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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What is James thinking?

What's crackin', folks? Been doing a little reporting the past week or so, exercising the day job, 'cause I have bills to pay. But I've been thinking about you guys. Seriously. And if, like John Malkovich, I could somehow let you inside my bean you'd have heard me pondering the following 20 questions in my absence:

  1. I don't want to think about Britney. But I can't help thinking about Britney. I know the pundits keep comparing her downward spiral to that of Anna Nicole Smith, but I wonder if I'm the only one who sees a little bit of Lupe Velez in her?
  2. Why is it than when Mrs. B had a procedure done on Friday that involved X-ray, the doctor, who invited me to stay close, only made me wear a lead-filled protective vest that covered my upper torso and my boys down below? If that X-ray was so potentially dangerous, shouldn't I have been wearing a lead hat and face mask too? I like liked my pre-microwaved brain.
  3. I'm not supporting anyone for president this year - except maybe Dave Barry, but I'm tired of candidates suffering in polls and ratings over superficial qualities. Take John McCain. You may not like him or his positions. But he has experience. I wonder though if in his own party his experience will eventually be overlooked because of his advanced age. I mean is he gonna get "Bob Doled," just 'cause he's a senior citizen?
  4. And speaking of superficial qualities, on the other side of the political spectrum, I know that Hilary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards are playing the games too. It's what politicians do. But why is it OK for Clinton to pepper her speeches sometimes with the reminder that voters could make history by making her the first female president, but it's not OK for Barack Obama to remind voters that he could make history by being the first ethnic minority president? If that would constitute him playing the "race card," isn't she playing the gender card?
  5. And why are the Democratic candidates arguing over who's more or less like MLK and JFK, anyway? NONE of them could hold MLK's or JFK's jock straps.
  6. Moving right along, but still on the old Political Road, can someone explain to me why Bob Johnson, billionaire founder of Black Entertainment Television, while introducing Clinton at a campaign rally the other day managed to question Barack Obama's morals and not get called a hypocrite for doing so? Am I nuts, or is this the same Bob Johnson who made his billion-plus dollars by peddling to a largely black audience brainless music videos featuring rappers bragging about cash, cars and homes they didn't really have, disrespecting women, and graphically describing criminal activity? And yet Obama is immoral? Hmmm.
  7. Why does this orange stray cat on my block keep bringing dead birds up to my front door? I don't think I've ever said anything nice to this cat. Why bring gifts? I'll bet Mrs. B feeds him.
  8. How cool was it a couple of weeks ago that temperatures got so low here in South Florida - wind chills in the 30s overnight in some spots - that we had an excuse to use our fireplace for a couple of nights? I'm always looking for an excuse to do torch a log or two in that thing during "winter" down here.
  9. How is it that doctors can X-ray, scan, or ultrasound virtually everything inside your body, but when it comes to prostate exams they still have to shove a tube or a pipe in your bum to look around? I had a doctor's appointment earlier this week, and even though it'll be a good long while before I see 40, the doc was kind enough to offer a prostate exam. I declined. I've gotta get counseling and get my head right, before I allow that to happen to me.
  10. Has caffeine just been a placebo for me all these years? I wonder. Ever since I cut back on coffee - roughly five cups in the past four weeks - I've noticed my energy level hasn't really fallen off at all.
  11. How come the dude I startled on the train platform one morning, just as he was singing "don't you wish your girlfriend was a freak like me" in accompaniment to his iPod, just kept singing? Was he incredibly confident in himself, or what? I wish I had that kind of confidence that I could get caught singing girly lyrics and not care who heard me. Not that I'd sing girly lyrics. I'm all manly tunes.
  12. Why is it that when a young black man was arrested and charged earlier this week for the recent fatal shooting of an off-duty black cop, the same black Fort Lauderdale city commissioner who regularly criticizes police in fatal officer-involved shootings did not issue a public statement condemning the murder of the cop? And while I'm thinking about it, I wonder how many South Florida preachers next Sunday will tell their parishioners that enough's enough, and there is no longer any excuse for not turning on and turning in perps who shoot innocent people?
  13. How come, the day I rode the train to work this week, an angry woman bypassed several rows of empty seats and plopped down next to me, and spent the next 20 minutes grumbling aloud about how much she hates people?
  14. Why do I think that will be the death of some cable television? And why am I so happy about that?
  15. Why are there so many posers in Miami? Let me rephrase that. If I had the money to afford a $65,000 luxury car, when I stopped at a gas station I'd fill up. At least that's what I was thinking when the guy in the Jaguar XJ pulled up next to me, pumped $9 worth of gas, counted out the cash and then went inside to pay. A Jag and no credit or debit card to use at the pump? Signs of posing. I knew a guy like that in college - great car, nice clothes, but barely a crumb in his pantry and little more than a card table in his apartment. He was so broke just keeping up appearances with that car that he'd stop for gas and put $3 here and $2 there in the tank, 'cause he never had enough to fill it up all the way.
  16. How is it that domestic animals, especially cats, don't seem to mind the taste of their own grimy crotches and behinds? I don't get how an animal with a palate for fine seafood could reconcile those other tastes so willingly, all in the name of "cleaning" oneself.
  17. What is the threshold age for finally being sick of MTV? I think I'm just about there. The latest season of the Real World just ended, and I can honestly say I didn't see one complete episode. In fact, at most, I saw 10 minutes or so of two episodes. Didn't care to see the rest.
  18. Why are tiny elastic T-shirts, those Baby Gap-like nightclub tees, making a comeback among muscled dudes? I've seen at least a half dozen steroidal dudes proudly walking around in those things lately. I thought they were filming A Night at the Roxbury II, or something.
  19. Why do rappers I used to like keep coming out of retirement? Why don't they do like retired non-steroidal baseball players and become talent scouts and travel the globe looking for artists who have more to say than booty, booty, booty, booty, booty, booty, booty?
  20. Why am I cooler than the other side of the pillow? It should be a crime.

