business


In 1986 Run DMC released the song “My Adidas”.  Run DMC had been heavily criticized for wearing shoes with no laces, and for promoting stereotypes. So the rap group wrote a song called “My Adidas”. The wrote this song because as DMC stated “Yeah, we wear Adidas with no laces, we got gold chains, we got Cazals and all of that, but I go to St. John’s University.

The song meant something to them. The song meant something to the masses who followed Run DMC, and rocked the shelltop Adidas to show their connection with the group. It was a way of saying “don’t judge us by what we have on, or by what we look like.” It was a moment when being a rapper, being a b-boy, being poor, being from the streets didn’t mean you had no hope. It meant that you could wear your Adidas on the stage at “Live Aid” and still have people applaud. Run DMC  showed that you could be who you are and sign million dollar contracts. “My Adidas” was a song that debunked stereotypes and inspired people. I have never wore Adidas in my life, but in 1986 ‘My Adidas’ meant something to me.

Adidas partnered with Run DMC to form a clothing line of their own. It was this song and Run-DMC’s attitude that showed that Hip Hop was not just a form of music, or some lyrics put on a page. Run DMC showed that Hip Hop was a lifestyle. Since 1986, many artist and entertainers have followed the model set by Run DMC. Adidas was the first company to reap the benefits of hip-hop marketing, and hip hop expanded by a partnership with corporate America.
The entire history of Run DMC is a series of firsts…

  • The first rap act to chart in the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 more than once
  • The first rap artist with a Top 10 pop charting rap album
  • The first with a R & B charting album
  • The first rap artist with gold, platinum and multi-platinum albums
  • The first rap act to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine
  • The first rap act to receive a  Grammy Award nomination
  • The first rap act to make a video appearance on MTV
  • The first rap act to perform at a major arena

Fast forward to 2012 and Adidas now sponsors a hip hop artist called Two Chainz, another average rapper, with a major contract, who has just released his first album. Unfortunately this sponsorship seems more like pissing all over hip hop and it’s history, and the struggle of those that came before. Business are smart to look at a fan base and seek to capitalize off of it. These corporations don’t care if an artist has talent,or what they are saying, they just want access to the fan base and the rappers oblige them. Rappers as unproven commodities with lyrics devoid of meaning proudly hawk perfumes, clothes, liquor, colognes, headphones, ect…because they were never told where they came from, so they have no idea of where they should be going. They turned on the television, or went to youtube and saw other people had done and they copied that and become just another produced rapper.

Hip Hop is something you live.

Hip Hop is something you live

There is no struggle, no heart, no art, it’s a business. That’s all it means to them, that’s all their fans mean to them. Hip Hop means nothing to them, you can hear their passionless voices clinging to a hook. You can see it in their videos and the issues they do not speak on. They have taken the money, in exchange for the meaning. They have taken promotion over the substance and this is why these partnerships, no matter how much capital is put into them, mean absolutely nothing. They are all in such a rush to be just another rapper that history will forget.

Is it the partnership with corporate America that has caused the meaning to leave hip hop?

Was it Run DMC’s promotion of materialism, Hip Hip’s ultimately ruination?

Does Hip Hop simply not have any meaning left in it?

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Dear President Barack Obama and Congress:

With all due respect President Barack Obama we demand that you mandate fixing of educational standards and end the educational money-pit,  encourage the formation of a Black Defense League. prompt the Department of Justice to look into the 11% of cases of inmates they have said shouldn’t be incarcerated, investigate and reverse every racially biased law, revamp America’s legal sand prison system and give reparations to slave descendants that only applies to the 1st two years of college.

We also request that you revive the truth in advertising laws, stop the advertising of drugs and alcohol on television and cable, stop the advertising of adult and sexual themes on children’s networks, stop using war and conflicts as a jobs bills, stop giving South America and drug cartels 200 billion per year, stop giving all other countries billions of dollars yearly to be our ally, pull our troops out of 162 countries, close the border and regulate it, reform immigration policies, and change US foreign policy.

We implore Congress incentivize corporations to build in Africa not take its natural resources, decrease the importance of the Stock Market, end Matching Funds, reform election rules (including those of broadcast stations), float the idea of creating multiple viable political parties, stop drilling for oil off the coast, let Detroit automakers go bankrupt, mandate females to register for selective service, pull embassies out of countries that don’t like us, stop building nations and reallocate forces to rebuild bridges, roads and schools in America.

We request that you ensure that All laws are equal, stop absurd differing age regulations due to state, end baseball antitrust exemption, leave Cuba alone, stop funding Mexican drug cartels, tax companies that outsource, change the tax code, require that all companies that do business in America pay a minimum wage to workers in other countries, legalize marijuana, ban guns (which contrary to popular belief is entirely possible and legal), reduce the size of the military, ban lobbying and encourage companies to release the cures for human conditions instead of merely maintaining conditions for profit.

Yes the president isn’t God an the Government can’t do everything for us. Most of these things listed were allowed and pushed by president and government, so this is were we Americans begin negotiations. Of course we could keep slowly rolling along with the same movements, but we are in unprecedented territory and now is the time for us to be unprecedented! We have to let go of of the old, the outdated, anything else is unacceptable.

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For decades Oprah Winfrey has done many things to help people whether that help came from the Oprah show’s subject matter, giving her audience members cars or opening up a school. It has been said her 2007 endorsement of Barack Obama is what put him over the top in his bid to become president of the United States of America. First let me be clear, I have no problem with Oprah Winfrey at all. Oprah is an amazing woman who has overcome unbelievable odds to become one of the most powerful and influential people in the world. But what has she done with her power?

In November 2006, male prostitute and masseur Mike Jones said that over the course of three years Evangelical Leader Ted Haggard had paid him to engage in sexual activities and that Haggard had also purchased and used methamphetamine.”I had to expose the hypocrisy. He is in the position of influence of millions of followers, and he’s preaching against gay marriage. But behind everybody’s back he’s doing what he’s preached against.” Jones told ABC News. Oprah has said that she puts people on her show to empower them, so I find it surprising that this “Evangelical” leader has appeared on her show multiple times.

