Editor’s Note: This blog entry is a response to “Enough with the Profiling, Don’t You Have a Job to Do?” by Jamal Turner. Devin Cho’s gossip will return next week. Unless this is his last week. (more…)
Hey!! Vic Mancuso here!! I’m bringing you a video review this week, because frankly, there isn’t anything playing in theatres right now that’s worth Vic’s time. I mean, am I supposed to believe a man can turn into a Wolfman? Come on people.
So last summer this little oriental lady walked up to me in Dunkin Donuts with a bag full of movies. She had all the latest summer blockbusters and offered me “a deal I couldn’t refuse”. (that’s from the godfather!)
She said “G.I. Joe. Clear copy. Four dollars. Clear copy.”
So I gave her the $4 bucks and got my copy, but when I got home the fuckin’ thing wouldn’t play in my DVD player. I ran back to Dunkin Donuts to get my money back from the broad but she was already gone!!
It wasn’t until last week that I finally got to see the movie. My little cousin Tony brought a copy over and we watched it. Man, what a kickass movie it was! I was expecting a kid’s movie, but what I got was the best war movie since Delta Force 2.
G.I. Joe is the top secret military group that saves the world from terrorist plots that the normal military can’t handle. Their biggest threat comes when a shady gang named Cobra shows itself and threatens to destroy major cities using these green bugs that can eat up metal like an infection you can’t stop from spreading. Cobra is run by an Irish guy named Destro, a hot piece named Baroness, and a badass white ninja called Storm Shades.
When Cobra gives the Joes a run for their money, the Joes decide to recruit some new troops. They find tough guy Duke, and his comic sidekick Marlon Wayans. The two prove they have what it takes to be Joes, and they are given access to the latest high tech weapons to use against Cobra, including body armor that makes them run really fast.
They’re good, but the real hero of the group is Snake Eyes. Whoever played Snake Eyes should win the Oscar. It can’t be easy to act while wearing a mask. Vic’s no sissy, but I admit I got a little choked up when Snake Eyes fights his own brother, the white ninja Storm Shades. Without even moving his mouth, I knew Snake Eyes did not want to kill Storm Shades. That’s acting!
I wasn’t that big a fan of the GI Joe cartoon way back in the 80s when I was a kid. I couldn’t get past the fact that in the cartoon, nobody ever died. What good is war if nobody dies? In the movie you can see the real pain of war. The Joes and Cobras get into at least 3 big battles, each one more spectacular than the last… and the body counts rise! The movie realistically shows you how bad terrorism could get in the world if the bad guys had access to high-tech laser weapons and a white ninja.
This is a movie everyone on earth should watch. Like any good war movie, it has a powerful message. Blowing things up will only end in people dying. If all the terrorists, army guys, and regular people saw this, then maybe, just maybe everyone would get on the same page and there could be peace.
With the Oscars coming up, I hope G.I. Joe gets the nods it deserves.
Speaking of which, make sure you tune in next week for Vic’s Oscar Picks of the Week!
P.S. You’re in for an extra treat when Brendan Frasier shows up in a cameo as the Joe’s drill sergeant!! I think I could have brought a little extra something to that role, but good job Brendan!! Credit where credit is due. You rocked it buddy!
I work as an assistant to an editor of a stylish monthly magazine. I love my job but whenever I accompany my boss to a photo op, be it a premiere, gallery event, etc., I am horrified to see that she is rocking counterfeit purses!
We were just at an exclusive Fashion week party (backstage at Tommy Hilfiger’s Fall 2010 show) and my boss posed for a photo op sporting a fake LV purse! Rosario Dawson, Ashley Olson, and Anna Wintour were in attendance. No doubt with aficionados like this in the room the fake was spotted with the quickness.
I don’t know if she knows but it’s pretty embarrassing! Should I say something? Rick Ross was recently put on blast for wearing fake LV sunglasses on the cover of XXL!!
Sorry to hear you have to travel around with the fakestress! This reminds me of the day Jill Clancy hoodwinked me into joining her in Chinatown to shop for bags. I thought she was going to buy a Chinese purse or something. Homegirl had the nerve to be looking for Channel!!! Not Chanel, Channel. I don’t want to knock anyone’s hustle but fake designer bags, REALLY?!?
LV was so upset about the Rick Ross incident they actually wrote a letter to XXL advising that the sunglasses were counterfeit and illegal. Your boss better hope the fashion police don’t catch up to her. I’m predicting a huge fine if they do! Not to mention the real life ramifications. Last year the Taiwan Intellectual Property Court fined a fake bag maker 7.5 million US dollars for infringing on the Hermes trademark.
In the end, you still have to go to work and keep your head up. I wouldn’t say anything if she doesn’t ask for your opinion. She’s your boss, not your girlfriend. It could be worse, she could be making you carry her fake bag for her.
Comic-book sales these days are very low when compared to comics’ Golden Age, or Silver & Bronze Ages, or especially the “speculative investment years” of the Iron Pyrite Age. When asked about this at non-comics industry gatherings, I usually pointed to the overwhelming majority of comics featuring super-heroes as one of the main reasons for the decline in comic-book sales. (more…)
Chad Tate here, reporting live (even if it’s after recovery from my hangover), from the Winter Olympics.
First, I just want to thank Jamal and the EXPO team for allowing me this opportunity to cover this historic event – all expenses paid AND the freedom and flexibility to choose my angle to write about. Still don’t know how he hooked it up, but I’ve got ALL ACCESS to events AND vehicle permits. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think I’m IOC.