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  • A lot of deep, probing, existential questions here, JB.

    A session with Yoda ought to clear things up for you.

    That prostate thing's no joke, though. Maybe you're a little young now for a proctological exam, but be sure to keep that prostate healthy.

    That way you can avoid being a statistic (one out of every three men!).

    While we're on it, after 50 or so, you'll want to have a flex sigmoid, or a colonoscopy.

    This last year I noticed that several celebrities died from colon cancer.

    If you start that counseling now, your head might be right when that certain age rolls around.

    By Anonymous everyone's crazy but me, at 1:54 AM  

  • I'm all for refusing the ole bum diddler test myself. Did you see this?

    Man sues over forced rectal exam

    By Blogger Hammer, at 2:43 PM  

  • You guys and your fears of a finger examination of an important commodity on your body - suck it up and just DO IT! It's just a little pain in the behind for a very short time and one that could easily save your life.

    Now -what's the odds of drafting Dave Barry to run for office? I think I would vote for him over the other candidates right now.

    By Blogger Jeni, at 7:09 PM  

  • I give thanks every day that I am not a dog or cat, much as I love both, and do not have to clean myself with my own tongue.

    By Blogger heartinsanfrancisco, at 8:21 PM  

  • I agree with you about Bob Johnson. He has done damage to our community that won't be soon undone.

    I heard that it was so cold in Florida, that the iguanas were going into a deep sleep and falling out of the trees. Nice.

    I got sick of MTV at about 27.

    By Blogger katrice, at 3:51 AM  

  • Goodness. So many questions! Glad to see someone else feels the same way about John McCain as I do: we don't match up on many issues, but I do think he's the only one there with the experience and the resolve to get things done. That dude knows what he believes and stands by it. Gotta respect that.

    I just wish his beliefs didn't so often disagree with mine.

    By Blogger thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy, at 9:49 AM  

  • That's lot of questions. I think the problem is that you cut back on your coffee, which is making your mind come up with all of these strange thoughts. Caffeine is one of the major food groups; don't take chances with your health by taking it from your diet. Go back to the coffee pot, and with time all of the answers to these questions will come to you.

    By Blogger BobG, at 1:49 PM  

  • Good questions. I am going to make a pot of coffee and think about them. except the one about cat tongues.

    By Blogger David, at 2:17 PM  

  • I'm not ready to do rectal exam. I too believe it is not right that tagging Obama as a Race candidate, if they do then we can have all rights to tell that Hillary was playing gender card...
    Breakdown Insurance

    By Anonymous John, at 11:31 AM  

  • Yep - I think Mrs B is slipping the orange kitty some goodies. In return, he's bringing her presents of dead birds (Very big in cat circles...) Personally, I get dead chewed up lizards...
    As for the rest - wait till you hit 50!!!

    By Anonymous dogncatmom, at 12:31 PM  

  • Just two days ago the hubby and I were talking about the race (for President) and I said there probably weren't many young folk who knew that Shirley Chisholm was in 1972, the first woman taken seriously in a bid for President. AND, she was black.

    That cat thinks you are her baby.

    By Blogger Pamela, at 1:41 AM  

  • I would totally vote for Dave Barry.

    By Anonymous Franki, at 9:37 AM  

  • Dude. At the appropriate time get the exam. Speaking from the hub's experience. You may be a bit young, though.Unless it's in your family. Just saying. Do it when it's required. Listen to mom.

    The Hillary/Oback thing. Until a black person (and add the woman thing into it...) or woman is elected president the race/gender thing will always be hovering. Just because. Once it's not a factor, it will be overlooked. But, the fact that either issue is still twirling around is just stupid. Of course, all politics is stupid. Campaigns will still be run nastily regardless. So much for "progress." He who prevails, prevails is the net net.

    By Anonymous Kim, at 7:51 PM  

  • James,

    First of all, I wish Biggie Smalls would come out of retirement. RIP.

    Second, I seriously frickin' doubt Barrack (Hussein) Obama needs to REMIND voters that he's the first viable RACIAL-minority candidate for president.

    I mean, you wouldn't be able to forget even if you were listening to him orate on the radio.

    Btw, I think it's hilarious that his senior speech writer is a 26 year-old whiteboy!

    The whiteboy told the NY Times he's trying to channel a bit of King along w/ the JFK and RFK. Wow!

    By Blogger M@, at 1:00 AM  

  • I doubt that we'll ever have the great leaders we had in the past regardless of race, sex, etc. Today, Lincoln, FDR, Teddy Roosevelt, most of our pre-TV presidents couldn't get elected today, and most wouldn't expose their families to the press, in my opinion. I can't imagine JFK being elected today, but I'm pretty cynical.

    As for rectal exams and colonoscopys, Dan Fogelberg just died at age 54 of prostate cancer. Catch it early, and it's eminently cureable. Same thing with colon cancer, which recently killed another friend of mine. So, before I was 50, I used to let a doctor stick the 12 foot chromed tailpipe of a 32 Studebaker up my ass with untold amounts of fiberoptics and a scalpel and a camera along with floodlights and a lunchstand for all I know. What I do know is that I haven't got cancer, and I get a couple of doctors and nurses giggling when I remind them that I'm not gay. I refuse to believe my line is original. Take it for your own, just let them test you. Then you can call me up and we can bitch together over a couple of beers. I'll buy.

    By Blogger The CEO, at 12:28 AM  

  • Men and rectal exams. Geez, it's just a little finger. Ya'll quit whining.

    Let's talk about mammograms and then hear you complain. :-)

    By Blogger SWF42, at 10:24 AM  

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