Sunday, July 31, 2005

What Ever Happened To...

I was watching one of the James Bond movies today, as they are always on Spike TV now, and i saw Grace Jones. I thought to myself, "hmm whatever happend to Grace Jones?" Short of her role as Strange (pronounced Strahn-je with an accent over the g, but i don't know how to do accents) on the movie Boomerang, i haven't heard too much from her. Man, Grace Jones was a beast. I don't know if i would consider her pretty. She was a beauty in a very strong, African in the 80's kind of way. I wonder where she is now? On a side note, Christopher Walken was the villain in this Bond movie. He has got to be one of my all-time favorite character actors. As soon as i heard the voice i knew it was him. That's guy's something else.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Social Commentary I

Why am I fighting to live if I'm just living to fight,
Why am I trying to see if there aint nothing in sight,
Why am I trying to give if no one gives me a try,
Why am I dying to live if I'm just living to die.
-- Jonny Lang

Most of you might have heard this sampled on the Tupac/Biggie mix that was out last year. Well i've heard the actual song the sample may have come from.

I think it if you look at this statement, you'll see a great comment on society today. Especially when talking about Black youth. I've been talking to Headliner lately about the ills of our community. We both have a broad scope of where the problems are stemming from, but we both define the problem in our own different ways. There is an epidemic of death and destruction going on in urban Black America. You turn on the news and you see folks killing each other. KC is up at arms that the homicide rate is increasing, but it only seems to be affecting the black community. Back in NO, my mom tells me police leaders are threatening the jobs of sergeants and others because of the murder rate. Like it's their fault. They can't be everywhere all the time.

I look at the problems of Black youth and think about the lyrics above. Where is the hope? What do they have hope for? The sytems set up for them not to succeed. Their parents aren't helping them any because they can't help themselves only being within a stones throw of adolescence themselves. All they can do is fight. Fight to stay alive as long as they can. Most have no hope of leaving the ghettos because being in the ghetto is so engrained in their culture. It has gone from a short term fix to a long term problem. And now they are tearing down ghettos to create multi-race, multi-income housing. Like the poor folks are all of a sudden going to start acting "good" because there neighbor makes a little more money than they do.

So is there blame in all of this. Blame can be shared by many and all parties. I blame racist whites for creating an unjust system in the past and expecting everything to be ok now that Blacks have rights. Oh yeah, after years of setting folks back, now you want to try to play by the rules because you have to. Because it's socially unacceptable to now create laws to restrict the freedoms of people. Now whites say blacks have every opportunity to accell just like whites. Except that blacks don't have the years of social benefits, years of wealth building, and years of better funded schools. It's like telling blacks to start a race by runnig uphill while whites are on a level surface then letting blacks run on that same level surface after whites already have an almost incirmountable lead. Don't think that's very fair.

But don't worry, I have more blame to pass around. It's not just for white folks as blacks have to take our share of the blame. Look out for future commentary. Any comments on this piece? And don't be scared because you're not black that i will be offended. Remember, this is all about the dialogue.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

What Would You Do If This Happened To You?

I’ve been meaning to write about this for awhile, just getting around to it, I had to get my head clear. About a month or so ago I went out for a beverage or two and shot pool with my boy K-rock. I had a good time, after an hour and a half it was getting late so we left. As we’re walking down the street to our respective vehicles a car with some young white guys drove by. I heard one of them yell something from the car, I wasn’t exactly sure what he said at first, but I knew what it sounded like. K-Rock stopped for a second, I asked him if he heard what the guy said. At the same time we both turned around and starting half running up the street after the car which was stopped at a light about 150 yards away. Yes he called us niggers, not as an affirmation of friendship I would add.

While I’m half running up the sidewalk I had 2 thoughts. One, I’m educated, a college grad, got a decent job, why in the world did these guys I don’t know calling me a nigger really bother me that bad. I mean some black folks (not me) use it all the time. But I couldn’t get this one thing out of my head, I wanted to see if they would say it to my face. That’s what pissed me off the most, that they were cowards, if your gonna say it, say it to my face. Don’t be a punk about it.

