Wednesday, April 30, 2008

More Fun With Detroit Politics, Pts. 3 & 4

I said it the last time I posted about Detroit politics but I have to say it again:

I love Detroit. It hurts me like nothing else to see the city and its citizens going through the multitude of troubles they have in this past year or, for that matter, the last 60 years.

But seriously, I'm on some Florida Evans "Damn, Damn, Damn!!!" isht everytime I read a Detroit paper.

Thanks to Kii for bringing this to our attention. Please forgive Charlie LeDuff for his chessiness and Councilwoman Conyers for, well...



It's sad when a grown politician gets taken to the woodshed by an 8th Grader. Please, if anyone in the D is reading this, start recruiting Kierra Bell for a council seat run in 4 to 8 years. That girl gets a gold star in my book.

And in the ongoing saga of Mayor Kilpatrick and his administration, a judge ordered the release of more text messages that help paint a larger picture of the underlying scandal that could possibly send him and his former Chief of Staff to jail.

Here's an article about the document and here's the document itself.

After reading the text messages, I was a little dismayed. I know good people working on the 11th floor of the Coleman A. Young Building. I hate to see them all go through this hellacious experience due to no fault of their own.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Obama Picks Up Endorsement

Ok. Getting this seal of approval would've been better going into Tuesday's North Carolina primary, but it's something...



Apparently, she's met him and knows he's for change and stuff.

Watch out, Barack. You know she's previously endorsed Ray J.

Clinton Setup @ National Press Club?


Player hater, operative or both?

Errol Louis of the New York Daily News ran this piece today describing Howard University Divinity School professor Barbara Reynolds:

A former editorial board member at USA Today, she runs something called Reynolds News Services and teaches ministry at the Howard University School of Divinity. (She is an ordained minister).

It also turns out that Reynolds - introduced Monday as a member of the National Press Club "who organized" the event - is an enthusiastic Hillary Clinton supporter.

On a blog linked to her Web site- www.reynoldsnews.com- Reynolds said in a February post: "My vote for Hillary in the Maryland primary was my way of saying thank you" to Clinton and her husband for the successes of Bill Clinton's presidency.

The same post criticized Obama's "Audacity of Hope" theme: "Hope by definition is not based on facts," wrote Reynolds. It is an emotional expectation. Things hoped for may or may not come. But help based on experience trumps hope every time."

In another blog entry, Reynolds gives an ever-sharper critique of Obama: "It is a sad testimony that to protect his credentials as a unifier above the fray, the senator is fueling the media characterization that Rev. Dr. Wright is some retiring old uncle in the church basement."


I tried to Google search for the blog entry in question and came up with her site but, curiously enough, one of the entries Louis mentions seems to have been destroyed. I can just imagine, given her position at the premier HBCU in the country, she had a few people breathing down her neck.

After seeing a significant portion of Rev. Wright's speech yesterday and the seemingly large scale PR campaign he's been on, I can't help but wonder if he's going to become such a sideshow that he eventually renders himself irrelevant.

We'll have to see how this plays out.

Do you see a pattern?

Question? - What do these men have in common?






I think I have the answer, but give me yours in the comments section!

I Can't Write For Sh*t, Part III

...but John Ridley can.

In a defense of Rev. Wright's "pro-black" stance he knocks it out of the park using less and less clunky words than I ever could.

To Wit:

Adherence to pro-black values isn't code for "kill whitey." It's merely how blacks have managed to stay alive and viable in America all these many years since we were first graciously given a ride across the middle passage to get dropped off in Virginia.

Don't Give Up "Hope", Mr. Obama

Dear Barack,

Right about now "hope" is all you have. Right now, you need to reclaim it. The soaring rhetoric that your opponents once derided did nothing for you...except put you far in the lead. So why give it up?

While your opponents are busy crafting a media narrative that you're no different than they, I'd like you to remember how you got where you are.

You are the front runner because you played by your own rules. You are winning because you made people hope. You are winning because you gave people a reason to give money to a politician without expecting something tangible in return. We gave you our money because you made us remember that a President can inspire. You erased in us the belief that all our leaders are garbage. You made us feel proud to sit in the shade of those stars and stripes for the first time in forever; proud because we realized that as Americans we fall down...but when we get up, dammit you better watch out.

