The Olivia Pope Scandal

Posted in satire and sarcasm, social commentary, TV with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2013 by blackstarr

The white coat 01First it was the Tyler Perry debate.  Then it was the Kanye West debate.  I vowed that I was going to stay away from this debate, yet, here I am .  .  . again  .  .  .  going against the grain in the SCANDAL debate.  No shock here:  I HATE that show with a passion!  The first thing that will enter a lot of women’s minds who love the show is that I hate it because the lead character, Olivia Pope (played by Kerry Washington) is having an affair with the president of the United States, a Caucasian man.  I can’t speak for any other Black man, but, I could not care less about with whom this woman is having an affair.

My hatred for the show is strictly because, in my opinion, the writing sucks.  To high heaven.  The first and most important thing that grates my nerves is that Olivia Pope is supposed to be this crackerjack who has such a discerning mind, who leads a team of similarly crackerjack minds, but we don’t see that.  The problem is that she completely blows their very first case in the pilot.  The argument that I have encountered is that her losing the case just shows her human side, that she, too, is capable of human error.  I would be alright with that supposition had that same “humanity” not been brought out in the very first episode.  It would have served the show better had she went on to crack cases, back to back, establishing the idea that she and her team were so fantastic.  After a few episodes or so, then they could have shown her vulnerable side.

The second thing that irked me, to no end, was the incessant babbling of each and every character on the team.  Every time a member of the team would speak, it would be an entire diatribe about whatever it was that they were trying to push.  It turned out to be one long, drawn out paragraph, devoid of commas, and sending me to my knees, begging for someone to drop a period in there.  Somewhere.  Anywhere.  Perhaps it would have come off better if that diatribe had been made by just one character.  It could have been presented as a simple character trait.  But, everyone on the team?  Nah.  Not working this way.

I looked forward to this show before it hit the airwaves, with bated breath.  Forget the plot – Kerry Washington is a treat for the eyes, before even mentioning her acting abilities. On the night of the pilot, I sat, with my family, snacks in hand, prepared to be dazzled.  Instead, I  – we were so taken aback at the poor writing that was given to us to swallow – swallow like a huge, disgusting pill.  In my small circle of friends and family, I have seen mixed reactions to the show,  My sister, a Black woman, HATES the show.  My daughter, a black woman (who initially did not like the show, and is married to a Caucasian), hit me up on Facebook and said that she had watched it again and found that it’s not as bad as she had first thought.  Many other friends on FB have said that they have been successful in converting a few of their friends to become fans.  For me, I have to be convinced that a show is good by the pilot.  If I can’t be swooned by the very first episode, there is no going back for me.  Just my own little quirk .  .  . but mine to flaunt.

I am also a firm believer in the motto “To each their own”, when voicing my opinions.  For whatever reasons that I have for hating the show, can I please just be a hater without being verbally attacked for doing so, particularly if you’ve misinterpreted my reasons for disliking the show?  I realize that there are two tons of people who watch the show faithfully and love it to the max.  To that, I say, “Enjoy!”  I’m not one of them.  Having heard my true reasons for not liking the show, can I please just exercise my prerogative, be a hater, and still live in peace?  V.

copyright  2013  blackstarr

freerealm@gmail.com

Words With Friends – the big “debate”

Posted in just for the bull of it, prose, social commentary, Wordles with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2013 by blackstarr

WWF two      I don’t know where the word “cheat” entered into the debate on how to play Words With Friends (WWF), but, there is no such thing.  I can only imagine that somewhere along the line, someone was dismayed that their opponent was using an “aid” and in retaliation, made a post accusing their opponent of using a “cheat”, and the word has been used ever since.  Fortunately, one CANNOT “cheat” in WWF. The game is run by computer, which decides whether or not a word is valid – it is not up to a player to determine.  Therefore, every word that is accepted after you hit the “play” button is valid.  The one thing that a lot of people fail to acknowledge is that WWF is NOT Scrabble!  The two games have different rules.  In Scrabble, you are given tiles with which to play.  You are to look at them, and, from memory, form words and make a play – no aids are allowed whatsoever.  In WWF, there is no such rule.  Fact is, ZYNGA, THE MAKERS of WWF, actually GIVES you a link that shows all words which are eligible words in the game of WWF (here is a link for all of the eligible words – the original link doesn’t work properly).  That ALONE should make people understand that using aids in the game of WWF is allowed.  No where in the official rules does it say that using aids was a violation.

