For those of you who thought you knew blog...prepare to have the fool blogged out of you.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Speak for yourself..

Let me preface this by saying most of the time when Stephen A. Smith starts talking I tune him out cause I know he will just make me angry. Sadly I did not follow my own advice after clicking on this video. So then I had to waste 20 minutes of my life writing a letter to him. Sigh..

Stephen A. Smith,

I hope you get an opportunity to look at this letter, and I hope it strikes a chord with you. Perhaps one day I’ll be lucky enough to meet you in person and say this to your face, the way you so eloquently look directly to the camera when you want to display the gravity of the words you are about to speak. But your point “There is no black person I know who has been accused of something they aren’t guilty of and says nothing…” might be the most ignorant thing I have heard anyone say about their own race. I understand one of the reasons you get to have your position on ‘First Take’ is because of your hyperbole and declarative (almost exploitative) tone. But you should know better and you should be ashamed.

Granted, I have very strong feelings about this issue. Not just because I am a Saints fan, but because I am a fan of justice. And the tyranny and impunity with which Roger Goodell has chosen to operate warrants my disapproval. And although you later back pedal on your fallacious argument with your declaration that you have not said Vilma contributed to the bounty program, it’s implicit in your statement, which is that if he were innocent he would have said something before he found out the severity of the punishment.

But Vilma’s guilt and innocence aside, Your statement implies something much more harmful, which is that all black people (although you took care to qualify it by saying all black people you know) will speak to their innocence out of turn. Somehow culturally we aren’t capable of completing due process without interfering and letting our mouths think for us.

Jonathan Vilma is a football player, and with the exception of whatever endorsements he has been contracted to that is the only thing he gets paid to do. He pays money into a fund that affords him representation by the player’s association. These lawyers they hire are people who get paid to speak on his behalf. Part of being a good football player is letting and more importantly trusting your teammate to do their job. If Vilma decided he was going to go cover Calvin Johnson instead of letting the secondary handle that the Saints would not have made it past the first round of the playoffs last year. Just because Jonathan Vilma allows people to do their job and decides against speaking out of turn does not make him guilty or less black.

But when you insinuate that because someone is black they are going to act out of turn then you have given the white media you defend so vigorously against permission to find further reason to box us all in together. The truth of the matter is that had he done what, to you, would have spoken to his innocence and been very vocal from the onset, it would not have made his punishment any less severe. But you can’t give him the credit to believe that he actually bit his tongue on this because he trusted the system to do right by the accused. Furthermore, you said adamantly that the reason why you can’t give him the credit to have done that is because he is black.

Stephen, you do not speak for the black community. Perhaps you are iconic to those that live life guided by the chip on their shoulder and weigh their value in volume. That is not a black thing or a cultural thing that is an insecurity thing. And when someone chooses to exercise their rights and believe in the system does not make them guilty, and again it has nothing to do with their culture or ethnicity.

Please consider a retraction.

                                                                                    Sincerely, Gian Smith 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Jesus Take the Wheel....find me a man!

Every now and then I’ll be toying around Facebook and I’ll come across the status update of some female ‘friend’ I’ve never met, who I wouldn’t be able to pick out of a lineup if I actually saw in the street. Sometimes they are very whiny, making vague statements about how sad, or frustrating, or boring their life is. And then there are those times when they just come right out and say what I assumed they were speaking ambiguously of in the first place which is that they’re mad because they don’t have a man. Something typical they might express is that they are going to “Let go and Let God” in their manquest.

Now let me first say that I have met some true Christians in my life who believe all their glory lies in their faith. They have lived their lives in accordance to being faithful to the men they had or awaiting the men God wanted for them. And while I don’t agree I commend them for the courage and passion I lack. But clearly some of these women are just looking for an excuse not to take responsibility for their actions. I know this because I do it all the time. I struggle with using God for convenience to bail me out of tough situations too. I don’t waste my wishes on petty things like Love or relationships. I save my prayers for truly important matters like not getting pulled over because there’s a bench warrant for my arrest even though I got the ticket and ignored my court date 8 months ago. But just like every other person in the world my life would be so much easier if I just did what I was supposed to do, like bringing my car in for regular maintenance instead of waiting for starting mechanisms to fail before I address the problem (Speaking of which, has anyone else noticed that once you bring in a car for one thing something else will inevitably go wrong as soon as you get it back?

Part of me believes that all mechanics take a secret oath not to tell us civilians that they are sabotaging our cars to get quicker return trips to the shop.) That being said I’ve been playing around with a theory for the past few weeks. If you don’t have somebody in your life it’s because you don’t really want somebody in your life.

I’m not trying to indoctrinate anyone with my religious beliefs, but I must reiterate I don’t believe God works the way these women think God does. I think it’s a contradiction most folk are comfortable with to believe in both free will and chosen paths. The only convenient way to believe in both of them is Divine intervention, which I also feel is something someone made up when they couldn’t articulate that they wanted to believe something out of convenience. Which is ok by me cause I rather like the idea of divine intervention. But even if you subscribe to ‘DI’ it’s safe to say it’s a little more than intervention when God is arranging your marriages. If you are insisting that the person who is supposed to be in your life isn’t there because God hasn’t yet put them there you could be right… but you could also be making excuses, because when God tried to hook you up with several other people you were busy trying to tell God why you didn’t want to holla.
This theory doesn’t apply to people who have recently broken up with someone or been broken up with. Rather those who have been perpetually single for several years ‘unable’ to find a match. There is this woman I casually dated a while back. We went our separate ways but I became privy to her life once again very recently. Without getting into too many details about this person I’ll just say I saw her through a whole new lens after not thinking of her romantically for so long. Where before I had taken things at face value she had expressed about her previous lover, now I realized she had embellished on her victimization when recounting the past. She flattered herself speaking about how devout she was to the union in spite of his inattentiveness. Now I’m not saying it was all fabrication, however, I am saying had I heard his side of the story I’m sure there would be some truths exposed that would shed a different light on her accusations. But I think the important observation is that I learned the most disingenuous of her statements were those of desire for a significant relationship.

The truth of the matter is that she was in a very meaningful situation with this man, which broke down for whatever reason, and she had the opportunity to work things out but decided against it while simultaneously deciding to continue engaging with him in relationship-like ways, thus not allowing herself to be open to new situations. Meanwhile she went to Church every Sunday, taking notes, and searching for spiritual guidance in the pastor’s sermon to shape her love life. She, like most people in denial, had other opportunities for other meaningful situations while she was still playing house with the previous tenant. The thought of investing emotions towards someone new in that critical of a way did not move her as much as she claimed it did. In her mind and behavior she would do things to make sure that all of her romantic interests, past, present and future, were at an arms length. Who knows the impetus? It could have been a fear of vulnerability. It could have been because she was more attracted to the pursuit than the actual practice of love. But the one thing that rang true for me was that she had gotten exactly what she wanted.

So I took it a step further and started evaluating some other past love interests. And my hypothesis seemed to hold true. Those who ended with me because I was not what they were looking for in a relationship found what they were looking for in someone else. And for those who preferred to blame the demise of the relationship on the other party (me) they were still single and still finding reasons for their failed relationships not to be their fault.

Then I turned the scope on myself and did some evaluation on the differences between how I have been in the past when I felt I wanted a relationship and not. While there were quite a few relationships I’ve been in where I couldn’t have done any more to make it work, I’ve also been in plenty where I couldn’t have done less. But the truth I’ve learned is that as much as I’d have liked to believe it was never me, it can’t always be someone else’s fault. If you actually believe that you have that much bad luck then it must be because God doesn’t love you, in which case I don’t know why you would call on him to save you now.

My assistant coach one time told me something that has stuck with me since. He was talking about our team’s apathetic play of late and he said “Hungry players do hungry things.” Just the same way having a voracious attitude on a court will result in success a drive to sate your hunger will result in being full. God doesn’t put you in the room at the right time. God doesn’t send messages through burning bushes or by way of bumping into Darren Sharper at Republic.
God gives you the power of discernment and common sense. You are ordering your own steps….step your game up.

Friday, May 20, 2011

For Colored Girls

So to appease my friends who say I don't blog enough now that my personal life is no longer a matter of public record, and to appeal to the Twitter generation I'm going to do real time movie logs (mostly just my inner monologue) while I watch selected movies. Watch along with me for better understanding or if you've seen it enough times simply recall your own experiences. Clearly this will involve major spoilers as I will be reacting to scenes throughout so probably best not to read if you haven't already seen the movie.

