Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Treme Trailer

"Treme is an upcoming American drama television series created by David Simon and Eric Overmyer. The series takes place three months after Hurricane Katrina where the residents of New Orleans, including musicians, chefs, Mardi Gras Indians and ordinary New Orleanians try to rebuild their lives, their homes and their unique culture in the aftermath of the 2005 hurricane."

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Legend of Bob Boyden and His Gold

Brave, valiant, heroic, and innovative. These are not just words that describe me, but they also describe the distinguished line of gentlemen from which I am descended. One of the more storied gentlemen to whom I am blessed to be progeny to is Bob Boyden.

Bob Boyden’s legend begins in the humblest of beginnings. You see this man of mythical proportions was born a slave in South Carolina. An environment that had to at times be filled with such hate and such desperation that a better time would never arrive that it had to be almost debilitating. Many any this situation wilted, but not Bob. He sat back and he plotted an escape, but an escape that wouldn’t leave him another victim of the south’s brutal punishment to those who attempted to run away.

While toiling in his master’s gold mine in South Carolina the idea hit him like a Rick James forehand across the face of Charlie Murphy. The plan was simple. Upon entering and exiting the mines the slaves were weighed as to prevent the theft of their precious gold. So what this genius ancestor of mine did was to place a small pebble under his tongue upon being weighed and find a gold nugget of the same size to place under his tongue. The plan was now in motion. A few years of this genius plot and Bob had enough to purchase his freedom and land in Mississippi. The legend states that upon his arrival in the Magnolia State he buried his gold in creek, there the gold stayed. On his deathbed he proclaimed that no one should touch his gold or else.

Years after his death an intrepid young man heard of the gold of my ancestor and its location. He struck out, determined to find the gold that the heroic man hid and in death could no longer use. He spent all day and he spent all night digging and he came close to the fabled spot where the treasure was hidden. As he got to the exact spot a mighty wind blew in and slapped him across the face with so much force that he was never able to turn his head forward again. He was buried with his head still turned from that faithful day in the creek.

Bob Boyden reached across from the afterlife and slapped that young man. Now that’s my family for you.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Not so Curious Case Of Allen Iverson

“Now I know that I'm supposed to lead by example and all that but I'm not shoving that aside like it don't mean anything. I know it's important, I honestly do but we're talking about practice. We're talking about practice man. We’re talking about practice. We're talking about practice. We're not talking about the game. We're talking about practice.”

For the majority of people who follow basketball be it casually or with a downright obsessive fervor as I do, there are two schools of thoughts for the most part on the man known simply as “The Answer.” The first is that Iverson is a thug, tattooed and with braids hanging, someone who is not to be looked up to and is the epitome of the “me first” athlete.

“I owe all of this to the guys I've played with and all the coaches that have helped me get to where I'm at right now. I'm honored to be here.”

The Allen Iverson that those that closely follow the game know is one who by his own admission was not a perfect player but he was without a doubt a player who worked and played harder than any player in the last two decades. He played through injury, played against those who were bigger and he did it all to win. Players who have a great relationship with the media such as Brett Favre, John Stockton, or Karl Malone are described as being tough while Iverson is described as selfish and driven by his performance and his performance alone. They are described as being driven by winning. He is described as being driven by his own selfish need for attention.

Iverson's injuries extend much farther than his physical maladies...

What is rarely brought up is the litany of injuries AI played through during the course of his career. How he never once changed his style because he knew that was the only way his team was going to win.

Now Allen Iverson has hit a wall. One that he can’t use his breathtaking speed, devastating crossover or surprising vertical leap to overcome, As it has been reported that Iverson is struggling with an addiction to both gambling and alcoholism. Iverson was an athletic prodigy who’s drive to win led him to be wary of teammates and remains one of the most polarizing figures in all of sports. It should not come as a surprise to anyone as he has been kamikaze in all of his actions on the court, why wouldn’t he do the same off the court?

Unfortunately stories such as the Answer’s have become a major problem in the world of sports. Young men given a cornucopia of cash, expected to keep it real in their hometowns and around childhood acquaintances and this pursuit leads them down a path of personal destruction. One hopes that mentors from his past such as the man who recruited him to college Hall of Fame coach John Thompson or the man who drafted him despite concerns over his character Pat Croce can reach Iverson.

