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Since late last week I’ve had an idea for a post entitled “Fuck Your Happy Face.” I decided to go against that title, but be certain that it wasn’t so much about being too on the nose as it was the realization that such a title wouldn’t be appreciated in certain circles — namely work related ones where my Twitter feed might show up. To that end, I’ve been stewing on how to best tackle a subject that’s annoyed me for quite some time. Now that it’s directly faced me in a number of directions simultaneously, there’s no time like the present to finally touch on it.

Last week was probably one of the hardest, most humiliating weeks of my life. I touched on certain problems in my post “Birthday Fears” and without going into specifics, let’s just say it’s related. In one respect, last week also presented opportunities that will rectify some of the previous problems mentioned. However, it didn’t come without a humiliating step back first.

Like I’ve tried all of my life to be happy and have been dealing with factors that’s worked against that goal. When you’ve been dealing with things beyond your control way too early, you burn out. For me that’s been an on and off issue as long as I can remember. Don’t get me wrong. I am down, but I will be fine. I always tend to be and am already actively working towards fixing what ails me. Yet, I won’t act like I don’t feel exhausted all the same.

Am I miserable? No. Do I feel as if I’m in a rough space?  Yes. Does that wear on me? Clearly. Will I overcome it? I will. Should I just put on a happy face and smile until it’s better? Not if I don’t feel like it.

Therein lies the problem.

Now more than ever do I hear people stress how important it is to remain positive, not to focus on “the negative” and a bunch of other cliche-ridden bullshit they got from Oprah, struggling cable network programs, and pseudo self-help musings found on entertainment blogs on social media.

I understand the power of positive thinking, but I also respect the idea of allowing a person to feel however they choose to. If I am down, let me deal with things my own way. It’s very frustrating for me to feel the way that I do and have people in my life give me some speech about how things can always be worse. Yes, things can always be worse, though one can be grateful and still realize something is fucked up in your life and it needs to be fixed.

And it’s flat out insulting to be told that if you just think of “the positive” everything will magically change. Your opinion is your own to have, but forcing a mantra onto someone – let alone one whose story you might not completely know or understand – is disrespectful.

I grew up often times helping fight off a drunk who I feared was going to murder my entire family. A horrific scenario that haunted me in my dreams  well into adulthood. Do not tell me that if you just imagine a better outcome it will magically appear in due time. In fact, fuck you, and save that fairy tale for a five-year-old with a much more pleasant home life. Motherfucker.

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As if things weren’t already going to shit, now Bravo wants to ruin my life by taking away my dance partner in my head, Camille Grammer. Fine, so she wasn’t the villain producers of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills made her out to be in the first season anymore. But, come on! Did my joy have to be snatched away from me?

Couldn’t you guys have gotten more creative with a storyline? Why couldn’t y’all just met her list of demands? If not for her, for me! Yes, it’s all about me, me, me, me, me. Forget about you, you, you, you, you. I don’t know what I’m gonna do, do, do, do, do…without you, Camille.

Granted, I’m going to keep watching the show for at least the first few episodes to test the waters. Still, it won’t be the same because my Camille won’t be on the show. A pity, that is.

As the plan in my head goes, one day Camille and I are going to meet at some party, exchange pleasantries, and after a few drinks get to dancing. After which, we’ll become friends and occasional jig partners. I would think we’ll inappropriately dance to songs like Rihanna’s “S&M” and Beyoncé’s “Green Light.” Eventually, I would introduce her to Pimp C. Not in gay pet fashion, but you know, I wanted to be the homie.

I mean, she’s so fantastic. She’s pretty, sarcastic, dresses nice and can toss that hair better than the next natural blond. Yeah, I kinda sound a bit of a homosexual Lassie on that last part but whatever. Let me remove the leash before someone tightens it.

In any event, thank you, Lady Grammer. Your smirk was amazing (as were those showboating shoulders of yours) and admire that you stuck to your trademark step, step, drop and hair toss choreography 20 years and two kids later. An inspiration you are. You will be missed.

