Wednesday, March 29

Miss Patti: (Not) On My Own

It seems peculiar, some of the media coverage Patti LaBelle's receiving surrounding a meltdown she had on-stage at a jazz fest in Riviera Beach, Florida. It's unfortunate that poor weather and scheduling broke the diva's voice -- and therefore, her spirit. But it happened, she'll rest up, not a big deal, right?

Wrong. Now a new, surprising angle has cropped up with this seeming non-issue... Now the mayor of the town is freaking out about what his people "did" to Patti.

"It's a black-eye for the city," Mayor Michael Brown rants, putting the organizers on full blast. City Council's coordinating a big meeting to analyze what went wrong with the show to trigger Patti's break-down.

Is this the sort of thing your elected officials usually get involved in? Personally, I like a mayor who can fix a school system or a tight job market. But a jazz concert? I don't know.

A Patti Man

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Tuesday, March 21

After Project Runway: 'Inner Ahhhndraes' unleashed

Some would call it a "Make it work" attitude, but I'm going to start considering it one's inner Ahhhndrae. As in the magical personality of Andrae Gonzalo from Project Runway.

Inner Ahhhndre is the Say Whuuuut? quality that oozes from two of the Project Runway faves -- up-and-coming designer Santino Rice and the show's mentor/co-host Tim Gunn -- in these interviews. If you too "are addicted," get your fix -- that fashion dope -- here:

From Tim's two Q&A interviews:

Famous people love the show, too. I recently interviewed Beyoncé and she’s a fan.
I heard about Meryl Streep through Bravo, and I’ve had dinner with Sarah Jessica Parker twice.
Tim Gunn's in The Advocate

Name one thing you have in your house from your childhood?
Mr. Wee, a floppy stuffed animal [giraffe-like] covered in the upholstery of our living room couch at that time. Considering that he's my age, it's remarkable that he's only missing a leg.
Tim Gunn in the Chicago Tribune.

From Santino's riotous Q&A interview:
What's up between you and Jay from last season? Do you consider yourself a much better designer? And much funnier. On every level, just more. And that'll come across really nice, I'm sure. Hahaha.
Santino in the Village Voice.

Project Runway had such a colorful cast of characters last season. Every personality somehow engaging, many of them quirky.

I have an idea for a reality show, but I'll never tell! It's not anything I'm about to pursue. But someday I'm sure I'll see it TV and I'll delight in the fact that I had the same vision and could have made millions. But I was busy blogging about it, instead of "Making it work"...

Want more?

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Wednesday, March 15

Bonita. Bonita. Bonita.

I try not to do too much of this, as it can be dangerous. But: I've been thinking... Yup. It started with a post the other day where I mentioned that ominous line by George Clinton, who asked in the party anthem of the seventies, "Are you hip to Easter Island?"

So today when I saw that Easter Island was in the news, I went in search of a Mothership Connection.

I read a couple stories about Easter Island, first about scientific theories for why its original inhabitants -- the makers of these statues -- became extinct. But one article in particular made me think of two friends from the past. Both of these guys had confided that they were from another planet.

Now, don't ROFL. I'm not saying these people were 100% locked and loaded; both were quite, umm, unconventional. Both happen to be from Philly. (Maybe that's the epicenter of this ET invasion.) They didn't know each other, and I met them years apart.

Anyway, here's what gave me the flashback about these guys. It's from explorer Francis Maziére's book, chronicling his 1963 stay on Easter Island. Maziere studied the island, its history and people and may have inspired George Clinton and others by writing this:

When we were in camp we used to have long, anxious conversations by night as we gazed not only at the blazing stars but also at the artificial satellites that often passed overhead. We were told certain things ... that seem to me to be of terrible importance. I write them in the order that I [was told them by the Easter Islanders]:

  • The inhabitants of Jupiter have settled the concordance of the planets.
  • The first planet that men will come to know is Venus.
  • Our bodies cannot withstand more than two months on the planets.
  • All the planets worship the Sun.
  • Not many stars are inhabited.
  • Among us there are people whom we cannot see….
  • The current and the light of Venus are produced by the air.
  • Two planets, Jupiter and Mars, have no natural electricity: they are like the Earth.
  • There are no winds.
  • Only our Earth has men of different colours.
  • There is only one Sun, and no-one can live on it.
  • There are people living on the Moon.
  • There is one planet that has no vegetation and no earth; it is made up of water and rocks alone.
  • The sort of human beings who live there are different, and they are born in the water.
Are the people who tell us such things certifiable? Stoned? Or really looking for our leader?

I don't land squarely on either side of the question. I just like tripping off the fact that no one seems to have indisputably figured out extraterrestials. Really, we're all like A Tribe Called Quest. You know, in the intro for Bonita Applebaum? Where Q-Tip begs in that frail, helium-ish voice, "Can you let me know? Right now, please?"

