Monday, January 28, 2008

Throwback: Avoiding Parenthood



This video is funny. When I saw it, I laughed and even found myself rooting for the guy that she brought onto the show to be tested. But then I started thinking about the consequences of her situation and the fatherless child that is the real victim. It hits close to home. It seems like most black children these days grow up without a father in their lives.

Even though the woman in the above clip played herself, good men take responsibility for the children they father. If they get a woman pregnant, they do the right thing: They stand by her. They support their child. They don't try to weasel out of a situation they co-authored. They shoulder the obligations of fatherhood, even if they hadn't planned on becoming a father.

Once upon a time, men confronted with news of an unintended pregnancy knew what was expected of them. Often they married the woman who was carrying their child; for those tempted to behave irresponsibly, society devised the shotgun wedding. Women, too, knew what was expected of them. They tended to be very careful about sex. If they didn't always wait until they were married, they waited for a relationship that seemed to be marriage-bound.

It wasn't a perfect system, and it didn't guarantee perfect happiness, but on the whole it was realistic: It recognized that sex has consequences. It bound men to the women they impregnated and made sure that a child had a father, as well as a mother.

But the old code was swept away by the Sexual Revolution. With the Pill and easy abortion came the illusion of sex without consequences. Pregnancy could be avoided or readily undone. Men didn't have to marry women they impregnated; women didn't have to reserve themselves for men who were committed or whose intentions were honorable. With the devaluation of sex came the devaluation of fatherhood. Men got used to the idea of sex without strings. So did women, many of who also got used to the idea of motherhood without husbands. Government helped, too, mandating welfare benefits for unmarried moms, and child-support checks from "deadbeat dads." With the incentives for marriage weaker than ever, more and more children were born out of wedlock. In 1950, just 4 percent of births were to unmarried mothers. By 1980, the rate was more than 18 percent. It stands today at nearly 36 percent. All this is bad enough.

Then, last March, came Matt Dubay with a proposal to make things worse.

A 25-year-old computer programmer in Michigan, Dubay asked the question why it is only women who have "reproductive rights." He is upset about having to pay child support for a baby he never wanted. He claimed that not only did his former girlfriend know he didn't want children, she had also told him she was infertile. When she got pregnant, nonetheless, he asked her to get an abortion or put the baby up for adoption. She decided instead to keep her child and secured a court order requiring him to pay $500 a month in support.

He didn't think that was fair. His ex-girlfriend chose to become a mother. It was her choice not to have an abortion, her choice to carry the baby to term, her choice not to have the child adopted. She even had the option, under the "baby safe haven" laws most states have enacted, to simply leave her newborn at a hospital or police station. Roe v. Wade gives her and all women the right--the constitutional right--to avoid parenthood and its responsibilities. Dubay argued that he should have the same right, and filed a federal lawsuit last year that his supporters are calling "Roe v. Wade for men." Drafted by the National Center for Men, it contends that as a matter of equal rights, men who don't want a child should be permitted, early in pregnancy, to get "a financial abortion" releasing them from any future responsibility to the baby.

Does Dubay have a point? Of course. Contemporary American society does send very mixed messages about sex and the sexes. For women, the decision to have sex is the first of a series of choices, including the choice to abort a pregnancy - or, if she prefers, to give birth and collect child support from the father. For men, legal choices end with the decision to have sex. If conception takes place, he can be forced to accept the abortion of a baby he wants - or to spend at least the next 18 years turning over a chunk of his income to support a child he didn't want.

All true. But it is also true that predatory males have done enormous damage to American society, and the last thing our culture needs is one more way for men to escape accountability for the children they father. Dubay wants more than the freedom to be sexually reckless - he wants that freedom to be constitutionally guaranteed. Truly he is a child of his time, passionate on the subject of rights and eager to duck responsibility.

Our culture used to send a clear message to men in Dubay's position: Marry the mother and be a father to your child. Today it tells him: Just write a monthly check. If this law succeeds it won't say even that. The result will NOT be a fairer, more equal society. It will be a society with even more abortion, even more exploitation of women, even more of the destructiveness and instability caused by fatherlessness--especially in the black community.

And, in some ways saddest of all, even more people like this Matt Dubay guy: a boy who never learned how to be a man.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Banned Boondocks Episode


This is a clip of the Boondocks episode that BET pushed to have banned from the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming. Watch it while it lasts. I'm sure You Tube will be taking it down soon.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I Have A Dream...


