Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sometimes it's not the destination, but getting there (and why cabbies can be cool)

Airports are a great place to think. To ponder the intricacies of life. I was in an airport this weekend and I'm slowly finding comfort in the way my life has transitioned into solitude. It's a change that has brought me from sadness and self-pity to new found acceptance and sense of freedom.

This self reality check occurred to me this weekend as I traveled to the Garden State for a meeting. Me and airports don't really mix. My flight out was delayed and then stuck on the runway. While waiting at the airport, I discovered that my lodging plans were altered yet again forcing me to simple seek commercial accommodations. I HATE WHEN TRAVEL PLANS CHANGE.

I get to Jersey and find that the cheapest place to stay is an Econolodge that is located on a weird strip past all the "good" hotels, behind a truck (18 wheeler) facility. Nice. My room is all the way in the back, where I have to walk through what looks like rape alley and the parking lot to get to. Most of the lights don't work in the room and the remote has old batteries (one generic, one Duracell) in it. It doesn't work, either, but I have TBS.

You get what you pay for. I was tempted to sleep on top of the sheets, thinking that it may slow the bed bugs from accessing me, but when I smelled the sweet scent of bleach on my pillowcases, I knew I would be OK. I slept pretty well, despite being a little hungry.

The whole point of this trip, which was the meeting at Rutgers, is not worth mentioning.

So I find my way back to my motel Saturday afternoon by taking a taxi. My driver was named Jean. He is from Haiti. We talk about the cost of living in my city and how when he came to the states he didn't speak English. I ask him where are all the white people, and he explains in his tinted English the class/racial disparities that divide the area. (Rich, white people are fucked up everywhere.) He wanted to know if I needed a tour guide in the city. Now, because all my plans got screwed up, I really didn't have anyone to meet or accompany me into the city. Whatever. I was feeling slightly adventurous, what with the Econolodge stay and all - I felt practically 3rd world.

However, after fleeting thoughts of casual sex with a Haitian man screaming all things sexual to me in French, I declined...random sex was so freshman year in college (and sophomore and junior). I took a nap and then woke up and watched more TV. It was ironic that I was seeing various shots of NYC on television when I could have walked out on the street and caught glimpses of the actual skyline and the bridge to the city was another cab ride away. Moxie must be the only person in the world unimpressed with NYC. I took refuge in my dinky motel room content with having a weekend off my from second job. NYC is for bitches.

So what would impress me? I was sorta freaked that I couldn't answer that question. Omigod, did I have autism? Nothing excited me. Not even the chance to explore NYC for a day and half.

Sunday morning: After my hopes of getting an earlier flight were dashed, I decided against getting brunch in NYC (or anywhere in Jersey) and headed to Newark. The airport would be more exciting anyway. The shuttle driver, John Cruz, was rambling to the pilot in the shuttle with me and was completely incoherent. I make my way into the airport and once again pursue, at the ticket counter, an earlier flight back home. No luck. So I check in and stroll leisurely to my gate. First, I wait in security for about 25 minutes with what looked a like a group of Swedes. As we snaked our way through the partitions we kept staring back at each other. From where they stood I was some sort of brown looking freak, and I kept wondering how many boys would turn around if I just yelled out the name "Sven".

I make it past security only after this Marine reject working for TSA barks out orders. Repeatedly. To a woman who was clearly from SE Asia. The poor woman, with all her cultural garb, had to be subjected to a body check.

I pass a duty free shop. I have never shopped at one and I still don't really understand their point, but I saw fragrances and liquor and thought there was something in there for me. I sniff and sniff and settle on a scent. As I am paying, the store manager - an African man - notices my tats. He thinks that my jungle queen pin up tat is bonafide Zulu. Yeah, I wish. He asks me if I got it done in NYC and proudly say that some white kid in my hometown did it. Take that. And I still paid sales tax on my purchase.

I glide out, my head high off of pretty smells and pass a stand advertising this. Genius.

