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Monthly Archives: March 2013

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From about the fourth grade to my last year in college, I would always begin the school year by declaring to myself: “this year will be different!”. On that first day of school, I would walk in to class with my head held high because I knew that this year would be the year that everything would fall into place; that a cruel world would show me its kind side and I would walk away victorious. I imagine this is what it must be like playing for the Georgetown basketball team for the past few years. Every one of these past couple or so years was supposed to be the one; Georgetown would be the dark horse team that finds itself, somehow inexplicably, on the cusp of glory. And on each of these years, they always come up short. I think the one thing that truly makes college basketball great is the fact that there is no real logic to it; there’s no formula that guarantees success or domination, hell even teams like Duke or Indiana or Kentucky have off years or years where they come up short more often than not. The rigorousness of a one-and-done tournament, much like life itself, teaches these kids the valuable lesson that life can be unfair to you no matter how much you think you deserve to win. And yet, on the flipside, this tournament teaches us that no matter ho small you are or how many write you off, you can rise to new heights an shake up the world. Tragedy and beauty, yin-yanging it in harmony. 

My bracket is meaningless now (it happens), and that’s ok. Now, I can fully pay my attention to these schools and stop pretending I care about programs like Indiana or Ohio State and enjoy watching LaSalle or Florida Gulf Coast act like kids in some kind if a store after pulling off big wins. And while yes to some extent it is kind of a bummer to watch teams like Gonzaga or Georgetown, whom I think are perfectly fine teams, buckle under the weight of their own pressure when it matters most, but that’s what makes any sport worth watching–the unassuredness of it all.

But I mean what do I really know, I’m just some guy who likes yelling at people to get a ball in a basket.

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If your bracket is still in perfect condition then, from the bottom of my heart, I say fuck you. Why do I keep doing this to myself? Every year I think, “I’ll make a strong one this year” but it never comes to fruition. Fuck this tournament.

Now that we got that out of the way, man this thing has been fun to watch. Upsets, should’ve-been upsets (seriously Davidson, what the fuck?) and a whole bunch of mostly grown adults getting angry at college kids–isn’t college basketball the best?

Now that I’m officially over the fact that my shitty brackets are done for, let me say that I respect the hell out of Harvard’s basketball team for showing up last night. Someday when they’re all running Fortune 500 companies, I imagine they might take a weekend getaway to Cabo, San Lucas and reminisce about the time they won Harvard’s first NCAA Tournament game. Marquette somehow got to survive last night despite not deserving it; I seriously hope this haunts Davidson forever. Speaking of should’ve-beens, Gonzaga somehow won and proved the naysayers right at the same time. Southern University showed some serious spirit last night; it was an admirable effort and no matter what the score says, the real winners are those Southern University cheerleaders.

Here’s hoping that the rest of this tournament gives me plenty to be as angry/excited about as last night was.

I’ve been pretty under the weather these past two days (Thanks bi-polar Washington weather!) and, as a result of not being physically motivated to move much, I’ve been doing a great deal of thinking. One of the thoughts that seems to worm their way into my psyche often is figuring out what exactly this blog of mine is, furthermore, what am I hoping to gain from it–if anything at all.

I still don’t really have an answer for you, I just know that I want this to be for me. For me to escape the banality of a so-far unfulfilling life by writing snark-like and candidly about whatever is on my mind or whatever I learn about from different outlets. This is far from a perfect place; really it’s just a place for me to zone out when I need zoning out from real-life (which, who doesn’t?). Ultimately, I hope if you decide to read this at any point it’s because, at some point, I said something that made you go, “me too.”

I mean that’s all we really want as humans right? For someone to understand where we’re coming from.

As life becomes bleaker and the economy and culture spiral ridiculously out of control, there are certain things you hold onto dearly to keep things in perspective. While we all know that love is dead, we held onto the idea of friendship as a strong reminder of the good still left in the universe. Well, on friday night, the universe decided to say “fuck you, friendship is dead too!”

“Wait… no…”

“This is not happening…”

You can read the full story here. Longtime collaborators and best friends forever, Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame seem to be on non-speaking terms. Sure, they’ve had disagreements before, but you always knew that they’d rise above and that the two of them could make it through anything. I mean, what good is living in a world where strong friendships can’t even last (are we no longer a redeemable society?) Maybe there’s a chance though that all isn’t lost. I mean Flocka was at SXSW at the time of this tweet while Gucci was in LA at the Spring Breakers premiere, so presumably they haven’t returned their diamond-studded BFF rings. Maybe–just maybe–this can blow over before they take that ultimate step.

