14th Apr2008

Why Do White People Hate Shoes? And My Open Letter To Monster.com

by Will

“I’ve wasted all my tears, wasted all those years…”

Can somebody tell me: why do White people hate shoes? I swear, White people and shoes have been at war for centuries. It’s funny because the minute Black people were emancipated and allowed to wear shoes, they never took them off. Hell, they invented shoe collecting! Sure, you have your minority of White women, collecting their Manolo’s, but Black people buy shoes they don’t even wear! They have backup shoes, just in case something happens to the pair on their feet. White people, on the other hand, can’t wait for the first ray of Spring sun. The shoes and socks come off, and it’s Foot City! Why is that? Especially since the feet, oftentimes, are fucked up. Listen, Becky: if you’re gonna wear flip flops, get a damn pedicure. I swear, women love to say shit to me like, “I can’t believe you get manicures” or “I can’t believe you get your eyebrows waxed”. Don’t hate. A person should look as good as they can, so don’t pick on me for your shortcomings. You think I’m gay? So what; that’s your problem. It still doesn’t keep your feet from looking like talons. Keep your shit together and put some damn shoes on!

OK, I swear this is the last time I mention “Love Song”, but I just have to share this: When I sing along with the chorus, I like to replace “you see”, with “nigga, please” (there’s an extra beat, so it works). Something about that switch just gives the song a whole new dynamic. It’s funny, if just for a second, to imagine that Sara is singing to a brotha…

Man, Rock The Cradle just gets better and better as the train wreck becomes more horrendous. I wonder if MTV considers pulling the plug. I can’t imagine the ratings this thing gets, but I revel in the disaster that unfolds onscreen each week. Chloe Lattanzi…still there, huh? You have got to be the fakest chick I’ve ever encountered, but you’re still there. I especially loved your little spiritual walk through the rock garden. Nice touch. Anyway, I’ve gotta give it up to a chick who dares to wear high-waisted jean shorts with boots! Chrissy Snow couldn’t have pulled that off, so I don’t know why you think you can, Sandy’s Daughter. My favorite part of the show, however, is seeing the rehearsal footage with the session musicians. On any other show, the session guys are supportive and attentive throughout this process. On Rock The Cradle, however, they look at these nobodys as if they wish to smash in their skulls. They cringe when wrong notes are hit. They stare with intense loathing at the “singers”. If you’ve got DVR, go back and watch last week’s episode, during Chloe’s rehearsal. There’s a guy whose facial expression is saying, “If it weren’t for my fucking second mortgage, and a good for nothing whore of a daughter in community college, I’d walk the fuck out of here. I played with Herbie Hancock, you tone deaf bitch!” OK, it was a quick scene, but his look was that intense!

Dear Monster.com,
I have no desire to sell insurance or diapers to old people. When you asked me if “today’s the day”, I must say that my expectations were a bit higher than what you’ve provided. While I understand the world of telemarketing is always looking for a few good soldiers, I went to an Ivy League school. Hell, I even graduated from it. I know, I can hear it now: you think I’m one of those Ivy Snobs. Sure, I may not being doing a damn thing with that piece of paper, but that’s kinda why I came to you. You see, some people told me you might be able to help me, but I’m beginning to doubt your influence. After all, you’re not providing me with anything I couldn’t have found myself in a Lincoln Tech brochure. On second thought, maybe I should take them up on their offer. I mean, I am underemployed AND looking to turn my career around. So, Monster, I guess you can sort of see where I’m coming from. I think we’re just going in different directions. You simply can’t give me what I need. I’m not blaming you; after all, it’s my fault for being foolish enough to believe your empty promises. Sure, I’ve seen the commercials. I know you’re out there, changing the lives of others. If only you could’ve changed my life, Monster. That’s all I ever wanted. I guess I simply expected too much. Well, Monster, today is the day, the day that I’m taking back my life. I wish things could’ve been different, but I’m not sure there’s a place for you where I’m going. No, Monster, I didn’t forget my password – I simply don’t need it anymore…

11th Mar2008

Company Dinner Faux Pas

by Will

“How’re you gonna fix it, fix it, fix it?”

Huh. It turns out my last post was Post #600. There were no bells and whistles or anything. I’ve got to pay more attention to that kind of stuff. Oh well, I don’t really like the number 600. I’ll make a big deal out of #650. Anyway, here’s a conversation that I had tonight, at a company dinner, with the director of the sales department:

Me: Hey, Mike…what’s the name of that chick you took to Stardust that time?

Mike: What?

Me: Remember, when they basically gave everyone in the whole damn company tickets to Stardust? You had a girl with you. I think she works in customer service. She’s cute and, well, to put it another way, kinda…”thick”….(yeah, I used the finger quotes)

Mike: Oh, no…she’s not in customer service…

Me: Really? You sure? Who is she, then?

Mike: That would be my girlfriend. And you’re a dead man.

*laughter erupts around the table*

Me: Oh, shit…well, let me tell you, in my community, “thick” isn’t a bad thing!

*more laughter*

Mike: Oh, really?

Will: Dude, she’s really cute. She is a cute girl. Hell, I’m glad you got to her first! You beat me to the punch!

Mike: Uh-huh. You’re a dead man.

Me: Man, I’m serious. I’ve been looking at her since that day, and all I could think was, “Man, she’s cute. Why the Hell is she with Mike?”

Keith: Yeah, Will, you should probably shut up now.

And that, folks, why I’m considered such a “people person”.

21st Jan2008

Dr. 90210, Katie Holmes on BET, Natasha Bedingfield, and Kate Hudson

by Will

“Hey, did you guys see that fight outside?!”