I’ll preface this by saying I’m about 13 years removed from “reading” this book in my dad’s Af-Am Lit class so I don’t have as much background going in. I was looking forward to seeing this in theatres and didn’t make it, but I heard relatively good things.


1:14 I didn’t realize Thandie was in this!

1:25 Anika Noni Rose…? Why is that name familiar? (checks IMDB) Oh yeah. Princess and the Frog girl.

2:55 “Somebody…Anybody…sing a black girls song.” Jamylah and Shaneika make it hard to concentrate while I’m watching this.

3:20 Why does Kimberly Elise always play the victim?

4:33 there goes Tyler Perry again, parading naked men around.

5:39 He wouldn’t really call her a bitch if he had just hit. He’d just be like “Holla”

6:22 I’m not buying Kerry Washington’s acting right now

8:00 I like the idea of starting to water a plant from the time you meet someone. But if a woman came to me and handed me the plant she had been watering so as to break up with me I might be a little offended. What makes you think I want to take over your plant, plant lady?

10:50 I wonder if Michael Ealy gained that weight for this role?

14:48 Look at Marvin from Love Jones getting work “I’m going get some Motherf****** toasted oats…you trippin” That was for Kibwe

17:00 do all women speak so poetically when they talk about letting some dude hit? Hope so.

18:50 Did she just bump into Hill Harper who got into a car with Rosario Dawson? This movie is like Crash for black women plus poetry.

21:00 Yep… Kim Elise just walked into Janet Jackson’s office. It’s Crash. Oh and in case I forget to mention

Bitch….! In Kibwe and Gian voice @Janet Jackson

24:08 ooops.

Hill Harper: Why you mad at me cause you had a STD and didn’t tell me?

25:40 LOL…that boy said he was eating donuts.

Why didn’t they get Mykelti Williamson to play this role? What does he have better to do than be in For Colored Girls?

29:12 I’m convinced Kim Elise should get more work. She’s got to be good at other stuff too. By the way…my bad Kim. Everybody in this movie is the victim.

What kind of proposal is that? Nigga you just bust her good glass.

32:00 Why did Lisa Bonet just call Ceelie momma?

34:00 “Dance is my thank you for music” I like that… but Marvin is probably like why she keep talking bout all these latin people I never heard of?

35:47 ooops. “What kinda woman, picks a man up at a bar and takes him home?” What kinda dude stops a woman from taking his pants off to tell her how much money he has cause he figures he has to pay her? I feel the most sorry for his wife for marrying a man with such low self esteem.

Claire Huxtable keep meddling in everybody business… go to sleep lady.

43: I’m not sure who I’d choose to be if I had to be the dude with the STD who banged the pyramid and then gave the rose one put on my pillow to the other one, or Hill Harper standing there listening to his ol’ lady telling him bout how she used to be some man’s pet and that’s why we can’t have kids. If my future wife is reading this I really don’t need to know how you felt about the dude that gave you the STD. Just disclose the basics to me.

44: Frank doesn’t seem so bad. He seems like he likes Loretta Devine. I’m gonna say it wasn’t his fault.

47:10 oops. That’s why she mad. Her ol’ man like other dudes.

Janet Jackson looks like Dorcas in this scene.

48:09 “He wants to fuck you.” Thank you Captain Obvious.

Why Thandie thought she was paying for a college application at the dance studio? That ain’t college crazy.

50:23 “You don’t have no name girl.” This is my favorite Macy Gray role since Training Day.

55: I’m not condoning rape of course but I was pretty sure Anika was trying to let Marvin stick.

1:01 I changed my mind I like Phylicia Rashad now for telling these kids that story while they daddy beat on they momma.

Never mind…I hate her again. Why she screaming “help her” to everybody else? What you want them to do that you couldn’t?

1:04:37 Lawd is this nigga holding the kids out the window asking if she gonna marry him? This proposal is worse than the last one…

Laaawd this dude dropped both the kids! Didn’t he see The Good Son? You got to make a choice Mike…

1:08: Here I am again suspending disbelief that someone would start reciting poetry in a cathartic moment. I blame Tyler Perry for this one. I know he wanted to be true to the play, but there has got to be a less awkward way to get across the poetry. I think his greatest downfall as a director is that he puts too much responsibility on the actors when quite frequently his writing isn’t strong enough to convey the emotions they’re trying to portray like that movie he did with Lynn Whitfield where her two daughters are fussing at her about being raped. In this case the writing doesn’t suffer, neither the acting. Anika is quite good at making me feel like she just got raped. But if she’s going to be in this lucid state he probably should have taken a page out of another Lynn Whitfield movie, Eve’s Bayou. There was a scene when the aunt was talking about all of her husbands who had died and the men momentarily came back to life. If you want me to suspend disbelief make me think I’m not in a hospital and that I am actually inside of her head. The impact of her talking about being raped by a friend is definitely lost on me because the moment wasn’t captured well.

1:12: hmmm…. Watching this poem I guess it’s not necessary universally. This one goes over well without the montage. Maybe it’s the character.

1:19: that one worked for me… maybe it was the music or juxtaposing Whoopi and Thandie speaking at once.

Thandie is yelling again. I believe her….. “I said open this motherf***** door!”

1:23: I like Claire Huxtable’s poem the best yet. In spite of her self-righteous tone.

1:25: see….I knew Frank wasn’t so bad.

1:25:30 Janet’s house husband was playing “basketball” with the fellas.

I know she’s not feeling sorry for herself about her secretary’s kids dying?

1:28: Nyla: Don’t nobody feel like praying to yo punk ass God, Ceelie.

1:31:15 Kim Elise: Is a dry towel gonna wipe my kids off that sidewalk?
1:32:09 “Can she come join us?” Nice! But why Thandie gotta block…talking ‘bout she 16 knowing her sister is 18 and just graduated from High School?

1:34: Kim Elise: Uhmmm…excuse me…. My children just got dropped out of the window. Do you mind taking your heart to heart across the hall to your own apartment?

1:37 I’ve come full circle… I like the poetry in this movie now. This one with Anika dancing is cool.

But why are they calling her down to identify the body as if she couldn’t just give them a name in the first place? They should have arrested him before he could get stabbed by another rape victim.

1:40 Damn Loretta… Frank played me too.

1:44:40 Don’t do it Loretta! Don’t let him take yo stuff again!

1:47:02 Who does she think she is…just opening up people house like she paying the rent in this sommbitch.

Kim Elise: Ain’t nobody thinking bout no plan

Kim Elise: So you broke into my apartment to tell me I killed my kids? Oh hell no!

1:50:52 oops

1:52:28 lol…. I was just about to type “So you doing the bending?” and Janet said it.

1:56: see…this monologue goes over well because it doesn’t actually sound like a poem. I don’t have a problem with him leaving the camera on Janet in this case because she delivers very well in this scene.

2:00 When did this turn into the Birthday scene in Waiting to Exhale. Speaking of which…how pissed off is Angela Bassett Tyler Perry asked Janet Jackson to play the role of Jo? And WTF is Kerry Washington fussing about. You got you a good man now…get over the college dude already.

2:07….look at that…they made themselves into a little rainbow.

2:08 Never heard this Nina Simone song before…but I like it.

So yeah… I like For Colored Girls. I’m glad they made this movie. I suppose this is Tyler Perry’s best contribution to black people yet. I liked Precious ok but this is a better adaptation overall, even though a few scenes didn’t work for me.

Writing – 8.7 The story was pretty well written to say the play came out in the 70’s. Tyler’s adaptation of it is sufficient.

Acting – 9.6 Especially for an ensemble cast this was very well acted. Everyone seemed to have their place and even though it was probably difficult to carry so much emotion into these roles that probably didn’t really fit with the screen they all did very well. Probably the best thing about this movie.

Directing – 7.5 Again…there are things I would have done differently. This might have been a better project for Tyler to take on in some years when he had a few more tricks up his sleeve behind the camera, but then again it’s not a bad effort.

Cinematography – 5.9 Nothing special here. The only thing to really work with was the colors and although they looked kind of cool I would have liked to have seen them even more pronounced. I mean you’re already going over the top trying to convince me all these women are whispering poems to themselves. Why not indulge? Make Yasmine’s yellow stand out even more.

Miscellaneous – 8.4 It gets most of these points on style just because it’s so much more interesting seeing movies about black people that require me to listen. Music was ok…but didn’t always move me.

