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, January 16, 2009

Walk Like a Man?

So I attend the school of thought that Tyler Perry and John Legend (to name a few), despite their best efforts to prove otherwise, are gay. Of course I could be wrong. But for the sake of argument, let’s say that I could, possibly be right. Why do I think these things?

1. Way back when John Legend first came out (ha ha – no pun intended), a few of us girlfriends attended his concert in D.C. And let me tell y’all that place was full of gay men. I mean they came in droves! Droves! Now this was when Holla, Holla, Holla aka Used to Love Her had gotten some air play and Ordinary People was sounding cute and fuzzy and not what it eventually became – annoying. So people knew who he was, but they ain’t really know who he was. Anyway. Back to my point. The children had come out, for what I always thought, was to support one of their own. Cause you know they can tell their own. I mean they were rolling deep. Now I know it’s common to see gay Black men in groups in Metropolitan cities, particularly in Lenox Mall on a Saturday afternoon in ATL, but this was something unprecedented-the crowd ranged from the flaming, two snaps and a circle to the ones you would never have suspected. Until you saw him next to his "friend" who had on some skinny jeans and smedium t-shirt.

2. There is a scene in Why Did I Get Married when Tyler Perry switches his hips up the stairs. Get the movie. Check for it. You can't miss it. Pause it. And watch it in slow motion. And then laugh.

3. Tyler Perry is (again) on the cover of Essence Magazine and the caption says something about finding Mrs. Right. So, I say to my granny the other night, “how come we have to keep hearing about Tyler Perry looking for Mrs. Right? Anytime you have to put it out there so much, and emphasize the fact that your search for Mrs. Right is soo difficult because of your schedule, you make too much money, you want a real down home woman who reminds you of your mama but looks like a model, can fry fish with one hand behind her back, has got her own thing, doesn't want you for your money, yada, yada, yada, you are gay. Cause you know who else used to do that? Luther Vandross!” Oh my granny busted out laughing and said, “you true, you true.” Let me tell y’all I remember an Oprah Winfrey episode where Luther showed his house, his furniture, his fancy china that he used to eat grits. And at the end of the segment, he said, “Oprah now all I need is a woman to share this with!!” Snaps. And laughter from my 11-year-old belly. Even at my young age I knew there was something wrong with that statement.

And yet what if Tyler Perry and John Legend are not gay? What if they just don’t fit into the stereotypical ideals of [straight] manhood? I mean John Legend is an Ivy League grad, mayhap he is just well read and soft spoken. And Tyler Perry could just be a Southern boy, raised by Ma'dear and his aunties. And we all remember Kanye West's comment about him being called a sissy because he had taken on his mama's aka feminine ways 'cause that's all he knew...

So what am I looking for a man who has his backhand up ready to prove he can smack a b***h? That's not what I was raised around. I should know better. In my own life, I have had men accuse men close to me of being gay because they seem “soft” or “gentle” or not hard core. I even know a woman who told me girls continually told her son in high school, “I don’t want to go out with you. You’re too nice. You won’t try anything with me.” Hmmm… I would be remissed if I didn't mention the man I saw on Bringing Home Baby the other day: jerry curlish (I'm thinking dyed) auburnish/blondish hair, had that lilt in his voice, and a flick in his wrist, but was bringing home his seventh child. Now in my eyes he was clearly gay. But in the eyes of the at least three women he had laid down with, he was what?

In these ever changing times where the lines of race, gender, sexual orientation are blurred and fuzzy, what is the measure of a [straight] man? How do we define manhood in an age when so many Black men weren't raised by their fathers and may not have the stereotypical male mannerisms? Are women passing up potentially good men, because their girlfriends are buzzing in their ears, saying "that man has some suga in his tea?" I mean if a John Legend or Tyler Perry type approached me, with all the right credentials, great personality, and nothing but love and adoration for Rum Punch would I dismiss him completely because of my own ideas of manhood vs. mannerisms, homosexuality vs. heterosexuality, stereotypes vs. reality? I wonder...

