Monday, March 31, 2008

Let's have a moment of silence ...

... for Sean Levert.
News reports surfaced that he passed away while in police custody for some unknown illness. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Levert, 39, is perhaps best known for being Gerald's lil' brother or Eddie's son, but he also belonged to the trio LeVert that brought us songs like, "Pop, Pop, Pop (Goes My Mind)," "ABC-123" and my personal fave "Casanova."
Because 39 is such a young age and because Gerald passed a little over a year ago, I started doing a little digging to see if I could find out the cause of death and found out that nobody knows. The only reports out say that he had high blood pressure and he was hallucinating while he was locked up.
With that said, I hope you guys who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure and anything else that can kill you are taking care of yourselves. These illnesses are no joke and they do not descrimante.
For the record, Levert was locked up for failure to pay child support and was getting ready to serve 22 months in jail for owing more than $80,000. I'll say it for you, "day-um."
That's a lot of money, but it was for three kids. I want to know how he got that far behind in the first place and on top of that, why in the name of heaven wasn't he trying to sing back up for somebody of get a side hustle to pay that?
Oh well, that's niether here nor there, just like I'm telling ya'll to take care of your health, take care of your kids too. There ain't nothing worse than a 'Deadbeat Dad.'
Man up and take care of your kids!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ahhhh, I smell Hater-ade ...

... and the movie critics are over-flowing with negative commentary early this week. There's only one thing that could cause this, there must be a new Tyler Perry movie in the theaters. Well whaddaya know, there is.
"Meet the Browns" opened up nationwide last weekend as the second highest grossing film of the weekend. He came in second to the all-star cast "Horton Hears a Who."
Like his previous feature films, "Diary of a Mad Black Woman," "Madea's Family Reunion," "Daddy's Little Girls" and "Why Did I Get Married," "Meet the Browns" was high anticipated by Perry's cult-like following and dreaded by the Hollywood critics.
I have yet to see the movie, but I have seen both plays the movie is based on, "Meet the Browns" and "What's Done in the Dark." Honestly, I liked both plays and from what I understand from my friends who have seen it, I'll like the movie.
We went through this when "Why Did I Get Married" came out and I told you all that none of Tyler Perry's movies would ever be considered Oscar-worthy by the Academy. First and foremost, Perry's stories about people of color don't portray them as hopeless drug addicts, whores, pimps and dirty cops. And, add to that the fact that there are strong Christian overtones to his films. I'm not so delusional that I don't see the similarities and in some cases repetition of his films, but at the same time, I'm not so tightly wound that I can't enjoy a good story either.
Secondly, Perry has tapped into an ignored segment of consumers, Christian women and families looking for entertainment that does not consist of constant profane and offensive language and constant sex scenes and gratuitous use of drugs.
That's why he's making money, this particular demographic is starving for entertainment and Hollywood is not catering to them, Perry is. That is why the man is making money hand over fist. Add to that the fact that Madea and Brown are hilarious.
I learned a long time ago that a lot of people don't necessarily get some of the things that black folks deem funny. I read one review where the writer said he thought it would be rude to laugh at some parts of the movie and he was unclear if the movie was a comedy or a drama.
Why does it have to fit into one box or category? Perry writes stories that go on in the mirror the lives of a lot of black people. And speaking as one of the black folks who can strongly relate to his stories, I say that life is full of comedy and drama and how we deal with it is to laugh at it.
I have always been told that sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying and I think that is what Perry is doing. He's not writing the stories that answer life's questions. He's writing the stories that give people a 90-minute outlet from the Hell that is their daily reality and that is the point of entertainment - nothing more, nothing less.
With that said, go support the movie. Let's piss off the critics!

What's up peeps?!

