Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Fat Time of the Year.

 Back home the holidays look like this.
The fireworks show, ice skating and fake blown snow all help to make a California town feel like Christmas - palm trees and all.
 The lights, carriage rides and costumed characters add to the feeling.
But here in Southeast Texas - Christmas is all about the food.
Thanksgiving is just the warm-up. (Although the lobster and shrimp macaroni and cheese sprinkled with bacon bits was pretty damn good.)

It gets cold down here on the Gulf.
No, not North Dakota cold but the temperatures drop enough and it rains enough to entice Creoles to show off their cooking skills.

On cold days people make Gumbo.
And no, not the stuff where people buy bottled roux and store bought ingredients.
I'm talking about roux made from frozen and saved drippings from various meat dishes and browned flour.
I'm talking about ingredients which are homemade, plucked, caught and/or grown.
I'm talking about that old-school Gumbo only ones great-aunt still makes.

No, it's not plated to be pretty.
It's not worthy of food-porn posts on Facebook.
The recipes will not be written in published books.
There may be some stray bacteria in the roux.
It may look the same coming out of your body as it did going in.
But NOTHING beats the food this time of year cooked by women who know no other way.

I Sat This One Out

 This election cycle was just too much for me - both locally and nationally.

In fact, I typed my own name in when it came time to vote for President. Friends were lost and relationships were strained over simple facebook posts.
Racists, anti-racists, feminists, Socialists, the downtrodden, the disenfranchised, the overlooked, the underrepresented, the unheard and the (insert your personal form of victimization here) were all hoping for 'change'.

But isn't this the same disillusioned and jaded group who elected Obama?
Weren't people tired of crooked bankers, self-serving politicians, mendacious media, religious leaders who were lusting after men, children and/or money, criminal cops, bad-assed kids... you know, weren't people tired of what we have allowed our world to become?

I just sat this election cycle out.
Locally, my county just elected it's first female and Black sheriff.

In a county and region known for its racial divide - A Black woman won.
This is the same area where one of the highest paid superintendents of schools in the country (yeah, he was a Black man) was run out of town and our school board taken over by the state - and the city was mad at his salary, race and the disappearance of tens of millions of dollars. This is a town where it's former Black mayor and council members were sent to prison for corruption. This is an area where a man was dragged to his death by racists, where sundown towns still exist and where neighborhoods are still largely segregated by race.
This is a county where Trump received more votes than Clinton.

There is no apparent Zenaphobia in this county.
Zena Stevens won her post in a long and drawn out election.
In the primaries she was opposed by a popular Black former quarterback in a Texas town where football is everything.
For good measure a white opponent was backed by the establishment in the hopes that the Blacks would split their votes between the Black candidates and that there would be no Black sheriff candidate on the final ballot.

But Blacks showed up at the polls in such great numbers that it was the two Black candidates who were forced to have a runoff. Ms Stevens won the runoff and had to face a candidate who was once pulled over and arrested for a DUI.

At a time when the candidates for POTUS had their character flaws largely ignored, in a known racist Southern almost Antebellum town, in a town still stung by the inept terms of Black leaders (both locally and nationally) - people chose their next sheriff based on her experience and qualifications.

The thing is, I think people voted for the outsider. For the candidate who didn't benefit from being seen as a well connected member of the current establishment.

And I think this is true with the election of Trump.
I think people were just sick of the status quo and all of the quid pro quo.
I think people voted for the outsider's outsider. I think people who had hoped for Obama to shake things up doubled or tripled down on someone who could really upset the cart.
I think Trump just captured the zeitgeist of those hoping for a reset.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Generation of Sissies

Back in the day - growing up in suburban Southern California - Halloween was always fun.
Not just trick-or-treating on the actual night. Not even the Dio de los Muertos celebrations the following days...

Halloween was fun enough; running from the big kids trying to steal our candy, eating all our 'good candy' before one got home only to have his parents take it, staying out later so that we'd get the final dump of candy before people would stop giving it out, knowing which houses have the full-size candy, picking pomegranates and having battles trying to stain the other kid's costumes in sticky red juice,... And in later years, pulling pranks on our friend's parent's homes. (Detergent and food coloring in swimming pools was oh-so common.)

