Archive | October, 2010

Yet Another Year of Halloween Costume FAILS

22 Oct

The idea that it is somehow cute or amusing to accent one’s Halloween costume with “thug” paraphernalia really speaks to the warped state our nation is in.  This is especially true when some members of the dominant culture make a habit of regularly dressing up as what they perceive to be representative of black culture year after year.  I mean really, Kanye’s new diamond encrusted dentures and Lil’ Wayne’s platinum yuck mouth do not represent my penchant for exceptional oral hygiene.

But I guess I should just be happy that the not so witty folks over at A&A Global aren’t marketing this product as “Ghetto Grillz”.

(Absconding to Canada looks more and more appealing as the days go by)!

Praise Break: The Last Baptism

21 Oct

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Although I’ve seen this clip on multiple occasions, the unorthodox spiritual cleansing witnessed here still gets me giggling every time! 

And while I am certain that every member of the global rainbow coalition is precious in the sight of our Heavenly Father, I can’t help but to snicker at how differently this baptism would have gone had it taken place at my melanin enriched place of worship.  Let’s just say that between the armor bearers and my all-the-way-live pastor, this kid’s submersion would have likely been an extended one!

Ginni Thomas Did What Now!?!

20 Oct

Have you ever heard or read something so unbelievable that it simply floored you where you stood, or left you in a state of perpetual flabbergasted-ness (put the dictionary down)?  Well, I am on the outside looking in here, but I have to say, if I am perplexed by this one, then I am sure that Anita Hill must still be wearing a bewildered “What the…?” expression on her face.

Reports from ABC News and other media outlets have recently surfaced that back on October 9th, Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Uncle Thomas called Anita Hill and left her a voicemail message encouraging her to apologize for her sexual harassment allegations against Thomas during his high court confirmation hearings back in 1991. 

For those Pack Faithful not old enough to recall the political free-for-all of ’91 and Clarence Thomas’ assertion that the foul turn in the Senate committee hearings were tantamount to “a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks”, Ms. Hill (who as an attorney had worked for Thomas at the Department of Education and later became his assistant when he moved on to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) was called to testify during Thomas’ confirmation hearings, where she alleged that Thomas had subjected her to comments of an inappropriate sexual nature and had spoken to her explicitly about pornography during her tenure in his employ.

So…apparently, some 19 years later, Ms. Ginni has decided that she couldn’t care less about that whole sleeping dogs lying idiom:

 “I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love [for] you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband. So give it some thought and certainly pray about this and come to understand why you did what you did. OK, have a good day.”

Now let me just say, as much as the next thought that formulated in my brain after reading such stupidity went a little something like, “No. She. Did. NOT just call this woman about some stale buffoonery from two decades ago, and THEN demanded an apology. I HOPE Anita Hill shut her ALL the way down!” I’d be lying if I said I was disappointed with Hill’s actual response. 

No neck swirling. 

No riding out to the Thomas residence. 

No good and proper cussing out. 

Anita Hill epitomized ladylike behavior by simply reporting the matter to her employer’s public safety office, which then notified the FBI (although I wouldn’t have beeen surprised if she’d gotten a few of her sister-friends on three-way first to vent about theoretically wanting to bust a cap).  And yes, I said her employer

Virginia Thomas not only had the audacity to call Hill almost 20 years later about some insanity that she should have been checking her husband on, but she called the woman at her place of employment (I’m sorry folks, this for me just does not compute.  My money?  My livelihood?  Oh, no!  I don’t know about you all, but I don’t care if it’s a woman scorned, a bill collector, or even my children’s teacher; they have ONE time to call me at my place of employment with some mess. ONE…but I digress).

A professor now at Brandeis University, Hill released a statement in response to the voicemail stating that not only did she think the call was inappropriate, but that she had no intention of apologizing because she was truthful about her experience and still stands behind her testimony.

Of course, in light of the recent media attention and internet firestorm surrounding Mrs. Thomas’ clearly out of place phone call, Virginia was quick to explain her motives:

“I did place a call to Ms. Hill at her office extending an olive branch to her after all these years, in hopes that we could ultimately get passed what happened so long ago. That offer still stands, I would be very happy to meet and talk with her if she would be willing to do the same.”

It sounds to me like Ginni is the only person with misplaced anger and the inability to get passed this.  And to be honest, at this juncture she and that olive branch need to go somewhere and get a life.

Bey is for (Baby) Bump?

