Sunday, May 31, 2009

What Did The Four Fingers Say To The Face?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

What Ya'll Know Bout'... Roy Ayers?!?

I know I'm posed' to be swearing off [pauses], but [pause] on the tight yellow shirt, which was apparently cool in the 70's. This, my friends, is the work of a musical genius. Off-kilter sangin' and all.

Most folks only know Roy Ayers from "Everybody Loves The Sunshine", but this guy has decades (yes, decades) of hits. And I own every album he's ever put out. No illegal downloads, the real jawns. He was one of my Pops' favorite artists, and he's been my favorite for years.

Oddly, he's also a relatively unknown artist, even though he tours continually and has an amazing volume of his music sampled for hip hop songs. And it makes me wonder, just what other "underrated", little known artists are your favorites?

Question: Who is your favorite "little known/unheralded/slept on" artist? You a Roy Ayers fan too?

Friday, May 29, 2009

We Owned The 80's - Robin Harris.

Anyone alive in the 80's surely remembers Robin Harris' shortlived career. I usually give my brand of commentary to these 80's retrospectives, but I am pulling from the guy's bio since I don't want to overlook anything.
1985 was Harris' year; as the master of ceremonies at the Comedy Act Theater, his “old school” brand of humor began to gain him a mainstream following. A large-eyed stand-up churlish brand of humor and quick put-downs were his trademark. Harris made a promising feature debut playing a no-nonsense bartender in the feature film I'm Gonna Git You Sucka (1988). Harris performed in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing (1989). As "Sweet Dick Willie," Harris served as part of the neighborhood "Greek chorus" that commented on the events of an increasingly tense day. Harris was Pop, the no-nonsense, quick-witted father of Kid in House Party (1990). He followed up later that year with a small turn as a jazz club MC in Mo' Better Blues. He also had a role in Eddie Murphy's Harlem Nights (1989).

In Harris' "Bébé's Kids" routines, Harris' girlfriend Jamika would insist that he take her friend Bébé's three ill-behaved children with them on a date, as she continually agreed to babysit them. The children would regularly make a fool out of and/or annoy Harris. "We Bébé's kids," they would proclaim, "we don't die...we multiply."

The Hudlin Brothers had intended to make a feature film based upon the "Bébé's Kids" sketches, but Harris died while the film was in pre-production. Bébé's Kids instead became an animated feature—the first ever to feature an all-Black main cast—directed by Bruce W. Smith and featuring the voices of Faizon Love (as Harris), Vanessa Bell Calloway, Marques Houston, Nell Carter, and Tone Lōc.
Here's Harris' renowned BeBe's Kids routine. I've heard this over 1000 times, and it's still funny to this day.

The infamous "follow the drip" scene from House Party.

And here's his HBO One Night Stand. Yeah, the guy repeats jokes sometimes, but he still kills.

Sadly, Harris' career was short circuited by a massive heart attack that took his life in 1990. Odd as it may seen, he was only 36 at the time. Imagine what he'd have gone on to do had he lived.

Question: What's your favorite Robin Harris Joke? Had he lived, could Harris have eventually challenged Richard Pryor for the Funniest Of All Time crown?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Corporate Negroes: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

One thing that sorta pisses me off about Obamania is that the furor surrounding it seems to in many ways indicate that uber-achieving black folks are some newfangled phenomenon. Not at all true. Black folks have been CEO's of real corporations for years. Sistas are running Ivy League universities. We've been Rhodes Scholars.

Eff' a NewBo.

For every step forward, there's always gotta be a step back. Two recent stories only served to illuminate this strange Negro dynamic.
Xerox has named Ursula Burns as its new chief executive officer, making her the first African American woman to run a Fortune 500 company. Burns will take over on July 1, 2009, replacing Anne Mulcahy.

The 50-year-old new boss worked her way up the corporate ladder from a summer internship in 1980 to the CEO position. She has also been a member of the board of directors since 2007.

After beginning as a mechanical engineering summer intern at Xerox, Burns went on to work for the company in product development and planning. From 1992 through 2000, she led several business teams including the office color and fax business and office network printing business. In 2000, she was named senior vice president, Corporate Strategic Services, heading up manufacturing and supply chain operations.

Burns led Xerox's global research and product development, marketing and delivery and in April 2007 was named president of Xerox, expanding her leadership to include the IT organization, corporate strategy, human resources, corporate marketing and global accounts.

A graduate of Polytechnic Institute of NYU, Burns also holds a master of science degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University. She serves on several professional and community boards, including American Express, The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, MIT, the U.S. Olympic Committee and the University of Rochester.
Since I ended my Black Enterprise subscription years ago, I wouldn't know Ursula Burns if she walked in my office right now, but it's hard to not be very proud of this latest breakthrough. Kudos, sista. Now, we just need a black female Governor, and a sista on the Supreme Court. I'm not holdin' my breath on that last one though. We all know Barack is choosing the path of least resistance, also more commonly known as a white woman for that SCOTUS spot.

Now, the bad news: Citigroup Chairman Richard Parsons (who once also ran AOL/Time Warner), a guy whom I've always admired, is now in some hot water for (what else?) not keepin' it in his pants.
It's no secret that Citigroup board Chairman Richard Parsons has been working for months to repair the financial giant.

But, until now, even his closest associates didn't know he also was wrestling with a personal crisis - how to tell his wife and three children he has fathered a child with another woman.

Parsons and model-philanthropist MacDella Cooper are the parents of a baby girl named Ella.

The 61-year-old former Time Warner chairman said only: "This is a private matter, and I prefer not to talk about it at this time."

Cooper, 32, also declined to discuss the circumstances of her daughter's birth.

"My private life is private," the striking beauty said. "I'm sure you can draw your own conclusions."

Cooper gave birth last August, according to a source, who said Parsons will support the child and has set up a trust fund for her education.

Having attended benefits for the foundation, Parsons was regularly seen going into Cooper's midtown apartment building, where she lives and works, a source said.

Parsons is due to mark his 31st wedding anniversary with his wife, the former Laura Ann Bush, in August. They have three grown children: Gregory, Leslie and Rebecca.
Look, I'm not gonna get all over this dude for having a side-piece. He ain't my Daddy. But seriously, how "typical" is this? You're a 60 year old exec at the top of your game. You've had a long (albeit possibly not happy) marriage. You got grown kids. You're so much better than this, Mr. Parsons.

It also makes me wonder: is there any famous married Black man who hasn't stepped out on his wife? Martin. Malcolm. Cosby. Jordan. Kobe. Shaq. Sharpton. Parsons. Henry Lyons. Sam Jackson. Morgan Freeman. Ben Chavis. Jesse Jackson. The list goes on and on.

Are Negroes just genetically predisposed to f*ck things up? And if so, does that make a faithful brother like me some weird subspecies? I just don't get it.[1]

But I digress. Let's celebrate Mrs. Burns' accomplishment, which, while it won't get any pub, is just as much a part of history as what happened January 20th. More Ursula Burnses & Ruth Simmonses, less Sapphyris and Hoopzes! Yay!

In the meantime, keep it in your pants, Dick.

Question: Is Ursula Burns' accomplishment groundbreaking, or is Corporate achievement simply not as "sexy" as politricks, sports, and entertainment? Are "successful" black men genetically predisposed to creepin'?

Ursula Burns: The first black woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company [DailyVoice]

Love tangle for power broker: Citigroup's Richard Parsons has love child with model MacDella Cooper [NYDailyNews]

[1] Yeah, I know. "Successful" white men creep too. Understood, but we ain't talkin' about them.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Caption This Photo.

The Funniest Movie Evar?!?

