Saturday, January 19, 2008

Do I Look Like A Damn Fool To You?!

First let me say rest in peace to the American economy.

Now that we've handled that little piece of business, let us move on to the latest scheme our genius politicians have in the works for us. Unless you've been hiding in a hole in Iraq for the last day or so, I'm assuming you've heard about George W. (we're all gonna get) Bush(ed) and his new plan for stimulating our impotent economy. When I first read up on this still very vague plan I thought to myself "Wait, am I about to agree with Bush on something?". I mean at face value, the whole thing sounds kind of interesting. Inject some cash into a cash strapped economy while expanding the deductions that businesses take for investment in equipment which would increase the working capital of businesses across the county. OH MY GOD, HE'S GONNA MAKE A GOOD DECISION!!! Then after about an hour or two my intelligence woke up from his afternoon slumber and started screaming obscenities in my head.

I started to think about how this is just another election year I'm-helping-out-my-party tactic. Every person with the brains God gave burned toast knows that Bush's presidential career has had him mostly playing the role of Muppet to the Republican party's Jim Henson. He's the mouthpiece of a power-hungry, soul-less, evil political entity and this is just another one of their tricks to sway voters onto their side for the big Tuesday in November. Then I read about Democrats ready and willing to cosign to the proposal. The initial shock confused me until I realized that A) Democrats have, in recent history, proven to be spine-less sacks of hot air and B) (as pointed out in this NY Times article
This congress and its Democrat majority have a lower approval rating than President Bumblefuck. Both parties get to look like heroes in this one in a classic move that proves once again that good and evil carpool to work (that is to say that our political system is one great big well-orchestrated con job of the common man.
Consider this quote from the NY Times article:
“We’re not able to afford that typical drawn-out and political legislative battle where both sides first stake out hard-line positions and come together after months of debate. We need to expedite the process by trying to take the politics out of it, which in turn is good politics.”

So what, as long as the economy gets better and we're prosperous as a nation, who cares? Right? WRONG!!

One of the paragraphs of that NY Times article states:
In laying the foundation for a plan rooted in tax policy, Mr. Bush held fast to a central theme of his presidency, that cutting taxes, rather than increasing spending, was the route to prosperity.

Um, I'm not the brightest man in the world, but doesn't giving people tax cuts and rebates designed to put cash into the economy increase spending? The whole intention of this plan is that you'll get your designated amount of cash, either directly in a rebate or indirectly in a tax cut, and go out and paint the town red. Don't throw a brick at my face and tell me it's a pillow. We got into this horrible situation by spending money like it was gonna rot. (©Chris Rock) Thanks to Greenspan and his pull-this-solution-out-of-my-ass approach to the economy, we were all encouraged to swipe those cards, buy that home you can't afford, and take that vacation because you deserve it. In short, the cause of the problem that we are now faced with is going to be used to solve the problem. Doesn't make much sense to me either.
Well, sometimes the roses look prettier than they smell.

“Unfortunately, lawmakers are taking the political approach on the stimulus, which is to say they seem to be focusing on what proposals are popular than what will actually help the economy,”(© NY Times)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Assassination of Common Sense Pt. 5

I was sitting at work today, half doing my job and half day dreaming, when a quick trip to the bathroom ignited a whirlwind of frustration and confusion. In the process of being pissed about this little incident, I, in true me fashion, began to rant in my head about a slew of other things that make absolutely no sense at all. So now I invite you to the running tab of anger in my life that I refer to as "The Assassination of Common Sense".

1. The catalyst of this entire rant: Bathrooms that only have partial automatic functions. I go to the bathroom at my office (as I do numerous times per day) and upon walking away from the urinal and hearing it flush on its own, I start to think of how wild it is that you don't even have to flush the toilet anymore...then i walked to the sink and became ticked off when I realized you had to manually turn on the water, get soap, and churn out a paper towel. The fact that I had to do these tasks manually didn't bother me one bit, but why did they have an automatic urinal and everything else wasn't? If you have an automatic urinal the bathroom MUST have an automatic toilet, sink, soap dispense, and paper towel dispenser? Why? Because if people don't want to share germs with the general public by not flushing the toilet with your bare hands they sure as hell don't want to do it at the sink.