Grade- 40.1/50 = B-

Friday, January 29, 2010

I Just Saw a Ghost

Three years ago I dreamed of a Saints-Colts Superbowl.
My two favorite teams over the last decade, my favorite football player ever, seeing an end to the Patriots Dynasty, and seeing an end to a losing dynasty. Not all of these wishful thoughts came to fruition. But I was still left with hope and optimism that the day wasn’t too far away. And although the years in between hacen’t exactly been easy, in retrospect it wasn’t that far away because just three short years later I am here on the cusp of the afore mentioned dream Superbowl. And it is almost everything I hoped it would be. I’ve read every article, watched every video clip, every NFL live “Cold Hard Fact Countdown.” The only thing that’s not absolutely magnificent about all of this is all the assholes constantly talking about the Vikings were the better team that day in combination with saying the turnovers, while opportunistic by the Saints Defense, were more Vikings mistakes than our good play. Of course I have a problem with both of those statements but I take solace in the hypocrisy and irrationality of it. You either were forced to give the ball away or you gave it away because you’re a pussy with a strong handshake and weak hands when being hit by Roman Harper. But if either of those is true you most certainly were not the better team that day. The Saints receivers had the decency to bobble the ball while trying to catch it instead of on the run afterwards. At any rate, I’m not getting my blood pressure all high talking about that because we’re in the game and they aren’t. I’ll let Shaneika handle my light work. But something occurred to me while replaying all of Sunday’s events in combination with hearing argument after argument why the Vikings should be representing the NFC. So the first thing I remembered was one of the commentators, in pre-game, saying if this game were played anywhere else he’d pick the Vikings. Maybe I have a chip on my shoulder (not maybe) but that kind of belittles the Saints. The Saints didn’t get Domefield throughout by not going out and meeting every challenge. They hyped up the Bills as a test, then the Eagles, then the Jets, then the Giants, then the Dolphins, then the Pats. Some even tried to throw the Falcons in there the first go round because they’re a divisional opponent. But we bust their ass too. But the clincher for us to get Domefield came because The Vikings couldn’t handle their own business and almost cost themselves the second seed when Jay Cutler and the Bears put on an aerial show on Monday Night Football. So in my mind I’m shouting back at the commentator “Nobody gives a shit where else the game COULD be played. That’s some woulda coulda bullshit that has no place in the Superdome.” So then when I calmed down from my imaginary tirade. I imagined if the game had been played in Minnesota. I rationalized to myself how and why the Saints would have won anyway. I imagined Hartley making that 40 yard kick in the Metrodome and instead of everyone rising to their feet, a deafening wave falling over the crowd. I was content with this image and that it would have been true as well had that been the case, and that revalidated the Saints being in the Superbowl for me again.
Now here’s the image that haunted me.
So I imagined after the game they would bring out all the stages and hoopla and interview the winners and such and I imagined them interviewing the Saints on going to the Superbowl and so forth and how that would have pissed off everyone in Minnesota. That led me to this. I was so optimistic about the Saints I did not for one second give a thought to the possibility of a Vikings vs _______ Superbowl. Not once was I in doubt that the Saints were the better team and would win that game. But then reflecting on how close the game was and how the Vikings were one big run (as opposed to an interception) from being in decent field goal range with little time left on the clock. That imagery in combination with the thoughts of us celebrating in the Metrodome brought me a vision of the Vikings celebrating their NFC championship on our field.
Now, because I had rationalized to myself at the beginning of this season that we were the best team and had a legitimate chance of going to the Superbowl, anything less would have been a disappointment. I would have surely been sluggish and unproductive if the Saints lost on Sunday (not that I’m not that anyway.) But I wasn’t at all prepared for what flashed in my mind. I’m usually pretty good with foresight and not getting the rug pulled from under me. I do a pretty good job of anticipating the worst case scenario. But I scared myself thinking about this after the fact because I realized I had not thought about it beforehand and how devastating it would have been to see it for the first time in real life with no mental preparation. I imagined a smiling half-shaved Favre holding up the trophy just like Drew Brees for all the Vikings fans at home. I imagined Zigy Wilf coming out of that box and giving a thumbs up to Prince. I imagined them interviewing anyone with pads and a purple jersey and me having to listen to a perspective on winning from Chester Taylor. And I imagined all those old feelings that weighed me down in the early Nineties when Montana used to bust our ass and then a decade later when Kurt Warner was doing it. All of those feelings of maybe we’re just not good enough, and never will be coming back after I thought I had purged them. Sitting watching Sidney Rice, a man for whom I have no affection, beaming in his proudest moment, while I am here at the furthest point from even an opportunity at optimism about my team. It was like having a flashback of a dead relative. Now don’t get me wrong, I want us to win the Superbowl, I’m not just happy to be here. But when I think about Vikings-Colts and 2 weeks of hype machine about Adrian Peterson and his feel good story, Goddamn am I just happy to be here.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

All I want to say is that, they don't really care about Mike

It’s July 7, 2009 today and Michael Jackson has been memorialized.

And I’m sad.

I’m not sad because of the passing of a legend, or more accurately the transcending of an Angel. I say Angel in the sense that his presence from birth to death was more than mortal for everyone who was blessed to see him perform. Not sad from grief either. In fact it oddly took me a few days and several music tributes for me to remember that in 1985 I cried after spending all night in front of the tv and he did not receive a single grammy. My mom explained to me later that he didn’t release any new music so there was nothing to win for. Of course I knew nothing of this because Michael’s music was always new and refreshing to me. But it wasn’t until that ephemeral, epiphany that I was able to feel anything more than disbelief.

Today I am sad for an altogether different reason. I watched something more than a man, who caused the simultaneous eruption of tears around the world that would make even Yoda pass out from that kind of disturbance in the force, serviced and remembered by the people who knew him LEAST…his friends and family. They followed one another trying to upstage the person before them like it was an audition. Granted I missed the early parts of the show so I didn’t see Stevie or Lionel Ritchie, but only Smokey Robinson, and maybe the King family, among them didn’t seem disingenuous, and that was cause Smokey spent half the eulogy talking about the song he had written and how amazed he was that a ten year old boy could perform it better than he could. Brooke Shields “choked back the tears” her whole time on stage while delivering her boring, and uninsightful epithets about her friendship with Mike. Jermaine tried to sneak in a fake gasp at the end of “Smile.” Usher fumbled his way through an unpopular Mike song that invoked emotion in neither the sung for nor the singer himself. And the very worst part of all came when they all huddled around the microphone like attention starved Jackals at the end of the show just so that Marlon could run overtime and leave everyone in limbo except for Michael’s little bratty daughter, who before her wonderfully touching moment where she exploded into a dry, sour, face that wouldn’t fool a single mom in America, who 2 minutes before her powerful words had to be corrected by aunt Janet to stop smacking on the gum, put down her purse and act like she was sad cause the whole world was watching. Then in the middle of her tantrum all 23 of the loving siblings grasped the mic to help the poor grief-stricken child. Or possibly to speak up on the child’s behalf if she was too moved to go on, and someone just had to relieve the precious little surrogate.

But her lack of attachment to her father neither surprises me nor serves to be illogical. Almost immediately after the brothers carried the body away ABC started promoting for their up-coming segment “Secrets of Michael Jackson” yet another attempt to exploit his personal life even in death. The true tragedy of his death is not that he died so young. The true tragedy is not that we have one less angel, because perhaps we don’t deserve that. The true tragedy is that everyone whoever came close to Mike knew he was an Angel from God but could see him as no more than a golden calf for their perverse greed. I have nothing but sympathy for Katherine Jackson, but the rest of them should all be waking in their sleep, as I write this, with a cold shiver of shame running down their backs. Maybe it’s not the Jackson’s faults as much as it is Joe. All of them probably perceived themselves as cash cows to him and each other since their birth and Joe’s vicarious dreams. And Mike, who had to martyr himself, first for his family, then the world, might not have been any different from Marlon if all the burden of being an Angel hadn’t been thrust on his capable, magnificent shoulders.

So, of course Joe Jackson is the worst of them all. The day following his son’s death he’s throwing winks and points at reporters. hand in hand with Al Sharpton (if I ever become famous and die tragically can the readers please impart to my parents I DO NOT want Al Sharpton to give a statement of any kind) making mention of his new record label, and telling people he couldn’t be better. I know we all grieve in different ways. But if you spend your entire life as a slave driver then you choose to grieve that way, you’re most likely just scum.

