Sunday, January 26, 2014

Reboot in progress

So after a few years of inactivity due to many factors, I'm slowly moving this blog to a new place. New posts will be found at I will be posting old blog entries from here at the new blog from time to time but in case you are following or have stumbled upon this blog, see new work over at the above address. Thanks and hope you will take time out to read what I have to offer.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Reality Nightmare

Can't you see
Lawd can't you see
What these TV shows
Been doin' to me

It's been a while since I have been here and it kind of feels good to be back. Lately I have been saying my peace on SoundCloud but I thought I would take it back to the blog for a minute.

Reality TV got me and everybody fucked up. I avoid it at all costs although I must admit the TV networks do a great job of advertising and promoting these shows. They have the right hook to suck you in, sit you on the couch and hold your eyelids open to the unholy shit that is occuring on your screen. On occasion, my wife will fill me in on a commercial or two about a show, on a rare occasion I may watch. Let me tell you, most days I can't last 10 minutes, as was the case with "Big Ang." All of the talk about her says she was the nicest on the cast of the show she was on before VH-1 gave her a spinoff. When I saw her on the screen, I was in shock. Put it to you this way, if I saw her on the street I would be wondering if she would beat my ass or if she gave me a hug would she squeeze the life out of me. I tapped out, I couldn't take it.

Forward to last night with the premier of "Here comes Honey Boo Boo" on TLC. I'll admit the name got me but I couldn't figure out what the hell the show was about. My wife fills me in to tell me this is a spinoff of a girl from "Toddlers and Tiaras." The family is from Georgia and let me tell you, they are EXTRA as hell! Thank God the show was only 30 minutes, time that will never be recovered no matter how hard I work to do so. After that was over, I turned on a jazz station for some culture because I felt slightly dumb after watching! None of what I saw or expected to see was a surprise. What was a surprise was the upcoming  reality shows that network which includes a show about conjoined twins. I teach anatomy, I have watched specials about the operations that conjoined twins undergo but where is the boundary? There seems to be no life or lifestyle that is unknown to us now because of reality television. After watching "God Bless America" directed by Bobcat Goldwaith, it is true that we are truly a civilization going to hell in a handbasket. We don't talk about ideas, we have ideas driven into our heads by people we have made celebrities instead of the other way around or through hard work and TALENT! I'm going to keep it tuned to ESPN for sports, Netflix for all the TV and movies i've missed and i'm going to pick up a book a bit more often because TV as it is has nothing to offer me anymore!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Charlie Sheen and BYU: Who's Really Winning?

America is getting a bigger laugh from Charlie Sheen and his solo antics than from his ensemble performance on “Two and a Half Men.” Here’s a bulletin: If you are just now learning that Charlie Sheen is crazy, you must have been living on BYU’s campus for the last 10 years. I think Sheen having a meltdown in 2011 is just one of the seven signs of the apocalypse coming to fruition. We have had a good laugh and had the shit scared out of us seeing his interviews and now the run I think has died down for the most part with the exception being his twitter account where he can regail us with more of his insane logic. The thing that got me going on all of this was when during the morning news on Fox 5 DC, one of the anchors reported on Sheen’s antics by starting off with “Your Charlie Sheen update.” I stopped mid stride in dressing and stared the TV down like I was going to kill it. “A Charlie Sheen update?” Bitch, are you nuts??? I need the “news” stations to leave this celebrity reporting to E!, Entertainment Tonight and TMZ. You don’t see them reporting on Libya so stay in your fucking lane! It’s bad enough that I can’t get real journalism from our so called news outlets (You remember real journalism: Who, What, Where, When and Why) now they want to pontificate and sensationalize every issue. At this point, just let him alone and continue this slow and steady descent into madness. The next time the news outlets should even mention Charlie Sheen is when the find him naked, on top of a Hennessey soaked pile of cocaine, dead. And please, when this happens, feel free to interrupt my TV programming like we found Bin Laden to notify me of this fact. Would be better if you interrupted the Wendy Williams show to make this report. (How that manimal stays on the air I have no clue!)

This past Tuesday as we were all still buzzing from Charlie Sheen, the third ranked BYU Cougars kicked their leading rebounder Brandon Davies off the team for breaking the University's Honor Code. I think we can all agree on the concept of honor as a stand alone idea. If we cannot, I think you would be that person that would ask me for a ride to the bank when I am actually driving your getaway car. Where the divergence from this idea appears is when the word code is put behind honor. In essence, with most colleges and universities an honor code is the expectation that the institution has of you as a student as you attend. Most are simple, a student will not lie, cheat or steal. Some will add that you will not tolerate those who do and you are required to report honor code violations. BYU's code had these elements and more as their code lays down an expectation to live in a way that reflects the Mormon tradition. I don't know about you, but if I was a big time sports recruit, three things would be on my list as to what I would want in my college experience: (In this order)

1. Get my degree
2. Play hard, be a legend. Maybe get a pro contract.
3. I'm a black athlete. Girls will be throwing the panties at me like batting practice and i'm trying to knock it ALL out the park...

