RSS

Category Archives: Movies

A BRAVE New World

So after watching PIXAR’s latest addition to the family, Brave, last week, I felt it necessary to do a quick review of the movie and then talk about my ranking of the 13 films up to date.

Brave 

PIXAR’s 13th outing, I saw Brave opening day last week and was left kind of disappointed. I thought Merida and her family were really cool characters with what seemed like a good story up until the actual story started taking shape and you came to grips with this reality. Was it bad? No. Their worst? No. It’s definitely in their bottom tier of movies though. My problem(s) with the movie is that PIXAR usually designs their movies to be catered to both the younger and older crowds. Inside jokes that adults can laugh at but not be offensive to children. This movie, however, was just done for the kiddos and I found myself kind of bored throughout. The other “problem” really goes to my idea of what I expect from PIXAR in general. I’ve come to expect a certain level of greatness from this studio and every year when they had a new idea that I wasn’t sure of, MichaelYoungHistory would tell me it’s PIXAR and to not be worried, and he’d be right. With Brave, I actually was overly enthused for this one because I felt it was a cool and new direction for PIXAR. So I guess I should just be sort of apprehensive from now on….. This movie just seemed like it would fit in well with Dreamworks movies not so much PIXAR.

Now that that’s out of the way, I should get on to this list. Here we go! Read the rest of this entry »

 
1 Comment

Posted by on July 4, 2012 in Movies, Uncategorized

 

Are There No Gay Psychopaths?

Rev. Steve Newlin

Last night I finally caught the season première of True Blood. True Blood is something of guilty pleasure to me so I didn’t really feel any urgency to watch it live but I’ll definitely watch if I’m up at 2 in the morning and it’s on. After watching the show I wanted to get the reactions of others who follow the show more closely and may have caught something I missed or has a unique insight into the show. My first stop was Racialicious where they hold a round table who live blogs the show and has great commentary, this however stuck in my craw a bit.

Tami: So…they’re going for the murderous closeted gay man/gay sexual predator combo? For all the kudos this show gets for diversity, it sure treats marginalized people like shit.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The New Conservative “Race War” & The Birth of A Nation

Buzzfeed’s McKay Coppins wrote about the conservative obsession with incidents of black on white violence and their efforts to paint the narrative of a race war being propagated by black people on white people. Conservative talkers such as Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh along with conservative media outlets like The Drudge Report, The Daily Caller, and others have been looking for any incidents of violence perpetrated by black people upon white people and amplifying them during the Barack Obama presidency with the implication that the election of President Obama has served as some signal to Black America that now is the time for some sort of crude revenge. Coppins goes into detail even getting a sort of admission from Tucker Carlson of The Daily Caller who delights in his attempts to leverage fear to get back at “liberals” who are concerned about racism. None of this is new however. In the 90’s Rep. Ron Paul ran a newsletter preying upon the fears of roving bands of black youth attacking white people even going so far to teach readers how to buy and dispose of a gun in case they have to kill a black youth. This fear that the advancement of rights and achievement of Black Americans will directly imperil white lives and purity is evident as far back as D.W. Griffith’s “The Birth of a Nation”. While Griffith makes his point nakedly how different is Limbaugh’s declaration “In Obama’s America, the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering”

cross-posted @ theybc

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Gravity Night on Thread Radio: Think Like a Man

Hey thREADERS,

Here is our “Think Like a Man” episode. If you listened live, you will find the show (including the After Show) in its entirety. Once again, thank you all for your continued support. Join us for another show like only The Thread can do next Monday at 10PM Central. I hear 3 new Threaders will take the plunge into this “radio thing.” Much love! -23

Listen to
internet radio with ThreadRadio on Blog Talk Radio
Follow “The Thread” on Twitter!
 

Tags: , , ,

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

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“What Do We Do In the Mean Time?” asked Mary J. Blige to the WB Frog

So I cheated. I’ve already posted this to my other blog http://www.theblackhollywoodreporter.wordpress.com (check it out), but I thought I should just share the love!