Space, the final frontier. Not just knee-deep.

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Tuesday, March 14

Isaac Hayes: 'Chef' has left the kitchen

Holy Hamburger! Soul music legend Isaac Hayes is putting away his beloved pots 'n' pans. That's right: Ike is done with the animated series South Park, on which he's voiced the character 'Chef' for so long. He cites frustration with religious insensitivity for his departure.

A devout Scientologist, the hot-buttered Oscar Award winner for the Theme From Shaft says "growing insensitivity toward personal spiritual beliefs" in the media has his ire, including the recent controversy over cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad. He doesn't specifically criticize South Park's content, but part of the show's charm is its penchant to "go there" on just about any subject.

Ike has taken a thought-provoking stance. We really do need a paradigm shift -- or something -- on our religious outlook in America. We seem increasingly at odds with the notion of religious tolerance on which the nation was founded. We too easily make light of others' beliefs. But the reality is, warring between those of differing religious ethos is not at all a new phenomenon.

Other bloggers say:

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Sunday, March 12

Chuuch: Bush Policy Pimp Busted for Boosting

Another Sunday, another sermon. So sorry, but this hymn bares repeating: You know it's hard out here for a pimp. Because I recall seeing this Republican one

Claude Allen
Black Bush disciple, Claude Allen, busted for shopliftingswagging on camera at the White House with President Bush and Karl Rove. I didn't know his name or role with the Bush administration then, but we all know more about Allen now than I'm sure he'd like: Mack Daddy was busted in a suburban D.C. department store for alleged theft.

The store says that Allen, owner of a million-dollar home in Maryland, boosted merchandise valued at $5,000, then tried to return it for the dough.
{{{ Can you say mortgage in Neverland? }}}

But I could be wrong. Could have just been gear for putting hoes down.

Until this scandal unravelled over the past few weeks and he resigned, Mr. Allen was an Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy. A legal eagle/strategist who helped craft and promote a couple little policies we -- the Hoes of America -- don't care for, such as anti-safe sex and anti-abortion.

Little wonder, though. I've read about Mr. Allen's church. At his Covenent Life Church, they get down speaking in tongues, make up all of their own songs, and like for women to stay in their place. Like a pimp.

Wait: They make up all their own songs?! No "Ship of Zion"? Not even an Eye On the Sparrow? Well, I bet they know this one -- er'body does:

You know it's hard out here for a pimp

When he tryin to get this money for the rent

For the Cadillacs and gas money spent

Because a whole lot of bitches talkin' shit

First Cheney's shot heard round the world; now this. Er'body just gangsta.

Other bloggers speak:

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Saturday, March 11

Another World

It's a different world, for sure.... The other day, I heard a radio DJ ask his listeners a question that really sparked my imagination. This was the question: Which Hip-hop artist do you feel has the absolute worst endorsement package? You might think the clothes are wack. You might feel the product's too commercial. Or maybe you consider the corporate sponsor too low profile for that particular artist.

Lord, times sure have changed. I remember when endorsement packages were as foreign a concept to African American artists as the need for heat in hell. But that's hardly the case today.

Now here's where the concept got deep: I started imagining some of the old school artists who missed out on "endorsement opportunities." Wouldn't you have loved these lucrative mega-deals showcased by big-azz billboards in the 'hood?

Marvin Gay Don't just DO it. Let's get it ON!Let's Get It On with Viagra

Image Hosted by Make ya' wanna do right. Grits Make ya' wanna do wrong...

Diana Ross If there's a cure for this, I don't want it. Good morning, Heartache

Prince I'm Chiquita Banana and I'm here to say...Officer Friendly

Lip-syncing to Paula Abdul: "Girl you know it's true..." American idle Milli Vanilli

Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul Well...?

A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste So Stay In School, Bitch! Rick James, bitch

George Clinton, Funkateer in Charge Are you hip to Easter Island? Space: The Final Frontier

Good morning, Heartache Good morning, Heartache. FTD

James Brown, Godfather of Soul Look like-a, like-a Sex Machine. Hair movin'. Groovin. Dark & Lovely

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Monday, March 6

It's hard out here for a shrimp

Why is The Establishment so aghast about "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" winning the Oscar for Song of the Year? As Jay-Z says, "Ladies is pimps, too. Gone pop ya' collar." In other words, why are some taking the message of the song so literally? Everyone with a little something going on in their lives is a pimp, and it's never easy. For further explanation of modern day pimpin', see the White House. See the oil industry. See Hollywood. See, Donald Trump. See Lil' Kim and Martha Stewart. See, if you ain't pimpin', you shrimpin'. This is just the American way.

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