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Monthly Archives: September 2008

Just Believe…

Like most Americans I get my life lesson and advice from popular culture. This past Sunday, I was watching “The Wiz” and I was struck by the realness of the message. So please indulge me for a bit as I talk a little bit about what I learn from “The Wiz”.

Most people are familiar with the story of “The Wiz”, the African-American version of the beloved classic American film “The Wizard of Oz”. “The Wiz” was first produced on Broadway in 1975. The 1970’s was the height of the Black Power Movement, “Black is Beautiful” and everybody (that was hip) was rocking the Afro.  Blacks were nappy and happy! A time when even Michael Jackson rocked the dark skin and fro. As African-Americans / Blacks (or whatever was the politically correct term at that time) begun to embraced their blackness the only logical thing to do was to throw some “blackness” on a white classic. Of course, this is the antithesis of Afro centrism. Why redo a “white” American classic when you can just do a completely original Black show? I guess Broadway and Hollywood wasn’t ready for “Medea’s Family Reunion” or “Medea goes to Jail” in 1975. Back to the point, “The Wiz” was highly successful on Broadway, winning two Tony awards. It brought a little uptown Harlem flair to the downtown audiences. Allowing the upper crest of white America to be entertained by an all black cast that they would never associate with in public unless to prove there liberalism. While the film was a favorite in the black community, it wasn’t as commercially successful as it staged counterpart or the original “Wizard of Oz”.

My Quick Synopsis: Dorothy and her dog Todo gets lost. Ends up far away from her Harlem home. Kills a witch and get some fly silver shoes. Goes to find the Wiz for help going home. Along the way she picks up some friends who are lacking/ looking for something as well. Tin man needs a heart, the Scarecrow needs a brain, and the Lion needs Courage. The foursome journey on the yellow brick road to see the Wiz and get their wishes granted. After some difficulties getting to the Emerald City, they met the Wiz. He sends them on a near impossible assignment, they succeed. Come back; figure out that Wiz is a fake! Disappointed, because how are they going to get their wishes granted now?

 

This is where the lesson/ sermon come into play. Dorothy shows her friends that they have always had what they have been looking for inside themselves.

While Dorothy did such a good job explaining to her friends the beauty they had within them, she failed to realize the power she had inside of her. “If You Believe” performed by Glinda the good witch reminded her that “No one can change the path that you must go, believe what you feel, know that you are right because the time will come around when you say it’s yours. Believe in yourself right from the start, Believe in the magic that’s in your heart”. 

As I was watching the film on Sunday those words really resonated in my soul, yes I have a soul. I was spending too much time trying to convince people of the plan, mostly because I wasn’t totally convinced myself. There are times when you have to stop doing things just because it’s what’s expected and follow whatever dreams that’s in your heart. If God/ The Supreme Deity/ Allah/ Buddah/ Oprah /whoever planted it inside you, it’s there for a reason so until we really believe we can achieve our dreams it will never manifest itself into being. It’s easily to forget how much confidence and just having faith can contribute to success. I can get anyone I want, not because I am so attractive (but I am), intelligent (I’m the smartest person I know), charming (have you seen my smile) or funny (I am occasionally) but because I am so confident I can pull most anyone.  When I approach someone it’s already ingrained in my head that they want me bad, the belief is so strong they believe it too! Don’t believe me? As you read this you are having an incredible urge to call me and express your undying love and adoration for me. It’s ok, you don’t have to call. I already know! My task now is to use this same confidence and belief in myself I use in my pimp game to achieve my dreams and ultimately success as I define it.

 

And that was just from “When you believe”, I have about another 13 pages on how “Home” impacted my vision for the future and for myself. But I won’t bore you with that. 

I can barely remember the sermon the pastor preached on Sunday, but the message that I am applying to my life this week is coming from “The Wiz”.

So Tabians, Ease on down the road and don’t you carry anything that might be a load, don’t let nobody bring you no bad news and just believe in yourself, you are a lion the greatest one of them all (next to me).

