Friday, May 18, 2007

If a tree falls, does it make a sound?

This whole week has been excruciatingly slow. I guess everyone was too busy watching the trainwreck that is both the Paul Wolfowitz now-resignation and Alberto Gonzales being further caught in a web of lies. With this said, I'm not going to really post today at least not in a conventional way. I'm not posting for the rest of the day, and I'm going to post in a rhetorical way now.

With my dissing of T.I. and 50 Cent yesterday, I'm using this sole post for today to display a series of talent that is in the mainstream of hip-hop that is actually positive, creative, inventive, and not caught up in all the bullshit that dominates lots of other rap. All of the stuff posted may not be modern, but all of these artists are still working and advancing the form while dropping something other than nihilism. Hip-hop will never die, but it needs to get its ass whipped. Maybe even get a shock from the defibrillator or a shot of adrenaline to the heart. Additionally, I would post a papoose rhyme, but I already have and I don't want to repeat myself.

Little Brother- Speed

Lupe Fiasco- I Got Cha

Ghostface Killah- Daytona 500

Pharoahe Monch- Gun Draws

Styles P, Papoose, & L. Fiasco- Cipher (All Freestyle)

Styles P. - Good Times

Kidz in the Hall- Wheels Fall Off

Rhymefest- More

Kanye West- Diamonds From Sierra Leone

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Post 200!!!

The last post for today is post 200. This is something of an accomplish, one I should have noted when I passed 100. But, anyway, tonight's video is Wouldn't Get Far by The Game ft. Kanye West. It seems like every other rap video, but it's a bit more insidious. Listen to what they are saying. While you think about this, I'll think about the way I've been getting killed on XXL about saying that I wasn't impressed by either 50 or T.I.'s response to the criticism of hip-hop. And, just to be perfectly clear, commercial hip-hop is dead/dying. The underground is still repping, but they haven't been as hot as they've needed to be. I should call it rap, but that won't necessarily work since so many aspects of rap have leaked into hip-hop, which is more frequently considered as the catch-all for the culture. It's whatever though. I'm just sick of rappers being irresponsible, contributing to the decline of the form and the negative images of Black culture then hiding behind the guise of artistic freedom.

So, with the rant done. This is the Game and Kanye.

This is Why Hip-Hop Is Dead

With these two videos, T.I. and 50 Cent have further dug the grave for hip-hop. Firstly, they are completely inarticulate. Secondly, T.I. does have a good point in saying that some people do want rappers to teach their children. I don't, but this doesn't let the rappers off the hook so fast. Just because you aren't raising my kids doesn't mean that you don't hold a responsibility to not glamorize a lifestyle that leaves so many of our young Black men dead or in jail. T.I. justifies the brutality of his rapping by saying that was his life and he rose up from it. But, in flaunting that lifestyle and glamorizing drug dealing and excessive vanity, T.I. is just adding to the ire of the conservative others who are actually trying to shut down rap.

50 Cent also does a terrible job of trying to defend hip-hop as well. He tries to reference the war and the other forms of violent imagery in America. The last time I checked, people have been complaining about violence in films for a very, very long time. I can't think of a time when someone wasn't complaining about the violent nature of a film. Also, 50 Cent needs a fact checker or someone who can feed him correct information about the DC Madam scandal. He called the ESCORTS embroiled in this scandal hos when they didn't need to be; they are escorts. It just shows you that 50 Cent has no idea of what he's talking about nor has Curtis thought about how he sees himself as an artist and how others see him as an artist. Also, his defense of the violent, misogynistic, homophobic content of rap is made analogous to painting the American flag without red paint. This, flat out, does not make sense. Rap has existed without all of the violence and misogyny. Some of the classic albums in the game have existed without this. Has everyone forgotten Paid in Full? Strictly Business? The Low End Theory? The Cactus Album? Paul's Boutique? Long Live the Kane? Do I need to keep on?

50 Cent tries to call hip-hop a mirror on society. What part of rapping about putting huge rims on your car, completely tricking it out are part of most people in the hood's experience? Is that a part of Black people's harsh experience in America? Additionally, why is 50 Cent talking about reality in the hood? He lives in a huge house in Connecticut. Curtis is not hood anymore, but he still talks about shooting people and bullshit. Cormega, a dope MC, came from the same background as T.I. and 50, but has some positivity in his raps. So, with raps devoid of positive images and continuing on talking about the same bullshit that White America wants rap to talk about, what does this make him other than a minstrel?

50 Cent also talks about rap not being successful if it isn't racy. This is true. Public Enemy released very racy albums, but those albums were driven by the politics of a downtrodden Black public. The whole Native Tongues clique dropped albums based in a radical political framework. Additionally, when dudes like NWA were dropping their work, they were that life. They were radical at their time because they were not the party rappers that dominated the late 1980's. They were offensive, but, since that time, they matured, recognized their errors of their ways primarily through the death of Easy-E to AIDS. 50 Cent is unwilling to do this. T.I. is also unwilling to do it, even though he has five kids.

