Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Seriously, No Seriously, What happened to her Butt?

The name Jennifer Lopez was synonymous with great dance moves and a big ol' booty.I remember critiques calling her fat and when she slimmed a little...the booty remained. I remember thinking I want a butt like that and as the Brazilian butt lift became popular, I remember others wanting that too. As Beyonce grew to be a prominent figure, she too faced the same scrutiny as mainstream standards of perfection doesn't include curves...and namely, a big ol' booty. But Beyonce and her rib-cracking, knee-smashing father and former manager convinced critiques that being "bootylicious" was not only fine but fantastic! People no longer referred to Beyonce as fat, but in ways praised her backside. It made me feel for J.Lo she was really the backside pioneer in mainstream media and now the likes of Kim Kardashian can make a big booty a bonafide career.

There was nothing Jennifer Lopez could do, P90x or Yoga that butt wasn't going anywhere. Or was it? As I have been inspecting my aging booty lately I realized that there hasn't been much speak of J.Lo's butt lately. Why? Because it freaking vanished! Where did it go? Did she finally surrender to the power of the glossy Vogue pages. Or was she told by one too many that her booty was what chained her to "urban" when she longed for mainstream...and mainstream she has become.

 As I gear up for a full month of squats, I truly believe that loosing a butt is a tragedy. My husband convinced me of that. I guess Marc Anthony did the opposite.
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Obama Releases His Birth Certificate

Like the slamming the winning card to collect the last book in a game of Spades, Obama whips out his Birth Certificate and slams it...BAM!

We've got better stuff to do. I've got better stuff to do.---Barack Obama


I'm proud of him and moderately annoyed. He shouldn't HAVE to show his certificate. It was all a ploy to create and highlight his "otherness". I kinda wish he didn't succumb to that.
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Monday, April 25, 2011

Gas or Shoes?

I think I haven't walked into a Foot Locker or Champs in about 2 years. I probably was shopping for my husband. I don't wear sneakers unless I am working out, going to an amusement park or hiking. 2 of 3 I don't do very often. I'll let you guess. So it was out of pure curiosity that I walked into a Foot Locker this weekend. What type of shoes are the kiddies rocking now? But most importantly, how much do those suckers cost.

Growing up when we finally convinced our parents to stop buying us sneakers from Wal-mart and K-mart (shout out to Spaldings and Dunlaps!!)... we only received one new pair of sneakers a year. Either Christmas or during back to school shopping and we HAD to make it count. We spent months flipping through Eastland magazines and visiting shoes stores looking for the coolest shoe in the price range my parents would buy. I think the most expensive shoe ever bought in our house was a pair of Shawn Kemps for my brother at $79.99. He and I wore the same size at that time so I wore them occasionally myself. Trust.

I know that there are $100 pairs of shoes, the red and black patent leather Jordans were $100. But I think that is completely ridiculous. But with the wave of wearing classics (which is the last time I paid attention to sneakers) I figured that the demand for $100 sneakers would sharply decline.

I asked for the price of the shoes in the poster held by Amare Stoutmire of the NY Knicks. $160. Gas prices are rising and apparently so is the price of sneakers. The ads are targeted to the population in which $160 is a considerable proportion of their take-home income. So many are choosing between gas or shoes? It's costly to be cool these days.

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Beats, Rhymes, and Intentions

There has been much ado about the documentary about the hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest entitled 'Beats, Rhymes and Life". The group has not been in support of the film since wrap up and I had always wondered why. I take that back, I assumed that they didn't enjoy the way they were portrayed. This is partially true.

What I gather is that there was a serious misunderstanding about how involved the group was going to be in producing the film and the infamous email in which a producer idiotically hit "reply all"
First off let's close the Billing Block and put it on the poster so they can't get on that. Then we'll fuck them on everything else
The background on this is that Tribe expected to work closely with Rapaport, to make notes on the editing (i.e. say what they don't like and the director actually take it out) and get producer credits. That apparently was lost (or reneged) on Rapaport. But strikes me is the back and forth between the group and Michael Rapaport, thee distance of Phife and the tone this whole thing has taken. But most importantly,  Q-tip in their interview on MTV News stated how Hip-Hop is "our thing" and "how we shouldn't let outsiders in" and "that we should tell our own story". It is is bit unfair to allude that Michael Rapaport is an outsider because he is white, Hip-Hop is entirely to mainstream to be exclusive. What I have taken away from this is the two parties had different intentions in making this movie. Rapaport is Hollywood, his job is to make something interesting and juicy. I don't think Tribe had a clue. Secondly, yes we should tell our own stories or at least find out what's involved. Again, I don't think Tribe had a clue.


