Monday, July 06, 2009

FED UP 101

I'm fed up. Yup, I'm fed up with just being fed up. And the list is just getting longer by the day and it seems that I'm not alone. My Fed Up tirade consist of that far reaching Star Trek type radar of subjects, persons and or issues. So here's my list. I'm Fed Up with some of my neighbors whom don't share my view of keeping tidy surrounding's that doesn't include refuse, non-working cars and loose beer cans running about. I'm pretty Fed Up with the concept that I must pay sales taxes on a used car, my dog's grooming, personal property tax, income taxes, hamburger tax, and just about any taxes that exist. Although I realize that without doing so just would me more Fed up with missing essential services such as fire and police protection. While I'm being Fed Up, I guess I'm also put out with those whom obliviously and openly chirp on cell phones while shopping or "text manics" trying to drive as well. Then, there's employees who have more insipid reasons why they can't come to work, not to mention why they are not working when they do arrive late. Adding to my dismay, I can't leave out my creditors ability to change the rules of my credit cards at their greedy pleasure, sparring to get a doctors appointment when I want it, waiting in line at the U Scan because the customer before me seems clueless, the excessively loud rap music that jar the walls of my home even though we have a neighborhood "noise ordinance" and the Wall Street wizards whom created those slug mechanism that not many knew how they worked resulting in massive government bailouts. And damn it, I'm still Fed Up about loosing my best friend to AIDS and my inability to find a person to fill that void. Hell, I'm just FED Up with life itself, but when I think about it, isn't everybody? Yet, the only alternative is simply not living which I'm not ready to embrace, so does it really matter how fed up I am about anything. Especially, since the overall determination of my piece of mind is based on my own personal responsibility tied to choices that I ultimately decide. I may have a distaste for all the above, but we all have a list of items that cause us angst and discord. I'm fully aware that the playing field in life hasn't and most likely will never be the same for the masses. History has sound illustrations to that fact and our present day situation isn't faring well either. I'm not blinded to the inadequacies within our society or the systems that have allowed such disenfranchisement to co-exist, but the recent chatter from the Fed UP Queer group concerning their "position" in regards to local businessman Norman Jones caused me pause. For the record, I've known Jones for numerous years and let me be clear, we've not seen eye to eye on a variety of issues including some that were quite public. I feel comfortable with the stance that as mature adults, we can agree to disagree, and move on respectfully. I re-read this stated position again to refresh my senses and I respect their right to protest, opinions and civil discourse. However, it's the outcomes that I'm trying to assess as well as the broadness of their bullet points. They cite Jones' "monopoly" in this city. Well, that may be true now, but their were other owner/operators who were the only game in town long before Jones entered the market. Furthermore, their have been numerous individuals to coincide in this area, even as Jones operated then and now, offering the LGBTQ community choice. I personally remember all of them with their own questionable "sense and sensibilities" that often didn't please one faction or another, including myself. It's fact that each of those business people called the shots for their establishments irrespective of the communities needs or wants. They supported when they desired to do so and as they deemed appropriate. The "gay" business segment of this city has had a cautious approach in supporting the community. Basically because many of these entrepreneurs outside the nightlife venues have cited the lukewarm support they've received. On 4.27.07, this forum sponsored a free Networking Event for businesses which garnered marginal results. I was personally told by a local business person, "why should I attend to promote my business, when most gay people don't really support my business..." In retrospect, it wasn't protest that led to those bar closures, it was the art of doing business vs market forces. If Jones has been a survivor, it's due his adept business acumen, tenacious work ethic and his passion for success. Getting in business can be easy, but staying in businesses is the true test. Especially while attempting to provide a venue for a diverse group as the lavender set with its ever changing satisfaction level. Further in their outline, they use terms such as "exploitative" and denote the lack of access in Mr. Jones entities for HIV/AIDS literature, of which I had heard about before this eruption from a former outreach worker of Many Men, Many Voices. If my memory serves me correctly, then Coordinator J. Martin recounted to me that Jones referred to his tri-folds as "racist," due to the nature that this JCCSI sanctioned outreach focused distinctively to the Black MSM population. I found that observation remarkably narrow minded with hopes that perhaps NJ could be positioned for ongoing "teachable moments." Meanwhile, Jones is called out concerning, incidents of folks being singled out for their uniqueness or expression as detailed supposedly by a shirtless cub but not the PYT (pretty young thing) with a six pack. His lack of cash outlay for Act 1 and the operating of HWPA have these members "fed up" as well. In my opinion, are these random situations or discernable patterns that actually warrants attention? To what realistic standard is this corporate citizen vs other business citizens held accountable for their interaction within this community? Where's the responsibility or culpability zone for those who have "willingly" supported Jone's outlets over the years? Has it not been just easy to abdicate the collective consciouness? Apparently FUQ wants to make a point and it's going down for discussion in public view on Tuesday at 6 pm in Mac Arthur Park. I have to assume that anyone and everyone is invited, so let's let the chips fall where they may...stay tuned I'm sure I'll have some more to say about this one. In the meantime, don't forget that the floor is always open for your thoughts.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cornelius, I do agree with you that Norman has had his moments of discourse with several of us over the years. But as far as the HIV/AIDS work goes, he has permitted one of the organizations to begin work in the club as of this coming Friday. Many times it can be the approach.