Thursday, May 27, 2010

When is enough, enough?

I am a sports fan. There I said it. I could care less about what those who don’t like sports say about my and my fellow brethren of the sports watchers alliance. We realize that we will never hit a home run in the world series, make a tackle in the Super Bowl or dunk in the NBA finals. But by being able to lose ourselves in two to three hour increments we recapture however briefly that moment when we all believed that we could reach the highest sports summit of our dreams. But sometimes in our attempts to get closer to that moment when we could run as fast as Usain Bolt or jump like Dwight Howard we crossed a line. Now in our fervent attempts to be an insider with the breaking news, things that shouldn’t be reported are all of a sudden front page news.

I think the problem comes from our sports heroes being treated as life role models. We oftentimes forget that although they make millions of dollars for their athletic prowess, they are also flawed human beings and would react to stories much like you or I would. Recently a story has come to light that honestly has no business coming to light. Rumors have begun to swirl that Lebron James teammate slept with his mother. Can someone explain how this pertains to anything sports related? Not only that but there is absolutely no proof to prove that this indeed rumor and not just a flat out lie. Oh wait a man who has been accused of molesting 5 of his 12 children has weighed in and said it definitely happened. I guess the word of Calvin Murphy makes it true.

Sometimes the things that are reported are fact, but just don’t need to be reported. A few summers ago Josh Hamilton made a great return from drug and alcohol addiction to become an all star for the Texas Rangers. Anyone who knows anything about the nature of addiction knows that it is an ongoing and personal battle. One night during a long road trip Hamilton relapsed and was photographed in a bar wasted. As open has Hamilton has been with his story, actively using himself as a cautionary tale for the youth of America and those that follow him I believe that he should have the right that any of us have to work on our problem privately.

I guess the question is where do we live draw the line? Because he can hit a curve ball 435 feet does that mean he has lost any and all right to privacy. Is Lebron’s 47 inch vertical mean his mother is fair game to begin rumors about? I for one have a belief, if it doesn’t affect a fantasy team, don’t report it. Because when you report on the salacious and unfounded, you don’t just hurt the athlete, you hurt all those surrounding him. And that’s definitely not fair to them.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fantastic Commercial

Whenever I see this commercial I get so amped up I am tempted to attempt a bicycle kick.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ya'll Must Have Forgot

It would appear rumors of Kobe Bryant's demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Hip Hop Culture ruining African American Culture? Not so fast.

I have always been an ardent supporter of hip-hop and the culture of hip-hop. And guess what, that stance is not about to change anytime soon. I recently read an article about Thomas Chatterton Williams who has written a book called “Losing My Cool: How a Father's Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-Hop Culture." In it he derides the entire culture of hip-hop, claiming that it actually holds back African Americans. I respectfully disagree. Hip-hop was started as a way to give a voice to disgruntled youths, and now while the commercialized music aspect may have gone somewhat astray, you can not deride the entire culture. Hip hop is much more than just rapping. As outlined by one of the pioneers of the art form Afrika Bambaataa there are four pillars to hip hop.
1. Mcing
2. DJing
3. B-boying or breakdancing
4. Grafitti

What he has done in essence is taken an entire subculture that is as complex as any other and dumbed it down to just the street raps which became popular with the rise of Biggie Small, Tupac, and Jay-Z. That would be like me judging who he was by one article of clothing he wore. It wouldn’t tell the entire story. He specifically takes aim at Jay-Z.

He specifically quotes a line from ‘Moment of Clarity’ where he tell the story of feeling no love for a father who was not there, yet forgiving him for his absence. “I dumbed down my lyrics and doubled my dollars.” He fails to follow up with what he said shortly afterward. “I can’t help the poor if I’m one of them, so I got rich and gave back, to me that’s a win-win.” If you follow the arch of Jay-Z’s career as he has grown so has his music. On ‘Reasonable Doubt’ of course he talked about hustling, that was still fresh in his mind. He now raps about the lifestyle he leads now. And even some of his earlier works there were songs that no matter the genre, are powerful songs. On Volume One: In My Lifetime, he tells on ‘You Must Love Me’ of the bad choices he has made and his family’s undying love for him and forgiveness.

