Thursday, August 4, 2011
PASS IT ON!!!!!
Friday, July 15, 2011
my body used to scream and,
curse that final spasm.
Love is the process
I would proclaim,
to finish it
The other day, I was sitting down with a casual acquaintance engaged in a rather interesting conversation. As often happens when you’re having a good time, time seemed to fly and my friend excused himself. When pressed, he admitted he had to go home because he and the wife had scheduled time for sex. He didn’t seem especially excited. In fact, he looked like a condemned man going to his execution. And… his wife is a babe. She’s, like, instant hard-on gorgeous.
Sooner or later, even sex with someone you love can become routine. It can become a dry series of rituals which one has to perform dutifully.
The irony is that sex is so full of promise. Passion with skin on fire and almost unbearable bliss. The weeping embraces of vulnerable rapture -- yeah those moments when you make that noise that sounds like a chuckle married a sob. Those moments of transcendent merger as oneness… but usually, sex is pretty much mundane.
Men get hard, pump and grunt, squirt, let out their tension and relax. Women get wet, moan and hump, clutch and weep, and snuggle in affectionate comfort. Initially exciting, sex can become quite predictable. Even good sex can become standardized: you both learn each other buttons, which you push in order to get the right responses and then… pooof. Gone…
In this way sex somehow mirrors life in general. It’s actually less than you hoped. For almost anyone who’s been around the block a few times, sex and life become a comfortable or customary enjoyment, a habitualized routine of pleasure, comfort, and pain that is neurotically consoling at best, and often meaningless.
This is a good thing, dearest. Meaninglessness is a sign of growth. When something becomes boring it means that you are ready to delve deeper. When you are humping away in dissatisfaction, you are ready for deeper sex. Sex that feels empty reveals a deeper truth: sex is empty. Just like any other moment in life.
When you surrender yourself to the possibility of experiencing sex completely, you feel two things. On one level your genitals are engorged, your breathing is heavy, and your passion is inflamed. On another level… so what? You’ve been there/ done that and nothing fundamental has transpired. This moment of sex -- like every moment -- is amazingly rich and deliciously textured, but also strangely and paradoxically empty.
What happens if you dare to venture is that you come to the realization that nothing specific is missing from your sexual life. Of course, you can improve your sexual skills -- communicating your emotions more fully and enjoying multiple orgasms that last for hours -- yet, when your preoccupation with new pleasure and achievement wears off, you are again confronted with the awareness of a sense of emptiness.
The truth is all life is like that. We spend most of life energy trying to attach to or create something concrete in a reality where the only truth is that everything changes, nothing stays the same. You are not the same person you were when you first starting reading this. Biological processes have killed off cells and replaced them with new ones. Five years from now, your whole body will have been replaced using this dying/ birthing process. If you’re even a little awake, deeply held opinions and how you see yourself has changed and will continue to change. All around you, everything is dying and being reborn and dying again. Lovers come and go, loved ones pass away…
Every moment is empty in the sense that if you try to latch on to it, it slips through your fingers like the proverbial sands in the hourglass. The truth, dearest, is that every sexual moment is empty, insubstantial, unreal. And yet it is also true that every sexual moment is full, tangible, and explosively alive. Like a vivid dream, each moment is intense, spontaneously dynamic, and just as spontaneously gone, as if it never happened. Sex can be tender, a miracle of love, yet at the same time inconsequential. Sex is at the same time intense and vanished, and even when it’s utterly blissful, it is also utterly empty.
Immature lovers get lost in the brief rush of pleasure. Depressed adults stay stuck in the unsatisfying embrace of “not enough.” The truth is that every moment is substantially insubstantial -- both tangible and empty. The mature lover surrenders beyond the attachment, naked and vulnerable as life.
But to get to this level requires letting go of your neurotic need to feel good (or bad) about sex. My father, a wise man, advised me in my young adulthood to be a selfish lover. I think he meant for me to enjoy the thrill of romance and fascination for as long as it lasts because I would have to learn how to dance in the middle years of unsatisfying but decent sexual routine.
