1. Ethnography Rant: My 1st & maybe only Boy Band Concert

    My sister had already gotten a phone call. I should have known this was going to happen. But my cousin’s text caught me off guard.

    Cuz: “You sure you don’t want to come to the NKOTB concert with me & your sister?

    Me: “What? Maybe, let me recover from this flu I have and get back to you. I mean… it’s a probably, not a maybe.”

    Dazed and confused from getting blindsided with the flu this week I had no idea what was going on but was intrigued. It wasn’t just a New Kids On The Block concert, but… NKOTBSB, THE supergroup of 2011.

    (via NKOTBSB.com)

    But this… is foreign territory to me. I know both groups, I know sprinklings of their catalogs but by no means was I a fan. Ever the hip-hop-head (backpacker, female rapper, neo-soul lover) this is out of my realm. But curiosity got me. And when presented as a “Mag Girl’s from SFC girl’s night” I thought, fine. I’ll go. I’ll just approach it as studying a culture absolutely foreign to me.

    And boy did I learn a lot.

    Like that there’s a reason adults aren’t supposed to wear costumes all the time.

    Or that when 9 GROWNASS men who used to be boy bands do a show together the stage can look a little… Phallic….

    Though skeptical, and weirded out by the generations of fans, as pointed out by the dudes, cause I can’t call them boys when NKOTB’s average age is 40 something and when a youth I used to work with said she was going and that she was a huge fan of BSB when she was 3 years old, NKOTB had been receiving all kinds of fan love for 25 years, and BSB for 18. Girls behind me screamed all the lyrics to Back Street songs and pretended to know who New Kids were. Women in front of me screamed when any of the 40+ crowded lifted their shirts and showed their “im back in shape for this tour 6 packs.” Truly fascinating.

    Regarding the actual show: Here’s some facts.

    1. I probably know more full Back Street songs since I was in H.S. when they were out but;
    2. New Kids know how to put on a better show and you could more CLEARLY hear their lyrics. And besides;
    3. By the time the show was in full swing all I kept thinking anytime BSB came out was “shit the hell down, I know you’re all just happy to have jobs again”.
    4. I am a sucker for live bands with good drummers and horns, and while there was no horns section (note to NKOTBSB something to consider as y’all try and continue this ‘grown&sexy’ tour) the drummer was killing it. 

    And then there was this.

    (via nkotb.com)

    Now… I feel like I knew this was coming. But… Donnie Wahlberg, entertaining as it is that this Boston white boy just kind of does his own thing and has made it a point to be the swagger holder of this group… Walked out on stage in a Public Enemy shirt. Yes sir. You just won me over.

    Not that I needed winning over, because that certainly wasn’t why I was there. But when I say, “I knew this was coming”- I’m really referring to the fact that I at that moment realized: “Shit, I love me some Wahlberg’s,” my affinity for Mark only becoming clear at that moment too. “I might could fuks with a Wahlberg-esq dude,” were the thoughts that followed. That said, the show went on.

    Questionable outfits. More “BSB sit down!” Fuckery. Nick… whatever you are on, you need to cut that shit back. Too many rhinestones, sequins and even 4 too many satin suits (I’m looking at you BSB). Wishing they’d stop shouting out “Nor Cal” this the BAY fools.

    Lots of men present with their gfs and an uber male fan (didn’t get a pic) next to one of my cousins who was waving at BSB like they could SEE him 15 rows down from the TOP of the stadium. Evidenced here: 

    Aside from the men in the audience & the penis stage there still was a lot of… testosterone. Way more pelvic thrusts and crotch grabs than I think you might of seen in either bands haydays- paying homage to their now ADULT fan bases- (My cousin pointed out that one of her coworkers is part of the NKOTB fan club that travels to all their west coast shows. It’s her life. She has no man, no kids, no family just that… She’s in her mid to late 30s chasing a teens dream).

