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Archive for October, 2008|Monthly archive page

Whassup? Obama

In Entertainment, Politics on October 29, 2008 at 6:30 am

Remember those guys from Anheuser-Busch “Whassup” commercials? Well, check out their independent pitch for Obama. 

Everything happens for a reason or are we the reason?

In Inspiration on October 28, 2008 at 11:05 pm

“Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to the error that counts.” – Nikki Giovanni


Nowadays, hearing the saying “Everything happens for a reason,” makes me cringe. Its meaning has morphed into a platitude. I’ll admit it. I’ve been guilty of muttering this senseless phrase. For the most part, I’ve found it to be the nicest thing to say in sticky situations. I shrug my shoulder and let those words effortlessly drip from my lips, “Everything. Happens. For. A. Reason.” 

It’s become the thing to say but it has neither punch nor bite. 

Life happens. There are definitely events that we can’t control and then there are those many moments that we can. I believe that there’s an omniscient God who watches over us. He’s given us free will, and here in lies what I find peevish about that stupid saying, “Everything happens for a reason.” 

We have free will. People make choices and those choices – our decisions – have outcomes. Sir Issac Newton’s Third Law, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction,” rings true. 

Life happens, but everything doesn’t happen for a reason. Our decisions impact our daily lives. When we opt to go with what’s behind door A as oppose to door B and vice versa, or turn left rather than head right, those decisions shape our tomorrow. 

Let’s hold ourselves accountable for the choices we’ve made rather than justify our decisions, even if made poorly, with meaningless phrases. Copping out is lame. Don’t be lame. Be responsible, take heed of your actions, learn from your mistakes and keep on keepin’ on. – MJ

 


Ras Trent

In Entertainment, Humor on October 27, 2008 at 3:26 am

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Ras Trent“, posted with vodpod

Zoe Kravitz on Obama

In Entertainment, Politics on October 22, 2008 at 4:25 pm

This is pretty cool. Check out Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet’s all-grown up daughter, Zoe, sharing her thoughts about Barack Obama. – MJ

An analysis of Beyonce’s music.

In Entertainment, Humor, Relationships on October 22, 2008 at 5:53 am

Beyonce all smiles

Beyonce plays pool as the one and only, Etta James

The New Yorker is still one of my favorite magazines albeit they went all weirdo with the infamous Barack and Michelle Obama caricature cover. Time heals wounds. I’m able to forge ahead and forgive the pub for the aforementioned indiscretion.

And so, we wipe the slate clean.

Start over.

With that said, here’s what I thought was a clever and cute entry on Beyonce’s music by Sasha Frere-Jones. I’m for Nos. 1, 2, 8, 10, 11 and most importantly 12 (sorry, this list isn’t numbered so you’ll have to count). The one song amiss is “Upgrade You”, which I love in spite of the reference to Martin Luther King Jr. MLK and pop music shouldn’t mix (no pun intended).

I suppose Sasha omitted “Upgrade You” because it applies more to men. But I’ll share my unsolicited two-cents on this excluded pick anyway: men, marry a woman who’s better than you. Barack Obama even says so.

Ladies, marry a man who’s honest, accountable and good. Knuckleheads need not apply.

Stepping off my soap box.

Read on. – MJ

Beyoncé, for all her traditional behavior as good-looking good girl, is building a catalogue of songs that have little to do with traditional expressions of love or pain. She is most fond of the second person, and her hits, in the aggregate, form a sort of default advice column. She isn’t as interested in her own pain as she is in telling others what mistakes not to make. I’ve made a small list of her key talking points, reaching back to her work in Destiny’s Child:

No, No, No”: Be entirely clear with your partner; vague language can lead to confusion and hurt feelings.

Bills, Bills, Bills”: Money and romance do not mix, so keep separate bank accounts and go Dutch until your relationship is stable.

Bug-A-Boo”: Constant communication can feel more like harassment than affection.

Say My Name”: If your partner is avoiding you, arrange a face-to-face meeting. Monosyllabic answers and lack of affection can be an indication of deeper troubles.

Jumpin’, Jumpin’”: Couples do not necessarily need to spend every night together. Plan one night a week where you are with your friends, and he with his.

Independent Women Part 1”: If you pay for your own shoes, you are more likely to judge your relationship on its own merits rather than as a tallying of goods exchanged. (Get Cameron Diaz to help you count your belongings, if you feel like you’re losing track.)

Bootylicious”: If you are more experienced than your partner, make sure to be explicit about your needs and expectations. Direct questions will save time and decrease anxiety. (Comfortable jelly levels, for example, should be established early on in any relationship.)

Check On It”: If a man shows sustained interested, allow him to get close to you over dinner, or a movie. Leave your options open. If he has a friend, perhaps invite him along; the friend can act as a control group for the evening.

Ring The Alarm”: Fights are not always unhealthy. Sometimes, a blowout can be cathartic and release pressure that might be damaging your ability to communicate. Introduce a sense of play into your arguments—megaphones are fun (make sure your neighbors are familiar with your routine, and don’t call the police), and role-playing can help defuse anger with humor.

Irreplaceable”: If your ex is having trouble finding his way out of the house, provide clear and consistent directions. Men are sometimes challenged by the word “straight,” which has sexual overtones. Suggest that he go left or right, terms familiar from both baseball and driving. Also, keep several empty boxes on hand. (Once broken down flat, boxes can fit horizontally into a closet or under a leaky houseplant.)