I opt for fast food since I just blew stupid money on a bottle of cologne. Then I shuffle over to a bookstore to find something cheap and fictional. All the mags looked disinteresting, so I settled for this book. Cute, but I can't believe I paid for it. Will finish it while sitting in a bubble bath...

I sit in an airport coffee shop and read. I watch planes out of the window. Strangely content in my solitude amongst thousands of strangers hustling and bustling to and from. I remember sitting in this same coffee shop at a different time, returning home from heaven-knows-where and I felt immensely sad looking at all the families and couples. The business travelers on their phones telling someone on the other end that they would be home soon. This time, all that was the same, but I felt oddly content with the decisions I made over the trip, staying in my little shell. Happy that I had to lug all my shit with me if I had to go to the bathroom, because there was no boyfriend there to watch it for me. That every costs I incurred were my own. That I had to rely on books and magazines and CDs to entertain me. That I had to keep little notes about things that I observed because there was no one to share it with. I was ok being one of the few people who had no one to call when the plane landed.

As I listened to the announcements for flights this city in that country would be boarding soon, I realized that cities far, far away would impress me. I would get lost in Dubai. I would explore the shops of Johannesburg. Or get excited to stand in line for customs at Heathrow. I want to be that person in security holding a passport, going places unknown. NYC, Chicago, Miami, D.C are all cities you can see everyday on TV, filled with people who you can find anywhere. They're overrated. And expensive. Overcrowed. Not that cities elsewhere aren't, but there's something about leaving your comfort zone. On my way in on Friday, when the plane was delayed, a woman behind me lamented that she would miss her connecting Rome, Italy. I felt bad for her, but at the same time I was jealous. How exciting that must be to have to rush across the moving sidewalks in an attempt to catch your elusive international flight.

My return flight was overcrowded and delayed on the runway. The airline offered a $700 travel voucher plus food and hotel for the night to people who would give up their seats. And after all my jealous glances towards people with their passports, I didn't give up my seat to get $700 towards the trip of my dreams. I'm still hate when my travel plans change. *sigh*

I make it home as scheduled somehow and I take a cab home. My driver, whose name starts with a B, but I can't spell, is from Somalia. We talk about Africa and where he is from. The language he speaks and the god he worships. He reminds which European countries colonized his country. He has 13 sisters and 20 brothers. Yes. He tells me to get my passport already. Do it and go. Great advice from a cabbie.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

An exception to the rule

This guy rocks.

I could have told you that: Men and Happiness

A new study reveals that men are now happier than women. This finding is a reversal of earlier studies that indicated that women were happier than men.

Yeah, what with all the sexism, discrimination, bearing children, raising children, rape, domestic abuse, feminization of poverty, wage gaps, racism, double standards, unfair hiring practices, prostitution, sex trafficking, antiquated expectations about marriage, second shifts, unfair beauty standards, eating disorders, and what not, I don't find this study all that surprising or newsworthy.

I'm not social scientist, but I would assume that if I were privileged enough to sit on my ass while my wife raised my kids and cooked my food and brought in 50% of the household income; or if I made more money than my female coworker just because I pee standing up, I would be happier too.

New Moxie Phrase: Kicked in the Feelings

Yesterday I was facing a dilemma about my priorities in life. Well, actually it was about scheduling, but my life priorities came into play. So I called or emailed my trusted advisers to help me sort out my situation. No one was immediately available and in some weird act of desperation, I called my (ex) friend, Tim, who stopped talking to me over 2 months ago. I left him a message asking for his gift of rationality.

Hours go by and I was sitting on the sofa chatting with Mademoiselle Kitty, when I get a text message in response to my request for help: "I am sure whatever you decide will be best. good luck"

That burning sting of tears formed in the back of my eye sockets and Mademoiselle Kitty cooed, "Oh Moxie, it's like he kicked you in the feelings. I'm sure he didn't mean it though."

The burning sting was replaced with a tickle in my throat and I erupted with laughter. Pure genius: kicked in the feelings?!?!?!?!?!?!

I guess there is always laughter in loss.

A white version of Moxie sitting alone in life's sandbox with nobody to play with.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Stone cold

Um....just carve the damn thing already. The man died in 1968 and we're just now getting around to making a fucking statue.