We've all done it. We've attended events and dipped in and out of sleep during a boring speech. Check out this clip of Bill Clinton nodding off during Martin Luther King's son's speech at an MLK celebration in Atlanta.

Notice how he nods in agreement as he wakes up to smoothly disguise sleeping. Also, check how he slickly checks his watch as he thinks..."C'mon nigga... you gotta wrap this up."

Those damn Clintons.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Finding Mr. Right



Here's another post from our friend Carah Herring urging women to get it together before prejudging potential partners.

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Our dealings with our three-legged counterparts can sometimes be a hot mess, provoking us to rant, rave, hoot and holler about the fellas.

“Men are dogs!”
“N------ ain’t sh-t!”
“__(fill in your own vile generalization about the male species)__!”

Sadly, the above comments appropriately describe some individuals you and I both know. Not all men of course, but definitely more than a little bit. Lol. As the pickings seemingly get slimmer and slimmer, we often wonder ‘did Prince Charming die out with the Jheri Curl?’ I mean, damn!

Many of you have shared how you now go beyond the club scene more and more in order to bump into Mr. Right: hitting up bookstores, caf├ęs, church (well, you should be going here anyway!), art showings, parks and taking various classes -- but no dice. The men who are certified good catches are either playas, in a relationship, married, gay or frankly, not cute.

Sheesh, are there ANY good men left out here, y’all?

Before I answer that, let’s do a quick exercise:

Take about 30 seconds to a minute and list the attributes that you’d want in your dream man: Career. Personality. Education. Income. Hobbies. Height. Weight.

Don’t keep reading – make your list. Go ahead. Do it, babe!
*
*
*
*
*
*

Finished with your list?

Now, of all of the qualities that you jotted down, how many of these criteria do YOU possess? Do YOU earn $50K+ with your fantabulous job? Are YOU well-traveled? Are YOU flawlessly in shape? Do YOU have a good relationship with God and go to church consistently? Are YOU patient and understanding? Do YOU have a great sense of humor? Are YOU runway-ready 24/7?

So 9 times out of 10, we make these lofty demands for Mr. Right, when we are nowhere near being Ms. Right. How can you expect and accept nothing less than perfect from someone else, when you can’t even hold a candle to the standard? (Well, okay, the ‘hold a candle to’ comment was a bit much, but you catch my drift.)

So in your quest for a good man, step your game up and bring more to the table than a stylish outfit and decent conversation. Know what you’re looking for – but be flexible, because, hey, we’re all human.

Over the years, many of us have found quite a few Mr. Rights – men who will do ANYTHING for us (not out of desperation, but out of love and genuine concern). But for whatever reason, he just isn’t Mr. Right Now. We don’t give him the time of day because he’s not fine enough, rich enough, tall enough, muscular enough, educated enough or hung enough (keeping it real).

If you are always finding yourself in situations with Mr. Wrong, maybe, just maybe, YOU are the problem. I mean – you’re the common denominator throughout your personal dramas. Perhaps you prefer the exciting and fast-paced emotional roller coaster of bullsh-t men over the steady, not as eventful stability of a real man.

We as women have got to change the way we date – getting away from chasing the superficial things and really looking at the heart. And of course we have to snatch the cat back (but I’ve already preached my sermon on that topic!)

If you’re not ready to nix the superficiality, then don’t fake the funk. Be honest with yourself regarding your intentions in dating. Are you really trying to build a relationship with a man, or is your guiding M.O:

** The paper chase: “Where dem dollas at?”
** The quest for d-ck ‘that will make you slap somebody’: YouTube zany ATLien Alexyss Taylor for more info
** The ‘half a man is better than no man at all’ mentality: After being single for so long, you'll kick it with ANYBODY to zap your boredom

My longest and greatest relationship to date was with a brotha that worked at Mickey D’s. The McDonald’s fry boy, y’all. We met on a blind double date during my sophomore year of college. Though he was the sweetest guy, I had an image to maintain – and being involved with a Dollar Menunaire was NOT helping the cause. Nevertheless, we continued to kick it pretty consistently as friends because he was really cool and I loved spending time with him.

Well, about 3 months later, he invited me to a Super Bowl party at his Uncle’s house. I really didn’t feel like going to some cramped spot with a bunch of people I didn’t know to watch the big game, but what the heck. I didn’t have any other plans, so I decided to go. After making the 1.5 hour trip to his Uncle’s spot, I couldn’t believe my eyes. We pulled up to a humongous mansion that was at least four times the size of my house easily.

