Friday, July 06, 2012

Sizziling Hot COP 24/7

It's hot. Just plain old damn hot and its all O.K.  But as we do what we must to stay cool, the news cycles keep rolling out sizzling hot news items from all points near and afar. Let' not waste time and right into the mix...

ENDGAME: Black Americans Coming to Grips with HIV and AIDS

Stigma, Silence, and Secrets. Its the deadly trinity of the culture of ignorance that will be explored Tuesday, July 10, 21012 in a ground breaking documentary, "ENDGAME: AIDS in Black America." The depth and scope of this health dilemma will get a bold and refreshing examination from Renata Simone, who produced, directed and wrote the film, and Dr. Robert Fullilove, a professor of clinical sociomedical studies at Columbia University. Each of these individuals were on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross  to discuss the political, social and cultural factors that caused the epidemic to spread within the African American community, and why prevention has yet to work. This program is one of my favorites shows featuring Terry Gross whom doesn't hesitate to cover topics that could be considered controversial or explosive. Ms. Simone, spoke of harm reduction efforts in the ATL especially those whom are IDU (intravenous drug users) stakeholders that eventually seek treatment amidst the lack of available beds. Dr. Fullilove illustrated how the lack of actions on dealing with "crack culture" which embraced sex workers, lack of effective prison policies addressing sexual violence and the inability of prevention messages to thwart the cultural norm of no "latex barriers" has been apart of the failure of health framework. Simone also highlighted the plight of how many Black women have been infected with the disease. She cited that after the expansion of the AIDS diagnosis definition there was an explosion of incidence rates among Black women. Many of which could have resulted in misdiagnosis or related illness may have not been treated with drug regimens. COP 24/7 has been vigilant and determine to post the latest health information, links, updates and statistics that continues to signify the seriousness of this health crisis. I've attempted to be a clarion call directly to the Black community that the influx of individuals being released from prison, the onset of additional infections through drug usage, the issues of infections among those in long term care situations and the need of having health ministry that seeks to embrace persons holistically. With only 3 percent of federal dollars being spent on prevention will require local entities such as The Living Affected Corporation to maximize its resources in its mission to be apart of the testing matrix and promoting "prevention as treatment" while interweaving the social determinants of housing, educations, food, treatment and employment within the fabric of retaining persons in care. We applaud the FDA's newly approved home HIV testing kit, but implore individuals who use this method and get a positive result to seek counseling and access to treatment. COP 24/7 has embeded the trailer to give you a flavor how why you should be tuning in and encourages watchers to share their observations and viewpoints with us next week.

Watch Endgame: AIDS in Black America on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

Ro Going Variety

Speaking of hot...Apparently shows of all manner are being scheduled at MK's better known as "Miss Kitty's" in downtown Little Rock. At one time, it was being floated that this venue would not be another "show room" but as the old saying goes, "never say never." Therefore, there's been literally a mad rush of dates now filled with entertainment ranging from comedy to beefcake at some point. According to the e-blurb that I saw the micro posting stated, "come out for a night of eclectic entertainment! We have stand-up comedy, musicians,and dancers that will make your Saturday night stellar!"  Have you missed the Diamond Dames? Then come out and get your fix! Burlesque will be going down, plus Comedian Amy Pannell will be making us laugh, Jeremy Estell and Strilite's Derrick Lopp will providing the live music, and you don't want to miss Victoria Rios dance. For only $5, you get to be a part of all this excitement!

Leave it on the Floor

In case you want to take diversion from the heat while enjoying some truly mindless entertainment, then you need to grab the DVD, 'Leave it on the Floor," which explores the multi-level world of the House Ball system. Co-Produced and Directed by Shelton Larry, this mash up came rolling out last summer but didn't get a much buzz or wide distribution to make note of. Therefore, it sort of was a low budget blip on the radar that for the most part played at various film festivals but didn't make its way to any of the local film festivals in this state. Although Little Rock is not a huge ballroom scene, as I've learned there are actually some "houses" in the area that meets the criteria needed. A couple of years ago their was a "Battle Royal" HIV testing event which some represenative demonstrated their talents. There's been some talk of that type of programming or other similar events being consider in the near future. If matters develop, you know that we will be among the first to talk about it.

According to Film Reviewer S. Farber he quips, "the no-frills, no-star, no-budget African-American musical, Leave It On the Floor, which had its world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival demonstrates the possibilities. It actually takes some chances. Most recent movie musicals that succeeded, including Chicago and Dreamgirls, incorporated most of their songs as production numbers performed on stage, so they didn’t challenge audiences’ preference for realism. But in Floor, the characters burst into song on the subway or in convenience stores, and the performers are so dynamic that we buy into an ancient musical convention that has fallen out of fashion. The film doesn’t have huge box office potential, but it could develop cult status and find a niche audience."

Arriving to DVD in August , the film has had numerous reviewers including this account from Rotten The premise of the film follows the story of a family of fierce voguing performers coming together to snatch a trophy in the big ballroom competition. When our hero Brad is kicked out of his house for being gay, he finds himself drawn into a raucous ballroom event. Looking for a warm place to sleep-and someone to sleep with?-Brad meets the ragtag members of the struggling House of Eminence. As he searches for his place in this family of fascinating characters, he gets schooled in how to express himself with spins, dips, and hands. When he decides to join the house and compete with his new family, everyone comes together to help him learn. That is, until a love triangle threatens to destroy all that they've built together. Director Sheldon Larry deftly interweaves original songs throughout. "Justin's Gonna Call" and the title track "Leave It On the Floor" are sure to make it onto your play list, and they're all equally matched by the signature moves of Frank Gatson, Jr., one of pop music's most sought-after choreographers (Michael Jackson, Destiny's Child, and does anyone remember an obscure song and dance called "Single Ladies"?).

I saw a few sites that said the film could be seen gratis, but I'm always a bit leery of such site and all of the bootlegging or piracy that all over the net. Most likely you will find it at the nearest Redbox or maybe Nextflix, From the trailer I saw and associated material, I view it as "Fame plus Paris is Burning plus Glee plus RENT stirred into one over the top throw down. If you've got nothing else to do, then check it out.

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