Sep 30, 2009

"Wire" creator surprised by reception in the UK


I've long told anyone who would listen, that HBO's "The Wire" is simply put, the greatest television series ever. I can't imagine anyone who's actually sat down and watched the entire series can say otherwise.
The acting, the writing, the brilliant nuances in character development, the casting, the directing, everything is just pitch perfect.

Now, several years after it finished up it's run here in the USA, the show recently finished up it's third season (out of five) in the UK broadcasting on BBC Two.

David Simon, the creator of the show, expressed surprise by how well it's being received in the UK, considering that even though it was based in the US, and it was critically acclaimed, the ratings and numbers
weren't stellar.


Sep 29, 2009

Most Hypocritical Book Bannings




I'm a firm believer in the 1st Amendment and I'm also a strong opponent of banning books. That's one of the things that really gets under my skin. The ignorance involved in being so upset at someone else's point of view, that you not only don't want to see it, but you don't want anyone else to be able to see it. It smacks of insecurity, and often includes people who are not strong in their own faiths or beliefs and so they think everyone else's faith and beliefs are that weak. So they don't want others to lose their way and sucomb to evilness that is literature.

Whether it's Harry Potter or Tom Sawyer or Stephen King it makes no sense to me for people to want these books banned, simply because they have a problem with them.

Jay Z's Books He Lives By




Recently Jay Z sat down with Oprah Winfrey for an interview, and he also did an interview with Oprah's magazine "O".

Jay was asked what his favorite books were. The Books that shaped who he was and led his way, and he revealed them to the world:


Sep 27, 2009

Roman Polanski Arrested in Switzerland






Ever since 1978 when Roman Polanski fled the US after pleading guilty to having sex with a 13 year old girl, there's been a warrant for his arrest. However since he's never returned to the USA, he was never arrested. He's lived outside the US while making films, and even did a cameo in Rush Hour 3, a cringe worthy "comedic" scene involving a "joke" about anal rape. Classy.

It's been fairly assumed that he'd never get arrested and brought back to states over this, and I've thought before that it was just go away. Apparantly not.

Sep 26, 2009

Black Eyed Peas perform in Malaysia after "Muslim Ban" lifted




I'm not a fan of the Black Eyed Peas, but this is an interesting story. Initially the "Guinness Brewery" Sponsored event was closed to Muslims, however apparently saner heads prevailed and it was opened to everyone.

Via Rawstory:

US hip-hop band the Black Eyed Peas played in front of a multiracial audience in Malaysia this weekend after a ban on Muslims was lifted, although frontwoman Fergie was forced to cover up.

The event, sponsored by the Guinness brewery, was initally restricted to non-Muslims, barring the 60 percent of Malaysia's population who are Muslim Malays.

But after an outcry the government dropped the ban and said anyone aged over 18 could attend, although alcohol sales at Friday's concert were restricted to areas which signs said were off-limits to Muslims.

Malays are not allowed to drink alcohol while the nation's Chinese and Indian minorities are not restricted.

The Grammy award-winning band's iconic singer will.i.am welcomed the move which allowed all Malaysians to attend their third concert in the country.

"I'm so thrilled. All the times that we came to Malaysia you know everyone was able to come to the show. When we go to Dubai, when we go to Philippines, it's Muslims, Christians, everyone," he told a press conference.

"The Black Eyed Peas is everybody's music. It feels so good to be able to come here and everyone's able to see us. And we'll be able to see everyone."

...

Performances by foreign bands frequently come under fire in Malaysia, particularly from the conservative Islamic party PAS which has called for an October 25 concert by US singer Beyonce to be banned, two years after her debut here was shelved over fears of demonstrations.

It held protests against Canadian rocker Avril Lavigne's concert last year after failing to have it banned, saying her performance would weaken the younger generation "morally and mentally".

Sep 24, 2009

Jon Stewart interviews former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevic

Jon Stewart had on former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevic for an interview and I have to say this was highly interesting. I've long been intrigued by Blago, and thought he was incredibly fascinating. Jon brings up an interesting point in here. If what Blago says is true....what the hell?

Chris Rock had a funny line once about OJ. If OJ turned out to be innocent after everything that he was put through, after his entire life was ruined both professionally and personally, how could people make that up to him? He suggested that everyone would have to allow OJ to have sex with their daughters. Twice.

All jokes aside, Stewart was right on when he likened this to Richard Jewell, if Blago's telling the truth. There's nothing that can be done to return Blago's rep to him. And I have to say I desperately WANT to believe that Blago is telling the truth. Of course if he is, we have to face the facts that the government blatantly and flat out destroyed this man's reputation and life.


Philips readies it's E-Reader, targets Amazon's Kindle



Looks like Philips is getting into the E-Reader market. There's several companies trying to take a bite out of the market that Amazon has pretty much sewed up right now with their Kindle.

