Friday, July 25, 2008

Having fun, am travelling, no time to talk

I am having a blast at Unity. Even though Spanky is trying to suck all of the fun out of the event, its still hot. I have met a ton of journalists... still no closer to choosing a career but I have had fun. I will have a ton of material hopefully to drop when I get back so don't fret!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Not that anybody cares

I'll be gone next week and will either blog once about the whole UNITY (all the minority journalism people under one roof) Conference at once when I get back, time release some dry old thoughts to keep you going, maybe blog while I am there, a little bit of all three, or nothing at all.

By the way. That new Batman is hot, I want so bad to say Heath Ledger didn't kill it to be a non-conformist but he did. He was excellent. For that matter the whole movie was excellent. There wasn't a wasted minute, a wasted scene, a twist that didn't have an explanation..... It was an all around good movie. I would like to thank the writers, because for whatever reason writers f*ck up a lot of sh*t when it comes to movies and just do stupid a$$ stuff, but they didn't here.

Worth the hype, worth the time, worth the crowded theater. Back to the performances. I am a firm believer that any decent actor can pull off a good job if the script is good. Take Butterfly Effect. Ashton Kutcher looked like a real actor. On the other side of the spectrum Denzel Washington, who is a great actor has been cast in terribly written movies which has made him look less credible as an actor i.e Training Day, Inside Man, and from what I hear American Gangster. So Heath Ledger had an amazing performance, but lets give the screenwriters their due.

Also, if you read this and you know me give me suggestions of what to blog about. I'm running dry and trying to save ideas for my column as well. Thanks

Friday, July 18, 2008

A recommendation of sorts

I tend not to say much in public, not because I am shy or disinterested--I just want to listen and see what people have to say. This results in me hearing a lot of things I probably shouldn't hear, some good some bad, some indifferent. Well if anything makes me mad is when I hear people say things that are just stupid... especially when all it would take is a little fact checking, say a quick google search. This can apply to many things, but for this post lets go with slang.

I heard something EXTREMELY stupid, but because I have readers wh0 may not approve vulgar nature of the content, I will just say it was dumb and gross. Anyways, I know what it is because of the company I keep, but this person obviously does not. More than likely heard their cooler older brother or their favorite rapper say the statement in question and thought it was OK to repeat. Well they were completely wrong and looked like an idiot, but only to me because apparently I was the only person who knew what it really meant.

Moral to the story: before you go quoting the latest slang, ebonics, lingo, whatever, do some fact checking. And for things like that go to That way you can see what something really means, and what the stupid idiots think something means.

An cleaner example I can give is sizzurp. Sizzurp is popular in the south, I guess coming out of Houston. It is like a downer pretty much and its soda, jolly rancher, and script strength cough syrup. I have heard people refer to everything under the sun as sizzurp.... and the funny thing is Three 6 Mafia made a song about it several years ago, which told y'all what it was!

So all I am saying is with slang and being street, hood, ghetto, real, whatever it is--make sure you're up on the terminology, or at least that everybody around is as ignorant as you. So before you say you've been "supermanning that ho" or "sippin on sizzurp" make sure you know what you're doing. And don't be afraid to say you don't know what something means. 'Cause if you're quick on your feet you can create the newest slang!


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Where has the orignality gone?

This is gonna be a difficult post cause two of my favorite rappers are guilty of this, or I guess followers of this terrible evil plague of rap..... Rapping over another dudes beat. (I want to say the n-word as they would say in the streets, but after what happened to Jesse Jackson, I doubt any negro with sense will have the n-word be heard out of their mouth).

Anyways, I saw the 30th free over the little creature feature's track Let the Beat Build today and I thought to myself: "this is what is wrong with hip hop." The new school, including two of my favorites, Joe Budden and Fabolous, make their names off of getting on somebody else's track, and in their case doing it better. But very few make a name for themselves on their own original work, so what happens? Rappers flock to get on a beat and outshine the next emcee and you have the A Millie Wars, the Show Me What You Got Struggles, and the Grindin' games. Its sad.

Spanky, my hurt little cousin said that is what is good about hip hop. Granted, it was in a different and nonsensical context. But whatever, its Spanky aka Marty Mcfly (if he has pissed you off or you want to get at the bum cause for some strange reason you think he is smart thats how to find him. I think he's going to start blogging soon btw). Anyways, I think its terrible what hip hop has become because it's replacing sports as the new crack (the method by which urban youth seek to "make it"). Everybody thinks they can get rich off of it, the people who are good at it make it clear that they put no effort into it, and if you don't succeed, to be quite frank, your f*cked. So you have a bunch of little wanna be "God MC's" running around trying to be the best rapper alive while making it rain, either dropping tracks in minutes without working on them, and wasting their other assumed talents on rap. Sad I know.

