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It’s nice to see that Andrea the Giant has found love…or a new publicist, take your pick. Kidding. Their song is cute, Bow Wow standing on us tippy-toes to get in a shot w/ Sasquasha is sweet in a TGIF in its prime sort of way, and it’s hilarious as all hell to see the mini-me version of Beyonce and Jay Z. But (of course one was coming), why are they on the cover of Vibe? Is news this year that slow? Teenybopper love belongs on J-14, not Vibe. Ciara probably earned her cover story with the success of her album, Goodies, but the feature seems to be more about them becoming the 05 version of Bonnie & Clyde (Scooby and Shaggy) than how Ciara p-popped her way through a video for a song about abstinence and go on to rack up platinum plaques. Tsk, tsk.

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The fam is alright. I do have relatives that live in Port Author, so I’ll have to check on them later in the week. My head is definitely still spinning. I am wondering if I said too much in the last entry, but it’s out there, whatever.

This week will be better. Not sure how, but it has to be.

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“Say what’s on your mind
And you’ll find in time
That all the negative energy
It would all cease”

Do you promise?

Thanks to all who asked about my family. They are still in Houston. My mother is a nurse so she couldn’t leave. My family didn’t want to leave her, so the house is full. My relatives that live near the Ship Channel were evacuated days earlier. They’re fine…I believe. I say believe because with my cell phone network strained, I can barely contact my immediate relatives, much less the extended ones.

For the last three days I’ve been glued to CNN, which I don’t think is particularly healthy. Their coverage has definitely contributed to my lack of sleep…and studying. For about a day I didn’t hear from anyone. At one point my sister was fleeing to Austin, but then changed plans once word came that the storm could possibly rear its ugly head there, too.

I talked to her yesterday briefly and she said everyone was afraid. Typical. I’m scared for them.

The storm has shifted east somewhat, though with a storm that huge, it will still affect my city. I feel awful for the people of Louisiana, especially New Orleans. Another option besides Austin was going to find those Narcisse’s (mom’s side) and seek shelter with them. So much for that.

Before there was even talk of Rita, my head had already been spinning. The last two weeks have been bad. Really bad.

Today, like a week before, I was listening to “Stressed Out” by A Tribe Called Quest featuring Faith Evans and got teary eyed. I don’t like to cry, because I don’t care to show weakness. Typical male response, right?

Despite it being convocation, I had an exam and a quiz today. I failed both miserably. I didn’t even bother to show up for the first class. I had to send the professor an email explaining that my head just isn’t in it and that I’ve been worried about my family more than anything else. I did show up to the class giving an exam. Late of course. Typical.

I literally blanked out. All I could do was write about what I’ve been feeling: Fear, confusion, more fear, more confusion. I’m sure the professor thinks I’m psychotic.

For some reason on Wednesday, I thought about my mother dying. We’ve never been close, but distance can bring two people together. For so long I blamed her for keeping me around my father, which has pretty much fucked my head up forever. For the longest I’ve pushed people away. I would never allow them to get close. Never give them the opportunity to hurt me because I’ve been hurt enough. Being told by your father that he will kill you if you dial 9-1-1 will do that to you.

I know it was wrong to blame her for that, but at the time I had to vent my frustration somewhere. Same for pushing folks away. I may have made lots of friends, but that doesn’t mean any of them really knew me. Now that I’m opening up to people about my experiences, I wonder how many of them will stay.

My mother worries about me. Worries that I’ve fallen out of God’s good graces because I finally told her that organized religion just isn’t my thing. Wonders why I’m the complete opposite of everything she’s use to. Concerns herself over my health, because as she puts it, “You don’t eat enough anymore.”

She may be on to something there…at least lately anyway. I haven’t eaten anything all day. Just haven’t been thinking about food.

Last year there was a breast cancer scare with her, and I teared up then. Hated tearing up, but hated the idea of my mother dying of cancer more.

She’s become one of my biggest supporters, though she still doesn’t understand my way of thinking. She doesn’t have to understand, she’s just supportive. That’s all I need.

She wants to see my walk across that stage in May, which is why I’m currently taking 8 classes to do just that. But, I also write for the paper and serve as the President of the student chapter of NABJ. What was I thinking?

I hate school. More and more each day. Regurgitating material you read in a textbook in class isn’t an indicator of intelligence to me. I think it’s my major, though. Broadcast journalism for a person who really wants to just write about what exactly he’s feeling: Sounds like a recipe for misery.

I want out of college just as much as my mom wants to see me walk across the stage. I thought maybe I could finish in the summer, but mom would have to wait a year to see me walk. By then I wouldn’t bother to go back.

In all honesty, I’m just now getting over the shit I had to deal with growing up as a child. This summer I was finally happy. Now I’m already [this] close to going back to sophomore year — where getting out of bed was a struggle.

