Barbarians Real and Imagined

This, also, is important and pertinent…especially now.

Espiritu en Fuego/A Fiery Spirit

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A guide to debunking ‘black-on-black crime’ and all of its rhetorical cousins

My mood is still somber. Even with the joy of seeing my brother Stephen on Friday to attend his progress meeting in the back of my mind Stephen even though he has Autism would just be a target to a white cop. A reality that was always there but now has smacked me dead in the face has set into my soul.

For the majority of white America seeing Black Men shot dead in front of their wives and children or watching those children sobbing with grief is just entertainment. They have the option of turning the channel and going on with their lives.

For me it’s personal. It could be my…

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Award #3…I’m Honoured!

This was just what The Doctor ordered! Fellow blogger Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha, over at acoookingpotandtwistedtales, nominated me for a blogging award – and, it’s one that I get to choose! My first nomination was for a Premio Dardos Award, courtesy of Elfkat, and my second one was a Liebster award, courtesy of Anand – so, I think I will accept the Versatile Blogger Award this time around…why not?

Thank you, Jacqueline, for noticing my little place over here…your nomination is greatly appreciated! We have something in common…I also did a bit of modeling in my 20s, so that was interesting to learn about you.
🙂

Time to “pay this forward” – perhaps my words and thoughts will be a bit less scattered, now that the recent Mercury retrograde phase has ended, LOL – but, I’m doing ‘The Rules of Engagement’ a little differently than has been listed…so, the residuals are still present!

The Rules of Engagement:
1. Select other blogs you want to give the award to.
2. You cannot nominate yourself or the person who has nominated you.
3. Write a post to show your award.
4. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
5. Give a piece of advice or two to new bloggers.
6. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
7. Attach the award to the post (right click and save, then upload).
8. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them.
9. Provide a link to the award post you created.

My blog, here, started as an attempt to re-enter the blog-o-sphere after a 5-year hiatus. I’m writing an autobiography and thought that this would be a way to keep the creative juices flowing as I bring it to completion. I am also working on writing daily, no matter how small an amount, to keep my brain and tongue sharp…so, I write about things that pique my interest, tickle my funny-bone, irritate and annoy me, or make me go “Oh, really?”

I originally had a blog on Blogger but I wasn’t happy with what I was writing there, so I just let it die. I also had a MySpace account and used the blogging feature there to talk about music, gaming and personal hobbies, but that went away as well…I just let it fade and fossilize. The third time was the charm, apparently – this blog has been going strong for 5 years! I hope to keep meeting other writers, pagans, and lovers of life over the next five years…and beyond!

My piece of advice to new bloggers would be to read, read, and read some more! Search out blogs that share your interests and get to know the people behind them. For the heck of it, find one or two blogs that you would never have thought of following and meet some entirely new people who might have some interesting, unique perspectives!

Time for the Q & A…my answers are below each question.

1. What makes you happy?
A: Little things…an unexpected call from a friend; watching the birds and animals outside of my house, thunderstorms, rainbows, a good song playing on the radio 5 minutes after I think about it.

2. If your life was turned into a movie, what actor would play you?
A: Lupita Nyong’o and / or Grace Jones.

3. What’s your favorite memory?
A: Seeing a monarch butterfly up close, as it fluttered past me when I was crossing trolley tracks in San Francisco with my dad. I was 3 at the time, and my favourite book then was about monarch butterflies and their migration.

4. What is your greatest strength or weakness?
A: My greatest strength seems to be my weakness. I’m used to doing things myself, and I’m good at it. I get things done – others see me and assume that I need no assistance – but I never know when, or who, or how to ask for help when I really need it…and sometimes, I do.

5. What do you feel most proud of?
A: That’s a tough one to answer without sounding arrogant, LOL – but, I’d have to say that the fact that I keep my word is something to be proud of.

6. What is your favorite music?
A: Anything that suits my mood at the time, and gets me dancing no matter what my mood is!

7. If you could only keep 5 possessions, what would they be?
A: Photo album, knife, chain mail, camera, backpack.

8. If you win a lottery what would you do?
A: If it was sizeable enough, I would ensure that my mother, father, and brother have their health-care needs attended to for the rest of their days. I would ease the financial burdens of my sisters. I’d pay off my student loans, get a nice wardrobe, laptop, and camera set – then I’d travel, travel, travel!

