Tuesday, December 20, 2011

No Love And No Apologies

The producers of Love and Hip Hop better find newer and more worthwhile subject matter for our ladies because 'Mob Wives' is coming back to us on New Year's Day, and I think I've pretty much got Chrissy and her crew all summed up for the rest of the season. Jim Jones' mother, Nancy, is rocking her "Psychotic B!#@h" t-shirts every where she goes. I'm not going to knock her drive to turn a vulgar insult into a money-making marketing gimmick. (If Evelyn can do it on the back of Tami Roman's pain, then hey -- why not?) Meanwhile Olivia's storyline remains the same, the only thing that changes is her atmosphere. She's cried in the car, she's cried in a restaurant, she's cried in the opening segment, she's cried as the credits rolled at the end of the show. This week, we can find both Olivia and her "super-producer", Rich, crying on a foot bridge. It's ironic to me that she is on a reality television show, and yet has no sense of reality. The state of the music industry has changed so much, even since the days of her limited stardom. No one wants to be told to let go of their dream, but her trying to be an A-List singer is like Kimbella trying to get an apology from Chrissy for smashing her in the face with her fist... it's not going to happen! Meanwhile, everyone wants an apology from Chrissy this week, it seems. Kimbella tries and fails (hey Chrissy, whining never gets anyone very far with me either). Then you have Yandi, who I must say is turning out to be one the more annoying characters on the show, pressing Chrissy for an apology for her sour attitude towards her and the work she does for Chrissy's husb--, I mean, baby dadd--, I mean boyfriend, Jimmie. Yandi is shot down also, but Chrissy agrees to treat her a little more nicely. Emily beams proudly as she dishes to the girls that ever since she moved out, her ex-man, Fab, has been a knight in shining armour, the man of her dreams. She's thirty years old and acts like a teenager getting attention from a boy for the first time: "he likes me, he really likes me!" Note to Emily: he's keeping you at bay for his personal benefit, my dear, and you are doing nothing but settling for less. Somaya was a no-show for this episode, but Tierra Marie seems to be a mainstay. Next week, we're being introduced to yet another model (and her breasts). I'm starting to ask myself, in which direction is this show really trying to go? Where is the love, where is the hip hop? Then I realized, with the introduction of all these new characters (wild, so-called models whose only storyline consists of who they slept with or who they fought with), VH1 must obviously asking itself the exact the same thing.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Beauty and The Beast

First of all, shame on MTV for continuing to film Jenelle Evans and her mother screaming, cussing and fighting week after week. Whatever the reason may be, there is no excuse for it to take place in the presence of Jenelle's son, Jace. Jenelle risks being kicked out of her mother's house to be with her boyfriend, Kiefer. She clings to him so tightly as if she feels he is the only one who makes her feel loved or wanted. Of course, she could have that same feeling from her baby, but that is not the same as love from a man who wants and needs you and can also lay up and get high with you as well. Jace has his grandmother, she is his primary care taker, so Jenelle turns to Kiefer to fill the empty void. In this episode, Jenelle and Kiefer are sleeping in her car, homeless and hopeless, you can almost smell them through the TV screen. I respect Jenelle for putting her foot down with Kiefer when it comes to his drinking. She doesn't like it, it brings her back to a bad place with a former boyfriend and Kiefer should understand that and change some of his ways. But being that he is drinking Bacardi straight out of the bottle, this may be a problem that Jenelle can't fix on her own. She becomes enraged, she throws punches at him, she hurls random objects from her friend's car at him as well. She lunges at him and attacks him, but being that he is bigger and stronger, he merely restrains her and fends her off easily. He picks her up and shoves her into the car, slamming the door. He then tried to console her, holding her and trying to calm her down but she starts shrieking and yelling for him to get off of her. Insert MTV's infamous PSA here: "If you know anyone who is a victim of domestic violence..." Next week Jenelle is seen trying to press charges against Kiefer for the incident, but her local police department needs to roll back the videotape and take a good look at who hit who first. Kiefer never hit Jenelle, he did the best he could to hold her back and get her off of him without hurting her and that was under the influence of alcohol. What makes girls like Jenelle and Teen Mom 1 star, Amber, think they can throw blows at their boyfriends' and get away with it? If anyone was a victim of domestic violence in this situation, it was actually Kiefer.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

19 Kids and Filming

Only in America can one woman be vilified, written off, and scorned for having 8 babies at once, while one mother is lifted up, complimented and given a reality show for popping out 19 kids year after year, even when her health and the lives of her children are obviously at stake. OctoMom can barely pay her mortgage, but the world is obsessed with a woman named Kate and her brood of eight.  We want to know her latest hairstyle and who her ex-husband is dating. (And she didn't even have all eight of her kids at once.) I don't know what it took for TLC to finally cancel her show, but it wasn't too much longer after that when she did an interview saying she didn't know how she would pay her bills. Hey, Kate, try giving Nadya Suleman a call, you guys have a lot in common. But back to Michelle Duggar, of '19 Kids and Counting' fame. Her last pregnancy resulted in a premature birth, and most recently, after announcing she was pregnant once again, she miscarried at 19 weeks. As sad as that news may be, it will be turned into a great opportunity for the producers to film the loss and then use it in their season premier advertising. Michelle Duggar is 45 years old and claims she will have as many babies as God allows. But don't bring God into this. If you're not using any birth control, and your body is able, you will get pregnant. You will get pregnant 19 times and have 19 babies, and you will get your own reality TV show as a reward for doing God's bidding, I guess. A miscarriage has to be one of the most tragic and terrifying things a woman can experience, and for that , my thoughts go out to the Duggar family. I am not in judgment of their marriage or their faith, but they chose to film their lives for the world to see and shove their story in my face as they appear on the covers of magazines and news interviews. Michelle Duggar is well aware that every time she gets pregnant, she's preserving her brand. Should the nation now turn its back on her for breeding "unnecessarily", expanding her family at any cost? Should we shake our fingers and our heads at her for having so many babies, as we have the OctoMom? Remember this: "How dare she have so many children when she had eight already? when she can't even afford it?" Should we now ask, how dare Michelle Duggar continue to have children when she has 19 already and is almost 50 years of age? Now don't you tell me it's none of my business. It must be my business, otherwise Michelle Duggar wouldn't be releasing statements to the press and giving me all the details. (Funeral information and the baby's name will be announced in the near future. Stay tuned.)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Prop and the Propaganda

After multiple allegations of sexual harassment, improper conduct and a 13 year affair, popular Republican front-runner for president Herman Cain has suspended his campaign. Raise your hand if you're surprised, I certainly am not. Don't get me wrong, I never saw the list of women coming forward once a week telling their tales of thigh rubbing and hotel hopping, (like soft-porn for cable news) I did, however, see Herman Cain going away just as quickly as he emerged. He was soaring above the rest, Mitt Romney and the bunch, and the media almost nearly crowned him king. They did all but mention the black-on-black factor, but it was looming on the tips of their tongues. Obama versus Cain, how delicious would that have been? There were Republicans from every corner who came out to support him and his "9-9-9" plan for our economic future. Could it be that he was their "One"? The other side's "Messiah", perhaps? It mattered not that he had no thoughts on foreign policy or that his tax proposal was starting to be picked apart by the naysayers. It was a plus that he was fresh faced and far from the usual shadiness of serial politicians whose names and faces some of us have grown to become sick of. He was a smart, well spoken, self-made black man and he was coming for Barry. He was confident and daring, a super power in his own right and without a lick of world knowledge or a spot of political experience, he would rule the free world. Enter the small gang of women that Tiger Woods would merely scoff at. They came, they saw, they conquered. They said he groped them, accosted them and used his powerful position to provoke them. The latest accuser said, although she knew he was married and that she was in the wrong, she carried on a lengthy affair with him (and has the phone records and text messages to prove it.) She would be the nail to seal Herman Cain's coffin. It was just a few days later when he "suspended his campaign", never admitting to anything, but stating that the allegations were too much of a burden on his family. I have to wonder why a man would try to run for president knowing there was a possibility these things would happen. Did he forget that he touched a thigh back in the days once or twice? Did it slip his mind that he had been making phone calls and exchanging text messages with a mistress for more than a decade? I almost want to think that maybe these things are not true, otherwise why would a man subject himself, his wife, or his family to this unforgiving onslaught? It would take a confident and daring man, a super power in his own right, would it not? But alas, I get to lick my chops no more, Herman Cain is gone now and Newt Gingrich has taken the lead. We can all return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Ring Didn't Mean a Thing