The Oprah show is largely positive, but at times it is a show rife with one-sided opinion, half-thoughts, sexual anxiety, victim hood, mis-truths, and dark vision of sexual relationships. Oprah did not want males at her Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa, but still there have been at least two sex and abuse scandals involving the school. Her influence is as real as it is legendary, it is often called “Oprah Effect”.  She referred to Barack Obama as “The One”, in a nod to the Neo character in the movie “The Matrix”.  If Oprah says “Grilled Chicken”, then the next day KFC runs out of grilled chicken, instead of promoting the chicken Oprah’s audience would have been better served if she had held the KFC corporation’s feet to the fire about why they are putting meat and beef in the chicken that they sell. If Oprah says “Steer Clear” of beef, then cattlemen lose 11 million dollars. If she says “I love this book”, or “That’s such a handy product”, then those items will be best sellers. Which all of this power it is surprising to still see her fawn over a celebrity, misrepresent facts and give out advice such as, telling a child to take on a bully with tough body language. This advice from Oprah places the ownness on the one kid against the bullies instead of on the school system and the parents where it belongs. What good is having this much vaunted effect when you aren’t using it to help even the most helpless of us.

The Low Down Show

This show had J.L. King, author of On the Down Low, a gay black man revealing the “Down Low” lifestyle to America. The Down Low lifestyle is one in which men have sex with other men but self-identify as heterosexual. On this show it was said that a Down Low black man “Could be anywhere, ’cause we’re everywhere”. That same year Governor James McGreevy, was found to be living this type of lifestyle. Oprah invited his ex-wife on the show to cry and to promote her book. Somehow Oprahs never made the connection that White Males also lead these “down low” double lives, unless the message is that White Males can’t be on the Down Low?

Rappers

Books that are changing everything

Let’s not even talk rappers, okay let’s talk about Ice Cube.”For the movie ‘Barbershop’ she had Cedric the Entertainer and Eve on, but I wasn’t invited. Maybe she’s got a problem with hip-hop. She’s had damn rapists, child molesters and lying authors on her show. And if I’m not a rags-to-riches story for her, who is?”  Ice Cube has produce and/or starred in three over the movies she has discussed on her show, but he has never been invited on. Ice Cube’s question has never been answered.

When the rapper Ludacris appeared on her show with fellow cast members to promote the 2004 movie CRASH, (a movies about racial and social tensions) Oprah took Ludacris to task for his rap lyrics. “She edited out a lot of my comments while keeping her own in. Of course, it’s her show, but we were doing a show on racial discrimination, and she gave me a hard time as a rapper when I came on there as an actor. Initially, I wasn’t even invited on the show.” says Ludacris. “After the taping, she pulled me into a room and we had a five-minute conversation. The feeling I got was that by having rappers on her show, she feels like she’s empowering in them. So it was like being at someone’s house who doesn’t really want you there.I don’t see why she’ll invite Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle on her show and they speak the same language as I do, but since they do it through comedy, I guess that’s acceptable to her.” This would have been the second time Oprah did not invite Ludacris on her show for a movies that she was discussing.

Oprah has had rappers Diddy and Common on her show, both of whom have used what she calls “Degrading”, or “Bad Lyrics” at sometime or another. In an with D.J. Ed Lover, Oprah said “I’ve been accused of not liking hip-hop and that’s just not true.”  That’s what she said, but it sure does seems like it. Perhaps it is a particular kind of rap that confronts issues that she doesn’t want to tackle, or maybe she only likes East Coast rappers.

Ms. Winfrey has never said an unkind word about Eminem, who has the largest reach of any rapper and is also the most misogynist and violent as well. However, Oprah took the time out to say that Snoop Dog’s lyrics were bad and refused to speak to him on the issue. Kanye West was on the Oprah show, Kanye is known for his thought-provoking lyrics, but maybe she forgot about his songs “Golddigger” and “Workout Plan”. Oprah went on the Gayle King show and said that she likes Jay-Z’s lyrics, either you like the lyrics or your don’t. When anyone else in the media speaks like this it is usually called lying, or being hypocritical, I’m just sayin’. Although her disdain of rappers is well documented, recently, she has even been palling around with Jay-Z, in Brooklyn’s Marcy Projects no less. “Jay-Z is my new best friend,” Oprah said. Maybe Ms. Winfrey and her staff are unaware of his violent and misogynist lyrics. Apparently Jay-Z has Ninety-Nine problems, but Oprah ain’t one. Whatever the case may be she gains more credibility with her supporters by not having these blacks on. By the way Jay-Z is said to have a deal with Oprah to have a show on her new network.

In life, there are many bullies and they are not all in school, but everyone is afraid of them just the same. Along with worldwide power, you also have a responsibility to make a positive change. That being said Oprah is right. Some rap lyrics are negative, some rap videos have not set very good examples and some rappers have been exploitative, but there are those in the media who have done the exact same things albeit in a different manner. Oprah like many others in the media, Bill O’Reilly included, are quick to point out the obvious wrongs, and slow to highlight the many things that are right.  Oprah as well as O’Reilly have called for clean, positive music and many rappers and singers have answered that call, but neither Oprah or O’Reilly will promote them on their shows either. The so-called bad rappers have a massive base of promotion, so how does the public know that these positive rappers exist if you don’t give them a platform?

Early on in Oprah’s career she had racist come on her show to express their point of view, but she vowed to no longer have then on and since she has went to great lengths to bring on racial uniters. Why not do the same with music? Why not with men in general and with black men in particular? Why indeed Oprah? Why attack the rappers instead of those own these entertainment companies and the individuals who are actually pushing and distributing this music, you have such a problem with, to our youth? Because it is easier to go after the rappers instead of your friends, that’s why.

Now that Oprah is ending her show, we may be seeing an end to the era of “The Oprah Effect” an era where her words and actions are followed, an era where she has set and ended many trends. OWN is launching in 2011 (The Oprah Winfrey Network is a joint venture with Discovery Communications), so in essence she’s on to the next one. Many will rejoice as she seeks to spreads much of her same power to a new era, let’s just hope that the new era isn’t just as one-sided as the last one, an era where it is alright to marginalize people like me, my sons or yours… message.

Part 1

Part 2

For years Oprah Winfrey has with her money and reach done many things to help people whether that help came from the Oprah show’s subject matter, giving her audience members cars or opening up a school in Africa. It can even be said her 2007 endorsement of Barack Obama is what put him over the top in his bid to become president of the United States of America. First let me be clear that while there is zero chance of my book being included in Oprah’s Book club, I have no problem with Oprah at all. Oprah Winfrey is an amazing person who has overcome unbelievable odds to become one of the most powerful and influential people in the world.