“THIS is your uncle’s house?” I asked, in total shock.
“Yeah,” he said nonchalantly.
“What does he DO to afford a house of this size?”
“My family owns McDonald’s franchises.”

I had to laugh at myself. My friend was modest and didn’t feel it was necessary to make it known that his fam was rich. He just casually commented that he worked for the Golden Arches. And I’m sure numerous women had immediately written him off by taking that statement at face value.

Now is this to say, my boy was Mr. Right because he turned out to be financially loaded? No, though it was a nice surprise. The moral of the story is that sometimes Mr. Right may not come in the package that we expect. But ladies, we have to be mature and courageous enough to give him a chance – even if he’s not our ideal. I’m not saying to settle – just don’t be so quick to ‘next’ someone before you know what they’re truly about.

So are there any good men left out here? YES!

Now here’s the real Q: Are you woman enough to give Mr. Right a chance?


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Special thanks and appreciation this go'round to Brandi Howard, Sharese Shannon, Kenneth Manning Jr and Tasha Holland


***Disclaimer: No, I don’t think I’m Iyanla Vanzant, Jr. or the Official Facebook Relationship Expert. However, after several wins and losses in the world of dating, I’ve gained a lil’ wisdom and feel inclined to share. And judging from the volume of responses I’ve received from my first note, it seems like many of y’all can relate to the same issues I’ve been through… So whenever a relationship or intimate connection doesn’t work out, identify the lesson and then share your newfound knowledge with others ;o)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Crown Royal On Ice



I had no idea that Jill Scott was a freak, but I'm glad she is. This joint is hot fire.

... On with the baby-making!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Ghetto Hokey Pokey

She's facing forward. I'm pressed closely against her. Our bodies fit snugly together. My arms are wrapped around her. As I rest my chin gently on her shoulder, I look down and notice that the melting ice in my drink is starting to blend with the vodka and tonic. Her fragrance is intoxicating. The DJ has taken us back to the late 90's and is playing "So Anxious" by Ginuwine. We're both drunk off the moment. As I part my lips to whisper in her ear...

!!!SCCCRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEHHHHHHCCCCCCCHHHHH!!!

*boom boom boom boom boom boom boom boom boom boom*

All of a sudden she runs from my grasp and joins the others as they congregate on the dance floor. Dammit! They got 'er! It looks like a scene from Thriller. They're all salivating. Their eyes turn red. I swear a nigga's arm falls off RIGHT on the dance floor. A 70-year old rotting zombie woman crawls from under the DJ booth.

I scream in terror as my ears start bleeding when the guy on the record starts spewing instructions: "To the lef, to the lef, to the lef, to the leeeeeefffff!" Shrieks of laughter fill the room as the zombies dance in unison.

...OK, I took this a little far, but seriously...what's up with all these damn instructional songs? The Electric Slide, the Cha Cha Slide, the Cupid Shuffle, the Mr. Bojangles...

Every couple years, somebody gets the genius idea to put out one of these songs and reap handsome monetary rewards. IT'S THE SAME SHIT! WAKE UP PEOPLE! THERE'S NO DIFFERENCE! THERE'S NO DIFFERENCE! THERE'S NO DIFFERENCE! YOU'LL NEVER HEAR FROM DJ Casper AGAIN! WAAAAAAAKKKKEEEE UPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP! WAAAAAKKKKKEEEEE UPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!! GAMMA!!!

In light of all this, I'm putting out a call for a business partner. If you are interested, please contact me so that we can throw together a couple instructions and make a cheap beat on a Casio keyboard.

So far I've come up with the following lyrics:

Do your foot like thiiiiiisss!/Do your arm like thaaaattt!/ Now jump up and down and cross your legs/ Now walk in a circle/ Now roll around on the floor/ Now centipede with it y'all/ Now everybody clap your hands *clap clap clap clap clap clap*

It's a little rough, but I smell a hit. Please feel free to provide additional lyrics.

In the meantime, check out these brilliant lyrics in two completely different videos by very eclectic artists:




Ignorance: Yes I'm a hater...and yes that was an obscure School Daze reference. GAMMA! Mo' Hate in '08!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Women...Snatching the Cat Back in '08?


I snatched this from a friend of mine in NC (no pun intended). Carah is urging women to be more careful in rushing into sex w/ men. Mo' hate in '08? Thoughts?

