Monthly Archives: August 2010

Random News/Ain’t Thoughts (Week of August 27th, 2010)

My apologies for not doing this for a couple of weeks (Not that you actually care.) but work has been killing of late. This week I’ll try to give you a post that is both newsy and equally random.

  1. Do hood rats as a species have the inherent need to drag their feet and walk slowly? Is it the house shoes? Is it the need for attention? Maybe it’s the equivalent of felines purring. It’s something they do but can’t be explained scientifically.
  2. Thing I can’t wait for: The Event on NBC. One Negro POTUS (Blair Underwood) + A C.I.A. conspiracy X an assassination attempt = Me watching.
  3. Remember all of those horrible stories about the civil strife in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina? Looks like many of them may have been true.
  4. Thing that I can’t wait for: Football season. Lebron who?
  5. Speaking of hood rats and hood rat stuff that you can do with your friends—I came really close to buying a Four Loko on Wednesday night. Real Close. Dangerously close.
  6. Not that I needed convincing or anything but the Taliban are really horrible people.
  7. Thing I can’t wait for: The next Roots concert anywhere remotely near me. It never gets old.
  8. Yes the Taliban are horrible but the anti-homosexual elements in the Ugandan government are just mean-spirited and crazy.
  9. How long before T.O. and Chad break-up and cause the Bengals to have a horrible season?
  10. Thing I can’t wait for: The rest of the fall TV schedule. Sookie, Bill, Michael Weston, and Don Draper can’t last for ever. Why yes, I do need a life.
  11. Thing I can’t wait for: My spaceship.
  12. If I ever met Prince I would be afraid to look him in the eye.
  13. Four words: Thundercats the movie 2012. Hoooooo!!!
  14. Thing I can’t wait for: Today at 5:00.
  15. In the aftermath of the oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, we keep hearing about the everyday people were changed by the oil spill. Check out this article about the everyday people who were changed by the explosion on the oil rig itself.
  16. These sandwiches are giving the Double Down a run for its money.
  17. He put his foot up his opponents a** in Tuesday’s Republican Primary but do the GOP types still love John McCain.
  18. Don’t feel to bad Sen. McCain, you would’ve had to deal with crap like this if you were president.
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Dear Alvin Greene

Dear Alvin Greene, 

As a member of The Legion of Those Who Are Darker-Hued I am asking you to stop doing whatever it is that you do. Namely, your senatorial campaign and your public life. 

You literally popped out of now where in June to win the nomination for South Carolina’s Democratic senatorial ticket. After the shock of your nomination, your numerous attempts at public speaking, and your overall suckitude I got over you. 

On August 13th you were indicted on a felony charge for showing porn to a co-ed at USC in Columbia. This too didn’t bother me because I knew it was coming and hell I actually chuckled a little. 

Unfortunately, this morning I get to work and opened www.theroot.com  that linked me to another story at www.msnbc.com and I see a story by Meg Kinnard at the Associated Press in Columbia detailing you and a female companion being kicked out of an Oconee County eatery because said female companion got into and altercation with several other customers at the restaurant. 

Alvin this is just said. It’s bad enough that you don’t have the acumen to run for a senate seat (Even in South Carolina). It’s also bad enough that you added another car to South Carolina’s long train of historic idiocy. Again It’s also bad enough that you are being charged with a felony for being pervert but now you go and have a n***er moment in a restaurant in Seneca, South Carolina of all places. 

Alvin please just go back to Manning and hang out with your people. Don’t worry about putting South Carolina back to work, worry about putting you back to work. I honestly think your talents would be wasted on Capitol Hill. Alvin I’m normally against people being selfish, but this time I implore you to go and be selfish and use that Herculean drive of yours and just do you. 

If the subtle approach doesn’t work here’s the another option: Alvin, don’t go away mad, just go away. 

Vaya con Dios 

Wu Young 

Chairman of The Legion of Those Who Are Darker-Hued

On Being a Black Man in Office Space

My first victim was a woman—white, well dressed, probably in her early twenties.  I came upon her late one evening on a deserted street in Hyde Park, a relatively affluent neighborhood in an otherwise mean, impoverished section of Chicago.  As I swung onto the avenue behind her, there seemed to be a discreet, uninflammatory distance between us. Not so. She cast back a worried glance. To her, the youngish black man—a broad six feet two inches with a beard and billowing hair, both hands shoved into the pockets of a bulky military jacket—seemed menacingly close. After a few more quick glimpses, she picked up her pace and was soon running in earnest. Within seconds she disappeared into a cross street.

