Archive for politics

What if…?

Posted in Early Death, Faith & Religion, Family, Life, people, politics, Tragedy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2009 by Rick

That’s a question my father always asked when explaining to my siblings and I the travesty of abortion. He was conceived as result of date rape. In 1957 his young mother was faced with two unpopular options. She could abort my father, justifiably by many standards. She was young, severely underemployed, and the victim of rape. Her other choice was to have the baby, knowing its father would not be around to support it, and place a heavy burden on her lifestyle and those that loved her. Praise God she chose the later. My father was raised with the support of his mother, grandmother, aunts and uncles, and some close friends of the family and he lived to play significant roles in the lives of his mother, his birth-father, everyone that helped raised him, his eight siblings (papa was a rolling stone for REAL, but found redemption and reconciliation before death) and countless others. My father is now a devout Christ-follower and  a successful husband, father, church elder, friend, brother and business man. His story of triumph in adversity is not an anomaly, but the testament of millions like him who were given a chance to live despite the odds. It all started with mothers’ selfless decision to say abortion is not the only answer to unwanted pregnancy. Granny exercised the audacity of hope.

p52700101

SOME of the family

Today I saw a video that my friend Ben Washer posted on his blog after seeing it on BET. It’s not sponsored by a political party, person or organization but by the Fidelis Center for Law & Policy through CatholicVote.com.  I don’t know if it is marketed beyond BET but when I saw it I thought, “What if…?” Like dad, I pondered “What if this man and his unique path had never been actualized?” What would that mean socially and politically in America?

It’s painful to think that our new President, with my vote, will push legislation allowing mothers to snatch hope, potential and possibility out of the hands of deserving lives.  The unborn won’t have the opportunity to follow  in his footsteps. It’s like getting to Heaven and closing the door on those behind you. On this issue, I pray his political rhetoric was just that.

For the record I am not a one-issue-voter. Had the election outcome been different this post would be on a different yet equally painful attrocity in government.

Advertisements

Main Street, Joe Six-Pack and Politians That Don’t Know Me.

Posted in politics, random with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2008 by Rick

John Q. Pubilc, John Q. Taxpayer, John Q. Citizen, Joe Blow, Average Joe, the condescending Joe Schmoe and the morbid John Doe. All of the aforementioned terms are common when referring to the middle class, small business or just some person whose name you don’t know. But those terms are so passe. Presidential wanna-bees John McCain and Barack Obama made it clear that the country is split between Wall Street and Main Street. Wall Street is nothing new to me or any Tom, Dick or Jane in America. However, when they referred to Main Street I got a little confused. Initially, I assumed I was a part of the Main Street crew. The dueling senators used the term interchangeably to identify small business, the middle class or those that make $250,000 or less. Kind of a broad brush but I get it. I considered those categorized as “Wall Street” and realized there was a huge portion of the country totally omitted from this conversation. Where do J-Mac and Obie fit into the picture? Were there streets that weren’t mentioned, with some cool name I don’t know of? Like Easy Street? Do citizens who make more than $250,000 not have streets? Maybe the Mark Cubans, David Lettermans and Terrell Owens of the world are shielded from the damage of an economic collapse? Surely I jest. But this all makes me wonder what other clever names the politicians have for those that don’t live like them. If you have insight please share.

On a similar note, who is JOE SIX-PACK? Don’t google it. Seriously! Save yourself! Those sites aren’t as innocent as their domain names suggest! Shouldn’t a conservative candidate like Palin find a more appropriate term to categorize folks she patronizes? Unless, the “six-pack” is a gross overestimation of the physical fitness of the average American, or a bazaar parallel between the average taxpayer and carbonated soda consumption, the term is inaccurate at best.

By the way! As long as the candidates are finding clever little ways to endear themselves to the little guy, why not give me, my phone, my mailbox and my inbox a break and raise campaign funds by selling out the rights to your preferred term of estrangement. For example, instead of Governor Palin calling me Joe Six-Pack, she could work a deal and call me Joe ipod (C) or John Q. Ameritrade (TM). I still won’t identify with the label but at least she can capitalize on the ad revenue, helping John McCain a lot more than she is now.
or or ?

To Those Who’ve Gone Before-Part 2…(The Scary Guys)

Posted in Comedy, Entertainment, Movies, politics, random, television with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2008 by Rick

Continuing the exploration into Hollywood’s portrayal of black presidency, let’s take a look at the guys who put could possibly cause America to hesitate even more at the ballot box.

Speaking of Barack and Sarah’s questionable executive experience, how about a seven-year-old in the oval office? (insert Dubyah joke here) Sammy Davis Jr. dances his way into office in the 1933 short-film Rufus Jones for President. The issues?  No locks on the chicken coops, a Memphis Blues National Anthem, public watermelon vines, you know, the usual 1930’s racial stereotypes. I mean really…a DICE president?

7yo Sammy Davis Jr as President Rufus Jones. He killed the talent protion of the campaign!