I come to you today realizing there is a paradigm in Black Hollywood, and I don’t know how I feel about it. This realization comes after the backlash of Mary J. Blige’s Burger King Commercial.

Click Here to Watch the Video

Many believe it was coonish for Blige to sing the song about chicken, burgers, and even ranch dressing, but as I sit on the other side of the industry, my gut just wouldn’t let me get as mad as I probably would have a few years ago. My mind didn’t directly move to disgust and dissecting the “issue”, but it DID make me wonder about the meeting Blige had with her team. I could picture her agent presenting the opportunity her. It was probably like, “Burger King wants you to do a song.” If I came to you and plainly said, “Burger King wants you to do a song,” would you honestly shut it down? Would chicken and ranch dressing be the first thing to pop into your mind? Maybe not, so let’s just say that you agreed. Once you read the lyrics, even if a red flag was raised, what would the conversation be like with your manager about the backlash of your career?  Before you answer, let me tell you that commercials make people a lot of money for a little time. While movie shoots would probably last 100 days, a commercial lasts 3. While making an album may last months or even years, you would probably spend a day in the studio to record the song. And the residuals for a national commercial bring in some nice bread… very nice. So think about the complexity of her decision especially when the digital boom has cut musical artists’ income.

But trust, Blige is not alone in the struggle. Think about Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer. With the scarcity of parts, should [black] actors turn down roles? Did people stop working for BP waiting on them to clean up the spill? Did the LAPD officers quit the force after those police officers were acquitted for beating Rodney King? So as we wait for more quality television shows and movies, what do black artist do in the mean time while whites offer a narrow scope of characters and blacks don’t take the time to educate themselves in order to create quality work? Artists still need income, and inactivity is the best way to be forgotten. How does Black Hollywood deal with this paradigm?

Honestly, the resolution of this paradigm doesn’t bother me as much as the realization that we are dealing with the same predicament Robert Townsend dealt with in Hollywood Shuffle. It’s been at least 30 years, and we really haven’t progressed. I’ve racked my brain trying to find solutions to this problem. Each solution seems to cancel each other out, and in the time of quick, fast, and in a hurry products (reality tv), it’s so hard to find someone willing to take their time and make something of quality. To be transparent, The Game and Let’s Stay Together are a chore to watch, and I won’t even get on Love That Girl. No one supports Treme resulting next season being their last season, and after Red Tails, it seems we cannot rely on someone else to tell our story. We are slowly getting mainstream roles, but “they” protest. For example, the backlash of Idris Elba in the movie Thor: http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2011/05/02/thor-star-idris-elba-on-fan-racism-and-ghost-rider-sequel-but-not-prometheus/ , or recently the African Americans casted in Hunger Gameshttp://www.usmagazine.com/entertainment/news/hunger-games-fans-have-racist-debate-over-stars-playing-rue-thresh-2012263 ? So in this slow transformation, what do we do… because BILLS are do!

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 4, 2012 in Money, Movies, Music, Television

 

Tags: , , , ,

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

-23

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thirteen Thursday Thoughts

Let’s roll…

Tragedy struck America’s school system again this week. Another troubled teen entered into his school and took his depression and frustration out on his fellow classmates. Another school shooting (1) with an unhinged young man. Honestly, I’m not too sure how to feel. I mentioned over on the Thread that we as a people had become immune to this kind of violence now. That’s not to say that it doesn’t affect us in some way, but I look no further than the television coverage. I was watching CNN all day that day, and news of the shooting seemed like an inconvenience to the sweeping coverage of Primary Tuesday and soaring gas prices. Maybe this kid didn’t kill enough people that day. Just when the news vans and media were ready to leave Ohio and head back to Michigan and Arizona, another student passes. And then another. I’m saddened. I’m upset. I’m disappointed. I’m confused. We need to do a better job of talking to and taking care of one another. I tip my hat to Chardon High School, though. The school seemed to have the proper procedures in place to minimize such a spree. All reports suggest that this could have and should have been much worse. My thoughts, prayers, and condolences are with those directly affected.