But more importantly the art is dying because all of the skilled aspects of rapping have given way to the subjective aspects of the craft. So wordplay, structure, bar quality, blah blah blah, have given way to flow, beats and whatever the hell else that ru(i)ns hip hop. Again I am not a hater. I listen to the Lil' Creature of the Su woo gang, the Jeezy's, and all the new school rappers and I like them a lot, they have brought a lot to the game. I guess I'll say hip hop needs a few organ transplants.

What if your lungs forgot to breathe or your brain let your thought processes be redundant. It's getting bad y'all.

What's wrong with society

There are two things I see that are a big problem with society. One is that value for things is completely f-ed up. Two is that everybody wants something for nothing.

So I'll start with value. You know how they tell you to eat your fruits and vegetables? Well, the recommended fresh fruit serving for a day would break the bank for the average person. Same goes for vegetables, except you can buy a ton of frozen vegetables full of preservatives and sodium. Yummy! But a grease burger and fries is cheap....

How about music. I love hip-hop, but I hate it at the same time. Why? Because the best rapper alive is the best rapper because he sold a million copies in his first week. I happen to be a fan of said rapper and 5-6 years ago when I was in high school, this rapper was much better lyrically than he is now, but now that he is selling and a hot artist he is the best alive, even though the guy who started that whole title is still alive. I just confused myself.

Lets even take sports. I love the sports. But if I were to go to a professional game of three of the 4 major sports (hockey, football, basketball for the slow ones) it would cost about a quarter of my rent. And in baseball there’s 10 million games so you can go on the cheap, but I haven't been in forever so that may have even changed. And no only is it expensive as hell to go to games, its getting more expensive to watch. You have to have cable to watch any pro-sport other than on the weekends.... and even the cable package is limited for the pay per subscription service each season. How that bleep is a game supposed to be our national past-time if nobody can watch it?

There's so many things with messed up value it isn't funny.... well actually it is because it shows how and why our society is so backwards. But moving on….

Now to people wanting something for nothing. I have been raised to earn whatever it is I want so whatever it is I have worked for. I would like for things to come easier, but I know that the best way to ensure the outcome I desire is to work for it. But I see too many people waiting on something or someone to pick them up. And then there's those that plot to get rich easy and quick. And still others go through the motions of hard work solely for self gain. In any form however, its just bad. I have moments where I want things to be better personally, financially, socially, spiritually, academically, and every other -ally in life. But I know nothing worth having comes easy.

So if things have skewed values and people don't work hard what do we have going for us? ....I guess the children are our future.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A note to extroverts

I wrote a post a while ago about why introverts need to work on more extroverted characteristics so I think it’s only fair I flip the script. I am constantly surrounded by extroverts and let me tell you they piss me off. Not because of how they are, necessarily, but because the less mature ones do not know when to take a step back and be introverted.

What does that mean? Quiet down. Let other people speak and get out what they have to say. Don't always be the star of the show. And so on and so on.

Let’s use some analogies here to make a point. Look at Superman. As Clark Kent he is an unassuming, quiet, and average man (well as average as you can be at 6'3 and weighing 235 lbs., roughly the size of Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez). He runs around during the day doing modest work as a journalism and when the time comes he is the most powerful thing ever created. If you don't like Superman then for sure you can rock to Spiderman. Pete Parker is a little nerd with problems that dawns a suit and works to keep the world on the right track.

I could continue down the line of superheroes that have secret identities they use to do good, but I wont. You get the point. The thing is people naturally cling to the outspoken blowhards instead of looking at the evidence that’s right in front of them. 'Cause in the case of the super heroes I mentioned and many other of the fictitious saviors of mankind, it doesn't take too much detective work to figure out who they are. Like Superman has a magic curl that hides his identity. WOW. Peter Parker is always on the scene when Spidey comes out and gets great photo's nobody can get, but it's still a mystery. Hmmm....

I guess in my journey to adopting both personalities I have been a little bit too much of both and am trying to find that superhero balance LOL. But seriously, a little humility and less domination never hurt anyone. Every n0w and then on the Jim Rome Radio show he talks about a washed up star playing the "do you know who I am card" as if they are bigger than the situation. I personally only know a couple of people that carry on with the "do you know who I am" demeanor--but many people act as if the world is going to cease to exist when they do. I am saying this from observation and personal experience with being the center of the universe LOL.

In closing, everybody likes Jesus and he was the most humble person ever, according to the Bible that is. He had the power of God and still was a cool guy. Think about that for a minute.... and then put that into perspective in your life.

When will it stop Pt. 2

OK. Before you read listen to this:

This is what should be the last freestyle over the A Millie Beat ever. I have heard way to many rappers get on this beat and try to kill it worse that it was allegedly killed in the beginning so it’s done.