And then of course there’s me. The me who watched Moonwalker dozens of dozens of times. The me who loved Michael Jackson ballads only as much as I loved Michael’s pop songs. The me who would not trade my happiness from his music for the happiness Michael could have felt if he could have had a “regular” life and not been forced to be perfect every time he was in front of a camera since age five. Perfection drove him to insecurities leading to plastic surgery, and perfection that probably drove him to anxieties and insomnia over his return to stage and leading to his heart attack and untimely death. No I would not give back those years of my life and my own selfish happiness so that a little boy from Gary, Indiana could raise a family on a postman’s salary. I would not give back the romance of “Liberian Girl” The grooving fun of “Off the Wall” or the electric shockwave of the beat opening “Billie Jean” so that Mike could live in anonymity with dark skin, a big nose, and people that loved him for who he was and not for what he could do for them. And the Angel I like to believe Michael is probably wouldn’t trade it either, even if he didn’t have the opportunity to know how fulfilling being a regular person can be. Michael was a martyr but he was not Jesus, he was a performance prodigy, then genius, but he was not the God, Muse. Michael was an Angel on earth, but not Azazel. Michael was Midas. The people he loved, loved to bring him things and watch him do his magic. And when they weren’t being conniving with his gift they were being jealous of it. Everything he touched turned to gold and he couldn’t have lived a lonelier life because of it. But I wouldn’t trade one second of his lonely ass life for one minute of my very happy one.

I salute you Michael Jackson. You made, literally, billions of people’s lives better and all it cost was your own. And even though you could moonwalk and I can’t, the true testament to why you are a better man than me is because I would never have that courage. Someday I’ll be eulogized by people who loved me even though I wasn’t shit. And they’re going to talk about how great my life was because I was always happy. And even then in my grave I’ll still feel like “better me than you, Mike.” And you’ll probably be fine with that and not have hard feelings for me because you’re the world’s angel and you know it’s just human nature.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Kobe or Lebron...Not Kobe or Jordan

So my friend Dario, who forever puts himself at the forefront of controversy when it comes to basketball just to annoy me I have no doubt, got me riled up again. He decided to create an argument for Kobe being better than Jordan even though he doesn’t believe it himself. His argument in a nutshell was that; the game has changed; players as well as the rules, Jordan’s competition wasn’t up to par with the new generation of player and Jordan had more help with Scottie (I assume he’s only referring to the current championship run, cause not many will argue Scottie being better than Shaq.) I posted a comment at his invitation that turned into a blog. So now I get to share it with the world so people can stop this inane argument for once and for all.

Now while it’s true I’m not a fan of Kobe’s and I have always been very critical of him, I am an objective person when it comes to things I think about more than a fleeting whimsical thought. I cheered for Kobe this year and I’m definitely starting to like him more now than before. But I will say with my whole heart and soul he is not better than Jordan.

1. Think about this honestly because a lot of people who want to make a case for Kobe are only doing it because of his similarity to Jordan. But in all honesty, how many people think Kobe is better than Magic Johnson… or even Akeem Olajuwan? If there had never been a Jordan I think there would be an argument about who the best player ever is. Some people would still say Magic, some would say Bird, some would even say Kareem, some would say Kobe and everyone would have a reasonable argument. If you care to remember before Jordan started winning championships people would make arguments for a lot of players as best ever. And then what happened? Jordan shut all that dumb shit down. He decided he wasn't going to lose anymore (Winning 6 Finals MVP’s which may not ever be matched by anyone, regardless of how many rings Kobe ends up with) and negated all reasonable arguments against him as the best player ever. Even people who don't like Jordan have to admit he's the best ever. People who don't like Kobe will never have to do such a thing. A) because he has not made that same mark that Jordan did, B) because he's actually just not as good. So reason number one why Kobe is not better than Jordan. You can't say Kobe is the best ever when there's room for a reasonable argument that he's not even the best in his own current era, much less of all time. Where as Jordan is at the top of everyone’s list on a matter as subjective as this.

2. What is not taken into effect in considering the era of competition is what makes Jordan so very indomitable.
Will Power.
Now you can say whatever you want to about the skill level of athletes today as opposed to yeasteryear. But obviously people will be more skilled as the generations pass. Back in the day if you were a big man it was mandatory to have a back to the basket game. Now big men have to be able to make an 18 foot jumpshot to get the other big men away from the goal. Zydrunas Illgauskas has a better skill set than Patrick Ewing as far as his basketball I.Q. and what his rating would be on NBA Live in all the categories. But I don't think a single person in the world believes for a second he's a better player.

Because skills don't translate into wins....Will power and determination do.

Back when Jordan was playing, the determining factor for being an elite player was wanting to win. Jordan was up against it all the time with players, who he kept down, who wanted really badly to win. Before that he was being kept down by the Pistons and the Celtics, two teams with fierce leaders who wanted nothing more than to win every game of basketball they played, and made their team mates share that sentiment or find a spot on another roster. If Isaiah Thomas didn't like his team what do you think is more likely, he would demand a trade, or he would demand the front office to get better players? Or Bird, or Magic, Or Ewing, or Olajuwan, or any of these players who spent the majority of their career with one team? But nowadays everybody who feels like they can't win where they’re playing is looking to jump ship and get to a "contender." They want the quick fix. Find me a team that's ready to win now and I'll go contribute to that, as opposed to put a team around me and I will make them a champ. Kobe being the worst of all of them because he demanded that a championship team be broken up only to become unsatisfied with it and demand that another be structured in its place or be traded. But the point is these NBA players may have more skills they can go to individually but few have a burning will to win as the players in Jordan's era. Reggie Miller was the most clutch shooter ever. And the only year he ever got a sniff of a ring was when Jordan was long gone. Patrick Ewing made it to two NBA finals in spite of the Knicks being one of the best teams in the Eastern conference year in and year out for over a decade. Both of these were in non-Jordan years. The Pacers that took two games from the Lakers (Kobe & Shaq and much better role players) in the finals would have beaten this Lakers team 4 games to 1. This is what Jordan was up against just to get to the Finals. Then when he got there he had to deal with players like the afore mentioned Karl Malone who would, as Moses said, crack a mother******* skull for coming in the lane stupid, cause he wanted to win so bad. Who did Kobe have to go through? Deron Williams (formidable, but not in anyone's conversation as being a great winner since the Jazz are always a 7th seed first round exit) Louis Scola and Shane Battier, and then Carmello (Bernard King comparison from earlier) and Chauncey who is a legitimate winner. Only to get to the Finals and face.....Hedo Turkoglu. LOL!!! C'mon bruh...Hedo. This is the insurmountable gauntlet to championship glory? You gotta be kidding. Jordan was playing teams in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs that could beat the Magic. The only reason they made it to the Finals was because KG was hurt and Lebron's team stepped their games down for the first time all year (probably a coaching flaw, or maybe a lack of toughness from Lebron to his teammates who wanted to win for him, but weren't scared of his wrath if they lost.) Kobe is only one of three or four superstar players in the NBA right now with any legitimate will to win. Manu and Duncan are old and decaying, KG was hurt, Lebron took the high road and was a nice guy to his teammates instead of the asshole that Kobe and Jordan are. And then what else? A case can be made for Chauncey, D. Wade. That's about it. Kobe had to deal with only one of those factors this year. I'm getting a little long winded on this point. But I will digress now with this, Skill sets don't mean shit if losing doesn't hurt.
3. And this is probably my most definitive argument for this; the only reason that Kobe can exist is BECAUSE of Jordan. Kobe got a head start on basketball because he got to absorb all of Jordan's knowledge. Kobe is definitely a basketball prodigy. He has an understanding and feel for the game that is like Mozart on the piano. He was able to study Jordan and the game around Jordan and internalize that so well he was almost able to pick up where Jordan left off. That is admirable and almost miraculous. BUT, while exceptional it isn't transcending. The mark of a great player is that he has to raise the bar. Bill Russel did it. Wilt did it. In the 70's basketball was divided and no one was really doing it. Jerry West and Kareem were good, but they weren't doing anything Havilchek and Wilt didn't do before them. Oscar Robertson did it statistically, but I can't say how much impact it had because it didn't translate to too much winning. Then after the 70's Magic and Bird did it together. They revived the NBA. That's how you raise the bar. So with the NBA revived how can you possibly raise that bar?
Jordan did.
He raised the bar so high he made himself unequivocally the best ever. He changed the game and brought about the likes of a Kobe. His game was so good that even having watched an entire Vince Carter career, which was probably more fantastic than Dr J, We have to think of him as an underachiever because he's always gonna be stuck being compared to Jordan. Think about that for a second... how many people have come into the league and failed at basketball simply because they couldn't measure up to a Kobe comparison? But there are no Kobe comparisons. Is it because Kobe's too good and no one compares? No. It's because Kobe is still trying to live up to the Jordan comparison. He can't raise the bar past where Jordan got it even though he picked it up where Jordan left it. Kobe has not changed the game, and he probably wont. And while I do feel like he is better than Lebron right now. I also feel like Lebron has the ability to be better than Jordan because he can change the game of basketball as we know it. I mean a 6'8 270 lb truck playing the wing has already changed it somewhat. For an example let's take it out of basketball context. I earlier compared Kobe's basketball intuition to Mozart. This, while an accurate comparison in terms of capabilities, is inaccurate in terms of application. Mozart could interpret music and did something with it no one ever did before. Shakespeare did things with writing no one ever did before. These are game changers. Jordan is a game changer. Magic and Bird are game changers. Bill Russel? Game changer. Kobe simply listened to all the music Jordan composed and recycled it. No interesting spin on it, no re-interpretation. No unique vision. Just the same old tune spun back out. I'm not saying that it wouldn't have been cool to just have another Martin Luther King. That would be great. But you know what's even better...? Having a Barack Obama who takes the mantle left by MLK and RAISES THE BAR. That's a game changer.