I’ve pretty much been event hopping, drinking, causing a ruckus, and hitting the after parties. This, quite possibly, may be the most fun I’ve had since my days in the NFL. Thank God I have my girl here to keep me a little bit in line. There have been multiple occasions I’ve found my behavior to be sub-Olympic standards. However, in some cases, Chad Tate’s behavior is making headline news!
Anyway, here are the TOP highlights.
1. Shaun White is a Bad-Ass: The snowboarder formerly known as the Flying Tomato, who looks more like the deformed kid from the movie, The Mask – the one with Cher – is in a league of his own. I watched this kid at the X-Games fly up in the air on a half pipe and smash his face on a ledge of ice, only to get up and do the same trick to take the Gold. So he comes in here with a routine that had more twists and spins than the chopper in Black Hawk down, but lands it. Similarly, he and his coach take firepower from insurgent paparazzi regarding their pre-run language before a run. Seriously? Congrats, Shaun. Oh, and your parties rival the Playboy Mansion. Still needs some work, but given you’re only 23, impressive.
2. Sorry Lago!: My man Scott Lago barely knocked out the Swiss from medal contention, and took home the Bronze. But, this dude is a stud. Unlike White, he has pipe skills and the looks. Every girl within a 25 foot radius had a comment somewhere along the lines of “OMG! I’d totally _______ him if I could. Well, I saw that as an opportunity to promote my latest line and offered one of the chicks a Chad Tate Crock-Pot for her and all of her BFFs if she could get close enough to him and pose all sexy with his medal. She ends up getting on her knees and sucking on the medal! It was nuts! I learned the most important rule of journalism. TMZ is everywhere! Lo and behold, Scotty got some heat, some girls got some serious cookware, and Lago left the Olympics to make the IOC happy.
3. We rule; Great Britain sucks: Yes, our independence not only took dental hygiene right out from under the Brits’ feet, but we must have taken the lineage of winter athletes too. They’ve got what – one medal to our 25 – so far? There’s actually a lobbying group from over there, HERE, lobbying the IOC to get indoor soccer in as an official sport for 2014. Is that all they got – soccer? They may knock us out of the first round of the World Cup this summer, but these guys are in the same league as Kazakhstan and Slovenia. In the words of the Patriot and 1988 Royal Rumble Champion “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan “U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A!”
4. Curling is not Curling: I’m a pretty strong dude, actually, a REALLY strong dude, so when I heard that there were WOMEN curlers, I had to check this event out. I totally thought I was headed to an indoor weight-lifting competition and boy, was I wrong. It seems as if in other countries, curling is not about biceps and raising big weight at the expense of your elbows. You push this flying saucer looking thing down the ice into a target. The challenge is that you may have to push it around others’ saucers and possibly knock other out of the way. You know, it’s kind of like that shuffleboard game I play when I’m down in Ocean City – but on ice. Anyway, in the NFL, when I was about to have the ball hiked to me on rival fields, the crowd would go nuts, screaming and yelling at the top of their lungs to keep me from laying out utter destruction. Well, in light of the Canadian spirit, I kindled the same hometown pride for the home nation. I got all Kindergarten and said to the fan on my left “On the approach, scream! Pass it on.” It took off like wildfire, probably because most of these fans were drunk, but on the approach of the Danish curler, Madeleine DuPont, the crowd roared. She whiffed her shots and the Canadians won. It was awesome. DuPont cried like a little girl. I’ve got no respect for professional athletes that cry. I’ve been hit by Strahan and gotten up every time. Put up or shut up – don’t be a Dane crying about noise!
5. U.S. Hockey brings it: You and I and everybody else knew the greatest expectation for Canada in this year’s Winter Olympics was to have their men’s hockey team had to win the Gold Medal on home turf. “Own the Podium” as they say. Unfortunately, TEAM USA is not TEAM FRANCE. We don’t give anybody a free pass when it comes to being the best – except our financial institutions. Anyway, everybody thought that the Canadians would tax our asses like they do their own citizens, but they were wrong. There’s no C-R-O-S-B-Y or O-V-E-C-H-K-I-N in U.S.A. Okay, there’s an “S” but that’s only one letter and that reiterates my point. We may not have the greatest individual hockey players, but we have the best team, and that’s what wins championships and Gold Medals. We rained on Canada like Niagra Falls (or Pac-Man Jones at a strip club) and beat ‘em 5-3. Take that.
Well, those are the highlights of my trip so far. I’m headed out to meet with the guys from Ocho Cinco News Network to see if these “T.O. to Cinci” rumors are true. I think they should shoot for the Dream Team, get T.O and Moss. I’ll be back for one last installment of my Winter Olympics coverage so stay tuned.
Keep the comments going and the emails coming at email@example.com.
My mother’s name was SHONDRA PARKS. I call her Professor Mom.
She was born in the city of Philadelphia…
…and I was the pride, joy, and holy terror of her life.
Mom fought the good fight. She marched. She rallied. She worked hard, and then worked some more.
She became a Professor at Howard University, and maybe in rebellion, I was the last thing you’d expect from a Professor’s daughter.
I hated books. Well, not so much hated as they bored me.
The only things I read were Right On!, Black Beat, and Cosmopolitan.
One day, I hit bad grade critical mass on a junior high school report card, and Professor Mom came home and beat the living daylights out of me.
She didn’t beat me much, but quality made up for quantity, and that one left me standing.
She dragged me to the library and forced, yes, forced me to get a library card.
