Around The VSB World

As some of you may already be aware of, I’ve been working for Ebony.com for eight months now. My official title there is “contributing editor,” a job that consists of, well, editing and contributing. The contributing consists of me writing two to four original pieces there per week. My latest — “The Curious Case of The Man-Less “Meet Market” — looks at why men never seem to show up at these ubiquitous dating/relationship panels and events.

As a person who has been both a panelist and a moderator at many of these types of events, I can tell you that hypothetical woman’s rhetorical question is not hyperbole. Whether I was sitting on a panel in New York City or D.C. or moderating a discussion in Pittsburgh, every time I’ve been on stage and looked at the audience, I’ve noticed a mass of women’s faces with a couple guys sprinkled in here and there, specks of pepper in a bowl of salt. (At one show, the numbers seemed so skewed that I actually started counting people in the rows in front of me to see if the actual number reflected what I was seeing. By the time I reached 100, I had counted 86 women and 14 men.)

You can see the rest at Ebony.com 

I’m also continuing to do my weekly live chats at Madame Noire. Last week presented a change of pace, though, as one of the editors there wanted me to give my thoughts about how Kim Kardashian is able to consistently pull so many “high-status” men despite her public sexual past. I obliged.

As far as Panama, he’s still doing his thing as the “Girl’s BFF” at Guyspeak. Check out his advice to a woman who’s man won’t divorce his wife. (Yes, you read that correctly)

I really think the answer to this comes down to being a man versus being a woman. Like, I understand your argument. I truly do. I just think that its asking a lot for a man to part with his life’s work just to show you that he loves you. Now, from a business standpoint, he knows the rules, you get a divorce, if you live in a community property state, things get split down the middle. At some point, a divorce will happen. However, his wife isn’t interested in a divorce? That is odd to me

Also, if you haven’t listened to his segment on THE BLAQOUT SHOW every Wednesday at 8pm, what the hell are you doing with your life?

No one on Earth is exactly sure what Liz is doing, but we do know that it involves Moguldom Media, the church, and atomic bombs.

Very Smart Singles seems to be humming along and shit. Remember, if you are interested in us posting your profile, please email us at contact@verysmartbrothas.com with your name, location, a short bio, and a high-resolution picture.

Lastly, we have two major projects going on right now, one of which we’ll definitely shed more light on next week. Both should be pretty entertaining, and both will need your help to succeed. I know that’s cryptic as hell, but it’s Friday and, well, it’s Friday.

Anyway, people of VSB.com, what’s going on in your worlds right now?

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

Cheers To The First Lady of VSB, Liz B.

As most of you know, this past Wednesday, June 6, was Liz’s birthday. Some of you who are newer might be trying to figure out who the hell Liz is in the first place. Others who’ve been around for eons may wonder where Liz has been lately. Sometimes she shows up sporadically and then disappears like a ghost in the night not to be seen again for months. Well she’s pretty busy, that Liz.

Anyway, I figured that since she did such a bang up job last year on my birthday with the most hilarious post about the most ungangsta things about myself – none of which I can deny, by the way – that I might as well share some interesting things about Liz. And give some back story into the whole VSB thing and also some random, yet interesting tidbits. See, being the third and mostly silent (except when she’s 404ing some of you mofos) partner of VSB, it’s possible to get obscured and/or not get as much shine. And truth be told, she probably likes it that way to some degree. Liz is #boutdatlife when it comes to the ‘net, but like most of you ninjas, she’s also highly introverted and would probably become an icon on her MacBook’s desktop if she could.

So let’s just delve right in. We’ll see how and where this goes but it’s time to put Liz’s business in these streets in a good and fun way. Happy birthday week, Liz!

Backstory:

Liz is the reason I ever started blogging. Real talk. I found Liz’s old blog, BlackMartha, via the blog of one of my boys from Morehouse, KillaCal, who was early into this blogging thing. I was going through his blogroll one day and clicked on her blog and started reading about this AKA chick who lived in Boston and went to MIT and all the crap she was going through. This was back when folks got mad personal on their blogs. Y’all might not get the chance to really know this but Liz is a great writer. And her blog was fascinating. I checked on it daily. I’m pretty sure I never left a comment. I also can’t remember if this was 2003 or 2004. Either way, it was a LONG time ago, so much so that probably only Fela Kuti could appreciate it. (<—random non-pop culture reference)

One day, on a lark, I IM’d her and it was on like donkey kong. I’m sure she wondered who the hell this random dude was but soon we were, like, total BFFs. You all remember the days when the folks you met online knew more about your personal life than the people you saw everyday? Yeah, that was my life. Well, in my randomness of randomnesses, Liz convinced me to start blogging. Now I had no idea what it was or why I should do it, but she convinced me and well, the rest is history. That’s pretty much how VSB got off the ground. Every tech issue or need for blogging know-how would go through Liz even before VSB, so when Damon and I came up with the idea for this blog, we went straight to Liz who offered to set it up. So effectively, since I met Liz, she’s been the backbone of nearly everything I’ve done online.

