Black Entertainment USA

Black Entertainment has been moved to its own site. Please check www.blackentertainmentblog.com for all current updates. The site continues to be my views on the medias perceptions of Black/African American and Hispanic entertainers.


To see the Black Entertainment USA at its new location
Interest in building Black Entertainment USA into a major site visited by anyone interested in my views on how Black/African American and Hispanic entertainers are portrayed in the media and by their actions.

View a bit on me

Thursday, October 19, 2006

George Lucas, Pictures - t shirts, and talk to me - 9.22.2006.1

As seen on www.blackentertainmentblog.com and www.cafepress.com/nova68 :

...There hasn’t been much that I would like to speak about of late, though I will probably mention a bit on Danny Glover and Hugo Chavez on my www.mvass.com site. And if you haven’t noticed yet I am continuing to improve the site. You may notice the logo on the site, M V Consulting, Inc. is my new company. I haven’t sold out, just grown a bit.

Your support is what makes these improvements possible. That support has allowed me to do a photo shoot of some of the t-shirts that are part of my www.cafepress.com/nova68 online store. I think you can see how comfortable and stylish the tshirts are. And I think I look pretty good in the men’s clothing line of t shirts, but I’m sure others may look better. Buy one and see for yourself.

www.cafepress.com/nova68 online store. I think you can see how comfortable and stylish the tshirts are. And I think I look pretty good in the men’s clothing line of t shirts, but I’m sure others may look better. Buy one and see for yourself.

A fun t shirt that's sure to get looks.
Do you have what it takes to live up to the myths? Prove it with this stylish and fun clothing line.
Every woman has a mind, as this sexy t-shirt mentions, and a unique customized journal is perfect for your thoughts.





Now with the shameless plugs done (lol) let me continue.

What has caught my attention are a few items that seem to have generally slipped past the major media. Like the fact that Mr. George Lucas, you know from the Star Wars movies, just gave University of Southern California $175 million for a new cinema department and the college in general

Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Bill Cosby - 10.11.2006.1

Found on my www.blackentertainment.com site:

...The first thing I want to mention is about Mr. Jon Stewart and Mr. Stephen Colbert. It seems that here are t-shirts out that promote these men as candidates for the Presidential race in 2008. While both men deny any intention to run for political office, I understand why such thoughts may be in the public mind. While both are hosts of cable network programs that mock actual news, they are quite intelligent in how they do so. They bring the political news into an everyman aspect. And they question our politician actions and statements the same way that some of the average Americans do.

...Turning to more serious news, Mr. Bill Cosby has returned to the second poorest city in the nation. Detroit has nearly 1 million people and a majority of them are African American. This is why it is the perfect place for the comments Mr. Cosby has made in the past, and continues to make now. Mr. Cosby is continuing to promote a line of thinking that has been advocated by Mr. Booker T. Washington, Dr. Martin Luther King, and Mr. Malcolm X.

...Perhaps one of these days we will see more rappers and athletes speak along these same lines. I doubt it though. Self-empowerment doesn’t sell well. At least it hasn’t since Public Enemy and other rappers of the early 1990’s. Thugs, drug dealers and pimps need victims, and willing victims are not found in those trying to improve their lives.

...

Sin Tetas - 10.6.2006.1

Full post found at Black Entertainment USA ...

...The basis of this program isn’t as great though. It’s based on a true story, which is troubling. A young girl, poor and without hope derived from a good education, decides to take the only option she is aware of. Get a boyfriend from one of the drug cartels so she can live the ‘good life.’ That may not sound like a logical conclusion in America, but this television program is created and shown in Columbia. Sadly this is more real than The Shield or any ‘reality programming’.

Don’t think that this young woman has an easy task in front of her. Let me correct that, this is a young girl. And the largest obstacle to her achieving her dreams is the less than bountiful nature of her breasts. Thus surgery is required, as no self-respecting drug-runner would have a girlfriend without ample cleavage it seems. But that costs money, which she doesn’t have. The answer to that of course is prostitution. Considering her meager endowments though she again has a difficult time. And the problems roll on from there.

