacy of every black quarterback, your ignorant ass cannot have anything to do with dog fighting.
Mike, the media is waiting to take your ass down. ESPN ran that story on Outside the Lines and they have been talking about it all day on the radio. I know young brothers sometimes don't expand their way of thinking beyond the five block radius of the hood they grew up in. I'm from the South too so I know that there are cats out here that treat those damn pit bulls better than they treat their own children. I understand where you got it from but it doesn't matter Mike. You are no longer a regular black dude from Newport News, Virginia. You are getting paid 100 million dollars to play quarterback in the NFL. You might want to keep it real and do all the stuff you would be doing had you not made it to the NFL but you can't. Damn the pit bulls! Get a cocker spaniel and sit your ass down. A man in your position cannot do three things and keep your public image. You can't mess with kids. You can't do anything to violate a white woman (ask Kobe) and you can't get PETA and the animal rights groups on your ass. If you think I am lying about the animal rights stuff go ask P. Diddy. Have you seen him on TV with a fur on lately?
I am going to end this letter Mike with the big picture. The mainstream media is looking for one of you young black role models to take down in order to reverse the influence you have on suburban kids. They tried it with Kobe but he was innocent. The tried it with Allen Iverson but that turned out to be some crazy family business. None of the other targets were big enough. You would be the perfect person, with the perfect profile and the perfect crime to outrage the mainstream. Do us all a favor and come out with a press conference apologizing. You might even want to pay everyone involved with those dogs to take the fall like Puffy and Ray Lewis did. If you don't, I am afraid that nobody will be foolish enough to come to your defense except Jesse Jackson and I am not sure if that will help or hurt you

Get it together Mike. You owe it to all the brothers who paved the way for you to be in that spot. Plus, I don't want any excuses when he head to the Georgia Dome next season and release Reggie Bush on that ass!

Yours Truly,
Saints Fan but a concerned black man.

I would like to take this time to say Rest In Peace to New Orleans own Marquise Hill of the New England Patriots who drowned in Lake Ponchatrain Memorial Day weekend. I would like to send some love to the other 6 people who were killed this weekend in the city and anywhere else in the country and all the ones before them.

There is nothing sadder than when young solders leave this world much earlier than they should have.

No Summer Vacation

I have this strange fascination with the Lockup documentaries on MSNBC. I have watched every single episode of this series from all parts of the country and I haven’t seen a good jail yet. My favorite is The Pit in Alabama. Why anyone would want to do another crime after being there is beyond me. There are a few other things I have yet to see. I haven’t seen any prisoners looking happy to be there. I haven’t seen anyone bragging about the food. I haven’t seen any co-ed cellmates. That last one alone is reason enough not to go. I never got the whole going to jail thing. I remember when my boys first started going in their teens. All they came home with was less conscience and an addiction to honeybuns. They would tell me these stories and I kept waiting for the fun part but it never came. A few of my boys with a little more perspective than the others would just come out and tell me “Cliff, don’t you ever get anywhere near that mother@$%&^!” They didn’t have to tell me because I hadn’t planned on it unless I was framed by the FBI. Did I mention there are no co-ed cellmates? History in America makes black people look at incarceration differently then other people but I would like to inform everybody that it’s not 1965. We are not talking about a bunch of political prisoners like Angela Davis and the Panthers. Some of these brothers are serious criminals and usually have done something to another black person. I also don’t hear too many of them saying they are innocent or how they were just protecting their family or trying to feed them. Maybe MSNBC doesn’t show those brothers. Maybe they find the worst cases in order to sensationalize their story to make people watch. Maybe the criminal justice system of America has spent so many years using brothers as a way to keep the billion dollar industry of housing criminals functioning which has led to so many of them being unable to maintain a normal life outside of prison walls and when they do get out the same mentality carries over to the streets leading to disrespect for the community and lack of compassion for human life. All of that is true. However, just because something is true doesn’t mean you have to buy into it at your own peril. If you really want to get back at the man for treating you like an animal, act more humane to your brother, get out and try your best not to go back in.

I am losing more and more of my street cred with every passing blog.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Just To Get That Gold

I know a place where the faces are so cold.
I drive all night just to get that gold.

