Archive | May 2008

Williams Sisters Lose At The French Open, the sky is falling according to critics.

My goodness as usual whenever the Williams Sisters lose at a grand slam event the reporters recycle the same doom and gloom. It is the same photocopied resume of lack of commitment to the game or their focus isn’t on tennis. The truth is Venus and Serena simply lost yesterday because their opponents played better. Every tennis champion loses Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Pete Sampras, and Andre Agassi all lost early in grand slams during their careers.

I wonder do some of these journalist simply Xerox their old articles and paste them? The record keeps on repeating over and over again. The journalists are regurgitating the same bullshit. The Williams Sisters are the greatest champions of their generation.

Oracene Price the mother and coach of the Williams Sisters isn’t helping her daughters by making crude comments to the press. Ms. Price’s egregious comments are counter productive she should have a positive attitude and defend her daughters.

Here are some quotes from Ms. Price on Serena’s performance yesterday:

“She doesn’t have the mind-set right now,” Price said, shaking her head. “Her confidence isn’t there. I’m really trying to figure this out.”

“She hasn’t been herself the last couple of weeks, since Rome. I have no idea what it is; she’s not telling me. She got deep in a funk (Thursday, in the second round), the same attitude as now.

“She’s really hurting about this one,” Price added.

Why is Ms. Price providing the ammunition to the media? It doesn’t make any sense. Perhaps Ms. Price is a part of the problem?

Why is Ms. Price baiting the media and giving them the dirt they want? Richard Williams may not be perfect but he would never bash his own daughters in the press like Ms. Price has. Mr. Williams has always been very positive about his daughters when they win or lose. Mr. Williams has always provided positive reinforcement.

Venus and Serena changed women’s tennis they also have won fourteen grand slam singles titles. Venus and Serena have the speed, power, explosiveness, few women can match on the tennis court. Monica Seles started the power game but the Williams Sisters elevated the game to a higher level. When Venus and Serena do decide to retire there will be a serious void in Women’s Tennis. Venus and Serena proved you don’t have to be white and rich to become multiple grand slam tennis champions. The Williams Sisters are legends and deserve more respect.

The former world number one Justine Henin is a coward and a quitter the Williams Sisters aren’t quitting. Whenever things get rough Justine Henin displays the same poor sportsmanship. Does anyone remember the 2006 Australian Open women’s final between Henin and Amelie Mauresmo? Henin’s behavior was abhorrent and disgraceful. Henin’s mysterious retirement also has people talking on various blogs. I find Henin’s retirement suspicious. Now if Henin has indeed burned out it just demonstrates how mentally weak she really is. John McEnroe continues too call Henin a “fighter” but she’s not she’s a “quitter.”

Venus and Serena are women’s tennis without them the sport is boring. When the Williams Sisters retire I won’t bother with watching ladies tennis because the new players are bland personalities. Nobody cares about Svetlana Kuznetsova, Ana Ivanovic, and Jelena Jankovic. I remember the 1990s when Monica Seles, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Jana Novotna, Gabriela Sabatini, Mary Pierce were playing they were exciting to watch.

I won’t bother to check out the rest of the French Open because I don’t really care about the French Open anyway. The French Open is the most boring grand slam. The rallies are too long and the excitement just isn’t there. Maybe Venus and Serena won’t be number one anymore but I don’t think they care about that.

Venus and Serena love tennis and they love to win. Have people already forgotten the Williams Sisters won 2 out of the 4 grand slams last year? Clay is the Williams Sisters worst surface. I was more surprised that Serena lost because she was playing well this spring. Venus loss is no surprise the French Open is only her second event since April. Wimbledon is around the corner and I am sure Venus and Serena will be fired up to do well on the fast grass courts in England.

Black Canadians Are Afraid To Be Black

I was talking to Aulelia, via e-mail the other day, and noticed she is so in tune with her blackness. Aulelia has a wonderful blog go check it out Charcoal Ink it is on my blog roll. Aulelia is a strong black woman she was born in Tanzania and raised in the UK.

Maybe ,that’s the reason Aulelia is so passionate about black politics is because she’s not a black Canadian LOL!

Aulelia was born in a country that has a large black population that wasn’t polluted with the white supremacy that permeates Canadian society. I am serious, in Canada ,black Canadian people we try too hard to fit in. We are never going to “fit” in here. The white Canadian majority always makes sure of that.

Black Canadians we are only discussed in the Canadian media when something negative occurs. Black Canadians we are the classic scapegoats in Toronto. There is a social hierarchy in Canada the whites are at the apex, Asian Canadians, black Canadians, and at the bottom with the Aboriginals.

