On The Fence…

5 Things: The Help

by dre of onustees.com on 28 February 2012

The Help – aka Sisters Keepin’ It Real in 63

After flipping between the Academy awards and the All-Star game Sunday evening… I figured it was time to see what the commotion was surrounding the movie about Black maids in Jackson, Mississippi… These are 5 things I learned from the film…

  1. Was this Forrest Gump for Black Maids??? Before any misinterpretation of my thought occurs…  I am not suggesting that any of the characters suffered from any mental retardation… Clear? Good… The movie opens in with the voice-over narration akin to Forrest and historically events that are woven into the film also lends to that Gumpish feel… Each time Aibileen (Viola Davis character) narrated a scene I cringed slightly awaiting Tom Hanks to interject in the slow-witted manner from his film… the pace of the movie reminded me of Gump, as did the ending with the panning out of the southern setting and Aibileen’s stroll up the road…
  2. Viola Davis did a great job… but Octavia Spencer certainly stole the show… I could harp on the fact they both were doing a GREAT job in roles we’re accustomed to seeing on the big screen for Blacks… I’ll leave that out and give credit where it’s due… Each time Octavia’s character “Minny” appeared the anticipation was ramped up to see where the scene was going… Her delivery of the “insurance policy” was delicious… as for Viola… she was nice but she was even better as the snot-running mom in Doubt… for that she should have won an Oscar… I’ll check out The Iron Lady soon to see if Meryl Streep truly kicked ass as Margaret Thatcher…
  3. White actors / actresses do a damn good job playing bigots… Perhaps even too good of a job… In most of these “racial” flicks… there’s always 1 or 2 actors that just go, to use a term from Tropic Thunder, “Full Retard”… And going “full” is a GREAT thing for an actor… Denzel went all out as Malcolm… Jamie in Ray… Even Robert Downey as the brother in Tropic Thunder… But at no point did I really believe Viola Davis was a woman under throes of segregation in REAL life, no hate at all… However, Bryce Dallas Howard did an awfully good job as the racist-ass nemesis in the film… so, good that at times I truly felt she believed in her nature that Blacks shouldn’t take shits on the same toilets as Whites…  Her execution as the character “Hilly Holbrooke” has unfortunately lumped her forever in the “oh, here come that heifer from The Help” category… she could be doing a musical on children rights in Uganda playing the protagonist who’s also cured AIDS and defeated hunger and I’d still look at the screen and think… “I know her from somewhere… oh yeah! THAT’S THAT EVIL ASS HEIFER FROM THE HELP!!!” …so, congrats to the daughter of Ron Howard… Good job!!! (Right?)
  4. Jessica Chastain as Celia Foote… Alright, alright, alriiiiiiiiight…
  5. Why did Minny’s husband have to go all… “You tole Harpo to beat me!” I’m not saying that domestic violence didn’t exist… but was it necessary for it to be in the film? I mean… the only redeeming brothers in flick was the pastor (who made up for his Red Tails contribution…) and the brother who worked as a waiter then sqaundered all credibility by bouncing on Aibileen after Medgar Evers was assassinated… The only good* part of the domestic violence they didn’t even show… I really wanted to see Minny go upside her husband’s head with a skillet at the suggestion of Celia… but without that… there wasn’t a need for the Chris Brown aspect… the antagonizing Whites were enough… plus, I don’t think any woman who’d shit in a pie… and serve it to a white woman and tell her to her face in 1963… would take any shit from a black man in 1963…
  6. Bonus # 1: For a woman who writes and speaks well in EVERY OTHER SCENE why did Aibileen have to speak in broken English to a damn 3 year old… “Youse kind, youse smart, youse important.” Really??? Come on, white people… She’s Obama in most of the scenes… but Jar Jar Binks in that one?
  7. Bonus # 2: Cicely Tyson, bless her heart, is forever old… In my brief time on this earth… I’ve only known her to play one role… that’s “lady old Black”… The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman was in 1974… and 38 years later she played this EXACT SAME WOMAN??? …truly, “forever old… I wanna be forever old…” …then in the same film, The Help, did a flashback scene and looked 50 years old… the woman is 78… Black don’t crack.
  8. Bonus # 3: I know both Blacks & Whites love fried chicken… but damn… you’d think it was DC Crack in the 80’s the way they were hankering for it… Ok… good fried chicken IS like DC Crack in the 80’s… my bad.