In the end, I'm not surprised that either of these men said what they did because it is what I would expect them to say. And that is the most depressing part of it all. T.I. and 50 Cent are two of the largest selling artists in America right now. They get their music heard by millions of people around America. But, neither of them are willing to be responsible and say, yea, this is how I used to live my life but I have moved past that, I got my life clean, and I'm not about a lot of junk anymore. I should rap about how my life has become better and how I got out, focusing on my craft instead of trying to keep a street edge. If dudes in the street feel you, they feel you. But this requires an ability to assess one's own image in society and be responsible for it. Neither T.I. nor 50 Cent is really willing to do these things. They are only concerned with how much money they make and these comments have made that viewpoint crystal clear. Frankly, I'm disinterested if you want to rap about violence because it does happen in society. But, talking about violence like it is cool or what is done to solve problems is ridiculous and is leading to the demise of hip-hop as a form. And just to prove my point, this is the second verse from "Ryder Music" off of 50's The Massacre:

Last year I woke up with good luck, damn it feels good
On the low, I done fucked like half of Hollywood
Had yo' favorite actress, from yo' favorite shows
In my favorite position, you know how it goes
And my Bentley bumpin Prince shit, this is "When Doves Cry"
This is what it sounds like when hollow-tip slugs fly
Homey this is somethin you can ride and smoke to
Stay on point, cause niggaz will ride and smoke you
Jealousy's for women but some niggaz is bitch made
They make you wanna run across they head with a switchblade
They point the finger at me, sayin I'm bugged
My flow's crack, you listen? Your fuckin brain's on drugs
Look ice drippin on my neck, hands grippin on a tec
Fool trippin threw a set, you can get yo' ass wet
Cards messin up my deck, screws loose show respect
You try to come at me kid yo' ass better come correct
Now, do you understand what I mean in saying that 50 is a minstrel. This bullshit is what White America wants Black artists to say. It keeps them superior, and it keeps our people subjugated.


I posted on this story before. In case you missed it, a Michigan cop confiscated weed and baked into brownies with his wife. Then, paranoid, the cop called 911.

This is the tape of the 911 call. Note the woman in the background who is cracking up when they come back.

A New Letter To Britney

Dear Britney,

I would have hoped that you learned from your previous incident where you were caught out in public with your bra and panties on full blast. But, with the surfacing of this picture, I have to say that you haven't. In fact, this is a more egregious failure of fashion. I can see your boobs in an opaque shirt as well. You don't need to wear this burgundy mesh shirt or the TWO-TONE Bra. What you thought I wouldn't notice that thing has a snake and leopard pattern on it? And it's got blue straps, too! Fantastic! Yea another tragedy. I swear, you come out in public and look worse and worse. Additionally, who ever your stylist is, s/he needs to be fired. Why? Do I need to say? Look at your wig! It looks like an animal died on your head. I don't know if I should just let it go or try to save it from inhumane treatment. Also, leave the Kangol hats to Samuel L. Jackson. Once you start quoting sections of the bible and chaining petite white female nymphomaniacs to radiators, we'll talk about that. Also, way for the hat to not match ANYTHING that you are wearing. Just awful. I want to like you, but your making it so hard for me.

On a positive, your body's on point. Too bad nothing else is.

Peace, Britney. xo, Ace

Grandma's a Freak

NSFW: Watch it. Love it. Video Brilliance.

No More Ethanol

Seriously, Bush is wrong on this one. Ethanol is a joke. Save our corn! Keep costs down! Help Kentucky keep me knee deep in bourbon!

Slight Disappointment

While I didn't like a lot of things about D.C., most of which related to government, I did like the fact that it was one of the cities where Black people were in power. This was to the city's benefit and detriment, but that is a discussion that we can have over coffee when we have like three hours to spare. But, with the ongoing bout of gentrification started by that ass Anthony Williams, the city is going to lose its Black majority. I'm sure this will make the Capitol Hill aides who are scared of Black people ecstatic*, but it disappoints me a bit. As long as the city doesn't become majority white, I'm alright. If it becomes majority white, they'll try to zone out Spicy Delight, the quality Jamaican/Caribbean restaurant in Takoma Park b/w Cedar & Maple on Carroll that has sketchy business hours. Best curries and rotis in the city, bar none. It's better than some of the food that I had in the Caribbean, and this one is next to a train station. Whatever you get, get it with the side of coco bread.

*white people: chill. I know all of you aren't racist. But, let's be real, some of you clutch your purses a little bit harder when you pass a black guy or divert your eyes when a Black woman walks past.

This Actually Makes a Lot of Sense

I knew that Cycling required a bit of vanity (how do you think that Mario Cipollini rode around in a zebra-print outfit during the 2003 tour?), but this is either taking it a step too far or just keeping it real. I'm not sure. I'll leave you with the comment, and you can make your own decision. From the Guardian:

No, we shave our legs because we think it looks good. Not even good, actually; just right. For a serious cyclist to ride with hairy legs is a grotesque solecism. It shows a shocking lack of savoir-faire and form.
Could you imagine the snickering that would occur if someone didn't shave their legs before one of the grand tours or the important one-day races? Oh, hilarious. I love it.

