Both Sides Now

by Mack Williams
28 August 2017

I. Nazis 2017

Clearly my mother’s first husband – the main character (aside from her) in her book, “WWII Diary” and my award-winning screenplay of the same name – turned out to be…well, read the book and see the film when it comes out. That said, he’s probably turning over in his Alaskan grave – along with all of his deceased fellow soldiers – if he can see the 2017 America where neo- Nazis are excused by some and half-heartedly rebuked by the President.

Fifty-four years ago today a bigger man – not in height but definitely in stature – stood minutes away from the White House and spoke of his dream. That speech might be better morning informational material than FOX or Breitbart.

II. Colin

Perhaps Colin Kaepernick should link up with a CFL team to keep his skills fresh…maybe even win a Grey Cup…until some owner has the courage to buck the tide and sign him. He might even enjoy a back-end career like Warren Moon.

III. Stanton

Congrats to Giancarlo Stanton for joining the exclusive 50 home run club, and helping to catapult the Miami Marlins back into the pennant race. It’s crazy to see guys like Stanton and Aaron Judge hit Home Run Derby-distance homers in actual games where the pitcher is trying to get them out.

Of course, the rise of the Marlins sadly brings to mind the tragic boating death of Jose Fernandez. What if he were here…

IV. Conor and Floyd

So the future looks somewhat like $200,000,000 brighter for Floyd Mayweather, and a great deal brighter for Conor McGregor as well, who by all accounts acquitted himself very well in his first professional boxing match. Looking at it from the outside I can give props to Conor, but if I were twenty-nine years old like Conor, and a welterweight boxer who had literally given blood, sweat and tears to this sport from my teenage years in Golden Gloves to the present day, I might not be as quick to congratulate. I might very well think that the multi-million dollar payday and shot at boxing immortality should have gone to me as opposed to a man – UFC champion notwithstanding – that is now sporting a professional boxing record of 0-1.

That said, I think I was on point with the outcome a few weeks back. Here’s what I wrote:

“Anyone that thinks Conor McGregor has any more than the slimmest ever chance against Floyd Mayweather should revisit the professional minor league baseball career of Michael Jordan. No disrespect to MJ; I actually think hitting .202 with three homers and 51 runs batted in and 30 stolen bases is quite good for someone who had not played baseball in 13 years. My guess is that had he chosen to play baseball instead of basketball at UNC, he might have made the majors (and my Georgetown Hoyas might very well have won another NCAA title).

That said, his baseball career shows that being the best at what you do doesn’t mean you are anywhere near the best at what someone else does. Conor’s best shot is to body slam and suplex Floyd. He probably won’t get up from those.”

V. On Both Sides, On Both Sides

Were it not for the hurricane in Texas and the fight in Vegas, we might have had a week of All Kyrie, All The Time after the bombshell Thomas-Irving trade. Now that there are reports of Cleveland’s discomfort over the rehabilitation of Isaiah Thomas’ hip, we can see that there is front office discomfort on both sides, on both sides – and both need to get this deal done.

The Celtics don’t want to have to bring Jae Crowder and IT4 back into the fold, and be forced to explain why they thought Kyrie was worth so much more than they were. Meanwhile the Cavaliers do not want to begin training camp with Kyrie Irving on the roster, and training camp will begin earlier this year due to the earlier start – October 17th – of the season. That means that the Cavaliers are on the clock if this deal is rescinded, and other general managers will know it.

So I expect this deal to happen one way or another…and that that first game on 10/17 is going to be a monster.

VI. U.S. Open

With no playoffs for the Mets, the biggest September question in Queens is whether or not Venus (in her pregnant sister’s absence) will take the U.S. Open.

VII. Sheriff Joe

I wonder what would happen if I went to rob a bank today…other than my arrest, and possibly my death at the hands of law enforcement while attempting to escape after committing the crime. Were I to live to be convicted for the crime, would I then be fortunate enough to be pardoned for my law-breaking activity as was Sheriff Joe Arpaio? Probably not, given that I am a person of color and not a supporter of the President.

If I were killed in the midst of committing such a violent crime, many people would have no problem with the outcome, given the nature of what I was attempting to do. And that, in a nutshell, explains the validity of BLM. If you’re committing an heinous crime, you should expect that your activity might warrant a forceful response…but if you’re just standing in front of the hotel (like tennis star James Blake), or on the train platform (like Oscar Grant), or being twelve years old in the park (like Tamir Rice) or selling loosies (like Eric Garner), you should not expect to be maimed or killed. People of color should be treated fairly by those in law enforcement, which is why President Trump’s pardon of Arpaio is wrong. And it is why Black Lives Matter.


