In Light Of Current Events…Let’s Return To Bill O’Reilly’s Loofah’s and Falafels.

I have written about 56 posts on the blog – that I have made public. Next month, will make a year for this blog. Feeling nostalgic, I was was reviewing what I have written and actually posted thus far – and stumbled upon this gem. In light of current events, it felt more timely than ever and so I decided to re-post, with a slight update at the end. Here it goes from April 20th of this year…

In what is no longer news, Bill O’Reilly is out at Fox News. It was then reported that civility and sanity did a celebratory dance with one another and then released collective sighs of relief.

I had no intention of writing anything about Mr. O’Reilly, that abominable pumped up bag of hot air, who very successfully had a hand in convincing a segment of the American public that others were out to get them, to take stuff that somehow rightfully belonged to them – among other horrors.

The others usually were people of color and all the problems of America could be solved if we somehow were just less politically correct. America would also be better if it were more homogenized and if minorities kept their grievances to themselves as they never had merit anyway.

So I had no intention of discussing him, he has had twenty years worth of attention. But while these allegations are nothing new, I had forgotten about one allegation in particular made by Andrea Mackris. Ms. Mackris recorded some of her phone conversations with Bill, which has now given me the fodder for this post.

Perverted horn dog Bill O’Reilly would call Ms. Mackris to discuss all the filthy things he wanted to do to her – specifically with a loofah (among other things). However, unfortunately for Bill, he apparently gets his loofahs confused with his falafels when he is turned on. He talks about a lot of boob rubbing, gentle crotch grabbing, wine drinking and the magic of this loofah, but the loofah somehow becomes the “falafel thing” as he outlines his desires in his excitement. He was going to do stuff to her with the “falafel thing”

Oy vey.

Really? Really Bill? Bill O’Reilly!

I’m going to go ahead and just call it, this is too absurd for this poor woman to have made this up.

So, yes, while I had no intention of writing about this, I could not pass up the opportunity to have a blog post titled “Loofahs and Falafels.” When will I ever get the chance to title something like this again? I love coming up with titles for posts and admittedly some are better than others, but Loofahs and Falafels, man you just can’t beat that.

Besides the appalling behavior, can we all just take a moment to bask in the absolute ridiculousness of this entire thing? There is a scandal that incorporated loofahs? Falafels? He mistook falafels for loofahs? They have Bill O’Reilly on a recording talking seductively about a falafel? Bill O’Reilly kept his job after that incident. How was this not a larger story when that doozy originally came out, just for the sheer absurdity of it all? Oy vey! You can’t make this stuff up.

So Bill O’Reilly is gone – hooray. I can’t give Fox too much credit as this was simply about money, not principles, decency, or ethics of course, but he is gone and I will take it.

For the record, when a host of women come out and allege sexual harassment, I tend to believe them. When people are recorded showcasing their sexual harassment (Mr. O’Reilly) or propensity for sexual assault (talking to you Mr. President), I tend to believe it. When forty plus women come forward and recount their stories (talking to you Bill Cosby), I believe them.

I guess the more important question now is, how many women does it take for a corporation, or the American public for that matter, to believe women? What does it take?

So that’s what I wrote back in April 2017. And since then, I have learned more than I cared to know about Harvey Weinstein, Al Franken, Louis C.K., Ben Affleck, Charlie Rose, Mark Halperin, Roy Moore, Kevin Spacey and the list goes on and on.

But it got me to thinking. Do you know why I believe the women, besides the fact that I have no reason not to and that I don’t believe most people will upend their lives in such a public way just for the fun of it? I believe them because there is always a Loofah and Falafel type story. Something so specific, so detailed that it just defies logic not to believe it’s true. Like, who would make this stuff up.

All of these guys always have a thing. They all have their perverted pick-up line if you will. So for Mr. O’Reilly, he wanted nasty things to be done to him with a loofah which he mistakenly called a falafel (I can’t even handle that, all these months later). Roy Moore likes to stalk little girls in malls, he likes him young. We also have learned he met and fell in love with his wife when she was 15 and he was an adult – so there’s that. Louis C.K. likes to masturbate in front of people. And by know, we all know that Bill Cosby likes his quaaludes and punch and Woody Allen likes his relatives.

So, yes, they all have a thing – a pattern that becomes clear to see when these revelations come out. Yes, I know this wouldn’t hold up in a court of law, but we’re not talking about a court of law. We’re talking about right and wrong, our own sense of right and wrong and values. I believe the women.

