Monday, August 19, 2013

Hot Topics: Kendrick Lamar "King of New York", Lee Thompson Young "Jett Jackson" Dead at 29, Heavy Security at Theater in Silver Spring, MD for The Butler

 Lee Thompson Young
 Good day folks. A gloomy Monday afternoon here in the District, and sadly fitting for the news that broke a few hours ago about TV star Lee Thompson Young committing suicide. He is most known for his role as the Disney star and titled show "The Famous" Jett Jackson. Many of us in our early to late 20's remember watching his show as a kid. Thompson Young was a guy who seemingly stayed out of trouble and had a bright career ahead. He played in movies including Friday Night Lights, Akeelah and the Bee and if you're a horror fan like me, you will remember him in The Hills Have Eyes 2. He was currently playing the role of Barold Barry on Rizzoli and Isles, a crime drama that airs on TNT It is sad to see another successful young black man go, especially in the form of taking his own life. This goes to prove that no matter what heights of success you reach, you never know what someone is going through. Black men tend to keep a lot of stuff  "held in" to appear strong. We need to be able to express ourselves to someone. If it cannot be family and friends then to a complete stranger. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is a start. Additionally, if you are lucky to work in the government in some capacity, most offer anonymous help through various hotlines. Call your human resources department for more information. May he rest in peace.
 Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar or K DOT for the original fans had words for Jermaine Cole, Big KRITT, Wale, Pusha T, Meek Millz, A$AP Rocky, Drake, Big Sean, Jay Electron', Tyler and Mac Miller. The song Control made the airwaves last week and sent the rap game into a frenzy. Some would say Kendrick Lamar called these rappers out but after letting this all sink in, it's clear he's calling out for some friendly competition to give rap the push it really needs. I believe the rap industry has not been this hype in quite a while. Kendrick Lamar is a breathe of fresh air. We have heard a few responses to Kendrick's "call out" from people such as Joe Budden but no one has been able to catch the attention like Lamar did. What is next for the self proclaimed "King of New York?" What about the people Kendrick did not mention like Lil' Wayne? (Who should have been mentioned in my opinion).
 Regal Majestic 20 & IMAX Silver Spring, MD

The Regal Majestic Cinema in Silver Spring, MD came under fire this weekend for having what was described as a heavy level of police for the screening of Lee Daniels, The Butler. A woman by the name of Jennifer Flowers took to Twitter to tweet about her experience. There was allegedly armed guards in the theater room where the movie was showing. Regal Entertainment Group responded by saying: 
"They employs security personnel to ensure the safety all of our guests and staff. When a theatre experiences sold out showings of any feature, security will assist with crowd control and guest assistance throughout the facility, including auditoriums.

This weekend our Majestic theatre experienced a tremendous guest response to the feature "Lee Daniels' The Butler" such that additional showtimes were added to meet our guests' demands.
At no time did local management receive any guest complaints or concerns about our security or staff, who worked diligently to meet all of our guests' needs."

I just have to believe this is unprecedented. I have gone to see many hit movies on opening nights and NEVER have police officers or hired security stood watch of patrons as they watched a movie. Regal deserves to give everyone there a refund for that foolishness. Unless there was a specific threat, I can't see a justifiable reason for that obnoxious amount of security.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hot Topics: Darren Young, First WWE Wrestler to "Come Out", Lack of Identity Among Black/African-Americans

Good day all! It is RARE that I write a blog twice in a week but this week has been quite busy for what is normally a dry August summer.

First, you all know I am a big wrestling fan so I have to congratulate World Wrestling Entertainment Superstar Darren Young for his courage to come out as a black gay man. Darren, as a professional wrestler, is the first to come out while on the active WWE roster. There are other gay/bisexual wrestlers who are out, but was not active in WWE at the time. They include: Orlando Jordan, Chris Kanyon, Pat Patterson and Jim Barnett. Orlando Jordan is a black man and sadly Chris Kanyon committed suicide a few years later after coming out, stating he never felt welcomed as a gay man in wrestling.

