Dec 24, 2007

I've Been To Graceland

Many moons ago I visited Elvis' home Graceland. At the time I worked for Time Warner and we had to go to Memphis for training. I worked on the team that coordinated this Memphis training. We knew we had to work in some "fun" activity for the people that would participate.

The idea of visiting where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated entered into our plans. This place is now a museum about the civil rights movement and the place he stayed before he got killed. Well, the idea was killed. Many of my white co-workers felt it would be too heavy for our guests.

The only other point of interest of Memphis was to visit the home of Elvis. Ya know him. The white boy that helped Black music become part of the white audience vocabulary. Man! How that boy co-opted so much of Black culture.

Anyway. We went to Graceland. Our tour guide was a white woman that told us she dropped out of her Phd. program to work at Graceland because, she was so moved by the life Elvis lived. In her discussion of Elvis she talked about how he was so connected to the Black people of Memphis. He was so connected, that I quote, she said "He ate what Black people would eat." A saint he was.

In our tour a fellow co-worker, who is a Black woman said "Excuse me, what Elvis ate was what poor people ate." The tour guide than got flushed and was all like "Well yeah, he ate what people ate." My co-worker than said "No, you said he ate what Black people ate, meaning he had to adapt to what was available, when what he ate was what his MOTHER was feeding him because back in those day poor people had to eat what was available."

Basically, what my co-worker was saying was that don't put your Elvis on a pedestal. He was just as poor and struggling as many of the black people around him. He was NOT this benevolent saint slumming amongst the masses.

Well, after our tour guide finished her scripted speech she left the bus, to get our tickets for our tour of Graceland. I had a window seat and looked at her as she exited. I will swear on a stack of bibles that these words came out her mouth when she thought no one was looking: "That nigger bitch had to talk shit about the king."

We went on the tour and I have to say Elvis' house was not as tacky as I thought it would be. Also, he gave tons of money to charities that assisted the Black community in Memphis. I know this because there was a room of plaques that affirmed his contributions to the Black community.

Fast forward. On Oprah his daughter Lisa did that whole raised from the dead, thanks to the aide of clever editing music video moment. She sang, a pseudo-duet with her father and picked the song "In The Ghetto." It mixed her face with his face, and in between their faces as they sung about the ghetto, they kept showing faces of children that are Black.

The message here folks is that many people of certain race and or class, believe that the darker the berry the bitter the juice. Elvis was once asked about the influence that Black music has had on his career, and whether he owed a great deal of his success to Black culture. Elvis replied "the only thing a nigger is good for is for shining my shoes."

Dec 20, 2007

See Ya 2007

Goodbye 2007. You asked us to be green. You showed us that fame aint that cute. You also pulled our shirt tails and showed us the energy of the female is coming back full and strong. Isis is rising people.

I'll take some time on New Year's Eve to look at my posts for 2007 and sift out some of the lessons.

What I look forward to is seeing all the people I love and adore having a wonderful 2008. I wish for all of you a year that is filled with blessings, evolution and moments of luck.

Be joyful and opptimistic going into the new year. Change is possible. Magic is real.

Dec 16, 2007

A Stocking Stuffer

Tis the season for giving. I thought an appropriate and useful gift to my blog visitors would be to turn them on to some of the blogs I like to visit.

Miss Kitty aka Renee, breaks it down for her readers. She can get deep about politics and have a kiki about the madness of pop culture. My brain craves a daily dose of Miss Kitty.

Whenever I get homesick for my hometown of NYC I check out this blog. Todd provides tons of pictures and thoughts on living life in the most fab city in the world. Sometimes I wish I was there.

Aaron, a yungin from Canada is a brave soul. He puts out his emotions, experiences for all to see. Ahh, the cockiness of youth.

Junior made my sides hurt from laughing. He's new to my online routine and should be part of yours.

Dec 14, 2007

Jodie Comes Out!?

Jodie Foster thanked her long-time partner, Cydney Bernard, while receiving an award this week. According to people in the loop, she's been with her for 14 years. Jodie thanked her in the speech by saying "My beautiful Cydney who sticks with me through all the rotten and the bliss."

While most people already know Jodie is in "the life," it's exciting to see that she is taking a step out of the closet publicly. Way to go Jodie. I wonder if the rest of the DL folks in Hollywood will start to follow.

Even Oprah Has It Rough

The past couple of years have been difficult for Oprah. From what I can recall the following misfortunes have plagued her life:

- Her thyroid issues has resulted in her gaining weight.
- Her "hifey" Steadman wants out. He's realizing he can't compete with Gail.
- Her daddy wanted to write a tell-all book about her.
- She realized she unleashed the mess that is Dr. Phil on America.
- She endorsed a non-fiction book for her club that turned out to be fiction.
- Tragically at her school in Africa certain girls were being preyed upon by some sick twisted bitch.
- Now, some of her fans are not feeling the fact that she is back Obama. On her website there have been posts calling her a traitor to woman-kind.

Is Oprah headed towards the fate that has fallen upon Phil Donahue? I always believed that sooner or later everyone in Celeb-Land gets played out and no one wants to give them any love.

Well, we'll have to wait and see. I'm sure Oprah is working "The Secret" to avoid anymore heavy times.

Dec 12, 2007

Scratch My Back, I'll Scratch Yours



Today Wal-Mart removed a pair of panties it was selling in the Juniors department. The cause for the removal was the message embroidered on the panties. The front says "Who needs credit cards?," and the rear says "When you have Santa." This message offended many female customers, especially parents. I wonder how many of these offended customers consider Pretty Woman one of their favorite hooker to riches films.

In this culture of super sweet sixteen parties, and fascination with the bling lifestyle, manufacturing a pair of panties like that would make sense. Obviously, there is a customer for that sorta undergarment.

Sex as a weapon, sex as a commodity is nothing new. I think there are a lot of young women and men that follow that pantie's philosophy. What sucks about this way of life is that it aint cute to have to wait for someone else to feed you. I'm sure it would get tired real fast.

Picture that taunt, fresh, sassy young girl that squealed with joy when she bought that pantie, 20 years down the road. I'm sure her life would look something like this:

Dec 11, 2007

Onion Makes You Cry

I visited The Onion today. They are sick, twisted, clever people. Here's a sample.


Poll: Mitt Romney Is Candidate Most Voters Want To Get Into Bar Fight With

God Bless America?

"The Declaration of Independence is not a Puritan or Calvinist or Methodist or Baptist or Protestant or Catholic or Christian document, but a document of the Enlightenment. It is a statement that deeply and intentionally invokes the language of American deism. It is a document of its own time, and it speaks eloquently about what Americans of that time believed."

To get the full story . click here

Dec 10, 2007

Why Hire Ignorant People?

Main Entry: ig·no·rant
Function: adjective
Pronunciation: 'ig-n(&-)r&nt
1 a : destitute of knowledge or education ; also : lacking knowledge or comprehension of the thing specified b : resulting from or showing lack of knowledge or intelligence

It has become evident to me that Georgie staffed his administration with ignorant people. Today Dana Perino revealed on NPR that she was ignorant about the Cuban Missile Crisis. Damn! The Cuban Missile Crisis is part of history lessons in every high school in America since 1962. I guess she would have failed her assessment and testing while she was a student. Isn't she lucky she went to school prior to NCLB.

She joins a long list of Bush's appointed ignoramuses. If you don't believe me then check out the track record of Alberto Gonzales, Brownie, and Rumsfeld. His administration has been infested by dumb fucks.

I then had to ask myself why he would hire such ignorant people. Here is my explanation of the madness.

1. The head chief is a dumb fuck himself. A wise sage once said "birds of a feather flock together."

2. You want to sell a bullshit agenda in government, then get some bullshit minded people behind you. They won't question you or have an enlightened or informed thought behind them.

3.Dickie boy gave them the once over and told Georgie, "yeah, go with it." Dick wanted to be the only brain in the room. FYI-Georgie is his Pinky.

4.People can bullshit their way into just about any position in life. As a former Time Warner employee I saw ivy league credential having dumb fucks sink that company's stock value to the ground.

5. Hey we place nice together. You don't use dem big words. We should work together.

Dec 9, 2007

The Year I Was Born

I was born in 1968. Being born in 1968 makes me fascinated to know more about what happen on this planet during my first year on it. I believe that whatever energy was swirling throughout her, has affected my own spirit.

Tonight I am watching a documentary on the History channel about the year 1968. Tom Brokaw is hosting it and he's interviewing people who were either prominent during those times and/or living as adults during those times. They also showed archival footage of what people had to say during that year. Here are some highlights of
what people said:

"As young people, we didn't believe what the president was telling us about the [Vietnam] war.

George Wallace at a rally to blue-collar-whites. "These people need to learn other four letter words like W.O.R.K and S.O.A.P. This Georgie supported segregation.

"The War is criminal and immoral."

Sen. Robert F. Kennedy running for president, said at a rally, something along the lines of - How many more men, how many more lives should be sacrificed to provide the victory that is always just around the corner?

