Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Kevin Durant and Tupac: A Common Thread

You're reading the title wondering what can an All Star NBA player have in common with one of the best hip hop artists ever? Well for starters, they have both been heavy in the news and on social media lately, for ridiculous reasons.

Around a year ago, the Golden State Warriors already had a super team, built mostly through the draft. Durant, after having individual success as a player with the Oklahoma City Thunder and almost beating the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, decided to make a major change. He wanted a ring and he knew GS would be the best place to get it. They cleared a lot of roster and cap space to get a player they could use on their redemption tour. All season, former OKC teammate Russell Westbrook had negative remarks, even had cupcake shirts made, calling KD soft. Well Durant and the Warriors did as expected, dominated the 2017 NBA playoffs, losing only one game enroute to their fifth championship. After the game, many folks, even LeBron James, had their thoughts. And I have mine also.

This man did what was best for his career. Things didn't seem to be improving in OKC so he did something about it. He didn't wanna have an incomplete legacy, and got his championship. This has not only been happening in pro sports for decades now, this is also a norm in the business world. If there is a better opportunity, even with a rival, you normally take it. I believe KD's star power, along with the fact the NBA is currently a two team league, is what has folks in an uproar.

Speaking of stars and uproars, the late Tupac Shakur still has the hip hop world in a frenzy, nearly 21 years after his murder. His biopic, All Eyez On Me, has mixed reviews, especially from Jada Pinkett Smith. It seems many don't want to let that man be great. He is seriously a top 2 rapper, no lower than 5 in many hip hop circles. Still, many want to find flaws with him and the movie. Now this isn't the only Pac movie that has surfaced and the story is well known. It gives his fans and hip hop fans a sense of nostalgia and a reminder of when rap began evolving.

Let's spend this summer and year doing less bashing and more encouraging. Especially for black folks, it's time to stand together and stop being divided over trivial issues. These are celebs, we need to take pages from their books and improve our own lives.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Black Privilege is Right On Time

Radio and TV personality Charlamagne Da God has really climbed up the ranks in the radio world. He outlines his success in his newest book "Black Privilege".

He speaks of his humble beginnings: growing up in Moncks Corner, SC, interning for Wendy Williams for two years, and then grinding with other studios and shows before landing onto "The Breakfast Club." Charlamagne is definitely not an overnight success.

He delves into serious subjects and techniques he used in his journey. He even references his hustling days, talking about one must put in the proper work or "learn to put the weed in the bag." Charlamagne never bites his tongue on the air, and he is in the same in his book. He even talks about being your true self and having realistic goals. He says "F#$k your dreams." and is not shy about telling others this if he feels they are on the wrong path or journey.

Charlamagne is real, raw, and inspiring. This book is so good, you will want to read it twice, and possibly have a highlighter handy. You will be very motivated after reading this.

It costs around  $18 for a paperback and is available on Amazon and at most bookstores. Do yourself a favor and get this book. You're sure to enjoy Charlamagne's lessons and life experiences.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Tiger, Tiger Woods Nah!

Tiger Woods's life has spiraled out of control since November 2009 when it was discovered he had cheated on his wife with several other women.

His golf career stayed steady at best as he has had five back surgeries, and not as many major wins or even qualifications.

Now unless you've been on Mars, you have seen Tiger's mugshot from his DUI this past Memorial Day weekend. What you may not have seen is the arrest profile. For a number of years now, Woods hasn't wanted to claim the black side of his ethnicity  (think Halle Berry). The police report noted the famous golfer to be black.

Now this brings up another issue. If you claim to be biracial, are you suddenly black when you commit a crime  (or if you do the worst, like OJ)?

In any event, Tiger doesn't have many strikes left in golf and life. Yes we all make mistakes and are human. But now this has become a pattern that needs to be addressed. He needs to get some positive folks in his corner to humble him, realize there is life beyond golf, and to help him enjoy himself in moderation. He cannot afford to be reckless anymore.

Tiger Woods doesn't want his legacy to go down like this. Adultrer. Has-been. Drunk. He's at a crossroads and it's time he get himself straight. It's the least he can do for his children and for the game of golf.

Meanwhile, unless he still has a personal driver, he better keep Uber and Lyft on speed dial for the time being.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Fidget Spinners and it's explotation (yep that's what it is, can't argue)

The latest trend and fad out now are fidget spinners. They're everywhere and are selling like hotcakes. I'm surprised they haven't been bootlegged yet or didn't drop around Christmas.

That said, when I did my research and found out what their purpose is, I was irate as a dragon trying to blow out birthday candles! It's targeted for people, especially children, with autism, ADHD and anxiety.

Now that doesn't mean other people can't buy it, and the inventors and marketers can't get rich from the profits. I'm all for entrepreneurship and business, creating a job and an empire. My problem is it's a low-key method of exploiting the mentally ill and getting rich that way. That's a touch subject for me, especially since myself and others have been affected by mental illness. My mother suffers from anxiety and has panic attacks that bring her down for days. So yeah I'm heated.

I'm more heated that the information is out and the creators and business people behind it aren't giving any proceeds back to mental health foundations. They need help and financial backing, that's the least they could do.

