Thursday, June 26, 2008

American voters and the “cult of loyalty”

I wrote this on 2/17/08 when the Clintons were becoming more and more unappealing to me.

Thank you Bill and Hillary Clinton for successfully ending your love affair with the American public. Honestly, you had a good run. Americans are loyal as fuck when it comes to politics, aren’t they?

It’s ironic as hell that politics would be the field where people switch fundamental ideologies in a matter of days without a second thought. But not the American voters. No. You can depend on their loyalty. Well, in many cases, it manifests itself as a stubborn unwillingness to change their minds. If they liked a candidate in ’97 and he’s running again in ’08 he’d have to burn down a nursing home and steal from children’s fund for them to even begin thinking about the possibility of voting for another candidate. Either way, one thing is for sure. It’s gonna take a lot more than simply taking issue with that candidate’s stance on important issues.

Let’s be honest. As Americans, we have been notorious for electing presidents based on looks, musical ability (eh-em saxophone player), religion, last name, charisma etc. We’re not too fond of putting someone in the White House because they have good ideas. At least not in the years I’ve been a voter or old enough to be personally aware of voting trends. We as a public are becoming less and less aware of WHO is really running for president. I wish I could say I wasn’t even a little bit shocked the other night as I watched Jay Leno showing citizens (of all ages, races and genders thank GOD) he had met on the street pictures of people like Ron Paul, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, John Edwards, Hillary Clinton and asking them to identify those people. As you can probably imagine, it was a complete bust. Not only did they not recognize current candidates’ pictures but, in many cases, it didn’t even ring a bell when Leno suggested their names. For our sake, I’m hoping this was conducted in the most vapid unaware part of Hollywood and is no reflection on the population as a whole but I cannot say I’m hopeful. I just cannot fathom living in a country where I know nothing about who is currently and who is petitioning to run it. Of course, at the end of the segment, Leno says, “You get the government you deserve!” and it’s funny but you can also tell he’s a little disgusted as well. Seriously, these are the people to whom the candidates are campaigning? People who cannot even remember candidate’s names, much less the details of their health plans? And here I am expecting voting results to make sense.

Honestly, the Clintons could have gotten re-elected (let’s just call it what it is) in a heartbeat. They wouldn’t have had to do much, just let their old faithful supporters know they're running and periodically conjure up grandiose images of the good years with the Clintons in the White House (especially in this day and age when the Clinton era economically seems so far away). No detailed ideas for healthcare would have been necessary, no millions of dollars needed to be spent. All they had to do was stand up on the stage and say, “hey guys! We’re running! Put us back in the White House!” There would have been no demand for a campaign of substance. The Clinton loyalty would have done all the work. Hell, I consider myself to be of considerable intelligence with great concern for the political future of this country and I was ready to vote for Hillary on principle!

Unfortunately for them, a wrench named Barack Obama was thrown into the system. Obama is not a name that conjures up years of financial prosperity. He doesn’t have a legacy to point to when he asks voters to put him in the White House. Frankly, if this election is business as usual, he’d have very little chance convincing anyone to elect him over a Clinton™. Luckily for him, the Clintons have managed to do the impossible. They’ve managed to lose a good amount of the old American loyalty that would have made them a shoo-in to the White House. And that is quite a feat. So much so that you can see many people trying to hold on to a positive idea of the Clintons by any means necessary: old guard feminist arguments, pity and even demonizing a very encouraging message of hope coming from the Obama campaign. Frankly, it’s quite embarrassing. They did this to themselves. With a combination of negativity, insincerity and a lack of passion, the Clinton’s have managed to push a lot of their old friends away. Take me for example (yes, I’m presumptive enough to consider myself as one of their old friends, anwat!?) I’m a little ashamed to say that I was once part of the group of black women who LOVED me some Bill Clinton. Sheepishly, I must admit that I might have called him the first black president once or twice in the past (I’m so embarrassed!). I remember his campaign song from ’92 (Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow…it’ll soon be here! Yesterday’s gone!) and I mourned the end of his second term with the solemnity and sincerity I would have had for the untimely death of a young child full of promise and talent—I was a melodramatic high school senior who was enrolled in an election elective course in school and convinced I would save the world one day. My support for Hillary was no exception. I, like most others viewed them as a unit. Her good ideas were his and his dedication to important issues was hers. I didn’t hesitate to elect her as a New York senator even though she was nothing close to a New Yorker because I eagerly anticipated her run for the presidency and knew that this position would be stepping stone on her path to the White House (even then, we all subliminally knew she was a plotting old witch who always aspired to be president). To me, it didn’t get any better than that: a Clinton who is a WOMAN back in the office?! Double Trouble! According to tradition, she’d be something akin to the first black female president (gag!)

