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/gaysexual predator combo? For all the kudos this show gets for diversity, it sure treats marginalized people like shit.
“Mama always said, dying was a part of life. I sure wish it wasn’t.”
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.
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.
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.
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…
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 HollywoodShuffle. 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 Games: http://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!
I suppose I’ll start off with a topic I didn’t give enough insight to last week, and that is this Trayvon Martin (1) situation. Through traditional and social media, more and more information has been shed on this tragedy, and it has honestly taken a lot out of me. As a male, it hits me hard because Trayvon could’ve been my brother, cousin, or nephew. As a black male, Trayvon represents the fact that we haven’t made as much progress as we’d like to think we have. As an American, Trayvon represents something our country is so afraid to confront when it comes to race. I’ve taken part in the #MillionHoodies movement (2) on Facebook and Twitter by posting a picture of myself in a black hoodie holding Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea. It was a bit of a social experiment in and of itself because my black friends and followers retweeted my picture, commented on, and liked it. Meanwhile, none of my white friends did. This is not merely a racial issue. It is an American issue, and while I’m happy that I’ve seen so many non-black people speak up and speak out against George Zimmerman and the Sanford Police Department’s total botchery of the investigation, it saddens me that by and large black people are the one’s taking up this issue. This is merely an observation. Maybe it’s just my friends, who don’t want to get caught up in it. Maybe they’re afraid that they’ll get chastised for asking questions. Maybe there is a disconnect. Maybe they’re ignorant to the many forces in play. I honestly don’t know. Maybe I’m just tired of bearing the burden of educating and bringing awareness to people who don’t look like me.
March Madness (3) has lived up to its billing. On Saturday, I watched my brackets go to ruins. Missouri and Duke both let me down. There were upsets galore, and once Missouri lost, I didn’t have much need to sit around and watch the rest of these teams beat my dead horse. We’ll see if I even watch as much action this weekend as I did last weekend. With March in mind, I’m already sick of Tim Tebow (4).As if he didn’t get enough coverage this past season, I have to hear about this guy more in the off-season? Now he gets traded to The Big Apple? *sigh* We’ve seen what Linsanity did to that city; I’m scared of Tebowmania. On the other hand, Peyton Manning (5) made an interesting decision to pick Denver over some other possible suitors. I’m in no position to make his decisions for him, but I would’ve picked San Francisco. There is more talent there, a better climate, and a better chance to get to a Super Bowl. Once again, that’s just my opinion. I wish him the best of luck, though. I don’t think anyone could write a better book on how to stay relevant in the off-season than what the NFL is currently doing. The Super Bowl was almost 2 months ago, and the NFL has managed to stay in the news. Peyton Manning, Tim Tebow, the Combine, Pro Days, Draft prognosticating, and Bountygate. I get that most of those are a staple of most off-seasons, but this year just seems different. At least it’s not another labor standoff like last year. Roger Goodell (6)dropped the hammer down on the Saints…hard. Like I said a few weeks ago, the bounty system that Gregg Williams instituted with his defense didn’t really bother me since that culture is instilled in players at a young age. I definitely wasn’t expecting Goodell to suspend Sean Payton, fine the team a half million dollars, strip theme of draft picks, and suspend Williams indefinitely, though. It seems harsh, but I don’t think there will ever be another bounty program. Lesson learned.
Yahoo! released a list of the 10 Richest Colleges in America (7), and it sparked a few interesting debates. I took issue with the fact that Texas is the richest public school, and third richest overall behind Harvard and Yale, respectively. The numbers seem a bit misleading since the numbers used are The University of Texas System’s number and not UT as an individual institution. It still bothers me that tuition has reached record highs, and yet some schools are rich. I realize this is a complicated issue that isn’t black and white, but it doesn’t sit well with me. It’s definitely not something to brag about.
