Archive for September, 2013

The Best Movie Endings

Posted in Movies & Television with tags , , on September 29, 2013 by geniusscribbleink

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“The End”; usually the statement utilized when claiming that a story has reached its finale. Of course some stories end in utter disappointment and leave you pulling out your hair follicles, knowing that you have conceded precious minutes on the continuous clock of your life, only to walk away feeling unsatisfied and unfulfilled. Of course there is parallel side to this. The parallel side are the endings that leave you gasping and in awe of their brilliance. The endings that leave you wishing for a sequel or a few more glimpses into what happened to the characters afterwards. So in lieu of “The End”, I’ve decided to compile a list of movies that I’ve seen in which their endings left you craving more. Here is my list (I promise no spoilers) of my all time favorite suspenseful movie endings, in no particular order:

The Grey (2011)-Starring Liam Neeson
Jennifer 8 (1992)-Starring Andy Garcia
Inception (2010)-Starring Leonardo DiCaprio
Seven (1995)-Starring Brad Pitt
There Will Be Blood (2007)-Starring Daniel Day-Lewis
The Usual Suspects (1995)-Starring Kevin Spacey
Hide and Seek (2005)-Starring Robert Dinero
Colombiana (2011)-Starting Zoe Saldana
Fallen (1998)-Starring Denzel Washington
Fracture (2007)-Starring Anthony Hopkins
Inside Man (2005)-Starring Denzel Washington
Now You See Me (2013)-Starring Mark Ruffalo
Haywire (2011)-Starring Gina Carano

If you are an avid movie watcher or a person who is just searching for entertainment, I promise that these movies will not disappoint from the beginning to “the end”. If they don’t, the microwave popcorn is on me. Just email me at geniusscribbleink@aol.com. Enjoy.

Mariano Rivera: The Sandman Exodus

Posted in Sports with tags , on September 26, 2013 by geniusscribbleink

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“Say your prayers little one…Don’t forget my son…To include everyone”

Inscribed on Mariano Rivera’s glove is the Bible passage Philippians 4:13, which states: “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me”. So much emphasis is often placed on the physical accomplishments to that of an athlete. We concentrate on the individual awards and his or her accomplishments and contributions to their respective sport. Often we look at their trophy cases as the means to measure greatness, as it relates to the past, present and future. Rarely are terms such as “once in a lifetime” or the “greatest of all time” tagged to the statutes of retired players, however, when it comes to Mariano Rivera, we can all but guarantee that these will be the words thrown at the feet of arguably the greatest closer in Major League Baseball history. His credentials and statistical numbers will cement his legacy in both the record books, in fandom and amongst his peers, however, I always feel that the true measure of a man is in the size of his heart. In life we can either choose to leave behind footprints to be followed in or leave behind plodding holes for others to fall into; the choice, speaks volumes about the character of the individual. In Mariano Rivera’s “walk of life” you will find the charitable footprints of a devout Christian, whose philanthropic endeavors have included building churches in Panama, New York, Mexico, California, Dominican Republic and Florida. He also started numerous foundations in an effort to help educate underprivileged youth and has built an elementary school in his native country Panama. Mariano Rivera proves that a high skill set is transferable on any level of life. This man, who has been placed into a multitude of pressure situations on the greatest stage in sports, while playing for the most storied franchise in sports lure, has excelled beyond any comparison when closing out opponents and leading his team to victory. Mariano has and will continue to exhibit this same innate ability off the field as well. The Metallica songs states “Don’t forget my son, to include everyone”. Strangely enough it mirrors Philippians 2:4 which states: “do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Mariano will be missed by Yankee fans and baseball fans abound, however, the Hall of Fame for Life, just gained a new inductee. Congratulations #42

Aaron Alexis:The Voices In My Head

Posted in News with tags , , , on September 23, 2013 by geniusscribbleink

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“Let me leave you to your own thoughts” is a phrase we often utilize when it becomes apparent that a person wishes to be left to his or her own accord. There was a time where this was thought to show a certain level of respect, as everyone is entitled to their own personal space. I will admit that at times I am a bit withdrawn from “reality” when sorting through my thoughts and when contemplating life, however, the distance between “personal space” and “social withdrawal” should be thoroughly analyzed and monitored in the reaction of that said individual when he or she is brought back into the general confines of a normal social structure. I will share a personal story on this. I worked some several years ago for a company in which I ended up having a close, personal relationship with the owner. In fact, our relationship was a rather unique one, as he would often claim that I didn’t work for him, but in fact, we worked as partners, albeit I was on his payroll. And much like all connections or bonding rituals we have with each other that form a relationship on any level, you can always get a good sense of that person’s mood or temperament, due to your consistent intermingling with one another. Their tendencies and reactions become transparent, as who they are emotionally becomes available to the naked eye much like that of their physical appearance. Low and behold, you end up knowing them just as well as you know yourself. Well, this was the case with my former boss at the time. I knew him on that level and we had become friends more so than just a coexisting work stewardship. In knowing his tendencies very well after working closely together for three plus years, my instinctive antenna was very alert to sensing when something did not seem normal. My boss was a brilliant man, in fact, there are very few people that I have met in my lifetime that were more intelligent and more creative then he was. He was unbelievably talented and witty. I am willing to wager that anyone who had a chance to get to know him, would say that he was a unique, one of a kind, individual who grabbed the reigns of life and rode it like a stallion. So, as I reflect on those “instinctive antennas” we have regarding a person, I will recall verbatim, one day in particular that would forever change my life.

