Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy 2010 From AB.com!!!

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

Go eat some black eyed peas.[1] Finish off that egg nog. Party like it's 1999 +11!

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

Happy New Year from AB.com!

[1] No Will. I. Am.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

AB.com Rewind - WorkPlace 101: Do Non-Threatening Negroes Get Ahead?!?

[Editor's Note: Hope ya'll are enjoying this trip down memory lane. I'll be back on my usual grizzly come Monday. Till then...]

One thing I'm pretty certain of is that if you're Black and want to make it far in Corporate America, you better not be a walking stereotype. Your education better be on point. You better do the job 10 times better than the next man. You gotta know how to code switch. But perhaps most of all, you better not look threatening. I can't say how, or when I came to this conclusion, but if you peep the cats heading Fortune 500 companies, 9 times out of 10, these CEO's[1] are either fairskinned (Stanley O'Neal), jolly and avuncular (Richard Parsons), slight and effete (Frankin Raines), or all the above. And more times than not, these guys are what Southern Negroes refer to as "clayfaced". That is to say, they are totally clean-shaven, and have no beard/moustache.

But does a brotha really need to stock up on Magic Shave to get ahead in America? The AP recently went in on this "babyfaced Black CEO" phenomenon, in it's usual haphazard fashion. Excuse the extra long quote, but I didn't wanna omit anything.
Black Fortune 500 CEOs with a "babyface" appearance are more likely to lead companies with higher revenues and prestige than black CEOs who look more mature, an upcoming study says.

In contrast with research showing that white executives are hindered by babyface characteristics, a disarming appearance can help black CEOs by counteracting the stigma that black men are threatening, according to the study from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

A babyface is characterized by combinations of attributes, including a round face, full cheeks, larger forehead, small nose, large ears and full lips, the study says.

In the study, a group of 21 college students was shown photographs of 40 current and past CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. Eleven of the students were white, 10 were Asian and 10 were female.

Of the 40 CEOs, 10 were black (only 10 blacks have ever led Fortune 500 companies). For every black CEO, a current or former white CEO from the same company was included. Another 10 CEOs were white women, and 10 white male CEOs were chosen at random.

Participants rated each photo on scale of 1-4 for "babyfaceness," leadership competence and personal warmth.

To account for differences in perceptions about blacks or whites in general, participants gave separate ratings on warmth and competence for "blacks," "whites" and "women," which were factored into the results.

The results showed that black CEOs who rated high on the babyface scale worked for companies that ranked higher in the Fortune 500 and had higher annual revenues than blacks with more mature faces. The reverse was true for whites — the more babyfaced CEOs tended to work for companies that ranked lower and had less annual revenue.

"Physical appearance, how you behave, having mixed-race parents — anything that conveys to whites 'I'm not the typical black man' can be helpful," Livingston said.

That leads to the idea that black executives face a double standard, he said.

"If you're a white male, you can exhibit anger, pound your fist, make ultimatums ... African-Americans have to adopt a kinder, gentler style of leadership," Livingston said. "The same sorts of behaviors that are effective for white males can't be utilized effectively by black males."

Livingston said his conclusion is not that babyface black CEOs reached the pinnacle of success because of their looks: "I'm saying that African-American leaders have to adopt certain qualities or behaviors that make them appear less threatening ... a babyface gives a certain perception that they're docile."

The results rang true for Michael Hyter, the black president and CEO of the management consulting firm Novations Group Inc. and co-author of the book "The Power of Inclusion."

"For anyone who's honest in the corporate space, you know that (disarming mechanisms) are a key to being successful," he said. "Technical skills are not enough. They need to get to know you based on who you are and not make a judgment on how you look."

"We all do it," Hyter added. "But what a person looks like doesn't really give you any indication what he or she is like."
My Grandma always said to not trust a Black man with no hair on his face. I'm not really sure what her intent was, perhaps she was saying that brothers with no facial hair are too busy trying to conform. Oddly, my Grandaddy couldn't grow a beard if his life depended on it, so go figure. But I suppose there's something to this "shave your facial hair so you don't scare white folks" thing.

Barack Obama is clayfaced. On that old NPR show, I once infamously joked (to crickets might I add) that if Obama decided to grow a beard, it would only be a matter of time before conspiracy theorists mused that this was a nod to his inner Muslim. Sad and unfunny as that sounds, the other day, I got an email from a reader telling me to checkout "The Fox Nation", where there was an odd link to an AP photo titled "Is It A Moustache?". The photo was of Obama during last week's trip with the usual 5 o'clock shadow. Why this was alarming enough to warrant a link on their front page is beyond me, but I suppose it proves something. Exactly what, I'm not sure.

But I guess it does raise an interesting question.

Question: Do black men have to alter their appearance in order to make themselves less threatening to others to succeed? Is this racist, or simply an unwritten rule Corporate America? What(if any) similar aesthetic concessions do black women have to make to get ahead?

'Babyface' look can help black CEOs, study says [MSNBC]

[1] Not to be confused with the "I own a rap label, although that really just means I'm a MySpace rapper who lives with my Mom and has really cool business cards" variant of Negro CEOs.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

AB.com Rewind - How Much Child Support Is Too Much Child Support?!?

[Editor's Note: Eldrick Woods, take note.]

Some men say "it's cheaper to keep her" when it comes to divorce. I always say, "it's even cheaper to not get her in the first place", but that's just me. Let's face it, child and spousal support are the ultimate Grand Hu$tle, especially if you're rich and famous. It's much cheaper to simply get yourself fixed, and not bother getting married, especially if you still wanna eff' around like most of these guys do.

I'm not necessarily bringing up this topic in light of the recent Nas/Kelis episode, it's something that's been on my mind for awhile. I think we can all agree that it's right and just for a man to take care of his kids financially when a marriage dissolves. Likewise, it's fair for a man to assist his wife financially in getting back on her feet, especially if she's stopped working to care for children. Being a stay-at-home mom is the toughest job evar. And that's the truth, Ruth.

But c'mon, how much child support is too much child support? Isn't there a limit?
A judge has ordered Nas to pay Kelis nearly $40,000 in monthly support for the near future, a day after the "Milkshake" singer gave birth to the divorcing couple's baby boy. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Louis Meisinger issued the order at a Thursday hearing. Neither Nas, whose full name is Nasir Jones, nor Kelis, whose full name is Kelis Rogers, attended Thursday's hearing.

Rogers will receive $30,471 in spousal support per month; the couple's son will receive $9,027, according to the court records. Rogers gave birth to the boy, named Knight, at a New York hospital Wednesday. The 29-year-old filed for divorce from the rapper in April. The couple was married in July 2003.

The two have been sparring over support payments for several months, with Rogers contending that Jones hasn't paid many of the costs of her pregnancy and her expenses. His attorney, Mark Vincent Kaplan, told the judge that the rapper has paid $30,000 in expenses and the former couple's health insurance has been maintained.
Kaplan proposed paying Rogers a one-time payment of $20,000 until the judge could settle on an appropriate spousal and child support amount at a later hearing.

Kaplan said Jones arrived at the hospital about five minutes before his son was born. Nguyen said Rogers' mother and sister were in the hospital room for the birth.

Meisinger rejected that offer, saying more money per month would be needed to accommodate Rogers' lifestyle and was warranted based on income declarations filed with the court. The judge also ordered Jones to pay $45,000 to pay Rogers' attorney fees and for a forensic accountant.

