Sunday, February 25, 2007

Confessions of a Video Vixen

After reading this book my first reaction was that “she a recovering stupid hoe,” but at least she recovering. She spent her entire “professional” career basically sleeping with men for money and objects. Ironically this is no different from a lot of what goes on everywhere; she just did it on a larger scale. From what people told me about the book before I read it, I thought the entire book was about what famous people she slept with in the music industry, but it had a little be more than that.

The story starts in her childhood where she has a horrible relationship with her family and an even worse relationship with her mom. But quietly it was her best friend which indirectly accelerated the downward spiral. She convinced Karrine’s mom to allow her to go to the mall (which she had never been allowed to do before). Well, old girl lies to Karrine’s mom and has some boys pick them up form the mall. Long story short, Karrine gets raped, mom doesn’t believe her, and she runs away and starts stripping to support herself.

I wasn’t surprised to see that there were tragic and traumatic experiences that contributed to her adult behavior. She got caught in a cycle of needing to be needed, to feel important and wanted. She fulfilled this need through men and sex. To me, it was this cycle she was willing to repeatedly sell herself short. Not that her past makes her actions ok, but it kind of explains it. It was really messed up that everyone wanted to give her money and things when she was on a high, but when she really needed it most everyone turned their back. Not that her past makes her actions ok, but it kind of explains it.

Something I did find interesting was about the feature girls and the artists on the video sets. My understanding of what she wrote, most feature girls for larger videos were hired for the video through some sort of model/actress agency. In fact, the main girls were said to only interact with the artist during a shot, and looked down on them in general for the way they treated/portrayed women. She states that the other girls despised Karrine because not only was she too friendly with the artist, she was willing to wear and do things the other girls refused to do. She wasn’t professional.

With the ongoing debate about hip-hop and it’s portrayal on women, I think that those sections of the book send a good message to aspiring models/actresses, a message that sex is not the only way to make it big in the industry. But still the video’s image of women does play a major role in how we treat them in everyday life and how our sisters and daughters grow up. Not everyone has been informed that those images are just that, images. Men find it ok to disrespect our women and women are brain washed to believe it’s not disrespect; and we’re both contributing to the black community’s plague.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Against All Odds

According to my parents I was born with my legs turned a bit awkward at the knees. They problem was corrected before even I can remember so if never really affected my life. But what if it hadn't? What if it progressed as I grew up? I wonder how that would have shaped who I became. I wonder would I have been strong enough to face that and achieve all that I had achieved. Of course I want to say that I would have, but it's impossible to know.

About two weeks ago another student passed. His name was Justin Clark and he was student in the IE department at the University. What made this guy stand out is that is has had muscular dystrophy since birth and is confined to a wheelchair. Despite this he was in college and went hunting. Something most people would find near impossible for someone in his state. The few conversations I had with him were like that of any other student. He made jokes, got cracked on, etc. I was amazed at the things people would say to him because I thought they would have been a bit harsh. But they talked to him like they talked to anyone else. He was succeeding in being as normal as possible until he died from pneumonia.

Last week there was a forum held to hear Nathan Ballad speak on campus. At first I didn't know who this was, but once I heard the description "that black guy that be in the Ferg in the wheelchair," I knew exactly who they were talking about. I was surprised to hear that he had several degrees, speaks a few languages, and travels the world. He has been a major force in implementation of disability legislation. Ok, maybe I bit more than surprised, maybe shocked and amazed is better. Honestly, like most people, I thought he was mentally retarded. I'd heard him talk and seen him eat. I had drawn my conclusion without a second thought, and apparently I wasn't the only person who thought he was challenged. It's rumored that the University put him out several times thinking the same thing.

So I look at both theses men who were accomplishing so much despite there major setbacks and I look at all the people who are fully capable but not doing half as much. A lot of things we take for granted on a daily basis. The ability to walk, feed yourself, cloth yourself, etc. Neither of them could do anything of these things but still strived for excellence. Finally, I wonder about myself. If my problem had progressed, would I have had the strength to fight through my disability and take the stares and comments and still succeed? Would you?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Random Thoughts

It’s been a min since I’ve blogged so there are a much of random, yet somewhat related thoughts. I’mma try to keep in one to a paragraph, but we’ll see how that goes.