It was a very busy Friday afternoon and I was concluding my work day. My boss, who could be a P.I.T.A at times (pain in the ass and I say that affectionately), came into the office and for once did not come over to be his usual, annoying self, as only he could be. He was always the last minute person, who would hold you in a conversation “right when it was time to go” or had some “last minute paperwork” that suddenly had “Priority” stamped across it. Like I said, he was a P.I.T.A. But on this day in particular something felt different. This man was about as anal retentive as you can get, which made for a perfect pairing between both he and I, because I am wired the same way. In fact, I found it interesting that as he entered the office that day, that I found myself playing the role that was customarily played by him. I needed him to sign some documents that were time sensitive, as my day was winding down and I was ready to start my weekend. When I requested his signature, he looked at me in an exhaustive manner and said very little to me. His seemingly unresponsive demeanor I found to be more annoying than his usual iron fist persona. His sudden lack of focus and intensity was throwing off our normal routine. Finally he would lethargically sign the documents and quickly escape to his office and shut the door behind him. At the time of his exodus, the phones would begin to ring more than usual. Now keep in mind, both of our offices were adjoined and separated by a single door. My boss was the annoying type who would pick-up a phone-line on the first ring because he thought you didn’t answer it quick enough (remember I said he was a P.I.T.A.). However on this day, I would end up fielding multiple calls as he sat quietly in his office. Now I would be lying if I didn’t say that I was annoyed and pissed, as a WTF did slip from under my breath, as one of the the calls I fielded was a personal one for him. I called out to him in his office “……..Phone For You!” and there was no response. I repeated again “……..Phone For You!”, this time louder. Again, no response. So of course I am ticked off now, so I go into his office and he was nowhere to be found. Once again WTF? Both of our offices were adjoined, but there was also a loft area connected to the other side of his office. So I storm into that area, expecting to find him farting around with meaningless things, only to find quite the opposite. I found him, sitting in a chair, lights turned completely down, staring off into the darkness. I had entered the room (6-ft 1-inch 250 lb. man) and he had no idea I was standing there in front of him. I abruptly called out his name to get his attention and asked him if he was ok? He said yes as I stared intensely at him. He appeared as if I had awaken him from some sort of a trance. He was mentally submerged inside of a place that only he knew about and had no plans to take anyone else there with him. He was in a dark room having what I described as a dark moment. I had never seen him like that way before. I asked him several times, before parting ways for the weekend, whether or not he was ok. He insisted he was. I would go home to my wife and voice my concern for his well being, as I feared that something was just not right. I came into work that following Monday morning, only to discover that he had checked himself into a Psych Ward for evaluation. He called to tell me that he had what he described as a “slight snafu”and that he would be working towards returning back to work in a few days. He returned back as planned, but it would be some four weeks later in which he would ultimately take his own life, by way of shotgun to his head, right outside my office while I was working. A tragic ending to what was once an inspiring life. I would learn soon after his death, that his family had a history of mental illness. #r.i.p-“ooky”

