Thursday, December 31, 2009

The New Year will definitely bring about contemplation, regrets, and thoughts of happiness and sadness. All of us have ups and downs. This is a part of the process we accurately label as Life.

Many lives have been literally destroyed by the economic downturn and 10 percent unemployment rate. Actually, both have been impetus to the wreckage. Wreckage that eventually becomes our past. But, how do we move on from foreclosure, divorce, repossession, levies, and all the other consequences of America’s inevitable mess? How do we rectify our lives when the last year in a decade may not bring about meaningful employment, fair bank loans, better salaries, affordable health insurance, and rejuvenated spiritual faith? The questions are endless and answerless when there is so much uncertainty and a fading hope.

Thanksgiving is my favorite time of the holiday season. It is a reminder to have fun, enjoy life, and be thankful that my mother is still with us, alive. Without her I cannot imagine going on. Life for me will end. It would be over without Mary Catherine Scott. Believe me, when I say “over” I don’t mean that I will cease to exist. I am sure I will live on, with my mother’s spirit, in me. I am also sure that many more wrecks will occur as a result of her unavailable guidance.

A long lost friend rode home with me the Wednesday before Thanksgiving Day. On the ride up we had a joyous time reminiscing about our lives growing up in Thomasville, North Carolina. The good times and the bad. The drama we caused for ourselves - and the unfortunate pain we caused for others.

It was an easy drive partly because we lost track of the minutes and miles. I am so thankful my lack of attention to Interstate 85 did not cause a wreck.

Wreck – What is the first thought you have when you read that word?

I envision and think of a car accident.

During the ride home Jonathan (not real name) talked about his adult life with such conviction. He is well aware of his mistakes, mishaps, and what affect they have had on his life. They have brought a unique - and appreciated humility. I found it intriguing that Jonathan has been through so much e.g. prison, homelessness, and unemployment. Despite all this wreckage he still generates such pleasantness just with his presence.

He had no idea that I was hanging onto every single word, phrase, and statement. I told him, “You are writing my year end commentary.”

In four and half hours I learned so much. I have been to two highly touted universities; and I must admit that one of the best professors I have had was Jonathan. He earned the best description without charging me $80,000. The outrageous cost of my ‘schooling’.

The ride was summed up with 5 words.

The Wreckage of Our Past

Our past will come back to haunt us. That is a fact. Your past is what you have to build a new you. It can be used as a cleansing and/or purification. Our past is littered with fender benders and total lost wrecks. It is our responsibility to drive carefully while on earth to avoid the wrecks. Yes, some are unpreventable – but the carefulness we implore can ease impacts.

As I prepared to drive back to Atlanta, Georgia with my favorite Professor I received a dreadful call from Jonathan. He was calling to inform me that his mother died. The second comment from him in between weeps was, “I am so thankful I had the opportunity to apologize to her for the pain my PAST caused. I was wrong then…and I made peace with her.”

Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by a ride I will NEVER forget. Thank you, Jonathan.

Happy Old Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Life as Improvisation

We are making up life as we go.

Every decision we make is like an impromptu decision. Even when we think we have the plan all worked out. In place. Nice and tidy with no blemishes that WE can detect with our superficial inspection; life remains reflective of a split second decision; made-up on the whim. Fragile.

For those who do not believe this, I can guarantee that over the past 10-20 years you have asked yourself on several occasions in the privacy of your thoughts:

'What happen to my plan?'


You more than likely have concluded or began a moment of 'taking stock of my life' contemplation with the following:

'It was not supposed to be this way.'

Life is unpredictable. Uncontrolled. We need to stop trying to dominant and in many cases defeat it...and just live it. If we don't, we are nothing more than a slave to the conditional plans that may not become reality.

What's real is today.

Chose to live...not belabor.

Failure is an option when one knows what to do at the moment of the failure:

Laugh and Skip...I dare you!!!

Brian E. Payne

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Your Most Memorable Christmas Gift?

Christmas typically brings feelings of joy and excitement. Hideous holiday decorations. The distinctive sound of Nat King Cole’s voice singing The Christmas Song. Brandy spiked eggnog. Another fried turkey dinner. And, the celebration of Jesus’ life for those who believe He is immaculately divine and Christology convinced His birthday is in the winter month of December.

It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Oh! Forgot about the Gifts: The most important aspect of Christmas for this commercialized day of remembrance and definitely the most regarded ‘gain’ for people who place importance on what they receive rather than what they give.

