Archive | October, 2011

Advertising the Signs of The Times

24 Oct

According to census data, about 7% of all married couples in The United States are interracial.  The once taboo (and illegal) union to many, appears to some degree, readily accepted in this more progressive, to each his own society.  Now don’t get me wrong; unfortunately, we still live in a hateful and ugly world where some people express their biases and bigotry in the form of nasty words and unimaginable violence, but the realization that just 44 years ago an interracial marriage between whites and people of color (namely, and specifically black people) was unconstitutional does seem to show a bit of the evolution that this nation has made since its exploitative infancy.

Even in government, media, entertainment and advertising, we’ve begun to see how interracial relationships and multiracialism have been embraced in our society.  In this political season especially, multiracialism has been at the forefront thanks to the circumstances surrounding President Obama’s heritage as well as the vastly changing demography of the U.S. in general.

Recognizing the reality of multiculturalism and multiracialism in this nation, businesses have even been catering their advertising to this small but ever growing demographic.  I noticed this recently when I did a double-take while watching an IKEA mattress commercial.

Now, I’m not sure about the anthropology or sociology in Sweden, but after rewinding and re-rewinding just to be sure, I found the retailer’s subtle use of an interracial couple who were creating a most excellent sleeper set, quite broadminded and forward thinking.

Breast Cancer Awareness and Musiq: YES!

23 Oct

If I weren’t a happily married woman, or didn’t have enough conducive things going on in my life to afford me the time to be an R&B stalker, I would totally drive up to Philly and kiss Musiq right on the mouth for this here gem!

You all know how I feel about Breast Cancer Awareness (sadly, I just found out that a dear friend/mentor was diagnosed just this week), so learning that Musiq Soulchild had recently included the role of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Circle of Promise Ambassador to his successful résumé; I was over the moon.  With the sort of exposure that Musiq can offer to the foundation and toward combatting this deadly disease, it is likely that even more young women of color will become engaged in the Breast Cancer Awareness dialog and movement.

Check out his newest video “Yes”, directed by Juwan Lee, and see if you don’t shed at least one tear.  The video also cameos a wealth of beautiful breast cancer survivors from the Atlanta area; just fabulous.

Assault With A Deadly Sedan

22 Oct

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It isn’t a true Saturday in The Pack Household unless some manner of sports competition is set to take place, five to seven loads of laundry are needing to be washed, morning cartoons are blasting from no less than three televisions at one time, and my attempt to sleep in promptly ends at 9 a.m.

Waking up this morning and realizing that not all of these criterion had been met, I began to wonder to myself what day it actually was. But before I could marinate on it too long, The Big Girl bursted hysterically into my bedroom.

Mommy! Daddy hit a squirrel!!!

It hadn’t dawned on me that my daughter and honey had even left the house this morning, so I asked her to slow down and explain to me exactly what transpired that lead up to the alleged murder of one of our local woodland creatures.

We were coming home from basketball practice, and he was driving and he rolled right over the squirrel that was crossing the street! He didn’t even slow down!!!

*Blinks Rapidly*

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am always a little bothered to see once energetic and elusive animals dotting the medians and sides of the road after having done battle and lost against five ton, swiftly moving machinery, but having had my vehicle completely totaled by a suicidal deer in the wee hours of the morning on the interstate a few years back, if there is a choice to be made between hitting an offending animal, or wrecking my car (and potentially maiming or killing myself trying to avoid it), sadly, I’d have to opt for the road kill. Still, as upset as The Big Girl was, I couldn’t simply flip my hand and utter “C’est la vie”.

Moments after sharing her harrowing tail, my Honey came into the room and proceeded to take off his hoodie and sneakers. As he sat down at the foot of the bed, I asked him about their morning workout and the events that led up to the squirrel.

Honey, I can’t believe you hit a squirrel, what happened!?!?

Clearly, I should have known from his incredulous look, that this matter had already been thoroughly addressed between he and The Big Girl, and that I was just fanning the somewhat already cooled embers back to life.

Yep! As a matter of fact, I chased it up a tree, caught it, tied it down in the middle of the road, then hopped back in my car and ran it over. Oh yeah, I didn’t pull off until his tail stopped twitching!

In my defense, the only reason I busted out into an uncontrollable wave of giggles was because his answer was SO unexpected, and the look on The Big Girl’s face was one of horror and mirth at the same time.

Yes, it is indeed Saturday!

Libya’s Freedom, Qaddafi’s Fate.

20 Oct

BBC’s News Hour.  NPR.  The Tom Joyner Morning Show.  CNN. The Russ Parr Morning Show.

On the way to work this morning, I was inundated with bandwagon breaking news out of Libya declaring that the former Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Qaddafi was captured and injured by National Transitional Council fighters in his hometown of Sirte.  Libyan reporters also disclosed that Qaddafi was found hiding in a hole (déjà vu?).  Hearing some Libyans who were interviewed in both Sirte and the nation’s capital of Tripoli expressing their sobbing elation and relief in broken English as well as in their native tongue was not only moving but gave me a prolonged case of gooseflesh.

But for all of the excitement and celebrations surrounding the end of tyranny in Libya, the reports of Colonel Qaddafi’s capture have only been coming from Libyan news and state television, and unfortunately, independent reports have yet to be confirmed.  But that has not stopped the international wires from broadcasting news that not only was Qaddafi captured, but was mortally wounded and purportedly dead.

