Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Enough is Enough DOGgone it!

I despise these animal cruelty Ads like the one below and like the ASPCA Ads with Sarah Mclachlan waling throughout the commercial. I almost feel like they are insulting my intelligence. How are they going to put captions of what the animals are thinking. We have no idea what they are thinking and they darn sure can't ponder their own mortality as is suggested in the last caption where the cat is supposedly wondering "Will I die today?". I like animals. I grew up with a great dog. But what is important to note is that she was a dog. A member of the family yes but she was a dog and did not take precedence over human beings. There is no shortage of starving and abused people in the world but no one wants to focus on them. People love animals and babies because you can decide for yourself what they are thinking, create a personality for them and tell yourself that they are feeling or thinking what you want them to feel as opposed to actual children or adults who can speak for themselves and disappoint you with their words or actions. This trend of putting dogs and other animals on the same level or above people has to stop. What they did to Michael Vick over those dogs is ridiculous. He got more jail time than some child molesters. If you have a pet you should care for it properly, not abuse it but pets are not people and I don't appreciate being expected to treat them like they are. I also don't appreciate dog walkers taking up the entire sidewalk with their long ass leashes. And why would you walk your dog on a main street in the city like Broadway. Take that to the side streets. But no, everyone expects that the world wants to cuddle and coo over their dogs and we don't!! It's this kind of thinking that has the upper east side of Manhattan smelling like dog poo. People pay too much rent for it to smell like that.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Don't Worry, Be Happy

I am tired of people asking if someone is happy or proclaiming they are happy or not happy and all this talk about happy happy happy is driving me nuts. and frankly I'm not happy about it. Mostly I am annoyed because people discuss happiness as if its some place you get to or gift you receive at some projected date in the future and they don't realize that this is it. We are living it now. So find some joy in your life or bust. Obviously we should work to improve any situation that we don't like but we should not wait around for some happiness that may be dropped on our heads as a gift package some day. Those who are not married and don't have kids think that is happy. And those who are married with kids think a moment of solitude would be happy. But no situation comes with a daily happiness guarantee. I think we have been brainwashed to think we are supposed to be happy all the time and if we aren't then we are depressed right? and then we have to turn to drinking or drugs (prescription or illegal) or eating or hoarding or whatever other program about defective human behavior you can find on A&E. Many kids think you shouldn't do any job that doesn't make you happy and there is just too much focus on constant joy. What percentage of real people are actually doing a job they LOVE? Most artists don't get to do it for a living but we have kids thinking that everyone can be P. Shitty. And they are actually not embarrassed to say they want to be a rapper. They think life has wronged them somehow if they aren't constantly happy.
First of all its an American thing, we think its un-american to not be totally happy with every effin thing and to not have every single thing we want.. That kind of thinking has everyone's perspective warped or non-existent. But I think happiness can be found in the small things that we experience everyday. Here are some of mine.

1. They suspended parking rules AND meters today so I don't have to move my car
2. My apartment is warm and cozy and I don't have to leave it
3. My niece got a toy phone for Christmas and when my nephew went to play with it I was the first person he fake called
4. A great book
5. A good movie.. or a bad movie and a friend to trash it with
6. Shout outs for my blog
7. Buy one get one free cereal at CVS
8. Any awesome sale or discount
9. My bf was here to shovel out a parking spot for me last night
10. A new TV in my bedroom to watch Intervention, Hoarders, Celebrity Rehab, The Real Housewives of ATL, The First 48 and other embarrassing TV

I could go on but I think you get the point. Life is here today right now. I hope you aren't waiting for a happy package to arrive. And we all have bad moods and bad days. its ok. Have a drink, or a pill or some french fries.. I won't tell.  

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Review of "Decoded" by Jay-Z

If you are a Jay-Z fan then “Decoded” is a good and easy read that will confirm a lot of what you already knew and shed some light on things that you may not have known about his life and career. It will be especially enjoyable if you didn’t follow his earlier work because you will get a great idea about where he comes from musically and lyrically. If you aren’t a fan you may not care at all.

The book is broken out into four parts. Part 1. One Eye Open, Part 2. I Will Not Lose, Part 3. Politics As Usual and Part 4. Come and Get Me. Each section takes you chronologically through a different stage in his life and career.

While he doesn’t use the book as a tell all about his personal life, you get great insight into his motivations, his life story, his thoughts and his sentiments about himself and the world around him by following along as he explains the lyrics to some of his most popular songs and inserting autobiographical information along the way. I find that I enjoyed the autobiographical parts more than I enjoyed reading actual lyrics.

Some have expressed that they thought there would be “more”. I’m not sure what else people were looking for but I think that if you listen close enough and pay attention to his lyrics we may know all we really need to know about him. Even before the book.

A true fan will probably be able to think of a few songs that were not featured in the book that they would have loved to see. For me that would be “Rap Game/ Crack Game” and “You Must Love Me”

But I was also glad to see “Regrets”, “Soon You’ll Understand” and “Can I Live” dissected and decoded. I am kind of a biased fan of the earlier Jay stuff but I was glad to see very little focus on the tragic “Blueprint 2” album. The only Jay album I refused to buy.

After reading this I think critics would be inaccurate if they tried to categorize Jay-Z as a superficial bling and bitches type of rapper. He actually addresses his conflicting images and his comparison to more conscious rappers such as Common and Talib Kweli. The book is interesting but not heavy, and it humanizes Jay in a way that reminds us why we liked him in the first place.

P.S. He even addresses the fact that black people are brain washed to think that lighter skin and fairer features are more attractive and he admits he was one of those people too when he was younger.. but how many of us weren’t at some point right? This was far from a major focus in the book but I was still pleased to see it. You go Jay! Ge-ge-geyeahhh!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A boy needs his father.. his mother.... he needs PARENTS!