Many years later, I would humorously and respectfully say the creed “This is my library card. There are many like it, but this one is mine.”
The first book I took out with my card was The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley…and that was the beginning.
Professor Mom gave me extra assignments on top of my school work, which included reading a book every month and talking with her about how the content of the book connected with present day.
As time went on, I read the works of Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, Nikki Giovanni, and Claude Brown.
Later, the speculative fiction of Octavia Butler intrigued me, because it showed a future with people of different and rich shades of skin with extraordinary abilities.
Even when I was a high school senior, and the extra assignments were a thing of the past (Got those grades way up, so Professor Mom slowly slid off my back), I still read a book a month.
I developed a love of reading because of my mother.
In my sophomore year of college, my mother passed away. How she died is not important, but she did so with dignity and eyes looking forward to meet the light.
I was shattered and adrift, and the only way I could cope was to seek justice for my mother…and to write about the journey.
The Statistics of Grief was the result. It was the first book I had ever written…and that was my new beginning.
I became a writer because of my mother.
Some of you have gone through similar and profound experiences. You know where I’m coming from.
Some of you (and you know who you are) walk around with your bags and your backpacks and your Iphones, watching reality TV with eyes open, walking through life with your heads gazing into little screens, and thinking the world owes you something.
You’ve heard about The Civil Rights Movement and The Panthers but they’re terms to you. The words don’t connect, and you’re too busy and disinterested to investigate.
I’m not here to teach you about history.
I want you to learn about your own Black History.
Not as a month in which companies can target you as a consumer, but as a personal experience from your own backyard.
Talk with your mother, father, aunt, uncle, or grandparent.
Ask them about the life they led, the battles they fought, the lessons learned, and the victories won.
Know your family, and you know your legacy.
Family can be blood or friends, but find someone of years and wisdom and connect with them.
It can be the barber who’s owned the shop for thirty-five years, or the mailman who’s delivered on your block for all of your life.
If you’re lucky, you will discover your purpose, as my mother helped me discover mine, in life and death.
I know my history and my future.
More than a month.
That’ll be my new t-shirt, and you will see me sporting it…while I’m reading the works of Walter Mosley, Tananarive Due and L.A. Banks.
Katt Williams was arrested for burglarizing a suburban Atlanta home. What’s going on here, Katt? I thought you were “allergic to stupid shit.” You don’t see Alonzo “Hamburger” Jones getting three years’ probation for misdemeanor carrying a concealed firearm in 2006, or narrowly avoiding more weapons charges a few months ago, do you? Pimp down! (more…)
HEY! VIC MANCUSO HERE! IT’S BEEN AGES SINCE MY LAST REVEIW. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, I’VE BEEN MAKING SOME BIG MOVES OUT IN LA-LA-LAND (LOS ANGELES FOR ALL YOU READERS THAT AREN’T UP ON THE SLANG).
I CANT TALK MUCH ABOUT MY SECRET MEETINGS OUT IN LA, BUT DON’T BE SURPRISED IF YOU SEE YOUR PAL VIC MANCUSO ON THE SILVER SCREEN VERY SOON!!!
UPFRONT I’D LIKE TO THANK ONE OF MY BIGGEST FANS TOMMY D. FOR FIXING MY COMPUTER!! NOW I CAN TYPE MY OWN REVWIEWS AND DON’T HAVE TO BOTHER MY POOR NEIGHBOR KATHY ANYMORE! (HI KATHY!)
ANYWAY, ON TO THE REVIEW…..
THIS WEEK THE GREATEST DIRECTOR OF ALL TIME, THE GUY WHO MADE THE BEST MOVIE EVER, GODFATHER PART 2, HAS LET DOWN HIS BIGGEST FAN. I’M SO DISSAPOINTED.
DEAR MARTIN SCORSESSI,
VIC THINKS IT MIGHT BE TIME TO HANG IT UP.
SHUTTER ISLAND STARTS OFF WITH LEONARDO DECAPRIO ARRIVING ON THIS ISLAND CALLED SHUTTER ISLAND. THE ISLAND IS FULL OF CRIMINALY INSANE PEOPLE THAT REGULAR PRISONS COULDN’T HOLD. LEO IS SOME KIND OF COP, SENT TO THE ISLAND TO FIGURE OUT HOW ONE OF THE PRISONERS DISAPEARED FROM HER CELL.
THE PRISONERS ARE CREEPY, BUT THE GUYS THAT RUN THE ISLAND ARE EVEN CREEPIER. NOBODY WANTS TO COOPERATE WITH LEO’S INVESTIGATION, EXCEPT FOR THE HEAD SHRINK, PLAYED BY THE SAME GUY FROM GANDI.
GANDI WANTS TO REHABILITATE THE PRISONERS, NO MATTER HOW MUCH THEY DESERVE THE CHAIR FOR THE CRIMES THEY’VE COMMITED. LEO JUST WANTS TO SOLVE THE CASE, BUT THERE IS A LOT MORE GOING ON AS THINGS UNFOLD.
LEO ENDS UP STUCK ON THE ISLAND FOR SEVERAL DAYS, AND HE STARTS TO LOSE HIS OWN MIND. WATCHING THIS MOVIE I STARTED TO LOSE MY MIND TOO. ABOUT ONE HOUR INTO THE MOVIE, I LOST TRACK OF WHAT THE HELL WAS GOING ON. SCORSESSI WEAVES A CONFUSING BLANKET OF UPS AND DOWNS THAT LEFT ME WONDERING WHAT WAS REAL AND WHAT WAS JUST IMAGINATION. I’M ALL FOR A GOOD MYSTERY, BUT THE ONLY MYSTERY HERE IS HOW THIS MOVIE WAS GREENLIT. MEANWHILE, MY HORROR PROJECT GOES UNFILMED!
