The Illumaniti Free Playlist: The one where Meshell Ndegeocello covers “Friends”

Once again, Afropunk is on point. They’ve tapped into a vein of Black incredible-ness and dropped this on us. I remain amazed.
I don’t have anything to add. I’ve listened to the song three times back to back and right after I push the Publish button I’m going to play Plantation Lullabies.
I tend to forget how dope she is. I need reminders. Thanks Afropunk!

This Horrible game of Hide and Seek will Melt your Heart.

20140220_140213

This is my daughter. The three of us are playing hide and seek in the back yard. She’s not very good. In fact, the dog was better, and he didn’t know that he was playing.

For the past two weeks, Atlanta was in the grips of the Snowpaclypse. We had been hammered by a total of about five inches of the devilish white stuff. The roads were shut down. Bridges collapsed and orphanages burst into flames.

Needless to say they shut down the schools. And with her older brother and sister around, the Uma and I didn’t have as much us time as usual.

Last week they went back. The sun came out and the temperature went up and my daughter suggested that we go outside. That’s us, after she had picked some flowers but before we ran laps between the basketball hoop and the front gate. Then came the horrible hopscotch game on our patio… how bad? Neither of us know how to play, and it’s been so long since I’ve seen a hopscotch whatever you call it (ring? diamond? square? seriously, what is that thing?) that I didn’t know how to draw one.

Hide and seek was her idea. She told me where she was going to hide, and then I counted, and she hid there, which is very considerate of her. Notice how she only hide the back 3/5th of her body? Also very considerate. It was one of the most considerate games of hide and seek that I’ve ever played.

When it was my time to hide, she told me where. Walked me right over to the tree and said, “You go there,” pointing at the place behind it. Considering the sheer number of places that I could hide in the back yard, it nice of her to streamline the process for me.

But life is cruel and nice little girls often finish last. I ran the other way as she hid her eyes. Just to make sure she didn’t peek, I switched hiding places while she counted between 10 and 20 –  an adventure in itself.

She said, “Ready or not, here I come!” The dog raced past her, knocking into her thigh. I know this because I was spying from my hiding place behind the bushes. And because I’m a mean, mean daddy, I edged around, and ran to a tree in the back yard. That’s hiding place number three.

I had a lot of time to think as she walked around the yard swatting at the dog. I thought about how bad she was at hiding. I don’t think she will ever be good at it. She gets that from her mother. My wife wears jewelry that clinks and jingles. The human equivelant of a cat with a bell on its collar. So, my little girl will never be a ninja, or a sniper or anything even remotely stealthy.

20140221_232338

But then there’s this. That’s her on the bed later that night. That’s her little foot coming up dynamic, glorious kick. I think she could be a super hero. A non-stealthy super hero, that maybe throws heads of cabbages at people before she Karate Kid kicks the hell out of them.

She finally caught me in that game of hide and seek. After all, there was no base. The only way not to lose is to leave home. Still, I made her work for it, because I’m a mean, mean Daddy. I ran in tight circles followed by her and the dog. Then I lost my breath. Uma 1, Daddy 0.

So it was a pretty good day.

One Video Illustrates How Far we are from Racial Equality

Look closely. How many people passed the white guy during his 30 minute experiment with car theft? A lot. They saw him and thought immediately thought of all of those times when they locked their own keys in their cars. Awww shucks.

What about the Black guy? He wasn’t out there for nearly as long, before the cops pulled up and told him to put his hands where they could see them. But how many was it? And what did they think? They looked at him and thought, “Theif!” Because, it couldn’t possibly be his car, right? I mean, maybe he’s not, but… let’s call the cops, just in case.

Folks, if you think the problem with this country is Stand Your Ground, or racist guys with guns, I’m sorry to say, you’re probably being too easy on yourself. That thing in the brains of the passers-by, who dicided that the Black guy was a car thief, based entirely upon his Blackness, is the problem. It’s the synaptic spark that enabled Zimmerman to begin following Trayvon Martin. It’s the thing that made Dunn feel empowered to issue commands to Jordan Davis, and then mete out executions when those commands weren’t obeyed.

Insert annecdotal evidence about car theives here. I’ll help. Black people do steal cars. Okay? And so do white guys. But you better hope that it’s a Black guy trying to steal you car in broad daylight, because if the theif is white, your car is as good as gone, no metter how bad dude’s slim jim skills are.

Nobody is going to call the cops on him. They might even help him out.

Baby Wearing in the Zombie Apocalypse: Essential Skills you didn’t know you needed.

 

images-1

Last night on The Walking Dead…

Daryl gruffly rescued young blonde, Beth Greene, over and over again.

