Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year From AB.com!!!

Hey, it's New Year's Eve. What're you doin' here?

Go eat some black eyed peas. Finish off that egg nog. Party like it's 1999 +10!



We'll be back at it tomorrow, bright and early. Enjoy yourselves responsibly.

Happy New Year from AB.com!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Caption This Photo.

Why Blacks Don't Like The GOP: Exhibit A.

After the GOP got it's a$$ handed to it in the recent elections, party leaders started talking about how Republicans needed to "attract more minorities" to remain relevant in a "post-racial" America. Immediately, talk turned to folks like one-time Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele, and former Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell as challengers to the crown of RNC Chair. As if putting two milquetoast, talking-point spouting Negroes like that would somehow erase the recent memories of the subliminally racist campaign run against Obama.[1]

Here's today's AverageSoundtrack™, get it poppin' before you proceed.



Still, I guess in some ways giving Steele or Blackwell the nod might say something about the RNC, whether superficial or not. Reality is, they didn't even bother making so much as a token (pun intended) effort to pursue the black vote (96% for Dems) this year, and they got creamed in the Hispanic vote (66% for Dems) as well. At least putting a brown face somewhere on the website would help.

This? Uh, not exactly helping.
The chairman of the Republican National Committee said Saturday he was "shocked and appalled" that one of his potential successors had sent committee members a CD this Christmas featuring a 2007 parody song called "Barack the Magic Negro."

In spite of RNC Chairman Robert M. "Mike" Duncan's sharply negative reaction, former Tennessee GOP leader Chip Saltsman said that party leaders should stand up to criticism over distributing a CD with the song. He earlier defended the tune as one of several "lighthearted political parodies" that have aired on Rush Limbaugh's radio show.

Saltsman, who managed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign, is seeking the RNC chairmanship. During the presidential campaign, GOP officials denounced efforts by those in the party who criticized or mocked Democratic nominee Barack Obama along racial lines. Obama was vying to be the nation's first black president.

A spokesman for Obama, now the president-elect, declined to comment on the matter.

Shanklin's parody is sung to the music of "Puff, the Magic Dragon." Among other Shanklin tunes on the 41-track CD that Saltsman sent with a Christmas message: "I Can Talk Like a Coal Miner's Daughter," "Love Client #9" and "Down on the Farm with Al Gore."

"The 2008 election was a wake-up call for Republicans to reach out and bring more people into our party," Duncan said in a statement. "I am shocked and appalled that anyone would think this is appropriate as it clearly does not move us in the right direction."

In a statement that followed Duncan's, Saltsman said: "Liberal Democrats and their allies in the media didn't utter a word about David Ehrenstein's irresponsible column in the Los Angeles Times last March. But now, of course, they're shocked and appalled by its parody on the 'Rush Limbaugh Show.'
And here's the YouTube for your listening pleasure. Nice ditty, I've gotta get this on my iPod.



And just for future reference, here's the aforementioned "Chip" Saltsman, announcing his soon-to-be abandoned bid for RNC Chair.



For the record, I'm not really offended by the song. Sure, it's stupid and insensitive, but that's par for the course when you're dealing with the GOP. That said, it is a parody, and isn't even new. Plus, it's been more or less agreed upon that black folks are gonna need some thicker skin the next 4-8 years. And we've all heard worse. So basically, whatever. The only reason this is notable is because it's tied to a guy who wants to potentially run the GOP, which makes it extra ignant, and the lack of outrage amongst party members even more puzzling.

The thing I actually sorta like about this whole story is just how unrepentant "Chip" is. Instead of falling back and apologizing, he's like "Yeah, I said it and I meant it! Who the f*ck got a problem wit' it? Get down or lay down, Nucka!" I can appreciate that sort of upfront transparency and honesty, it lets you know exactly where you stand with "Chip". And it more or less serves as a reminder for why I could never consider voting for these guys on anything other than a local level. Preciate' it Chip! And BTW, What sorta grown man calls himself "Chip"? Seriously, grow up.

I suspect the GOP will throw "Chip" under the bus and denounce him as "the sort of divisive politics this country no longer wants". And if you're Michael Steele (despite public appearances), you're grinning ear to ear now. Dude is prolly a shoe-in for the gig after this sorta PR nightmare. Maybe he can finally pay off his brother-in-law, now. Lord knows Iron Mike needs that money for some TrimSpa.[2]

But I guess this just points to a bigger issue: The GOP is facing a country with changing, and increasingly unfavorable demographics. Most of their "colored" representatives don't attract other people of color because they rarely seem to bring a different point of view to the table. In fact, many Black Republicans seem so hellbent on distancing themselves from their own communities, they just come off as mean spirited and unlikable[3]. That ain't the way to "expand the base" neither.



Not surprisingly, like the lapdogs they are, Blackwell and Steele actually came out in defense of this nonsense. No, really.
Some of Saltsman's rivals responded more mildly. Former Maryland lieutenant governor Michael S. Steele, one of two black candidates for the job, said Saltsman's "attempt at humor was clearly misplaced," adding that the leadership of the party needs to "be a lot smarter about such things and more appreciative that our actions always speak louder than our words."

"Our actions and our words are oftentimes used to define who we are as Republicans," Steele said in a statement.

And former Ohio secretary of state Ken Blackwell defended Saltsman and attacked the media.

"Unfortunately, there is hypersensitivity in the press regarding matters of race. This is in large measure due to President-elect Obama being the first African American elected president," Blackwell, who is black, said in a statement.

"I don't think any of the concerns that have been expressed in the media about any of the other candidates for RNC chairman should disqualify them," he said. "When looked at in the proper context, these concerns are minimal. All of my competitors for this leadership post are fine people."
I don't know what flavor of Brainwash Juice™ the GOP is dripping in these Negroes' IV's, but I'd sure like to feed my boss a little of it come promotion/raise time. Jesus Christ black men, grow a pair already!!!

However you shake it, the GOP has a big problem, and giving out Magic Negro Mixtapes as stocking stuffers ain't exactly the best solution.

Question: Are you offended by this "Barack The Magic Negro" nonsense or is it just par for the course now? Is there anything the GOP can do to attract your vote (assuming you're black and "liberal")? If you're white (Conservative or Liberal), how does this story make you feel?

GOP Official Blasted for Distributing Obama 'Magic Negro' CD [FoxNews]

RNC Rivals Discuss Racial Song [WashPost]

[1] And no, I'm not letting the Clintons off the hook for their nonsense either. They were worse than McCain.

[2] Boxing great Mike Tyson was once married to Steele's sister, just in case you missed that. She was the lightskinted, wavy haired doctor Iron Mike was briefly wed to in the late 90's. Tyson famously lent Steele money to feed his family after a failed business venture. This was all disclosed before Steele became MD Lietenant Governor. And I really shouldn't provide such long explanations.

[3] Except for Tara Wall, who also comes off as meanspirited and unlikable, yet oddly attractive.

A DC Basketball Team Worth Cheering For?!?

Now that I've got a lot more free fan time on my hands, I'm keeping a closer eye on the Georgetown Hoyas basketball team. I'm a die-hard UNC Tarheel fan, and will be one till I die, but I haven't been to a game in Chapel Hill since I graduated from my Negro College HBCU. I love going to college basketball games, but adopting a local team has been hard. Maryland plays in the ACC, which automatically rules them out. Howard is in the MEAC, which also rules them out, but they also suck, which rules them out more. AU and GW are too deep in the city and never play on TV. Mason, schmason.