Fox News: Paying Dividends

On Live Desk with Martha McCallum, she (M. McCallum) talked to a lady in Brattleboro, VT about the nudists walking around in the town. Theresa Toney was not happy that people could just galavant down the street in their birthday suits. I'm assuming that she wants some people to maintain some sense of shame and civility in their lives. But, regardless of my feelings, Toney can't do anything anyway. Vermont and Brattleboro do not have rules against public nudity. Now, I went to a school that had a lot of nudity. Not a ton, but enough to make you pay attention. Public nudity is not that big of a deal. We are in a huge war, the economy is in a bad place, and we are stuck in an election cycle with some of the most uncharismatic characters of all time. America has larger issues to deal with other than some guy and girl, who aren't doing anyone any harm, decided to jettison their clothing for the day. This is a dumb issue for Ms. Toney to spend her time arguing against. If you see someone nude and you don't like it, just turn your head or look at them in the eye. Just because they are naked doesn't mean you have to stare at their bouncy bits, of which there are hopefully few. Let the nudists roam free!!!!

Just a Note

If I seem on edge about things in my post, I'm watching Fox News Channel for a bit. I am to maintain neutrality and stay fully informed. But, I can't let the fact that this guy on here now (Mike Evans) saying that Iran has given the go-ahead to HIZBOLLAH to start SUICIDE BOMBING in America phase me. Shit, nevermind. I've only been watching this for like ten minutes, and I'm already scared for my life. I don't know how people sit around and watch this for hours on end. No wonder conservatives are always on edge about things.


Last night on The Daily Show, Samantha Bee exposed the world to the NILF: News I'd Like to Fuck. Yep, that's right. There are a lot of hotties in the news nowadays. Ms. Bee helps you navigate the scene.

Personally, I'm a CNN and MSNBC watcher, but the women on Fox are a step beyond both of them. They might be haters, but their anchors are straight lookers.

Travel Advisory

For all exploratory type folks, don't go to Nigeria, especially to the Northern states. Why? Because you may get stoned.

Art and the Batshit who Buy It

Contrary to what that title suggests, I actually love art. Art's a fantastic thing that societies need to beautify and enlighten themselves. Social qualities aside, art is being sold for entirely too much money right now. In a Christie's Auction, a Warhol piece sold for 71.7 Million dollars American. This comes close to, but does not surpass, the record set by the sale of a Rothko canvas which sold for 72.76 million dollars. Maybe it's just me and my infinite cheapness, but doesn't that seem kind of high for a piece of art, a piece that may conceivably have no greater connection to the artist other than the fact that their name MAY be on it? I don't think that anyone, even the best salesman on Earth, could convince me to shell out 70+ million dollars on one thing! The fact that people are buying things at these sorts of levels blows my mind.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Keep The Diddley in Your Minds

The late night sendoff is dedicated to one of the true musical innovators of all-time: Bo Diddley. Currently, he's laid up in a hospital bed due to a stroke. I hope that he pulls through alright and keeps playing the real rock and roll music. This video is from the 1960s and has the requisite screaming teenage girls. It's also fantastic. Love it. I'm out!

Would You Marry This Woman?

This is Jodie Marsh. She's sort of like Jordan a/k/a Katie Price. Primary difference is she isn't married or pregnant for that matter. These things bother her and now she has enlisted the talents of MTV to help with this. That's right: this one has a reality show too, but don't trip. Her show is not going to come to America; it's only in Britain. We don't have to worry about her being foisted upon us. But, I do feel bad for the British. They will have to watch this woman track down the possible love of her life on national television. It's sure to leave folks in pain.

NB: the picture is from the link. I'm not trying to get sued or anything like that.

A New Appeal

More dispatches from the Free Katie Holmes sphere.

Everything I read about her, I feel sadder for her. But, then again, it's kind of her own fault. She should have known better than to get involved with Maverick. He's a loose cannon!

I Always Knew It


A police officer will avoid criminal charges despite admitting he took marijuana from criminal suspects and, with his wife, baked it into brownies.
I always knew that cops used the stuff that they picked up off of perps. You have to love it though. Family bonding at its finest.

Barack Obama

If you aren't keeping up with the politics, there's an election cycle going on in America right now. This year is different because we have a Black guy and a woman who could actually make it to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW. If you haven't noticed, I'm Black, so therefore, I should support the Black guy, right? Wrong. Actually, I can't stand Barack Obama as he reminds me of Clinton. Obama can't give straight answers, and, when he does answer, his language is dense yet hollow. He is a rock star right now. But, I don't want a rock star running the country. I want someone who is an actual politican and can lay down a simple, coherent political strategy. This post from the Smirking Chimp explains further why I'm not in love with Barack Obama. Personally, my money in this cycle on the same person that it was on in 2004: John Edwards. He's the only candidate whose positions that I like and feel like he can govern the country effectively.