Real talk, I credit Liz with all of the success I’ve had since I’ve started blogging, seeing as the world has opened up for me in various ways both professionally and personally. It if wasn’t for her prodding and championing and encouraging my shenanigans…nobody would have any idea who I was. I’m positive of that.

Random: Liz and I have collaborated on more ingenious non-started up business ventures than you could possibly imagine. Seriously, we’ve come up with business ideas that will change the world. We’re just both Geminis which means 98 percent of them stay in the idea phase. Wompington Womperstein. The funny part is that while VSB has definitely blown up in the blog world, I think Liz may be as famous if not more on the internet geek side. We’ve been out places and somebody would find out Liz was there and blow a gasket. People always want to meet her. And because to me, HTML always stood for “Ho, Too Much Lettuce”, I always assumed there was some internet genius underworld that she was running that I wasn’t bright enough to understand.

I also remember the first time I met Liz…at a Coldstone Creamery in Times Square in NYC waaaaaaaaaay back yonder. That first meeting was awkward because, well, two ninjas who met on the Internet were going to have an odd meeting in 2004. Hell, back then, folks really might have been serial killers. Back then, nobody was finding love in the Internet. That was when folks looked at you sideways for making friends via the ‘net.

But we truly became fast friends. She came to Morehouse’s homecoming with me and my homies one year; I went to her graduation from undergrad. She’s stayed in my house with my girlfriend (at the time) and played with my kid. I’ve met her family. She’s one of those friends who always gets name dropped when a woman comes into the picture. Because she’s not going anywhere.

And now that she’s running all types of sh*t up in NYC for MadameNoire (that’s what I like to tell myself), I couldn’t be prouder or happier. It’s funny because as real friends go we’ve had our ups and downs. We’ve been there for all types of real life dramas and hardships and met family members, etc. At the end of the day, I want nothing but the best for Liz as she travails the world of running things. She might not be around VSB all the time like she used to but she’s also busy as all hell so she never has the time. But that’s okay. Point is, Liz is the homey for life and as vital and important to the VSB story as Damon or I. And because of her background role she likely never gets her just due…so I figured, why not write a quick tribute and walk down memory lane.

So in case you didn’t get a chance to say Happy Birthday to Liz, please do so and throw a dub up (she’s from California by way of New Mexico…the real New Mexico…as in her grandparents had an emu farm, New Mexico) for the homey Liz. She’s the reason you’re even on VSB right now.

Thanks homey…hope your bday week is and has been a most fruitful and enjoyous one.

Signed…

-VSB P

It’s time for another Very Smart Single out there, check out the profile for B. Greene ladies, and if you’re interested, send us an email at contact@verysmartbrothas.com!

One more time, for all the folks in DC: I won a happy hour at McFaddens at 2401 Pennsylvania Ave, NW from 10pm-midnight. All drinks are $3 if you come in and say my name (say my name) at the door. You’ll get a wristband. I’ll be there chillin’ hanging out. So come on down and kick it with ya’ boy and have a drink and chillax. Stay a minute or twelve. Or 2 hours. Holla.

VSB: Now Slightly Less Janky

Thanks for always being logged on to VSB.

*taps mic*

Hey guys. Liz here.

Just wanted to give you the heads up that there is no new post today because the site has been on the fritz the past week, as I am sure many of you have noticed.

I wanted to take a minute to apologize for the downtime and the jankyness factor going on here at VSB lately. It’s been a rough week, rougher than usual, but I believe we have fixed most of the problems for now, and we have upgraded our server so the site runs faster.

Yes, that means less 404s, 503s and OPPs.

Sorry if you had problems accessing the site this week. Also, really really sorry for some of you throwback Internet Explorer users who were getting forwarded to a pr0n site when coming to VSB. (Some of you may have actually enjoyed that, I’m not really sure.)

