The Elusive Great Life

Lately, I’ve been marveling – I suppose even lamenting – over the assumption by many folks that “the good life” is something you must wait for, or perhaps something that comes with qualifications. Such thoughts seem to often coincide with the belief that a great life is something that simply or eventually happens by some twist of events. I would suggest that a great life is something that one builds for himself; something that one puts together in pieces, much like building a wall. And the greatness of that life, again much like the greatness of a wall, is the result of the time and effort one takes to build it. Think about that for a moment, and imagine how many folks trek meander skulk through the years, waiting for a great life to build itself for them. Perhaps they imagine that a brilliant business idea will strike, or great wealth will befall them; perhaps they imagine a beautiful spouse may appear, or their boss will offer a lucrative promotion.


And years pass by. Literally, years. This gives me pause.


Let’s assume, for the moment, that you’re penniless. Or may we assume that the great life hasn’t struck for you? You may have even tried to build the life, but you’ve paused to wait for proper supplies and building materials to arrive. Maybe you’re still waiting for supplies, or maybe you’ve realized that those supplies aren’t coming.

I would ask you to stop at this moment, and look around. What do you see around you? What have you done with the few supplies you do have? Have you built anything yet? For you, will the promotion be the usher for the great life or merely a supplement. 

Do any of you know a builder? You know, somebody who builds houses or something similar. I do, and I’ve noticed something about builders. If you give a builder a weekend, some nails, a hammer, and a pile of lumber, then come back on Monday, and I assure you he will have built… I don’t know, a tree house, or box, or a shelf, or something! He’ll not say that he didn’t want to build anything because he couldn’t build EVERYthing. He’ll see what he could build – what he COULD build – with just what’s in the pile. Then he goes to work, and he builds.

I want to assure you that if you think it’s appropriate to waste years of your life planning for what you’ll do when life begins, then there is no great life coming for you. You see, success has nothing to do with position or wealth; nothing to do with cars or houses; nothing to do with watches or jewelry. Success is about taking whatever you have – anything you have – and building something amazing with it. There’s a fellow I know who is one of the greatest photographers I’ve personally met. This fellow tours all around the US and Europe just taking spectacular pictures of many things. Would you believe that I recently discovered that this fellow with this incredible life earns his living by power washing houses? And he doesn’t work for himself; he’s an hourly employee. The photographer didn’t wait for his promotion, and I would urge you to consider his lead; reflect on his vervacious (like verve, don’t judge me) attitude about building his life without delay; without supplies; without wasting a little time, then years, then a life that could’ve been great if it had only been built. I made up that word “vervacious”, but I’ll let you use it. Maybe put that word on your mirror tonight, and live that word tomorrow. Build your life. Build it broke, single, in debt, in a mud pit, in a tough job, but build it vervaciously.

Who Gets My Vote?

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I asked myself the following question: Would I have voted for this guy? Would I have voted for John Kennedy? Two years ago, my answer would’ve been no. Kennedy wouldn’t have fit the essential mold of the conservative Christian that I would’ve supported; however, in hindsight, I can think of no other man that I would’ve wanted sitting behind that desk during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Given your criteria for a candidate today, would you have elected Kennedy? Teddy Roosevelt? Abraham Lincoln? These are men who didn’t fit the mold; they were unscripted; they had no teleprompters; they weren’t politically correct; they didn’t have the prerequisite background, and they weren’t “yes men”. John Kennedy had no play book or set of instructions when he manhandled Fidel Castro into order. What he did have was the ability to act in the moment, and “act as if”. Anyone who has ever been on board with a start-up company or has sat at the head desk of a successful corporation understands the value in the art of adapting to the immediate talking points, and the ability to make spontaneous decisions. My own decisions within my company get questioned every day; no one could ever question these decisions more than myself. I may not always be right but I’m always certain. That skill; that ability to be certain, resolute, and unscripted is what I want in a candidate for president in 2016.

Could it be that your criteria for a candidate has become so exclusive or dogmatic; so adherent to your party mold or religious doctrine that you would have discounted some of the greatest presidents that this country has ever known? Just some thoughts.

GMS Perhaps Not Entirely Unlike PMS


I’m not feeling nice today. In fact, I haven’t written anything in a while simply because if you haven’t  nice things to say…

And I damn sure don’t.

