State of The Union, Sisterhood, Valentine’s Day 2013 Mashup

It is clear that I have fallen a bit behind my blogging schedule.  When this week started, I definitely had intended on writing a post about the State of the Union Address.  I also wanted to write another post on my thoughts on the season finale of The Sisterhood.  Since I do not have enough time in my schedule this week to write both posts separately, I figured I may as well combine them like I did with the NAACP Image Awards, Betty & Coretta, and the Super Bowl.  Don’t worry, this won’t become a regular thing.

State of the Union

It was good to see President Obama’s confidence on Tuesday night.  He repeated a lot of the same rhetoric that he had stated during his recent reelection bid, but his presentation was much stronger.  After all, he no longer had to worry about how his statements and stances could adversely impact his chances for reelection now that he is in his second term.  Using a mixture of anecdotes, emotional appeals, and occasional political jabs, President Obama outlined his administration’s agenda to generally partisan applause.

Given the polarized nature of our political system, I should not have expected the Republican party to visibly accept anything that President Obama says–even if he is the President of the WHOLE United States.  That’s why I was especially amused when Senator Rubio’s response unintentionally agreed with some of the statements that President Obama had made during his address.  Indeed, I left the response feeling like Senator Rubio’s people did not adequately research Obama’s policies.  If they had, Senator Rubio would not have made such erroneous claims like the one he made in an attempt to distinguish between the Republican agenda and President Obama’s agenda by claiming that President Obama did not want to modify Medicare less than an hour after President Obama himself argued for Medicare reform.

That gaffe and many others made during Rubio’s speech and during post-address analyses by both Democrat and Republican commentators confirmed my belief that many politicians are more interested in maintaining power than actually doing what is best for the people they represent.  I found myself having trouble dealing with the fact that many politicians and media personalities are actually benefitting from the extreme polarization in our society at the expense of people in need.  Even the commentators have an incentive to make controversial statements in order to keep their jobs with the networks, which all cater to their own particular politically-charged fragments of our society.  Needless to say, I became even more jaded with respect to the ability of President Obama or any other seemingly positive politician to make a difference from within the system because too many people like things just the way they are.

The Sisterhood Season Finale

I was slightly annoyed with TLC for airing the 2-hour season finale of The Sisterhood on the same night as the State of the Union Address.  After all, many members of their target demographic (black people) do not need much of an incentive to ignore the President’s speaking.  (Truth be told, many of us become politically apathetic until the next presidential election in spite of the importance of our involvement in the electoral process.  I was also annoyed with BET for airing a new episode of Real Husbands of Hollywood knowing that it would air at end of the State of the Union Address and during the Republican response.  I’m saddened by the thought of how many people missed the State of the Union Address because they were watching The Sisterhood and Real Husbands of Hollywood back to back.  BET and TLC need to do better, but this is supposed to be about The Sisterhood so I’ll digress.)

Check out my initial analysis here.  Here are my final thoughts on the women on the show:

Domonique

Just as I had expected, Domonique became the breakout star of the show.  The last two episodes were pretty much all about her personal story of rekindling her relationship with her husband Brian while dealing with her past experiences as a crack addict and a prostitute.  Although I called her “sour” in my initial analysis, I found myself understanding her a lot more after I learned what she had been through.  Sure she seemed to be a bit catty at times–especially with respect to Tara–but right or wrong, she was real.  That’s more than I could say about some of the others on the show.  I just hope her portrayal on the show does not hinder her and Brian’s attempts at launching a new ministry.

DeLana

Unlike the others, DeLana did not receive much screen time.  After her argument with Domonique about the plantation sign, DeLana backed away from the other women.  For that reason, I admire her.  She wasn’t about to fall into the same trap that causes many women on reality shows to partake in ridiculous conflicts over and over again.  In fact, I am pretty sure that the only reason DeLana and her husband reappeared on the show is that they were contractually obligated to do so.  Nonetheless, DeLana did attempt to neutralize her conflict with Domonique numerous times. It just took Domonique a long time to see her attempts as sincere.

Christina

From my perspective, Christina was the most likable person on the show.  I wouldn’t mind going to a church where someone like her was the first lady.  I’m sure her husband Anthony is clear on just what an asset she is to their congregation.  Her supportiveness was shown as she went to the hospital to check on Ivy during her surgery.  For the most part, she managed to stay out of the path of conflict and attempted to bring peace among the women–a difficult job considering the number of strong personalities on the show.  She found a way to be real without being offensive, and I commend her for that.

Ivy

Behind Domonique, Ivy’s storyline was most compelling.  She spent much of the season concerned about her ability to have more children after recently giving birth to her first child.  Those concerns were all alleviated after her exploratory surgery was successful and she announced her pregnancy during the last episode.  Unfortunately, Ivy always found herself in the middle of Domonique’s arguments.  She jumped on Tara several times and was not afraid to express her opinion to DeLana about the plantation sign.  It wasn’t too surprising for me to see the clique form between Domonique, Ivy, and Christina because the three of them were most similar with respect to their views on ministry.  I just wish Ivy would have been a bit more careful about getting sucked into Domonique’s conflicts.

Tara

Unfortunately, I never did quite warm up to Tara.  She and her husband Brian came across as a bit spacey the whole season.  They were also highly likely to look down on anyone who disagreed with them on any issue.  Nonetheless, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Tara.  After she and her husband were fired from their church in Atlanta, they were essentially scrambling to create a new life for themselves.  Tara did have some likable characteristics, but she just could not mesh well with the other women.  Her storyline confirmed for me that sometimes church folk have a way of spiritualizing things that are just common sense.  Sometimes, personality conflicts are spiritual attacks or opportunities to “be a light,” but sometimes personality conflicts are just personality conflicts.  Some people just won’t get along and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Valentine’s Day 2013

At this point in my life, I have become accustomed to being single on Valentine’s Day.  It’s certainly much cheaper that way.  Although I find myself becoming somewhat mopey about my persistent singleness, I also realize just how thankful for the life I’ve had the chance to build for myself.  As much as I would rather not admit it, I am not sure if I would be where I am right now if I were in a relationship.  In fact, if I had a girlfriend / wife, she probably would have felt neglected at some points and frustrated at others given the many twists and turns of my journey.  (The girlfriend I had for two weeks last year certainly did.)  Thankfully, all of that work is about to start paying off and within the next year, I should actually have the time and the resources to nurture a relationship while still making serious progress on my life’s goals.  In the end, maybe the best Valentine’s Day gift I’ll be able to give to my future girlfriend / wife is the ability to be with someone who is managing to live out his dreams in spite of his various imperfections.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

What are your thoughts on the State of the Union Address?  How do you feel about The Sisterhood? Did you have any major realizations this Valentine’s Day?

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About Spencer

Spencer T. Clayton is a typical millennial who believed his mother when she told him that he was capable of accomplishing great things (and as a result has amassed a large amount of student loan debt). When he isn’t blogging, he is either out with friends, writing and performing music, or busy working as an Executive Pastor and Consultant while simultaneously pursuing a PhD in Public Affairs.

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