Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Guide to the "Hot Girl"

This is still funnie!

Just Another Day In Long Beach! Beach Cities Scooter Club!

Beach Cities Scooter Club President Melanie Cooper

This past weekend, Mrs. Jaycee and I, were out shopping and ended up having a really cool adventure. I was busy teaching this Double cheese burger a lesson, when we noticed a whole bunch of folks on scooters. Now, I've seen bike clubs, car clubs and motorcycle clubs but never a scooter club. Luckily, Mrs. Jaycee, had her trusty digital camera with her and my mouth was in good working order.

Mista Jaycee's favorite Scooter. The Morpheus! Sleek and Fast!

I approached the group which numbered over a hundred people and introduced myself. It was sunny, the air was mostly smog free and hell ,I'd never seen over a hundred folks on Vespas before. This ish was coooooooooooool! Anyone remember the Honda Elites back around 1986 and how big a fad they became? Even dudes were riding those.

So I first met a young dude wearing shorts and Doc Martins and I asked him about all the folks and what they were doing. Well, this is the Beach Cities Scooter Club and we are meeting up for a ride. He was kind enough to introduce me to the President of the Beach Cities Scooter Club, his Mom! So, I spoke with Melanie Cooper, the founder and President of the club.

Mista Jaycee: So, how did this come about?

Melanie Cooper: Well, I went to Meet and typed in scooters and well I started a club. Soon, there were others who contacted me and joined.

Mista Jaycee: Now, why a scooter and not a Harley or a Schwinn?

Melanie Cooper: I own a motorcycle, but this is Southern California, and nothing looks better than Southern California on a scooter.

Mista Jaycee: All these people belong to Beach Cities Scooter Club?

Melanie Cooper: No, there are several other clubs that have found us and joined us for today's ride.

Mista Jaycee: Cool! Who knew there were scooter clubs and all these people would get together? It just proves what me and Mrs. Jaycee say to our daughter. Get in where you fit in!

I talked with alot of folks with the crowd. This was really cool and they were really cool people. All of them. Open your mind and your heart, the adventure awaits! Oh, and watch out for me cause I'm gonna be on the back of a scooter, real soon, so stay off the sidewalk! (Wink)

BE Mindful! BE Prayerful! BE Careful!


Monday, May 25, 2009

Lakers Lose Game 4!

The Most Beloved Los Angeles Lakers fell to the surging Denver Nuggets. The Lakers were out hustled, out Rebounded, and out TECHED!
What the Heck is going on with all these TECHS! I predict that this new TECH policy and all these B/S Flagrants will lead to the NBA being a counterpart of the NFL, the NO FUN LEAGUE!

Let these MEN play Basketball!
GO Lakers!

Another Officer Involved Murder, I mean......Killing in The City Of Champions!

The City of Champions, Inglewood, California is a Black Mayor and a Black Female Police Chief located about three to seven miles from Los Angeles International Airport. Did I miss something? Los Angeles is a major metropolitan city, a multi ethnic city! What the hell is going on here. According to reports this is the twelfth shooting to happen this year! The 31st overall. One Thing that I find most disturbing is the constant reports that the Officers 1. Felt they were in Danger. 2. Officers in almost every case there was a gun. Guns were not confirmed!

I reserve my overall judgement, in this case but if the facts, prove that this was a bad shoot, then I want the officers arrested, and charged with manslaughter, and negligent homicide. Not that Bull Ish, Civil Rights Violations in Federal Court. No, the City and State needs to send that message, then the Federal needs to put the icing on it.
BE Careful! BE Mindful! BE Prayerful!

Here's the link to the story!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Lakers lose Game 2

Those pesky, scrappy, Denver Nuggets pulled out a win versus the most beloved Los Angeles Lakers led by World Champion Chaucey "Mr. Bigshot" Billups! Hey! I wanted to see the Hated Boston Celtics and The Most Beloved Los Angeles Lakers for a rematch but alas, it was not to be. But both series are fun to watch!

Go Lakers! Win Game 3

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Spiritual Food For Thought!

"He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." Malachi 3:3

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. (IAM)

One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study. That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God (IAM) holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver." She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.

The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment, then she asked the silversmith: "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?" He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy -- When I see my image in it."

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God (IAM) has His eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you. And, whatever you're going through, you'll be a better person in the end.

Courtesy of the Hope of Israel Ministries


They Cancelled My Name is Earl! The THEY is NBC! WTH? My Name is Earl is one of NBC's most successful shows. This from a network that has recycled Saturday Night Live for the last 20 years! That Parks and Recreation show better not still be on! What about 30 ROCK? Did it get cut? (Sorry Tracy Morgan)

I love the show. I watch the show online when I miss it! When I worked the graveyard shift, this was one of the shows that got me through! It's also one of the few shows that made me laugh out loud! TITUS being the other one.


Any Earl Fans out there? NBC is creating some bad, bad KARMA!

BE Mindful! BE Prayerful! BE Careful!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I Saw Star Trek!

