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Thirteen Thursday Thoughts

“Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold.”

The Tale of Five Lawyers

It’s been another week full of news surrounding the Trayvon Martin case. Of course, George Zimmerman was charged with second degree murder yesterday. That’s not what I want to focus on, though. Let me preface all of this by saying that I am not an attorney. I don’t have a law background aside from the Sports Law classes I took in undergrad and grad school. I want to focus on the parade of lawyers that I’ve seen this week. First, there were Zimmerman’s first two lawyers, Hal Uhrig (1) and Craig Sonner (2). I saw these two on a late-night political show, and they quickly pissed me off. I was amazed by how abrasive and unprofessional they came off. I was honestly sickened by the whole interview. So when Uhrig and Sonner withdrew as Zimmerman’s counsel on Tuesday, I was thrilled and concerned at the same time. If they had stayed on the case, I think it would have been an easier case for the prosecution. Prosecution. Enter Angela Corey (3). I watched her press conference last night, and she impressed me. She was very sharp and astute, and for the first time, I felt like this case was in very good hands. She took control of the presser and I think she has some damning evidence that has yet to be presented to the public. Just a hunch. Like I said, I’m not a lawyer. You know who is a lawyer, though? Benjamin Crump (4). *sigh*

Really???

Now, I’ve gotten some flack from some of my followers on Twitter for voicing my disapproval of Crump. I respect and applaud his efforts with such a high-profile situation. He has been relentless when it comes to justice for Trayvon Martin, and I have the utmost respect for that. Now that that’s out of the way, I think the guy is a joke. Every time I see him on TV, which has a been A LOT the past few weeks, I cringe. I realize that he’s the family lawyer, and maybe he’s the best they could get. I don’t know. That doesn’t change my opinion of him, though. I find him extremely rough around the edges, and he struggles to form literate sentences. When I compare the 10 minutes I saw of Corey and the 3 weeks I’ve seen of Crump, I thank God she’s running the show from here. Finally, there’s Mark O’Mara (5), who has now become my biggest concern. Why? I like the guy. He is the first breath of fresh air coming from the Zimmerman camp. I’ve now seen three of his interviews in the past 24 hours, and he has nailed all of them. The first words I heard him utter were condolences to the Martin family. He comes off as a genuine human being who knows that his life has changed forever and who understands that a parent should never have to bury a child. This will surely get very interesting. Stay tuned…

Sports

The juxtaposition of Bobby Petrino (6) and Ozzie Guillen (7) this week would be comical if both weren’t involved in such incredibly stupid situations. Petrino essentially got fired for dipping his pen in company ink that he helped pay for and urged the company to invest in. Yeah, I can milk metaphors. The 25-year-old Jessica Dorrell (8) and 51-year-old Petrino have been involved in an “inappropriate relationship” for the past seven months. The worst part…Dorrell is engaged. Her fiancé is the loser in all of this. He’s a swim coach at Arkansas and has to deal with this mess. All in the family, I suppose. The formerly happy couple had a wedding website up a few days ago, but it has been taken down. If you’re curious about that guestbook and how it got absolutely mutilated, look here. By the way, Petrino and his wife put their $2.5 million dollar house on the market. A $2.5 million house for coaching kids whose compensation is a scholarship and stipend? I digress. Wait…there’s more… Now, for Ozzie Guillen. I’ve gone back and forth in my head debating whether or not I think Guillen should’ve been fired for his comments regarding Fidel Castro. On one hand, by offending a huge percentage of the Miami Marlins fanbase, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to keep him around. However, after watching his press conference, I think Guillen is sincerely remorseful. He made a mistake, acknowledged it, and I would say that he deserves a second chance…if he wasn’t already on his fifth or sixth chance. Let’s face it. Guillen is a hothead who has said a lot of stupid stuff. The media has made him the brazen manager that he is, and he should thank all things holy that the media didn’t destroy him.