But this is where it gets really good (or beyond good or bad): eventually, when you have been shorn of your naïve hope, you will have no other choice but to relax within the reality of the emptiness. In this way, and only in this way, you’re able to wear love’s raiment of open bliss; to withstand the boundless luminosity, and you awaken to the awareness that sex is an intense revelation of what is.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
When growing up, two cats in a yard was the American Dream. Detroiter, Julie Bass upped that vision by planting organic vegetables in her front landscape as opposed to itchy grass and birds of paradise.
A mother and avid urban green thumb, Bass decided to take on the project because purchasing organic food in a city that doesn't have a major grocery store is worse than these inflated petro prices.
Bass thought she was planting a cool organic garden in the fiscally-dead city of Detroit. Especially in a cityscape that has so many abandoned, burnt out, and bull-dozed buildings that hundreds of square miles overgrown by nature created the concept called "urban prairie." To have a well maintained garden at a home that you still own is providing a model for Detroiters, you think?
Well, the City of Detroit feels otherwise. This godforsaken, neglected city who is known surely for its immaculate record of governance (thanks to Cadillac Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and Monica Conyers) has fined her, given her a warning, and now is seeking jail time.
Ironically, this is black agricultural week, and I bet you Carter G. Woodson and Booker T. Washington are shitting in the heavens right now looking at the Motor City dish its latest ordinance of backward bullshit.
Bass, I hope you bring a corn stalk and tell the prosecution where to stick it. Fuckers.
Rennie Gibbs is accused of murder, but the crime she is alleged to have committed does not sound like an ordinary killing. Yet she faces life in prison in Mississippi over the death of her unborn child.First off, this case needs, and should be given more attention. Sure she didn't fail to report a missing child for thirty one days to authorities. This is a woman facing life in prison for the murder of her unborn child, when she was 15-years0old. I don't know about you, but there are several egregious issues with that scenario. First one being: she was a teenager with a drug problem at the time. But I guess that's no big deal since there's an epidemic of Black teens pregnant and hooked on drugs as some Conservatives would have you believe.
Gibbs became pregnant aged 15, but lost the baby in December 2006 in a stillbirth when she was 36 weeks into the pregnancy. When prosecutors discovered that she had a cocaine habit – though there is no evidence that drug abuse had anything to do with the baby's death – they charged her with the "depraved-heart murder" of her child, which carries a mandatory life sentence.
Gibbs is the first woman in Mississippi to be charged with murder relating to the loss of her unborn baby. But her case is by no means isolated. Across the US more and more prosecutions are being brought that seek to turn pregnant women into criminals.
"Women are being stripped of their constitutional personhood and subjected to truly cruel laws," said Lynn Paltrow of the campaign National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW). "It's turning pregnant women into a different class of person and removing them of their rights."
Please believe that without the necessary media attention, this young Black woman is doomed. Without the media spotlight, with her being Black, and this being a case that sets much precedence -- not to mention the political implications given the GOP's war on women of late -- this case is much bigger than the Casey Anthony murder trial. But like I said before, she's Black so who cares? She just did what every Black woman did in the 80s. That is, give birth to crack babies who have now all grown up to be the scourge of our society, right?
I know what you're thinking, "Nah, this isn't about the rights of women RiPPa. This is about protecting and seeking justice for unborn children. After all, they have rights too, right?" Sure they have rights; I mean I'm all about fetuses being protected from being kicked in the stomach, or risk death at the hands of a third party. But to criminalize a woman for drug use while pregnant when there's no evidence to support it as being the cause of death of her unborn child? Hello! That's bullshit! What, are we going to do the same for women who drink and smoke cigarettes while pregnant? Aren't those "legal abuses" found to be more harmful to unborn children? I mean, that's what the experts say, right?
