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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Fifteen Friday Fancies

“Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didn’t let them down because you told them the truth. And that truth is you did everything you could. There wasn’t one more thing you could’ve done. Can you live in that moment as best you can, with clear eyes, and love in your heart, with joy in your heart? If you can do that gentlemen – you’re perfect!”

Today is obviously not Thursday. However, it is Friday and I’ve got fifteen fancies for the thREADERS. Let’s move…

Perhaps the biggest news of the week is President Obama’s announcement of his support for same-sex marriage (1). In the, what, 36 hours since the interview, I have seen so many vituperative remarks on Facebook and Twitter. People have just been spewing all sorts of ignorance, and it really is sad. On top of all of that, many of these people call themselves Christians. Now, I pride myself in not getting too political with my weekly columns. I’m not here to tell people how they should feel or hurl my beliefs and opinions on them. I value people’s opinions; I merely express mine here. With that said, it saddens me that this topic seems to bring the worst out of some people. Whether you agree with gay marriage or disagree with gay marriage, to me, the underlying issue is human rights. I have come a long way as far as my feelings toward this issue because of my desire to be open-minded and progressive. It’s not my place to stand in the way of people who want to be happy and have the rights afforded to their heterosexual counterparts. You can quote Bible verses and tell me what “thus said the Lord” all day, but I also believe in tolerance, acceptance, and love. Like I have said several times here in the past, we need to do a better job of taking care of each other. We’ll talk about this more Monday night on our radio show.

Graduation

It’s graduation (2) season. Around this time every year, I am reminded of this because of the flurry of graduations I find myself attending. Along with the congratulations and well-wishes, the rude reminder of the economic state (3) taps me on the shoulder. Every April/May/June, a new article or study comes out with depressing news for recent graduates. This year is no different. One in two college grads can’t find work. Ugh…when will my generation catch a break? Maybe we won’t. Perhaps, college is no longer the guaranteed answer. The education system churns out more graduates than the economic system can keep up with. The Thread has decided to team up with PootKat Radio to investigate this issue with a special radio show (4) Tuesday night. Is college still worth it?

Sports

Last week, I talked about the Brooklyn Nets’ new logo and what I thought of it. Obviously, I wasn’t the only one. Phil Mushnick of the New York Post (5) wrote an editorial that suggested that the Nets be renamed the “New York N—–s (6).” What’s worse is that this man has been defending his racist remarks. He has said,

“I’m never comfortable using that word [ni—-r]. That’s the way I was raised. Shame on my parents,” a sarcastic Mushnick writes. “The ONE time I spelled it out – for accuracy – I was widely condemned as a racist. So either way, I’m a bigot. I know what’s in my heart and my head, the way I was raised, and the way I raised my kids. But you’ve painted me a racist. Good work, James. And good work, if you can get it.”

There’s more…

“Such obvious, wishful and ignorant mischaracterizations of what I write are common. I don’t call black men the N-word; I don’t regard young women as bitches and whores; I don’t glorify the use of assault weapons and drugs. Jay-Z, on the other hand…..Is he the only NBA owner allowed to call black men N—–s?”

This guy still has a job. Mushnick is stirring up a hornet’s nest, and I would advise him to stop. His logic is extremely flawed and has no place in any publication. To suggest something so absurd, demeaning, and disrespectful is disconcerting. To base such a reasoning on Jay-Z (7) is asinine. I’ve had countless discussions, read several books, and attended several forums concerning the N-word. However you feel about the word and its use, the fact is that it’s not going anywhere. The problem with Mushnick is that he assumes that Jay-Z is the figurehead of the black mass public. If he has a problem with Jay-Z lyrics, I think he should take that up with Jay-Z. He should not implant such a ridiculous notion like calling a basketball team a derogatory name.

In other news, the “geek chic” (8) has been displayed in full force these past few months. I found this article describing many NBA players’ adoption of the new style of looking professional, looking “dorktastic”, and challenging stereotypes. Players like Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James are now rocking glasses as accessories, skinny ties, vests, and shirt buttoned all the way up. I must say that it is a welcome site. I’ve even bought into the style. I honestly hope that stereotypes concerning black athletes are being rewritten.