In the wake of the tragedy that is the Navy Yard shooting in Washington, it brought me back to the incident I recounted above, as the alleged shooter, Aaron Alexis, was said to have heard voices in his head and was having problems sleeping. I am not sure about the voices, but I can confirm that my boss did have issues with sleeping. Much like Aaron’s issues leading up to his alleged mass killing of 12 victims at the Navy Yard, which included illegally discharging firearms, my boss was discovered shooting his guns in the field by a next door neighbor, days before his suicide as well. The correlation between violence and mental health should be at the forefront of the gun control debate. In 2005, a report conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, concluded that over half of the incarcerated individuals in jail for violent crimes, suffer from some sort of mental disorder. What gets lost in the issue of gun control is the fact that the Second Amendment is being flashed like a badge instead of being utilized as a shield. If anyone can have a gun and we can surmise that everyone is not mentally capable of having a gun, does this not breathe air into the argument for strict gun policies to be instituted? It is the inalienable right of anyone who is age eligible and is able to pass a state required exam, to have a drivers license, up until you are caught impaired while operating a vehicle. Why not have that same evaluation standard when handing out guns? If a car can be considered a weapon, then why can’t an actual weapon not be viewed under the same pretense of what it was created to do, which is to kill? If statistics are showing us that half of our prison population are violent felons who are suffering from mental disorders, then we have failures in both our educational systems and in our federal/state systems for their allowance in letting a crack in the armor, turn into a gaping hole that is swallowing the life of both the afflicted and the victim. Solutions are never easy, however, identifying the actual problem, allows logical ideas to formulate that can lead to resolution, as long as their is no hidden agendas. “Hidden agendas”, yes, the molten lava surrounding the castle of government that will never allow real truth and real democracy to cross the bridge unless by way of Trojan Horse. Americans are led to be divisive by choosing a side of the fence to be on, however, if we can conclude that death is a permanent reminder of how precious time and life are, then why not also conclude that the taking of ones life involuntarily by way of a violent act, is a grave concern of us all and not just an agenda of those who are allegedly trying to revoke privilege? Perhaps violence has numbed our nation to point that it has chilled the chambers of our hearts. Maybe this is why we fail to preserve life, yet vehemently endorse the weapon. Perhaps “the voices in the head” are not always detectable, but in the case of Mr. Alexis, he exhibited violent tendencies and alerted those who needed to know, that he was mentally unstable. So I ask, how does he end up with any sort of weapon given his condition? Innocent lives are loss when the system fails to protect the innocent. The amazing dynamic is that many Americans will drown themselves in supposed “patriotism” while losing site to that of the humanitarian within. When games like Grand Theft Auto V earn $1 billion dollars in three days, it speaks volumes about us as a culture. When the mentally afflicted are ignored and addressed later in life by way of a state correctional facility, it means that we have truly reached a dark time in this country where nobody is ever truly safe. #change

In Review: The Movie: Prisoners

Posted in Movies & Television with tags , , , , on September 21, 2013 by geniusscribbleink

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For 2 Hours and 33 Minutes, you become the prisoner of both the moment and a long drawn out movie script. Let us start with the bad first. The movie can lull you into complacency as you await its climatic peak, except for the fact that the peak never “really” actually occurs. One would think that with a lineup of accomplished actors like Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), Viola Davis (The Help) and Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain), that the acting would far surpass the script, however, their performances made them seem like virtual unknowns. The storyline is centered around two families whose daughters were both abducted at the same time while playing outside together. Of course the plot is driven by the search that ensues to find the missing girls. Usually there’s an emotional attachment you have with one particular actor that is portraying the parent of the missing child, however, I struggled to connect with any of them. My issue with the plot is that I wanted more “police work” injected into the meat of the story as Jake Gyllenhaal’s character seems like a lone sheriff in the Okay Corral. Now there are good things about this movie; it is suspenseful and it contains an assortment of complex individuals that make you wonder just who is behind the abduction. Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine) by far delivers the best performance in his role as the creepy introvert Alex Jones. Overall, Prisoners is a solid movie with a long winded plot. If you are expecting to be wooed by the lead cast members, then you will be highly disappointed. The supporting cast really makes this film work. It’s matinee worthy, but can be full price disappointing. If you can wait, Redbox it. Enjoy.

In Review: The Movie: World War Z

Posted in Movies & Television with tags , , , on September 18, 2013 by geniusscribbleink

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World War Z or World War Zzzzzzz? Perhaps I didn’t get my membership to the Zombie Fan Club, as I have never really followed shows like The Walking Dead or movies like Zombieland or Shaun of The Dead. I actually do enjoy some of the Resident Evil movies, however, people walking around looking like individuals who partook in the Crack-Cocaine renaissance never quite tickled my fancy. But of course, much like other overhyped movies, I found myself splurging that $1.20 at my local Redbox to satisfy my curiosity; and needless to say, I overpaid by $1.00. The plot was about as unimaginative as Brad Pitt’s “in character” persona, as the zombies (who only screeched, contorted their bodies and snacked on flesh) far surpassed his performance by miles. They took the brilliant actress Mireille Enos (AMC’s The Killing) and managed to make her insignificant, as if she was merely a zombie extra. Then I had revisionist history as I felt like I was watching Will Smith to the second power, as this movie reminded me of Independence Day meets I Am Legend. Both had big budgets and both were highly disappointing and so was World War Z. And without giving away possibly one of the worse deflating endings, could they have just played it a bit more coy that a sequel was in the works? If I hear “the war is not over” at the end of another movie, I’m going to lose the butter on my popcorn. If you are into horrible acting, zombies and lackluster plots that you figure out in the first five minutes, then this movie is for you. But if you are like me and realize that a little extra change added to $1.20 could get you two things off the dollar menu, then do the right thing and head to the drive thru. I cannot recommend this movie.