If you’re in a good mood, go away. Have lunch at Panera; savor an extra strong joe from Starbucks; frolic and play, but whatever you do, make sure you leave here quick.

The President? Congress? Iran? Gas prices? Primaries? Phony “Christian” deadbeats? Increasingly ungoverned government? Crippled education system?

Yeah , yeah, those too. But today it’s something more than all that. Today, my concern is for my way of life.

You see, I have a great life. Indeed a life understandably well worth proudly passing on to my children. Please know that this lifestyle didn’t come free, but it did come freely. It didn’t come from hand-outs, but it did come about because I was free to choose it. Of course, when I chose it, it didn’t happen the next day. In fact, it didn’t happen the following year, or even the year after that. When I chose this life, I began to pursue it… only I looked in all the wrong places. I made mistakes; made decisions that I thought would bring about different ends. Disaster was the immediate result.

I failed more than once.

Trying to do the right thing left me living in my car; hooked up with the wrong crowd; at times, jobless; financially destroyed; hungry; needing help, yet too young and too proud to ask for it. Now, understand that I wasn’t damned; instead, I was a work in progress – And an ugly one at that.

I’m a strong person. I’m strong willed too. I know best… always have. It takes a horse’s kick to turn this horse’s ass around. But it does turn. Yes, I do learn… later than sooner.

I was never really homeless. You see, I had a home, only my job didn’t afford me the gas money to drive back to it on a regular basis. Thus, there were many nights that I spent in my car, parked out in a field only a few short miles from work. If I had to do it over again (I say this with great care), I wouldn’t change a damn thing. I never blamed anyone for my troubles, and I never considered it the duty of anybody else to take me in and feed me. I never became angry at anybody else because I felt that I merited their help. In fact, I never once became disheartened. Soon I would make that necessary turn, I just knew it.

When I look back, I marvel at the beauty of it… despite all of its’ ugliness. Yes, the fascinating beauty of a person’s freedom to mess up. And on that same token, the freedom to recover. Practical homelessness and hunger are ugly things, and they’re no fun to live through. But they are indeed a very natural byproduct of a truly free type of freedom. You know, the freedom to invest poorly, spend foolishly, drink shamelessly, and even the freedom to choose where one is going to work, never knowing that massive layoffs were in store. As long as we’ve the freedom to choose, we’ve the freedom to make mistakes. As long as long as we’ve the freedom to make mistakes, we’ve the freedom to recover from them.

I have no respect for a man or woman who falls and never gets back up. Maybe it takes them a week; maybe it takes them five years. But as long as we live in a free country, there remains no excuse to throw one’s hands up in despair and defeat.

“It’s too difficult”, you say? Fine lay there.

“I need a little help”, you say? Now that may well be valid, but what if it doesn’t come? And, what if it does? What then?

Now, on to the issue at hand; the issue that causes me such grief; the issue that quite literally could change my way of life.


You heard me. Nerds.

When I was a kid, nerds were a particular group of people of whom we made constant fun. Nerds have now become the standard of “manliness”. But really, it’s worse than just Nerdliness, it’s choir boyishness. Real men are either not permitted to be such, or they are ceasing to exist.

You know what I mean. We see it in the commercials with the guys at the football game. Only they’re not watching the game; instead, they’re bickering over who has the fasted friggin’ cell phone!

“Oh… That’s so twenty seconds ago”

And, of course, there’s the apoplectic guy who I saw recently at a theme park railing some employee about how bent out of shape he was that there was a smoking area next to a craft booth where he had just been shopping. Apparently there was one little old man smoking and, god forbid it, but this guy had happened to smell a little smoke. “If I wanted to f’ing die, I’d go stand in front of a f’ing train!!!” the guy screamed. My wife and I were laughing, but this attitude is indicative of a serious problem.

Girly Man Syndrome. Yep. And it’s spreading quickly.

A few months ago, Anderson Cooper played a video of two guys racing their corvettes on the street. They wrecked. Yeah, not cool, but Cooper went a step further than proclaiming it “uncool”. “We need to find these guys and make sure that they are punished. They need to serve jail time over this!” Cooper complained.

Really Andy? Jail time? Come on. If you’re a guy and you’ve never raced your car when/where you probably shouldn’t have… well then it’s likely that you, too, suffer from Girly Man Syndrome. Simple as that.

Harsh? Nah.

