Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Can we get rid of ex-girlfriends already?

As a 16 year vet of the relationship game there are some things that have continued to annoy me since I was fifteen years old. That, not surprisingly, is the infamous "ex girlfriend".Looking back I feel that I have been rather gracious and considerate to my ex girlfriends, trying to avoid being nasty, taking the high road. But there are some unavoidable situations that one may face when dealing with an ex. Here are a few.

1)Familiar faces in public places - After a breakup, I always tend to run into a ex at a club or some social event. These encounters are always rather awkward, with both parties doing a lot of "frontin'", both trying to look like the breakup hasn't phased them in the least. The night always ends with each of us finding someone of the opposite sex to talk to, to make the other jealous. Yes, I'm 31 and I'm admitting that I can be childish.

2)Reach out and touch someone- Anyone who has had a ex in their lifetime can relate to the "feeler" call. A "feeler" is when a ex calls you to see how you are doing, but in all actuality it is to see if you have a new girlfriend. These calls are pretty obvious and undoubtedly pathetic. There are two responses, but it all depends on how you feel about that ex. If you despise the ground that they walk on, you can go on and on about your new girlfriend and leave it at that. But, if you still have feelings and think that you have a chance to get back together, say that you are single and haven't been looking.

3) I've got something to tell you: It seems that whenever a ex gets a new boyfriend, she always ends up calling me and telling me about it. Funny thing is, so far I haven't given a shit, and we are talking about 15 years now. I don't have clairvoyant abilities or anything, but it is a safe bet that I will never give a shit. But, because you want to look like it doesn't phase you, you tell her "that's great, I hope that you both are very happy". But you really want to say, "Who cares?? Why are you calling me with this crap?"

4)Booty call(not that monstrosity of a movie): This is always a bad idea, trust me. Sexual encounters between ex lovers just leads to unresolved issues and confusion. The conversations range from "why did we break up" and "I love when yhou wear that thong." Just a bad idea. But I must admit, it feels pretty good while you're doing it..

5) Get a better deal: This is going to sound petty, but here goes. If you are a ex-girlfriend of mine and you broke up with me, at least get with somebody better than me. You would never catch me trading in a Honda Accord just to get a Satrurn. That's stupid. I once had a girl break up with me to date a guy who was basically a bum. I didn't know how to take that. Should I be happy that she couldn't find anyone as good as me? Or should I take it as her saying, "I'd rather date a guy that is damn near homeless than be with you."

6)Spin Cycle: If you and you ex had a lot of the same friends, or ran in the same circles, you have to go into "Spin mode"."Spin Mode" is the explaining that you have to do to all the people who have been told that you're "a bastard" by your ex girlfriend. This one time, I had to clarify myself to like 20 people. I felt like I was running for president.

7)Family Feud: Nothing I hate worse than phony people. The mother of a girlfriend that I had hated the ground that I walked on. I didn't give her a reason to hate me, and she would do her best to hide it, but it was obvious. After me and her daughter broke up I saw her in a grocery store. She acted like I was her long lost son, giving me hugs and whatnot. I looked at her like she had just spit in my food, she then got the picture.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

10 Simple Rules for dating this 31 year old blogger

Dating can be a tricky and Frustrating ordeal. Dealing with Lies, deception, and personality conflicts can be a huge mountain that even the most eager dating participant won't want to deal with. My dating history, looking back, has been chaotic. Half of the time it has been their fault, half of the time it has been entirely my fault. It doesn't help that I, the man writing this today, can indeed be a complete asshole. I just turned 31 and I realized that there are just some things that I won't deal with. Here is a list of some traits that I wish my future wife has.

1. Have a working foundation is pop Culture(I am a big movie fan and a lover of all types of Music. Nothing is more irritating than hearing someone say, "I don't watch T.V". or "I don't watch movies" WHAT!! Exit Stage left)

2. Realize that silence is a good thing.(The is nothing worse than dating someone that blabs constanly. I love communication and it is important in a relationship. But we all know people who feel that they have to say something if too much time passes in silence. Don't take this the wrong way, but shut the fuck up!)

3. Don't let your friends run your life..(I was once in a relationship where the woman said, "But my friends think you're cheating on me". Huh? F*ck your triffling friends. Those "hating harlots" haven't had a man since the invention of the Hula-hoop, they aren't exactly credible in the "advice depatment". Listen, I respect my friends' advice, but if one of my felon friends tries to lecture me on the rising crime rate I will lose focus like George Bush in a spelling Bee..)

