Monday, December 31, 2012

T-Boz Talks New Reality Show, TLC Biopic


Yo T-Boz, is you bein' a boss? The "T" in TLC is launching a new reality show called Totally T-Boz, set to air January 1 on TLC (of course). “Throughout my whole career I’ve had to reinvent myself, and here I am again, having to reinvent myself,” T-Boz says in the teaser for her show.

"The 42-year-old Grammy Award winning artist is giving her fans an up-close look into her life as she focuses on being a single mom to her 12-year-old daughter Chase, and re-launching her music career after recovering from a life-threating brain tumor she was diagnosed with in 2006.

T-Boz’s brain tumor was so severe that once it was removed she had to relearn how to walk and talk, but the “Waterfalls” singer told theGrio’s Chris Witherspoon that she hopes her new show will 'inspire and educate people on how to overcome sickle cell, leukemia and other blood disorders. This show will help me bring attention to things that have substance and matter.'”

In addition to Totally T-Boz, the singer is also moving forward with plans for VH1 biopic on TLC. The film, which is currently in pre-production, will feature old and new music from the group. “We’re remixing and re-recording some of our old hits and doing some new singles. So there will be a soundtrack and a tour to go along with the movie,” T-Boz said. “There is also a song called ‘Champion’ that I am going to release very soon at the top of next year.”

T-Boz also gave her thoughts on Chris Brown and Rihanna's ongoing saga. Watch the trailer for Totally T-Boz below
.

Friday, December 28, 2012

WATCH: House Of Lies Season 2 Trailer


Yaas. The trailer for season two of Showtime's House of Lies, a savagely funny, dark and sardonic look into the world of big business and consulting, as well as my new TV obsession (at least until Mad Men's sixth season kicks off) has been revealed.

And if you ain't up on thangs, get up on this, 'cause this show is great. All the actors, Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell in particular, are fantastic, but an interesting and compelling wrinkle is Marty Kaan's (Don's) son Roscoe, who is discovering/figuring out his gender identity and possibly his sexual orientation. The relationship between Roscoe and Marty, who while not fully understanding his son, fiercely defends him, is one of the best parts of the show. Especially when you think about the dearth of kids like Roscoe--particularly black kids--on TV.

 Watch a short trailer and a longer, behind-the-scenes preview below. Oh, and Nia Long and Larenz Tate will appearing at some point, if that sweetens the pot.


Fans To Join Beyonce Onstage At The Super Bowl


Snap for the kids! Fans will have a chance to join Beyonce onstage for her Super Bowl performance on February 3. According to The Grio:

"Pepsi announced Friday that 100 fans will hit the stage when the Grammy-winning diva performs on Feb. 3 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. A contest that kicks off Saturday will allow fans to submit photos of themselves in various poses, including head bopping, feet tapping and hip shaking. 

Those pictures will be used in a TV ad introducing Beyonce’s halftime performance, and 50 people — along with a friend — will be selected to join the singer onstage."

The photo contest ends on January 19, but the cut-off date for fans to be onstage with Bey is January 11. For more info, go to pepsi.com.

Kentucky Man Displays Obama Effigy With Watermelon, Says He "Might get hungry’


In today's edition of shake my head foolishness, a Kentucky man is remaining unapologetic about displaying an effigy of President Obama in his front yard, holding a watermelon, despite that fact that it's you know, plays on racists stereotypes.


"The way I look at it, it's freedom of speech," said Danny Hafley in an interview with Lex 18 . "I don't know how other people will take it."

Hafley bought the Obama mask on sale after Halloween and put up the display around the time of November's presidential election.

The mannequin, dressed in a grey suit, clip-on tie and blue-collared shirt, was originally standing in Hafley's yard but the homeowner decided it would look better near the road.

"That's my buddy," Hafley said. "He don't talk. Don't make no smart comments. If I had a dollar for everyone who stopped and took a picture of it I'd be a millionaire." When asked the reason behind the watermelon, Hafley responded that he thought the figure "might get hungry standing out here."

Ugh, it's always about freedom of speech and conservative martyrdom isn't it? And notice how he says his "buddy" Obama "don't talk" and "don't make no smart comments?" He's a good little porch monkey.

Never do Hafley and others who get criticized for stunts like this stop to consider the following two things: 1) Freedom of speech does not equal freedom from the consequences of said speech; 2) Just because you have the freedom to say/do something, doesn't mean you need to.







Food For Thought: Nicholas Brown

"It seems important to acknowledge the depth and power of our biases ... there is something vicious in each of us. Depressing though that may seem, focusing on our flaws is a first necessary part of wanting to be better. The hope that we can be better, it seems to me, deserves great celebration."

