Friday, April 28, 2006

50 pounds versus the 4-pound

First I want to begin by giving 50 cents affirmative heads up for his apparent concern for the health of the youth in our communities. Recently, the rapper announced that he would be the spokes person and judge for a nationwide cooking competition designed to prevent childhood obesity via improving high school students’ eating habits implemented by his foundations. This program will be sponsored by Glaceau, the company partly owned Mr. Jackson that sells his grape-flavored Vitamin Water drink, Formula 50. The competition will be held in cities including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle and will ask participating high school students to develop the most “nutrient-rich” cafeteria lunch recipe, with the winner receiving $100,000 college scholarship.

How ironic also that it is estimated that about 50 cents of every US dollar spent on food is spent on eating out. This is from a man who on his web site, has a picture of him holding a pistol grip pump shot gun and Kevlar and who in 2005, an alleged rap related shooting, in which a member of the chart-topping rapper 50 Cent’s “posse” was injured in an incidence involving the Game at Now York Radio Station Hot 97.

I am glad to see his concern, but truthfully think he would have more of an impact on health if he had focused on
HIV/AIDS and violence, not in any particular order. But such would not be expected, since this is the same Curtis “50 cents” Jackson who was shot nine times. I mean, “of the estimated 18,849 people under the age of 25 whose diagnosis of HIV/AIDS was made during 2001–2004 in the 33 states with HIV reporting, 11,554 (61%) were African American. In addition, “f the estimated 80,187 African Americans whose diagnosis of HIV/AIDS was made during 2001–2004 in the 33 states with HIV reporting, 49,704 (62%) were males, and 30,483 (38%) were females.”

Then there is the fact that African America males 15 to 24 have a homicide rate of 83 per 100,000 with deaths due to firearm related injuries being 87 per 100,000, making homicide the leading cause of death for African American males. I just want to say good job Curtis, no doubt you will save a lot of lives and send one high school student to college, albeit more people, especially the ones that listen to and purchase your music, die of homicide and HIV/AIDS. Maybe you ca save more lives if you stop talking about killing folks on your songs and boning women – you think? Good Looking.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

scientificin’ writing, and chiefn

sorry been writing fiction lately
I had a dream, I had won both the Pulitzer and the Nobel prizes in the same year, and I was on TV talking to some mother fucka who obviously knew my name for he recanted, “Dr. Torrance Stephens.” And I interrupted “ Torrance, T, or All-mi-T.” He continued.
“Torrance, don’t know if this has ever happened before, what do u say about it.”

I think in my dream he had a beard – red and glasses with Mel Kipper hair. None the less, the interview continued.

“And your answer?”
“Well, I’m honored main, and I thank my family and folks, god by nature. But for real though main, I don’t give a fuck. The checks nice and shit but a nigga rather be with his family, scientificin’ writing, and chiefin’”

“But certainly, both the Pulitzer and Nobel for literature in poetry, drama and fiction – unheralded. Sure you are esteemed.”

“Thanks again, but I’m not steamed, I mean it’s cool, an honor like I indicated previously, A nigga just aint excited, aint like my 7-8 year old baseball team winning with the last at bat. It aint main and a nigga just happy main.”

“So what is it from here, I mean dang”, he said with the incantation of a foreigner from Europe who had learned to speak English in a school.

“Main, I don’t know…naw, check that do I qualify for president I’ll do that. Am nigga I know and some assorted folk would vote for me main.”

“President, are you serious you , you are a writer?”

“You wanted to say black didn’t you nigga?”

“You are serious?”

“Yep, and tight too, when was the last time you had a president conversant and at least three languages which did not include Spanish, let alone a scientist – i'm the anti Bill Frist main.”

“Back to you writing?”

“Yawl saltines always trying to change the subject…….

I woke up then. Made me realize I don’t desire fame ‘cause I don’t want to be interviewed like I’m famous or something, when I could be with my family, scientificin’ writing, and chiefin’”.

