Thursday, July 28, 2005

Don't wait to exhale....just finish letting the air out.

Terry McMillan is getting divorced

That really isn't a statement that would have seemed possible in the mid to late nineties. As a woman who wrote books that gave black women inspiration, she would have to be the authority on relationships it would seem. But, nevertheless, she is getting divorced and it is getting very nasty. It would seem that she is accusing her former beau of using her to get U.S. citizenship, and for her money.......Wow. Who would have thought that a man who is marrying a female multi-millionaire nearly twenty years his senior would have alterior motives? Of course I am being sarcastic, and if you want to know, I am not trying to make light of, or have a laugh at the expense of another human being who is in pain. But, given the fact that this is the woman who literally wrote the book on man-hating, it comes as quite a shock. I would never have thought that this would have happened to her.

The most in-your-face detail of this whole episode is not the fact that she is getting divorced, that she was used, or that her husband cheated on her with someone younger, it is the fact that her husband has come out of the closet.....damn.

At this point I am looking at the picture above, and I wonder how she could have possibly been shocked that he came out of the closet. I suppose I do hold a little bit or resentment toward Terry McMillan that may be misplaced. Terry McMillan capitalized on the new field of contemporary African-American Fiction by strengthening the already shattered image of the negative behaviors of black men while ignoring the equally, and sometimes more hateful behavior of black women. Not to say that all, or even most black women fit this bill, but I have seen waaaaay too many black women who arm themselves with a litany of Mcmillanesque quotes about being strong black women, and doing their best to show that they do not need, desire to tolerate, or support their bumbling male counterparts.

There are some quotes in the linked article that I provided that show that McMillan is trying to show strength by making outrageous statements. Check out the quote from an article......

NEWSWEEK’s Peg Tyre tried to talk to McMillan about her new book, her readers and her literary plans for the future, but McMillan wanted to vent about men and marriage. She also had plenty to say about husbands on the “down low,” in particular, Plummer, who she calls "Scott Peterson without the murder." Excerpts:

NEWSWEEK: The main character in your new book is a middle-aged woman married to a boring guy. Will your readers relate?

Terry McMillan: Absolutely. Because men are like that. They expect to be entertained. They blame women for their own boredom and their boredom with us. When you meet a man who has an imagination, they get snapped up. [Most men] find out what works and they do it again and again. I mean, please! Go for a walk on the beach. Have a picnic at night. Break up the monotony.

Newsweek: In the book, you portray monotony as being every bit as corrosive to a marriage as infidelity. True?

Terry McMillan: Yes, yes. Men feel like they deserve to be constantly enchanted. They should spend half as much energy showing their appreciation. Women's magazines give us a million ways to keep marriage alive. They should hand out those instructions at halftime at football games. Women get tired. You can't do everything. It takes more than good sex to keep a relationship working.

Newsweek: And yet your new book has a surprisingly hopeful view of long-term marriage. Why?

Terry McMillan: The book was finished before all this happened. By the time it was in the catalog, I was so sapped and so pissed off, I didn't know what to do. My credit cards were maxed out. I almost went bankrupt. I was supporting him in his dog-grooming business. I was miserable, but he was happy as a lark. Now he's got his citizenship, he's coming after me for my money and he's writing a tell-all to capitalize on my fame.

Newsweek:But you had a prenuptial agreement, didn't you?

Terry McMillan:I was a multimillionaire. I married a 21-year-old who hadn't finished college. Of course I had a prenup. I wouldn't marry Eddie Murphy without a prenup. My lawyers are on Madison Avenue. I'm not stupid. I'm not paying him a dime. I'll go to jail first. I have a valid prenup. He's out of the closet. He's committed a crime. His citizenship should be revoked.

Sounds like a whole lot of angst to me. A Prenuptial agreement? I would have expected more faith from a woman who writes so much about true love. But, had she been an older man marrying a younger woman she would have been a dirty old man looking for sexual gratification with a fit young woman. But, since she is a woman, she is somehow some enlightened other-level type woman. Note the self-aggrandizement and the generalizations about men? That is the sort of thing that really pisses me off. I hate that. Just like people shouldn't spew hate-filled invectives in rap music about bitches and hoes, we shouldn't keep on with this so-called "irresponsbible black man" phenomenon. It really gets on my nerves. I am sorry that Ms. McMillan is going through this, I hate it for anyone, but I also hate what she is doing to the persona of black men. Believe it or not, there are a lot of us out there who take care of our children, earn honest wages, live a faithful and Christian lifestyle, and actually don't beat the hell out of our wives. But we don't get the "respect" that "strong black women demand". We lead our invisible, never commented upon lives in anonymity. Wouldn't that be a boring book to see a black man portrayed in a positive light?

