My last post was pretty much just a rant about things that have been going on in my life and a mish-mash of my pretty pissed off and cynical opinions about some of the major American news issues of the day.
What I'd really like this blog to be is not just pissed off rants and raves, but my actual thoughts and opinions without all the cursing and just plain pisstivity.
So, let me back things up a bit and explain a little bit of how I got to this point and place in my life.
After a pretty happy childhood and rocky but typical adolescence, I graduated from Hamilton High School and went off to Jackson State University in Mississippi on a half music scholarship. After a year spent pissing away a pretty damned good opportunity for a college education, I spent a few years floating around, blaming my parents for my failures, performing fairly well in the low end jobs I took and finally deciding for lack of anything else better to do to go into the Army.
In November of 1991 I entered the U.S. Army and in December I found I was pregnant (a little too much saying goodbye to the guy I left behind). In either late February or early March I was discharged and before you could say "Drill Sergeant" it was July and I had a daughter on my hands.
Now when you have a kid you can do one of two things. Take care of them your damned self or foist off your responsibility on someone else. I did a bit of both. I took excellent care of my daughter, but I stayed home with my parents.
I did eventually move out on my own and a few years later ended up in a long-term relationship with a guy I'm still with (it's been eight years). In this interim I worked a lot of entry-level secretarial gigs and been a temp at damn near every office building in downtown Cincinnati and also the Blue Ash, Sharonville, Fairfield, etc. I've had a couple of long-term gigs and as mentioned previously, I just got fired from my most recent one in June.
However, I digress. In the mid 90's three things happened. First, my long-term relationship guy, (whom I'll call David until I tell him I'm writing a blog and get permission to use his real name) and I settled down in a major way. Secondly, after we'd been together for a couple of years when one Valentines Day he skipped the chocolates, cards and crap and got me something I really wanted: my very first PC of my very own. I'd already discovered the internet from my various jobs and at the library but having it in my own home was the stuff dreams were made of at the time.
Lastly, I discovered Harry Potter. The book series was interesting but the disovery of the online communities, message boards and chat rooms, talking to people around the world in real time made a huge impact on me as it did to many at the time. I mean here I was two years removed from the projects and suddenly I was participating in the digital revolution.
From the message boards, I learned HTML. I went from message board speak to building and administering websites. I learned quickly and fond that people would actually pay me to build and maintain simple business websites for them. It's always incredible when you can get paid for doing what you love.
And I began to love computers and the internet but I was still enclosed pretty much in my own insular world.
Then September 11 happened. Actually the 2000 election happened first. Everyone black person I knew was bitterly opposed to George W. at the time. It's a shame to say but at that time, I was still at the stage of voting whoever my mom told me too. Yes, I was over 25 and voting how Mama said. But voting how Mom said was easier than forming a political opinions of my own. I wasn't interested in such things much anyway beyond soundbites and media buzz anyway.
Then September 11 happened. And George W. was promising revenge and honestly and truly I was all for it. I didn't care what Mama said. My daughter's biological father had been on plane to New York. His landed earlier in the day before the horrible tragedy occurred, but I will never forget the panic and fear I felt that he might be one of the fatalities.
Yep, after September 11, I was 100% behind George Bush and anything he wanted to do to catch the people who could perpetrate this monstrosity on our nation. I remember crying for heaven's sake during one of his many speeches in the days afterwards.
Two things would change my mind. The first was the term "sand nigger". The first tiem I heard those words spoken together, I knew that I needed to do some serious reading. It dawned on me that although people in Afghanistan may not be of African Descent, they certainly are brown-skinned. The only book I'd ever read about anything to do with Afghanistan was a fictional work by Ken Follett called "Lie Down with Lions" which was made into a pretty poor for-TV movie. So I went back and read it again and then I headed back to the library where I'd discovered book obsession as a child and internet obsession in my twenties.
I read many articles and books that in addition to "Lie Down with Lions" enlightened me to one fact. However pissed off at these people we may be now, whatever weapons they were fighting them with, we had sold them. I learned the meaning of the "Iran-Contra" scandal and how The Good Old USA, far from being the past-arbiters of slavery but damn we're the good guys now, had simply extended their treachery to every part of the globe imaginable and however unimaginable, people like me, who had their heads buried in the sand, weren't helping matters either.
I was kicking myself for ever history class I ever blew off, for ever Civics lesson I hadn't paid attention to and for the chance at a college education I had squandered. I knew that I would have to read more, pay attention to everything the media said (and didn't say), and that I would have to make up for my lack of education.
So, now you know. I'm not an expert on anything. I simply read. I draw conclusions, jump to conclusions, espouse an idea or just plain rant, only to have to rethink and redraw and rejump. I'm growing, changing, evolving.
A little late perhaps, but better late than never.