If some African Americans found Mr. Bill Cosby’s truthful remarks hard to deal with, imagine the town and people this television show is based on. Few things put into perspective the quality and benefits of living in the United States. And I think a lot of kids today should see this.

...

LL Cool J television series and JRR Tolkien book - 9.18.2006.2

Full post found at www.blackentertainmentblog.com...

...Here is some good news for the future of broadcast television. We may have to wait a while but considering the talent and story line I think it may be worth it. LL Cool J, Mr. James Todd Smith, is going to star in a new television series called The Man. As long time readers know, I respect Mr. Smith on several levels. LL Cool J is one of the few rappers that is not involved in rampant and random violence, his lyrics tend to have some depth and no vulgarity. In addition he actually is a decent actor, having honed his abilities on the In The House sitcom before moving on to various movies (S.W.A.T. and Last Holiday – with Queen Latifah – being the most recent).

The story is interesting as well. It’s focus is on a undercover cop who can provide whatever is needed by the criminals he is surrounded by. While the various stings based on that premise is interesting, there is another facet. Like LL Cool J, the lead character is a family man. In this case the fictional family is comprised of kids who have difficult lives, and he is giving them the helping hand they need.

It’s rare when a television program has a Black African American as a lead in a television program. Even moreso when that lead is in a serious program as opposed to a comedy. I have to say it’s about time that an uplifting positive image gets on the screen. If those were the only factors I’d look forward to the program. But the fact that there is a proven talent and the creator of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation on board is solid validation.

...

Path to 9/11

Full post found at Black Entertainment USA...

...It is amazing the press that is out about the ABC dramatization Path to 9/11. I don’t mean the subject matter, which is that America was and continues to be vunerable to terrorist attacks. It’s the fact that politicians and political commentators of each party are using this program to advance their views of Presidents Clinton and Bush. That is sad, and more than obvious that political finger-pointing seems to be of more concern to some than actual action. Isn’t that the point of the film anyway?

Considering that, to my knowledge, none of the people speaking on this mini-series have seen the actual program including me it is quite amazing how various democrats are reacting so angrily. Former-President Clinton has discussed the film in a speech on September 6, 2006 and Mr. Richard Clarke has written a post on it. Comments have been heard from former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger. Even the voice of Mr. Rush Limbaugh has jumped into this bruhaha.

Let me mention again that as ABC/Walt Disney has stated, this is a dramatization. I would imagine it is so because some things can only be inferred at and other items not shown factually on broadcast television. In addition it allows some directorial license to be applied making the subject matter more viewable. While that may not be a proper thing to do on a subject that has affected millions, I can understand that if it creates debate and causes improvements it is worth the drama. And it’s not like it is unprecedented. Dramatizations of President Reagan, President Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. Malcolm X, and various other figures and events in history have been made from various viewpoints. In each case those for or against the depiction voiced their comments and created debate, usually after the television program or theatrical movie or play had been presented to the public. As some democrats are forgetting for the moment, the First Amendment allows for this to be done. That is something that most liberals and democrats scream whenever there is a questionable art form produced.

...

What some on Fox News are saying...

Found in full at www.blackentertainmentblog.com....

...But on occasion Fox News will present a poll or have a speaker on that just grabs my attention. Generally that’s not a good thing, especially if I’m writing about it here. Case in point, last week on the 30th or the 1st Mr. Pat Buchanan was on speaking about his new book. The book discusses the border and the potential threat we face as a nation. I’ve spoken several times about the borders of out nation [So what about Canada?, Press Secty Tony Snow and Mexican fences, Immigration and student aid for college] so this perked up my ears. Of course my concerns were not a point of commentary. But Mr. Buchanan did say that illegal aliens in this nation are bad (which I agree with to a degree but not for most of the popular reasons) and then went on to say essentially that he was afraid of the integration or loss of the white majority of America. He directly said that he wanted America to be like it was in the JFK era, with 89% of the census reported population being White Americans. I wasn’t the only one shocked by the statement, the reporter asked him if he meant he wanted America to be 89% white, and Mr. Buchanan clarified that this is what he meant.

