Narcissus' Echo

Thoughts, tears, rants, ruminations, hopes, fears, love(s), and prayers of just another being passing through this wracked sphere...

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A round peg in a world of square holes...

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Back to where eyes gaze into infinity...

And hearts roam free...

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

(Endymion, Book 1, l 1 - 5)

I guess I'll see you when I see you.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Bill Cosby speaks again

The courageous and politically incorrect Bill Cosby speaks again, this time on parenting, education and responsibility at Xavier University's Cintas Center on 13 April 2006.

As linked from Xavier University's website:

Cosby: Watch your children
Comedian tells crowd that parents need to be supervising

by Feoshia Henderson, The Cincinnati Enquirer Staff Writer

"Put a body on 'em."

Comedian and social commentator Bill Cosby gave that advice to a largely African-American audience during an afternoon parenting session at Xavier University.

Cosby, 68, said that means parents must stay involved in every aspect of their child's life - from friends to homework - to prevent family breakdown and out-of-control behavior.

Parents also should have a network of people who can help keep an eye on potentially wayward kids.

"These children need bodies on all of them," Cosby said. "If you're not doing that, then you should be ashamed of yourself."

Cosby spoke to a group of about 1,200 during the first of two free sessions at the university's Cintas Center.

He moderated discussions on parenting, education and social responsibility as part of a nationwide tour, "Call Out with Cosby."

He was part of a 14-person panel of educators, doctors, children's workers and other professionals.

The tour was Cosby's first visit to Cincinnati in five years.

Cosby said many parents know their children are doing wrong, but aren't doing anything to stop it.

"What's worse is how sedated you seem to be about making corrections," he said.

Cosby long has been an entertainment icon in American culture, but in recent years he's become a sort of social crusader.

Two years ago he drew ire - and some kudos - from African-Americans when he criticized black parents for their children's behavior and lack of education.

None of that anger was evident from the audience during Thursday's session, which was part comedy routine, part instructional, part church service and part upbraiding.

The afternoon also included a question-and-answer portion.

One 18-year-old got a shock when Cosby privately talked to him for nearly 45 minutes at the request of a local minister.

"He asked me, Where do I see my life in the future?" Rodney Lee, of Westwood, said afterward. Lee said Cosby told him he would help Lee get into college.

Beyond the Veil Christian Fellowship minister Sonny James, of Norwood, asked Cosby to speak to Lee near the beginning of the question segment.

Cosby called Lee down to the stage and then walked off with him for the remainder of the session. The other panelists handled the questions.

James said he'd recently taken Lee into his home, but Lee had lost focus and direction in his life.

"I know if anyone can speak motivation to him, it's Bill Cosby," he said.

Jill Thompson of West Chester, who was with her nephews David, 16 and Phillip, 13 - she declined to give their last names - said people need to put Cosby's words into action.

"Put the bodies on 'em. I loved that statement. I think that is something that is very concise, and people need to hear that. They need to not just hear it, but do it," she said.

But not everyone went away pleased. Kristi Williams, of South Cummingsville, was with her sons Kyante, 12 and Khaliek, 10. She said people didn't get enough specific instruction on how to take care of problems.

"We've heard (this) before. People in the city need help here," she said.


The article (written by Feoshia Henderson), which Xavier University linked from their website is the tamer version though. A little digging reveals a more hard-hitting report of the same speech:

Bill Cosby's sermon: Stand for something

By Peter Bronson, The Cincinnati Enquirer Staff Writer

Welcome to the First Reformed Interdenominational Methobyterian Bapti-Catholic Church of Truth That Sets You Free. The Most Honorary Rev. Bill Cosby is in the pulpit with a message for Easter.

"We're letting Jesus drag that cross and we're standing there saying 'Isn't it terrible? Somebody oughtta do something.' We're standing on the sidelines. All we want to know is, 'You got time to fix my elbow?' "

He was just warming up.

"I can feel your guilt," he said. "I can feel your shame. But most of all, I can feel how sedated you seem to be."

The standup comedian who used to ask "Why is there air?" now asks much tougher questions and has answers that some people don't want to hear. "Dr. Huxtable" was writing prescriptions at Xavier's Cintas Center on Thursday, and his tough medicine was greeted with waves of applause from an audience of 1,200, 90 percent black.

I expected him to say something outrageous to rile up the Political Correctness Police who misplaced their sense of humor in the 1960s and can't spot the honest truth in a police lineup of bald-faced lies.

But it turns out that the most outrageous thing is what some people find outrageous.

Education: "If your child has never asked you a question about what he is studying, you are not protecting that child. And if you're not doing it, be ashamed of yourself ... I want someone to say to them, 'Where is your damn homework?' "

Dropouts: "The graduation (ratio) for black women to men is 70-30. I feel sorry and sad for all these highly educated females who are so intelligent and have no educated men to marry."