AS I LEFT THE SCREENING CONFUSED AND ANGRY, I HAD TO HIT THE CAN TO UNLOAD. PERSONALLY, I HATE DOING A NUMBER TWO IN PUBLIC, AND AS I SAT THERE, I REALIZED THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT MARTY SCORSESSI HAS DONE.
SHUTTER ISLAND MAY BE A TURD, BUT I’D STILL WORK WITH MARTY IF HE WANTED ME IN HIS NEXT PICTURE. VIC GIVES EVERYONE A SECOND CHANCE. WHO AM I TO TURN DOWN THE DIRECTOR OF GODFATHER PART 2 ?
P.S. CERTAIN READERS WROTE IN ABOUT MY XMAS CARROL REVEIW, CALLING ME HORRIBLE NAMES I WILL NOT REPEAT HERE, INCLUDING THE ‘F’ WORD, THE ‘C’ WORD, AND THE ‘CS’ WORD (COCKSUCKER). LISTEN MARK F. FROM CHICAGO, YOU’RE WRONG, SO LET VIC TEACH YOU A THING OR TWO. WHEN YOU CLAIM I WAS SUPPOSED TO WEAR 3D GLASSES IN THE MOVIE, OBVIOUSLY YOU ARE CONFUSING THE FACT THAT THE MOVIE IS DONE IN 3D GRAPHICS. IT’S NOT THE TYPE OF 3D THAT’S SUPPOSED TO POP OUT AT YOU DUMBASS!!!!
As the IT guy for Expo Weekly, it’s my job to make sure this website runs smoothly, and I do my job well. I’ve been here since the beginning, and it’s become apparent to me that the people I work with aren’t the most tech-savvy bunch. Sure, they know how to post their blogs, but could they defend the site against a cyber attack? Not a chance. They have Blackberrys and netbooks, but they don’t really know what they’re holding. They couldn’t crack open their ipods and change the batteries. Without GPS, half of them couldn’t find their way to the office. They’re all nice people, but they don’t really have a clue of what makes the world go round. Technology does. And so, as the only person here that’s qualified to do the job, I bring you another installment of the Expo Weekly “Tech Blog”.
Steven Jobs Continues Anti-Flash Campaign by Claiming
Flash Video Won’t Run Good on Fancy New iPad
Continuing his attempt at Jedi mind-tricking the planet, Steven Jobs gives us even more excuses, or as he calls them, “reasons” why the new life changing iPad will not support Adobe Flash. According to him, watching Flash video on the iPad would kill it’s battery in a mere 1.5 hours! That means you can’t watch your favorite TV shows on Hulu.com, NBC.com, CBS.com, etc. because they all use Flash, and as Steven has made clear, it will drain your batteries like a mutha.
I don’t know about you, but I planned on buying this handy accessory with my iPad. It’s called a charging dock!
Yes folks, if your iPad runs out of juice, follow these simple steps:
Step 1: Plug iPad into charging doc.
Step 2: Continue using iPad.
Just think how cool you’d feel watching your favorite TV shows on Hulu.com for the low low price of FREE while eating a plate full of toast at the kitchen table, laying in bed, or simply sitting on the bowl.
But I’m afraid you will never be that cool. The iPad doesn’t support Flash. Steven says it uses up too much power. Power that he needs for himself. Power to run iTunes. Power to sell TV shows at $2.99 a pop. Power over us tech fiends that will still buy this sexy 10 inch digital wonder, Flash or no Flash the second it goes on sale!!
I used to want to sleep with Tiger Woods.
Why the hell not? He met all of The Chaser’s criteria.
Exceptional skill, money, golden skin, abs, aim, drive…love how those Nike shirts just accentuated his form.
Married? No problem.
All men cheat, so I could live with that.
Mistress? No problem.
All men cheat, so that’s expected.
Mistresses? All coming out of the woodwork like rabid rats, skittering around for their fifteen minutes of faux fame?
Jaimee Grubbs, who was reportedly getting herself some George Clooney action?
Rachel Uchtel, who’s getting herself some Extra TV action?
That’s when Tiger crossed over to nasty territory. Smelly territory. Crusty territory.
You girls out there know what I mean by “crusty”.
And so another one of my fantasy boys plummeted from the heavens and fell into the gutter.
However, for all of his sins, at least Tiger (far as we know) was smart enough not to go in bareback.
Not like Johnny.
Him, I never wanted to sleep with.
The guy has no FILF appeal whatsoever.
Whenever I saw Johnny on the set or the Net, it made me think of curdled milk.
Especially when I saw the mistress.
Terrible hair, bad fashion sense, and teeth like a horse.
You almost become the running mate for a Presidential campaign, and that’s the best you could do?
Note to all men in power: If you’re going to be unfaithful, then cheat up.
Kennedy slept with Marilyn Monroe.
That’s how you do it.
Now if you think I’m angry with Tiger and Johnny and guys like him, then you don’t know how The Chaser rolls.
I love them!
Cheaters and players and wannabe pimpologists and polygamists.
Because every time they stick the wiggly, I hear the cha-chingy in my head.
That’s how I make my money!
Writing about the dirty, and sex always sells.
