Archive for the blog marathon 2008 Category

Old School Flava: 7/23/2008

Posted in blog marathon 2008, humor, Old School Flava, social commentary with tags , , , , , , , , on July 23, 2008 by joelle blackstarr

Yeah – it’s Wednesday and here I am keeping to a schedule with this Old School Flava.  Don’t get used to it, because it probably won’t last.  As I may have mentioned before – Freedom doesn’t take too kindly to deadlines and schedules.  But, alas, here we are.  Speaking of the dadblaned devil, I failed in my first attempt at thirty (30) straight days of postings.  This post should rightly be entitled “Day One . . . Again”.  I got a bit frazzled over a thing or two, percolated on ’em, then just digressed myself into total anger.  Over.  It’s over now, and we are moving right along.


I was listening to Ramsey Lewis earlier this a.m. and he and his cohort, Karen Williams, began to speak of “playin’ the dozens”.  She proclaimed that she had never heard the term before.  OK, sure.  Ramsey went on to explain that it was originally a game played by Black folks that pitted one against the other in a match of spewing out insults about each other’s family.  Eventually, it became more than just a game, and evolved into an intentional dissing of one’s family, usually leading up to fisticuffs.  The ultimate insult?  “Yo, mama!!” Back then, that might have gotten you a black eye, or worse,a real beatdown.  What about today?  Do you guys still used that phrase?


When my brother, sister and I were young, real young, we would complain about having to eat those yukky vegetables.  The complaining came with every dinnertime meal, as there were always vegetables on the menu.  Of course, the complaints were neither here nor there, since the vegetables were always eaten before anyone arose from the table to go their separate ways.  As we grew a bit, and aged a bit, we all either became more appreciative of the vegetables, or decided that it was useless to continue to try getting out of eating them – whatever the transformation was that took place, we simply ate the veggies and moved along.  As we ventured into our adolescent years, we became familiar with a newer phrase, and I say “newer” meaning newer to us.  It’s a phrase that’s been around for a long time, so says my mom – “You can either eat it or lay your head down beside it!” That was mom’s retort to the complaints of “meatloaf, again?” or, “tuna casserole????”  In recent years, and only recent years, I have heard a few variations on that phrase but the general intent and words remained very close to the way that my mom spit it out.  My kids hear it and crack up.  That phrase, for the uninitiated, translates to “take it or leave it”, but, to this day, I still don’t know its origin.  You think I should ask mom, don’t you?  You think that would be a good idea, I bet.  Yeah, me too.

That’s gonna do it for today.  I’m going to give this thirty-day thingy another try.  It’s really no big deal.  I’ve always believed that any blogger worth his/her “html” and “publish button” should be able to post ad infinitum without very much effort.  After all, it’s what we do, right?  I know for a fact that I bleed html.  Peace.

copyright  ©  2008  freedom

Flava of the Day is “Right Direction” by En Vogue from EV3

Day 12 (Blade Runner)

Posted in blog marathon 2008, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , on July 21, 2008 by joelle blackstarr

In June of 1982, Ridley Scott’s masterpiece was released in theaters:  Blade Runner.  Between that time and now, the total number of versions has grown to three (3).  There is the theatrical release, the Director’s Cut, and the Final Cut.  I have seen the original about three times, and the Director’s cut about fifteen times.  I have yet to see the Final Cut.  There were actually seven (7) different versions created for different theater settings, but, only three that can be found on disc.  Blade Runner is, by far, my choice as favorite movie of ALL time! To say that I love this movie goes so far beyond understatement.

This is the story:  In the future, man has gotten so good at genetics that practically everything that one can buy, has been duplicated, particularly live things such as animals, reptiles, and, yes – humans.  Science has has come up with “close to perfect” copies of human beings, called “replicants”.  These replicants are uniquely different than the other types of copies – they have an extremely finite lifespan of four (4) years. Their lifespan is so short that they are infused with memories, so that they believe that they’ve been around for quite some time.  The problem is that some of these replicants (clearly more intelligent than true humans) are not satisfied with their finite lifespan, and seek answers, or more precisely, seek the answer to further longevity.  They escape the planet that they were assigned to and come to Earth.  Enter the Blade Runner.

