Friday, April 30, 2010

Nobels and Mudslinging...

This is an old post I had on I've finally moved it here...enjoy...

Is it me or does it seem President Obama can't catch a break?

Before he even got into the White House, people were begging him to fix the mess Dubya left there and caught all kinds of flack for the bailouts and trying to kick start the economy. Since then, he's been demonized for encouraging kids to stay in school and wanting healthcare to be available to everyone and not just the priviliged.

Now that President Obama's been selected to recieve the Nobel Peace Prize for reaching out to the World and showing them that America's politics are changing for the better, he's getting static from every Tom, Dick, harry and Jane. One blogger said he was unaware that the Nobels had an Affirmative Action Quota.

Obviously, some blogs have an Idiocy and Bigotry Quota.

True, being the first Black man voted into the Office of the President is going to bring a certain amount of scrutiny, but doesn't it seem that Barack Obama's had more than the normal amount of naysayers and negative publicity? (Don't let me get started about the Tea Party Idiots.)

Empirically, I can't say it's because he's Black. Given America's beginnings as well as race relations since the Emancipation Proclamation, it's an easy dig. To be fair, not all White folks are racist or prejudiced. It's not fair for me to hold anything against them for what their ancestors did to mine. We've come a long way since the 'I Have a Dream' Speech and the fact that a Black man has been elected President, basically, fulfilling the very words that Martin Luther King Jr. Spoke about, says a lot about how far we've come as a nation.

The fact that a White politician called a Black man, who just happens to hold the Highest Office in the Land, a liar says a lot more about how much farther we have to go.

I'm just sayin'...

Got To Be Real...

Remember when Mariah Carey first came out? The woman could SANG. She could even do the Minnie Ripperton Super High Falsetto note to great effect. Her first 3 albums were packed with great singing, passion and emotion. The girl had talent and the chops and complete control of her insturment.
Flashforward to now, Mariah's music still has the great singing, but it seems overly slick and lacking real passion and emotion, like she's phoning her vocals in.
Which leads me to my point: A singer who is singing from their heart and giving the best that they have, even if they're not in Mariah's or Whitney's league, will always be better than somebody who's technically proficient, but ultimately, lacking honesty and emotion.
Take Erykah Badu, for instance. She's doesn't have Mariah's vocal range, but you won't find someone who puts more passion or soul into their performance. Chrisette Michelle is another example. She has the vocal range and the chops, but she doesn't just coast when it comes to her performance, she's singing from her heart and you can feel it.
And need I mention Jill Scott or Corinne Bailey Rae or Nikka Costa or Anita Baker or Gabrielle or Bjork?
On the male side of things, Luther Vandross was undoubtably the Gold Standard. Any of his songs fron the late 70's to the early 90's were instant classics. But, like Miss Carey (Or should I say Mrs. Cannon), his more recent recordings were slick and had his trademark vocals, but not as much of the emotion or passion of his earlier stuff.
Now, Seal may not have as much of a range as Luther, but he's got so much more soul. (Not a shameless plug of his latest release by the same name) Listen to every song on his 2nd album (The one with 'Kiss From A Rose' on it) and there is passion, soul and great emotion coming through on each track.
Sting is another performer who, though he's white, has a lot of soul in his performances. He sings from his heart and so does D'angelo, Rob Thomas, Musiq Soulchild, Bono from U2, Adam Levine, Stokley, Boys II Men, Brandon Boyd and John Legend.
Maybe I'm just picky, but when it comes to music, you can't fake it. To quote Ms. Cheryl Lynn,
It's got to be real.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Rothilesberger and Obama...a dubious connection

I was just on Yahoo Sports and they were talking about Ben Rothilesberger and his current 4-6 game suspension handed down by the NFL even though he didn't get charged in the alleged sexual assualt case in Georgia. Most of the comments were for it, some were definitely against it and others called R-berger (it's easier to spell than his whole last disrespect) a rapist. (This could be construed because he's had three different cases with his name attached come up...just sayin'...) I think Roger Godall, the current Chairman of the NFL made the right decision. Athletes, especially star athletes are usually treated like the gladiators of old: They can do or say anything the want and no one will oppose them because of what they can do in the Coliseum. This is the 21st Century, athletes have children and young people looking up to them and wanting to emulate them. They need to be more aware of how their actions and the consequences of those actions can affect those around them, from family to fans.
Now to the real reason I'm blogging about this: One of the respondents, the Johhny G he's called, said one of the most ignorant things i've ever heard: R-Berger got suspended because he's white and (President) Hussein Obama must have handed down the suspension.
Yes, it's the 21st Century and as a country, Amreica has come a long way. Unfortunately, we can see from this that as a country and as human beings, we still have a long way to go.

Monday, April 12, 2010

My First Post...

I have now become a blogger. This inspires a feeling akin to opening up the cage door for an animal and it's hesitant, if not outright scared to step out inot the freedom before it.
There are so many things I can write about, the vistas are wide open...(and, strangely, my OS is Windows Vista...but I digress)...that can be a little intimidating, but fun at the same time.
Guess I'll just have to explore what's around me and spill out what's on my mind, basically do like Madonna said on "Sky Fits Heaven", follow down my own road, reading the signs as I go...