Archive for July, 2008

31
Jul
08

Keep Your Wits About You

Today’s information dump from my brain into yours could seem pretty much just strictly spiritual advice. But even if you’re not in the mood for religion, stick around, because it has some seriously practical applications in daily life, too.

Anyway, I have two great biblical passages to share with you on today’s theme. For those with attention deficit issues (and if you’ve got those, you’ve definitely come to the wrong blog; I post way too long most days), they’re short, so don’t worry.

First,

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Gospel of Matthew, chapter 10, verse 16, King James version

And then,

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. First Peter, chapter 5, verse 8, King James version

In the Christian’s attempt to overcome the world and spread the gospel, both of the above passages are critical. Do not go out into the world naive about what you face. Kenny Rogers sang in “The Gambler” that: You need to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em; know when to walk away, know when to run.

We must be peaceful whenever possible, which pretty much mean almost all the time. But at the same time, be aware and be watchful. Don’t be caught off guard and don’t be afraid to be wary or even cynical at times. Be willing and able to see the best in people; don’t assume that people are good though.

The second passage covers a lot of the same themes as the first, but with a more specific slant toward not letting Satan get too many good licks in on you, nor any of his servants (whether his actual servants or just folks he nudges your way to mess you up). But it adds another wrinkle: Be sober.

No, I’m not saying you have to be a teetotaller. God knows I’m not. Only reason I don’t have a beer every day or two is that my work and Little Girl Blue don’t really allow for much of that, and I’m paranoid about driving with any alcohol in my blood. I like a good drink now and again. But drinking doesn’t mean drunk. Any time you let alcohol or drugs get your senses and your judgment muddled, you open yourself to being attacked and to doing things that can really set you down a bad path.

Also remember that being sober isn’t just about intoxication. It’s also about things like covetousness, lust, passion and the like getting ahold of you in a big way. Don’t go overboard on such things because when they consume you, they can mess up your ability to be harmless, wise and/or vigilant like nobody’s business.

So, what does this mean for the non-Christian, who doesn’t have any reason to spread the gospel and doesn’t believe in Satan or maybe any devils at all? Well, even if you don’t believe in supernatural forces, you still have devils in your life. Might be an adversary or competitor. Might be a boss or a subordinate. Might be a bitter spouse or an angry ex. Might be a random criminal or someone you trust who is waiting to betray you.

Just be sober. Be vigilant. Be peaceful and be wise.

Just be careful out there.

31
Jul
08

Writer’s Jam But Not Writer’s Block

I’m trying really hard to get something meaty and real into the blog tonight as far a post; just been having some troubles getting brain and fingers to work together. It’s not writer’s block per se but a snarl-up on the highway of my mind. I’ve written two posts in recent days, one of which got shelved when I mentioned the subject matter to my wife, who informed me I should probably stick to spiritual shit for the most part, and the other of which I’m hesitant to post yet (or maybe ever) because I’m not sure it properly (or constructively) presents my opinions involving some thorny aspects of white America vis-a-vis black America.

I should be posting another portion of the latest chapter of my blog novel, but frankly, I’ve been too busy with client work to devote proper attention to trying to create good fiction, which is much harder than simply spewing my opinions. So, that will have to wait for at least another day or two, even though I’m overflowing with ideas for the next steps in my novel.

So, I’m going to keep hammering away at my brain, either metaphorically or with an actual ball-peen hammer to my cranium, and see if I can get something out before midnight tonight, or in lieu of that, maybe two posts for tomorrow.

30
Jul
08

You Forgot the Video Cam Again?

I don’t have any deep thoughts today. Little Girl Blue turned 3 today and we had a nice little birthday for her, just me, Mrs. Blue and Son of Blue. I’m tuckered out but also have to stay up into the wee hours a bit to finish work for a client, so just a quickie post for tonight.

Soooo, I’m keeping an eye on my girl in the living room while my wife is surfing the ‘Net, and I hear some half-crazed sounding guy in full “preacher voice” talking about how he healed some woman of a tumor, and it came out of her physically and slid down her leg to the floor. (My wife was on some site with video of this guy; I don’t know who the hell it was.)