Recently many of us in the Black community were outraged by the tactics of anti-abortion groups as they targeted the Black community with their billboards. We voiced our displeasure, and won. We should be equally disgusted and vocal about the indictment of Ms. Gibbs. We should let our voices be heard, and heard loudly. We all raised our voices and expressed our disgust when it came to the Scott Sisters and the state of Mississippi, and we were victorious. Today, we must do the same for Rennie Gibbs. We marched on Jena fighting for justice for six Black teenage boys. It would be a damn shame if we do not seek justice for one Black woman. Wouldn't be surprising; but disappointing.
Thankfully others are already on it:
[...] Women's rights campaigners see the creeping criminalisation of pregnant women as a new front in the culture wars over abortion, in which conservative prosecutors are chipping away at hard-won freedoms by stretching protection laws to include foetuses, in some cases from the day of conception. In Gibbs' case defence lawyers have argued before Mississippi's highest court that her prosecution makes no sense. Under Mississippi law it is a crime for any person except the mother to try to cause an abortion.Some of you are still angry about Casey Anthony getting away with murder as you se it. Well, you should be just as angry or even more, if this young Black woman goes to prison for the rest of her life, for the crime of being a troubled teen. Surely in good conscience you can't say that she deserves to be in prison.
"If it's not a crime for a mother to intentionally end her pregnancy, how can it be a crime for her to do it unintentionally, whether by taking drugs or smoking or whatever it is," Robert McDuff, a civil rights lawyer asked the state supreme court.
McDuff told the Guardian that he hoped the Gibbs prosecution was an isolated example. "I hope it's not a trend that's going to catch on. To charge a woman with murder because of something she did during pregnancy is really unprecedented and quite extreme."
He pointed out that anti-abortion groups were trying to amend the Mississippi constitution by setting up a state referendum, or ballot initiative, that would widen the definition of a person under the state's bill of rights to include a foetus from the day of conception.
Some 70 organisations across America have come together to file testimonies, known as amicus briefs, in support of Gibbs that protest against her treatment on several levels. One says that to treat "as a murderer a girl who has experienced a stillbirth serves only to increase her suffering".
Another, from a group of psychologists, laments the misunderstanding of addiction that lies behind the indictment. Gibbs did not take cocaine because she had a "depraved heart" or to "harm the foetus but to satisfy an acute psychological and physical need for that particular substance", says the brief.
Perhaps the most persuasive argument put forward in the amicus briefs is that if such prosecutions were designed to protect the unborn child, then they would be utterly counter-productive: "Prosecuting women and girls for continuing [a pregnancy] to term despite a drug addiction encourages them to terminate wanted pregnancies to avoid criminal penalties. The state could not have intended this result when it adopted the homicide statute."
(FULL STORY HERE)
Monday, July 11, 2011
Speaking of lacking: I do hope the space shuttle Atlantis returns to earth from it's mission with some jobs found floating around in space. I mean, I happen to know at least 14 million people who could use a job or two. And besides, it pains me to see my beloved president poke his head out of the White House like Punxatawney Phil after last Friday's dismal jobs report. I'll be honest, my man Barack looked a tad bit more stressed than usual. But I suppose the economy only adding 18, 000 jobs signaling an economic slowdown in an already slow economy is cause for concern. I mean that is, especially after declaring that you're not worried about a double-dip recession.
So between the slight uptick in unemployment, and the debt ceiling debate, the president has a lot on his plate. And though many of us empathize with him but never wish to be in his position. We must never forget, that this is the job he signed up for; and support him or not, we must all be concerned about him doing the right thing, Because at the end of the day, is is our behinds that will ultimately pay the price. Having said that, much like I've said in the past as it relates to the economy, the president hasn't done a good job. Leaving me to wonder if it is sheer incompetence on his part. Or whether this in itself is intentional, and staged for some greater purpose.
Whatever that purpose might be I don't know specifically. But even I an asshole with a blog can see the shift to the right in the last few years. Some may not see this as a problem, however, no matter how you see it, it's an obvious shift which signals that the financial sector and Wall Street is where it's at - it's the daddy of all politicians. That being said, at this point I'm a little bit disillusioned with politics in our country right now. I'm at a point where I'm completely dis-shelved, as I watch the grand scheme being played out before our very eyes.
As a lefty myself, I can't help but to think that the right is winning as it moves further to the far right. Because that would mean the left itself has shifted to the right as well as it always has. That's the political reality of America being a center-right nation politically. Maybe one day I'll come to accept this, but as for now, no friggin way. I still believe in "we the people" and our power to affect change through the economic process. But lord knows what little power we have left is quickly shrinking, as the financial sector's power is being realized.
For me, it's the only way deep cuts in a time of deep economic recovery can be justified. It's the only reason the debate is framed around deficits and spending. It's the reason the tried and true politics of fear has always, and is being used right now on both sides of the isle to justify legislative policy. Frankly folks, I'm tired of being made to feel like somehow Freddie Kruger's gonna kill me in my sleep (because most of us are indeed asleep) if one side doesn't get it's way. Yes I'm sick of it, but maybe I'll get used to it much like many of you have.
Something just doesn't feel right anymore. I've said it before time and time again when discussing the economy, that the probolem isn't spending. Instead, it's about not enough spending at this time is the actual problem. So when people say the Republicans are bent on destroying America - which they are. They often fail to realize that the White House's position is not that much different. Albeit not as extreme; but, when you buy into the notion of cutting back in spending is a fix in the short-term, then I say you either don't know what you're talking about and you're ultimately losing. Obama has been set up to lose by the GOP, and I'm afraid he doesn't see this.
Maybe I'm just too idealistic...
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Because this is currently being spotlighted in Wisconsin, I can't say with good conscience say whether this is yet another agenda of Republicans. I can't say whether this is an exclusive Republican agenda because there are many Democrats tied to the Prison Industrial Complex. However, I would say that capitalism isn't partisan; and, given certain recent government proposals.... well, umm, you figure out the rest on your own 'cuz I'on feel like preaching.
Despite the controversy some critics take with the author's choice of vernacular or the lawsuit Ablene Cooper is bringing against Stockett, I tried walking into a pre-screening of this film with an open mind. A few weeks ago, my girl (and fellow cultural critic) April Scissors and I walked in all revved up and ready to analyze.
As we shift further into another era of popularity for the interracial narrative, I couldn't help but worry this would be yet another "white savior" film. You know what I'm talking about: a person of color (and their community) is portrayed as disparaging and desperate; enter: the white character. Through an intimate relationship, the white character is able to guide the other character(s) into the status quo (read: whiteness) thus saving them from what would otherwise be a horrible life. Right? You know, neo-colonialism. The reservations I had going into this screening were the exact sentiments I had before finally deciding to watch "The Blind Side."
Unfortunately, this film falls into this niche all the same. While "The Help" does very little to challenge the racial status quo of Hollywood, it does have its own shining moments. After all the success and Academy attention "The Blind Side" received, did you really think studio executives weren't going to run with it?
It probably didn't help I had already been in the mindset of exploring Black women in Hollywood and their relationship to the maid trope. Between re-reading the first few chapters of Donald Bogle's "Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies, and Bucks: An Interpretive History of Blacks in American Films" and catching the previews of Sanaa Lathan's performance in Lynn Nottage's "By The Way, Meet Vera Stark", I have been trying to understand America's obsession with the maid/domestic narrative. What is it about seeing a Black women continually play the maid that keeps the trope timelessly digestable? Regardless of time's passing, it has never gotten old. From Victor Fleming's "Gone With the Wind" to Jessie Nelson's "Corrina, Corrina" and now Tate Taylor's directorial debut with "The Help", we've gone through decades of familiar narratives being told on screen. So what makes "The Help" different?