Movements create leaders, rather than leaders create movements.

"The Whole World Is Watching" - chanted by protesters at the Democratic National Convention during the police riot that resulted in these civilian protesters being clubbed, tear-gassed and arrested by the police.

All I have to say is what has been said before me. "There is nothing permanent, except change." "The more things change, the more they stay the same." "Those that do not know their history and doomed to repeat it." "And, The beat goes on." "Let the sunshine in!"

Dec 4, 2007

Heavy Hangs The Head

I caught Georgie's news conference today. He spoke about the old, yet new, intelligence regarding the nuclear activities in Iran. I won't get into what he said, for quite sometime I stopped believing in what he had to say. What I do want to say is that he looked like he is soooo over his job and can't wait to get back to the ranch. Georgie would rather have a drink and enjoy the fruits of other people's labor.

I'm reminded of how prior to 9/11 he spent a lot of time away from the oval office. You know he's gagging that he had to actually start working. Well, there he sits at his desk waiting for recess to be called.

Dec 2, 2007

I Was Called A Fag Today

It's not often I get called fag, sissy, homo, cocksucker or any other derogatory name. I often wonder if it is because I don't register as queer to most people. I also wonder if it's because most people really don't care if I'm queer.

Well today on my youtube.com channel someone responded to my NCLB Sucks post by writing "fag". I laughed because it made so much sense that my using the word "suck" in the tag would invite certain types. My response to his or her post was "Thanks for sharing."

One of the perks of being a queen of a certain age is that you learn to pick and choose your battles. Ignorance and hate is alive and well in the world. I know this, good people you also know this, the past few years have proven this. I can't spend too much of my time fighting, because then I lose time with energies such as love, joy, and happiness.

Back in the day when I was not in love with myself, being called fag would have turned me out. I'm happy to say that now I look forward to healing the sickness of hate that affects so many people in our society. I truly believe that we need to make more of an effort to discover the connections that remind us that LOVE has to rule. This us and them mentality has not done us well.

If healing is not the answer, I look forward to asserting myself to stand proud and take me place in the world. With that said, I will not be held responsible for my actions against the persons that tries to deny me that God given right.

People that spread hate should be stopped, questioned, and exposed. They should be reminded that they are breaking the Higher Power's rule to offer a hand rather than a fist. And, SHE will deal with them at judgement time.

Nov 30, 2007

Deep In Vogue

Back in 1988 my dear friend Willie Ninja called me and asked me to write lyrics to a song he was doing with Malcolm McLaren. The result was Deep In Vogue.

As I mentioned in a previous blog post Willie and I got swindled out of publishing rights, writing credits and money. Hey, we were young kids from the ghetto and didn't really know how the music industry operated.

Over the past few years I have met many people that told me they were inspired by that song. You see for a young gayling growing up in a small town, Deep In Vogue provided a fab-boo-less light at the end of a dark tunnel.

A few years before Willie passed, he spoke on a panel about his career. I was in the audience. When he talked about Deep In Vogue, he asked me to stand up and acknowledged our collaboration on the song. His gesture of appreciation meant the world to me.

I wrote the lyrics that Lourdes sang so seductively and fiercely. Enjoy.

Music Makes The World Go Round

Okay good people, those of you that know me well, understand I obsess about music. Well here is a list of what is currently living on my iPod shuffle:

Wake Up Alone - Amy Winehouse
Love Is A Losing Game - Amy Winhouse
Paper Aeroplane - Angus and Julia Stone
Rebellion (Lies) - The Arcade Fire
In The Back Seat - The Arcade Fire
Do The Whirlwind - Architecture In Helsinki
Witch Doctor - Armand Van Helden
Pioneer To The Falls - Interpol
Road To Home - Girl In A Coma
Three Words - Junior Boys
Koop Island Blues - Koop with Ane Brun
Why - Lemongrass
Run Into Flowers- M83
God Moving Over The Face of Water - Moby
The Chills - Peter Bjorn and John
Fire - Pointer Sisters
Sign Your Name - Terence Trent D'Arby

Look them up, download and enjoy.

Peace,
Allan

Nov 25, 2007

The Amazing Mom Magic

Introducing The Hubby

Here is the hubby, Marcos, in all his shy animated glory.


Nov 23, 2007

Got A Letter From The White House Today

Today I got a letter from the White House. Mind you it wasn't from Georgie but from his Special Assistant and Director of Presidential Correspondence Darren K. Hipp. It was in response to a letter I wrote to Georgie about the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).


Turkey Day Without The Turkey

Well good people, I got through another Thanksgiving Day. This year was very different than the past few years because I did not have my extended family members Izzy, Joslyn and her son Marco at my table (sigh). Over the past few years they have come out to CT to spend a few days, while consuming food and drink.

I was in a low-key sorta mood so I decided to keep it very simple. My hubby invited over his good friend Joma and her new wifey with their 3 year old child. I forgot how much attention children need. He was adorable and smart, but the poor child was not feeling well so they left earlier than we had expected. In fact I didn't get to serve my pumpkin pie. Lil J I hope you feel better soon.

I also didn't cook a turkey this year. I made my lovely fresh ham that I cover in cloves, mustard and brown sugar that is mixed with a bit of curry powder. Try it you'll like it. My side dishes were collard greens sauteed with maple cured bacon, onion and garlic, as well as, my puree of sweet potato seasoned with butter, cinnamon, maple syrup and cream. YUM! Oh and the husband wanted my arroz con gandules. Like most Puerto Ricans from the island, he feels he hasn't really eaten unless he's had some rice and beans on his plate.

It was cute for what it was. I'm really thinking I want to blow it out for Christmas.

Nov 22, 2007

Fags Of The Universe...Attack

Miss Kitty brought to light this new conservative version of Wikipedia that lives and breathes online. It is called Conservapedia and here is the list of there top ten searches:

Main Page‎ [1,917,991]
Homosexuality‎ [1,593,146]
Homosexuality and Hepatitis‎ [517,611]
Homosexuality and Promiscuity‎ [421,459]
Gay Bowel Syndrome‎ [396,933]
Homosexuality and Parasites‎ [395,038]
Homosexual Couples and Domestic Violence‎ [373,439]
Homosexuality and Gonorrhea‎ [331,797]
Homosexuality and Mental Health‎ [292,921]
Homosexual Agenda‎ [271,275]

So I see that according to this website, the conservative mind believes one of the biggest issues we face as a country, culture, human community is homosexuality. Never mind immorality of war, or the corruption of government, nor the impact of corporate greed. What is paramount in the minds of the conservative minded is that, in the world there are fags and dykes, and all that thrives in between, and that they must be stopped.

When was the last time that homo-sex affected your own life? For those anti-gay readers that think it's about being preventive, get over it. Same sex love happens since the beginning of time. And, some of those same sex loving sodomites have been some of the best teachers, uncles, aunts, siblings, friends, and maybe even parents you have ever known.

Expanding on some wise words said by someone else: "The mind is like a parachute, if it doesn't open then is doesn't work." I would add that it doesn't save the traveler. The unopened mind sends it owner to a hard crash that could have been avoided.

Nov 19, 2007

Cherry Picking Music

Jermaine Dupree broke out his violin to plead the case of music artist. He wrote about how Jay-Z refused to have his music posted on i-Tunes because it would disrupt the flow of what he created as an artistic expression because of the "cherry picking" mentality of listeners.


This is what I have to say about that:

1. Yo J, come on, you know when you was broke, like most folk, you recorded your favorite songs on tape to listen to later. As you made your mixed tapes you cherry picked

2. Where were you Mr. Dupree when the music industry started charging young people over $20 for a CD when it only cost that greedy industry only a 1/4 of that amount to produce that CD. The kids couldn't afford their music so hence the "sharing."

3. Ahh the whole artist canvas defense you presented. Even the most devoted fan can say that the whole CD they purchased from the artist they are devoted to, they often find they tend to skip a few tracks to get to their favorites.

4. Let's keep it real, in your YOUR CD collection you have a few tracks that you skip because that song is WHACK.

5. Artist have so many other avenues to cash in. I just saw a commercial for i-Tunes with Mary J. Blige. You know that was all ka-ching for her. Shit she paid several months of her mortgage thanks to that commercial.

6. Embrace the times and figure out how to adapt to them. Many other ARTIST have figured out way to respond to the changing needs and economics of their time. Do the work.

7. Pandora's box has been opened. Do you really think that Jay's albums is not on the Internet as you typed your post on http://www.huffingtonpost.com

8. Finally, times are gonna be hard for us non-MTV-living-Cribs such as yourself. Our disposable income will be far and few in between. So I ask when it comes to feed yourself or buy Jay-Z's new album; I'm gonna choose FOOD.

Nov 18, 2007

The Late Night Soul Train



Good people, ya need to catch the Best of Soul Train on late night TV for the following reasons:

The music is motherfucking hot.
The fashion is truly inspirational.
You'll see the mothers and fathers of the sounds you listen to NOW.
Don Cornelius is mad cool.
Oh! Let's not forget the Soul Train Line!

