This Week In Forth | Week of September 19
First, I would like to apologize for the fact that this week’s edition will be a bit on the short side. I was traveling for work earlier this week, so I’ve had very limited free time in the evenings. Who knows, you might like the abbreviated format better. I imagine that other than my dad, there are few individuals who actually care to stick around for nearly two thousands words worth of my random rants that in many cases are only tangentially related to events of the week. At any rate, let’s get started with this week’s edition of “Diet This Week In Forth” – all of the fun with much fewer calories (and unlike actual diet soda, this abbreviated version of “This Week in Forth” doesn’t cause cancer).
Colin Powell’s Leaked Emails: Colin Powell’s leaked emails may be the best thing I’ve read all week. If you haven’t read some of the excerpts, do yourself a favor and google it. Colin Powell’s emails are witty, hilarious, and as shady as a Real Housewives franchise reunion show. Matter fact, the emails may be as shady as a Love and Hip Hop reunion show. In correspondence to Condoleezza Rice, he dragged Dick Cheney, Liz Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and the Clintons through the mud in a most entertaining fashion; it was a truly equal opportunity bipartisan effort. He reached across the aisle and provided the caliber of insults that could really bring our much divided country together. Moreover, he articulates his insults so beautifully, you can hardly tell he’s going for the jugular. If he insulted me, I’d be torn because on one hand my feelings would be hurt, but on their other hand, I’d have a great appreciation for the the style and eloquence that went into the insult in question. One particular email to Condoleezza Rice included the phrase “One day when we both have had too many drinks we can discuss…” This resulted in me adding going to the bar with Colin Powell and Condi Rice to my list of life goals. In general, group texts are the absolute worst, but I wouldn’t mind being in on Powell and Rice’s groupme.
Teacher Bae: I realize that this story has been covered at length via various podcasts on the Forth District platform. However, I figured I would put my late-to-the-party token female hat in the ring. For those of you who have been living under a rock, Patrice Brown, AKA “Teacher Bae”, is an Atlanta Public Schools (APS) employee who ignited a social media firestorm as many have deemed Instagram pictures featuring her work attire to be inappropriate. First, I would like to insert one important fact in the conversation. In particular, “Teacher Bae” is not a teacher; she is a paraprofessional. This is an important distinction because much of the criticism of her attire I’ve seen stems from the fact that one of the dresses she was wearing is of the stretchy bodycon variety. Although bodycon material is tighter and more revealing than other fabrics, it is also much more affordable in many cases. I’m not sure how we can expect high quality fabrics from paraprofessionals who earn even less than our already grossly underpaid teachers. How can we expect “Teacher Bae” to wear Marc Jacobs quality fabrics on a paltry Rainbow/Forever 21 quality salary?
Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t discuss the sexism and inherent double standard. In particular, there is a male “Teacher Bae” on Instagram who works in the New York school system and boasts an Instagram account steeped in photos of the thirst trap variety. In the photos in which he’s actually wearing a shirt, the shirts in question are so tight that there is absolutely no room for Jesus, and it is very clear that he spends nearly every waking moment outside of the school working out in the gym or at the barbershop maintaining his bountifully luscious beard. In essence, the thirst trap levels of his Instagram account make Idris Elba’s social media presence resemble that of a monk. However, male “Teacher Bae” has received primarily positive feedback for a social media presence that is orders of magnitude more wild than that of female “Teacher Bae”.
Finally, let’s talk about the body type shaming component. If female “Teacher Bae” were shaped like a 12 year old boy, I don’t think anyone would be concerned with her attire. Chastising a woman for essentially having a curvy body is quite problematic, and therein lies a racial component since many (but not all obviously) African American women do have a curvy body shape (larger hips, thighs, boobs and behind with a proportionally smaller waist). I’m not sure that a potato sack could hide “Teacher Bae’s” figure, so my take on the conversation is, that we should all let her live her life. However, APS doesn’t quite agree with me as “Teacher Bae” has been disciplined for her adherence to the dress code and her use of social media.
Shawty Lo: RIP to the man who had us all snapping and rocking to his music. Shawty Lo also provided yet another excellent synonym for behinds, the Laffy Taffy. The “Laffy Taffy” song in particular reminds me of some great times during my first semester of undergrad. My prayers go out to his family.