The Early Years

In September of 1986 The Oprah Winfrey Show was nationally syndicated. “Winfrey saw television’s power to blend public and private; while it links strangers and conveys information over public airwaves, TV is most often viewed in the privacy of our homes. Like a family member, it sits down to meals with us and talks to us in the lonely afternoons. Grasping this paradox, …She makes people care because she cares. That is Winfrey’s genius, and will be her legacy, as the changes she has wrought in the talk show continue to permeate our culture and shape our lives.” OPRAH WINFREY: The TV Host by Deborah Tannen,Time Magazine.

In the mid-1990s, Winfrey adopted a less tabloid-oriented format, doing shows about heart disease, spirituality, meditation and home decorating. She often interviews celebrities on issues that directly involve them in some way, such as cancer, charity work or substance abuse. In addition, she interviews ordinary people who have done extraordinary things or been involved in important current issues.

Oprah is the most-watched US daytime talk show, aims to empower women. This article examines the show’s representations of gender and how images of `race’, sexuality and class cross-cut them. It considers the show’s status as television psychology. It explores the show’s translation of aspects of black feminism to television, and discusses the social implications of its `super-real’ representations.” Empowering Women? The Oprah Winfrey Show. Feminism & Psychology February 1994, Corrine Squire

Oprah’s early years of triumph and success were built on shows of Abuse. Abuse that was always male and often a black one. If she had a story on cheating, she would follow the same model, males in general and black in particular. Do black men do these things? Sure they do, but on the Oprah show, it seemed as if all black men do these things.

If Oprah had a show for the great husbands, or fathers of America. The show would  be littered with white men, hardly if ever a black male, or even another minority male. Black male bad, White male good, Female superior are the themes that are constant to Oprah’s audience.

Fans of her show will never see her “bash” males, she brings others on the show for that. What you see when you watch her show is great gift ideas, good recipes, self-help advice, the rehabilitation of a celebrities career and who doesn’t get to know something about our favorite celebrities. She does invite males on her show, and they are usually viewed as “non-threatening”, or safe. And somehow her shows always seem to portray average black men as monsters and average white men as heroes. Yes it is Oprah’s show and she can do what she pleases with it. It is unfortunate that she seems to paint males as the very incarnation of violence, and young black males as monsters. For Oprah only women can be angels, and for the most part they are white as well.


We all understand helping women, but even more so we understand helping anyone in need, regardless of whether they too much hair on their face, or too much bass in their voice, this is just as egregious as helping someone due only to skin color. While there is no issues with Oprah the talk show host, there is an issue with Oprah the teacher, doctor or relationship expert by what she says and what she allows to be said on her show. She is to be commended because she is not and exploiter like Maury, Springer or Tyra. No one is perfect and this is something that Oprah, based on her history, should know first hand. In many respects Oprah deserves a lot of credit for tackling many important issues, except her own.



Part 2 Part 3

This is the third and final part of my exploration into the Retail Pharmacy. I have spoken with doctors, pharmacist, technicians, managers and other professionals and what I discovered about the retail Pharmacy business is shocking.  This information was gathered from workers at the big chain pharmacies Rite Aide, Walgreens and CVS/Pharmacy.

Racism

There have been many articles, case studies and other ways to define or identify what racism is.  This is a tricky and touchy subject to gauge, so I have provided a few real stories. These are actual stories taken this year from your local pharmacy.

First here is the standard:

A Caucasian pharmacist, who routinely and inappropriately touched his female minority technicians was written up and the complaining technician was moved.

Another Caucasian pharmacist would openly pass gas in the pharmacy. He did this so much that he would at times soil himself. He would then go into the break room wash his undergarments and hang them up to dry, in plain view no less. He was written up and the complaining party was moved to another pharmacy. It sounds funny, but it is not, from what I was told the pharmacist was quite rank and that this went on for several month.

Minority Leadership Programs

Retail pharmacy corporations trumpet their diversity, as well as their programs initiated for minorities. What they don’t say is that the Federal Government gives them write-offs for such programs, nor do they mention that they get another tax write-off for hiring a minority.

Each of these corporations have minority leadership programs.  Recently, one company sent out an email inviting employees to the African-American Leadership Group. The email said that topics would be “Low Productivity, High Turn-Over and Absenteeism“.

The email for the Asian Leadership Group said the only topic would be “Communication”.

Books that are changing everything

Human Resources

A Regional pharmacy supervisor, who is Middle Eastern, told me that he has heard his bosses make racist comments toward him. Although he tells his workers to call Human Resources if they encounter this kind of problem, he acknowledges that he will never go to Human Resources with the issue. Everyone knows that Human Resources is there to save the company money and the minute you complain about something like this the clock is ticking on your employment.

Obvious Racism

*Pharmacy Corporate Executives always travel with managers and other executives*

An executive visited a store in Compton. When he saw that the prescription numbers were down, he said “If I get on the loudspeaker and started beat boxing I bet the prescription numbers will go up.

An executive entered a pharmacy in a neighborhood where the median income is $55,000 and median home price is $600,000. Upon seeing two African-American pharmacy technicians he promptly picked up his cellphone, called his friend on the east coast and said with a smile “Guess where I am? I’m deep in the hood now.”

Another executive remarked to a crowd of managers on the possible cause for a slight dip in the pharmacy’s customers service score, he said to the pharmacist “I know it is not you, it’s Those.” The only other people who worked in the pharmacy were African-American.

Here is a common case

A pharmacy executive toured a retail pharmacy and all of the comment she made were glowing, all except one, she said “We need to change the color scheme.”

Including the front store portion this pharmacy was 45% African-American, 30% Latino, 20% Asian and 5% white. Two weeks after this executive made her comment. The African-American General Manger was removed, The Asian supervisor was transferred. A Caucasian was brought into replace the General Manager while the other minorities hours were summarily cut. Every two weeks a minority was moved, fired or replaced. It goes without saying that minority workers are harassed, threaten with being fired, or have their hours cut as a matter or routine.

An African-American supervisor who was very tough on giving refunds was told to be more lenient on giving out refund to customers. Two weeks later they arrested this supervisor and brought them up on charges of fraud. Loss Preventions said that she was giving out too many refunds. Meanwhile at another location a General Manager had stolen $40,000 this person was merely fired.