Halloween season started with the opening of Knott's Berry Farm's Halloween Haunt (Currently called, Knott's Scary Farm.).
Depending on one's age, Halloween consisted of a trip or two to Knott's, an Oingo Boingo concert, strolling down Hollywood Blvd to trick-or-treat (as ten year olds, Hollywood Blvd on Halloween night was a sight to see.), and an endless list of Haunted Houses.

But the highlight - regardless of one's age - was always Knott's. Disneyland may have been more famous, Magic Mountain may have been bigger with better rides,
 but it was Knott's that was the most fun.

These days, pastors and the PC Police protest against everything as being offensive towards one group or another. (I'm just waiting for Black Lives Matter to protest the hanging of ghosts in trees as being symbolic of the lynchings of Blacks.)
These days Halloween attractions at Knott's are being closed because they may be traumatic to the mentally ill.

Really? Knott's was forced to close Fear VR 5150 because the mentally ill may become stigmatized by it's representations of the horrors of being trapped in an insane asylum?
What's next? Those who suffer from the 'disease' of obesity protesting Christmas because fat people are being portrayed as being cruel to reindeer and enslaving midgets (Or are they elves or dwarfs?)

Sheesh... bunch of overly self-sensitive sissies.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

First Transgender Actor?

Weeks after Jeffrey Tambor won an Emmy for his work in 'Transparent', a year after Bruce was celebrated as Caytlin - is 'Modern Family' really doing anything that daring?
(I catch the show on occasion - mostly to check out Sophia Vergara.)
While the show has just cast a young transgender eight year old (Can one really be transgender at that early of an age?) as the gay couple's adoptive daughter's new friend - is this really a 'first'?

In the tradition of the Onnagata in Japanese theater - Yellow Dancer from 'Robotech' was a transgender character in a children's cartoon - over thirty years ago.

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Shot Heard Around the World?

Reforms in the American justice/financial/religious systems have been promised for decades.
But can current events be the beginning of a modern-day Shot Heard Around the World? (Or at least The Shot Heard Around America?)

Power has never respected it's victims - power only respects power. The Third Estate will always be the victim - until it realizes that it doesn't have to be. Modern-day Metics (Not slaves. I've never heard of slaves applying for work on plantations - most of y'all asked to be where you are.) in America (minorities) will always be second-class citizens until they realize that they don't have to be and take on the added responsibilities that go along with being a free citizens.

Black lives will never matter.
(Until Blacks prove that they do.)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

I HATE Nightclubs

I'm just good at them.

The club for which I am currently consulting (think: Bar Rescue) is doing VERY well. It's doing so well that it's primary creditors are offering to take the club from it's current owners and offering to give me the club.
Shiiid... That's how I ended up with my last few clubs...

There are three rules in nightclub ownership;
1) Pay your employees.
2) Don't sleep with your employees (or customers).
3) Pay your bills, fees, licences, and taxes.
That's all.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Run, Boy, Run

Every kid in the hood knew to be home before the streetlights stopped flickering.
I wonder if the practice had it's roots in slavery.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Police Involved Lynching - NAACP Speaks Up

 Some criticize Hollywood for the white-washing of historically non-white figures in feature films. These are the same people who celebrate the diverse cast in a play about a distinctly un-diverse group of historical figures.
These are the effete erudites who form the new Politically Correct Cultural Police.

The PCCP exaggerate every real and perceived racial slight. These are those who gasp and clutch their pearls at even the slightest micro-aggression.
The PCCP passively-aggressively lynch and bully their victims on social media.
 While covering a story about proper and acceptable racial casting - Amy Robach misspoke by referring to Blacks (Or is it 'black', 'Negro', 'African-American', or whatever the latest terminology is these days.) as 'Colored People' instead of 'People of Color'.
If the term 'Colored People' is so offensive - shouldn't the PCCP first seek to teach the NAACP a lesson?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Climate Change?

