Archive for April, 2014

Racism In The Work Place

Posted in News, Sports with tags , , , on April 29, 2014 by geniusscribbleink

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“Dear Mr. Nigger”,

“I hope you don’t break the Babe’s record. How do I tell my kids that a nigger did it. But it took, more at bats, live ball, and other nigger tricks. I wish you the worst at any thing you do nigger! KKK (forever)”.

How does one conceptualize the ideas of death when it looms over them like an omnipresent dark cloud of terrorism? The relentless tirade of exhaustive torment in knowing that your mere presence at your place of occupational labor would require FBI protection, all but speaks epic volumes about the deep seeded venomous plague that is racism in America. This letter in particular was addressed to baseball legend Henry Aaron during his campaign towards eclipsing the longstanding all time home run record test was then held by the iconic Babe Ruth. This was one of many poisonous darts spewed in the direction of Henry Aaron during this era of social injustices and social unrest. Henry Aaron would also receive countless death threats, one famously known as the “Man In The Red Jacket”, in which a man described in a letter written to Henry Aaron that he would shoot him during a random game and that Henry Aaron would know who he was because he would be wearing a red jacket. This prompted Henry Aaron to tell his teammates not to sit next to him while in the dugout for fear that they too could be victimized by the looming threat of an assailants bullet meant for him. As we are once again amidst yet another racially fueled social matter in the realms of sports with the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers Donald Sterling; I find it extremely shocking that people are actually shocked. We can skip his well renowned history that could be a recipe for Bigotry 101 and go straight to the bigger picture. The bigger picture is one simple ponderous: “What has really changed in America?” We can retort by saying that economically we are afforded greater opportunity of financial gain, however that still does not sever the root on the tree of woes that has existed some 500 plus years. And what has existed for more than 500 years is the tradition of racism. Now have we moved forward from an ancestral perspective? The answer to that question is yes. But is the war over? The answer to that is a resounding “hell no!”. This issue of Donald Sterling was a necessary wake up trumpet for not only African-Americans, but for America as a whole. The money, the fame and the comfort continues to pacify and tranquillize the dragon that has pillaged this great nation for ions with flames of inequality and inhumane treatment. And dare I say that the African-Americans have been part and parcel in contributing to this with minstrel television and minstrel music acts all for the sake of selling out for the almighty dollar. There is a responsibility to educate and become more proactive in our plight towards abolishing racism and moving towards a better tomorrow. It is not just a certain culture or race’s responsibility, it is an American responsibility. In an era that elected the first African-American president only to see a constituent contemporary wag her finger dismissively in his face like an unwanted child, speaks strongly of this country’s temperament and the fact that our work is far from being complete. The Donald Sterlings and the Daniel Snyders of the world need to be made examples of. How racial epithets as logos and plantation mentalities continues to exists in this day and time falls on the lap of Caucasian Americans as well. To remain silent is to accept, your voices in these matters need to come to the forefront as well. #we are a work in progress

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Derek Jeter: Class Is In Session

Posted in Sports with tags , on April 18, 2014 by geniusscribbleink

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Perpetual greatness is often what many of us aspire to achieve. To reach this pinnacle, one must be willing to submerge his or her self into a continuum of relentless sacrifice and a non-stop work ethic, all while being held to the baptismal “fire and brimstone” of high criticism, as well as, the forever present adverse vicissitudes of life. The saying goes “Many are called, but the chosen are few”, as we are rarely able to bear witness to prolific greatness that is combined with a personification of unparalleled class and dignity. In an era of social media, along with, living inside a fish bowl of a metropolis that is widely known as the “Center of The World”; to believe that a non-married, wealthy, and often believed to be, amorous, modern-day athlete could leave behind a legacy filled with crowning accolades, record-setting performances and a resume of multiple championships without a fault or blemishes attached to them; all but solidifies a career worthy of being immortalized in the form of a statuesque, bronze casting. Our infatuation with being voyeurs to awaiting train wrecks, has all but diluted and tainted the definition of what a true role model entails. We often marvel at the charismatic cache of the iconic figures, but never truly revel enough inside the realms of their character. No one expects perfection, however, there is something to be said about being well polished and professional. There is also something to be said about being an agent of diligence and dedication. The unfortunate temperament of the moralistic fiber of the collective compass of human society, makes the penchant to routinely witness such individuals uniquely rare. The terminology of “Once In A Lifetime” is reserved for those individuals who transcend their craftsmanship and catapult themselves amongst the upper echelon towards legendary status. I challenge anyone to find another modern athlete of such ilk; such grandeur and such grace, who could surpass the beloved man simply known as “The Captain” to New York Yankee fans. To quote pioneer hip hop artist M.C. Shan “This a place where stars are born…”; I cannot help but to conclude that phrase by saying that New York is also a place where legends are made and icons become gods. Without question, these distinctions are being serenaded upon Derek Jeter, as he concludes what has been one of the most prolific careers in the annals of sports lure. His many accolades have been discussed ad nauseam, however, there is something still left to be said about his honorable mystique. As the curtain falls on the 2014 MLB season, one of its greatest ambassadors of the game will take his final curtain call as well. Not only will the sport of baseball lose one of its greatest gems, but the young fans of the game will also lose the quintessential template of a role model. We as a society are starving for, and are in need of, more Derek Jeter types who not only play the game the right way, but also understands how to carry themselves in the right way as well. As a Yankee fan, I want to thank Derek Jeter for not only helping to deliver championships to the franchise, but I would also like to thank him for conducting himself in a manner worthy of high praise. I am an “old school” type of person and without question, it is Derek Jeter’s character that I will miss more than his timely hitting and stunning highlight reels. Derek Jeter; the epitome of greatness and class personified. Take a bow captain! #I salute you