I'm a movie buff, and if you ask me, there is no funnier movie evar than Richard Pryor's 1977 masterpiece Which Way Is Up?, which was the first movie I remember seeing in theaters.[1] If you've somehow managed to go your entire lifetime without seeing this, here's the movie's trailer, which more or less tells you everything you need to know.

Forgive the fuzzy video capture and relive this classic scene as Pops (also played by Pryor) puts everyone in check. The famous quotable comes around the :43 mark.

Peep this scene as Leroy confronts his wife about having an affair. Bear in mind, this movie is from the 70's, and humor had fewer boundaries then. Threatening to kill a woman, domestic violence, excessive use of the words "nigga" and "bitch", and kitchen knives were all fair game.

The hot grits, the scorned wife, Pryor's sudden swap from defiant to scurred, it's all there, and it's all brilliant, 30 years later. I have a copy of this movie in my office, face out, top bookshelf. Every now and then, some clueless co-worker comes in and spots it, then asks me what it's about.

I just tell em' to watch it, and bring it back when you're done.

Question: Is Which Way Is Up? a bonafide American cinematic classic, or is AB clearly on some ole' BS? What's the funniest movie you've ever seen?

[1] Yeah, it was Rated R, and I wasn't even in preschool yet. Don't judge my parents until you try finding a babysitter for 6 kids at once. Guest Post - Letter To A California Jail.

[Editor's Note: AverageCommenter™ Adinasi tells about a recent weekend trip.]

This past weekend I was honored to be a staff chaperone for our students attending the California Conference on Equality and Justice (CCEJ) retreat at the foot of a picturesque mountain in the city of Yucaipa. While the focus was breaking down barriers and building respect among our various races, ethnicities, and cultures, the most powerful yet humbling revelation for me was the depth of anger, fear, and pain so many of our young people suffer that is far beyond criminal, but an insidious form of genocide.

When we segregated into our racial groups, several of our young people were courageous enough to reveal the most heart-wrenching details of their lives that for the first time in a long time publically I was driven to tears. At one point I had to apologize for the irresponsibility of my generation when bringing these young people into the world only to subject them to such emotional, physical, and psychological abuse. Abandonment, sexual assault, drug abuse, parental incarceration, violent death: How can you expect a 14-16 year old to process the nuances of racism, sexism, etc. when every day is a struggle to survive? Throughout my young 14 years in a classroom I’ve always suspected these challenges, but having students openly share them with such raw, real emotions both shook and humbled me more than ever when working with young people. Remember it was the ice below the water line that sank the Titanic because it’s the mass of ice you don’t see that is the true danger.

These wounded yet resilient warriors corroborate more deeply the tribulations of brothas like Monroe, which I will surely share with him during our next meeting (which should be this weekend when I travel up to celebrate his upcoming birthday). The stories of his upbringing were similar to these young people yet told through the filter of young adulthood. As concerned and caring for my students I thought I was, just today in class my demeanor toward every student in class was a level beyond where it had been just the previous week; if any more of my students come to class with these debilitating yokes on their shoulders, I have to be that adult that both accepts them as a responsible parent should yet pushes them to be the talented soul we see versus the damaged, discarded humanity their own family has treated them.

Finally a ray of hope: before I departed for our weekend one of my newly registered students, a Black boy, was quite vocal in his opinion of my chaperoning the retreat: the word he used in his FedEx field voice was ‘RAPIST!’ After having him in class today, and ‘flipping the script’ in my approach to him after my weekend experiences, as he left after school tutoring/detention (and funny how he ‘chose’ to serve it in my room), his words were, “Nah Mr. ____, you ‘da homie…”

The ‘AB Challenge’ is neither voluntary nor superficial: the survival of a race, ethnicity, and culture depends upon it.

Question: What are you doing each and every day to guide our young people through their trials? Are you waiting on the government/someone else for 'change'?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 Guest Post - Why You Should Ask Your Best Friend Out On A Date.

[Editor's Note: The Uppity Negro muses about the dreaded Friend Zone.]

Okay, so I’m sure you all have noticed a weird trend in these guest blogs that I’ve done: primarily they’ve all been surrounding relationships and secondarily I have an interesting approach to these relationships that’s definitely not traditional. That being said, let’s get to work.

Some of my friends here on campus have mused that “your best friend would make your best lover in a relationship.” Usually, that grosses the average person out. I mean, honestly, my good female friends are borderline in the sister category. But then I thought about it, they really might be on to something.

Look at it this way:

Your best friend of the opposite sex, you’re always going out on “dates” with them anyway. I personally can’t tell you the number of times I’ve gone out one-on-one with a female friend. Hopped on the bus to meet up with them downtown and go to Water Tower, or meet up for lunch at Leona’s in Hyde Park. Or go catch a music show over at Kenwood, then go out for drinks later. Or even, have them come over my house and then my mother and them play like mother and daughter-in-law and talk to each other more than they talk to me!

Honestly, with one friend of the opposite sex in mind, me and her would make a great couple—on paper that is (I still love you Uppity Negress). We both grew up together and known each other since kindergarten. Even one of our other friends from that same class called me up and asked me what was up with me and her. Although due to unfortunate circumstances, she’s paying the mortgage on a house that she lives in, a three bedroom, one and half bath with a full basement, two car garage in a nice middle-class neighborhood in the Chi. My mother loves her, she loves my mother; me and her brother get along just fine and even her brother’s friends to some extent and she’s suggested me and him have a “bromance” this summer because she’s gonna be out of town.

Generally speaking, the reason you and your best friend of the opposite sex get along is because you’re so compatible. You’re attracted because of the similarities and the right differences keep you all as friends. I mean, look at the movie “Brown Sugar.”

Aside from it being one of my favorite underrated movies, the premise, I’m sure has played itself out more than once in various social circles world wide. But, by a show of hands, raise them if you’ve mustered up some courage to ask a friend out on a date, or at least put ourselves squarely out there and gotten the “I just wanna be friends” or “I don’t want it to be awkward between us line.”

**raises both of my hands**

I mean, that merely reminds me of the movie “Just Friends” with Ryan Reynolds just above where, for the most part the girl wanted to be “just friends” even though of course the whole movie is about how the ended up together, as was with “Brown Sugar.” I mean, I’ve been in the “just friends” category and personally it sucked for me, but for a plethora of other undercover reasons.

I wonder is it really because were trained and socialized to not be with our friends or is it really the fact that there isn’t a mutual attraction. I mean, we all hear the stories of married couples that always say “We were friends first” or something to the effect of friends that sustained their relationship.

My advice is to try it out.

Question: Do you think my theory is complete B.S. that you should try asking out your best friend of the opposite sex? Have you tried it before? What have been your “epic fails” as far as asking out a friend or putting yourself out there? As a result would you ever do it again?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Vacating The Premises.

Well, folks, I'm outta here. By the time you read this, I'll be en route to Copenhagen along with AverageFamily for a 9-day trip through Northern Europe. We'll also hit Russia, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. Yes, I'm excited.

Needless to say, I won't be checking this blog in my absence. A motley crew of AverageContributors will man the post while I'm gone. You'll see the occasional drop from me over these next couple of weeks, but rest assured, I'm nowhere near a blog. Those are prewritten & prescheduled to run.

Today's a holiday, so take a pause for the cause to remember those who fought and continue to fight for our freedom erryday. The same folks who fight for our freedoms, including the right to free speech that allows me to pen this blog, and the wherewithall to get as far away from it as possible when I need a break.

See ya'll here tomorrow. AverageNation™ Weeks II & III begin then.

До свидания!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Colin Powell Is Brilliant.