With them having Barnes & Nobles on board that's a huge coup for them. This could be the biggest threat to Amazon's Kindle. I'll definitely consider getting one of these, as I've only had positive experiences with Philips products.

CrossRhodes - Limited Budget, Unlimited Quality




Several years back I had someone pass along a mixtape to me. Told me "this is your type of music". So I listened to it and he was right. It DEFINITELY was my type of music. This mixtape, "The Kev Brown Mixtape" had a song on there that just floored me. It was simply put one of the best songs I'd ever heard. And they only had a 1 minute snippet of it.

I spent the next several years trying to track it down but there was hardly anything I could find on it. I didn't know the artists, only the group name, and for whatever reason I couldn't land on anything that had the track.

That song is "3 Sides" and the group is CrossRhodes, which is made up of W. Ellington Felton and Raheem Devaughn with production by Kyle Murdock (Panacea).



I finally found a compilation a month ago or so and the full track was on there and I was excited as could be. I've listened to that song about a hundred times since then.

Now I find out that not only were there two albums by CrossRhodes, but that they are available for free courtesy of producer Murdock.

Click here to go to Murdock's blog NeoSonix and download the CrossRhodes related material. If you like good music along the lines of some neo-soul, hip hop and experimental then you can't go wrong here, my friends.

Sep 22, 2009

DJ Blazita interviews DJ Lazy K




When I first started listening to hip hop mixtapes back in the mid-90's, one of the very first DJ's I ever got a tape from was DJ Lazy K. She's by far one of my favorite DJ's out. The Lady got skills, for sure.

Here's an interview that my girl DJ Blazita did with the legendary Lazy K. Check it out, and click here to follow DJ Lazy K and DJ Blazita on twitter.

Sep 18, 2009

Domestic Violence, Pregnancys "Pre-Existing Conditions"

According to Think Progress, apparantly there's some crazy things out there that Heath Insurance Companies are using to deny patients coverage.

Including Domestic Violence. Apparantly, ladies, if you're getting your ass kicked by your boyfriend or husband, then you're just not eligible for health coverage. Or they jack up your rates. I mean, if you got beat before, you'll probably get beat again and that makes you a high risk factor.

Seriously.

And now apparantly if you've had a C-Section, that's a pre-existing condition and you can be denied coverage.

Sep 16, 2009

Floyd Mayweather proves once again he's clueless and an idiot




Full Disclosure, I'm not a fan of Floyd Mayweather Jr. Now I freely admit that, and while I admire his OBVIOUS superior God giving abilities in the ring, what I have never liked is his arrogance, his rude and disrespectful behavior outside of the ring. He routinely mocks his opponents, and he plays the bad guy role to the hilt. And I realize that's his "character". He wants to be the bad guy. He wants to be hated. He wants to be the villain. He's admitted to this in the past, figuring that people will pay for all PPV fights with the hopes of seeing him lose.

Yet there's nothing sadder than someone who's chosen their image and their station in life, and then lash out against people who actually respond accordingly.


Sep 15, 2009

Stephen Colbert threatens Kanye West!

This is pretty funny. Stephen Colbert had to take up for his girl, Taylor Swift, after Kanye interrupted her speech the other night at the VMA's.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Kanye West Interrupts Taylor Swift at the VMAs
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorHealth Care Protests

Jay Smooth Interviews The Incomparable Shakespeare (VIDEO)

A few weeks back I posted about Jay Smooth interviewing The Incomparable Shakespeare on Jay's "Underground Railroad" radio show.

Now we have the video, courtesy of Shakes' youtube channel.

Sep 13, 2009

Open Letter to Kanye West - By Marsha Ambrosius




ORIGINALLY POSTED ON MARSHA'S TWITTER FEED.

Dear Kanye, I met you a while ago, before you were ermmm "Kanye". You once got on my tour bus to make sure I was ok before a show. I had come down with a crazy cold and thought I wasn't able to go on that night. I thought it was really sweet that you were concerned. Matter of fact, it was the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach when Floetry were opening up for you.

We had so much fun on the road, you were so cool, you knew all the words to Mase's "Harlem World" album, we had jokes bout that :). Time has passed and things have changed, still, when our paths have crossed, you haven't hesitated to say "What up" which is cool. I'm not sure what exactly has caused you to do and say the outlandish things that you have said and done and can only speculate.


Kanye West proves once again that he's a no class bum




Over the years I've defended Kanye West against many charges, most of them were true to be fair. I've sat back and defended him jumping up on stages and talking about how he should have won, by saying that it was probably a publicity stunt that was orchestrated.