6 months after this executive make the “Color Scheme” comment the store is 70% white, 15% African American, 10% Latino and 15% Asian. I assume they feel that the color scheme is now more manageable.

The National Perspective

With unemployment of minorities much higher than the national unemployment rate on 9.5,  you can see that this scenario is typical of what is and has been occurring all over America. The politicians will say that Americans need jobs, so the government sets out a jobs creation bill, enter the HIRE Act. It sounds reasonable, right?  Wrong. In most companies the executives, who are by-in-large Caucasians and who generally  occupy positions of authority, from executives down to supervisors, have a tendency to hire people who have “similar backgrounds to their own“.  As the economy grows more jobs will be created, but this squeezing out of minorities allows the overall unemployment numbers to stay high. This is what happens when you let the “Market Correct Itself“. This is what happens when you place your emphasis on “Hope”. This is what happens when we no longer pay attention. This is what happens when our elected officials stop working for the people and begin working for themselves. Ultimately, this is what happens when the wrong people are in charge.

President Barack Obama talks a lot about the 17 Billion in tax cuts to big business, he talks a lot about spurring on small businesses, but he never talks about race. He talks about incentives, and growth, but where are our incentives to grow as a nation? The real victims are more than voiceless masses and campaign slogans. These people vote, these people are hard working, law-abiding U.S. citizens and now they are victims of not only the recession, but racism as well. Surely this can’t be happening… maybe my examples can be explained in another way? Perhaps we just don’t want to confront the issue or maybe we no longer have the stomach for it. With regard to racism there are those of us that believe that this issue will just go away and there are those of us that know that this issue wont just go away.

These scenarios that I detailed have nothing to do with skill level or education, upon further examination you realize that many of these pharmacy  executives have little to no experience in the positions they are hired for and it goes without saying that minorities are promoted slower than Caucasians. Most pharmaceutical workers are intelligent,  nice and completely under appreciated not only by the corporations which employ them, but also by the customers they serve.

MG’s Health Word:

Long term use of (Proton Pump Inhibitors) PPIs can substantially increase your risk of fractures.
Today death caused by prescription drugs now out number traffic fatalities, yet law enforcement spends tax dollars on marijuana and alcohol.

(Generally speaking Heartburn means don’t eat that)

For Reference (White unemployment rate 8%, Latino 14%, Black 17%)

Ethics Sexism

This is the second part of my exploration into the Retail Pharmacy. I have spoken with doctors, pharmacist, technicians, managers and other professionals and what I discovered about the retail Pharmacy business is pretty shocking.  This report is not about the miss-fills and errors, because much of that is under control and minimal besides Night line has already done those type of reports. Those ABC reports will be nothing like this series of articles. Besides while ABC is doing its special report on “Shopping Carts” this information has to be told, how else are we going to talk about it.  This gathered information is from workers at the big chain pharmacies  Rite Aide, Walgreens and CVS/Pharmacy.

The retail pharmacies have various slogans make it seem like that are here to help the public, but really the only exist to help you maintain your condition. Recently they have told their employees that they will get a 6% raise, but only gave them 4% raise, this is despicable, it is a recession so who is going to complain. Sure the 700% mark-ups and $8 per pill dispensing fees are unreasonable. Merger after merger has made these companies so powerful that no one cares when the corporation cuts an employees clock-in grace period time from 7 to 3 minutes in order to save money, but who is actually paying attention.

Ethics

Most pharmacist are considered experts in their field. However, the opinion of pharmacist are disregarded by the pharmacy companies that employ them. When it comes to medications, the patient and the business suits always seem to know more than the pharmacist. Pharmacist are routinely told to fill prescriptions that they know are fake to bolster sales, that also includes the patients that are frequently over medicating.

Pharmacist are routinely told to switch customers from brand name drugs to generic drugs. They are told this for several reasons; One the pharmacy gets a bigger profit off of the generic drug and two it often provides the customer with little to no savings on their insurance. This practice is a win-win for both the pharmacy and insurance company.

For example: Your doctor writes you a prescription for Vytorin. Vytorin is a brand only drug that does not have a generic. The insurance company won’t cover, charges a much higher co-pay or just does not want to pay the higher amount for the Vytorin, so they instructs the pharmacist to call your doctor to change your Vytorin prescription to Zocor (Zocor’s generic is Simvastatin which they will pay for) . They will do this and tell you that it will save you money, but in actuality the pharmacist and insurance companies know that Simvastatin does not do the same thing as Vytorin.  The doctor only prescribed you Vytorin because some hot female drug rep came into his office and told them to do it. I am not a doctor, but this all could have been avoided because Zocor by itself should be tried first, this is common knowledge.

Conscience Clauses

If a pharmacist has an ethical, moral or religious objection to dispensing Emergency Contraception, or Abortion Pills, they will be coerced into doing so, or moved to the worst and often violent pharmacy locations. Not only are Moral and Ethical obligations taught in Pharmacy school The American Pharmacists Association policy “recognizes the individual pharmacist’s right to exercise conscientious refusal and supports the establishment of systems to ensure patient access to legally prescribed therapy without compromising the pharmacist’s right of conscientious refusal. States have and may pass laws that restrict religious expression, but that is another matter for the Supreme Court to argue in regard to “Conscience Clauses.” By the way those companies charge $50 for the Emergency contraception pill(s), but the same dosage in a different form is and has been available for years at less than $12. By marketing these companies are using your reproductive process against you. Don’t believe me look it up…

Books that are changing everything

Harassment

Pharmacist have been directed to sign up customers for various programs, sometimes this is done without the patient’s knowledge. The calls and messages can be unending. For example you may be placed in an automatic refill program, which automatically refills your prescription each month. This auto refill happens each month whether you need the medication or not, almost forcing the patient to pick up the medication. The understaffed pharmacy personell is instructed to call each patient at least 3-4 times per week to ask if they want or need their medications. On paper this seems like a good program, but most customers and pharmacist feel that it is harassment. Many customers feel that these companies are only reminding them that they have an illness, or a condition for profit. These programs are not designed to help patients, they are designed to keep them dependent on pharmaceuticals.