I’m sincerely hurt by this. Of course, all of that sounds batshit crazy but that’s for my future therapist to say in medical terms and a special note for me to take to CVS. Your job is the reader is to offer me comfort in my second of need. And believe me, I need comfort considering who’s left on the cast.

But for the record, someone out there understands me:

See. Yes, I realize that the Camille of the first season is a far cry from the one featured in the second. So what? It still beats a Taylor Armstrong on every single episode plus bonus footage combined. Squared.

 

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Those familiar with these parts are well aware that I don’t take kindly to singers and rappers who stray too far away from the sound that made fans give a damn to begin with. Yeah, evolution is great, blah diddy pop blah blah. Sometimes it’s best for people to stick to what works for them, especially if they are supremely sucktastic when doing anything else. Some of the guilty parties can be found below. Now a few have seemingly learned their lessons, others not so much. Why won’t some folks just co-sign their truth already?

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Some seem surprised that Nurse Catfish Mouth (I love catfish, so maybe we can consider that a term of endearment) was the first rapper to record a song in honor of the Trayvon Martin tragedy. I’m not. For all his talk of catching the Becky, Plies has managed to get political every so often. In his own special way, of course.

I’m assuming his conscience is to blame. You know, with him being a nurse assistant posing as a goon and all. In any event, this song isn’t his first go ’round. Y’all don’t remember “A Hunnid Years?” Probably not because it was terrible.

So is this song, actually. But, I’m not mad at it. I appreciate the sentiment and quite frankly it’s better than a few things I’ve seen and heard.

1. Starting with her. Girl, put your bra on. Or take it off for someone who’s writing you a check. That way, you can stop pretending this is about Trayvon and not the highest bidder. God Bless you, though.

Some have used examples like these, or even in the case of Congressman Bobby Rush rocking a hoodie on the House floor to make the case that the “hoodie” trend is trivializing tragedy. This girl can fall through a well, but an overwhelming majority of people are well meaning and I refuse to be that cynical about the overall purpose of the symbolism. I go deeper into this on my latest for theGrio. Click here to check that out.

2. Negroes with an igga. Y’all burn me so sometimes. I wrote about this here for NewsOne.

3. And these Republicans, who want you to speak about a racist sentiment without denoting the racist elements apart of it. It’s white privilege, stupidity, and hypocrisy having a stomach turning threesome. Instead of simply writing, “Fuck all y’all,” I wrote something a bit more eloquent for Ebony.com. You can read that here. I also did something on Rush Loudmouth, which you can read here.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

4. Oh, this sum’bitch, too. Goodness, some of my folks can be so shameless. It’s as disheartening as it is maddening. Thankfully, there are plenty people willing to check those of that ilk. I didn’t pen it, but here’s a nice write-up on why Joe Oliver needs to shut his happy ass up. If you watch the second clip of this interview, you question why Joe even bothered. Kidding, no you don’t. Attention whores are forever trying to slut it up on set. The end.

Now after checking all those out, maybe you understand why I’m opting to give trout tongue a lil’ life this morning. Ooh, trout. There is a Frenchy’s near my hood in Houston that has some bomb ass fried trout (filleted, we don’t do bones ’round these parts) and fries. I could seriously go for that right now as I push to make another deadline. Clearly I am both hungry and homesick. Now that I think about it, since I’m already in plug mode I might as well mention my Tumblr, Fried Fish and Feelings. It’s all related.

Alright, gon’ read and share, please.

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At the beginning of the week, I was in the midst of my daily ritual – the morning jig – when tragedy struck. Y’all: I didn’t drop down low and sweep the flo’ with it in proper fashion. I just dropped. Like, I did not sweep and I damn sure did not pick it up quickly. I just dropped.

