Saturday, June 30, 2007

Stepha Henry : Still Missing, Still (Mostly) Invisible

I realize that this blog, whether intentionally or not, at times dissolves into an indictment of the media for not doing its' job. This can mean oversensationalizing some things while outright ignoring others. The strange case of Stepha Henry, is such an example, but I wouldn't be fair if I didn't acknowledge when the media DID get something right for a change.

A family's desperate search for a missing daughter and sister continued Saturday, with volunteers passing out flyers in the hunt for Stepha Henry.

It's been a little over a month since the 22-year-old New York student vanished from a nightclub in Sunrise. On Saturday night [ed note: July 30th], her story will be featured on the popular television show, "America's Most Wanted."

Henry was visiting family in South Florida when she vanished May 29. She was last seen at the Peppers Cafe in Sunrise.
Thankfully for the family, John Walsh and the fine folks at America's Most Wanted (which airs, oddly enough, on Fox) have picked up this story and we can only hope other media outlets will follow suit.

Say a prayer for the Henry family in this very difficult time.

Family's Desperate Search Continues [NBC6]

100 Strong!!!

Everybody's down with AvBro!!!

Well, I guess this is the first official milestone for this blog. Entry #100, and still going strong.

For those of you keeping score at home, that's an average of about 33 posts for each of the first 3 months of That, my friends is what you call prolific. I've definitely been on my grizzly, and thanks to ya'll, I'll stay at it as long as you hit me up.

Daily readership (hits) have gone through the roof recently, mostly due to Bobby Cutts (thanks alot homie), but also because you folks seem to dig what I'm saying here. So, I'll stay at it.

If you take a look at the top corner of this page, you'll see the FeedBlitz link for email blasts. Those of you too green or too lazy to subscribe via the RSS feed can now follow yours truly on the daily, with my latest drops delivered each morning directly to your inbox, just in time to enjoy with your Starbucks. What a way to start the day. Of course, you can then forward these on to friends, co-workers, and mortal enemies alike. I'm all about making things easy, ya' know.


While The World Was Watching Bobby Cutts...

...a deranged dude in Illinois offs his wife and 3 pre-teens, and we barely heard a peep.

Authorities on Saturday charged Christopher Vaughn, 32, with two murder counts per victim, saying he gunned down his family in their sport utility vehicle. The killings were discovered June 14 after Vaughn flagged down a motorist on a service road in Channahon, about 40 miles southwest of Chicago.

Vaughn, who works as a computer forensic adviser, had been shot in the thigh. His wife, Kimberly, 34, was shot once, while each of their children Abigayle, 12; Cassandra, 11; and Blake, 8 were shot twice. His handgun was found at the scene, authorities said.
So, if you're scoring at home, this cat shoots his wife and 3 kids twice each on a dusty backroad. Shoots himself in the thigh (with what was proven to be his own gun). Flags a ride and calls 411. Walks for a couple of weeks until the cops finally piece things together and arrest him just before the funeral.

Again, why isn't this one all over the cable news networks? Is it because the victims and perp are all white, and such a story doesn't go over well in middle America, because, hey, murdering your own kids is a more of a "black thing"? Is there more to the story, like the mysterious Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom murders, that causes news producers to back off? Who knows?

But one thing's for damn sure: you'll be hearing the name Bobby Cutts alot more than you'll be hearing the name Charles Vaughn.

What a country.

Quick shout to The HR @ for bringing this to my attention.

Man Charged With Killing Wife, 3 Kids [ABC News]
Vaughn loses bid to depose state cop [w/video - Chicago Tribune]

Friday, June 29, 2007

Isaiah Washington Must Read AvBro....

...or must be alot wiser about race and Hollywood than I once gave him (dis)credit for.

In a recent issue of Newsweek, Isaiah Washington let loose on Hollywood and said what AvBro stated so eloquently a month or so ago: he never had a real chance to regain his job after those infamous "slurs".

Washington, who initially used the epithet during an onset clash with a co-star, told Newsweek magazine that "someone heard the booming voice of a black man and got really scared and that was the beginning of the end for me."

He tried to make amends by expressing remorse and volunteering to enter a counseling program to understand how the confrontation got out of hand, he told Newsweek.

"My mistake was believing that I would get the support from my network and all of my cast mates across the board. My mistake was believing I could correct a wrong with honesty and sincerity," he said in the interview posted online Thursday.

"My mistake was thinking black people get second chances. I was wrong on all fronts," he said.

His unwillingness to act like a submissive black at work was part of the problem, Washington said. "Well, it didn't help me on the set that I was a black man who wasn't a mush-mouth Negro walking around with his head in his hands all the time. I didn't speak like I'd just left the plantation and that can be a problem for people sometime," he said.

"I had a person in human resources tell me after this thing played out that `some people' were afraid of me around the studio. I asked her why, because I'm a 6-foot-1, black man with dark skin and who doesn't go around saying `Yessah, massa sir' and `No sir, massa' to everyone?
I guess it's better late than nevar, but then again maybe Washington knew this was a setup (he wasn't getting that job back because of McDreamy, not the dude he actually slurred) all along, but had a mortgage to pay like the rest of us. Needing to keep the lights on and babies in private school does crazy things to the best of us, and sadly, his "dancin' for chicken" PSA's didn't help salvage his Day Job. Sadly, I think every black person, whether in Hollywood or just in corporate America, can relate with this on some level, big or small.

This of course means Isaiah, for spittin' the truth, will effectively be blackballed and sentenced to a life on the chicken circuit. Watch for him soon in the straight-to-DVD release "Romeo Must Die IIV" and in touring onstage in David Talbert's "Momma, Who The Hell Used All The Texas Pete?".

Keep your head up, Isaiah.

Isaiah Washington says Racism a Factor in Firing [AP]

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Bobby Cutts is a Pretty Sick Dude

The Story That Just Gets Worse took a turn for the worser today. It seems that in the hours after he allegedly killed his child's mother Jessie Davis, Canton police officer Bobby Cutts Jr. (aka. Orenthal: The Next Generation) took a pause for the cause and spent some time modifying his MySpace-ish dating website on

I don't watch enough episodes of CSI to pretend to understand the mind of an alleged killer, but if you go from committing a grizzly double homicide to trolling for Computer Love in a matter of hours, you're either a) completely cold-blooded, or b) innocent. Judging by the mountains of evidence now piling up against Cutts, I'd say the former is more likely.

I'm sure many of you, judging by your comments, are looking for me to eat crow after my original Guilty Until Innocent post that drew record numbers (because that's obviously what it's all about) over the weekend. Don't hold your breath. Again, when the original post was put out there, NO evidence was being disclosed to the public. My post's sole purpose was to challenge people to withhold their judgements until there WAS some evidence. Any evidence. There is plenty now, and we all can pretty much surmise that Mr. Cutts did it, "and I hope he burns in hell" (actually from A Time To Kill™).

On a related note, it seems that Cutts' first baby moms, a "model" named Nikki Giavasis, has dubious links not only to Cutts and NBA Baller/Master Impregnator Shawn Kemp, but also, fellow double murderer, and ex-pro-wrestler Chris Benoit. Damn, does that chick know how to pick em' or what?