Drugs: "If you have heard a child say, 'I'm going to stop flipping burgers and go out and make some real money selling drugs,' did you stop that idiot and say, 'You don't flip burgers for the rest of your life. You do it until you can be manager of the burger-flipping place'?"

Parenting: "When are you going to challenge them about CDs full of vulgarity and profanity? ... When are you going to challenge them with, 'I want to know who your friends are before you leave this apartment'?"

Cosby asked foster parents, grandmothers, aunts and uncles who raise someone else's children to applaud, then pointed to the crowd: "There's your reality."

But some are too blind to see it. So they twist his words into attacks on the poor.

"Anyone who comes here is going to say he came out of love and concern," said Cosby's agent, Joel Brokaw. "He could be sitting at home enjoying his life, but he came on his own dime."

I guess some will say, "Aha, I told you so," pointing at the speck in the eye of the black community. Is there anyone who doesn't need Cosby's sermon?

And some are panic-stricken: "How can he say this after we have worked so hard to outlaw the truth as racist?"

Cosby's style was as casual and comfortable as his khaki cargo pants and baggy Xavier sweat shirt.

But the message from another speaker, Hamilton County Coroner O'dell Owens, was as sharp as a scalpel:

"I speak for the dead," he said. "And the dead say to me now, 'No more, no more, no more.' Say it to your young children."

It's too late for hundreds of shooting victims, sucked under in a flood of mindless violence that is lapping at the steps of City Hall, still rising.

But as we try to resurrect a better Cincinnati this spring, maybe Cosby's sermon is right on time. Let's hope.

That's what Easter is all about.


This is not the first time the entertainer displayed the chutzpah to utter unpopular truths. In the same vein as his caustic observances made during a speech at the 17 May 2004 NAACP Convention, Bill Cosby made the following painful diagnosis to the survivors of New Orleans on 1 April 2006:

Bill Cosby tells New Orleans blacks to reject crime

By Russell McCulley

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Entertainer Bill Cosby urged New Orleans' black population on Saturday to cleanse itself of a culture of crime as it rebuilds from the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina last year.

Cosby, whose criticism of some aspects of modern African-American culture has stirred controversy in recent years, told a rally headed by black leaders that the city needed to look at the "wound" it had before Katrina struck.

"It's painful, but we can't cleanse ourselves unless we look at the wound," Cosby told the rally of about 2,000 people in front of the city's convention center.

"Ladies and gentlemen, you had the highest murder rate, unto each other. You were dealing drugs to each other. You were impregnating our 13-, 12-, 11-year-old children," he said.

"What kind of a village is that?"

Cosby sparked heated debate in 2004, when he criticized blacks whom he said were putting a higher priority on music and fashion than on education and morality.


Think Bill Cosby has abandoned the poor in the Black community?

Read his response.

Read about his actions.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


'Arrived way early for the 7:00 AM 7:30 AM practice and so I decided on a walk in solitude, in the Mission Gardens, in the quiet, in the softly falling rain. Rebirth. Renewal. Over a year has passed since the traumatic event that birthed this blog. Over a year of denial, hope, false hope, lost hope, anger, bitterness, purgation, exorcism, acceptance, forgetting; forgetting, yes, and finally moving on. Nothing lasts forever, not even pain, or bitterness. Nothing lasts forever, but Him. Praise Him.

Many, many memories were planted on this wisteria petal-strewn path. I have walked this path in grief. I have walked this path in fear. I have walked this path in seek of refuge, in seek of solace. And finally, I have walked this path in victory, with my friends and parents by my side.

Today, I walk this path in fond reminiscence, like a traveler who smiles as his finger traces his journey on a map.

My favorite spot for lunch during spring and fall. Bathed in the fragrance of flowers, the chirping of the birds, and the quiet of your breathing, how much closer to Eden can one get?

This morning, the choir stands to the right (where the music stand is located) side of the apse as the altar takes the center. That's one of our sopranos in the picture. [Shot taken from the apse]

Some of the men taking a break after the 8:30 AM service. That's the 11:30 AM service congregation (maybe they arrived early to listen to us practice?). The gentleman in the pink shirt is Father Michael Zampelli. He presided over Easter Vigil last night. It was magical. He's a charismatic figure and possesses a commanding presence. He also has an astounding bass (I suspect he can make window panes rattle with his voice).

I was wondering if my voice would last the services for the Triduum, and when it did, I wondered just how far I could push it and opted to sing for the 8:30 AM Easter service. After that, I was still feeling capable and so I decided to go for broke and sing for the 11:30 AM service as well. And I made it! (Though my voice is pretty much gone now. I.e. I sound like a poor copy of Rod Stewart.)

Our lead soprano was right, it was a "joyous marathon."
Thank you all, darlings!

Happy Easter!

Resurrexit sicut dixit, Alleluia!