The Bible Of Bob Marley

Posted in Music with tags on September 17, 2013 by geniusscribbleink

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When I think of song writing, my immediate response is Robert Nesta Marley. One would have to prove to me that there has ever been a greater song writer in the history of music; as his words of wisdom extend far beyond the realms of conventional music. I consider them to be philosophical and prophetic. I shared a quote yesterday from one of my favorite songs of his (Redemption Song) and found that my friends responded in a positive way upon reading it. It was from there that I came up with the concept of this blog. Once again I’ll reiterate, I have always thought of Bob Marley as more of prophet and a philosopher, so I started to gather pieces of his songs and adjoin them together. The finish product I entitled “The Bible of Bob Marley”. It reads as follows:

See the morning sun, the morning sun, on the hillside (Soul Rebel). When ya see Jah light.
Let me tell you if you’re not wrong, everything is all right (Exodus). You can lively up yourself and don’t be no drag (Lively Up Yourself). Just concentrate, ’cause heaven lives on (African Herbsman). So much trouble in the world, bless my eyes this morning (So Much Trouble In The World). My heart says follow t’rough (Waiting In Vain). Is this love that I’m feelin’?(Is This Love) To think that we could get along?(Stand Alone). These are the words of my master, keep on tellin’ me (Small Axe). Bend down low, let me tell you what I know (Bend Down Low). Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds (Redemption Song). I’ve got to pick myself from off the ground in this a concrete jungle (Concrete Jungle). I heard my mother, she was praying. And the words that she said, they still linger in my head. She said, “A child is born in this world, he needs protection” (High Tide or Low Tide). Open up your heart (Mellow Mood). ‘Cause we’re moving right out of Babylon (Africa Unite). If I count there’ll be a million or two (Stand Alone). This was cause through love and affection (All In One). Have pity on those whose chances grow thinner. There ain’t no hiding place from the Father of Creation (One Love). I say Lord, I’ve got to keep on moving (Keep On Moving). I wanna know when you’re gonna come – soon (Waiting In Vain). You see things are not the way they used to be. I won’t tell no lies. One and all got to face reality… yeah (Natural Mystic). From Mandeville to slide-a-ville, coffin runnin’ around (Mr. Brown). Good Lord, help me (Put It On). What more can I do?(How Many Times). No bullet can stop us now, we neither beg nor will we bow (Jamming). Only the fittest of the fittest shall survive (Could You Be Loved). But there is just one thing I would like you to know, oh (Caution). Though the road is rocky (Rainbow Country). Above the falling rain (Kaya). Hypocrites and parasites will come up and take a bite (Who The Cap Fit). Some a lawful, some a bastard, some a jacket (Rat Race). If you hope good down from above (No More Troubles). We’ll be forever loving Jah (Loving Jah). We’re more than sand on the seashore, we’re more than numbers (Wake Up And Live). Oh, children, Zion train is comin’ our way; get on board now (Zion Train). Why not help one another on the way? (Positive Vibration). You’ll find your redemption and then you give us the teachings of his Majesty; for we no want no devil philosophy (One Drop). Forget your troubles and dance! Forget your sorrows and dance! Forget your sickness and dance! Forget your weakness and dance! (Them Belly But We Hungry). We’re the survivors (Survival). So let the words of our mouth and the meditations of our hearts, be acceptable in thy sight (By The Rivers of Babylon). We’re coming in from the cold (Coming In From The Cold).

Top 10 Movie Characters You Don’t Want As Neighbors

Posted in Movies & Television with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2013 by geniusscribbleink

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I am not quite sure if this list that I compiled is extremely accurate from the standpoint of the fact that I have watched a ton of movies over my lifetime. It usually requires me to extensively search the archives of my memory to recall them all, as I have probably forgotten more movies than most have taken the time to actually watch. So if you see a part two or a part three version of this list in the future, don’t be surprised. It is my own, personal belief that a movie is only as good as the portrayal/performance of the featured antagonist. Some of our most memorable characters in movies are usually those that are so polarizing, that one line from the movie, will trigger a thought inside your mind that will remind you of just how menacing they were. Lines like “Poor little Clarice”, “Say hello to my little friend”, “No, I am your father” and “Here’s Johnny” all have left their indelible marks on movie history. So in staying true to my movie obsessed ways, I started to recall some of the memorable antagonists that may not go down in the annals of Oscar caliber performances; however, they do deserve recognition for making “being bad” look so damn good to the point where you ponder whether people like this really exist in society. I decided, due to their beyond believable performances, to place them into my personal category that I entitled “Movie Characters You Don’t Want As Neighbors”. Here’s my “tentative” Top 10 list in no particular order:

John Lithgow (Earl Talbot Blake) Ricochet (1991)
Jeffrey Wright (People’s Hernandez) Shaft (2000)
John Travolta (Dennis Ford) The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009)
Tom Cruise (Vincent) Collateral (2004)
Michael Eklund (Michael Foster) The Call (2013)
Kevin Costner (Earl Brooks) Mr. Brooks (2007)
Javier Bardem (Raoul Silva) Skyfall (2012)
Isabelle Fuhrman (Ester) Orphan (2009)
Edward Norton (Aaron Sampler) Primal Fear (1996)
Lynn Whitfeld (Victoria) Madea’s Family Reunion (2006)

