Monday, July 02, 2007

When You Can't Find Anything of Value to Watch on Television - Don't Stop Surfing

As I physically and psychologically prepared myself to endure the 2007 BET Awards Show I began to think about why I vehemently dislike BET’s version of an award show. After about two minutes of thinking I came to one realization: The Black Entertainment Television Award Show is not really produced to award people for their craft. Yes, entertainers receive the coveted and Best Whatever awards, but the most popular elements of the show are the performances. This is what everyone wants to see and witness; and BET knows this. Not the Life Time Achievement Award and Humanitarian Award presentations. When this special time of honorary came most of us got up from our comfortable positions, relieved ourselves, and/or found something fattening to chew on for the remainder of the fabulous marathon. ‘How do you know this, Muata? Hey, I really don’t know what you did when Diana Ross was being honored. Just speculating and doing something I should not: Assume. Nonetheless, I can tell you what I did: I muted the television. I was not interested in being bombarded with Diana Ross’s musical achievements. Was not feeling it. I do respect Mrs. Ross. I just could have cared less about her during my time and moment of needing entertainment. Considering I don’t go to one of these mega churches down here in Atlanta, I have to get my entertainment in at every possible opportunity.

Opportunity is what I was looking for throughout my time of viewing a few of the performances. I needed a reason to find something else to watch on this night. I needed something inspirational or funny; not interludes of feeling embarrassed by an act of stupidity; and definitely not something that would make me feel like destroying my tube television. But, ravaging my TV is what I felt like doing when I channel surfed back to that three hour lip-synching concert on BET. Thanks to 50 Cent I had an out. The opportunity presented itself! After his performance I knew it was time for me to stop the index finger workout with my remote control. So, I settled on a show that proved to be touching and little more substantive.

I know exactly what some of you are thinking: Can Muata ease-up a little and enjoy himself? While that question rolls around in your head please be reminded that enjoyment comes in various forms. And, on this night I selected to be entertained by Shaquille O’Neal. We all know Shaq is a clown. When he is not ferociously dunking a basketball or elbowing those that try to defend him, he is usually somewhere smiling or helping someone else smile. This is exactly what I needed on the 26th of June 2007. Some good humor and not overweight Mo'Nique glorifying unhealthiness. I have Shaq to thank for the rescue - and nothing but a middle finger for Curtis Jackson! This man continues to make me feel like pulling a sheet over my head in an effort to hide my displeasure and embarrassment. And, I have this message for Mo’Nique: Getting obese should not be encouraged.

As I typed this commentary I could not think of a time when I felt Shaq was less than a role model. I have heard about the alleged philandering thanks to Cry Baby Koby, but on most accounts O’Neal has been a stellar citizen within the NBA, and from taking one hour of my precious time on Tuesday I learned that Shaquille is reaching out in the most unusual way: He is making an attempt to fight childhood obesity.

On his new reality show, SHAQ’S BIG CHALLENGE
(http://abc.go.com/primetime/shaqsbigchallenge/index?pn=index) he is proving to the world that there are superstars who care about “the youth”. We all know that there isn’t any financial reason for Shaquille O’Neal to spend his time off from missing free throws with six overweight, extremely unpopular, and positive-attention seeking kids. He could be at home with his wife and children, but Shaq is making a difference in the life of Kit. Kit is one of the kids. She is 14 years old and she is suppose to weigh 110 pounds. Unfortunately, Kit is at a mind blowing 263 pounds. Or, how about Walter who weighs 285lbs. He is a 14 year old who behaves like a four year old.

I spent the remainder of my night wondering if Mr. O’Neal will be able to conquer the task of getting these young people to a healthy weight. I spent my night wondering if the 206 pound Cuban kid, Chris, would be able to fight the temptation to eat the additional servings at the family dinner table. Cubans still eat at the table together as a family. I also spent my night frustrated with the parents of these fat children. They are fat because their parents eat junk! It is always the most innocent of us who suffer. In this case it is six children whose combined weight is 1,377 POUNDS. Astonishing! Keep in mind that this mixture of black, white, and Hispanic kids are not even 15 yet. They are waiting to grow older with heart disease, diabetes, and other ailments.

