Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Left Media's BeckaPolooza Documentary.

I hate sounding like a Stan, but this guy's videos are always so on point, I wonder why NLM doesn't have a bigger platform yet.

And if you're wondering, yes, I was (sorta) looking for this dude [||] the other day, no I didn't run into him, but yes, I did run into some of the characters he's interviewing.

AB.com Hot Topics - Iraq, Bron Bron, And Failin' Palin.

[Editor's Note: AB.com NewsBriefs is now Hot Topics.]

I'm busy today, here's the rundown...

Iraq War - We're mostly outta there and Obama's giving a victory lap speech tonight. I obviously am happy we're drawing down forces, but not everyone's so chipper. What's your read?

Please. Fire. Robert. Gibbs. Yesterday. - Man, is there any better manifestation of the term "Human Fail" than the snarky Robert Gibbs?

I'd be the last one the defend the vapid Gretchen Carlson of Fox And Friends, a woman who makes Jessica Simpson look like a Rhodes Scholar, but come on Gibbs, really? If you aren't going to answer even basic gotcha questions, why bother going on Fox News? Cause, you know, all they ask is gotcha questions.

Lebron's Baby Mom's Prenup - Word is circulating that Miami Heat star Lebron James has an "arrangement" with his childrens' mother to pay her a one time lump sum $25M should the couple part ways. The money is for the typical pain and suffering, but also for her to keep her mouth shut (aka: don't pull a SuperHead) just for good measure. Is this a smart business move, or an unnecessary formality?

Team USA Squeaks One Out - Man, it looked like the boys might lose one versus Brazil yesterday, but the basketball Gods clearly showed who they favored, leaving Team USA undefeated.

It's hard to believe that the United States hasn't won the World Basketball Championship since 1994, but we're got a great chance this Summer. If you haven't been following this team, get familiar.

Failin' Palin - Now, only 1 in 4 Americans thinks Miss Sarah is qualified to be Prez. Folks, I told ya'll this long ago: this woman's no moron. Running for President (and thus, becoming an insider again) would ruin all of the inexplicable pull she has over those who follow her. I suspect she'll claim some nonsense about "helping Americans more by remaining a Washington outsider" and sit it out. Because it's hard to keep cashing $100k checks for speaking engagements if you're actually a candidate. That isn't happening.

Takers Takes The Top Box Office Spot - Not that I was able to get out the house for it, but a drama/action flick with a predominantly black cast finished first at the box office this weekend.

No need to lie. Much like recent movies Brooklyn's Finest and The Losers, I have no freakin' idea what this movie's about. Are they robbers? Dope boys? Rappers with very lousy acting skills? You tell me. Still, I wonder if we should be celebrating yet another flick that perpetuates the stereotype of black criminology.

Question: What will Obama say during tonight's primetime speech? Did we "win" Iraq, or merely cut losses and leave? What about Bron's "Prenup"? Did you see Takers? What's your take?

Poll Position: Obama's Passing Grade.

Last week, I gave my grade on President Obama's performance after 19 months on the job. While I agreed with much of what he'd done legislatively, I thought his leadership qualities left much to be desired and gave him an overall grade of C+. Ya'll were more or less on the same page.With elections and the lame duck session on the horizon, it'll be interesting to see whether Obama pushes for any more legislation or just falls back till the dust settles. We'll see.

Question: What grade did you give the President and why?!?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Caption This Photo.

Can Hooters Fire You For Eating Too Many Wings?!?

One of AB.com's most trafficked posts is called Hooters Girls. Scrippers. What's The Difference?!?, and if I must say so, the sexist premise is quite self-explanatory. In case you're dense, I argued that the line between a Hooters Girl and an "Exotic Dancer" was pretty thin. Given the huge disparity in wages, it made little sense to serve wings for $2.07/hour when you could just lose one item of clothing and serve thighs for a King's Ransom.

Predictably, the PC Police came out and assaulted me with all manner of cro-magnon insults. The post also somehow made its way onto a "Hooters Girl Listserv", something I had no idea existed, only adding insult to injury.

Sorry, but there's little point in trying to defend your Day Job when said Day Job is all about objectification. If a woman wants to wear next to nothing and serve curly fries for next to nothing, that's on her. Personally, I asserted you'd make far more money working a classy joint like Ruth's Chris or The Palm. Sure, you'd still be objectified, but you wouldn't have to worry about fitting in orange coochie cutters.

Anyways, some Hooters Girls in Michigan found this out the hard way, and hit up Greenburg and Beterman.
A Michigan judge has given the go-ahead to lawsuits by two ex-Hooters waitresses who say they were fired because of their weight. Michigan has a pioneering law that prohibits discrimination based on weight. The 1976 law also bans discrimination based on age and height.

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Hooters of Roseville Inc. and Atlanta-based Hooters of America Inc. say the law shouldn't apply because their waitresses are entertainers whose appearance is a legitimate concern.

Macomb County Circuit Judge Peter Maceroni on Monday denied Hooters' request to dismiss the suit because the waitresses had signed an arbitration agreement. Maceroni says the women may not have knowingly waived their right to sue.
Well, nobody ever mistook Hooters Girls for Constitutional scholars, so I guess we gotta cut em' some slack.

It would be easy to dismiss this as sexist, but let's fall back a moment. It's not like there aren't a million and one jobs that require a certain amount of fitness. Soldiers have PT. Professional athletes have to "make weight" and often have such incentives in their contracts. Even cops and bus drivers are often required to be in shape. So why in the world should a job whose sole responsibility requires being ogled not be allowed to make similar restrictions?

On the other hand, one man's "overweight" is another man's just right. The girls in this video aren't my type (no woman's not named AverageSis is my type), but unless I'm blind, they don't look particularly fat.

Maybe they should just transfer them to the Hooters in a black neighborhood.

Cause ya'll know how brothas get down.

Question: Is Hooters well within its right to fire waitresses who get too high on their own supply? Was the Hooters Girl in this video overweight in your eyes? Is this post dripping with chauvinism, or am I just tellin' it like it is?

Judge allows Hooters waitress weight lawsuit [MSNBC]

Saturday, August 28, 2010

AB.com's Epic Recap Of Glenn Beck's "I Have A Dream, Too" Speech.

I wrote a nice piece on this over at The Daily Kos. It's pretty popular. You might wanna go have a look at that.

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Now THAT's Talent!!!

Somebody get this brotha a record deal, pronto!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Want A Man, Sistas?!? Quit College And Abandon All Ambition Now.

I should go ahead and copyright this "The Lonely Black Woman Industrial Complex ™" catchphrase right now. Seriously, I should go ahead and make some shirts with that caption, and the pic of the sad & lonely sista above. I could hit the Essence Music Festival and make enough paper to put both the AverageKids™ through U Penn.

As if black women weren't being hit with enough bad news already in 2010, here comes even more.
A new study finds that men are more likely to cheat if their income is much lower than what their wife or female partner makes, while women are more likely to fool around if they make more than their husband or male partner.

The findings suggest that disparities in moneymaking play a significant role in infidelity, at least among the young couples they studied. The study found that almost 7 percent of the men reported having sex outside their relationships between 2002 and 2007, while about 3 percent of women did.

Two lifestyle factors, higher education and regular religious observance, seem to help keep infidelity at bay for both men and women, the study found.

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On the other end of the spectrum, infidelity seemed to rise when one partner made a lot more money than the other. And that held true whether the man or the woman was the big wage earner.
Okay, so nothing particularly Earth shattering for Black women in particular. But here comes the hook.
Black and Hispanic men were more likely than white men to have fooled around.

I could give a million and one reasons for why this is phenomenon occurs, but I'll save the social scientist role for you guys. Run with it.

