Sunday, April 29, 2007

Age aint nothing but a number

I little late with this one but figure I might as well cause it still seems to have some life left in it.

By now most of you have heard about the Akon controversy with him grinding on some 14 year old girl at a show he did in Trinidad. I first heard of it via Mad Bull and that was a week or so ago.

Anyway turns out the girl was the daughter of some local pastor and there has been a big uproar about the incident. In brief this is what happened; she at the Akon show, Akon called for girls to come on stage and dance with him in some contest with the winner getting a trip to Africa which never materialized, she went up/was pulled up/was carried up depends on who you talk to and Akon put a serious grind on her lifting her up and throwing her all around the stage. He throw in some big money wine on she or as we would say in Barbados "Akon do de dog! He wuk up pun she stink stink stink den!"

Now I am not saying Akon knew she was 14 and given Akon's lyrics I would hope it wasn't no all ages show he was putting on so he probably thought she was legit but still now it's a big controversy with people cussingAkon claiming he molest she, the gal crying about how she friends push she on stage and she didn't know what was going to happen and even the Trinidad Prime Minister calling for investigation and all sorta big baccanal.

Alright so those are the facts, this is my take.

First off I ain't know about y'all but I grow up hearing a generalisation that Pastor's children are wild and do all sorts of things to rebel against their parents and personally I know a few to be honest that prove that that saying wasn't a complete falsehood. So my personal bias is to believe that this young girl ain't as innocent as she trying to claim after the fact. I don't know she though so I cant say for certain. Maybe she was just young and misguided.

Secondly, I see some pictures of the girl at the club and she ain't look no 14. She look like she well in she 20s with all she body expose, big navel ring and tattoo. For sureAkon probably didn't have a clue. Mind you that's not a valid excuse under the law, nuff fellas get lock up using that same excuse. It doesn't excuse his actions but at the same time I don't think that he willfully went after a 14 year old girl. Now that brings up another issue. Was what he did to her on thedancefloor sexual assault because of the actual actions or just because of the actions in relation to a 14 year old? Cause if its sexual assault in general to get on like thatnuff entertainers better beware.

Thirdly I don't know the girl's mind state. Some 14 year olds real mature some pretty childish. Maybe she is telling the truth that she had no idea that the man would be bouncing her all around the stage like a rag doll. Maybe she thought he was inviting her up for a spelling bee or that they would instead engage in a rousing duet of "Nearer my God to thee' I cant say for certain. What is known is that the girl is embarrassed and ashamed. Is that because of Akon's actions or because everybody saw the video and she is a church girl?

And Fourth and finally. Wait sorry two more points. Fourth damn you Akon now they claiming your rnb stylings are hip hop and using this as another lets scapegoat hip hop moment. Your style ain't even original son, I liked you way better the first time you came asWycleff Jean. And don't tell me you haven't noticed that Don't Matter sounds like it was ripped straight out the Cleff's songbook.

Ok and Fifth and finally as I had initially said on Mad Bulls blog after first viewing the video "I’ve always found the Caribbean had a double standard towards north American artists that's not applied to soca artists though." I stand by that statement. The call girls onto the stage for danceoffs, to grind on artists routine has been done ad infinitum by Caribbean artists for years with all levels of debauchery going on on the stage and I aint heard a peep from no Prime Ministers so why the drama now? And don't feel it's cause the girl is 14, I'm sure some of those girls I see on stage at certainsoca shows round Caribana, wining back, pouching back, wukking up bad cant be any older. Pure double standard dat!

The way I see it, she made a mistake, she wasn't supposed to be at the show or at least not on stage, maybe she was a bit shocked by the dance movements thatAkon put on her and even more surprised once it hit Youtube, her father found out, they complaining now about Akon.

Yes he takes blame for the slackness in his show and maybe he shouldn't be flinging around ANY women like that and ladies y'all shouldn't allow yourselves to be onstage doing that stuff either but that's not what this is about. Maybe he should have known she was underage but honestly don't just pick him out to throw the book at while other artists do the same thing and no one complains. f you're going to throw the book at the so called hip hop artist start flinging it seriously at some of them sameTrini and other kaisomen that does be simulating sex on stage during their shows.

That is all I have to say on that.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Jdid ya pieca poppit!

Sigh! Some days you have it, others you don't.

Yesterday for instance I clearly didn't have it.

As I was leaving home yesterday I noticed what I thought was a suspicious character across the street. Now my street's pretty quiet most days so someone just standing across the road just loitering smoking a cigarette and drinking a Tims sorts of stands out.