I will say I appreciated the white leading character, Skeeter (Emma Stone), approaching the topic of cultural appropriation with sensitivity. There is a scene where Minnie (Octavia Spencer) is brought into the plan to share "the help's" stories. Minnie questions Skeeter's intentions and audiences have the potential to see a white character examining what her whiteness means and how it is operating. This does not mean this film had flawless scenes but one could at least see the racial consciousness that had been built within Skeeter by interacting and developing an intimate relationship with Aibileen (Viola Davis) and Minnie. Skeeter's development throughout the film force other white characters to reflect on the ways in which their actions reinforce white supremacy. There is a scene where one character shamefully admits to Skeeter that "courage sometimes skips a generation." The courage being referenced is the courage to stand up for your values even when they involve risks.
The thing I appreciated most about this film was its acknowledgment that without Black women, these white women would have been nothing. Black women nurtured the self-esteem of white children and allowed them to grow up with a stronger sense of confidence, a confidence that is often attributed to their biological parents. In several scenes, Aibileen is seen telling the child she cares for, "You is kind. You is smart. You is important." In a cultural moment where attacks are being made on Black mothers and imagery of the "welfare queen" continue permeating society, "The Help" highlights how white supremacy took/takes some Black women from their own children to tend to white children (or to work for ridiculous wages in an area far from home). It showed the negligence on the part of white families. To me, it put accountability into the hands of white folks; all the while, never blatantly using the buzz words people don't like to hear--racism and white supremacy.
Furthermore, films such as these illustrate the contradictions of white supremacy. In one scene, Hilly (Bryce Dallas Howard), the uptight, self-loathing trouble-maker, addresses "the help" as liars and thiefs. Oddly enough, the book Aibileen, Minnie and Skeeter are working on becomes a tell-all for all of the intimate lies the white women of Jackson, Mississippi tell regularly. The film attempts to reverse the gaze. While Hilly painted these Black women as untrustworthy, she was the one lying all along. Duh moment, right? However, her white skin gave her a legitimacy the Black characters were not afforded. White privilege.
This film will frustrate some; it will please others. It will frustrate some because they will ask why there aren't many movies where Black folks save the day, where Black folks save Black communities. It will please others because it is a familiar narrative, where the morality of white folks are restored and they don't have to feel entirely bad about themselves. This is what Hollywood does. It re-creates truth but it also creates illusions. The illusion being that white people can dismantle white supremacy by staying comfortable. The work of anti-racism and decolonizing the mind is rarely, if ever, comfortable.
Ultimately, I hope this film will inspire [white] folks to self-reflect--not only about the historical significance of this film, but in acknowledging that racial tensions still prevail in our society. Oftentimes, I find myself saying we are in the Brown v. Board era of cinema. By that I mean, just because nine Black people were allowed into the school that is Hollywood, it doesn't mean we don't have work to do.
What's your take? Is there any helping "The Help"? See for yourself. Tate Taylor's "The Help" is out August 12th, 2011.
Johnathan Fields is a graduate student at DePaul University in Media & Cinema Studies. With a bachelors degree in African & Black Diaspora Studies and Philosophy, his areas of interest include: media representations of race, gender, and sexuality in popular culture, Black feminist theory, Diasporic literature and critical race theory. He is also the latest addition to this site's family of contributors. For more information, visit www.adventuresofaboxcutter.com
Friday, July 8, 2011
Of course this little-talked-about Black history nugget can only be found in a social-conservative pledge, otherwise known as, “The Marriage Vow – A Declaration of Dependence upon Marriage and Family”. You know, some form of Christian conservative gibberish, which stresses family values, like the following:
Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President. (source)Now I have to be careful here, these are not the words of Michele Bachmann. These are the words from a pledge she has signed, being pushed by Conservative kingmaker, Bob Vander Plaats and his cult, The Family Leader. See I had to cheek and be sure she didn't say or write those words, because I was prepared to call her a racist conservative cunt, had she said those words. You know me,; the c-word ain't my thing; that's my man Eddie Blue-Eyes who is responsible for The Friday Sex Blog you guys love.
I know, calling her racist is pretty extreme; and yes, it is unwarranted because I don't really know if she's really racist. However, she is endorsing and promoting this pledge as a show of support for her "family values" themed campaign, so yeah, she is a cunt. And fuck it, she's a Tea Party darling, so by proxy she's racist.