And I’m thinking to myself cynically: I know God can work wondrous miracles through people, and maybe it’s true. But, why do they always have videos of people getting healing touches and collapsing in some spastic fit because they’ve been “carried away by the spirit” or some old woman with a walker who suddenly tosses it away because she is healed (never mind that no one in the audience knows this woman and she’s probably had two good legs her whole life). Why is it that these crazy sounding healing preachers always have video of that shit, but they never manage to have the camera on when a tumor slides out of a woman’s body or something equally dramatic. Because you know, if I had stuff like that going on, I’d tape it, and bring the tumor to a physician for confirmation that it was really a tumor.

That’s just me, of course. And I am cynical. I have faith in God, but often not in people.

And besides, preacher man also sounded like he could use some daily visits on the couch with a therapist and probably some meds, too. People may have thought Jesus was crazy, but I don’t get the impression he acted crazy.

29
Jul
08

Two-fer Tuesday: Extra Mustard by Miz Pink

So, I’m taking over this Tuesday and I’m picking the topic this time: Mustard Seeds.

I have to give credit where its due…to the pastor who preached this past Sunday on Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 13, verses 31-33 and verses 44-49. What I’m really interested in today is this part of that Bible study:

31 He presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; 32 and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that THE BIRDS OF THE AIR come and NEST IN ITS BRANCHES.”

To a lesser extent, I’m also going to talk about this one, even though it doesn’t have mustard as a condiment:

33 He spoke another parable to them, “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened.”

The pastor made an interesting point about the mustard seed, in that it doesn’t really produce a tree. I found some references to an actual “mustard tree” of some sort with some quick Googling, but mostly I think Jesus was talking about the herb, and various translations Jesus is quoted as saying something more along the lines of “herb” or “shrub” instead of “garden plants” which reinforces this.

I’m not going to fault Jesus for any confusion here. First, parables, much like metaphorical points we make in discussion and arguments, aren’t always precise, ya know? We use exageration and we gloss over inconvenient details because the point is to…well…make a point. Also, he may have been intentionally mixing the idea of the herb and the tree, even if they comes from very different seeds. Jesus was a deep and complex guy so who knows how many levels there are to this parable?

Anyway, the point the pastor made was that the mustard shrub is very much a weed, really. It is invasive and most people wouldn’t want mustard seeds sprouting in their gardens for fear that the mustard shrubs might choke out the desired plants.

And he made the point that Jesus did this on purpose to turn people’s expectations on their head and make them look at the world in a revolutionary way. He was telling his listeners that the kingdom of God was going to spread like a weed. And that in growing and spreading there would also be some chaos and some discomfort. And he didn’t compare the kingdom of heaven to something grand, like the cedars of Lebanon, but to something lowly instead which reminds me of how God make wisdom from foolish things and produces strength from supposedly weak people.

The leaven parable, he noted, was also something that used imagery that Jesus’s audience might not have found comfortable. Think of how in one of the most holy days of the Jews, Passover, the focus is on unleavened bread. And in general, many breads of the region in those days were unleavened. To some extent, yeast/leaven wasn’t a good thing. So for Jesus to use it as an example to describe the kingdom of God might, again, be a way to shake people up.

We like to see Jesus as some placid guy who was really sweet. We forget that he overturned the tables of the money changers in the temple and whipped them out with a length of rope. We forget that he cursed a fig bush for not having fruit on it. We forget that he could be sharp, short and even sarcastic with people.

Jesus was all about love but he also had a bit of mischief in him. He knew how to shake things up. We need to remember that about him and about the new convenant. It isn’t about peace and quiet.

It’s about turning things on their heads sometimes.

(Click here for Deke’s post on today’s topic)

29
Jul
08

Two-fer Tuesday: Extra Mustard by Deacon Blue

So, I let Miz Pink pick the topic this Tuesday, and it’s my fault that I’m posting our Two-fer Tuesday stuff almost at the end of the day, mere minutes from midnight, meaning it’s almost Wednesday. Partly my day has been busy; partly I wanted to see what Miz Pink would say about her passages from Matthew before I spouted off on another mustard seed parable, the one with which probably more people are familiar:

“Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, ‘Why could we not cast it out?’ He said to them, ‘Because of your little faith. For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew chapter 17, verses 19-20

Or this one from the Gospel of Luke:

“The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’ The Lord replied. ‘If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.'” Luke chapter 17, verses 5-6

I’ve always believed mostly, and made my points about these passages, based on the idea that what Jesus was saying that we don’t really need much faith to do big things, but that even so, most of us are so rooted in the real world and our daily troubles and doubts that we cannot even muster up a mustard seed’s size worth of faith.

