Category Archives: Life

My Perfect Woman

My perfect woman is kind, warm,

Beloved by friends,

Her empathy knows no bounds,

She inspires no hatred,

 

Her energy is kinetic,

She makes my mind race,

When I’m not with her,

I desire to be near her,

 

Her hair flows,

Hips curvy,

Waist slim,

Breasts ample,

 

She’s spicy,

But I don’t want to sweat,

Maybe a little,

Great with beer,

And cheap,

Cost is key,

Happy hour specials are best,

Essential for watching football,

Must be deep fried,

Can be dry rubbed,

But my God,

So much better soaked in a buttery hot sauce,

Smothering under a blanket of creamy blue cheese,

Messy,

I want to DEVOUR,

I AM SO FUCKING HUNGRY

Reactions to Ferguson

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Like a lot of people around the country, I’ve been intently following the crisis in Ferguson, MO since the killing of teenager Michael Brown. There’s been no shortage of commentary surrounding the events; both around the deadly confrontation between Brown and Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, as well as the ensuing protests and police reaction. It’s been fascinating to read and watch the reactions pour in. Some expected, some not. Here is a round-up of the best commentary so far.

Rembert Browne with a first hand account of the protests:

I kept running. I didn’t know where I was running, but I was running. Now there were explosions and sirens and smoke and gunshots and a helicopter shining its light through the neighborhood. We scattered like roaches, and I couldn’t help but wonder if the cops thought of us that way. — “The Front Lines of Ferguson”

Ta-Nehisi Coates on “changing the subject” and black on black crime:

Let’s all get together and talk about how Mike Brown would still be alive if Beyoncé would make more wholesome music, followed by a national forum on how the charge of “acting white” contributes to mass incarceration. We can conclude with a keynote lecture on “Kids Today” and a shrug. — “Black People are Not Ignoring Black on Black Crime”

Joel Anderson on the Ferguson community and its conflicting views on race relations:

“This whole thing is getting blown out of proportion,” said a white resident. — “Is Race an Issue in Ferguson? Depends On Whom You Ask?”

The Guardian profiles the supporters of officer Wilson:

While the crowds protesting in Ferguson have been predominantly African American, all but one of the demonstrators showing their support for Wilson were white. A stack of dark blue T-shirts, on sale for $7 and bearing a police-style badge stating: “Officer Darren Wilson – I stand by you,” quickly sold out. — “Ferguson Police Officer was ‘Doing His Job’ Say Supporters”

A story in Politico about a white father whose son was killed by a police officer and how the father fought for justice:

Yes, there is good reason to think that many of these unjustifiable homicides by police across the country are racially motivated. But there is a lot more than that going on here. Our country is simply not paying enough attention to the terrible lack of accountability of police departments and the way it affects all of us—regardless of race or ethnicity. — “What I Did After Police Killed My Son”

Republican Senator Rand Paul on the “militarization” of the police and the need for criminal justice reform:

Given these developments, it is almost impossible for many Americans not to feel like their government is targeting them. Given the racial disparities in our criminal justice system, it is impossible for African-Americans not to feel like their government is particularly targeting them. — “We Must Demilitarize the Police

Matt Lewis on the growing disillusion with the police among conservatives:

In recent years, conservative opinion leaders have been more willing to question authority. They’re more skeptical of the police and the military, and don’t just accept everything these institutions do as being in service of their “protect and serve” purposes. And the way conservative opinion leaders have reacted to Ferguson illustrate this reordering. — “How Ferguson Made Conservatives Lose Faith in the Police”

Jamilah King on the usefulness of a “perfect victim”:

These tidbits are an obvious distraction from the most urgent matter: a police officer’s killing of an unarmed young man. — “Michael Brown and the Danger of the Perfect Victim Frame”

A look at the Pew study detailing the wide gulf between blacks and whites and their views on Ferguson:

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… these kinds of numbers were all too predictable, as they have been repeated over and over in high-profile situations like those involving O.J. Simpson, Rodney King and Trayvon Martin — in large part because black and white Americans have vastly different views of the biases of  the American criminal justice system. — “African Americans are Concerned About Ferguson. Whites are Not”

Gene Demby writes about how the Ferguson community is dealing with the intensity of the national spotlight:

One dude walks up to Jackson and daps him up. “Reverend Al!” he says. “What up!” Everyone snickers. Jackson does not correct him. — “In Ferguson, MO., a City Meets the Spotlight”

Ezra Klein on the frustration with Barack Obama among the first black president’s supporters:

If Obama’s speeches aren’t as dramatic as they used to be, this is why: the White House believes a presidential speech on a politically charged topic is as likely to make things worse as to make things better. It is as likely to infuriate conservatives as it is to inspire liberals. And in a country riven by political polarization, widening that divide can take hard problems and make them impossible problems. — “Why Obama Won’t Give the Ferguson Speech His Supporters Want”

CNN anchor Jake Tapper is incredulous regarding the Ferguson PD’s show of force:

How to lose at relationships…

By keeping score.

