The Grand Duchy

19 July 2010

Chi town raised me crazy

I know I may not be a native but I most definitely miss Chicago. Like really I am missing my city. I need some city in my life. Like whoa.

That is all.

Oh. And I miss you

02 July 2010

St. Elmo's Fire

So I had phone interview with the Washington Reading Corps in Seattle last night. Its an AmeriCorps program and parts of it sounded really great. They work through an awesome non-profit called Solid Ground and one of their missions is to battle institutionalized racism and other isms which sounds like it would be really challenging intellectually and would be an awesome experience. However there phone interview was a little strange. I am supposed to call back on Tuesday with a decision about whether or not that the program and I have a "love connection". Kinda weird I know right? They also asked some pretty off the wall questions like: Why do you think people are poor? Which totally caught me off guard. And they also wanted to know why i thought it was important to me to help low income minorities (they didn't word it quite like that but that was the question they were asking). They also gave this little scenario at the beginning of the interview that they wanted my input on. It was during the portion of the interview wherein they were giving me the rundown of the program. The scenario was: A student that has had little interest in reading has begun to make great strides. He has been asked to read some poetry for his class and his parents will be in attendance as well. He has asked you to attend and he really wants you to be there. What would you say to this young man? Well apparently my answer was supposed to be 'NO' because on Fridays there is important team building and training that I cannot miss unless i am in the ER bleeding from my head. Which for those of us that have worked with kids know is not the correct answer. You need to be there for that student. These people are too confused, obviously! So I don't think we have a "love connection".

But some good news (and this time its not for people who love bad news either!!!). While I was typing this e-mail I missed a call from the campaign director for Debbie Halvorsons' campaign wanting to schedule a second interview! So thats exciting. Because that is a job that I actually really do want!

06 April 2010

We must proceed with malice toward none.

I am thinking of sending the blog post below to the Itawamba County School District. It is just such a heart wrenching story that should not go unnoticed.
In spite of all of this those students that attended the prom of seven people had the time of their lives. And that gives me hope. Their courage gives me strength. I also believe in karma and that what goes around comes around. This hatred will not go unpunished. Here are some articles that you should also read:

Lesbian Teen Prom Update: Law Fails to Protect Constance From Discrimination Again

Prom Shocker: Constance McMillan Invited to Fake Prom

You Wanna Go to the Prom?

Also I took a lot of inspiration from President Clinton's address at Knox College's 2007 Commencement.

"But the most important thing that I learned as a layperson from the sequencing of the human genome, with 3 billion of them in our bodies, is that every human being on earth genetically is 99.9 percent the same. Go figure. Just look around this crowd. Every difference you see between yourself and someone else, the color of your skin, the color of your hair, the color of your eyes, the shape of your body, every single thing is rooted in one-tenth of one percent of your genetic makeup. And yet, think about how all of us basically spend 90 percent of our time thinking about that one-tenth of one percent. Right? We do. We don't have to be a fanatic to be like that. I think, "Oh, I wish I were as thin as he is. I'd like to be as young as he is, but at least I'm not as old as he is. I can't hit a golf ball 300 yards anymore, but at least I can do better than that old coot."

All of us think like this, right? And it's all rooted in one-tenth of one percent. It's okay, because that's also the source of our creative juices and differences. But we need the emotional and psychological freedom that being aware of our common humanity gives us. That's what leads us into service. That's what leads us to make the most of our ability as private citizens to do public good." -President William Jefferson Clinton

To the Itawamba County School District

As someone who was fortunate enough to attend three high school proms with the date of my choice, I'd have to say that they are some of fondest memories from high school that I continue to carry with me years later. When I first heard the story of Constance McMillen I was outraged and saddened. The fact that a school would cancel a prom so that they could discriminate against a gay student was mind boggling to me. I couldn't imagine that this could happen to a high school student that wanted nothing more than to attend her high school's prom with the date of her choice. So you can imagine how I felt when I heard that two proms were held, a secret prom that was only for regular students and a prom that Constance McMillen and students with learning disabilities attended. I've felt a flood of differing emotions since I learned of this horrible injustice. It is heartbreaking to think that the seven students that attended the different prom were specifically targeted and separated by a group of parents. It is disturbing to think that the people that were in charge of this are raising children and responsible for their care and upbringing. It is also deplorable that the chaperons of the prom for the seven students were teachers from the high school and the high school principal.
In having a separate prom chaperoned by teachers and school administrators that is planned by the parents of students, shows the other students that it is acceptable to segregate students based on having a disability or sexual orientation. The thought process behind deeming students worthy or unworthy of attending a prom is disgusting. Having two separate proms creates classes where students that are marked as different become second class citizens. It is shameful that this had to happen to high school students who are brave enough to live in a world that treats them as second class citizens instead of human beings. It is absolutely appalling that there are people that would do this to other human beings. I am absolutely offended as a human being. I am ashamed to be a part of the same human family as the bigots and ignorant fools that were part of this heinous plot against a small group of people that are completely innocent. This attack on a minority came from a group of adults, which is completely despicable. These students hurt no one. They have not committed any crimes. They have not done anything with malicious intent towards others. The conspirators against the students with disabilities and the homosexual students are part of a great injustice and have done those three things. They have hurt a group of students that deserve the same privileges and rights as their children. They committed a crime against their human family members by planning a prom with malice in their hearts and minds.
By condoning the actions of these people, their hatred and bigotry are affirmed. While some people think that being different is wrong, their intolerance can no longer be tolerated. We are all humans and are totally deserving and worthy of the same pursuits of happiness. President Bill Clinton said, "We tend to be divided, all around the world, by religious, political, even psychological differences between those who need an enemy and those who are trying to make a friend, between those who believe our differences matter more than our common humanity and those who believe that our differences make life interesting and aid the search for truth, but our common humanity must always matter more." It is time to embrace our brothers and sisters of every race, religion, sexual orientation, or other walk of life.
I will keep the people of Itawamba County in my thoughts and prayers in the hope that they will be able to let love into their hearts and minds. That they can learn tolerance and be part of the solution to a great problem facing our world today. In the mean time I hope people will remember the Golden Rule that we all learned so long ago, to do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Let us love one another as we love our own self and continue to grow in love as part of one human family.
Brian Patrick King