So I kind of lingered a bit by my side door trying to get a bearing on this guy. Hmmm big white guy, 45-50-ish, wearing an old red hoodie with a belly that would give Santa a run for his money and a full Grizzly Adams type beard. He seemed a bit fidgety turning around often like he didn't want anyone to get a bead on his features. Hmmm looks kinda bummy. We don't see those types in my hood too often. Yea we usually get the lawless screw faced kids, the moms walking their baby filled strollers and the mini-van exiting parents taking short cuts to school. So yea dude stood out like ummm a black guy in China. Yea that's it!

So 5 minutes, of fiddling with keys and making myself even more tardy for work, later I hit on a novel idea. Let me run back inside and take a little clandestine photo of this guy since I can see him directly from my front windows.

So I do just that. Had the blinds semi-closed and zoomed in but didn't use a flash. I got ya. Clear as day! Evidence son don't you dare try anything while I'm gone.

Alrighty! Mission completed!

So I left home, giving one more glance at the lurker while feeling mighty snug, smiling warmly inside, knowing that I had photos of him just in case he was some sort of criminal trying to stick me for my paper or break and enter while I was absent. Ha! Let that be a lesson to you Mr criminal I have your number and crime does not pay!


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketHalfway to work I realized I had made one really crucial mistake. Jdid ya ol eediat! Ya tek a picture of de man but ya leff de blasted camera home on de table. Chupse! Ya miss de point ya clown! What good are the photos if the man tief the camera? Oh yea those photos are going to be really helpful. That man musse barely laffin at you and saying I ain't look half bad in dese pictures. chupse!

Jdid, ya just not ready yet. Eediat!

Oh well at least I was being paranoid and luckily nothing happened while I was gone.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Coming of age

Chris Bosh and the Raptors came of age tonight with the game 2 win over New Jersey. They really had to grind out this game. Welcome to real playoff basketball guys.

I get the feeling Sam Mitchell's been reading my blog cause the team seemed to address most of the concerns I addressed in my last post. Mo Pete got some playing time instead of Joey Graham, TJ played at the death and we took better care of the ball and stayed within striking range all game.

Oh and big up to Sam Mitchell for winning NBA coach of the year. Last year the guy was voted the coach most players didn't want to play for in an unscientific poll done by Sports Illustrated so what a difference a year makes. Mind you I still think he has a ways to go to match up to the elite coaches in the league but his team did win20 more games than last year.

So Game 3 on Friday. What's the advice? Well Sam in case you're reading here goes.

- Keep on doing what you're doing but lets get Bosh to take it inside more.
- Lets get back to Raptors basketball with more passing.
- Don't give up on Graham just yet. His confidence seems to go in streaks. If he can get going again he's definitely an asset.
- Bargnani is a bit out of it bring him along slowly. Tell him he needs to up his intensity too.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Raptors Nets game 1

As a follow up to the last post I'll give you my thoughts on game 1.

The Raptors lost and deserved to lose. They just didn't play well enough. They do have the talent to compete I believe but they just messed up on this one.

Where did they go wrong? Let us count the ways:

- No one could stop Richard Jefferson. So much was focused on stopping Vince and Jason Kidd that somehow Jefferson was able to get easy baskets early in the game on his way to a 28 point night.

- Chris Bosh got early fouls and we lost him for much of the first half. Also Bosh settled for jumpers for much of the game. Bosh needs to go inside a lot more. Lets face it he still had 22 points but if he was going inside getting to the foul line more he would have had a greater impact on the game.

- The Raptors shot free throws atrociously. OK maybe not atrociously but 7 missed free throws in a game that you lose by 5 has got to hurt.

- Sam Mitchell as I sort of suspected didn't have a good coaching game. Biggest mistake of the night, in my opinion, was leaving TJ Ford on the bench in the dying minutes of the game. Yes I know that Calderone was playing quite well at the time but at the death without question TJ has to be the man on the floor. TJ had already imposed his will on the game and kept us in it almost sinlge handedly in the first half so sitting him at the death was a big mistake.

- Joey Graham was a bit overawed in his first playoff game. Don't get me wrong Graham is possibly my favorite Raptor right now but given that he has just started getting constant minutes when Bargnani and Garbajosa went down about 10 games back it was a bit too much to ask for him to be consistent today. First quarter he seemed to play pretty well but then in the second half he started making mistakes and I think he dwelt on them a bit and they started to escalate. How deep is Mo Pete in Mitchell's doghouse that he only got 7 minutes the entire game? I think at some point Graham should have been benched fora few minutes and Mo played a bit more. I expect Joey to improve as the series goes on but today his minutes needed to be cut down.

