Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How to fix an Oil Spill: If all else fails, Nuke it!!

I turned on the television yesterday and I heard Bubba Former President Bill Clinton talking about blowing up the gushing oil well (i.e. the Disaster in the Gulf) with a Nuclear Bomb!!! What the what?? Is that how we clean up oil spills now? Was that in BP’s back up plan? We won’t drop a bomb on our enemies overseas (and for full disclosure I’m not saying we should) but we’ll drop one in the middle of the ocean? I guess we have nukes just lying around? I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. We really need to get off that oil!!

Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek’s "Ballad of the Black Gold."

Friday, June 25, 2010

Citizen Ojo goes to Washington D.C. for Blogging While Brown.

I waited 2 years for this moment. So when I heard it was going down in the District of Columbia, I had to be there. I’m talking about last weekend’s Blogging While Brown. This is an event where bloggers of color can come together under one roof. Some of the bloggers that were present blog about technology, natural hair, politics and even their personal lives. You also have writers, authors, journalists, and social media specialists attending the event. If you were a blogger of color, this was the place to be.

I took the train to D.C. (alright coming up – not so alright coming back). Amtrak runs hot and cold so you never know how your trip will be. The only thing that is promised is that someone will bring fried chicken on the train. No, not Church’s, Popeye’s or KFC. Chicken from their house!!!

I arrived into D.C. last Friday night and spent my time catching up with my friend/frat brother. But I couldn’t stay out with him too long because I was there on business. I didn’t want to miss the convention because I was sleeping off a late night on U Street. Besides, I would end up back on U Street on Saturday night with another Friend/Frat Brother. As the old saying goes “Every time I try to get out, they pull me back in.” I believe that U Street has a hold on me!!!

I woke up the morning of the convention and was nervous like it was the first day of school. I’m usually shy by nature and I have a hard time just randomly talking to strangers. It didn’t help that I was struggling with my shower before I left (it’s a long shameful story). I finally made it to the convention center and I ended up getting lost. This was even after receiving directions from the security guard inside the building. I don’t know if it was the nerves or the heat but I was off my game. I got myself together and made it to the meeting area.

From the moment the convention started I was in heaven. They provided so much information that I felt that I should have tipped someone. Some of our speakers were from Facebook, Congressional Black Caucus and the Federal Trade Commission.

Side Note: Don’t sleep on this event. This wasn’t something that “pookie and em” threw together. This was a “Real Deal” event. That was truly nice to see because sometimes “all” black folks get a bad rap for “some” black folks putting together mess.

If you want to know the exact list of sessions, check out the schedule here. If you have further questions, hit me up on twitter or email. This experience helped in personal social media journey. I was finally around people that understood me and I didn’t have to explain myself to them. I didn’t have to explain my excessive use of twitter because everyone else in the room was using it too. People didn’t look at me crazy when I told them I was a blogger. It was like finally meeting your real family (sorry mama but I still love you). It was cool to finally meet people that you knew about from on-line. Also it was cool to meet new people for the first time.

I have to be honest and say that my table was the “Cool Kids” table (per the African American Swag Standard Scale). I was sitting at a table full of confident and capable females. They were bloggers, photographers, and social media specialists. I also had some of the most popular folks on the internet sitting next to me. Two of my fellow table mates were none other than Afrobella and Awesomely Luvvie from the House of IG. It was cool because they talked to me like a regular dude and didn’t play me like they were Hollywood celebs. I have to admit that I was a little star struck with Luvvie but I think I held it together (not really but a brotha tried). And Afrobella has that Jill Scott vibe going on so that’s always an extra plus in my book. The following folks were also at my table: Pretty Brown Girl (straight outta D.C.), Danielle J, Adria Richards, and Vivrant Thang. I can’t stress enough how friendly these ladies were. Adria showed me something pertaining to my blog (thank you ma’am) and Danielle J and Vivrant Thang have something in common with me (didn’t know that until we met). I love the name of Pretty Brown Girl’s blog. Check it out and the other ladies blogs when you get a chance.

I am so glad that I attended this event. I plan on taking the information I received and will use it to be a better blogger and social media specialist. I thank Blogging While Brown for reaffirming what I do and the need for it. I also have gained new networks which hopefully will become great friends. This was a true life changing experience.

The passing of Ada Mae Riley Adams 1947 - 2010

While I was out of town at Blogging While Brown, a former church member was murdered. I won’t get into all the details but it was a devious act. Mrs. Adams wasn’t famous or rich by our “worldly standards.” She was a good woman with a kind heart. Mrs. Adams treated my wife and I like her own children. She always had a kind word for us and some good Christian advice. Every Christmas she would give us a gift from her employer Lance. For months I would be up to my neck in honey buns and cookies. I also remember her always talking about her grandchildren (she loved those kids!!). How one had a scholarship to college and was doing well in school. Her funeral was yesterday and it wasn’t a sad as I thought it would be. Everybody believes that she is in Heaven and at peace. I did shed some tears but overall I’ll be okay. I’m okay with people “going on to glory.” My problem is when they leave too soon. They say God doesn’t make mistakes but I’m human so sometimes I don’t understand. I will miss her.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Everyone wants to be President of the U.S. No, not our current President though, just President.