When I utilize the term “social hierarchy” I am not suggesting that blacks, Asians, or Aboriginals should think we are inferior to white people because we are not. Since race is a social construction, I am illustrating that the “system” meaning the “media” attempts to dehumanize people of colour through language and images. For instance, the language in newspapers, television reports, radio broadcasts that are negative against people of colour sometimes reinforces white cultural domination.

Black activists such as Frantz Fanon, bell hooks, and black lesbian Canadian feminist Dionne Brand’s work are so important because they are utilizing language as a weapon a tool to empower the black race. Fanon, Brand, and hooks are attempting to find solutions for blacks to help ourselves.

Black Canadian lesbian feminist, Dionne Brand’s books, “A Map To The Door Of No Return” and “BRead Out Of Stone” are also very important books. I urge you all to read Brand’s books at the local public library or buy them. You will learn so much about the issues black Canadians encounter in Canada. It is important for people of colour to be “enlighten witnesses’ to ” White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy” this is a term black American feminist bell hooks created. hooks book “Outlaw Culture” reminds people of colour the media have their own agenda and that’s a white agenda. We have to be cognizant of this.

I am not stating that this social hierarchy is “static”. I am illustrating my view, different races are treated differently by the mainstream Canadian media. Asian Canadians are not attacked the same way as black Canadians are that’s a fact. Of course, Asian Canadians encounter racial discrimination I am not suggesting that they don’t. Also some Asian Canadians have racist prejudices and racist views against black Canadians as well.

Anyway, Aulelia is so proud to be black I love that about her! I also notice that I need to reconnect with blackness. In America, the African Americans are incredible people they are so organized and they don’t let “anybody” mess with them. Remember the Don Imus controversy? The African Americans quickly organized and gave Don Imus the boot! I love that about the African Americans they are righteous black people and they don’t take crap from anybody. You cannot mess with the African Americans.

For some reason, my perspective is, black Canadians we are afraid to be black. We are afraid, to stand up for ourselves and speak our minds. Aulelia is correct black people we need to be our own leaders and stop worrying about what other people think.

Now let me explain. Some black Canadians believe if we “don’t” talk about race we can pretend racism doesn’t exist. It seems to me in Canada some black Canadians believe if we follow the mythical norm and pretend “race issues” don’t matter things will be all gravy. However, it isn’t true. Black Canadians we definitely need to let our voices be heard about the black focus schools issue.

Aulelia is very passionate about the black race and African politics. Aulelia introduced me to the great French Caribbean liberation writer Frantz Fanon. How many black Canadian teens know about Dionne Brand, Evelyn Lau, Makeda Silvera? I have to confess in Canada the attitude is all about assimilation and integration. But is that the right solution though to try to be like “everyone else” wouldn’t blackness be displaced? It is important for black Canadians to make sure blackness is at the center. Black Canadian kids need to be proud of the black culture and build their self esteem.

The Canadian media promote this racist mythology of multiculturalism. Multiculturalism doesn’t exist in Canada that’s a complete lie. Canada is all about conforming to whiteness. According to the 2006 census black Canadians we are the third largest minority group in Canada with an estimated population of 783,800. However, if you pick up a Canadian newspaper, turn on the news, or listen to CBC radio it is all whiteness it has nothing to with people of African descent.

If I want to listen to black political issues I have to search the internet for foreign stations. I listen to a black British woman Jumoke Fashola’s radio show on BBC Radio London. I also listen to Michel Martin’s wonderful black radio program “Tell Me More” on NPR on American radio.

Thank goodness for the internet! In Toronto we have one black radio station in Toronto 93.5 yet 93.5 is afraid to be black. 93.5 is so white these days I can’t believe it is called “Urban Radio”. 93.5 sounds like any of the other white Canadian radio stations it has nothing to do with the black Canadian race. Race issues and black politics are off limits on 93.5 radio.

Whenever black people attempt to organize something the mythical norm attempts to try to tear us down. Last year, an African American speaker wanted to speak to black students at Ryerson University about black community uplift. Well surprise, surprise, the white Jews and the mythical norm shut the event down. Once again the mythical norm is up to no good. Once again, when black Canadians try to help our children the system tries to “put blacks in our place”. One step forward two steps back.