Ugh, I’m sorry. I got a little carried away there but you get my point. Hillary had my support. I guess part of it was my inability to imagine another candidate who could challenge the promise a Hillary candidacy held (apparently, she didn’t either! ha ha ha!) And another part of it was…good old Clinton loyalty. Well, although I am American, I am not part of that loyal to a fault population. I still believe my vote is to be earned. Not to say I didn’t want Clinton to earn it. I was definitely rooting for her. But if she could turn off some of those “cult of loyalty” voters then they’ve done a pretty shit-tastic job of campaigning.

Of course the Obama factor doesn’t help. Anyone running against this man would find themselves in a difficult situation that is relatively new on the American political scene (at least to this generation of voters). But if anyone could beat Barack Obama (and let’s be very clear, I don’t think anyone should beat him), it would have to be a FEMALE Clinton. You can’t think up a more challenging opponent on paper. But ay…therein lies the rub. Unfortunately for the Clints, they’re not running on paper. They’re running in real time and every negative and cynical (and overtly racist for that matter) comment deals a blow to the loyalty that would have gotten her elected. Every insincere smile, every effort to hide Hillary’s power hunger and dress it up as a strong and genuine desire to help women and children diminishes the possibility of her getting votes from America’s thinking population. I’m sure if she were running against yet another uninspired candidate whose taken steps on a very protracted progression to the White House, she’d win. But when you have passion in a race, good old loyalty will NOT cut it. Even if you get every feminist on the face of the earth to write you a pitiful New York Times Op-Ed to make any women not supporting you feel traitorous to her gender. Even if you CRY. Even if you spend over 5 million dollars of your own money on your campaign. You can’t fight passion with any of that bullshit. Hillary has never had passion. She’s had loyalty. And that might have been good enough in any other election year. This time around though, it’s just not enough.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ever Heard of Planworld?

As some of you may know, I started my blogging career years ago (although blogging wasn't so widespread at that point) by regularly posting "plans" on an Amherst community website called Planworld. Basically, the only differences between writing plans and blogging are as follows:

1)Only members of the Planworld community can read your plan

2) There is a "snitch" feature that allows you to see who has visited your plan (if the person is "snitch-enabled")

3) There is also a "snoop" feature which allows you to link words on your plan to another person's plan. Snoop is often used to refer to something someone wrote on their plan. I also used to utilize the snoop feature to make asides or footnotes I suppose (I must have really gotten used to this method of expressing myself because now, I just misuse the hell out of commas and parentheses and write some hella long run-on sentences. I am so sorry).  So when you see a link, you should not click on it.  It isn't a live link.  Just place your cursor over it to read the subtext.  The only live links are to another username i.e. kdroberts or an actual url outside of planworld.

Anyhoo, I still read Planworld regularly. I've grown quite attached to the people (many of whom I have never actually met) who post regularly. I've been reading many of their plans for over 5 years. I have not, however, been posting regularly for a while. Nevertheless, I have been part of Planworld for about 8 years. Consequently, I have a lot of shit in my archives that is interesting/entertaining. Now, I don't want to recycle ideas from my sophomore year in college and post them up on here (oh the fucking horror) but I do think a lot of those posts would give a good idea of who I am (and who I have been in the past) to my new readers (this assumes that I may have some of those). So, I decided that I will begin a Planworld series where I choose a plan that I wrote on the same day in years gone by and post it up here. It is my hope that this will help you all become familiar with me (and give you something interesting to read while I get my mojo back!).