If you missed General Colin Powell's appearance on Face The Nation this morning, here's a replay. It's really a shame that a guy this brilliant, this considerate, this well spoken, will always have his name tied to the Iraq war.

Peep how he smoothly chin-checks Rush, the GOP, and even Obama's approach to closing Gitmo (which I agree with, but I'm not getting into today, still packing for trip) in a manner that's both direct and respectful.

Part 2. Powell talks about rights and wrongs in national security.

Question: Why can't more politricians on both sides of the aisle be as classy as Colin Powell?

Well, At Least You've Got Lebron...

Damn, Jameel, please tell me it ain't that bad out there.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

At The Reeeedddd House!!!

Yep, another Epic Fail for The Tarheel State. This is a real commercial for a real store, BTW.

Question: WTF?!?

Friday, May 22, 2009

The No-Talent Bums All-Star Team.

Last week, while ruminating on the GOP's fascination with "savior/spokespersons", something occurred to me. People like Carrie Prejean, Joe The Plumber, and Sarah Palin, despite appearances aren't as dimwitted as they appear. In fact, these folks are quite intelligent, despite their lack of obvious talent. They're smart because they have one coveted talent that they possess which may not be discernible to the naked eye: Hustle. In short, these folks know the game, and how to pimp it to their advantage.

While I find Prejean reviling, Joe bewildering, and Palin strangely intriguing, I can't knock their hustle. In fact, I sorta admire it. Each of their cases (especially Palin's, because I suspect she's not as stoopid as she appears) involves some level of dumbing down to meet the lowered expectations of others. Mixing in some level of folksiness helps. So does painting yourself as a victim. Lack of melanin is the clincher.[1] Add all this together, and you got the perfect recipe for success, American-style: riches, fame, admiration, imitation (LensCrafters has sold millions of "Palin frames"), and damn near living-martyrdom.[2]

With that said, the aforementioned trio ain't the only folks doin' more with less. Here's a few more folks who've pimped the game in various arenas and made a great life (or at least 15 minutes) with marginal talent.

Diddy - Let's face it, what the hell does this guy actually do besides hype stuff up? He doesn't produce (see: The Hitmen). He doesn't write his own raps (see: Mark Curry, Sauce Money, Ness, Smitty, Aasim). He likely has little free time to design all that Sean John gear. He can't act. He hasn't discovered a talented, bankable artist since the Clinton administration. He used to be able to dance, but that's an overrated talent anyway. But he's managed to somehow make a 20 year career and millions of dollars by doing little but breathing on other folks' records and claiming production credits. Take dat'! Take dat'! Simply amazing.

Greta Von Sustern - Okay, she isn't an actual journalist. She talks like she's got a mouthful of potatoes. She has no heft or intellectual gravitas. I'll avoid all sexist claims by sidestepping her looks. Why does this woman keep getting jobs?

Paris Hilton - I suppose the country's continual fascination with dumb blondes could explain some of this, but otherwise, what's up? She isn't even that cute.

Kim Kardashian - See: Hilton, Paris. Add butt implants.

Ray-J - Hey, I'm on a roll, don't stop me now.

Jimmy Fallon - His "aw shucks" shtick wasn't ever that funny on SNL, it was only laughworthy when he was paired with Horatio Sanz. Now, Fallon's inexplicably gotten his own late night talk show, and outside employing The Legendary Roots Crew as his in-house band, boy does it suck! Isn't it about time for postracial America to have a non-white-male late night show host? Call Arsenio, I'm sure he's free.

Sanaa Lathan - Go ahead and start booing and hissing. But keep it honest with yourselves. Other than being aesthetically pleasing (which, granted, is actually a talent in and of itself), exactly what is this chronically overrated actress good at? I used to dig her, but seeing her in so terribly over her head that one season on Nip/Tuck gave away the secret: Sanaa couldn't deliver a line if she worked for Con Ed. She makes Nia Long look like Cicely Tyson.

Teyana Taylor - Nope. Me neither.

Soulja Boy Tell'em - I suppose those silly dances could be considered a talent, but my 12 year-old nephew can do them better, which again proves my whole "dancin'/sangin' is an overrated talent" theory. I don't consider this guy "the death of hip-hop" like some purists do[3]. I actually admire his hustle, and his use of technology to promote himself is very clever. But c'mon, have you actually listened to the lyrics of "Turn My Swag On"? A small child in Afghanistan dies gets a stomachache everytime this terriawful song gets a spin. Is that the laziest, most cockamamie "hit song" since "Whoomp There Is It!" or is it just me?

Boris Kodjoe - Yep, ladies, I already see you typing the word "hater". Nope, I do not care. This guy makes Morris Chesnut look like Sidney Poitier.

Sean Hannity - Despite being born with a silver spoon, and being expensively prep schooled, Hannity was such a f*ckup that he failed out of multiple colleges before going on tp such dazzling careers as bartending and general contracting. Like Beck, he continually spouts the very same 5 talking points ("European-style socialism", "taxing our children's children", "weak on defense", blah, blah, blah) even when they're irrelevant to the conversation, but has somehow convinced millions that he's a "Great American", and his ratings are through the roof. Odd factoid: The ACLU once helped Hannity get reinstated after he was once fired from a low watt radio station for telling a lesbian caller "I feel sorry for your child". Some thanks he's given.

Campbell Brown - I just don't get it.

Wolf Blitzer - Ditto. Don't get it either.

Katie Couric - Let's bat for the "clueless media personality" cycle, why don't we?

David Gregory - Homerun!

Jada Pinkett-Smith - I'm making the rare exception here. She's talented, she actually can act. She's just annoying as all get-out though. Can she make it through a single 30 second interview without saying the word "Will"? Argggh. Maybe "all-annoying team" needs to be another list.[4]

Akon - I've said it before and it bears repeating. T-Pain is talented. Very talented. He produces songs, can create catchy melodies, is naturally funny, and can actually rap even better than he "sings". Akon, on the other hand? His greatest talent is discovering T-Pain. Everything else he does completely perplexes and repulses me to no end. If you need audio-proof of this theory, just try listening to "Daydreaming" without gouging your eyes out with a Bojangles' spork. I double-dog dare you.

DJ Khaled - I've already gone in on Khaled, who is easily one of the most annoying persons currently living and breathing in the Western Hemisphere. For the sake or brevity, peep this if you need a greater explanation.

Damon Jones - The DJ Khaled of the NBA. A world famous weedcarrier who's managed to attach himself to some of the most successful players (Shaq, D-Wade, Lebron) in the league, effectively disguising the fact that he can't make any shot other than a 3 pointer, and even then, only at a 30% clip.

Glen Beck - This guy's bio reads like a slacker's manual for accidental success. He started out as one of those d-bag Top 40 morning show hosts, graduated to singing backup vocals for a blues band, did standup comedy, and somehow ended up with a Conservative talk show. Years later, despite not being able to make a coherent sentence, and despite being obviously faker than a $3 bill (all that damn crying. Nilla please!), Beck makes millions a year to spout tin-foil hat conspiracies. He is the real-life Dale Gribble.

Question: Any glaring omissions you wanna share? Still feel like typing the word "hater" for that Boris Kodjoe mention? Who is the Damon Jones of AverageNaton™?

[1] Cause let's face it, no Black person could get away with being so mediocre in the arena of politricks.

[2] Provided you don't become a Democrat, of course. Cause then you're just an America-hating traitor. Word to Arlen Specter.

[3] Cause let's face it, LCD Rap ain't new. They made plenty of it during the Golden Age too (ie: "Tha' Rappin' Duke" & "The Pee Wee Herman"). Let's not get all sanctimonious with the revisionist history. Everybody wasn't Rakim.

[4] And first on the "All-Annoying List": OJ The JuiceMan. Aye!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Name That Sample - "Curious".

