Horrible relationships have been normalized by the media. Daytime and prime time TV, network and cable programming is filled with stories of betrayal, deceit, abuse and chaos between men and women. The dramatic and negative depiction of romantic and domestic relationships has changed how men and women interact with each other. Expectations have changed due to relationship dynamics on TV. The bar has been lowered.
Relationships are on TV are tense and dramatic in order to entice viewers. There isn’t much of a story if two people are happy, in love and get along well. No one will tune in to watch a couple share a pizza and fall asleep on the couch. As an avid trash TV watcher I know that the intrigue is the drama. So is sitting back and shaking your head at the poor choices being made.
Relationship turmoil on TV has become so normalized that I think some may look at their own relationship and think that it’s not bad because it’s not that bad. I also think many people don’t have real life examples of respectful and productive long term couples to use as role models or council. Unfortunately, the new standard seems to be that if no one has been lied to, beaten or verbally berated it’s a functioning relationship right? Wrong. A relationship can be terrible long, long before it becomes dangerous and tumultuous.
The standard for relationships needs to be high. There needs to be mutual respect, consideration for each other’s feelings, true friendship and affection. It’s also great if you’re attracted to each other. If you merely tolerate your partner or are being tolerated you are better off single. A relationship should enhance your life and bring you comfort, peace, support and joy.
There are lovers’ quarrels but constant friction means you’re not a good match. Differences should be able to be overcome through communication and compromise. If a relationship is like rolling a stone up a hill you’re likely better off and more productive as a single person.
Living in conflict and misery is not normal or healthy. Shoot for the stars instead of accepting the bare minimum. If the best thing you can say about your relationship is that the neighbors have never called the cops on you may be better off without the relationship. The bar needs to be raised across American culture. Even if ratchet TV is your guilty pleasure don’t let it set standards for your life.
Payton Gendron is an eighteen year old man from upstate New York who killed ten people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York on Saturday. He shot three others who survived their injuries. Payton drove for three hours to attack Tops Grocery Store. It was a target because it was in a Black neighborhood. The zip code of the super market has a high percentage of Black residents.
Payton Gendron wrote a manifesto in which he described his White supremacist ideas and plans for the ambush of the supermarket. Payton visited the supermarket before the attack to get familiar with it. I’m sure he studied the layout, security, staff and patrons.
Most of the victims of the supermarket attack were senior citizens. Seven of the ten that died are over sixty years old. Only two of the victims including survivors are less than forty. Payton Gendron is a coward who attacked a soft target and a vulnerable population.
He could have just as easily chosen to attack a bar, night club or concert that would interest young people. But instead he chose to wage war on the elderly just as Dylan Roof did when he attacked a Bible study in a church in 2015. The Bible study was a meeting of mostly middle aged women. These men are cowards.
Payton is also a coward with no logic. News reports state that Payton’s manifesto expressed concerns over White birth rates. Black people don’t have anything to do with that. White birth rates are an in house matter. Black people don’t have anything to do with whether White people are born or not. If an eighteen year old White man is concerned about White babies being born he’s certainly in a position to do something about that. Leave old Black people out of it.
Payton had to drive a long way to find enough Black people to execute. That tells me that he has no contact with Black people in his town. No one is bothering him. He’s obsessed with people that he has never even met. Payton has a deranged fixation on Black people.
I’ve noticed on social media that a lot of racists live in parts of the US or even the world that are exclusively White. Yet they are focused on Black people from places like upstate New York, Idaho and Poland. The preoccupation doesn’t make any sense.
There aren’t that many Black people in the US. Black people are mostly segregated. If someone doesn’t like Black people it shouldn’t be much of a problem. Any interactions someone like Payton would have with one would be minimal.
I’ve worked in several public facing, customer service positions. I’ve picked up on racist attitudes from customers while performing job duties. It’s interesting to me how they like to let you know where they are coming from without directly saying it.
Meanwhile, I’m just trying to get through a work day. A customer is just work to me. Some of them like to create unnecessary interactions. It’s almost like they want to test you and study you in some way. The behavior is bizarre.
Handle whatever business you need to handle and leave it at that. I’ve experienced this outside of workplace situations too. I’m friendly by nature but I’ve learned to keep people at a distance and keep things short and to the point until I understand a peron’s intent.
