Friday, June 26, 2009

Losing the King!!!

For the first time in my life, Al Sharpton said something and I found myself agreeing with:

'All these people are going to be writing these amazing things about him, like they were his best friend' he said 'but so many used him and broke his heart- Where were they yesterday?'

It really got me thinking, not about the people who chose to avoid him as he became a scary predator, but all those people along the way who made him who he became.....

One never wants to judge the living or the dead but there are nagging questions that perhaps we should ask ourselves:
- What family produces the Jacksons we see today?:

The most obvious body disatisfaction was seen in MJ, but the whole family has had some pretty messed up stuff done as well
* LaToya skin is ever lightening and she has had so many nose surgeries there is barely any nose left (think an older sadder Lil Kim)
*all the other sons have chemically straightened hair and have had procedures done too
*Janet has also had multiple nose jobs, a pair of ribs removed to narrow her waist, a boob job etc.

I guessed they started with the man/woman in the mirror but instead of just changing his ways, they changed his face too.

This may be nothing and this may be everything.

Family is where one learns a lot of their emotional intelligence- how to love and accept oneself-warts and all, and how to healthily love other people. When one looks at a whole clan and it is littered with emotional cripples one begins to wonder if it didnt all start from the very beginning-the family.

You may chose to say it is the stage dad and entering the world stage too young. Yet Joe Jackson is not the first nor will he be the last stage parent out there. Many a parent has taken it open themselves to shape the talents within their children. Those families have managed to produce some of the gems of our society without ruining the individuals themselves. Tiger Woods' father gave him his first golf club at 3, and recently when asked who he would like to be his dream partner in a golf game he mentioned his deceased father with tears in his eyes.
My point here is that for every Britney there is a Beyonce. For every MJ there is a Tiger

How are some families successful in producing well adjusted child stars where others fail?

Imagine then the life that this severely lonely, emotionally crippled, human being had to live. Too sensitive for his own good, without a healthy childhood to prepare him for not just a normal adulthood but an extraordinary one. An adulthood where he would be soooo famous that a little girl from Accra, Ghana would watch him every Sunday with her grandma after Sunday lunch.

And you know the entertainment industry is cut throat. You will be on the top one day and everyone will love you and cry tears of joy when they see you. Industry heads will all tell you what you want to hear. Everyone will say they want to be your friend.

This brings me to my next question.

Was there not a single friend who saw that everything was not okay? Was no one there to say 'yo my bro, perhaps you should get therapy, instead of another nose job'.....

All these 'friends' were there when the going was good, cos you know every one loves a winner, but underneath that fabulous winner was a lonely sad man whose best friends were a rat named Ben and a monkey named Bubbles.

Of course then his star begun to fade and with it all the friends. Where were you yesterday when MJ needed you?

The last thing I always wondered about were the parents of these little boys with whom MJ had his alleged engagements.

Maybe not the first parent, because we did not know then that MJ was a sick, sad freak. But what about the second and third and the fourth time? Was that $10,000,000 payout so attractive that you were willing for your child to hang out alone with Michael?
I am not a parent or a genius but I am pretty certain that I would not let my child hang with a 40 year old man who owns a children's amusement park and has been recorded on tape saying 'There is nothing wrong with little boys sleeping in my bed and sharing the love'
-You knew he was sick and you were there feeding his sickness.

Of course nothing said here is meant to exonerate him of his considerable sins. Irrespective of what happens in life, one must own ones decisions, even the King himself. But at least we can acknowledge that sometimes even when we cannot agree with an action we can understand why.

Rev. Al said something else that I think cuts to the heart of the matter-
'Michael's poor heart was broken long before it gave out today'. That may have been it. his broken heart could not keep his shell of a self going anymore. He was alone, used and abused by most of the people who he had trusted.
It says something about the tragedy of his life that the overwhelming sentiment of most is that maybe finally his poor tortured soul can be at peace. For some hell is a place on earth.

The legacy he leaves behind for me is so complicated.
His videos were the first music videos I saw- I remember watching 'Smooth Criminal' with my deceased grandma and trying to do the Michael lean. Gosh I was a STAN for him. Yet in his later years he became impossible to love. He was a freak trotted out every so often for countdowns on how not to do plastic surgery. He was allegedly a child molester. He was Whacko Jacko.

Yet through all that he was still MJ- the child prodigy.

The music speaks for itself. Smooth Criminal will always bring back happy memories. And we will continue to see him in the little MJs trotting around the world- the Ushers, and Breezys and JTs. This is the part of MJ that I will choose to remember.