So you guys out there, please, keep it up!
Slay it! Play it! Stick it! Lick it!
You have made me recession-proof, and Mama loves you for it!
Now stand still while I take a picture of you. Yeah, right there.
Now get back out there and make me some more money!
Comic-book purists will be the first to tell you when a movie based on a given comic-book title sucks.
Often, they will tell you this before the film has been COMPLETED, let alone released.
They can do this not because they are a kind of psychic Siskel or ESP-bert, but because of one, simple, and irrefutable truth — EVERY comic-book movie sucks. (more…)
Many of you have asked for my Twitter address so you can connect up, and while I appreciate the fact that you want to reach out, the simple fact of the matter is…
I don’t have time to “tweet”.
Yes, you read right.
“It only takes 140 characters of your time, girl.”
That’s what my friend Jackie said to me.
“Tyrese does it. He’s used it to push his own comic book.”
That’s what my little cousin told me.
So to help you understand why I’m doing the Twitter snub, here’s a breakdown of the average day at EXPO:
1) I get into the office at 8:00 in the morning, because news doesn’t wait until 9:00 and end at 5:00
2) My assistant Megan (who is the paid intern I share with Jamal) gives me a breakdown of my itinerary for the day. I pass her the morning newspapers I picked up so she can go through them, make photocopies, and create comprehensive files.
3) I check all the news feeds received into my various mobile devices and sift out what’s interesting from what’s muck.
4) I meet with all of the writers for a status check on their stories. Whichever stories are done, I take them so I can start editing.
5) I go through the first wave of articles, sending the ready ones to Legal to confirm they meet The EXPO Standards of Ethics, so EXPO doesn’t get hit with a lawsuit due to improper content.
6) Either a business lunch or a quick meal at my desk in which I’m checking the best of the morning’s news by way of the file folders Megan has left on my desk. All the while, I’m preparing for what’s next. What I dread and get myself poised for every day.
7) The inevitable disaster happens. Legal tells me there’s a problem with a story, or one of my writers tells me a situation’s gone bad, or their source has disappeared or gotten arrested, or another site beat them to the story. Any of these possible scenarios means I have to get on the phone with people from my network of sources, and either get to the bottom of the problem to salvage the story…or find a new story, which is a headache and a half.
8 ) Once that’s all figured out, Legal kicks back the good-to-go stories and I fire them off to our tech tag team of Mario Vargas and Drake Bridges one at a time so they can post them.
9) I finish massaging the other stories from the morning while getting the next wave of stories from my writers, which I put the final touches on, as well.
10) Sit down with our photographer Will Bennett to pick the best shots for the articles that need pictures. At the same time, Legal goes through the second wave of articles.
11) Repeat Step 8
12) Sign off on my writers’ vouchers, because the talent deserves to be paid on time.
Once I’m done with all of that, it’s already two hours past when most people are leaving their job, and I’m getting together reading material for the next day, when I’ll do it all again.
And if you noticed, at no point in there did I have time to myself in which I wasn’t doing work.
No workout at the gym, no appointment at the nail or hair salon, no shopping in SoHo.
And absolutely no time to “tweet”.
So that’s why, faithful readers. Because it’s my job to give you news, not to do the gabba gabba every fifteen minutes about who’s doing what to whom where and what outfit they’re wearing while they’re doing it.
I know a lot of you out there have time to tweet, but I just don’t.
Those of you who had the sense and spine to return after my first op-ed have a chance of evolving from the primordial slime of our world.
During a recent Presidential Address, Barack Obama announced that he was authorizing the deployment of thirty-thousand additional American troops into Afghanistan. This move is to act as the lynchpin for a three-part plan that will result in an exodus of America’s military forces beginning in the middle of the year 2011.
And now many of you are wondering what this has to do with you. You’re not in or going to Afghanistan, and neither is anyone you know.
There are many answers, but today we’re just going to talk about jobs.
Make no mistake, the cesspool that is the global economy will not be cleaned up in a year or two. We are in it for the haul. There are fewer jobs and more people out of work.
Now what do you think will happen, when those troops in and going to Afghanistan come home? The survivors with their minds and bodies still intact will do what the average American would and should do:
Look for a job.
And just where are these jobs going to materialize from?
White collar jobs continue to be outsourced to other nations, and the Chinese continue to decimate us in sales and production of everything from clothes to toys to electronics.
Lady Liberty is on her knees with her hands tied behind her back, looking up at a red sky with five yellow stars.
What kinds of jobs will our weary warriors return to find?
The collapse of the automotive industry and the emergence of new technologies suggest an imminent shift to a whole different group of fields. The “new jobs”, as Senator McCain called them during his Presidential campaign.
Our soldiers left a nation of Escalades and hybrid vehicles, but will find on their horizon a nation focused on energy conversion and conservation.
“Green technologies, soldier. Now bend down and give me twenty solar energy collection panels!”
Our troops will come back from a war of firepower and force to enter the Darwinian combat arena of searching for employment.
Yes, yes, the United States government has programs to address this, and maybe it would be feasible during a time of economic health…
…but America is sick and depressed. Her pockets are empty.
Our returning soldiers will be going up against your brother, friend, father, and cousin for employment, or maybe the enemy combatant will be you.
Are you and your relatives and friends prepared to go up against someone with, quite possibly, a greater penchant for decisive action, a stronger spine, a superior ability to function under pressure, and better with their hands?
Which of you will seem more appealing to an employer with his or her own corporate political and public relations concerns?