Name That Sample is simple: I play the original song, you tell me who sampled it. Winner gets a day's supply of Cyber CapriSuns™. As always, no Googling! Google is for losers.

This classic soul tune by Midnight Star has been sampled dozens of times. Personally, it's one of my favorite songs. Dang, whatever happened to real music? Sure, there's some synths and 808's goin' on here, the lyrics are so innocent. Dude is just rappin' to a chick he just met, and wants to know better. What's purer than that? We could use a lot more "Curious" and a lot less "Best I Ever Had"s, but that's just my old a$$ talkin' as usual.[1]

Anyways, this tune was most notably sampled for a classic 90's hip hop soundtrack song by a rapper who's renowned as the best that ever did it. Can you name the artist, song, and movie?

Question: How many songs can you name that used the "Curious" sample? Don't be fooled into just listening to the opening bars, or you'll prolly miss half the possible answers. Feel free to cheat and use other commenters' work, but do NOT Google! Google is for losers.

[1] I know Drake is the current "next big thing" this month, but have ya'll listened to the actual lyrics of that song? Don't let your nieces listen to that crap, seriously. Is Actin' Up (If You Use IE).

Some of ya'll might be having issues pulling up the Blog. This is a tech issue, not's. It'll be resolved soon enough. In the meantime, download Google Chrome, it's a quicker browser anyway.

WorkPlace 101: Good Clothes Or Hood Clothes?!?

Like any perfectly respectable Corporate Negro, I know and fully understand the importance of appearance. Often people form their (mis)conceptions of you long before you open your mouth. They say clothes make the man. Call this BS all you want, but ask a woman what's one of the first things they notice about a man, and I guarantee wallet bulge shoes will be somewhere in Top 3. So, it's a must that you pay attention to your attire if you want to remain gainfully employed.

That said, sometimes you get sick and tired of this sorta superficial nonsense and just wanna be comfortable. I happen to work for a tech company, and like most, unless we're seeing a customer (which is usually offsite), we are free to dress however we like in the office on the daily. We have a guy who wears shorts 365 days/year. There's a dude at Corporate who wears a dress (not a kilt, as real f*ckin' J. Jill dress. Dis' bama.) all the time, and is protected by workplace discrimination laws in doing so. Every office has the Cougar/MILF who just can't give up the lowcut blouses, although she really should go home to her husband and stop hitting on the UPS guy. And then there's me.

I dress depending on how I feel when I wake up that morning. This could be an button-down and slacks, sweats, a suit, or a polo and jeans. I pretty much do whatever I want, because comfort's first. On the flipside, I hate tucking in my shirt tail (don't ask), and I'm wondering if this is a bad idea.

I've been to our Corporate offices (down South) a lot lately for training. The classes are always employee-only, and the dress code there is just as casual as my regional office in DC. The rest of the folks in there are typically dressed business casual, as do I. But I still do not tuck in my shirt tail, and I get some odd glances as (what I think is) a result. I'm hardly the most self-conscious guy, but even I find myself overthinking this. I realize this is a very peculiar question, so answer simply, please do not overanalyze.

Question: Do you have to tuck and blouse your shirt, or is casual casual? Are untucked shirts tacky/unprofessional, or is work all about comfort? Do you have a co-worker (or is it you?) who is always dressed inappropriately?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Michelle Obama = Elton Brand?!?

I'm a big fan of The Jim Rome Show, which is a very popular syndicated sports talk radio show for those unaware. Among the show's many quirks is when callers phone in and give their "take" in a cynical style similar to the Rome's deadpan humor. This brand of humor takes awhile to get used to, and if you don't know the show any better, you'd prolly find much of what's said offensive or just plain miss the funny.[1]

A minor controversy is surely about the gain steam since comedian Jay Mohr (SNL reject), a Rome Show regular, went a little too far and criticized the First Lady. The offensive passage comes around the 1:45 mark.

For those without soundcards, here's what he said.
Michelle Obama - that is a big dude. When Barack plays pick up games at the White House, you know he picks Michelle as his "4" (power forward), maybe his "5" (center) depending on who’s in Congress that day.

That has to be like being married to Elton Brand. She is a big dude. I like when she put her arm around the Queen of England – and she put her in a headlock and said, “I’ve been waiting 200 years to put my arms around you lady.”

I like how she shaved off her eyebrows, and then drew them back way to high – and in an arch – and then way back down, so she always looks super surprised. Michelle Obama kind of looks like the Count on Sesame Street. One … Ha Ha … One Black President … Ha Ha.

What a year. The cardinals make the Super Bowl, the Rockies make the World Series, and the President smokes Newports.

I'm sure I'll shock the Hell outta everyone by saying this, but lets please not make this bigger than it is. Mohr's joke was in poor taste, but that's all it was, a joke. I hear far worse, from far more famous people about the Obamas (including a "Barack doesn't eat coochie because it ain't deep fried" quip on Opie and Anthony the other day) everyday. Mohr isn't anything better than a D-Lister, whose wife (the redhead off Las Vegas) is more famous than him. Don't give the guy any added notoriety by turning this into something it's not. Mohr isn't Imus. Rome isn't Imus. This isn't too far removed from the whole Jamie Foxx/Miley Cyrus dustup.

It was just a joke. A not-so-funny one, but still just a joke. Let it ride.

Question: Was Jay Mohr's joke offensive or just not all that funny?


[1] And don't get it twisted, the show is an acquired taste, but it is hilarious.

Mike Vick's Real Crime.

Well, after 20-some months in Levenworth, noted pet enthusiast Mike Vick is finally a free man today, heading back to this Virginia home to serve the balance of his sentence on house arrest. He'll still have 3 years of probation before he's free & clear, but if the NFL approves his reinstatement (which it should) he may well be back in the league this Fall as someone's backup QB.

Lots of the public outcry when Vick was initially sentenced centered around whether or not the time fit the crime, if Vick was being persecuted because he's a black, and whether dogfighting was any worse than horse racing.[1] Lost in this shuffle was the biggest takeaway that I personally got: Choose your friends wisely.

[Editor's Note: Yep, it surprises me to no end that TI will probably be home by Labor Day, and committed a far worse crime than his fellow ATLien. I have no theory for why he's been allowed to profit (Yeah, this has actually been a come-up for him! How many "going away" shows has he done?) from his foolishness, yet Vick's been vilified. Anyone care to theorize?]

Think about it, how many times when you were young and dumb, did you let a "friend of a friend" that you didn't really know get in your car? Let a friend cheat on a test by allowing him to look at your answers? Clock a friend out at work, long after they had ditched? We all do stupid stuff for folks whom we call our "friends", although these friends might often only have their best interests at heart. Anyone who says (s)he can't relate is simply deluding themselves.

Vick's biggest mistake all along was trying to look out for friends who were only looking out for themselves. I refuse to believe that he had the free time to start an interstate dogfighting ring while he was busy preparing to play the Bucs on Sunday? He quite simply gave some people too much trust and too much money. These folks, instead of say, getting themselves educated so they can fish for themselves, took this kindness and wasted it in the most gutter, penitentiary-chances taking Negro Nonsense possible.

Vick didn't blow the whistle, because he was probably too much of a people pleaser. And inevitably, when one of these "friends" landed himself in trouble, he sang like Mariah. That violates every gentleman's code of weedcarrying, and these guys should be ashamed. So should Vick, because he should have known better.

Keep your head up, Mike. The Redskins will be calling soon enough.

Question: Was Vick's sentence too long? Why? Should the NFL reinstate him? What team will he end up with? Why did TI get off far easier by comparison? Does this puzzling juxtaposition of outcomes completely rewrite the rules for Negroes With Charges?