Do Better Thursday: Hip Hop Is Here to Regulate

by dre of onustees.com on 17 March 2011

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRwNNLfss2o]
Rest In Peace to the Rap Hook King… Brother Nate Dogg.

Yeah, it didn’t make sense to me then… and it still doesn’t make much to me now… but dammit… it’s what Nate Dogg saing… and that’s all the reasoning I needed…
So, rest and thanks, Nate Dogg.
This has definitely been a “Do Better Movement” week… from the tragedy in Japan and the subsequent comments of ignorance… to the Fab5 documentary on ESPN and the “Uncle Tom” backlash… the lil man who wasn’t gonna take it no more and proceeded to ThunderSlam his bully… can’t forget the UCLA student who had issues with “Asians in the library”… and more… let’s get to it!
Doing It Right!
  • Signs of life in the Hip Hop arena are becoming more and more present… Big KRIT is dropping his sophomore album, Return of 4eva, next week, 3/22… Oddisee just released a video of “Different Now” a track he did for Mello Music Group’s Helpless Dreamer compilation… Zo! of Foreign Exchange music also released a video featuring Phonte for song, “Greater Than The Sun”… Bonus: thrown in the mix is Raphael Saadiq’s video “Good Man” for his upcoming project “Stone Rollin'”… I meant to include it weeks ago, better late than never… enjoy!
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaVLKVUE7zg]

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDaSU0UB3IU]
Oddisee just makes dope music… 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4XUtmepds4]
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeKaHBMKows]
Looking forward to “Stone Rollin'”… drops in May 10th…
  • Jalen Rose announces bid for 2011 “Negro Who Keeps It Real” award… Also known as, the FAB 5 documentary that premiered in ESPN this past Sunday… If you don’t know by now… it tells the story of Michigan’s 1991 recruit class that featured Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, Ray Jackson and Rose… Along the way, the topic of Duke appeared and whether or not their Black players were Uncle Toms for playing for Coach K… Rose and others have since defended their stance in the face of journalists and even garnered a response from Grant Hill, a former Duke player… I’m quite tempted to voice my opinion on this here blog… and may do so soon… Until then, try to catch the Fab 5 doc on ESPN… regardless of where you stand on that issue and others… it’s still a very good piece…
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pvux-FBIda8]
DOING IT WRONG!!! Scratch that… This time it’s “DUMBASS OF THE WEEK!”
  • Alexandra Wallace. Dumbass of the Week. Here’s her “Asians in the library” rant.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lg3tIERI-D4]
We… gotta… do… better.
…deep sigh…
– dre of onustees.com


Do Better Thursday: Winter, WRAP IT UP, B!!!

by dre of onustees.com on 10 March 2011

“Can someone, please, tell this cat to get the f#@k on???”

What it is, good people?
I hope you’re having great March thus far…
No complaints over here…
Hope you enjoyed the “Black Music History: Giving Them Roses” series… featuring living legends that typically don’t get the mainstream attention that they deserve…
Also, remember, it’s not too late to sign up with The Do Better Movement volunteer event at Servathon 2001 on April 16th… Join us and Do Better!
Welp, it’s Thursday… So, let’s get to it!
Doing it Right!
  • Lupe Fiasco’s Lasers. Much has been made about the album… the issues releasing the album… from label delays… to shelving… to fan outcry and protests… the subsequent release… and even Lupe’s disdain with the process and handling of the project that he isn’t raving about the work… However, with all of this going on… he’s managed to release a pretty solid album. The content is what you’d expect from the artist… sonically it’s continues along the rock/rap/pop sound of some of the track from The Cool… I’m not sure what others expected with this work… but it’s Do Better Approved in my book.
It’s not for everyone… but then again… it is.

On the fence…
  • PETA gets Waka Flocka Flame to promote… I’m not even sure where to begin with this… PETA, although, their premise is cool… Has some crazy-ass ways of delivering their message… and this venture, of Waka “Ink Not Mink” campaign seems to be in the same bucket… Wasn’t just last week, he was involved in a gunfight… Plus, I’m not sure if you want him as a SPOKESperson… last I checked… one would have to speak… judge for yourself… I’m undecided.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQcrxk9FTX0]

Doing It Wrong!!!
  • There’s plenty of Doing It Wrong going around… with the conflict in Libya… wild-ass Charlie… gas prices steadily rising… and Heat not able to hit a game-winner… but this week’s Doing It Wrong awards goes to Winter. Come on, chief… let’s wrap this thing up… I’m ready to hang up my peacoat for good. Thanks.
Bring on Spring!