I also wanted to take the time to remind you that you can always subscribe to our RSS feed via your RSS feed reader, or email. That way, you can read our published content in your RSS feed reader or in your email inbox even if the site is down or slow. Click here to subscribe via email or RSS.

If you ever have any technical problems with VSB please email us at contact@verysmartbrothas.com and we can help troubleshoot. And by “us” and “we” I mean “me.” Panama and the Champ can’t help you on tech problems. SMH.

Have a good weekend! Make sure you read P’s very important post from yesterday, since the site was down most of the day.

Thanks for your patience and support!

Casting “Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm At Night” — The Movie

Coming to a dollar theater or barbershop bootlegger near you

So, after (half)jokingly mentioning that the upcoming “Act Like A Lady, Think Like a Man” movie means that the “Your Degrees…” flick can’t be far off, a few people ran with that idea in the comments section and on Twitter; having their own “auditions” where they named which actors and actresses should play Liz, Panama, and I. They each also took it a step further and (of course) put themselves in the movie and cast that role as well.

Hmm. Sounds like a great idea for a Friday.

If I were casting the VSB movie…

Casting The Champ

To cast a convincing me, I’d need an actor who can pull off the dry (and occasionally inappropriate) deadpan humor thing; a guy who’s laidback and may seem shy at first but is surprisingly (and completely) arrogant. He’d also need a smart-aleck/sarcastic streak, and he’d need to look like he was capable of being a college basketball player at one point in his life. Having an accent no one has ever heard before would help, too.

I saw that Isiah Washington was mentioned on Twitter, but although we definitely know he’s available, he’s like 20 years older than me. I thought of Donald Glover because he could definitely pull off the deadpan/dry humor thing and the laidback thing, but I might be a foot taller than him and I probably outweigh him by 100 pounds.

This leaves us with two actors. Anthony Mackie Rob Brown (just off of the strength of his role/performance in Finding Forrester) and Craig Robinson. Who I’d end of choosing between the two depends on the director (more on that later)

***Also thought about putting Jay Pharoah here, but I need to see if he can act outside of SNL***

Casting Panama Jackson

For P, you’d need a guy with an oversized personality who doesn’t hold his tongue. An extrovert, life of the party type who’s also a bit more thoughtful and sensitive (and smarter) than he wants people to believe. Basically, while The Champ is the “nice guy” who’s secretly kind of an asshole, the Panama character would have to be the opposite. He’d also need to be a guy who you can see shifting from the corporate/conservative office setting to Chucks and Levi’s with ease, and it would definitely help if this actor had some “southern-ness” to him as well.

Honestly, the first name that came to mind was Vince Vaughn, but he doesn’t work for obvious reasons. Terrance Howard has the secretly sensitive asshole thing down pact, but I don’t want Mr. Wet Wipes anywhere near this project. I thought of J. D. Williams too, but I just can’t see Bodie Broadus ever being a responsible dad and holding down a “square” 9 to 5.

Again, who I decide on depends on the director, but right now the two best candidates seem to be Donald Faizon (Who I think would be perfect) and Ice Cube Mos Def.

***I know P’s biracial, but aside from The Rock and Vin Diesel, there aint all that many biracial actors running around to choose from***

Casting Liz

Liz is the easiest casting decision. You’d need an actress who could be a professional devil’s advocate/hater with a secretly vicious sense of humor, but a true heart of gold. You’d also need to hire a woman who could realistically be an M.I.T. grad (sorry LisaRaye), who thinks she has hoodrat tendencies but really doesn’t. Lastly, she definitely needs to have some “Valley Girl” in her.

Jennifer Hudson, Maya Rudolph, and Tracee Ellis Ross all came to mine, but for this role, regardless of the director, I’d go with a newcomer, Issa Rae — a woman who many of you know as The Awkward Black Girl.

***Mindy Kaling and Angela Nissel could both definitely work here too***

The Director

If we’re going straight comedy, it has to be Judd Apatow. If we’re going for more of a dark comedy/drama feel, I’d like Stephen Frears, Ted Witcher or (as a wildcard) the Coen brothers. (Wanted to put Tarantino here, but I just don’t think he’d fit with the material)

If we’re going all black everything, I’d pull Robert Townsend’s ass out of retirement and let him and the entire Wayans crew take a stab at it.

Anyway, budding VSB producers and casting agents, who would you cast in the VSB movie? Also, don’t limit it to Liz, Panama, and I. Please put yourself in the movie, and if you’d like, your favorite VSB regulars as well. Who would play you?

The red carpet is yours.

—The Champ