Anagram 1

     When I first started playing WWF, I used that very list, taking a very long time to look up words that match the tiles that I had been given. The only difference with that and using an anagram solver is that the anagram solver does the work for you, in infinitely less time.  I understand that people have the option to plays the game as they see fit, but, accusing people of cheating is very annoying.  It usually starts with a word being played by their opponent, one which is not very common, and generally not used in daily speech. The person then uses the chat feature to send their opponent a message to the effect “I refuse to play with cheaters!”, then promptly resigns.  A more sociable approach, one that would certainly satisfy me, is to use the chat feature at the start of a game, and politely ask your opponent if he or she uses any helpers or the internet to play the game.  If their reply is “yes”, then say that you’d decline, resign, and leave it at that.  Everyone has a right to play the game as they like, which I respect – but, there is no need to be rude.

     Aside from the fact that some people simply have closed minds, I don’t understand why this debate continues on, ad infinitum.  For those of you who like to play the game and would like to play to win and would like to raise your scores, here is a link to some anagram solvers that are available at GOOGLY PLAY (Android only – as I don’t have an iPhone, although there are solvers available for iPhone, as well): Anagram Solvers   My personal favorite is Scrabble and WW Friends Helper.

Do you play?  Hit me up at “blackstarr_”  (“joelle blackstarr” on FB) or “starr1952” – either way, I’ll (try to) give you a run for your money.

BTW – I use an anagram solver to boost my points, so be aware.  Peace.

copyright 2013  blackstarr freerealm@gmail.com

The Strength Of Mother Africa (Soliloquy for female)

Posted in Love, poetry, prose, relationships, social commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2013 by blackstarr

 

            This is a play about a Black woman, a mother, a lover.  She finds that for whatever reason, she is about to lose her man, her family, her life.  If we should assess our situations, and find ourselves not unlike this Black woman, it may be well worth our time to give the answers that she gives.

(She turns to the right, as if looking up a set of stairs.)

            “No – you’re not getting anything else to drink tonight.  Now, close your eyes and go to sleep.  Good – I love you, too”.

(She turns to the front of the stage and pauses.  She takes a deep breath as if getting herself together.  She wipes her eyes with a tissue that is in her hand, and then turns left to face the man who is seated at the nearby table.)

            “I can’t begin to tell you how I feel.  Just what the hell is it that you want?  Am I a disappointment to you?  Do I nag too much?  I try my best to be the woman that makes you happy, but with all my efforts, the best you can do is stay in the streets.  Well, this is for you”.

(She balls up the wet tissue and throws it at the man)

            “Those are the last of my tears.  I refuse to cry another drop.  Don’t think for one minute that my tears are a sign of weakness.  Those tears are the emotions that come from my heart.  I am not weak, I am strong.  I am the pride of Mother Africa, and the most extreme conditions only serve to make me stronger.  So, if you think that I am going to fall apart, if you think that I’ll just roll over and die . . . think again.  I am the woman who loves you.  I need you, and you need me.  You have two children up those stairs who think the world of you, and you still can’t be happy.

You might as well start smiling, because this is where you belong, and this is where you’ll stay.  Is there another woman out there that you think can make a better home for you?  I never thought that you’d cheat on me, and, right now, I still don’t think it can happen.  But, on the outside chance that there is another woman, be advised that you belong to me.  You tell that wench that I will bring her mad drama!

That’s always the first thing that comes to mind.  I suppose that the streets and you so-called friends can try to take you, as well.  Have you forgotten who I am?  I am the woman who has been at your side through it all.  When Mister Charlie said he didn’t need you anymore, it was this Black woman who went out and got a job.  It wasn’t because I was hungry – it was because you are my man.  Who cries in your place when your macho standards hold your tears inside?  Who hurts with you when prejudice tries to make you believe that you’re less than a man?  Tonight, I remind you . . . in case you’ve forgotten.”

(She raises her hand in a “Don’t speak!” manner, and then runs her fingers across her lips.)