Wasser said Kelis is trying to secure a new record deal and hopes to begin recording new music soon. She said Rogers' income has dipped in recent months.
I mean, c'mon, where do you draw the line here? I understand that spousal/child support are supposed to allow a wife and child to maintain a similar standard of living to what they have become accustomed to, but how old is that damn baby? 7-8 days old? What exactly is that child accustomed to already that needs to be "maintained"? 50 Cent, who is far richer than Nas could ever dream of, only pays about $6k in support a month. Russell Simmons pays $40k for 2 kids. Diddy allegedly pays about $100k/month, but he has more kids than Shawn Kemp an orphanage. Where's the fairness?

I'll go ahead and say it, whether it's $40k or $55k (numbers thrown out there have varied widely), it's too damn much for a woman with one freakin' child. Especially a newborn. How many I Been Had!!! Baby Polos can you actually buy in a single month? Breast milk is free. Diapers cost a grip, but they are still just Huggies. Your most expensive college is $40k/year. Where exactly is $40k/month actually going, besides fattening up Kelis' wardrobe?

At what point does the woman need to get another job to maintain her own lifestyle? How many Kelis songs can you name? "MilkShake". "I Hate You So Much Right Now". Uhhmmmm.... "Milkshake". That's about it. Nas, on the other hand, has a nearly 20 year discography. Why should she be entitled to continue to reap the benefits of this man's lyrical prowess? Funny, but I don't recall her listed in the credits for Illmatic. Did she ghostwrite "Ether"? Why is she entitled to such an exorbitant fee?

I don't agree with everything Red & Meth say in this very sexist clip, but I do agree, the money she's been awarded is simply too damn much.



Part II.



Let's be honest, $500k/year in support is gonna wreck any man financially. And for what reason? There's no way in the world Nas (who clearly has just as bad luck picking lawyers as he does mates) is gonna be able to pay this. The man's best days have long since passed, and in today's ringtone industry, there's no way he can keep up with these payments. This will predictably strain any relationship, including the one he'll have with his child. Who, besides Kelis and her next boyfriend who'll love spending that $40k/month, actually benefits from this?

Sorry ya'll, this is just wrong, wrong, wrong.

Question: How much child support is too damn much child support? Is this case simply indicative of the child support system? How does this get fixed?

Nas ordered to make $40K monthly payments to Kelis [AP]

Monday, December 28, 2009

All The Single Ladies...

I've only gotten forwarded this email 400 times in the past 48 hours, so although I'm on hiatus, I guess I had to say somethin'.

I have yet to understand the MSM's obsession with the plight of unmarried black women, but that didn't stop ABC News from going in yet again.



Ladies, let's keep it one hunned: every time this sort of nonsense runs, all it does is reinforce the "I'm a commodity, why settle down?" feeling that a lot of black men have. Seriously, if I keep getting told just how rare a commodity I am, why in the hell would I want to settle down? Think about it.

If you want Black men to get married, why not start running lots of similar news stories about how good marriage is? All these stories seem to do is make black women look mad thirsty.

Question: What did you think about this news story?

AB.com Rewind - Are Black Women Each Others' Own Worst Enemies?!?

[Editor's Note: Yep, I'm back on that Rewind tip this week. I'm off The Day Job till next week, and enjoying some badly needed time with the fam. Enjoy.]

I'm getting up there in age, and with age comes a recognition of your limitations, and self-defeating behaviors. In short, at some point, a man has to grow up and realize that some of the things he's doing aren't good for his health and sense of well-being. Yep, one of these days, I'll quit watching Fox News, quit eating and destroying all evidence of such before I get home Taco Bell, and perhaps most of all, quit reading black gossip blogs.

I was reminded of why when I visited a couple of to-remain-nameless black gossip blogs, which featured the ESPN The Magazine cover with a bukket nekkid Serena Williams, hitting shelves later this week. Bear in mind, Williams' nude pose makes perfect logical sense given the fact that this is "The Body Issue", whatever the hell that means.

But don't tell that to the bloggers, and the assorted comments that followed.
"well at least i’m not the only one that thinks she looks a little manly"

"She's one of the best female tennis players ever and she's on the cover of an ESPN Magazine butt naked? Sometimes she acts like she doesn't have the sense of a turnip."

"If ESPN editors wanted to be funny they could have Photoshopped her head on Reggie Bush’s body and we wouldn’t know the difference."

"you can take Serena out of Compton but u cant take the Compton out of Serena. She showed her ass ON the court, now she's showing her ass OFF the court...LITERALLY! Is this sum kinda peace offering 4 da fans 4 threat'n the line judge? Wuts next, Playboy? Video HOE'n? Tiger hit the BILLION DOLLA mark & ain't even take a dayum shirt off. U got talent, money, fame/fortune...WTF? Common aint givin yo ass NO ATTENTION?! Shout-out to Kindom Hall. Come & get your Jehovah's Witness cause she's ova here backsliding...BUTTNAKED!"

"she has some big ass feet!"

"She should’ve took the wig off too."

"did they hafta use a whole bottle of baby oil on her?!?!"

"She couldve did away with that ridiculous wig"

"Why must SOME women show their azz?? Can we just keep our clothes on?? "
Sistas, can we talk for a second?

Ya'll confuse me. Seriously.

On one hand, ya'll (and yeah, I'm generalizing) decry all the misogyny in cRap music, as well as the oversexualized images of black women in music videos and pop culture.[1] Ya'll complain (rightfully) about how the eurocentric standard of beauty reduces women of color to permanent 2nd string status, and forces many of ya'll to do some desperate things (weaves, perms, colored contacts, skin lightening) just to catch a brotha's eye.[2] And all that stuff is perfectly valid. I'm with you there.

On the other hand, every time I peep a gossip blog and read scores of comments from other black women routinely poppin' sh*t about women like Serena Williams, I'm perplexed. Ask 10 brothers if Serena looks great, and you'll get 10 yeses. In some way, shape, or form, Williams has been responsible for a gradual shift in the perception (mainstream, and within black circles) of the very beauty paradigms mentioned above. Which is why the continual hatred (let's call it what it is) lobbed in her direction is hard to figure out. Seriously, what's not to like? She's pretty. She's accomplished. She's smart. She's rich. She dates brothas.[3] You'd think sistas would be a bit less critical.

I hate turning this into a color thing yet again, but anytime I read comments about Serena, or Usher's now ex-wife[4], I can't help but wonder if something deeper is going on here. Ya'll tell me.

Question: Is Serena's ESPN The Mag cover a sad example of black women's bodies being objectified, or a celebration of the black female image?

[1] And in all my years of premarital clubbin', not once did I see a sista leave the dance floor with "Put It In Ya' Mouth" came on. Not once. Not na'er time.

[2] No denying it: black men have long since been indoctrinated.

[3] Well, mostly.

[4] Whom I think is a perfectly good looking woman for age 40-something, having popped out 1/2 dozen kids.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

AB.com 2009 Predictions, Revisited.

I love making predictions. Not "stab in the dark guesses", but real, true, predictions derived from opinions based on facts and facts based on opinions. And whatnot. The cool thing about predictions is that when you're right, you look like a genius, but when you're wrong, nobody really gives a sh*t anyway. So, every year, making my batch of predictions for the coming 12 months has become a tradition here at AB.com.

Since it's about time for new predictions and a new year, I figured this would be a good time to revisit what I said would happen in 2009, and just how close I was to reality. Here's merely a sampling of what your favorite amateur sage said would happen, and what actually did...


AB.com Prediction #1 - "The Obama White House will have some sort of major scandal early on. This won't be tied to anything that Barry does directly, it'll be another of those "guilt by association" deals they keep trying to tag him with. But this time, it'll be serious, and he'll have to tell somebody high profile to kick rocks."

See, What Had Happened Was - Haha. World, meet Van Jones. Van Jones, meet Monster.com.

Net Result - 100% Accurate


AB.com Prediction #2 - "One very high profile Black Republican will have a falling out with the party and publicly switch sides."

