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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Twofer

  • Bobby Cutts Jr: I'll be damned, I'm shocked. If you don't know, this guy is the former cop in Ohio who was recently convicted of murdering his lover/girlfriend and their unborn child, which she had been set to deliver within days of her death. Cutts appeared to act out some crying-like histrionics on the witness stand during his defense. Definitely not an Oscar-worthy performance. More like Razzies-worthy. He repeated that performance with a smidgen more sincerity during the sentencing phase of the trial earlier this week, begging the jury to spare his life. And they did it. He'll be eligible for parole when he's 80-something. If I was a gambling man, I'd have sworn they were gonna juice him up or send him to the deep fryer. The man killed a late-term-pregnant woman and her viable baby, and they didn't even give him life without parole? Hmmmm. I know some of you don't like it when I talk death penalty, but if ever there was a textbook case for it, this is it. While I don't like capital punishment 'cause of how it is applied in this country - often to innocent people, as proven most recently in Illinois in the 1990s, and often with uneven standards for criminals of different ethnic backgrounds - I am all for the concept. Some crimes are just that bad. Still, this is our system. So Cutts was done justice. I just hope they give him a 7-foot tall 400-pound cellmate whose nickname is Sausage Grinder, or something like that.
  • Everybody's down with the swirl: As some of you may also know, I live the Neapolitan life. I am ebony. Mrs. B is ivory. We just don't sing together. Anyway, I went to get a coffee before I really got into my work this morning, and an elderly woman complimented me on just how pretty I am. Those weren't her words. I'm enhancing. I think she said she liked my hat and sweater (which I'm wearing 'cause it was cold in Miami this morning). Anyway, we chatted briefly, and she told me I was a nice young man. She concluded her portion of the conversation by saying she should hook me up with her granddaughter and that she'd be proud to welcome a man of color into the family. Um, OK. Of course I told her I was flattered, but I was married. But this was the third time in like a week this has happened. It happened to Mrs. B and me at Costco. We were looking for a bottle of wine, and the wine lady came over and recommended a bottle. Mrs. B managed to escape to the next aisle. But before I could walk away, the wine lady and I were discussing menopause, and how it used to keep her up at night, and how the meds she took awakened her and helped her realize that she needed to be single again, 'cause miserable marriage is for the birds, and how I'm a reporter, and how I love my job and my bosses are the best ever. What? They're not reading this. And then she asked about Mrs B. "Your girlfriend?" "No, my wife." "Well, I'm going to tell my brother-in-law about you. He's a tall, handsome (or pretty; you can use pretty if you want to) man of color too! I'd marry him, but he's unavailable!" Then there was the woman bagging our groceries the other day. She insisted on walking out to the car with us. She asked Mr. B "your boyfriend?" Mrs. B answered "No, my husband." Grocery lady: "Well, that's perfectly alright. I don't see what the big deal is about black, white....." OK, so what is going on? Who's making a big deal about it? Not us. And why are all these folk feeling the need to tell us it's OK? I know it's OK. We're living in perfect harmony...side by side on my piano keyboard.

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  • Scott Peterson received the death penalty and Bobby Cutts Jr. just gets life? They both committed the same crime.

    And on CNN last night there was "breaking news" about the Scott Peterson case. Turns out the judge on the case died. I didn't think that was breaking news.

    By Anonymous Karmyn R, at 12:02 PM  

  • Yeah, I saw that too Karmyn. I didn't think the thing about the judge was breaking news. But you're right, they did the same crime and got drastically different outcomes. I still say, as I said when Peterson was convicted, that judgment will be overthrown on appeal. No way it's gonna stick. Just my humble opinion, of course.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 12:49 PM  

  • James Burnett! Hey Dude--so nice to see your name.

    If your wife and you HAD to perform a duet, what do you think it would be? Ya know, if someone put a gun to your head and said, "Karaoke now!" because that could happen.

    It's best to be prepared.

    By Blogger 123Valerie, at 12:52 PM  

  • 123V, I think we would sing the theme song for "Arthur."

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 1:47 PM  

  • 123V, I think we would sing the theme song for "Arthur."

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 1:48 PM  

  • Oh, man, now the song's stuck in my head.

    The people saying these things are probably hailing from semi-racist backgrounds but feel a need to verbally separate themselves from said racism. Take my mother, for example: whenever she sees a "mixed" couple, she reminds me that there are "good people and bad people" of all races. She'd also probably compliment you on your eloquence, were she to ever run into you on the street.

    But she'd mean well. That's the thing.

    By Blogger thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy, at 4:14 PM  

  • Sounds smackingly like my all-time favorite:

    "I'm not racist! I have a black friend!"

    I've heard that one since third grade.

    But hopefully that breed will die out and no one will be left to make an issue of it.

    By Blogger katrice, at 10:13 PM  

  • The Death Penalty doesn't make sense, and having two cases for the same crime arrive at different punishments that varied are another reason that the Death Penalty should be abolished. Besides, if you're wrong, you can't recover from the error.

    On the other topic, since love appears to be irrational (not subject to reason), trying to impose rules for establishing subsetting rules seems stupid.

    By Blogger The CEO, at 11:20 PM  

  • First, let me say I totally agree with you on the death penalty. I'm not sure abortionist shouldn't get the death penalty also.

    Second, be prepared for a lifetime of stares. I'm white and my wife of 23 years is a dark skinned Thai. People both here in Thailand and in the states like to look. I know it's not because I'm so handsome.(G)

    By Blogger Gerald, at 11:38 AM  

  • Amazing to me that strangers are willing to ask personal information of anyone and expect honest answers. I think I would, in your shoes, make up something different every time - "she's my twin sister", "no, we just met", "no, she's my daughter". You're really good to respond so well.

    To one of the posters - I'm pro choice.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:17 PM  

  • ThirdWorst, I get you. Intentions do count. So in that regard, I suppose I can't be too harsh on all three of these women. Maybe one of 'em, maybe two, but not all three.

    Katrice, that was my instinctive reaction - at least the part of the reaction that nagged me in the back of my mind, you know? But like I told ThirdWorst, I guess I have to consider their intentions. And deep down I suspect one or two of 'em thought they were complimenting me.

    Monty, I object to the death penalty for the same reasons. But again, I approve of the concept. If we could make it foolproof and ensure that no innocent people get trapped in it, then I'd be all for putting it to practice. And we agree about subset rules in the game of love. Won't work.

    Gerald, I'm used to the stares. They don't bother me. And the truth is I don't catch many anymore. I guess maybe that's why these three women's comments stood out to me, 'cause they seemed so unusual that they'd be shocked and/or impressed with the nature of my relationship. As for the abortion thing, I ain't touching that one with a 10 foot pole.

    Jali, the image of my mother smacking me upside my head lingered in the back of mind. That's why I didn't give a smart-mouthed response to them. But I sort of wanted to one of those times. As for the abortion thing, see my response to Gerald.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 2:21 PM  

  • If you can ensure perfection, then I agree with you. Unfortunately, perfection may only reside in our wives.

    By Blogger The CEO, at 11:33 PM  

  • [caution- drunk bloggin]
    I'd have to bet that the commentators are mostly Libs.
    A Consrevative knows he couldn't get away with that stuff. At best you'd get an 'on the sly',,, man- nice butt; or she's a cutie,,,,
    Nice na-na's, dude!

    I do like your blog, keep it up!

    By Blogger KurtP, at 1:43 AM  

  • Uh, hey. I have a single sister. Four in fact. And, well, I'd welcome a man of color into my family any day.

    Not funny? Alright. I'll knock it off.

    By Anonymous Steph, at 10:56 PM  

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