My friends at Dangerbang Productions wrote a character for me and…well, see for yourself.
(Mr. L. Jackson, you’re on the clock…)
I’m starting this week in complete shock that I (felt like I had) 1001 things to get done this weekend,..and I got them all day. Maybe this life I’m building really has come together.
So if it pleases the Court, we’re starting this week with more music. A cover to be precise. You don’t mind, do you?
Didn’t think so.
I could tell you more about Nina Simone as a ‘symbol’ than I could as an actual person. ‘What Happened Miss Simone?’ is a nice in to her life story for those of you like myself. Archival footage and interviews with her musical collaborators and family fill out the story of this incredibly complex woman.
A child of the segregation era South, her ambition to be a great classical pianist was the first of many great (for lack of a better term) ‘complications’ that would define the woman who would rechristen herself ‘Nina Simone’ when she hit the Big Apple. Through her own diary and the recollections of her daughter, we get a great glimpse of how Nina’s relationship with her husband/manager was both the best and worst thing that probably ever happened to her.
The talent and the respect to become a major crossover star, her fiercely independent streak drew her (as a woman and an artist) into the Movement and made her beloved by the community she stood up for. (From my own generation, I thought about Lauryn Hill more than once watching this.)
Streaming on Netflix. Definitely worth checking out.
My gut tells me if Bale was in this trailer, I’d be all over this. My gut also tells me that it was the right decision by all parties to move in a new version of the Dark Knight.
I’m very biased since this week since I’ve started rebuilding my own body, but as I’ve left the gym behind, I like the little cut of Bruce pulling the monster tire truck to get his core back in shape.
Zod is in there (his body at least), Luthor obviously, the Joker is implied…and I still don’t feel like they’ve revealed the main villain of this movie just yet.
Speaking of, we already knew Eisenberg can play the socially maladjusted, arrogant genius, so seeing him in clip form…he might actually be a decent Lex Luthor. Maybe…
The 9/11 allusions are a nice touch to set up the ‘why': A skyscraper comes down in the middle of the day, hundreds if not thousands of people die. This is reality based. Warners is obviously trying to set up their own Avengers, but good for them IF they stay away from literally trying to duplicate the tone/style of the Avengers.
‘Nobody wants to see Clark Kent take on the Batman!’ – YOU TELL HIM FISH!
‘How many good guys are left? How many stay that way?’ – Oh, now you have my attention!
I’m not hyped for this still. But…it may not be as bad as we first thought…
For a variety of reasons, the past few years I’ve only been in two cities: Los Angeles and Kansas City. The ‘Reclaiming My Damn Life World Tour’ finally gets back on track in about a month or so. Even if it begins in a place I’ve been too often, I still haven’t made that four hour road trip in way too long.
Think I can finish my last ‘writing’ in the next four weeks. So this is mood music in a number of ways.
A few of my talented Jayhawk friends who helped me make ‘Lady In My Life’ a few years back need your help in bringing their next vision to the screen.
The name of the web series is ‘Red Bird’, and it’s being written and directed by Misti Boland. She can explain her vision better than I, so here’s the link to the website with all the info you need. There’s only a few hours left so help if you can!
I was as prepared as I’ve ever been, and this Ramadan was as physically and mentally smooth as any I’ve experienced. In this life, I still have work to do it seems. I’m excited to start working out again and putting meat on my bones. I’m excited to finish the last script I was working on, and bringing my full energy during the daylight hours again to everything I’m committed to. I’m excited and looking forward to interacting with many of you.
I appreciate everyone who gave me my personal space, but let me take a moment to thank everyone who hasn’t seen me in the past month and sent me a text, a DM, a call, and the like to make sure I was alright. This is usually my most serious time of the year obviously, but I’m human. It’s nice to be missed, it’s nice to be appreciated.
One regret I have (which will be corrected the rest of the way) is that in my absence I should have turned you on to others who post through Ramadan (and all throughout the year). Many different colors and lifestyles and attitudes; beyond the obvious, the only connection you can probably make between these people is that often I’ll look at them, then look in the mirror and say to myself, “I need to do more, I’m not doing enough.” Amanda Saab, Husain and Hamza Abdullah, dream hampton, Dawud Walid, Brother Ali, Lupe Fiasco, Murtaza Hussain, Keith Ellison, Khalil Muhammad. For you young people, I’ll throw Zayn Malik in there. Those are few ‘famous’ names; like most of you I get inspired the most by the people in my community you probably haven’t heard of. Yet.
I’m thankful for those of you who tried to change me, so I could easily identify, in the short term and the long term, the compromises I’m comfortable making, and where I draw the lines.
I’m thankful for those of you who have always accepted me as I am, even when I didn’t always recognize it, and when I didn’t always fully accept myself.
All Praise is due to Allah, only the mistakes have been mine.
Eid Mubarak to the Muslim Community around the world!
Let’s finish this.
Returned to the director’s chair. Made a quality short that will find a new audience every holiday season (like the film its based on, ironically). Wrote my first original pilot. Wrote my first spec based on a TV show I love. Producer on another ‘legacy’ project that’s one of those ‘once in a lifetime’ things I’m thrilled to be a part of. The period of time from the last Ramadan to this one has found me in another peak period. Stability and consistency have arrived.
I’m mastering how to be as efficient as I can, I’ve reverse engineered the remaining details. It’s happening. The endgame (which we’ve half jokingly, half seriously called, ‘Muslim Clooney’.) Not as one giant home run swing, but by stringing together all the daily and weekly victories. Far from over, but constant forward motion. With a lot of help and support from many of you, I’ve worked myself into a position where I can think but not ‘overthink’, I’ve created a sense of ‘home’ (stability) which makes me more confident in myself and my natural voice. We still have more fun than we should at times, but I’m reverting back to being more selective about when and where and in front of whom I act like the ‘devil may care goofball who doesn’t take anything too seriously’ and re-establishing my go-to move as being the ‘socially conscious, politically aware artist who prides himself on being a world citizen.’ The consistency.
Part of it I guess was aging into it, but I’m completely comfortable in ‘my spot.’ When I was younger, I’m sure some people thought I’d be some version of DeRay McKessen. I love and support what that brother is, but I don’t know want his life. When you hear me hype up Ava DuVernay or Issa Rae, I’m not angling for a gig; their voices and what they represent are important as well. Even the young brothers who at some point maybe I was ‘suppose to be’, like Justin Simien or Ryan Coogler, I feel no envy. They’re not telling my specific story or doing what I specifically do. I now live in the moment more than I ever have, but my eyes on the Big Picture; something bigger than I will ever be and something that will be here long after I’m gone. This may be an easier statement for someone as defiantly individual as I am to say, but I believe it’s true: you will be challenged at every turn, you will have to fight for what you believe in at every step, but, what’s meant for you? No one can take that from you.
So back to this moment. The past couple of weeks I’ve started to strip away the unnecessary things, and this is part of it. As much as is practically possible in 2015, I’m taking a social media and blogging hiatus for Ramadan (which starts later this week.) As I’ve told the people close to me, for the first time in I don’t know how long, I don’t have to ‘fix’ anything in my life. I can routinely place my hand on the brass ring, but haven’t quite put my fingers around it. So my goal is making sure I maintain and continue to build upon my (say it with me now) stability and consistency.
I’m off for deep meditation and to protect the Future here in the dry lands. If it’s meant to be and the time is right (say mid July?), we’ll get back to it.