It’s painfully obvious that television pundits were not pleased with President Obama’s Oval Office speech last night. I guess he didn’t say what they wanted to hear. But that’s the downside of being president. You can’t please everyone and you never will. There are 3 basic camps in the U.S. when it comes to Obama’s job approval.

-People that think Obama isn’t doing enough.

-People that think Obama should do more.

-People that think Obama can do no wrong.

Side Note: You want people in the last category around you if you are a criminal. They are large supporters of the stop snitching campaign.

This BP (once called British Petroleum but now they want to down play their oil roots….um yeah right!!) mess has put Obama’s leadership skills on display for everyone to pick apart. Can Obama control the oil companies or do the oil companies make the rules? Can Obama get Congress to sign off on regulation to move us beyond oil? The questions go on and on. And to add fuel to the fire, (pun not intended) we are still fighting a war that started 9 years ago. General Petraeus spends his days planning war strategy in the (HOT “A”) desert and he gets dehydrated at a Senate hearing? Are we ready to bring the troops home yet? And bringing up the rear is Glenn Beck with his daily critiques on Obama. Beck says Obama doesn’t want to meet with the BP CEO because he is a white man?!!? You may now insert the sound of *crickets* here.

Even random folks are now stepping up to show Obama up lend Obama a hand with his most pressing issues.

Regular Random Dude - Gary Brooks Faulkner, a 50 year old petty criminal, was arrested near the Afghanistan border. When the Colorado resident was apprehended, they found a pistol, a sword, night-vision equipment and Christian religious books on his person. No he wasn’t auditioning for the Middle Eastern version on “Clue.” Faulkner was on a mission to track down Osama bin Laden. Family giving their opinions on Faulkner, said he wasn’t pleased with the Government’s progress in finding Osama. I thought that he was just doing it for the $25 million reward. Because he is a crook I understand the night-vision equipment but why a sword? Only Pirates and Ninja’s carry swords? Faulkner, get your Rambo together and then give it another shot.

Famous Random Dude – Who knew Kevin Costner had machines that separated oil from water? They don’t even have that a “Subway.” Yes, that is right, the movie star Kevin Costner. You would have never guessed that Costner was into the process of centrifugation. This guy was once one of our biggest movie stars. He was in some of America’s biggest films (we’ll gloss over “The Postman” and "The New Daughter”). He was even Whitney Houston’s love interest in “The Bodyguard.” For those that don’t remember, that was the “before the drug use got out of control” Whitney Houston. I guess somewhere along the line he went into the oil scooping business with his scientist brother. Now Costner is testifying and selling his wares in order to provide relief to the Gulf. If I was Costner, I would sell machines with an autographed copy of “Dances with Wolves” in High-Def.

I think Obama gets bothered by some of the criticism because he thinks it’s unwarranted. I personally believe he would do better by firing all of his communication folks. They do him a complete disservice. I actually think he should fire some more people but you have to start somewhere. Obama has an image problem when it comes to the BP spill. Some black folks won’t admit it but others will. People are coming out of pocket because they don’t feel issues are being handled. Obama needs to let people know that he is in complete control. I know that “the angry black man” issue always comes up but we have to get passed that. Lord knows it’s good to have a person in control that is calm under fire. But would it be so bad to see Obama flare up on someone? I would if I was president. But then again, I'm only monday morning quarterbacking like everyone else.

Monday, June 14, 2010

He must be “Nuts” because he didn’t get any “Dough!”

We are in hard times people!!! Criminals have gone from robbing banks to doughnut shops! I knew crime in Chicago was crucial but not this bad?? Mr. John McMichels was arrested for sticking up a Chicagoland donut shop last Sunday night.

Side Note: I didn’t know doughnut shops had bank like that?

Things are a little different here in North Carolina. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, based in Winston Salem NC, faced some difficulties awhile back. Krispy Kreme stores are practically non-existent in Charlotte NC. Their store on Woodlawn was packed like Times Square back in the day. Now you can only get them at Walmart (of course – they sell everything) and gas stations. People will put 5 on pump 10 and get a dozen Krispy Kremes to go. I was always fashioned myself as a Dunkin Donuts man. Dunkin always has more selections to choose from. But these days you can find local doughnut shops that are just as good. There is one in Pineville NC, M J Donuts, that makes a good product but they close in the early afternoon. If McMichels wanted to rob them, he would have to make sure he’s finished by 1:59pm.

Truthfully, we wouldn’t be talking about McMichels if he had a better getaway plan. After robbing the shop, he jumped in a taxicab (not since the movie “Taxi” with Queen Latifah has a black person failed so miserably). This clown didn’t even get a block before the cops scooped him up. He was spotted in the cab counting the $400.00 that he received from his heist. I hate that this happened because someone could have been hurt. I’m just glad that the doughnuts are alright.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Music Showcase: Guitars, Pianos and Horns, Oh My!