Merry-go-round

Pharmacies switch customers drugs as often as every two months. This is especially true if the patient is on Thyroid, Birth Control, High Blood Pressure and Diabetes medications. What happens is that the corporation will order whatever is the cheapest generic medication that quarter. That cheaper product is not always the medication that you are accustomed to, so you make end up medication that is a different size, different color, different shape or different tasting than the one you are used to.

Insurance Coverage

Retail pharmacies have been cutting their employee children insurance. They have done this by introducing a few new provisions, one of which states that “you can not arbitrarily cover your child if they do not live with you.” This provision only affect a small percentage of employees and most of them are men. The amount of verifications and hoop jumping employees have to go through to get their children covered is absurd.

Coupons

Yes we all have done it. Transfer your prescription out of one pharmacy and into another one just to get one of those $25 gift cards.  It’s a recession and people need the extra money.  However, these quarterly promotions do more than fill your pockets with gift cards.  Pharmacies run sophisticated computer software that automatically checks drug interactions chain wide. The problem arises when you transfer prescriptions from other chains, or back and forth from chain to chain. Moving your medication from one pharmacy chain to another actually increase your chances of having a drug interaction, because there is no way for the computer to check another chain’s computer database. This is another one of many concerns that have fallen on deaf ears.

Transfers

Lets say that you want to transfer a prescription from one pharmacy chain to another, sounds simple enough, right? Pharmacist have been instructed to either call the other pharmacy back, or to put them on hold, while they call the customer to convince them to not move their prescription. Sometimes this is done by using disparaging remarks about another retail chain, or just making it difficult for them to do so. Who wants to wait on their medication while these companies play a corporate numbers games with each another?

The public should have never let Corporate Pharmacies and big Pharm define the terms of the debate and legislative agenda. Most pharmaceutical workers are intelligent,  nice and completely under appreciated not only by the corporations which employ them, but also by the customers they serve.

MG’s Health Advice: The Pap Smear is not as accurate to detect cervical cancer and HPV. Right now there are 10 million people on daily prescription drugs, with no medical need. Every 16 minutes someone dies from prescription drug use.

“New drug doesn’t mean better drug. ”

Sexism Racism

Walgreens has announced that they will no longer honor CVS/Pharmacy drug plan.

It’s a new year which means it is also time once again for Hollywood to deny America’s racial diversity. This years’ white-washing of Hollywood films is nothing new. If you even mention the fact that minority actors, are being replaced, or that Anglo-Saxons are chosen instead of minorities for the sake of sales, you will be perceived as a dinosaur, or even a racist. And I could see you ripping people as being jaded or having some major type of issue, if  the white-washing were not occurring. However, the only thing happening is that Americans are now more willing to overlook racial intolerance and slights, especially on the internet, perhaps that is what is meant by Post-Racial. In America Post-Racial means being about to voice your racism without having to check it first and looking beyond racism, even when it is right in front of you. I routinely get the N-word dropped on me via Youtube, I can only assume that electronic anonymity somehow breeds courage.

best man holiday

Even though 2013 will go down as a historic year for black film, in terms of movies made, gone are the golden age of black of the ’90s Movies such as “House Party” “Boyz in the Hood”, “New Jack City” , “Juice”, “Poetic Justice”, “Boomerang”, “What’s Love Got to Do With It”, “Menace to Society” , “Set It Off”, ”Jason’s Lyric”, “Tales From the Hood”, “Friday”, “Above the Rim” , “Malcolm X”, “Waiting to Exhale” , “Love Jones”, “How Stella Got Her Groove Back”, “Brown Sugar”, “Bad Boys” “Life” and “The Best Man”. Today some black actors have felt the need to marry white to be accepted in Hollywood the case of The Best Man Holiday is a prime example of this. These actors are employed so this does work to a degree. For some actors even this co-opting method isn’t enough and it is usually met with notions of selling out. It’s not just black actors that are doing this.

Actors are well aware of just how prevalent the media’s white-washing is in our culture, I don’t need to mention the very egregious Harry Potter,  Twilight and Hunger Games series do I. The dominate culture overlooks this white washing because it’s inconsequential to their lives, but if a black Santa was placed in every shopping center around the country most white folks wouldn’t allow their children to take photos with him, white privilege is something minorities do not have and have been conditioned to accept.

It’s either accept the coded racial acting as with Toyota’s Swagger Wagon rap commercial, a T-Mobile spokesperson rapping, or it’s hyping Disney’s The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time or marry white or breed into the dominate white culture.

in 2010 The Book of Eli was released and it was for all intents and purposes was a “Black” film, but it was not marketed as such. In fact, one would have to say that Mila Kunis (Solara) was added to the film for the sole purpose of “whitening up” the cast for public consumption.

Avatar: The Last Airbender, was a popular cartoon long before it was made into a movie. However, the Native American and Asian cast of the cartoon somehow never made it into the movie. This movie has already been boycotted by several Asian groups. Even with boycotts they still casted Justin Chatwin to play Goku in the Dragon Ball: Evolution.

Kung Fu Panda 1 and 2 is one of the few movies to employ more than one Asian co-star Lucy Lu and Jackie Chan. It is a movie set in China that deal with Chinese themes, which doesn’t quite explain how Jack Black and Angelina Jolie get top billing in the Kung Fu Panda movies, a cartoon that only required their voice, could it be that they sound White… nope this decision was also based on being white because Lucy Lu’s voice has no ethnic distinction. After all the children must be brainwashed early.

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We can see the marketing in making sure that Aquaman,  Jason Momoa has his shirt off for 20% of the films run time, or that Mera, Amber Heard, is in a tight green body suit and is the only person in Atlantis that has powers.

We learn that Atlantis is off the cost of Africa, yet none of the Atlanteans  have brown skin. Ocean Master worked with all of the white skin kingdoms, but as soon as he came across the non-white skin tone kingdom, he immediately murders King Ricou, which happens to be voiced by Djimon Hounsou, and threatens the young queen. Then he wages all out war on the Brine kingdom, just because they look like crabs.

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Much in the same way Wonder Woman had audiences going back to theater two and three times, below average films like Venom and Aquaman also accomplished this. These film became successful because they gave the audience a white superhero to root for. These films, especially Aquaman performed beyond expectations overseas, while a film like Black Panther performed poorly.

They constantly green light films that involve time periods and places where they don’t have to worry about diversity. Apparently relegating minorities to sports or making them mutants just isn’t enough. “Wonder Woman 1984” and “Captain Marvel” (1995) are films set in time periods were “minorities were starting to come into their own, but obviously not enough to be the hero only a side kick.

