Come At Me, Shorty

Adorable, right?

Precious, ain't she?

Yeah. That’s how the get you.  Babies are a racket, and don’t let anyone tell you differently.  Sure, they bring joy, purpose and meaning.  You meet them and can’t imagine your life without them.  And this makes you ignore one enormous fact:  Kids are douchey little terrorists.

Oh, you think this is cute? Wearing this to meet your boss in a mint green dress? Yeah, so check it...I'm gonna shoot a deuce in this right quick...yes ma'am...all over it, 2 minutes before it's time to bounce. Enjoy being my bitch.

The other day, my almost two year-old niece walked up to my sister took her by the hand and said, “It’s okay, Mommy. It’s okay.”  She led her to the living room and said, “Had accident.”  (When a two year old walks up to you and tells you “It’s okay,” recognize that these words are LIES!  It’s never okay.  Not ever.) My sister got to her living room and discovered she was late for the oatmeal finger painting hour.  Then she  gave her the puppy dog eyes and said, “But I sowwy.”

"Sowwy" don't sound like no country I ever heard of muthafucka! THE OATMEAL!? DID YOU SMEAR IT???

When I was nine, ten years and five kids into the game, my mom lost her shit.  There was screaming, things flying across the room and jumping up and down.  We all stood there incredulous, thinking, “This batty broad is headed straight for the boobie hatch.”  Now that I am a parent of only two of my own, thirteen years in the game, I look back with another type of incredulity:  Mama, what the hell took you so long?!  Not long after her freak out, she began to channel her frustrations into writing.  She wrote a classic poem in our household, “When You Grow Up and Move Away.”  I can’t remember the entire poem, but it began something like this:

When you grow up and move away, we’ll visit for a spell
We’re proud of our dear children, we so want to wish you well

Then, this lady proceeded to detail, and a two page poem, how she and the fanny packer would go in cahoots with our future children and dismantle our entire program.  She not only described things we had done (such as remove every inch of the tape which operated our burglar alarm system) and killing our friends pets (it was a hamster, and I was only trying to make it smell better); but she upped the ante.  I don’t think we ever swung from the curtain rods like Tarzan, and we never broke a window.  Who does that?  Who plots on their poor little darlings?

I’ll tell you who: a parent on the edge.  And yes, a revolutionary.

It’s time that we rise up against these ankle biting gremlins and reclaim our insanity!  Remind these interlopers that we run this.  Stop letting them win at games.  Once they turn eight, they’re going to beat you at everything anyway.  You’re preparing them for the future.  Don’t be gracious about it either.  “BOOM! LOST AGAIN! It hurts, don’t it? It HURTS!”  “You ain’t learn yet?  I’ve beat you the same way eighteen times son! Do you know what Plato says about that? HA! Of course you don’t, because you can’t READ!!!!!  If you could, you’d know that Plato doesn’t talk about Xbox at all! This bores me.  Change the channel on the way out.”

But we’re just getting started.  Did they get down on the floor and throw a tantrum?  You get right down on the floor with them and start kicking and screaming.  Are they in the room minding their business?  Walk into the room and spill your coffee all over their favorite doll.  Yeah Dora the Explorer. Fuck you.  You shouldn’t be running around with a monkey in the woods anyway.  Lil Man is chomping at the bit to see Fresh Beat Band?  Go right ahead and get the bubble guts 10 minutes after you were supposed to leave.  Of course, you’re 10 minutes behind schedule because you smeared chocolate on the shirt you were going to wear.  Kiki will just have to wait.

Game on younglings.  I’ve been making folks cry since the 70s.  Your arms are too short.

Arms Open, Eyes Shut

I saw two images this weekend which reminded me of my childhood.

First, while in traffic, I was stopped next to this rather steep hill.  I firmly remember standing triumphantly at the top of whatever hill Joe Brown Park had to offer.  I’d fling my arms open and above my head, close my eyes, then roll to the bottom, shrieking and laughing all the way down.  Then I’d run back up, spitting dirt out of my mouth, and do it over and over, until I was exhausted.  I would climb trees to frightening heights, close my eyes until the split second after I jumped and shriek with joy.  I  My mother would laugh at all the brambles and leaves I’d have in my hair after days at the park, and joke about throwing me into the washing machine.