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Posted by on September 23, 2008 in Musicals, Rants

 

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Election Confession

I have a confession to make. I have never voted and I don’t have this overwhelming desire to vote. This might be the politically incorrect sentiment to have but its how I feel. The last time I remember voting for anything was homecoming election 2006 and I can’t even tell you who I voted for then. I can assure you it was somebody black and that they didn’t win. Before you judge and tell me how people fought and died for my right to vote.  Let me first explain how I have tried to vote.

Election 2004, was the first election that the majority of my friends were allowed to vote in. Unfortunately due to the fact that I was a young buck I had yet to meet the required age to vote. That didn’t stop me from participating in all the get out the vote rallies, mostly because they gave away free food and those cool “November 2” shirts in fun colors. I even volunteered to campaign for a candidate. I worked in a 4 hour shifts delivering upside down M stickers and posters to people in Tallahassee who were registered with the party that this candidate was affiliated with. I attended Black Student Union events while wearing the upside down M shirt. Whenever I was approached about why I was campaigning for this particular candidate, I assured my fellow African-Americans that I wasn’t of age to vote so it didn’t really  matter who I was campaigning for. I wasn’t voting for him, or anyone else for that matter. This spared me some of the “traitor to your race” speeches.  It felt good to be part of a national campaign even if I was one of 2 African-Americans I saw at the Florida campaign headquarters, and the fact that this political party paid $50 for 4 hour shifts of delivering merchandise to already hyped supporters made the feeling even better. I remember visiting one particular house and the family was so grateful that there was young people helping to get this particular candidate elected they formed a prayer circle and we prayed. Hey, I’m never going to say no to a good prayer, I need all the prayer I can get. Well, fortunately or unfortunately for some this candidate managed to win the presidential election.  I went to a couple of the events for young people in this political party but didn’t really do much after.

I finally got around to registering to vote around Sept 2006. I needed a replacement license and the guy at the counter asked me was I registered. It seem as good as time as any to register, when I registered I used my permanent/ parents address. I do plan on living with them, when I finish school. They happen to be the best roommates I ever had and I don’t have to pay rent. Yes sir, I will be that 55 year old living with the folks, bringing dates into my childhood room and even vacationing with them.  My dad sent me my voter registration card but I never got it. Dan US mail. I asked for an absentee ballot since I was still in Tallahassee to vote in the Governor election. Never got it.  Didn’t stress it, the candidate I was going to vote for won anyway.  When I finally moved back to Palm Beach (Did I mention the roommates/parents  also buy grocery and cook) I never put in the effort to get a new voter registration card or pay enough attention to home town politics to be incited to vote in the city election.

Fast forward to 2008 and the primary election hype, by this time I had temporarily left my parents abode to continue my education in the city of Philadelphia. I was still registered to vote at my parent’s house in West Palm Beach (I’ll be back soon mommy and daddy).  Florida never does anything the easy way and decided to move up their primary election to play a more prominent role in the nation primary season. This moved was not approved by the Republican or Democratic National parties and Florida delegates were taken away as a punishment. People half heartedly campaign in Florida. The Republicans ended up giving Fl half of their delegates, but the controversy regarding the delegates gave me an excuse why I didn’t request an absentee ballot. My vote wasn’t going to count. Plus it was just a primary.

I lived in Pennsylvania, a state that became a huge battleground state for the Democratic Party. I could have registered to vote here and switch party affiliation to be a part of “history”, but truthfully I had no interest in being consider a resident of the state of Pennsylvania and was not yet ready stop being Floridian. 