New York actor/writer Nicholas talking about facing his discomfort over playing a gay role. Read the rest of his piece HERE. It's very interesting and honest.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Question: Djano Unchained



Do you plan on seeing Djano Unchained? Why or why not?

New Music: Frank Ocean "Wise Man"


Frank Ocean has dropped a new single "Wise Man." The track, an emotional, poetic ballad in the mold of previous Ocean songs like "Thinkin' Bout You" and "Bad Religion," was originally intended for the Django Unchained soundtrack, before being cut by Quentin Tarantino.

"Frank Ocean wrote a fantastic ballad that was truly lovely and poetic in every way, there just wasn't a scene for it," Tarantino said. "I could have thrown it in quickly just to have it, but that's not why he wrote it and not his intention. So I didn't want to cheapen his effort. But, the song is fantastic, and when Frank decides to unleash it on the public, they'll realize it then."

I guess we're realizing it now, as Ocean released the song over the weekend on Tumblr. Proving there was no tea nor shade about the situation, he wrote "django was ill without it." Listen below.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Waltz Of The Rat Kings


Since Christmas is but a few days away, I thought I'd combine my love of Courage The Cowardly Dog (which is still one of the strangest cartoons ever to air on TV IMO) and Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker and post one of my favorite episodes of the former. I'm sure all of the early 00's teens/90's babies know which one I'm referring to but for those in the dark, a quick summary: Courage, Muriel and Eustace are "shopping" for goodies in a junkyard when they encounter two rats with a love of ballet and human stew. Awesomeness ensues. Watch below.

Friday, December 21, 2012

WATCH: NRA Calls For "Armed Guards In Every School"


It took a week to come up with this? The pipe must be getting passed around at the NRA offices in order to spout this drivel with a straight face. It's not so much having some security/a police presence in schools would be a totally bad idea; we had an officer who worked security when I was in high school, and things didn't descend into the Wild West.

What was really galling is the whole speech came off as more of the same old "guns, guns and mo' guns" philosophy, which is just as ludicrous as folks crying for a ban of ALL guns.

Personally I feel guns can and do serve a purpose. But to completely ignore calls to ban assault weapons--does any every day citizen really need to possess a sniper rife or an AK 47?-- the need for more stringent background checks and a greater focus on mental health to diagnose and treat people like Adam Lanza before they become violent killers shows the NRA is more interested in spouting off tough talk than starting a dialogue on a complex issue.

The keyword being complex. It's much easier for NRA's Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre to channel third-rate Clint Eastwood and blame the national media (which I do feel have crossed the line a few times in their coverage--interviewing kids, giving a blow-by-blow timeline of the killing spree and playing the 911 calls were wrong and unnecessary), gun control advocates and violent video games--even though the NRA has its own shoot 'em  up game called Gun Club (talk about subtle)--than consider that he and the rest of the NRA may actually be also contributing to the problem. Even the call for armed guards is side-eye worthy. Who will pay for all this beefed up security, when the GOP has a seizure at the mere mention of a tax increase?

Okay rant over. Watch the press conference below.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Obama: Gun Violence Proposals Due By January


President Obama has announced that there will be a set of recommendations to address gun violence in a few weeks. Joe Biden will lead an inter-agency group to create "concrete proposals no later than January -- proposals that I then intend to push without delay," the president said.

According to CNN.com:

Speaking five days after a gunman killed 27 people, including 20 children, at a Connecticut elementary school, Obama said that "if there is even one thing that we can do" to prevent such tragedies, "we have a deep obligation, all of us, to try."

"This is not some Washington commission. This is not something where folks are going to be studying the issue for six months and publishing a report that gets read and then pushed aside. This is a team that has a very specific task to pull together real reforms right now."

The group will include some Cabinet members and outside organizations.

This is definitely a step in the right direction. But a part of me is a bit afraid that after the shock and sadness wear off and the constant coverage fades, that we'll settle back into old habits, or that the proposals will lose their momentum.

What do you think?

Source

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Question: Best Sex Ever


What was the best sex you ever had? Was it in a  committed relationship or a one-night stand/friends with benefits situation?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Random Jam: The Cure "Fascination Street"


One of Robert Smith and Co.'s best tracks off of one of their best albums Disentegration, which contains one of the best basslines EVA. Get into it below.

Jesus Has Two Daddies


That would certainly make for an interesting Sunday school lesson now wouldn't it? Apparently a gay couple in Colombia has come under scrutiny for displaying a nativity scene featuring two Josephs and no Mary outside their home.

