Ice cold; social media and Bobbi Kristina’s daddy

April 24, 2015

By now many of us have heard the tragic story of how Bobbi Kristina Brown was found facedown in a tub of water and now, months later is still fighting for her life. Lately I’ve been reading some comments by what I call Cyber Hope Stealers that are very disturbing.

Bobbi Kristina and her parents   (Photo credit: globalgrind.com)

Bobbi Kristina and her parents (Photo credit: globalgrind.com)

Bobbi Kristina has always been in the spotlight. Her parents Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown were so famous that it seemed the world, at least music lovers, waited with bated breath for the birth of their precious baby girl. Probably a major reason that the news of Bobbi Kristina’s tragedy hit the public so hard, is that we’d watched her parents grow up and become major successes in the entertainment field. We followed their whirlwind courtship and vicariously enjoyed their fairytale wedding in a New Jersey palace.

Family fun at that magical place.  ( photo credit: theurbandaily.com)

Family fun at that magical place. ( photo credit: theurbandaily.com)

Despite the maddening pace and pressures her parents faced in the music industry, there seemed to have been moments of pure family fun and laughter. After all, Micky and Minnie Mouse can make all of our troubles disappear, even if only for a day. To the very end of 15 years of marriage, Brown and Houston pledged their love to each other. But I’ll never forget asking a divorced friend years ago why she and her husband split when to onlookers they appeared so much in love. She said that it was sad to admit, but the truth is you can love someone with all of your heart, but just can’t live with them. And that appears to have been the case with the Browns. I believe they genuinely fell in love, but either outside forces, inner demons, or perhaps a combination of things, made them decide to end their marriage.

Joyful Father/Daughter reunion.  (photo credit:  celebrity.yahoo.com)

Joyful Father/Daughter reunion. (photo credit: celebrity.yahoo.com)

As is the unfortunate case with many divorces, young children, if parents are not careful, can suffer collateral damage. They are not quite mature enough to make sense of it all, and may feel torn between the two sides in a strange adult-like game of tug of war. In this case Bobbi Kristina and her father were estranged a number of years before the heartbreaking death of her beloved mother.

It was extremely encouraging when Bobbi Kristina posted the above pictures via Instagram on June 15, 2014. Last year on Father’s Day they rekindled their relationship and were determined to become close again. Bobbi Kristina, in addition to the pictures, posted the following words:

“I got a running start! 😋 love you daddy! #familyfirst! Xxo”

“(: my face says it all.. :) love you daddy!” and “#HappyHappyFathersDay,”

I am just so thankful they reconciled when they did, because they had no way of knowing what would happen only seven months later. Unbelievably, just when things seemed to be looking up for this family that had suffered so much misfortune, things once again took a turn for the worst, and Bobbi Kristina is now in a rehabilitation facility.

Most people are posting words of encouragement to her family. But the disturbing comments I referenced earlier have been targeted at Brown for wanting to be at his daughter’s side now, when she is seemingly unconscious, when he missed a lot of her teen years. What an outrage. Many parents want to be in their children’s lives after the dissolution of a marriage, and try their best, but sometimes the situation is less than desirable depending upon schedules, bitterness between the parents, or other logistics. Let them that have executed perfect child visitation, absolutely 100% of the time, cast the first stone.

Even more outrageous are the comments dismissing Brown as an opportunist because he didn’t pull the plug on Bobby Kristina after the first few weeks of unresponsiveness. Are you kidding me?  This is his child. Less than a seven months ago they just got their relationship back on track. I think these cyber bullies should just leave Brown alone, concentrate on having the best relationship they can with their own children, and pray nobody ever compounds their grief with criticisms should they find themselves faced with a similar decision as a parent. I thank you.

As the old Gospel song says, “the only time you should look down on a man is when you’re picking him up.”  I join the many others who have posted lifting Bobbi Kristina, Bobby Brown, Cissy Houston (Bobbi’s Grandmother) and the rest of the family in prayer for strength during this trying time.

Outdated irrelevant dinosaur…or do good manners still matter?

April 21, 2015
You catch more bees with honey than vinegar. (Photo credit:  www.flickr.com)

        You catch more bees with honey than vinegar. (photo credit:  http://www.flickr.com)

Good manners. Whether they were drilled into us, cajoled into us or we were simply following the examples lived by our parents, at some point in most of our lives, the concept of civility survived and thrived in our interactions with others. For the most part it’s all good. However, there are always a few bad apples in the bunch that tend to give the others a bad name.

