Wednesday, November 18, 2015

HIV NEVER LEFT

 

Yesterday Charlie Sheen revealed on NBC's"Today Show" that he was diagnosed with HIV about four years ago.  Sheen was never secretive about his risque dalliances with prostitutes and porn actresses. He gained quite a reputation as a wild party man who indulged in life's excesses.   Despite his sexual appetite and personal choices it was still unsettling to hear.  A virus that can lead to a premature death is enough to make you uneasy. 

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus first made headlines in the eighties. Initially it appeared as a "gay man's" disease. We found out that HIV could lead to AIDS which compromised a person's immune system leaving them vulnerable to opportunistic illnesses such as cancer. I grew up in New York where an AIDS epidemic erupted and decimated certain groups. The fear of this monster caused many to speculate about how it could be transmitted.  We knew that sex and needles could pass the disease from one person to another. Some believed it could also be caught from kissing, toilet seats, breathing  and maybe even a hug.  

I remember sitting in a health class at St. John's University and being told that the 4 H's were mostly susceptible to AIDS; Homosexuals, Heroin/Intravenous drug users, Hemophiliacs and Haitians. That news eventually made it to the streets and caused a panic.  Haitians took offense to being singled out and took to the streets. The images of  the Brooklyn Bridge appearing to buckle under their marching feet is still vivid in my mind.

Today we do know that anyone can contract HIV through unprotected sex, the sharing of needles and blood transfusions. There are drugs available today that can allow those infected to live long lives.  Magic Johnson is a prime example since he has lived with HIV for over 20 years now.   HIV/AIDS is not the death sentence it was over 30 years ago but it is still a chronic crisis lurks within all our communities.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

ZOMBIES BEWARE THE BLACK WOMAN IS HERE!





I love Zombie movies. The fast pace and eminent danger the characters face is exhilarating. There is something about an apocalypse that would probably reveal what a human being is truly capable of.  Recently Black women have taken the forefront on the small screen when battling the undead. No characters represent a strong woman faced with fierce survival skills better than Michonne and Sasha from AMC's The Walking Dead and Warren from Z Nation on the SYFY network.  These sisters have miraculously survived the Black Horror Curse and have lived to see not only another episode, but another season. 

Michonne played by Dania Guiria on The Walking Dead is the baddest female or male you will ever see on the television screen.  When she wields her dual katana swords you know whatever is at the end of those blades is about to say goodbye from this world.   Sonequa Martin-Green plays Sasha the resilient stone-faced woman who will persevere by any means necessary. Over on the SYFY network Kelita Smith as Warren is the sexy take-control leader who can make putting a zombie down look effortless.  I cannot remember a time when Black female characters were so kick-ass on the small screen.  I hope it never ends.








Monday, September 7, 2015

Marcy Borders



Marcy Borders emerged from the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, covered in dust.  She was a 28 year-old woman that had recently started a new job. She survived that tragic day but her life was forever marred by her experience like so many others. Many of us can remember precisely where we were the day thousands of people senselessly lost their precious lives. I remember the sense of despair I felt as I waited to hear if my cousin who worked in the Twin Towers was okay.  She had gotten to work late and fortunately never entered the buildings, but she lost co-workers. Ms. Borders famous image, captured by photographer Stan Honda, was seen around the world and garnered her the name, "Dust Lady".  Unfortunately Ms. Borders succumbed to stomach cancer on August 24th of this year at the tender age of 42.

When people survive tragedies we tend to romanticize it.  How glorious that they made it out of dire circumstances with their lives.  Our perceptions are so influenced by the Hollywood happy ending that we choose to ignore the traumatic aftermath of a near death experience.  Post Traumatic Syndrome does not only affect the soldiers who survived the battlefield.  It is something that everyone who survives a tragedy or experiences a traumatic event, can relate to.   Ms. Borders' life after the Twin Towers fell was not a "happily ever after".  She became depressed and began smoking crack, no doubt to numb the pain.  Prior to passing on to the next life, she was unemployed and lacked proper health insurance as she battled the Big "C".  Many of those that emerged from those buildings have died due to illnesses that some believe were brought on by the toxins that inhabited the Towers.  I believe the stress of surviving such a horrendous event can eat away at someone and as the mind struggles with it, the body itself begins its own battle.

As we prepare to  mourn the lives lost on 9/11, we must remember those who survived and are continuously struggling with what happened 13 years ago.  Their lives were shattered and they are still piecing them together the best that they can. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

"IT DON'T MATTER IF YOUR'E BLACK OR WHITE?"

Rachel Dolezal, the president of the Spokane NAACP chapter, decided years ago she would assume the life of a black woman.  What led her to that is unclear at the moment.  Was it her divorce from a black man or did it start when her parents adopted black children? Could it be her time at Howard University or did she have a spiritual transformation after seeing a Beyonce concert? My heart says she has personality disorder but I am not a doctor nor do I play one on TV.

I was flabbergasted when I first heard this story.  I love being a black woman but what white woman in her  right mind would want to be one in such a racist world? Dealing with a misogynistic society just wasn't enough of a challenge?  My mind is swirling with all the times white women decided, " I could be a sister".  This story definitely deserves to be adapted to film. So who would be cast to play Ms. Dolezal?

1.  Maybe Iggy Azalea could star in the movie, she is already doing a minstrel act disguised as a rapper.  I heard her music career is on the decline.  She could now transition into acting and play Ms. Dolezal in the Lifetime movie.  She would have to work on her accent; not the Australian one but that fake "urban" one she pollutes the airwaves with.