Monday, April 24, 2006


It seems that they don’t make people like they used to. I mean back in the day, it seemed as if when people spoke of marriage, it was sacred and meaningful. In current times however, such is not the case. I even had a friend , really several friends, all of which are women indicate that they believe that everybody cheats. I understand where they are coming from but I was kind of taken back. I can see cheating at the dating or boyfriend/girlfriend level, but not necessarily after a proposal, and engagement ring and the celebrated broom jumping.

I guess that in this age of being star struck and celebrity addictions, it can only be expected. Case in Point, Hoopz of Flava of Love allegedly is married and has a husband who plays professional basketball in Europe. Now check this out, over the past weekend, she was seen in Atlanta with the one T.I. Tip Harris at a club and restaurant – which I frequent often. Maybe I need to stop eating at the places I go too, but the strange thing was that a day or two before in the same joint, I saw T.I. with his woman, or what I thought was his Woman – Tiny, who is also his baby momma. And I admit the only reason I know such is via radio banter heard in the morning on the way to work in between the commercials on Sports Talk and NPR.

I just don’t understand why would someone take a vow of commitment to another and then and run off and cheat on them, if they are married, with a rapper. I guess she found a rapper she actually liked this time as opposed to Flav. Maybe all women in this new era see things the same, maybe it’s not cheating to them if it is a star and they are receiving gifts or money from that person. Whatever the case, men, these are some sure signs that marriage may not be for you, if your woman does the following: 1] Dreams of being an actress or dating someone famous – that means that if they get their chance, they will definitely sleep with them just to say they did – lol, 2] If you by her an engagement ring of two carets or more, yet she complains and ask for another engagement ring – that means that she just like rings and that marriage is secondary and marriage to you is even less important – lol. 3] She says she loves you all the time but in the same voice admits she is unhappy, for if one is unhappy regardless of what it is related to, they cannot love another and 4] she talks about being in video’s or wishes she was a video ho, even after reading Superheads book.

Now I’m not downing marriage or women. I believe in marriage and for me the commitment is a major one, for I have to make the commitment to myself first before my woman. In addition, I know that when a man digs out of his pocket for 4 or 5 stacks for a ring, there is not really much more he can do to show his intentions except jump the old broom. So ladies, please be reminded that marriage is sacred, and men, you remember the same, or else you may actually find out instead of a wife, you married a cheap trick.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

more input needed

for the novel
trying to complete by end of summer
ladies 2 questions:

how do u make or let your man know he is desirable


2] what do u do for him to show such

tentative working title: never happy, never satisfied

Monday, April 17, 2006

State of the African American Father

Once, I was asked what being a father means to me. The question was asked of me one night before I was to leave on the overnight business trip the same night that Indiana and L.A. were playing game three of the NBA playoffs. I had never really thought about it before – probably because I knew that “IT” (fatherhood) was something that must be done rather than just thought about. And there was always something to do: to PTA meetings, taking my son to practice, ironing clothes, cooking meal and listening. What does it man to be a father? I mean it has to be a bit more than introducing a sperm cell to a precious ovum. It has to be more than seeing one’s child once or twice a week or month. What does it mean, and what is the state of fatherhood in our community? This was the question and I thought hard.

I thought hard about the fact that I was a single parent; I had been married, but it did not work out a result of unforeseen circumstances. But, mulling the questions of parenthood, I found it difficult to try to conceptualize something that I live; something so paramount and significant that words and thoughts can’t adequately depict its essence. It seems when you become a father – which is no less true for mothers – that you effectively begin a phase of having no social life. For the single father, this is mostly by choice, for you come to realize and internalize that there is no one thing or event more valuable than your children. I came to see that time really does fly by, and my infant son has become a little man with only one month until his eight birthday. I love cherish every moment of fatherhood, and I love having a son. For me being a father is responsibility that is earned with a combination of hardwork and effort, dedication and most importantly, love. It is an endless season in which summer, fall, winter and spring become one and the years often form a conglomerate book of memories and photographs.