I just had the kind of weekend that I just know I’m going to look back on and regret. I didn’t do anything wrong, but I just feel kind of…off about a lot of stuff. I know I’m being cryptic, but it’s really not that deep; I’m just the type of guy who tends to regret shit. As my friend Jenna would say, I’ve got to learn to let it go. Anyway, on to the randomness.

– I swear that Dr. Rey, from Dr. 90210 is the creepiest, sketchiest son of a bitch on television. Find me a creepier dude; I dare you. From his weird-ass gangster suits to the skeezy way that he speaks to his women patients, that guy does not put me at ease. And don’t get me started on all his martial arts bullshit. Out of nowhere, he’ll just pull out a pair of nunchucks and go at it. With the exception of Michelangelo & Panthro, nobody cool has ever wielded nunchucks. They’re that weapon that sounds cool in theory, but ends up looking stupid in practice. Then, there’s his home life, which just seems so fake. It’s like he’s actually gay, but they went out and cast an actress to be his wife, who is obviously uncomfortable in the role. Any scene with him and his wife is always so scripted and dramatic. The other day, he had to go to his birth home to Argentina (?), where he was determined to get his deathbed-ridden father to admit that he loved him. Meanwhile, Mrs. Rey (who looks as much like Skeletor as Finola Hughes), is bawling because she fears she’ll never see Dr. Rey again. Sweety, he’s just going on a trip. Stop your crying. Plus, I thought this show was about plastic surgery. Enough with the family drama and bring on the boobies!

– I’m about to declare the single of 2008. Yes, I know it’s early in the year, plus it’s not even an official single yet. That said, Jive would be foolish not to release it. What is it? “Break the Ice” on Britney’s Blackout album. It’s the hottest song on an entirely hot album. It’s impossible to not dance when that song comes on. It truly is the hotness. Yes, it has driven me to use the term “the hotness”. That song is so tight that I’ve actually choreographed a dance for it. I’m not talking about some little bullshit dance, either. This is a Fatima Robinson-level dance, and you better believe it won’t involve folding chairs!

– You know, Natasha Bedingfield looks great for a 37 year old. Wait…she’s actually 26? Oh

I mean, seriously, did ya see the heinous top she’s got on in her latest video? It just screams “Cougar Wear”. Get her out of Dress Barn, stat!

My deal with Natasha is that she still doesn’t seem to know what the Hell she’s doing. Her debut album was one of the most meta experiences in musical history, as she wrote an entire album pretty much describing how difficult it is to write an album. Have you ever listened to the words to “These Words”? It’s about how she couldn’t figure out what to write, so she’s just gonna sing about how hardthe process is. Really? Does that count? Is she just going for partial credit? Anyway, she’s got her new album that drops on Tuesday, and her big single, “Love Like This” features Sean Kingston. Really? Who’s bright idea was that? That’s the worst, most missmatched combo since the So So Def remix video to Jessica Simpson’s “Irresistible”, where Bow Wow’s scenes are just spliced in later, as it’s clear Jessica would never be in the same room with him. Also, Natasha’s song has no real tune. She’s just kinda screeching at notes, hoping that some of them stick. It’s like they want to present her as a singer with a 5-octave range, yet she’s not really exhibiting any control. Her manager needs to figure out what her gimmick is gonna be. What is it about Natasha Bedingfield that people should care about? What is there to kep her from becoming tomorrow’s Natalie Imbruglia or Robyn? That shit right thur is gonna be the million dollar question.

– Oh, thank all that is holy for the miracle of TLC’s Smash Lab. A show dedicated to blowing shit up and wrecking shit. You know, for science. For every Real Housewives of Orange County and Intervention that we have to put up with, every now and then someone presents us with shows we really want to watch, like this one.

– Speaking of smashing shit, Burnout is the best/worst therapy for social deviants. In fact, I’m starting to believe that video games really can corrupt today’s youth. I mean, I was never a gamer. Yet, I picked up Burnout 2, and found that I had an affinity for causing NASTY multicar collisions on the highway. Not only did Burnout allow it – it encouraged it. So, I found myself begin rewarded for causing property damage and killing as many school bus children as possible. And I couldn’t stop. I spent 8 hrs devising the sickest, gnarliest, audacious car collisions possible. And you know what? I’d do it again. I’m THAT sick. Thanks a lot, Burnout

– So, Katie Holmes was making the talk show rounds last week to promote her new movie, Mad Money. Best Week Ever made fun of the fact that she didn’t really have anything to say. She’d drop little worthless anecdotes about Suri which, as BWE put it, it sounded like she was describing a child that she had just met. “Oh, she’s got a good temperament.” What I felt needed discussing, however, was her surprise appearance on BET’s 106 & Park. Yeah, let that sink in for a minute. For the uninformed, 106 & Park is BET’s version of TRL, only people actually watch 106 & Park. So, Katie comes on to present her costar, Queen Latifah, with the Golden Globe she’d won a few nights earlier (ya know, since the strike pretty much killed the Globes ceremony). I have never heard of a more inappropriate person to be in the BET studio. Let me explain: half them folks ain’t never seen Dawson’s Creek. Nor have they seen Go. And she was the most throwaway part of Batman Begins. So, I’d just love to know how it felt to be in the middle of the collective “who the fuck does this bitch think she is?” mentality that must’ve been running rampant in the studio audience.