Vick's reality: Life as an ex-con [ESPN]

[1] Note, I am not in any way diminishing the utter stoopidity of making dogs fight dogs for money.

Is Twitter About To Jump The Whale?!?

I feel like I'm not supposed to like anything by Bay Area cRapper Mistah FAB, especially after the photo above. But darnit, this is catchy. Yeah, trolling the innanets for coochie is really 99', but Twitter's all 09'.

"Twiggas"? I had no idea it was that deep. Followers sounds a little odd, yeah, but "Twiggas"? Yeah, it's sorta dumb, but I like it, and it gives me another excuse to plug AverageTwitter.

The whole Twitter Phenomenon has swept the nation. In recent weeks, you can't turn on the TV, listen to the radio, or visit a single website without hearing mention of the site. It really reached the proverbial tipping point when my building's Dominican janitor sanitation engineer asked me if I had an account. This from a guy who usually communicates to other with words like "'migo'". So yeah, I think the end is near.

About a month ago, I signed up for both FaceBook and Twitter, just to finally see what all the fuss is about. I like both, but I think I finally get the whole point of FaceBook, after weeks of trying to figure out WTF? The sole purpose seems to be the pull up photos of girls you used to like in high school/college and stand in awe at how much they've "let themselves go". Before someone calls me out for being sexist, fall back ladies. As if you haven't done the same.

Still, Twitter has few of these advantages, and with no real business plan or definitive way to cash in and monetize, it's hard to see the appeal lasting past Halloween.

Then again, what do I know? I wrote off "this whole innanets thing" after the dot com bust.

Question: Do you think Twitter is about to jump the shark? What's better, FaceBook or Twitter? What do you think of "Hit Me On Twitter"? Ashy or Classy? Why are you still not on Twitter?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Caption This Photo. Guest Post - The Greatest Movie Hoopers Ever.

[Editor's Note: My main man Ed The SportsFan serves up sports talk daily on his blog. Today, he goes in on the greatest movie ballers of all time.]

This is what happens when a blackberry messenger conversation goes too far. I digress...

After watching Ray Allen morph into his alter-ego, Jesus Shuttlesworth, again the other night, Kenny (fellow ETSF contributor) started fantasizing about some of his dream matchups.

Who would win in a game between Jesus Shuttleworth and Kyle Watson?

WOWZERS...then Ed's brain exploded due to the possibilities of such a legendary matchup. Since this mythical game could never take place, the least we could do is come up with an all-time greatest movie hoopers team. Something we are known for doing here at ETSF. Anyway, this is open for debate and I expect you to disagree with me, lol. HERE WE GO!

Point Guard: Kyle Watson, Above The Rim - Quite arguably the most revered PG in movie hoops history, dude witnessed it all. He was bought out by one of the biggest legends in the drug game in Birdie (Tupac), he was recruited by one of the greatest basketball scouts ever (Pee Wee Kirkland) and teams ever (Georgetown).

Kyle's game was already super nice, but then he got some added tips from none other than city legend Shep (Leon). At the end of the day, he overcame the advances of the pussy opposite sex, seeing Flip (Bernie Mac) get chopped up put away by Avon Barksdale Motaw plus finally seeing Bugaloo (Marlon Wayans) aka Kenny Tyler (6th Man) get his pride hurt made him an all around killa. Plus hitting the game winner over Seton Hall in the Big East championship his freshman year didn't hurt.

Shooting Guard: Jesus Shuttlesworth, He Got Game - Was there any doubt? Jesus was the #1 prep player from Abraham Lincoln High School (New York), and under constant pressure (two salacious white women waiting in his room) to decide which college basketball scholarship offer he will accept.

Jake Shuttlesworth (Denzel) tried to sway his son's decision to go to Bigg State, by way of that being the governor's alma mater. Jesus quite possibly balled on the livest high school team of all-time, with Coleman 'Booger' Sykes (Hill Harper) running the point, Sip (Travis Best) running the 2-guard, Jesus at the wing, Lonnie (John Wallace) at the 4, and Mance (Walter McCarty) at Center. Moreover, his girlfriend was THE ORIGINAL LaLa (Rosario Dawson) and even then she was a turncoat. At the end of the day, dude was named Jesus, not after the almighty, but Black Jesus aka Earl "The Pearl" Monroe. Legendary.

Small Forward: Jimmy Chitwood, Hoosiers - When we start to talk about the upset special, the underdog, and in more current times, "WE SHOCKED THE WORLD" and "NOBODY BELIEVED IN US" methodologies, they begin with the story of Hoosiers. From a team of only 7 players, one of which was the trainer because they had so few players, their unquestioned leader was Jimmy Chitwood.

Chitwood didn't play for about half the season because of their previous coach passing away, however, after the shaky past and beginning of the season by new coach Norman Dale (Gene Hackman) brought the town to a fever pitch, Jimmy rallied the troops and announced he'd play again. Chitwood probably is the only person in movie-sports history that could challenge Jesus (Shuttlesworth) for the greatest stroke ever. Demanding the ball for the game winning shot over powerhouse South Bend Central for the Indiana State Title sealed his legacy.

Power Forward: Saleh, The Air Up There - Quite possibly the most slept on movie-hoops player of all-time, Saleh was a man amongst men. Dude was about 6'9", with a 40+ inch vertical, yet he hooped with no shoes on whatsoever (hell he didn't hardly have any clothes on except for some warrior paint and some koala skin covering the twig and berries.

When Jimmy Dolan (Kevin Bacon) came to Africa to recruit him, they became the most dynamic duo on the continent. Dolan also taught him "The Jimmy Dolan Shake and Bake" move which if done in real life would get you immediately laughed at, however it worked for them, and ended up making Saleh a worldwide legend.

Center: Neon Boudreaux, Blue Chips - They found him in the backlands of Louisiana, they had to wade through swamps, alligators, and hootenannys to find this man, but when they found him it was definitely worth it. Neon Boudreaux (Shaquille O'Neal) was listed at 7'4", 335 pounds and was a beast in the lane. However, admittedly not an academic achiever or surprisingly had never played organized basketball makes you wonder how the hell did he even get into school. Regardless, he got recruited by fake UCLA Western University and coach Pete Bell (Nick Nolte) to formulate one of the greatest recruiting classes ever since the Fab 5 of Michigan.

Butch McRae (Penny Hardaway) and Ricky Roe (Matt Nover???) plus Neon were given more lavish gifts than Donald Trump's kids. This includes giving a Lexus to Neon Boudreaux (a la Adrian Peterson), a house to Butch's mother (a la Reggie Bush), and also a tractor to Ricky's father as well as "bags of cash," just to sign these players up. Besides his name is Neon Boudreaux, how great is that?

Bench: Monica Wright and Quincy McCall (Sanaa Lathan & Omar Epps - Love & Basketball, however, Monica must immediately tear her ACL and forced to watch the games from the box for fear she'll make every guy on the team want to make it rain on her she'll ruin the team's chemistry.), Kenny Tyler (Marlon Wayans - The 6th Man), Sidney Dean & Billy Hoyle (Woody Harrelson & Wesley Snipes - White Men Can't Jump), Butch McRae (Penny, Blue Chips), Jamal Wallace (Rob Brown, Finding Forrester), Spaceman (Terrence Howard, Sunset Park).

Coach: Ken Carter (Samuel L. Jackson, Coach Carter), only he has to coach in his Snakes On A Plane/A Time To Kill Voice. "YES they deserved to die, and I hope they burn in Hell!"

Referee: Micky Gordon (Billy Crystal, Forget Paris), just for diversity's sake.