I actually decided to do this because of that damn Google Desktop program (Don't be fooled. I love that shit. I love how Google invades my fucking privacy. It's fantastic!). Last week, I was actually looking for pictures or video of this guy I was telling my friend Erica about and one of my search results was a plan I wrote in the summer of 2005 where I first mentioned the poor wretch. I found it hilarious but, as Erica knows all too well, I tend to find myself hilarious on the regular. Anyhoo, I digress. Although that plan was the inspiration for this series, in accordance with the rules of this new feature, I cannot post it until July 28th. So today, without further ado, I give you excerpts from my plan from June 25th, 2002 (right after my freshman year of college) and 2005 (right after I graduated).

I hope you enjoy this little journey into my past (ha! I'm so dramatic)

Note: In an effort to retain authenticity, I have only edited these plans for typos (which I could not help), not content (which I sometimes wish I could). Please excuse 19 year-old Kayla for all of the profanity and negativity. Maybe I have grown a bit.

Date posted: 6-25-02, 4:59 pm


Life is like a dick... When it
gets hard, fuck it.
It's interesting how planworld sometimes feels like my life line but oddly
enough, when life is flowing nicely, I don't have time for it. I'm sorry
I've neglected you all but I'm not really sorry because it means that life
is being good to me. Well for the most part.

WARNING: The following plan will be extremely random, try to work with me
here people. Thanks.

I cut off most of my hair. Yeah I know it stinks. Especially when everyone
you know, especially guys, thinks that your hair was your most valuable
attribute and now you're a beastly bald bitch (that was alliteration
motherfuckers!). But the good news is that I look older so I won't be
confused with the 5th graders at the camp anymore. Seriously, I'm getting
used to having short hair (it's been 5 days); I feel somewhat liberated,
like I can finally be the sexy bitch I was meant to be.

Can somebody tell me why I was walking down my block and a young man with
whom I have never exchanged words asked me "Why you cut your hair"? How the
hell do the dudes on my block know all my fucking business? Every time I
pass this fool and his friends, they make some comment about my personal
shit like we're cool.

On that subject, I made an observation at the club with Sona on Friday
night. There are many ways to grab an ass. However, for this observation I
am only concerned with two main ways. We have the 1)"I'm grabbing your ass
because I'm your man, we are intimately involved, and I know you like it."
I have no problem with this grabbing of the ass when it's used in the
correct context. Then we have the 2) "I'm grabbing your ass because I'm a
nasty motherfucker who gets no ass and I'm trying to get my feel on without
getting fucked up so I'm gonna make it brief." This type is usually not
accompanied by a pleasant reaction from most women because we do not want
guys we don't know or like to grab our asses. So, it is established that
situation 2 is bad for its own reasons but it is customarily greeted with
simply an evil look or a gentle push when you're in a hot club on a Friday

My problem is with example number one. Why do guys in the club try
to grab your ass like it's okay and they don't deserved to get smacked for
that shit? Are they just getting bolder and letting hands linger on the ass
for longer than they should? This, my friends is a problem. And that's all
I'm gonna say.

Everyone on my fucking block must now call me "the pregnant bitch" behind my
back. How, you might ask, could that be (especially considering my poor
baby-making situation). Well, it might be due to the fact that I make
regular trips at 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, and sometimes 1:00 at night to all the
bodegas in my neighborhood to satisfy my various cravings for baked goods
(ie pound cakes, sweet potato pies, cookies). I disgust myself. One night,
I came in from one of my runs and Oprah was on and I sat there with my pound
cake and milk as I watched these fat people cry about being addicted to
eating. And that guy was yelling at them about controlling themselves.
And, as I closed my eyes to go to sleep that night, all I could see was an
image of myself, a fat cow, on Oprah crying about my fat ass as I stuffed my
piehole. It's time to go back to Amherst so that I can lose some damn

Is it bad that I went to my Ear Nose and Throat doctor complaining that I
still had tonsilitis and he, after checking my tonsils, said "It sounds like
you need to move on with your life."?

Even worse was when my hairdresser was cutting my hair. I kept whining
about looking like a fat little boy with my new haircut and he finally looks
at me in the mirror and says, "Honey, it's not the hair." What the

The other day, my mother told me that "you tink you must drop boof an me
drop tick" to which I responded "Mommy, you been dropping boof for years, I
don't know what you worrying about." I love being part of an immigrant home.
The meshing of cultures is so amusing.

