Friday, February 17, 2012

Freestyling a TGIF

Another long weekend is upon us with President's Day and Mardi Gras celebrations in the wings, plus the funeral of legendary singer Whitney Houston. As I continue to hear reports about her death and subsequent home going, it just seems so unreal for numerous reasons. Each time I hear her music, see a video or watch another promo for a "life and times" special, I keep thinking is this real. Unfortunately it is. In this outing there's much to cover and yes, I will share some more of my thoughts about Whitney. Until then, let's see what else is really going on....

DSRA: Opinions and Observations

For good part of this week I've posted about some internal wrangling that has beset the Diamond State Rodeo Association causing a "mass exodus"of members, officers, royalty team and supporters. Of course there are always two sides to any situation, however, in my opinion this situation appears to severe enough to perhaps send the long standing group into the organizational trash heap. As an individual who has been apart of that organization as well as numerous others, I've been through enough team building meeting and capacity assessment to know when a group is in a free fall into the abyss. No group can continue to prosper or will retain any credibility with constant in-fighting, disregard for other's feelings, lack of direction, "power grabs" or down right bullying. Groups are made up of people who are attracted to the organization because they believe in the "mission" that the group has decided to accomplish. When they join or become "stakeholders" in the mission they are stating that they are making a personal investment in what it takes to keep the organization functioning while trying to bring the mission in to fruition. Every group comprises of different personalities, work habits, approaches, temperaments and levels of "buy in." It is up to the leadership to determined how they will cultivate its members, assess their talents and provide a organizational culture that will nurture growth resulting in achieving the said mission. If a group lacks certain necessary components then there's plenty of capacity building guides, workbooks, consultants or what have you to assist. Since apparently DSRA members attended their own IGRA University which is designed as a "capacity building" platform it would seem that much of what's transpiring shouldn't be. However, just because you attend anything doesn't mean that you embrace what you've been taught. Therefore from my prospective, then why waste time attending something if you don't put into practice any of the information you received. All organizations need people power to make them work in some notable fashion. No one person or a tea cup of few will really make a group effective without burning out at some point. Although core groups are vital to organizations, ultimately the core should began to spin out into some future growth while sharing their sense of mission to the greater community. Historically DSRA began with a great "core" group that sought to be different yet like minded as individuals who wanted to "celebrate the country lifestyle" from a LGBT angle. Over the years it has meander many paths that some times served it in a positive manner and few times opened it to negative perceptions that were marginally resolved. Yet with the current mash up, the group again finds itself embroiled in confusion, angst and more dissent that is ripe for the LGBTQ grist mill. I would hope that all factions involved would take a long look at what's happened, why it has taken place and not who is at fault but take a truthful assessment of is it worth possibly loosing it all. Think about it.

Self  Evident Truth Project Arrives in Little Rock

In 2010 iO Tillett Wright began a project called Self Evident Truths, photographing anyone that felt like they qualified to fall on some part of the LGBTQ spectrum, from bisexual, to transgender. Shot in simple black and white, in natural light, with no makeup or styling, the photos were intended to humanize the very varied face of gays in America today. “Guess what, we look just like you, your mother, your brother, or the coworker sitting right next to you.” Around fifty portraits were shot in the two weeks that she had, and were presented in stacks in a gallery in Los Angeles, to be taken away by viewers, for free.
The tour stops in Little Rock February 27th. If you’d like to participate and have your picture added please email:  COP 24/7 suggest that you check it out, who knows we just might be one of the subjects.
To learn more about the tour

Homecoming for Whitney

What a week it's been as we've learned the news of the songstress Whitney Houston's death. As expected "all things Whitney" has been pouring out of every news or gossip portal known to man. Eveywhere and everyday there are hourly updates, sightings, "close sources saying things" and all manner of reporting. I've just been amazed at the amount of coverage and discovery that has taken place within just a few days. Nancy Grace's blow up of her take on the autopsy and the subsequet investigation cause some ire from other talking head attorneys and talkshow folk who felt that her assertions were just unnecessary for public consumption. Even New Jersey's Gov. Christie was caught up in this fast breaking event with his prounouncement of lowering the states flags to half mast in honor of the cultural icon. Citizens literally took sides on whether this motion should happen while openly debating if she was "worthy" of such an honor. Who knew that Houston's death would become a lightning rod on so many fronts with so many angles all the while the investigations looms in the background. Yet through it all, its the tragedy of the whole matter that bothers me most even as it unfolds daily. I'm still asking "why," not only about Houston but for all things connected to her death. Why hasn't America decided to acknowledge that doctor shopping is problematic among those with the resources to do so. Why do people continue to abuse prescription drugs despite glaring examples to the possible danger or impariments. Why do we continue to have senseless deaths from those who can't overcome their substance addictions. Even though I never knew Houston, its the countless folks that I have known and now know who are dealing with such abuses with hopes of surviving. Her passing is a firm remider that life is fragile, not to mention fleeting as we move through our daily routines. We must be vigilant in embracing each moment in "love" and sharing our talents to empower, educate and elevate fellow brothers and sisters. The legacy I want to leave in life will be saervice centered and trying to make a difference in someone's life. If I can help one peson believe that they are loved and that life is worth living, I will feel accomplished. If each of us reaches out to one person who is less fortunate, isolated or unconnected, we can make the world a better place. I hope that despite all the twist and turns that Whitney endured, that she truly knew that her voice and music made a difference in many people lives around the world. As her family, colleagues and friends celebrate her home going, so will all of us who also loved her for her god given talent that he has now called home. RIP and thanks for always being just, Whitney. 

1 comment:

Dusty said...

Great articles Mr. C. I miss talking to you and trying to get things going.