Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sad News For The Broke And Hungry.

Considering my semi-health scare earlier this year, you'd think the last place I'd find myself is a scrip club McDonald's. But sure enough, with two kids and a wife who doesn't cook nearly as much as she used to, I've found myself eating my lunch out of a bag a bit too often of late. So, I suppose I should see this a somewhat of a deterrent. Either that, or a very stark reminder of the economic times we live in.
McDonald's Corp. (MCD) is set to bump its double cheeseburger from its dollar menu on Monday, moving it to $1.19 after its franchisees complained that the price of popular sandwich was hurting profit margins.

The world's largest restaurant company is replacing the double cheeseburger on its dollar menu with the McDouble, a sandwich with two beef patties and just once slice of cheese, Greg Watson, vice president of marketing, said in a statement.

"These changes will ensure we continue to satisfy our customers' tastes and wallets," Watson said.

The McDouble is 6 cents cheaper to make than the double cheeseburger, but in tests, McDonald's has seen customers opt for the latter sandwich up to 70% of the time, J.P. Morgan analyst John Ivankoe said in a recent research note.

At that rate, the changes to the dollar menu could help boost the average McDonald's franchisee's cash flow about $20,000 a year to $310,000, Ivankoe said.

McDonald's shares rose 2.3% in recent trading to $56.78, and for the year, they were down 3.6%, the second-best performer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

As ingredient costs ticked up earlier this year, restaurant chains sought to save money by experimenting with new recipes for popular products. McDonald's top competitor, Burger King Holdings Inc. (BKC), has been testing Whopper Jr. sandwiches with smaller patties in some markets.
I suppose 19 extra cents isn't exactly breaking anyone's bank, but let's face it, the $1 price point is prolly what makes this item most attractive. I'm sure one of ya'll with an MBA could probably theorize on this better than me, but I'm willing to bet that longterm McDonald's will sell far fewer of these because most people will just order the replacement McDouble[1] sandwich (minus one slice of cheese) out of spite.

Either way, one less reason to frequent the Golden Arches. Good for me!

And now, since I can't think of any better way to end such a post, here's my boy Dallas Penn's instant classic, the flick that made the Internets Celebrities, celebrities: "Ghetto Big Mac". Watch and learn.

Question: Do you think McDonald's sales will suffer as a result of such petty nickel and diming? Have you ever tried a Ghetto Big Mac?

McDonald's Raising Price Of Double Cheeseburger Dec. 1 [CNNMoney]

More Videos From Internets Celebrities

[1] What a cheesy name. Pun intended.

The President's New Clothes.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

It's So Cooold In Tha "D"... Acapella.

A few weeks ago, I bought you the world premiere of prolly the most lecherous viral tribute to dead hommies ever to hit Youtube, the awesomely turrible "It's So Cooold In Tha 'D'". Don't front, ya'll remember it.

I'm not sure why or to whom this might be interesting, but hell, it's a Saturday. Peep T-baby performing "It's So Cooold" acapella. Get this chick some auto-tune pronto.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black, White, Or Other? : The $10 Lotto Ticket Thief.

Stereotypes are a way of life in America. We feed into them so readily that they take on a life of their own. But just how well do you really know your racial stereotypes?

Black, White, Or Other? lists a particularly heinous crime/news story, with incriminating bits of info {redacted} for the sake of confidentiality. Your job is to guess whether the protagonist is black, white, or the omnipresent "other", and to tell why you guessed how you did. The best guessplanation wins a week's supply of Cyber CapriSuns. And yeah, you could prolly Google the news story to find out the race of the person, but what sorta loser does that? Seriously. And if you already know about the story, and thus the answer, sit this one out. Be a good sport. Don't cheat.

Anyways, here's today's entry...
A 24-year-old {redacted} man accused of trying to cash a stolen $10 lottery at ticket Wednesday is being held in the {redacted} County jail on a felony grand theft charge.

{redacted} is also charged with felony counts of illegal possession of a lottery ticket and possession of {redacted drug} with intent to deliver in connection with the arrest. {redacted} was identified as the suspect after a store clerk got the license plate number of a man who went to a convenience store at the {redacted} and {redacted} roads intersection around 6 p.m. Wednesday and tried to cash a lottery ticket that had been reported stolen from different convenience store in {redacted} the day before.

When the clerk asked the man for his ID, he ran way, according reports. The clerk followed, got a license plate number, and called {redacted} police. Officers located the car, which was being driven by {redacted}, and found found several stolen lottery tickets, three stolen checks, and an undisclosed amount of cash, according to reports.

Police also found 22 grams of {redacted drug} in the car, according to reports. {redacted} police later determined the lottery tickets, worth $2,500, were stolen from a tobacco store on the 3100 block of {redacted} Boulevard in {redacted} Wednesday morning. That group of tickets contained two winners — one ticket worth $100 and the other worth $10, according to {redacted} Lottery officials.

Officials say {redacted} was trying to cash the $10 ticket just before he got arrested.
Question: Is the genius who got caught trying to cash a $10 winner Black, White, or Other? Why?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Sangin' For Chicken.

Why, Lord. Why?

Deja Vu, huh?

Giving Thanks... Again.

[Editor's Note: It's funny how the more things change, the more they stay the same. Last year, I started an tradition by listing the things I'm thankful for. One year later, how has that list changed? Let's see...]

Things AB is Thankful For. 2007 thanks are normal. 2008 updates are [in brackets].

God. Nuff' said. [always]

A [new] church [closer to home] that teaches practical biblical principle without pimping me in the process.

A wife who is 10 times smarter than me and fine as hell [even after two kids!]. Every man should be so lucky.

[Two] brilliant son[s] who look[s] just like me. No need to call Maury on [either] one.

A [loving and] functional family.

Loving and supportive outlaws in-laws. [Who help in ways I couldn't begin to list here.]

Great friends who don't care about my feelings [and I hope this makes sense a year later because I know it could come off wrong].

Good health [as long as I stay away from that sodium].

A reasonably challenging career that allows me to take care of my family [which is no small potatoes given this economy].

Okay, now on to the trivial stuff [because isn't it all trivial beyond the stuff above?].

Second chances. Because if my team hadn't resigned Andray Blatche after his highly publicized run in with a prostitute, our season would be lost right now. [Ironically, Blatche just got his coach fired on Monday, then came out Tuesday night with a KG-like line of 25 pts, 12 rebs, 5 blocks, and 5 asts. I doubt he'll keep it up though.]

Black people like Tavis Smiley who "get it". [Hah. Hindsight is 20/20 like a muv.]

Fantasy Football. [I'm 9-3 now, on the cusp of my first ever Fantasy Bowl win.]

Hi Definition TV. [Especially when the aspect ratio is set correctly.]

Broadband Internet Access. Because this blog wouldn't exist if I was still on dial up. [Seriously though, Verizon FIOS is hella unreliable. I might have to make a change soon.]

Black people like Michael Baisden, who "don't get it", thus giving me lots of fodder for this blog. [I haven't listened to him in over a year but I heard he did some great stuff during the election, so perhaps I was wrong about this one.]

BET, for providing me with enough examples of Extreme Niggadom to keep this blog alive. [Uhhh, perhaps I should eat those words now.]

The NBA. [Always fantastic.]

Good neighbors. [New neighbors too. Lots of em'. Foreclosure is a muv.]

AverageMentee and Average[6]thGradeRecLeagueHoopsTeam. Cause AB love da' kids. [Especially if we win more than 2 games this season. C'mon fellas.]