See, What Had Happened Was - I was pretty far off on this one. I misunderestimated the GOP's pull on a certain segment of Negro America. Not only did these folks not turn on the GOP, despite month after month of racially charged incidents, they seem actually more emboldened in their opposition to The Beige One.

Net Result - Dead Wrong. But I guarantee Mike Steele will have a come-to-Jesus moment sometime in the next calendar year.


AB.com Prediction #3 - "The economy will stabilize. The plan of rebuilding infrastructure will cost a lot, but will also pay off, provided The Administration finds some concrete way to stop all the construction gigs from going to illegal aliens. Several American retail institutions will go belly up. The Dow will stabilize by mid-year. Your 401K will still be tear-inducing."

See, What Had Happened Was - The economy actually did stabilize, and the Dow's actually pushing 11K again, just months after dipping near 6,500. Most leading economic indicators say the recession is over, but the only one people actually care about, unemployment, continues to grow. This could either be the forebearer of a jobless recovery, or a double dip recession come 2010.

Net Result - Hit And Miss.


AB.com Prediction #4- "A high-profile Fortune 500 company will
catch Obamania and name a black woman CEO."


See, What Had Happened Was - Thank you Xerox, and thank you Ursula Burns.

Net Result - 100% Accurate.


AB.com Prediction #5 - "The North Carolina Tarheels will go undefeated and easily win the NCAA Basketball Championship in Detroit. The Pittsburgh Steelers will win Super Bowl XLIII, making Mike Tomlin only the second black coach to do so. Oklahoma's Blake Griffin will be the #1 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. He'll be headed to Washington. I won't care one bit."

See, What Had Happened Was - Check. Check. And Check. Griffin didn't end up in DC, and yeah, I prolly woulda cared if he did.

Net Result - 90% Accurate.


AB.com Prediction #6 - "Rap music sales will continue to plummet. High profile acts like Eminem, 50 Cent, TI, and even Jay-Z will drop albums that are commercial flops."

See, What Had Happened Was - Eminem and 50's albums both tanked. Jay-Z actually had a career comeback, and TI did decent numbers before heading to the clink. Still, all in all, it wasn't a banner year for cRap music by any means.

Net Result - 50% Accurate.


AB.com Prediction #7 - "Disturbed by the lack of blacks on network TV, the NAACP will again mount a campaign to force the Big Four to put more faces of color on air and behind the camera. It will prove futile."

See, What Had Happened Was - The NAACP obviously had better things to do this year, so this issue went unaddressed. While there still isn't a single black-themed show on any of the 4 major networks, black folks still have the reality show game on lock, and now we've expanded into talk shows and cable sitcoms. Win-win-loss.

Net Result - 50% Accurate.


AB.com Prediction #8 - "Somebody who isn't supposed to become pregnant will. Somebody who isn't supposed to get that person pregnant will."

See, What Had Happened Was - Uh, I don't even know what this actually meant in retrospect.

Net Result - Dead Wrong. I guess.

Question: Am I pretty good at this predictions stuff or what?

AB.com. The Gift That Keeps On Givin'.

Yep, it's the holidays, and it's beggin' time, yet again. I wanted to personally thank the folks who make the sacrifice to financially support this site with their always timely PayPal donations.

For those unaware, this blog makes a lil' somethin' off ad revenue, and I sell a few t-shirts a month as well. But with two young mouths to feed and a perpetually dwindling personal allowance, anything extra ya'll can spare to give Yaw's Boy some walking around money is savored. For those who go above and beyond and actually hit a brotha off with financial stimuli, this post is for you. I won't call you out by name, but you know who you are, and you are appreciated.

For errybody else thinking about supporting this site financially, I'mma tell you like the UNCF told me. Don't almost give. Give.
Put a lil' somethin' in the AB Tip Jar. It's over on the lefthand side.

Buy a t-shirt, mug, notebook, or other assorted AB.com swag from The AB.com Store.

Buy some CD's, books, and DVD's from the Amazon.com carousel.

Patronize the banner ads that blanket this site. Get your interracial date-on, since those seem to be the only ads running here of late.

Tell a friend to tell a friend. The more readers (and commenters) the merrier.
Freedom ain't free, and neither is the annual GoDaddy.com domain registration renewal. If you enjoy the product, spread the love and support your peoples.

Thanks.

Jay

Follow Me.

I'm on Twitter. I'm on Facebook. I'm on Google Friends (link on left sidebar).



What ya'll waitin' on? Follow me.

Caption This Photo.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Go! Go! Go! Go!

He's allegedly only 3 years old. And I can barely get my kid to eat his peas.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Crim'mus!!!

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.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

AB.com Rewind - Hooters Girls. Strippers. What's The Difference?!?

[Editor's Note: I suppose this is the perfect sexist bookmark to the prior post about strippers. This is one of those posts that somehow found itself in the wrong hands, making its round on a number of Hooters fan websites. I still get literally dozens or hate messages with Hooters Girls every week. Ladies, I am sorry. It's all about the buffalo wangs.]

The other day some buddies and I hit the local Hooters at lunchtime to catch the NCAA Tourney. The choice of Hooters is simple: The wings are great, and they have lots of plasma screen TV's. Are there other places to get wings and watch basketball? Sure. Are there lots of other places to get wings and watch basketball deep in the burbs? Not exactly. Besides, even Dickie V says it's the move!



Hooters, FTW!

Anyways, one of my co-workers tries to hit on the Hooters Girl who's serving us. She cold carries him, which is DC slang for "He fails miserably". He's dejected, wondering why a girl who is overly-friendly, with her ginormous man-made boobs literally spilling out her top, won't give him her number. The guy is hardly 23, and fresh outta school, so we fill him in. The girls don't really like you, they just want a nice tip.

And then he says, "Well damn, if that's the case, how is this any different than a strip club?"

And then I start thinking about it myself? How is Hooters any different than a strip club? Consider the parallels?
* In both places, the women wear next to nothing.

* In both places, the women are objectified and oggled, albeit in a socially acceptable manner.

* Both places sell food that will ultimately kill you.

* In both places, the women are nicer to guys than they'd otherwise be, all for the money.
The only difference is a few pieces of clothing, and a whole lotta money. I mean, seriously, if you're working at Hooters and barely making much more than a waitress at IHOP, what exactly is the point?

If it was all about money, wouldn't you go wait tables at a fancier establishment than one that sells chicken wings and domestic brews? It's been scientifically proven that more attractive waiters and waitresses make more money. Thus, going to an upscale restaurant (ie: Ruth's Chris or The Palm or something) would be a bonanza, no?

That said, I can only imagine that this is largely about attention. Some women need more of it than others. Thus the literally dozens (this was a busy day) of girls in my local Hooters with breast implants, which I really don't get. Why would you get breast implants to perform better at a $5.85/hour job which can't cover the cost of said implants? Isn't that sorta hustlin' backwards? Would you go buy a Lexus to deliver pizzas for Domino's? I think not.

Again, you're already being objectified and oggled.[1] You're hardly making much more than a girl working at Chili's. At least the girl serving baby back ribs has her dignity intact. What's the freakin' point? Go work the pole already![2]

If I had any testicles, I would have asked her this question myself, of course. But thankfully my co-worker, the same one who got shot down, asked the very same girl a similar question a bit later.

She just handed us our tab and kept walking.

Question: Ladies, what exactly is the difference between working at Hooters, and working at a gentleman's establishment? Would you do either? Fellas, have you too been confounded with this very same puzzling question?

[1] Not by me of course, by the other guys.

[2] Admittedly not my thing.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dear Mike Steele.