Kobe is not Miles Davis, he's not Stanley Kubrik and he for damn sure ain't Michael Jordan.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Pass It On.....

Been kinda busy. I got a couple of gigs now. I'm writing a newsletter for a group of friends I'm working with. And I'm writing for this other nationally distributed magazine based out of Atlanta. I been meaning to post some of those things on here but none of the writing has gone into publication yet so I been a little bare on the home front. In the meantime there's this....

By the way.... If you're in the New Orleans area looking for a good time on Saturday night....


Monday, November 10, 2008


I’ve just coached the final playoff game for the best class of athletes we’ve had come into Lusher in about 4 years. We lost 6-0 in double overtime on a length of the field interception return for a touchdown. The defense, which I coach, has only allowed 13 points in the last 4 games and 2 overtimes; that’s a little over 3 points a game. But I’ve got my head banging against a steering wheel because I was the one who suggested to our offensive coach that their defense might not be suspecting a pass since we’ve run it down their throat all day. I didn’t think he would pass since we worked our way down to the one, but the resulting interception and touchdown leave me stinging because I know these guys had a legitimate chance of winning the championship in the next game. The entirety of the game I forget everything I’ve been agonizing over for the last ten months and in the fifteen minutes following the game I don’t even care who our next president is. Of course I come to my senses quickly thereafter when I realize I get most of these guys back for basketball, and track…and then 5 more years after this one. So let’s concentrate on what’s important for the next 8 years.
I’m sitting in my bed. I’ve come directly home after the game because I want to be with my family, anticipating an Obama win. It’s kind of like New Years except if New Years had never ever happened before and you only had your dreams as comparison. My mom tells me they’re going by her friend’s house for an election party. I agree to join them shortly. So far only Kentucky has been secured by McCain. And they are trying to get me on edge about Pennsylvania so that I watch some more of their MSNBC commercials. They can spare me the drama because I’m going to watch and savor every moment of black man for president I can. But of course I’m a little worried because this is literally the thing I most want in the world! And I have no control over making it happen. I have to sit and watch and hope that racist America isn’t as strong a presence as I have believed it is for the last 10 years. I’ve been down this road a time or two when my optimism turned against me and I felt abandoned and alone against the harsh oppression of “The Man.” Ok, I’m being a little dramatic with the oppression but not with the hopelessness. 8 years of Bush in office when everyone you congregate with can only agree on his ineptness is enough to make anyone think the world is conspiring against them. They finally get around to calling Pennsylvania for Obama, and 30 seconds of relief sink in then almost immediately out. How the hell do they know he’s going to win Pennsylvania if only 10 percent of the votes have been counted? I mean I guess these guys are smarter than me at this, but how can they know? I knew that the Lakers would get blown out in game 6 of the Finals,Photobucket and I said it as confidently as I could to anyone who would listen. But I didn’t actually know that. I just used what I knew about basketball, determination, the human will and my own wishful thinking. I could have been wrong. Are these guys calling states based on the same criteria or do they have something more tangible?
I’ve arrived at my mom’s friend’s house and a whole bunch of people who feel secure of victory are already talking over the T.V. I’m less interested in their banter so I find a T.V. in another room where I can concentrate on my prayers. More polls are closings and more states will be called in a few seconds. There is truly nothing like the excitement of having a horse in this race.
McCain strikes first winning Kansas and their 6 precious electoral votes. Obama smacks McCain and the traitors in Kansas, who harbored the man’s family and didn’t vote for him, when he wins New York which electorally counts for roughly about 5 Kansas’s. Michigan and Minnesota, Wisconsin all fall consecutively and Obama is on a roll. MSNBC announces the first toss up as North Dakota goes to McCain. That coupled with Wyoming and McCain matches the 6 votes he just got from Kansas. At this rate he’ll just need 4 more elections to reach 270. They announce Arizona is too close to call yet, and a nice feeling comes over me. They’re still talking about Florida and North Carolina, and Virginia. I rarely to never have interest in these states but now I’m regretting all the time I’ve neglected them, and hoping they don’t take it too personally.

The talking heads are doing their commentary thing. Of course they’re Obama Partisan so I’m eating up everything their saying. They bring T.D. Jakes back on, who I can’t say I care too much for, concerning his opinion. But he has the floor so I’ll listen. He starts muttering all these things I don’t want to hear about how “It’s anybody’s game, we’ve underestimated McCain, It’s not going to be a landslide.” Etc. When he’s interrupted….
Sir, we have some news, we have some very important news. Ohio has gone…to Obama.
You were saying T.D. Jakes? My heart stops a little and I get a warm feeling that creases my torso. They flash the picture of a smiling Obama and a blue Ohio.

I know it’s not over but a dagger has been wielded and is ready to puncture. I’m glad Bush won Ohio now. And I never ever thought I would feel that way. And it’s weird and cool to think for a second that God works in mysterious ways. Shortly after they announce Louisiana goes to McCain and my head slumps…the shame of a nation. But I know where New Orleans heart lies so I go back to my premature celebration.

Obama 207 McCain 142
I’m thinking to myself if Obama wins California then he probably has to lose everything else. Unlikely, but I’m still not ready to celebrate. These commentators seem to be because they’re already talking about it as if things are over. They’ve moved on to talking about how difficult Obama’s presidency will be, and how McCain went wrong. Do they know something I don’t? I’ve been flipping back and forth between MSNBC and FOX, hoping that Hannity, Bill or Limbaugh will have the decency to show their face and take this like men, even though they’ll surely be full of excuses and talk about what a poor decision America made. I think about Barack and his family. I try to imagine what’s in his heart right now. They’ve been talking about all the leg work he did in states he knew he wouldn’t carry because he was already planning ahead to his presidency. They’re talking about how he did it all without promising anything to anyone except the voters and how he can go in to the Presidency as his own man. I think about all my own skepticism of America and how one hand is always scratching the other’s back. And I am amazed at the possibility of a man embodying everything I hoped would change, but more importantly with the likelihood of being given position to do it. Is it really possible that the richest people in the world don’t actually run the country. Can regular people like me have a place here? I wonder if he’s as nervous as I am, or maybe he has the same geniuses who predict elections working for him and they’re telling him it’s mathematically impossible for him to lose. I’m brimming with hope and the kind of wonderment you hear about in fairytales. And my eyes well up with tears….
“It’s 11 o’clock now, and we can announce, Barack Obama is projected to be the next president of the United states.”
They flash a screen of America littered in red and blue and on the left hand side are three states that were a second ago grey now turned blue with the number 284 beaming back at me from the upper left hand corner. There is a world party as cameras flash all over the country at people of all ethnicities screaming at the top of their lungs. Some are crying and overcome with joy that rarely happens. Young black people who have never had any interest in anything political are hugging and kissing each other. A church in Atlanta explodes in dance and song as speakers blare out, being drowned by the deafening crowds chant “Ooooooh baby, here I am. Signed, Sealed, Delivered. I’m yours!