Waiting is what I will be doing as this reality show plays itself out. I will be watching too. But, the waiting is where I will be mostly. Waiting for Shaq to win another championship. This time I want it to come off the court, and in the gym with these fat kids.

By the way, I did make it back to the Best Whatever Award Show. Thankfully, I surfed back in time to see the Humanitarian Award winner Don Cheadle be honored for his efforts to raise awareness of genocidal conditions in the African region of Darfur. Now, that’s what I am talking about! Another brother doing big things, and not something stupid like walking around all day with one hand holding up a pair of shorts while having to walk bow-legged because the pants are about to fall down. Big Dummies!

Written by Muata. Inspired by another poorly produced award show. Inspired by my dislike for ALL award shows. And, you thought it was just the black one!

4 comments:

Muata said...

Reader Responses:

I sat on the porch and observed nature during this show. I refuse to subject myself to it.

-PM

This is more like it. Welcome back Brian and tell Muata he needs a drink. hehe!!

-Larikus

This is a well put together commentary. But, ya left me hanging.

***

FREEDOM said...

I rarely watch television and I did not make an exception in order to watch the BET awards, however I was tempted since Robin Thicke was scheduled to perform. I agree the awards are rarely given to the underdogs that choose NOT to sell out to Corporate America. The Musiq Soulchild’s of the world (his CD is slammin’…check it out if you haven’t… it is indeed a tribute to the black man who wants to learn how to love his black woman and the black man who IS loving his black woman). And, the Avant’s of the world whom expresses the art of true chivalry at its best between a man and a woman within the reams of black love, rarely come home with the BET, MTV, or Grammy Award.

And, the movie awards you can forget about seeing movies that actually touched a life like One Night with the King taking home the Oscar.

That is why I give out my own awards to artists that have touched my heart and soul. If I had to give an award for the Realist Writer I know that positively frustrate me, yet positively motivate me to thought…. the award would go to…....Drum roll please….yes you guessed it…. fellow writer Muata.

It is great what Shaq is doing. I was just telling my momma the other day how there is no reason the black community should be in poverty with as many black multimillionaires walking around today. We (black folk) should not have to ask the white man for anything. We Black Americans are in valuable positions for helping our sisters and brothers in Africa as well as our sisters and brothers here in these United States that we call America, but we fail to do so. I just do not understand. Oh yeah, I know why.... because GREED is the one that is eating out our insides.

-Freedom

FREEDOM said...

Freedom gives another suggestion:

Another broadcast that I hear is worth checking out is “Who is Smarter than a Fifth Grader?” Don’t quote me on the title, but it airs on Thursday nights. Not sure about the time or the station. I will let you all do a little research and find out that information. I hear it is an excellent watch for adults and children.

Now tell me…Are you, me “Smarter Than A Fifth Grader”?!?!?!

-ms. FREEDOM

Muata said...

After nine months of working with seven extremely overweight kids, Shaq can say that he was a part of something else POSITIVE and SUCCESSFUL (Shaq's Big Challenge). All of the kids were successful at losing significant amounts of weight, they passed the Governor's Fitness Challenge, and they did better on their final stress test. Praise the Lord!!

Just wanted to share this pleasant news about a black man who really does not have to 'look back'. He could have forgotten about fat kids, ignored the alarming statistics, or gotten lost in his wealth. No, not Shaq. As I mentioned in my previous commentary on this subject, Shaq is maintaining a POSITIVE image. Unlike... (finish that sentence).

I am aware there are countless black men contributing something worth writing and talking about, and it is my effort to share the positive and negative. This way, I will remain 'fair and balanced'. And yeah - know that I am not letting Mr. Whitey off the hook. He gets my criticism too!!

It is unfortunate we rarely hear about all the good brothas. But, I am of the belief we should not be randomly coming across "positive black men". If it is random, we (black men) certainly need to do more and contribute more so we can receive more emails like this.

-Muata