Dear "Magic" Mike,

It's been nearly a year since you were appointed the GOP's H.N.I.C., and hardly a week has gone by without some sorta flub. There was the "you be da' man" thing. The "fried chicken and collard greens" thing. The "punked by Rush Limbaugh" thing. And no, we ain't forget about "the Oreo cookie" thing, yet either.

Still, I'll admit, you're an intriguing guy, and I admire your ambition, even if I spend more time picking fun at you than giving you props. I nearly (before I came to my senses) voted for you during your ill-fated MD Senate run, and any guy from Uptown has my respect. DC, Stand Up!

But how long can you allow the folks who anointed you as "their Obama" just cold carry you like this?
The Republican National Committee lashed out at a report Tuesday that its chairman, Michael Steele, uses his title to charge exorbitant speaking fees, saying Steele is 'in complete compliance with all RNC rules and regulations.'

The Republican National Committee lashed out Tuesday at a report that its chairman, Michael Steele, uses his title to charge exorbitant speaking fees, saying Steele is "in complete compliance with all RNC rules and regulations."

The Washington Times reported Tuesday that Steele has profited handsomely from delivering speeches at various colleges and trade associations around the country -- charging between $8,000 and $20,000 for a single address.

Steele, who makes $223,500 a year as chairman of the RNC, received between $10,000 and $15,000 for a Sept. 21 speech at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark., according to the newspaper.

Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr., RNC chairman under President Reagan, reportedly told the newspaper that he had "never heard of a chairman of either party ever taking money for speeches."

"The job of a national chairman is to give speeches. That's what the national party pays him for. We didn't have a rule book back then, but being national chairman was and is a full-time job," Fahrenkopf reportedly said.

The RNC said in a statement sent to FoxNews.com Tuesday that Democrat and Republican national chairmen have "regularly received outside income" and that Steele "does not receive compensation for any speeches conducted in his duties as chairman."
Whoa. Call me naive, but I had no idea the RNC chair gig paid nearly a 1/4 mill a year. Sheeeeeit. For that much money, I'd don some tapdancin' shoes myself. That kinda loot buys a whole lotta Steve Harvey Collection suits. I ain't mad at ya'.

"How high does ya' wan' meh tuh' jump, Suh?"

But come on, Mike. How long can you allow yourself to be clowned? You collect a measly $10K to go preach the GOP gospel at an HBCU, and all hell breaks loose. I mean, really, go read some of the comments from what's supposed to be your base (Fox News) and your former employer. These folks are talkin' greasy about you like they talk about Obama, and it ain't pretty. I doubt anyone woulda had a problem had you gone to speak at Oral Roberts.

Seriously, when folks resort to this sorta navel gazing, they clearly are looking for any and every reason to send you and your zoot suits packing. Are you gonna let them force you out like some bama, or are you gonna go out like a soldier?

Man Up, Mike. Man Up.

AB

Question: Is this much ado about nothing, or should Steele be barred from getting side money while on the RNC payroll?

RNC Calls Report on Steele's Speaking Fees 'Silly' [Fox News]

AB.com Rewind - People I Strongly Dislike: Strippers And Their Patrons.

[Editor's Note: I caught a lot, and I mean, a lot of flack back when this post originally dropped. I can admit, in retrospect, this prolly came off as incredibly sexist.]

The other night I was flipping through the channels and somehow ended up on the Ice Cube/LisaRaye ghetto atrocity The Player's Club. One thing I never have quite been able to fully comprehend is the allure of strip clubs. In my short 35 years, I've only set foot in such an establishment twice, both times in the mid-90's, and both times I was with a couple of frequent commenters here (tsk tsk) who will surely weigh in with their pithy remarks you-know-where.

The first time was a guy's night out to celebrate the early graduation and subsequent matriculation to a well paying corporate gig for one of my buddies. The club itself wasn't too far from the campus of our Negro College HBCU, and I'd frequently heard chatter on campus that some of our school's sweet and innocent co-eds often secretly moonlit there to work out their Daddy issues earn extra money for books and tuition. I'm no prude, but the possibility of running into some girl in one of my 300 level Engineering courses was certainly gonna make for an odd situation. Needless to say, I had to investigate this further.

And wouldn't you know it, no sooner than we step in the door, there's a girl from my Astronomy class on stage, shakin' her money maker. I distinctly remembered her (let's call her Anissa) because once, waaay earlier in the semester, we'd somehow ended up in the same study group (yeah, I know, study groups for Astronomy, cue up your jokes already), which was only notable because she otherwise stayed in the back row of the classroom and didn't say much. She wasn't incredibly good looking, and was otherwise shy and reserved. She was the last person you'd ever imagine droppin' it like it's hot and doin' somethin' strange for some change.

But there Anissa was, gyrating away to 8Ball and MJG while getting her thong stuffed with dollar bills[1]. For a very brief moment, we locked eyes, and I saw a distinct "damn!" look on her face. It was prolly the same expression of sadness and pity I had on mine. After all, she was strippin', but I was in the club indirectly paying to see her strip. I'm still at a loss for which of these is more pathetic. Help me sort this out in the comments if you feel so inclined.

Everytime I ran into Anissa on the yard thereafter, we exchanged the same "damn!" look and kept it movin'. I could only imagine how many other dudes Anissa exchanged that very same "damn!" look during the course of everyday, and whether or not that bothered her as much as it sorta kinda bothered me. I really hope she used that lapdance money to futher her education, but if her performance in that Astonomy class was any indication of the rest of her academic success, chances are she's on a pole somewhere in America right now, and there's prolly some 8Ball and MJG playing in the background. Sad, but likely true.

But perhaps even more pathetic than strippers are the tricks who pay to watch them strip. Again, I'm certainly not immune to the beauty of the female physique. Who is? But I don't fully comprehend why some dudes (key word: some) pay good money to be lied to, manipulated, tricked, and teased out of their money with virtually zero chance of getting anything in return. You've got a better chance of eventually scoring if you have even a minimal amount of game and meet a nice young lady anywhere but a strip club. I guess they say it ain't trickin' if you got it, but you sure as hell can't pay the rent if you blew your check on lapdances.

I surely hope I'm not inadvertently insulting any of my readers who are exotic dancers, or patrons of exotic dancers, but could one of ya'll explain the allure of this to me?

Question: Why do some women strip for money? Ladies, be honest. Have you ever even remotely considered doing this for cash? Fellas, if you're a patron, please explain the allure of paying for something you can't have? Aren't your chances of getting paid (rather than paying someone else) much better with any random non-stripper chick? Is it true that it ain't trickin' if you got it?

[1] Seriously. I know tips are 'posed to add up, and you make bigger money for bigger "tasks", but c'mon. Dollar bills to grope your booty? You can't even buy a freakin' Kit Kat bar for a dollar nowadays. Have scrip clubs been effected by the recession too? Are they requiring 5 dollar bills and up nowadays? I'm clearly not up on the booty club ettiquette, so help me out.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bringing A Snowball To A GunFight.

Yeah, I know, I know. I'm posed' to be on vacation this week, and the blog's posed' to be on auto-pilot with rerun goodies from the past year. That's all true, but how in the heck could I pass on saying something about this local story? It's got crime. It's got race. It's got hipsters. That's like the holy trinity of AB.com fodder.

I couldn't possibly pass on that. Besides, the kids are napping and AverageSis is out last-minute shopping, sooo...
A Washington, D.C., police detective has been put on desk duty after pulling out his gun during a snowball fight Saturday.

The off-duty detective, whose name has not been released, was driving past a snowball fight in the city when his Hummer was hit by snowballs. He allegedly stopped the car, got out, and took out his gun. He also pulled out a walkie-talkie and called for backup.

Most of the incident was caught on video and quickly posted to YouTube.