Lionel Loueke

Jonathan Batiste

Christian Scott

Trombone Shorty

Question: Why put a music link on your blog? Answer: Because radio sucks. Listen to individuals/groups that should be on radio.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The United Kingdom beat Chris Brown worse than Rihanna ever could.

The U.K. is putting the brakes on Chris Brown’s European Tour by denying him entry. To an Entertainer, this is the cruelest cut of all. Not only is he not performing but he is losing out on money. The reason for the denied entry is due to his criminal record. When you beat out rappers for most criminal behavior you are really doing something. Ole Dirty Bastard, from the Wu Tang Clan, wasn’t ever kicked out of a country. Mystikal just got out of jail and I bet he could catch a plane to London. Concert promoters would probably say that Brown got caught up in “unforeseen circumstances." I say not really!! I believe Brown should have apologized and went straight to rehab from the jump. I know he wants people to forgive and to forget. But he needs to realize that people won’t forget on the timeline he has set up. It’s going to be when they are good and ready.

A Hot Movie off the South African movie circuit.

White Wedding” is an appealing, feel-good movie about love, commitment, intimacy and friendship and the host of maddening obstacles that can get in the way of a happy ending. Uplifting and at times uproarious this is a movie that affirms the dream that romance can overcome any obstacle.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Post Racial Dreams turn to Obamacrat Nightmares.

"You can't vote against health care and call yourself a black man" ~ Reverend Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr

Congressman Artur Davis (aka Persona non grata in the “Yellowhammer State”) wasn’t paying attention when Jesse “The Patron Saint of Negro Folk” Jackson made the above statement to the Congressional Black Caucus. YES, Artur Davis, he was talking about you!!! And Jackson was saying it to your own organization!? Davis really wasn’t reading the tea leaves during his campaign for Governor of Alabama. Davis, a Harvard Law School classmate of President Barack Obama, was so inspired by Obama’s Presidential run that he wanted to emulate it (on a more local level of course). Obama’s victory had Davis thinking that it was his moment to do the impossible. He thought by appealing to white folks he could show that he was for all people. No matter how many times I read that last line it still doesn’t make sense. Davis was once touted as the - could be, might be, maybe, next Governor of Alabama. Davis, through poor decision making, decided to run a November campaign in the spring. His handlers forgot that he needed to get out of the Democratic Primary before he could run in the General Election. All his mistakes eventually came back to bite him in the end. These democrats don’t understand that it’s not about the party. The reason a lot of them are in office doesn’t have anything to do with their platforms. During the 2008 General Election, they rode Obama’s coattails into office (Yes I’m talking to you Governor Beverly Perdue!!!!). It’s like Sean Combs (or is it Diddy?) getting you into the VIP section at the club. Girls (or Guys) are only talking to you because you know Sean Combs/Puffy/Puff Daddy/P Diddy/Diddy. Any other night you would be outside behind the velvet rope.

When you are running to something, it also means you are running away from something. Davis ran away from the very people that put him into office. He chose “The Middle” over “Black Folks.” And that is his god given right to do so. Just because he is black doesn’t mean he has to appeal to black folks. The only time you see Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas near something black is when he’s wearing his robe to work. Davis could have used some of Obama’s 2008 “Black Magic” in this off year election. Black folks weren’t voting like they were back in 2008. If you think about it, white folks aren’t even voting at 2008 numbers. This was going to be an uphill battle from the start. What made it worse was his vote against the health care bill. That was his classmate’s first piece of major legislation and he voted against it. During that time, if you were black and didn’t support the healthcare bill you were crucified out in public. You could’ve had a legitimate reason to not support it but that didn’t matter. Many black folks weren’t hearing that. You were either for Obama or against him. Did I say “what made it worse” already? My bad, I forgot to mention that he didn’t kiss the ring of Alabama’s black establishment. Now we are officially at the Worst!! Everyone knows that you have to “shake hands and kiss babies” with your own folks!!! Davis should have known that he needed to go on black radio and eat chicken dinners and such!!!

Well the chicken dinners didn’t go uneaten. Ron Sparks, the Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries, didn’t have a problem kicking it with black folks. And that’s why he will be Alabama’s democratic candidate for Governor. Instead, Davis made Alabama history by becoming the first black candidate in a statewide race to lose the black vote.

Side Note: The Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries??? Really Artur?? Really??

Davis said that he was done with running for office at his concession speech. No Duh!

You need to get out of politics when the following happens to you:

1. When you can’t get votes in your own Congressional District (Low).

2. When you can’t get votes in your own home county (Lower).

3. When you can’t get votes in your own voting precinct (Lowest).

All of this led up to Davis losing 61 of his state’s 67 counties. To say that this loss was stunning is an understatement. Excuse my Japanese but Davis got his ass kicked!!! He even got creamed in white majority counties!! And these were the same people he was trying to appeal to? If I was him, I would pack up a U-Haul and ride out on Interstate 20. The state of Alabama gave Congressman Artur Davis a vote of no confidence. I hope these black politicians learn to find their own voice. Stop chasing Obama and do your own thing!!! The Obama effect was a once and a life time event. If these politicians think it means anything else, they are kidding themselves.