Thursday, January 28, 2010

Team Conan, Team Jay and the Age Divide

God willing, one day I'll be 60 years old. If I'm still a journalist and good at my job, why should I sit down because of my age? Why retire if I continue to get awards or break big stories? So many people are mad at Jay Leno, 59, and saying he's old and should pass the mic to Conan O'Brien. But Carson hosted the Tonight Show for 30 years. I remember when Carson stepped down, people thought he still had a few years in him. I've also read people comment on blogs that Jay is wrong for taking over the Tonight Show again due to Conan's low ratings. But, let's backtrack. If you watched Jay, he complained in his Tonight Show monologue for years about being #1 in late night and getting the boot from NBC. It didn't sound like he left willfully. And I question, did Conan feel funny about unseating Jay Leno? Maybe he did at first but let's keep it real. Conan packed his family, staff and headed to LaLa Land. What's the difference between him taking the job and Jay taking the job back? I don't dismiss Conan for pursuing an opportunity few comics will ever experience. It's show business, with the emphasis on business. NBC reportedly handed Conan to the Tonight Show throne because execs wanted to lock in a younger audience and keep Conan in the NBC family. Good idea, but a major fail. You know why Jay was still on top of his game on the Tonight Show? The Baby Boomers. NBC made the mistake of neglecting the Baby Boomers and concentrating on Gens X and Y when they promoted Conan. The Baby Boomers like Jay Leno and still watch TV. And HELLO, a lot of them living. Many people my parents age grew up on Johnnie Carson and like Jay Leno's corny jokes. Which is why Letterman ratings shot up once Leno took a 10pm time slot. I don't think a lot of them get Conan's humor. By the way, NBC is also making a big mistake of not giving Conan a chance to boost his ratings.

There's no point being mad at either Jay or Conan because they're making tens of millions of dollars a year for being funny. Shows you how much we appreciate school teachers and police officers doesn't it? I'm more concerned about the everyday people who get laid off from their jobs because of the economy, discrimination and outsourcing. Jay and Conan are going to be alright. But the average Joes, Juans and Kieshas of the country are in trouble. I'm talking about those who worked 40 years for a company and were cut because it's cheaper to replace them with a 21-year-old or a machine. They might not be alright after finding a pink slip in their mailbox. And speaking of Juan and Keisha, a person of color nor a woman has yet to sit behind the Tonight Show desk.

I'm Team Leno and Team Conan. Both are funny. Both were screwed by the peacock. It sucks and it happens all of the time, especially in Hollywood. So Jay, Conan don't go into the new season with personal attacks against each other. NBC caused this drama. You learned a hard lesson preached in the streets everyday, "Don't hate the player. Hate the game."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

You Need To Know....
Andy Allo

You may not have heard of Andy Allo. But you’ve definitely seen her pretty face and funky afro on such ads as the U.S Post Office, and Toyota. The sista can sell cars and stamps. But what she definitely has me sold on is her music. Allo makes an impressive musical debut with her album UnFresh. Her sweet and soulful voice is candy to the ears. Allo shares her stories of life and love through a passionate blend of hip hop, neo-soul and alternative. Or as she likes to call it, alter-hip-soul. Only 22, the Cameroonian-born model and actress now has singer, songwriter and executive producer to her long list of talents. Allo financed the independent project on her own when she was 21. And don’t think her album sounds like something recorded in her mama’s garage. Nope. Nothing but studio-quality sounds on UnFresh. Allo’s album was born in the same studio where Tony! Toni! Tone! created some of their hits.

I met up with Allo at a Starbucks in Hollywood. She greeted me with a bright smile and halo of hair. Her model frame was working a fitted black leather jacket and sparkly scarf. Allo is new to LA. She moved to Sacramento, Calif from Cameroon nine years ago. Her mother is a white American and her father, whom she’s named after, is a black African. FYI Allo means hello in French. It’s fitting for her bubbly personality. But when it’s time to talk business, she gets serious. Allo and I chatted up about Cameroon, caring for a sick parent in high school and her career.

Girl Where You Been?

This is my favorite piece by one of my favorite artists Brenda Joysmith. It reminds me of when I was little girl. I used to love running around in my white slip when I was a kid. And I've always been a thinker. When I see this piece, I see myself. And if you look at the picture, you'll get an idea of the mental and spiritual place I've been in lately. Visit the Joysmith Gallery to see more of her work. I know this beautiful piece of work, doesn't answer where I've been.

Well, I've been home to see my mamma. I've been to the movies to see Precious and Up In The Air. I've been over my grandmothers' homes. I've been eating my grandfathers' hoghead cheese and pigs feet. Don't judge. I've been to the gym too. I've been catching up with friends I haven't seen and spoken to in years. I've been writing in my journal like crazy. I've been looking for story ideas. I've been painfully watching the crisis in Haiti and wondering why it's taking so long for those poor people to get aid. I've been turning away from the criris in Haiti because it reminds me of Katrina. But I've been to the Red Cross website to make a donation. I've been praying for those who lost their lives in that horrible earthquake. I've felt an earthquake that magnitude and it's scary as hell. And I know how it feels when hours pass and you haven't heard from loved ones. I've been thinking about the Dems pulled out a seat for Scott Brown, asked him if he wanted to start with an appetizer and gave him the Senate victory. I've been wondering how many flips Ted Kennedy did in his grave. I've been confused as to why so many people are mad at Jay Leno. I've been thankful. I've been listening to new artist, Andy Allo's CD UnFresh, which is hella fresh by the way. Check out my interview with her above. I've been stepping up my game. I've been thinking about what's next for Cocoa Fly. I've been clearing my head. I've been...around.


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