Tuesday, April 8, 2014

AB.com Tuesday Open Mic.

I'm on the road (again) so new postage might be infrequent. Bills gotta get paid and whatnot.

Anyways, here's your blank slate. Fill it with something.

Question: What's on your mind today? Drop some links, start a convo.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Is Jay-Z A Five Percenter?!? Of Course Not.

I'm no Jay-Z fan, much less a Jay-Z apologist. Real talk, while I don't deny the man's got some lyrical ability, I've always found his ascent to the top of the hip-hop food chain a little bewildering. He just sorta happened to be in the right place at the right time (RIP Biggie) and took the ball and ran with it. I may catch some flack for this, but I still don't get all the fuss about Reasonable Doubt. It was full of lazy beats (save "Brooklyn's Finest", which is just f*ckin' amazing) and lazy lyrics about hustlin' and sh*t Jay-Z would love to buy one day when he makes real money. Now, Jay-Z's got the real money, and has a new, readymade for Fox News controversy on his hands.
Black people are the fathers and mothers of civilization, white men are the devil, the Christian god is nothing more than a ghost and only a small percentage of people understand the world.

These are just some of the ­beliefs behind the bling — the gaudy Five Percent Nation ­medallions worn by Jay Z and Carmelo Anthony.

Last week, all eyes at the Barclays Center weren’t on Jay Z’s better half, BeyoncĂ© — but on the coaster-size golden pendant swinging from the rapper’s neck as the couple sat courtside. Asked once if the group’s symbol — an eight-pointed star with the number 7 in the middle — held any meaning for him, the rapper shrugged, “A little bit.”

So what exactly do Five Percenters believe?

The rationale is that the black man is God and created the universe, and is physically stronger and intellectually stronger and more righteous naturally,” says Michael Muhammad Knight, an author of two books on the radical group.

“Whiteness is weak and wicked and inferior — basically just an errant child who needs to be corrected.”

Some followers take exception to those who transform their flag into a fashion accessory.

“Jay Z is not an active member — no one has vouched for him” Saladin Allah, a representative of the group’s upstate region, told The Post. “It was always understood that you don’t wear the ­regalia if you don’t totally subscribe to the life.”
This story should end with that last paragraph. Anyone with common sense and with at least one cousin who dabbled with all that God Body sh*t in the mid 90's should know Jay-Z is just wearing the necklace because it looks sorta cool (which it does) not because he thinks white folks are the devil. Not the very same white folks he sided with in the Barney's controversy last year. Or the same white folks he sided with to evict black tentants via eminent domain to build a basketball arena in Brooklyn. Or the same white folks he's siding with the sell everything from shoes, to headphones, to lousy watered down domestic beer. So yeah, enough of that dumb sh*t. Jay-Z only worships one master. Hint: it's colored green.

But this being America and all, expect Conservatives to abandon the concept of critical thinking (and google) run with this one and somehow many it about Obama. Because America.

Seriously, Jigga Man, take that dumb sh*t off.

NYC Cops And Firemen Go To A Fight. A Hockey Match Breaks Out.

New York City's finest convened on Long Island for a charity hockey game this past weekend. The result... less than fine.
A large brawl broke out during an annual charity hockey match between New York City police and firefighters on Long Island.

Videos posted online show players from both teams clearing the bench and throwing punches while referees are seen trying to break up the fights. Hockey sticks and gloves are seen littered about the ice.

Newsday reports the fights began during the second period of the match at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale on Sunday as both teams were tied 3-3. The NYPD eventually won 8-5. The fire and police departments both declined to comment.

Although witnesses said fan loyalties were decidedly even during the game, a YouTube video of the thuggish display captured fans loudly chanting “PD sucks, PD sucks” during the brouhaha.

The brawl led to a 25-minute delay as equipment was picked up and refs made laundry lists of penalized and ejected players.

The cop in the stands said he’s been coming to this NYPD-FDNY game for 20 years and had never seen a bench-clearing, cop-firefighter brawl before.

Despite numerous black eyes and bruises, no players appeared to be seriously injured.
For a police force often criticized about use of excessive force, you'd think these guys would know how to better behave themselves. Nope.