I saw the new Star Trek. Now when the homeboy Serious Black said the Zoe Saldana was gonna be the new Uhura, I was like %&%()$$+##! She's beautiful but she's a Honey baby and Uhura was a super Soul Chocolate Sista! They gonna try to re-write the Trek!

Now, I ain't a trekkie even though I loved the Original series with William Shatner. I grew up with it, so imagine my surprise when I saw the clips advertising the movie; Kinda makes you think Kirk and Uhura had a back story that we didn't see in the original.
Not! Now, I enjoyed the movie, I really did but it wasn't the best writing. It took alot of time letting us know that Kirk was a bad azz and even let us know that he's a genius bad azz. A GENIUS! And of course a Bad Azz who just needs a Father figure to show him some real guidance and no shortage of Women, Green and otherwise who want to suckle him and let him know Mami's here for you Kirk! Mami's here! Boring! That parts boring, predictable, lazy writing that's been done to death!
Now the fight scenes! Kick Azz! Oh Yeah! Here's what you need in a great action film, well most any film really. Sulu Effin Rox! Oh, Yeah!
1. Chase Scene!
2. Fight Scene!
3. Full frontal Nudity!
4. Explosions!
5. A kick azz super baddie who dies in a horrible,grotesque manner!
No Nudity!
That's Ok cause it has lots of explosions! The Notebook this movie ain't! This is Star Trek for the Fast and Furious set.
The only thing I found utterly distasteful was the diffusing of one of Hallmarks! Uhura and Kirk kissed shattering an strong old Racist taboo. An Interracial Kiss. They took that out in favor of a love affair between Spock and Uhura. Spock and Uhura? An Alien and a Minority! Ok, somewhere Ole Jimmy Crow is saying well, that's ok.
Yeah, Ok We can deal with that. Just goes to show that if you ain't watching the gains you made can be taken away.
Just like that!
BE Mindful! BE Prayerful! BE Careful!

Wile Coyote finally kills Roadrunner: Seth Mcfarlane Cavalcade Die Sweet Roadrunner, Die

This is Funnie! Warning! Some Curse Words!

Another Brotha Down!

Rapper 21
Record almost done
well known but not famous
killed by a gun
Anotha Brotha goes down!
Wasted potential could've
elevated the people
could have planted blessed seeds.
Two Brothas gone! Set trippin!
One locked away consumed by the beast
One in the ether blown away like smog in the wind

Friday, May 15, 2009

Waymond Tisdale Passes On!

Waymond Tisdale passed away this morning from cancer. God Bless his family in their time of sorrow.

I loved him as a NBA Player and loved his first Album which I will be listening to tonight. He was one Smoove Jazz Player that didn't gross me out! He will be missed greatly!
BE Mindful! BE Prayeful! BE Careful!

"Bam Bam" Speaks at ASU!

Arizona State University made a huge public relations gaffe by not awarding President Barack "Bam Bam" Obama a honorary degree. He has not achieved enough! He does not have a substantial enough body of work to deserve an "Honorary" degree from this University.

I guess becoming the first Black editor of the HARVARD LAW REVIEW is not that big a deal. HARVARD's (must be a little commuter school) been around what...over 100 years. No Big Deal! Becoming an Illinois State Senator, and winning the United States Presidency by a huge margin to become the First (Declared) Black President of the United States of America which is what over 200 years old. That's not a big enough achievement!
Taking on the Presidency in the midst of Two wars and the worst economic situation in the history of the country since well the GREAT DEPRESSION! Yeah, well.....

But "Bam Bam" has style and class. Real style, real class! He's got Billy D. Williams, Duke Ellington, Roscoe Browne, James Earl Jones kinda class! Instead of calling ASU on the snub and the absolute Horse Ish that it is, the President instead used their own bull ish, to call again, for everyone to make a contribution to society not resting on our achievements but continuing to strive.

ASU has been so blessed! They may not know it, they may not even care but they have stood in the presence of greatness.
BE Mindful! BE Prayerful! BE Careful!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Kongo Square Chat with Poet/Author Wanda Coleman

Well, here it is Y'all! I re-edited it the interview and I hope that it does Miss Coleman justice.

Jaycee: Hey Y'all, welcome to another installment of the Kongo Square Chat. I am honored to finally answer this month's burning question. Who in the Hell is Wanda Coleman?

Audience: Yeah! Yeah! Who in the hell is she?

Jaycee: Wanda Coleman, The LA Blueswoman, is a spoken word Artist, a novelist, the unofficial Poet Laurette of Los Angeles, A Watts Writers Workshop Veteran, a daytime drama writer, a poet and the 1st Afrikan American Female Editor of the Black Adult Men's Magazine "Players". That's who Wanda Coleman is and so much more. So with all that I would like to get into the interview.

Hello Miss Coleman!

Wanda Coleman: And hello Jaycee, and hello to all of you.

Jaycee: Miss Coleman, let me start by asking you, what writer or writers turned you on and hooked you to the idea of writing?

