Monday, February 27, 2012

What's Tasteful?

Have you ever been out and about or just sitting home on the couch watching TV and you see someone in a jacked up outfit? "What was he/she thinking when they put that on?"

What makes our taste in fashion so different in this country? Are they that different in other countries? I'll need some of my readers in the U.K., Germany, India and other places to speak up in the comments section to let me know how it is over there.

The beauty of being in the U.S. is that you're free to make an idiot out of yourself. That may mean transforming your face into a lizard via cosmetic surgery or growing fingernails longer than the blades on a ceiling fan. But, when is enough, enough? When is something so distasteful that it should be banned?

Have you ever worn or got something done to yourself that you later regretted?


"I never wait in line. Who would want me standing behind them?"

Friday, February 24, 2012

Careless Drivers

"Ba-ba-ba-ba-baby! Don't forget my number!"
I wonder if I could contact George Michael and have him put the band back together again. Instead of "Careless Whispers," they could do "Careless Drivers."

I hate bad drivers. You've seen previous posts I've done like "Car Wars" or "Why Isn't This Lady Allowing Me to Merge?" If I could rewrite laws, I'd have bad drivers doing jail time. The latest trend that bugs me when I'm on the road are people who drive with earphones in their ears.

I asked some of my Twitter followers about why so many people are driving with earphones in their ears. Only one of them said for hands-free calling. Just one! Everyone else said they do so to listen to Pandora and iHeartRadio. So, I figured that it's up to me to make a QSA (Q Service Announcement) to explain to everyone why that could be a bad idea:

The reason it's illegal in most (if not all) states to drive with earbuds plugged into your dome is because it's a safety hazard. You can ask the lady who almost ran me over because she couldn't hear me blow my horn when she pulled into my lane. Or you can even ask this guy "doing the dougie" at the stop light and not realizing until the very last second that a fire truck was trying to get by him. If you can't hear, then it makes it that much more difficult to drive. A lot of people can't drive when they can hear, so they definitely don't need anything else negating their abilities.

There are so many ways to hook up a cell phone or MP3 player to your car stereo, so there's no excuse for earbuds in both ears. If you only use one, then that's cool, but to have both ears plugged is just unsafe.

And how people jog or ride bikes on busy streets with both earbuds in amazes me. The level of trust that they have is unbelievable! There's no way I'm going to have both earbuds in and allow some teen who's texting to run me down like a victim in "Christine." I don't trust my general public that much. I need to be able to hear brakes screeching so I'll at least have a chance to jump into a ditch.


Do you think driving with earbuds in both ears is a smart move?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sitcom Kids

Sitcoms are a very big part of my TV viewing. I watch quite a few of them: "Modern Family," "Suburgatory" and "The Middle." I enjoy these shows quite a bit, but I crack up on the kids on these shows. Sitcom kids have it made. They can talk back to their parents with no consequences whatsoever. Watching these since I was a kid made me wonder if other people truly lived like this. I knew it wasn't necessarily a white thing (like most black people assume) because I went to a predominantly white school and met some tough-nosed parents. If their kids talked back to them, they got "dealt with."

So, I started to wonder if it was a regional thing? Maybe out west or up north they allow the kids to have some privileges including calling their parents by their first names or being able to say "no" when asked to do something. Those were things that my friends and I refused to even try with our parents. Well, I take that back. I tried it once.

After watching an episode of "The Brady Bunch," I thought that I could get away with calling my parents by their first names. Besides, if that Brady kid could get away with it, then why could't I? Although the Brady kid was chastised for doing it, because his parents, Mike and Carol, were so easy on him, I figured it was no big deal. Boy, was I wrong.

I sat down at the breakfast table (I think I was around 8 years old) and said "good morning" to my parents using their first names. I had the biggest smile on my face, not even looking at them as I said it, because I was so proud to be "grown enough" to pull that off.

My father snapped. To him, it was a severe sign of disrespect and after he and my mom gave me one of the most intimidating lectures I've ever received, I remember wanting to fight Greg Brady because I felt like he was responsible for me going the rest of that day with no TV. It didn't take me long to learn that TV was fiction and real life actions resulted in real life consequences.

I couldn't just walk into someone's home without ringing the door bell like sitcom kids do. I couldn't talk back to my parents without paying the price like sitcom kids do. And declaring that I deserved some privacy would have only resulted in my father taking a hammer and screwdriver and removing my bedroom door from the hinges all together.

Not sitcom kids though. Bud Bundy, Axl Heck, Tessa Altman, Stewie Griffin, etc. They have it made on television.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Chink In The Armor? Really, ESPN?