There is a lot of chatter about what is to blame for the Tops Supermarket Massacre. I blame Peyton Gendron and his accomplices who supplied him with armor. But I question his parents. Peyton is eighteen. He has displayed problematic behavior at school. I doubt they are surprised by his ideology. Where did he keep his weapons? Was the body armor kept at his parents house?
Kyle Rittenhouse was driven across state line to a riot in Kenosha, Wisconsin by his mother. Kyle received a great deal of support for killing two people after claiming self defense for being in a situation he had no business in and having a weapon he shouldn’t have had.
He had the support of his mother, the general public and the judge presiding over the trial and ultimately a jury. I wonder if Payton’s parents are White supremacist stage parents that urged their son to kill old ladies at the supermarket on a Saturday afternoon. I wouldn’t be surprised. How does someone who shares a roof with you pull off something like this and you have no idea of their plans?
Don’t over complicate this. The problem is Payton Gendron. He published his manifesto on line. He made the decision to drive for hours to a Black neighborhood and carry out a diabolical plan. He made the decision to kill old people in a supermarket.
Blaming big tech, TV personalities, social media, politics, the history and culture of the US, the Second Amendment (even though I favor gun control) or mental health problems make excuses for the man who was so consumed with illogical hatred and paranoia that he murdered ten in cold blood and injured three more. A lot of politicians, media personalities and organized racist units have their own crosses to bear but Payton Gendron is squarely responsible for the massacre at Tops Grocery Store. No excuses.
I watched the Will Smith film “King Richard” over the weekend. The film is the autobiography of Richard Williams, father or tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams. The movie depicts the Williams family origins in South Central LA and builds to Venus Williams’ first professional match at fourteen years old. “King Richard” is an inspirational American dream story. I would recommend “King Richard” to anyone. It’s a wholesome and the entire family can enjoy it together.
Will Smith is going to be a (I am) legend before it’s all over. He is working towards being Denzel level and I think Will Smith isn’t really getting the credit he deserves. Will Smith has starred in some great movies. “The Pursuit of Happyness” is one of my favorite films. Smith was great in “Ali”. “Independence Day” was a sensation when it debuted in theaters. He has had box office success with “Bad Boys” and “MIB”. Will is fifty three years old. He hasn’t come near his Morgan Freeman years yet. In time he’ll be one of the greats.
“King Richard” isn’t my favorite Will Smith performance but he did a good job. Richard Williams is from Shreveport, LA and speaks with a southern drawl. Hollywood never does a good job with southern accents and this film was no exception. At times it felt like Smith was depicting Richard as a person with intellectual and physical disabilities. However, that’s not the case because Richard Williams is a sharp business man. His business sense was depicted in the film. Smith’s accent and gestures just weren’t very convincing.
Smith’s depiction of Richard was that of a nice, kind and doting dad. I’m sure that’s the case but he had to have been a stage dad. I’m not sure his daughters would have had their success without it. I think the film wanted to make Richard likeable so he was portrayed as strict and driven but never harsh or overbearing. I’m a person that think stage parents get a bad rap. They’re effective. The Jacksons, Mozart and numerous child stars and pro athletes are the result of stage parenting. I doubt that Richard Williams is as laid back as he was portrayed in this film.
Mrs. Williams was played by Aunjanue Ellis. She was great and I think she deserves an Oscar. Aunjanue Ellis can best be described as an actor you recognize but you don’t know their name. Throughout the film I was trying to figure out where I’ve seen her. It could be anywhere. She has a long career and many credits behind her. Here is her IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0254712/. The character of Mrs. Williams gave Richard Williams more depth. She helped the film delve into the family dynamics of the Williams family and Richard’s short comings.
John McEnroe was briefly depicted in the film. The actor who played him nailed it. He was instantly recognizable as the tennis pro.
I recommend “King Richard”. It’s an inspirational family and exciting sports movie. It was a clean film and anyone can watch it without offense. You don’t need to be a tennis fan to appreciate this movie. The performances were solid especially from Aunjanue Ellis. I think you’ll enjoy “King Richard” if you are looking for a current release to watch.
