Saturday, January 29, 2005

Firefox-y Brown - New Jack Blogging

Hello People,

Brother Tyrone is out on assignment and he asked me to fill in for this column as I'm somewhat famous myself. A few of you may recognize me from my sizable role in the movie Undercover Brother - yes, that's right, Smart Brother is your Urban Eye for today so I'm here to drop a little knowledge on how you can simplify your blog reading routine simply by checking out the hot new browser Firefox. I'll pause while all you Internet Explorer users get done screaming...

If you haven't heard of Firefox by now, you need to ask somebody. The Mozilla crew has put the finishing touches on version 1.0 and to steal a line from Brother Tyrone - it's all that and a bag of chips. Everyday users will appreciate the tabbed browsing (where you can load multiple pages into the same browser window to get rid of all that multi-window clutter). Intermediate users will appreciate the smart keywords (where you can do a keyword search of any web site by entering a keyword and search term in your location bar) and you blogophiles will come to love Live Bookmarks which allow you to subscribe to your favorite blogs (like this one) and save them as browser bookmarks. Once subscribed (which you can do with a single mouse click while visiting the blog), the blog name will appear as a bookmark and each post will show up in a sub-menu. This way you can see at a glance if your favorite blogger has put up a new post and go right to it. That's just plain neat, people.

I know there are those of you out there saying - blah, blah, blah Smart Brother, you can do all that with a news aggregator and that's true. But admit it - you spend 99% of your online life glued to your browser and now, there's no need to ever leave it to check if your favorite blogs have new material. I'm just thinking of you and trying to save a few busy moments out of your day so you can spend them with your Tivo. So check it out - the price is affordable (free).

So to wrap up - I know Brother Tyrone is fond of posting photographs of scantily clad, attractive women but I'm not down with such a shallow, juvenile and sexist practice. So I'll leave you with a photograph I believe to be much more appropriate.

Dr. Mae Jemison

*sigh* The first black female astronaut in space and one of my personal heroes. Now that's a shorty.


Smart Brother, Ph.D

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Mortgage Redlining on Wisteria Lane?

Wassup, Y'all!

You know old Tyrone will admit to tuning into ABC's runaway hit Desperate Housewives from time to time (mainly to see how the other side lives, ya'll) and, don't get me wrong, the show does feature a stable of fine shorties - Eva Longoria, Terrie Hatcher and T.O.'s girl Nicollette Sheridan in particular, but come on now - where are the black folks on Wisteria Lane? I'm thinking there may be a little redlining going on to skew the demographic... (Side Note: where've I been with this Eva Longoria? Old girl is registering a strong 8 on the Daaamn Meter - how'd N'Sync'er JC Chasez manage to pull that? Maestro - cue up a glossy for the people...)

Eva Longoria

Man, even the Huxtables invited a token white family over from time to time! Maa fact, so did the Jeffersons and the Evans family (Good Times, y'all), but I have yet to see a little contrast on Wisteria Lane, y'all (outside of old school Richard Roundtree who was just there to whack Edie - see what I'm saying?) . I have to admit though, I like the twist they threw in with the only Hispanic family on the block having a white landscaper - hopefully they'll pull that joint again on the George Lopez show - just a little change up to get folks thinking - that's all I'm asking, y'all.

So I forwarded my casting wish list to my LA contact Gin Fizz. G. Fizzle tells me he runs in the same circles as the Desperate Housewives casting director (or the cast caterer - one of those two...). ABC, you want ratings? Move Vanessa Williams or Tyra Banks in across the street from Bree Van De Kamp's crib. They don't have to be included in the clique (the horror!) - just have them stop in from time to time. Better yet, really mix things up and bring in a hoochie to compete with Nicollette. Can't you see Vivica Fox in that role, y'all? All she has to do is dust off that rump shaker role she played in Independence Day.

Check it out - here's the scene: It's Tyra's second day on Wisteria Lane and all of the Desperate Husbands sneak over in the morning while she's getting ready for work. A quick peek in the window reveals

Wisteria Lane's Newest Neighbor?

and hijinx ensue. Come on ABC - do I have to do everything? Get in the game, homeys!



P.S. Ms. Banks remains the only shorty to register an unheard of 10 on the Daaamn Meter (as in Daaaaaaaaaamn, y'all!)

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Halle Gets a Nomination!

Wassup, Y'all!

Unfortunately, Halle Berry's nomination was the Razzie variety instead of the Academy variety. Man - how long's it been since Catwoman and folks are still hatin' on Halle. The Razzie panel must be 100% hetero female cuz I'm saying her outfit alone was worth an Academy Daaaaaaamn nomination

Just for old times sake, visit the glossy of her I posted in my July 23, 2004 column (where you can also get schooled on my patented Daamn Rating System) and check out a redux glossy right here, y'all.