Some people just haven't a clue. You see, this is what happens when you raise people without teaching them to seek out and appreciate diversity. What's the end-result for not doing so? An idiot. People can't be that racist stupid, can they?

- An ESPN employee was fired for using the phrase "Chink In The Armor" as a headline on ESPN.com after an Asian-American hoops sensation and the Knicks suffered a loss. The headline was only up for roughly 30 minutes before someone decided it would be a good idea to change it.

- A few days prior to that, ESPN News anchor, Max Bretos used the term "Chink" in reference to Jeremy Lin, who is Taiwanese.

- Even MSG, which owns the Knicks, had a graphic on their TV station that showed Jeremy Lin popping out of a fortune cookie. A freakin' fortune cookie!

- Columnist, Jason Whitlock, also tweeted a racist remark about Lin, but later gave a weak apology and blamed his sense of humor for the racial blast. Well, he's racist against his own race some times, so maybe I shouldn't even include him in this discussion.

Look. I understand that everything that's offensive wasn't intended to be racist. The person who thought "Chink in the Armor" was a catchy title probably has no idea that it was offensive because:

A) a lot of younger people don't embrace and study history
B) he probably wasn't taught that it was offensive

I know a guy who is the absolutely nicest guy in the world and he once referred to an Asian woman as "Oriental." After I corrected him, he felt pretty badly. The thing is: he was a 30 year old man who just didn't know. I've even seen people in their 20's use the term "colored" in referencing black people. Probably because they don't know any blacks or cared to learn about any.

I grew up in what was basically an all "black and white" town. I would have loved the opportunity to have friends of other races while growing up. Eventually, my town became more diverse in my early 20's. That gave me an opportunity to ask/learn more. Prior to that, I still took time to try and learn about different cultures as a youth from reading Encyclopedias, watching documentaries, the internet, etc.

The point I'm trying to make is this: racist remarks don't have to be intentional. You can be ignorant of something, make a statement, get badly beaten and wake up in a roadside ditch. Don't wake up in a roadside ditch (some of you will get that reference and laugh uncontrollably). If you're dealing with someone of another background, then maybe it would behoove you to try and learn a little something before opening your mouth.

I like Jeremy Lin. ESPN talks about him too much, but they don't understand restraint, so that's a given for them. Despite that, I think he is good for the NBA and he could be good for diversity (if people took the time to actually learn more about him). He defies all of the NBA stereotypes: he's not black, he's an Ivy-league grad and he hasn't dated a Kardashian (although I heard Kim arranged to meet Jeremy).

Don't do it, Jeremy!!!!!
Bottom line: If you are going to have a job dealing with the public, then it's your responsibility to learn about the public. Not knowing that a phrase offends a race, gender or sexual preference is rarely a good excuse. If you can't take it upon yourself to learn about the people in this country, then do everyone a favor: never leave your home or have children.




How can we improve diversity in America?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Plus-Size Bikinis: Fair or Foul?

Could the trend of plus-sized bikinis catch on in the states? When we see shows on the Travel Channel in tourist cities with beaches, you typically see shots of fit women strutting around in their two-piece outfits. Even if you do see someone who may be a bit plump, they're normally in a one-piece outfit and / or covered in a t-shirt.

Does it matter if someone not named Bry Jensen wears a bikini? Should women who are "thick in the waist and cute in the face" get an opportunity to dump the granny swimwear and dress sexy?

Plus-size bikinis: fair or foul? What's your take?

"Sexy" comes in all shapes and sizes, doesn't it?


Also, be sure to check me out over at Mooner Johnson's site! I did a guest post over there!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cage Fighting In; Boxing Out


Cage fighting simply represents our current culture: fast action. Boxing, once dubbed as the sweet science, is all about strategy. There's a patience involved in the sport of boxing as you study, approach and then slowly pick apart your opponent. Cage fighting has a bit of strategy involved, but the action is more fast-paced and a majority of the fights end in someone being knocked out or tapping out. It's a microwave version of boxing. You don't have to wait on two guys dancing around waiting on an open shot, now you just have two guys throwing punches until one of them connects. The result: cage fighting in; boxing out.

Before I get too far into this, let me state that I do enjoy cage fighting. Boxing will always be my first love (although it will die with my generation), but cage fighting is much more accessible and it is entertaining.

The point I'm trying to make is how society dictates our entertainment. Cage fighting has been around for decades, but now has a following that surpasses boxing because of a young generation of fans who crave action. Since we're on the subject of sports, let's discuss how the scoring has gone up in the NFL and MLB. Why? Because rule changes were made within the last decade and a half to allow for more scoring. Scoring gets the attention of our attention-deficit society.