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

P.S. If you’re going to be in the D.C. area for MLK Day on Jan. 19, head over to Peoples Congregational United Church of Christ at 4704 13th Street, NW for the best MLK Program ever! The program starts at 12 p.m. and will feature acts from around the world! A red carpet pre-inaugural party will follow! You don't wanna miss it!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

hope on dope

about a month ago, i pondered the effect/affect that Barack Obama would have on the average ambitious young Black man as it relates to his relationship picks. i hoped that YBM would start looking for their own personal michelle's and stop defaulting to the brain dead eye candy. now it seems that the Obama has effect has spread to local politics in some interesting ways. how so?

well, during the election season, it was not uncommon for local, state and national politicians, both democrats and republicans, to co-opt the changey mchoperson message that made Obama so popular. and some of that was to be expected, right? during any presidential election year, the candidates down the ticket will often ride the coattails of the nominated commander-in-chief-to-be, in the hopes that all levels of government will reflect the values and ideals of the man on top.

but the thing i've found most interesting is that the Obama juice continues to flow, even now after the election season has been put to bed and the next major round of races aren't set until 2010. for example, last night i attended a meet and greet for a friend of mine who is contemplating a run for mayor of new orleans. it was a small gathering of 30 to 40 people, primarily between the ages of 20 and 40, with almost every ethnicity represented. while i think my friend is passionate about what he does in his field, i didn't necessarily think of him as the mayor of nola before last night especially given the nature of politics in this city. but at the event, it was as if Obama himself came down from on high and anointed my friend to run this race...seriously.

the woman who opened for him began her spiel by invoking Obama in all his glory, the idea that while Obama has reached the ultimate height, we, the masses, can not sit ideally by and let him do all the work. no! we must take to the streets and start the revolution. or not. more like we each should become involved in the political process in our own corners of the world. the urgency of now demands it!

and as i stood there caught up in the rapture of her words i had to pinch myself. this hope shit is contagious. addictive even. almost cultish. and my friend had not even uttered a word yet. afterwards, i watched as a woman came up to him and told him how inspired she was to have heard his words. and how excited she was that he was running for mayor. and i thought to myself, wow. really!?! ok! i've known him for a little minute so it's weird to see him make this transition from do-gooder to politician do-gooder (oxymoron maybe?) Obama certainly made us all believe it could be done. with his hope and si se puede...

the full ramifications remain to be seen but its clear that Obama has inspired a generation of folks who previously toiled for justice outside of government to contemplate infiltrating the machine and working for change from within. i guess they've got it...a more potent grade of hope than i've ever seen before.

what say you?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

the usual suspects?...

Since we’re in a recession, there tends to be a trend where crime spikes upward. And in the metropolitan area where I reside, crime is one thing – who is perceived to be doing the crime is another. So, lately the perpetrators of the few serious crimes have been … guess… Hispanics. And on more than one occasion, a Hispanic happened to also be an illegal immigrant; so that has put the liberal, savvy folks who reside in my county in a quandary. Tst.tst.

So, now what will the residents do? MoCo residents have fought tooth and nail against detaining illegal immigrants, created day labor centers, and providing much needed aid to the immigrant community. Well, the police chief is developing a proposal to have police officers check the immigration status of suspects arrested for violent crimes and weapon offenses. But opponents fear a slippery slope argument will be the result, encouraging racial/ethnic profiling and thereby undermining public safety. Although, serious crimes has risen in the county, the police acknowledge it is unknown the role illegal immigrants play in that matter.

And perception is a bitch. The only reason these liberal folks face a dilemma is because they strongly believe that illegal immigrants are here to work and provide for their families, they’re not here to cause trouble. And I still believe that is true for the majority; however you know one rotten apple spoils the bunch. But that’s it, how do you contain the stench that contamination surely brings on to the others?