Razzie Nominee Halle Berry

Come on now, Razzie voters! Get a clue! That's just straight hatin' without a license. Other notable Razzie nomination recipients include Vin Diesel (half a vote it you know what I'm saying), Shawn and Marlon Wayans (these boyz ought to get a Razzie Achievement Award named after them - maybe the Homey The Clown Award for weak a** acting!), our girl Condi Rice (for Farenheit 9/11, y'all - C. Rice: well deserved homegirl!) and Keenan Ivory Wayans got a well deserved director nod for White Chicks. Okay Razzie folks - you did get it mostly right.

Now moving on to the real deal, the Academy outdid themselves this year, y'all. Our boy Jamie Foxx got two nods - Supporting Actor for Collateral and Actor for Ray - more on this in a second. Easy Reader himself, Morgan Freeman got a Supporting Actor nod for Million Dollar Baby, my main man Don Cheadle FINALLY got an Actor nod for Hotel Rwanda (should have got a nod as Denzel's psychopathic homeboy Mouse in Devil In A Blue Dress...) and one of my Shorties on the Rise - Sophie Okonedo got a Supporting Actress nod for Hotel Rwanda. Shoot - that's five (nominations) on the black hand side, y'all - not counting Chris Rock as this year's host. Gonna be some fly hooptys rolling up to the red carpet this year, y'all and we know J. Foxx's after party is going to be the one to hit - forget that Governor's Ball nonsense. Chris and Jamie will probably have Joan Rivers out there rump shakin' (or Star Jones doing the old school Bertha Butt Boogie...)

Y'all will remember in my January 17, 2005 column I laid out my conspiracy theory on how the Best Actor voting is gonna go. Well the chess pieces are set, y'all. Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio and the surprise Don Cheadle all rubbin' elbows in the Best Actor Category. Y'all notice how J. Foxx also got that Supporting actor nod? That's the Academy's escape hatch to get some Oscars to both J. Foxx and Leo DiCap. DC's on the outside looking in but it'll be cool to see him listed as Academy Award Nominee in Oceans 13. Anyway, if that backdoor surprise occurs and Leo DiCap walks with the Best Actor Oscar after Jamie's performance in Ray, it's going to be Florence and Normandy all over again, y'all. Jamie's gonna have to get on TV and say: "Come on y'all - can't we all just get along?" I don't see it happenin' but it is LA....

Anyway, congrats to all the nominees and as for J. Foxx - Booty Call put me on notice, but it was his turn as the DJ at the Players Club that showed me that he'd ultimately be pulling in two Oscar nominations in one day. Sho you right.



Sunday, January 23, 2005

The One The Drop Squad Missed...

Wassup, Y'all!

Back in 1994, David C. Johnson directed a small cult flick called Drop Squad - a movie (or at least a concept) that I like to refer to frequently. If you go to IMDB you'll see the following plot summary: "Political satire about an underground militant group that kidnaps African-Americans who have sold out their race." There are still a few fugitives at large from the Drop Squad, none bigger than retiring University of California regent Ward Connerly who's proved more elusive than Houdini (the magician not the group)...

The following political cartoon from The Black Commentator sums it up nicely.

After serving 12 years as a regent, single handedly rolling back the Univerity of California's affirmative action system, then spearheading California's controversial state ballot initiative - Proposition 209 - doing the same thing to California's public hiring, contracting and education programs, his term as regent has FINALLY come to an end. Man - what ever happened to the 8 year rule like GW has to live with? Anyway, y'all know Big Con couldn't go out quietly after all those shenanigans - no y'all, he had to make sure he left a little somethin' somethin on the minds of the regents he's leaving behind, to wit:

"There will be a great temptation ... for you to relax your attitude about the use of race. For God's sake, don't do it." - Big Con

Yo Big Con - shut up and go already, homey! Unfortunately it's already clear that Big Con won't be chillin' in a Florida retirement home. He's dead set on bringing his traveling roadshow to the University of Michigan and the state of Michigan like the snake oil salesman he is. So seeing as how the Drop Squad needs our help, y'all, I'm implementing the Tom Alert based on the patented Amber Alert system that is working so well. If y'all see Big Con skulking around your spot, drop a dime and give a holler. Here's a recent glossy of Big Con to carry with you.

Ward "Big Con" Connerly

If you spot him, don't try to reprogram him yourself, y'all (he may just reprogram you!) - just stay a safe distance away and tip the Drop Squad.



Friday, January 21, 2005

Phony Serena in big demand...

Wassup, Y'all!