I am interested in politics, yet I’m indifferent to the candidates. I watch all the news shows, read the articles and learn all I can about the election. Yet, I wasn’t and haven’t been moved to support any particular candidate. I am watching the political race like it’s a reality show, “Who want to be President of the United States of America” grand prize an all expense paid trip to the White House, your choice of sexy interns, and access to Air Force 1.  I think my friends are annoyed about how entertained I am yet, emotionally unattached to this race. My friend who lives in Atlanta, pledge Delta and major in business who shall remain unnamed refuses to engage in any political conversation with me that don’t involve which candidate we want to have sex with. My lack of enthusiasm for the election is in direct contrast to this fashionable support of Obama, The shirts, pins and music videos. I think I am going to start a line of Obama condoms “I HOPE this chick don’t get pregnant”  or “Before you CHANGE the way that chick walks strap one of these on” or “Don’t use this and your life will be CHANGED in 9 months” as slogans. I am glad Hillary is out of the election, she is the only one I vehemently opposed. So I can just chill and watch the show. I mean how much difference is an Obama presidency versus a McCain Presidency. Don’t answer. I know that’s horrible, this position is the leader of the free World. It’s very important task with a lot of power. The person elected is the face of our country for four years. How dare I claim to be a student of history and a graduate student in African-American studies and not particular care who wins and actually say that they are both equal? Come on, Tab have some racial pride and support the first Black President. The economy is in the tank and all the Bush administration fault, right? It’s horrible that I know in years to come I’m going to have to lie about my support of Obama so I can seem down with the cause.

Indifference is a horrible thing, when you just don’t care it’s a lot harder for someone to convince you to support a candidate then when you have one you are passionate about. Honestly, I feel kind of jealous that I don’t have this urge to cry when Obama speaks or feel this pride that all my friends feel. Palin being a woman, who manages her family and still lives out her own ambitions doesn’t inspire me as a woman to believe I can do it all. McCain being old does make me excited about being young and wasting away my life, because if he can run for president at 72 I can wait until I am 35ish to actually start with my life plan. People are living crazy long! I am grateful to the many people who fought and sacrificed to give me the choice on whether or not I can exercise my right to vote. Being both black and a woman, voting is a right many people didn’t believe I deserved.

But don’t rule me out just yet. There is seven weeks left until the Presidential Election plenty enough time for me to gain passion. To get behind a candidate and truly feel a part of the democratic process, to feel a part of history. To not have to lie to my children about my role in this historic election. At the end of the day this is the ultimate reality show, this person will be a part of our nation’s story forever. At the end of the day there is no funny reunion show, no sequel or a spin off show. This is real life and it’s time for me to stop being entertained and become engaged in the political process.

What better election then this to cast my first vote?

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2008 in politics

 

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Anti-Social Behavior

One of the biggest misconceptions about me is that I’m a social butterfly. I assure you this isn’t true, just some lie put out by the left-wing media to paint me as approachable. True, the majority of the time I do have a smile on my face or I am laughing, but that’s mostly because I am making fun of people in my head or thinking something very inappropriate. This unfortunately has given me a reputation as being friendly.  Allow me to dispel this myth.

There is a wonderful piece of technology that allows me to keep my interaction with the public to a limit, while still remaining somewhat social. My blackberry. Through my blackberry I maintain contact via text messages, email, internet and most importantly the blackberry messaging to the world. I love the fact that I can respond or create emails will driving or wherever I am. Blackberry messaging allows me to share my love of making fun of the people I come in daily contact with to my friends. I can even send them pictures of the random “hot, ghetto mess” here in Philadelphia.

Lately is has become apparent that the blackberry has taken over my life. I am rapidly losing my ability to communicate with people face to face, it is so strange to interact with people who you primarily communicate through email or text messages actually speak. They have voices and all this body language, it can quite overwhelming. I barely even hear my friend’s voices, it’s always weird when they actually call me. I honestly can’t remember the last time Tamara called me or even if she has ever called me.

When friends actually are in my presence they have the tendency to become very disappointed with me. I am not as cute, charming or witty in person. Text messages allow me the opportunity to gather my thoughts and come up with a smart remark; it’s harder to do that in person when you are put on the spot. They expect me to laugh and be talkative; I barely use my voice anymore because all my communication is non-verbal (via the blackberry). Sometimes when I hear myself speaks its freaks me out, it has become such an unfamiliar sound.