A few days ago I was sent an article / web post asking the question “Are black women destroying black boys”. I try not to buy into headlines and topics that are baseless and specifically designed to get people to read them and pay attention to whoever the writer is. I also think some people make certain generalizations and blanket statements just to be overly provocative and controversial. Controversy can be good, but some controversy is not meant to inform or educate or provide an intelligent alternative view point. Some is just for attention. The article was like a four year old jumping up and down saying “look at me, look at me I had a thought today and wrote it down”. Okay I get it.  I will pay attention and I will say the question is ridiculous.

Are some parents of all races bad parents YES. We all have mommy and daddy issues of some kind no matter how mild or severe. But are black women the major problem with black boys? NO. Most times we are what is right about black men. Not what is wrong with them. Most black boys would be orphans without a black women (and that’s not me talking that’s the fact, the statistic) so for better or for worse they aren’t single handedly ruining their sons. The article calls out a specific woman that this person knew (so he says) and comments that the woman drove the father away and then ruined her son with lack of discipline, beauty shop talk, neck rolling and other stereotypical Shonequa, Bonquisha, Shenene type behavior. The young man ended up a drug addicted criminal and it’s all his mother’s fault. First let me say no one can drive you away from your child if you want to be with him. No one!! Not even an evil bitch of a baby momma (I’m sorry Ms. Jackson…Forever-ever?!). That’s what courts are for. But what the article doesn’t mention is that the absent parent can usually do even more damage than the one who is actually there doing their best. It doesn’t account for the fact that kids sometimes “act up” or “act out” as a result of their feelings of anger, hurt or rejection from missing their dad. The article implies that the missing parent is absolved of responsibility because he simply wasn’t there to ruin the kid. This point is so beyond ridiculous I am kind of annoyed that I am even commenting. But I do want to say that in the black community, we have gotten so accustomed to black men not being around and not being real fathers that the mother is automatically to blame if something goes wrong. And it is considered the norm that she should be able to do the job of both parents to perfection. And like in this case, if the child turns out to be a less than productive member of society it was because she ruined him by making him watch reality TV or taking him to the hair salon or something. (Oh and being around a lot of women can’t make a boy gay.. stop it!)

A child is not a crime, like if you weren’t there then you didn’t do it. You had an alibi. It doesn’t work that way. As for the men who are actually there, they need to understand that they are supposed to be as much of a parent as the mother is. Not like a bonus parent when they are in the mood. Jerks!

And if someone is a bird, a chicken head or a hood rat of a mother, then she too had some parents that failed her along the way. No incident is isolated. Both parents need to work together to break a negative cycle. Everyone is responsible for little Ray-Ray snatchin’ chains on the F train or worse. And get little man in check because I ride the F train and I don’t want to see him playing music out loud from his phone, throwing garbage on the floor, taking up 3 seats or cursing loud or any of that non-sense.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

"My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" Album Review

It's hot. Go Cop it!

There aren't really any wack songs. I can listen to this album straight through. He is certainly darker and more eccentric than Kanye used to be hence the title of the album. However, I like how Kanye is able to evolve his sound and his lyrics and deliver great music without really making you just wish he was the old Kanye. And isn't that what we often feel once some artists get past their second album? It might be what you were thinking when you heard "808's and Heartbreaks". But this is his fifth album and I'm into it.

"Monster" is my favorite track right now. But by the time I get tired of it I know there will be other tracks for me to re-discover and obsess over the way I am with "Monster". Rick Ross is totally unnecessary on this song. It's like if you forgot your drink in the kitchen you can go get it while Rick Ross' verse starts then make it back really quick before Kanye comes in. Or maybe that is too harsh. Maybe he is a nice warm up for everyone else. Jay-Z is hard. Nicki Minaj comes tough, it's almost like she had no choice. It's pretty awesome. By the way, does anyone know what a sarcophagus is? Kanye says "Put the pu**y in a sarcophagus." I just had to look it up. According to it's "a stone coffin, esp. one bearing sculpture, inscriptions, etc.," So I guess he isn't just making stuff up here.

"Gorgeous" is exciting because Raekwon is on it. And just hearing his voice takes me back to the 90's. I love the track on "Devil in a New Dress", maybe Rick Ross is more necessary on this one. Give the whole album a listen. On the ugotthejuicenow blogspot scale I give it 4 out of 5 cups of juice. On "All of the Lights" as soon as Rihanna comes in she reminds me of the SNL "Shy Ronnie" skit. Too funny! check it out.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Where is Lil' Mama now?

Do you remember this craziness? Where is she now? Is she still judging on America's Best Dance Crew? Did Jay-Z kill her career after this or did Nicki Minaj put the nail in the coffin?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Self Destruction

The Daily News ran an article today stating that 67% of murder victims in NYC are black. Are we surprised? Should we be? How much can we blame on negatively slanted propaganda? It was kind of painful to hear despite the fact that NYC is a lot safer than it used to be and there were only 476 murders this year. To know most of the victims were black I guess we can assume most of the murderers were black too and it is plain old disturbing. Most of these crimes are drug related. The article also offered these awesome tid bits:

* The deadliest day of the week: Saturday (89 murders).  
* The safest: Tuesday (58 murders). 
 * The deadliest time of day: 3 a.m. to 4 a.m. (41 murders).
*The deadliest weapon: Guns, used in 62% of all killings.  
*The deadliest precinct: Brooklyn's 75th, with 30 murders. 

Let me ask the age old question.. Who is bringing the guns into the country and into the neighborhoods anyway? I feel like I should have more to say on this but I’m not sure I do. It is what it is I guess.