Man - the server's been blowing up since my last post concerning Serena Williams and 'Booty-gate', but now that we've all suffered the crushing disappointment of a dream unfulfilled, a burning question remains concerning the woman in the red thong - who is that sister? Old girl is definitely digit-worthy, y'all. Homegirl, if you're reading this - holler at your boy! For the rest of you, there's only one last thing to do - post the glossy for your inspection...

Now that Michael Powell has followed his father out of the dark shadow of GW and the Boyz, here's the glossy of the Serena poseur and her formidable asset. Caution - lean back from the screen and don't say I didn't warn you...

Bill Cosby's Catching Feelings - I know it's early on this one y'all but didn't you just know that Cosby's recent townhalls on the state of some segments of black America were going to catch up with him? Now comes news that a female aquaintance of the Say Hey, Hey, Hey Kid has accused him of 'inappropiate touching' during an encounter they had last year. Now I'm not saying whether he did or he didn't but I remember a short while back when news broke about the Kobe deal and I was like "Kobe? Naw - no way". We know which way that went, but for now, I'm reserving judgement. Strange that Mr. Cosby would cancel some of his upcoming townhall meetings though... On the other hand, it takes a year to drop an allegation?

GW vs. MLK - I peeped a tight political cartoon in USA Today the other day that featured a lady paused at a sign in D.C. One arrow read $40 Million Bush Inauguration, another arrow pointed in the opposite direction read Unfinished Martin Luther King Memorial. Now that's something to think about. I know the $40 million was privately donated, but the $18+ million for event security wasn't. Anyway, don't you think if the Red State crew really wanted to close the confidence gap with blacks in America that a substantial donation toward the MLK Memorial (on his birthday) would have made a pretty large impact? According to the website, the MLK Memorial Foundation has raised $29 of a needed $100 million to complete the memorial on the National Mall. Congress has given the Foundation until 2006 to raise the necessary $69 million dollars to begin construction. Dang - another swing and a miss, GW! For those who actually follow your words with deeds, you can click here to drop off a contribution.

Future MLK Memorial on the National Mall

Condi Rice: Should we be happy or sad? - NYC homegirl Jill Nelson contributed an excellent column that perfectly describes the black community's conundrum with C. Rice. I quote from the last section of her USA Today column from the Friday, January 21, 2005 edition:

"Rice will be sworn in the week after we celebrate what would have been Martin Luther King Jr.'s 76th birthday. Despite her position, as a nation we remain far from achieving King's vision of an America in which we would all be judged not by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character.

I wonder what King would make of the two currents in the black community regarding Rice: One that honors her success because of her race, another that sees little cause for celebration because of her character." - Jill Nelson

Go on with your bad self, Jill! Couldn't have put it better myself, y'all.



Thursday, January 20, 2005

Serena: "That's Not My Booty"

Wassup, Y'all!

Sad but true. For the past few days the Internet's been buzzing with interest in a new glossy that has surface featuring the amazingly sculpted body of a sister wearing a red thong bikini. It's shot from behind (where else) and the young lady's face is obscured but she does bear a striking resemblance to a hot, young tennis star we all know...

Speculation and hearsay had the lovely lass pegged as none other than tennis phenom Serena Williams. After many an ooooo and ahhhhh uttered in homes and offices around the world, Serena - who's down under playing in the Australian Open - issued the following statement in her daily email update for USA Today:

"I am so happy to be competing again. I love to compete because it's just you and your opponent and nothing else matters. Not the media, not the false articles on the Internet or the false pictures. (And no, that's not me on the e-mail some of you have been getting. I don't have a tattoo, and don't you guys think I'm a little more in shape than that?)" - The Buff Williams Sister

Hmmmm, I have to admit I peeped the glossy (as research for this column) and have to say that old girl's shape in the glossy is pretty good. It's not like she's rollin' like Star Jones, now. But I have to give it up on the point about the tattoo - we've all seen Serena's shoulders (can't miss 'em in some of the outfits she be kickin') and unless she's wearing body makeup, she's tattoo free. Dang - I can hear the moans and groans from here, y'all! Nice try Internet Glossy Faker Guy - you almost had us on that one!

As Michael Powell from the FCC has an eye on me, I'll decline to post the glossy in question to maintain my PG-13 MPAA rating around this joint, but troll the 'Net - you're bound to stumble on it.

For a legit eye popping glossy of homegirl, check my August 27, 2004 post on Women's Beach Volleyball. That joint ought to get you through at least one cold night...



Monday, January 17, 2005

Jamie vs. Leo - Uh Oh!

Wassup, Y'all!

I was glad to see Jamie Foxx get his props at the Golden Globes last night for his dead on portrayal of the late, great Ray Charles in Taylor Hackford's biopic Ray (especially since I've been proppin' him since my August 2nd '04 column), but all the fizz went out of my forty when Leonardo DiCaprio won the Golden Globe for Best Lead Actor in a Drama. Uh oh y'all, I'm smelling another Denzel / Kevin Spacey type show down at the Academy Awards this year and we all know how that turned out...

