Sunday, February 27, 2011

Breezy's Blond Ambition

Looks like Justin Bieber's not the only one with a new do'. Chris Brown debuted his new blond locks in a pic on his Twitter page. Along the pic Breezy tweeted: "Look at me know." Well Chris I think that's pretty much a given, at least for the next days.

Bieber felt the wrath of his fans after cutting off his signature shag last week, losing over 80,000 followers. I'm sure Brown will have to weather some Dennis Rodman/Amber Rose comparisons at the very least.

So what do you think of Chris's new color? Is it hit or miss?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Papa's Got A Brand New Bag

Ms. Long is back and ready for a few good men! Although the mega-church pastor has been accused by four young men of coercing them into sexual relationships with gifts of cars, clothes and cash, he's decided to launch a series of what he calls "late-night prayer meetings" and revivals. For men only.

Men who are not a part of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church are welcome to attend, but they are required to stay after midnight and, in Long's words,  "bring an offering worthy of the Lord." Late night prayer meetings you say? I'm sure there'll be plently of kneeling and shouting unto God (or more accurately, "Oh Gawd!"), and that the worthiest offerings will be long and hard. And that condoms and KY will be passed on collection plates. Okay I'm finished! But the arrogance of this man (and his PR team) is astounding. I don't even know why I'm surprised at the level of denial and delusion church folks will subject themselves to. Watch below:

H/t Rod 2.0

Friday, February 25, 2011

Flick Picks: I Spit On Your Grave

As an avid horror movie fan, it takes a lot to scare the bejesus out of me. I've seen it all: hellbeast creatures devouring hapless victims whole, cannibalistic inbred hicks, scary movies within scary movies, teenage serial killers, along with usual suspects (Freddie, Jason, Leatherface Chuckie, Hannibal etc).

But a remake of Meir Zarchi's 1978 film I Spit On Your Grave shocked my cyncial-slasher flick eyes. Probably because this is the furthest thing from a slasher flick. A quick synopsis: A young woman named Jennifer Hills, played by Sarah Butler (whose filmography I may have to look up--Mama paid it in this role), rents a cabin deep in the woods to write her next novel. After she disses a gas attendant in front of his friends while filling up, the four men decide to pay her a visit one night and teach "the big city girl" a lesson. What follows is a night of torture, rape and degradation that is terrifying and disturbing in its realism. There's no schlocky ominous music or cryptic innuendo. You literally feels Jennifer's fear and powerlessness.

Just as her attackers are about to kill her she jumps off a bridge into the water below. But Jennifer gets her revenge. And not some Lifetime movie or Enough shoot the wifebeater/challenge him to a fight revenge. This bitch gets on some sinister, Saw, Silence Of The Lambs-type shit. IT. IS. EPIC. This movie is not for the faint of heart. Seriously. Watch the trailer below:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Is Sasha Fierce?

A photo shoot Beyonce did for French fashion magazine L'Officiel has sparked controversy. In the shoot for the mag's 90th anniversary, Bey appears in different traditional African garments in an homage to Nigerian activist and musician Fela Kuti, who has inspired music for her new album. However, it is a shot of the singer's face, visibly darkened with makeup, that has gotten folks calling foul. According to a statement released by the magazine:

"Far from the glamorous Sasha Fierce, the beauty posed for the magazine with amazing fashion designers clothes, but also in a dress created by her mother. [It is] A return to her African roots, as you can see on the picture, on which her face was voluntarily darkened. All the pictures will be available in the collector edition, on sell at the end of this month." columnist Dodai Stewart seems to think otherwise:

It's fun to play with fashion and makeup, and fashion has a history of provocation and pushing boundaries. But when you paint your face darker in order to look more "African," aren't you reducing an entire continent, full of different nations, tribes, cultures and histories, into one brown color? What makes someone black — or African, for that matter — is not her skin tone. The African diaspora reaches from Brazil to Haiti to the United Kingdom and Pakistan.

It's one thing to feel moved by Fela Kuti, and quite another to treat blackness as a fashion accessory, like a pair of glittery heels you put on because it looks cool. What if BeyoncΓ© were an Asian singer painted to look like a geisha, or given exaggeratedly almond eyes? Perhaps even more important: By painting BeyoncΓ©'s face darker, aren't the French fashion editors basically treating her like they would a white model, i.e. a blank-palette object on which to place concepts? And not an actual, authentic black person with African heritage?