- Turnovers hurt us. 14 turnovers is not typical of the Raptors. They are usually good at taking care of the ball. Again could be playoff jitters.

- The Nets bench outplayed ours. The Toronto bench has been one of its strengths this season but with Garbajosa out through injury and Bargnani still rusty after being out some time our bench didn't contribute the way it usually does. Humpries brought his energy and was probably the biggest positive for me in this game but besides him our bench wasn't up to par. On the other hand the Nets bench played quite well.

- The Raptors dug themselves into a hole or many holes throughout the game. In the playoffs where every possession counts 10 point leads are usually hard to overcome. It may work in the regular season where you can put together big runs but against a veteran team like New Jersey the best bet is to stay close and not continually have to be pulling oneself out of a hole.

- We need to play tighter defense and get more rebounding. Probably the main reason we wont go far this playoff season. Both Phoenix and Dallas learned about the necessity of defense in past seasons so maybe we'll learn this year.


I needed to get my thoughts down on paper for this one.

In a few hours the Toronto Raptors play the New Jersey Nets in the first round of the NBA playoffs. First playoff run for the Raptors since 2002 I believe, and joy of joy we have home court advantage this round.

Should be an interesting match up as the Raptors can claim the better all around team but new Jersey can claim a heap more playoff experience. I've been thought that playoff experience counts for quite a bit in this game so although I'm a Raptors fan I'm a bit pessimistic about their chances of getting out of the first round.

Would have been more optimistic if they had ended up playing Washington. Even before Agent Zero and Caron Butler went down I fancied our chances against those guys but alas it wasn't meant to be as the Wizards (always resisting the urge to call them the Bullets) slipped down the stretch to drop from third spot all the way to 7th.

That meant as third seed we got New Jersey. Its being hyped up as the match up of Vince Carter vs Toronto. Now lets be honest I'm not a big Vince Carter fan. I respect the skill when he's actually focused but in the pantheon of NBA stars who have pissed off Toronto and Raptors fans Vince reigns supreme. And by the way in case you're wondering who else is part of that group it includes Tracy Mcgrady, Damon Stoudamire, Alonzo Mourning, Antonio Davis and Kenny Anderson, and in case you forgot Kenny Anderson refused to report here from Portland after being traded for Damon somewhere back in 97 or 98.

However I think way too much is being made of Vince's return to play us here where it all started for him as 'Air Canada'.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThe cover of one of our local newspapers yesterday actually featured him portrayed as a big baby.

Why I ask why must we continue to give this cat fuel to actually show up for a game? Why must we continue to hype this Vince vs Toronto feud? Yea Vince let us down when he phoned in his performances during his last years here as he attempted to orchestrate his own trade and yes Vince has always been seen around these parts as a whiny superstar, lacking in heart and unable to embrace his leadership role with the Raptors club but stop giving the man fuel to come back and prove something to us.

Yes I know its hard to forget and forgive but I'm not asking that. I'm just saying, the booing at the ACC and the media articles are just not needed now. Just keep your disdain on the low. He knows you don't like him just ignore him and see how he plays. Hyping him up for this match up can only prove detrimental to our cause as the cat can heat up and drop 40 on us in an effort to silence the criticisms.

Oh well! With regards to the actual match up as it stands I think ignoring playoff experience we stack up pretty well against the Nets. We definitely have the deeper bench and our front court is stronger but I cant count out the influence the trio of Carter, Kidd and Jefferson will have on the game. The key is going to be to contain those guys.

Also should be noted that Jersey played some of its better games down the stretch while the Raptors kind of faded as they tried to adjust to quite a few injuries. That being said guys like Kris Humphries and Joey Graham really stepped up their game in the absence of Jorge Garbajosa and Andrea Bargnani.

It should also be interesting to see what coach Sam Mitchell has up his sleeve. Adjustments become quite important after game 1 and I'm still wondering what Sam can pull out to keep the guys in a position to win this series.

Game one will be important. My keys to winning this series are

  • Adjusting to playoff basketball
  • Containing the New Jersey trio
  • Rebounding
  • Coaching adjustments
  • The return of Bargnani
  • The play of Kris Humphries

Not going to stick my neck out on a Raptors win but I'll be in front of my tv supporting them. That means no interruptions hint hint. Go Raptors!