Your exaggeration of this story is a crime

According to the Pee Dee, the crime rate in Cleveland increased by 11%, beating the national average. If you note the comments left in response to this article, you will find that I am not the only one who thinks this story is full of shit.'s what I think

Actually, someone else said it, but I totally agree with him.

The Wrong Poster Children
Why the Jena 6 protests have gone awry.
By: Richard Thompson Ford
Posted Monday, Sept. 24, 2007, at 4:25 PM ET

When more than 10,000 people converged on the small town of Jena, La., last Friday, the Rev. Al Sharpton called their march the beginning of the 21st-century civil rights movement. He may be right. And that's just what's worrisome. The marchers gathered to protest criminal charges brought against six African-American high-school students, the "Jena 6." But the racial problems facing this town—and many others—are more complex than simple prejudice, and finding solutions will necessarily require more nuance than a mass protest can offer. The mismatch between the complex and layered racial tensions in Jena and the one-issue rallying cry of "Free the Jena 6" suggest that the tactics of last century's civil rights movement may be an anachronism for today's racial conflicts.

The Jena 6 were accused of beating and kicking a white classmate until he lost consciousness. The district attorney charged the six assailants with attempted murder—an absurdly severe charge under the circumstances—and then later, perhaps under pressure, reduced the charges to aggravated battery. The district attorney also improperly tried one student, Mychal Bell, as an adult and obtained a conviction for aggravated battery and conspiracy, which was duly vacated on appeal. It's plausible that this prosecutorial overzealousness was inspired by racial prejudice, but even privileged white people can fall victim to overzealous prosecutors—ask the Duke lacrosse team. So, how did a case of prosecutorial overreaching, which is tragically all too common, turn into a civil rights violation?

The hard evidence of racism in Jena showed up months before the assault, in the form of a noose tied to an oak tree. This incident was straight out of a story from the Old South: A black student at Jena High School asked at a student assembly if he could sit under a large oak tree that was unofficially called the "white tree" because white students gathered under it in Jena High's informally segregated campus. The principal told the assembly that any student could sit wherever he or she liked. After the assembly, several black students sat under the "white tree." The next day, white students hung three nooses from the tree. The school principal recommended their expulsion, but the school board instead suspended them from school for three days.

Racial tensions simmered in the following months and eventually boiled over in a series of physical confrontations. A white man threatened black Jena students with a beer bottle at an off-campus party and was charged with misdemeanor assault. A white student brandished a shotgun in a confrontation with three black students. (He claims self-defense; they claim he was unprovoked.) The black students then wrestled the gun away from him and were later charged with theft, while the white student was not charged with a crime. Then came the attack for which the Jena 6 were charged.

The Jena 6 and their defenders claim that the assault was a direct result of racial tensions that started with the nooses. They claim the white student who took the beating taunted the black students with racial epithets in what should be seen as one part of an ongoing campaign of racial harassment. And many see racism in the stark contrast between the slaps on the wrists that the noose-wielders and gun-brandisher and other whites involved in the later fights received, and the hard-line prosecution of the Jena 6. As one of the protesters put it: "Every time the white people did something … they dropped it, and every time the black people did something, they blew it out of proportion."

The disparity is striking, and it's plausible that racism was behind it. But the various incidents aren't really comparable. At most, the nooses threatened violence that was never carried out. By contrast, the Jena 6 were charged with an assault that resulted in physical injury. The more serious racial problem—and the root cause of the Jena 6 altercation—was that students at Jena High School had effectively re-created Jim Crow segregation on an informal basis—instead of whites-only bathrooms and drinking fountains, they had a "white tree" that black students considered off-limits. Such informal segregation is commonplace at racially mixed high schools (and universities). And if other cities and schools are any indication, black self-segregation along with white racism may have played a role. Reportedly, Jena High also had "black bleachers" where white students did not sit.