Speaking of the NBA, these injuries (9) are beginning to pile up. We’ve seen several star players go down at an alarming rate this season/post-season. David Stern (10) contended that the number of injuries is no different this season than any other a few weeks ago, but he seems to be backing away from those sentiments now. I think we’re seeing the ramifications of a shortened season over a shortened amount of time with no training camp. I’m interested to see where things go from here and what kind of changes we see made.

In more disturbing NBA news, Chris “Birdman” Andersen (11) is under investigation by an internet child pornography unit. I realize that Anderson has had his issues with drugs and whatnot, but this is a completely different animal. I’ve watched enough To Catch a Predator episodes to know that this is serious if they’re searching his home and removing computer hardware. I don’t want to speculate too much, but this situation sounds disgustingly bad.

Music

Justin Bieber (12) is a part of Floyd Mayweather’s “Money Team.” Can we talk about this? I used to hate on Bieber all the time for being another singer for the teeniebops, but this young man is doing things. He’s part of Mayweather’s entourage, carrying his belts, and looking faded in the process. Then, I stumbled upon his new “Boyfriend” video. I talked about this song on Twitter a few weeks ago, and it is dope. Seriously, Justin Timberlake needs to return to music because Bieber is taking his style spot.

Chris Brown (13) and Rihanna (14) are at it again. I know, I know. I’m sick of them, too. Brown released a song that uses Kanye’s “Theraflu” beat, and he references his “old b—-.” Rihanna took exception to this and unfollowed him on Twitter. He returned the favor. Anyway, here’s the song if you care to listen.

Mother’s Day

Finally, I’d like to acknowledge and thank all of the mothers out there. This is your weekend, and I wish all of you a very happy Mother’s Day! Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

Here are my favorite “Mom” songs:

5. “Mother” by Pink Floyd
4. “Blueprint (Momma Loves Me” by Jay-Z
3. “A Song for Mama” by Boyz II Men
2. “Dear Mama” by Tupac
1. “Hey Mama” by Kanye West

-23

 

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Bayard Rustin, Barack Obama, and Homophobia in the Black Community

Bayard Rustin, Barack Obama, and Homophobia in the Black Community

After President Obama’s announcement yesterday I’ve been thinking about the LGBT community, the black community and how they intersect in doing so I’m reminded of Bayard Rustin. As someone who started the Freedom Rides, was an early practitioner and Martin Luther King Jr.‘s teacher of non-violent resistance Bayard Rustin holds an enormous place in the history of black folk here in the United States. Rustin like many black folks was also gay. This didn’t stop him from helping to found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference although it did lead to him being forced from it’s leadership in 1960. Repeatedly Rustin was ostracized for his sexuality among those of his race even while joining them in fighting for the equal rights and respect as a man that they’d deny him. It seems the advocates of inequality have chosen to replicate this choice on a national level among religious African Americans and LGBT people. In far too many cases religion has won out over ethics and have led us to choose to impose our beliefs on fellow citizens in violation of the rights that should be shared equally among every person. This is one of the reasons that I don’t subscribe to the belief that black people in America are in some way more noble, enlightened or fair than the rest of Americans we are people with biases and motives just the same as the rest. While our place in society and history are unique our hearts and minds operate according to the same principles that have reigned since time immemorial. Yesterday President Obama became the first American President to support same-sex marriage. While I highly doubt this will cost him any votes among African Americans as it has been suggested I’m hopeful it will push forward the conversation about Black LGBT folk and homophobia in our community.

cross-posted @ TheYBC

 

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President Obama Affirms His Support for Same Sex Marriage

Less than 24 hours after North Carolina became the latest state to ban same-sex marriages and civil unions, President Obama announced today that he now supports same-sex marriage, and thinks same-sex couples should be able to legally marry. (See the FULL video of his interview here). Between Amendment One in North Carolina and Biden saying this week that he would be “absolutely comfortable” with allowing same-sex couples to wed, Obama was forced to finally take a stance on an issue that he has waivered on in the past.