A “Blade Runner” is a highly trained policeman who is very adept at locating and killing these replicants.  Replicants are not allowed on Earth, therefore, upon their illegal return, a Blade Runner is sent to “round” them up, as in “kill”.  After two other Blade Runners have failed in their attempts to kill the replicants, Rick Decker is called in.  Decker (played magnanimously by Harrison Ford) is the proverbial “reluctant hero”, who happens to be better than all the rest.  He therefore, reluctantly tracks these replicants, learning more in the process than he had bargained for.

I’ll stop there, in the event that you have not seen this fantastic movie, so as not to spoil it for you.  If you are, even in the very least sense, a Sci-Fi fan, this movie will definitely rank high up on your list of favorites, as goes Sci-Fi.  The adventure of the movie is awesome, but, to me, the characters that were written for this movie are absolutely top-rate.  Each is uniquely different than any characters that you may have come across in the past.

Although this movie was made a long time ago, it is still as vibrant, weird, and mind-blowing as it was when it first came out.  That weekend in 1982.  That day that it came out when I was there in the audience.  Yeah – it’s still as wonderful as that day after all this time.

copyright  ©  2008  freedom

Flava of the Day is “SHOOP” by Salt N Pepa

Day 11 (Comment Moderation)

Posted in blog marathon 2008, social commentary with tags , , , , on July 20, 2008 by joelle blackstarr

I am a bit perturbed. My irritation comes at some of the sites that I have visited that have “comment moderation”, as it were.  I’m annoyed because I have often come across posts which were, to say the least, very interesting in topic.  I have gotten my thoughts together and decided to leave a comment voicing my opinion on the subject.  But, as I hit the “submit button”, I find that the comments are being moderated and I will have to 1) wait to see if my comment will be posted, 2) wait to see if it will be posted in full or edited, and 3) probably forget where I left the remark in the first place.  By the time I get back to that particular page, I usually find that my comment was posted, either in full or edited, and several comments have been made after that time.  This is three or four days later.

The procedure is particularly annoying when one is involved in a “hot topic” and there is a need for interaction.  I have no problem with a person having different views than those which I take.  I enjoy hearing what other people have to say.  The fact is that I have always been enamored with the idea of the “debate”.  It is difficult to carry on debate, however, when one cannot get to the arena within which it is being held.

Make no mistake – there is no moderation on this site.  If you have something to say, feel free to say it without fear of it being held for moderation or fear of it being edited.  If your comments are filled with hate or racially discriminatory, yes – they will be deleted.  If it contains pornography – the comments will be deleted.  Other than that, say what you will, and it will be posted, as is.  I am new to this particular blog world.  I have blogged elsewhere, but, this atmosphere allows me to let loose – a lot better than other places that I have blogged.  Being new, please let me know if I am being unknowingly naive.  There may be some very legitimate reasons for moderating comments, of which I am not aware.  One such reason that I have heard is that the owner of the site had been “harassed”.  Didn’t buy that one.  I say “see a comment. hate it. delete. done”.  I just don’t understand that one can be held captive by some idiot who has no control over what YOU allow on YOUR site.  But, hey, that’s just me.

Freedom says drop it on me and let’s debate.  Peace.

copyright  ©  2008  freedom

Flava of the Day is “One Wish” by Hiroshima

The Great Gas-Out (July 2008)

Posted in blog marathon 2008, political commentary, politics, social commentary with tags , , , on July 17, 2008 by joelle blackstarr

Freedom has friends.  Would not have believed that one, would ya?  Well, I do.

Missy, C C Gill, Sienna Soul, and blackstarr started The Great Gas-Out, a boycott against the oil corporations.  Please join them and myself as we show the oil corporations that we have the economic power to shut them down.  Freedom says peace.

Please give a click:   The Renaissance For The New Millennium

Flava of the Day that I’m feeling is “Harlem Nocturne”, by Michael Lington.  Yeah!

Old School Flava: 7/16/2008

Posted in blog marathon 2008, Old School Flava with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 16, 2008 by joelle blackstarr

Disclaimer: Freedom is retired.  As such, I has no schedule and meet no deadlines unless I feel so lead.  I am introducing “Old School Flava” today (the way we said it, did it, expressed it back in the day, back in my generation).  That can cover music, language, lifestyles, customs and everything else.  Just because today is Wednesday, don’t come back next Wednesday looking for it, because it just might not be there.  Don’t get all up in arms because you stop by on a Saturday, and lo and behold, there it is.  Freedom is not scared of your lawsuits or your Johnny Cochran, so bring it on.  Freedom does what Freedom wants to do, when I want to do it.  Right about now, I take my lead from Maxwell: Whenever, Wherever, Whatever.  So, with that . . .

