Showing posts from August, 2009

Death and Reshaping Legacy

Last night at around midnight (Central Time), I learned on Twitter that Sen. Ted Kennedy had died . It was one of those things that was rather disheartening to see but not that unexpected. His health had been failing for a little while now. On top of that, seeing all the hullabaloo about the polarizing health care debate can't exactly give a champion of health care the additional will to live. After that initial half-shock came over me, I thought about where this would leave the health care debate. Sen. Kennedy's passing does leave the democrats without a filibuster proof 60 seat majority. Ezra Klein of the Washington Post noted last week that Sen. Kennedy's passing could be perilous to health care reform without special circumstances put in place in our now current situation. But after all that, I noted things in the big picture. I kept seeing folks reference " the Chappaquiddick incident ." In fact, as of this writing "Mary Jo Kopechne" is the

The Homeless: True Americans

I've been working on some ideas in the back of my head for a couple of days but while I've wanted to seriously tackle some newsworthy ideas, I'm still mulling stuff over. Still, it's been a week since I've written something and I've consciously tried to post something once a week to show some consistency and frankly, I've been thinking about this idea a lot lately. Where do homeless people get the markers to make their signs? At what point in your desperation do you realize, Hey, I think I'm about to end up pretty destitute. I'm going to have to come up with an idea pretty soon to bring in some income. Purchasing a Sharpie and getting a piece of cardboard at some point shifts from being something you think about conceptually to an actual reality. You have to consider obtaining these things. Getting a marker and cardboard for a sign are now investments in your future. And then you have to consider your begging technique. This becomes a bit of

Schrödinger's Coif

I'm growing my hair out. I typically do this from time to time (oddly enough, during rather sweltering summers) to see what I could do with my hair if I ever gave it the chance to grow long enough to do something different with it. I have toyed with the notion of putting it in locks for years, but never had the patience to put up with it. As a black man, many of us cut our hair short with great regularity. We do this partially for social acceptance. Imagine our president with longer hair. President Obama with an afro. President Obama with dreadlocks. President Obama with a high top fade. With an S-Curl. Now stop thinking about it, it's scary enough. It's not really that acceptable for a man of President Obama's stature to do much else with his hair than what he's currently doing. But another reason why black male hair is kept so short is because maintenance is a hassle. It's pretty easy to keep it all short and lined up than to deal with the combing,

Reclassifying Jazz

For many years, I’ve been a devotee of jazz music. It has kept me musically afloat all my life, since I was five. I was listening to David Benoit when I was five years old. My favorite musician has been Joe Sample since I was ten. My favorite episode of The West Wing is episode 6.16, “Drought Conditions,” solely because it ends at a reception in which Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” is played in its entirety. Jazz, the music and the mindset, makes up a lot of my persona. My walk, my writing, my speech, my mechanical nature of doing things all has that same angular, improvisational ideal to it. As I’ve grown older and continued to learn more about jazz’s past and its future, I’ve expanded all my musical tastes as well (this hyperlink goes way back in my writing). For the most part, I’ve been able to keep my variety under control but as time has gone by, I’ve been less able to keep my tastes in check. It has become harder and harder for me to draw lines between genres. This is diffi