Tit for tat? Really?

I don’t like man-bashers and woman-bashers. Nor am I fond of people that set out to have sex with as many people as possible. I choose not to associate myself with people who perpetuate negative stereotypes and those that use racial epithets. People that prefer to “dumb it down” won’t get a piece of me, either.

What annoys me more than the people who possess those characteristics are the ones that feel it’s acceptable because others do. You know, the “Well, I only do it because they do it” people. For example, women who bash men because men bash women. Or Blacks that make racist comments about Whites because they feel “Whites did it first”. Anyone who excuses their immature, ignorant behavior because someone else does it seriously annoys me. It’s tit for tat behavior. It’s sophomoric.

If you like to sleep around, act in a childish and irresponsible manner, or make racist jokes, I can’t stop you, obviously. I have more respect for someone who genuinely acts that way, though. I’d rather know exactly where you stand and why than be exposed to a side of you that exists only because others act the same. My biggest issue with the tit for tat craze is that people who would normally be sensible resort to juvenile tactics in order to even the score, which only makes situations worse. These people have no clue how ridiculous they look and sound.

I’ll give just two of many examples of this wackness.

Many women have chosen to not only establish themselves in the workforce and on the playing field, but to also own their sexuality now. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, in my opinion. For years the legal system and society has, in its own way, placed limits on how women could express themselves. It was almost as if a woman weren’t seen as a dainty, submissive, aspiring housewife, then she wasn’t woman enough. Many men scoffed (and some lame, insecure ones still do) at the idea of a strong, independent woman. However, there is a difference between owning your sexuality and exhibiting whorish behavior. Engaging in sexual relations with as many partners as possible does not speak well for your character, whether you’re a man or woman, gay or straight. I’ve heard some women say that women shouldn’t be criticized for this because men have done it for years. Who said that we were right to do it? It’s appalling that there are men that view women as nothing more than potential sexual conquests. Yet I refuse to give a woman who sleeps around a pass just because a number of adult men act like teenage horndogs.

The Don Imus situation was definitely a scandalous one. He obviously could’ve used a better choice of words to tell his listeners what he thought of the Rutgers and Tennesse women’s basketball teams’ looks. Still, it caused me to think of how many Black men and women I’ve heard use the same words to describe Black women. As Imus stated, you can hear some of the same words in rap lyrics. In addition, Spike Lee’s “School Daze” devoted a musical number to “Jigaboos vs Wannabes”, where dark-skinned and light-skinned women squared off in a hair salon. Since when have we been the sole owners of the right to belittle and demean our own people by speaking and expressing ourselves in a way that would make most of our parents and grandparents vomit? Is it really okay for a Black comic to use “honky”or “cracker”, or stereotype Whites, Latinos, and Asians, but when the tables are turned, there’s an uproar in the Black community? If we find it so offensive to be ridiculed, then why do so many of us do the same to other races? Yes, we’ve been discriminated against and made fun of for years. But we’re no better when we do the same, and it doesn’t help matters to feel as if we need to get some sort of vengeance now. Pathetic is the word I use to describe  those Blacks that feel it’s alright to lose all common sense simply because they feel it’s our time to look down on others of a different ethnicity or cultural background.

Tit for tat didn’t work when we were children, so I’m not sure why so many think it’s plausible to suggest that it would, or should be accepted now. You might feel that you’re accomplishing something by insulting others, whoring yourself out, or carrying on like a fool, but I assure you that you’re not. People that exercise sensibility look at you and listen to you, and shake their heads in bewilderment. So many people my age don’t offer reasoning for their behavior, only excuses, and I’m starting to realize that it’s slowing our development as a people, nation, and generation. If you feel as if you’ve been forced to respond in a way that you don’t want to, or normally wouldn’t, chances are it’s wrong. Knock it off. NOW.

P.S. I miss Karen!!!

P.P.S. Nah, miss. Keep the sneakers on…

Dear Tim Tebow fans…

A Tebow fan's view of a Florida football game...