Neighbors were apparently not ready to embrace an inclusive Christmas, as they took to social media to disparage the display and berate the couple. The national Catholic Church even issued a statement condemning the display as "sacrilege."


Andrés Vásquez, a political analyst, and Felipe Cárdenas, an entrepreneur, have been together four years, and took advantage  of the nation's civil union law for same-sex couples, according to The Daily Mail. 

The Mail describes the two men as "gay rights activists" who hoped that displaying the alternative nativity scene would help move the country forward on marriage equality. Last year, the nation's Constitutional Court ruled that Colombia must extend marriage rights to same-sex couples within two years.


When you think about, two Josephs--well, let's call the other one Jerome for whimsy's sake--kinda makes sense when you think about it. I mean, god was already using Mary as kind of a supernatural surrogate service anyway, so why couldn't Joseph and Jerome cut out the middle woman and raise the blessed child in a fabulous first-century domicile themselves? I'm just sayin'.

Source

20 Children, 6 Adults Killed In Connecticut School Shooting


My goodness, this is horrible. 27 people are dead, including 20 children, six adults and the shooter, 20-year-old Adam Lanza.

According to the Huffington Post:

Reports say that the gunman carried four weapons, and wore black clothing as well as a bullet proof vest. He died on the scene.

Unconfirmed reports say that principal Dawn Hochsprung and a school psychologist were killed, according to a parent who claimed to witness part of the attack, CNN reported.

Danbury Hospital's emergency room staff has readied its wing for the arrival of an unknown number of victims, a spokeswoman for Western Connecticut Health Network told News Times.


Reports say that the alleged shooter appeared in the building's main office at about 9:40 a.m., approximately 30 minutes after the school day began.

Not that one life is more precious than the other....but children? I'm at a loss.Watch MSNBC's live coverage below.

Monday, December 10, 2012

WATCH: Will and Jaden Smith's 'After Earth' Trailer


Hmmm. The trailer for the new flick After Earth, starring Will Smith and son Jaden, gives off a bit of an I Robot-meets-I Am Legend mashup. I liked the former, wasn't crazy about the latter (faux goblin vampires are never a good choice), so this could go either way for me. Watch below and you decide.

4th Accuser Comes Forward In Kevin Clash Scandal


A fourth accuser has come forward to claim he had underage sex with former Sesame Street puppeteer Kevin Clash. The unidentified man claims his relationship with clash caused him "emotional, mental and psychological damage."

"TMZ reports that the accuser filed the lawsuit under the name John Doe stating that Clash met Doe in Miami beach in 1995 or 1996 when he was only sixteen or seventeen years old.

Clash allegedly later even paid Doe to fly out to New York where he groomed him with money and a place to stay. Doe claims they had sex on multiple occasions during the trip.

Doe’s attorney, Jeff Herman, told TMZ that 'according to our lawsuit, Kevin Clash knowingly paid to transport a minor across state lines for the purpose of satisfying his sexual interests.'"

Clash resigned from Sesame Street in November, when the first allegations surfaced. Three of the four men have since filed suit. Clash has maintained his relationship with the first accuser was consensual and he was not underage. Clash has since come out as gay in response to the accusations. 

Source




Don't Hate Girl


Filmmaker Blake Pruitt's short documentary 20MALEGAYNYC, features a fascinating discussion on the topic of hate in the gay community, particularly hatred of stereotypical gay behavior, as well as internalized homophobia and masculinity.

Pruitt, who interviewed many of his own friends for the film, says the inspiration for the documentary came after hearing them say "'I hate gay guys' or at least, 'I hate stereotypical gay guys.'"Although it focuses on the New York scene, I found myself nodding my head in agreement with a lot of the men's observations of the dynamics in gay male interaction. Watch below.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Meditations On My Coming Out



Everyone seems to have a favorite season. Though I claim summer as mine--despite it being hot as hell--fall and early winter are the periods that often conjure up strong emotions for me. Maybe it's because they mark the beginning of the end; the closing of one year, and the start of another. A time for regret perhaps, but also one for reflection, and hopefully, summoning an inner resolve to make the next 365 days better than the last. I often get to thinking about a time when it felt as if I had to gather up every ounce of resolve, reflection and introspection to leave one life behind and step into another. Coincidentally, I recently came across a post entitled "Who Do You Tell?" by fellow blogger Bama Boi, that triggered my memories of said time seven years ago.