In the movie Wanted (2008)  Angelina Jolie was cast as the female lead, although the comic book character “Fox” is clearly black, she has also played the roles of Cleopatra and Mariane Pearl.

Disney’s Frog Princess (2009) relegated the “Black” princess to a frog for 70 percent of the movie, thereby completely ignoring race. Disney is smart. Avatar “the #1 movie of all time”, is another movie completely about race and ethic revolts that is resolved by whites. They once again save the ignorant native people…faster than you can you say Dances with Wolves.

The Prince of Persia:  The Sands of Time has taken white washing to a whole new level. Prince of Persia had its roots as a popular video game that stars a Middle Eastern hero. Since this was a well established games series the studios didn’t  have to do much, they just took everything from the game… everything except the Middle Eastern hero.Instead Disney decided to cast the Swedish-Jewish Jake Gyllenhall as the hero Dastan, complete with a British accent.

By using video games and comic books as a base, studios have room to move when it comes to story line and plot, but if you are a director why play to the fickle whims of a psychotic nation? Are they afraid of color, or perhaps Hollywood saying that only Caucasians have sex in the city either.

Hollywood is vindicated for their white-washing method when the public whole heartedly accepts an all white cast has to struggle for civil-rights as they have done with the X-Men series. This Hollywood racial ideal does not just apply to cartoons or movies based on comics, think about it and while you’re thinking about that remember the X-Men comic books aree based entirely off of Blacks, their plight, specialness and struggle for acceptance as Stan Lee put it.

X-Men: First Class doesn’t have one African-American starring in it, this  is particularly egregious because the Professor X and Magneto are specifically based on civil rights leaders Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King. If I didn’t tell you, you would you have known… now you can look at X-Men First Class differently.

Hollywood finds people of color in abundance when the role is that of a thug, drug deal or a terrorist, but it enters a people of color desert when the role is that of the main character. This acceptability is everywhere often it’s subtle such as, when Zoe Zaldana says something like “I’m Dominican, Lebanese, Indian, Irish, Jamaican.” Then she turns around and plays the role of African-American freedom fighter Nina Simone (Eunice Kathleen Waymon).

Of course Captain America has to be the All-American White Boy… And Green Lantern too? On second thought why isn’t Captain America Asian?

In Tropic Thunder Robert Downey Jr. received acclaim from portraying a black man.

This Couple’s Retreat poster’s racism is so blatant, there is no need for me to comment.

The reality is that any actor can go from the bed to the screen, it just so happens that the majority that do are White actors. Maybe there are fewer minorities in film because minorities refuse the “casting couch” audition. In Hollywood white actors are elevated to icon status when they convincingly play a minority. This practice in Hollywood is as common as recycling story lines and casting couches.

There is a lot of history behind this Racebending practice, John Wayne played Genghis Khan. Yul Bynnner played a Thailand King and an Egyptian Pharaoh Rameses II. Charlton Heston played the Hebrew Moses. Al Pacino played Puerto Ricans. Mickey Rooney played Asian characters, so why can’t Johnny Depp is play Tonto, a Native American, in the The Lone Ranger movie. As a nation you would think that we have made strides to get past this, but sadly we haven’t. An Asian guy can’t be an Avenger or else the film might lose viewership…

The next time you go grocery shopping look at the covers of America’s most popular magazine and you will see constant reminders that Americans just won’t pay to see minorities on stage or in print. In fact those magazine almost pornographic in have they usually have almost nude women on the covers. The should be displayed in the back of the store and not in the front so all of the children and be brainwashed.

I would like to say that this is a time in America where blacks don’t have to be represented as aliens, mutants, comedic relief or sports personalities. I would like to say that putting minorities, that represent America, on the cover of a magazine that everyone buys won’t decrease your sales. I would like to say that these entertainment leaders are not pushing an ideal, but I can’t say it and neither can you, see how Donald Trump has been able to stroke the latent racial fires within people.

They even White-Washing the #Metoo movement. This movement is ostracizing people and forcing studios to green light films with women directors and women leads. A black woman started the movement, but since then it was taken over by white women, white women who have also been abusing and harassing other actors.

Thandie Newton who has been on the front lines speaking out against Hollywood’s harassment of women for decades wasn’t allowed to participate with these movements, or benefit from them because “I wasn’t hot enough. I wasn’t mainstream enough, and I wasn’t going to be at the Oscars this year…” Newton said. Ms. Newton went this far, she should have just said, “I wasn’t white enough.”  but I think we get the picture.

This racial agenda is not unexpected from an industry that had Mel Gibson as one of its top stars, but at least Mel Gibson was being honest. If Mel Gibson were a Black Man his arse would have already been facing charges, ask Chris Brown. Meanwhile, you  have Liam Neeson, patrolling black neighborhood with a gun, daring anyone to cross his path, because he’s upset. And Michelle Rodriguez defending him by saying “Liam isn’t racist he’s too good of a kisser.”

When America has a Lebanese-American Miss America, in the age of President Obama and Will Smith is Hollywood’s biggest actor, it is surprising that white-washing is still as prevalent, yet it seems that looking the other way is even more prevalent. In many ways Hollywood’s practice of white-washing is actually an acknowledgment of America’s deep racial disturbance.

Black actresses who passed used to get movies roles, but now even they wont get a staring movie role unless they are White-Acceptable. Strong Black male roles in Hollywood have been defacto outlawed. Black Men can’t seem to star in Hollywood unless they have been willing to cross-dressing, ask Tyler Perry, Martin Lawrence, Eddie Murphy, Wesley Snipes, Tracy Morgan, Vinh Rhames, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Hart and others.

When black males don dresses it isn’t for an artistic award winning role like Mrs. Doubtfire, apparently it is hysterical when black men dress up like women, it shows the dominate culture you are willing to do anything they ask of you… Thanks Dave Chappelle for not having a price. It may come as a shock but Black Men want to be portrayed as men. If you want to work in Hollywood, of course you have to help with the brain washing agenda, so if  the script says that you wear a dress, then you wear a dress and who wrote the script?

Hollywood must have commissioned some studies or reports that said, if they want the masses to spend their money on a product, most of the characters must be white, why else would they do it? Going to Middle Earth, you must be white. Visiting far off planets, oh we need a white representative for that. A story about Mongols, just drop a white guy in the middle of it.

