EPIPHANY

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Things You “Shouldn’t” Do…

Before I begin, let me give the obligatory disclaimer…there is NOTHING funny about domestic violence.  I tend to err on the side of sarcasm, but please don’t think I condone a woman getting senselessly pounded on by a man that should know better.  Now having said that heeeeeeeeere we go!!!!!

This whole “Chris Brown beats Rihanna” thing has been the talk of the radio/beauty shop/nail salon/break room since the story broke on Sunday.  The only thing we know for sure is that Chris had an altercation with a female, and charges were pressed.  Because the name of the victim has not been officially released, we are all going by the pics of a busted up Rihanna on the internet, and her quick exodus to Barbados as confirmation that she was the victim.

Let’s keep this in perspective; Chris Brown is a 19-year-old boy.  He is not morally superior and he is not above doing something stupid (i.e. beating on his girlfriend).  At the same time Rihanna is an attractive woman in a grown up relationship doing grown up things, and unfortunately she has experienced something too many women go through on a daily basis.  I feel sorry for her because physical harm inflicted on you by the person that claims to love you is a horrible feeling!  I hope parents will use this situation as a teaching opportunity.   Teach our young men that if you put your hands on a woman NO MATTER WHAT SHE DID, there will be hell to pay.  Also teach them no matter how cute she is, if that little firecracker can push your buttons enough to make you haul off and slap her, then SHE IS NOT THE WOMAN FOR YOU.  At the same time, we need to teach our daughters, HANDS ARE NOT FOR HITTING.  If he loses his temper and gets to wailing on you, get out of there quickly, and CALL THE POLICE.  Tend to you injuries first and foremost, and then call your brothers to go find him.  No one wins in an abusive relationship!

So as you read this blog and ponder your personal relationships, where do you stand on the issue of “a man should never hit a woman”? Again there is nothing funny about domestic violence, and I believe a man “should” never hit a woman, but I am also woman enough to admit that there are some things I could do that might possibly warrant getting “shaken” half to death.  There is a rumor going around that Rihanna “allegedly” gave Chris Brown herpes.  This is still alleged as neither camp has made an official statement, but lets run with it for a minute.  Men, would being told you just got the gift you could NEVER give back warrant you busting a chick in her eye.  Go ahead and tell the truth, because I am not going to judge!

Let’s say it wasn’t as extreme as that.  Let’s say you are having dinner at your girlfriends place.  She sneaks a peek at your cell phone while you are in the bathroom (sloppy pimping if you left it on the table, but I digress…), and finds a bunch of naked pics from another female on your phone.  The pics are dated so she knows you just got them two days ago.  When you return to the table she gets to clowning and spits a mouth full of food in your face.  What would you do???  She SPIT IN YOUR FACE, is there anything more disrespectful?  And while we are on the subject…Ladies, if you spit in a man’s face…or better yet keyed his mama’s car do you really expect to escape that situation with no bodily harm?

The bible says thou should not kill.  I agree, killing is something you shouldn’t do, but as Biggie said…there’s gonna be a lot of slow singing and flower bringing if my burglar alarm starts ringing!  There is a segment of the population, psychotic men, that need to beat on a woman to feel superior.  They deserve to have a pot of hot grits splashed on them. No woman should live in fear of a man that claims to love her.  For the purpose of this blog, I am not talking about the Ike Turner’s of the world.  I am not defending Chris Brown, nor am I vilifying Rihanna.  I just want us to take a moment and honestly ask ourselves if there is any circumstance that would warrant knocking a woman’s block off…or at least shaking one until her weave fell out!
JerzeeChick

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February 12, 2009 Posted by | Celebrity, Life, News, Opinion | 8 Comments

Snitches Get Ditches…

By now most of you have heard about the Michael Phelps bong scandal of ’09.  Apparently he was at a party, and was photographed smoking weed out of a bong.  He subsequently released a statement about it being a youthful indiscretion blah blah blah.  Let me be clear, I could care less about his weed habit, and I am not about to pass judgment.  As an athlete, that is between him and his trainer (and those companies that are paying him millions in endorsement dollars).   My focus this week is on the circumstances that led to the Michael Phelps expose’…obviously somebody snitched!

If we are honest, we can admit (at least to ourselves), we’ve done at least one thing illegal (or morally reprehensible) at some point in our lives.  This action has probably never come to light to further embarrass us because it was done in the presence of friends.  See, when we are with our friends certain rules don’t apply.  We can be at ease around the homies because we don’t expect them to sell us out to the highest bidder.