A Question for Everyone

Kathy Hilton has said that Paris Hilton, in serving her oh-so-overdue debt to society, should be a role model to young people. Now, I don't know about most people, but I don't know what is laudatory about a girl who has been given opportunity after opportunity to right the ship. And, time and time again, found someone way to throw it away. This is on top of being catty, bitchy, disrespectful, and having the mentality of a 5th grader. Add to this that she doesn't understand that the world does not revolve around her, that she has gotten too big for her britches. So, Kathy, how am I supposed to revel in the example set by your fantastic daughter? Should I go do a lot of drugs, party all night, crash my car into other cars, whore myself to the paparazzi, insult hard-working Americans on national television, and hurl childish insults at my so-called friends? Yep, great example to follow there, Kathy.

Cheers to the Man!

I didn't know this, but today is Studs Terkel's birthday. For the uninitiated, Studs Terkel is the country's foremost oral historian. He's written hella books, and they are all fantastic. I read one in high school. It was one of the best summer reads that I've ever had. He's highly recommended from me. To his 95th, I put up a glass for Studs.


As long as I can remember having kept up with fashion, I've always liked Karl Lagerfeld. I like how he designs well for the feminine form, taking masculine ideas and making them work for women. In addition, he's a huge tool. I mean HUGE. But, in an endearing way sort of. It's endearing because he is unwilling to listen to everyone else's general concerns. Those don't really concern him too much. The event that solidified him as boss in my mind was when I was reading Another Magazine and there was a picture of Lagerfeld dressing a model. In the interview, Lagerfeld did not comment on his design but discussed his own outfit that day instead. It was a huge dick move, but brilliant nonetheless.

So, in another one of his ridiculous moves, Lagerfeld is flipping the bird to the California Environmentalists. From The Guardian:

Ahhh, good ol' Karl Lagerfeld. Always ready to fly in the face of political correctness and perceived wisdom. Whether it's sniping about Kate Moss' bandy legs or living on a diet of cactus juice, dear uncle Karl is always on hand, to get up everyone's noses. And so, here he is, in the midst of the world's sudden obsession with carbon-footprints, and in the most environmentally PC state in the world, California, putting on a fashion show - in an airplane. For his Chanel cruise show this Friday models will stroll down a jet, applauded by the suddenly un-carbon footprint aware Demi Moore, Cameron Diaz and the ubiquitous Lily Allen, who is apparently taking a break from informing the world she is considering a gastric bypass. Let's hope all the skinny models cheer her up.
Yes. This brash sense of entitlement and pretense is why I love this guy. As well, I hope that Lily Allen begins to feel better about herself although she's going to the wrong place to do that. She is a multi-million dollar celebrity with legions of rabid fans, some of whom would take a bullet for her. Lily needs a psychologist or a discussion with someone who cares about her. I really don't want to hear the people on Best Week Ever blather on about this chica and her love affair with myspace. Also, I'm glad to hear that Cameron Diaz is going to take time out of her busy schedule of sex and aerobics to buy some new clothes.


According to CNN, Anthony Abbate, a 12-year Chicago Police vet, has pleaded non-guilty to assault charges brought up against him with regards to a videotaped incident in a NW side bar. In the video, Abbate is seen crossing behind the bar, threatening the bartender. She attempted to remove Abbate from behind the bar, and, summarily, had the shit beaten out of her by a man who is double her weight. If you would like to see the incident, watch the below video. I forewarn you: it's graphic; I wasn't lying in saying that she got the shit beat out of her.

If Abbate gets off on this case, the trust that the Police Department so direly needs will absolutely fly out of the window. If police officers cannot handle their conduct appropriately outside off patrol, god forbid what types of things they can do when they have the protection of their kevlar vests, batons, mace, and service weapons. This case will be watched by everyone in Chicago and America, and I'm prone to think that if he does get off, the cops will be in for a not-so-welcome awakening from the citizens of Chicago who can no longer believe they are safe.

Talib Says It Right

I've seen Talib Kweli multiple times live. Each time, he's failed to disappoint. I think that he is a smart, talented dude who has been struggling since he dropped Reflection Eternal with Hi-Tek or living in the constant shadow of BlackStar, his infamous album with Mos Def. Regardless of my personal opinions towards his music, I would want him to be my voice of Black America, more so than Al Sharpton and Oprah, because he dissected the problem with rap in one paragraph. From SOHH:

"If you look at the CD sales of rappers who are talking about that stuff, it's on the decline. It's been on the decline for years. And it's not because it's misogynistic, and it's not because they calling them h*es, it's because a lot of it ain't good," he continued. "The art of the music has suffered where everyone wanted to get in the game and just hustle. There's nothing wrong with hustling and getting your money, but when no one focuses on the art, when the art means nothing then people are gonna stop buying."