I hope you all had a wonderful Resurrection Weekend and that you all attended church services with your families. If you didn't, I understand.
Under normal circumstances, I thoroughly enjoy church services. I do love to hear a wonderful sermon accompanied by some great singing on a wonderful Sunday morn. But yesterday had to be one of the most dreadful days I've ever spent in a church - that includes every single wedding and funeral I've ever attended.
First and foremost, why in the name of all that is Holy do some people bring their children to church only on Easter Sunday? I know they got new clothes and they look cute and everything, but do you not see the issue here?
I'm all for bringing the babies to church but dang, bring them more than once a year so that they will know how to act when they get there. Ya'll, I swear, there were babies all around me crying and screaming and the only thing I can tell you about what went on in church yesterday is the Men's Choir sang and the scripture came from the book of Mark.
Don't get me wrong, on a normal day, 'Smarty love the kids!" But for whatever reason yesterday, I was extra irritable. Those kids got on my good nerve. A word to the everyone who has children, those of us who don't have any have very little patience with yours. The bottom line is, bring the kids to church more often.
Even if you opt not to bring them until Easter or Christmas, don't give them candy before or during service. Save the dang Easter baskets for after church. And while we're on the subject where did the idea for Easter baskets come from anyway?
It's the "Easter Bunny," right? Then, we have Easter Eggs. How are the two related? Bunnies don't lay eggs. They have live births because they are mammals, they can't physically lay eggs. That has irked me forever and I never got a straight answer.
Well you guys know me, I did the research. Like to see it, here it a quick history.
In case you don't click the link, the legend of what I'm renaming, the Resurrection Hare, comes from Germany. Apparently the legend was brought over by German settlers and was first seen in print in the 1500s.
The rabbit or the hare, became a symbol for the newness of spring because it is one of the most fertile animals. Since Easter is unofficial kickoff for Spring, some smart person found a way to merge it. There's only one thing though, it makes no sense.
Either way, I'm glad it's all over. I'm overjoyed that Jesus got up on that third day, but I am a lil' less than satisfied with how we show our appreciation.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Are they or aren't they?

A lot of entertainment reports have been flying around that state the Smiths, Will and Jada, have converted to Scientology. I'm not sure if it's true or not. If it is, who cares? If it isn't, who cares? I don't.
Apparently, a lot of people do. The Church of Scientology has been labeled by several courts and media outlets as a cult. I don't know what to call it, so of course I did a little bit of research and here's a video I found, courtesy of YouTube, via CNN and my favorite news anchor, Anderson Cooper.

Still confuzzled? Me too. I guess it's not for me to understand and if it was, I'm not sure I'd want to. A long time ago, I made Jesus my choice. I'm not saying it's the right thing to do, I'm saying it was right for me.
The difference here is the religion that I am a part of is the one that is more widely accepted so therefore by our American society's standards, it is right. That to me is hypocritcal.
America was founded on five freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the freedom to peaceably assemble, the freedom to petition and the freedom of religion. Who are we as Americans to tell grown people that they can't meet and worship who or whatever they want? To be completely honest, all religions were thought of as cults at some point.
Shoot, if we follow the true definition of a cult then we all belong to one cult or another. Webster's list about 10 definitions, I'll only give you one:
* a particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
To tell the truth, I can see how Christianity can be considered a cult, but it is what I believe. I was raised in a predominantly black church that is full of those "undignified praisers" and unique saints and if I were on the outside looking in on some of the churches I've been to I would probably say they were a cult too.
But, since I came up in that church and I understand the feeling you get when it seems like the preacher is speaking directly to you or you read a passage in the Bible that was written centuries ago and it speaks directly to your spirit or when the choir is putting down some of that good ole' sangin', I can not and will not call it a cult.
But you do have to wonder about a religion or a cult that needs it own glossary and cadre of recruiters. I know every religion has its own missionaries, but dang. Jehovah's Witnesses come knock on your door. Christians might stop you on the street. But Scientologists come through your TV with celebrity endorsements.
Before Tom Cruise, you really didn't hear a lot about celebrities and Scientology. John Travolta belonged to the Church of Scientology for years and the most I ever heard about it was that few minutes he talked about it on Oprah.
Then came Cruise jumping all over Oprah's set and laughing with that dang cackle when he brain-washed, I mean convinced Katie Holmes to convert and marry him. Now, the Smiths have been linked along with Brandy, Kimora Lee Simmons, Usher is said to have converted, Kirstie Alley, Isaac Hayes, Leah Remini, Giovanni Ribisi who was raised as a Scientologist and the one that totally shocked me, Doug E. Fresh.
I don't know why I was so shocked though. It could be that the brother is from Barbados and more than 70 percent of the county's population identifies as Christian and the rest are Muslim, Rastafarian, Hindu, Buddhist and of the Baha'i Faith.
It could also be that black folks who aren't Christian, Muslim, Rastafarian and Jewish sort of baffle me. I guess it is just the sheltered life that I lead that sort of makes me place certain people and certain groups into a box. Either way, All of that sort of caught me off guard a little bit.
I still don't have an opinion on it, I just find it fascinating that people can have a spiritual connection without having a diety or an object to worship. But hey, if it works for them, it works for them.
Personally, I'm sticking with Jesus!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I got a new spot ...