– This is going to be controversial, but I feel I have to go here. I’ve a theory on what must be the best part about being a gay male: the clothes. Allow me to explain. There’s some shit out there that a straight gay just isn’t allowed to wear. For example, I was at Busboys and Poets tonight, and there was a grown man wearing a vintage boy scout uniform, complete with bandana neck kerchief. That shit is bold. Now, I’m not saying I’d want to wear it, but I’d like to be able to should I so feel the desire. For a straight guy, you wear that, and people start to talk. “Oh, Will must be gay.” Or “What the hell was he thinking?” However, if I were gay, people would see me in that shit and just say, “Oh well, he’s gay, so…” It’s like a free pass. If I were a gay man, I could wear a picnic tablecloth as a cape, Adidas sweatbands on my ankles, along with a belt made of McDonalds ketchup packets, and they’d be copying that shit on Project Runway. You could be a gay guy with no fashion sense, and no one would know because stereotypes support that all gay men are fashion pioneers. That’s some bullshit and it needs to stop. Some of us straight guys wanna be fashionably daring, too. It just ain’t fair! Yes, I realize there are a ton of cons that are heavier than my shallow pro. I have a friend who said she wished she was Black just so that she would be able to get away with wearing bright colors. Yeah, I realize my argument is just as fucked up as her statement right there. Sure, it’s more about confidence than sexual orientation, but I just wish we didn’t have these hang-ups. Maybe I’m just looking for excuses. Look for my new line, Bromosexual, in Fall 2008.

– Am I the only one who finds it funny that Kate Hudson only gets the roles that would have gone to Goldie Hawn 20 yrs ago? What’s weird about that, you say? Well, it’s weird considering Kate’s Goldie’s daughter. I mean, has this ever happened before in Hollywood? Kiefer Sutherland sure as hell doesn’t play the same roles as Donald Sutherland. Charlie Sheen sure ain’t taking those Martin Sheen roles. It’s odd that Kate and Goldie are so interchangeable. Watch the trailer for Fool’s Gold. You swap out Matthew McConaughey with Kurt Russell and you’ve got Overboard. Think about that for a bit.

Anyway, Happy MLK Day to y’all with good, government jobs. While you’re drinking your lattes and catching up on your Tivo, I’ll be busting my ass making sure no comics get lost shipping from Korea. I have a dream, as well. I see Black children and White children holding hands, as the White children introduce their new Black friends to the magical world of comic books. And the Black children will fall in love with the medium and begin to buy comics for themselves. And enough comics will eventually be bought by these Black children that the industry will have to acknowledge this audience exists, and will have to shut down on MLK day for fear of backlash. Thank God Almighty, for fear of backlash…

30th Dec2007

2007 Year In Review

by Will

“I just want a moustache, man!”

So, last night, I found myself in the weirdest party environment. This dude got really drunk and then started apologizing to me for slavery. Keep in mind, I’d never met this guy before last night. He claimed he argued my case for his entire Christmas dinner because his family is backwards. I asked why they had such heavy Christmas dinner conversation. I think the worst part was when he said, “Dude, you’re black! I’m so sorry.” Yeah…

I feel like I should do some kind of year-end, best of 2007 post, but I also feel like I said all I needed to in my San Diego Saga. I mean, that was pretty much the highlight of my year, as far as adventures go. Anyway, I think I’ve got a few more things to say about 07, so here goes:

Top Albums of 2007:
Amy Winehouse – Back to Black
Lily Allen – Alright Still
Rihanna – Good Girl Gone Bad
Timbaland – Shock Therapy
The Pipettes –We Are the Pipettes (US Version)
Fall Out Boy – Infinity on High
Maroon 5 – It Won’t Be Soon Before Long
Leona Lewis – Spirit

Honorable Mention
Britney Spears – Blackout
OneRepublic – Dreaming Out Loud
Mark Ronson – Version

Recent Books Read:
Love Monkey, by Scott Mebus: One of the first lad lit books, I was really disappointed by this one. The main character isn’t very endearing, and the story meanders. 9/11 is thrown in for an emotional beat, and it lacks a fulfilling ending.

Don’t Hassel The Hoff, by David Hasselhoff: If you love The Hoff, you’ll love this book. The problem is that the ghostwriter clearly does most of the work, as British terms and spelling seem to trickle in a LOT. At times, it’s hard to believe that Hasselhoff has such a lofty view of himself, but it’s not cocky – he clearly means well, but it isn’t conveyed as innocently as he would have liked.

Phone Sex, by Miranda Austin: Simply put, it’s the autobiography of a phone sex operator. Not as entertaining as one might think. Interspliced are how-to tips for the aspiring phone sex caller (not operator!). It pretty much outlines the process for beginner/first-time phone sex customers. The book wasn’t that juicy, nor did it have an ending. Plus, Austin’s focus on the fact that she wasn’t exactly attractive or anything like her persona kind of chipped away at the mystique. She pretty much confirmed the stereotype of phone sex operators as overweight and unattractive. It’s like David Copperfield coming out and saying, “Hey, magic’s fake!” Why shoot yourself and industry in the foot like that?

How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship & Musical Theater, by Marc Acito: Very good read. I try to stay away from fiction because I just don’t really care for that in my books, but this one caught my eye by the cover alone. It didn’t turn out like I thought it would, and I found myself wanting to shelve it early on. What I thought would be a cool, modern lad lit tale turned out to be about a mid-eighties story of a bisexual drama student as he struggles to raise his Juilliard tuition. I’ve got to say that I’m glad I stuck with it, as it’s a pretty funny read. Like I said, not what I thought it’d be, but I’m not disappointed.

I just watched two of the most jingoistic movies of the past 30 years: Rocky IV and Starship Troopers. Rocky IV just screams “U! S ! A!”, as it’s steeped right in the middle of the Cold War. I always felt Apollo deserved to die , solely based on his bombastic James Brown-fueled ring entrance. No good could come from such an audacious start. Meanwhile Starship Troopers touts the difference between a citizen and a civilian. It’s all about how your civic duty is to fight, and while the kids are all from Rio De Janeiro, that’s an afterthought considering they all look like Abercrombie gringos. They should really sell these at Best Buy as a “God Bless America” two-pack.

