Dave Chappelle & Neil DeGrasse Tyson Want the Community to See Old Things in New Ways – #HometownChat

Hot Shot (Old-School): “Real Talk with Industry Players and Biz Leaders”
– Dave Chappelle, Comedy Genius

Hot Shot (New-School): “Real Talk with Industry Players and Biz Leaders”
– Kendrick Lamar, Hip Hop Lyricist

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#HometownChat – “Smart Community, Special Service, Civic Dreams”

Over the past few days buzz had been building about FBI Director James Comey’s visit to Congress. He was invited to give updates about any ongoing investigations. There was a lot riding on his words. That’s also true for Dave Chappelle and Neil DeGrasse Tyson. They want us to see old things in new ways.

Chappelle is remembered for leaving Comedy Central for a period of ‘awakening.’ He’d say he left $50 million dollars behind but travelled millions of miles in social awareness. He’s set to return in a big way after signing a $60 million dollar stand-up comedy showcase deal. Many can’t wait to hear him again.

Tyson, known for his wide-eyed science talks, is not so much making a comeback. He’s concerned about the recent federal government budget proposal that’s sending shock waves across the country. He thinks the cuts might hold us back or do harm to America’s core ideals of life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness.

It’s hard to imagine but when you listen to Chappelle explain his return it’s almost as if he’s gone from caterpillar to butterfly. But in the concerns being raised by Tyson it seems the budget proposal would take us as a community and nation from ‘Edge of Great’ to ‘Corner of Deflate.’ It’s in competing forces where:

  1. The heartless play with politics as if in a villain reality (VR).
  2. The spineless move within the ‘inner circles’ of an underhand reality.
  3. The woke-a-bees live to serve a greater good in a conscious reality.
  4. The MODD Squad works from block to boardroom in a purposeful reality (PR).

The general opinion by political analysts and experts on the first 60 days of the new administration is pretty unflattering. Whether it’s in approval ratings or FBI statements, there’s a lot to be desired. Some believe we’re hovering somewhere between a dream and a nightmare depending who is telling the story.

It’s a nightmare if there’s more than enough money set aside for bombs but not enough money set aside for books. It would be a dream if HBCUs get the money to go along with the photo op and Meals-on-Wheels doesn’t get a notice to stop. If things become a ‘shell game’ we might need a war on heartless.

As everyday people try to understand proposed changes in healthcare some ask ‘who’s looking out for whom?’ It’s hard not to wonder who’s doing the con and who’s just like the chameleon. Some officials say the new measure will make their plan the best healthcare that money can buy. Others say that’s a lie.

One way to know who’s right and who’s really fudging is to think about the difference between a con and a chameleon. One changes color to protect itself the other to enrich itself. Plus, even-though a chameleon has a backbone it can be ‘spineless,’ moving & breathing within the inner circles of an underhand reality.

Chappelle kinda disappeared from the scene and lived in South Africa for a time. He says he wanted to step back and see the big picture. He calls this time of his life a ‘crisis of conscience’ which gave him a greater sense for his main purpose in comedy, life’s greater purpose and our nation’s legacy purpose.

neil-degrasse-tyson

Who knows what Chappelle’s fan club is called these days. But those in community who can relate are among the woke-a-bees. He and Tyson use their professional background not just for making money but also making a difference. It’s serving a greater good as others from years past did in a conscious reality.

That’s how some might remember the TV series of the MODD Squad. This was a mixed group of individuals from different races and backgrounds. They had their own personal issues of setbacks or legal run-ins to deal with but found ways to use their talent to effect change from the block to the boardroom.

In one sense, the thing that put the MODD in their Squad was that they were a ‘mix of dreamers and doers.’ That’s not something new to community but it’s looking at old things in new ways as Community 3.0.  What they did then wasn’t so much based on superior gifting as it was on superior citizenship.

With politics there’s often talk of the Super-pacs where money comes to bear on the process. There’s also the Super-Delegate whose vote during Presidential elections seems to have some higher standing. In Community 3.0, there’re reasons to rock and roll like the way the MODD Squad did as super citizens.

Chappelle was invited by a university in South Carolina that renovated an auditorium in his family’s honor. At that event he talked about the legacy of his great-grandfather with whose work he was still making life connections. The thing he admired most was how his ancestors helped to created a ‘community way.’

Tyson and Chappelle want us to hold on to the things that matter. They would want us to see and pursue a way where social issues are treated as a public service not a political strategy. They’d want us to know we are the people to challenge folks when others get left out or left behind by those who’re just heartless.

Groove-tracks: Kanye West – Heartless – https://youtu.be/Co0tTeuUVhU

Ziggy Marley – We Are The People – https://youtu.be/rSmedYjTI_8

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Kanye West Looks to Turn the Corner on His Bravado with Insightful Lingo

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Trivia: Which Hollywood Director says he’s going to make his own Tupac movie? (Answer below)

Time Magazine recently announced its Time 100 List of the 100 most influential people. Many of the names to be expected were on that list, from Business to Sports to Showbiz. The event had a headline performance by Kanye West who looks to turn the corner on his bravado with insightful lingo.

West has been giving interviews to various media outlets as he launches a fashion line and is set to drop his next album. He’s been expanding his empire before and even moreso since marrying into the Kardashian family. His interview highlights are reminders that West is as much complex as he his caring.

In his chat with MTV he said “if everything I did failed – which it doesn’t, it actually succeeds – just the fact that I’m willing to fail is an inspiration. People can’t say I’m not trying, or not trying my hardest, or not trying to do the best way I know how.” It’s as if West is saying you’ve gotta stay hungry.

He tells the New York Times about a table in his home. He hates the table because it doesn’t really fit in the flow of things no matter how it’s moved around. He relates that table to his ego. No matter what’s put around it, under it, photographed with it, it seems to spoil the flow. He’s more mindful of being humble.

West joked with Lee Daniels at the event about not stealing from his act for the hit show Empire. He wants people to see he’s human, not simply as a hip-hop artist but as a cultural game-changer and social ambassador. Michael Eric Dyson might say it’s in Kanye’s DNA to mix bravado and lingo.

Answer: John Singleton

Julianne Hough’s Halloween Costume Went Up In Smokes

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Trivia: What’s the name of the actress who plays “Crazy Eyes” in a Netflix series? (Answer below)

Halloween is in the air with lots of costumes to judge. The early favorite seems to be a Miley Cyrus flashback to the VMAs. Of-course, there are the usual suspects of a more tame variety. This is a time when ghosts and goblins might show up in jokes. Well, Julianne Hough’s costume went up in smokes.

She attended a L.A. party in blackface dressed as “Crazy Eyes.” That’s a Character from the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black.” The show is set in an environment with orange jumpsuits and the like. The costume backlash blew-up on social media. Hough has since apologized for offending others.

The history of Halloween and blackface makes this an interesting situation. One evolved out of a Christian-influenced tradition rooted in remembering the dead. The latter one deals with a 19th century social practice of demeaning black people. For Hough to bring them together might make secular sense.

But let’s flip the scrip and look at a different combination related to spiritual sense. Whether you dress-up or not, it’s important to play-up one’s anointing and covering. Your anointing is that special gifting that makes you rock. Your covering is that special authority that instructs and protects how you rock and roll.

It seems Hough had the idea to show-up in a costume that would be seen as popular. But instead she was received in a way that was controversial. How people feel about “Orange is the New Black” is for another day. But every day there’s a true calling that’s trying to get out of many an inner prison.

Tip: Your true calling might start out as spiritual and end up as secular or social but can keep its original intent if it contributes a benefit that has soul-force popularity.

Answer: Uzo Aduba