The internet on my phone has also become a crutch; I get random urges to Google things during conversations. How many kids does Brad and Angelina have, what high school did Chad Johnson go to? These are important questions that need answers and through the blackberry they are only seconds away. I met a man at the club who claimed to be a football player, I had to excuse myself to the bathroom to Google him and make sure his story was accurate. How can one be a proper gold digger without a blackberry?

I check facebook and myspace 145 times a day, people status updates alert me to world events.  I have found that whenever I go to a club I end up with new facebook friends. The random people who jump in my pictures all want to be tagged, so why not just add them right there in the club. I have mastered the art of texting while dancing, cleaning, eating, driving, reading, kissing and basically everything else. I text message people even while I am in their presence, it’s easier to communicate that way. There are some things easier said via text. Plus it’s a great way to share private jokes without making the butt of the joke feel uncomfortable.

I try not to discriminate but it is hard for me to even think of letting a non-blackberry user become my friend or even date me. How are we suppose to develop a healthy relationship if I can’t use blackberry messenger to see if you have read my text messages? These non-blackberry users always feel disrespected on dates when I pay more attention to my phone. A blackberry user would know that I can handle multiple tasks on my phone while engaging in a conversation with them. Also, if I am using my blackberry a considerable amount of time when I am with you, it says more about you being uninteresting then about me being rude.

The first thing I reach for in the morning is my blackberry, I have to check the messages that I missed because my dumb body needed rest. As I try and focus on my morning devotionals, in the back of my mind all I am thinking of is my blackberry. It’s compromising my devotion to baby Jesus.  I’m considering texting my prayers to him, I sound more sincere through writing.  I am proud to say that the one place that I never take my blackberry is church; I can’t even place that type of temptation in front of me. The Devil is a liar.

My blackberry has become my refuge in uncomfortable social situations, I may not know anyone in a new environment but I can always count on my blackberry messenger friends to be there for me, for them to care about my every move (JG) and talk me through these unfamiliar social settings. I spent the first 45 minutes of watching the FSU game with the Seminole Alumni Association pried to my cell phone. It had been a while since I have been around so many preppy white people, I had to readjust myself. As more of my friends get blackberrys I see the problem getting bigger. I’m about to invest in a heating pad for my hand due to the carpo tundra syndrome I am sure I am developing.

One of my favorite pastimes has become blackberry TV watching. When you live alone you want to share some of the ridiculousness that is on TV today with others, but it’s frustrating trying to watch TV and talk on the phone with friends.  Depending on what television show it is I communicate via the blackberry and text messages with 3-15 people through the course of the show. I like knowing what my friends are thinking about the show. By the end of the night my texting hand is exhausted. After faithfully watching Nancy Grace for months now and listening to her brilliant insights Tamara and I have almost found little Caylee Anthony.

I wrestled with the question; Do I really have a blackberry addiction? On the surface it appears that I might, but after taking a closer look under the surface I know the true issue. I just don’t like being in the presence of people.  Sadly, we must communicate with people in order to survive. I am using my blackberry as a coping mechanism for my social apathy disorder. The first step is admitting there is a problem, right. I admit it. I am anti-social living my life through my blackberry. Sad, I know so I am adopting several ways to fix this problem.

 

1.       No adding facebook friends in the club.

2.       When I am in a new environment, I will reach out and make new friends. No depending on my blackberry messaging friends to get me through.

3.       Call at least 2 people a week that our primary means of communication is blackberry messaging or text messaging. So that we can become comfortable with each other voices

4.       Set the blackberry to go off from 12-8 am. Less temptation.  I used to turn off my phone freshman year of college after 10:30 because no one needed to speak to me that late unless they wanted me to engage in fornication.

5.       Limit active blackberry messaging conversations to 4 at a time.

6.       Make a new friend who doesn’t have a blackberry each week.

7.       Wait at least 20 minutes into the first date to decide if the person is interesting enough to pause my blackberry usage.

 

I understand this is not going to be an easy situation to fix. I am counting on the support from the Tabians as I journey into this world with part time blackberry usage.  Sometimes even Great ones like myself have weakness, as great as I am (compared to you), I am only Just Tab!

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2008 in Learning bout Tab!, Randomness

 

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