            “These are lips to die for.  These are the lips that kiss away the pain when you think life’s not worth living.  They speak the words that make your heart sing, words like ‘I love you’.  When passion comes to play, these lips glide across your body, and send you into ecstasy.”

(She smacks her hip with her right hand.)

            These hips are strong.  They bore babies for you, and they still rotate like the earth on its axis.”

(She cups her breasts with both hands.)

            “These are the breast that fed Mother’s Milk to your children.  I know that they hang a bit more than they used to, but, even now, when your hands caress them, it’s you who breaks out in a cold sweat.  It’s your moans that echo into the night.”

(She sweeps her arm the length of her body.)

            “Black man . . . tell me you don’t want some of this, and you can walk out that door and never look back.  I won’t lift a finger to stop you.  But, the, again, I won’t have to, because you know you can’t walk out on this.”

(She walks over to the chair where the man is seated, and lifts one foot onto the chair beside him.)

            “I get older with each new day, but I keep myself desirable for you and only you.  Touch this skin and tell me that you are leaving me.  I defy you.”

(She returns her foot to the floor and kneels beside him.  She grabs his hand and holds it to her heart.)

            “Touch my heart and tell me that you can’t feel the love that waits for you, and I will set you free.  My heart beats only because there is you.  You can’t find a woman who loves you more . . . because she doesn’t exist.”

(She rises and walks back to center stage.)

            “Yes – my body is worn and I have seen a few years, but I am no where near finished.  I don’t have to beg you to stay.  If you leave, there will be another to take your place, and willingly.  But, that’s not going to happen.  Understand that I am not begging you – I’m just trying to make it plain.  You belong to me.  If there is no other woman, then you tell the streets that they can’t have you either.  Do the streets keep you warm at night?  Do they feed you when you’re hungry?  Do they love you when that need comes over your body?  No?  I thought not.  Well, they can’t have you.  I refuse to let you go.  You’re a good man.  If you weren’t, you wouldn’t have to leave.  I’d walk out the door my damn self.  But, you’re a good man, with a good mind, and a good heart.  This body, this mind, this heart . . . they draw their strength from Mother Africa.  Nations have conquered every part of her, and she has managed to survive.  She has managed to thrive.  As she is strong . . . so . . . am . . . I, and I will not be defeated.”

(She begins picking up clothes from the backs of chairs.)

            “I’m done.  My ranting is over.  I’ve already bolted the front door.  Don’t think that puts you on lockdown.  I’d be the last woman to try and kill your spirit and freedom which lies within you.  You have a key.  You have both the ability and the right to walk out that door, just like you’ve been doing, lately.  But, hear me, Black man:  I’m going upstairs, and if you know like I know, tonight, and every night hereafter, you’ll be right behind me, to warm my feet and caress my body and to make me understand that . . .

(She touches her finger to his forehead.)

You have not . . . lost . . . your mind!”

(She turns towards the imaginary stairs and walks off the stage.  Fade to black.)

*

copyright 1997 blackstarr

*

freerealm@gmail.com

young, white suburbanite (from “The Village”)

Posted in poetry, political commentary, social commentary, The Village with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2012 by blackstarr

on any given friday night,

a young white suburbanite,

cruises in his beamer,

into the city, bose blastin’ fiddy.

he sports the latest, greatest, hippest, dopest, phattest rags

that his daddy’s silver spoon could buy,

but that silver spoon is the very reason why.

he protests the riches that they don’t deserve,

lashes out at his very own private federal reserve.

*

he’s looking for some black flava,

or some brown suga’,

or some white powder,

music getting louder.

young white suburbanite,

in the middle of the night,

loses himself in another man’s culture.

not understanding the subtleties of cp time,

he hits the club way too soon,

stands around with beer in hand,

realizes that the night was not so well-planned.

but he’s fly and hip and dope and –

and thinks he’s ahead of his time,

but the reality is that he simply

got there way ahead of time.

*

the music swirls within his head,

and the sistas think it’s so dred

that he’s holding his own,

while out of his element.

but to his detriment,

the beer pulls him to the dancefloor.

now, whitebread ain’t so fly no more.

and we think “ooh, that’s gotta hurt!”

beer has him moving to the beats,

the sight has us fallin’ out our seats.