 

The opening from Brent Staples’ article “Black Men and Public Space” that originally appeared in Ms. Magazine in 1986 under the title “Just Walk on Bye” but later was republished in Harper’s with the title “”Black Men and Public Space.”

I first read “Black Men in Public Space” in August of 1997. It was one of my first assignments for English 101 at the College of Charleston. I was 30 lbs lighter, a whole lot more naive, and my hairline and waves were intact. I still cursed like a sailor, listened to a lot more Wu-Tang, and had yet to develop my affinity for Anheuser-Busch products. I was the solitary black male in a class that was filled with white sorority pledges, a ditsy black girl from Greenville, a couple of Joe Charleston types, and an ex Recon Marine who looked like a younger thinner ultra lethal Charlie Steiner that decided to start his next act in life as a college student and an Applebee’s waiter.

For those of you who didn’t bother to click the link to read Staple’s article here’s a summary. Staples talks about which he and millions of black men in America consciously and subconsciously carry themselves in public in America. The article delves into the “perception” of black males by larger elements of society. In summation, and these are my words and not those of Mr. Staples—Sometimes our presence is enough to scare people enough to run for the hills. (Yes, this may be a sweeping generalization, something I try to refrain from, but follow me please.)

The reason why I thought about this article is because of my day at work on yesterday, a conversation I had with my friend O a while back, and another that I had with some co-workers during the 2008 election.

I was talking with O, who finds himself in a rare position—He is a black male, R.N. in a Cardiac Care Unit at one of the large hospitals in the area. As anyone would expect O is the only black man in his position at his hospital. Every time we talk to one another we ask “How’s the job?” so we naturally end up swapping war stories about the office. Some how we got onto the topic of just wanting to flip out at work one good time and get away with it like our non-black counterparts could. O made a comment about him trying to explain our position to several of his co-workers and them “not getting it.” He even further expounded that many of the non-nursing hospital staff who are black have at times whispered things like “Keep your cool.” or “Don’t let it get to you.” to him because they, like many other members of the Legion of the Darker-hued, know that a black man flipping out at work or in public just ain’t kosher.

As our conversation continued I related many of the same feelings about wanting to flip out at the job while maintaining employment and not going to county. This lead too many of the conversations I had with my co-workers about why Barack Obama was always so cool during the 2008 presidential campaigns. I simply told them that he is pissed at all of his idiot detractors in his mind and has probably called them things that Rudy Ray Moore wouldn’t have said. I went on to further explain that his “coolness” is his armor because if he said what were on his mind he would still be the junior senator from Illinois and not the P.O.T.U.S. #fail. I told them that the standards for black male rage and white male rage are much different although white male rage has historically done more damage to the world than its black counterpart.

This leads me too yesterday. Every so often my inner anger reaches a boiling point due to idiocy, my own a**holiness, my co-workers, and many other varying factors but yesterday I had to do my best to remember every lesson about “knowing how to act” that I learned from Steve and Lois. The specifics of my inner rage isn’t important but the fact that I got so angry that I stopped talking, began to twitch, and left my office so that I can calm down. How does one keep going when can’t express an emotion because of who he inherently is?

When do I get to show my a** on the job and keep said job? When do I get to tell my comrades who are absolutely getting on my nerves to shove off? I’m just asking because I found myself on the edge yesterday, but like Brent Staples I utilized my cowbell and warned those around me of the presence of my anger by scowling constantly, and then I just walked away and calmed myself. (If you read Staples article that would’ve made sense to you.)

If Kanye West is waiting on his spaceship, I’m waiting on my on the job blow up. I’m not a monster or a thug, I’m just angry just like you.

Vaya con Dios.

You just can’t okay! or It’s different when we call each other that!

Dear Dr. Laura,

Before I start I will make one thing clear; I’m not a fan of the political correct police. I say things that are kind of foul all the time but there’s one difference; I don’t have a radio show.

In light of your recent usage of the “N-Word” I’ve decided to explain what you did wrong. This probably won’t make much sense to you and people who think like you but I’m going to do my best to make it nice and clear.

You just can’t say “nigger”, “nigga”, or any variation of the word without penalty. Why? It’s because you aren’t black that’s why. Close your mouth while I explain. “Nigger” has about 400 some odd years of pain attached to it. This pain has been grafted into the minds of every black person who has ever lived in the new world. (Well everyone except Condi Rice.) Over time “nigger” became a term of endearment for black folks in America. Whether this is right or wrong that’s the way it is. The usage of the word has transcended class and educations lines as if it were as natural as breathing. It’s in our music, our jokes, our movies, and literature. That’s why “black comedians” as you put it use the word all the time.

