ŏn.us.folx in ŏn.us.tees: Year In Review 2009

Happy New Years Eve!
Wishing you a safe and happy New Years.
Today’s scheduled “Do Better Thursday” has been bumped for an ŏn.us.folx in ŏn.us.tees year in review…
The year has been a great learning experience…
Been able to put a lot of smiles on many faces with ŏn.us.tees…
Looking forward to doing more of the same in 2010…
Thank you all for your support and encouragement…
dre’ of onustees.com

Legendary Sportscaster George Michael has passed…

George Michael passed today.

Before there was Sportscenter, there was George Michael.

Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s there was only one place to go each and every Sunday night to catch the plays of the week… It was George Michael’s “Sports Machine”… I never felt right on Monday mornings heading to school if I wasn’t up on George’s highlights… Today, actually feels like I lost a distant relative that I may have met once or twice but they left a memory with me that I will forever hold dear…

Thanks for the highlights, energy, passion and laughs…

You’ll be me missed…

One of a million fans…

– dre’

Do Better Thursday: Week In Review – 12.17.09 to 12.23.09

Merry Christmas Eve!!!

I hope you all find this blog in great spirits with warm delight!

And to those who aren’t in the most festive of moods… fear not!

This post just may be the cure-all for your woes…

Doing It Right…

  • Some monkeys got revenge on their trainer in China last week through the usage of Taekwondo. During a demonstration outside of a shopping district the monkeys caught their master slipping and decided it was the perfect time to attack. The stunned crowd observed flawless execution of the martial art. It was stated that the trainer attempted to defend himself with a staff only to be confronted by “Donatello the Monkey” wielding one his damn self! The only bad part about this story is that there isn’t any video evidence. Oh well! We can imagine especially with the help of this pic!
Note: 99.99% of animal attacks on humans are Do Better Approved.
  • Yale grants admission to the Crouch quadruplets!!! This is the first time the school has ever given admission to quadruplets. I’d imagine there aren’t too many schools that have done the same. The larger story is the fact that nothing has been made of their racial make-up. And if I may say so, it’s pretty evident by looking at their beautiful locks that one or both of their parents are Black. However, only that they roomed in one belly for 9 months and happen to all be bright has been mentioned. What was that line again… “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” I know 2009 has had it’s number of sad events, let’s not forget some of the dreams turned reality.
That’s right Kenny, Martina, Ray & Carol still have to figure how the hell they’re gonna pay for tuition…
  • Jay Electronica drops Exhibit C… Honestly, there isn’t much more I’m going to say on this topic. I avoided his work, mainly because I’m leery of artists who have a ton of hype but no studio album to speak of. (ahem, Papoose… Saigon… Drake…) However, last week, Jay Elec and brother Just Blaze single-handedly altered my iPod listening from Donny, Marvin, Isaac, Caston & Majors, Jackson 5, Rick James and Foreign Exchange to Donny, Jay Elec, Marvin, Jay Elec, Isaac, Jay Elec, Caston & Majors, Jay Elec, Jackson 5, Jay Elec, Rick James, Jay Elec, and Foreign Exchange then Jay Elec. As you can see it’s had some effect on me. (Btw, I recently tweeted about the elimination of either “affect” of “effect”, tweet back if you feel me… or even if you don’t…) How can I explain what I felt as the beat dropped and the lyrics flowed… It’s the passion of The Game when he first dropped, the delivery of Nas, depth of Mos & Talib, mic signature of Black Thought, production quality of Jay from a cat who was raised in the same jurisdiction of Wayne. Bottomline, it’s Hip Hop. I guess I had alot more to say about it than I thought. Well here you go…. a link to download off iTunes… a much needed click, so more of this will come out. Enjoy.
And for the heluva it… the sample… Billy Stewart “Cross My Heart”…
  • The Most Valuable Puppets are back and in the holiday spirit featuring Lupe Fiasco as Blitzen & KRS-One as Santa. Honestly, this time I don’t have much to say… just that… if you’re going to commercialize hip hop, this is how you do it respectfully.
Overall, I’m gonna have to go with Lupe on the bars… Although, Santa had a very dope verse… LeBron stole the show with the hook “dunking on that reindeer, dunking on that reindeer.”

  • Alyssa Milano takes on Snooki of “The Jersey Shore” and the Jersey stereotype that is quite evident on the show. I just wish someone with similar or greater fame would say something against BET and the like. Unfortunately, it seems we embrace the stereotypes as opposed to seeing them for what they are and speaking out against them.

