MNR: Year in Review
The match.com commercial with Satan and a certain lady named 2020 was the ultimate euphemism for the most hectic year of many of our lives (not to mention the best commercial/ad I’ve seen in a long time). I’ve really thought about all 42 of my years on this earth and tried to compare the worst of the worst. To be absolutely candid, I tend to reflect internally when I think of the absolute worst. There’s 1985, highlighted by that crack cocaine shit, my dad’s obvious addiction, and him stripping me of any type of birthday sentiment (for life) in a small apartment in Hempstead, NY on 9.10.1985, my seventh birthday. Seven is my favorite number. Always has been, ever since I could count to seven. Shareon and I had some bad days in that apartment. I’ll leave it at that. There’s 2001, for obvious reasons. Then there’s 2017, the year I lost my mother Shareon. I said all that to say that 2020 has far exceeded those three years put together, personal sentiment excluded. COVID has permanently changed our lives in only nine months, the amount of time usually mentioned with regard to new (human) life. Coldly yet optimistically, time and life go on. But before we slingshot the year 2020 into the depths of Hades, let us reflect on this year, a year that will forever stand out in the lives of all who endured it. Here’s to 2020. Light that shit up, and let’s fucking go.
Speaking of lighting that shit up, here’s my top three strands (in order) of 2020: White Runtz, Ice Cream Cake, and Gary Payton. Honorable mention: Khalifa Kush. As your personal consigliere, I advise you to cop all fo’ and roll ALL that shit up. Let’s get superhero high. Strap in, put your reading glasses on, and let Monday close out 2020 as only I can.
Rest in power to all those we’ve lost in 2020:
MAMBA MENTALITY FOREVER PLUS A DAY. 24/8 FOREVER PLUS A DAY. We both entered this world in 1978. You beat me by a month. We both graduated high school in 1996. You were my mom’s favorite. WE LOVE YOU GIGI. KOBE AND GIGI BRYANT FOREVER PLUS ONE DAY.
My queen’s favorite Uncle, James “Sonny” Townes, George Floyd & Ahmaud Arbery (FUCK ALL PIGS & DEVILS), Chadwick “T’Challa Black Panther Mr. James Brown Jackie Robinson Thurgood Marshall” Boseman, Little Richard the Architect, my brother Senator John Lewis (meeting and polying with you was a true blessing), Tommy “Tiny” “Deebo” Lister, Justice RBG (The Notorious), Fred the Godson, Pop Smoke, King Von, MO3, Ceybil Jeffries (‘90s NYC dance music legend), Sir Sean Connery ( 007 James Bond AND Jim Malone from The Untouchables), Rocky Johnson (The Rock’s pop and WWF/E legend in his own right), Kirk Douglas, Kenny “The Gambler” Rodgers, Bill “Just the Two of Us” Withers, Jerry Stiller (Ben’s pop AND Frank Costanza, one of my all-time favorite television characters from Seinfeld), Ronald “Khalil” Bell (Kool & The Gang founder), Eddie Van Halen the Great, the enigmatic Diego “Los Manos de Dios” Maradona, Phil Niekro, all the loved ones we’ve lost, all 350,000+ lost because of COVID, and anyone else I failed to mention. Champagne tears for our people no longer here.
Man, fuck COVID. And yes, I’m taking the vaccine. I have several pre-existing conditions (keep abusing drugs and neglecting your health y’all, ignorance really is bliss). We’ve got a Vegas trip in April and I’ve got Yankee Stadium late summer. Y’all keep kicking that old-time nigger shit. I’m going with science and my own discernment.
MY FIRST LOVE (SPORTS)
DODGERS LAKERS LIGHTNING CHIEFS LIVERPOOL BAYERN MUNICH LSU STORM King James - Zion - Mookie Betts - Patrick Mahomes - Breanna Stewart - Mohamed Salah - Nikita Kucherov - Naomi Osaka - Bubba Wallace – Rafael Nadal – Novak Djokovic – Lewis Hamilton – Chase Elliott
BLACK LIVES MATTER
I love y’all. Thank you for going as hard as y’all have these past nine months. It ain’t over. It’s never over. I can’t join y’all in the field, but y’all got my allegiance and mouthpiece. I’m repping y’all until I am no more. Much appreciation to all the good folk of other races who have joined us in the struggle. Here’s to our youth. Fists in the air, proudly. Keep ‘em high like natural mystic or smoke when the spliff’s lit. God bless us all. FUCK THE PIGS.
45 TO 46
You lost…you cheesy face, xenophobic, bigoted, misogynistic, habitual lying, pedophiliac (allegedly), evil ass reptilian. Give it up you piece of shit. There was no widespread voter fraud. There was only a widespread ass whooping. Take your hot L and wait for Ms. NY State Attorney General Letitia James and NY County (Manhattan) District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. to holla at you and those uncouth chirren of yours. PS: you won’t be able to pardon your/y’all way out of what’s coming. Tough titties, but somebody gotta suck ‘em.
And oh yeah…Sleepy Joe, don’t shit on the MF who got you in 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. I’m not quite the eternal pessimist many of my folk are regarding politics, but I’m not Van Jones’ punk ass either. I studied political science in-depth at university, and I’m knee deep in the Associated Press, Reuters, MSNBC, CNN, the New York Times, and Politico errday (literally). Translation: I stay on my shit and I’m ‘bout my issue. Further translation: I know how this shit works. Keep your word Sleepy Joe. Keep your word.