I still do believe that is part of what he meant, but I also now believe, after taking much of the day to digest Miz Pink’s post after she sent it to me, that there are other layers as well. Two of them, at least.

First, something I read here, which says that the mustard seed is “probably the most tightly packed seed of all. There is no place for air inside it. Later we shall see that air is the dominion of the devil. As a result it can withstand high pressures and high temperatures. Your faith may not be an all encompassing faith, that fills the totality of your personality, being and activity. Initially it is restricted to only a certain section of your being or personality or activity.”

Now, I’m not sure if Jesus really knew horticulture all that well. I know he is the only begotten son of God, and had access to all sorts of knowledge, but I’m not so sure he was pulling on such complex knowledge of the seed and expecting anyone to get that reference. But still, it’s an interesting point, so I thought I’d share it, and I think it is reasonable to think that Jesus might have hid something just this complex, deep and mostly incomprehensible to his audience in there for future generations to discover.

The second extra layer of this mustard seed parable is this: I don’t think it’s all about the size, but about where you go with your faith. Thinking of the fact that Miz Pink points out the mustard plant’s weed-like nature, and the fact that weeds grow like, ummm, weeds—I think that perhaps one of the bigger things Jesus might have been getting at in this parable is the potential for growth.

That is, the mustard seed starts small, but can grow much more abundantly and ambitiously than you might think such a small thing would be capable of doing. So, having faith the size of a mustard seed is to have a faith that might be small now, but has the potential and likelihood to grow much more. To grow to the point that you could make a mountain move with but a word from your mouth. But most of us don’t have the fortitude to generate that kind of growth. Most of us are seeds that produce, at most, a small flower or a blade of grass.

In any case, I have yet to produce the mustard-sized faith that Jesus talks about. Instead, I’m stuck with ketchup and relish, but as with all things, I will forge ahead with what I have and not be all “woe is me” about what I don’t have. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll find that mustard seed in me one day.

28
Jul
08

Faith Gone Bad – by Mrs. Blue

Hi, there. A conversation with Mrs. Eager has once again brought my thoughts here to my husband’s blog, combined with an incident on Sunday in which a guy shot up a Unitarian-Universalist church in Knoxville, Tennessee, killing two people and injuring seven last I heard.

First, Mrs. Eager. We’re talking on the phone and I’m even more convinced that we have virtually nothing in common except both being born again. And she reveals to me that her and Mr. Eager are, well…eager…to move them and their two girls out of the Northeastern U.S and into the Bible Belt. They have their eyes in particular on Tennessee (yeah, you can connect my mental dots already, I’m sure) because they want to be in a place where “traditional values” are held more dearly.

Mrs. Eager expressed her concern that things are too “liberal” out here in many of the churches. Now, there are many liberally minded churches in our part of the world. I agree. But having done some church-hopping with darling hubby as we tried to find a church home, I have been to a great many places where not only was the doctrine quite conservative but people looked at my black ass quite strangely. Many a church out here has been nixed for our family based on people not receiving our mixed race family warmly and, in some cases, with a distinct “why are you here and could you please leave” mentality.

So, I don’t really get why you would pick up and move hundreds and hundreds of miles simply for religious reasons, with the end goal being to be around a lot of other people just like you. There is no job or better career options waiting out in the Bible Belt. Mr. Eager is a plumber, and pretty much anywhere in this country, that’s a job that will keep you busy and money coming in at a comfortable level. They have family out here. Yet they are seriously considering moving simply so that it will be easier for them to find plenty of conservative Christian churches to choose from.

That scares me a little. It seems like the decision of someone who’s caught up in religion, but not very caught up in being Christ-like.

And when you add the Tennessee shooting to spice this up, I think: A man went and tried to murder a bunch of people in a U.U. church because he hated the liberal movement in general (especially inclusiveness of gays) and, I suppose, hating even more so those pesky liberal Christians or liberal semi-Christians (since U.U. churches seem more like spiritual social clubs to me than actual churches, since they are religiously inclusive as well, trying to be one-stop spiritual shopping it seems). So, doesn’t that show that the Bible Belt also produces very unsavory people, despite all those traditional values?

