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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rep Yo City.

*Disclaimer: I know I'm random, but I'm not TOTALLY random. Last week I heard a radio announcement that Nelly's next album will be titled Nelly 5.0. That irked me for some reason, which inspired this post.


For every major city in the US, there seems to be a rapper designated as the "official" spokesperson of that particular city. Atlanta has TI, Brooklyn has Jay-Z, Chicago has Kanye West, Orlando has......Flo Rida? Scratch that last example, but you get what I mean. I wish there was an option to vote for what rapper can rep their city, because whenever I reveal to an out-of-towner that my hometown is St. Louis, I can't help but roll my eyes when they exclaim
, "Aww, you from Nellyville, huh?!"

Why does the mention of Nelly's name make me cringe, you ask? Let me count the ways.


1. The Band-Aid



I'm not sure if anyone else remembers, but Nelly wor
e a white Band-Aid on his cheek for a long period of time. I suppose he first started wearing it due to a basketball injury, but eventually Nelly revealed that it also had a "symbolic" meaning and was intended as a shout-out to St. Lunatics member City Spud, who was in jail for a robbery conviction. All I wanted to know back then--and still want to know--is.....why a Band-Aid, Nelly? You couldn't just say, "Free City!" like all of the other rappers after every performance? Or maybe wear a "Free City" t-shirt? Was it not good enough that a whole St. Lunatics album was dedicated to City Spud? Thankfully, the unintended fashion accessory never caught on in St. Louis (or any other city, to the best of my knowledge), and a higher power must have told Nelly the Band-Aid wasn't a good look, because he eventually ceased from sporting the adhesive out in public.


2. Tip Drill

There are a few events I believe have set black people
back several hundred years: the Flavor of Love reality series, the invention of Twitter, and Nelly's "Tip Drill" video. Nelly ignited some major controversy back in 2004 when he released an uncut video that included colorful lyrics such as "it must be yo' ass, 'cuz it ain't yo' face" and lots of ass shaking. One of the most "memorable" scenes is when Nelly slides a credit card between one woman's ass cheeks. I'm embarrassed just by writing that. The controversy came to a head (no pun intended), when several Spelman students joined together with plans to confront Nelly at a charity event scheduled to take place at the Spelman campus. Nelly canceled his scheduled appearance at the last minute. Surprise. Which brings me to my next point.


3. Kat Stacks



Nelly was just one of many rappers caught in the tangled, STD-infested web of scandals weaved by the infamous Kat Stacks. He is one of the first men she outed when she first came on the scene months ago, as she blogged detailed accounts of arguments she and Nelly had
outside of his studio when she was drunk. And of course, Nelly chose to take things to the next level when he called in during a Shade 45 radio interview with Kat Stacks, and proceeded to "hide" his identity by anonymously interrogating her about the accuracy of her stories. Being the mentally deficient human being that she is, Kat Stacks had no idea who she was talking to at first, and Nelly insisted that she was lying because she could not remember the name of any hotel they had met at. Now, I really don't give a damn whether Nelly slept with Kat Stacks or not. My issue is this: You have soooo much to say in attempts to "clear your name" over allegations made by some groupie hoe knowing damn well that you smashed her, yet you couldn't man up and explain yourself to college students about why you chose to make that tasteless "Tip Drill" nonsense? Boo, Cornell. Boo. Yes, I used his government.


4. Nursery Rhymes

I don't think there is too much that needs to go here. We are talking about a man whose claim to fame was a single that included the lyrics "shimmy shimmy cocoa puff." 'Nuff said.


5. Apple Bottoms





Anyone who knows me knows that I have a deep hatred for all things hoodrat related. Hoodrat labels, in particular, make me itch. Therefore, I could not complete this blog post without speaking on Nelly and the role he has played in contributing to the hoodrat epidemic. The Apple Bottoms brand launched in 2003, and was targeted towards African-American women who had a hard time fitting into jeans that were intended to conform to the body types of their Caucasian counterparts. I get the concept, and it's actually not a horrible idea. But just like 99.9% of "urban" fashion brands, the clothes are always adorned with garish rhinestones and shit, whether it's a t-shirt, jean pockets, or a hoodie. I don't know who is in charge of the Apple Bottoms design team, but someone needs to tell them that just because I'm black, doesn't mean I want some damn bedazzled apples splashed all over my freakum dress.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Here We Go.

