Sunday, March 29, 2020

COVID-19: A nasty moment in time and people in the States have lost their evah-lovin' minds

No. Novel coronavirus (or "'Rona" as my folks have taken to calling it on social media) has not hit me. Truthfully, I am not obsessing over it. I am aware of it just like any other gross pathogen out there. Its quick spread has shown me just how filthy people's personal hygience habits are. Let's face it. All though history, contagion has latched onto mankind because mankind has been a rather cruddy lot. Now, I see plagues spreading due to less-than-ideal living conditions. I acknowledge that. The concept of cleaning with clean water and some kind of soap hadn't clicked in the brains of certain civilizations. Hell, regular bathing period. Then add in contagion-carrying critters running around...Well, you get my drift.

But in modern day, one would think mass blanketing of the globe with deadly infections would have been irradicated once simple hygiene and the undertaking of pre-cautions were introduced.

But no.

Covid-19 is not a pandemic - Imgflip

In the States at least, the masses' dependence and blind faith, over the decades, on pharmaceuticals to SOLVE everything has led to, IN MY CONCLUSION, to the lack of caring about whether one "catches" something or not. "Cuz there is a "pill" for it. Or a "shot" for it. Or a "cream" for it." Thank you, but I'll pass on all of the aforementioned "cures," if washing my hands and heeding how I conduct myself spares me.

"How I conduct myself?" she said. Yeah. It's called responsibilty.Now, I'm not talking about people who are immuno-suppressed due to real medical problems. Examples: asthma, organ transplant patients, people on meds for heart conditions, dialysis patients, etc. I'm talking about immuno-suppression due to crappy personal habits: excessive drinking, smoking or drug-taking. Yes, dears. You are immuno-compromised if you do any of that. Do no think you are safe 'cuz you aren't afflicted with a medical condition or you are not a frail, sickly elderly person. Combine any of those habits with ignorance of hygiene guidelines in today's COVID-19 world and you are a sitting duck for big trouble. Go on. Ignore handwashing or social distancing or eating whole, real food and taking supplements to boost your immune system. Go on. If that bug latches onto you, it will set up shop in your weakened immune system and wreak havoc and possible death.

10 COVID-19 Memes that will Bring a Smile to Your Face ...

Now, the flip side of this "pandemic" is the 24/7, incessant news feeds about it. Americans have lost their effin' minds. Hoarding has become an extreme sport. "Certain" assholes have figured out they can build a hefty nest egg if they ride around buying up all the toilet paper, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and Lysol. I guess they are going to sell it out of their car trunks on street corners for ten times the original price. I hold the businesses guilty too. Why are they letting one person bogart an item?

Then we have a leader who cannot read a teleprompter without sounding like a 4th grader in a Xmas play,  who gives daily press conferences about nothing and promises everything. I suppose this is his new method of campaigning as cobbling together those rallies he usually does would violate the social distancing rule. We are rudder-less in a choppy sea.

Me? I stay calm. I take my beta carotene and garlic supplements, get adequate sleep, eat real food, limit watching the news and do the cheapeast thiing to kill 'Rona - WASH MY HANDS!

Though I will need toilet paper soon.

COVID-19 in Toilet Paper Meme - Truth or Fiction?

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Diane Nash - A little known figure in the Civil Rights Movement

Diane Nash was a founding member of SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee). She started her activist career when she attened Fisk University in Tennessee. While there, she,  along with NAACP leader Ella Baker, organized successful lunch counter sit-ins in downtown Nashville. Fueled by the triumph of the sit-ins, they moved on to set up Freedom Rides to integrate interstate bus companies in 1961

Image result for Diane Nash

She met and married the Rev. James Bevel, a fighter in the cause like her and they moved to Jackson, Mississippi to oversee Black voter registration and school desegregation. She became the liaison between SNCC and Rev. King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference and was on the front line during the march on the calamitous Edmund Petus Bridge (March 7, 1965) which became known as "Bloody Sunday" due to the violence unleashed by law enforcement that day on the marchers. Tensions were high as Blacks had come together and were not using the transit system to get around until it was integrated. That strike put a hole in the transit system's pocket. Defiant, those opposed to the wanted change, set a bus on fire to emphazise their displeasure but Nash kept the Freedom Rides going, undeterred by the perturbed or by then President Lyndon B. Johnson's advisors. They'd told her to cease and desist but she igged them. LOL. 

early and later James Bevel
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Image result for james bevel

She was had successes in civil rights agendas but not in her personal life. The Bevels divorced after 7 years and 2 children.. Still, they held to the cause separately. Diane did not re-marry; James went on the wed 3 more times, endured a messy, salacious family court case and passed at the age of 72 in 2008.