It appears he has made a few assumptions about hip-hop. First being that if some rap of violence and commercialism, they all must rap of violence and commercialism. The second and most damning example is that what we listen to and what we watch shape the decisions that we make. I used to watch the Incredible Hulk as a kid, doesn’t mean I exposed myself to Gamma radiation. Did some make a decision based on rap? Sure. People have also made decisions based on Catcher in Rye. No need to blame all of society’s ills on Sallinger.

I have listened to hip-hop my entire life and as I looked at the music as I would poetry or a short story. Artistic expression that can’t be taken as fact, just a brief escape from the day to day stress that we all endure. "Black never looked like my father sitting in a study underlining a book," Williams said. "It looked like a kid who could be walking in the South Bronx." Is his perception of black culture hip hop’s fault?

Maybe it’s just me, but growing up and to this day I feel that just like hip-hop culture one’s “blackness” is not defined by the music he listens to, the books read, or movies watched.

Rambling Post # 3,475

•Well elephant in the room, Lebron and the Cavs are going home. I think I’d first like to say where the hell are all the Bulls “fans” I saw rooting for the Cavs? The same ones who rooted for the Lakers last year….and the Celtics the year before that? Who’s the next bandwagon to hop on?

•That said, this loss is not all on Lebron. He had a damn triple double. His supporting cast played terrible. Period. Now with that said, Lebron can’t have 9 turnovers in an elimination game. Not if he is the heir to the best player alive throne. Great job by the Celtics defense.

•What the hell is going on with Arizona? A ban on ethnic studies? How is teaching about the culture of others a bad thing? I understand if it teaches that one race or culture is better but personally that’s not an indictment against ethnic studies but the curriculum of that course. Revise it, let students learn about those we share the world with and stop trying to avoid talking about uncomfortable topics.

•So long Law & Order. You filled my need for formulaic justice doled out in just under an hour until CSI or Criminal Minds came along. I especially thank you for the “dun dun” between scenes.

•So Obama was picking up some buffalo wings during a trip to Buffalo. A woman referred to him as “a hottie with a smoking little body.” This woman has had her name drug through the mud and called a tramp. I call her an opportunist. She saw an opening for a funny statement and she took it. I applaud you lady.

•I had a conversation with someone the other day and she said that Treme, the new series from David Simon, was boring. She much prefers the “realness of Basketball wives.” Uh, if you prefer Basketball Wives or Ex-Cheerleaders, Strippers and Jump-offs as I like to call it over well any show really, you should have your tv privledges revokes.

I'll leave you with a hillarious poem by one Dave Chappelle that I think sums up my feelings on the TV show Punk'd.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Jamie Foxx is a funny dude

A friend of mine posted this earlier and I thought I would do the same.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Mother's Day JD

After seeing a few pieces by friends on their mothers and realizing that Mother’s day is indeed this weekend I decided to hop on the bandwagon and write something about my mom (real original I know). I sat for a while and thought about what story I could tell to demonstrate the overall kick assness of my mother and then it hit me; there are just far too many examples (hold for awwwws).

Throughout my life there has been no bigger fan of mine. I remember being a small kid walking up to my mom and uttering the very humble phrase “short of walking on water I think I can do anything.” Rather than question her young, oddly proportioned only son, she looked at me and said only “well alright, I know you’ll do it then.” See, my childhood was loaded with confidence enhancing moments such as these which have led me to become the highly confident and magnificent mocha marvel you all know today.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the greatness of my mother. Growing up my mom was one of many across this nation who played the role of both mother and father and unlike some I know who complain of their mother in that situation as being a bit cynical or bitter my mom did it all while cracking a joke or some sarcastic comment. It showed me from a young age that while life may not always be fair, there is no need for it to crush us into a state of depression.

What other mother would let her son joke about putting her in a nursing home, or laughing at her ridiculous road rage which most of the times has her yelling at young men who are younger than her youngest children. So on this day I salute you my mother, with your irrational fear of lizards, Napoleon complex that causes people to fear you even though you’re only 5’4 (in heels), and your ability to diagnose yourself with any and every disease and illness that you see on TV. For all of the fantastic meals that you have cooked for me over the years, all of the odd phases of my youth, and all the unsolicited and at the time unwanted advice that I eventually fell back on, I am truly thankful for the mother that I was blessed with on this journey of life.