No matter what your view is on the topic, this is huge. Obama becomes the first president to openly support same-sex marriage. POTUS has oft been criticized by the left for not strongly supporting or advocating certain controversial liberal ideals, including his health-care plan that some thought was too much of a watered-down version of the plan he laid out prior to his election. Now, with the health care plan in real danger of being struck down by the US Supreme Court, Obama can cite yet another example of his social liberal values in order to appease his core base. Politically, I think there is no loss here for Obama, as most of the people who oppose gay marriage are not people that voted to put him in office in the first place. Some are applauding him for putting morals over politics because they think it will negatively affect him in swing states, but I’m not so sure the backlash will be very strong with voters on the left and in the middle. The LGBT community and its allies, who have criticized Obama for not taking a stance on this issue, will now be in full tow when November comes.

No word on whether or not Obama will try to pass legislation to this effect (he’ll wait until the Supreme Court decides the Perry v. Brown California same-sex case most likely), but this will not be the end of this issue by a long shot. With Obama firmly on the side of same sex marriages, the fight has just begun.

I won’t go too much into my own beliefs on this topic, but I’ve long been an advocate for marital equality, so this is something I’ve been waiting for Obama to do for a long time. Whether or not he was backed into this position by Biden’s remarks and North Carolina’s recent amendment, I applaud our president on stepping out in front on this issue. Love is love, and today, we’ve come that much closer to allowing gay people all over the country the fundamental right and privilege of marriage.

See the FULL video of Obama’s interview here

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Posted by on May 9, 2012 in Politics

 

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I Wish A N*gga Would (Tell Me Black Studies Isn’t Good Enough)

We do it for the culture…

“What we do, how well we do it… does it even matter?”

From the very moment I heard that question presented to Cuba Gooding Jr.’s character in the Red Tails movie preview released so many months ago, it resonated with me. Clearly, perseverance through struggle and critical perception and assessment of that “perseverance” are nothing new for African-Americans. To echo the sentiment of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the concept of “second-class citizenship,” of being good but not quite good enough in America, isn’t new for Blacks, either. African-Americans continue to work hard and apply themselves to being the best they possibly can be in spite of the circumstances.

But that “good but not quite good enough” specter is ever looming over Black Americans in the form of “privilege” – the concept that minimizes and plays upon the downplay of one group to more highly elevate another. It is this idea of privilege that serves as the immediate counterargument to the “post-racial America” that many people legitimately – if a little foolishly – believe was instituted once Barack Hussein Obama was elected president back in November 2008. Most recently, we find privilege emerging in the field of academia.

It was only by way of a chance “retweet” on twitter, that I stumbled onto Tressie McMillan Cottom’s guest article for racialicious, “The Inferiority of Blackness as a Subject.” In 1,420 words, McMillan Cottom calls out esteemed academic journal The Chronicle for Higher Education and, more specifically, a blog entry from Naomi Schaefer-Riley in The Chronicle entitled “The Most Persuasive Case for Eliminating Black Studies? Just Read the Dissertations.” In much the same way that Schaefer-Riley’s blog critiqued and dismissed the dissertations she saw cited by Black doctoral studies, so does McMillan Cottom respectfully respond to and dismiss Schaefer Riley’s assertions, primarily because Schaefer-Riley critiques the dissertations based upon their titles and not the subject matter that makes up each dissertation. As McMillan Cottom so eloquently states, these Black doctoral students are “deliberately assaulted… for not being invisible.”

It’s intriguing that Naomi Schaefer Riley would contribute the newest chapter to the argument surrounding Black studies and its “place” in the academic arena, in the process driving the point home as to what REALLY lies at the center of this argument – privilege. Tressie McMillan Cottom touches upon this when she writes that Schaefer Riley is all but condescending to “three young scholars who have the audacity to treat the black subject as a human subject worthy of interrogation.” As a lowly undergraduate student myself, perhaps I am unqualified to speak upon this matter. But I do have many friends, colleagues, and associates who are Black students in doctoral programs, many of whom have embarked upon dissertations that touch upon or directly engage issues that affect African-Americans. And I am certain they, too, would treat Schaefer Riley’s criticism as, to put it plainly, “hating.”

