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Everything posted by Cynique

  1. Well, it's easy to indict so-called self-hating negroes when you give your own defintion of what one is, Troy. But since black folks are not clones, or monolithic, I don't buy the theory that when one black person disapproves of what another black person does, this is tantamont to self-hate. It's more a case of a self-righteousness, which is a manisfestation of self-love. Everybody thinks their way is the right way, including those who dismiss other Blacks who have capitalized on the benefits of assimilating into the culture of the country in which they live. Whether doing this is disloyal or whether it is self-serving can be debated, but I continue to maintain that it's not a question of self-hate. More than anything, I find the practice of making up names and adopting African ones amusing. But this indulgence on the part of others exerts no personal reflection on me or does it have a negative effect on my life. I am not "one-and-the-same" with such people, so if I hated them it would definitely not be a case of me hating myself. When I look in the mirror, I see "me", not "them".
  2. Well, since I never got past the first paragraph of Carey's post, thanks to the distraction of me trying to figure out what a "gruel" world was, I have to rely on your feed-back Chrishayden. (I guess I should assume that he meant "cruel" world as in the saying, "Good bye, cruel world.") So why, I ask, is a gay - or straight wedding reception cause for pushing the panic button? Don't the traditional proceedings for these affairs consist of guests simply giving well-wishing toasts, led off by the "best man"?? Guess I'm behind the times. I didn't know such occasions where comparable to gigs for stand-up comedians. Tacky, tacky, tacky.
  3. I think it's significant that Asar Imhotep continues to annouce that he will not bother responding to posts he deems unworthy of anwering and then proceeds to favor us with one of his self-aggrandizing lectures. This is an arrogant, self-important man who can't even recognize his own contradictions. And he certainly has no fine-tuning mechanism, apparently stuck in the Afro centric mode that stunts his ability to realize that all Blacks acknowledge the influences of The Motherland on their culture. They are just not obsessed or preooccupied with proselytizing something that has little relevance in the dominant culture because they have their priorities together and are more focused on staying afloat in the mainstream - just like all other ethnic minorities. Asar takes himself so seriously that he couldn't even recognize the levity I injected into our debate by accusing him of being descended from the victimizing West African tribes instead of the victimized ones. Watta stiff.
  4. The subject involving the names black parents bestow on their children generated quite a debate here, and it wasn’t long before I landed in the midst of it, peripatetic gadabout that I am. I’ve tried to adopt a tolerant approach to life, - one that reflects a "live-and-let-live" attitude, but people who assert, stir up my assertiveness. So, fresh from my literary excursion through a book about the esoteric realm of Masonic symbolism, I cast aside the ethereal veil which had enthralled me, donned my cynical game-face, and jumped into the clash. As usual, the subject split out and went off on different tangents. Before long, arguments in favor of made-up names merged with an advocacy for African names, and I neglected to make a distinction when passing judgment. Now, I want to better clarify my position. To me, choosing an African name is about making a statement. Making a name up is simply an uttered inspiration, the latter having less substance than the former. In any case, people are free to make their choices and to attack me in the process of defending these choices, just as I am free to voice my opposition to their rationales. Shakespeare said “what’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” So be it. Let’s hear it for aroma; forget the drone. Incidentally, I have always been interested in etymology and language and sounds, believing that if you repeatedly intone any syllable long enough, it loses its worldly significance and blends into the "atmospheric hum". The word “WHO” is the name I have given to the Omiscient Ubiquity that gives cohesiveness to our existence. So, in retrospect, when it comes to the subject of what names folks decide to give themselves and their children, I suspect that WHO gives a damn... But I don't. WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
  5. I didn't expect a self-appointed griot like you to agree with my comments because people like you can't stand for others to challenge their pontificating. But be advised that I am equally unimpressed with your rebuttal because what you say hasn't proved its worth. And you mimic your so-called oppressors by repressing dissent. Until the countries of West Africa set an example of how their noble ancestry has benefitted them, then you need to focus on what Blacks need to do TODAY to survive in America. Having an African name or any other kind of name ain't gonna get an unemployed person a job. It's the economy, Stupid. And you better believe that the generic Barak Obama wouldn't be president if he hadn't had a white momma from Kansas and who, even as we speak, is bending over backwards to accomodate white folks. So get real, and find a new label to try and neutralize your opponents with. The old "self-hate" stand-by is played out. I LUV myself because I am not deluded. I am native to this country and am proud of the rich heritage that is indigenous to the black presence in America. You and all of your preaching are probably descended from the tribes that sold their captives to the white slave hunters.
