Me Big. You Little.

Desiree Burch is bigger and badder than you. Except when she's smaller and better (with more parentheticals than you can handle).

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Fwd: Time For GOD, or Onward Christian Forward.

Below is the text of the email I sent, because some people were upset they couldn't see the pictures. In this format, unfortunately, I couldn't do justice to the largeness of the red font. We are talking 48 pt. font here people. Easy. Anyway...

Hey Guys,

Thanks for even looking at this forward. I did want to foward this despite my hatred of chain letters and the guilt and fear they inspire, and of course, the grotesque link to the guilt and fear that people use to inspire in the name of God. Both are present in the forward that I got. The large font/screaming were familiar as well.

It's this assertion of spirituality as some burden--socially seen as such... I just can't help but feel that outside of the "parade of faith" there is a real responsibility bring your spirituality to the fore in your existence, if it is there, to engage in the human dialogue To not do so means patronizing and ultimately limiting this existence to talking about the weather. However, I do think that means exemplification of what you believe, and not just going outside with a sign and scary pictures and screaming it. The former, I'd like to try to do more.

So basically, below you will find a forward I got, that rather than fowarding on, I had to respond to, in order for it to be something I could agree with and forward on to people I cared about. This is sent not to exclude anyone who may desire to feel excluded by what I am saying, but rather to tell you more about who I am based on what I agree with in this. And also to try to delete the annoying cat in a cup picture that someone tacked onto the bottom of this. People are always tacking stuff on. That's the problem with forwards... and a lot of organized religion too.

I hope it interests you.


P.S. I like this one my brother mentioned to me:
James 1:2
My Brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials

All joy, y'all, all joy.

Read only if you have time for God.
Let me tell you, make sure you read all the wa
y to the bottom. I almost deleted this email but I was blessed when I got to the end

Stop it with the chain letter talk, please. Can a message not just speak for itself? Alright, calm down.

These Legos are awesome.

God, when I received this e-mail, I thought...

I don't have time for
this... And, this is really inappropriate during work.

This picture is at first kinda frightening. And then cute. And the frightening again. I'm not bad for thinking that. Or thinking…

Then, I realized that this kind of thinking is... Exactly, what has caused lot of the problems in our world today.

We try to keep God in church on Sunday morning...

Maybe, Sunday night...

And, the unlikely event of a midweek service.
We do like to have Him around during sickness...

And, of course, at funerals.

And weddings and at football games and at the Oscars too… let's be fair. Not to be glib but honestly...

However, we don't have time, or room, for Him during work or play...

I think this picture is a little inappropriate, simply because I do believe in Jesus AND the separation of church and state in this country. Any one of these people can say a prayer at this baseball game if they want to, but I don't think Bob Uecker should be leading it over the loudspeaker for everyone to follow. That's a situation where everyone must deal with their faith individually. Also, they totally stole this picture of people saying the pledge. Wow.

Because.. That's the part of our lives we think... We can, and should, handle on our own.

Because.. That's the part of our lives we think... We can, and should, handle on our own.

May God forgive me for ever thinking...
That... there is a time or
place where..

HE is not to be FIRST in my

True. True.

This looks like something from "Top Gun." Not the most pastoral and peaceful sunset I could imagine. It's a little car-commercial-ly. But an interesting shot.

We should always have time to remember all HE has done for us.

I am sorry, but a picture of a weird baby does not sum up "all He has done for us." And I have always been annoying with that yuppie American assertion that babies are some how the end-all be-all of existence. Although I do like the use of a weird-lookin' baby. I like weird babies. I trust them more. Cute babies lie. Oh, that's not nice…

If, You aren't ashamed to do this...

Please follow the directions.

Jesus said, "If you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of you before my Father."


Not ashamed?

Come on, what's with the threats? This was so nice before...

Pass this on ONLY IF YOU MEAN IT!!

Yes, I do Love God.

Jesus is not the mafia.

HE is my source of existence and Savior.

He keeps me functioning each and every day. Without Him, I will be nothing. But, with Christ, HE strengthens me. (Phil 4:13)

This is the simplest test.

Why do we have this image of God "testing" us like life is some Spelling Bee and he is constantly trying to eliminate people from the ones he loves. The whole reason you have people preaching Christianity is because Jesus said to go unto all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. And I think a lot of Christians have used such a "mandate" to go out and preach the fact that they have Jesus and that other people don't. Which contradicts the wishes in making that statement and makes those Christians hypocrites for wanting to be proud and exclusionary.

If You Love God... And, are not ashamed of all the marvelous things HE has done for you...

Send this to ten people and the person who sent it to you!

Fine, I am sending it. Because I am pretty pleased with the great things that God has done in my life, and has caused me to do in the lives of others. But I don't understand how you get to decide that it's my time to prove myself to God. Pretty sure God's not sitting in his mom's basement right now creating forwards for people to show their love to him. In fact, sitting in front of a computer screen passing on a simple forward doesn't really show anyone anything. Or at least doesn't do much with the physical world he gave us to show it with.