On another note, oh happy day, the dark lord Sauron is dead! A new but not necessarily immediately better day is dawning.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Home grown Terror

"You had a hundred billion chances and a way to have avoided today,"
Mass Murderer Cho Sueng-Hui

I want to blog about some other stuff but this Virginia Tech thing is still on my mind. I'm not looking for answers and I haven't actually watched the extended coverage on TV which I think is overkill to an extent but still as the details come to light I've just got to speak some more on this issue.

For one to my U.S friends just accept it the man is American. Stop harping on him being South Korean. He came to the U.S as a kid. If someone comes to the U.S as a kid and does great things like develop a cure for some disease or wins an Olympic medal his heritage and birth country are brushed over and he is called American. So to me if someone comes to the US and does something horrible I think the same should hold too. Leave out the double standard. Accept him as an American, even though he wasn't a citizen. He had been in the country 15 years, he spent his formative years there, did his schooling there. He's one of yours.

Stop giving him the Ben Johnson treatment. Oh not sure what that is? That's when you go from one day being feted as a Canadian Olympic medal winner to the next day being tarred and feathered as a Jamaican drug cheat.

Another detail that stuck out to me as details come to hand was that Cho mailed his raving manifesto to NBC between killings. All I can say is dammmmmn! Admit it if this wasn't so real and horrific and was like some Bruce Willis or Arnold movie we'd all be talking about this like it was cool. I mean how cold do you have to be to stop a bloody rampage and go to the post office, line up and send a package? That is just dread! And I mean that word dread however you wish to interpret it.

Oh and will someone step up and blame something other than our usual scapegoat hip hop music here (thank God they haven't mentioned it yet) cause I mean come on take a look at the photos he sent in the manifesto. You know that kid had to be influenced by popular entertainment. The man pose off with his guns like he was a movie star. Of course knowing hip hop's present luck we'll ignore violent movies and video games and someone will find a copy of Biggie's Ready to Die in his crib or 50 Cents DVD Get Rich or Die Trying (an absolutely dreadful movie by the way). Yea I'm just waiting.

You know its going to happen.

The other thing that caught my attention as the details were released was this interview with the owner of the gun shop where Cho bought his guns. The gun stop owner claims that this atrocity occurred not because gun controls are too loose as most have asserted but in fact due to the opposite. He thinks if gun controls were looser then this wouldn't have occurred. He said they need to allow students and staff members to bring their guns on campus at Virginia Tech.

Now off the bat I said to myself wha kinda eediat ting that? This man head musse bad! Oh you want looser gun controls than the ones that allowed a mentally disturbed kid to buy two guns and kill 32 people? You want guns in classrooms so that students can shoot teachers over grades? Way to go ya pieca poppit! Yea that was my initial thought.

But then this morning my wife agreed with my stance and since that rarely happens in my household I went back and thought some more about the gun owners statements. The man is simply taking a classic Cold War stance. If we have weapons and they have weapons they wont attack because they know we can strike back and do damage. Interesting philosophy isn't it. The US and Russia used it for years, Pakistan and India are still using it. It works sort of. You just live with a heightened sense of fear.

Mind you that philosophy assumes that we're dealing with sane, logical persons not persons who have flipped and gone stark raving mad like Cho. So umm no that theory wont stop these types of incidents. It only works if the aggressive party is afraid to die and since Cho and others like him are quite ready to take their own lives its not a deterrent

Of course I really find the American fascination with guns quite unique and also rather interesting and troubling at the same time. The right to bear arms (and I'm not talking about wearing short sleeve shirts) is tantamount to sacred in the U.S. I mean, and this isn't an original thought here, Americans are willing to accept losses of civil liberties supposedly to combat terrorism and they do this with little furor but let anyone talk about taking away someone's guns and lines get drawn for a Civil war. I'm of the opinion that the American government would have greater success passing a law asking U.S men to each give up one testicle than passing a law strengthening gun control.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Random & Senseless

Dont push me cause I'm close to the edge
I'm trying not to lose my head
The message - Grand Master Flash

My condolences to the folk at Virginia Tech.

The thing is Universities and schools are always the types of low security spots where these types of persons can act out. Universities usually attempt to make themselves part of a community and make themselves highly accessibly to the wider public. These traits are taken advantage of. Whats the solution? Higher Education behind steel gates and barbed wire?

And everyone waits to hear the who's and whys. Eyewitnesses and Experts will weigh in with their thoughts daily. What went wrong, who's to blame. Why'd he choose those folks to act out against? What was his beef? Was he bullied, or crushed or lovesick?

Thing is none of that really matters to the victims' families. It wont bring back not a single one of them.

And yes watching and listening to all this debate probably makes us feel safer thinking we can maybe predict this behaviour in the future, profile possible candidates for mass outrage and yes those that don't learn from their history are doomed to repeat it but .......