I remember when Kim Kardashian tweeted something like, "I'm finally complete, I found the one!" And I thought, that's not good -- her thinking that she needed a man to complete her. I also remember her publicly admitting that as her 30th birthday was fast approaching, she was reminded of the dream she had as a child that she would be a wife and mother by the time she reached that age. Red flag, red flag, may day, may day! How did no one see these warning signs? A televised fairytale wedding, a reported 17 million dollars, and 72 days later, Kim wants a divorce from Kris Humphries, but anyone who watched the episodes leading up to the nuptials should have seen it coming. This is why I have to wonder how Kim herself did not. When you don't appreciate or respect the place where your man hails from, when he basically tells you that your career is a joke and you don't really "work". When your family has to force a smile whenever the idea of the two of you manifests, whether in conversation or in the physical. When you yourself have to a force a smile after awhile... need I go on? And now Kim is crying to her fans and her mother is pleading to the media, begging us to believe that her family is going through a crisis. Yes, it must be so hard on all of them. (Insert sarcastic face here.) I don't blame the critics who've rallied for Kim to donate her money and gifts to charity. It's laughable that the Kardashians want me to believe that she didn't make a dime off of that wedding and that she actually paid for it herself, as if I'm not smart enough to know that when you film a reality television series -- no matter how much money you have -- the majority of the pretty, shiny things we see have been donated for product recognition. Her marriage may not have been a sham, but her reason for wanting to tie the knot and then film it for us all to see is insult enough. In summation, we need not complain when they air the 2-part Kardashian divorce special, the show must go on after all, and it will... as long as we keep wanting to keep up with them.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fighting for Love and Hip Hop

The lovers of hip hop's leading men took center stage and tried hard not to disappoint. Jim Jones' wonderwoman, Chrissy, is still childless and ringless but not hopeless or down and out. Ousted singer Olivia is looking low as she searches for a record label to believe in her. Emily finally found the "strength" to leave a one-sided relationship, and rapper Somaya is fiesty and fuming, trying to light the same fire since last season left her with no spark. Enter Yandi, Jim Jones' manager and Kimbella, "woman of Juelz Santana", if you let her tell it, and we have the very first episode for season 2 of Love and Hip Hop. I have to admit I can't get Jim Jones' mother's song out of my head. Nancy Jones penned the catchy single, "Psychotic B*tch" in response to Chrissy's description of her last season. The beat makes you bounce and the lyrics are hilarious. Chrissy and Jimmy were not too pleased to find the recording on the internet, but I can't stop singing it and think it could be a hit. Yandi inches her way into the ladies' circle by inviting Chrissy to her product launch. Chrissy brings Em and Liv and they all get to meet Kimbella for the first time. She was dressed in a pair of exaggerated booty shorts (the kind where you can actually see the booty) and you can't blame Chrissy and the girls for not being too impressed. Even though Kimbella seems proud to claim Juelz as her man and the father of her child, it was at this time that she shares a secret with Yandi: she dated Emily's now ex, Fabolous, just three short years ago.(Side note: Emily and Fab's son is just three years old.) Later in the week, Emily has a get together to celebrate her new found freedom, and all cast members are in tow. As they raise their glasses to the start of a new life, Kimbella decides this would be the best opportunity for her to confess her past with Fab to Emily in front of everyone, claiming she would rather she found out from her than from anybody else. Emily is clearly pretending to be at peace with the news and just as she was about to toast to letting go and moving on, Chrissy blows up and let's it be known that what Kimbella had said and done was inappropriate and down right mean. (And I agree.) For those of you Basketball Wives fans, can we say Evelyn and Tami? Things get heated and Chrissy ends up attacking Kimbella throwing blows like a champ and rocking the hotel suite. So you see dear, sweet, pretty Kimbella, your looks might hold some weight when you're tanning on the beach in Miami, but they won't get you anywhere when you get off the sand and swim in a sea of New York City sharks. I'm not condoning violence, but I'm definitely not feeling the whole "I dated your man and I'm telling you because I love you" thing either. And if someone could please explain to some of these chicks that "dating" is dinner and movies and not hotel rooms and bottles of Ciroc. See you next week.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Touch Me, Teach Me?

Had Glee asked me if I wanted them to provide my children with a teachable moment about losing their virginity in high school, I would have politely said thanks, but no thanks. Of course,  no such question is ever asked as sex and more sex is constantly crammed into the minds of young America and parents are left scrambling to find something "decent" on TV for their kids to watch before the wee hour of 9:00 pm. This is not MTV's 16 and Pregnant, this is not VH1's "Rock of Love", these characters on Glee are merely social outcasts or popular kids, choir junkies or super-jocks singing their way through four years of high school. You expect to see bedroom scenes on these types of programs, knowing they will  leave nothing to the imagination. Most wouldn't allow their pre-teen to get comfy on the couch and settle in for a Jersey Shore marathon, but Glee? It's hard enough to find a sitcom series on the Disney Channel that doesn't make me cringe, et tu, Glee? The creators of the popular program boasted about the "teachable moment" which featured two teen couples --one gay and one straight -- having sex for the first time. Talk about a double whammy. Now some parent out there has to figure out how to explain pre-marital sex and homosexuality all in one night. Thank you, Glee. That is, thanks, but no thanks. It's my job to teach my children about the pressures of high school and sexual preparedness. Why can't I, for just one night a week, turn on the television and not be confronted with frivolous fornication and instead get lost in an old Madonna throwback or a Lady Gaga remake? And for those who see this from the other side and want to reply by saying, "If you don't like it, turn off the TV." Don't you worry, I already have.

Monday, October 24, 2011

It's My Party!

Nazis, Socialists, Communists, oh my! It seems if you're not right, you're not right -- depending on who you're talking to. When the Tea Party Movement emerged, they were either hailed as revolutionaries and trendsetters or bitter and racist. So it's no surprise that the Occupy Wall Street gang has come under fire by their conservative resistance. Billing them as urine soaked, out of control hippies, living in tents and getting arrested; the Wall Street sit ins could end up losing its message, even though according to the opposite side, they didn't have one to begin with. When the Tea Partiers wave their flags and stage their protests, they are upstanding citizens, lovers of the free world and small business, fighting against big government and battling to protect the founding father's America. Enter Wall Street Occupiers and they are all unemployed bums looking for a hand out, pressing the president for a come up, belligerent and nasty, with no purpose or cause. So why can't both groups stand up for what they believe in and be right in their resolve? Isn't that what they both are sort of fighting for anyway? For their whining, demanding voices to be heard? Instead, when they get a platform, they use it to point fingers and spread this contagion of divisiveness. Once again, I have to dig into my bag of cliches: "if you're not part of the solution"... eh, you know the rest. So before I pitch my tent in the liberal field of freebies or suit up with the "righties" looking down my nose at those who are not with me; I'll stand where I am, in the middle, where I can see both sides clearly. I'm not in any position to be swung or swayed.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tribute to MJ

Maya Angelou said, "We had him" and it's true. For the past half century, we had him, we just didn't hold on. Until now, there were no street-side kiosks selling his youthful image on t-shirts. There were no hour-long specials on prime time documenting his artistic prowess, his distinctive look (albeit ever-changing) and his unbelievable movement through dance.

We're happy to say now that he, a Black man, was the best to ever do it. Spike Lee even said, "He belonged to us" at a memorial at the Apollo theater. If he did in fact belong to us though, did we claim him? Did we embrace and support him when he was mocked and branded "Wacko Jacko" and holed up in Neverland? Did we believe him when he said he would never and could never harm a child? Or did we simply trade in "white Michael" for the countless acts that came after him, who in hindsight could never and will never replace him?

As yet another medley of songs from the Jackson 5 and beyond plays symphonies in my head, I realize I know every lyric or at least can hum along with the bass line even though some of these masterpieces were written before I was born. How many artists can take credit that kind of inter-generational reign? Timeless, boundless music fills me; but those notes, pitch-perfect and pure, must share a space with the sadness of losing one of the greatest ever. And now my "man in the mirror" is ashamed and guilty of taking it all for granted.