He has shown the ability to do good for his hometown boys, for the team that he plays for, but perhaps his mere survival depends on his ability to apply his intense attitude to doing good for himself.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

He Was A Smooth Operator, A Smooth Operator He Was

One of the smoothest men whom I ever had the joy of meeting and having known was my grandfather. Truly he was a man who was able to bring an entire room to their knees with uproarious stories and ability to make witty quips. One of my favorite stories this master of the yarn ever spun was the tale of how he came to meet my grandmother.

You see Jim Boyden was a man who made his living riding the rails working for a railroad company. From time to time when riding into a new town he would throw open the door of a rail car and just watch as the women chased the train just to get a glimpse of the handsome new man riding into town. On this one particularly hot day he rode into an Alabama town and threw open the door in an attempt to get more air. As usual the women ran not only attempting to get a glimpse but to get a touch of the man who in their minds was obviously more superior than the men that were in their town.

In this particular town a woman was so bold as to walk up and actually speak to him, which was odd as most women were too terrified to speak to the dynamic man. The woman introduced herself as Mittie later to be known as Grandma to me. “Hey mister! You wanna buy me a fish sandwich and a bag of peanuts?” My grandfather, being the gentleman he was replied, “oh hell, no problem. I’ll buy you a bag of peanuts and a fish sandwich.”

Off they walked to a nearby food stand where he as promised purchased the aforementioned fish sandwich and peanuts and made small talk while he walked and the pretty woman ate the purchased vittles. As she talked my grandfather thought to himself, e was a pretty girl, but nothing special enough to change what he was doing so he began to count down until it was time for him to leave. Upon finishing the future matriarch of my family was so grateful to the handsome man who had so kindly purchased her lunch that she invited him to her home for dinner with her and her parents (which at the time wasn’t the serious deal it is now a days). Jim Boyden being the gentleman he was once again accepted the proposal she extended.

He arrived at her home and was greeted by her very ecstatic mother who was very happy with the choice of gentleman her daughter had chosen to bring home for dinner. And once inside, Jim wowed the entire family all the while plotting his escape. Dinner was done and the time for him to leave had arrived. As he stood her mother said six words that would change his life. “Want some ice cream and cake?” He thought to himself, “sure, what’s the worst that could happen?” He ate the delicious cake and the delectable ice cream and upon finishing he had an overwhelming urge to say this, “I am going to marry you woman.” And indeed he did and it was a union that lasted decades and spawned two children and more than a few grandchildren.

Did this story happen exactly as told it? Who knows? The one thing I do know is I am definitely going to beware of ice cream and cake.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Damn Shame

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The first amendment to the constitution, a very powerful right that is guaranteed to each and every one of us who are blessed enough to be American citizens. Some of us however abuse this right to hurt others for no reason whatsoever. One of the most egregious violators would be Howard Stern. Many around this country listen to this man everyday and find him to be hilarious. I however find him to be revolting, offensive, and his “jokes” to be hateful.

During his show he has made statements about Gabby Sidibe, the plus sized star of the movie Precious. Stern states:
“There's the most enormous, fat black chick I've ever seen. She is enormous. Everyone's pretending she's a part of show business and she's never going to be in another movie," he said. "She should have gotten the Best Actress award because she's never going to have another shot. What movie is she gonna be in?"
What movie is she going to be? Well she just finished ‘Yelling to the sky” which will debut at Sundance and she has signed on to appear in the Showtime series “The C Word.” I guess that blows your theory out the water there buddy,

But Stern is a “shock jock” which is just a fancy way of saying he has no real discernible talent outside of saying offensive things for attention. No, the really maddening part of this for me was his sidekick/pet Robin Quivers who also does not appear to have any talent outside of inserting her head into the rectum of Stern and stroking his massive ego as he degrades women, minorites, and those with mental handicaps. As he is on his rant she chimes in with: “And Oprah's lying and saying you're going to have a brilliant career.”

Wow. I would think that an older woman, especially an older black woman like Quivers would not only have corrected Stern but be proud of the young Sidibe who has done nothing but do a phenomenal job in a movie and basically be herself. You see Robin, unlike you she decided that doing something on her own was better than building a career as someone who will witness, say, and do anything to gain the approval of someone who has become as culturally relevant as the Macarena and Spice Girls.

