The Loudmouth Protestant

October 22, 2009

Tracy Morgan’s Words of Wisdom

Filed under: books,celebrities,entertainment — nickisym @ 10:45 pm
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This evening I had the opportunity to attend Barnes & Noble’s author discussion featuring comedian, actor, and newly-minted writer–of the book “I Am the New Black”, Tracy Morgan. I was shocked to find that the majority of the people in the room were white instead of what I thought would be a room full of minorities–black, Hispanic and others. That wasn’t to be my only surprise.

When Tracy walked into the room, he ruled against standing at the speaker’s podium and instead asked if he could sit down at the table usually just reserved for signing books. Once he was seated, he unleashed a side of himself unknown to many. It was the softer, sensitive, more serious side of Tracy. He bared his soul before a crowd of strangers, but he did this in Tracy Morgan fashion. His catharsis was peppered with humor so that we’d never fall too deeply into the pain he felt. For the few of us who dared to imagine his pain, we went all the way in with him. We laughed when he laughed, some may have cried when he cried, we nodded in affirmation, clapped our hands when he shared his lessons learned and just journeyed with him from his cocoon to the birth of a beautiful black butterfly. Having been so fortunate to be in the midst of this movement, I wanted to share some of his words of wisdom from the night. Keep in mind that wisdom, under the Tracy Morgan umbrella, is still meant to make you laugh. It initially made me laugh and then made me say, “Hmm…”

“This book is 198 pages, I’m a 40-year-old black man, do you think 200 pages is enough to tell my story?”

“Every Jewish man has to love one black man (he actually said motherf-er instead of man) in his lifetime. I’m glad that Lorne Michael’s chose me.”

“I love to watch the 10 Commandments because Chuckie Heston is my biological father.”

“As long as you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life.” –His last statement to a struggling comedian.

“You forgive whoever you aren’t on speaking terms with for you, not for them. It’s so you can move on.” –Following talking about forgiving his father for being absent.

“The two greatest words in comedy are Richard Pryor.” –In response to who his favorite comedian is.

Now, go ahead and buy the book, “I Am the New Black” by Tracy Morgan or, if you want something a little more experiential, get the audiobook.


February 10, 2009

Praying for Chris Brown and Rihanna

As more and more information gets released about the alleged domestic violence situation between Chris Brown and Rihanna, we will be in the position to do one of two things, continue to gawk and be fascinated with it, sharing every detail we get from other news sources with friends and laughing about how the situation must of went down or we can pray. 

Now I can describe the former because that is what I’ve been doing since news broke last night on the red carpets at the Grammys. My sick and twisted side latched on to every bit of info that I was given via blogs and the news. My first impulse was not to drop on my knees and pray for Rihanna’s well being and for Chris’s redemption. Aside from being totally appalled with this situation, I’ve been wondering, “Why he would even do it?” Why even lift a hand to her? And unfortunately the answer may stem from the fact the Brown inherited a generational curse of abuse. According to an interview that appeared in a 2007 issue of Giant magazine, Brown said that his mother was abused by his stepfather.  

“He used to hit my mom. He made me terrified all the time, terrified like I had to pee on myself. I remember one night he made her nose bleed. I was crying and thinking, ‘I’m just gonna go crazy on him one day…‘ I hate him to this day. 

Now this is no excuse for Sunday’s events, but it could explain some things. But even this is not the point of this post. I say all I have said to call those that will to a higher standard. To not be a spectator searching for every bit of info you can get, but instead be an intercessor praying for him, his family and Rihanna. This is not going to be an easy process for him–for either of them. Sponsorships have already suspended his campaigns and this is only the beginning as he could face up to 9 years in prison. So what this young black man needs right now is a fan base that will put aside their own morbid curiosity for the details and go to their closets to pray for . 

As hard as it will be, and I know it will be because it’s so much more sexier to participate in the wasteful conversation and speculation about this situation, tell your flesh to take a back seat while you handle the business of the spirit.

April 4, 2008

It Is About Time

Filed under: celebrities,entertainment,love — nickisym @ 8:07 pm

So, I have spent a good portion of my day being a part of the voyeuristic community that wants all the details on Beyonce and Jay-Z’s supposed nuptials. I could hardly work for wanting to refresh Perez Hilton, TMZ and Stereohyped a million times throughout the day. But I realized that not one time did I stop to simply say that I was genuinely happy for them.

And you know what? I am genuinely happy for them. I am happy that they each could find love and maintain it for the last six years without interference from John Q. Public. Keeping their relationship out of the spotlight is what is going to allow their relationship to last. This is a sacred time for them and I hope they are cherishing this wonderful moment. Beyonce said it best when she said “It’s very seldom that you’re blessed to find your equal.” It appears they both have found that in each other and I hope they have many years of happiness ahead of them. So it’s time for all of us to fall back and celebrate with them. Celebrate their love whether they are getting married today or if they are getting married tomorrow and hosed us all. 

To Sean “Jay-Z” Carter and Beyonce Knowles!

October 19, 2007

My How Time Changes Things…

Filed under: celebrities,God,life,work — nickisym @ 12:30 am

This afternoon I was scheduled to do an interview with a cause celeb in one of the city’s most prestigious hotels. When I received the location for the interview it seemed familiar to me, if only by name. But as I walked up to the hotel, it didn’t click. It didn’t click at all until I reached the front door where I was greeted by two doormen and welcomed into the stately lobby. It was then that I was taken back to a time three years ago when I was being interviewed for a position at a startup public relations firm.