7yo Sammy Davis Jr as President Rufus Jones. He killed the talent portion of the campaign!

There were several amazing parallels to the beloved Clinton reign of the ’90s. Electing Davis was also electing a woman to the office ala Billary (Rufus’ mother/presidentess played by Ethel Waters), and when his actions were questioned President Jones gave a song and dance much like…I’m sorry that was too easy.

Fast forward 44 years and comedian Richard Pryor explores the faint possibility of being the nation’s first black president. He was doing fine until he mentioned that Huey Newton was the most qualified to run the FBI.

Ladies and gentlemen, the 40th President of the United States.

Ladies and gentlemen, the 40th President of the United States.

He promised to get black owners in the NFL. Who would have thought that would be more elusive than electing a black candidate for presidency?

The Fifth Element cast Tommy “Tiny” Lister as President Lindberg. As a commenter on the previous post pointed out, Lindberg was a decent president. But nobody’s sleeping while a cross-eyed, 6’7″, 260lbs bald dude with tattoos has access to the nuke button.

Tiny Lister as President "D-Bo" Lindberg

Tiny Lister as President "D-Bo" Lindberg.

They did let Jesse “The Body” Ventura run Minnesota though!

Recently another comedian took a shot at painting the White House black but he did it with a question, “What if President G.W. Bush were a black man?” At least he would “keep it real” about our true motives in this war.

Dave Chappelle's Black Bush admits the war is really about Sadaam's attempt on his father.

Dave Chappelle's Black Bush admits the war is really about Sadaam's attempt on his father.

This would make Kanye’s statement seem a bit more foolish.

FINALLY! The last African-American President on this list should scare anyone, regardless of race, creed or religion. Many people overlooked this movie, and for good reason. Idiocracy is not for everyone. I loved it but I’m sick and partially twisted. Among other hilarious things, this futuristic morality tale introduced the world to President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho, porn star and five-time ultimate smackdown wrestling champion.

Terry Crews brings bling and Zubaz to the Oval Office

Terry Crews brings bling and Zubaz to the Oval Office

Even Al and Jesse would have a tough time endorcinng this one. Well…maybe Al.

Let’s See Caliendo Try This One!*

Posted in politics with tags , , , , , , , on February 28, 2008 by Rick

As I watched the opening sketch of the first episode of SNL after the writer’s strike I was struck with two thoughts: Fred Armisen does a fairly good Barack Obama impression and comics do not want Obama to be president.  Free societies always seem to  find humor in satirical portrayals of various heads of state. It’s a constant part of American comedy and no leader is off limits. From the beloved JFK and LBJ to the polarizing Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, stand-up comedians and sketch shows rarely leave the stage without a gratuitous shot at the US commander-in-chief. Currently there is no comedian worth his or her salt that doesn’t squint their eyes, don a goofy smirk and whip up their best Texas drawl at the expense of old ‘dub-yah’ (insert over-used, semi-humorous Bush barb here).

Now that your attention bank is nearly bankrupt here’s the point:

Barack Obama is not easy to impersonate. The obvious reason is that he’s still fairly new to the political scene and many just don’t know him well enough to grasp the nuances that compose Sen. Obama. We’ve spent the last 18-20 years getting to loathe love Hillary Clinton and her icy, pseudo-compassionate demeanor. John McCain has also been in the public eye long enough for us to see him happy, sad, over-confident, flustered, dishonest, self-centered, patronizing, hateful, negligent, opportunistic…sorry…you get the point. Barack has to give a few more speeches or navigate a few more press conferences before the jesters get a grasp of his mannerisms.

Another reason Barack has yet to inspire hilarity in the yuck-meisters of America is he’s the coolest cause to be down for these days. According to the dictators of pop culture (Hollywood elite, recording artists, Mary Hart and Oprah) it’s cool to be anti-republican. It’s even okay to be on the fence about Senator Clinton. But it is suicidal** to publicly bash the guy who could realistically be the first African American in the Oval Office. Coolness is a priceless commodity in the United States. It can make you like Tom Cruise of the 80’s and 90’s or the lack of it can break you down like…Tom Cruise today. So even if a comic worked up a perfect parody of the presidential hopeful, he or she would probably be rewarded with the sound of crickets chirping as the audience pondered whether or not it was okay to laugh.

I’m sure that as time rolls on and the wave of Obamania breaks, the smoke stacks of the comedy factories will fill the air with clever caricatures of the man that may or may not be ‘Leader of the Free World’. There is a time window for all sensitive issues. Remember when it was taboo to joke about 911 and HIV/AIDS? Barack will not be an exception long, but it won’t be easy. Before Fred Armisen’s recent rendition the only person to play Obama on SNL was Barack himself. They need to call Tim Meadows out of retirement.

*Frank Caliendo is a modern celebrity impressionist.

**term used for illustrative purposes only.

Side Note: I really hope all the white support for Obama is not just a grand display of ‘I’m not a racist’ sentiments.