This thought came to mind as I was eating some peanuts leftover from a certain restaurant that I frequent. I won’t mention the name, but this eatery is known for its good food, relaxing atmosphere, and allowing its patrons to toss peanut shells on the floor. You can also take a bag of the peanuts home to enjoy later, hence the ones I’m crunching on now.

But back to the story. I had called in a to-go order and the person on the phone said it would take about 15 to 20 minutes for my order to be ready. I was already near their location, so I decided to sit in my car and play with my phone to pass the time. A white SUV pulled up alongside of me and a couple got out with a little girl who appeared to be around three or four years old. She yelled hello in an effort to get my attention from the phone. I looked up and she was beaming as she told me they were going to eat. I said I was waiting on a to-go order, partly to make conversation, and partly to let her parents know I wasn’t some suspicious character in the habit of lurking around the parking lots of diners.

About two minutes later this same family came speed-walking back to their vehicle as if they couldn’t get away from the place fast enough. The dad was carrying the little girl whose smile was gone as she told me they were not going to eat. I asked the parents if everything was okay, to which the father replied, “Those heifers didn’t even look up, let alone greet us.” I expressed that I was sorry they’d had to put up with such rude behavior. They said they would not spend their money at a place where someone couldn’t spare two seconds for a quick hello or welcome.

So I walked in, truthfully but, as it turned out, naively thinking it wouldn’t happen twice in a row. Sure enough I walked in, and there were four young ladies at the counter with their backs to the door, whispering and giggling. Now I’ve worked in plenty of restaurants, and it is grueling work. So I don’t blame the hostesses (who appeared to be in their late teens/early 20’s) for taking a moment to laugh. My concern was that quite a few moments passed with no one acknowledging me at all.

Finally a manager came out and asked had I been helped. I said that not only had I not been helped, but that I hadn’t even been greeted. Furthermore, I told her that I know of at least one family they’d lost as customers for the same reason. After she made sure I had my order, she told the girls that they would have to do a better job greeting the guests. She reprimanded them in a quiet, professional tone and told them she didn’t need to hear any excuses, just needed them to do better. They cast shy glances and thanked me for coming as I made my way towards the exit. I felt better and will continue to eat there. They are young, and we’ve all been in the same situation. Hopefully this was their first adult lesson that old-fashioned good manners still go a long way. I thank you.

 

New contender to the “Empire” claims hit show stole his true life story

April 16, 2015

Ron NewtRon Newt claims the TV show “Empire” is based on his real life documentary “Bigger Than Big”.

(Photo Credit: @RonNewt Twitter Page)

In an interesting twist, we are reminded of how life and art are sometimes so eerily similar. There is a real-life former pimp and drug dealer who is suing just about everyone connected with the hit FOX network television show “Empire”. He alleges that after sharing his story during a meeting with Terrance Howard at a social event, the next thing he knows is that he’s seeing his life reflected in the prime time hit drama.

Ron Newt, the ex-gangster making the charges, is taking his cause to court and for his troubles he is asking for a judgement in his favor to the tune of one billion dollars. According to Newt, his life on the streets was just as colorful as the life of the young Lucious Lyons. He lived the infamous slogan of “sex, drugs, and Rock & Roll”; or rather, in his case, “sex, drugs, and R&B”. He signed his artists The Newtrons with label owners as diverse as Michael Jackson and Suge Knight.

The fact is, as a friend said to me, this story could be the true tale of countless ex-street guys in cities all across the country. Is this just a frivolous  lawsuit pressed by a con man hoping for a payday? It just might be. On the other hand are there really that many similarities between this guy’s stories and the almost fantastical drama portrayed weekly in the highly-rated series? If so, this should prove an interesting court case because even when he was on the streets, Newt supposedly had a lot of celebrity friends and might be willing to name names to prove his case. Time will tell.