On a much lighter note, let’s rewind to the weekend that was. Mary J. Blige (2) sang the National Anthem for the NBA All-Star Game. Like I said last week, I wasn’t going to watch much of the game, but Mary was singing. I love Mary. But uhh…I was not a fan of her rendition. When I think of the fact that Marvin sang on the same stage almost 30 years ago and gave us his classic version, I was expecting something much better than what I was given. She didn’t sully the song like Christina Aguilera or Carl Lewis, but she just did too much with it. Yikes.

Did anyone catch the NFL Combine (3)? It’s such a display of sheer and amazing athleticism. It’s also strangely reminiscent of a slave auction. *cue MichaelYoungHistory hanging and shaking his head* Now, I don’t want to compare it to the s-word (the inhumane and grotesque institution forever woven into the fabric of our country) as a whole, but the poking, prodding, and endless measuring of an overwhelming number of black males to determine whether or not he’s big, fast, smart, and strong enough for a wealthy white man is certainly worth a second glance. What do I know, though? A lot of these cats are going to go push their bodies to the limits, get paid, get rich…and (unfortunately) go broke. A lot…not all.

I also said last week that I didn’t plan to sit through the Oscars, so I didn’t. Through Twitter, I was alerted as to when the three awards that I cared about were presented. Octavia Spencer (4) walked away with the award for Best Supporting Actress, and I was elated for her. Although I’m not the biggest fan of “The Help” (Jay Howard Gatsby nailed my sentiments here), I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Spencer’s role and performance. Speaking of her roles, though, I genuinely hope that she uses this as a launching pad for her career. I looked at her list of roles and she has a hoard of nurse/maid/mammy-like roles. She’s too talented for any more of these. While I watched my fifteen minutes of Oscar coverage, I heard Billy Crystal (5) make a comment that managed to jerk me from the arms of celebration. In case you missed it, he said,  “I loved [The Help]…When I saw it, I wanted to hug the first black woman that I saw, which from Beverly Hills is about a 45-minute drive.” I don’t want to call foul here, but it seemed to be in poor taste. Perhaps it’s more of a jab at the world that is when you think about the fact that by and large, black people do not heavily dot the landscape of Beverly Hills.

Moving on…I already miss when Angelina Jolie (6) looked like this…

Healthy and stuff (c) Justinfication

…and not like this…

Ooh, Angie, baby, no...

Although I didn’t catch much of the Oscars, I heard about Undefeated” (7), the movie that won Best Documentary. Being the curious person that I am, I set out to find it. First, I went to Blockbuster. There is actually one left of the dying franchise about 5 miles away from me. I asked one of the employees where I could find “Undefeated”, and the lady was so proud of the fact that she had the opportunity to lead me to where it was hiding. She brought me to this. *sigh* The next day, I found the movie showing at an obscure theater about 15 miles away, so I decided to make the trek to go see it. To my surprise, it was a private screening. All of this to see a damn documentary??? Just as I turned away from the box office in frustration, the nice young lady offered me a golden ticket to join the private screening. Bless you, ma’am! Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it! I had no idea Diddy (8) was an executive producer, either. I swear, that man finds the best ways to market himself and invest his money. Anyway, “Undefeated” reminded me slightly of “The Blind Side” since both movies are set in Memphis and deal with football. I won’t give away any more information, but just know that it was really good. Go check it out. I think it will be showing in more theaters this weekend. I hung around to see “Act of Valor” (9) as well. Since it was only $6.50 at this particular theater on this particular evening and I didn’t have to pay for “Undefeated”, I willingly paid instead of hypothetically sneaking in. Overall, I really liked this movie as well. Actual Navy SEALS were used in this movie, and I was really impressed by and grateful for our military. Much love, respect, and appreciation.