Best New Shows:

Chuck (NBC)
The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Favorite Movies of the Year:

Superbad
300
Grindhouse (only the Death Proof half)
Stardust
The Bourne Ultimatum
Black Snake Moan
Live Free or Die Hard
We Own the Night
Spider-Man 3
I Am Legend

You know, people look at me funny when I say this, but if you take out the whole “things come out at night to kill you” aspect, Will Smith’s life in I Am Legend really ain’t all that bad. I think what would drive you mad would be the possibility of survivors. If you notice, he was fine until all this “safe zone” talk. If you thought there was a chance there were others out there, you’d agonize over what might’ve been. But if you decide that you’re the only one left, yet you might be able to cure the converted, that’s a different frame of mind entirely. I already talk to myself, so adding mannequins to the mix wouldn’t really change much. I’ve also wanted to speed through Time Square and use an aircraft carrier as a driving range. It all seemed so tranquil and peaceful. Sure, the rest of y’all would be dead, but “…spilled milk”.

Celebrity of the Year: Britney Spears
Say what you will, no one got more headlines than this crazy chica, and it was a batshit crazy year! Anna Nicole died. OJ returned to his criminal ways. It took 3 months for them to do something with James Brown’s rotting corpse. Lohan spent most of the year in rehab. Imus and the Nappy Headed Ho’s. The Sopranos screwed us over with its “non-ending”. Owen Wilson suicide attempt. Gay Political Airport trysts. A Negro headed for the Democratic nomination. Paris is probably going to lose most of her inheritance. But all of that was trumped by Britney. Anything the world could do, Britney could do trashier. No end in sight for a troop pullout? Who cares? Britney shaved her head! US dollar losing steam on the international landscape? Who cares? Britney’s gonna lose her kids! Global warming’s gonna kill all the polar bears? Who cares? Britney got fat and phoned in her VMA performance! It was a modern-day “We Didn’t Start the Fire”, and Britney was the chorus every time. If someone’s keeping a scrapbook of her escapades, I’m sure they made MANY trips to the Walmart this year to stock up on photo albums!

Award of the Year: Myspace
It’s been a big year for Myspace. They were purchased by Fox, gaining a new lease on life as an inexpensive form of movie publicity. Next, they threw their hat into the Presidential Debate ring. On a more personal note, however, Myspace was *very* good to me and mine this year. I know my boy, K-Bone would agree, as well as several others. In all honesty, I don’t know where my social life or general entertainment would have come from without it. Now, to some people, that might sound sad, but to me, it simply demonstrates the awesome power of the internet. I know that for me and my friends, we salute you, Myspace.

2007 is also the year I started paying attention to song lyrics, so I leave you with this:

So take a bow,
’cause you’ve taken everything else
You played the part,
like a star you played it so well

I will have no problem leaving 2007 behind. Look for a new Will in the coming year. That’s not a resolution; it’s a promise.

See ya in ’08…

14th Dec2007

Dirty Pokemon, Black Snake Eyes, New Knight Rider, and Tribute To Ike Turner

by Will

“I thought you made love like an ugly woman. So present, so grateful.”

Dear TNT,
There are other shows in the world than Charmed and Law & Order. I appreciate what you’re trying to do. You’re going for a whole theme thing. But, really? There’s a whole world of syndicated shows out there, just waiting to be mined. I don’t think anyone’s airing The Fall Guy right now. Or how about that old show, The Wizard, with the midget who made toys that helped him “MacGuyver” out of bad situations? Just a thought…

So, I’ve been losing my mind lately, as Toys “R” Us is now open until midnight for the whole holiday rush. For those of you new to these parts, I work evenings and weekends at Toys “R”Us, or as I like to call it, “my student loan job”. Staying open til midnight can be trying considering that’s just the time at which we start turning away customers. Actually leaving the store is a whole different matter. This past Wednesday, we didn’t get out until 2 AM. Keep in mind that the employees are high school students, mothers, and people with other jobs. It makes no sense to me, seeing as how we have a capable night crew, staffed with baby mama’s and ex convicts. Can’t they clean the store?! But I digress…

During this season, our minds start to wander, and the subject matter of our conversations isn’t exactly suited for our environment. For example, a few weeks back, one of my coworkers remarked that he’s both vulgar and nice. I told him that his Pokemon name would be “Vulgice”. Then, his evolutions would either be Vul-Va or VulGina. Yeah…

Recently, though, we’ve been having a lot of discussions/arguments regarding the upcoming G.I. Joe movie. The guys were remarking that, regardless of how Hollywood decides to fuck it up, the movie won’t be complete without Snake Eyes. Now, this is when one of the guys decided to say that there was a time when everyone thought Snake Eyes was Black, and how disappointed he was when he turned out to be some White guy. Now, first of all, this is a common Black thing to say, as we’re always trying to claim someone in the media. Mariah Carey? She’s ours. The Rock? Yeah, he’s ours, too. O.J.? He’s ours as long as he’s acquitted. Anyway, it was weird to hear this, though, as the assertion was now coming from a White guy.

So, I had to search long and hard and think if there was ever any indication that Snake Eyes was a Black guy. As far as G.I. Joe goes, all Black members have to carry a big ass gun. And rhyme. See: Roadblock; Cross-reference: Heavy Duty. Snake Eyes didn’t rhyme and he carried swords. Not a compelling case.

Then, there’s the fact that Snake Eyes dates Scarlett. Sure, in the cartoon, she was with Duke, but in every other form of media, he’s knockin’ those redheaded boots. Now, have you ever seen a Black guy with a redhead? Have you? For real? If you have, can you find out his secret for me?

Next, there’s the fact that he’s a ninja. I’ll admit that I was surprised he was just a blond cornhusker, myself, as he was a master ninja…who’d fought in Vietnam. This is the real clincher, as I realized there could never be a black ninja. Sure, a ninja might wear Black, but he could never be Black? Why? Because ninjas have to be quiet. There, I said it. You know you were thinking it, too!