On a mildly related note, I guess I have to lighten up on the previously despicable Nancy Graaaace. Seems she's about to become a mother of twins at the ripe age of 47. Maybe this will change her sensibilities somewhat, since parenthood tends to do that (or so they say). So, I'll back off. For 9 months at least.

Thankfully, there's always Was Suspect Looking For Dates When Pregnant Mom Was Killed? [Fox News]

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Is BET Actually Watchable for a Change?!?!?

I'm a notorious BET-Hater. Maybe it has something to do with my disdain of rap videos, which seems to be about the only programming the station has ever shown, outside of the outlandishly embarrassing Comic View. Maybe it has something to do with me being outside the MySpace demographic. Maybe I'm just old as hell. I haven't really watched the station with any regularity since the beautiful Madelyne Woods graced the stage of Video LP. Besides, with shows like Turn Up The Heat with G. Garvin, Singletary Says, and I Married a Baller, TV One is more my speed.

I've noticed (from afar, as in while scanning by on my Tivo guide) a shift in programming in recent months, however. Last season, Sunday morning's church-oriented talker Meet The Faith debuted, and it's actually pretty good. The now-defunct The Chop Up featured grown Teen Summitt alums doing a light hearted version of 20/20 style tele-journalism. The Vince Young reality show was surprisingly entertaining given the how boring Vince seems in real life. Even the dim-witted Keyshia Cole's reality show was ghetto, yet somehow enthralling.

There's still no real news shows, but I give The House That Bob Built credit for actually spending real money, and hiring, you know, actual staff, to create actual (gasp) original programming.

Seems like the Viacom merger is reaping more benefits, by way of more original programming this summer. I'm not incredibly intrigued by shows like Baldwin Hills (a black version of The OC), Take The Cake (a game show), or SOB (a DL Hughley hidden camera show), but I will admit that Hot Ghetto Mess seems like a guilty pleasure in the making.

Is it time for me to back off my criticism and become a mindless 106th and Park drone? As long as I'm grown and moderately intelligent, no. But I suppose the Viacom merger, despite practically eliminating any news content, has helped BET with an infusion of cash and professionalism.

Provided there's no SuperHead: The Series in the works, maybe I'll give BET another try.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Nobody Gives a @#*! About Black Women

Not that we didn't already know, but the media's fascination with missing white women only tends to underscore another point: it doesn't give a shit about black women.

To wit, in a search for yet more recent info about Stepha Henry, I only came across a several weeks old USA Today blog, bemoaning the fact that her story isn't being well covered. Blogger Mike Carney saved me the trouble of doing the saddening research:

Stepha Henry is still missing. But since yesterday, Google News has indexed just three stories that mention the 22-year-old black New Yorker who disappeared two weeks ago in Miami.

During the same period, the site found 525 stories that mentioned Kelsey Smith, the white girl who was kidnapped and killed in Kansas, and 6,581 news stories that mentioned "Paris Hilton," the celebrity who is famous for being famous. Even Natalee Holloway, the Alabama girl who went missing in Aruba two years ago, earned more mentions than Henry.
I should note that the blurb above was well before (June 12th) the Jessie Davis story grew legs, which pushed poor Stepha even further down the totem pole of public interest.

This, is of course sad, but nothing new. Similar developments of missing minority women have been raised during the media hailstorms of Natalee Holloway, Laci Peterson, and Elizabeth Smart. But in all cases, the focus was just as this USA Today blog: more about the cases being under reported than actually rectifying the issues by adequately reporting them. It's the consummate "treat the symptom, ignore the cause" type of knee-jerk journalism that perpetuates the feeling, valid or not, that major media outlets don't care about black women (word to Kanye), or black people in general.

Perhaps even more troubling is the fact that the few "black owned" media outlets that do exist haven't done any better of a job. BET actually has added a few somewhat credible "news" programs to their summer schedule, but since I never watch the channel, I couldn't tell you whether or not there was any coverage. TV One, which I frequent far more often, has been silent, which is pretty consistent with its' radio-based brethren, the music-centric Radio One (which I honestly don't listen to), and the talk-oriented Syndication One, which I practically have tuned in 24/7. If Cathy Hughes can't take a break from her celebrity butt-kissing (TV One on One) to help a missing sista, we've got trouble.

My favorite black web portal, doesn't have a single link to a Henry related story. Except for a small blurb on the BET site, which looked to have been an AP feed, this story has been practically non-existent in the BLACK-owned media.

How the hell can we be upset that Bill O'Reilly doesn't care about Shaniqua when our own folks don't give a shit either?

You still don't know about Stepha Henry ... [USA Today Blog]

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Bobby Cutts Has Some Explaining to Do

So, while AvgBro was O.O.T.Blog this weekend, it seems there was a huge break in the Jessie Davis story, and unfortunately it's a bad ending for all involved. Cutts has been arrested, Davis and baby are dead, and I have a bad feeling we'll be hearing about this story for some time to come.

Judging by the comments from my Guilty Until Innocent post the other day, many seem to think I somehow was wishing the Davis family bad, and that Cutts was totally innocent and needed to walk. If you re-read the post, I clearly stated that my beef was with the media for over-sensationalizing a story and jumping to conclusions. Some read the post as I wrote it, others chose to see what they wanted to, which I feel makes them no better than Nancy Graaace (intentionally misspelled).

One interesting observation I made in the way this whole thing was covered was the polarization of the parties providing commentary. Ex-judges, prosecutors, and forensic scientists were paraded through the cable news show circuit. Since there were no black folks providing commentary (par for the course when something isn't a "race" story, because of course that's the only thing we're experts at), I noticed that men tended to be less judgemental overall and plead for all facts to surface before passing judgement. The women universally wanted him scheduled for castration. Strange.

If Bobby Cutts did indeed do this, I hope he burns in hell (Pulp Fiction). But as history has shown, you have to allow the facts to be presented in a court of law. Only God and twelve other white men can be the judge of that.

My prayers are with the Davis family and that poor child who is without parents or a sibling. Save the vile, and judgements, for another time and another target.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Stepha Henry Needs A White Co-Signer

I honestly hadn't heard anything about missing 22-year old Stepha Henry until I was doing some research on the whole Davis/Cutts story.

This case was apparently getting some media attention, but as we all know, a missing white woman will trump a missing sista any day of the week.

Read more details below, and spread the word.

New Witness Comes Forward in Missing Woman’s Case [BET]

Bobby Cutts Jr.: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Despite the presence of a few white co-signers (Genarlow Wilson still needs one) Bobby Cutts Jr. finds himself already guilty in the court of public opinion.

In case you've been under a rock, or don't have cable, in North Canton, OH a white woman named Jessie Davis went missing last week. Her mother arrived at Davis' home after having not heard from her in days to find Jessie's young son hiding in his bedroom, and most of her belongings still in the house. There were some signs of the home being ransacked, and likely a struggle of some sort. Pools of bleach soaked her bedroom floor, and the bedspread and her cell phone were missing. Complicating matters further, Davis was only a few weeks away from her due date with a second child.
Cutts, who is black, is a Canton police officer and the father of Davis' 2 year old son Blake, who was present during the abduction. The child has been quoted as repeatedly saying "Mommy's in the rug", which could mean something (his mother was wrapped in the missing quilt) or nothing coming from a child his age. Earlier this week, a day-old baby girl was found on a doorstep not far from Canton, but there has yet to be any link established to this case. The press has yet to note any specific alibi for Cutts during the speculated time of abduction. He has claimed innocence, but his home has now been searched multiple times. Cutts shares a baby mama from a previous relationship with Shawn Kemp (yes, THAT Shawn Kemp). Since Cutts is still in the midst of an estranged marriage, plenty of signs point to the possibility that he was unhappy Davis was possibly pregnant with another child of his. He has said the child is "possibly" his, but he doesn't know for sure.