So many have tried to cloud his talent with the details and inefficient facts of his 1993 settlement with a young boy's family or his 2005 child molestation trial where he was ultimately found not guilty. Now as the media outlets play past interviews with the tragic star, I hear him explain that he settled in order to avoid a lengthy trial and all that would have come along with one, and it sounds believable. It makes sense.

While to some, for the past 15 years, he became a pervert and a pedophile, now in death, he is a mastermind and a genius. He is "our" star and we want him back.

But we let him down. We forgot that it matters not how much you tell someone you love them once they have departed this life. It's how you treat them and what you tell them while they are here, alive, and moonwalking on the Earth.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Teresa Against the World

The Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion aired last night, did you watch it? If not, let me introduce you to Teresa Giudice, or shall I say the new Danielle Staub? It was a little difficult to see Caroline, Melissa and Kathy all take turns at trying to take Teresa down. And how painful was it to sit through Andy asking her all that personal information about her financial status and bankruptcy fraud allegations? (Or maybe some of you enjoyed the naughty little peek into her pocketbook.) Bravo kept us in the dark as to why Jacquelin wasn't there, it was on of those "you're gonna have to wait and see" moments. Since they are all in the midst of filming Season 4, the women were unable to give us the gossip, we know for sure, however, that the drama this time is centered around Teresa. So she wrote a few things in her cook book in order to turn a profit, the woman owes $10 million dollars and can't pull it out of her big Jersey hair. What really intrigued me was Caroline's demeanor. She has always been billed as the strong, maternal, mature one; the matriarch. But like Teresa once said, "She's not the matriarch of MY family." I'm not falling for Caroline's holier than thou approach. She's no better than the rest of them, and now that she is not too happy with Teresa, she seems to want to air out any and everything she may have said to her in confidence when they were friends. That's high school behaviour at its best. If I come to you to vent a little bit about my family, I don't expect you to go back and tell them every little thing I said when you get mad at me. That wasn't fair and it sure doesn't make me respect her. Melissa sat on that couch trying her best to appear somewhat intelligent and presentable, but I see right through her as well, and don't think she is either innocent or genuine. I guess you can tell that I am "Team Teresa". I don't think she deserved to be gang up on and abused by her cast mates for little or no apparent reason. She held her own for the most part and I hope she continues to be strong and fight for her family, those four girls are really what's most important. Friends are fickle, in-laws can be fake and family, well... you can't pick them, so the only thing you can do is pray no one flips a table at the next holiday gathering.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Open Letter to Shaunie O'Neal

I never thought I'd find something more distasteful on TV than Nee Nee on Real Housewives of Atlanta and then Basketball Wives came along. I've seen you quoted as saying that you realize there is a need for more positive examples of black women on TV, so I hope you know and understand that your reality based franchise is certainly not one of them. The Basketball Wives series is a doleful display for the most part; women of color who cannot even sit around a table in a public setting and have lunch without calling each other hood rats and hoes, tearing one another down at every opportunity given, and portraying that bitter, ignorant and obnoxious stereotype we have seen time and time again in movies and on your average television sitcom. We are bred to laugh at these women and the image they deliver, we are made to accept the loud, black woman as nothing more than that, a prototype who knows her role and plays it. The scenery may be beautiful and ever changing as we travel from Miami to Los Angeles, but the ghetto project chick remains the same, she just has a little more money than the rest of us and a couple of professional athlete's phone numbers saved in her blackberry. Even if these episodes are based solely off of real relationships and actual events that take place without the prompting or influence of producers and cameramen, the fact is you have made inferences to the real problem of the lack of favorable representation of ethnic women on TV only to turn around and contribute to its delinquency. Why not make a show about the women who are literally married to a basketball player? A woman such as your formal self, for instance. Why not follow their lives and children, and give the viewers an inside look at the daily comings and goings of a woman who lives a lavish, yet unpredictable life being married to a superstar whose career always keeps his family on their toes? Is that not controversial enough for the executives who you sell your vision to? The natural drama that must be involved in these marriages are sure to keep a certain audience coming back for more. Then again, there's nothing like a raunchy, profanity-strewn cat fight, or an alcoholic beverage being thrown in a young woman's face by her soon-to-be ex. The bottom line is that you held the power to take these shows and steer them in any direction, knowing you had an audience that would follow you almost anywhere, and instead of giving us something to be proud of and look forward to, you took us to the Jersey Shore. The time for a change is long over due, and if you as a black woman can't help to alter the perception, who in 'Corporate TV Land' do you think will?

Monday, September 12, 2011


We will never forget. How could we? 10 years ago today, I was laying my clothes out on a rickety ironing board, eyes glued to my 13 inch screen television set. It was the Today Show and Matt Lauer and Katie Couric were unsure yet professional. Something had caused one of the World Trade Center towers to explode in a ball of fire and white smoke. Was it a plane? A small plane couldn’t have caused such damage, could it? Was it a bomb? They took eye witness reports from New York City commuters who were just beginning their day. They weren’t sure either. It could have been plane. Some say it was a large plane, maybe a commercial airline. But what would that mean?  Was it an accident? When you ask people about that day, most will say they remember the skies being so incredibly clear. The sunshine that day was remarkable. There was something about the sky on that Tuesday morning that makes us remember. I remember. And then, at 9:03 am, there was another explosion in the second tower, and this time it was clear that it was indeed a plane flying directly into it. On purpose. We were under attack. We were at war. Now that we know all that we know, all these years later -- 10 years later to be exact, it’s almost frightening to recall how confused and in the dark we were then. Hundreds of New Yorkers stood in silence with their mouths agape and their necks angled towards the sky. What was happening? No one knew. No one knew planes had been hijacked yet. No one knew there was more death and devastation to come. No one knew then, but knowing what we know now, we will never, ever forget. How could we? Then the Pentagon was hit by a plane and yet another plane fell from the sky and crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. What was happening? And what would happen next? September 11, 2001 is marked as the day that changed America. And when those two towers crumbled to the ground, it became the nightmare that changed the world. I remember. I was thinking, “There are people in there!” They must have been trying to evacuate, they must have packed the stairwells, clinging to each other in the darkness and chaos. And then, as if the smoke and the fear wasn’t enough to suffocate them, the walls caved in on them and trapped them while we on the outside breathed the fresh air and prayed for their souls. And just as the black smoke of the towers’ fires hovered above the city, we soon pieced together the reality of a heavy fog of hatred and misguided religion that also hung over us. Over time, despite the conspiracy theories and the pointed fingers of blame, we did band together. The sight of a man or woman in uniform made us grateful, proud and humbled. The thought of those first responders rushing to the scene while everyone else was doing whatever they could to get away from it. Those who made it out, only to go back in and save more lives, you can say they truly died for us. We may hear the word hero and maybe even use it to describe a good person every now and then, but hero was defined on that very morning. In the sky and on the ground, there were heroes all around us. And now we’ll never fly the same, we’ll never see the same sky line, we’ll never be the same ever again. And we’ll never, ever forget.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Barry, Where You At?

I remember making a point that President Barack Obama accepted the Democratic nomination on the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech and never once said his name. He mentioned a preacher from Atlanta and we all knew who he was talking about, but the fact that he failed to say his name stood out to me like... a black president. Several of our foremost black political leaders are calling Mr. Obama out on his tendency to appear to shy away from blacks and black issues. Could it be that Obama's campaign feels that they have the black vote in the bag and need to spend more time courting those whose votes will guarantee him the oval office? Certainly, he will receive almost every black vote, won't he? Is it fair that some folk want Mr. Obama to seemingly parade around in a dashiki and drive his motorcade through the 'hood? Does he need to do that to protect the black vote, to prove how black he is? Is it fair to say he needs to secure his "base", as a CNN contributor so remarked. His base meaning, just people of colour. Is not his base the Democratic party? I'm not completely disregarding the sentiment that our president may be distancing himself from or not giving as much attention to the neighborhoods who four years ago were so proud to line up and cast that ballot. I'm not denying either that many of those same black supporters waited with an extended hand for some kind of "hook up" from a black man who just became "The Man". It's as if some were looking for a payday, waiting for Obama to do them a solid, because remember, this was OUR president. Yes, we had Clinton, but this was a black president fo' real! But to openly criticize the president in the midst of an upcoming campaign for re-election can only do more harm than good. Is this what Roland Martin and Rep. Maxine Waters are looking to do? By asking these questions now, and demanding President Obama visit black communities to prove one thing or another is only taking away from the good he has done and is looking to do if he gets to keep his job. Addressing welfare, poverty and healthcare is a duty that is taken on by any president, white or black. And those topics, bullet points on every president's list, are not merely black and minority issues. I support Obama as well as the freedoms we have to speak out against him and I wish to follow the candidates as they prepare for this race without becoming railroaded and blinded by RACE.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Come on Irene