I absolutely agree. No one is into the gangsta rap because the shit sucks. Listen to your radio, and you will understand what he's talking about. I'm glad that someone who is fairly well known actually pointed it out for once.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

This Can Only End Poorly

So, to end for now so I can go to trivia and to amuse, MTV needs you to bring your sons to the slaughter. MTV has decided to start casting for a reality show which will track male virgins as they attempt to break out of their shell and get into the intriguing world of sexual relations.

It's sort of sad that they are patronizing these men and their chasteness, as I feel they are. There's too much emphasis on losing one's virginity in America now. If you are a girl or guy who wants to maintain your virginity, by all means, do it. When you are ready to lose the flower, you will be ready. Don't get caught up in all of the sex talk and all of your friends telling you how fun it is to do it all of the time. Be your own boss. That's all.

More about Paris Hilton


Paris Hilton is "emotionally distraught and traumatized" over her 45-day jail sentence and is not capable of testifying in a civil lawsuit against her, the socialite-reality TV star's psychiatrist said.
Yea, you make your own snark.


BBC News:

A teenage Japanese boy has been arrested after walking into a police station carrying a severed human head and claiming to have killed his mother.

The 17-year-old went to a police station in the town of Aizuwakamatsu, north of Tokyo, carrying the head in a sports bag, Japanese media said.

Shit. That's crazy.

Erotic: I think not

The other night I was watching the re-incarnation of 120 Minutes on VH1 Classic, and, while I was complaining about it being videos that I already knew and probably didn't come on the original, the video for Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game." As a malleable mind, this song got me really, really into him and his music. As I reflect back, it is still a beautiful song, one that became well known due to its racy video featuring the directorial work of Herb Ritts and Helena Christensen, one of the world's great supermodels (I actually like her print work, and, from the spread in last fall's W where they compiled all of the great models of the last 25 years or so together, she's still in quite good form. I'm not just a perv; I do actually know something about fashion).

As I watched this infamous video, I noticed something that stood out to me in a bad way: it's not actually a sexy video. Yes, Ms. Christensen is naked, but is a nude woman all it takes for something to be sexy and erotic? The song is about how the protagonist finds the girl to be very attractive, but knows that their love is doomed to fail. She plays with his heart, she leads him on. He sees her and thinks that he stands a chance, only to realize that he doesn't.

The video plays this out. Christensen's heart is detached from her body, which is there in the scene being embraced by the passionate embrace from the interested and concerned Isaak. Her eyes shift and stare off into the distance, her body is limpid and unengaged. Her whole physical presence displays a displeasure with her current situation as well as maintaining herself as an unattainable ideal for Isaak, which pans out from the lyrics. Even though it could have been fun at the beginning, this love was not what she wanted from the situation. Isaak is, on the other hand, exactly where he wants to be: holding the woman who clouds his minds and fills his dreams. While his love for her was true, hers for him was not and the video holds this line true. But, with this in mind, how does this video become erotic? Is it the concept of fantasy, that one can be either person and imagine themselves in that situation. If you like the lads, you could be in Christensen's place and engaged in sexual relations with Isaak or vice versa? I guess that this is the only way that this video can hold a sex appeal because watching two people with no passion for each other is not really erotic. The video is beautiful, and I still love it. But, the video is no longer erotic, sexual, or anything of the sort to me.

How I think sometimes

I don't know how I came to this song, but I thought about it today. I think that someone will find this video fairly amusing.

Paris Goes to...the Clink

As has been reported, Paris Hilton will be going to jail starting on June 5th. She will be punished for her transgressions. She doesn't think that this is so hot. As I've noted before, this is really hot. If anyone needs to go to jail, it's Paris Hilton. She has been on the wrong side of the law so many time, it's actually kind of sad. While she is willing, or forced to, serve her 45-day term, there is one specific problem: the Los Angeles County jail system is overcrowded.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County (this is where Phoenix is. That's in Arizona, ICYDK) is willing to take on Ms. Hilton. It's also worth noting that Arpaio does not run a normal jail. His jail is a tent camp in the desert of Arizona, which can get up into the 100's regularly. There is no air conditioning and the inmates sleep in bunks. The simplest way to describe this place is grimy. But, Paris needs this. Hollywood needs this. And, additionally, I need it. I need to stop being inundated with images of Paris all of the time. Between the gossip sites, gossip rags, gossip television, and E! re-airing The Simple Life during insomnia hours, I can't take anymore.



Migdick, or how I learned about the birds and the bees

Editor's Note: I wrote the following post while I was on vacation. This all did happen to me, and I'm, in fact, leaving parts out to protect the innocent and, more likely, because I forgot some details. Also, this is not really safe for office reading...if someone can read your screen.

I never had a talk with my mom about sex. If it were to happen, I would imagine it being kind of awkward. She's talked about her sex with me around a few times, but it was not a discussion. It was, literally, her talking about her sex life with me sitting around uncomfortably having to listen because it usually happened in a car. I had always expected one of those strange 50's My Three Sons kind of talks about sex, not a rant about sleeping with a delivery man. Couldn't I at least get someone explaining this to me while smoking a pipe?

