Quiet Moments.

It’s a nice, quiet morning…I wake up to birdsong before it is light out. An as-yet unidentified bird with a “cheer-up, cheer-up, cheer-up” warble sang loudly for an hour, then moved on. Next, the little dark-eyed junco sat in a bush near the living-room window…I could hear his distinctive “tweeee,” but didn’t see where he was perched. The towhees and flickers will be moving about in an hour or so; the crows and gulls have been noisy since the crack of dawn, and the doves do what they do when they feel like it.
I sit sipping coffee, letting my thoughts wander. Wondering how on earth does a man suffer a severe, traumatic spinal injury in the back of a police van, dying from it a week later? Wondering why the ‘gender reassignment’ of a former athlete from the 1970s is more newsworthy than the ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico, five years after BP destroyed the area with their arrogance and greed. Wondering how people can rationalize Black men and women being killed by police on a weekly basis. Wondering why some worthless slag’s lack of clothing at Coachella is more important than over 200 young girls, who have been gone from their families and loved ones for 372 days.
*SIGH* It’s a bit much, to be certain. For all of the beauty this life has to offer, there is much ugliness as well. I do my best to focus on the good…but turning a blind eye to the bad isn’t the answer, either. Take a break from it when needed, then return to the fray. It’s what warriors do. Tend our wounds, mend our armour, repair and replace our gear, then charge back in. For now, some soothing music…

370 Days.

On 14 April, 2014, approximately 270 girl were kidnapped from a school in Chibok, Nigera by the terrorist group Boko Haram. Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai penned a heartfelt letter to the girls…if only they could see it and know that there are people who are doing everything in their limited power to bring them home. From the Huffington Post:

On the eve of the first anniversary of Boko Haram’s abduction of nearly 300 schoolgirls in Nigeria, Malala Yousafzai has published an open letter to the kidnapped girls, offering them words of “solidarity, love and hope.” “Like you, I was a target of militants who did not want girls to go to school,” the 17-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner wrote. Yousafzai was shot in the face by the Taliban in 2012 for championing the rights of girls to go to school in Pakistan. On April 14, 2014, Boko Haram abducted more than 270 girls from a school in Chibok, Nigeria. Soon after, more than 50 of them managed to escape, but it’s believed the others remain captive. Reports have emerged of the kidnapped girls being tortured, raped, forced to convert to Islam, and being married off to members of Boko Haram. In her letter, published on Monday, a day before the one-year mark since the mass abduction, Yousafzai criticized the Nigerian government and the international community for not doing “enough to help” the captured girls.

She is correct – not enough is being done, and I would like to know why. The missing Malaysian airliner still gets more press coverage than 200 living, breathing, suffering human beings.

The American hostages in Iran, back in 1979, were held for a total of 444 days – but they were adults. Yes, they were subjected to psychological trauma…there is no question about that. However, any women who were captured during that time were released fairly quickly, as were the non-white individuals – so the hostage-taking back than was a completely different situation than the ordeal that these young girls are being forced to endure.

I am going to do what newsman Walter Cronkite did back then: start counting the days until they are returned. It’s all I can do at the moment…keep the awareness and some small hope alive.

…and so it goes…again.

Again, and again, and again…more names added to the roster of those unjustly injured and / or killed by the police.  Eric Harris was shot and killed by some “buy-to-play” wannabe former cop in Tusla, Oklahoma. This cretinous arsehole supposedly mistook his own lethal firearm for his Taser, firing a shot into Mr. Harris, who died later. Oops. Yeah, right…I believe that he was ‘mistaken’ about the two guns about as much as I believe that Bill O’Reilly is a sensible individual. In Phoenix, Arizona, a man by the name of Mario Valencia was viciously slammed from behind – by a police car going approximately 40 miles per hour. The supposed justification was due to the fact that Mr. Valencia had fired a stolen rifle into the air, and footage also shows him pointing the gun at himself, under his jaw. I guess the claim will be that “oh, he wanted to commit ‘suicide by cop,’ so he must have deserved to be slammed into a brick wall by a fast-moving vehicle.” I disagree with that, personally…for that matter, how many supposed suicides have been written off with that excuse? Not as many as the common “I had to shoot because he was reaching for (insert police object here) and I was in fear for my life,” but I’m certain that plenty of those supposed ‘suicides’ were suspicious, at best. Another man has also been shot dead in Houston, Texas – few details are available as I write this; we shall see what is revealed over the next few days.
Amidst all of this, I’m reminded of Christopher Dorner. Remember him? Do you remember what he did, and why? I still find it fascinating that he was killed after the week-long manhunt, during which he himself took three lives. Still – wasn’t that fewer lives than the sniper in Pennsylvania took? How many people were killed in that theatre in Colorado…yet, that murderer is still alive. Christopher Dorner knew about shady police dealings and tired of them, so he tried to reveal them…in doing so, his word and name were destroyed by the department he served for years. At that point, he had nothing left to lose. He wasn’t a hero because he killed people, he was a hero because he tried to expose the very things that are now coming to light in police departments across the country. From small towns to big cites, all departments have much to answer for. We all want answers – stop the cover-ups and the bullshit.
Finally, I wanted to close with a link to an excellent article. It illustrates perfectly why I refuse to engage in discussions about race with whites…I’m not obligated to teach anybody a damn thing about how I care for my skin and hair, or why the lines in the palms of my hands are visible, while those on the palms of white hands are nearly impossible to see. I won’t engage in endless discussions about skewed statistics, genetics, childbirth rates, or relationships. “Teachable moments” are only possible when one chooses to open one’s mind and start learning. Period.