When racial tensions caused by this social distance and mistrust boiled over, Jena's district attorney did what elected prosecutors all too often do in high-profile cases, regardless of the race of the defendants: He threw the book at them. Such prosecutorial overzealousness is not necessarily racist, but because blacks are disproportionately embroiled in the criminal justice system, it does fall with disproportionate force on them. This made the Jena 6 symbols for railroaded black criminal defendants nationwide.

So, the demonstrators have plenty to be upset about: racial segregation; racially disproportionate arrest, prosecution, and incarceration rates; and a pervasive societal racism that is passed from generation to generation. But because none of these sadly common racial injustices have a discrete cause, none are likely to respond to the type of quick and specific reform that a demonstration can demand. As a result, the march on Jena was a bit unfocused. It's telling that the demonstrators moved between the courthouse where Bell was tried for an offense no one denies he committed and the site of the "white tree" that, with all-too-fitting symbolism, has since been cut down. "Free the Jena 6" has become a rallying cry, perhaps because, "Stop Informal Segregation and Prosecutorial Overzealousness That Disproportionately Affects African-Americans Here and Elsewhere" won't fit on T-shirt or a placard. (And the Rev. Sharpton, who has led rallies in support of self-segregation in ethnic theme houses at Cornell University, is especially ill-positioned to lead the way forward in this respect.)

The 21st century's civil rights movement will need more sympathetic poster children than the Jena 6. These young men weren't exactly engaged in peaceful civil disobedience when they ran afoul of the law. The injustice here is not that they are being prosecuted for their crime—it is that the many other wrongs that preceded the assault have been inadequately addressed. When you think about it, the logic that underlies the demand to free the Jena 6 comes down to this: These six young men were justified in kicking their lone victim senseless because other people who shared his race committed offenses against other black students. This sort of racial vendetta is diametrically opposed to the message of social justice and cross-racial understanding that underlies the civil rights movement of the last century.

And yet, all along, Jena has had a better symbol for civil rights on offer. The anonymous black students who defied the informal segregation at the high school and sat under the perversely misnamed "white tree" are the movement's true legatees. They have received so little attention that I don't even know their names or how many such brave and defiant young people there were.

As if giving the gift of Ziggy Stardust wasn't enough

David Bowie donated $10,000 to the Jena 6 Defense Fund. Dude loves him some chocolate.

Your NAACP membership card is in the mail

Bill O'Reilly has discovered the civility and spirit of the American Negro.

Monday, September 24, 2007


My Town - In a painting

A local artist who happens to be Black created this painting, which was hanging in the Cleveland Clinic before people bitched for it to be taken down. I guess some people can't handle the harsh reality that is segregation in Cleveland.

Inspirational - Burmese monk protests

The number of those protesting in Burma is growing by the thousands. Despite military threat, these people are intent on cutting the games. TAKE A GODDAMN CUE, AMERICA.

Because Will & Grace did so much for the movement

Apparently there aren't enough of the gays on television. Between progress in Iraq and the pending child healthcare bill, I need to find some time to write my congressman about this. File this under boo-fucking-hoo.

Pretty fucking genius

This conservative European woman wants marriage licenses to be valid for only seven years. Kinda like a contract that would be up for renewal. After seven years, a couple can then decide to renew, or it automatically dissolves. Awesome.

I wonder if this would also be extended to the homos.

Central who? Central what?

Go Tribe.


It's pronounced Gee-nah, not Jin-nah. Who knew?

Editor's note: Just heard someone say jay-nah on NPR.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hoes still salty over Brown vs. Board

Questionable survey at best, shit I could have told you at worse.

Survey Finds More Blacks than Whites See Positive Effect of Central High Crisis

Fifty years after the Central High integration crisis, more blacks than whites in Pulaski County believe that the crisis has had a positive effect on race relations today.

In a newly released report by the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, 873 out of 1,666 people who participated in a racial attitudes survey conducted last fall believe the events of 1957 continue to impact Pulaski County race relations. Overall, 69 percent of their comments indicate that the Central High crisis is having a positive effect on race relations today.