Genius is an incredibly relative term. We apply it to people who are skilled at a craft and we use it so much that it doesn’t really mean anything anymore. Everybody is a genius according to themselves and the 2-3 douchebags that they converse with–all you really have to do is have a rudimentary knowledge of any subject (or a really mediocre knowledge of EVERY subject) and you can be considered a genius. As a result, now more than ever, the power of the faux-intellectual is as strong as the stubbornness they apply to their ill-conceived notions. Faux-intellectualism would be endearing if it weren’t so pompous, arrogant and loud. It’s not enough anymore to secretly believe you’re the smartest guy in the room (like just about everyone does anyways), it is now imperative that we exercise our advanced theories of modern life at any given moment. who needs peace and quiet at a restaurant when you can endure a boisterous young go-getter breaking down the problems with the American government and social welfare programs and how, shit is like, not as good as the ’60s, you know, that awesome time that’s so awesome that they can talk about it’s awesomeness despite not being born until the ’90s. Maybe it’s the fault of social media that nobody believes in humility or just fucking keeping things to yourself and the few people willing to indulge you; maybe it’s the idea continuously perpetuated by schools and parents that kid’s voices and opinions matter and are special. Regardless, it’s always been my belief that you should always have enough self-awareness about yourself to know that there’s a chance that you could be wrong–and if you know you’re right, you better have the tactical knowledge to prove it. I only know three things about humanity: 1) We’re all animals with self-awareness at best 2) pie tastes pretty good 3) I don’t really know anything. I will always be a student at life and it’s getting kind of annoying dealing with a bunch of assholes who think they’re professors. I went to college and dealt with asshole professors for four years, I’m not here for you tools whose intellectual babble is the equivalent of a 7th grade writes-upon-request paper.

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As most of you should already know, Justin Timberlake’s forthcoming record The 20/20 Experience has begun streaming on iTunes a week early. After running through it back-to-back-to-back, I think it’s safe for me to say that the album is really good. Whatever fears people may have had about it not living up to FutureSex/LoveSounds seem to be quelled (at least to me), and, honestly, Suit & Tie and Mirrors are probably the weakest of the bunch. Every song except one clocks in at over five minutes and every song is worth the length of time afforded to it, Timbaland and Timberlake continue making some of the best production out at the moment and I already find this record better than all the R&B records released last year. All this being said, it’s not an instant satisfyer. There are bound to be countless knee-jerk reactions, all stemming for a need to have an album as immediately infectious as Timberlake’s first two records. There’s nothing here that feels autobiographical or soul-baring, it’s just a fun showcase of musical offerings that work its way under your skin. Whether it carries through to the spring/summer and becomes the dance-floor ready soundtrack that Futuresex was is yet to be seen but I guarantee it will be seeing solid rotation at the Daramola pad. Seriously, how could you not wanna blast a record that talks about space cocoons and uses strawberry bubblegum as a euphamism for vagina? I mean that just sounds delicious. Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience is available March 19th and is currently streaming on iTunes.

One of the big issues about HBO’s Girls was the lack of diversity on the show. Is it noticeable? Yeah, but not to the point that it actually matters to the show. It’s a reflection of the creator, i.e. a show about entitled rich kids dealing with life away from their parent’s checkbook. It doesn’t really bother me who is or isn’t on the show. What this debate did do though was remind me how we still don’t have enough black directors, writers and other behind-the-scenes workers. It’s amusing how the self-righteous on these predominantly white blogs and magazines call out shows like Girls for their exclusionary practices while ignoring the lack of diversity in their own site (no the one black guy you get to talk about hip-hop and review Tyler Perry movies doesn’t make you progressive).

Truth be told, I don’t really care how many black people you put on screen on your mostly white show, I care more about how many minorities in general are getting hired to write and direct–or even getting a shot to make their own show. Since the Telecommunications Act of 1996 there’s been no country for nonwhites–particularly for network television. For those not up to speed, the act basically allows corporations and ad agencies to be involved with entertainment production–basically taco bell and coca-cola can decide what you watch and SURPRISE! being white and looking like you have even moderate wealth sells products inadvertently to a lot of people. This explains why not only are there barely any shows led by all minority casts, it also explains why blue collar families (like the ones on Roseanne and Malcolm In The Middle) are rarely seen anymore. Companies are in the business of selling a lifestyle now more than ever and that means catering to the people they actually want buying their bullshit.

Knowing this and understanding the world we’ve always lived in, the only thing I truly want to see in the world are black and (other minority) creators. No more rappers, no more “vixens”, no more athletes. Tyler Perry and people who want to be like Tyler Perry aren’t going to cut it. What I’d give for the days of those early Eddie Murphy, Keenan Ivory Wayans and Robert Townsend days. Black directors and writers creating movies that happened to be black rather than being “black films”. Movies that respected the intelligence of the viewer instead of steeping down to the lowest common denominator in order to trick people into laughing at buffoonery.

The talent is out there, they’re just not being given their due. I understand that but frankly at this point, we all have to use whatever avenue we have. They have the internet which has always been a haven of true artistic integrity as long as it’s done with earnestness. There are still shows on the air that actually show minority faces in somewhat entertaining lights–The Mindy Project, Key & Peele, The Eric Andre Show, Totally Biased–even Community features a diverse background. It’s not all lost but it’s not exactly good or showing signs of getting better. As long as we keep looking at race from a thin microscope based on what we saw that one time from that one minority person, we aren’t really going to get anywhere… and if we don’t want to get anywhere then we have to force our way in. As a somewhat tolerable writer, I’m making my own place the best I can in this business. If I make it, I make it and if I don’t then… well, the game is the game.

My whole issue is that I want something more than faces of different colors holding hands under some misguided white liberal worldview that if we all play nice then race won’t matter. I just want to create, we all should want that and we all should get a fair shake. To quote the great Paul Mooney: “I don’t want a piece of the pie, I want the fuckin’ recipe.”

 

-I realize this mostly reflects a black view, I can only speak for my own race but there definitely need to be representation from all people.

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