With that said, BYU wouldn't fit with my educational goals. But, maybe there was something that Davies saw in the university at the time that he liked. He did break one tenet of the code as he upheld another (he admitted that he had sex). You would think that would count for something right?! As much as I would hate to see him leave the team, BYU did do the right thing as all schools who must dole out punishment under the auspices of honor codes must. To do so instills the idea that at school and in life, you are expected to act in a certain way. It must have been hard for fans as now BYU's chances of getting a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament have dissolved and after Davies' dismissal, they got their asses handed to them by New Mexico. Principle over athletic success is the bottom line here, something that unfortunately isn't seen all that much is collegiate sports these days. There is a bigger message though, if it had come to light that BYU let this slide then the issue of the importance of adherence to a code of behavior would have become a divisive issue. In order to teach life lessons, whether we agree with the lesson or not we have to stick to principle. BYU's honor code is unique in some ways from other college honor codes but it is principled in it's own way and to not enforce it would be a hollow victory for all instead of keeping a team together to achieve a place in the pantheon of champions. Class dismissed....

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The dangerous power of celebrity

Steve Harvey...what can I say about you that most won't or can't say. From everything that I have heard about this man, I was not at all impressed when I saw he wrote a book on relationships. I know people who have met him and all have said he is a major asshole. Now when one person says it, you may be able to just shrug it off. When multiple people say it, there must be something to it. On top of the fact that he comes off as an arrogant jackass, his personal life is no secret. As you may well know, he is divorced and scandal has been attributed to his divorces. Now his most current ex-wife is speaking out and that prompted me to revisit the question: "Why is he a best selling author of books on relationships?"

My wife and I had a discussion on this question and the consensus was simple and unfortunate, most black folks are willing to "forgive" him for his mistakes and that writing a book is his way of learning from his mistakes? Huh?? Are you listening to yourself??? We all make mistakes, that is life. We learn from those mistakes and press on to be better people. How has he learned and become a better person. From what I can tell, he is still making the same mistakes over and over again. I have a problem taking any type of moral direction from someone whose moral compass works in a circular pattern. So why do we as black folks take this? Are we just that hard up for life direction and focus that we will just take advice from anyone. That is like asking someone for directions when you are lost while driving and the person doesn't just say they don't know, they instead just gives you what they think is the right way to go. In that scenario, one or two things may happen, you may get to your destination (albeit haphazardly) or you end up more lost that when you started your journey.

What has to happen? Is it too much to ask or to expect that individuals look closely at the source of life information before accepting it? Why do we put so much faith in the words of celebrities and politicians? Are they not human and fallible as well??? If you bought his book, I hope you got something out it and that your relationships are better for it. I would wager strongly that you are as lost now as you were before the book.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Conservative Mind Invasion

The blogosphere is heated up with much rhetoric about the political climate that exists currently in the country. Having a debate over a mosque, community center or whatever it truly is has taken over the discourse when we should be focusing our energy on getting citizens back to work, finding ways to ensure that all can afford homes and get a good education. Those things among many others I hope and am sure we can agree on, whether Democratic, Republican, Moderate or Conservative. Did you know that the United States is now ranked 13th in the world in the number of it’s citizens who earn college degrees? The cost of what we get is high and higher still if we are not educated. All of these daily conversations and new so-called controversies named by the media don’t help anyone achieve their version of the American Dream. If I had to start my own version of a “Tea Party”, I would want the Government to work on real solutions to real problems such as joblessness, lacking resources for education and improving the public health infrastructure. These are the REAL issues facing REAL Americans Gov. Palin, not where a religious building should go, thus terrorizing a group due to the horrendous actions of a small segment. Remember, this is a War on Terror, not Islam!

I don’t envy President Obama not one bit, he has a hard job and despite all of the ups and downs I think he has done an average job. I say that not because of what he has done but because of what he should have not done or stayed out of an example, the Beer Summit. The question that was posed to him about it I think was a bit of a setup but it was asked during a nationally televised press conference. In retrospect, he is probably thinking he should have gracefully answered but not answered and left it at that. Racially charged issues have been a bit of an Achilles heel for this White House and for good reason. If you answer, the Right says your being too sensitive. If you don’t the “black leaders” accuse you of being too laid back on issues of race. Sometimes, the best answer especially for someone in his position is not to answer at all and let the chips fall where they may.

I know that come November, the landscape in Washington will change but will it be a small change or a drastic one? That depends on who you ask. Ultraconservatives and Tea partiers (maybe they are one in the same) are screaming from the rooftops and to anyone who will listen will tell you that the day of reckoning is coming for the President and the Democrats. On the flip, Liberals will tell you that all is well, there is nothing to see here and we will keep on a steady course. I am not sure I can agree with either side but if I had to pick a side that had a modicum of sense, I would go with the liberals. Common sense and inclusion seems to be a weakness of Conservatives, it feels like on a weekly basis there is some new story about how someone on the Right has made some ridiculous statement to offend Muslims, Blacks, Native Americans and Hispanics. As of right now, it appears that a favorite target of the Right, the Gay Community isn’t getting too much flak but with the Prop 8 activity ongoing in California, the Hatefest will continue to have more momentum.