This being America, you know the equation.

Missing White Woman + Black Man W/O Alibi = Guilty!!!

Or at least that's what the cable news spinmeisters have thrown out there as this story has unfolded. Since I'm addicted to 24 hour news cycles myself, I've stayed up late watching that despicable human being known as Nancy Grace, the crotchety Larry King, the hypocritical Bill O'Reilly, the gelatinous Glenn Beck, and others skewer Cutts all week long. They question everything from why he hasn't assisted with the search for Davis (?), to a prior charge of domestic abuse, to his some questionable record as a police officer. It is truly a case of a man being assumed guilty, despite concrete evidence. The name Scott Peterson has been tossed around with reckless abandon. Only local reporters for the tiny Canton Repository have been evenhanded and non-assuming in their coverage of the case.

At 33 years old, I'm more than smart enough to look at a case and make a definitive call without automatically siding with "the black guy". But I can't lie, the media's rush to judgement on Cutts' involvement with Davis' abduction has me siding with him to some degree, if only because I want to see that disgusting pig Nancy Grace eat crow if Cutts happens to be found innocent.

I pray for the family of Jessie Davis, especially the adorable child (Blake) at the center of all this. I hope Davis and the baby, like Elizabeth Smart, turn up just a few exits down the road perfectly healthy, and with a good explanation.

But the media's rush to judgement in yet another intersection of race, sex, and murder has me a little pissed.

Ed Bradley is crying inside.

Who Is Bobby Cutts? [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Death of The Poor Man's Tivo

When Google announced the $1.65B acquisition of YouTube last year, you had to know it was definitely not because they wanted the rights to 400 random videos of kids doing the Harlem Shake. Like every other plan hatched by "The Man", I wondered exactly what a behemoth like Google would want with a company that had very little potential for ad revenue.

The Master Plan was just unveiled.

The popular user-generated video sharing site YouTube will begin testing video recognition technology in conjunction with partners Time Warner Inc. and The Walt Disney Co. The test will begin next month with hopes that the software, designed to recognize copyright content in videos, will be ready to roll out later this year, the company said.

The site's owner, Google Inc., has previously pledged to adopt some kind of solution to identify copyright content on its site so it can remove pirated content or negotiate with owners for a license. While much of YouTube's videos are homegrown, copyright content from such partners as CBS and NBC also attract viewers. Protecting those relationships is key for online video sites.

The importance of those relationships was highlighted in March when Viacom Inc. sued YouTube and Google for more than $1 billion in a federal complaint alleging YouTube hasn't done enough to prevent its users from posting thousands of copyright clips to the site.
I, like millions of others, use YouTube to catch up on all the stuff I miss on TV. Didn't see the Presidential debate? YouTube. Wanna see the highlights from Lebron's 48 pointer? YouTube. Kayne wildin' out on George Bush? YouTube. What was that whole "macacca" thing about? YouTube. Master P on Dancin' With The Stars? YouTube. That Shakira and Beyonce video? YouTube. Don Imus? You guessed it...

In a sense, YouTube, and similar sites like MetaCafe and DailyMotion, allow the average man to seldom, if ever miss a thing. It's essentially a Poor Man's Tivo.

You can't really appreciate the convenient of video sharing sites unless you remember the world pre-WWW. Back in the day when if you missed a seminal event, you were just doomed to be permanently out of the loop. I remember in the early 80's, New Edition performed for the first time on national TV on the long cancelled SNL knockoff, SCTV. Watching Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, Mike, and Ralph was a life altering experience for a pre-teen. Candy Girl gave young dudes like me new gear to rock and new moves to practice for the middle school dance. For any 70's Baby in the black community, this was akin to the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show. Even back then, Bobby Brown was already a badass, breaking from the routine, and singing off key with ad-libs. You would see the loose-cannon brilliance that would eventually make him the King of R&B, and butt of all jokes.

If you missed this landmark moment in Negro history, you were clueless that Monday at school. Everyone who saw it talked about it. Everyone who didn't wasn't in the know. For 5th graders, this is important stuff. Luckily, my parents were the first in our neighborhood with a Betamax, so we could re-live this episode over and over, for months until the tape finally broke.

If you missed such an event, you had to hope somebody had taped it, and that they had VHS, since Betamax was short lived and the tapes were tiny. If nobody you knew taped it, you were assed out since the concept of "reruns and block programming" that pervade cable and network TV today didn't fly back then.

Of course, most of this stuff is copywritten material, and there exists the Grand Hu$tle. The big networks don't want you watching on YouTube after the fact, because that equals fewer viewers, which equal less ad revenue. Ad revenue is the straw that stirs the drink when it comes to TV.

The Master Plan is to eventually ensure that every bit of copywritten content on YouTube is posted by the company (TV network, record label, movie studio) that owns it. If you can control this, you can also find ways of deriving revenue (ie: tie in some ads) from it, unlike the free-for-all that currently exists. This means that when you go to search for highlights from the MTV Movie Awards, you'll get one clip, not 30 of that Sarah Silverman vs Paris Hilton monologue, and it will probably contain an ad or a plug for another MTV show. All those cool circa-1990 music videos will disappear. You'll be left with probably little more than user created content like that infamous "Couch Humpin" video.

This isn't anywhere in the revealed plans, but anybody with a 3rd eye and a bit of Negro Intuition could tell you so.

Just remember where you heard about this Grand Hu$tle first.

YouTube to test video fingerprint tool [AP]

Fathers Day Gets No Respect

Yesterday was my first AverageFather'sDay, which is pretty cool in and of itself. With the best gift evar, AverageBaby, I couldn't have really asked for much more, but my wife and extended family made sure this was a memorable day. Even better, I finally got The Big Piece of Chicken. This was good, because if I were looking for some sort of significance from the rest of the world, I would surely feel assed out right now.

Here's why: because fathers get NO respect. None.

Mother's Day in the black community is like Christmas in May. At church, the women are greeted at the door with roses and chocolates. The praise and worship team sings that sappy Boys II Men number from Soul Food. Tears are shed. Negro Cuisine buffets nationwide are packed with diners. Gifts are exchanged. Radio stations take requests and air ode-to-my-Moms shout outs. Balloons float. Heck, even the dudes who hustle newspapers and donuts at the stoplights take the day off early. Everybody loves Mom.

Father's Day? Not so much.

Perhaps I didn't really notice this sorta thing in the past, because, well, I wasn't really paying attention. But now that I'm a father myself, and a darned good one if I must toot my own horn (and why shouldn't I?), it seems like Father's Day just doesn't carry the same cache.