Readers like you who check for on the regular and don't mind letting me know when/if they disagree with me. Shouts out to Chris N., deedee, plez, GAGirl, cinco, and V. And yes, even you domo. [Too many new commenters to list. Thanks for making this site what it is, ya'll.]

Happy Holidays!

Question: What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Black, White, Or Other? : The Freaky Deaky Inmates.

Stereotypes are a way of life in America. We feed into them so readily that they take on a life of their own. But just how well do you really know your racial stereotypes?

Black, White, Or Other? lists a particularly heinous crime/news story, with incriminating bits of info omitted for the sake of confidentiality. Your job is to guess whether the protagonist is black, white, or the omnipresent "other", and to tell why you guessed how you did. The best guessplanation wins a week's supply of Cyber CapriSuns. And yeah, you could prolly Google the news story to find out the race of the person, but what sorta loser does that? Seriously. And if you already know about the story, and thus the answer, sit this one out. Be a good sport. Don't cheat.

Anyways, here's today's entry...

With nothing but time on their hands, three men and three women lodged at the {redacted} County Jail apparently figured out how to travel from one jail cell to another through the ceiling and engaged in late-night card games, drinking and sex while the rest of the prisoners slept.

All six have been charged with escape, a felony, for leaving their cell blocks without permission or knowledge of the jail staff. Bond in each case was set at $10,000.

An Oct. 8 search of cell block F1, which houses women, and F2, where men are incarcerated, revealed letters that “indicated inmates housed in F1 and F2 were getting through the ceiling area, and making contact with each other,” {redacted} County Sheriff’s Department Detective {redacted} wrote in a sworn statement alleging the crime of escape. “This contact appears to include sexual activity.”

According to the document, the visits went on for weeks during September and October. A female inmate who was not involved said she awoke one night early in September to find two of her cell mates using a metal shower drain cover to pry ceiling tiles loose. She said the women would place a plastic laundry hamper on one of the bunks, outside the range of surveillance cameras, and would hoist themselves up into the ceiling, then drop down into the men’s area.

{redacted} said the men, too, traveled the same route to visit the women. One man incarcerated at the jail, who was not involved, told {redacted} the three women appeared in the men’s cell block through the ceiling at least 15 times while he was in custody.

The search of the men’s cell block turned up what Dallaire called several bottles of “hooch,” a term for illegally obtained and low-grade alcoholic beverages. {redacted} did not specify the exact kind of hooch and the amount confiscated.
Question: The inmates are all of the same race, but are they Black, White, Or Other? Why?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What Would You Do? : Tip Drill

[Editor's Note: Relax, this ain't another ode to black women's booties, nor does it have anything to do with that infamous Nelly video.]

I was in New York City on bidness yesterday, and as with any trip to a modern metropolis, this means needing spare money on hand for tips. Growing up, my folks never really took us to places to eat where tipping was necessary. With 3 boys, it's no wonder we usually ate out at places where you ordered your food standing up, not sitting down. I didn't learn about tipping until I was well into the professional world and summarily got myself embarrassed by colleagues when the check came. I quickly gained a reputation as a lousy tipper, which sorta peeved me because I didn't know better, but I was raised better. Now, I usually tip 20% or so for most meals, assuming the service was up to par. Folks waiting tables only make $3/hr, so don't be a tightwad. Pay the folks.

Anyways, today's edition of What Would You Do? focuses on a handful of gratuity-related situations I encountered today alone in the Big Apple.

#1 Unnamed Hispanic Shoeshiner - After getting off the Acela in Penn Station, I decide to cop a shoeshine before I hit my destination. My black Kenneth Cole slip-ons have seen better days, and while my Pops taught me a lot of stuff growing up, keeping shoes spiffy is a lesson I regrettably slept through. I'll willingly admit my shoes sometimes look turned the eff' over, when reality is they just need a little refreshing. So, I find a storefront spot just below the escalator to MSG and have a seat. The shoeshine cat clearly doesn't speak a word of English, so I dig deep in my Hood Spanlish' translation guide and mutter a warbly "cuanto es?". "Quatro." He replies. I nod my head and dude goes to work. {pause}

5 minutes later, the shoes don't just look good, they look freakin' awesome, prolly even better than the day I bought them. I mean seriously, the shoes look so good I half wanna take a camera phone pic and send it to my wife who seems to clown me everytime I slide them on. I mean, seriously, it's a great job.

So, how much money should I tip Unnamed Hispanic Shoeshiner for his services?

#2 Extra-Friendly Moroccan Obama-Supporting Cabdriver - After I get off the W train, I catch a gypsy cab in Queens. As is customary, these cats don't have meters, nor do they usually have set fees for typical destinations. You can, and should negotiate what you're willing to pay before the ride begins.

Most New York cabbies aren't gonna win a Mr. Congeniality award anytime soon. In the past I've had cabbies who damn near assaulted me verbally for merely asking them to acknowledge that they heard me when I told them my desired destination. Things have gotten a lot better of late, now the cabs in Midtown even have interactive video screens in the rear with a pretty cool internet news feature. But that doesn't make the cabbies any nicer. This is fine, I'm from the South and I like a good convo as much as anyone else, but I can do without just as easily.

Anyways, I hop in the Towncar, and the driver happens to be a brother with a thick foreign accent. I tell him my destination and he says "$12... $15... $35... whatever you want to pay, my brother!."

"$12!" I reply sternly, letting dude know I'm not playin' no shell games with the fare.

"Cool my brother. Let's go!"

Dude proceeds to drive me to my destination with the utmost care, talks politricks ("Obama. He is the man!") and business ("The Big Three, they would get nothing in my homeland."), tells me about his native Morocco, and is generally the best part of my very difficult day. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear I was in NC riding a Riderside Cab.

When we arrive at LaGuardia, the guy doesn't even try to swindle me, although I was more than prepared to go to war if necessary.

"$12 my brother!"

I'll admit, I was so impressed with the cabbie that I wanted to give him a tip. The question is, how much?

#3 Helpful Ethiopian Avis Woman - At last, I make it to my final destination of the day, and at the airport the Avis guys have my car ready when I arrive. Unfortunately, they gave me the biggest piece of automotive crap on the road today, the vaunted Pontiac SunFire. Ya'll know how I hate Pontiacs. My days been bad enough, and I wouldn't usually make a fuss of this sorta thing, but after a shaky flight and having awoken at 5am, my patience is thin.

It head to the rental office and not-so-nicely ask for an upgrade since the SunFire is on my Avis profile as I car I should never be assigned. If this sounds a bit trivial and a little picky/b*tchmade to ya'll, try spending a majority of your working days in a rental car and tell me if you don't develop a bit of a nagging preference.

Anyways, although I'm hardly nice, the Ethiopian sista behind the counter understands my agitation and immediately swaps my Pontiac Matchbox® car for a cool GMC Envoy.

Man, do I love Africans! But how much should I tip the sista for hooking me up?

Question: How big a tip should the Unnamed Hispanic Shoeshiner get in addition to his $4 service? How much should the Extra-Friendly Moroccan Obama-Supporting Cabdriver get in addition to his $12 fare? Should I slide the Helpful Ethiopian Avis Woman for hooking me up with a real car? Does how well you tip those who serve you say something about your respect for others? Have you even gotten notably bad service and been conflicted about tipping?

R.I.P. To The Second Best TV Series, Evar.