Now 81 years of age, Diane has persevered and holds to her beliefs.

Diane now
Image result for Diane Nash

She and James were depicted in the Ava Duvernay film "Selma" by actors Tessa Thompson and Common.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

The Fayetteville Murders of 1995, Black American History not spoken about and I'm back!

(Alert! The text background color went wonky at the end of this post. My apologies)

I've been remiss in my duties of late! It's Black History Month (Black as in the descendants of the originally enslaved in America, Naomi Campbell! No. It's not for everyone, dear.  Other ethnicities in the States celebrate their origins during other months. No need to give us shortshrift. The U. S. does fine on its own doing that without your help. I'm looking at you crazy).

Anyho, the month is half over. I've been busy and y'all really don't need another post about Rosa Parks or Harriet Tubman, do y'all? Let's venture in the sinister underbelly of the results of actions taken by irrational, inadequate, sad humans.

The Fayetteville Murders is one of those incidents, like the Tulsa Massacre, that Americans love to sweep under the rug and act shocked about when the details are uncovered. View the stupendous HBO series "WATCHMEN" to get a grip on the horror of that real, barbaric deed. Though the series was set in an alternate world, the event depicted in the opening episode was REAL.

But I digress.

The Fayetteville Murders, alittle known Black History fact, happened December 7, 1995. Three White soldiers, Norman Burmeister, Malcolm Wright and Randy Meadows, stationed at Ft. Bragg, who were part of the elite 82nd Airborne infantry unit, planned to go into town, get wasted and for extra fun menace Black people.

That fire water will fuel bad decisions everytime!

Anyhoo, the cretins came upon Michael James and Jackie Burden on the road and shot the Black couple for shits and giggles. A mess did ensue ending in a military investigation which exposed White Supremaciss deep in the armed forces. In the end, ywenty-two servicemen, connected to right-wing, racist groups, were drummed out of the service. The perps were brought to trial in '97. The main trigger man, Norman Burmeister, played "strong man" and never backed down from his beliefs. Wright apologized. Big Whoop. Both were charged with 1st degree murder and are serving life in prison. The third guy, Randy Meadows, was charged with conspiracy.

Image result for fayetteville murders jackie burden michael james

Image result for fayetteville murders randy meadows malcolm wright

Image result for fayetteville murders jackie burden michael james

Image result for fayetteville murders jackie burden michael james

Evidence further confirmed that Burmeister was part of a a right-wing, racist group when it was revealed he'd been out hunting Black people to earn a coveted spider tattoo - a mark of initiation into a group given when one kills, or hurts horrendously, a non-White person. It was the reason given when James' mother had asked why anyone would kill an innocent person.

Just messy, Just creepy, Just another bloody page in Black American History.

Side note: In myconclusion, Ft. Bragg must be built over a hellmouth as the place has been the scene of some atrocious ish carried out by servicemen. Other cases include the rape and killing of an Air Force captain's wife and the slaughter of their kids by an Army sergeant. Then there is the infamous Jeffrey MacDonald case. The list is endless. My aunt and three uncles, who served in the armed forces, always said "the base" and anywhere around it, were the most dangerous places to be.

Monday, January 27, 2020

The world is a little darker today

Black Mamba and his 2nd eldest child passed from this dimension yesterday along with 7 other souls in a helicopter crash.

I can only say that I hope they found comfort with each other and had the time to say, "I love you" before all went dark.

Rest in power.

Image result for kobe bryant and daughter gianna

Kobe Bryant - August 23rd 1978 - January 26th 2020

Gianna Bryant - May 1st 2006 - January 26th 2020

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

A cinematic instance where Black U. S. culture and the martial arts collided - "The Last Dragon"

Image result for the last dragon film

I've lost count of my guilty pleasures.This gem is a product of the wild 80s ('85) a time when hair was real big to match one's shoulder pads.When fantasy films were coming out the wazoo - "Cocoon" "Splash" "Dragonslayer" "Ladyhawke" and on and on.