I am willing to guarantee that this aforementioned list, will cause you to lock your doors and shut your blinds. If not, the microwave popcorn is on me. #Enjoy

A Black Man In A Blue Dress

Posted in Trending with tags , , , on September 13, 2013 by geniusscribbleink

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In my short blogging career I’ve come to realize that there are times when a subject matter often writes itself, as I find myself pretty much just having to navigate the proper words or context in a fashion that will hopefully inspire a healthy dialogue between both myself and the reader. With that being said, there is a flip side to this as well. There are occasions where you have a subject matter that won’t write itself, due to the fact it requires extensive research and also requires a certain level of sensitivity to be attached to it. So as I broach this particular subject matter, I wanted to be cognizant of how it may be perceived, but at the same time I wanted to be truthful in my walk and righteous in my stance. And for the record, words do kill just as much as people do, so it’s very important that we chose them with conscious wisdom.

As I begin my elocution on this subject, let me first preference by saying that I can care less about one’s sexual preference. I have a strong belief that the bedroom is a private matter and not a public matter. I am not one of those public affection displayers that kiss every five seconds and gaze into my wife’s eyes like hypnosis. In fact, I’m a pretty dialed down man for the most part. I enjoy holding hands in public, getting the door for my woman and dancing with her when the right song is playing. Back in the day this was called “courting”, something that these young and older cats could stand to learn a thing or two about (yes I’m old school to a fault). So, in moving forward with my procession of thought, I do recognize what the Bible has said regarding homosexuality etc; however it is believed that only Noah came close to perfection in God’s eyes with regards to righteousness. The rest of us are believed to have fallen short of his expectations and are believed to be sinners to some degree. If anyone claims to be removed completely from sin, then I truly hope that I am not standing next to you during a lightning barrage anytime soon. I will never claim to know what is completely right or wrong, as God is said to operate in the mysterious. I will quantify the idea of “sin” by saying that our personal, moral gauges seem to always let us know if we are in the wrong or right places; therefore, assess accordingly. Ok, now that my sensitivity training wheels have been established, lets discuss my topic: A Black Man in a Blue Dress.

I am a follower of trends, as I believe that trends are the truest indicators of what society’s actual pulse or temperament is. I have often turned to music, namely Hip Hop music, to get an understanding of the mental conscious of black youth. Hip Hop, over the past several decades, has been what I call “the town cryer” of our communities. If this seems far fetched, then let me theorize. In the 70’s (post Vietnam War), we would see the birth of Hip Hop in the form of block parties, as the struggling and misplaced youth of single parent households that saw black fathers die from war, become heroin addicted or incarcerated, searched for direction out of an impoverished community. The old adage is “when you don’t have, you pretend”. We would see this type of bravado being displayed in the song “Rapper’s Delight” (1979), as the ghetto dwelling M.C. boasted “after school, I take a dip in the pool, which is really on the wall…”. This song, laced in Disco rhythm, would introduce Hip Hop to the airwaves, therefore helping us to gain the “acceptance” into what was once denied to us, which is mainstream America. Now I’m not trying to give a history lesson on Hip Hop music, I just want to establish the conscious mentality and the type of music trend that derived from it. The 80’s saw songs like “White Lines” and “The Message”, which were the “now that I got your attention (Rapper’s Delight), let me tell you about our condition” songs. The “message” was that there’s “broken glass everywhere, people pissing on the stairs, you know they just don’t care. I can’t take the smell, I can’t take the noise, got no money to move out, I guess I got no choice”. So we went from wanting “acceptance”, which we got; then in turn we would send a “message” to tell the world what was happening in our neighborhood. Our next trend would be “opportunity” as people like Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin would get epiphanies and think along the lines of, if they “accepted” the “message” that was sent, then we now have an “opportunity” to create something that is marketable to the audience in the form of fusion, by combining rock music (MTV and Rock Music heavily ruled the early 80s) with hip hop lyricist, but making sure that the group or product was acceptable to both the streets (RUN-DMC resembled street drug dealers in their appearance) and metal heads alike (hence the guitar riffs and drum patterns in their music). The first Hip Hop song on MTV? RUN-DMC’s Rock Box. Ok, I feel like I’m getting away from my subject matter, so I’m going to transition my way into my subject matter in the form of my last mental consciousness that I like to refer to as “the flood gates”.

“The Flood Gates” should not be confused with reinvention. In order to bring forth new level of consciousness, much like resuscitation, you have to breathe new air into it. We saw elements of black consciousness with Rakim, KRS-1 and Public Enemy. We saw marketable transition with Will Smith and Queen Latifah. We also witnessed a rebirth of Hip Hop’s “message” in its migration to the West Coast with groups like NWA. Yes “the flood gates” were completely open. But much like any conventional great flood; someone, somewhere, is guaranteed to drown. We got “acceptance” and sent a “message” that there’s an “opportunity” available to all, and the “flood gates” opened up wide. Amongst those in the rapids of the flood were “the thinker”, “the marketer” and “the swindler”. Let us focus in on the latter.