"Oprah's another liar, a filthy liar," said Stern. "She's telling an enormous woman the size of a planet that she's going to have a career." Right…someone who is backed by Oprah is not going to succeed. Dr. Phil, Bob Greene, Dr. Oz, Rachael Ray…what do they all have in common? Succeeding with the backing of the Big O. Say what you will but the masses will buy what she says.

But I have digressed from my original point. How can a man who looks like Stern does use anyone’s looks as a way to gauge the probability of success one will achieve? Perhaps I have fallen into his trap and given him more attention than he truly deserves. I’ll end by saying that Howard Stern may be the “king of all media” but I think with these statements he’s proven he’s really nothing more than a jester in the real world.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Innocent Until Proven Guilty (Sometimes)

Professional athlete A goes to an upscale resort in a quaint ski town. Over the course of his time there he is sure to draw the attention of a few people, including more than one interested lady. The lady joins him in his room and a few days later there is an accusation of sexual assault. Now Professional athlete B also goes to a quaint ski town, and he also meets a few interested ladies, and like athlete A, he too is joined in his room and is subsequently accused of sexual assault. If you said that they would receive the same amount of attention, you would be wrong. Athlete A is Kobe Bryant, and Athlete B is Ben Rothliesberger.

For weeks we saw nothing but the trial, the press conferences, carefully worded statements from Bryant and his legal team assuring the public and the American legal system that the only thing he was guilty of was adultery. Yet no matter what arena he stepped into he was greeted with chants of ‘rapist’ as if the idea of innocent until proven guilty were just words. When the details of the case were revealed and Kobe was eventually exonerated the damage had been done. He had been painted as a sexual deviant and nothing was going to change that despite the fact the promiscuous girl who claimed this got away with character assassination.

Not to be outdone Big Ben decided step into the world of “he said, she said.” What do the news outlets that were so quick to jump on Kobe do? Nothing. Maybe they really were awaiting more details before reporting. Perhaps a lesson had been learned from the public witch burning that was the Kobe Bryant trial. I mean there were reasons to be skeptical. The victim did not press charges instead she went straight for a civil suit seeking a minimum of $490,000 plus punitive damages. These don’t appear to be the actions of one who had been violated. I decided to give them a pass.

Now comes word that for the second time in less than a year Big Ben Rapelesberger has struck again. Now what strikes me as odd is that no one appears to be talking about this. I don’t want to be the on to do this but I can’t help but notice that Ben is a white athlete whereas Kobe is a black athlete and maybe this has something to do with the perceived guilt and innocence and the ensuing news coverage. Constantly on ESPN and other sports outlets we see black athletes such as Ochocinco, Terrell Owens, and others constantly vilified as though they were public enemy number one and white athletes call passionate or have a childlike love for the game. Am I suggesting that there is a massive conspiracy against black athletes? No. But it does make one wonder why this is.

I don’t know the answer to this extremely complicated situation, but it would be nice not to have to go through another separate but equal conversation in this time. Because the coverage of the two races of athletes has been separate, but it damn sure isn’t equal, this I do know.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ramblings...Enjoy them!

So much to talk about, so little of it actually matters in the real world, well here we go.

·In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar Megan Fox stated she has only had two sex partners. Good to know, that one was keeping me awake at night.

·Jim Bunning is someone who I think I may refer to as a mega douche. I get standing up for what you believe in, I do. But to be so flippant about something that affects so many Americans is unacceptable and frankly downright insulting. This guy used the phrase “tough shit” when asked about stopping the filibuster and complained about missing the University of Kentucky vs South Carolina game.

·So Sarah Palin is a comedian now? And here I was thinking to myself how could she become a bigger joke?

·Now the tumors on the ass of American decency known as the cast of Jersey Shore are in a series of clips acting out scenes from Oscar nominated films. All right Hollywood, you proved your point. Make this stop. If I see their over tanned, no talent having orange faces one more time I will punch a baby.

·Ronald Reagan on the 50-dollar bill? Really? No disrespect to Reagan, but does everything have to be named after him? He has numerous expressways, libraries and an international airport named after him. I think he’s been honored. And to Rep. McHenry who says this generation needs its own heroes does that mean all other bills are up for grabs?

·Dear Peta, naked celebrities are not going to stop me from eating eat or wearing clothes made from the hides of animals. Try a new tactic. Signed, a guy who is sick of the same ad over and over.

That's all for today, I leave you with this: