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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Return of the Mack?

Please…please, calm down! Try not to get too nauseated excited ladies but, yeah, that would be me in the featured image for this rather lengthy blog post. Future Word Press blogger extraordinaire and more than likely a future janitor King of Wakanda. It just so happens that I was drunk resting after my Vivica’s Black Magic male revue debut that you can watch here…though, full disclosure, I’m not in it. But if I was it would probably be more like this:

giphy7

Also, in the featured image, you’re not able to see my six-pack abs from that angle (or any angle for that matter) mainly because they don’t exist just like my so-called Black Magic debut, though I’d like to believe I would’ve killed it in some alternate universe where women are either blind or have absolutely no standards whatsoever.

Anyway, that picture was taken in 2013 after a night of being pimp-slapped by seemingly endless shots of Jame-O and other spirits towards the end of a little research project I was conducting at the time that I like to refer to as being single again. The reality idea suddenly hit me two years prior in 2011 when my ex-wife moved out as we legally separated and began the process of divorcing.

At the time she left, my weight was fast approaching 300 pounds and my already fragile ego was flatlining. I mean, I was at a very lonely place in my life, feeling unattractive, insecure, and very self-conscious. Plus, I was getting older–like closer-to-mid-life-crisis older where places on my body had become a lot hairier, less defined, and let’s just say…less visible.

And. Leave. It. There.

But I told myself I wouldn’t rush into another relationship just because I was feeling lonely. I first had to learn to live alone, to be alone, and get to know myself better which turned out to be total bullshit once I started to lose weight.

But before I started to slim down I briefly went through an online dating phase. I truly believed that being a single Black man with a job, no children, and pursuing a college degree would somehow give me an edge, enhance my appeal in a country that continues to stereotype African American males as basically criminals which is wypipo’s code for nigger.

(*For more info on wypipo codes just watch Fox News–a “fair and balanced” Klan rally)

Still, I felt sort of special, mythical even, in that Will-Smith-BaggerVance-magical-Negro kind of way. And so I joined online dating websites like OK Cupid, Plenty of Fish, Zoosk, and Christian Mingle. (Until CM being the bunch of online-dating-Nazis that they are blocked me for apparently not being single enough since I was only “legally separated” and even asked me to send them a copy of my divorce papers after they were finalized–true story).

I quickly learned that online dating wasn’t for me because I also realized that people lie on their dating profiles. And, yes, I was one of them. But you have to understand that the internet gifted men like me–men without vast amounts of wealth, who don’t possess Danny Glover good looks (yes, Danny not Donald)–with an anonymous platform to totally reinvent ourselves.

My dating profiles were epic, filled with that extra! I’m talkin’ about some of the greatest works of fiction ever created because the world of online dating never seemed real to me. So there was no way I could take it seriously. You can be anybody you want to be online–photo-shopped, filtered and earning ridiculous sums of money as a former ghostwriter for Vanilla Ice and Young MC (which I would never admit even if it were true). But my point is that you can be anybody it seems…except yourself.

The closest I ever came to actually going on a date is when a woman with a very attractive profile pic messaged me that she had been kidnapped by her uncle who was holding her captive in a closet. Realizing the severity of the situation, I naturally replied by asking her out…but strangely enough, I received no reply in return. Still, I felt I was oh so close. I blame her uncle. (Also a true story…well some of it anyway.)

Though, once the weight came off, I felt like a younger man–slimmer and more confident. But, my “game” was a little rusty and my wardrobe was in dire need of an upgrade; and by an upgrade, I mean a complete overhaul. I needed a more contemporary look that didn’t involve my collection of cargo pants with the elastic waistband and the drawstring option, plus-size crew neck t-shirts, and several pairs of Sketchers. I wanted to look the part of a bachelor reborn, as I started to hear that old school, Mark Morrison R&B jam in my head, Return of the Mack.

And I don’t mean to brag (because I can’t) but back in the day, I used to have a way with the ladies…the wrong way. I’ve been threatened with mace, a restraining order, and police involvement which is why I no longer go to church and none of that’s true though it’s still believable.

So after more than a decades-long absence, I started to frequent El Paso’s local bars and clubs, observing the nightlife from the shadows. I had to peep game. And what I saw was a tech-savvy wasteland filled with strangers lost in the glow of their cell phones and social media apps in a trending world that threatened to go viral at any moment. So, of course, I tried to fit in as best I could–kind of like an aging Black hipster using outdated cultural references and trying to decode acronyms in my text messages.

But I did meet plenty of women of varying ages, races, and from different walks of life. Mostly, divorced single mothers feeling empowered in that I-don’t-need-a-man sort of way. Two of whom I befriended and we became an impromptu party crew.