But again this blog is about love and positivity so let’s talk about the real story here which is this little white boy Asher Roth, the author of this freestyle. I have no idea why I decided to click on the link to this freestyle, because I am extremely sick of the redundancy of hip hop and the entire industry from Lil' Mama, to Neyo, even R. Kelly getting on this beat. But I did. Anyways it was worth it cause the dude has a little flow and his message is on point. If you didn't listen to the track he talks about what good is having "A millie" if you ain't helpin' nobody with it. Really? What good is it. While the Wayne's walk around with a millie and the Jay's walk around with near billie what do they do?

Now those two help out a lot so it probably wasn't pointed at them, but a lot of the music industry gets, gets and gets some more, but you rarely hear of their philanthropy. Now I understand that the media portrays blacks in a certain light already and human interest stories don't get covered. But, Plies (the idiot with the name that makes no sense) has been on the scene for 12 minutes and he is already making a name for himself giving back and helping the less fortunate through giveaways, scholarships, and promotions (it sounds bad but it’s better than most).

Back to the where I was going though. It is rare I stumble across something and don't investigate. An example would be the the French, I guess electronica, band JUSTICE. I heard their song D.A.N.C.E. from that guy Sol P who doesn't update his blog and after a little bit of investigation got just about everything they have put out. Another example would be Joe Budden. A friend, who till this day denies he liked Pump it Up, told me to download the song. I thought it sounded cool and decided to hear more... 5 years later I have a second favorite rapper (to Redman).

Again I got sidetracked geez I need some meds. So research. Yeah. I looked up this Asher Roth character and didn't find too much info. Thank goodness I didn't cause I found his mixtape.... cosigned by DJ Don Cannon and DJ Drama. I think I am a little late, so in order to break this story I haven't actually even listened to it yet but I am going to throw my little inconsequential co-signature on that b cause based on what he said over A Millie, his freestyle over Cannon, and the fact that he has a mixtape called the "Greenhouse Effect" cosigned by DJ Drama and Don Cannon is enough for me. I guess we can learn at the same time. So here you go:

Its about 100MB and is a zip file, but I bet its worth it.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The newest member of the hated club

This blog is about love (check the title) and even though I am considered a hater, I really only hate a select few such as DJ Clue, R. Kelly, Derek Jeter, Sarah Silverman, (I had to remove Kenny Mayne from this list because he is from Washington), and a few others. Seriously it is hard to make this list.... I will play devil's advocate, or try to get people to properly value an individual or a subject, but that’s only for arguments sake. However right now it's time to induct a new member to the club: the great David Stern. Hell, send him to the top of the list.

David Stern used an elaborate smoke screen to suit his long term agenda of total control of the NBA, by robbing the city of Seattle of their basketball franchise; a loss which has broken many Seattle Supersonics fans like myself. Well to add insult to injury this PAB is now essentially saying the NBA will be greater than the law if it were to come down to a dispute between the two. Here’s the story:

Howard Schultz (the lame owner who sold the Sonics to the current ownership group headed by the evil Clay Bennett) is suing to regain control of the club. His case is that the Oklahoma City based ownership group did not "in good faith" attempt to keep the team in Seattle. There is no legal precedent to overturn the sale, and quite frankly its a last ditch effort to save face and maintain the tiniest sliver of respectability in the city that earned Schultz his wealth. But, David Stern and the NBA say otherwise.

"The process for approving new owners is critically important to the success and long-term stability of the NBA, as it ensures that the proposed owner will conduct the operations of the team only in conformity with the rules and regulations of the league and will possess the economic resources and managerial skills to the successful operation of a member of the NBA." That’s according to David Stern's crony NBA VP Richard W. Buchanan.

Basically the law doesn't fit in with the leagues constitution. And no matter what the law has to say about contracts and legally binding agreements the leagues constitution supersedes it, cause David Stern says so.

I understand the point that you don't want to disrupt the move of the team and your precious league, but c'mon. Get over yourself Stern.

Jay-Z at Glastonbury/Music in general

I am muy late on this.... but Jay killed Glastonbury. I wasn't there and I haven't read too many reports about it, so I won't say he stole the show. But he definitely proved that good music is good music and that's that. If Jay wasn't Jay that is.

Jay-Z is a lot of things, but nothing more than clever. When he took the stage for the show he proceeded to "cover" an Oasis hit single Wonderwall. The significance of this is comes from the comments of the lead guitarist and vocalist of Oasis, Noel Gallagher, making the comment that Jay-Z didn't belong at the traditionally rock/guitar/not hip-hop festival. On a side note, the festival has had many hip-hop acts perform within its confines, just never headlining with so big of a name. Anyways, this action of "performing" a mega-hit of his major detractor was extremely witty on its own showing Jay's knowledge and the crossover effect of music. But if you consider Jay followed up the clearly sarcastic performance with his own hit 99 Problems (but a b*tch a'int one). Priceless.