Now that sounds purely racist to me. It scares me that people are still out there, in positions that influence the public and running for public office, with this kind of mindset. I would ask Mr. Buchanan what he is afraid of? Why does a nation of less than roughly 90% one race cause him concern? The question comes to mind if he is afraid of seeing films that are not all white actors. Would he read books by African American, or Hispanic, or other minority writers? And how impartial was he when dealing with minority guests on his television show?...

Thursday, August 10, 2006

RM Johnson interview

(PRWEB) August 8, 2006 -- Mr. Michael Vass, owner and author of Black Entertainment USA (blackentertainmentblog.com), announced the recent interview with author RM Johnson. The interview coincides with the recent review of Mr. Johnson’s latest book, "Do You Take This Woman?" The review of Mr. Johnson’s book was posted to the blogsite on the August 1, 2006, which is the same day that it became available for sale to the public.

The book review and interview are the first of each to be featured on Black Entertainment USA. The website is a unique format, a blend of a weblog (known as blogs) and traditional website. The site currently boasts a collection of original poetry, audio files of selected poems, an expanded reference section, archives of older posts, and a growing catalog of unique inscribed products. All poetry and spoken word audio are the creation of Mr. Vass.

Mr. Vass said, “I thank Mr. RM Johnson for the interview he has granted the site. One of the goals I have is to present various forms of entertainment created by and/or featuring Black African Americans, Hispanics and other minorities. In addition, the ability to share insights, challenges and inspiration to the future authors, actors, musicians and other entertainers is invaluable. Interviews such as this one allow experiences to be shared and I’m glad to be a part of that sharing.”

“In specific reference to Mr. Johnson, the sharing of his path to become a writer and the difficulties he overcame in that path could lead to the next great author of future generations. Or perhaps it will be critical in guiding a young adult to choose to attend college. Then again it may just entertain my readers and those that follow Mr. Johnson’s books. In any case I feel happy to have given something extra to the public,” continued Mr. Vass.

For additional information on this release, comments on this article, or general site information contact Mr. Michael Vass or visit BlackEntertainmentBlog.com. Comments on any posts should be added to the appropriate comments section on the site.

About Michael Vass and Black Entertainment USA
Mr. Michael Vass is a former securities industry account executive of good standing, and currently works in the field of investor relations. He is additionally a webmaster of several Internet sites and weblogs. He has lived abroad, in Moscow and Tsblissi, and in various cities throughout the United States. It is the combination of these experiences that have lead Mr. Vass to the creation of Black Entertainment USA.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Do You Take This Woman - novel review

From www.blackentertainmentblog.com :

...I enjoy Sci-fi, action, adventure and classical books. Examples would be the Bourne series, The Book of Five Rings, The Grifters, and The Sword of Shanara series. The second thing I should mention is this is the first book review I have done. ...

...main male characters Pete and Wayne are doctors with a successful practice. The female leads, Carla and MeShell, are equally successful. All are intellectuals with solid communication skills. All the characters feel strongly about what they are doing...

...love of a spouse, love of a significant other, and love of the forbidden. Its the last love that is central...

...From the start we are taken quickly into the middle of a situation that has gone from bad to worse. As the book progresses we are taken back and given the background on how things reached the point of the start, and then we watch as the dominoes fall...

...I would say the sex was just a notch above an R rated movie scene and not X rated. While I cannot say that any of the characters looked like anyone I know, I can say they reminded me of aspects of some people. ...

...writing conveys the anguish and difficulty several characters go thru before making a decision and then living thru its consequences. And the ending was somewhat of a surprise. The anti-climax was definitely a surprise...

...extremity of the flaws the characters had. Or perhaps the choices and decision made would be more accurate. While I can understand the motivations of each character in an isolated situation, I couldnt imagine myself or...

...probably see some event and say I know how that feels or I went thru something like that or ...

...Do You Take This Woman? is a decent book. If you are a fan of the previous RM Johnson books, I expect you will enjoy this. If you are a fan of soap operas....