  • The Do Better Movement would like to propose to Congress that Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas” be acknowledged as the United States of America’s Holiday Anthem. It should be stated that this is completely independent of Obama’s presidency, for it is long overdue. However, much like the striking of the popular culture hot-iron that was Stevie Wonder in 1980 with the push for MLK Day… we must strike now again for Donny’s rendition!!! It’s waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than all the tired holiday mess we deal with yearly, from “It’s A Wonderful Life” to “A Christmas Story” to “Silent Night” (except for The Tempations version, that’s solid) and even those grainy ass Charlie Brown cartoons on ABC. It’s time to Do Better and Stand For Change!
  • THE DO BETTER MOVEMENTS MAKE IT TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP in fantasy football. This is completely a self-indulgent post but after last year as the “Uptown GetItCrackins” and going 2-11 it had to be shared. This year, I switched up team name to “The Do Better Movements” and that is exactly what we did. After creeping into the playoffs with an average, but MUCH improved, 7-6 record the Movements knocked off the number 1 seed to reach the finals this weekend!!! Below is the recap of the victory, I would display the post-game-trash-talk-monologue email but I want to keep the peace in the league.
 Doing It WRONG!
  • DC cop pulls out gun on snowball fight. By now it’s made national news so this won’t be too in-depth. Bottomline, some folks got together via Twitter and linked up to have a massive snowball fight around 14th & U St in Northwest DC. Everything was peace until a participant tossed a snowball at a truck driving pass… just so happened that an off-duty cop was the driver. Upset because someone dared to throw water in the state of a solid at his vehicle he decided to get out and confront the evil-doer. Word? You’re that sensitive over your truck that you feel pulling out a gun is a just & sound reaction? C’mon son, getthefuckouttaherewiththatjohnwayneshit!
  • Crazy fool throws snowball at DC Cops face while his gun is out!!! There’s two sides to every story… and there’s certainly another one to this story. It’s quite understandable to be appalled at the cop for drawing his weapon at a crowd of snowballers, but to take to the level of slinging a snowball at his face is lunacy. If EVER I’m around a person with a gun… I haul ass. It could be my momma with a gun… I’m hauling ass. The last thing I’m thinking is “I wonder if I can hit him in the face.” What the hell do you think a man who draws out a gun because you hit his car will do when you hit him in the face??? Fortunately, for these fools the cop didn’t pop a cap in their ass. Which may have been Do Better Approved if he had indeed shot them in the ass versus something fatal. Watch the video… 
  • Trainer trains tame monkeys Taekwondo and gets taught a lesson. (See above) Come on chief… you know you can’t trust no monkey especially ones trained in the art of ass kicking. Attacking at the first hint of you slipping is what. they. do. You’ve been warned.
  •  It’s official the Boys Choir of Harlem is no more. I didn’t want to place this in the “Doing It Wrong!” category after decades of the institution doing it right, even despite it’s recent issues. However, the fact we’ve allowed a prominent entity of Black identity fall is us “doing it wrong.” And for that we’ve got to Do Better.
thank you for doing better,

– dre’ of onustees.com

Do Better Thursday: Week In Review

Doing It Right…

  • President Obama (still has a nice ring to it!) appeared on 60 Minutes this past Sunday to address “confusion” about his plan on the Afghan deployment and phase-out strategy. He also expressed his displeasure with the fat cats on Wall Street, check Brother Barack “almost” take it back to the streets of Chicago.
  • Tuesday, the D.C. Council approved same-sex marriage. This is a big step for gays and lesbians in pursuit of equal rights.  Aside from the goodwill the law will generate, the city will also benefit financially since DC will be only the 6th place in the nation with legal same-sex marriage. Bring on the unions & bring on the d’oh!
Doing It…?
  • I’m not sure where this falls… On the surface, it may be wrong but I’m not up on the politics of Italy. So, someone must have pissed someone off to push them to the point of hurling a statue at Prime Minister Berlusconi. Once again… I’m not condoning this violent act. However, the brother damn sure got his point across far better than a shoe would.
Doesn’t look like Barack’s too keen on him either.

Doing It WRONG!

  • Speaking of tossing a statue at someone… Joe “Turncoatass” Lieberman, who recently voted “No” on the Senate’s Healthcare Reform Bill, stated he wouldn’t vote on a bill that had a “Government or so called Public” option. In all fairness, he did cite the current debt as his reason for voting against the bill. But “look here bruh”…you didn’t mind spending kabillions on wars and now we set our sights on healthcare all of a sudden “it costs too much.”
“Joe… point Right* again and see if I don’t stick my foot up yo’ ass.”

Do Better Thursday – Commentary: Taming of the Shrew

(the following commentary is in response to The Washington Post 
profile of Helena Andrews written by DeNeen L. Brown)
 Taming of the Shrew by Levi F. Daniels
“Bitch Is the New Black”, the literary and cinematic brainchild of Ms. Helena Andrews, claims to provide insight into the mind of the upwardly mobile, more than sufficiently educated black woman.  But if the interview with the author is any indication, neither piece will hold up to even marginal scrutiny.  And what’s worse, will do less to debunk a given archetype than it will to add yet another to the pantheon of one-dimensional black female caricatures.

