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What The?: Solange ROCs Jay-Z

12 May

ImageAs this has been my longest hiatus to date, let me first begin this post with a heartfelt, two-count apology:

1.  Firstly of course, for not being able to condense all my life’s activities into the same 24 hours that God has afforded Oprah, Malala Yousafzai and Kim Kardashian.

2. For climbing out of dormancy to bring you all this bit of breaking tomfoolery.  My husband told me that if I was going to publish this post, I should at least admit that while I do strive to advance myself spiritually, socially and through modes of learning and higher education, the God’s honest truth is that while not completely absorbed by foolishness and absurdity, I do on occasion let the clutches of ratchetness envelop my soul…a tiny little bit (for which I intend to begin my penance shortly).

Now, in the ever-so-clever words of Mobb Deep, “there’s a war going on outside, no man is safe from…” 

Unfortunately, while Prodigy and Havoc were undoubtedly pontificating about their daily struggles on the mean streets of Queensbridge in the mid 90’s, they obviously didn’t realize that in just two short decades, that war would pale in comparison to the one that people regularly fight through the medium of social media and the internet; a war in which NO ONE is spared. Apparently, this has been made all the more evident by TMZ’s recently released “surveillance” video shot (and sold by some dummy who will obviously no longer be gainfully employed) of music royalty, The Carters and Solange Knowles while on an elevator at the Standard Hotel after last week’s Met Gala in New York.  Now, I won’t pretend to know what set off Solange’s mollywop trigger (however, any person with even a rudimentary understanding of addition coupled with a little cause and effect could most likely surmise accurately on the matter…I’m just saying), but as shown in the video, your girl attempts to put in WORK on her brother in-law, while still glammed out in her coral Philip Lim cocktail dress and never askew wig!! Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 6.21.36 PM

But for me, what was even more bizarre was the fact that although styled, tucked and taped to perfection in her peakaboo Givenchy gown, King Bey made no real effort to intervene or mediate the fracas between her sister nor her husband.  Jay was bobbing and weaving, Solange was throwing up her set, her purse and a karate kick and Beyonce stood silently, lest she crease the organza of her gown.  Seriously, it was almost as if her Ambien-Xanax cocktail chose just that moment to kick in.

I’d be lying however if I didn’t say I was impressed with Jay-Z’s restraint.  If not for his wisdom (or the constraints of arthritic knees, who knows?), the publicity surrounding this melee could have taken a much uglier turn.

So, what say ye?  Should Beyonce have attempted to settle things between her sibling and her spouse?  And, what in the world could have possibly occurred to make Solange behave in such a frenzied manner?  But most importantly, will the Carters add Solange to the line-up now and rename their tour “Family Affair”???  I imagine we will ALL be staying tuned for this one!

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Police Deliver Devastating News Via Facebook

20 Feb

From the “What In The Ham Sandwich” Files…

Occasionally you can find me thoroughly entertained by a host of my blogging, social media and even journalism friends (all of whom, hold these posts as real and paying professions) who will from time to time, strongly debate with one another over the merits and pitfalls of utilizing social media as a source for uncovering, reporting and relaying significant news.  And of course, these conversations usually end with dismissive attitudes, elitist posturing and we all inevitably agreeing to disagree.

I do believe however that we were all pretty much on the same page after I emailed this recent story around and we kissed our collective teeth in disgust as the article revealed that a Georgia woman learned of her son’s death through a Facebook message from the local police department.

After searching for almost a month for her son Rickie, Anna Lamb-Creasey received confirmation via Facebook from the Clayton County Police Department that her son had been struck by a vehicle and killed on January 24, 2013.  In an array of news broadcast interviews, Lamb-Creasey told reporters that she did not know that messages from Facebook users who were not on her “friends list” could show up in an “other” labeled inbox.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I consider myself a pretty knowledgeable Facebook user, and I think even I would have found that type of cloak-and-dagger communique enough to either hit delete or report it as spam.  To think that it could have been a message about the status of my child is outrageous and simply maddening!  What’s worse is that Lamb-Creasey said that she was even more confused about the message, because the Misty Hancock Facebook profile picture was actually a photo of  Atlanta rapper, T.I. and his daughter at a birthday party (WHAT?!?!?! *Lil’ Jon voice*).

After twenty days had passed, Lamb-Creasey’s daughter found the unopened Facebook message received by her mother and opened it. The brief correspondence was from a person named Misty Hancock with a message requesting that Lamb-Creasey contact Lt. Schindler.  She called the number referenced in her mother’s Facebook message, and it was only then that was she told of Rickie’s death.

