Wednesday, March 31, 2010

POETRY: "Grandma Mae Said" Haiku

Looka here lil gurl,
When throwed up against a wall
Even cats fight back.

Copyright 2010, April R. Silver

Monday, March 29, 2010

"Will Whore for Fame"

A few personal stories have emerged in recent weeks, and as early as this morning, that have reminded me that fame has a dark ability to transform smart people into fools, and some fools into whores. As a professional in the PR and marketing field, I used to say that it is my job to make people famous. In lay people's terms, I am a publicist. That means that clients hire my company to make their visions known to the world. I have to re-write my job description.

It is not my choice to make people famous. My role is deeper and more enduring than that. I work to have people and their projects respected. I start each day so that fame is a consequence of my clients' life/work. If I merely wanted to make clients famous, I could tell them to create silly videos and we'd post them on YouTube. They could become instantly known to hundreds of thousands of people who do not know them right now. But I work differently. I ride my clients about sustaining, at all cost, their already high levels of excellence. I ride them about being thorough, accountable, and efficient in all that they do. I remind them that they must care about the responsible marketing of their work as much as they care about the work itself. Not all press is good press (I have never agreed with that age-old adage). Instead, all our press must have a positive purpose and it must be strategic.


***

I have come to learn that high achievers have big egos and they have extraordinary ambition. They tend to see further, wider, and deeper than most people. With that comes a parallel desire to be heard, seen, read, and/or understood. I am happy to say that I have seen people handle their egos ways that are healthy and even humorous. They use their PR currency for more than just their fleeting need to be adored. Those people make my work rather rewarding. I have also seen the ugly. When the cameras o on or when it’s time for Facebook or Twitter, I have watched others become slaves to their need for attention and for stimuli, any kind of stimuli. I’m reminded that there are cheats, liars, and thieves amongst us (seen and unseen) and that some people will do just about anything to override or delete you (consciously or subconsciously) from the conversation.

A mentor once told me, "There's nothing wrong with saying ‘I'm intelligent, powerful, talented, and resourceful.’ There is something wrong, however, if a person can't demonstrate that they sincerely believe that about everyone else, too."

I prefer the truth. I prefer to deal with people whose egos are visible and not hiding under a cloak of false humility. More importantly, I prefer to work with clients and colleagues who do more than value and tolerate other people. I prefer to work with those who appreciate other people. There's a voluminous difference.

Even still, I say let your light shine. Speak clearly. Learn when to whisper and when to shout. And at the heart of it all, keep your hands clean and your path clear. Nothing endures like good character. If there's a difference between what you agree to and what you do, then close that gap. If you express a commitment but don't believe it, then don't say it. If, in the moment, your talk is passionate, full of emotion, and you feel fiercely passionate about what you're saying, then 9 times out of 10, it's just that: a feeling. Dead words are for cowards. The living word is for healers. If you do the work, the respect will come. In the mean time, don't be a fame whore.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Yeah...I Don't Get It

As smart as I think I am, there are a few things in this world that I just don't get (and don't want to). Here they are, in no particular order:

1. "For the Love of Ray J."

2. March Madness.

3. "Family Guy" (I remember, in the beginning, when it wasn't so over the top).

4. People who try to make their point by yelling, screaming, and hurling insults.

5. Boots in the summer time.

6. Fake sugar (Saccharin, Splenda, and God knows what else has been manufactured).

7. Weaves (There was a time when most women didn't want the world to know that they were wearing a weave. Long gone days).

8. Why I love "Blues Away" so much (by The Jacksons) even though it's such an incomplete song.

9. Why we can't seem to remember that the world has birthed all kinds of evil people. Greedy, selfish people pre-date any political, economic, or social system of oppression that we can think of.

10. Why more Black people don't go to the theater (and the price of the ticket is not an acceptable reply to me; not when I survey what we tend to spend money on)
If these things make sense to you, help a sister out.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Quotes by Harriet Tubman (In Honor of Her Birth Month and Women's History Month)



“Oh Lord, convert master! Oh Lord, change dat man's heart!' …Oh Lord, if you ant nebber gwine to change dat man's heart, kill him, Lord, an' take him out ob de way.” - - Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman by Sarah H. Bradford (1869)

[same quote with less dialect]
“Oh Lord, convert master! Oh Lord, change dat man's heart!' …Oh Lord, if you aint never gon’ to change dat man's heart, kill him, Lord, an' take him out of the way.”

“I freed thousands of slaves. I could have freed thousands more if they had known they were slaves.”

“The Lord who told me to take care of my people meant me to do it just as long as I live, and so I did what he told me.”

“I started with this idea in my head, "there's two things I've got a right to...death or liberty.”

“I grew up like a neglected weed, ignorant of liberty, having no experience of it. Now that I've been free, I know what dreadful condition slavery is.”

“I never ran my train off the track. And I never lost a passenger.”