Second, how far would this go? I was pretty sure those guys would run the light before getting out and confronting us. I’m also 99% sure if they were walking by us on the street they wouldn’t have said anything to us, I’m 6-2 and other than a bad knee in pretty good shape, K-rock is 6-1 or 6-2, a former football player, powerlifter and bouncer. But if they did confront us, would it be worth whopping some redneck ass? I’m not generally the fighting type, I was in a few fights in college and that generally involved trying to drag a friend out, also now I generally don’t go to places where the odds of me having to throw down are really high. This is a legit question, was it worth possibly going to jail to kick some redneck’s ass for calling me nigger (again in the heat of moment that night the answer would have been yes, man that sounds stupid to say).

About halfway to the car the light changed and they took off. K-rock and I walked into this pizza joint and cooled off for a bit. I keep thinking, why did it bother me so damn much at the time. Would it have been any different if they did say it to my face. I’ve seen much worse than that, I mean I’ve walked in parties where I know everyone in the room through, why is that nigger here? (I was invited that’s why) I do live in the deep South, certain attitudes seem to never disappear, it makes you wonder about this place at times. But again why was I ready to throw down? I wasn’t trying to be macho to impress some female. I didn’t hear them talk about my momma. I will say this, as honest as I can be, at the time it would have felt good to fight those guys. I do feel slightly ashamed, I should have been able to let that slide, but I just couldn’t than night. Now I didn’t lose any sleep over it but it made me think, more power to people older than myself who had to take comments like that with a smile at one time.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Supreme Court Nomination

John Roberts, huh. Without expressing my opinion, I honestly don't know enough about the guy yet, but I think this could get real nasty. I betcha Scalia and anti-Thurgood (Thomas) are happy though.

Friday, July 15, 2005

"Living" Alone

You know the old addage goes, "You don't know what you've got til it's gone."

As I sit here in the silence of my apartment in the heart of downtown KC, surrounded by thousands of people, I've never felt so alone before. But alone on many different levels. I think we sometimes get spoiled by our surroundings. We (and by we I mean me) think that since we've made a ton of good friends in college, we can do the same anywhere. Well let me tell you that's not the case in KC. It is a very difficult place to meet people which leaves me very isolated from the world. I have a few friends on the surface, and a few I'd like to get to know better, but on the whole, my stock of friends has plummeted. I'm out of wine people.

As the drought of bonified friendships continue, I constantly think back to my time in Louisiana. I think back to the friends I left behind to try to establish a life elsewhere. I think of all the fun they've had and are having now. I think of what we could all be doing right now...and I'm a little sadder. I truly miss them. All of them. I miss the spades, the barbeques, the wing nights, the football games. And all because i wanted to try something new.

I've been asked to return. To come back home. But to me it would be admitting defeat. Tucking my tail and running home to momma. I came out here to build something. I don't know how long it will be, but I don't think i'm done yet. But i know i sure miss my boyz..and my girlz too.

A read the blog of a friend of mine recently. She had a post up there about living alone. She was really excited about living alone. But as I realize, she's not excited about being alone, just not having any roomates. Having the freedom to do whatever she wants. Not having to walk over anyone else's shit. Not having a roomate is cool, but sometimes you want one. She's lucky. She still has her friends, and some of mine. She lives by herself. I "live" alone.

But I trust and I hope and I pray that this is all a test of faith. That the good times will come back. That i will get back with my friends before I am forgotten. Because Voltron can't form without one of the lions, the Ninja Turtles aren't the same if Donatello's missing. You can't recreate Good Times without James. And "Damn, Damn, Damn!" I'm not the same without my boyz. But this is just a test. The sun shall shine again. The South may not rise, but I will. But for now, I "Live" Alone.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Tecmo Super Bowl

For any old school Nintendo fans, check it out!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Law Of The Monkey

A good friend of mine sent me this link yesterday. It was pretty funny. A simpler way to look at life. It reminded me a lot of what i learned in some of my classes in grad school...just without the monkey references. I agree with a lot of the THEORY behind it. Check it out.