I finally finished watching the TV series Vikings after about two years. The show lasts for six seasons and there is a total of 89 episodes. The plot spans two generations and three continents. There are around one hundred characters in the series. I can’t cover all of it in this blog post so instead I’m going to focus on the most problematic point in the plot and the most confusing character. His name is Hvitserk.
Hvitserk is one of Ragnar’s five sons. The later part of the series revolves around the sons of Ragnar. To make a long story short Hvitserk is co dependent and always needs to latch onto someone; a girlfriend, his brother or something.
Hvitserk was close to his brother Ivar who didn’t have the ability to walk with iron walking aids. Ivar was a madman and insecure. He made up for his profound shortcomings on the battlefield. Ivar was fearless and was a great military strategist. Hvitserk was loyal to his brother and was an asset in war.
Ivar was jealous of his brother because he was impotent. There was a point in the story where Hvitserk fell in love and had a girlfriend. This was a threat to Ivar because Hvitserk had the potential of producing an heir. Ivar became very creepy and stalkerish towards his brother and his girlfriend. He kidnapped the girl and burned her at the stake.
The grief and anger of losing his girlfriend drove Hvitserk insane. He became a junkie in order to cope with the loss and suffered from hallucinations. One dark and rainy night while having a mental health episode he killed the heroine of the show Lagartha. Lagartha was a legendary shield maiden in their town. She was also his older brother’s mother. A fortune teller predicted one of Ragnar’s sons would end Lagartha’s life.
Hvitserk’s older brother Bjorn, Lagartha’s son and ruler of their town Kattegat, sentenced Hvitserk to be burned at the stake for his crime. As things were heating up Bjorn changed his mind and released Hvitserk. The new sentence was banishment to the woods in the middle of winter. Bjorn did not expect Hvitsverk to survive.
Ivar had already been banished to the woods for trying to overthrow Bjorn and was taken in by a neighboring kingdom, The Russe. Hvitserk was found nearly frozen to death in the woods and taken in by the Russe. Hvitserk and Ivar were reunited.
From that point on they were cool and buddy-buddy. Past transgressions that made Hvitserk lose his mind were forgotten. They were back to over throwing power structures together again. The shift in the plot was very annoying and unrealistic to me. While they were in Russia they needed to have on good confrontation over the things that Ivar did to Hvitserk’s lover. But nah, it was water under the bridge. He was miraculously healed of his mental illness and substance abuse problem.
Hvitserk stayed by Ivar’s side throughout the rest of the show. Ivar died in Hvitserk’s arms on the battlefield in a war with the Saxons. As his bones finally gave out on him completely he cried in fear of death. Hvitserk was his strength and comfort at that moment. The brothers loved each other and had an inexplicable and dysfunctional bond.
Hvitserk then surrenders to the Saxon king and becomes a Christian. Hvitserk can not survive on his own. He was a bad ass dude but he lacked motivation. At the end he latched on to his conquerors.
Vikings was a good show and I enjoyed it. Hvitserk’s storyline was a bit questionable but I think you would like it if you like historical dramas.
Anna Duggar and Yandy Smith don’t have a lot in common other than being cable reality TV personalities. Anna Duggar married into the fundamentalist Christian Duggar family of TLC reality TV show fame. Yandy is known from the VH1 program “Love and Hip Hop New York” . Both were married on TV to men that would end up incarcerated. Other than reality TV Anna and Yandy share the dubious distinction of being ride or die chicks and having it all blow up in their faces the same week.
Anna’s husband Josh was arrested for possession of child pornography two weeks ago. Josh is currently out on bail. Those kind of allegations are always shocking but Josh has been accused of sexual misconduct in the past. When Josh was young he sexually assaulted his younger sisters while they were asleep. Josh did not serve any time for what he did to his sisters. Instead he went through therapy at his church. Josh who grew up in a strict Christian household and he has also been caught on websites for married people seeking to cheat on their spouse.
All of the revelations came out in 2015. At the time Anna and Josh had four children. Anna made the decision to stay in her marriage and remain loyal to her husband. One would think that Josh would change his ways after being exposed in the media and publicly humiliating his wife. Instead he got worse and the allegations became even more dubious. Anna’s forgiveness, loyalty, patience and love didn’t amount to anything.
Yandy and her husband Mendeecees have been featured on “Love and Hip Hope New York” and “Couples Retreat”. Mendeecees was convicted on drug related charges and served four years in prison. His wife Yandy waited for him and supported him faithfully during his incarceration. She also became a prison reform activist.
