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.