R.I.P., Percy Sledge

Percy Sledge: 25 November 1941 – 14 April 2015

Percy Sledge, singer of the hit song “When a Man Loves a Woman,” has passed away at the age of 74 after a year-long battle with cancer. From the Huffington Post:

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Percy Sledge, who soared from part-time singer and hospital orderly to lasting fame with his aching, forlorn performance on the classic “When a Man Loves a Woman,” died Tuesday in Louisiana. He was 74.

Dr. William “Beau” Clark, coroner for East Baton Rouge Parish, confirmed to The Associated Press that Sledge died about an hour after midnight of natural causes in hospice care.

His family later said in a statement released through his manager, Mark Lyman, that he died “peacefully” at his home in Baton Rouge after a yearlong struggle with cancer. The cause of death was liver failure, Lyman said.

A No. 1 hit in 1966, “When a Man Loves a Woman” was Sledge’s debut single, an almost unbearably heartfelt ballad with a resonance he never approached again. Few singers could have. Its mood set by a mournful organ and dirge-like tempo, “When a Man Loves a Woman” was for many the definitive soul ballad, a testament of blinding, all-consuming love haunted by fear and graced by overwhelming emotion.

The song was a personal triumph for Sledge, who seemed on the verge of sobbing throughout the production, and a breakthrough for Southern soul. It was the first No. 1 hit from Alabama’s burgeoning Muscle Shoals music scene, where Aretha Franklin and the Rolling Stones among others would record, and the first gold record for Atlantic Records.

This is one of the best songs ever recorded, and the vocals of the legendary, talented man singing it are perfection. Rest in peace, good sir…another giant joins the ages.
Percy Sledge: “When a Man Loves a Woman

Short post…

Ye gawds…again, and again, and again…another unarmed Black man shot down like a dog in the street. Another unarmed Black man shot in the back multiple times by a white murderer with a license to kill. Another individual reduced to another lifeless form in another U.S. city: 50-year-old Walter Scott was shot down by 33-year-old Michael T. Slager, a police officer in North Charleston, South Carolina.
I’m so fucking sick of it all…sick of the lies told to justify the unjustifiable. Sick of the media outlets that feel the need to dehumanize a dead man by reporting, “he had X number of arrests against him – so he must have had it coming!” Sick of the racists who support hate. I’m just tired of it all.
Yesterday, 7 April, marked the anniversaries of two notable events: the birth anniversary of Billie “Lady Day” Holiday (nee Eleanora Fagan, 1915), who passed away 17 July, 1959. Her talent was legendary, but as happens with many of we sensitive, creative persons, she ended up being used and abused by many. Her song, “Strange Fruit,” encapsulates just one of the many horrors that were prevalent during her time on this planet…sadly, those same horrors still exist today. It never ceases to amaze me; the vile and horrid acts we so-called ‘civilized beings’ perpetrate on one another. 7 April also marked the 21st anniversary of the Rwanda Genocide. in 1994, over 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were massacred by members of the Hutu majority, over the span of 100 days. I still recall the graphic pictures that were slowly revealed on local stations…and they only reflected a small portion of this atrocity, which is rarely spoken of. The Jewish Holocaust and the murders in Tianamen Square, on the other hand, are never forgotten. Again, the media is selective in coverage! For example, the song “Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young was about the Kent State shootings on 4th May, 1970. So many more have died in the past 30 days! Where are the musical activists now? Potent and powerful songs have been written to move many – positively and negatively, I will admit – still, musical protests and tributes have been effective in the past…why not now? I know; songs and protests aren’t enough…nothing will change until widespread, systematic changes are made from the ground up. Addressing and correcting the bullshit policies that have been in place since the inception of this country. Deconstructing every foul machination that has been used to demean, dehumanize, and degrade human beings everywhere. It is possible…it really is…it’s just going to be an ugly process.

