Monday, March 15, 2010

Advice from Mr. Hatter

Mr. Hatter,

In a recent interview, John Mayer reconfirmed that we have not progressed much since the times of the Civil Rights movement. It seems that he feels somehow connected with people of other races, so much so that he can insult and ignore a long and tired road it has been to equality. I guess he knows what it was like to march with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the front steps of Washington. Has Mr. Mayer ever sat at the back of a bus? Has he ever been denied a table at a restaurant? Has he ever been told that he doesn't have the right to speak his mind based on the color of his skin? I seriously doubt that he has had much conflict in his young and successful life. 

So here is a curve ball right back at you John Mayer. White performers have always have always had success from claiming Black artists works. I can only imagine this is the case for Mayer since he shows so little lack of respect for his so called "BROTHERS" or an entire race by using the word "NIGER" and claiming to be one. I tried to ignore the babbling opinions of an over rated pop star, but turning my back on the issue makes me feel as guilty as the person that committed the crime. Go back 30, 40, or even 50 years. Would Mayer be another man with a guitar around his neck or just another obstacle with a whip in his hands? We do not chose to be politically correct when the mood strikes us. We have to make it a way of life for the future and the past. 

What is your take on this? If you proclaim to truly give people advice, then I'm curious to see how you would address a topic as serious and painful as this exhausting cry for equality. Do you even have the courage to address the issue?  


Me, and a history of being proud of it 

Dear Mr. or Miss Proud,

I am extremely grateful for you insight. I love to talk about things I know little about. But occasionally I come across a topic that I understand all too well. I don't find myself lacking the courage to talk about the topic of racism but it makes me feel very sad that we STILL are. I don't, however, give up hope that future generations look back and think "how could that be?" after finding the answers to the dream.
Let me start by saying that a fool never worries what others will think regarding what he or she has said. Knowing this, you must understand that the wisest man was once the greatest fool. Why else would he climb the highest peak by himself only to spend his days thinking in solitude? For the most part it is because he has alienated everyone around him and now needs the time alone to reflect on his decisions. In no way am I calling John Mayer wise. Just listen to his music for that enquiry. What I am saying is that Johnny Boy needs to find a mountain to climb and stay up there until he is ready to come down and be a man. 
I am not here to defend the babbling immaturity of a fool. But I can not deny that I have been one myself. What starts out so innocently as curiosity on the playground, turns into (if not monitored or nurtured) a bitter attack on everything different from ourselves while even alienating us from our own flesh. The color of our skin is easy to detect and differentiate. But it goes past that. Is it a boy or a girl? Where is he from? What church does she go to? Is he dating him? Well, you know... those people always do that. We start grouping, isolating, finger pointing, and insulting everything that doesn't fall under "OUR" category. 

The funny thing is that if you turned our bodies inside out you couldn't tell each other apart. 

"Was that David?" 

"No I think that was Tom."

"How can you tell?"

"Tom is taller."

"OOOOOHHHH yes, of course." And then it begins to start all over again.

Am I saying that the age old problem is human nature? Well being different is human nature. It is also human nature to process, evaluate, and make logical conclusions on how to coexist with each other. It is human nature to love. We are one of the few species on this planet that have that capability. We are primal but our ability to comprehend the world around us is a true gift. We can rise above our own ignorance. I have never enjoyed racist or sexiest jokes, but I have heard them. So that must mean that I was listening. As a child I lashed out even though it felt wrong. It was being done to me so why not do it back.  I said things I heard others say, even towards friends. One day I realized I didn't have to listen to the jokes. It was okay to speak through my heart and tell people they were out of line. I began to grow up and value the differences in culture, language, and color. I value the differences in each other. That is something I spread around very freely. You are right Proud, you have to work on it everyday and I did.

In Martin Luther King's last speech he said, "Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!"

I believe that land is here and that time is now. That is the hope I carry around in my pocket. Times are changing. Little by little we are spreading the word that racism is wrong. My kids have the same color of skin that I do, but I will never let them forget all the generations, nationalities, struggles that were met with victories, and beautiful colors it took to pave the road we are on to that mountain Dr. King spoke of. Slowly we have changed our narrow minded opinions of each other. There is still work to do but together we can change the world.


Mr. Hatter

Friday, March 5, 2010

Hat of the Week!

This weeks winner is that stylish vamp in the cult Japanamation classic "Vampire Hunter D". Dracula never looked so cool. I'm telling you it is all about the hat!

Phat Cat Says...

The world is made of water 
She is extreme
At times her touch is gentle
But she can be violent and stern

She is both calming and unforgiving
She roars and crashes in her shores 
As if clutching her hand
Reaching, clawing, and screaming
I want you back
I want what left me so long ago
But she easily lets go

She knows land will be hers again
She sustains it
She molds it
She nourishes it
 She cultivates it 
She never let's us forget
The world is made of water
Be careful how you use her 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Green Eggs and .....Dr. Seuss

Today March the 2nd is Dr. Seuss' birthday. He was born Theodor ("Ted") Seuss Geisel on March 2, 1904. I remember as a wee lad the first time I saw one of his books. I was five and I was in the dentist waiting room. "Green Eggs and Ham" was the book. The thought of eating just the green eggs made me feel sick. I usually thought of green food when my mom cleaned out the refrigerator. All that fuzzy green smelly stuff. That will put a Wocket in your Pocket. I was feeling pretty queasy which really didn't make it easy to see the dentist. I didn't even get to the ham before we had to go.

Still, their was something to that plate of potentially bad food Sam was trying to pawn off. I always stuck to my guns when it came to not eating food I didn't like. And yet Sam sold that plate with a smile. I wouldn't eat it, but what a sells man! Would you like them here or there? The boy just didn't give it up. My Dad would have been pounding the table telling me to eat my food. He never once asked me if I would like it in a car, eat them eat them here they are. I might have eaten my dinner in a boat. Hell, I might have eaten it with a goat. My parents just didn't ask in the right way I'm sorry to say.

"Cat in the Hat" scared the hell out of me! Here is this really big cat that could probably eat the kids faces off and he was totally destroying the house even when the kids were begging him not to. NO SUPERVISION!!!! Where were the parents? I didn't trust that cat. I was so totally down with the fish. That cat can't be trusted. And then on the back inside cover.....there he was.....looking into the widow with face of his. They made us read that in very very cruel.

Still, there was something to Dr. Seuss. There was such chaos in every story that kept you turning the pages to find out if you could find some sort of calm normal solution to the mess the Doctor prescribed. The pictures were insane. The words rhymed but they were not real words. My mother would always tell me to not make words up and yet here I was reading wuzit, woozit, and whoozit. Shrock lock a bing bock, what is a kid to do? The books taught me to read. They taught me to draw. They taught me to use my imagination. They kept me young. They kept me reading

While every Who down in Whooville raises their young, I grow up and begin to raise mine. I force feed Dr. Seuss down my daughter with every once of my imagination. I read in characters, make sound effects. and read so fast that my tongue makes slips and back flips. I do this every night and the only thing she is able to do is listen. Then she remembers the sound effects. Then she talks in the character's voices. Then she reads to her little brother without knowing how to read. Now she reads to him knowing how to read and asking what kind of words are these. Soon both my children will read and forget about what the funny words are supposed to mean and just enjoy the experience.

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss. The Doctor is still one of my all time favorite writers. The pictures are cool, but his imagination is endless. I love to tell my children about all the places you will go. However, I'm a little selfish. I hope that when they get older and pick up a Dr. Seuss book that they are reading to someone special, but that it doesn't remind them of a scary dentist office, or bad food in the fridge. I hope...I hope...In every once of their heart.... that they