I’m not talking about “hate” as in rooted in racism; but rather, “hate” as a completely subjective assessment of something with no sound basis other than dismissing something just to say it’s worthy of dismissal. McMillan Cottom sees this, as well, effectively highlighting that Schaefer Riley “does not even afford [the three doctoral students] the respect of critiquing their actual scholarship. That is beneath her. She attacks the very veracity of their right to choose what scholarship they will do.”

But let’s delve a little deeper here. Why DOESN’T Schaefer Riley “critique their actual scholarship?” The answer is simple – because Naomi Schaefer Riley doesn’t believe Black studies is scholarship worthy of critique. It would be easy to play “what if” and to imagine if the tone and approach of Schaefer Riley’s blog might be different had these three Black students been putting forth dissertations for their, say, Executive Doctorates in Higher Education. It is easy to assume that, perhaps then, Schaefer Riley would have given these students a fair assessment of their work and, additionally, an appropriate acknowledgment of their progress and pioneering achievement thus far (which was what the original article that stemmed this debate, was about in the first place).

Rather than wonder about what could have been, it is important to remain focused on and challenge the actual facts. The actual facts are that doctoral programs are not easy to get into, and by far, all but a challenge to remain and excel in; that, since doctoral programs operate by a process of acceptance to a prestigious program and adoption of a rigorous academic commitment and platform, that one must be amongst the best or working towards becoming the best to be a doctoral student; and that, while in the process of being a doctoral student, one can expect to be critiqued and vetted, it is not an unfair expectation to assume that you are still worthy of respect and dignity as a student throughout the entire process.

Apparently, none of these facts apply when it comes to the field of Black studies. It may be true that doctoral students in Black studies will still have the same “Ph.D.” initials listed after their name upon graduation. And it is likely true that students in doctoral programs for Black studies devote just as much time, blood, sweat, and tears as their peers in other areas of the academic arena, to assembling adequate research worthy of a dissertation that can be effectively defended. But privilege demands that Black studies be regarded at a lower level than all other academic fields, simply because issues that affect African-Americans can’t possibly affect people from other backgrounds, nor can non-Blacks possibly relate to those same issues. Privilege demands that those in positions of power can tell students in Black studies that their work is “left-wing victimization claptrap” and that “This may matter to you, but it doesn’t matter to me, therefore it doesn’t matter at all.”

It is easy to diminish the hard work, the scholastic potential, and the diligence that Black graduate students must adopt to succeed in academia on some scholarly journal’s webpage. But I wonder if Naomi Schaefer Riley would be as quick to tell Black doctoral students in person, what she really meant: that being a Black Ph. D student is good, but not good enough.

Somewhere in California, Dr. Nathan Hare, the founder of Black studies, is no doubt sitting in his rocking chair thinking, “I wish a nigga would.”

 

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Gravity Night on #ThreadRadio: The State of Black Television

Hey thREADERS,

Here’s our latest and greatest radio show! Warnecessary and Meagapixel are back with their latest installment of “The State of Black Entertainment” series.

We’ll be back next Monday night for another rousing episode of Thread Radio. Thanks for listening!

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Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Television, Thread Radio

 

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The Best 25 Cheating Songs from the Cheaters Themselves (Top 10)

We’ve finally made it to the Top 10! Here are the first and second installments of “The 25 Best Cheating Songs from the Cheaters Themselves” playlist if you missed them. How did we get here? Let’s do a quick rundown of the first 15:

25. “She Don’t Have to Know” by John Legend
24. “Maybe I Deserve” by Tank
23. “Second Chance” by .38 Special
22. “The Other Woman” by Ray Parker, Jr.
21. “Human” by Human League
20. “Unfaithful” by Rihanna
19. “Infidelity” by Trey Songz
18. “You Know I’m No Good” by Amy Winehouse
17. “Never Keeping Secrets” by Babyface
16. “Ooo Baby Baby” by The Miracles
15. “Confessions Part II” by Usher
14. “Heart Turns to Stone” by Foreigner
13. “Creep” by TLC
12. “Picture” by Kid Rock featuring Sheryl Crow
11. “Thin Line Between Love and Hate” by The Persuaders

Leave your judgment at the door and step on into my Top 10 cheater songs. With no further ado…

10. “O.P.P.” by Naughty by Nature – Yeah, you know me. I had to put this song on the list and put it high. It just might be the hardest-hitting, realest, and most lighthearted song of all 25. Hell, I’ll go ahead and call this one the anthem. First of all, this isn’t a gender-specific song. Men cheat. Women cheat. The only difference is what you choose to let the last “P” in the acronym stand for.