Thursday, July 20, 2006

June 16, 2006 Black Entertainment USA

Excerpt from www.blackentertainmentblog.com :

....just the bottom barrel of public (and cable) television. If there is a complete lack of vision and creativity in this nation, reality shows are the ultimate expression of that. But as bad as it its with reality shows giving us the thrilling adventures of cooks, models and the like there is now a new breathtaking program coming to kill the last few numb brain cells some in America have. Are you ready for this? Its a show watching 10 cats in a window in New York City. I am not kidding. ...

I am reminded of something. Mr. David Carradine made a statement in Kill Bill vol. 2 that went along these lines, Superman is the only hero that is always Superman. His alter ego, his disguise is Clark Kent. And that is interesting because what is his choice to blend in with humanity? A coward, a weakling. Someone who is so meek and spineless as to be almost invisible. That is his alien take on our human condition. I may not remember the entire quote exactly, but the essence is there. ...

what he stood up for was never what I lived. And if you disagree, where are the Black African American, Hispanic, and other minority characters in the comic books. How many decades does his series go thru before...

Who gave the ok to have Spiderman to reveal his identity to the world? That is insane. Not that Peter Parker ever had an easy life, but every villain and crackpot he has ever faced will be after him. And I understand the corollary being made to the Patriot Act and other issues in the world and America today. ...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

June 4 2006 World Cup

...For those who are not familiar, or never read my post GOOOOAAALLLL!!!!!, the tournement is about to begin. Yes, the World Cup starts on June 9, 2006! I am very excited, because I expect Germany to win....

Now I have mentioned that this is a big deal. Let me elaborate. It is estimated that the final match will have over 1 billion veiwers on television worldwide. 3 billion will be at the combined games. 30,000,000,000 worldwide will watch the various matches in total. Now those are numbers. Baseball, the NBA, and Football combined dont hit these numbers....

Due to the fact that the Ivory Coast [its a nation in Africa] has, for the first time, a team going to play in the Cup the warring factions have called a truce. The government and those same groups have sat down and started talks. In effect, due to being able to compete in this competition, peace has been given a chance where no other force or action has had any effect....

May 19 2006 on www.blackentertainmentblog.com

...I must say that there is no way that the current Mrs. McCartney deserves the estimated $250 million, that it is rumored she may receive. Im not sorry, but she did nothing to justify the such a gift. Yes I do believe that a woman, with no career or one that was given up to raise children deserves support. I do believe strongly that children of divorced parents deserve to be taken care of, as a matter of fact I think its an obligation due them. But there is a far cry between being supported and taken care of and 1/4 of a billion dollars....

Im glad the program from Mr. Chris Rock is going to continue. OF course I am not happy to learn that Mr. Leslie Moonves felt the need to intervene in the casting of the show. Nor the fact that Mr. Rock had to appease advertisers with the notion that white females were being added to the program. It implies that advertisers are uncomfortable with a program that is predominantly lead by African American and other minority actors. ...

If youd like an example, watch McDonalds commercials. When you see one that is targeting Black viewers, youll know it. It wont be because everyone in the commercial will be Black African American or Hispanic. Listen to the music, the dress attire, the attitudes of the actors, the patterns of speech and what is the overall statement of the commercial. ...

But most annoying to me is a recent incident in England. No not with a rapper or an airport (for once) but with Ms. Halle Berry and Mr. Hugh Jackman. In promoting the upcoming X-Men 3 movie [which I am looking forward to - got to love Juggernaught] in England, Ms. Berry and Mr. Jackman were on a radio program. The potential of Mr. Jackman becoming a James Bond caused the unexpected response of the radio DJ to assume a Brooklyn accent and his further clarification that he was a big, fat, black guy. What the Hell is that. Ms. Berry took him on over this, politely, and the DJ described her as being grumpy. Screw this guy. What does the portrayal of a bad guy for Bond have to do with Brooklyn or a black guy? Ive seen every Bond movie and rarely has there been a key Black villain, and never one that was fat or from Brooklyn...