The LA Coroner released Whitney Houston’s (8) cause of death. Her death was an accident, but several drugs were found in her system. Marijuana, Xanax, cocaine, and Benadryl were all named in her toxicology report. *sigh* I figured her death was drug related, but it hurts to read it officially.
I wrote about Snooki from Jersey Shore a few weeks ago, but now her fellow cast member, The Situation (9), is in the news. Allegedly, he has been getting treatment for a problem he has with prescription drugs…or alcohol. Who knows? Color me shocked. As much debauchery as we’ve seen from the cast, I’m surprised there aren’t more of them with some kind of issue. I’m throwing no shade and no judgment their way, but nothing that I hear about that cast will surprise me. VH1 has another provocative show in the chamber. They’ve graduated from the NBA and are now entering Hollywood. I’ve expressed my sentiments concerning all these damn wife shows, but the train seems to be picking up steam. Hollywood Exes (10) is the next stop. This show will feature the ex-wives of Eddie Murphy, Jose Canseco, Will Smith, Prince, and R. Kelly. I have to admit, they found some heavy hitters. This will get messy.
I’ve never been an ardent viewer of The Voice (11) or Dancing with the Stars (12), but I found myself watching both of them on Monday. I’m a huge Cee-Lo fan, but his pick of Erin over The Shields Brothers really threw me off. Ugh. In my humble opinion, Erin completely butchered Tina Turner’s classic. I thought she sounded awful. The Shields Brothers added a nice twist to it, though. Was I listening to something different? We’ll see if I keep watching if I have to listen to Ms. Martin again. Meanwhile, Gladys Knight and Urkel Jaleel White blew me away with their dancing skills. I shouldn’t have been surprised, though. The Empress of Soul looked amazing by the way. Y’all want to come with me on a trip down Memory Lane, compliments of Family Matters and A Different World? Of course you do.
Finally, the ThreadBlog Radio Show (13) is premiering this Monday at 11pm EST/10pm Central. The King’s Law, utpipeline, and myself will be revisiting a popular and controversial blog post from a while back. “Is There a Difference Between Making Love and Having Sex?” Tune into http://www.blogtalkradio.com/threadradio Monday night and join us. If you can’t tune in, we’ll post the episode here on the ThreadBlog.
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.
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.
The value of American men is declining (1) according to this article I ran across the other day.
“According to Department of Education data, in 1975, men earned about 60 percent of all college degrees. By 1985, there was equal distribution by gender. But by 2009, the pendulum had swung in women’s favor. Of the more than 3 million college degrees for the Class of 2009, women earned close to 60 percent of those degrees (1,849,200), or almost 149 degrees for every 100 degrees earned by men. By 2017, Department of Education forecasts suggest that women will earn more than 160 degrees for every 100 earned by men.
The future isn’t rosy in the employment arena either. As recently as 2008, around 3 million more men than women had jobs, but that difference was closer to 1.5 million by the end of 2011 (having flirted with parity at the trough of the recession in 2009, at which time 82 percent of all job losses were male), according to Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics stats.”
Well, isn’t that just peachy? You can look at this one of two ways. On one hand, women are making significant progress in society. On the other hand, men ought to get used to the taste of dust women are kicking up if these figures and forecasts hold true. Speaking of worthless men, Rush Limbaugh (2) opened his mouth again, and [REDACTED]. In other men news, have you heard about this mess brewing in California with the 41-year-old teacher (3) leaving his family and shacking up with his 18-year-old former student?? It’s really not the age difference that bothers me. It’s not even the student-teacher thing. This isn’t the first time nor will it be the last time that has happened. What bothers me is the fact that this man left his wife and kids to live with an 18-year-old. Furthermore, his oldest daughter is 17. #awkward These two can call this love and say they’re following their hearts all they want, but if I let my 18-year-old heart make these kinds of decisions, I’d hope someone would knock me upside my 18-year-old head. I want an update on this story in 6 months. I don’t see it lasting much longer than that.