Will we see something similar to The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 for the returning soldiers from Afghanistan? An act that requires employers with Federal contracts or subcontracts provide equal opportunity and affirmative action for Afghanistan veterans would certainly be justified and deserved.
But will there be enough opportunities for all of us…or does the future promise a new volume of “The War at Home”?
A card game. A joke. And more jokes.
Only the joke had to do with brandishing multiple handguns in an NBA locker room. And his response and handling the situation came in the form of …yup…tweets and more jokes.
From Gilbert Arenas’ vantage point, it was him being him; the never serious, light-hearted, funny guy. From everyone else’s view, he’ll be the thug who dismantled the Washington Wizards. It’s truly sad, because, Gilbert Arenas really is a great human being.
He’s been an inspiration to others for years – you should youtube “gilbert arenas impossible is 0 – to those who have been told they can’t be something (like get more than 0 minutes of playing time), hence the Agent Zero persona.
Until this gun scandal hit, who was he?
He was the franchise player who cared about his community, its public schools and the children that attended. He’s donated money to different DC public schools based on the points he scores at home games. He’s a big brother mentor for one District youth who lost everything including his family to a fire.
It was just until seven years ago that the Wizards franchise was near dead. An aging and cancerous Michael Jordan breathed life into the MCI Center, but it was Arenas who took the spotlight, brought crazy game every night, and enhanced the Wizards revival. Not even the greatest player in the game, Michael Jordan, could do it. But Arenas did, with a whole lot of skill and a whole lot of personality that took made the lowly Wizards a regular playoff contender.
D.C. isn’t used to getting good returns (in any capacity) with its athletes…think LaVar Arrington, Deon Sanders, Kwame Brown, and every player on the Nationals roster… oh, and Me. My health failed the Redskins too and I never lived up to the expectations set for me. Agent Zero’s talent brought legitimacy to the D.C.’s professional sports scene pre-Ovechkin. The impact of both the Wizards and Capitals’’ success has made Chinatown the hottest spot in D.C. about 77 days of the year.
Wizards’ owner Abe Pollin recognized this too. Not that he believed that the Wizards would ever win a championship with Arenas taking it to the paint, but that he made basketball fun again – they became a team that could compete – one that fans wanted to pay big bucks to see. Agent Zero’s reward came in the form of an $111,000,000 contract, coming off an injury. He gave Payton Manning money to an All-Star rehabbing a knee. Not exactly the wisest of moves, as we can all see in hindsight, but it was reward for what Pollin wanted. Arenas’ knee didn’t hold strong over the last three years, his numbers are down even though he’s healthy, and the District of Columbians lost faith; especially after last year’s debacle of a 19-63 finish.
Now, in the back of everyone’s heads, they’re thinking one thing. Only two teams are in the hunt for LeBron James: the Knicks, the Nets or where he’s already at; resigning with the Cavaliers. The only thing keeping King James from coming to the capital of the free world is Gilbert Arenas’ monster contract. But if you’re LeBron, and you’re the greatest player in the game, do you really want to be in Cleveland? Hell No! You want to be the face of a real city. Why do you think the Wizards took down and removed every picture or resemblance of Gilbert Arenas while he was still on the team? Why do you think they’ve already said they want to void his contract? […which the Union will successfully fight and force a buy-out] It’s pretty simple. Find fault in Gilbert, void contract, get LeBron. It’s not right, and neither was Arenas in the first place, but that’s what’s happening.
So why did he have the guns outside of his home in the first place? Because Shaq-Fu is fucking his girl, Laura Govan. Shaq’s wife, and BFF of “Lonnie G”, found out and has filed for divorce. Arenas was smart enough not to let his household turn into McNair Part II, or Chris Henry, the sequal. [Note: Steve, Rest in Peace my little brother. I knew when I showed you the ropes you’d end up the second best quarterback from Mississippi.] Yes, it happens. And in this case, it was smart to get the guns out of the house.
But let’s get back to Gilbert fault. He was an idiot. A first class idiot. He could have gotten a safe deposit box. He could have done a lot of things, but he brought them into D.C., and that’s a No-No. The repeal of the gun law in the District has literally done nothing thus far. And to have a gun, and only in your home, takes a whole lot of work. It’s not like where I’m from in Mississippi where you can walk into a Wal-Mart and walk out with a piece that could take down a number of extinct animals with resemblance to elephants. No, you basically can’t have guns in D.C. [or Manhattan], period.
Gilbert, did you not notice that the man who caught the game winning touchdown to give the New York Giants a SuperBowl victory is sitting behind bars? What makes you any different? But it went beyond the location. Pulling the gats out in the locker room and aiming them at teammates. Twittering about it. Then fake-shooting your teammates pre-game with a finger gun. Not cool. Not productive. I know that Gilbert has a natural tendency to joke to deal with uncomfortable situations, but the damage has been done.
Even the God-awful combined performances of Bullets’ past – Juwan Howard, Rod Strickland and Mitch Richmond – have done less damage to the franchise.
And there’s the collateral damage. Teammates are going to lose a lot of money for not hitting performance benchmarks in their contracts. Antawn Jamison will most likely be traded, and he may be just one of many. What happens to their families? There kids have to leave their friends behind. They’ll have to sell depreciated mansions in this market. If you google the 2010 wizards salaries, eight of them make less than $4 million per year which is not a lot by professional sport standards these days. Tax that by about 50% and I promise you, they don’t have a lot of liquid assets to deal with shit like this. I mean, who’s going to buy your aqua Lamborghini with aqua rims when you’re in a crunch? Ummm. Nobody.