I take a moment to embrace the sincerity on these people’s faces, people personally invested in a man who will never know them individually, people I will never meet but am connected to with the deepest of my emotions. I keep hearing these guys talking about how this victory isn’t about Black America; it’s about all of America. And maybe that’s true for white people. But it’s about black America. I don’t give a shit what they say, they’re not taking this victory from us. I have no doubt that white people will be better off while Barack is president. But black people in America will be better of from now on because of it.

I’m racing home because the lady we were watching election coverage by has kicked us out. I’m listening to the beginning of the acceptance speech on the radio but I want to see it. So I’m driving like a mad man. Only this guy in front of me is driving crazier. I think to myself, at least they’ll have to stop him before me, but then I decide to pass him because I have a black president now and that makes me immune to jail anyway. I pull up to the house and run to the door and the car I was racing with pulls in the driveway behind me and I realize it was my dad. As I open the door I hear Barack’s voice blaring from his speakers without even turning to see him come in. I only have two memories of watching an election of any kind. The primary when Jesse Jackson lost a bid to be the democratic nominee, and When Mondale was defeated by Reagan. I was sitting with my parents on both occasions. Both times we were on the wrong side of victory. Both times feeling that sense of hopelessness I talked about earlier. By the time Bush Jr. Was being put in office I think I was too dispassionate to even watch elections anymore. But 2008 had renewed, for this family, an interest and investment with our election process and OUR America. I run to the T.V. and in the next room I hear my dad popping the champagne bottle as I listen to Barack speak to the world. He tells us: “it’s been a long time coming, but I know, change gon come” But he dumbs it down and where there was soul and passion leaves only the passion because most white folks probably can’t identify a Sam Cooke lyric. He tells us about a woman who in her youth didn’t even have the imagination to consider a black president since it wasn’t obvious that she would ever get to vote, or for that matter share water fountains with white folks or live out the reign of the KKK. He tells those who didn’t vote for him that he’s “Their president too, like it or not.” He doesn’t say the like it or not because he’s not an antagonistic person. But the 52 million of us that voted for him hear it. He speaks of those of us who’ve been forced into cynicism and skepticism about or government, and how we can feel good about ourselves now, and I wonder for a second if he’s been reading my blog. He stands tall atop the mountain Martin tried to climb before being pulled back down and to all the world speaks to us with the authority of a president, the reverence of a man taking on a task larger than himself, and the confidence of a leader with BILLIONS of followers simultaneously chanting his name as if Obama is a Latin root that means “Yes we can.”

And my heart fills up because I didn’t even realize how much I had missed Obama. In the last few weeks of his campaign he had somewhat muted the so called rhetoric, to avoid scaring away some of American’s delicate sensibilities towards our tribally derived, call and response, chants of hope. The words that endeared me most to Obama were now being spoken to and through me to everyone. And I thought of all the people who felt so passionately for this man. And all the ideals I assumed, when I was young, that one should feel for the man we call president came pouring out in me and reflected on the face of Americans from the streets of San Francisco, to Grant Park down south to Atlanta back up to Harlem. And their approval was mirrored across the Atlantic to Africa, right through Europe to China and then back again to America. And though in my youth I would put myself in place of secret service agents and wonder what motivated a man to have a job that might mean dying for another man. And I never saw the face of a man I would die for in any of these men that might have needed protection. For that matter I couldn’t even say I understood the motivations of servicemen and women who defended a country at the mandate of men mandating for personal gain. But on this night I looked on through glassy eyes at the only man not related to me I would die for, because I would be doing it for MY country which I have never believed more strongly is a place worth dying for. And even though I cheer for America in the Olympics, and even though I have no desire to live abroad, and even though I would rather eat a steak than escargot, for the first time ever I was proud to be an American. As Barack finished his speech I stood in the living room with my parents and sister And we toasted each other like it was New Year’s Eve. A fresh start, a new day, a new country. It’s not the first time the world has changed before our eyes. We watched planes crash into buildings. We watched our city swamp and burn. But all of those events, all of those martyrs, all of those souls passing to heaven did not happen for nothing. They did not happen so rich men could get richer, gouging gas prices and selling us war helicopters. They died and we suffered through it so we can reach this day when all of mankind is better off because we have someone like us, who feels that Government is not here to exploit a people but to serve and protect a people. And on this day we can look into the eyes of a man who speaks from his heart the same sentiments we feel in ours. His heart and ours speaks “Yes we can!” And so even though as he stated we are not celebrating because we won an election, but merely the chance to put things right that we have let go astray. We have already won because somewhere there is a little boy who can toss aside a Vibe magazine and pick up a Newsweek to find his identity. We have already won because the world now remembers that integrity and service are the kind of things that make leaders, and those who strive to be leaders will strive for those qualities. Because the world is already a better place when Joe Biden’s white, blond haired, grand kids can stand on a stage and hold hands and hug Barack’s nappy haired black kids in front of the whole world and Martin Luther King can stop rolling in his grave waiting for it. We have already won because Barack Obama is president. Photobucket

Michelle Obama/ Beau Biden 2020!!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

recognize game fool!

This is actually a comment I posted in my friend Michelle's blog. Since she never spares the confrontation on her front it usually necesitates thought provoking, REAL, responses. But since she liked it so much I decided to post it here for everyone else.

Let me get real here. Since the beginning of time, women have been playing a game that's rigged against them and wondering why they can't win. It's kind of humorous but kind of sad too. Humorous and sad because it's written so clearly for the world to see but women keep looking past it. Now I don't want to offend anyone but let's just look at the world from an objective perspective. What is the first story that happens in the bible? Adam and Eve. The first thing any Christian learns is that it's all the woman's fault. Look at the fairytales little girls are told when they are young. They all end with a girl's dreams coming true with submission to a man. Look at other cultures outside of the U.S. Women aren't even allowed to think about being anything but submissive. ALL women, of every culture are constantly being conditioned to believe in the very things that will hold them back in relationships. You all are taught to idealize and fantasize impractical things that contribute to your dependency on a man. The men you are conditioned to want are the same types that have been pulling the strings since the beginning. Men with status, men with money...basically men who make the rules. These men are just as likely to allow women to uncondition themselves to these detrimental ideals as White America is to give Black America the know how to empower themselves. So to answer your questions you have to change the game. If you keep playing the game the way it is you will always lose. Counting on chance or luck to end up with the right man is just fool's gold. The game is set up so that a man can win and reach his goals utilizing a large pool of women, contrary to the woman who can only reach her goals with one man (and quite frequently, this man is the objective of the majority of women) Do you see the glaring contradiction? 1 man has 100 options, while 100 women have to share one option. You can continue to work with the odds you are given and you will only make yourself crazy, or you have to adapt. Now This is obviously no easy task. How does one change a mindset they've had all their life? fortunately I'm not faced with that parcular dilemma so I can't say I have a proven method...just more theory. But I can say that for some of the social norms I've been conditioned in that I broke away from, it starts with realizing who it is making the rules to the game you're playing, and figuring out what it is they don't want you to know. I can't tell a woman how to forget that she's always idealized her wedding day, Photobucket or to forget her whole value as a human is based on her desire (desirability) to reproduce. But I can say that as long as a woman's self esteem is based in male concepts of desirability, women will be at man's whim.

As a footnote this picture was ironically taken at a wedding for a woman who's dreams did come true so to speak. Although, it wasn't the wedding she always dreamed of thanks to Gustav, as you can see it turned out to be a lovely ocassion. Congrats Jam!

Monday, September 08, 2008



Contrary to popular belief This does not please me...even though it makes things easier since I never draft Tom Brady on any of my fantasy teams. But it does validate the theory that God don't like ugly. Way to run up the score last year New England Patriots. time for a lil something God likes to call "retribution."

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Who dat say dey gon' beat Barack

I must admit I have election fever. This is an exciting time for me as we work our way down the wire just two months from Super Tuesday. This is totally new ground for me, all this election buzz and the attention I give to it. I’m still a cynic mind you. I still believe it’s mostly a bunch of bullshit. I still believe America will be invested in having an underclass. But I do believe that Barack is as good as they (politicians) come. Barack being elected president I think would only be rivaled by the Saints winning the Super Bowl. They are in fact akin to one another. This is the first time ever that my team has a legitimate chance to win. Much like with my love for the Saints, which have caused me to spend many a disinterested year ignoring football, My love for Barack is the first time I get to cheer for an underdog turned favorite. Of course like the Saints winning a couple of divisions, a playoff game here or there we’ve had some black mayors in New Orleans. A black governor or two sprinkled in History. But never have we stood at the top of the mountain. All the years I watched someone else’s team win superbowls, or for that matter didn’t watch like when the Steelers won in 05-06, for the most part left me disinterested. But if the Saints were to make it to the Superbowl, in that 60 minutes I’m sure I’ll be bartering limbs and appendages to the devil himself in exchange for first downs or defensive stops. When Clinton was in office it was kind of like the Colts finally winning. Certainly better than what had been reigning supreme the previous years, but still not quite close to home. Barack winning would be the first time I ever felt like I could identify patriotically outside of the Olympics. A feeling I’ve never had before, a feeling kind of like the Saints winning the Superbowl. That being said if Barrack lost I might have to renounce my citizenship. I don’t deal with racist white folks. I usually let them do their thing and I do mine. But this is different. Even the most ass ignorant motherfucker should be able to get over their hatred of black people to not want their country to suck so bad. Some people just have the most misguided of convictions though. They would rather us go down fighting with a white man at the helm than to make a better world and have a black man get the credit. I mean it’s remarkable how outclassed John McCain is by Obama. McCain has no clue. Sarah Palin might be the single most irresponsible decision a candidate for public office has ever made. And Sarah Palin should be ashamed of her own lack of integrity. I would never want someone so selfish making decisions for me. Now I’m not about to be anyone’s judge as far as her family situation is concerned. If her 17 year old is pregnant so be it. I am smart enough to know that has little effect on her ability to govern. It’s probably easier running a country than keeping a 17 year old’s legs shut. But I’m also smart enough to know that the rest of the world chooses to live in denial and take the holier than thou approach to things like that. I’m not agreeing with the masses, but if you know how the masses are going to react you should know better than to put yourself, your family, and for that matter your political party at stake, for the sake of making history in such a fashion you reduce the likelihood of that history ever repeating itself. If she had credentials, if she had experience, if she had know-how it would still be bad business to get her involved just to shake things up. But it just speaks to the general unpreparedness and total lack of understanding the Bush administration and its sequel has. It’s like if your star witness in a murder trial is blind in one eye and deaf both in ears, and you put them on the stand without even prepping them for court. And McCain wants to say she’s ready to be president (which sounds like a concession by him he might keel over at any minute.) This isn’t to say Obama’s selection of Biden doesn’t have a hint of shrewdness to it. But it’s not like Biden is a bad choice as Vice President. There’s no reason that this woman, who thinks it’s more important to have at risk pregnancies in her 40’s than to use birth control, or at least good judgement, can lead a country, especially leading one OUT of trouble. I truly can’t wait for the debates. It will be like if the Patriots and the Saints played and the Pats hadn’t practiced in weeks. Obama and Biden will pick them apart and I will enjoy every minute of the blowout, even when the third stringers get in the game and score a meaningless touchdown because the holes the line creates are too big not to run through. Obama wielding his words like a weapon and slicing through what’s left of McCain’s old ass
is just the set up I need to get me primed for a January where I watch an inauguration and a Superbowl I feel like I have a piece of.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Top ten reasons I want to Marry Michelle Obama

1. I want someone who believes in me the way she believes in her husband

2. We obviously have a lot in common since I believe in Barack almost as much as her.

3. I want my wife to still look good after 40

4. She sounds like she's the most articulate woman in the world.

5. I wouldn't have to worry about my daughter being a stripper.

6. I'd get to hang with Barack when he came to visit the girls.

7. I don't really need that many reasons. It's still 6 more than I can think of for marrying anyone else.


Sunday, August 03, 2008

Top 10 Fictional White People I wouldn't Mind Being if I had to be a Fictional White Person