Do the search and find out when you can catch the love, peace, and afro grease.

Dumb Aint Cute

Jessica Simpson has been the butt of a joke for far too long. She has been cast as the dumb blond in contemporary popular culture. Think back to her "chicken of the sea" confusion, or her buffalo wings commercial, and most recently her role in the Macy's commercials. This woman is pimping out her soul for tons of money and doesn't realize it's being done without any lube.

Us older folks see this. I fear the younger folks don't. This so-called Christian woman that saved her virginity for marriage is now promoting a stereotype that invites young girls to open their legs. Don't think, but you betta look cute, is the rule of the dumb blond.

What's really tragic is that I've heard her father was a minister. This former minister-father pimped his children out to serve a lower purpose. I'm sure he knows a chapter and verse to justify his behavior.

Let me say this. I don't mind the blond bimbo thing if it's organic. I want to help that type of person, man or woman, that suffers from a lack of awareness and life experience. It's all about enlightenment in my opinion. I do mind it when it's a contrived bullshit like Jessica and her surgically altered sister took on and promote.

We're suppose to evolve not go backwards!

Nov 14, 2007

A Hidden Epidemic - Iraq War Veteran Suicides

According to CBS New "At least 120 Americans who served in the U.S. military killed themselves per week in 2005, CBS News learned in a five-month investigation into veteran suicides. That's 6,256 veteran suicides in one year, in 45 states."

The tragedy is deep folks. Click here for more information.

Nov 6, 2007

Notes on the Nuyoricans

Notes on the Nuyoricans

By Soledad Santiago
February 19, 1979
Village Voice

It's 15 minutes to airtime at NewsCenter 4 on a Saturday night. Felipe Luciano, Emmy-award-winning journalist and former head of the Young Lord's Party, is weekend co-anchor. Around him at least six clocks tick simultaneously, making tangible the rush of time as news pours in from around the world.

"Ten seconds . . . 10 seconds to the real thing," says the stage manager, starting the countdown. Then Luciano begins. Twenty-seven monitors and two cameras are going at once.

Luciano is projected into living rooms around New York City every weekend. He is among the most visible of young Latinos who herald the arrival of a new breed—the Nuyorican. Technically Nuyoricans are second generation Puerto Ricans who have made New York their home. But to me, Nuyoricans cannot be defined by age or date of arrival. Nuyorican is a state of mind.

Many Latinos remember with pride the splash the Young Lords made across the front pages of the nation's newspapers in the late '60s. They remember Luciano as a brilliant public speaker who exhorted the young to rise up against the system. He once told a graduating class at East Harlem's Ben Franklin High School: "You are not going to get it by getting people elected to Congress, by a good education, or by praying. The only way you are going to get it is by ripping it up. Seize the schools, seize the courts, seize the prisons where three quarters of our people are." . . .

The successful Nuyorican is often cut off from his roots by the very nature of success, suspended in the time warp of a culture in transition, a culture of synthesis which is defining and asserting its values, attempting to allow tradition to survive assimilation. The dilemma of Nuyorican identity is not a racial but a class one. In the uncomfortable limbo between black and white, rich and poor, the Nuyorican pioneers a new identity.

The Nuyoricans walk a tightrope between yesterday and tomorrow, cherishing the positive in Puerto Rican culture while wrestling with its ingrained restraints that have no place in their new life; attracted by the personal freedom of an anonymous urban society yet repulsed by its indifference; aspiring to middle-class accoutrements yet shackled by the code of machismo which presupposes that the male in the family be the only wage earner.

Not all New York Puerto Ricans are Nuyoricans. Many stay in enclaves, never learning English and never touching the mainstream of New York life. The Nuyorican identity has emerged as the result of a series of choices, an individuality born of historical necessity.

3 Is A Magic Number

Well good people, yet more rats are fleeing the sinking S.S. Bush-shit. In Esquire magazine two former high-ranking policy experts from the Bush administration make an attempt to clear their conscience and scrub up their karma. I guess they want to get in good with their fellow uptight, lily white suburban neighbors.

They reveal how the U.S. has been salivating for a war with Iran for years, despite Georgie's spin that claims the opposite.

Consider it Iraq the sequel, but not in Iraq. Click here to know more about the unfolding horror.

Nov 4, 2007

Oct 30, 2007

Meditate On This

Form is destructible, but Life is not; it knows nothing of death. It destroys the mortal mercilessly, and decomposes the destructible. But the indestructible remains. Being immortal, it carries within it the means of regeneration even as the means of destruction.

-Ischa Schwaller de Lubicz, The Opening of the Way

Cum luce salutem; with light, salvation. First source of all sources . . . perfect my body . . . [so] that I may participate again in the immortal beginning . . . that I may be reborn in thought . . . and that the Holy Spirit may breathe in me.

-From the Paris Papyrus

Myth is the history of the soul; the memory of our greater Being; ritual and sacrament are the reminders. In the continuing Fall the part breaks away from the Whole; to make something sacred, one must reconnect the part to the universal Whole.

-William Irwin Thompson, The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light

Puuuur-plexing

I freaked out when I saw this. I hope it's real and not some special effects magic.


News Flash: Miss Kitty had this experience to share about the above video:

"How freaky is it that when I sat one of my cats on my lap and played the video he stared at the screen and then started talking back to the kittens. I played the video again and he started making the same noise as the kittens at the same spot in the video where he had talked back during the first showing. Those kittens are probably Pinky and The Brain in feline form."

Oct 28, 2007

Still MAD After All These Years

Do you remember the zany humor of MAD magazine? They still got it.

Future Ice Diva



I just saw the cutest little figure skater today on NBC. Her name is Caroline Zhang. Keep an eye out for this girl. She's only 14 and is showing tons of talent. She reminded me of Michele Kwan and Oksana all rolled up into one. She did these amasing spins while wrapping herself up like a pretzel, the way only a 14 year old body could. I can't wait to see her again.

Oct 23, 2007

Camouflage Taken To The Absurd



Aya Tsukioka presented new clothing designs that address Japan’s growing fears of crime. If you look at the last vending machine on the right of the above picture, you'll see some tiny feet at the bottom. Yes, people it's getting this absurd.

Never mind the mace in the face. The idea here is if you are afraid you are being pursued, you whip out this folded camouflage and slip under it. This particular ensemble has an actual-size photo of a vending machine printed on the fabric.

To learn more about the insanity, which includes: the manhole bag, books for parents on "how-to dress your kid like a thug", and Kevlar school uniforms, check out the NY Times article by clicking here.

I suggest they recruit drag queens like the one in the video I posted (see "When Drag Queens Attack") to go out there and teach people how to grow a set and handle their shit.

ADDENDUM: I was once held up at gun point. May it never happen again. After this post I recalled that memory and realize how fear can make us do the craziest things. I also know that fight or flight is a very real thing.

What is disturbing to me is that there is a trend to let the unacceptable happen, and the reaction to these terrible things, are terrible ideas based on a fantasy of achieving absolute safety.

People do bad things to other people. It is human nature. Terrible things can happen at anytime, anyplace and for any reason. I favor an approach to addressing this by asking, why they happen. When you identify the why, you can then work on REAL solutions.

Oct 22, 2007

Vote on Bigot Judge Happening Tomorrow

TAKE ACTION ALERT: Call your Senators NOW and tell them to vote NO on Leslie Southwick's nomination to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Or send a letter to reinforce your call, using the form below:

Dear Senator ____________:

Judge Southwick's record plainly shows that he cannot be given the responsibility to protect the basic rights of all Americans. As a Mississippi judge, he put his personal bias before widely regarded scientific and legal evidence - as in one case where he separated a biological mother from her 8-year-old child in part because of the mother's sexual orientation.

Even more troubling, Judge Southwick used this case to further his own agenda by joining a concurrence citing highly charged and irrelevant Mississippi rules against "the practice of homosexuality" - including policies regarding sodomy.

This type of bigoted decision-making is unacceptable for any judge, let alone a lifetime member of the U.S. Court of Appeals. I urge you and your colleagues to examine his record closely, and vote NO on his confirmation.

Oct 21, 2007

Use Your Words, With Your Outside Voice

In your next discussion regarding the state of affairs in today's world, what might be helpful is that all involved agree to some definitions. I often find that most discussions involve a moment where someone says "Well, let's define what do you mean when you say X." Maybe if we can all agree to some starting point, discussions can end up being useful and enlightening.