Movie In Review: Dallas Buyers Club

Posted in Movies & Television with tags , , , on April 6, 2014 by geniusscribbleink

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Anytime the subject of H.I.V (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) or A.I.D.S (Auto Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is brought to the forefront as a topic of conversation, I would immediately think of the time when Earving “Magic” Johnson revealed to the world that he himself had contracted the virus. The impact of this announcement was both riveting and heartbreaking for me on a personal note, as he was hands down my favorite basketball player of all time. Much like many uninformed Americans at the time, we all were awaiting with bated breath, the anticipated physical demise of what many considered to be an extremely virile man with a million dollar smile. Of course that day never came, as the man simply known as “Magic”, beat the odds and has survived some twenty plus years since being diagnosed. This victory by Magic was both astonishing and admirable, as it served as a beacon of hope to those who were dealing with this dreadful disease during a time where information and technology were somewhat behind in the race towards discovering a countermeasure or serum. It bodes the question of: “What happened to the others who were not so lucky?”. How did those who were face to face with death, with very little hope of survival, cope with their eventual mortality knocking at their door? Well these questions and many other inquiries were answered in what I now consider to be another memorable moment the era of H.I.V./A.I.D.S, that was just as impactful as Magic’s announcement. That impact came by way of watching Dallas Buyer’s Club for the first time. Before I regurgitate any recycled knowledge regarding the storyline, let me get this out the way first. Matthew McConaughey; brilliant. Jared Leto; exceptionally brilliant. What ever statuesque awards that both of these men received along the way was probably not enough, as it is hard to find a flaw in either one of their epic performances. The way they transformed their bodies alone was worthy of an award in itself. This movie not only became a platform that highlighted the quintessential epitome of the performing arts, but it also gave a new voice to a dreadful disease, all while illuminating the flaws of the United States regulatory standards as it relates to both drugs and healthcare. To spend more verbiage trying to lament the intricacies of this masterful work of art would be doing it a complete disservice; so in my most simplistic plea I will say: “Rent it immediately”. There are no disappointments, only residual empathy and admiration for the triumphant plight of one Ron Woodroof. A man who should be acknowledged as one of the new faces of victory in the war on A.I.D.S. Enjoy. #awareness

Movie In Review: The Wolf of Wall Street

Posted in Movies & Television with tags , , , on April 5, 2014 by geniusscribbleink

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“Wow!” would be the most elicit and appropriate phrase to start with when trying to describe the unstable lightening bolt in a bottle that is The Wolf of Wall Street. This is by no means a review excoriating the film’s brilliance nor to ridicule the actor’s/actress’s performances. In fact the “unstable lightening bolt” terminology is the most befitting descriptive I could come up with as it pertains to what you will come away feeling after watching what should be considered one of the most exuberant biopic portrayals to date. At the seemingly savant like directive guidance of Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street burrows us deep inside the dark realms of greed, lust, power, sex, drugs and unapologetic profanity. And who better to take on the lead role amidst such brash controversy other than Leonardo DiCaprio. There is no viable reason why Leonardo DiCaprio should not be considered one of the best actors in Hollywood. His depiction of convicted former stockbroker (now entrepreneur/motivational speaker) Jordan Belfort, all but solidifies his status amongst the top echelon in the industry. I have yet to recall an actor who utilized physicality as an acting device (see: country club scene) the way that Leonardo DiCaprio did in this film. I am not sure of the accuracy of Leonardo’s performance as it relates to that of Jordan Belfort’s actual life, but Leonardo turned a wolf into a rock star. Not to be overshadowed is the incredible performance given by Jonah Hill as the character Donnie Azoff. Jonah Hill, who is mostly noted as being a comedic actor, is slowly cutting his teeth as a brilliant character actor (see Moneyball 2011) as well. The onscreen cohesion between both he and Leonardo, all but seal the deal on this wondrously provocative film. The Wolf of Wall Street is available at your local Redbox kiosk. I highly recommend that you go rent it today.