Giving is better than receiving. Right? Whatever. I would rather receive any day. But, since we try to adhere to the way we are suppose to be, unselfish, we put forth an effort to give. Some give more than others. I sincerely try to move away from the innate human characteristic, selfishness, daily. During the holidays too. Wait…forget that! It is Christmas! No need for me to be politically correct! During Christmas I expect not to get much. Just the way that I am. When I think about it, I cannot recall a gift that was that special to me anyway. Before those reading who have given me a gift get upset, let me elaborate.

The gifts received have been appreciated. However, the gifts over my 39 years have not been remarkably precious. Not gifts that I hold deathly dear. Groundbreaking or something that I cannot live without. With that mediocre ‘elaboration’, I have two questions:

Is there a gift that you can think of that means the world to you? Is there a gift that you can go to now, and say, ‘this gift is/was so adorable? It means the universe to me.’

Your response says a lot about you and the person who gave you the gift. It also speaks volumes about this ‘tradition’, and what we have made of it.

Perhaps, we will receive a meaningful gift if we ask someone to Please Come Home for Christmas. ‘Home’ does not have to be a physical place. It can also be bringing oneself back to the authentic base: emotionally and spiritually. Let’s help each other get or back here.

Brian E. Payne sharing. Let’s make Christmas merry and more gift memorable!

The Christmas Song by Nate King Cole

It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year by Johnny Mathis

Please Come Home for Christmas by Charles Brown

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The Cheetah is the Fastest Animal on Earth, not you…Tiger

I tried not to give any say to the Tiger Woods saga. I really did. I have actually tried my best not to say his name – but after two occurrences pertaining to his personal messiness I changed my mind.

First, a friend shared the following quote with me:

“A man is only faithful as his options.”

What does that mean? Well, my take on it is if a man’s options (women) are abundant he is more prone to cheat or if a man’s options (women) are limited he is less likely to cheat. Now, how does that play out? Let’s use Atlanta as an example or any other major urban city:

More women than men dictates that a man will be more tempted to cheat. The options are too widespread for him to allow these ‘desperate’ women to run around untapped. Here is another example: If a man decides to limit his running of the streets (go home instead of going to Lucky Lounge) he somewhat limits his options of seeing or being prey for these ‘desperate’ women. Well, Publix is a dangerous place for non self controlled men. It is a skillful art to control the penis, and a day to day struggle!

Second, I decided to watch one of those celebrity news shows…again (I am hooked) – and it has been reported that Tiger may have had up to ten mistresses. Now, you tell me, what man can handle ten women? Who has the physical and mental stamina to mingle with ten ‘desperate’ women? Also, what idiot for a man believes he can manage all those menstrual personalities? Hell, one is enough! I want to believe that the latest money chasers, adulteress, and/or fame seekers are not legitimate mistress. If not, Tiger is more of an idiot (like most of us men who serial cheat or have serially cheated) than I thought.

He first became an idiot to me when he made a point to tell the world that he is not black – but I still respect the brotha…well, mixed Asian-Black guy, with all my heart! Haven’t these high profile black men learned that in the end the ONLY group that will stand with them is the same men and women Tiger denied?


By the way, there would not be a Cheetah if there were not a Jezebel

A comparison to Jezebel (Tiger’s ten women) suggests that a female is a whore masquerading as a good girl, who by manipulation and/or seduction misleads men (idiots like Tiger and too many other men) into sins of sexual immorality (cheating); sending them to hell (destroying families).

I will not under any circumstances remove responsibility from men who cheat. However, to cheat it takes two. All these allegedly accommodating women had to know Tiger is married. Let’s address that instead of beating the same drum: Men Cheat. What about these trifling and DESPERATE women?

Brian E. Payne sharing…hoping for a response.

Sunday, December 06, 2009


Not to my surprise, Michael Vick appears to be learning what his athleticism, ego, and celebrity prevented: What is truly important!

In His Own Words:

Brian E. Payne sharing.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Where the News Left me This Week

Watching the news is my way of staying connected to the world. During my moments of news intake I usually have a range of emotions. If I am not yelling at the television in anger I am wiping tears. Many of those tears are not of joy. They stem from what this world has become. Some will argue that the world is better off than it was four decades ago. In some ways it is. No doubt. I haven’t seen any German Shepherds ripping flesh from a human/civil rights protester lately.