*
“yo – young white suburbanite!

some fly sista would like ta get witcha”,

but homeboy’s homeboy has had

one too many rollin’ rocks.

young white suburbanite

struggles with all his might

to get his homeboy standing upright.

now, homeboy’s homeboy wants to fight.

young white suburbanite

came to the city,

blastin’ fiddy,

lookin’ for some black flava,

or some brown suga’,

or some white powder.

*

whitebread

got that gangsta beat going ‘round in his head.

cruisin’ in his jet-black beamer.

he’s just trying to understand

why we always catch it from the man.

tries to understand what that’s like,

he beats a path to every open mike,

struggles to get a feel for what it’s like.

a fruitless pursuit and he can’t see why

he can never feel the pain like you and i.

he innocently protests and lets out a sigh -

“it wasn’t me and i refuse to carry that lie”.

it’s neither out of compassion,

nor because it’s popular fashion,

but, instead, because the guilt of the fathers

prey upon the innocence of the sons.

*

on any given friday night,

deep within the urban blight,

from dusk until daylight.

lookin’ for some

black flava,

brown suga’,

white powder.

out of the gloomy mist and into the light,

comes an urban legend . . . a young white suburbanite.

*

copyright  2008  blackstarr

*

freerealm@gmail.com

*

(photos were obtained from across the internet.  if they belong to you and you wish them to be taken down, i will gladly comply)

Who do YOU know?

Posted in social commentary, WTG (Walking The Dog) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 1, 2011 by blackstarr

Big ups to my daughter for helping to plunge me back into the world of blogging.  Although I haven’t blogged lately, I always have something on my mind that needs to be said.  I have to thank my daughter because of a conversation that we recently shared.  I was trying to relay my extreme disappointment and total disgust at the idea that The NAACP has nominated Tyler Perry for 19 Image Awards.  That’s not just one, not just a few, but 19.  Many.  Plural.  In my humble opinion, that is just downright preposterous.

To my dismay, my daughter surprised me with the answer “Why is that so annoying?  Many people find his plays and works to be a blessing to their lives.  They feel that it has helped them to ‘make it through'”.  What??  Are you kidding me?  Tyler Perry says that.  Mainstream media says that.  I say that most artists who toots their owns horns cannot be taken very seriously.  We all know how the media has a knack for presenting information in a more than distorted slant.  So, I posed a question to her:  Who do YOU know that feels that way?  We danced around that idea for a minute or two, and by the end of the conversation, that question had never been answered.

As true as I am to my own ideals, I like to think that I am not so closed-minded that I cannot fathom that there are those out there who simply adore Mr. Perry.  I don’t deny that.  However, the numbers that I have seen, which are few and far between, have always come from sources that I, for one, can’t believe.  I admit that I don’t have a ton of friends, but, I do have many.  I say with authority that none of them – I repeat – none of them – have anything favorable to say about Tyler Perry’s work.  Not one of them has said that his art has changed their lives.  Perhaps it’s just too true that “birds of a feather” really do stick together.  Along with them, I have seen his work and was dismayed, disgusted, and disappointed.  Herein lies the problem – I paid the price of satisfying my curiosity and no matter what I thought of the movie, DVD, or play, the money was spent and nothing on God’s green earth can get it back (not to mention the wasted moments that I will never regain).  In other words, curiosity caused me to support something that I didn’t like.  It’s the blue pill/red pill dilemma all over again, except that there is no blue pill to take back the horror that the red pill has exposed.

I liken the situation to a movie that I saw  years ago entitled “Mission To Mars”.  It was met with much anticipation.  I knew when the movie was being filmed.  I watched every commercial with bated breath.  I could barely wait for the movie to hit the theaters and was in line the day that the movie debuted.  I am an avid sci-fi nut(case), but it was one of the worst movies that I had ever seen.  EVER seen.  The movie, however, grossed over ninety (90) million dollars.  Basically, even though the film was pitiful, once the money has been paid, it’s all over.  This is, in my opinion, no different than what Perry defenders offer up – “But, he’s made millions!”.  Sure he has.  Can it be that, like on so many other occasions, people have satisfied their curiosity, only to find that it wasn’t worth the peek?  I say “It can happen”.