When I think to back my closeted days, I see a person whose entire existence revolved around being "acceptable." Someone whose nerves would become frayed at being questioned about his taste in music, movies and clothing. A boy who was constantly studying others and adjusting his walking, speaking and gesturing to conform, with varying degrees of success.

But most of all I see someone who was not thinking, just doing. All of my energy was being poured into what I was supposed to be; I was supposed to be a good student, a Christian, believe in God and be active in church so I was. I was supposed to be masculine and straight, so I was. I was supposed to go out with girls, so I tried--damn those were some horrendous dates. But I digress. In retrospect I'm glad I went to college, but even that fell under required tasks. Meanwhile a heavy supply of an herbal pharmaceutical kept my mind cloudy for moments when I couldn't stomach being a one-man PR machine. Everything was done in service of my drug of choice--approval--and I was willing to sacrifice any semblance of self to get my fix.

Perhaps I'm being too hard on myself; hardly anyone knows who the hell they are at 17 or 18. However the difference between me and many of my classmates was they were at least beginning the process of discovering themselves, scratching beneath their identity's surface. I was consumed with making sure mine was shiny and perfect. Nevermind that the inside was hollow. Somehow in the middle of the chaos--the unanswered prayers for "deliverance," police run-ins, denials, self-deception, late nights and blunt smoke--I got a moment of clarity. One that opened my eyes to the harsh reality that every relationship in my life had its basis in or had become tarnished by lies. Though I was scared shitless about what lay ahead, something told me I couldn't keep doing what I was doing.

So out the closet I came. First to a new college friend who transformed to confidant then boyfriend. Then to my brother, then to a childhood friend who was also family (back in the day we were both so deep in the closet we could've found presents and a long-lost Ouija board), to straight friends and so on. I'm happy to say my life as a whole is so much better, and that I am a much happier person. Through coming out I've met people from all walks of life and had experiences--sex, drag balls, gay clubs, National Coming Out Day, Day of Silence, discovering gay films, books and bloggers-- I never would've been open to had I kept on in the same dead-end cycle.  I've also felt love, joy, self-acceptance and peace of mind; emotions that for so long seemed foreign to me. Coming out has allowed me to take in the world, to explore it, to enjoy it.
 
Not that it's all sweetness and light for me now--life, both the good and the bad, still has to be lived. I think that's where we fail sometimes as a community. We sell the dream of it gets better, often without emphasizing that it takes time, courage and work to make things better. I don't regret coming out, but in hindsight I can see where there are some instances where I'd do things differently and instances where I wouldn't change a thing.

Things I'd Change

--I wish I hadn't came out to my straight friends all at once. I'd would told them individually. In a group of five or six, fronting and cracking jokes (i.e. what rappers do you have a crush on) takes precedence over truly listening. One-on-one we did much better job of coming to an understanding.

--I wouldn't have doubted my brother would have accepted me. Yeah, we squabbled and scrapped like all brothers do as kids, but aside one or two flippant remarks (that weren't even directed at me), he never gave me any real reason to think he'd stop loving me.

--I would change how my dad found out. He'd been suspecting something was up, and I knew that he might know, but I just couldn't bring myself to tell him, even after I told my mom and brother. Instead he found out via my relationship status on Facebook. I think that's part of the reason he took it all so hard. Though his religious beliefs and our general strained relationship probably also had something to do with it.

--Speaking of strained relationships, I often wonder if I'd be closer to my parents now if I had come out as a teenager instead of in my early twenties. We probably would've grown closer if I'd confessed my secret to them then and asked for their help in solving my "problem." Then again, having them cheer me on the path of self-delusion would've have me kept in the closet longer. So in that respect I'm glad I waited. This isn't something I would change so much as it is a "what if?" scenario.

Things I Wouldn't Change

--I'm glad I first came out to someone who wasn't related to me, and was also gay. No disrespect to my family, but coming out to a person I didn't have a long history with made it easier to reveal myself. There was no baggage or expectation other than a desire to be honest.

--I don't regret dating the first person I came out to. Although things didn't last, that relationship kick started the process of me becoming more comfortable in my sexuality and in my skin overall.

--Even though I'm an atheist now, I'm glad I boned up on the biblical passages dealing with homosexuality when I was still a Christian. It helped me put many a wannabe bible thumpers and Internet homophobe in their place. Moreover, it planted the seed that if those scriptures were subject to debate, what else about the good book and Christianity was...and well you know what happened next.

So what about your own coming out? What would you change and what wouldn't you? If you're planning to come out, what do you hope/want to happen?








Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Beyonce Unveils HBO Documentary Trailer


Her Creole Madgesty, a.k.a Beyonce, has unveiled the trailer for her upcoming HBO documentary. Bey says the self-produced piece, set to air on February 16, will be a "personal' project, which means our journey into the BeyHive will probably be personal the same way my Grand Diva Madonna's classic tour doc Truth Or Dare was personal--an authorized, highly controlled invasion of privacy.

That's not to say we won't learning anything or Beyonce won't wittingly or unwittingly reveal something about herself or her life--her 4 documentary turned out to be a pretty interesting and insightful look into her creative process and hectic pre-Blu Ivy lifestyle. But you know Mama isn't letting nothin' out that will dull her luster.  The clip features the standard paparazzi madness and onstage glamour shots, as well as the now infamous baby bump.  Watch the trailer below.

Mexico Supreme Court Strikes Down Marriage Ban


Good news from south of the border. Mexico's Supreme Court unanimously struck down a marriage ban in the southern state of Oaxaca, a move advocates say could lead to gay marriages across the country.


"The ruling effectively changes Oaxaca's civil code to state that marriage takes place "between two people," instead of between a man and woman, reports Spanish-language site AnimalPolitico.

The Court ruled in favor of three same-sex couples who sued the state of Oaxaca for the right to marry. The ruling does not immediately eliminate marriage equality bans in other Mexican states, but it does set a legal precedent to begin challenging statewide marriage bans, according to the blog AfterMarriage." 

Gay and lesbian couples can currently get married in Mexico City, which began serving licenses in 2010. The country's Supreme Court then ruled that same-sex marriages performing in Mexico City must be recognized in by every other state, due to a constitutional clause.

Source

WATCH: Ugandan Lesbian Speaks Out Against 'Kill The Gays' Bill


Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, Ugandan resident and founder of the country's LGBT rights group Freedom and Roam Uganda, has filmed a video speaking out the against the archaic "Kill The Gays" bill, which comes up for a parlimentary vote in a few weeks.

"What the bill is trying to do is just make it illegal for me to be who I am, for simply saying 'I am a lesbian.'" says Nabagesera in the video. "I want to be in a safe space. I want to be in a free space."

The bill would prescribe capital punishment for anyone found guilty of "aggravated homosexuality," which would include repeat offenders, those who are HIV positive,  anyone who has sex with a minor or anyone who is intoxicated by 'any drug, matter or thing with intent to stupefy overpower him or her so as to there by enable any person to have unlawful carnal connection with any person of the same sex.' Family members, friends or neighbors who don't turn in a "known homosexual" could also face three years in prison.

Watch Nabagesera's video below.

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Mini-Review: The Walking Dead Season 3: Mid-Season Finale


In case you've been living under a rock--or hiding under one, or a car, ya' know zombie apocalypse and all--The Walking Dead's midseason finale aired last night. My thoughts:


  • Glenn is a beast. Ripping off a zombie arm and making a shank for Maggie? That's love.
  • Carol better watch both her and Maggie's lil' sister's back. Axle ain't fit to be alone with her. Though now that she no longer bursts into tears spontaneously, Carol could probably take him.
  • The writers did a good job of upping the tension/drama the faking us out during the whole shootout scene. I was sure Glenn or Maggie would get shot by the governor, especially after Andrea didn't catch on to who she was popping caps at. The big reveal of Daryl as the captured "terrorist" and Angela putting two and two together was a great twist. I'll be biting my nails for Daryl, 'cause you never know with this show.
  • The Governor is officially evil. If last week's intimidation/near-rape of Maggie didn't confirm it, throwing Merle under the bus and offering up Daryl to the crowd definitely did. You could blame his betrayal on recent events--losing an eye and seeing his zombie daughter take a blade through the mouth--but his actions are pretty consistent with his character. Rick and Co.'s vigilante mission tore down Woodbury's facade of peace, so a scapegoat needed to be offered up to make things "right" again. It's How To Be A Dictator 101.
  • Do the writers have a black male quota? As soon as Oscar appeared, T-Dog got ripped to shreds. Now that Tyrese has arrived, Oscar bites the dust. I feared for Michonne's life when I caught sight of another black woman.
  • The arrival of Tyrese and the gang does give the prison plot a new wrinkle, as well as provide new shocks troops for the inevitable Governor vs. Rick showdown.
  • I HATE that we won't find out what happens next until February. Is it really so much to ask the show run straight through until the end of the season? I would think the marketing team would push for this rather than have to build up the show's momentum again for the season finale. I hope this isn't the start of a new trend.

What did you think?
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