Science of Us has some advice that people in long-term relationships have probably known for a while. Scorekeeping is toxic and should be avoided at all costs:

Keeping track of who does what for whom (a “tit-for-tat” game) is a sign you are not seeing your behaviors as benefiting the relationship, but just as benefiting one partner or the other. Try to see how your actions benefit the relationship, because, ultimately, your relationship ultimately benefits you both.

After all, you can be right or you can be happy.

101 Problems: Is This the End of Bey Z?

Jay and Bey on the run
“Sometimes I trip on how happy we could be.”

Rumors began swirling once more this week about the future marital status of America’s Favorite Couple, Bey Z. It was reported in the New York Post that after the couple’s On the Run Tour ends the two will be going their separate ways. Apparently months of marriage counseling haven’t helped and the couple is just going through the motions until a more convenient time to split. Having long heard whispers of infidelity and marital strife, I wrote it off as tabloid nonsense… but lately the rumors have been getting more difficult to ignore.

Jay Z and Beyonce are two very shrewd and image savvy public figures. Could this be an attempt to generate publicity for their tour and subsequent concert film? There is a side of me that is both cynical and naive enough to believe this. But here’s the thing: When have Bey Z ever had to manufacture controversy just to court attention? Hell, Jay Z removed the hyphen from his name and it fed the blogosphere for over a week. Such is the power of Hov and Bey.

My first inclination is to hyperventilate and yell the same thing everyone thinks when they learn a favorite celebrity couple is splitting… “Well if they can’t make it WE ARE ALL DOOMED!” But the truth of the matter is– despite the many hours I’ve spent listening to their music– I really don’t know shit about either of them. Oh, I know far more about them than they’ll ever know about me because our relationship is completely asymmetric. As are all fan/celebrity relationships. As much as I love The Blueprint, if I ever approached Jay Z to tell him as much, his bodyguard would snap my wrist in half before I could shake Jay Z’s hand.

Divorces are sad (well, kinda). And relationships are difficult which is why most of them end. That doesn’t stop me from being genuinely upset that Blue Ivy may not grow up with her parents together. But the fact still remains that these people, as my mom would say, “don’t know me from Adam’s house cat.”

I’m not willing to declare that love is dead just because a wealthy, powerful couple has made the decision to call it quits. Over the previous twelve years Jay and Bey have seemed liked the ideal loving couple. But lately their marriage has displayed more struggle than fans trying to keep up with the key changes in “Love on Top.”

It sure is going to be awkward when that On The Run concert film comes out in September. You know how it is when you run into someone you haven’t seen in a while and they innocently ask how your girlfriend is doing, not knowing you broke up a few weeks before. Well it’s going to be like that, but 100x more unpleasant.

It’s important to once again remember that these are just rumors and yet I can’t help speculating on the possible causes of the split. Was it infidelity? Irreconcilable differences? Maybe they couldn’t find a way for their massive egos to co-exist? Maybe they are two assholes who can no longer stand each other? The tour doesn’t end until another two months (!) but we still may never know.

And after all the think pieces about power, fame, wealth and its utter futility in keeping couples together, I’m still not sure we will have learned anything new. Because really we already know the lesson: Keeping a promise to someone that you’ll feel the same way about them for the rest of your life is incredibly difficult. And if Jay and Bey can’t do it… well, it says absolutely nothing about your ability to.

 

Oh, Hello!

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Hey guys! Welcome to the New and Improved, more user-friendly Antoine Vanderbilt. I have left the wilds of tumblr and crossed over to wordpress and I’m sure those words mean nothing to you, dear reader. But essentially wordpress allows me to build a more complex, customizable website. You may have also noticed that the domain is now just antoinevanderbilt.com.

Among the new features are a comment section, search categories and facebook and twitter sharing icons. This started as a lark by a bored grad student to entertain his friends. But now it’s grown so if you want to share with your friends, then by all means share posts and tell them about the site. I’ll be posting regularly.

I’m keeping open the old Antoine tumblr site and if you want the link just head to the upper right hand corner of the page. As for content, nothing is really changing. I HAVE SO MANY THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS. So you can expect the same hard-hitting investigations, pontifications on chain restaurant social apps, sportsball rants, heartfelt essays, 3500 word thinkpieces about rappers and dead authors, and listssomanylists.

So please enjoy, share and comment because we’re only one more opinion short of a perfect world.

– Antoine