I’m frustrated. I’m sad. I’m miserable. I’m worried. I’m losing what little bit of sanity I have left. It shouldn’t be this way.

C’mon baby we gon make it (yeahhhh)
We gon make it (yeahhahhahhhh)
Don’t worry we gon make it (we’re gonna make it)
We’ve gotta make it (we’ve gotta make it)

I’d like to believe so.

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For those of you that don’t know, I’m a Houston native. One guess on how I’m feeling right now. I feel even worse for the people of New Orleans, who flocked to Houston to get away from hurricanes. They’re planning to move Katrina victims to shelters in Arkansas. In less than an hour, volunteer evacuations out of Galveston will begin.

November can’t come soon enough.

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Dear Pat:

I apologize for ripping you over comments it turns out you did not make. It was wrong of me just to assume you made those idiotic comments about Ellen simply because you have built your career on making idiotic comments. Foolish of me to even believe you would say such dastardly things about factions of the community that worship, think, or love differently than you, though you do so each and every week to the braindead sheep you call viewers. I’m sorry, Pat. I really am for expecting the worst of you. Please don’t call God on me. I know you have his number on speed dial (though I’m sure you appear on his phone as “Don’t Answer”). Just consider my previous blog entry my way of paying homage to you: Talking out of my ass.

I’ll be sure to save you a seat next to me in the VIP room in hell.

Be cool,

I don’t know about you, but I feel much better for admitting my mistakes. For another take on Pat “Cross Me And With One Prayer You Will Be A Goner” Robertson, check out Bo’s blog. An employed writer from Houston: My fucking hero.

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New York-The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) will honor three extraordinary individuals for their outstanding commitment to democracy and voting rights at its annual 2005 National Equal Justice Award Dinner (NEJAD). Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.), Johnson Publishing Company President Linda Johnson Rice, and entertainer and producer Sean “Diddy” Combs, will be honored at the organization’s most important annual event on November 3, at the Hilton New York & Towers.

A special award will be presented to Sean “Diddy” Combs for his innovative efforts to register voters and engage America’s youth in the democratic process.

I wasn’t a fan of the “Vote or Die” movement and I’m still not. Below is a piece I wrote on “Vote or Die” last fall.

As the impending presidential election draws closer, an effort to bolster the voting power of the hip-hop community has intensified. Many influential figures of the hip-hop community, including Russell Simmons and Sean “P.Diddy” Combs, have used their clout to orchestrate large voter registration drives through organizations like the Hip Hop Action Network and Citizen Change, respectively.

Additionally, artists such as Mary J. Blige, Monica, Chingy and Ashanti, among others, have joined forces to record tracks such as “Wake Up Everybody,” with the same goal as Simmons and Combs – to increase voter turnout among young Black Americans.

While they should all be commended for giving their time and effort to such a worthy cause, I have a few qualms with this “movement.”

For one, there is an emphasis on voter registration rather than voter education. While I agree with the notion that voting is empowering, I feel as if it is even more empowering if you actually understand what’s going on in the political world before you enter the voting booth. A voter registration card is the first step.

The second, and arguably the more important step, is to educate you on the candidates and the issues. Perhaps, in the same way we learned to walk, we can simply crawl and make baby steps until we learn to stand on our own two feet. However, as pertinent as this year’s election is, do we really have that kind of time? Already, it appears that their efforts are likely to face the same dilemma plaguing much of hip-hop today: elevating image over substance.

Voting is being made out to be the latest trend in hip-hop, and like most trends, they die. The now infamous “Vote or Die” campaign by Combs and Citizen Change employs the same flashy marketing tactics Combs uses to promote his Bad Boy artists. Likewise, Simmons’ Hip Hop Action Network stages concerts and summits with a bevy of hip-hop’s top stars to bring awareness to the cause. While their methods do garner attention, what is going to keep us interested in politics after the election? What is being said about the specific issues that affect our community by the artists promoting voting? So far, nothing at all.

This brings me to another problem I have: Many of these artists, including P.Diddy, Mary J. Blige, Monica, and Andre 3000 have all admittedly voted only once or never at all. Maybe it’s the cynic in me, but I find it difficult to relate to the people stressing the importance of voting who have not practiced what they preach. While everyone’s heart may be in the right place, I feel the current methodology may ultimately do more harm than good. During the late 1980s, hip-hop, specifically acts like Public Enemy, instilled a sense of black pride in the listener. Unfortunately, what was then viewed as a movement is now looked upon as a fad. I would hate for history to repeat itself.

I still appreciate the effort to motivate young people to vote, but I still believe more emphasis should have been placed in voter education. When the Christian Coalition released their voter guides, they knew exactly how to speak to their audience to get them to the polls. With another three years left of Dumbya and co., they’ll get closer and closer to their long awaited theocracy. A year later and where are we?