Wanda Coleman: I was raised in the post-WWII America of the 1950s, a time in our history when literature by African-Americans was still largely considered “contraband” and confiscated when brought onto the school grounds in Southern California . I learned about Dunbar, Langston, and James Weldon Johnson from my parents, their friends and family, and the folks at the AME Church.

Those were the days of Little Black Sambo and Little Eva—not to mention Dick, Jane and Spot. But what “hooked” me on writing, especially poetry, were the secular poems one first grade teacher passed out in class. I don’t remember the poems specifically except Joyce Kilmer’s Trees—just that they were copied on a mimeograph machine in bright purple ink and smelled strongly of toner.

When I read those poems, I understood them immediately and their process, which I thought was magical. It was a magic I wanted to be able to perform. That perception got me hooked!

Little Black Sambo

As for the writers themselves, those who turned me on changed with every subsequent decade as I matured, starting with Shakespeare at 10 years of age, and reading the King James Version. By the end of the 50s, it was Arthur C. Clarke, Edgar Allen Poe, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Isaac Asimov, Herman Melville and the like—writers I encountered in the public and school libraries. At that time, there was very little African-American literature on the bookshelves, and most of that was mixed in with the literature's of Mexico and that written by American Indians, and found on one shelf in the anthropology section.

By the early 1970s it was Jeffers, Elliot, Plath, Neruda, Bukowski, Vallejo and anyone else I could scarf on—including Camus, Didion, Nathanael West and the French existentialists.
Jaycee: What about Poetry? Would you share a piece with our readers?

Wanda Coleman: I'd be glad to share.

American Sonnet (10)
Published in the book Hand Dance 1993by
Wanda Coleman
after Lowell
our mothers wrung hell and hardtack from row
and boll. fenced others'
gardens with bones of lovers. embarking
from Africa in chains
reluctant pilgrims stolen by Jehovah's light
planted here the bitter
seed of blight and here eternal torches mark
the shame of Moloch's mansions
built in slavery's name. our hungered eyes
do see/refuse the dark
illuminate the blood-soaked steps of each
historic gain. a yearning
yearning to avenge the raping of the womb
from which we spring

Wanda Coleman: Other than the above, the first poems I read by African-American authors were found in old magazines, like The Crisis. At age 13, Mrs. Clark, one of my English teachers, took me to my first poetry reading. She belonged to Our Authors Study Club. The dark-skinned gentleman poet was a fantastic reader, with a wonderfully Robeson-esque voice similar to my father’s. He read from his recently published book of poems and I watched the audience response carefully—how much everyone enjoyed his “tongue of men and angels.”
It was then, that I decided I wanted to do that too. Five to six years would pass before I was made aware of emerging young Black voices, like LeRoi Jones and Don L. Lee. James Baldwin was appearing on television as our most prominent spokesperson before Malcolm X and MLK were heard of, and the first poet I saw on TV was Nikki Giovanni when she confronted James Baldwin (perhaps on a magazine show called Omnibus) and more-or-less took him to task for not being Black enough.

Jaycee: Some poets have been able to enjoy great exposure through vehicles such as blogs and television shows such as the Lyric Cafe and Def Poetry Jam where do you think the art will go next?

Wanda Coleman: The art you find on television and in movies is largely the art of performance, and very little fine poetry (although they certainly go well together, and factor in music). Performance will always take care of itself, from the street to the tower. Poetry—the writing alone, especially when taken seriously—resides largely in today’s colleges and universities. It has become institutionalized out of necessity, to survive. Poetry does seem to be thriving on the blogs and online zines that have taken over the underground small press world that began when Ed Sanders started “Fuck You” magazine in 1962.
Most of that world has vanished. Where American poetry goes next, and book publishing, which includes fiction and the memoir, depends on the current economic and political changes our nation is undergoing. If President Obama’s governance is able to inspire a deeper appreciation for the fine arts and literature, and the nation subsequently recovers its financial equilibrium, then poetry should experience a renaissance that might dwarf the hip-hop/rap phenomena, yet include that generation of writers, and the writers they are influencing at this moment. When culture-driven shows that maintain high production values start appearing, and actually make money—that will be the day! As things stand now, I probably won’t live long enough to see it (hahaha).
Jaycee: Do you have a style or a particular form that you specialize in? Or do you just focus more on subject matter?

Wanda Coleman: My style is a style of styles. I “free-style” on the page. What is most Black about my poetry comes primarily from Black music (and the classical music of my youthful studies). I use my background as a budding musician (former child pianist and violinist, and vocalist) in my writing in ways many may not readily see or hear on the page. So you could say that composers and musicians have affected my poetry as well—from Franz Liszt to James Brown to John Coltrane. I’ve written an extensive essay on this which appears in my book “The Riot Inside Me!”.