Question: Is there anyone I'm forgetting? Of course there is. Who else belongs on this fabled squad? Let us know!!

More From Ed The SportsFan [ETSF]

Judgment Day.

Other than my beloved Tarheels winning the National title, this hasn't been a banner year for my sports teams. The kids I coach went a miserable 1-7. My alma mater flamed out at the wrong time and missed the NCAA's. But perhaps worst of all has been my local NBA team. Preseason injuries, the premature firing of a head coach, and the continued immaturity of the team's young players all equalled a franchise-tying worst season of only 19 wins. On the bright side, being really bad has its advantages, because it traditionally means you have a chance of getting really good again if you land the #1 overall pick.

Over the past 10 years, the draft's #1 pick has produced a handful of future hall of famers (Yao Ming, Lebron James, Dwight Howard) a few All-Stars (Elton Brand, Kenyon Martin), and some solid second bananas (Andrea Bargnani, Andrew Bogut). Unfortunately, like any crap shoot, you're eventually gonna roll craps.

Wow, the suits.

Franchises have been setback decades when they picked guys like Michael Olowokandi, Greg Oden (yeah, I already wrote him off), and perhaps the most chilling of all, Kwame Brown.

Contrary to popular belief, I didn't stop watching my local NBA team after I publicly disowned them here last year, I merely quit talking about them here. Doing so in public would be like being seen in public with your ex-girlfriend after you found out she was a party favor at last Homecoming's Que party.[1] Not that I personally know, of course.

Anyways, for all that grunt work, the local NBA team has the 2nd best chance of getting that #1 overall pick tonight, following only the Sacramento Kings in the Blake Griffin Sweepstakes. Griffin, depending on whom you ask, is either the next Kenyon Martin (me) or the next Karl Malone (Ed) minus the illegitimate kids. He's an awesome physical specimen with a mean streak and incredible drive to succeed. He's the sort of player who can add 10 wins to a team as a rookie. He's exactly the sort of player my local NBA hasn't had since, well, evar.

This being DC Sports and all, chances are the local NBA team falls to 5th, and ends up with some future scrub like James Harden. This is widely regarded by many as a 2 player draft, with Spanish phenom Ricky Rubio the runner up. Of course, drafting a rookie PG when you already have $116M tied up in one point man is lunacy, so it's really #1 or bust for my team.

Wish me luck. I'll need it.

Question: Who is the biggest NBA draft bust of all time?

[1] Sloppy seconds = garden variety bad. Omega sloppy seconds = Vile & disgusting.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ziggy Marley "Family Time" Contest Winners Announced.

Thanks for all the submissions to last week's Ziggy Marley "Family Time" Contest. We got a surprising number of wrong answers. This proves that either folks think they know more about the Marleys than they actually do, or that some folks don't believe in the power of Google.

Anyways, here's the lucky 5.
Chris N. - Sterling, VA
KClaus - Gunnison, CO
Malika - Silver Spring, MD
Creole25 - Flowood, MS
Denene @ MyBrownBaby - Snellville, GA
Congrats to all the winners, and thanks for BigHonchoMedia for providing the prizes.

Ziggy [Official Artist Website] Guest Post - He’s Not Intimidated, He Just Doesn’t Like You.

[Editor's Note: I hate running Guest Posts without permission, but that's exactly what I'm doing today. Jam Donaldson is perhaps best known as the creator of the website HotGhettoMess, and BET's spinoff show We Got To Do Better. Her blog Conversate Is Not A Word is a personal favorite of mine, so when I saw this post that more or less echoed a sentiment I agree with, from a female perspective, I had to run it. I only know Jam in passing, but I did ask for permission, she just didn't respond. So I'm asking for forgiveness instead. Jam, check your email. AverageNation™, let the sparks fly. This one's a doozy.]

Ok people I just have to say it. For a long time I was willing to give women the benefit of the doubt, but no longer. As I enter the realm of my thirties being single and anxious about just where my life is going, I know there are jillions of similarly-situated women who feel the same way. I think most women who reach their thirties and are still single go thru a range of emotions almost daily. Sometimes we feel very liberated and independent, relishing a life full of opportunities unhampered by domestic obligations. Other days we are full of fear wondering if we will ever find a mate and enjoy the benefits of companionship.

Will we find someone to experience the bigness of the world with? Will we find someone to grow old and fat with? Although we enjoy our freedom, we know there will come a day when sitting on the couch at home with a bottle of wine and a dog watching Tivo just wont do it. We wonder if we will end up dying alone only to be found after three days by a home care worker who doesn’t speak English. But enough about me.

That being said, I want to address a lie that many of us tell ourselves about why we may be alone at this stage of our lives. And though I focus on my fellow thirtiers, this really goes for all women.

Because the “single” designation is such a source of anxiety as you get older, we oft find the need to justify our status. We have these little reasons that we tell ourselves we’re alone to make us feel better. And its time for it to stop. If I hear one more woman say that men are intimidated by their success and/or independence I’m gonna scream. I call this the Intimidation Doctrine. Other than Iraq having WMD, this is one of the biggest lies of our time.

When a woman is attractive, educated, financially independent and generally successful and STILL single, many of us start to believe that our success is part of the problem. When relationships don’t work out, we automatically go into the “well, he’s just intimidated by my success” routine. And its time for us to get real with ourselves.

We have to stop making excuses for our failed relationships. Too often these excuses lay all the blame on someone else. As long as we believe that most men are intimidated by strong successful women, we fail to look at ourselves for the reasons we cannot maintain successful relationships. The Intimidation Doctrine keeps us looking outward for fault. It relinquishes us of all responsibility. And I think its holding us back.

I must admit, I have never been a follower of the Intimidation Doctrine because I KNOW I’m fucked up and have issues. (I know I can be selfish, spoiled, obnoxious and a total smart ass, but I’m working on it) However, I see too many of my fellow mature sisters relying on this theory and I think its destructive. We must start to consider what role we have in cultivating our personal relationships and stop placing the blame on everyone else but ourselves.

Maybe its not because you’re successful but perhaps because you wear your success on your sleeve, because you’re arrogant, because you are sure to let a man know in the first conversation that you don’t NEED him or anyone else.

Maybe its not because you’re successful, but perhaps because you are arrogant, a know-it-all, a snob or intolerant of others who have taken a different path in life.

Maybe its not because you’re successful, maybe you are a cold bitter bitch who believes the world owes you something. You have worked hard and made it on your own without the help of any man so you don’t want a man thinking he is doing you any favors by his presence and you let him know this as often as possible.

Maybe its not because you’re successful, maybe you have turned into a hardened, disenchanted, cynic who is annoyed that fat broke women with two kids can get a man easier than you. And your anger oozes from your pores.

Maybe its not because you are successful, but because your success is all you have. You wield it like a sword. You are always looking and waiting for the fight so you can show just how fly you are and how a man should be happy just to have someone like you. You feel you are the only prize in this relationship.

Maybe its not because you’re successful but because you are just tired. Tired of dating, tired of it not working out, tired of the game. Because you’re so tired, you go into potential relationships with little enthusiasm or excitement and you’re just a general drag.

Maybe its not because you are successful but because you are afraid. Afraid to open up, afraid to be vulnerable again, afraid to lay it all out there. You use your success as a shield that you hide behind because you are afraid of being hurt, afraid of change, afraid of letting someone else into your tightly-controlled life. You play the role of successful bad-ass because you are afraid of just being a woman. Sometimes its hard to switch from being the boss all day to being a partner, a friend. Understandable. But still your issue.

Maybe its not because you are successful but because you are closed. Closed to real love because of any combination of the reasons above.

Sometimes men aren’t intimidated by your success, but turned off by what your success has done to you. The type of person it has made you.

