Saturday, April 29, 2006

And That's Why The Houston Texans Will Always Be The Houston Texans

The Texans tried as hard as they could all last season to suck dick bad enough to earn the #1 overall draft pick, and they succeeded. Waiting for them at the draft was the most talented college player and one of the most hyped players ever, USC running back Reggie Bush. But because Bush apparently wanted more money in his rookie contract than the Texans felt he deserved, instead of taking the best talent and negotiating with him, they passed him up and took some defensive lineman no one ever heard of.

In other news, Bill Gates announced that he didn't like the way the Lamborghini dealer wouldn't haggle with him over price, so he purchased a 1989 black Subaru Justy instead.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

One More Post About Race, Then I'll Shut Up (Maybe)

Some excerpts from Rick Telander's column in today's Chicago Sun-Times:

" was with distress that I read Dwyane Wade's comment about teammate Udonis Haslem's tossing of his mouthguard at a ref in Game 2 of the Bulls-Heat series.

'I don't think he would do nothing like that intentionally,' Wade said.

The sentiment's fine.

I mean the grammar.

The double negative, harmless as it seems -- maybe used for effect, maybe not -- connected in my mind for an instant the depressing bridge between the tenuous, alluring fame of black male stars in professional sports and the reality of the failing young black male in American society.

...getting smart is too often ridiculed by black youths as 'acting white.'

Dwyane Wade always has seemed like a good sort, and his heart and talent are unquestioned.

But I can't help wondering about the message he and his peers give to scholastically impoverished kids, simply by doing things as apparently inconsequential as speaking incorrectly."

An open letter to Rick Telander:

Dear Rick,
You're a fucking asshole. How many columns have you done about Dwyane Wade donating money to his old high school here in Chicago, Richards High? What about the scoreboard he bought for the school? What about all of the other things he does for the community that I don't know about but you could easily discover if you felt like doing some actual Goddamn journalism? What about the fact that he married the mother of his children while in college at Marquette University and is one of very few sports superstars of any color under the age of 25 raising a family as a married man? What about his complete lack of a criminal record, or lack of embarrassing acts on or off the court, or lack of arrogance when dealing with the public, or lack of the potty mouth owned by people like me? This man is as much of a positive role model as arguably any other black athlete alive today. What the fuck would motivate you to tear him down because he used a double negative in an interview? What is your fucking problem?? Pretend for one second that you had never ran a positive column about Cal Ripken, Jr., and then when you finally decide to address him, it's to rip him because you saw him spit on the field. You would never do that, would you? Neither you nor any one of your white colleagues would EVER look at a white star athlete with a reputation as a great guy and say, "Boy, this guy did something small that showed his imperfections...I need to crucify him in my column for that." It would never happen. But you have no qualms doing that to Dwyane Wade. He's not one of you, so it's no big deal. You may not think you have anything in common with James Earl Ray or the lynchers in the South from the early and mid 1900s, Rick, but since you want to compare Wade using a double negative to the "failing young black male in American society," whatever that means, I'll compare you to the coward racists of the past: You can't see a good, hardworking, successful black person as just a person because that would mean true equality, which scares the shit out of you. So, just like Ray and the lynchers, you find a weakness in that strong black person and attack it, and you keep telling yourself that it's right and it's necessary because the blacks deserve it. You're a piece of shit, your column is birdcage liner, and you have no balls if you haven't taken this sentiment you feel right to Wade's face and confronted him with it, but I'm guessing you haven't because you know how ignorant it is.

And who are these black youths you hang around who think that getting smart is "acting white?" Because that sounds suspiciously like a stereotype with no actual basis, spewed not by anyone you've actually heard but by the voices in your little head.

In closing: Fuck off.

Would Jackie Approve?

Just saw a beer commercial with Spike Lee in which someone in a bar asks him what historical figure he'd like to have a beer with. He answers Jackie Robinson, and after some career highlights, the bar patrons, led by Spike, raise their glasses and toast JR. Imagine for a second that the product being hawked was a hit of X, or a doobie, or even a legal product, a cigarette. Wouldn't it be a disguting thought that Jackie Robinson's name was being used as a "tribute" and was being tied into that drug as if he endorsed it or possibly used it when he was alive? Wouldn't it seem totally inappropriate?

What's the difference??

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Random Thought

I was listening to "Gonna Make You Sweat" by C+C Music Factory on the radio on my way to work Saturday, and it still sounded fresh, like it could be a club cut today. That made me think about when the song came out, and I realized that it was a hit around Christmas 1990. And I screamed out loud to no one: "THAT WAS 15 FUCKING YEARS AGO?!?"

