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, March 19, 2010

Forgive and Forgotten

It’s been said that Black people are a very forgiving people. For examples, you can look to the fact that we didn’t kill white people en masse because of slavery, colonialism, Jim Crow, George Bush. George W. Bush... I mean didn’t we all cheer when OJ ‘I got love for nothing but white women’ got off? Don’t we still got love for Marion Barry? And so on.

But for me the best example of Black people’s ability to “forgive” is that scene in the Five Heartbeats when they’re performing at the Apollo like theatre and the piano man is playin ‘A Heart Is a House for Love’ all slow. And the people are booing. And throwing things at the stage. And then Duck aka Robert Townsend knocks the piano man off the stool, and Eddie ‘Kaing’ Jr. (don’t know his gubment name) jumps down from the stage and holds that long ass note. And the crowd goes wild. As if Holyfield just won the fight(c) Outkast. That to me is the epitome of Black folk. Of how quickly our loyalty can shift. But then when you got our ass. You got us. I mean people still buy R. Kelly records, right? Riight.

So I simultaneously chuckled and wept when I saw this article in the Washington Post about how the CBC doesn’t want to complain too much to Obama about what he’s “not doing”. Because? Because he’s our first Black President, but he’s not a BLACK President, he’s just President who just happens to be a Black man and we can’t tell him to fix Black issues because… Because he is not just our President. M’mkay. An excerpt:

Several CBC members and aides talk derisively of an oft-quoted Obama phrase: that a "rising tide" for America will "lift all boats." They see it as rhetoric intended to justify why the administration has not focused on their communities at a time when unemployment among African Americans has climbed to 16.5 percent. "I can't pass laws that say I'm just helping black folks," Obama told the American Urban Radio Networks. "I'm the president of the United States. What I can do is make sure I'm passing laws that help people, particularly those who are most vulnerable."

Many in the 42-member, all-Democratic CBC passionately disagree.
African Americans and Latinos "bear the brunt of this economic recession," said Maxine Waters (Calif.). "We must not shy away from targeted public policy that seeks to address the specific and unique issues facing minority communities."

If Obama hears Waters's point, it is from a distance. Friends of hers say she has had no phone calls from the president and no consistent contact with other administration officials despite her position as a subcommittee chairman and a key player on the House Financial Services Committee.

WTF? And I went to hear Rev. Jeremiah Wright (heh how apropos) at a Revival last week and he told us that now means - What’s this foolishness? So, What's This Foolishness? Unemployment among African Americans is at 16.5%?!? Yo son! That’s bananas. That’s at some ignorant levels. I mean I get where Obama is coming from with his lift all boats. But we’ve got to face facts and admit that some of us are in yachts, some of us are in speed boats, some in canoes, and some are floating in the sea on a life raft tryna get to that small ass boat that rescues people. But it’s full. So word up Congresswoman Waters – targeted public policy indeed.

And when one continues reading the article, it’s revealed that approval ratings for Obama amongst African Americans is at 91% (I mean take that poll with a grain of salt – but I’m sure it’s still pretty high). Cause from my view from here, I've heard Black people be on some: He can’t do it all in his first year; he acquired these problems; give him more time; we can’t bad mouth him. Cause white people are looking at you! © Wanda Sykes. And so on.

And yet. In April 2009 Obama eased Cuba travel restrictions. And I'm sure a certain group’s eyes are on Obama and his real position on Israel and please believe if he doesn’t act accordingly, he will pay for throughout his term and into the 2012 elections. And that's just two specific groups in America who are getting their needs targeted and met. I just stopped looking for more. But we all know they exist. Right? Riiight.

I wonder why Black people are so willing to forgive. To give free passes. To let things ride. To fight for somebody who abandoned us a long time ago, for fear that if you leave 'em out in the cold where they ass belongs, then the white man will tear them apart. I’m sure there are some deep historical/psychological/social reasons for this behavior that I could research and such. But in the right now I wonder, do we just not want to to fight? Is it easier to accept what's handed to us cause they singing so sweet when they bring it to us? Is it because we don’t feel like we have anything to fight with? No “real” power, influence, deep pockets?