I know this is just one person. I know that Mrs. Eager and Mr. Eager are not seeking to hook up with people who kill other people over liberal vs. conservative views.

But why do they want to surround themselves with people they assume will be like-thinking? Jesus didn’t do that. So many churches, particularly those with a more conservative slant, want to go out all over the world and convert people; lead them to Christ. Yet how many of them put that same effort closer to home? Instead, people hole up in churches where everyone is like them and they hear what makes them feel comfortable. They socialize with those people. They avoid those who would say things they don’t want to hear.

Yet Jesus socialized with the active sinners. He hung out with—and preached to—gamblers, prostitutes, thieves, adulterers and more. He went where people needed to hear the good news of God’s grace and coming kingdom on Earth.

If Mrs. Eager and her family head out to the Bible Belt, I wonder: Will they be reaching anyone? Will they be effective Christians? I doubt it. They will be comfortably ensconced in a warm cocoon of “Churchianity.”

If things are too liberal here—if people are getting away from the Word of God because they are trying to make it fit the world or edit it to be more palatable—doesn’t it make more sense to stay and let people see the light of Christ shining through you when you hold to the Word?

She would say, I am sure, that this is a move for the children’s sakes. But we cannot protect our children from the world; we can only teach them how to overcome it. And leaving for the Bible Belt? Well, that feels to me like they are just running away.

(If you want to read any of Mrs. Blue’s other infrequent posts around these parts, go here)

27
Jul
08

A Note From the Management

Just been taking it easy today. Went raspberry picking with the family today and that was a blast, and we just got back from breakfast. Little girl is down for a nap and I’m not sure I want to flex my mental muscles all that much today. So, not sure if today will bring a “real” post or not. But, for those who are interested, a brief note:

Both myself and Miz Pink have reason to mention our respective kids relatively often. And both of us realize that in our quest not to put our real names out there, we keep referring to our kids very generically. Yet we gave our spouses code names. Go figure.

In the interest of giving full life and humanity to our entire families, we have designated official blog names for all the kids. They aren’t exactly earth-shattering, but at least they’re better than “the kid.”

Deacon Blue and Mrs. Blue’s Kids

Eldest child and number one son shall henceforth be known as Son of Blue. He is 16 years old as of this post.

Youngest child, the headstrong little 3-year-old girl, shall go by Little Girl Blue.

Miz Pink and Sir Pink’s Kids

Oldest one, who is a boy in early adolescence as I write this, is to be known as Mini Pink Model 1.

Middle child, a preschool girl, shall be called Mini Pink Model 2.

Youngest child, who as of this post isn’t out of the womb yet and whose gender is as yet unknown, is designated Mini Pink Model 3.

26
Jul
08

Too Much Stuff by Miz Pink

One of my standard tactics for some time now with child #2 is that when she gets out of pocket I tell her that I will take away her favorite snack from the freezer or give one of her toys to the first child I see. There are plenty of parents out there in the land of attachment parenting that would probly stone me for that. They’d say I’m being mean, abusive or negative.

Me? I mainly like the fact that it prevents any temptation to spank her.

Fact is that Mini Pink Model 2 loves her stuff. Nothing gets her attention faster than the threat that something that is hers will be taken away. Doesn’t matter that she has a ton of stuff already. Doesn’t even matter if it’s something she’s forgotten she ever owned and hasn’t played with in months. it’s hers, and she doesn’t want it taken away.

This is a very common attitude among humans. I know it’s a particularly problem her in the U.S. of A. where we have to spend, spend spend and own, own, own. Not so much now with gas prices having whipped our behinds and the economy goin in the direction of recession, but still, we are a shallow and petty people. But still, other developed nations also like their stuff…and developing nations are developing a growing taste for their own stuff. Everyone wants to be overflowing with things.

And preferably shiny and/or expensive things. Doesn’t matter if we need them or use them. We just want them.

I’m guilty as anyone else on this one. I’ve wanted an emerald ring (a real emerald none of this manufactured crapola) from Sir Pink for a long time. I may never seen it. And if I do, I may be afraid to wear it. But I want it. And I give him crap every anniversary, asking him if I’ll finally get it by the 50th anniversary when my joints are all swollen from arthritis or something.