 California ALWAYS burns. This isn't news. Everyone knows to plant iceplants on hillsides and as a perimeter around one's house. Everyone knows to clear excessive brush. Everyone knows to prepare for the inevitable.
 Louisiana floods - it always has. Where do they think all the swamps came from. That's why caskets are not burried but placed in concrete enclosures above ground.
But the thing I'm noticing here in Texas are the super colonies of Crazy Ants. I thought Fire Ants were the top-dog in the ant world. Fire Ants displace most other ants and termites but the Crazy Ant is able to neutralize the Fire Ants' venom and they are displacing the Fire Ant here in many parts of Texas.

My neighborhood was built on old rice fields which had soil imported to raise our homes to at least four feet above street grade. I've had water up to my mailbox that still did not reach even halfway up my lawn. People prepared for the inevitable.

But back to these ants. Fire Ants and Crazy Ants are at war and human structures are paying the price.
There was no way we could foresee nor prepare for this invasion.

Who Knew Swimmer's Lives Mattered?

I used to swim as a kid. I learned to swim because I couldn't swim. That is to say that even after two stints at the week long sessions at our local YMCA I still could not swim.

We had a pool in our back yard and two pools in our subdivision and I refused to be the only child in my family who could not swim. I woke up early every morning and practiced not drowning every day for about a week. First on the steps then in the shallow end. Then I practiced floating, then holding my breath under water, then propelling myself from one end of the shallow water to the other. I surprised my mom about a month later by being able to swim the length of our pool.

My youngest brother had a rival in our neighborhood who he'd beat in everything. The kid's father couldn't believe that Black kids from the hood could be good in so many things. The kid's father wanted to save his son's pride so he invited us to try out for our local AAU team. The kid finally had something at which he could beat my brother. But this did not last long. After a time we were qualifying for A and AA meets. I sucked. I topped out at barely qualifying for JO's but both of my younger brothers competed at the NJO level.

So yeah, this year in Rio I was pleased to see Simone Manuel win gold as a Black American swimmer.
But I also played water polo. Though I managed to letter as a freshman and started as a senior in high school (I only played two years)  I wasn't very good. So again, I am paying attention to Ashleigh Johnson and the women's Olympic team and their quest for gold.

Rap Genius cites nine name-drops of Michael Phelps in rap lyrics. I never really payed attention. Maybe it was his weed smoking that caught their attention?
But looking at my club's newsfeed on Facebook, maybe it's his domination that makes him relevant for a group that most wouldn't think would be paying attention.
 Okay, I could understand this - a cute shot of the tall Phelps and the Short Biles.
 But my club's page also had Phelps throwing shade.
And this meme was a Black favorite.

Back in high school the basketball team and coaches would watch me swim. Seeing a Black swimmer who would actually win was not common. In water polo I was a bit of a Prima Dona. I'd start, score, sub out to talk to my football friends in the stands, sub in, score, sub out and go back to hanging out with my friends.  I was just playing so that I could show off.
But swimming and water polo were  NOT 'cool' sports at my school. Most of of the other participants were only second or third tier popular.

So yeah... Seeing so many Blacks paying attention to swimming matters to me. Maybe twenty years from now we'll see an American team filled with those from many races.

Sometimes People Get What They Deserve

Except for a few rent-free homes, I'm out of the skumlord business. Just this past month I retired from the nightclub business as well. (Although I will still do the occasional bar consulting gig.) I think I'm done with trying to help the 'hood altogether.
Well, I'll still tutor kids and check on the elderly but as far as those who should be able to do better for themselves by themselves - I'm done. Nothing has happened to me - maybe it's just the self-identification of so many as being a 'victim' that did it for me. Maybe I'm just sick of those who have been inspired by the lost direction of the BLM movement. Maybe I'm just sick of dealing with people whose only education is acquired through facebook memes. Maybe I'm around too many dumb people who are too dumb to even know that they're dumb. (I think it was Craig who pointed out the Dunning-Kruger effect or anosognosia.)

