One year ago today, at around four in the afternoon, I was riding on a shuttle bus at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. I called home to inform my loved ones that I was on my way home after a daylong business trip. Right before the call ended, I was asked, “Did you hear that Michael Jackson died?”
“Michael Jackson who?” I asked. Certainly not the King of Pop, I was thinking. Michael Jackson had existed my entire life, either as a member of the Jackson Five, the Jacksons or a phenomenal solo artist. He was embarking on a series of 50 concert dates at London’s The O2 arena. It had to be a cruel hoax or he was mistaken for another individual with the same name.
But, of course, it was the Michael Jackson. It was the man whose legendary performance on Motown’s 25th anniversary special mesmerized me as a child. The man whose videos I had watched repeatedly and whose dance moves I clumsily attempted to master. It just didn’t seem real. Yet, when I made it to the terminal, the television monitors were tuned to CNN and groups of people had gathered beneath and were staring intently at the images of his body being wheeled into an ambulance. It was real. Michael Jackson was dead.
There are those today who will remember Michael Jackson for many reasons – his eccentricities ad his legal troubles to name a few. I, however, plan to focus on his dazzling career, historic accomplishments and volumes of songs that have stood the test of time.
RIP, Michael. Thank you for the years you dedicated to bringing joy to your millions of fans worldwide.
Why do some people have an issue with President Barack Obama? I’m not referring to his handling of national or international crises. As a Gulf Coast resident, I have not been pleased with his response to the BP oil spill. I’m also not referring to any of the issues he’s championed. Hey, if you really feel healthcare is a privilege and not a right and don’t want the government involved, more power to you. Take a stand for what you believe in.
I’m referring to the segment of society that disrespects the man as president. You have the Birthers and their assertion that the President Obama is not a United States citizen. When did Hawaii secede from the America? There is the minister in Arizona who says he prays and instructs his congregation to pray for the president’s death. Unfortunately, he is not the only minister practicing this abomination. There are the right-wing commentators who pounce on every single word he says and spins the information to suit their own agendas. There was the extremely disrespectful representative from South Carolina who yelled, “You lie!” during the State of Union address last year. Now, there is an Iowa congressman making news because he feels the president favors blacks or whites. Really? The Republican stated he is offended by the “posture” of the president and Eric Holder, the attorney general who is also black. In an attempt to legitimize his claim during an interview on G. Gordon Liddy’s radio talk show, he cited erroneously that in a 2009 speech Holder asserted whites are more cowardly than blacks when discussing race. In actuality, Holder stated as a NATION “in things racial we have always been and I believe continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards.” The operative word is WE; Holder is not taking himself out of the equation. The representative also states the president took the side of the black Harvard professor when he was arrested by a white police officer for breaking into his own house. The way I remember it, the president facilitated a meeting at the White House so both men could have a civil discussion about the incident. Both men, not one.
No one wants to pull the race card because the race card is tired, overused and, in some instances, abused. However, one has to wonder if his race is not the true reason why certain segments of society denounce every speech, proposal and goodwill gesture the president makes. You don’t like him? OK, don’t like him. I certainly haven’t liked every president our country has had during my lifetime. But, respect the position. For Christians praying for Obama’s death, please reacquaint yourselves with 1Timothy 2:1-4. For those who want to recite quotes from the president and/or his appointees, make sure you quote in full context and not spread inaccuracies and outright lies. Let’s start being Americans and let go of all the Republican, Democrat, Tea Party, Birther, left-wing, right-wing, conservative, liberal labels. Stop twisting personal agendas into national platforms. You may temporarily exalt yourself, but you will also undoubtedly aid in the unraveling of our country’s moral fiber.
OK, I admit it. I am coming on-board late to the first novel in the popular Stieg Larsson trilogy. But better late than never. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is one of the best thrillers I’ve read.
The novel, set in Sweden, centers around investigative reporter Mikael Blomkvist who is recently convicted of libel against corrupt financial magnate Hans-Erik Wennerstrom. While waiting to serve a three month prison sentence, he receives an offer from Henrik Vanger, the head of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families: investigate the disappearance of his niece under the guise of writing a Vanger biography in return for information on Wennerstrom and his double dealings. Unable to refuse the chance to redeem himself, Blomkvist accepts the offer and, with the help of tattooed computer genius Lisbeth Salander, uncovers dark and twisted truths that certain members of the Vanger clan would kill to keep from being revealed.
Mr. Larsson, who sadly passed away after delivering the manuscripts for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the two additional novels in the series – The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, was a gifted writer and storyteller – a combination that is sorely missed in modern literature. I am currently reading The Girl Who Played with Fire and will post a review once I am finished.
Haven’t read the book yet? See below to get your copy.