From www.blackentertainmentblog.com May 2006

...If you dont know what this means, you havent missed much. This is just another budget rate program from SciFi that copies a good idea and make a horrendous program out of it. Examples such as the movie on the world killing hurricane, or the generous remake of the failed movie Deep Core, or programs such as Black Scorpion, Lexx or Witch Hunters and Scare Tactics. But as I mentioned they are taking a step in a worse direction, with a prequel to Galactica. I cant wait to see if they might find one or 2 more cast members that might be African American or Hispanic. It wont help the writing or acting (with the exception of Mr. Edward Olmos, or the above mentioned actors of interest) but it might at least give the impression that the alien worlds they are speaking of have more than a handful of people other than white. ...

That issue is one of equal opportunity initially behind the camera. It is common knowledge in the industry that while Black African Americans. Hispanics, Asians and other minorities are occasionally used in various programs and movies (I would bet that if a survey were done the percentage of actors of color would be so far out of proportion to the population as to be insulting) there are even fewer (Ive heard estimates placing it around the low single digit percentage) behind the cameras doing the work that makes these movies and programs possible. While I am no fan of Affirmative Action and I feel employment should be based on capability, the fact that the disproportion of any minority group being represented needs to be addressed....

The show is to be named My Bare Lady. This could be quite entertaining, and it would be wonderful if there is true raw talent that becomes exposed. Like Ms. Traci Lords, who has moved into mainstream work and has had decent results. I believe that there may be others who are capable of more than just a few words of bad scripting and flexible moves. Not that Ive ever seen porn, and Im sure no reader of mine has either. Thats why the industry made more money than all the movies in Hollywood combined last year....

Though how or why the counts were dropped from 2000 to 40 has not been explained. Mr. Limbaugh has stated that the case was not strong, thus his punishment, though he fails to mention that the limited charges were enough to gain him a conviction. And I find it interesting that this (former) drug using talk radio host, who had no problem making accusations and insults about a mother and alleged rape victim he does not know on her choice of legal profession, cannot make a more honest or sweeping statement on his own problems. If I were him Id shut up before accusing an alleged rape victims of being a ho, as he shouldnt throw rocks inside his own glass house.
...

Monday, April 17, 2006

Excerpts of Black.White. final episode part 1

In the final episode of Black.White. we can see a lot of things. It’s amazing that this has all taken place in only 5 weeks, but I think the day to day activities of these 2 families and the interactions they have had have made profound changes to them. Some have been more profound than others of course.

I think that Nick truly gained something that I wish more of the Black African American and Hispanic youth of today received. In speaking with Kenny he was able to see “the ghetto”. The reality of what it is is a far cry from the images portrayed in music videos and most cheap movies. The fact that everyone in the ghetto is looking for a way out should be reason enough to realize how bad it is. I mean name one entertainer that continues to live there after they make it. Regardless of how ‘gansta’ they proclaim to be. And there is no one who enjoys seeing or learning that their friends are dead, especially before they reach 21. I’ve lost too many friends growing up, and seen even more incarcerated, and it’s brought me no pleasure. And police are not necessarily the enemy, though some may make it seem so. Though I have had negative experiences, and I have shared some here, I have also known several that have been friends and helpful to the community. Overall I do respect their goal of protecting everyone in the community, though they could do the job better and more evenly.
...
While I do feel Bruno is a racist, and not conscious of it, he is right that Brian carries his trials as scars and strength. Brian is 2 years younger than me, and I can see how he feels. Much like my poem I Rejoice in Me, what we have endured is our symbol of strength and pride and pain. That is one aspect of life in America for any minority, especially Black African Americans. Brian is rigid in his beliefs, though he does see that other views exist. His strength of conviction is not a negative, in my view, though I feel he is a bit to rigid to truly allow another view in.

I’m impressed that Carmen has learned to see that there are differences, and reasons for them. That she is aware that the struggles that exist today are difficult and legion. That there are many shades of what it is to be Black in America, and that there is a rich backbone to all of them. That different cultures are as deep and moving as her own, though nothing like hers. That is a huge thing.
...