Fact is, I won’t shed many tears if I never get it. Because I know its absurdly pricey and I know I don’t need it. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting it. And I realize how messed up this is. It’s messed up that I want to keep filling up my home with stuff when there are plenty of people in this country (a lot of them from New Orlean for example thjanks to Katrina and FEMA) who don’t have homes.

The early Christian church called upon its member to sell a lot of the stuff they didn’t really need so that the money could go to the widows, the orphans, the crippled. I know we built this American economy on greed, credit and buying lots of stuff but what has it gotten us? Are we better for it? Maybe if we bought less for ourselves and more for others…maybe if our governments at city, state and fed level invested in our roads and helping the sick and homeless instead of in lining their pockets and those of a lot of CEOs…well, maybe we’d be better. Maybe we wouldn’t be such a bigshot country but do we need to be? Wouldn’t it be better to be able to say we have a better quality of life here?

Instead of just being able to say we have bigger crap that a lot of the rest of you?

25
Jul
08

Age Appropriate

I’ll be honest: May-December romances don’t make me warm and fuzzy very often. Doesn’t really matter what the respective genders are; I’m equally squidgy about older men with younger gals and older women with younger guys. I hate to be judgmental, but I always find myself wondering about the motives and, frankly, the judgment of those involved. Mind you, I’m not talking about five-year differences or even ten-year ones. Hell, at certain points in life, even 15 years ain’t bad. But there are few places in a person’s life where I can even wrap my mind around why two people with a 20 or 25 year difference or more could possibly connect on any meaningful level, unless the youngest of them in well into his or her 70s.

And sometimes—and we all know this in our hearts—even five or ten years can at times be a huge deal. Hell, to me, for a high schooler to be dating someone five years his or her senior is mind-boggling, and I pretty much assume the older member of the couple is a cradle-robbing perv.

Someone who’s fresh into college probably shouldn’t be getting together with someone 10 years older.

Fifteen years’ difference, to me, only becomes acceptable when the younger of the two is well into his or her 30s at the very least.

I know we’re talking adults mostly here (kids are always off limits for sex, but Miz Pink already addressed that in this post here), but still, even among consenting adults, lack of good judgment concerning age is still lack of good judgment. I know that my “rules” are somewhat broad-stroke and maybe not entirely fair. Also, I realize that all rules have their exceptions. But exceptions are supposed to be rare, and it feels to me like there are still way too many May-December things going on out there.

I mean, doesn’t it seem more than a little fucked up that Hugh Heffner is not only still sleeping with women less than half his age but also has some fairly young kids? And doesn’t it seem like Catherine Zeta-Jones with Michael Douglas is a little too much he’s-old-enough-to-be-her-daddy? And I just don’t get what brought Demi Moore and Ashton Kucher together aside from what I assume must be some pretty hot sex or something—if they have much else in common, I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Taking it back to more down-to-earth folks, why do so many middle-age men still leave their wives (or at least cheat on them heavily) with women who are between 18 and 21 years old? Couldn’t you assholes as least get someone in the mid- to late-20s?

Some of this was brought to mind by the fact that my son just watched American Beauty, which is, by the way, a great film. It also has some disturbing stuff, like the unhealthy infatuation that Kevin Spacey’s character develops for his teenaged daughter’s equally teenaged friend. And lately, we seem to have a slew of female teachers going after their male students, a kind of pervy behavior that used to be the sole purview of menfolk. Must women take on the worst traits of men to feel truly equal?

I know this is a bit of a ramble this post, but I just don’t get it all. And don’t tell me about how in the Bible, or even in recent centuries, people got married in their teens and were already having babies. Times are different, and people live longer. We can, and should, wait until we are more emotionally developed these days. I don’t want to hear bull about “old enough to bleed, old enough to breed” or “old enough to cum, old enough to have fun.” Just don’t go there with me.

There is no spiritual or godly argument you can fashion without me wanting to laugh in your face or crack it in a couple places. We grown ups should be going after grown ups. I certainly can appreciate the beauty of the girls my son has dated, but I haven’t felt a twinge of lust for any of them. They belong to a different strata of humanity that I have no business having such feelings for. As far as I’m concerned, they might as well be another species.