When we are kids we learn nobody likes a tattletale, and as we grow up we develop a conscience and understand there are times when you need to open your mouth and times when you need to play dumb.  In the snitching code, would you or should you ever snitch on a friend? For me personally, I’m not going to willingly drop a dime unless it’s to save a child or save a life. Am I wrong?  What do I stand to gain from telling the manager at a local grocery store that I spotted someone in aisle nine stealing over-priced spices?  At the same time, is a ten thousand dollar come up a fair exchange for possibly ruining the life/career of a friend?  In this time of cell phone cameras and video chatting, it would be relatively easy to ensnarl someone in a major scandal (a la Michael Phelps), but would you do it?   To tell or not to tell, that is the question!

Ladies, if you saw your girlfriend’s husband hugged up with his secretary in a cozy corner of a restaurant, would you tell her?  Now what if you knew 100% beyond a shadow of a doubt that she would never leave him, and to add insult to injury you knew she would tell him you were the snitch (and thus have him hating you forever) would you tell?

Men, does the “playa” code exclude snitching…even when you can benefit?  If you met a female that you were very interested in, and you knew for a 100% fact that she shot you down simply because she was being faithful to a known cheater that spent all his money romancing strippers and chicken heads, would you tell?

Like I said, snitching to save a child or save a life should be a no brainer.  If you witnessed a serious crime would you tell?  Let’s say your life or safety was not in danger, and you would probably be preventing future crime by coming forward, would you tell?  As you watch the little excerpt below and reflect on your personal “snitch code”.  How gray is the line?  Do you always tell, or do you mind your business?  Would you want someone to snitch if it would benefit you, and how far would you go to protect someone’s privacy if their snitching helped you out?
JerzeeChick

February 5, 2009 Posted by | Celebrity, Life, Opinion, Society | 7 Comments

Let There Be Dance!!!

Back in the day I loved Michael Jackson.  I had too many of those stupid buttons pinned on my jacket and I loved the poster of him in the yellow outfit!  So I’m sure you can imagine my uncontainable glee when I heard there was a “Thriller: The Musical” in the works.  How excited am I?!?!?! If you were a child in the 80’s you have to know what I’m talking about!  Here is my first question, why exactly were we so fascinated with Michael Jackson?  He pretty much put the Jherri Curl on the map, right?  Yes, Rick James may have had his curl first, but how many young kids were checking for Super Freak back in 1983?  We loved Michael Jackson.

I remember watching that video a billion times, and yes I memorized the choreography.  Don’t front, I know I am not the only person that was getting her zombie dance on!  In the spirit of honesty, how may of you wore a curl, moon-walked around the house, or could do the entire dance from MJ’s performance of Billie Jean on Motown 25?  Now we are working on the honor system here, but I know at least two people reading this blog had a curl, and I will call you out if you don’t confess!!!!

It breaks my heart that kids today only have the Souljah Boy, Laffy Taffy, and Pop Lock and Drop it videos to emulate.  Believe me, we won’t be seeing those on Broadway in 2024!  Why is it that kids don’t dance anymore?  The 2600 Atari and Commodore 64 could only hold your attention for so long, and then you had to break out in dance.  If you weren’t doing Michael Jackson moves you were probably somewhere perfecting your head spin for the next break dance competition.  Have the Wii and PlayStation ruined the good dance sequence forever?

Today I watched the video…just to see how much of the choreography I remembered.  While searching for it on YouTube, I found tons of Thriller remakes, the funniest of which is the inmates at the prison in the Philippines doing their version of the dance sequence.  While some considered the whole thing unethical, I found the entire display hilarious.  The world was obsessed with Thriller.   I am posting a few video links below, and I hope they will help you reminisce about a simpler time.   When I think back, I was only 9 when the Thriller video premiered, so it’s easy to see why I was so impressed.  You can only watch Thunder Cats, The Great Space Coaster, and Inspector Gadget for so long, right?

If you can look past all of MJ’s recent legal woes and apparent lack of common sense you have to agree his talent was a force to be reckoned with.  He transcended race, gender, and age.  Grown women were in love with Michael.  Men wore Jherri Curls, and glitter gloves…and I don’t even need to mention the scenes in China of all those kids falling out and crying hysterically when Michael took the stage.  That Beat It video (yeah I knew that dance sequence too), Bad, Smooth Criminal, Remember The Time, et al raised the bar for music videos.  I just wish I knew who lowered it!  They say this Thriller on Broadway show will contain a lot of Michael Jackson hits.  I heard mention of Beat It and Off The Wall…all I can say is LET THERE BE DANCE!!!!!!

Seriously though, for those that watched the clips, or can even remember the video from back in the day, this question is for you…what is/was it about Michael Jackson’s Thriller that made it such a phenomenon?  Do you think this Thriller: The Musical could put Michael back on top?
JerzeeChick

January 29, 2009 Posted by | Celebrity, Entertainment, Music | 9 Comments

A Look Back

As we move closer to the inauguration and look forward to the changes we are about to see in our country, I wanted to take a minute to reflect on 2008.  There were a lot of memorable moments, and I wanted to count down my favorites: the good, the bad, and the ugly!