Jarvis Moss, Reggie Nelson, Percy Harvin, DeShawn Wynn, Brandon Spikes, Derrick Harvey, Joe Haden, Riley Cooper, Andre Caldwell, Jeffrey Demps, Aaron Hernandez, Major Wright, David Nelson, Michael Pouncey, and Phil Troutwein. Do you know who they are? They were Tim Tebow’s teammates at the University of Florida from 2007-09, when Tebow established himself as “the greatest college football player ever”. Defensive linemen, linebackers, cornerbacks, safeties, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends and offensive linemen. 5-star recruits, All-Americans, All-SEC, NFL Draft picks, and even an NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year is in the bunch. I mention them to let you Tebow fans know that he did not single-handedly win football games, conference championships, and national championships.

I am not a “Tebow-hater”. I believe he was a great college football player. His games were usually a joy to watch, because of the enthusiasm and effort he played with. Couple that with the fact that I’ve loved UF football since the Steve Spurrier days, and it’s easy to see why I didn’t mind seeing him succeed on the collegiate level, even though I’m a huge Michigan and Michigan St. football fan.

HOWEVER, all of the Tebow love is seriously starting to annoy me. What makes it worse is that most of it doesn’t even make sense.

I’ve heard many say that Tebow won 2 national titles. True, he was part of 2 national title teams, but he was Chris Leak’s backup in 2006. He definitely was a piece of the puzzle, but nowhere near a large piece. Someone once argued with me that Florida wouldn’t have won the 2006 title game without him. Word? Florida beat Ohio State (how I loathe the Buckeyes), 41-14. Tebow ran and threw for a touchdown. That touchdown pass? A one-yarder before the end of the second half to put Florida ahead, 34-14. Clutch.

Have you Tebow fans ever heard of Alex Smith? He was just as much a beneficiary of an offensive scheme designed to take advantage of his strengths as Tebow was while playing for Urban Meyer, who transformed Smith from a good WAC quarterback into the #1 NFL Draft pick in the 2005 draft. The shotgun, spread-option offense made Smith look like a world-beater, and it’s done the same for Tebow. While Smith did not play in arguably the best football conference in the country, or even a very good one, he was seen as a more prototypical quarterback coming out of college than Tebow. How has he done in the NFL, you ask? Next question.

Please, don’t bring up “The Speech”. What irks me about it is that it’s given Tebow fans one more reason to bring up how great of a leader he is. Excuse me, but I’m 99.9% sure that Tebow is not the first college football player (or college athlete, period) to deliver an emotional, fiery speech to his team and its fans after a disappointing loss to an inferior opponent. I don’t really have a problem with the speech. As a matter of fact, I actually thought it was great. I became irritated when ESPN and damn near every other sports and news outlet hyped the speech up to be on the level of the Ten Commandments. The speech has even been engraved on a plaque and sits outside of the Florida Field football facility. Wow.

"The Speech"

We get it. Tebow is a great guy. He’s got intangibles. He was a Christian missionary in the Philippines. Despite being home-schooled, he appears to be perfectly normal. He’s an uber-respectful, God-fearing virgin. There is a bill pending in the Alabama Legislature, called “The Tim Tebow Bill”, which would allow home-schooled students in the state of Alabama to play sports for their local high school. But…um…that does not equate to success on a football field, nor does it equate to having a productive professional football career. A speech does not win Super Bowl rings, playoff games, division games, or even mean that he’ll have good quarters. It seems like everytime anyone offers criticism of Tebow, it’s met with “You’re a Tebow hater!” People who can’t accept that Tebow isn’t perfect obviously don’t know much about football, and are most likely current students or alumni of UF. Granted, some of the criticism is unnecessary and a little harsh, but like every other athlete in the public eye, he’ll be praised as well as “dissed”. Stop being sensitive.