For instance, the Toronto District School Board has approved the the Black Focus Schools. However, the black focus school is only for Kindergarten to grade five. Isn’t this a complete cop out? Give me a break! The issue here is the secondary school level 40% of black teens are dropping out of school that’s a scary statistic. It also means almost half of black teens aren’t graduating high school I think this a crisis. The Toronto District School Board now wants a “study” conducted. It is just a stalling tactic it is racist and total bullshit. Next, you have some people claiming the black focus school is segregation. The TDSB hopes black Canadians we will “forget” about the fact the system is failing our children!

Black children are already marginalized by racist teachers, a racist curriculum, and a racist anti black Canadian society. Black children have to read racist books such as Mark Twain’s work or Harper Lee’s racist novel “To Kill A Mockingbird” and Shakespeare in grade twelve. Why is white culture pushed down the throats of black children? Why can’t black kids read more books by black authors? And why is this such a struggle? The black kids already are treated rather unfairly yet Premier Dalton McGunity is dragging his heels as usual to find a solution. Black activists and black educators are being proactive taking a stand stating this is a “crisis”. I am glad an Afrocentric school is going to open in September 2009 for the young black children. However, I also believe this is all smokes and mirrors. The Toronto District School Board wants to appear as though they are “taking” action. The truth is the TDSB is doing nothing because the crisis is at the high school level. Some black teens are depressed, they feel alienated, they feel unworthy and hopeless.

Next, you know the racist teachers and principals are saying privately “well the whites and Asian kinds are doing well why can’t the blacks do well?” Why haven’t more black teachers been hired by the TDSB? Only 5.2% of the teachers in Toronto are black. Also only 9.6% of the principals and vice principals are black. Black children need to see educators that look like them that will invest their time and energy and believe in them. Why can’t black teens read Frantz Fanon, Dionne Brand, Makeda Silvera, or George Elliott Clarke? Well anyone that has bothered to read Audre Lorde, or Dionne Brand’s work knows the answer. The system treats black people differently then Asians. For some reason blacks we are thought of as more of a “threat” because we are very outspoken about race relation issues.

Book Review: Choose Me

Choose Me, is Chinese Canadian writer, Evelyn’s Lau’s second short story collection. The stories in this collection are beautifully written. The stories are very depressing, sad, miserable, but also very realistic. The women in Choose Me aren’t impulsive women, they are simply women that  are desperate and want to be loved. The question remains, do these women love themselves enough to understand why they chase men that are unattainable?

My only criticism of Choose Me is, that I think the women in the book needed more “agency” and “control” over their own lives. I wanted to see more independence from the female characters. I was hoping the women in Choose Me would eventually “stand up” for themselves instead of allowing themselves to be taken advantage by men.

The young women in Choose Me are chasing older men that have financial resources but realize its just a mask.

The women in this book seem to be blinded by the devotion or attention from men. For instance, why did Zoe in the story “Family”, chase after Douglas the married father with two kids? Why was the prostitute Sybil, in the story “The Outing”, upset at her John for taking her to a common bawdy house?

The only story in Choose Me that shows some female agency is “A Summer Place”. Catherine isn’t in love with Barry, although he invites her to Max’s summer place. Although Catherine, the photographer, has feelings for Max he is unattainable. Max is a good man, he’s in love with Claire. Yet Catherine can’t help having feelings for Max. Max is wealthy he owns property and he’s a tall fit man.

It is clear Catherine is sexually attracted to Max for all the wrong reasons. Catherine is content though, she understands that Max is in love with Claire and she doesn’t attempt to cause problems to their relationship. Catherine realizes she will have to find someone else, that loves her and the emotional connection is mutual. Although Barry attempts to make a move on Catherine,she rejects Barry because she doesn’t love him.

One argument is, Lau has created characters that appear as though they are “victims” of their  own circumstances. The women are in love with men that are within their grasp yet never reaching them.

The strongest points of Choose Me is Lau plunges into the minds of these women and exposes their faults. The anger, the frustration, the  depression, the passionate words Lau writes  are wonderful. Lau explores the fierce and frantic state of heterosexual relationships. Although Lau’s work can also definitely relate to gays and lesbians as well.

The bridge between women and men is wide according to Lau. The men in Choose Me are alluring, attractive, powerful, but also pernicious. The men in Choose Me are evil, vindictive, they know the women love them by also love ” playing with their emotions”. These men “play mind games” “pretending to be interested” in the women yet they are just just stringing them along.

The men simply want the “attention” of the women it boosts their ego these men don’t “love” the women. The men in Choose Me are all about raising their own self esteem while hurting women in the process. Yet the men in “Choose Me” are all about “holding hands” or giving “soft kisses” or ” affectionate words” with the women until the women realize its too late.

