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We haven’t gone ‘pure lust’ to start the weekend in a bit, have we?


You’re welcome!

Have a good weekend!




You know, a few weeks back at the last MMA show, a few people asked me what my ‘walk in’ music would be if I was in a fight or a WrestleMania situation.  And I have so many hype songs, I really couldn’t pick one off the type of my head.

Then last night, young Mister Fallon and the Roots reminded me there is one song above all other that gets me bouncing off the walls!!!





Me and all my friends
We’re all misunderstood
They say we stand for nothing and
There’s no way we ever could

Now we see everything that’s going wrong
With the world and those who lead it
We just feel like we don’t have the means
To rise above and beat it

So we keep waiting
Waiting on the world to change
We keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change

It’s hard to beat the system
When we’re standing at a distance
So we keep waiting
Waiting on the world to change

Now if we had the power
To bring our neighbors home from war
They would have never missed a Christmas
No more ribbons on their door
And when you trust your television
What you get is what you got
Cause when they own the information, oh
They can bend it all they want

That’s why we’re waiting
Waiting on the world to change
We keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change

It’s not that we don’t care,
We just know that the fight ain’t fair
So we keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change

And we’re still waiting
Waiting on the world to change
We keep on waiting waiting on the world to change
One day our generation
Is gonna rule the population
So we keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change

We keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change





OHHHH BOY…this one takes me back!

You know how there are some things that happen ‘live’ and even if there was only 100 or so people in the room, somehow 500 people witnessed it?  This is one of those stories.

So I don’t know if this still goes down (or if they’re still open), but when I was coming up, during the summers in Wyandotte, Skateland would be the ‘Club 101′ for the kiddies.  This was just one of those random Saturday nights at Skateland.

I see this kid walk in.  We’ll call him ‘Little Man’.  Oversized glasses, Saints starter jacket. Highwater jeans but the Nikes were clean.

He was actually a pretty good skater.  Not that any of the brothers were going to ‘show out’ like they were figure skaters now, but this brother had clearly been skating before.  Could backward skate comfortably and all that. The wannabe tough guys were talking bad about him, but he didn’t pay them any mind.

He was a quiet kid though, definitely on the shy side with the ladies.  Got off the rink when they did the Limbo and the Couples skate and all that.  But there was a quiet confidence about him though.  This cat got on the Ninja Turtle arcade game as Leonardo, with two Crips and a Blood (Skateland was an agreed truce zone), and like Leonardo, he was telling the other three what to do.  That’s not even the real story though.

So at the end of the night, after the ‘last Skate’, we’d all take off our skates, get back on the rink, and just dance.  It was great.  Now, to take a look at Little Man, you’d never assume he was ANY kind of dancer, even to be a good skater.

Little Man went to the rink, and some of the wannabe tough guys got started again.  But they didn’t see Little Man get cool with the REAL gangsters earlier.  When the hoods ran out of quarters, it was Leonardo who finished off Shredder!  Anyway, the gangsters said ‘Give Little Man some space’ and that was that.  The floor cleared.

Here’s the other thing the wannabes didn’t know, even the real hoods didn’t know:  Little Man had been recording Video Soul for WEEKS!  Soon as he got home from school, he’d put on the tape and start memorizing all of Hammer’s moves.  We didn’t know what we had coming!

So when this song came on, to say Little Man blew us all away with how tight his moves were, man that’s an understatement!  At least for one night, Skateland had a new hero.

(trying not to smile…)






So this is about what I owe you.  All of you.

It’s happened not so much as a conscious or deliberate choice as much as it’s happened as a ‘this is how I choose to live my life’ choice, but I’ve built a big part of my adult reputation as a goofy, devil may care, don’t get stressed about anything, lust filled manchild.  And that is who I am.  But I’m more than that too.  A lot more.

People who knew me as a teenager would tell you I was a stone cold, thoughtful, ambitious, driven, focused boy with revolutionary plans to change the world.  That’s who I am too, most of you know that.  But that side has spent more time in the shadows.  Not because I was going out of my way to hide it.  Just wasn’t turned on as much as the other side (with all necessary puns intended).  Recent events have certainly changed things.

Not just what we’ve all been watching on the news for what feels like the past couple of years.  Last week I talked about what it means when we give up more of our private identities.  In my personal case, coming out of my shell (in real life and in the Matrix) has drawn me into this moment in my life where I’ve put myself on the radar of a lot of people I look up to and respect: politicians and community activists, film and TV stars, film and music geeks, hip hop legends, ‘concerned world citizens’ like myself.  You add these people on top of my family and friends (who always come first), and the numerous mentors, past and present, who have invested in me, and that (human) need to validate the people who believe in what I am now and what I can potentially become in the near future is very, very strong right now.

I don’t forsee this as anything overly planned or rigid (like ‘Sunday is the day of the week where Malik doesn’t act silly’).  I do see giving more (or maybe better said, ‘as much’) time to the critically thinking, socially conscious, politically aware adult. Writing or telling jokes is not a skill everyone has, neither is writing or delivering a well thought out opinion on a serious topic where people who don’t necessarily agree with you at least can see your point of view and the logic of how you got there.  I can do both of these things, quite well.

And I owe it to my allies to bring my complete skill set on a more consistent basis.