4. Must love Real Hip Hop(This is very important. Now, I would prefer a woman that didn't like Hip Hop at all as opposed to one that like utter bullshit. If a woman likes Nelly, the Ying Yang Twins, Lil John, or anything like that, it is a definite deal breaker. Some of you may say that is harsh. But I look at it as crime prevention because too much time listening to bad hip hop might make a brother violent.)

5. Don't be stingy with the "Nappy Dugout"(This looks bad, I know. Sex should never be expected. But after a considerable amount of time, when the trust is there and all the monogomy issues are established, lets hump like rabbits, shall we?..lol)

6. Understand that your male friends will not be trusted until further notice(Some would consider this a immature act of jealousy, but I think it works on all levels. I have female friends, who are ACTUALLY my friends, but platonic relationships between a man and a women are RARE. So if the woman I am dating has a friend, I won't be an ass to him, but I will hardly extend the proverbial olive branch either. This keeps him on his toes and makes him second guess his motives if they are indeed suspect"

7. PLEASE DON'T BE A RELIGIOUS FANATIC(I believe in god, and I even pray, but dating someone that is a religious nutbag is kind of scary. I once date a girl that hated when I cursed, spent a ungodly amount of time at chuch during the week, preached to me constantly, and outlined the reasons why i would spent a eternity in Hell. Not my idea of fun.)

8.Have a working knowledge about Current events and politics(You don't have to work for CNN or anything, just be able to carry on a 12th grade level conversation about politics and Current events. I once dated a girl who didn't know who the Vice President was. Whoah..)

9. Actually BE SINGLE when we start Dating.(Nothing is worse than dating someone and they say, "I broke up with my ex-boyfriend but he still thinks we are still an item, and occasionally I see him drive by my house". What??!! Listen, the last thing I want to get involved in is a heartbroken ex-boyfriend, who probably camps out in your bushes wearing a Ninja outfit..

10. When Dining Out, Don't be rude to the Wait Staff!(This is more of a pet peeve than anything. BUT, nothing is more irritating than a person that is rude to the waitress/waiter. I remember one time I was out on a date, and the person I was with gave the waitress major attitude and treated the young lady like she was inferior. It was so bad I had to find that young lady, slip her a 20, and told her that I ordered the steak and make she she didn't spit in that one..)

Thursday, September 16, 2004

The lost art of smacking the shit out of someone

Last night, I went out with my good friend Danny and his wife's friend Doug. Danny and I have been friends since we were both twelve years old, he is a great guy and a good friend. Granted, I am probably his only black friend. Come to think about it I am probably his only "democrat" friend. We are polar opposites when it comes to our politics, but I don't get mad at him because our friendship is stronger than political beliefs, and I chalk up his support for Bush as simply "misguided". Danny is safe from my wrath because I know he has a good heart, but anyone else will catch a verbal beatdown. This is where "Doug" comes in.

Doug is a guy that Danny hates because in his words, "He is a douchebag". Danny has a point, he is the kind of guy that just rubs you the wrong way, you know the type. But Danny's wife had insisted that we bring Doug along. Last night we had all gone out to play pool and drink a few beers. I try to avoid getting into political discussions while drinking because I can get quite animated, but tonight was an exception. Doug asked me, "So James, what do you think about Bush?". I replied, "I think he is a incompetent illiterate, who is ruining this country". Doug looked pissed and said, "Don't disrespect my president!! Clinton was a disaster!! What did Clinton do!!??" This seems to be the only response from republicans, never to list any Bush accomplishments and somehow find a way to blame Clinton. So I stated, in a way that only a certified asshole like myself could, the following,"15 million working families enjoyed tax relief under Clinton! More than a million children benefited when Clinton more than doubled federal funding for child care.! Clinton increased funding for the Head Start program by 90 percent so 880,000 children had a better chance to learn and grow. Clinton forced the minimum wage up from $4.25 to $5.15 per hour and demanded an increase to $6.15.! Clinton's AmeriCorps gave 150,000 young the opportunity to serve in their communities while earning money for college or skills training.! The poverty rate feel from 15.1 percent to 12.7 percent. The African-American poverty rate dropped from 33.1 percent to 26.1 percent. African-American unemployment fell from 14.2 percent to 7.3 percent." Then I said, "What were you saying about Clinton being a disaster?"