Question: Why do you think men who make less cheat more? Got any personal experience to back up this study? Got any personal experience to refute it? What's up with the racial angle, do brothers cheat more than white guys? How come Asians never are represented in such stories?

Infidelity Rises When She Makes More Than He Does [BizWeek]

Thursday, August 26, 2010

AB.com Will Be Watching Glenn Beck Desecrate Dr. King's Dream, Live And In Person.

I've got a great wife. I truly do.

Not only is the woman incredibly beautiful, the funniest person you've ever met, and a passionate lover[1], she's also so incredibly supportive of her man that she gives him free time and space to do completely stupid, trivial stuff. Every man should be so fortunate enough to have such a mate, but sorry my brethren, you gots to get your own.

I shower all these kudos on my better half because she's letting me out the house for a few hours Saturday so I can give in to the morbid curiosity of Glenn Beck's "I Have A Dream" March On Washington, which I told ya'll about last week here. I know some of you are gonna chide me for wasting a beautiful Saturday morning and a gallon of gas to go watch some imbecile spew anti-American hatred upon the likely unwashed masses of millions? thousands of Beck-ites who'll descend on the Lincoln Memorial from all around the country. Don't I have better things to do with my time? Shouldn't I be teaching my kids their ABC's? Should I be somewhere cutting grass? Shouldn't I be somewhere making passionate love to said great wife?

You'd be correct on all accounts, but I'll still go to Glenn Beck's 8-28 rally because I can, and I shall.[2] I'm already a veteran of the Tea Party scene, so this will be like a family reunion, albeit with family members who prolly hate me and think I'm a Muslim. Besides, the whole thing'll be over by 1pm. Plenty of time left for ABC's, lawnmowers, and oh yes, passionate lovemaking.

Priorities, folks. Priorities.

Anyways, since I'm going through with this and writing a piece for the DailyKos as part of the deal, I'm interested in knowing what ya'll think I should look for? Imagine I'm your eyes and ears for a moment. Do I take pics of racist signs? Gauge the crowd for anti-Obama sentiment? Make a viral video exploiting some poor sap who doesn't realize his taxes were actually cut under Obama? Incite a riot between Rebb'n Al (who'll be holding his own rally across town) & The Fox Nation? Throw an egg at Sarah Palin (and run)? Ya'll tell me.

I'd me remiss to talk about this event and not mention the silly "Tea Partiers Guide To DC" published by some website alerting the folks about the dangers of the Nation's Capitol, other than Capitol Hill of course. Naturally, the usual liberal suspects jumped on this and made it a racial issue.

I should be honest here, I give visiting co-workers the very same advice all the time. If you ain't never been the DC don't be fooled by all the museums and limestone. One wrong turn or missed Metro stop, and your ass could get got. Heck, you could even catch a bad one on the train itself. So if you wanna see Miss Sarah and live to tell about it, keep your ass off the Red Line to Glenmont! Better safe than sorry.

See ya'll Saturday.

Question: I'm your eyes and ears, what should I look during at Glenn Beck's "I Have A Dream" speech?

[1] Too much info?

[2] Because my wife said I could.

Slooooowwwww News Day.

Blogging incessantly about substantive issues of politics, race, and social commentary is a meaningful endeavor, but it gets difficult at times. So how about some completely random, totally trivial sh*t for a change of pace?

Tiger Woods Is A Free Man! - Well, it cost him a cool $100M, but El Tigre is free to play again. Call me nuts, but it seems like since he stopped creepin', his golf game's gone in the crapper. At the bare minimum, he can step his jumpoff game up and maybe nab some Ruth's Chris waitresses now. Eff' a Perkins.

Soulja Boy/Kat Stacks Coke Video - Mannn, talk about combining a bad career, life, and health decision all in one. What the hell was Soulja Boy thinking? Nope, I'm not talking about the cocaine, which we all know is just a party favor in cRap circles. I'm talkin' about baggin' Kat Stacks, and letting this bird stick around afterward to film some triflin' footage that could get Mr. Tell Em' sent to the clink. I'm not sure police can use web video as evidence, can one of ya'll tell me?

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Michael Jordan's Son Blows $60k One Night In Vegas - Someone please tell me how it's even humanly possible to run up a $45k bar tab in one night? I'm assuming this guy "bought the bar" or something, but damn, no place even has $10k worth of liquor on the premises.

USA Basketball Roolz - Team USA destroys yet another Eurosquad by 30. America ain't #1 in too many things, but we know how to humiliate fools on the basketball court. And no, this team doesn't have the star power of last Summer's Dream Team, but that's actually not a bad thing. This "JV squad" is full of hungry, yet humble young players looking to make a name for themselves on the World stage. And since they're not as talented, the games tend to be more competitive. I mean, seriously, 1 point squeakers beat 65 point blowouts anyday. USA! USA! USA!

Question: What's on your mind today?!?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

AB.com Guest Post - Avoiding The Dreaded "FriendZone".

[Editor's Note: We could all fake like we're Lotharios, but reality is, most guys have had that special lady rip their hearts out with the dreaded "I just want to be friends" dagger. This "FriendZone" is a place no self respecting dude wants to find himself, so The Uppity Negro shows us how not to get got.]

I’ll admit it, I’m a chronic sufferer of being in the “friend zone.” Cue the “dark and stormy night” music with a crack of thunder and bolt of lightning (and just imagine those sounds effects every time I write “friend zone.” Look, there it is again.) Fellas, you’ve been there at LEAST once, for some of us, we’ve lost count. But its those dreaded words no self-respecting black male wants to hear “oh, I just want to be friends.”

Usually they send mixed signals.

These are the ones that treat you like one of their “girlfriends” calling you up and talking about they other man issues–but calling you at like booty call hour times. So you get to thinking, well, she talking about man issues, maybe she’s feeling some kind of way, and then eventually you step to her and BOOM she says “oh, I just want to be friends.”

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Or you chillin’ in their room on campus or at their apartment and you’re staying over all hours of the night, and you finally get up enough nerve to make a move. I mean you figure if I’m over here all hours of the night, she look good, got a decent head on her shoulders why not make a move? Or better yet, you “sneak” on to Spelman’s campus go take the broad some Popeyes chicken because she asked for some, go up stairs, hide in her room because they doing room checks, then come downstairs, post up outside by your car, and get kicked off Spelman campus by some butch who look mad at life and then they still say “oh, I just want to be friends.”

Oh. Sorry. Maybe that last part was just me.

Anyway, you get my point. Its always the dreaded “friend zone.”

Dang. There’s that scary music again.

It’s somewhat baffled me over the last few years because we sit up and we hear all of these stories from these State of the ______ (insert college or random black female audience intended event) Woman events and believe it or not there are actually black men who listen to what these women say as far as what they’re looking for in a man. The sad thing is that up until about that Spelman College incident, so about 23 for me, I actually believed the bullcrap that women say in public. Let’s be hoooooonest: black women want a professional thug. We’ve heard all kinds of formulas as to how and try and get it, but at the core they want this perfect hybrid of professionalism and hardcore thuggery that exudes this primal and unrefined image of masculinity.

That’s why we hear about the “reformed thug” image or the “former bad boy” that women try and pick up and actually wife these black men. But, see there’s a flaw and a major flaw at that: these women get in these relationships and they don’t work out!

Shocked right?

You shouldn’t be. You know why? Because that perfect union of professionalism being a lawyer or doctor or whatever legal six-figured salary doesn’t jibe well with a former life of being a d-boy. The only thing I can think sadder than women chasing after the professional thug are the men striving to be the professional thug. I’m aware of way too many black males who are in college and still trying to hold on to their d-boy ways. Or even the weird, and I mean very weird aesthetic I observed just yesterday driving down west 79th street seeing young teen throwing up gang signs across the street at each other–but you had on fitted jeans and a bright Hollister t-shirt and rocking some Chucks.