Throughout my adolescence, the birds and the bees made little sense to me, probably a smidge less than those who actually heard it. I always sort of knew that it was a metaphor for sex, but I found it strange that it was birds and bees. Those strike me as two very contradictory animals, especially in dealing with sex. I guess they both carry things and have eggs, but I don't really know how that one works out.

This seeming incongruity left me with a hole in my life. It wasn't really a large hole. Maybe the size of a clothespin. But, not understanding the birds and the bees was a bit of an inconvenience as it led me to fail miserably in my own life, which was completely my own fault. All of these years, I didn't understand the birds and the bees until I went to Shades, which was my first trip into a strip club.

Shades is a full-service Jamaican strip club located in the next town over from the tourist hub of Ocho Rios along the northern shore of the country. Shades serves a diverse population of tourists and regulars in myriad ways, some of which will be further explained later. Shades has the traditional strip club vibe to it. The front is nondescript and lit with fluorescents. You had to get wanded before entering, but, as I had learned only a few minutes earlier, this is standard practice in Jamaica at any late night spot. After getting past the generic front, you enter the main room. It was pretty much like the ones that I saw on those HBO documentaries about sex. This put me at greater ease as it was already a familiar place, but that ease was lifted when I started dealing with Silky.

Silky was my private dancer for the night. I'm fairly confident that you can figure out what kind of services are offered at this club. But fear not, this story will turn from pleasure to pain in the span of not more than five sentences. Since Silky is a masseuse, she gave me a message. Yes, that kind of massage. Problem was I wasn't invited to the party. While she did actually get rid of the 1% of tension that I usually care around with me (I seem uptight, but that's natural. I'm actually probably too relaxed naturally), that relaxation went a step too far, changing from pleasure to pain. But, Silky was content because she was wasting her time for money. When she took back to the main room, she gave me a lapdance based in narcissism. I watched her stare at herself in the mirror that was next to the chair. And she also drank a beer. And neither of these was a one time affair. The beer was, but not the mirror watching. While this was happening, I was asking myself "did I really expect something more from this?" Anyway, this girl wanted a tip for her shady lapdance. In this experience, I learned an important practical lesson: never take large bills to the strip club. While this whole incident left me with a setback monetarily, it taught me the first, and probably most important, component of the birds and the bees: the person has to be very you. Your boy/girl isn't getting grinded on by this girl; she should be someone you wouldn't mind if they invaded your personal space. This seemingly simple point was lost upon me. It must has been all of the ass shaking that clouded my mind.

While they were shaking their asses every which way to Sunday, I wasn't really feeling any of them personally. This isn't to say that they didn't try to impress. On the contrary, they were very entertaining as they used a pole in some of the most innovative ways I've ever seen. But, this was a Tuesday night, and Tuesdays at Shades are known for being a very special night. It's actually Freak night, where everything goes down and is completely acceptable. That will be elaborated on in due time, but the presence of freak night lead me into the second aspect of the birds and the bees, which will be explained in due time: sex is always better and more satisfying for all parties involved when everyone is equally respected.

On freak night, as I explained above, everything goes. And, I do mean everything. The first display of the night was have a girl do a dance on the stage then proceed to flash her vag to the whole audience. She does a headstand against the pole. While she is doing this, some guy with blond hair comes on stage from the audience. He then proceeds to stick a bottle in her vag and eat her out. It was entertaining, but the tone for the night had been very much set.

The next girl tried to have sex on stage with the previous guy (the one with the bottle), but that situation fell flat due to a mechanical malfunction. Even with some oral resuscitation, the malfunction went on. The next set did not have any it was a lesbian scene. This scene started and went like an epic marathon set of debaucherous realizations.

The first was that watching the three girls on stage get each other off was like watching a NFL Films production. There were ups and downs, rises and falls, and the domination of one team's spirit over the other all set to a hot back beat.

The second realization was that even if you are hung like a horse this doesn't hide the fact that you are an asshole. To explain this point, I go back to the writhing lesbians on stage who are experiencing the throes of orgasmic pleasure. After about 15-20 minutes, the girls found their rhythm. At this point in time, some guy walks onto the stage and starts just stripping. I turned away for a moment, and, when I look back, I see him down to his boxers trying to feel up on the girls. The girls weren't really that into it at first, but they eventually acquiesce. As he went along, it became clear that he was trying to get his rocks off instead of being a respectful member of the function. He sort of threw the girls around and tried to get with this one girl who couldn't even stand up on all fours. It was generally sketchy and made me feel bad for the girls. I thought I was alone, but the other people in the audience were sharing my displeasure at the scene. They waived towels and screamed obscenities at the young male with the big schlong. After a while, the third girl was trying to go with it for a while, but wasn't feeling it. That ended the scene, but the night had only hit its peak.