I've long had the belief (and still do) that his cocky arrogant actions are covering up a deep strong feeling of insecurity. He's in a genre of music, hip hop, that thrives on people being the most macho, the most intimidating person, and he's just not that. He's never really been that. Not to insult him, but it's just not him.

One of the greatest sports bloopers.

Back when Keith Olbermann was on ESPN Sportscenter, his co-anchor, Steve Levy, let loose with one of the all time great bloopers, due to a typo on the teleprompter (ala Ron Burgundy).



Now that you've seen that, here is the "Sports Night" clip that mirrored that. Sports Night was a brilliant television series by Aaron Sorkin (West Wing) that was based on SportsCenter and anchors Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann.

This scene was a direct reference to that classic Steve Levy blooper.

Sep 12, 2009

FIRE AL GROH IMMEDIATELY!




As a long time fan of the University of Cavaliers, I've suffered through some average teams and some underachievers ever since I started following them back in the late 80's.

We always seem to get our hopes up and then crushed, or we end up going to some average bowl and getting our asses kicked.

Make no mistakes, I've never confused our team with a "Florida" or "Oklahoma" type team.

However I thought we were better than William and Mary. Sadly that appears not to be true.

Now today we get routed by Texas Christian University. A loss only SOMEWHAT made a bit less of a pain by the fact they were ranked #16. Still, the atmosphere at UVA has fallen drastically.

We have criminals on the team that shouldn't be there. Back in the day that kind of thing wasn't tolerated. And the Athletic Department can't even point to success and say "well look at how great these guys are, we'll make an exception for him because he's remorseful". We got our asses kicked by William and freaking MARY!!!!

I told my Dad that if Al Groh is still coach when we play Duke on October 31st, and if we lose, he'd better be fired on the spot. That sonofabitch better be gone before the fans make it out of the parking lot.



There's no excuse for this. At what point did Florida State and Miami become choirboys compared to sham that the UVA program has become?

Al Groh has had his chance and he's FAILED miserably. He needs to be kicked out of town NOW and hopefully they'll bring in a strong leader who can keep the players in line, and can recruit and build a solid team to get UVA back to respectability.

I'm not asking for top 10 team in the country here, I'm simply wanting to not be embarassed by saying I'm a University of Virginia fan.

Is that too much to ask?

Sep 11, 2009

Once again the Record Companies prove they're stupid beyond belief




One of the trademarks of the Ellen Degeneres show, is when she'll dance to various popular songs. She'll dance up through the aisles, and everyone seems to have fun. She brings a lot of attention to specific artists through this segment (and they typically post the song title and artist on the screen during that segment). Can you imagine how many audience members and watchers of the show from home are hearing that song for the first time, like the vibe, like seeing Ellen dance to it and decide to go buy that on Itunes or Amazon or whatever?

Apparantly the Record Companies can't see that through the trees of their own stupidity. Because yes, from the same people that brought you the hits such as "suing your fans into bankruptcy" and "multi-million dollar judgements in court" and "students forced to drop out of school to pay fines" comes this little ditty called "file suit against someone who's giving you MASSIVE exposure".

This is just beyond stupid:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Some of the world's largest recording companies are suing "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," claiming producers violated their copyrights by playing more than 1,000 songs without permission.

Many of the songs were played during the "dance over" segment of the show, when DeGeneres dances from the stage to the interview area, often through the audience.


I swear, this brings to mind the King of the Hill quote, where Hank Hill says "Just when I think you've said the dumbest thing possible, you keep talking."

In this case, just when I think they've sunk to a new low in the realm of self defeatist actions, they keep digging.

I would ask why they would sue someone who's obviously bringing such great exposure to these artists, and (while I don't have any numbers to back this up) would believe that many people have bought songs simply because they heard them on Ellen's show.

However these people show no signs of understanding technology or the internet or anything. That's why they're having so many problems selling music that they have to resort to suing into bankruptcy the very people they want to buy their music.

I mean, for God's sake, Ellen did an American Express commercial BASED ON HER DANCING SEGMENT ON THE SHOW!



And the Labels can't understand that this is a bonus for them? That they're music is getting put out to a massive audience that they probably wouldn't have been exposed to without her show?

The Record Labels have ZERO savvy when it comes to technology and the internet. If they did they would have embraced the internet to sell music way before they did. They're also a bunch of snakes who use people to get ahead and then sic the police and the RIAA on them.

For years the labels had verbal/handshake agreements with hip hop DJ's to put their artists music on their tapes to sell in the streets. The tapes said "for promotional use only" but everyone knows the score. Everyone knows what's up. And the labels knew what's up. Often they would GIVE the music to the DJ because they knew that the real fans of hip hop would get these mixtapes, and this was a great way to get exposure for their artists.

