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Bamboozled No More! Halloween High

 

On this night, the children and the adults
become their own dreams and nightmares,
princesses and zombies,
in search of that sweet sugar high

The day after, they are weary and cranky,
overcome by shakes and meltdowns.
The source of their insanity is now
buried among the candy wrappers.

 

Janet Cormier is a painter, writes prose and poetry, and performs comedy. JC prefers different and original over pretty. She loves collecting stuff, but cleaning not so much. Janet also talks to strangers… a lot. Her column now appears weekly on Oddball Magazine.

 

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A Twist of JP Lime: BOOM SHAKALAKA!!! Our Favorite Dunks

 

DunksWhen it comes to basketball, perhaps there’s no more exciting moment than when a player seemingly flies through the skies and jams the ball through the rim. Whether it’s warm-ups, in-game, or at the dunk contest, whenever a slam dunk happens, the crowd goes wild. Ever since the original good doctor, one Julius “Dr. J.” Erving popularized the slam dunk in the 1970s, the slam dunk has been a critical component of a basketball fan’s DNA.

Not to knock soccer’s bicycle kick, football’s hail mary, hockey’s one timers, or baseball’s grand slam, stealing of home base, or inside the park home run, but for this Scholar’s money, give me a slam dunk any day of the week. With that said, to celebrate the return of the NBA season, here’s a by no means exhaustive look at some of our favorite dunks and dunkers in NBA history. Note that these aren’t ranked in any particular order because, c’mon, what’s the point!?!?!? They’re all fantastic dunks. Picking a favorite dunk is like picking a favorite emcee or Hip Hop song, it changes every day depending on a variety of factors and more often than not becomes a futile exercise. For the sake of this post, let’s just revel in the beauty of all these dunks. It’s more fun that way. 😉

First up, showing some love to our hometown Boston Celtics, Dee Brown’s no look dunk from the 1991 Slam Dunk Contest. Who can forget the crowd going wild as Dee Brown opened up the dunk contest by pumping up his Reebok Pump sneakers and then proceeding to blow away the competition that year, soaring his way to a dunk contest victory over Shawn Kemp in the final round? A thing of beauty indeed. BOSTON STAND UP!

Next up, His Airness himself, Michael Jordan with his infamous 1991 Playoffs posterizing of Patrick Ewing and the New York Knicks. Truth be told, there’s not enough server space in the world to compile a video list of all of MJ’s impressive dunks, so we’ll stick to a couple. This particular dunk is awesome because it came in the playoffs in the midst of the heated Bulls Knicks rivalry of the early 90s and it combined grace with power as Jordan uses a spin move to juke a couple of defenders, takes off, and booms the rock through the rim in Patrick Ewing’s grill. Salutes to the GOAT.

Another MJ dunk continues our list. This one is from the 1987 Slam Dunk Contest and is often called the “Kiss The Rim” dunk. The hangtime on this jam is impressive, as is the sheer grace and style of his flight, body movements, and finish at the rim. To call this dunk amazing is grossly understating it. Let’s reminisce and enjoy.

No dunk compilation can be complete without at least one dunk from Vince Carter, the man I personally consider to be the greatest dunker of all time. I know, I know, how could anyone but MJ be fitting of this title? Hey listen, I love Jordan’s dunking ability, but for my money, when you consider Vince’s 2000 dunk contest, the bevvy of amazing, rim-rocking in-game dunks he’s had over his career, his hangtime (comparable to, if not better than MJ’s), and the sheer power of his dunking style, maybe it’s personal preference, but my nod goes to the man once known as Air Canada. Oh yeah, and if none of that convinces you (and I know there’ll be some trolls – tweet me: @Scholar_JPL and/or @JPLime), how can anyone POSSIBLY argue against this next dunk from the 2000 Sydney Olympics. I mean, c’mon people, he jumped over a 7-footer in-game for the slam! I repeat. HE JUMPED OVER A 7-FOOTER IN-GAME FOR THE SLAM! That’s balls to face over a legitimately sized center for the dunk… in a game… not practice… the actual game… c’mon son. Let’s take a look.

And who could forget these gems from the aforementioned 2000 Dunk Contest. How about an entire arm through the rim?

And what about his opening dunk of the night? Carter’s 360 Windmill slam effectively ended the competition before it really got going. MJ may be the GOAT, but again, for my money, Vince is the GDOAT.

Continue reading A Twist of JP Lime: BOOM SHAKALAKA!!! Our Favorite Dunks

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Bamboozled No More! Horror and Science Fiction Movies (casting calls for black actors)

 

The following is a reprint from Janet’s column from July 10, 2014, reprinted here to help kick off the Halloween weekend.