My wife was recently at the Wal-Mart home office, in Bentonville, Arkansas. I was there also, but I waited in the car while she went in to run her errand. When she came back out, she was shaking her head and laughing.

“Where have all the manly men gone?” she asked.


She went on to explain that, while she was waiting inside, she observed women having important meetings, with notepads, black coffee and discipline. Obversely, she discovered several men sitting/standing about, and all of them were either playing with their toys (iphones, ipads, laptops, etc.) or they were huddled in a corner raving about the lettuce wraps that they had for lunch and complimenting each other on their choice of shoes. Geez.

Examples are endless. Don’t help the girl in distress, she has a phone; don’t spank your kids, they might cry; don’t grade F’s with red ink, someone might get hurt feelings, etc.

Girly Man Syndrome. You’re damn right.

Christian Bale gets mad at some idiot lighting guy, and we have to hear about it for months.

“Christian doesn’t deserve his name!” They said.

“I thought we had evolved better than this” They said.

“Any man who gets angry is clearly still a monkey” They said.

After hearing Bale’s rant, I’ve gotta tell ya, I’ve gone off worse than that at my car keys for getting lost.

I wanna say somethin’. And I want it to be clear. Presently, the United States is a country that many other countries want to put an end to. They want to take us down.

“Well it’s because they don’t like us, we need to make’em like us better”

If you just said that, then you’re just a stupid fuck misinformed. Throughout history, countries have taken over other countries, not because they didn’t like them, not because they had a problem with their way of life. Countries take over other countries because they want their resources, and because they want the power that comes with greater territory.

And so I ask you, who would you rather have defending our wall while you sleep comfortably. You should think about that because the wall will sure as hell be attacked. When the enemy strikes, I shudder to think that they may well be met by a bunch of lettuce wrap eating Panera snobs.

I have to tell you, it’ll likely either be these choir boys or else a group of guys who may have raced their cars from a stop light or two. Who will fight our future wars, the guy who watches “The Bachelor” while his wife pays the bills, or the guy who may have messed up and yelled a few cuss words to some poor schmuck at work that day? You choose. Or maybe the freedom to choose has passed us by. Perhaps because we are breeding a generation of men who are having their balls cut off. Yea, a generation of men who are preoccupied with getting in touch with their feminine side.

I say we are raising a generation of choir boys. Yes, choir boys with Girly Man Syndrome.

Look, there are just things that boys do. I’m listing them because I’m afraid we’ve all but forgotten them.

Boys fight

boys roughhouse

boys rip holes in their jeans

Boys build things

Boys fix things

Boys dream of war

Boys go to war

Boys are forever changed by war

Boys hold the door open for girls

Boys get dirty

Boys race

Boys play to win

Boys protect girls

And most importantly, boys look up to their dads to show them how to be boys, and eventually how to be men. Boys need their dads to tell them that boys don’t do some of the things that girls do. Boys need to see something in their dad that makes them want to be like him. And boys need to see their dads being real men. Otherwise, I can safely assure you that your way of life is all too temporary. It may not end with your life, but it may. And it will surely end within another generation or two.

Thanks for reading.


Grimm’s Fairy Tales or Things More Grim?

I was homeschooled. Yes, and please understand that this is nothing of which I boast. In fact, I seldom admit to it at all. Until I was nine years old, I lived in a home far removed from any metropolitan influence. I had no cable, of course no internet access, very few friends, no modern reading material… perhaps you get the idea.

What I did have were my books and a television plugged into a VCR. With that VCR, I was allowed to watch movies that were dated pre-1970. While other children my age were going to the movies to see Back to the Future 2, Die Hard, and Indiana Jones, I was home watching Arsenic and Old Lace, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and To Kill a Mockingbird, with the likes of Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, and Gregory Peck along with their beautiful and always submissive love interests.

My book collection consisted of age-old children’s literature which some may have called archaic; although, I’ll admit to having enjoyed them. Now when I say age-old literature, I’m including everything from Kenneth Graham’s,  The Wind in the Willows, Arnold Lobel’s, Frog and Toad and  Grimm’s Fairy Tales (illustrated by Arthur Rackham, who is my favorite illustrator to this day. I have, in fact, used two of his illustrations in this very post) to Christian family books from the nineteen-thirties through the fifties. In these books, men were chivalrous. They wore suits and combed their hair impeccably. Their wives respected them, and their children revered them. They didn’t neglect their family for the game, piss on the toilette seat, or retire early in the evenings to indulge in online porn. They were never effeminate, nor were they ever “stay at home dads”.