Now do you have the time to pass it on?

Make sure that you scroll through to the end.

See, telemarketing. Now everyone wants to tack on their own shout outs and everything else. I have a problem whenever I see unsubtleties of commercialism intertwined with spirituality. Jesus doesn't have to be sold to people, and I think if they stopped trying to do that, it would interfere with people's relationship with Him a lot less, and that would make me very happy. Jesus was the architect of great parables. Please try to respect His artistry, or at least grace in passing on His word.

Easy vs. Hard

Why is it so hard to tell the truth but Yet so easy to tell a lie?

Cause the right thing is always the hard thing. Duh.

Why are we so sleepy in church but Right when the sermon is over we suddenly wake up?

See Lego Church.

Why is it so easy to delete a Godly e-mail, but yet we forward all of the nasty ones?
Man, that's true. I think I am making up for any dumb forwards I sent along with people or cats falling down or guys getting kicked in the privates right now.

Of all the free gifts we may receive, Prayer is the very best one....

This is absolutely true. If you don't believe in prayer, I hope you can meditate or do something that connects you to that which is the whole.

There are no costs, but wonderful rewards... GOD BLESS!
Here comes the hard sell. Again with the addendums. That's why I don't order anything off the TV anymore.

Notes: Isn't it funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell.

Isn't it funny how someone can say "I believe in God" but still follow Satan (who, by the way, also "believes" in God).

That's true. Because God created everything. Even Satan. I don't know if people give that fact a lot of thought.

Isn't it funny how you can send a thousand jokes through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing?

Have you looked at this huge, horrible red font? And all the damnation in between? Jesus didn't die on a cross so he could hang around your neck, dude!

And you can't woo anyone with a ransom note. Not that you are always meant to woo, but do Jesus a favor and use the honey sometimes. Even He would have broken out the wine by now.

Isn't it funny how when you go to forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it to them.
Isn't it funny how I can be more worried about what other people think of me than what God thinks of me.

Yeah, cause God isn't a jerk like other people. Plus, he's seen you naked. Even more than your mom. So I think the same unconditional love rules apply. If people conducted themselves more like the God of their choosing, perhaps you'd feel more open while talking to them. I know I would. I'd like that world a lot more too. But I am not going to waste time wondering whether God likes me—cause that is besides the point of Him being God.

I pray, for everyone who sends this to their entire address book, they will be blessed by God in a way special for them.
And send it back to the person who sent it, to let them know that indeed it was sent out to many more.

Well, I am not sending it to my whole address book, because I don't even know all of those people, but I am sending it to you, because I wanted you to have a look at me, and what this all means to me, and talk to me about it if you want to. And I think I am going to go ahead and be blessed anyway, too. I invite that into my life with actions. Even if I'm not the guy who passed this on to all 18 people that he knows. He is not loved any more by God than I am.

And here's the stupid cat. Just so you can all see how bad it was. Just when grown folks wanna have a conversation, someone puts a kitten in a cup. Now we gotta start loving the cat too. And then 10,000 people get a forward about prayer…and a cat. Hmmm… no.

Free Animations for your email - By IncrediMail! Click Here!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Imus in the Morning, Imus in the Afternoon, Imus at Night

A week ago, I had the pleasure of not knowing this little man's name. Oh what a wonderful world that was.

Much more than racist, to me, the statement of these basketball players being "nappy headed-hoes" was sexist (underneath all that racist garnish). That is really at the heart of this matter. I think there is truth to those that have responded, Coach Stringer included, that we must stop denegrating women in this country. Snoop Dogg didn't account for that shit on MTV. Rap music is big about putting women in their place--whatever place the dick-grabbing alpha deems appropriate in the situation. But the power of the black male ego has always been dependent on a reversal of his powerlesssness in some other area. His power is always dependent on taking that power (back or away) from someone else.

It may be argued that when speaking of power in broad terms, this is a conceptual truth about power. It must be held over someone else in order to exist as power. But there is a power that exists on one's own. Though no power is necessary in a vacuum, there is an integral power, one that exists defined only by oneself. That is the power of your integrity--knowing and being what you are. Maybe it's strength, rather than power. But it is definitely related, and it is this important bit that is missing (or somehow undercut, damaged, deficient) in most rap stars... and black men... and black people on a larger scale in this country. Yes, it is class and all of those other things so aptly pointed out by social scientists too. But it is, underneath all of that, the long-running self-loathing passed down from generation to generation by and through black me. A self-loathing that is always offered up for replenishment whenever a sense of history, of ancenstry, receeds.