I can only speak for
The things that I’ve been through
So when it comes to our love
I’ll talk the whole night through
About the lovin’ I’ve been missin’
Lately, baby I ain’t had no kissin’
Don’t you love me
Can we stay together

Like when we used to be in love
But now you’ve got your head on another cloud
Girl, we had a good thing
But now you’ve turned around
Don’t you even care how this love
We’ve had turns out

(Promise me, you’ll leave me never)
(That we’ll be in love forever)
(Promise me, you’ll leave me never)
(And that we’ll be in love forever)

We can work at our love
And make it all brand-new
If we stay together
There’s nothing we can’t do
Improve the lovin’ is what I’m seeing
Let’s do it baby
Don’t fight the feeling
Won’t you love me
Can we stay together

[Repeat Bridge and Chorus]

Forever, ever, promise me you’ll leave me never
Won’t you promise me (That you’ll leave me never)
Promise me, forever and ever, and ever



DCU: Assault on Arkham



The newest Dark Knight film in the Animated Series universe is Assault on Arkham.  Set in the Gotham created by the hugely popular video games, in this story 6 rogues (including Deadshot and Harley Quinn) are sent INTO Arkham Asylum for a hit on the Riddler.  Batman is initially sent on a wild goose chase but surprise, that doesn’t last too long, and he realizes something is up on the Island.

Kevin Conroy voices the Prince of Gotham in this story, but (as happens once in a while) Batman is more of a supporting character as this film plays out.  The focus here is really on the love triangle (you read that right) that develops between Deadshot, Harley and the Joker.  You knew he had to play a role in this right?

There’s some nice one liners (a Denzel Washington reference!) and Easter eggs (a shout out to the Dark Knight that you’ll miss if you blink) sprinkled in here.

Is the Prince of Gotham biased? Of course I am! But I liked it.

Vanishing Pearls



The aptly named Vanishing Pearls is a documentary about modern day American capitalism at its worst.  A small town community of fishermen make their living catching oysters in the Gulf of Mexico.  Then the BP oil spill happens.  Ecosystem destroyed.  After a little government intervention (ha!), BP does the right thing and offers business reparations to the fisherman who’ve they’ve effectively put out of business.  Then that gets a little messy so they hire a law firm to make sure the payments are made.  The broad strokes you may guess; what Nailah Jefferson does extremely well here is show, how, in every possible way, the corporation has destroyed the culture, the ecology, the whole way of life of people who at best are a line number on some Excel sheet in corporate America.  My own Louisiana roots got to me at times watching this, but unless you’re in the 1 percent, I don’t think it will be too hard to have sympathy for the people here.

Vanishing Pearls is now streaming on Netflix.



Stereo Williams posted the Hendrix-esque cover of this from ‘Across the Universe’ and many of you know when I hear either the original or a really good cover of one of my favorite songs, my world stops, so…

And yes, I’ve seen the movie but the song didn’t strike me as much within the context of the film.  I ‘blame’ that on the movie: it was just one of those perfect pitches (the Beatles catalogue as a film musical?) that couldn’t possibly live up to the expectations most of us had in our minds.

I didn’t think anything could really, until I see the LOVE show in Vegas for a birthday a few years back, but I’ve covered that in the past.

Anyway, enjoy!



Police Shooting Missouri

So let’s start with something Rashida put out there last week:

We’ve all been talking about this and debating the issue of ‘privacy’ for the last week.  Seeing nude photos of one of the biggest movie stars in the world right now does that to the news cycle and the water cooler conversations.

By definition, privacy is ‘freedom from unauthorized intrusion.’  But in the social media age, how are we really defining that?  When every update of these apps we have on our phones tells you in (fairly) straightforward language, ‘You understand everything you say and every picture you post becomes the property of our public server correct?’  How are each of us as individuals drawing the line of where our private life really starts?’ All of us have a natural, healthy level of unease when we feel Big Brother is overstepping their boundaries.  But what if we’re voluntarily letting them in?  And now that we’re here, what if there’s an expected benefit from the ‘Too Much Information’ Era?  Let me put this another way…

As most of you know, I’m a born and raised Kansas City kid.  I’ve made a few St. Louis friends over the years, I’ve passed through St. Louis on road trips, I’ve done weddings and bachelor parties in St. Louis, I’ve been to Rams home games in St. Louis.  Until a month ago? I had NEVER heard of Ferguson, Missouri.  So how does this small town get onto (and more importantly) stay on the radar of the national media (and all of us)?  You know how.  For the purposes of this post, I don’t bring up Ferguson to call attention to the murder of a black kid (that no one’s been charged for), I bring it up for how the media was treated.  In the ‘Too Much Information’ Age, we had reporters and cameramen being told by the powers that be, ‘Shut It Down or Be Arrested.’  Now I haven’t been in school for a very long time now, but there’s a word that comes to mind when the people in power get overzealous in trying to control the information that gets out and the narrative of the story: censorship.

Too Much Information.  Or is it?  The common thread I see in the two stories is many people looking around and asking ‘Do we really still have this many people around who are that racist and/or misogynistic?  Or has the number, never really changed, but because we’re all so much more comfortable publicly expressing ourselves, we’re just more exposed to how people really feel?’  And if in the long run, we’re sincere about trying to break down any type of systematic racism or sexism or what have you (another debate altogether), is it really bad to know how people really feel?

If I had the answer to how our cultural definition of privacy is going to evolve in the next 5 years, I’d already be living in Zuckerburg’s neighborhood.  When I was a kid, everyone established their own line of where ‘Stay Out of My Business’ started.  Now, to various degrees, we’ve all pushed that line way back, and we’re still pushing it.  We want to stay connected to our friends and family around the world.  We want to buy anything we can imagine without ever leaving the house.  And so on.

Maybe the ‘private’ line really does disappear altogether, except for the extreme circumstances.  I’m not an old man yet, but I already know it won’t be my generation who makes the decision.

Brave New World we’re living in.



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