Long Live the King of Pop!!!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Dear Angelina, I HATE YOU/ Please comb Zahara's hair

In recent months, I have found myself drifting from Team Jolie, to Team Aniston. I couldn’t understand why soooo many years later even though the facts of the entire affair had barely changed I was suddenly loving Aniston. But I finally had an epiphany when I saw a picture of Zahara wearing her hoodie over her head……OH HELLS NO. Angelina thinks she is slick, instead of learning how to keep Zahara from looking like Don King she has taken to covering her head as if somehow we wouldn’t notice. LADY, I am not buying it. Suddenly I understood why I was switching teams. The non-combing of Zahara’s hair is slowly making me LOATHE Angelina Jolie.
Now I know that there are worse things than a ratty unwashed mop of hair, like starving to death in a little village in some underdeveloped country….Oh wait, isn’t Zahara from….yeah, yeah yeah, I know, I know. In all honesty, I get that this is trivial. What matters is that they love her and raise her right. I just think that life as ‘Not-Shiloh’ is going to be harder than perhaps Zahara’s parents anticipate. She doesn’t need the added complication of being the Ugly DARKling (Emphasis mine). That is insight that perhaps her parents may be missing.
Eh, I have a feeling that I am stuck on Team Aniston, cos Ang is not about to start combing Zahara’s hair anytime soon. Maybe she can have Jada help her? Ah well a girl can always hope…….
P.S I also think that Jennifer Aniston has a better body and is aging better than the younger Jolie…..

To Mr. Perry with Love

The first day I saw House of Payne on TV, my heart just plummeted to the floor. This was clearly going to be quite a craptastic show. It was like a group of friends played ‘Spot the Stereotype’ then just for spits and giggles used the template of the game to make a TV show. There is the never-ending fat joke that is this family. They seem to wallow in their obesity instead of worrying about the laundry list of complications that can rise from their ‘larger than life’ existence. This charming nuclear unit breaks down into the oh-so-usual suspects. The fat loud-mouthed sassy Mom, with just the right balance of obnoxiousness and a lack of sex appeal to make the perfect modern day Mammie. There is the buffoon of a father who at least impresses by having a job and taking care of his responsibilities. But that is about the only good news I can think to offer about this show. The young people are broken down into the usual ‘Pretty Boy’, ‘Slut’, ‘Insert one dimensional character here’ .
Which of course brings me to the question of who is watching this unoriginal poorly executed show. This post came up because I had the misfortune of discovering that there is going to be a new season.. DANG IT. This show pulls enough ratings to be renewed, meanwhile Weeds was cancelled. On the one hand, I would like the people of color who think this stuff is funny to tell me what is so DAMN funny. I like racial/ethnic humor as well as the next person-Ray Ramano, Chris Rock, Seinfeld, Russell Peters- these are funny ways to do the whole ethnic shtick. This show not so much. And to the majorities who think this is funny, Why? I am assuming it is not the trite trafficking in stereotypes that tickles your fancies, so please let me in on it. Is it the fact that this family speaks in shouts and earthy grunts and odd little body spasms and dances? Really this show is like a bootleg, XL version of ‘My Wife and Kids’ without the funny.
Just so everyone is clear, this show gives about as much insight into the Black family as the Blue Collar comedy tour is a reflection of White people in the South. Basically it is all CRAP.
Of course now I have to feel bad because I am panning a Black enterprise, which employs Black actors, and goodness knows some of these people could use the paycheck. But I think we can do better. What was the difference between ‘Love and Basketball’ and ‘Soul Plane’? Both had all Black casts.(Just to help you answer this puzzle, here is a clue -one of the films starred Sanaa Lathan a graduate of Yale University Drama School, the other had Snoop Dogg, a graduate of the School of Marijuana.) Let’s not regress from the Cosbys to House of (Stereotypical) Pain, that is just sad.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What Not to Wear: 80s lady at work

For months now I have been harboring a secret fantasy. I have an imaginary project where I somehow become friends with the shoulder pad wearing, hairspray abusing lady who works at my hospital.

Now you may wonder why this has to be a fantasy. Well she doesnt work in my office and may not even work in my building but her situation is so desperate that out of the kindness of my heart I want to be her friend so I can help her...(Eat that Angelina fricking Jolie)

If that woman has stepped in a clothing store since 1983, I will eat my socks. Take today for instance. She had her hair done up in all its teased hairsprayed glory, with the big frizzy curls and the wierd split up bangs. She was wearing a wine red suit jacket, with shoulder pads, that was too tight. Just so it could match with the too-short black skirt, the suit jacket had a Black fungal looking vine on the shoulders and chest. The skirt like I mentioned was too short and too tight, with a slit up the side. To crown it off she had sheer whitish tights and her white running shoes.

