Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Best Thing, My Love

Ok, here's a poem I wrote back in high school (in the 11th grade to be exact). This one always seems to stand out. It's a trip when you go back and read your older works.

The Best Thing, My Love

It’s the
Pulsating rhythms of my heart
You give
The beating of drums of my pulse
I live
It’s the syncopated breaths that I breathe
It’s the ruckus of sound in my ears
You made leave
It’s that music you helped make of me
That 12/8 measure in my eyes
I see
I’m in love

It’s that explicit
Nature of your luscious lips
That carried that lyrical content
To my lips
That continuously rolls
Number one songs
For hour tolls
We sing tastes
Of albums haste
You made me play the piano with
My hands
You strum the guitar
Of my abs
My body is
The bass you play
By plucking or playing with
The bow-like fingers
On your hands
You are the best thing,
My love

© 1998 BuddahDesmond

Janet & The 18 Year Old Daughter Rumors

The media must have nothing better to do than mess with the Jackson clan. Need I say anything more. This time, it's not Michael, it's not Latoya, or Jermaine in the news....It's Janet. Rumors have surfaced yet again about her supposedly having a daughter from a previous marriage. Young DeBarge, 28, recently announced during an interview on the radio that Janet has an 18 year old daughter who's been staying with Rebbie, her oldest sister. Janet was married to one of Young's older brothers, James DeBarge for a hot minute back in the 80s. According to Young, "James and the Jackson family kept everything real close, real tight." Someone please tell me why is this anybody's business all of a sudden?

This is not the first time these rumors have surfaced. I remember these rumors surfacing in the early 90's when LaToya was airing out all of her's family's dirty laundry with her infamous autobiography. (She also acknowledged that Michael had been spending too much time with little boys--but this is another topic altogether.) If Janet and James had a baby and wanted to keep it a secret, it's their business. Now if the supposed daughter is just finding out that Janet and James are her real parents, then this sheds a different light on the situation. I couldn't imagine how detrimental this kind of info would be after living a certain kind of life for 18 years or more. It could rock your world. But it wouldn't be the first time or last time that something like this has happened. Drama like this happens everyday. It would be crazy to think that the Jackson's and the DeBarge's are the only families on this planet keeping secrets. Doesn't make it right, but please let's be realistic.

The supposed daughter is 18. She's grown. Let her and her family deal with this the best way they know how. Damn, can the Jackson's have any kind of peace??!!

And let us not forget that Young DeBarge (who released/rehashed this info) is an aspiring singer who just finished recording an album. Can I say publicity?

Regardless of whether Janet has children or not, I'm still going to buy her next record. So there! And after news like this, shit, it better be good!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

On Marriage...

So many marriages are crumbling. Whether it’s people in the spotlight or people in our personal lives. Marriages currently seem to be more like short-lived excursions instead of life-long, fruitful journeys. At this rate, the only couple who looks like they’re going to make it is Whitney & Bobby. Recently, I told two of my friends (who’ll be tying the knot June 2006) if they end of like Babyface and Tracey Edmonds I’m going to cut them both. But seriously, where are the marriages/relationships like Ruby Dee & the late Ossie Davis? You know, marriages like our great-grandparents, grandparents and quite possibly our parents….When the love just seems to get stronger and stronger and the relationship seems to get better and better. When problems arise and they’re able to keep it civil, work it out and stay together….

Today, it seems like people are getting married for all the wrong reasons. Lust. Money. Security. Because a baby is on the way. Not because you want to but because it’s expected. First and foremost it’s supposed to be about love. At the same time, marriage is a business. Once you sign that contract, you’re making an arrangement between you, your spouse and the state (or government). Maybe this part is irrelevant. Then again maybe not. My point is this—why get married if your heart isn’t in it? Why make these arrangements or this commitment if this isn’t the person you truly love and desire? If you’re marrying only for security, what happens if it turns out to be a false sense of security? Marrying for children or because there is a child on the way doesn’t seem to be any better, especially if one (or both) of you has resignations about going thru with it. As we all should know, the children will be affected either way. Even more so if they have to endure unstable, hostile relations between parents who really don’t want or need to be together.

It should be a requirement that before you walk down that aisle, make sure he or she is the one. You also need to make sure you really know each other. There’s nothing worse than getting some unexpected surprises down the line. If there’s something you want or feel you need to know, you better ask! You need to discuss money, children, jobs, relocating, etc., before you jump over that broomstick. Because it’s so easy for any relationship to end, but it’s work if you want the relationship to last. If one person is trying and the other person fails to even make an attempt, you’re going to have some issues.