I’m not so sure that my thirst for an answer will ever be quenched.  Can so many people really like him like that?  Do so many people believe that his “art” has been such a blessing to their lives?  I doubt that those questions will ever be answered for me because those who hold the answers are those in whom I have absolutely no trust.  I wish that I could hear it from the masses.  More likely than not, however, when the votes are all in and the answer is a resounding “yes”, I will probably say “Consider the source”.

I will leave you with one last thought:  Meet The Browns.  Every time that commercial comes on, I get just a little bit nauseous.  That is buffoonery and coonery at it’s very best.  It saddens me so because too many Mantan Morelands, and Stepin Fetchits did what they had to do to get us recognized as artists, and we moved on to a day when African-Americans were seen in a better light.  This generation has embraced this new coonery with open arms.  I’m a baby-boomer in the finest sense of the term.  In the 60’s and 70’s I was about as radical as one could be.  I took every opportunity to take part in any demonstration that was for the betterment of mankind.  We, the baby-boomers, fought long and hard to get the “n” word and the “b” word removed from our conversations.  We ventured out into unknown, uncertain, off-the-beaten-path movies to dispel the notion that the only thing that African-Americans can do is jig.  As  The Field Negro says “The jigging must stop”.  This generations seems to be taking a step back saying “Oh, it’s not that bad”.  “To each his own” is an honorary credo, but there has to be limits.  Seriously, though – Meet The Browns???!!!  What kind of nonsense has Tyler Perry spawned?

The Tyler Perrys of the entertainment world will never cease to be.  Their knack for charming the masses is ever-present.  I can barely fathom the idea that the masses are so drawn to them in such a manner.  I choose to believe that it is merely a case of  ‘pay me first, then see if it’s worth it’.  Yeah – I said that I am not so ‘closed-minded’, but truth be told, like an ostrich with its head deeply buried beneath the ground, I will go down fighting believing that this man’s art is worthless.

So, I ask “Who do YOU know”?  Peace.

copyright 2011 blackstarr

freerealm@gmail.com

HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!!

Posted in Love, social commentary, The Holidays with tags , , , , , on December 31, 2010 by blackstarr

 

copyright  2011  blackstarr

freerealm@gmail.com

Photo from Premier-Marquees.co.uk

Cant C Me

Posted in music, Old School Flava, poetry, social commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 28, 2010 by blackstarr

There probably has not been a more loyal fan of Tupac Shakur than yours truly.  First, though, a few “despites” -

despite the fact that I hate the “N” word and the “B” word, and

despite the fact that I am not an advocate of either profanity or violence, and

despite the fact that I am anti-drug abuse, I have always been in awe of Tupac and his musical genius.

Perhaps the one song that makes him stand out from the crowd more than any other song is “Can’t C Me”., from the CD “All Eyez On Me”.  The entire song is the epitome of his musical genius, but, let’s forget the entire song – the opening verse is the ultimate in word manipulation and lyrical sculpting.  In the event that you aren’t familiar with the song, you can click >HERE<  for the lyrics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although there are probably many depths to his genius, I believe that his greatest assets were threefold – lyrics, music, and the ability to spit words out as easily as you and I breathe air.  He had a peculiar penchant for re-using lyrics from previously recorded songs.  Other artists have done this before him, but the way in which he did it and the meaning that his re-used lyrics brought to the songs took on a life of its own.

I cited this song from his collection because it is my favorite rap song ever, but, his repertoire was seemingly endless when it came to great lyrics, music, and spitting.  A few that come to mind which, in my humble opinion, that come close to the greatness of “Can’t C Me” are “Hit “Em Up”, “Death Around The Corner” and he even did a few love songs that were worth mentioning, which included “Can You Get Away?”.

There you have it – my short and sweet tribute to Tupac.  You owe it to yourself to check out this song .  You can find it on Youtube, of course.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get it to load here.  In the event that you want to save time, here’s a link to the song from Playlist.com:  Can’t C Me.  Perhaps you’ll be as impressed I have been all these years.

Afeni, wherever you are, thank you.  Peace.

 

copyright  2010  blackstarr

freerealm@gmail.com

Photos from The Huffington Post, and The Judiciary Report.

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