i bastardized the categorical imperative because i can…-AND- i used the “f” word.

Like many southern black people, I do not put much stock in any one thing accepted as a universal moral tenet.

 Conventional wisdom tells us that what direction a man deems east, depends on the particular direction he is facing on that particular day. The passage of time has revealed any notion of set rights and wrongs, of fixed rules and regulations, to be a complete fallacy, as they are wont to change when he-who-decides-these-things makes it so.

 As such, I have found that it is of little use to subscribe to any pre-determined set of principles.

When my clients come into my office, brimming over with righteous indignation, they are often deflated by my inability to replicate their passions. “But Ms. _____, “ they exclaim, “it’s the principle of the matter!”

They are met with an indifferent stare, and dismissive shrug of shoulder, as I have not the capacity to appreciate matters argued for argument’s sake; or for the purpose of affirming some invisible credo.

While I wouldn’t deign to attribute this measure of relativist cynicism to all black people, I can safely assert that principle-based rhetoric will not endear any orator to the hearts of my people.

 As a matter of fact, I’m going to step out on a limb here, and say, with more than a small measure of enthusiasm, “FUCK YOUR PRINCIPLES, SOCIETY.” Fuck them all………..

except one.

 That’s right. There is one, lingering principle that black people know and respect—and to that end, call upon–all too well: The General Principle.

 Colloquially abbreviated, “gp.”

What is gp?

I’ll start off by saying that gp is best explored in a more situational context than through some dry verbal definition.

But, for the purpose of offering some general frame of reference, know that one asserts gp when a situation is slightly to moderately fucked up, but still demands a reaction of some kind. Typically, the fuckedupness of the reaction warranted is greater than or equal to the initial fuckedupness of the situation.

No matter what, you can’t beat yourself up because of your chosen reaction predicated on gp. It is understood that you had no other recourse (or,  as is oft the case, no other satisfying recourse).

What I find particularly awesome about gp is its conveniently insular nature.

That is to say, you don’t have to explain gp.

Gp is an explanation wholly unto itself.

Citing “gp” as a justification for one’s reaction is like shouting “Freeze!” in a game of Tag. That shit stops everything. All questions come to a halt. An answer has been given, and that answer is gp. Nothing need be said further. Anyone who pursues information beyond a declaration of gp is a douchebag.

And should subsequently have his ass whipped.

 On gp.

Say a riot breaks out in Friendship Heights. There’s chaos all about you. Madness fills the tense air. The streets are ablaze, and angry mobs teem the sidewalks, intent on imminent destruction. And you—you’re a law-abiding citizen, just happening by. You are stricken by the urban wasteland that now lies before you. Do you, caught up in a swell of the impassioned emotion of a downtrodden, disenfranchised people, grab a chair and slam it through the storefront of Burberry?


Cause that would be burglary and looting.

And that’s wrong.

But, if on your way to find shelter and notify the nearest law enforcement agency, you happen to see a lonely cashmere and wool trench coat caught in the fray, and tuck it neatly into your bag—

You’ve done so on gp.

A month or so ago I told a story about how a pedestrian had slammed her hands down on the hood of my car in fury because I’d inadvertently stopped for a traffic signal with my front wheels in the crosswalk. Bear in mind that I had been sitting at the light for a full minute before this woman even began to broach the roadway, and only had to round my car ever-so-slightly while crossing the street. Rather than simply doing so, she’d turned to face me, made eye contact with me, extended the fingers on both her right and left hands, and slammed them down on my car, shouting something in anger, before storming away. For the purposes of today’s exercise, forget, if only for a moment, what I said or did. Instead, let’s focus on what I could have done.

According to the Rules and Regulations of GP, Roman numeral four, letter A, subsection one, little Roman numeral six, I would have been well within my rights, had I opted to get out of my car, and shake the living shit out of that woman. Real talk. The dictates and precepts of gp authorized me to raise up out of my vehicle and beat the living hell out of that woman were I so inclined.

And I guarandamntee, that in the crowd of onlookers, should a random passerby ask why everyone was allowing me to stomp a proverbial mudhole into that bitch’s temple, there would be, at the very minimum, ONE black person there to explain, “Old girl slammed her hands down on the hood of her car, so she got out and just started beating the stew outta her…that’s gp right there.”

I once dated a body builder for an entire month.

 On gp.

This man was a 6 foot 2 inch Adonis with bulging muscles at every pass, and the laziest, sexiest smile I’ve seen in all of my days.

But he was dumb.

I mean it.



Not just like, dumb as a box of rocks, dumb.

I’m talking, dumb as a box of retarded rocks, dumb.

And he wasn’t like, one of those quiet dumb boys who felt insecure about his sub-human intellect, and therefore elected to never expound on anything in excess of a one to two word answer.

Oh no.

This motherfucker talked, all right.

He talked LOTS.

His big, brawny body was just overflowing with ridiculously stupid things to say.

And I sat and listened to every damn near incoherent word he uttered, and carefully manipulated my way through the veritable Morse Code labyrinth that was the grammatical composite of his emails and text messages.



We pass this way but once, people. I don’t live the kind of life where more than one sublimely sexy 6 foot 2 inch sinewy, chiseled bodybuilder is going to take an active interest in me. I had to strike while the iron was hot, irrespective of how many extra chromosomal pairs this particular iron had.

Now, at this point, some of you are, no doubt, having trouble understanding gp. Some of you are having a problem reconciling one messed up situation with another equally messed up situation.

Perhaps it’s because you’ve yet to apply its much touted sister euphemism: “[that] shit’s fucked up, [right there].”

I can 100% promise you that, any place you’d assign a designation of “gp” also warrants a preceding or following declaration of “shit’s fucked up.”

Nota Bene—

“I told Sarah it was time to leave the bar and that she was too drunk, but she smudged me in my face in front of everybody and called me a hater. I had to leave that drunk bitch there on gp, after that. I heard she did it with the whole bar after I left and that there’s a sex tape on the internet. Her husband filed for divorce and she’s getting disbarred. Shit’s fucked up.”

pencils down, people.


2 Responses to “i bastardized the categorical imperative because i can…-AND- i used the “f” word.”

  1. February 2, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    This blog is awesome. I’d like to chat with its author who should have my email addy by way of the comment notification. And yes, that is the only reason I’m leaving a comment. Because I want something. I’m selfish. Sue me. But first email me, because I have a question for you. Then feel free to sue.

  2. 2 TeeTos
    February 2, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    GP…like that time you tried to get that bastard restaurant manager arrested (2 weeks after the fact) for damn near assaulting me. I would like to propose that we extend this GP and revisit that joint just to act a straight HAM (1 year later) for no damned good reason. yea….let’s make it a date.

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a history of my meanderings….


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