And Now For Something Different

by Mack Williams
2 August 2017

I. Anthony Scaramucci

When you have to tweet that there is No White House chaos, that says to everyone that the White House is full of chaos. Especially when the newly-minted communications director – who proved to be about as qualified for his position as so many other appointees – is fired the same day.

He didn’t even get to stay around long enough to try to clean up after the “White House is a real dump” comment. Mr. President, I hope we’re not inconveniencing you by making you stay in such substandard digs…so if you want to leave for Mar-a-Lago on a permanent basis, I truly understand. Please take Pence with you as you leave.

II. It Was All A Dream

If only that were true. Of course, the new citizens are probably happy that they haven’t gotten around to changing the letter.

III. Dream Team

I know…it’s all about talking trash and story manipulation, but Boston Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski was way off in comparing the Yankees to the Golden State Warriors after the Yankees’ recent trades.

If you had told me as I sat on the couch with my dad watching the Mets win the ’86 Series that I would, three decades later, be defending the Yanks, I would have told you how crazy you were. That said, Dombrowski speaks of these Yanks as if they were the Core Four version, which they are not…yet. In case he hadn’t noticed, the Yankees have won one World Series championship during the 2000’s…which is more than a lot of teams have, but that can’t compare to the Warriors recent run of success. Dave was creating a narrative of “they were supposed to win” should the Yankees win the division, which morphs into “what a job we did” if the Sox prevail.

IV. Triple Threat

So this is the place where I give some well-deserved shout outs, beginning with the multi-talented Denise Gordon. This singer, recording artist and actress has added designer to her portfolio…so let me let her explain in her own words:

“I am a musical performer and my wardrobe would always consist of normal clothes and diva wear. I am very funky and eclectic in my diva-wear. A touch of all my influences – bohemia, gypsy, Africa, flowing all in the challenging clothes size of Plus Size. Being a Plus Size woman you cannot always go into a shop and buy something off the rack. Sizes are usually too small or only come in blue, tan or black. This was not an option for Diva Me.

As I start to transition off the stage, my fashion sense still remains. I have spent 25 years in Africa surrounded by bold beautiful prints, spoiled by tailors who can make your dream styles come true. As I became a bit more focused on life after the stage, I was open to all different possibilities. I have always been interested in fashion, but never consider myself a ‘fashionista’. Fashion was organic. I never followed trends, I followed … me.

One day a girlfriend sent me an article about 2 American women who started an apparel company in Kenya where I was living. The thing about this company was that it only sold ONE DRESS! I was intrigued. I read the article and visited their site. For someone who was used to designing clothes in Africa, that dress was not all that. In fact I thought it was something I would only wear around the house, but I am not giving them shade. I thought the concept was brilliant, particularly they were able to sell the ‘house dress’ for $145! Clearly their market was not Africa, but moreso Europe and America. But the idea got me thinking… what single style could I use in a similar way. There was a hi-low fashion top that I adored the first time I saw it. I just kept it in my personal library , planning to one or two for myself. I started my Africa adventure in West Africa where the artistry of tailoring is very evident… tailors on every corner. East Africa is very different. More off the rack or in reality, I think most people buy second hand clothes.. yes, the one that comes from the Salvation Army from or very own closets in the US and elsewhere. Resellers buy in bulk unseen and hope that there are a lot of pieces that can be resold at a good price. It is an industry that has helped and hindered; Helped people who can only afford $1.00 to dress themselves while killing the local textile industry.

So, inspired I looked at this one top and said, one style would not be enough for me. But there was so much life in that one style, I could modify it ad infinitum.” And so she has started. Watch this space for more info.

V. Tiki Clothing Company

Next up – Javaris Neely. Sneakers can get a tad bit expensive. Check out this article from Blavity:

VI. Keloid

The Black TV and Film Collective is making big moves in the New York area, among which being the production of an outstanding web series, Keloid, written and produced by Huriyyah Muhammad.

Find the BTFC channel
on YouTube…another episode of Keloid is about to drop!

VII. The Roof Is on Fire

This was on Facebook the other day, and my first thought was you would have to save Obama, and might very well want to save Kaepernick, but somehow Trump must be saved. You wouldn’t want a fire to come between him and impeachment proceedings.