Pressing Matters: I’m Afraid Of Americans, I’m Afraid I Can’t Help It


The first time I saw David Bowie, Trent Reznor was chasing him.

Not in a for musical glory sense but literally.

The guy was chasing after Bowie like some 90’s thriller.

Fitting since it was 1996.

Through a Buzzworthy Track on a MTV that still baked the majority of its bread from music videos, David Bowie was being stalked and chased by the Nine Inch Nails frontman.

Needless to say, the catchy bleep blops that rhythmically punctured the song—this was the popular Reznor Photek version and not Brian Eno’s original—and the head scratching chorus of “I’m Afraid Of Americans,” had me both perplexed and hooked.

And scared.

When a 12-year-old black kid whose family was rooted in the Southern COGIC Religion hears the words “ God Is An American,” his naive religious tension rises.  

I’m going to hell for listening to this,” I cried.

That remains to be seen.

I wish I could say that it’s the passing of Mr. Bowie that has me reminiscing about the song. And make no mistake, his death is still a razorbalde Jolly Rancher that’s hard to swallow. But honestly “I’m Afraid Of Americans” has been playing in my head on repeat because 20 plus years later, I find myself neither frightened at the prospect of hell due to controversial thoughts in a Christian Home.

I’m actually afraid of Americans.

Forgive me for pulling an “not all men” defense here, but when I say Americans, I don’t necessarily mean all Americans. Saying that would also mean that I’m afraid of myself.

I have a range of feelings concerning myself, most of them somewhere between, “Hey, I’m an alright fella,” to “Oh you blundering ogre idiot.”

Fear isn’t in that range.

It thrives within another.

When it comes to Americans, there’s a specific kind to pinpoint.

These Americans are usually white.

They are usually archaic in either age or their ideals.

These Americans drive with their SUVS, Hummers, and big ole white Pick-Up Trucks, sporting a Trump Bumper Sticker, Jesus Fish, or just the an entire American Flag.

They wear their supposed patriotism not on their sleeves but completely smother themselves within it though the very fabric may be tattered and torn with nationlism and paranoia for those that don’t look like them.

Their eyes glare at anyone who would dare take a knee instead of place their hand over their heart during the high school football or soccer games their kids play in.

These Americans say brother to their black coworkers or church members while hissing nigger at their pants-sagging nappy haired children.

Their children absorb and manipulate other cultures while decrying those very same cultures as inferior on social media.

These Americans are too tuned into Fox News or worse, their Facebook New Feeds rather than actual legit or at the very least, reputable news sources.

These citizens look at protests like Black Lives Matter or the Women’s March not as fights for equality or fights against a system that brandishes injustice, but rather see them as troublemakers, whiners, and people who should be grateful for the status quo.

These Americans defend against punching Nazis.

And finally, these Americans that I speak of, that to me are truly my own personal boogeymen look at the recent actions of their president not as rocket ship towards Facism or World War III but as safety and loyalty.

To paraphrase Bowie I’m Afraid of Americans. And I’m afraid I can’t help it.

I’m afraid of anyone who brandishes our American Flag now because it only reminds me of anyone who brandishes the southern flag.

I’ve spent years hearing of that flag’s defenders here say that it isn’t a symbol of hate but of rebellion and tradition despite it already being tainted with the blood of countless Blacks and Native Americans.

It’s messed up as technically, just as I am a southern, I’m also an American. And just as there are things about the south I adore—the concept of Southern Hospitality, the food—there’s so much to love about this country. But just as with the area, I’m not meant to be the prime recipient of all that’s supposed to be great. Ironically, to many, mostly white folks, I’m targeted as a reminder of what’s wrong.

Or maybe I’m just a constant reminder of what their ancestors did wrong.

No one likes to be reminded of the past when it’s filled with guilt mind fields, especially America.

I’m often told that dwelling in the past gets in the way of swimming towards progress. However no one seems to keep in mind that stubbornly moving along without addressing the anchor will only cause you to sink no matter how hard you swim.

The proclamation of Freedom of Expression and the right to rock certain symbols and Flags is always invaded any hint of protest from me and probably every other person of color having to deal with racism’s multi-layered forms.

Because let’s face it, Racism is a rotten onion often thrown at our heads.

But for every declaration or admitted bondage to “Da 1st Admendment,” you never hear important variables that need to be dissected.

Your Right To Free Speech is fine and dandy on paper, but what if that speech includes hate?

