“Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it’s my very good honor to meet you…”
It’s been a quiet week (thankfully), so this set of Thursday Thoughts will largely dwell on the past. First and foremost, Dick Clark (1) passed yesterday at the age of 82. Although he was before my time with the exception of New Year’s Eve every year, I must take a moment to salute the man. Clark basically made it acceptable to bring black music by black people to white households on television. American Bandstand (2) was one of the first shows to allow blacks and whites to perform on the same stage, have black performers, and a desegregated audience. My prayers are with his family and friends.
Coachella (3) started this past weekend, and the biggest news came during Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s performance. A hologram of Tupac (4) appeared during the set and performed “Hail Mary” and “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted”. Technology has come a long way. It certainly gives credence to the idea that one’s legacy lives on and never really dies. It has subsequently stirred up some debate, though. Personally, I have to give Dre credit for giving us this glimpse of ‘Pac again. Along with his Beats headphones, he has had a huge couple years. Now…about that Detox album.
Perhaps one of the more unheralded performances last weekend came from The Weeknd (5). I really didn’t mean that as a pun. As some of you know, I am a HUGE Weeknd fan, so I was looking forward to hearing his performance. Watch it here. His live vocals need work, but it’s worth a look, since most fans have never seen him perform live. The Weeknd is still a bit of an enigmatic character. His cryptic and often disturbingly obscure videos on YouTube don’t give us a good idea of who this mysterious Canadian really is. I’m almost holding out hope that he stays the shadowy artist that he is. If he blows up, I fear the limelight from the mainstream will severely cripple the dark persona that he has meticulously created.
In news that isn’t really news, the wife of Antonio Cromartie (6) announced that her and her husband are expecting twins. For those of you keeping score at home, these will be numbers 11 and 12 for Cromartie; three and four for the couple. As for the other eight, they are dispersed between seven other women. My head suddenly hurts. Now, I’m not one to judge, but…do none of these people believe in some kind of birth control?? There was talk of a reality show featuring all of the mothers, kids, and Cromartie, but apparently, he declined the idea. I’ll just put this out there. Cromartie shouldn’t decline any form of income. He won’t be a cornerback forever and that $252,000 a year in child support will start to hurt soon if it doesn’t already.
Major League Baseball celebrated its annual Jackie Robinson Day (7) earlier this week in which every player dons the number 42. Every year, this commemoration brings with it negativity concerning the lack of African Americans in baseball. As it stands now, 8.05% of all MLB baseball players are black, the lowest in 60 years. Enter Marlon Byrd (8), Chicago Cubs outfielder. I will just quote him because I think he hit the nail on the head, and I can’t say it any better myself.
“If you want to take polls, then take polls asking how many black lawyers do we have now, or how many black judges or black doctors there are now. Just because we’re black doesn’t mean we have to play sports. You can go through other avenues. If the decrease (in baseball) is because they’re going into academic fields, so be it. More power to them.” -Marlon Byrd
He is absolutely right. More power to you, good sir.
To wrap up sports news, a basketball legend stepped down this week. Notice that I said basketball and not women’s basketball. Pat Summitt (9) stepped down from her post as head coach of the women’s basketball team at Tennessee, and I’m honestly pretty sad about it. I don’t pretend to be the biggest women’s basketball fan, but she was one of the best and most dominant coaches, and it is a shame to see her go because of health concerns. She is battling early onset dementia. I pray for her and her family. Well done on the press conference today, Tennessee.
The Week of Tragedy
Today is April 19, 2012. Can you believe it has been 19 years since the Waco Tragedy (10)? Can you believe it has been 17 years since the Oklahoma City bombing (11)? I was a kid, but I still remember those days like they were yesterday. There are haunting images firmly entrenched in my head from those days. Waco is like a second home to me. Seventy-six people lost their lives, including 27 children on this day in 1993 at the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco. Two years later, 168 people lost their lives in Oklahoma City. Hundreds more were injured. I was fortunate enough to visit the memorial in Oklahoma City a few years ago, and I advise everyone to experience that place. It’s amazing that they were able to create a space of such peace and serenity when it was anything but on that tragic morning of April 19, 1995. We observed the five-year anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting (12) this week (April 17, 2007) as well. On the day we all became Hokies, 32 people lost their lives, while 30 more were injured. I was a junior in college. I remember being in the library when I heard the news of a gunman on a rampage on the campus of Virginia Tech. We have lived through entirely too many of these depressing events. The 13-year anniversary of Columbine (13) is tomorrow. Fourteen students and a teacher died that day in Littleton, Colorado. Sadly, It takes times like these to remind us just how precious life is and how quickly it could end.