  6. Touche! Like a pyramid, there are 3 sides to me, and one side is a polemic who takes the opposite view of a debater who wraps himself in the confidence that may be built on sand instead of rocks. Anyway, WHO knows. What does WHO know? Whether Afro-centrism will find a home in "Babylon".
  7. Dr Noble's rhetorical definition of power is more about wishful thinking than implementation. And the "core" of your argument is more about pride than rights, the implication being that pride is synonymous with power. I disagree. Acquiring power calls for pragmatism, which in turn involves infilterating the ranks of those who own power. Flaunting all of the superficial trappings of Afro-centrism is comparable to a theatrical performance. Confronting the white power structure on its own terms presents more of a threat to it. America is not Africa, so Afro-centrics are swimming against the tide. They can mount their soap boxes and spout a lot of patented smack and metaphoric cliches, or they can leave the 1960s behind, enter the 21st century and equip themselves to go with the flow, or, - they can return to their natural habitat and fully embrace their African heritage.
  8. I don't dispute what you say, Asar Imhotep.(How could somebody like me who once meditated in a pyramid argue with somebody bearing a name like yours? ) I've been hearing your mantra for at least 40 years, - all to no avail. The diaspora are strangers in a strange land. America is not accomodating to black nationalism so who is to condemn hybrid slave descendants for finding ways to navigate the mainstream of the Promise Land, just like descendants of Europeans do? Those who want to venerate and celebrate their African origins should, perhaps, return to the Motherland to avoid frustration.
  9. BTW, there are odd names and then there are crazy names. IMO, "Deesha", the real name of my gurl Ferocious Kitty, is not a crazy name, it's an odd name. And while I'm mouthing off, changing one's given name to an African one is, to me, an affectation. Having said all of this, however, I do think that having a name people stumble over, doesn't necessarily prevent a person's progress, it can just hamper it. Obviously I am an opinionated old school person.
  10. All of the input into this discussion neglects to take certain things into consideration. As much as we defend and justify the made-up names people are given, the bottom line is not about a parent's prerogative but about Society's perception. You can't control how people will react to the name you give your child, and children are the ones who have to shoulder the burden of a bizarre moniker. Even if a name doesn't inspire raised eyebrows among a child's peers, the general reaction to it by the powers-that-be can prove to be a handicap once adulthood is reached. Yes, the President of the United States has an African name and from day one it was considerd as big a liability as his cocaine habit and his wreckless youth. A child deserves to be given every chance to succeed in life, and names are a brand. Of course it isn't fair to judge a person by his or her name, but life is not fair. Haven't black folks learned by now that there is no justice in this world???? Enuff with the poly-syllabic tongue-twisters replete with apostrophes. Stop using your child to indulge your whims.
  11. We are in the midst of changing times. All around us things are evolving; subtly in some areas and blatantly in others. Uncertainty permeates all facets of our lives. Young people look ahead, focusing on the future, oblivious to how much they have to learn. Old people look back, resigned to what the past has taught them. Some say what lies ahead has been prophesied and that what awaits will be either The End or The Beginning. I say WHO knows. And upon deciding to make “who knows” a statement rather than a question, I am inspired to contemplate. In the seventh year of the seventh decade of my life, I look around, seduced by the implications of the 77 that defines my tenure here on earth, hoping these 2 fortuitous digits are a sign that Luck will smile on me, feeling certain that there is validity to Numerology. Not surprising. Whimsy enchanted my childhood, making me more into fairies than angels, more prone to wishing on stars than saying my prayers. And as I grew older I began to read and explore anything that pertained to the metaphysical and the mystical. There was no bigger New-Age flake than I when those of us sharing the same vibe hailed the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Suspended in an alternate mind set, I was convinced that “thoughts were things”, that you could generate creative energy by intoning chants and that such energy could transform images into existence. I hunted for the answers to riddles that Sages said were contained in the questions, - even experimented with out-of-the-body experiences, and conjuring up spiritual guides to ward off danger. While listening to me babbling about cosmic forces and 4th dimensions, people’s eyes would glaze over. Family and friends