Blacks were more likely to offer positive comments than whites (77 percent of comments from blacks, 61 percent of comments from whites). The researchers suggest that the reason for this may be that “the legacy of Central High has been more keenly felt by black members of the community because it has impacted their everyday lives and hopes for the future more directly.”

Researchers in UALR’s Institute of Government Survey Research Center reported these findings from a set of special questions related to the Central High crisis included in this year’s fourth annual survey of racial attitudes in Pulaski County. The survey also asked if black-white race relations still bear the impact of what happened 50 years ago.

“The free response nature of the questions yielded a deep pool of material for researchers to analyze,” researcher Siobhan T. Bartley says in the report. “Overall, these rich and varied data provide a fascinating snapshot of the attitudes of today’s Pulaski County residents toward one of the most infamous episodes in their collective history.”

The following themes surfaced from comments in the survey:
The Central High crisis has been an inspiration: 25 percent blacks / 21 percent whites.
A 48-year-old black female said, “A lot of those black students persevered, and it’s a good example for young blacks that even though obstacles come your way, you can still achieve what you put your mind to.”

A 71-year-old white male said, “The black individuals that were involved are seen as positive role models and respected. Anytime we can generate black role models, that is very important.”

The Central High crisis left a legacy of shame: 22 percent whites / 3 percent blacks.
“It’s pouring salt in an old wound,” a white male, 65, commented.

The Central High crisis resulted in new opportunities for blacks: 22 percent blacks / 14 percent whites.
“Now there are black administrators, mayors, and governors in the U.S.,” said a black male, 45.
The Central High crisis resulted in an increase in racial interaction: 17 percent blacks / 13 percent whites.

“When kids go to school together they learn more about each other. You learn to respect each other,” said a black male, 66.

The Central High crisis is a lesson from history: 13 percent blacks / 13 percent whites.
“It helps people realize how bad it was and that… we will never make the same mistake again,” said a white female, 26.

The Central High crisis resulted in no changes in racial relations: 13 percent blacks / 7 percent whites.
“Racism is still here – it’s just covered up,” said a black female, 46.

The Central High crisis resulted in a change for the worse: 10 percent whites / seven percent blacks.

“The black culture is different in a negative way and I don’t want this influencing the white culture,” said a white female, 79.

The results of the survey were based on telephone interviews with a total of 1,666 black and white adult Pulaski County residents interviewed between Sept. 29, 2006, and Nov. 27, 2007, by the UALR Institute of Government Survey Research Center.

For more information about the Central High portion of the racial attitudes survey, go to and click on “Central High Effects.”

Monday, September 17, 2007

Salvation from the Army

Does anyone else see the irony in this story?

Friday, September 14, 2007

New study uncovers more discrimination in health care

The Pee Dee has a story that shows that Blacks face poorer care in nursing homes. More evidence that the impact of systemic inequalities can be found in every aspect of life.

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

Hispanic Heritage Month begins today and lasts through November 15. Go, Latinos, it's your birthday...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Yes, white people are crazy (Also: To be filed under "WTF?!)

From the New York Times

Woman, 20, Was Imprisoned and Tortured, Police Say
Published: September 12, 2007

LOGAN, W.Va., Sept. 11 — A 20-year-old woman was held captive for more than a week in a mobile home, where she was raped, stabbed and tortured by at least a half-dozen people, the police said. Sheriff’s deputies rescued her on Saturday, and she remained hospitalized Tuesday in stable condition.

“I’ve been in law enforcement for more than 30 years, and this is the first time I’ve ever seen anything of this nature,” the Logan County sheriff, Eddie Hunter, said.

Six people, including a mother and her son and a mother and her daughter, have been charged in the case.

The police said the people charged, all of whom are white, yelled racial slurs at the woman, who is black, during some of the attacks. The woman endured horrific torture, according to court documents. She was raped by multiple men, some of whom poured scalding water on her during the assaults, according to the criminal complaints.

She was forced to lick up blood, eat animal feces and drink water from a toilet, the documents said, and she was also stabbed repeatedly in the leg and was told that if she tried to leave, she would be killed.

