Comet.

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Why? Because of “Shameless.” It’s starring Emmy Rossum and Justin Long. And he’s likable, dare I say boyish; similar to Adam Brody and Topher Grace. It’s quirky. It’s all shot in this lovey dovey filter. It’s comfortable like a blanket. Sometimes love seems like you’re a deep slumber.

You watch it and think I know how this ends. A romantic dramedy, there’s ebbs and flows, awkwardness and balance. It is a visualization of conversations that only lovers sometimes have. You get invested because if you didn’t know, you now know that you’re a hopeless romantic and doomed. Love requires faith; lust can surely make you question it all.

It gets cheesy of course. Love is corny or it makes us that. You must love dialogue to stomach this. Which I do! The lack chronology rings true to love, long since lost.

Comet is the random pertinent moments of everything when you‘re losing love and to pensive to fight for it, until it’s possibly too late.

Dinknesh not Lucy.

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A friend of mine wrote a status denouncing the audacity of a movie set to be released called Lucy. From Jump Street, I figured it had something to do with some white woman posing as the mother of all people.

I watched the trailer. I palmed my forehead.

Please don’t read this and think reverse racism or some ridiculous colorblind nonsense. If a white woman can express her solidarity to the natural hair movement surely I can discuss my outrage of the white washing of my/our history. I’m not a huge fan of Scarlett Johansson’s acting.

For nearly three weeks, my niece has lived with me as she attends a dance camp that’s near my home. Last week, she said “Auntie let’s watch Lucy.” I told her not tonight.
Auntie is what she calls me when she wants something that she may not get—instead of just my name.

So, last night she asked again. I made a post about Hollywood not fooling me. I called her mom. She hates that I do this. “It’s just a movie with the girl from Captain America in it. She did good in that movie.” She said.

‘I guess.’

My sister hadn’t seen the movie and said she probably wouldn’t. She said just talk to her first. She’s smart. I told my niece to google “dinknesh ethiopia.” She clicked on the Wikipedia link. Together we read the introduction paragraphs.

I asked her if she knew the definition of a fossil. She thought it is was cool that the fossil was so old. I asked her what she thought that meant. She said “she must’ve been here first.” I allowed her to gather the facts. I wanted to see if a ten year old mind could produce the truth. Lastly, I asked her about Ethiopia. She said “it’s a country in Africa.”

What came next was beautiful.

“Ohhhh, the movie is called lucy and her brain power is better than everybodies but it’s not an African woman. It’s a white woman. Why didn’t they just get an Ethiopian?”

I’m not shocked at my niece’s deductions. My sister communicates very well with her children. And she doesn’t withhold the truth from them. The sheer power of visuals is concrete. Her mother may choose to watch and discuss it further with her.

I come into contact with a lot of children and adults alike that are in need of guidance (such can come from within). Between the loveless, lack of compassion, friendly fire and prison numbers increasing, one can find the real reason people go to great lengths to alter the truth.

“Twisted” by 50 Cent featuring Mr. Probz

“Big Rich Town” by 50 Cent featuring Joe

Wanksta.

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Omari Hardwick got a new gig.

Power. He got the money, now he wants the respect. Was that corny? I can’t help it. Certain words triggers my mental radio and blast vintage rap lyrics.

A white man and a black man got the juice; the best of both worlds type of thing. But the black guy wants out: retirement, 401K, white sand on beaches. The white boy worships the shit like heaven.

I’m intrigued but not wholly persuaded.

I’ve watched every season of “Boardwalk Empire.” My television and I have had deep conversations on perfect revenge plots. No doubt, I have issues with the UNIA discrepancies as Jeffrey Wright joined the cast as Valentin Narcisse. It’s critically acclaimed. Each actor is effortlessly committed.

Hell, even after watching “The Wire,” certain drama just ain’t gangsta. Maybe the key is Michael K. Williams, our very own Chalky White and Omar Little.