First of all, I don't think Beyonce is posing in blackface. There are no big white lips and "darkie" expressions. But I must say I do agree with Ms. Stewart on a few points. Why would she only darken her face? Why not darken her whole body? And if she truly wanted to go back to her roots, why not take out her weave/lace front and rock her own natural hair? Morever, black folks do come in all shades and color, so if Beyonce wanted to pay tribute to her African roots, all she really had to do was show up as her beautiful, African American self (sans the blond hair) and highlight her natural features.

I disagree with her insistence that the paint is simply kitsche, as Kuti did seem to don facepaint occasionally from images I've seen of him. Maybe part of confusion is in what way this was meant to be an homage. If Bey's aim was to pay tribute to Kuti by actually taking on his physical characteristics, then the skin darkening makes sense (but of course she'd have to bind her chest, wear men's clothing, etc.) But in this incarnation it shows the magazine's (and to a degree Bey's) one-dimesional ideas of what "African" is.

But on the upside, more people will now who Fela Kuti is ( I know I didn't before today), which was her main goal with the photoshoot. The way she went about it is problematic, but not irredeemably offensive.

On a side note: Mama Tina did her thing with the dresses!

On another side note. I'm soooooo glad Madonna decide not to do a "Black Madonna" shoot for her last album. I would've hated to had to read Queen Madge! Watch Beyonce's photo below and let your opinions rip in the comments section.

Vogueing In The Circus Of A Bad Romance

I swear I just happen upon these things. Same drill as the last post kids; if you mute Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" video and play Britney's Circus, Gaga's clip fits in pretty well with the song. However, they are different lengths so it's not as seamless as the "Single Ladies/Vivrant Thing" mashup. Madonna's "Vogue" can also kinda work in a pinch (you know I had to throw Madge into the mix lol:). Try them out below:

Madonna - Vogue
Uploaded by dmuch. - Watch more music videos, in HD!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Vivrant Single Ladies

*Warning-music geek post*

Ever wondered how Beyonce's "Single Ladies" dance would look set to other music? Well you're in luck! Somehow the routine (for the most part) fits in with Q-Tip's '99 solo hit "Vivrant Thing." I actually stumbled upon this during a spell of boredom a while back. To see for yourself, mute Beyonce's video. Then press play on both clips. I've posted both videos below for easy access. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Anna Nicole Smith: The Opera!

Ms. Anna has made it the theater! An opera based on the life story of the former Playboy model who married an elderly billionaire and tragically died of an overdose at the age 39 will now have her story told on the stage. According to

The life of the Texas-born stripper who married a multi-millionaire more than 60 years her senior, then spent the rest of her life fighting his heirs over his money after he died, might not seem to belong on the same stage that hosts Verdi and Puccini.

But the more Mark-Anthony Turnage and Richard Thomas looked into the life of the reality TV star, the more convinced they were that it was the stuff of opera.

"She wasn't just this dumb blonde," said Turnage, the composer. Her life "touches on so many things, it seemed to encapsulate the 21st century."

"She is fame incarnate," said Thomas, the lyricist, who's most famous for turning Jerry Springer's trashy TV talk show into an opera.

Both men see Smith's beloved son Daniel as a key part of her life, with Thomas describing her as a single mother "doing anything she could to look after her son.

"It's a very universal story," Thomas said. "I wanted to tell a story about a single mom. She makes some good choices. She makes some bad choices. Then she runs out of choices."

Thomas and Turnage fell for Anna Nicole while writing the opera, they say.

"I hope it comes through that we as writers love her," the composer said.

I can only imagine what an aura based on her infamous "Trim Spa baby!" commercials would sound like. Carmen this is not, but people have been flocking to the theater, as all six performances at London's Royal Opera House have sold out. Read the whole article here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Random Thoughts

In the wake of the Grammys and other assorted news/pop cultural events, I think it's as good a time as any for the first random thoughts post of 2011. So let's get into it.

1. Was I  the only one who had to make what I call a "diva decision" Sunday night between watching Janet and Lady Gaga's interviews? I swear I was flipping the channels back for a good hour lol.