Swindler is derived from the German term Schwindler, which means “promoter of wild schemes”. Hip Hop would see Sean Combs, take this to great heights as he would take what was once considered “underground” or “hardcore” hip hop artists like The Lox, Mase (originally known as Murder Mase) and the Notorious B.I.G (BIG meant Bullet In the Gut not his weight) and would turn them all, with Notorious being somewhat of the exception, into R&B divas, presenting them to the mainstream audience drenched in diamonds, dressed in sequin outfits, rapping about material possessions while advertising major labels of companies in their lyrics like Versace, Christal, Moschino and Chanel; just to name a few. None of the aforementioned companies were relevant to urban communities, nor would they reinvest in urban youth, however, this era of “balling and shot calling”, with shiny suits and designer saturated lyrics, took the once urban male who was still in his masculine form wearing loose fitting jeans, baggy sweaters and boots; and feminized him. Now let me be clear, there is nothing wrong with dressing nice in a tailored suit “that fits you” or wear cologne and look polished and groomed; that’s not who I’m addressing. I am addressing what is perceived as “the way to get where you are going” by resigning to the blueprint or precedent set by those who are empowered and influential. To suggest to young black men, who Sean Combs can relate to being that he grew up in a single parent household with his mother, that masculinity is borrowing from the wardrobe to that of a female is both dangerous and irresponsible. Black men have had absentee father issues to begin with and usually reside under their mother’s guidance due to whatever applicable scenario that fits the situation at hand. The last thing a young black man, who needs role models in order to aspires to become one himself, should ever have in his thought process is that acceptable behavior is abandoning your children and searching through your mother’s closet to borrow her clothes. I’m not talking about gay versus straight men, I’m addressing influences of acceptance. If you are a gay black man, fine, be a role model for those who are just like you. But if you are heterosexual black male, then why are you toeing the line or “gender bending” for the sake of financial gain? Why influence an impressionable mind with ideas that are not suited or conducive to the struggles that both black men and black households face on a daily basis? We have young black men walking around with their pants hanging off their behinds like its a fashion statement, not understanding that they are mimicking prison etiquette for a male who is looking to be intimate with another male inmate. Yes, “the swindler” will serve a lioness her own cubs and call it pâte, not understanding the genocidal regurgitation that is being committed. From Sean Combs, comes Kanye West (also from a single parent household as well) promoting jeans that barely fit and show off the male sexual reproduction organ while exposing the buttocks as well. The last time I checked, we called that advertisement; but who are you advertising to? And to make matters even more complex, Kanye is wearing supposed “kilts” that look more dress like in appearance. Outright alarming. This feminization of straight black men was never in the forefront of my thought process until an interview Dave Chapelle did with Oprah Winfrey. He recalled how when he was working on set with Martin Lawrence for the movie Blue Streak, that he was approached and somewhat harassed by a bevy of producers who were insistent on him donning a dress for a scene in the movie after he emphatically stated no several times. Chapelle would go on to elaborate to us on how he found it disturbing that black male comedians were always placed in dresses to conjure humor. It was then that I realized he was correct, as all the greats: Flip Wilson, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, Jamie Foxx, Tyler Perry, Ricky Smiley and Cedric The Entertainer, all have worn women’s attire in front of the camera. Although entertaining, it brings up the question as to why this has become an unremovable staple in the black comedic package and now a relevant page inside the Hip Hop handbook? What is the driving element fueling the engine behind the feminization of the black male? Is it initialized by corporations trying to tear down the black male image or is it a self inflicted black gun wound driven by lust and greed? Either way, the trend is headed down an extremely destructive path that is lending credence to the potential annihilation and extinction of the black male figure. We need, now more than ever, to pull up our pants, tuck in our shirts, groom our hair and put the dress down. It’s time to man up.

In the wake of D.J Mister Cee’s latest allegations of soliciting transvestites for the second time in a short span of time, it made me wonder aloud, why is he hiding who he is, especially given the active element of feminism that exists in the mainstream? If you are gay, then be gay, it’s your inalienable rights to be so. But if you are not gay, then ask yourself what is behind your promoting of feminism to straight black men? It’s one thing to be manicured, dressed to impress and be well groom, however toeing the gender line becomes actively gray in many, many ways. Free expression is one thing, but cameras make role models; like it or not. We owe responsibility to viewers, nothing more, nothing less. We cannot continue to show up to the dance sporting a trimmed beard while wearing a blue dress. Imitation is a form of flattery, however, imitating ignorance is just idiotic. Be aware of the trends you follow.