The thing is Doc even the most down folks of other races (There is a special clause for Puerto Ricans) can’t use it. Marshall Mathers? Nope. William J. Clinton? Nah. Sarah Palin? Nyet. Bruce Lee couldn’t use it either. My point is it is that it is absolutely different when we call each other ”that”. It’s different in the same way that my female co-workers can call each other “bitch” without pause. I’m sure the Irish have some demeaning name given to them by the English that they jokingly refer to each other as. (Bono, The Edge, and that other guy in U2 are probably somewhere saving a gaggle of brown babies somewhere and are insulting the sh** out of each other.) I’m willing to bet that all races do this. Hell, I know for sure it evens transcends race and covers sexual preference also. I fondly remember and old boss, who is gay, saying “Keith, there is nothing funnier than a bunch of drunk f*****s bowling.” The fact that we use it is not right, but we do have the right to say it. (There are legions of black folks who think I’m wrong for thinking this way but oh well.)

So what I’m saying is that yes, you have you’re freedom of speech, but no you can’t say anything you want. You don’t own that word. It belongs to us. We don’t necessarily want it but it’s ours. While you’re at it please erase the following from your mind: F****t, kike, retard, wetback, beaner, slope, greaser, gook, moon cricket, jig, Kraut, Hun, limey, and whatever other slur that may refer to any other group that you don’t belong too. Whatever you do, don’t say them on the air. On the flipside feel free to use blowhard, douche bag, a**hat, dip sh**, moron, false prophet, and worthless flesh bag because you belong to all of those groups.

So in closing, sorry about you quitting your show and I hope you find your freedom of speech too and yes, I’m sure you have black friends.

Wu Young Agent of M.E.

Incidentally Yours (My favorite incidental fictional characters.)

I’m the master of all things random and it’s no big secret that I watch too many movies, read too many comic books, novels, and whatever else mindless entertainment that I can get my hands on. It’s also no big secret that I’m a fan of strong character-driven works that make me want to keep coming back to find out what is going to happen to each character. Every now and then you may come across characters that make you just scratch your head and go “Huh?” because they were just there for a brief second and promptly exit stage left after they did whatever they were supposed to do. These characters are often refered to as “Incidental Characters” because of their lack of importance to the plot. (For example think about 90% of the characters on Family Guy.)

Oddly enough these are some of my favorite characters. They aren’t important, they aren’t necessary, and if you think like a normal person (I don’t) they are often forgettable. For your my entertainment I’ve compiled a list of my favorite incidental fictional folks.

Captain Koons (Christopher Walken Pulp Fiction)

I would watch Christopher Walken recite the alphabet and crack up while he was doing it. Everything about this man is hilarious to me. He is the master of the odd, the creepy, and the bat s*** crazy. In 1994’s Pulp Fiction Walken’s cameo as Air Force Captain Koons was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen on film in my entire life. Click on Captain Koons name to watch the video of Koons. Here are the words to the dialogue for those of you who can’t watch videos at work.  “[To young Butch] Hello, little man. Boy, I sure heard a bunch about you. See, I was a good friend of your dad’s. We were in that Hanoi pit of hell together for over five years. Hopefully, you’ll never have to experience this yourself, but when two men are in a situation like me and your dad were, for as long as we were, you take on certain responsibilities of the other. If it had been me who had not made it, Major Coolidge would be talking right now to my son Jim. But the way it turned out is I’m talking to you, Butch. I got something for ya. [Holds up watch] This watch I got here was first purchased by your great-grandfather during the first world war. It was bought in a little general store in Knoxville, Tennessee, made by the first company to ever make wrist watches. Up until then, people just carried pocket watches. It was bought by Private Doughboy Ryan Coolidge the day he set sail for Paris. This was your great-grandfather’s war watch, and he wore it every day he was in the war. Then when he had done his duty, he went home to your great-grandmother, took the watch and put it in an old coffee can. And in that can it stayed ’til your granddad Dane Coolidge was called upon by his country to go overseas and fight the Germans once again. This time they called it World War Two. Your great-grandfather gave this watch to your granddad for good luck. Unfortunately, Dane’s luck wasn’t as good as his old man’s. Dane was a Marine and he was killed along with all the other Marines at the battle of Wake Island. Your granddad was facing death, and he knew it. None of those boys had any illusions about ever leaving that island alive. So three days before the Japanese took the island, your granddad asked a gunner on an Air Force transport named Winocki, a man he had never met before in his life, to deliver to his infant son, who he had never seen in the flesh, his gold watch. Three days later, your granddad was dead. But Winocki kept his word. After the war was over, he paid a visit to your grandmother, delivering to your infant father, his Dad’s gold watch. This watch. This watch was on your Daddy’s wrist when he was shot down over Hanoi. He was captured and put in a Vietnamese prison camp. He knew if the gooks ever saw the watch that it’d be confiscated; taken away. The way your Dad looked at it, this watch was your birthright. He’d be damned if any slopes were gonna put their greasy yellow hands on his boy’s birthright. So he hid it in the one place he knew he could hide something. His ass. Five long years, he wore this watch up his ass. Then he died of dysentery, he gave me the watch. I hid this uncomfortable hunk of metal up my ass for two years. Then, after seven years, I was sent home to my family. And now, little man, I give the watch to you.”