We can’t improve ourselves if we keep blaming our failures on others. When you look at your lack of luck in the romance department first look, inward. Listen to the feedback you’ve gotten, those things you ignored because you thought the guy was just jealous of your success and wanted to cut you down because you made him feel insecure. Just maybe he was telling the truth. Maybe he wasn’t intimidated at all. Maybe you are a mean, intolerable arrogant bitch of a woman. It could be that simple.

Now will you meet men who will be insecure with your accomplishments? Maybe. But far fewer than you make yourself believe. Stop relying on the Intimidation Doctrine to explain away your lack of love life. Start listening and start looking inward at what issues you may be bringing to the table, ways you could possibly be a better partner, lover or friend.

Open your heart and your mind to whoever may come your way. Focus on what you both are bringing to each other’s lives. Its not a competition. Try being the type of person you are looking for. Recognize and appreciate what others have to offer and know that if you are the best person you can be, you cant lose.

By no means am I saying settle for less. Keep your standards high, go after the type of life and partner you want. Just make sure your high standards apply to you too.

So let’s put away the Intimidation Doctrine. Much like “hating” its become a term we use to dismiss criticism by just placing the focus on someone else. And just like “hating” it results in us missing the opportunity to learn and improve our lives.

So next time things don’t work out, don’t go to ole reliable “he’s just intimidated by me,” and really examine your role in what went down. You may be surprised, maybe he wasn’t intimidated by you. Maybe he just doesn’t like you.

Now enough of that, I've got a bottle of wine to finish and a Golden Girls marathon is starting…

Peace people.

Question: Do "successful" Black women intimidate men, or merely annoy them to the point of abandonment?

More from Jam Donaldson [Conversate Is Not A Word]

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Win Free Music!!! - The Ziggy Marley Family Time Contest.

I get lots of freebies sent to me from time to time, and usually disregard them. But the fine folks at Tuff Gong Records sent me a few copies of a very special project I want to share with ya'll.

Ziggy Marley is bringing music to the LITTLE people! He is releasing his first children’s album and has invited some family and pretty cool friends to join him on it. Jack Johnson, Laurie Berkner, Elizabeth Mitchell and Jamie Lee Curtis are only a few of the artists featured on the CD Family Time, which is now in stores. In addition to some well known classics like “This Train” and “Hold Him Joe” Ziggy has written many original songs on this release which are endearing tributes to his family with many sage words of wisdom for kids. has free copies of the CD to give away to the first 5 people who email me answers to the following trivia questions.
Name 3 of Ziggy’s siblings.

What was the name of Ziggy's band?

What is Ziggy’s real first name?

Which Marley ruined Lauryn Hill's career?

How did Bob Marley die?
Again, please do not leave your answers in the comments section!!! The first 5 folks who email me with the correct answers get the prizes, courtesy of Tuff Gong Records.

Ziggy [Official Artist Website]

Amazing Freestyle.

I'll admit, I wrote Hurricane Chris off as your typical LCD rapper after "Ay Bay Bay" and that ignant "Halle Berry" song. No, he isn't saying anything particularly enlightening here, but he's clearly going off the dome. On Shade 45 the other day I heard this guy go for a solid 20 minutes without even needing to pause for breath.

Hate all you want, but subject matter aside, that's talent.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Dumbest GOP Political Ad Evar?!?

Peep this latest campaign tactic from The Party Of No (Clue)....

Ahh, the multitude of wrongness...

The dog was a gift for the President's children, given by a fellow colleague. No tax money was involved.

The Wizards tickets aren't $500 each. They're $885. Epic fail! If you're gonna throw up an arbitrary number just to shame a person for a night out, at least use a higher number and/or round up. Why they picked a basketball game, rather than say, a night at the Opera or an expensive date-night dinner in Georgetown is beyond me. I doubt taxpayer money (other than the President's salary) paid for the game tickets. They were likely a gift as well, but who's counting?

The "cool photo for his website" was unauthorized, and the genius behind it got canned. Apparently the "cool photos" taken during prior administrations were fine.

Giving $787,000,000,000 to your "political cronies" is an insult to every "political cronie" that's being saved by unemployment benefits, stimulus jobs, COBRA benefit extensions, and yes, billions in tax cuts.

This whole MasterCard parody thing was played out 2 administrations ago. I guess the Budweiser "Whaaaaasssup?" parody is next. Way to stick with the times, guys. Then again, nobody ever accused the GOP of being creative.
Here's a new slogan, based on the same played out premise.

Control of House, Senate, and Negro At 1600 Penn Ave... Priceless.

Question: Is this a dumb commercial or what? Does the RNC lack ideas, or are they too busy undermining Michael Steele to come up with anything original?

Friday, May 15, 2009 NewsBriefs - Pre-Politricks Fast Edition.

[Editor's Note: I said no politricks next week, and I meant it. I am taking a much-needed breather from all this nonsense, but before I go, here's a few topics I need to get off my chest.]

Like School On A Sunday - President Obama hits Notre Dame University this weekend, amidst what will likely be hundreds of protesters who vehemently disagree with his stance on abortion and stem cell research. The folks at Notre Dame are certainly entitled to their opinion, so I won't knock their dedication (albeit loosely enforced) to their Catholic principles. The classy thing would have been for Obama to pull out, and allow the school's administration and alums to duke it out. Instead, he'll go there, just days after another embarrassing PR snafu in advance of his address at Arizona State University.

The US Naval Academy is next. Notice a pattern? Out of all the schools that requested Obama for their commencement programs, two of the three he chose are causing headaches. Should gone to a black college, Barry! Then again, if I just pulled $73M in funding from HBCUs, I might not show my face at Grambling either.

ObamOsmosis Don't Work - Your tax dollars just were burned on a National Science Foundation study that showed what any moron could tell you: black kids are not automatically closing the achievement gap just because Obama is in office. "Studying college students from across the country, they find that when black students are prompted to think about Obama before they take a challenging standardized verbal test, their scores did not improve relative to white students' compared to when they did not receive the prompt. And they did no better than black students not prompted to think about Obama." Well no sh*t Sherlock! It took a PhD to figure that out? Next time, just read and save yourself (and us) the time and money.

Pelosi Gets Gully - I haven't seen a person that publicly defensive since Marion Barry's infamous "The B**** Set Me Up!" zinger.

But let's be real here: they need to drop this whole "war crimes prosecution" nonsense. Yeah, Pelosi knew. Yeah, Chaney knew. So did Condi. They all did. If you open this can, you'll suddenly have 535 new jobs to fill. Just let it go, learn from the mistake, don't waterboard anymore and move on. Enough already.

Mama McCain Better Fall Back - So, Roberta McCain decides to clap at the GOP's HNIC, Rush Limbaugh, saying "I belong to the Republican Party. What [Limbaugh] represents of the Republican Party has nothing to do with my side of it. I don't know what the man means, I don't know what he's talking about.", and agreeing with Magic Mike's assertion that Rush is only an "entertainer".

Expect the public apology/retraction/backpedal in 4.3.2...

Flip Flops - First he waffles on Gitmo. Then withdrawal from Iraw. Then the release of those torture photos. Now, Obama's reviving the Bush-era practice of Military Tribunals. Who the hell is advising Barry, Dick Chaney? Is there a fine line between "changing your mind upon further deliberation" and "buckling to pressure"? If so, can ya'll tell me what's up with Obama, cause I'm not following.

Please Fire This Windbag Now! - How does Robert Gibbs still have a job?

Question: Are the folks at Notre Dame buggin'? Is Barry waffling to much? Does Mama McCain need to watch her back? Is Pelosi lying? How has ObamOsmosis effortlessly changed your life?