 

I love horror and sci-fi movies from the 50’s -80’s. My idea of a big fun is a “Twilight Zone” or “Hammer House of Horrors” marathon. I enjoy the campy storylines, political/cold war references, cheap props and bad makeup. Most of aliens were arrived with plans to conquer the Earth. And then there were those creatures unearthed and mutated by nuclear blasts and radiation, and of course armies of zombies. Those were movies…

One of my favorite movies is Sugar Hill. I am not talking about the Wesley Snipes gangster movie. I am talking zombie gangster movie…Sugar Hill was a sistah in love, and then the MOB murdered her man. She goes after the MOB with her own army of black Zombie Hit men. Back in the day, black actors could always find work playing zombie roles. The casting calls were straight forward: Mad scientist (white guy), his love interest who wasn’t interested in him (white woman) and an army of zombies (black male and female actors) to do his bidding.

As I watched Sugar Hill’s Zombie hit squad do their thing, I had this kind of revelation with questions! When did the demand for black actors in zombie roles decline? When did the casting calls for white actors in zombie roles start? These questions tormented me…and then I found my answer…Blame it on George Romero. Romero’s Night of The Living Deadchanged zombie world forever. On the upside, the hero was an African-American man who fought off hordes of white zombies. I appreciated Romero realistic twist in the story…the hero (and only black person) in the movie was shot dead by the rescue team comprised of white police officers and shooters. Don’t get me wrong. I loved Night of the Living Dead. I’m just saying Romero took a lot of jobs away from black actors. And his zombies ate people!

 

Janet Cormier is a painter, writes prose and poetry, and performs comedy. JC prefers different and original over pretty. She loves collecting stuff, but cleaning not so much. Janet also talks to strangers… a lot. Her column now appears weekly on Oddball Magazine.

 

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The Underground Garden: Bandwagon Jumpers (original coattail hoppers…)

 

bandwagon1

I love bandwagon jumpers
Fad followers
Trendy people and their mimicked hollers of
I’m cool!!
Can’t you see?
I’m rocking this month’s color like I’ve seen on t.v.!!
I gotta stay on what’s hot!

Please don’t forget me!
Please!!
I want to follow that lead!

I like people who can’t decide
With whom they want to align

Who behave in ways that make others wonder why
I should believe they are truly an ally

Who try to be sly
When they say “Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii”

I like these folks cuz they make me laugh
With the way they try to make others mad

The only thing that gets upset is a stomach
They make those turn

I guess I like them cuz they help people learn

How to use Trust and Caution.

How to sense hypocrisy and ego driven actions
It’s pretty sad when
You’re approached by a mask cuz
Trends and fads are all they have

Where’s their Honor?

That question you should ask

I gotta love those that try
Otherwise
I’d get caught up in their twisted minds
So I float,
Float on

And pass them by

Cuz I want no part of their copycat designs

I want no theft of my identity
No bit part in their dramadies

It’s funny how people think that just like they do
Others aren’t watching them too.

Some choose to let a snake its skin naturally shed
Then pull out a machete and cut off its head.

Does that sound drastic?
Fantastic?

Try watching bandwagon jumpers unapologetically jump into bed with the newest, hottest fad they want to head.

Yes.

I love the ones that like to be Hot
On top
And use false sincerity cuz they know they alone won’t do the job

I love to watch and learn how ego works
How easily what you just loved so dearly you can leave in the dirt
When in the distance
Is a witnessed
Next
Big
Thing

Jump on the bandwagon and follow the fad
Not understanding love is a reality you can naturally have
The projection of depth is not a task
Unless it’s all an act.

It’s not about
Where you’re seen
Who you know
Where you been.

It’s about the face in the mirror
You live with those demons

Under cracking circumstances they won’t stay hidden
So why breathe into them existence?

Search and find a love that speaks to you
That hears you too
For which you will stay true
It will Thank You

You will thank You.

This is dedicated to my beloved ones
The victims of fire tongues
Victims of betrayal aimed knives
Of approaching innocence that turned out to be a disguise
Which only assists in the enhancement of the already wise
Real warriors never die and love multiplies.

Bandwagon jumpers always fall to the side
They can’t handle the ride and it’s no surprise
To Beings of Truth
Who know deep inside:

If you’re evil in veils and you’re versus right
Eventually from the darkness rises truth towards the Light
Seek to find yourself without it being a bite.

Always be Yourself.

The Soul that Breathes in your Mind.

Liza Zayas is a lover of writing and dancing and celebrates both as a singer and songwriter performing as Luna del Flor. You can hear her collaborative sounds and experience life through her storytelling. She invites you to dance. Her poetry seeks to initiate dialogue by intentionally expressing consequences of love, lust, ego and self-respect

 

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It’s All One Thing #104: The New Myth of the Moment of Creation in Light of 21st Century Science

 

(or is it 20th or 19th Century Science)(or even 18th Century Science
                                                      for Poor Old Trinity Sunday

The story is everywhere. It’s in the stain glass windows of the Good Shepard
and the Holy Spirit not coeval yet matched in colors and sympatico in spirit.
Indeed, the story is ubiquitous. It converges with the arc of the planets which are still visible.
If only they would turn off the lights in the garden we would finally look up
and discover the true beauty of it all. The story has been around a long, time.