Top artists of today such as 50 Cent and Lil Wayne came up through mixtapes to get where they are now. And how does the label repay all the money they've reaped through this profitable arrangement? They turn their backs on the DJ's, while the RIAA and the police raid the mixtape spots and confiscate expensive equipment and product used to put out those mixtapes that the labels were using as promo.

This is despicable and outrageous. But that's how they roll. And that's why I can't really be shocked at the fact that they're suing the Ellen show. I mean it's what they do. They don't have the intelligence to know how to properly market their product, so they just sit back and allow it to go to waste by not realizing it's full potential, and attacking anyone else who USES the proper techniques.



I compare it to some of these movie studios who have the rights to specific movies or TV shows that are not available on DVD. There are many TV series that have a lot of dedicated fans, and yet they're not on DVD and they don't air in syndication ANYWHERE in the world.

Yet God forbid someone post that up on the internet, or post video clips to Youtube. No we can't have that. We're not doing anything with it, we're letting it go to waste, but no one else can enjoy it either.

Makes no sense, but hey...that's what they do. And that's what the record labels do. They waste all their potential, and attack anyone doing what they should be doing.

Here's hoping their lawsuit goes nowhere, or they can get their heads out of their asses, and work a deal with Ellen's show to showcase that music.

UPDATE: 7:49pm.

I wanted to clarify a few things here.

1. Yes, in this case the Record Labels have a point. They are correct in that Ellen's show are using the songs without permission.

I'm not debating that, I'm not arguing with that point. There is no arguing with that point. In that situation, the Labels are 100% correct.

2. However that's where my problem comes in. Considering that you're not licensing the music to anyone on daytime TV at any price, you're missing a huge opportunity to cash in. This is the problem I have with the labels.

They have shown that they have ZERO IQ when it comes to marketing themselves and selling their product. How long did they wait to get into the online sales business? After Napster had come along, and for years showed that there was a new medium in which you could offer your product, it still took way too long for the labels to get their heads out of their collective asses long enough to say "hey...why don't we start selling music online?"

There will ALWAYS be those who won't pay for anything. That's a given. There are those who will never support an artist, who will never pay for a movie, who will never do the right thing. And with the general horrible quality of music that we see (for the most part) it's hard to blame some people.

However there will always be people, also, who WILL. There are those who want a subscription based service in which they can purchase and KEEP music (unlike the Zune Pass which you essentially RENT the music but if you leave the service your music is unusable). Why hasn't there been a serious attempt at that?

The Ellen Show situation just reinforces the fact that the labels are stupid when it comes to this thing. This is a perfect opportunity to work a deal with them and reap the benefits. Perhaps having it set up where everyone who's a fan of the show can get on an email list (through the Ellen Show, not the labels) and every day the email would go out to all the registered members and they would get the name of the artist and the title of the song and a link to Amazon or Itunes where they can purchase the song. And perhaps some info on the song/artist.

But they don't see things that way. It's "we have the rights to it, you don't, so you have to give us money".

That's my issue with it. It was never a situation of "the labels don't have a case" it's a situation of the labels being too dense to understand that a prime opportunity is right in front of them and they just can't see it.

The Greatest Video Game That Never Was: Contra vs. Duck Hunt

Contra vs. Duckhunt. How did this game not get made? lol

Sep 9, 2009

Controversial German Anti-AIDS commercial

WOW. This is crazy. People talking about the immorality of American Television, needs to shut up, because we have NOTHING on the Germans.

NOT SAFE FOR WORK!!! *NSFW* (Contains strong sexual content)




There are also some anti-AIDS groups that are angry over this, with just cause I think.

Here's a video of The Young Turks discussing this video and the complaints against it.

Mellow Laid Back Acoustic Compilation

This is a compilation I put together of some really nice laid back acoustic type rock music. Great mix of songs, I think. I didn't realize it til later but just about every single one of these songs was featured on a major movie soundtrack or TV show. lol

DOWNLOAD HERE

01. Gary Jules - Mad World *featured on the Donnie Darko Soundtrack*
02. Bird York - In The Deep *featured on the Crash Soundtrack*
03. Amie Mann - Save Me *featured on the Magnolia Soundtrack*
04. Sting - Hounds of Winter
05. Ivan Neville - Why Can't I Fall In Love? *featured on the Pump Up The Volume Soundtrack*
06. Amos Lee feat. Norah Jones - Colors *featured on the TV show House*
07. David Bowie - Life on Mars *featured on the BBC series Life on Mars*
08. Elton John - Daniel
09. Tracy Chapman - Smoke and Ashes
10. Ben Harper - Waiting on an Angel *featured on the TV Show House*
11. Jewel - Have a Little Faith in Me
12. Zero 7 - The Waiting Line *featured on the Garden State soundtrack*
13. Ryan Adams - Desire *featured on the TV show House*
14. Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah *featured on the Watchmen soundtrack*
15. Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra feat. Nino Moschella - Kiss The Sky *featured on the TV shows "Life", "Eastbound and Down" and "Nip/Tuck"

Sep 8, 2009

Is Floyd Mayweather Jr. REALLY the Cash Cow of Boxing?