An episode of “Couples Retreat” recently aired and Mendeecees was asked if he would support Yandy the way she supported him if she was incarcerated. He said he doesn’t know how he would react if the roles were reversed. The man that promised to be by her side through good times and bad admitted on a reality TV show that his vows were not sincere. Again, Yandy’s love and devotion amounted to a hill of beans. Her love is unrequited and unmatched. Yandy wasted her time and energy. She gained absolutely nothing.
I too have been a ride or die chick. About fifteen years ago I dated a man who was in the Army. The relationship happened while American troops were being deployed to Iraq. I thought I was in love with this man and I threw myself into supporting my soldier. I called him sometimes, wrote him and sent him things that he asked for. I watched the news every night and cried in front of the TV when the loss of troops was reported.
One day with tears in my eyes I tried to visualize my suitor sitting in front of the TV crying for me. I couldn’t see it. It didn’t seem feasible. That was the beginning of the end of our relationship. I began to question his feelings and intentions for me. He became dramatic and argumentative. I began to distance myself from him after that and the relationship fizzled out and ended. I wasted my energy, time, emotions and money. My love, care, loyalty, patriotism and devotion to this man amounted to nothing.
I took a long break from dating after that relationship. I remained completely single for about eight years before I took an interest in dating again. In those eight years I learned to make sure that any many I dated proved genuine interest and good intentions to me. I learned to take my time to ensure that a man invested in me. I am not interested in reciprocity. I’m interested in leadership. I don’t want tit for tat. I want a man that chooses me and proves to me that he is worthy to be a loyal husband.
Once I started dating again my circumstances improved. I have a boyfriend now who is clutch and very cute. But aside from that I learned how to get rid of men that weren’t showing me that they were sincere early on. Women need to understand that it doesn’t matter how much she loves a man. It doesn’t amount to anything. It matters how much he loves you.
Don’t be a ride or die chick. No sincere man wants a woman to be a ride or die chick. Only selfish men want that. A man with good intentions wants to be ride or die for her. A man that loves a woman wants her to be as stress and burden free as possible. He wants her to know that she can rely on him is she has struggles. It’s never the other way around.
Over the winter I started watching the TV show Vikings. Vikings ran on the History Channel from 2013 to 2020 for six seasons. The show is loosely based on the history of the Vikings of northern Europe. I would recommend the show if you like historical dramas. However the show is super violent. The Vikings didn’t really do anything other than invade foreign lands, initiate hand to hand combat and have sex.
The principle character of the show is an ambitious farmer turned Viking king Ragnar Lothbrok and his family. The show spans generations and the show does a good job of developing the characters and their storylines. The make up artists did a great job of maturing and aging the actors.
Michael Hirst is the writer of the show and he said that Vikings is loosely based on history. So I’ve learned some new things but they are general ideas and not necessarily historic facts. Vikings is purely a drama and not educational material. But if you don’t know much about the Vikings this show may inspire you to learn more about them and their influence.
If you don’t mind violent battle scenes and torture you may enjoy Vikings. Some of the seasons are long so the series is kind of a big commitment but it’s a great story with a lot of intricate details and great actors.
I watched the three part documentary Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez which is about the late New England Patriots tight end and convicted murderer (well kind of) Aaron Hernandez. Aaron Hernandez is an interesting person to say the least. His story is almost Shakespearean. I remember Aaron Hernandez’s football career very well and I’ve seen several pieces about him in the media before watching the Netflix documentary. But Killer Inside offered some new information.
Family dynamics are interesting and Aaron’s family was full of complicated relationships. Aaron grew up a male dominant household. His father is Puerto Rican and seems to be very traditional. Aaron looked up to his father and was devastated by his death. He had a very close relationship with an older female cousin who loved Aaron like he was her own son. She was a mother of two children dying of cancer and served a prison sentence instead of testifying against Aaron.
The female cousin was married at one time and her husband left her for Aaron’s mother after Aaron’s father died. Aaron had animosity and resentment towards his mother because of her new significant other who sat next to her during Aaron’s trial. Aaron had a male lover who was featured in the documentary. Aaron also had a faithful fiance who was the mother of his daughter. Her support for Aaron never wavered.