10. I Can See Russia From My House
If you’ve been following Epiphanyblog, you know I was not a fan of the Republican Vice Presidential Nominee.  I remember when I heard her name on CNN, my first comment was “Sara Who?”  Regardless of what you think about her qualifications, we can all agree she gave comediennes and late night talk shows countless hours of material.

9. The Real Housewives of Atlanta
This show was a train wreck that I just couldn’t look away from.  I debated its merits with so many people…but all I asked is that they watch one full episode and they too would be hooked!  Apparently someone other than me was watching because it was the highest rated show in Bravo history.

8. Historic Olympic Athletes
I am a sports chick, so I follow those people that are deemed “the greatest” in their particular area of competition.  While swimming was never really on my radar, I was glued to my seat as I watched Michael Phelps win a record breaking 8 Gold Medals during the summer games in Beijing.

7.  The Facebook Phenomenon
First let me shout out all my FB friends that might be reading today.  And those of you that aren’t “friends”…what are you waiting for?  Facebook is the ultimate in social networking sites.  You’d be amazed at who you can find, and more importantly what old pics of yourself are floating out there on Facebook.  The revolution won’t be televised…it will be on Facebook!

6.  The Giants Beat the Patriots
I hate the New England Patriots.  Belichick, Brady, and the whole crew can kick rocks for all I care.  One of the sweetest moments of 2008 came when Big Blue dethroned those smug Patriots!

5.  The Shot Heard Around The World
Even though Omar was a career criminal and pretty much made his living as a stick-up kid…he had some endearing qualities.  As I watched every episode of The Wire’s final season, I never expected to see Omar taken out by a juvenile delinquent…in a corner store no less!

4. The Democratic National Convention
I’ve long since been an Obama Mama, but the first night of the Democratic National Convention showed the world what Michelle was made of.  She inspired women, especially women of color, to strive and achieve!

3.  The Return of Maxwell
I am a Maxwell STAN!!!  I was overjoyed to see him appear out of nowhere on the BET awards, but that was nothing compared to the live show he put on in November.   If you missed his concert, I sure hate it for you!

2.  The Election Booth
On November 4, 2008, I was able to cast my vote for the first African American President of the United States.  I was so excited; I even took a picture of my electronic ballot with my iPhone!

And of course the most memorable moment of 2008 was seeing Barack Obama elected as the 44th President of the United States of America.  That’s my Top 10 and I’m sticking to it.  Did I miss anything?
JerzeeChick

January 15, 2009 Posted by | Celebrity, Entertainment, Fun, News, Opinion, Society | 8 Comments

Ms. Independent?

I keep hearing men, especially celebrities, talking about how they are attracted to women that make their own money and don’t “need” the help of a man.  I can appreciate that because I too think an independent man is attractive.  Am I selling out the Womens Movement because I think this whole “support the lifestyle to which I’ve become accustomed to” mess has gone too far?

I was a fan of The Real Housewives of Atlanta.  NeNe was my favorite by far, and the latest antics of Sheree have gone a long way to move her to the bottom of the list.  Throughout the season she talked about how she was trying to obtain a seven-figure divorce settlement from her ex-husband.  He’s a former NFL player, and they have two children together.

Now again, I hate to seem like a sell-out to my sista’s, but if you haven’t caught a pass nor made a tackle, what makes you think you are entitled to this mans fortune?  He earned that money you didn’t.  I don’t care if he had servants feeding you grapes three times a day, it was a done deal when you two parted ways.  You don’t get to ball out of control anymore.  Welcome to the real world….and in the real world we live on a BUDGET!  In the real world we live WITHIN our means!

Before you roast me, keep this in mind: in the initial divorce settlement she got a lump sum of over seven hundred thousand dollars.  She also got a portion of the marital assets and currently gets money from his pension and one hundred and thirteen thousand dollars a year in child support.  All of that and this heifer still ain’t happy *rolls eyes now*!  She doesn’t get alimony, so her lawyers have taken this thing to the Georgia Supreme Court.  Their argument: she only has a high school education and has limited skills and therefore can not earn a decent living.  I’m sorry, but that is some mess!  How can any woman in good conscience allow herself to be painted as a “loser” in an effort to squeeze out more cash?  The man is taking care of his kids, why can’t she get a J-O-B?!?!?!?!

Now I believe in equitable sharing of assets, and I believe that if a woman raised your kids and supported you in your career goals she shouldn’t have to move back to the projects when y’all break up.  I also believe that child support should not be a “come up”.  When you leave a relationship, you also leave the perks that go along with said relationships.