So.......I may or not get fired because I said "Oh my God" under my breath while dealing with a belligerent customer today. And the thought of being fired makes me happy and sad.

Happy, because I have loathed coming to work every day since I started training, and because I feel absolutely violated that I have to work 60+ hours a week just to pull a decent paycheck. Sad, because a shitty job is the equivalent of being in a shitty relationship/friendship: you hate it and know it should be put to an end, but when and if that time ever comes, you want to be the one doing the dumping, not the other way around.

Anyway, back to this cunt who called in today. I usually refrain from using that word because it's super vulgar, but in this case, that's the best word I can think of to describe the woman I spoke with. She was nasty from the moment I answered the call. Her complaint was that she had ordered a replacement phone yesterday, and got an e-mail with the tracking number. When she checked the e-mail, she saw an order for a replacement battery for a phone that she did not own. I checked the order tracking system to try to figure out what she was talking about. I saw the order for her phone, but nothing about a battery. At this point, I'm thinking: "This bitch is crazy." She obviously just wanted to call to complain about an issue that didn't exist, then got pissed because I couldn't find any information regarding this non-existent issue. She complained about how many times she had been transferred before getting to my department, and demanded to know why another customer service rep had told her there was an order for a battery if there wasn't. I paused for about ten seconds while looking through previous notes on her account, and she snapped that "all this dead silence is bad customer service."

At some point, I suppose I muttered, "Oh my God" out of pure frustration that I had to stay on the phone with a customer who didn't even have a real issue, when I could be helping someone who did. At this point, she asked for a supervisor and said, "Do you want your job? I hope they're recording this call." I gladly put her on hold to get in touch with someone in the "escalations" department, and she hung up while I was speaking with someone on the other line. The escalations team member told me he would call her back, and that was that.

Now I think I was fairly calm, considering the situation. I can think of a million worse things that I could have said besides "Oh my God." However, I have had first-hand experience with being terminated over some petty shit, based solely on the whim of the pigmentally-challenged, and I'm in no hurry to be in that predicament again. I've heard stories of people from my current job getting the boot because they said a few choice words to a customer when they thought they had hit the mute button, but I don't know if my slip-up is serious enough to require disciplinary action.

We shall see. I just know that if I find out I don't have a job after a 35 minute drive tomorrow, some office equipment will be vandalized.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Holy Roller.

The media was in a frenzy over the past week, due to Florida pastor Terry Jones' announcement that he planned to host "Burn the Qu'ran" day at his church on September 11th. He rationalized his decision with the usual claims that "Islam is of the devil," and added that the burning was meant to expose Islam for the "violent and oppressive" religion that it is......although I suppose burning things is not violent? Ultimately, Pastor Jones got the publicity he wanted had a change of heart, and the burning was canceled, but it prompted me to write about my own thoughts on religion--and I have a lot. Brace yourselves folks, this is gonna be a long one.

Religion has been a part of my life since a very early age. As a little girl, I went to church in Illinois with my mom and was an honorary member of the adult choir. My mom always tells me the story of how I told her that I wanted to be baptized at the age of 3. She told the pastor about my request and he talked to me to make sure I understood what I was doing. They realized I was serious, and arranged the baptism ASAP. My father didn't attend because he thought I was too young to make that decision on my own--but that's another story. Eventually we moved to St. Louis and visited a number of churches, but never found the "home church" that a lot of people speak of; the church that they have been going to for 20 years and will continue to go to until the day they die. Nah, I never had that. We would join a church, but then some scandal would occur and my mom would decide it was time to bounce. Through it all, she still made sure that my siblings and I read our Bibles, prayed, and listened to that good ol' gospel music just about every day.

