Unintended Consequences

Cuban Volleyballers Lidianny Echevarria Benitez and Leila Consuelo Martinez Ortega

I do not think this was the intention of the Olympic organizers, but one thing the 2020 Tokyo Games has done for me is to make me appreciate the beauty of young black women athletes. Especially those competing in 2×2 beach volleyball and the various track and field events.

Frankly, I prefer watching women’s events more than the all-male ones, and I have a sneaking suspicion that I am not alone in this. When the U.S. team shut down the Cuban volleyball team of of Lidy and Leila—who had previously defeated Australia, Russia, Italy, and the Netherlands—I felt saddened. Not that April and Alix on the U.S. team weren’t cuties, but in that department they did not come close to the Cuban women.

U.S. Track & Field’s Dalilah Muhammad

Just to show that I am not unpatriotic in my morose delectation of young black women, I also am partial to such U.S. track stars as Dalilah Muhammad.

Now all these women are impossibly young, but that’s no bar to a dirty old man like myself.

A Rare Beauty

Whitney Houston

The 1980s were a strange decade for me. Befoe I met Martine, I was in love with two gorgeous black women—though I was firmly ensconced in the “friend zone” with both of them. There was Melinda, with whom I worked, and Janice, a young physician. And my favorite singer was the lovely Whitney Houston, whose 1985 album, “Whitney Houston” contained some of the most beautiful singing I had ever heard. That plus the fact that she looked like an angel come down to earth made her my favorite listening choice, to the annoyance of some of my friends. The first tape I bought for my new 1985 Mitsubishi Montero was her first album.

Today I saw Kevin Macdonald’s documentary entitled Whitney. The singer’s life was neatly divided into two parts: the spectacular rise and the equally spectacular fall. As beautiful and talented as she was, Whitney was sexually abused as a child—by one of her female relatives—and then she fell in love with and married a debauched ogre, alias singer/dancer Bobby Brown, who help turn her hopes and dreams into mud.

When I look back at the early eighties, I think of the twin scourges of AIDS and cocaine. Cocaine was everywhere. If one was a celebrity, one had no problem getting as much nose powder as one wanted. It is pathetic to see Whitney toward the end of her life, aware that somewhere she had taken a wrong turning, but still faithful to many of the people who were living off her fame and intent on killing the goose that laid their golden eggs.