Movies have more fight scenes and explosions than ever now. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol ran commercials 20 times a day. I've seen so many commercials for M:I that I feel as if I've seen the movie already. In these commercials, they were showing basically every explosion and fight scene in the movie. Explosion and fight scenes gets the attention of our attention-deficit society.

I even had a recent discussion with someone about today's cartoons. There is no more classical music playing in the background and non-speaking roles a la "Tom & Jerry" or "Pink Panther." Today, every cartoon features noisy characters and bright colors. Have you watched SpongeBob? Every character yells and the colors on the show could probably trigger a seizure. Noisy characters and bright colors gets the attention of our attention-deficit kids.


So, the sports, movie and cartoon world is just a microcosm of our society. We want constant stimulation to keep our attention. That's why we can't walk any where without ear buds in our ears and why we keep our faces buried in our smart phones.

Patience? What's that? Why should I wait to be entertained? I want it now.





Thoughts and prayers go out to all teachers who try daily to figure out how to keep the attention of today's children. You have a thankless job and you are severely underpaid.




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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Deal Breakers!

I figured I'd do something special for all of the Valentine's Day sweethearts out there. Well, not really...

We all have certain things that we just can't accept when it comes to relationships. Some of us have a mental checklist that a person must pass if they're to be eligible for dates. Here were some deal breakers for me back when I was single:

Grammar

If you talk like either of the ladies from the reality show "Tiny and Toya," then there's no way I would have considered bringing you home to Mom. I've heard cavemen in the movies with better grammar.

"Better don't miss our show!"

Hygiene

If you breath kicked like Jason Statham, then keep on steppin'. A woman's hygiene should be on-point at all times. 'Nuff said.


Shopping habits

If you had to have the latest name-brand gear, then I couldn't do anything for you. I didn't mind someone who shops, but I couldn't hitch my wagon to someone who splurges.


Those were a few of my deal breakers that I subscribed to prior to me marrying The Mrs. Everyone should have standards. I don't mean something stupid or childish like, "he has to be over 6'2" or she can't weigh more than 115 lbs." Those are for people who don't understand what relationships are all about. I'm talking about legitimate criteria that makes someone suitable for dating.


What are your deal breakers?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What Should The Punishment Be?



For those without Flash, you can open a new window and see the video here.


"Wanna get away?" Bad things happen to guys who try to run over their girlfriends. What gets into these guys? How can you get so caught up, so emotional, so outraged, that you're willing to take out innocent people and a store to run down a woman? Then to top it off, you steal another person's vehicle and wreck it in a head-on collision?

What should the punishment be for this idiot?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

@TheTsaritsa is A Winner!

"The dog was getting in my face, so I ate him. What? Let me digest..."
I had my first book giveaway about a month ago. I had an extra copy of "Full Rising Mooner," courtesy of the man, Don Legacy himself, and I decided that I wanted to share it with one of my followers. Of course, you know with me, I don't believe in something-for-nothing. So, I decided to have a caption contest to make my followers earn the book. I displayed the photo to the right and said that whoever comes up with the funniest caption would win the book. I decided to make The Mrs. the judge just to try and make things as unbiased as possible.

When it was all said and done, The Mrs. chose The Tsaritsa's (Alexandra's) comment. Maybe it wasn't as unbiased as I thought since The Mrs. is a cat lover like The Tsaritsa and can't resist a jab at a dog. Anyhoo, I enjoyed all of the comments and appreciate those who participated. Alexandra, DM your address to me and I'll get the book out to her in a week or so. You can read it and be appalled and entertained at the same time like the rest of us who've cracked it open. LOL!

And thanks to Mr. Mooner Johnson himself for taking time to donate the book and autograph it for our winner! I'll have to send you an autographed photo of a topless Ann Coulter to show my appreciation of your good deed. There's nothing like a topless praying mantis to brighten your day, huh, Mooner?

Congrats to Alexandra of TheTsaritsaSez.com

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Our Economy is So Bad... (How bad is it?)

Our economy is so bad that this man held himself hostage for a ransom. Wait.  What?  You read that correctly. A man wanted money so badly that he staged his own kidnapping and demanded $1000 from his family.

Dorian Ford, a 19 year old from the Chicago area, wasn't very smart about trying to find a way to boost his income. His family received a call saying that he was kidnapped and would only be returned if $1000 was delivered. The cops eventually found the "victim" who claimed that he'd been hit over the head and taken hostage. Investigators quickly found out that Ford himself was the kidnapper who called his family and demanded the ransom.

