Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Good ole Boys in Blue...

Story is about 10 days old. Lesson is timeless. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. We need to start having serious consequences for officers who engage in this kind of psychologically traumatic, potentially dangerous behavior. Clearly this dude wasn't in the Christmas spirit...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Just in time for the holidays...

Getting in some last minute holiday shopping today (shameful I know), but before I descend upon the mean streets of NYC in hopes of copping some fresh, heavily discounted gifts for the fam, I figured I would send you all this early Christmas gifts. As I hope you all know by now, I may quite literally be one of the world's biggest Lupe Fiasco enthusiasts in the Tri-State area. Word to Big Bird. Straight up, the man is simply the most clever, complex writer the game has ever seen. If you don't believe me, peep this snippet from "Angels" off his Enemy of The State mixtape:

"Uh, said she was a fan of mine
Knew she was New Jersey, but said that she was Anaheim
Butterflies turn to suicides, now it's phantoms flying
Used to whisper in my ear, but now she tryna 'vander mine
That holy feeling (Holyfield) all gone, slowly feeling all wrong
None of this is satisfyin', pull it over, let me out
I'll just hitchhike back to mine
Nothing's really as it seems, yeah I shoulda known that
Thought I called a angel, devils had my phones tapped"

Stop. That's all ya'll get for today. Peep the above vid for more from the illest of the ill.

Blitzen? Really? Ya'll thought my man was going to embody Rudolph, but nah. He went all obscure, making sure you know your reindeer history. Classic Lupe.

Enjoy the holidays, ya'll. Keep God first.

Monday, December 21, 2009

All the hatin' stops here.

Some people apparently don't like James Cameron's widely anticipated, disgustingly expensive,soon-to-be-Oscar-winning film "Avatar". Those people are...foolish. OK, maybe that's a bit reductive. Let's try again.

Some people don't like "Avatar." While I largely disagree with many of these folks on the premise of their arguments (regarding the "shoddiness" of the storyline, plot holes, etc.) I can also understand some of their concerns. The whole "White man intervenes and saves the natives" undercurrent running through the film bothered me as well, I won't lie. So did Jake Sully's (and most of the human characters with the exception of the bloodthirsty ex-Marine commander) lack of charisma.

Yet, even these least two issues couldn't really take away the magic of the film in my eyes. It was simply too aesthetically robust, too masterfully told for my critical eye to ruin this particular trip to the cinema. There were points during "Avatar" where my eyes welled up with tears, either at the sadness of a particular narrative moment or sheer awe at the cinematic spectacle taking place before my very eyes.

This was not just a movie.

This was more akin to taking a trip inside the mind of the most hyperactive, imaginative 4-year old on the planet and not wanting to leave. I experienced immeasurable, uninterrupted joy during those 3 hours; losing myself in the pulchritudinous threads of an ornate web of sights and sounds that just wouldn't let me go, couldn't. It was quite honestly the most fun I have ever had in a movie theatre, hands down. I simply felt and thought things that I never had before. I was both uncontrollably excited and undeniably tranquil, caught up in Jake and Nyatiri's love story even as I fumed over the all-too-real warmongering, racist, xenophobic statements being made by the film's villains. By the way, while I'm on that note, the anti-war critique as well as the extended metaphor about climate change were incredibly well-done. Some of the most beautiful writing I've come across in a while.

OK, I'm done. Go see it for yourselves, people. It's time for me to pack and head home anyway. Happy holidays!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

For all my Harry Potter fans

Absolutely hilarious. Just what you need to get you through dreary Saturdays like this. Hang tough, better weather is on the way.

In closing, let me say: "We've only got one Hippogriff!"

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Before I go...

Finals time has been drop-kicking me in the chest without respite. Enjoy this Mos Def video that essentially sums up the trouble with love, heartache, and the lack of vulnerability so many of us are trained into from birth with a brevity and ease that truly wracks the soul. Mos has always been a favorite of mine, but this one really takes the cake. Once I return home, their will be a hailstorm of posts. Promise. For now, I need to kick back, listen to music, and drink my pomegranate tea. Holla!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Reflections written on the salty air of New England

As I write this, I am sitting on a BoltBus from Boston truly floored at all that I thought, seen and felt over the past 24 hours. To be honest, this trip wasn't one I was sure I could make. Spoiled by a recent history of pre-paid transportation, stipends for food, and audiences large enough to fill my middle school gymnasium twice over, there were times over the past 2 days where I just didn't feel like taking two buses and a train needed to get to the small lounge in Boston (the Cantab) where I had my second-ever poetry cafe feature last night.

Sitting here now, I can't imagine having done anything else.

Not only did I get to see a number of my friends from the national collegiate poetry slam team, (shout out to the Gringo Choir) as well as the legendary Omoizele Okoawo (one of my personal faves), I got to hear one of the most incredible open mics I've witnessed in a long time. The pen game in New England is vicious. Brilliant material, rigorous editing, and honest performance. Can't wait to come back for CUPSI.

On a slightly different note, I've been feeling a lot of anxiety about traveling so much lately. With England looming, I have this strange desire to cleave a lot closer to my friends and family, who I know I will miss terribly. This is just something I have to do, ya know? The Marshall is a once-in-a-lifetime type of opportunity, and fear is no reason to call a blessing a burden. Still, I will miss this place. I will miss home. Guess this is the part of growing up people always gloss over. The letting-go. The whole, finding your own path (and health insurance) thing.

In times like these, I thank God for my friends. They've held me birthmark-close these past few months, and I can't imagine what not being around them for a year will feel like. What my brother's blossoming voice will sound like to the ring of 13 years old. The look in my mother's eyes when my degree comes in the mail. The plane ride to London, and the first time I touch a microphone on foreign soil. I hope to think on all of these things without breaking into pieces, to dare to imagine no matter how painful it may feel at first.

I said earlier this week that I was going to start digging deeper. Welcome to the first level. Feel free to sight-see while you're here.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Derrick Brown gets it popped

If I could only explain in words how much I love this poem. This is for everyone who, like me, was a lover and a nerd at the same time who just couldn't seem to avoid the wrath of bullies. Sometimes losing is not only o.k., it's for the best. Shout out to the Elephant Engine Highdive Revival Tour, these cats are doing some great work out here.

On another note, I was recently inspired by my good friend Hasan Malik over at My Soul Itches to get much more thorough and personal with my posts. I've been cheating you all lately due to the intense academic rigor of my Senior Fall at Penn, but rest assured this space will be one of heightened self-reflexivity, honesty, and my innermost thoughts real soon. Love live life.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Looks like I may be blogging from London in the near future....

Frankly, I'm pretty hyped right now. The reason? Apparently, yours truly will be spending all of next year in the United Kingdom on one of 35 Marshall Scholarships awarded this year. Ya'll can check the write-up here.

I'm apparently the first African American in Penn's history to win the award. To say that this is a tremendous honor and incredible blessing are understatements to the umpteenth degree. God is truly doing a might work in my life, and the Marshall is merely the latest manifestation of my Father showing out. I'll be earning a Masters of Arts in Theatre and Performance Studies, so it looks like my dream of teaching both African American Literature and theatrical performance in a University setting may not be as far off as some folks seemed to think. It's all coming together, ya'll. Thanks for riding with me.

As far as the video, I love this song. No other reason, really. Pixies go in.