My ill-fated trip to Blockbuster that I mentioned earlier actually yielded some fruit as I was able to get my hands on the third season of “The Wire” (10). For those of you who haven’t been exposed to this show, you’re doing yourself a disservice. As long as you don’t mind the realistic, gritty, and often grisly glimpse into inner-city street life, you’ll love it. I was sucked into this black hole where productivity goes to die a few weeks ago, and I’ve been addicted like the junkies depicted in the show ever since. Ladies, if all of this doesn’t sound like something that interests you, *sings* Idris Elba is in it. You’re welcome. Can I get one more television-related thought out? Snooki (11) is reportedly pregnant! Umm…yeah. I figured we were due for an update on her body. Between her weight loss, boobs, UTI, and pregnancy, I feel like I’ve heard enough about her to be her physician. Well, congratulations and best wishes to her…and us. Another little Meatball rolling around. God help us.

*exhales* Clearly, I spent a lot of time in front of the big screen and my flat screen this past week.

Time for my obligatory mention of something Jeremy Lin related! *applause* This time it involves Ben & Jerry’s (12)! *applause* They thought it’d be a great idea to have a frozen yogurt paying homage to the newest NBA star! *applause* The frozen yogurt featured fortune cookies and an ethnic reference… *don’t applaud* Really??? How stupid can Ben and Jerry be? Did ESPN not teach you anything? If we don’t find a cure for Lin-sanity soon, this seemingly racial virus will become an epidemic.

Lastly, we’re in the month of March (13) now. Can you believe we’ve already gone through the first two months of 2012? March marks National Nutrition Month (whatever that means), American Red Cross Month, and Women’s History Month. Also, although I’m a day early, Happy Independence Day to my fellow Texans.

-23

 

Thirteen Thursday Thoughts

And we’re off…

Am I the only one still replaying Whitney’s Funeral (1) in my head? I honestly can’t think of a time when I have been so moved by a service in which I wasn’t actually in attendance. Cissy Houston really did take the world to church on Saturday…for 3 and a half hours. I’ve heard quite a few comparisons to MJ’s “funeral”, but that wasn’t the same. That was more of a concert whereas this was a homegoing service. I’m not the biggest Tyler Perry fan by any means, but his remarks certainly set the scene. I was also deeply moved by what Kevin Costner said. He gave us a glimpse of Whitney no one else could. Finally, when the paulbearers literally carried Whitney out on their shoulders to “I Will Always Love You”, I had to turn the TV off. My prayers are still with the family, but I was so impressed by and thankful for such a wonderful service.

Is anyone else sick of Linsanity (2)? I’m over the Tebow comparisons; I’m tired of the racial under/overtones in play here; and I’ve had enough of the endless coverage. I appreciate the underdog story, and I’m happy for Lin’s success, but when is enough enough? That leads me to NBA All-Star Weekend (3). I used to live in Orlando, so part of me hates missing all the pomp and circumstance surrounding the event, but the other part of me is glad I’m not there. I’m still debating whether or not I’m going to watch the game. This NBA season has failed to impress me. I’ve been to a few games this season, and I honestly feel like the level of play is sloppy and sub-par. I realize the lockout has a lot to do with this, but something is missing. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is exactly. The NBA has some of the better all-star festivities, but I’m not excited like I usually am. Jemele Hill made some great points about the Slam Dunk Contest and its irrelevance as well. I’m in concurrence.

As usual, I was on Twitter the other night, and suddenly, my timeline was littered with Rihanna & Chris Brown (4) putrescence. The two have conspired to appear on each other’s singles (“Cake (Remix)” and “Turn the Music Up (Remix)“. This madness ensued on RiRi’s birthday, no less. *sigh* We talked about these two ad nauseum over on the Thread, and the feeling of disappointment was overwhelming. Here’s a young lady who was the posterwoman for domestic violence and resilience. She was a role model for women everywhere who have been through domestic violence and did not tolerate it. Now everything is cool? I’m all for forgiveness, but something just isn’t right about this situation. In other news, Elizabeth Smart (5) tied the knot last weekend in a secret wedding. I’m really happy for her and glad she was able to put something so horrid behind her. Best wishes to her and her husband.