The Crew
“The Crew” (from L to R) “T” and Andrea

They helped me navigate the modern social scene and to whom I am forever grateful. Though, I could’ve gone the rest of my life without knowing the reason behind wearing granny panties.

Overall, women seemed to be more take-charge than I remember, randomly pulling me onto the dance floor, buying me drinks, being more assertive. Most were educated, professional women, some with degrees and deep pockets. And I’m their biggest cheerleader when it comes to women’s equality. But there was one woman who took it too far. A woman whose breath smelled like a loaded baby diaper that was set on fire and left inside the only Porta-Potty at a free Wine and Chili cook-off loudly demanded that I buy her a drink. It took me a couple of weeks to grow back my facial hair and my hairline receded so far back that I decided to just go bald. (Just kidding…sort of).

I soon came to the conclusion that I was too old to be trying to hook up or to go looking for friends with bennies to have emotionally detached, consequence-free, casual, meaningless sex with. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge fan of sex but I also have this ridiculous notion (which is almost unheard of nowadays) of getting to know a woman first.

Call me old-fashioned…please!

So I took the entire experience as a reality check that I’m not young anymore. All I can do is reminisce about a simpler time before the internet, cell phones, and reality TV. (You were right Dolce Speaks.) I mean, people I graduated high school with are grandparents now but there’s still no way in hell I would want to trade places with them. On the bright side, I have a lot more time to pursue my dream of becoming a successful writer. For me, it’s dream big and sleep little. I had a good run and I’m okay with that.

 

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.

Special Call for Submissions: Exploitation of Women

We should all be down for this.

Whisper and the Roar

Screen-Shot-2015-01-14-at-3.34.15-PM.pngThe Whisper and the Roar Collective is seeking submissions for an upcoming series on the global exploitation of women. We are accepting poetry, prose, fiction, personal narratives, and essays on these topics from around the globe. We are looking for writing that makes us feel, makes us think, that moves us. 

May 6th– May 12th                       Rape

May 13th– May 19th               Acid Attacks

May 20th– May 26th               Child Marriage

To Submit:

  • Send up to 3 pieces of original writing in either PDF or Word document attached to an email that includes your real name as well as the name you publish your writing under.  Although we prefer previously unpublished work, we will consider published work as long as it has ONLY been published…

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The WHCD: A Massacre Worth Watching

Once the first shot was heard at the White House Correspondents Dinner, no one was safe for the next 20 minutes. Even those NOT in attendance. Certain ones squirmed in their seats desperately wanting to be out of harm’s way. Others shook their heads in disbelief; stunned at the carnage comedian Michelle Wolf would ultimately inflict at the annual event.

And she killed, fully clothed and without the use of an AR-15. She slayed “like shooting fish in a Chris Christie”. She preyed but not on innocent patrons at a Waffle House, or Marjory Stoneman Douglas high schoolers, or concert goers in Las Vegas. She slaughtered the liars she hoped would get “stuck under a tree” as well as those with the “perfect smoky eye”. No mainstream media stone was left unturned; none would escape the wrath of her comedic crosshairs as she pulled back the proverbial curtain on the Trump administration and its many blind supporters who continue to do the bidding of the name-caller-in-chief.

And Wolf, the hired gun, happily fired away, smiling with supreme confidence knowing that she was armed with the most powerful weapon that’s known to destroy the spin and bias that is politics…the truth. A First Amendment truth that she openly carried in all of its profane and vulgar honesty. Her ruthless, shameless, unapologetic, gunslinger set was one for the ages rightfully calling the POTUS at different times a “pussy” and a “racist”.

I savored every moment, watching intently, loudly cheering Wolf on YouTube, relishing in the stone-faced glares of some of her intended targets. Because there’s no way in hell they can be considered victims knowing exactly the kind of man that Donald J. Trump really is.

So I laughed. Laughed until it hurt, laughed because it hurt knowing that that’s all I could do was laugh. I laughed at their expected fashionable “faux” outrage while suffering from blood splattered egos because when all was said and done they were able to leave the room alive with their white privilege unharmed and intact.

And nothing will change. White men who’ve had prior run-ins with law enforcement will continue to commit mass murder in this country only to be somehow captured later on. But many unarmed Blacks will still be treated like America’s greatest threat, lives cut short, dying of natural causes stemming from a very strict lead-based diet, due to police allegedly “fearing” for their lives.

Still, Michelle Wolf did what the mainstream media rarely let White men who carry out such atrocities do. She held herself accountable for her actions. She totally owned the bloodbath and showed no signs of remorse.

Only this time I was able to laugh about it.