When I was about 18, we joined a small church where the head pastor was an older single woman with kids around my age. This was a time in my life when I was angry as hell about everything, every day, for no reason in particular. However, the pastor at this church didn't seem to be fazed by my abrasive attitude and she could usually tell when something was wrong with me. She gave me her phone number and I would call her when I needed to talk, and she gave me the encouragement I needed. Her sermons always seemed to relate to whatever I was dealing with, and I ended up in tears every Sunday (and anyone who knows me knows that I am not a crying person). It got to the point where I decided to join the praise team and sing in church occasionally, which was another big step for me because I can't stand talking or being in front of a crowd, much less sing in front of one.

It seemed that everything was all good, but of course, some bullshit had to come about. There was a boy at the church who my mom was convinced was possessed by the devil. He had this crazy look in his eyes, and was always instigating in an attempt to get under people's skin. He also took it upon himself to target my younger brother and poke fun at him. Because my brother doesn't wear pants hanging off his ass, doesn't try to holler at every girl that passes him by, and actually acts like he has common sense most of the time, that somehow translates to being gay. During a Bible study for the teenagers at our church, my brother made a comment and "Devil Boy" retorted by calling him a faggot. Yeah. I, of course, was ready to jump across the table and whoop his ass for being so disrespectful, and in church of all places. My parents heard about it soon after, and spoke with the pastor regarding the issue. I was expecting her to reprimand the boy for his comment, but instead she told me and my brother that we shouldn't have taken offense to what was said. Wait......what? How is that not offensive? How is that appropriate? How can you condone a homophobic slur in the "house of God?"

Things went downhill from there. Devil Boy's mom was always giving me and my brother dirty looks as if we had called HER son a faggot, Devil Boy was still wreaking havoc in the church, then my mom was hospitalized for psychiatric issues for the first time in her life. I was lost, angry, and I started questioning whether or not God existed. If He did, why would He let things like this happen? Eventually we left that church as well, and from that point I refused to go to any church with my family. I stopped reading my Bible, stopped praying, and stopped listening to gospel music. In my opinion, none of that mattered if bad things were going to happen away.

Then I moved to Florida, came back home for a while, then moved to Atlanta. While being out on my own, I made friends with people who were either agnostic or atheist. At the time, they were some of the coolest people I had ever met. They didn't have that pie-in-the-sky unrealistic view of life that I had experienced dealing with Christian folks, and they gave the same side-eye that I gave to the dramatic people in church who are always fainting and getting the Holy Ghost every Sunday for no damn reason. But then.......they started doing crazy shit too.

So now I'm stuck. I don't want to associate myself with Christians because *some* of them be on that psycho shit like Pastor Jones, blaming an entire religion based off the actions of a small group of people. But I can't call myself an atheist, because as sarcastic and skeptical as I am, I can't bring myself to think there is no God. I don't know where I fit. I don't know what I should or shouldn't do, because I don't want to be a hypocrite like a lot of Christians I come in contact with. You know, the ones who curse people out at the grocery store, smoke a blunt after work, meet up with their married lover during the weekend, but will still be front row and center in church on Sunday morning, singing about how good God has been to them. I couldn't look myself in the mirror if I were like that, and I don't know how other people do. One thing about me is that when I make the commitment to do something, I go all the way with it.

Right now, I only go to church if my mom requests it, I drink, I curse a lot, and I'm not very nice to most people, but I'm not playing the role of Ms. Holy Roller when I get around other Christian folks just to "appear" that I'm living my life for Jesus. I feel that when (and if) I make the decision to get back to living my life for Jesus, all of that has to stop. And I can't say that I'm ready for that. I could probably go on, but I'll stop here.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Stanmanship.

I know I said I was tired of talking about celebrities, and I am. This post is dedicated to the average folks who watch every move that their favorite celebrity makes, and literally worship the ground that said celebrity walks on. These people are what most of us know as "stans."

For anyone that's not familiar with the definition of a stan, allow me to break it down to you. The term was introduced to pop culture after the release of Eminem's 2000 single "Stan" about a crazed fan who is so obsessed with Eminem that he emulates everything about the rapper's lifestyle, including his volatile relationship with his girlfriend. The term now describes a fan that has an unhealthy obsession with any celebrity or athle
te. (Although it has gotten to the point that even reality show cast members seem to have stans now. Go figure.)