I'm no cop-basher. Two of my good friends are cops here in the DC Area. Theirs is a difficult job, which is seldom appreciated. But come on, this sh*t right here is inexcusable. Grown men playing a glorified pickup game can't resist their own primal urges, even when the cause is for charity. Some are excusing this by noting that fights are commonplace in hockey, which is the dumbest cop-out I've ever heard. Bench clearing brawls occasionally happen in the NBA, but that wouldn't excuse a fight in a cops/firemen charity basketball game.

Let's just call this what it is, a bunch of jerks chanelling their inner Gretzkys and behaving like the very thugs they're supposed to be protecting the rest of us from.


Friday, April 4, 2014

AB.com Friday Open Mic.

No need to lie. I meant to put this up Monday, and just totally forgot. It's been that kinda week.

Anyways, here's your blank slate. Fill it with something.

Question: What's on your mind today? Drop some links, start a convo.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Woman Told To Leave Planet Fitness Because She's Too Fit.

Although I visit the gym as often as my schedule allows, I'm not by any means a "lunk". I'm simply a 40 year old man trying to stave off Father Time (and to a lesser degree, genetics) and live as fruitful and healthy a life as reasonable possible. I've got plenty of gripes with my gym, which have been discussed at length here already. But one thing I think we can all agree on is that certain people there really annoy you. And for such annoyances, a thing called "earbuds" was invented. Let the chuuuuch say amen.

That said, some people like their gym experience to be d-bag free, which has lead to the growth of such franchises as Curves (for plus-sized women) and Planet Fitness, for people who simply find the real gym too intimidating. Both business are thriving, and both do so by essentially legally discriminating against certain types of unsavory customers. Planet Fitness' entire appeal is based on it being a gym that's not really a gym. And that policy seems to have recently backfired spectacularly.
A Bay Area woman was asked to cover up while working out at a Richmond gym, after staff members say she was intimidating people with her toned body.

Tiffany Austin said she was excited to get back in shape after recovering from a recent car accident. After her doctor told her it was time to start walking more, she took a tour of the Planet Fitness Gym in Richmond. On Monday she officially joined the gym and was looking forward to her first workout – but that workout lasted a quick 15 minutes.

Austin said things started out well. She hopped on a treadmill, set the speed to slow, put her earbuds in and started walking. She started to notice others staring at her, and quickly grew self-conscious but she kept on walking. That is until a staff-member stopped her.

According to Austin that staff member said, "excuse me we've had some complaints you're intimidating people with your toned body. So can you put on a shirt?”

Austin was wearing a tank that showed her stomach and capri-pants and says she didn't see anything wrong with the outfit. She says she was only told not to wear a string tank because of the dress code policy at the gym.

She agreed to wear the shirt, but while the first staff member went to get it she says she was approached by another staff member who also took issue with her body. Austin says at that point she had enough; she asked for a manager - asked for her money back and left.

Planet Fitness boasts 5 million members and a policy that bans what they call “gymtimidation.” Its website says members can get in shape without being, "subjected to the hardcore look-at-me-attitude that exists in too many gyms."

The franchise goes even further and has a “lunk alarm” in every gym which sends off a siren if someone drops a weight or breathes too hard or shows any behavior that staff members consider "lunk-like".
Look, I get it. Some people didn't like seeing this seemingly fit woman walk around in clothes that revealed her assets, and blew the whistle on her. The attire was supposedly banned in the contract the lady signed, and she felt disrespected because she was asked to cover up and asked for a refund.

She isn't suing, she has moved on. Some have suggested the woman was a target of racial discrimination, but knowing a little bit about Richmond, CA (former home of Master P), I'm betting the women who called foul on her were also black. You'll note that the woman herself didn't mention race at all. So kill that noise.

Still, I can't help but wonder what sort of message this sends. Planet Fitness' own commercials make fun of "lunks", but also feature women who are attired just like the lady above (see background at 22 second mark). Are we as a society so weakminded that we can't even manage to do something to improve ourselves in the presense of others who have already improved themselves? Whatever happened to putting on earbuds and looking straight ahead? How hard is that?

I have a boatload of complaints with my gym (most of which center around the waaay too small locker room) but I can live with them. I'll ride that out before I give a dollar to Planet Fitness.

Unless, of course, they've got larger locker rooms.

Question: Does this story make any sense to you? Should Planet Fitness be allowed to legally discriminate against certain types of customers? Where do you work out?