Women’s March LA – 2018

I arrived at the Women’s March VERY early with my staff because it was important to show support for what women, minorities and immigrants are facing in this country. While I was chatting with all of the wonderful men and women who came to march and protest, my god-daughter sent me a text that she and her friends were somewhere in the madness at 20 strong. I was more than proud of her because millennials are the group that will be negatively impacted the most with this administration’s policies. I was also proud of all the women, men, teens and younger kids gathering to make this year’s march a success, as well as to make their voices heard, not just in this country, but around the world.

If my mom were still alive, that first sign above referencing the 1960s, is the one she’d be holding. She believed in equality, was a staunch feminist and would have been at this march, or some march across this country. But she also would have been thoroughly pissed-off that we’re back at square one. But believe this, we’ll make it right mom, one day soon! We cannot and must not continue to allow history to keep repeating itself.

Today women and our allies, came together across this nation and around the world for the Women’s March. Let’s get something done. Rallies and protests are great, but we need to come together as a cohesive unit every single day and not just one day out of the year. I don’t want my nieces, god-daughter or any young girl in and outside of this country, to still be fighting the same fights we’re fighting today, and the fights our ancestors thought would be in my generation’s rearview mirror, against an extremist, patriarchal government who wants to have total control over women, our reproductive rights and how high up the ladder of success we can go. Our gender should NEVER be a deciding factor on any achievement in our lives, and our bodies and what’s inside of them, are our own to govern. The Handmaid’s Tale is a work of fiction and we should never EVER allow something like that to become a life imitating art moment.

As for immigration, everyone should be welcome in this country no matter what race, creed, ethnicity or religious affiliation. The Statue of Liberty says: Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

There’s no caveat in that statement which says you’re only welcome if you’re White. This is only one of a multitude of reasons why we’re marching, protesting, resisting and signing people up to vote. The very heart and soul of this country is dependent upon reclaiming our right to call ourselves decent and moral people. We cannot and will not allow a small group of racist oligarchs and kleptocrats to reverse the progress we’ve made in the US regarding race, religious freedom, immigration and women’s rights just because they long for a bygone era of White Male Supremacy. The buck stops with each and everyone one of us and by now, we should have all had ENOUGH!

Advertisements

Film Review: Proud Mary

I wanted to support Taraji P. Henson in her film “Proud Mary” and I’m glad I did. I know the critics savaged it and Rotten Tomatoes gave it 23%. But I’m veering off the freeway with this film. I think a lot of critics didn’t like it because they didn’t understand it, nor did they pick up on or appreciate the nod it gave to the so-called “blaxploitation” films of the 70’s. Another issue the critics appeared to have with Proud Mary is that it wasn’t filled with a ton of CGI, Special EFX and grandiose stunt sequences with the hero, or in this case, the heroine doing a lot of slow motion acrobatics, while mowing down 100 bad guys trying to kill her.

Proud Mary is a definite throwback to 70’s linear storytelling. It wasn’t filled with a multitude of subplots, random characters popping in and out, with no real connection to the overall narrative, and a bunch of not too subtle societal messages pounding the audience over the head like a sledgehammer. People in the theater also didn’t need a Ph.D in – “I think I’m so damned clever filmmaking”. It was a very easy film to watch and follow. The cinematography was clean, the action was just enough to move the story along and make you go WOW, the acting was good; Taraji P. Henson killed it as a badass hitwoman who can dispatch her targets without a second thought. Jahi Di’Allo Winston, who played the kid she looked after, was great. Danny Glover was also on-point as the crime boss Taraji’s character Mary worked for. Everyone cast in Proud Mary did their jobs well.

Were there some issues, of course. I thought the first half of the film moved a bit slow and there were a few small holes in the storyline, but it wasn’t enough to say Proud Mary is a bad film. The major problem with Proud Mary is that it wasn’t promoted enough, and for those who are addicted to slick, colorful, special EFX-laden films with an abundance of camera angle trickery, you’ll probably find Proud Mary boring and flat. But if you want a film that follows the screenwriter’s go-to, as in Freytag’s Pyramid, then you’ll find a warm place in your heart for Proud Mary.

As a sidenote: There were two films in the same vein as Proud Mary. The 1980 film Gloria with Gena Rowlands and the 1999 remake of Gloria with Sharon Stone. If you ever saw either of those films and liked them, then you’ll probably like Proud Mary.