Murphy’s (Paternity) Law

Posted in News, Sports with tags , , , , on April 4, 2014 by geniusscribbleink

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Focusonthefamily.com states in their research that “tweens and teens need the firm leadership a father provides. A child performs better in school if his father takes an interest in his education. Children have more confidence when their fathers spend time with them and show them affection. Kids learn from watching their fathers’ decisions and listening to logical explanations.” In reading this proclamation by focusonthefamily.com, it truly does resonate with me on a personal level as I recall my childhood in which I was blessed to have grown up with both parents intact. My father passed some eight years ago and the void he left within the confines of our family tapestry has yet to be mended, thus leaving a vacancy in the inner workings of our family unit that has been hard to replicate, as well as, replace. Proverbs 13:22 states: “A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.” This all but solidifies the important role delegated to those men who decide to procreate. The responsibility depths of fatherhood delve a lot deeper than simply providing an income or shelter nowadays. The complex world of childhood requires both parents to be on hand due to the plethora of societal land mines and emotional entrapments that bombard the psyche of a growing life and an impressionable mind. This is no longer the “glory days of yesteryear” as child-bearing and child rendering is a job no longer suited for that of one parent. I have personally had the in-enviable task of helping to raise two children and know that there are epic highs and valley lows as it pertains to the process of developing a life. You often pray that you are applying the correct methodology when providing parental guidance, as one slight mishap could have lasting ramifications for many years to come. It takes two to tango, so why should the job of parenting be any different? Perhaps this was the same premise that New York Mets second basemen Daniel Murphy acquiesced to regarding the recent birth of his child when he opted to take paternity leave to be by his wife’s side after she endured a Caesarean Section (C-Section). Daniel Murphy has endured a blitzkrieg of criticism from local New York sports radio personalities Mike Francesa and Boomer Esiason, who have lambasted Daniel Murphy for opting to take a paternity leave. Boomer Esiason was even more animal-like and barbaric enough to suggest that he would have made his wife get a C-Section before the season began (makes me wonder what his wife felt like when hearing this). Of course we are all entitled to our opinions, however, Daniel Murphy was within his rights due to the newly adopted policy by Major League Baseball in 2011, that allows players to take paternity leave during the birth of their children. In fact Daniel Murphy actually returned early from his allotted time to rejoin his team. What I find to be disingenuous is the fact that countless athletes are ridiculed for being irresponsible sperm banks and an absentee father, but for some reason a man who decides to be responsible is suddenly sand-blasted by critics. Many can argue the fact that he’s being paid a king’s ransom and owes it to his team and the fans etc.; however is that supposed to make him less than human? Does Daniel Murphy suddenly have to be a cold-blooded baby maker who leaves the money on the nightstand with a note that says “Sorry I had to leave”? What gets lost in all of this is the fact that his employer had no issue with him leaving. So it begs the question of who is Boomer “The Animal” Esiason or the pompous and fluently arrogant Mike Francesa to say otherwise? Daniel Murphy for the record has been nothing less than stellar as it relates to showing up for work. Daniel Murphy’s games played average is 161 per season. The Major League Baseball season is 162 games long. To knit pick on him taking two games off not only shows a lack of humanity, but it also shows the venomous nature of big mouth radio hosts who have run out of substantial material of relevancy and have thus decided to trespass into the personal life and personal ethics of a man and his belief system. What’s next? Religion? Sexual preference? What he eats at the dinner table? This was a choice supported by the New York Mets and unless your last name is Wilpon, your opinion is pointless and irrelevant. I applaud Daniel Murphy for being a father instead of a by-standing participant. We need more men who walk the walk and less big-mouthed radio talks. Some should ask Boomer and Mike if it was their daughters in labor, would they want a man like Daniel or one like them. They both need to start with the morality of man in their respective mirrors. #geico cavemen

Restaurant Review: Jamaican Bickle (Uniondale N.Y)

Posted in Dining with tags on April 1, 2014 by geniusscribbleink

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“Feeling Irie!” is a Jamaican Patois expression, which loosely translates as one feeling “alright” or feeling powerfully appeased. This feeling of elation, I can say with strong conviction, is what any person who enjoys eating signature delicacies from the region widely known as “The Caribbean”, will resoundingly state when eating food from Jamaican Bickle located at 327 Oak Street, Uniondale N.Y.. I recently had some food catered by Jamaican Bickle for my wife’s 40th Birthday celebration and it was by far an instant hit at the party. I ordered a tray of Jerk Chicken and Curry Chicken, both which were plentiful to the point where we had to end up giving away a plethora of food out fear that we would never be able to finish it all by ourselves. The owner of Jamaican Bickle, Devon, has the perfect culinary touch when it comes to resonating that true, authentic island flavor. His take-out orders are pallet pleasing and abundant, all while being extremely affordable as well. I have made the 60 mile trek to Jamaican Bickle from my house several times now, which is a clear indication of just how great the food actually is. If you want to “Feel Irie” while indulging in Caribbean cuisine, head over to Jamaican Bickle (near Hofstra University). They do not serve up disappointments only outstanding food. Happy eating.