I was going to talk about Lamar Odom (9) finally getting cut from the Dallas Mavericks, but he seems like such a waste of a precious spot. Then, I remembered that he’s a Kardashian. He gets paid for doing nothing. Good riddance. Speaking of Dallas-area sports, have you heard about this two-foot-long hot dog (10) available at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington??? Does Subway have some competition? Not with the $26 price tag. Yeah, there’s a reason why Americans are fat. No, thank you.

This just looks disgusting.

Techy Stuff

Facebook bought Instagram (11) for $1 billion. Let that marinate. For what? Why is something that lets people take pictures, mess with them, and post them even worth $1 billion? Facebook already has some absurd amount of users. What is it, 850 million? What’s something as trendy as Instragram going to do for Facebook? Is this a way of infultrating Twitter? That’s the only reason that would make sense to me. To be frank, I’d get rid of Facebook if I wasn’t on this thing we call The Thread and tagged in over 1,000 pictures. Twitter is my social media platform of choice. Now, that my mom, aunts, uncles, and random church members are friends of mine on Facebook, I have little use for it. #Twitter > #Facebook

Music

I am not mad at you, bro.

I can’t keep up with Jennifer Lopez (12) and her flavors of the week. Her boo, Casper Smart, is probably the envy of 25-year-olds everywhere, though. J. Lo is doing the cougar thing, and those of you who know me know that my ears perk up at the sound of cougars. I like the idea of cougardom. I happened to see this video late one night, and Mr. Smart, I approve. Good for you, sir.

I want to set my sights on someone who can actually sing, though, and that is Melanie Fiona (13). I’ve been listening to her album, The MF Life, for a little over a week now, and I love it. I wasn’t even the biggest fan of her music, but something told me to give this album a listen. Maybe it was “4 AM”. Either way, it is a wonderful album. Here are my five favorites:

  1. Like I Love You
  2. Can’t Do This No More
  3. Bones
  4. Break Down These Walls
  5. Change the Record
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Thirteen Thursday Thoughts

“We’re having too good a time today. We ain’t thinking about tomorrow.”

Trayvon Martin (again)

This Trayvon Martin situation will not go away, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But it’s such a frustrating, aggravating, disheartening, and infuriating thing. Just when I thought this would be a quieter week, we get blindsided by Geraldo Rivera (1) making asinine comments. According to Rivera, “Trayvon Martin’s hoodie killed him as surely as George Zimmerman did.” I really don’t know where Geraldo gets off saying stuff like this. His own son was even disappointed in him. His logic is just so incredibly flawed to me. It’s like saying that a rape victim should blame the dress she was wearing. Don’t wear dresses or skirts, ladies. Just typing that feels stupid. Meanwhile, a police video (2) surfaced that showed George Zimmerman without any signs of blood or being attacked. This gives me more reason to be angry with the way the Sanford Police Department has handled this situation. Not to be overshadowed, The Daily Texan (3) ran an incredibly offensive cartoon earlier this week. Mind you, this is a student paper that is financed by student fees. The University of Texas just can’t seem to stay out of the news, and it’s not even football season. I’m all for people’s First Amendment rights and their right to express themselves, but those rights shouldn’t come at the expense of other people. I’m more upset with the editors of the paper than I am the cartoonist herself. How was that cartoon given the green light? What’s worse is that the editor tried his best to deflect the anger. #FAIL The statement was later taken down and replaced with a late apology. The damage has been done, though. Am I the only one who is just emotionally spent from all of this? This entire Trayvon Martin situation has reopened a huge wound in the flesh of this country. I have seen the absolute worst in some people, and it is so upsetting. I get tired of writing about racial issues every week on here, but they keep presenting themselves. I’ll have to go back and look at my Thursday Thoughts, but I don’t think there has been one without some instance of racism. It’s not like I even go looking for them. They find me. Just like this Hunger Games (4) foolishness.