31 March 2010

Those who do not know how to weep with their whole heart don't know how to laugh either

I'll be really sad when Ugly Betty ends. I have come to appreciate the show a great deal. For one I love the characters. The stories they tell are unique. And the show makes me laugh. And laughing is good for the soul. And this episode tonight was about following our own dreams and our passions. Which I feel like in this day and age can be quite hard. I am already exhausted and I just contemplated chasing one of my many dreams or daydreams I have over the course of an afternoon. Why is it so hard to grasp that concept? We've been given a heavy burden to bear. Lassoing the American Dream. Which could quite possibly be dead, I am not sure. I think Reagan killed it. Maybe I dunno. Life Goals, 20 Year Plans. I am just trying to make it through the day to be completely honest, how am I supposed to even fathom two decades from now? Finding the Love of Our Lives. I love romantic comedies enough so yeah I guess I am a romantic, but really when there's so much hate around these days it is so hard to remember what love is? It's exhausting trying to live out loud, fully, truly and authentically. I think I'd rather just stay in bed.
But I suppose if the characters of Ugly Betty can make their own way in the world, maybe I can too. Betty Suarez makes it to London and has an epiphany. She's going after her dreams of writing about things that matter. Amanda decides to leave Mode and make it in the world of fashion as a stylist. These characters decide to follow their dreams. To live. It sounds so simple doesn't it. I guess I am envious of characters on a television show. I guess I want the leap. To dive in head first. To feel that exhilaration and to know that I am headed down the right path. But really who can tell? There are so many different ways to live this life. So many roads to go down. I have lived well. I do believe that. But sometimes it is easy to forget. To go numb and be desensitized. I guess I miss weeping with my whole heart.

29 March 2010

Room and Bored

I am so over when my shows are not new. Totally over it.
So lets talk some shit about tonight's Gossip Girl then.
I was bored. I really expected a lot more from the return of Chuck's Mother. I mean that was it. Come on, really? Also, Jenny having a crush on Nate. That is so last season. I'm over it. And who could forget the fight between Dan and Vanessa? Oh wait thats right I could!
But I mean I guess it is the calm before the storm, because I think we are headed into some really crazy bananas stuff.
1. Get your armor Jack Bass because everyone knows, hell hath no fury like a Chuck Bass scorned. This most definitely means war.
2. Lily and Rufus are going to fall apart real soon. And I do love them together but their fall will be the fall of the century.
I give this show so many chances over and over again and I'm not sure why. This season has been overall, quite disappointing. I dunno we shall see what will become of the Upper East Side in the episodes to come...

25 March 2010

He Just Grinned and Shook My Hand and 'No' Was All He Said

I started writing posts about the television I have been watching of late. And make no mistake I have been watching a lot of television.
But in the aftermath of passing historic health care reform I have had a considerable amount of feelings and thoughts. I've been reading stories, listening to broadcasts on the radio and I have been really concerned over the past couple of days. I am truly concerned about the well being of the nation as this point. I've read much on race, the Tea Party movement, hate and all others matters of disturbing rhetoric. I am concerned that people have lost sight of what the President and Congress have set out to do. They're giving hope to millions of people that did not have access to health care. I've thought much on what it is that is the driving force behind the movement to repair a broken system of government. There are plenty of things to get mad about. Join the club! You've been angry after the world came crashing down and we went into recession, try being angry for years! My belief is that the world is broken and that our job is to try to put the pieces back together. To repair the world. Violence is not the answer. Hate is not the answer. Spitting on sick people. Yelling at homeless people and asking them if they're happy because they got what they wanted by health care reform passing. Hurling racial slurs and homophobic epithets. Its just downright dispicable. I've seen the words of Founding Fathers sullied by people who don't truly understand what it is to live under a tyrant. Who can in no way comprehend what it is like to be completely ignored and totally unheard by their government. To live in complete and utter fear of oppression. To live with no rights, no hope, and no way out. To truly know this would change many minds and many hearts. To live under tyranny and oppression would give people a completely new outlook. But this is America. And we are free to criticize government, to change and be a part of the process. And there will be times when people are upset by the choices of government and people will not always get their way. And when that happens that is the time for debate and civil discourse. Unfortunately, some people find other paths that seem easier. They turn to threats and violence. This isn't discourse. Its not revolutionairy. And this is for sure NOT patriotism. I hope and pray that no one is hurt and that we come out of this a stronger nation, but really this is shameful. Its sickening. Abraham Lincoln said, "With malice toward none; with charity for all." This is our past, it has to be our present and future. Otherwise, whats it all for?

Labels: ,