Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

At the Moment…

Posted: August 13, 2010 in Commentary
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My heart is heavy, bearing the weight of the inevitable, now here.

The fate of us all thrust upon a new addition to the life I call my own.

The sound of abounding silence between phone lines after being alerted.

What words heal? What actions mend? None and none.

Time, the healer, albeit prolonged. Can I gather every watch and clock for presentation now,

at this moment, to immediately close the deep, deep gash caused by this dreadful reality? No.

Pain……..Certain.

Life………Fleeting.

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Isn't it brilliant?!?

While greedily swallowing my lunch today at work, one of my midday meal buddies brought to my attention a recent controversy that had made the news. My stomach continued to audibly profess its desire for fulfillment, but I was able to wrestle my attention away from the plastic container of spaghetti in front of me, and listen. She told me that a mural had been painted in Times Square and was garnering quite a bit of backlash for the artist. After I finished my lunch, I went back to my desk and battled through my seemingly endless workload, then put in a few hours of over time just for the hell of it. Ahhh ha ha ha!! You didn’t believe that, did you? Come on!!! I did what any normal person would do. I Googled it as soon as I got back to my desk. Anyway, I saw the mural, realized why people could be offended by it, and watched a few videos of pedestrians complaining about it and/or praising the work. The artwork was done by Sofia Maldonado, a 26 year old Latina artist. For those of you that haven’t seen it, here is part of it…….


Now, Art is all about perception. Some people who disapproved of the mural argued that ‘Black and Latino women shouldn’t be portrayed as prostitutes and hoochies’. To that I say, because a woman wears a short skirt, does that mean she’s a prostitute? Big hoop earrings and knee-high boots make her a woman of the night?  Does a low cleavage line on a shirt mean that she’s accepting payment for pleasure? When I looked at the smaller aspects of the mural, like the four finger ring, the multi-colored hair and the big earrings as well as the long painted nails I realized that they are all a throwback to the past. All of these items were once trends in the urban community. That was my perception of it. Now, don’t get me wrong, the boobs busting out, and women bent over are a little risque, but this is a part of the artists style. I did a little searching and found past works by Sofia that were done in much “lower traffic areas” where women were painted pink, blue and even green. Some had shirts revealing cleavage, some weren’t even clothed. I’m not excusing the fact that they are “scantily clad” or not clad at all, but just saying that if they were painted a different color, in a different area, this wouldn’t be an issue. Being that they are in one of the busiest places on the planet they gain a lot more exposure.  Therefore, a lot more criticism.

To reiterate, art is about perception, as evidenced by the mixed reviews given by the public. When I saw the piece I didn’t see “hoochies” or “prostitues”, I saw an artists expression of her world, I saw talent in the form paint brushes dipped in creativity, and spread across a canvas of fearlessness. Nobody knows what the artist was thinking when she did the piece. I’m pretty sure she wasn’t out to portray Black and Latino women in a negative light. What do you think? Is this art degrading to women? Is it even art at all? Are people too sensitive? Comments are welcome…

PEACE.

 

 

EatingCrow

"Mmmmm, mmmm, good."

 

 

I pride myself on being an individual as I go through life, foregoing trends, dodging the “norm”, and I try to avoid being what society says I am, or should be. My personal style, the way I speak, and even some of the music I listen to are all atypical of the demographic I fall into. This fact has been the reason for the position I took on a heated debate that was popular in the hip hop culture a few years back. It seemed to me that everybody and their mothers were busy stiff-arming, throwing elbows and gouging eyes out to get a spot on the ever so crowded Jay-Z bandwagon. Me, not so much. I was pumping my fist hard for my boy Esco. From Illmatic, to Nastradamus, to Untitled, I was on my own wagon with elbow room for days. Then the beef started. “Takeover” and “Ether” were the most popular dis tracks in the aforementioned feud between Nas and Jay-Z back in the ealry parts of the decade, and although only one verse in Takeover” was directed at Nas, it was undoubtedly impressive. Hov bringing to the light Nas’s subpar releases since Illmatic put him on the map, as well as pointing out Mr. Jones’s attempt at intellectual rhymes. On “Ether”, Nas retorted, putting on blast the fact that S. Carter made a habit of using Biggie’s lines and also recycled an album name that had previously been pressed up. He also turned the tables on Jay-Z’s disdain for Queens rappers evidencing that Rockafella Records is run by a Queens native in the form of one Russell Simmons. There is no doubt in my mind that Ether decided the fate of Jay-Z in this epic hip-hop, heavyweight battle, giving the unanimous decision to the “QB true G”.

