Just some thoughts and ideas going around in my head while trying to figure out where I am and where everyone else is going.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Black History Month Revisited

Let me tell you about one moment in Black history.

I saw Temple Grandin the other day on HBO and just like the old days when they used to have the movie and disease of the week I have found something else that is wrong with me, I am autistic. There were just so many things in the movie that I could relate to. The ability to think in pictures rather than words, my confusion when I’m faced by noise and lots of visual stimulation that I’m not used to, my aversion to being touched by strangers unless I have that lonely night agenda thing going which we won’t go into here, all point to autism but without the genius thing.

I should make an appointment with my doctor for tests, but he would probably laugh at me again. Bitch! I hate HMO doctors.

What does any of this have to do with Black History Month? Nothing, but speaking of doctors and HBO I'm reminded of that other cable movie Something the Lord Made with Mos Def when he played the heart surgery pioneer Vivien Thomas. Even though Thomas had never attended medical school as a lab technician for the Johns Hopkins surgeon Dr. Alfred Blaylock had developed a surgical technique for improving the circulation of blood for patients with Blue Baby Syndrome. This was one of the names given to children, whose blood bypassed the lungs leaving them oxygen deprived with a blue pallor and was often fatal.
Thomas developed a technique where he was able to attach arteries from the heart to the lungs and therefore increase the amount oxygen and hence the lifespan of the child. But more than this, he developed a suture style where the scar tissue would be able to expand and grow as the patient and as he or her organs did. I bring this up only because I may have benefitted by his procedures.
When I was 14 days old, it was discovered that I was unable to digest any food because of a blockage somewhere in my digestive tract. In the old days, say Leonidas and the Spartans, they would have just thrown me out the back one night and let the wolves have at me, but instead I was operated on leaving a horizontal scar on my abdomen 2 stitches long. I know that because you can still see the marks where the needle entered the skin.

As I’ve grown, that 2 stitch scar has grown with me and is now about 4 inches long and I really have no problem with it unless someone points it out to me or I sneeze really energetically. You see when I sneeze, I contract my abs and if it’s really stressful the muscle will bulge below the scar and feel as if I’m being ripped apart about the midsection. Anyway, I don’t know how true it is but I think I may owe Vivien Thomas, among others, my life.

And that has been one moment in Black history.

Monday, February 8, 2010

And the winner is...

Is it just me or does it seem that Jay Leno isn't really sitting on the same sofa with Oprah and Dave, but just added in digitally?

Oh and I'm sure I've said this before, but Betty White is the hardest working person in showbiz today and maybe ever. She is not only a Golden Girl but she should be recognized as a national institution also.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

My Black History Month

I have heard said that the world has been developed on the shoulders and back of the black man. I don't know how true that is, but I had to justify using this picture to the right... Moving on.

I read on Facebook from one of my friends, and I use the term loosely since other than we play games together I have no idea who she is, but she said in one of her posts that it was Black History Month and she was surprised that there didn't seem to be an awareness of it. There were no special events or promotions going on to celebrate or educate  people of what had happened before or what was going on. I wanted to reply to her post that there is so much going on around her that there was so much going on around her that she would have to do is stand up, open her eyes and see.

From the earthquake and its aftermath in the first black and second independent nation in the Western Hemisphere to the first black President of the United States, black history was going on and being developed all around her and still she didn't get that these were the culminations of what had happened before and may happen again and perhaps much more important than a TV show or a dance. Anyway, I probably don't have the skills to inform you and show you the events that have helped shape the world into what it is in any meaningful way. Instead I will just show you what has helped developed me for good or bad.

When I was young, around 4 or 5, my mother would sing the following song to me. Maybe it explains who I am, maybe it doesn't. I don't know, I just remember it now and again.


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