In case y'all aren't up on those actual factuals let me buff your memory. The year was 1999 and our boy Denzel Washington was up for Best Actor for his portrayal of Ruben 'Hurrican' Carter in the biopic Hurricane (uh oh). Nominated that same year was Kevin Spacey in the film American Beauty (the best thing about that joint was Annette Benning's boots knocking bedroom scene - woooo). The community was sure Denzel had a lock on the Oscar until....and the Oscar goes to -- Kevin Spacey! American Beauty!

Fred Sanford couldn't have put it better: Elizabeth - it's the big one! Denzel lost!!

Well the Golden Globes got an easy pass on controversy since Jamie and Leo were in separate categories - J. Foxx for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy and L. DiCap for Best Actor in a Drama. Since the Academy doesn't have a Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy category and assuming they both get nominated (I'd lay even money on that happening) they'll be competing head to head in the Best Lead Actor category. Looks like Blue States/Red States all over again, y'all. Now before I raise a call to arms I do need to go see L. DiCap in The Aviator and see what all the hollerin' is about. I'll post my views before the announcement of nominations next Tuesday (2/25). At any rate, since this year's Academy Awards host is Chris Rock, we can be sure any shenanigans will get called out as Chris knows how to bring the pain :-)

I did check out Million Dollar Baby (good flick - three Spinners, y'all) last night and Hillary Swank continues to do her thing. Her Golden Globe win was well deserved and I expect she'll be pulling in an Oscar nomination as well. Who knew Clint Eastwood was such a good filmmaker? Y'all better recognize - old boy is bringing it these days. Another good thing about Hillary (since she seems to gravitate toward the gritter roles) is that she cleans up very well. To wit, our closing glossy.

Hillary Swank

Behold the power of shampoo and make up :-)



Sunday, January 16, 2005

The Power of One

Wassup, Y'all!

Caught a matinee showing of Coach Carter today and though the subject matter is drastically different from Hotel Rwanda, both movies illustrate the power of one individual. First, y'all need to go see it as it imparts some relevant lessons which we tend to forget in the community. Yeah - it runs a little long but you ought to be able to sit your a** still for two hours. Like Bill Cosby said before every Fat Albert episode - if you're not careful, you just might learn something... Second, Ashanti was doing her thing, y'all. She was pretty good (although her role wasn't much of a stretch from how she actually rolls) so in honor of her performance, she moves into the Shorty of the Week slot. Actually, I think it's time to rename that title Shorty Spotlight as I haven't been too punctual with rotating new shorties in every week. My bad, y'all. For casual readers not familiar with the crown princess of Murder, Inc., here's a glossy to orient you.


Prior to the movie they dropped a trailer of Anthony Anderson's upcoming comedy King's Ransom and that joint looks pretty funny and features a smoking cast including Leila Arcieri (glossy enclosed as she's registering a solid 9 'a' on the Damn Meter), Kellita Smith, Nichole Ari Parker and Regina Hall (to name a few). Chances are good I'll be making that joint...

Leila Arcieri

From the We Knew It Was Coming File - GW and the Boyz absolved themselves of accountability for what's happened (and will happen) in Iraq and shifted it onto the folks who voted them back into office. That's cold, but clearly expected. According to GW, the 2004 election was an accountability moment with magical powers to shift blame... Whew - dodged that wonder I've been sleeping so well. Night, y'all.



Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Yo Martin, Let me hold a Dollar

Wassup, Y'all!

Dang - isn't any holiday worthy enough to be designated a no sale holiday? Come on now! Martin Luther King Weekend sales? The only things that need to be for sale during Marty Mart's holiday are books on non violence and racial tolerance. Chances are the libraries will be closed but you can be sure the furniture stores will be reelin' 'em in, y'all. Man, there's just no stoppin' the influence of the almighty dollar....

Hey, remember those groups like The Backstreet Boys, N'Sync, 98 Degrees, LTFO and O-Town? What happened to those joints? It's like they got wiped out like the dinosaurs...or Disco. On the South Side, remember the days of Boys II Men, B2K, New Edition (okay - that crew is back wheezing through their P-Diddy produced videos...). Looks like the comet hit them too. Man, you got to feel a little bit for that O-Town crew though. They make it all the way through that Making The Band nonsense to actually make the band just in time to discover that Boy Bands are played out. That's what you call an ironic twist, y'all. On the South Side it's also referred to as ALL JACKED UP! Speaking of O-Town, I peeped their original svengali producer Lou Perlman on the streets of New York a while back - here's a glossy in case you think I'm name droppin'. As you can see, as big as Lou is he's not to hard to peep.