I made a point on Twitter yesterday about Myron Rolle and NFL teams shying away from him because they aren’t sure whether or not he’s focused on playing football. Rolle is a safety and graduate of Florida State University. He earned a Bachelor’s in Exercise Science in 2.5 years and earned a Rhodes Scholarship for his success in the classroom. Rolle chose to forgo his final season at FSU to study at Oxford, to earn an M.A in medical anthropology. Instead of attempting to help his draft stock, he took one step closer to becoming a physician and neurosurgeon and doing what he could to dispel the notion that Black athletes from the inner-city are only after the money. He has dreams of going to poverty-stricken countries and utilizing his degree to provide health care to their citizens. He’s acknowledged that he’s heard he will be a 5th or 6th round pick, which usually doesn’t guarantee a guy a spot on an NFL roster. Even though he’s extremely talented on the field, and has shown it during his career at FSU, some NFL front offices aren’t sure whether professional football would be his top priority.

Myron Rolle, safety and Rhodes Scholar

While Tebow gets praised and is glorified for ending every speech/presser/comment with “God bless”, his intangibles, and missionary work, Rolle has gone without nearly one-quarter of the same fanfare for over a year. Tebow fans cry out how selfless he is. How else could you describe potentially sacrificing millions of dollars to study abroad, with the hopes of helping impoverished people? Rolle didn’t play football for a “mid-major”. He played for FSU, and the great head coach Bobby Bowden and defensive coordinator, Mickey Andrews. And yet, his accomplishments have been lost among the latest stupid, heinous act committed by Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, Mel Kiper’s hair, and of course, Tim Tebow, and all that is great about him.

Tebow fans, practice logic. Understand that everyone in the limelight will be criticized at one point or another, whether it’s warranted or not. Even Michael Jordan received his fair share of criticism throughout his playing career, and even after. Go ahead and jump on the Denver Broncos bandwagon and cheer for every 3-yard run and jump pass thrown by Tebow. If he has a successful career, it will be mostly because of his talent. If he fails, it will be mostly because of his talent. Please, please, please…understand that just because you hear/read someone express that they are not a Tebow fan, does not mean they are a “Tebow-hater”…

P.S. I miss Karen!!!

P.P.S. Go Bulls! Go Blackhawks!

Respect my generation…

Let me start off by saying that I don’t have a problem with authority figures. I don’t buck authority whenever I get the chance. There have been times when I admitted to not being fond of the police, but I still have a great deal of respect for any non-corrupt man or woman that protects and serves with pride and dignity. I’ve had my fair share of battles with teachers and coaches, but I don’t feel that I’ve ever crossed a line. Yes, I’ve had plenty of arguments with Karen, but I always acknowledged how much she meant/means to me.

I’m fully aware that there are members of my generation that can have their attitudes summarized with one word: unruly. However, that is not the prerogative of all of us. We are not all hell-bent on making the lives of those around us harder. Regardless of what people of previous generations may think, most of us do not think that we are “all-knowing”, and don’t feel entitled to everything, while wanting to do nothing in the process. It’s absurd to think that we set out to screw up every opportunity given to us. Most of us are not infatuated with gangster rap, not content with moderate success, and we understand that it’s up to us, and nobody else, to make our future more than the coming hours, days, weeks, months, and years.

Still, we are labeled as rebellious, reckless, uneducated, thugs, promiscuous, carefree, brash, et cetera, et cetera. Talk to enough people that are 40 and older, and eventually you’ll hear “When I was younger…”, “These young people nowadays…”, or “I swear this generation…”. We are not held in high regards in those statements, most often. This unnerves me to no end, and is truly disheartening. It’s sad because these are people that should aim to mentor us, guide us down a better path, and be there for us in whatever way they can, rather than cut us down at every turn.

One example of this can be found in sports. You will often hear older and retired players make disparaging remarks about the current generation of players. They opine that current young players are only in it for the money, don’t respect the game or their predecessors, don’t work at their craft, and totally disregard their fans. Obviously, this is true when it comes to a few athletes, who have been criticized for their behavior recently.