A Black ninja would be flossin’ and shit, and would never pull off the element of surprise:
“I’m a ninja, son! Look at this big-ass sword, woadie! I’m ’bout to cut you, fool! You betta check yo self ’cause I’m ’bout to ninja. yo. ass!”

But, knowing Hollywood, if they want to be hip and edgy, movie Snake Eyes will probably be Black. And played by Chris Tucker. Thanks, assholes.

Speaking of Hollywood ruining cool, black concepts, I leave you with this: The other day, I was stalking a friend on facebook, and one of his friends is a page at NBC/Universal. Her status mentioned that she was watching the new K.I.T.T. models roll of the truck. For the uninformed, NBC’s filming a new Knight Rider movie which, if successful, will lead to a new series focusing on Michael Knight’s son. Well, when I saw this message, I almost wet myself. I wanted to send her a message. After all, this woman was like an angel to me; my link to my savior: a talking, condescending car. Just looking at my site, you’ve *got* to see the Knight Rider influence. Anyway, I held off, and decided to find more info on the project myself. And here’s what shattered my childhood memories:

HOW THE HELL CAN YOU CALL THIS K.I.T.T.?!!

I swear, every night when I say my prayers, I pray that someone would bring back Team Knight Rider. Or at least release it on DVD. On the bright side, at least these producers got The Hoff to agree to come back, which is something TKR never pulled off.

This post is dedicated to the late, great Ike Turner. I believe there are two sides to every story, and poor Ike never got his fair shake. So, I hope he’s in Heaven, slapping and beating up angels…

20th Nov2007

Video Games, Tila Tequila, and Wedding Shows

by Will

“I can’t wait to get married because nothing’s better than the cheating.”

-How in the Hell does Mario expect to beat Sonic in a race?! And at the Olympics, no less! Sure, if they’re running through pipes, I could kind of understand Mario’s advantage. But he clearly has no clue what he’s gotten himself into. Doesn’t he know Sonic’s origin? The little guy broke the friggin’ sound barrier, which is why he’s blue. BLUE! A blue friggin’ hedgehog, who can break the speed of sound, and some overweight plumber from Brooklyn thinks he has a shot. That’s harder to believe than the Rocky story.

-Anybody been watching MTV lately? What’s the deal with Alicia Keys and the bunny? Sure, it was kind of funny when it turned out to be John Mayer, but what was the point? Was the bunny her stalker? And wow, was she a bad actress! Was she that bad in Smoking Aces?

-Speaking of those MTV bumpers, is there some kind of payola scam going on there? When they started the program, it was for smaller, indie bands & performers. They would let some little act take over MTV for a week, and you’d be bombarded by their crappy live tracks or hear the lame story about how they formed. I wanted to punch that orange-haired chick from Paramore in the face. Anyway, they had Paramore, Chromeo, Rilo Kiley, Teagan & Sara, Common…and Alicia Keys. “One of these things is not like the other”!

-OK, so I’ve found myself dragged into the Tila Army. The show is just so entertaining, but it’s sad when everybody’s more interesting than Tila herself. Every now and then, she’ll interject just so you’ll remember that she’s a part of the show. She’s so damn whiny. “Oh my God, I’m bisexual! You don’t know how hard it is for me.” Blah, blah, blah. Yeah, Tila, it sure looks hard. You’ve got to decide between a whole bunch of guys, and a whole bunch of girls. Plus, it seems like the deck is stacked, as the guys are pretty lame. they’re either gross and/or I suspect they might be gay. If she’s smart, she’ll choose one of the lesbians. Actually, if she’s really smart, she’ll choose Dani; I swear, she’s more of a man than I am, but there’s something likeable about that chick, and she’s got a good head on her shoulders. The hardest part for Tila has got to be the fact that she’s working under a time constraint. After all, who knows when the mothership is going to return to take her back to Tilatron 9?

-While I’m still on this MTV jag, why does everyone in the Real World: Sydney house hate Parisa?! Seriously, since the beginning, it’s been like the producers set forth an edict: make Parisa the bitch. Over the course of the season, we’ve seen multiple housemates get pissed at her, curse her out, and after last night, even knock her down. For the most part, she’s kept her cool. And the one time that she did fight back and stand up for herself, they acted like she was a “crazy bitch”. You know the sad realization? Parisa’s “the black one” this season. You see, every RW house has that crazy black person who either starts fights, refuses to be a team player, and/or gets arrested for public urination. There’s no black housemate this season so Parisa, as the de facto person of color, is now filling that role. The biggest revelation, for me, is that she has never really done anything to deserve this. Sure, she can be a bitch sometimes, but everyone in the RW house is asshole/bitch at some point. It’s called good television. It’s enough to make you want to rewatch old seasons and see if Syrus, Kevin, or Tyrie actually deserved the flack that they got in their respective RW seasons. OK, well Tyrie deserved his…

-Since I’m this far in, I think this is going to end up as a TV blog post. Nothing wrong with that.

-Let me preface this by saying that I am not a gamer. I’ve always seen video games as an expensive game of “Keeping Up with the Joneses”. I’ve only got time and money for one hobby, and that’s comics. That said, I want Assassin’s Creed. The commercial alone makes me want it. The same way the Harry Gregson-Williams’s score for Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty made me want a PS2 (and the game), the commercial for Assassin’s Creed makes me want a 360 (and the game). One of the best uses of Massive Attack’s “Teardrop” in recent years. Plus, it’s designed by Jade Diamond, and she’s hot. At least, that seems to be why UbiSoft thinks we should buy the game. (for recent, hilarious controversy, google: jade, ubisoft, cartoon.)