Thursday, May 14, 2009 Guest Post - The Kidnapping Bus Driver.

[Editor's Note: EbonyGentleman is in the hizzouse!]

Quickly, think back to when you were in seventh grade. I'm assuming that most of AverageNation has been on a school bus and experienced the following:

You're riding that old cheesebox on a hot Friday afternoon, minding your own business. Kids are excited that the weekend is upon them and those without home training decide to start acting a fool. Spitballs get thrown. Smacks to the back of the head start flying.

You look to the front and that (insert your old bus driver here) starts to get agitated. He/She looks in that long oval rearview mirror and cuts their eyes at YOU. (Really it's the whole bus, but it always seems to be YOU that they are looking at.)

The Bus Driver (BD) warns everybody to sit down, and promptly points to that old, yellowed copy of the RULES posted on the front panel above the door. This doesn't seem to quell the rowdies, who are illiterate, have ADD and can't seem to understand anything but paddles and suspensions.

You know where this is going. While you are still sitting there quietly, the bus clowns go into overdrive. You can't escape it. Now the idiots are hanging out of the windows, egging for the truck drivers next to the bus to toot their horn.

Your window is stuck and won't open. It's hot, and the sweaty, energized fools next to you don't use deodorant. No 'Speed Stick'. No 'Sure'. NOT EVEN TUSSY. (That's the cheapest deodorant you can find.)

The BD has had it. Something snaps in their mind as they realize that they are stuck in the hell that is a sucky $10/hour part time gig, and a hard third shift mill job waiting for them when they finally finish driving.

The bus comes to a complete stop. The BD stands up, faces everyone and starts a profanity laced tirade that lasts approximately five minutes. Everyone is in shocked silence as the announcement is made:


(Translation: "This bus is going back to the school house!")

You are guilty by association and you are PISSED. The principal gets on, makes his/her speech, pulls off the guilty, and then you are on your way home.

Now fast forward to 2009. Same scenario. A bus driver in Ohio took things a bit further. Instead of driving the bus back to the school, this BD decided to drive around for 15 minutes or so instead of dropping the kids off.
A Cuyahoga Falls school bus driver could face possible kidnapping charges after he refused to drop children off when they started to misbehave, police said.

Officers said the Dewitt Elementary School children were being driven home after school on Monday when they started to act up. Police said to teach them a lesson, the bus driver drove the students around for 15 minutes instead of dropping them off at their designated stops.

Police said they tracked down the bus and pulled it over after receiving several calls from frantic parents who were contacted by children on board with cell phones.

The mother of 7-year-old Dylan Henderson said a supervisor ordered the driver to return to the compound. The children were then taken home.

The driver has not been charged but the matter is under investigation. Parents were told by police to contact prosecutors to pursue charges.
This would have worked back in 1989, but now the same rowdies that cause all of the ruckus now have an iPhone. All da kids got an iPhone. Texts get sent, Twits get Tweeted, and parents get Bluetoothed from their bratty kids.

"MOMMY! The bus driver is kidnapping us! We didn't do anything! I'm scared. There is a gun, and....."

Well, there WASN'T a gun, but you know what happens when clueless parents think their "pure, innocent" overly spoiled kids are in danger.

The police get called.

After "several calls from frantic parents", the police located the bus and school supervisors ordered the driver to return to the compound. Now the driver could face kidnapping charges. KIDNAPPING CHARGES!!!

I believe the children are our future, but it ain't looking good.


Question: Do you blame the driver in this situation for trying to teach the kids a lesson? Should there be a school ban of mobile devices? If this was your kid in this incident, what would you do? Do you beat the rowdy kids for causing this situation in the first place? What are your most memorable bus moments?

Police: Bus Driver Refuses To Drop Kids Off After School [NewsNet5]

Black, White, Or Other?!? - The Incriminating Wallet.

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.
A [redacted] County man charged with robbing a local grocery store and leaving his wallet at the scene was found guilty during a bench trial Monday morning, in Judge [redacted]’s court.

[redacted], 44, who is being held in the [redacted] County Jail was found guilty of aggravated robbery and manufacture or sale of cocaine.

According to court documents, [redacted] came into the Food Lion on Highway 48 on February 23, 2008 wanting to cash a check and purchase batteries. According to the affidavit, [redacted] pulled out a pistol while the clerk was operating the register.

The clerk gave [redacted] $3,500 in $50 and $100 bills from the safe and [redacted] fled the store on foot.

According to a previous report, following the robbery the clerk walked around the cash register and found [redacted]'s wallet lying on the floor. The wallet contained [redacted]'s identification card, and the clerk identified him as the robber.

After the suspect fled the store a call came in from a concerned citizen reporting a suspicious man that matched [redacted]'s description near the [redacted] Road area.

Deputies from the Sheriff's Office and the [redacted] Highway Patrol set up a perimeter and started an extensive search that lasted about two hours, but could not locate [redacted], the report said.
Question: Is the Food Lion Wallet-Dropper in this story Black, White, or Other?


A few random notes from the management.

Minor Facelift - You may notice that is now rockin' a slightly different look. We've now made the transition to 3 columns. This means more space for ads! click some doggonit! I need the money! content. I realize this wider layout may not jibe with some folks' browsers. I'm open to making nips and tucks if needed. Holler at me with suggestions. You'll also notice the cool new Story recommendations widget that follows every post. Nice, huh?

Comments - I went back to the old pop-out form for posting comments. When viewing them, you'll see some nice new modifications for the sake of clarity.

No More Soundtracks - It was nice while it lasted, but SeeqPod, the service I used for the cool embedded music player, recently went bankrupt due to (what else) excessive litigation from the RIAA. This unfortunately also likely means the end of the Channel Your Inner White Guy series. Poor out a lil' liquor.

Vacation - Yes, I am taking a fullblown, out-of-country vacation in a couple of weeks. For those of you used to your daily fix, don't worry, things will be on autopilot while I'm gone. I just won't be here to moderate comments (as if), or provide any of my own.

AverageNation Week - Speaking of vacations, I am still taking submissions for the next exciting edition of AverageNation Week. If you wanna be down, hit me on email and send me your personal piece. As long as it fits the typical flow of the blog, I'll run it.

Less AB, Mo' Guests - You've likely noticed an uptick in the number of guest posts of late. This is intentional. My Day Job has me on the road a lot recently, which means less time for this blog. I hope you are digging the assembled team of AverageContributors™. Get used to em'.

Settle Down - I've noticed a sharp, combative tone to many of the comments of late. This could be primarily because I've been on the politricks grizzly a lot recently, which tends to draw in lots of lurkers and generally gets folks all riled up. This is fine, but calling folks out of name, resulting to personal attacks, and putting people down for their general beliefs is not. I don't play that sh*t here! I haven't been able to moderate/delete certain comments because I haven't had the time, but trust me, I will if this keeps up. I am still on the fence about restricting Anonymous comments. We'll see.

Politricks-Free Week - Next week, no politricks. I don't care if Obama actually does issue Reparations checks (not to be confused with free KFC Grilled Chicken) or if the GOP fires Magic Mike. You won't see a post here the w/o May 18th! I need a break from this nonsense, and so does the blog. Expect lots of sports and Negro Nonsense next week. Get your politricks fix elsewhere for the time being.

Spellchecking/Grammar Police - Fall back! This ain't a paid publication. This is one Negro with lots of opinions and limited free time. If you got an issue with the occasional typo, feel free to sign up and be my full time editor. The job pays Free 99 an hour.

We now return to our regular scheduled program...

Question: What do you think of the recent "facelift"? Do you even notice anything different? Any comment on the other bits of housekeeping?