I was nervous about putting my best foot forward with the woman who owned the company because I felt that I might not be worthy enough to work for her firm–only having an internship at a major magazine, an internship before that, a degree with honors and dynamite communications skills–oh and the top HR recruiter on my side (as you can see, I specialized in short-changing myself.)

I hoped above all hopes that I would get the job because I was afraid I’d have to leave New York otherwise. I felt like everything was hanging on my getting this job. Clearly God had bigger plans in store for me, so it turned out that I didn’t get the job with the PR firm, I actually landed a full-time position with that major magazine.

Fast-forward to three years later. I’ve since left that major magazine for greener pastures which sometimes are a bit daunting, but today God would show himself mighty to me again as I’ve been put in the interviewers chair. Sure I was jittery and nervous, but more than the bowl of emotions that I was, I was thankful that God brought me from such a mighty long way.

If God has been this faithful to me now I can only imagine was the future will hold.

October 15, 2007

Big Things Are Stoppin

Filed under: celebrities,entertainment,recent news,Uncategorized — nickisym @ 10:35 pm

for our little friend, T.I–otherwise known as the King of the South. As of Saturday evening he was arrested when his bodyguard turned informant was caught purchasing firearms for the pint-sized entertainer on the day he was supposed to perform on the BET Hip-Hop Awards. He is now in custody of the authorities for trying to buy firearms–machine guns to be exact–and there was also a barage of firearms in his Atlanta home. On top of all of this, he is a convicted felon so he has no business being in possession of these weapons.

I was so sure that T.I. was a smart man. Smart enough not to make such a stupid mistake. I don’t understand why he has need for machine guns and ammunition. I don’t understand why it needed to be purchased on the day he was to appear on the BET Hip-Hop Awards show–or why he needed to purchase them at all, he is not going to war. I don’t understand why a convicted felon would still dare participate in unsavory activity.

I thought that his song “Big Things Poppin” was an anthem telling the world that he has put away the things of his youth. A proclamation that the things he used to do, he doesn’t do anymore. I am sad because he has such promise ahead of him. A career in film, a decent career as a rapper, a commitment to being a father and a boyfriend, and in a blink of an eye this could all be taken away from him.

I really hope this was all a big misunderstanding or better yet…A publicity stunt–that’s what everyone wants to believe anyways.

October 8, 2007

Look What God Has Done

Filed under: celebrities,entertainment,God,Uncategorized — nickisym @ 7:34 pm
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On Saturday evening I went to see the Color Purple on Broadway starring Fantasia Barrino. I heard many great things about her performance in the play so I was very excited for the opportunity to see her. I had the greatest seats ever–second row behind the orchestra–so I had the best view of Barrino in action–and Clifton Davis from “Amen” for all my 80s babies.

I don’t want to give away anything about the play in case you decide to travel from afar to see it–like most people that go–so all I will say is that this is the most amazing play that I have ever seen. Fantasia performed with all of her mind, body and soul. She fully committed to Celie. Watching her, I was fully convinced that she took the same emotional journey as Celie did. She owned the brokenness of a woman that was told she was ugly all of her life. She embodied the shame of a girl who got pregnant at a young age. She broke my heart for every minute that the play spanned.

But of all the goodness of her performance, I was most taken back by her humility. When it was time to do the requisite Broadway bow, Fantasia came out with tears in her eyes and mouthed the words “Thank You Jesus” and she pointed to the sky. You could tell that she knew exactly where her help came from and that she knows exactly who got her to that moment.

At the end of the play they sung a song entitled “Look What God Has Done.” And I don’t think there could have been a more profound end to the play for a woman who has seen God’s grace lead her from a troubled youth to the top of the charts and now to Broadway.

August 17, 2007

Who Are We To Judge?

Filed under: Britney Spears,celebrities,God,judging — nickisym @ 5:56 pm

So Britney Spears is having an incredibly tumultuous season in life. Her children might get taken away from her, her big comeback is being setback and now people are speculating that she may be mentally ill. Well, I for one am not hopping on the bandwagon to speculate on her mental condition or any other portion of her life.

I have just started to understand what life may well be like for Spears and other celebrities and because of this, I am a little weary to participate in foolish talk about how she is destined to exist in the corners of our mind as a total wash-up. It’s just not my place and really it’s not the place of any magazine editor, reporter, or regular schmoe.

Where do any of us get off trying to figure out the inner-working of celebrities? Do we realize that Spears has lived her life under a microscope before she even knew how to spell the word. At no point in her life has she been able to make the mistakes that normal people make and keep it moving without someone saying she is unfit for motherhood, unfit for stardom and just unfit.

I am not absolving myself from criticizing Spears and her ilk–because I have done it. And I am also not saying I condone everything she has done heretofore, but I have finally come to the point where I have more compassion than disdain and I am tired of people ripping her to shreds.

Some say that Britney was afforded the same opportunities to dust herself off that were given to other celebrities who managed not to let life get them down, so why should we feel sorry for her. We should feel sorry for her, for just the same reason God has mercy on our souls every time we fall. She isn’t perfect and neither are we. It just so happens that she gets her imperfections plastered all over every newspaper, magazine, website and television and somehow there are people that make a living for tearing her down.

Well I am over it and will go on record as saying, “Leave her the hell alone!” And concern yourselves with the plank in your own eye.

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