2. Speaking of Gaga's 60 Minutes interview, don't you think it was definitely (read between the lines *wink, wink*) appropriate for Anderson Cooper to interview her?

3. Did anyone else see how PHINE LL was looking in that suit at the Grammys? I mean his arms were practically about to burst out of that suit! Yes Lawd! *Sprays face with cold water* Alright I'm calm.

4. While we're talking about the Grammys, wasn't Christina riffing and scale running for her life during that Aretha tribute. Even J-Hud had to look over a few times with an expression that said "Damn that bitch is wailin!" Hell I half expected Rupaul to come out and say "Sashay you stay!"

5. Although I was thrilled she triumphed over the commerical tyranny that is Justin Bieber, was I only person that though "WHO?" when Esperanza Spalding won Best New Artist? Side note for Ms. Spalding: watch your back girl. Those young Bieber fans may be tweens, but I'm pretty sure those bitches will shank you in a back alley without shedding a tear. I'm just sayin'.

6. Is it me or has Lady Gaga's dancing improved dramatically? True she wasn't working it like Beyonce (but who can chile) but it does seem that she's stepped her game up. I guess Laurie Ann Gibson whipped that ass into shape.

7. Why is everyone so intent on turning Ronald Reagan into a saint? Granted the man wasn't the devil but he was no angel either. See my rant here.

8. Wasn't it shocking (in a good way) to watch the revolt in Egypt and see a people's protest actually work? Hopefully the country won't descend into chaos or religious extremism.

9. On the flipside, isn't it scary that some Tea Party members might get the idea that the situation in America is similar and try to do the same?

10. Aren't you deeply afraid of how high food and gas prices could become in the next few months?

11. And speaking of being deeply afraid, doesn't Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family look sadly predictable? I'll summarize the plot: Madea blows everyone down, church scene, someone on drugs/having an affair/an abusive relationship,church scene,non-Christians depicted as lost, ignorant or cartoonishly evil,Madea,church,THE END.

12. How much do you want to bet that Eddie Long will make a cameo in the movie?

13. Speaking of movies, I know I'll be running to the theater to see Captain America. Not only to satisfy my inner superhero geek, but in hopes there'll be gratuitous shirtless scenes with Chris Evans. Watch the trailer below:

14. As much as she irritates me, I have to admit I laughed out loud when Nene called Latoya Jackson Casper the Ghost on The Apprentice preview. If only for the sad fact that it's kinda true.

15. Even though I'm not an uber fan, I'm curious to hear new music from Beyonce, especially since she's reportedly been working with noise pop band Sleigh Bells, one of my fav indie acts. B laid pretty low in 2010, so the time seems ripe for her to come back and ruthlessly dominate music again.

16. Is Rihanna addicted to red kenekalon weave?

17. How the hell are families from Teen Mom on the cover of magazines like US Weekly? Not to sound high and mighty but being a pregnant teen doesn't make you a star. Is this what celebrity has devolved to?

18. When will Storm get her own X-Men movie?

19. Isn't Gwen Stefani looking fab in those Loreal ads? But she and No Doubt need to make a new album. Seriously.

20. Is the upcoming Tupac biopic a good or a bad idea?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Born To Express Yourself

With the all the controversy raging over the similarities between Lady Gaga's new single "Born This Way" and Madonna's 1989 classic "Express Yourself," it was only a matter of time before someone decided to mash up the two tracks together in a mix. After sifting through a few crappy ones, I found a good one on YouTube (or at least the best so far).

For the record I do think the songs sound alike to a degree, but I don't think Gaga ripped Madge off and "Born This Way" is a good slab of dance pop. But I didn't experience the seismic sonic slap that "Express Yourself"  gave me the first time I heard it. Maybe all the hype led to the letdown. Who knows? But it's great that radio stations will be playing the words "gay, les, bi and transgendered" for months to come.

On another note, I'm sure Madonna is somewhere laughing her head off at all the critics who say she's irrelevant when a song and video she did almost a quarter century ago are still memorable in people's minds.

Anywho, listen to mix below:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

You're Standing On My Neck: A Daria Tribute

Seeing as how the subject matter has been a little heavy the last few posts, I thought I'd lighten the mood with a tribute to one of my favorite shows, Daria. When I was young queen in training, Daria (and constant cohort Jane) helped me sharpen my shade throwing and reading skills and foster an attitude of cool indifference--tools that are almost mandatory in the jungle that is junior high/high school lol.