On Tuesday, I heard some startling and depressing news involving the make up of America’s teachers. Black males make up less than 2% of all American teachers (6). I knew it was a problem, but I didn’t know it was so dire. When I think about it, I didn’t have a black male leading a class of mine until I was a sophomore in college. Hopefully, more black males (myself included) eventually step up and become teachers of our youth. Lord knows they (we) are needed. With college now on my mind, I can’t help but be upset and disappointed by what happened at TCU (7) last week. I was really happy for and excited about the direction of their athletic program as well as the school itself. I realize that the drug bust went beyond just the football team, but a school’s football team is essentially that institution’s front porch. TCU is a scapegoat in all this, though. That drug bust could have happened anywhere. If you think your school doesn’t have some kind of drug problem, I question if you really went there. My hope is that TCU is able to rebound from this.

My beloved alma mater, The University of Texas (8), is back in the news. Stop me when you’ve heard any of this before. The Supreme Court has decided to hear a case with The University of Texas involved. Do I need to stop? It involves affirmative action with regards to admissions. Now? Okay, I will. I’m sick of this already because we’ve heard it before with the Hopwood decision. I’ll say that the state of Texas has a serious problem. Its flagship school continues to have admissions issues. Quite honestly, I don’t know how the state goes about fixing it. Is there a racial problem? I’d say so. Texas’ goal is for UT to mirror the state’s demographics racially. It’s failing to do so. Blacks make up 11.8% of the state’s population, but only 5.6% of the incoming class. Latinos make up 37.6% of the state’s population, but only 23.1% of this class. Meanwhile, Asians only account for 3.8% of the population, but make up 20% of the 2011 freshman class. I honestly don’t know what lawmakers and the administration should do. Personally, I think part of the problem is the fact that the state doesn’t have enough flagship schools to serve such a huge population. Things will certainly get interesting. Stay tuned.

I see that racism has reared its ugly head in Gainesville, Florida after some young ladies went on a 14-minute tirade on YouTube (9) oozing with bigotry. If you can sit through the idiocy, click here and scroll to the bottom. I’m disgusted and don’t have anything else to say about such balderdash. As much as I hate that video, it’s free. That’s something I can’t say about what comes out of Hollywood (10). Aside from Red Tails, I have refused to go to the movies. Movie ticket prices are at an all-time high, and I’d rather chill at home and make it a Blockbuster Red Box night with my 42-inch LED, blu-ray, and surround sound. There just isn’t enough reason or payoff for me to spend $25 on a date to see a movie. The last few times I’ve gone to the movies, I may or may not have movie hopped. Don’t tell anyone I told you that.

"Stand up and tell 'em, 'I will not be a prisoner to your foolishness!'" -Rollo Goodlove, The Boondocks

Who’s watching the Oscars (11) this weekend? Anyone? I genuinely have no desire to see it, and after the Grammys (12), I won’t be sitting through another awards show any time soon. Nicki Minaj and her antics were enough to…REDACTED. I’m hoping that Leonardo DiCaprio walks away with something this weekend, though. J. Edgar (a possible casualty of said hypothetical movie hopping…catch me if you can) wasn’t the best movie he’s been in, but he did a great acting job like he usually does.

Finally, in honor of Black History Month (13), I’d like to acknowledge and pay homage to W.E.B. Du Bois. On this day in 1868, the eventual co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was born. He was also the first African American to earn a doctorate from Harvard and published The Souls of Black Folk. If you haven’t read it, do yourself a favor and do so.

W.E.B. Du Bois, as drawn by our own, Justinfication

-23

 

Tags:

 
%d bloggers like this: