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Bey’s Baby Bump: Now You See It, Now You Don’t?

11 Oct

Like she does every now and again, one of my best sister-friends texted me this evening to shoot the breeze.  Not about the weather, or Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan though, but to chat it up about Beyonce’s pregnancy and if I thought she has been wearing a prosthetic baby bump for the past several weeks after revealing her first trimester to the world.  Now while we thirty-something grown women actually do have other things to do with our lives than mull over Beyonce and her celebufetus, the topic only came up after my girlfriend sent me a video where Beyonce was interviewed on Australia’s “Sunday Night” news show, and in the midst of taking her seat on the set, the bun in her oven appeared to have deflated right before our eyes.

Now, Beyonce has the world in a tizzy wondering if she has been faking her pregnancy, are she and Jigga planning to adopt or if they have a surrogate to actually perform the manual labor (pun intended) come February.  Personally, I can’t imagine Bey and Jay feigning a pregnancy for the sake of superior media coverage or at the risk of multimedia whoredom, but after having seen this video, her wide-eyed reaction to the alleged belly flop (right around the 59 second mark) and then her hutched-over posture throughout the remainder of the interview, I do think that Mrs. Carter is preggers, but has been embellyishing a bit.

Carmela “Keeps It” Real

8 Jun

Although VH1 recently put forth an ambitious yet crude effort with their new show, since the series finale of The Sopranos four years ago, I’ve sort of had mob wife withdrawal.  So when I came across an internet headline about Edie Falco this afternoon, I was anxious to hear what was up with the former first lady of New Jersey Organized Crime turned ER Nurse.

After I read the write up however, I was left wondering, why is this even a story, why are people upset and what did she say in this nonstory that was untrue? 

Basically, an attention seeker suffering through a slow news day writer over at accesshollywood.com took some comments that Edie Falco made during an interview for New York Magazine’s Vulture blog and ran for the border with them.  When asked if she watched a certain reality television show, Falco replied with a question of her own:

“Who the h3ll is Kim Kardashian?”

With little prodding, she inquired further about the state of television programming this day and age and its resulting effect on popular and social culture:

“Who are these people and why are they famous and why are they advertising things and being asked their opinions about things? I just don’t understand what these people did to be in a position of having everyone ask their opinions about stuff.  If there’s something about [Kim Kardashian’s] personality or something that she’s accomplished or her philosophy on something – beyond that, I don’t understand what’s happening; it’s actually frightening.”

Okay.  First off, the article is from accesshollywood.com so what did I expect? If they can make headline news of an interview with the store clerk who sold Anthony Weiner the infamous briefs that are now captured for all posterity in his twit pic (I’m kidding), then surely their efforts at instigating a slap-fest between Kim and Carmela really shouldn’t be that shocking.  Still, the notion from some of the article’s readers and commenters that because Falco spoke out about the nonsense that is now Reality TV; specifically Kim Kardashian’s meteoric “for-nothing” rise to super stardom and celebrity, she is somehow bitter or a hater is in my opinion, more than a little off the mark.

Again I ask, what did Edie say that was untrue, or malicious for that matter? Are the Kardashians known for anything substantial? Do they provide poignant and objective critiques on politics, the economy and society at large?  Does their peddling of clothing, autobiographies, fragrances or prepaid cards enhance or ease the way of life of anyone other than themselves?  Granted, her delivery may have been a little coarse but love them or hate them, didn’t Edie say what we all have been thinking about these reality stars for years?!

If anything, aside from stating the obvious, I see her incredulous questions and declarations as the strong opinion of someone who’s worked long and hard to hone her craft and earn her celebrity in the fickle town of Hollywood, only to be confused by the fame of a celebutante and her siblings. And trust me, Edie Falco is not the first or only thespian who feels this way (cue Samuel Jackson’s “rap-tors” rant).

Now, am I saying that the Kardashian’s don’t deserve their current success after discovering a lucrative niche from which they’ve built their empire? No.  But surely they can’t expect people to be elated about their rise to the top on the back of Kim’s homemade movie debut.

And before I’m called-out as a hypocrite, I do admittedly watch Keeping up with the Kardashians, Kourtney & Kim Take New York and Khole & Lamar…but mostly as research for the book I’m writing on um, uh…how to snag a professional baller; yeah.

Playing Daddy in “Wade” County

14 Mar

As many of you who read this blog know, in the past I’ve not minced words or sugar coated my feelings about the whole Dwyane-Siohvaughn-Gabbie debacle, or my concern for the ex-couple’s children, but it seems that this hot mess of a (dysfunctional) family saga has finally come to an end; at least legally.  Last week, the Miami Heat star was awarded permanent physically custody of his two sons, ending an extensive (and exhaustive, I’m sure) legal battle with his ex-wife Siohvaughn Wade.

And while I have also been unapologetically vocal (and admittedly biased) about my feelings as they pertain to how Wade handled his divorce from the wife who bore his children and stood by him before the league, championship rings, flashing lights, actresses and endorsements came a’callin’, I must admit that in light of her multiple and well-documented instances of crazy recently, it definitely may be for the best that he is now legally the primary caregiver for his sons.

I think that we can all agree that in spite of the beds that the adults made for themselves in this situation (and later tumble around in), the best interest of the children should have always been the focal point of the issue.  In her “woman-scorned” vindictiveness over the years however (remember back when Siohvaughn had legal custody of the boys and she would “adjust” Wade’s visitation times on a whim, or not let him in her gate to even pick the children up?), I think Siohvaughn may have lost sight of that fact, and in doing so lost custody of her sons.

But in fairness to D-Wade, one thing he has never faltered on publicly since things went array with The Missus has been his love and continued concern for his boys.  And in light of his Charlie Sheen-esque “winning” this past week (custody of the kids and Eastern Conference Player of The Week…¿en fuego, no?) I sincerely do wish him all the best as he embarks on this (re)newed excursion into daddydom.

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.

Is it a Case of “Let He Without Sin”…Or “Therefore, Rid Yourselves of Hypocrisy”?

21 Sep

As is normally the case, tonight’s regularly scheduled post was already prepared (yet another motherhood angst draft completed and in mid-revision) before the BREAKING NEWS bomb was dropped in my inbox all Hiroshima-like this evening.  Thanks to cable news networks and the instantaneous nature of the social networks that I subscribe to, my Twitter Timeline, Instant Messengers and emails pretty much imploded my Blackberry amid news of yet another seemingly fallen Good Reverend.

According to CNN.com, two male parishioners have alleged sexual misconduct and coercion by an esteemed Atlanta Pastor:

Two Georgia men have filed a lawsuit claiming that prominent Atlanta, Georgia, pastor Eddie Long coerced them into sex.

The suits, filed Tuesday in DeKalb County, Georgia, allege that Long used his position as a spiritual authority and bishop to coerce young male members and employees of his New Birth Missionary Baptist Church into sex.

“Defendant Long has a pattern and practice of singling out a select group of young male church members and using his authority as Bishop over them to ultimately bring them to a point of engaging in a sexual relationship,” the suits allege.

Long is considered one of the nation’s top black preachers. His church has more 25,000 members, according to the suit, and was the site of Coretta Scott King’s 2006 funeral, attended by then-President George W. Bush and three previous presidents. King was the widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

The pastor took one plaintiff, Anthony Flagg, 21, on overnight trips to a half-dozen American cities in recent years, Flagg’s suit alleges.

“Long shared a bedroom and engaged in intimate sexual contact with plaintiff Flagg including kissing, massaging, masturbating of plaintiff Flagg by defendant Long and oral sexual contact,” the suit says.

Long took the other plaintiff, Maurice Murray Robinson, 20, to Auckland, New Zealand, in October 2008 for his 18th birthday and engaged in oral sex with him, Robinson’s suit alleges.

“Following the New Zealand Trip, Defendant Long regularly engaged in sexual touching, and other sexual acts with Plaintiff Robinson,” Robinson’s suit alleges.

Long spokesman Art Franklin said Tuesday that “we categorically deny the allegations.”

“It is very unfortunate that someone has taken this course of action,” he said. “Our law firm will be able to respond once attorneys have had an opportunity to review the lawsuit.”

Long frequently denounces homosexual behavior. A 2007 article in the Southern Poverty Law Center’s magazine called him “one of the most virulently homophobic black leaders in the religiously based anti-gay movement.”

“Everybody knows that a bishop or church pastor … cannot have any sort of sexual relations or sexual relationship with one of your parishioners,” the lawyer, B.J. Bernstein, said at a news conference Tuesday evening. “And even worse to have it with two young men who trusted him and got to know him at a very young age.”

Bernstein said she has alerted federal authorities about the allegations.

In June, Robinson was arrested and charged with burglary in connection with a break-in to Long’s office. An iPhone, iPad and other items — more than $1,300 worth — were taken from the office, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

On Tuesday, Bernstein said the theft was Robinson’s attempt to retaliate against the pastor. She said that once Robinson began telling others about his experience with Long, “he realized he wasn’t the only one.”

“It made [Robinson] angry,” she said.

Both plaintiffs said the pastor, his church and church employees gave them cash and lavish gifts that ranged from cars to college tuition.

The suits also said that Long framed the sexual relationships as religious in nature.

The suits allege that Long chose the plaintiffs to be his “Spiritual Sons,” a program that allegedly includes other young men from the church.

Flagg moved into a home owned by another New Birth pastor when he was a high school junior, according to the suit, where Long would sometimes share a bed with him. Flagg was eventually put on the church’s payroll, his suit alleges, with Long personally delivering his checks.

Flagg’s suit says that Long presided over a spiritual “covenant” ceremony between the two of them.

“It was essentially a marriage ceremony, with candles, exchange of jewelry, and biblical quotes,” Bernstein said Tuesday. “The bishop [told] him I will always have your back and you will always have mine.”

Robinson’s suit alleges that “Defendant Long would use Holy Scripture to discuss and justify the intimate relationship between himself and Plaintiff Robinson.”

The suits are seeking unspecified amounts of punitive damages from Long on various counts, ranging from negligence to breach of fiduciary duty.

Now, I will be the first to admit that although I don’t preach eternally damnation to random strangers and infidels or claim to possess the power to evoke a Fire and Brimstone downpour on all non-believers (you know, that new-age religion that some on The Right and many of those who travel on The Tea Party Express would have you believe that Christianity is all about), as a compassionate church-going, God-loving, Kingdom Striver, these allegations were incredibly disturbing.  And not so much because there are implications of gross sexual impropriety committed by a well-known and respected man of the cloth; one of the faces of the black “mega-church” culture, but because people have used this story to further vilify Christianity, “the body” and collective church-going as a whole. 

I cannot tell you how many comments I’ve read or responded to today that ranged from joking about whether Bishop Long’s S-Curl and silk too-tight shirts would be charged as accessories to this crime to people accusing the man of pedophilia with adolescent boys.  Please understand that I don’t repeat these crass opinions as a way in which to pass judgment. I only mention them to show how easy it was for the world to jump on the “there-goes-another-preacher-spending-my-up-my-tithe-while-creeping-with-the-choir-boy” bandwagon without having heard a single word in the way of Bishop Long’s side of the story.  Moreover, I know in media how important it is to get “the jump” on a hot and fresh story (as I can guarantee every blogger and their momma will probably be weighing in on this topic tomorrow morning, if they’ve not already done so) but I have to wonder if CNN.com, with more than 18,000 recommendations of this story via Facebook and it being touted as the most popular article on their website, cared more about the sensation that this story would garner as opposed to reporting on the whole story in its entirety.  Now, far be it for me to suggest that Bishop Long’s two accusers in this case are peddling falsehoods; I am not saying that at all.  I just think that we should all be careful to consider not only people’s motives in instances like this, but also the source from which such information would come.

What I do know to be true however, is my sincere desire for fact, accuracy and vindication to reign supreme and be made known when this snafu is all said and done.  As crazy as this situation is though, it’s bound to get even uglier before it gets resolved.  That is all the more reason why (in my opinion) we have to step out of our cloak of judgment and not put our mouth on a situation we are only privy to via second hand revelation. 

In the book of 1 Peter, it talks about how the people of God shouldn’t be surprised at being mistreated and made to suffer as a result of doing the Lord’s work (paraphrasing), while on the other hand the book of Matthew addresses the sadness and destruction that people bring upon themselves as a result of the sinful behaviors they allow in their lives.  In reading just these two bible passages it is evident that God will not be mocked, and I have a sneaking suspicion that one way or another this incident will be the catalyst for God allowing people to be exposed for who and what they truly are.

Your Own Worst Enemy: When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong

13 Sep

With last night’s seemingly drama-free MTV Video Music Awards (which I unapologetically did not watch) and reports of Tanye’s (Taylor Swift and Kanye West) backstage truce, this weekend proved to be very slow and uneventful in the way of relevant Music Industry News.

Enter Moses Barrett III.

The North Carolina rapper (well, that’s what his resume states) better known as Petey Pablo was arrested over the weekend at RDU International Airport en route (ironically) to Los Angeles for The VMAs after allegedly trying to carry a gun aboard a U.S. Airways flight.

 According to an airport spokesperson, the entertainer told airport police that he’d forgotten the 9mm automatic pistol was in his carry-on luggage.  In the arrest warrant, officers wrote that Barrett knew that the gun, a Smith & Wesson 639 Model, had been reported stolen.  That claim, coupled with his 1993 armed robbery conviction (which landed him in prison for six years of his 14 year sentence), has shined a spotlight on the N.C. native’s convicted felon “street cred” and has garnered him the sort of attention that would tank, instead of revive a music career already on life support.