... and you're all invited!!!
Because a lot of my recent posts have gravitated toward politics, I have decided to start a new blog called, Poli-ticked to sort of vent my frustrations and share some of my thoughts about some of our lawmakers. Please stop by, make it one of your favorites.
But hey, don't worry, I'll still be blogging news and entertainment here at Difference. Ya'll know me, anyway I can find to get people to read and hear what I have to say, I'm all for it.
At any rate, take a look in my spot. I'll link it from my list and you can always click on Poli-ticked.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

To borrow a quote ...

... from Michael Jackson in the December 2007 issue of Ebony, "People are crazy." He's never been so right.
I was all prepared to talk about another politician caught being sneaky and freaky but then I checked my e-mail and watched Headline News this morning and something else just took over my attention. In case you all haven't heard, a television news reporter by the name of Charmayne Brown was attacked in Union, S.C., while simply doing her job.
Brown went to a neighborhood to report on a possible homicide of an elderly man who was believed to be killed by his grandson. While standing on public property, she was attacked by members of the victim and suspect's family.
Take a look at the attack here:

This is so wrong on so many levels. Since you hear all of the bleeps, obviously they are cursing or using "werty derds" as my mom would say. Something else you can't hear is them calling her all kinds of "niggers" and "black bitches."
If I am not mistaken, their usage of those words and the fact that they passed an all white camera crew to get to her may constitute a hate crime. I'm not up on South Carolina's statutes or how they treat hate crimes, but I say they charge them with whatever gets them the most time just like they did for those monsters in West Virginia.
First of all, how is she supposed to feel safe now when she goes out to do her job? Secondly, what's to stop some other fools who don't want the "TV people" in their neighborhoods?
Speaking as a reporter who has had to cover several violent incidents, it is nerve-racking enough to have to go to these scenes where the suspects may or may not have already been apprehended. On top of that, you have to watch your back for a few psychos who don't want you there? That's some bull.
To add injury to insult, reporters are sent into the field by disconnected editors who don't give a damn about their safety. That is the most messed up part of it all. Everyday, we put ourselves in harm's way by going to these people's homes and some of the most obscure meeting places all so that we will have something to show on TV or run in the newspaper and the editors don't give a damn about what you go through to get the story just so long as you get it.
I'm not complaining about my job, in fact, I love my job. What I don't love is my counterparts and I being put into constant danger and nobody, especially the editors, caring about it. Luckily at this juncture of my career, I have an editor who wouldn't force me into a situation where I didn't feel comfortable. But before I did not have that privilege.
Early in my career, I saw too much stuff that I wish I wouldn't have. I haven't seen anyone be outright murdered, but I have rolled up to a scene where there is a body laying there, I've seen lifeless bodies pulled from wrecked cars and I had to go out in a situation where an entire neighborhood was locked down because a suspected killer was on the loose. So trust me, I've had my share of dangerous situations.
The bottom line is nobody should have to be put in harm's way like this unless they are highly trained and skilled in defending themselves and they armed with some sort of a weapon. My dad and my ex-boyfriend practically begged me to get a gun when I was living in Tennessee, but given this incident, I'm thinking about it really hard now.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I know you notice some changes ...

