Thursday, October 29, 2009

Oscar Grant Update: Mehserle receives a change of venue...

This is just a brief update on what is going on regarding the murder of Oscar Grant, which occurred on January 1, 2009. In case you didn't know, this young man was shot in the back, while handcuffed and lying on his stomach, by a BART police officer in Oakland, CA. The officer, Johannes Mehserle, has been charged for the crime and has plead not guilty. According to The Associated Press, Mehserle was granted a change of venue; now the trial will not take place in Oakland. Mehserle's attorney claimed that his client could not receive a fair trial in Oakland due to all the news coverage. I think that no matter where the trial is moved, he will still be found guilty because there was no reason to shoot Grant. At least I hope he is found guilty...we all know how this kind of case usually turns out...*side-eye*...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Violence against women: A spectator event...

I don't understand this teenagers today. So angry, so violent, so desensitized to anger and violence. I'm going to write this and I ask that you bear with me because I might many thoughts are running through my head. A few hours ago, I read an article on about a young girl, possibly 15 years old, being gang-raped and beaten by four males (can't call them men because true men do not do such things and can't call them boys because they were old enough to know the difference between right and wrong). This disgusting and violent crime happened right outside of her high school's homecoming dance. This alone makes me want to react violently, but add the fact that approximately 15 people, perhaps students, stood around and watched this girl's brutal violation and DID NOTHING TO STOP IT...NOTHING! When you add that to this story, it makes it that much more sickening! This girl was going through the ugliest, scariest, most traumatic and humiliating moments of her life and there were people standing there watching! I can only imagine that she would have been thinking "Someone please help me! Please! Someone stop this!" But no one had it within them to push these guys off of her? I mean dang, even if you want to use that weak excuse of "being afraid for one's personal safety", someone could have ran inside the school and told a teacher what was happening outside of the school! But nope, each person chose to be a spectator to the abuse of this girl. They probably have no idea that they were bearing witness to her mental breakdown, or maybe they did and they did not care at all.

I do not understand where we are as a society where violence against women is just something to watch, something to accept and not something to stop.  Women face so much hatred (direct and indirect) and abuse (physical, emotional, and mental). And we often become just as desensitized as men to the violence commited against us. Rumor is that that some girls went to a party after the crime was committed and they were overheard joking about it...joking about the fact that a girl was beaten and raped. As I said, this is a rumor, but would this surprise me if it were found to be true? Not at all. There is no solidarity among us women. We fall into the catty, back bitting foolishness and in extreme cases we defend the abuser! What in the world?!?! Maybe some of us feel that if we defend the woman, we are bashing the man? I don't believe that it has to be an either-or situation. But if it comes down to a choice between the two, I'm choosing my sisters...those deserving, of course. I say "deserving" because I know that there are women out there who lie about being abused, whether it is to save themselves from some consequence (see Hofstra rape) or to get revenge (see Megan Williams). In situations like the Hofstra story and Megan Williams, when found guilty of falsely accusing someone of rape, there should be legal consequences. But that is another story...

My main point is that we have to stop standing by, letting women be abused, and doing nothing to stop it. It's one thing to walk around wearing ribbons for Domestic Abuse Awareness, but it's a whole other thing to actually have the courage to be proactive about stopping the abuse. We have to teach our daughters, sisters, and other female relatives that violence, any violence, against women is WRONG! We have to teach our sons, brothers, and male relatives the same thing. And we have to get rid of the "stop snitching" mentality! This is probably the reason that no one went inside the school and told someone that the young girl was outside being brutalized! If you see wrong happening, SPEAK UP! If just one person had done so, maybe the what happened outside of that high school would have went differently.

According to the Los Angeles Times, a girl, who heard some people talking about the rape, called the police. Thank goodness there was at least one person with the decency to call 911. So far, several guys have been arrested. I wish those who stood back and watched could be charged with something! I've been on simmer since last night, but now getting fired up all over again...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Maxwell + Common + Chrisette Michelle = Music at it's best!

An evening with Maxwell, Common, and Chrisette Michele? What an AMAZING concert! Each performer brought their A-game and made the price of admission totally worth it.

I wish I had been able to listen to Chrisette's entire performance, but my focus was on getting to my seat (a nice long journey, but when you make a last minute decision to go to a concert out of town what more can you expect). I listened to her sing Epiphany while I bought a concert t-shirt and from what I could hear, mind you, I'm surrounded by hordes of people within the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, she sang beautifully! Now, I had not listened to her latest cd, so I did not know the titles of all the songs she sang. However, I know that when she sang "Fragile" and "I'm Okay" I got chills! She sang those into submission....if I hadn't been in the nosebleed section during this part of the show, I would have stood up and stomped my feet! If you have the opportunity to see her live, I suggest you go because she sounds spectacular! She sings the song, she does not yell the song at the listener, lol...