UPDATE: 2:33am November 25th 2009 *AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST*

NOTE: This was originally posted on April 27th 2009, however with the upcoming Marquez fight less than two weeks away, I felt it was a bit timely.
=======




Floyd Mayweather Jr. appeared on ESPN recently and spoke with Brian Kenny. As he is wont to do, Floyd rambled about how he was the best in the world, and no one else was on his level and blah blah blah. However one interesting thing he said, which he's said numerous times, is that he's the cash cow of boxing. That HE is the one bringing everything to the table via Pay Per View buys and so he holds all the cards. Whenever a fighter is brought up, he talks about how little they bring to the table.

Here's the interview, if you can stomach listen to Floyd run his mouth and brag:



Now, the question is this: Is Floyd right? Does he bring everything to the table? Is he the proverbial Cash Cow for Boxing?

Not really. I mean, don't get me wrong. HE will tell you he is. But the facts are he's not. The only two fights he's ever had that sold over a million buys are against Oscar De La Hoya and Rickey Hatton, two fighters who brought their own MASSIVE following with them.

What were his buys BEFORE Oscar agreed to fight him?

courtesy of pound4pound.com:

The fact is Floyd Mayweather Jr. was not a pay-per-view star before his 2007 fights with Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton, the numbers speak for themselves:

Mayweather, already a two-division Champ when he took on Arturo Gatti for a super lightweight title in his first pay-per-view fight in June 2005 did 365,000 buys, and you could plausibly argue that it was the vastly more popular Gatti who pulled in the majority of the buyers.

Floyd’s fight with Zab Judah for a 147 pound strap in April 2006 sold 375,000 PPV buys even though Floyd’s promoter at that time, Bob Arum, predicted it would do more than the 1.4 million buys De La Hoya-Felix Trinidad Jr. did in 1999.

Mayweather’s “fight” against flavor of the moment Carlos Baldomir in November 2006 did a paltry 300,000 buys.

The numbers don’t lie and the truth will be revealed when anemic PPV numbers come in after the fight.


The bottom line is, that until Oscar De La Hoya gave him a shot and put him on the stage, Floyd never came close to seeing 1 million buys on PPV. And we've seen his only two times at that mark or higher have been against those already bringing their own following.

Floyd has not proven he can bring the fans to the PPV, even if it is just to see him hopefully knocked the f*** out.

But he'll keep telling you otherwise. A lie repeated often enough usually becomes accepted as fact, unfortunately. Or as Bunk Moreland once said, "The Bigger the lie, the more they believe"

UPDATE: September 8th 2009.

Now since I posted that, the Marquez fight was postponed due to an alleged rib injury which, I don't believe, has ever been corroborated by anyone outside of the Mayweather Camp. I don't believe any x-rays or doctors have spoken about the legitimacy of the so-called injury.

That being said, now more than ever it seems that the PPV chances of the Mayweather fight being more than sub-par are even less since Floyd, in his ever expanding arrogance, decided to put his fight up against the UFC's Big Pay Per View event.

UFC had that date staked out for months, and Floyd decided to take them on. Now in this economy, those who aren't already die hard Boxing fans or die hard UFC/MMA fans, will have to decide which to put their money down for. Not many people will be paying 50 bucks for the Mayweather/Marquez fight AND doling out more cash for the UFC/MMA fight.

Considering the fact that the undercard on the Mayweather fight has been less than stellar (at least so far announced) it appears the UFC PPV event which has a stronger card top to bottom might get the better PPV numbers.

We'll see once it's all said and done, however I really don't see how this can end in any other way than mediocre PPV ratings for the Mayweather/Marquez PPV. Many people believe that Mayweather is going to win this fight going away, considering Marquez is going up two weight classes. Marquez IS a lightweight fighter, mind you, going up to fight a welterweight.

And when the numbers come out, if Mayweather will allow the numbers to be released, it's going to prove what I posted above, and others before me have said.

Floyd's all talk when it comes to him being the PPV King in Boxing. If it wasn't for De La Hoya and Hatton, Floyd STILL would not have hit more than 400,000 PPV buys.

But what are facts when you have Floyd's ego talking?

UPDATE:

Well. How about that? Been meaning to get back to this since the PPV numbers came in and Floyd's fight brought in 1 million+ buys. Hats off to Floyd, he's showing that he CAN bring people in. True, there were no doubt a lot of Marquez fans buying this, but all that aside, as I said, hats off to Floyd. I was wrong in saying that he wouldn't do a million buys.

