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Author Archives: Jay Howard Gatsby

About Jay Howard Gatsby

Aspiring author trying to change the world through my opinions, poetry, and the occasional not-so-short story.

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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Friendly Reminder: Don’t Get Caught

Hello, thREADERS! Just wanted to give y’all a friendly reminder that, whenever you KNOW all eyes are on you, or even when you think no one is watching you… always buckle up and be careful not to get caught with your pants down.

You don’t want to be this guy. Okay, well, maybe you do, but not like this.

"... Till I get flashed by the paparazzi/ Damn, these niggas got me!" - Flashing Lights

 

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Remember the Lorraine

#NeverForget

I wrote about this a year ago, but I always keep coming back.

44 years seems like a long time ago. But it’s hard to believe not even half a century has passed since the most prominent face in American Civil Rights history had his life stolen away from him on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, just when he was embarking on his newest territory to conquer.

… and I’ve looked over, and I have SEEN the Promised Land! I may not get there with you… but I want you to know tonight that we as a people WILL get to the Promised Land…”

I sometimes return to that quote every now and then. Admittedly, these days it’s moreso because of Aaron McGruder, but it still amazes me how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., seemed to know his death was imminent. He just knew that his life was about to end, but that that the fight was far from over as well. As the popular saying goes, “one monkey don’t stop no show.” Dr. King wasn’t the first person to lose his life fighting for justice, and he certainly wouldn’t be the last. But what I appreciated about King, even more than the oft-overquoted “I Have a Dream” speech, even more than the marches, even more than the vigilance, even more than the fact that he was about to turn America’s attention to the hard issues of poverty and the problems with Vietnam just before he was killed… was the fact that this man had HOPE.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to make the obvious Obama parallel here.

Y'all can't stop me from posting this picture though. Obama 2012.

But that goes far. That went far in the 1960s and it would go SO much farther in the 21st Century if people – but Black people especially – believed in themselves. While it’s true that we on The Thread often joke about “coonery,” I think that in general everyone spends a substantial amount of time cracking on Black folks and our worst, than we do encouraging and reminding each other that we really do have the capacity and potential to do the things that must be done.

I can’t say for sure what “the Promised Land” was, and I won’t speculate on it. But it’s saying something that MLK accepted his fate and wasn’t dismissive. He was not so prideful as to assume that the movement would die with him. King was like, “I’m going home soon… but y’all GOT this.” Even today, King’s words seem prophetic, in light of such movements as the Trayvon Martin incident –

“If one recognizes [the yearning for Freedom] that has engulfed the Negro community, one should readily understand why public demonstrations are taking place. The Negro has many pent up resentments and latent frustrations, and he must release them. So let him march; let him make prayer pilgrimages to the city hall; let him go on freedom rides -and try to understand why he must do so. If his repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence; this is not a threat, but a fact of history.”

And progress was made. America as a country and Black people have certainly made many strides, but we still have so much farther to go. Surprisingly, electing a Black/Kenyan/biracial president didn’t solve all of America’s racial problems like so many thought it would.

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed… For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see… that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

So today, once more, I remember a King. I remember his legacy. I remember his prophecy. Because he believed in Him as much as he believed in us, I believe in you. Don’t “wait” to do something. As a friend of mine once said, “Find [a cause] worth dying for and live for it.” And always, always… Remember the Lorraine.

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2012 in Black History 24/7, Thank You

 

The Harm in “The Help”

It’s been a good year for Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer. Both Davis and Spencer toiled through bit roles and pieces in some of Hollywood’s biggest movies over the years but never quite got the credit or shine either actress was due. This especially holds true for Viola Davis, an exceptional talent who always managed to make minimal roles memorable (you might not have noticed her turn as a lawyer on certain episodes of the show Law & Order: Special Victims Unit back when it was still relevant because Stabler was on there or as the fed-up mayor of Los Angeles in the Jamie Foxx-Gerard Butler flick Law Abiding Citizen). Spencer, on the other hand, was most known for playing comic relief roles. She technically still is.