Big Poppa Lou

I'd be remiss if I failed to comment on Cleveland Browns QB Jeff Garcia and the women in his life. Just like Flavor Flav, Jeff's kinda got a mug like a blocked punt yet, he's got two hot shorties fighting over him - one a Playmate of the Year no less. I say again for effect - there's no stoppin the influence of the almighty dollar... It turns out his new girl - Playboy Playmate Carmella DeCesare karate-kicked his old girl Kristen Hine in a nightclub appropriately dubbed Tramp. See, South Side sisters just go with the basic Drop Kick when they throw down. North Side girls get all sophisticated and get with the eastern influenced Karate or Tai Chi kicking. It's like that yoga craze y'all...or Pilates. It's a fad, they'll be back to Tai Bo'ing each other in a few. Jeff's in court comment on the whole sordid affair was the following:

"It's embarrassing that I am here today, to be caught up in a situation like this." - J. Garcia 2nd Luckiest Man Alive (see my January 5th column to find out who the Luckiest Man Alive is)

Let's go to the glossy and see what the fuss is about...

Karate-Kickin' Carmella

Another Girl Gone Wild, y'all. Let me get this straight. This woman, karate-kicked another woman because they both tried to talk to the same guy at the same time...and that guy is Jeff Garcia...and Jeff's got a mug like a blocked punt...just when you think you have women all figured out...

I'm off to ponder this for a spell, y'all. Feel free to talk amongst yourselves.



And the survey WMDs!

Wassup, Y'all!

I'm still getting over the shock. With GW and the Boyz (aka the Bush Administation) absolutely convinced that Silly Saddam had stashed WMDs all over Iraq, can it be possible that they finally admitted that the search is over and that they made the whole thing up after a crazy night of crack smoking?...

Yes it can, but the point is
moot now , y'all. The second Bush Inaugural party planning is in full swing, everyone is dying to see who the twins will be wearing at the Inaugural balls, 9844+ of our service men and women have been wounded in Iraq, 1,344 service men and women have been killed since GW's declaration of the end of major combat operations, 1, 517 and counting since the beginning of the war. Wonder if any of their parents, husbands, wives or children will get an invite to the Inauguration festivities? Should be a great party, y'all! Shame, shame.

Riddle me this, Bat Man - why should we believe anything else GW and the Boyz have to say? The Iraqi elections will be credible, we can shrink the deficit by 50% in five years, I earned political capital, I really am the twins' father... I'm dubious, y'all. Hail to the Thief - Chicken Little of the new Millienium.

In other heinous news, Bliggity Blackwell dropped his 2005 Worst Dressed List and had the nerve to include our girl Serena Williams! Come on now! I personally saw some Paris photos of Serena taken over last summer that registered an 8 'a' on the Damn Meter (as in Daaaaaaaamn). Can't even post those glossies on this PG-13 site, y'all but let me just say - oooo la la! Bliggity, get a clue baby (although I can't say I disagree with the rest of your choices)! I post the following Serena glossy just to show you her fine fashion sense. Okay, old girl is looking a little shiny but all that means is that she's ash free, y'all. Besides, how you gonna hate on that outfit?

Serena Williams

How is it trashy mama Lil' Kim missed the list again this year?

Lil Kim

Oh yeah...that's right - my bad.



Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Lil' Jon - Family Man?

Wassup, Y'all!

I was rolling in the hoopty today, scrolling through a few choice iPod playlists and clicked on the explicit version of Lil' Jon's What U Gon Do? . I swear y'all, that joint is truly a cut where they decided to mix in some standard words into an arrangement that's basically an ode to foul cussin'. Like Patricia Arquette in Medium I can see what's coming, y'all. Hold your hands up in a little screen like those movie directors and let me paint the picture....

Here's the new reality show I plan to pitch to UPN for their Fall 2005 line up. It's a ghetto version of the Osbournes featuring Lil' Jon as a family man - he's now married to Christina Milian and they have a precocious two-year old, Lil' Jon Jr. In Episode One, Mama Milian is dragging Lil' Jon Jr. through the front door, clearly upset. Lil' Jon Jr. has been sent home from his Montessori Pre-School for cussing. Let's look in:

Mama Milian: "I can't believe you Lil' Jon Jr. - you just wait til your father gets home!"
Lil' Jon Jr.: "Whaaaattt? That bit** a** nig*aaa - what he gon do?"
Mama Milian: "Did you hear me Lil' Jon Jr.?"
Lil' Jon Jr.: "Yeaaaaah! - Did you hear me, mama?
[Lil' Jon arrives home from the studio. Mama Milian has already tipped him on his celly cell]
Lil' Jon: "Boy, I'm a tear that little a** up!"
Lil' Jon Jr.: "Whaaat? What's up?" [Lil' Jon Jr. turns up his sippy cup and takes a hit of crunk juice]
Lil' Jon Jr.: "
I aint' scared of you and your clique of pus** a** bit*hes. Only bit**es talk sh*t, only bit*hes talk sh*t, only bit*ches talk sh*t that why I bustin' your sh*t - I'm real nig*aaaa, y'all ho*s!"