But thats not the issue. The issue is why its not ok to listen to music that is different from your culture. My roommates will tell you I listen to whatever and whenever, but I know very few people that have this musical outlook. Occasionally you'll find a song or two that transcends ethnic, racial, cultural blah blah blah divides, but its rare. It's just music.

Now I know when I was younger I felt that in order to represent, I had to listen to black music. I remember when my little brother started listening to System of a Down and I made fun of him. The funny thing is SOAD is like my top 5 musical entities I listen to overall. Up there with Joe Budden, Jeezy, Redman, Jay and Fab. But, but because I was so influenced by what was going on around me I fell victim to the laugh at what’s different syndrome. Luckily I was individual enough to take the cd and listen to it myself after I ripped my brother for having it.

But that isn't the only reason such a thing occurs. Music is set up segregated to where if you're a fan of punk, you know where to get punk and punk only. You won't accidentally hear any pop, R & B, or soul. It's just your comfort zone. Every now and then you'll find a station with absolutely minimal crossover play. Record companies push the same sounds and same package with every new act. Until this is fixed we will continue to have Glastonbury incidents.

By the way Jay-Z has allegedly reached out to Noel Gallagher and Oasis to collaborate. Thats a start.... This crossover collab is precisely what music needs.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Election Talk

Being so busy, I haven't had my time to get my election '08 stuff out. So I have to really catch up.

Jesse Jackson.... PAB (figure it out) of the week. (I am borrowing that title from Jim Daniels a former late night anchor for Fox Sports Radio. In no way am I that creative). It was nice for people on the outside to see the cowardice that come of the prominent black leaders have regarding their opinion on Barack. While I do not agree with, what Barack's recent stances and statements on race, I don't think someone of Rev. Jackson's stature should make such a statement, even in the most private of moments, as the historical significance of Hussein Obama cannot afford such distention.

I love how the terrorist fist jab has made it back into the news thanks to the New Yorker. It has gotten the whole Muslim, thing going all over again. BTW, who cares if he is a Muslim. Our nation was founded on the principle of church being separate from state. And how hypocritical is it for a country that boasts liberty and justice for all to use a natural right, religion, to potentially persecute a presidential candidate. Oh and I thought the intellectuals and elitists at the New Yorker would know better.

The other day I read something about Barack chastising Bernard McCullough, better known as Bernie Mac about his jokes. This is what I was referring to when I was talking about his recent stances on things that I feel, deal with race. Bernie Mac is a comedian. He tells outrageous and extreme jokes. Recently, at a fundraiser for Obama, Bernie Mac introduced the presumptive Democratic nominee. I wasn't there, but from what I have read Mac delivered his usual jokes about race, culture, society and social standards. Mac is one of, if not my favorite comedian (I want some milk and cookies, LOL), and I am familiar with his content. It would be safe to assume that the rest of his followers know to. So when he gets on there and says things like:

"Being a president is tough ‘cause you're not just running the county. You got to run your family too," Mac said. "Having a black first lady is different. You're still going have to do the dishes and the laundry and all that …you got to pick up the kids. You didn't pick up the kids? I just came from Korea, talking about nuclear weapons. You were on Air Force One and you couldn't stop to pick up the kids?"


"People like rumors. They are going to say things like, you know, you was in the club with Lil’ Kim and you and Kanye West got in a fist fight.”

I think to myself that's the Mac man at his best—nothing worthy of denouncement by any means. The people know that Mac does movies to dispel racial stereotypes and know that he is a supporter of the types of things Obama seeks through the president. Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Cedric the Entertainer, Steve Harvey and a whole host of other black comedians would probably have said the same thing. It is one thing to be a candidate that happens to be black, but it is another to try to completely negate the influence of race. I am sure things like this are bordering on alienating some black folk around the country.

On to McCain. I logged on to the debaucherous myspace about a week ago and saw and saw 71 year old John McCain now has a profile. Cute. I guess he thinks that will get him votes. I wonder if he knows the demographics of the people that actually use that site.... No I don't. I REALLY do wonder if he gets spam solicitation from asses...hmmm.

Also he is still pandering to Latinos to get a vote. I again don't understand how minorities vote for the Republican Party, on a national scale that is.

Sorry for the long post. It's been a while.


Goodbye Alise somebody will miss you....not sure who though

Sunday marked the end of an era....

I can no longer hang out with Alise D. Marshall. And no, it's not bad 'cause I'll miss her. Nope. Not at all.... I don't have a way to get at her beautiful soror's anymore :(. At least that's how she would tell it.