2011 was crucial for both of them, however, as it propelled both actresses into the spotlight through the motion picture adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s surprising best-selling book, The Help. Now, I admit, I haven’t yet had a chance to read the novel in full yet, so I hesitated about writing this blog until I did that. But the more I wait, the more Davis, Spencer, and The Help itself continue to garner accolades, to be rewarded and awarded… and I’m not entirely sure how to feel about that.  Read the rest of this entry »

 

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The Top Five TV Shows to Check for This Fall

I know, I know. Everyone’s very excited to see “Football Back,” and I am as well. However, since football only plays on Thursdays-Mondays, you’ve got to find other ways to fill the rest of your week. Thankfully, there are many shows you MAY want to keep your eyes on this fall, especially with many series’ new seasons fast approaching. Here are some of my top picks for recommended viewing, with special notes for Black Star Power presences in certain shows, and a few “Honorable Mentions” as well –

5) House – Season Premiere: October 3; Mondays, 7 PM, FOX

For six straight seasons, House fans were teased with Hugh Laurie’s Dr. Gregory House and Lisa Edelstein’s boss-lady Lisa Cuddy’s friendship potentially blossoming into something more. Finally, last season, we got our wish. “Huddy” at once presented House with its most difficult task plot-wise to date: having to juggle a sappy but ultimately star-crossed romance between House and Cuddy, but also having to make “the team” interesting. The (brief) addition of the annoying yet ballsy Masters was somewhat fun but short-lived; the budding bromance of Taub and Foreman could have been better emphasized; and the return of Thirteen should have given the season a boost, but succeeded only in humanizing a character thought to be “the other House” in terms of her lack of emotional capacity.

One of the great things about the last season of House was that we FINALLY got to see House showing real emotion – going into a downward spiral after getting his heart broken by Cuddy, making a desperate attempt to fix his leg (and possibly his life in the process), crashing a car into Cuddy’s house in a fit of envy after seeing her with another man. With Lisa Edelstein gone from the cast now, expect House to revert back to his usual wisecracking, asshole-ish ways. I’m also predicting, with Cuddy gone, a potential love triangle involving House, Thirteen, and former flame Foreman. I see Cuddy returning near season’s end for one last goodbye, a la Cordelia in Angel‘s final season.

Black Star Power: Omar Epps will be reprising his role as Foreman, so look for him to turn in at least two strong emotional performances over the course of the season, one especially with Thirteen.

4) Reed Between the Lines – Season Premiere: October 9; Tuesdays, 9 PM, BET

BET’s second attempt at a quality Black sitcom – after last year’s not-so-great-but-still-heavily-viewed Let’s Stay Together Reed Between the Lines definitely seems like it could be the strong complement to The Game that the network’s been looking for. This one features two seasoned veterans to the sitcom game: Tracee Ellis Ross, aka Joan from Girlfriends; and Malcolm Jamal-Warner, who had success both as Theo on The Cosby Show and later with Eddie Griffin on the UPN show Malcolm & Eddie. According to BET’s website, the show is about “Alex, an English professor, and Carla, a psychologist, as they navigate life’s ups and downs with wit and humor.” Hmm. Cliff & Clare for the new generation, perhaps?

Black Star Power: Tracee Ellis Ross and Malcolm Jamal-Warner as the titular Reeds Carla and Alex, respectively. Melissa De Sousa – best known perhaps as from the film The Best Man – and long-running Black comedy staple Anna Maria Horsford (who’s been doing this Black sitcom sh*t since Amen with Sherman Helmsley) will also be a part of the show, as well as some younger talent like Nadji Jeter and Zoe Soul.

3) The Playboy Club – Season Premiere: September 19; Mondays, 9 PM, NBC

What’s been marketed as a prime-time television view into the Chicago Playboy Club of the 60s (which featured “Bunnies,” not to be confused with “centerfolds” lol), The Playboy Club is perhaps NBC’s riskiest move yet. This fall, the network will push the envelope with more edgier shows than usual, such as Club and Prime Suspect featuring Maria Bello. Playboy Club is expected to attract male viewership outside of the “Sunday Night Football” crowd (and perhaps lure them away from Monday Night Football) with skin-teases; yet it should also have juicy side storylines going as well. It may generate the kind of appeal Las Vegas had on The Peacock Network nearly a decade ago.

Black Star Power: Up-and-coming actress Naturi Naughton, who has been nicely building up her post-3LW resume with appearances on the big screen (in the Fame remake, Lottery Ticket, and the most enthusiastic sex scene ever as Lil’ Kim in Notorious), should be a nice standout in The Playboy Club cast.