D.C. police initially denied that one of their officers pulled a gun. But, after the video spread online, the department released a statement saying video and photos from the scene "seem to support the allegation that the off-duty member did pull a gun."

The police are conducting an investigation. A spokesman told the Washington Post that if the detective really did pull out his firearm in response to snowballs, "That doesn't seem a situation where we would pull out a service weapon." But, he added, "We have to see what the entire circumstance was."

Late update: The chief of police, Cathy Lanier, said today that the actions of the detective were "totally inappropriate."

"In no way should he have handled the situation in this manner," Lanier said in a statement.
Here's the raw video in question. The cop is clearly seen brandishing the weapon.



Here's the news footage.



Let me first say that I in no way condone the actions of the policeman. Pulling a gun on a crowd, and pushing people around is a blatant abuse of power, which only reinforces some of the distrust many people have of cops. This guy should be suspended and given desk time to review the DCPD rules and regulations for behaving while offduty.

That said, what the f*ck is wrong with these d-bag hipsters?!?

Seriously, what the hell are ya'll thinking? I know that a bunch of pampered twentysomething trust fund babies having a snowball fight in the midst of a record snowstorm is "hip" and "ironic", and is like totally something folks living in Tribeca would do. But come the f*ck on, this is DC. This is a snowstowm, which severely limits peoples vision when driving, and might have resulted in an accident. This is the ridiculously (even at 4am) busy intersection of U and 14th. And, oh, BTW, this is a black man's very expensive car you're pelting with snowballs.

If you don't know about (some) brothers, and their emotional attachments to their cars, you might wanna review this video, and keep looping it, just so the point sinks in.



This was not your father's Oldsmobile. This was a freakin' black man's Hummer, which he probably did some real dirty sh*t to obtain. let's keep it trill. worked lots of overtime to buy on a policeman's salary. You do not touch a black man's lady without permission! You do not touch a black man's BBQ grill without permission! You do not touch a black man's car without permission!

These are the rules, and they apply to you, even if you voted for Obama. Learn them, or suffer the consequences and repercussions. These fools should feel lucky they pelted an offduty officer's car, and not Raheem from Uptown's car. That mighta gotten really ugly.

[Editor's Note: Yes, I realize the guy who pelted the cop with that last snowball was indeed black. That only makes the situation worse. Seriously, what black man living in DC is that naive to how cops react when disrespected? Brother, you might need to transfer to Bowie State, cause American U clearly ain't teachin' you about the real world. You are lucky to be alive. WHERE IS OBAMA?!?]

The blatant lack of respect for (armed) authority, the wellbeing of others (again, this was in the midst of a blizzard. what is someone's kids were in the car and this cause an accident?), and the laws of common sense in this video are striking. As is, these kids are lucky they didn't get their wigs pushed back, and the offduty plainclothes cop is pretty lucky his a$$ didn't get capped when his fellow officers rolled up.

But by simply blaming the cop, and absolving these grown-assed children of the role they played in this potential catastrophe, something tells me we've got this all wrong.

How ironic.

Question: Who is most to blame in this cluster****, the hotheaded cop, or the clueless hipsters? Does this have the potential to mushroom into another Gates-gate?

D.C. Cop On Desk Duty After Pulling Gun At Snowball Fight [TPM]

AB.com Rewind - The AB.com Broken English Hall of Shame.

[Editor's Note: You got additions, put em' you-know-where.]

So, I'm watching the local news the other night, and they're reporting from a particularly grizzly murder scene in Southeast DC. Like always, the reporter had to pull the most ignorant, ill-informed person out of a crowd of other folks who were probably more articulate and knowledgeable about what had just gone down. Spit flew. Voices rose. Subjects and verbs were in total disagreement. Conjugation was a foreign concept.

And Carter G. Woodson cried inside.

This isn't anything new of course. This scenario is so common, there have been standup routines and sketch comedy skits about similar instances for years. So, of course, I got to thinking... what commonly butchered terms in the English language would I most like to see retired?

Note, I am NOT talking about slang. Colloquialisms are a subject in and of themselves, and I've already covered that base anyway. Nope, I'm talking about folks who try their darndest to actually speak proper English, but still just don't get it right. Magic Johnson, I'm talkin' to you bruh. I'm sure a handful of you will start shouting words like "elitist" in the comments section, and hey, that's your prerogative. But I'm a grown assed man, and I just call em like I see em'.

Without further adieu, here's the list of Broken English I Wish Would Go Away:

Conversate - This might be a DC thang, as are many of the other items on this list. But for the last time, there is no such word as "conversate". The correct word is "converse". Back when I used to club (man, that was ages ago), I would always overhear some dude trying to holler at a girl, by saying "ay shawty come here, I'm just tryin' to conversate with you". Stupid is as stupid does, so sometimes this would actually work. Hmmmm.

Irregardless - Also commonly used here in DC, and also not an actual word. I think The Russ Parr Morning Show used to have a segement that made fun of this all the time. Either way, "irregardless" is a double negative, which essentially means you're "regarding" something since the "irr" and "less" cancel each other would. It's like saying "incorrectless" or "imcompleteless". How dumb does that sound?

Seen/Seent - This one really irks me, because 90% of the time it's said on a newscast. When somebody is describing an event that they didn't actually witness, but they still want to be on camera, this is the telltale sign. If they drop a couple of "I seent the whole thing", you know they ain't actually "seen" nothin'.

Being as Though - This one is uniquely DC. I'm 99% sure it's not used outside this region because I never heard it until I moved here. This phrase is usually employed when a brother is trying to intellectualize something while he's conversating, and thus wants you to really know his emphatic opinion on a topic. ie: "DC is in really bad shape, being as though, I feel that the mayor needs to do more for the community".

I Feel As Though - See: "Being As Though". Equally silly.

I Might Could - I've heard Kayne West say this one alot. Might and Could are contrasting words, it's the same effect as saying "sorta kinda", but just sounds dumberer.

Sword - For the 999th time, black people, the "W" is silent. Arrghhh!!!!

I'm sure ya'll have your own list to add, and undoubtedly this list will prolly include something I say on the regular. Go head, I'm a grown man, I can take the hit.

Since no post is complete without a photo or video (or so say my Google Analytics reports), I figured I'd leave ya'll with this classic YouTube nonsense. This one's pretty old, and yes, it is indeed a real news story. Please watch and enjoy.



That clip never gets old. Woot! Woooooooooot!

Question: Got any more phrases we need to retire in 2010?

An AverageBro Classic: Let's Retire a Few More Words While We're At It.

Monday, December 21, 2009

AB.com Has A New Commenting System!!!

Not that you guys would notice, but by virtue of allowing anonymous comments, this blog gets a sh*tload of spam. I mean, seriously, some days I can literally get 50+ spam comments. This has gotten progressively worse in recent weeks, to the point that many times I can't tell the real comments from the spam when I'm checking my inbox (I have all comments forwarded there) and I had to do something about it.

At the urging of my main man RiPPa, I am going to give this Disqus system a try. It's pretty cool in theory. You don't actually have to "sign up" to leave a comment, but you can drop em' from any sign-in (Blogger, FaceBook, Twitter, OpenID, etc.) which should really alleviate any issues for those of ya'll who comment on the regular. Even better, unlike Blogger's Mom & Pops comment filtering system, this one blocks spam. And let's face it, nobody likes spam.

I'mma try this out for a couple of weeks over the holidays to see if it sticks. In the meantime, let me know if you like the system and think I should keep it, or got back to the old system.

Question: Do you like the new Disqus comment system, or should I go back to the stone age with Blogger comments?

AB.com Rewind - Has "The N-Word" Lost All Its Power?!?

[Editor's Note: I've managed to make it all year without a single slip up. Hope and Change, folks. Hope and Change. Feel it.]