#BlackGirlsRock & Baseball!!!

I might offend some with this, but when have I ever let that stop me from doing or saying something, especially when it’s something positive? Answer: NEVER! With that, I add my voice to the shout that is echoing louder and louder with each passing day… BLACK GIRLS ROCK!!!”
Gawddamn right and FAWK YEAH we do!!! I bought T-shirts reflecting this sentiment for myself, my sisters, and my niece…daily affirmations are a good thing. Also, Saturday, 4th April, marked the birth anniversary of Dr. Maya Angelou. I’m certain she was beaming down on everyone last night!
Of course, there has been the expected backlash from the insecure and self-absorbed who whinge and moan about not being in the limelight for the equivalent of 15 minutes. White women and the legions of men who adore them – and they span the colour-charts, mind you – are up in arms over this celebration of self-affirmation, self-worth, and reclamation of self-esteem based on our own rules, not those which have been thrust upon us by those who are “blinded by the white.” I equate those juvenile responses and behaviour to that of a greedy child who, upon attending another’s birthday party, screeches loudly about the gifts that the celebrant is receiving. Rather than be happy for the other’s day in the sun, they feel the need to bring the desired attention back to themselves – they are the ‘Eric Cartmans’ of the world, to put it bluntly!
I am putting my own colourism aside for the moment and celebrating all of us, from the light-bright ‘Café-au-lait’ to the deep Mahogany and Ebony hues. I, myself, am ‘Cinnamon’ in the winter, darkening to ‘Nutmeg’ in the Summer…I’m spicy! I would say that I’m a ‘Bronzed Bombshell’ all year-round, and my happy hubby would attest to this!   :D
To my golden-skinned mother and niece, and to my ‘chocolate-drop’ sisters, and to all of us around the world…repeat after me…
BLACK GIRLS ROCK!!!!!
Finally, today is the official Opening Day of baseball – I’m ecstatic! First pitch for my Seattle Mariners is at 1:10 p.m. PDT (21:10 GMT) at Safeco Field in Seattle, WA. It is a pretty stadium, no doubt…but I still have fond memories of the Kingdome, which fell on 26 March, 2000. I still have a chunk of concrete from it!

Photo credit: Seattle Post-Intelligencer

With that, I’ll close with the classic song / video celebrating baseball, and some great Seattle Mariners advertisements…enjoy!

Seattle Mariners: “Kyle Seager – Hawt Corner

Seattle Mariners: “Fernando Rodney – Where Does His Arrow Go?”

John Fogerty : “Centerfield

Black Lives Do Not Matter To American Mainstream Media – 147 College Students Killed In Kenya

sepultura13:

Some atrocities get ignored, for some reason…media sources have been focused on the downed airliner, but that is old news. The following is a horrific incident that has gone under the radar of nearly everyone…myself included. Val’s site, along with The Field Negro, were the only blogs I read that acknowledged this tragedy. Al-Jazeera America and NRK are the only news sites that have covered this incident since it occurred.

Originally posted on Commentary by Valentina:

If 147 White college students had been murdered by terrorists anywhere in the world the mainstream media in the U.S. would treat that as breaking news and continue to cover that story for weeks on end.

There would be interviews with witnesses. There would be interviews with the families of the victims. Network anchors would fly to the location of the attack. Network newsmagazines such as ABC’s 20/20 and NBC’s Dateline would cover it.

But, when 147 Black college students at Garissa University in Kenya are murdered by terrorists (on 4/2/15) that story is barely covered. Black lives certainly don’t matter to American mainstream news outlets.

Read about the attack here

View original

Thursday Thoughts…

 

The weekend draws near and I have some things on my mind…so I’ll pull them out and put them on the table! First off, there was a much-anticipated announcement regarding The Daily Show, and who would be replacing Jon Stewart, after he announced not long ago that he would be stepping down after hosting the show for over 15 years. That person is Trevor Noah, a comedian and talk show host from South Africa. From the Huffington Post:
The Daily Show finally has its new host: Trevor Noah. Noah, a South African comedian and one of the newest “Daily Show” correspondents, was mentioned Friday as the front-runner to replace Jon Stewart on the Comedy Central show. On Monday, The New York Times reported that Noah would officially take over hosting. Since Stewart announced in February that he’d be stepping down from the show after hosting for over 15 years, a handful of possible replacements have been considered. Lists of the potential next host have included Jason Jones, Samantha Bee, Tina Fey and Jessica Williams, who said she was under-qualified for the position.”

