Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Of Obama, Hot Mics, And Having A Healthy Fear Of Your Spouse.

There are a multitude of perfectly acceptable gender double standards in society. Nightclubs can hold Ladies' Night, but Men's Night prolly wouldn't fly. Women can let the door fling in each other's faces, but men are expected to hold the door when a woman is behind him. Women go to the bathroom in packs, but two dudes leaving the table to go "freshen up" isn't exactly a normal occurrence.

On that same note, it's perfectly fine for men to have a "healthy fear" of their wives. We hear their voices in the back of our heads when we're eating, drinking, watching or doing something we prolly shouldn't. This is an accepted norm, since women are considered the "backbone" and "conscience" of any marriage. Of course, if a woman told someone she was "scared" of her husband, the connotation would be quite different. I'm guessing a call to the authorities might be somewhere in that woman's future.

Anyways, I thought about gender double standards reading some of the assorted commentary around the web about President Obama's "hot mic" incident at the UN this week.
President Obama said on an open microphone at the U.N. General Assembly Monday that he quit smoking six years ago "because I'm scared of my wife."

"I hope you quit smoking," he told a fellow attendee, according to audio played Monday by CNN.

After the man said he smokes "sometimes," Obama said he chews Nicorette nicotine gum and that "I haven't had a cigarette in probably six years."

He then jokes: "That' because I'm scared of my wife."

Michelle Obama previously said that Obama quit smoking sometime around 2010.
Here's the audio.

Predictably, some on the right are using this to make jokes about the President's lack of testicular fortitude, and questioning how a man could actually run the real world if he can't even run his own household. Some even mused that a man who is scared of his wife is the end game of the "Wussification of American Men". I'm not gonna link to such foolishness, if you're so inclined, go find it yourself.

Naturally, I find this to be total and complete bullsh*t. And yes, I have what I would consider a "healthy fear" of my wife. I think this "healthy fear", when combined with my own conscience (among other things) keeps me steered clear of a fair amount of potential trouble. And I'm fairly sure that's all the President was doing here. Relaying that he's decided to quit smoking (among other reasons) because he simply doesn't wanna have to face the wrath of Michelle if he comes back in the White House smelling like Newports.[1]

I think most (presumably happy) married men understand this. Unless they're Conservatives.

Question: Is it fine to have a "healthy fear" of your spouse? Are there some socially accepted double standards that really bug you?!?

[1] Yeah, I know the POTUS prolly didn't smoke Menthols. Whatever, it was a good punchline.

Will Traditional Casinos Eventually Disappear?

Those that have been following the gambling industry lately may be aware that many conventional casinos are closing due to low profit figures. You may easily attribute this to tough economic times, but the actual reason may be somewhat unexpected: online revenue from virtual casinos is at an all-time high. The same way online shopping has led to the closure of countless traditional shops, online gambling has become a very attractive option to people that love convenience and simplicity.

What is common to hear every other day is that virtual casinos are raking in unbelievable amounts of income in short periods of time. To put things in perspective, if you take a look at the last 10 years of statistics in online gambling revenue, you’ll see that the growth has been staggering. In 2002, the total revenue was near the 5 billion USD mark; by 2012 the numbers are over 25 billion USD. These profit figures from the virtual gambling industry show us in bold letters that online gambling is an unquestionable success. Dedicated online gambling websites such as thepogg.com are now commonplace.

Why has online gambling been such an incredible success? Setting up a brick-and-mortar casino is very costly and sometimes needs quite a lot of time to gain momentum. Online casinos are much more forgiving in this department. If we follow the industry’s history over the last 15 years, we can clearly see that online casinos started off slow but steady when they were first introduced back in the late 90’s. Once internet availability became widespread on a global scale, online casinos became a solid option for those that wanted a different, more convenient experience from the traditional brick-and-mortar casino. By the late 2000’s the virtual casino industry had already cemented its powerful presence. Thanks to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, the industry’s growth and evolution continued towards a straight path. People that hadn’t tried online gambling up to that point found that it was incredibly easy and accessible to join for the first time thanks to their IPhones or IPads.