The police said that more than a week ago, the victim went with Bobby R. Brewster, 24, who she believed was a friend, to the trailer where he lives with his mother, Frankie Lee Brewster, 49, in Big Creek, in the northern end of Logan County.

On Tuesday, the police were interviewing the victim further about two more people she said were involved.

On Saturday, Logan County deputies received a tip about a woman being held against her will at the Brewster residence. A person working in the area had heard disturbing noises coming from the trailer and seen the victim with cuts on her leg through the window, the police said.

“Upon the deputies’ arrival, they found Mrs. Frankie Brewster sitting on the front porch,” a police report says. The deputies asked Mrs. Brewster if anyone else was at the residence and she said she was alone.

As she was talking, the police documents say, Mrs. Brewster got up and stepped toward the door, when a woman inside the residence limped toward the door with her arms held out and said, “Help me.” The woman’s eyes were bruised and she had four large stab wounds on her left leg, the police said.

Police documents say Mrs. Brewster admitted to holding the victim at the trailer against her will and beating her.

The victim was taken to Logan Regional Hospital and then to the General Hospital of Charleston Area Medical Center, where she underwent surgery for her leg wounds.

Mrs. Brewster was charged with sexual assault, kidnapping, malicious wounding and giving false statements to an officer. Mr. Brewster was charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, malicious wounding and assault during the commission of a felony.

The Brewster family and their trailer has a history of violent crime, the police said.

Mr. Brewster killed his stepfather there when he was 12, the authorities said, and served time at a juvenile correction facility.

In July 1994, Mrs. Brewster shot and killed an 84-year-old woman she was looking after, also in the trailer, according to court records.

Mrs. Brewster, who was charged with first-degree murder, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and served six years at a state correctional facility. She was paroled in 2000.

In 2005, two men got into a fight outside the trailer, the police said, ending with a fatal stabbing.

In January, the police were again called to the trailer, where they found a man who had been slashed across his abdomen; the man survived, according to court documents, and Mr. Brewster was a witness in that case.

Also being held in the case of the young woman were Danny J. Combs, 20, who was charged with sexual assault and malicious wounding; George A. Messer, 27, who was charged with assault during the commission of a felony and battery; Karen Burton, 46, who was charged with malicious wounding, battery and assault during the commission of a felony; and her daughter, Alisha Burton, 23, who was charged with assault during the commission of a felony and battery. The four were being held in $100,000 bond each.

The Brewsters were being held pending bond hearings.

The authorities said they were still deciding whether to file additional charges, of hate crimes, against the defendants.

“The whole family is shocked,” a sister of the victim said.

Relatives said the victim has mild learning disabilities but graduated from high school. The relatives would not comment on whether the victim was living at home or had a job.

Yet another reason why people should stop procreating

It hurts the environment. For every baby born, a tree dies.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

While a spoiled, pompous asshole...

...Kanye West makes a point.

Facing Forward

After reading a brief news blurb about another nameless woman being stabbed to death and the nameless man who did it, I decided to post about Johanna Orozco. The Cleveland Pee Dee (as reported by Rachell Dissell) is doing a special series with stories and multimedia features about a young girl who was abused, stalked and eventually shot in the face by her ex-boyfriend. This type of story, sadly, is not new, but it still brings the threat of tears to your face.

She survived and has undergone numerous surgeries to repair her face. He plead guilty of rape and attempted murder (to avoid a trial by jury with even more charges) and will be sentenced on September 19.

*Breathe* The tears still want to come. I don't know if it's because I'm getting older, or what, but stuff like this really gets to me. Like-makes-me-cry "gets to me". I can't help but feel powerless and enraged all at the same time. Why, why, why, why, WHY are women still treated as disposable objects? People go into rages over the mistreatment of dogs (rightfully so), but where is the rage for women like Johanna? She was doing everything right: going to school, planning on a career, working, participating in Drama Club and she gets shot in her own driveway by He was abusive and controlling. He raped her days before (in her own bedroom) and now he shoots her because she reported the assault.