U.S. officials and senior Obama Administration reps have been hesitant to confirm or deny any of this information however, and have instead been working frantically to substantiate Qaddafi’s capture and/or death, a White House administrator stated this morning.

Still, with Libyans declaring October 20th as their new “Day of Independence”, I am sure that this is a story that will be developing swiftly and in more specific detail throughout the day.

Lions and Tigers and Bears…Ohio!?

19 Oct

Imagine waking up to reports that your children’s schools have been closed for the day and your employer has urged that you stay home, and there isn’t even a single snowflake in sight or any inclement weather on the horizon.  Imagine still, that these precautions have been taken due not to a community woosah day, but because exotic wild animals are on the loose in your neighborhood!

Well, for the folks in rural Zanesville, Ohio this wasn’t a hypothetical situation at all, as many rose with the sun to news that wild animals had broken free from their cages last night on a Muskingum County wild animal preserve where, once authorities arrived on the scene, found the zoo owner Terry Thompson dead.  Further investigating found that the animals’ cages had been opened, and the preserves external fences were unsecure; a detail that had many morning show reports this a.m. speculating on what actually happened and what caused Thompson’s death at the site.

Of the 48 Lions, leopards, cheetahs, black bears, grizzly bears, mountain lions and wolves (to name a few) that had escaped the privately owned zoo about 55 miles east of Columbus, close to 25 had been shot and killed Tuesday evening.  CNN interviewed legendary animal expert and the Columbus Zoo’s director emeritus Jack Hanna, who was asked to assist authorities in hunting and retrieving the animals, and he expressed remorse that so many animals had to be put down, but reiterated that in a scenario when escaped animals absconded into populated areas, human life had to be the priority.

But for as movie-ready as this unbelievable scenario has seemed, many neighbors who live near the preserve have not been surprised by the escape.  In 2006, it was reported that a lion had gotten loose from the small zoo, and over the years, many neighbors have called authorities complaining of hearing roaring and other deafening animal noises throughout the night.  Still, more than just the nuisance of living so close to such a bizarre place, neighbors said they have always been cautious and worried because although Thompson lived on the premises, he stayed in legal trouble regularly, due to his animal permits and the creatures getting out of their manufactured habitats all of the time.

Now, I will be the first to admit to being an avid fan zoos, Animal Planet and most things beastly (from afar of course), but the idea of having my very own Wizard of Oz scenario unfold right in my back yard would have me in complete and utter Cowardly Lion mode!

I mean, it’s clear that privately owning such a multitude of wild animals the way that Thompson did is legal in Ohio and many other states across the country, but when owners have been cited numerous times and proper precautions fail to be taken in caring for these animals (whose natural habitats are NOT somebody’s modified farm), perhaps the regulations surrounding the private ownership of such dangerous beasts should be revised and reinforced before the unthinkable were to happen; oh, wait…

Nicki + A Real British Accent = Sophia Grace

14 Oct

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Forget about these Mini Minaj’s singing The Alphabet Song or God Save the Queen.  This little diva and her honey hued hype girl have expended all their adolescent learning capacity by absorbing the lyrics to actual sized Niki Minaj’s “Super Bass”.

And while in my opinion it is a crying shame that any child could be this prolific in reciting such suggestive and age-inappropriate lyrics while not having yet mastered long division, it seems that Sophie and company have not only wowed the millions who viewed their original “Super Bass” remake video on YouTube, but also got the attention of “Happy Feet” talk show host, Ellen.

Invited to the show to discuss how amazing and talented the duo was in becoming a viral sensation (lyrics notwithstanding, Sophia really has a pretty pure and crisp voice, and her hype girl’s animated banging of an imaginary drum and shaking her…back is quite entertaining), they were  afforded the ultimate surprised when their multi-colored wigged idol came onstage to perform “Super Bass” with them.

Now, while all I’ve been hearing is how “adorable” and “precocious” the little girls were, and how their YouTube video and this Ellen performance was likely a catalyst to their future stardom, I can’t help but to remain perplexed.  I mean really, take away the tiaras and pink princess wear and let’s rename Sophia, let’s say, Sheniqua…think her viral video would still be a “hit”?  Would the masses still find her as cute? Would this even be news?

Hmph.


Dōmo Arigatō, 21st Century Mr. Roboto

12 Oct

I can always count on my nephew to expose me to something bizarre, outlandish or cool (by teenage standards anyway) via this vast universe we call the internet.

Sliding around my kitchen in slow motion (and completely ruining a previously pristine pair of white socks) and pop-locking like Oz’s rickety Tin Man, I ceased my evening task of cooking to actual watch his display of robotic choreography.  When it became altogether apparent that the Jabberwocky’s Dance Reign would not be threatened on this night, I finally asked my nephew what exactly was he doing and why.

Of course he guided my attention to YouTube where a modern day Mr. Roboto (aka Marquese Scott) was body rocking for his life, and blowing my mind.  After watching the video for all of a minute and 30 seconds though, I had to put on my skeptic’s hat and try to determine how this dexterous dancer was contorting his limbs like MJ after slipping on a puddle of WD40!!

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