Another hot component to this discussion is the sanctity of marriage. But this typically comes up with yet another hot button issue—gay marriage. In all honesty, gay marriage is not going to burn down the house of holy matrimony. Newsflash everyone—the sanctity of marriage was already in jeopardy long before the gay marriage debate began. Take a look at TV today. When you have reality shows (really faux reality shows) like The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Who Wants to Marry My Dad?, Wife Swap, Trading Spouses, and the like, it signifies a big problem in our society with marriage. There are larger issues to consider when statistics say that marriages nowadays are more likely to end in divorce. How about considering many of the following questions: Why people don't stay together? Why people commit adultery? Why people lie? Why fewer people are deciding to get married? And just how does gay marriage threaten anyone’s idea of marriage? You're not directly influenced by it – especially if you’re involved in an altogether different relationship. So still, how does it affect you at all? And furthermore, what right does anyone have in invalidating another's relationship by saying their relationship is insignificant (because of their sexuality)? But I digress.

Maybe the other part of this discussion needs to be reconsidering whether a traditional relationship is right for you. You may not be a fan of traditional. You may want a relationship that’s a bit more radical. Possibly an open relationship. A committed relationship without the basis of monogamy. Or maybe you want the fruits of traditional marriage without all the hoopla. As far as I know, no correlations have been made specifically stating that relationships more often than not fail to endure if there’s been no exchange of rings or a formal ceremony. Marriage, the idea or the actual experience, is not for everyone. You may have to walk down the aisle a couple of times before you figure it out (sadly). But hey, that’s just how it goes.

With all the many wonderful things that we encounter and achieve in this life, isn’t it just nice to share them with someone you love? Someone that’s got your back. Someone that’s always going to be there. Someone you can have great conversations with, cuddle with, laugh with and cry with. Someone that you can rush home to each and every night.

Isn’t this the overall goal? Is it possible? Or is this just wishful thinking? I think that it is possible. But I can only go on what I’ve experienced, what I’ve been exposed to and what I believe. I sincerely hope that the forecast calls for brighter, lighter conditions on the marriage/relationship front for everyone.

What do you think?

The "Morally Reprehensible" William Bennett and Other Musings

By now, the name William Bennett should ring a bell. Bennett, the former Secretary of Education under the Reagan administration, made rather racist comments about reducing crime on his radio show not too long ago. If you haven’t heard the comments you must have been living in some kind of padded, soundproof cell. But just in case, Bennett said, " could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down."

So tell us how you really feel….Anything else you want to throw out there to enlighten us? Go ahead, we’re all ears. We’re waiting. And people say racism no longer exists. What a crock! Bennett later went on to say that it "would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do ... but the crime rate would go down." What a contradiction. Maybe he would’ve fared better if he kept his mouth shut.

My question is this, why abort all the black babies? How is it that the crime rate will go down if all black babies are aborted and no other group of babies? It doesn’t make it right and I don’t support the argument either way, but if you insist to continue with the argument why not abort all babies (regardless of race) if you want to lower the crime rate. This is completely ludicrous! Comments like these prove just how disposable we are. Comments like these prove just how little respect and decency a significant portion of this society has towards black people. And to top it all off, very few if any members of the GOP (please correct me if I’m wrong) condemned Bennett for his comments. So that must mean that several other members of his party share similar beliefs. Or they don’t see anything wrong with the comments. This incident reminds me of the climate after some comments Vincente Fox, President of Mexico, made months back. [for more info, check here and here]

These incidents and the recent Hurricane Katrina tragedy (the rather tardy response of government officials and the presentation of the incident by the news media) go on to show that we still have serious racial and social class issues in this country. People try to push racism further under the rug or act like it no longer exists. However, it’s still ever present. Social class issues have never really been dealt with in this country at all. Meanwhile, the disparities between the races and within the races seem to grow wider and wider as the years progress.

Typically, the GOP is late (if ever present) to the table when issues of race are the top of the menu (not unless it addresses something that will impact them directly). Because we all know it’s about the haves and the have-nots. And if you fall in with the latter, the GOP wants little to nothing to do with you. Oh yeah, let me not forget to mention that the White House Press Secretary did issue a statement from Bush saying that Bennett’s comments were “inappropriate.” Wow, what a response! On the other hand, the Democrats responded promptly, demanding that Bennett apologize. Some even went as far to call for Bennett’s resignation from his radio show.

Historically, it’s members of the GOP who’ve made comments along the lines of Bennett. And when the shit hits the fan, they typically stick by their remarks, will not apologize, and will cry that they’ve been misquoted, misrepresented and misunderstood. When in actuality, they weren’t mis- anything. They were quoted, represented and understood quite well.

While everyone else drowns, several members of the GOP continue to swim to the top of the sea of bigotry, racism, social class disparities, inequalities and homophobia. Well it’s time for us to rise to the top and rid the sea of its pollution. Cause we’ve got a long way to go. It’d be wise to get the boxing gloves ready. It’s going to be long fight. And it won’t be ending early.