2. Flavored Water: Water should taste like water. It doesn't need strawberries, raspberries, bananas, guava, or whatever fruit flavor you can imagine added to it. When I was 10, I thought Clearly Canadian was the best product ever invented. Until I realized that carbonated, flavored water already had a name...soda. Water is one of the essential elements of human existence and leave it up to Americans to come up with a way to bastardize one of the purest things on the planet (when we aren't dumping toxic waste into it). The next time you see someone drinking a bottle of flavored water, do me a favor and ask if their parents are twins.

3. Rims: I've tried and I've tried and I've tried, but I cannot begin to comprehend the human fascination with objects that shine. I remember when I was a youth and I couldn't wait to grow up and buy a 20 year old car, throw a new paint job and a Corvette engine in it, and buy the biggest rims I could find. Then I was touched by the hand of God and he handed me a box of common sense.

Why do you want big shiny rims? They aren't going to improve your relationship with your significant other. They won't make your kids smarter and more respectful. I've never seen rims pay a mortgage. All rims will do is A) make you feel like you're a high roller B) make other people envy you and then jack you for your rims and C) cost a lot of money. Beyond the temporary ego boost rims are usless, but they shine so I guess they'll be around forever. "And they spinnin' nigga, they spinnin'" © Chris Rock.

4. Phones with MP3 players: WTF!!?? Everytime I see a commercial on television for a new phone the FIRST feature they mention is the MP3 player. Hmm...lemme see...home stereo (check), car stereo (check), Ipod (check), walkman (check)...WHY THE HELL WOULD I WANT TO LISTEN TO MUSIC ON MY PHONE!!!???? I really don't get it. Are we that ignorant as a culture that we can't see the MP3 player phone as just another useless gimmick to get us to buy over-priced products? Besides the fact that I've never seen anyone use their phone for a phone call and the switch over and start rocking out to some Ashford and Simpson on the same device. If you own any of the aforementioned devices and buy a phone with an MP3 player and honestly plan on using it then I'm sure you believe George Bush is going to find those WMDs one day. Which brings me to my next point...

5. Phones with video screens: Again...WTF!!!??? If you bought an Iphone it's safe to say you are a mindless being and an advertiser's dream. What are you gonna watch on your phone? Mash reruns? Porn? The Young and the Restless? Nothing. That is what you're gonna watch on your phone. And if you do watch something on your phone it will most likely be because you've reasoned that you payed all this money for a phone with a video screen so you might as well pay to download something you'll never watch.

What happened to the days when a phone was a *sigh* phone? When you could make calls and talk to people far away and share stories with close friends. If you walk into any cell phone provider store and ask for a phone that just makes phone calls they'll look at you like you're a homeless man begging for change. Trust me, I just did it a month ago. Now a phone is all about image just like all the rest of our transactions. When you show people your new phone now the first question they ask you is "What does it do?". I always answer with "It makes fuckin' phone calls!". Which some people consider rude and I consider the kindest thing I could say at the time.

"Black people, maybe if we didn't spend all our money on RIMS we might have some!" ©Chris Rock

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Back by Popular Demand

Here it is folks. It's been forever and a day since I last ranted and raved (about a month and a half) so I figured I'd step back in the ring like Floyd Mayweather and go a couple of more rounds on some jab-jab-uppercut style blogging.

If you're gonna start jabbing people why not start with this ever impressive (cut the sarcasm with a fork) crop of presidential candidates. First off, Mike Huckabee?. This man cannot be president for a Nile river's worth of reasons but I'll just fill your time with two of them: A) George W. Bush is already in office and screwed us all royally so why would we elect his clone and B) you can't be president with a name like Huckabee...I don't make these rules up.