I’ve always worked hard at striking a balance between form and content so that one complements and compliments the other simultaneously. Since I also have a graphic arts background, I enjoy “laying out” the poem as well. So at times my poetic bent may turn visual. As for subject matter, I am primarily focused on the subtleties of racism—the day-to-day aspects of it not readily visible or understood, or reluctantly discussed in public forums—stuff that often gets downright nasty and I get nasty with it. At this time in my life, having written and published more than eleven-hundred poems, I’m more interested in having fun when writing.

Jaycee: So tell me about your time at Players Magazine. What was that like and how did it feel to be the first Female editor of an Adult Men's Magazine? Did you try to steer the mag to more literary stuff ala early Playboy or did you just ride the flow with raw butt nekkatude?

Wanda Coleman: You are only the second person in 40 years to ever ask me about that period of my life. I viewed that as evidence that I had successfully divorced myself from that trauma. So far, I have had neither the will nor the time to write extensively about it beyond veiled references in a few poems, most of those unpublished.

What most folk failed to understand, was that I was a single divorced mother more concerned about supporting her family than anything else. Being editor of a Black men’s Playboy magazine (I had edited other men’s magazines before—primarily for gay and straight Caucasians) was a job to me—if an extraordinarily exciting one. At that time, there were no publications on the west coast that would hire me.
Note: A Choice of Weapons recieved a PDF file of the Premier Players issue featuring an interview with Dr. Huey P. Newton, a short story by Odie Hawkins, articles by Earl Ofari Hutchinson and great photos but sadly I could not translate the file to this medium. (sad face)

The porno world” was about the only one available. I was an aspiring poet and fiction writer in a world where you could count the number of successful Black authors on two toes and half a hand, if that. Too, I was unfortunately naïve about the money end of publishing, and, therefore, was exploited—to my everlasting embarrassment. I learned quick! Nevertheless, my attempts to combat this failed. And I could not find allies. (The extreme jealously I encountered made virtually everyone I thought intelligent an enemy.) And I was not the kind of morally ambiguous person who could parlay that strange situation into money when the opportunities arose—and there were plenty of them. As for the contents of the magazine, that was easy and fun until it became successful.
My first six months on the job were a dream. Because I was serious about poetry, and didn’t want my ideals about it tainted (also naïve), I refused to allow poetry in the magazine. I was openly and admittedly following formulae established by Playboy and Oui—right down to the articles and interviews. What my publishers knew was that I had learned the men’s magazine business from my father. As a child, I had helped him do everything from set cold type to airbrush nudes. I grew up doing layouts and paste-ups. My father and his partners (which included boxer Archie Moore) had been trying to market a Black Esquire magazine since the early 1950s, but Johnson Publications killed their distribution. I enjoyed my job at first because I was living my father’s dream. But once Madison Avenue went nuts about Players, and everyone else followed, things became nightmarish. It’s too much to tell here. I quit in the middle of a nervous breakdown. You have no idea how much hatred there is out there for the black female. In fact, many whites do not even consider us human. I was told many times that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A BEAUTIFUL BLACK WOMAN! That was difficult to cope with when I encountered it—and I surely did. It should be noted though that I only edited the first six issues of Players. I was not given credit for the sixth issue as the Late Joe Nazel had taken over as the editor then.

JW: What writers were you able to publish?

Wanda Coleman: Frankly, other than Odie Hawkins, Michelle Kidd and Earl Ofari Hutchinson, I don’t recall all their names. Anyone was allowed to play, as long as they could tap into the Black vibe. Therefore, not all of my writers, photographers or illustrators and cartoonists were African-American. I worked with people—many of African-American origin or African origin, from all over the western world including Italians, the British and French. At that time dominant culture publications did not want black material—and that included photo sets of nude Black women. You have no idea how much hatred there is out there for the black female. In fact, many whites do not even consider us human. I was told many times that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A BEAUTIFUL BLACK WOMAN! That was difficult to cope with when I encountered it—and I surely did.

Jaycee: Both Odie Hawkins and Earl Ofari Hutchinson went on to have long careers that endure to the present. WOW! What writers have you met during the Watts Writers Workshop period that we should know but don't and who should we know that we never will?
Wanda Coleman: Hmmm. I’m sorry. I could have answered your question in a snap a couple of decades ago, but it’s dim in memory now. The only person I’m still in touch with from that period is novelist Odie Hawkins. Two years ago, in order to answer your question intelligently, I would’ve gotten on the horn to ex-New Yorker Marilene Murphy, who did Telepoetics, and would’ve asked her to run the names past me. She was fascinated by WWW. But she’s passed on. Oh—Quincy Troupe was around during that time, and one of my old school mates—Alvin Saxon aka Ojinki (I hope I spelled that correctly). And there was a writer named Cleveland (I mention him in a poem), and Emory Evans—who is now a professor at one of the southern universities somewhere. Native American writer Simon Ortiz was hanging around Watts at that time.