When I moved to DC in the mid 90's, The Allen Iverson Show was in full effect, and games at the old Cap Centre were an event. Once AI skipped town to The Association, the program fell into disarray. Coach John Thompson had some very public offcourt issues that caused him to step down. His replacement, whose name I forget, but who looked eerily like Burt Reynolds, did his best to run the team into the ground. Thing were so bad, I distinctly remember being offered a half dozen free Hoyas tickets one time I filled up my gas tank at some Exxon near Union Station. I refused. Thanks, but no thanks.

A few years ago, the school took a reach and hired the old ballcoach's son, John Thompson III from Princeton. The rest, as they say, is history. The team has rebounded to the top of the Big East, routinely pulls the best local recruits (sorry Maryland) and even trounced my Tarheels from the NCAA's in a notably disappointing game a few seasons ago. The Hoyas are back!



Last night, they went into Hartford and absolutely beat the living crap out of the number 2 ranked UConn Huskies. The new school Hoyas are a bit more guard/perimeter oriented, but they still play the same smothering "D", and freshman center Greg Monroe looks like a potential one-and-done.

So, since I'm done with that other team, I'm going to jump on the Hoya bandwagon, and might even catch a game, provided I can find that Exxon again.

Hoyas Topple Huskies in the Big East Opener [NYTimes]

Monday, December 29, 2008

How About Some Good News For A Change?!?

Bad news seems to be a part of life for erryday black people, and when it comes to statistics, we're generally on the ass end of the pyramid. We're besieged with blistering incarceration rates, poor standardized test performance, and poverty numbers. It's enough to make any self respecting black man wanna turn into Mister White.[1] Permanently.

Here's today's AverageSoundtrack&trade. I personally hate Jagged Edge, but couldn't think of anything more relevant.



That said, we here at AB.com try to do our best to spread good news when it hits. For all those who say two parent households are a thing of the past, peep this.
Experts say they’re encouraged by U.S. Census statistics indicating more black children are living with two parents, the number rising to 40 percent in 2007.

The number of black children in two-parent households, which stood at 59 percent in 1970, had fallen as low as 35 percent in 2004, U.S. Census Bureau figures estimate. While social scientists say they’re divided over what the statistical rebound means and are voicing skepticism about an increase so large, others say the shift is potentially significant, The New York Times (NYSE:NYT) reported Wednesday.

“It’s a positive change,” said Robert Sampson, chairman of Harvard’s sociology department, adding, “It’s been hidden.”

Andrew Cherlin, a sociology professor at Johns Hopkins University, pointed out that before 2007 a child living with two unmarried parents was usually classified as living with either a mother or a father, rather than with two parents as is now the case.

“I think the news is that the Census Bureau estimates that about 3 percent of American children are living with two unmarried parents,” he said. “Because of the increases in living-together relationships, this is probably a higher figure than a generation ago.”
Yeah, I know, 40% isn't great, but don't miss the forest for the trees. That number has jumped an astounding 5% since as recently as 2004. Again, do we have a long way to go? Yes. But is all progress some progress? You betcha.

The article doesn't list any definitive reasons for why this trend seems to be occurring. The mild blurb about "classification" might explain some of it, but I'm not going to write this good news off as a mere cooking of the books.

I'm an advocate for two parent households. Yes, single moms can get the job done if need be, but I just don't think there's a better arrangement financially, emotionally, and educationally than a healthy two parent household. The keyword, of course, is healthy.

Now if we could just work on that healthy marriage thing...

Question: Why aren't more black people getting married or at least co-habitating for the sake of the children?

More black children live with two parents [United Press Int'l]

[1] Wow, SNL actually used to be funny. Those were the days.

The New AB.com! Now With AverageSoundTrack™!

You may have noticed that I recently added an AverageSoundTrack™ widget on the sidebar. Some blog posts just scream "background music", and in the coming weeks, I'll start incorporating tunes that match the words into new posts using a pretty cool service called SeeqPod. I've already gone back and tagged some older posts with the appropriate musical accompaniment.



In the meantime, you can just peruse a handful of tunes (courtesy of iLike) in my head on any given day. This list will change frequently. If you wanna purchase the songs, the links are there, but I don't get paid by Rhapsody, so do the footwork and purchase via the Amazon.com carousel (further down the page) if you wanna make a sideways contribution to the AverageKidsCollegeFund™.

If you've got tunes you wanna recommend for the playlist, shoot me a message. If I like it, I'll add it.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ladies, Take Note.

Checkout frequent AB.com GuestPoster TheDad from BlackAndMarriedWithKids.com as he breaks down the whole football Sunday thing for the ladies.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Somebody Call CPS!!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

People I Strongly Dislike: The Washington Wizards.

Okay, that's enough. I've had it. I am officially renouncing my fandom.

Last night was a microcosm of the dread that is being a Wizards fan. The team is next to last in the league. They had lost 7 straight. They lead the Cleveland Cavs by 7 on the road with less than 2 mins to go. They never scored again. They lost the game.

After more than a decade, thousands of dollars spent in tickets, infinite hours watching, talking about, and thinking about the team, I am formally stepping off the Washington Wizards bandwagon. Not that I had much company...

I know some of you consider dumping your team an act of sacrilege. Well tell the troof and shame the devil. Or however that cliche goes. I'm done.



Done with watching an organization that wouldn't know a good personnel move if it popped them in the face with an inbounds pass.



Done with watching a team full of overpaid imbeciles, completely oblivious to their glaring weaknesses.



Done with caring about a "shooting guard" who shoots barely 30% from the field, but has the gall to do that ignoramus assed "I can't feel my face" gesture when he finally swishes a meaningless 18 footer with his team trailing by 20 late in the 4th quarter. And get a damn shave and haircut while you're at it.



Done with caring about a "power forward" whose next strong move to the basket will be his first.



Done with yelling at a team that can't rotate on "D" and stop leaving 3 point shooters open like it's going out of style. I call that play, which seemingly happens every 4th time downcourt, a "Wizards Special".



Done with caring about a supposedly "Tuff" swingman who couldn't D up if his massive paycheck depended on it.



Done with caring about a monstrously overpaid "point guard" who can't stay healthy, but spends more time blogging than I do.



Done with cheering for a man-child big man who won't hit the boards, but seems to hit every club in town. And you get a haircut too while you're at it.



Done with caring about a two-headed center combo that won't box out for a rebound, but seem to always be boxing each other, literally, in practice. When they're not writing lousy "poetry" of course.



Done with caring about a carousel of coaches who still can't get the excessively basic concept of defending the pick and roll explained to a group of college dropouts (and never wents).



Done with going to games, paying $7 for a Budweiser, and sitting amongst "fans" who spend more time watching each other and the Jumbotron than the actual game. It wouldn't hurt you folks to boo sometimes. Yes, even when, especially when, the home team is the object of your scorn.



Done with cheering on a bunch of losers, and feeling like a loser by proxy.



Done with caring. Period.

Holla back when you win two in a row. Or don't.

