31 October 2006

Observations and rhinestones...

I saw something on the subway last night that made me want to run to my blog!

It wasn't the first time I saw it, but it was just the wrong thing at the wrong time at the wrong moment.

Ladies, ladies, ladies...
If you are a mature and grown woman, please do not come out in public with words like:


embroidered in rhinestones and glitter on the seat of your pants!!!!

It looks like a sizzlin'-hot-ghetto-mess when you do. I just want to tell you what your friends and family are too scared to say.

Let's have just a tiny bit of decorum here, can we?

Just for the record, there is not a TRUE Diva in the free world that would be caught dead with the word "DIVA" sewn to her ass in bright red sequins!!! So, please find it in your heart to believe that if you are a real hottie, cutie, sexy sugar or diva - WE WILL SEE IT IN HOW YOU CARRY YOURSELF and not in the billboard you have turned your backside into!


26 October 2006

Nothing is more Un-American than ELECTION TIME!!!

"Fogarty watched a naked young stripper do the splits over a banana. She stood back up, her face smiling proudly and her round breasts glistening from a spotlight in the dim bar..."

So, what does this have to do with elections?

Let me disgress for a moment. TO ME, elections should embody the fundamentals of what America was built on: the ideals of honesty, integrity, truth, justice, liberty and all those good things. An election should be based on groups of people with beliefs on how to make life better for their fellow citizens, their country and even the world. At election time, these people should present their beliefs passionately and honestly to the people that will vote for or against them. They should be critical of their opponents and welcoming to the same. They should not insult the citizenry or the processes in place. It should come down to facts, truth, approach and integrity. That's the way I THINK it should be. Aside from the total naivety of what I just typed, I think my principle is sound.

So what do Fogarty and The Stripper have to do with elections? Well, it seems as though the Democratic candidate for Virginia's Senate, Jim Webb, seat wrote several fictional novels years ago and Fogarty and company were one of many steamy scenes from Webb novels that have been appearing lately on right-wing websites. Supporters of George Allen, the Republican candidate, he been trying to smeer Webb's name by calling him a smut-monger and degenerate. What does this have to do with REAL issues?

George Allen himself is floating in questionable moral waters after publically calling one of Webb's young staffers, "Macacca" (Ma-Ka-Kaa) and publically telling the young man of Indian decent, "Welcome to America! Welcome to the Real Virginia!" This was a debacle for Allen because Macacca means 'monkey' in the language his parents speak. Allen swore he had no idea what it meant, and claimed that it was just some 'non-sense' word he heard a member of his staff use. And for the record, the young man in question was born in VIRGINIA! George Allen was born in CALIFORNIA. Now other incidents of racial accusations against Allen are beginning to surface. While I hate racist assholes, I still haven't heard much on the issues from either candidate in the Commonwealth.

Across the Potomac in Maryland, two important races are bringing out the racists, the liars and the hardline heavyweights. For Senate we have:
Fighting out of the BLUE corner, weighing in at 189 pounds with 20 years in DC, Ben "Smoking Votes" Cardin!
Standing tall in the RED corner, weighing in at a ready 198 pounds, Michael "Don't make me call my ex-brother-in-law Mike Tyson on you" Steele!
For the record Democrat Cardin is white and Republican Steele is black.

This battle has brought out Cardin staffers being accused of eating OREO cookies to degrade Steele. Black folks at Morgan State University have been accused of throwing OREOs on stage while Steele was speaking. Cardin's commercials stress the fact that Steele gave the 2004 keynote speech at the GOP convention, and he is a loyal supporter of Dubba-ya. Personally, if you are a member of a party and the president is the head of your party, supporting him isn't the craziest thing in the world. Still few issues here but heavy on nastiness.