Like Michael Jackson sang “This is it”; 2016 could possibly be the most exciting race in history

April 14, 2015
Hillary Rodham Clinton's enters the race; and they're off. (Photo credit:  Official Secretary of State Photo; en.wikipedia.org

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s enters the race; and they’re off. (Photo credit: Official Secretary of State Photo; en.wikipedia.org

Most people have probably heard that Former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton has officially announced that she will be running for the office of President of the United States of America. Clinton, after running a popular campaign in 2008, caused a near riot of excitement on the campaign floor when she announced that her delegation was throwing their support behind presidential candidate Barack Obama. We don’t know if she was deserting what she felt was a sinking ship at the time, or whether she decided to get more political experience before running for the coveted oval office.
Either way, she certainly executed her exit dance in a classy way. Her being such a good sport about losing, and then in turn working under and closely with the candidate she has lost to, made her all the more admirable in the hearts of many. She clearly has a following. Some are likely the same sort of enthusiastic voters that get super hyped about the novelty gatecrasher in any election. They want to see a woman elected for the first time with as much urgency as tens of thousands of voters wanted to see a Black person elected for the first time in that now famed and historical election. Yes there have women candidates before, but there is something about this one that seems so possible, and therefore more exciting.
There have been the scattered comments that the scriptures speak against women rulers in verses like 1 Corinthians 14:34 and Titus 2:5. Yet some say these verses only refer to women being the head of the church. They rebut this with stories of known political female leaders in the bible, such as the Queen of Sheba (1 Kings 10:1) and a powerful female ruler and judge named Deborah (Judges 4:4-5). Whatever side of the coin you fall down on, a large number of people think this will be a fascinating race to watch. As we get more in-depth glimpses into each candidate’s beliefs and platforms, there will be a refreshing take on an old slogan. Now we will say, may the best person win.”

The ugliness of arrogance; bullets crack the facade of southern charm

April 9, 2015
No mother should have to experience the pain Judy Scott felt when she saw the video of her son slaughtered in the street. (Photo Credit:  dailymail.co.uk via ABC)

No mother should have to experience the pain Judy Scott felt when she saw the video of her son slaughtered in the street. (Photo Credit: dailymail.co.uk via ABC)

Arrogance is the next word, after cold-blooded murderer, which came to mind when I heard about the excessive parade of bullets that took the life of Walter Lamar Scott, 50, a North Charleston, SC resident. To learn that this was the handiwork of yet another officer of the law against an unarmed citizen was unbelievable, but even worse was the fact that this was done in the present climate of civil unrest and scrutiny of the ethics of some of the holders of the badge.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines arrogant as “showing an offensive attitude of superiority”. This officer, whom I hesitate to call an officer, not wanting to tarnish the other wonderful and dedicated law enforcement heroes, showed a remarkable unawareness of, or utter disdain for the current events commanding the news as of late. His disposition seems to be one of I’m going to do what I want regardless of the tension that is already in the air.

The judgment of this person, in retrospect, seems to have been incredibly flawed. His wife is reportedly eight months pregnant, so the last thing she needs is him getting fired right as they are about to bring a new life into the world. He may have momentarily snapped and fired twice out of fear, but eight times? In the back? He initially stated that he feared for his life due to the suspect struggling with him. Thanks to the due diligence of a passing citizen, a video has emerged showing that the only real struggle was the officer trying to catch up with Scott in a foot race, and failing that, dispatching his speedy bullets to do the job for him.

Knowing that interactions with officers and unarmed black men are already a hot topic of public conversation, this man was again arrogant enough not to give a flying pointed hood about how his actions would reflect on the national debate. More importantly he shot someone fleeing away from him down in the street, and showed a callous disregard of the taking of a human life unnecessarily. After the slaying of Mr. Scott has been thoroughly investigated, I hope that some of the previous encounters this officer has had will be re-visited to bring relief to families that may have been afraid to come forward because they had no video.

The Mayor, and the local authorizes must be commended for their swift actions in apprehending the culprit and launching a thorough investigation. Keep the standards high because the country, and even the world, are watching to see if our fine state is able to peek from beneath the Confederate flag flying on the grounds of its capitol and do the right thing. I thank you.

My prayers and condolences go out to the family of Mr. Walter Scott in their time of grief and loss. I pray that there will be safety without retaliation for his four sons in the event of future routine “traffic stops”.

Keeping Easter Real

April 4, 2015
Hallelujah, Christ is risen!  (photo credit:  selaluonline.com)

Hallelujah, Christ is risen! (photo credit: selaluonline.com)

Easter brings different feelings for different people.  For some it means a time of great festivities as the whole family gathers around to break bread together. For others, isolated or even newly grieving, it may be a time of bittersweet memories of holidays past spent with loved ones no longer here with us on earth. The key to getting through the holiday sane and whole is to remember that there are no one-size-fits all ways to celebrate Easter.

Easter is a day when Christians recognize the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, three days after He was crucified on a cross to pay for the sins committed by mankind. Here’s a nice detailed guide about Easter and its history. It is actually a very spiritual holiday. But sometimes it is easy to get carried away by the trappings of what we think Easter is supposed to look like. Not every Easter dinner has to be reminiscent of a Normal Rockwell painting to be considered successful.