DANCE: Back in the day, a lot of songs were written about a new dance that had just come out.  The artists often explained how the dance was done.  I suppose that the greatest, most popular song was “The Twist” by Chubby Checker.  There was another dance called “The 81”, which was covered by two different songs and artists.  “The 81” by Archie Bell an the Drells, and there was another by the same name, female group, whose name I can’t recall (senior moment, as it were). Then, there was a fabulous song by The Dramatics, entitled “Get up, and Get Down”, which merely gave tribute to the way we danced.  There is one very memorable line in the song that goes “Look at mama, she’s tearin’ you up!” “Tearin’ you up” meant that someone has “out shined” you on the dance floor.  Another word that described pretty much the same thing was “squirreled”.  If you got squirreled, it meant that your dance partner’s steps were waaaay better than yours.  What do you kids say today?

Harmony:  It seems that the further we go back, the better the harmonizing was.  In recent history, we have Boys II Men, whose harmony touched souls from several generations.  If we go back a bit further, we come across KC and JoJo, who gave us “Tell Me It’s Real”, one of the best songs to come from that era  Even further back, we find Take 6, an a cappella group who, with its gospel influence, put us in mind of the Men’s Chorale at just about any Baptist church in town.

I plead with you to go back as far as the 1960’s and reminisce upon a group of a cappella singers known as The Persuasions.  In my humble opinion, this group presented the very best of a cappella singing and the greatest harmonizing ever.  EVER!! It is unfortunate that their album “We Came To Play” is no longer available, to my knowledge.  That album personified the flava of the group better than any of their other albums put together.  Since that is the case, Freedom offers you a small taste from another album, “Sincerely” with “Members Only”.

That’s Old School Flava for this week.  Enjoy.

copyright  ©  2008  freedom

Flava Of The Day that I’m feeling is Sweet Sensual Love by Big Mountain.  Yeah!

Day 2 (racial discrimination)

Posted in blog marathon 2008, social commentary with tags , , , on July 11, 2008 by joelle blackstarr

As I scanned cyberspace yesterday, I came across several interesting posts about the recent death of Jesse Helms.  The most fascinating post was highlighting some of the things that he said over the years concerning Black people, not a term with which he had come to grips.  He rather favored terms that we have come to know as most foul, as concerns Black people.  Not one to smirk at death, even when it is the death of one of the most despicable people to ever walk the face of the earth, I find it impossible to grieve in the least bit.  I hated everything that he stood for.  I despised the things that he did during his career that  helped to hold Black people back.

Yet, with all of his bigotry, he moved us to strive even harder.  It seems that the bigotry that is outwardly exhibited in some Caucasians is the very thing that gets us motivated.  I’m certain that you can remember the ruckus that the bigoted  Don Imus brought us.  You can recall the prejudicial outbursts made by Michael Richards (aka Kramer of Seinfeld fame).  Without intentionally trying to bring tears to your eyes, I remind you of the unarmed Amadou Diallo, shot forty-one (41) times by New York’s “finest”.  Last, and certainly last year’s biggest thorn, the Jena Six.  All of these events are historic in that they brought out the worst in American Caucasians.  They also got us, Black Americana, to move to action.  Letters were written, shows were protested, and marches were made.  When we are outraged enough, we will get off of our a$$e$ and do something.

When we are discriminated against, or feel that we have been, we are right to move into action.  We are correct in thinking that something needs to be done.  The majority of the time, the wrongdoing is being done by some Caucasian or Caucasians and we are quick to act, sometimes lightning quick.   Jesse Helms, Don Imus, and Michael Richards became “non-entities” in my eyes, long ago.  I trust that Helms made peace with God for all that he has done.  As for Imus and Richards, they have apologized for the statements they made.  I accepted those apologies but those persons still remain non-entities in my eyes.  I simply no longer recognize them as anything of importance to me.

What, then, do we do when the racial slurs and discrimination are being perpetrated by Black Americana itself?  Do we march?  Do we write letters?  Do we boycott? 

We process what we have heard or seen, digest it, and take a long hard swallow.  We then continue along our merry way as if what was said or done was of no relevance.