And what if a symbol that started off as a romantic ideal instead became perverted by the actions of those who still drape themselves in it like a well worn blanket?

This is my problem with the American Flag currently. A cloth I’ve been indoctrinated to pledge allegiance to since I was five.

It is supposed to be a symbol of what makes America so great. But the fine print to that is that whatever greatness it contains, I’m not meant for it. But the burden of gratefulness for its existence and how it’s supposed to correlate with my own existence in this country even though it fails me in that regard, is still placed upon me.

Don’t get me wrong, I admire what it was supposed to represent. What it was supposed to mean. And to those that rock it because it has a deeper meaning for them devoid of hate, I respect.

That being said instead of looking at someone’s bumper sticker of the flag, or if they’re so bold, placement of the cloth in the back of their pick-up truck, my immediate thought isn’t “Oh, this person loves their country.” It’s “Oh, this person probably detests me.”

I shouldn’t think that.

I shouldn’t have to at all.

But when you’re constantly reminded just how meaningless your life is in this country, how no matter the quality of your actions or character, that you are seen as less than human, I have to think that way.

I have to be wary.

I have to survive.

And if I’m lucky enough, figure how to evolve that survival into living, because there is a key difference between the two.

It feels as though I have to be afraid of Americans because I don’t have a choice.

I don’t know how Bowie would feel about me relating his song to this personal fear. I mean, when he wrote it, the tune was more of a comment on the invasion of American ways, culture,and corporatism to the rest of the world.

I would like to think given how sharp of man he seemed, if performing now, he’d realize that the song can have a completely different yet relateable meaning.


Top 5 Donald Glover Performances In Derrick Comedy


Donald Glover is a Renaissance Man.

The actor/writer/music artist has had a stellar personal season with the success of Atlanta and his latest album Awaken, My Love.

But I remember noticing Glover’s talent before he became Earn, Troy, or Childish. Back in the saloon days of YouTube, Derrick Comedy—a New York based trio featuring Glover, Domminick Dierkes, D.C. Pierson—were making my friends and I laugh heartily in our dorm rooms. And with each sketch, Glover was also making his presence known.

So I went on YouTube this week, and started listing my favorite Donald Glover performances in Derrick Comedy.

Take a look.

  1. Don’t Jerk Off To This

It’s subtle, well the jokes are. The set up is anything but that, as it takes a herculean effort for three friends not masturbate to a bowl of fruit. It’s the don’t press that red button scenario except with fruit and genitals.


Normally I would have given an honorable mention to this sketch in place of Girls Are Not To Be Trusted, but it’s Glover’s dialogue to his friend Thomas as he catches him going for the bowl of fruit.

As his friend sneaks his way to the coveted bowl, there is Glover’s character, drink in hand, waiting in the dark for his pawn like some expectant predator in a psychological thriller, delivering a dialogue that would seem diabolical if not capped off with “…bring it to me so that I can jerk off to it.”

  1. Boy Band

The first thought when always viewing Boy Band is usually “This is so wrong….but that catchy chorus tho.”

The concept of the sketch, which flips the script on adult perverts lusting after underage pop sensations is both cringey and hilarious if only for the fact how close to the truth it actually nails—looking at you people who countdown to when a pop star becomes “legal,”–and that would be fine enough if you didn’t have Glover singing such a catchy chorus over the band’s music video. Some might point to Culdesac or even I Am Just Rapper mixtapes as the first time they considered Glover’s great musical ability, and that’s fair. But in between the disapproving “this is so wrong” head shaking and guilt-ridden guffaws the first time I watched this sketch, I kept thinking, “Man this dude should really consider doing music.”

  1. B-Boy StanceReggie: “I’m a martyr, I’m a martyr for hip-hop”

Journalist: “Martyrs are usually dead.

Reggie: “Well I’m little dead inside.”

My favorite episode from Atlanta was definitely “B.A.N.” which featured the Dateline’s esque spoof of the transracial character. It reminded me of B-Boy Stance, at least in spirit, and I think if you view it you can find a few connecting threads: the Cable TV Tabloid Documentary Style, the character that’s either delusional or just truly believes in what they’re doing all shot back to you in a humorous shell. But while the B.A.N. segment on transracial could still layer itself like a shawl onto the continuing and complex dialogue of race in the U.S., B-Boy stance isn’t that heady.