This blog has always been a fan of the FX original series The Shield. Heck, one of my first posts ever here was about the Season 6 premiere. So it's with a heavy heart that the show's long, criminally slept-on run is ending with tonight's 90 minute series finale.

It's always amazed me just how few people even know about this show. Yeah, it's hidden in the recesses of basic cable, but after nearly a decade of brilliance, the fact that the show doesn't have the same cult following as such inferior network drivel as NYPD Blue or CSI says a lot more about the state of television than it does The Shield's quality.

I suppose being on an obscure pay station, the late airtime (10pm), and the extreme violence and occasional nudity hurt the show's cause, but you can't possibly fake on the acting and storylines. Even the handheld camera and unconventional direction were unique. Still, the fact that this show didn't garner many awards or particularly good ratings is puzzling. I mean seriously, how many shows can seamlessly mix in legit actors like Forrest Whittaker, Glenn Close, and even Anthony Anderson (in a dramatic role) without having them overshadow the cast?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: this show and HBO's The Wire are in a virtual tie for best dramatic TV series evar. Evar. The Wire got more acclaim because it had HBO's hype machine, but asking me to pick the better of the two is like asking me to choose the favorite of my two sons. It's not possible, nor would it make any sense if it were. I suppose it's some odd poetic justice that both shows concluded in the same year.

If you never gave this show a chance, you seriously have no idea what you've missed. You could tune into tonight's finale, but it would be like reading the epilogue of a 1,400 page book. You'd know what happened, but you wouldn't know why. Hit Neflix. Start with Season One.

R.I.P. to good television.

Question: Have you ever watched The Shield? Any guesses on who gets offed in tonight's series finale? Which show is better, The Shield or The Wire? Any suggestions on decent non-reality shows for me to watch now that TeeVee officially sucks again?

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Worst Monday Evar?!?

And I thought I had a bad Monday.

Between the mini-mutiny on the comment boards for that Budweiser post (It was a joke, people. A half-baked one, but still a joke.) and the crappy day I had with my customer, I couldn't see things getting any worse.

Then again, I could always be Washington Wizards coach Eddie Jordan.

Make that ex-coach.

After a cringe inducing 1-10 start the coach was "relieved of his duties" barely a month into the season. Perhaps the coldest part is that the team allowed Jordan, his wife, and kids to unknowingly attend the team's annual charity Thanksgiving turkey giveaway and then gave him the axe the moment event ended. Happy Holidays.

I feel bad because I've always liked Jordan. One of the few coaches in all of sports who had the dream job of coaching his hometown team, Jordan's always been a class act whose offensive genius is underrated. He could never get the team to even pretend to play defense, but all things considered, 4 straight playoff appearances are nothing to sneeze at. Injuries to various key players finally caught up with him, and losing badly to a Knicks team that had just traded it's two top scorers and only dressed 7 players Saturday night didn't help.

Still, his 6 year run in DC was memorable. Despite how he was dispatched, he'll certainly get another gig soon enough.

Happy trails Eddie.

Question: Which coach (any sport, not just the NBA) is next to get canned? My money says Charlie Weiss.

Wizards will miss Eddie Jordan ... if they're ever healthy [SportingNews]

Is Budweiser Offended By Black Women's Butts?!?

First things first: I'm no perv, so I hope nobody gets the wrong idea from this post. Still, as a red blooded American male with two eyes, I can't help but notice God's natural beauty when it's right there in my face on my 50-inch HD set. I'm sure I'm not the only one who just happened to notice the curvaceous sista in this recent Bud Light commercial. In case you're clueless, watch around the 8-10 second mark. She's in the purple on the left, holding the limbo stick.

Okay, so could someone explain to me why the sista has now been mysteriously cropped out of an oddly revised version of the very same commercial? I couldn't find a Youtube of this, but to make my point in the name of journalistic integrity, I snapped a camera phone pic of the ad. AverageSis walked in, witnessed the spectacle, and asked me what the hell I was doing.

Research baby. Research.

Seriously, where's the booty? They just sliced the sistas badonk in half. And ya'll know how much I hate making a "racial thing" out of something so inane, but you'll notice that the white chick suggestively lunging for the beach ball is damn near F.D.A.U.[1]. The sista gets her cheeks cut for merely standing and holding a limbo pole.

That sh*t is racist!!!

Quick, somebody get Rebb'n Al on the line. Where's Jesse? What About Our Daughters?!? I need some answers!

[Editor's Note: Is it just me, or is that Dave Chapelle-looking guy in damn near every other commercial on TV right now?]

I'm assuming Budweiser might have gotten some complaints (from whom, I have no clue) about the objectification of women in their ads and decided to make this minor edit to appease someone, but seriously, how come the sista is the only one that got the figurative axe? Is Budweiser on some ole' Yung Berg "I don't do dark butts" nonsense, because if they are I'd sure like to know. Not that I'm boycotting or anything. I only have about one Corona a month, so I'd hardly hurt their sales, even if I did drink their watered down beer.

Am I the only one just slightly disturbed by this development?

[Update: A faulty aspect ratio setting on my TV is the real culprit. Budweiser does value the black woman's booty after all. Drink more Bud! Still, answer the other questions just to humor me and distance me from the egg on my face.]

Question: Why do you think Budweiser only cropped out the black woman? Who is this Dave Chappelle ripoff that's about the steal Joe Clair's "non-threatening black guy on all the commercials" crown? Are you also amazed that Yung Berg still has a "career" after that dumb assed "dark butts" statement?

[1] No, I'm not explaining what F.D.A.U. means. This is a PG-13 blog.

Poll Position: Black, White, Or Other Is Staying.

A few weeks ago, I started a new feature here that I knew would ignite some level of controversy. Black, White, Or Other is copied from The All Out Show with Lord Sear & Rude Jude on Sirius Satellite Radio's Shade 45 hip hop station. On the radio, the concept's a bit funner. They read some random crime story from the news, and listeners call in and guess the race of the defendant. It's purely mindless, ignant American fun.

My idea in stealing co-opting this feature for the blog was to challenge stereotypes by having us discuss exacting how they apply to real life situations. Namely, when you hear about a certain type of crime, do you immediately assume "yep, that's a white guy"? Have you ever watched the news and heard a story and been like "Lord, please don't let this be a Negro", only to be refreshingly surprised to find out it's a Mexican? Okay, maybe it's just me. But I'm just sayin', this is human nature, so why not dissect these misconceptions.

That was my aim at least.

Some of the initial criticism with the first couple of editions had to do with the fact that the victims and/or suspects were kids. In retrospect, that's not something I really thought about, but it is pretty crass. Still others thought treading in racial typecasting, even if to encourage critical thought, was walking a thin line. I understand this sentiment too.

That said, since I'm hardly immune to admitting when I'm wrong[1], I decided to let you guys determine the fate of B/W/O, democratically. The results were stunning. Or not.

So, AverageNation™ has spoken, and ya'll wanna keep the feature. I'm relieved because seriously, it's about the easiest feature there is to put together, and this is no small factor given the way my Day Job is working me like Kunta to death right now.

That said, I'll make some concessions. No more dead people. No more kids. The dead people part is gonna be harder than the kids part, but I'll try anyway.

In a separate poll, I asked you guys which features here at you like most. The results here were indeed surprising.

Honestly, I'm a little puzzled here. C.Y.I.N. isn't even really a proper "feature". It doesn't have it's own unique tag, and it's pretty infrequent too because I can't really make these up unless there's a news story (Powell endorses Obama) that warrants it.