Jaycee: What about the Panthers and the Freedom Movements, did that affect your writing? How so? If not then, then at what time did you notice that it was beginning to?
Wanda Coleman: My first marriage in 1964 was to a white Freedom Rider, and itinerant folk singer and Baptist minister, who used to baby-sit the children of Coretta and Martin Luther King, Jr. Jerry Coleman had come to L.A. with Vernon Jordon, Stokely Carmichael and Jesse Jackson to trouble shoot and raise funds for SNCC.
They where all young men in their early 20s at that time.

Remember, the civil rights movement did not come this far west; however, it had supporters such as “the friends of SNCC”—but they were underground organizations and people were extremely hush-hush about their activities. Being terribly brash, I was fairly vocal about wanting to “write for the revolution,” but it didn’t take long for me to see that that was a delusion. (I was in Frank Greenwood’s Black Playwrights workshop at the time, at age 18.)

I followed my husband, who was fond of passing for Black, through virtually every organization that existed at the time, starting with the NAACP Youth arm to Ron Karenga’s US, to the Black Muslims and the orthodox Muslims. We did not join the Black Panthers although he was fond of corner arguments with Bunchy Carter—who I knew from his days as leader of the Baby Slausons.) It was quite a trip, ending with Robaire’s Group and the Charles Manson Family (discussed in The Riot inside Me). Then—divorce.

Jaycee: Wow! That must have been very difficult.

Wanda Coleman: After that, I decided to put my energies into pursuing my original dream of being a creative writer.

Jaycee: How about the fact that Bud Schulberg was considered to be Red? Didn't that scare you?

Watts Writers Workshop Founder Budd Shulberg

Wanda Coleman: Hahaha. I didn’t know about it, and if I had, I wouldn’t have been scared. You’re talking to the kid who used to sit up in Dorothy Healy’s living room and argue the problems of race and politics. She was an activist in the communist party and headed the L.A. branch at one time. What bothered me about Bud Schulberg was his bloody ego and his Moses complex.
Jaycee: What other Watts/LA Women writers were writing at that time and since then what LA female writers would you say are from the same school of thought?
Wanda Coleman: As for my ego, I like to think that I’m unique. Circa 1967-69, when a militant group of young Black Writers organized the Black Writers Committee in order to fight the discriminatory practices of the Writers Guild west, I was among them. There was only one other woman in the group and I’ve long
Forgotten her name. We were sold out by our leadership and made members of the Guild through what was then called The Open Door Program.

I went through it as the 8th minority member of the guild. In order to make sure we minorities knew how to write, there were several workshops we were invited to attend. In one of those workshops, I met a fledgling writer named Octavia Butler. We would kind-of-be friends for a few years—then go our separate ways.

The Late Octavia Butler

At that time, Octavia was extremely angry at how women were being treated in the male-dominated world. It was the only time I ever knew her to express a strong emotion other than arrogance and curiosity. She later started a workshop with four women writers, two black, two white. Star Bohl had our meetings in her Long Beach home. So there was Etta Weeks (I hope I’ve got that spelled correctly), Octavia, me and Star. We lasted about eight months or so.

Being native born sets me apart thus far. In so far as I know, I’m the only native born literary writer of note from Los Angeles other than Arna Bontemps and he didn’t stay here. He went east. Oh—there’s Michael Harper, who’s a Southern Californian. But he left as well, and doesn’t claim the city. Back to the women—there’s Harriet Mullen, originally from Texas , but I wouldn’t say we’re of the same school of thought or even the same school of writing.

The Late Mrs. Bebe Moore-Campbell

Bebe Moore Campbell—deceased—and there are several other African-American women who write novels and popular fiction, like Campbell and Butler . No crime in making money.

Jaycee: Some Afrikan Women Writers have made a good living writing from place of ANGER! Specifically, Anger at the Black Man, is that a fair assessment? I would say that it's dressed like its Women’s empowerment but its not real empowerment at all just Men Bashing. Would that be a fair statement? "Loaded Question!" I know but let's have some fun.

Wanda Coleman: Well, I’ve certainly been accused of that. But usually, the person doing the accusing hasn’t read very much of my work. Look—I used to work as a bartender. And I’ve heard “the bruthas” talk their women talk as if I were invisible. So I’ve gotten it all—in stereo. As far as I’m concerned, my primary anger is at the forces of poverty that have kept the majority of my people disenfranchised and has murdered many of those I love--men and women. I am a wellspring of anger behind racist bullshit and will forever be. I’ve been spending my anger on these forces—you know, the ones that create the Madoffs—for over 40 years, now. And I intend to go out kicking and screaming about the Hitlers who have perpetrated this economic holocaust. Got it?

Jaycee: Is it wrong in your opinion for an artist to say hey I'm just an entertainer?

Wanda Coleman: No, not if that’s how a particular artist sees him- or herself. There’s nothing wrong with making money; how one makes it is nobody else’s business. Each artist or entertainer has to live with themselves according to their dreams and beliefs. In my case, I chose to walk away from the heavy duty money. I thought it was the right decision at the time, and I still think it was the right decision. But choosing poverty over wealth in this society, at times, feels like insanity—and I have had my share of second thoughts. Walking the straight American-style, if not the narrow, is a bitch and a half.