Anthony T. Stringfield is CEO of the Living Room Media Group. an Oakland, California transplant, he has been in Atlanta for roughly nine years. “For me,” he says slowly, “I’ve been with little Tone for about 10 and a half years. Being a single parent for all that time has had its trials and tribulations for sure, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world. When he came into the world, it just completely slowed my roll.” He says that his son is like a brother to him and that their relationships has steadily grow over the years. “His mother didn’t ever get involved in his life. She calls about twice a year, on Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it has not turned into any real experience for him. She being 3,000 miles away in France did not allow for him to have that access, that immediate access to her.

“Being a father means a lot to me,” Stringfield continues. “I would expect it too mean a lot to a lotta brothers out there. I want him to learn the streets, but at the same time, I don’t want him to earn the streets. Fatherhood slowed my life totally down.” Stringfield admitted that if it has not been for becoming a father, he would have probably ended up ubiquitously wither “dead or in jail”. Parenthood granted him something else that he needed: stability. “I guess God moved inside of me,” he says.

“It was really pride at first, but as pride turned into something that I thoughts was more than I could chew. But in the process, I realized that if I just took small bites, it wasn’t that hard,” Strinfield says. “And now since I am recently remarried, I can see how valuable the dual parent situation is. Looking back on it all, I say being father is a blessing that I would not trade for anything in the world. I wouldn’t trade the frowns for the smiles. Most definitely its been real.”
“My baby is like all the money in the world for me,” says Clarence Harris, founder of the check First Mortgage of Cincinnati, Ohio. “My wife and I had problems, so the doctors had to actually merge my sperm with her egg. It took about for or five attempts. Harris smiles as he continues. “The day I found out, I was in a car accident,” he says. “I was sitting there and all mad and she comes driving around the corner smiling and says she was pregnant. I cheered up immediately.”

He admits that he was hyped and that he “read a “hupla” articles and books” but that was short lived. “I figured that instincts would start to kick in because in all actuality I didn’t want to read a lot about white babies, because all of the books were written by white men,” he says. “I just figured being a man would make my father instincts come out.”

“When I found out I was about to be a father, I zoned, it was like I was thinking about names, him being a boy, what instruments he would play, how he would laugh and every thing else,” he recalls. But like most men staring down fatherhood, his attitude changed. Harris admits, “After I knew my wife was pregnant, I became concerned about her eating habits and everything. My wife worked practically right up until she gave birth, and I didn’t like that, knowing how hard we had been wanting children.

“Now my baby is one month old, he says with pride. “The biggest thing about the delivery was that I had never prepared to see something come out like me, round head and all, it was like looking at the mirror. I got here in my hands and forgot all about my wife.” He says that fatherhood based on his experiences could be broken down into one are: protection. Harris feels his job description with respect to his little girl is to provide support and protection for her forever.

These faces of fathers are often neglected in the real world with respect to media and the overall image of African American men. Let’s not forget; as the descendents of slaves were frequently removed from family responsibilities for the sake of profit by rapacious slave masters, brokers and merchants. Many young men like myself have inherited this sordid legacy, and never really knew or ere raide in households with their biological male parental units. Being basically inaccessible and/or available, we have managed to define being a father in a different perspective.

I will not blame history alone for these occurrences. Self-determination would have manifested another result if many fathers were steadfast in their belief of the family. And for the record most African American men were determined to preserve their families for we as people have survived conditions no one else has confronted. Therefore, it is not unusual when men are overlooked, as Harris was when he was at the hospital. The doctors and nurse always seemed to speak directly to his wife. “I had to straighten them out a few times and explain that the baby’s father is here and got just as an important part in this baby’s life as the baby’s mother does,” he says.