The peak of the night was this midget. You hear midget and think that's nothing special. But, he had a dick that would put every man in his place. It's huge! But, I had to find this out after watching an extended dancing sequence while he finished his energy drink. It was only one song, but it seemed like forever. After this was over, they found a girl willing to go on stage with him and his third leg. As she grinded on top of him and I saw the expression in her eye, I realized that I knew the third, and final, component of the birds and the bees: sex is a physical act, but it means little if it is lacking soul or fire. The girl's eyes were blank, staring off into the distance with any possible feelings of passion masked by a pervasive spirit of ennui. This display helped me to make conclusions about my life, the birds and the bees.

Monday, May 14, 2007

I am going to sleep.

I'm really tired. I think the pace of having to do stuff again is starting to catch up to me. That and the fact that I didn't start working on the blog early enough in the day. I started around 4.30 and I just couldn't get into the groove. I am working on writing the story about the midget. I was going to write about this show called Dancing Dynamites and its very Bring It On vibe. But, upon further review, I needed some sort material to make my points far more salient. If you read it now, it wouldn't make sense to you because you wouldn't be able to see the focus in the eyes of the girl from Blazin' Vybez.

Anyway, I'm going to leave you with this video from Swedish Dance Queen Therese. Honestly, this song is incredibly good. I'm going to get this album b/c I'm really into this song. Like, really really into it.

Now, I can go to sleep peacefully

Friday Night Lights has been renewed, and, on top of that, the atrocity that was Studio 60 was canned! As long as they don't take Tina Fey, The Office, and FNL away, NBC will always be number one to me. I actually think it is now.

Waste of Cash

This dude is a straight up svengali. People only believe him because he went to Harvard.

Ruining it for Everyone Else

The ongoing joke of an article this week is that a family in Chicago is suing the Chicago Public Schools for the psychological distress caused to a twelve-year old after seeing the homosexuality-laden Ang Lee-directed drama Brokeback Mountain. The family suing in this case is also one that complained to the school about the literature containing curse words.

Actually, I'm not going to pile on a lot here actually. I'll give them the beef with Brokeback. Seeing as these are middle schoolers and not say juniors or seniors in high school, I'll side with the family in saying that showing it is slightly inappropriate. 500K inappropriate? No fucking chance. It's maybe an ice cream cone and an after school special chat about homosexuality inappropriate. This doesn't need to go to court at all.

But, I won't stand for this family dictating what I read, which is what they essentially did by complaining about curse words in texts. The most important works of literature are offensive to some group of people. For example, I love Huck Finn, but it burned me up inside to read Twain to throw around the word nigger so flippantly. Huck eventually learned his lesson, but that's not the point. The point is that good literature will, indubitably, offend someone.

This family's quickness to pull the lawsuit and go litigious is hurting all of us. This lawsuit stifles creativity, experimenting, and the liberties given to teachers to do the best job that they can do. If she is so distraught about watching Brokeback Mountain, why doesn't this family sue the makers of Will and Grace? That show's about gay people and it's unwatchable.

Nudists are the New Hipsters

Since I don't really read my news on Sundays primarily because that day is generally my computer moratorium day, I just found this article on The Huffington Post. Apparently, the nudism industry is hitting a bit of a rough time in America, as young people are not flocking to nudist camps in the way that the geriatric set is. They are trying a number of different things to get young folks into the camps such as offering deep discounts and having younger people talk to their peers about the fun of nudism. While their attempts have to be rewarded immensely, there is a reason that their attempts have not worked: nature.

An aversion to nudity is not about the disinterest in seeing old folks walking around with their bits and junk all hanging around and out. Hell, that might actually be kind of hot seeing all that flesh jiggling around. Might be a bit much at times, but still pretty hot. Voyeurism aside, the problem with nudism is the fact that one would have to expose themselves to the full wrath of nature. Now, I was born in a swamp. Living in a swamp means that there's a lot of insects and bugs, things that can bite you on those same bits and junk that look hot while moving through the air playing lawn sports. I don't know about you, but I'm not trying to get bit on my junk just so I can express comfort with my own body. That's not how I roll.

But, if the negative effects of nature are neutralized, I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't want to go nude. It sounds pretty hot, and you wouldn't have to guess about the opposite sex since everything is all out there. I need to find a nudist singles night. That has to be a horribly disorienting situation. I thought the whole point of singles night was to get someone home to see them naked. I guess that nudist singles nights are positive since you can't really imagine anything to distract you from the other person because it's all out there upfront. What do you think about this?


Sometimes, the interests of people need to be thought of over the interests of government. Apparently, the Republicans are uninterested in giving the working stiffs of America a break.

Now, they only need to bring back Friday Night Lights

Good news for me, I'll have more episodes of Law and Order to watch on TNT during the day! NBC and Dick Wolf hammered it out and it will have an 18th season. Let's see if they move it from its Friday night slot and put it on at a time when someone can watch it.

He Can't Do Anything More

I pile on Bush a lot. Primarily because he's an idiot, but also, more reasonably, because of his likelihood to make ridiculous statements in public.

On this past sunday (the 13th), Bush made a speech about the colony at Jamestown. Instead of making it a speech about the struggles of fulfilling the American dream or some other sort of mildly jingoistic statement about the country, he said that Jamestown is proof that democracies require huge sacrifices.