My dad had a good job, and one that required him to wear a suit and tie. He always opened and closed doors for my mom, and ultimately had the final say in most of the big decisions for the household. He was kind and we felt his love, but when he said jump, we jumped till he said stop (figurative).

I remember riding horses with ease by the age of six; being completely familiar with how to operate my Grandfather’s tractors and other equipment at the age of nine; and being proficient enough with any hunting rifle or shotgun at the age of eight to rival many adults.

The first time I ever touched a girl, I was seventeen. She had taken her shirt off. My god, I remember it so well. I suppose it was nothing really. I bumped into her recently; she was my age, but she looked old. I suspected she had “touched” a few other boys.


In short, I was raised in another world. I supposed that the odd choice of style by everyone around me, who never wore suits and seldom bathed, were simply a byproduct of where we lived. Perhaps they were inbred. Surely when my Dad left for work every day, he needed to wear his business suits because… well, out there, everybody wore them. Didn’t they? The world had changed dramatically from the only age to which I was ever exposed, and I was certain that the conflicting view that I saw around me was only a local element.  It must just be here; it must just be the people around Spring Hill, Arkansas.


When I made it to college, I befriended Sean. He was worldly and experienced in everything from drugs and women, to serious felonies and jail. He decided that I needed a dose of life; a good dunking in the real world. He was good at that. I learned quickly, and although there were certain lines of misbehavior I simply would not cross, those lines were far over the horizon.

I stood recently at the conference center of that school thinking to myself, if only we had known then. If only Joel would have known then that his future wife would leave him, and he would call me periodically with a gun to his head. If only Sean had known that he would be arrested for operating a drug enterprise and prison would be in his near future. I wish I could tell Amanda that she would drop out after her first semester, and ten years later she would be a single mother waiting tables back in her home town of Berryville. I looked at those old seats where we had all once sat, and I thought those things.


I now have a son whose name is Alek. Alek is four. How shall I raise him? Might I expose him to the world as it is, or place a facade over all that is bad? A world of make-believe that hasn’t existed for half a century, or the world as it truly is today?

Alek, wanted to stay up on New Years with me to watch the ball drop in New York from our living room in Berryville. I couldn’t see why not.

“Daddy, why is that boy dressed like a girl?” he’d ask. “Daddy, I think that guy’s a monster?” he’d say.

And when Lady Gaga appeared on the screen, “sang” her “song”, and she had finished, “You know Daddy, I think that lady is sad.”

“How do you think son?”

“I saw it on her face”



I want to close the curtains, and make everything beyond them disappear – All of the scary things – The monsters and such. I want for my little boy to dream, like his daddy once did, that the world is at peace; that monsters aren’t real; and that men are still chivalrous.


Do I dare?


 Certain names have been changed to protect the identity of certain people mentioned

What Has Happened to Freshly Pressed?


There really must exist an unspoken rule making a hellish doomsday of any moment when an unsuspecting blogger treads upon the uncharted territory hereby know as the act of critiquing/questioning/challenging the wisdom of the all glorious Freshly Pressed Search Committee (A.k.a. the lady who coordinates the site’s front page). I say this only because I simply have never seen it done. You are cautiously invited to come along with me while I embark on this business of excoriating the gods of WordPress. That’s right WordPress, I’m knocking on the editor’s door and I’ve got a bone!



the above statement was not intended as a threat of violence nor was it meant to be perceived as an actual event.




Getting on with it then, I believe that If I were to be offered a spot on tomorrow’s edition of “Freshly Pressed”, I would be inclined to disrespectfully decline. Beyond that, it is within proper reason that, following such an offer, I may even burn whatever article was being considered for the much coveted publicity. You see, I find that I fervently enjoy my position down here – however undeserved – among what I’ve found to be the best of WordPress. And by best, I am speaking of the true artists of the lens and the spoken word who labor, perhaps not tirelessly, but indeed endlessly to bring about so many rather obscure pockets of pure joy. Pockets which, once discovered, could bring about a remarkable sense of enlightenment and personal growth far beyond the apparent comprehension of the coxes whom direct the ebb and flow of the Freshly Pressed page. I find it most unfortunate that these true artists of whom I speak will never be found by the masses as they seem to hover on an esoteric plain above the childlike radar of the scoundrels of the Freshly Pressed search committee.