Where would our beloved cable news channels be without the latest breaking news to harp on and spread like a virus in our television wires. A hurricane's a-comin'! A hurricane's a-comin'! So said the pied piper and his faithful and frightened followers flocked to grocery stores and gas stations. They bought ice and bread, canned foods and bottled water. They boarded up their windows and battened down the hatches. (Okay, I got carried away with that last cliche). The day was unusually gray and you could feel the storm, you could smell it. I watched CNN and MSNBC. I saw reporters clad in their rain slickers struggling to stand in demonic downpours and exhausting winds. "Broadcasting live from the eye of Irene, back to you in the studio." Then the rain traveled up the east coast and landed in my neighborhood. It was windy and dark, but the power was still on. I watched the mayors and governors do press conference after press conference and tell us all to stay indoors. They stopped mass transit in its tracks. They shut down airports, malls and restaurants. I was in my house and I felt safe. I was either in denial or too skeptical to believe a hurricane could take us down. Wait for it, wait for it... Irene has arrived! The breeze breaking in through my window felt like a vacation from heat and humidity. It was clean and refreshing, like bottled water on a thirsty night. I wasn't afraid. I woke up this morning and watched a little TV, I tweeted a few times, I watched the wind suck and blow my curtains against my window screen. And just when I thought Irene couldn't phase me, the lights flickered and the power went out. I reverted into a child and I wanted my mother. I hated the silence of the house, the hum of nothingness. Not having power leaves you feeling so helpless and alone. I drove through the hurricane and arrived safely at my mother's house. There were bright lights, there was warm food, television and internet connection as well. Despite whatever Irene's intentions may have been.... life was good. And it still is.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cuz I'm Bored, Cuz I Want To, Cuz I Can!

Teen Mom is blowing my mind this week. Where do I start? I suppose I should go with the biggest bombshell of the night, Maci wants to have a baby with Kyle. To quote her all-too-calm mother, is she out of her mind? Kyle was most obviously not too thrilled with the idea, maybe somewhat flattered, but not over the moon about it. Maci sees how Kyle has adapted to taking care of her son, Bentley and his patience with him is sure to be the fuel behind this wild fire, but Maci's thought process is young and illogical. She barely wants to go to school and Kyle isn't even working. Nevermind the fact that they aren't married. Not that I'm the uber old-fashioned type, but it would be nice if, in this day and age, young people actually saw marriage before sex and children as an actual way of life and not some Biblical fantasy. Maci has no problem telling her mother and her friends that, at 19, she's ready for a second child. She tells Kyle she wants to give him a child of his own, she tells her mother that whenever Bentley is with his father, she's bored and a baby will keep her busy. How about taking your behind to school and actually finishing a semester? That will you keep your mind engaged. Alas, we have Farrah. Follow her on her journey to none other than Los Angeles, to meet up with a realtor to look at houses. Boy, it must be nice: to hop a plane to California for the weekend, to look at houses in a place you've never lived with no job and no family and an associate's degree. And they say this show was to highlight the "struggle" of being a teenaged parent? The life seems pretty damned grand to me! She's looking at houses that are $2000 a month in rent and frowning her nose down at them at that. Those checks that MTV doles out every season must be worth quite the pretty penny. I'm just saying. I don't want this to turn into a never ending rant, but then we have Amber and her fake relationship with her daughter, Leah. After fixing up this modern and quite upscale $600 a month single family house that she found with yes-- a realtor, because everyone shops around for apartments to rent with a realtor, Amber is happy to tell anyone who will listen that she is ecstatic to be getting her baby back. But I can't help to remember the days when a frustrated and angry Amber used to put a screaming Leah in her crib with a bottle and shut out her crying by shutting the door. She would then plop herself on that infamous mattress on the floor and sulk and pout and blame Gary for her life. I suppose these new digs will improve her mother's instinct (or lack thereof)? Amber laughs and plays with Leah, rolling on the floor with her and tickling her tummy, but for some reason, it does not come across as genuine. It almost has a Casey Anthony feel to it. (And if you've ever seen the video of Casey laying on the floor and laughing with her daughter, Caylee, you'll know what I mean.) I am in no way insinuating that Amber is going to harm her child in any way as Casey did... I'm just calling it like I see it, and I wonder how long it will be before Amber's ready to lock the door on her daughter once again. Lastly, what was Tyler's mother thinking, calling the adoptive parents of her son's baby, Carly, and requesting that she be at Tyler and Catelynn's graduation? She didn't even give the couple a chance to ask in their own way. They don't call those people, so who gave her the right to do so? Talk about over-stepping boundaries. Now Tyler and Catelynn must find a way to fix it so that hopefully their baby girl will be able to witness them walk across the stage and get the diplomas they are so proud to be receiving.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Emancipating Ashley

Every household is different, but I think it's safe to say that for me and most of the people I know, if we called our mother's the B word or told them to shut up right before slamming our bedroom doors, we wouldn't be around to see our next birthday. Ashley is out of control and has no respect for her mother, Jackie. It's gotten to the point where her father had to fly in from Texas with his wife just to confront her. But nothing seems to be getting through to her. She starts fights and fights back, she cries and plays the victim role, she needs a wake up call and I think she's about to get one. Jaqueline has had enough and so has her husband Chris. If they put her out, I wouldn't feel an ounce of sympathy. It's time to serve up some tough love to that hard head.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Liberating Libya

After over 40 years of being ruled by a text book "evil dictator", the people of Libya decided they have had enough. They are taking to the streets like the rebels they are, hungry for freedom and starving for a fight. Just last week President Obama called for Mo'Ammar Gadhafi to "step down" and I remember thinking, it's not our place to say so. Various world leaders have often encouraged if not demanded wanna-be revolutionists to do away with life-long tyranny and give democracy a try. But isn't it up to the people of that land to oust the ouster and take their country into their own hands? The news coverage shows a mass of amateur liberators, wild and uncivilized, stomping through the streets. They fire their guns and they burn photos of their eccentric leader, Gadhafi. If this is their plan,then they must carry it out and follow through until the end. Democracy isn't something that is handed out like goodie bags at the end of a birthday celebration, the United States can't send in an army to implement it. There is a monumental price and the Libyans have to be willing to sacrifice their lives for it. Once there are no more bonfires or gunfire, they will have to deal with whatever rises from the ashes. They have been led by a military dictatorship their entire lives, just as it is up to them to overthrow Gadhafi, once they gain control, it will be up to them to decide what to do with it. Who will be their new leader? How will they decide? "Many more will have to suffer, many more will have to die." The world waits and watches.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Reality Hurts

I was saddened by the news of the death of Beverly Hills Housewives husband, Russell Armstrong. He was a part of the Housewives franchise and our beloved reality TV world, but he has now become a member of another prestigious club that is grim and growing. The fact of the matter is, we sometimes can get lost in all the hair extensions and breast implants, the wig pulling and the name calling. The children are asleep and we indulge in our guilty pleasure, this phenomena -- and we are pleased and entertained, or we even disturbed and disgusted. Either way, we give these shows the ratings they need and we anticipate the next episode and wait all summer for a new season to begin. There have been many times that I had to pause and remind myself that these are real people. Yes, stories may be slightly scripted and scenes edited to add to the hype, but in the end, these are not characters on a sitcom. These are real people. I remember when Najai Turpin committed suicide back in 2005. It was my birthday and he must have felt like the loneliest person in the world because he sat in his car and he shot himself that Valentine's Day morning. Turpin was a boxer and appeared on the NBC reality-competition show, The Contender, a show that I enjoyed from week to week. There was  speculation that his suicide was related to the show and his performance while he was on it, or may have been because of other personal family and/or business issues he was dealing with at the time, but it was definitely something to think about as the episodes from his season began to air. Fast forward to Celebrity Rehab and the deaths of Jeff Conway and Mike Starr. I find it so hard to understand why that show is still on the VH1 line-up. Talk about reality, these people are battling real addiction to serious drugs and we are supposed to watch them on TV and not be surprised when they die? If Dr. Drew truly cared for his "patients", he would help them outside of the presence of cameras and they would not be offered a paycheck for their time in his "rehab". But I am losing my focus here. A man has died. He killed himself and we may never know why. He had a daughter and a wife. And his dirty laundry was flung all over television every week on Bravo. And we all watched and rolled around in it. His wife accused him of abuse and filed for divorce recently, the tabloids had a field day with the news. His demons must have had one also. The only thing left to do now is pray for his daughter, who is innocent in all of this and couldn't care less if the camera men and producers and directors and television executives all packed their contracts and bags full of money and left her home. I'm sure she would trade it all to be in her daddy's arms again.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"It's All About Family"