It’s difficult to visualize a world where conventional casinos become extinct. It will probably happen, but don’t hold your breath. It’s probably going to be a few decades until the traditional casino model becomes obsolete and all you’ll see are various forms of virtual gambling. For now, the casino’s evolution will most likely continue to grow upon the multiple forms that virtual gambling has taken.

Friday, September 20, 2013

AB.com Weekend Open Mic.

I'm sure some of you are wondering what in the world happened to the blog you once loved.[1] Some of you are probably also wondering why there are more ads here than new posts nowadays. What can I say, folks: keeping a blog up and running on a regular basis is hard, hard work. When you have a Day Job, 3 young kids, and very little free time, something has to give.

Hopefully I'll find a little more time to keep things going here next week. This has been a very busy stretch, and I appreciate everyone's patience.

For now, some linkage of interest. Chime in below.
Officials probing whether workplace dispute drove Navy Yard shooting [WashPost]

Generation Drake [Grantland]

Did the Decline of Sampling Cause the Decline of Political Hip Hop? [The Atlantic]

The best (and worst) of Apple’s iOS 7 [WashPost]

The Forgotten Phenom [Grantland]
Question: What's on your mind today? Drop some links, start a convo.

[1] "Love" meaning "showed up occasionally to burn my lunch hour".

Best Online Poker Sites – How to locate a first class poker site at which to play.

Can an average person win? Let’s have a look at the Best Online Poker Sites where you can have a go.

Having made the decision to start playing poker online you will soon start to get bombarded with poker sites offering you all many of different and what may seem like very tempting bonus offers and special promotions to lure you into playing poker at their respective sites, however you really do need to keep your wits about you when selecting just which poker site at which to play at for there are only s a small number of poker sites that will offer you everything you are looking for.

With this in mind below we have highlighted the qualities and features that you really ought to be looking for form an online poker site, for you will be seeking the ultimate online poker playing experience and not one that is going to leave a sour taste in your mouth!

To start playing poker online have a look at the list licensed poker sites reviewed and rated by Adrian Sterne in top10pokersites.net

Poker Bonuses and Poker Comps – The first thing that you will notice when you are considering playing poker online for real money, is that every site available is going to flip you one type of bonus or some form of incentive to join up to their site. Some sites offer a no deposit bonus when you sign up, however these types of bonuses are usually best left well alone for they may seem appealing but always come with lots of terms and conditions an your chances of winning anything of them are small.

Look out for poker sites that offer you a deposit type bonus when you sign up and start to play after depositing at that site, some instantly credit you this match type bonus and some drip feed them to you as you play more and more real cash poker games. Any poker site offering a 100% or more bonus offer are worthy of investigating and plenty of value can be found at such sites!

Licensed Poker Sites – A huge cash poker bonus is not really going to be sufficient to get you to sign up to a poker site, it will be however if the poker site holds a fully online gaming license that has been issued from a leading licensing jurisdiction, so please always check where the poker site is licensed and if a site does not hold such a license then you will have no protection what so ever, so avoid unlicensed sites.

Poker Currency Options – Making a deposit into any poker site is usually an easy thing to do as many online poker sites offer a very large array of deposit options, however make sure that the poker site you are going to be playing at will let you not only deposit in your home currency but that they will let you play real money poker games at their poker tables in your home currency.

You can often lose a large amount of your deposit and withdrawal amounts if you are forced to play in a different currency that you own, and this is going to affect your winning chances and the value of your cash outs, so only play at sites allowing you to set up your account in your own home currency!

Poker Tournaments – You can often tell just how good an online poker site is by the size of their poker tournament prize pools, the busier a poker site is then the larger the prize pools will be. So when you are hunting around for a poke site at which to play always see just how many up and coming poker tournaments are on offer and how much is available via the prize pools of these poker tournaments.

Also look out for poker sites that offer several free to enter poker tournaments, for you may not always have a poker budget to play with and as such freeroll poker tournaments are a good way of building up a poker playing bankroll!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Evolution of the Rubber Sole

If you wanted to draw up a timeline highlighting the major innovations in sneaker history, you’d find yourself lost and pissed off somewhere back in the late 1800’s when sneakers first started being manufactured in the U.S. Then you would eventually stumble through the b-boy generation that hit New York in the 1970’s where sneakers were customized to match outfits full of loud, in-your-face colors. Fast-forward to 1985, however, and you arrive at arguably the most influential year in sneaker history. The jump off. The year Air Jordans started hitting shelves, capturing the attention and imagination of kids across the country.

