Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Cold Cup Of Coffee: Keeping It Real

This is a special edition of A Moment With Morris. This is part of an ongoing series I affectionately titled "A Cold Cup of Coffee". Bringing you real life without the sweeteners, a cold and sometimes bitter, but always necessary sip of reality. This time we're looking at, “keeping it real”.

Keeping it real…such a common, overused, hardly understood, and seldom practiced concept. For most, “keeping it real” is just a phrase used in rap songs, but it is so much more.

Keeping it real, isn’t about being tough in the streets, it’s about being honest with yourself and those around you. Many of us are afraid to be ourselves, fearful that we may alienate ourselves from the people we care about by saying what we truly feel and think. That’s not limited to our friends, or co-workers, but our siblings, parents, grandparents, even our children.

How can we have an honest relationship with anyone, if we can’t be open with who and what we are? And why hide it? We are who we are. Every time I turn on the television I see the same cookie-cutter profile of what men and women should look like and how we should act. Says who?

It just seems to me that everyone is so quick to allow someone else to dictate how they should be, because no one wants the responsibility or the backlash of being themselves. So I feel it’s time to pour an ice cold cup of reality…

Parents, some of you messed up. Your kids aren’t right, and by kids I mean offspring not just children. More than just a few of you have dropped the ball. Your children aren’t self-sufficient or independent…and that is your fault. I don’t care how close you are, or how many times a week they call you. If they can’t hold their own and at least maintain some degree of stability…you FAILED as a parent. Swish that one around for a moment first before you swallow.

Which brings us to my next point, some of us have questionable parents. Hey no one is perfect, so why did/do we expect our parents to be? Some of our parents didn’t properly prepare us for life and how to not only deal, but conquer. But regardless of not getting an adequate base, if you’re a grown man or woman and cannot take care of yourself it is YOUR responsibility to catch up.

Maybe you never got over your brother/sister picking on you as a child or always breaking your stuff. Maybe it bothers you still to this day, (a little petty), but if you don’t like them, be real. There’s no law that says siblings have to be friends. If you never got over them smashing your favorite Transformer or melting down Barbie, make it known. Keeping it in will only manifest itself into forms of passive/aggressive behavior. You’ll never like their mac & cheese or you’ll always have something to do when they call. Put it out there, be real and be done. You may even find, by expressing it, you get over it.

Some of our lack of truth is expressed in our behavior, be yourself. If you’re introverted and like to read silently that’s fine. Maybe you don’t want to go out clubbing or binge drinking at the bar, who says you have to? Maybe you want to put on some Depeche Mode, paint your nails black and get your “Twilight” on…go ahead. My point is…be yourself.

If you’re loud and goofy, stuck up and distant, brash and abrasive, wild and crazy, whatever, just be who you are. By being yourself you’ll weed out those who judge you or don’t click with who you truly are. You’ll find that everyone left, will be around for quite a while. You’ll develop better relationships and feel better about yourself.

This comes from some of the things I see on a rather consistent basis. People unhappy because they’re not themselves, they pretend and then wonder why they don’t have genuine relationships. Relationship can’t be real, if you’re not.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Unlucky Horseshoe

“If you find a penny pick it up, and all the day you’ll have good luck.” We’re all familiar with some sort of good luck charm. If not the old “lucky penny”, maybe it’s a rabbit’s foot or even a four leaf clover. Let us not forget the ever popular, horseshoe.

Most of my life I’ve associated the horseshoe with being lucky, however it’s been brought to my attention…I’ve been wrong. A shock I know, I’ve got such a great track record. It would seem that the horseshoe falls a little closer to the black cat, than the old rabbit’s paw.

First of all let me clear up what we’re talking about. I don’t mean horseshoe like Mr. Ed, or the Indianapolis Colts, I mean horse shoe like George Jefferson. Yes, we’re talking male pattern baldness. Not the sleek look of a freshly shaven Michael Jordan, this is about the hair hanger-on’ s of a George Costanza. You know, nothing on top but fur on the sides. Kind of like a scarf for your ears and neck.

It seems that bald “is” beautiful, but a comb over gets no love. In what started as an off based conversation, a deep discussion was formed. It seems that women give no pass for the horseshoe. Responses like “he needs to shave that off”, “oh hell no”, and “never”, were commonly used when asked about the probability of hooking up with a follically challenged man. This intrigued me so much that I had to dig deeper. So let’s get down to the scalp.

When presented with the option, nearly every woman asked, would choose a man 20lbs over weight before choosing a receding hairline. The same applied for 30lbs, 40lbs, even 50lbs. It seems that Fat Albert would beat Mr. Spacely any day of the week. I never realized that there was such importance on a man’s hair. Who would have thunk it? But then again, where would George Clooney be if he suddenly developed a 5-head? Would Will Smith still seem so Hitch-ish, rocking a Sherman Hemsley?

I went a step further and threw in, “what about just balding on top?” It seems that “could” be acceptable, given the man is tall enough.

It amazes me that women; the same creatures that will accept a man that is unemployed, cheats, drinks, is abusive, and neglectful, have zero tolerance for a man sporting a “Mr. Burns”. Glad to see where you all draw the line…

This isn’t a deep “moment”, just something I felt like sharing. Guess that horseshoe isn’t so lucky after all. Well guys, according to the ladies out there, if you find a penny…save it…and buy some Rogaine.

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Say It Loud!

Now I don’t claim to be the smartest man on the planet, I’m constantly learning something new. Something I’ve recently picked up, well I guess never thought about before, has to do with racial identification. Now I don’t mean profiling, more like, racial grouping.

For instance, I have some Asian friends that don’t consider Filipino people to be Asian. They see them as Latino or Islanders. I even heard them referred to as “jungle”, I thought that was funny. Every Filipino person I know looks Asian to me. But then again, I never thought of people from India being Asian, and they’re on the same continent. I was finding how some Central and South Americans have negative feelings about Mexicans, though they’re all Latin. There is this new wave of “in house racism”, discrimination within the race. This conversation went on for a little while until one friend asked me about the Black vs African American argument.

They were interested in why some people are offended by either term. Personally, I don’t care. But the one major point I tried to make was that black is a color…not an ethnicity. African Americans are a specific group of people, but not one specific race. African Americans are not Africans.

African Americans are made up of African, European, Native American and sometimes Latino blood. There isn’t one set formula or make up. Not one definitive origin. Black people are however simply a complexion. That differs from most people’s point of view, except African Americans.

Most other races of people see “Blacks” as African Americans, while most African Americans see “Black” as…black. Not based on ethnicity, race or origin, but by color. To most African Americans; Dominicans, Haitians, South Americans, West Indians…are all black, even if THEY don’t think so.There isn’t a difference. Someone can have no direct African roots, but if their skin complexion is dark…they’re Black.

Now this isn’t a rule or law, but common thinking. The contradiction is, if you ARE a descendent of Africa, in any percentage, you too are Black regardless of complexion. Confusing I know, but stay with me… This is why Halle Berry, Tiger Woods, Lenny Kravitz, even Prince are all recognized as being Black people, even though they have an equal amount of genes from another race. From Alicia Keys to Barack Obama, it’s all about the 1% rule. (If you’re 1% Black…you’re Black).

There was a time when people tried to go against the rule. They created the term “mulatto”, meaning a bi-racial (black/white) person. This term was never truly accepted because white people didn’t accept them as white, but treated them as black. Racism and bigotry placed all people of color into one pile, the 1% rule once again prevailed. So African Americans claimed all dark skin as well as African descended people. Sometimes you can find unification from division. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Drake, Vin Diesel, shoot even Al B. Sure are all Black within the eyes of the African American community. Yes they’re Black.

This is not designed to be the end all anthropological classification of race, I just thought it was an interesting topic to share. We should be proud of our heritage, culture, and background, but it shouldn’t be the only thing that defines us. Most people never knew Vin Diesel is half Black or Drake is half Jewish, does that change anything about them or how you see them?

If it does, then maybe the question isn’t, “what are they made of?” But “what are you?” Black, white, red, brown, yellow are all “just colors”, nothing more than a crayon. But unlike the crayon, our thinking shouldn’t be kept in a box. All of these subdivisions and classifications aren’t necessary. I’ll be the first to say, that as a whole, African Americans have not always acted or made the best decisions in relation to how to treat one another, but that point of claiming everyone isn’t a bad one. Let’s just take it a step further, past our color but to our true race, the human one.

Division equals destruction…we’re all in this together.

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Friday, December 3, 2010

A Cold Cup Of Coffee: Breeders

This one is not for the faint of heart…

This is a special edition of A Moment With Morris. This is part of an ongoing series I affectionately titled "A Cold Cup of Coffee". Bringing you real life without the sweeteners, a cold and sometimes bitter, but always necessary sip of reality. This time we're looking at, Breeders.

If you are familiar with “A Moment With Morris” then you know I address parenting on a rather consistent basis. This isn’t about the usual, nonexistent or incompetent parent. This is about this new breed, this new breed of selfish, self serving, ignorant, useless parent. I’m taking a breather from my normal attempts at humor to bring you a truly cold cup of coffee.

Over the last couple of weeks, more than just a few horrific stories were brought to my attention, all involving young children. It seems as though the value of human life is at an all time low, and children are at the bottom of the clearance rack. These are all unspeakable tales, done either directly or indirectly by their parents. This is designed to bring light to this new generation of breeders. That's right, not parents, breeders. And they need their privilege revoked.

Like I said, this is not for the faint of heart. If you want to stop reading, I understand. For the rest of you, take a deep breath…don’t worry, I’ll wait…

Here we go. Recently in Fairfield, CA a woman stabbed her 3 yr old twin daughters to death before attempting to take her own life.

In Brooklyn, NY a 3 yr old was thrown out of a 7th floor window by his mother’s roommate, allegedly because the child was getting on her nerves.

In Virginia, a 2 1/2 yr old was thrown over a fifth floor mall balcony by their very own grandmother for no apparent reason.

The official “Breeder” award goes to a father in Jacksonville, FL. While temporarily out one afternoon, he left the care of his child to his girlfriend. She had been in the child’s life since he was 3 months old, so babysitting was common. Upon arriving home, the father found his child unresponsive on the floor. He then went to his girlfriend, who was unconscious in the bathroom. Failing to fully revive her, he grabbed his lifeless son and went to the hospital.

Apparently his girl friend is a recovering heroin user and is trying to kick the habit, with methadone, a synthetic opioid (watered down heroin). For some odd reason she decided to take her fix while watching this breeder’s child. On top of that, all of the dishes must have been dirty because she put the methadone, in a sippy cup. After taking her “medicine”, she passed out, leaving the 2 yr old with free reign of the home. He found the cup on top of a 4 foot dresser and drank. He ingested 80mg of methadone and died in the hospital. The woman was arrested and charged with aggravated manslaughter.

After reading this I’m sure you’re thinking the same thing I was…WTF? All of these parents cost their children their lives, and need their asses kicked. For the mother in Fairfield who stabbed her twin daughters to death, but suddenly lacked the conviction to finish the job on herself…there’s a special place in hell waiting for you.

The roommate that was so annoyed that she tossed a 3 yr old out of a 7th story window…my only question is, “why weren’t you tossed immediately afterwards?” I know that is a terrible lost for that mother, but what were you thinking moving someone that unstable into your home? This tragedy is your fault just as the roommate’s for putting that child in that situation. It’s your job and responsibility to screen who’s around your children.

Grandma flipping out at the mall was a “left fielder” I know, but as her child, one of those parents should have known their own mother. At least well enough to know her mental state and well being.

For the father in Jacksonville, you need to be beaten…slowly. How could you allow your child to be watched by a junkie? She got high and passed out leaving your child alone and defenseless. The part that kills me is, he later went on to give an interview stating that he was still standing by her. He said that she loved his son as if he were her own and would never have intentionally hurt him. Are you out of your f*cking mind! Your son is dead because of her dumbass and you want to play captain and save her?!? What is wrong with people? I just don’t understand.

If you’re a parent of anything; a blue jay, German Sheppard, or human being, your job is to raise a self sufficient, independent, offspring that can survive and thrive without you. But that all begins with nurturing and PROTECTING it! Whitney said that she believed, “that children are the future…”, what kind of future will it be if we place no value on those who are going to create it?

If you’re not ready to give 100 percent all day everyday to the job and duty of raising your children…DON”T HAVE ANY!!! This one isn’t about jokes, this is serious. We are made to take tests and get permits and licenses for everything from fishing to extensive dog house building, but anyone can have children. Some countries take away the right to have children based upon their nation’s resources.

If better decisions aren’t made, don’t be surprised if one day that right is taken from you…maybe it does take sacrifice to bring about appreciation…how many children need to be sacrificed for you?

No more Breeders! Let's bring back PARENTS!

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