The show is very “The Coldest Winter Ever” meets “True to the Game” a la watered down Studio 54. In no way am I comparing Sister Souljah to Teri Woods or diminishing the infinite influence of 54 on NY’s night life.

But I’m not in high school. So, I can bet on who’s going to die and which chick (possibly Mrs. Patrick played by Naturi Naughton) is going to place a flashy fur coat on an otherwise inconspicuous drug dealer and have him gone for a couple of Novembers.

What I do like, which is odd, is Curtis Jackson. 50 Cent not only executive produced the joint but also has a role to play. The theme music is crack. It comes in like ice cream, yes ice cream. Joe’s voice is so smooth on “Big Rich Town,” that you recall exactly why he ruled the ’90s. As you bob your head in acceptance, you realize Joe needs to drop a new hit. Usher can’t do it all!

What I truly love about “Power” is that it’s bilingual. As a displaced African, I am enamored with language. Its texture, the complexities and how familial it is to those that are so privileged to speak it.

Many ignorantly suggest that language is not imperative to freedom but I strongly infer differently. “Gang Related” also has the precious presence of two languages, three if you include the bits of Russian and Korean. “Power” shares a cast member with “Related,” Lela Loren.

Lastly, maybe I’ve had enough infidelity from the tube that I cringed as I watched “I Gotta Go.” Just know my lip turned up at the dinner table scene and later when Ghost romantically recalls a nostalgic melody. The fifth episode ends with 50 Cent’s tune, “Twisted.”

Omari is adequate eye candy. However, what made “Luther” worth my time other than Idris Elba is that the show was insanely unpredictable and poignantly written.

Watch if you must. I have thus far.

I’ll be me. You be you.

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I love all these articles about cultural appropriation that doesn’t discuss cultural misappropriation. They entertain gestures of humility but don’t explore the presence of guilt because of blatant acts of thievery and disingenuous concern for today’s hottest and most stigmatized topics.

Originally, Macklemore inspired this piece. The Grammy’s, life, Ghostface Killah’s legacy inspired this. And then I figured I shouldn’t write this out of anger, just in case my emotion causes the message to be blurred. Oh yes, Robin Thicke, you are not Marvin. It’s not so much about race as it is about the audacity of people incapable of being dignified enough to tell the story as it is.

Wallabees are significant. His Staten Island, fast-paced flow is what made him Ironman. His enigmatic flow and sick storytelling style is why you copped Supreme Clientele.

At 3:57 Monday morning, my newsfeed was flooded with status on whether or not the natural hair movement needed to be properly defined. I find that definition is always required when Africans attempt to heal thyself. Jamilah Lemieux wrote an honest piece for Ebony.com. It’s why I like her. Then, naturally, Nikki of Curly Nikki responded. It is clasped onto the wings of a Kumbaya song. I have had dreadlocks since the 4th grade, I am now 29, and it “ain’t been no crystal stare.”

Exclusion and inclusion are interesting concepts. Inclusion only becomes a problem when the party who created the tools and ideals of it are blacklisted. Robeson because of his loud disdain for racism. James Baldwin had to live black in Paris. Ya’ll wouldn’t let Ali be great. Historically, ringleaders of the exclusion clubs abhor being the victims of segregation. Absentmindedly, they can’t comprehend why we all just can’t be friends or that finding peace, enlightenment and renewal are often gradual, personal journeys one must take. There’s a damn near invisible line between flattery and pilfering.

Many would argue that this isn’t the real issue. But we be of two identities. The issue is history. For far too long, others have written our story. Plagiarists have penned lies. It is important for those yet to come to be aware of the numerous, authentic features of African people; the long list of our innovations; and that our heritage does not begin with slavery. The truth needs to be properly documented—verbally, in print or otherwise.

There is no need for polls or debates when the truth is apparent. When it is told both the heart wrenching and heartfelt then maybe we could be good real friends.

BECAUSE colorblindness don’t solve a thang.