Look, fashion and standards of beauty (in the philosophical sense) change with the zeitgeist of the social climate, but it does raise a question as to what is it exactly that these black women are seriously looking for.

If I can be painfully transparent, I seriously got a self-esteem complex from the number of females who pulled the “oh I just wanna be friends” line on me. (And no I wasn’t running around trying to holla at the alpha-females on campus who were so stuck up it was vomitable, just in case you were wondering.) And I reasoned that if females had a certain standard of what they looked for physically in a man, then what was preventing me from doing the same. Nonetheless, I really went through this “I’m ugly” stage just because of the rejection back in college and early grad school years.

But, men, if you find yourself in the dreaded “Friend Zone” the following may be some reasons why:

Wearing Fitted/Skinny Jeans - Now we know, by now that women have a warped view of masculinity and I might even add maturity. It’s not enough for women to see you actually walk and talk the part, for some weird convoluted reason they actually want you to look the part. So, because women seem to not have enough about them to get past the fitted jeans you’re wearing, just go back to the big Rocawear jeans or the old strap Girbauds you probably have buried in your closet somewhere and run to Foot Locker and stock up on some fresh white tees to impress a woman. And I guess while you’re at it, go find some gold fronts for your teeth.

Talking To Well - Actually speaking to females and holding full conversations with them. Fellas, we know the deal, females like being holla’d at in random public places like at the mall, or at the club, or actually rolling your window down, honking your horn and hollering out ” ‘ey MA!” and holding up traffic if she shouts back a phone number. It is more than evident that actually speaking to a female with correct syntax and grammar rules in place gets you in the “friend zone.” How dare you come off even remotely educated

Telling the truth about your sexual conquests - Right ’nuff said. Females don’t want to know the truth–whether the truth is that you’ve had a GREAT year or the truth being that you’ve had a not so great year. Seriously, why you try and start something based on truth.

Not spreading rumors about other men - Of course this will get you in trouble. It’s your duty as a black man to tear down your competition and just randomly talk about how some other guy can’t “put it down like you can” or just bad mouth some guy in general or pull the trump card and say in the words of Riley Freeman “Dat nigga gay!”

I know that comes off as tongue-in-cheek, but I’m dead serious. Black women have a very interesting perception of masculinity, and one that I think results in cognitive dissonance: they say one thing, but act another way. And even go so far as to get married and then when the marriage isn’t the cakewalk they expected, they’re ready to bail on the man as if they can do better. And I’m not talking about in instances of verbal and physical abuse, but after the honeymoon is over and the two have been together for five years or more.

Somewhere, the perception of black male masculinity got warped severely: gangsta life got celebrated and actually finishing high school with the diploma rather than a G.E.D. program fell to like number 39 on the list of things to do while living the hood life. Gangsta life and its twin siblings of “being ghetto” and “keeping it real” somehow reified black urban culture in many instances, so much so that “keeping it real” as abstract as it sounds is in fact a real concept. It translates into these not so positive images of what we see in the opposite sex: women say they want the doctor, lawyer, accountant, but they’re still attracted to the tall, basketball player looking guy waiting on the bus on 79th and South Chicago. What they really want to do is take the guy standing on the bus, put him in the doctor’s office and put a suit on him and walk around with them: its all about status.

Don’t get me wrong, wanting a status symbol on your arm is a two way street, I can more than admit that. But, I think a primary cause why some relationships fail is because the individuals aren’t honest with themselves. Black women want a man with status on their arm. Status comes in many different forms, please believe, but all of them deal with outward appearances; cars, houses/condos, land, height of the man, does he work out, what kind of job does he have, what family does he come from–all of those social forces that lead one to believe you have to have that. Honestly, if a woman makes the following statement “I don’t care about the car, or what kind of clothes he wears, just as long as he’s good-hearted and good person” SHE’S LYING THROUGH HER TEETH!!! If she believed that she wouldn’t have had to qualify the statement by even mentioning the car or the clothes.

And if you think all of this is bollocks as to why you’re still in the friend zone, maybe its because she doesn’t think you got good D-slangin skills.

And aint much you can do about that unless you get enough cohones to just whip it out on her.

Question: What are your thoughts, both from the male and female perspective about the “friend zone.” Have you ever been there? Have you ever put someone in the “friend zone”? How’d you feel afterwards? If you have been put in the “friend zone” before, did it affect how you treated others?

Name That Sample - "It's Your Thing"

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 tune by Lou Donaldson has been sampled numerous times. But who can name the most songs that have used these delightful bars? I can only name two myself.

Difficulty Level: Moderate. One song in particular is pretty easy. Think harder.

Question: How many songs can you name that used the "It's Your Thing" 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.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jeremiah Wright's Plan For World Domination, Revealed!!!

Silly me for thinking Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United Church Of Christ was preparing Negroes for an overthrow of the Feds and revenge on whitey all along. Turns out all Black Liberation Theology did was teach married couples to come together for this heartwarming liturgical dance/steppin' routine. See what happens when you watch Fox News?

All jokes aside, considering how much the state of Black Marriage is bemoaned, it's good to see couples enjoying life with each other in this fashion. Thanks to Black And Married With Kids for passing this along.

Question: Could you and your significant other pull of this routine?!? How come TUCC wasn't more proactive in defending itself during the 2008 campaign?

Memo To White America: No, You Can't Say The Word "N*gger". And Here's Why.

So, another week, another N-Word controversy. The graveyard of well meaning white folks who've seen their life's work destroyed with the uttering of of simple 6 letter[1] word is numerous. You'd think that folks would have gotten the memo by now. Apparently not.

When such "N-Wordy" situations as Mel Gibson, Dr. Laura, or "KKKramer" arise, the postmortem tends to go in two predictable directions. Black folks tell white folks they just can't say the word, and white folks tell black people why it's such an outlandish double standard, given how many rappers and black comedians use the word. Besides, there's that pesky First Amendment to consider.

Rather than going into some pointless anthropological study of the word's origin and why it is still a painful slur today, I'll just keep it real simple for ya'll.

No, white folks, you can't say the word "n*gger", just because you can't.


Many folks would slam this as reverse-reverse racism, hypocrisy, or worse. It's not. To say so would assume that the English language has no inherent contextual double standards. It has plenty.

You could walk over to your wife, and whisper in her ear how you're going to take her home, drink some red wine, dim the lights, turn on some Michael Bolton and make passionate love to her till the sun comes up. I could walk up to your wife, say the very same thing (minus the Michael Bolton of course) and I'd probably get my ass kicked, maybe even get the police called on me.

Yes, I have the right to use those words, just not towards your wife.

Double standard, right?

Every cultural group has a million and one sayings that are exclusive to, and perfectly acceptable in said group. Gays can call it other things. Hispanics have their own vernacular. Ditto for Asians. People outside of said groups run the risk of catching a beatdown if they utter those very same words. This is no double standard, it just is what it is. And no, this isn't just "a minority thang". Jeff Foxworthy can call white people "rednecks" and get rich in the process. Let Al Sharpton do the same. Race riot!!!

The funny thing about the "N-Word" is that Black America itself is hardly monolithic when it comes to the use of the word. Many people (ie: my parents) come from a generation where the sting of such a word was a part of painful childhood memories, they wouldn't use the word to describe the devil. Some others use the word to describe other black folks in a not-so-savory light. Some people use it as an all-purpose pronoun. The numbers of us who "reclaim the word to strip it of power" and use it "as a term of affection" are far, far, far smaller that most "National Conversations On Race" would have you believe. And then, you've got people like me who didn't know any better in the past, but now try our best to not use it at all.