Maggie showed the depths of her love for Glenn by endangering Sasha and Bob in a love fueled assault on a bus full of zombies. For love. Meanwhile, Glenn freed Sasha, formerly of Team Governor, of her self imposed chain link solitude within the prison, and then set out to find his wife. You know, for love.

images-2

And Tyrese tramped through the woods with a crying baby and two horrible, horrible children.

What did his character do in his former life to have been saddled with such a fate? More importantly, what did the writers hope to accomplish? What were they trying to show us, by turning Tyrese into a nursmaid for Little Lizzie Borden and her runaway sister? Any guesses?

I’ll let you ponder that. In the meantime, I’ve finally found my calling in the zombie apacolpyse. I can’t do a whole lot of things better than those guys. As much as I grouse about Tyrese, at least he can swing a mean hammer. Meanwhile, I’m looking around my office trying to find a weapon that would get my family and I out of Atlanta. I found a knife with a six inch blade, and a little hatchet that we bought from Lowes last year. I think I have a stockpile of about seven bullets, somewhere in the moving boxes. I don’t like our odds.

But there is one thing that I know I could do better than Tyrese. Baby wearing. I mean, I know he’s strong, but carrying around a crying, 20 pound baby will wear you out pretty quickly.
Take it from me. When she was young, I carried my little girl all over University City. At first she seemed almost weightless. Then, about three quarters of a mile in, you begin to feel it. A lot. Even without the constant threat of zombies and hunger, carrying a baby is always a losing proposition. Even if you are Tyrese the Gentle Bull.

And the solution is so simple. Baby wearing. Put Lil Ass Kicker in a sling. Tie her to your back. Start hammering dead things in the face. Easy.
What? You don’t have the fabric? Then get some! I can’t do everything for you. Might I suggest repurposing a couple of disgusting zombie shirts?
Meanwhile, there are things that you need to know about other people’s kids. Stay away from them. Not Lil Ass Kicker, of course. What kind of monster leaves a baby behind? Pre-teens, on the other hand, are another thing all together.
There is a lot of talk about crazy little Lizzie, what with her killing the bunny rabbits and nearly asphyxiating Lil Ass Kicker, but let’s be real. She’s at a sociopathic age. One out of 10 kids her age might kill your baby if you leave them alone. That’s just how they roll.
Might I suggest, unless you are contractually obligated to do otherwise, stay away from other people’s kids. Otherwise, don’t make eye contact, and speak calmly, while revealing nothing about yourself or your habits. They sense weakness. And never, ever assume that they aren’t sociopaths… Because they probably are.

images-3

She’s not crazy. She’s just pre-teen

Illuminati Free Playlist: Forget Nicki Minaj. Hear this instead

Last week the Nicki Minaj set the world on fire with pictures of herself in her natural state. Natural for her, anyway. The hair? It was straightened, and maybe augmented by bionic weave hair, but at least it wasn’t the color of a Highlighter. And she had makeup on… And black electrical tape on her nipples, because that’s how she wakes up, right? But some folks were mighty impressed. 

Those pictures were behind the scenes photos of her new video, Lookin Ass Niggas. 

Image

The album cover featured this iconic picture of Malcolm X. I’m not going to put it here. Just look at it and imagine the words Lookin Ass Nigggas… Or, better yet, look at it and let the power of it sink in to your bones, and forget about plastic Nicki Minaj all together. Let’s all breath a collective Woosah… and remember that our music is so much deeper than that mainstream train wreck that is contemporary hip hop.

If you don’t like what she’s saying, or how she’s saying it, find something else to listen to. There’s actually a whole lot out there. Like this.

This is BLXPLTN, a Black punk band from Austin Texas. The second song is a middle finger to stop and frisk. All I know about them is what I learned on the Afropunk site.  Not much. But the song is the perfect antidote to Nicki Minaj’s ode’ to nigga, niggas, niggerism, and vacuous, plastic buffoonery.

Image

Nina Simone does not approve.

My Daughter Wants Hair like Barbie. I’m Not Okay with That.

Image

See how happy we were before Barbie?

My beautiful little girl is the color of french vanilla. My georgous wife has skin like dark caramel. Her lovely older daughter, like chocolate. This should tell you about the tonal diversity that goes on under my roof. There are five people here, and all of us occupy our own special slice of the color wheel. Which is pretty cool.

But we all have one thing in common. This is a chemical free home. No perms, no relaxers, no hot combs, or weaves for that matter. No offense to Madame CJ Walker (or anyone else) but this household looks to a different beauty standard. Notice the tiny burnt copper crown on my little girl’s head. That’s all her, pure and uncut, and I love it. She does too, usually.

Then this chick happened. Barbie. She popped up out of nowhere in our Netflix cue. Just four short episodes. 

Image

They make me throw up in my mouth.

Before her, Little Yellow Homie was all about My Little Pony. She wanted to be Rainbow Dash.

