Monday, October 24, 2011

It's My Party!

Nazis, Socialists, Communists, oh my! It seems if you're not right, you're not right -- depending on who you're talking to. When the Tea Party Movement emerged, they were either hailed as revolutionaries and trendsetters or bitter and racist. So it's no surprise that the Occupy Wall Street gang has come under fire by their conservative resistance. Billing them as urine soaked, out of control hippies, living in tents and getting arrested; the Wall Street sit ins could end up losing its message, even though according to the opposite side, they didn't have one to begin with. When the Tea Partiers wave their flags and stage their protests, they are upstanding citizens, lovers of the free world and small business, fighting against big government and battling to protect the founding father's America. Enter Wall Street Occupiers and they are all unemployed bums looking for a hand out, pressing the president for a come up, belligerent and nasty, with no purpose or cause. So why can't both groups stand up for what they believe in and be right in their resolve? Isn't that what they both are sort of fighting for anyway? For their whining, demanding voices to be heard? Instead, when they get a platform, they use it to point fingers and spread this contagion of divisiveness. Once again, I have to dig into my bag of cliches: "if you're not part of the solution"... eh, you know the rest. So before I pitch my tent in the liberal field of freebies or suit up with the "righties" looking down my nose at those who are not with me; I'll stand where I am, in the middle, where I can see both sides clearly. I'm not in any position to be swung or swayed.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tribute to MJ

Maya Angelou said, "We had him" and it's true. For the past half century, we had him, we just didn't hold on. Until now, there were no street-side kiosks selling his youthful image on t-shirts. There were no hour-long specials on prime time documenting his artistic prowess, his distinctive look (albeit ever-changing) and his unbelievable movement through dance.

We're happy to say now that he, a Black man, was the best to ever do it. Spike Lee even said, "He belonged to us" at a memorial at the Apollo theater. If he did in fact belong to us though, did we claim him? Did we embrace and support him when he was mocked and branded "Wacko Jacko" and holed up in Neverland? Did we believe him when he said he would never and could never harm a child? Or did we simply trade in "white Michael" for the countless acts that came after him, who in hindsight could never and will never replace him?

As yet another medley of songs from the Jackson 5 and beyond plays symphonies in my head, I realize I know every lyric or at least can hum along with the bass line even though some of these masterpieces were written before I was born. How many artists can take credit that kind of inter-generational reign? Timeless, boundless music fills me; but those notes, pitch-perfect and pure, must share a space with the sadness of losing one of the greatest ever. And now my "man in the mirror" is ashamed and guilty of taking it all for granted.

So many have tried to cloud his talent with the details and inefficient facts of his 1993 settlement with a young boy's family or his 2005 child molestation trial where he was ultimately found not guilty. Now as the media outlets play past interviews with the tragic star, I hear him explain that he settled in order to avoid a lengthy trial and all that would have come along with one, and it sounds believable. It makes sense.

While to some, for the past 15 years, he became a pervert and a pedophile, now in death, he is a mastermind and a genius. He is "our" star and we want him back.

But we let him down. We forgot that it matters not how much you tell someone you love them once they have departed this life. It's how you treat them and what you tell them while they are here, alive, and moonwalking on the Earth.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Teresa Against the World

The Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion aired last night, did you watch it? If not, let me introduce you to Teresa Giudice, or shall I say the new Danielle Staub? It was a little difficult to see Caroline, Melissa and Kathy all take turns at trying to take Teresa down. And how painful was it to sit through Andy asking her all that personal information about her financial status and bankruptcy fraud allegations? (Or maybe some of you enjoyed the naughty little peek into her pocketbook.) Bravo kept us in the dark as to why Jacquelin wasn't there, it was on of those "you're gonna have to wait and see" moments. Since they are all in the midst of filming Season 4, the women were unable to give us the gossip, we know for sure, however, that the drama this time is centered around Teresa. So she wrote a few things in her cook book in order to turn a profit, the woman owes $10 million dollars and can't pull it out of her big Jersey hair. What really intrigued me was Caroline's demeanor. She has always been billed as the strong, maternal, mature one; the matriarch. But like Teresa once said, "She's not the matriarch of MY family." I'm not falling for Caroline's holier than thou approach. She's no better than the rest of them, and now that she is not too happy with Teresa, she seems to want to air out any and everything she may have said to her in confidence when they were friends. That's high school behaviour at its best. If I come to you to vent a little bit about my family, I don't expect you to go back and tell them every little thing I said when you get mad at me. That wasn't fair and it sure doesn't make me respect her. Melissa sat on that couch trying her best to appear somewhat intelligent and presentable, but I see right through her as well, and don't think she is either innocent or genuine. I guess you can tell that I am "Team Teresa". I don't think she deserved to be gang up on and abused by her cast mates for little or no apparent reason. She held her own for the most part and I hope she continues to be strong and fight for her family, those four girls are really what's most important. Friends are fickle, in-laws can be fake and family, well... you can't pick them, so the only thing you can do is pray no one flips a table at the next holiday gathering.