So what’s the bottom line? A great guy that made a stupid mistake, will lose about $80 million in contract money, his Adidas endorsement, and leave D.C. disgraced. To everyone outside D.C., he’ll be a wannabe thug. Everyone in D.C. will be quick to forget about his charity work and all of the playoff games. They’ll forget the hope he filled our hearts with. Yes, since my Redskins days, I’ve always been a fan of the D.C. sports scene, and Gilbert is one of my favorite players all-time. But it’s all gone.
Sadly, 4 guns will define you, Agent 0. And Shaq’s still banging your fiancé.
First off girl, I must say your style is absolutely FABU. I loved the PRADA purse you hung on day one of fashion week!
Okay, back to me. I’m a together man. I make good money, I drive a nice car, I’m well educated and a Christian. I have no problem meeting guys that sound good on paper but after I have sex with them, they all move on and settle down with someone else! I realize that it comes with the territory and I don’t offer samples on the first or second date all the time but what’s up with all of these non-committal affluent men?
Help girl! Love Life!
-Looking for a good man
Thanks for the Kudos on my style. I love, love, love that Prada bag. Gotta look fly for NYC Fashion Week!
Now back to you… Unfortunately, today’s affluent men just have too many options. Their philosophy seems to be why settle down when they can have their cake and eat it too. It sounds like you think that if you can find out what the cause is, you can fix it.
Am I right?!?
You can’t fix a non-committal man. All you can do is free yourself from them so you can meet someone who better suits your needs. Stop wasting your time. Whether you give up the cookies right away or not, there are tons of guys who are willing to give it up on the first date, second date or without even being taken out on a date! Don’t try to compete or compare yourself to all the boys in the yard. What you need to do is focus your attention on the men who are ready to commit. That’s a far better use of your time then trying to figure out why the non-committal guys won’t commit. Whatever the reason, the end result is the same and that’s not what you’re looking for so just keep it moving.
First off, I have to say that I’ve been a huge fan ever since you first walked the runway in Milan. My girlfriends and I loved the first season of your reality show, “Fatima: Back From the Bottom” on BET! What’s going on with Season Two??
Anyway, as a recently divorced thirty something year old woman, I am ready to reenter the dating scene. However, it’s so hard to find places to meet eligible bachelors. Some friends suggest I get a “wing man” to go out with. Others suggest that I travel with a pack of lady friends. Any tips on how to “get out there”?
-Dating after Divorce
Ha! Thanks, girl! Season Two is on hold until we nail down the numbers with BET. It’s amazing how tight these networks (with spin off channels!) can be with a dollar!
As for you, do not settle, and don’t stop going out until you find that special someone! As soon as you settle you close the door to finding true love. A wing man is suspect. If the man is a flamboyant homosexual this could intimidate prospects. If the man presents as heterosexual, this too could intimidate and/or confuse prospects into thinking you’re taken. You need a pack of ladies like you need a hole in the head. Plus, a pack of lady friends is about as useful as a pack of wolves! One nice lady with your best interests at heart will suffice. Go to places with a nice ambiance, good food, and good music. You want a grown and sexy guy who hangs out at nice places. Not too loud, not too dark. A place you wouldn’t mind being taken to on a first or second group date.
Good luck and Love Life!
Dirt is the best thing in the world.
Stories grow from it every day.
Those of you who know me from the way back remember when I was The Controlista and dropped the bombshell on how everyone’s favorite DJ Mister Flo Killa was churning out those overpriced clothes you like to wear on the backs of Chinese immigrants working in sweatshops for ten dollars a week. (more…)
You know what I hate?
Every day I open my e-mail and I’ll find at least twenty messages from people wanting to write for EXPO.
Now I don’t have a problem looking at writing samples, because there are a lot of good writers out there. A lot of them got fired from newspapers and magazines because no one wants to read anything that’s in print these days. (more…)
I am the person you love to hate.
I’m old enough to be your mother, and I have no idea which musical artists are at the top of the charts.
But here’s what I know: You have no idea what’s really going on.
Did you just suck your teeth, or dismiss that last sentence, or call me a prissy bitch?
Good. You’re the one that needs my help.
It amuses me whenever the latest rapper with a hit single gets interviewed and he lays out the LL Cool J (formerly Will Smith) career plan or the Diddy (formerly Russell Simmons) play book of transitioning into a businessman beyond the rap game.
Peep this interview done by EXPO’s top hip hip journalist Manny Caballaro with current chart topping rapper GRIMEY:
So what’s your plan for the future?
Dog, I gots my own label, Grimey Muthafuckas, INC.
We got artists like DUMB FUCK, ALLABOUTAZZ, TRIGGAFINGA, and AROUNDAWAYBITCH on our roster.
I gots my CASH IN clothing line in the works.
I gots my production company BOOTLEG films.
We shoot all my street videos (currently on Youtube and MYSPACE) so we takin’ meetings with Hollywood execs about doin’ movies. I’m trying to act in films, cop a television show and do it all baby!!
SIGH, Slow down GRIMEY and get that rap career going first.
Right now, you have a hit single, maybe even two, Hell, your first album might have sold 100,000 units out the box. However, chill with expanding the brand and focus on the foundation, which is building YOURSELF up as an artist first.
Look at older cats like WILL SMITH and LL COOL J. These artists each have at least twenty albums under their belt combined. Let’s look at newer heads like JAY-Z, KANYE and WAYNE these guys had multiple albums before they started diversifying within and beyond the music industry.