My opinions on Floyd haven't changed and probably won't as long as he's got his "Character" he's playing. I've seen bits and pieces of him in interviews and 24/7 where he seems to be a genuinely nice person, and a warm hearted individual. I just wish we could see more of that instead of the brash arrogant disrespectful Floyd. True that wouldn't be as interesting though, and I realize that.

Having said all that, congratulations Lil Floyd on your third straight million + PPV event. Your next one (should it be vs. Pacquiao, Cotto or Mosely -- or God forbid Paul Williams) will no doubt be much the same.

Sep 7, 2009

Ludacris unveils his own stimulus package!


SHOUT OUT TO DJ2Mello for pointing this story out!

Too often in the media we hear only negative aspects of hip hop. Rarely is the good in hip hop spotlighted like it should be.

Today is an example of something that should be front page news everywhere. Rapper/Actor Ludacris partnered with a suburban Atlanta dealership to give away twenty cars to people who desperately needed a vehicle to get to and from work and daycare.

courtesy of AP:

MORROW, Ga. — Talk about a one-man stimulus package: Grammy-winning rapper Ludacris has given away 20 cars to people who wrote about their struggles to keep their jobs for a lack of wheels of their own.

Ludacris said he was taken aback after reading thousands of essays by people struggling or unable to buy cars needed to get to and from work or find jobs. The 31-year-old rapper felt he could step in and move them ahead, partnering with a suburban Atlanta dealership for Sunday's giveaway.

"People are getting laid off, and now are looking for jobs," Ludacris said. "To be efficient, you need some transportation of your own to get there. That's why I wanted to give back to those who need it."

Each of the used vehicles included free gas for 30 days. Winning contestants were responsible for tags, registration, tax and insurance. About 4,000 contestants submitted a 300-word essay to the rapper's foundation, explaining why they deserved a car.

Ludacris is truly one of the good guys in hip hop, often working with charities and doing good things. It's a shame that some only focus on the bad when talking about him and other hip hop artists that are also doing good things.

Here's a good video that Ludacris did with Mary J. Blige about teenage runaways.

The Video stars stars Michael Rapaport (Higher Learning, Prison Break), Raquel Castro (Jersey Girl), Jon Seda (12 Monkeys, Selena, Bad Boys II), and Keke Palmer (Akeelah and the Bee)

Runaway Love

Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor pays tribute to Michael Vick. Um....

As most people know I'm a fairly avid defender of Michael Vick. Not a defender of what he DID but a defender of his right to continue to play football and to try to rehabilitate his life and his image as he does so.

That said, even I have to ask Terrelle Pryor, "what the HELL are you talking about?"

Terrelle Pryor donned eyeblack on gameday and had the word "Vick" written out in one of them.

Alright, I'm with you so far. Kinda weird but okay.

And then he takes it REAAAAAAL far out in left field.



I really don't even know what to say to that so I won't.

Accepting the sad truth about many of President Obama's detractors



Have you all heard the dastardly plan by President Obama? He's going to go on the air live on Tuesday to all the public schools and give a speech to indoctrinate your children!!! He's going to brainwash them into working hard and staying in school and doing their homework and ... wait.

What?

That's the speech? But what about all those conservatives that were talking about how this was some evil plot? I mean, they have to have a point right? They are always watching out for the children, right?

I mean I remember how back in 1991 when then President Bush Sr., gave a speech to the classrooms and told them to say no to drugs and work hard, the conservatives just went crazy and slammed the President for... wait... oh that's right... they didn't say a word. It was alright.

Oh but back in 1988 when then President Ronald Reagan gave a speech to the children in school about how taxes were "such a penalty on people that there's no incentive for them to prosper ... because they have to give so much to the government.", maaaan, the conservatives were all up in arms over Reagan's partisan speech and his indoctrin-- oh they didn't? They didn't say anything?

Well, he WAS Saint Ronnie after all, the man who could do no wrong.

But why would it be okay for those two guys to give speeches to the kids in school, but President Obama can't speak to the kids about doing their homework and staying in school and working hard?

Is it the simple fact that Obama is a Democrat? Or is it something more unsettling?

I've seen some crazy things going down over this (should be non-) story. This clip has to take the cake though in the area of "batshit craziness":



Seriously? You're crying because the President wants to give a speech to kids about working hard and staying in school? I almost feel like we need Amy Poehler and Seth Myers from Saturday Night Live to do a segment of their "Really?!?! with Seth & Amy" over this.

I've always been someone who wants desperately to see the best in people. I know that kinda doesn't jibe with my sarcastic attitude and my tendency to hate people, but deep down I don't WANT to believe that the vast majority of people out there that are dead set against Obama are doing so because he's Black.

