Monsters that scare me.

There is a monster in my closet hiding there in the dark,

It is a combination of many things and it scares me with its bark.

It has fur and eyeballs of fire with a strength and power that scares me,

I would never go to the closet at night for I fear what I would see.


There is a monster under my bed, hiding with red eyes,

It lays there and waits for me to sleep and enter my dreams with its lies.

It smells of an odor I cannot describe,

It has a look which I do despise.


There is a monster in my house that goes from room to room,

It is a frightening thing, like a witch riding on a broom.

Cursing and wriggling with ooze and gook coming from its pores,

I hide from these monsters by hiding behind closed doors.


Then one day I saw my reflection in the mirror on the wall,

And I realized to fight these monsters required help to call.

Who are you going to call in the night?

Who are you going to call to ease the fright?


Call upon yourself and stand up straight,

For to conquer these monsters do not fear and do not take the bait.

You can conquer your fears and rid yourself of the monsters with teeth that bite,

Begone, all that scares me and get out of my sight.


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Some observations on a Sat. morning

Put on an eye in Fred and be Fried.

Kentucky Fried Chicken changed their name because fried became a nasty word. Therefore an adman made up KFC.

Is it just me or is the new Kentucky Fried Chicken man playing Colonel Sanders does not come across very well.

I also have trouble with the Progressive Girl. On occasion they portray her as a tramp. Hiding in an alley and enticing a guy with her wares.

What happened to the caveman from Geico. Did his age catch up with him? Where were the cave girls? The cave girl like Raquel Welsh?

I wonder if there has been a reunion on Reunion Island?

If Greenland is green, Iceland has ice, then England has Engs, Ireland is the land of the ire and Scotland serves the Scotch and is the origin of Scotch tape.

If bears do not wear clothes are they bare bears?

Is a heated affair friction between two people?

There will never be the last man on earth. Women will see to that.  Although maybe a controlled robot would be acceptable.  Wait, men are robots.

When someone says believe me I tend not to believe them.

Everyone thinks they are a genius except for those who are true genius and they have few people who understand them.

In detectives I go for Charlie Chan and Sherlock Holmes.  I find Monk annoying for he thinks only of himself.  I can get a little sad when seeing an old Colombo show for I always found Falk as a great actor who nailed the performance and now he is gone…. No more excuse me which was in his vocabulary so often.

Being Bullied

Nothing is worse than entering a new school. Especially if it is middle school. My parents had gotten

divorced and split my brother up. I would live with one parent while my brother lived with the other. We would switch every six months. That meant that every six months I went to a new school. Added to that mix my divorced parents moved a lot so I never went to the same school twice.

It was the end of my seventh grade and just after Christmas when I moved in with my father in Dover, New Jersey. The new school was named Roxbury Junior School. My first day in the preclasses was what I expected it to be. The teacher who got me was non plus. She assigned me to the back of the room for there were no other seats available. Anyway with my last name starting with W. I was use to sitting in the back. This room had two seater tables. I was assigned to the left seat. To my right was this huge boy. He must have been over six feet tall. Not overweight but thick like he should be playing football. He was not happy to share his table and glared at me. Then I noticed he was starring at my brown bag. It contained my lunch.

I lived with my dad at this time. All his interest and work went into his business. I was an inconvenience. At home he avoided me and I stayed mainly in my room avoiding contact with him. The refrigerator had a space for my lunches which I prepared before going to school. There was Bologna and American yellow cheese. The bread was always the same, two slices of Wonder. I was allowed to take two slices of cheese and two slices of Bologna and make my lunch. Pluck this into a brown bag and look forward to 12:00 for lunch.

My table partner spoke to me in a voice that sent shivers down my spine. “What did you bring me for lunch?” It was not a threat, oh yes it was. The implication was I would give him my brown bag or else. “It is not much. I hope you enjoy it.” I replied thinking maybe I should report this and then realized that this galoot would win by his sheer size. Better to give in and think this over.

Fortunately this kid, Big John was not in any of my other classes. But by the end of the week it was obvious that he took my lunch and the chocolate milk from a bunch of other wimps. Added to this mix was at least six cookies and he was fed. I on the other hand went hungry for the day. By the next week I needed to come up with a plan.

The refrigerator at my house had a small space for me and the rest for my father. Most of the time we ate out for supper. Every night was the same. My father ordered a hamburger, french fries and a coke for me. For himself he had a steak, french fries and a soda. It was so like clockwork that the waitress had the order in before we had even sat down. The food in the refrigerator was for lunch. In my area was balogna and cheese (munster ) and wonder bread. The bread was in the refrigerator because we had a roach problem in the apartment. On my fathers side was all sorts of goodies. I was prohibited from taking his food. Mostly I did not like it anyway. He tended to like hot stuff. He had hot peppers in a bowl because he liked to flavor his lunch with them.