Sit With Us App: I absolutely love the fact that a teenage girl has launched an app that helps school students that don’t have many friends locate lunch tables at which those seated would be kind and welcoming to anyone who may wish to join. I love everything about the fact that the “sit with us” app can connect folks with open hearts to those that need it the most. I also love that the technology was built by a 16 year old girl. Female technologists rock!
To Eat or Not to Eat, that is the Question: A captioned image of a bowl of skittles posted by Donald Trump’s twitter account posed an interesting question. In particular, the question (or a paraphrased version) was as follows:
My answer to this is an astounding yes. As it stands, in a regular bowl of skittles, each and every skittle will lead lead to tooth decay, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and eventually death. If I could find a bowl in which only a few of the skittles would contribute to my demise, I would certainly take such a magical bowl.
Mexican Independence Day: Just an FYI, Mexican Independence Day was last Friday, the 16th of September. It is not, in fact, Cinco de Mayo as many incorrectly believe. I would have included this tidbit in last week’s edition, but I didn’t want to provide anyone the opportunity to leverage the new information as a means of finding an excuse to get wasted while wearing supremely offensive costumes as many are so fond of doing on the 5th of May.
Why Lie? I Need Beer: Maybe I’m just a hater, but I don’t see why the college student who received a plethora of donations via his Venmo account for holding a sign requesting beer money (that was shown on ESPN) is being lauded as an ingenious entrepreneur for doing the very same thing that homeless people are shunned for doing every single day. In fact, the homeless population risks getting run over by vehicles posting up at highway exits, whereas the college student in question risked very little holding a sign at a football stadium. Why aren’t homeless people praised as entrepreneurs? It takes work to brave the elements and solicit funds. It also requires marketing expertise to craft an attractive sign or catchy slogan such as “Why lie, I need beer”. Moreover, it requires strategy and market analysis to determine the most lucrative street corner at which to set up shop.
I rarely carry cash, but as a personal policy, I’m always willing to use my credit card to purchase medicine or meals for anyone that either asks or comes up short ahead of me in the line at the pharmacy or grocery store. However, on one occasion I was very tempted to give funds to a woman who was requesting money for a pharmaceutical purchase but was in fact lying. In fact, if I had cash on me, I would have given her ten bucks. Her act was well-crafted, well-researched, and fairly believable as it included accurate details as to the specific disease, required medication, and price (the only thing she could work on is improving her reasoning as to why I couldn’t accompany her to the pharmacy and pay via credit card). I’ve given $10 to many mostly terrible productions, for example, I’ve seen more than one Tyler Perry movies in theaters and I’ve even seen a few terrible Christian films of the Kendrick brothers variety. I’ve even spent money on a Nicholas Sparks film (arguably the white Tyler Perry). If I’m willing to give away $10 to Tyler Perry or the Kendrick brothers for a mostly bad production, surely I can give $10 for my neighbor’s Oscar quality medication pitch whose slight imperfections (the credit vs need for cash piece) pale in comparison to the gaping holes in a Tyler Perry plot or run-of-the-mill Christian film.
Tulsa and Charlotte: What can I say? Yet again, I really don’t have the words. I pray for the grieving families, and I pray that we will come together as a people and as a country and provide some real solutions.
Pipeline Leak: Regarding the oil pipeline leak and subsequent panic-induced gas shortages, I think the moral of the story is the following:
- Atlanta residents love a good panic as much as we love sweet tea and calling every drink other than sweet tea Coke. If we can rush to purchase gas in order to create a nonexistent shortage, we will do so. If we can rush to purchase perishable items such as bread and milk at the onset of a crisis (whether the crisis is real or imaginary), we will do so. (Panics aren’t about being practical; purchasing non perishable items such as canned goods that will withstand power outages is for the birds. Bread and milk it it is.)
- Oil pipelines do, in fact, leak–I guess the Dakota Pipeline waterway contamination fears aren’t so unfounded after all.
Footnote: I guess this week’s edition didn’t turn out to be all that short after all, and it is probably still longer than what anyone other than my dad cares to read. If you are not my dad and have in fact read to the end, please let me know in the comments section. (I welcome comments from my father also, but I don’t think that will happen as just today he called to let me know that he doesn’t know how to comment and that he will need assistance joining Twitter so he can get updates regarding new posts and suggest topics.)