I was talking to the Sperm Lady a while ago and she was explaining to me why a Joe Bob that aint really doing nothing with his life is more likely to get laid than a well qualified good man. This was her reasoning: If things get messed up with Joe Bob, it’s no big deal. He wasn’t really worth nothing to begin with so if things go south it’s really no sweat off her back and she probably wasn’t emotionally attached anyway. Now with Mr. Good she’s got to be a little bit more careful. Got to play things out right. Got to worry about not messing up a good thing. I had to agree. She said with them she sees next mouth, with a dude like me she sees longevity, marriage potential. Her reasoning makes sence and in fact I think I have played by the rules as well. I am much more likely to have a short attention span and get annoyed with someone I know I don’t see a future with. And on the other hand I’ll put up with a lot more from someone I think is worth the effort. But what happens when the plan back fires and we get attached to someone who was only supposed to be a Miss Right now? (Next topic)

I was reading a friends blog and she was saying how the reason the divorce rate is so high that people are getting the Now’s confused with Right’s. Got to agree with her too. I have had to put myself in check a few times about this. Been people I was talking to and when the fun came to an end I started to try to fight the “breakup.” (for lack of a better word when two people stop talking) Then after a lot of thought I again came to the conclusion that they were not meant to remain in my life. They were not what I was looking for in a mate and a continued relationship with them was simply a waste of time. I wrote a piece called “To My Better Whole” which basically describes what I want but have yet to find. In the absence of this likely mythical woman I have been dating and talking to these “halves” that have been taking up my time and emotion, while the “wholes” that I have came across brush me off. In fact 2/3 of the last few girls (halves and wholes) I really wanted are now engaged. (Next topic)

Yeah engaged. When I look back and think how attached I was back then and realize how non-attached I am now it is almost amazing. And it’s funny to wonder that if I had stuck it out instead of giving up on the situation could/would that have been me on bended knee. Wow, scary to think about but daily I think about it more and more. I see people and their children and think “I’m going to be a dad one day.” I see all the people I know getting in serious relationships, getting engaged, and getting married, and think that “I’m going to actually be in love with someone to the point where I am going to be ready to spend the rest of my life when them.” But yeah, it’s still scary. School is getting old, dating is starting to get old too… not to long before I’m ready to move on. The most ironic thing is that both girls are engaged to the very next person (at least to my knowledge) that they were seriously talking to, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m 3/3 within the next year and a half to 2 years. Talk about a curse.

So I was having dinner with a  few friends the other day. 2 guys/ 2 girls so of course we got on the topic of relationships. Out of a the random comments, questions, and excuses for why each sex does different things I posed the question: “When is it time to get into a relationship? When u like, love, or in love with the other person?” (Before I continue I think I need to clarify some terminology. I think “like” to most people is what I call interested. Meaning I think their cool and worth getting to know better.  I guess a “strong like” would be what I refer to as just liking someone and the last two are the same in either case.) All three people responded that they get in when they are at the “like” stage. And then the love and being in love would hopefully follow. That’s odd to me. I couldn’t be in a relationship with someone I was only interested in. I need to see what they’re about, know that this is someone I could stand and possibly marry. I mean I got to like them enough to want to give up all the unknown possibilities that are out there. Otherwise my eyes would still be wondering while in the relationship. Hmm, maybe this is why I’ve only have 3 girlfriends. Oh well, I’m not giving you that title if I don’t think (at least at the moment) that you’ll go the distance.

Another topic we hit was cheating. I was dumbfounded to hear that one of the chics would rather not know if her man cheated on her. Her reasoning was that if it was a one time thing, an accident and he was sorry and didn’t intend on doing it again she doesn’t want to know because that is going to ruin the relationship for her. True, good point. But what if it still makes its way back to her. Would she not be more upset that he cheated and lied? Double edged sword. He/she might possibly get away with it if they don’t tell. But if they don’t tell and get caught it’s even worth. Sounds to me like we’re all better off not cheating? I think about a day later I asked someone else. They said they’d want to know. At least then she has the confidence in her man to admit his wrongs and try to work through them. Hmm, I see her point too. Hopefully I hope I never have to deal with a cheating girlfriend.

You ever woke up and just had a frown for no reason? I had one this morning but I was sitting in church and it slowly faded. I was pleased. I have been a church every Sunday this year. Trying to get myself together and with all the people dying from everything under the sun I think it’s best that I do so. I have been praying. Praying that I can forgive the people who have wronged me, that the people I have wrong will forgive me, that I will have strength to deal with the things that come my way. I believe that these things are what make us who were are (next topic).

All the things that I have been through and all that I have learned to control and deal with have shaped who I am today. I’ve been teased, talked about, rejected, done wrong, lied on, ostracized, abused, misused, taken advantage of, and managed to take all of this in stride. Without any real type if retaliation. It’s said that you won’t be given more than you can handle that that what does not kill you makes you stronger. If both these statements are true then I have handled a lot to the point where I don’t think I’d handle too much more, and I have become a strong person. But why? All of this most have a purpose; kind of seems like it should be training for some greater good. And if that’s the case then I must have something serious lying ahead of me.