This is what was taken away. And all that was left to fill it were images of depravity, propigated by white people and their fear, both of which wanted black people in their place. So of course it follows that like any man, a black man needs to feel proud of himself, like a "man," and will take on his loathed position much like Richard III, and build an empire on his self-loathing. He will take on, as a race, the joy and misrery that comes from having no home in the world. Black men who don't feel threatened don't need to call their women hoes. But white men can only be the "Man" if his brown counterpart is somehow the "Woman" getting fucked by it all. And it has always been the black woman who has played the role of the "Mule" in these situations, bearing the baggage in subjugation. All the hate that society has for black people, all the hate black men have for themselves, she gets when clearing the table.

As a sidenote, it is amazing that the women's movement in this country historically aligned itself with abolitionism and civil rights in this country, as it was understood that any laws that would help men of different creeds and colors would logically extend themselves to women. However these movements have not allied themselves, or at least supported rights for women, preferring to believe that the advancement of a race of people would be heavily dependent on the deferrment of rights to its women. In order to be considered man enough to be at the man's table talking about man things, these man of different races would have to be dominant over some other group.

Black women are some of the first to use the word "niggah" about someone as soon as we feel the doors are closed. We as black people feel we have the right to it. We have an unalienable human right to hate ourselves. But a Jewish person would note hate themselves so much to use a slur like that interchangeably for a noun. As famously self-depricating a culture as they may be, they wouldn't think of preaching that kind of loathing to and amongst themselves. They know they are more than that. They have a vast history that they are connected to which tells them so, despite any potential historical short-sightedness to the contrary. Conversely, our history is not something that we teach to ourselves or others. History would have us believe that Africans haven't achieved much since the last pyramid was built. So there is as much connection to that than there is to the Ming Dynasty. We feel that our people have done nothing, and since much of it is popularized and co-opted, there is often little evidence to the contrary. So in order to finally assimilate and be a part of this society, we have learned to hate ourselves too, much like we fear everyone else does. We blame ourselves for being forced onto this society, and take great pains to separate ourselves... to distance ourselves from some of our more negatively percieved social traits.

I think this discussion is linked to, but ultimately a digression from the main issue in this Imus situation, which is sexism. These women were targetted in the comment because they are women. There is no way Don Imus would have siad that about some black male basketball players (especially since he would then have to be talking about ALL the male basketball players) because they have already won respect in the sporting world. If this were a team of white female players, I am sure he would have had to have worked a bit harder to come up with just the perfect humiliating twist of words, but it would have been done in a way that probably could have passed for cute, men being men kind of sportsmanship. But it was because Imus could go for the lowest sqipe with these women that made the call to use the phrase so succulent to him, while simultaneously outing the comment as being truly dispicable. So blatantly offensive and denegrating: wanting to knock the wind out of the sails fo these women, and being able to do it because the extra handle of race gavie him a firm, planted grip.

That is where Imus and Snoop Dogg are brothers. Keeping women in their place of shadowed accomplishment. The strongholds of sexism lie in cultures outside of the popular white american one--but white american men still, as they always have, want a piece. Black people have always been at the forefront of history, and our performance ethic is impeccable, so there are always going to be white kids looking up to black performers. Constantly begging for one more dance from us and clapping along to do their part. And then there is that laughter and shame bestowed upon the ones who perform that dance honestly so that we don't mind when they take it from us. In fact, we are made to feel acceptable because of it. What is what white/dominant culture has always done with the cultural accomplishments that they have imbibed. It's why people think that country music is a white institution, even though it came from Negro slave songs, the blackest stuff this country is made of.

And to be fair, not all of this is the result of Machievellian machination. There is a lot to be said for the cult of cool and the way it has worked throughout history. Specifically American history. As the suburban baby darling of the modern world, we have always been susceptable to the newest trend. And cool has always been based upon subculture and subversion. Social contrarianism is always fetishized. Those who live outside of social and moral rule are looked up to by most at some point, as we all at some point in our growth fall short of the ideals we set up for ourselves. Self-loathing and self-destruction as a philosophy of social protest have always garnered societies romantic, bedroom eyes. And black culture in this country has typically spawned itselfas the definition of counterculture. Naturally if we find ourselves in a loathed position in society, our creations will naturally extend themselves as what is outside and undesiarable. And naturally, everyone will desire it... even for a taste. Gangster rappers are goth kids without the pallor. Wearing our chips on our shoulders like military epaulettes.

The majority of popular rap music today propagates sexism. That is something that black people don't have claim to just by virtue of their outsider stance in society. We yuse those isms as a defense--shrouding ourselves in a demonstrative despair that protects us from reproach. Black people can be racist toward everyone, and sexist toward every woman because we have always felt the fullest measure of the blow has been laid on us; and that kind of full-fledged hatred is our only dignity and power. That does not have to be so. And in fact, as long as it is so, it will prevent us from really being a part of this present society that we ache for in its nearness. Once again, black people are going to have to make the first move and let white America watch, follow, and feel like they are taking the lead. And we can probably talk to the women on how best to do that.