Category Archives: What kind of fuckery?

health hop music

I believe the children are our future. I believe that it’s important to meet people where they are when trying to reach them. I believe we should educate young people about real topics like sex, economics, politics, race and health. So it follows that I should like Dr. Clarke’s “Health Hop Music.” Uh, no.

Dr. John D. Clarke has a series of albums he’s written, produced and performed focusing on educating young people about their health. Relying on studies with conclusions like “the average teen listens to 40 hours of music per week and 10,500 hours of music between the 7th and 12th grade,” and “today, Hip-Hop is the music of choice for many teens and is the ideal genre for capturing their attention,” Dr. Clarke hopes to use hip hop to break through to kids and get them to listen up.

While the doctor’s motives are admirable and his attempt to make good songs not too shabby, I have to say that this is a fail. Take a break from reading right now and head over to the Health Hop page on CD Baby and listen to some clips. See what I mean? No? Read on.  Continue reading

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Filed under Health & Wellness, Music & More, Routine Ramblings, What kind of fuckery?

hoodwinked

I’m pretty disgusted right about now. I was asleep, knocked out due to my sickness and woke up at midnight to find that the House had passed a health care reform bill (HR 3962). Sounds good at first, especially since we have been trying to get SOME form of legislation moving through the process. Unfortunately, this is not what I was hoping for. I get the feeling that most people had/have no idea that today, in what felt like a backdoor sneak move, Representative Bart Stupak put forth an amendment on a Saturday morning to the proposed health care bill. Oh, it got passed, by the way. What is this bill that you probably didn’t know was even being discussed?

“The Stupak/Pitts amendment violates the spirit of health care reform, which is meant to guarantee quality, affordable health care coverage for all. In fact, this amendment would create a two-tiered system that would punish women, particularly those with low and middle incomes, the very people this bill is intended to assist. The majority of private health insurance plans currently offer abortion coverage, and the Stupak/Pitts amendment would result in the elimination of private abortion coverage in the ‘exchange,’ the new insurance market created under health care reform, as well as in the public option, if one is created.

“The Stupak/Pitts amendment would purportedly allow women who want comprehensive reproductive health care coverage to purchase a separate, single-service rider to cover abortion.  But such abortion riders do not exist because women do not plan to have unintended pregnancies or medically complicated pregnancies that require ending the pregnancy.  These so-called ‘abortion riders,’ which would be the only insurance policy through which abortion care could be covered in the ‘exchange,’ are discriminatory and illogical.  Proposing a separate ‘abortion rider’ or ‘single-service plan’ is tantamount to banning abortion coverage since no insurance company would offer such a policy.*

Take some time. Read that again. How ridiculous is that? While folks were on Twitter talking about brunch, football and #threewordsaftersex, anti-choicers were hijacking health care reform and using this opportunity to revolutionize American health care as a stage for their anti-abortion agenda. Dude… not here. Not this fight. SMH. Don’t be mistaken, taking away abortion coverage (in both private insurance plans and the public option) will not deter people from having unprotected sex. It will not result in a significant decline in abortions sought or performed. It will not only hurt the people you think it might hurt.

Abortion is legal. Until Congress passes a law otherwise (that passes Constitutional scrutiny by the Supreme Court), it is legal. I can’t get hype about HCR, and trust me I WANT to be so hype about HCR, when people are trying to use the backdoor to chisel away at my rights. It’s sneaky and I don’t want my government to work that way. Please believe that the NRA folks would not be down for this. You see how they get when someone even breathes gun control. The Second Amendment gets trotted out like it was the 11th Commandment.