I just don't want to accept that. Even though we have SO much piled up evidence to suggest that it is. Because if I acknowledge the fact that people are flipping out over Obama talking to kids on the very possibility that he might talk about something political, and yet no one said anything when Reagan and Bush did similar speeches (and Reagan's was pretty partisan to be honest), then I have to ask myself WHY?

Is it JUST because this time the President giving the speech is not a Republican? Is it a simple idealogical situation? Or is it racial?

As I said I abhor the idea of playing the race card here, but it HAS to be confronted finally. Many people have already made that accusation, and the entire time I acknowledge the evidence but still deferred to the idea that they just did it because of political idealogy.

But I have to at least point out that these very same people who are blasting Obama over every single thing he does, no matter what it is, are the same people who sat by while the previous President lied us into a war against a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, wiretapped regular citizens and journalists, tortured prisoners, set up death squads to take out people on foreign lands, and outed a CIA agent because her husband had the nerve to expose that the War in Iraq was based on lies.

They sat back and said nothing. And as soon as Obama starts running for office, and it looks like he has a good shot, suddenly the racists and bigots come out of the woodwork.

Death threats against the President has skyrocketed 400% since Inauguration day back in January and over 30 death threats a day. Is that a coincidence?

Now am I saying everyone that opposes Obama is doing so for racist or bigoted reasons? No, of course not. I think many oppose him on Religious reasons such as Abortion. However, I think that many of THOSE get caught up in the fervor and tend to start in with some racist talk of their own.

However the simple act of disagreeing with Obama and/or not liking Obama doesn't make youa a racist, no matter what some Conservatives would have you believe of Liberals way of thinking.

And I've begun to really be disappointed in him based on him caving on damn near everything he promised in his campaign. I'm getting to the point that I'm just so burnt out on politics in general that I don't think I'm going to be posting much more on the subject.

Some people reading this are celebrating right now. lol. I have gotten to the point where I'm disillusioned with the entire thing. And I'm not naive enough to think he was going to be the savior of politics or anything like that. My eyes weren't completely closed, mind you. I at least just wanted him to make an effort. Even if things didn't get done, at least man up and act like you're going to do what you said, not cave to Republicans who aren't going to do a damn thing for you, and will NEVER work with you on ANYTHING.

I dunno. I just hate the idea that there are so many racists out there that are just going to bed each night crying themselves to sleep over the idea that the White House is no longer "pure" in their eyes. I feel bad for them, and feel bad for our country that we have bigoted idiots like them living in it.

It's times like this that I think the most enviable people in the world are deaf dumb and blind. Because they have no idea just how horrible a place we live in.

Sep 4, 2009

Basing your beliefs on fact rather than fiction




Over the last year I've been accused of being a "homer" for Barack Obama. Why is that? Because I voted for him, and because I tend to get upset when people come to me and try to fob off PROVEN falsehoods about him, such as he was born in Kenya or he was a radical muslim or whatever.

And even though I've told people time and time again that Obama has pissed me off with numerous things since he became President, I'm still considered a shill for him and a "blind follower". Not sure how I can constantly criticize someone and still be called a "Blind follower" but hey...whatever works for you I suppose.

However while I am upset with him over various topics, including his refusal to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell, his seemingly caving on the Public Option and some other things, one thing that I don't tolerate really is people coming to me with things that are blatantly false. Trust me there are things to be upset with Obama over. But base your feelings on things that are true, not stupid emails you get filled with lies.


Since the Health Care debate has ratched up, it's become even more so with me defending him against things that REALLY shouldn't even need to be defended. Ludicrous things such as "death panels" and "forced euthanasia" and "they denied my surgery but we have to pay for abortions" and whatnot.

And yet I find myself encountering people who for the most part seem to be fairly intelligent, and yet they believe these things. And it's not really their fault completely because it's very easy to get the misinformation ball rolling, especially if you get all your news from a single source, whether it's Fox News, or something.

Those people are way more likely to believe this, because, quite frankly, that's all they are hearing.

Just like if someone only listens to MSNBC and Liberal talk radio, they're going to believe what they are being told.



We listen to what we listen to, and watch what we watch to REINFORCE beliefs we already hold. We don't appear to go to news to find out opposing views, and when we hear opposing views we tend to dismiss them and shut them out because we believe we are correct. We are TRUE BELIEVERS in that sense. It's called "Cognitive Dissonance"

However, my opinion is that you should base your beliefs on fact, rather than fiction. rather than myth and innuendo and rumors, you should investigate all sources (non-partisan as well) and hear both sides and THEN come to a conclusion.

If you already don't like Barack Obama, and you just listen to stuff saying how evil he is, more than likely you're going to reinforce your ALREADY HELD BELIEF that he's evil. And nothing is going to change that. No amount of rational arguing from someone, no amount of documented proof will change your mind.