He said that he simply "wanted to know if his mother cared for him" or not. Yeah, right! Ford was charged with a Class 4 felony of filing a false crime report.

"How much would you have asked for if it were you making the call?"

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Maxim-izing Dollars

Evelyn Lozada has gone from ashy to classy, back to ashy and now back to classy! Let me explain for those unfamiliar with this Basketball "Wife." Evelyn is the former long-term girlfriend (I think of double-digit years) of ex-Boston Celtic, Antoine Walker. Antoine was an all-star player who played his way to over $100 million dollars in the NBA only to lose it all because of a gambling problem. It was a very sad story as he gambled his worth down to $4 million dollars with over $12 million in debt when he filed for bankruptcy.

This eventually led to Antoine and Evelyn dissolving their relationship. Rumors say that Antoine gave her $560k to hide from financial investigators for safe keeping, but Evelyn used it to open her business down in the Miami area. She told investigators that she sold her engagement ring to get the money for her business. For her sake, she'd better be telling the truth about the lump sum because those investigators will find out if she lied.

Despite the new business, Evelyn had gone from a basketball "wife" of a $100 million dollar man to a basketball "wife" of a man in debt facing potential jail time for fraudulent checks. Some people say that she left Antoine because he was broke, but others say that his gambling problems and legal troubles drove her away. Whether she was a gold digger or not, Evelyn was no longer living the high life.

Along comes the "Basketball Wives" reality show. The show featured a bunch of women (ironically, most of them are not married) who sit around night clubs, drinking expensive alcohol and arguing with one another. Of course, in the 21st century, that's the formula for a hit show. The result: Evelyn has worked her way up to millionaire status while Antoine is playing minor league basketball making just a little more than me. She used her relationship with him to parlay it into being a reality star. Like it or not, it's legal and a lot of people are using their brush with fame to make it big today. You don't have to be famous to get famous. Just know someone.


Evelyn became one of the more popular women on the show. She's trended on Twitter numerous times and has flipped her role on the show into multiple appearances on-screen and online. She has raised her status even higher with a recent appearance in Maxim magazine. For those unfamiliar with Maxim, it is one of the premier, non-nude, men's magazine. Arguably, the most popular men's magazine in the last 15 years. Evelyn has also moved on in her dating life and has gotten engaged to NFL all-star, Chad Ochocinco, who just played in the Super Bowl a couple of weeks ago. They're set to get married this summer which will be a nice season premier for a new reality show. Don't be surprised if this union of reality show personalities gives birth to a potential Chad and Evelyn reality show centered around their upcoming wedding. Cha-ching! Chad is no stranger to reality shows after his short VH1 dating show stint "Ochocinco: The Ultimate Catch." On that show, he selected a young lady by the name of Rubi Pazmino (who, by the way, is smoking hot) and they dated for a while shortly before Ochocinco finding love with Evelyn.

Look, you all that have read my blog long enough know that I despise reality shows. I think that they take people without talent, who will work for cheap, and turn them into glorified YouTube stars. But, I can't get mad at Evelyn. She's living the new American dream: take your 15 minutes of fame and flip it into an hour of fame. It's all about Maxim-izing dollars.



Side note: The winner of the Book Giveaway for "Full Rising Mooner" was selected by The Mrs. and will be announced soon!


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Saturday, February 4, 2012

300: Gettin' Funky

This pic has jack to do with my post, but it's pretty cool for #300
I didn't know what to do for post #300, so I decided to do something that I haven't done in a while and tell a story from back in my college days. My only regret from college is that I didn't film half of the things that happened on that campus in the middle of nowhere at Mississippi Valley State University. Unfortunately, they didn't have cell phone cameras back then and I didn't start toting around a camcorder until my senior year. If I only had visual proof of the things I saw on that campus. (Sigh) I'd probably be a rich man by now because Tosh.0 and America's Funniest Home Videos would be blowing my phone up.

In my junior year, in 1992, my roommate, Tim, and I were lucky enough to stay in a dorm named College Hall II. This was once a girls' dormitory, but due to renovations being made to the dorm we stayed in the previous semester, it was temporarily converted into a boys' dorm. Now, that doesn't sound like a big deal except for the fact that it was located only 50 feet from the freshman girls' dorm and the honors girls' dorm. Ummmmm, cake mix.

Anyhoo, one night, Tim and I are sitting on the front patio of our dorm just watching the ladies walk by from night class. At the time, I was dating someone from the honors dorm, so I wasn't in flirt mode this particular evening. Tim also had a squeeze in that dorm, but he was rarely deterred by much. It was around dusk, so the sun was behind the honors dorm and the campus lights were starting to come on. Tim and I glanced across the campus at the library and noticed five animals running around near the entrance. "Whoa! Those are some funny-looking cats," I said.