You gave yourself one rule. Inspire the people and make them hope. And you are winning. When you play by your rules, you win. When you play by theirs, you lose.

You see, to the casual observer, especially one whose TV was on CNN all night, it might appear that you're losing this contest handily. Despite the fact that you aren't. It might appear that your former Pastor speaks for you, despite the fact that he doesn't. It might appear Hillary has a legitimate chance to take the nomination, despite the fact that isn't true. It might appear the country wants McCain, who represents the same policies that have made Bush the worst President in history, despite the fact that they don't. In essence, our media makes things appear as they aren't. Our media is designed, much like our schools, to promote mediocrity and to punish excellence.

Mr. Obama, you got where you are by making people believe in their country's ability to replace the past eight years of sadness and war with hope that the next eighty will be better. Don't give that up. And if, after all is said and done, you do lose...no...if we do lose...

...let's lose on our feet.

Let's lose playing by our rules. Let's lose by trying to inspire our country and the world. Let's lose because we did the right thing. Let's lose because we injected humanity and intelligence into our national discourse for the first time in a decade.

But you aren't losing. In fact, you're winning. So divorce the negative rhetoric and tit for tat that seems to be growing like a mold on your campaign. It doesn't work. Doing as Hillary and McCain do makes you just like them. If you are the same as Hillary and McCain, there is no reason to vote for you.

But if you are Barack Obama, a man who by all accounts should have seen his days end in a Hawaii jail, a man born without a silver spoon and every reason to fail from his estranged father to his wandering mother. A man who was the first African American to head the Harvard Law Review. But more than that, a man who had the good sense to choose an astounding and strong individual as his mate...a man we've come to admire...

If you are Barack Obama, we have a reason to believe in you.

So be Barack Obama, for God's sake. When they come at you, inspire us to work hard and give more. When the media tells you you're no different, challenge us to clean up our neighborhoods. When Hillary mocks you, demand we become dependent of foreign oil. When McCain says your pastor is fair game, tell the world that when you win America will again be an inspirational leader in the international community. Don't play their game, rise above it all.

Be Barack Obama.

And we will win.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Wright, you wrong.

Preacher got my aunt to put money in the pan
For the rest of the week now I'm eating out of soup cans
He has a home, drives a Caddy through town
Has my old earth believing that he's coming from the ground

Hooray for the black church. Got two on every corner and black neighborhoods are worse than they were 50 years ago. The churches are bigger, though. Why? For the same reason rappers buy 27 cars. Vanity. Selfishness. Megalomaniacism.

But this Rev. Wright character has taken it to a new low. A black man is on the cusp of being president of the United States, all he needs is a couple more wins and he closes this thing out. He's well ahead in NC, and it's a dead heat in IN.

Maybe you missed what I said: A black man is on the cusp on being president. Of the United States. And this nigger Wright can't shut the hell up for just a moment. And i use the N word here the way it was intended by whoever invented it. This is so typical it makes me sick. Crabs in a barrel.

"Hey, look at me! I'm Jeremiah Wright! Fuck Barack Obama. And if you believe in him, his candidacy, a new America, fuck you, too! This shit here is about J Wright!"

Oprah. Shut this asshole down. Now. Please.

I cannot imagine what Wright is after, if not pure self aggrandizement. More money in the pan, I am sure. I have never seen a more objectionable, lower display of self importance in my life. But now maybe he can pay off his Caddy, or finish the addition on the church. Y'all can skip the potluck this Wednesday, but don't forget to pray for the sick and shut in.

To name the song I quoted at the top ('cause I know y'all have it on the tip of your tongue), wake up.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Coachella

Bashir and I hit the Coachella Music Festival this weekend, checking out everyone from Kraftwerk and MIA to Mark Ronson and Prince.

But the biggest shout out goes to Phonte and Big Pooh of Little Brother. They showed us a lot of love.


Here they are rocking out on stage to start off the Saturday line-up. Lovin' it...