Jaycee: What's your opinion on formula writers? You know those writers who write novels using a cookie cutter formula? (Please use your own examples)
Wanda Coleman: In all fairness, I don’t read them. My time is short, so I pick my spots. I’ll scan a few pages while in a bookstore to see what’s what, or get a glimpse online. They usually have nothing to teach me. I quit finding predictable writing entertaining at the age of eleven. But formula writers have a readership that loves and supports them. They’re entitled to that. Too—writing for television is formula writing. And I’ve done that much myself. I’m not a snob. I’m a realist.

Jaycee: Would you say it was lazy writing to use a formula? Is that fair?

Wanda Coleman: I wouldn’t say it, because for excellent writers it is a challenge to renew the formula and make it interesting. The best “hack” writers do that. So, no, it isn’t fair to call their writing lazy unless it actually is—and there are plenty of criteria to determine that. Plus, sometimes it’s hard work even to be mediocre.

Jaycee: What about the so called ghettoizing of novels? Do you think a publisher has the right to say I’m gonna market and promote your novel like a street fiction love story, for instance?

Wanda Coleman: Do you mean ghetto-ization? Like the popularity of writers like Zane? Kicked off by Donald Goines and Iceberg Slim? Those kind of urban street novels that seem to get every chump’s blood racing? (Hahaha.)

Jaycee: Well, yeah kinda but I really mean is packaging and marketing a book by a Black Author as a "Black Book"!
Basically, I think the writer should determine the genre on his/her novel and NOT the publisher; however, I understand that the reconfiguration of the tax code circa 1978-1979 created the blockbuster syndrome and made the dollar bill the bottom line. That’s what’s wrong with publishing now, and why so many serious and excellent writers are suffering.
Publishers can no longer afford to sit around and nurse literary writers anymore, because their stacks of unsold books no longer appreciate in value. Everything that doesn’t sell is usually shredded instead of warehoused. The book is disappearing because the tax code has made it too expensive to keep around. Publishers used to be able to support poets and more effete fiction writers, nursing them along until they broke through to the mainstream and/or became famous. Then they could recoup their investment in those types of writers. Not so after the Republicans got finished revising the tax codes.

You know, I managed to live to see the day America would elect a Black man (of any origin) President. But I do not think I will live to see the day when a Charles Burnett (Killer of Sheep) will make more money than a Tyler Perry (Medea’s Family Reunion).
Jaycee: Is it any different from what Pigeon, Sig let and Holloway House have done in the past?

Wanda Coleman: Holloway House was a glorified racket or exploitation house. Any editor or writer—regardless of who they were—who came through their doors was ripped off, used and discarded. Bently Morris (if that’s his real name), and his shills, had been running game for 20 years before I showed up with the idea for Players. For example, Iceberg Slim only made a flat fee of $750 on his ground-breaking novel Pimp. It made his publisher-pimps at Holloway over 6 million dollars. Compared to the original Holloway House, Pigeon and Sig are angels, and at least their writers can afford new wardrobes, the snazziest shorts (rides), and an entourage.

Jaycee: What's your favorite piece or novel? Which one is your favorite and maybe it didn't sell as well? Which one is your least favorite but it sold better than you ever thought? Is there a such thing?

Wanda Coleman: No such thing. My favorite books, of 19, are Heavy Daughter Blues: Poems & Stories, The Riot Inside Me: More Trials and Tremors, and my new collection of short stories Jazz and Twelve O’clock Tales (my favorite tales are “Butterfly Meat” and “Jazz at Twelve”).

That’s as close as I can come to picking favorites, because what I like of my own work changes over time and circumstances. I enjoy rereading sections of my tragic-comic novel Mambo Hips and Make Believe. I think some of my stories will absolutely stand the tests of time—like “Back City Transit by Day” which is from Jazz and Twelve and currently appears in Ishmael Reed’s POW WOW anthology, or “Eyes and Teeth” (from A War of Eyes and Other Stories). I’m a literary writer outside the mainstream. I want the reader to be “affected by” my writing, not necessarily “like” my writing in the usual fashion. My books sell better in academe and among serious readers. Sometimes feeling uncomfortable is the proper response to my work.

Jaycee: Miss Coleman, once again, I am honored to have been able to share some time with you. A Choice of Weapons and our readers thank you as well.

Wanda Coleman: And Thank You for allowing me to share.

Jaycee: Well, folks I hope that you enjoyed this installment of the Kongo Square Chat. Be sure to peep all the previous installments as well.

BE Prayerful! BE Mindful!BE Careful!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cause Cheney's a Dick!

As I listen to Former Vice President Dick Cheney give his views on Torture and continue to cheer lead for an Imperial Presidency, I think back to the horror of 1987. When Black residents in South Central Los Angeles (Watts) learned of the CIA's alleged involvement in the mass influx of crack cocaine and military style weapons that continue to kill so many.