Question: Am I committing an act of sacrilege by abandoning my team, or am I fully justified in no longer cheering for this merry band of losers?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas From AB.com!

What the heck are you doin' here? Go drink some egg nog! Open some gifts! Knock some boots!



See ya' tommorrow, we'll be back at it.

Merry Christmas from AB.com.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Steve Harvey vs Katt Williams?!?

Black people love beefin'. I guess it's somewhere in our DNA. This year alone, we've seen rap beefs, political beefs, hood beefs, R&B sanga beefs, and pastor beefs. Just when I thought I'd seen it all, a new level of Negro Nonsense just pops up. Witness, the comedian beef.

I don't have time to recap all this, nor do I really even understand how it started. Apparently, currently hot comedian Katt Williams has a beef with alleged King Of Comedy, Steve Harvey.

I think this whole thing is pretty sad, actually. Both of these guys are over 40, and should prolly know better. But it does make for hilarious radio, as this classic episode of The FoxxHole on Sirius XM last week proved. If you still don't have satellite radio yet, just go put your head in an oven.

Jamie Foxx and The FoxxHole crew plays Katt Williams' inexplicable diss of Harvey. Steve Harvey then calls in and delivers a self-serving career memoriam. The false humility is literally seeping through the speakers.

Note: These clips are from a satellite radio show. Cop the headphones!



Part two. More circle jerking self-aggrandizement as Jamie Foxx and Co. egg Harvey on, and more or less ether poor Baby Gap model Katt Williams in the process.



This PR stunt for two guys with waning popularity feud will culminate in a big concert on New Year's Eve in Detroit. If I had the means to do so, I'd fly in town to witness this train wreck in person.



I'll admit, I'm not the biggest fan of either. Williams' brand of pimpin' humor was old after the first 18 times I watched The Pimp Chronicles. Steve Hightower Harvey is only funny because of his neon sherbet green zoot suits and that eraserhead hairpiece he used to rock. His next funny joke will be his first.

On GP, I'll give Katt Williams the win by a perm. What say ye'?!?

Question: Who's less un-funny funnier? Steve Harvey or Katt Williams? Who's your favorite comedian? Why do black folks just love beef? Do you like your beef medium rare or well done?

Yeah, It's A Parody, But It's Funny.

The Deaf Leading The Blind.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Taking Pandering To A Whole New Low.

Yeah, I know "kingmaking" is old as politricks itself, but even I thought we'd seen the last of this peculiar strain of pandering during this year's Presidential election cycle. I mean, let's face it, if you can't win on your own merits, kissing someone's ring isn't gonna cut it anymore. People are too savvy, too smart, and well, too cynical for these sorts of shameful displays of public affection.



Well okay, maybe not yet.

Caroline Kennedy is no stranger to cameras, from her Camelot childhood to her recent years as a fixture on the New York charity-gala circuit. But now that she's expressed interest in Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate seat, she's getting a taste of a different kind of coverage — New York style.

A throng of roughly 30 journalists — and a few curious onlookers — surrounded the scion of one of America's most storied Democratic dynasties as she visited the landmark Harlem restaurant Sylvia's with the Rev. Al Sharpton for a private but highly visible lunch.

After sharing a meal of chicken, string beans, collard greens, salad and cornbread at the famed soul food restaurant, Kennedy emerged with Sharpton at her side and answered a few questions from the pack of reporters waiting outside.
Come on now, let's keep it one hunned. You and I both know Caroline Kennedy ain't seen no parts of no cawnbread and yams in her sheltered, privileged life. Sure, her mammy nanny probably dined on this each night in the guest house, but I doubt lil' Caroline ever tasted the artery clogging wonder of ghetto mac -n- cheese. She prolly went straight from Sylvia's to her attendant physician the moment this staged publicity stunt ended.



And no, I'm not blamin' Rebb'n Al. I like Rebb'n Al, despite how much I might occasionally rag on him. As anyone who's ever listened to his radio show, or heard him speak off the record knows, he's a humble, downright hilarious guy who just doesn't know how to turn down a media request. The Kennedy camp prolly called him up and said "free Sylvia's on us, you down Al?" and he was prolly like "sheeit, you think I ain't?". I can't blame the guy for coppin' a free meal for his trouble, although as anyone who's been to Sylvia's can attest, that food is hot garbage! Like most stuff in NYC, it's reputation is severely inflated. My grandma could cook laps around that overpriced dawg food on her worst Sunday.

Still, it begs the question: why is this even necessary? I understand that showing folks you can relate to them is a part of politricks. Politricians swill beer, bowl gutter balls, and even chase pigs at county fairs all in a lame attempt to show people that they're "down". But c'mon, does anyone really believe this is how these folks roll on the daily? Of course, not, which is why it's largely insulting although it's supposed to be flattering. Look at Kennedy, she's eating the cornbread with a friggin' fork for crissakes! The discomfort with her surroundings couldn't be more evident.

Then again, if I had to eat that cement-like cornbread again, with cameras in my grill, I might do the same.

On a separate note, while she has few qualifications, let's fall back on the idea that Kennedy shouldn't get to warm Hillary Clinton's seat until the next election. Far worse people, from far less glamorous walks of life (comedians, actors, athletes) have served. Why not Kennedy? She's just a two year placeholder anyway. Let her have it. Who knows, she just might do a good job.

Just keep her away from the okra and sweet tea. It's not very becoming.

Question: Do you think the Kennedy/Sharpton "lunch" was over-the-top pandering? Should Kennedy get the Senate seat or should they hand it to someone more deserving or qualified like Andrew Cuomo? Have you ever been to Sylvia's? Were you as underwhelmed as I was? Could your grandma put most soul food joints to shame too?

Kennedy makes political pilgrimage to Harlem [AP]

Caption This Photo.

Monday, December 22, 2008

What Would You Do?: The Missing, But Not Really Missing, Gym Bag.

A few weeks back when I returned to work from paternity leave, I immediately noticed that my gym bag was missing from it's usual spot on the floor next to my desk. After having taken a month away from the Day Job, I was puzzled about how this might have happened. I vividly recalled leaving the bag there when I briefly came back after the baby's arrival to retrieve my laptop. "Why bother taking it home if I'm not working out for a month?" I thought. Famous last words.



The bag didn't necessarily have much of value in it. A pair of Nike slip-ons. Toiletries. Shower shoes. A set of dirty workout clothes (yes, by Champion of course). Weightlifting gloves. $50 total value if washed, $25 if not. Hardly the target of your typical after hours burglar.

I asked the receptionist if anyone had somehow turned in the bag. They hadn't, but since she was on her job (as usual), she immediately alerted building security. Before I knew it, I had 3-4 members of building management in my office, asking probing questions and apologizing profusely.

Thefts of personal property are no laughing matter for any property manager in this economic climate, given the rising vacancy rates in commercial real estate. They damn near treated my missing gym bag like an episode of CSI, dusting my phone for fingerprints (okay, not really) and asking me a million questions on my whereabouts. After much hand wringing, they determined that the cleanup crew had either outright stolen the bag, or inadvertently thrown it away. Neither made much logical sense to me, but they asked me if I'd like to file a formal police report, which I opted not to. I really just wanted the whole thing to be over. Still, they promised that corrective action would be taken after the cleanup crew was given the nth degree. Some heads would roll.

