Monday, June 22, 2015

What Part of Racism Don't You Get?

I abandoned this blog quite sometime ago in pursuit of more artistic outlets. However the need to express myself in complete sentences and paragraphs occasionally returns, so today I find myself compelled to write this. Here is why:

I can't take it any more. The squabbling, the pontificating the moralizing, the patent bullshit that the massacre in Charleston, South Carolina was about anything other than racism. Everyone has hopped aboard the train to exploit this tragedy to promote there own personal agenda for what they think is wrong with society. One poorly cited article from "Psychology Today" ironically proclaims the death of intellectualism as being the reason behind the Charleston massacre. Another article in that same publication explains how the the problem is narcissism. Right-wing publications have expressed an astonishing and heretofore unexplored concern for "mental health". It's drugs, it's this, it's that it's a gazillion other things other than what it is. What is it? It is racism. All this other stuff may contribute to what this young man did, but at the stinking, rotten, vile core of his act is racism.

Everyone decrying this as "unthinkable" or "unfathomable" has not been paying one little bit of attention to what is going on in this country. Unless you are living in a cave somewhere you should be aware of the vast mountain of racist crap flying around the internet, polluting the airwaves, and filling the bookshelves that feeds into and legitimizes racist ideology. Scroll down to the comments section on virtually any news article and you will more times than not be greeted with the most vile racist verbiage regarding virtually any subject matter. This act in Charleston should come as a no surprise to anybody. The shooter was fulled and fed by a racist support system that isn't very hard to find. I don't think you have to be a grand intellectual to understand that racism is wrong. It doesn't take an Mensa candidate to understand that it is wrong to shoot and kill a group of unarmed African-Americans at a Bible study. MOST people understand this. Calling this act of violence, this need to excuse it as something other than what it is, is racist in and of itself. It is a thinly veiled example of white privilege.

The United States has an ugly chapter in our history. That chapter is racism. We all know it.To fail accept that slavery, Jim Crow, the KKK, and the resulting terrorism employed to systematically  oppress African-Americans and to deny them their full rights as citizens which continues to this day is reprehensible. To act like it didn't happen, to reduce the nature of that suffering by negating the soul-crushing misery inflicted upon a race of Americans in this country for hundreds of years is a glaring example of white privilege. To behave as if the fallout from this history is behind us and racism is no longer with us is also the purview of white privilege.

The belief that the Confederate battle flag displayed in South Carolina is a part of this peculiar belief system. The idea that the Civil War was fought over something other than slavery diminishes the sacrifice made by thousands of people who preserved the very best parts of this nation. That this soul-crushing symbol of a rightly defeated government is allowed to fly over state public buildings in the state of South Carolina is wrong. It needs to come down.The Confederate flag long a symbol of a lost cause, has now become the symbol of white unwillingness to understand that this symbol is offensive to a portion of our citizenry who suffered under what it represents. Maybe some white people don't see it as such, however a significant portion of our population perceives it as a sign of the worst sort of oppression. That African-Americans should have to walk past this symbol every time they enter a public building in South Carolina is not what I want to be about as an American or a Southerner. To the rest of the nation, it makes Southerners look like something I know that most of them are not. Please let's honor those killed in Charleston by putting an end to this flag's use on public buildings.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Scandal In Tampa Bay!

Scandal errupted in Tampa Bay this week as a suspicious photo surfaced of an unnamed army officer's wife -- one "J. Kelley" -- was spotted wearing what looks to be a garment known as a "Snuggie" and/or "Slanket" (which everyone knows is just a backwards bathrobe). 
Kelley swears she was just cold and it only happened once when her husband was away.  She denies rumors that she was also wearing a pair of lime green Crocs (which everyone knows should only be worn if one is gardening).  Sources close to Mrs. Kelley claim that she has fully disclosed her fashion faux paux to her spouse who goes by the suspicious codename "Bulldog".
Mrs. Kelley could not be reached for further comment.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Jo-Jo's Guide to Hurricane Categories for Dummies

As hurricane/tropical storm Issac looms somewhere off the coast of Florida, I feel I have a duty to inform the public of what those vague catagories of hurricanes actually mean.  Here we go:

Tropical Storm:  I can't believe this wasn't a named storm.  It was much worse than ___________ (fill in name of Category  1 hurricane back in ____ (year).

Category One:  I hope the cable and internet don't go down.

Category Two:  Oh, crap!  Not the cable, internet AND the electricity.  What is all that crap my neighbors have doing in my pool?