Perhaps because people of color can’t see themselves being bested by a brainless zombie that can’t run, jump or hide, maybe they don’t see themselves being hacked to death by a slow walking madman in the woods, or swimming a river full of piranhas, or doing any number of stupid things that white actors get paid to do to build movie tension. Maybe they figure that the whites wont accept white actors being told what to do by Black ones. Perhaps, there is an unwritten industry rule that has cap on the amount of minorities you can have on stage, screen, on a magazine cover.

In 2016, Dawn of Justice, which is really Man of Steel II, Laurence Fishburne stars and was given six minutes of screen time only so their wouldn’t be any flack. Just one in Black person and they are usually comic relief or backing up a White star.

Face it, White America will never get over their racial fixation, they just won’t let it go. Right down to Jim Sturgess portraying Hae-Joo Chang in “Cloud Atlas” in prosthetics and yellow face no less. These things are not mere slights they are conscious acts, scripts have been stolen from Blacks (see The Matrix, Terminator) and Blacks have been written of out of roles to be replaced by whites. When you interview the directors they always say “I don’t know if it is a stereotype”, “It was done in fun” or “I have a good relationship with the Blacks”.

This is precisely the kind of attitude that makes people celebrate racially coded actions, and place human racial issues on non-humans, it’s just easier to deal with that way. In Hollywood, minorities can’t be Vampires, Wizards or fight Dragons. It is Hollywood that tells us that Black people can not hip-hop dance and act at the same time, as if there is any kind of acting in those high school musical, prom, bridesmaid or dance films.

Hollywood is a White Industry, it has always had an agenda or two and white-washing is something that the upcoming movie The Expendables seeks to capitalize on in a big way. The Expendables is a movie filled with once premiere names in the ass-kicking, action hero genre (1 Asian, 1 Black, 1 Woman, 2 Hispanics and 57 Whites), which is odd because the movies mostly takes place in South America.

The director of the Expendable films, Sylvester Stallone, throws us a racial bones as he picked Terry Crews for the black action hero role. I like Terry Crews, but he has never been an action hero, unless he is saving you from sweat and odor as he does in his Old Spice commercials. I am sure that he was selected  because of his new sit-com, Are We There Yet? Of course, the logical choice would be Michael Jai White or even Wesley Snipes, since the theme is once popular action heroes. This decision was obviously based on money and popularity, which is somewhat understandable. However, Hollywood’s sexism and racism is baseless.

According to George Lucas it took 23 years of writing and rewriting to get the movie “Red Tails” made. He said that Hollywood wouldn’t make it because it wasn’t green. “It didn’t have a major white protagonist role. I made this movie so that teenage boys would have heroes.” The latter part of the Lucas’ statement was telling in that it appears that black producers no longer have the guts to bring real black hero movies to Hollywood, or to make real relevant honest movies, due the they years of being told those movies aren’t green enough.

The studios consider a 20 million dollar investment, in a movie about the legendary Tuskegee  Airmen, real American heroes to be a risky investment. The first all black action movie, you’d never figure that Star War’s George Lucas would bring it to the forefront. Was is also funny is that if the movie doesn’t financially overwhelm, movie studios will be even less likely to green light movies by Black filmmakers for Black audiences.

Straight Outta Compton

Even a good film like Straight outta Compton, The NWA rap group’s bio-picture which did well at the domestic box office was not pushed overseas. Hollywood let this film languish overseas as if only North Americans are influence by hip-hop and hip-hop culture. This limited the total for the film, why was this done? As the leaked Sony emails say Hollywood feels that “Black issues and stars don’t translate well overseas”. Is that so, or maybe you don’t want them to translate well…

Who is covered up?

(Just shut up and be glad they are doing a black superhero film…geez)

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“Meow”…is this what a super powerful leader of a nation would say?

On a side note Michael Jai White has been getting the shaft for years. Hollywood has opted to half train, spend millions on CGI, and hire new white male action heroes, when Michael White holds seven black belts, yet he somehow he never gets that big action flick, and it’s a damn shame too ’cause Michael Jai White kicks much butt.

There are plenty of Latino and Black actors, not to mention women that can play any of these roles a white actor is given. Is Hollywood right on, or is just giving the American public the races they crave? If you put too many non-whites on the cover of anything the masses will walk by it thinking “That’s not for me”.  That’s why there is no black Jesus, Moses, Noah, superman, spider man, batman or any other heroic man with a following. I am frankly surprised that they haven’t had Cliff Curtis playing  an Asian, Middle Eastern and a Latino all in the same film. Michael Peña is finally getting some long overdo shine.

For some reason those in entertainment believe that the public must be coddled and greased up into accepting dark heroes and heroines. If you look at 1998’s “Blade” grossed 131 million on a 40 million dollar budget. The film starred Wesley Snipes as a kick ass superhero vampire hunter. Blade proved to Marvel and Hollywood that big budget comic book superhero films were indeed viable productions. Of course Wesley couldn’t be the front man for X-Men and Avenger blockbusters, he was timely jailed and forgotten for killing whites on film with a smile.

Wesley made Marvel's the Avengers possible

Shortly after Blade, enter 2002’s blockbuster Spider and the billion dollar grossing Marvels’ The Avengers in 2012. Of course people will say they are unrelated, because they don’t want to address it, but it is there.

Some would even argue that point, but those are the same people who went shopping this week and saw dozens of magazines filled with half naked whites on the cover in front of dozen of minority eyes. These are the same people who wouldn’t take their child to see The Frog Princess, but affectionately and proudly speak of seeing Cinderella,  Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. You know who those people are. They are the ones who talk about bank ability or marketability or an actor knowing full well that it is just another code word because the explanation is not politically correct. They are the same people that would argue that “Minority” movies don’t make as much as white-led movies, well actually that is correct, because they actually more profitable.

She's non-white alright

People love Jennifer Lawrence’s portrayal of Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games, who according to the book is described as ‘non-white, with dark, olive skin’…go figure.

Hunger Games was a big hit; people who read the books and fell in love with and cared about the characters were disappointed in the movie. Why? Even though the book described Rue as a black character, readers created an image of that character in their minds, they created an image they could connect with an image they could love. So when fans of the book saw a black face on screen…they threw up in their collective mouths. There are people who will argue about the authenticity of a movie’s story-line or character. But if you have seen these movies you know that it has nothing to do with acting. Hollywood has and can make the least talented person a house hold name.