So Epiphanyblog, I’d like to hear your thoughts about this whole “lifestyle to which I’ve become accustomed to” argument.  Has it gone too far?
JerzeeChick

January 8, 2009 Posted by | Celebrity, Gossip, Opinion, Relationships | 7 Comments

Here We Go Again….

If you are here for laughter, please scroll down and read the next post.  This week I am writing two posts because I have a second question.  We’ve discussed the over-use of “renouncing and repudiating” and it seems at though we are back on the renounce block today!

If you haven’t heard…..Barack Obama is being called on to “renounce” rapper Ludacris.  Luda is a Barack Obama supporter and recently released a track with the following lyrics:

 

I’m back on it like I just signed my record deal yeah the best is here,
the Bentley Coup paint is dripping wet, it got sex appeal

never should have hated you never should’ve doubted him

 with a slot in the president’s iPod

Obama shattered ’em

Said I handled his biz and I’m one of his favorite rappers

 Well give Luda a special pardon if I’m ever in the slammer

Better yet put him in office, make me your vice president
Hillary hated on you, so that b^$&%* is irrelevant

Jesse talking slick and apologizing for what?
if you said it then you meant it how you want it have a gut!
and all you other politicians trying to hate on my man,

watch us win a majority vote in every state on my man

you can’t stop what’s bout to happen,

we bout to make history the first black president is destined and it’s meant to be

 the threats ain’t fazing us, the nooses or the jokes

so get off your ass, black people, it’s time to get out and vote!
paint the White House black and I’m sure that’s got ’em terrified

McCain don’t belong in ANY chair unless he’s paralyzed

Yeah I said it cause Bush is mentally handicapped

Ball up all of his speeches and I throw em like candy wrappers

cause what you talking I hear nothing even relevant

and you the worst of all 43 presidents

get out and vote or the end will be near

 the world is ready for change because Obama is here!
cause Obama is here
The world is ready for change because Obama is here!

 

So after reading the above are you surprised Obama has been called on YET AGAIN to renounce someone? I don’t know, I think the lyrics were a bit much and Luda probably should have saved that for a freestyle at the club (then again we know what happened to Shaq when he did a freestyle).

Obama can not control what people say, so why do they expect him to respond to this crap.  I guess he is the first Presidential candidate to have so much celebrity support, but come on….enough already. 

Were the lyrics bad….I guess

Should Luda have known better…..probably

Does he have freedom to rap about whatever he wants…..definitely

Are we sick of Obama being called on to denounce every supporter that has something negative to say about his opponents…..

JerzeeChick

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July 31, 2008 Posted by | Celebrity, Opinion, Politics | 4 Comments

Are You Kidding Me???

The best part about having a blog is that once a week I am allowed to get up on my high horse and pontificate on a topic of my choosing.  I’ve been told my blogs are a little “girlie”, but I’m a girl so it’s to be expected.  I try to keep it light, but every now and then I have to vent.  So having said that…. Are you kidding me, re: R. Kelly.

How is it that this man still has a career?  To everyone out there that still enjoys listening to his music…..Are you kidding me?  To every DJ out there still spinning his records, and every artist still putting him on their tracks…..Are you kidding me?  How can anyone in good conscience still support this man’s career?  He’s a sick fool with some sort of God complex.  He was feeling himself so much that he had sex with minors (yes I put an “s” on the end of that word because we all know that girl was neither the first or last), and thought he would never get caught.

First of all, R. Kelly is not even all that cute. He stole Aaron Hall’s style (yeah, I said it). Yes he is talented, but from what I hear is ego is ridiculous.  The last few songs he’s written for himself have been garbage.  His collaborations are okay I guess, but who collaborates with a pedophile?  How do you knowingly associate with a man guilty of such atrocities (yes, a grown man peeing on a little girl can be considered an atrocity)! 

We’ve all seen the tape.  Or at the very least we know someone that knows someone that has seen the tape.  We know that is “Kell’s” all up and through that mess, but he has the nerve to use the defense of “it wasn’t me”.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME????????  He could have said he didn’t know the girl was underage…..still a lie, but much better than five years of the “it wasn’t me” defense.  I guess it just goes to show you how arrogant he really is. 

A witness testified last week about how she started having relations with R. Kelly when she was seventeen.  Apparently after several months of sleeping with him, she was invited to a ménage with “Kell’s” and the underage victim at the center of this current controversy.  Per this witness there were three encounters between herself, R. Kelly, and the underage victim.  Did I mention they were all recorded as well?  This man is sitting at the table day after day with the “it wasn’t me” defense.  He has let this mess drag on for five years knowing he had been getting his Francis Ford Coppola on in front of people other than the victim…. Are you kidding me?????  Then to add insult to injury he decides not to testify in his own defense.  What kind of man accused of rape/inappropriate sexual contact DOES NOT testify in his own defense…..a guilty one I guess! They need to throw him under the jail when this is all over!