It’s been a tough year for Peyton Manning (4) fans, hasn’t it? He misses the entire season, has 4 neck operations, the Colts enter the doldrums of the NFL, and have now decided to proceed without him. If I’ve learned nothing else about professional sports leagues and franchises, I have learned that business is business. Owners and GM’s are in the business of winning games and championships. It’s as simple as that. Players that spend their entire careers with one team are a rare breed and an endangered species. I applaud Peyton Manning and Jim Irsay for the class they displayed during the press conference. Class is a word I can’t use to describe this Bountygate (5)situation, though. It just won’t go away, and it annoys me more every day. Forgive me for not being surprised or outraged by the fact that someone was paying defensive players to deliver big hits and injure players. Don’t high school and college kids get helmet stickers for this kind of thing? Don’t we love watching brave receivers go up the middle only to get leveled by big, bad safeties? Don’t we get a kick out of watching videos like this? No? Okay, maybe that’s just me then. I’m not condoning this practice, but I’m not at all surprised by it. I remember when I was in the eighth grade and laid out a kid, and got accolades for it. Practice! He was a teammate. I think I just knocked the wind out of him, but people were lauding my efforts while he was still rolling around on the ground. This culture has been built over the years. I figured it was just a matter of time before someone put some money on it. I don’t like it; it’s cheap (figuratively speaking), but it makes sense. We get excited and replay a violent collision on our DVRs when we see a big hit followed by a guy who doesn’t get up. Now people act like this bounty thing is reprehensible? I won’t lie, once I found out the amount guys would get for a hit/injury (except for the bounty for Brett Favre), my initial thought was, “That’s it?” We’re talking millionaires here. My opinion.
I would say she looks good...sexy, if you will.
I don’t pretend to be the biggest NASCAR fan, but Danica Patrick (6) tends to intrigue me from time to time. It’s nice to look at her. However, she doesn’t take too kindly to being called “sexy” anymore. Oh. Well, excuse us, Mrs. Patrick. Your driving prowess and record of winning races don’t seem to be making news. Maybe because…YOU HAVEN’T WON ANYTHING! Yet you stay relevant. I keep seeing you scantily clad in GoDaddy.com commercials and swimsuit issues. I googled Mrs. Patrick, and this is what came up. “Pretty” isn’t the word I would use to describe the vast majority of those pictures. So, she doesn’t want to be called sexy? Then chill with the sexy pictures!
Ladies, I need your help. I have been a victim! I have had to replace more Jordan shorts (7) than I care to remember. The only reason I am bringing this up is because there have been a few conversations on my Twitter timeline about women’s need to take their man’s Jordan shorts and not give them back. I’ve also talked to quite a few women who proudly brag about their collection of Jordan shorts. I’ve even heard them called “trophies.” Why??? Those are not cheap! I mean, it’s cute and everything, but what is the fascination here? Is it merely comfort or is it more of a psychological thing? Please advise.
Big K.R.I.T. (8) dropped his third mixtape, “4eva N A Day”, on Monday. I’ve been a fan since the first time I listened to “K.R.I.T. Wuz Here”. I loved “Return of 4eva”. This effort, however, left some things to be desired. He stays true to his smooth, Southern sound, but there just weren’t many standout tracks to me outside of “Red Eye.” It’s a solid listen, but I wasn’t hitting repeat as many times as I did on his previous two mixtapes. Like MichaelYoungHistory pointed out, the album is supposed to drop in June, so these probably aren’t the best songs we’ll hear from K.R.I.T. I hope he’s right.
As the regular thREADERS know, I am a proud Longhorn (and Knight). Needless to say, Sallie Mae (9) and I are in a toxic, tumultuous, long-term relationship. I found this video that provides a comical and realistic view into such a relationship. Yeah, that about sums it up. More light was shed on the affirmative action/holistic review/race in admissions issue at Texas (10) that I wrote about a few weeks ago. Here’s an interesting article that provides an inside look into what’s going on in Austin. It also sparked some interesting debate and discussion.