The Hypocrisy of #WhyWeWearBlack at the Golden Globes

 

 

Today journalists and Hollywood celebs will be at the Golden Globes and the celebs have this “movement” of #WhyWeWearBlack. Everyone is supposed to show up in Black to show support for women (and some men) who have been victims of sexual harassment, assault, rape and gender inequality . But here’s why I call bullsh*t…they all knew this behavior has been going on for decades and sat idly by, and said nothing and did NOTHING while collecting their millions. They watched other women suffer some of the most heinous indignities a woman could suffer. The few brave women who DID speak up, and risked their livelihoods, had their reputations sullied and their careers ruined.

Rose McGowan has been screaming about Harvey Weinstein for well over a decade, but not one of these women in the industry came to her defense. Meryl Streep, who has been in the industry for 40 years, feigned ignorance and guess what, many of us didn’t buy a damned thing she was selling with that Pollyanna routine. But here we are, on the backs of regular brave women and a few non-A listers, celebs such as Eva Longoria, Jessica Chastain, Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington, Tracey Ellis Ross, Ashley Judd, Brie Larsen and others, have come up with this idea of wearing all black to the Golden Globes and want other women across the globe to post videos of themselves wearing black to show solidarity. I call even more bullsh*t.

This is just another feel-good cause célèbre. Ordinary women such as Tarana Burke, who started the #MeToo movement, have been fighting the good fight against sexual harassment for decades. But on cue, here comes these celebrities piggy-backing off her hard-work, and had it not been for those on Twitter calling out Melissa Milano for her appropriation, Tarana Burke wouldn’t have gotten her due. As it is, Time didn’t even have the decency to put her on the cover for a movement being honored that she started. Throughout history, it’s never been celebrities who made significant changes to laws and mindsets in this country, it was regular people like us.

It really pisses me off that celebrities attach themselves to important issues like this, and use them as another avenue for publicity…for themselves of course. Yes they have a platform, but they should have been using that platform a long time ago. This has now became nothing more than the latest “Birkin bag” to them. If they truly wanted to send a message to Hollywood and to all of the victims in and outside of the US, then how about not showing up to the award shows this season? Not continuing to contribute to the pomp and ceremony, would have spoken louder than any black gown worth thousands. But realistically speaking, we all know that would never happen because they’re far too addicted to walking red carpets. Some have said they wouldn’t protest or boycott the show entirely because many of their friends and colleagues were nominated. So in essence, they don’t mind throwing some support in the direction of victims, as long as it doesn’t preclude their night of patting each other on the back.

Shonda Rhimes and 300 other prominent women in the entertainment industry are behind the Time’s Up initiative aimed at eradicating abuse, harassment, marginalization and under-representation in the work place, which on the surface appears to be a good thing. But let’s take a wait and see on what it is they really accomplish. Afterall, celebrities start initiatives and foundations all the darn time and some are successful and others are suspect. But in the end, us hardworking regular women are the ones who will ultimately create the environment we want to live and work in, while celebrities are comfortable in their bubbles, only peeping out from behind the gates to see if they can get something out of our hard-work, dedication and determination to end this rape and harassment culture that’s infected our society for way too long.

 

The Wails of Our Ancestors

7833e11ad5ce84ad0043b180a8ce2ca0--tears-of-sadness-tears-of-joy

Let’s be clear; sane, intelligent people know exactly who Trump is by now. If you don’t, then obviously you’ve been living in a cave for the last year. When Trump gave his first press conference in regards to the Charlottesville tragedy, that was exactly how he felt and who he is. Then that pathetic 2nd press conference was forced and he meant none of it…that wasn’t who he is. Yesterday’s press conference where the REAL racist Donald Trump emerged, supporting violent White Supremacists, Neo-Nazis, Alt-Right and KKK criminals, should put a period at the end of the sentence for every decent person in this country. But on cue, we have his Black plantation brigade coming out in full-force to defend the indefensible.

 

Yes, these men and women have every right to put their trust in Trump and believe whatever they choose. However, we have a right to pull their Black cards and put them squarely in the box with the rest of his despicable surrogates. They are not grounded in reality; they seem to have developed amnesia about history and they can never be trusted because they’re as Malcolm X so succinctly put it, “the house negroes”. They’ll sell-out anyone and everyone who dares to challenge their “massa”. Each and every one of them are still on the plantation, yet think they’re making these decisions on their own volition…they’re not. They’ve been manipulated, brainwashed and seduced by those in a system designed to find our weaknesses and exploit them.