Again, one 6-letter[2] word, myriad black points of view. But we're pretty much unanimous on one thing, and one thing only as pertains to the dreaded "N-Word".

You'd better not say it.

Question: Is the "N-Word" controversy that arises everytime a white person says it indicative of the PC nature of America circa 2010? What, if anything, is the "N-Word" equivalent for white folks? Should the "N-Word" be banned from American vernacular altogether?

[1] For anyone wondering why I didn't completely spell out the "N-Word" in this post's title, the reason is simple. I don't want anyone getting dinged when they try and leave comments, or emails with that subject line showing up in folks inboxes at work. That's all.

[2] Or 5. Depending on context.

I Need Some Fantasy Football Advice. Pronto!

No need to fake, my Fantasy Football draft snuck up on me this year. I haven't been paying much (any!) attention to the NFL, as usual, so I'm kinda behind the 8-Ball right now.

I need some help. Whether or not you play FF, gimme some pointers. Who should I avoid at all costs? Who's this year's breakout rookie. Who's the sleeper pick that's gonna get me over the hump once my 3rd string RB inevitably tears an ACL in the final preseason game? Inquiring minds wanna know. There's braggin' rights at stake here, help!

If you got a nice (and free) cheatsheet, hit me with the URL. I got until 7:30pm to get my stuff together!

Question: Are you playing Fantasy Football this year? Got any player tips to share? Got an awesome cheatsheet you wanna break me off with? Are you totally and completely clueless about what this "Fantasy Football" nonsense is?

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Illest Sports VideoGame Evar?!?

EA Sports needs to miss me with that NBA 11 Elite BS. Repackaging NBA Live ain't foolin' nobody. This is why 2K Sports is runnin' thangs. Select the 720p HD resolution, peep the realism, and pre-order yours today.

Question: Is this the most realistic sports video game ever?!?

Grading President Obama After 19 Months In Office.

A local saying goes that the two toughest gigs in DC are President Of The United States and Quarterback for the Redskins. Donovan McNabb's still fresh in town and the NFL season hasn't even kicked off yet, so the burgundy & gold bandwagon has yet to turn on him. The same can't be said for Barack Obama, a man who (sometimes unfairly, sometimes fairly) gets critiqued for seemingly everything.

With The Prez on (yet another!) vacation right now, noted Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson paused for reflection and asserts that all things considered, approval ratings be damned, Obama's actually on a roll right now.
Obama campaigned as an early and vocal opponent of the Iraq war, calling it a distraction from the more important conflict in Afghanistan. When he took office, there were about 160,000 U.S. troops in Iraq on the heels of George W. Bush's combat surge. Obama said he would bring our combat forces home and he did -- ahead of schedule.

Obama ended up pouring $50 billion into the General Motors, acquiring a 61 percent ownership stake. Critics complained about the advent of "Government Motors" and raised the specter of bureaucrats in Washington holding public hearings to redesign the Corvette. But now, after making more than $2 billion in profits so far this year, the restructured company is confident enough to sell stock on Wall Street -- and begin repaying the government's investment.

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When BP's Deepwater Horizon well went rogue, the Obama administration was criticized for being slow off the mark. Some of the criticism was justified -- the initial response did seem unfocused. But the administration managed to turn things around and quiet any talk of "Obama's Katrina." Obama persuaded BP to put up $20 billion as a guarantee that the Gulf Coast residents whose livelihoods were damaged or destroyed by the spill would be compensated.

Supporting the mosque in Lower Manhattan didn't score any political points. But Obama saw his duty to uphold the values of our Constitution and make clear that our fight is against the terrorists, not against Islam itself. Instead of doing what was popular, he did what was right.
Since we're entering that odd dead period before November elections, this is probably as good a time as ever to step back and evaluate the President's performance to date. Because seriously, he isn't getting anymore substantive legislation passed until the lame duck session begins November 5th. With lots of folks on their way out of office, plenty of stuff we go down then.

I often get taken to task here (and by my mother of all people!) for being too critical of Obama. I suppose I understand that sentiment, but my assertions have always been clear. I agree with 90% of what he's done legislatively. I just think his leadership skills leave a lot to be desired, and are what's separating him from being a merely "average" President and a "good" one. I'm still not sure he's got the ability to be a "great" one, especially if/when he loses control of the House and/or Senate in November.

Still, it's important to give credit where it's due. I'm sure plenty of people will rebut that when unemployment is 9.5%, there's very little credit to be given, and that would be understandable. Still, you have to judge a President in totality, and I give Obama credit for controlling what he can and doing a decent job of containing what he can't. Need I remind anyone that we were losing 700k jobs a month when Obama took office?

It's silly to grade a person's performance after such an arbitrary time period on the job, but then again, it's also silly to take daily snapshots of a person's perceived performance and call it a "Presidential Approval Rating".

Let's get more specific and revisit a post I wrote the day after Obama took office for some hardcore metrics.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 7,949.17 pts when Obama took office. That number's definitely improved.

The US Unemployment Rate was 7.6%. That number has gotten worse obviously, but it's definitely better than its peak of %10.1 several months ago. You could certainly argue that recent signs point to it rising again, or that it's not a true measure of "real unemployment". Point taken.

The US National Debt was $10 Trillion Dollars. That number's obviously gotten worse, but it's up to you to determine whether initiatives like the bailouts, the Stimulus Package and emergency unemployment benefits were worth the trouble. Sometimes when you're in debt, you gotta worry about keeping a roof over your head, not your 401k. I happen to think deficit spending is ok given where the money's gone.

The Price Per Crude Oil Barrel was $40.85 and the Price Per Gallon Of Unleaded Gasoline was $1.76. Both numbers have gone back up, but it's important to remember that both had only recently dipped in the months leading up to the election. I believe gas prices plateaued in Summer 2008, bottomed out that Fall, and were already on the way back up when Obama took office. I could obviously be wrong.

The Number Of US Troops In Iraq was 142,000. We know what happened there.

The Number Of US Troops In Afghanistan was 30,000. We also know what happened there.
Obviously this is a mixed bag of results, many of which (troop levels) Obama has influenced, and some (ie: gas prices) that he's got no control over at all. Some of his other signature initiatives like credit card, student loan, health care, and financial reform will obviously take more time to properly evaluate, but I think it's fair to give him credit for doing something. I'm far less enthused about his efforts in the area of public education, where you could argue that his "Race To The Top" initiative is just a nicer way of saying "No Child Left Behind".

The bottom line for me is that although Obama's leadership and communications skill (and team) aren't what I expected, he's done a good job with the sh*t sandwich he inherited. The economy remains a sore spot, and he'll need to work with the GOP (yikes!) to address that moving forward, given the likely reshuffle of power on the Hill that's forthcoming.

With still more than 2 years left in office, I grade his performance to date a C+.

Question: Using an A-F scale, how would you grade President Obama's performance thus far? What's been the most encouraging accomplishment? What's been the most disappointing development? What can he do to raise his grade?

President Obama's winning streak [WashPost]

Friday, August 20, 2010

AB.com Guest Post - Are Conservative Women "Hotter" Than Liberals?!?

[Editor's Note: Late guest post today. I'm behind the 8 ball, so my main man Shady Grady goes in on the weird intersection of sexism and politricks in the GOP.]

Fox News Channel has long made a habit of hiring a variety of stereotypically attractive Caucasian women, particularly blondes. Short skirts, big hair and tight tops are par for the course at Fox News. And some Republicans have often snickered that many of the more prominent Democratic political women or women publicly identified with liberal or Democratic causes are not exactly all that good looking. Although I don’t think Palin is all that attractive she’s better looking than the average woman politician. And some guys felt more strongly than that.