I did like Dre when he walked away from Ruthless and Deathrow - I just said, 'effit - just keep that and I'll leave you alone.'. My old partners got into financial troubles (It seems that there are very few people who can make lots of money and whose desire doesn't become to make even more money.) so they had a drug dealer buy into their shares of the business. The drug bosses had assumed that I'd stay if given a big enough 'bonus' but I walked instead. In the past month the clubs' revenue has dropped by two-thirds and it's debts have gotten worse.
I've started a new consulting gig at the worst club in town that has the worst reputation. This club has seen it's clientele and staff upgraded and it's profits grown. I need money, I even like it - it's just that there is a right way to make it.

One of my old clubs was a financial anchor in a bad part of town. Like LeBron when he left Cleveland, I've made enemies by leaving the hood.
Community leaders, politicians and business owners meet at a funeral home down the block to addresses social and political issues in this part of town. The meetings are pointless (in my opinion) because nothing ever gets accomplished.

I went to a recent meeting which focused on the closing of a chain grocery store in the Black areas. There were hundreds of people present at this meeting expressing anger at the food deserts created by the closings. The chain cited high crime, high costs and low profits for their reason of leaving the hood. It was a business move.
After listening to all the complaints I suggested that everyone present should donate $100 to a fund which could start a neighborhood grocery store. I pointed out that Hispanic and Asians owned most of the mom-and-pop stores in the area so the concept was doable. When only five of the more than one hundred people agreed to donate money to benefit the community and a worthy new business owner I asked why others balked. Almost to a person the main complaint was that they would gain nothing personally by giving this pittance away. That they wanted to be listed as an owner. That making someone else 'rich' would not help their lives.

So yeah... I'm done with Niggas (no, not Black people) - they are too dumb and selfish to even know that they are dumb and selfish.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Let The Culling Begin

I guess the Philippines have escalated their war on drugs.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

If Hillary Wins....

There will be no more gender inequality.
(Just as there is no more racism since the election of a Black president.)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Well... Effyoo Then...

So the popo tried to initiate a change and simple-assed nigga's rejected the offer?
Mutha' Fucka' please....
Some victims just LIKE being the victim. (Especially when the media pays attention to them)

Pokemon Go?

Nintendo may be on to something without even knowing it.
While I have yet to play the game - or even seen the animated series for that matter - Pokemon Go seems to me a model in personal interaction for a electronic media generation.

I wonder if Nintendo can charge businesses for placing rare characters near their locations as a way to advertise?
While the popularity of the app seems to have peaked - there seems to be billions of people who have yet to even try the game.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Serena Williams - The White Nerd's Ultimate Fantasy?

J-Lo/Kim K/Beyonce - Pick one, they are almost interchangeable. But if these women are too 'ethnic' for you there is always...

Coco Austin.
If we are talking about one's phenotype all Coco is lacking is a bit of melanin and she could easily be interchanged with the women above.

But nerds don't like the thick athletic body type.
Or do they?
Nerds create comic books and draw their idealized versions of The Perfect Woman.

Even Wonder Woman is thicker with more ass than the television version portrayed by Linda Carter.

The other nerd fantasy realm is that of video games.

From an Aesir deity to an Asian Kung Fu warrior to an otherworldly assassin - the sylphid phenotype doesn't seem to be the ultimate nerd fantasy.

Who nerds really fantasize about when they are able to create their Perfect Woman seems to be..

Serena Williams.
(Even if they won't admit it.)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Is The Machine Too Big?

Was the lack of an endorsement by Senator Ted Cruz a message to Trump and his constituents from those who really run the Republican party?
Is Ted just a lap dog who is setting himself up for a future presidential run?

Whom Do You Fear?

 While you watch the nightly news while sitting comfortably on your couch in your air conditioned house and drinking the latest IPA on these long summer days - are you worried that some random gang member will randomly target your house to break in to rob you, beat your kids and rape your wife?