Understandable, Lamb-Creasey and her family are upset at how they found out about her son’s death, and why no constructive effort was made to reach her sooner, and personally.  A spokesman for the Clayton County Police Department said of the Misty Hancock Facebook account that it had formerly been used in an undercover capacity and was not intended to be revealed to the public.  Because of that apparent breach, the department now plans to investigate exactly why it was used to contact Lamb-Creasey.  The spokesperson also asserted that several attempts by officers were made to reach Lamb-Creasey, but they simply could not contact her.

Wait…what?  You mean, between all the Task Forces, Undercover Agents, Detectives, Beat Cops, Meter Maids and DMV records at their disposal, the Clayton County PD couldn’t find this woman to let her know that her child had been killed!?  I will say that I have a certain reverence for police officers and those who put themselves in harm’s way to preserve the safety of me and mine, but that is not this.  That can’t be this!  I will also say that I know that budget cuts and constraints all over the country have led to departmental cutbacks and creativity in how some officers are able to perform their jobs, so I won’t even lob a “desk jockey on point-and-click patrol while eating donuts” insult at the CCPD.

What is worth saying however is that Anna Lamb-Creasey and her family deserved better than a fake-me-out Facebook message that thank God her daughter bothered to read (again, thinking it was a solicitation, I can’t say that I would have even entertained it)!  I cannot even begin to imagine the stress of living with uncertainty for almost a month, only for it to be compounded by discovering that that uncertainty was now a reality…delivered through the host site of Farmville.

#DoBetter

More Than a Slap On The Wrist

18 Feb

Listen…

When I first heard this story last Friday and since having read up on the most recent developments, Digital Underground has been playing in my head.  Loudly.  On repeat!

Now, I do get it about being flustered at having to share space on a long flight, with a crying child within the confines of a constricting passenger aircraft.  I mean, I’m not proud of it, but I’ve prayed for God to mute a baby a time or too myself, but to go so far as to become so unhinged that spewing a racist tirade and striking a child was the best resulting idea for resolving the matter?  Utterly unacceptable.

To me however, the problem wasn’t so much with Joe Rickey Hundley having these views; as disgusting as they are.  The problem was him feeling justified in articulating his views in an incredibly public and violent matter, and against a defenseless minor no less.  Sure, he and his defense attorney have been siting his distraught sensibilities that day due to him traveling to visit an ailing relative, and his alcohol intake (used to quell those sensibilities) which adversely effected his otherwise “glowing persona”, but the truth remains, in this “post-racial” (loose air quotes used here) American in which we live, he called a 19-month old baby a n*gger and tried to slap the child into submission.  Again, utterly unacceptable.

The story however, does have a silver lining.  Whether yielding to the court of public opinion, or displaying zero-tolerance for offensive and donkey behavior or simply in an effort to distance themselves from a drunkard and troubled individual, Hundley’s bosses effectively pumped the brakes on his employment this past Sunday.  In a released statement, President and CEO of AGC Aerospace and Defense Al Hasse characterized Joe Rickey Hundley’s behavior as disturbing, contradictory to the company’s values and revealed that the unit executive was no longer an employee of the company:

“We have taken this matter very seriously and worked diligently to examine it since learning of the matter on Friday afternoon.  As of Sunday, the executive is no longer employed with the company.  [His behavior is] embarrassing and does not in any way reflect the patriotic character of the men and women of diverse backgrounds who work tirelessly in our business.”

Presently, Hundley has been charged with simple assault, which if convicted, could lead to a maximum term of one year in prison, so he certainly isn’t “off the hook.”  It truly speaks volumes however; that since he likes slapping so much, that he wasn’t just slapped criminally, but also in his wallet!

You’re Welcome.

Doing Our Part: Support Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts

5 Nov

Hello Pack Faithful!  It seems like ages since real life has afforded me the opportunity to take time to sit and indulge in what has always been for me, the pleasure of sharing my thoughts, concerns and general musings with each of you, but I honestly had to make the time to talk with you guys about Hurricane Sandy.

Let me first say that for any of you who have been affected, I am praying for your peace of mind and that you find swift relief and recovery in your circumstances.  For me, although I can say how blessed I am to have heard from so many of my family and friends up and down the East Coast who survived through Super Storm Sandy last week with only minimal damage and a few days’ inconvenience as it related to power outages, food shortages and the like, I am still wholly mortified by the images that I continue to see from as far south as The Outer Banks to the heavily hit northeast region of the New York/Tri-State area.  It is for that reason that I wanted to use this platform to encourage each of you to do something.