I have my own opinion of what constitutes a stan. I think a stan is anyone who co-signs with everything a celebrity says or does, no matter how fucked up or retarded it is. These are the ones that will tattoo Lil' Wayne's face on their bodies, or argue that Lil' Kim was only trying to enhance her features with that plastic surgery. TI got caught with guns and drug paraphernalia? "Oh, that's just The Man trying to get him," a stan would say. They use no logic at all when it comes to their fave celeb, and would probably denounce Christ if He were to ever criticize the stans' hero. When reading your favorite entertainment blog, you can always count on a stan to be the first one in the comments section in all their caps-locked glory, cursing the blogger that dares to post unflattering pictures or articles about the celeb that they love more than life itself.

I often wonder: How do stans function in everyday life? Do these people have jobs, do they go to school? What did they do with themselves before their favorite celebrity was internationally known? What personality disorder characteristic do they have that makes them so enamored with someone who they will probably never meet, and will never even know they exist?

I can say that I only "stan" for a select few celebrities, but even in my stanmanship, I have the capability to know when enough is enough. I used to ride or die for Rihanna back in the day; she could do no wrong in my eyes. Post-Chris Brown, however, I came to the realization that she was making some questionable choices, personal and style-wise. It got to the point where I just couldn't co-sign some of the shit she was doing/wearing.





^^^^This is the Rihanna I could stan for.




This........is not.



I suppose that would mean I'm not a true stan. A true stan would love Rihanna through thick and thin, in the good times and the bad. If Rihanna shaved her head and tattooed the world map on it, then posted a Twitpic, a true stan would comment, "0MG $h3 I$ $0 f@Shi0Nabl3!!!!!!!!!!!" <---------Because that is the required writing style of any stan worth his/her weight. No, that's not fashionable. That is insanity. There's a difference between trend setting and crying out for help. Stans don't seem to understand that difference.

Now that I'm part of the Twitter community, I can see the celebrity obsession even more. The other day, someone made the observation that people seemed more concerned with the Twitter "beef" between Soulja Boy and Fabolous, than they were with the pastor that was planning to burn the Qur'an on September 11th. A couple days ago, the "Team Breezy" stans were in their zone when Chris Brown's mom was criticized for her bizarre tweet that "Michael Jackson died so Chris Brown could live." I still don't get that one, but I won't even go there. I mean, really, people? Why do any of us give a fuck about the cyber-thugging of two D-list rappers? Why are you threatening to cut a bitch because she took C.Breezy's mama's tweet as another opportunity to poke fun at his bow tie? Are you going to get any further in life by participating in this foolishness? I highly doubt it.

I believe that stans, along with Crocs and the word "swag," should be wiped from the face of the earth. Not on some messy "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" shit, but very quietly. Like one day you'll read a blog and say to yourself, "Hey! There are no ignorant ass, grammatically embarrassing, crotch-riding comments about Trey Songz' new album." Or you'll go on Twitter and not have to worry about your eyesight being assaulted by stupid screen names like "@Rih-Breezyminaj."

Who am I kidding though? Stans are here to stay......at least for the time being. I guess I should kick back and get my laughs in while I can.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Blog Lovin'.

So I hit up Elle's blog a while ago to be posted as a "featured follower." She has a really cool concept where she sets up a form for bloggers to fill out and tell everyone about themselves, and what their blog is all about. I appreciate her doing that and hope that this will give me the opportunity to connect with some more people in the blogging world. You can check out the post here, and make sure to show Elle some love as well!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Coming Up Empty.

Dammit, another brain freeze. I can't think of anything to write for this blog or my fashion blog. Very annoying, considering that writing is one thing that gives me at least a small dose of happiness. I guess there just isn't much for me to blog about. Same ol' stuff is going on as far as my personal life, and the same ol' stuff is going on in the entertainment world.

I briefly considered blogging about a certain rapper/actor and his wife getting into trouble over some silly shit, but to be honest, I'm tired of hearing/seeing/writing about celebrities and the foolishness that they get themselves into. I feel like everyone has said what needs to be said about that situation, so there's no need to be repetitive. I can say that it definitely is going to make me reconsider whether or not to go see anyone's movie or buy their album, because I'm not spending my money to support anyone's drug habit or love of guns. Nobody shells out money to support my shopping habit, so why should celebs get that privilege?