Earlier this year, at the request of my wife, I made AB.com an "N-Word Free Zone". I suppose this was my version of the whole "shaving off your cornrows and growing up" thing ballers and entertainers are doing lately. Still, this didn't come with much deliberation, she simply said I should stop using it on the blog because you never know who's reading, and I agreed. I consider myself a skillful enough writer to not have to resort to using such gutter language to get my point across, and I haven't had a slip-up (out of context, that is) or lost a step since. Water under the bridge...



On the flipside, part of me wondered why it was even necessary. I think we can uniformly agree that the N-Word is most often used amongst Black folks to disparagingly describe the wayward actions of some other Black folks (ie: "Dem N-Words need to cut they damn grass, this is the suburbs!"). Sure, some folks claim to use it as a term of endearment (ie: "What up my N-Word! Let me borrow your lawnmower!") , but I haven't heard widespread usage in this manner since the Clinton Administration.[1]

The remaining usage is obvious: as a racial epithet (ie: "We should have never let those N-Words move in this neighborhood. Do they even know what a lawnmower is?"), it's the proverbial "3rd Rail" of American slurs. But how frequently does this even happen anymore? I can't personally remember the last time I was called one by a white person, although I'm sure I was still living in NC when it happened. When was the last newsworthy mention of the "N-Word" being used as a slur? KKKramer? Dog The Bounty Hunter? The OJ Trial? Marge Schott?

In a roundabout way, I guess I'm wondering if maybe the incessant dumbing down of hip-hop culture has actually succeeding in it's (admittedly unintended) job of robbing the word of its meaning. It's used so often, yet so seldom in its original, highly offensive context. It is possible the word, as a slur, has lost its power?

I'm 35 years old now, with a wife and two kids. My biggest concerns in life are nurturing my marriage, raising my sons, and keeping a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs. Period. Everything outside this isn't even secondary, it's thirdary, assuming that's a real word.[2]

With that said, I honestly wonder how much I'd even be upset/offended if someone called me the "N-Word" to my face right now. I'm not an "N-Word", by whatever definition you assign to the word, despite the viewpoint of the theoretical accuser. I know this, whether the person calling me one thinks otherwise is irrelevant. Again, I can't say how I'd react if this happened (I'd probably be too shocked to react, honestly), but I don't think "whoopin' somebody a$$" would be in the Top 5 of my possible responses. Bewilderment, maybe. Amusement, perhaps. "Beat a Cracka's A$$"-level rage? I can't say for sure, but knowing myself, not entirely likely.

Besides, let's face it, if someone really has that much disdain for you to call you that word in this day and age, what good would a beatdown accomplish other than landing you in the clink? Do you think you'd actually beat the "hate" out of them? Prolly not. I'm thinkin' you're just taking totally unnecessary penitentiary chances that will result in you getting a record, and them having a very cool story to tell at the bar.

Again, if the intent of the word doesn't apply to you, why would you really be offended? I didn't get offended (I know, this isn't exactly apples & apples) when TLC's "No Scrubs" came out, cause I'm not one. I don't get offended when I hear all these blogs, songs, movies, TV shows about "Black Men Ain't Sh*t", cause well, they ain't talkin' bout' me. So why exactly would a word that doesn't (by whatever definition you give it) apply to me be offensive?

If you wanna offend me, call me "Dumb". Depending on the context/setting (ie: work, my kids' school), you just might wanna guard your grill. But "N-Word"? Sorry, I'm just a bit too busy to get all worked up over something like that.

Then again, I'm talking from a relative lack of recent experience. Until you're actually confronted with something, who knows?

Question: Would being called "The N-Word" be grounds for you whoppin' somebody's a$$, or does the word not hold that sort of power over you? What words are "fightin' words" in this post-racial America? Got any notable instances where you were called "The N-Word"? For my white, Asian, Latino, and others, what similar words raise your ire?

[1] Let's not get tied up in "gga" vs "gger", please. It's the same thing. If you don't believe me, go to your Grandma's house and just start spouting out either version. Tell me how long you're able to do this and still stand upright (or at least a stern talking-to).

[2] It isn't.

'Tis The Season... For ReGifting.

2009 has been a great year for AB.com. Although my radio gig went belly up when NPR cancelled News & Notes, I've still managed to find bigger and better ways of spreading my patented mix of Negro Nonsense and Social Activism. I'm obviously looking for even bigger and even better things in 2010.

That said, I's tired.



Keeping this blog going 7 days a week is a grind, so is maintaining an increasingly demanding Day Job, and of course, there's a family of 3 always at home waiting. I honestly don't know how I do it, but I'm thankful ya'll stick in here with me and make it all worthwhile.

I'm taking a momentary pause for the cause, so I'm be outta pocket all week. In the meantime, I'm "regifting" some of my favorite posts of the past couple of years, with special updated DVD commentary. I hope, unlike fruitcake, the standard bearer of all regifts, ya'll will enjoy these the second time around. Merry Crimmus, Happy New Year, and be safe.

...and I thank you.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The 12 Days Of TeaBagg.

I'm just amazed there were no typos on the posters.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

When A Noble PSA Meets Lousy Chuuch Sangin'.

Jesuuuuuuus, be a mute button fence.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Get On Your SoapBox Day.

Sometimes when you blog, you run into issues getting posts out on the daily. The Fresh 7 days/week promise I made to you guys sometimes proves to be a bit difficult for me to keep up with. Today would be such a day. It's Q4, which is a nice way of saying the folks who sign my checks want me working. And working. And working.

Seldom has a song so accurately reflected what my life looked like at the moment. Take it away, Isley Bros.[1]



So, today, the floor is open. You guys have proven to be a relatively self-sustaining online community. So, start some chatter amongst yourselves. Drop links. Get it poppin'. If you've ever wanted to write your own post for the rest of AverageNation™ to respond to, this is your day!

Sometime soon, once I get past these deadlines, I'll be back to my usual prolific and snarky self. Till then, I could use help getting over the hump. Look out for yaw's boy and take the reigns in the meantime.

Question: Got anything interesting you wanna talk with the rest of AverageNation™ about? Get the convo started you-know-where.

[1] Man, if there's a such thing as a slept-on classic tune, it's this one.

Black, White, Or Other?!? - The Butt Pincher.

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...
Police have arrested a man for pinching a [redacted] police officer – in full uniform – inside a local store.

Sgt. [redacted] said she thought Saturday would be just another routine day on the job. She spent all morning patrolling her division. Then she stopped by a clothing store to buy Christmas gifts for children in need. But while she stood in line to pay for her items something unexpected happened.

“To my surprise, I felt a pinch on my backside. I was shocked,” she said.

[redacted]’s demeanor quickly changed.

“I looked at the cashier and she said, ‘I didn't.’ The lady standing next to me said, ‘I didn't.’ The man standing next to him said, ‘I didn't, and the man standing next to him said, ‘I sure didn't.’ By that time I noticed this gentleman, he was laughing,” [redacted] said.

Police said the man was 31-year-old [redacted].

“I walked up to him and I said, ‘Sir, did you pinch me?’ And he just...ha ha ha, and kind of laughed. And I said, ‘You pinched me didn't you? I need to see you outside,’” [redacted] said. “He said, ‘I am sorry. I shouldn't have done that. I just kept looking, I kept watching, and then I just decided I am going to do it.’”

[redacted] took [redacted] outside and called for backup. Fellow officers discovered he had outstanding warrants for minor offenses. He was arrested for those warrants and for misdemeanor assault. [redacted] also had previous arrests for robbery, drugs and theft of a corpse. He is now out of jail on bond.
Question: Is The Butt Pincher Black, White, Or Other? Why?

Behind The Blog - CapriSuns.