  

Randy Watson (Eddie Murphy, Coming to America)

 

Next to Raw, this is hands down the funniest thing Eddie Murphy has ever done. If you say the words “Sexual Chocolate” in a room among your peers and no one laughs then you should find a new damn room. After guest starring in an episode of “That’s My Mama” Randy Watson became one of the greatest fictional singers in movie history. (Sadly enough, he ranks behind Otis Day and The Knights from Animal House simply because they were a fictional band that became real after their movie appearance.) Randy Watson is a legend among Eddie Murphy’s hundreds of movie characters and I often wonder if Murphy’s comedic genius reached its apex with Coming to America. Whether or not this is true or not Randy Watson made a movie that was certifiable funny as hell that much more hilarious.

  

 

 

Howard the Duck (Marvel Comics Secret Invasion # 7 of 8)

Howard the Duck is the subject of one of the worst movies ever made. (This movie makes Tyler Perry’s body of work look like Roots.) What people don’t know is that Howard the Duck is a super-powered being in the Marvel Comics Universe. He inhabits the same fictional world that is home to Peter Parker, Jessica Alba’s blond weave The Fantastic Four, and the X-Men. Sadly, Howard lives in Cleveland and Cleveland is as about as boring in that world as it is in ours so Howard doesn’t get much shine. However, during 2008’s Secret Invasion crossover, a race of shape-shifting aliens known as Skrulls used our world’s various distractions (The 2008 Presidential Election, The War on Terror, and whatever else you can think of.) to secretly replace various political leaders and superheroes so they can claim the Earth as their own. Like multiple bad guys before them the Skrulls didn’t count on the Earth’s various superheroes fighting them on the beaches, the streets, and anywhere else they tried to attack. When things were looking the most bleak for the heroes, Thor, the Norse God of Thunder summoned all superheroes who could make to New York’s Central Park to put and end to all of the Skrull’s Skrulliness. Both teams of Avengers, a few Greek gods, some super villains all show up for the brawl. A few panels in and you see the good guys handing out a smack down and then you see Wolverine just a stabbing and slicing to his heart’s delight and who is watching his back? Howard the ****ind Duck, and not a single character breaks stride.

 

 

 

 

Alvin Greene (Alvin Greene 2010 South Carolina Senatorial Race)

In June of 2010 the voters in South Carolina took to the polls to vote in the primaries. When the just settled Alvin Greene defeated former Circuit Court Judge Victor Rawl without campaigning, talking, or spending any money outside of the $10,000 registration fee to enter the race for November’s race for South Carolina’s seat for the United States Senate. Wait, what? Alvin Greene is a real person?!?! Seriously!

 

 

 

 

 

Wes Mantooth (Vince Vaughn Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy)

Wes Mantooth is many things– The lead anchor at Channel 9 Evening News, Ron Burgundy’s chief rival, and Dorthy Mantooth’s (Who is a saint.”) baby boy. Although Vaughn has played the same character on repeat since 1995 (Think Al Pacino, but funny on purpose.) Wes Mantooth’s role in Anchorman is one of my favorites.