2) The Good Wife – Season Premiere: September 25; Sundays, 8 PM, CBS

One of the most slept-on yet compelling TV dramas on television today, CBS’s The Good Wife has enjoyed an incredible two seasons that have been filled with twists, turns, excellent one-liners, and lawyer drama without legal-jargon overdose. Buoyed by a strong showing from lead woman Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife is a show ultimately about a woman, Alicia Florrick, trying to rebuild her life as a lawyer following her District Attorney husband Peter (Law & Order: CI alumnus Chris Noth) being embroiled in an affair scandal. The second season’s cliffhanger was even better than the first’s, with the sexual tension that always existed between Alicia and fellow firm cohort Will Gardner bursting the thermostat. Alicia became a good girl gone bad – check the above promo poster – after it was discovered the secret Kalinda had been trying to keep all season long, was that she, too, had slept with Peter.

This season looks to pick right up where last season’s finale left off, after the hotel door closed on Alicia and Will. Lockhart-Gardner not-so-kindly booted out Michael Ealy after he attempted to spearhead an internal takeover, but I expect Ealy to return with a vengeance. There will definitely love triangle action going on as Peter and Will vie for Alicia’s affection and loyalty, as well, as Peter will possibly be going after a higher government position and Will will be focused on making the firm bigger. Expect crony Cary to be a problem;  for Kalinda to ooze sexiness and (hopefully) redeem her great friendship betrayal; and for Eli Gold to show even more of his “softer side” (not really) as Parker Posey joins the cast as Gold’s ex-wife.

The only problem The Good Wife faces? Being moved this season to the “Sunday night death slot,” hence being forced to compete with Desperate Housewives on ABC and to possibly lose its male audience to Sunday Night Football on NBC. This slot killed CBS darling Cold Case, so hopefully The Good Wife will hold its own.

Black Star Power: Expect Michael Ealy to return, possibly with another firm and defending a case or two against Lockhart-Gardner. Also, don’t be surprised if Anika Noni-Rose returns, no doubt seeking advice from the always cunning Eli Gold.

1) Boardwalk Empire – Season Premiere: September 25; Sundays, 9 PM and 11 PM, HBO

HBO stays winning when it comes to historical dramas. It started with Band of Brothers and continued into The Pacific and John Adams. However, it’s possible nobody saw Boardwalk Empire, a send-up of Prohibition-era dirty tricks and politics – peppered with historical figures like Nucky Thompson, Arnold Rothstein, and Lucky Luciano – taking off as well as it did. Propelled forward with smart plot twists, exceptional character arcs, big name production from gangster-movie-staple Martin Scorcese, and the most conflicting anti-heroes ever in Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi, in a well-deserved Golden Globe winning performance) and Jimmy Darmody, Boardwalk pretty much demanded that viewers tune straight to HBO following Sunday night football games.

The second season looks to be even more drama-filled, especially following last season’s epic conclusion. Margaret Schroeder and Nucky’s relationship will no doubt grow even more complicated, and Jimmy and Nucky’s brother might well be plotting to pull the carpet of Atlantic City out from underneath Nucky’s feet before he knows what hit him. Detective Nelson Van Alden will still be obsessed with busting Nucky and Jimmy, but might well now be facing a divorce and an illegitimate child at the hands of Nucky’s former mistress. And Lucky Luciano and Arnold Rothstein will definitely pose a problem. I’m hoping for an appearance from someone as F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Black Star Power: Michael Kenneth Williams, formerly known as Omar from The Wire, grew to become an electrifying presence on Boardwalk as Black community figure Chalky White. I expect to see more of that greatness from Williams, especially as Chalky starts to want more power and not just be responsible for providing Nucky with “the Negro vote.”

Honorable mentions –

* Law & Order: SVU: With Mariska Hargitay getting limited screen time as Jennifer Love Hewitt joins Captain Cragen’s crew, this is the first season I’m NOT excited about SVU. It hurts even more that Chris Meloni, better known as Detective Stabler, will no longer be on the show to complement Hargitay’s Benson. I just don’t know how to feel about this, but I’ll tune in.

