Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sorry About That Avery

New Orleans is the world capital for jacked up circumstances.

Last night I was sitting at my favorite spot celebrating Chris Paul, David West and the rest of the Hornets absolute ass kicking of the Dallas Mavericks for our first NBA playoff series win ever. It was even sweeter that we beat a Texas team for it. I was starting to plan my budget for season tickets next year.

So what happens today?

One of our favorite native sons Avery Johnson gets fired. We can never just celebrate without a hint of bad news in it. Of all the coaches we could have beat bad enough to get them fired it had to be him.

They shouldn’t have fired Avery. It’s not his fault he’s got a weed head small forward and a big German who falls down and slides 20 feet if someone touches his finger. Now I got to hope another coach gets fired so Avery can get another job.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Return of Jeremiah

I told someone I wasn’t going to write about this Obama/Jeremiah Wright thing. I got something else on my mind more serious than that. I was prepared to let it go but after watching a few hours of news shows I have to get a few things off my chest.

First off let me say I am not really into this presidential race anymore until the primary is over because I am tired of hearing the same old thing. I can say this however; this whole Jeremiah Wright thing is ridiculous to me. I am not Obama’s speech writer. If I was at the moment I would simply say the following. Anyone who judges my whole agenda based on something my pastor says is racist. If you want to know why I think it’s racist I will tell you why. The whole premise behind the Reverend Wright story is that because Barak Obama went to his church he automatically believes and follows the same agenda as Reverend Wright like he’s some kind of clone in a cult even though he has said repeatedly that he denounces the statements that keep getting played over and over again. If you want to accept that then fine.

Hillary Clinton has been married to Bill Clinton for almost her entire life. To me that is a closer relationship than Obama and Reverend Wright have. Bill Clinton had oral sex performed on him in the White House during work hours. By the same standards you are holding Barak Obama to for Reverend Wright, I can assume that if Hillary wins the nomination and becomes president, some young male intern will be under her desk a few times a week. Doesn’t that sound stupid to you? Of course it sounds stupid. It sounds stupid because no one is judging Hillary solely on the actions of her life partner yet Barak Obama is getting judged based on a man that’s not even his blood relative. That’s a double standard and I know he can’t say it because that kind of truth will only piss off certain people more.

Now that I have out of the way I want to address Mr. Obama’s approach to this whole thing. Although I have no bigger heroes in life than my dad and my grandfather, I realize that I live in a different time with different circumstances and I am around a different and diverse group of people. I have the same core principles of how to behave but there is no way I could have the exact same outlook as my grandfather who went through The Great Depression, World War II and Jim Crow or my dad who went to Vietnam and grew up in the South through the Civil Rights Movement.

I like to think of myself as the evolution of the Harris man. I would hope my teenage brother or one of my nephews or my son would evolve in thinking beyond where I am. I can understand how Barak Obama can have aspects of his life that were guided by Reverend Wright’s council but not see the world the exact same way. However, I would never ever denounce or apologize for anything those men said out of respect for what they went through in life. That‘s why Reverend Wright came back. This is not about Obama. This is about people trying to minimize his life and years of service to his community. Most older black men base their attitudes about people and life on things they seen or went through. Most of them keep that agenda and it’s probably because they look around and don’t really see a big difference in their eyes.

I may not have the same vision or approach but I respect theirs because I know how they got it. You may not believe this but if I was on the job interview of a lifetime and someone pulled out a tape of my daddy or a man in my life I respected on that level that sounded angry and asked me to denounce it my response would be “well, I guess he was angry that day” then I would get up and leave. No job is worth minimizing the life and struggles of your people, not even the presidency. If it wasn’t for the strength to get through those struggles then we wouldn’t be at this moment with Obama having a chance to win. Plus, I don’t know what hood you drive through or live in but most of the stuff Reverend Wright talks about are very current events. I know some people won’t agree with me and that’s fine. If calling your grandmother and grandfather angry and delusional gets you a promotion then go for it. I’m not doing it and neither should Barak. He shouldn’t have to because he’s an American and if he is the most qualified then he shouldn’t have to get rid of everyone in his life that white America isn’t comfortable with to win.

If Hillary doesn’t have to hold a press conference to promise she will never get a young intern to fool around with at her desk then Barak shouldn’t have to keep reassuring everyone he loves America every other day.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Enough Already!

Many people will say that the race for the Democratic nomination is still dragging along because Barak Obama is having trouble putting Hillary Clinton away.

Some people will argue that it’s still going on because Hillary Clinton won’t accept defeat and is refusing to back out of the race.

I say that this race is still going on because the Democrats are stupid. If you had a winner take all system like the Republicans Obama would have been the nominee after winning twelve in a row. This is why you guys can’t win big elections. You are always trying to play both sides. How did Hillary get all those delegates if she lost so much? Conversely, how did she win a big ass state like Texas and not even shrink Obama’s lead? The candidates are not the problem. This dumb process is.

This is why you couldn’t vote to start the end of the war. You are too worried about making everyone happy. Sometimes leadership has to make a decision and let a few people be upset. George Bush has been getting away with it for 8 years. His approval rating might be low because his decisions have failed terribly but you never hear anyone say how they wish he was trying to make everyone happy. If people think you are going to play both sides of the fence they are going to think you are weak and McCain is going to be president. He’s going to have another month off riding around on the straight talk express and these two will still be fussing even though they agree on almost every issue.

Make up your minds already. Call a meeting with the super delegates. Play rock, paper, scissors. Just get it over with.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Lone Story Teller

I meet allot of different people from all over the city through my job. When people in New Orleans meet for the first time these days, they introduce themselves and share their Pre-Katrina status. No one seems to be in the same place during the same thing. Last week there was a lady in one of my trainings that happens to go to my grandmother’s old church in the Lower Ninth Ward. She is a transplant who moved here after the storm to help people and she just joined the church recently. I gave her my grandmother’s name and ever since then she’s been sending me emails to come to service one weekend and talk to some of the people over there. I will not be going to any of the services. I hope I don’t like a jerk for saying that but I have a rare condition called Bad Katrina News Syndrome. I just made that up so none of you therapist better not steal my name. I have two parents, two sisters, and two brothers. We all lived in the same house for more than 25 years. My grandmother lived next door. Out of those eight people I am the only one back in the city. Do you know what it’s like to replay this story over and over again every time I see someone that knows one of them? “How’s your mama?” “How’s your daddy?” “What happened to your grandma?” “Where’s your brother?” “What are you going to do with the house?”. It happens all the time. I remember when I used to go check on the house. Whenever I would go down there it would take less than a minute for someone to drive up asking questions. My cousin Veronica found me on the internet and asked about everybody. It took me two weeks to reply to her email. I get so tired of doing it that sometimes I see friends of theirs and purposely go the other way or turn my head so they won’t see me and I have to get into the story all over again. It’s not the people fault. They are just being concerned. It’s not my family’s fault either. I guess that’s what happens when you are the only dummy to move back down here. At least if I was out of town and people ask me I could chalk it up to being nosey and cuss them out. I can’t do that to my distance cousins that find me on the internet. I can’t do that to those old ladies that used to stand at the bus stop with my grandma or one of my mama ex-coworkers. Oh well, I guess I should do like the rest of these folks around me who didn’t really lose anything but material items and act like everything is cool again. Maybe the next time someone asks me how my grandmother is doing I will show them a picture of my new bathroom. At least I won’t have to look at the sad look on their face when I tell them what happened. I’m not tripping about it. This is nothing to a soldier. This is all part of my everyday routine these days.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sittin On My Porch Part VIII

It was a rough weekend and it’s been a rough week so far. The primary reason is that I can’t shake this cough. I missed both of the festivals this weekend. The other reason is that ever since someone stole my bankcard and went on a shopping spree my financial clock is off and it seems little things keep happening to keep me broke. I am flying on American Airlines Monday and I can’t find the inspection report on the plane I am flying on. Gas is 3.22 in New Orleans and people were wearing jackets this morning in mid-April. Last but not least, I can’t figure out what is making my face break out like I am 12 years old again and the fact I am obsessing over it so much is making me depressed. I guess I shouldn’t sound like that. The new season of Deadliest Catch started tonight. Plus, my oldest friend Big G just got his vocational degree and worked his way from the street life and trouble. That overrides all of that. Too bad I am about to kill that heartwarming story with this other foolishness.

The more Bob Johnson from talks the more I am starting to wonder if Mrs. Johnson was the real reason he made all of that money.

I have a question for the FBI. When are we going to see some local white politicians arrested for corruption? Look, I don’t feel sorry for Derrick Sheppard just like I didn’t feel sorry for Oliver Thomas. The amount of money between both of their cases isn’t twenty thousand dollars. We are lacking too many things and have missed too many opportunities for this kind of thing to have started with Pampy. White people in this city control too much money to not get some of the under the table money too. Speaking of Pampy, whatever happened to the money he delivered to Una Anderson’s husband when she was on the school board? I read that in the Times Picayune so I know it’s true.

Brothers, it’s time to stop looking so pissed off. I went to Wal-Mart this weekend and every cat in there was looking at me like I am the one who shot their cousin. I know we live in a rough city but did you ever stop to think we might be making it rougher by always looking to kick the next brother’s ass? Besides, most of the guys who look all angry were walking with women that had three shopping carts full of groceries. If I had enough money these days to buy one full basket I would not only be smiling. I would be doing the running man in the check out aisle.

Sisters, you know there is nothing in this world I adore more than you. Please forgive me. I am buying a taser. The next time I see one of you with a shirt that’s too small, your belly hanging over your pants and a rag on your head in public, someone is receiving voltage. I will set it to low so you won’t get hurt but someone has to stop this. There is a difference between a head wrap and a damn rag. If you just refuse to take a few minutes to comb your hair before you head out, do your kids a favor and leave them at home. There was a girl in Wal-Mart with a smedium sized yellow shirt and matching yellow rag on her head. If her two sons were tall enough to see over the steering wheel they would have left her in there.

I hope this doesn’t sound prejudice. I am just curious. We have thousands of migrant workers here in the city. I have no problem with that at all because we have too much work available and I don’t expect a bunch of Americans to show up all of a sudden to fill all those positions. The question I have is this. Where do they learn all these special skills. How did a 20 year old Mexican man who has spent two years trying to get established in America have time to learn how to wire an entire house? When they have the time to learn home elevation, plumbing, plus a/c and heating repair? How did the entire town learn to do drywall? I went to school in America my whole life and no one taught us shit. We need to send the brothers to Mexico for training so they can come back and find a job.

This is not an endorsement but the longer this presidential election goes along the more and more I am convinced that Barak Obama will be the next president. The man is truly special. How else can you explain a brother that can make a white woman cry, have a radical black pastor and not denounce him, call his white grandma a bigot and call Republicans bitter people who cling to guns, the bible and hate of others yet still be ahead or close in every poll. A man who can get away with this in American politics can surely get the Sunni and Shiite talking.

This video is dedicated to Big G for his graduation. How come we never got our full Wu Tang concert in New Orleans?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Registration Blues Pt. 2

We found this school to apply to. Some friends have a child there and by all reports is a good school. It’s not that far from the house so she won’t have to get up like she is going to the shipyard. That was a worry for me. It’s a Catholic school and I have a public school mentality but this school is established and stable. I feel good that the faculty won’t be experimenting with my baby trying out all of their new techniques hoping to impress the state board so they can take over my school charters. If she gets accepted into this school I think I can live with it.