U.S. Drug Dealers: From The Curb to The Suburb

Posted in Trending with tags , , , , , , on September 11, 2013 by geniusscribbleink

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“You follow drugs, you get drug addicts and drug dealers. But you start to follow the money, and you don’t know where the f%%% it’s gonna take you.” -HBO’s The Wire

“The American Dream” is often sold and packaged with terms like “freedom of speech” and “equal opportunity”. I, on the other hand, believe that no speech is ever free and that equality is a pipe dream sold to patrons at the casinos in Las Vegas. The so called “American Dream” of our great country has and will forever be defined by one word and one word only; capitalism. We pledge our allegiance and cover our hearts in unison for the star and stripes, all while entrusting what this country values the most to God, which is the almighty dollar. In fact, if we revisit the roots of dehumanization throughout American history, from the genocide of Native Americans, the enslavement of blacks to the Civil & Revolutionary Wars; a lust for money has always been at the undeniable forefront of the odium contingencies in all instances. Greed and Glutton are amongst the seven deadly sins, as they are the truest elements of over indulgence due to the fact that they both blatantly disregard the needs of others. Matthew 19:24 states “Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” This is not to indict those who are successful and have fulfilled their potential at the highest level, as it is often an individuals “sweat-equity” that catapults him or her to the top of their respective fields. In fact, a self-made individual should be commended and admired. But success is not what this is about. I am concentrating on the “at any cost” individual or group, that will feed you poison and call it baby food. I am talking about the individual(s) who will run over an elderly person and blame them for being in the way. Yes I am talking about the true menaces to society; the street drug dealer and the suburban cartel better known as pharmaceutical companies.

The word “pharmacology” originates from two words in the classic Greek language; “Pharmakon”, which means poison and “Logia” which means the study of. From an inquiring mind that wants to know, I often wonder who determines what is a good poison versus a bad poison? The FDA is said to be the organization responsible for protecting and promoting public health through regulatory standards, however, we see a factual amount of their “acceptable products” being advertised on television with a long list of dangerous disclaimers as it relates to side effects. Often times, the images associated with “drug dealers” are that of the urban indigenous minority, who blares hip music, speaks with street vernacular and is believed to have no remorse for selling a dangerous poison to their community. Well this description is accurate “if” you allow television and movies to carve out your perception; however, can we not align those same profiling staples to that of a pharmaceutical representative as well? Do they not in theory, peddle “their” drugs to would be clients while dressing to impress, all for a financial gain with no regards to the potential side effects or addictive aspects that their product could inflict? Many may believe that I am stretching the proverbial rubber band with my analogy, however when we examine the information compiled by WebMD, we find a laundry list of prescription and over the counter drugs that are commonly being abused. Amongst the list are the following drugs: Barbiturates, Valium, Vicodin, Xanax, Ambien, Codeine, Percocet and Robitussin. When we factor in another FDA approved drug, tobacco, we find that the depth of the “addiction well” seems to be somewhat bottomless. For so long, marijuana, cocaine, heroin and now Molly’s, were all considered the gold standard for recreational drugs, but now we see more and more cases of doctors losing their practices and doing prison stints for writing unwarranted prescriptions in exchange for money. Opioid Pain Relievers, in a study conducted by CDC, were said to be responsible for more deaths than illegal narcotics in 2011. So the question remains, who determines what is a good poison versus a bad poison? Who decides what is illegal versus legal and by what standard is that determined or judged by? If the legal drugs like alcohol, tobacco, over the counter and prescription drugs are killing just as many people as other illegal drugs, then should all drugs be made legal? Alcohol is by far more destructive from a societal standpoint (I.E.: vehicular homicide, domestic violence, sexual assaults) where as marijuana has been proven to be the complete opposite. So dare one conclude that economics plays a part in this? Does the fact that marijuana could be manufactured in anyones back yard and require no government assistance (a.k.a. taxes) play a part in why it remains illegal? They cannot say its for public safety reasons, as the FDA has shown us time and time again that they don’t give a mother scooter about our well being, given their questionable track record regarding safe drugs versus unsafe drugs. So can we conclude that if we follow the money trail, that its path will begin where the moral compass of the drug distributors end? Maybe this is the dichotomy of the “American Fiend” to that of the “American Dream”. Perhaps this is our brains on drugs. Where is Nancy Reagan’s fried egg when you need it?