Most didn’t realize it just then, but the shoe game would never be the same again and it had everything to do with a man named Michael and a brand called Nike. For sneakerheads and casual collectors alike, the post-1985 years will be forever known as A.J., or “After Jordan.”

The Air Jordan I, designed by Peter Moore, quickly earned the nickname “Banned” because NBA Commissioner David Stern deemed the black and red colorway a violation of league regulations because they didn’t have enough white in them. Stern was so opposed to the kicks that he fined Jordan $5,000 every time he wore the shoes on the hardwood. The running tab was picked up by Nike, which for the first time began to get a glimpse of the monster the Air Jordan brand would soon become.

By 1988, the grip the shoes had achieved on consumers was so strong that some resorted to violence to ensure they would be rocking the newest J’s on the block, the court or in the club. Assaults, robberies, riots and even murders started piling up as demand for the shoes took off faster than Jordan from the charity stripe. And as with any must-have commodity, prices for the sneakers started climbing too. If some were willing to kill to lace ’em up, others would surely fork out a little extra cash, right?

With each passing year, new models of the J’s were released and stores couldn’t keep them in stock. In 1990, just five years after the first Air Jordans retailed for $64.99, the Air Jordan V’s were going for a cool $124.99. For consumers, it was a small price to pay. Some estimates put a pair of Jordans on 1 of every 12 Americans in the early 1990’s. To put that in perspective, 2 of every 12 Americans goes hungry each day. From then on, it was clear that the kicks had transcended the realm of footwear and cemented their place as a legit status symbol.

Today, long after Michael Jordan played his last game in the NBA, the Nike Air Jordan machine shows no signs of slowing. Some of the biggest names in the Association, from CP3 to Melo to Russell Westbrook, get their feet frosted by the Nike swoosh. And a new kind of zealous collector has emerged to continue the market’s exponential growth: the sneakerhead.

These cats have transformed sneaker collecting into much more than a weekend hobby. These sneakerheads use sites such as Sneaker News to research Jordan release dates, plan their buys and passionately discuss the culture for hours on end. They’ve essentially created a brand new economy where the most limited pair of sneaks can be resold for thousands of dollars. The only trick is getting your hands on a pair, which nowadays involves a whole new kind of street hustle.

In June of 2012, Burn Rubber sneaker boutique in Royal Oak, Michigan was selling Kanye West’s Nike Air Yeezy II. The price tag: $245. Add on the 400% markup from the boutique and you land on $1000 for a pair of the exclusive kicks. And to think, that’s the easiest part. The real grind happens before the shoes ever go on sale when collectors line up outside the store and brave the elements for a week or two, praying they can snag their size. Those fortunate enough to do so are left with a tough decision. What to do with their prized possession?

Some will deadstock them, or keep them in the box, to add to their growing collection. This ensures the sneakers will remain in pristine condition, essential if you plan to resell or trade the shoe down the road. This is a common practice of sneakerheads who have seen the “underground” market surge and become more organized in recent years with events popping up solely for the bartering of sneakers. One example is Sneaker Con, which debuted in 2009. By 2013 it had become one of the largest events of its kind with an estimated $100,000 to $200,000 changing hands in the matter of several hours. Most of that coin goes from one young man to another, turning teens into savvy businessmen.

Others will simply add them to their growing collection, with friends and family glaring into the cardboard boxes with a certain amount of envy. And a select few will bravely slip the smooth leather on to their feet and let the rubber hit the road, walking with a renewed swag knowing that at that moment their shoe game is cashews. That is until the next fresh release drops and it’s time to drag their ass back in line for another shot at scoring a pair of kicks that will speak to their soul.

Question: Is it crazy to go to such lengths for a pair of sneakers? And if you did, what would you do with the sneakers you copped?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Do You Have A Tattoo?!? If So, Why?!?