I am not even going to talk about the scandal of him trying to buy his brother off, or the most recent hot mess-ness of him getting with the young daughter of his business associate.  While that girl was of age, it still screams inappropriate!  Ladies, can you imagine the fallout of dating a friend of your father’s when you were in college?  Are you kidding me…..what kind of man does that?  Like I said R. Kelly is obviously mental.  He is sick, and I pray he is found guilty and sent immediately to jail.  Men, help me out, let’s say you were accused of having sex with a minor and there was a video of said escapade.  If you knew you really did not do it….could you sit in a trial AND NOT defend yourself?

In the mean time, so many people are still supporting him and buying his music.  I heard a radio personality over the weekend say he “hopes R. Kelly can get out of this mess”.  Are you kidding me?????  Society is so quick to judge hip hop for the misogyny and violence in their lyrics, but at the end of the day we all know majority of rappers aren’t pedophiles.  We quickly boycott a song/artist because we deem something he sings about to be inappropriate, but what about R. Kelly.   His whole existence is inappropriate.  His lyrics might not be as bad, but his lifestyle sure is!     

People snap and sway to his music with no regard to the crimes WE ALL KNOW he has committed.  Are you kidding me?????  He topped the charts with I Believe I Can Fly.  Yeah he believes he can fly right over the criminal justice system.  To everyone still stepping in the name of love at the grown and sexy parties, and to everyone still buying his CD’s and going to his concerts……ARE YOU KIDDING ME????  Michael Vick was tossed in a federal prison with the quickness for dog fighting, but sex with minors apparently is a lot less repulsive to some.  Number 7 lost his job, and countless endorsements, but “R” was able to make fifty eleven Trapped In The Closet installments.    Is supporting R. Kelly any different than buying candy from the corner store of a known pedophile?  I know as a community we tend to be forgiving of the misdeeds of celebrities, but shouldn’t there at least be a little contrition on the part of R Kelly?

            JerzeeChick

June 11, 2008 Posted by | Celebrity, Entertainment, Music, Opinion, Society | 5 Comments

Now I’m Begging…

So several months ago I did a post titled “Please Go Somewhere…” (If you are not familiar with it, please check out the archives for July).  The purpose of this post was to point out those people in society that were plucking my nerves.  I flashed back to my childhood days where random adults could be heard telling children “…if you don’t go somewhere and sit down,” right before attempting to beat them within an inch of their lives.  With the prevalence of entertainment news programs and online celebrity gossip blogs; we tend to be inundated with the business of the rich and famous.  Much like a train wreck it’s hard to look away from it all, but at some point you get so annoyed with the foolishness, you have to say: “If Britney Spears don’t go somewhere and sit down…..”!  No worries, I am not going to say anything about her or her pregnant little sister in this post.  I am going to focus my attention on those more deserving of a little tight teeth talk. 

 

Bobby Brown:  Really Bob-bay…..it was Whitney that led you down the road of damnation?   I am not going to lie, I had “Being Bobby Brown” on my TiVO.  That tomfoolery was funny, and every time he didn’t get “noticed”, I laughed even louder.  In retrospect it was sad….but I digress.  For those that don’t know, he now has a tell-all book coming out.  (Do we really care what Bobby is about to tell?  He’s a liar, and a washed up has been with delusions of grandeur…I am heated that he’s gonna make the NYT Best Seller list before me!) In his version of the story he says Whitney married him to improve her image.  Come on now Bobby! No one is saying that Whitney was an angel, but if improving her image was her goal, the very LAST person she would have married would have been you!  Then he goes on to call Karrin Stephans a bad parent.  Now I am no fan of Supahead, but how many times have we seen Bobby get hauled into court over failure to pay child support?  Pot, meet kettle!  Now I’m begging….Bob-bay if you don’t go somewhere and SIT DOWN!!!!!

 

Remy Ma: Puhleeeze!  Let’s recall the incident where she shot her friend over about two thousand dollars this summer.  She was arrested, pleads not guilty, and tries to say it was an accident. I’m no member of the NRA, but getting into someone else’s car with your loaded gun and pointing it at them while you rummage through their purse does not an accident make!  She was found guilty of course, and is now being held until her sentencing at the end of the month.  In the mean time she has asked her fans to send letters of support to the judge expressing how Remy and her music has changed their lives.  Her hope is that the letters will encourage the judge to be more lenient when imposing her sentence.  I won’t lie, I was doing the “lean back” for a minute a few summers ago, but the whole notion of Remy changing lives….I’m not buying it, and the judge probably won’t either.  Then I hear she is planning jail house nuptials with her boo Papoose.  Now I’m begging….Remy if you don’t go somewhere and SIT DOWN!!!!