Church was the basic service. There were no roses. The box of chocolates was non-existent. They did some hokey interpretive dance and made note of the day, but it was otherwise business as usual. The donut hustlers worked the corner with their usual sense of urgency. The parks were empty. Restaurant parking lots were barren. By all accounts, it was just another Sunday.

There are tons of reasons for this, not the least of which being the shortage of fathers in the black community. I'm not suggesting that things are as dire as those various statistics (men in jail, on the DL, babies born out of wedlock, etc.) indicate, but overall, it's fair to say that the black community as a whole doesn't place as high an emphasis on fathers as moms. Everybody has a mother, the truly fortunate have a dad as well. It is what it is.

I guess this just underscores the point of the holiday anyhow: to love and honor the fathers in your life. Watching that somewhat hokey interpretive dance in service yesterday, I thought about how much I missed my AverageDad, and how much it meant to me to have AverageBaby. I don't take fatherhood, or being a husband lightly. My family, at the end of the day, is all I have, and honestly, when you think about it, that's all you really need. So, forget what the world tells you about the crises of black fathers. Show appreciation for those around you and those to come.

And make sure they get The Big Piece of Chicken.

They All Look Alike To Me, Take 2

Apparently news outlets can't tell one middle aged black man from another. First the Conyers/Jefferson snafu, now this...

ABC News has apologized for mistakenly running a picture of former Washington Mayor Marion Barry when it was promoting a "World News" story about a man suing a dry cleaner for $54 million for losing his pants.

Both Roy L. Pearson, who filed the lawsuit, and Barry are black. Barry's picture ran for East Coast feeds Tuesday when Pearson's story was "teased" at the beginning of the news. It was corrected for later editions, spokeswoman Natalie Raabe said.

The mistake happened because both men happened to be in a Washington court that day and ABC got video of both, Raabe said. Barry was acquitted this week of drunken driving charges.
Roy Pearson is a piece of work, and a true example of "another story for another time". But confusing him, and the beleaguered Barry is just another example of the media's lack of awareness or sensitivity when it comes to people of color. These are two relatively harmless (cause it's not like Barry or Jefferson could possibly look any worse) examples, but what if this were a hit and run, or drive by shooting, and the wrong person's face was mistakenly flashed on the 6 o'clock news? The possibilities are endless. And frightening.

ABC and Fox News, please, get it together.

ABC apologizes for Marion Barry flub [AP]

Thursday, June 14, 2007

We Are All Witnesses...

...the question is, what exactly are we witnessing?

The further exposure of King James as a fraud?

A Spurs Sweep?

Another corny assed, overhyped Nike campaign?

The most boring NBA playoffs in decades will hopefully, mercifully end tonight if the Spurs manage to hold of Lebron and Co. The hype of King James has subsided bigtime after that 48 point masterpiece vs the Pistons. That's a distant memory now, and Lebron is getting acquainted with the bionic elbows of Bruce Bowen. So, my initial prediction of 4 games and out will probably hold true.

At least Lebron won't have to worry about missing Game 5 for non-baskebtall reasons anymore.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Return of The Gully One

Your favorite blogger's (that would be me) favorite blogger is finally back in form. And none too soon.

As a neophyte blogger, I'm a big fan of St. Louis based slacker/blog-master Byron "Bol" Crawford. The blogosphere didn't really interest me until I stumbled upon Jimi Izrael's brilliant, but seldom updated site a few years ago. Little of what was out there spoke specifically to my worldview, and thus, the thought of putting my own opinions in cyberspace was hardly of interest.

Jimi's seemingly retired nowadays, unless it's to pick a quick cyber battle with an ex-protege or chime in with some mild female bashing. But I'll give him credit for being the dude to introduce me to, the world's most dangerous website.

If you're not big on blogs, understanding the allure of will probably take some time. Crawford, or "Bol" for short, blogs daily, with biting criticism of rap music, black folks, and pop culture, not unlike yours truly. Known as a "shock blogger" along the lines of Matt Drudge, Bol (which he says is Swahili for "gully") routinely attacks celebrities and others in the blogosphere, having made a name for himself outing Kanye West for not writing Jesus Walks, and poor Lupe Fiasco for actually being a drug dealer in addition to being a conscious rapper. His style is a easy to follow mix of biting humor, sarcasm, satire, and homemade slang (nullus, evar, TI, weed carriers) that's enjoyable and often informing at the same time. While his scathing critiques of black women often seem on the verge of self-hatred, I'll give Bol lots of credit: he's sophomoric, but never boring. The website's been an extraordinary success, with tens of thousands of daily readers waiting to see who Bol is gonna hate on next.

A few months ago, however, the wheels fell off. Unless they're already public figures, most bloggers choose to remain semi-anonymous, because it's alot easier to be critical of others when your own identity is a secret. Crawford, has seemingly never cared about this, liberally disclosing his day job at Super K-Mart, his college alma mater, and even his parents names in print interviews. Crawford made a colossal mistake when he appeared, via "satellite" on the popular vlog (video blog), the Parker Report. Shy, overweight, and seemingly a little disturbed, seeing the man behind the scathing criticisms in the flesh unraveled quite a bit of mystery about himself. Readers and commenters alike began to turn the tables in poor Byron, openly questioning his sexuality, weight, and ability to criticize others.

Probably as a knee-jerk reaction, Crawford slightly adjusted his blogging style, realizing his credibilty had taken a hit of sorts. Most posts included an increased amount of self-deprecation about his lack of career, physique, and personal life. It was almost as if the man whose entire shtick was built on hating others was now asking for a little pity. The two aren't a good combination, and over time, Crawford's comments sections were usually filled with more personal attacks than replies about what he was blogging about. I sure can't quantify this, but I'd be willing to bet the kinder, gentler Bol saw a dip in his number of daily hits as a result. Personally, I didn't bother checking for him unless I saw something of interest in my RSS feed, which is more or less death for a person who makes his living off ad revenue.

Thankfully, somewhere along the way, Crawford saw the error of this approach and shifted gears. Over the past few weeks, we've witnessed a return of the Bol we all know and love (nullus), on his site, as well as his Bol's Saturday Night Workout column on XXL. The blogosphere is a far better place as a result.

Hopefully, Bol stays off cheesy vlogs and sticks to the go-hard (nullus) formula that made him popular in the first place.

Jimi Izrael would be proud.

Some Of Bol's Recent Gully Posts

Was Barack Obama ever on crack?

Lil' Cease is more teh ghey than Lil' Wayne

Wendy's chili sauce is that crack

Convenience stores selling crack pipes

Genarlow Wilson Needs A White Co-Signer

I'm admittedly a bit late to the party on Les Internetes' newest civil rights, cause celebre, Genarlow Wilson. I'd heard a bit about this story weeks ago, and it's parallels to the Marcus Dixon case a few years back.

Marcus Dixon, if you're unaware, was a Straight-A student and football star from Rome, Georgia headed to Vanderbilt University. Born to a drug addicted mother, he was being raised by a white family, but ended up in trouble when consensual sex with a 15 year old white girl on school grounds landed him in hot water. Since Dixon was technically an adult at age 18, and despite the fact that the girl said the act was consensual, the jury voted to convict him of misdemeanor statutory rape and aggravated child molestation. The latter carried a mandatory 10-year sentence with no hope of parole. The jurors hadn't been told about the sentencing guidelines, and several later said they believed they were agreeing to a very light charge that would allow Marcus to return home that afternoon. They were shocked when they heard the judge read the sentence. No teenager in Georgia history had been given this sentence under similar circumstances.