Remember Rich Lowry’s comment about Sarah Palin?
I'm sure I'm not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, "Hey, I think she just winked at me." And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing.

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It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America. This is a quality that can't be learned; it's either something you have or you don't, and man, she's got it.
While that might tell you more about Rich Lowry and his interests than you care to know one can’t deny that there is a perception among some of the Right that Democratic women are unshaven viragos whose primary attraction to feminism and liberal politics is that they can’t find a man. This is all BS of course but it seems to be something that comes up again and again –this time in Minnesota.
A local Minnesota Republican Party operative yesterday waded into one of the signature political issues of our time: "Who's hotter — Republican women or Democratic women?"

The Senate District 56 GOP Party posted a Web video yesterday laying out its position on the hotness question. It leads with images of prominent Republicans such as Sarah Palin, Michelle Malkin, and Michele Bachmann; the soundtrack, naturally, is the Tom Jones chestnut, "She's a Lady."

Then, there's an abrupt switch to the other side of the aisle. The theme is subtly conveyed with the strains of the Baha Men hit "Who Let the Dogs Out?" Photos of Michelle Obama, Janet Reno, Rosie O'Donnell and Hillary Clinton flash on the screen.

The video quickly made its viral way through the blogosphere, and provoked strong reaction from state politicos and others. State Democratic chairman Brian Melendez called the video "sexist and offensive."
The Republicans took the video down but of course now it is on YouTube.

Some (all??) of the imagery of the Democratic women was Photoshopped of course...

Question: Is this just harmless fun or does this hint at a deeper sexist Republican and/or male discomfort with powerful women? Why do Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi receive so many attacks on their looks? Why do these Republican attack ads never seem to mention Democratic women like Scarlett Johansson, Nicole Scherzinger, Tatyana Ali etc. Is this just Republican projection? Do Republicans really think Ann Coulter or Laura Ingraham are attractive?

Minnesota GOP: Republican women are hotter than Democrats [Yahoo!]

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fox News Is GOP Propaganda?!? OMG!!!

[Editor's Note: Slow news day. I'll be back off the political tip soon.]

I'll let ya'll in on a not-so-well-kept secret: I actually like Fox News and watch it pretty frequently. Laugh all you want, but there really isn't a better morning show than Fox & Friends. It's basically the journalistic equivalent of breakfast junk food, a Sausage, Egg, & Cheese McGriddle minus the love handles. Yes, it's pure propaganda, yes the hosts are complete and total dimwits, and yes, it occasionally pisses me off. But it's just entertainment, not real news. I also get pissed off watching The Real Housewives Of Atlanta. What's the difference?

Of course, millions of people aren't in on the joke, and actually assume Fox News is really "fair and balanced". Truth is, there's not a single minute of programming on Fox that is actually "fair and balanced". Even their alleged "straight news" shows are partisan. They can't even fake it, despite what their corporate motto might suggest.

That said, this latest story is no surprise at all.
Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. gave $1 million to the Republican Governors Association (RGA) this year, Bloomberg reported. The company owns Fox News and the New York Post.

The filings show that the RGA raised $58 million between Jan. 1, 2009, and June 30, 2010. The Democratic Governors Association raised $40 million during the same period.

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News Corp's Political Action Committee, News America-Fox PAC, has given to Democrats and Republicans, but in far smaller sums, Yahoo's Michael Calderone reports: "The PAC has given $48,000 to Democrats running for House seats this year and $40,700 to Republicans. In Senate races, the PAC contributed $30,500 to Democrats and $25,500 to Republicans."
I can already hear howling pundits claiming that the fact that Fox gives to both parties is proof that there's no bias. As if. It's called hedging your bets. It's not a new concept.[1]

So, I guess the cat's totally out of the bag now.

Question: Should this story really surprise anyone? Be honest, do you watch Fox News? If so, what? If F&F isn't the next morning show, what is?

Fox parent News Corp. donates $1 million to Republican Governors' Association [WashPost]

[1] BTW, I gotta give props to The Young Turks, who seem to be well on their way to an MSNBC show. There isn't a more deserving team.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dr. Laura & The Art Of The Non-Apologetic Apology.

I didn't bother going in on this Dr. Laura story when I returned from vacation because I figured it was a done deal. She said some truly ignant sh*t, which is really just par for the course on talk radio. She issued a half-assed apology. She was right back on the air. Again, what's so new about that?

Surprisingly, last night Dr. Laura goes on CNN's Larry King Live, a show I coulda sworn got cancelled years ago, and plays the victim card. Yep, she's quitting because her "1st amendment rights were violated".

Trick, please.

I don't really understand the victim complex here. I mighta missed the "backlash" while I was on the beach, but I don't think this story blew up into "Imus" proportions, did it? Was Rebb'n Al calling for a boycott? I don't think any of this happened.

N-Word KnowledgeCommon sense dictates this is nothing but a Grand Hu$tle. If you listen closely, you'll hear Dr. Laura state that her contract is up at year's end. The show's[1] ratings have skyrocketed since this incident.

You connect the dots.

Question: What's Dr. Laura really up to? Did this story really "explode into a national debate on race" or is she purposely engaging in false persecution for personal gain?

[1] I'll admit, I used to listen to this show from time to time before I got satellite radio. It's basically free counseling on the air. People call her with ignoramus personal issues, and she very rudely tells them a common sense solution, which of course they already knew in the first place. The act gets boring after awhile, but it's hardly the most toxic thing on the radio.

Glenn Beck Also Has A Dream.

With all the jibber jabber about "protecting America's heritage" and "not desecrating sacred ground" going around lately, I'm sorta shocked that an upcoming event has largely flown below the radar. No, I'm not talking about the opening for Lottery Ticket, a movie I'm definitely gonna cop a bootleg of as soon as my sister-in-law hits up her mailroom connect. Nope, I'm talking about Glenn Beck's "I Also Have A Dream" speech, which justsohappens to coincide with a very special day in American history.
Social activists and civil rights leaders, among them the Rev. Al Sharpton, are planning marches and demonstrations -- including the unveiling of a nearly four-story-tall original sculpture on the Mall -- on Aug. 28 to coincide with a rally organized by Fox News personality Glenn Beck.

Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally, with former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin among the scheduled speakers, will take place on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, 47 years to the day after Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech there.

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The conservative talk show host announced in November that he wanted to reveal a "100 year plan for America" at the Lincoln Memorial. More recently, he said that the purpose of his Aug. 28 event is to restore the country's "values" and to pay tribute to military families. "There will be absolutely no politics involved," he said. "This rally will honor the troops, unite the American people under the principles of integrity and truth, and make a pledge to restore honor within ourselves and our country."

He went on to say: "I believe in divine providence. I believe this is a reason [the date was chosen], because whites don't own the Founding Fathers. Whites don't own Abraham Lincoln. Blacks don't own Martin Luther King. Humans, humans embrace their ideas or reject their ideas. Too many are rejecting the Founders' ideas. Too many have forgotten Abraham Lincoln's ideas and far too many have either gotten just lazy or they have purposely distorted Martin Luther King's ideas of judge a man by the content of his character. Lately, in the last 20 years, we've been told that character doesn't matter. Well, if character doesn't matter, then what was Martin Luther King asking people to judge people by?"

Civil rights leaders have denounced Beck's plans, questioning his motives for choosing the date and place, which they said are historically symbolic of the country's civil rights movement.
Beck's 100% right about one thing: American History doesn't just belong to a certain subset of Americans. It is indeed everyone's history, and black folks don't own any more of MLK's piece of that American pie than anybody else. Black History is American History. I saw it on a McDonalds' commercial, so it's gotta be the truth, Ruth.