Most of the time you're not in a situation where thugs involved in gang violence have anything to do with you.
If your family and friends are of a similar socio-economic ststus, they probably have nothing to worry about either.
Your neighborhood is probably safe.
Your job is probably in a secure environment.
And most of your daily activities are probably conducted in areas where street thugs are not any real threat to you.

I know, I know - someone told you that street thugs were dangerous because they have nothing to lose.

But what of those who have everything to lose?

Do you  ever worry about those who actually have the power, influence and resources to take away your hard-earned comforts and luxuries?

Back in the day, I knew a lot of really bad people.
Some were gangsta's while many others had respectable careers.
Being present at a business meeting I warned one attendee to watch his back.
The guy immediately began to look at the street contingency.
 'No, not them. They are cray-cray because they have nothing to lose. THEM. The are evil because they have everything to lose and they will do anything to keep it.', I said.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Ugliest

 Back in the day, Arsenio Hall had a stand-up bit about the Boston Celtics being the ugliest team in the NBA.
I'm not really an Arsenio fan but that routine was funny.
I cannot recall the whole bit but the team members were compared to animals and Frankenstein among a whole bunch of other things that would cause one to be banned from social media sites today.
While maybe a bit mean - the routine was so funny that Charles Barkley would bring the issue up almost thirty years later.
Now there's Leslie Jones.
Apparently it's okay to make a career out of making fun of everyone else but it's not okay when people make fun of her?
This re-boot of Ghostbusters is so bad that no one is even talking about the movie but instead the media focuses on the internet trolling of one of it's cast members?

Honestly, Ms Jones is NOT a pretty woman - some may even say 'ugly'.
But that's okay - not everyone is Beyonce or Rihanna.

I'm not a fan of most female comedians so if one is not funny she should at least be appealing.
I see enough overweight and unattractive women in my day to day life - I don't need to pay (Well.. I get free movie tickets but you know what I'm saying.) to see that on the big screen with Melissa McCarthy or Leslie Jones. The roles of these two could have easily been filled by Sarah Silverman (One of my JAP crushes), Amy Schumer (The biggest I'd go), Mindy Kaling (stereotypical Indian scientist casting), Aisha Tyler (If they needed a six-footer who is Black), Chelsea Peretti (I'm crushing on her as well) or an unknown like Marina Franklin.

Is calling Ms Jones 'ugly' being racist?
No, it may be mean but it's definitely not racist to prefer good looking women.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Killing In The Name Of...

Before my hometown was part of cop-killer Chris Dorner's rampage, another officer ambush was carried out on the streets in my old neighborhood.

Back in the day we lived in the hood.
It wasn't so much ghetto as it was working class.
Most of the families were two-parent. Most of the fathers had served in the military. And most people were purchasing their homes.

My preschool was less than a block from my house. The program was started and supported by members of the Black Panthers. (As a four year old, I was afraid of 'black panthers'. I had seen The Jungle Book and knew that the black panther Bagheera was not one to be messed with. And I heard the adults say that our neighborhood was filled with 'Black Panthers'.) The local headquarters for the group were a block in the other direction. My neighborhood - while somewhat integrated - was filled with militant former military men.

I lived in a peaceful neighborhood.
That was until one night when the police burst into homes looking for suspects.
Two officers had been ambushed down the street from my preschool.
The official story states that the ambush was carried out in response to the shooting of a fleeing suspect a few nights earlier.
To the police, every Black male of a certain age looked like the suspect.

As kids, we were sheltered from 'grown folk's business' but we knew something was wrong. That something was now different.
Before this incident we were taught to run whenever we saw the police - afterwards, we knew why.
The ambush was so serious that Black Panther founder Bobby Seale came to my neighborhood.

I was too young to be a suspect or to be harassed by the police. Back then, kids were not allowed to join gangs, sell drugs or do anything else that hindered their ability to just be kids.
All I knew was that it was time for us to move.
The racial environment had shifted to the point that my parents didn't want us to be exposed to the negative impact of an angry and bitter population.
We moved from the hood to the hills.