Books

Speaking of The Hunger Games, I finished the book in about 3 days, and I loved it. I’ll be picking up the second installment of the series in the very near future. I’m happy I jumped on this bandwagon because it was very rewarding. The book itself is a whirlwind that refuses to let go of you or put you down. I’m sure I’ll find myself in someone’s movie theater this weekend to see the movie. I’m also getting REALLY excited about Eric Jerome Dickey’s new book, An Accidental Affair (5), which isn’t scheduled to be released for another 3 weeks. I realize I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, but I have thoroughly enjoyed his work over the years. Here’s a quick rundown of my favorite EJD books:

  1. Cheaters
  2. The Gideon Series (Sleeping With StrangersWaking With EnemiesDying for RevengeResurrecting Midnight)
  3. Chasing Destiny
  4. Milk in My Coffee
  5. The Other Woman

Yes, I realize I’m cheating by putting four books in my number two spot, but this is my list, and I can never decide which one in the series I like the best.

Sports

Dennis Rodman (6) seems to be having problems again. This hurts me to hear because I was a fan of the troubled, enigmatic, defensive guru. Michael Jordan wouldn’t have gotten those last few rings without him. Supposedly, he’s broke, sick, and could be facing jail time for failing to pay child support. *sigh* I hope he can get his life together. Another basketball great, who I happened to write about last week, is part of a team of millionaires who purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers (7). That’s right, the other MJ, Magic Johnson, is now a part owner of the storied baseball franchise. This man has seriously bought up the city of Los Angeles. I’m really happy for him. Johnson has done very well for himself. It’s a stark contrast in money management when compared to the aforementioned Dennis Rodman.

I have one more basketball note. Skylar Diggins (8) is still playing. I don’t know what to say about it; I don’t know what to call it. I don’t typically watch women’s basketball. There is just something about watching Ms. Diggins in uniform. We’ve talked about this phenomenon on this blog. A few times. She is just that rare mix of beauty, athleticism, and feminism. That’s the best I can explain it. I’m hoping for a Baylor/Notre Dame championship game. No, I have nothing to say about the men’s Final Four (9) this week. It’s Kentucky’s title to lose. That’s that.

The Month of April

I’m very excited about the month of April. First, there are a flurry of movies coming out that I want to go see. Judge me if you want to, but I’ll be there at some point to see Titanic (10) in 3D. Call it nostalgia or something, but I have some strange desire to go see it. I hate Hollywood. They have somehow convinced me that owning the VHS and DVD of the movie aren’t enough to keep me from wanting to pay again to see it in 3D. I won’t take this $17 price tag sitting down. Also, for nostalgia’s sake, I’ll be seeing American Reunion (11) as well. I’m not expecting much, but it’ll give me a reason to watch the first three two so I can relive my high school and college days. I refuse to count those other American train wrecks that tried their best to ruin the franchise. Band Camp?  Naked Mile? Beta House? REALLY?!?!? 

My fellow Threader, MichaelYoungHistory, convinced me to run in a 10K run (12) in a few weeks. I still don’t know how this happened. I’m not nor have I ever been a distance runner, but I’m looking forward to participating in it with a couple other Threaders. I’ve been training and preparing myself for a grueling 6.2 miles. Pray for me. I’m not built for this.

Closing Thought

Once again, thank you to the loyal and new thREADERS who have supported our new Radio Show (13) endeavor. We’re all looking forward to seeing where it eventually goes. Don’t miss Monday night’s show on “Interracial Dating” with TP4, Justinfication, and MichaelYoungHistory at 10pm Central. If you want a refresher, it will be based on this gem from TP4. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/threadradio

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Thirteen Thursday Thoughts

Another round of scatter-shooting, shall we?