No need to kid myself, I'm officially old. I crossed the 40 year threshold a month or so ago. I don't feel old. I don't look old (I still get carded on rare occasions!). But I definitely think old. No doubt about that.[1]

Today at the gym, I saw something that definitely puzzled me. Some young(er) guy, let's say he was in his late 20's, was on the elliptical in front of me. He's wearing a tank top of some sort. I'm (obviously) not checking the guy out, but when you're on a elliptical machine, there's not much else to look at beyond what's immediately in front of you. And I observe that this guy appears to have an elaborate Grim Reaper tattoo that covers his entire back. I mean, it looks like the sort of thing I'd imagine a tattoo artist (is that what they're called?) spent several hours and charged this guy several hundred dollars to complete.

And then I wonder, if it's on this guy's back, what exactly is the point? You spent $900 to put something on your back where you'll never even see it. Who exactly is supposed to see it, other than people on the elliptical machine behind you at the gym? If you're trying to show your dedication to the cause (the cause being Grim Reapers?) shouldn't you have this monstrosity on your chest? Do people hang American flags in their backyard on the 4th of July? I think not.

And then I wondered, what exactly is the point of getting tatted anyway?

I just don't think there are enough things important enough for me to permanently ink on my body. I love my family, but I show my dedication to them by paying the rent being there. I love God, but I think he'd rather see my dedication in less public fashion. I don't feel the need to inform the rest of the world what fraternity, sports team, city, biblical scripture, or frozen confection I prefer by having it etched in my epidermis.

Again, here's where I admit my generational ignorance. If I were twentysomething and everyone else was doing it I probably still wouldn't do it would probably get one, just because. But when I was twentysomething, getting tatted was such a rarity that those who had them did so to express their individuality and as a rebellious gesture to society. Today, everyone, their mother, and their mother's mother (many of whom are my age) has a tattoo? Who exactly are you rebelling against? How have you be expressing your individuality when you're doing the same thing everyone else is doing?

Seems to me, the rebellious, individualistic thing to do would be to not get tatted at all. amirite?

If you're thinking about getting a tatt, go visit this site and look at some of the other Dumb Tattoos up there. I'm just sayin', think about it first. I'm not crazy about this latest spate of laws by cities instituting a 24 hour waiting period before getting inked, but maybe it'll help dissuade someone.

Permanent is forever. Is anything really that important to you? ionno.

Question: Are you tatted up? Where? Why? Do you think you'll regret this something, assuming you already don't?

[1] I've probably written this post, or a similar take on this topic before. But I'm too lazy to dig it up, so whatever. #ThisIs40

Monday, September 16, 2013

DC Navy Yard Shooting Open Thread.

In case you were wondering, yes, I'm safe.[1] I live and work in the burbs, not the District.

I've been listening to this story unfold all morning. It's clear "the media" has no f*cking idea what they're talking about.

Assuming you pray, do so for the victims. And just let the story play out before jumping to conclusions.

Question: What's your read on what's happening in DC right now?

[1] I probably wouldn't be tweeting if I wasn't safe. Probably.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Arsenio Hall's Back.

Lost in the media domination America's two favorite pasttimes, football and war (!) this week was the return of a familiar face to the late night airwaves. If you were alive and allowed to stay up past 11pm in the late 80's, you're probably quite familiar with Arsenio Hall. His late night show was appointment TV: a hip (albeit corny) host, great interviews, and musical guests you couldn't see anywhere else on TV, mostly because nobody else would book them. The show was a cultural staple in black households, much like those large brown wooden forks everyone seemed to have on their living room walls back in the day.[1]

After a few years, the show's ratings declined, Hall extended an ill-advised middle finger to management by booking Louis Farrakhan as a guest, and the show was off the air quicker than you can say "anti Semitism". Hall basically disappeared off the face of the Earth for two decades before resurfacing on Celebrity Apprentice, winning it, and getting his own new show, which premiered Monday.

So it's back, but is it any good?

Personally, I don't care for late nite talk shows. I find Letterman/Leno/Kimmel annoying and lame. Leno in particular seems so bitter and mean spirited of late that I can't even make it past the opening monologue the rare times I forget to change the channel after the news goes off. But Hall's new show is good for the same reasons the original was. Namely, he has guests he seems to know very well (see the Ice Cube interview above) and he's got common stories with them you aren't gonna get elsewhere.