There have been people on this site who have so eloquently penned their thoughts that they have helped me to see that people who don’t necessarily think like me may, in fact, still manage to think… And think quite brilliantly at that.

There are people on this site whose words I read faithfully late at night, when the glamor and buzz of the day have ended and I find myself alone, tucked into a dim hotel room, and homesick for my family. And it is their words that sooth my mind and shove the enclosing walls back to their respective positions.

Some people on this site have taken pictures that are so original and indeed spiritual that one’s viewing of them can be likened to his first time seeing with his own eyes a new landscape, or a massive storm, and in that moment he feels as if his mind has explored an entire new region within itself as his senses must literally adjust and expand accordingly in order to accommodate the newly encompassed territory.

How shameful is it that the page allegedly containing “the best of WordPress” fails to deliver on its promises, and frequently fails to expose its readers to talent such as what I’ve referenced above; instead, on Freshly Pressed, we are bombarded with stories regarding such foolishness as the following:


  • How to build a ceiling high cat toy using only items found in your pantry
  • Girl with a hundred pictures of herself begging to be freshly pressed
  • One blurry, random picture of an unremarkable thing with no caption


I could have continued, and had even begun to, but I might have become a little too specific with my indignation. Now, I do find it important and necessary to state here that I have occasionally witnessed a wonderful post flying across the Freshly Pressed headlines. Unfortunately, these sitings are all too seldom and more often than not the contents of Freshly Pressed remain insufferable. Another unfortunate, and rather alarming trend that I’m seeing is the tendency by more and more parasitic “regulars” to always offer their  beguiling comments. You know the ones. These people consistently display a flagrantly specious enthusiasm on the subject of everything from whether crustaceans do or do not possess the ability to see in color to how to rebuild an old Johnson boat motor. This obsessive commenting is clearly for the purpose of advertisement, and would not be tolerated on my blog.


I end with a challenge and a salutation. I challenge you to not get caught up in the foolish game of pretending to see merit in mere silliness only for the purpose of stimulating your own website. To do this only serves to make the Freshly Pressed Search Committee feel that they are succeeding in their job mission when they are clearly not.

And finally, to those truly talented and committed artists on WordPress, I salute you. I might have even mentioned you specifically had I taken the time to gather all of your permission; However, you know who you are. Again thank you and rest assured that you are the best in the eyes of those fortunate enough to stumble across your pages.


Nathan Gray


Subjective Cool


Author’s Note: Due to formatting and gallery layouts, this post cannot properly be viewed or appreciated on a mobile device.


It is my belief that there is no such thing.

No such thing as subjective cool. You see, the word – cool – cannot be placed in quotations; it has no evolution; lexicographers cannot redefine it; Cool may be misused and abused, it may be misunderstood and misapplied; Cool may be poorly replicated and conspicuously counterfeited; Nevertheless…  Cool remains unchanged. It remains unchanged because it remains objective. Bieber, Brittany and Boy bands notwithstanding.

Elvis Presley’s high school classmates have told stories of his younger years. Stories that suggest that he always had a somewhat detached swagger about him. They said he dressed eccentrically, not because anyone else was doing it; not because television commercials had defined his ideal image, but because of something that flowed through him. Elvis had tapped into something inexplicable, something beyond an ad campaign. There was a new culture on the horizon, and Elvis, McQueen, Sinatra, Brando, and a handful of others were destined to introduce it to the masses.


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Now, in recent years the masses have become dissatisfied with the casual coincidence of cool. We’ve become dissatisfied with the esoteric occurrence of the sensational. In todays world, we’ve taken the mystical element out of cool, labeled it, and marketed it to the public. In a sense, we’ve placed cool in an attractive box, separated it into categories, and sold an entire generation on a concept of “cool off the rack”… with free gift wrapping.

Many of you are familiar with the famous Givenchy fashion brand. Hubert D Givenchy rose to fame in the fifties and sixties, when he designed several custom dresses for Audrey Hepburn. One such dress was the radiant ball gown that Miss Hepburn wore in “Sabrina”.

Then, of course, there was the iconic, little, black dress pictured below from the set of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. I’m sure you’re familiar with this one.





This dress was an epic win for the designer, and please understand that Givenchy was not reinventing cool when he designed it; Instead, he was playing by the rules. Givenchy had gathered some of the subtle ingredients of cool, and his designs were a mirror of the elements that he understood of cool. In a sense, Givenchy attached himself to cool – like branches to a vine – and allowed it to flow through him.