Favorite Line: “That wasn’t the thing; it must’ve been the way she hit the ceiling / ‘Cause after that, she kept on coming back and catching feelings / I said, ‘Let’s go. My girl is  coming, so you gotta leave.’ / She said, ‘Oh, no, I love you, Treach.’ I said, ‘Now child, please.’”

9. “Listen to the Clock on the Wall” by The O’Jays – I didn’t know The O’Jays had this kind of song in them. I must have been too busy chasing money, taking the stairway to heaven, crying with my woman, looking for my euthanized dog, Brandy, and waiting for the love train. Somewhere in the midst of all of that, I discovered this dark song. Two married people step out to see each other regularly and imagine a day they won’t be rushed by ticking clocks and oblivious spouses.

Favorite Line: “Girl, you better hurry / Your husband might get worried / And my wife, she doesn’t see / The change in me”

8. “I’m Gonna Miss You in the Morning” by Quincy Jones featuring Luther Vandross & Patti Austin – Before Luther Vandross was known by one name and before Quincy Jones was known by one letter, there was this romantic ode to unfaithfulness. Patti Austin lends her angelic voice to this and mixes with Luther to create one sinful, soulful serenade. Once again, time is of the essence and spoken-for lovers find themselves stealing away…if only for a short while.

Favorite Line: “I’m gonna miss you in the morning / So, baby, love me tonight”

7. “Bad Habits” by Maxwell – One of the most confusing songs lyrically that a lot of people still don’t understand. Based on the steamy video and cryptic lyrics, I’m able to surmise that this is another regretful ballad inspired by cheating. Comparing the other woman to a bad habit is something we have yet to hear from anyone else. Maxwell has a way of making bad things sound so…alluring.

Favorite Line: “You’re my bad habit, baby, you’re my / You’re takin’ my soul down to the letter ‘O’ / Can’t escape the way you got me locked out, baby / I gotta break from you, break from you, break from you”

6. “As We Lay” by Shirley Murdoch/Kelly Price – I went back and forth trying to decide which version of this song I like best, but it was really difficult to decide. Today, I give Kelly Price’s slower cover the nod over Shirley Murdoch’s original. Although Kelly and the man she refers to in this song both belong to someone else, the man’s wife takes precedence. Kelly seems to care more about not hurting the man’s wife more than she cares about hurting her own man. Oh, what a tangled web we weave…

Favorite Line: “We should have counted up the cost / But instead we got lost / In the second, in the minute, in the hour”

5. “Secret Lovers” by Atlantic Starr – The recurring theme of this playlist aside from cheating is time. This classic doesn’t stray from that worn path. Here, we have a man and a woman singing to each other about their hot affair that is reignited nightly in secrecy. Unfortunately for them, time constraints always leave them wanting more. Well done and perfectly formulaic.

Favorite Line: “In the middle of making love, we notice the time / We both get nervous ‘cause it’s way after nine / Even though we hate it, we know that it’s time that we go / We gotta be careful so that no one will know”

4. “Your Love” by The Outfield – This is my surprise pick. Imagine this setting, if you will. If you’re over the age of 23, you’ve probably been to a bar or wedding where they play this song and everyone sings the chorus at the top of their lungs. You point to the object of your affection or the closest pulchritudinous person and sing, “I just wanna use your love…TONIGHT! I don’t wanna lose your love…TONIGHT!” Newsflash: This isn’t a warm and fuzzy song. This song is about infidelity. The first line tells us that the singer’s woman, Josie, is away on vacation. He then invites an ex (“you know I’d do anything for you”) to…keep him company and stay the night in his current girlfriend’s stead. Of course, he asks her to keep this transgression a secret as she leaves.