Now, I'm not some old guy sitting in a historical archive in Virginia that can tell you about what the treaty signed at Appomattox Court House in 1865 by Confederacy General Lee to end the Civil War and make my people free (props, Grant, you boozer) said, but I'm fairly confident that Jamestown is probably not the town that you want to exemplify as a microcosm of democracy.

The primary reason for this is that Jamestown wasn't actually a democracy. In fact, the whole country wasn't a democracy. The discriminatory legislative body that was the House of Burgesses still had to run all passed legislation by its overseers across the pond. Additionally, this is the colony where Black people were first enslaved and women were traded for tobacco to be married (she's worth her weight in tobacco. No, seriously, that was the trade) to the single men in the colony who almost died on several occasions because they settled in a swamp and had little concept of how to sustain themselves. They didn't become a self-sustaining colony until 1612 when John Rolfe (yes, Pocahontas's John Rolfe) started exporting tobacco out to England.

In addition to the ineptness, the Whites were getting hammered by the Native American tribes who, in 1622 and 1644, attacked the settlers with tremendous force. In the end, Jamestown didn't even survive as a capitol and barely as a town because it was poorly located with little benefit to its citizens or the state. Additionally, people in Jamestown were regularly dying from outbreaks of malaria due to the high amount of mosquitoes that live in most swampy areas of the world (D.C. is no different as it is also built on a swamp).

So, I don't know how a settlement that is poorly located, generally inhospitable, violent, and reliant on the "generosity" of the Portugese and English for sustenance is a good example for the idea of democracy that flourishes in America and other countries of the world. But, then again, this whole speech is not a celebration of the settlement, but an attempt to justify the war in Iraq. I have to say that this is one of the most classless things that I've ever read.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sunday Night: It isn't Sunday Morning

I have some stuff that I am going to post tomorrow. While I was on vacation, I had some interesting thoughts and ideas come to me, especially regarding the difference in American and Jamaican television. Oh wow, Jamaican television is really amazing. Also, I have a colorful story about my trip to a strip club in the town over from my rental villa. It is a pretty colorful story involving a massage, live sex, and a midget. Oh, does it ever involve a midget. Anyway, random songs:

Start Together- Sleater-Kinney
Eyes Peeled- Pink & Brown
Messages- OMD
Living in America- James Brown
To Love is to Bury- Cowboy Junkies
Jackson's Club 'Sunspot'- OOIOO
They Forced My Hand- Cormega
No Sacrifice Too Great- Good Clean Fun
Let's Go Trippin'- Dick Dale and the Del-Tones
Nearing- DNA
Bitters End- Roxy Music
Dorothy May- Howlin' Wolf
Us Government- Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
On Language- Julie Ruin
Somewhere- Brian Jonestown Massacre
Ventilator Blues- Rolling Stones
Aos Pes da Cruz- Joao Gilberto
Age of Consent- New Order
Wild Love- Chris Isaak
Computer World- Kraftwerk

And, to tribute to Jamaica and in waiting for my trip to Kingston in the following years, I'm going to post a video with some all-stars of reggae. Beres Hammond on the mike. Sly and Robbie, masters of the rhythm, on the back-up. All action. BIG UP!

The Correct Term is Flight Attendant

So, while I was riding home from mother's day dinner and thinking about things that I could have done (read: hit on one of the waitresses at the restaurant. She could make a colonial outfit work for her; how could I not want to hit on her?) had my family not been there to harass me if I had gotten shot down, I finally realized how I want this blog to run in actuality.

The main thing that you will notice that there will be less specifically political posting. While I am passionate about politics, I also don't want to post about it all of the time. It does not hold my specific interest; It holds a lot, but not all of it. I am a cultural person at heart. Things about music, film, art, literature, and society at large are more distinctly interesting to me than explaining the absurdist logic that runs through much of the American legislative and executive system. If your heart should be falling quickly within your chest, I will be writing some political content from time to time. I think that we all understand that Iraq is a quagmire. I don't really need to inform all of you of that. But, I will try to avoid talking about the policy failures of the American government a lot now. There will still be politics discussed, but they will not be the central focus as I believe that they currently are on this blog.

Additionally, the celebrity posting will step up a bit, but it won't be like the other celebrity blogs that you will read. I don't care about celebrities enough to know where they are eating their lunch, shopping for their clothes, or taking their dogs to get groomed. Those things have never been interesting to me and will continue to be uninteresting. If they want to throw me pictures of Jessica Biel looking hot, I'm not going to complain. She makes me hot under the collar.

In the end, I hope to make this blog more cultural and better-written with less political commentary and more comments on celebrities, television, and music. While it will stay on the website, the political commentary will switch more to an aesthetic assessment or a semiotic assessment of a situation/issue (read: how they present themselves and/or reality in public through image or words) rather than a criticism of someone's failure or a dissection of a problem. This is a good example of what I would like to do in the future although less vitriolic and preachy. It will be a more theoretically-driven assessment of politics and its language and images. They'll fit in with my views on the American culture.