2018 Liebster Award Nomination

liebster award

Mucho thanks to Fantac.Cisse at JGC Blog for the nod and whose blog I thoroughly enjoy reading because it’s willing to talk about so many things like culture, self-improvement, Marvel movies, or how to grow marijuana plants unnoticed in your local community garden. (Just kidding about that last one…or am I?)

Anywho, I’m not sure who the original creator of the Liebster Award is but here’s a link to the Global Aussie website for more info. But it’s truly an honor to be nominated, to be in the company of such excellent bloggers. Wow! It seems like only yesterday when I dreamt of breakdancing my way to Olympic gold. Yet, being nominated for the Liebster Award is far better–and more realistic seeing as how breakdancing was never an Olympic event!

Now onto the rules:

RULES

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog
  2. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  3. Mention the original creator of the award and provide a link as well
  4. List your rules.
  5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  6. You have to nominate at least 5 people. There is no maximum.
  7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice.

3 Things About Myself

  1. I love watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) because the show increases your film intelligence by using humor to teach viewers critical thinking skills when watching really bad movies. It also shows just how racist, misogynistic, and sexist Hollywood really was/is.
  2. I despise Black Friday but Christmas remains my favorite holiday because the illusion that the world is not such a terrible place almost seems real.
  3. I hate jury duty with a passion, more than I hate reality television and politics. Our so-called system of justice seems to make us accomplices in its own brokenness.

A Brief Q/A

  1. What does blogging mean to you? Blogging means a lot of things to me like unlimited creativity, being inspired, enjoying moments of clarity, and belonging to a global community of extremely talented individuals.
  2. When you were little, what did you want to be? Happy and that hasn’t changed now that I’m older.
  3. Is there a book or a song that truly changed your life? Stamped From The Beginning by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi is a book that just shook me to my very core. It woke me to a lot of facts concerning the history of racism in America.
  4. What is your favorite food? Any food where you can taste the love in every bite.
  5. Where would you like to travel next year? Wakanda but I’ll also settle for Japan.

My Nominees Are:

4 M’s Bipolar Mom
A Cornered Gurl
bella’s babbles
Gender Creative Life
Jean Gasho

My Questions for the Nominees:

  1. How important is blogging to you?
  2. What do you want the world to know about you as a blogger?
  3. How have you grown as a blogger?
  4. What other perspectives (if any) have you gained by reading other blogs?
  5. Do you discuss or debate with those who may not agree with you on certain issues?

At the count of three, you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and having no memory of reading this boring blog post…one…two…three! Wakanda Forever! Peace! (Mic drop.)

 

 

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An American Patriot

In silent protest,
hearing the anthem playing
I stand on one knee.

Some “Free” Thoughts On Kanye West

Jean is a fellow blogger here on Word Press whose writing I greatly admire. She writes with such passion, clarity, and purpose from the unique perspective of a Melanin Advocate on issues that affect Black women and also provides valuable insight as a wife and mother on other matters, as well. Reading her blog is a no-brainer and I highly recommend that you do so.

And, recently, Jean and I engaged in a brief exchange concerning her blog post on Kanye West (speaking of no-brainers). She interpreted Ye’s viral, insensitive remarks about American slavery sounding like a “choice”, as him actually telling Black folks to liberate ourselves from the slave mentality. She also doesn’t understand the outrage–the Black-lash from so many in the Black community who were rightfully hurt by his careless words. Especially, since brother Ye may be suffering from mental illness.

Okay, to be fair, I’ve met far too many bloggers on Word Press who admit to suffering from various forms of mental illness but still find ways to function at high levels in their everyday lives. Even when they’ve missed taking their meds they don’t use it as an excuse for bad behavior. Plus, they are more than capable of thinking before they speak. So, I’m sorry, but having a mental illness doesn’t give Kanye a free pass to say whatever the hell he wants without expecting any type of clap-back. He’s written a check with his mouth that his ass can’t cash!

You see, I’m of the opinion that Kanye’s genius does NOT extend beyond his music and his idea of “free thought” is actually freedom from thought, nothing of substance, thinly veiled narcissism. His wealth and fame afford him the opportunity to make an uninformed, dumbass declaration–an ill-advised comment made to seem credible by the powerful platform he speaks from but is completely unsupported by the very real history of slavery in this country. And it’s an extremely dangerous statement to make in a White Supremacist culture that still doesn’t believe our humanity is worthy of equitable treatment.

Nonetheless, I have some free thoughts of my own concerning Yeezy Kardashian 2.0. Because I’m not convinced that Taylor Swift’s Liquid Paper cover of Earth, Wind, and Fire’s timeless R&B classic, September, was solely her idea. (And, no, I’m still not over it!) I believe it was a collaborative effort between her and Ye who decided to edit out his tambourine solo at the last second, not wanting to steal Swift’s acoustic banjo thunder.

Swift in return, was the ghostwriter for the lyrics to Ye’s highly anticipated single Lift Yourself, which is packaged as a song about Black uplift but is, in fact, a song calling for responsible dog ownership by instructing owners to make sure they pick up their dog’s poop in public places:

 

What’s that? You don’t believe me?