9. What are you most afraid of?
A: Feeling inadequate.

10. How would your friends describe you?
A: My genuine friends would describe me as a warm, caring person who gives great advice and works hard – “beautiful” and “frighteningly intelligent” are also top descriptors. My acquaintances would describe me based on how they perceive me on any given day.
😉

I read and follow quite a few blogs, but can only think of five off of the top of my head that might want to be nominated! No pressure on those that I did nominate; if you wish to participate, you may. I know that it’s difficult at the best of times to acknowledge these awards! I have no questions at the moment, but if you’d like to share five fun facts about yourself with me, feel free to do so.

My nominees for the Blogger Recognition Award are:

Eddie Two Hawks

Skywalker Storyteller Works

The Playground – Thumbup & Buddha9

Tribalmystic

Good Black News

R.I.P., Ameila Boynton Robinson

Amelia Platts Boynton Robinson: 18 August 1911 – 26 August 2015

One of the matriarchs of the civil rights movement, Amelia Boynton Robinson, passed away early yesterday morning at the age of 104. She was the first Black woman to run for congress in Alabama, and a survivor of “Bloody Sunday.” That was the day that she and many others marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. Peaceful protestors were met with armed state troopers, who beat them mercilessly and tear-gassed them – Amelia was beaten unconscious. From Al-Jazeera:

Amelia Boynton Robinson, a civil rights activist who nearly died while helping lead the “Bloody Sunday” civil rights march in 1965, championed voting rights for blacks and was the first black woman to run for Congress in Alabama, died early Wednesday at age 104, her son Bruce Boynton said.

Boynton Robinson was among those beaten during the voting rights march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, in March 1965 that became known as “Bloody Sunday.” State troopers teargassed and clubbed the marchers as they tried to cross the bridge. A newspaper photo showing Boynton Robinson, who had been beaten unconscious, drew wide attention to the movement.

Fifty years later, Barack Obama, the first black president of the United States, pushed her across the span in a wheelchair during a commemoration.

Boynton Robinson, who was hospitalized in July after having a major stroke, turned 104 on Aug. 18. Her son said she had been living in Tuskegee and was hospitalized in Montgomery. Boynton Robinson’s family said in a written statement that she was surrounded by relatives and friends when she died around 2:20 a.m.

In January, Boynton Robinson attended the State of the Union address as a special guest of Democratic Alabama Rep. Terri Sewell, who said Boynton’s 1964 run for Congress paved the way for her. Sewell is Alabama’s first elected black congresswoman. Boynton was the first woman to run on a Democratic ticket in Alabama and the first black woman to run for Congress in the state, according to the Encyclopedia of Alabama.

“Mrs. Boynton Robinson suffered grave injustices on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma at the hands of state troopers on Bloody Sunday, yet she refused to be intimidated,” Sewell said in January. “She marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, my colleague Rep. John Lewis and thousands of others from Selma to Montgomery and ultimately witnessed the day when their work led to the passage of the historic Voting Rights Act of 1965.”

A lady of immense courage and strength – a true warrior. Rest easy now, Amelia…you join a pantheon of true heroes. Your accomplishments should be an inspiration for youth of today, and generations to come.

Lest we forget…

R.I.P., Emma Didlake

Emma Didlake: 13 March 1905 – 16 August 2015

Emma Didlake, the oldest known veteran in the U.S., passed away on Sunday. The 110-year-old ‘super-centenarian’ had met President Barack Obama last month. From The Huffington Post:

Didlake’s granddaughter told the San Antonio Express-News that the 110-year-old had felt tired over the past few days and showed signs of failing health.

“It was a month ago today that we went to the White House,” said Marilyn Horne. “I think she felt she had accomplished everything and could take her rest.”

At the age of 38, as a mother with five children, Didlake joined the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps and earned multiple medals for her service. After leaving the military, she became active in the civil rights movement: She joined the Detroit chapter of the NAACP, and marched with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963.