Instead, it turns the wackiness up to 11, as Glover delivers the funniest lines with strong comedic timing such as:

“Why don’t you go marry Jay-Z and have a normal life where you hug each other your arms that are free from your back…and scratch your legs where they itch last night.”

  1. Jazz Man

What’s the greatest sketch of all time?

Monty Python’s Dead Parrot?

SNL’s Celebrity Jeopardy?

All are worthy contenders for the title. But let me add in one more to the match: Derrick Comedy’s Jazz Man.

For me, this is my “Who’s On First.”

It’s also my personal Scarface as far as quotable works.

“Won’t let me drink at your bar huh, well here’s some Jim Crow for that ass.”

“Immma go have sex with like five white women tonight. You guys have fun.”

“Ooooh I just orgasmed onstage from your white hatred.”

The premise is bonkers as it’s essentially a large fart joke wrapped up in a historical discussion on racism and cultural appropriation for commercial profit. In any one else’s hands this would fail before even making it beyond a table reading. And no other actor besides Glover could pull off the delivery that this sketch needs to remotely work.

The utter disgust and disdain Glover gives to a hypocritical audience that would pay money to see him play his trumpet but at the same time would also deny his character basic civil rights and human decency is as funny as it is brutally honest.

This sketch seems like artistic revenge for the never-changing relationship between black music, black people and the people that love the music but not the people.

5.) Jerry

Jazz Man may be my favorite Derrick Comedy and general sketch of all time. But Jerry holds a special place in my comedic bone due to being the first Derrick Comedy video I ever watched. In 2006, during the wild west days of a budding YouTube, the Junior Year in College version of me watched as Glover gave one of the most landmark and enthralling comedic performances I’d ever seen.

Ok Ok.

That last sentence was too Inside The Actor’s Studio, but in 30 seconds my belly was shaking too hard from deep laughter as Glover’s Jerry character went into denial, hysterical yelling and sobbing, and then even further in denial, and more hysterical yelling and sobbing all because the poor kid had an accident in his pants.

Jerry would serve as my introductory video towards friends and family members into Derrick Comedy and Donald Glover until, well he didn’t need an introduction anymore.

The world knows who he is.

Still, looking at Jerry, it wasn’t hard to tell that Glover was going to be star.

From pooping his pants to Lando, Mr. Glover has come pretty dang far.

Okay you’ve heard enough from me, so let me hear from you. Let me know what your favorite Donald Glover centric Derrick Comedy sketches are.

Pressing Matters: Seeking An Oasis In The Alternative Facts Desert


“It is never our intention to lie to you.”

It shouldn’t be for any press secretary for any president, but the above stated quote from Sean Spicer isn’t reassuring to me, especially when what followed was finger pointing and deflecting.

The Trump Inauguration had little chance of going off without any controversy. The ceremony has been under extreme scrutiny ever since the climax to election night, shooting a barrage of reports and memes daily until the magical date.

But to be fair, having a concert lineup that looks like a Greatest Hits Complication Exclusive for Walmart is a hilarious notion to highlight. Too bad it’s the only item I could laugh at.

But the biggest takeaway from the inauguration itself which is the reportage and dispute over the attendance numbers, has me frightened over the state of the press.

In case your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr feed didn’t receive this (and in this post-truth world that’s very possible) pictures were shown comparing the Trump Inauguration Attendance to the Obama Inauguration Attendance.


As you can see, the numbers were comparably low for Trump.

Or not if you believe Spicer who reported that Trump drew

“the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe.”

He then called out the media, claiming their false reportage was made only to discredit Trump, and that the pictures were highly inaccurate.

It’s a case of Spicer said versus what the media said.


No, no it isn’t!

It’s not even a fair fight for Spicer. This is like a toddler against the Hulk.

PBS showed a time lapse video of the National Mall indicating visually that attendance never came close to the same scene during Obama’s 2009 Inauguration.

The New York Times estimated that the Trump crowd was only 1/3 of Obama’s 1.8 million.

And as reported from The Guardian:

According to figures shared by the Metro Washingtonsubway system on Twitter, 193,000 trips had been taken by 11am on Donald Trump’s inauguration day, compared with 513,000 during the same period on 20 January 2009 when Barack Obama took office.”

And of course there’s the Women’s March, which took place that following Saturday, which made the National Mall look packed compared to Trump’s Inauguration, having at least hundreds of thousands at the National Mall as well as more in other big cities.

Spicer also didn’t make matters strong for his initial argument when during a press conference with the media earlier Today, he tried the method of finger pointing and deflecting.