I don’t blame you. My words hardly carry any weight. Helloooo…I’m a Word Press blogger with 131 followers who’ve somehow, thankfully, have taken pity on me. I also aspire to be the King of Wakanda in the hopes of using vibranium technology to produce self-cleaning underwear (with super absorbent strength and nano dispensers that release many very attractive scents such as Pine Forest Fresh, the always popular Potpourri, or Honey Mustard…hey, I was hungry) to end restroom breaks and increase productivity in the workplace. Of course, everybody will also be able to take advantage of this Wakandan nanotech in a global effort to literally go green, and brown, and yellow or whatever the case may be.

But I digress.

And I understand that Jean doesn’t like to see divisiveness within the Black diaspora. Neither do I but for Kanye West to ally himself with the one man, Donald Trump, who represents everything that is wrong with America today–an America that continues its uninterrupted body count of killing unarmed Blacks with impunity–only shows his eagerness to part ways with the very people who share a lot of responsibility for his success.

Which is painful to watch, especially after Ye once blurted out on National TV in 2005 that president “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people“, a sentiment shared by many African Americans during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation. Or his 2009 Taylor Swift moment at MTV’s Video Music Awards–a moment that should have actually occurred nine years later outside the studio where Swift decided to record her powdered milk version of EWF’s September, which I’m not letting go of any time soon.

But those are just my thoughts on Kanye West–a Black man who, I’m guessing, will soon find out just how much his “free” thinking will cost him.

 

An Open Letter To DC

To whom it may concern (or to the crackhead with the $300-a-day-habit who decided to cast Ben Affleck as Batman),

DC‘s recent efforts–and by efforts I mean a severe lack thereof–to strike box office gold with underperforming movies that possess the super ability to cure insomnia seems more like a cry for help. And, yes, I understand that Wonder Woman (one exception) was an international blockbuster and deservedly so. But, you have to admit, WW was not a great movie. It’s true that Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was great in the movie and rescued it under the skillful direction of Patty Jenkins from becoming another CGI snoozefest on a growing list in DC‘s Extended Universe. It’s also true that the Suicide Squad set the bar extremely low as I continue to mourn the two hours and three minutes of my life that I’ll never get back.

But the main reason I’m writing this letter to you, Pookie, is because I saw Marvel‘s latest offering the Avengers: Infinity War on Thursday night. Needless to say, the theater was sold out, as two white girls sitting to my left began to do the Wakandan shoulder bounce once King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) appeared on screen at which point my side-eye instinctively kicked in and immediately shut that hot mess down. One of them even apologized. What can I say? I’m still reeling from Taylor Swift’s frozen yogurt version of September.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is just when I thought Marvel had nowhere to go after the phenomenal, record-breaking success of Black Panther I suddenly realized that I was wrong. Marvel has an entire universe at its disposal and right now the sun is shining a lot brighter in their cinematic solar system.

Of course, DC also has their own cinematic universe but the planets seem to be out of alignment causing big budget disastrophes (I just made up that last word because calling a movie like Suicide Squad “bad” falsely assumes that it was trying to be “good”) and low morale even among the more loyal members of your fandom. We deserve better but please don’t beef like crips and bloods for our box office dollars. There’s no need for that kind of drama. Besides, I’m a blerd! I got much love for both DC and Marvel.

I mean, I grew up on a steady diet of comic books, Saturday morning cartoons, television shows, and movies where both DC and Marvel helped me to escape from a very strict and sheltered childhood into worlds with unlimited possibilities. Hell, I used to watch George Reeves as Superman back in the day when the show ran in syndication. It’s just that, right now, Marvel is better at making movies. And DC…well umm…cast Ben Affleck as Batman. Honestly, I would rather see a computer-generated version of the late Adam West reprise his campy TV role on the big screen as the Caped Crusader. Though that’s just my humble opinion. But my point is that I never had to choose between the two comic book giants.

So I’m calling you out, Pookie and DC. Perhaps, you need to start from scratch, go back to the old drawing board with the exception of Wonder Woman, of course. It’s like Jack Nicholson’s Joker quipped in Batman, “This town needs an enema!”

Respectfully,
The Future King Of Wakanda

PS I would easily win the waterfall challenge against King T’Challa once I removed my shirt causing endless retching among those in attendance.

PSS And instead of waking up on the Wakanda Ancestral Plane I’d wake up in a Bally’s gym at the beginning of a spin class.

Challenge: 12 Things That Make Me Different

***WARNING***
The following blog post contains subject matter that readers may find far less interesting than, let’s say, picking through belly button lint or watching paint dry. Reader discretion is, therefore, probably not necessary.

I was inspired to take up this challenge by one of my favorite bloggers imayormaynotkillmyself because it seemed like fun. And, who knows? Maybe on my continuing journey of self-discovery, I’ll learn something even more boring about myself in the process…but I don’t think that’s possible.

The rules are:

  1. Mention if you were nominated by someone or decided to take up the challenge on your own
  2. Write your own list of twelve things that make you different and proud (and odd maybe?!!)
  3. On your post, put a link to the original post here. This is where the challenge starts from TOKENS OF EXPRESSION
  4. Use the hashtag #12ThingsThatMakeMeDifferent
  5. Be sure to write these five rules on your post. Including the note.

