Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What's it all About?

So right about now, I'm closing in on the 6-month point of writing this blog, and it's been a really great experience that has actually opened up a lot of doors for me as a writer. I'm currently having a great time blogging for, and that whole opportunity came very randomly via a ham-handed PR email requesting an interview/feature before the Diddy show dropped. The editor came here, liked my stuff, and all of a sudden I was a published writer on a major website. Funny how that works, huh?

Right about now, I'm really trying to pinpoint the direction of this whole thing. Initially, it was meant as a kind of a forum for my own political leanings and opinions, but I'm starting to see it as more of a blog about myself, life, and, well, Rob in the City. I definitely want to continue posting about politics and pop culture, but I've also kind of developed a group of people (fan base? is that arrogant?) through this whole reality show thing that I really want to be able to reach out to and keep informed of everything that's going on with me. I'm definitely making some moves right now and would like to continue to be a voice for people like me, especially those who felt good about seeing a Black Gay Man on TV. I've gotten those myspace messages/emails/etc., and it feels great.

In the future, expect to see the same politics and pop culture postings that I've done in the past, but with a little something extra to spice it up a bit, starting with more about my life, my experiences, and what I'm doing. The first in the line of those postings will be a little blurb about my AMAZING first-timer experience at Fire Island last weekend, as well as something a little more personal about the mixed feelings that come with failure on a very LARGE scale (and anyone who watched the Diddy show this week knows exactly what I'm talking about.

I'm looking forward to this new direction, and I hope you all keep reading!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Who's That Girl?

Now I know that this is an image that has been making its way around the internet lately and if Loreal is guilty of lightening her skin for this ad (which I'm pretty sure they are), then what exactly does that say about the artist in question? I remain a huge Beyonce fan, and of course she gets the mainstream benefits of being a very fair-skinned black girl, but I would like to think that such an obviously savvy businesswoman would exert more control over her image. I am under no delusions that having more money than God makes you necessarily smart about these types of things, but this suggests a certain ignorance about historic standards of beauty (and perhaps those who don't meet those rigid standards) that's more than a little off-putting. Perhaps her and Lebron "King Kong" James should try to read up a little on history and think for a second about the messages they're sending to fans before they cash the checks. People who present themselves as role models (and they do) should be held to the standards of such. Just a thought.

P.S. - What in the holy hell is Beyonce doing in a Loreal ad anyways? Is this a new lacefront wig coloring line? I'm confused, because underneath all of that, Beyonce's hair looks like this, and I happen to think that beats the lacefronts any day of the week.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


One of my fraternity brothers once told me that everybody wants to have good friends, but nobody wants to be a good friend. While I'm not sure whether or not that's true, I know that last night was one of those nights where I really appreciate the friends that I do have. Friends are more important to me than they are to most people because I went through my teenage years and my early 20's as a total loner. For most of my life, I've been either too gay, too black, not black enough, etc., etc. to connect with different people, but it seems like now that I'm comfortable with exactly who I am, more people are noticing and want to be around me. It's a great feeling.

Last night I looked around the room and saw friends who had gathered to support me on one of the biggest nights of my life, and I felt unbelievably humbled and blessed. The premiere party for my silly little reality show was no red-carpet shindig at some fancy club, but I've always been the type to keep things small and intimate. It's crazy to think that only 5 years ago I was barely surviving in a war zone and now I'm on national TV. Life is really something else. I don't know where I'll be 5 years from now or what I'll be doing, but I can only hope that it's something fulfilling and exciting. Things will change now and I'm sure opportunities will come, but if it's not about anything real I couldn't care less. Some people would sell themselves down the river for a taste at fame or for the chance to live a life of luxury that they think leads to happiness, but not me. I prefer to sit here and marvel at the blessings I have in life, starting with each and every person in that picture above.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Race Card

What they're going to try to do is make you scared of know, 'He doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills'. - Barack Obama

Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck. - John McCain campaign

You know, I’ve always hated the phrase “the race card”. I’ve always thought that the fact that a person would even let this phrase cross their lips tells me all I need to know about their views and opinions on race. Once I participated in a wrap-up session for an internship program I did in the ad industry, and an offhand mention of the dreaded “race card” was directed at me when I dared to mention feeling a little discomfort at being the only black male intern at my agency. In our society, which remains too undereducated and afraid to engage in frank talk about race, the “race card” phrase functions as a way to suppress any conversation or real examination of how race affects our world and to take a shortcut through the pearly gates into that “post-racial” society that is easier for those with smaller minds to pretend we’re in. In my case, it was used to deny my feelings because they made others in the room uncomfortable.

To use the phrase assumes that “the race card” is a trump card that black and brown people just have at our disposal to use at our will, as if our race does not exist until we mention it, and as if this card hasn’t (in the words of Whoopi Goldberg) “been pinned to us” in every situation that we find ourselves in. Now, we find ourselves at the place in the campaign where we all feared we’d end up eventually, the place in which Barack Obama begins to acknowledge the root of some of the more unfair (“I just don’t know who he is!”) accusations against him and the place in which the republicans do their best “Who, me?” posturing and attempt to turn themselves (and by extension their base of working-class white voters) into the victims of yet another black man playing the “race card”.

Old man McCain has been on a negative streak lately (a recent CNN poll found that 1/3 of McCain’s ads refer to Obama negatively while 90% of Obama’s ads don’t even mention McCain), and while some of us are tired of the same old game, this stuff is apparently doing a good job of shoring up McCain’s base against Obama (and certainly not for McCain, because I haven’t heard anything about his own plans out of the man’s mouth in weeks). I’m inclined to agree that the only chance McGhoul has is to whip up his supporters, the republican base (suckers or millionaires or both), and perhaps a few skittish independents to become vehemently, virulently opposed to the other guy, that elitist liberal with the ungrateful, angry wife. You know, the one who plays the race card.