On the one hand, you can say the women could be misinterpreting the actions of these men. However, Lau suggests the men in Choose Me know exactly what they are doing. The women believe that when the men shower them with “attention” that they are interested in them. Sadly, the women soon realize these men are all about themselves. The feelings the men have for the women are ephemeral not eternal. The men also have other women on the side such as wives or girlfriends yet also want more attention.

The males in Choose Me gain strength from taking advantage of women not just for sex but just attention. Some men just like it when women are around them that are “into them” but they are not “into the women”. The way these men “keep” the women around is by making the women “think” something might happen but it never does.

The women in Choose Me realize they have to break it off and abandon these men so they can get their lives back on track. I kind of wish the stories in Choose Me were a bit longer. I was dying to  to learn more about the female characters. I wonder if Evelyn will write another short story collection?

I wish Lau had explored a bit more about the aftermath of these relationships. How did Zoe get over Douglas? Did Sybili stop prostituting? Did Catherine find true love? Evelyn Lau’s writes so eloquently with clarity about the battle field in relation to the affairs of the heart. Choose Me is a wonderful book and Lau’s writing is crisp, clear, descriptive and fantastic.

Is The French Open Going To Be Boring this year?

I have to ask is the French Open going to be a complete bore this year? Should we just hand Rafael Nadal the men’s trophy? I am so sick and tired of Rafael Nadal winning the French Open? Did you know this decade the Spanish men have dominated the clay courts? Already this decade Spanish men have won the French Open five times. You have to wonder is this the French Open or the Spanish Open? I am so tired of the Spaniards dictating on the clay. Gustavo Kuerten from Brazil managed to win the French Open twice in 2000 and 2001 for Brazil. Also, Gaston Gaudio from Argentina won the men’s French Open title in 2004. Where is Gaudio now?

For the past three years Justine Henin and Rafael Nadal have won the French Open and to be honest the French Open hasn’t been interesting for a long time. The only sure thing is on the women’s side there will be a new champion. The clay court surface is a tough surface to play on because if it is hot the courts are fast like a hard court but it is damp and cloudy the courts can be heavy and slow. Also, clay courts are the only surface that matches can be played on if it is raining.

Some people hate the French Open because this is the grand slam with the most one slam wonders. The French Open doesn’t have the prestige of Wimbledon or the excitement of the US OPEN. Also, the French crowds can be absolutely obnoxious some of the French fans will even hiss and boo their own players!

Yes Rafael Nadal is sexy he’s got big muscles and all that but he also has no competition on the clay courts. Nadal just blasts the competition and most of the men don’t believe they can beat him. Rafael Nadal appears to me to be invincible on clay. Rafael did lose to Juan Carlos Ferraro in the second round of the Italian Open this year in straight sets though.

It is obvious Roger Federer has the game to defeat Nadal on the clay yet Roger always chokes. I don’t know if I can handle watching another Roger and Rafael match up because Rafael has an 8-1 winning record against Roger on clay. I cannot believe last week in the finals of Hamburg Roger had a 5-1 lead in the first set and a 5-2 in the second set against Nadal in Hamburg last week yet lost the match! I love Roger Federer but I am really worried about these mental collapses.

I think perhaps David Nalbandian or Juan Carlos Ferraro are the only players that can beat Nadal. Nalbandian has an incredible two handed backhand he can create a lot of angles with the ball. Nadal beats Roger because he consistently breaks down Roger’s one handed backhand. Nalbandian has a two handed backhand and he can withstand the powerful topspin forehands of Nadal.

Also, Nalbandian has the speed, stamina, and the game to really hurt Rafael Nadal. The question is does Nalbandian have the mind to win? Nalbandian is a serious talent but he has failed to win a grand slam and live up to his potential.

Juan Carlos Ferraro and David Nalbandian are inconsistent. Also, Nadal always seems to get a very easy draw at the French Open as well.

I wonder, should I bother watching the men’s French Open or just focus on the WTA? It seems to me with Justine Henin out of the way Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and the Serbs Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic are the clear favorites along with Svetlana Kuznetsova. Svetlana reached the French Open women’s final two years ago only to lose to Justine Henin. Justine Henin was a road block for the rest of the WTA Tour so that she has “retired” the road is clear.

I don’t think the other women will really “care” that Henin has retired to be honest. Yes some people will say that the field is weaker on the women’s side because Justine Henin has “retired”. However, every single woman on the WTA tour now knows she has a better shot at actually winning the French Open because Justine is gone. It is sad though that the most dominant female clay court tennis player this decade has decided to quit.