On Air Crushes

I just got home from the store and turned on the TV. After flipping around a bit, i caught a bit of I Love the 80's: 1988 (i think). They were talking about the Wonder Years and one of the guys said Winnie Cooper played a part in almost every guy's time of puberty in this generation. I thought to myself, how true that is. First, i always sat down to watch the Wonder Years. That was a great show. Second, i loved me some Winnie Cooper. She was it for me. Cute, but not overly beautiful. Beautiful (especially in the teen years) but not overly gorgeous. I probably would marry her today if i could. So that got me to thinking, who are some of your all-time TV crushes? Here's my short list (because the alcohol i've consumed has hurt the long list):

Winnie Cooper: see above
Lisa Turtle: Man, Saved By The Bell is another great show that i wish would never go off the air. Lisa was fine to me, especially since she was the only black girl on the show (of course they made her a valley girl, but i knew deep down she was a soul sista). She had the look, the smile, the body, and from other works i've seen her in, she's probably got a brain too.
DJ Tanner: Always was a Candace Cameron fan. Maybe because i thought Kirk Cameron was cool. She was cute and she still is now.
Ashley Banks: Tatyana Ali is beautiful. Once again, if i could find her she'd be mine. It's like i grew up with her on the show. She graduated from Harvard i think. She still attractive and obviously intelligent. Loved lil Ash on the Fresh Prince.
Hillary Banks: Karyn Parsons is totally fine. She was ok on the show, but i've seen her in Major Payne and the Ladies Man. She's totally hot. I think i like her more now than then.

My list is pretty short because i can't remember any more shows i used to watch. So everyone chime in on what they remember. You too ladies.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

"America, F*&k Yeah"

Don't worry, I'm not being crude. I just had the pleasure of watching Team America, World Police. It's the puppet movie loosely, and i mean very loosely based on The War on Terror. The movie was created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park. I thought it was pretty funny, albeit with very crude humor. The action sequences were really good and the violence lifelike...for a puttet movie. If you like South Park type stuff, you'll like Team America.

Friday, July 08, 2005

All Time Songs

I'm sitting here at work listening to songs on and something hit me. I wanted to listen to Summertime by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. I have to say, that has to be one of the alltime greatest songs made. It has transended decades and now. Every summer i look forward to hearing it. That makes me think, what other songs are like that. Classics that will transend time and space. Here's a few:

Summertime-DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Frsh Prince: See Above
Back Dat Ass Up- Juvenile: First off, the song didn't get popular until a year or so after the CD came out. It's got to be at least 8-10 years old now, but when i hear those opening beats I still get a chill. The club still goes crazy for that song.
Margaritaville- Jimmy Buffet: It's just one of those songs that you know and can sing because everyone else knows it too.
Call Me By My Name- David Allen Coe: I don't even know if this is the real title, but i've had some fond memories of this song. I never would have thought I'd be singing this song in college with a group of white folks. Crazy. But still a classic that everyone can sing together.
We Are the Champions- Queen: Still played after anyone wins anything. And they weren't even talking about sports.
Bohemian Rhapsody- Queen: Don't think this would be as popular if not for Wayne's World. I can't turn it off when it comes on.
Mo Money Mo Problems- Biggie, Puff and Mace: Maybe not yet deserving of the title of transender, but i love the song. Since my brother first played it for me in 1997 (wow it's pretty old too) I've thought it was a hype song. Can't forget the days at LSU with that either.
Electric Slide-What's Her Name?/Bus Stop-Mr Magic: The songs old, the dance is old, but we're still doing it.
Welcome to the Jungle- Guns and Roses: I'm not much into rock but this song is still tight to this day. Especially the opening guitar riff. That'll get ya hype. War Jim Rome.
Anniversary- Tony, Toni, Tone: Probably the ultimate anniversary song ever made. Still gets airtime today. It's a smooth jam that gets you and yours in the mood to slow dance and celebrate love. I should be a DJ.

I can't think of any more at the moment, but there are more from many different genres. Looks like i've selected a lot that are speacial to me. I haven't even fully breached the R&B realm yet. I could be here for days. But that's for another blog. Feel free to chime in with any additions.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

NFL Bests

Monday, July 04, 2005

Teflon King

I watched a documentary this past Saturday called "The Hunting of the President." The doc was written from a book of the same title. The movie was about Bill Clinton and how folks have been trying to get him since he was governor. The movie mostly documented the events of Whitewater and how Ken Starr basically tried anything to get Clinton. It also talked about the sexual harrassment accusations as well. The doc was really informative and interesting. There were interviews with many players inclusing Susan McDougal. She went to jail becaus she didn't want to make anything up about the Clinton's. If the doc. presents the true facts, which i hope it does, it does shed some light on what the Republican party will do to retain control. Clinton also gave a talk after the opening of the movie. He is awesome. I think i could listen to Bill 24/7. He's very smooth and eloquant. Also extremely intelligent. He's definitely one of the few famous people i'd like to have dinner with and talk to one on one. Check out the movie is you have a spare moment.