... I've been doing some maintenance and I'm trying to find a new look. Any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Speaking of maintenance, I had a thought that I shared with a few of you already but I would like to get some more feedback. A poll will be posted later on today but feel free to leave your comments as well.
In looking over my posts for the past couple of months, I have focused a lot on politics and not as much on news and entertainment as I used to. I am considering starting a second blog that focuses mainly on politics and the happenings in that arena.
I consider myself fairly well-versed in politics and what I don't know I am more than willing to research. So I feel like I could do a decent job, but it's not ALL about me. I want to hear from ya'll.
With that said, I give you, the return of the "hodge-podge" posts.
First off, what is up with American Idol this year?
I AM NOT feeling this new, kinder, gentler Simon Cowell. He looks like it is hurting him to say these "nice" things. Did Fox mandate that he attend anger management or what? I haven't heard any clever wisecracks or play on words or anything this year.
He hasn't even offered up a "what the bloody hell was that," in his British accent or anything. All we hear is constructive criticism and I'm sick of it. Every since I've been watching this show, Randy's been the cool one with the constructive criticism, Paula's been the pushover and Simon's been the butt hole. Why mess with a winning combination?
The most exciting that show's been all year is when the info about the sexy Hispanic guy being a stripper in a gay club and watching to see if Randy's lips are going to crack and bleed. His lips are almost as bad as Malik Yoba's. OK, well maybe not that bad, but they do look like he had an allergic reaction to something and he needs to handle that.
Moving on to the more serious, an Oklahoma legislator, Sally Kern, has stuck her foot all the way down her throat and she's unapologetic.
Take a listen:

The sad thing is she is not remorseful about her hate-filled, and at times racist, words. I think that she is a part of the main thing that is wrong with America - people spewing hateful language and trying to deny the rights of others.
She has every right to say and feel the way she wants, but when she tries to start denying people their rights, somebody must speak on it.
In the words of Jay-Z, "I thought this was America people!"

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

All good things must come to an end ...

... and that rang true on Tuesday night when Sen. Barack Obama's string of state primary victories came to a screeching halt. Sen. Hillary Clinton won three out of four primary elections on what broadcasters are calling "Super Tuesday II."
Obama started the night off strong by winning Vermont but his victory grew stale as the results came in and we learned that Clinton had not only won Rhode Island but she picked up the two major states of Ohio and Texas.
Confusingly, Texas also held a caucus last night and the results are still not in. The last time I checked, Obama was winning the caucus 52 percent to Clinton's 48. Under ordinary circumstances, I might be happy about that but it seems to me that people don't mind voting for Obama when they are in a group but as soon as they close the curtain and it's just them and the ballot, they vote for Clinton. What's up with that?
Are they voting for Barack when they get into groups so that they don't seem racist or what? I mean it is a big boy game and everything, but I would think that the caucus and the votes would match. I could be wrong, but if I am please get me right.
Like every other setback in life, there is a bright side to all of this. Obama is still leading by nearly 100 pledged delegates. I was really hoping he'd go into Tuesday and win all of the primaries and pull further away from Clinton and lock up the nomination. But I guess we can't all have what we want.
At any rate, I guess congrats are in order for Satan Jr., better known as Sen. John McCain. OK, OK, maybe I shouldn't call him Satan, but the dude looks evil. Seriously folks, the man frightens me through the TV. He doesn't open his mouth when he talks and he always has that, "I eat children" smile on his face. I'm concerned.
But hey, we have another bright side. McCain picked up a pair of endorsements from Former and current Pres. Bush. I don't know about you but I am extremely cautious of anything endorsed by a Bush. If they came out now to say that Mr. Goodbars are the best candy bars in the world, I'd stop eating them.There's not a single thing that a Bush has done for me that I would consider good so excuse me if I have a hard time trusting anything that comes out of their mouths. Now if they were to say, "Dub-ya's an idiot and we stole the first election," then I'd probably come around. But until then, anything they say can and will be held against them.