Fuck, I'm old.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I Really Need To Stop Watching ESPN

The way ESPN has been hyping the NFL Draft for the last couple of weeks--even harder than they had been since the Steelers won the Super Bowl in February--I just assumed that it was going to take place last weekend. Nope. Not even this weekend, but next weekend. The reason this isn't good is because I'm all jacked up for this draft, anticipating that it's going to be the best and deepest in quite some time, but is that because of the players invloved, or because ESPN is hyping the hell out of it? And would they be hyping the hell out of it if they weren't televising the draft as well as, starting this upcoming season, Monday Night Football? It's reminiscent of the way they have been treating any Barry Bonds news with kid gloves. We're supposed to believe that ESPN ignoring a damning book about Bonds and his supposed steroid regimen that came out when spring training started just happened, that it had nothing to do with the fact that they started airing a reality series called "Bonds On Bonds" a few weeks ago. Barry Bonds is a black man that is hated by America because he doesn't know his place and won't bow and shuffle for The Man. Since when has the media tried to be fair and show his side of anything? But ESPN is bending over backwards, avoiding anything that may sound accusatory and begging those watching to please tune in to the reality show to get Barry's side of the story. How quickly will they return to making jokes about the size of his head on SportsCenter once this reality show has finished airing? And yes, I know he used steroids. It's pretty fucking obvious. My point is that ESPN should be reporting the news objectively, not lying in bed with the newsmakers and having those relationships color the way they cover the news. I'm not very far away from vowing to not watch ESPN anymore unless there's an actual game I want to see. Anything else on that network seems to be for the purpose of promoting its business interests, and that's a huge turn-off.

As far as the rest of my life, everything is very fragile and unsteady right now. The friend whom I visited last week told me last night that my lack of understanding about religion--she feels that I don't share her beliefs--is a major obstacle to anything further developing between us, and that whole situation is in limbo now. I am still trying to figure out how I am going to handle my expenses if I move into a new apartment on my current salary. A second job instead of summer classes may be in my future. And I just received a couple of errors on my first job, but I was supposed to be protected from errors during my probation period because the team lead is supposed to be quality checking all of my work before it gets to the point where an error pops up. Apparently, she's not. But, once again, that's not something that I should be getting upset about with anyone but myself. If I don't fuck up, there's no errors. Period. I could laugh at the e-mail that I received from a former co-worker at CEDA which indicated that the big boss and a colleague supposedly have been canned for screwing the female underlings. But that just makes me sad for two reasons: 1, that a couple of black men made it that far in their professions only to throw away their progress for some tail, and 2, that pigs like that even made it that far to begin with, since I will never sniff the top of any company because I'm not big enough of an asshole to join such an exclusive club. Nice guys finish last, indeed.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Joys Of A Normal Date

Back home from my latest excursion, and boy, did I feel good about this trip. No sex, no making out, no pressure to perform, just enjoying someone's company and getting to know each other, the way it's supposed to be. We visited the Civil Rights Museum yesterday, and that was a sobering experience because it's built around the motel room that Martin Luther King Jr. was staying in when he was assassinated. So you see the Lorraine Motel sign out front and the old school cars parked where the room was, and you get to walk almost right up to the spot on the balcony where he was shot, and the rooms that he and his associates were staying in have been remade and preserved so that the day is frozen in time. Then you go across the street and see a recreation of the bathroom that James Earl Ray stood in to get the angle of the shot, and when you look out the window and see how easy it was to get a clear shot, it's very chilling. Combine that with the exhibits that give you a feel of how blacks have been treated throughout the years, and it makes you sad and angry at the same time. I realized during my stay that Memphis is the farthest south that I have ever been, and the waitress at IHOP constantly using "y'all" was a gentle reminder. But my friend recounting some of the times she's been called racist names was a harsh reminder, because I've never been called any of those names. The way Memphis is segregated was a very interesting thing to witness as well. I should be used to segregation here in Chicago, but seriously, we're very tolerant and mixed compared to Memphis. I hardly saw any group that had blacks and whites together socially, and I don't think I saw any Latinos at all. And I never saw so many pickup trucks, lol. But my friend lives right on the border of a suburb, a very peaceful neighborhood, and her life seems to be very calm and ordered, which I admire. She's grounded, she's intelligent, she's attractive, and she likes me. It was very easy to enjoy the two days I spent with her. I'm not sure when we will get together again, but when we do, we will continue to get closer and build on the friendship and trust that we established in our first meeting, and we will become more comfortable with each other, and the relationship will grow. Naturally. The way it's supposed to be.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

So Far, So Good

MEMPHIS--Just wanted to hop online this morning and say how much I enjoyed spending yesterday with my new friend. We watched a couple of movies, talked about anything and everything until late last night, then I went to the hotel that she offered to set up for me. I will meet her today and see a little bit of Memphis before I have to get back on a plane and come home this evening. I don't want to leave. In fact, I woke up marveling over how happy I feel right now, how this whole situation feels so right...and how frightened as hell that makes me. There are a lot of obstacles in our way, such as the logistics, our jobs, the opposition of some people around us to our meeting in the first place, etc. But the way I feel after one day, I want to fight through those issues and give us a good, solid chance to work. I want this badly. And for a change, I think she does too.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Saying No To A Woman (For The Very First Time)