I kinda figured We Owned The 80's would win in a runaway, but it finished a distant second. Personally, it's my favorite feature, but it's also the most time consuming of them all to create because of all the Youtubes and Wikis research involved in each. Nonetheless, expect lots of these in coming weeks. The curmudgeonly People I Strongly Dislike placed well, as did What Would You Do?. Black, White, Or Other finished with a respectable tally.

Oddly, the most consistent feature of all, our Sunday staple What's On AB's iPod? failed to register a single vote. Ditto for WorkPlace 101. Go figure.

Question: Should I bother doing the What's On AB's iPod feature anymore?

[1] Insert my standard marital punchline here, and win a case of Cyber CapriSuns.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thank You Sarah Palin... For This Unintentional Comedy.

What's On AB's iPod?: Kanye West - "808s & Heartbreak"

I'm not even sure if you guys are checkin' for this feature anymore, but just in case, you might wanna cop Kanye West's newest LP, 808s and Heartbreak. I don't do music reviews, but if you're into 80's pop music and vocoders, you'll prolly dig this.

Peep the lead single "Love Lockdown". I'll admit, I didn't care much for this song, and still don't. I guess it just continues Kanye's strange pattern of poorly chosen lead singles.

Far better is the followup effort, "Amazing". Give Kanyeezy extra credit for out-of-the-box video, as usual. It makes zero sense, but it sure is interesting.

The rest of the album is a pretty unique mix of drum & bass, excessive synths, and minimal guest appearances. All the singing and flagrant use of auto-tune don't distract from the outlandish beats. I'd personally prefer Kanye kickin' his usual corny 16 to this string of T-Pain rip-offs, but the album is so sonically brilliant you can give that a pass.

Listen to the promotional "Sky High" Mixtape [HipHopDx]

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Sarah Palin Turkey Massacre

Friday, November 21, 2008

We Owned The 80's: The Jheri Curl.

We Owned The 80's usually focuses on good music, TV, and other aspects of culture that are fondly remembered over the years. This ain't one of those entries.

Anyone with country relatives surely has had their nostrils singed and their pillowcases permanently stained by that most bastardly of tacky hairstyles. That's right party people, I'm talkin' bout' the infamous Jheri Curl.

The Jheri curl (often incorrectly spelled Jerry curl and/or Jeri curl) is a hairstyle that was common and popular in the African American and Latino communities in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s. Invented by and named for Jheri Redding, the Jheri curl gave the wearer a glossy, loosely curled look.

Before ya'll ask, yeah, I did some pretty wack hair-related sh*t in the 80's myself. I had a Kwame hightop fade, and a 6-inch Ralph Tresvant shag, and a Bobby Brown Gumby with "frost" in it. But no, I nevar rocked a Jheri curl, although I had plenty of family members who shall remain unnamed that did. The memories of the foul stench of Right On™ curl activator perturb me to this day.

Unlike any other hairdo, the Jheri curl just screamed "I Am A Bama, And I Am Proud!" Yeah, I suppose in some remote corners of the US, a curl kit was attractive to some, but even as a snobbish preteen, I knew to never trust a big butt and a smiiiiile girl who needed activator.

[Editor's Note: For my readers of a lighter persuasion who are completely clueless right now, just imagine the Jheri Curl as an "urban" version of the mullet. That drips and stinks. Nuff' said.]

I mean, c'mon, what other black hairstyle spawned such scorn and random clownage?

Who can forget the tacky Randy Watson from Coming To America?

How about "Soooooul Glow"?

Or Robin Harris' "follow the drip" from House Party?

Who could forget the classic spoof from In Living Color?

That's one's even funnier when you look at Jamie Foxx' yearbook photo. Bwaaahhaahah!!!

I don't really know who these guys are, but this was hella funny too.

While the hairstyle became less trendy in the 90's, contrary to popular belief, the Jheri Curl still lives strong today. Just visit your local swap meet, 3rd grade graduation, or family reunion and you'll know what I mean.

Oddly enough, with all sorts of 80's stuff (flat tops, skinny jeans, hipster rap) coming back in style, I wonder how long it'll be before some NBA player busts out with a wet -n- wild?

A.C. Green is smiling inside.

Question: Don't lie!!! Did you rock a Jheri Curl? Do you have a family member that still rocks one? Do you think the curl will ever come back in style? Any particularly memorable Jheri Curl story you wanna share with AverageNation™?

A Rhodes Scholar-Athlete?!?

Some of ya'll knock me for being a serial hater overly critical all the time, and never saying anything good about black folks. Heck, I've even been called "secretly white" by some misguided reader.

Reality is, folks, whether they admit it or not, don't care about "positive" stories. We're conditioned to gravitate towards things that cause fear. TeeVee news is all about "if it bleeds, it leads". The front page of the newspaper follows suit. It's only natural that bloggers do the same, whether we realize it or not.

Our "conditioning makes it necessary."[1]

That said, when I read a story like the one that follows, even I don't know how to act. This is such great news, because the young man chooses to defy the stereotypes and low expectations that even his coaches and AD have for him.

Few things would keep Florida State safety Myron Rolle from playing football on Saturdays. A Rhodes Scholarship could be one of them.

Rolle, recently named a finalist for the academic honor, will interview with the scholarship selection committee Nov. 22 in Birmingham, Ala. His FSU teammates will be at Maryland that day, playing the Terrapins in a game that could decide the ACC's Atlantic Division title.

The junior said it's tough to be away from his team on a Saturday, but he made the decision to be in Birmingham.

"I thought about the fact this might come up a while ago," Rolle said. "But it didn't really crystallize in my mind until a couple of weeks ago, when I learned I could be a finalist.

"It really hit me, but this is a priority to me and my family. This is something really special."

Each year, the Rhodes Trust affords 32 students from across the country the opportunity to study at England's Oxford University.

Rolle, who has a 3.75 GPA and wants to study medical anthropology, said he has the support not only of Seminoles head coach Bobby Bowden and defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews, but also of Athletic Director Randy Spetman.

Rolle is trying to become the second Florida State athlete in recent years, and first football player at the major-college level in more than 10 years, to win a Rhodes Scholarship. FSU's NCAA champion shot putter Garrett Johnson received the honor in 2005.
Just for the sake of reference, Rolle isn't some 5th string d-back who barely plays. He was one of the most highly recruited players coming out of high school a few years back, and would be a high-round pick should he decide to enter the NFL draft this year, after his early graduation. Dude is no slouch on the field, or in the classroom.

What's interesting here is what's not really said in this story, but that I've read elsewhere. Namely, FSU's athletic director, Randy Spetman, publicly criticized Rolle for a subpar Sophomore season because he was "focusing more on the books than he was the field". I think that's pretty damn pathetic to be honest with you, and it only adds fuel to my theory that college athletes whose sports generate revenue should be paid for their contributions.

Up yours, Randy Spetman!

Thankfully, Rolle will have his academics to fall forward on, not back. And just in case you're wondering, the ACC went ahead and moved back the kickoff time so Rolle can both make his interview and play in the game the evening of the 22nd. I guess that says something about the conference's priorities. What exactly, I'm not so sure.

Either way, whether he's one of the lucky 32 or not, well done Myron Rolle! Well done.

Question: Do you think bloggers (your trulys included) dwell on the negative too often, or is this simply human nature? Should the team have rescheduled the game so Rolle could make his interview and play? Do we make too much of the "dumb jock" stereotype or is Myron Rolle really the exception, not the rule? Got any notable "dumb jock" stories? Did I just go negative again?