I'm smelling Emmy for best new reality show, y'all! On the real tip, Lil' Jon AND the East Side Boyz need to fall up into church - quick. Can a brother get an amen? Shoot - compared to that crew, the Osbournes don't know jack about cussin'...

Speaking of the Osbournes - how is it Sharon and Ozzie can make it but Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston can't? Old Tyrone is feeling blue, y'all. Not Brad and Jennifer! Whyyyy, whyyyyy? You know I have to laugh at all the ink they're getting for breaking up - how about a little ink for Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith for staying together? If Brad and Jen are the Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward of their generation, I guess that makes Will and Jada the Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee of our South Side generation. Maaa fact, how come you don't hear more about black Hollywood couples breaking up? Give me a holler if you can think of one recently.

In the meantime let me hit you with a glossy of the happy couple before I jinx they a** and they show up in People Magazine next week...

Will and Jada

Oh snap - forgot to include Big Willie - my bad, y'all. Let me try that again....

Jada & Big Willie Style

Ahhh, there y'all go. Now if you check that glossy closely, you'll clearly see why Big Willie and Jada are still kicking it. Ya got to keep the spice up in it, y'all!



Sunday, January 09, 2005

Black Directors Missing the Boat?

Wassup, Y'all!

After checking out the movie Hotel Rwanda (go see it y'all!) I've noticed a disquieting trend that is still making me go Hmmmmmm. To wit - why does it seem like all the important black movies are being brought to the screen by white directors?...

You'll note in my September 8th column that I gave a well deserved nod to Hotel Rwanda director Terry George. As I left the theater I began thinking about other similar movies that effected me the way Hotel Rwanda did - Glory (Ed Zwick), Amistad (Steven Spielberg), Mississippi Burning (Alan Parker) (a movie made all the more relevant due to the recent indictment of reputed Klansman Edgar Ray Killen for the murder of Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner back in 1964), Ray (Taylor Hackford), Ali (Michael Mann) and I'm asking myself "Self - What's up with the black directors? How come they aren't bringing similar movies to the screen?"

Sure we had Denzel drop in an Antwoine Fisher and Spike Lee drop in a Malcom X and John Singleton drop in a Rosewood back in the day - shoot we even had David C. Johnson drop the classic Drop Squad (come back, brother) back in '94, but by and large these days we tend to get more movies like Spike's She Hate Me (did anybody see that Spike Lee Joint?) and Keenan Ivory Wayans White Chicks. I think it's safe to say that neither of those joints will be hearing from the Academy this year. Maybe I'm missing something. Maybe black directors can't get the same studio backing to get these type of films made. Then I'm like "Naw, that can't be it with all the financial capital available in the black entertainment community. Shoot - old girl Oprah's got her own production company and studio!" Don't get me wrong, y'all. I'm certainly appreciative that these films got made regardless of the director's race, but I'm beginning to get a little embarassed that we can't seem to bring our own stories to the screen unless we're skinnin' and grinnin'. Could be that old Tyrone is overreacting but I'm not feeling it, y'all.

A quick Get Well Soon goes out to Taye Digg's 'Wicked' wife Idina Menzel who took a fall down a trap door during her second to last performance as the bad witch in the Broadway show 'Wicked'. Seems our boy Taye staged his own daring midnight raid across the border when he landed Ms. Menzel.

Idina & Taye

No hatin', y'all, but I find it interesting that on his UPN show Kevin Hill (check my December 1st column for my thoughts on KH), TD hasn't yet crossed the border (although he seemed to have kicked it with the blonde shorty Kate Levering who plays fellow lawyer Veronica Carter on the show). Seems as if the networks (even South Side UPN) are still nervous to show live border crossings. It's 2005, y'all! What's the deal? Sadly, TD & Idina have received one of those whack racist letters similar to the ones outlined in my December 11th column. Shame, Shame. That ain't Player Hatin', y'all. That's just straight hatin' and we can all do without that whack a** jibber jabber. Go on with your bad self, Taye. Hey, let a brother know when you, Tiger and Seal plan on throwing one of those Pajama Jammy-Jams. I'm there cousin!



Hey - Where's Limbaugh's Check?

Wassup, Y'all?