Note: Nominations are completely optional. If you want to nominate anyone specifically, feel free to tag them and inform them. The purpose is to spread the message. I really, really do encourage nominations, that’s surely a better way to promote and let people know. If you choose to nominate, please tag at least three. But keeping in mind the discomfort many bloggers have about the same, there’s no pressure.

12 THINGS THAT MAKE ME DIFFERENT (PROUD OR ODD):

1. You can say that I’m a practicing misanthrope. Meaning, I’ve developed a deep distrust of humankind in recent years and I can’t tell you why because I don’t trust you.
2. Learning how to make light and fluffy pancakes and biscuits from scratch are my gifts to my family.
3. There’s really no evidence that the American Civil War has ended.
4. Humor is my weapon, a survival skill I use to keep away the daily threat of being swallowed up whole by depression. So, yeah, I guess you could say that I do take humor seriously.
5. I happen to be a very secretive person but I’ll never admit it.
6. I rabbit-hole a lot on YouTube just watching videos of Asian female rappers with their corn-rowed attitudes and half-assed twerking bodies, even though I can’t understand a damn word they say. But just seeing how the influence of Hip-Hop and Rap has grown since its origins in America amazes me.
7. It’s not that I want to be angry with America, its history, its present…but as a Black man, I’ve run out of options.
8. I know that Black Girl Magic is real. It’s a Dolly Parton song bossed up by Whitney Houston’s vocal skill like the kind of Nubian appeal White girls always tryin’ to steal but goes sideways like an off-brand drug deal for pushin’ “Beau braids” while steppin’ on that authentic nappy feel cuz McDonald’s should never try to sell soul food Happy Meals!
9. I dress like a retired breakdancer.
10. I try not to act my age because I don’t think I’m old enough.
11. Running in place, actually, makes me feel like I’m getting somewhere.
12. I’m a worst-case-scenario kind of guy who sees the world through the lens of a half-empty glass.

Well, my work here is done. Thanks for reading…umm and don’t worry the numbness will wear off shortly. Hey, you were warned!

Breaking News: Taylor Swift Loses Her Damn Mind!

Maybe I’m overreacting…yeah, that’s it!
I mean, it has to be a prank! Right? This can’t be real! This can’t be happening!

Even with all her musical success, there’s no way in hell that Taylor Swift would even come close to carrying enough receipts to qualify her to cover Earth, Wind, and Fire’s R&B funk classic September. It’s a hundred years too soon, Becky! She shoulda just stayed in her lane as the anti-Miley Cyrus with ongoing boy troubles and other privileged White girl issues of having too much wealth and fame with little to no talent.

But don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate TS. I hate her decision to cover an EWF up-tempo masterpiece that used to pack dance floors in the late 70’s with a parade of polyester bell bottoms and hot pants in the Soul Train line dance. It’s the kind of song your parents might say they danced to when they first met…if they happen to be Black. (Because wypipo really don’t dance to music. They just kind of move to it in an orderly fashion…or not.)

And I know there are legions of Taylor-can-do-no-wrong-Swifties out there who can’t understand the Twitter backlash. That TS has taken a timelessly popular dance song–a song that can still seduce old school fam at a backyard barbecue, or family reunion to cut a rug and do the Bump–by a legendary soul group and transformed it into an acoustical type of suicide note. And you can listen to all 17 seconds of the vocal assault here.

And I know what you’re saying, that if TS was Black that there would be no backlash. That when the late Whitney Houston remade, recreated, reinvented, repurposed, totally owned, took us to church, baptized us, made us into born-again-believers with her deeply soulful rendition of Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You that she was endlessly praised for doing so. Umm…that’s because Swift’s vocal “range”–ranging from nonexistent to something unheard of–cannot and should not be compared to legendary singers who actually have one.

Now apparently, EWF member Philip Bailey has given TS his blessing and I don’t have a problem with that. Because it’s a win-win for him so I’m not going to revoke his pass to Wakanda. Swift’s attempted whitewashing of September will have no effect on the original chart-topper and may even expand the group’s fan base for those who (God forbid) have not heard of the great Earth, Wind, and Fire. In the meantime, I’ll be looking forward to Rachel Dolezal’s acapella version of Jungle Boogie by Kool and the Gang done in blackface.

Shooting the Executioner

The shutter blinks its black and white eye
and instantly causes the world to shudder
at the birth of a stillborn casualty
that ignites a passive generation of revolutionary voices
to speak freely in protest with red, white, and blue tongues
about the Pulitzer Prize-winning, 35-millimeter fatality
thwarting the future business of a war amputee
who immigrates to the US, sells pizza in a Washington suburb
until he is forced to retire
with the ironic words: “We know who you are, fucker!”
that would vandalize the remainder of his life
while taking the truth to his grave where even today
it still lies.

Largely unnoticed through the years
is the burning Saigon sun shining angrily
on the chrome of an American made Smith & Wesson
in the General’s right hand
as the famed photographer once lamented,
“That picture really messed up his life”.

©Benjamin Woolridge