One of my favorite childhood indulgences was the world famous CapriSun juice drink. You know em', and you prolly love em' too. Anyways, if you've been here awhile, you'll know that I give out Cyber CapriSuns when someone either guesses one of my footnote questions, or gives the best Closed Caption. If you haven't been here awhile, you're probably wondering what the heck my obsession with a child's sippy drink is.

Simply put, the Cyber CapriSun is AB.com's virtual grand prize, awarded to the first person to answer a footnote pop quiz.

It's also the punchline in a video skit that probably wasn't really supposed to be funny. Peep the vid for Consequence's "The Job Song" for full context. If you're lazy, go to the 55 second mark.



Okay, now we've got that outta the way.

Question: Juice boxes or Juice bags? Got any other AB-isms you want explained?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Elin's Revenge.

I'll admit, I really didn't see this one coming.
Elin Nordegren, the wife of Tiger Woods, will seek a divorce, ABC News.com is reporting. A source close to Nordegren told the Web site on Wednesday that a "divorce is 100 percent on."

Nordegren was recently photographed pumping gas without her wedding ring. Woods and his wife have been married for five years and have a 2-year-old daughter and a 10-month-old son.

Woods announced late last week he was taking an indefinite leave from public life and golf while he works to fix his marriage after multiple allegations of infidelity.

The announcement came two weeks after Woods crashed his SUV into a tree outside his Florida home, setting in motion a stunning downfall for the world's No. 1 player who for 13 years rarely made news off the golf course. One woman who said she had a 31-month affair with Woods shared a voice mail that she said Woods left her two nights before his Nov. 27 accident.

"I am deeply aware of the disappointment and hurt that my infidelity has caused to so many people, most of all my wife and children," Woods said in a statement released last week. "I want to say again to everyone that I am profoundly sorry and that I ask forgiveness. It may not be possible to repair the damage I've done, but I want to do my best to try."

Woods has not been seen in public since the accident.
On a purely financial level, this sorta ruins Woods' chances of doing a redemption tour on Oprah. That gimmick only works when you are actually able to keep your family in tact, and spout some PR-mandated nonsense about "my renewed commitment to family" or whatever. As is, the whole "I'm healed" narrative falls apart if your old lady actually leaves. Mannn, Eldrick, this is totally not good.

Question: Can Tiger Woods reclaim his role as media darling and role model to Cablinasians worldwide without his wife by his side?

Report: Wife to divorce Woods [ESPN]

Is The NBA Discriminating Against White Players?!?

Despite being a bigtime sports fan, I don't watch ESPN much anymore. While I used to tune in 24/7, I can't tolerate the foolishness anymore, and prefer to get my sports via the net. ESPN is a lot like listening to Power/Kiss/Hot urban radio stations. Their sports shows are ultra sensationalized, and so highlight driven that you'll find yourself thinking certain players are much better than they actually are. In classic ESPN fashion, their 30 second game recaps will show you one guy on the winning team dunking 3 times, but neglect to tell you the guy only scored 6 points in the entire game. Losers get no highlights at all. What part of the game is that?

I'll give them credit in recent years for branching out into fullblown investigative sports journalism with semi-credible shows like E:60 and Outside The Lines. But this latest episode, well, this was some ole' bullsh*t. That's about as nicely as I can put it. Peep how ESPN creates a controversy where none exists, by examining the plight of the white American collegiate player trying to make it to the pros.



Bullcrap. This clip paints this McAlarney guy as a victim. A solid (but unspectacular) college player who is being discriminated against by the predominately white front offices of 30 NBA teams who are passing him over for black guys.

Cry me a freakin' river.

Sports is the ultimate meritocracy. If you're good enough, and can keep your nose clean, someone will give you a job. It's not like this is a casino; it has nothing to do with luck. McAlarney is 5-11, was a lousy college defender, and is really just a one trick pony (shooting). Any guy that height with limited athleticism is going to need some to show some point guard instincts, and McAlarney didn't even play the point in college. He is the consummate example of a good college player without the skillset needed for the NBA, and he's the exact sort of player (an undersized shooting guard) that has the hardest time making the league simply because there are so many similiar players in the NCAA. It was no shock that he didn't get drafted or make a team, especially considering the fact that he was busted for drug possession and kicked out of school at one point. After pulling this stunt, it will indeed be a shock if he ever gets a call up. Enjoy the D-League, buddy. It's gonna be awhile.

I can't really figure out the point of this story. When similar examinations of the lack of minority players in Major League Baseball are discussed, it's usually in the form of black kids not having access to baseball fields in the inner city, and a lack of little league programs that cultivate such talent. Basketball, by comparison, is hardly a sport that presents such obstacles. If you're good, you'll be found. So, I really, really, just don't get the point ESPN is trying to make here.

Few will doubt that having more than a scant 10% of American born white players in the NBA would be better for business. I've yet to see a team where the token white guys (yes, this form of affirmative action still exists. Brian Scalabrine, anyone?) weren't all fan favorites. If anything, ESPN might want to do a special on how mediocre foreign born white players are taking up roster spots that these same American born whites used to get. But insinuating that the NBA is systematically oppressing the hoop dreams of undersized, unathletic white shooting guards is just stoopid.

And that's why I don't watch ESPN.

Question: Was McAlarney discriminated against, or is he simply not good enough for the NBA? Does the NBA need more white guys to make the product more attractive to middle America, or do racial quotas have no business in the sports world?

3 Play Thursday - Songs For The Dead Homies.

It's 3 Play Thursday. Today: Songs For The Dead Homies.

Life and death are two sides of the same coin. You can't get one without the other, and inevitably, we'll all be judged by 12 carried by six. But funeral songs ain't one-size-fits all propositions. Sometimes "Amazing Grace" just don't cut it. Sometimes you need something a little more contemporary, and a lil' bass doesn't hurt either. With no further ado, here's a few of my favorite songs for the deceased homies.

DRS - "Gangsta Lean"



This is more or less the song that started it all. These brother's obviously go kicked out of The School For Performing Arts, and decided to make the best out of it situation. Come on, seriously, they don't even know how to rock the bandannas and Raiders' caps properly. I wonder if that 40 he's tippin' to the homie's memory is St. Ides or O.E. What ya'll think?

Tupac - "Pour Out A Lil' Liquor"



Speaking of setting trends, is it even humanly possible for more than two black men to be assembled with beers in hand, without someone repeating this dreaded phrase? I generally consider Pac a marginal rapper at best whose reputation has a lot more to do with quantity than quality, but this song still knocks.

Ice Cube - "Dead Homiez"



All jokes aside, Cube had the most heartfelt ode of them all. I don't even have a pithy comment to add to this. Real talk.

Question: What's your favorite dead homiez song?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Freakin' Hilarious.

I watched this when it happened last night. I am still laughing. I don't know how Alicia Keys made it through this with a straight face.



Stephen Colbert >>> Shawn Carter

It's Obama Approval Rating Time Again.

Yep, it's about that time yet again. The polls (quietly) opened yesterday and will run for about a week. As usual, vote early and often, don't allow yourself to be systematically disenfranchised when the Blogger.com Poll Widget inevitably starts kirking out yet again Da' Man tries to administer that poll test. I don't know how many bubbles are in a bar of soap, and neither do you.

Don't think about voting, Vote! Do it now! Do it for your ancestors! Do it for the chill'rens! Do it for my Technorati Rating![1]



Obama registered a better than expected %75 Approval Rating when I last ran this feature the back in September. Given all the tough decisions the man's made in recent months, I personally doubt it will improve, but well, that's why they play the game.

I'm holding my commentary for now, I'll save it for the recap. We'll see what the rest of AverageNation™ thinks when the polls close in about a week.