He pointed at another agency that gave him the wrong number of attendance. And then deflected to the number of TV and online viewers who instead watched the Inauguration from the comforts of their home. And if I were Spicer, I would have probably led with that to save face, although I’m sure that by doing that, he just gave a few reporters an idea for a great follow-up story.

If I can leave with anything from this fiasco, it’s that the relationship between the press and President is going to be rocky at its best and nonexistent at its worst.

And coupling that with a decreasing number of staff in newsrooms, a news competition skewed more on being first than being accurate, and the threat of fake-news confusing people, the situation is looking grim for hard-fought, important journalism.

The Trump Team IS willing to lie to you.

Make no mistake about it. And its supporters have made it clear that they’ll drink the kool-aid even if laced with razorblades. In fact, most of them will regurgitate those razorblades and throw them right at the eyes of anyone who disagrees with their leader and his spew of alternative facts.

But my question is with Watchdog Journalism needed now more than ever, can the those in the media that really care, continue to do their job in a climate that’s trying to make them extinct? And more importantly, how much does the public really care?

I ask that last question not expecting any answer through their words but through their actions.

Is the public willing to read, watch or hear? Is the public willing to still trust? Is the public willing to pay?

Pounds: Prelude To Madness


“I’m thinking about doing two-a -day workouts. Do you have any advice?”

Time slowed down for my co-worker, Zach, as the statement and question reverberated between his ears and brain. He stopped moving, which is an amazing feat for the 20-something whose natural stance is usually set to a kid who just chugged two cups of Kool-Aid.

His quick-witted responses usually matched my own to the point that our superiors and our co-workers were left scratching their heads, deciphering the dialogue we were already celebrating with laughter.

But here he was, silent for ten crawling seconds, his face contorting to a puzzle he couldn’t figure out.

The record had scratched.

And then, as the pause button on life lifted, laughter surrounded the room.

Holding his insides, Zach responded “ Hey DC, did you hear what Calvin said? He’s thinking about doing two-a-day workouts. Any advice?”

You could feel the mocking air quotes in his question to our mutual co-worker.

“Yeah,” DC said, with a pointed eye-brow, “DON”T DO IT!”

Advice noted.

Unfortunately my bloodline was cursed with the skill of ridiculous stubbornness.
For instance, family members that have died—God Rest their Restless Souls—didn’t just simply die. They suffered through something that should have killed them in one hit, only to bounce back for a brief encore and then die.

My sister believed that it was their way of fighting to spend one last time with their loved ones. I think it’s the family stubbornness kicking in annoying the face of death.

And though I may have to make that final trek one day with the Reaper, my stubborn kick was going to occur this time during my crazy idea.

Two workouts in one day.

It’s not that I’m trying to upstage anyone, or fuel my ego with this attempt.

It’s just that year in and year out, my workout regime feels like its in a rut.

And when someone’s in a rut, they have this drive or craving to spark some type of difference no matter how jarring or extreme. So while some people dye their hair, go sky diving, or take a BDSM class to combat their ruts, I’m just attempting to murder myself at the gym.

Really, my adrenaline shot is conservative compared to others when you think about it.

And the only hangover I’ll suffer through is sore muscles, right?


Or a dangerous injury.

Damn my family’s stubbornness.


The Plan:

Workout A:

20-25 Minutes On Elliptical

Ab-Machine—100 Reps Or 10 Min

Ab-Machine (Sitting)–60-Reps Or 5 Min

Side-Ab Machine–60-90 Reps

Treadmill-Jogging/Walking With Increasing Elevation For 15 Minutes

Workout B-1 (Upper Body):

Bench Press- To The Point Of Exhaustion With Increasing Weight

Cross Fly- 30 Reps

Triceps Machine-30-50 Reps Increasing Weight

Pull-Down Machine Alternating Chest And Back—30 Reps Each With Increasing Weight

Dumbbell Curl—30 Reps With Increasing Weight

Push-Ups—30 For First Month (Add 10 Each Month)

Barbell Lift—30 Reps

Workout B-2 (Lower Body)

Jumping Squats—30 Reps

Barbell Front Squats—30 Reps Increasing Weight

Barbell Back Squats—30 Reps

Calf Raises—30 Reps

Squat Machine (Seated)–30 Reps

Leg Extensions Increasing Weight 30 Reps

Leg Curls Increasing Weight 30 Reps

#TBT In Pictures


I wasn’t always a blogger living in the basement. There was a time you could call me a small town journalist, which is really three words for “Do Everything,” including take your own photos.