Trayvon Martin

I suppose I’ll start off with a topic I didn’t give enough insight to last week, and that is this Trayvon Martin (1) situation. Through traditional and social media, more and more information has been shed on this tragedy, and it has honestly taken a lot out of me. As a male, it hits me hard because Trayvon could’ve been my brother, cousin, or nephew. As a black male, Trayvon represents the fact that we haven’t made as much progress as we’d like to think we have. As an American, Trayvon represents something our country is so afraid to confront when it comes to race. I’ve taken part in the #MillionHoodies movement (2) on Facebook and Twitter by posting a picture of myself in a black hoodie holding Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea. It was a bit of a social experiment in and of itself because my black friends and followers retweeted my picture, commented on, and liked it. Meanwhile, none of my white friends did. This is not merely a racial issue. It is an American issue, and while I’m happy that I’ve seen so many non-black people speak up and speak out against George Zimmerman and the Sanford Police Department’s total botchery of the investigation, it saddens me that by and large black people are the one’s taking up this issue. This is merely an observation. Maybe it’s just my friends, who don’t want to get caught up in it. Maybe they’re afraid that they’ll get chastised for asking questions. Maybe there is a disconnect. Maybe they’re ignorant to the many forces in play. I honestly don’t know. Maybe I’m just tired of bearing the burden of educating and bringing awareness to people who don’t look like me.

Sports

March Madness (3) has lived up to its billing. On Saturday, I watched my brackets go to ruins. Missouri and Duke both let me down. There were upsets galore, and once Missouri lost, I didn’t have much need to sit around and watch the rest of these teams beat my dead horse. We’ll see if I even watch as much action this weekend as I did last weekend.  With March in mind, I’m already sick of Tim Tebow (4). As if he didn’t get enough coverage this past season, I have to hear about this guy more in the off-season? Now he gets traded to The Big Apple? *sigh* We’ve seen what Linsanity did to that city; I’m scared of Tebowmania. On the other hand, Peyton Manning (5) made an interesting decision to pick Denver over some other possible suitors.  I’m in no position to make his decisions for him, but I would’ve picked San Francisco. There is more talent there, a better climate, and a better chance to get to a Super Bowl.  Once again, that’s just my opinion. I wish him the best of luck, though. I don’t think anyone could write a better book on how to stay relevant in the off-season than what the NFL is currently doing. The Super Bowl was almost 2 months ago, and the NFL has managed to stay in the news. Peyton Manning, Tim Tebow, the Combine, Pro Days, Draft prognosticating, and Bountygate. I get that most of those are a staple of most off-seasons, but this year just seems different. At least it’s not another labor standoff like last year. Roger Goodell (6) dropped the hammer down on the Saints…hard. Like I said a few weeks ago, the bounty system that Gregg Williams instituted with his defense didn’t really bother me since that culture is instilled in players at a young age. I definitely wasn’t expecting Goodell to suspend Sean Payton, fine the team a half million dollars, strip theme of draft picks, and suspend Williams indefinitely, though. It seems harsh, but I don’t think there will ever be another bounty program. Lesson learned.

Random Stuff

Yahoo! released a list of the 10 Richest Colleges in America (7), and it sparked a few interesting debates. I took issue with the fact that Texas is the richest public school, and third richest overall behind Harvard and Yale, respectively. The numbers seem a bit misleading since the numbers used are The University of Texas System’s number and not UT as an individual institution. It still bothers me that tuition has reached record highs, and yet some schools are rich. I realize this is a complicated issue that isn’t black and white, but it doesn’t sit well with me. It’s definitely not something to brag about.

The LA Coroner released Whitney Houston’s (8) cause of death. Her death was an accident, but several drugs were found in her system. Marijuana, Xanax, cocaine, and Benadryl were all named in her toxicology report. *sigh* I figured her death was drug related, but it hurts to read it officially.

Entertainment/Television

I wrote about Snooki from Jersey Shore a few weeks ago, but now her fellow cast member, The Situation (9), is in the news. Allegedly, he has been getting treatment for a problem he has with prescription drugs…or alcohol. Who knows? Color me shocked. As much debauchery as we’ve seen from the cast, I’m surprised there aren’t more of them with some kind of issue. I’m throwing no shade and no judgment their way, but nothing that I hear about that cast  will surprise me. VH1 has another provocative show in the chamber. They’ve graduated from the NBA and are now entering Hollywood. I’ve expressed my sentiments concerning all these damn wife shows, but the train seems to be picking up steam. Hollywood Exes (10) is the next stop. This show will feature the ex-wives of Eddie Murphy, Jose Canseco, Will Smith, Prince, and R. Kelly. I have to admit, they found some heavy hitters. This will get messy.