When racial epithets rear their ugly head and that head is attached to Black Americana, we need to move into action just as quickly and boldly as we do when that racism comes from Caucasians.  In my mind, those Black Americana that I speak of also become non-entities in my mind.  I am speaking specifically  about Kanye West. Having processed him into a non-entity, it pains me to even type his name on the page.

My boycott of Kanye West started when I got wind of some remarks that he made back in January 2007, remarks that he made in an issue of Essence Magazine.  The article states that he said “If it wasn’t for race mixing, there’d be no video girls”.  This referred to the incessant method of choosing women to star in music videos who are of mixed heritage, basically of lighter skin pigmentation.  He went on to say “Me and most of our friends like mutts” and concluded with “Yeah, in the hood, we call ’em mutts”.  He actually called them dogs.

Considering the fact that my brother is married to a German woman (translation: Caucasian), their three lovely daughters, who are my three lovely nieces, fall into that category.  When it hits home, one tends to take things personally.  My nieces are the most wonderful, sweetest young ladies to grace this green earth.  They are, by no means, dogs, or as West put it, mutts.  Had these statements been made by a Caucasian, we would have been up in arms.  Instead, we continue to purchase his CD’s and attend his concerts, lauding him with awards out the ying yang.  Michael Richards is a very humorous comedian, but, his talent does not afford him a pass.  Don Imus has the uncanny power to stir up tension on his talk shows, but, again, his talents do not gain him a pass.  In my book, no one gets a pass . . . not Richards, not Imus, and certainly not West.  Caucasians may lead the way, but they hold no monopoly on racism.  We, as a people, need to stop letting a$$holes like West get away with murder.  We need to hold them accountable.  We need to let them know that they cannot – Black, Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic, nor anything else – continue to degrade our people without some form of repercussion for the evil that they perpetrate.

Imus made an apology.  He is, no less, back to his normal antics, but, nonetheless, has made an apology for the remarks that first got him into hot water with Black Americana.  Richards has bowed down and vowed that such outbursts will never happen again.  So far, so good.  I have more respect for the two them than I have for West, if only for the fact that they had the sense to acknowledge their errors and ask forgiveness.  In a way, I can almost forgive Jesse Helms in that he knew he was a bigot and stood by what he believed in.  As for West he is nothing more than a bigoted a$$hole who needs to be blackballed by Black Americana until he finally sees fit to do the right thing.

Whether it is Fiddy, Diddy, Obama, or his mama – no one gets a pass – certainly not this a$$hole.

copyright  ©  2008  freedom

Day 1 (all that bull)

Posted in blog marathon 2008, just for the bull of it, social commentary with tags , , , , , on July 10, 2008 by joelle blackstarr

Most of us, at some point in our lives, have obsessed about dying.  I ended my obsession long ago.  I already know that I will go one of two ways:  if old age doesn’t get me, a Black woman will be the death of me.  I got an e-mail yesterday from some ole sweet thang saying “Freedom, I love ya, but, the “lower-case” bullsh*t has got to stop!  Now!  I can’t tell where one sentence ends and another begins.  Cease and desist!” What the . . . ?  Freedom does what Freedom wants to do!  I got my own style.  But, alas, here I am with the capitals and such.  Old age or a Black woman.  One or the other – that’s how I’m going out.

I just joined NaBloPoMo the other day.  For the uninitiated, that’s an acronym for National Blog Posting Month.  It’s a site dedicated to helping bloggers get into the habit of posting on a regular basis.  The idea is to make a post each and every day for one month – without skipping a day.  The only problem with it is that I am not too fond of the topics that they list.  Each month has a specific topic that each blogger is to post about for that given month.  Looking at the previous topics and the current one as well, it ain’t gonna happen!  Freedom don’t roll like that.  Freedom writes about whatever is on his mind at the time.  Therefore, in an effort to kickstart this blog, I will attempt to make a post every day, right here, from today until August 9th, 2008.  Yes – this post counts as day one.  You didn’t really think that I would let all of these good words go to waste, now did you?  So as not to infringe, I have decided to call it “Blog marathon”.

Don’t send me no more e-mails tellin’ me what to do!  That goes especially for you Black women out there.  You know that I can’t resist your demands.  If you should come across a topic that you think would start a good discussion, by all means feel free to let me know.  That doesn’t mean that I will necessarily take you up on your suggestion, but, at least, I will give it some consideration.  Why?  Because you know Freedom don’t take orders from nobody!  Well . . . nobody but a Black woman.  Peace.

copyright  ©  2008  freedom