2.   Or better yet perhaps Angelina Jolie she already played a mixed woman in the docudrama, "A Mighty Heart".  Jolie has one of Ms. Dolezal's hairstyles in that movie. She also adopted a daughter from Africa, so she has an inside perspective.

3. Fox News' beloved Stacey Dash would slay that role.  With a little makeup she could do some work.  It would be a stretch because it seems like she has an old southern white plantation woman trapped in her body. Dealing with unreality is her forte. I have confidence in her craft, after all she was practically a middle aged woman when she played a high school student in "Clueless".

4.  Like Ali did in "The Greatest", Ms. Dolezal could play herself.  She already has mastered the acting chops.  Her legendary performance screams Oscar nominee.  A little mid-western blond girl turns herself into a black woman who heads a NAACP chapter in a city where 1.9 % of the population is black. You couldn't make this stuff up. She could be the stylist as well.  Those intricate natural hair styles is what duped everyone. Standing Ovation!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Mosaic World

 
We do not live in a monolithic world.  Instead we exist in a realm of mosaic skin colors from the darkest ebony hue to the palest ivory colored skin.  The world is what it is and each and everyone of us has a preference of what we are attracted to.  My preference is a man that is physically attractive  and emotionally generous; stingy men need not apply.

These polls are probably flawed by the sheer limitation of the presumed demographic it surveyed. Of course, the sisters end up at the bottom of what is considered a desirable woman; and as usual our counterparts joining us in the basement of fire and desire, are Asian men.   Maybe Asian men and Black women should consider flipping the script and hooking up with one another more often.  Just a thought.  What flabbergasted me was that White women tumbled to third place.  What the hell is going on when Becky is not at the top of the dating food chain? 

Race was created by the European man.  Before he decided to divide and conquer the entire world and claim it as his own, people were tribal.  The European man's obsession with race has infiltrated every society in the Universe, but there is still hope and it exists within each and everyone of us. The right to choose who you love without any judgement should prevail. Let's add another amendment to the dating constitution: the right to be secure in your choice of who you decide to date without being judged by that individual's race and what society dictates.  When we allow this amendment to be self evident all races in the world of dating will be equal.  Amen.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

STOP POLICE!


I probably watch way too many police television shows.  Law & Order and Cops have totally framed the way many view how a policeman should act.  It is foolish to base your reality on anything you see on the tube, but I am guilty as charged.  I assume that if a police officer pulls someone over for a busted tail light and the driver (with a passenger in the front seat) flees that he would call for back up.  Leaving the passenger in the vehicle, then turning your back to him to pursue the fleeing driver on foot seems stupid.  Then proceeding to gun down the driver like you are at target practice is outrageous. The fatal shooting of Walter Scott in that same scenario in North Carolina is tragic but unfortunately normal.   In the television world the cop would wait for back-up. During his subsequent pursuit he would yell Stop Police and then tackle the assailant. Everyone leaves the scene alive.

I grew up in the NYC so I know that people of color have the possibility of losing there lives to a police officer quite easily. I know what they don't show on Cops. Sixty-six year old Eleanor Bumpurs always pops into my psyche when I think of police shootings.  In 1984 somewhere in the Bronx she was being ordered evicted by the city but refused to open her door. The cops broke it down and shot and killed a mentally ill, elderly black woman who was already paranoid that someone was after her. She owed less than 100 dollars.  They alleged she was carrying a knife.  Unfortunately there is no video. As a kid I realized that if a old lady not armed with a pistol good be gunned down so could my black ass.

Was Walter Scott wise to flee the scene?  No, but he didn't deserve to die like a runaway slave.  Should unintelligent officers be allowed to police our streets?  No, but these wannabe overseers are in police forces across the country.  Thank God, for the young man that videotaped this.  His brave recording exposed the policeman's false report.  The most disgusting part of Walter Scott's killing, outside of his death, was the officer's fantastical claim that he feared for his life and that he administered CPR.  The tape don't lie.

Americans and the media must visualize something to believe it.  Witnesses, and the evidence does not matter; it is all about the video.  I wish every officer could show restraint like the officer above.  That white man walked away with his life.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

KEEP SEXUAL PLAY OLD SCHOOL


Polaroid Z2300 Instant Digital Camera

Recently a couple of correction officers, in a relationship, were embarrassed by the discovery of their sexual escapades on the male officer's cell phone.  At the Green Haven Correctional Facility COs are not allowed to bring cell phones into the prison.  The officer forgot his phone in his jacket and it was confiscated. He informed an official of the photos.  Well you know there are voyeuristic people who are driven by curiosity and cannot help but peer into a technological window.  There also are those who regress back to the seventh grade when it comes to sex.

Now of course if you don't take sexual photos or videos on your phone, laptop, or tablet then you never have to worry about your intimate moments being revealed to others. How realistic is that?  We have become creatures that record every moment of our lives and walk around with it in our pockets and purses.  I believe it is healthy for a couple to add visualization to their sexual repertoire, but you have to be sensible about it.  The old school way of doing things applies here.  Invest in a Polaroid camera and keep the photos locked in a little inconspicuous safe that only you and your significant other have the combination to.  A video camera, not connected to a cell phone or any other social media gadget, is a wonderful investment. A projector and a projector screen are also practical accessories to add to your video play.

Lightinthebox.com

There is nothing wrong with wanting to capture erotic moments with your lover.  First you have to make sure you truly trust that person, and that takes time.  Once you established mutual trust you can decide to record your sex life; just invest in some gadgets that are harder to fall into the hands of outsiders.  We all have locks on our doors, access to alarm systems so we should have no problem safeguarding our most intimate moments?  

http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/central-dutchess/2015/01/17/green-haven-co-cell-phone-photos/21913193/