Friday, April 25, 2008

We've Already Had a Black President

Just in case Barack doesn't win, cheer up.



Here's a picture of Dwight D. Eisenhower's parents. My Mom has claimed this picture existed for decades. Now, thanks to the internet, its been making the rounds.

Wanna Kill A Black Guy And Get Away With It?

Do you?
Easy.

Be a New York City cop.

The new laws allow you to shoot him up to 50 times...(up from the previous allocation of 41!!!)

Happy Hunting.

---

ps - How many millionaire New York rappers are gonna put out a protest track in response? My money's on ZERO.

(Complacent bastards!)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

"Maniacal Coonery"

Leave it to the good folks at Jezebel to call out Flavor Flav's new coon fest aka "Under One Roof".

Remember when we discussed what makes a coon? If you guessed (b) "flavor flav"...you win!


It's hard to believe a man once at the tip of the black power bayonet pointed at the heart of American Hypocrisy could turn into such a disgrace.

What's interesting is I saw Flav out at a party about a year before his first foray into VH1 and he seemed like a calm, chill, reasonable fellow.

Money changes everything I guess...
.
...still and all. Whatever you do, don't listen to any of those old Public Enemy albums. It'll just break your heart.


Watch out for the one in the red.

Urban Adventures, Chapter 1: Chatsworth, CA

Few things fascinate me more than the history of places. We all know people have histories, but the history of a plot of land can be every bit as fascinating.

Call it Urban Archaeology, but I'll be exploring and rediscovering the history of places. Indiana Jones-style.

Nice hat

And so with that adventurer's spirit in mind, let's chat about the northern Los Angeles area called Chatsworth.

Yep, Chatsworth. It's a rural town, in the San Fernando Valley, that is known, if at all, as the World Capital of Pornography. More porn produced here than anywhere else.

But the history of films shot in Chatsworth goes much further back. If you have ever watched The Lone Ranger, or Gunsmoke, or any number of westerns, you know the big rocky cliffs and rolling plains of Chatsworth (which is surprisingly only twenty minutes away from the heart of LA's busiest neighborhoods).

Two "movie ranches" were particularly historic.

The Iverson Movie Ranch, where The Lone Ranger was shot.



And the Spahn Movie Ranch, where a lot of B-movies were shot, at least until owner George Spahn, needing to generate more revenue, allowed his ranch to become the hub of an illegal chop shop operation.




In fact, by the end of the 60s, he had allowed the Manson Family to set up a base at the Ranch. Spahn Ranch is no longer standing, razed by a fire in 1970.


The site of the old Spahn Ranch today.

Much like the starlets who come to LA to act and end up in porn, so too was Charlie Manson. The fact is, he wanted to be a musician and rock star. His Family members started off as legitimate members of the LA rock scene of the time (one even played with Love and many played on cards with Jim Morrison). Manson wrote and recorded songs with Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys, and tried to get Wilson's manager, Terry Melcher, to sign him as a recording artist.

But Melcher never did, convinced Manson didn't have what it took. After years of NOT making it in LA, Manson couldn't deal with the rejection, and went looking for revenge on the LA scene. Specifically, he wanted revenge on Melcher, stalking Melcher's house, never realizing Melcher had moved from Cielo Drive (and that Roman Polanski and his pregnant wife actress Sharon Tate had moved in).

Charlie was yet another person who moved to LA with visions of stardom, who went on to do something not in the original plan. And like so many porn stars, he made his home in Chatsworth.

Ironically, it was at Spahn Ranch that some of the first adult films were shot in Chatsworth (apparently with titles like The Female Bunch and Hard on the Trail).

PS - As I was heading out of the foothills, I was listening to my iPod's psychadelic playlist (The Byrds, Arthur Lee & Love, etc), and just as The Doors' "When the Music's Over" kicked in, I looked off down the road and what do I see but a carnival?!



It was almost as if Jim Morrison's vocals were causing some kind of acid flashback (which would be weird since I've never done acid). Trippy, man.

Love In 2008

Doesn't get more intimate than this...