We’ve seen the Allen Iverson press conference in which he openly mocked anyone who feels that he should attend practice everyday. We’ve heard Latrell Sprewell say that he would not play for the Minnesota Timberwolves because he didn’t like their contract offer of $30 million over 3 years. Due to make almost $15 million for the upcoming season, he backed up his stance with the reasoning, “I got my family to feed.” Anquan Boldin, now a wide receiver on the Baltimore Ravens, demanded a trade…because he wanted a contract extension that his previous team, the Arizona Cardinals, wasn’t ready to give him. Chris Andersen, a power forward for the Denver Nuggets, was suspended by the NBA for two years for violating its substance abuse policy. Other athletes in other sports(especially baseball)have been suspended for the same offense. We’ve seen Zinedine Zidane(an Algerian playing for the French national team)headbutt Marco Materazzi(Italian)during a soccer match, after Materazzi allegedly called him a terrorist. Those that watch hockey either saw or heard of Marty McSorley hitting Donald Brashear over the head with his stick, or Todd Bertuzzi blindsiding Steve Moore, causing him serious injuries. Although these are individual cases, it seems as if older, former players and even older sports fans attribute this behavior to the fact that this is a part of our generation’s way of living.

It’s very easy to say that you didn’t play the game for money when there wasn’t much to be made. It’s easy to put down an athlete that demands a trade when trades were unheard of decades ago. The same goes for free agency, signing bonuses, and endorsement deals. Include violence, to an extent. Conveniently, many of these older people leave out the fact that Ty Cobb was a racist, Wilt Chamberlain and Babe Ruth were womanizers, the 1919 White Sox threw the World Series for money, Pete Rose gambled, committing baseball’s cardinal sin, Mickey Mantle was a drunk during his playing days, and Jim Brown and Ted Williams weren’t the nicest people around.

One claim that I have huge problem with is the notion that we’re spoiled. I’ve never understood how older adults could complain about how today’s youth is spoiled when they’re the ones that made us this way. I vividly remember seeing many of my elementary, junior high, and high school classmates wearing the latest pair of Jordans, $250 Coogi sweaters, girls with $300 Coach bags, and guys with $600 leather jackets. Of course, we asked for them, but if we heard “no”, I’m sure that it wouldn’t have killed us. Say what you want, but if somebody agrees to buy you something that you want(especially when you’re in high school, and think popularity is everything), most times, you’ll accept it.

In addition, most of these “marketing execs” aren’t 20-25 years old. The people that spend hour after hour trying to figure out how to sell their product at inflated prices sure don’t have a moral compass, yet we’re the ones that are ridiculed and insulted because we happen to be the chief consumers. I understand that superficiality and materalism seem to run rampant now, but the only thing we’ve been spoiled by are a plethora of ways to express ourselves. Don’t be upset with us because we’re not living in the monotonous 60s and 70s.

As for implications that my generation doesn’t value ourselves or society, I’m afraid I have to call bullshit. Really? Are you serious? Granted, we didn’t have to deal with Jim Crow, or the civil rights issues of the 60s and 70s. Yes, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan are what many people my age will tell our grandchildren about when we’re of that age, but they pale in comparison to World War I and II, and the Vietnam War. Men aren’t losing their lives in coal mines, and women have every opportunity to be successful, unlike the obstacles that men and women faced in the US many years ago. For the most part, we have it slightly easier than our parents and grandparents did.

Yet, at the same time, I feel that it’s harder than ever to simply survive. In what is supposed to be the greatest nation on Earth, we are struggling to get jobs, pay for college, and clear debt. Gangs populate neighborhoods, we’re losing friends everyday, and(due to our own irresponsibility, for the most part), are bringing children into this world when we’re still, honestly, children ourselves. Consider the political climate of this country, and you have a recipe for a rough future.

If we stand up for something, we’re seen as rebels and disrespectful. I know more than a few 40-, 50- something people that have gushed about “free love”. How easy it is to be a whore when you don’t have to worry about the ramifications of your actions. We don’t enjoy the same luxury. With the STDs present, we can’t afford to give ourselves to anyone that’s available. Penicillin doesn’t cure any serious ailment besides strep throat, to my knowledge. Neither can we afford to melt our minds with hardcore drugs. It is a “kill or be killed” world now, from sports to corporate settings, and we simply can’t waste years of our lives being intoxicated, inebriated, or incapacitated. I know that this doesn’t apply to every person twice my age, but again, it’s amazing how these things can be glorified, depending on who you speak to. How do you think a 2010 Woodstock would be perceived?

