Books, History, Food, Politics, and Life

Books, History, Food, Politics, and Life
Things through a different light...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Acceptable Racism?

I have never lived anywhere but the South.  That being said, I am well aware, as most are, of the charged racial history of the South and the problems that charged racial history has created.    I have these moments where I think it is important to stand up and speak against the blatant ignorance and racism here in the south, the blatant and ignorant racism that many deny...that many sweep under the rug, that many act as if doesn't happen...
but...go talk to anyone in New Orleans, go speak to some who are unfortunate enough to live in a small southern town and be of a different ethnicity than white and then try to pretend there is no racism...its impossible.

Lately, the town I am from has seen a rash of violent crime, mostly in the form of teenagers being shot and killed.... two in the morning on the way to school and three outside a sweet 16 birthday party.  We like to worry about our first world problems a lot.... getting good coffee, being able to buy the video game we want, complaining about hardships at work.... when these kids are just trying to live and get shot doing normal things we take for granted.

I love how the people around here, instead of facing a growing problem in Macon and Middle Georgia...just go black kids, ignorant, shooting each other and then leaving it at that....  it is like because these kids who were shot just so happened to be black... then its not a bad thing they were shot.  To be honest, a few responders at the Macon Telegraph even talked about how it was good to let them just shoot it out and let "social darwinism"take its course... it felt like a cold and stinging blast from 1960 and yet it was 2011 and even more disgusting than ever.

Poverty is a crippling thing, and statistically, many of the residents of Macon, Georgia live below the poverty line.  With the average household income being 27,000 dollars a year for a family according to the census.... imagine what the low income people are really making when you take out outliers like lawyers or high paid individuals.... I wonder what the average income is then....when the poverty line is 22k a year and the average income in a city is 27k.... and crime is rising in areas of low income... shouldnt that tell you that poverty has a correlation to crime?  No...according to the citizens of macon, its not about poverty but about color.... an inherent flaw in those who are not white to not be as good and that.... disgusts me.

People with no education and no hope, people who have been treated like less than human, worthless, useless, their entire lives.... what do you think they strive for?  What do you think they dream about?  We want to blame color, but we need to blame culture...selfishness, an unwillingness to reach out to others, and prejudice....and poverty.... 
I am disgusted with the people around here who like to still label a person of color as less of a person and if you think its not going on anymore.... you are blind.
We should all be ashamed.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Information Age has Killed Art...redux

I wrote this long blog about how today because of the information age... everyone thinks they are talented.
It reminds me of those pitiful people on American Idol who are so dismayed when they get booted off during auditions and told they have no talent when their family and friends have told them all their lives how talented they are... when they are not.
I wrote this rage against the false assurances that friends and family boost people with when they give out their works to read/listen to/ see..... and I deleted it by accident.

I will sum it up.
Art is mostly about talent and some about ambition.  Not only does one need the ability to produce and create... but they also need the drive and the immersion in their work that would enable them to live the life and not just talk the talk.  You cannot want to be anything just because you think it is cool.... you have to want it because it boils inside of you and is at the edge of your thoughts constantly.  A good writer/artist/musician... lives the life of an artist.  They involve themselves in the world of the creative, they talk to other writers/musicians/artists... they do everything they can and it is a passion that one cannot quiet.  I think a lot of people right now because of the ease of getting out there (thanks to the internet) see the creative life as a cool one.... but is it because you long to create or is it because you have no idea what you want to do?  When I was in 3rd grade, I thought baseball players were cool and I wanted to be a baseball player, but I am no longer an eight year old.  The artist/writer/musician lives for their art and if you are unwilling to do that, then maybe... you just have a really involved hobby.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Doing Good