Format-wise, the show's virtually identical to it's predecessor. Same theme music, a "posse" playing generic "funk", the crowd barks and fist pumps, Arsenio makes the same Pinnochio fingered pointing gestures, smirks, laughs, and tells corny, sometimes inappropriate jokes. The show is still shaking off the rust, as Hall sometimes makes odd segues to commercial breaks, and is cringeworthy when interviewing people he doesn't know well, And the concept of a posse (and their style of music) seems anachronistic. Flaws aside, the show's still light years ahead of its counterparts. I like it, and while I typically prefer spending the rare time after my wife and kids are passed out playing NBA2K, I'll prolly tune in ever now and then.

Welcome back, Arsenio.

Question: Have you seen the new Arsenio Hall Show yet? Your thoughts?

‘Arsenio Hall Show’ Returns, With Much Familiarity [NYTimes]

[1] Speaking of Stuff Black People Used To Do: Anyone remember that purple punch with lemons in it they'd often serve after church? What the heck was that? Lemonade? Grape Kool Aid? Did this conconction have an actual name? Does this still exist anywhere in the South?

GhettoTracker.com: Racist Or Valuable Public Service?!?

I travel fairly regularly as part of my day job, and often those travels take me to small towns and cities I'm not intimately familiar with. Since I'm the curious type (and often on the road alone), I always find some time to venture beyond my hotel after hours, usually in search of a non-chain restaurant for dinner, or some keepsakes to take back home to my kids.[1]

Since I often know little about these places other than what I dig up on Wikipedia, by Negro Antennae are always up as I'm driving around. The worse possible way to go out is to get jacked by some fools at a stoplight in rural Kansas, so I'm usually very cautious. I know all the usual tell-tale signs of an area where you might wanna be very aware of your surroundings. When you start seeing a bunch of carryout fried chicken places, bail bonds, churches, bootleg cell phone stores, and people openly pushin' weight on the corner, you know you've f*cked around and ended up in the hood'. I'm wise enough to recognize the warning signs and act accordingly. "Act accordingly" usually just means roll up the windows, lock the doors, and find a good parking spot close to said carryout fried chicken place. Again, I'm well versed in this, so I'm know what I'm getting into, and I made it to age 40, so I'm either very lucky or very observant.

If you're not one blessed with an eye for all things ghetto though, you could accidentally f*ck around and end up on the 11 o'clock news. Thankfully, for tourists, suburbanites, and other's not versed in ghettology, there is a fine new website to help you out. And it's got a lot of people very upset.
A service called "Ghetto Tracker" appeared online at the beginning of this week and quickly drew criticism for its racist and classist overtones. Shortly after, the site was renamed "Good Part of Town." Its creator, who would only identify himself as a 30-something-year-old in Tallahassee, told Gawker: "This was originally seriously developed as a travel tool and the name 'Ghetto Tracker' was meant to be something that people would remember."

The basic premise of Ghetto Tracker/Good Part of Town -- to crowdsource travel advice – actually isn’t so outrageous, but the framing, even without the word "Ghetto" in the name, and the intention -- to label whole geographic areas as "good" or "bad," "safe" and "unsafe" -- make the operation distasteful.

Yet in the growing field of geo-web applications, incorporating safety judgments into navigational aids is becoming increasingly common. Accusations of reinforcing racist or classist stereotypes could be lobbed at any of those apps. "In any form," writes Emily Badger at The Atlantic Cities, "this idea toes a touchy line between a utilitarian application of open data and a sly wink toward people who just want to steer clear of 'those kinds of neighborhoods.'"

Microsoft’s Pedestrian Route Production technology, patented in January 2012 – and immediately dubbed "the avoid-ghetto app" by many in the media -- was designed to one day let Windows Phone users filter walking routes according to "weather information, crime statistics, [and] demographic information." According to the language of the patent, such filtering is useful because "if it is relatively cold outside, then a pedestrian is far more likely to feel an impact then [sic] if a vehicle equipped with a heating system protected her. Moreover, it can be more dangerous for a pedestrian to enter an unsafe neighborhood then [sic] a person in a vehicle since a pedestrian is more exposed and it is more difficult for her to leave an unsafe neighborhood quickly." It makes sense to keep safety in mind while navigating an unfamiliar area on foot, but letting a computer algorithm divert you from a particular neighborhood on account of statistics is problematic.
No need to lie, I'm not too happy about a website called "Ghetto Tracker". That's mad insensitive, racist, and pretty damn corny to boot.