“We are so grateful that she is here with us today,” Obama told reporters after his July 17 meeting with Didlake. “And it’s a great reminder of not only the sacrifices that the greatest generation made on our behalf, but also the kind of trailblazing that our women veterans made, African-American veterans who helped to integrate our armed services,” Obama said. Monday afternoon, the president released a statement about her passing, saying she “served her country with distinction and honor.”

“I was humbled and grateful to welcome Emma to the White House last month,” he said, “and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to Emma’s family, friends, and everyone she inspired over her long and quintessentially American life.”

Quite impressive. A mother of five, at the age of 38, chose to serve her country – and did so with distinction and honour. She was a true warrior in every sense of the word. Rest easy now, Emma. You are the one who deserves a banner reading: “Mission Accomplished.”

I salute you.

 

Sunny Sunday…

Credit: intelligenttravel.nationalgeographic.com

The sun is out now, but it rained overnight – it’s definitely needed!

Just had a few random things on my mind to share on this fine Sunday…a few little things which may or may not be of interest, so here goes!

First off, I know that there has been an official autopsy report in the death of Sandra Bland, who was laid to rest yesterday. I will freely admit that I’m very, very skeptical of it – and I’m not the only one. In light of recent events, it isn’t hard to see why many are skeptical.

The abducted young ladies of Chibok, Nigeria, have been away from their families and loved ones for 468 days now…it’s sad and disheartening. All I can do is hold out hope that they will be freed.

I have an ISTP ‘personality type,’ from what I’ve learned over the years – I think it is what enables me to laugh at myself as loudly as I laugh at anything else that tickles my funny-bone, LOL

Maybe that will give you more insight into who I am…but then again, it probably won’t. This is fine with me, either way!

😉

Today marks the Procession of the Witches, also called Heksenstoet, in Beselare, Belgium. It’s an interesting local festival, there. From Expatica.com:

“Beselare in West Flanders has been associated with stories about witches for centuries. Its most famous witch is Sefa Bubbles, who according to legend was the witch chief of all the local witches.

You can see her at the local witch festival or Heksenstoet, held on the last Sunday in July, with songs and dances about her, and her children. But she’s certainly not the only important witch in town; in the weeks before the festival, every local household makes its own witch, and enters it in a village competition to win a prize for the best one.

You can see life-sized gnarled old papier mache witches sitting outside every gatepost and every door. The local folklore has it that husbands have been known to sit their unwitting mothers-in-law outside on the judging day of the competition.

Everyone dresses up as a witch for the day. The local people say it never, ever rains for the witch parade. True to form, last Sunday, the day remained gloriously hot and sunny. Sorcery!

Once the Witch horse riders have cleared the road, and the parade gets underway, two marchers carry forward a large sign reading ‘In this village, there is witchcraft!’, and the first of many floats go past (including a vast 17th-century castle which caused hilarity one year by getting stuck on the bunting across the road).”

I’m getting ready to watch a baseball game, so I’ll close with two funny videos and a song…I know that my humour might not be to everyone’s tastes, so feel free to not watch them! You’ve been warned, ROFL

XD

 

For All of the Comic-Con Fans… ***UPDATED***

…if you’re lucky enough to have attended Comic-Con in Toronto recently, or are currently in San Diego enjoying the madness, this is for you! Enjoy…

😀

http://teamcoco.com/video/conan-comic-con-mad-max?playlist=x;eyJ0eXBlIjoicG9wdWxhciIsImlkIjpudWxsfQ

http://teamcoco.com/video/anime-conan-andy?playlist=x;eyJ0eXBlIjoidGFnIiwiaWQiOjJ9

***UPDATED SUNDAY, 12 JULY 2015***

Credit: comicsalliance.com

Last, but certainly not least, honourable mention to Congressman John Lewis, who was at SDCC promoting his graphic novel trilogy, March. From Tech Times:

In 1956, a comic book changed John Lewis’s life. It was a ten cent, 14-page floppy that told the story of Martin Luther King’s march on Montgomery. 

“The Martin Luther King story inspired me,” explains the congressman, telling a story he’s no doubt recounted countless times over the past few years. “It told me what happened and how it happened in Montgomery, the involvement of Rosa Parks and hundreds of people. This little book, 14 pages, sold for ten cents and became the blueprint for me and hundreds of thousands of other people across the American South.”