Yes, there are members of my generation that cause me to shake my head in bewilderment. I find myself dumbfounded at what some of my peers stand for. Gucci Mane, Tyler Perry, gang warfare, illiteracy, dishonesty, and irresponsibility are just a few of the things that have me feeling like we don’t understand as a generation that we’re capable of so much more than perpetuating negative stereotypes. That doesn’t give anyone the right to make a blanket statement about my generation, though. It seriously pains me to hear older people constantly make generalizations about my generation from their self-righteous thrones. After all, they were our age once, and their beliefs and actions were called into question by their parents and grandparents. So I’m a little confused by all of the shock about our decision to live life the way we choose to. And for some reason, some don’t believe me when I say the generation gap is steadily widening…

P.S. I miss Karen!!!

P.P.S. If you were offended by this post, you might want to reevaluate your way of thinking…

MLK, the Alpha…and my brother…

Everyone (well, I hope everyone) is aware that today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. No, today is not his birthday. For those of you that didn’t know, his birthday was the 15th of January. His birthday is simply observed on the third Monday of January. This was a day that was not observed until 1986, 3 years after the holiday was signed into law. It wasn’t until 2000 that all 50 states decided to recognize MLK Day.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the first Black Greek Letter Organization established (at an Ivy League school, Cornell, no less). Those who know me well know that my allegiance to my fraternity (Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.) is strong. However, we all view him as a fraternity brother. Each fraternity and sorority has “distinguished members”, which are Greeks that have become famous for whatever reason. We are all expected to know our history and pay homage to our founders, brothers and sisters when given the chance.

Sometimes, things get a little testy. Be it at a step show, party, probate show…there is definitely animosity at times. And yet, at the end of the day, my motto is “Greek love”. You may be a member of a different fraternity and stand for something different from I, but when it’s all said and done, I have love for all of my Greek brothers and sisters. Black, White, Latino, Asian, African, European, it doesn’t matter to me as long as you do the best that you can to serve your community and represent your organization with pride and dignity.

I have been a witness to some of the chaos that is a step show, and have seen firsthand how Greeks can be at each other’s throats. I’ve also seen Greeks work to together towards a common cause. We’ve had the support of Kappas, Ques, Deltas, and AKAs when trying to raise money for diabetes awareness. My brothers and I have attended SGRho functions to simply show our support, and have worked with Iotas to help troubled young men in the state of Michigan.

Yes, one of the “perks” of belonging to a fraternity or sorority is an increase in social status on campus, but we also make sure that we put in work. We understand that we are an example to many, and that we have a reputation to uphold. If one of us does something ill-advised, it is not a reflection on that person, but on the Greek organization that he/she belongs to. We set out to make sure that our peers know that while we may technically belong to a private group, we are still very much a part of the campus community.

I believe the same attitude should apply to everyday society. You don’t need to be a member of a fraternity or sorority to get together with friends, or like-minded people, and do good for others. There’s no need to pledge if you want to mentor, or give your time to a cause, or help those in need. It’s unnecessary to own a shirt, sweater, or jacket with Greek letters embroidered on it to want to set a good example for those surrounding you.

I love my fraternity, but I will never let it define me, which I assume was Martin Luther King, Jr.’s way of thinking. I think of myself as a man that wants to do whatever he can to make the next person’s life a bit easier. I will not allow my race to limit me from learning as much as I can and interacting with others. I refuse to let differences have a negative effect on how I interact with those same people. In my opinion, it doesn’t matter that I’m a 24 year-old Black male from the south side of Chicago. I was raised to be an open-minded person, and that’s what I will continue to be until the day I die. At the end of each and every day, I just want to be a little bit better. I’m sure Martin Luther King, Jr. wouldn’t have wanted things any other way…

P.S. I miss Karen!!!

P.P.S. “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”–Martin Luther King, Jr.