 

Jayonce:  Is it me or are these two the new Bennifer?  I am so over all of this cloak and dagger wedding talk.  If they did it, congrats!  If they didn’t, who cares?  I know he rocked Phillips Arena with Mary J the other night, so he’s alright with me, but for real for real, now I’m begging…..please Jayonce go somewhere and SIT DOWN.  Have some babies to dress in that God awful House of Dereon Creole mess!

 

Naomi Campbell:  In the words of my good friend Xi, I don’t give a rats a$$ what your excuse is! Even if you were carrying gold bullion in your bags….it is 2008 we DO NOT antagonize/threaten/physically assault anyone in the airport.  First of all, it’s called a “carry-on” because you carry it on, and thus should be held accountable for it’s whereabouts at all times.  I am no fan of the TSA and the security check point drama is enough to get anybody’s pressure up, but let’s use a little common sense Naomi.  Boo-boo, I don’t care how fierce you do it on the catwalk, they will toss you off a plane in a heartbeat for getting out of pocket with the wrong person.  Now I’m begging….Naomi take your short fused temper and go somewhere and SIT DOWN (preferably on an isolated island with no cell phones, assistants, or airport personnel until you learn how to act)!!!!

 

I know y’all thought I was gonna tiny tears you to death on this one, but I didn’t J   I’ve given you my list….now who are you begging to go somewhere and SIT DOWN????

JerzeeChick

April 9, 2008 Posted by | Celebrity, Entertainment, Opinion | 2 Comments

Fascination!

The word fascination is defined as: the state of being intensely interested or attracted.  The year 2007 was one filled with fascination for me, and in the grand tradition of all the magazines and journalists out there that do a year end review, I decided to highlight those things, good and bad, that fascinated me this year.

1. Our society can sometimes be fascinated by the tragedy’s that befall the common person.  For about five minutes we are glued to the television, and then something new pops up and that particular tragedy’s fascination fades into the background.  The senseless act of violence perpetrated on Dashon Harvey, Terrance Aerial, Natasha Aerial, and Iofemi Hightower  is something that will never fade into the background for me.  These children walked where I walked and played where I played and were victims of a few sick individuals’ lapse in morality.  While their story is no longer headline news in Newark, New Jersey it is something I will never forget. 

2. How is it that R. Kelly is a free man?  Okay, innocent until proven guilty, but how can his trial continuously get pushed back?  How can this fool Step In The Name of Love all over the justice system?  More importantly how can we still support him?  The fact that people still buy his concert tickets fascinates me.  The fact that other artists still tour with him fascinates me.  I know, I know…..innocent until proven guilty, but if it was your sister or your cousin on the tape would you really be able to get your 12 Play on? 

3. How is it that Michael Vick got fast tracked to the federal penitentiary?   “The R” is still living life in the fast lane, while number 7 is on lockdown!  Granted Michael pled guilty and thus sentencing was apparent, but I’m just saying…..Dogs vs. Little Girls?  The dog people were up in arms at the mere thought of Michael Vick maintaining any endorsement deals, but the outcry was minimal when “The Pied Piper of R&B” announced this most recent tour. The priorities of mainstream society *translation: the moral majority propped up on their soap boxes* fascinates me.

4. Barack Obama fascinates me!  I don’t know how you feel about his political platform but the mere notion that we might have a black president in my lifetime is intensely attractive.  I won’t insult the man by saying “he speaks so well”, but I do think he is politically brilliant in that he has ideas that could really do something to build a better country for our children.  Not trying to campaign for him (I’m no Oprah after all), but I hope you will at the very least hear the man out, and if you like what he has to say VOTE IN THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY!!!!!!!

5. I am not trying to say women are the Delilah to every political Sampson, but the Arrogance Of Men continues to fascinate me (please read my blog from August 9th for further clarification). 

6. We see the violence in Darfur, and we know how HIV/AIDS has ravaged the continent of Africa, yet our government continues to pour money into a civil war we can’t win.  I support the troops…I support the theory that we need to BRING THEM HOME!!!!  I am fascinated by the tomfoolery that is the Bush Administrations policy on foreign affairs and how they conveniently decide to mind their business when the lives of African boys and girls are at stake…….but turn into major but-in-ski’s when there is oil to gain.

            We all watch the news, and/or read our favorite online reports daily.  Some over do their Media Take Out diet, while others keep the CNN and MSNBC ticker scrolling across their computer screen.  (Information is so readily accessible; you can’t help but be drawn in by something). We all have a story that held our interest or attracted us this year.  Was it the talk of Beyonce and Jay-Z’s secret wedding?  (It had better not be the fact that Brit-Brit’s sister is pregos).  Are you waiting with baited breath to see how Oprah will influence the 2008 elections, or are you still tripping over the fact that an NFL coach bounced like a thief in the night?     My question to all you Epiphany Bloggers is simple. What has fascinated you this year?