Today, like so many designer  brands, Givenchy (the brand) has allowed their success go to their head. Because they’ve experienced tremendous acclaim due to their founder’s harmony with cool, they now recklessly suggest that cool is a pliable element; it can be molded and updated annually  and seasonally to increase profits. To them, cool is as clear as mud. And the desperate public takes them at their word,  feeling that need to experience cool, they emulate the confusion. Thus we watch in wonderment as, one year, colored denim is outrageous, and the next it’s all the rage. One season, women’s jeans must come to their belly buttons, and the next season those are called mom jeans along with anything that doesn’t show a little butt crack.

The gallery below is comprised mostly of images from the Givenchy 2011 mens fashion line. There are a couple of photos from Ralph Lauren’s current purple label included. Tell me, in these pictures, do you not see a gentle molding of the definition of cool?



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McDonalds Happy Meals… WTF? And WTF?



Dear McDonalds,


Last week I bought one of your happy meals for both of my children. I know that your food is disgusting and unnatural, and the girl at the window looks suspiciously like she may eat boiled frogs and lizard biscuits for breakfast. But, hey… who gives a damn? We’ve come to expect nothing less from you.

The toys? The carbs? The creepy, metro-updated, eighties clown? God knows why my children have this enigmatic propensity toward consuming your mystical products. They’ve just gotta have those gosh darned happy meals, and who am I to deny them?




We ordered our “food”, paid the toothless girl at the window who only had hair on one side of her head, and subsequently received our products at the second window from the  mustached man who, unlike the girl in your commercials, was digging inside one of his chin folds trying to locate an irritating pimple.


Sure. Whatever-the-f*ck-ever. Maybe at the McDonalds in Heaven



Having satisfied our purposes, away we went. What joy shown on my children’s faces as they opened their little red boxes cleverly adorned with presumptuous smiley faces.

Twas a scene reminiscent of my own happy meal loving days, as my son pulled the little plastic sealed and fine print loaded toy from the smiling red box.

That’s when it happened. “WTF?!!?”, cried my son as he unwrapped his new toy. Keeping in mind that daddies are supposed to have answers to these kinds of questions, I took the little piece of plastic from my son’s hand and gave it a close inspection. “Son, that’s a… well, that’s a good question”, I said. “What’s This For, you ask? I haven’t a clue. Perhaps we’ll keep it around and see if some practical purpose emerges over the next couple of weeks”.



Oh, The Excitement!
Oh, The Excitement!



The thing looked like a rocket with a mohawk growing out of a big green boil, and it had a cat’s eyeball on the front. Clearly this toy was loaded with an array of features, all of which wreaked confusion on my little son’s analytical mind.



No Wireless Capability? For Shame.



Taylor believed that it would be worth trying “The Thing” out as a computer mouse. I supposed it was as good a guess as any other. It may have worked had my computer had a bluetooth option.



Where’s the Gal Blasted on button?



Hoping to find some good use for the device, I took it with me to work one day. Truly, I had high hopes for a discovery of some practical function, but those were quickly dashed when I couldn’t find any “on” button. Plus, playing around with that thing on the job site wasn’t doing a thing for my professional image.



Table Decor?



I have to tell you, we had all given up on ever finding a purpose for this ridiculous and quite ugly little shape. We had given up, that is, until…



Three, And Still Everything Goes in the Mouth :^)



Taylor put the rocket shaped end of your stupid happy meal toy in her mouth… and she laughed. The sound that followed startled everybody in the room. Why, it was a microphone!!! I mean, really? Really?!!?

So, McDonalds, I leave you with my own WTF with regard to your happy meals this Christmas season. Because, really, Where is it? Where’s The Fun?





Color Blind Can Mean Seeing Things in Black and White


Before I begin, let me warn you, this is a troublesome subject that I bring you today; a subject that I’m reluctant to bring here at all. The topic is race. Yes, and speaking of such things is not a quick way to make friends. Perhaps you’ll give me the benefit of at least considering my thoughts. Please understand that above all, I seek to be respectful and reasonable, as well as open minded.