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Has a guy ever hit you with this line: “I’m just not ready for a relationship right now.”

Ouch.

After all the phone conversations, flirty texts on the daily, fun times lounging out at each other’s apartments/condos/houses and passionate nights…and mornings… and afternoons… and weekends – and he’s not ready to commit? WTF?!

“Well, I mean, that’s cool,” some of us manage to mumble with a strained smile and phony nonchalance – realizing that the instead of being ½ of a ‘deep connection’ we thought was so real, ol’ boy viewed us nothing more than a glorified cut buddy. We immediately change the conversation topic to avoid any more embarrassment. Inside we’re both hurting and fuming.

Perhaps you’ve been in a situation where the man wants an open relationship or insists on ‘taking it slow.’ Or if your boy is really bold, maybe he ‘doesn’t believe in titles.’

>Excuse me while I roll my eyes in the worst way<

Ladies, it’s time that we stop going for the pathetic okeydoke and stop falling prey to the lame @ss excuses from the menfolk. In the words of the unforgettably raunchy rapper Khia, it’s time to SNATCH THE CAT BACK (Should I really be quoting the chick who’s biggest – and only– solo hit was, “My Neck, My Back”? Well, that’s besides the point…)

Men get sex too often and too easily nowadays. The ‘chase’ is practically non-existent, as many of us lay down with guys waaa-aaay too soon. Why? Because:
*** He looks good
*** He has $$$ and we want him to keep spending
*** He took us out one time and now we want to show our appreciation
*** We want him to continue to like us or like us more
*** We’re lonely
*** _____________ (fill in your own reason)

In speaking to various male friends, picking their brains on this subject for the sake of all female-kind, I’ve been schooled that if a man can get it too easily, he’ll lose interest quickly. I know, I know -- it's not a major bombshell or discovery, but it's a fact that we all too often forget in our 'Sex and the City'-esque lives.

Now of course in the heat of the moment, men will dispute this claim vehemently. Does this sound familiar: “My last girlfriend and I had sex on the first date” or “We’re adults – if we both want to, what’s the problem?”

Indeed, you are an adult and have the freedom to do whatever the heck you want. But don’t be mad when the situation at the beginning of this note plays out time and time again.

Women, listen closely: We have a lot more control with men than we think we do.

So make him WAIT. Make him WORK FOR IT. Make him EARN IT. Go OUT on DATES (clarification: a ‘date’ is not watching DVDs at his crib every other night). Challenge him to get to know you as an individual outside the bedroom first – your likes, dislikes, hobbies, quirks, dreams and aspirations.

Will this guarantee commitment? ABSOLUTELY NOT. However, you’ll see what the guy is all about. And if he doesn’t stick around after the second date because you’re not an easy lay, well f--- ‘em (no, not literally!). And the guys that are willing to wait are quite possibly fellas we should take seriously.

SNATCH THE CAT BACK!

Let’s stop playing ourselves, ladies. That’s why some of y’all are putting ‘it’s complicated’ in the relationship status box of your FB pages. He’s getting it on the regular. You’re confused about where y’all stand couple-wise. And he’s content with the undefined arrangements.

I know this sounds totally ‘after school special’-ish and similar to a part of somebody’s mama’s ‘Birds and the Bees’ schpiel, but there’s truth to it. I’m not being prude or corny. I’m been 100% honest, having learned this lesson from life experiences, guy friends and numerous homegirls who have confided in me, confused and distraught because their boo wouldn’t commit.

So let’s elevate in 2008.

Lock it down ladies, and see the results. Not only will you move up from booty call status, you’ll get some nice dinners and movies out of the deal. Lol. We have the ‘p’, and though we seem to forget, ‘p’ is a very powerful thing.

Is it difficult? Yup – but there are ways to cope: vibrators, flicks and Zane, to name a few (hey, a sista is just being real). Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying it’s wrong to give it up. Just make sure you are giving it up on YOUR terms, not his.

Snatch the cat back y’all, and I guarantee you’ll be treated like the Queen that you know you are by a KING... not given the run around by a wannabe PLAYA.

Friday, January 4, 2008

I'm Back Bitches!

My holiday was off the hook! How was yours? I'll be posting later this afternoon if anyone still reads this blog & cares. Hope you're well. In the meantime, check out this new video from Child Rebel Soldiers (Lupe, Kanye and Pharrell).