The Character of Atlanta Belongs With Its Characters

By Justin Rodney

Atlanta.

I know he has been waiting for this moment for a long time. I mean who could blame him. Wouldn’t you be extremely happy with a show that you totally and completely have control of?

That person in reference is Donald Glover.

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The actor, singer, rapper, screenwriter, no deodorant user ,etc. Its just great to see a person flourish throughout their career without being known as that one thing, one character or whatever it might be. Now, Donald has an empire of his own and some would say that’s royalty; the freedom to express himself in any kind of way through his multiple archways of art whether it be through a screen or headphones. He is a marvel. LITERALLY. He is also Myles Morales in guest episodes of  Disney XD’s Ultimate Spiderman.

 

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Three years ago Donald penned a verse in his Yaphet Kotto freestyle revealing that he had something in the works for FX Networks. As time flew, more and more details of the show were revealed. Although in all fairness, Donald doesn’t reveal anything without doing it in secret for however long it may take. The public knew nothing about the show except of the title and that it was a comedy. Not a damn thing was talked about until the series premiere Tuesday, September 6th. For all intensive purposes it was better this way. The marketing scheme was perfect. 30 second trailers and extremely vague interviews.

 

 

 

September 6th hit and all the rumors and talk were laid to rest. All the audience had to do was tune in.

Within these two episodes the show has given audiences worldwide a peek into the black experience, which is important in times like these. So, what these two episodes have made abundantly clear is that Atlanta had to establish and emphasize its main characters. They will have a huge impact on the show’s success. Their actions and words will give the audience incite of how their character arcs will lead. These characters really will be the driving force for almost every single major scene in the show. Here is what’s needed to be assessed.

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We have three main, yet not too different, characters that are established within the two episodes shown. Earnest Marks (Donald Glover), Paper Boi/Alfred Miles (Bryan Tyree), and Darius (Keith Stanfield). We do have another character, Vanessa (Zazie Beetz), who is given more of a side role as just Earnest’s baby momma within the premiere, although its foolish to assume that this is the extent of her involvement and depth as a character through the season.

Now let’s start with our most important character, Earnest Marks.

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Earn is a Princeton dropout that just seems a little lost in his path through life. Off top, we are presented with a flawed character. We get glimpses of the dynamic between him and his family within the show. The parents, played by Myra Taylor and Isiah Whitlock, are almost in full skepticism mode with their son. The script was even written in a way where you had to pick up the clues. The parents’ tone and demeanor towards Earnest was like a business interaction instead of a kind, friendly conversation. How could you blame them for being mad at their presumed “used to be a good kid” son? They wouldn’t even let him outside the house.

Now with his baby momma Vanessa, their relationship is also strained. Within the intimate bed scene between them, Vanessa blurts out the most famous/infamous words “I Love You”. Of course in disappointing fashion, Donald does nothing but chuckle at the mere idea of love in their situation. A situation, may I remind you, that entails the two are not married, they have a child, AND LIVE together. Earnest ALSO pays rent inside VANESSA’s apartment BECAUSE CLEARLY she is trying to get her s*** together for the baby while Earnest fails at his deadbeat, airline credit card vendor job.

Having a child unexpectedly, which may have been the college breaking point for him, could definitely throw you off your life goals. Currently, we don’t know what exactly happened but its gotta be in the stars for a flashback on how the L’s began for Earnest.

This also brings up another point. Earnest may not be a good guy in the end of the season.

He is very resourceful at using other people for personal gain. Dave the radio DJ knew that. His parents certainly know that. Even Paper Boi knew that the moment Earnest walked in the house. Paper Boi knew exactly Earn’s desires to profit off his brewing success as a rapper. Earnest believes he can be trusted and that his ambitions are for the better good. In an important scene within the show, we get a hint of that. It’s the scene where he is sitting on the bus with his daughter. It seems like a normal ride back home, but we soon find out that Earn is daydreaming while riding the bus. He comes in contact with a bald-headed man in a brown suit and begins confessing his inner thoughts. Earn professes that taking L’s is all that he can do and he doesn’t know why he’s in this space of doubt. The mysterious man fires back with a gem for combating failure.