"Are you sure those aren't squirrels?," Tim asked.

"Nah, squirrels don't get that big," I replied.

We watched the animals frolic (that's a word I've never used before) until they disappeared at the base of the library. It appeared that some ladies coming out of the library spooked them into hiding. Tim and I thought nothing of it. It was a hot September night and the only thing on our mind was keeping cool and female-watching.

The next night, Tim and I are returning from a late night run to Burger King. It's around midnight and it's a Thursday night which is normally club night in the area. Multiple nightclubs have drink specials for ladies on Thursday night, so a lot of people take advantage of it. As we pull into my parking space next to my dorm, Tim and I get out and see a young lady walking back to the honors dorm. I wish I could remember her name, but for the life of me, I cannot. But, we'll call her "Flower." Flower was visibly drunk. She couldn't walk in a straight line and she stumbled from time-to-time. Tim and I leaned against the car and decided to partake in the show to see if Flower could make it to the dorm. She was doing well until she got distracted.

One of the furry animals Tim and I saw the night before was running in the area. At this point, Tim and I really started focusing on the animal because we realized that it wasn't as graceful as a cat. The library was about 75 yards from our dorm when we saw it the previous night, but we were roughly 25 yards from the creature this time. Our focus on the animal was broken when Flower stooped down to her knees and proceeded to call the animal... "Here, kitty, kitty, kitty!"

At that time, a group of girls came out of the honors dorm spooking the animal in the direction of Flower. The animal was running directly towards her and as it passed under the street light, Tim and I were finally able to identify it. That's when Tim shouted out in his country, Booneville accent, "Flower! Run, gull, run!"

Before I could join in the evacuation attempt, the animal turned around, stood upon it's front legs and lifted it's tail. Yep. It was a skunk. Unfortunately for Flower, it was too late to get off of her knees and run for cover. We weren't sure she was sprayed until we heard a loud scream and then an "Oh, God!"

Bambi fans now know the significance of the name I gave our poor victim.

Flower rolled around on the ground like a scalded dog. Tim and I ran to her aid until we got within about 20 feet of her and decided against it. It was the most awful thing we had ever smelled. She smelled like she needed an autopsy. Flower laid on the ground and sobbed like a child in between screams of "help me!" It was pretty disturbing, yet no one was willing to get within range of that stench. Someone got a water hose and sprayed her, but I really don't think that it was effective. Soon, Flower's scream had everyone outside of the surrounding dorms trying to sneak a peek at the commotion.

Tim and I eventually went upstairs to try and see if we could still put down our BK burgers. We heard that Flower's parents arrived that night from Shaw (a small town about 30 miles away) and took her home. She never returned that semester and from what I understand, the next either. I'm not sure what the remedy is for "skunk skeet," but I would have made her ride in the trunk if I were her parents.

Thursday nights are for clubbing and "gettin' funky" is normally something reserved for the dance floor.



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Friday, February 3, 2012

Black History is American History

Every February, we celebrate Black History Month. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we've heard all of the jokes about blacks being given the shortest and coldest month. Hardy, har, har. Well, as a black man, I think that the fact we still have to designate a month to celebrate black history only shows that this country is still going the wrong direction when it comes to race relations.

Why do we need to set aside a certain time of the year to remember the contributions of black people to this country? I turn on my television and I start to see all of these Black History Moment commercials describing something a black person did that benefited people of all races. From the lawn mower to the air conditioning unit, black inventors have contributed greatly during the history of this country. But, I have to wait once a year to hear about it? Pathetic. This country is considered as The Great American Melting Pot, but what are we cooking?

I acknowledge Black History Month, but I don't celebrate Black History Month. Why? Because Black History is American History. They are one in the same. I should be able to open an American history book and see all of these contributions. And before every black reader thinks to themselves, "Amen to that," remember that it goes both ways. Why do we not hear about the white people who contributed to the promotion and equality of black people? We, as black people, have come a long way over the last 100 years, but don't act like we did it alone. We had help.

Charles Follis is credited to be the 1st black pro football player.
So, this is what I suggest that we do going forward: let's get past being "the first" black to do something. To celebrate someone was the "first black" to do something indicates that we're still not where we need to be. It means that we lack representation in something. When Obama won the presidency in 2008, most people said, "thank, God."

I said, "About time."

Black people need to push for our history to be a part of American history and do away with a designated month and video clips of MLK that we've all seen 1,000 times. When are we going to ask for what we deserve instead of just taking what we're given?




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