I’m pleased as hell over the announcement, personally – but I appear to be one of few, if the comment sections of every online article about it are to be believed! Knee-jerk reactionaries are already claiming that this is the “death of the Daily Show,” which is friggin’ ridonkulous…I personally, never watched the Daily Show when Craig Kilborn hosted it, so I have no idea what shoes Jon Stewart had to fill. Still, people gave him a chance and the show continued…so, why such an outcry now? Yeah, I know the reason…just wanted to make certain you’re paying attention. We all know that people are up in arms because they think their precious late-night programs are getting too “ethnic,” hence the shitty comments made by others about how Larry Wilmore’s show is an “epic failure” just because he isn’t Stephen Colbert. Well, I liked Colbert’s show and can’t wait to see what he does when he takes over the helm from David Letterman. I am also enjoying Larry’s show immensely, and think that his approach is refreshingly different. It’s a shame that he only accepts questions from the Twitterpated Tumblrs and Mumblrs who ‘swipe left’ at everything that isn’t about a Kar-trash-ian or some random white slag, but I don’t need to ask anything…I’ll continue to watch.

Next, Serena Williams is the first Black female athlete to grace the cover of Vogue magazine. From Good Black News:

Game, set, Vogue!

Serena Williams is the first black female athlete to land a solo cover of Vogue, and the tennis pro looks absolutely breathtaking (she last fronted the magazine for the June 2012 issue alongside Ryan Lochte and Hope Solo). Serena sports long natural curls and a slim-fitting blue sheath dress on the cover, finishing her look with minimal makeup and a simple tennis bracelet (natch). Famed photographer Annie Leibovitz shot the stunning spread, which also features tennis star (not to mention Serena’s best friend and top competitor) Caroline Wozniacki.

The tennis maven joins Lupita Nyong’oBeyoncéRihanna and Michelle Obama as high-powered black women to front Vogue in recent years. (One other black athlete has graced the magazine’s cover: LeBron James shared the April 2008 Shape issue with Gisele Bündchen for what became a much-debated spread.)”

I’ve admired the Williams sisters from the first day they exploded onto the tennis courts, and I wish I could afford to hire their trainer! The dress that Serena is wearing in the article is dynamite – I love that shade of red…it wouldn’t look bad on me, either! I was glad to read this article, especially after there were *CRICKETS* when some hateful, racist arsehole in the International Tennis Federation made some disgusting statements about Serena and Venus back in October of last year. Only Martina Navratilova had the guts to say something about the prick! From BBC Sport:

Martina Navratilova has criticised the “silence” of the International Tennis Federation after comments from one of its members about the Williams sisters. Russian Tennis Federation president Shamil Tarpischev described world number one Serena Williams and older sister Venus as “brothers”. The Women’s Tennis Association banned him for a year and fined him £15,500 but Navratilova wants ITF action. “The silence from the ITF has been pretty deafening,” Navratilova said.”

The silence from other, “pro-Black” blogs has been deafening as well…go figure.

Lupita Nyong’o will grace the cover of the May edition of Harper’s Bazaar UK, and I think it’s marvelous. I am pleased as hell to see more women that I can relate to on magazine covers, and there should be even more! We ‘Dark Girls’ have been shoved aside for too gawddamned long…guess what? We are beautiful, too. We don’t need to be pasty or pale to shine!
You wonder why I have “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” picture at the beginning of this post? It’s simple: the articles I listed are very good. The bad are the reactions and responses by hate-filled people who simply cannot accept that others don’t care to live in their shallow little worlds. The ugly is their hatred. Those people need to follow the advice in the closing picture, below. Heed it well!
Last, but certainly not least – today is the birthday of the incomparable Barrett Eugene “Barry” Hansen, another Aries who is better known as crazed radio personality Dr. Demento! In honour of his 74th year on this little planet, enjoy these three songs that I heard on his show as a radio-obsessed child.
Ray Stevens: “The Streak
‘Weird Al’ Yankovic: “Another One Rides the Bus
The Pipkins: “Gimmie Dat Ding

