Drama And Comedy

OFF THE BLOCK

I spent several hours tonight watching reruns of the Dave Chappelle Show.  Every time I pulled up the laptop to start writing tonight’s blog, I got trapped into another episode. It was then that I remembered everyone talking about his latest SNL monologue.  So, of course, I had to indulge.

The Not So-Funny Truth

Chappelle has been a master of making people uncomfortable.  It is something quite peculiar about truth and how it makes us uneasy.  Comedians, especially Chappelle, possess an amazing quality that allows them to suggest this truth while wrapping it in humor but still causing you to walk away contemplating what they just said. Undoubtedly, this latest monologue produced the very same effect that I just spoke on.

Racial Unrest

There’s no denying the racial overtone of the previous four years while Trump has been at the helm.  Chappelle mentions this great divide, but leaves us with a task.  Not just a task of voting in a new president.  But the task of figuring out how to find happiness in times that seem so bleak.  I suppose you might figure this is the sole purpose of a comedian, but I may be looking a little deeper. After watching his 16 minute monologue I was left urging myself to figure out my own happiness in spite of the trappings of a society that sometimes appears not to care.  Not to care how I am doing, where I am headed or even that I exist.  How difficult is that?  How difficult is it to exist in a world that not only doesn’t want you to exist, but conjures up elaborate plans to convince you that your existence is indeed useless?  I laughed at his jokes and cringed at his pain.  The pain that perhaps can only be felt by being a black person in America.

Saturday Night Live

I watched the monologue twice.  Similarly I’d watched his previous stand-up, 8:46, back to back as well.  I have always been intrigued by the mind and words of Chappelle and while he makes me laugh, he certainly additionally makes me think. There is something about the hard uncomfortable truth that makes people squirm and become somewhat dismissive, but it is not until we confront those things that life can truly take a turn for the better.  He opened up the monologue talking about his great grandfather who had been a slave for 10 years before being freed.  He made mention of how he became a great man in his community who was steadfast in education, the freedom of black people and his connection to Jesus.  With that being said, he wondered what he would say to him in this moment.  I think of things like that often.  I would like to think that I move in such a manner that the ones who have come and gone before me are proud to see the maneuvering I have done to realize whatever dreams I set forth as goals.  All while trying to escape the anchors of being black in America.  So, I agree with Chappelle, we must find away to move forward in spite of our anchors.  In spite of our president. In spite of it all.  The reality is that we have lost touch with humanity.  Race, economics, politics and bureaucracy have made all of us forget the very basic ideal of unity.  It’s time to get back on track.

What’s Next?

OFF THE BLOCK

It is 11:46 pm EST as I sit in from of the black screen writing this blog.  Biden is currently leading 209 to 118 on the race to 270 electoral votes and the cursor is blinking on the screen looking agitated that I have not began to start pecking the life out of the keyboard.  Yes pecking.  For as long as I have been writing, I am still a pecker.  I look at the keys as I type and I use two maybe three fingers max while doing this.  But, this isn’t about my lack of typing skills. This is about my fear of what awaits us in the morning.

Over the Horizon

I was in Pigeon Forge, TN a little over a month ago and two things frightened me while we were there.  The first thing was the presence of countless Trump 2020 signs that littered lawns on the way to our cabin.  The second were the hills.  Have you ever driven up a hill that was so steep that you couldn’t see over the top, so it’s nearly impossible to see what’s ahead?  Who knew that trip was somewhat of a foreshadow of election night.  The fear of Trump supporters and the inability of seeing what is ahead after we overcome this hill. Did I mention there was a Trump Store on the main road?  That probably wasn’t even important, but I just wanted people to know.  What is important though, is that we don’t let the President Elect deter us from what our original focus was in the first place.  And that is to push forward a black agenda.  This means law enforcement training and reform, allocating more funding into urban school and infrastructure development and a serious consideration of reparations.  I know non-blacks and some black folks cringe at the word, but for me, I can take no administration serious until reparations becomes a focal point.  I have voted, in hopes of ushering in a new administration that will hopefully bring some sort of harmony socially, but I realize that our work does not stop there.

Now What?

Between posting IG pics and watching Good Times reruns, the time is slowly ticking away.  It is now 12:37am EST and Biden is in the lead 223-174.  With all of the early and absentee voters, I’m not even sure if there will be a conclusive winner any time before Friday or maybe even next week. In any case, we must remain focused on moving our culture and community forward with or without the assistance of the White House occupant.  A strong focus on the local governments and grassroot activists within our community is necessary to press politicians in Washington to do what we need them to do, even if they don’t belong to the party we support.  I’m not interested in politics or parties, I am interested in the advancement of my community.  And we need to press forward with the same intensity before, during and long after this election process.  Also, I know I hinted at reparations and you’re probably curious about my intentions.  We’ll talk about that next time.