snickered when I purchased a cardboard pyramid and sat inside it meditating, hoping to benefit from how these geometric talismans could reputedly rearrange molecules and create magnetic auras and turn water into a magical potion comparable to the fountain of youth. As time when on, I became critical of language, deciding it was an inadequate tool because reality couldn’t be imprisoned in words. I concentrated on getting in touch with my spirituality, pondered Buddhist koans, became awe-struck by the paradoxes of quantum physics. And with the passage of more time, without realizing it, I gradually established my own personal religion, choosing and rejecting tenets from many different schools of thought in the process of interpreting clues about the mystery of life even as, just recently, I began slipping into involuntary trances that allowed me to look at my surroundings with new eyes. Crazy, I know. Then, an epiphany! A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a book, a 509-page best-seller I had been hearing a lot about. It was entitled “The Lost Symbol”, and was written by Dan Brown, who wrote the “Da Vinci Code”. Once I started this book, my epiphany was soon followed by a revelation. Up until now, I assumed the ideas I had become compatiable with were my random conclusions. Imagine my thrill upon discovering that what I had discerned from my searching was the essence of a Brotherhood which has existed down through the ages, surreptitiously drawing order from chaos. The Masons - the group whose original members were the architects and builders of pyramids, and whose initiates include those from all walks of life, from all over the world! So, needless to say, I found Dan Brown’s novel centered around the enigma of Masonic symbols to be very absorbing. I also found him to be a skillful writer who is quite adept at creating suspense! In the course of his harrowing tale, Brown dispels a lot of misconceptions about the Masons and absolves them of the sinister intent many have attributed to this ancient secret society that pre-dates the coming of Christ, and which later was very instrumental in the founding of America. One of the more interesting aspects of this book is how the author links the Masons to the Bible, making its members the source of the “the old wisdom” that’s encoded in parables which mask empowering secrets to be kept hidden until Mankind is ready to re-claim the divinity that is its true destiny, - an implication that is at the core of all religions, a promise that whatever God can do, we will be able do because God dwells, not in heaven, but within the temples of our bodies, inside the chambers of our brains and the sanctuaries of our souls which upon transcending death, become the ultimate manifestation of a miracle! Equally intriguing is the recurring theme that appeared throughout “The Lost Symbol”, a hint assuring that “there is nothing new under the sun”, that everything Mankind yearns to know is right before its eyes, needing only to be recognized. This became increasing clear to me when realizing how the confirmation of my conjectures that was provided by my reading “The Lost Symbol” was already “right before my eyes” - there on the walls of my den, there filling the shelves of my book cases. Ritual regalia and volumes of knowledge, - relics left behind by my father and my brother and my husband, who were all 32nd degree Masons and my mother who was an Eastern Star Worthy Grand Matron! All there, seeping into my psyche through the alchemy of osmosis, making me receptive to what I had strayed elsewhere to seek. So as I ended my journey through the burning sands of “The Lost Symbol”, I emerged as a “Found Token”, eager to pay homage to a family legacy I had resisted, ready to merge with a cult of which I was already a convert, prepared to continue my quest for enlightenment. Lucky? Maybe. Amazing? Yes. What lies ahead for me? WHO knows. “The Lost Symbol”? I give it 4 (Eastern)Stars.
  12. Self-expression is an integral part of the human psyche, and it frequently seeks an outlet in the form of transmitting thoughts through writing. Self-aware people, however, know their strengths and weaknesses and seek to pursue what it is that they do best, realizing that not everybody has what it takes to be a writer. Then there are self-absorbed people, the type who are convinced the world is breathlessly waiting to read what they have to say and that they have the ability to effectively utilize the printed word in telling their stories. All of which is why I would suggest that aspiring writers have their work critiqued by someone other than a family member or a friend. If they are deemed to have a natural talent, then hooray for them. Go for it! If their writing shows potential then they should, as Chrishayden advises, take writing courses to hone their skills. But, as you allude to, Troy, the world really doesn't give a damn about what mundane folks have to say, and it can do without the narratives that turn out to be nothing more than showcases for a lack of talent.