I took a Legislation & Public Policy course in law school. I’m currently taking Politics & Policy in my MPA program. Even without those classes, I know some BS okey doke when I see it. Game recognize game, right? This is a CLASSIC example of how you get a piece of legislation to FAIL. Instead of coming out and saying no to HCR (which will make you look bad, for sure), you say yes but also get on board with an amendment that will alienate so many people that it’s sure to bring down the whole house. This is some back to the drawing board shit if I’ve ever seen it, yet so many folks are just happy to have something, I bet they won’t raise a fuss. You are so used to accepting crumbs from the gov’t that you’re not willing to fight for what you believe in. Meanwhile, those that are AGAINST what you believe in are up ALL night, working hard. No, really. They’re up ALL night. Crazy does not sleep. But listen yall, don’t drink the kool aid. This is not the HCR we want. It’s the HCR we’re settling for.

Find out how your representative voted on the Stupak/Pitts Amendment. If they were on board with the amendment and you are not, please call your rep and let them know how poorly they’ve represented you this weekend.

Definitely hit up your Senators. Ball’s in their court now.

*Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Read the whole statement here.

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Filed under current events, Health & Wellness, I'm Judging You (reviews & criticism), Now I'm pissed, Pay Attention!, Politics, Swiped, What kind of fuckery?

moved

Hey to all my wonderful, devoted, adoring readers (that’s how I see you in my mind, let me live the fantasy)! Been busy getting moved. Finally, step one to ending the Summer of Suck is complete – moving away from home. What was only supposed to be a temporary stop at my aunt’s crib turned into an entire summer of dealing with my crazy family. Patience is a virtue but I’ve never been the virtuous type so, ya know, I was bugging there. On to the next chapter…

I’ve moved to Brooklyn, Bed Stuy to be exact. Got me a roomie. While I was living alone in Philly, I had two roommates over in Japan (and two this summer if you count my aunt and uncle). So I can deal with the roommate situation again, especially because I’m sort of new to the area. I had lived in Brooklyn before, East Flatbush, but only for a short period of time. That has nothing to do with anything right now though, because I have no idea where I am really. So if you’re in the area and want to put me on to some stuff (or want to get wasted), let me know!

The move itself was possibly the worst move I’ve ever undertaken, and I’ve moved a lot (from NY to Chapel Hill to Carrboro to NYC to Cary to Raleigh to Philly to Tokyo to NY to BK). It all started with renting the truck. I reserved a 10ft truck which was totally sufficient but when I got to the office, they only had 16ft trucks available. Ok, not only was there more room in the back, but the thing was taller and significantly bigger. See specs here. Whatever though, bigger is sometimes better and I was getting the bigger truck for the price of the smaller one. Lesson #1: Trucks are not like Value Meals. It is not always a better deal to go for the bigger option. So I’ve got my buddy Ihsan with me and we pull out of the rental lot heading toward my storage unit all set to load up and drive to BK. I swear, not three minutes away from the lot, before I even get a good radio station on, I hear this loud ass crackBOOM! OMG! I turn to the right and there’s no mirror on the passenger side! I have somehow knocked off the damn mirror! Driving ahead of me, Ihsan must have seen what happened and I saw him signal a side street for pulling over. After determining what happened and taking a few deep breaths, Ihsan walked back a couple of blocks to retrieve the mirror. The plastic mirror casing thing was intact, but the glass was all gone. It’s important that I mention that I am a good driver. I have driven a 10ft truck about three different times in my life with no incident whatsoever. So you can imagine how I felt at this point. Continue reading

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those damned jabots

After commencing her duties on August 8th, 2009 as the 111th Supreme Court Justice and the first Latina to hold such office, Justice Sonia Sotomayor took her first seat on the bench Wednesday at a specially convened session of the Court. Yep, now that the hubub is over and she’s really in there (whoo!) Sotomayor is down to business hearing her first SC case involving campaign finance and Hillary Clinton. Interesting.

I know this isn’t the most progressive or feminist thing to be pointing out but as I was reading up on Sotomayor’s first days on the job, I couldn’t help but sigh at this photograph of Justice Sotomayor.