Though they may dress well, eat well, fly around on massa’s private jet, attend events with massa and massa may put a few coins in their pockets, but they’re still massa’s slaves. They seem to relish in the fact that they’re dancing with the devil and disrespecting all of the people who fought and died during slavery, segregation and Jim Crow. Those brave, strong and powerful men and women risked everything including their lives, in order to make sure that future generations would never have to be subservient to anyone, and have all of the rights and freedoms afforded to White Americans. Lynne Patton, Pastor Darrell Scott, Gerard Robinson, Paris Dennard, Bruce LeVell, Diamond and Silk and so many others in and around that administration, have jettisoned any semblance of morality, and these Black men and women have literally made our ancestors weep.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Showcasing Poet: Emilie Marie Blake’s “The Music”

On the Scoodie, I will occassionally showcase new and established artists, poets, spoken word performers, actors, singers, musicians and dancers. Today, I’m showcasing a very dear friend, award winning poet, Emilie Marie Blake.

emilie profile

Emilie was at one time a very successful model in the 1960’s and 70’s,

emilie blake

then changed careers and ended up in post production working on films by such auteurs as Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Spike Lee. However, since a very young age, Emilie has had a passion for writing, especially poetry. So without further adieu,

“The Music”.

horse

Where is the Angel that came to me that night?
The trouble with reality is that its moments run out and need to be refilled
like a pen out of ink.

However, the music quenches
even without the new words.

Feeling… it will have to do.

While waiting for the favor to change

and become a
BLACK BERRY JUICE.

I’m BAAAACK!!

syd's quote

I’ve been on a rather long hiatus from blogging because sometimes life takes you in some of the most unexpected directions. But now I’m back at it; more energized, more opinionated and even more in your face than ever! So let’s do this and do it BIG!

A Case Study: The I’m’s…..

signs-that-you-are-narcissistic

You know who they are — we work with them, we may live with them, we’re friends with them, they’re disbursed throughout our families, we pass them in cars and on the street everyday. Those familiar people who, for lack of a better word, are assholes who think the world revolves around THEM. They are what I comically call “The I’m’s“.

They can call or text early in the morning, late at night, at work, in the store, in the gym, in the car….anywhere at anytime when they need YOUR help. They sound the alarm and expect you to come running and, like the sucker you are, you answer the call to action. They will walk through a burning fire, scale the highest mountain, swim in the deepest ocean, fight the most abominable traffic, hop a flight, take a cab, get on the bus, walk, take the subway, go out into the hottest weather or the coldest blizzard to get to you when THEY need something.

But here is when they earn their title. You may be someone who rarely asks for favors and try to handle your life like a BOSS. But the second you ask one of these “I’m’s” for the teeniest, tiniest of favors, here it comes, wait for it…I’m too tired, I’m too busy, I’m too sleepy, I’m too hungry, I’m too hot, I’m too cold, I’m too exhausted (to drive), I’m not in your neighborhood, I’m stuck on the freeway and it’s too far out of my way, I’m working late, I’m digging a tunnel to China, I’m feeding the cat/dog, I’m washing my car, I’m picking my nose, I’m plucking my eyebrows, I’m scratching my butt (it may take a while), I’m involved with family commitments (family is never an issue for these people until it involves helping you, that’s their excuse), I’m inventing the cure for whatever illness I can think of that will get me out of assisting you, I’m too broke to drive because I need to conserve my gas so I can get to work, though they forgot their lie and posted numerous pictures on Facebook and Instagram of them out at a swanky restaurant or party, bragging about how much fun they had. This list could literally go on forever. But I think you get the point.

The I’m’s are basically narcissists with a little bit of passive/aggressiveness and egomania thrown in for good measure. Usually they’re innocuous and they’re not particularly bad people. But they are draining and infuriating. They have no idea that their actions affect their relationships with people in their personal, as well as their professional lives. They only see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear and everything else is white noise. They can pick other people apart at the seams, but when they’re called on their bullshit, they become extremely defensive, then try to flip the script and blame the issue on YOU. It’s Psych 101…..a classic move if there ever was one.

images

So it brings me to this little sage piece of advice: if they’re in your life, you must make a decision if they’re worth the frustration, headaches and hurt feelings you’ll have dealing with them. Can you accept the mind-numbing fact that they are who they are and they won’t change. Or do you jump ship, swim as fast as you can to the shore, get to a safe haven, shower, change your clothes and catch the first thing smokin’ as far away from them as you can get. The choice is yours. I have some decisions to make of my own and it may be painful but I know what I need to do to preserve my sanity. You see, I’m not your garden variety woman, I have 1-800-FUCK-YOU on speed dial. I have very few problems with doing a surgical incision on relationships that are more of a liability than an asset. That’s just who I am.

So until next time, have a great weekend and I will keep everyone posted on my Winter cleaning. 🙂 Peace!