  13. What started out as just a curious pause while channel surfing, gradually developed into more than just a passing interest in the Winter Olympics. Before I knew it, I was watching and cheering on all of those white folks who had dedicated years of their lives to developing skills that would qualify them to compete in these winter sports, most of which are not only very difficult, but extremely dangerous. What was most intriguing about this spectacle, however, was all of the high drama that accompanied the proceedings. First, there was the snow-boarder who was killed while practicing for his event. Then there were the Korean speed skaters who were disqualified for bumping, breaking the rules which allowed other racers to win medals by default. Then there was the controversy over the American male figure skater who was awarded a gold medal over the Russian who was the only one to execute a dazzling quad jump. Then there was how one skier's fall interruped the run of her rival team mate causing the latter to have to go through her physically exhausting performance all over again. Then there was the devastated Dutch speed skater losing the gold medal he had cinched because his coach mistakenly signaled him to get in another lane, thereby causing him to be disqualified. Then there was the female Canadian figure skater whose mother died in the hotel room before she could cheer her daughter on to eventually winning a bronze medal for the program she performed through her tears. It was one big frozen soap opera as contestants sniped at each other and countries gloated over beating out other ones for medals. Records and hearts were broken, and limbs and good sportsmanship were strained, all intensified by the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat! Only 2 black faces stood out among those vying for superiority: a skier from Africa, and Chicagoan Shani Wilson who won a gold medal for speed skating, leaning on the turns like a brotha rounding a corner in a lo-rider. No sprinters running like they'd been caught stealing watermelons, no leaping Gazelles dunking basketballs. As the 2010 Winter Olympics draw to a close, I found myself wondering if they had the time and money required to excel in these demanding athletics would Black people exercise the discipline to do so? I decided they wouldn't. And it wouldn't be because they were lazy; but rather because they are not crazy! Which is why they also wouldn't be caught dead stroking a killer whale.
  14. I second that motion, LiLi. Carey doesn't need the epsom salts that Soul Sister recommended because he already has diarrhea of the mouth. Yada Yada Yada. Woo-woo-woo. Blah, blah, blah. He is right, however, when he says I bring out the worst in him because none of the arrows he aims at me ever pierce my skin, but he just can't do any better.
  15. This clash between 2 high-profile black men made for interesting listening. I think it resonates with a vibe that is going on all over the country as Blacks engage in debate, trying to come to terms with the idea that Obama is a president from black people, not a president for black people. Cornel West recently spoke out on this subject, saying that Obama may not be obligated to have a black agenda but he did have an obligation to be concerned about the welfare of the poor and the unemployed, - most of whom are black.
  16. Puleeze. I haven't been put "in check". And I have no intention of deferring to the requests of those who want everybody to assume a placid demeanor. There are enough mild-mannered people around here, most of whom to seem to be laying back in the cut, saying nothing. I suggest that since they've decided to become members that they speak up and add some balance to the board. As for Carey, any time the ol coot wants to play "hard ball", I'm ready. BTW, "The Immortal Life of Henriette Lacks" is next on my reading lists. I remember hearing about her case a long time ago and am glad somebody finally decided to chronicle her story.
  17. Those are some lessons for life, Troy. We think we are in control but some would say we are all just part of an ongoing quest to draw order from chaos.
  18. These numbers probably include the same people who think Mary was a virgin, that Columbus discovered America, that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the 911 attacks, and - that when they dodge a bullet, God spared them but let someone else die.
  19. Ohhh, put a sock in it, Carey. Sheeze. I'll give my view of the book when I'm ready to. And I don't need your unsolicited advice about Crystal. She's one of my gurls.
  20. Well, hello, Crystal! When your name appeared in this forum I was sure you would be telling us about the latest book you were reading. Little did I know you had stopped in to stir the pot. I thought Carey was your cast-off and here you are trying to hook him up with me. You know I don't want to be associated with the played-out ol motor mouth. All he's good for is making me appreciate that there is at least "method to Chrishayden's madness". And I guess I'll have to stop skimming through Carey's posts because he seems to be getting the wrong impression - something he has a habit of doing, always trying to explain people's actions, making assumptions about their motivations, casting them in the little scenarios his imagination conjures up. Anyhow, believe it or not, I am deep into Dan Brown's latest book, "The Lost Symbol". (You know he's the author of the "Da Vinci Code", right?} His latest is a BAB but I'm wading through it because it's my cup of tea, right up my alley! For years I've been doing all of this babbling about the secrets of life and the old wisdom and metaphysics and quantum physics, and upon deciding to check out this book, everything I've always pondered about is brought to light!!!! Mind blowing!
  21. Obama seemingly continues to believe that adopting a casual approach of one-on-one shuckin and jivin is a way to win over his opponents and that if he implores the Republicans to just come on and be good guys they will say, "Ooooh Ok, Prez". When it comes to the business of running the country, Obama thinks like a 40-something middle manager instead of an astute CEO.
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