I'm starting to question Melissa's sincerity and genuine want to get along with Teresa and bring her family together. She puts on a good show, but behind the scenes she's just as catty and mouthy as the rest. She mocks Teresa behind her back and spats her name to the people who she knows will listen. She plays both sides and is so calculated that it comes across as real. So when Teresa calls her out for her "sudden" singing career, disapproves of her brother making plans with anyone but her on Christmas, and when she isn't interested in reconciling with someone who she simply does not like, as immature as it may appear, at least Teresa isn't hiding her feelings or being phony to any of the other parties involved. With that said, Caroline's New Year's Eve party was still a hit, because in the end it was about counting down to a new year and envisioning resolutions. There was tension, but there was also lots of alcohol and just enough family pride and love for these housewives (and their husbands) to make it through to 2011 in one piece.

A Toast, To Your Face

Sweet, smiling simple-minded Jennifer is throwing herself a divorce party and she couldn't be more excited. She is dating a handsome new man thanks to friend Al "How You Doin" Reynolds (of Star Jones and Wendy Williams fame) and she's feeling sexy and free. Suzie, who Jennifer totes around for pure entertainment value, accompanies Jennifer to design a cake and the stage is set for what seems like is going to be a night to remember. Evelyn on the other hand, had a day she would probably like to forget. After intentionally driving by (stalking) her fiance's favourite restaurant, she sees him eating with a female companion. She confronts him and he tells her boldly, the girl was a friend who happened to be in the area. He then proceeded to let her know it's better to be honest and upfront about the people he associates with then to hide and be a sneaky person. When Evelyn starts whining about what people would think, being that they are in a public relationship, I knew her anger was misdirected. All she seemed to care about is what the tabloids would say and how the gossip mills would run if someone saw Chad eating with a woman or -gasp- went as far as to take pictures of this meeting. Chad tells her he couldn't care less what "people" think of him or their relationship and they kiss and make up, if you know what I mean. Back to Jennifer. Her party is a success, I guess. All the girls are present, except Meeka of course. The hunk with the bangs is there and we were treated to the longest, most boring and dry tongue kissing session I've ever witnessed on reality television. I found myself pleading with the network gods, "End scene! End scene!" The best part of the party had to be the cake. Adorned with Jennifer on top holding Eric's severed head, bump included. His body lay at the bottom of the cake, holding a basketball. I'll admit, it was a good laugh. Later in the episode, Jen meets up with Eric to discuss the world's longest divorce, and I swear she must have gotten "some" after her party that night because she was in rare from. Cursing and rotating her neck, flipping her hair and spatting sarcastic comments about Eric's mother; somebody was really feeling themselves! Because of Jennifer's diva-licious behaviour, the conversation goes nowhere and Eric gets up to make an exit. That's when Jennifer arrogantly flings a drink in his direction. Eric could have walked away from this childish act, but instead returns and after a few brief words, he picks up her drink and violently whips it directly into her face. It happened so fast, no one saw it coming. But what's good for the goose is good for the gander, Jennifer. Afterall, you did throw the first blow. He did not put his hands on her, he simply returned the favour and walked away. So I take back my original opinion on the matter, since due to editing, the commercials last week didn't show that Eric's actions were only in retaliation. And that, ladies and gentlemen is the end of this season (and their marriage).

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Please CT, Don't Hurt 'Em

I watch Rivals each week and shake my head at these veterans and their paranoid and erratic game play. The vets are like evil dictators or some kind of crazed record label executive. Either way, as long as you are with them, you're not allowed to talk to, smile or look at, and spend any time with those who they oppose. You do and you're no longer in the gang, kicked to the curb and out the circle of trust. Now that Laurel has been befriending CT, the most feared competitor in the house, she has put herself and Cara Maria at risk. The vet boys have warned her, but she has decided that she will continue to explore this "relationship" anyways. And she has every right to do so, in my opinion. But she will suffer for it, because that is just how these games are played. The fear of CT trumps getting to know him or giving him any sort of a chance. If these guys hated him for his past drunken and violent actions, that would be understandable, but it's not that at all. It's the fear of CT's strength and success in these challenges that drives their strategies and shakes their cores. As we get closer to the final day and the big prize money, the vets continue to hang their heads, while CT and his partner, Adam remain flying high.

Pop! Goes the Pink Bubblegum

Now this is mostly a reality TV blog, but who says I can't take a break from the madness of that world and step into the bright pink pop sounds of another? Having been recently introduced to the musical technique of Pink Bubblegum and its lead singer, Ava-Mae (that's @avamaecurah), I have to admit I understood the concept and I bought what they were selling. Listening to the music and watching the videos is like packing your bags and moving into a Barbie dream house or being lost in a never ending aisle of pink baby dolls and lace at Toys R Us. It is a movement. And I was truly transported. Ava-Mae is Punky Brewster and Strawberry Shortcake, she's Jamaican born and still all-American pie. The total idea of "pop" lives in this band's work and I'm more than happy to pass some sunshine along your way, where it's fun to jump up and down like a teenager in love and it's always hot pink in the shade.

Get to know Pink Bubblegum at their website http://www.pinkbubblegummusic.com/

The Tests of Teenaged Motherhood

It's Halloween on Teen Mom and some of the story lines sure are scary. Amber is dealing with the backlash of her abusive behaviour last season. She is still being investigated by social services as well as her local police department. She is living apart from her on again/off again boyfriend Gary and her daughter, Leah. You can see that Amber is suffering, and although the majority of her problems are self-inflicted, feeling sympathy for her situation is not such an impossible feat. Maci also struggles with young motherhood and a difficult relationship with her ex-boyfriend. She wants to keep Bentley to go trick-or-treating, he says no because it's his visiting day. She wants to have a joint birthday party, he wants to do 2 separate ones. Maci wins on both occasions, but she doesn't necessarily deserve any awards. She made Ryan's family feel outcast and unwanted at Bentley's party, and when she was confronted with their discomfort, she shrugged it off and almost laughed at them. She must have known it would have been awkward for Ryan and his family to see Maci, her new boyfriend Kyle and Bentley sliding down the slide, hugging, kissing and acting like a family while they sat with their backs literally (and figuratively) against the wall. Not nice, Maci. Catelynn and her man both are happy to be on their own, and even happier that they have gotten jobs on their very first try. The MTV cameras must have been a boost to their non-existent resumes. (I'm just saying.) As for Farrah, it looks like she may finally graduate from culinary arts school. So now she's won a no-visitation order against her daughter's grandmother in court, she has new boobs, and hopefully a new and positive outlook on what's to come in her all too complicated life. Sometimes I have to remind myself that even when these moms display lack of judgment and make poor choices that I personally do not agree with, the focus needs to shift from them and on to these babies who didn't ask to be born and have no control over their lives as they play out on TV for all of us to see.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Back to Basics

The "Wives" are back in Miami and all is well. Evelyn is celebrating her daughter's high school graduation with her fiance, Chad Ochocinco, and her closest family members. This is a proud and emotional time, it's always nice to see the softer side of a woman who comes across so stone-faced and cold. Royce meets with Eric to discuss his movie. (Pause.) She seems to see this as a legitimate opportunity to further her acting career and isn't the least bit concerned about Jennifer's feelings. You know it doesn't take long for Suzie and Royce to get together. They go pet store browsing and the two stand at the same rack of dog leashes for what feels like an hour so Suzie can get the scoop. The fur hadn't even settled on Suzie's puppy's back and it's yet another random outing. Suzie is now shopping for hair products with Jennifer to fill her in on the Royce and Eric encounter even thought Royce made it clear that she was willing to inform Jennifer of her dealings herself. Suzie is the leakiest faucet I ever came across and I'm just glad I don't know her in real life. Her whole life (as shown on this show) revolves around carrying gossip back and forth, the he-said/she-said really makes her come alive. Without the rumours and the scandal, Suzie would be a worthless waste. After a brief chat with Tami, Jennifer agrees to meet with Royce, but at the last minute decides it's a "lost cause" and chooses to stand her up. Royce shrugs it off and deems the act immature. Meanwhile, Jennifer dates a beefy hunk and seems to be enjoying her new venture while Ochocinco treats Evelyn to a romantic dinner on the beach.  Scenes for next week are disturbing to say the least as Eric violently throws a drink directly into Jennifer's face. No matter how poorly I may think these ladies conduct themselves, I can say for sure she couldn't have done anything to deserve that. See you then...