It was a tough year for rappers, whether death, prison, or court cases. RIP to all the rappers we lost this year in addition to those I mentioned earlier. Big ups to my nigga Rowdy Rebel. Welcome home, family. Big ups to the GOAT Nasir Jones and his King’s Disease album. It was my favorite album of 2020.
100 BLOCKS STORIES II
If you haven’t scooped a copy of the best work of realistic fiction of 2020, is it that you’re really functionally illiterate? Or is it that you’re a career hater and flat out just refuse to support your friendly neighborhood poet? Or is it that you just haven’t heard the good word yet? Well, if you haven’t, let me tell you. 100 Blocks Stories II is the shiznaheee. Scoop like ten copies pronto, ya heard? INFINITE THANKS TO ALL MY READERS AND SUPPORTERS, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER YOU SCOOPED A COPY OR NOT.
Shit…damn near errthang got put on hold for 2020. Most of our shows won’t come back until 2021. Big ups to Law & Order: SVU for coming back in 2020 and coming back strong. I’m looking forward to the rest of this season. Of my favorites, SnowfallFX has provided the only definite release date of 2021, slated for 2.24. Let’s get it. The only movie of 2020 we were pressed to see was the latest incarnation of Candyman, and that too was pushed back to a 2021 release date. I thought Antebellum was good; a lot of y’all trashed it. Soul was excellent. I think it may win an Academy Award or three next year. My brother Kevin told me about Chadwick’s new film and how great his performance is. To be honest, I’m still dragging my feet because it’s hard to face the fact that this is the end of Chadwick’s extraordinary body of work. I really loved 21 Bridges, by the way. I don’t watch current movies more than once. I’ve already watched it twice and plan to watch it again.
MONDAY’S CLOSING NOTES
If you know me, you know I perpetually look for the story within the story. It’s the journalist in me. I’m borderline obsessed with the thirst for knowledge and understanding, especially pertaining to current (political) events and history. This COVID thing has so many layers to it. There’s been so much suffering. Add the fact that we live in an “instant” and “microwave” society where new news is old news within a matter of seconds and desensitization and apathy are at an all-time high, and no one seems to give a fuck. I alluded to 9.11.2001 at the beginning of the blog. That was the single most catastrophic day of my life before 2020 (mama prepared me for her ascension). I’d never seen a death toll that high in a single tragedy (day) on American soil. Well, to put 9.11 and COVID in their proper perspectives, we’ve already had more than 10 days THIS MONTH where COVID deaths virtually matched or even exceeded the death toll of 9.11 (forgive the relative vagueness of the statistics, they literally update daily). On December 16, the last day of statistics that I was able to retrieve from the net, 3,448 people perished from COVID. That’s more than the 2,977 killed on 9.11 and the 2,500 killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor on 12.7.1941. We still commemorate 9.11 every 9.11. We still commemorate Pearl Harbor every 12.7. We largely ignore the fact that we have had a month full of 9.11’s and Pearl Harbors with this COVID shit. Yet, the band plays on. No one gives a fuck until it’s a family member or one of their favorite entertainers. Then we gotta bear witness to their bloodclot cryin’ on the blogs. Shut the fuck up. Every life lost is a tragedy. Wear your fucking masks and socially distance. I don’t bring my personal sentiment into your situations, so I’m not going to cheerlead for the vaccine or youse taking it. I mentioned that I plan to, and that’s that. I have no right to impose upon your personal feelings/ethics. But I can judge your dumb asses for failure to wear protective masks and socially distancing. Stop being a damn brat and look out for your fellow American. Sheesh.
I’m still getting used to Teams, Zoom, etc. It’s weird. I guess that’s why I’ve shunned Club House. I’ve already spent half the damn day in (not at) work listening to several people attempting to speak at once, as well as one exceptional young man who has no concept whatsoever of shutting the fuck up. I’m good after I punch out. And there’s no visuals in Club House. The voices just come out of nowhere. I’m good. To each his own.
The true tragedies after the lives lost from COVID and the plight of healthcare & essential workers are the mom-and-pop store closures and the death of Main Street across the country. WalMart already flatlined Main Streets. COVID damn near obliterated ‘em. And we can’t forget about the restaurant business. I’m not concerned with the chains. I care about the stand-alone restaurants all across this country, from greasy spoons to breakfast spots to pizzerias to burger joints to any place serving a good and hearty plate. These businesses are the backbone and true identity of American cuisine. Shit, they made Guy Fieri and Adam Richman a damn fortune. Some continue to fight on. Sadly, many have closed their kitchens forever. Support your mom-and-pop stores and local eateries. They need you.
For all the bullshit 2020 has put us through, we are yet blessed. If you are reading this blog, you are blessed. If you are breathing, you are blessed. Irrespective of how many times you hit the mat, all that counts is how many times you get back up. Having said that, I wish you the best in 2021. I’m counting all my blessings. It’s coming upon the one-year anniversary of me almost checking out of this earth on 1.1.2020. I’m still here, y’all. Better than ever. All praises due to Christ the King. Time to shake a leg and get up in the wind, sugar. To the projects I’m ghost shorty wop, one love.