The thing that really, really bugs me about the choice of date for his own "March On Washington" (TeaBaggers were singing "We Shall Overcome" and using the term "March On Washington" in DC last year, so co-opting civil rights era jargon is nothing new for this group) is that Beck, a guy who allegedly prides himself on being well-read, shows his total and complete familiarity with the body of King's work by predictably reducing him to a convenient soundbyte. King, of course, was much more than Mr. "content of character", and had he lived till today, I suspect he'd be a constant target of Beck's typical "Us vs Them" demagoguery.

Don't believe me? Try these MLK Quotables on for size.
"If a city has a 30% Negro population, then it is logical to assume that Negroes should have at least 30% of the jobs in any particular company, and jobs in all categories rather than only in menial areas."

"It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation."

"There is something strangely inconsistent about a nation and a press that would praise you when you say, "Be nonviolent toward Jim Clark," but will curse and damn you when you say, "Be nonviolent toward little brown Vietnamese children." There is something wrong with that press."

"When the Constitution was written, a strange formula to determine taxes and representation declared that the Negro was sixty percent of a person. Today another curious formula seems to declare that he is fifty percent of a person. Of the good things in life, the Negro has approximately one half those of whites. of the bad things of life, he has twice those of whites. Thus half of all Negroes live in substandard housing. And Negroes have half the income of whites. When we view the negative experiences of life, the Negro has a double share."

"Discrimination is a hellhound that gnaws at Negroes in every waking moment of their lives to remind them that the lie of their inferiority is accepted as truth in the society dominating them."

"It is incontestable and deplorable that Negroes have committed crimes; but they are derivative crimes. They are born of the greater crimes of the white society."

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom."
Ruh roh. Call me nuts, but I seriously doubt Beck would approve of this, complex, dynamic, non-sanitized version of MLK. Don't believe me? Peep this transcript of Beck's show from a few months ago when the NAACP made some of my same points. It's pretty interesting to say the least.

That said, I also consider it an affront for Beck to tie his obviously political (Sarah Palin's gonna be there. What else is she gonna do besides denigrate Obama and drop the phrase "Real Americans" 4,209 times?) rally to King's in any way. And yeah, must like those bellyaching about the WTC mosque, I see this event in very bad taste. Of course, Beck's got the right to hold his rally when he pleases, and the NAACP and Co. have the right to hold a counter-protest (or is it merely a protest?) at the same time.

Personally, I see this ending badly. Very badly. But if AverageSis gives me a Day Pass, I might just hop the Red Line and go down there purely for gawking/blog fodder purposes. We shall see.

On that note, I leave you with another bit of Classic MLK Material.
"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."
Truer words have seldom been uttered.

Question: Is the date and site of MLK's "I Have A Dream" speech also sacred ground? What are the chances that Beck's "rally" actually turns out to be a completely non-partisan event? Should the NAACP and Co. bother wasting time and energy on this event? Can you write me a "Get Outta The Honey-Do List Free" Pass to hand to my wife so I can go cover this event for AB.com?

Glenn Beck's plans for rally on a hallowed date and spot spurs countermarches [WashPost]

Name That Sample - "What Can You Bring Me?"

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 tune by Charles Wright has been sampled numerous times. But who can name the most songs that have used these delightful bars? I can only name two myself.

Difficulty Level: Difficult. Listen closely.

Question: How many songs can you name that used the "What Can You Bring Me?" 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.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Whatever Happened To Spool32?!?

Anyone who has frequented the comments section here from time to time knows that a usual suspect has been MIA lately. I wouldn't usually make such a big deal out of this, because folks who comment here tend to come and go, but Spool32 has been an AB.com fixture for quite some time.

As our resident conservative, the guy takes a lot of heat for his often contrary positions, but he's a generally okay cat. I speak with him pretty frequently offline, and our discussions (which aren't always political) often provide the fodder for posts that show up here. Along with folks like EbonyGentleman, ShadyGrady, and VLatte, he's also a frequent link referrer, so he contributes to the content you see here in more ways than one.

He hasn't commented here in awhile, and hasn't replied to my personal emails either. I'm not saying I'm concerned about the guy, but I obviously hope he's okay. Maybe he'll come out of hiding when this post drops.

If not, pour out a lil' liquor coffee. This one's for you Spoolly.

Question: Whatever happened to Spool32?!?

Michelle Obama Is Starting To Get On My Nerves.

[Editor's Note: I'm bound to piss off more than a few people with this post. I still love Michelle-O like I love a good game of NBA 2K, so don't get it confused. But this ain't about who she is, this is about what she did. Big difference. If anyone who thinks I'm offending the "fierce, strong, sista girl" with this post, I'd suggest you read twice before tossing daggers. And yes, this means you.]

Far be it from me to begrudge anyone the right to go on a pricey 2-week vacation, given the fact that I've taken no fewer than 3 such trips myself in the past year. But something about Michelle Obama's recent trip to Spain just struck me as a really wrong move at a really wrong time.

Nope, I'm not talking about the reality of an economic depression and 9.5% unemployment. If you got money, the recession's actually a come-up, because as a result of fewer people having money, lots of stuff gets dramatically cheaper. You can buy a brand new Buick for the price of an iPad right about now. Seriously. So it's silly to assume that just cause some other folks are suffering, you should. Like a wise man once said, when your neighbor loses his job, it's a cold. When you lose your job, it's an epidemic. Or something like that. As you can see, my analogy-game is still somewhere on Waikiki Beach.


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The wrong move/wrong time I'm referring to here is her husband's perilous standing with American voters, especially with his party (and likely, his ability to be anything other than a lame duck) facing a do or die situation come November. In short, everybody in the White House needs to be on their best behavior for a few more months till this sh*t tides over. Republicans will always be against him, Democrats will always be for him, but his approval among the very independent voters who decide elections is around 35% right now. And for that reason, and that reason alone, taking a high profile, high cost (although said cost was greatly inflated by pundits on the right) jaunt to Europe when your husband's approval numbers are approaching the Mendoza line just seems tone deaf.

[Editor's Admittedly Potentially Contradictory Note: Folks complaining about Obama and his wife being apart for his birthday are just silly. There's nothing notable about a 49th birthday. Nothing. Enough already.]

I know, plenty of prior First Ladies have taken pricier trips. I know, a grown assed woman is entitled to do whatever darn well she pleases. I know, Baby Sasha will only turn 9 years old once. I know, Obama's taken far fewer days than most prior Presidents at this point in his presidency. I know all that. Blah, blah, blah.

But you and I both know perception is reality, and if you're already battling the perception that you're out of touch and aloof, reality is you need to stay your a$$ at home. Take the kids to Chuck E. Cheese. Lay low. You know the rules. Would it have killed her to wait until after the election and take the very same trip over Christmas break? Really? Because call me nuts, but I'd think she'd catch far less flack then.

Michelle should know better. She's being viewed through a different prism and judged by a different set of rules than Laura Bush. There's no need to compare the two. The immediate, dramatic drop in her own personal approval ratings after this nonsensical trip are proof enough that "the American people"[1] thought she should have stayed home, whether she was entitled to do so just on GP[2] is irrelevant.

Perhaps the worst part of all this is that Michelle's personal likability ratings made her one of the few remaining members of this administration that wasn't a liability. This meant she could be thrown on the campaign trail this Fall to shore up support in areas where her husband might be met with more resistance. Now? Not so much.

Much like her husband's "hands off" approach to the Gulf oil spill, the family's ultra lame 27 hour "trip" to Florida, and their pending 10-day whopper of a vacation at Martha's Vineyard, I can't help but think that should Obama fail to get re-elected come 2012, it will have far more to do with PR-related crap like this trip to Spain than actual legislation.

