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Gravity Night: The State of Black Entertainment: Black Cinema

Hey thREADERS,

Check out the replay of the first installment of “The State of Black Entertainment: Black Cinema” from The ThreadRadio Show.

We’ll have another great show for you next Monday night at 10 PM Central. As always, thanks for your support!

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Posted by on April 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Thirteen Thursday Thoughts

“To making it count…”

Movies

Just as I finished digesting the news of Whitney Houston’s toxicology reports, TriStar released the trailer for Sparkle (1), starring Whitney Houston, Mike Epps, Derek Luke, Cee-Lo (2) (more on him later), and Jordin Sparks. I realize that this is a remake, but I’m really excited about it, and I have high hopes for it. I’m going to see it, if for no other reason than to see Whitney and hear her angelic voice one more time. 

Music

I finally got to see The Hunger Games, and I loved it! It wasn’t as good as the book, but what movie is ever as good as the book that precedes it? I felt that the movie did it justice, and I’m excited to start reading Catching Fire. Since I’m on the topic, Lenny Kravitz (2) as Cinna just might have been my favorite character outside of Katniss. I loved Rue, too. I won’t spoil the plot for those who have yet to read the book or see the movie, but I will say that he added a serenity to the movie, and he nailed his role. I’m glad to see that Helen, I mean Roxie Roker (3) passed some acting skills down to her son. Movin’ on up…here’s a list of my 5 favorite Lenny Kravitz songs.

  1. “Little Girl’s Eyes” (duh…)
  2. “Fly Away”
  3. “Again”
  4. “I Belong to You”
  5. “I’ll Be Waiting”

Kanye West (4) made the news again this week for his song, “Theraflu”, where he admits to falling in love with Kim Kardashian, throws his respect for Wiz Khalifa, and well…here:

“And I’ll admit, I fell in love with Kim, ’round the same time she had fell in love with him, well, that’s cool, baby girl, do ya thing, lucky I ain’t have Jay drop him from the team,”

I think Kanye is disturbed in all honesty. I’ve thought something was off ever since 808′s & Heartbreak. His “Runaway” video was the icing on the cake for me (even though I loved it). Fellow Threader, Terry the Trainer, eloquently nails my sentiments with this gem:

“Kanye’s new song reminds me of how badly I do NOT. WANT. FAME. Ever. Falling in love with Kim K while she falls in love with the dude she marries on your watch, just to dump him two months later, and leave you feeling empty…Now one ex is with an inferior rap guy (Wiz) and another ex is over you, overpaid, and thanks to your own big mouth, over-publicized as you openly admit defeat to an NBA guy who is as famous as he has recently become…Because of your ex. At a certain point, you are so celebrated, you just chase what (and who) is celebrated. You forget what you once were and what type of company you once pursued. I feel sorry for that in a way at the same time. You CAN’T be normal anymore.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. “The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul” (5) found her way into my “Thirteen Thoughts”…again. By now, you’ve probably seen, heard, or heard about the now infamous Burger King commercial that has her looking like Catwoman on a table singing about crispy chicken, fresh lettuce, an assortment of cheeses, and ranch dressing. I suppose her days of drama, real love, goin’ down, and breaking through are over. utpipeline gave us a classic post yesterday, so I’ll just leave this subject with that. *walks away* *looks back* *shakes head* *continues walking* Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary… *sigh*

Cee-Lo (6) is quickly becoming another all-star on my Thoughts, but I’m not happy with him at the moment. A few weeks ago, Cee-Lo performed the unedited version of his hit single, “F*** You” at a fundraiser for President Obama, which was hosted by Tyler Perry (6) (more on him in a second). Dammit, Cee-Lo, you can’t do that!!! My people, my people…while I’m sure this is a popular sentiment directed at several of Obama’s opponents, it will certainly not help get the President reelected. *slightly head-bops*

Radio Show

Thread Radio is off and rolling now, and we’ll keep it chugging next as we talk about Tyler Perry (7). He has been the subject of several debates over on the Thread, so we figured we’d bring it to the public. So many people love him; so many people hate him. Is he good for black entertainment or is he bad for it? However, you feel, be sure to tune in Monday night at 10 Central at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/threadradio. Here are our first and second shows in case you missed them.

Sports

The Masters started today, and Tiger Woods (8) seems to be an early favorite. Timeout. You mean to tell me that it only took one win after 2 years for people to hop back on Tiger’s bandwagon? That’s it? I’ve watched so many “experts” and “analysts” say that they believe he’ll end up with the green jacket on Sunday. Color me skeptical. Oh, congratulations to Baylor for winning the title in women’s basketball! I got my wish of getting to see Skylar and Brittney Griner (9) square off, but I knew Baylor would prevail. Griner is simply unstoppable. I suppose Baylor Law School (10) was too excited about the win, and pushed some of the wrong buttons. Congratulations to the new class…I suppose.

YouTube

YouTube has done what it always does and provided some great entertainment for people this week.Here’s the 5-year-old comedian who calls out lazy parents (11)

On a Personal Note

I’m not Catholic, but I am a Christian, and I’ve been taking part in a fast in observance of Lent (12). I usually give up all liquids except water, which is also a tribute to my grandmother as she used to do the same thing. I also gave up fast food. Let me just say that this was probably the most challenging fast to get through. It’s not over until Easter, but goodness. I’ve been the awkward guy at the social outing at a bar who asks for water far too many times this past several weeks. All for good reason, but I’m glad it’s almost over. To God be the glory. Finally, it’s been a tough few days for me as tragedy (13) struck entirely too close to home. This guy that I grew up with and went to church with murdered his mother, who also went to church with me. There really isn’t much I can say because it’s such a tragic and heart-wrenching situation, but my thoughts and prayers are with the immediately family and close friends. I wish there was something we could’ve done. We knew the young man was on the wrong path. Maybe we didn’t pray hard enough. Maybe we didn’t reach out to him enough. Maybe we didn’t keep him close enough to us. I don’t know, but my heart is heavy. Let’s take care of each other.

-23

 

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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“.

-23

 

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