But aside from that, the show was a witty, clever look into high school, cliques, popularity and being a teenager. Daria was never a desperate wannabe. She just wanted to finish school and get the hell out of there. On the flipside however, it was good that not all the popular kids were brainless drones (bonus points that they were the two black kids!). Lawd knows the mighty MTV has fallen in program quality since then. But I digress. Watch a few clips below ( and a link that will send you to YouTube, since embedding has been disabled):

Best Daria Quotes

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Everything You Wanted To Know About Scientology (But Were Too Afraid To Join)!

The New Yorker recently published a fascinating article about Oscar-winner Paul Haggis', who also wrote and directed Crash, exit from Scientology after spending more than 30 years in the cult religion. The article is hella long, but it is an extremely epic and worthy read--the writer delves deep in the organization's history, the life of founder Ron L. Hubbard (including truths and untruths about his military records, which form the basis of the religion), charges of child labor, physical abuse and the exorbitant (that's putting mildy) cost of being in the church. One chilling accusation of abuse by former member Jefferson Hawkins of church leader David Miscavige:

“I had just written an infomercial,” he said. Miscavige summoned him to a meeting where a few dozen members were seated on one side of a table; Miscavige sat by himself on the other side. According to Hawkins, Miscavige began a tirade about the ad’s shortcomings. Hawkins recalls, “Without any warning, he jumped up onto the conference-room table and he launches himself at me. He knocks me back against a cubicle wall and starts battering my face.” The two men fell to the floor, Hawkins says, and their legs became entangled. “Let go of my legs!” Miscavige shouted. According to Hawkins, Miscavige then “stomped out of the room,” leaving Hawkins on the floor, shocked and bruised. The others did nothing to support him, he claims: “They were saying, ‘Get up! Get up!’ ”

And another involving a "game" of musical chairs:

"Miscavige came to the Hole one evening and announced that everyone was going to play musical chairs. Only the last person standing would be allowed to stay on the base. He declared that people whose spouses “were not participants would have their marriages terminated.” The St. Petersburg Times noted that Miscavige played Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” on a boom box as the church leaders fought over the chairs, punching each other and, in one case, ripping a chair apart."

A fantastic article. Trust!

H/t Boy Culture

Monday, February 7, 2011

Tennesee Tea Party Wants Slavery Removed From History

I guess these were just love taps from Massa.

The rewriting of history continues. As if we needed further confirmation that many in the Tea Party are slightly off their rockers, the Tennesse branch of the party wants all instances of slavery and genocide committed against blacks and Native Americans removed from history textbooks, since they make the founding fathers look back.

According to the Memphis Commerical Appeal:

"The material calls for lawmakers to amend state laws governing school curriculums, and for textbook selection criteria to say that “No portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers, or the majority of citizens, including those who reached positions of leadership.”

Fayette County attorney Hal Rounds, the group’s lead spokesman during the news conference, said the group wants to address “an awful lot of made-up criticism about, for instance, the founders intruding on the Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites in one way or another.

“The thing we need to focus on about the founders is that, given the social structure of their time, they were revolutionaries who brought liberty into a world where it hadn’t existed, to everybody — not all equally instantly — and it was their progress that we need to look at.”

Poor Tea Party. We don't wanna hear about the negros gettin' lynch and beaten and raped by their masters! Or how the Indians were slaughtered and driven out of their land! All that truth stuff isn't good for our founding fathers' image!

This foolishness just reiterates my point about the current santification that's going on with Ronald Reagan. You cannot erase the parts of history you hate. All of it--the good, the bad and especially the ugly--must be told. Otherwise the same mistakes will be repeated. I don't have the energy to rant and rave at these folks, who are clearly deluded.

Read the rest of the report here.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Ronnie. NOT!

I'm sorry but I don't get all the fuss people are making about Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday. I'm sure his kids, Nancy and other family members and friends probably have fond personal memories of him. But what I truly hate, as I do with any public figure, be it Michael Jackson or Martin Luther King Jr. is this mass white-washing of his legacy that is currently taking place. No one (with a very few expcetions) is a complete saint or a certified sinner. So let's get a few facts straight about Ronald.