But clearly in the Pack Household, this couldn’t just be an open and shut case of “when keeping it real goes wrong.”  Ever the advocate and resident conspiracy theorist, my honey pointed out that celebrities oftentimes have someone in their entourage or a gopher to do things like maintain their schedules or pack their luggage, so it could very well be true that Petey Pablo was unaware that he was packing heat.  I of course would not even entertain this sorry excuse for devil’s advocacy, and with good reason:

  1. Calling Petey Pablo a celebrity, even when “Raise Up” was in heavy rotation, is reaching.
  2. Since his “Kangol-mink-wife-beater” combo wearing days on the set of Drumline,  Petey Pablo has likely not had enough going on to need a day-planner or an assistant, much less an entourage.
  3. This dude is a Convicted. Felon.  Isn’t it a felony for him to even own a Super Soaker?  And whether or not he knew the gun was in his luggage (humph), when it was discovered, he actually told the cops he was aware that the piece was stolen. Huh?
  4. His felonious behind was caught with a (stolen) concealed weapon. In an airport. On 9/11.  Of all the days not to have given your luggage a once over to ensure that that extra pair of Fruit of The Looms was packed, I am thinking that September 11th was not the day. 
  5. How’d he get tickets for the VMA’s anyway?

Nope, not buying it.  If you ask me, this is a classic case of when simple people do simple things.  Folks love to proclaim how “hard” they are, how much they “represent” and how “real” they keep it, until reality kicks them through the goal posts of life.  And I’d wager that possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of a stolen gun and carrying a concealed weapon charges are about as real as it gets.  Here’s wishing his defense attorney good luck…and a miracle.

Update:  While proofing this post, my honey came home and shared that he listened to a radio interview just this afternoon, featuring Petey Pablo.  According to my bleeding heart honey, Petey explained that while mentoring a friend out of a bad situation, he tried to do right by convincing the guy to give him the gun that he’d been planning to use.  Stowing it away months ago, Petey simply forgot that he had it.

“See Tiff, he was trying to do a good deed and got hemmed up.”

Maybe, just maybe I can envision that.  As such, I amend my assessment of the case: Taking one for the team, while keeping it 100.  Perhaps therein lies your reasonable doubt Mr. Defense Attorney.

How to Negate Cheating Husband Rumors: Bikini Shots

7 Sep

Okay, I’ll admit it; I’ve long been an admirer of cougar-extraordinaire Demi Moore, who’s been the premiere representative for hot and fit moms across the country for the past several years.  Mother of three and wife of Hollywood super cub Ashton Kutcher, Moore has made balancing motherhood, having a successful career and aging (gracefully) traits that women half her age could only hope to replicate.

So news of what can only be described as Demi’s recent self-esteem boosting twitpics last week seem especially out of character for the seemingly “got-it-together” starlet.

Another celebrity Twitter casualty, Demi Moore tweeted, then deleted a couple of steamy bikini self-portraits on September 1 after (smut-rag) Star Magazine reported that a “source” had confirmed seeing Ashton Kutcher compromisingly cozy with an unknown blonde in a Los Angeles restaurant.

Like any “victimized” star, Kutcher quickly and angrily took to Twitter in his own defense:

“I think Star Magazine calling me a ‘cheater’ qualifies as defamation of character. I hope my lawyer agrees.”

 “Star Magazine – you don’t get to stand behind ‘freedom of the press’ when you are writing fiction.”

Oh Snap!

And although Moore obviously agreed with her hubby and dismissed Star’s claims (“Excellent point my love!” she tweeted in response to her beau’s mini-rant), it clearly did not stop her from vamping it up for a Twitter bathroom photo session a few tweets later to give all of her followers an eyeful of…her shades.

Um, Demi?  If I may be so bold as to impart these 3 nuggets:

  1.  Everyone on the planet knows that (aside from Heidi Klum) you have the best post-baby body ever (re)created!  Do scanty potty shots really make you feel more secure about yourself and your marriage?  I mean really, when you have ever cared what the media had to say about you (you starred in Striptease for Pete’s sake). 
  2. You didn’t have to counter Star Magazine’s infidelity claims with a “why would he cheat when he has this at home” social media pictorial spread.  You are better than that Mrs. Kutcher, and you know it; the fact that you deleted the pictures says as much.  The paparazzi are always going to have something to say, and nine times out of ten, it’ll probably be a snifter full of lies. 
  3. Stop getting so caught up in what we spectators-of-your life think, and instead, just live your life for YOU…oh yeah, and please delete your twitter account!
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