But let's keep it one hunned: racial overtones aside, isn't it actually okay to give people information on areas where they might be somewhat less safe? Not to discourage them from going there (or at least I'd hope not), but simply to give them a heads up on what they're getting into.[2]

Obviously, you can get stuck up or robbed anywhere. My inlaws live in what many people would consider "The Hood", and I've never had any sort of issues when I've visited or stayed the night over there.[3] My car's been broken into in the lily white presumably safe suburbs where I've spent most of my life more times than I can count though. Again, information is power, but it's not guarantee of future outcome.[4]

Question: Is "Ghetto Tracker" racist, or merely a way of informing people about what they're getting into? Do you know the telltale signs that you've made a wrong turn and ended up in the hood? Give us your best Ghetto Safari Survival Tips.

[1] My children have the most awesome sports memorabilia/attire collection ever. And before you ask, yes, I realize I'm buying random stuff like this mostly for me, not them. I already know this.

[2] Trailer Park/Biker Bar/Klan Rally Tracker™ would be helpful for many of the same reasons, albeit for a far smaller audience.

[3] Dear Everyone: "Southeast DC" is not a monolith. It's not all called "Anacostia", and it's not all "hood". There are pockets you should generally avoid, but it is an otherwise largely safe section of the city full of honest, hardworking people. And yes, there are million dollar homes East Of The River. Not everyone over there is poor, nor is everyone over there black.

[4] An easy way to quickly figure out the racial composition of a city you're visiting for the first time: drive by the courthouse and/or the department of health. Peep the line outside. Process accordingly.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Save Syria? What About Saving Detroit?!?

Raise your hands if you have any freakin' idea why we're about to launch a "strategic military operation"[1] against a country most Real Amurricans couldn't spell, yet alone find on a world map. Raise your hands if you really think Syrians pose "a threat to America's safety and security". Raise your hands if you're really pissed off that a President who was prematurely given a Nobel Peace Prize is about to get us into yet another un-winnable conflict. Raise your hands if you actually think we can accomplish this without putting boots on the ground.

Raise your hands if you're tired of us worrying about other country's issues that only marginally affect us when we've got some really serious issues of our own to sort out.

I get it, The United States is the world's peacekeeper. It's our job to pick sides and sort this kinda sh*t out, even if it's not actually our job. It's an obligation, and it's part of why we're The SuperPower™. We are basically the Deebo's Of Planet Earth, even if bully people under the guise of helping them.

Don't get me wrong, I have sympathy for those suffering in Syria. If 100,000 people were killed over a course of year, and many more killed via recent chemical weapons attacks, that should be addressed. By someone. Somewhere. I find it not-so-surprising that we can't find another country to co-sign this though. After a full decade of waging expensive "Strategic military operations" in the Middle East, I understand why our allies are telling us "nah, ya'll handle this one, we're gonna sit this one out".

But come on, why spend money in Damascus when we got plenty of sh*t that needs to be fixed in Detroit? I'm less concerned about Assad than I am A'Vondrae, the bama in Baltimore who probably wants my car. Forget Iraq, sent troops to Chi-Raq. I got no clever plays on words for Philly and Cleveland, but yeah, we should be worry about them to.

Yes, this is a gross oversimplification of the decision the President and those in leadership are facing now. I know that. I know far more complicated issues with implications most Real Amurricans like me can't even process and aren't even privy to are also at play. And quite honestly, I just don't care.

We need to clean up our own house before we worry about next door.

Question: What's your read on the forthcoming "Strategic military operation" in Syria?

[1] Because "War" sounds so crass. "Strategic military operation" does better with focus groups, I'm sure.

Ashy Or Classy?!? Eddie Murphy & Snoop Dogg's Reggae Song.