What I have seen and heard are tragic stories of reality. Have I handled learning of these events appropriately? No, I have not. But, what choice do I have when my DNA dictates that I stay connected to the pulse of the United States, South America, Europe, the Caribbean, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa? Should I deny my intellect and spirit of what it craves? Perhaps, I should considering where the news ‘leaves’ me.

This week has been a journalist’s candy store. He/she has had so much to choose from: The State Dinner Party Crashers, The Tiger Woods’ Personal Soap Opera, The Slaughter of Four Police Officers in Seattle, The Use of the First Authorized Embryonic Stem Cells, The White House Commitment of 30,000 Additional Military Service Men and Women for Afghanistan, and World AIDS Day. While I found most of the stories to be legitimate – but not news worthy, I was not surprised that Tiger’s car accident was the leading story for three days. This confirming my belief why TMZ and ET are so popular: Americans are pathetically engrossed in the lives of people who live in glamour. I was not surprised that Brian Williams closed Wednesday’s NBC Nightly News program with a brief South African AIDS awareness story; and I was definitely not surprised that commentators, bloggers, and radio talk show host leaked President Obama’s Justification speech (Afghanistan) eight hours before he lame duckishly delivered it to the world.

Afghanistan is where I remain. Stuck on this story! Unwilling to leave it!

As I prepared to write this commentary I asked myself a question. The question encouraged introspection…well, it did momentarily. After thinking on my question I determined that whatever I say in confliction or disagreement of the massive troop surge then evacuation I cannot escape the thoughts of the criticism that I am bound to receive. Since I am not one to shy away from what I believe and voicing it - I will conclude this commentary with that question:

Who does this war belong to now?

We know the answer…but many are not prepared to call a spade a spade. We are not ready to hold President Obama’s feet to the fire e.g. demand he stop sanctioning death sentences for America’s young for America’s Insecurity: fear of the deserved retribution. I wonder if he would hand over this death to

We know the answer to that question too…

Change We Can Believe In

Shared by Brian E. Payne.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Controlled Violence, the Direction of Football

The swamp's trailer park quarterback does it again (Drew Brees). This time he did it against the NFL's Golden Boy and once unbeatable coach, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Two sparkling pristine figures and Goodell models for the new National Football League. Clean image player and a no nonsense coach!

Since Roger Goodell's arrival he has been on a mission to 'clean-up' the league. Some have not been appreciative of his efforts while others are thankful that someone has not played too many front office politics when it comes to the character of America's third best past time, football. Baseball still pulls at our patriotism and NASCAR, believe it or not, is the most watched sport in North America!

Professional football is not a sport that can be 409-ed. It is purposefully violent and unrelentingly poised for indecency. From the painful looking linebacker hits to the vile talk on the field there is not one element of this fanatically driven sport that leaves me with: 'Oh. What a sweet game.' There has never been sweetness:

Hard Hits Out on the Pee Wee Football Field « The Slanch Report

Football on all levels gives Pop Warner boys and draft-hopeful men the opportunity to freely act out their brutal physicality and unchecked machismo. As I typed that I had a vision of a cave man beating his chest in excitement from killing his week's dinner. Football players, particularly, Jack Lambert-types and including one offensive player, Hines Ward, are acting out their true rattlesnake natures. So when I hear that Goodell is "cleaning up the league" I question:

What can he tidy-up in a sport that requires its million dollar mules and end zone entertainers to behave like untamed mammals?

Bear strength coupled with cheetah speed and lion instinct is a ripe recipe that the NFL must have to appease its gladiator spectators.

Let's be honest, without the helmet to helmet hits and shit talking bravado the game would be boring for most Americans. We yearn to see the intellectual artist of the sport (the quarterback) helmet flying off and a good verbal back and forth that will hopeful encourage a left hook.

This is what America loves, violence. It is who we are, tamely crude animals. In this case, on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Thursday we have an opportunity to view what defines us for free. No pay for view and no all out brawl-like cage fighting: Ultimate Fighting. Who pays to watch this blood sport...anyway?

Professional football is in a peculiar situation. Will the leaders make way for what the fans want or will they really control the violence?

With Goodell as the commissioner I suspect that he will protect his investments. He is on a mission to get rid of the once upon a time TO's and silly Ocho Cinco's while ensuring his Roger Stabauch's of the game are protected.

I don't blame him: Clean House!

Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by the Terry Bradsaw of the 21st century, Drew Brees Pumps Up the Saints