"Reaganomics"did nothing to help anyone but the weathiest Americans and is an ambomination that has continued to hurt middle and working class people to this day, as it has become Republican gospel. Wake up! It's been over 30 years and the money still hasn't trickled down! Not to mention his cutting of social programs that would've further helped non-millionaires.

During his presidency he did nothing to help the black or gay communities. How quickly everyone seems to have forgotten about the Iran-Contra scandal, in which drug trafficking led to black communities being flooded with crack cocaine in the eighties, from which sprung addiction and drug-related gang violence in neighborhoods already ravaged by poverty. Poverty that was the result of  by you guessed it, Reaganomics!

And lest we forget, Reagan's silence on AIDS and hooking up with fundamentalist douche bags like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson held up funding and potential medical treatments for years. In fact, AIDS, then called the "gay cancer" was pretty much joke in the White House during the early 80's. Literally.

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
Press Briefing by Larry Speakes
October 15, 1982
The Briefing Room
12:45pm EDT

Q: Larry, does the President have any reaction to the announcement -- the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, that AIDS is now an epidemic and have over 600 cases?

Mr. Speakes: What's AIDS?

Q: Over a third of them have died. It's known as "gay plague." (Laughter.) No, it is. I mean it's a pretty serious thing that one in every three people that get this have died. And I wondered if the President is aware of it?

Mr. Speakes: I don't have it. Do you? (Laughter.)

Q: No, I don't.

Mr. Speakes: You didn't answer my question.

Q: Well, I just wondered, does the President ...

Mr. Speakes: How do you know? (Laughter.)

Q: In other words, the White House looks on this as a great joke?

Mr. Speakes: No, I don't know anything about it, Lester.

Q: Does the President, does anyone in the White House know about this epidemic, Larry?

Mr. Speakes: I don't think so. I don't think there's been any ...

Q: Nobody knows?

Mr. Speakes: There has been no personal experience here, Lester.

Q: No, I mean, I thought you were keeping ...

Mr. Speakes: I checked thoroughly with Dr. Ruge this morning and he's had no -- (laughter) -- no patients suffering from AIDS or whatever it is.

Q: The President doesn't have gay plague, is that what you're saying or what?

Mr. Speakes: No, I didn't say that.

Q: Didn't say that?

Mr. Speakes: I thought I heard you on the State Department over there. Why didn't you stay there? (Laughter.)

Q: Because I love you Larry, that's why. (Laughter.)

Mr. Speakes: Oh I see. Just don't put it in those terms, Lester. (Laughter.)

Q: Oh, I retract that.

Mr. Speakes: I hope so.

Q: It's too late.

This transcript was quoted at the beginning of Jon Cohen's book, Shots in the Dark: The Wayward Search for an AIDS Vaccine, 2001. ISSN # 1052-4207.

By the time Reagan finally decided to speak about AIDS in 1987, not only did he state the government shouldn't provide sex education, but his comments were tailored to his evangelical base, who were all to eager to claim the disease as God's punishment.

"On April 2, 1987, Reagan said: "How that information is used must be up to schools and parents, not government. But let's be honest with ourselves, AIDS information can not be what some call 'value neutral.' After all, when it comes to preventing AIDS, don't medicine and morality teach the same lessons."

Hmmm. I wonder whose values are those?

According to Act-Up New York:

AIDS research was chronically under-funded. When doctors at the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health asked for more funding for their work on AIDS, they were routinely denied it. Between June 1981 and May 1982 the CDC spent less than $1 million on AIDS and $9 million on Legionnaire's Disease. At that point more than 1,000 of the 2,000 reported AIDS cases resulted in death; there were fewer than 50 deaths from Legionnaire's Disease. This drastic lack of funding would continue through the Reagan years.

When health and support groups in the gay community were beginning to initiate education and prevention programs, they were denied federal funding. In October 1987 Senator Helms amended a federal appropriations bill to prohibit AIDS education efforts that "encourage or promote homosexual activity" — that is, efforts that tell gay men how to have safe sex.