20 Oct

With wars on two fronts, the National Unemployment Rate nearing 10% and midterm elections less than 14 days away, it still boggles my mind how I can get an email or an instant message from a friend about some really inconsequential celebrity gossip and find myself rendered utterly distracted for the remainder of the day.

Such has been the case with Beyonce Baby Watch 3.0.  The last several times that it has been reported that a source close to the couple had revealed to the media Bey and Jay’s impending parenthood, it only took a few weeks, a custom fitted sleeveless onesie-tard and some twerked-out video dance moves to prove that short of subjecting her unborn fetus to shaken baby syndrome, there was no way the Queen Bey could be concealing a pregnancy.

Well it seems the rumor mill is at it yet again, and this time outlets like MSNBC and even the Today Show are having a say about the potential birth of Music Royalty.

[Insert Media Outlet Here] is reporting that the singer is pregnant with her first child, and that the news has come as a total surprise to her.

*Queue Inside Source’s Quote in 3…2…1…*

“B was shocked. She loves kids, but she wasn’t ready to be a mother just yet.  She really wanted to get her album done and tour the world again [but] this is a gift from God and she’s so happy.”

Honestly, if Mr. and Mrs. Carter are expecting, I can say that I am genuinely happy for them, but the reality is, she has been fervently unyielding about her personal life remaining out of the public eye for years.  I mean, she didn’t even want the world to know that she and Jay-Z had gotten hitched back in 2008 for weaves sakes.  So now some tabloids, with the assistance of a few liberal broadcasting outlets expect us to believe that Beyonce is giving the world a glimpse into her first trimester? 

 I think the only way they’ll get me to drink that Kool-Aid is if she pulls an Alicia Keys Pregnant-Piano-Crawl at the Grammy’s next year, or her water breaks in mid “Now put your hands up” at the 2011 Essence Festival.  Otherwise, as far as I’m concerned, they’re just reporting water weight.

 Still, when Beyonce finally does settle down and decides to have a family, you have to admire that she’s lived on her own terms. It’s always awesome to see a young woman with the ability to look back and relish in the fact that she’s experienced such a full life so early on, that she has simply lived for herself and that she can one day share those stories of independence and discovery with her children.

 Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t particularly wax poetic for Beyonce Knowles, but I must admit that I’m not mad at her either. 

 Do you boo.

Today Was A Good Day

17 Oct

I have to say, there is (almost) nothing I look forward to more at the end of the week than a relaxing and uneventful weekend.  Of course, I don’t mind attending my kids’ meets, matches or games, nor do I have qualms with appearing at my sister-friends’ birthday parties or baby showers, but sometimes I find absolute solace in simply sitting next to my bay window and just “being”.

And so far, this Saturday and Sunday are shaping up to be the sort of weekend that I’ve longed to luxuriate in.  Having opted to attend Saturday Church yesterday, I lounged for much of the morning in bed today and let my honey make me breakfast.  When I finally did get my gears going after a long aromatic soak, I did a little mid-morning banking and noticed that my self-imposed shoe budget had significantly increased due to my bank account being credited for a medical overpayment that I’d apparently made last week. 

Those little unforeseen bonuses coupled with the fact that I have some homemade, dark chocolate and walnut brownies on the cooling rack in my kitchen, and I’d have to look at today and whole-heartedly agree with Ice Cube circa 1993.

Wherefore Art Thou Tiana?

15 Oct

During a typical week when I am not returning home from work at an unholy hour, checking subject and predicate homework, bathing a deep-sea diving toddler, or getting dishpan hands from cleaning and shutting down The Pack Kitchen each night, I try to sit and have at least a few precious moments of quality time with my family.

Such was the case last night when the big girl and I curled up in front of the television while she proceeded to tell me about her day and explain her athletic prowess at school during a game of crab soccer.  Since she insisted that we watch one of her favorite (though insipid) cartoon shows while we chatted it up, it wasn’t long before I began to check-out and slowly nod off.  But before I could totally ascend to the blissful cumulous cloud looking pillows in my subconscious, the big girl squealed in pure delight, sending me crashing back down to my lumpy couch cushions.  Stretching my eyes as to appear attentive and awake, I looked between her and the television to see what all of the excitement was about.  Apparently deciding to further capitalize on their princess niche, Disney has come out with a new line of Princess and Me Dolls (just in time for the holidays…great).

Look Mommy, Princess Tiana!