Alise and I have had a very interesting friendship that will most likely continue down the same interesting path. Although I claim her as my BFF forever, I don't know if the feeling is reciprocated....oh well. (J/K)

I have watched Alise for some time now and it never ceases to amaze me how focused and goal-oriented this young woman is. Whatever venture she takes on will have to look out for her no doubt. The world is her playground and she is the head recess lady. Not to mention, she does it all with respect and care for the people who work for her. As a field organizer I saw a devoted group of people follow her lead with unwavering faith, and it was the first time she had ever done the job. I was one of those idiots lol.

Miss Bigtime aka Oprah #2 aka Michelle Obama and so on and is moving to ATL (why I have no idea, that's a whole 'nother post). And she is leaving behind many friends, loves and subordinates that will all miss her so dearly. If I weren't after the pink and green (LOL!!!!), I would be on that list. Alas, my true motives have been revealed.

Farewell Miss Marshall. May you continue to do great things and be a big fish in a big pond.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The ghetto of the glorious internet

I love the internet way more than anybody should. It is like virtual candy I can constantly eat, never get full from, no cavities, and all the nutrition I need. But even the wonderful internet has its flaws.... you know the kind that can knock a 10 to a 5 right off the bat (i.e. smoking, bad hygiene, incredible stupidity, gold-digger tendencies, etc). What is the internet's huge major flaw?


Why do I say this? Well I just got a friend request from an ass. A nicely shaped light carmel ass in an extremely nice pair of boycut lingerie, but an ass nonetheless. Excuse the language, but you have to understand where I am coming from. It was like something I see at a strip club or in a movie.

I hate the stupidity that is myspace, but because of the local artists, long distance, friends, and the occasional ego stroke I get (from random females who probably should find something else to do) I still have an account. I have completely stopped updating my page, never browse for new friends, and barely respond to personal messages. But I can count signing on and having a friend request from Jenna, 18, from Scottsdale, AZ. If not her than its Tammy from Reno, NV. Even Jada from the ATL has tried to friend me as she has with the other 250 guys that have added her and written "thx for the add" on her wall.

It has to stop. Pop up windows aren't as bad as myspace is. All I want to do is listen to the latest Devine and Starks track, or say hi to Rachael in Washington.

Myspace sucks.

Happy Birthday Kaileigh

Today is my little baby sister's birthday and what better way to honor her than to blog about her.

Now if you know me you know my sister is my favorite sibling, really only because it's a two horse race. LOL. Actually, she's pretty cool when she isn't opening up birthday cards the day before her birthday.

In fifteen years, Kaileigh has given me a lot of memories good and bad and I must say I am glad I have a random little sister that came unexpectedly. LOL. The day she grows up we will be cool again, but until then I will be that mean brother who picks on his little brother and sister.

No I won't thank her for all the times (when she was little) she did what I asked for no reason, or be grateful for how her little cute smiling face (a long time ago) kept me level-headed while going thru the trials of adolescence.

Nope.... on a day like today, I will remember the "it won't come out moments", the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches mixed with 9-1-1 d calls, and my favorite, the time I broke her arm (not literally I ain't that mean).

Happy Birthday Kaileigh! And may you have many more.

When will it stop....

I haven't posted in a while so I am gonna drop a few today, hoping you all have as much time to read as I do to write.

Between Tuesday and Saturday I worked a little over 45 hours, but the killer part of all that was the "fun having" I did in between. Luckily, I don't get out of control, well maybe a little bit ;).

Anyways, Friday night was a friend’s party and at every party you have music. At the party I was so focused on having a good time and mingling with the folk I didn't have time to really analyze the music, it was just background noise to my sporadic conversations I guess. Well I got up today to do my usual internet browse and I came across a free(style) by Cam'ron. You know that rapper that wears, raps about high fashion, and was the first big name saying no homo (hmmm), over the Lil' Wayne Let the Beat Build track.

Then I remembered hearing the original track on Friday and actually waiting for the beat to build which took like 20 mins…. actually only like a minute and some seconds, but still much longer than any beat needs to build. Back to the point. Why? I don't need to wait for the beat to build. That is a dumb a$$ concept for a song anyways. What? You gonna rap about building a beat and then what happens after it drops? Start again. Am I the only person who sees through this crap? I mean seriously. When will this man go away?

I am so sick of Wayne right now. Don't get me wrong. He's hot. BUT:

1. He isn't good (he doesn't do anything well except simple punchlines and metaphors with a hellified swag.
2. He has very limited talent (he can rap yes, but he can't work within the constructs of an album well. Those are two different things)
3. He is ugly, short, and does dumb stuff like sip sizzurp (an alcoholic drink with cough syrup)
4. He kisses boys (can you no homo that?).
5. He has a 1 hot album every 10 years average (Carter 2. He kills random tracks on mixtapes but is no where near consistent.)
6. He bites everybody's flow (for all you dummies that get on Jay for being a biter Wayne is much worse.)