Favorite Line: “I ain’t got many friends left to talk to / Nowhere to run when I’m in trouble / You know I’d do anything for you / Stay the night, but keep it under cover / I just wanna use your love tonight / I don’t wanna lose your love tonight”

3. “Me and Mrs. Jones” by Billy Paul – I have a confession to make. This song almost didn’t make the cut. One line in this song gave it its rightful spot on this list, and that is, “Because she’s got her own obligations / And so, and so, do I.” By the “Mrs.” in the title and the majority of the lyrics, you would think that Billy is just the other man and therefore, not a cheater. However, he sings about how much it hurts and how wrong it is, so I’m led to believe that he, too, has a woman back home. It doesn’t seem to hurt unbearably bad because the forbidden lovebirds have a date set for the same time and same place the next day.

Favorite Line: “Well, it’s time for us to be leaving / It hurts so much, it hurts so much inside / Now she’ll go her way and I’ll go mine”

2. “If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don’t Want to Be Right)” by Luther Ingram – Pick your poison. Millie JacksonBobby “Blue” Bland? Percy Sledge? David Ruffin? Isaac Hayes? Rod Stewart? LeAnn Rimes? All of them covered this song, but Luther Ingram struck gold first on this musical staple of adultery. This is one brazen and unremorseful song. Ingram, in this case, has a wife and two kids, but calls his woman on the side “the best thing he’s ever had.” At least he doesn’t make any excuses for his feelings and behavior like some of the other people on this playlist.

Favorite Line: “Your friends tell you there’s no future / In loving a married man / If I can’t see you when I want to / I’ll see you when I can”

1. “Part-Time Lover” by Stevie Wonder – The most deceptive, slickest, craftiest, and most lyrically complete song on this list comes from none other than Stevie Wonder. Much like my sentiments toward The O’Jays, I didn’t know Stevie had this kind of song hiding behind his shades. Shame on me for thinking this superstitious, I’ll-be-loving-you-always, happy-birthday-singing, signed, sealed, and delivered crooner couldn’t create this kind of masterpiece. I’m sorry, Stevie. I truly am. This song serves as the cheater’s handbook to not getting caught. 1. When your part-time lover gets back home from a night with you, have her call, let the phone ring once, and hang up. 2. Blink the lights so your part-time lover knows that you’re not with your girlfriend, and tonight is her night. 3. If you’re with friends and you and your part-time lover happen to cross paths, she is to pass you by and not speak. 4. If there’s an emergency, tell your part-time lover to have a male call and ask for you. This is all so scandalous…and impressive. Just know that “two can play the game.”

Favorite Line: “If she isn’t with me, I’ll blink the lights / To let you know tonight’s the night / For me and you, my part-time lover”

To repeat, I do not condone nor do I advocate cheating. However, tell me there haven’t been some great songs as a result of cheaters recounting their transgressions. We’ve seen contrition, confusion, regret, happiness, bitterness, and everything in between as a result of this topic. Let me know your thoughts or if there is a song that didn’t make my list.

-23

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2012 in Countdown, Music, Relationships, Sex

 

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Thirteen Thursday Thoughts

“Mama always said, dying was a part of life. I sure wish it wasn’t.”

Junior Seau

This Junior Seau (1) situation is truly sad. It didn’t really hit me until I read players’ tweets and watched interviews on TV. Marcellus Wiley (2) was in tears talking about the type of human being Seau was. The details are still sketchy, but it appears that Seau was battling depression and committed suicide at his home. Junior Seau was never my favorite player, but I had a lot of respect for him. At a time when the NFL (3) is being sued by former players, coaches are being suspended for an entire season, players are being suspended for multiple games, and investigations are ongoing for alleged cheating; the timing of this apparent suicide probably couldn’t be worse. I know I wondered if Seau’s death was somehow related to a brain injury or some other form of trauma he sustained as a player. I pray for his family and friends. I also pray for the Chargers organization. Since 1995, eight former Chargers have passed away. All of them were under the age of 45. David Griggs died in a car crash; Rodney Culver died in a plane crash; Doug Miller was struck by lightning; Curtis Whitley died from a drug overdose; Chris Mims had an enlarged heart and died from complications with that; Shawn Lee and Lew Bush each had a heart attack and passed. *sigh* Rest in peace, Junior.