Full post and part 2 found at www.blackentertainmentblog.com

Friday, April 07, 2006

Happy Birthday to me!

Apr 6 was my birthday. And it was a decent day. In celebration of that I suggest reading my blog at Black Entertainment USA. Come by and make a comment, shop my inscribed custom goods or just look around. :)

Apr 05 2006 from www.blackentertainmentblog.com

Freestyle writing on THIEF. Let me know what you think.

Well they definitely start with enough tension. I can imagine how Andre Braugher feels. I like the way he stands by his people, and his daughter-in-law. He definitely seems like a man of honor and principle. I like how he stands by her, right or wrong. His heart is in the right place. He definitely is trying.

That cop is definitely a powder keg. As is his wife. This could be rough. Don’t forget that the Asian gangster is still looking.

I know how the daughter feels right now. Cold and confused. It’s not a great way to feel. And the one guy is possibly dangerous getting religion. I think that the partner (lady) is right. He needs to take time. The fact the daughter is looking around is also bad. It’s never good to work with your head all messed up. Oh, how I know how he feels. Wish I could pound on a car myself. The man is doing something many men, in particular Black African American and Hispanic me do a lot. No expression of the pain that is raging in us. It generally leads to bad expressions of our confusion and anger and pain. Which just makes more problems. I can’t imagine how that will play out. Though I have to guess it will happen in a job.

Hell of a lot of money. Stealing Black Ops money, tricky. And there goes his mind drifting. Amazing how scared the guys are. Though the Government is a big fish to fry.

FX television shows and quality TV on www.blackentertainmentblog.com 4/02

...Specifically I mean THEIF, the Shield and Black.White. Each of these are found on the FX cable network. Much like the innovation that Fox brought to the industry back in the mid-80's with shows like 21 Jump Street, the Simpsons and 90210, FX has been invigorating in an industry that is lost in the race to the lowest common denominator. These shows, and few others, are prime examples that not everyone wants their programming to be the equivalent of a Yugo. I mean American Idol, Fear Factor, Top Model, Survivor, the Apprentice, and their ilk are really just bottom barrel in terms of content. The incessant copy catting of programs, such as the multiple CSI versions, the multitude of Law&Order television programs ...

Innovation in arts, in all its forms, is a definition of any age. When you think of Rome, gladiators are in the thoughts. Greeks project images of oracles and philosophy, Babylon had its garden, and Ancient Japan the samurai. America has half-hearted titillation and violence. Mindless actions that typify the mob mentality. And mobs are far more easily led. Art can be more, and can comment better. The Soprano’s may be entertaining, but 6 Feet Under said more. So did Jeremiah, and the shows I mentioned at the start.

Another thing I realized. Art can address what we want socially. Much like Archie Bunker, Black.White. is putting a mirror up and we get to see each other. Some parts we don’t like, many because we have never thought were part of us. The African American and White families have problems. They both have issues and many are born from ignorance of not knowing what is out there. That is not an insult. ...

from www.blackentertainmentblog.com - Personal and Black White

...I do wish to speak about the Black White program. I ask you all to bear with me and not forget about me as there is a major issue I am personally going thru that is taking my time and strength.

What I will say about the program is that it looks to be quite something. I am not surprised the fathers have such different views. The white father is missing things I think because he assumes that the intent is other than it is. But having never had to live these situtatins I'm not surprised. One example is his take on the n-word. His response is based on a many who has not been callled what has been defined as possibly the single most offensive word in the english langague. There just is no comparison.

I think the younger kids will get more from this though. They are less set in their ways and more open to what is going on. Still it will be interesting to see what happens. And I am amazed the black son is so 'who cares' about the program. Perhaps things are better than when I grew up, but they aren't good. The various riots and outrages that go on today prove that things are not well, once you go beyond the surface. Still I find his attitude interesting and confusing.

The white daughter seems to be the most interesting one so far. The most open to the experience and the most sensitive. That should make for unique experiences. The make up artists really did a good job with her. She was already pretty, but she looks real good in the make-up.

Actually I think the make-up jobs are all very good....