God. I just don't get it. I don't grow tired of being angry about this. I know why: because in some cases of abuse, you can comfortably think fucked up things: "Well, she had a chance to escape, but she didn't." But Johanna followed all the steps. She broke free. She excerised legal recourse. And everyone from cops to judges dismissed every incident of threat, every call she made when he stood outside her house. And now she is disfigured, though alive.

That is what pisses me off. When the system continues to fail people. We tell women to call the police. We tell them to walk away. They do and the perpetrators always find them. They slip through cracks and no one cares until someone is dead...or in Johanna's case, almost dead.

When the fuck are we going to cut the games and take women's pleas for help seriously? When are we going to create and enforce laws that protect women from their abusers? How many more nameless stabbing victims and Johanna's do we have to have before we wake up and do something?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Anything you can do, I can do better

More proof (as if I needed it), that liberals are smarter than conservatives. Analyze this study however you want, but the facts are simple: liberals think better than conservatives.

Dear Brit (The Hypocrisy of Pop Culture Obsession)

Dear Britney,

I hope you're recuperating from last night's performance. It must be really tiring to open for the VMAs and deal with the recent BS that has occured in your life. I mean, obviously I know these have been trying times for you, so I can only imagine what getting on stage half naked must do for one's energy.

I was UBER excited for your performance. I didn't even know you were performing until all the homo boys at my weekend gig mentioned that your new song (which is WAY hot) was going to be the opening act. You've opened for VMAs before, so no biggie for you, right? But, it's been awhile and it showed. It's ok. Fuck all the haters. Like my boy LL says, "Don't call it a comeback, I've been here for years."

I wish I knew you in the beginning. I mean like "hit me baby" beginning. This could all be different. I could have warned you about the haters, the fags, the drama, the media, the bullshit. Your parents did a piss-poor job of telling you about the facts of life and the ways of the world. People always want to see someone suffer and that person is you. I swear Jesus had less people throwing hate his way when he was carrying his own cross!

And you have quite the cross to bear: you're young, blonde and white. You sing pop music. You are part of a echelon of women who are simultaneously worshipped and vilified for who they are: Marilyn, Anna Nicole, Paris, Madge, Greta, Joan, Bette, Liza, Judy, etc. These women are one minute Hollywood Goddesses, and the next second street whores. The media either loves you or hates you based on things as stupid as what you wore to the store this morning.

*Sigh* I will be honest and tell you that you've made some poor decisions in your life. But, sweetie: I. don't. blame. YOU. I blame your mama, your managers, handlers, JIVE records, stylists, baby daddy, boyfriends and most importantly: THE PATRIARCHY. No one told you that the men (Justin, Kevin, Wade, Jason) you chose to associate with were idiots not worth your time. No one told you about birth control or the responsibilities of parenting. No one told you about the perils of overindulgence. No one told you that an ounce of Jesus does a person good.

Perhaps if they did, you would have been more wary of the company you kept and stayed away from giving your bridesmaids velour jump suits at your wedding. You would have never associated yourself with Mr. Federline and made the even grosser mistake of procreating with him. Everyone makes mistakes, it just sucks that all yours were made in the view of the American public.

Now, I know I am coming off as pretentious, judgemental and condescending, but I am telling you things you need to be told. You may hate me for this now, but I know--down the road--you will thank me.

Oh yes, the homos. In case you didn't know, The Gays love you. They have made you the star you are today. Never forget that a pop stars career is built on the backs of 11-year old girls and gay men of any age. Never ever forget that. Fags finance your stardom. It is high time you start courting that demographic. Tour some gay bars. Donate to HRC. They can bless you with the "respect" you once had. And they can tell you when your weave looks bad (which it did last night). They can help you get back on track. However, be careful because they can turn on you like a cornered cat, slashing away at your image ("She's fat.), the men in your life ("K-Fed is a greasy tool."), and your work ("Crossroads was one big music video. Who told her she could act?"). It can be worse than a high school study hall period on a Degrassi High episode....worse than being on the shit list of the Plastics.

Suffice to say, watch your back.