You had to know it was going on, now news breaks Friday confirming the fact that the Bush Administration (heretofore referred to as GW and the Boyz) paid tall cheddar to a conservative TV commentator to prop GW's whack "No Child Left Behind" program. Of all the conservative commentators getting direct deposits from GW and the boyz how is it that it's always the brother that gets outed?...

Yes, that's right, y'all. Brother Armstrong Williams' Tom Foolery has finally caught up with him. In case y'all aren't familiar with brother Armstrong you need to look no further than our favorite Supreme Court Justice Uncle Clarence Thomas. Brother Armstrong was a former aide to Uncle Clarence and has parlayed his third generation Republican pedigree into a multi-media career which includes his own nationally syndicated TV show - The Armstrong Williams Show - as well as being a contributing columnist to a number of national newspapers. Think the black Rush Limbaugh, y'all (although Limburger probably thinks Williams' lofty perch in the conservative stratosphere was obtained by some level of "social concern" among the ruling order of conservative commentators). To get an inkling of where Brother Armstrong is coming from peep his defense of his former boss, Uncle Clarence from incoming Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's comment that Uncle Clarence was "an embarrasment to the Supreme Court". Hmmm, that sounds about right because as we all know, Uncle Clarence is no Thurgood Marshall, Senator! Anyway, now it turns out GW and the Boyz dropped $240K on Brother Armstrong to sing the praises of NCLB and pimp it to his black media brothers (Side Note: Steve Harvey - you dummy!) (Side Note 2: Like those cute red school houses attached to the entrance of the Education Department's doorways aren't enough to sell NCLB!) Expectantly contrite from such bamboozlement, we get the following quote from Williams as he was attempting to withdraw a little of his new walkin' around money from the ATM:

"I wouldn't do it again, and I learned from it." - Brother Armstrong

I'm feeling better about all this, y'all - how 'bout you?

In lighter news, the buzz continues to build for "The Fantastic Four" movie coming out this summer. Yes, y'all I'm a comic book fan but more importantly, I'm a Jessica Alba fan from time to time. So the least I can do is drop one dazzling glossy before I bounce. If you're interested in the movie, check out a seven minute, behind the scenes clip from Yahoo Movies. For those who can't seem to pry their eyes from said glossy, take solace in the fact that Lady Jessica has three movies due this year - F4, Sin City and Into the Blue. Should be a hot time in the city this summer, y'all.

Jessica Alba



Saturday, January 08, 2005

Hotel Rwanda

Wow. Don't miss this one, y'all. Especially relevant in light of the world's mass outpouring of prayers, concern and relief for the estimated 150,000 victims of the recent tsunami. Somehow the 1994 mass genocide in Rwanda, where nearly 1,000,000 Rwandans were murdered, passed us by as we all looked away... Don Cheadle dropped another amazing performance, y'all. How underrated is he Hollywood?

Let me also give a nod to Sophie Okonedo as well, another Shorty on the Rise who seems to consistently turn in convincing performances. If you haven't seen her in the small, Miramax flick Dirty Pretty Things, check it out on DVD. You'll never look at immigrants (or that urban legend about hotels and kidney snatching) the same again. Another nod goes to Irish filmmaker Terry George for bringing such an important story to the screen.

Sophie Okonedo & Don Cheadle



8 Is the Loneliest Number

Wassup, Y'all!

That's right - Kobe Bryant's #8 Jersey has replaced one as the loneliest number. In fact, Kobe's whack jersey has fallen out of the top fiddy and the consensus seems to be that the extracurricular particulars up in Colorado had little to do with the drop...

Naw y'all, it seems Kobe's jersey is taking the fall due to his owners foolishness on the court. To wit, being a crybaby, backstabbing, loose lipped, championship team busting type of guy. All you have to do is check the NBA standings to see whether Shaq or Kobe was more responsible for the Lakers championship run. It ain't rocket science, y'all.

A close inspection of the action at the Mercedes Championship at Kapalua is revealing the fact that Vijay Singh ain't quite ready to stop faking the funk as golf's #1. Tiger, Tiger Woods y'all is hanging but it seems Vijay is ripe for a Tanya Harding style assault in the clubhouse. Who said golf clubs could only be used on the course? Whyyyyyy, whyyyyyy?

Holy bite sized whiskers, Rat Man! Do we have to drink that? How many times are we going to have to suffer through these knuckleheads who get sick or outraged by something on TV? Now we have a buster trying to sue NBC for a Fear Factor episode that showed contestants chowing down rat smoothies. Come on now! First, if you willingly tune into Fear Factor you already know you're in for some nasty stunts. In fact, you have to wonder how that crew even finds people to participate when the top prize is only fifty large ($50,000 for y'all north of Chicago's South Side). Do you really want to be on TV that bad? How come nobody tried to sue all those entertainment shows when they pasted the following glossy of Anna Nichole and her late husband all over the airwaves?