Fast forward a few weeks. I've since moved on with a replacement gym bag and cobbled together the rest of the items. Bag or no bag, I still have to work out, whether in my previous style or not. But everytime I'd run into Lou (not his actual name) the Dominican facilities manager, he'd keep on apologizing for the missing bag, as if his personal pride was effected by the loss. "I just can't figure out what happened to it.", he would continually say in a tone that screamed "I've let you down." I kept telling him it was no big deal, I'd moved on, but I could see the disappointment on his face. I partly wondering if the building management held him responsible for the bag, since he is more or less in charge of hiring and supervising the cleaning crew. I wondered if someone on the crew had copped to the thievery, or simply been accused of it and gotten subsequently canned. Inquiring minds wanted to know, but only so much.

Anyways, this past weekend, my wife comes in the house and is like, "hey, guess what? I found your gym bag, it was in the truck under the baby's stroller!" So, yeah, I feel like an ass because I'd had the bag all along, and in all likelihood, at the bare minimum, somebody has gotten reprimanded, at worst, given a pink slip for a personal property theft that never actually happened.

I saw Dominican Lou in the elevator today, and he gave me the same sad "I let you down" look. After all the weeks of (semi) crying wolf, and likely getting someone else in trouble for my own oversight, what should I do?

Question: What would YOU do? Would you tell Dominican Lou and Co. that the bag was actually at your house, not stolen the entire time, or would you keep this embarrassing episode of Cried Wolf to yourself?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Poll Position: I Think They Like Me.

Last week, I was having one of those days, and needed an ego boost. So, I put up prolly the most vain and self-serving edition of Poll Position to date, asking you folks exactly what it is that you like about AB.com.



The results were interesting to say the least.

So, while I thought you guys were coming here everyday for the investigative reporting and whatnot, it turns out you're just checking by for a daily laugh. I suppose I can live with this, I aim to make everyone's day a bit brighter, and if this happens via jokes, so be it.

My general spin on current events (Commentary, 20%) was a distant second. The ever nebulous "Style of Writing" came in a close third. Somewhat interestingly, the interaction with the rest of AverageNation™ on the comment boards garnered a scant 2% of all votes. Read into that what you will.

This week's poll is seasonal, so get at it before it no longer makes sense.

What's On AB's iPod? : The World's Greatest Rap MegaMix.

This one's pretty short and sweet. The best 800 hip-hop songs of all time year-by-year, evar, rolled into an 80 minute megamix. It sounds impossible, but you gotta hear it to believe it.

Quit wasting time and download it now!!!

The Diary: World’s Greatest Rap Megamix! [Kev|Nottingham]

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Soulja Girl Is Back.

Seems like Soulja Girl has her life together. Amen.



Here's the original, just in case you were under a rock all year.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Why Did I Get Married?!?

You folks know I don't do gossip/innuendo type stories here at AB.com. I don't really give a crap what other folks do in their bedrooms, who's on the DL, and who's got a secret 17 year old love-child being raised by their rgrandmother. I'm not saying this sorta stuff isn't a fun diversion, but there's enough other sites that specialize in this kinda nonsense.



That said, grant me a momentary reprieve as I present this latest case of extreme Negro Nonsense to you. There's a greater (I hope) point to it all.
And they say Plaxico Burress has great hands.

Burress' fellow Giant, newlywed linebacker Antonio Pierce, got awfully cozy with a pretty young thang at a West Side strip club about an hour before Burress accidentally shot himself, a video obtained by The Post reveals.

A mystery woman was also with Pierce later that night at the East Side club Latin Quarter when Burress' gun went off - and then drove both Giants to New York-Cornell Hospital in Pierce's SUV, sources said.

After the shooting at Latin Quarter, which occurred early Nov. 29, and after seeing Burress to the hospital with a leg wound, Pierce took Burress' .40-caliber Glock to his own New Jersey home. The father of three has since cooperated with police and hopes not to be charged.

On May 24, Pierce married model and television personality Jocelyn Maldonado, 28, on Maui, where members of the band Jodeci sang "All My Life" for their first dance. But six months later, Maldonado was nowhere in sight at Head Quarters.

The video shows Pierce and a petite lady friend strolling into the West 38th Street jiggle joint at 11:21 p.m. Nov. 28. Footage later shows the two looking very comfortable together upstairs. The woman is seated on a barstool, as Pierce looms over her with several club employees nearby. Pierce leans down and kisses her.

Shortly afterward, the two walk down to the end of the bar, and the woman sits on another stool as Pierce stands nearby. He grabs her long, black hair and begins to stroke it - repeatedly - as she looks away. Pierce playfully leans down toward her neck and chest, prompting her to giggle and teasingly push him off.

He walks to her other side and throws his arms around her, grabbing her arm and swiveling the stool. As she pulls away, he slides his paw across her breast, briefly grabs and tosses her hair, and then slides his hand down to briefly stroke her curvy bottom. The woman beams at Pierce's attentiveness.

Later, she joins Pierce behind the bar, leaning against him as they sway to the music. Pierce wraps his arm across her torso before leaning down to nuzzle her hair.
Here's the incriminating video.



Busted! And this guy thought getting hit by Marion Barber was tough. Wait'll he gets a load of those divorce papers.

I won't pretend that people don't slip out on their spouses all the time. They do. This is a fact of life and has been since the beginning of time.

What I really just can't understand is why Pierce and guys of his ilk with fame, lots of money, and plenty of available suitors even bother getting married in the first place?

Seriously, why would you get hitched? It's not bringing you more endorsement money. You don't love the chick that much. If you've got kids by her, it's much cheaper to pay child support than child support and spousal support. All that's gonna happen is a massive loss when the house of cards inevitably folds. I say keep playin' the field as long as you're on the field, and settle down once them checks quit comin' in, if evar.

But this bama got married to a NY-area sportscaster just last Summer, and is so stoopid he goes into a strip club with millions of cameras in this day and age, and somehow thinks he won't get caught? What a dumbass!

I've said it before, and I shall say it once more: if you're an athlete or entertainer, DO NOT get married, and DO NOT have unprotected sex!!! Period. Why bother?

You can bet the farm that his wife is gonna use this surveillance video to nail him to the cross when they hit divorce court. He is already on shaky ground with the Giants after his performance the last couple of weeks and his involvement with the Plaxico Burress idiocy. So, with his career already at a crossroads, he could be looking at massive divorce settlement, not to mention the accompanying child support for the three kids that I'm (only) assuming he also has (at least one of) with his new, soon to be ex-wife.

A few years from now, we'll read about this dude putting his ring for sale on eBay, or perhaps winding up in jail for back child support. And all for what?

Seriously, marriage is a lot of work, even if you've not screwing around with other women. You'd think this dude would have learned something from, oh, I dunno, his own (ex)teammates like Michael Strahan and Amani Toomer, both of whom got ripped a new one in their own very public divorce proceedings not long ago.

Pierce's day in front of Judge Toler is coming soon. It will not be pretty. It will not be cheap. It will not be favorable.

And worst of all, it could have been totally avoided.

If you still wanna eff' around: Don't. Get. Married.