I think it’s telling that Aaron allowed his cousin and fiance to suffer for him. He seems to be very self centered and without a conscious. We’ll never know if his sociopathic behavior is the result of nurture, CTE or celebrity privilege. The film implied that Aaron was driven to homicidal madness due to having to hide his same sex attraction while being immersed in the hyper masculine culture of sports.
Aaron was convicted of killing a man named Odin Lloyd in cold blood. Odin Lloyd was his fiancee’s sister’s significant other. Aaron appealed his sentence and later hanged himself while incarcerated and awaiting for the chance to appeal.
A Massachusetts law states that if a person dies while on trial there will be no conviction on the record books. Therefore, Aaron Hernandez is not a convicted murderer. He was also accused of killing two other men in Boston but was not convicted.
Aaron Hernandez was a brain damaged, bisexual, homicidal street thug, a football star who was a part of a sports dynasty with the undying loyalty of two women, a contemptuous relationship with his own mother and a father of a young girl who committed suicide at age twenty seven. His suicide may have outsmarted the Massachusetts legal justice system. Aaron Hernandez was not a sympathetic character but he was nonetheless compelling. Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez was an interesting film even if you already know quite a bit about the man.
Congratulations to Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa, the new Miss Universe. I follow a lot of pageant pages on IG and I knew she was a contender the entire time. Miss South Africa looked different from the other contestants. Women in pageants tend to all look alike regardless of race but Zozibini had a look that made her stand out.
I’ve been looking at the media coverage and social media buzz about the new Miss Universe but I cringe at the notion that she isn’t a conventional beauty. She definitely is. She’s tall, slender, feminine, delicate and has a soft but determined spirit. She just styled herself with straightening her hair or wearing prosthetic hair. She bet on herself as a purely natural African woman and won. Good for her.
But this post is about my favorite contestants that competed but did not win first, second or third place. These are in no particular order.
Miss Zambia showed up late to the Miss Universe pageant and was not able to compete in the pageant. I was watching other contestants go through registrations and she completely missed the process. A fan said on her IG that she had visa and financial problems. But Miss Zambia herself did not confirm or deny that statement. She never gave an explanation as to why she was late.
Her predicament must have been heartbreaking and humiliating but she took it in stride. She decided to stick around and support the other contestants anyway. She seemed very happy to be in Atlanta. I would have privately melted down and my IG would have gone dark. Other fans said that she can compete next year. Miss Zambia didn’t confirm or deny that either. She just continued taking pictures of her vacation. It looks like she had a nice time.
Miss France is another trooper. She fell during the swimsuit competition in the preliminaries. It wasn’t her fault that she fell because she was one of about five contestants that couldn’t stay on their feet on that stage. But Miss France took the tumble like a champ. The way she reacted to the situation endeared her to my heart and I wanted to see her succeed in the pageant. Even before the fall she was one of my favorites. I love red hair and I like her hair cut.
Miss Portugal was in the top twenty of the pageant and I wasn’t aware of her until I saw her interview after the first cut. She has a smile that lights up a room and an effervescent personality. She seems simple and uncomplicated and I love it. She doesn’t come across as “woke” at all and it was refreshing. She’s twenty, sweet and pretty and that was enough to make her a finalist in the Miss Universe contest. That’s how life works and I appreciate her contribution to the pageant. She looked like she was having the time of her life.
My impression of Miss Japan is the polar opposite of my impression of Miss Portugal. Miss Japan seems dark and mysterious. There are a lot of pictures of her not smiling on her IG. I don’t think a beauty queen has to be Little Miss Sunshine all the time. She doesn’t have the typical pageant look at all. Miss Japan had the most high fashion look in the entire pageant. I love her long straight hair and blunt bangs. She also looks like she enjoys expensive things and places. I think she’s a great role model for women globally. Take a look at her Instagram.
I honestly just like the haircut. I love a good bob and this hairstyle has a lot of volume. My formative years were spent in the 1980s and this is borderline 80s hair. This bob definitely made her stand out. Miss Uruguay has my support.
I can’t put my finger on it but there is something quirky about Miss Haiti. I love quirky Black women. There was a time when quirky Black girls were a presence in popular culture and the world was a better place then. I need to make a blog post about it but I digress. She has a interesting personality, great hair and her Carnivale themed national costume was beautiful. Contestants from the Caribbean usually knock the national costume competition out of the box.