I think Jelena Jankovic has an excellent chance to win her first slam she moves very well, she is extremely quick, has amazing defensive skills. Maria Sharapova has improved tremendously on clay but I still believe there are some clay courters on the WTA tour that can beat her. Serena Williams has already won the French Open but I was shocked she lost to Dinara Safina in Berlin a few weeks ago.

Svetlana Kuznetsova is a tremendous talent but she always loses in the semifinals or finals! Yes it is true Svetlana has a losing record in WTA tour finals and this is her Achilles Heel. Svetlana can get to the finals but she tends to lose. Can Svetlana reverse the trend well we will have to see? Venus Williams I don’t know about her clay is Venus worst surface. The truth about Venus Williams is you just don’t know she can lose first round or win the entire event.

Does The L Word Hold Back On Lesbian Passion?

I think the L Word doesn’t go far enough in exploring lesbianism. Sometimes the sex scenes on the L Word appear fractured and not very sensual. Why is it just insinuated when one woman is stimulating another? Why can’t we actually see the stimulation? Why can’t the show actually “show” the women actually having sex? What is the fear?

The L Word is on cable television so the writers and producers should have more freedom. I don’t understand why hold back on the passion? I think the producers behind the L Word should take the sexuality to the next level and explore the passionate love between women. Although I think this clip between Brenda and Tina is wonderful and totally sexy and cute. It is kind of weird to see Tina not with Bette though. I still think the scene is passionate.

Why Do We Read The Tabloids?

I know I am late on this topic but I am sure everyone has heard about Mariah Carey marrying Nick Cannon. Yes I also purchased a copy of People’s Magazine when I was at the Supermarket the other day. I usually don’t read the tabloids but I thought this story was kind of intriguing and interesting. The wedding pictures are lovely and tastefully photographed.

I wonder why do people bother purchasing tabloids? What is the real reason? Do you ever wonder why? Is it because the public wants to live vicariously through the lives of people that are attractive, young, rich, and famous? Or is it because the gossip magazines are a guilty pleasure, a way for regular people to relax, escape, and fantasize?

People’s Magazine is actually considered the “best tabloid” in the sense the “stars” usually “sell” their stories to People first. People’s Magazine is considered very “star friendly” although sure People deals with gossip and dishes the dirt too. For some reason People’s Magazine is considered better then “In Touch Weekly”, “Us Magazine”, “National Enquirer” and “The Globe”. The British magazines Hello and OK Magazine are also considered very “star friendly” as well.

The other side of the story are the pernicious and deleterious comments people are making on the internet about the marriage. Maybe the marriage is a publicity stunt but so what big deal that’s showbiz. I also find it interesting that people are trying to tear down Nick Cannon most of the comments are that Nick is “boring” or “corny”.

Well my goodness a young black man can’t be from the suburbs of San Diego and actually be well adjusted without any baby mama drama to be “man enough”. Give me a break. Nick Cannon may not be a big star but the guy was the star of the movie Drumline a few years ago. Nick also had a successful show on MTV.

Janet Jackson Is Going To Tour This Fall !!!!

I am so excited! Janet Jackson just announced on the Ellen show today that she is going on tour this fall! The tour will be called the “Rock With U Tour”. The first performance will be September 11th. Janet says rehearsals start in about a month. I am very happy about this and I pray that Janet does tour this time. It has been seven long years since Janet has toured!

I just pray there are some Canadian dates on this tour! I just hope to God that Janet will perform in Toronto! If Janet is coming to Toronto I am definitely going to try to get some tickets! I love Janet Jackson so much she is my favorite singer and entertainer!

There is also a number fans can call to let Janet know which songs they want her to perform on the tour. Here is the phone number 323-622-8139. I want Janet to perform the old hits such as “Young Love”, “When I think of you”, “What Have You Done For Me Lately”, “Nasty”, “Let’s Wait Awhile”, “Come Back To Me”, and some songs from The Velvet Rope. The Velvet Rope was Janet’s best album. I love the song “My Need” its such a romantic and erotic song. I also hope Janet performs some songs from Discipline.

I think the tour could be a good way for Janet to make her official comeback. Janet needs to realize that fans love her and we want to see her perform. Okay, Discipline didn’t sell very well but I love the album! I really believe if Janet tours it will be a success. I think its a smart way for Janet to reintroduce herself to the public again and let people realize why Miss Jackson is such a legend! Go Janet!


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