In all seriousness when I look beyond Huckabee it's not like I see a bunch of people I want to recognize as the Commander-in-chief. Barack Obama approaches politics like I did when I was 14 before I learned that politics isn't a game played on a court by nicely dressed upper-crust gentlemen; it is a game played in a muddy snake pit by crooks and convicts. Hilary Clinton would probably get my vote, but I'm not one to vote for someone who voted for the Iraq war when it was a popular decision and dogged it when it was proven (did it really need much proving?) to be a bad idea yet still votes to fund it. John Edwards? No way. Mitt Romney? Garbage. Rudy Giuliani? Hell, I'm from the South...I know not to trust a man who marries his cousin. Besides the fact that this guy has taken so much credit for how NYC pulled together after 9/11 you kinda suspect he planned it just to make himself look good (that was a joke people!) I could talk about the lackluster merits of this gang of wannabes all day, but let's not get ourselves depressed until after President -elect Buffoon X fails us.

Jab #2. If ESPN could have got their employees Tom Brady dildos for Christmas, I think they would have. Now granted being a big sports fan, I've seen Excellence in SPorts News jock a great number of "legendary" athletes in my day, but none on the level of Brady. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots became the 4th team in NFL history to complete the regular season undefeated, much respect for that it's an amazing feat. NOW CAN I SEE SOME SPORTS HIGHLIGHTS????!!!! I can't even watch Sportscenter anymore. Some team could beat it's opponent 675-0 and ESPN would talk about it after spending the first 45 minutes of Sportscenter putting a spit shine on Tom Brady's manhood. This isn't an attempt to diminish Tom Brady as a player or to downplay the phenomenal accomplishment that the Patriots as a whole have is just a plea to the "World Wide Leader in Sports" to stop following in the tradition it has already set with the Yankees, Red Sox, and every college basketball program located in the Northeast and stop showing so much blatant favoritism.

Uppercut. From time to time I blog about music and mostly it's to point out the way music execs and propaganda sell as many records as actual music. Well today it is a celebration. I'm celebrating something that I always thought I would mourn, but as it turns out has made me a very happy man and that is the decline of hip-hop music. I'm celebrating this decline not out of spite for rap and hip-hop, but because I love it so much.

The early years of my life were in a soul and R&B only household. My first tastes of hip-hop were not that inspiring, as a matter of fact I found it kind of lame. Then one day I heard something that I'll never forget. I walked into my parents room one morning (probably to snoop for stuff I shouldn't be snooping for) and was drawn over to my mom's then turned off cassette deck. For some reason I opened the deck and looked at the tape, the name on the front didn't seem to be anything I'd heard of so I put it back in the deck and pressed play to examine it. What came out of those speakers was NWA's Straight Outta Compton and from that moment on I was hooked like crack. The pain, the anger, the emotion, and the rawness were something I could relate to being a child in a rough housing project. I was amazed to hear their stories about events I'd seen with my own 11 year old eyes in my own neighborhood and the way these men I'd never met told a story I'd seen too often made me crave for more.

My life as a hip-hop fan has been a search for that same feeling over and over again. I've never been a fan of party rap or songs about women with big asses, but I've always craved that raw truth over and over again. It led me to Big Daddy Kane, Kool Moe Dee, Ice Cube,Getto Boys, UGK, OutKast, and the Wu-Tang Clan to name a few.

I don't have that feeling for hip-hop anymore. "Rap nowadays is by a bunch of ignorant cats. No young, gifted, and black; just guns, bitches, and crack" © Blueprint. When I listen to what has evolved into "Gangsta Rap" I hear a bunch of people who went to school. I hear a bunch of people who studied all the right words to say, but forgot to put the heart into it. A ton of fake gangsters, wannabe thugs, broke ass pimps, and playas without game. No rawness, no emotion, no truth. I hear suburban youth selling urban tales to kids who don't know any better and adults who don't give a damn. I hear white boys calling each other niggas and black folks getting upset because it's only racist when "they" say it when we were the ones who sold them our slang and our hustle and our struggle.

So today I celebrate the decline of hip hop in the hopes that when Clive Davis and Lyor Cohen and every other record exec has written my beloved former art form off as a no longer commercially viable waste of time that I can hear some music with a purpose and not another rap-by-numbers sucka MC.