Quit Playin’: Gone, But Don’t Forget Me!

By Vincent L. Hall

If you want me to stay, I’ll be around today, to be available for you to see. But I’m about to go, and then you’ll know, For me to stay here I’ve got to be me. – Sly and the Family Stone – circa 1973

Allow me to borrow those words from a fellow native Texan, Sylvester Stewart, aka Sly Stone. He penned the song as a threat to leave his then-girlfriend. Since my first “Quit Playin’ article appeared in January of 2003, I have come to love my readers more and more. However, and like Sly, I gotta go for a while in order to be me. If you ever wanted to understand a fraction of the stress that preachers are under, try researching, writing, rewriting, and publishing an article weekly. After this week’s sermon, the next round has to be in the chamber and ready to fire. Meanwhile, and most concerning,

“Amens” don’t come easy.

Dr. Zan Holmes distinguished himself as a Man of God and a man on the street by keeping a bible in his left breast pocket while clutching a newspaper in his right forearm. Speaking truth to power and to the powerless requires endless reflection and research. My best efforts have been to curse loud enough to get your attention while adhering to my own Christianity. Please don’t waste any time calling the diocese, don’t summon the Methodism or check the seminaries for my credentials.

This is no claim that my post is anywhere near as important as your ministers are. Y’all need Jesus, and that’s their primary calling. I’m just using preaching as a segue to say what Sly said. “If you want me to stay, I’ll be around today, to be available for you to see. But I’m about to go, and then you’ll know, For me to stay here, I’ve got to be me.” Sly wrote these words to a woman he would eventually marry. I relay them to you to announce a coming respite and to assure my return to you.

I’ll be back, but I gotta take a break. My knowledge is dwindling because the last few years have been limited to internet/cable news (ICN) education. You know what that is, an ICN education is what Trump has. All he knows is what he gathers by local stimuli. He doesn’t read books or engage any critically crafted treatises or sit among the brain trusts.

The net result is that you appear intelligent on the surface, but underneath that veil is nothing. The only thing worse than finding an empty wallet is spotting play money. Fool me once, shame on you; Or whatever former President George W. Bush said! Over the next few months, I have got to read some whole books and get some academic refueling. Ignorance is kryptonite. Besides that, there’s a book in me that has to come out.

The next six to nine months will benefit me and anyone willing to read the contents that show-up beneath my weekly by-line. The end result will be a fresher and more challenging context and argument. In the meantime, my publisher Cheryl Smith has a litany of influential writers and free thinkers. Stay tuned to this channel. I hate to lose my space, but sometimes progression requires digression and redirection. So, let’s pick up where Sly left it. The last verse in the song is rendered with verve and expression. Imagine as you read the words that it is sung with fortissimo and with staccato.

“When you see me again, I hope that you have been the kind of person you really are now. I’ll be so good; I wish I could…I’d get the message over to you now.” 2020 will be a year of karma, correction, and consequences. Don’t believe me just watch! However, before you know it, I will be right back here with you. I’m available today, but to be me, I gotta go for a while.

Quit Playin’, you’ll see me again.