WE ARE: 5 women navigating our twenties in search of peace, happiness and love (or not). WE WRITE: about everything and nothing. From the insane to the mundane- you will find different paths taken, lessons learned and lives lived. WE THINK: you’ll enjoy it...Warning: Consumption of these views may leave you enlightened while intoxicated.


The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot

Friday, November 21, 2008

Ebony and Ivory

So one day I was watching The View and it was after a series of break ups by white Hollywood couples: Bruce and Demi, Tom and Nicole, etc. So Chris Rock was a guest on the show and Joy Beyhar asks, “weren’t you just devastated by the break up of [insert white Hollywood couple here]. And Chris is all, “no, not really.” And the white women were all, WHAT? And one of them asks, “well did anyone’s Hollywood break up shock you?” And he goes, “yes, Phylicia and Ahmad Rashad.” [Insert guffaw upon guffaw by Rum Punch] I laughed soo damn hard at this. Mainly because Joy, Meredith and Elizabeth all had wtf looks on their faces. Priceless.

When Roots drummer Questlove was detained by the DEA after an international flight, he wrote this on his blog: it was just so fucking degrading man. that is all i can describe it as. i'm sitting there like how am i gonna convince these guys that this dude with 30 dollar old navy jeans (white boy shit) and a 3000 dollar louis bag (n***a shit) and 5 figures in cash (white boy shit) and a coach seat (n***a shit) and a story of stadiums sold out across the world (n***a shit) but can't name a hit song of his (white boy shit) (and what the hell is you doing in buffalo of all places (white boy question) followed by my "shrug" (n***a response). add on top of that my cd collection: the sly and the family stone box set and ladies of the canyon (joni mitchell) what kind of mofo is this?

I think Questlove accurately described some “differences” between the races. And Chris Rock proved that sometimes blacks and whites care about different things. Yes, in this post Obama election world, where allegedly race doesn't matter, as hard as we try to deny/ignore/forget it, white people and black people are different. It ain’t a bad thing. It’s just reality. Yes, I know that we are all human and shit, but often times we approach the world differently. What matters in the black world may not matter in white society. And vice versa. What black folk celebrate (like Kwanzaa –ha!, and HBCU homecoming queens and boul├ęs and leaders in our community) aren't being celebrated, let alone acknowledged by white people. They don’t even register on their radar.

And this is why JET and EBONY are so important. Yeah I said it and I meant it. Now I know that these magazines often catch a lot of flack, especially that damn Beauty of the Week and the Top 20 hits that are always the same. But man they stay on top of black events. Of course it gets to you a week late and the internet may have already provided you with the information. But often times there are little known events that have happened in the black community, like the passing of Roscoe Lee Brown, or the 90-year-old washerwoman who saved a million dollars and donated it to an HBCU, or that this day in history the first black woman was elected to the Georgia Supreme Court that no one else is covering or thinking about. And let’s not forget the marriage section in JET! Where else do you see multiple black couples getting married and an old black couple celebrating 50+ years of marriage, thus proving that black love STILL exists? Only in JET man, only in JET!

I know that some people call these publications bougie, some call them outdated, some say they are no longer needed. But I say we do need them. And since Linda Johnson Rice has really taken over Johnson Publications, EBONY has a new look and has really stepped its layout and article game up. And both these magazines are still committed to telling our stories. Yes, our stories. The things that matter and happen in our community. Our health, financial, social issues. Our accomplishments that need to be heralded. The things that get overlooked by the mainstream media.

I encourage everyone to check out John H. Johnson's book Succeeding Against the Odds and read about the vision he had of celebrating what black people were doing when he created these publications. Things ain't changed that much. And then I encourage everyone to buy one JET or one EBONY and read it without any hateration, holleration. And maybe then step it up to a subscription and keep it on your coffee table like your grandmomma used to. Yes, we are moving towards a mulicultural society (full of telemundo and Spanish only publications-see where I'm going with this), but we also need and deserve publications where we are the headline, the feature, the main story and not a footnote or a "special." Where we are celebrated and educated. Where our voices matter and are heard. If we don't, who will? And then what?

That's my time y'all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

like a virgin

I think it's commendable to wait until marriage to have sex but is there a point when the waiting is more harmful than helpful? Let me explain.

Exhibit A: I have a friend who is waiting until she's married to have sex. And when I first met her I applauded her efforts. But then as I got to know her, I began to wonder if not gettin' it in was good for her health. See, homegirl has never had a boyfriend. Never ever ever. She's gone on a literal handful of dates in her 27 years and a few of those have been group hangs during high school and college. She's been kissed a few times but other than that she's pure as the driven snow.

Exhibit B: pretty much the same thing as Exhibit A.