I’ve never been an ardent viewer of The Voice (11) or Dancing with the Stars (12), but I found myself watching both of them on Monday. I’m a huge Cee-Lo fan, but his pick of Erin over The Shields Brothers really threw me off. Ugh. In my humble opinion, Erin completely butchered Tina Turner’s classic. I thought she sounded awful. The Shields Brothers added a nice twist to it, though. Was I listening to something different? We’ll see if I keep watching if I have to listen to Ms. Martin again. Meanwhile, Gladys Knight and Urkel Jaleel White blew me away with their dancing skills. I shouldn’t have been surprised, though. The Empress of Soul looked amazing by the way. Y’all want to come with me on a trip down Memory Lane, compliments of Family Matters and A Different World? Of course you do.  

Finally, the ThreadBlog Radio Show (13) is premiering this Monday at 11pm EST/10pm Central. The King’s Law, utpipeline, and myself will be revisiting a popular and controversial blog post from a while back. “Is There a Difference Between Making Love and Having Sex?” Tune into http://www.blogtalkradio.com/threadradio Monday night and join us. If you can’t tune in, we’ll post the episode here on the ThreadBlog.

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Thirteen Thursday Thoughts

“Beware the Ides of March…”

SXSW (South by Southwest) has taken the city of Austin by storm. Jay-Z (1) kicked off the musical festivities with a live-streamed set featuring an audience of American Express cardholders. Not exactly his target audience. After watching the performance again, I couldn’t help but notice just how bad the audience really was. It just lacked…something…everything. I’ve been to two Jay-Z concerts, and the energy is usually unreal. This crowd just seemed to be a bunch of wayfaring strangers who haven’t familiarized themselves with Mr. S. Carter. Something was just…off…with the whole thing. Yahoo! even alleges that the Jigga man forgot some of the lyrics to his own songs. You be the judge.

That same night, Oprah (2) brought Bobbi Kristina (3) out of hiding mourning and Magic Johnson (4) narrated his own documentary on ESPN (“The Announcement”). Yeah, I was inundated with stimuli demanding my attention. Fortunately, I managed to provide and divide my undivided attention to multiple places. Could anyone other than Oprah have done this much anticipated interview with the daughter of the late Whitney Houston? I doubt it. Oprah is one powerful woman. She had me flipping all through my guide to find where the hell OWN was. Once I found it, I sat back intently to see what has become of Bobbi Kristina since we last saw her at her mother’s funeral. I can’t imagine how hard it is to lose a parent and have to open your soul to the curious world. She held up well, though. One thing Oprah didn’t mention is this supposed name change. Apparently, Bobbi Kristina wants to be Kristina Houston. She doesn’t want her father’s name any more it seems. Oh. I guess she’ll settle for her father’s gap.

After watching the Oprah special, I watched ESPN’s “The Announcement”, which detailed Magic Johnson’s battle with HIV/AIDS. I thought it was really well done. Having Magic narrate it himself was kind of awkward, but it worked. The documentary did a great job of capturing the sadness, fear, ignorance, love, and hope that Magic encountered. Karl Malone didn’t do himself any favors. The only problem I had with the documentary is the fact that it largely ignored just how expensive it is to fight/treat HIV/AIDS. I have the utmost respect for Magic Johnson, and I’m happy that he has essentially been a medical miracle. However, it’s God’s grace and Magic’s magic money that has kept him alive in my opinion. That’s not a knock on him at all. He has certainly been fighting a good fight. I just worry for the overwhelming majority of AIDS patients who can’t afford that kind of treatment.

This week also gave me a chance to immerse myself in Bracketology (5). I have 3 brackets this year, and to be honest, I don’t like any of them. Kentucky is my de facto champion in two of them because I just don’t trust any of the other teams. I can poke holes in almost every team. I have already prepared myself for the almost inevitable destruction of all of my brackets. I suppose that’s the twisted beauty that is March Madness, though. Check out our Bracketology podcast here.