    But clearly, the two groups have formed a bond, a brotherhood or fraternity of sorts. Or perhaps… something else entirely and a little more homo than any one of my queer brothers and sisters may have predicted. 

    (via donnie wahlberg’s twitter)

    (also via donnie wahlberg’s twitter… which was consulted trying to find a pic of the P.E. shirt since the nosebleeds made that sooooo hard to capture on film.)

    The show ended with some weird hanging tough vs. back street’s back battle all clad in bedazzled NBA jerseys repping their home town teams (note above and the pic below). These goof balls seem to be enjoying what their doing WHILE racking in the dough.

    Despite not really understanding these tribes of women and what motivates them (aside from Wahlberg swag), or the men for that matter, and really having to do some thinking about the brotherhood of NKOTBSB, I had fun immersing myself in this for a night. Would I do it again, I have no idea. Am I readily going to watch out for when tickets come up again for something like this? Hell no.

  2. 30 Belly Laughs & Unecessary Smiles #1

    After some thought I decided, for the next 30 days I'm going to chronicle a belly laugh or a totally unnecessary smile each day. I'm reading Marlo Thomas' "Growing Up Laughing," and it got me thinking about how rarely I do either. That said... Yesterday's belly laugh.
    Magtonic: s
    Magtonic: a
    Magtonic: d
    Maximo Granzotti: what happened?
    Magtonic: oh no, not just now, like s.a.d. sad
    Maximo Granzotti: oh, yeah i aint quite there yet. its comin tho. and oh btw
    Magtonic: um
    Maximo Granzotti: had to say it
    Magtonic: the darkness
    Maximo Granzotti: oh boohoo, the cold!
    Magtonic: no, the darkness
    Maximo Granzotti: you can hop on the train, bam
    Magtonic: only the darkness
    Maximo Granzotti: east bay, sunshine and 80
    Maximo Granzotti: anyway i feel you, winter sux
    Magtonic: lol, i hate you.
    Maximo Granzotti: cmon bitch no you dont!
    Magtonic: sometimes. i gotta go
    Maximo Granzotti: noooooooo, we gotta catch up legitimately
    Magtonic: yes
    Maximo Granzotti: fuck you noooooo
    Magtonic: my cousin just got here for dinner
    Maximo Granzotti: this is our most abusive convo ever!
    Magtonic: LOL
    Maximo Granzotti: and yet so short...
    Magtonic: love you!
    Maximo Granzotti: LOVE YOU TOO! be good

  3. This is the only thing my health insurance company has done well recently. I really hate these guys sometimes.

  4. Some Hypocratic Hating Rant

    So sometimes — sometimes— I cry at the dumbest shit.

    Like seriously cry, at seriously dumb shit.

    Like, the first 15 to 20 minutes of “Up.” Bawled my eyes out, like a baby.

    Or that 2 legged dog on Oprah. Damn you Oprah. Though I guess I shouldn’t use her name in vain.

    But trust, when I say I think, amid completely unnecessary research, this hip-hopster- scenster fool, while talking bout Johnny Em Effing Cupcakes, had me in that “If I don’t try and hold it together I will unfurl and be so so undone that my night will be ruined” way.

    This is how it went down:

    I <3 the new Jordan’s specifically for women (see previous post) -> K Miles sends me the Vashtie interview (V designed the first Jordan collab for women, see previous post) -> Who the hell is this Maestro foo ->No, seriously why he got a show -> Oh, he wrote for Huffington Post -> Oh Johnny Cupcakes was interviewed by Maestro? -> OH MY GOD. What happened to my drive? 

    Is it that deep? I mean yes. At the end of the video he posted on HuffPo Maestro says:

    "Sometimes I forget that there’s people in this world that don’t have any drive. They need motivation they need a reason to get out and go get something. that day in the high school it took me back a few years and made me think about why i’ve always been so excited at the idea of accomplishing new things. and i came to the conclusion its the idea of infinite possibilities that people like johnny showcase so well… he’s another person that’s a living example of doing things his way, trusting his instincts, being positive having fun and doing something that’s beneficial"

    I used to believe I was living in the realm of all possibilities — and yet somehow, hearing this kid say something about people with drive, and motivation who love what they do, got me worked up. People who start with nothing — and by nothing I mean no real investors or teams. People who on one hand are successful because they not only believe in themselves, but are so vain (in ways that I forgot how to be) they can’t NOT get it.