Plebiscite: A vote by which the people of an entire country or district express an opinion for or against a proposal especially on a choice of government or ruler

Fascism: A political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

Dictatorship: A form of government in which absolute power is concentrated in a dictator or a small clique b : a government organization or group in which absolute power is so concentrated c : a despotic state

Quagmire: A difficult, precarious, or entrapping position

Predatory: Intended to injure or exploit others for personal gain or profit

Red Herring: Something that distracts attention from the real issue

Feudalism: The system of political organization prevailing in Europe from the 9th to about the 15th centuries having as its basis the relation of lord to vassal with all land held in fee and as chief characteristics homage, the service of tenants under arms and in court, wardship, and forfeiture

Combat Fatigue: A traumatic psychoneurotic reaction or an acute psychotic reaction occurring under conditions (as wartime combat) that cause intense stress -- called also battle fatigue

Elite: A group of persons who by virtue of position or education exercise much power or influence

De-ja Vu: 1 a : the illusion of remembering scenes and events when experienced for the first time b : a feeling that one has seen or heard something before
2 : something overly or unpleasantly familiar

Liberal: Of or constituting a political party associated with ideals of individual especially economic freedom, greater individual participation in government, and constitutional, political, and administrative reforms designed to secure these objectives

Conservative: Disposition in politics to preserve what is established b : a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change

Fucked-up: Thoroughly confused or disordered

FYI - These definitons are from the online version of Merraim-Webster.

When Drag Queens Attack

Back in the days when I started hanging out and doing my thing on NYC's Christopher Street, one of the rules I learned early on was to never mess with a Drag Queen. She will read you, cut you and look good doing it.

The beginning stages of her attack will start off something like this:

Oct 18, 2007

Baby Steps Gino

Good people, I am happy to report Gino is showing vast improvement. He's able to get his back legs moving and can take a few steps on them. He's still needs more time in order to be able to have his rear legs support his weight. The hubby and I are bringing him to the vet this weekend for follow up.

Oct 14, 2007

Gino and Me...Watching Soul Train

Good people, I have my Gino next to me as I type this entry. His back legs are still not working. But, I love him no less, and he is still at his best. I want to give a big ass shout out to the faithful readers that sent love and healing vibes to him. Thank you Miss Kitty.

We are watching THE BEST OF SOUL TRAIN. We are loving it. Many wonderful memories are coming to mind. Umm, let me be honest. I'm loving it and he is sleeping by my side and breathing in and out.

Walk Gino, walk! Love is fierce yall. Love can move you to accept the unacceptable. Love can make you hope for the unimaginable. Love can make you see beauty within the ugly. Love can make you think that all you need is love to cure all ills.

I have to say watching the Soul Train Dancers of the late 70's makes me realize, love is a fierce thing.

Peace, Love and Afro-Grease

Oct 11, 2007

Trying Times For My Gino

Perogino (the white doggie) showing love and concern for Luna

Dear faithful readers I need your help. One of my wonderful, loving and kind dogs is in the hospital. Perogino, developed a condition in his back, resulting in swollen muscles pushing against his spinal cord.

As a result he is currently paralyzed from his mid-section to his tail. Our hearts are crushed and we hoping that the cortisone treatments he's getting will alleviate the condition.

Please good people, send out thoughts of healing and miraculous recovery into the universe, on his behalf. I look forward to telling you he's up and running again with his tail a wagging.

Oct 10, 2007

Dopey Athletes

The recent Marion Jones scandal regarding "doping" in athletic competition got me hyped about the issue. While I respect the movement to have athletic competition grounded in fair and equal play, I also see serious disconnects in this ethical stand. And, the negative spiritual impact it has on the athlete.

Competition can bring out the worst in human nature. As someone that played sports as a child I know that at times you have to work up intense feelings in order to win over your opponent. I played the positiion of linesman in football as a kid. I was stocky you see. The mantra for a linesman was to take that quarterback out.

Certain sports are about aggression, working through pain, or getting the upper hand. All sports are about winning. No one wants second or third place. I'm reminded of Michelle Kwan covering her bronze medal with her hands, at her last Olympics appearance, while the national anthem of the winner was played during the medal ceremony.

The emphasis is on the winner. First place is where we shower praise. The athletes that beats all athletes are the ones we record in history and assign a place among the legends of the sports world pantheon.

The golden rule in sports is to win! Duh. The problem is the new rule to win at ALL cost no matter what. I would argue that the corruption in not winning at all cost, but rather, winning to make the money and fame attached. Whether it's a multi-million dollar product endorsement contract, your face on a box of Wheaties, a phone call from the president, going to Disney World, or air time on some TV show, the modern victory laurel placed on the winner's head has become the most lethal drug.

Today's athletes are being further removed from the true happiness of an athlete. The love of their sport and the conquering of their own physical challenges in that sport. What makes sport magic is for the individual to be able to connect the ideal in his or her mind with the reality of his or her body. I want to train this body to run faster. I want to develop my skill in order to make that ball go swish through the net with no backboard. I want to spin and jump on ice in a way that amazes. These thoughts are the work of an athlete.

Doping takes all that away. The athlete that wins through doping is left with a big fat WHAT IF. Think about it. What if I trained harder? Maybe I wouldn't need those steroids. What if I practiced longer? Maybe I would have mastered that skill. What if I test positive for doping? Maybe my medal, ring, or trophy will be taken away.

Michelle Kwan should have been celebrated for coming in third. Unfortunately I think she was made to feel ashamed of it. She competed against some of the fiercest skaters in the world. She should have been celebrated but wasn't. Shame on the sports world for betraying her effort.

Shame on the athletes that dope up before a competition for betraying their bodies, their sport and the truth. You wear a tainted medal, that trophy is tarnished, that ring belongs on another finger. Over time your legend will become more the myth in your mind.

I hope that some of the men that have won honors through doping will have the ovaries that Marion had to come clean. I know her confession was induced, but at the end of the day she displayed some grace. Perhaps some of those baseballers, bike riders will grow the ovaries to do the same.

She Looked So Pregnant

Okay, I caught Jennifer Lopez on David Letterman last night. She looked very pregnant. She even had a very maternity-like dress. And, at times I swore I saw the curves of a big belly when she moved.

Sep 30, 2007

Ride or Die. Give Me A Commercial Break!

I've been checking out these two programs about young Latino culture on TV. Latino TV and Latination come on ever Sunday here in CT. For the most part the shows are pretty well produced and cover a wide range of the diversity found in the Latino community and culture. Check them out if you get a chance.

The one troubling aspect of these shows is that the commercials played in between the segments are either about cars, beer or the military. In fact Latination is brought to you by marines.com.

I emailed the station that air these shows. I suggested they give some PSA time to organizations like National Council of La Raza, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, ASPIRA and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.

I feel these shows are great at highlighting the accomplishments and influences of Latino culture. Why not shine some light on the organizations that work hard to empower and uplift the Latino community. We need a counterbalance to all this air time given to sponsors that offer the option to ride or die.

Sep 24, 2007

Oh La La



This is fun. It's new and different, yet I'm seeing elements of hip hop, voguing and freestyle. Shake your ass to it. Enjoy.

Sep 21, 2007

Same Old Story...Just Better Weapons

I've been immersed in this Western Civilization course I'm taking at school. So far, this is the story of Western Civilization.

Rich, poor, war, war, and more war. New rich, opress new poor, more war, war and war. Some culture, vases, paintings, but then destroyed by war. So you get the picture. Interesting fact, the most humane of the war seeking ancient civilizations were the Persians, which is modern day Iran. Something to think about.

Sep 17, 2007

Fantasy Art

While I have an appreciation for the works of artists such as Tamayo, Picasso, Van Gogh and Kahlo, I also value the imagination in fantasy art. Here are some dreamlike images from the creative genius of Chris Moore. Enjoy! To see more, click here. Thank you Blogger "V" for the link. FYI - Click on each image to view a larger version.




Sep 16, 2007

Yay! Kim Won!

It couldn't happen to a nicer person. Is nicer a word? Anyhoo. Kim won HGTV's Design Star show. I'm excited for her. She's from my hometown Brooklyn, and is funky fresh. I'm looking forward to seeing her show.

Sep 14, 2007

Expressions I Want To Try and Make Happen

Okay, taking a break from school work and I need to act out. Here are some expressions I will start incorporating in conversations, and hopefully will become part of a temporary colloquial kiki to enjoy among friends and family.

Boo Boo Kitty: - Refers to being comforted a la the doll Shirley, of Laverne & Shirley, turned to whenever she needed to feel consoled. Usage: I call Miss Izzy whenever I feel down. She is my Boo Boo Kitty.

Spear-a-ling: Refers to the downward spiral a la Britney Spears. Usage: Gurl, that queen on Tina is Spear-a-ling out of control.

Very Lotto: Refers to the lottery and the odds not being in your favor. Usage: Mama the chances of Georgie being impeached are Very Lotto.

Gunning It: Inspired by Tim Gunn's new makeover show and an exhibit of a heighten sense of fashion. Usage: Mamita, you look hot, those shoes with that dress are Gunning It.

Wonder Twins Powers Activate Mode: Refers to the battle cry the alien twins on Superfriends used whenever they had to take action. Usage: Gurl, when Marcos and I saw the mess in the kitchen we looked at each other and went into Wonder Twins Powers Activate Mode.