* SouthLAnd: TNT was very smart in picking up this drama after it was dropped by NBC, and with Jada Pinkett Smith’s HawthoRNe now in limbo, Regina King will have to carry the reigns as the “strongest Black lead woman” on cable television. I’m excited to see where the show goes this season, though.

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Helllo, Nurse! (But Goodbye, Strong Black Woman?) – Pt. I

The television show HawthoRNe has had a pretty amazing run. For three seasons now, it has captivated audiences by blending hospital drama from a nurse perspective, with storylines outside of the hospital that are equally engaging and entertaining. HawthoRNe hasn’t always had the best ratings, but it does have a very committed fan base that extends into social networking sites. It’s a given that, if you’re on twitter, you likely have more than a few friends who have tweeted about “Christina,” “Tom,” and “Bobbi” on their Tuesday nights.

For those unfamiliar with the series, HawthoRNe stars Jada Pinkett Smith as Christina Hawthorne, the head CNO (chief nursing officer) at James River Hospital who juggles the stresses of work with those that come with being a widow and mother. Christina’s patience is tested not only by her daughter, Camille; but also by her fellow coworkers at James River, such as the hospital director, Morrissey (who has always had a target on her back. Some will say it’s because Christina tends to shun authority and rules when it comes to saving a patient’s life… I’ll avoid playing the “it’s ’cause she Black” card); fellow nurse Bobbi (the sexiest thing on one leg, ever… that was inappropriate, but it is true); and Tom, a doctor who was friends with Christina’s husband and who has harbored romantic feelings for Christina for a while.

One thing that really kept bringing me back to HawthoRNe, was the fact that Jada Pinkett Smith made Christina such a STRONG character. Finally, we had a strong Black female lead in primetime who didn’t need to buoyed by a group of friends (see The Game, Girlfriends, Living Single) and who was charismatic, feisty, and sexy all the while. The show exposed viewers to many facets of the nurse life – being looked down upon by doctors, for example, and going above and beyond the call for every patient. And while many actual nurses spoke out against Hawthorne’s “unrealisticness” (claiming that, if a real-life nurse took half the actions Christina does, much less ignored authority figures like she does, she would’ve been fired), the fact is, it was refreshing to see a no-nonsense Black woman at the helm of such an entertaining show (Jada is a producer for the show, as well).

However, I’ve admittedly found myself… disenchanted, for lack of a better word, with HawthoRNe’s third season. While the episodes have been high on drama, they have been regrettably low in other areas. Seeing as HawthoRNe’s season finale is tonight, I figured I’d voice a few of my concerns with the turn the show has taken.

**WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD.**
**Additionally, in the interest of space, this will be a two-part post.** 

1) Christina & Tom’s sham of a marriage

Tom & Christina - Back when it all made sense.

Followers of HawthoRNe know Tom has been trying to get at Christina since the very first season. We’ve always noticed a sort of attraction between the two of them, and it became heir apparent when Tom tried to sneak some sweet talk to Christina in French during one of their conversations in the first season. In season two, Tom & Christina finally confronted their feelings for each other, culminating in them having sex and after which Tom gave Christina an impromptu proposal… one that was funny at the time, but turned out to be true. Indeed, Christina was afraid to really get into another relationship, but she gave in to love, and she and Tom start out season three getting married. (I personally felt as though this was a rushed marriage and a corny way to start out the season. But as a viewer, we’ve been rooting for them to get together forever, so I was like, okay, fine.) Yet over the course of the third season, Christina somehow found herself in the arms of another man, Detective Nick Renata (who was first introduced in season two as a potential love interest). Not to mention, we haven’t seen ANY of Tom’s family members, but Christina is over at Renata’s mother’s house all the time and gets real familiar with his family. And now, in the second to last episode of the season, they’re about to get divorced. I should’ve known their wedding getting interrupted by that car accident at the start of season three was a sign, huh? *Unfortunately, I wasn’t smart enough to know that Bossip had provided a sign of their own back in June*