..for when you need to say something important, from a distance.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

An Open Letter To Jay Z

Dear Mr. Carter,

Hi. Bashir here. Long time fan and I'm looking forward to seeing you in concert on May 6th at Madison Square Garden. I just wanted to check in with you. I've been reading all over the internet about how you recently married Beyonce Knowles in a private ceremony in New York.

I'm not writing to congratulate you. Frankly, I think you've made a terrible mistake. You should go solo.

I think you should immediately break up with Beyonce. Not now but right now. You are one of the last true pioneers of ultra bachelorhood. You're a man's man. A guy who plays by his own rules. An alpha male in a world full of sensitive thugs. For the life of me I can't understand why you'd wanna throw it all away.

What is it you get from marriage that you can't get without? I could see if you were a mortal like the rest of us. We need to get married. We need the tax breaks. We need the mutual guarantee of stability. We need the social acceptance. It's fated to us...but we're mortals. You're like Zeus. Not the wrestler, but the Greek God. He came to earth, did some dirt, and hit the clubs in Olympus. Why? Because he could.


I put Jay on the VIP list and he never showed up.

Jigga, listen to me..You're Jay Z dammit! And you need to start acting like it!

Are you seriously ready to be a part of marriage? Celebrity marriage at that? Are you ready to do five shows in five days and come home to an argument about leaving the toilet seat down? Are you ready to spend ten hours in the studio then have to call and see if it's okay to eat dinner out? Did you think this through? Are you ready to walk through Barney's holding Tina Knowles bag as she and her daughter pick out baby accessories? Have you seen Tina Knowles? Have you seen her purses? They're freaking heavy.



Celebrity Marriage Rawks!

Jay...I know Beyonce is very pretty. Hell, I even think she's an awesome singer. She's talented. But you don't need it. Now you might think I'm just saying all this to be a hater cuz I secretly want her for myself.



Granted, I think she and I would make a fine couple. We'd have long talks late into the night. Laugh about innocent nothings. Our hands would always find their way to each other...
wait...where was I? (damn...what was I...OH, yeah)

...yeah, she's a good person. But this world needs a hero.

You should be like the Marlboro man. Hit the town burn shit up on stage and bounce. Hop a flight to St. Tropez for the day, lunch on the beach and be in Paris for dinner. A human being truly unfettered. You see Kanye finally came to his senses. (Though I'm sure he'll be married by years end.) But you have the means to answer to no one. And you should be fighting like hell to keep it that way. You ain't never see Batman and his new wife getting into an argument in public, then him running after her apologizing. Bruce Wayne don't even call the next day.

Jay? You need to listen to your own lyrics. Unless...when you wrote:

"Many chicks wanna put Jigga fist in cuffs
Divorce him and split his bucks
Just because you got good head, I'ma break bread
so you can be livin it up? Shit I..
parts with nothin, y'all be frontin
Me give my heart to a woman?
Not for nothin, never happen
I'll be forever mackin"


...You were just kidding? Come on man!! Those words mean something.

You said, "I'll be forever mackin'"...

...not "I'll be mackin' to a point, then I'll settle down with some starlet and raise a family." That shit don't even rhyme.



Frolicking? Really? Sad.

Also, I hope you don't think I'm trying to be sexist and one-sided. Oprah and Halle seem pretty damn happy to me. Both are free and unbound. The way you used to be...

...Jay...

...it's the way you could be again.

Take your eyes off her magnificent mane for a few minutes and think clearly. You are an example to men all over the universe. Your strength lies in your unwillingness to conform. DON'T CONFORM. FIGHT THE POWER!


Yummy? Sure. But so what.

Without you to believe in...all we'll have left is George Clooney. And word is he's looking to get hitched.

Come back to us.


O M G. What have I done?!?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Flashback Friday

It was recently announced that one of my favorite films is being remade.



Yes. Johnny 5 is still alive.

When the first Short Circuit film was released over 20 years ago, its theme song was sung by the best vocalist to ever come out of Grand Rapids, Michigan (sorry Adina Howard).

Of course, I'm talking about El DeBarge.

I'm wondering now, though, who's gonna sing the new film's title track.