Saying all that to say this: Bill Clinton is one of the few people who can do just about anything short of murder, rape, or treason and still come out on top. It seems like everything rolls off him like grease on teflon. Sexual harrassment cases? Nope. Whitewater? Nope. Infedelity? Nope. Lying under oath? Nada. Sure he got "impeached," but what does that really mean. He never had to leave office and now makes millions from the whole deal. The Clinton's are probable the most normal family we've had in the White House in years. Bill Clinton is number one on my All Teflon List. And speaking of, here's my short list of teflon kings:

#1 Bill Clinton-see above; and it all was public
#2 Michael Jordan-survived a tell all book about his gambling, marrital problems and now has to deal with a possible baby momma; but we'll still love Jordan
#3 Michael Jackson- how do you get out of two child molestation cases? If he still made good music, or any at all these days, he wouldn't have any problems
#4 The Bush Family- They have dirt. Everyone knows they have dirt. You just can't prove it. They're on the list until someone can prove they did something.
#5 Derek Jeter- Come on! It's Derek Jeter.

Honorable mention: Kobe Bryant- If all this would have happened a few years later, he could have reached the Michael Jordan status and been exempt. See what happens when you cut off the nappy fro!

This is the short list. Of course i've missed a ton of folks. Give me some more.

Friday, July 01, 2005

R. Kelly's My Hero

And no, not the suspected pedifiliac (is that even a word?) R. Kelly, but the "In the Closet" R.Kelly. No matter what stupid stuff R. does, i can't get enough of his music. He has this talent for story telling that amazes me. It seems like a lot of his songs have a beginning, a plot and an ending. Maybe not his early works like "Sex Me" or "12 Play"...but wait, 12 Play kinda had a plot. It kept you wondering what more he could say by the time 12 came around.

Back to the present. His songs "In the Kitchen" and "In the Closet" are brilliant. Too me anyway. Very descriptive to the point where you could visualize every moment of everything he was describing. Of course, who hasn't had a kitchen fantasy or two huh? Come on who's with me? Anyway, "In the Closet" was so cool. The eerie music. The story itself, his unique sound. It was like a soap opera that made me wonder what was next. Unfortunately i downloaded it from a friend and caught the ending. Otherwise i would've had to wait awhile. Now i'm watching the videos which are very good as well. It captures the essence of the music.

I don't agree what R.'s eleged (sp?) lifestyle, but his music captures me. He seems to always find a new way to present something. Now if he could use these powers for good and not evil, maybe Jay Z wouldn't have kicked him off the tour.

Black National Anthem

Big Bird and the Liberal Left

Is it true? Is it possible? Can Big Bird really be as left as they say? Is Kermit a granola loving tree hugger? Are Ernie and Bert apart of the liberal media out to get "W"?

Ok, maybe the Repubs aren't trying to take away Sesame Street and the like, but they are trying to come down on public broadcasting. They are working from the inside to do it. Should public media be less liberal? No. I think they can add more conservative shows. But going after the hosts of shows and their guests is sort of a witchhunt isn't it. I mean, liberal minded people will probably bring on more liberal minded guests. As do conservative hosts (although Fox News is good for bringing on liberals so they can yell at them).

And what's up with this Frederick Mann guy? If the facts of the articles are correct, this guy's probably as right as they come. Talk about rigging the game. That's pretty unfair to do that. They probably didn't have to hire a conservative to produce these results, because these people don't hide their stances. I don't think Tavis Smiley cares that much if people think he's a liberal.

Since it is funded by tax payer dollars, i think conservatives should have some airtime on public radio/tv. It's only right and fair. Of course I only say that because I am liberal. If the roles were reversed, some conservatives may say that, but fight hard not to allow it.

Good luck to you Big Bird, you got me through some tough times.