Thanks for Doing Better!
– dre of onustees.com


Do Better Thursday: Wonderful World of Sports

by dre of onustees.com on 10 February 2011

It’s Do Better time… *does Championship Belt Move*

On the heels of the Green Bay Packers victory in the Super Bowl… It’s time for a Do Better Thursday post with a sports slant…
Clock’s running out… Let’s get to it…
  • Wake Forest baseball coach donates kidney to freshman player and becomes MVP… No one in Kevin Jordan’s family were a match… His coach, Tom Walter,  was and stepped up to the plate… Truly, a feel-good story about a coach dedicated to the well-being of his players… This isn’t the 1st time he’s shown his compassion… Walter was a coach for the University of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina… Despite his house being completely destroyed… He was willing to aid any players looking to transfer… Definitely… Do Better Approved.
“Let’s do this…”

GO E-A-G-L-E-S!!!

  • Eagles continue to make my “hop on the bandwagon” decision a prudent one… DeSean Jackson of the Eagles met 13 year old bully victim, Nadin Khoury, on The View with teammates… There to discuss the incident, which was captured on video, and speaking out so others wouldn’t meet the same fate, Nadin was surprised by his favorite player… Check out the video…
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYbY1gqAEx0]
One Brave Kid…

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R55e-uHQna0]
25 Million plus hits!?! Wish he was rocking an on.us.tee

Do Better Approved.
  • I haven’t touched on the uprising in Egypt… but it should be known… anyone fighting for freedom and/or a better way of life… is Do Better Approved. Here is a clip mashing up protest footage with Kanye West’s “Power”…
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PF6sS21fqMw]
No one man…

  • Been awhile since something has surpassed “Doing It Wrong”… Sure, the mother who shot and killed her children for being “mouthy” is worthy… But that is uber-depressing… So instead… I’ll leave you with this image that came across my Tumblr dashboard… Your Welcome.

Thanks for reading…
…and doing better…
– dre of onustees.com


Do Better Thursday: WAIT!!! Is Hip Hop Back!?!

3 February 2011

Shameless plug… I sell this on a shirt… Is Hip Hop back!?! Ok… I know it’s never left… but admittedly… I did leave it for a period… But it wasn’t my fault… So many of my favorite artists had done the same… Phonte dissolved Little Brother and begun making wonderful music with Foreign Exchange… Outkast […]

Do Better Thursday: I Haz A Cold

27 January 2011

Damn, Cold/Flu bug caught me slippin’ but The Movement must roll along… DC almost caught the return of Snowmageddon… but it couldn’t measure up… it looks more like a Snow Poop… it’s not pretty at all…  Anyway… Let’s Get To It… DOING IT RIGHT!!! A&E revives prisoners attempt to save lives with Beyond Scared Straight… So […]

Do Better Thursday: Gotta Be Resolute!

20 January 2011

As Eddie once sang… I’m “Loving You The Second Time Around”… or third… or fourth… It’s only right that the day I stumbled across the sample to AZ’s “I’m Back” lines up with my return to the Do Better Movement… I know we’ve gone through this before… I run off to chase some dreams… and […]

Do Better Thursday: The Shirley Sherrod Fiasco

23 July 2010

 We all knew this day would come… We just didn’t know when, how or why… In the end, it was the most obvious issue that placed President Obama into the “Doing It Wrong” category… Race. No need for a long intro… Let’s get right to it… Doing It Right Happy Birthday to the Star Child […]

Do Better Thursday is… Back!?!

2 July 2010

Yeah… I know, it’s been awhile… It’s been nearly two months since the last Do Better Thursday post… I’ve gotten calls from my mom asking me what’s going on with the blog… “That’s how I stay in the loop with the hap’nings of world…” <— those are her words not mine… although, my jargon isn’t […]

Do Better Thursday: Late Edition

7 May 2010

What’s going on Do Better Nation? As you can see from the graphic above… it’s been one of those weeks… But as Pops would say… “Nothing to cry about…” and certainly nothing to complain about… It started small… Tuesday night… I got my 4th case of RROD… and Microsoft… tried to get me to pay […]