Suggestions?


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Lying Bastard!

The Smoking Gun (the most underrated site on the planet) destroys Akon's credibility.

I'll give Akon the benefit of the doubt...maybe it' s language gap thing. In his mind a few months in an Atlanta jail is the same as four years in a state penitentiary.

Admit it, how many of you bought his music based on his street credibility? No?

Yeah...me neither.


I have no shame.

I think Joyce Baines should get her time and energy back for dealing with this guy.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fun With Time Lapse Photography

Guys go from LA to NYC in 4 minutes.

(h/t Gawker.com)

See more funny videos at CollegeHumor


QUICK...what song is that playing in the video?

Bruce Continues To Get It

Bruce Springsteen endorsed Barack Obama on his site today.
I always liked Bruce. Few artists approach their art with the youthful vigor and energy as consistently as he does. Watching him, one thinks he truly believes that every performance will be his last. I can't say that about every artist I like.

Also, I always liked the fact that he had a big black guy in his band.

Loud and Good.

I first came to know Bruce, I mean REALLY KNOW Bruce, through my freshman year at college roommate. I went from being vaguely aware to being a fan. His songs speak to a sadness America tries to hide.

(This same roomate also got me into The Who and Phish...another story for another day.)

Still...

...another of my favorites had THREE black guys in his band.
Diallo refuses to support us even though we're 60% black. A higher percentage than Barack.

AND...Dave is also supporting Barack for President.

Of course, both these guys also supported John Kerry so we'll see if it makes any difference this time.

---

ps - not to call any one out (Diallo)...but there was a time in college America in the mid 90's when which I call the Jam Band era. Where bands like Ben Folds Five, Dave Matthews Band, Phish and Blues Traveller rolled all over the country doing 10 minute live versions of their music at outdoor festivals. Kids absorbed their music from Charlottesville to Burlington. Live tapes were passed around eastern seaboard college campuses like weed. Every performance was an incarnation of unique beauty. It was glorious.

People who missed out on it...because their minds were still hostage to the likes of Spragga Benz and Smiff N Wesson sure do hate on it. But it was a pivotal era of quality music.

Glad I was a part.

Propoganda. But At Least It Makes Me Feel A Little Better



I needed a foil to counter the previous post's classroom brawl video (that REALLY bothered me).

This was the antidote.

Long...Yes.
Syrupy...Yes. (Despite being set in the Bronx)

But necessary for me to see.
Because balance is critical.

"No School Should Be This Violent"

Bashir...you have worked within the public school system. So please help me understand this:

- A student beating (yes, BEATING) on a teacher

- A Principal admonishing THE TEACHER for provoking the child because she informed the student that she would, indeed, defend herself

- Fellow students standing by. Idly watching.

Please Bashir.
Help me understand.

Because I want to think that this is an aberration.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Who said black love is dead?

The family that "___" together, stays together.

I love it!

Good Sketchy: Pt. 1 - Human Giant and Will Arnett

In a recent post, Bashir said that I read 20 political blogs a day (which is a gross underestimation of fact).

But our site is ultimately here to make you laugh every bit as much as it is here to get you to vote for Obama.

We consume a lot of comedy around here. For example, Bashir and I share representation with the sketch troupe Human Giant, to be found on MTV, and to me, this is one of their best videos (not to mention a truly uncomfortable descent into madness, courtesy of the talented WIll Arnett).


Nope. Didn't see that coming...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Everybody's Worst Nightmare

2008 NBA Finals:

The Detroit Pistons vs. The San Antonio Spurs.


ugh.

Right now America has a chance at greatness. The Lakers could meet the Celtics in the NBA finals. It would be amazing. The world would get a little bit better. Birds would sing louder. Trees would be greener.

I'm not saying it would end global warming and our dependence on violent and anti-American nations to supply our oil...

...but it might.


Admit it, you want more of this.

So...even though both the Pistons and the Spurs are amazing playoff contenders. For the love of ALL THINGS HOLY... I hope they lose.

And America hopes with me. This we can agree on.