For Lewis and a generation of civil rights freedom fighters, Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story was more than just a comic book. It was a blueprint for change through non-violent protest.

“It taught us to accept non-violence, not just as a tactic, but as a way of life,” Lewis adds. “We started sitting in at lunch counters all across the south, and as a student in Nashville, I was part of the sit-in movement. We would sit at the lunch counter and someone would spit on us or put out a lit cigarette in our hair. They would pull us off the stools, beat us and later on we would be arrested and taken to jail. The first time I got arrested, I was 20. I felt free and I felt liberated and I’ve not looked back since.”

The comic’s straightforward storytelling had an impact that’s stayed with the Congressman to this day, and when aide Andrew Aydin brought up the subject at the end of a 2006 campaign, Lewis was happy to explain the impact the book had on his life’s trajectory.”

What do you know…Comic-Con is slowly becoming a bit more multicultural – it’s about time! Well done, Congressman…well done.     🙂

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R.I.P., Ben E. King

Benjamin Earl King, a.k.a. Ben E. King: 28 September 1938 – 30 April 2015

Oh, no…I just heard of the death of the legendary Ben E. King, best known for the hit song “Stand By Me.” From Al-Jazeera:

Ben E. King died Thursday of natural causes. He was 76. King was one of a vanishing breed of singers who recorded songs that seem to have always existed. Just an overview of some of his hits — “Stand By Me,” “Spanish Harlem” and “There Goes My Baby” — are sufficient to define an era of American music, one of lushly arranged pop masterpieces. No voice was better suited to sing them than the smooth baritone of Ben E. King.

Born Benjamin Earl Nelson in North Carolina, King moved to Harlem with his family by the age of 9. He sang in church and learned harmonies with friends from school. By 1958 he was singing with a doo-wop group called the Five Crowns. Later that year, the manager of the Drifters fired every member of the group and replaced them with King’s group. This new version of the Drifters recorded hit after hit for Atlantic Records, songs like “Save the Last Dance for Me” and “This Magic Moment.” King sang lead on almost all of the 14 songs he recorded with the group.

“When I got involved with the Five Crowns, who later became the Drifters, and we got this hit record, I still was looking at this as kind of a fun thing,” he once told an interviewer. “When the hit record happened, I just said, ‘Well, it’s still fun, and it’s a fluke.’ I didn’t take it all that seriously. I still think my whole career was accidental. I didn’t pursue it.”

King was fired from the Drifters for asking for a fair share of royalties rather than the flat weekly rate the group was being paid. Lover Patterson, King’s manager, pawned all his valuables to keep the newlywed singer from being evicted.

“That was my first and last best friend in this whole wide world,” King remembered, “and that was the first person that had convinced me that I was worth something, and that’s how I made up my mind I’d stay in, for him more than for myself.”

Rest easy, beautiful creator…you join the pantheon of greats. Below are my three personal favourites by this legendary man.