Scattershooting

So…there’s a church…in Tulsa, Oklahoma…at a bar…called the Drunk Monkey Tavern (4). After my initial shock, I got to thinking, and it’s not a bad idea. A local church streams its service to the bar every Sunday. The bar doesn’t serve alcohol during the service, which is nice. As a Christian, I find this to be progressive. You’re not always going to reach people at a typical church with pews, preachers, and judgmental parishioners. I respect the effort to be fishers of men.

Lil Boosie (5) is about to have his day in court. He has been charged with first-degree murder for plotting to have someone killed. I’ve seen a surge in #FreeBoosie hashtags on my timeline on Twitter. Each time I’m tempted to unfollow these people. There are causes to take up, there are people to rally around, and there is Lil Boosie. Sorry, the justice system can keep him. He hasn’t been proven guilty yet, but he was stupid enough to talk about the murder in his music. See: “187” 

Speaking of music and controversy, I watched VH1’s documentary, which highlighted the LA Riots (6) and hip-hop’s role in them. Watch “Uprising: Hip-Hop & The LA Riots” here. I was really impressed with it. When the LA Riots were going on, I was at an age where I didn’t completely understand what all was going on. I didn’t have my head buried in the sand, but it was before my time. The documentary did a great job of explaining everything from the Rodney King beating, the subsequent acquittal of the policemen who beat him, the Korean lady’s exhoneration after killing Latasha Harlins (7), and the racial turmoil in Los Angeles during that time. All the while, there was music. The music that told the world what was really going on before it gained national notoriety. VH1 went a step further and compiled a tracklist of the songs that defined the LA Riots.

Thirteen people have now been charged in the hazing death of Robert Champion (8), the former FAMU drum major who was killed in November. This whole situation sucks. I had and still have so much respect for FAMU’s band, the Marching 100 (9) and I hate that this is how many people will remember it. Currently, the band is indefinitely suspended. No matter what happens, no one will win here. A young man has lost his life, parents have lost a child, several students are facing felonies, and the school itself is tainted by this. This will get ugly.

Sports

The Brooklyn Nets (10) unveiled their new colors and logo that Jay-Z (11) helped design. I’m not impressed. First of all, it’s extremely plain. The black & white color combination is even worse. The Spurs already wear those colors. Ugh…I was expecting better.

These are pathetic.

Entertainment

There’s a push for “The Bachelor” (12) to feature its first African American. Lamar Hurd is a former professional basketball player from Oregon, who is in the running to be the next Bachelor. Here’s an interview with him from CNN and here’s his YouTube video.

“The 25 Best Cheating Songs from the Cheater Themselves” Honorable Mention (13)

I’m dropping the top 10 (25-18; 17-11) of this list tomorrow morning, but I figured I’d tease the thREADERS with the songs that missed the cut. These are great songs, but three of the four couldn’t make it to the list simply because they are not from the perspective of the cheater. They’re still great songs, so I’m showing them some love.

1. “It Wasn’t Me” by Shaggy – This song met the criteria, but it couldn’t quite crack the top 25. Perhaps Shaggy’s denial is what kept this song off the list. His girlfriend had all the evidence necessary to prove that her man was cheating, but he spends the entire song denying it.

2. “Follow Me” by Uncle Kracker – I really like this song, but like the next two songs, it doesn’t meet the criteria for this playlist. He’s the other guy who is convincing the woman to leave her husband. It’s so lovey-dovey sounding that you forget that it’s a song about secret lovers.

3. “Down Low” by R. Kelly –  This song was literally sitting comfortably in my Top 10 until I realized that R. Kelly wasn’t a cheater. There is no mention of a girlfriend, wife, or anything. However, there is a paramour. What a tragic tale this becomes when you watch the video.

4. “My Little Secret” by Xscape – Before Kandi was a “Housewife” and selling sex toys and before Tiny found T.I. and fell victim to plastic surgery, there was this jewel of deception. Instead of the quartet representing the woman who steps out on her man, it represents the side chick homegirl messing with a man who has a girlfriend. What’s more intriguing is that she likes being in the same room as the couple. Messy, messy, messy…

-23

 

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