Mocus(mow-cuss): Combines moody and out of focus. Usage: Honey after that horrible commute, I showed up at work feeling Mocus. (Umm, I borrowed this one from friends I knew in AA.)

Leasing the Lie: To buy into a myth, or lie that is supporting a delusional thought, but will soon burst because the truth is looming. Usage: Uggh, nena that appointed president is leasing the lie about Iraq.

Well good people, please be creative and share some plays with language with me.

Love and kisses, your face, my eyes misses.

Peace,
Allan

Sep 13, 2007

The Kids Need You! NCLB Sucks!

Okay good people, the children of America need you now more than ever. No Child Left Behind is up for reauthorization. Those of you who are in the field of education know NCLB is sooo not working. For those of you not in that field you should know that teachers are basically teaching students to pass a test.

The magic of becoming educated is being sap dry. America's youth is being robbed of an educational experience that provides them exploration, creativity, and considers them as individuals.

Please take two minutes to send a note to those in power to let them know we need a better plan to educate our young people. Go HERE to sign the online petition.

We need to let Georgie, the Senate and Congress know that what students, parents and educators really need is for elected officials in D.C. to:

* Use more than test scores to measure student learning and school performance.

* Reduce class size to help students learn.

* Provide financial incentives to teachers who work in hard-to-staff schools.

* Call teachers certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards "highly qualified."

* Support for teachers of multiple subjects, including special education and rural educators.

I know in my heart that all who sign the petition will receive major positive karma points.

Thank you!

Ja Rule Hating!

Ja Rule had this to say recently in an interview for Complex.com:

"...lets talk about all these fucking shows that they have on MTV that is promoting homosexuality, that my kids can't watch this shit. Dating shows that's showing two guys or two girls in mid afternoon. Let's talk about shit like that! If that's not fucking up America, I don't know what is."

I won't even go into the irony of someone like him making this sorta statement. I mean he's part of an industry that exploits poverty, crime and women for the all mighty dollar. As someone that has experienced prejudice and discrimnation you would think he would know better than to engage in it himself. But, alas many people don't work at thinking deep and connecting the dots.

What I will address is the notion that homo-love is bad for society. First of all homo-love has been around for hundreds of thousands of years. It aint going anywhere people. What is different now is that once again GLBT people are choosing to live out in the light and not in the shadows of the closet; unless you are a GOP Senator. But, I digress. Hallelujah and praise Jesus, that someone who is different can start to feel like they deserve their place in the world and should not be kicked to the side. That's the whole fucking point to life. We're suppose to be free to be who we really are and not feel shame!

Ja Rule if you are really concern about what the state of society, then work at eliminating hatred and bigotry. Don't add to the bullshit by creating more bullshit. And, if you are concerned about your kids and the influence TV might have on them, then take the TV out and put a book in front of them. Hey, maybe you should pick up some books yourself and shed some of that ignorance.

Sep 11, 2007

Six Years Later

As a native New Yorker, that was living in NYC on 9/11, I reflected back to the surreal and horrifying events of that day.

I remember the thousands of posters taped to walls and bus shelters by the families of the victims. I too was hopeful that they would, through some miracle, obtain information regarding the whereabouts of their loved one.

I remember candles and flowers sprawled out in front of every firehouse and police station, and being so moved at their personal sacrifice. To think of them going towards the danger still gives me chills.

I also remember how at the time I worked for Time Warner and we had provided computers and volunteered, at the facility set up to provide services to the family members of the victims in the towers. For a week I assisted wives, husbands, children, and the parents that came in to give DNA samples in order to identify the thousands of bodies found.

A few days after, many New Yorkers came out to the city streets and held a candle vigil for all of those lives lost. And, during the one I attended above us we can see and hear fighter jets circling the city.

I walked around a lot days after 9/11 and often had my eyes filled with tears. For sometime I felt everyone around me was emotionally and spiritually connected. In my heart we were all in mourning.

I pray that one day all of the hidden TRUTHS of that day will come out into the light. I think there are thousand of restless souls waiting for ALL that are responsible for this tragedy to pay their karmic debt.

Sep 9, 2007

I am Soooo Voting for Kim

Okay, Kim is just awesome. She has wonderful energy. She possesses a true passion for interior design. Most importantly she got to the final two without being a bitch or pandering to the audience. She worked her ass off! She is getting my vote for HGTV's next DESIGN STAR!

Help Kim out and vote for her, by clicking here. Todd is cool and I hope HGTV finds a place for him on their network. But, it is Kim that I think will truly connect and inspire the home viewer to work their own magic.

Sunday Night TV Viewing

I've stopped watching MTV a few years ago, and it wasn't because of the music, for the most part I do dig a lot of what they play. The fact is they RARELY play music any more on MTV.

Out of curiosity I decided to stop by and see what was going on. Here's my take on what I saw until I lost interest and turng to HGTV to see the final challenge on Design Star.

- Lil' Momma thought she was being original with that baby outfit and pacifier. She needs to check out some old Parliament Funkadelic videos and see the original grown-up baby serving it.

- What the hell is John Norris doing back at MTV. Hasn't he reached that age where he should get kicked off. You know, how they use to do to the members of Menudo.

- Nelly Furtado was on something. She was having a lovely time all by her little self. I likey her.

- Wow, that commercial for the Army looked like being in the military would be one fun video game come-to-life experience. Not one explosion or amputee in sight. Curious!

- Britney was a hot mess. Poor thang. Get it right in the head and heart and then attempt another go at the madness call celebrity. I also wonder if she will ever actually sing LIVE and not lip sync an entire performance.

- Sarah Silverman is a dangerous bitch. I love her! She made those celebrities sweat during her opening monologue. Go get them! The sycophantic celeb worshipping crowd could not deal with her "emperor has no clothes" approach.

Okay the rest of my post will be based on snippets I catch inbetween the commercial breaks from a Design Star on HGTV. Mmmm, last season's winner, David, showed up. He's so fucking hot.

- LOL Fallout Boy trashes the room they play in. What a rock-n-roll cliche! I can see them during the rehersal saying "dude, how about at the end we trash the hotel room we're playing in!"

- I can't believe The Real World is still part of their programming. Talk about resting on your laurels. Is that the best they can do? Rehash a tired formula. The Real World is no longer a TRUE story.

- Overall I'm NOT feeling today's hip-hop. Give me Eric B. & Rakim, MC Lyte, RUN DMC, L.L. Cool J, Queen Latifah, and Public Enemy. I really believe this art form was sabotage by the music industry when it focused on the lowest common denominators among emerging artists.

- American mainstream culture is Black. The hip-hop urban african-american influence is everywhere. Just ask Justin Timberfake.

- Okay I'm done with this. Let me watch Vern Yip on HGTV do something that is really worth watching.

LOL! Lord is my age showing.

Aug 30, 2007

Gays Get Laid So Easily - Lucky Them

I had to respond to the author of this short-sighted and ill-thoughtout post on huffingtonpost.com. Click here to read the article.

Dear Mr. Ellis:

Okay so the blessing of being gay only boils down to how easy it is to get laid. Never mind the unique perspective a GLBT person may have of the human experience. Never mind the oppression we face daily, despite our contributions to society. We're able to get laid in cesspools, regardless of low self-esteem or a good pick-up line. Yay for the gays. It's sad that in a homophobic culture some GLBT citizens believe they can only be out in the dark.

Trey Ellis trust me when I say you DON'T wish you were gay. You would have two strikes against you in a racists and homophobic culture. The least of your problems would be getting laid.

I think it time to discuss what creates the DL sub-culture and how to free many men and women from living it.

Aug 29, 2007

GOP Down with O.P.P.

Oh I see! Several GOP members that were staunch supporters of the Marriage Defense Act bullshit have been caught over the past year with their drawers down. Whether it's turning up in a D.C. Madam's phone book, emailing naughty messages to interns, or trolling public restrooms for cockage, these boys have been going at it.

So it makes sense they want to protect the sanctity of marriage. They know from their own personal experiences that the institution of marriage is in jeopardy. It seems to me the GOP is infested with tragic closet-cases and philandering men.

Amazing they choose to legislate against behavior they cannot live up to themselves. Hypocrites! FYI former Prez. Clinton also pulled the same bullshit when Monicagate came up. So I guess it's an epidemic or rather a tradition. People have the ability to creep given the right time, place, motivation and heated loins.

Aug 27, 2007

My Love/Hate Thang with the Logo Channel

Okay, it's been sometime now that the Logo channel has been up and running, offering the TV viewer programming for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered (GLBT) community. As a queer man I was eager to see what they would offer.

Here's my take on what I've seen so far:

- GLBT people of a "certain" age don't get a lot of play. Most of what you see are twink, taunt, buffed, firm, wrinkle-free faces. While I know they are targeting a sorta MTV-age deomographic, us older folks have been waiting for YEARS for a channel like this. Shouldn't we get some airtime? I wanna see faces and stories that I can relate to, just as much as that young queer in L.A.

- Loving the Click List and the cool music and short-films shown. It's like eating M&Ms.