Well with all that said, all that’s left to say is thank you, I love you, and I think I’ve earned a sweet potato pie when you visit.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dear Jennifer Harper

Dear Jennifer Harper,

Hi, Brian Thompson here. I can’t say I was very aware of your work until today and unfortunately madam I gotta say, you missed the mark completely. I even think you missed the paper that the mark is on sweet lady.

In your “Inside the beltway” column I read the most astonishing article I had ever read. And I’ve read things written by drunken frat boys. You begin your column n with the line “The term "tea-bagger" is like uttering the "n" word, some say.” Now I am not here to debate the politics of the tea party movement. Anyone who knows me knows where I stand politically and respect my opinion even though we may not all agree. No, I am here to alert you that while you may not be stupid, moronic, or ridiculous, the insinuation that the term tea bagger is as offensive as the “n” bomb is all of those things.

Here’s a brief history lesson. You see the term “nigger” was used to describe and later insult and degrade people of African descent. You know, the people brought here as slaves and were treated as second class citizens until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (legally speaking.) The term usually involved a mental and oftentimes physical abuse upon the person the epithet was directed at. A horrible and sordid past this word has indeed.

Now the term tea bagger in this context refers to member of a political movement. They are tea party members, and have been known to wear tea bags on their clothing. In fact I remember many members of this party referring to themselves as tea baggers during the early phases of the tea party movement in 2009 and many were embarrassed once they learned that the term has sexual connotations. That’s it. No long sordid history of discrimination, no physical violence, nothing hindering them from living the American dream, just an unfortunate choice of labeling.

I’ll agree the term is crude, and in the context of an intelligent political debate this should not be used. But if someone does use it it’s not the same deal as if one dropped the “n” bomb. I have been called that and let me tell you, at that moment I would have killed to be called a tea bagger instead of a term that degrading.

RIP Ernie Harwell

So long Ernie Harwell, baseball will miss you.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Return of my ramblings

Been a while so I figured I would hit you all with some more of my insane and oftentimes meandering rants.

•Yes the Bulls lost to the Cavs, I knew that was going to happen but the slurping of the Lebron has reached Tom Brady/ Brett Favre like proportions. He’s the best player going now, I get that. But I feel the reporting on that series missed a prime opportunity to showcase Joakim Noah a little more. All anyone wanted to report on was his Cleveland sucks opinion, they failed to mention his average over the series of 14.6 points, 13 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, and 2.5 assists per night. One of a few big man with a personality in who knows how long and he’s relegated to having beef with the Cleveland board of tourism.

•I saw a guy on the train today with a shirt that had a picture of Obama and Hitler and it read “Hitler gave great speeches too and he had a logo too.” Sigh. Agree or disagree, Hitler was responsible for the deaths of millions, you just don’t agree with Obama. Not the same thing. I know people who believe Reagan was a great orator, doesn’t make him Hitler. And the logo thing? You know who else has a logo? Tom Brady, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Roger Federer, Lebron James. Not exactly the Legion of Doom. My point is calm down and take the man for what he is, a politician. If you disagree fine, but this kind of rhetoric is damaging and no work will ever get accomplished as long as it’s accepted.

•America’s favorite super skeezer Michelle Bombshell McGee has said that she never would have slept with Jesse James had she known that he and wife were planning an adoption. How righteous of her. Sleeping with a married man with children already is cool, but if there’s a kid on the way via adoption? Aw hell no!

•Katie Holmes as Jackie O? Casting fail.

•Roman Polanski has broken his silence. He claims he is being treated unfairly and the US just wants to make an example of him to gain more attention and “serve him up on a platter to the media.” Well excuse me if I don’t shed any tears over this “injustice.” This guy admits to drugging and raping a 13 year old, gets mad that he has to do jail time and flees to Paris. I could care less if you’re a visionary director, you’re a pedophile. End of story.