Date posted: 6-25-05, 3:49 pm

Guys, I can't tell you the last time I found it this difficult to update my
plan. Been trying since SUNDAY. yeah. SO instead of trying to do the
whole update at once, I'm gonna take baby steps. Yeah, I know. That's the
way things are going now. I'm so overwhelmed by life in general, I have to
take baby steps in updating my plan. I would say that right about now, the
best way for you and I to catch up is on the phone. So perhaps you should
call me, huh? Anyway here's the first bit.

So last weekend was pretty good. There were some bad/strange things but
overall, it was very nice. I took a break from my
boyfriend that I thought was gonna be permanent but...alas...
So, I had a very fulfilling weekend. Thank God. I needed it like whoa.
First, the cruise wasn't so bad. Actually, it was pretty nice. I got a
nice tan, had the chance to bond with my favorite
. There were some highlights but who really wants me to impart
those details?

Anyway, as soon as we got off the cruise, we went to Connecticut to go to my
aunt's wedding, which was beautiful despite my temporary jaded state (induced
by assholes and perverts all around me). I'm so glad that I decided to go,
even if it meant missing something really exciting for me because the chance
to spend time with family I haven't seen for years was priceless. Children
I knew when they were babies are now 15, taller than me etc. My cousin has
the most beautiful son. I can't even tell you. She calls him Chosen cause
she's seriously into some deep spiritual shit. The child is really
something. I have the most dynamic, amazing, beautiful family. I love it.
One of the best moments was at the reception, after I had imbibed a lot of
red wine and I was being myself. My aunt looks at me with this face of
disbelief and calls me my grandfather reincarnated. If you know me very
well, you know that I love and respect my grandfather more than any other
man I have ever known. Plus, I've always felt a connection between our
spirits and I think that we are very similar. So, for someone else in my
family to point that out, really felt special. Also, my family is crazy
diverse and the wedding was like a racial explosion, a good one.

Please bear with me as the rest of this plan will be extremely random.

I start teaching summer school on Monday. I've been given some teacher
manuals and told to make it work. Did I mention I have no formal teaching
training? Yeah...

I wasn't gonna take the apt. and then mommy convinced me to do it:

Ever since we looked at the apartment, my mother has been making it her
business to make my life a living hell so that I will want to move out and
she didn't come clean with it until Thursday, when I announced that I'm
going to take the apartment this weekend. I mean, she's driving me crazy.
What put me over the edge was Wednesday morning. I came home very late and
had not packed for the cruise and the weekend. My bad. But, I closed my
door and set my alarm to give me 4 hours of sleep and wake me up in time to
pack before it was time to go. I know that if I get 4 hours of
uninterrupted sleep, I can function quite well. At school, I could do
things like this with no problem. Not when you live with
Veronica. No no no, she will wake you up every half hour for
four fucking hours until you give up on trying to do whatever you were
trying to do. She came in my room about 3 times to ask me about a
damn Chinese slipper. She wakes me up five more times to tell me I have to
pack soon. She takes my stuff. She nags. I love her but it's time to go.
I predict that rent will be a small price to pay for my peace. Plus, I
would have free laundry and a spot across the street that has $1 margaritas
on Wednesday nights! So I decided and I was happy.

But then, the other day, she's like "Maybe you shouldn't take the apt.!"
And I'm like what? After I've already begun to get used to the idea?! This
is exactly what she did with college. I send in my deposit to Oberlin after
much racking of the brain and indecision with no opinions from her and she
says, almost a week later, mind you: "I don't think you should go to
Oberlin, I wanted you to go to Amherst." ARGHHHHHHHHHH

Anyway, that's all folks. My duty calls, and has been calling for a while.
I must attend to the physical manifestation of my emotional baggage.

My next plan will most likely be about the male shenanigans that I've been
party to recently. That should be quite entertaining.

Please take note

Just a note. As you may have already noticed, my posts are being published in the order of the date that they were begun, regardless of when I finished them. This is great because it gives a very accurate depiction of when I thought my thoughts (as you can see, the rollover time is HELLA long). The only not great thing is that you will not be able to see if I posted something new by looking at the top of my page until I started publishing my posts on the same day that I start writing them. Hopefully, that will happen sooner than later but, for now, please keep checking below for new posts.