When the proposal is sent to the county council for a vote, they better pass the legislation. You cannot justify perpetrators of serious crimes being illegal immigrants and tolerate that shit.



Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ready for Harvest?

Over the weekend I saw Seven Pounds. Wow. It became both clear and apparent why people were unable to explain what this movie was about. It had love, guilt, retribution, a jellyfish and organ donation. And it seems here lately that organ donation is the topic de jour…especially when you have folks suing their exes over kidneys and whatnot.

So yesterday, my coworker came over to my cubicle to share his beliefs regarding organ donation. Yes, it is as random as it sounds…but we work for the government and it was a slow work day. At any rate we shared our respective organ donation statuses and then he stood up on his soapbox and proclaimed that he thought we should take the organs of people who have been found guilty of murder or homicide to help folks on the transplant list.

An eye for an eye if you will.

But I had to look at him sideways...because that's just crazy! He went on the spout about the millions of people who are waiting for transplants, the lack of people who are willing to be organ donors-or their families not respecting their wishes and the readily harvestable organs available in our local penitentiaries. So I asked coworker how long would we wait after a person was convicted that we would kill them and distribute their organs. He said something about a few weeks. Lawd, I hoped he was joking. At this point I had to ask what about the people who are death row for years and are later found to be innocent. To this he had no direct response, but continued spouting off about the greater good and how death row folks are going to die anyway-so why not. Little Sally Henson who needs a heart transplant could have a great chance of living if we took matters into our own hands like the big evil guilty person had.

At this I stroked my beard and thought that what he said was good in theory but the execution of it all makes me a little leery. I guess because in general I don’t trust the nature of humans, nor am I a supporter of the death penalty, so establishing a process of organ donation leaves too much room for people to err, and throw morality out the window. Will people accused of murder receive a fair trial knowing that Uncle Joe has been waiting on dialysis and praying for a kidney for 5 years?

Too much has been done for the sake of the greater good that has resulted in an unintended situation. For example, slavery-they were supposedly saving the souls of a heathen race, resulting in 400 year institution that we are still recovering from. The War on Drugs-education and law enforcement were suppose to keep people off the stuff-yet it seems school Dare programs increased the curiosity of suburbanite kids thus allowing gangs to financially flourish. And who can forget the War on Terror-ha ha ha- I don’t think I even need to go there.

But what do ya’ll think will happen if we started taking organs from the guilty, would we all benefit? Is this equitable punishment for a crime? Is justice being serve for the greater good?

See You In Seven

ps: Happy Birthday Courvoisier!

Monday, January 12, 2009

If a smile is what you want…

At times I believe because I smile in response to whack pick-up lines, men believe these lines must be working. (chuckle) But in fact, I am chuckling out loud because I find it so funny that men actually say these things. (chuckle) Does someone you find attractive take you out of your element and make you act out of character? Because when that happens to me I try to keep my mouth shut until I can articulate my attraction with sense.

Case 1: You say…”What up ma’? Can I holla at you for a sec?”
My point: Do I look 16? I’m not interested in being holla’d at. I am interested in a gentlemen that smiles and says “Good morning!”

Case 2: “Can I have a bite?” you say as I nibble on my soft pretzel.
My point: (chuckle, chuckle) You most definitely get the smile. But oh no, you took the chuckle as approval to elaborate on that silly statement. (chuckle)

“I’m not talking about the pretzel?!” (chuckle) Oh really, what ARE you talking about? I think to myself. (chuckle even louder) You can not be serious?! That is not a nervous, flirtatious giggle…that is a negro you can’t be serious giggle.

But au contraire, these men are serious. I don’t have a problem with making your day with a smile but my cell number?
(chuckle) Maybe if you cute (chuckle) but a guaranteed lay? (chuckle real loud) You would have a better chance if you just came out and asked for it.

Or maybe it is just me?
Because when you come at me like this sober (chuckle)…you can’t expect me, to act like I AM sober…or do you?

Much luv until next week...peace :)