Years later I became friends with the daughter of one of the officers killed.
I knew how her father died but I never brought it up.
Years later I would become close friends to many officers, detectives, investigators and chiefs.
Years later I would benefit from the corruption and favoritism of these men in blue. (It was so bad that I could place orders for things I wanted and then have the officers confiscate items on my list from suspects and then deliver them to me. I didn't pay for the items, the cops were just showing off. I thought it was funny.)

I guess I enjoyed a level of 'privelege' some say is reserved for only a certain demographic.
I guess I've been away from the hood for so long that I no longer understand much of the Black angst.
I guess I've grown so comfortable in my connections that I can have lunch or drinks to solve a problem instead of protesting or killing.
I guess my time to be a bitter and resentful victim has passed and the best thing for me to do in this current struggle is to just sit back and watch.


If Ruby Ridge,
And the raid in Waco
Led to the subsequent bombing in Oklahoma City by former military member Timothy McVeigh.
What caused the lone-citizen revolts in Dallas and Baton Rouge?

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Is She a Man?

 This was asked of the most dominant female athlete of all time. (Babe Didrikson)
 The same question was asked about tennis player Martina Navratilova.
And now underperforming shrubs are asking the same thing about Serena Williams.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I'm Not a Cop

In the last couple of weeks I've had several incidents involving gun play.

The first one was at breakfast after the club. It involved a cheating dope-boy and his crazy wife.
By the time the husband (who had been drinking at my club) showed up at the Waffle House the wife had her pistol drawn and began to shoot. The parking lot emptied as I directed each person to go home in different cars before the po-po showed up.
As a waitress ran inside to call the cops while telling me to run - 'Oh, they won't shoot me.', I replied.
The couple left about thirty seconds before the police arrived.
By the time the officers came into the restaurant to question the employees I had begun to eat.
 'No, sir. They'll be fine. I sent them home.', I said to the policeman.
He asked if I knew them and I told him that I just see them around and didn't want to see anyone going to jail that night.

The next night a family celebrating a wedding got into a heated argument after the club.
As I walked to the parking lot to see what was happening, 'John, come stand by me. Even you're not bulletproof.', a monster (A street king's enforcer) said to me.
As the fighting got closer and more guns were being pulled, 'Did you at least have fun tonight?', I asked the bride.
She stopped and thanked me as her family came over to thank me as well.
I told them to get home safely and to come back again.
They gathered their family and left.

The last incident I had to ask a guy to hand me his gun as he was about to shoot another.
'Hey man, don't do that here. Let me get that.', I said.
I took (Well, 'received') his gun and handed it to his cousin.
'Nah, you're good. Just don't do that here.', I said as he was being loaded into a car.
All he said was, 'I'm sorry Mr John - I respect your spot.'.
The po-po rolled up about a minute later.
'I heard you almost got shot eating breakfast.', the officer said to me as patrons were trying to hide whatever they had to hide.
'Yeah, well.... That's the club life.', I replied.
The officer made small talk, nodded towards guys trying to hide whatever they may have had, shook my hand, asked if I was alright then left.

Was I scared?
Ummm, no. Not till after the fact.
But I knew it was just easier to de-escalate a situation than it was to take over.
Sure, I usually have guns trained on my surroundings when ever I exit the club (and sometimes by not the most honorable of men) but a gun is not always necessary when faced with a gun.
Police officers have a whole belt full of tools - the lethal use of a gun should never be his first option.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Donald Trump is Wally George

Back in the day, my boy Pitts used to come to my house after school to watch KDOC 56.
My dad would leave for work at about 4:30 and he wouldn't get back until sometime the next morning.
My house was a crash pad for those who didn't want parental supervision.

We'd always watch MV3 (a locally produced UHF version of MTV) and later we'd catch episodes of Wally George.
Wally had this whole staged Conservative shtick which would bring his audience to a boil.
He would say the most ridiculous things,
 but the more ridiculous the more his crowd agreed with him.

Wally looked and sounded a lot like Trump.

Even down to their daughters.
(Rebecca DeMornay & Ivanca Trump)
If Wally were alive today, could he Out-Trump Trump?