Dixon's case became a media hailstorm, culminating in his release from jail, a subsequent appearance on Oprah, and an upcoming movie deal. Anyone with half a brain knows that while Dixon's story was undoubtedly tainted through the lens of race, the subsequent media attention and his eventual release were certainly helped by the fact that he had been raised and vindicated by a white household.

Much like the curious phenomenon of The Black Co-Signer works in the world of Hip-Hop (Eminem/Dre, Bubba Sparks/Timbaland, Whyte Dawg/Three-6 Mafia), if you're a young person of color with legal woes, you better have some melanin deficient friends in high places (cause-greedy celebrity, media, wealthy benefactors who can assist with your legal fees) or your black ass is toast. If you doubt me, just Google the cases of Jessica Hall and Shaquanda Cotton, two black women who would still be in jail if not for critical media scrutiny.

Just this past weekend, the folks from Dateline NBC took a break from their outlandishly sensational To Catch a Predator series to do some actual journalism for a change. Their two hour primetime special Sunday night about Sterling Spann, a black man in South Carolina wrongly jailed was good enough to make me miss the first part of that Lebron/Spurs ass whipping (Sopranos, who?). Spann, a resident of tiny Clover, SC, spent 20 years in jail for the murder and raping of three elderly white women, we released, retried, tricked into taking a plea that would grant him immediate release, re jailed, and served another 3 years. After his story appeared on Dateline was evidence found that could eventually free him, but then his appeals were denied. This "cluster" goes on for years, until a rich couple of white-guilty New Englanders volunteered legal and financial support. After 3 more appeals, the guy finally got released. This was like 25 years of this guy's life erased for absolutely no reason. It was compelling TV, even if they part about the benefactors was merely presented as a footnote. Still, it proved my point: unless you've got Kobe Bryant lawyers, you better watch where you walk, guilt is presumed in this country if you're my complexion.

The thought of young Genarlow Wilson, sitting in a jail cell for nothing other than very bad judgement (videotaping) is scary. Even scarier is the thousands of other Genarlow's in prisons nationwide who don't have the benefit of a sympathetic journalist or a White Co-Signer.

May God be with him. MLK is crying, and praying, inside.

Genarlow Wilson waits in prison as his release is challenged [AJC]

Race Card!?!? Try Paying Your Damn Taxes!

Racism does exist. If you don't believe this, just scan the "Evil That Men Do" tag on the side of this page. There's plenty of evidence to back up my assertion, with more being compiled by the day. This country was built on racist and supremacy, it's as American as apple pie and Jessica Simpson.

Sometimes though, the "race card" needs to be rescinded from folks who don't know or can't relate to everyday struggles of the AverageBro. When this is played out of hand, it makes true injustices seem like the proverbial "crying of wolf". Such a case would be the strange saga of one Wesley Snipes vs the Internal Revenue Service.

Facing trial in a bizarre tax avoidance scheme, actor Wesley Snipes claims that prosecutors used race as a factor in deciding to charge him with failure to file six years worth of IRS returns. In a motion to dismiss an eight-count indictment filed last October, Snipes argues that he is the victim of selective prosecution. Snipes points to the fact that his two "Caucasian" co defendants, Douglas Rosile and Eddie Kahn, have not been charged with failure to file tax returns, though investigators are aware that Kahn did not file returns for six years and that it was "possible" Rosile did not file for two years.

Snipes, who was hit with six felonies for failing to file between 1999-2004, contends that the half-dozen counts were "impermissibly brought on the basis of Mr. Snipes' race" and should be "dismissed based on selective prosecution." Snipes, Rosile, and Kahn have been accused of attempting to defraud the government by claiming that the actor was immune to taxation based on the "861 argument." That claim, which has long been rejected by IRS officials, referred to a section of the federal tax code.
All together now.... KNEE-GROW PLEASE!!!

The IRS is all about green, not black or white. It's really simple: you don't pay what you owe, and there's a good chance they'll eventually come asking for what's theirs, plus interest.

This genius fails to file for six straight years, to the tune of $12M in arrears, and expects us to ride with him. He hasn't made a good movie since he played Flipper Purify in Jungle Fever. He made those ignorant and misguided comments about not dating black women. He allowed himself to sleepwalk through the godawful Blade: Trinity, stealing $10 from AverageBaby's college fund in the process.

Three Strikes, bruh. You're out.

We'll take that Race Card now. Your Ghetto Pass has long since been revoked.

MLK is crying inside.

Wesley Snipes Plays Race Card [The Smoking Gun]

Saturday, June 9, 2007

What You Say Bout' My Mama??!!?!

Watching old white dudes fight nevar, evar, gets old.

On Thursday, the last day of the Alabama Legislature’s annual session, Sen. Charles Bishop, R-Jasper, and Sen. Lowell Barron, D-Fyffe, were having an emotional exchange when Bishop hit Barron in the side of the head, knocking him over a desk. Senate security and other senators pulled Bishop away before another blow could be landed.
On thing that ticks me off a bit is the repeated accounts (on Fox News Channel) of the guys who helped break the fight up as "security". What 50 year old black man in a light gray suit would be "working security". As if it's not possible that he's a Senator himself.

Fair and Balanced. As always.

Tempers flare, fist flies on floor of Alabama Senate [CNN]

A Blunder of Olympic Sized Proportions

I remember a few years ago when the bids for the 2012 Summer Olympics were being submitted and DC was in consideration. Unlike the other US cities (NYC, SF) in the running, DC didn't have the facilities to make a serious bid. I mean, really, where the heck would the stadium have been built? It would have been a logistical nightmare with bad traffic, displaced residents, and probably LOTS of crime. While I was pretty stoked about the possibility of making a killing renting my townhouse out for 3 weeks (chi-ching!) and splitting town, I think everyone realized this was a long shot. NY ended up representing the US, and lost the worldwide competition to London.

I visited Great Britain a few years ago and was rather unimpressed. Unlike other Euro-cities like Rome and Paris, which are literally dripping with history and culture, London felt a bit too American. With the exception of Big Ben and of absolute worst food on the planet, you could have mistaken the place for Houston if you didn't know any better.

With just over 5 years to get ready, the Brits are surely plugging away at throwing up new facilities and infrastructure to avoid the embarrassment that Athens endured a few years ago.

While they're on track with the buildings, they gaffed on what should have been something very, very, simple. The Olympic logo.

Most logos are simple, incorporating the 5 ring design and some simple icon of local significance. The Brits, who can't even get a simple concept like Fish and French Fries right, of course had to blow this and create something that not only looks like a bad design for a hipster t-shirt, but also is causing a rash of epileptic seizures. And they paid $900k US for this? Main Man who designs those SHOOTERS shirts could have knocked this out for $500 and a VIP pass to H2O.

Maybe DC wasn't that bad an idea after all.

Olympics Logo Triggers Epilepsy [UK Sun]

Friday, June 8, 2007

They All Look Alike To Me...

John Conyers (D-Mich) and William Jefferson (D-Louis) are both old black men who serve in Congress. By all accounts, that's where the similarities end. At least for our "Fair and Balanced" friends at Fox News Channel.