Now some radical feminist perspective. You. are. not. fat. You are not fat. Even after two children and at your heaviest weight, you are skinnier than the average American woman. DO NOT let our country's fucked up weight ideals tell you that you are disproportionate or overweight. You look good. Seriously. I know plenty of women who would kill to have the body you put on display just last night. Of course, the patriarchy wants to hold you captive to the sweet tart high school image you introduced yourself with, while ignoring the fact that you are now 25 and the mother of two kids. You have been under constant stress and emotional duress. Why should we expect six pack abs and toned buttocks? Accept that you can't please everyone: you're either a fatty or dangerously thin (read: Nicole Richie). It was sorta OK when megastar Beyonce put on a few pounds. But eventually even she had to drop the weight. Look at what they're doing to poor Tyra and she's a supermodel! No one is free from victimization...unless you're a man.

The patriarchy celebrated your naughty girl status and then threw you to the dogs when you showed that you were human and you suffer from instabilities. The very men who drooled at your existence and shamed little girls into making them want to look like you, also dumped your cold, lifeless image in the dumpster when shit hit the fan. You shaved your head and lost the last indicator of patriarchal femininity. You are forced to wear ridiculous, ill-fitting wigs to please the naysayers and style watchers. You wore almost nothing last night, mimicking a stripper just to launch your career back into atmospheric proportions. Did Marlon Brando's fat ass have to dress as a stripper to jumpstart his career? What about Sly Stallone, Bruce Willis or Harrison Ford? All of them are making "comebacks" and their clothes are still on. They pulled some stupid shit in their lives and experienced some drama and they're not still paying for it. The patriarchy has us all so twisted that we measure female stars with a different, harsher ruler.

Bee, I am so sorry you haven't been "measuring up" to that ruler. I am sorry that we have been cruel to you. The look on your face last night tells me that there is a lot going on that we don't know. I am sorry that your pain is fodder for ratings. I am sorry that every. single. thing. that you do is analyzed, criticized, evaluated and talked about by people who don't even know you. Judgemental, close-minded people who are enslaved by standards of perfection that they themselves cannot meet. You, of course, chose to be a celebrity, so you must accept some lack of privacy, but you don't deserve to be treated with such disrespect. You deserve time to heal, reflect and to nurture yourself. You need time with your children. They need and deserve caring adults in their lives. You all, as a family, deserve time to bond, connect and celebrate life.

I wish I could give you that. I wish I could tell you how to do things differently. I wish you would understand the pawn patriarchy has made you out to be. But I know in the end, you will lose the "extra" pounds. Make more flashy videos. Release your album. The fags will buy it. People will trash it. And your life as a celebrity will go on. In a few weeks, your performance will disappear from our attention deficient minds and we will move on to ridiculing some other celebrity. But maybe, I hope, that you will take charge of yourself, accept some responsibility and cut the games out of your life.

In a world of Avril Lavignes and Kelly Clarksons, you're still a true star in my book, kiddo.

Moxie Lady

p.s. "It's Britney, bitch" is the best opening lyric to a song. Ever.

Friday, September 7, 2007

My town in quick pics

A Day in the Life of Cleveland series from celebrates the diversity and work ethic of my town. It features people like the ones pictured below, as well as women in hard hats, funeral directors, bartenders and a banker from France turned bus driver. Makes you feel good to live in this least today.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Moxie can read

What's currently on my nightstand:

I hate to bring up gender and race, but...

If a white guy did this, I don't think the media would be so shocked and aghast.

What is the "this"? I don't follow tennis, but apparently Serena Williams lost to some Belgian chick in some important game yesterday. They say Grand Slam and I think baseball or Denny's, but anyway, she got pissy at the post-match press conference and dissed--hip-hop style I might add--her opponent saying that the Belgian lady had some lucky shots.

So she was salty about her loss. I would be, too. I know all about good sportsmanship, but losing sucks ass. If a guy would have displayed the same reactions and attitude, no one would care. Instead the media is saying she needs to take a class about...class. Ugh. Just more media-bias and gender discrimination. Apparently women can't get angry anymore without risking punishment or reprimand.