Question: How dumb is Antonio Pierce on a scale of 1-10? After less than six months of marriage, does his wife deserve half his wealth for this very public humiliation? Why do athletes and entertainers even bother getting married in the first place if they're clearly not ready to give up "The Life"?

MARRIED PIERCE 'PAWS' GAL ON STRIP-CLUB VID [NYPost]

Fired For "Sloppy Seconds"?!? Wigga Please.

[Editor's Note: Hey, the first hockey-related post at AB.com! Score one for diversity! Obama 2012'!!!]

You guys know I'm all for free speech. Yeah, your right to free speech entitles you to a free butt whoopin' if someone disagrees, but this right to expression is sorta what this country was founded on. Well, that, property seizure, and free slave labor, but I digress.

Somebody needs to tell this to the NHL, and the Dallas Stars.
The Dallas Stars dumped Sean Avery yesterday, announcing that the team will not welcome its mouthy forward back from his league-issued six-game suspension, which ended Saturday.

Avery still is under contract to the Stars, who said in a statement that they will not seek to void Avery's four-year, $15.5-million contract, signed in July. So Avery, who is in the first, voluntary stage of the league's substance abuse/behavioral health program for anger management, will remain in limbo until the Stars find a trade partner, assign him to the minor leagues or wait until next offseason and buy him out for two-thirds of his remaining contract value, about $8 million.

It appears that Avery will not play again anytime soon, for his old team, the Rangers, or elsewhere. His derogatory remarks on Dec. 2 about former girlfriend Elisha Cuthbert and her current beau, Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf, will be the last controversial words heard from him for a while.
You're probably wondering exactly what these derogatory remarks are, right? Okay, peep this.



So, if I'm putting 2 and 3 together, it appears that Avery made an offhanded comment about an ex-girlfriend, who just happens to have jumped from one NHL player to another. That was it. He referred to the girl (Actress Elisha Cuthbert. Don't ask me what she's "acted" in.) as his "sloppy seconds". Yeah, it's sorta inappropriate, and really, really, really d-baggish, but is it really bad enough to warrant being suspended, going to counseling, and essentially losing your job over?

The NHL prides itelf on being a league of bad guys, but they axe a dude over something as stoopid as this? Note: I'm soooo not approving of referring to a young lady as "sloppy seconds". That's pretty tasteless and reduces her to an object. But c'mon. The guy shouldn't lose his gig over it.

Years ago, the NBA's Dallas Mavericks assembled an amazing trio of collegiate talent. Jimmy Jackson, Jason Kidd, and a youthful Jamal Mashburn were affectionately known as The Three J's (although Kidd was known as Ason, for obvious reasons) and were poised to take over the league. Two years later, the triumvirate was split and traded away for a reason that didn't make news until months later. Turns out, both Jackson and Kidd were dating singer Toni Braxton, which made for some notable lockeroom tension.

Phaneuf and Avery aren't even teammates, so there's no possibility of such tension there. And this was more likely a dig at Cuthbert, who, let's face it, really should have chosen her next boyfriend from some other sport. I mean, c'mon, dating a hockey player right after you dumped another hockey player? Who does this chick think she is, Alyssa Milano? Diversify. Go find an NBA player or something? I hear Michael Phelps is single. Sheez.

Sorry folks, I just don't see how making an off-color comment about a scorned ex is grounds for basically losing your job. I'm not hockey-literate, so somebody will need to explain this one for me.

Question: Should Avery have essentially lost his job for calling his ex "sloppy seconds"? Have you ever picked up a close friend's "sloppy seconds"? Just how "sloppy" were those seconds? Have you ever been somebody's "sloppy seconds"? Why do the seconds have to be "sloppy" anyway? Who says they can't be "fresh seconds"?

Stars dump former Ranger Avery [NewsDay]

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Caption This Photo.

WorkPlace 101: They All Look Alike To Me (Too).

Part of any respectable Corporate Negro's hu$tle is learning how to assimilate, especially when you're often the only person of color in the room. Perhaps even more dire is when you happen to be one of only a handful of Negroes in your particular office/division. Because inevitably, some strange bullshiggedy is gonna pop off by sheer virtue of weakness in numbers.

This is seldom more evident than when there are two black men that work in the same circles, but are the only two such people in said circle. In my professional career, I've been mistaken or called "that other black guy in the office" more times than I'm willing to admit. I lost count years ago.[1]

The scenario is usually the same. Some well-meaning colleague tries to go beyond the "sports and weather" small talk and say something nice and personal to you. They vaguely recall some new baby pictures and a birth announcement being forwarded in an email weeks ago. And you get asked the question you already saw coming a mile away.

"So how's your baby daughter doing?

As ya'll know, I have a starting backcourt of two boys. The "other black guy" in my division has a girl.

{Cue the "awkward silence" music.}

I usually inform them that I have boys only, and you can literally see the embarrassment balloon floating over their heads.

Aww crap, that other black guy has the daughter.

I take this gracefully and we usually enjoy a laugh. But it does offend me when the higher ups in whose hands my career literally hangs refer to me by name as that other black guy. I mean, damn, how hard can this be? There's only two of us. You've got a 50/50 chance of getting it right. Rote memorization and consulting the employee phone list for a photo could eliminate any confusion. Never mind the fact that that other black guy and I are about 5 inches, 20 pounds, 10 years, and two complexions apart. But we're both black, right?

But perhaps the most egregious example I've ever seen occurred the other day. Our Winter holiday party took place the recently, and like most companies, someone takes photos and emails them to the rest of the office once the alcohol wears off. It's commonplace for the designated shooter to add cutesy, but never offensive comments in the name of fun. So, imagine the insult when I saw this bullsh*t.

[Editor's Note: I couldn't use the real office pic for obvious reasons. Of course the photo is Keyshia Cole's family, but don't lose focus. Pay attention to the captions in the simulated photo.]

The photo they sent out had "The Other Black Guy" and two black women sitting beside him smiling. And the caption?!?

"How did {other black guy's real name redacted} get two beautiful women to go with him – I thought he was married?!?"

I know what you're saying, what's the big deal, right?

Well, Woman #1 WAS his wife.

Woman #2? She just happens to be a sales manager who works in the same building as the rest of us and sits two offices down from the shooter.

Yep, they all look alike to me, too.

Tell em' homegirl from fruitless "they all look alike" Youtube search results...



Question: How do you handle those awkward "they all look alike moments"?

[1] I know this sorta undermines my point, but how many of ya'll flipped to the football game and thought "why is Omar Epps coaching The Steelers"?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Brother, Can You Spare A (Cabinet) Job?!?

[Editor's Note: Yep, the inevitable backlash has begun! Break out the CapriSuns.]

What the hell is up with Obama's cabinet picks?



Peep the roster, folks of color in bold. I haven't seen this many white dudes on one squad since the 56' Celtics.
NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED:

TREASURY SECRETARY: Timothy Geithner, president of Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

SECRETARY OF STATE: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.

ATTORNEY GENERAL: Eric Holder, former deputy attorney general.

DEFENSE SECRETARY: Robert Gates, holdover from Bush administration.

HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Gov. Janet Napolitano, D-Ariz.

NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Dipset Capo, Jim Jones (BALLIN!!) .

COMMERCE SECRETARY: Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M.

NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL DIRECTOR: Lawrence Summers, former treasury secretary.

OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET DIRECTOR: Peter Orszag, director of Congressional Budget Office.

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D.

VETERANS AFFAIRS SECRETARY: Retired Gen. Eric K. Shinseki.

HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT SECRETARY: Shaun Donovan, New York City housing commissioner.

ENERGY SECRETARY, Steven Chu, director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

EPA ADMINISTRATOR, Lisa P. Jackson, former commissioner of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE, Carol Browner, former EPA administration.

WHITE HOUSE COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY CHAIR, Nancy Sutley, deputy mayor for energy and environment in Los Angeles.

EDUCATION SECRETARY, Arne Duncan, Chicago schools superintendent.

AGRICULTURE SECRETARY - Tom Vilsack, former Iowa governor.

INTERIOR SECRETARY - Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo.

POSTS TO BE DECIDED, WITH THE CONTENDERS:

CIA DIRECTOR
John Gannon, former deputy director for intelligence at the CIA during Clinton administration.
Jami Miscik, former head of CIA's analytical operations.
Steve Kappes, CIA's current No. 2.
Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., now heads House Homeland Security subcommittee on intelligence.
John McLaughlin, former interim CIA chief.

NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE DIRECTOR
Denny Blair, retired admiral and former commander of the U.S. Pacific Command.
Don Kerr, No. 2 official in Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Jami Miscik, former head of CIA's analytical operations.
Former Rep. Tim Roemer, D-Ind.

LABOR SECRETARY
Ed McElroy, former president of the American Federation of Teachers.
Linda Chavez-Thompson, former AFL-CIO vice president.
Mary Beth Maxwell, executive director of American Rights at Work.
Maria Echaveste, former Clinton White House adviser.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm, D-Mich.

TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY
Jane Garvey, former head of Federal Aviation Administration.
Mortimer Downey, former deputy transportation secretary.
Steve Heminger, executive director, San Francisco Bay area transportation commission.
Ron Kirk, former Dallas mayor.
Okay, as you guys can probably guess, I'm conflicted on this one. Part of me says this is okay. The "diversity" is at the top of the ticket, and that's really all the change that's needed. After all, make no mistake, the boss is the one calling the shots. He chose them, not the other way around.

That said, what the f*ck, Barack!?!?!

Seriously, one brother out of all the picks made? Just one? And Eric Holder is a Clinton refugee, he prolly would have gotten the gig had Hillary won.

Lisa Jackson gets an EPA gig, but she ain't heading the Department. She's a double-minion.

There's Hispanics (Richardson, Salavar) and Asians (Chu, Shinseki), and lots of white women (too many to cut and paste), but only one AverageBro in the whole damn cabinet? What is this, the Obama Administration or my last Managerial Retreat?

Somethin' ain't right, Barry.

Before folks get all in a tizzy, I know, Barack should be hiring the "best person for the job". But what's to say there weren't lots of other "best persons" who just happened to be black that got shut out. Off the top of my head, folks like Anthony Brown, Deval Patrick, Ron Kirk (still in consideration), and even Colin Powell deserved a seat somewhere. Anywhere.

It's somewhat interesting that many of Obama's down-ticket picks (Susan Rice, Valerie Jarrett, Desiree Rogers) are indeed black. They just all happen to be women. Unless I'm missing something here, Holder is the only black and male Obama pick. Sure, there's that black White House butler, but damnit, even Reagan had a black butler.

This is some bullshiggedy!!!

I thought the Obama Administration was supposed to be a turning point in American history. Brothers and sisters would have our chance to shine. Kids in ghettos coast-to-coast would abandon dreams of "the pole" and "the trap" for a life of higher education.

The more sh*t changes, the more it stays the same, apparently.

Thanks for nothing, Barry.

Question: Is the virtual whitewash of the Obama cabinet the sign of things to come, or merely a sign that he hires the best, and brightest (provided they're either from Chicago or close with his wife)?

Name by name, Obama's Cabinet taking shape [AP]

When Keepin' It "Swirl" Goes Wrong.

I don't really care one way or the other about interracial dating. I happen to prefer black women, but to each his or her own. Like who you like, it doesn't make a difference to me, so long as there's not some underlying self-hatred of your own people fueling the decision to date exclusively outside your own race.



Anyways, I've kept an eye on University of Buffalo head football coach Turner Gill this season, because he's one of only a handful of black head coaches in Division I-A, or whatever they call it nowadays. Watching Mississippi State's Sylvester Croom implode and get canned this year was offset by the historic run of Gill's Buffalo Bulls. He took a perennial loser and in a mere 3 years as head coach, won his conference and has UB headed to a bowl game for the first time in 50 years. Ironically, the Bulls last received a bowl invitation to the 1958 Tangerine Bowl, which they declined because their two black players weren't allowed to play. Talk about symbolism. Go Obama!



Like most mid-major coaches who do big things, I figured this meant Gill would be at the top of the list when some major school had a vacancy. And sure enough, he's already been considered for jobs at Iowa State, Syracuse, and Auburn. He should have a new gig by now. But this being a black man in "post-racial" America, of course it's never that simple.

Especially because Gill's wife is white.

Ya'll know how much I hate quoting stories this heavily, but I need to provide full context. Read it all before commenting.
Gene Chizik deplaned at Auburn-Opelika Airport on Sunday night to find some 200 fans waving pompom, a host of cheerleaders and Mayor Bill Ham, who presented him with the key to the city.

A day later, it was Charles Barkley’s turn.

Having strongly recommended that his old school hire Turner Gill as Auburn’s first African-American football coach, Barkley blasted the Chizik hire as short-sighted at best and, at worst, racially motivated.

“It’s a comment on Auburn. It’s a comment on the state of Alabama,” Barkley said Monday night. “I just feel sadness because you know what people think of the South and Alabama, things like that. And you just hope that at some point that people are going to say we’re going to change this. Or it’s just going to stay status quo.”

But while initial reaction to the hire ran cooler within the Auburn community, Barkley took it personally. Following Tuberville’s departure, he called Gill, who has had a strong three-year run at Buffalo, to discuss the vacancy. In three years, Gill transformed Buffalo from one of the nation’s worst programs into the Mid-American Conference champion.

Barkley subsequently went on radio and television in Alabama to push Gill’s candidacy. “He is a hell of a coach,” Barkley said. “I never want them to just hire a black coach just because he’s black. I wanted them to hire a black coach for two reasons. No. 1, Turner Gill can coach his [butt] off. But also, with those [top-flight] coaches who are in the SEC now, we need a recruiting tool to bring to Auburn. We do need that.”

Jacobs quietly went about interviewing at least eight and as many as 12 candidates for the job, including TCU’s Gary Patterson, Tulsa’s Todd Graham, Ball State’s Brady Hoke and Georgia assistant Rodney Garner, an Auburn graduate. Only Gill and Garner are black.

Chizik was interviewed late in the process. A former member of Tuberville’s staff —- he was defensive coordinator for Auburn’s 13-0 season in 2004 —- he now must regularly compete against a strong stable of SEC coaches. In his two seasons at Iowa State, his only experience as a head coach, Chizik went 5-19.

“They didn’t expect anybody to call them out on it,” Barkley said. “But they don’t have the guts to say to me, ‘This guy is a better coach than Turner Gill.’ Ain’t no way they can say that with good conscience.”