I hate reality TV shows that are put together (Real World, Survivor) or have some kind of contest, except for Dancing With The stars (Laila, holla at me!). Shows like that are not real because they put those people together knowing something stupid will happen. What I am into is shows that give you an insight on things that go on in everyday life. Discovery Channel is the greatest network on television for this reason alone. The best show on the network and on television period is The Deadliest Catch. This show goes on board of these crabbing boats in the Bering Sea while they fish for King Crab. The reason I love this show is simple, these guys have the biggest balls in all of America. They go through ice, storms, big waves crashing into the boat and they just keep going. I don't think I would get out there in those conditions and risk my life without a guarantee of catching anything. People actually die while the show is being filmed. Not only that, these guys stay up two and three days straight with little or no breaks pulling crab pots. They are working their ass off on nothing but quick snacks and gallons of coffee. Through all of that you hardly hear anyone really complaining. It's the kind of thing that you watch and think about last week when you cursed life itself after having to stay thirty minutes late at work. It makes you realize just how much of a freaking slacker you are. If you don’t watch it for the fisherman, watch it for the cameramen who have to be the most dedicated professionals to stand out there on the deck of that boat and catch it all on film.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Drama and Stupidity

My generation has a habit of generalizing everything. Maybe it’s the lack of quality education. I don’t know if that’s the reason or not but we describe life situations with one word phrases. There’s hate, beef, shine, games and a few others. I will discuss all of these in due time but today we will discuss my favorite. Let’s talk about drama. If you just browse the internet on any African American website you will see the word drama over and over. It will appear particularly in anything written by women under 40. You might see this sentence a lot “I am tired of all the drama and games.“ In the dictionary, one of the definitions of drama is A situation or succession of events in real life having the dramatic progression or emotional effect characteristic of a play.
In the hood drama means anything that is not part of a regular life situation that might cause the other person stress. A good example would be someone who has a jealous girlfriend. This would be considered drama in hood terms. The problem we have is that we can’t distinguish drama from someone just being stupid. If you look at the first part of the definition it says a “situation or succession of events.” Everybody has that from time to time. We all have drama and it’s usually a mistake or something we couldn’t control of see ahead of time. Your kid being ill is drama. Being stuck on a roof surrounded by water in 100 degree weather is drama. Having an argument with your boss is drama. Most of the other stuff we describe as drama is just stupidity. Since I love my people so much and believe in helping everyone, I am now going to teach everyone the difference. Please feel free to print this out and give it to anyone that you feel needs to read this. It may change someone’s life.

Example One

If you meet a woman that got married or had a child for a guy that happens to be a junkie, alcoholic, maniac that drives pass her house every 30 minutes to make sure she is still there and not seeing anybody……That’s Drama.

If you meet a woman that has four kids and all of their dads are like that?……Stupidity!

Example Two

If you know a guy who is not speaking to his mom right now because of a money dispute……That’s Drama

If you know a guy who’s mama is in hiding because he wants to bust a cap since she owes him money for smoking up all the weed……..Stupidity!

Example Three

Every now and then you meet someone you really like. You want to build something with them but this person hasn’t turned the corner on adulthood yet. You might have a conversation about life and the only thing this person can tell you is how they are going to sign with Jay Z at Def Jam or be the next Beyonce. They might sit around all day and not go to work or school because they are still trying to find themselves. This is very common among young people. Your frustration waiting around for them to get going…….That’s Drama

If the person going through all of this is over 30 years old?…………..Stupidity and run like hell!

I hope this blog helps just one person understand the difference.

Rolling Over

Democrats are players. I was not a political science major but I have been following politics since I was ten years old. Usually when you win an election one or two things have happened. Your base is very inspired by you or your opponent has done such a shitty job that there was no way you could lose. All these things were true in 2006 when the Democrats took back the Senate and the House. Americans were so fed up with George Bush and the war that they put Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats back in office thinking the cavalry was coming to put an end to the whole thing. They all took office and talked allot of trash. I thought it was funny that besides firing Donald Rumsfeld, George Bush really didn’t change a thing. Now I understand why. He knew these punk ass Democrats were going to end up folding under the pressure to actually do something and give him the money he wanted. That’s exactly what they did. They gave him the money with an exit date, a vague time line, or anything else. Basically, the base of their party just got played. Now, you have given George some confidence and that’s a dangerous thing. He and Cheney might bomb Venezuela tomorrow.
You know what the cool thing is about being a Republican? No matter how foolish, ignorant or dangerous your views are, if you wait long enough someone in leadership will come out and validate your opinion. If a few million voters think that aliens are the cause for homosexuality, some Republican senator will eventually come along and try to pass a bill to ban all alien contact and fund new satellites to monitor for XP 1200 space modulators. Democrats on the other hand spend day after day complaining about everything the Republicans have messed up. Then they turn around and go along with the same shit and confuse their base. Sooner or later they will have to win based on something they have done instead of something the other guys have done wrong. This is why Mitt Romney will be the first Mormon president in U.S. history. He will beat Hillary Clinton after she can’t justify how her party promised to get the troops home and they are still there playing referee.