I decided to purloin some hot peppers and put them hidden under the cheese on my sandwich. I had boobytrapped the sandwich. Hopefully Big John would not like the heat. Monday morning I hopped the school bus with my lunch bag with the hot sandwich in it. As I suspected Big John took the bag as soon as I plopped it on my desk. I did not say a word.

Big John’s lunch time was at eleven thirty in the morning. I was in Science class. At eleven thirty- two we heard a major uproar from the cafeteria. From what I heard later Big John did not take the hot  peppers well. He ran with his mouth on fire to the water fountain. Unfortunately a football player of immense proportions was taking gulping down water and had his mouth on the fountain. With pain searing through his mouth Big John tried to toss the football player to the side. In doing so he chipped the kids tooth on the side of the spigot. The football player was now in pain and angry. He responded by punching Big John in the head with his mouth on the spigot. Big John came up his mouth bleeding and a beautiful fight ensued. The result were both boys suspended. Big John was judged the aggressor and was moved to another school. I was free. I could now enjoy my bologna and cheese sandwiches with no reprisals.

The Black Man as a Stereotype

It is hard to watch but there is a movie on youtube called Charlie Chan in Egypt.  In the movie is StepNfetchit.  A terrible portrait of a Black Man in the movie.  Today one winces on watching it.  And yet this actor became a millionaire for a short period of time.Then from riches to rags.  It is a sad tale to be true and yet it happened.  Hollywood is a hard place where people go to hell over a life time.


Mini Bio (1)

Stepin Fetchit remains one of the most controversial movie actors in American history. While he was undoubtedly one of the most talented physical comedians ever to do his shtick on the Big Screen, achieving the rare status of being a character actor/supporting player who actually achieved superstar status in the 1930s (becoming a millionaire to boot), his characterization as a lazy, slow-witted, jive-talkin’ “coon” offended African-Americans at the time he was a major attraction in motion pictures (primarily the 1930s) and still offends African-Americans in the 21st century, more than 50 years after he had faded from the screen. Yet some African-Americans claim him as the first black superstar, and thus a trailblazer for others of his “race.” The controversy over Stepin Fetchit remains alive to this day, with two biographies published about him in 2005.

Stepin Fetchit was the stage name of Lincoln Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry, who claimed a birth date of May 30, 1902, but he may have been born as early as 1892. Perry was born in Key West, Florida, to West Indian immigrant parents. Sometime in his teens Perry became a comic performer. A literate and very intelligent man who wrote for the premier African-American newspaper, “The Chicago Defender,” Perry evolved a character called “The Laziest Man In the World” as part of a two-man vaudeville act that broke through to play the white circuits. Eventually, he went solo (“Stepin Fetchit” likely was the original name of the act covering both performers, as “Step ‘n Fetchit.” As a solo, he kept the name).

While some believe that his stage name is a contraction of “step and fetch it”, implying a servile persona (the so-called “Tom”) that is synonymous with degrading racial stereotypes in popular entertainment in the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, Perry claimed he got the name from a race horse. However, it’s important to make the distinction that African-American cultural historians do (while at no time condoning Perry’s career) – rather than a servile Tom (named after Harriet Beecher Stowe‘s “Uncle Tom”), Stepin Fetchit was an evolution of a later construction, the “coon” who undermined his white oppressors by denying his labor and cooperation through an act of defiance that included the appearance of being lazy and stupid. Essential to the “coon” persona was talking in what to white ears is gibberish (which Perry excelled at), but which to black folk can be understood and contains barbed insults to “The Man.” What rankles so badly (since the Coon remains a stereotype that resonates in African-American culture) is that white audiences swallowed Perry’s Stepin Fetchit act whole, as a true representation of a “Negro.”

The “Coon” persona mitigated the low status accorded African-Americans by whites by feigning near-idiocy in order to frustrate whites by ironically fulfilling their low expectations (the “Tom,” by contrast, is praised by whites for his good work and loyalty. A parallel racial caricaturization of black men by whites, the “buck,” is the repository of their racial and sexual fears, and still can be seen in blaxploitation movies of the 1970s and, more recently, in the “gangsta” rapper). Perry used this mitigation stratagem when dealing with whites in real life, allegedly maintaining a coon persona while auditioning for a role in _In Old Kentucky (1938)_, where he stayed in the Stepin Fetchit character before and after the audition. Often, while making movies in which he found the lines offensive, Perry would skip or mumble lines he did not like, pretending to be too stupid to comprehend the script.