When all is said and done what do we learn from these acts. They are random and senseless. How do you profile and protect against random and senseless?

Maybe we will have this profile that these acts are carried out by loners, pissed at life, people who have been shunned or bullied or rejected because they are different or depressed. But does that actually change anything anywhere? Random and Senseless. No two cases are exactly alike because no two individuals are exactly alike. Lots of us are upset and depressed and bullied and felling rejected and haven't resorted with such actions. How do you judge who's going to be the one amongst millions who finally snaps. Everyone handles stress differently. Everyone can bear a different amount of stress before snapping. How do you judge what will push them over the edge.

Human nature wont allow us to sit back and do nothing. You cant just say oh stuff happens and to do so would in fact be irresponsible but lets just realize that the answers we get from the investigations and such here really don't change a whole lot when you think about it.

Like I said they don't bring back anyone. Sad but true. To the deceased all we really can say is rest in peace and hope that their loved ones can be comforted in this time of tragedy.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

What rhymes with Imus?

Ok I'm late with my thoughts plus I'm not sure if I can be coherent on this Don Imus thing so here I go in point form.

- I'm waiting for the first hip hop freestyle where the rapper references Don Imus. I had a few ideas myself but I'll hold off.

- Regardless of all the outrage and protests and CNN interviews done by the black 'leaders' and those who speak for Black America one must realize that the market was the deciding factor in Imus's firing. Advertisers decided they were pulling out so Imus got fired. Its that simple! Our so called 'leaders' could have thumped and harangued till the cows came home and ain't a damn thing would have changed without the market making a move. Just realize that.

- Has this issue been overblown? Has Imus been given more status than he deserves? Some say yes some say no. I say he was a public figure and should have known better. Also I think his excuses for using that language are pretty lame. Don't expect me to believe you didn't realize it was offensive. You're not a johnny come lately or an unintelligent man. Maybe you made a mistake but don't blame it on someone else's speech. Also if I was a black woman I would be royally pissed about this.

- Hip hop the ever present scapegoat can I defend it (sigh)? Yes and no. I think the language and topics in hip hop need to be addressed. The music has lost its way. The music is non-sense nowadays. On the other hand is it a case of popular culture reflecting life or life reflecting popular culture? Who was using this type of language first and if hip hop stops using it will it stop on the streets? Not likely I say but at the same time I think one must realize the symbiosis between the streets and hip hop. And no hip hip isn't jail culture as one commentator on CNN said. Hip hop influences the streets and the streets influence hip hop. We can argue sometimes rightfully and quite successfully that hip hop is getting a bad rep and that it isn't to blame here or for all of the black community's ills as some commentators would like us to believe but at the same time it is an influential medium and needs to take responsibility. Its complicated in this case the more hip hop has embraced this language the more it makes it cool and hip. Rappers need to understand that and yes sadly they are role models and kids look up to them.

- Still regarding the last point while I realize hip hop's influence and responsibility I believe there are more factors to be blamed here so why is hip hop always the official scapegoat? Shut down hip hop and this stuff will still happen.

- I am kind of tired of white folks when they make mistakes regarding race trying to fall behind the shield of but some of my best friends are black or look at what I've done for the black community. That ish is tired and played! Man up to your mistakes.

- Found the Michael Ray Richardson incident to be a bit like this Imus thing except he was fired almost immediately after the incident came to light. Still I don't know I'm a bit biased here but calling someone crafty ain't exactly the same thing as calling them a ho. That's just my opinion. I guess he didn't have the hip hop scapegoat to blame for his indiscretion unless he claimed he got it from a Beastie Boys record.

- Do we take race and insults amongst our own too lightly in the black community? Possibly. Is it a double standard? Some say yes. But is the black community the only ones with a double standard? Nope! So what does that teach us? Just because a member of your race can get away with saying it doesn't mean that someone from another race can do the same or "Whats good for goose ain't necessarily good for the gander" and this holds for black folks talking about other races as well.

- Should Imus' comments have been taken with a grain of salt, was he just going for laughs like a Comic View comedian? Again context and the person making the comment are very important. Imus should never have gone there.

- What happens next? Imus has been fired, he's apologized, CNN has had their story of the week. Where do we go from here? Will something change. Will we realize its bigger than Hip Hop! Or will everything remain the status quo until the next Michael Richards or Imus pops off with something silly?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Trying to stick me for my paper

Episode 1 - Last week after a light lunch at work I was feeling hungry again around 330 so I decided to visit the coffee and bagel place across the street for a snack.