“Resistance is a symptom of the way things are, not the way things should be. Actual victory belongs to things that do not see failure. Let the path push you like a broken branch in river’s current.”

The most shocking thing after the man vanishes off-screen to exit the bus stop is that the bald man did not finish his Nutella.

OK, not really.

But more surprisingly, we see the bald man and that same ragged dog from the beginning of the first episode prance away into the woods. We don’t know if Earnest has any mental issues, but those two entities within his mind may or may not be clues.

That or he just daydreams a whole lot.

 

Paper Boi/Alfred

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Paper Boi has a problem that he struggles with, hell, what many rappers struggle with. Its what I, and many call, as The Rap Game. Hip Hop/Rap has put a perception, especially nowadays, on people that the rapper has to be perceived as:

  1. A cool dude.
  2. A cool dude that has to be hard in the streets.
  3. A cool dude that has to be hard in the streets and gets money.
  4. A cool dude that has to be hard in the streets, get money and has lush relations with women.

The list can go on and on FOREVER. All that just makes being yourself hard.

So in reality, my man Alfred has no girls, no lucrative money bags, and is definitely not out in the streets slinging dope and killing dudes on some goonie gang sh*t. There are moments within the show that may lead the audience to believe that Paper Boi is that type of guy that is the stereotypical rapper. Moments like in the first scene in the entire series, when Paper Boi is confronted with a haggler that breaks his car’s mirror. The edit fast-forwards the scene to when Paper Boi has the pistol out ready to fire on the haggler’s chest. I might add that this is a good place where editing is effective. We later find out in the episode that Paper Boi reached for a pistol in the glove compartment but Earnest stopped him from reacting on impulse to solve a problem. Then Earnest brings out the pistol in fear that it might escalade to something worse, BUT in irrational rapper/ “R&B n**** with a six-pack” fashion, Paper Boi pulls out another pistol that he had on his person.

He then pulls the trigger.

Once again in reality, we find out that Paper Boi is actually not that type of dude deep inside. That hits the audience when Paper Boi realizes that his music may be the cause for imprinting the wrong beliefs in children.

On one of his walks through the hood, he encounters a group of young kids playing around. There is a boy with a toy gun. The boy is referencing Paper Boi  while he fantasizes about shooting his sister in back as she runs away. Paper Boi tries to teach the boy why it is bad to do that but gets into a misunderstanding with the kids’ mother/aunt. This scene really captures the essence of Alfred as a person and not an upcoming star. Of course the caretaker of those kids didn’t see it that way. You see, Alfred has a reputation to uphold. Not as himself, but as Paper Boi.

It all comes back to the Rap Game that Alfred has entered and will soon find out that its hard to maintain a spot within it. In the Rap Game, people do not respect you until you earn their respect through various acts. Whether it is spitting bars on bars in freestyles, dressing in unique ways becoming a trendsetter, or having the streets respect you because you really live the gang life.

AGAIN.

The list could go on and on.

Since he is on the come up people, more importantly the streets, don’t believe that Paper Boi is about that life.

WELP.

Why not shoot a fool in front of a convenience store and get sent to jail for it. I’m sure that will start a buzz. Marketing is a huge key for hyping up a brand and what a great way to do it.

Maybe you didn’t a catch why Paper Boi wasn’t kept in jail for too long. Well, in many black communities like Atlanta, the police and black community relationships are utterly in shambles. Black people won’t snitch on each other, just as the cops won’t snitch on each other. If nobody saw (PEOPLE DEF DID SEE THAT S***) Paper Boi pull the trigger then just post the bail on a pending (NOT PENDING) investigation on a shooting.

Paper Boi is truly trying to get out of Dekalb County with his music no matter what the cost is to his honest self. This disconnect from the real person and rap persona may get further and further as we go.

 

Lastly, there is the absolutely mysterious Darius.

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There is no back story that the audience can have on this dude. He’s just Alfred’s homie. He is a seriously odd character who may or may not have had inhaled to many puffs of the ganja. Darius is a character with only one name like mythical people such as Beyoncé or Prince. He has moments within the episodes where he can drop major keys like when he was providing comfort to Paper Boi’s reminiscing inside the fried chicken spot.