I was never really good, but there were a few shots I was proud of, such as this one.

Story goes that this fella who is lounging fell down a rather steep hill into the muddy riverbank unable to get himself out due to injury from the fall. So the County Rescue Squad came to save him.

30 Min Lunch Break Blues: Go-To Options For Taco Bell


Don’t be fooled by the five dollar Cravings Meal from Taco Bell.

It’s a trap.

It’s like the underdog fighter that’s relegated as an easy win before their music hits.

You’d be forgiven for underestimating it, especially if you’re used to conquering any of Taco Bell’s other higher-priced combos. But the Cravings Deal is as wily as an old Carny who keeps promising that you’re just one ring toss away from being a winner.

You’ll never win the bear.

The $5 Cravings Deal will leave you a regretful bloated gassy mess, pondering what led you back to this position in life and does it have any real meaning?

You’ll also feel like you’re one bad sneeze from some new underpants.

Either is okay when at home with nary a plan for the evening, but it’s horrible for a 30 minute lunch break.
No one wants to deal with hissy managers, dumb customers, and a Clock Off point that seems to never come while stuck in an existential fast food crisis. Luckily, this blog is partly about learning from my mistakes so you don’t have to suffer.

So here are four key items to keep in mind when ordering from Taco Bell on your lunch break.

1.) Whoa Big Spender

Once upon a time, the economy wasn’t too rough.

You could actually land a decent job even if your college degree was in some obscure field like Ancient Basket Weaving. Going out and being young looked more like Friends and less like Naked And Afraid. And $20 on gas could not only fill up the tank, but also net you some change. At least that’s what I assume it was like for the generations before me.

They say that the economy is recovering, which is promising, but there’s still a huge difference between recovering and recovered.

Recovered implies that we’ve already reached the state where everyone can pretty much order any of the Number Combos from Taco Bell without making a major financial decision for the next week or so. Recovering means that there’s still some of us who constantly have ten dollars left in the account to make it between now and next payday.
So when ordering from Taco Bell on your lunch break, avoid eye contact with the regular combos. In fact, they’re not even real; just some magical farting Unicorn ready to sell you magic beans.

When it comes to stretching dollars with fast food, learn the dollar menu like it’s the lyrics to your favorite pop song and you’re due to duet with its star.

2.) Mix It Up

That being said, it doesn’t mean that you can’t create your own combos. For instance, my go to most trips is a shredded chicken burrito and a cheesy bean and rice burrito. If if I’ve got a little extra in the change tray I might splurge on a taco supreme. Or I might decide on a Double Decker Taco and a regular soft taco.

The key idea is to set up a main (regular item) and partner up with a cheaper option (another regular/ 1 or less menu). Minimum is two items but never go beyond three.


For one, if you stick to this, the worst you could spend is $5 and a bit of change, but no more than that.
Two, you’ll likely be less of a bloated mess after lunch then if you got the Two Chalupa Combo with a Taco Supreme and a huge sugary drink.

Speaking of drinks.

3. Go With Water

Look your body is going to hate you anyways for even going to Taco Bell in the first place. And depending on what you order it’ll come up with some creative ways to pay you back.

Sitting in on a meeting, well how about your stomach make a symphony of loud and weird sounds whenever there’s a moment of silence?

Have to transport some product from one end of the warehouse to another, well wouldn’t it be nice to sweat like you’re in the Sahara while stepping a mere two feet?

I’m not saying you’ll be in the clear, but water is a magic, often underutilized liquid that can do wonders for lessening a lot potential post lunch blows. You should have it with every meal really, but especially during lunch.


If you need caffeine, you should already be stocked at work with coffee or an energy drink. Bonus points if you remedy this with a V8 Fusion Energy. You’ll have the smug pedestal of looking slightly better than your supervisor with the 64 Ounce Big Gulp of God Knows What. And that granola eating Becky with the weird name, dyed hair, and marijuana bouquet—seriously how has no one drug-tested her yet?—might give you minor props, which could open the door her dealer, boyfriend bartender, or ridiculously hot friend who works at Whole Foods.

Even in service fields, networking is essential.

4. The Only Time To Ever Order The Ten Taco Deal…

…Is if you’re trying to share it with the rest of your co-workers…or if you got fired.
Excess is acceptable only in sharing or shame.