By the way, thanks to everybody who is reading the blog. It makes me happy every time someone emails me or leaves a comment on my page. In no way am I trying to indicate that I have hoards of readers already (ha!) but it's nice to know somebody is out there.

Much Love

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Uptown Girl

Because "Anonymous" (reveal yourself!) left me a "motivating" comment on my last post, I decided not to get up from this chair until I have published something.

This video is hilarious because it highlights the uptown/downtown dichotomy in Kingston. Can you guess which one of these women is from Uptown? The concept is ingenious. Snaps to the creator. Apparently, this whole business about uptown men going downtown for "good pussy" is quite real. Ever heard the song "Wicked Slam" by Beenie Man? Ha ha! "Man if yuh waan fi get di medal, yuh haffi get a slam fram a real ghetto gyal."

Speaking of uptown and downtown, I actually found this video on Timberlee's Myspace page. I'm kind of liking Timber-lee.

She's a relatively new dancehall artist who benefits from the fact that her rudegyal deejay style doesn't exactly fit her pretty face. Personally, I love the idea that she's a confident thick girl who can get down on the mic. Most other people like her because she's an uptown girl with downtown style and people are always fascinated by a situation like that. That kind of annoys me because it's akin to people loving Justin Timberlake because he's a white and makes black music or any situation when the originator of culture is marginalised because they don't fit the image of what people want to see delivering that culture. ANYWAY! Her popular song "Bubble Like Soup" is a dancehall classic. I like!

"Hot Gyal a Hot Gyal! Sweet like a honey!"

The video is cool although I do not promote the early whore-ification of the little girl nor do I approve some of Timber-lee's outfits. Still rooting for Timber-lee for now.

For Your Information

Because I've received one or two smart ass comments about how "a real blogger posts more than once a month" or the like. Yes, I understand that. This is why I have not "promoted" my blog until now. I am finally going to make a concerted effort to blog everyday. This (getting back into writing) has been hard! I need your support! So please come back here often and check out what I have to say, comment, critique or whatever. If you find my words interesting and enjoyable, please subscribe!

Also, I have about 20 posts that I have begun (some are a few sentences long and some are paragraphs and paragraphs of writing) that I want to publish. I'm just a little scared but I am working on it. Everyday I start a post. The goal is to be able to publish SOMETHING everyday. Positive energy people!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Oh Jason...

"Please tell them black girls to start shaving their legs, it feel like makka a jook me"

Jason S. Edwards

Monday, June 16, 2008

Missing Stevie

I cried watching this clip. Not simply because hearing Stevie sing does that to me but because I planned to go to this party all week but kept on coming up with excuses for why I shouldn't go. "Oh, I can go next year." "I went to his concert at Madison Square Garden already this year, I don't deserve to go to the party too (little did I know, $20 would have been a small price to pay for an impromptu Stevie performance and a party with so much beautiful people and energy in abundance).

I'm so tired of wanting to live my life and holding myself back. I am no longer going to not go out and do things because I'm broke, tired, depressed etc. I should have gone to this party and though I'm not going to spend the rest of my day crying about it, I'm determined not to let it happen again. Life is so precious. We can never know how much time we have left. If I want to go to a party held in honor of my favorite living artist (to which I've gone before and had an amazing time) then I'm going to go. God help me. I'm going to live my life. In the meantime, please enjoy the sheer Godliness of this man's aura.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Getting to know me

I'm a ball of emotions.

I'm self-centered and I never finish what I've started.

I always have something to say, much to the chagrin of those who have to listen to me.

I can never quite express myself the way I'd like to.

I feel misunderstood so often it's exhausting to me as well as those closest to me (because they always hear about it).

I'm often frustrated with the world around me, but mostly myself for not living up to the grandiose ideas I have of who I should be.

I'm often pissed off about things that people around me just accept and get even more pissed when they make me feel like I shouldn't be as pissed as I am.

I've always felt persecuted for my passion.

Just Wondering...

Who decided that black women would be considered the least desirable creatures on the planet and who the hell is leading the effort to perpetuate that myth? If I find that motherfucker, I'm going to make him suffer for the 25 years of personal struggle that I have had to endure as a result of the mixed messages that I receive on who I am and what I am worth to the world.