JerzeeChick    

December 20, 2007 Posted by | Celebrity, Entertainment, Life, Opinion, Society | 6 Comments

American Gangster?

I am so tired of hearing the rappers a role models argument.  These people are being paid to entertain us.  Do white people hold up their entertainers as role models?  Was little Becky Sue’s parent all up in arms when Paris had to do a bid?  As they watched Brittany Spears fall from grace did the collective white leaders (whoever they might be) stage rally’s and parades in front of her label?  No those people recognize her as a person that made a mistake, and more than likely tell their daughters don’t come in here acting like Brittany.  Why is it we look to everyone outside of our own family to be the example for our youth?

 

This past weekend we had another rapper catch a gun charge.  I think his actions were pretty much a display of his own stupidity (I mean come on, T.I., you are a convicted felon, you know you’re not supposed to have guns)!  He made a poor choice, got caught and now will have to pay a price for that.  Rather than hear people go on and on about what a poor example he is setting for his fans, lets talk about the real issue…..WHEN KEEPING IT REAL GOES HORRIBLY WRONG!!!!!

 

First of all, what is the obsession with “keeping it real” and more importantly how exactly does one “keep it real”?  No poor person wants to be poor.  People living in the projects would give their eye teeth to never have to ride in a pissy elevator again.  The little kid getting chased home by The Gooch everyday would gladly give up his lunch money in exchange for a full time body guard.  Somewhere along the line things got a little mixed up and now it’s more important to have street credibility than common sense.  Do you really think the Evans’ would have stayed in the projects so that J.J. could cultivate his image as a starving artist?  From 1974-1979 we watched episode after episode of them trying to get out of the ghetto.  If someone came knocking with a label deal for Michael I believe they would have gone straight to Michigan Avenue, and never looked back (well maybe Florida would have stopped by to visit Wilona, but not too often).  Why is that being an American Gangster is now more popular than being a neurosurgeon?

 

These days, children have access to a lot more with regards to technology.  While race is still a major factor (if you don’t believe, Google the Jena 6), opportunity does exists for those that are willing to work towards a better reality.  The problem is too many kids don’t want to WORK!  Do we blame the entertainment industry for that?  Is it Jay-Z’s fault that your son would rather sit on the stoop and freestyle, than be in the free library on their free internet researching how one starts his own record label?  Do we blame Kobe because your child would rather cut class to shoot jump shots so that he can buy his momma a house?  Children get these mixed up priorities from the powers that be….and that be YOU/US, not T.I., not Foxy, not Michael Vick.

 

Money can’t buy sense. With all T.I.’s money, with all his fame, he still went the dumb route!  His obsession with being an American Gangster got him caught up in a federal indictment.  (It wasn’t enough to have bodyguards; he had to have an arsenal in his bedroom closet???)  I don’t know enough about the case to speculate on what kind of danger his life might have been in, but seeing as I do know you can only shoot one gun at a time, I would say a state of the art security system and a few more legally armed guards would have been a wiser option!  Was T.I.’s raised to think it through to the consequences?  As a grown man he should know better, but if all you know is street foolishness, does common sense ever kick in? 

 

Entertainers mistakenly try to keep it real by maintaining relationships with their friends from the hood.  I hate to say it, but majority of the time those friends from the hood are plotting to bring you down, and you are just one photo away from being the cover story  on The National Enquirer.  You think you can do dirt with the people that knew you way back when, but rule number 3 in the Slimy Grimy handbook clearly states: Never do dirt with someone that doesn’t have more to lose than you do.   Poor Michael Vick thought his boys would never sell him out.  For a plea bargain and more than likely a new house for somebody’s momma, those clowns dropped a quarter on him quick!  They kept it real….they really wanted to get out of trouble and the fastest way to do that was to sell out Mike. 

 

What we need to do with our children is redefine what it means to keep it real!  I am going to give the rappers the benefit of the doubt in that no one ever taught them any better.  Their aunties never hit them with the tight teeth if you don’t go somewhere and sit your behind down, and thus they never had the boundaries that probably would have kept them out of trouble.  Fighting and drinking and cussing and carrying on might have been cute in their living room, but Jan didn’t go for that (and I’m sure most of you Epiphany Blog parents don’t either).   Our so called leaders are quick to denounce hip hop for the misogyny, the violence and negativity.  All of that is present, but the fact of the matter is it’s an art form, and pretty much here to stay.  Our children are going to be exposed to it, if not in our homes and cars, then definitely on the computer and on the play ground.  We should utilize the errors made by these artists as a way to direct our kids on what not to do.  Pacman Jones was just kickin it with his boys…you know keeping it real.  Does he have a job now, or are they using his locker for storage?  Prodigy was keeping it real.  He had a burner in the console…just in case!  He’s doing 3-5 now right?  