Question: How did you vote? Why? Do you think the overall approval rating is going to drop, rise, or stay the same this time around?

[1] Admit it. That video looks even more stoopid and cringeworthy in retrospect, doesn't it? Dudes, he's a politician, not a Messiah. I wonder what Palin's "Yes Ya'll Will" knockoff video in 2012 will look like? Prolly a lot like The Blue Collar Comedy Tour, is my personal guess.

TI's Headed Home. Well, Wasn't That Quick?!?

We all know the gubb'ment hates cRappers and wants to see their considerable influence on suburban white kids urban America curbed. Thus, they lock brothers up on some ole' bullshit, like carrying a military grade stockpile of guns in a CVS parking lot, or even trivial sh*t like probation violations. MLK is crying inside.

Too many of our future leaders are being framed by the criminal justice system. Lil' Wayne is headed up soon. Lil' Boosie's already there. C-Murder too. They threw Mystikal's key away.

Where Is Obama?!?!



Thankfully, after barely spending one season in the clink, everyone's favorite tRapper is coming home just in time for Christmas. BTW, I read this on SandraRose.com, so it must be the troof.
According to a well-placed source, rapper T.I., who is serving a 12 month and a day bid on gun possession charges, will be released to an Atlanta halfway house to serve out the remainder of his sentence before the New Year. T.I. is expected to come home from an Arkansas prison sometime before Christmas — either the 20th or the 23rd.

“If all goes well, T.I. will be spending Christmas with his kids,” said the source who asked to remain anonymous. A flurry of activity at Grand Hustle in recent days signals the fact that T.I. is indeed coming home next week. Already, club promoters in the city who have received advanced word of T.I.’s homecoming are putting in their dibs for parties and concerts featuring the rubber band man.

“He won’t be able to do parties or concerts until all this is over,” said the source. The insider added that T.I.’s distant family members are already gathering at his impressive mansion in Jonesboro for the holidays. The source also said T.I. has made up with his sister Precious and she’s back in his good graces as nanny to the kids.

This is good news to the legions of fans of the wordsmith widely considered the best rapper of his generation.

T.I. is expected to be released to the halfway house before his scheduled May 26 release date — maybe in February or March 2010. Unlike the strict prison rules that T.I. must now adhere to, the halfway house rules will be more relaxed.
Is this a wonderful country (provided you can afford great Jewish lawyers, and are willing to sing like a bird in exchange for a lighter sentence) or what?!?

Question: Are there double standards in the judicial system for black men with money and fame vs black men without?

T.I. To Be Released To Halfway House Before Christmas [SR.com]

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ouch. Part II.

Given the number of posts I've dedicated to his demise, I'm sure some of ya'll think I have it in for Allen Iverson. I do not. I've never been a fan, but I don't dislike the guy for any reason. I ran into him once on U. Street here in DC during his rookie season, and he was a really cool, approachable dude. I wish him the best, but I just wish he'd call it a career already. When no-names like Rodney Stuckey are turning you into a SportsCenter highlight, you gotta take stock.



The inevitable YouTube/"Friday" mashup.



I suppose turnabout is fair play, considering all the dudes AI put on skates over the years.



But still, quit now, Allen. Just quit.

* Hat tip to ListenToLeon.

Why The GOP Stays Losing.

One thing that's always irked me is when politicians on both sides of the aisle rally against earmarks and "pork barrel spending". Yeah, some of what's funded to grease the skids in exchange for crucial votes is trivial. Folks will always point out such things as money for "lobster farming", or "researching the nocturnal habits of white mice" as proof that the gubb'ment spends like a drunken sailor. This has long been a great rallying cry on the campaign trail for rousing up populist support, because nobody likes seeing money wasted.

The problem with this mentality is twofold. Most "pork" makes up such a minuscule amount of most major spending bills (usually 1% or less) that getting tied up on such a matter smacks of missing the forest for the trees. And on the other side of the equation, aren't politicians supposed to be looking out for the very locales that put them in office? Behind every trivial "hiking trail in Western Montana" is a real person, with a real job as a result, and thousands of constituents who'll enjoy the benefits of new community centers, playgrounds, civic buildings, and the like. Not all pork is bad. In fact, most of it isn't.

This is why I never liked the idea of President Obama making such a big deal out of eliminating "wasteful spending" when he took office, and really saw it as a tit-for-tat to neutralize a primary strength of his opponent. If he really wanted to save some money, he'd cut defense spending, which even in times of peace accounts for 35% of the annual budget, but of course nobody will go for that. It's much easier carping on welfare, which usually accounts for %0.10 of the annual budget. Worrying about $50,000 to fund some random study in Utah is like the woman who wants to lose weight, so she drinks a Diet Coke with her SuperSized Double Quarter Pounder w/cheese combo. Again, forest-trees.

Of course, Obama hasn't done anything to stop earmarks since taking office, just like he hasn't been able to curb the influence of lobbyists. The much maligned stimulus package contained more pork than a Denny's Grand Slam, with the Dems accounting for 55% of all earmarks. Obama, naturally, said it wouldn't happen "next time", and decried this as "last year's business". Anyone thinking they can come to DC and change such an ingrained culture (Bush Jr. said the same, BTW) is either being childishly naive, or just plain dishonest. This is how things get done here, and how things will always get done here. Period.

But none of this stops the GOP from making less gubb'ment waste an annual rallying cry, even as they look the other way and stuff every bill full of goodies for their home districts. Despite spending the whole Summer at Tea Parties blaming President Obama for saddling our grandchildren's grandchildren with debt, the fact that these same ingrates accounted for 45% of the pork barrel spending in the very stimulus package they voted against sure wasn't lost on me. So I sure hope the fine folks of "Real America" don't fall for the okey doke again this time.
Sen. John McCain, who should know, once complained that Congress spends money on earmarks like a drunken sailor. This spending spree seen by penny-pinching Republican taxpayers was one of the central causes why the GOP lost both houses of Congress by the 2008 elections.

Now that the Democrats are in control, earmarks continue to pad appropriation bills but at a slightly lower level than when the Republicans were in charge. It’s still an obscene culture.

The watchdog group Taxpayers For Common Sense reported the omnibus spending bill passed by the House contains 5,224 earmarks costing about $3.9 billion of the total $447 billion measure. But, that’s only earmarks reported by House members voluntarily. Nor does it include the military spending bill which traditionally has more earmarks than all the other spending bills combined. That’s an average 12 earmarks for each House member.

No Republican voted for the bill but many of the projects included earmarks placed in the bill by the GOP before the final floor vote. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., is pushing $200,000 for the Washington National Opera. Sen. Judd Gregg, a fiscal hawk, is behind a $1 million earmark for renovation at the Portsmouth Music Hall.
So, again, I repeat, the GOP had plenty of earmarks in this bill, yet again. But will this stop them from going around and repeating the fallacy that they're the party of "fiscal responsibility"? Of course not. Because if there's one thing teabaggers don't do, it's read.[1]



Let this be a lesson for everyone: Pork isn't always bad. It's just bad when the Democrats are in power.

Politricks as usual.

Question: What do you think about earmarks? Is they always a bad thing, or should politicians be obligated to bring home the bacon to their constituents? Will the GOP's obvious hypocrisy about the use of earmarks come back to haunt them? Will Obama's obvious turning of a dead ear on the earmarks being thrown in the Omnibus bill come back to haunt him? Does anyone even give a sh*t about this issue, or is it purely election year populist pRon?

Fed Spending Falls On Deaf Ear(marks) [TheModerateVoice]

Watchdogs Cry Foul Over Thousands of Earmarks in Spending Bill [FoxNews]

[1] To John Boehner's credit, he actually hasn't ever taken an earmark. Too bad he can't rally his colleagues to do the same.