Know what I'm saying? Now that's nasty. Dude, pass me a rat smoothie to get this nasty taste out my mouth! Hey - no lawsuits, y'all. I'm just illustrating a point and besides, y'all know I ain't got no $2.5 million living up in my mama's basement...



P.S. For my regular readers who are used to superlative glossies in this column - my bad!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Seal Swings for the fences

Wassup, Y'all!

I know sisters all over Britain have their knickers in a twist now that Victoria's Secret model Heidi Klum has snuck over the border in a daring midnight raid and made off with Nigerian UK crooner Seal...or is that the other way 'round, Guv'na?

Now before I get into the actual factuals, a couple glossies are required for reference:

Heidi Klum

Luckiest Man Alive

Okay, now that we're all centered, what's this all about? Just like those long tailed comets that buzz by the earth every so often, stunning matches like this pop up periodically. Lyle Lovett & Julia Roberts, Janet Jackson & Jermaine Dupri, Lil Jon & Mya/Christina Milian, Flava Flav & Anybody, Underdog & Polly Purebread, y'all get the picture. I have to admit, I didn't see this one coming. Come on now! Engaged to Heidi Klum!? Seal - homey you need to start teachin' classes, my man. Grand Slam, baby - touch 'em all. Now I hear all you Player Haters chimin' in "Tyrone - it'll never work". Man, I was saying the same thing when David Bowie snuck over the border in a daring midnight raid and got away with Somalian shorty supermodel Iman (our flashback Shorty of the Week). Far as I know, they'll be celebrating their 12th wedding anniversary sometime this year...can't hate on that, y'all. Granted Heidi is no Iman, Senator -- she's already been married and her baby's daddy is racing his Formula One around some asphalt oval, but if Seal pulled old girl this far, brother man's got his mojo working.

Somalian Supermodel Iman

Man, can Ben Stein and Tyra Banks be far behind? Whoa, I almost scared myself with that one. Ain't no way Ben's beating me to Tyra because as Seal and JD have amply demonstrated - there really is hope for us all...



P.S. Remember our boy Tiger, Tiger Woods, y'all is back in action tomorrow at the Mercedes Open - Vijay's faked the funk long enough...

Monday, January 03, 2005

Cheaters - The New Jerry Springer

Wassup, Y'all!

That's right - Uncle Tyrone is back from his holiday merriment! First on the real tip, I've got to take a moment to send my condolences and well wishes to the folks in Asia recently jacked up by the tsunami. Kudos to Sandra Bullock for droppin' $1 million duckets for the relief effort. Martha - we know your check is in the mail, girl - never had a might want to drop in about a million of those Persimmon Lemon Poppy Seed muffins too - folks are hungry! Man, that type of devastation is overwhelming anyway you slice it. Stay strong y'all!

Now on to the subject of this blog. You know that saying "Cheaters never win?" Well it's particular true on that back channel, reality show Cheaters. If y'all haven't seen it yet you're missing a treat. If you're tired of the staged hillbilly fights Jerry Springer regularly trots out, you'll love the new school beat downs being collected on this show! It airs on what's normally considered back-in-the-day UHF - channel 26 in the Chicago market (check your local listings) but it's worth catching at least one show. That joint is like Lay's Potato Chips - you can't watch just one.

The premise is simple - a person who thinks their significant other is cheating on them calls the show and asks them to check it out for them. The show employs a surveillance squad who track the cheater over the course of several days logging incriminating video footage. They then present the footage to the person who hired them in an area that is normally just a few minutes away from where their SO is kicking it with the other person. The show's host asks solemnly if the suspecter wants to confront their cheater because they're just around the corner still kicking it! Of course the suspecter says 'yes - I'd like to confront them'. They all hop in van, speed to the scene and jump out with cameras rolling while the cheater gets COLD BUSTED. It's like watching an expressway car wreck unfold in slow motion, y' just can't look away. If you like your reality TV cheap, trashy and entertaining, look no further. Judge Judy can wait.

Just when you think reality TV has hit the bottom with the Anna Nichole Show - here comes a show like Cheaters. Is there any segment of American life that people aren't willing to share on TV? People used to joke about televising executions - something like a live version of the movie Running Man (back when Ah-nold had a REAL job). Y'all have to know - at this rate, we'll be seeing it soon during May sweeps (can you say Scott Peterson? The end of his appeals process and the public appetite for such nonsense seem to be headed for harmonic convergence. Plus old boy was cheating on about a stacked deck....).

I hope to have my regular glossies flowing soon. I know y'all are fiending for a glossy or two - not to mention the return of the Shorties in the Shorty of the Week Showcase. Hang in there - relief is on the way.