-For anyone who doesn’t know, I love wedding shows. For reals. It all goes back to my A Wedding Story addiction when I graduated college. that was soon folded into Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?, along with Married Away. Then, I Propose came along last Spring to cap it all off. Always a bridesmaid…Anyway, I’m having problems with Whose Wedding as of late.

I’ve written about this before, in that I believe Whose Wedding… is getting too highbrow for its own good. You see the same annoying planners (I’m looking at you, Donnie Brown!), and there’s too much crossover with Married Away. I get it. These are the favorite planners. Regardless, I still long for the old days, when there was a more eclectic mix of wedding planners. I miss Jim Rich, who runs a storefront wedding chapel in Texas. He’s the planner, minister, and MC of the reception. He does it all. Sure, most of his weddings were shotgun weddings between high school dropouts and Mexican immigrants, but they showed a different side of the wedding game. Lately, all of the weddings have been $90,000-$250,000 affairs thrown by professional New York couples who met in an elevator or the organic food market. The balance is completely thrown off now. And when they do have a “normal” couple, it’s such a hot ghetto mess that I’m ashamed that it’s even being shown.

My least favorite wedding planner right now is Linnyette Richardson-Hall. She handles weddings in the Baltimore area, and calls herself “The Wedding Diva” (Ugh, I hate when Black women call themselves “diva”. It’s SO “A Different World & Livin’ Single early 90’s” to me). She doesn’t like when the couple refuses to give her control, and she’s always cutting corners. She loves turning people away from the reception; it’s a necessary job, but she relishes it. She is not the chick you go to with an unlimited budget, because she’d just spend it all at the dollar store. I recognize that there’s a need for this type of wedding planner, as not everyone has an unlimited budget (I sure as Hell won’t!), but everything is so garish and cheap.

Typically, Linnyette caters to Black couples who’ve been together forever, and decided to get married before he cheats again/goes to jail. Seriously, here’s your average Linnyette wedding: bride and groom are about 32, and they were high school sweethearts. They’ve been on again/off again for the past 10 or so years, but they were on just long enough each time to spit out a few kids. So, now they’re planning the wedding, with their kids in the wedding party. The worst part, though, is their idea of a wedding has been tainted by the Jet Society Page, so they think a regal wedding consists of groomsmen, bridesmaids, junior groomsmen, junior bridesmaids, flower girls, and ringer bearers. All the while, the ceremony and reception are taking place at Bolling Air Force Base. They want to have a classy-ass affair, but we’re talking about a possible 20-person wedding party, for a dude who washes cars and a chick who works at the local check-cashing/seafood carry-out joint. Am I being too harsh? Maybe, but that’s what I do.

Anyway, if you’ve never watched the show, each hour is comprised of 2 different weddings being planned by different planners (although, they do have the rare case where one planner has 2 ceremonies on the same weekend, so she/he’ll get the whole hour). Now, it goes without saying that Linnyette’s weddings look even worse when stacked against a wedding being planned in Martha’s Vineyard, yet this happens more times that I’d like to recall. My problem with Linnyette is that I’ve never really seen her do anything that looked good. I mean, the couples seem happy with the result, and at the end of the day that’s what really matters, but I’ve never seen anything worthy of being televised. It’s almost like she’s an example of “wedding planning don’ts”. I get being “frugal”, but some of those corners. She’s the kind of chick where you’d say, “We need flowers”, so she’d swing by the funeral home and pick up any stray arrangements she found laying around. “We’re gonna need centerpieces”. Well, she’ll go to the dollar store, buy up a bunch of plastic candleholders, and then spraypaint them silver at home. She’s done it before.

A wedding’s a special day that, Lord willing, you’ll only go through once. That said, I wouldn’t want to cut corners. It doesn’t matter if the guests don’t realize the cake is day old from the bakery thrift shop. I would know, and that’s what counts. I feel you should plan according to your budget, and not try to cheat. Don’t try to have an elaborate high society affair in an Air Force bowling alley with some Rock Creek Ginger Ale. Know your limits, people. If you really don’t have a budget, well, that’s what Vegas is for…

12th Nov2007

Retarded Chris Brown, Black Republicans, Van Wilder-less Van Wilder 2

by Will

“Seriously, y’all, I’m punching a bear in the face!”

-Man, am I obsessed with Rihanna Jenkins! (Jeff’s the only one who’s gonna understand that joke). I just picked up Good Girl Gone Bad yesterday, and it is HOT. Just like everything else, I’m 6 months late to the game. I remember when I was jamming to “California Love”, and all my friends were like, “Will, Tupac’s been dead for 2 years.” Anyway, hottest track on this album, besides “Umbrella”, has got to be “Please Don’t Stop the Music”. It’s impossible to *not* dance while that track is playing. I love you, Rihanna!

-Why is it that whenever you see Chris Brown on a magazine cover, he’s always got that semi-retarded look on his face? Exhibit A:

“Kiss Kiss” nothing! Grab your Kleenex, ’cause this boy’s a drooler! You know the type. Their “handler” is always trying to take them to the mall, knowing full well that they’re gonna go crazy and throw a fit in the middle of the damn place. And everyone looks over, thinking, “Why in the Hell did she think she could bring that boy up in here like that?!”

– I really thought the Dewmocracy.com commercial was an Army recruitment video. I mean, the Marines almost got me a few times with their crafty camerawork and use of kickass looking swords. With the covert ops scenes, spliced in with the hints of a dystopian future, I was about to run down to the nearest recruitment office. It turns out they just want me to help design the new flavor of Mountain Dew. Not quite the same thing, but I’m willing to hear more…

I caught the last few minutes of Roadhouse on Spike the other night. Could someone please tell me what the fuck that movie was about? I saw some guy who looked like Santa Claus lying on the ground, and I think Patrick Swayze vowed to avenge him. And then these guys stormed a house, and Swayze beat the shit out of them, even though they had shotguns. And then a polar bear fell on some guy. It was all capped off by the main villain getting shot through a glass coffee table.