More Fun With Detroit Politics, Pt. 2

Part of me really hates to post this.
I spent many days in Detroit, both visiting and working there.
I love the city.

But damn. Not again.

We've already covered Monica Conyers in another post, but this time her antics were caught on tape.

To set up the video below, Detroit's City Council is trying to develop a better understanding of how a settlement deal was brokered between the Mayor and the two plaintiffs which was meant to cover up the existence of the now infamous text messages (for a complete list of stories, go here). There have been a series of council hearings calling a host of witnesses. The witness in the video is a non-affiliated attorney just giving his opinion on the issues at hand. Here's a written account of the event. Ken Cockrell, Jr. is the Council President and Conyers is the President Pro Tem.

Action:



If you missed it, she compared him to a lovable ogre voiced by Mike Myers. As a side note, Cockrel's stepmother also serves on the council and she looked peeved (she's the lone white person you'll see on the dais).

And then there were the post fight recaps provided by the combatants.

First up, Cockrel and then Conyers (If you don't get the video in correct sequence, just click on the links to the right with their faces).

This is the last news story the city, or even Michigan, needs.
At least the Pistons are good.

Hillary Clinton Is Running for 2012

No matter which way you slice it, Hillary Clinton can't win the democratic nomination. If the "superdelegates" circumvent the voters there would be hell to pay.

She's not stupid. She knows this.

Her goal is two fold.

1. Lose the nomination, make Barack un-electable, and win in 2012 on a platform roughly called "The I-told-you-so-ticket".

2. Maybe hope he makes a big enough gaffe. Sorry, the elitist thing won't have legs...but Barry is proving more gaffe-prone...or rather, less media savvy than I had hoped .


If you're a politician and you see this city out the window from where you're speaking, maybe don't mention anything about middle America.

So if he keeps delivering the press friendly sound bites...she hopes to get the supers to go her way...then guilt trip Barack into supporting her or, worse, appealing to his sense of ego and making him the vp. Something I think he might do. I love the guy to death, but let's not pretend he ain't ambitious as all hell.

But she knows this is one helluva long shot.

Either way, if, like me, you keep scratching your head at how a person who won't win keeps kicking a member of her own party... just be like... "oh, she's running for 2012".

Then it will all make sense.

Think about it. John McCain waited eight years for his chance to run again, Hillary can wait four.

---

ps - I'm so tired of having my emotions on a roller coaster that I'm mentally checking out of this election until the dems have a nominee.

I just can't take it. I'm tired of being sick and tired...of watching Barack tell the truth, then watching Hillary Republicanize herself and use one word of his statement to make him seem like he hates white people...or, worse that he's "uppity".

That's the new code she's working. He's an uppity nigger. And, as we all know, there's nothing worse than a black man who doesn't know his place. Who operates on pure arrogance and ego.

Like this guy...



Pure arrogance and ego.

By the by, as Bill Maher always points out...it's good to have a President who's an elite. But not in the Bush "elite cuz I was born that way" way...in the Barack/Bill Clinton/Even Hillary Clinton "elite cuz I bust my ass and rose to the top" kind of way. I'd be happy to have some "A " students in charge for a change.

At any rate, I'm gonna blog more about funny stuff until that time...I'll leave the heavy hitting to "Reads twenty blogs, watches all the news shows and reads all the papers every day" Diallo for the most part...so I can focus on Beyonce and Jay Z.

ps2 - I've been pondering this for some time....

...I think history will remember this era as a time when the media had so twisted American's perception, that only those speakers coming in the guise of court jesters could tell the truth.

I mean, the most honest men in America today are Chris Rock, Bill Maher, George Carlin and Dave Chappelle.

To Wit:



So when your children's children are studying this era in their robot run, underwater schools...and they look at the media and history, they'll wonder why the truth can only be told if you're making a joke about it.

I mean, really, if Reverend Wright was saying what he did as part of a comedic rant, rather than a sermon...his name would be Steve Harvey.

If Not President, Stand Up-In-Chief...

For your comedy fix, go directly to the 3:46 mark. It's laugh out loud through the 5 minute mark.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Gnarls Barkley

So, here's a question for The Message Community. What do you think of Gnarls Barkley? The new album? The old album?