So I'm sitting there Friday night at my aunt's house waiting for my laundry to finish the spin cycle when I get a text message. I got excited because the lady I am visiting next week had not talked to me in a couple of days while preparing for a weekend retreat, and I assumed she was giving me a quick hello, which I would have done to her earlier but I didn't want to disrupt her. Instead, it was "Shelley" telling me that her school asked if she wanted to renew the loan that I co-signed for her at the end of last year. You know, the loan that she received and then dumped me right after getting the first check. Due to old habits of doing anything a woman asks me to do and the fact that I did tell Shelley that I would help her any way I could (before I read her e-mail and found out that she had multiple sex partners while telling me that she wasn't seeing anyone else), my first reaction was to text her back, "Tell me what I have to do." She tried to call again and talk, but I have been ignoring her messages and e-mails since she dumped me, and I didn't answer this call because I really had no desire to talk to her. So why did I arrange through text message to meet her Monday after I got off work to do the paperwork for the loan renewal? I'm sure there are deeper psychological reasons that I haven't explored, but the basic reality seems to be that I am so lonely and horny and desperate to be loved that my initial reaction to a woman walking all over me is to lay down and allow it. Even after all the reflecting and vowing to never let someone screw me like that again right after it happened, I had agreed to incredibly LET IT HAPPEN AGAIN.

But common sense kicked in, and I spent the next three days deciding how I was going to tell Shelley that I was not going to renew the loan after all. I knew that it would be hard, I knew that Shelley would give me all kinds of hell and guilt trips and sobbing, but I didn't call or text and cancel the meeting because the one-on-one face-to-face meeting had to happen sometime, and I wanted to be as soon as possible so that I could make it clear once and for all that I was through with her. Some people can be adults and do the grown-up thing no problem. I don't know how to be an adult. I have to basically guess at what an adult would do in certain situations and then attempt to copy that method. And I came to the conclusion that the most adult thing to do here would be to meet Shelley face-to-face, tell her that I'm sorry that I led her on and made her think that I was going to renew the loan but that I can't do it because I don't trust her, let her get her feelings and frustrations out, hang in there, don't give in, repeat that I can't let myself get used again, and leave.

And that's exactly what I did. Oh, she gave me the works too as far as trying every trick to persuade me and lead me to think that not only would she be willing to try again to have a relationship with me if I renewed, but that she would have to drop out of school and default on the loan if I didn't renew, putting me in the exact situation that I fear, having to pay the loan off myself since she doesn't work. So what she was saying is, either co-sign for ANOTHER $13,000 loan and take confidence that she will use that money to finish her studies, get a great job, and pay off the loan no problem, or don't co-sign for another loan and watch her have to default and stick me with the original $13,000. She completely ignored the possibility that she would default on BOTH loans and stick me with $26,000. She acted as if there was absolutely no chance that would happen. She said that somehow co-signing these loans work out great for me because they go as positives on my credit report. She didn't mention the negatives of the default that is sure to come. She claimed that the reason she was so bitchy to me all the time and the reason that she needed space when she dumped me is that she was dealing with the trauma of a miscarriage. This is the absolute first time she has ever mentioned a fucking miscarriage. One of her roommates was at the restaurant where we met, and she vouched for everything Shelley said, which made me wonder if she was just going along with Shelley's improvisations on the spot or whether they actually sat there and hatched this bullshit together in advance. It took all my strength not to laugh right in her face when she threw that at me. I give her credit, she gave a hell of show trying to convince me that she liked me all along and that she was feeling better about things and was ready to try again with me...if only I'll co-sign another loan for her. She grabbed my hands, she cried a river, she made her bottom lip shake when she described the horror of not knowing she was even pregnant until she lost the fetus while on the toilet, she begged and pleaded with me a million times to just trust her and that I was her last hope. But she did some things--besides dumping me when she got the money and giving me her e-mail password and letting me see what kind of a slut she was, of course--that betrayed her sob story. When I arrived at the restaurant, the first thing she did was hug me, but the second thing she did was whip out the paperwork for me to sign, even before I sat down. She was always about the money, from the moment she sensed that she could use me and that I would allow it. She claimed that she was just about to buy tickets for us to see the musical "Rent"--but if she has no money and needs this loan, where was she going to get the cash to do that? She once again never mentioned the possibility of finding a new apartment as a way of lessening her financial burden; I guess a crib overlooking the lake on South Michigan Avenue is too juicy to give up. And, most importantly, she never mentioned any other method of supporting herself. I must have asked her a hundred times what she would be doing now if I hadn't signed the first loan and what she's going to do now that I won't sign another, and she was so bent on making me feel guilty that she presented absolutely no contingency plan. "Guess I'll move back to St. Louis and be homeless," she had the nerve to say once. But I didn't budge. I suppose at some point I could have put the shit from her e-mails that I read on the proverbial table, but in a way that wasn't the point. Whether she's a cumsponge or not, I had to stand up and tell her in no uncertain terms that I was not going to do this "favor" for her because it jeopardizes my future and I have to think about myself for once instead of giving everything of myself to someone else and getting nothing back.

She said "I knew you weren't going to do this. Thanks a lot" as I got up and left. After all I had done for her, she still was spinning it in her mind as if I was doing her some great injustice. Unbelievable. But it's over. I looked a woman--a white woman no less, swearing her purity and innocence and trustworthiness as if it were the gospel--in the eye and I said no. And I'm not looking back.