Monday, August 1, 2011

New Jersey, Same Drama

It's still winter in New Jersey, and the spirit of Christmas is in the air. The trees are lit and the presents are wrapped, the real housewives are living the "good life" in New Jersey. Even though the families have some stress and tension between them, they tried their best to make each individual Christmas morning special, and I think they succeeded. The children were happy and the wives were spoiled with gifts, some more than others. Melissa received Louis Vuitton and Rolex branded surprises, while Teresa and her husband exchanged meeker offerings: a simple cross pendant and a coat and gloves. Obviously, it's the middle of summer so it was strangely satisfying watching the families celebrate in snow covered homes. Next week, we watch them try to live up to their new year's resolutions. Caroline's throwing a big bash and everyone's invited. And that means everyone. Melissa resolves to keep the peace between herself, Kathy and Teresa, while Teresa maintains she wants nothing to do with her cousin. So it looks like 2011 is going to begin the way 2010 ended. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Raise The Roof

There's something sadly ironic about the promise of "social security" considering the instability and uncooperative nature of the people who are supposed to make sure it's secure. The dealings in Washington are nothing new; irresponsible and childish, each side points fingers and throws congressional-sized tantrums while this country's credit and credibility are in danger. Common sense and reality never seem to play a role in our lawmaker's decision making processes. Save more, spend less. This is what us regular folk have to do when the money is running low. When there's a real financial emergency, we alter our spending habits. We buy store brand instead of name brand. We call the cable company and get rid of that big movie package, we limit our cell phone usage and turn off the lights when we're not using them. We may even have to move to a less expensive home and drive a simpler car. You would think our leaders would be the ones we look to for guidance in these hard economic times, but perhaps when it comes to financial responsibility, our government needs to take a page from our books. Perhaps the millions upon millions of dollars raised for presidential campaigns and attack ads can be donated towards the debt, whoever raises and donates the most gets to be president. Sound silly? Living off of money that doesn't exist and allowing our debt to rise to an amount that threatens our children's future sounds even more frivolous. At this point, Republican or Democrat matters not and blaming one side or another isn't going to get the job done. There should be a consequence for holding out and prolonging progress. It's no wonder so many young people don't get politically involved or refuse to vote. They have no one to look up to, a respectable group whose lead they can follow. We need our government to agree on something other than disagreeing. We need to feel secure in knowing that while there are so many threats and potential hazards regarding this country's foundation, money will not be the one thing that ultimately brings us down.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Accepting Amy

Tragedy strikes the world of riches and fame and it always seems more lurid and eye-opening than any local news blurb or personal loss. The media in this country is powerful like that and it giveth and taketh away. The most infamous character is "in" one day and "out" the next and sometimes with no explanation. And we the people follow the pendulum. Every swing and sway of the camera, we're there, never stopping to blink in the flashing lights. We watch the birdie, we idol the idols, and we go cold when they're no longer hot. Most of us remember Amy Winehouse for her song "Rehab" and the catchy "No, no, no" in the chorus. We remember her black matted hair piled into a 60's style bouffant. But I would hope that her number one attribute, the trait that first comes to mind when we hear her name or her music is that voice. That scratchy, bluesy, jazzy, gritty, grimy voice. No matter your preference of music, it's a voice that should never have been denied. And it wasn't. She won grammies. She toured the world, she collaborated with your favourite artist and she captivated the American audience. A one woman British invasion, she was different and we liked her style. But then the dark side of Amy Winehouse reared it's drug addicted head. She was battered and abused, she was in an ugly relationship, she was photographed looking crazy and acting even crazier. She was Britney Spears' meltdown and Lindsay Lohan's arrest sheet, mixed with Charlie Sheen and Dennis Rodman. It was time for us to either ride the train wreck or act like we didn't see it coming. Hearing that the life of this talented 27 year old was lost this morning, most likely due to her habits and addictions, saddened me. I did not know her, I was a fan. I recognized her abilities. I, like many others, wanted her to get well. And then I watched the footage from her last concert in Serbia. She appeared dizzy and befuddled. Her eyes were the windows to a souless life (or perhaps a lifeless soul?) She tripped over herself and her words. She couldn't keep still or focus and all along her band robotically played. Her background singers sang and danced. The audience cheered. Everyone was doing exactly what you would expect them to do at the right place at the right time. Except for Amy Winehouse. And no one did anything. No one stopped the show. The guitarist kept on strumming and the video kept on running. Almost exactly one month ago today, we got a preview to the end. And now, just as with every other fallen artist, the music will live on in her place. Her songs will have to stand strong where she was unable to. (R.I.P.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Rookies Make a Sound

Congrats are in order. Rookies Jonna and Jasmine beat veterans Sarah and Katelynn in tonight's Jungle elimination. And I say good for them. Apparently, they were thrown into the jungle simply because they voted against the grain last week by choosing someone other than the BMOC's first choice. They stood by their vote and they went for what they believed in (or they voted for who they thought was the sexiest). Either way -- they not only showed the vets that they had a voice of their own and weren't afraid to use it, but that they could go into a brutal challenge and win. The majority of the vets disgust me. They only root for "their" side, they show no support to the teams they don't like and their faces are so sour and ugly when the opposing team does well. I've always hated the voting and the unwritten rule that everyone must vote the same OR ELSE. The veterans seem to forget season after season, that after the rookies are gone and the unpopular ones leave, they soon will have to turn on themselves. But as the years go by and these older players age and get rusty, the fresh new flesh may just get a chance to turn the tables by winning sooner and staying longer.

Hate and Basketball

The girls are in Italy on a "get away" of some sorts, I'm just not sure what it is they are trying to get away from since they packed all the drama and excess baggage and brought it with them. Royce is the only one excluded, which is, according to her, no skin off of her back. The rest of the ladies (term used loosely) are going to have to try to make it through this trip with their friendships and integrity still in tow. Meeka desperately tries to get Jennifer to affirm that their relationship is valid, but Jennifer refuses, stating repeatedly that she doesn't really know Meeka to make an opinion either way. Tami has already made her feelings known on that subject: she does not and will not ever like Meeka, nor will they ever break bread or be friends. And speaking of friendships, we are waiting in suspense for Evelyn to confront none other than Jennifer on something so shady and unexpected coming from one of these besties. Jennifer does a radio interview out of state and rags on Chad Ochocinco, Evelyn's fiance. She calls him a media whore and dishes on Evelyn's relationship choices. Ouch. Evelyn's handling of the betrayal is suspicious as she tells everyone but Jennifer about the interview and then once she hears it for herself, invites Tami and Shaunie to be there when she asks Jen about it. Evelyn's pent up anger is apparent as she plays the audio to a silent and long faced Jennifer. Jennifer tries to stick up for herself, telling Evelyn that this is how she feels and it shouldn't be news to Evelyn as she has told her these things to her face. Sorry Jennifer, but you're definitely in the wrong on this one. Jennifer looks like she is about to crumble to the earth as she bows her head in shame while Evelyn rips into her. She tells her their relationship will never be the same. While I can understand someone wanting the best for their "friend", and being concerned about a poor mate choice, I cannot see a reason to air out dirty laundry and give negative publicity to that situation. Not only has Jennifer been adverse to Evelyn's relationship, she's never even asked to see her engagement ring, which leads me to believe concerned might be the wrong word to use here. Jealousy might be a better way to describe Jennifer when it comes to Evelyn's engagement.