2. True Life: My Daughter Pimped Jesus

Have #Thirst, Will Pray

Okay, that’s harsh. But Christina’s daughter Camille has been doing the most this season. In season one, she was just a rebellious free spirit. I could deal with that. By season two, she was becoming a fixture at the hospital – granted, we don’t even know if this girl was a nursing major, much less if she was going to school – and dating one of the nurses (the guy from Stomp The Yard: Homecoming). By season three… Stomp The Yard dude is gone, and now Camille’s working at James River and seriously lusting after a new doctor (Miles, played by Derek Luke) who’s separated with kids. I mean, seriously – Camille’s all but earned an endorsement from Gatorade with all the #thirst she’s exhibited towards Miles. Now, Miles has some scruples, so he shuts down Camille’s earliest attempts to make moves on him. But then Camille sees that Miles is very devout, so she pretty much uses Jesus to get on his good side. She asks him to teach her how to pray, but we know what the deal is…  By midway through the season, Miles has baptized Camille in the hospital fountain and she’s looking after his kids. Miles’s wife (Keisha from Single Ladies LisaRaye, reprising her role as Diamond) notices it too, because she slaps Camille at the hospital when she comes to check on her son after something happens when Camille’s been watching him. (Keep in mind, that Camille apologizes to Miles because she feels she disappointed him… not because she, you know, put his child’s life in danger) It’s just all a mess, y’all.

3. Hospital Drama Turned Murder Mystery? Sure, why not?

I ruined my marriage... and I'll ruin your show, too.

Apparently, Marc Anthony’s character Nick Renata was easy to pay well-received in his brief appearances from last season, because they brought him back for the third season. Here’s the thing – at the start of the season three premiere, a pregnant Christina is randomly attacked and beaten in the hospital parking lot. All Christina sees before she loses consciousness, is that her attacker is wearing a ring. Renata assigns himself to Christina’s case… and at the end of the first episode, Renata places a ring similar to the one her attacker was wearing, on the food tray near Christina’s hospital bed. Now, my first suspicion is that Renata CLEARLY had something to do with her attack; after all, how else is he in possession of the ring? Tom shares my skepticism. But Christina, for whatever reason, sees Nick as MORE trustworthy after this happens.

Anyway, there’s now a side story going on throughout this third season of “Who Attacked Christina Hawthorne?” And Renata seems to be present whenever any new evidence pops up, such as when the body of her alleged attacker is found. Plus, we have an Internal Affairs officer who finds Renata’s methods suspicious, to say the least, especially because of his work on another case. And in last week’s episode, now we have ANOTHER dude popping up around the hospital who wears a similar ring? Is there a murder club or something going on here? Umm… can we get back to the patients, please? Lowkey, I think this storyline was much more heavily pursued because another didn’t pan out…

**Stay tuned. I have a few more points to make, but I’ll address those in Part II.**

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2011 in Television

 

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Liquid – Episode IV

“Freeze!”

I’m running.

“Freeze, got damn it!”

I hear a gun cocking behind me. I keep running. Out of the corner of my eye, I watch as a bullet just barely sails past my face, nicking me on the cheek. It stings like fucking hell. The shooter isn’t aiming to kill, though. I understand that. The shooter just wants me to stop. But stopping is something I cannot do. I keep running.

“Fuck!” I hear the voice behind me exclaim. I hear the footsteps pounding upon the pavement, hear the huffing and puffing, the hard breathing of someone who can’t afford to fail. They know like I know that it will end tonight. As I run, I look around the abandoned railroad yard I’ve been chased into. I look for an out or at least for some place to catch my breath. I dart between the two stationary boxcars and run for the set of buildings I see just past. I run up to the door in the building on my right, attempt to jerk it open. Fucking shit, it’s locked!

I look back behind me briefly. They haven’t caught up yet. I run towards the building on my left, try to pull open its door. That one’s locked, too. Quickly, I pick up a brick from off the ground and smash it through one of the building’s windows. I don’t intend to climb through it. No, no, the purpose of that is to distract them, to make them think I’ve hidden there… I run to through the next set of buildings, try the doors. Still locked out. I keep running. Finally, in the second to last building on the left side, a door breaks free. I sigh deeply and look up at the heavens, then go inside, making sure to shut the door behind me as quietly and carefully as possible. From there, I find a set of metal shelves and boxes to hide behind. I can’t hide here forever, I know that; I just need a moment to catch my breath… to figure out how it had all gone wrong.

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Posted by on July 21, 2011 in #LIQUID, Literature

 
 
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