Texas. Dallas, Texas. My hometown got another show. Not Dallas, not SWAT, not First 48, not Top Chef: Texas, not Storage Wars: Texas. This one appears to be on some Stepford Wives-type ish. “Good Christian Bitches Belles – GCB (11). WTF? I refuse to watch this show, but based on what I’ve read, it reminds me of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills/Orange County. FOH! How many damn “wives” shows do we need? OMG. Desperate Housewives wasn’t enough? Basketball Wives isn’t enough? Mob Wives? SMH. I’m hoping the ratings force ABC to divorce such poppycock. LOL.
On a more solemn note, #Kony2012 (12) entered my life on Monday through social media, and I must say that I’m very moved, saddened, and frustrated. For those curious or unaware, here is a link that details Jason Russell, Invisible Children, Joseph Kony, the sex slave trade, and the documentary itself. Here is the documentary, Kony 2012.
Finally, over on the Thread, we’ve been discussing a weekly radio show (13) for our friends, thREADERS, Twitter followers (@TheThreadBlog), etc. There are about 20 of us, and we’ve had a 5 year running conversation (hence the name, The Thread). Why not further open the doors to you? The idea spawned from a few friends of ours who have started their own radio show. We’re just looking for a different and interactive way to reach the hundreds of people who have supported us here. We’re not abandoning the ThreadBlog; we’re just trying to experiment with another avenue. Let us know your thoughts.
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 schoolshooting (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.
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 Hopwooddecision. 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
Him and Bill Cosby the only non-cussing comedians I like.
Christian Comedy Shows – Who decided this was a good idea? I don’t need judgement with my laughter. There are two kinds of Christian comedy shows; ones where they talk about church stuff which is stretching one bit of material too far. I don’t need scripture in my comedy. The only people who enjoy christian comedy shows are the people who are too old to remember what real comedy sounds like are those people you knew in college who beat you over the head with the bible when you got drunk. The other kind of christian comedy shows are the ones where they talk about what they did “before they got saved” which is a regular comedy show without cursing, you’re not Sinbad. Fxck that shxt.
People with Jeans & Tucked In Dress Shirts – Cliche’ maybe, baffling totally. Who’s forcing people to tuck their shirts into their jeans? Do people think it’s classier? You look like the kid who played by all the rules in high school. Nobody likes that guy. Ladies does the tucked in shirt turn you on? Why Jordan why?
The Guy Who Stares While You Dance with His Friend – Alright you’re trapped in the friend zone, I get it I don’t need the thousand yard stare I’m not going anywhere, I’m dancing. You need to get some male friends to tell you to stop being all puppy dog. You know she’s doing this on purpose right? “Yeah girl Ricky think he’s going to get with me but he’s just too nice, I’m a let him know though. He’s still going to help me move tomorrow, watch.”
You when you flirt in front of your man
The Girl Who Stares at You While She’s Talking to Her Boyfriend – You’re the reason dude’s react to every other male like he’s a wolf who must protect his territory. I clearly see you talking with your man. I subscribe to the André 3K school of “I don’t take nobody (chick) and I never owned a Jakob”. You thrive off of drama and jealousy. Like the plant in the “Little Shop of Horrors“, this totally disrespectful stare might as well say “feed me Seymour”. You’re bad candy babe, bad candy.
The Trailer for Things That Don’t Need A Trailer – So you’re putting out a thirty minute trailer for a three-minute video because the demand for content is just that high. We have more content then we’ve ever needed. It’s not just rappers either there was a preview for a Super Bowl commercial, a commercial for a commercial, ridiculous!
The McDonald’sBreakfast TimeLimit – Why must I rush to get a sausage biscuit on Saturday? Jack In The Box doesn’t pull this crap and that’s why stoner
Eat this shxt whenever you like
everywhere love Jack in the Crack. I want sausage biscuits all day everyday my heart can take it.