The problem is that the pre-k program only holds 80 kids. My application was the 44th one received. Once the applications pass 80, everyone goes into a lottery. We won’t know the lottery results into the middle of July. That means that I have to come up with another option and hope that the second option isn’t as loaded with applications as the first. It’s looking like if she doesn’t get into this school then it’s off to the Recovery District or spending money on another private school. Either option sucks to me. When I was turning in the application, the receptionist who took reviewed it told me I needed to either change my income amount or increase the number of people living in my household. I’m thinking to myself what the hell is going on in this city when a man gets penalized for making extra money. Normally I would feel bad for lying on the application and taking a spot from a less fortunate child. Then I thought about it and said what the hell. It’s not like I am that far from being poor myself.

I am starting to think that the city just doesn’t care if the working and middle class live in the suburbs and let the city rot from the inside. I could move twenty minutes away from where I live now and send her to a state of the art school for free. I know too many people who live within the city limits that use too much of their income to pay for private schools so they can help their kids escape the Recovery School District. Some people say the charters schools are better and have all this innovation and creative methods of teaching. That could be true but since the only thing I know of those is the flyers stuck in the grass at the stoplights, I can’t endorse them yet. Someone is going to read this and think I am tripping when I say that there is no way this would happen if it wasn’t little poor dark children going to these schools. Most white people in New Orleans don’t send their kids to public school unless it’s a magnet like Lusher or Ben Franklin. All the uppity negroes who are supposed to be leaders send their kids to private school. None of them care. If they did they would never have given Lusher the Fortier building after Katrina. That was the biggest and least damaged public high school building on the Eastbank and I am still pissed about seeing those kids in the 7th Ward standing at the bus stop at 6:30 AM to make it all the way to Edna Karr across the river. No one is experimenting with their children. Those will be the same people a few years from now accusing these guinea pig children of being animals and ruining the city and we’ll have to build a bigger prison and tear down some more public housing.

If you think this post is negative or unfair…my bad. I guess I should apologize for thinking a city that lost so many decent families because the parents didn’t want to bring their kids back to this school calamity would have that in mind when they started making plans on how to make things better. You shouldn’t have to take a week off just to research the locations and qualifications of every school in the city.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Rest In Peace Ashley Morris

Tomorrow when I leave work. I am heading to my cigar shop and buying the biggest, smelliest cigar I can and enjoy it in honor of my blog friend and huge supporter of this blog Ashley Morris. I went to his page tonight and found out he passed away. I met Ashley once at last year's Rising Tide event but I communicated with him at least once or twice a week. I am sorry we never got to enjoy our cigars together. We should have made those plans sooner. You never know what tomorrow is going to bring. I would pour out some liquor for you but I know you would want me to drink it instead.

See ya on the other side....

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

From Me to Bernadine

For all the times you had to come outside in your pink robe when I stayed out too long.

For the days we danced in the kitchen.

For giving me your eyes even though they don't open that wide like my daddy.

For the time I forgot my mouthpiece for the football game and you came on the sideline to bring me one.

For anytime you thought your kids were the best at anything even if everyone else thought differently.

For saying No and not caring what the rest of the mamas in the hood did.

For knowing how to cook the cabbage until it’s brown and sweet.

For knowing I like my gumbo with lots of File`.

For knowing that something is wrong with me even without me saying anything.

For every time I had a problem with a company or situation and thought to myself

“mama gonna handle this for me and you did”

For showing me how a wife is supposed to be loyal.

For helping me keep it together to keep everybody else together after Katrina.

For teaching me to love Aretha Franklin.

For 1,275 plays of the Solomon Burke Soul Alive album.

For being willing to quit a job before you missed a school play or awards show for your kids.

For always fighting back.

For being protective and supportive.

For being my friend.

For having as much to do with the man I am as daddy does.

For being the first woman I ever fell in love with.

For already knowing that I cried when I wrote this.

For my number one fan…

Happy Birthday Mama.

This song is for you.....