Week In Review…

Another week nears its end; a new month draws nigh. Let’s take a look at some of the happy ‘news’ from the past week, shall we? Forgive the formatting errors, as well – I get in a rush at times, LOL

First, a white nazi terrorist deliberately smashed an aeroplane into the French side of the Alpine mountain range, killing all aboard. This heartless cretin locked the captain out of the cockpit and set the auto-pilot on ‘descend.’ According to various transcripts of the voice recorders, the pilot can be heard pounding frantically on the door whilst passengers scream in horror in the background. The nazi, meanwhile, breathes quietly and calmly during those final moments. It truly takes an unfeeling, callous bastard to do something like this! As expected, reports have handled this with kid gloves, posting a benign picture of a smiling young white guy sitting on a seawall near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The questions of “why?” and the desperate search to make sense of something senseless begin anew…the only person who can answer the “why” is dead. He chose to take a bunch of people out – it’s as simple as that. A suicidal individual dies alone. A homicidal maniac with megalomaniacal tendencies does what this guy did…and he thought it out beforehand. That’s the act of a sociopath – end of story.

‘March Madness’ is apparently in full swing…young athletes pound themselves ragged on basketball courts for nothing but applause, whilst gamblers, coaches, team owners, and EA Games make insane amounts of money. Modern-day enslavement that a majority of people happily engage in…I’m not one of them.

Speaking of sports, young sister Mo’ne Davis has shown exemplary class and grace in the face of some prick who decided to slur her on social media. Some fuckwad thought it was funny to call her a ‘slut.’ Really? A 13-year-old baseball pitcher is a ‘slut’ simply for being female? Wow. Reminds me of that Onion ‘article’ which labeled 8-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis a ‘cunt.’ Yes, how classy. People will call young girls horrible names, solely for having dark skin. On top of that, it seems that many people who get up in arms over non-issues like ‘Kimye’ are silent when Black women are insulted. I can’t find one blog that said anything about the insults heaped on Venus and Serena Williams. I’ve only found one that half-assedly acknowledged the latest racist insult hurled at Michelle Obama, as well as Raven-Symone’s subsequent shit-mouthing. Outrage will abound if someone dares to say anything negative about Jamie Foxx and Katie Holmes knockin’ boots, but it’s *CRICKETS* when we ‘Dark Girls’ draw unfavourable, untrue comparisons. I can’t say that I’m surprised that Mr. Foxx likes scrawny, pale toothpicks – he enjoyed dressing up as ‘Wanda’ far too often during his time on ‘In Living Color.’ His hatred of Black women has been apparent for some time! I guess having Tom Cruise’s sloppy seconds tastes like heaven to him…go figure.

College shenanigans continue – hate runs rampant. A noose was draped over the neck of the statue of James Meridith down in ‘Ole Miss.’ A Facebook page dedicated to the sexual exploitation of drunk, drugged women has been linked to yet another fraternity. Makes one wonder how any studies get done, what with all of the time spent partying and racially or sexually harassing your fellow students. Fills me with such a sense of confidence that these pricks will one day be running a corporation or running for office!

The brutality of cops against Black and brown people escalates: Martese Johnson was beaten last week after he was denied entry to an establishment. An older gentleman, Floyd Dent, was violently pulled from his car, Tasered, and struck in the head 16 times. A 57-year-old man, Sureshbhai Patel, visiting from the country of India, was hospitalized in February after being beaten by a former police officer in the state of Alabama. The suspicious death of a homeless man, 54-year-old Otis Byrd in Vicksburg, Mississippi should be called what it is – a lynching. “Strange Fruit,” indeed… *SIGH*

It is Ram Navami…so I will close with these three songs. Also, belated birthday wishes to the legendary Chaka Khan! Aries woman, birthday on 23rd March – you rock!
George Harrison: “My Sweet Lord
John Denver: “Looking for Space
Steve Winwood w/ Chaka Khan: “Higher Love

Aries Tuneage!

It’s 2015 and the sun is in my sign…so, enjoy these 15 songs that represent my life!
Pink Floyd: “Signs of Life
Sonny Charles & the Checkmates: “Black Pearl
Coldplay: “Talk
Missing Persons: “Words
The Moody Blues: “The Voice
Van Morrison: “Wild Night
Faith No More: “Epic
Gnarls Barkley “Crazy
The Cult: “Fire Woman
The Cult: “Sweet Soul Sister
Heart: “Dreamboat Annie
King’s X: “Over My Head
Pat Benatar: “Invincible
Boston: “Don’t Look Back
Dire Straits: “Lady Writer

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