The aspect of a gay wrestler is always a touchy one, as wrestling is a very physical sport. It will be interesting to see how the WWE handles Darrens wrestling character, or if it will affect his character at all. He is currently half of the tag team known as "The Primetime Players," with his tag team partner Titus O'Neil. Many wrestling fans remember the storyline of Billy & Chuck, two wrestlers who portrayed gay the point of almost getting married on live TV. This is nothing new to WWE, as many fans believed wrestler Goldust, who would prance to the ring nearly in drag and would do certain moves in the ring that was questioning to say the least, was gay.

Darrens coming out may be the beginning of the atmosphere changing in professional wrestling, sports entertainment and another named added to the larger sports world of gay men and women.

Today I was at a community event and we ended up discussing politics, of course, and then came up a conversation about black identity. The person I was talking to says he see's himself as an African-American. Oddly enough, another friend of mine says he sees himself as a black American. Our people sadly lost our identity when we were hauled across the sea in slave ships. From that time to now, we at one point, garnered pride through fighting oppression and segregation. Negro spirituals, kept many of our ancestors at peace when hell was breaking loose around them. Then we come to 2013...pop culture seems to define our community. It seems to define what we wear, how we wear it, what we say and even how we live our lives. Our people, in general, lack a sense of history. There's a saying if one does not know your history, you are doomed to repeat it. This may very well be happening now, except we are oppressing ourselves.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Keith's Topics: Chris Brown, March on Washington, Donnie McClurkin and More

Good day folks! It's time I do another blog with my thoughts regarding a few current events brewing in the news and gossip wheel. First, I am sad to write that summer is almost over. I didn't get away but I plan on taking some time off in September (Atlanta) and later in the year. I am planning on visiting Puerto Rico next year, so I am definitely looking forward to that, as well.

Chris Brown stays in the news and I rarely comment on anything regarding him, as I am a fan of his music and talent, however I think he's at a stage, after dealing with so much, that he needs to take a break from society. He stated on Twitter last week that after his next album drops at the end of the month, it could be his last. A lot celebrities take breaks but not bow out of their industry. With Chris' talent he should be able to hop right back on the wagon when he does return...which I am sure he will for the record.

The news has been hitting up the local email list servs in DC all weekend regarding the Donnie McClurkin/Mayor Gray/March on Washington drama. Mayor Gray was allegedly pressured by gay rights activists to un-invite gospel singer Donnie McClurkin from the line up of talent from a concert this past weekend, citing that the "ex gay" singer's comments on homosexuality were offending. Mayor Gray's office says that the singer un-uninvited himself. No matter who did what, I find this situation to be a unique and touchy one to handle. McClurkin is a talented gospel singer who believes he has been ridden of homosexuality. As many, like myself, don't believe that is actually possible, we should still respect that stance and let him be. I have not heard the alleged comments he once made about homosexuality but again, he is there to sing, not to give a speech. I think the very liberal gay left wing can go too far with the battle against homophobia. I asked myself, would Dr. King have allowed a man such as this sing in his church or perform at the March on Washington? We all know Bayard Rustin, an openly black gay man who helped organize the March on Washington, was key so could an ex gay person not be as equal?

Speaking of the March on Washington we are coming up on the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest demonstrations for jobs, justice and equality that our nation has ever seen. Before the main events that will take place, DC will hold a rally meeting up at the DC War Memorial at 8:30 am on August 24th. As you know, the original rally focused on a myriad of issues and that included DC voting rights in congress and/or statehood/home rule. Residents and visitors will meet up in extremely high numbers to add a voice to the cause for the District of Columbia to become the 51st state. Dr. King was also a proponent for DC to have self governance. This link tells a pretty good detail of Dr. King and his involvement with the fight for DC.

Football season is back! Yes I am a CowBOYS fan, which many find out of place but there are so many Cowboys fan in DC, I like to say DC stands for Dallas Cowboys. Lol. However, I'm looking forward to seeing how RGIII will be playing after a very serious injury to his knee last season. Tony Romo and the Cowboys take on the 2011-2012 Super Bowl champs and conference rival the New York Giants in the Sunday Night Football game opener in Dallas September 8th.

You know how to reach me Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.... all that social media stuff. Until next time...