What would I do to those I believed to be responsible for so much carnage, if I had the chance?

I would want to make them suffer! Who wouldn't? But that does not mean that I would make them suffer. If the LA Gang wars have taught us nothing it's that payback's a bitch and that payback is never enough.

But let's suppose that I did.

First, I would deprive them of sleep for hours on end placing them in a day care center with nothing but crack babies. Then I would have you try to teach a class of 8 year old crack babies.

Yeah, but the fun wouldn't be over yet.

Next, I would have you live in the Jordan Down projects, for real, under the same rules as a two time convicted parolee. Go and get a legal job! Try to go to school! What you can weld! Great! Oh------------ but we can't give you a job working on this construction site on Imperial Highway cause it's a Federal contract and well your a felon. You're a gang member!

Then I would have the D/A hit you with court fines for the legal costs of convicting you, make you register as a Drug seller in every city you rent a place with the local police. I'm sure you will be able to live in peace with every police department knowing you used to sell drugs.

And what about child support? I'm gonna hit you with back payments, fines on top of that for not paying the payments. What? You were in jail! So What!

Then....Injunction! I'm gonna put you and about two hundred members of your gang under a legal injunction that says you can't hang out together on a certain number of streets, wear gang colors and what....the street under the injunction is where you actually live? So I guess you better not hang out on the front porch then.

Have you finished teaching those crack babies to read yet. Standardized testing begins next month.

Torture! There is no proven benefit to torture! Dick Cheney says America is safe because of it!

Really? Just cause there has not been an attack does not mean we are safe.

What about our soldiers we may be tortured? What happens afterward? Who prosecutes who after everybody tortures everybody?

Why am I writing about this? Cause Cheney's a DICK!

BE Prayerful! BE Mindful! BE Careful!


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My Local Market SUX!

I live in Long Beach and I enjoy the city alot. It ain't a superior, steller city like Compton (Hub City) but being fair, what city is?

I stopped to grab a couple of items at the local market near my home, the area has been gentrified recently and the market is less than five years old but it's already run down. Now, I like Albertson's. I have been an East Arts Village resident for over 15 years, that's Downtown to anyone who lived there before 1995, so I ain't trying to bash the local chain per se, but I hate the fact that both Albertson's have super long lines, only a few checkers, and the deli counter food is not the fresh. There are three major grocery chains in Los Angeles County Albertsons/Kroger, Ralphs and Safeway/Vons. Now, in the stores nearest to me, all three smell bad, the produce and can goods are not steller and there are usually no more than, three to four checkers serving upwards of 10 people per lines. So it's always crowded! The Deli counter is terrible! Pre-cooked food is heated under hot lamps, new foods piled on top of the old food.

Now, I've been to the stores in middle class Long Beach and they have a full staff of checkers, the store is clean, the deli counter food is fresh and hot and the people are friendly. This has been my experience with Ralphs, Vons and Albertson's in those areas which lead me to conclude that it's because the area is more affluent that those stores have not descended into the crappy conditions of the East side Long Beach Stores and The Downtown area stores.

What do y'all think?

The picture of Vons is from the Naples area of Long Beach. It's like a lil gourmet version of the regular Vons. Again, specialty items, hot, fresh foods, small lines with lots of checkers and it's clean and well lit.

I don't know if this will work but I want to start a campaign against the crappy treatment that working class people get from these chain stores! Yes! I say working class (Poor Folks) cause you can visibility see and smell the difference. The big 3 charge high prices for everyone but the quality of service and goods is where the real imbalance lies.

Any ideas?

BE Prayerful! BE Mindful! BE Careful!


Friday, May 8, 2009

Good Movies To Check Out!

Last weekend I rented Jim Carrey's Yes Man! Carrey plays Clay, a banker, who says no to everything! I mean everything! Clay's woman has left him previously and well Clay's in a state where he just doesn't give a flying monkey flip about most anything. This condition is so pervasive that Clay about to lose friends moreover he doesn't care. Well onto the plot. Clay gets bumped into a friend who convinces him to take a seminar that changed his life. He says Yes to everything and now life sooo amazing. Les Brown and Tony Robbins this dude ain't but the motivational speaker gets Clay to make a covenant with himself.
Say Yes! As does ish starts to get better. Not to give up the movie but the scene with the old lady and the water glass is hilarious!
Pick it up!
And next for out TV party is Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler! I liked this movie but it was sad. I wish that it turned out for Randy like it did for the guy playing him Mickey Rourke. Randy is a professional Wrestler, he's a legend on the downside of his career; Ham and eggin it from arena to arena every single weekend.

Note: He's got a Nintendo 64 Wrestling game where he's a character! He's lived the fast, high life but now he's older and worse he's alone. He's trying to make time with a Gentleman's Entertainment Professional (Stripper) played by A Different World's Oscar winning Marissa Tomei who plays "Cassidy" a single Mom with a great body but fighting time and gravity.
Seeing Marrissa Tomei strip was a lil disturbing but hell, I lived through Showgirls and Spike Lee's musical "School Daze" not to mention Bruce Willis singing in Hudson Hawk, and Patrick Swaze, Wesley Snipes and Ving Rhames in drag. So hell, I can survive anything! (Smile) See both films!