Throughout the entire beef and even through the “best rapper alive” debates, I stuck with my favorite, Nas. I never relented and always had a reason why I think Mr. Jones was “the best”, as evidenced in this previous post. Now, I don’t take back anything I said about Nas, and the assertions I put forth will always stand, but I must enjoy this big plate of crow sitting in front of me and state that Jay-Z is, indeed, the……..dare I say it?  The Best Rapper Alive!!! I came to this realization this morning as I listened to the Black Album while cleaning my place up. Every single track had me nodding my head and “rapping” along with the lyrics, as weird as that may sound. At one point, I had to stop and say, “Daaammmnnnn, that boy good.” I can now honestly admit that none of Jay’s albums were disappointments. My all-time favorite of course was the first, Reasonable Doubt. 22 Two’s is probably one of the most creative songs I’ve ever heard. Brooklyn’s Finest definitely stands up to the name of the track with the greatest and the third greatest rapper from the East Coast displaying their skills on wax. Nas still holds the spot as my favorite rapper of all-time, but he now comes in an extremely close second on my “Best Rapper Alive list.”

PEACE….

 

The Movie should have ben called, "The Do's and Don'ts of Weaves & Fake Hair....and that Hair Show in Atlanta too.

The Movie should have ben called, "The Do's and Don'ts of Weaves & Fake Hair....and that Hair Show in Atlanta too.

 

 

This weekend I chose to spend my Saturday evening in the movie theater, giving up my $10.50 to see Chris Rock’s latest piece of work, Good Hair.  Now, in promoting the documentary over several media outlets, Mr. Rock claimed that his daughter was the inspiration for the film, giving an anecdote that went something like this…. He was driving his daughter, Lola, and her white classmate home from school and  Lola asked him, “How come I don’t have good hair like her?”

From his explanation, I expected the movie to delve into the debate of “Good Hair” versus “Bad Hair”, or  try to figure out whether either really exists, mixed with a fair amount of the Chris Rock comedy we’ve all come to know. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. Out of the entire hour and thirty-five minute movie, I’ll be generous and say that a total of about 5 minutes of the movie pertained to the former and most of the rest of the film was humorous and a bit condescending. There wasn’t a single five minute block of hard core discussion on the good hair vs. bad hair debate, but bits and pieces that very briefly covered the subject were sprinkled throughout the movie. Here’s a short list; there was a group of young black females, of different hair types, who talked about what they thought about natural hair. One girl said, “Natural hair and a suit don’t match.” There was a woman who suffered from Alopecia, a condition that causes one to loose all the hair on their body, similar to the effects of chemotherapy, who spoke about refusing to wear a wig, because she would feel like she was hiding something. There was also a quick sound bite that was spoken. “I am not my hair”. This line was the title of an India.Arie song back in 2006, which sparked conversation when it came out. By the way, WTF (the previous “W” stands for WHERE, in this case, not WHAT. Go back and insert it.) was India.Arie? Alright, maybe it would have been a little cliche, but with songs like “I am not my hair” and “Video” I think she could have done a little to help settle the uncertain mind of little Lola Rock, not to mention the countless amount of other young black girls with the same query. 

While watching the movie I was a baffled at times when it got a little condescending. While in one woman’s salon Chris spoke to the owner about the price of weaves and wigs and she revealed that one wig could cost over $3000. In another part of the film Chris spoke to a man who bought hair directly from India and sold it to vendors. This prissy mofo, with shoulder length, straightened hair, had the nerve to laugh as he said, “they won’t pay their rent to get some of this hair.” A large part of the movie also covered the $9 Billion Black Hair Industry, and it seemed to me that Chris Rock was pointing out the frivolous spending of black Americans, while sitting on his high horse with his nose pointed to the sky. 

I felt the movie went on a tangent and spent a lot of time out in left field as it followed four contestants in a hair show that was held in Atlanta. It focused on what kind of boots one of the flamboyant participants was going to wear to the show, the notion that a white man was actually good at styling black women’s’ hair, and an older, borderline psychotic, contestants underwater/bar skit. WTF does all of this have to do with “Good Hair”? 

Also, most of the star power in the movie were women with weaves, or women who wore wigs, who didn’t really talk in depth about Good Hair vs. Bad Hair. What they did talk about was how much they paid for their hair, how particular they are with what kind of hair they will wear, and how their husband/boyfriend was not allowed to touch their hair, at all. There were a few women with natural hairstyles in the movie, but I think they could have been represented more and a whole lot better, because they do exist. 

The name of a movie means a lot. The way this movie was promoted combined with the name led a lot of people to believe that it would be something different. I think Chris Rock could have done a lot more with what he had, and could have afforded to leave a lot of what made it to the big screen, out. With his daughter’s common inquiry, a 3 year old in the movie saying that “you’re supposed to get a perm…” , and another black girl inferring that natural hairstyles and success don’t match, he could have went in a totally different, more positive and socially conscious direction. But, in the end, positive, socially conscious, movies haven’t been known to be hits at the box office, or at the bank.

PEACE

Really?????