As I walk in, doing a quick perusal of their available fare I heard a small voice arise from my side. 'Spare some change?' Quickly sized up the guy, possibly homeless or not, who asked the question. I usually only give change to a distinct few cause most of these cats are con men and in a few hours can make more than you or me. Anyway maybe it was because I was hungry or I just need to do a good deed for the day or something but I dipped into my pocket and came up with about 75 cents which I gave to the guy.

(Rule #1 for me of giving change is never ever bring out the wallet and search so they see your bills. Have loose change in your pocket and just grab whatever comes to hand. If you have no loose change in your pocket well too bad they ain't getting nothing.)

Anyway I give the guy the 75 cents and he then looks at me and asks me if I can give him five dollars.

Five who? You mekkin sport!! Since when is five dollars change? Five dollars is lunch money, five dollars is a burger king special plus change, five dollars is at least 3 coco bread and pattys, pizza and a drink, five dollars is way more than I intended to spend on my bagel and cream cheese. Why should I give you 5 dollars when I only plan on spending $2.25? If you wanted $5 in the first place you should have asked for it don't ask me for change and then ask for $5 dollars. And what happened to asking someone else for a dollar and another person for 50 cents till you got your five dollars. Do I have mark or sucka or poppit or eediat written on forehead? Chupse!

Looka gimme back my 75 cents if you cant appreciate it!

Episode (2) Again sometime last week. Got home around 7, puttered around trying to figure out my dinner options when the door bell rings. Lawd ave mercy! Unwarranted door bell ringing in my neighbourhood in the evening usually means some guy from the Energy company or Rogers home phone is coming to try and solicit me to sign up for some package I don't want. I'll try to be polite and send him away but then the eediat will insist that I show him my light bill or heating bill or something with my private info that I don't want to share and get upset when I say no. These people are slowly trying to turn me into the stereotypical belligerent, angry black man with their stupidity. Lawd help muh nuh!

Anyway alas it wasn't a corporate rep about to piss me off. Instead it was a nice decent looking young lady high school age I'm guessing. OK I guess they raising funds for some school. What's she selling now Candy covered Almonds, Girl Scout Cookies? Lemma see if I can spare 5 or 6 dollars to help a cause and no $5 still ain't change.

Oh wait nope it isn't the usual fare, this young lady is selling energy efficient light bulbs and all sorts of home supply packages. OK novel idea.

Alright so how much them cost? $29.95!

29 who? I'm sorry you cant just come to my door and expect me to have $29.95 ready to give you unless you delivering food that I order. What happened to $2 sponsored walks or climbing the CN tower for $5 or something cheap. Since when is $29.95 the cheapest option for helping out a school cause?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Raptors win Raptors win

Raptors win!

Who would have thought that after a 2-8 start to the season the Toronto Raptors would win the NBA's Atlantic division? Way to go Raptors! Congratulations! Big up! Respect!

What can I say! I doubted that the Raptors would be any good this season. Yea they made moves in the off-season but I thought way too many moves. I mean how does a team with 9 new players, including a bunch who had never played NBA ball, coming in win? Guys have to become comfortable with their roles, they have to learn to trust each other, they have to bond as a team so I figured any improvement this year would just be a step towards actually competing next year.

I thought yea that Bargnani draft pick is a definite bust and why trade Charlie Villenueva for TJ Ford. Well what do you know Coangelo's moves seemed to have worked well for us this year. Actually only bad move he has made so far seems to be picking up Fred Jones in the off-season and he managed to trade him away for Juan Dixon who has fit in quite nicely with the team in the second half.

So yea we did compete this year. Who would have thought?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketOk well yea the Atlantic division is bar none the worse division in professional basketball and there were a couple of nights where we actually led the division while still having a record that was under .500. But still look at us now 44 wins and 33 loses (including tonight's victory over the Bulls), 10 games over 500, a guaranteed playoff spot and right now the fourth best record in the Leastern ummm Eastern conference.

Pretty nice turn around for a team that only won 27 games last season.

Still I cant say I'm an ultra fan like Chuck and Leo who bring the play by play or like a few of my friends are. I like the team, even though I'll admit that they've screwed up my love of the NBA since I seem to watch very few non-Raptor games these days.

I wont pretend like I think they have more than a passing shot of making it past round one of the playoffs either unless they somehow end up playing a hobbling Washington Wizards team cause I just see too many deficiencies despite their record and improvement this year. I still say they are still too green for the playoffs and their lack of a consistent inside game and rebounding will hurt when the rough and tumble playoffs start. But who knows, I've been wrong before maybe they'll surprise me again.