Troubled Teen Moms

This week Amber and Gary are playing cat and mouse with not only the local police department, but Child Protective Services as well. We all remember last season and the inflamed and out of control fights this young couple used to get into. Amber was highly volatile and would explode at Gary in a moment's notice. Gary would be quiet and sheepish and walk away after being verbally and sometimes even physically abused by the woman he loved and made a child with. Now those very actions are coming back to haunt Amber, and she can blame Gary all she wants but her behaviours prompted many viewers to be shocked and outraged. "If a man had punched and kicked a woman like that on television, he would be under the jail." So it looks as if Amber must lay in her bed of self-destruction and although Gary has done nothing but try to keep his family together, I believe a piece of him is satisfied that Amber may have to face some form of punishment for the hurt she has caused. Ryan and Maci made the mature decision to have Kyle and Ryan shake hands in a civil meeting. In the end, it is best for Bentley that these two be cordial and respectful of one another. I disagreed with Maci telling Kyle that he was more of a father than Ryan ever was. She has to give credit where credit is due. I take Ryan's age into account for his lack of support and demeaning attitude towards his ex, but as of late, I think he was shown some quality parenting and a great interest in his son. Farrah has to deal with her daughter's paternal family as she gets to know Sophia's grandfather and step-grandmother. At the same time, she is getting ready to fight her daughter's biological grandmother for grandparents' visitation. It must be difficult to hand your child over to people who appeared to show such lack of care and concern, but there may not be a choice, once DNA proves the child does belong to their deceased son, Derek, and the courts step in and hand over their orders. While I don't blame Farrah for wanting to keep her child to herself and her family, as long as Derek's mother has good intentions, she should open herself and Sophia up to meeting as many family members as possible. The more love you can provide to your child, the better. Catelynn and Tyler deal with Tyler's father, Butch, being released from prison and it still bewilders me that the adults in their storyline continues to smoke in front of that poor little boy. Next week we shall see what the rocky future holds for Gary and Amber and the rest of the Teen Moms.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Christmas in New Jersey

Can I just start off by saying that the commercials for Real Housewives of New Jersey sometimes end up being more captivating than the show itself. And can I also ask a question? What exactly does Teresa's brother, Joe, do for a living? That house is like 7 episodes of MTV Cribs. Well, it's Christmas in July for all of us watching RHONJ and Joe and Melissa are having a huge holiday party. Their mansion is absolutely beautiful. The decorations are on point. The food is delectable and the guest list is perfect for an evening filled with tension and theatrics. Teresa's cousin Kathy knows that she and Teresa are not on good terms yet she makes it her number one priority to fight her way through a crowd to say "hello" to her. Though she may say her intentions were pure, she must have known that there's a time and a place for everything and this confrontation fit in neither category. Teresa blatantly brushes her off and Kathy runs off to cry and whine to anyone who will listen. Then you have Kim, who shows up with the lawyer who is suing Teresa and her husband. Why, Kim? Oh yeah, because you hate Teresa and you love the drama even more. That's why. Luckily, Joe and Melissa, as hosts to this event, did the right thing and politely requested that Kim and the lawyer leave, and they pretty much refuse! This is just Part 1 of this merry meeting, never fear -- the chaos will continue, and per usual, the scenes for next week are even better than tonight's full episode.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Marc and JLo Sure Do Put on a Good Show

So it's over for March Anthony and Jennifer Lopez. After seven years of marriage and 3 year old twins, the two are calling it quits. While there are much bigger things going on in this country and the world, I decided to comment because I just watched an entire season of these two frauds kissing and salsa dancing all over the American Idol stage. I just had to sit through them sharing flirtatious glances, and mutually bragging about each other in interviews and filler segments. Some say Jennifer made Marc relevant again. Some say he's the only talent between the two of them. All I know is they have a pair of twins that didn't ask to be born. It's sad how quickly these celebrities marry and divorce, cheat and go to rehab, etc., and as their lives play out for us in the media spotlight, their children are often forgotten. This is JLo's third go around and after seven years and two children, unless he was beating her or performing some extreme act of injustice within their marriage, one has to wonder... why? Why split up your babies' only home and life that they ever knew? Why break up only to have to find love again and possibly fail at it just as horribly or even worse? Does anyone even try anymore? While I know that I have no clue as to what was going on behind the Anthony's closed doors of their home, I just wish I knew what was so horrible that they have to throw it all away after appearing to be so much in love as recently as the American Idol finale. We've been duped and bamboozled once again by the false relationships and often media generated love fests that appear to be nothing more than two rich people coming together for the sake of status and style. Leave all substance and sanity at the door.  And don't get me wrong, I know this is none of my business, and I wish them the best as they move forward, but aside from the sensationalism of a celebrity divorce, at the end of it all, there are real children involved, who are rich, but don't know it... who are famous but couldn't care less. Children who I bet would probably trade in their trust funds for a stable home with unselfish parents.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Unfinished Business: Mob Wives Reuinion

It's the end of another season of yet another exciting and emotional reality series, Mob Wives. The last episode left us with Drita on top of Renee on top of Karen. Carla was in her usual role, off to the side; dull and unmemorable. It was expected that host Wendy Williams would ask about the fight, and even more expected that we would hear the name Lee come up repeatedly. Karen and Drita still refuse to agree on what their friendship is or was when Drita married Lee. I don't think either one of them could come up with a general definition of the word friendship itself. Renee answered questions about her cosmetic surgery obsession. She often tweets about seeing her plastic surgeon and brags about getting work done. If I was anywhere near Renee's plastic surgeon, I would tell him to drop the knife, I would then tell her to get some help. Wendy asked a pretty obvious question of the ladies: how can you all afford to live and maintain this "lifestyle"? Karen was most honest and answered by saying she has gotten a book advance and money from doing the show. Renee basically told America to mind its business and not to worry about her money. Carla updates us on her relationship with her now-free husband, Joe. They are not together and will only remain friends. She has, however, broken up with her boyfriend from the show -- "The Groper". She didn't make herself out to be any more intelligent or respectable by defending his actions yet again and brushing it off that he may or may not have touched her friends inappropriately. And how hilarious was it that she was willing to accept that he might have "handled" everyone on the cast EXCEPT for Renee. Oh no, he would never touch her! Last but not least, we learn that Drita is going to end her marriage to the unfaithful and ever-incarcerated, Lee. And I'm sure we will see that and even more drama play out in the anticipated Season 2!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Judgment Day

I'm not sure if I'm ready to write about this yet, not sure if I have even digested the news. Casey Anthony is not guilty on all counts concerning the death of her daughter. The girl who left her parents' house on June 16th, never to be seen again until July 15th... without her daughter. The daughter who was mysteriously found 6 months later in a swamp basically, completely decomposed, reduced to a bag of bones and a dirty pair of shorts. They say you can't deliberate based on emotion, but when the jury got this case yesterday at noon, I could have sworn they had much than emotion to work with. It's a circumstantial case, yes, but the average Joe would never do the things Casey Anthony did during those months when no one knew where her daughter was. I suppose one could conclude that the jury sent a message today. 'Give me more.' 'We need more.' 'So what if she's a liar? A liar does not a murderer make.' Of course we don't know for sure what that jury was thinking, as they blew off the media and boarded their bus to take the four hour trip back to their homes. By next week, I'm sure they'll all have their agents and PR personnel. They'll be ready to write their books and give their interviews by then. And by then, I won't be interested in what they have to say. Since they weren't capable of handing down the correct verdict, God will do their jobs instead. I gather that's the way it should be anyway. People get away with murder. It happens. That's where the saying come from, I suppose. He's so spoiled, his mother lets him "get away with murder". She's a teacher's pet, she "gets away with murder". So Casey Anthony becomes this decade's OJ Simpson. You can play the race card, you can blame the media, you can say there was no proof. But I know where my kids are and I know they're safe and if God forbid they ever get hurt or disappear, I'll be reaching for the nearest phone to call 911, not for the nearest garbage bags and duct tape.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Real Life Reality TV: State of FL vs Casey Anthony