Now, I've seen this next artist perform live a few years back during a tour with John Legend and De La Soul. He gave his all during the performance and I can honestly say that Common gave his all during this performance. He was on stage for a while (and I did not mind at all!); I think he performed more songs than Maxwell, I could be wrong. He started the show with "Forever Begins" which got me rocking my head and by the time he told everyone to "Go" and "Testify", I was waving my hands and dancing in my seat (like I said, I was so far up there was no way that I was about to stand up and dance, lol). I love all his songs, but I was waiting for one song in particular and the man did it! Once the beat for "Punch Drunk Love" started up, folks lost it and everyone was hyped! He singled out a woman in the audience (and I was instantly envious...) and performed "Come Close" to the music from D'Angelo's "Lady". It was an endearing performance, especially when he started to sing a little of the original song, lol...The entire audience appreciated a MJ interlude where the DJ played "The Way You Make Me Feel" and when Common came back to the stage he went into a tribute to hip hop, performing bits and pieces of some of the classics (I would have written down the titles, but I was feeling to good to be worried about that at the time, lol). The atmosphere was pretty electric; everyone was loving the hip hop tribute and when Common started to break dance folks stood up and rooted him on! The man is in great shape *wink*...My suggestion is, as it was with Chrisette Michelle, if you get the chance to see Common perform live, GO SEE HIM!

To round out an evening of great music, the man of the hour walked out onto the stage and roar of the crowd was awesome! At this point, I reached for my camera, since I was able to move to a club seating area (thanks to Reads4Pleasure, a fellow Twitter person!), however I realized that I lost my camera! So I had to trace my steps back to the mezzanine seats. Luckily, my camera was laying underneath my original seat (Thank you God!) So I rush back to my new seat just in time to watch Maxwell perform one of my all time favorites "Get To Know Ya". Maxwell and the live band sounded GREAT together! I've always loved that particular song because it is so smooth and the horns set it off...hearing it live made it that much more great! I was looking forward to hearing quite a few of my favorites and for the most part Maxwell had me covered. Of course I wanted to hear songs from his new cd, but it was great to hear some classic Maxwell, like "Til The Cops Come Knockin'", "Ascension", and "Lifetime". There were wonderful moments where the entire audience, probably hundreds, if not thousands, of people singing along. He was very interactive with the audience, very energetic. He performed two of my favorite songs from his new cd, "Cold" (I love the latin sound and hearing it live made me wanna dance with somebody!) and "Playing Possum" (the guitar in this song grabs my heart every time I hear it!). I loved the stage setup, especially the starry projection on the stage screens (that made the performance even more touching). While I would have loved it if he had performed "Whenever, Wherever, Whatever", "Suitelady", "This Woman's Work", and "Stop the World", I thoroughly enjoyed the show. Of course he performed "Bad Habits", with the lights low and Maxwell crooning, you better believe that this is a show to see with the one you love...I had to laugh 'cause he told the fellas in the audience that he was setting them up to get some love and he most definitely was. There was such a sensual feel to his portion of the show. He ended the show with "Pretty Wings" and received audience participation because everyone was singing the song with him. It was a great performance, especially when the "feathers" fell from above. And I was tempted to leave the area where I was seated to go down to the floor and grab some "feathers" but after really looking, I could tell it was paper, lol...

All around, I have to say that this was a wonderful concert and I suggest that you the next tour. This show left me feeling wonderful and I am so glad I decided to go! I floated all the way home! If you missed this one, I'm sure there will be another tour since Maxwell's second cd in the trilogy comes out next year.

(Chrisette Michele photo courtesy of Odellia via Photobucket)
(Common photo courtesy of famefatale_photos via Photobucket)(Maxwell photo courtesy of kalikarla via Photobucket)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Newly Released Michael Jackson song..."This Is It"...

Here's the new song from Michael Jackson (R.I.P. MJ) still feels surreal that he has passed away and this is a posthumous release...smh...Anyway, enjoy the song! I love it!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Seriously? Seriously NASA?

Why must we, human beings, blow things up? Cause destruction? In the name of science? Apparently destroying Earth is no longer enough; now scientists are "bombing" the Moon! "Why?" you ask.Well, our planet is in dire need of water, so....oh? What? We aren't in need of water? Well, NASA will crash a spacecraft into the moon tomorrow morning (10/9). According to this article (click here to read), they are interested in water ice that may be in the moon craters. This has to be one of the stupidest waste of resources! Not to mention causing an explosion on the moon just seems wrong, dangerous even. While I worry about the future of my people, I also worry about the future of all human beings...some things need to be left alone.

Friday, October 2, 2009

C' mon Son 5

I love this series! Had to post it to my blog and share it with others!