Academics trump football for Rolle [Palm Beach Post]

FSU's Rolle choosing Rhodes interview over Maryland game [SportsIllustrated]

[1] Let's see which literary genuius is able to first identify the classic that I cribbed this line from. My money is on Uppity Negro.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What Would You Do?: The CrimeStopping, BowTied Mayor.

Many editions of What Would You Do? involve a question of whether or not you should butt into other folks' bidness, and this one is no different. Recently, ex-DC mayor Anthony Williams singlehandedly thwarted a downtown theft. This wouldn't otherwise be notable if Williams didn't act and sound like a grownup Steve Urkel. But anyways...

Tony Williams was on K Street yesterday afternoon when a thief grabbed a package from a UPS hand truck. The deliveryman, standing a few yards away, looked up and yelled, "Hey!" but the man kept walking.

Enter the former mayor, who asked the delivery guy if he was being robbed. "I said to myself, 'Do I just stand here? No, this can't happen,' " Williams told us. "And I just started running."

The ex-mayor, 57, was "extremely decisive," said eyewitness Lisa Gough, director of communications for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. Gough was walking back to the office when she witnessed the theft and saw Williams spring into action. "While the rest of us were standing around trying to figure out what was going on, he acted. He was definitely in hot pursuit."

Williams sprinted down K Street shouting, "Stop! Stop! You can't do that!" With the deliveryman right behind him, he caught up to the culprit -- who looked at the bow tie and stopped dead in his tracks.

"You used to be the mayor," said the surprised thief, who simply handed over the box of computer parts.

The man walked away; Williams said he started after him while looking for a police car but decided not to restrain him. The man slipped into the crowd as passersby asked Williams what had happened. "I'm just fighting crime in the city," he told them.
Again, unless you lived in/near DC during The Post-Barry Years, the unintentional comedy of Anthony Williams chasing down a crook is probably going to miss you. Here's ole' Tony in action for context.

Man, that guy was just hilarious. I suppose having a straight Lamar Latrelle as your mayor beats having a crackhead in charge, but only by so much. Still, I have to ask...

Question: What would YOU do? Would you have chased down the guy who stole the UPS package or just said "eff it" and kept on your merry way?

Who Was That Bow-Tied Superhero? [WashPost]

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

AverageBro NewsBriefs - "Change The Topic From That CJames Debacle" Edition.

I've got my hands full with the Day Job today. So here's all the news that's fit to blog, but not worthy of it's own post. Discuss amongst yourselves.

Al-Qaida WeedCarrier Calls Obama A House Negro

Man, what can I really say about this?

Al-Qaida's No. 2 leader used a racial epithet to insult Barack Obama in a message posted Wednesday, describing the president-elect in demeaning terms that imply he does the bidding of whites.

The message appeared chiefly aimed at persuading Muslims and Arabs that Obama does not represent a change in U.S. policies. Ayman al-Zawahri said in the message, which appeared on militant Web sites, that Obama is "the direct opposite of honorable black Americans" like Malcolm X, the 1960s African-American rights leader.

In al-Qaida's first response to Obama's victory, al-Zawahri also called the president-elect—along with secretaries of state Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice—"house negroes."
I mean, seriously, "House Negroes"? How the ham sammich do these sand-bamas even know what a "house negro" is?

And if we've got such amazing technology that we can use to spy on folks from outer space, how come we can't find a 7-foot tall guy with a dialysis machine in a country the size of Connecticut? That just don't add up? These bamas are releasing tapes like they're DJ Drama or somethin', but we have no idea how to find them? Bullcrap.

Seriously, I hate to pull a James T. Harris, but seriously Barack, I AM BEGGING YOU SIR! BEGGING YOU! Take it to deez bamas like Bush would have, if he didn't have a vested stake in not bringing Bin Laden to justice.

I sure hope all those asshats who think Obama is a "domestic terrorist", "undercover Muslim" and a "secret Arab" watch this and learn. If this don't convince them...

Dude, Where's MY Bailout?

So, the heads of the Big Three were in DC yesterday literally begging for their supper. While nothing makes me smile more than watching a bunch of snivelling jerks like this reduced to such a pity-party, I gotta say an emphatic "hell to the naw" to any bailout of GM, Chrysler, and Ford.

Let's face it, America is good at lots of stuff. Basketball, gangster rap, .... uh, okay, I'm drawing a blank here. But one thing we can't do is build a freakin' car worth buying.

My Pops bought a brand new Pontiac[1] Bonneville back in the early 80's. It was a beauty: burgundy paint, burgundy vinyl top, burgundy crush velvet interior. It was also a beast. Everything that could conceivably go wrong with that boatsized piece of automotive crap did go wrong. The car left our family of 5 stalled in various grocery store parking lots more times than I'm ashamed enough to count. By the time my Dad finally ditched it, he'd probably spend more money on repairs that he had on the actual carnote itself. And I'd learned my lesson: buy a freakin' Honda!!!

The Big Three's problem, other than it's unreliable and boring cars are their antiquated labor agreements. Nobody should make $75/hr for screwing in a friggin' cupholder in a Chevy Corsica. That makes no sense. A robot could do the same job. It's not the gubb'ments job to subsidize a dying industry that refuses to adjust and retool with time. I apologize for any of my readers from the Motor City who are likely to be ass out if The Big Three go under, but this is life. You're not entitled to a job, just ask anyone who used to farm 70 years ago. Economies adjust, we are in the Information Age.

Besides, if you bailout the autoworkers, which antiquated struggling industry is next? Big Box retailers? Gentleman's magazines? MMA?

Kanye Pulls A T-Pain.

I've already got ahold of a copy of 808's & Heartbreaks and while I wasn't crazy about "Love Lockdown", this is a pretty good album. More pop music than his previous efforts, it's still pretty good despite it's excessive abuses of that dreaded auto-tune/vocoder effect.

I don't care too much for all the sangin' and complaining about his ex, but as usual the beats are slammin'. And let's face it, Kanyeezy is no Rakim. It's all about the beats, and this one delivers.

Pardon Me, Dude.

Before you read this section of the post, press play and listen this this song. It's by Median[2] and it's called "Pardon Me Dude". It has zero to do with this story, but the titles match and the song is bangin'. Cop the earphones!

Anyways, with Bush's final days in office approaching, the list of cats jockeying for a Presidential pardon is queuing up. Some familiar names like "Taliban Johnny" Walker Lindh and Scooter Libby (whose sentence has already been commuted) are putting their dibs in. One name that interests me in particular is disgraced Olympian Marion Jones.

If Bush is looking for his own Kemba Smith to try and paint some favorable revisionist history with Black America, Jones is about as sympathetic a character as there is. I happen to think she's already done the time for her crime, and let's face it, anyone who saw that going-away press conference knows she's sincerely sorry. Plus, she just happens to be the topic of my most slept-on personal story evar here at If you've never read it, please do.

Let homegirl go! Give her free! Clear the record so she can go on with her life.

Pretty Woman 2008

So, the chick that Elliott Spitzer blew his career for is finally talking. The inevitable 20/20 interview with Diane Sawyer airs Friday.
The prostitute at the center of the scandal that brought down former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer says she's undergone "intense" psychotherapy since the events that generated national headlines - and feels especially bad for his wife.