But in his interviews(Complex.com and Rolling Stone.com) Rapaport sounds shady as hell. "I just don’t want them to play themselves out by trying to make me look bad." says Rapaport. Play themselves? Shady.
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Friday, April 22, 2011

The boredom continues...

I am a recovering news junkie. The Gadhaffi coverage/complete dismal of the war in Ivory Coast over the past month has almost made me give up televised news cold. Now the news media has become obsessed with Donald Trumps ranting about Barack Obama's birth certificate. Again.

Now on one hand I think he and his sideshow is hilarious. There is only a special group of individuals buying tickets to see that and be entertained by his foolishness. But to devote actual news time to this is irritating.
I am over this birther talk, that was so 2000 and late. He was born in Hawaii. If you doubt that he was born in Hawaii and believe he was born in Kenya, where is Obama's mother's passport? I mean, had the poor woman even been to Kenya? Which 18 year old is going to Kenya without their parents knowing about it? Do you know who straight up was not born in the U.S.? John McCain. He was born in Panama. He was born on a military base in the Panama Canal so I guess it's "American soil" but seriously who is more foreign? Last I checked, Hawaii was a state with actual representation in the legislature. It's so psychotic it's not even interesting anymore.
News media, in my opinion is supposed to uncover the truth or at the very least, make it it's aim. The goal should be to inform. Politics depends on the ignorance of the masses. Where is the balance?
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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Old and Tired.

Sometimes, I think the world isn't going to change. Nothing is going to make a difference. Is this a result of my getting older or am I just tired? I am frustrated by the enormous amount of stubborn ignorance. I understand not knowing... it's something simply refuse or ignore "knowledge."

I kinda want to build a proverbial bubble to live in with a password that grants access to only super special people. Forget the activist, scholar aspirations. Forget discussions with the intention to dispel myths and stereotypes. People like stereotypes! They crave it... like smoking meth. Clearly dangerous but for some damn reason people keep using it.

 I met a woman yesterday who says she keeps her hair in kinky twists because with it short and natural she looks like a slave. I mean WTF...I'm so overwhelmed. All of this  "For us, by us", be proud, community empowerment stuff really doesn't matter, huh? Self-hatred is too deep rooted. Any hoo, I came across this article on The Hill blog by Armstrong Williams and he states...
Restrictions on immigration are not necessarily racist. There is a good argument to make that America restrict immigration to maintain the country’s culture and to facilitate assimilation. My personal belief is that we should have one American melting pot. I think the multiculturalism now in vogue in certain circles results in a Balkanized America.
Looking like one of my uncle's that just arrived here 10 years ago.
I almost peed on myself and passed out at my desk...simultaneously. But for the grace of God... so tired can't even piece an argument together.
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Monday, April 11, 2011

Burqa Ban Takes Effect in France

Seeing that France is really serious about restricting religious freedom in their country, this is one of those times, when I appreciate the U.S. Now, I do believe that we are just one unmonitored congressional session away from banning it ourselves but we have not yet. There is something to be said about that. The Atlantic states...
Failure to comply with the law could mean a 150 euro fine (30,000 euro fine for those forcing a women to wear the clothing), enrollment in citizenship classes and, possibly, a criminal record.

Kinda not cool.President Nicolas Sarkozy says that the burqa is a "sign of debasement" that undermines the ideals of equality in a secular society. Ok. I hear you, it is a religious symbol of subservience of women in a secular society. I get it. But do you know what is a secular symbol of subservience? Tight mini-skirts and whatever it is that Amber Rose has on a Friday night. The fact that there is a sense of obligation involved with wearing it...be it for movie roles, modeling deals, to simply keeping your man interested attests to the subservience of women in the secular world. Banning burqa's in France is no different than banning mini-skirts in places governed by Sharia Law. There I said it.

