Friday, December 3, 2010

About This Jonesing…


It’s interesting.  My friend, Zenzile, decided to start this blog as a way of giving people like us an opportunity to express ourselves freely.  Honestly, it had to be a whim of hers in the midnight hour while she dreamed wide awake about the lives we are chasing.  In a sense, she was straight jonesing then…..desiring a rich life full of music, art, literature, revolution…and oh yes, love.  I agreed to contribute because my musings about this Love Jones Lifestyle could potentially help me push out my second stage play, Honey’s Kitchen.  At the center of  the story is the high-minded concepts of love and revolution in which one cannot exist without the other.  Think about it.

Can’t have a revolution without love…..and love has always been revolutionary.  The latter point is something that apparently many are forgetting as we continue our treks on this side of the world, hunting for love and all of its splendor.  Essentially, revolution is about change…and nothing changes people more than love.  Ok, follow me, over the weekend, a couple of my friends and I were enjoying our Saturday night so much that we didn’t want it to end right away – so we caught the 9:30pm showing of the animated feature, Mega Mind.  Yes. I know.  Here’s three educated, well-rounded men and women sitting in the theater enjoying a family flick in 3-D.  So, you wanna make something of it?  Hey, sometimes even the deepest of us don’t want to bask in profundity every single damn day. 

Anyway, not to give away the story, but  it hinged on how a person has the choice of being good or evil.  The main character was the villain  who eventually became the hero – and his choice to turn around came about as a result of love.  Things change when love is present and whether embraced or denied, it always comes with good intentions.  Never mind the bullshit we see in pop culture addled with all of its melodrama.  Those iffy, illogical stories leave much to be desired as they are largely based on simplistic notions that even my six year old niece can analyze.  In today’s  dizzying times, the idea of love has become a passive uncreative parade of lustful thoughts twisted together with urban euphemisms (think: FWB – Friends With Benefits which has replaced the age-old label of  ‘Lovers’) and anchored by wack ass lyrics served over looped tracks dubbed erroneously as ‘love songs’.   Somewhere between Trey Songz and Jerry Springer, the concept of love is a mind numbing experience—robbed completely of its vitality and power. 

You see, love and revolution inspires action.  It ain’t no way in hell one can be loved seriously and somehow is unable to come into another awareness;  thus moving differently.  Revolution will not allow anyone to sit still, or else, it’s counterrevolutionary.  If there is not an urgency for change through the undergirding of love, then it is not love nor is it revolutionary.  At the same time, if revolution is not motivated by love, then it is an attempt at tyranny. 

What is the point?  Simple.  If you’re gonna do some jonesing, then do so under the right premise.  Jonesing is nothing more than a synonym for lusting.  We’ve all been taught that lust is a bad thing, however, anything with the improper motive can be deemed detrimental.  If lust clouds our moral judgment, then Houston we have a problem.  But, there is such a thing as having a healthy lust.  We can have a lust for life – now what’s so bad about that?  So, come on everyone, let’s jones unashamedly for love and revolution so we can make this world a better place. 

I’ll stop here for the sake of pondering more, but I will indeed revisit this concept.  It just may take another course when I  pick it up again.  Until then, continue to enjoy the Love Jones Lifestyle.

P.S. Here’s the mood music for my abstract ramblings on this post. 

Andreya Triana–Lost Where I Belong

Nicki Minaj: Modern Day Hottentot....

Nicki Minaj on Regis and Kelly

Love Jones Lifestyle is all about imagine our shock when emcee/performance artist Nicki Minaj appeared on the Regis and Kelly show and was transformed from artist into modern day Hottentot Venus.

While everyone else is focused on what is being called "Bootygate" due to Regis' tapping of Nicki's ass, We were more concerned with the comprehensive objectification of Nicki...Both Regis AND Kelly participate in transforming Nicki into a modern day Sara "Saartjie" Baartman aka the Hottentot Venus. While Regis examines the construction of Nicki's dress, a veiled lead into his groping/slapping/grasping of her posterior, Kelly asks what happens, then leads into a discussion of Nicki's waist measurements. In its entirety, Nicki becomes a museum like display of physical wonder. She is no longer an artist, emcee, singer or performer, but a body.