Ashley Alexandra Dupre tells People magazine that the FBI informed her in early March that it was investigating one of her clients. A few days later, she found out which client when she recognized Spitzer on TV - resigning.

Dupre said she quit the escort business temporarily in April 2007 after falling in love with a wealthy married man. "It started to be scary. ... What if I got AIDS? Got killed?" After they broke up, she went to work at the Emperor's Club. It was during that period that she met Spitzer.

Dupre also sat down with Diane Sawyer for an ABC "20/20" segment to be aired Friday night. In that interview, she reveals how an "upper middle-class, girl next door got into the profession and the psychological journey she continues to experience."

Dupre, 23, envisions a future for herself in the worlds of music, fashion and "writing books" - but not prostitution. "Never again."
Of course, she's got a book coming out soon. It's entitled "A Blew The Governor And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt", due in stores just in time for Christmas.

Divine Brown is crying inside.

What. A. Country.

The Real Housewives Of Atlanta.

Ha ha! Ya'll ain't really think I'd watch that sorta nonsense, did ya? C'mon now.

Then again, The Shield is nearing it's series finale next week, and after last night's show, I'm expecting a doozy.

I'm also wondering what will be Tivo-worthy now that the best TV series EVAR is going off. Any suggestions?

Questions: Should Obama "take it to" Al Quaeda from Day One? Can Barry C.Y.I.N. and call Ayman al-Zawahri a racial slur just on GP? Do the Big Three deserve a bailout? Did your Pops drive a gas guzzling land-yatch too? Should Marion Jones be pardoned? Can you top my "brush with fame/blown celebrity hookup" story? What should AB watch now that The Shield is nearly over?

[1] Anyone from the South care to share with AverageNation™ what P.O.N.T.I.A.C. is an acronym for?

[2] And yeah, he did say "Bull City" for all my North Cack Peoples. Dude went to NCSU. GuestPost: CJames Returns!!!

[Editor's Note: A few months back, my old college roommate and bestest bud CJames dropped a post about black folks and baseball. I'll admit, CJames is my boy, and I was busy when he sent me the post, so I didn't really read it for quality control. Needless to say, if you were here, you know CJames snide remark about black women at baseball games setoff a firestorm on the boards, leading to a post which set the then-single-day record for comments. Since I'm all about redemption (and ad-revenue), I decided to let CJames return to kick some more k-nowledge and clear his name. Or not. Enjoy.]

Ladies, let’s be honest.

Everyone here has heard the disheartening story of black men. Whether it be stories of absentee fathers, to overcrowded prisons, to the inadequate education of the black man, to the conspiracy to eliminate the black man, to the black man’s fidelity issues, we all know the stories. But one aspect of our community that doesn’t get much attention, until today, is this abhorrent female illusions that plague some of my sisters. “Lies” is what I call it. This problem persists in women of all socio-economic backgrounds and education.

In relationships with men, women come to the table with these lies firmly rooted. Here’s the biggest lie of all time. When you ask a woman what they look for in a man, they start with honesty, commitment, respect, or whatever words you want. This is a lie. And the way I know this is a lie is because there’s plenty of 5-foot-2 inch brothas out there would treat you with honesty, commitment, blah, blah, blah, but you don’t even look at him. Tell the truth and shame the devil, please. If Jermaine Dupree wasn’t Jermaine Dupree but Herman Sturdivant working at the cleaners down the street you wouldn’t talk to that mickie fickie. You would never know if he was honest because, honestly, you don’t care.

The corollary to that lie is “I want a man on my level”. LEVEL!?! What the (bleep) is that? That translates into I need a man who makes X amount. With that statement, I can already hear the conundrum that is the female brain already cooking up more lies. Many of you are saying, “No, you’re not right. Somebody on my level means somebody who I can have a conversation with, who stimulates me intellectually.” RIGHT! That kind of guy just happens to be a lawyer or whatever level you think you’re on. Bollocks!

These lies begin the illusion when women begin to “see” things in a relationship that aren’t there. Your seemingly good man is really not all that good of a guy. The most grotesque manifestation of this illusion is with battered women. They believe these lies and make the guy seem much better that he really is. But it starts with the two lies (and there are other) that were mentioned above. But there are several more subtle ways that this illusion occurs. He may not be doing his share of the house work. Or he may not be taking care of the kids the way he should, or he may not be as romantic as he once was. Because of the lies rooted in your mind, you failed to see the signals that your man had been giving way before you noticed the problem.

Here’s a hint ladies, men don’t really change that much. You have to be observant to the signs. Here’s an example, if a guy you are talking to always seems to do romantic gestures, talk to his friends. His friends will let you know if that’s truly him or something he’s doing to get more booty. In casual conversation if you say ,”Calvin always cooks for me, he’s quite the chef” and then his friends look confused……tell tale sign he’s doing something for the booty.

Then the next phase of this illusion, if untreated, you begin to want to wear the pants in the family. Chris Rock mentions that some women don’t want to give up the big piece of chicken. These are merely metaphors for knowing your place. Many women have this illusion that your place is in the front. Trying to lead the house hold and you can’t. And the reason for all of this goes back to the initial lie because this man is not what you wanted.

So let me help you out ladies. Do you know what men want? We want truth in advertising. Do you want to know why hoochie chicks get a lot of attention? It’s not because we get to preview the goods, it’s more that we respect that they are letting us know up front what they are about.

Question: Is CJames out of his d*mn mind or does the brother make some valid points?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Caption This Photo.

The Audacity Of Hatred.

I never got all caught up in that "post-racial" America nonsense during Obama's run for the Presidency. Call me a realist, but I don't think it's realistic to expect one guy, whose job (when properly done) has even less effect on the average person's life than the mailman, to erase 400 years of American infamy in 21 months. That was just silly.

The campaign, to their credit, never specifically played up this "post-racial" angle either. Obama and his senior advisers tried everything in their power to downplay the issue of race. You could argue that "yes WE can" was a subtle nod to this "post-racial" aspiration, but you could also argue that Obama was simply saying the years of divisive politricks were over. I choose the latter. Either way, dude won.

But winning always means someone loses in the process. And as I've long said here, the animus we saw rear it's ugly head at various points in the race wasn't simply going to go away November 5th. While the media has shifted focus to transition teams and cabinet level appointments, Anti-Obama America is really, really, really madd, sonn.

Cross burnings. Schoolchildren chanting "Assassinate Obama." Black figures hung from nooses. Racial epithets scrawled on homes and cars.

Incidents around the country referring to President-elect Barack Obama are dampening the postelection glow of racial progress and harmony, highlighting the stubborn racism that remains in America.

From California to Maine, police have documented a range of alleged crimes, from vandalism and vague threats to at least one physical attack. Insults and taunts have been delivered by adults, college students and second-graders.

There have been "hundreds" of incidents since the election, many more than usual, said Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate crimes.
You guys know that I really don't like heavily quoting stories, and I suggest you read this one in it's entirety, but here's just a smidgen of the stuff seen and heard since The Beige One became Prez-elect.
Four North Carolina State University students admitted writing anti-Obama comments in a tunnel designated for free speech expression, including one that said: "Let's shoot that (N-word) in the head." Obama has received more threats than any other president-elect, authorities say.

At Standish, Maine, a sign inside the Oak Hill General Store read: "Osama Obama Shotgun Pool." Customers could sign up to bet $1 on a date when Obama would be killed. "Stabbing, shooting, roadside bombs, they all count," the sign said. At the bottom of the marker board was written "Let's hope someone wins."