Such an interesting calamity is the evolution of the U.S. drug dealer, as his plight has gone from the curbs to the suburbs. The power of stereotypical imagery has us searching for the Tony Montana’s and Nino Browns of the world, instead of focusing on the non fictional criminals like Dr. William Conway, Dr. Michael Durante and the infamous Dr. Conrad Murray. Our country is by far the largest drug store in the world on many different levels, whether on the streets, over the counter, in a doctors office and dare I say even at our own dinner tables. Who decides what is a good poison and a bad poison, may be answered with a simple response which is, it depends on whose hand is in whose pocket. The American public lacks awareness and at the same time trust that others have their best interest at heart. Maybe America needs to listen to more classic Rhythm and Blues, as it was the famous group The O’Jays who stated a long time ago that “for the love of money, people don’t care who they hurt or beat”. As we move forward in time, where the public at large will end up is still debatable; however much like U.S history, until the truth is revealed, drugs and the driving components behind it will forever lay in the shadowy mist of street corners and well lit doctors’ offices. This country, for all its greatness, will only further fracture it’s foundation and ultimately fall on its own sword if we continue to remain parked in stalled-out cars on the information highway, waiting to be towed towards information by others. #I-smh often

84.72% of Serena Williams

Posted in Sports with tags , , , , on September 9, 2013 by geniusscribbleink

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Title Nine states that: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity….”. Although the intricacies of this said law has been touted as the allowance of females to participate in athletic programs on both the high school and collegiate levels; Title Nine never actually states anything regarding sports. It’s main function was to fight against the inequalities levied against the female population as it relates to their place amongst men in a societal structure. Although race has been noted as the greatest of the biases executed throughout history, one could challenge that gender bias is all but a close second in the pecking order. If we dig deeper into the trench that is life, we see examples of this Biblically, as the women throughout the text are often referred to as “the mother of”, “the daughter of”‘, “the wife of”, with the exception of only a few individuals like Jezebel (Queen of Israel) and Jael (Heroine responsible for delivering Israel from King Jabin). Yes, the role of women in society is usually that of an asterisk or an afterthought. Even in our casual references, we still hear amongst a collaboration of male, testosterone laced conversations, that “he plays like a girl” or “he hits like a woman”. I often find myself asking if that “woman he plays like or hits like” happened to be Laila Ali or Rhonda Rousey, would they actually stand unguarded and allow them to free swing at their jaw? And just how many men who actually snub and snide Danica Patrick, really could drive full throttle like her without killing themselves on the first lap? We saw this discriminatory plague become somewhat cured in 1973, in the famed “Battle of Sexes” tennis match between Billy Jean King and Bobby Riggs. Billy Jean King (female) would go on to defeat Bobby Riggs (male) in a exhibition match after Riggs boasted that the female game was inferior to that of its male contemporary’s. This is a perfect segue into my subject of interest and why 84.72% of Serena Williams still seems to not be enough.

We live at the apex of the social media era, where as nothing happens without someone having a camera or recording device to capture it. As the waning moments of 2013’s US Open Women’s Championship match had concluded (fascinating match by the way) with Serena Williams capturing her fifth championship of the annual tournament for the second straight year in a row, all I could think about was crickets. I knew that the minute the camera would close its eye on Arthur Ashe Stadium and the world media would have concluded its final photo-ops with the participants, that this great event that ended up becoming the longest tennis match in women’s history would be quickly replaced by snarling Cowboy fans cheering mediocrity or upset NY Giant fans who are seeking to trade their entire team after one game as if it was the Super Bowl. Meanwhile a real sporting story for the ages is being covered like a junior varsity game. Serena Williams in this modern era of sports has a resume that exceeds Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Colin Kaepernick, RGIII, and many more of the other overhyped mechanisms that ESPN and endorsement driven manufacturers display in their collective ad campaigns. Since 1999, Serena Williams has captured 17 Grand Slam Championships. That’s three more than the Tiger Woods has captured in golf majors, with his last win coming in 2008. Yet still, we find Tiger’s face plastered all over ESPN as a loser. We see Lebron James, who albeit dominant at times, struggle against inferior teams that Michael Jordan would have devoured in his sleep. Yet, he gets more publicity than Lady GaGa performing at a nun convention for winning two championships in ten years. Experts claim that he’s the best in the world. Really? So if the best in the world is based on struggling to dominate or not being relevant since 2008, then to borrow a line from the movie Titanic, Serena Williams must be the “King (Queen) of the World!” Serena, for mathematical purposes, has won 84.72% of her career matches. If we round it up that means there’s an 85% chance that she will win every time she touches a tennis racket. If this was a man, the words “immortal” and “God Like” would be phrases offered up to describe such dominance. If someone was to tell you that eight and half out of ten tries that you were predestined for success, most of us would ask to see their medicine cabinet to check for hallucinogens, because its unheard of. So why is Serena not mentioned amongst the greatest athletes? I’m not talking female athletes, I’m talking the entire sports population. Men are celebrated for mediocrity, so why is it that she is not celebrated heavily, ala Michael Jordan , especially when her dominance is more Michael like than any other male athlete. Maybe Title Nine is mere window dressing for a male locker room to coverup the “Only Men Allowed Beyond This Point” sign hanging over the entrance. Perhaps the industry, much like tennis, needs a line judge, because this ball has sailed way out of bounds and we are in desperate need of a tie breaker. Serena Williams is a once in a lifetime athlete who deserves more than financial rewards for her accomplishments. She deserves recognition and the accolades equivalent that of her championship peers and not to that of her gender. #17 and counting