It’s a woman’s world…

Fellas, have you ever really listened to James Brown’s “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World”? Really, you only need to listen to the first two lines of the song to understand what James was really trying to say through song:

This is a man’s world, this is a man’s world
But it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl

If you still don’t understand:

You see, man made the cars to take us over the road
Man made the trains to carry heavy loads
Man made electric light to take us out of the dark
Man made the boat for the water, like Noah made the ark

This is a man’s, a man’s, a man’s world
But it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl

Man thinks about a little baby girls and a baby boys
Man makes then happy ’cause man makes them toys
And after man has made everything, everything he can
You know that man makes money to buy from other man

This is a man’s world
But it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl

He’s lost in the wilderness
He’s lost in bitterness

Now if you still think that Brown was saying that this is strictly a man’s world, you might want to re-enroll in grammar school and brush up on Reading and Comprehension. Brown lists some of the significant contributions that man has made to our society. Not people, but men. Cars, trains, light, boats, et cetera, yes, we are given credit for their creations. We are supposedly the breadwinners, providers, and supporters. Still, James knows that we (heterosexual men) are NOTHING without women.

Often, it is brought up, whether on tv or the radio, or in movies, that women seem to run on a biological clock. Not because women understand that it is harder to have a healthy baby as they get older. Not because women want to be middle-aged and not a senior citizen while their child is a teenager. But because society has unintentionally told women that a woman is practically a failure if she’s over the age of 30, single, and with no kids. Many women know that this is not a written rule, but still fret over finding a husband and starting a family before they get “too old”. Too many times, women end up settling in fear of being 35, still single, with no kids. Some see their friends get married and have children at a relatively young age, and it in turn puts pressure on them to have the same things, even if she knows that it is not right for her or just plain unnecessary. Subconsciously, so many women find themselves looking ahead to their wedding day without even first finding someone to meet at the altar.

Do men work on a biological clock? Fortunately, no. It is not self-imposed or something that the media has pushed upon us. A man at 35 (most times) doesn’t feel as if he’s nearing the end of the road. In fact, a good number of men at that age feel as if they’re simply entering a second phase of manhood. There are too many examples of older men that became fathers to children of young women. Men that turn 40 and decide to “live it up”. Are we self-conscious? Absolutely, yes. The biggest difference, in my opinion, between men and women is that while women either aren’t afraid to show it or think that it’s acceptable for a woman to show such behavior, men don’t want ANYONE ELSE to know of our insecurities. Our fears. That we doubt when we say we’re confident. Some of us are truly frightened by the prospect of being single for the rest of our lives. Some worry that we won’t have a son to carry on our legacy. Or a daughter to walk down the aisle. Or that a woman will never see us for the good men that we are, but the dogs that a few portray.

This is a woman’s world, dammit. Pretty much everything that heterosexual men do, we do it for women. It could be something as simple as buying a new tie or getting a haircut. Or something on a larger scale, like buying a new article of clothing, car, or house. Some of us were told when we were younger that we do these things to attract a mate. I’ve never liked “finding a mate” (sounds animalistic), so I’ve always preferred to believe that men go out of their way to find a good woman. Are there false intentions? Of course. There are most definitely men that work so they can waste their money with the hopes of impressing a woman. There are men that buy a car they know they can’t afford, with the belief that they’ll be able to attract a plethora of women. Men lie about their jobs, salaries, cars, and even their living situation if it means they’ll be closer to landing a woman. At the same time, women approach men with false intentions all the time, so we’ll call that a wash.

The average man probably won’t admit it, but we NEED women. No, not just because without women, none of us would be here. And no, not because of the obvious: SEX. Rather because we feel complete when we have a good woman by our side. Again, that’s something the average man probably won’t admit, but I believe it to be true. For the most part, the single life is wonderfully awesome. You have a chance to better yourself, and focus only on your desires and wants. Still, it gives a man a great sense of pride to know that he is with a woman that is loyal to him. It’s an ego trip. The machismo kicks in. We want to do everything in our power to make our women happy. Regardless of color, race, and age, that’s what most men want. We look at you, and want to be better men in every way, shape, and form. Right there. On the spot. We want to be everything that you’ve ever wanted in a man, and then some. Men can go through life acting like they’re still on the playground. Still high school jackasses. College frat boys. Even board room assholes. All of a sudden, we want nothing to do with any of that when we find the right woman.