Racist graffiti was found in places including New York's Long Island, where two dozen cars were spray-painted; Kilgore, Texas, where the local high school and skate park were defaced; and the Los Angeles area, where swastikas, racial slurs and "Go Back To Africa" were spray painted on sidewalks, houses and cars.

Second- and third-grade students on a school bus in Rexburg, Idaho, chanted "assassinate Obama," a district official said.

University of Alabama professor Marsha L. Houston said a poster of the Obama family was ripped off her office door. A replacement poster was defaced with a death threat and a racial slur. "It seems the election brought the racist rats out of the woodwork," Houston said.

Black figures were hanged by nooses from trees on Mount Desert Island, Maine, the Bangor Daily News reported. The president of Baylor University in Waco, Texas said a rope found hanging from a campus tree was apparently an abandoned swing and not a noose.

Crosses were burned in yards of Obama supporters in Hardwick, N.J., and Apolacan Township, Pa.

A black teenager in New York City said he was attacked with a bat on election night by four white men who shouted 'Obama.'

In the Pittsburgh suburb of Forest Hills, a black man said he found a note with a racial slur on his car windshield, saying "now that you voted for Obama, just watch out for your house."
The incidents have occurred from coast to coast, border to border. Those who say racism is "a Southern problem" clearly don't know what the heck they're talking about.

You can start attacking me now, but I lay the blame for this nonsense at the feet of the very people who played up the race angle (be it subtly or not so) during the campaign. This includes Bill and Hillary Clinton, who along with their surrogates, launched every underhanded racist and xenophobic attack in their antiquated playbook at the Obama campaign. I don't have time to rehash this stuff, but if you need refreshing, just peep Jack & Jill Politics' Clinton Attacks Obama Wiki.

Also complicit were John McCain, Sarah Palin, and the entire GOP. Apparently clueless that the Clinton Scheme didn't work, they took it and ratcheted the same empty rhetoric into an "us vs them" style of class/racial warfare. Anyone with a brain could get the whole "give those shiftless Negroes your money" angle of their "socialist" bent against Obama and Biden. When that failed to move the needle, they went straight for the "paling around with terrorists" nonsense, which also failed. But one thing they succeeded in doing was getting people really, really mad, as if "their" country was about to be stolen by That Beige One on election day. I don't remotely consider McCain a racist, but I consider him the worst sort of opportunist for allowing the same level of racial slander that ruined his 2000 campaign to be run against his opponent. He could, and should have admonished this sentiment, especially as it became more visible and widespead. But he chose to look the other way, all in the name of winning the campaign. Country First, huh?

Finally, the media needs a kick in the a$$ too. Seriously, where was the mainstream media in repudiating this sort of nonsense when we saw it on the campaign trail? CNN chose the middle of the election season to air their disastrous Black In America, which didn't do a whole lot to dispell some of the very stereotypes Obama was railing against in the first place. For all the hot air on MSNBC, I didn't see Keith Olbermann or that windbag Chris Matthews show disgust as people shouted death threats and spouted such nonsense as this.

[Editor's Note: Even if you don't normally watch videos, or lack a sound card, please peep the opening 5 seconds of the first video. I hope you had a light breakfast.]

I won't even say anything bad about Fox News. Why bother?

If there's anything good about this year, it's shown me that slightly more than half of America (yes, Black people included) is willing to look beyond their long held myths and stereotypes about people of color. Does this make the United States post-racial? Hell to the naw. Is it encouraging? Yes.

But at some point in the future, that small minority (I'm thinking less than 3%) of the United States that chooses to still remain divided over something as comparatively inconsequential as skin tone will need to be addressed.

Post-racial my black a$$.

Bonus: Some misguided Negroes will need a lobotomy too.

Question: Do the incidents noted above surprise you? Will these people's animus only continue to grow with time or will these people eventually accept reality? Had McCain and Palin won, would we see a similar outpouring of anger?

Obama election spurs race crimes around country [AP]

Monday, November 17, 2008

Blowing 3 Billion Dollars To Save A-Milli.

Even if you're not a sports fan, you've probably heard of Mark Cuban by now. About a decade ago, Cuban quickly rose to prominence, taking the profits from the sale of a web-based radio business (, purchased by Yahoo!) and using them to purchase a previously moribund NBA franchise, the hapless Dallas Mavericks.

Cuban ushered in the era of the new type of sports franchise owner. Brash, young, and outspoken, he immediately turned the Mavs from a laughingstock into a team on the rise. By drafting wisely and not being afraid to spend money on free agents, he remade the organization's comical reputation. By doing relatively minor things like giving the players courtside massage chairs, 5-star bathrobes and DVD players in each locker, he liberally advertised that he was willing to treat his players better than other teams and pay them accordingly. In no time flat, the team build a squad around the underrated talents of Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki and Michael Finley. The Mavs went straight to the NBA Finals where they phoned in one of the most massive choke jobs evar in the history of all sports, blowing a 2-0 lead before succumbing to the Miami Heat. He can't blow defensive rotations and turn into a 7-foot shooting guard, so that's not Cuban's fault though.

This, however, is Cuban's fault.

Federal regulators on Monday charged Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban with insider trading for allegedly using confidential information on a stock sale to avoid more than $750,000 in losses.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil lawsuit against Cuban in federal court in Dallas. The agency alleged that in June 2004, Cuban was invited to get in on the coming stock offering by Inc. after he agreed to keep the information private. The SEC said Cuban knew the shares would be sold below the current market price, and a few hours after receiving the information, told his broker to sell his entire stake of 600,000 shares in the search engine company before the public announcement of the offering.

By selling when he did, Cuban avoided losses exceeding $750,000, according to the SEC. At the time of the offering, Cuban was the largest known shareholder in the Montreal-based company, which later changed its name to Copernic Inc.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Cuban sold his ownership stake after learning the search engine company was raising money through a private investment in a public entity, or PIPE. In a PIPE transaction new shares are issued at a discount to the current trading price, the newspaper reported. The SEC is seeking a court judgment against Cuban finding that he violated the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws, an injunction against future violations, an unspecified civil penalty and restitution of the losses Cuban allegedly avoided.

Cuban runs a Web site called, which bills itself as providing "independent Web-based reporting aimed at exposing securities fraud and corporate chicanery." An announcement on the site says there are plans for a companion,, to track the government's $700 financial rescue plan.

Cuban, 50, also owns Landmark Theaters, a large national chain dedicated to independent films, and the HDNet cable television channel. He is one of the richest people in the world, according to Forbes magazine, which pegged his net worth at $2.3 billion as of March 2007.
I know what some of ya'll are saying. Why in the ham sammich would you risk the farm to simply save $750,000?

And I'll tell you why: Because you can.

Cuban obviously didn't think he'd get caught, which is why we used the insider info the spare himself what would be a bloodbath to most of us, but is just a party weekend for him. Much like Martha Stewart, this proved to be a wrong assertion, and it's quite possible the colorful Cuban could end up doing some time in the pokey. He better hope he doesn't get stuck in a cell with any Spurs fans. That could get real ugly.

That said, I'm not going to blast Cuban for doing something so stupid. Reality is, most of us have done something equally questionable, we just didn't get caught for it.