    It’s like this… I’m a Hypocrite. These people, so many young people I resent/admire/am jealous of are successful because they consume/create/purvey swag — both real and passing. (Because real swag is a sense of humor and pursuing your passions and speaking your truth. And passing swag is high waist skirts, skinny jeans, moccasins and being able to carry a tune while playing acoustic guitar while having girls think its cute and shit.)

    OR they sacrifice, with ease for the cause, or whatever it is. Some vainly try and make a difference but ultimately they all have the drive —or income/inheritance/rich partners— to do this.

    All I do is make fun of them, hate on them, and believe me, there’s a lot of material out there.

    And today, I finally… after 5-ish years I finally asked “Why aren’t I doing this?!” Aside from the obvious [money *cough* working in education *cough-cough*].

    And while I can’t really answer HOW I’d make it happen, I know I gotta do something.

    It can’t (at this exact moment) be saving education.

    And I can’t (at this exact moment) be producing my own TV show.

    And let’s be real, for every good show on the web, there’s 12 people who are producing crap, 4 of whom have the money to make it look like fancy crap.


    And whatever it is, I seriously have the branding I mean… Magtonic? (Among other psuedonyms). I mean, I represent every race, I’m a fucking model minority… What’s not to like? (Vanity doesn’t look good on me.)

    But honestly, I need to do something. And for now, that’s rant. And pretend musicians/comedians/artists and people from popular culture are family members. It’s coveting sneakers and talking shit about Cool Ass John —OH!— and Slickback Leslie, remind me to tell you about him.

    A really good friend— stand in for an older brother when  you don’t have one really—in response to a message I sent, looking out for him, thanked me. For being me, saying that my blues, love & voice were contagious. And I thought… Shit.

    Like it or not, that me, which never went away despite feeling otherwise, got pushed way aside. I done lost my authentic self. And we can’t have that, can we? So I’ma do something. Rant for now. More in the future. Cause my authentic self, and my drive just needs some polishing. Maybe a little tune up. And when it’s right, I’ll do all ‘this’ too. Whatever this is. It’ll just be authentically Magtonic. And that, is the gospel of the lord. Praise be to Oprah.