Even in that sweet memory, I laughed at the vision of me doing the same thing at 34: gently stretching out on the earth, stretching my hands over my face protectively, and immediately popping up shake out my hair.  Would I do it only once, for nostalgia’s sake?  Maybe twice to prove a point?  It’s amazing how there are times when ignorance, or at least the accompanying innocence, is in fact blissful. As free spirited as I am, what happened to my utter sense of abandon?

Second, I passed by the swim club near my house, and could see the children diving in.  My very first pool experienced involved being on vacation.  I was so excited to be in my new swimsuit with the alligator on it (Lacoste bitches), and I saw all the kids having a ball, I took off like a shot.  I’d seen it a million times on the commercials.  I made it to the edge, pinched my nose, closed my eyes and CANNONBALL – sinking all the way to the bottom, of course.  For some odd reason, I didn’t panic.  I sat at the bottom and waited.  Within seconds, I saw and grabbed my aunt’s hand.

I can but wonder where that girl went?  When did I begin to stand with my arms folded?  When did my eyes sharpen from oblivious to watchful?  How do I find the whooping girl that jumps in, with the confidence that everything will happen as it should?  Last night, I said I choose me, and I still mean that in so many ways.  But the hill conquering, tree jumping, cannonballing whooping goddess is the me I’m choosing.

Uncivil

“There’s like a civil war goin on with black people and there two sides – there’s black people, and there’s niggas.”
– Chris Rock “Bring the Pain

“Everybody wanna be a nigga, don’t nobody wanna be a nigga.”
– Paul Mooney “Chappelle’s Show”

“All the while, I thought I liked chicken because it was delicious.  It turns out, I am genetically predisposed to liking chicken.”
– Dave Chappelle “Killin Them Softly”

“Dear black people who go out of their way to not like watermelon, chicken and Kool aid:  Shut up.”
– Me Twitter

I love being black.  I like my buckshots, and having a donk (plush posterior for those not in the know) and bodacious soup coolers.  If by some flip of the coin, I were born a black woman with silken locs, a flat booty and thin lips, I would still love my blackness.  For me, being black is simply another part of who I am, whether I fit into the perceived norms or not.  One of the things that I love about being black in this day and age, is the realization that there is no NORM of blackness.  My father preferred Yes and Little Feat over 70s R&B.  My mother passed away, despite growing up in the deep south, without ever having sampled chitlins.*  My sisters and I were raised to embrace diversity, and had friends of all races.  Despite having to grasp for black and/or female role models in the media, I grew up being a black child that was happy to be black.  Being black was natural, normal and not something requiring explanation.

So Friday, while reading The Champ’s latest post at Very Smart Brothas, I found a very funny, tongue in cheek piece about certain bits of black Americana that The Champ just didn’t get.  It’s hard for me to not enjoy a blog post, because at the end of the day, it’s one person’s opinion on things in life that are totally matters of opinion.  I can’t chide anyone for not liking “Love Jones.”  You speak a language that I don’t understand I’m sure, but if you don’t get it, that’s you. I still haven’t seen Menace II Society in it’s entirety. Everybody’s got something.

What started out as a funny, tongue in cheek commentary on unappreciated rites of passage, became a bunch of folks trying to out-pegro** one another.  Of course some of the comments were funny, some of them were interesting, and then some of them were laundry lists of how un-black they were that was just plain sad.  Some of these comments made me wonder, “Who was your mama?”  One commenter listed, as proof of her un-blackness, that she was neither overweight nor angry.

Word?  Who yo people is?

I officially lost it when someone stated that they not only hated Kool Aid, but they preferred Tang. TANG?  First of all, the name of it is “Tang!”  Second, it tastes like giraffe piss after an Orange Kool Aid Bender.  Third, the first ingredient is sugar, so it’s not for health reasons. Finally, do you know people use that crap to clean out their dishwashers?  So I got real angry, and I went on a Twitter rant. Because:

1)  I am hard pressed to believe that you can be a living soul and not like chicken, watermelon, AND Kool Aid.  You might not roll with all three, but you at LEAST fist pump for one of them, even if you don’t actively consume them.  (I haven’t purchased Kool-Aid in at least six months, but if it’s in your fridge and I’m there, your stash is getting effed in the A.)

2) Who gives a damn?