I was listening to my IPOD today while cutting grass and a song from one of my favorite 80’s movies came to mind. So since most of the white characters in movies I like are based in 80’s movies I came up with this list. It was initially intended to be a 10 man list but apparently there are more fictional white men I would like to be than I thought. Since I’m not a mean person there were a lot of characters who didn’t make this list because they weren’t very nice people. That being said…
Honorable mention
ValmontPhotobucketHe couldn’t crack the top 20 because all of his intentions were pretty sinister. He proved in the end not to be such a terrible guy. He was just weak. But how can you not admire his body of work? And a good amount of time these women were aware of each other.
Han Solo/Indiana JonesPhotobucket I actually don’t want to be them because I never saw either of these characters get a break from fighting evil or whatever they were fighting. But I can only assume they lived pretty good lives in between all the fighting because of how cool they are.
Jim Halpert-The Office/Peter Petrelli- Heroes. I have a crush on Jim’s relationship with Pam. PhotobucketJim is obviously the coolest person on television and he gets to spend significant time with Dwight Schrute. I don’t think I’ll ever end up in an office but if I do I will be the Jim Halpert of that office. And Peter Petrelli Photobucketcould have cracked the list if Heroes hadn’t started sucking so bad in the second season. Ultimately both of these characters are too young in my mind to overtake any of the other guys. I’ve only been watching the Office for a year and Heroes for two, and one of those Heroes years I couldn’t even like Peter because he wasn’t doing any of the great stuff that makes him who he is.
20. Neo-MatrixPhotobucket
He was a pretty cool dude as far as what he could do and his cause was a decent one but he never really got any time for himself with his skill set after he took that pill. It’s kind of a waste of all those great powers if the only time you have them you’re either running from or fighting with Smiths.
19. Superman in Superman 3 Photobucket
I couldn’t take Superman from any of the other Superman’s because ultimately Zod and Lex Luther are much better characters. But in 3 he got to be evil Superman for a little bit, which he didn’t really do anything too terribly bad, but he did bang that chick who was the villain’s girl. So He at least got a break from being all goody two shoes plus he had lana and Lois Lane fighting over him when he was good superman and he got to hang with Richard Pryor circa “Brewster’s Millions.”
18. Chris (George Clooney) Solaris Photobucket
Maybe I just have a non-sexual attraction to George Clooney because about half of the stuff in this movie he was either pining over his dead wife, or trying to kill her again. But He had some ok moments in his flashbacks and ultimately he gets to live out the life he wanted which I could definitely live that life and be pretty ok with it. I think I may have over ranked this because I might rather be Evil Superman for half a movie than depressed Chris Kelvin for half.
17. Christian Bale as BatmanPhotobucket
Another tough decision. Especially since in the latest installment he shared time with the Joker, who was obviously the dominant screen presence of any villain so far this millennium. Ultimately I prefer Christian Bales Batman to the others because he’s darker therefore cooler, even though that darker seems to be because he’s deeper entrenched in his tragic flaws and quest to bring Justice to Gotham. But it’s hard passing up the chance to be Batman so I’ll go with the one with the black man making his toys for him.
16. Harris Telemacher (Steve Martin) L.A. Story Photobucket
He lives the most interesting life of someone who’s constantly bored and in that way I can identify well with him. He has cool friends and then friends he doesn’t like at all but gets to make fun of in great ways. Then he gets to bone a young Sarah Jessica Parker who is pretty much everything I want in a woman even now, in her portrayal of SAnDeE. I’m not sure if I would rather Be Harris when I get older or if I’d just rather have a friend just like him.
15. William Wallace-BraveheartPhotobucket
The fact that he is ranked higher than some of my favorite characters who got to live is a tribute to how strong a character he is. His life wasn’t fun most of the time but he did get to match up against the greatest villain ever and his efforts proved to be victorious which is all any hero can ask for. If you’re going to die in a movie then it better be the beautiful one that the people on this list who die have in common. And then in his death he ends up getting the girl which was all he ever cared about anyway. Inspire your country, vanquish your enemy and bone his daughter in law first, then meet up with your wife in the afterlife which you were ready to get to the whole time since her death. Not a bad way to go.
14. Tyler DurdenPhotobucket
Oh to have the super power of the loss of inhibition. I try to be my own Tyler Durden most of the time and do a reasonably good job at it, but it’s all mimicry of the original. I probably would have been Tyler but stayed in the Condo with all the Ikea furniture instead of living on Paper St. And I guess ultimately I don’t really feel like getting in fist fights every night. But I guess my Tyler Durden would have adapted to whatever Gian’s version of a loss of inhibition would amount to.
13. Johnny DangerouslyPhotobucket
He was mostly a spoof character but that worked because he got to be super cool and super funny. Along with Airplane this is the only spoof movie I can still watch and not get tired of. Besides it would be hard not to have a list of white guys I would want to be and leave off Michael Keaton who’s been some of my favorite Batmen and a host of other white guys I thought were pretty cool.
12. Zach Morris
If Zach wasn’t so misguided he would have been ranked in the top 5. Why he wasted all that time pining over Kelly Kapowski when he should have been trying to get with Lisa or Jesse I’ll never understand. I guess his boys were already messing with them so maybe it was some sense of loyalty but he probably should have been trying to Holla at Lisa since like 6th grade anyway. Then he had that other chick who worked at the resort or whatever and she was pretty hot. But Zach was one of the most easily Identifiable people of my generation since he was not too much older than me. He lived a life with little parent intrusion and did nothing but hang out and give Belding trouble.
11. Hutch-Starsky and HutchPhotobucket
I still want to be most of the characters Owen Wilson plays but this is my favorite. At some point in the movie he’s in between two girls and they all want to just get it on and he tells them “we shouldn’t even judge this.” How poignant and precise to facilitate that three way action. He’s so easy going with that dry wit in all of his movies, but I think this is the one that put it over the top for me.
10. Eugene Morris Jerome-Brighton Beach Memoirs/Biloxi Blues Photobucket
This is cool because I get to be two different guys version of the same character, both of which I loved the portrayal although I lean more towards Jonathan Silverman’s over Matthew Broderick’s. Satire is my favorite form of comedy and Eugene along with his mother were great cynics. Plus characters that get to talk directly to the screen always have an advantage with me.
9. Mike McD-RoundersPhotobucket
His superpower is playing poker. He had a great score to his movie and inspired a generation of young poker players into deviant, addictive life styles. Matt Damon will never have a cooler role even though Jason Bourne does some okay stuff he’ll never crack a top ten for James Bond types, And Will Hunting is as good a brooding loner as you can find but nobody really wants to live his life even though it would be pretty cool to be friends with him. But Mike McD has mood and style on his side in this well directed film, and he gets to be opposite Malkovich who overwhelms the movie in his 15 minutes of screentime as Teddy KGB.
8. Paul Muad’dib-Kyle Maclachlan-Dune Photobucket
He is the Kwisatz Haderach, which for those of you unfamiliar basically means he’s God on earth. His only drawback as I can see is he takes himself so seriously. But I guess the same can be said of me a lot of times so I dig that. Everyone in this movie says all kinds of cool shit constantly. And so he’s surrounded by people with these profound statements and he has his own great ones. “There is a Harkonnen among you…give this Harkonnen a blade.” Then in the end he ends up with Sean Young and Vriginia Madsen who along with Pheobe Cates are probably my three favorite white girls of my youth. And his explanation to Chani (young) for why he has to bone Irulan (Madsen) is that he has to keep the royal blood lines going, but even though he has to hit that for the sake of the universe he loves her…and she buys into it!
7. Ferris BeullerPhotobucket
I know a lot of people watching this are wondering how Ferris is ranked so low. Well the thing is Ferris, although he seems like a pretty cool guy and is dating Mia Sara, only had one really good day. What a day to have but I feel like most of the time he’s probably a pretty regular kid to the rest of the school and they were just now noticing him when they thought he was dying. I guess beyond this point he will probably ascend to greater popularity but maybe if they had had a series about him instead of Parker Lewis who wore crappy 90’ shirts and wasn’t nearly as cool, I might have had him a little higher. I never really found myself wanting to be Ferris, just wanting to do the things he did. But I could do them as myself. He still makes it to 7 which is pretty good and marks a double for Matthew Broderick which only two other people on this list can claim.
6. Jack Foley (Clooney) Out of SightPhotobucket
Another character strong enough to overcome his situation but because of it was held back slightly. He has what’s clearly the best love scene ever with J-lo when she was as fine as she ever was. And gets to hang out with Glen Michaels on occasion. His score and mood are pretty good walking music for a character I want to be, but maybe I really want to be Steven Soderbergh's brain. Jack Foley, had he left with Buddy and let Isaiah Washington let the monster out, would have been just fine with me but he went back and ultimately lands back in jail where he’s spent half his life although he gets teamed up with the right guy for that situation when it’s all said and done. If I could just take the Chris Kelvin from the bar scene in Solaris and the Foley from the night with J-Lo (since they’re the same character anyway) Then The Chris Kelvin at the end of Soalris who spends the rest of his life on the beach in Contact with his wife, and just give them a whole movie to work with, that would quickly vault him to 2nd on this list.
5. John Cusak- One Crazy Summer/Better off DeadPhotobucket
These are exactly the same character and the movies were only a year apart so It’s fair to combine them. Plus I really want John Cusak to crack my top 5 twice because his 80’s movies were my favorite under the radar 80’s movies. It was all about Cusak too. I could throw in his character from Stand By Me which was only on screen for 5 minutes who I got the impression was a pretty cool Cusak too. But the guy in Better Off Dead probably had my second favorite soundtrack from an 80’s movie combined with my favorite hybrid character. He got significant time with screen talking, and was thrown unwittingly into some pretty fun amazing circumstances while servicing that cute French chick, and cute blonde chick in Better off Dead, along with Demi Moore in One Cray Summer. I really want him to be higher but it’s hard to argue with the next 4 guys.
4. Trent (Vince Vaughn) from SwingersPhotobucket
I found Trent at just the right time to find him. Still in my teens but nearing adulthood, and still needing someone to bridge the two for me. Trent has such a great cast around him working in his favor, and if there’s any way I would ever want to recreate myself it would be the guy who doesn’t really care as long as his boy is good. His understanding of the game and control of tempo and situation are is some next level stuff that I’ve actually applied in real life. He commands the screen constantly but without overbearing it. He’s elusive to me as a writer because although I would love to write a character like Trent I’m afraid to spoil the image I have of him in my mind.
3. Donnie DarkoPhotobucket
And this one is sentimental. I mean he’s my favorite character from my favorite movie, how can I not have him top 3. I want to be in that movie, cause it has so much depth to me, I want to be Donnies’s friend to help him on his journey, I want to be Donnie and have his soundtrack. He separates himself from Wallace because Wallace’s sacrifice helps his countrymen but by the time he dies everyone he loves besides Amish and Steven are already dead. Donnie actually gets to save his mother, sister and Gretchen and connect with them fantastically so while doing it. He’s the youngest character with the most maturity out of all I would want to be.
2. Obi Wan KenobiPhotobucket
I guess I’m mostly thinking about the Ewan McGreggor version even though the last three Star Wars were the weakest. Among Jedis to be there’s him, Yoda which involves being an 800 year old green man, and Vader/Anakin. Obviously being a Jedi is the best thing in the world to be, so If you get to choose amongst the three greatest Jedi of all time he’s a pretty good choice. Anakin kind of blew it because he was so misguided. You’re boning Natalie Portman and your bitching because Yoda doesn’t want to make you president of the Jedi when you 20? Get over it pussy. Obi Wan was the only one who really had his head on straight through all the movies. And he had a little dry humor in him too. Plus he got to go from a cool younger guy to like a cool older dad type who was looking out for young Luke’s sissy ass. If Obi wan had spent more time trying to score instead of save the galaxy he might have been number 1.
1.Chris Knight (Val Kilmer)-Real GeniusPhotobucket
The 80’s song I was listening to was from this movie which had the best soundtrack of any 80’s movie ever. Chris Knight is never on anyone’s radar and the great thing about him is he wouldn’t care anyway. He is very content to live whatever life comes to him and make the best out of it in that space. He too just like Trent is concerned above all with his boy having a good time. He’s as Brilliant as Will Hunting without the physical and alcohol abuse in his past. He’s Zach Morris if you took him away from Bayside and gave him more moxy. He’s got humor and control, and he does what he wants when he wants. He’s like the king of the Nerds and even though he should be king of the cool kids it’s obvious he knows the cool kids are all fakers and t least the nerds have the courage to follow their passions instead of trying to be like everyone else. He’s Tyler Durden without all the mischief, but just enough mischief to keep it interesting. Chris Knight can be anything he wants to be and will bring anyone under his wing who needs to be there. With the exception of Cusak, and Knight I would probably rather be me with most of these people’s powers or situations. But When I saw Real Genius for the first time I felt like Mr Glass in Unbreakable when he finally knew his purpose.