The “Coon” stereotype existed long before Perry decided to adopt it (its prevalence as a defiance stratagem intensified after the gains that African-Americans had made in the post-Civil War Reconstruction Era were rolled back by segregationist Jim Crow laws, when an “uppity” African-American could well wind up hanging from a tree at the end of a rope). However, he was such a hit with white audiences that his Stepin Fetchit persona popularized the “Coon” image to an unprecedented degree in the medium of film, and many stereotypical black movie characters, including the child Stymie in the “Our Gang” comedy series, were based upon Stepin Fetchit to cash in on his popularity.

Perry reached the apex of his career co-starring with Will Rogers in several films, including John Fords Steamboat Round the Bend (1935). When viewed objectively today (without revulsion), Perry’s Stepin Fetchit character can be seen as more than holding his own with the great Rogers, achieving some kind of inverse parity with his white “massa” through the sheer forcefulness of his personality. Rogers clearly is fond of Perry (if not Stepin Fetchit), although he is liable to denigrate the Stepin Fetchit character unmercifully. In a way, it provides a window on race relations in that Southern and other white Americans could experience fondness for black folk, but would “put them in their place” at any time, for any reason.

Stepin Fetchit became the first African-American actor to become a millionaire, but he mishandled his fortune through lavish overspending and was bankrupt by 1947. In the 1940s his career in mainstream “white” cinema was essentially over, and he crossed over into “race” films, movies made specifically for (and sometimes by) African-Americans, where he essentially played the same shtick. By 1960 he was a charity case in Chicago.

Perry had been denounced by the same civil rights leaders that eventually forced CBS to mothball the popular TV series The Amos ‘n Andy Show (1951), as they didn’t want any stereotypes pandering to the inherent racism of whites while they were trying to obtain equality. Cast out and an exile in the 1960s, Perry was rehabilitated by heavyweight champion Cassius Clay–the symbol of African-American racial pride who had become Muhammad Ali–making him one of his entourage after Perry allegedly showed him a punch that Ali successfully used during a fight. Following Ali’s example, Perry converted to the ‘Honorable Elijiah Muhammad”s Lost-Found Nation of Islam (the so-called “Black Muslims”). He was saved.

Remembering a piece of the past

Do I lie or just fabricate the truth?

I have been accused of lying to my students. They do not believe me and my words now fall on deaf ears. They do not believe there was the institution of slavery. No man could own another. It just can not be true. So said my students. Then they could not believe the stories on spoke of that concerned woman’s rights. There is no way a woman could allow herself to be treated that way. “What do you mean woman did not have the right to vote!” they argued constantly. Finally they could not believe the brave soldiers who came home from Vietnam were not treated as heroes. “They fought a war, some died, many wounded, how could the country treat them poorly,” they said and again called me a liar.

So as a liar I will make predictions for the upcoming year, 2014. This is directed to my readers.

Some of you will make good money, some will stay about the same and finally others will go deeper in the hole.

Some of you will buy a house, some will rent, some of you will be evicted and some will go homeless.

Some of you will have a fight with your boss, some of you will keep quiet, and some will quit and finally some will get fired. Those of you who are the boss will have an employee who fits into those categories. Those retired will not have any of these situations occur.

You will see a movie, eat at a restaurant, have a family meal, eat alone and use the cell phone at least once in the next year.

You will lose your temper, capitulate, say your sorry, be yelled at, and sleep at least once late in the day.

Some of you will find religion, some will lose theirs and many of you will ask questions. Some will find the light and others turn it off.

Finally some of you will add to your family tree, some will get sick and some will leave your tree and go into the ground.

Like Nostradamus my predictions for next year are given a one hundred percent guarantee. Remember at the beginning of this rant I said my students thought I was a liar. If any of the above predictions turn true than I am not a liar. If not well, guess the title fits.

Star Trek and race relations

It is obvious that Star Trek represented what we would be in the future. One take was race relations. The episode of a black and white man versus a white and black man reached the conclusion that was predictable. Spending time fighting one another has resulted in the waste of time, money and emotions. And that is why I suspect that this would be resolved in a Star Trek future. The mixture of Black and White people is common now. Asian people have intermarried with both groups. Take this a thousand years from now and we will have morphed into a non racial group combining all elements of society. Therefore, Star Trek would have no Uhura, no Russian, no Asian but mixtures of them. In fact even alien groups will upon meeting will mix after years of involvement.


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