Connie channels Lorelei Lee: picture the breathless voice of Marilyn Monroe from 1953 classic Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Well, wherever is a girl to start? Seeing the picture in the paper the other day of a committee of men discussing the reproductive rights of women, and hearing Republican candidate for President, Rick Santorum, weighing in on women in the military, and on sex and contraception by saying, “contraception is not okay because it is license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be. They’re supposed to be within marriage. They’re supposed to be for purposes that are uh, yes, conjugal, but also procreative.” My goodness. I thought to myself, Lorelei, they must think we were born yesterday. Well golly, sometimes, given that we have to have this conversation yet again, there’s just no other possible explanation. Now, I long ago learned that men just love to be in the “sexual realm” with girls such as I, but they get so darn peevish when she shows up pregnant at their country clubs. Read more
We’re very excited to welcome guest blogger Honorée Fanonne Jeffers. Honorée is an award-winning poet and fiction writer who’s been blogging on culture since 2009. Her most recent book of poetry is Red Clay Suite.
Usually, my blog posts deal with African American community or political issues, and I talk as one cultural insider to another cultural insider.
However, I’ve realized that sometimes, well-meaning, really nice White people (of which there are many, by the way) want Black folks to talk to them in non-angry, non-confrontational, and patient ways about Black cultural issues they don’t understand.
So I wondered if it might be useful for me to write blog posts that break racial things down for good White folks who mean no harm—and who either have Black friends or are in the midst of acquiring friendships with Black people—and are just trying to navigate these racial waters that ironically (and to me, bewilderingly) have become far more treacherous since the election of our first Black president.
Sidebar: I use “race” as a shorthand because that word usually means “Black” or “People of Color” to White people. But really, “race” is not a real, like, biological thing. It does not exist except in people’s minds. What I actually mean when I say “race” is “culture.”
I hadn’t even planned to post again this week, but I’ve noticed the online furor on Black social media concerning Governor Jan Brewer’s pointing her finger very close to President Barack Obama’s face. The response from White folks? Some are upset, but I get the impression they don’t really understand why we African Americans are so troubled. Some of us are even enraged.
So I thought that it might be time to write a Teachable Racial Moment post. Read more
Prudence digs deep into an ocean of insight
In 1998, if you hadn’t seen The Titanic by week two of its release, you were in danger becoming marginalized; a social misfit unable to contribute to the main topic of conversation du jour—a shipwreck from 86 years before. Sheesh.
This brings me to chair number 18 at Umberto, a Beverly Hills über-salon where—for the right price—even nobodies like me can rub foiled locks with B-list celebrities.
David, my stylist and a dog show aficionado who could have walked straight (so to speak) out of Best in Show, was trying to ignore overtures from a buff young man in a tight black t-shirt sweeping up shorn locks from Umberto’s imported Italian marble floors. Read more
Prudence’s personal story provides a morality tale for America today
This is a story about a baby I call Jesus. No, not that Jesus—the other one, pronounced “Hey, Zeus.”
I admit this may not be his name and he may not be a he; I don’t know. All I know is that somewhere out there in the world is a teenager I call Jesus and his birth certificate is almost identical to my son’s. And what better time to have a Jesus story than now—on the eve of the holiday season that culminates with the birthday celebration of a man so many Americans claim to know personally, the other Jesus, Jesus Christ.
Jesus (the Hey Zeus one) was born April 6, 1995, at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles—the same hospital, the same day, the same hour as my second and last child, Casey. The reason I know about Jesus is that my labor and delivery nurse helped bring him into this world. Read more
Connie reflects on recent tragedy, ongoing hate and hypocrisy
I just turned 59. I was going to write some funny thing moaning about being mooned by 60, but instead, I need to talk about how grateful I am. I’m grateful for something I have no right to be grateful for, and that is the status of my own birth.
Oh, I suppose I could have had it easier. I could have been born smarter, taller, thinner, blonder, male, but in conforming to a standard of acceptance, I guess I’ll be grateful to have been born white, blue-eyed, American, and straight in the society we are living in right now, oh, and Christian. That condition, happily, I have recovered from. Everything else just is what it is.
I am deeply troubled, shaken, and heartsick over the recent suicide of 18-year-old Tyler Clementi who jumped off the George Washington Bridge after being cruelly and publicly humiliated by fellow students, Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei. Those two miscreants are being charged with invasion of privacy and possibly for hate crimes and will do 5-10 years in prison if they are found guilty. So this evil “prank”, if you can call it that, (though I would love to know how that conversation went), cost the life of a beautiful, talented young man, the grief of friends and family, and the shame of a nation that cannot seem to wrap it’s head around HOMOSEXUALITY. Read more
I’d rather be in Stalinist Russia, drinking human blood at Satan’s ball than be in Obama’s shoes. It’s been a year and a half since he inherited an America that is only turned on by extremes, sensationalism and exaggeration, along with a people crippled by fear and impatience. Even I, one of his most ardent fans, found myself screaming at the radio during his Oval Office address on the oil spill.
“Say it!” I shouted, “Say it!” I wanted a bold retraction of his previously announced (and obviously dunderheaded) plan to open some offshore waters to oil drilling. I was so disappointed. And then the next day, I heard someone on NPR saying that Obama’s six-month moratorium on deep water drilling was affecting some 50,000 people’s jobs in the already devastated Gulf. Pass the blood, please. Read more
From “Bigotgate” to shades of Kennedy/Nixon, Christie Healey gives the play-by-play on the recent UK elections
As I sat eating my breakfast this morning, I thought of Mr. Brown. Gordon Brown, a man whose brilliant background in accountancy could not save him from miscalculation of the odds. I imagined him at the 10 Downing Street breakfast table last Friday, the eviction notice hovering in his mind. He must have thought, “Where did I go wrong? He waited years for this gig, suffering in silence while Tony bounced all over the world like Tigger only to be given the old heave ho at the first opportunity.
The last two weeks of the adorably short UK general election campaign have been nothing less than stunning. The changes for Mr. Brown were foretold upon England’s foray into that most American of primetime shows, “The Debates”. Our brusque-toned dour Scot was pitted against the Liberal Democrats’ youthful and articulate leader, Nick Clegg, who puffed deep breaths of fresh air into the stale clichés of British politics. Even the Conservatives’ front man, an urbane and typically toffee-nosed type, managed to look like one of the stars of Mad Men compared to the rumpled, haggard Mr. B. Read morekeep looking »