Regis and Kelly's reaction serves to perpetuate an assault on Black Women's bodies. To see this objectification from both male and female genders of the White race shows that there has been little progress in terms of white males outlooks on Black women's bodies, and also white women.

As opposed to taking a genuine interest in Minaj's art, the bulk of the attention of the interview is focused upon her physical attributes. Even the established artist and business man Lil' Wayne is given short shrift when Regis refers to him as Nicki's "friend"...Wayne is Nicki's boss, he is her CEO, he has groomed her and allowed for her entrance into the industry from the "underground"...but he is still referred to, in a disrespectful, nearly inconsequential way by Regis.

Overall, the power of a national forum, granted by their show allows these two personalities to enact dominant white racialized fantasy by neither acknowledging Minaj's talent nor Wayne's business saavy. Both despite their success, professionalism and talent are reduced to mere slivers of themselves...

In this case we clearly see the devaluation of the Black Artist. In this climate...where the artist is not seen as a serious do you produce? How do artists maintain their respect as artists when they are still seen as a spectacle?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

World AIDS Day

The LoveJonesLifestyle is all, truth, honesty, and speaking ones deepest sentiments...therefore, on today, World AIDS Day, we have to address a key conversation that was missing in the storyline between Darius and Nina...although set in the late nineties, we never see the couple have what we here at LJL like to call the GROWN UP SEX TALK.

Why, what is the GROWN UP SEX TALK you ask? It's exactly what it states. It's the process by which grown ups...yes you.. sit down with a potential new partner, and discuss your collective sexual history (have you been abused/assaulted?, other partners at the moment, sexual orientation), STI/HIV status, sexual preferences, what to do in case of an "accident," and forms of protection that you use or plan to use. This talk happens LONG before actual sex takes place, and in a neutral, emotionally secure space. When we first put together the G.U.S.T., team member Bobby Earl, and I left the list of questions as they appear. However, I'd like to add, that the end of the GROWN UP SEX TALK should include setting a joint appointment for testing.

Make it a priority to know your status...find a testing location HERE  Get more information on World AIDS Day and educate yourself on the facts.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


The Love Jones Lifestyle sounds like....The Charlie Parker Beat Tape*. Why, you ask? because it's a mixture of Harlem Renaissance era cultural creation, and hip hop era sensibilities. Both carry the voice of our people while simultaneously engaging in conversation with each other, creating a polyphonic conversation that takes us back to our roots. The Love Jones Lifestyle team is made up of "real", "regular folks"...we hail from the country, are first generation urban, or not urban identified at all. We live on the coast, mountains, near rancheros and simultaneously amongst urban blight and gentrification, some of us live in multiple spaces and places geographically, and always occupy multiple spaces socially.

Yes, we promote a lifestyle, but, really what we promote is much deeper than that. I am a Libra on the Zodiac, and one of the Libra qualities is that one's love of beauty and nature would can cause one to be seen as superficial. I don't want this blog space to be taken as such. Indeed the Love Jones Lifestyle is about beauty, love, art, creativity, politics and community. All of these require intense commitment, focus, understanding, maturity and a critical mind/eye. Therefore, do not mistake the lifestyle for one in which "reality" is forsaken. is a communal space, just like the friends at the table, calling forth truth. It is a space of creation, like the jazz lounge. It is a space where we think, speak, and do.

We urge one another forth in seeking solutions to our community's problems...we push one another into fulfilling our dreams...we define success on our own terms...we believe that healthy spaces between black families, friends, and lovers do exist, and we revel in those spaces. Love Jones, the film simply provides a template for one slice of life...Enjoy the gifts.

 *shout out to the folks at and HEXSAGON

Monday, November 29, 2010

Why LoveJonesLifestyle?

Love Jones Lifestyle was started because we believe in living the dream. We want to follow our passion whether it be through relationships, our art, community work, skills, talent or activism. We believe in being fluid, free and optimistic enough to know that in the end, everything works out blissfully. We follow the example set forth by Darius and makes life beautiful and love makes life full. We suggest taking big bites, filling life with friends, family, laughter, food and sharing. We do it all, from creating, to loving, to parenting, to gigging, to working, speaking, confessing, and sometimes just trying...We hail from the South and we love it!! We are committed to going where the muse guides us, and we invite you to join us too! How do YOU live the Love Jones Lifestyle?