 

 

 

 

 

Buzz Killington (Family Guy)

To my knowledge Buzz Killington has only appeared on Family Guy three times. Here’s what I know: He’s English, Victorian, and is the living embodiment of that a**hat who will suck the life out the room by saying the most a**hatty stuff when you’re trying to have a good time.
 (Peter is at a party with some anonymous friends; Buzz Killington enters and sits everybody down)
Buzz Killington: (Hands Peter a picture of a man riding a Penny Farthing bicycle.) Now, here’s a fellow attempting to ride a bicycle. But he’s having some trouble, isn’t he? And do you know why?
Peter: (Sighs) Why?
Buzz Killington: Because he’s a Scot! (laughs) Now, who here likes a good story about a bridge?
Peter: (Groans, lifts his glasses and rubs his eyes)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fabulous Freebirds (Highlander)

Just to be honest I’ve been looking for a way to work Michael “P.S.” Hayes into a blog for like five years. The idea of Sean Connery portraying an immortal Spaniard with a Scottish accent is absurd. The idea of Sean Conner portraying an immortal Spaniard with a Scottish accent in a movie with a cameo by Michael “P.S.” Hayes, Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy, and Buddy Roberts is just plain old ridiculous. I still haven’t figured out what’s worse: The Freebird’s mullets or Christopher Lambert’s acting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Chicken (The Chicken The Hangover)

I get Mike Tyson’s tiger. I get Mike Tyson. I get Mr. Chow. Can someone please explain the Chicken to me?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yuck Mouth (Chris Rock Panther)

Panther was an absolute poop sandwich of a film. Honestly, I only remember that it starred Kadeem Hardison, A.J. Johnson (The one from Friday, not Jody’s mom.), and it had one of the funniest Chris Rock moments ever. Next to Halle Berry, Chris Rock has very few peers when it comes to playing grimey drug addicts. All I remember about his role in Panther was his sexual harassment of a girl walking by his character Yuck Mouth.  He was drinking a beer and then turned it into a phallic symbol spilling the beer from the end while saying “Oh girl, look what you make me do!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Texas Ranger Earl McGraw (Michael Parks From Dusk Till Dawn, Kill Bill Vol. 1, Death Proof, Planet Terror)

If there’s a movie by Quentin Tarantino or Robert Rodriguez there are almost two constants: Violence and Earl McGraw. Seldom on-screen for more than 10 minutes Earl McGraw who is sometimes accompanied by his “Number One Son” Edgar provides the viewers with stereotypical redneck police comic relief. Throw in some tobacco spitting and you’ve got a first-rate incidental character. Good thing for Beatrix Kiddo he and Edgar showed up after The Deadly Assassin Viper Squad worked that church over on her wedding day.

These are just a few of my favorite incidentals. I’ve shown you mine now… you know.

***The Best of the Rest*** I was going to add Detective John Munch (Richard Belzer) for his appearances on The Wire and X-Files, but he was a main character in two other shows so he is “incidental light”.

Having fun yet?

This facial expression is the appropriate non-verbal answer to this question.

 

“Having fun yet?”   

No. I am specifically not having fun and you can go to hell for asking me that.   

We’ve all had “that person” ask “this question” at some point in our lives. For the life of me I honestly don’t know how to answer it anymore.   

Sure, at some point this question this question may have been poignant, “Wow, it’s only 9:30 and it seems like we’ve been here for eight hours… Having fun yet?” At times as pithy and rhetorical “Having fun yet!?!?” Now it’s only trite and syrupy (Like Tyler Perry’s body of work.) and annoying (Like people who pinch you for not wearing green on St. Patrick’s day).   

So for the sake of a happy and peaceful work place (If such a thing actually exists.) I find my self pondering who does one actually answer this question verbally without getting the HR and the Sheriff’s department involved. There has to be a response other than a flat-out lie or a four-letter word laden tirade that can properly illustrate how much this question can suck when asked at the wrong time.   

Now granted this sucker punch of a query can make any poopy moment worse (Tent revivals, P. Diddy listening parties, prostate exams, IRS audits, and watching horrible movies like the director’s cut of  “They Only Come on Sundays” come to mind.) but I can guarantee that somewhere in the list of Murphy’s millions of laws there is one devoted to “Having fun yet?” or some form of it being asked when everyone is having the worst time possible (Normandy beach around 6:45a.m. on June 6th, 1944. Crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Any visit to any DMV, ever.)  

So my question is this– When you specifically aren’t having fun and someone says to you “Having fun yet?” how do you react? Depending on how much coffee I’ve had and if I’m hungry or not (That was a long morning in  the Visitor’s Center wasn’t it Moneypenny?) I either smile politely or give them the Josey Wales face. Tell me how it goes down for you kids?  

Vaya con Dios.