If Kelly Rowland and Beyoncé were around to see that disgusting display of dancerie, Kelly would’ve shot me that same look she gave Michelle Williams after she busted her ass on 106 & Park. Beyoncé wouldn’t have noticed as she’d be too busy being Beyoncé (which means “greatness your favorite could never” in Stannesse) and rightly so.

The horror, the horror.

Yes, I’ve been under more stress than usual in recent months, and increasingly so in the last few weeks. Still, no excuses for this embarrassment. It’s my own fault for not keeping up with my regular pop, lock and drops. There were warnings.

A month ago I was covering a Grammy event that Mary J. Blige performed at. I partook in the free alcoholic beverages (thanks, Belvedere) and had a mean bop throughout Mary’s set (so much that a publicist for the event mentioned my “bumping and grinding” in the email, oy…or, hey, boy). About an hour later I busted my ass when doing a classic body roll to the floor. I laughed it off, because well…I was drunk filled with the spirit of spirits. But it was a warning.

I have some other areas in my life that require my immediate attention, though I’m going to have my twirk ready for summer. Anyone who knows me well is quite aware that I want to be able to pop and drop for as long as humanly possible. I have to get my mind and body right for that to happen.

Thankfully, I have glorious works such as the “Girl Gone Wild” video to inspire me. This is a great video. God bless the little monsters suckers who were born in 1990 and think that Madonna is copying Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro,” which copies “La Isla Bonita” in song and “Vogue” in visual. Learn something, kiddies, and don’t come back on my lawn until you do.

I have noticed some people have been too busy picking apart the MDNA promo shots to notice anything else about the project. All I have to say about that is: You’d stretch your face out as wide as the distance between LA and NYC, too, if there was nothing but a check that could rectify the situation. I am not mad at all. You look fantastic, Madonna. And even better, Madge continues to be able to lay it low and spread it wide with her choreography.

My fucking hero. 

Given my previous post about Trina Braxton creating music for a wild teen party in 1996 suburbia, I should make clear that I don’t discount that some of Madonna’s new material sounds a bit juvenile as well. I don’t know why Madge doesn’t sing in the tone that we’re used to. However, she’s definitely fighting the “I’m still cool” war better than DUI Braxton (said with more love than shade).

When I am 53, I sure hope I can climb the walls like Spiderman and cuddle with a bevy of the shirtless buff like M Dolla. Who wants to buy me a yoga mat to get me started? Oh, and help me get rich with my art. Can’t discount that. Gon’.

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Goodness. Where do I begin? I guess I can start with the ubiquitous disclaimer: I really like Trina Braxton. It’s true, I do, but that doesn’t change the fact that after watching this performance in full I have an even better understanding as to why her sisters – specifically Toni and Tamar – are so critical of what Trina’s doing musically. They are both right about Trina being so much better than the song she’s creating with The Gap Tooth Band.

The 11 of us who own The Braxtons album know that Trina has a nice voice. One that’s far better suited for R&B, frankly. It’s unfortunate that instead of recording music in a genre that offers a greater testament to her talent and liklier to breed her at least some nominal level of solo success, Trina would rather channel Tiffany. While watching this I was waiting for Trina to break into,”I think we’re alone now. It doesn’t seem to be anyone around.”

Oh, wait.

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1. What does Katy Perry know about hoodrats outside of what she’s seen during movie nights with Rihanna?

2. So no one is going to mention how Lil’ Kim’s “If You Love Me” is the store brand version of Nicki Minaj’s “Your Love?”

3. Does Rihanna’s constant #THUGLIFE references mean she’s been possessed by 2Pac’s ghost or has she only recently discovered the All Eyez On Me album?

4. Is it ever really that serious?

5. No, really, where is the Brandy single?

6. Isn’t it time Big Ang bottle up some of that joy dancing inside her and start selling it to the rest of us?

7. Why do some people think Rihanna should be worried about Rita Ora at this stage of her career?

8. Why won’t these sum’bitch fall through a well already?

9. How in the hell did TMZ get Oprah to talk to them?

10. Which is cracked worse? The Berlin Wall or Stacy Francis’ after that episode of Oprah’s Next Chapter with members of Whitney Houston’s family?