I could probably go on but then I would be called a hater....and I'm not. Wayne is in like the top 20 people I listen too... the thing is he is everything people hate about other rappers rolled into one rapper and everybody loves him. He says some of the wackest lines, bites the most flows, has some of the lamest songs, does that gayest things, and so on and so on... yet he is loved.

Trust me no hate here. I wanna see most all black people make it, as long it isn't to the detriment to other black people (like MJ and Jordans, or Bob Johnson and BET., you know people whose careers feed off of the exploitation of black people). Wayne is fast approaching that status because everybody and their momma (probably literally now) thinks they can rap.

Sadly, I must say Jay-Z is probably to blame for Wayne.... them damn Carters and their refusal to write lyrics. If only Wayne was good at going off the top of the head. completely unrelated and irrelevant news Amil (All Money Is Legal) formerly of Rocafella records has a freestyle over the A Milli beat. So now everybody and somebody's momma has rapped over it.

Check it out:

Monday, July 7, 2008

What I learned on my 4th of July weekend

It had been about 5 months since I last went home so I spent the holiday at home with my mom, my sister, and Loren (the little random baby--inexplicably part of our family). We did the whole 4th thing, watched movies and were a "family" for a few days. And on Sunday I went to church, as I always (and only) do when at home. As usual I got something good out of it.

When I do go to church, I attend St. Stephen Southern Indiana in Clarksville, Indiana. This extension of the St. Stephen Baptist Church is also pastored by Kevin W. Cosby, who preaches at both campuses on Sundays. Thank God he does so, because to be honest, Pastor Cosby is the only reason why I even go to church when I do.

I grew up in the church literally. For an extended period of time, due to my parent’s involvement and my incessant need to cause trouble, I was there almost every day. My pastor was from "the foothills of Mississippi" and was the godliest man I have ever met to say the least. He was like a grandfather, and always worked to instill the godly morals he practiced in my family. I also went to private Baptist School for a great deal of my education K-8 and half of 10th grade, so I learned the Bible as part of school. In short, I have learned and been surrounded by the Bible way too much and I know black Jesus and white Jesus very well. And neither one of these Jesus’ prepared me for what was at St. Stephen, nor any of the other churches I have attended in Kentucky have to offer. No the church isn't bad, quite the contrary. I think it’s on the cutting edge of many things, which is not something I look for when I go to church. That and it is fundamentally different in a lot of ways from what I was taught as a child.

Well I still go out of respect, and out of a desire to learn from one of the most brilliant speakers I have ever heard in Pastor Cosby. Even in my own personal religious struggle, I recognize Pastor Cosby has an inspirational message that transcends religion and is applicable to nearly any walk of life.

On July 6, 2008 (just in case you want to get the tape) Pastor Cosby delivered another great message on the Paradox of progress, which is pretty simple if you think about it: it is impossible to gain something without losing something at the same time.

What does that mean? Personally, I want to do great things and use my abilities to help change the world. So I have to sacrifice some of the things people my age do for building a reputation and rapport with others that shows my desire to help others succeed. Or take that New Balance commercial. The subject is a young basketball player that has a committed relationship with running. After all that running, not partying and spending his time doing things his buddies, all he got was an extra burst in overtime or something like that. He may not even get to overtime to use that burst. But that extra burst is there and it is what sets apart the good from the greats. Not to mention that guy probably is probably in better shape during the game to play at a higher level, with such a focus on what he wants to do. Wrap your mind around that for a second.

Pastor Cosby's message went on to talk about how holding on to things impedes progress in all forms of life. He asserted his message on politics, relationships, friendships, in the workforce, basically anywhere where you can achieve and not fully obtain what is meant for you. A few major quotes Pastor Cosby dropped were:

"It is possible to experience God's good and not God's best" (Self explanatory. You can get some of what is there for you, but by choosing to do other things you'll miss whats right there for the taking)

"Opportunity doesn't come without opposition" & "We focus too much on racism and not the opportunity" (I'm going to let you figure out what he meant, but I will say nothing worth having comes easy.)

"God blesses hustlers" (NO! Not the dude on the block destroying the community. People who work hard and try to make something out of nothing, LEGALLY)

"You are what you are because you had it rough" (Thank God for the struggle, it made you what you are and remember that when you become a parent and want to spoil children)

I understand some people have a problem with God. So substitute God for life, and it would still be a good motivational message you can take something from.

For me church is like the hook in Nas' track "Can't forget about you," off Hip Hop is Dead: "Never on schedule, but always on time."