With all of that said, I want to get into the head of a Conservative. I really want to know, seriously, What the FUCK??!! I said that with some jest but one among them has to know that some of this stuff that comes out of the mouth of Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Louie Gohmert and the cast of other stellar GOPers is some of the most ridiculous shit ever said. How can anyone take Newt Gingrich seriously? On one had he talks about conservative values and has cheated on all his wives to date? That’s like taking ethics classes from Charles Keating, the shit don’t match. Michelle Bachmann is absolutely BAT SHIT and I have talked so badly about Sarah Palin on this blog, there is nothing else that can be said! All of that to ask this question: Conservatives, what do you TRULY believe in and how can that be achieved without belittling an ethnic or religious group?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tales from the Barber Chair


I have been in Maryland for three months now and I finally decided (after looking at my tore up head in the mirror) to look for a barber. Where I live, dare I say it is “lacking in color” and thus the barbers of color are non-existant. I went online and found a place in downtown Silver Spring and ventured out to get my misshapen hairline fixed. Going to the barber’s is an interesting experience for a black man. Where one goes for a haircut has a lot of activity, different characters and lots of conversations ongoing about everything under the sun from politics, sports and who not to trust in the neighborhood. I really didn’t know what to expect but I had to get this hair off my head and I needed to find a place and fast.

I pulled up, parked and walked to the door and before I could walk in I was greeted by one of the barbers standing outside. He asked if I had any particular person in mind for a cut. I simply said no, I need a cut. So I went in and sat down in his chair.

That’s where it got kind of weird…

He did a good job cutting my hair although it took him an hour. I kept wondering why does he keep running the clippers across my head? I said close, not bald. He did get it close, real close. So I had to give him the benefit of the doubt that since this is the first time he is working with my head, it would take him a bit longer. What was weird was the conversation that we had. It started out rather innocently (these dudes had the Tyra show on the TV…huh?) and a comment made about one of the guests set my barber off on the most tangential conversation I have ever had in a barber chair. First he talked about how there are obvious differences in white and black people but then started giving “data” which supported what he was speaking on. There was only so much I could say without sounding like I was giving him the thumbs up on this BS. From biology, we talked about obscure books which lead him into talking about the occult (and asked me what it meant…WTF!!) and finally the longest part of the diatribe was on religion. In the midst of all this, he got loud and then started asking everyone else what the hell they thought. At this point, I was praying he would finish so I could throw some money at him and run like hell out there!

Whatever happened to having a regular conversation only to find out in passing that your barber did time? Not that would be a major shock, at least the conversation would work back to sports or how wack politics are in the age of Obama. I would have much rather everyone in the barber shop had a screaming match about football than to have witnessed the rant I had the dishonor to sit through over 24 hours ago.

After paying for that haircut, I have one more shop to check out. It can’t get much worse than this right? Well if it does I may have to buy some clippers and DIY or pay my future mother-in-law for a cut…

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Cult of Fox News

I’m a big fan of the Simpsons and the other night, I watched the episode where the townspeople joined a cult where “the leader” was in charge. Everyone gave up their wordly goods, moved onto a commune, harvested lima beans and awaited the building of a spaceship that would take them all to a new life on “blisstonia.” As hilarious as that episode sounds, cults like this exist in the world and they promise everything from getting on a spaceship, creating a utopia on earth or worst (as we have seen in historical references) freedome through loss of life at the hands of a “leader.” The Tea Party movement has used anger over the Obama administration to bring out the worst in human nature. I will be the first person to say that I have no problem with anyone having conservative viewpoints. Where I have a problem is when a conservative viewpoint is used to advance hatred in any form against any person or group. Fox News Network in my opinion has been a fertile breeding ground for planting the seeds of “Cult Think” where conservative beliefs and viewpoints have turned into beliefs which drive a larger agenda of hate.

Merriam-Webster defines Cult in several different ways. The most appropriate definition for what I have defined as Cult Think is: great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book);especially : such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad b : the object of such devotion c : a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion.”

My observations of Conservatives is one of a group who hold their beliefs strongly and in many cases, wear those beliefs on their sleeve. The ideas of limited government, tough positions of crime and punishment, low taxes and self responsibility are noble ideas. When these beliefs are twisted into loaded statements that suggest that only certain groups of people are responsible citizens, or disagreeing with the government (respectfully) makes you a terrorist, to me that is brainwashing. In addition, each argument based on these points takes the issues down to the lowest common denominator and the “talking points” become predictable and insulting. Why now that we have a black president is everything he does is “dangerous” and now it has been the call for every good citizen (read: white) to rise up and reclaim the country? What are we reclaiming it from? I think what scares me more is what do these folks want to do when they “take the country back.” The cult thinking has these Americans scared and wrapping themselves in the flag, the Constitution and around their so called God given right to arm themselves. These folks are so scared, the line has been blurred between conservative thought and action and outright fear mongering from their cult leaders at Fox. When will the brainwashing end? At this rate, the Tea Party which has done nothing to counter the hateful aspects of it’s organization will become the GOP. Frankly, I don’t see the line, hate is hate now matter how you slice it.