McMillan will be okay though. She will write a book about a *"self-proclaimed strong black woman" who has overcome yet another injustice at the hands of a vile black man and make millions off of it. Then, she and the scorned title character of her latest literary work will move on to the next unsuspecting black man, and make his life a living hell with all of their demands, and irrational misgivings. That is what so-called Strong Black Women do.

*I don't doubt the existence and the need for truly "strong black women", but the majority of women who go about their lives telling everyone that they are a "strong black woman" for the most part don't realize that being overly contentious, loud, and disrespectful are not the traits of strong black women. Truly strong women don't talk about it. Much like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are self-proclaimed black leaders, yet, MLK never considered himself a leader...just an organizer. See the difference?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Another Fallen Guardsmen....

Unfortunately one of my duties as a staffer for Joint Forces Headquarters is to handle some of the processes that are in place when our soldiers die. Today I went to my first funeral for a KIA (killed in action) Soldier. The Soldier's name was SGT Ryan Montgomery. Montgomery was from Greensburg, a small town in Central Kentucky. Montgomery was in a Field Artillery oufit that was tasked with force protection and convoy security missions around Baghdad. On July 3rd Montgomery fell to a roadside bomb. Very sad, but not as sad as the disruption that almost occurred at his funeral.

Last night I went to a bar to unwind after work, a guy at the bar wearing a suit and a tie struck up a conversation with me, and we inevitably started talking about "work", he was intrigued when I told him that I was a Second Lieutenant. He immediately started asking whether or not I had heard about, or knew the latest soldier from the Kentucky Guard that had been killed. I told him no, but I was planning to attend the funeral. He told me that he planned to go to help keep the protestors away from the family. When I asked him what he meant, he stated that a nutcase from Arkansas who claims to be a Minister is picketing the funerals of deceased servicemen in a celebration. Essentially, because they claim that someone blew up their church, now God is punishing our servicemen by killing them with IED's. I later learned that this is the famous lunatic who picketed Mathew Shephard's funeral.

When I got home, I called the SGS at home and told him about what I heard, but he was already in the loop. I was shocked to learn that they had picketed a funeral of another KY Guard soldier. I wondered why I had not heard about it, but apparently a group called, "Taskforce Omega" had intervened and stumped any attempts that the members of Westboro Baptist Church made to disrupt the funeral. These brave and patriotic people decided to attend this funeral in order to ensure that the Church did not disrupt the funeral.

Luckily, the protestors declined to set up when they saw the big group of Task Force Omega members. Task Force Omega is comprised of bikers, many of whom are Vietnam Vets. They are a rough and tumble looking group, but I really admire their resolve. They plan these "counter-protests", and sometimes travel hundreds of miles to attend funerals. After this funeral was over, I walked over to the group and shook each one of their hands and thanked them for their service. Great Americans they are....each and every one of them.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy 229th Birthday, America!

This was the scene in front of my house just a little bit before 10:30 p.m. on the 4th of July.

Saturday, July 02, 2005 - Tourist bitten by shark off Florida coast - Jul 1, 2005

Hey, I have a novel idea for all of the people on vacation in Florida.....

cupping my hands on either side of my mouth......


The reason I have not supported gay marriage(reposted by request from February 2004)....

I don't support gay marriage for one reason, and one reason alone. I discovered that I had a prejudice bias against the homosexual lifestyle. Don't haven't run across a racist, homophobic, sexist individual's weblog, I am simply stating the reason why I don't support it. I never made a conscious effort to like or dislike homosexuals, I suppose that there was always a level of unconscious indifference regarding them. I was always quick to say, "Hell, I'm not homophobic, what someone does in the privacy of their own bedroom doesn't bother me." But for some reason the gay marriage issue has, and I had to do some soul searching in order to find out why.

I suppose that the urge to chastise homosexuals starts at an early age. I knew to call the boys who could not run fast, catch a ball, or take a punch without crying, "sissies" when I was in grade school. In later years some of the friendly taunts to my high school friends was to tell them they played ball like "girls", or their outfit looked "gay". And perhaps I still have that feeling toward people that I deem to be "different". My reasons for not showing support toward gay marriage is the same as everyone else's I just choose to be honest.... in today's modern society, homosexuality is still a "no-no". There...I said it. I can admit it, but some of the most staunch opponents to gay marriage always claim reasons based in religion. It doesn't matter that shows such as "Queer eye for the straight guy", or "Sex and the city" portray the homosexual community to be the haute couture of style, fashion, and glitz. We still have a condescending and distrustful eye toward them.