I need Dwight Howard (6) to get it together and make up his mind. He’s staying, he’s going; he’s going, he’s staying. He has played his hand all wrong. That is all.

I went to the movies again this week, which is becoming a bad weekly habit of mine. I finally got to see “Safe House” and hypothetically might have snuck into “Good Deeds” (7). “Safe House” was solid. Denzel was his usual good-acting self. The movie was entertaining, but didn’t blow me away. C+/B-. “Good Deeds”, though… *sigh* Tyler effing Perry. I have alluded to the fact that I’m not a big Tyler Perry fan, but I’m not here to bash him. He has found a niche. He stars in this one (as a man), which only means one thing: He’s the quintessential black male. See: “Why Did I Get Married?”, “Why Did I Get Married Too?”, “Madea’s Family Reunion”, etc. As a writer, his characters are just so damn simple. Within the first five minutes of the movie, you already know what you’re in for. There is no moral ambiguity in any of the characters. You know who’s good; you know who’s bad; you see who his love interest is; you see who his love interest will be; and you see the Good Samaritan plot within the first 10 minutes. It was just…blah. D.

In other black male news, The New York Times (8) featured an interesting debate this week. Here’s an excerpt:

The news for young black men is not good: they are disproportionately singled out for discipline in school, they are more likely to be stopped and frisked by New York City police officers, and according to Michelle Alexander in her book, “The New Jim Crow,” nearly one-third of black men are likely to spend time in prison at some point in their lives.

Would pulling back on draconian drug laws or legalizing marijuana be enough to fix this imbalance? What else needs to be done?

First thought: What else is new? Second thought: Hmm…

Hopefully, most of you have heard about this disturbing Trayvon Martin (9) story brewing in Florida. If you haven’t, here’s the situation and reasons behind the uproar. Like I have said in prior posts, I used to live in Orlando (very close to Sanford) so this hits close to home. It is truly a tragic situation that seems to keep happening all too often in this “post-racial” America. Now, I don’t have all the facts nor am I calling for some kind of race riot. What I do hope for is a thorough investigation because this whole thing smells of something foul. There is certainly a problem in Sanford and racial tensions are high. That’s never a good thing.

Don't look in his eyes.

I usually dedicate at least one of my Thursday Thoughts to something I read on Twitter. This week is no different. Touré (10), the novelist, journalist, and TV personality, tweeted, “Prince is the most important gospel artist ever… Look at the totality of Prince’s career: he talks about God & Christ far more often & passionately than he does about sex.” Not Mahalia Jackson? Not James Cleveland? Not Tramaine Hawkins? Oh. I’m a HUGE Prince (11) fan, but I wouldn’t call him a gospel singer. I’ll give Touré credit because Prince does have a host of spiritually infused songs. Look no further than tracks like “I Would Die 4 U”, “7”, or maybe even “Let’s Go Crazy” to name a few. Touré makes a compelling argument for Prince as a gospel singer by saying that he draws people in with sexual themes and such only to cryptically lace many of his songs with Christ/God as the subject. Evidently, even “Darling Nikki” has a reference to God at the end. He has a point. I still can’t call Prince a gospel singer, though. The fact that so many are unaware of the many Christian allusions Prince makes in his music leads me to believe the vast majority of his listeners didn’t hear the gospel. This is compelling nonetheless, though. *turns on “Purple Rain“*

I caved and purchased “The Hunger Games” (12) trilogy. The movie looks like an updated, futuristic “Gladiator”, but it seems very fascinating. I don’t like being out of the loop, and I missed the “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” trains. I’m getting on this one.

Finally, “Love Jones” (13) turned 15 yesterday. Does that make anyone else feel really old? I remember when…nevermind. There’s no need of me inadequately using words to express what this movie means to me, so I won’t. You can always revisit my post with PrimeMeridian, though. Much love, “Love Jones“.

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