Now you understand why this situation is so dire. I really desperately need to nominate this woman for 'What not to wear'. Unfortunately, the show doesnt take anonymous nominators. But if they did this is probably what I would say.

Dear Stacy and Clinton,

sometimes in life, one has to choose between what is right and what is necessary. Well this is saving the world from nuclear fall-out kind of necessary. The green house gases this woman emits every morning from her hair spray can alone is enough to show you that you would be doing the world a humanitarian favor if you took Ms. BIDMC 1983 under your wing and dragged her kicking and screaming to 2009.
I wish I had photographic evidence but you are going to have to trust me Stacy and Clinton, as much as I am trusting you.

Your sincerely,

a concerned citizen of the world.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Avoiding Vals Day Posts and strange men......

I have a loyal reader, who was kind of upset that I did not update over the weekend. I figured I owed her an explanation and an apology.

So here is the explanation.

I had to ask myself if i was going to write a celebration of love in all its forms- family, friendships, anything but romantic know avoiding the gaping whole by filling it with something if you know me you are probably like....'who the hell are you and where have you put my friend' is contrary to my nature to write uplifting stuff, it sucks but it just is. So I spared myself and you the fake sentimentality. Now dont get me wrong. I am all about loving families but Valentine's Day is not so much about that, that's what we have Mother's and Father's Days for.

On the other hand, I could write a lovely anti-Valentine about how much love hurts....sometimes literally (cue Rihanna....P.S. Anyone see a Halle Berry part 2 coming up) . Unfortunately, there are 2 topics even I cannot be too cynical about: Religion and Love. I believe too much in their intrinsic value and centrality to human living to take a mick out of it. I simply cannot wallow in all the many instances when it all goes so 'shitastically'* wrong.

Instead I am going to share two interesting experiences from the Valentine weekend.

I had the amazing (= extremely unhappy) experience of using the T alone on V-Day as I made my way from Brighton to Cambridge to meet up with friends. If there was an unhappy couple in Boston, they were all hiding in their caves in the bottom of the twilight zone. Every where I looked there were happy canoodling dressed up couples everywhere. But underneath all the love I noticed something kind of heartbreaking. There was only one, (yep uno, une....) couple that included a Black woman.

Yep. You hear the crazy stats about how like almost 50 % of Black women are never married and you think someone is making it up but then you commute on Vals Day and suddenly you are like....HOLY COW, this may actually be kinda true.

Now the interesting thing is Boston is not the Brownest city in America, and all the Brown people live in the same neighborhoods so for all I know all these brown people were having an orgy of love and togetherness in Roxbury and Dorchester but in my little slice of the Bean it was practically zilch....

Suddenly this is beginning to sound like the anti-Valentine blog I promised not to write, but never fear, my life would not be my own if a good dose of the absurd didn't always creep into my reality.

Fast forward past Saturday night to Sunday morning when I decide to get my regular dose of love in the Romance Novel section of Borders.
I am totally engrossed in my novel, when this guy says he wishes to have some female insight into a problem he has. We have a perfectly lovely conversation when he asks me to go out for a drink. This is where the eternal sunshine of the Janice mind comes into effect. Somehow I thought when he said drink he meant coffee. Imagine my surprise when we ended up at an Irish pub. Okay at this point in the story, I realise that I am obviously engaged in the dating ritual, which I had not signed up for at all. The full details of this event are best told in person, so for further deets contact me ;-)

That said, I learnt some interesting things that is worth sharing.

You know how you watch rom-coms and the guy actually asks the girl out for a drink? Well this is the first time something like that has ever happened to me. Not a 'freak danced on you at the club and now wants to drag you home kind-of event', or 'a friend of a friend of a friend', but an honest to goodness 'Would you like to go for a drink'...hmmmm

It was also wierd because I never expected that this question would be coming from an Iranian dude called Hossein....yep you heard me right, talk about differences.

In the end it was a sort of full circle weekend for me. Saturday spent feeling kinda crummy about being single and then Sunday spent realising that I had options not to be single but that I actually love being without the entaglements of relationships.

I guess this post is the Valentine to 'All my single ladies' . You have options, and being single is a great choice amongst those options....muah....

After this convoluted explanation, I am also going to add on the apology. Dear my one fan, sorry I haven't updated in a

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Flav, New York and other race embarassments...