- I'm glad they are giving airtime to "In The Life." This showed starting serving up GLBT programming many moons ago on PBS and deserves a place on LOGO.

- That scene in "Noah's Arc" where Noah broke up with his boyfriend while they were giving runway together at a ball was genius. Camp to the tenth power. With that said at times the writing and acting on that show falls short of such brillance.

My main concern with a channel like Logo is that it creates a gay ghetto in Cable-TV-Land. While it's cool the GLBT has a place to go to for programming that reflects their lives, it also creates an environment of segragation that might prevent a non-GLBT person from being exposed and possibly learning to appreciate the HUMANESS in a GLBT person.

I guess it's about baby steps. Hopefully Logo will be a huge success and other channels will start to offer GLBT programming that is inclusive rather than a novelty, as well as, highlight issues facing the GLBT community.

Another Rat Flees the Sinking Ship

Bad boy Attorney General Alberto resigned his position today. This was long overdue. What's insane is how long he held on. I mean this guy got beatdown, after beatdown. It was like watching a beagle get mauled by a pack of pitbulls. I think he thought he was actually showing tenacity, when in reality he came off like a fool that didn't know when to throw in the towel.

What would have served him best would have been humility. Once he knew that he got busted and perjured himself, he should have thought about his father, and the integrity he lived his life with, and said to himself that it was time to go.

I don't think it's dishonorable to say "I fucked up" or "I don't have what it takes to do this." Coming clean is in fact one of the bravest things a person can do. It is also the only way a person can move towards improving and evolving.

Alberto, karma is a bitch. Get ready for what comes back to you. It won't be cute.

From Prom to Platoon

I come from a military family. My father fought in Korea, my Uncles in Vietnam, and my brother served four years as a Marine. They've all told me War is hell and the military is not too kind to brown or black soliders. I think many other Americans have been given these words of advice, because, the U.S. Army is hemorrhaging! During the past two months the Army has fallen short of it's recruitment goals.

This wound is opening further with the increasing number of deaths and soldiers maimed by the war. Another blackeye on the situation is reports of the men and women already in Iraq and Afghanistan burning-out from prolonged and multiple deployments. And the final slap across the face is the GUNG-HO attitude of the majority Americans has been replaced by call for the soliders to COME HOME.

The Pentagon is faced with the question: How then can the beast called War continue to be fed? Well, the U.S. Army is now offering what they call "quick ship" bonuses of $20,000 to new recruits. This incentive gets young fresh bodies to agree to go to boot camp up to six months sooner than the date given to them when they were signed up. It is now possible for a new recruit to end up in Iraq 3 months after entering bootcamp. I'm reminded of an animated clip from the Pink Floyd movie "The Wall." Where a menancing old man pushed children into a meat grinder.

Aug 13, 2007

Bee Charmed

I had a wonderful memory today. A few years ago I was in the Catskills area of New York state. This area is so far from NYC that at night the stars come out with such a pride that it humbles a native city resident, that has only seen the meek night sky in a big city.

Away from the distraction of city lights and towering buildings, the stars hold court in the night sky. They remind you that the planet you spin on is just a spec in something greater and more beautiful than you can ever imagine.

I was on a farm that was several acres wide and long. In the morning I went for a walk. I came to a part of the field that was erect with blossoms of either corn or wild flowers. I really don't know. What I remember is that what crowned the green tall stems were colors of yellow, blue and red. This city boy was drawn to them.

As I got closer I heard a low vibration of sound. I moved forward and the sound inched upwards with each foot of a step I took. Then I saw a haze above the flowers. A speckled blanket of air moved above that field. I moved forward. The sound became recognizable to me.

Hard at work within the air was a massive swarm of bees. The bees's buzz took the breath away from my lungs. I paused for a moment to take it all in. I then slowly backed away while facing the field to let the bees alone to do their work.

Aug 11, 2007

Take A Closer Look

One of the reasons why I cherish working at Cross High School is because I see so much of myself in the students. The student population at Cross is predominately Black and Latino. Many of the students in the program I work with also come from single-parent and poor or working-class families. They are me and I was them.

My mother raised my brother, sister and I, on food stamps for a time, and money was always scarce. She did this on her own, in Bushwick, one of the poorest and crime-ridden neighborhoods in Brooklyn, NY. This scenario is very similar if not the same for many of the young people I worked with over the summer.

While there are some kids that are thriving at Cross, there are some kids that are struggling either academically and/or emotionally. While I don't doubt there is love in the homes of the latter group, I know that the stresses of single-parenting and having to struggle to make ends meet, takes it's toll on the family.

I saw in these kids the same signs of it affecting them the way it did me. For many of them there self-esteem is in constant need of repair. I also saw many of them put up this front that was designed to protect them by scaring away any possible threats.

At times I was able to see beyond that and get a better look at the person behind that mask. This inner-view revealed to me a young human being that needed to be understood and feel they have a safe place. Also crucial for these young people is that someone shows them they care and have the patience to support them.

Unfortunately, I think many of them will have a hard road for some time. Most of the real repair and evolution may come when they are adults and can take more control of their own lives.

Now with that said, it doesn't leave their families, community, or teachers off the hook. All of us need to always shine our own lights and give of ourselves to help them navigate the dark times they can go through. The payoff in my opinion is we save ourselves by saving others. We enable another human being to be able to share their gifts with the world.

Aug 10, 2007

Can You Smell What's Cooking - Return of the Draft

Frequent tours for U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan have stressed the all-volunteer force and made it worth considering a return to a military draft, President Bush's new war adviser said Friday.

"I think it makes sense to certainly consider it," Army Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute said in an interview with National Public Radio's "All Things Considered."

"And I can tell you, this has always been an option on the table. But ultimately, this is a policy matter between meeting the demands for the nation's security by one means or another."

(Source: AP News via Huffingtonpost.com)

For those of you that are skeptical about the draft returning, I ask you to reflect on all that has been going on during the last 7 years. Do you not believe the unthinkable is actually possible? I say every elected-official's son or daughter of age goes first.

Aug 9, 2007

Prez Candidates Slumming in the Gay Ghetto



The Logo Channel and Human Rights Campaign Foundation hosted a forum with the leading Democratic candidates running for President. Here is my take on their “performances”:

Senator Barack Obama – I like his style and profile. His responses seem well thought out and sincere.

Senator John Edwards
– He lacks authenticity for me. His responses seem so canned. Just add water and stir. He was very instant vanilla pudding and Ken doll-ish.

What the hell is it with that thumb punctuation gesture these politicians use. Ugggh.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich – Okay, I dig he really puts himself out there and takes real risks in terms of his views. Supports same-sex marriages. He believes in letting love rule. Amen. Can Love rule in D.C.?

Senator Mike Gravel – Also, supports same-sex marriage. Favorite line of the night “A gifted politician will tell you to go to hell, and have you look forward to the trip.” He should teach, but not lead.

Governor Bill Richardson – He flopped. Rested on his past record of support for GLBT, but didn’t paint a motivating picture of what he will do as president. He sucked and Melissa Etheridge was NOT feeling him. The audience even groaned when he said being gay is a choice.

Senator Hillary Clinton – The closing act. Last candidate to do her thing. She rocked the coral jacket and showed no cleavage, and looked sexy. Melissa had to fan herself. An intelligent woman, experienced politician, she got the job done. She made me believe she has the ovaries for the job. But, do I trust her?

Aug 7, 2007

Deja Vu All Over Again

During the Vietnam war many U.S. soliders picked up the nasty habit of using Heroin to ease their mental pain and fatigue. Today I read at salon.com that soliders are once again picking up the habit and scoring some H while stationed in Afghanistan.

Will there be no end to the mirrored madness between Vietnam and the Iraq Wars?

Aug 2, 2007

Thoughts on Teaching

Well, good people, I completed another summer teaching at Cross High School. As you may recall from a previous blog, this year the program was bigger, we had over 60 students participating. The grade range also expanded to include freshmen and sophomores.

I went in determined to put to use some of the lessons I’ve learned from last summer and from the classroom field-placement I did in the October. Some of the key insights I gained from these two experiences are:

o Don’t take it personal when a student gives you attitude. While you don’t tolerate it, and nip that in the bud, I feel it’s important to allow them to be human and have a bad day or even not like me. At the end of the day I have to find some common ground where we can work together.
o Be careful what you assume about a student’s capabilities. Sometimes they know less than you think, or more than you are aware of. It’s really important to take some time to really figure out where they are in terms of knowing the fundamentals, maturity, and skills.
o Be conscious of the energy you are putting out. At the core of the classroom dynamics is human relationships. You have to go in the classroom full of love, hope and commitment to these young people, in order for it to work.

I have to say these lessons served me well. I had a great experience with the students at Cross. While there is still room for improvement, my overall impression is I was able to connect with many of them.

I’ll post other thoughts on the experience in increments, because there is a lot to say.