When Rock Hudson, a friend and colleague of the Reagans, was diagnosed with AIDS and died in 1985 (one of the 20,740 cases reported that year), Reagan still did not speak out as president ... In 1986 (after five years of complete silence), when Surgeon General C. Everett Koop released a report calling for AIDS education in schools, Bennett and Bauer did everything possible to undercut and prevent funding for Koop's too-little-too-late initiative. Reagan, again, said and did nothing. By the end of 1986, 37,061 AIDS cases had been reported; 16,301 people had died.

I understand that personal responsiblity is a factor. No one forced anyone not to wear condoms or smoke crack. We all are accountable for our own behavior. But that still doesn't change the fact that the Reagan and his administration systematically failed to meet the needs of people that desperately needed them most. That he allowed politics and personal prejudices to override any sense of compassion for communities that were suffering, and by doing so, exacerbated it. Reagan's job as president was to serve all Americans and he actively chose not to do so.

Now he's being reinvented as the Great American, an omnibenevolent president who as a friend to all. Pardon my french, but that's a bunch of bullshit. When public/historic figures, be they politicians or entertainers, are made out to be saints or demons (unless they are complete sociopaths), we do both ourselves and them a disservice by denying their humanity.

Martin Luther King Jr. was a great leader, a gifted speaker, and a fearless fighter against injustice. But he was also a philanderer and occasionally engaged in plagiarism.

Michael Jackson was a tremendously gifted performer, songwriter and singer who gave millions away to charity. But he was also an emotionally crippled man riddled with self-hatred about his black skin and features, and did everything he could to get rid of both.

Or course this also works the other way. Malcom X called white people devils (maybe that's why there's no Malcom X Day for the kiddies:) and proclaimed blacks should totally separate themselves from society. But he also recanted such statements after he went to Mecca.

My point is that when we white-wash a person's legacy we turn them into a symbol that is impossible to aspire to, forgetting their negative actions and their flaws. And when we make someone out to be a complete and utter villain (again with exceptions, i.e. Hitler, Stalin), we can often forget the good things they've done or changes that may occur in their views over a lifetime.

So when you wish Reagan a happy birthday, think twice as you blow out the candles.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Feelin The Spirit...

Now I've seen my share of Holy Ghost fiyahs (I once saw a woman dance out of the pew--legs and other assorted limbs flailing about--and dance back to her seat without hitting anyone. True story!), but I don't think I've ever witness the full flame on going on in this church! Hold on to your funeral home fans and watch the clip below:

Sarah Palin Inc.

Sarah Palin wants to get her name trademarked. Lest you think your eyes have deceived you, I'll type it again. Sarah Palin wants to get her name trademarked (and little Bristol's too). According to, Sarah and Bristol want to trademark their names for "entertainment and educational services:

"According to patent office application (serial # 85170226, Van Flein registered for a trademark of "Sarah Palin" on Nov. 5, 2010 -- three days after the midterm elections. The government trademark examining attorney has "found no conflicting marks that would bar registration." In other words, nobody else had already taken the proposed trademark.
A "Bristol Palin" application (serial #85130638) was filed on Sept. 15, 2010. Bristol Palin's stint with "Dancing With the Stars" premiered on Sept. 20."

For Sarah Palin's application, there are two classes of commercial service for which her name would be a registered trademark. One is for "information about political elections" and "providing a website featuring information about political issues." The second is for "educational and entertainment services ... providing motivational speaking services in the field of politics, culture, business and values."

The "Bristol Palin" application is for "educational and entertainment services, namely, providing motivational speaking services in the field of life choices."

This woman might as well wear a sign that says Still wanna vote for me? I can fix that!. I amazed that the irony of this situation escapes her. Why would you want to trademark your name as an entertainment brand when you're trying to establish yourself as a serious, viable candidate for the next presidential race (which I'm assuming she'll at least try to run for--get your wig and glasses ready Tina!)? But then again, why would a potential candidate do a reality show and use words like refudiate without a trace of shame?

I mean really, it's one thing when musicians or actors do it. Because they're entertainers. As much as I view them as artists, I (and they) recognize that they are a brand that generates millions, or sometimes billions of dollars, and is in need of protection.

Of course Sarah Palin is entertaining, but for all the wrooooong reasons. And as for Bristol, chile please. Five years from now you'll probably be praying that someone wants to infringe/misappropriate your likeness. I'm just sayin'. This is just further proof of how out-of-touch she is.