Now, I don’t have any old issues of Architectural Digest, but those glass top coffee tables seem to have been a staple of the time, and villains were always being shot or thrown through them. I know everybody wants to be a gangsta, but you have to decorate accordingly. If you’re in a line of work where shoot-outs may occur, you don’t want your home/office filled with glass. It’s just common sense, people. Seriously, though: What the fuck was Roadhouse supposed to be about?

-OK, I know that banner ads are supposed to be in-tune with the webpage on which they’re placed. However, I do believe that some things can go too far. Yesterday, I was trying to catch up on recent events on Sunday Best, so I hopped over to BET.com. Well, immediately, my eye was caught by a flashy-ass ad which could not be ignored: the entire side of the page was consumed by an ad for KFC. I shit you not. I clicked through several pages, but it was still there. KFC must be the biggest supporter of Black Entertainment Television.

Honestly, I hate watching BET (and formerly UPN) at this time of year, ’cause you’d think that all Black people do is eat chicken and shop at Wal-Mart. The hippies can give up Wal-Mart all they want ’cause the Black folks ain’t goin’ nowhere! I swear, Wal-Mart LOVES them some Black folks at Christmas time. The commercials have already started. The latest one is where the Black family buys grandpa a plasma TV. My favorite part is where they reassure him that they didn’t pay a lot of money for it. The commercial is geared toward this ideal: White guy’s response would be: “Well isn’t that great! I can watch the big game on it.” But Black guy’s response is immediately, “Y’all know we ain’t got money for this!” Gotta know your audience…

-Speaking of race, there’s no one who gets my pity more than the Black Republican on Election Night. You better believe that they’re gonna make sure to get him in every camera shot. He’s off to the side of the podium, just smiling and clapping, and every news outlet has to show that the Republican party is diversifying its ranks. The saddest part is that the dude is always out of place. It’s like he’s just not in on the joke. Even when they win, the Black dude is always left out of the congratulations proceedings. Everyone’s trading hearty handshakes, and he’s just still smiling and clapping. Sometimes he’ll even join in when the White guys start doing the whole Arsenio Hall Dog Pound Fist Cyclone (we gave that to them in 1996 when they let us have Mariah Carey). But even when they break out high-fives (for which he immediately feels well-suited), they high-five all around him. Sorry, Negro. Too slow! I swear, that guy must be the most hated guy ever because, for that one night, he’s the ironic victim of equal-opportunity hatred: Black Democrats, White Democrats, Many White Republicans, Green Partiers, Non-voters, his predominantly Democrat family, as well as his White wife’s family.

-How are you gonna have Van Wilder 2 without Van Wilder?! Also, I’m pretty sure Kal Penn is getting tired of faking that accent. It’s such a phoned-in performance, as the movie is more like Kumar Goes to England than it was about Taj. In the first Van Wilder, Taj was pretty fresh off the boat, and had only achieved a shred of cool by the end of that movie. In the sequel, he was the coolest guy ever (like Kal played in Harold & Kumar), while making fun of the British class system. Don’t bother with this movie, as you’ve seen it 25 times before. It’s Revenge of the Nerds meets Old School meets Bend It Like Beckham. If you want a funny college movie, though, you should see Grandma’s Boy. SO much better than people thought…

Well, that’s enough rambling for one day. In the immortal words of R.E.O. Speedwagon, “I believe it’s time for me to fly…”

29th Oct2007

Has Boondocks Gone Too Far?

by Will

“I don’t go with the “ga” version. I go with the “ger” version.”

I feel like I just had another “encounter moment”. You see, I really love Boondocks. It’s hilariously offensive, yet smart, in that Chappelle kind of way. At the same time, I think tonight’s episode just broke the record for the number of times “nigger” was used during a half hour of television that wasn’t part of the Roots saga.

Now, this has always been a controversial issue. The whole debate of “how can we say the word is bad when we use it in our music?” Or when you catch a white kid using it, and he responds, “But it’s in the song.” Sorry, folks, but Chad’s right. If you don’t want people using it, don’t use it so freely. Don’t go with the whole “we’re reclaiming it” argument. Don’t try to act like you can bandy it about and still be able to regulate its use. Sure, I’m guilty of it myself, as I went through quite a phase earlier this year. Then again, nobody reads this thing, while Boondocks is one of the highest rated shows on Cartoon Network.

I feel like I wouldn’t even care if the show were aired on BET. I just feel I’d be more comfortable with that. It could come on right before ComicView. Knowing it’s on Adult Swim, in lieu of an Aqua Teen or Sealab rerun rubs me the wrong way. Do you know the typical Adult Swim demographic? Primarily white males, age 16-32. Do you know how this must look to them? Sure, they’ll take it as a joke, but it will also serve as an example to them. It makes it seem like it’s OK to use it if A) it’s part of a song, B) black people use it first, in front you, and/or C) it’s part of a joke. I do not want these kids going to school tomorrow and laughing in detention about how Uncle Ruckus performed an exorcism on a nigger. I fear for that kid ’cause some black kid is gonna hear it, and that nigga’s gonna shoot somebody. What was that? Oh no, it’s cool. I used the “ga” and not the “ger”. See how fucked up that defense is? As if to say pronunciation is going to change anything. That’s as lame as saying that Hitler actually disliked juice

24th Jul2007

OutBlacked!

by Will

“You’re, like, my Black Spock…like in Voyager.”