Regardless of what a man or woman tells you, not all of us are inconsiderate pricks. When a relationship is over, not all men pull out their cell phones to the tune of “On To The Next One”. We don’t all refer to women as bitches, hoes, skanks, sluts, skeezers, broads, and the like. Yes, some of us actually cry after a break-up. Some of us sit up at night wondering when we’ll finally find Ms. Right instead of Ms. Right Now. It’s frustrating for many of us to know that we wear the label of “liar”, “cheater”, or “dog” because a few of our brethren have screwed women over. It hurts even more to see a good woman mistreated. We look at men like Tiger Woods, Chris Brown, Eric Benet, our fathers, uncles, cousins, brothers, and friends, and understand why so many women feel hopeless. We know that many of you want to give up on us, and some of you actually do. But we will ALWAYS need you. Without women, we would indeed be “lost in the wilderness” and “lost in the bitterness”. And as long as that’s the thinking amongst mature, responsible, and sensible men…IT’S A WOMAN’S WORLD…

P.S. I miss Karen!!!

P.P.S. #shoutout to my Billie Frechette, the dopest getaway driver a dude could ever ask for…

Yeah…I don’t do New Year’s resolutions…

Seriously, I don’t. I touched on this briefly in another blog, and I think that I gave a pretty decent explanation for why I feel this way. To be a little more in-depth…

I think New Year’s resolutions are stupid. If you want to better yourself, more power to you. I encourage it, actually. So many people nowadays are content with their current position, that they fail to realize that unless you’re perfect, you can always improve. But to screw around for an entire year, and on the last day of that year decide that you’re going to somehow be more productive, efficient, successful, etc….is sad. Millions of people do this every year. And what’s even sadder is that most don’t make any forward progress in reaching their “goals”. From “I will stop smoking” to “I will be a better man” to “I will donate to charity”, these are resolutions that usually go ignored after several weeks of the new year, anyway. This laziness often shows up in relationships. When it’s brand new, one makes sure to be on the ball as much as possible. Once the relationship gains weight, the little things stop. There’s a routine. A sense of accomplishment comes into play, and the relationship eventually suffers.

I have some advice: Do better…no…BE better, 365 days a year. No one expects your “A” game everyday, but I know that I expect an earnest effort. If you can’t put forth at least a decent effort, maybe you should isolate yourself from the rest of society and forget about New Year’s resolutions. Nothing can save you. You’re like Paris Hilton in a college classroom: a lost cause.

I think it’s safe to say that my 2009 won’t be listed among my favorites anytime soon. It started off at a wack New Year’s party with a girlfriend that I later discovered was just going through the motions. Somehow, an engagement followed. A few months later, we split like cheerleaders at a competition. Disappointment and heartbreak decided to pay me a visit. I quit my job not long after, and sleptwalked through a sub par summer, highlighted by bad weather and boredom. I figured I’d have to chalk the year up as another “lost year”, try to start anew, and then…

Things started to turn around once I was introduced to Billie Frechette. I had to remove someone from my circle, but it was well worth it. Time passed, Billie and I became closer, and we began committing crimes on a nightly basis. To cap my 2009, I spent the last few days of the year (and the first of 2010) knocking over banks and stealing cars with Ms. Frechette. The majority of 2009 may have been something I’d like to forget, but the end filled me with optimism for 2010.

Although I was involved in a failed relationship, I never felt as if I needed to make a resolution to be a better boyfriend. I gave that relationship, and her, everything I had. My friends know how to get in touch with me, and I let them know whenever I can that I’m here for them. I don’t need January 1 to start practicing loyalty or trustworthiness. My Granny B would get my last dollar if she needed it, whether at the beginning or end of the year. The same goes for the little brah. And Billie Frechette. Everyone in my circle will be treated as if they were in my circle ALL YEAR, and they’ll get nothing less from me.

Life is too short to drift through a year without worries, and then try to turn it around for the next year. I may be only 24, but I just don’t feel that I have that kind of time.

I remember one of my friend’s father telling me, “New Year’s resolutions are for people who know they’ve just wasted an entire year.” Mr. Nathan, I now know what you were talking about…

P.S. I miss Karen!!!