Let me just say, being the head of a record label takes more than just wanting to hook up your boys from off the street with a deal and put some cash in their pockets.
It’s more than just signing someone who sounds just like you or signing someone who is clearly not good enough so that they can’t offer you any competition on your own label.
Lastly, there’s definitely more to building a successful label than just running around with a CEO title and an expense account (no offense Jermaine Dupri). Diddy, you’re my boy but these days can you get any of your artists beyond the first album or single?
What happened to that “Bad Boy for Life” roster?? It was like the “BIV 10” crew all over again.
In these seriously uncertain times, brothers are entering the music industry with the escape plan already laid out. This kind of short term thinking shows how shallow and empty many of these “artists” truly are and it certainly won’t build a fan base beyond a few ring tone sales.
Looking back at those classic TRIBE CALLED QUEST, PUBLIC ENEMY, and DE LA SOUL albums and hit or miss, each one had a different theme. They had a …hmmmm, what do you call that again? A CONCEPT. That’s why these artists can make nice money touring around the world today. They actually have a fan base.
And let’s be clear, if you’re looking to cash out of the music industry as soon as you get in it, be smart. Unless your name is Snoop Dogg, the big corporations with the real money are not going to offer you endorsements if you’re associated with talk of bitches and hoes and up on misdemeanor/felony charges. Notice how it finally dawned on Irv Gotti that the name “MURDER, INC.” might not play in the board rooms outside of the music industry?
So, slow down with working on the new clothing line, new cologne or any other grab at the fast money you might get offered.
Get smart, become a real artist and get your rap career going first.
Ahh… the life a rapper lives when they have a hit record.
When my single “Act like ya knew” dropped in the early 1990’s there was nothing like it.
In the music industry, rappers were starting to get nice advances. The budgets for our videos were catching up to those rock and pop groups that dominated MTV. The major clubs in Manhattan were starting to spin rap albums.
Albums were still albums but more importantly back then, folks actually bought them.
Still, no matter what the current state of the music industry, as an artist, you never think it’s going to end.
To the rapper with the hit single, it’s just the beginning.
But in reality, the minute you score that hit, the clock starts clicking down to when no one will care about you or your music.
Yeah, you spend those early years battle rapping all around the Bronx and Uptown Manhattan, finally catch your first record deal, drop a couple party cuts but you can’t seem to break out of the pack. You got cats like LL, Heavy D, Big Daddy Kane, Eric B and Rakim dropping hot joints and getting the regular rotation on the radio and meanwhile, you’re still trying to pay off the radio DJ to add your track to his late night mix.
So you decide to listen to a friend and switch it up. You drop a “conscious song”. In it, you rap about the “struggle”. You describe how times is hard on the boulevard and how everyone is close to the edge.
And then, the song HITS.
You get into regular rotation on radio, other artists invite you to join their hot posse joint and R&B singers pay you a mint to rap a guest verse on their new releases. The money just keeps coming in from all different directions and you think to yourself, “I got time to play with all this”.
Then the industry starts to change.
Musically, New York goes “Underground” with it and the West Coast goes “Gangsta”. Suddenly, your A&R, who was your right hand man when you were hot, is busy working with other artists and doesn’t quite get your sound anymore. The execs can’t “figure out a release date for your next album.” When you call or drop by the offices, all of the major players are “unavailable”. Your phone calls don’t get returned.
Then, weeks later, you finally get the call saying that the label is dropping you.
No more guest spots on other rappers cuts. No more appearances. The exclusive parties get harder and harder to get into and forget about bringing an entourage to any hot club.
Then the money goes and so does your struggling actress wife.
You drift away from being a father to your only son.
It was dark for a minute and the years went by.
Then, that same friend suggested I write about my struggle. She suggested that this time, I put my thoughts in a blog instead of a verse.
I started to write.
It felt good to just let it all out, not worry about my “image” and to just be that extremely overused term, “Real”.
My fans found me online and I gained a bunch of new ones.
Suddenly, my little blog had the potential to grow into something much bigger so I reached out to a journalist named Cassidy Chase to help me. Cassidy wrote a few pieces on me back when I was hot and we kept in touch over the years. Together, we created a website named EXPO and Cassidy brought on other writers who would cover different topics inside of the music industry and beyond. EXPO grew in popularity and now, in addition to my blog, we were breaking news.
Then EXPO got a story wrong and the situation became very messy with the lawyers.
It was a wake up call.
EXPO needed to bring on some more seasoned journalists with credentials to help get certain things right. I reached out to another writer and former friend Keisha Parks to join EXPO. After some negotiating, Keisha came aboard and brought some colleagues with her.
EXPO grew bigger and more influential.
Today, I still write my blog but I leave the day to day business of running EXPO to Keisha and Cassidy.
My main focus is trying to rebuild my relationship with my son Jared.
Thinking back, it was a blessing to have a hit record.
However, when the music stops, it’s good to have a Plan B.
Although I’m not usually one to toot my own horn – besides it being physically impossible (for me) it’s not nearly as much fun as when someone else does the tooting (Or is it horning?) – allow me the small indulgence of trumpeting what must surely be a milestone in malicious media molesting . . . the three-hundredth blistering blog entry by yours truly.
It’s the age-old question: who would win in a fight, Superman or the Incredible Hulk?
Wander into any Comic-Book Shoppe (yes, they still have those) and you’re bound to hear a convincing argument for both sides. (more…)