Fox News Channel issued a second on-air apology Wednesday for mistakenly running tape of a different congressman while reporting on the indictment of Rep. William J. Jefferson on bribery charges.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers of Michigan, whose picture aired while Fox anchors talked Monday about Jefferson's indictment, had been unhappy with Fox's apology Tuesday. Both congressmen are black.

Conyers was reportedly upset that Fox's first apology was nonspecific and didn't mention he was the victim.
Fair and Balanced, huh? Riiiiiight.

We're Sorry, Again [AP]

Hate To Say I Told You So...

But of course I did.

Looks like the fine folks at ABC gave Isaiah Washington his walking papers from Grey's Anatomy.

I wonder if he feels like those demeaning PSA's were worth the trouble now.

That's Hot.

Well, seems like the justicial system sometimes actually gets it right. Parasite Hilton was hauled back to jail to serve out the rest of her 45 day sentence this afternoon in LA LA Land.

Thankfully, this means LA won't riot when Eve inevitably gets the same sentence.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Channelling Your Inner Nigga

[Disclaimer: This post contains repeated use of the word Nigga. Not the "N" word. Nigga. If you're squeamish about this sorta thing, click here. Otherwise, I shall, proceed, and continue...]

Folks who know me personally know I'm a pretty even keeled dude.

I don't have a jail record. I've never owned a gun. I can't say I've ever technically called a woman a bitch (not to her face at least, and dammit, if she ain't come to the club to dance, then what the hell she come here for?). I have only one AverageBaby, whom I had after marrying AverageSis. There is no AverageBabyMoms. I live in the burbs. I grew up in the burbs. I tried weed once, but didn't inhale. I have white neighbors. Not only do I talk to them, I actually like them. They read this blog. They're down assed folks. I rarely drink. My idea of a great weekend in chilltime with the family. I rarely curse, except on this blog of course. I vote. AverageSis usually knows my whereabouts. I listen to talk radio and actually use my library card. I'd have trouble finding a street corner in my neighborhood, so it's fair to say that I don't frequent them often. I spend 4 nights a week at church on average. I work for The Man, and personally, I like the size of the checks he provides. There is no Grand Hustle. There are no secrets in the closet. I am definitely not a P.I.M.P. It is 2007, and I still can't quite figure out The Harlem Shake or The Chicken Noodle Soup.

To the uninitiated, this educated black man is a square.

Personally, I don't really have a problem being labeled that. I prefer terms like "responsible", "God-fearing", and "husband/father", but call me what you wanna. No biggie.

One thing you'd probably NOT classify me as is a "nigga".

Most of my general behavior is decidedly anti-Niggerish. As Carter G. Woodson would say "my education makes this necessary". As my Daddy used to say "you ain't ruinin' my good name". I wasn't raised by wolves, I was raised by two sensible parents who gave me just enough rope to explore the world without quite hanging myself. Even though AverageDad is no longer with us, I try and uphold what he told me in my everyday life.

So, if you're using Chris Rock's brilliant Black Folks vs Niggas routine to categorize me, I would inevitably be described as the former.

Sometimes though, situations dictate that you summon that Nigga inside you. My boy C back in college used to refer to this as "callin' Nigga". My Pastor (seriously, my church is a little different) the other day said sometimes you have to "bring your nigga side out". The more I think about this, "channelling your inner nigga" is an essential survival skill for a black man in America, just as crucial as code switching, functional literacy, and a wicked crossover dribble. Real Talk.

Yesterday was a classic example of when "Going Nigga" was necessary. I've been nursing an allergy related cold all week, and my voice was damn near non-existent. I had a huge presentation at the Day Job today, and needed some meds to get me back on track. So, I stop at the local Giant grocery to grab some lemons, ginger, and other stuff that AverageSis uses to brew up an extra gully home remedy.

I copped my items in less than a minute and headed to checkout. But wouldn't you know, it's 4pm, the store is crowded, all of the self-check registers are out of commission, and there are TWO REGISTERS OPEN. The lines are like 12-15 deep each, even the '10 Items or Less' Express lane.

Of course, a cursory glance at the customer service desk shows 4-5 cashiers huddled around a copy of Vibe magazine, looking at who knows what. Even the cat who wears the Manager smock was just standing around. I'm standing at position 13 of 15 in a line full of Senior citizens. A quick 3 and Out trip to the store is beginning to look like a 20 minutes of my life I will nevar, evar get back. I get agitated.

Ruh Roh.

It's time to Channel my Inner Nigga!!!!

"Would one of ya'll get off your asses and open a GD Register!!!!"

Yes, I said these exact words. And nothing happened. Then it suddenly hit me.

I have laryngitis.

Magically, even though my words weren't audible to anyone other than the elderly woman in front of me, three of the cashiers managed to pry themselves away from the magazine long enough to open their registers. Within 2 minutes, I was checked out, in my car, and on my way to a rejuvenated voice and solid footing with The Day Job.

Channelling your Inner Nigga works. Try it in controlled doses sometime.

Just don't live it. There is a such thing as too much.

Pardon Me, Please....Quickly.

Okay, so Scooter Libby finally gets sentenced to a 2 1/2 year bid for outing CIA operative Valerie Plame. 30 months isn't a whole lot of time, considering the fact that he put someone's life in direct danger, but then again, that's par for the course with Bush and Co. Scooter, like all the loyal fallen soldiers that proceeded him (Powell, Gonzalez, Rumsfeld) wouldn't snitch and tell everybody what we already know (Dick Cheney orchestrated this whole thing as revenge on Plame's husband), and now it's gonna cost him.

With just over a year left in office, you can't help but wonder if Bush will shorten his boy's sentence, Paris Hilton style on the way out of office next December. This isn't anything new, presidents have been giving their buddies the ceremonial Get Outta Jail Free Card since the beginning of time. Clinton did it of course, pardoning the dispicable Marc Rich, among others, but negroes hardly noticed because some wise staffer who read Emerge Magazine told him to Free Kemba Smith. This was of course, noble, albeit a few years late, but let's not let revisionist history/selective amnesia paint Slick Willie as some kinda honorary Negro. Black President my ass.

I can't see a dude named Scooter lasting very long on the yard, not even in one of those country club type prisons where they serve cheesecake and you get to bring your own clothes.

Still, Bush has been known to throw his lackeys under the bus once they're no longer useful. Harriet Miers is back to bagging groceries at Safeway. Rod Paige has disappeared from the planet. Alberto Gonzales' days are numbered.

This all comes down to perception. If Bush and Co. run the numbers and see Scooter as a liability, he'd better master the art of soap holding. Then again, the Bush administration's approval rating is a negative 125, and they've got Linsday Lohan type lawyers. They could easily bite the bullet for their homeboy and pardon him right off the bat.

PoliTricks as Usual. Man, and they wonder why more people don't vote.

In the West Wing, Pardon Is A Topic Too Sensitive to Mention [WaPost]

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Sam Leccima Saga Continues...

The fallout of the Sam Leccima bust is all over Les Internetes.

Fox5 Atlanta I-Team: Flip This House Pt 1
Fox5 Atlanta I-Team: Flip This House Pt 2

Thank you, Sam Leccima for giving Black Bidnesses worldwide a huge black eye.