Then I asked, "What has Bush done?" He gave me the classic republican response, "He has made America safer". I told him that I find that sentiment odd since "9/11 happened on his watch!!". He tried to say the economy was good, but I cut him off with this rant.."Under Bush: A million jobs lost. A thousand soldiers lost. 1.4 million new people living below the poverty line.1.2 million less people covered by health insurance. A seventeen percent Medicare increase. Health care costs skyrocketing.The tax burden increasing amongst the middle class. This president is a nightmare, how could you support him. Doug, for Christ sake, you live in a motherfucking trailer!! You should be the last person voting for Bush. Are you fucking kidding me?" He then retreated, saying that it was getting too personal and that is why he doesn't get into political discussions. But his retreat was because he didn't have a response for anything I said, and it made me respect him even less(if that is possible) that he would be a bitch about it.

I haven't been in a fight in years, and being that I am 31 years old I am too old to be "throwing hands" with anyone. But last night, discussing politics with that jackass, it made me reminisce about the good old days when smacking the shit out of someone was a great way of getting your point across.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Crop circles, Stonehenge, and Black Republicans

There is a weird phenomenon that I must address, especially since we are in the midst of a heated political climate. That force of nature ladies and gentlemen, is the "Black Republican". Typing those two disturbing words makes me want to throw-up like a supermodel in a restaurant bathroom. How can anyone self respecting african american belong to a party that has clearly not expressed a interest in black people?? From the policies that don't benefit african americans, the racist rhetoric by many Republican leadership over the years, the talk radio circuit where you have people like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage spreading hate and homophobia on a daily basis, simply put I don't get it.

I remember my grandmother telling me that black folks, at one time, were mainly republicans. I guess that had to do with Abraham Lincoln freeing the slaves, being the first president to meet with a group of black leaders, and the making the abolition of slavery a plank in its Republican National Convention platform. But the embrace from african American's that the republican party felt started to steadily erode. African Americans began their turn away from the republican party for economic reasons during the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The turn to the Democrats became complete during the 1960's when Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson championed civil rights and anti-poverty efforts while some Republicans such as Barry Goldwater opposed federal civil rights efforts not on racial but on constitutional grounds.

Fast forward to 2000, where 95% of African American voters voted for Al Gore. If you turn on your T.V, you will see a black republican praising Bush and endorsing the Republican Party. From Alan Keys, Armstrong Williams, Tara Setmeyer, or J.C Watts. Blacks who switch to the GOP say they do so because they share Republican values on crime, family and self-reliance. I do not know a single black person, except for a handful of vicious thugs, who see any benefits in crime. Blacks have always opposed crime. Most black people, like whites, love their families. Self-reliance? Until urban renewal used expressways to break up many black communities, black businesses thrived and people took care of themselves. Such values are not the sole possession of Republicans.

It is a shame though, because they have sold out so bad I keep waiting for them to break out the black-face makeup and start calling George W. Bush "Massa".Occasionally you will see right wing talk show hosts use these individuals as some sort of "vindication", proving that they aren't racist because a black person agrees with them.(For example: Bill O'Reilly had a woman named Tara Setmeyer on his show. Her view was that Rap was a vile artform, and stated that she didn't understand how black folks idolized Tupac, saying "Those people love that guy". Even though I agree that Tupac isn't the best role model, and a lot of rap is negative, you will never catch me on Bill O'Reilly's show saying that. Primarily because he would agree with me for all the wrong reasons)

These individuals disgust me, not because they embrace a ideology different from mine(that's their right), but because they have turned their back on their people and the best interests of their people. Republicans use black republicans to display their "diversity" and the same time laugh behind your back at your blistering idiocy. I had to laugh when I saw some of the Republican Convention. You would of had a easier time finding black folks at a clan rally..lol

I guess that like Crop circles and Stonehenge, I will never fully understand the phenomenon of the Black republican. Like Chuck D said, "Every Brother Ain't a Brother Cause of Color". Amen...

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Albums you must own to consider yourself "Hip Hop"

A Tribe Called Quest-Low End Theory
A Tribe Called Quest-Midnight Marauders
A Tribe Called Quest-People Instinctive Travels...
Akinyele-Vagina Diner
Big Daddy Kane-Long Live the Kane
Big Pun-Capital Punishment
Biz Markie-Going Off
BlackStar-Mos Def and Talib Kweli are Black Star
Boogie Down Productions-Criminal Minded
Boogie Down Productions-Edutainment
Boogie Down Productions-Live Hardcore Worldwide
Brand Nubian-One for All
D.O.C-No One Can Do It Better
De la Soul-3 Feet High and Rising
De la Soul-De la Soul is Dead
Del the FunkeeHomosapien-I wish My Brother George Was Here
Diamond D-Stunts, Blunts, and Hip Hop
Doug E. Fresh-World's Greatest Entertainer
EPMD-Strickly BusinessE.P.M.D-Unfinished Business
Eric B. and Rakim-Paid in Full
GangStarr-Daily Operation
GangStarr-Moment of Truth
GangStarr-Step In the Arena
Ice Cube- Amerikka's Most Wanted
Ice Cube-Death Certificate
Jay Z-Blueprint
Jay Z-The Black Album
Jungle Brothers-Done By The Forces of Nature
Kool G Rap & DJ Polo-Wanted Dead or Alive
KRS-ONE-Return of the Boom Bap
L.L Cool J-Radio
M.C Lyte-Act like You Know
M.C Lyte-Eyes on This
M.C Lyte-Lyte as a Rock
Main Source-Breakin Atoms
Mos Def-Black on Both Sides
N.W.A-Straight Outta Compton
Notorious B.I.G-Ready to Die
Pharoahe Monch-Internal affairs
Pete Rock and C.L Smooth-Mecca and the Soul Brother
Poor Righteous Teachers-Pure Poverty
Public Enemy- It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
Public Enemy-Yo! Bum Rush the ShowQueen Latifah-All hail the Queen
Roots-The Roots Come Alive
Run-D.M.C-Raising Hell
Slick Rick-The Great Adventures of Slick Rick

Monday, September 06, 2004

I like Dead Prez, but wait a minute

We all know by now that hip hop is not what it used to be. It has been so commercialized that I put a lot of these rappers in the same category as Britney Spears or Christina Aguilara. I remember a time when hip hop was a voice of a community, not only teaching the uninformed, but also showing people the various aspects of ghetto life. From B.D.P and KRS One, to Poor Righteous Teachers, Paris, Public Enemy, The Coup, these groups addressed important issues facing the black community and served as a balance to all the "party" rappers.

But that time has come and gone, with predominately 95% of the hip hop acts now either glorifying gang life, speaking about their jewelry ad naseum, or how many women they can sleep with in a 24 hour period. There are, just a few, alternatives. BlackStarr, The Roots, Common, and Dead Prez come to mind.

When I first encountered Dead Prez it was through their first single, "hip hop". It was good to see someone carry on the revolutionary torch that was passed by Chuck D and KRS 1. They had various topics from black love, to economics, fight back against injustice, etc..I wasn't the biggest fan, but I was in total support of everything that they were about.Until now..

I was watching Def Poetry Jam Sunday Night and Dead Prez was one of the featured poets. I was expecting some insightful, revolutionary riffs that would energize and inspire the masses. But what I got was sort of a ignorant, pseudo-intellectual mess that is particularly dangerous THIS year. (I'm paraphrasing here) They were basically said that they saw no reason in voting and something about "It's not about voting for the lessers of two evil, but the evil of two lesser's". Listen, I don't have any delusions about John Kerry singlehandedly leading black folks to the "promise-land", or have him fighting for us to get "reparations", but compared to the miserable record that Bush has had towards African Americans I think the choice is obvious.

The reason I get particularly upset is because,as I get older, I have a better ability to sift through the bullshit. Dead Prez claims to be revolutionaries and not letting the "white man" to control them, but last time I checked Sony records was owned by a white man..It is also hard to be revolutionaries when you pay taxes, do interviews on "white owned" networks, or have your songs played on "white owned" stations. Maybe I'm going overboard, but here is my point. It is irresponsible for Dead Prez to tell people "not to vote", showing that they are being "revolutionaries" when they aren't living that life themselves. Plus, I'd like you to tell the millions of black folks who have lost their jobs "not to vote". Tell the black folks who have lost their health care "not to vote". Tell our brothers and sisters who are gay "not to vote" when Bush wants to change the constitution so they can't get married. Tell the black folks who lost family members in Iraq "not to vote". Tell the black vets who have had their veteran benefits cut "not to vote". That is what made Public Enemy such a force to be reckoned with..They knew that true changes have to be made from the inside, voting being one of those choices. Making changes within your government is truly "revolutionary". People were lynched, burned, shot, and killed numerous ways just for us to get the right to vote and you bet your ass that I'm going to take advantage of it.

In closing, Dead Prez's notion of "not voting" is not only blatantly ignorant, but it is misinformed and clumsy. If black folks voted like they were supposed to, Florida wouldn't even be an issue and maybe we wouldn't be in the mess we are in now.