This makes me think that Martin n’em musta had a helluva time back in the day when they were like, “y’all we fina stop taking the bus until we can sit in the front.” Sayy whaaaat?!!? I bet nigs was mad as hell, “like yo! You trippin! How am I supposed to get to work?" Pause. Wait for it, wait for it... "You want me to what? Walk? Boy, I mean Pastor stop…” I mean can you imagine what would have happened, what could happen, if every single Black person or like a good 70% of us stood together on an issue. Stopped with this 'Black people are not monolithic' mess for like two seconds. Just one issue. Any issue. Pick an issue. Now stop. Think about it. Man, ain’t no telling where we’d be. Maybe in some yachts or something.

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

Black people don't be swayed by Eddie Kaing Jr.'s sweet voice! Cause if you try to take his spot, you ain't gon' get it. Cause you ain't got.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

the intimidation factor

so a couple weeks ago i  met a guy.  let's call him kirk.  he seemed nice enough.  a couple years younger than me, but he had a professional degree and a stable job.  not that i get wet over such things, just sayin'.  he was pleasant enough to talk to and a self-described nerd.  he was quite tubby (read: fat) but i figured i'd keep an open mind since i'm no america's next top model.  i'd be toccarra, phabulously fierce!
now before our first official "date", i did a little recon. i found out that a really good guy friend of mine went to grad school with kirk so i asked my friend about him.  he gave me the 411 and then asked why i wanted to know.  when i told my friend that i was going to be meeting kirk for a "date" he laughed and said "nah homie, can't sign off on that one.  he's not on your level." 

i was flattered and thanked my friend for his insight but didn't cancel drinks with kirk.  i couldn't let one person's assessment prevent me from finding out more about kirk beyond his stats, right?.  so i accepted kirk's invite for after work drinks.  as i was leaving work to meet kirk, he contacted me to cancel.  work ran late.  i suggested lunch on saturday instead and he agreed.  saturday came and the noon hour passed with no word from kirk.  around 3, he called to explain.  lost cell phone, didn't have your number, found cell phone, apologies, blah blah blah.  

ummmm ok.  i started to see what my friend meant.  but being the nice gal that i am, i gave kirk one mo' chance, biggie, biggie you get one mo' chance. and so we finally had dinner the following thursday.  and kirk was aight.  not fantastic, not horrible, but aight. we had a nice pleasant dinner with some interesting conversation and at the end of the night, i figured i might have made a new friend.  

and then the cycle started all over again.  kirk suggested we get drinks after work on monday and then proceeded to pull an "oh never mind" an hour before we were supposed to meet.  in the next breathe he suggested dinner the next night.  by now i'd had enough.  i sweetly but firmly told kirk that i'd rather not make any future plans to meet until he could get over his case of the flakes.  i asked him not to suggest any more "dates" unless he knew he could keep them.  

and then i got the most bitchassedness text message today.  kirk tells me he doesn't have time to date, despite my being smart, funny, very attractive, and well just great, he hopes we can remain friends.

jigga what?!?!?  jigga who does that?  by text no less.  my guy friend said i told you so and my sistafriends said you didn't want to date him anyway.  but that's besides the point.  how you gone have time to be friends but not have time to date?  riddle me that.  part of me thinks good riddance to bad rubbish but part of me thinks he's lying.  but for why?  was he just not feeling a sista?  was he intimidated?  was he really just that damn busy?  or not ready to follow through on plans to meet?  not that i'll be losing any sleep over it for these are the days of my life as a single lady.  but still...who does that?
what say ya'll?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

In The Eyes of the Beholder

Now it’s my turn to weigh in (excuse the pun) on the Gabourey Sidibe controversy (Cue Prince).

When I initially thought about writing about this post I was going to take this whole approach of Black is Beautiful and mainstream American doesn’t understand that beauty comes in all forms. Especially after my friend told me that
Acai Berry offered Gabby a good workout plan using their product. Of course a lucrative deal to be their spokes person would come after. Can you imagine how many gastric bypass contemplating, send me to boot camp please, subway sandwich eating, help me do it Oprah folks would be clamoring to use Acai Berry? Kiss the intern who brainstormed that idea, we’ve all seen Gabby’s before shot, and thought wow!