All I can say now though is they've done the city proud even if when they won the division they were still only the second biggest sports story here, the biggest being the Maple Leafs having to play the Habs to keep their NHL playoff hopes alive. Got to love this city its definitely a hockey town. But hockey town or not got to give props to the Raps. Good looking out guys. Bosh, Ford,Parker, Graham and the boys thanks for making us proud of Toronto basketball once more.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

All about the Ben(jamins)

Caught this link from over at the War on Folly and was inspired.

Raheem sees his homie Conroy on the street.

R: Yo son whats up?

C: Everyting cris my yout! A wha gwan?

You heard the latest?

Latest? Wha latest?

Well streets is talking son. They say that apparently Uncle Ben is getting a makeover to become Chairman Ben.

Uncle Ben? Uncle Ben? Oh ya mean dat cantankerous ol man dat de yout one Peter Parker live by?

No son! Not Peter Parker's Uncle Ben. That cat caught a bad one back in Spider Man one. Straight car jacked son, wasnt wearing a vest and pow pow two shots to his chest and it was over. Where you been man? It was all over the streets.

Blouse n Skirt!

Naa son Uncle Ben from around the way. You know bow tie rocking cat been down with Rice since like day one.

Oh! Cha man! That Uncle Ben dat same one? Star a why ya neva say Bow tie Uncle Ben nuh man? Is Ben Slim we call 'im down de block cause de man always wid dat slim grained par-boiled business. Yea star me kno who ya mean! Chairman? Chairman? Well look how man get big! Cha! Nuff respect to de man den seen! Yes I!

(Chairman Ben comes around the corner on his Blackberry. Gives the brothers a pound)

What up Ben. (head nods and exchange of pounds)

Respect star!

Look at you all rice kingpin, cereal mogul and all that good stuff. Still representing the Nation (of Islam) by rocking the Farakkhan bowtie though! The suits Armani now right? True true. Yea son show em how we do! You done came up!

Yes Ben star you run tings tings no run you! A business man a run nuh inna but nor because (everyone joins in singing) my girl wan wear victoria secret drawers!

Driva! lawd ave mercy. ha ha ha

But on the real Ben, way to show the little man that with a little perseverance and just 60 long hard years of doing whatever it is you did; butlering, chauffering, shoe shining, cooking whatever it was that you did that we too can move up to the top rung of the ladder.

Is how ya mean? Like George n Weezy?

Yea son see thats what I'm talking about dog! Like George and Weezy. Moving on up to a deeee-lux apartment in the sky son! Word! (brothers slap five, Ben's still on his blackberry)

Yea. knawhatimean thats whats wrong with today's youth. Dont want to start at the bottom like ol Ben here did. Claim it takes too long to move up. Well he sure showed em all. Dem 60 years of hard work paid off. Yea son!

Wha ya a say Ben? Ya 'ave Diddy and Russell on speed dial? Bumbacl.....

You the man now Ben. Oh whats that? No more Ben? Its Benjamin now? Dammmmm! Yea well its about time Benjamin. Look at you living up to that potential an ish. Yea son its all about the Benjamins now fa sure!

(Leaning over Ben's crackberry) Star a dat de latest phone dey ya ave? Blackberry? Bloodfire! (leaning in closer) But wait cha man, yo see say the man 'ave text message from de one Halle Berry. (snapping fingers in the air) All de hot gal dem a rush di man! Yes star you a de dan! Respect to de maximum!

Yea man! You like my inspiration dog! Word to mutha! Dreams do come through! See this man here, right here (pointing to the still silent Benjamin). He's like the kingpin of the whole rice industry.

Ya naa touch im! 'im a de Pablo Escobar of de grain world my yout!

But ya kno Mr Chairman sar, everytime mi see you, you a remind mi of my great uncle dat dead a few year back. Mi cann remember him name. But 'im face did favor you and dat man cud cook some serious rice n peas ya kno. Serious chef work 'im a do. delicious, tasty itals de man a cook up, rest in peace.

Yea ok but um yea ummm.

What? You put in 20 Mil alone on the website and advertising? Yo fa real? Get outta here! Naa fa real? 20 Mil? Word! Yo son I checked that site. Yo that site is off the hizzy. That was some money well spent. No doubt!

A 20 million dollars ya say? American currency? Is joke ya a mek right?

Yea son 20 million American currency! greenbacks, dead presidents son, Jacksons and Grants and Washingtons and all that other good stuff! Kwahmean??