The comments section is yours...

Friday, April 11, 2008

Yeah, Like This

Obama needs to do more of this...



He needs to continue to paint Hillary and McCain with the same brush. They are insiders and more of the same.

In fact, Hillary staying in the race is a perfect opportunity for him to again claim his spot at the outsider.

Good job, O. I'm rooting for you.

The Lovely/Funny One



love this lady.

Flashback Friday: Part 2

To build on Jacarl's post from earlier, I'm adding the video below.

Because let me be clear. Once I blow up, all I want to do is grow a jheri curl, rock a wife-beater with suspenders, and then walk around my mansion, singing.

Flashback Friday

It's no secret the Church of Latter Day Saints has been getting hit over the head as of late. Whether it was Mitt Romney having to give his speech on how he wouldn't make us all wear magic underpants if he were elected president or the latest raid on a fringe religious outfit in Texas (would someone please explain why Texas has so many church compounds?).

But back in the '80s, one family transended any biases the American public had against Mormons and sang their way into urban America's heart.


Ah, nope.



Yes.

The Jets were a Tongan family based out of Minneapolis that fed on that city's sound at the time. I lost count of how many kids were actually in the band. I divulged one of my guilty pleasures earlier and now here's another. Happy Friday.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Underrated: Andre Royo

Give Andre Royo a damn Emmy already.

One of the main problems with any industry, be it entertainment, sports or event planning, is that if you do your job too well... no one seems to notice.


These are the guys who allow Tom Brady to look so good. Name one.

Such is the case for Andre Royo's work as an informant/crack head "bubbles" on THE WIRE .

Royo has been delivering the goods for five solid seasons and...nothing. He is so consistent and his character is crafted so well you forget there's an actor under all the debris that constitutes his costume design.

He is disappeared in the character.


This is a lot harder than it looks.

(I am puzzled why such a critically acclaimed show has so few Emmy nominations. I honestly just don't know why that is. Is it racism? Probably not, it's written by a white guy whose other work has been given awards. Is it because of its ridiculous schedule...did HBO cut a deal to let only two series a year take home all the prizes? I dunno. I can't explain it.)

Further, his work is more valuable because Andre is by all accounts a funny guy. Loves comedy. Even did some sketches online.



For someone so embedded in the character on the show, Andre seems not to have lost himself too completely...he's a professional.

Maybe they just don't want to honor someone for playing a crack head.

OR...as is often the case in hollywood, maybe David Simon is an asshole and the television academy is punishing him for not being a team player. You'd be surprised how much that happens. Or, maybe you wouldn't. Makes sense, the industry seems to honor EVERYTHING ELSE on HBO except The Wire.

Either way. Don't take it out on my boy Andre. Everyone who plays an addict on television seems to hit the same mark: a troubled mind marked by flashes of irrational behavior. A junky caricature created in the seventies and from which most people's work has never budged. Andre's work is different.

He plays a human being.

Where is the love...indeed.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Usher: "Nightclubs My Preferred Site for Lovemaking"

Since most of our readership is apparently riding with Usher in this War of the R&B singers (and seriously, it is a War -- Gen. Patraeus, care to report on that?), we now post, for your honest critique, the new Usher video for his club anthem "Love In This Club."



Give us your thoughts. Does the video live up to the hype? Would you have shot it differently?

Think of this blog as Cahiers du Cinéma, and you are Francois Truffaut. Or for that matter, Lil No Flow's hero, Jean-Luc Godard. Critique away...

Monday, April 7, 2008

Messianic BHO

This commercial features one of my boys...



HAH... i love it, but then again, i like stuff that's WAYYYYYY over the top.

Baby Daddy Monday

Love this website that features a who's who of famous fathers of illegitimate kids.

To Wit:

Travis Henry - 9 kids by 9 women. All of this by 28. Impressive. He is on pace to catch Calvin. The fact that he's broke from paying child support may slow him down though.

Ex-San Antonio Spur Willie Anderson - 9 illegitimate kids. If only his field goal percentage had been as high as his impregnation rate.