Also, I should tell you that I will be referring to black people as “black people”. I present two reasons for choosing the term. First, I’ve had many friends in the past who were black. Every one of these friends have told me that they would rather be called “black” than “African American”. Their reasoning was simple, and made good sense, “We’re not ‘Africans’”, they’d say. And in fact they weren’t. They were black people born in America.

Second, after Barrack Obama won the presidential election, Jay-z was quoted as saying these words… On second thought, I’ll not post that quote. It was a little out there. But Jay-z did write a “song” titled, “My President is Black”. Thus due to concrete evidence, I’ve concluded that black people in, general, are okay with the title “black”.

I didn't recognize until after I posted this that it was Nick and Jessica in the Photo. Lol!


I can assure you that what I will write on the subject comes from a completely racially unbiased mind. I am speaking as a white man, thus I’m aware that I may be the only race existing within the US that lacks the freedom to speak of anything race related, and still remain within the proper confines of political correctness. You see, if a white man acknowledges the race of a black man, or hints at having any pride in his own race, he is called a racist. Thus I clearly understand that, being what I am, this is a tough subject to breech.

If I were black, not only could I speak freely on the subject of race, but I could boldly proclaim tremendous pride in my own race, and our accomplishments throughout history.

Imagine if I, again being a white man, were to sit in a news studio in front of a national audience, and say that I glean some sense of pride from being a part of the white community, and that I’m grateful for everything that white men and women have done throughout history. How do you think that would fly? Yeah, probably not too well. What if I were to recommend that we begin a “White History Month”, during which we could focus on all of the great achievements, not of men, but of white men? Lol.


Alright, stay with me. I’m about to make my point


I was raised in Southern Arkansas, in a small community called Spring Hill. My parents taught me to be unconcerned with race when it came to choosing friends and displaying general kindness. I use that term “unconcerned” because they did not teach me to be colorblind. There is quite a difference in one being racially aware and one being racially biased. Black people were black people and white people were white. Simple as that, and there was never and skirting or dancing around the subject. After all, things are what they are. Consider this: Presently I live in a community where there are no black people. The ridiculous KKK’s headquarters is right down the road, thus most black people have left the area, or simply stayed away to begin with. Because my children rarely see black people, it stands to reason that their first sighting was a bit of an issue. The first time my inquisitive son saw a black person, he asked if the man had fallen into some chocolate milk. Is my son a racist? No, he simply calls things as he sees them. My response was something like this, “No son, he hasn’t fallen in any milk”

“Then what’s wrong with him?” Alek asked.

Now, in response to this question, I suppose I could either have been completely pragmatic or completely reactionary.


Reactionary would have sounded something like this, “Alek, you shouldn’t speak of things about which you are clearly confused. There’s nothing wrong with that man, and asking silly questions of that sort only serves to put me in an awkward position.”


Pragmatic would have sounded something like this, “No Alek, there certainly isn’t anything wrong with him. He’s simply another race. There are many races found around the world, the nation, and even this community. The existence of many diverse cultures is one of the many things that makes the world such an interesting place in which to live. Would you like to meet him? No? Okay.”


But, oh no! No, we can’t do that. For the good of our children, we must be color blind. But if we are to be color blind, you see, then that is something that will have to go both ways. And, in order for that to happen, I’m afraid that many of the things that have become an important part of black culture will have to go by the wayside.

Now, I recognize, acknowledge, and clearly distinguish (respectfully) the race difference between white people and black people. Also, I am a firm proponent of racial equality. Not race ignorance, but an acceptance and even a celebration of our differences.

What I’m not okay with is our one-sidedness on the taboo subject of race and “color blindness”. My issue is with the fact that we continue, as a society, to observe and make allowances for an overwhelming bias toward clearly racially biased events, programs and material.

I’m speaking of such things as Black History Month, The Black Atlas (my god, imagine if we made a The White Atlas!), Black TV, etc.



Now hold on, hold on. Don’t bail just yet. Remember, I said “a bias towards”. In other words, I have no problem with these black observances. What I do have a problem with is the attitude that the black race is somehow on a plane of entitlement above my own race. There is a bias here, and the bias is that only the black race is allowed to openly take pride in being black. You see? That is my point. Not that I want to end these observances; instead, I think that if they are available for one, they should be available for all. And if they are not available to all then take them away from the one.

Balance is what I seek, no more singling out and hammering the issue of political correctness.

What do you think? I have an open mind here. If I need to be corrected, feel free to give it a shot.


Or perhaps you agree?