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Paging Dr. Shanté

I’m not going to rehash the whole story here because it’s all over the webz, but when I heard how the feel good/made it out the hood story about former teen rapper, Roxanne Shanté, getting her record company to pay for her education (including an Ivy League Ph.D. in Psychology) turned out to be false, I wasn’t surprised. Not in the least. Oh, not that I thought a rapper from Queens couldn’t have accomplished such things…

That's Dr. Danielle Spencer now... as if she'd let you call her Dr. Dee Thomas!

I BEEN knew something was wrong because the Daily News article on this unique record contract and amazing rapper-turned-doctor referred to her as Doctor Shanté. People were repeating that mess on blogs, message boards, twitter and facebook. Dr. Shanté. Really? Um, wasn’t Roxanne Shanté your RAP name, one you dreamed up after hearing UTFO go in on some stuck up chick named Roxanne? How am I supposed to take you seriously when I’m seeking out a therapist and she’s going by her RAP MONIKER? Sure, we still call Queen Latifah “Queen Latifah” but she hasn’t left show business so it’s allowed. I bet if she were to become a surgeon or an attorney we’d call her Dr. Owens, Dana Owens, Esq.

All types of folks are known to fudge their resume and trump up their credentials and it’s pretty much accepted. Flat out lying about where you went to school and what degrees you’ve earned, however, is a douche move. It makes you look silly in the end and it’s an embarrassment that will stick with you forever. People like myself, working on 2nd and 3rd advanced degrees don’t appreciate it Ms. Shanté! It’s not like people go around telling everyone they’re rappers (oh, wait. nevermind. Anyhood, USA proves me wrong on that front).

It’s just that we would have always thought of little 14 year old Roxanne Shanté in her slicked back ponytail and doorknocker earrings rapping with the big boys and smiled. Now that she got our hopes up by faking the funk, people are let down and a bit peeved. If there’s one thing the hip hop community doesn’t tolerate, it’s a liar.

Hold up now. ALLEGED liar, because maybe she really did get those degrees. Maybe she is a psychiatrist that uses hip hop to heal her patients. Perhaps there was a mix up with the name she used to enroll (clearly, she’s not good at sticking with one name). It’s possible the record company wants to deny paying that money to save face and just maybe a couple of somebodies at Marymount Manhattan and Cornell have it out for the good rappin doctor. Slate could have it wrong just as easily as the Daily News. Even Russell Simmons is cosigning her! Gooden/Shante doesn’t seem to be fazed, though. As of last Thursday, her Twitter page was still posting links to articles like the Daily News piece (@DrShante. Hmph…if it’s her real twitter account). It doesn’t really matter to me how it turns out because either way, she’s still dead wrong running around as Dr. Shanté.

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The Zoloft Defense?

Ever heard of the “Zoloft Defense?” It’s an argument a defendant might employ that basically boils down to “the drugs made me do it.” The Zoloft Defense usually makes an appearance when a defendant is charged with some sort of violent crime like battery or murder. Before I get into what I think about this defense strategy, let’s be sure we understand the drug itself.

Zoloft is an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety manufactured by Pfizer. It belongs to a class of anti-depressants called selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) which, among other things, may cause suicidal feelings. According to Drugs.com, you might also have to be on the lookout for mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, feeling impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically),  and more depressed. Sheesh. FYI, other SSRIs include Paxil and Prozac.

In 2001, 12 year old Christopher Pittman tried to use the Zoloft Defense when he was tried for killing his grandparents in the most horrible way: he walked into their bedroom, shot them while they were asleep and then burned down their Chester, SC house with their bodies still inside. [As an aside, Pittman left with the car, the dog and some money. He was found by some hunters the next day, wandering the woods, and said he’d been kidnapped by a black man who had slain his parents and set their house ablaze, but that he had been able to escape. Ain’t that about a bitch?]
The jury was believed that Pittman’s mental state was affected by the drugs but not enough to compel him to kill and in 2005 he was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Attempts at appeal by his attorneys, as recent as 2008, have failed.