If you believe that Obama's health care plan is going to bring about death panels, I could show you documented proof that that's not true. I could bring out the health care bill, sit down in front of you and read you the fact that it doesn't say anything about that, and it wouldn't matter.

You believe what you want to believe. We all do, even though most of us try to expand beyond that.



There are sites set up that are non-partisan, such as factcheck.org that is neither Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal. They look at both sides of the argument, and they get to the heart of what's true. If the Conservatives are lying about things, they'll expose that. If the Liberals are lying about things, they'll expose that too.

But it drives me crazy when I meet people and they believe that Obama wasn't born here. Or that Death Panels insipidness. Or that "rationing of health care" crap.

I don't think enough people understand that the Health Insurance industry is paying out 1.4 million dollars a day to lobbyists to fight Health Care reform and the Public Option. They're paying Congressman (Liberals and Conservatives) to block it because it's going to kill their chances of raping the public with premiums, and the status quo of how they're doing things.

Here's the most important aspect of this post I'm making today. If you don't like Obama. That's fine. I don't have a problem if you don't like him. But base your dislike of him on something REAL. Don't base it on lies and innuendo. Don't base it on some bullshit email you got saying that he's going to kill your grandmother, or he's going to "capturing your kids" like Glenn Beck's crazy ass did. Don't base it on this crap about a "Hitler Youth" he's going to set up, or something like that.

Base it on actual facts. Do the research, find out the REAL story behind things, and then if you have seen all the evidence, and can make a reasonable argument for why you believe what you believe, then fine.

But just don't come to me giving me these talking points that are straight out of the Republican playbook and expect me to think you're anything other than a dumbass.

And it's sad because there are people who I normally have a decent amount of respect for that believe some of the most bizarre bullshit. And I have to tell myself that we as humans are pretty stupid.

Take this scene from the opening of the 5th season of the brilliant HBO series "The Wire"

NOTE: Contains cursing. NSFW





And the thing that stands out, aside from the obvious hilarity in that scene, is the comment the one cop said to the other. The one cop says "do people really fall for this?" and the other cop says "Americans are stupid people. We pretty much believe what we're told."

And that sums up the human race as a whole I believe. Especially Americans it seems (of which I am one). We believe what we're told. If we are a Republican and we're told that Obama is evil and going to kill grandma, guess what? We'll believe it.

If we're a Democrat and we're told that Bill O'Reilly is the devil, guess what? We'll believe that too.

Not all Americans are like that, but for the most part yes.

All I can say is just base your beliefs on something real, not some conspiracy theory or what you THINK someone said or did, base it on something that's got incontrovertible facts. Get your shit down pat and base it on reality, so when people question "Why do you believe this?" you can give them more than "I listen to this radio station" or "Keith Olbermann told me" or "Bill O'Reilly said it's true" or "I got this email that...."

Wake up and educate yourselves. Don't take ANYONE's word for it. Don't take MY Word for it, but DO take this to heart: If you don't educate yourself and learn things for yourself, you're going to always be what you are. Misinformed. That's the truth, no matter whether you believe what I do or what I don't.

And that's just being real with you.

Sep 3, 2009

Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day Trailer is Here!

Finally, ten years after the original, the long rumored sequel to The Boondock Saints is finally here.

IGN premiered the red band trailer for the film.

Note: Red Band Trailer = Not Safe For Work (includes bloody killings + cursing)


Sep 1, 2009

God of War 1 & 2 coming to Playstation 3 in December




Happy Day for Playstation fans, and fans of the God of War games. Several months ago the makers of God of War III put out a poll asking what goodies the fans would want to include in a God of War III Collector's Box set. Overwhelmingly apparantly is the God of War 1 & 2 to be released on Bluray to play on the Playstation 3.

The fans have spoken and the Gods have listened.

courtesy of the Playstation Blog:

Thanks to your feedback, we are excited to announce the God of War Collection for this Holiday Season. Now fans and newcomers to the series can experience the epic journey of God of War and God of War II in 720p HD form. Both titles have been remastered with anti-aliased graphics, running at 60 frames per second for a smooth gameplay experience, only on the PS3 system. Additionally, the Blu-ray Disc compilation will bring the PlayStation Network (PSN) trophy support to the franchise for the very first time.

Jay Z - Rhapsody Commercial (Cover to Cover)

I had a few people hit me up today telling me I needed to see this Jay Z commercial. So I finally got around to seeing it and it's definitely one of the cooler things I've seen lately. In this video, you see Jay going through the various photoshoots to recreate the cover of his previous albums including "Reasonable Doubt", "Hard Knock life", "The Black Album" and more.

Very cool.