Many have viewed or felt this invisibility either first hand or vicariously. In all truth, church of the world in which we reside, through various news speak sources, purports consistently that men such as those speaking within this article and others such as myself do not exist. Often they talk about us, “black fathers” as if we were invisible. As if we were invisible. As if speaking of African American men as being fathers is taboo or politically incorrect. But the record is otherwise. We have demonstrated that we do exist and that is not because we are individuals. I coach both Little League baseball and basketball and see fathers all over the place, actively involved, from all walks of life.

To say it is troubling that we are often overlooked is an understatement. In our own communities, it seems as if we can only see ourselves. And we see ourselves often,. We see each other at MARTA stations, parks, PTA meetings,school plays and birthday parties. We seem to bon on site, exchanging looks and facial expressions tat only our kind can know. Marvin Davis, a native of Memphis, Tennessee, is that father of tow boys ages eight and five years old. Martin says being a father “is definitely a responsibility that I take strongly.” The business executive continues, “what I mean is that I see that as of now, I ma here to raise two black boys to not doubt themselves for any reason, economics, skin color or nothing.”

Davis reinforces his perspective by saying he is “trying to build string minds that can work and function in a structure and system designed to defeat them.” With all of the may roles he must play, he's says that he can definitely tell you want fatherhood is not. “It is not just bringing your check home and saying ‘I am clothing and feeding my kids.” He says that fathers help children to know that no matter what, there is and will be one main person that they can go to “who ain’t got no other motivations but to help them be better.”

So what is being a father about? I can’t really say, but these men have given us some food for thought. Being a father is a commitment. It is a commitment to supporting a family and working hard in spirit and time to make certain nothing will manifest that brings harm to ones seeds and they may grow, they may never develop or survive without consistent and compassionate care. Fathers, we salute you, for we truly know that we need no reward for what we do, either hand what we experience through daily interaction with our children.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

jobless recovery

Dire times are confronting the average US family and citizen. This is mainly due to the constant instability in the US labor market. The labor market in America has been on a downward swing since the early 90s. However, it has exacerbated under the misleadership of the Current Administration. The evidence has been accumulating consistently since 2002. The U.S. unemployment rate has been constantly growing under the Bush watch and many economists are very concerned about how the economy is rapidly improving as the labor market is continuing to get worse. This is what many as a jobless recovery have called.

A jobless recovery means that the overall productivity of the current labor pool is increasing in an atmosphere where no new jobs are being created. The truth of the matter is that jobs are being depleted rapidly on the U.S. front. This means that we are seeing dramatic economic gains for big corporation while they are not increasing their spending on new employees and payroll spending.
No one can predict when US business will start hiring again in America. All new jobs as of late have been in countries that we have already developed a trade imbalance. Bush is a large part of this because since he started his watch, nearly.4 million Americans have lost their jobs. Right now, the unemployment rate is the highest it has been in about a decade. So much for the so-called tax relief he signed that was opposed to create a million more new jobs. I was told that the recession officially ended in November 2001, but all I see are more jobs leaving and more people out of work.

The underlying problem is that growth has remained sub par for an unusually long time. So don’t believe it when you hear politicians say that economic perspective for America is going to help create or maintain jobs. The President has brought most of this on the American public. Although under his tax plan, the average American family of four will be able to keep at least $1,600 more of their own money annually, it really just benefits the wealthy. His tax plan thus far has managed to increase the upside of the economy but the question is at whose expense? The central problem for me is the elimination of dividend taxes. Although I do own stocks, bonds and securities, the plan would in essence increases investors' returns, which mean that stocks can be in a better position to carry higher valuations. In addition these higher valuations will come at the expense of American citizens. Already we see a rise in the federal deficit, and pundits estimate that it will be more than $500 billion by the end of the year. Couple this with the number of American companies, federal and state governments who are exporting jobs abroad, America’s future seems extremely bleak from an economic perspective.