 

Like I said earlier, only in the black community do we hold our entertainers up as some type of moral example.  So what if they parlayed their talent into a million dollar deal.  Let’s keep it real, does that really make them a better example for your kids than you are?  Rather than looking to people with obviously convoluted values to impart wisdom on our children, shouldn’t we be tasked with it instead?  If we don’t rein them in, they will think this American Gangster stuff is cute, and we all know most gangsters die at the end of the movie!

JerzeeChick   

October 18, 2007 Posted by | Celebrity, Entertainment, Hip hop, Life, Opinion, Race, Society | 5 Comments

Why Do People Cheat?

When I was little, I used to play games with my older cousin.  She would usually win because she was older, and better at them than me.   Eventually I got tired of losing so I decided to level the playing field.  I had a deck of Old Maid Cards, and I scribbled a little circle on the back of the Old Maid card so that I would not pick it from her hand.  I started winning of course, but then I got sloppy.  I started peering too intensely at the cards before I would take them from her hand, and then she was on to me.  She realized what I had done, and so to even things out, she marked almost all of the cards so that I would no longer know which one was the Old Maid Card.  I cheated because I got tired of losing.  In the end, my cheating got me nowhere.  I got caught, and she continued to win.              

I no longer cheat at cards.  Is it because of my Old Maid fiasco? *doubtful*  Is it because I believe in that If you lie you’ll cheat, if you cheat you’ll steal, if you steal you’ll kill adage? *not so much*   I just think that when you get caught cheating, even in a simple game of UNO, it reflects poorly on your integrity.  I just would rather not have “cheater” as one of the adjectives used to describe me at any friendly gathering!              

Anyone that has ever been cheated on by a significant other knows first hand what cheating can do to any relationship.  I will give cheaters the benefit of the doubt in that they never think they will get caught, and thus never intend to inflict the hurt and despair their cheating subsequently causes.  Having said that, I still come back to my original question, why do people cheat?  Chris Rock said he’d rather get caught stealing something from the government than get caught cheating on a woman.  I cheated at Old Maid because I wanted to win, but in a relationship, what exactly do you win?  As a matter of fact isn’t it pretty much a lose-lose situation?   

Do you think the athletes that use steroids are cheaters?  I understand that steroid use is illegal in competitive sports, but does using these banned substances constitute cheating?  Let me begin by saying what Marion Jones did was dead wrong!  I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt.  For a moment I was like, maybe she didn’t know she was taking steroids.  Maybe she really thought it was herbs or something.  Then I saw a news report that stated there was a good chance the people on her Olympic Relay team would also be stripped of their medals, and I got a little hot.  I hate it when one person spoils it for everyone.  She was the cheater, and now the whole team has to suffer.  Again, cheating is a lose-lose situation.            

I am not an athlete, but I think it’s your natural abilities that should propel you, and the playing field should remain level.  If I were an athlete and I found out my opponents were using steroids it would make me not want to play anymore. (Yes, I would take my ball and go home!)             

Barry Bonds will forever have a cloud of scandal hanging over his home run title.  Assuming he took the steroids, I’m sure in the back of his mind, he was trying to win.  He did the needful to score homeruns and lead his team to victory.  Marion Jones I’m sure wanted to win as well.  She was poised to go into the record books, and winning as many medals as possible would cement her place in sports history.  She’s cemented in sports history alright…but not for the reasons she wanted to be!  Barry Bonds will literally have an asterisk on his hall of fame baseball for all the world to see.  Yet another example of cheating as a lose-lose!            

A football coach is credited with coining the phrase:  Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.  Really?  Is that the problem?  Have we become so obsessed with winning that we forgot another little phrase most of us learned in grade school:  Cheaters never prosper!  Church folks will tell you in a heartbeat: What’s done in the dark, will always come to light.  Anyone that watches Maury, or Jerry Springer can attest to the fact that all the cheating gets uncovered when those paternity test results get read.  Don’t athletes realize that the pee test will shut them down?              

Does the desire to win cloud a person’s judgment to the point of stupidity?  Does the rush of getting away with something give us that air of I’ll never get caught arrogance?  Time and time again we see people getting busted cheating.  We’ve all known a classmate who got caught.  We all have at least one friend who’s man or woman got busted doing something they had no business doing, yet people continue to cheat.  If there are any cheaters in the blogosphere, I need to know…Why do people cheat?  More importantly, does the reward you gain by cheating out way all that you stand to lose WHEN you get caught?

JerzeeChick

October 11, 2007 Posted by | Celebrity, Life, Opinion, Relationships, Sports | 6 Comments