And that would be a shame, but the Obamas would have nobody but themselves to blame.

Question: In retrospect, was taking this trip a good idea, regardless of whether or not Michelle has the right to do so? Would this have been a "lose-lose" proposition even if she'd gone to Cadiz, Kentucky instead of Cadiz, Spain?

First Lady Michelle Obama's popularity ratings plummet after Spain vacation with daughter Sasha [NYDailyNews]

[1] Whoever the heck "Real Americans" are. I've yet to meet one of em', personally.

[2] "GP" = "General Principle" for those who are 90's slang illiterate. Just in case.

Alvin Greene, UnPlugged (And UnMedicated).

Something tells me that even though Greene is staying in the race after getting hit with those pRon charges, this whole thing is gonna end very, very badly.

Question: What's up with this guy? Is the SC Democratic Party within its rights to ask him to step down?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Playing Catch(up).

While I was away on vacation in the (alleged) birthplace of Obama, as usual, I deliberately avoided all forms of media. It was hard, but my wife, crystal clear water, and breezy 85 degree days helped. Anyways, I guess it's time to play catch up. Here goes.

Rangel/Waters - I can't help but notice the confluence of "old line" black folks/organizations under fire lately. Between these two, and the recent demonization of the NAACP and Shirley Sherrod, it's been a bad month for black folks over the age of 65, and you'd be crazy to not think some of this (despite how illogical it sounds) is orchestrated. On the flipside, while their lapses appear to be more ethical than legal, Rangel and Waters are old enough to know better.

Michelle-O In Spain - Lets be clear, the woman paid her own way on the trip. She didn't take a "crew of 40+", just her daughter (celebrating a birthday) and a couple of friends who also paid their way. She didn't choose the $600/night hotel, the Secret Service (as always) did, and she can't travel anywhere without them. She is certainly within her rights to vacation wherever she damn well pleases, as was every prior First Lady. On the other hand: what the hell are you thinking, Michelle? Spain? While you certainly are rich enough to go there, as any rich person is, you just shouldn't. Like it or not, you job is not about substance, it's about appearance. And taking a pricey, foreign, exotic vacation when your husband's approval numbers are in the tank is just a bad, bad, bad idea. It's about the principalities. Next time, take the damn kid to Chuck E. Cheese like the rest of us.

Fantasia Tries To Off Herself. And Fails At That Too - Given the fact that she OD'd on baby aspirin, I'm sure there's an illiteracy joke just begging to be told but I'll hold off. While I'm just happy Fanny didn't seriously hurt herself, watching her leave the hospital and "reunite" with her boyfriend and film the whole spectacle for her reality show just seems really, really, really wrong.

Republicans Reach A New Low - I never thought I'd see the day that the GOP deliberately blocked funding for teachers, firemen, nurses, and cops, but that's precisely what happened when they predictably voted in lock-step to oppose an emergency bailout last week. Thankfully this legislation passed, and someone will still show up at your house if it's broken into, or Lord willing, set on fire. Lovely, GOP. Just lovely.

Obamas In The Gulf - As much as it pains me to say this, when I see the Obamas heading to Florida for a 27 hour vacation, it just perpetuates the feeling that these folks are, indeed, simply out of touch when it comes to the "touchy teely PR" side of the gig. Would it have killed them to stay 3 days? Who the heck is giving these folks image advice, Eldrick Woods? Speaking of which...

Eye Of The Tiger - I always said that Tiger's redemption would be darn near immediate because if he came back and played well, nobody would care about all the Perkins waitresses because that's just how we roll. I figured Tiger would do some "post rape trial Kobe" sh*t and come back dropping 35/game. Needless to say, the psychological dynamic of golf is a wee bit different, and Mr. Woods looks more like Adam Morrison than Kobe Bean. And the weirdest, most unexpected thing has happened as a result: I actually have sympathy for this guy all of a sudden. Can't say I saw that one coming. Nor did I see this excellent Tiger-themed Wale track from the new mixtape More About Nothing coming, but it's hot. Go cop that. So, at least Wale's salvaged his career.

Alvin Greene Indicted On pRon Charges - While I'll admit this whole thing was sorta amusing at first, please, please, please, Alvin. Take your young assed green t-shirts and go back to your Daddy's basement. Disappear now.

Montana Fishburne - Lord, thank you for only giving me boys. Amen.

Dems Behaving Badly - Never let it be said that I don't call out politicians on both ends of the aisle for being jackasses. When a New Hampshire state house candidate wrote that he wished Sarah Palin and Levi Johnston had died in that plan crash in Alaska, it was wrong. The Democrat running against David Vitter in Louisiana referring to Vitter's very public use of an escort service as a "serious sin" is an awful way of bringing attention to an awful act. An Obama supporter dressing up as a Rand Paul supporter and saying all sorts of stupid jibberish is silly an unnecessary. So is a PA Democratic Congressional candidate helping a Tea Party candidate gather enough signatures to turn their Fall election into a 3-way race. I hate agreeing with Fox News on anything, but damnit folks, you gotta do better. In case you didn't notice, Republicans are pretty good at screwing things up without your help.

Redskins Bandwagon - Is it too early to jump on? Part of me says this is bound to turn out badly because it's still DC sports, but another part says having a real GM, a real coach, and a real QB could be enough to really turn things around. We shall see. On a related note, in the most un-pauseworthy way possible, I gotta say Donovan McNabb looks awful good in that Skins uniform.

Question: Okay, what did I miss, and what do you think?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

(Self Loathing) Negroes Please.

Ahhh, I could say so much about this spectacle, but why bother?

If you wanna witness more of this minstrel show, the whole press conference is YouTubed.

Question: Do these folks make any sense to you?

Friday, August 13, 2010

AB.com Open Mic - 8.13.10

Yeah, I'm back. But I'm also tired. 7 says in paradise tends to have that effect. Till I return to posting, which will probably be Monday, you guys are still running the show. Go in. What's happening today that's newsworthy? Anything just buggin' you? Ever wanted to write your own blog post? This is your forum to vent.

See ya'll Monday. Maybe.

Question: What's happening today?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

AB.com Rewind - New "Man Laws" For Young Black Males.

[Editor's DVD Commentary: This post is a few years old, but somehow still gets lots of new page reads on the regular. I got slammed for what some saw as old man's thinkin', or worse, homophobia for some of what's said here. I don't rewrite posts as a matter of principle, but I can admit that some of this came out the wrong way.]

As ya'll know, AB Loves Da' Kids. This site's ulterior motive is to trick convince you guys to Take The AverageBro Challenge and spend an occasional Saturday morning with an impressionable Black youth. I know I talked hella greasy about Atlanta rapper TI for trying to knock off his community service by speaking to Atlanta-area teens last month. But reality is if more black folks who've "made it" took a moment to help others out, there would be no such need. Basically, if you're not doing anything to prevent the next Latarian Milton, Genarlow Wilson, or Bryant Purvis, you shouldn't say jack when the inevitable happens.

Stepping off my high horse, I witnessed something truly odd today when I went to the mall to grab some Mother's Day gifts. As I was getting out of my car, a gold sedan packed four-deep with young black teens pulled up in the spot adjacent to me. The dudes were typical suburban wannabe thugs. Oversized cubic zirconium earrings. Pinwheel New Era caps. Those stupid lookin' skater hoodies. This in and of itself is nothing notable, but what really hit me was the music they had blaring at 120 decibels from their stereo.

Deez bamas were riding four deep in the burbs, blastin' Moments In Love by Art of Noise.

If you don't know this song, just listen and you'll get my point.

All together now... "Ewwwww!!!".