Oh and you know why else I believe them? It goes back to a simple adage my Grandmother would always say, two things actually. First thing, what is done in the dark will always come to light. Number two, what doesn’t come out in the wash, always comes out in the rinse. Very simple guiding principles for life, that have always stuck with me. For these men, their dirt is finally coming out and the ugly truth is coming to light.

I believe the women, have believed the women for a long time, and will continue to believe the women.

 

Et tu, Charlie?

I was minding my own business yesterday at 6:45pm when I received a text from a friend that read, “Charlie Rose?!!! Noooo!!!” My heart dropped and I assumed that good old Charlie Rose had died. I mean, what other story could it be – it’s Charlie Rose. Professional, reliable, sensible, non-sexual Charlie Rose. A few moments later I was corrected with a simple “No,” followed by a link that CBS suspended him after multiple harassment accusations.

I was genuinely shocked and then I admonished myself for being shocked. At this point, why should I or anyone be surprised? In the words of a former President with questionable intellect, “fool me once, shame on you. Fool me, you can’t get fooled again.” Ah, the wisdom of George W. Bush, but he is right, of course. How could I be fooled by Charlie Rose? After all he is a powerful, successful man and that’s apparently all it takes to invite an unsuspecting woman to take a shower with you.

Do we know if Charlie is a masturbator who likes an audience like Louis C.K.?  What’s that about? I just assumed everyone liked to self-pleasure in solitude or with a verifiable, definitive supportive person. It’s true what they say, you learn something new everyday.

For 2017, I am going to compile a list of things that truly baffle me – so far I have these items:

  1. The aforementioned people who like to masturbate in front of unsuspecting and disapproving citizens.
  2. Elephant trophies. (that deserves it’s own blog)
  3. Ben Carson and Sarah Huckabee Sanders because they equally cause my brain to hurt and astound me at their ability to describe the world as they see it through the looking glass.
  4. Mistress of the Dark, Kellyanne Conyway.
  5. Conservatives who destroy their Keurig machines in support of Roy Moore. (Like, you care that much that they pulled advertising?)

But moving along, what are we going to do about this sort of behavior as a society? The patriarchy is so strong, so entrenched and entitled, that seemingly an entire generation of men – of all races, political affiliation, intellect, etc – seem to think it’s acceptable to grope, harass, proposition, and rape women. Besides the fact that it’s all gross, is Al Franken the same as Bill Clinton? What about Woody Allen, Bill Cosby, and Harvey Weinstein? When these revelations occur, is there anyway for the accused to make amends for their behavior – if it were not criminal? All things I never had to think about before.

One of my favorite episodes of Will & Grace is when Karen Walker is boozily watching a delivery man move a desk. He’s beefy and hunky and Karen, while ogling at him, proclaims “MOVE THAT DESK BITCH!” as his arms bulge and his butt is on display in tight jeans. Ok, I promise not to start writing gay romance novels!

At either rate, it’s funny because everyone knows it’s over the top and inappropriate, and Megan Mullally is of course a fantastic comedic actress, but more than that it’s funny because no one would really behave like that, right? Everyone knows how absurd such behavior is, or so I thought.

So where do we go from here? As someone I work with proclaimed after Charlie Rose went from being suspended to fired in less than 24 hours, “WE’RE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO WATCH ANYTHING ON TELEVISION.” I laughed until I realized she was truly concerned. She followed up with, “they really want me to start reading.” I responded with, “Well, I have lots of books you can borrow.” OY VEY. She is an otherwise lovely woman, I promise.

So another night in America, another man out on his ass for being a pig. America, gurl, get your Barnes and Noble Membership cards ready because I have a feeling the “banned list” of programming will continue to get longer!

I Want To Know Your Politics

I stumbled across a Fox News article entitled, “Dear Taylor Swift, thanks for NOT telling me about your politics.” I really need my news app on my phone to be more selective with what it suggests I read. The article was a defense of another article that was critical of Ms. Swift for her silence during the 2016 election. The author of this article holds the belief that we only need our celebrities to “entertain” us.

OY VEY.

Here’s the thing, in a world with less on the line, I too could get behind the idea of simply being “entertained” and not caring whether or not the person entertaining me is an amoral monster. Sadly, the time of simple amusement and joyful ignorance is over.

If Ms. Swift, for instance, believes that a Muslim-ban is acceptable, or leaving Puerto Ricans to whither on the vine in their time of need, or voted for politicians who do, I don’t want my hard earned coins contributing to her personal enrichment.