  5. Cool Ass John Rant

    (Note thatonedood is a proud husky/grad of U. Washington & in his 3rd year of law school & my credentials are BA from a junior Ivy League, MA from the University where ethnic studies all began.)
    thatonedood: jl + roots
    magtonic: oooooh link me! why is this so exciting?
    thatonedood: cause
    magtonic: forreal tho... um... john legend bug me, but i am psyched abt this
    thatonedood: awwww i like him not andre 3000 like more like LOL nas like you know
    cause nas is DOPE... but then sometimes he does shit thats like cmon reals? yea there it is nas-like
    magtonic: you kno when you laugh at someone and you kinda close ur eyes cause u cant believe what they said thats what i just did
    thatonedood: hahahhahaahah
    magtonic: um but seriously... my fam comparisons... unk cee-lo bruno mars like that cousin you say im proud of u and all but STFU we eating and john legend got that, man you are cool but you'd be cooler if you didnt think you were so cool kinda fam
    thatonedood: like cmon man you ALWAYS gotta be so fuckin cool? ALWAYS? like
    magtonic: yes
    thatonedood: you dont own no sweats do you dawg? no jordan shorts?
    magtonic: like okay take the fedora off we eating sunday dinner. YES. that is john legend.
    thatonedood: I can't wait to listen to this. i mean cool ass john sounds pretty damn good with the roots. thats his new name. cool ass john.
    magtonic: cool ass john? okay i can hang with that.
    thatonedood: his first shoes as a kid were fucking wingtips. his mom said fuck chucks. we getting you some chuuch shoes.
    magtonic: AHAHA. i mean honeslty i get the feeling he's one of them kids who got handmedowns so now he's like ALL MINE ALL SHINY.
    thatonedood: man his parents are like educated as shit aint they? professors?
    magtonic: probably
    thatonedood: i mean he graduated from u penn
    magtonic: bougie cool ass john.
    thatonedood: nerd.
    magtonic: didn't mot of the roots go to school too tho. wikipedia says his mamma was a seamstress and he was homeschooled.
    thatonedood: oh. well shit. homeschooled.
    magtonic: but was salutatorian in hs
    thatonedood: that supports your hand me down theory
    magtonic: that boy probably didn't wipe his own butt till he was in high school. that's what kinda boy he is.
    thatonedood: awww cool ass john.
    magtonic: pretty much
    thatonedood: you mutha fucka you.
    thatonedood: he has linnens. cool ass john. them clam digger joints.
    magtonic: have you seen my mic sounds nice yet?
    thatonedood: nah?
    magtonic: you need to watch it then we'll discuss... props to BET for getting it together
    thatonedood: one of the few times they got their shit right.
    magtonic: if they can do that kind of programming they could turn that network around. but some folks wanna stay ignant and hoodrattish racquet shit
    thatonedood: wishful thinking. when cool ass john wears some dunks. that'll be the day that BET switches their shit.
    magtonic: i was gonna say, i feel like i seen him wear some BUT... he wars shoes ellen does.
    thatonedood: LMAFAO
    magtonic: he does and he dresses like her too. so is ellen a cool ass bougie black man on the inside? or is john a funny lesbian?

  6. LIVE TWEETING A FAMILY WEDDING RANT: I love my family. I love my cousin. I love her husband. But this was wedding 1 of 2 or 3 this month.

  7. Things that went Unsaid in the Last Year

    Presented without much commentary, the shit that went unsaid from August 2009-August 2010, to many folks.

    1. “If I have to hear an acoustic version of ‘My Boo’ one more time, blood will be shed.”

    2. “Actually, I hate Foucault.”

    3. “You’re a coward.”

    4. “S/he does not feel the same way.”

    5. “I’m grateful I never have to take care of you again.”

     6. “Your Issues with race/class/gender are not my problem”

    7. “I resent the shit out of you.”

    8. “I’m jealous of your success.”

    9. “I’ve contemplated a PHd to get away from you.”

    10. “You have what was once my dream job.”

    11. “No Actually, I hate that outfit.”

    12. “You’re my hero.”

    13. “Thank you for putting up with me.”

    14 . “Your relationship with facebook/twitter/etc. is unhealthy.”

    15. “Please don’t compensate for being a bad friend in ‘real life’ with online apologies or gestures.”

    16. “I resent your chair.”

    17. “Actually, I don’t support this decision, I think it’s really stupid.”

    18. “I’ve been calling you Johnny D-Bag behind your back and it feels good.”

    19. “I don’t know them, but I will exercise my right to pass judgment on them anyway.”

    20. “Today, I really don’t care what your pet/child did.”

    21. “I don’t wish you harm, but I don’t wish you well.”

    22. “I didn’t hug you when you were going through it because that’s just not how we do. I probably should have done it anyway.”

    I’m sure there were more. I love being able to say shit that’s gone unsaid, but this time around, I’m closing the door on a bunch of this junk.

  8. Kind of wish knock off brands would try as hard as porn companies do when rebranding… Baby Phat “Goddess” -> “Sexy Thang” (really, THANG?)

  9. Rant: “How to Make It in America”… If You’re A Dude

    While hanging with my “besto” (that’s the masculinzed version of bestie or bff, ©stellamaried)– chill night of letting the puppy sit on your lap while shooting the shit, my sister mentioned hearing the “How to Make it In America Mixtape” (Holler @Lalo3000 for posting it).  Without hesitation it dawned on us that we hadn’t yet watched the show and so thanks to OnDemand we decided to take a peek.