Putting to the side that I tend to attract some strange birds, I'm really concerned for these women. They are knocking on 30's door, desire to be married and yet have not had a meaningful relationship with a man. Of course this could be the case even if they were having sex, but I think that their status definitely adds to their isolation. You see, while they are smart, attractive accomplished, church goin women, they both share a fatal flaw. They lack that crucial ability to engage in normal male-female interactions which I believe has been heightened by the "virgin" chips on their shoulders, so to speak.

It's like they missed a critical stage of adolescent/young adult developmental: how to interact with the opposite sex. There is a natural process of male-female socialization that should take place as you grow up. The primary way girls learn to feel comfortable around boys is through family interactions with brothers, male cousins and male friends of family members who you play tag with at the family reunion or the weekend backyard barbecues. But say you grow up without a brother and such. Then the next step is the little boys in your grade school and middle school classroom. Maybe Johnny has a little crush on Jill, they pass notes talkin bout "can I have the go?" Push each other on the swing set for a week or two and then break up because he got on her nerves.

But let's say you make it through all that without friends who are boys cause your head was in the books, you were super shy or your mama didn't play that. College should be your break out, finding your way in the world time of life. I'm not say they don't have male friends, but from my observations they seem to have a hard time getting past the friend level with guys. They are both socially awkward amongst men. The mutual male friends we have in common often find them annoying and overbearing. If you, as a grown ass woman, away from your parents, with no social barriers in your way, make it through college with nary a boyfriend and you don't learn how to interact with men, then it's a wrap.

I'm truly perplexed! Heck, I was shy back in the day yet I still managed to turn out all right. Is it because I developed those male-female interaction skills or because I had sex? Are they too far gone or are they on the right track? Has their virginity + lack of relationships left them ill-equipped to enter into a relationship with a guy or perfectly untainted and jade-free?

what say ya'll?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

jacked up jurisprudence

I’ve been quietly seething inside. Irritated in fact-- that the former Governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer, is free as a fucking bird. No charges will be levied against him. Somebody call Patrick Fitzgerald ‘cuz this is an abomination. You can’t be serious, and the wack claim that he didn’t use public funds to fund his trysts (that’s a nice way of putting it) thereby being lack of merit to prosecute is bullshit! Oh, I can count the ways...

See, the US Government has this duality going on about when to prosecute the violator or the facilitator of the violation and the Government’s lack of consistency is truly what has me vexed. Classic example: war on drugs – the judicial system has a proclivity towards the addicts or users of drugs and yet the distributor/dealer doesn’t necessarily share the same fate as the addict in terms of punishment. Back to my original story

And to know the DC Madam committed suicide, who can blame her? The fact is she would have undoubtedly served time and been shooed away to prison, while Spitzer could reclaim his life again. Clearly, this is a double standard. What is really rubbin’ me the wrong way is my belief that the government decision is motivated by gender. I believe the government’s zeal in prosecuting Deborah Jeane Palfrey was motivated by gender. And I believe the lack of applying the same zeal to prosecute Eliot Spitzer is being motivated by gender. Here are the stupid ass reasons that warrant charges are not be levied against Spitzer:

“We have determined that there is insufficient evidence to bring charges against Mr. Spitzer,” Mr. Garcia [US Attorney in Manhattan] said in the statement. “In light of the policy of the Department of Justice with respect to prostitution offenses and the longstanding practice of this office, as well as Mr. Spitzer’s acceptance of responsibility for his conduct, we have concluded that the public interest would not be further advanced by filing criminal charges in this matter.” ...

Several people briefed on the case said that in recent months, Mr. Spitzer’s team of lawyers made several presentations to prosecutors from the Public Corruption unit in Mr. Garcia’s office and their superiors to argue against charges.

The presentations, they said, focused on the defense team’s argument that no campaign money or state funds were involved, that Mr. Spitzer did not illegally structure the transactions to pay the prostitutes, and that charges were not warranted under the Mann Act, which prohibits transporting people across state lines for the purpose of prostitution.

And unfortunately for Ms. Tania Hollander, who worked part-time as a booker for the Madam's company, her fate may not be as rosy as Mr. Sptizer.

Michael C. Farkas, who represents Tania Hollander, who worked part time as a booker for the Emperor’s Club V.I.P. and pleaded guilty to a federal prostitution conspiracy charge in August, suggested it was unfair that Mr. Spitzer would face no charges while his client faced possible jail time. Mr. Farkas said Ms. Hollander had played the smallest role of the four people charged.

“Tania Hollander has also ‘accepted responsibility’ for and ‘acknowledged’ her very minor role in this enterprise to the U.S. attorney’s office since the earliest stages of this case,” Mr. Farkas said in an e-mail message. “She has offered her full cooperation as well. Despite these facts, she still faces a jail sentence, while some other more infamous actors in this matter do not. It would be a sad injustice if that were to occur.” <source NY Times>

I swear,women need to form a pac (yes, pun intended) and stick together 'cuz this is for the birds.