We have a whole herd of the pony clan roaming our house right now. Some of them are tiny, some bigger. Two are wierd human – pony hybrids,  thanks to the Equestria Girls. But, after watching the series about seventy bazillian times, I think she’s burnt out. She wanted something different. 

Barbie… She’s the grandmother of body dysmorphic disorder. Her bizarre proportions have been tormenting little girls for years. But cartoon Barbie doesn’t look like a blond woman in a funhouse mirror. She looks like… Barbie. Cartoon Barbie is an animated doll, living out a vacuous life in a crazily over the top animated version of her doll world. The artists and writers have made an entire series out of the rediculousness of the Barbie mythology. How do I know? Because I watched it with her. 

Now she wants Barbie hair.

A commercial came on, as we were preparing to see After Earth. (It aiiiight, but just barely.) And my pretty little girl pointed, said, “I want hair like that…” and then she began to cry. Granted, she was tired, which explains the tears. But knowing that my soon to be four year old child wants long European hair made me frown.

Remember the famous doll study? In the 40’s two Black psychologists placed a white doll and a Black doll in front of some children. Their choices said volumes about how they saw themselves. Most of them picked the white dolls and gave the Black dolls the side-eye, even though those dolls resembled them. My own little girl’s toy chest is populated exclusively with toys that look like her. Black babydolls, Black mermaids, and Doc McStuffins of all sizes. One of them even talks. With the exception of the My Little Ponys’ and Dora the Explorer, it all looks  kind of like her. I thought we had created a firewall. Maybe I was wrong.

Or maybe Daddy is over reacting. When I was young I wanted hair like Geronimo. Yes, two long black braids that I would tie with strips of leather… before I rode out and attacked settlers in wilderness behind our house. Self hatred? I don’t think so. Anyway, I grew out of it. 

Either way, this house shall remain a chemical and straightener free home, Barbie, be damned. And soon she’ll get tired of Barbie and Ken and their entire empty headed crew. And all will be right with the world. 

I’ve written about her viewing habits before. 
Like I said, my little girl loved My Little Pony, but late at night she preferred Pingu

If you liked what you read, please like Chadvs. I’d really appreciate it. 

Walking Dead got all Cerebral Last Night. They Need Tai Chi

Last night’s Walking Dead was introspective.

There were only four characters onscreen, and that includes Hershel’s undead head. With the exception of some clumsy, teenage style zombie kills from Carl, and one spectacular spree (32?) from Michonne, it was mostly people walking around the woods and backroads of Georgia, thinking deep thoughts and working through their emotional demons.

It was one of those, episodes that makes you think that maybe, it’s all going to be okay for the survivors. Those episodes are particularly important, because I’m pretty sure that they are going to be using the next few months to tear them apart again.

This time they moved into different territory. In the past, wellbeing has been synonymous with shelter and food. This time, it was all about getting your mind right. Which got me to thinking… Where is the tai chi?

Of course, they don’t talk much about martial arts in the Walking Dead. With the exception of Michonne, who was obviously versed in Japanese swordsmanship, most of the guys just use brute strength or true grit to get the job done. Which tends to work very well. After all, zombies aren’t skilled opponents.

It would be cool as hell to watch some dude take down a zombie hoarde like a Shoalin Boss, with a broadsword in each hand. But this isn’t that kind of show.
They play with certain themes; Rick, with his cross draw revolver is obviously a cowboy, while Michonne is the samurai. But having a dude marching around the back woods of Georgia with two chinese broadswords would steer the narrative deep into fantasy territory. I think it’s the same reason we haven’t seen someone with a European longsword and shining armor. Too many theme characters and the cast begins to look like The Village People.

That said, this show needs a tai chi guy. I mean, if we’re going to talk about getting into your headspace, nothing says naval gazing like showing someone going through the Yang long form while the sun rises over the zombie wasteland. He doesn’t have to dispatch the zombies with a tai chi saber or speak like Yoda. Showing him do the form would suffice.
Their moral compasses don’t tend to last very long. First Dale, then Hershel… deep thinkers are like Black guys in horror movies. You know they’re dead; it’s just a matter of how long. My tai chi guy could reverse that trend.

It’s been clear for a while, that staying out of the hands and mouths of the Walkers is only part of the battle. You also have to find peace. Which isn’t easy, even in our regular, non-zombie world. So, while you guys think about the ammo that you are going to stockpile, I’m putting tai chi on my to-learn list. Okay, it’s pretty far down, but it’s there.

In the meantime, this video shows an internal approach to archery. Why not, right? Before the internal arts got all granola on us, they were genuine fighting styles, with principles that were developed in war. Still, with the exception of kyudo, I didn’t know that there was an internal approach to archery. Think about that the next time you consider the bow as your weapon of choice. Archery can be deep too.