Part of this, of course, stems from the compulsive desire to combat stereotypes.  We have to prove to the man that he ain’t massa no mo.  It’s not enough to just live our lives and say to hell with ignorant preconceived notions.  No, we have to validate and qualify.  Several people went on a tirade over their disdain for chitlins.  I find chitlins the biggest non-issue in the country.  I have never been at a family gathering (and I’ve been at plenty) where there was a pot of chitlins.  No small Tupperware bowls, no wayward cousin in the corner eating his chitlins in shame.  Rebuking chitlins as a benchmark for blackness is about as relevant as declaring your refusal to pick cotton for free.  It’s a non-issue.   After listening to my rant, My brother in blog said it best:

“[They] think avoiding that…will give them some extra favor.  Barack is Ivy League, articulate, smart, fit, a great husband and father, worships God.  He’s still a terrorist socialist, out to steal their grandparents and exterminate them.  If a white person is judging you fairly it don’t matter if you drink kool aid or not; for racist bastards it don’t matter either way.”

I will go on record and say that if you are a meat eating human, (and by meat, I mean turkey, beef, lamb, frog legs etc.), you’re a knucklehead.  Because you’re not doing it out of preference.  You’re doing it out of some borderline self hating desire to be the premiere anti-black Black.  Your stance is stupid as a person who says black people don’t swim and we all have bad credit.  You’re still feeding into the stereotype.  It’s ugly, and it looks bad; not to white people.  It looks bad to me – your sister – who sees this as the behavior of the lost.

I’m frustrated with the nonstop potshots we take at others to prove we’re “not those kind of black people.”  So what if we are.  This civil war has become quite uncivilized, because in the end, who gets to decide who has the “nigga” mantle?  Who gets to decide who the “niggas” are?  The “Talented Tenth?”  Bill Cosby?  What happens when certain individuals who consider themselves black intellectuals, come up lacking?  Is there are revolt when they are left out?  It sounds ridiculous, because it is ridiculous.  There are certain social issues that plague the black community that must be addressed:  Lack of opportunity; substandard education; personal safety.  I have yet to hear of a half eaten bowl of chitlins being found at a crime scene; bullets though?  Tons of those.  Let’s get on that.  Let’s talk about how easy it is to get a gun in the hood.  Or even how easy it is for a neighborhood to go from thriving hub for black folks, to abject ghetto that we are run out of for fear of our lives, to gentrified paradise that we can’t afford.  Let’s go in on THAT SHIT.

Let’s all get along and put these verbal weapons of civil war away.  Let’s all band together, pegro and hood rat, locs and lace fronts, country bumpkins and concrete jungleites, and just accept each other as black folk.  The statement “We’ve got to do better” isn’t just for ghetto people.  No one is exempt from being part of the problem, once their attitudes have become sour and excessively judgmental.

My black is beautiful.  So is yours.

*I can’t bring myself to spell “chitterlings.”  It just looks dumb to me, and I feel spelling the word properly is giving it an undeserved dignity.

** “Pegro” = pretentious negro

Man, Fuck Prop 8, Part I

The following is a snippet of a chat rant to a friend of mine.  Now, there’s a lot more to be said about this, but I thought that this would be a great start for discussion.  If you are sensitive about the language, and more specifically, the use of the word “bitch,” may I suggest that you: 1) lighten up, it’s all tongue in cheek; and 2) pay attention to what’s actually being said:
though i’m beginning to think that monogamy is the biggest joke going
because ok
let’s go with the traditional judeo-christian definition of a relationship:
muhfukka meets bitch
they get married and have a whole gang of kids
that’s the short form version
however
the actual execution is
muhfukka meets bitch
bitch makes muhfukka jump through all sorts of hoops that he has no interest in jumping through
but knows that if he does not, he will have non drained nuts and nobody to fry his chicken
bitch convinces muhfukka to attend misc family functions to witness the other muhfukkas that have been worn down and permanently attached to the other bitches in the bitch’s family
until he finally acquiesces
resentment ensues
the bitch suggests a kid to bring them closer together
the muhfukka agrees, but only because he thinks it will give her something to do
finally, he pumps her full of enough babies til she is too busy to realize that he has wandering dick syndrome
and that is the institution folks are trying to preserve
This is enough for you to marinate on for now, but discuss, and stay tuned for Part II.