Jul 26, 2007

All I'm Saying Is Give Peace A Chance



United for Peace & Justice is supporting a robust campaign of grassroots activities throughout the summer and fall, culminating in an international day of action for peace on October 27, when 8 regional mass demonstrations will take place around the U.S., and more will be held around the world.

Check out their website to learn how you can be a part of a movement calling for peace.

Jul 17, 2007

Another Reason for Impeachment

Bush Aides See Failure in Fight With Al Qaeda in Pakistan
By MARK MAZZETTI and DAVID E. SANGER - NY Times (click here for the 411)
President Bush’s top counterterrorism advisers acknowledged that the strategy for fighting Osama bin Laden’s leadership of Al Qaeda in Pakistan had failed.

Jul 16, 2007

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Today, Rep. David Vitter came out of "seclusion" to apologize for the recent scandal connected to his patronage of an escort service. So it turns out David was once a "John" for a local DC prostitute. He's a sinner. Tsk, Tsk. What is interesting is David has the following voting record in the Senate:

6/25/07 - Pushes for Reauthorization of Abstinence Education Program: Maybe he can teach the kids how to say "no" when their loins are craving some action.

He also joined the bandwagon on the Marriage Defense bullshit. I wonder if he took calls from the DC madam in between meetings on how to protect the sanctity of marriage.

Jul 15, 2007

Be Careful the Tales You Tell

People love telling stories. Telling tall tales is always a temptation. I know I've been guilty of a few. Sometimes the motivation is just to make something seem funnier, scarier, or just plain more interesting than what really happen. There are also times we fib to save our own asses or someone else. So, perhaps it's human nature to weave a web, and often it ends in becoming entangled within it.

Today while watching The Next Food Network Star one of my favorite contestants got booted, because he got caught lying on his resume. Yes folks, JAG, as he liked to be called, never graduated from culinary school. And, on top of that while it was true he served in the Marines, he was never sent to Afghanistan. What an idiot. He made it to the final two, and had to bow out because he got busted. What a shame he didn't believe in himself enough, to let his true history shine. It was also a shame because he actually had the chef skills that were able to get him far and maybe win the contest. All that effort down the drain because of a lie.

I have sympathy for him, mainly because he's a young guy, and probably lacks the life experience to have known better. I also think he was lacking some brain cells since he told easily checkable lies.

I'm reminded of that Dean of Admissions at MIT that lied about not only her undergraduate degree, but TWO graduate degrees. Mind you she got away with those lies for many years. I don't have much sympathy for her because she had all those years to get her educational credentials right and maybe move on.

Lying to get a gig is nothing new, in fact I bet it's pretty common. But, at the end of the day is it worth it? I remember when I was job searching and had my Associates degree on my resume, a friend told me to say it was a BA degree. I thought about it for a minute. I then realized that one thing I'm not good at is having to look over my shoulder. Take me as I am! To hell with crafting a fake me, that eventually will be found out.

So good people, be careful the tales you tell.

Jul 13, 2007

A Comment on The Huffington Post

I thought this was greatly put by Professor Duh on The Huffington Post

"Advertising is about manipulating the public, while journalism is about informing the public. Advertising, not journalism, is now the dominant mode of discourse in the United States.
George W. Bush was sold to the American people entirely as a product, as the image of a great leader who was, paradoxically, a “regular guy” with whom you’d like to have a beer — not as the reality of a combat-dodging C student and serial business failure who’d spent most of his adult life drunk. As is now the rule, the American people bought the image and ignored the reality, in part because they now see themselves as consumers, not as citizens.
Americans have now tried the product, and have found that it sickens them. They are fed up not only with the product, Bush, but with the brand, Republican."

Jul 8, 2007

La Lupe Queen of Latin Soul

Okay, she was the Cuban scandal of Latin Soul. La Lupe! Get her music NOW.

A Moment of Grace

None of today pop-tarts come close to the scandal that is La Grace Jones. Let us have a moment of Grace.

Jul 5, 2007

Back With The Yungins

Okay good people, the students participating in the summer program at Cross High School arrived today! As always the first day is very exciting. I get to put faces to the names, that I've been reading off the many variations of lists given to me. I know them by grade, ethnicity, GPA, credit needed and zip code. Today, they became real young people.

This year the program has expanded and we have rising freshman, sophomores and juniors. So basically these kids range in ages from 13-17. Ahh, to be that age again - hell no! Yet, you have to go through it.

It's interesting how I take in first impressions, however; they don't last long. I've learned from experiences that what you first see is not what you are going to get. These young people are more complex than that. They soooo have an internal life going on.

Last year kids that started off shy and withdrawn opened up towards the middle of the program. And, kids that were extroverted and gung-ho vanished after the first few days. It takes time to know a person. After awhile all the masks start to peel off, especially with young people.

So I am up and running again with the young people of Cross High School in New Haven. What is always consistent with my students is that they need the motivation, information and guidance that will help each of them be successful, using their full-capability, come September.

I'll keep you posted.

Jun 28, 2007

I Think I Got It

Here are some thoughts on life:

- Many men pump their bodies full of harmful steroids to look like their favorite muscular superhero.

- Many women will save enough money for their first wedding than they would their first house.

- Many parents treat their kids like shit because they don't meet their expectations, and many more parents are shit and expect their kids to be better, and when they do, they get angry.

- People use morality at their own convenience. Do as I say, not as I do. Those are the rules, but they don't apply to me. If I'm guilty, I had a good reason.

- The GLBT movement was started by butch dykes, drag queens, and homeless queers; however, the mainstream GLBT movement does not make room for them today. The mainstream GLBT movement wants to be all scrubbed up.

- Policies against harassment on the work place are not designed to handle the covert dynamics behind sexual, political and inter-personal crimes against an employee.

- Ancient wisdom is real. Seek it out and know the truth. If modern science ain't figure it out....turn to the ancient elders.

- Too many boys are raised to become boys in men's clothing.

- Too many girls are raised to want it all, and not what they need personally and authentically.

- Sometimes sex is better in the head than the bed. When sex is better in the bed it fucks up the head.

- It's unavoidable...you music will become the oldies, your style will become nostalgic, your views will be assigned to a generation, your bones will crack when you stand up. And, it's a blessing you made it to that point.

Jun 23, 2007

A Moment to Take It In

I've been acting out lately. Nothing major but just staying up late, drinking beer like it's cream soda, and generally laying about. I manage to squeeze in some chores and play with the dogs; however, overall I feel I've been a bit of a mess.

I'm not worried just needed to put it out there so I know what is real. Don't forget people I do a lot of living in my head. So, I often have to proclaim things openly to keep tabs on myself.

Marcos, the husband, told me it makes sense I'm this way. I just completed my first year of being back in school and I don't have the challenges of my academic pursuit to keep me grounded. I think he may be right. I have free time when just a few weeks ago I had none.

Maybe, these past few weeks have been about me coming down from such an emotional and intellectual ride. It's been years since I've been in school and going back was fab but scary at times. I also started off the year mourning a dear friend that I miss very much.

I ended my first year back with a 3.07 GPA. I soared in many of my classes, and barely got through a couple. Overall, I am so grateful I have this opportunity to continue my education and pursue my teaching career.

Hey, FYI I'm going to teach at the same high school I taught at last summer. I'm excited. I learned a lot from my first experience and I'm eager to put some of my ideas to practice.

Jun 20, 2007

All Life Is Sacred...Well, Sometimes


Today Bush vetoed the stem cell measure. He stated that he felt it was immoral and "didn't want to encourage the deliberate destruction of human life." I give it to Bush he loves them fetuses. But, honey once you are out of the womb, all bets are off!

Interesting how there is no effort on his part to protect the sanctity of life in certain situtations. As Governor of Texas he let many an inmate on death row take their final walk to their death. And, umm, let's not forgot his signing off on the "Shock and Awe" campaign that sent many an innocent Iraqi to their deaths.

Maybe I miss the part in the bible that provides rules on when life is sacred and when it's no longer sacred. Amazing how people use their "beliefs" in such convenient ways.

FYI many of the embryos that would be used for research are eggs that were going to be disposed.

Jun 19, 2007

Picture it 1987, Over 500,000 GLBT Citizens Go To DC

It's the time of the season for Pride Fests. All over this country and certain parts of the world the GLBT community is coming out into the streets to march with pride. As you may recall from my previous post about the "pride" event in NYC, I have chosen to no longer partake.

I feel what has contributed to this feeling is that I have an experience that showed me the fabulous potential for these "pride" events. In 1987 I traveled with Lavender Light, a GLBT gospel choir to the 2nd national GLBT pride march on Washington D.C. Lavender Light would perform at several key events, including the rally on the great lawn.

Ok, ok I know that I'm comparing a National event with a Local event. I'm well aware of the disparity between resources, funding, and purpose. Now with that said, whether big or small, it's not what you got but how you use it.

To me that National march should be a template for all other marches happening in NYC or Knoxville, TN. It was the ideas of this event, I want to applaud and remind us what a pride events can do for the LGBT community.