BE Careful! BE Mindful! BE Prayerful!

No Soda Challenge Ends!

I took the 30 No Soda Challenge and I won! Then, I took the 60 day soda challenge, cause I was feeling good and my bud from Dysfunctionally Functioning dared me. That too was successful, except for that sip at the Toyota Grand Prix, which I documented. Well day 65 came up and I decided to have a lil soda. Mrs. Jaycee had stopped her no soda challenge a week before and well, I thought that I, being of sound mind could have a little sip and then.........

I thought I could control it! Addicts say that all the time. Well, I poured a Thomas Keppner Vanilla Creme soda over some ice. The amber liquid looked frosty against the octagon shaped ice cubes. The perspiration slowly coming down the glass and my face.

Ummm! This was gonna taste goooood! Sooooo goood! Come to me Baby, you know you got what I neeeeeeeed! (Addict talk)

Then, I took a sip. Blllllllllach! I felt Sick! SICK! Soda never made me feel sick before. It had always been my friend. I know, I've gotta take my medicine I'll just wash it down with a little more. Blacccccccccccch!

The whole next day I felt like hell, and this is from a dude that once went on a bender and drank 2 seven and sevens, a Gin and Tonic, 2 plates of ATOMIC hot wings with 2 plates of calamari and top it off with some purple slurpee type liquid that you stirred Barcardi 151 into.

I didn't feel as bad when I did that as I felt when I drank the soda. I felt bad allll the next day.

I'm cured! No more Sodas! I'm Freeeeeeeee!

No more No soda challenges y'all just no more soda Dig?

BE Prayerful!BE Mindful! BE Careful!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Why, Bam Bam? What's in a Name?

DC over at DC Dating Adventures, a regular reader of ACOW asked the question why do I refer to President Barack Obama as Bam Bam? Kim over at Kimistry also recently chimed in that I and other Black Men, don't know him like that. (laughter)
Well, When you a regular Black American kid, and your name is Barack Hussain Obama that has got to a heavy burden for a kid. Can you imagine what a wierd name will get you on the playground? Playground rules mean alot! Note to all y'all, Artsy/Fartsy types, that get the idea to name your chile Sirius Seven, ( Erykah and Andre) or Moon Unit (Frank Zappa) or maybe a good ole fashioned Christian name like say ummmmm... Bathsheba or Jezareel.

Note to Parents: Your Children are God's (IAM) gift to you not another canvas for YOUR art.

Now, my reason for referring to the President as Bam Bam is simple. It's cause certain types of folks try to make Obama anything but what he is. He ain't just a regular Afrikan American or Black, he's SPECIAL! No, he ain't just like 1000 Black dudes, not just a Knukka, but a special, new Super Kinda Knukka!

Naw, the sad part about that is that there are thousands of Black Men who had more intelligence, drive, ambition and vision that helm corporations, prisons and graveyards all too often. So Barack H. Obama is indeed one of us; Not some Super Universal Space Knukka or Some Supreme Super Knukka or THE ONE but one that has achieved. Is he special, yeah, Bam Bam is special but if you really, truly, honestly look. Yeah, he's special but not sooo special dig?

God Bless Bam, ooops! I mean President Bam Bam!

BE Prayerful! BE Mindful! BE Careful!


Friday, May 1, 2009

Opps! Do Over! Wanda Coleman Interview will be re-posted soon!

Earlier, I posted this month's Kongo Square Chat featuring Wanda Coleman. I took the interview down after I heard a comment that said the interview was interesting but too long and toooooo busy. Too many fonts, too many colors and pictures. My ultimate goal is too post articles that are fun and interesting. Wanda Coleman is one such person. So with that I will re-tool the article and re-post the interview.

I enjoyed interviewing Miss Coleman and I know, I know you are gonna enjoy reading it.

BE Mindful! BE Prayerful! BE Careful!


Supreme Court Justice David Souter Retires!

WOW! President Barack Obama will get to make an appointment to the Supreme Court! My Wish list would be a Radical Progressive Black Man or Woman to counter Clarence Thomas. But I know President Bam Bam will make a good selection. I mean, it's not like President Barack Obama reads A Choice of Weapons. Although, he should! (hint, hint)

I think that Past President Bush Senior is a Huuuuuuge Tool for appointing Clarence Thomas to the bench in Thurgood Marshall's stead. How could you? I can see you appoint a so called conservative but I do not believe that that appointment was coincidence. No! That was a Biiiiiig Eff you to the Warren Court and to then, President Johnson.

I don't know bout y'all but I think that it would be the best ticket in town to see Thomas, Scalia, Roberts and Alito go up against some new legal minds that have yet to be introduced. How bout y'all?

Here's to Change!

BE Careful! BE Mindful! BE Prayerful!