Wednesday, July 2, 2008 Taylor the super-hippie's blog

After my Alternative Spring Break Trip to Maryville, TN, and drinking the hippie kool-aid, I came back with more of a desire to be environmentally friendly. (I grew up on Captain Planet and it was much more than a this day you'll catch me picking up trash and occasionally even singing the theme song.) Anyways, I made a conscious effort to become more educated and spread some of the values and information that my new found friends had presented, and now I give you:

My buddy Taylor Shelton runs this blog and let me say, this guy knows a lot. And what he doesn't know he finds. I think it's a great quality more people should incorporate into their lives. I know I try to.

There are many hot button issues that go on in here Kentucky, and while they may not be the exact same elsewhere, they represent some of the other environmental issues that go on around the nation. Also, there's a lot of good political information and progressive ideas to ponder. Taylor considers both sides, and thankfully, is one of those people that cares about people and the environment. (Unlike some of those people who like animals more than people.)

So here is my recommendation for you all. It is time to start thinking about what goes on outside of your own world, and if you like visit

We are not encouraged to empathize or think about things from the other side. I used the term hippie with a negative connotation before spring break, and now it's a term of endearment. Why? Because instead of people being strange or weird? They are conscious and caring. Sure we do not agree or see eye to eye on certain things.

I recall a Greenthumb (University of Kentucky environmental group) meeting where Taylor was leading a discussion. The weather was nice so we were outside. I was sitting on the ground in my usual Ecko Jeans and T-shirt, which was pulled together with a pair of Olympic Nike Air Max 180's (the shoes Barkley wore with Dream Team 1). I thought to myself wow I am out of place. Everybody else has on canvas shoes or sandals, and I am sitting here with not just leather shoes, but patent leather shoes that have to be 10x worse than regular leather. And guess what? Nobody was bothered by it, because I cared enough to attend and the rest of the group was happy to have somebody enthusiastic and willing to help.

People aren't going to think the same, act the same, or share the same values, and but we have to coexist. I believe there will be there will be a continued reciprocal relationship between Greenthumb and myself, built on recognizing the importance of each others concerns.

Oh yeah... Why can't people other than the environmentalists care about the environment?

A very sad day in my life

Today is one of the saddest days in my life, not just my sports life. This is far more heartbreaking than Ken Griffey Jr leaving Seattle. This is more scarring than all of the sports teams I grew up with, save the Seahawks, having losing records... Its a life trauma. 100 years of losing and a curse does not compare to this. I hardly have words to describe it.

My most vivid childhood memories are tied to sports, mostly baseball and basketball, but some football too. And its those memories that keep me coming back as a fan. That said, this time I can't go back. It has been ripped away from me.

The Seattle SuperSonics are no more.

Now somebody may say, "Wesley, you have lived in Kentucky almost 8 years! You haven't been to a Sonics game in 4 years! And every remnant of the team that was around before you moved left when Rashard Lewis signed that mega-deal in Orlando." And I say yes this is true, but being a true fan(atic) is more than just players, names, colors and records.

Being a true fan is why I will probably never be able to love the NBA the same anymore.

But true fandom is what fuels me to follow the worst team in baseball is if its 2001 and they are on pace to set the A.L. single season wins record ....Or why I love a team that has never won anything, and in their only chance to win played like dogs and plagued by a host of terrible calls, including a 15-yard clipping penalty on a quarterback that made a tackle after throwing an interception. It's why my first pair of player signature shoes were those of none other than Gary Payton. Why I nearly cried when Ken Griffey Jr. was traded. And why Brian Blades is my favorite football player of all-time.

Adult life has brought many disappointments to me that have been much worse, but none have hurt this much. I understand why people die, why relationships go sour, why things change whether you like it or not--but I just don't understand how a team with an NBA championship can be stripped from a city to be taken to a city with no professional sports, only a brief history of supporting a team, and a much smaller population with less of, well everything, you need for a major sports franchise.

The second the team was sold to Clay Bennett's ownership group these rumors started, well not rumors. It was pretty clear that Bennett wanted to move the team out of the city, even to ESPN.

I have no idea what the politics and circumstances are surrounding the situation. I know that Qwest Field and Safeco Field have been built within the last ten years and that has not been forgotten by tax payers. I know that the second Howard Schulz DECIDED to sell the Sonics there was very little effort to field a competitive team, evidenced by role players such as Antonio Daniels not being resigned. (Daniels was key in the Sonics taking the eventual NBA champion Spurs to a game six with two of their top three scorers, Vladimir Radmonovic and Rashard Lewis, injured after game 2). I know that David Stern is the most agenda driven sports figure, and if he wants something, done one way or the other, it gets done. But I don't know why this is happening. I am literally in a daze.