11. How many of you nasty grown folks are waiting for Diggy Simmons to turn 18…or are already pointing out how he’s of legal consenting age in several states?

12. Who masturbates to Anderson Cooper more: Kirk Cameron or Rick Santorum?

13. What in the hell is this?

14. What did Karrueche Tran ever do to you?

15. Is YouTube the new way Khia plans to keep her pussy bills paid?

16. Can someone do Jennifer Hudson the honor of informing her that she doesn’t need to try and dance now that she’s skinny?

17. Between Usher and Toni Braxton naming their upcoming albums The Shanertance and Heartstrings & Synagogue Vibes, respectively, should I expect Beyoncé to call her fifth album Blue Ivy, Baloo, and the Popeye’s Biscuits Brew?

18. How many more “I was married to/engaged with/had baby by/dated/licked the shaft of famous/infamous man” shows are we going to have (and likely watch)?

19. Are models not making what they used to or something?

20. See those Kia rims on a Toyota Camry? Is that like mixing Papa John’s pizza with 7/11 hot wings?

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Super late on sharing this, but my first piece for Salon went up last week and it focused on a lingering problem I feel exists within the spectrum of Black sitcoms. These days people are more focused on seeming upwardly mobile versus giving the world a fuller view. It’s just one of many problems I find with a lot of contemporary sitcoms. That said, you can check out the piece here.

Clearly I hate that Everybody Hates Chris, especially Tichina Arnold, didn’t get the praise and success it deserved. Silly networks.

 

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When I flipped through GQ and spotted Trey Songz dressed mighty sharp, I welcomed the challenge to not make my instant impure thoughts put on a show in public on a late Sunday morning. Then I took the issue home and had some other feelings about the words that actually accompanied the shoot. And so, finally, I’ve gotten the chance to write about them.

A preview:

Much of contemporary R&B, and specifically, what we hear on the radio, makes me want to bang my head on my desk and take refuge in old works from Mary J. Blige and D’Angelo. How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways.

There’s love often being depicted with the kind of disdain typically reserved for a cold sore. When it comes to sex, it continues to be treated like a commodity you have to barter for by way of organic jumbo shrimp and expensive stiletto heels (which might lead to the aforementioned perpetual blemish). Likewise, it might have seemed like such a great idea at the time two decades ago, we don’t always need a rapper mouthing off a bunch of totally unrelated bars on a song.

And why are we always in a club? I am all about the pop, lock, and drop, but damn, I know these singers have seem at least one or seven troubling news headlines in their Twitter feed. How much escapism does one generation need?

Read more here.

P.S. Good gay loving God, Trey looks great. Marvelous even. I said that in Snagglepuss’ accent. It’s more fun that way, dig.

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The Princess of Smurf Village has returned with her first visual in years and I have to admit that it’s totally out of this world. With that in mind here’s to hoping it finds the black hole it belongs in. Sorry, Ashanti, but who wrote this treatment and how could you have liked it? Were you just happy to be doing a video after so long? I can understand that proves to be the case, but Pokémon, Princess Leia and the Starship Enterprise already had their things going. They didn’t need further shout outs from you, love.

First, let’s begin with the Star Wars premise introduced at the beginning:

AS A TORTURED SOUL FLOATS INTO THE FUTURE

THE ONLY WAY TO HEAL IS TO ACCEPT

AND LET GO OF THE PAST

BRAVEHEART

Oh, we’re going the “Girl, you so deep” route. Looks like the kind of tweets that leads to someone catching the mute button on my phone. Well, I suppose it’s still a step up from what could have been a more typical video. Say, where Ashanti’s homegirl sees her man at the club with some off brand version of herself, which leads to Ashanti and her mama busting the windows out his car then enjoy some free Peach Ciroc courtesy of Vita, the club bartender. Wait, that sounds better, doesn’t it? Why didn’t I direct this video?

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