Why won’t that story just stay told.? That story keeps popping out and up everywhere all the time.
That story seems to be able to do just about anything. That story jumps out everywhere.
Trinity on Trinity Sunday mutters the story to herself. She turns into a guided meditation.

I always think people read me the way I read them. We’re all different.
So much more different than we ever thought. So much farther than we ever thought.
Trinity is a zen koan. Trinity is Quaternity and the fourth person is the Holy Mother
and the Holy Mother has now ascended and is seated at the throne of the Father
and the Son Sophia and the Holy Ghostess have gone from the pyramidal mountain
to the great extension of the circle — Labyrinth, Labyrinth, Labyrinth — at once spiral
and concentric circle, God in 3 persons sufficient in relation
                                                                to effervess love in all creation
whir, whir, whir always away it goes
poets have been speaking the myth of creation since way before the Big Bang.

 

James Van Looy has been a fixture in Boston’s poetry venues since the 1970s. He is a member of Cosmic Spelunker Theater and has run poetry workshops for Boston area homeless people at Pine Street Inn and St. Francis House since 1992. Today, he celebrates his second year as a columnist for Oddball Magazine.

 

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Poem by Jessica Lainez

 

Banner design © TJ Edson
Banner design © TJ Edson

 

The End of the Night

I woke up this morning in a strange room.
The door was barricaded with a piece of a broom.
I remembered I put it there to lock myself in.
I stood up in a hurry and knocked over a tin.
A sticky messy substance started to spill out;
That it was bodily fluids I had no doubt.
The smell in the room was of rotting meat.
I had to be careful where I placed my feet.
I couldn’t see well because it was too dark,
But I could see on the wall that there was a weird mark.
I felt along the wall trying to find a light.
I had to find a way to escape my plight.
As I felt along the wall – I came upon a switch,
I flipped it, the floor opened, and I fell in a ditch.
Although this room had some light – I think it was worse;
In a pile of dead bodies I was immersed.
I couldn’t help it – I started to cry,
But I found my resolve and to escape I would try.
I started climbing towards the top,
Hoping and praying that the terror would stop.
As I peered over the edge I saw that I was alone.
I climbed out and almost knocked over a neat stack of bones.
I tiptoed to the exit and opened the door.
As I stepped through I saw blood on the floor.
The walls were stained and thoroughly splattered;
There was broken glass and the furniture was scattered.
I moved slowly through the room hoping not to be heard.
I was sure I was dreaming because this seemed absurd,
But I couldn’t pretend that I wasn’t scared;
For all this gruesomeness I wasn’t prepared.
I tried another door but it was thoroughly locked.
The entrance to the kitchen was also blocked.
The only route that I was able to take,
Was a rotted staircase that looked like it’d break.
I stepped onto it trying to be cautious.
The stench in the house was making me nauseous.
I went up slowly wondering where I was headed;
Hoping I wouldn’t see something else that I dreaded.
When I got to the hall I heard a man’s voice.
It kept repeating “It must be your choice”.
I know that the smart thing to do was to run,
But it seemed like each of my feet weighed a ton.
The voice was coming from the end of the hall,
I walked towards it slowly while I held on to the wall.
I felt that if I let go I might trip and fall,
But I couldn’t stop myself from moving towards the call.
As I got closer my heart was beating in my chest,
But I felt like my nerves were being suppressed.
I couldn’t believe what I was actually doing;
I didn’t even know what I was pursuing.
It seemed my death was imminent if I didn’t try to escape.
Then suddenly a man stood before me and he was wearing a cape.
I couldn’t believe my eyes because he seemed so appealing;
I couldn’t believe what my body was feeling.
He looked into my eyes and caressed my face.
I felt like in an instant I was in a daze.
He took my hand and led me further down the corridor.
I no longer cared about the blood-stained floor.
I felt calm while he guided me to another dark room.
The only thing lighting it was the glow of the moon.
He sat me down on what was left of the bed;
The covers were satin and of course they were red.
He kneeled before me and looked into my eyes.
I felt instantly like I knew him to my surprise.
He called me by my name and once again he repeated;
The words I heard in the hall when I should have retreated.
He said in my ear “It must be your choice”.
My mind was spinning with the sweetness of his voice.
He placed his hands on my shoulders pulling me gently,
All the while looking into my eyes ever so intently.
I then said the words that would change me forever,
“I feel if you leave me my heart it will sever”.
He asked me if I’d join him and be by his side,
And if I promised to be his eternal bride.
I answered methodically and I foolishly agreed;
I said that to all of his wishes I would concede.
He leaned towards me and whispered in my ear,
“Don’t worry my darling – let go of your fear”.
He nuzzled my neck briefly before his fangs sank in;
I felt the beating of my heart starting to thin.
Then the room went dark when my life expired;
It had been my choice and I had been sired.
The night had ended and my life had been taken,
And my soul would surely now be forsaken.

 

Jessica Lainez: “I have been writing poetry for most of my life. I love words in general and I love expressing feelings by using them. I work in the insurance industry, but writing is my true passion.”