- POLITICAL ACTION: You couldn't spend your weekend at this event without encountering information provided on voter registration, political views of elected officials in your community, and advice on how to organize a grassroots action locally.

- USEFUL INFORMATION: Whether it concerned, health, marriage, financial advisement, and spiritual well-being, there were events, symposiums and lectures that presented speakers that would give you food for thought.

- MULTI-CULTURAL CELEBRATION: The arts highlighted all of the talents of the diverse people of the GLBT community. They had poetry slams, musical concerts, theater, visual arts, and dance that showcased the expressions of various voices from the community. All you had to do was sit back and enjoy.

- SPIRIT: At this march I met people from just about every state and the overwhelming mood was love, joy and pride. I credit this vibe to the organizers, because they created an event that focused on a higher-purpose.

I know many of the pride events strive to create elements that reflect, what I found amazing about the national march in 1987. But, what I find in most of the advertising and promotion are smooth muscle boys half-naked. What I see in the NYC event is corralling of the thousands of people through the NYC streets, which results in people focused on getting to point A while not really looking at each other, or even stopping to reflect on what the day can give to them mentally or spiritually.

Maybe I'm jaded. But, I've talked to several of my friends about their pride experiences and no one has ever shared with me a thought that was connected to some reflection. No one has told me about an experience at the event the inspired them to take some sort of action. What I hear is "I hooked up with this hot piece.", "Ay, it was too hot and crowded for my nerves."

I'm gonna spend this pride month thinking about what I can do to help bring back the spirit of the D.C. March to my community. It would be lame for me to just sit back and complain. I'll keep you posted.

Jun 17, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth

Ok, ok I know I'm on the late train regarding Pan's Labyrinth but I rarely go to the movies. I rather luxuriate next to my hubby as we watch a film together and can laugh and/or cry as much as we want. Another bonus is that I make FAB movie snacks. Tonight we had Cassava and Pita chips with homemade mojo sauce.

Here are my thoughts on the film (LET ME WARN YOU THERE ARE SOME SPOILERS FOLLOWING):

Umm, GENIUS, magical, meaningful, not your typical Hollywood ending, poetic, worth owning; so that you can have several viewings and share it with those near and dear.

- When Ofilia offers her LEFT hand to her new fascists-step-father when she was introduced to him. Cliche foreshadowing? Yeah but, notice how she did this while holding in her right hand was what she believed in. Her books!(POLITICAL IDEOLOGY CONNECTED TO INTELLECTUAL THOUGHT)

- Mercedes, which means "mercy" in Spanish was pivotal to the story. She gave mercy to those that deserved it and shown none to those that didn't. (DIVINE JUSTICE)

- Yet another look at Mercedes. She would tuck her knife for cooking into her apron, after she completed her tasks, while deep into thought and wrangling her angst. She complained to her brother that she felt cowardly. Yet, the knife was always within the folds of her being. When the time was right she used it to fight for her life and exhibit her bravery. (INNER STRENGTH)

- The number 3 was ever present. There were 3 stars on the step-father's hat, 3 stones killed the frog, 3 tasks, 3 thrones at the end. The holy trinity? Remember, faithful readers, 3 is a magic number.

- Add to that observation that Mercedes brother is Pedro. Pedro is Peter in Spanish. Peter is the apostle that started the Catholic church. Hmmm, is this a movie about the Catholic church.

- I worried at this point people. I wasn't about to be excited about a film that promoted a religion that sees me in hell. This is how it was redeemed. A main character stuttered - which makes him queer (odd boy out). Yet he was honorable. They talked positively about soldiers from other places coming to save them, which to me, removed any xenophobia. Plus wasn't there something gay about the second in command.

- Daddy issues. The move is laden with them. C'mon the watch, the razor across the mirror, Ofalia refusing to call step-daddy, padre.

- Ohhh the table with the eyeless monster. How dare you eat off the table of your enemy. The one that eats your own.

- First scene and final scene. It's all about reincarnation! What have you learned in this reality and how would you use it in your next life?

I plan on watching it a few more times. There are many other lessons to learn within the twist and turns of Pan's Labyrinth. Cliche? Hey, some cliches are cliches because they work.

Jun 14, 2007

Stranger Than Fiction

Reality TV has given celebrities on the C through Z list a second career. It has also given the common individual a platform to whore themselves out for fame. Shining examples of this include:

- Da Brat has been The Surreal Life and Celebrit Fit Club. Quick name a top 10 hit by Da Brat. Yeah, I couldn't think of one either. Also, she must be pre-menoupausal by now, shouldn't homegirl drop the thug look by now.

- Danny Bonaduce has proven once again celebrity plays Russian Roulette on the psyche of former child stars. This guy actually sold a show idea to VH1 that focused around his drugging and drinking fueled hot mess of a life. And, child he is all pumped up with Steroids which brings the insanity to another level.

- Gene Simmons can now be seen in The Family Jewels. He was creepy as a demon in KISS and his creepiness has evolved. He now has a look that I describe as a serial killer that would fuck the family dog.

- Being Bobby Brown was genius. What the hell were they thinking when they decided to have camera follow them around? Oh wait I know. They needed the money to support their "habits", as well as supply the most sinister drug of all ATTENTION.

- Kudos to Tiffany aka New York from the Flavor of Love. Miss Draq-Queen Looking Thing parlayed her stint with Flavor Flav to her own show, I Love New York. She is now heading to a second season. She is now a nobody that everyone knows. She learned the valuable lesson: Get pimped you eat for a day, pimp others and you'll eat longer.

- Grease: You're The One That I Want has to be the longest commercial for an upcoming broadway show.

The bizarre thing about all of this is that this so called "reality" is not real. You want to see reality, the watch a well done documentary. I say this because it's all tainted in my opinion. All of these characters from celebrities to your Average Joe know the medium they are working within. I feel they calculate the "role" they want to play. We've all had our cherry popped. We know when a camera is on us that it is SHOWTIME! Reality TV is just layers of sloppy contrived plots fueled by producers.

So what you exploit yourself and a need for attention. Who cares if you are a celebrity that has already been flushed down the toilet of popular culture. What it's all about becoming a SUPERSTAR. Now give me my goodie bag of swag and remove that velvet rope.

Jun 11, 2007

Viva La Raza Puertoriqueña



Yesterday NYC had over a million Puerto Ricans along fifth avenue either marching or watching the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade. I've flaunted my pride at the parade myself a few times over the years. I didn't make it this year, so let me give a shout out to my fellow Boriquas by highlighting some of our accomplished hermanos y hermanas Boriqua:

Film/Television/Theater

Erik Estrada, Actor: Yup! Ponch from CHiPS is Puerto Rican
Jose Ferrer, Actor: First Latino to win an Oscar
Raul Julia, Actor: Brief but accomplished career in film,theater and television. Dram Desk Award winner and Tony nominee
John Leguizamo, Actor/Comic: Puerto Rican father
Jennifer Lopez, Actress/Singer/Entertainer: Diva
Rita Moreno, Actress/Singer: Winner of an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony.
Ana Ortiz, Actress: Catch her as the sister in Ugly Betty
Rosie Perez, Actress/Producer/Director/Choreographer: Check out her documentary "Yo Soy Boriqua..." She also choreographed the Fly Girls for In Living Color
Vanessa del Rio, Adult Film Legend: Such a hot mama even famed photographer Helmut Newton immortalized her in a portrait
Chita Rivera, Actor/Dancer: Broadway Legend and winner of two Tony awards
Jimmy Smits, Actor: Winner of an Emmy and Golden Globe
Benicio del Toro, Actor: Oscar winner

Literature/Music


Migel Algarin, Poet: Co-founder of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, some say the birthplace of the poetry slam.
Howie Dorough, Singer: Backstreet Boys member
Fat Joe, Rapper: Do the Rock Away...lean back, lean back
Pedro Pietri, Poet: Pivotal poem "Puerto Rican Obituary" a must read
Judge Edwin Torres, NY Supreme Court Justice: Author of Carlito's Way
Daddy Yankee: Prince of Reggaeton

Fashion/Models

Oscar de la Renta, Fashion Designer: Puerto Rican father
Jaslene Gonzalez, Model: Winner of America's Next Top Model Cycle 8
Astrid Munoz, Model/Photographer: Her fashion photography has been featured in French, German and Japanese editions of Vogue
Talisa Soto, Actress/Model: Featured in Vogue, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issues, and film Mortal Kombat

Business Leaders

Richard Carrion: Chairman International Olympic Committee's Finance Committee
Angel Ramos: Founder of Telemundo television network
Herb Scannell: Former Chairman of MTV Networks and president of Nickelodeon Networks. Puerto Rican mother
Joseph A. Unanue: President and CEO of Goya Foods, son of founder

Let me stop with the listing, because there are way too many to list on a blog entry.

A big Wepaaaa to all the Puerto Ricans out there. Keep on, keeping on. There's still a lot our community needs to overcome. Keep the faith, do the work and we'll get there!