Congratulations to all the young ladies that competed in Miss Universe 2019 particularly Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi. They are a diverse group of inspirational women and they are all fantastic.
Recently Jeana Turner of ANTM Cycle 24 made a video discussing her experience as a contestant on America’s Next Top Model. Her complaints are similar to complaints of reality TV show contestants since Real World I. Jeana says she was edited in a way that portrayed unfairly. She also said that producers created an environment that would create dramatic situations. And like many other ANTM contestants Jeana says the show hurt her career more than it helped.
I watched Jeana’s season and she was portrayed as a villain. She wasn’t my favorite that season but I didn’t dislike her. I just thought that she was competitive, driven and not particularly warm and friendly towards the other girls. I don’t think she owed them that. I respected Jeana during her season.
I’m not particularly sympathetic to Jeana about the way she was portrayed because many reality TV contestants have talked about their experiences once their show is over. It wouldn’t be difficult to research what it is like to be on a reality TV show. Contestants are not held hostage in their living quarters. They have the choice to leave if they find the circumstances to be unbearable.
The intriguing thing about this video isn’t Jeana’s complaints against the producers of ANTM. The most compelling statement in this video comes just before the thirty minute mark. Jeana posed for Playboy when she was eighteen and she says that she felt judged by Tyra for posing nude. She says of Tyra “You say sex sells but how did that work out for my career?”. Young women have been given a bad bill of sale. Women are being groomed from a young age to be used sexually while getting nothing in return.
I do agree with Jeana that Tyra is a hypocrite. I’ve watched her for years and her producers have cast women that have no romantic or sexual history with men and then asks them to pose nude with male models on ANTM. When the model feels uncomfortable or awkward with the male model they are admonished by the judges panel and told they need to sacrifice to give the photographer a good shot.
On her old talk show she had girls on that were sexually active at young ages and she admonished them for that behavior. So where does Tyra really stand? Does she want to encourage casual sex or protect innocence and purity? I think she just wants to sell a TV show. So I’m with Jeana on that point.
Jeana said that she listened to Tyra’s mantra of sex sells. She was having a difficult time establishing a modeling career so when she got an opportunity to be in Playboy she took it. She later regretted it when her idol that gained fame from modeling underwear and bikinis looked down on her for posing nude.
Other than Anna Nicole Smith I’m not sure that posing for Playboy has lead to anyone’s success in high fashion. But Anna Nicole Smith was one of a kind. Jeana was groomed by feminist teachings that taught her that putting her body on display is empowering for women. Jeana listened to Tyra who became a powerful woman in fashion and television by showing skin.
Jeana must not have been completely comfortable with baring it all because she regrets it now. I’ve never heard Pamela Anderson Lee express regret for posing for Playboy and she’s made several appearances in the magazine. But Pamela became a successful actress by making herself a sex symbol. It was a part of her brand and it suited her personality. I don’t think a compromise was made.
But Pamela Anderson Lee was an exception. She was comfortable with posing nude and was around twenty three the first time she posed for Playboy. Jeana was only eighteen. I think the entertainment industry will make an example of women like Pamela Anderson Lee and Anna Nicole Smith as paradigms of what can happen if you push your boundaries and take a chance. There’s that, and Pamela and Anna Nicole were never really taken seriously. They didn’t even take take themselves seriously.
Here is another example of how new aged morality and feminist thinking is not telling women and girls the entire truth about putting your body on display and modesty. There is a cost that goes along with it and most women are not prepared to pay that price.
Jeana was lied to by a culture that celebrates women selling themselves cheaply for the short term pleasure of men in exchange for validation or favors. Women need to understand that they can choose to pose nude if they want but make sure it’s a strategic move that is a part of your brand that will help you meet your goals. If you want to be taken seriously it’s probably better to remain fully clothed.
Women need to stop selling ourselves short. Jeana has a very unique look and is photogenic. She is driven and passionate about her career. She didn’t need Playboy for recognition in high fashion or acting. She already had what she needs for success. Posing nude did more for Playboy readers than it did for her. I think that’s the idea behind the deceptive teachings of feminism and new aged morality .