Howard Stern’s comments got me to thinking about the well meaning-ness of several white folk. Well meaning-along the lines of enslaving people around the world to bring Christianity to the heathen. That turned out great didn’t it? It’s not like Christianity should be introduced to others and it’s not like we don’t know that Gabby is a big girl. I think most of us who saw her outside of her role in Precious thought “wow” that wasn’t a suit. I know I had these thoughts, as a chick who orders $5 footlongs sans the mayo and thought about enlisting in the service to shed some pounds.

But the rub has got me two ways. The first is the assumption that Gabby isn’t happy. Who can say that other than her? And the second is the assumption that Gabby’s self confidence and esteem somehow overrides everything the medical world has told us about health. I guess I don’t like how all of this has gotten tangled and twisted together to equal that Gabby is fat and therefore she is unhappy and unhealthy. I think the latter is definitely true…but the first remains to be seen in Ms. Sidibe’s autobiography. I am sick of mainstream American spectulating on Gabby’s outlook on life and then justifying their often cruel and rude statements on the fact that they are concerned for her health. Pish posh-and the civil war was about freeing the slaves right?

Maybe I am going out on this limb alone, but in the formative years it’s pretty hard for a little Black girl to feel beautiful in America. I know that it bothered me when the white girls in my class would comment on how cute the little braids and animal barrettes in my hair where. And even though their statements where complimentary, it was how they said it, or the fact that they even needed to say it that bothered me. And so I wonder how these uncomplimentary comments will affect Gabby.

I want her to feel good about herself, think she’s beautiful, be excited about her success. But I also want her to be healthy too. Now if only mainstream America could learn how to express the same concern without killing her esteem in the process.

See You In Seven

Monday, March 15, 2010

29 Hearts Music Videos and Late 30s Men

Funny how when you turn 29 people start talking about 30 like it is the second coming. A older friend who just turned 40 said to me last week... everyone I know when they when they turned 30 lost it. I was like "what?" First off, I have like a whole 9 more months until I turn 30 but I am SO stoked! Then another friend of mine, tells me when she awoke on her 30th birthday, a weight was lifted off her shoulders and she felt just a little bit wiser. Oh for real? I think I feel that everyday.

Maybe this phase I am going through will get old but for now, I am enjoying dating men in their late 30s who think I am in my early 30s until I miss all the references from the 70's. (chuckle) Got to admit, this black, late thirties-no kids man is intriguing. Respectable and equally as intrigued in my crazy, seemly doe eyed-but not, approach to life. (chuckle) It is a bit difficult to navigate though, so in this type of situation, I feel most vulnerable but most comfortable. Awkward I know. Props to Semi-colon, going five weeks strong.


Question to you: When did Car note become a ghetto term?

I used it at work and some whites folks tried to tell me it was not a common term and it fact, it was "Ghetto slang" I wonder if they would have thought that if it came from Blonde hair, Blue eyed Betty from accounting? Just curious. I am the last one to feel some kind of way about race but are you serious... Car Note? Do you know what a note is? Even me quoting from the dictionary, these chicks wanted to believe that J Lo's song Get Right was a better source. And since they heard in a rap song, "Bar tab lookin' like a car note" it must be ghetto slang. (sigh) Before I start sounding like Amaretto and it is Monday. I am going to leave it there!


I have never watched a music video and thought the song was distracting until now. ***NEWS FLASH*** Lady Gaga if you are coming up with the storylines behind all of your videos you are missing your calling. Don't get me wrong, I love your songs and I L-O-V-E your style but the songs are like Bs and the videos are like A+s. Either bump-up the quality of the songs (and I don't mean just add the hottest artist right now to the track)... or just look into making videos for other GREAT songs. If you ask me, you might be able to revive the thing that use to have me dancing in front of the TV as a child. I will do it, I swear 29 and all - sweats and pumps! Lady Gaga don't let them move your cheese!

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