I was going to bed. I can't. This is top 5 worst days of all time. I still have all the memories I had earlier today of the Reign man (Shawn Kemp), the Glove (Gary Payton), Mac-10 (Nate McMillan, who coincidentally was offered an insulting contract offer to remain in Seattle as coach), and even Steve Scheffler.... the thing is they are no longer connected to a great franchise, in the magnificent city of Seattle, in the beautiful state of Washington.

The city will get anther team. But it doesn't matter. This is a dirty deal and all parties are wrong here involved in this are wrong, starting with the ownership, current and former for setting it up the sale. The city is responsible for not stepping up to the plate and allowing history to walk away. David Stern and his smug attitude that holds a city hostage, making the public fund a private businesses place of operation. (Ownership in Cleveland and D.C. ponied up major cash for arenas). I even blame fans for not seeing through the smokescreen and taking care of a team that is conspicuously doing everything right NOT to stay. I am included in that group. And still, there is much more blame to go around.

I can take a lot.... not this.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Gabriel on Everything: Peanut Butter and Jelly for your soul

Very few people understand life beyond what is in front if them. Even after obtaining degrees from prestigious universities and experiencing much of what life has to offer they still don't get it. Thankfully this guy Gabriel does. Unfortunately, his blog is much more focused and on topic than my own, so if i lose my 3 readers to him I'll know why. Actually, I'll be mad because my blog is better, but whatever, if you choose to be wrong I can't do anything about that.

At the risk of copyright infringement here is his most recent post as of 9:39 PST, Lexington, KY:

Filed under: United States, douchebaggery, education, politics, race, society

First and foremost, I would like to thank Sen. Hillary R. Clinton for making this new term possible for everyone’s enjoyment. I must say that it is a great leap forward from the terms that I am used to hearing about Blacks on television. Every positive term that I hear about Blacks pertains to the athletic world. Blacks with ‘mad hops’ are called freaks of nature, Black athletes that are strong are called workhorses, or beasts, Blacks that are swift, agile and fast are compared to deer. Basically, even compliments for prosperous Blacks are demeaning and seek to rob Blacks of their humanity by comparing them to things that are not human in the least. With that being said, I will explain my definition of this new ‘elitist’ term being thrown around from Hillary supporters to those diehard Fox News (if you can call it that) fans.

To those who haven’t realized it yet, when Sen. Clinton (and others like Ralph Nader, Sen. McCain) tried to call out Sen. Obama by saying he was elitist, she (and they) just meant that he is a smart, uppity, too big for his britches n*gger. For those who wish to disagree with me, I look to the actual old school word elitist. Webster (the dictionary…not Immanuel Lewis) defines elitism as ‘leadership or rule by an elite’. Webster’s defines elite as ‘the socially superior part of society’ and ‘a group of persons who by virtue of position or education exercise much power or influence’. Hmmm, in laymen’s terms those definitions sound like rich, White people. Hmmm…isn’t Hilary not only White, but also rich? By golly…she is! One could ask why she chose to use that term to try and call out Sen. Obama. The answer is simple. She wasn’t going for the old school term; she was going for the new term. Sen. Obama made a statement that many people know to be true. He called them out on their safety blanket of guns and religion. The statement attacked one of her strongest fan bases. So because they were so wounded from these hurtful and ‘untrue’ words, so decides to call him out:

Head of Campaign Office in Kentucky: Let’s call him a n*gger. That’ll show that spear-chucker.
Clinton: No…we can’t do that. Even though all he’s only some random mixed guy who happened to pick up a book before he picked up a basketball, all billion (slightly overestimated) of my supporters in the Congressional Black Caucus and all the old Black people like Bob Johnson will turn their backs on me and my elitist ways.
Head of Campaign Office in Kentucky: That’s it! We can call him elitist. We can hide the fact that you’re the wife of a former two term president who sent NAFTA into effect by calling him someone who doesn’t relate to the poor and working class, even though you make millions of dollars a year and he just got through paying off his college loans.
Clinton: I don’t know…
Head of Campaign Office in Kentucky: Come on…he’s no different than any other n*gger. He just happens to have his college education and a law degree from Harvard. We used to call them dumb n*ggers. But with more and more of them going to college and taking our majors (random liberal arts degrees that will do nothing for anyone who doesn’t go to Law school or get their PhD), we can call them elitists when they develop or learn new ideologies and philosophies that help better their situations! That way it won’t be cool for those porch monkeys to learn!
Clinton: Hmmm…that sounds a bit Viacomish to be…but sure, what the heck!


But yeah, being an elitist is cool. One can still represent their intellect, class consciousness, Blackness and not have to resort to that pesky n-word that the Black Vatican buried a year or so ago.

My name is Gabriel…and I am an elitist.