    First things first, soundtrack is sick and its most definitely got that “HBO pretty pictures” thing going on. We’re already intrigued.

    Though not “slap ya’ knee funny,” it certainly made us smile, and even “ha” outloud. Touching on the whole notion of what it means to be a 20 something in today’s world, I think something resonated with us. The besto works several jobs and several days a week, I’m struggling to find full time work, and we have friends who seem to live the high life (keyword: seem) and friends constantly on a hustle. The idea of finding a quick hustle. The frustration of having the economy shoot down your dream– and if not, the fact that it just can’t seem to happen fast enough.

    Spoiled children of the late 80’s/90’s we are… we saw the birth of internet, the INSTANT delivery of information… and now, in our 20’s we wonder WHY or HOW the dream seems so deferred. But that’s an aside.

    Now caught up with the show (when I started writing this we were only 2 shows deep) I see some potential in this series, I see characters that are significantly more believable and real than any I’ve seen in quite some time. Though there are a variety of women in the series, it’s dudes I see and the dudes I relate to. (Yeah, Which may be a “that’s how you are in the real world thing too, but ride with me on this…)

    It’s not that the women in this series aren’t believable, or real– they are, the main female lead battling with the age-old “doing good for good, or doing good for me,” struggle. The supporting females are all over the place, that’s fine. But after 5 episodes spread over 3 night of viewing, and a brewing question about the movie industry I have a few questions…

    1. Where are the women in comedy (TV & film)?
    2.  Where are the ‘real’ (okay maybe I mean MY reality not necessarily the rest of the country) women– buddy comedies?
    3. Where are the stories about women my age?

    I mean they’re there, in sketch shows, in clubs doing stand up, in some series as add on characters and maybe a few shows with female leads… But I guess the bigger questions, is where are the women who don’t fit stereotypical catty, or cougary (Cougar Town is a little funny, I suppose), soccer mom types?

    Sure, there’s Ugly Betty– a show I find funny and one that seems to push women’s comedic roles out of this media created image of women but… is Betty that relatable? Yes and no. But the shows that are out there aren’t bold and lack some of the more balls to the wall shit we see otherwise (read: what happen to the physical comedy of I Love Lucy?). Or perhaps they go too far… and lack that smart subtlety we see a lot of men’s roles take on in sitcoms.

    And as far as movies? Someone conducted a self-study on females in lead roles, asking folks to name movies with more than one female lead. Pickings were slim y’all and the study is a little old… So in 2010 when 10 movies were nominated for best picture… what can you say fits my criteria/this question.

     What “Juno?” I’m not 16. “Legally Blond”? That’s minus some I.Q. points and a little more pink than “Sex in The City.”– which I’ve ranted about somewhere before I’m sure. “Baby Mama,”– I love Fey & Phoeler for this, and it does to some degree rival some of the buddy comedies out there but… my womb is not weeping for a baby, and it still plays up to some of the same stereotypes that everything else does.  Debatable inclusions: “Sweetest Thing,” for its gross out sort of points, and “House Bunny,” not for being about a ‘real’ or relatable woman, but for being way smarter comedy than you might think… okay not all of it but some of it. I feel pretty left out to be honest– then again I’m never part of any ‘target market.’

    So what about HTMIIA got me? Maybe some kind of nostalgia having my besto next to me as both of us are confronting different types of struggles right now and seeing someone tell a story that’s remotely similar to my own. Maybe it was the fact that it wasn’t glossed over­– this really is how it is. This is what my college classmates are doing in NYC right this very second. Damn you HBO for making this shit have the real… grit and depth I think our realities have (without making it a typical HBO DOES GRIT IN A DRAMA show)… and then making it so that when I change the channel, I realize this is the closest I’m gonna get to seeing someone like me in a sitcom.

    Guess its time to work on a pilot?