While so many of us don’t have the necessary training or resources to assist in clean-up efforts in areas like Ground Zero or the New Jersey Shore or across the Mid-Atlantic, it is good to know that we are not helpless.  If like me, you find that the daily news stories of damage assessments, the rising death tolls or coverage of images like the ones below tend to leave you in a state of unrest, then please donate to The American Red Cross on behalf of the victims of Sandy.

As a nation, lets prove this November that a contentious election is not the only time we can mobilize in full force for a worthy cause.

Hope You Weren’t THIS Guy on NYE!

2 Jan

While this bloke wasn’t actually ringing in the New Year bumbling down the streets of London, if we are being honest, some of you did bring in 2012 in an incredibly identical inebriated fashion.  And while it may seem all fun and games to start your year off popping bottles and sipping cris, the reality is that being a sloppy drunk and a slovenly lush is not only an un-sexy move, but it can lead to memory gaps, injuries, the bubble guts and that infamous morning-after migraine.

Besides, with Big Brother looming just about everywhere nowadays, would you really want your grandmother to clutch her pearls in embarrassment because one of her bridge club members saw your tipsy New Year’s Eve exploits recorded for all posterity on the 11 o’clock news?!

In truth, we have all been blessed to see yet another year, where many unfortunate souls simply have not.  That makes each New Year memorable and worth remembering, don’tcha think?

You Sir, Are No Slick Rick

10 Nov

If nothing else, this year’s Republican Presidential Debates have been chock-full of the best political entertainment that I have been fortunate enough to come across since The West Wing went off the airWith the various candidates’ religions under scrutiny, the alleged activity of their loins in question or their truths and facts in need of constant checking, the debates have shown more like a series of political soap operas than a weeding out process for the next GOP contender for the office of president.

But for all the drama that the debates have revealed, the unintentional comedy has both highlighted and exposed some of the candidates for the ill-equipped representatives that they are.  Take for instance Wednesday night’s rumble in Michigan at Oakland University.  It was there at the CNBC/Michigan Republican Party sponsored debate that Texas Governor Rick Perry revealed yet another similarity he shared with “Dub-yah” when he became tongue tied and forgetful while reciting the three agencies of big government that he would eliminate were he to become the 45th President.  Easily recalling Education and Commerce for the masses, Perry struggled to remember that he wanted to disband the Department of Energy as well.

While clearly a “human” moment for the governor, his gaffe was so glaring that one would have to wonder how serious Perry could actually be about running for President and developing (and remembering) a variety of unique thoughts and ideas to make better the nation he seeks to serve.  I mean, even Sarah Palin was serious enough about getting into the White House as the VP in 2008 that she made sure her talking points were prepared and clearly written out (on her hand).

I will say though, for all the talk about Perry’s damaging performance on Wednesday, I totally respect the dude for admitting that he simply couldn’t remember (his exact words, “…I can’t” were priceless).  Oh, and the “kill me now” Oops was a classic as well!  I guarantee it’ll go down in history alongside Nixon’s indignant little farewell declaration about us not having him to kick around anymore.

Clearly, pissed off and flustered Republicans produce the best sound-bites!

Nuttin’ But Love for Ya Heavy

9 Nov

Isn’t it funny how there are so many music artists now a days with more criminal records than hit records, that we often times find it truly amazing (and if I’m being honest, a bit disconcerting) how the good ol’ days of Hip Hop went from rappers wearing polka dots, silk shirts, patent leather shoes and battle dancing to actually battling each other over trivial things like money, women and the ever elusive “respect”.

That is why, though decades removed from rocking the crowds and overweight loving the ladies, Dwight Myers aka Heavy D was always one of my favorite back in the day rappers.  A showman and innovator, Heavy D always seemed to have an easy demeanor, a smooth lyrical way and a smile on his face.  His bigger than life manner had more to do with his personality than his physique, and in embracing who he was, his fans loved him even more.

Learning Tuesday that Heavy had died and at an age not that much older than my own, I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t moved.  While I had no personal connection to Heavy, seeing him looking happy, healthy and a little less heavy on shows like “Boston Public” and “Bones” and having had my West Indian sensibilities reintroduced to his craft with the release of his 2008 Reggae Fusion album, “Vibes”, I was truly reminded of what a classic entertainer and Hip Hop legend that Heavy truly was.

Reminisce with me back to 1994 when the Diddley-D  was loving the ladies…and the baggy vest/linen pant combo.

RIP Heavy D.

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