That’s why I am an independent.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Worst Playoffs Ever

I would like to thank the San Antonio Spurs for getting rid of Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Playoffs. I was really getting tired of hearing how a guy who has never won a championship is the greatest player of all time. He’s not even the best player on that team. That would be Shawn Marion. Now, I can pull for Utah because I don't like the Spurs either. This has been the worst playoffs I have seen since I started watching basketball. After Golden State got eliminated it was over. There is too much goodwill going on around the league. Before game six of the Bulls and Pistons series, the players were still hugging and smiling with one another. Isaiah and Magic were damn near best friends and by game four they weren't even speaking to one another when they played in the finals. The NBA drafts these brothers from the neighborhood then they try to de-negro everybody and turn them into robots so the millionaires in the front row don't feel threatened. Now the playoffs look just like a regular season game in December. What's up with all these so-called superstars not taking over games when it matters? At least Steve Nash did go down with a fight. I guess if you have millions of guaranteed money it doesn't matter if you win or not. This is why David Stern has to rig the off season so the Lakers can get better and Kobe can at least make the conference finals every year.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Back in the Game

First of all I want to apologize to anyone that may have been offended by my vulgar language in my last blog. Secondly I want to say to anyone that read it and took the words personally that I meant every word. The vacation is over and I feel much better. I guess this will last until the end of May. I learned a few things from taking a week off.
  • I don’t put enough emphasis on sleep during the week.
  • My personal life is very boring and I need new friends.
  • The Covenant for Black America is a great read.
  • Gas is too high to drive without a worthy destination.
  • If every reality T.V. show makes Laila Ali a contestant I am watching.

Now, I am back to the grind. Judging by the dozen voicemails on my phone that I ignored it should be a very hectic week. I guess that’s what I have to do until I win this Powerball. My only regret over the last week is not taking the chance to post a blog about Jerry Falwell (If you were one of his followers you should be happy he’s passed away. He’s going right to the cloud next to the creator.)

I would like to thank my director for letting me take a week off without any warning.

I am also sending a shot out to E.J. who might need to take him a mental break too.

Congratulations to my ex-road dog Christy and her husband on their new baby. It’s about damn time.

Hey Laila, if you happen to read this and want to come to New Orleans to help rebuild something, I am willing to learn the waltz and already know how to do the Josephine Johnny and the Bus Stop. Let me know a few days ahead of time so I can make sure I shine my good shoes.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Running on Empty

Black people have a problem when it comes to being satisfied. I like to call it the Shine Theory. It’s the whole idea that we have to just keep going and going until we drop with the idea that we have to do more and more until someone kisses our ass and validates everything. That's why we get burned out so early in life. I have that same need but I don’t know why. Two weeks ago I was at a Human Services Data Conference. My director gave a speech about the challenges we have faced in our work since Katrina. During his presentation, there was an entire paragraph about my perseverance and dedication to my job despite of all the personal obstacles I faced. More than one hundred strangers that I had never met gave me a full minute of applause. For the first time since January of 2006 when I started driving back and forth from Jackson Mississippi to New Orleans someone finally gave me some damn credit. That was a great feeling. Once I left the conference and got in my car, I felt the fatigue and stress all over again.

I’m a man and a father. I want to be responsible. I’m trying to make sure my family is okay but I am out of gas. I need a damn break. It’s been hard to take anything longer than a day off because I am literally single handily running my program for the organization. I am the staff. I have this habit of taking on more burden than I should. I think that somehow that reflects on me and my name. The same premise applies to my work and personal life. What usually happens is that I end up working really hard and putting out lots of effort only to end up with the same old bullshit circumstances. My credit is still fucked up. My savings are still low and my air conditioning is still broken in my car. What am I getting out of expending all this energy? The only thing I am getting out of it is a potential stroke and a drinking problem. This is a theme that is not talked about enough. Black men don't really express just how many things they make concessions for in life that never get recognized. My daddy always told me that a man is going to do things in his life for people that no one is going to acknowledge. That just comes with the job. It's just like at the end of Good Times when the Evans got out of the project and the show went off without anyone of them ungrateful bastards mentioning how James used to work 5 jobs at one time to feed the family.

When I start thinking about it more, I realize that I deserve a break. I don’t believe in bragging on myself but I am one hell of a man. Since Mother's Day is Sunday, I am going to give my mama her props for treating me as such since I was born. I’m just saying that if you get all the men you know together and tell them that one day they will wake up with all of their personal possessions gone and their family basically homeless. Then, you will get no help from anybody. You will have to drive 400 miles a week to work, sleep on an air mattress for a year and live out a suitcase after 30 years of being comfortable. You will have to deal with nearly all of your family and friends being gone, never being able to have a funeral for your grandmother and try to find an overpriced place to live at the same time. Then when you get back to the city, you will be surrounded by a bunch of selfish motherfuckers that act like they don’t care or understand what all of your effort means to where they are now. Tell them they have to go through all of that without smoking crack, missing a day of work, or killing a nigga and we’ll see how many of them can get a 60 second ovation from their professional peers. I know I am not the only one, but that won’t be a long list of motherfuckers either. The Lord knows I am a man that is highly flawed. I am also passionate, loyal, dedicated and held mine down through everything just like Jon said did during his speech. That's why after talking with him today I am going to take me a leave of absence. I think I have earned that much. This is as real as it ever gets for me.

I think I’ll go help Drew Brees build some houses or get on the next Lil Wayne mix tape with my Lower Nine dedication Freestyle I have been working on. I might even go on a one man family crabbing trip. Whatever I do I can assure you that it won’t be stressful. Just remember that if you have problems in the next ten days and you need to talk to someone, Cliff is not available.

This is as real as I can keep it.

We will now return to our regular blogging schedule.......................

Sunday, May 6, 2007

How Real Gangsters Do It

George Tenet was director of the CIA leading up to the Iraq War. He’s the guy that signed off on all the intelligence evidence against Iraq that Bush and Cheney were making speeches about. He’s the man that helped Colin Powell set up that presentation to the United Nations. He gave us the “slam dunk evidence”. Our president gave him the Medal of Freedom for his work. Once the war started, all the slam dunk evidence slowly started to come up short. There was no uranium, no weapons of mass destruction, and no links to Sadaam and Al Queda. George Tenet basically helped the president and his band of thugs trick the public into going to war that we didn’t need to fight. Kids are still dying there today trying to play referee to a civil war. After all of that, guess what happened to Mr. Tenet? He got to write a book and admit that all the evidence and presentations were bullshit. He’s been on national TV everyday to promote it and is making enough money to put his great, great grandchildren through college. Only in America can you damage thousands of lives during your public service then step down and make millions talking about it. The least he could do is donate half to the families of the troops. No one in this administration will ever get punished for any of this bullshit. This is just like the Godfather.

Open Letter For Our Money

Dear Foreign Nations,

I was real busy last week. In between my hard work I took the time to pick up the paper one day and I saw that you guys had offered 854 million dollars in aid for Katrina victims. The well run government of the United States turned down most of it and has only used 40 million of the aid they did accept. Since no one in my local government seems to be pissed off enough about this. I am taking the time to write this letter and ask that the other 814 million be sent directly to me. I promise if you send me this money I will make sure that everyone from Biloxi to Kenner that is still trying to get things in order will get some help. I also promise that the only selfish thing I will do with any of it is get my air conditioning fixed in my car since it will be extremely difficult to ride all the way to Waveland, Mississippi without my A/C working. There won't be any politicians involved with my spending decisions because they all seem to have other motives for how things get done. In the event of another disaster, please do not ask anyone in Washington if you can help. Just show up to the place of the disaster and start doing stuff. The current administration is so busy trying to look tough since they messed up that Iraq thing that they won't take help from anybody that won't kiss their ass. Once you read this letter, please send me an email to weneedmoney@RoadHomeisajoke.com. I will be happy to help you with any questions you may have. The only one I won't be able to answer is how a program designed to helped the citizens of the state could be running out of money when hardly anyone has actually gotten checks. I'm not smart enough to answer that one.

Thank you for time.

Clifton Harris
Disgruntled Louisiana Resident and Non Disaster Aid Receiver