Stand By Me

There Goes My Baby

Supernatural Thing

So Much to Say – So Little Time…

*SIGHS*
Wow…so much going on, again…still…it’s overwhelming, yet again – but I will press onward, if only briefly.
I have been sickened, literally, by the murder of Freddie Gray. The footage of him screaming in anguish nauseated me to the point that I passed out – I was that viscerally affected by it. It’s hard enough to write about…I weep just typing these words. His final moments had to have been filled with unbelievable suffering. A spinal injury of that magnitude doesn’t just happen on its own…how disgusting and vile. There are no excuses for this.
A 7.8 earthquake has hit the city of Kathmandu in the Himalayan country of Nepal, and many are dead and injured. The seism was so powerful, it triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest – during the height of the tourist-climbing season. The horrors from that area are only beginning to surface.
The girls have been gone from their families and loved ones for 376 days, and nothing is being done by the governments who could be doing…something. Shameful.
 The family of Rekia Boyd was awarded a settlement in her wrongful death, but the man who murdered her was acquitted of all wrongdoing by a judge who essentially said, “This man isn’t guilty because you didn’t charge him with the correct crime.” How foul…Black women are just as likely as Black men to be murdered by cops and wanna-be vigilantes here in the U.S. – it’s a sad fact.
I have been busy outside in my yard, tending to the bushes so they don’t run rampant. I try to focus on the pleasant things in life, such as baseball, gaming, and the new acquaintances I’ve made in-game and in the blog-o-sphere…yet, my mind is never far from the goings-on in the world. Things happen outside of my little universe, but they affect me greatly. They cannot be ignored…nor should they be. At any rate, I just wanted to tip a hat to a few others that I read and / or follow but can’t or don’t always comment at their sites.
First off, I hope that Bayoucreole is enjoying the NOLA Jazz Fest, which began yesterday and continues through to Sunday, 3rd May…I hope you post some pics if you attend! I haven’t seen a post since Mardi Gras, so I hope things are well in your part of the country.
 This next blog is from a person I saw comment on other blogs a few years back, but he sort of moved away from them…understandably. I myself don’t read those blogs as much as I used to, myself – redundancy and repetition that go in endless circles tend to make my eyes roll back in my head. At any rate, I’m unable to comment on his blog, as it is a BlogSpot publishing, so there seems to be an issue whenever I try to post. I just wanted to say: hey, Zek J. Evets – I am a regular reader and enjoyed your latest few postings…I was just unable to leave the comment at your site. Gamers need to be able to talk more, even if they don’t play the same games or utilize the same platforms!
Finally, I wanted to mention this blog, entitled Nobodysreadingme…I had to follow it simply because of the name, and I have been informed and entertained whilst reading it – I hope you like it as well; just wanted to give the site an honourable mention.   😉

…and so it goes…again.

Again, and again, and again…more names added to the roster of those unjustly injured and / or killed by the police.  Eric Harris was shot and killed by some “buy-to-play” wannabe former cop in Tusla, Oklahoma. This cretinous arsehole supposedly mistook his own lethal firearm for his Taser, firing a shot into Mr. Harris, who died later. Oops. Yeah, right…I believe that he was ‘mistaken’ about the two guns about as much as I believe that Bill O’Reilly is a sensible individual. In Phoenix, Arizona, a man by the name of Mario Valencia was viciously slammed from behind – by a police car going approximately 40 miles per hour. The supposed justification was due to the fact that Mr. Valencia had fired a stolen rifle into the air, and footage also shows him pointing the gun at himself, under his jaw. I guess the claim will be that “oh, he wanted to commit ‘suicide by cop,’ so he must have deserved to be slammed into a brick wall by a fast-moving vehicle.” I disagree with that, personally…for that matter, how many supposed suicides have been written off with that excuse? Not as many as the common “I had to shoot because he was reaching for (insert police object here) and I was in fear for my life,” but I’m certain that plenty of those supposed ‘suicides’ were suspicious, at best. Another man has also been shot dead in Houston, Texas – few details are available as I write this; we shall see what is revealed over the next few days.
Amidst all of this, I’m reminded of Christopher Dorner. Remember him? Do you remember what he did, and why? I still find it fascinating that he was killed after the week-long manhunt, during which he himself took three lives. Still – wasn’t that fewer lives than the sniper in Pennsylvania took? How many people were killed in that theatre in Colorado…yet, that murderer is still alive. Christopher Dorner knew about shady police dealings and tired of them, so he tried to reveal them…in doing so, his word and name were destroyed by the department he served for years. At that point, he had nothing left to lose. He wasn’t a hero because he killed people, he was a hero because he tried to expose the very things that are now coming to light in police departments across the country. From small towns to big cites, all departments have much to answer for. We all want answers – stop the cover-ups and the bullshit.
Finally, I wanted to close with a link to an excellent article. It illustrates perfectly why I refuse to engage in discussions about race with whites…I’m not obligated to teach anybody a damn thing about how I care for my skin and hair, or why the lines in the palms of my hands are visible, while those on the palms of white hands are nearly impossible to see. I won’t engage in endless discussions about skewed statistics, genetics, childbirth rates, or relationships. “Teachable moments” are only possible when one chooses to open one’s mind and start learning. Period.

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