Companies the likes of American Express, Levi’s, Earth link, Kodak, and Verizon are elimination more jobs at home and relocating to the cheaper labor havens of South America and Asia. So I just say it may be a good time in America, maybe some of our folk will decide to start a business as opposed to look for a job.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

10 + 32 = 42

Was looking at Moses, what they called the Ten Commandments. Personally I have somewhat of a conundrum with accepting just ten after my reading of Das Totenbuch des Nacht-Amun aus der Ramessidenzeit translated by E.A. Wallis Budge. Also know as the Papyrus of Ani and the Egyptian Book of the dead. None the less, I was watching that shit, not like Charleston Heston acting wise, but good still. Now before I go further, I would like to add that I do not support the context of image for the sake of historical inaccuracy. Because it was one of the main reasons I watched.

First there is the massive collection of strangely stringy and denatured protein hair having Europeans who obviously lack the pigmentation to exist in a healthy manner in the horn of Africa. But that didn’t take away from the movie, I just found it hard to call it the Ten Commandments like I stated previously because it seemed to be more about Moses than the theft involved in ganking ten selected commandments from the 42 negative confessions from the Papyrus of Ani – also known as The Book of Coming Forth by Day. Some of these can be read below:

Hail, Usekh-nemmt, who comest forth from Anu, I have not committed sin.
Hail, Hept-khet, who comest forth from Kher-aha, I have not committed robbery with violence.
Hail, Fenti, who comest forth from Khemenu, I have not stolen.
Hail, Am-khaibit, who comest forth from Qernet, I have not slain men and women.
Hail, Neha-her, who comest forth from Rasta, I have not stolen grain.
Hail, Ruruti, who comest forth from heaven, I have not purloined offerings.
Hail, Arfi-em-khet, who comest forth from Suat, I have not stolen the property of God.
Hail, Neba, who comest and goest, I have not uttered lies.
Hail, Set-qesu, who comest forth from Hensu, I have not carried away food.
Hail, Utu-nesert, who comest forth from Het-ka-Ptah, I have not uttered curses.
Hail, Qerrti, who comest forth from Amentet, I have not committed adultery, I have not lain with men.

How many of these made the top ten and why were the ones that id selected/stolen in the first place? Also, what does this mean, well the truth is that the Ten Commandments were more than ten and were really negative confessions developed and practiced by African civilizations centuries before Christianity and or the establishment of Christian Europe (B.C.E. – before Christian Europe). These were not laws that people had to attend to when living, but more so when they died and confronted the creator for acceptance into the next phase of bliss in the hereafter.

So it was nice to test my historical savvy in so many words as well as look at a television movie or show that did not have any guns, explosions and half-naked women shaking their asses. I still can’t consider the movie being about the Ten Commandments when mathematically speaking 10 + 32 = 42.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Celibate or Halibut?

Hey can anyone tell me what it means to be celibate? I mea I know by definition that “Celibacy refers either to being unmarried or to sexual abstinence. A vow of celibacy is a promise not to enter into marriage or engage in sexual intercourse.”

It has even been said that celibacy requires not having any sexual activity with a partner. But that it does not preclude being sexual with ones partner. I just wonder if a man or a woman vowed to be celibate after being sexually active with their partner, would this mean that there could be no intimacy at all? I mean if I am celibate, is it possible for me to still engage in fondling, cuddling and or other sexual acts including mutual masturbation and oral sex?

It has been suggested that some folks become celibute for an assortment of reasons including personal and or religious beliefs or as an extended reaction to some form of sexual trauma.

My question today is simply this, if one is celibate, what would or could they do in your eyes to continue to be intimate with their partner? Would you as a man or a woman be willing to engage/perform oral sex on them? Would you as man or a woman continue to desire and touch them erotically and sensuously? Would you as a man or woman still play, grind and cuddle nude? And if this person was the woman or man of your dreams, what would you be willing or what would u do to exhibit that you still desired them sexually without comprimising your vows of celibacy. Tell me, for I would like to know what would be off limits and what would not for I do know that a Halibut is a delicious sweet tasting fish with firm flaky white meat.