The applications haven't gone through yet because the patent office needs Palin's written consent before her name can be trademarked--that and the fact the office feel she hasn't provided enough evidence that her name has been used for commercial purposes. But I'm sure Ms. Maverick will keep on trying.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

B. Slade: The Interview

Yes fellow space cadets, I'm a man of my word. After a month or two of playing e-mail tag I finally managed to snag an interview with B. Slade. It's pretty lengthy so I had to break it up into three parts, but it's a very good Q&A if I do say so myself:).

B. Slade talks about everything--from  preparing to play late disco icon Sylvester and the enduring magic of the Jacksons to the slightly scary influence of David Bowie's Labyrinth  and Grace Jones. The singer also sounds off organized religion, closeted gospel artists, suicide among gay teens, being a role model and why Patti Labelle is "beyond beast." Here are few quotes from the interview:

On the Seventies-inspired sound of Stereotype:

"The Seventies to me was quite frankly the best music...there was something that was little bit more intrinsic about the Seventies. The chord structure, the changes, the heart, the lyrical content. You really had to have raw talent. You really had to have a perspective."

On Sylvester:

"He was a nonconformist. And he was fabulous in everything he did."

On the Jac5son Magic Mixtape and Janet & Michael:

"Michael of course was the epicenter of that whole family earthquake, but the aftershock, literally was Janet. They've had a major influence. Certain songs were more for Mike. But my allegiance and my biggest artistic influence as an artist has been Janet Jackson. Hands down."

On whether other gospel artists will come out:

"There are not many cut out to do what I did. A lot of people's complete career is built off of a perception, or an's not for everyone."

On the current state of the black church:

"People are starting to see that the leaders of these religions are just as fallible, if not more, than its subjects. Now because of current events, things keep popping up that are forcing the black church to deal with issues that have been very prominent all along. I'm really interested to see how this is all going to play out."

On being an openly gay artist in the music industry:

"I think the majority of the people in the industry respect truth. As maniacal as the music industry can be, they can't fuck with the truth."

Update: All of B. Slade's commercial releases--The Jack5on Magic Mixtape, Gospop and Stereotype--have been removed from the singer's bandcamp page. According to an official website statement:

"To welcome in 2011, B.Slade is currently in a MAJOR career transition and wishes to thank everyone for their support and interest. Summer of 2011 will reveal exciting news & informtation. As of now B.Slade is focusing on his acting career & international securities. STAY TUNED."

For those who need a hit of B. Slade before then, the singer has released a new single called "Kaleidoscope," which is available on his bandcamp page. Listen to all three parts of the interview below:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Random: Best Of Debra Wilson

Debra Wilson is one of the most underrated comediennes ever. I honestly don't know why she isn't on TV more. Her celeb impersonations are always on point (the Whitney and Oprah skits are classic, not to mention "Reality Check" with Aries Spears).

She is clearly articulate and witty enough to fit in with the dry humor of The Office or 30 Rock, and able to play the kind of kooky, offbeat character needed for a show like Community. She could slay most of SNL's female cast. Quite simply, she is a beast. Get into some of my favorite Deb clips below.

P.S.: I tried to get the "Oprah turns demonic" and "Get your ass outta bed" clips but embedding was disabled. Anyways, enjoy!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"Are We There Yet" Features Black Gay Teen

Well this was a pleasant surprise. Ice Cube's sitcom "Are We There Yet" tackled the subject of black gay teens in a non-stereotypical, fear-mongering way. On the episode "The Boy Has Style" Cedric, a tall, fashionable football player starts hanging out with Lindsay, who can't figure why her new beau won't make a move. The reason: he's gay.

After being clocked by the Nick's wife (I personally think most older women's gaydar is sharpened and refined from years of dating) he confronts Cedric who confesses. He eventually tells Lindsay, who accepts his offer of friendship and all is right with the world. I loved that Cedric was so comfortable with his sexuality and there wasn't any DL drama. It was dealt with like a simple, everyday family situation. Plus the E. Lynn Harris reference was unexpected treat.

On a slightly shady side note (say that 5 times fast!): Isn't a little sad that a straight, hardcore rapper (Ice Cube) will feature a positive/realistic depiction about a black gay character but he who shall remain nameless(you who I'm talkin' about) has yet to do so?

You can watch the episode here.

H/t Living Out With Darian
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