But then again, people also use the Bible to support belief in plural marriages. Now isn’t that a great one, too. Men tacking on more, and generally younger, wives to keep having babies and to keep their dicks feeling young I guess. Yeah, really holy. Did any of them notice in the Bible that multiple wives were pretty much limited to the King of Israel? It wasn’t a wide practice to have multiple wives; it was a privilege of questionable merit. Just because Solomon had some young hottie “warming his bed” in his old age doesn’t mean you should, too.

(By the way, I actually did two posts today, so if you haven’t already done so, scroll down the main page of the blog to see the companion post to my adulterously oriented one a couple days ago, this time with men my wife might cheat on me with…just a little fun to counterbalance this bitter rant here.)

Photo from www.freeimages.co.uk

25
Jul
08

Mrs. Blue’s 7th Commandment Hot List

All right, in my Women I’d Break the 7thCommandment With post from a couple days ago, the women have chimed in with some of their thoughts, both male and female, and WNG for one has rightly pointed out the eroticultural (patent pending) discrepancy that exists in having those 10 women and my lustful ramblings about them, along with some lovely little shots of them—and yet nothing to represent for Mrs. Blue’s libido and, by extension, the fantasies of my female readers.

As I noted in the other post, Mrs. Blue just doesn’t have the same level of the celebrity lust thing that most of us do, and her list is, therefore, far too small to get to ten. However, because I am a creative sort who finds all sorts of ways to get around his wife’s lack of time to guest-post here, I am going to present to you her top five “menzes” that she’d step out on me for, the three that she has already mentioned and two more that I am twisting her arm to generate. Then I’ll provide my top five suggestions for men I would, regrettably, also allow her to sin with if she had the chance. Hopefully, she’d come back to me after sowing her oats, but she’s made it pretty clear that a couple of the guys in her picks could push me out of the picture entirely.

(Yes, I’ve clearly been on a more sex-oriented kick this week and less of the pseudo-scholarly ramblings. Even my other post that I’ll be doing later tonight has sexual overtones, though from a more moralistic standpoint.)

Mrs. Blue’s Picks

Benicio del Toro

Even Mrs. Blue admits he’s not a classic “looker,” but she digs his deep thoughts. I think that it would be hard for him to steal my wife away entirely because, based on the interviews I’ve read featuring him, he’s almost too deep. The only real-life man who ever posed a real threat to me winning Mrs. Blue’s heart suffered from similar “too-deepness.” Sometimes, having too much intellect is just too much pressure for the other person unless he or she is an academician. But even beyond Benicio’s mental sexiness, I admit that I can see something in his eyes that would draw women in: The brooding, almost melancholy smouldering look that almost seems sleepy but also somehow says, “I want you, and I can have you, and you know it. Come to me now.”

Terrence Howard

Not a man who is necessarily “classically” handsome in that chiseled beefcake style or perfect facial features, but someone who just has a package that exudes masculine sensuality. There is something of the stalker in him, and I don’t mean the creepy “I’m outside your window looking at you” kind but the type of man who might prowl through a nightclub, capturing the eyes of most of the women, the hearts of those he actually engages in conversation or dance, and the actual time of one or more of them back at his place. My wife freely jests that he seems to do a little too well in film roles that have him as a man who might (or does) smack a woman across the face from time to time. But we all know that dangerous-seeming men and women have their own allure. And I have faith Mrs. Blue could block any backhand attempt or return it in kind.

Rick Fox

I don’t know if my wife had a thing for this guy before we rented Meet the Browns a week or two ago, but she made it abundantly clear to me while watching him steam it up with Angela Bassett (who made my top 10 list of women, by the way, if you don’t recall) that I could kiss our marriage goodbye if he declared amorous intentions toward her. He’s a handsome man, I’ll grant that, but my son says he looks “kind of goofy,” so I find myself wondering if it’s really his looks that got my wife steamed up. Or is it his voice (she’s a sucker for aural stimulation) and the way he so deftly projects a vibe that exhibits masculinity and sensitivity?