C'est la vie!?!



Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Is You Is, Or Is You Ain't My Baby?

Nestled in between Gossip Girl and any paternity episode of Maury lies my guilty pleasure show-CHEATERS. I love this show! And admitting it makes me feel like I kind of suck as a person… but I can’t deny that there is something fascinating when watching a person who suspects their significant other is stepping out on them, and them enlisting the help of Cheaters’ detectives to procure evidence. And for rating’s sake the host shows the jilted lover video of their love one in the arms of another over and over and over, with added commentary like “This was the day they told you they couldn’t meet because they were taking granny to the doctor!” This of course leads to bestest part of the show…the confrontation! The cheater never sees it coming, but when the cameras show up with the person that they were suppose to remain faithful to the censors go to work…You ain’t *beep* you limp *beep* *beep* *beeeeeeeeeep*! It, in a word is, awesome.

But more often than not Cheaters is a show for women. Most female folk today are carrying around the notion that even a good man can have some no good in him, which is a fallacy until it’s true. But there are times when there are men on Cheaters suspecting that their lady is messing around, which makes the show a bit more interesting. And I say this because while I am aware that women are also human, and can therefore cheat, society has taught me that its not as common and that boys will be boys. And so seeing a man cry because his heart is broken still has a train wreck affect on me...I must look, I must watch!

So in sharing my love for the show Cheaters with my Y-chromosome friend, he gave me some perspective on cheating between the sexes-his view from there, if you will. He had recently participated in a pow-wow session with some of his boys, probably after a football game, and these men got to talking about how when a woman cheats it’s often worse than when a man cheats. No one denied that cheating was generally horrible in a committed relationship, but while men often cheat because they see something loverly before them…women cheat because they are emotionally tied to their new lover, so while the man’s moment was fleeting a woman remains emotionally connected.

Hmmmmm. Interesting eh?

I thought so, because I could see his point. Of course there are exceptions to every rule-I know there are some bold and brazen, Samantha Jones type women out there who can view sex as just a biological fluid exchange. But for the most part women emote and are looking for a connection before they grant a man entry. And because of this fact, my friend stated that it’s usually something that their man is or isn’t doing that allows for another man to enter her heart with compliments, candy and conversation. And it’s the conversation that causes the heart to flutter and the feelings to grow intense, to the point that a cheating woman can find herself bound within a relationship, while a cheating man-after two pumps and a squirt-can keep it moving.

I think we can all agree that relationships with folks can be difficult and trying, but is it worse when a woman strays away from home? Even if she’s driven to do so by her man, because she often assumes the role of a nurturer in a relationship does her infidelity have a greater detriment to all involved? And in a world of imbalance and double standards, its it wrong to say that the same wrong committed by two sexes is somehow different?

Why aren't there any songs about men busting windows out of cars?

See You In Seven

Monday, November 17, 2008

What's That You Listening To? (Part1)

"Good Morning…"

For those of you who know Courvoisier well, you know I don’t get lovey-dovey much but when I DO…I do so deeply. We are talking tears and all! So before I get started with the point of my post this morning, I want to give you a little background. I never FULLY understood the idea of being a FAN-attics until this man...Mr. JOHN LEGEND.

John you are truly talented. Not talented like you have one or two tracks but talented like I feel you brotha. You seem real and truthful, sometimes even funny. You make a sista want to curl up next to her man and say “I understand that even though you do some things that seem heartless, it doesn’t mean you don’t have feelings.” Now I don’t know if that is a ploy to get me to forgive or just apart of his game but John reminds me that MEN are human.

I could go on and on about how he was an English major at UPenn and how his lyrics move me, etc...but I won't. (chuckle) Read/listen for yourself.

Case 1 - ORDINARY PEOPLE from Get Lifted

“We're just ordinary people,
We don't know which way to go,
Cuz we're ordinary people.”

Are we not ordinary people? No one has love figure out, forget all these manuals and self help books out there. Love is a trial and error baby. (Tear number 1)

Case 2 – COMING HOME from Once Again
This song shook me to the core because although this song is about the return of a child from war (which I, in no shape or fashion can relate to) How do you not feel the love? Watch for yourself. (Tears number 2 & 3)

Case 3 – And lastly, This Time from Evolver
The lyrics speak for themselves. (Tear number 4)

"This time I want it all,
This time I want it all,
Showing you all the cards,
Giving you all my heart,
This time I'll take the chance,
This time I'll be your man,
I can be all you need,
This time its all of me.

Last time I wasn’t sure,
This time I will give you more,
I’m more mature,
Ill show you,
Last time I didn’t know,
I messed up let her let you go,
I need you, don’t say no."

Ahhh...makes me want to play all of his albums all over again, all day and I will. Did I mention how much I love John Legend's music? (chuckle)

Much luv until next week...peace :)