You can't always tell what is going on from a picture.
Sometimes we look at the world with blinders on I think, it makes life easier....  We have our preconceived notions about people and what that does is keep things at arms length, "problem people" or "bad people" do not enter our purview.  In truth though, things don't actually always appear as they are.  I took this picture last night as a thunderstorm rolled over ValP Florida where we are staying on a mini-vacation with family.  Well, we ended up staying an extra day thanks to bad Red Robin (blech....never again).  In my picture, you cannot tell it is storming out and you cannot see the dark things look perfect.
In contrast, when a needy person is standing on your door and they may not seem to fit your "right kind of person" ideal.... turning them away doesn't make you a good person only dealing with good makes you judgmental and bad.
Being privy to a story about a needy mother who escaped an abusive home with her children showing up on church doorsteps to help only to have them turn her away infuriated me.  Isn't that what these people should WANT to do???  Help those who cannot help themselves???  I mean I know I have been on a roll as of late about laying praise on my father in law's church New Hope Baptist for being one of the few churches in my entire life that I have seen actually doing good, caring for others, delivering a message of love and hope to people regardless of what they believe... but again after this woman went to other places for help, this small church went out of their way to feed them, give them shelter and try to make their lives a little more bearable regardless of their background.  
We live in a world of cynics.  "I cannot make a difference," "I cannot help people," "I have  a hard enough time helping myself," "they are just going to go out and buy drugs or alcohol anyway so whatever."  I have heard all of these before and while it may make a person feel better at night because they have a "good" reason for not helping others, it doesn't make it any better.
I do little things, I know it is not a lot, but I do it with my heart and I do it because I care.  I do not do it for any gratification or anything in the end except knowing that someone knows that they are not alone in the world that regardless of who they are...someone cares.  I challenge people to do some good today for no other reason than to do it.  Bring some hope to those who are hopeless....even if its a few dollars, giving a hungry person a sandwich, donating to a charity.... volunteering your time somewhere that reaches out to those in need.  We have a lot of people out there right now who think they have no more them they are wrong.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Good Church

I don't talk about religion much because I one... believe its a very personal thing and my beliefs might be very different from someone else's and I don't think I should judge or look down on someone for theirs....regardless of what it is...christian, muslim, hindu, pastafarian....whatever floats your boat and helps you in your life.
But... I do have an opinion about what is a good church.
Coming from the south as I do and seeing every street in the south flooded with tons of different churches, I wonder how there are so many needy people with all these churches because those who follow Christ, truly follow christ... devote themselves as Christ would to help those in need.  So... when I see these giant mega churches who spend millions of dollars on fancy designs, pretty windows...ect ect.... I think about all that money that could actually go towards helping those who need it and not into a new flat screen or things of that nature.
I know of a good church and even though I tend to be a bit cynical about the whole concept on a personal level... I have more respect for this church and the people in it than I do every other big flashy church combined.
These people breathe helping others... they struggle, they hurt, and they want to do everything they can for those who need help and they don't judge the needy....they just see them and do what they can because its what one should do.  Every time I read anything about this church...its them delivering food to the hungry, helping the homeless find homes, giving someone who is broken a helping hand to heal the hurt and let them know that even during the darkest times...they have people who care about them.   These people aren't perfect, they are not rich... they have hard and stressful lives and somehow, a midst even the  most stressful of times they will stop what they are doing and go help those who need it.  It is an amazing and refreshing sight and they do it out of love because they truly believe the message of love that their faith delivers.  A good church, a church like that should be busting at the seams with people wanting to help make home made items for the poor in third world countries, man sno-cone booths to help those suffering from disease, deliver dozens upon dozens of warm meals to those who would otherwise go hungry and yet the good churches.... the ones bursting with love and willing to do whatever they can for those in need, the ones who accept you no matter where you are from.... those are the churches that suffer.

I just think the small church that I am constantly impressed with should know how amazing they truly are.  Never in my life have I deeply respected a church as I do this small congregation of people who would give their last bit of energy if they had to in order to ensure that an empty stomach was full and that those in need and alone knew they were not.  These people should know...they are a good church and what all churches should be like.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I Love the Ocean

A friend of mine and I went to Tybee Island today off the coast of Georgia, it was a more quiet beach on the Atlantic a little over three hours from my house.  The water was wonderful, it was cool when the current came in and a refreshing break from the summer heat, we pretty much stayed in it the whole time...taking a small break to eat some awesome snacks and then back in the water to watch fish and dolphins swim about, it was a lovely day.  Totally worth the drive.  :D

Monday, August 1, 2011


Thanks Congress....
For making it harder for me to go to rich guys can keep all their tax breaks.  I know I dont make much money and Im trying to better myself...I appreciate you agonizing over the problems with the budget so much by sticking it to the poor!