Of the 119 programs that comprise Division I-A football, only four schools employ African-American head coaches: Buffalo, Houston (Kevin Sumlin), Miami (Randy Shannon) and New Mexico (Mike Locksley, hired Dec. 8).

Barkley said he discussed Alabama politics, race and sports history with Gill. He also dismissed that Gill’s mixed-race marriage should have been an issue and he wonders now if in the final run, Gill ever had a chance.

“I don’t know the answer to that,” he said. “But I got to tell you, if you just put their resumes side by side, it’s not even fair.”

According to Charles Barkley, Turner Gill himself had concerns:

“We talked about the whole race thing in Alabama,” Barkley said. “I told him it’s there and it’s going to be anywhere you go. I told him you can’t not take the job because of racism. He was worried about being nothing more than a token interview. He was concerned about having a white wife. It’s just very disappointing to me.”

Also, Mark Schlabach, ESPN College Football Writer, reported two SEC coaches specifically told him that Turner Gill wouldn’t get the job because of his white wife.
I suppose Barkley has a great point here. On paper, there's no comparison between the job Gill's done at Buffalo and the lowly results Gene Chizik got for the Cyclones. But we all know jobs are seldom granted based on what's "on paper".

Chizik had the benefit of having been a coordinator with the school during an historic season a few years back, and likely was well regarded by school administrators who are willing to overlook his middling results as a head coach. And as for Barkley's assertion that having a black coach would help attract better black recruits, I only have two words: "Sylvester Croom".

Beyond all that logic, I wonder if Barkey's perhaps onto something with that whole "the white wife isn't helping you" thing.

It's common knowledge that Harold Ford's Senatorial campaign was deep sixed partially because his Republican opponent ran ads alleging that he was a playboy who loved himself some white chicks. Never mind the fact that Ford did indeed love himself some white chicks and even went on to marry one shortly after the loss, the point was made. And most black folks agree that Barack Obama would be a pencil pusher at some menial civil rights law firm if he weren't for the street cred his wife gave him. So why's it such a stretch to assume that in The Deep, Dirty Souf, an "uppity Northern" coach with a white wife might catch an "L"?

I'm not sayin' Barkley's onto something, but I'm not sayin' he ain't. What say ye'?

Question: Does Charles Barkley have a point? Could Turner Gill have indeed missed out on the Auburn job because of his white wife? Are you "down with the swirl" or do you like your coffee black and your milk... uhhmmm, milky?

Did Turner Gill Get Turned Down By Auburn Because He Has a White Wife? [BleacherReport]

Barkley blisters old school’s hire [Atlanta Journal Constitution]

Ashy Or Classy?!? : Regions Of Rock KidsWear™.

Apparently it's now mandatory to have your own boutique clothing line if you're semi-famous and live in Atlanta. We've already seen everyone from T.I., to T-Boz, to The Real Housewives Of Atlanta roll out their own lines of gear. And who could ever forget Andre 3000's disastrous Ghetto Bagger Vance collection?

Just to set the tone, play this music in the background.[1]



Not to be outdone, 90's R&B maven Monica, who hasn't had a hit since the first Bush term, flips the script with her own line of children's clothes called Regions of Rock. I'm not exactly up on this sorta stuff, but Rock is either her toddler son (who oddly looks like a child-sized Stephen Curry) or her Baby Daddy. I'm sure one of you will set the record straight on this pressing matter.

An AverageCommenter™ sent me these photos of the line which were posted on a gossip blog, and I figured I'd present them to you guys and see if they pass the AB.com smell test.

Peep the pocket chain, iced grill/mean mugg, crispy white-tee, and all-black Nikes. You just know Lil' Rock is killin' em' at Bankhead Child Development Center!!!


What's up with Monica and them faux animal prints though? Man, how does one hustle backwards and become a hoodrat with age? Ain't it posed' to happen the other way around? See, that's why I always had a grown-man crush on Brandy.

Anyways, I'll give you guys my opinion on this later, but I'll ask you now.

Question: Ashy Or Classy!?! Would you buy your infant/toddler an R.O.R. outfit to rock to daycare? Is this clothing line just harmless youth fun or predisposing toddlers to a lifetime in The Traaaap?

[1] How sad is it to watch some talentless herb ruin a hot track like that? Hot Dollar?!? Ninja please.

Official Regions Of Rock Website

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Arab Money": Racist Tripe Or Bangin' Track?!?

[Editor's Note: Sure, this is trivial stuff. Play along anyway.]

While I love the Ron Browz beat, the dumb dance, and can even tolerate the vocoder/auto-tune hook, something about Busta Rhymes' "Arab Money" makes me cringe everytime I hear it.



Yeah, I know Busta Buss says the song pays homage to the extravagant oil sheik lifestyle by drawing correlations to the time-honored African American tradition of "flossin'". But still, "ARAB MONEY"? I'm no expert on ethnic slurs, but I doubt many folks of Middle Eastern descent like being referred to as "ARABS". That would sorta be like calling an Asian person "ORIENTAL", or a black person a "REPUBLICAN".

I'm just sayin'.

Apparently, I ain't the only one a bit squeamish about it.
Busta Rhymes‘ new song “Arab Money” continues to be a lightning rod for controversy, with one UK DJ being suspended after playing the Quran-sampling track on the radio. Steve “Smooth” Sutherland was suspended from his popular show after the song’s broadcast resulted complaints from listeners.

In the song’s chorus, the first chapter of the Quran is sung and sampled, which is against strict Arab law dictating that singing a Quran verse in combination with music is prohibited. “I really only respect the Arab culture,” Rhymes said in a recent interview. “I ain’t really trying to pay no attention to, ya know, these little people in political positions and executive positions that ain’t Arab culture oriented people because a lot of the times, what are you really showing all of this concern for?”
Not to be outdone, an Iraqi MC (go figure) seized the opportunity to get some free pub for his upcoming album publicly flog Busta as well.
While hip-hop junkies and partygoers are currently bopping to Busta Rhymes and Ron Browz's new hit single, "Arab Money," one fan feels the song is nothing to dance to. Iraqi MC, the Narcicyst, is outraged by the lyrics and claims the track to be racist and degrading to his culture and the Arabic community. "Once again, Arabs are represented as these arm flailing, oil rich, loft having, private jet taking, camel toe lady bangin', desert camel riding, bearded sand men," said the Narcicyst, who deemed it a bigger disappointment that the song came from the hip-hop community.

Disturbed by the song’s message, Narcicyst took a break from his current project, a feature film he was shooting in Dubai, UAE, to record a response track entitled "The Real Arab Money." According to the rapper, entertainment companies are being suspended for playing Busta’s version in the UK and most citizens have publicly announced they are heavily offended by it. The Narcicyst says he admires Busta Rhymes’s talents as an artist and in no way will stop being a loyal fan to him, but wants the MC to acknowledge this time he may have gone too far.
Busta has since apologized to anyone insulted by the track, and actually released an updated version of the song. Since the two (yeah, that's all that's left after the merger, two) hip-hop stations on Sirius-XM play this song incessantly (so much for playlist-free music, huh), I couldn't help but notice that the remix (which features about 20 rappers) has a different hook altogether.