Freakum Dress”: Be sure you own at least one freakum dress. If you find one you really like, consider buying several of them in different colors. (Make sure you have a friend who can explain what a freakum dress is.)

“Single Ladies”: If a man values your relationship, be prepared to demand a commitment. Suggest that he signal the value of his commitment by buying you an enormous piece of jewelry, something big enough to kill a hamster with one mild blow.

Queen

In Inspiration, Relationships on October 21, 2008 at 6:18 am

Brothas, it’s about time we start treating our women like queens. It’s time we show them the respect they deserve; show them unconditional love and appreciation; lift them up.

Put them on a pedal stool because God knows they deserve it.

They’ve experienced deep pain and suffering at the hands of men. They’ve seen their sons, daughters and husbands beaten, raped, or murdered. When I sit and think about it, no other group of people have experienced such depth of pain.

To be black and female is a double negative. I ask that my brothas be a positive force in our women’s lives. Let’s show them that we care. – MP

JUKE BOX LOVE SONG, by Langston Hughes

I could take the Harlem night

and wrap around you,

Take the neon lights and make a crown,

Take the Lenox Avenue busses,

Taxis, subways,

And for your love song tone their rumble down.

Take Harlem’s heartbeat,

Make a drumbeat,

Put it on a record, let it whirl

And while we listen to it play,

Dance with you till day –

Dance with you, my sweet brown Harlem girl.

What the bleep!

In Entertainment, Relationships on October 21, 2008 at 4:51 am

Isn’t it funny that many women want monogamous relationships but are willing to be with a man already in a relationship?

I know. It’s strange but true.

What a conflicting world we’re living in.

Some women, many who say they want to be in committed relationships, find attached brothas even more appealing. What’s the deal?

Fellas, we’re in a no-win situation. If you’re seeing multiple women, you’re a dog; if you’re not involved with someone, you’re unattractive. Huh?

Speaking of contradictions, what’s up with boastful mothers who encourage Casanova-like behavior? I’ve witnessed women bragging about their sons’ womanizing ways. Just some random thoughts I thought to share. And with that, here’s a Shabba Ranks classic.

Take it away, selector! – MP

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

Colin Powell grooves at the “Africa Rising” fashion show.

In Humor, Politics on October 20, 2008 at 6:04 am

Fair warning: The video is a tad shaky in the beginning but so worth sitting through. See Colin Powell wind it up at the Africa Rising music and fashion fete in London. 

Yes We Can!

In Politics on October 20, 2008 at 4:34 am

Caribbean massive!!!

Let’s get out and vote on Nov. 4, or sooner if you reside in a state where there’s early voting. There’s also the option of casting an absentee ballot. Either way, it’s crucial.

Please, – and yes, I’m so groveling at this point – if you think your opinion matters (and why should you think otherwise), cast your vote whether it’s written on a red or blue sheet of paper. It’s clear who I’m backing. Suddenly, I’m thinking of the United Sisters “Whoa, Donkey”. What a fitting ditty these days. 

Gosh, this campaign has got me stoked and inspired! To think that some 45 years ago, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the fame “I have a Dream” speech.

Oh, the possibilities offered in the United States of America. These are the times that I slip into my red, white and blue get-up and run in small circles outside my front door solely because I can. It’s sort of kooky, I know. But it’s my liberty.

I’m totally smirking, and on that note, I’ll put a lid on it. Want an extra helping of inspiration? Check out these videos.  

*MJ is blasting Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop” and bopping her head really hard.* Bop. Bop.

Ooh…

If you wake up and dont want to smile,
If it takes just a little while,
Open your eyes and look at the day,
You’ll see things in a different way.

Don’t stop, thinking about tomorrow,
Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here,
It’ll be, better than before,
Yesterdays gone, yesterdays gone.

Why not think about times to come,
And not about the things that you’ve done,
If your life was bad to you,
Just think what tomorrow will do.

Dont stop, thinking about tomorrow,
Dont stop, itll soon be here,
Itll be, better than before,
Yesterdays gone, yesterdays gone.

…Don’t you look back, Don’t you look back. 

Alton Ellis dead; Beanie man beats tax evasion charges

In Entertainment on October 19, 2008 at 9:30 pm

Reggae artist Alton Ellis, regarded as the pioneer of reggae’s rocksteady sound, died of cancer last Friday.

Here’s an excerpt from an interview Ellis did with Firecorner.com. 

“Reggae is at is lowest ebb to me for fifteen years, ’cause for the past fifteen years it been going on the up an’ up and it just turn now. Like, missing Bob is one factor. You ‘ave different competition of sound now, like Hip Hop. Plus, people in London, their appetite for Reggae has changed. 

“The quality, the contents deteriorate. Is a lot of thing contributed to that. 70% of the person in Jamaica today is bad boy, is coke man, and man who sell enough in America and come to Jamaica now and start invest. 60% of the producer them is like that now. Musically the knowledge is like that (indicates tiny space between thumb and forefinger). Most have some money an’ call good musicians to work, but there’s no direction.”

Read the entire Q&A at Firecorner.com

Ellis’ work spans more than a dozen albums recorded between 1967 and 2001.

In other news, earlier this month Beenie Man was cleared of tax evasion charges. The judge ruled that Beenie Man, who owed some $1 million in back taxes, was unaware of his rights when auditors made their assessment last year, BBC News reported. – MP