The version of Black women presented in the article is a take no prisoners, maven of the corporate world, whose tragic flaw (because every hero must have one) is their inability to locate a suitable suitor.  The acknowledgement of her plight is followed by an existential inquiry; why? Why is it that someone who seems to have everything, can have something as simple as love, elude her grasp.   The story sounds both heart warming and star-crossed.

So I dig a bit deeper in hopes of discerning the poor woman’s standards.  Surely she can’t want that much.  Alas, I was right.  In the article she mentioned academic qualifications, automobiles and professions.  Dating this woman was beginning to sound more like a job listing than a romantic engagement.  It’s no wonder she hasn’t been able to connect with any one she’s dated, she doesn’t seem to have any discernable interests one could connect.  I would liken the experience to a treadmill, you certain feel as if you gone somewhere but ultimately you end up where you started.

Of course it should be noted that the concerns of Black women are not without merit.  As more and more of them outpace their counterparts in the acquisition of undergraduate degrees, let alone more advanced degrees, they may find themselves experiencing increased difficulty connecting on equal ground intellectually with the opposite sex.  But, the problem is only exacerbated when one party seems to completely eschew meaningful innate qualities for material acquisition and one-note facades.

Which leads me to another portion of the author’s diatribe.  In addition to bemoaning the romantic plight of the buppie woman, she does take the time to identify at least one source of their angst, in the landmark sitcom The Cosby Show.  In this companion segment, she talks about the ideal of Claire and Heathcliff Huxtable, alluding to their academic, professional, and financial successes.  She asserts that she and women like her yearn for the doctor to accompany their lawyer, the house, the children, and ultimately happiness.  

However, I think she misses some key nuances of the show and it is that oversight that only further impedes her romantic progression.  To be sure, Heathcliff Huxtable was not always the high earning OBGYN that Claire married.  In college he bumbled, erred, and spoke without thinking.  These instances would form the basis for many of her best anecdotes about him.  Yet her stories offered other insights that stood juxtaposed to his shortcomings.  He was also persistent, steadfast, earnest, and honest.  No doubt, lovable qualities Claire came to appreciate and highlight. 

In essence, I suppose I would hope for more intrinsic qualities to be sought out by both males and females, maybe then we might begin to establish deeper, more substantive bonds and end the cycle of blame that plagues both parties.

– Levi F. Daniels

Clarion Call for Common Sense: Window Shade Recall

“Hi, yes… can you please tell my mom to move my crib from the damn window?”
Clarion Call for Common Sense: Window Shade Recall
Recently, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall for all Roman-style shades and roll-up blinds on the grounds that the cords were a strangulation hazard for small children.  According to reports some 5 children have been killed since 2006 while some 16 others were injured as a result of these dangling deathtraps. 

So, in light of this most unfortunate situation we must ask ourselves, what is a parent to do?  With some 50 million blinds affected as a result of this recall, is no infant safe from an inadvertent hanging?

It is at this point that I feel compelled to issue my clarion call for common sense.  Is it just me, or have venetian blinds always been a little dangerous?  I distinctly remember the metal versions in my aunt’s apartment that could have cut me deeply were I left to my own devices to rub my forearms feverishly across them.  Where was the recall then?  Why was there no public outcry? 

As I pondered these questions it dawned on me.  The lack of public outcry is a direct correlation to the level of common sense present among the preceding generation.  You see, instead of insisting the government issue some cockamamie, almost unenforceable recall, they came up with their own solutions.

Chief among them was moving the crib away from the window.  What a splendid solution!  I mean, let’s examine it for a moment.  By simply moving the crib away from the dangerous item you mitigate its adverse effect on your child.  Still, that solution might be too involved.  Honestly, who wants to move the entire crib?  So we come up with a different solution.   This one keeps the crib where it is next to the window but moves the cord.   Either of these solutions is viable and does not require governmental intervention.

Which brings me to another issue I have.  In 2007 4,317,119 children were born.  Now let’s say that the unfortunate incidents occurred in 2007 the percentage of children in danger as a result of Roman shades would amount to .00000116 (just in case any of you have forgotten your decimal places, we’re in the millionths here).  To further illustrate my point, even if you calculated the percentage based on every child affected (that’s 21 for those keeping score) it still only amounts to .00000486 (still in the millionths).  Now, I in no way mean to imply that any life is unimportant, simply that these incidents are isolated and probably don’t warrant the alarm that they seem to be receiving.  Perhaps the onus should be placed on the parents, and not the companies. 

I only offer food for thought, do with it what you will.

Dig in,

Levi F. Daniels
Common Sense Advocate