Cherchez La Ghost lives forever. Did Du Bois think it would take us this long?

“315Culture more than a cool logo. It’s a movement.”

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How do you invoke change in a world were gratification must be instant?

Today, the word future is a word one must whisper, in fear of reality kicking in. Poor education systems, lackluster government, stifled job sectors, universal frustration, high levels of homelessness, and no end in sight wars. The list is limitless. 

The world needs fixing. Many would say its generation x and y’s responsibility to mend it. However, not the way we used to go about solving problems but innovatively and creatively. Anything and everything is at our fingertips because of the fast pace and revealing nature of technology.

We wear our thoughts on our sleeves, so to speak, in statuses and tweets, through Instagram. So why not place virtual thoughts onto products.  315Culture has done just that. They’ve “create[d] a brand that heightens awareness and inspires people of all cultures.”

These shirts are not about blind activism or lyrical revolution. 315Culture doesn’t want you to just rock Ernesto or Mandela. They want to enlighten you more to inspire more change. 315Culture is interested in our thoughts becoming actions—they are intrigued to know that our actions may alter reality. 315Culture has chosen words that are juxtaposed that will force forth discussions and debates: “citizens vs. government” and “drugs & politics.” 

Revolution is about cultivation.  315Culture is planting seeds. Seeds when watered correctly and with the right amount of sunlight will grow.  315’s movement is culture.  Its culture is change.  Developing in Detroit, Michigan but most noted for its roots in Philadelphia.  Connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or at www.315culture.com.

 

Scandalous Ain’t Even The Word

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Every Thursday if I’m lucky or Friday afternoon, I tune in for my weekly dose of Shonda.  That’s right, Shonda not specifically Olivia or McDreamy.  As the screen connoisseur that I think am, big or small—Shonda has managed to satisfy my addiction of a well written storyline matched with superbly developed characters.

Despite James Wolcott’s truthful claims of the small screen outshining the big screen, there has been a serious onslaught of controversy directed towards Rhimes’ primetime show, “Scandal.”  The unanimous concern seems to be with Olivia, a powerful black woman, having an on & off steamy affair with Fitz, the white president.  It conjures historical dynamics between female slaves and their masters.  It makes Olivia look like a slut.  It has magically awakened the dutiful powers of “clean up women” everywhere.

I tried not to write about this.  I really tried not to write about this.  I endlessly conversed with a friend to rid myself of this urge to respond to those that are appalled by the affair that does not encapsulate the entire scope of the show.  It was therapeutic, but clearly it did not work.  Those in contempt are so infuriated that they have begun to judge my fellow gladiators all because they watch the show.

Funny thing is, I used to watch General Hospital religiously up until last year.  Soap operas are as dramatic as it all, can get.  People judged me.  It didn’t match me: my locks, my demeanor, my school of thought, or my character.  Nonetheless, most didn’t know that I was a valedictorian in high school; graduated from Howard University, or that I am currently embarking on a Masters in Computer Science.  Their judgments were baseless.

To be honest I have more dreams about being more like “Mr. White” than Olivia Pope.  I daydream more about perfectly positioning a Strela-3 to explode a helicopter because of my intimate relationship with “Call of Duty” but not sitting on my couch drinking endless glasses of wine waiting for Olivia to pick up the phone call from Fitz.

Huck is my favorite character.  Harrison is perfect for Olivia.  I actually root for Mellie because, hello, she’s the wife.  After last week’s episode I’m sure Mellie’s back story struck a cord with many women.  Sacrifices are made but not always readily available for appreciation or oftentimes go unreciprocated.  Let’s just say, Mellie is stronger than battery acid. No matter how intricate the other characters storylines are what the world sees is a black woman laying down for a powerful white man.  As painful and haunting as this country’s past is; interracial relationships of many kinds are prevalent and growing in wedded numbers—without sexist, demeaning power structures, unrealistic gender roles or racial overtones.