Do what makes you happy and makes you feel grounded. If you’re tired of going to gatherings where well-meaning aunties gently ask are you still single, don’t go.  If you are tired of being asked why your spouse once again couldn’t make the family soiree, tell them to call and ask him/her. If you’re hosting and can’t afford the high-priced honey hams, put on a huge pot of spaghetti and call it a day. Beautiful memories are created by the quality of the time spent laughing and conversing with family and friends, not by the expense of the food.  Above all celebrate Christ and each other, and let go of the negativity. You will fill much better having alleviated the pressure of living up to superfluous expectations.

Happy Easter and God Bless.  :)

 

 

Misguided pilot: Pre-Easter Tragedy on the Mount

March 27, 2015
Unnecessary ragedy brings sad day to the French Alps.  (Photo credit:  Sebastien Mortier via flickr)

Unnecessary tragedy brings sad day to the French Alps. (Photo credit: Sebastien Mortier via flickr)

Although time has proven that you can rarely judge a book by its cover, there used to be some indication given off by a person that all was not well. In the case of the pilot that slammed a planeload of innocents into the terrifying vista of the French Alps on March 24, 2015, not only is he allegedly believed to have done this on purpose, but by most accounts he was an all-around great guy.

Andreas Lubitz, the culprit of this hate crime, was what the world calls a success.  He knew early that he wanted to make a career out of flying, and started training soon after graduation from high school. Many of his co-workers, neighbors, and instructors described him as a sometimes quiet, but friendly and popular man. He was admired for persevering and obtaining his goal of becoming a pilot.

But his apparently deliberate actions have many of us questioning what we think we know. No matter how shiny the outside veneer, only God completely knows the heart of men, although we can sometimes catch glimpses of the inner man by the fruit he bears. So despite this young man’s accomplishments and skills, something was terribly wrong. We don’t know at this point what it was, but whatever it was has changed the trajectory of an untold number of lives.

The other 149 people on Germanwings Flight 9525 had their own hopes and dreams brutally and instantaneously, according to the crash site investigators, snatched away. Their families and friends had their lives and hearts changed forever with the loss of their loved ones in such a tragic and senseless way. The randomness of this act is almost unbearable because it highlights the vulnerability of the masses.

What we can do

It is becoming increasingly clear that one of the most important things we can do is continue to pray. Even with all of the horrible things we see in the news, I don’t think we can even begin to imagine that horrors that God  may have blocked from the world thus far due to the effective fervent prayers of the righteous. (James 5:16 KJV)

We must watch as well as pray. Even though there may not be obvious signs of mental distress, be ever vigilant regarding subtle changes in behavior or mood swings in co-workers. We often spend more time with co-workers than we do at home, so we can sometimes pick up when they are a little tense.

Finally, continue to live. I saw a quote the other day advising people to live rather than just exist. We must be careful not to chain ourselves inside of ourselves, refusing any interaction with the world because of what might happen. Once you’ve done your due diligence as far as careful preparations and safety precautions, enjoy life for the gift that it is. I thank you.

My prayers and condolences to the loved ones of those lost in the tragic flight of Germanwings 9525.

 

 

Uniquely you; standing out in a cookie-cutter world

March 23, 2015
Walter Cronkite kept his audience enthralled.  (Photo Credit:  flicker.com)

Walter Cronkite kept his audience enthralled. (Photo Credit: flicker.com)

I get a kick out of my husband’s comments should we not be home in time for the news. He’ll always say we need to get home and catch the “Evening News with Walter Cronkite”. It tickles me, but it got me to thinking about the importance of giving our all in everything we do. As many of you know, Cronkite passed away July 17, 2009, culminating an illustrious career in broadcast journalism. In a statement following Cronkite’s death, President Obama said, “He was someone we could trust to guide us through the most important issues of the day; a voice of certainty in an uncertain world.” Cronkite was one of the first newsmen to be known as “the most trusted man in America”, and unlike some of our more recent anchors, was not known to have dishonored that title. He was not perfect, as none of us are, but he established a reputation for telling it straight.

 

So it is very interesting that my husband still refers to CBS Evening News as Walter Cronkite’s show. He is not being disrespectful to current anchors, but in actuality he is bestowing yet another honor upon Cronkite. The journalist did his job so well, and made such an indelible impression that, years after his demise, he is still thought of in association with a great news program.