F*CK YO VOTE!

To say that 2020 has been one hell of a year would be a vast understatement.  We have been quarantined for months, people are wearing masks inside their vehicles and still smoking squares.  Yes, think of that visual of fighting COVID but welcoming lung cancer.  Let that sink in for a moment. Okay, back to our regularly scheduled programming of just that…programming.  In the wake of an election that has seemingly been going on for months, today actually marks the specified election day.  Amidst the millions of people who have mailed in or physically cast their votes early, the few stragglers will have to strap their masks on today and do their “civic duty” of voting for our incoming president.  I used quotes, which would have been air quotes if this were a YouTube video, but alas….I was too lazy to do a video.  Perhaps people are lazy.  Too lazy to pick themselves up by their bootstraps and make things happen. Have you heard that saying before?  I’m hopeful that you have.  I am even more hopeful that you know that statement is one of those bullshit quotes from politicians and privileged folk who strive to insist that this conglomerate of geographical puzzle pieces house equal opportunity within their city limits. Hogwash! I figure since we’re using old ideology, I might as well add in some old lingo.  Nevertheless, here we are in the deciding day and the determining moment that may well be a pivotal moment in our American history.  And I say FUCK YOUR VOTE!

DOES YOUR  VOTE COUNT?

Depending on who you ask, you may get varying answers for this question.  If you ask me, I say no.  But I’m figuring after you read the title of this blog, you probably wouldn’t ask me.  Okay, I’ll retract that.  Perhaps our vote does count, but once those votes are counted, do I count?  I’d believe this to be a more qualifying question.  Once the Republicans have made mockeries  of our celebrities and Democrats offer us the world and the electoral college makes their decision devoid of our popular vote, I’ll get to go back into the pecking order of grinning and bearing it. Read that last line again.  If you didn’t actually re-read it, you might be understanding where I’m coming from… or you’re just not good at following directions.  In either case we’re moving forward, much like we will have to do once this election is over. With all that being said, I am undecided.  I can be honest in saying that I sincerely don’t know if my vote counts. I’ve voted in all of the past presidential elections since I’ve been registered to vote.  Only one president that I chose in those elections actually won. And that one didn’t really… never mind.  So I’m a bitter voter.  A voter who is a sore loser.  I’m a sore loser because even when I win as a voter, I’m seemingly a loser.  That’s probably a defeatist attitude, but America has a way of defeating you sometimes.  Especially when you’ve been begging to even be considered American for so long.

AMERICAN DREAM

This year I’ve seen countless black bodies consumed by America’s rage.  The country’s undying willingness to make waste of our bodies but make haste to emulate our culture.  Many have become fed up and protested.  Those protests were deemed to be riots and those riots brought about the need for LAW AND ORDER. And that has turned into the platform for current president, TV star, business mogul, Donald J. Trump.  Okay, so rewind that really quick.  People died at the hand of government sanctioned law enforcement with no repercussions, those communities were outraged because the same thing has been happening for generations, that same government that created  the laws that systematically oppress said group now presents the solution of LAW AND ORDER and the masses get behind this theory. Sounds like an endless loop.  On the other hand you’ve got a party who, for whatever reason, my community has been backing for years.  Supposedly, they identify with our struggle and want to even the playing field.  At least they always do up until the election.  Not sure what happens after that because we still end up back in the same position of begging to be equal.  Not even begging to get ahead, but begging to be the same.  Now the ballot is available and I’m forced to choose between the lesser of two evils.  I hate that term because it is so overused, but it kind of is what it is. So I’d determined in my head that I was not going to vote because I am tired of voting for candidates who don’t have one single interest of mine on their agenda.  So, I said FUCK YO VOTE!

DEMOCRACY

At the end of the day, I can’t honestly say that the Trump administration is any worse than any administration I’ve lived through.  Before you frown up, let me explain.  Legislatively and presidentially, our government has consistently failed us.  So, saying how bad one individual has done just adds to the stockpiled failures that came before him and the countless ones to come after.  My concern is the social climate though.  We currently have a regime…I mean administration that incites conflict.  Bigots and racists have become quite brazen and racial intimidation is returning as useful tactics for these citizens.  To a degree, I’m not certain what is most disheartening.  Is it the current president’s willingness to allow the social unrest to boil over or is it the reminder that this was exactly the foundation in which this nation was created in the first place? And with all of that anger, distrust, fear and resentment, I’m supposed to vote for the lesser of two evils.  A very daunting task. A task that will be completed by all the citizens of America who believe in the government and truly believe their vote counts.  And to you all, I say FUCK YO VOTE!! In case you’re wondering….yes, I voted.