If we are all equal why does Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Green Lantern, Thor and similar heroes have to look or be white? I guess not many black actors want to play impotent superheroes these days. Look at how many reiterations of Batman there have, and he’s not a super hero and he’s impotent, but he embodies white fantasies, you he will stay on the big screen.

For now only whites be pirate captains?…hmmm don’t tell the Somali’s that. Look at the half-Ethiopian character of Nora in “Warm Bodies”, played by the very white Analeigh Tipton or Tony Mendez, played by Ben Affleck, in the Academy Award Winning “Argo”.  Very soon a white director or white producer will soften their racial heart and put a minority in a traditional white role like James Bond or something remotely popular, it will be applauded and hailed as ground breaking. Whenever that day comes will it undo the hundred or so years of generational racial conditioning?

Part Novel, Part Graphic Novel, All Vampire

You will are bombarded with a mix of sexism, archetypes, internalized stereotypes, negative racial feelings and misplaced empathy whenever you enter a movie theater. Any American, except for Ron Paul, will say that they are against discrimination. However, most people are unaware that subconsciously everything they watch and spend money on has everything to do with race and in many cases enables racial bias.

Racial biases can transferred through screens both small and large, from hearts and mind, words and actions and right into our children. You believe in equality, but somehow you prefer one race over another… where did you get that from? Post-Racial…not a chance, “White-Acceptance” more likely. Hollywood, The Media and magazines have been feeding the masses a steady and constant diet of “White-Acceptable” people from Vin Diesel, Rosario DawsonMaya RudolphDwayne Johnson, Jessica AlbaDrake, Nicki Minaj, Thandie Newton, Soledad O’Brein, Rihanna, Rashida Jones, Zoe Saldana, Amy Holmes and others, with the Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin poised to be the new face of the NBA.

They take time period pieces like say the huge Pirates of the Caribbean movie series, where there are no blacks, so they can’t be captains. The closest that series has come to even using the term black is when they say “Black Light’ and “Black Beard”, this series does uses Soldana in a small out of place role. Middle Earth, Hogwarts and all of the forest towns  that crawl with vampires are devoid of minorities; even in the imaginary and alternative universes.

I am not advocating the boycott of any film like the God of Egypt, because even if the studio losses money… it’s still a write off, why do you think hey aren’t concerned with making a better product. It’s not enough to make a Facebook page on the subject because the brain-washing is so constantly ubiquitous.

America needs to talk about how the media and entertainment has warped and distorted what beauty is, but instead of talking about it we have swept this shift to White-Acceptability under the rug .

The conversation is deep and long, so I am pretty sure that Americans wont have the stomach to discuss it.  Instead of Hollywood focusing on internal frames, story lines and jump cuts it chooses to engage in these racebending practices to profit off of internalized racial biases, and perhaps that is the real Hollywood Shuffle.

Due to movement the MeToo and TimesUp movement Hollywood is casting based on agenda appeal. They are casting based on who checks the most boxes for film appeal. White-Check, Female-Check, Blonde-Check, Pretty-Check, Movement Affiliation-Check, Acting-? and you can forget about the movie script, they don’t even have to make sense they just need to check the boxes as well.

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Movie ticket sales are at a 25 year low, I know the articles show huge box office numbers, that’s the number they can manipulate. That’s the point, ticket prices can be changed, people can be manipulated and theaters have 3-D options, IMAX,etc and this inflates the ticket prices. Movie going was once dominated by males and so were ticket purchases, now weekly 2 million women and 1.8 million men to the theater.  Many of these are dates, where the men, even if they don’t want to see a film have to purchase a ticket. Also, studies show that women are more  likely to attend events in large groups, so Hollywood’s casting appeals to this metric.

Hollywood is no longer trying to build films with good scripts, amazing casts and good directors. They are in the business of appeasing agendas and subverting expectations. The significantly lower ticket sales, say this is not working, so they will always lean on 1st week box office numbers. Will Smith was cast in Disney’s live action remake of Aladdin, and was first shown as a big blue genie, everyone got upset. The movie did great and Smith as good as the genie. These live action remakes are safe bets to appease agendas.

The remake of The Lion King, features Beyonce as Nala and Donald Glover as Simba, less of a risk as these two performers are talented, but the casting still caused a stir, but the following of these two individuals mitigated it. Beyonce’s fans have been noted for being feminist and especially rabid when it comes to disagreeing with others. Disney announced that Ariel from The Little Mermaid would be played by relative unknown and Beyonce protege Halle Bailey, who can sing, and social media is losing their marbles over it. It more in your face than casting Asian characters, and filming in Asian countries but but it’s all marketing…all of it.

imagesWhy cast a black woman to play Ariel?

It makes a splash, it upsets people, who will rant, rave and post about all things Little Mermaid for a year. Even the racist, anti-black stuff is good for advertising. If Disney was sincerely trying to be progressive, everyone in the cast of these films would be Black, Asian or Transgender. So Disney is calculating how much they can get away with and and still appear agenda-forward.

Ariel’s parents would be black mermaids, which would indicate that they have a black society, let’s see how Disney handles that. This is the kind of white acceptability we are on to now, if not why is Disney doing this in piece-meal fashion. Disney is using public “outrage” to sell tickets and for marketing. This acceptability is also why Samuel L. Jackson co-starred in Disney’s subpar film Captain Marvel, 60-Minutes did a lifetime piece of him weeks after. Strange that it took 30 years, over 200 films to finally get that 60-minutes piece but maybe there is nothing to see here.

Side Note: The Karate Kid (starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan) debuts at #1 with 58 Million. This 58 Million dollar number is of note for several reasons. For a non 3 day weekend the 58 Million for The Karate Kid sets the record for the highest grossing opening box office total for a minority movie  in history. However, half of the usual sites that report box office totals by 2pm on Sunday didn’t report it. Maybe it has something to do with the stars of the film, if it doesn’t I hope someone can tell me why this this “unusual” occurrence in box office reporting happened? Yahoo put up the box office report 5 hours later than normal and it was right after the Lakers/Celtics game…
Movies with a mixed cast like “Fast Five”,’ Fast Six” are beginning to change the game for movie goers. It this trend picks up and continues, a slightly color stuck society may be on the horizon.

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