Many have defended them (the same number that obviously do not deal with the same or similar issues) with circular apples/oranges rebuttals. Let me put it for you like this. Suppose you're deaf, and suddenly a once in a lifetime idea comes out that enhances sound everywhere and is like an advanced hearing aid/cure. Folks everywhere, including Apple folks, love it, but the deaf and hard of hearing aren't getting a dime from it. And that's the target audience. Now there's another issue folks.

This isn't the first time in history this has happened and sadly it won't be the last. However, we will continue to have sheep and other followers that bounce at the latest cool thing, even if it is exploiting a condition or a shortcoming. Educate yourself my people.

Or how about those that still aren't getting this: take my mom for a week and make her wait for hours at a place and tell her she can't smoke during that time. Your views may change then..

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

TABLES: Lots of Estrogen

It's been a while since we checked in on Eli. Here's a summary of what's been going on with this young coworker.

He decided to branch out and sit at a table near the rear of the break room near a bunch of ladies, some from the same department they work in, some from another one. He still keeps in touch with the old guys, but he tired of their repetitive whining and negative attitudes.

Eli gets a different vibe at his new table. He has really bonded with another older man, Mr. Moe, a department mate Patricia (who is real and as crazy as they come), and with some other randoms. These various folks realize that it's only a job and they actually talk about other stuff. Imagine that?

Here are some of the things Eli has experienced:

The loud, rude millennial Lala always having her laptop on loudly to Netflix or music, or FaceTiming her daughter. Nice young lady but her cornbread isn't quite done in the middle.

Old cougar Rose Catrina (RC) casually flirting, and even fussing/teasing Eli because one day his butt crack was inadvertently revealing

Being left out of a delicious cake one of the leaders brought by and apparent it was only for a few folks. That was borderline inconsiderate.

The daily attendance or "where is that person" report by Rolanda. It's like why do you care why this or that person is out?

Patricia and Rolanda low key hating on Heather since she's in school to be a paramedic and she's rarely at work due to study and accommodations.

It's definitely a different world for Eli. He even has his eye on a certain gal, and may even try the popular table on a slow day. Time will tell,...

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

When Did The Friend Zone Become Offensive

It was during the 90s that Chris Rock helped coin the phrase "the friend zone." This is basically where a guy tries to holla at a woman, get down and dirty, but she sees him as no more than a good friend. Said guy is then placed in the friend zone, where everything is strictly platonic and he has no perceivable chance of smashing the lady. Cue "Never Gonna Get It" by En Vogue.

This phrase has become big in popular culture and social media. Numerous memes have been created around the friend zone. Yet men and women alike continue to friend zone each other, and then often end up with a mate that treats them like crap, cheats and beats them, etc. You always got the friend though, right?

I was posting about the friend zone on social media recently and man the discussion it brought on, which spawned another discussion. It appears, according to this post in Nerve, that "the friend zone" has become offensive to women, misonynic, and probably should be retired. Here's the link

I read it and here are my thoughts. First, how can a word or phrase be offensive when it refers to both sexes? Second, this was created out of jest by Chris Rock, a comedian. It's not like a psychologist did the study, although there is a lot of truth behind this phrase. And, third, the friend zone actually does have a lot of benefits, making it more myth than phrase. Men and women do grow up and change, and so do their tastes and preferences. Both like to keep certain people in their lives because they are cool to be around. Romantic sparks can and do happen. Now the friend zone is very real, but two grown consenting people can still get together if they so desire.

Basically, there are too many words and phrases that have become offensive and taboo. Let's not allow the friend zone to be one of those. How about we act better towards each other and treat people like human beings and realize that things could always change? I've been to three high school reunions and go to my college Homecoming every year. There are so many people happily together now that nobody would have expected. Let's not allow pop culture to dictate our lives. Social media already does a good enough job of that.

Are you offended by "the friend zone". Do you think only sad and lonely men feed into it?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

13 Reasons, Too Many People Ending Their Own Lives

I have written on suicide before. Now it has become tragically so common and even popular that the news is breaking their unwritten rule and reporting on it more. Also the current #1 series on Netflix is the novel adapted "13 Reasons Why".

All of this also ties into bullying, torment, and of course mental illness. In "13 Reasons", the young lady, Hannah Baker, recorded 13 audio cassettes as to why she had no choice but to end her life. Many of these stories and people mentioned included those from her high school that tormented and harassed her. This obviously isn't a new topic but instead one that needs continued addressing.

Steve Stephens was the Cleveland, OH killer that murdered at least one person while on FB Live, then eventually took his own life after stopping at a McDonald's. It has been implied that mental illness was obviously involved in this whole ordeal. His own mother then succumbed to a heart attack days later.

The day after Stephens took his own life, convicted NFL player Aaron Hernandez hung himself in his prison cell after being acquitted of one of the charges he was already in for, including killing folks execution style. It has since came out that Hernandez had a same sex lover, and murder Greg Odin because he knew about it. Aaron apparently didn't wanna deal with any criticism or ridicule inside bars so he decided to end it.

The reasons are important in each instance, but the big thing is suicide has become too common when things become dire. Someone needs to be more aware of suicidal people and do everything to prevent this. It is up to the person, but often you have to take responsibility when they can't. That is a common theme in these and other suicides, these folks felt as if they were completely out of options.

Now if you or anyone you know feels this way, please call the Suicide Awareness Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Also, use your own support circle. We have to end this madness!