Few Hollywood stars have made such a dramatic mid-career adjustment as Eddie Murphy. It's hard to believe it now, but if you're under the age of 25, you probably best know Murphy as the wisetalking jackass from the Shrek movies, or maybe as the wisetalking jackass from Daddy Daycare. You likely missed the entire first stage of Murphy's career when he was a wisetalking jackass who bought a Brooklyn street sensibility to Saturday Night Live. Murphy went on make somewhat edgy (for the time) films like 48 Hours, Beverly Hills Cop, and renowned standup specials like Raw. To put it in terms the Twitter Generation (ie: my 17 year old nephew) can understand, Eddie Murphy was Kevin Hart before Kevin Hart.

That dramatic career reinvention was bought on by an unfortunate encounter with a tranny a desire to spend more time with his kids, and it also overshadowed Murphy's earlier, somewhat comical foray into music. Speaking of musicians who've re-invented themselves, Snoop Lion (formerly Snoop Doggy Dogg and Snoop Dogg) knows a thing or two about the word himself. I'm not diggin' Snoop's reincarnation as a rasta, but hey, whatever. Dude's got 20 years in the game, so I suppose he's entitled.

I'm sure you're wondering what Eddie Murphy and the Artist Formerly Known as Snoop D-O Double Jizzle have in common. Well, today's your (maybe not-so) lucky day. Because they made a song about it.[1] Like to hear it, here it go...

I'm no connoisseur of fine cannabis, nor do I like reggae music during any other occasion than when I wander away from Paradise Island. So I can't tell you if this is good or not. So I will refrain from labelling this Ashy Or Classy. I'll just call it Not Turrible. But it's certainly no "Party All The Time".[2]

Question: Ashy Or Classy? Is this song good, assuming you know anything about reggae?

[1] I have no idea what this song's about.

[2] Don't lie. You sorta liked that song and you know it.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Black Man Can Get Sued For Using "The N-Word"? Really?!?

My views on the word nigger are well documented here. It's an extremely ignorant word that nobody should use. While, I try my darnest not to use it, I still slip from time to time. I, however, don't consider it "racist" when black people use the word against each other. I mean, seriously, what sense does that make?

Apparently plenty, as a New York City employer just found out in court.
A federal jury in New York ruled Tuesday that a man who identifies as black and Hispanic and the nonprofit he founded must pay punitive damages to an African-American employee after a previous ruling that the use of the "n-word" is inappropriate among minorities in a workplace.

The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed by Brandi Johnson, who is African-American, against STRIVE, the employment center where she worked, claiming she was a victim of a hostile workplace after enduring verbal harassment and a series of statements filled with profanity and racial slurs from her supervisor. The employment center in East Harlem argued that the use of the word was part of a "tough-love culture."

The jury ruled Tuesday that center founder Rob Carmona must pay $25,000 and his organization must pay $5,000 in punitive damages.

Jurors last week awarded $250,000 in compensatory damages to Johnson, 38, who sued Carmona personally and STRIVE, which he founded in 1984.

Carmona's n-word-peppered rant toward Johnson was captured on a four-minute audio recording on Johnson's iPhone without her boss knowing in March 2012 and was played for a federal jury last week.

"You and (a previous employee) are just alike. Both of you are smart as s---, but dumb as s---. You know what it is ... both of you are n------, y'all act like n------ all the time," Carmona said to Johnson, according to audio evidence played in court and obtained by CNN.

Carmona called Johnson the n-word eight times during the recording.

"And I'm not saying the term n------ as derogatory; sometimes it's good to know when to act like a n-----, but y'all act like n------ all the time ... both of you very bright, but both y'all act like n------ at inappropriate times," Carmona said in the audio recording.

From the stand Tuesday, Carmona explained tearfully that he was only trying to help.

"I come from a different time ... What I'm trying to do is help ... that's the transition... (this case) has showed me I got to take stock in that at my age," said Carmona, 61.
I'm short on time, so I won't bother expounding on this one for now. Ya'll tell me your thoughts.

Question: Is this fair?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

AB.com Open Mic.

I'm on the road the next couple of days, so ya'll have at it. The blog will be back to normal shortly.

Question: What's on your mind today? Drop some links, start a convo.