 
What is your task or calling today? To exercise your gift to the best of your ability can be an achievable goal for many of us. God blesses us with different talents that actually honor Him, when we share them with the world. And when we do so with a passion for excellence, He will enhance the rest so that it will reach where we cannot reach, and touch those we cannot touch. Go ahead, step out on faith today, and make your mark. Leave your unique stamp upon whatever duties befall your hands. I thank you.

You called me a what? Veronica goes to pieces.

March 19, 2015
Drama in the House!!!  (photo credit:  atlantablackstar.com)

Drama in the House!!! (photo credit: atlantablackstar.com)

How many of you watch Tyler Perry’s “The Have and the Have Nots”? I watch the show, and just about always enjoy it. There are two things I’d like to discuss right now and they are: Mommy/Son Issues and Don’t Call Me That.

Mommy/Son Issues

What in tarnation is wrong with Veronica? Every mother has wishes of how she’d like her child(ren) to turn out. There is nothing wrong with having those images in our minds, but what is dead wrong is trying to forcefully impose those views on them like they are our property. It seems the better thing to do is teach them values and morals to the best of our ability when they are very young and yielding. Once they are adults and can make their own decisions, we can choose to accept them or not, but we have no right to try to have our preferences beaten in or out of them. To turn a dangerous felon loose on your own child is crossing the line.

Don’t Call Me That

That last scene in the posh hotel bar can be taken so many ways. It was a very deep scene encompassing many story lines, i.e. David and Veronica’s relationship, David and Maggie’s relationship, and the dynamic between Veronica and Maggie. But one of the biggest takeaways to me was Veronica’s reaction to being called a “B” by David. She has done crazy things before behind closed doors, but has always had a public-ready facade in place when the doors opened and cameras started rolling.

 
This Veronica did not give two fig newtons that they were in an open hotel lobby. When David called her that name, she dove headfirst over the cliff of fed-up-ness. And I submit to you that her outward expression of rage is what any of us really feel, would feel, or have ever felt when called that name. If it’s a first date and a man calls you that, thank God you dodged a bullet, and run for the hills. But can you imagine having been married all that time, having invested your time and energy in promoting the joint success of you both, having squeezed out a child for this man, and then he calls you that? Explode would be the most like reaction for many.

 
Far too many women have become desensitized to being called that word because it is so prevalent in music, movies, and now even on television shows. We’ve gotten so used to hearing it that some of us call ourselves and our friends that to try to make it have a positive connotation, as in “I’m a bad B”. Well no matter how it is prettied-up and presented, it is still an ugly hurtful word. And Veronica played out the rage that we would feel inside; even should we decide to stay in the relationship. The word has got to go! Well done Veronica and more of us should insist “Don’t Call Me that”. I thank you.

Senseless Death Results in Surprisingly Low Voter Turnout

March 16, 2015
Will Empty Voting Booths be the death of our next generation?  (Photo Credit:  commons.wikimedia.org)

Will Empty Voting Booths be the death of our next generation? (Photo Credit: commons.wikimedia.org)

After the tragic death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, it seemed as if the country was ripe for a change. The shooting of the unarmed Black teen by White Ferguson Police Officer Darrell Wilson occurred in August 2014, and is still a topic of hot controversy. The story brought about massive protests, in Ferguson and nationwide. The majority of the protests were peaceful, although some did get out of hand, leading authorities to don riot gear and threaten tear gas.

 
The cutting down of this young man brought out leading activists from all over the United States, and social media platforms exploded with offerings of support from observant users in many other countries. America was poised on its tiptoes for change, as it seemed that even Fate was holding her breath to see what the unleashed fury and grief that had been building through the centuries was going to bring. And then, in the big reveal, the curtains swished open to reveal nothing. That is, the poll booth curtains. For all the talks and marches, the most recent Ferguson elections in late 2014 netted an increase of only four percent more people showing up at the polls.

 
Voting is something that you do not have to pay to do, unlike many in past generations who were hurt and killed in the fight for the right to cast their ballot. Voting is something that many employers will give you time off to do before the polls close. And the majority of precincts, as well as radio stations, will provide information on how to get a free ride to vote. If your health allows, there is no reason not to vote…ever. That cop who committed cold-blooded murder on a teen, allegedly, is bad; but what can be said about all of the so-called supporters that can’t be bothered to lift a finger to vote for local authorities that could improve the situation? The word suicidal comes to mind. Let’s not kill ourselves with apathy. I thank you.


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