OK, so using the c-word is a bit out character for me on this site, and also in real life. Honestly, I haven't used that word since I was probably 14-years-old. But the truth is, I'm really tired of these right-wing idiots and their use of the ugly legacy of slavery in relation to the president Obama the great oppressor, scare tactic.
You know, all the talk of this new and extra heinously savage form of slavery, that has been inflicted on white folks since the president took office? Yes, it is this most disrespectful insult to my intelligence (and ancestors) that pisses me off; certainly, this is insulting to others as well; you know, Negroes who think and reaf?
I don't care that you believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman as some guy who I've never seen says it should be. And I don't care that you are of the opinion that children - all children - are better off in two parent family homes. We can have a debate over just that if you like. However, don't piss on my head and tell me it's rain; do you to think we're that dumb.
Nothing about slavery was better than it is now for Black folks; bitch please!
Don't force feed me your "see we love and are concerned about the Black family," garbage. You know, like the sudden concern these idiots have for unborn Black babies? Where was all this "White Christian "love" for unborn Black babies and children back in 1860 and years prior?
Funny how White folks who were (and always will be) always at an advantage in times of slavery, are now suddenly the voice of the downtrodden and oppressed. Funny how I don't see uber-rich Bachmann and her homophobic husband adopting any Black babies. Funny how they're concerned, now that the son of one of the "Kenyan niggers who got away," is the most powerful man in the world, as president of these United States of America
If anything, single parent home or not, Barack Obama's presidency instills a new-found sense of pride, and motivation for Black children. After all, he himself was raised in a single-parent home. But then again, maybe that's the thing right-winbg nutjobs like Bachmann fear. That is, more Black kids having the audacity to rise above the absurdity that is American slave narrative and succeed in ways never before imagined. You know, true freedom?
At first glance, this woman looks harmless. Something like a really cool grandmother, or perhaps a teacher. However, Dr. Beverly Hall, former Superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools is in waist deep shit with the release of the Governor's Office for Student Achievement investigation regarding cheating on Criterion Reform Competency standardized tests in 2009.
The office used a simple assessment. They scanned all the competency tests to view the number of erasures on answers that went from wrong to right. They found out that several public school systems, including the state's largest, Atlanta Public Schools, as having a high number of erasures. These erasures imply that answers were removed and the correct answer replaced. By whom is the million dollar question, but also suggest that adults rather than students having an epiphany of testing intelligence to go back and fix numerous wrong answers.
would fail me
against the flowers and the laughter
that were your forward troops,
the outstretched heart
of your army?
You are attracted to mutual sexual energy. Yes, it is true that you love your friends and family as well as your lover. But the unique aspect of intimate relationship is not love; its uniqueness is due to the attraction of the polarity between the masculine and the feminine -- the yin and yang of sexual attraction.
Every man and woman embodies both masculine and feminine energies, although each individual’s proportion is unique. This proportion determines your sexual gifts. It also influences whom you will find sexually attractive and who will be attracted to you.
Let’s try this for a minute: If you had to choose, would you prefer sex with someone who is radiantly alive, fresh and juicy, longing to surrender to your loving -- or with someone of deep integrity who sees through to your heart and wants to take you with confidence, passion, and total presence?
If you have more masculine sexual essence, then you will be attracted to a more feminine lover. By feminine essence what I mean to describe is the feeling of light, which feels as love and shines as all life. A feminine lover will splay open as radiance, full of life-force, yearning to open as love and receive your deep love. A feminine lover’s smile can literally light up your life and inspire your heart. Most women and some men have a more feminine sexual essence. (And please: having a more feminine sexual essence has nothing to do with juvenile notions of manhood, or a lack thereof.)
If your sexual essence is more feminine, then you will be attracted to a more masculine lover. By masculine here I mean to describe the quality of consciousness. In this context consciousness is manifested as a deep and penetrating presence/ awareness. A masculine lover will take you and ravish you with deep and intense loving. A masculine lover can crack you open and expose the heart of a moment with humor.