Yea son there's alot of cheddar in that there Rice game.

Cheese and Rice? Cheese n Rice? Yo star that doan soun too nice to eat ya kno. I man nuh want nun a dat.

No man! I mean cheddar son, the dinero, the duckets. Cash rules everything around me, the cream, the cheddar.

Oh seen! The money dat ya a talk bout. yes I. But so see me a say Mr Chairman Benjamin. Ya ave any place in a de company fi a hardworking enterprising yout man like de I cause I man a tired a di hustling an bustling on de street dem. Mi a enterprising yout an just want a likkle piece a legit work where I man can progress and advance and move up the corporate ladder. seen!

Yo fa real! You got space for me too cause I wants to be down with that legal rice money. I mean fa real like you my inspiration, my muse, my man, my dog. I respects your hustle.

A car pulls up. Chairman Ben starts to walks away.

Yo chek out the wicked car star! Chairman yes is you definetly a run things. A wha dat? 350? 550? Bway even dem rapper dem like Jay-Z nuh ave no criss car like that.

Yo but I'm saying Chairman Benjamin. I'm sayin, yo hook a brother up. Its hard out here on the streets. Come on man. I need me some of that rice money.

Yes chairman. Doan faget de small man seen! I ave de recipies man, nuff recipie dem from long time gwan dat my ol granny a gi mi. Rice n peas, peas n rice, pelau, plain rice, splt peas rice, black eye pea rice, green pea rice. Is nuttin but pure rice knowledge I man a bring ta de table ya kno! I can even give you a copy of my resume on rice paper!

At least give a brother a business card or something so we can stay in touch cause you my role model man. My inspiration fa real! 60 years in the game and running things. Word!

Chairman Benjamin gives them a business card, gets in his car and leaves.

Stay up on your grind homie! Fight the power!

Run tings rude bway!

Yo that Ben cat is iight! I'm saying dog he's like my inspiration, my muse, my...

Yea man, me 'ear all dat chat aready, de man gone ya kno an we already ave 'im business card. cha! chupse!

But I'm saying dog, that cat right there ........

(Seriously though you've got to check the Uncle Bens site its like a virtual tour of his office and whoever designed it seriously needs a medal or something cause they put in some work.)

Sunday, April 01, 2007

rasta & dope

(Since we were talking about rastas last post.)

Ya don't 'ave fi dread to be rasta

Morgan Heritage

I cant say with absolute certainty but I truly believe that Morgan Heritage stole that line from my parents.

My parents are old time West Indian folk who have an inbred distrust of those with locs or those who claim they are rasta. In their eyes anyone with dreads or their hair even slightly loc'ed is a rasta. And by rasta they mean someone devious, head intoxicated from illegal drugs and up to no good. Actually anyone who deviates from the norm could be a rasta in their sight.

Head in locks you are definitely shady. Must be some criminal element in your background probably a by product of all the dope we know you smoke. Oh you don't smoke dope? If not then why ya notting up ya good hair for? You don't know that combs still stirring and barbers and hairdressers still looking for business?

No you must be doing something wrong to have your hair in such a predicament.

And less I make it seem as if there was no basis for their judgement I'll just say that their beliefs were forged by some of the crazy good for nothing so called rastas and others with locs who they have come into contact with in the past. Seems like many of the the lawless criminal elements used to knot up their hair, smoke weed and claim Jah.

But their description of rasta now extends past anyone with dreads. Consider the following conversation I had at home this Christmas.

Mom: Yes he get vex wid dem ever since Judy marry and he din get invite.
Me: Oh who she marry, the same fella she had from evasince?
Mom: yes the said same rasta fella.
Me: rasta fella? I din know he was a rasta?
Mom: Well he don't wear any locs but he is a rasta. He duz smoke dope.

So anyone who smokes weed or any other illegal drug from crack to heroine which my parents all categorize as 'dope' is automatically a rasta in my parents books regardless of dreads or not.

I can just imagine the conversations they must have had after Hillary Beckles' son killed that boy down at Mona over weed.

"Chupse! See all a dem turn to this rasta foolishness and let the dope lead dem astray. Look at he doah! Good boy come from decent family and now look how he embarrass he mudda an fadda. Is the foolish dope and rasta igrance dat dem gettin in dem head. De dope ain't nuh good fa dum at all!"

And God forbid you are a vegetarian. What not eat meat?

Mom: Yes and she like she is a pieca rasta now play she dont eat meat
Me: Oh you mean she is a vegetarian?
Mom: Yes she is a pieca vegetarian rasta. She musse duz smoke de dope too.