We might not remember the name Seung-Hui Cho but we all remember the tragedy at Virginia Tech in 2007. Cho never made it to trial for killing 32 people and wounding 25 others because he committed suicide before the police could reach him. Cho was not on Zoloft, but he was prescribed Prozac, a similar medication. There is no proof that he ever filled a prescription or took the medication, though. Had he made it to trial, his attorneys might have presented the Zoloft Defense (or a form thereof) as an option. Continue reading

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they spinnin’ n__, they spinnin’!

By now you’ve probably heard about Soulja Boy’s newest indulgence: a black diamond encrusted Lamborghini chain… with a remote control. Yeah. This cat basically has a toy car bedazzled with my undergrad and law school education (times 10).

Folks who hate Soulja Boy are loving this. They can point to this excess and say he’s ignorant, he’s killing hip hop, kids are crazy, etc etc. Blogs are buzzing with the video where he shows just how his shiny piece works. If it’s possible, he’s mad T-Pain’s Big Ass Chain look sort of sensible (no, not really).

Rumor has it that Eminem joined Ice-T and scores of other rappers who felt the need to go at young ‘Turn My Swag On’ and suggested that Mr. D’Andre Way (his gov’t) “do the superman and fucking die already” via a new diss track. Em, however, got on Twitter and denied the track was hisBET blogger Low Key tried to take the “big brother” approach and hold SB to the honorable yet heavy role model standard. Never one to let (perceived) internet beef go unaddressed, SB responded with the following:

1ST OF ALL. I didn’t pay ANYTHING for my black Lamborghini chain I got it FREE as a birthday presentfrom my jeweler when I turned 19 on July 28!

2ND OF ALL. Even if I did pay for it who are you to judge me on what I purchase with MY money?

3RD OF ALL. Why do the media blow up the things that they think will make me look stupid or ignorant. Why not publicize or put me in the spotlight when I do positive things? What about when I was in the hood this past Christmas passing out toys to everybody on the westside of Atlanta where I grew up why not show that on TV? Why not publicize my Little league football team that I sponsor in Batesville, MS or the money I donated to help build the rec center and boyz and girls club!? What about when I donated $25,000 for all those kids to have a good Christmas with the Toyz n da hood foundation? Why not step in when Ice-T was dissing me why not call up and have a sit down to squash that beef. THINK ABOUT IT A 40 YEAR OLD SOMETHING GANGSTA NIGGA VS. A 16 YEAR OLD KID (AT THE TIME). What if he really did have O.G. crip niggaz that had a price on my head to murder me? WHY DIDN’T YOU TRY TO STEP IN AND STOP THAT? HUH?. you worried about a black diamond chain that I received as birthday present??? WTF What about when me and Tigger was in D.C. buying all those can foods for the homeless??? Why not publicize when them niggaz ran in my house and tried to kill me and I had to defend myself and blast they ass. WHY NOT SHOW THAT ON TV???? HUH!???? CUZ U DONT WANT PEOPLE TO SEE THE REAL SHIT THATS GOIN BEHIND THE SCENES U WANT EVERYTHING WATERED DOWNED AND FAKE THATS WHY! FUCK THAT! I’m all the way REAL 100. I know America probably ain’t ready for a young black rich nigga running around doing it how he had it planned since he was little… [Read the rest at SB’s site]

I know folks, especially a lot of my friends, really dislike this kid. They can’t get with his music and/or they can’t get with his shenanigans. Me? I like the guy. I like to dance to his songs. I like to see him on shows like The View, keeping up with Barbara Walters and Whoopi. I like to see him talkin back to Ice-T. I even got a kick out of him sitting in that jacuzzi. I didn’t like his twitpic revealing a bit too much boxerbrief tho. Uh uh. Above all though, I like how in between the youth, immaturity and silliness… somewhere between the lines, you can see that the kid more often than not has a valid point. Just because he can’t articulate it as well or because he’s not you favorite rapper’s favorite rapper doesn’t mean he has nothing to say.

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