So, we go from "ARAB" to "AHHHH-Rab" and the most offensive portion of the song (the original hook featured a passage from the Quran) has been removed and replaced with some random jibberish. And as much as I agree with the change, part of me wonders if censoring music on this level is such a good idea.

[Editor's Note: I know Busta probably wasn't too happy about being outted for using HGH a few years back, but getting on the N.O.R.E. diet and completely letting yourself go isn't the best idea either. Dude has Arab Tummy.]

This isn't the first time it's happened to a rap song. You probably all remember Jadakiss' "stack chips like Hebrews" line being instantly removed from "All About The Benjamins". Kanye West's "leave your a$$ for a white girl" line in "GoldDigger" was bleeped. When Professor Griff made some derogatory comments about Jews, Public Enemy was forced to throw him under the bus and Chuck D had to take a tour of the Holocaust Museum for PR purposes. But isn't this a slippery slope?[1]

Ignant as Busta's original hook was, it was his artistic vision. Bowing down in the name of censorship seems like an affront to his right to freedom of speech, despite how stoopid that speech might be.

Question: Should Busta have changed the "Arab Money" hook? Do you feel a bit conflicted about this song too or does it not bother you? Had Eminem come out with a song called "JiggaBoo Dollaz" would you be offended?

Busta Rhymes’ Controversial “Arab Money” Gets DJ Suspended [Rolling Stone]

Iraqi MC Offended by Busta Rhymes’ “Arab Money [CelebCafe]

[1] Never mind the fact that no rapper has ever apologized to black women for all the "B's and H's" over the years. I was just listening to Ludacris' "Area Codes" on Sirius this morning and wondering how he got away with that nonsense scot-free.

What To Buy Your Man For Christmas.

Ladies, let's talk for a moment. Fellas, kick rocks.

You've got a few days left to find that special gift before Christmas rolls around. You've already bought your husband/man/significant other/Baby Daddy/weekend jumpoff all the clothes, shoes, and cologne he needs. So flip the script and cop him something he can use everyday.



After years of hand wringing, I was given a Sirius Satellite radio for my birthday, and it's been the best present evar. I'll admit that the reason I never bought one for myself is because the techonology seemed too puzzling and I couldn't choose between XM and it's competitor, Sirius. Boy, was I ever wrong. With the Sirius/XM merger out of the way, the programming array is virtually the same on both carriers, and the equipment is going for crackhead prices.

With over 100 stations of music, comedy, news, and sports, it doesn't get any better. And thanks to the recent merger, the units themselves have never been cheaper. You can cop one for less than $50 for a low end model, and the monthly service is less than the price of a trip to Starbucks. What a bargain!

My favorite station is Jamie Foxx's FoxxHole, which features comedy clips, music, and live shows by Jamie, Sheryl Underwood, and others. Shade 45 and Hip Hip Nation are must-hear radio for rap fans, and there are other stations for virtually every genre of music, even Disney Radio for when the kids are riding shotgun. Between this, and 20-some news stations, there's something for everyone.

I'm not getting paid for this plug, but you can help The AverageKids 529 Plan by purchasing your gift from Amazon.com via the link belowand it'll arrive in time for Christmas. Get a Free 3-Day Trial of Sirius Online Radio if you wanna take it for a spin first.

Happy holidays! Fellas, try to act surprised when you unwrap it.



Monday, December 15, 2008

Does Brand Loyalty Still Matter?!?

Someday very soon, the not-so-lovable losers in Detroit will get a bailout after all. No, I'm not talking about trading Brett Favre to the Lions, I'm talking about The Big Three getting your tax money to further run the American automotive industry into the ground. My thoughts on the bailout are well known: I'm against it. What's next? Bailouts for other obsolete and sagging industries like newspapers, Lad Mags, and MMA?



That said, most of the discussion surrounding the misfortune of American automakers involves their awful union contracts and the quality of the cars they're creating. That's all quite true. But at the root of their downfall rests another issue nobody seems to be discussing: folks don't care about "buying American" anymore.

Exhibit A.



That's not how you sell a new car. Never mind the fact that I don't believe for a moment that that Chevy truck clocked 2M miles without a new motor. For the right amount of money, you can rebuild practically any car. That's hardly a selling point. "This is my truck?" Yeah, that's sure exciting. I'm headed to buy be a Ch... zzzzzzzzzzz.

You want selling points? I'll give ya' selling points. Peep Exhibit B.



So, for the mere cost of an overpriced Tahoe, I too can pull a truckload of waifish models of undetermined ethnicity? Hand me them lease papers now, sonn!!!

The concept of buying a foreign car was like speaking Swahili to AverageGranDaddy. The man literally lived, ate, and slept Buicks. His job was fixing the massive automobiles, and the old man took pride in his work. He'd pull up to the house in his pea green land yatch LeSabre everyday around 6pm, tired from a long day of fixing axles and changing oil at our local dealership, but you could tell that he really believed in his product and felt he was a small part of something bigger. The day I got my first car (a Mazda) and pulled up to his house to show him, the disappointment on his face was undeniable. I'd basically crapped on his life's work and gone and bought a piece of Japanese junk. It would be years before he stopped razzing me for this, and honestly, he was right. That Mazda 626 was a piece of Japanese junk. I'm not saying I'd have been better off with a Buick, but still.

Anyways, that "my Dad bought a Chevy, so I'll drive a Chevy" ethos is part of what used to keep generations of families hooked on particular line of cars, but you seldom if ever see such a sentiment nowadays. This is partly because there's more competition now, but mainly because US automakers haven't kept pace with Asia and Europe and are creating cars that are neither reliable, nor desirable. And it makes me wonder, does brand loyalty even matter anymore?

I'm not particularly brand conscious, and usually just buy whatever's the most cost effective, high quality product, despite where or by whom it's made. Since that Mazda debacle, I haven't touched another car that isn't made by Honda, and probably never will. And while I don't pledge allegiance to any particular brand of shoe, I am a total and complete fiend for Champion Brand athletic apparel.

I grew up in a small, lazy town where the Champion plant was the only employer of note. At one point, probably half the town's population worked there, and they were great corporate stewards. They sponsored uniforms and outfits for all the schools' sports teams, and liberally opened their employee store so townies could get massive discounts on anything they wanted every week. The crowing jewel was when the Original Dream Team's uniforms were all manufactured in my hometown's factory. Watching MJ, Bird, Magic and company emasculate foes in Barcelona carried an additional level of civic pride I'll never forget.



Although the plant eventually folded, leading to massive layoffs and extreme unemployment, I still hold the brand dearly. I literally have dozens of Champion Brand shorts, dry-fit tees, track pants, pullovers, sweats, and socks in my closet. The stuff is sold at Target now, and it's always great quality for a good price. I probably wear some piece of Champion apparel every day. It's comical to the point that my kids (the ones I coach) sometimes "count the number of C's" I'm wearing when I show up for practice.

Yeah, they kinda stiffed my hometown, and after losing the NBA and NFL outfitting contracts awhile back, they're not nearly as popular as they used to be, but Champion has got a loyal customer here.

Question: Are there any brands of automobile, clothing, food, etc. that you will absolutely swear by? Assuming you don't own one now, what would The Big Three have to do to get you interested in buying an American car again?