P.P.S. #shoutout to Granny B, Adam J, Billie Frechette, Charity, Little Jackie, Lauren, Jon, @CrimeDoesPay, Peach, Tiara in her tiara, Sarahsota, Brian, Amber Rose Jr, Mary, Miss DJ, Fowler, Nani, Quick, Lauren Jackson, Christian, SonyaRoi, James, Chip, Dion, Phil, Manny, Big Ron, Little Ron, Tenisha, Cause, J-mar, Vito, Dina, D, Jonboy, Ali, Darrell, the Animal House, all of my Sigma, Zeta, and Spartan family, and everyone who strives for excellence everyday, and not just December 31, at 11:59 PM…

Why ya wanna go and do that love, huh?

Lately, I’ve been in Hyde Park Record Store and Dr. Wax more than I’ve been at home. Well, maybe not THAT much. But I have found myself roaming the aisles of those two stores, seemingly on a hunt for good ish to listen to. Not so much hip hop, but just good music. I rarely buy new releases anymore, mainly because they’re overpriced and most aren’t worth the price. I bought a copy of Outkast’s “Aquemini” and Do Or Die’s “Headz or Tailz” for $4.99 each. Two classics, and I barely spent more than $10, including tax. Today, I bought The Clash’s “Combat Rock”, an album that I hadn’t heard for almost 3 years. I paid only $7.99 for it. C’mon, son.  If I’m not at a record store, I’m downloading some otherworldly, extraterrestrial mixtape that no one else seems to have listened to. How many people do you know that have heard Mick Boogie and Adele’s mixtape? I didn’t think so. I take pride in having such an eclectic taste in music. It’s starting to show in my iTunes, on my iPod, and my random performances throughout the day. I’m just walking around Chicago, trying to catch up on some of the music that has seemed to escape my ears. Everything I hear is dope, including Diplo’s remix of “Flashing Lights”. I’m most definitely not allowing anyone to influence what I listen to nowadays. That mentality died back in high school. I’d like to keep my music library pure, at least by my definition. P.S. I miss Karen!!! P.P.S. #shoutout to #myfavoritenerd, L-Boogie, Jon, and Fowler for introducing me to some pretty dope muzak of late

Say what you mean, kid…

So…all I ask is that people say what they mean. I’m not sure why someone would make a statement about something and then find a way to somehow change the way they worded it…after already expressing their opinion. Any halfway intelligent person would be able to comprehend what is said, and form an opinion based on that. Getting caught up in a contradiction and adding new points to your argument to cover it up will most likely get you nothing but laughter. Not humorous laughter, but the kind of condescending laughter that would make most people red in the face. If you feel a certain way about something, stick to it. Don’t try and retract previous statements, or accuse someone of misconstruing what you’ve said. And if you find yourself conveying a point to someone that just isn’t getting it, all you have to do is end the conversation. Point, blank, period. I’ve heard people say some of the most crass, crude, lewd, and asinine things…and then say that it was uttered out of frustration. That’s no different than doing something wildly obscene or ludicrous and blaming it on being drunk. What’s the problem with that? Some of those remarks can hurt people. Some of those remarks can lose others’ respect. Some of those remarks can cause others to look at you as if you’re unintelligent. To ask for forgiveness, or explain that you’ve said something because you were at your wit’s end is no excuse, in my opinion. Karen stressed to me, “Think before you speak”. Try it; it works wonders. If you know that your frustration can get the best of you, causing you to potentially offend someone, it’s up to you to change that. No one wants to be berated or hear nonsensical bullshit because you have a short fuse. Others aren’t inside of your head. They don’t know what you really meant to say, or that you weren’t speaking with malicious intent. I’m not referring to instances when you feel the need to clarify yourself in order to be better understood. I’m referring to an instance when you say the first thing that comes to mind, and then get called out for the message. Don’t get mad, or say someone is “attacking” you, please. If I’m on the receiving end of that garbage, it won’t be long at all before you lose me. TRUST. P.S. I miss Karen!!! P.P.S. I’m here…