Posted: August 19, 2009 in Commentary, F.O.W, Humor, My LIfe

First official iPhone blog. You should really be excited right now!!!!! Just wanna post this Restaurant sign Fail. No big deal. Just me being the over-attentive critic that I am. I wonder if they serve breakfast too.

 

 

 

Just finished watching a story on CNN where a group of Black kids, in Philadelphia were refused entrance to a predominantly White swim club. The story goes as such….. Creative Steps Day Camp was on their way to The Valley Club to enjoy a day of aquatic fun. Before their first visit to the club, the Camp satisfied a $1900 bill in order for the kids to enjoy the pool for the summer. Once they arrived, they were turned away. CNN interviewed a camper from the Creative Steps Day Camp as he tried and failed to hold back tears. The innocent child, no older than 8 or 9 years old, said he overheard a white woman say, “What are all these Black kids doing here…I’m afraid they might do something to my kids”. As the tears ran down his face, and his initial anecdote came to a close, he said, “I thought those days were over.” This statement is what inspired me to put this post together. Although the American society’s racial tolerance has improved leaps and bounds since the eradication of slavery, the fact remains that racism is very much, still a factor. 

Now, I’m not writing this to bitch and moan about racism in this country, or to gain some sort of sympathy for the plight of Black Americans.  The point of this regurgitation of feelings/thoughts is to lay down some reality. Although a child, the young boy’s naivete rubbed me the wrong way. Granted, I fully understand that children are oblivious to most of the problems faced by countless people in this country, but I think parents should give their kids a dose of reality at some point in their childhood. I think it is important for parents to sit children down and share with them their insight on the world we live in. Like telling them to wait until marriage to have sex, or not to smoke weed, and drink stay away from alcohol.  Well, those don’t usually work out too well, but, you get my drift. Kids should know that they might encounter things like racism, and that not everyone is accepting of others. They should also know that not everybody thinks like them, not everyone follows the same religion, and not everyone lives the same life as they do, among other things. If you send your children out into the world with a tool box full of the right tools, they will be able to screw, hammer and saw their way through this construction site we call life. I know that analogy was probably the worst you’ve ever heard, and you are now ridiculing me with all of your being, but I thought I’d add some levity to the post. You get my drift anyway…..

 

PEACE…

A few weeks back I published a post called “Road Realizations”. In said post I listed a few things that start my blood a’ boilin’ while driving. One of those things was personalized license plates. I think they are extremely lame and should be outlawed immediately. Moving violations will be handed out to all who possess a personalized plate from this day forward. The thing is, a lot of these plates can be easily misconstrued, and with my over-active, perverted, and sometimes just barely working brain, I go with whatever pops in there first. Now, in preparation for this post, I have been compiling some flicks that I snapped out on the road of the feeble attempts at vehicular self expression. Along with these pics, will be other plates that I wasn’t able to capture while driving but still took note of. Speaking of risking life and limb while doing something in the car that isn’t driving, check out one of my previous posts about Bimbo’s. They’re soft, huggable and tasty!!! 

 

"NEVERHM"

"NEVERHM"

 

 

 

 

 

— Although this person may spend a lot of his time away from home, the owner is obviously a man who lives his life as a woman, and wants everyone to know just how much he enjoys cross-dressing. Hence the meaning of the inscription, “Never him”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Jean. C"

"JEAN C"

 

 

 

 

–A fan of “Cheers” are we? Unfortunately though, everybody doesn’t want to know your name, Jean C. Maybe this person should hook up with “NEVERHM” for some sexually ambiguous fun. Well, what do you expect? Jean is one of those names. 

 

 

 

 

 

"MIGUE 1"

"MIGUE 1"

 

 

 

 

— Here is an example of the Spanish Speaking sector of the population trying to force their language on us Americans, once again. First, the Secaucus Wal-Mart refuses to hire workers who speak English, now this. Let’s take back America people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"KITTY   18"

"KITTY 18"

 

 

 

— For her 18th birthday, Kitty got a car. Now at age 42, every time she looks at her plate, she thinks back to the days when her “Kitty” (wink, wink) held up better to constant traffic, and was able to grip things better. (wink, wink) Like the road. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, for some that, unfortunately, I couldn’t snap a flick for…..

COWGRRRRL” –  this plate reveals the drivers’ favorite sexual position, the Cow Girl. It also lets on that, when in that position, she growls like a big hungry bear. 

WONBY3” – Didn’t understand this one until I saw the NY Giants logo to the left of the inscription.  In Super Bowl 42, the New York Giants, “WON BY 3”. Or, you could say the New England Patriots got, “BEATEN BY 3”. Well, so did Plaxico Burress’ wife, within a few months of the victory.  As multiple restraining orders were filed by her against him with the local police station.

10  SIS”  – This guy, driving a white van with the windows blacked out, A Chester Van, is obviously angry with his mother. If I had ten sisters, I too, would let the world know how much of a whore my mother was. Don’t know who Chester is? Click here to find out….

PEACE…..