Steele's people claim that while Cardin has been in politics for 40 years he hasn't changed a thing in Washington. They play this point to insanity on TV and radio. For a minute, I was looking sideways at Cardin myself until I did my homework and found out that Cardin was a state delagate for 20 years and a member of the DC set for 20 years. While 2 decades is a long time, it is not the 40 years that Steele's camp is implying. Steele has also been trying this weird little game of sort-of-trying to act like he's not a Republican [in the evil sense of the word] - it's thin, very thin - but he's trying. Where do he and Cardin stand on stem cell research, taxes, crime, the war, my kids education, my job security, my health care rates, my elderly mom and dad? Who knows - I haven't been able to catch a debate lately, but I WILL before "E" day. (psst, just between us - there is no way in hell I'm going to help the Republicans get another seat in the Senate. I don't care what color he is, I don't care how friendly he looks and I don't care if he likes puppies! You must be crazy if you think I'd vote for Steele!)

Also in Maryland, the Governors race has come down to the Mayor of Baltimore - Democrat Martin O'Malley vs encumbant Republican Robert Ehrlich. These two are trying to present a somewhat politically motivated battle. It's thin, but they are trying. Simply put, the big issue is Baltimore. Baltimore - the former "Charm City USA" is sitting in the crapper right now. Crime is high, murders are high, Education is shameful on a NATIONAL level, herion is like water running down the streets, gangs are out of control. Basically, you are only safe in about 50% of the city. Safe being that you have a reasonable expectation of going to work and coming home in one piece. Now, O'Malley, into his 7th police chief in 7 years wants to do for Maryland what he has done for Baltimore.

These two are pushing hard at each other. Not heavy on the issues, but moreso on calling the other a pitiful joke and the other one declaring, "No, no - YOU'RE a bigger joke than me!" Sorry "O" but I've seen my hometown up close. It's fucked up and you have no clue as to how to un-fuck it. I can't put you in the Statehouse this time. Lock some of those B-More thugs, drug dealers and hoodlums up, come up with an education plan that can REALLY work, pay your teachers, cops and fire fighters better, and get a serious re-hab program in place and next time, my vote is yours. This time, I think its going to Ehrlich.

So, there we have it. Local politics is just like national politics. Nasty, dirty business where skeletons [no matter how big or small] will get dragged out of your closet. Nobody seems willing to say "These are my plans for taxes. This is what I'll do about crime. I feel this way about stem cells. I'll vote this way on abortion. The environment is important to me because of this..." Naw - folks just want to play the race card; folks just care about who you had sex with back when; folks just want to twist the truth about this or that. Somehow - that just seems Un-American to me.


18 October 2006

Black Cartoons - MIA?

After watching my youngest child running around proclaiming to be Handy Manny, I took a long hard look at the state of television entertainment for Black children.

Now before I lose all of my good daddy credits, I want to make it clear that my kids don't sit around all day staring blankly at the television, but reality is reality and they do have their favorites shows.

Handy Manny is a decent little show - it centers around a friendly, young Latino man and his talking tools. Almost all of his neighbors are Latino and the show slips in as much Spanish as a typical American audience can handle. This show, the newest member in the Latino Cartoon Invasion, was the straw that broke the camel's back with me, because it clearly shows just how woefully under-represented Black people are in children's cartoons! I understand that Latinos are pouring into our country in amazing numbers everyday both legally and illegally - but the mass media [AGAIN] is devaluing the Black audience.

Black people are disproportionately unrepresented in television and in movies - that's no big secret and its far from new. But I am very distrurbed by the fact that now the mass media is reaching out so agressively to welcome and embrace the Latino children's audience. It is as if Black kids aren't even worth an effort in the world of children's cartoons!

I actually asked a few of my Black contemporaries to "Name a Black Cartoon." We all said the same thing you just said - Fat Albert! Now - I will say that there is at least one other Black cartoon, "The Proud Family." But sadly, The Proud Family is disappointing at best. Many of the storylines deal with issues that are fairly ghetto minded: Hoochie dancin'; stealin'; being disrespected, dealing with hoodlums, etc. I know that a lot of folks in the entertainment industry believe anything Black on film has to "be keepin' it real," but "keepin' it real" doesn't have to mean cookouts and crime . My little kids - My Little Black Kids - don't need "keepin' it real" with booty shakin', guns, fightin', drinkin' and bling wavin'. My Little Black Kids deserve the same alphabet learning, number learning, positive images and inspired storylines that White and Latino kids get shown by other White and Latino people.