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There’s a lot you can say about Pat Robertson. Idiot. Moron. Jackass. Psycho. Lunatic. Fraud. Satan. And that’s being polite. It’s amazing how a man obviously missing a couple of books from the New Testament is allowed to pollute the airwaves.

When he’s not taking credit for the death of a Supreme Court Justice, he’s praying for the assassination of an elected official in Venezuela. But, just to show the world that the old man has still got it, Pat has decided to share with us yet another conversation he’s had with God.

Brace yourself, kids. Pat has found out who’s the culprit behind Hurricane Katrina. Pssh. No it’s the not the God Pat claims to speak for. It’s daytime talk show host and….*grits teeth*….LESBIAN (dun dun dun)…Ellen DeGeneres.

“By choosing an avowed lesbian for this national event, these Hollywood elites have clearly invited God’s wrath,” Robertson said on “The 700 Club” on Sunday. “Is it any surprise that the Almighty chose to strike at Miss Degeneres’ hometown?”

He then hinted that Ellen may also be behind 9/11, since she hosted the Emmy awards around the same time. Why oh why is this man not locked inside of a room with padded walls?

Wait, there is more.

“God already allows one awards show to promote the homosexual agenda,” Robertson declared. “But clearly he will not tolerate such sinful behavior to spread beyond the Tonys.”

You cannot make this stuff up.

America is waiting for her to apologize for the death and destruction that her sexual deviance has brought onto this great nation.”

And I’m waiting for this con artist to get deported.

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On Tuesday, Minister Louis Farrakhan spoke on the campus of Howard University. For me it was a bit surreal. Not because of Farrakhan’s stature, but because only a few months ago did Republican National Committee Chairman and spinster Ken Mehlman speak on our campus hoping to lure the young and opportunistic into the fold. What a difference a few months make.

Farrakhan’s appearance was promoted as the minister paying homage to publishing pioneer and namesake of our school of communications, John H. Johnson. Farrakhan admitted that he did not know Johnson personally, however. Well you know, get in where you fit in. I can’t be mad at that.

I’m not particularly fond of Farrakhan, but I will admit that his speech was pretty enjoyable. The man is a talented orator. Full of charm, panache, and has that cut-the-bullshit-let’s-get-to-the-real delivery that I can’t help but admire.

Farrakhan touched on a number of issues. The effects of globalization on our economy. America being an empire on decline. The need for blacks to become more proficient in mathematics and science instead of focusing on athletics and entertainment.

Like the story of Malcolm being encouraged to become a carpenter versus a lawyer, Farrakhan shared his tale of being told by his 6th grade teacher that it would be in his best interest to become a violinist rather than a doctor. Farrakhan told us that whites seek to keep blacks in disciplines that don’t challenge white supremacy.

He then proceeded into breaking down the gender make up of our school, which is currently 62% female. He posed the question I’m sure many educated black females have posed to themselves, “Who am I to marry?” Farrakhan suggested that there is a conspiracy to destroy black men, employing biblical text to drive the point home.

He used a lot of Christian doctrine to reel the audience in. So much that I began to wonder if he lost his Qu’ran and decided to pick up whatever book was left around. I haven’t heard so much Jesus since the last time I watched the Stellar awards.

While everyone hooted and hollered at Reverend Louie, I started to wonder what reaction a crowd inside of a mosque would give Jesse Jackson had he discussed the teachings of Elijah Muhammad.

Even I had to give him credit for taking a swipe at T.D. Jakes, who only days before dodged the Kanye West question on CNN, pretending that race had nothing to do w/ the relief efforts or lack thereof in New Orleans. Coward. Then again, when you’re in bed w/ the Bush administration, you can’t formulate an opinion that hasn’t been crafted by Karl Rove. Besides, I’m sure those checks he gets only help keep him closer to God.

I loved that Farrakhan touched on Americans being dumbed down and how it’s creating even more sheep in this country.

I even had to rise up and applaud his comment about most universities being modern day plantations as they don’t prepare their students to be critical thinkers and to question things; rather, they encourage and train you to get in where you fit in. Many students at Howard fit that bill to a tee.

All and all, it was a bit touch and go, but after the speech my dislike for him went down. I think part of it was a bit extra, but many speakers of his fame are extra. He is trying to uplift people of color, which is more than I can say for many of his fellow black leaders – particularly the show boating, Benz driving, hallelujah come lately pastors bamboozling parishioners by turning attention to petty political issues while turning a blind eye to the poor economic climate and its effect on our community. Yes, protest abortion, gay marriage, and other cultural issues of little relevance and ignore that your people are hungry, dying, and nihilistic. That’s the sure fire way to lead them onto the promised land. I almost want to sell a bean pie outside of a few churches in protest.

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