Evander Holyfield
- 9 illegitimate kids. Has more kids than brain cells left.

HAH! Never knew some of those. Seems baby daddy-ism is all the rage.



Offended yet?

No? Okay, try this on...



Offended now? Good.

(remember when we said "we shall overcome"...we were just kidding about that right? )

While I don't believe for a second that any woman needs 15 - 20k a month per child to take care of her kids, I also think that any athlete/entertainer who "ACCIDENTALLY" gets someone pregnant out of wedlock deserves to be taken to the bank for all he's worth.

Call it...THE STUPIDITY TAX.


Led the bulls is assists and Stupidity Tax Payments.




I, too, pay that tax

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Kristin Wiig Wins

Since joining the show, SNL's Kristin Wiig has consistently delivered. Her characters are weird, bizarre, and yet, oddly believable.

My favorite sketch of the season has been her truly strange commercial for Virgania Horsen's Hot Air Balloon (find it here).

Last night was no exception to the rule, when in addition to playing a slutty, bimbo-y version of Top Chef host Padma Lakshi, she brings a truly gut-wrenching (and at times painful to watch) character to life, whom I will call simply Surprise Party Sue.

Just watch.


The parallels to Carol Burnett are hard not to spot. Which is ironic, because when Lorne Michaels started SNL back in the mid-70s, it was exactly the Carol Burnett approach to sketch comedy that he was trying to re-invent. But maybe everything that goes around comes around.

Regardless, Wiig is doing it "really big." Like Phil Hartman before her, her level of commitment when in character is hard to underestimate (she makes it look easy).

I only want to speed up the day we release our cadre of amazing comediennes (hello, Nefertari Spencer???) on an unsuspecting world.

You Get What You Pay For...?

While traveling last week, I stayed with one of my sisters in West Palm Beach, Florida. She had the space to accomodate me because she has a two-story house in the suburbs. Looks like the one pictured below.


So I'm talking to her about how much she pays in mortgage for the place...and I was floored.

She pays roughly half, in mortgage, of what I pay, in rent, for my apartment in Los Angeles. Even after adding in property taxes, I only pay a little less per month than she does. For a house!

Don't get me wrong. I love my apartment, pictured below. After all, "be it ever so humble"...well, it's just humble.


But this is the reason many people just won't live in cities like New York or LA. These and other major cities are simply too expensive for us non-B.Gates/D.Trump/Lil Flip-type residents. It takes too much money to own anything. They're too expensive if you want the space to stretch your legs without kicking your neighbors.

But then again, its not rocket science. You can buy a 22-acre spread in Utah, living like a king, but really, who wants to ball at Applebees?


They don't even serve bottles there and the locals will probably arrest you if you try to make it rain.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Too Much Mike

I've watched this way too much over the past day.



crazy.

but he usually backed it up.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Greg Nice Tribute

If you've been completely ignoring the Viacom channel bloc on your cable provider as I have (excluding VH1 Soul. I love me some VH1 Soul), you might have missed that MTV is celebrating one of its greatest programs ever, IMO. Of course, I'm talking about Yo! MTV Raps. In my other blogging capacity, I wrote about my appreciation for Yo!. But the network paying homage to its past has also reminded me of one of my favorite hip-hop side men, Greg Nice.

Presently, Nice is back as his old echo effect self in a video for some dude.

When he teamed up with Smooth B, it was magic...




And who can forget this classic they did with Gang Starr.




But this is my favorite. I consider this song, Lisette Melendez's "Goody Goody", to be my #2 musical guilty pleasure (Louie Vega is a production GENIUS). I have to admit, though, I wasn't paying much attention to Greg in this one. Look for Kenny Dope and, I think, Fat Joe. Oh yeah. Lisette isn't too bad, either.




So props to Greg Nice. A true master of conveying rather insignificant rhymes that manage to stick in your head for years.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Lazy Week

Sorry for the slow week of blogging guys. Both Diallo and I have been running around the country.

But there's always more to talk about, and we'll be back in full force soon.

For now, here's some pictures of either really smart or really attractive people to tide you over...can you guess which is which.