Anyways, as I walked away shaking my head, it suddenly occurred to me just why male mentors are so important. Young dudes of Generation Xbox are more likely than any other to have not grown up with a father, uncle, grandpa, or some man in their lives to tell them it is emphatically not gangsta to roll four deep, or even two deep, blasting quiet storm-type slow jams with your boys. That's babymakin' music. That's Skinemax 3am flick music. That's Alphas humping the floor at a stepshow music. That's not ridin' four-deep with my homies to the mall music. Call me old, homophobic, sexist, or whatever ist/ic you'd like, but that idd'ish was just so wrong.

Since I can't personally be a mentor to all youngins, I figured I'd throw together a list of avuncular advice for this latest generation of young bucks who don't know no better. If you know a black male 21 and Under, feel free to cut and paste this post and send it to them. Since they probably won't bother reading it, title the email "Melyssa Ford Topless Photos" or some such nonsense to trick em'. While I thought that Budweiser campaign was jive silly, I have to liberally jack the concept to help steer our young black men from the path to prison and general mediocrity.

So in that spirit, here's a few more of AB's New "Man-Laws" For Young Black Males.

1) MySpace Rapper Is Not a Legitimate Career Option - The problem with rap music nowadays is too many damn rappers and not enough fans. Watch 106th and Park, cruise the comments section at XXL, or just drive around your nearest hood and peep the scrum stapled to every telephone pole. You'll see plenty evidence that MySpace Rapper is the new ghetto dream/hood come-up. The problem is, most of these rappers suck, and none of these dudes trying to rap have apparently noticed that music period, not just rap music, isn't even selling anymore! You'd be better off goin' to trade school, getting that GED, or just goin' back to hustlin' than you would trying to "get your label off the ground". There's only one Jay-Z for a reason. And guess what? You ain't him! Stay in school, fool.[1]

2) Bright Colors Are Not Your Friend - This trend is thankfully jumping the shark as I type this, but what the hell ever happened to wearing earth tones, or just plain black? Bamas will rock pastel polos, Crayola-inspired sneakers, and those stupid lookin' multicolored pinwheel baseball caps like they're 3rd graders. Enough already.

3) Be Nice To Johnny Law - My Pops taught me a very basic rule for dealing with the cops: Don't! 99% of the time, if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about. So when a cop pulls you over, comply. Don't act a damn fool and end up in a pine box. Yes, there are some egregious examples of cops who blatantly abuse their power, but far more often, the catalyst for an ass whoppin' is some Negro who just didn't know when to shut up. Do what they ask you to do, take down badge numbers and names, and live to tell your lawyer about it the next day.

4) 'Shawty' Is Not A Term of Endearment - Learn how to treat and talk to women. One benefit of youth is having the room to experiment and figure out what you like about the opposite sex without tangible committments (ie: a ring and kids). So, by all means enjoy yourselves. But no woman likes to be catcalled and shouted at. "Ay Ma!", "S'up Shaaawwtaaay!", and "C'mere Girl!" are not proper ways of attracting young ladies. Learn how to simply smile, say "Hello", and introduce yourself. And if the girl isn't interested, no need to insult her by hurling an "Eff' You Beeyotch!" as she walks away. Just pick up your dignity and keep on' fishin'.

5) Enunciation Is A Beautiful Thang - My Pops also taught me the importance of how to speak to grown-ups in a way that commands respect. Speak loudly, clearly, enunciate, and use direct eye contact if you want to be taken seriously. Don't show up for your job interview wearing aviator shades and mumbling to the floor like one enterprising young brother I observed at an H&M store in Philly last Summer. Discover the joys of code-switching, and learn the appropriate places and times for using words like "jawn", "young", and "tight". Eliminate the word "conversate" from your vocab altogether. If you're vexed, peep my epic The AverageBro Broken English Hall of Shame post, and it's accompanying comments for further guidance.

6) Pull Up Your Damn Pants - We already talked about the whole bright colors thing. But hues aside, make sure you're putting your best foot forward when the occasion deems to necessary. All pencil jeans should be burned immediately. Ditto for those skater hoodies. Pull up your damn pants. Liberace wore themed belt buckes. If you don't know who he is, Google him, then trash yours. And while I'm all for accessorizing, there is no rational explanation for wearing Air Jordans, a black and white pinwheel cap, aviator sunglasses, and carrying a walking cane when you're wearing a black suit... at a funeral. Exercise some common sense and dress according to your environment. And oh yeah, no more pencil jeans.

7) Leave An Open Seat - This is closely related to the No Slow Jams rule. If you're at the movies and there's enough space, for the love of all things precious, leave an empty seat between you and your boys! You are not on a date, you are watching a movie with friends, so space it out. You can communicate with each other just fine when separated by an empty seat, and who knows, if you're lucky, a nice young lady might want that seat. And you won't even have to call her "shawty" either.

8) Blunts Are Not A Nutritional Supplement - Your body is your temple; not an ashtray for roaches. Two Strawberry Swishers (or Phillies, whatever floats your proverbial boat) do not equal a serving of fruits and veggies. Recreational drug habits make it difficult to hold down a real job, rob you of pocket change, and permanently char your lips. If you've really gotta do this though, at least have the decency to partake in the sanctity of your Mama's basement, not while driving your Mama's car down Georgia Ave. in mid-day.[2]

9) Enough With The Feminine Grooming Habits - I'm a Kappa Man, so I understand the importance of looking good. That said, some of these young dudes nowadays are taking the whole Omarion/Ne-Yo I'm-So-Hood' metrosexual thing a bit too far. Baby hair is for babies. You shouldn't be using your little sister's makeup pencil to draw imaginary hair anywhere on your person. And if you've actually arched your eyebrows, or even remotely considered arching your eyebrows, just go ahead and stick your head in an oven right now.[3] Life isn't getting any easier.

10) Read A G.D. Book - This isn't strictly a young black male phenomenon by any means, but let's break this habit while we're still young. Every time I go to the barbershop, I hear all sorts of misinformation floating around. "Obama's a Muslim." "Ciara's a hermaphrodite." "The reparations checks are in the mail."[4] "Tupac is secretly living in Brazil." "John McCain is bringing SlaveryBack... yep." All untrue, and all easily refutable if you'd read something other than King Magazine and the Post sports section. Man Up! and get yourself a library card. Smart is the new cool, fool.[5]

Again, feel free to disagree and flame me in the comments. If you're on board, add your additions below. But whatever you do, don't ignore the message because you dislike the messenger. Either way, Take The AverageBro Challenge to help save our young black boys and girls[6] from a future of Flavor of Love casting calls, HPV, and commissary deposits. And if you can't do that, at least forward this post to your nephews. P.S.: don't forget the "Melyssa Ford Topless Photos" subject line.

Because we go to do better than those damn pencil legged jeans.

Question: Got any "Man Laws" you wanna contribute?

[1] No need to fake for you guys. I'm a huge fan of Lowest Common Denominator rap music. Of course I don't spend hard earned money on this crap, but between mixshows, podcasts, etc. I find plenty of ways to fill up my iPod with the latest snap and trap music. It's great filler noise for working out, or knocking out the "Honey-Do" List.

[2] Or whatever road is appropriate for your hood/burb.

[3] Word to DP.

[4] No seriously, some dude thought those $400 economic stimulus checks Bush and Co. sent out years ago were slavery reparations. I bet he is really hyped about the $600 checks that just went out. Barbershop K-Nowledge is not power! It's just ignant.

[5] There I go with the rappin' again. Seriously though, I do make beats if you've got money for em'. Holla at your boy!

[6] I can only write from an male PoV of course, but if you'd like to help me with a New "Girl-Laws" post, email me.