OK, I should be asleep, but I had another weird TVLand observation I needed to write about. After the whole Good Times thing, I caught an episode of Star Trek. A lot of people don’t realize that, despite my love for the franchise, I am not that much of a fan of the Original Series; I like The Next Generation onward. Lately, however, TVLand has been showing the classics, like when the crew goes up against Space Lincoln. Well, this morning was the Khan episode, “Space Seed”.

A lot of you may know Khan as “the villain with the bitchin’ pecs from Star Trek II”. Yes, that is Khan, but he first appeared in the series. When they find Khan, he’s on a derelict freighter, with about 70 other people. They’ve been frozen since the 1990s, and the Enterprise crew tries to figure out what their story might be. To me, though, the crux of the episode is that Khan is such a charismatic motherfucker, and he macks one of Kirk’s women off the bat. This is a process that I like to call “Outblacking”. Kirk was essentially outblacked by Khan. How does this work? Well, let me tell you.

The “outblack” concept was something I came up with in college. When you have a frat party, and one Black guy, the odds are in Black guy’s favor because he has a card that he can play at any point. He can remain quiet and enjoy the dip, or he can bust out and become the life of the party, making the other (mainly White) guys insecure. He has, in effect, outblacked them. But here’s where things get hairier. Say, you have a guy like me as “the Black guy”, but in walks a thug. His street cred is stronger than my kung fu. By virtue of his “keepin’ it real”, I’ve been outblacked. He is then entitled to my women and my kick ass party reputation. From that point, I either have to leave the party, or try to act like we’re friends, so that everyone else thinks we know each other (don’t all Black people know each other anyway?), therefore leeching off his blackness chi. You can see this played out every weekend in clubs across America. It’s the most base form of Black on Black crime.

James T. Kirk is the pimp of the Alpha Quadrant. Because pop culture seems to imply that sex appeal and sheer and utter pimpness are “Black concepts” (see Bill Clinton), this makes Kirk Black. Well, here comes Khan and he seems to snatch the one chick on the Enterprise who wouldn’t give Kirk any play. Surprise, Kirk! You’ve been outblacked! And all it took was a Mexican with Jesus hair. She didn’t even get a chance to see that magnificent chest of his.

I’m thinking about contacting some BET people, and seeing if Outblacked! would make a good show. After all, they put Hell Date on the air, so I really don’t think they can find much fault with my idea…

24th Jul2007

JJ Gives Up His Ticket Out Of The Ghetto: Good Times Analysis

by Will

“Why’d she have to take her candyass back to Norway?!”

Dr. Phil said it was OK to look, but he sure as Hell didn’t tell me what I’d find…

I’m going on very little sleep right now, so bear with me. This isn’t exactly a stream-of-consciousness post, but it’s going to be sort of scattered.

Last night, I caught the oddest episode of Good Times ever. It was like the writers decided to just pretend that the Evans’ weren’t poor. Because anyone who’s ever seen Good Times knows that that is the plot of every episode: we’re poor, we don’t know how we’re gonna make it, but our family will get us through. Basically, the plot of Good Times is pretty much covered in the theme song to 227.

So, in this episode, I guess the producers wanted to try something different. It’s not that the Evans family wasn’t poor now, but it wasn’t the main focus of the show this time around. JJ was putting together a singing group with Michael as the lead singer. Thelma was their choreographer, while Willona was their songwriter. Anyway, GT used to do a lot of “Here’s Michael singing” episodes, as Ralph Carter was a Tony Award-winning musical star. This performance stood out, however, because he was incredibly tone deaf. I guess it just goes to show you that they didn’t overdub back in those days.

So, JJ takes the group to a nightclub because there’s a talent show, with a grand prize of $150. And this money will come in handy because the Evanses are poor. How the Hell they were going to happily split $150 between 8 people is beyond me, but I wasn’t exactly alive in 1976, so maybe things were different then. Well, at the nightclub, they find out they can’t perform because Michael’s only 15, and it’s an establishment that sells alcohol. The group turns on JJ and they storm out of the club. While he’s sulking, he meets Judith Cohen. This is where the episode gets weird.

Judith Cohen is this overweight, self-deprecating, redheaded Jewish chick who wants to be a star. At the same time, she doesn’t chase her dream because she doesn’t believe in herself. Well, JJ finds that he’s a manager without a group, and Judith professes that she’s a group without a manager. Wow, that is some hardcore self-deprecation. So, the decide to join forces, and JJ sees this chick as his ticket out of the ghetto. The part that struck me, though, was that he latched onto her without ever hearing her sing. I thought it was going to turn out that she was terrible, and he’d truly latched onto a loser. In any case, he took her to Thelma to learn some dance steps, and Willona was going to do her costume. JJ was determined to make sure Judith won that competition. All this, and still nobody had heard her sing a note.

Well, competition time comes, and Judith gets onstage. At first, she’s kind of hokey, poking fun at herself in some Vaudevillian act. Next thing you know, she launches into this moving rendition of Send in the Clowns, which had an emotional resonance that I’d never experienced from that show before. Well, of course Judith wins the competition. Next thing I know, there’s Dean Travers from Three’s Company, and for once, he’s not being smarmy. He wants to sign Judith to sing weekly in his restaurant, but that plan is squashed when JJ refuses to hand Judith over to this more established manager who just pops in out of nowhere. Apparently, this guy had clout, and he controlled all of the musical acts in Chicago. If JJ wouldn’t give Judith to him, he’d make sure she never worked again. So, JJ decides that it’s more important for her to showcase her talent than for him to hold onto her, so he lets her go. Yes, he gives up his ticket out of the ghetto (which, oddly, was a white girl), by giving her to The Man. Sure, that’s probably not how I was supposed to read into that episode, and it was 4:30 in the morning, but that’s the message I walked away with. It could also be interpreted that the Black man was never going to better his situation as long as he had something that the White man wanted. Once again, probably overanalyzing. Man, I need sleep…