I’m interested in knowing your thoughts. What are your ideas, opinions, recommendations, etc., about what we as a community (and we as a society) need to do to get beyond this current demise?

Monday, October 10, 2005

Be On The Lookout.....

If you're looking at the time of this post, you're probably wondering what I'm still doing up. Well, I've been keeping myself pre-occupied by getting stuff done. (Of course being nocturnal doesn't help.) And I'm a little pissed because Blogger ate up my post and I had to type this shit again. Anyway.....After I got my homework done for the day (cause there's more to do tomorrow and the next day and so on), I finished writing up my thank cards to those who've been looking out for me these last few months, drafting upcoming posts for the blog, listening to music, catching up on my favorite blogs, and thinking about life and what I'm going to do next.

Well, it's week 6 here at school. My, my how times flies. That means that there's four weeks left of the quarter, then finals, and then Thanksgiving break here we come! With this being my last quarter of classes for my masters, I'm halfway free! I'm doing research and trying to finish my proposal for my thesis. This is the next big endeavor to tackle winter and spring quarter. I've been so busy that I've had little to no time to apply for jobs, fellowships and other opportunities beyond graduation. I've gotten as far as applying for one job and that was during our 15-minute break in my Thursday night class (6pm-10pm - it's painful). Well, I guess there's only but so much you can do before you break. And I will not be having one of those widely publicized breakdowns a la Mariah Carey (love you girl!). But then again, maybe it's worth it if you can come back killin' em only the way MC can do it.

Anyway, be on the lookout for these posts:

  1. The "Morally Reprehensible" William Bennett and Other Musings
  2. On Marriage....
  3. A new poem, "Homecoming"
  4. and of course, Music, Music Music

Until then, take care!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Stevie Wonder's 'A Time 2 Love' Finally Sees The Light Of Day!!!

Good news, good news. There is a confirmed released date for Stevie Wonder's highly-anticipated (and that's an understatment) new record A Time 2 Love. Yes, you read that correctly....There is finally a release date for Stevie Wonder's new record. A Time 2 Love will be commercially available on October 18th. But there's other good news. The new record was released digitally on September 27th. So for all those who have the capabilities (and don't want to wait for the October 18th release date), you can get the album now!

So why was the record's release date postponed so many times? In an interview with Billboard Magazine, Wonder says that he had to make sure the time was right for the release of his record. '"As an artist, you get anxious and excited -- you want to show what you can do....A lot of what I do when I do an album is based on whether the timing is right."' Okay, all is forgiven. I wish a lot of other artists in the game followed the same sense of thinking. Maybe Wonder can share this wisdom with some of his peers.

The 15-track set about love features many high-profile guests. Prince and EnVogue are featured on "So What the Fuss." Bonnie Raitt plays slide guitar on "Tell Your Heart I Love You." Kim Burrell and Doug E. Fresh are featured on "If Your Love Cannot Be Moved." India. Arie and Paul McCartney are featured on the title track. And Wonder's daughter Aisha Morris is featured on "How Will I Know" and "Positivity." Also featured is a song Wonder wrote in honor of those affected by Hurricane Katrina. The proceeds from this song (to be released digitally on October 11th) will go towards relief efforts.

Tracklist for A Time 2 Love:
  1. If Your Love Cannot Be Moved
  2. Sweetest Somebody I Know
  3. Moon Blue
  4. From the Bottom of My Heart
  5. Please Don't Hurt My Baby
  6. How Will I Know
  7. My Love Is on Fire
  8. Passionate Raindrops
  9. Tell Your Heart I Love You
  10. True Love
  11. Shelter in the Rain
  12. So What the Fuss
  13. Can't Imagine Love Without You
  14. Positivity
  15. A Time To Love
For more info:

The Limb: A Poem

Must've really slipped off the
cliff this time
I've tripped up before
but never like this
I'm hangin'
out on a limb
The only thing keeping me secure
is this rope and harness
But for how long?
It's only a matter of time
before it all snaps
And my reality will change

Can't keep waiting
Gotta get to safety
But there's no one here to help me
The rescue team is on vacation
I'm here just hangin'
The wind is pickin' up
Looks like another storm
is on the way
And I've realized now that
the only person who can save me
is me
I've got to pull myself up
from this limb
Can't let it all crumble
Everything that consumes my existence
Breaking as soon as it hits
the ground
Can't let it all go to waste

Gotta clean up this mess
of my life that I've created
Gotta stop letting foolishness
and events of the past
hold me back
Gotta pull up
Gotta take hold
regain that unrelenting,
strong grip
on life
Gotta take control of me
and my life again
The dictatorship of the outside world
ain't gonna win anymore
with me
Gonna be unstoppable again
Gonna be unbreakable again
Gonna be me again
Or else be stuck
just hangin'
out on a limb

© 2005 BuddahDesmond