Some women actually want to wear it as a sign of modesty. A Hijab, just covering the head and around the chin, is still legal. It is unfortunate that some are forced to wear it and that by western secular standards it is a prison for wear,  but to restrict someone's choice in response is hypocritical.
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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Why Ivory Coast Matters

I have sat down to watch my evening news and for the last 2 hours on CNN I have seen only half a segment on the political unrest in Ivory Coast. I as grow weary of the constant bombardment of information on Libya, from the important to the mundane, I can't help but grow increasingly outraged in regards to the Western world's response to Ivory Coast and Libya. I take that back. Just the USA. Europe will at least cover the Ivory Coast. In the various conversations I've had over the past few days just recite that the Ivory Coast doesn't matter. Am I supposed to be O.K. with that? I am not. I posted this status update on Facebook, you know the internet vehicle of modern day revolutions:

‎"It's a strategic move to focus humanitarian efforts in Libya and not in the Ivory Coast. Oil is worth more than Cocoa and Coffee." But is it really? I know many a person who would loose it if the price of a mocha latte, or bottle of cocoa butter or snickers bar jumped as much as gas did recently. Call it what it is, hypocrisy, and western society valuing one group's "humanity" over another.
This is only confirmed by the lack of coverage in the media. The news only covers real news and tragedies. You know, earthquakes People in the Middle East fighting. Obviously Africans killing themselves on the continent or the Diaspora is news to no one.

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Friday, April 01, 2011

Snooki Worth More than Nobel Prize Winner

At least to Rutgers, the State Unversity of New Jersey a university that I used to have respect for. My favorite author (by default, long story) Toni Morrison is scheduled to be the university's commencement speaker in may . But Snooki reportedly spoke this Thursday at the university about her usual shenanigans and was paid $2000 more than the university is paying Toni Morrison to speak at commencement. I have two very important questions:

Who should be more ashamed/embarrassed? Toni Morrison or the University? If I were Snooki I would be embarrassed, not if I made as much as Toni Morrison but certainly in this circumstance in which I earned more. I believe in modesty. I'd also be fully aware that I am the center/cause of a despicable situation. Like getting caught in a public place with your pants down. Embarrassed indeed.

Secondly, are we serious? I laughed when she Snooki that is, became a New York Times Bestselling author, about what I am not sure. But it was a sarcastic laugh, not a congratulatory one! We are slowly legitimizing foolishness. It has in fact been legitimized. We as a society no longer value the art of acting, or producing. We no longer value education. The time someone has taken to develop and fine tune a craft. Any craft...the time to study any discipline. It is certainly a sign of the times when a place of scholarship doesn't value a fellow scholar. And with my 20's dumped in the swirling toilet of education, the joke is on me.  Nene once made a comment about fellow Real Housewives cast mate Phaedra, that with all Phaedra's education and lawyerly accomplishments...they were in the same place, on the same show. So it doesn't matter. Joke's on me. April fool's day indeed. 
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Fool for forgetting

I have made it half way through the day before realizing it is in fact April Fool's day. I am well aware that it is April 1. I made an early morning call to wish my friend good luck on her dissertation defense...I remembered it was scheduled for April 1. I remembered that this1st day of the month began my 30 days of self-sacrificing. I have a very full month ahead. I did not remember it was April Fool's Day. I believe this is a testament of how my life has become incredibly, unimaginatively mundane.

I have not participated in the practical jokes since grade school but I never wanted to be caught unawares. I would delight in the fact that I could not "get got" as we would say. Sure, my life is now filled with things that render April Fools day meaningless. But it is the small things that keep us grounded. There have been many changes that I feel my life is flying away.

Changes and Mundane don't seem to fit in the same sentence, but trust me it's accurate. Everything that was fun and exciting about my life, down to April fool's day has slipped out of the back door. My dog Bradley used to want play into the wee hours of the morning. Now he sends himself to bed around 9pm. It's contagious. I find myself craving sleep and food. I think about food, I think about whether I will sleep better on the couch or the bed. Sometimes the couch wins. Seriously.

I planned to walk to work today, but obviously I was just kidding. I had to have hit the snooze button 10 times this morning. What is going on with me? Where do they sell excitement and motivation? Isle 12 at CVS? I wonder if I am a bigger fool for letting things slip away, for not doing something, For not participating in the day, April fools day or not I should not be caught unawares on any day. I'm going to add that to my list of things to do over the next 30 days...hitting up as many CVS stores looking for isle 12.
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