And no longer were they squeals, but all-the-way-turned-up shrieks of delight.  But when I looked again at the commercial filled with whirling dolls and little girls dressed for a make believe cotillion, all of the princesses were accounted for except our beloved Frog Princess.  It wasn’t until the end of the commercial when all of the dolls were lined up together that I finally saw the stunningly crafted Tiana figurine amidst t her princess counterparts, but strategically arranged toward the back of the group.

Wow, until just now, I didn’t even see Tiana in that commercial.

As soon as I said the words, I wanted to slap my own self upside the head, but it was far too late.  Sure enough, the big girl looked at me quizzically with those large doe eyes of hers and began to agree with my assessment.

I know, nobody really watches the Cinderella movie anymore, but I think I saw her the most.

Before I could dismiss the matter of subtle racial classification in advertising though, the big girl pinned me with another curious expression and asked me (the way only an obliviously innocent child could) why Princess Tiana didn’t appear in the commercial for the dolls very much. 

The thing about my big girl is that although she’s been gently educated by my honey and I on the oppression and injustices that people of color have been subjected to in this country, her mind won’t even begin to fathom how such depraved thinking and atrocities could be carried out against a person today, simply because of the color of their skin.  Knowing that made it all the more difficult for me to have this sort of discourse with her, so I turned the question right back on her. I asked her why she thought Tiana got so little face time in the commercial.

Probably because she is their newest princess. She’s only been out for a year, you know.

Right.  Out of the mouth of babes.

In Case You Haven’t Noticed, I’m Scaling Back A Bit

13 Oct

Hola Pack Faithful!  When last we spoke, The Migraine from Hell had me laid prostrate and in full submission, declaring that I was indeed Toby and that he, not I was the boss of all things cranial.  Well, several junkie-doses-too-many of ibuprofen and an undisturbed 48 straight hours in the bed (yep, even attended Bedside Baptist on Sunday), I can tell you that I’m feeling significantly better than last weekend.

Well of course, after worrying everyone in my house and all of my friends and family within a hundred mile radius, I was forced coerced into making a doctor’s appointment post haste to identify what exactly was going on in this head of mine.  As it turns out, stress seems to be the early identifiable culprit in this case of brain-ache with a side of torture.  While more tests are going to be ordered, I figured that I would be proactive in alleviating some of the stressors in my life that could easily trigger another Head-Bangers Ball in my skull.

Oh, who am I kidding!?!?!?!  The stressors in my life right now are all of the things that keep food on the table, the bills paid, or that I agreed to raise until the age of eighteen.  To toss “all that” by the wayside would definitely assuage the pain, but I can assure you that it would also lead to me having permanent reservations at a Homeless Shelter and likely being charged with four counts of child neglect.  So, in an effort to stay off the Channel 3 Nightly News at 11pm, I thought that I would approach The Pack a little differently for a while as an alternative.

I figured that since I like having electricity, clothes, a home, etc and the baby child and ‘dem enjoy eating so much, instead of telling the man to take this job and shove it, I would simply keep the blogging light.  While this doesn’t necessarily mean that I won’t be blogging at all, it does mean that my posts for the next couple of weeks won’t be the drama-filled, expose-esque or critical thinking type.  If I stub my toe and want to rant, you’ll likely find it here.  If the man wearing shades and a jogging suit that is driving next to me down the interstate in a Cadillac Seville embodies all of the stereotypes befitting a man of la famiglia, expect to read about it here.  If the tennis moms are hanging out strawberries after a match and nary a child or parent washes their hand before reaching into the carton, then expects me and mine to have some, yep, I’m posting it!

That’s right folks; until such time as we can figure out how to thwart the cycle of those hellacious migraines that come every two months or so and leave me begging for sweet release, I’m going to be unrepentantly chillaxing on the blog.  Let’s see how that works.

I Simply CANNOT Today!

8 Oct


I can barely type a complete sentence; much less convey a complete and coherent blog thought today.

Why, you ask?

Migraine, Migraine, Migraine!!!

You know the kind that feels as though  your eyeball are seeking refuge anywhere but inside your skull; the kind that fills your tear ducts to capacity and threatens to leave you a sniveling baby at your workstation; the kind that laughs in the face of ZOMIG and MAXALT (and completely kicks Advil’s candy-coated-behind up and down the pharmacy aisle).  Yeah, that kind of migraine.  And it’s gotten so bad that my out-of-town honey has called my mother to drive an hour to come and pick me up from work (now that is a Lifetime Movie Network special waiting to happen!).