There are certain people that have always irked me intensely. To be honest some individuals have strengthened my faith in God, because only a loving and accomodating individual could let Flava Flav, Paris Hilton and Bai Ling exist and even procreate. If Evolution theory were true, humankind would NEVER have been let down the evolutionary dead-end that are these individuals. I am personally anticipating the apocalypse if for no reason than that I am afraid of how much lower humanity will sink as time passes.......Jesus when are you coming? I am afraid of a world in which Paris Hilton is someone's mother....YIKES

Below is a list of my 'favorite' living-beings who make me squirm:

-Flava Flav- this crusty KNEE-gro single-handedly set back the civil rights movement at least 50 years. I understand that he had bills to pay but go from 'Fighting the Power' to selling out to the Power by acting the buffoon for the pleasure of his discerning viewership is just too much for me.....Plus I secretly hate him even more becuase he has disgusting hooves for feet.

-Ray J- he unleashed Kim Kardasian on us with that stupid home-made porno for which I will loathe him forever, and now he has replaced Flav as the Ghetto-bachelor. Apparently white women get lawyers and doctors, Black women get Ray J. All I want is a re-fund.

-Tiffany 'New York' Pollard- Ahhhh the train wreck that is this woman....I love that one of the few representations of Black femininity on TV is this woman. Who doesnt want a marginally attractive, loudmouthed witch to represent her ilk on TV?......I also love sarcasm

But dont worry, the turdification of culture cannot be hang only on hip-hop and Black people....there is enough racial shame to go well around

Casts of Rock of love and most of those VH1 and MTV shows: One word. STRIPPERS!!! STRIPPERS!!STRIPPERS!! Apparently my mother lied to me about what men want. Who knew they wanted women with larger chests than IQs or vocabulary to be the mothers of their unintelligent dynasties....DAMN. It is hard to watch these sad examples of humanity and not want to cry....

Paris Hilton- it is sad that an heiress from a longstanding legacy could be so classless.......and also so diseased. I am afraid to look at her without covering my eyes with a condom.

The list goes on and on and on......This will be a running conversation because until Jesus comes people will continue to sink lower than rock bottom, and I am going to have to judge them.....

Some stories DO NOT have a 2nd point of view....

I have been following the Chris Brown-Rihanna debacle very closely because I have voyeurisitic it is because it is everywhere.

What has surprised me (frankly you would think a cynic like me is past being surprised) is the vitriol levelled at Rihanna by some posters on the 'urban' blogs. They are suggesting that she somehow earned this or that we do not yet know the whole story so we should not condemn Chris Brown.
This got me thinking on possible scenarios that these apologists fathom makes this act okay

I offer for your viewing pleasure a few possibilities of my own

1) An elf was trying to attack Chris Brown's family jewels and in his attempt to shake off said elf he rammed the creature into Rihanna face multiple times and left her badly banged up.

2) A mugger held them up at gun point and threatened that if Chris Brown didn't bite and punch Rihanna in the face he would shoot them both and so to save their lives he did what he had to do....

You will notice something about these scenarios: They are very unlikely.

My point here is that there can be no real justification for an act of violence of this magnitude against a woman. Even if she 'started it' that to me is a null/void/moot point. Why? Because there is a VAST difference between, restraining some one, shaking someone, slapping someone( you are already pushing it buster) and having them 'accidently' walk into your fists and teeth.

What makes me mad is how quickly this story is beginning to thread the well-worn narrative path.

First the spin started as a Romeo and Juliet romantic tragedy. Then it slowly devolved into 'society' once again 'misjudging' an up-coming young Black man and attempting to ruin his success, now the girl (who by the way is the victim) has been co-opted into the story as some 'Desdemona' character who is aiding and abetting his fall. RIGHT.
Forget that he comitted a crime and should be punished. It is 'The Man' out to get him aided by this Benedict Arnold Black woman.

This event got me thinking in a larger context of how little justice women can expect when violent crimes, especially of a sexual nature are commited against us.

Remember when R.Kelly got into his scandal with the 14 yr old girl....I remember the sick feeling I had when I read people say that because the girl knew her way around a man's body, R. Kelly was not in the wrong.....WOW....She may have been a mere 14 and he was a fully grown 34, but somehow it became her fault that he had broken the law. In this case also, even though Rihanna is the one with the swollen face, it will be her fault. After all everyone knows some women are tempestous and hard to control so, he had to be a man and handle his business.....

What is sad is, like with all those other celebrity 'mistakes' and foibles, Chris Brown will eventually go on the Kobe Bryant/T.I. apology tour and end up doing just fine and everyone will forgive and forget like they tried to do for MJ multple times.....

Well in my small corner of the world this is still not okay. Yes, some stories have gray areas, BUT this one is pretty Black and White to me...or at least in this case 'black and blue'.