Roger Guenveur Smith

My wife still calls this guy “Mr. Monroe” and I don’t remember in which movie he played a character with that name, but she reminded me years ago when we were watching Get On the Bus (in which he played the character Gary) that he was one fine piece of man and that I should despair for our marriage if he ever called her up. I could give Mrs. Blue all sorts of hell for digging an actor so much while still not knowing his name, but then again, if she got him alone in a room, she’d probably make him forget his own name.

Morris Chestnut

OK, this guy isn’t actually my wife’s pick, but that of Hawa, who authors the blog Fackin Truth. She had thrown his name out there as a male sexpot, and since my wife couldn’t come up with a fifth, we’ll just go with Hawa on this one. I approve of him if for no other reason than he’s bald (like me) and rocks a goatee (as I do about half the year; full beard the other half of the time). Got his start in Boyz n the Hood, a fine movie if I do say so, and apparently he’s an excellent Texas hold em player. My wife always did harbor dreams of becoming a pro gambler (or a bounty hunter)…

My Picks

George Clooney

Look, first of all, my wife’s list is short on racial diversity based on personal preferences (I’m an exception to her normal predilections), so I have to balance things out a bit for my racially mixed readership. Also, George Clooney is consistently voted as, and widely considered to be, one of the sexiest guys around, and he’s young enough for me to still consider him acceptable for my wife (otherwise, it might have been Sean Connery in this slot instead). I know that it’s become such a truism that George is suave, self-assured, accessible, friendly, cool and good-looking that it’s almost a cliché now. But still, he is a man that is so cool that even if he stole my wife, I might be willing to be drinking buddies with him afterward.

Kurt Elling

Another white guy, but Kurt Elling transcends race in many ways. He’s soulful, he’s one of the most talented jazz vocalists alive, and he earns the respect of not just white folks but also many black artists in jazz—and in hip-hop and R&B (even crusty underground rapper M.F. Doom listed him as one of only maybe 5 or 6 musical artists that he didn’t consider “whack”). This is a man I’d choose for my wife because of sheer talent and seeming emotional depth, and not because of looks. Because, while he ain’t ugly by any stretch, he isn’t exactly going to be on any beefcake-style posters either.

Common

This is actually my son’s pick. Mrs. Blue doesn’t feel any particular tingle for the guy, but she has admitted to our son that he’s a handsome guy, and he does have both musical talent and some potential acting talent. So, like with my inclusion of Scarlett Johanssen in my list based on my son’s taste, I’ll do the same with Common here. He’s got a listtle activist in him, and that is something that appeals to Mrs. Blue’s sensibilities, and he’s stayed true to Trinity United Church of Christ, of which he is a member last I heard, even after the media brouhaha over Pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright that prompted Barack Obama to jump ship. That’s one thing that Mrs. Blue still hasn’t really forgiven Obama for, though she’s still going to vote for him.

Laurence Fishburne

I had briefly considered putting Denzel Washington on this list, but according to my son, the man done “plumped up a bit.” Not that such a thing would be unheard of in Hollywood for an upcoming role, but I don’t know. My wife just spent two years getting off excess maternity weight and adopting a pretty healthy lifestyle, and Denzel can be kind of stiff anyway sometimes, so despite being handsome and talented, I have to nix him. But Laurence Fishburne has always struck me as “Denzel-like” in terms of being serious, having great talent and seeming to be thoughtful and intelligent as well. He isn’t as handsome as Denzel is (or was, if my son’s dispersions are correct), but he’s still good looking. So, he makes my personal “final five” for Mrs. Blue.

Christian Bale

Look, I’m still trying to keep the races somewhat balanced here. Would have loved to add an Asian man for good measure, but I can’t think of a single celebrity of Asian descent that would remotely mesh with my wife. And I’m not coming up with too many Latino hunks that I think would either; we’ll have to leave it with Benicio del Toro for that. So, another white guy to finish out the list. Christian Bale is classically good looking, is currently sporting a very nice-looking physique in The Dark Knight (and did in Batman Begins, too), and he is a great talent. Moreover, he owns both the Bruce Wayne and Batman sides of his role. My son and I are big Batman fans, and so the next best thing to putting Batman on the list is putting Christian on it (and since I picked a Batman-related character in my list of hotties—Catwoman—it seems like nice corollary to have a Batman-related celebrity in Mrs. Blue’s list).




Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley

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Jeff Bouley

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