"The Last Dragon" centered around young Leroy Green (played by real martial arts master Taimak) who just wants to be as proficient in the martial arts as Bruce Lee. Tall order indeed. It stars Vanity as Laura Charles, a TV host accosted by a bad businessman, Eddie Arkadian (played by Chris Murney). Leroy saves Laura and falls for her. Unfortunately, Leroy's skill is needed further as Laura is menaced by a gang led by the most unique villian ever - Sho'nuff, the Shogun of Harlem (a memorable turn by the late Julius J. Carry)!

Just plain whacky fun. A cult favorite with a solid soundtrack with contributions by established singers and 2 hits by the then new kids - "Rhythm of the Night" by DeBarge and "7th Heaven" by Vanity.

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Image result for Julius J carry
Julius J. Carry as Shogun Sho'nuff of Harlem (center) in all his glory

Monday, January 20, 2020

Another Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Day

Today is the celebration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday in America. His real birthday is on the 15th of January, but to keep things running smoothly in the corporate realm, it is celebrated on the second or third monday in january closest to his true birthday. Can't have pesky holidays popping up in the middle of the week disrupting the flow of commerce. Ah yes! Commerce must not be interrupted.

Image result for photo MLK


Y'all know how I feel about the version of King this country pimps as the one we on which we should fashion ourselves. The dreamer. The Peacemaker. The non-threatening Black person. The Black person who will allow you to pummel them while he/she smiles through the veil of blood running down his/her face. As I've said Dr. King was FAR from being that type of Black man by the time a bullet ended his life. By the time he was cut down, he was very much on the same page as Malcolm X. The two had come to an understanding that they were marked men because both realized that freedom wasn't free. That those in charge of one's freedom wasn't going to give that privilege. and that to gain one's freedom, a tussle was going to have to ensue. And for that they were assassinated. End of story. Go read King's last, powerful speech,  "The Mountaintop." He knew he was marked for death. You can hear it in his words.

Image result for photo MLK and Malcolm X

The revolution. That glorious revolution that many had hoped he and Malcolm would have fueled together with possibly a Fred Hampton? Not to be. And today there is no revolution. The powers-that-be have seen to it that the majority of Black folks are content with their cellphones and SnapChat and Facebook Live and WiFi and Netflix and Popeye's spicy chicken sammiches and fresh, hot Krispy Kremes. Yes, a lot of us have been lulled into what I call a seductive inefficiency - Not enough of what we need, but a lot of what we want. No. There will be no revolution until we wake up and put the "beguilements" in their place.

Until then Dr. King's legacy will continue to be distorted and used as a cudgel to whip us into shape while we smile..

Friday, January 3, 2020

The ridiculous case against Courtney Milan, the romance writer, Part 3 - It's hit mainstream news!

Image result for courtney milan"
Courtney Milan

The RWA scandale has gone national! Good! Take off the nice white gloves. Now maybe some real work will get done in the romance writing INDUSTRY ('cuz that's what it is, a BUSINESS. A very lucrative BUSINESS for those who run it). And you ask, "Why I feel this way?" Because like the article says, "The gatekeepers are watching."

They aren't watching because the traditional romance writng industry is shocked and saddened by the organization's actions. Naw. The gatekeepers of the imdustry are watching as the industry does not like having its game peeped. Those in charge of keeping gates are charged with  keeping those gates closed to "others." And these handmaidens who work under the auspices of the companies who employ them and those who make up the Big 5 do not like negative attention brought to their so-called genteel front door. No sirree!

The RWA is supposed to be a model of diversity. A model of progress. A beacon. It was selling the dream for a bit there to eager "outsiders." Oh. the kumbaya of it all. A bright, shiny frontman for the romance writing industry, showing how we can all get along. Yeah. Right. As long as certain of us  keep quiet when we see abhorrent behavior. RWA effed up big time when they allowed the "aggrieved", those complaintants, those Women-of-the-White-Tears to coerce them into punishing Courtney Milan because she spoke up about the abysmal portayal of ethnic women, specifically Chinese women, in one of those chicks Scottish historical romances Ms. Milan has a right to object to Asian stereotypes when she sees them more than anyone else. She is of Chinese ancestry.