I’m not a big fan of hypocrisy or double standards.  No one screams and shouts about Blair Underwood’s on screen white lovers.  At least not to this degree, that is if the argument is about a misrepresentation of cultural love and solidarity.  Hell, there are fewer articles about Will Smith and Denzel Washington not having sistas as their mates in their million dollar flicks.  “Independence Day,” is the last movie Will had a black lover (Vivica A. Fox), if I’m not mistaken.  It’s because we already know whose coming to dinner.  Maybe we’re just selectively possessive, in a sort of do as I say not as I do kind of way.  We bestow certain freedoms to men that are not offered to women, especially not to black women.  It is naive to think that this show has spearheaded an emergence of black women sexually expressing themselves how they want. Women like sex too, contrary to society’s belief.  Black women like sex too.  We women can’t get excited as we read “Fifty Shades of Grey,” but men can watch as much porn as their appetites require.  Have you notice, no one really talks about Fitz’s part in this ménage?

Strangely, enough the argument is rarely about infidelity.  I suppose that’s because many have stepped out while in exclusive relationships.  Still, it can’t just be that Olivia is black and Fitz is white.  It is too self-righteous to sit and argue about a fictitious character that mirrors your very mistakes and/or regrets.  I knowww, it’s different—it’s your mate’s fault.  Most importantly, if you are a black man or woman for that matter and you are currently mistreating your loved one in the same way Fitz has mistreated Mellie and has swooned Ms. Olivia—GTFOH.  “The tempted bares as much guilt as the temptor.”

What I resent is how the black community engages in believing what one black woman does, all black women do (and vice versa).  There’s nothing I abhor more than generalizations.  Never mind that Olivia Pope is portrayed by Kerry Washington, an actress.  Moreover, I do not desire an interracial relationship extramarital or otherwise nor have I developed such a craving.  African men are my only preference.

As stated before, I am a fan of Shonda Rhimes’ creativity. This show or no show for that matter does not have the power to dictate what I do or brainwash my character into something that it is not. If you’ve done it, you were going to do it—it was already within you, to do so.  Don’t express your complete disdain for “Scandal” but you watch “Basketball Wives,” “Love and Hip Hop,” or “Real Housewives of Atlanta.” If you can watch reality TV, most certainly you can give “Scandal” a break.

Side note: The objectification of any woman, by any group of people is still just that, objectivity.

“What Am I Missing?”

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Photo Courtesy Esquire, Imdb, Indiewire, Twitter, TheNerdFiles and FanPop

Initially, I was drawn to BBC’s “Luther” because of Idris Elba.  I watch the Toyota Avalon commercials with the sagacity of an obscure surveillance crew.  I am jealous of the photo, my best friend managed to take with him at a NYC nightclub.  Elba is arguably our guiltiest pleasure.  Besides my obvious slight fixation, the supreme eye candy on the small screen for a short, 58 minutes; Luther is definitely a contending crime drama.

On July 2, 2013, Detective Chief Inspector John Luther graced our televisions screens once more.  From intro to finish, nothing else exist.  Massive Attack’s “Paradise Circus,” slithers through appropriately ushering in each episode.  Luther is a tormented but precocious English detective and member of the Series Crime Unit (SCU). “Luther” leads viewers on a trail, like a fly on the wall, of the unraveling of the human psyche, more often depraved minds.  As a reflex to his own demons and the demented nature of London’s most sadistic criminals. The show’s authentic gruesomeness, is not for the faint of heart.

Alice Morgan is my favorite character.  She’s a research scientist, the only character more adept than Luther but none the more, she’s a psychopath.  Other characters include Superintendent Martin Schenk (Dermot Crowley), Detective Sergeant (DS) Justin Ripley (Warren Brown), Benny “Deadhead” Silver (Michael Smiley), and DS Erin Gray (Nikki Amuka-Bird).

The script is organically eloquent.  The acting is indubitable, theatrical dexterity.

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