If you've fudged an expense report, done some magic with your tax returns, failed to report income from your side bidness to the IRS, bootlegged cable TV, or anything of the sort, you prolly should withhold judgement. Yeah, these are relatively minor offenses, but in most cases you're still playing with fire nonetheless. Penitentiary chances are penitentiary chances, whether it's the $5 you spend on a counterfeit DVD, or the 3/4 of A Milli that Cuban comparatively saved with his insider trading. So let's not point fingers here.

I wish Mark Cuban the best of luck in the clink. He's a kinda soft looking guy, and he'll need all the help he can get.

Question: Do you think Cuban deserves jail time for this? Have you done anything relatively worse?

Mark Cuban Charged With Insider Trading [AP]

Black, White, Or Other?: High School Girl-On-Girl Crime.

Stereotypes are a way of life in America. We feed into them so readily that they take on a life of their own. But just how well do you really know your racial stereotypes?

Black, White, Or Other? lists a particularly heinous crime/news story, with incriminating bits of info omitted for the sake of confidentiality. Your job is to guess whether the protagonist is black, white, or the omnipresent "other", and to tell why you guessed how you did. The best guessplanation wins a week's supply of Cyber CapriSuns. And yeah, you could prolly Google the news story to find out the race of the person, but what sorta loser does that? Seriously. And if you already know about the story, and thus the answer, sit this one out. Be a good sport. Don't cheat.

Anyways, here's today's entry...

Dozens of high school students gathered before classes Thursday for a brief memorial service a day after authorities said one 15-year-old girl shot and killed another in a crowded hallway. Some students wore black, while others brought flowers and teddy bears to the service next to three flagpoles outside {redacted} High School. A few said prayers.

{redacted}, a 15-year-old sophomore, is charged with first-degree murder and discharging a weapon on school property in the killing of {redacted}. Investigators said {redacted} shot {redacted}, then walked to a seafood restaurant to call authorities and turn herself in. {redacted} was ordered to be held for 21 days at a court appearance Thursday morning, and is expected to undergo a psychological evaluation. Prosecutors said they could charge her as an adult.

The shooting around 11 a.m. Wednesday set off a confused chain of events at the school: Students screamed and ran when the victim fell to the floor, but authorities couldn't immediately confirm a shot had been fired.

{redacted}, a sophomore, said the girls were arguing in an outside corridor when {redacted} suddenly pulled out a gun and shot {redacted}. "She's a nice girl. She's quiet. She just keeps to herself," {redacted} said of the victim, whom he said he'd known since elementary school. Police said they did not believe anyone heard gunshots, and an initial examination found no major wound on the girl's body.

Authorities later confirmed the shooting. It was possible a smaller-caliber gun was used and the wound closed around the bullet, said Sgt. {redacted}, a spokesman for {redacted} Police. The school was locked down for a short time, but classes soon resumed.

{redacted} left campus and walked across the street to Captain Crab's Take-Away restaurant where she called authorities and told them "she had shot her friend," Sousa said. Authorities took her into custody at the restaurant and recovered a gun. No other students were believed to have been involved. {redacted} has about 1,700 students. They don't pass through metal detectors.
Okay folks, that's the story, so you tell me...

Question: Is the shooter in question Black, White, or Other? How about the victim? Why?

How AB Got His Blog Back.

No, not that AB. This AB. But how could I resist clever wordplay and an excuse to run a picture of Angela Bassett?

Anyways, those of you who joined the bandwagon during election season might be surprised to hear this, but is not a political blog! Emphatically not.

Did I fall prey to Obamania? Sure. Did this year's Presidential election sometimes override the whimsical Negro Nonsense that made this an award winning blog? Yes. Do I regret any of this? Not really.

Barack's run for The Number One Spot was good for business here. The hits were way up, and I've drawn the attention of some folks who can prolly help me expand the scope of this blog even greater. More on that later.

But honestly, I sometimes felt this blog was veering waaay over the line and deviating from it's main purpose: talking about whatever the heck I wanna talk about. I didn't start this blog to type the words "Palin", "Jeremiah" and "Plumber". And I never shall again. I was prolly just as happy about this as I was Barack's winning last week. And soon, I won't be typing his name as much either.

I don't think I'm the only blogger breathing a sigh of relief now that it's over. And I doubt I'm the only one trying to distance himself from politricks now that it's over. I think this is human nature to need to disconnect. Think about it, after you just carried a baby for 9 months, once you drop that 7 pound-4 ounce load, the last thing you'd be thinking about is humpin', right?[1] Not that I'd know personally of course.

You've probably already noticed a thematic shift back to the old sh*t poppin' AB you know and love over the past couple of weeks. Now that I'm back on the Day Job and have to actually work for a living, the posts won't be as prolific in number, although you'll still get your one-a-day and the usual weekend features. I'll talk politricks, but not nearly as much. If you want to hear a black man's angle on that sorta stuff, peep my man Field.

Otherwise, I'm back on my pre-election grizzly. This means lots of new features in the coming weeks, more sports, more Negro Nonsense, and more of the old AB ya'll know and love. I hope those of you who joined for the political mumbojumbo won't jump ship. I think you'll enjoy the site just as much the way it was.

As always, thanks.

Dictated. Not read.

The Management.

Question: Will you stick around as goes back to it's roots, or do you need a constant politricks fix? Are there any features you'd like to see more of? Any new features you'd like to recommend?

[1] Or so says my wife. And her Doctor. And millions of medical experts.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

What's On AB's iPod?: Q-Tip - "The Renaissance"

Like most folks who came of age in the late 80's/early 90's, A Tribe Called Quest was the soundtrack of my adolescence. People's Instinctive Travels dropped during my last year or so of high school, and unlike most other music of the time, A Tribe's BoHo style was unique and refreshing. Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders were the instant-classic albums me, CJames, and our other buddies bumped on roadtrips to other various colleges in NC. So when the group released their final album The Love Movement in the late 90's and decided to disband, a small part of me wept inside. Q-Tip, Phife, Ali Shaheed, and (sometimes) Jarobi were darn near family. I could go on and on, but these guys will get their own "We Owned The 90's" special edition soon enough. I won't blow that megafeature on a lazy Sunday.

Anyways, Q-Tip went on to marginal success with his 1999 debut solo album Amplified. Personally, I thought his transformation from Native Tonguer to jiggy club hitmaker was kinda pathetic. I'm sure he's still cashing checks from "Vivrant Thang", but I thought it sucked a$$.

The album went gold, but I think Q-Tip realized he'd lost some fans because in 2002, he took an odd turn for the even worse and dropped the brilliantly terrible Kamal The Abstract. You prolly never heard of this album, which was lots of artsy acoustic guitar-heavy tracks. I'm not even sure it was ever released in stores, but there's still copies of it floating around the web if you wanna Google it.

Anyways, fast forward to 2008, and Tip (I refuse to call T.I., Tip. There's only one Tip.) is all the way back at this Native Tongues roots with his latest LP, The Renaissance. Most of the tracks here sound like vintage ATCQ. There's no unnecessary club bangers, Tip isn't trying to sing (as much), and thankfully, no auto-tune/vocoder nonsense.

Nope, just good ole' fashioned hip-hop.

This being the new age, of course the album (which dropped on election day) isn't getting any push from Universal Motown. Peep the cheesy Rik Cordero low budget video for "Move".

The even worse video for "Gettin' Up".

So, the vids are sorta retro-cheesy, but the album's great. If you loved A Tribe (and I know you did), then you'll love The Renaissance.

Question: Did you love A Tribe Called Quest like I did? Did you even know Q-Tip had a new album out?

Q-Tip Wiki [wikipedia]