Anyhoo, the industry now has a big, old spotlight just a shining on it with this kerfuffle. I hope it burns the doors off the covert and overt racism in the RWA and in the romance biz. Traditional romance publishing has been justifying its ignoring non-White authors for years by citing the ever-popular chestnut of "ethnic" doesn't sell and "we need to maintain a budget so we need stuff that sells." They also have employed the use of the ruse of "downsizing," (the elimination of various imprints and the cutting out of mid-list authors to boost the tried and true ones). So, these excuses get used to when it's time to vet new authors period and  non-White authors definitely need not apply. Lastly, the final excuse for not going "ethnic" in a bigger and bolder way is that, according to the industry, readers have been abandoning romance books in droves. Sort of true. But the biz fails to say why. Readers had been dropping romance because it has become EFFING BORING! Case in point - the historical romance.  The biz admits it has accepted less historical romace manuscripts because readership has fallen off. Well, duh! I guess so. How many freakin' times is one going to read about another duke, his damsel and a country house/salon before one is going to simply drop those books from their TBR pile? Over the years, nothing new was being brought to the table, so yeah, people were bypassing the books as they were repetitive duds. BUT some genius graduate in advertsing or marketing thought up a twist on the historical - the "erotic" historical. Yep. That'll save the subgenre. I do hope these persons received free Starbucks-for-life cards.

I can see the brainstorming around the table now. "Hey, erotic contemporaries sell," says one."So why not spice up historicals more?" And a sub-subgenre was born - the erotic historical. Now, we have the duke who's into BDSM and group sex who on the wedding night to his dense, virginal damsel brings in two or three of his friends who really want to get to know her better. And the kicker is the chick has NO reservations 'cuz, hey, she lurves her man, wants him happy and has been dreaming about a foursome since forever. So, companies go with the plan and the books sell like hot cakes and brings a new batch of authors to the reading public. The gatekeepers have done there job too because in the acquisition of these new "erotic historical" authors not a one was non-White.

Now, what if another venue had been chosen to boost flagging profits? Like say, what about bringing in new authors who were not White who wrote romance with a different perspective? Authors with truly NEW stories? Authors with NEW takes on the same old, same old? Authors who would challenge that a historical does not have to have a friggin' DUKE at its center or a blonde damsel? Authors who would bring "color" to a historical in every sense of the word.  Authors who would bring ACTUAL HISTORY to a historical romance? Just a thought. But no. Instead of beefing the genre up with true, varied insight, the biz went the easy route. It went for the sex alone. So, it rolled out historicals with BDSM pairings, bi couples, male couples, lesbian couples. Ok. Everyone deserves a love story. I understand it.

Through hard work and perseverance on their parts, I see only three or four authors who write about non-White people and who are no-White themselves get by those gates. But you know what? IT'S STILL NOT ENOUGH! You may think that it's OK but it's not. Non-White women buy romance books as much, if not more, than White women. In all genres. Therefore, there should be a plethora of non-White authors who write historical romance getting a shot at the market just like there is a plethora of White authors who write historical romance getting a shot at the market. Everyone gets to see, on a regular basis, and in great numbers, a heroine that looks like them, portrayed humanely, except us.

As I've said, there are a handful of non-White authors in traditional romance publishing, who get it right and who treat their characters like real people not stereotypes. Sadly, when they point out flaws, or outright bigotry, in the non-White characters in the historical romance works of White authors, they get roasted over a fire, called problematic, or in Milan's case, get censured and banned from the RWA, by a panel that was secretely drawn up behind the backs of  RWA board members. Talk about moving in silence! (These petty actions were allowable and taken against Coiurtney as she was once a part of RWA. On the board actually where she'd implimented policies to bring it into the 21st century).

So, yeah. The gatekeepers are watching and they are seething. Sitting up like prairie dogs and cursing those complaintants and the RWA  (in a civil fashion though. The gatekeepers will rip you a new one in a New York minutee on behalf of their employers but they must do it nicely) for exposing the three card Monte game the industry has been playing for decades with its "progressive" appearance. .

The saga continues. I need more popcorn.