So forgive me if today’s post encompasses the things that boredom is made of.  I feel pretty crappy, and I am absconding to my bed in 10…9…8…and depending on how I feel on the morrow…7…6…5…we may try this whole deep blog thing again.  Until then…4…3…2…feel free to peruse the previous posts at your leisure.

No One Wins A War

7 Oct

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Today marks the 9th Anniversary of the commencement of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan; The United States’ response to the September 11th attacks that killed nearly 3,000 innocent American citizens. And in this nine year time frame, what has going to war in Afghanistan accomplished?  What have we learned?  Are we any closer to a resolution in the region?  I imagine that the answers to those questions aren’t simply cut and dry, and can have a subjective slant to them, depending on who you ask. 

What is concrete about Enduring Freedom nine years later is that there are close to 80,000 more troops currently in Afghanistan than when the war started, roughly 60% of Americans are against the United States’ presence there, the financial (read: taxpayer) cost of Enduring Freedom to date is somewhere in the neighborhood of $352 billion and while it has been confirmed that a total of 2,100 U.S. and coalition troops have died in Afghanistan since 2001, thousands of Afghani civilians continue to be buried in mass graves as they remain the largest source of collateral damage there. 

Now surely, with the capture of insurgents, the “neutralization” of Al Qaeda operatives and even President Karzai taking the unorthodox approach of negotiating with terrorists forming a council to help negotiate with the Taliban to establish peace in the war-torn country, there has been some successes to come out of Operation Enduring Freedom.  But when you think of the ramifications of this war in terms of a nation even more deeply in debt, another in political, social and economic disarray and the price of freedom tantamount to the loss of humanity and the collection of body-part trinkets, it’s got to make you wonder who wins in war?

Raheem DeVaughn and friends (Jill Scott, Bilal, Anthony Hamilton, Algebra, Chrisette Michele, Shelby Johnson, Ledisi, Citizen Cope, Dwele, Chico DeBarge & Rudy Currence) take a rudimentary yet humanistic approach in answering this age old question; nobody

I am literally moved to tears and gooseflesh every. single. time. I hear this song, especially during Ms. Scott’s prolific assessment on the cause and effect of exerting all of our efforts to do battle instead of considering a less violent alternative.  If only the rest of the 60% in opposition to war-waging under “questionable pretenses” were as adamantly vocal…

Wacka Flocka Fool: Fozzy Is SO Sharp!

6 Oct

What does as a Southern rapper with aspirations of majoring in Geometry and who encourages his fans to vote (“Votin’ good; votin’ cool.”) have in common with a militarily astute Italian philosopher who is pretty much the father of political science as we know it and who was just as much a man of the people as he was a critical Renaissance mind?

Mmm, Hmm. I’ll wait…

That’s correct class, nothing.

Perusing the New Music Tuesday directories on the web yesterday for some creative additions to my music catalogue, I stumbled upon the above bit of pictorial album cover foolery.  And before I begin my mini rant on yet another reason why I can only take most commercial rap music in small, teaspoon-sized doses, let me just state that aside from his inarticulate subject-verb agreement on 106 & Park a few weeks ago, I don’t know much about Waka Flocka Flame *giggles* (sorry, I can’t help but to think of Fozzy Bear whenever I say his name). 

Now, with that caveat out of the way, I will admit that after realizing Fozzy’s Flocka’s new release Flockaveli was not a Pac remake spoof, I did read up on a few interviews to see what this fool’s possible motivation could be for adopting an album moniker that would automatically force people to draw comparisons between him and arguably one of the best lyricists of all time.  Well apparently, his motives didn’t have that much to do with Tupac Shakur at all:

“Tupac introduced me to the [writing] of Machiavelli.  That’s why I made that. I can’t just, ‘Oh, Tupac did that, so I’m gonna do that too.’ If people read, they would love that man. That man is a mind-game genius. I read the Machiavelli war-tactic books, his biography, everything. That man is just like sticks and stones, bad. You see Waka Flocka, what do you think? Negativity. You read Machiavelli? Negativity. My brain, I’m so sharp, I can play stupid on the camera and they think I’m dumb. So really, you just playing yourself. I’m so ahead of y’all. That’s for the bloggers.”

Well, that clears that up. 

Mr. Flocka Flame has simply been employing strategies from Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Art of War to make everyone think he is cerebrally inept.  If that is the case, then congratulations are certainly in order because you sir had me convinced at “sticks and stones.”

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