Earl Graves is crying inside.

The LeBron James Dilemma

Unless you've been under a rock or smokin' some of em', you're probably aware that former teen phenom LeBron James has his Cleveland Cavs in the NBA Finals, beginning tonight in San Antonio vs the much favored Spurs. I'm not the biggest Bron Bron fan for obvious reasons (beat my team two straight years in first round), but even I got caught up in the hoopla of that 48 point outburst/instant classic last week. I'm pretty sure the Cavs are about to get reamed in 4 straight, but I'll be Tivo'ing the Finals. Since this will be a ratings bonanza, I'm sure David Stern is laughin' straight to the bank with this. [Ha Ha Ha Haaaaaaa]

It's every dude's dream from childhood to make the NBA Finals, and be just 4 games away from being immortalized as a champion. But LeBron has a very real problem standing in the way, I am I ain't just talkin' about the bionic elbows of Bruce Bowen.

James' girlfriend, Savannah Brinson, is due to deliver the couple's second son on June 17, the night of a potential Game 5 in Cleveland.

When Brinson gave birth to LeBron James Jr. in October 2004, James left training camp in Columbus for several days. That time, Brinson was about a week late giving birth. If she's early this time and the Cavs are playing, there's a chance it could happen while the team is 1,000 miles away in San Antonio.

According to True Hoop, LeBron has already told ESPN that he's not going to miss any of the games for his kid's birth.
This is the ultimate lose-lose situation. If you play the game, your baby moms will hate you forever (ok, maybe not) and the kid will always know you put your job, no matter how glamorous, in front of him. Talk about priorities. On the other hand, AverageJoeTheSportsFan will hate you forever if you bail on the team and lose the series as a result. Again, you lose, you lose.

I don't envy LeBron a bit, because I can't say what I'd do in that same situation. Watching AverageBaby enter this world was magical, damn near other-worldly. I was the first person he looked at, the first to hold him, the first to get slobbered on. You can't possibly recreate that first 20 minutes, and I couldn't imagine willingly missing this. Conversely, reaching the NBA Finals is every man's dream. Many players never make it there (the very sad and old Chris Webber), others get there early in their careers (the even sadder, old, and retired Penny Hardaway) and never return. Few things are promised in sports.

Hopefully the baby (as they tend to do) will arrive off schedule and this won't be an issue. Or, they could always induce labor, but that's pretty selfish when you think about it.

Chances are this will all be irrelevant in the end, and Lebron will be right there on June 17th. Cause this series won't make it to a Game Five.

But seriously AverageReader, what would you do in this situation? Drop a comment.

Lebron Won't Miss NBA Finals For Child's Birth [AOL NBA Fanhouse]

The Dumbest Politician Evar!!?!?

When Congressman William Jefferson (Dem - LA) weathered the post-Katrina allegations of impropriety and got himself somehow re-elected last year, I figured this dude had pulled off a Teflon Don Gangsta Move of Bush-size proportions. Sadly for Mr. Jefferson, as many a brotha has found out over the years, the Feds might take their time, but eventually they will track your black ass down, and you will pay. Dearly.

Federal authorities accused Rep. William J. Jefferson yesterday of using his congressional office and staff to enrich himself and his family, charging the Louisiana Democrat with offering and accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to support business ventures in the United States and several West African nations.

The 16-count indictment also accused Jefferson, a former co-chairman of congressional caucuses on Nigeria and African trade, of racketeering, money laundering and obstruction of justice. The indictment was handed up by a federal grand jury and capped a long and tumultuous FBI investigation

The indictment said that at one point, Jefferson drove in his Lincoln Town Car through the streets of Arlington with $100,000 in marked FBI bills meant for a top Nigerian official whose assistance Jefferson needed for a business venture. The lawmaker allegedly stowed $90,000 in his home freezer, wrapped in aluminum foil and concealed inside frozen-food containers.

The funds would be a down payment, Jefferson is accused of explaining to an associate, to ensure that "the little hook is in there."

About all I can add is, "don't drop the soap, Homie."

Seriously, how dumb do you have to be to not only pilfer the money from the Africans in cash, but actually think it's a good idea to hide it in your freezer in aluminum foil and Tupperware. Isn't this a violation of one of the Ten Crack Commandments?

Joseph Rainey is crying inside.

Lawmaker Indicted on Corruption Charges [WashPost]

Monday, June 4, 2007

A Dish of Diabetes With a Side of Lactose Intolerance

Nearing my mid-30's, of course I try and keep myself healthy. AverageBro has never been a health food nut, and I ain't built like a male model, but hearing the news of Krispy Kreme's new line wisely moniker-ed Ice Kremes made my teeth ache.

Seriously, between the extreme full pound Burgers at Hardees, extreme carnival food like deep-fried Twinkies, the Luther Burger, and now, the soon to be infamous Donut Sundae, how is a brotha supposed to make it to 65 without a few cardiac arrests on his record?

Of course, I'll have to eventually try one of these. And chase it with 60 mins on the elliptical.

Never Give a Crackhead Keys To Your Volvo

Given the media's fascination with urban pathologies, and a slow news weekend, I can't believe the following story hasn't been sensationalized for national consumption.

The woman charged with driving through a crowded Southeast Washington festival this weekend -- injuring dozens -- had been "smoking crack all day long," Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said yesterday, citing witnesses and the woman's statement to police.

The driver, whom police identified as 30-year-old Tonya Bell of Oxon Hill, is charged with aggravated assault while armed. She has felony and misdemeanor arrests dating to at least 1995 and has served time in prison for charges involving cocaine. Bell suffered a sprained ankle Saturday night in an episode Mayor Adrian M. Fenty described as "one of the worst serious traffic accidents" in D.C. history.

At least 40 people, including seven children, were hurt when Bell drove her station wagon through the crowd. In the midst of the mayhem, parents pushed their children aside and tossed empty strollers in her path, hoping to block her. Police on bicycles and motorbikes didn't dare use their weapons with so many people at risk. Instead, they threw two motorized scooters beneath Bell's vehicle, bringing it to a stop.

Bell's expression while driving disturbed witnesses. She appeared to be laughing, they said.

Dozens were treated at the scene, including about 35 people who were taken to eight hospitals. Five people were seriously hurt, officials said, although their injuries were not believed to be life-threatening. By late yesterday, most of the injured had been released, officials said.

D.C. Council member Marion Barry said his chief of staff is trying to determine whether Bell works as a temporary employee for Barry's council office. Barry (D-Ward 8) said someone named Tonya Bell has worked in the office for several weeks. "Whether it is the same person or not, I am trying to check it out," Barry said last night. "I've asked my chief of staff to try and find out if this Miss Bell is one of several administrative aides we use from temporary agencies."

Crack. Mangled Bodies. Inner City Tragedy. Possible ties to Marion Barry.

Where is Nancy Grace when you need her?

This story bats for the freakin' cycle, yet it's hardly being covered inside the Beltway, let alone outside. I didn't even hear about the story myself until I picked up yesterday's Post. This happened just a few blocks from where AverageMotherInLaw lives, and while I don't usually frequent these sorts of things, I feel awful for everyone involved.