If Ms. Swift, fort instance, used her vote in November 2016 to help a man in office who thinks it is acceptable to hunt for “elephant trophies,” I don’t want to offer her my support. This is a capitalist system and where our dollars go matters. As an aside, I may need to discuss the “elephant trophies” in another post. What is that? What type of boorish and barbaric people are into that? Oh, right, our President and his sons.

OY VEY.

There is no shortage of issues happening in our country politically right now that I find objectionable at my very core. Not only do I want to know if my entertainers support or object to what is happening, but I want to know if my friends and family members do too.

If I had a relative who claims to love me, but objected to my marriage because it is with another man, I might have to re-think breaking bread with them over Thanksgiving. My marriage, the person I am spending my life with, is kind of a big deal. As a black man, surrounding myself around people who when they hear the phrase “Black Lives Matter” feel the need to reply with “Blue Lives Matter” just doesn’t work with me. It’s not an issue for me that I can shrug off and simply say, well let’s agree to disagree. Black men are dying without justice ever being rendered. It’s hard to shrug varying beliefs about that off as if we are discussing how one likes their steak prepared. By the way, it should not be well done – that’s unacceptable.

So I want to know your politics. The time for pleasantries has past. I want to know the politics of just about everyone in my life, including those who entertain me.Personally, I like my entertainers liberal and outspoken like me, which I guess in Hollywood is not too difficult to find. And yes, it is Ms. Swift’s right to remain silent on issues in such a contentious time, but it is also the right of people to give her the side-eye and object to her failure to use her platform to speak out on so many issues that effect a large swath of the American people.

 

 

God Is Busy And No Longer Receiving Thoughts and Prayers

Another week in America, another shooting. I am not sure what I feel. Sandy Hook was the last shooting that truly shocked me. Las Vegas was shocking by the sheer numbers, but in our Ritalin deprived media environment, I feel like we all moved past that rather quickly and were on to other scandals, tragedies, and horrors. And so that brings us to a Texas church, another place to be added to the ever growing list of places to forever be associated with violence and death.

What is there to say, besides the obvious, which is mass shootings are as American as football, woven into the fabric of our culture. They’ve become ubiquitous, even if we only seem to focus on the occurrences when a shooter kills into the double digits.

To live in America is to know, and be aware of the possibility, that while at a theater, mall, school, concert, church, or some other innocuous place I have not thought to list – that you may be shot to death in cold blood. It is to know that people will offer up thoughts and prayers after your untimely and unnecessary demise and that not so long after you’re gone, it will most likely happen to someone else.

It’s sad and it’s sick.

I haven’t watched the news to get further details about this particular shooting – what would be the point? Locations and names are different and hell maybe even this person’s motivation, but at the end of the day a large number of innocent people were killed and maimed because an individual who should not have had possession of gun had one.

Now the ritual of offering thoughts and prayers begins.

Well I am sorry, but I am out of thoughts and prayers. There have been an awful lot of thoughts and prayers offered up on this issue. God’s voicemail and e-mail, or however the supposed supreme being gets messages, must be overflowing. Maybe he changed his number? Address? After all, didn’t we just go through the Las Vegas shooting with the American people sending a truckload of thoughts and prayers to God? It would appear God is busy, disinterested, or does not want to waste his time solving a problem that is uniquely American and of our own making. One must begin to wonder, perhaps we Americans need a new plan.

This is a matter of gun policy, greed, and a perverse American culture that values a twisted and wrongheaded interpretation of the 2nd Amendment over life. We’ve created the problem and we will have to fix it. God isn’t listening to our thoughts and prayers, at least not on this issue. It is incumbent upon us to solve the issue.

So, what to do?

We can honor the victims by actually doing something. We can organize and work to vote out politicians who are beholden to the NRA and continue to block sensible reforms. I want to see more Facebook statuses saying, “vote Senator so and so out of office in 2018 – he or she has an A+ rating from the NRA and is blocking sensible gun reform/background checks” for instance – or some version of that. But this requires more people to even give a damn about who their Senator or Congressperson is – so there’s that hurdle.

It’s also time to have respectful dialogue with friends and family members, no matter how frustrating it might be, to try and change hearts and minds and to get otherwise good people (trying to be positive) to understand that we have a moral imperative to do something. That the status quo is clearly isn’t working. We have to become a society again that looks to solve problems not just espouse meaningless platitudes while yet another person tonight is without a parent, sibling, friend, or loved one.