It's hard to believe that after almost 3 years down to the day that Caylee Anthony went missing, we are finally at the end of the murder case against her mother, Casey. The defense presented their closing arguments today and although they did a decent job at reminding the jury why they feel their client is not guilty, nothing can make me or most of the people I know who have knowledge of this case, forget those 31 days. Those 31 days where we learned that Casey was partying, dancing, getting a tattoo, committing check fraud, stealing from her family and friends to get by. Those 31 days where her daughter was nowhere to he found, but Casey's behaviour and party girl style never wavered.  She was at every party, drink in hand, smiling like she was living a beautiful life. And that's exactly why she got that tattoo on her back: "Bella Vita". Casey seemed to be indeed living a beautiful life without her child. And whenever her friends would ask where Caylee was, she always had an answer. Those infamous 31 days that would have turned into 41 or 51 days, had her mother not gotten involved by calling the police. So when the police asked her the very same thing -- where is Caylee? -- it's no wonder that Casey had an answer for them as well. And now that she is being charged with her murder, Casey says her daughter drowned in the family pool on June 16th, 2008, yet she sat back and watched as the entire nation searched for Caylee, after leading her parents to believe the child was not dead but kidnapped by her long time nanny, Zanny. For 6 months the world became obsessed and some people downright fell in love with Caylee Anthony. Her bones were found in a dump site, literally a minute away from the home she barely got a chance to grow up in. Her mother is facing the death penalty, and though I don't think she'll get it, I believe this jury will find her guilty of first degree murder. There is no bloody weapon here, no smoking gun or eye witness account, Casey wasn't caught red handed and there will be no confession. But the one thing these jurors do have is their common sense. They will ask themselves, if their child died, would they be caught on camera that same night skipping through Blockbuster, renting videos with their latest beau. They will ask themselves if their child drowned in a swimming pool, would they stuff him or her in garbage bags and drive around with the body in their trunk until the smell of decomposition got so bad they ultimately dumped the body in the woods.They will ask themselves those questions and although they won't know exactly what happened to Caylee three years ago, they'll know and understand that she's dead and based on her bizarre actions and nonchalant character, only her mother could have had something to do with it. Guilty, guilty, guilty.

Friday, July 1, 2011

It's All About Family, Or Is It?

*this is pheleshia's newest addition to her Real Housewives of New Jersey re-cap. Make sure to watch every week and discuss it here!*

Thanksgiving.....a time for sharing traditions, stories and lots of food with family and friends.  As we experience this timeless tradition on RHONJ we see how lack of communication can continue to affect families.  Jokes aside, referring to the bull riding and the silly features of Kathy's husband (OK maybe that was a low blow but he looks funny to me), the show kind of left me feeling empty. There wasn't much substance tonight! I'm beginning to think that this family feud is being drawn out for all the wrong reasons, as with any reality show. How long does it take Joe to really reach out to his sister? How long are they going to keep talking about talking to each other then turn around and talk to others about each other? I can't imagine that no one inside the family has figured that out and tried to resolve the situation.  At this point I do have to give credit to Melissa though. She seems to be encouraging her husband to take a positive stand on reconnecting with his sister. She seems to be able to relate to the fact that family is important; especially siblings.  I think that Teresa's brother may hold onto the grudge.  I only hope that the encouragement that his wife is giving him works.  I would personally like to see them work it out, as I have said before.  However, if the childish antics continue then I would have to say that we may never see the beginning stages of reconciliation.  Keeping it real, let's revisit the fact that the family continues to go at each other "tit for tat" when they feel as though they have been wronged by the other.  What ever happened to speaking your mind, at the right place and time, instead of being passive aggressive?  There are more than enough children in this family that are in need of role models! It's too bad that there aren't any available for the children to look up too. I can't seem to think of anyone in the "Teresa" family that has been able to live up to the role model standard since the show has begun.  It's sad. As we begin to move on in the season I can only hope that we see a brighter future for this family.  However, if the drama doesn't continue I'm not sure what will be the future of the show in general.   

Parties, Punches and Politics as Usual

Week 2 of 'Challenge: Rivals' is here and the cast is ready to play hard and win some money. The girls are safe this week, so the pressure is on the boys to do well or get sent into "the jungle". There's nothing but game play on these guys' minds, as they basically all want to scheme on how to get rid of CT, the obvious threat to the entire group. I must say, being that I am so against these sort of football jock, captain hero, look-at-my-body types; it was nice to see Kenny lose the challenge and have to go into the elimination round. He came out clean as a whistle though, so I have to hand it to him for fighting hard and winning his way back into the game by beating Tyree and Davis in a tough, physical match. The girls decided they wanted to get rowdy in this episode, but not until they had their fill of the infamous MTV open bar. The altercation was pointless and immature. Someone called someone the wrong name and it was a screaming match after that. Young Princess Jasmine even decided to punch a mirror to prove that girls from Houston don't play that. Sigh. Next week CT uses his body and his brain to intimidate his competition. If he can do it without being drunk and belligerent, my respect level for him will only continue to rise. See you then...

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Woman Scorned

My heart goes out to Drita. Usually when someone is consumed by anger, there is a layer of heartache underneath. This is apparent in Drita's actions when she physically attacks Karen at a dinner meeting attended by all the cast members. But we have to rewind a bit to get to the source of this altercation. Drita walked into a hair salon with her daughter just days before and her life was forever changed. A woman working at the salon recognized her daughter, Aleeyah, and called her out by name, thus beginning Drita's investigation into this stranger who turned out to be her husband Lee's mistress for a short period of time. For the first time, this tough girl, this boxer and fighter, famous for the quote, "I'll send you to the hospital" became fragile and alone in her plight. My heart broke for Drita as she cried for the viewers. All she has is her family and her pride and both may be taken from her. So knowing that her mental state is absolutely unstable, Drita calls for a pow wow with her "girls". She wants to confront Karen once again about her intonations that Drita dated Lee just months after Karen and Lee broke up. She also wants to make it known that she and Karen were not the close friends that maybe Karen feels they were. Renee is all too excited for this gathering; there's going to be drama and she feels it. She can barely contain herself and cackles at the thought of the impending chaotic night. Once there, Drita immediately announces that she wanted to speak to Karen and invited Carla and Renee to witness it. Then the Lee argument starts up again. Karen refuses to waiver from her original accusations, saying that she and Drita were indeed good friends and she was very hurt that Drita didn't come to her when she began to date and ultimately marry her ex. The back and forth was nothing we haven't heard before, and Renee and Carla watched the exchange like a Wimbledon match. Things got extremely heated when Karen jumped up to make a point. That's when, according to her, Drita blacked out and grabbed the first thing she could find to begin her assault. But let's back up a bit, during the verbal fight, Drita's eyes were actually welling up with tears. Only Carla could have truly known where that pain was coming from, and she should have taken Drita out of that situation, knowing that she was carrying such a heavy load. Every time Drita said the name Lee, I swear her eyes got a little more teary. So, even though she was fighting to defend her actions back then against Karen, deep down, I'm sure she was fighting for so much more. Carla, as her friend and confident, should have intervened and comforted her friend. Drita was merely masking her devastation with anger and aggressive conversation. We'll have to wait until next week to see the outcome of the fight. We ended with Karen on the floor, Drita on top of her and Renee in the position she cherishes the most -- the middle.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Mother's Love Displayed

*For those of you following the Casey Anthony trial, I'll be checking in periodically until a verdict is reached!*

"A mother's love is forever
A mother's love is for free
It doesn't matter if you're good or bad
She's there for whatever you need"

The above are lyrics from Diana Ross song, A Mother's Love. These words couldn't have been more true today if Diana Ross showed up in that Orlando court room and sung them herself. When defense attorney Jose Baez called Cindy Anthony to the stand today, I tweeted a brief prayer in the hopes that God would give Cindy the strength to do and say the right thing. Reports had just surfaced this morning that the Anthony's attorney made a statement saying that they did not believe Casey was innocent, but would do whatever they could to keep her off death row. Now that's not a direct quote, but I think we all get the idea. So Cindy takes the stand and what does she do? She tells Jose Baez that SHE made those searches for chloroform on the family computer. She also claims she searched for "ruptured spleen", among other questionable inquiries such as; alcohol and peroxide. She's clearly taking the fall for her daughter by owning up to these devastating Google searches, even though her work records show that she was on the job at the time the searches were performed! I found myself ready to shout at my computer screen. How could she? But many have calmed me down by now and explained that a mother's love is boundless, it is unconditional.... never ending and abundant. I know my mother loves me, but I have to wonder if she would be "Luger by the thigh, right hand high" for me at my murder trial. Let's just say, I'm pretty sure we will never find out. But Cindy's actions today show the lengths she is willing to go to protect her daughter, even though she knows (and I'm sure she does) that that same daughter is responsible for taking away an innocent soul, and the one she possibly loved the most, the real victim in all of this, Caylee Marie.