“Oh I’m a lil worn out from all the partying.” -Grandma

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Japan Loves Black Urban Culture

I came across an eye-opening video about the presence of Black American culture in Japan.  B-style is the common name given to black culture in Japan.  This video exposes a sector of Japanese young adults who adore and aim to emulate their favorite rappers, female hip hop stars, and video girls.  The shocking aspect about this B-style lifestyle is that the Japanese celebrate a culture that is oftentimes condemned and criticized in the U.S. for its celebration of ostentation, hyper sexuality, male chauvinism, criminality, and the like.  Who knew, what one country may consider trash, is lauded as another nation’s treasure?

Author’s note: the acclaim of black hip hop culture in Japan is most likely reserved to a niche in the Japanese population.  Nonetheless, this niche of fans and emulators have made B-style apart of their everyday lives and in some cases black culture has become their lifestyles.

Why Did Rosa Parks Sit Down At The Front Of The Bus?

Rosa Parks did not sit down at the front of the bus only because her feet were tired.

Parks, a middle aged black woman, boarded a bus.  She sat in the front and refused to give up her seat for a white passenger.  On December 1st, 1955 in segregational Montgomery, Alabama, Parks’ firm decision still reigns as one of the most significant and well known acts of the Civil Right era.  However, despite knowing that Parks kept her seat on the bus, many remain unaware of who Parks was- (as) a black female Civil Rights activist.

Read more at The Grio

GLEEqueries: Burning Questions About The Hit Show

I am a gleek.  Definition: I love the tv musical comedy show, Glee.  Or I used to.

As of late, I seem to tune in just to see what’s going on rather than to enjoy the quirkiness of the show that drew me in since it premiered back in ’09.  The songs performed on Glee are becoming more and more obscure- especially for those of us who haven’t familiarized ourselves with a repertoire of dated Broadway songs that surpass our ages.  Also, the one or rather one of the main things -the quirky, sick, and twisted yet uber chipper dialogue- that kept me as a viewer is losing its grasp.

Glee would benefit if it took a cue from some of its better moments of the past.  Perform songs and reference pop culture that the audience can relate to.  Think, the wildly popular Britney Spears episode, the kids being kids in the infamous Season 2 “Blame it on the Alcohol” episode, and even this year’s performance of Adele’s super soulful hits.

What’s missing from Season 3 is the reminder that although these teens love show tunes and a lot of Gaga, they’re also just teens.  Gone are the scenes where the audience experienced the circus of daily teenage life with the characters along with the Glee club’s love for the stage.  Instead, viewers are now force fed these ever changing plots that seem to be thinning rather than thickening as the season moves forward.

More and more I’ve been asking myself, “What is going on?!?” with each passing episode.  Now, I’m relieved to know I’m not the only one with inquiries.  The lovable show that I was once engaged in has become sort of a dull spectator sport for me.  But there is hope.  With some of the main characters like Rachel, Kurt, and Finn graduating this year, I’m looking forward to some shakeups in the plot for next season.  Until graduation comes, here are the 118 questions about Glee’s last episode that made me think twice, LOL, and anxious to tune in next week, hopeful for resolve.

Read more at Gawker

Posted in TV

Toddlers And 5 lb Bag of Flour vs. The House

If you’re wondering about the validity of the video here’s how it all went down (according to the mom who posted the vid):

“Mommy was not feeling well and had to stay in the bathroom longer than usual during which my two boys, ages 1 and 3 took my new bag of flour out of the cupboard and destroyed my house. This is from ONE 5lb bag. Don’t believe me? Hand a full bag to a 3 year old and see what happens.”

I’ll take her word for it.

LOL TV: Whitney

There are a slew of new comedies that came to TV this fall.  But the show that keeps us LOL is Whitney.  It stars Whitney Cummings as -wait for it- Whitney and her slacker-dorkable live-in boyfriend, Alex, played by Chris D’Elia.  The duo produce nonstop laughter as they portray a young Chicago couple taking the monotony out of daily life and injecting just the right amount of humor, antics, sarcasm, and love.  Catch Whitney on NBC Thursday nights at 9:30.

Posted in TV

Bike the City

Biking is expanding in key municipalities in the U.S., especially New York.  You may know from personal experience or dual-wheel enthusiasts that biking is the greatest way to see a city.  It provides a  sense of freedom, intimacy with your city, and control that is unmatched by driving a car, motorcycle, or plain ol’ walking.

Although cycling and its culture has exploded in NYC in recent years there are still many gripes, nicks, and kinks that have yet to be worked out.  For example, during the handful of errands I ran this week on my bike, I encountered double parked cars in bike lanes, causing me to veer into traffic, monstrous potholes capable of swallowing an entire front wheel, being doored, and the worst: no bike lanes at all.

All the aforementioned, I’m sure, are gripes that cyclists can relate to.  If you hear a cyclist groan with fury mid-ride it’s probably due to one of the gripes I mentioned or perhaps they’re biking on a steep incline.  Despite what exactly grinds each biker’s gears, I’m hoping that the folks at the transportation department can work to resolve these woes.  If not for decreased cycler groans then for increased cycler safety.

Nonetheless, my ever adventurous bike trips with all their thoroughfare complexities demand such swift resolve that my mind is continually invigorated by each passing block’s dilemma.  As the biting winter months loom, I compulsively seize autumn’s windows of opportunities to be active.  After a ride, I feel Amazonian and accomplished across my mental, physical, and spiritual states. Fierce.

Related: Pleasures of Life in the Slow Lane

Photo Credit: LJN 2011