I know the old saying is, it bleeds, it leads, but I still can't believe that damn near 40 people were mowed over by a crackhead in a Volvo and the national news has nothing to say. Nobody died, which I guess takes some of the sizzle away from the story, but still, I can't help but think that if a methhead plowed through a similar crowd in Kansas City, this would be portrayed as a national disaster. The President would send his best wishes. The Red Cross would be deployed. Sean Hannity would hold one of his ignorant assed Freedom Concerts to raise money for the victims. And there would probably be yet another awful and contrived RKelly tribute in iTunes already.

But of course, who cares about a bunch of Negroes on crack killing other Negroes who probably are too. Black on black violence, no matter how innocent and undeserving the victims, just doesn't carry the same weight.

Not even to black folks.

NBC4 News Video [featuring obligatory ignant eyewitness account]

Driver Used Crack Before Festival Crash, D.C. Police Say [WashPost]

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Live(ish) From The New Hampshire Debates

Through the magic of cable television and a sleeping AverageBaby, here's my observations on the first Democratic debate, in progress from sunny New Hampshire.

Chris Dodd - Does not look or sound Presidential. He looks more like a butcher. Seriously, couldn't you imagine this dude behind the meat counter at Safeway?

Dennis Kucinich - The novelty is fading. At least he has the strawberry blonde trophy wife to go home to. Speaking of which, what is it will all these old dudes (McCain, Romney, Thompson, Kucinich) and their decidedly younger blonde trophy wives? I give John Edwards credit for not ungrading.

Bill Richardson - His inner Hispanic is beginning to show. Seriously, two months ago when he declared, this dude was Casper pale. Now he looks like George Lopez. You know, if George Lopez sported a really, really ratty hairpiece.

Mike Gravel - Every campaign needs a crochety old man. And boy, is this dude OLD! He makes Alan Cranston look like a teenybopper.

Hilary Clinton - Man, talk about a woman scorned. She shouts, she rages, she intimidates with a wonky side-eye. This woman scares the hell outta me. She can't be easy to live with. Do you really want her running your country? And they say sistas are the ones with attitude.

Barack Obama - In waaay over his head. Sorry Barry, but you stumbled and stuttered, and bumbled far too often. The Magic Negro veneer is beginning to wear thin.

John Edwards - The $400 haircuts are distracting, but give the man some credit for being a straight (if not country as hell) speaker who can admit past wrongs.

Joe Biden - Not to be confused with Def Jam rapper, Joe Budden. Bold, confident, and well spoken, but sorry, I just can't watch him and not remember his "articulate" and "clean" comments about Obama a few months ago.

The AverageBro Final Score
Winner: Edwards
Runner Up: Biden
Time To Consider Your Career Options: Gravel

Say It Ain't So, Sam!

As ya'll know, I'm addicted to home flipping/renovation shows. This obsession has been well documented. A few weeks ago, while groveling about Casey Serin, I casually wondered if just maybe shows like Flip This House were scripted. Sure, watching a home completely gutted and remade in 12 days is cool, but is it realistic? And are these homes really selling for the profits they claim come so easily on these shows?

Maybe not.

Sam Leccima, a black real estate flipper in ATL who was featured on last season's Flip This House, is now in some big, big trouble.

Now authorities and legal filings claim that Leccima’s true passion was a series of scams that included faking the home renovations shown on the cable TV show and claiming to have sold houses he never owned.

“This is, indeed, a con artist,” said Sonya McGee, an Atlanta pharmaceutical representative who says Leccima took $4,000 from her in an investment scheme.

McGee and others say Leccima’s episodes of “Flip This House,” A&E’s most popular show, were elaborate hoaxes. His friends and family were presented as potential homebuyers and “sold” signs were slapped in front of unsold houses. They say the home repairs — the lynchpin of the show — were actually quick or temporary patch jobs designed to look good on camera.

So, Sam's a con artist, coming soon to a prison near you. It sure makes me wonder just how true other shows of its' ilk like The Real Deal, Flip That House, and Sell This House are.

For ruining my favorite show, Sam Leccima gets a one finger salute.

MLK must be flipping in his grave. And crying inside of course.

Fox 5 Atlanta I-Team Busts Sam Leccima [Video]

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Finally, a Politician With an Original Idea

Deval Patrick made news last fall by becoming the first brother elected as Governor of the Commonwealth (why can't they just call it a state) of Massachusetts, and only the second (Doug Wilder) black man ever to lead a state.

Of course, not everyone was happy with this development. The haters immediately came out the woodwork and accused the brotha of being the Second Coming of Michael Dukakis, which, if you're a 70's Baby like me, you know isn't exactly a good thing. They assailed him on everything from his choice of political appointees, to this choice of Official State Car. Seriously, a black man can't get a Cadillac without erry'body hatin'? This is a brotha after all? What did you expect, a Ford Taurus. Apparently, they've never heard Throw Some D's.

Anyways, Patrick's latest idea is coming under fire as well, but it strikes me as an excellent idea. Why not make college, or at least the 2 year JUCO version of it, free to everyone?

Governor Deval Patrick plans to unveil a proposal today to make Massachusetts' community colleges, among the priciest in the nation, free to all high school graduates in the state by the year 2015, according to documents obtained by the Globe.

The plan would also provide preschool for all children, extend the school day and year, and guarantee two years of community college paid for by the state.

A pro-education governor with some original ideas. Seriously, what's not to like?

Of course, all of this has to be paid for somehow, and Patrick is short on details, thus the haters are circling.

This plan may never see the light of day, but for coming up with an out-of-the-box solution to the problems of public education, Judge Joe give Deval Patrick a "Well Done".

Patrick seeks free two-year state colleges [Boston Globe]

Bustin' Caps For Wendy's Chili Sauce

I've never been a big fan of Wendy's Chili, or chili in general for that matter since I don't really like beans. Plus, I've always heard from folks who used to work at Wendy's that the chili is nothing more than day old burgers. Dave Thomas didn't waste anything. So, I tend to stick to the Junior Bacon when I go there.

I will, however say that the gold foil packs of Wendy's Chili Sauce are pretty damn good, whether on fries or burgers. Mix them with ketchup, and you've got yourself some good tastin' hypertension. But good enough to kill for?

What exactly is it about Wendy's Chili that makes people do stupid things?

You probably remember the incident awhile ago when some woman in California found a severed finger in her bowl of "rich and meaty" Wendy's Chili? That was pretty nasty. This all turned out to be an elaborate hoax, in which a finger was bitten off and placed in the chili (seriously) in hopes of extorting Wendys for a settlement. Needless to say, the principals in this matter will be in jail for some time. There are far easier ways of getting extorted money than having to bite off another man's finger. Haven't these morons heard of Greenberg & Bederman? Sheesh.

Wendy's of course took a big PR hit behind the whole incident, as well as a dip in revenues. I could only imagine that this latest Chili related crime isn't exactly gonna help matters either.

In Miami this week, some d-bag opened fire on a Wendys manager refused to give him his requested number (10) of packs of Wendy's Chili Sauce. Damn, it ain't even safe out here for McManagers no more.

I so couldn't make this stuff up.

Seriously, folks. Get it together. MLK is crying inside.

Wendy’s manager shot over limit on chili sauce [MSNBC]