I find it funny that the "religous right" has such a problem with gay marriages. I also find it funny that so many people feel that homosexual marriage is an "attack" on the sanctity of marriage. In all actuality, I would say that cell phones, alcoholic beverages, internet connections, chat rooms, personal ads, and pay-by-the-hour motels are more of a threat to marriage than gay people. I don't see how anyone getting married or not getting married, whether they are gay or straight can do something to damage my marriage, let alone the "sanctity" of marriage on the whole. I would say that most major religions frown upon homosexuality, but in so many ways, those who used to be persecuted by their sexuality now find themselves being reached out to by the Church....somewhat.

The Anglican church is going through a bit of turmoil over the newly installed, openly gay Bishop. My church, the Catholic Church, is reaching out to its homosexual members, yet still admonishes them to live a chaste life if they cannot overcome the earthly "temptations" of their sexuality. The gay community has found itself in the newspapers over this issue, and now unwillingly finds itself a major subject of the Presidential campaign. Kerry isn't sure, and Bush is being pegged as a homophobe for saying that he is "troubled" by the marriages being performed in California. No doubt we will see this issue, as was the issue of gays in the military, being hashed and rehashed all the way through November.

Is Gay the "New Black" this election year? Usually the stumbling block for a candidates viability is how he or she does on racial issues. But it seems that perhaps attention toward a sexual classification, rather than an ethnic group may be the litmus test to see how effective the people vying for the White House will be. I do say that I am surprised that the Democrats, a group that long prides itself in being "progressive" (liberal is a naughty word, as was conservative in the late eighties), is so sharply divided over this issue. The Republicans, who have long touted State's Rights, and less government intervention, are jockeying to have a Constitutional amendment that will specifically define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Wow. Aren't those the guys that rail against Judicial Activism? Undoubtedly, many gays wonder how women's groups and minority groups aren't rallying to their side for equal protection, but it seems like the view of homosexuals is one thing that the most diametrically opposed groups can agree on. "We don't understand and don't want to understand", is the common consensus. I would say that a black militant and a KKK member would probably put their fists down and shake their heads in disgust if two men walked past them holding hands. Sad to say, but that is true. We all have our own self-serving interests and it seems that if things do not directly affect "Us", (whomever that may be), we have no cause to get involved.

Television shows and movies usually stereotype a gay man to be some limp-wristed, flamboyant, prissy, and annoying specimen. Someone who not only probably can't fight, (hetero male society's unspoken measure of a man's manliness second only to the number of women he has knocked off), but is of no utility except for helping his female friend's pick out shoes and decorate their apartments. Lesbians are portrayed as steel-jawed, manly, lumberjacks who have a penchant for misandry. What is even worse, in some of the stereotyping we do of gay people, we throw sexism in there as well. How many guys have joked about a woman being a lesbian due to bad relationships with men? There should be several hands in the air now....
The fact of the matter is, being gay is about as much a life "decision" as being black or white, or male or female. Because we live in a society that was founded by Christian men, yet demands to be free of the Church, we find that religous pressures still pervade many of the issues that we deal with. (i.e. Abortion, Cloning, Stem cell research, gay marriage, gays in the military, the legality of prostitution.) The fact remains that the reason that most heterosexuals frown on gay marriage is because we look at the attraction between two men, or two women to be nothing but the physical act. Because the idea of same sex copulation is incomprehensible to the point of being revolting to many of us, we are not willing to dignify a homosexual relationship with the possiblity that two people may love one another. Arrogance or instinct?

I was looking at CNN the other day, and saw an article where two women were getting married. They had been a couple for 51 years. I am sure that in that time they had probably purchased a home and several vehicles together, paid state, local, and federal taxes, and probably planned for a retirement together...for 51 years. Yet, me and my wife of not quite three years, enjoy tax breaks that these two women did not. Simply because we are not the same sex.

In closing, I have to say that probably acculturation is to blame for my hesitancy to support the idea of gay marriages. But, I do have to say that I am a product of my upbringing, and environment. The way I feel is not a choice, it is who I am. If I look at gay marriage under the microscope of socio-political theory I would have to say that there are many cases for gay marriage. The main case for it rests in the document that they are trying to amend to ban it. However, something holds me back, my own bias that I am finally admitting. So, I do apologize, sincerely I do.