This Latino Cartoon Invasion [as I call it] consists of some very nice cartoons - let me make that point crystal clear. Most of these shows are educational and have positive stories and include: Captain Carlos, Dora the Explorer, Go Diego Go , Dragon Tales and Maya & Miguel. It took me just three seconds to come up with these few names. But the only cartoon based on Black characters is The Proud Family. Pitiful.

Fortunately, I have been seeing and hearing a lot about an educational cartoon created by and starring Andre 3000 called "The Class of 3000" and my fingers are crossed real tight that this will be a cartoon with a Black lead that I can be proud of. (No pun intended)


09 October 2006

Ordinary People VS John Legend

Not too long ago I was driving and John Legend's "Ordinary People" came on the local jazz station, 105.9. The words escape me to adequately describe how much I hate this song. But hey - this is a BLOG, so I'll try...

Check this portion out:

"Maybe we'll live and learn
Maybe we'll crash and burn
Maybe you'll stay, maybe you'll leave,
maybe you'll return
Maybe another fight
Maybe we won't survive
But maybe we'll grow
We never know baby youuuu and I
We're just ordinary people
We don't know which way to go..."

I hate this song because it clearly makes normal people seem too stupid to find a decent relationship. It makes fights, drama and heartache seem like an everyday part of loving relationships. Too many people foolishly believe that you have to be some kind of EXTRAordinary person to have a loving relationship where arguments and drama are at a minimum. Frankly I think that is straight bullshit. Every relationship on this planet is made up of ordinary people, it's just that some people want and demand more from their partners than others do. That's it. Plain and simple. If you have self respect and you've established that you will only accept certian things in a relationship - then there you are.

The thing that really blows my mind is all these people are falling all over themselves with how wonderful and deep that song is!

All this, "we're just ordinary people, we don't know which way to go," baloney! Please John, don't believe your own hype, your song sucks!


04 October 2006

"Jungle Fever" (15 years later)

It's 2:30 in the morning.
Why the hell am I still awake?


"Jungle Fever" is on HBO so I figured, what the heck. I'd check it out.

I had forgotten what a good movie it is. Very powerful and packed with great acting and writing!
And, of course the countless Stevie Wonder tracks sprinkled throughout the movie are a perfect touch!

I don't know how I had managed to forget about the "War Counsel" meeting between - Drew (Lonette McKee), Vera (Veronica Webb), Nilda (Phyllis Yvonne Stickney), Inez (Theresa Randel) and Angela (Pamela Tyson)... where the five Black women meet to discuss Black men and White women after Flipper (Wesley Snipes) was caught with Angie (Annabella Sciorra).

The dialogue and the acting in this 8 minute section of the movie is absolutely stellar. These women are bringing real concerns and real feelings before the camera - whether they belong to the actresses or just the characters is beside the point. The performance is amazing.

I find it interesting that almost all of the things these women say I have either read on blogs or said on mine. It makes me wonder if Spike Lee was so far ahead of his time when he wrote this prior to '91 or are some of us men and women, Blacks and Whites still staring at each other across a chasm?

Other scenes that have passed since I fired my laptop up, which fall under the AMAZING category:

-Drew throwing all of Flipper's stuff out onto the street with a passionate yelling and screaming assault on him.

-Angie's father beating the hell out of her after he finds that she's sleeping with a Black man. Very dramatic.

-Ozzie Davis (Flipper's father) dramatically and stoically presenting his disgust of the relationship between his son and a White woman.

-The NYPD pulling up on Flipper and Angie while the two of them were play-wrestling and drawing their guns on Flipper after getting a call of a "Black man assaulting a White woman." With Flipper against a wall and a cop with his gun in Flipper's ear, Angie declares, "He's my lover! My boyfriend! Stop!" And Flipper is screaming in fear, "Shut up Angie! Shut up! We're just friends! I'm not her lover! She doesn't know what she's saying!"

What a powerful movie!