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A word from Alretha

Trayvon Martin and the “C” Word

Trayvon Martin and the “C” Word
I finally had an opportunity to view the 7-Eleven surveillance video of Trayvon Martin that was filmed the night he was shot and killed by George Zimmerman. I had heard about the video and had my own ideas about what I’d see. However, the low-grade footage was nothing like I'd imagined. The first thing that struck me was the infamous, but actually not so infamous hoodie. Upon seeing it, I had to chuckle a bit because I wear a similar hoodie to the gym every morning. And when it’s raining, like it was the night Trayvon was shot, I wear it over my head. The next thing that caught my eye were Trayvon’s sagging pants. I also noticed him pulling them up. Perhaps he was hearing his mother’s voice in that moment saying, “Trayvon, pull your pants up, boy!” A hoodie, sagging pants, am I scared yet? Does this tall, awkward, lanky-looking teen frighten me? Does he appear to be someone who should be followed, someone who could be a threat to the neighborhood? In an attempt to be objective, I forget about the case and just look at what’s on the video. Again, I ask myself ...
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3930 Hits

A.K.A. Tony Soprano

A.K.A. Tony Soprano
When the clock struck five today, I logged off of my computer with a Kool-Aid smile on my face. It was time to close shop and I was thrilled. I love my job, but I equally enjoy spending time at home with my hubby. I bid my coworkers good night while I made my way to the lobby all perky and upbeat. When I turned to say goodnight to the receptionist, I noticed the face of a familiar actor plastered on the wide screen TV that hangs on the lobby wall. It was James Gandolfini. I wondered for a moment what he had done to make the news. My gaze shifted to the caption—James Gandolfini, dead at 51. A wave of sadness washed over me, and I was no longer a happy nine-to-fiver/writer on her way home. I became a dismayed fan and my mood quickly shifted from bubbly to blue. “Wow! Tony Soprano died of a heart attack,” I blurted out to anyone who was within earshot. A couple of assistants, also on their way home, expressed their shock and sadness while we rode the elevator down to the parking garage. Nearing my car, I continued to try to wrap my head around the news that Tony...
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3930 Hits

Man Bites Dog

Man Bites Dog
While studying journalism at USC, I learned that every world event or happening isn’t news. My professor at the time taught my fellow Trojans and me that the media will usually only pounce on the unusual—the event that doesn’t happen every day. It’s not out of the ordinary for the postman to be bitten by the neighborhood dog , but I’ve never heard of the postman biting the neighborhood dog . And if that ever did happen, trust me; it would be front page news. This aphorism came to mind when I learned that there was another shooting rampage, and this time in my backyard. Last Friday, in Santa Monica, California, just a few miles from my day job, a lone gunman killed five people and himself. I discovered this story while surfing the internet. The first thing I did was shake my head in disgust and say to myself, Wow, another one, and more lives lost. What is going on? What I didn’t do was turn to my coworker and say, “Girl, there was another shooting!” Nor did I say anything to the receptionist when I made my way to the office break room, in spite of the story be...
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  4180 Hits
4180 Hits

Two Thumbs Way, Way, Up For Roger Ebert

Two Thumbs Way, Way, Up For Roger Ebert
  I remember the first time I came across the show “At the Movies.”   Bored, I was channel surfing, hoping to find something entertaining to watch. It was the early 80’s and there weren’t a thousand stations to choose from. The show featured two guys sitting in an empty theater discussing the latest film releases.   The sight of them made me chuckle for a moment, because in a strange way, they reminded me of Laurel and Hardy. Gene Siskel, Roger’s co-host, was thin like Laurel, and Roger was round like Hardy. But unlike the comedic duo, what they did on a weekly basis was no laughing matter. It was serious business and for me and countless others, they quickly became the go-to gurus when you wanted a critic’s opinion about a movie.   It didn’t take long for me to start tuning in on a regular basis, and I found myself agreeing with Roger more than I did with Gene. Perhaps it was Roger’s cool-looking specs that gave him an edge.   He just seemed wise and his analysis of what worked and what didn’t work in a movie was always spot-on. &nbs...
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  3215 Hits
3215 Hits

Death and a Disco Diva

Death and a Disco Diva
  Like most of us who partied hard during the 70s and 80s, I was saddened when I learned yesterday that Donna Summer had succumbed to a long battle with cancer. It took me by surprise, because I was unaware that the songstress was even ill, let alone dying. I immediately began to reflect on her career and her countless hits. She reigned during the disco days belting out such songs as “Last Dance” and “She Works Hard for the Money.” She was as beautiful and graceful as she was talented. No wonder she was a favorite among music fans. Hearing about Donna Summer’s death brought back memories of Whitney and Michael. So much talent. God must be throwing a serious 2012 Summer Concert! I don’t blame him, why not get the best. After all, we belong to him and not to ourselves. It’s easy to forget that little fact. I have to remind myself on a daily basis that I didn’t create myself, that I have no control over my beating heart, nor am I responsible for my lungs functioning properly, or any of my internal organs. I am powerless over whether I live or die. Even if I...
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  3318 Hits
3318 Hits




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