Category Three:  What is my neighbor's roof doing in my pool?

Category Four:  Oh crap!  We should have left town.

Category Five:  Write out your will and testimony.  Put it in a Ziploc bag.  You're toast.

Any questions?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Headless Random Fat Lady

O.K., I haven't posted in quite awhile in part because I have nothing to say.  The other part is,  Blogger changed their format and apparently I have to find my own pictures to post.  I am not a photographer and I started this blog because I like writing.  Like most middle-aged people who still remember punctuation and spelling, when I started this blog I had no idea how picture-driven blogging is.  If they are going to make me work this hard for something I am putting out there for free by doing something I don't particularly like to do it seems rather pointless.   Until this morning.

I returned from this morning's much hated walking to a televised news story on obese diabetics.  The good news is (even though I am not diabetic) that fat diabetics live longer than skinny diabetics.  Before I could smile acknowledging that at last there was some justice in the world. they showed some stock footage's of a fat woman.  You known the footage -- the one where they show the random fat lady with her head cut-off, like this affords her some sort of anonymity.  Dollars for doughnuts this lady knows who she is and when she is out shopping for plants at the Home Depot she probably hasn't planned on being on T.V.  They may think she won't care if here head is cut off, but you can put money on it, that lady knows who she is and she is probably none to happy to be the random fat lady for that day.

I want all my friends, family, enemies, T.V. producers and punk kids with fancy phones to know that NOBODY has my permission to use me as the fat example, headless or not.  I once saw myself in the security camera at the local Michael's and thought:  "Who is that fat lady with the flat butt?"  It was me.  I may never shop there again.  They don't have that thing at the front of the door so you can plan to glance down at the floor and miss the horror show entirely.  Nope, they have that thing hanging up in the middle of the store where you really don't expect to see yourself until you look-up and your sensibilities are assaulted in a guerrilla attack on your vanity.   If I wanted to concern myself with  that sort of thing I would go swimsuit shopping.

That's it.  I may figure this damn blogging thing out (again) or not, but I want it known that  NOBODY has my permission to use stock footage of me as the headless random fat lady.  Well, unless they plan on paying me.  They we'll talk.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Aunt Bea, Demi Moore and Me

Francis Bavier-Beatrice Taylor

It was no wonder that Demi Moore wound-up in the hospital now that fifty is the new thirty. The problem with fifty being the new thirty is that you're still fifty and being thirty when you are fifty is EXHAUSTING.

It used to be fifty looked a lot like Aunt Bea from "The Andy Griffith Show". My own grandma looked a whole lot like Aunt Bea. She had that figure where everything goes to the middle (as in "middle-age) and she wore those tidy cotton dresses and sensible shoes throughout the sixties. Grandma had a sweet face (like Bea) and soft white hair. Her house smelled like fresh bread, because she baked her own. She made quilts out of the fabric leftover from the tidy cotton dresses she sewed and could knit mittens for grandchildren without a pattern.  

Now grandmas aren't supposed to act like grandmas anymore. When we are over fifty and ought to have some sense, we are supposed to look like one of those women on  "The Housewives of Whatever" shows. Maybe it is just me, but I think those women look like a pack of ex-strippers. Who wants their grandma looking like that? I am glad my grandma didn't look like a former exotic dancer. Plus, all that teetering around on five inch heels makes me nervous -- someone could break a hip!

A lot of the media has latched onto this fifty is the new thirty-thing like it is the most wonderful thing ever. Not that there is anything wrong with trying to look nice, but if it involves a visit to the doctor's office you can count me out. It's not just that I loathe pain (I do), I don't think those women who get all that stuff REALLY look that much better. A lot of them wind-up looking kind of weird in a somewhat embalmed way.

Not that Demi Moore doesn't look damn good for her age (if not a bit thin) but you just cannot do the stuff you used to do in your twenties in your fifties.  Including Ashton Kutcher.   Listen, if  G.I. Jane can't handle the fifty is the new thirty thing without being hospitalized, I sure as hell can't.

I'm not resigning my standing hair color appointment, or throwing in the towel on the whole "Weight Watchers" business (although sometimes I want to throw the towel at that cute little Jennifer Hudson) and inhaling a pile of lard. I am not promoting pure surrender.  It's just if you are over fifty, cut yourself a little slack:  Relax.  It's O.K. to be older.  I may have traded-in capris with elastic waistbands and Birkenstocks for Aunt Bea's tidy cotton dresses, but like Aunt Bea, I worked HARD for the privilege.