“As humans we are always close to destruction, life itself is but a series of close calls. I mean, how would you know you were alive, unless you knew you could die?”

Then other times Darius is just completely out of it like when he asked Earn’s father if he could measure the man’s tree. I might add that Darius showed up to this man’s house smelling like several swishers with a baby in the front yard.

LIKE WHAT, FAM?

FOR WHAT?

FOR.

WHAT?

Darius really has the potential to becoming a fan favorite for the audience because of his interactions with literally anything in the show; like the time he looked inside the lemon pepper wet sauce wings. His touch, or the power from the chicken box, brought a golden Pulp Fiction hue coming from the chicken inside. I don’t know what shenanigans Darius is going to send our fellow main characters into, but it sure will be hilarious.

Moving forward, this show is definitely going to surprise people on how good it is. Many moments of great comedy and drama have been presented through its pivotal scenes. My personal favorite is the scene inside the prison. It was a smart way to encapsulate not just the black community’s, but our society’s prejudices and lack of care for mental health issues.

All in all you just have to experience the show for yourself.  The ride through Atlanta can be thrilling, hilarious, and shocking for its viewers. Hopefully, it gets better with every episode. Just rememeber to pay close attention to the details that are more than often unspoken in this show.

Lastly, don’t forget to share and comment on this post.

Check in for more conversations and posts from, not only myself, but my comrades at YourSitch.com.

Peace.


Justin Rodney is a contributing writer for YourSitch.com

Twitter: @UrFavoriteLoosr

Kyle Questions September 2016

 

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By Kyle Boris

September is upon us which means our favorite television shows are returning, new ones are premiering, baseball is coming to a close, football is starting up and of course the Emmy’s are knocking on the door. With all that in mind, take a look as I count down the 10 most pressing and entertaining issues that have me interested as I question September 2016.

10.) Will Ryan Lochte make it past the first round on Dancing with the Stars?

Oh, Ryan, where did we go wrong? Oh, yeah, it was when you lied about your drunken night. We’ve all been there. But, what better way to get rid of some bad publicity than to go on Dancing with the Stars? Lochte will be a contestant on Season 23?! of the popular dancing competition joining the likes of reality television all-star Vanilla Ice and fellow olympian, Laurie Hernandez. I have to assume Lochte isn’t going to be a fan favorite even if he dances well. Could he end up spending less time on the dance floor than he did in Rio?

Kyle’s Answer: Lochte will make it past the first round…but not much further. 

9.) Will Donald Glover find success in Atlanta?

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Creator, co-writer, producer, star. Donald Glover does it all on his new comedy series, Atlanta, set to premiere  September 6th on FX. The man who goes by Childish Gambino in the rap scene and went by Troy on Community, Glover dwells into his own creation this time around as he plays Earn Marks, a man with no job in a big city with bigger dreams. Early reviews are positive and it seems as if Glover has struck gold again.

Kyle’s Answer: Glover shines in HOTLANTA

8.) Will Storks have the same success as The Lego Movie?

After an eleven year layoff, Warner Animation Group(formally Warner Bros. Feature Animation) hit it big with one of the biggest animated films of 2014 with The Lego Movie. The film sits at a whopping 96% on Rotten Tomatoes and grossed over 469 million bucks. I feel sorry for the film that has to follow that up. That’s where Storks comes in; September 23 to be exact. This 3D animated film revolves around the idea that storks no longer deliver babies and instead deliver packages. All is well until Junior(Andy Samberg) gets into some hijinks and must deliver an actual baby. The idea is a fresh one and the trailers haven’t given much away, but we’ll have to see if Samberg can bring the same charm to Junior that Chris Pratt brought to Emmet in The Lego Movie.

Kyle’s Answer: Storks does well, but falls short in its opening weekend at the box office againts The Magnificent Seven(starring Chris Pratt). 

7.) Will there be a tie for the second wild card spot heading into the final two days of the MLB regular season?

It’s only happened once since the new wild card rules were created in 2012, but this season has the chance to produce a 163rd game between two teams tied for the second wild card. Two teams are granted a wild card berth and play in one game to determine who moves on to the Division Round. But, with many teams fighting for positioning, there’s a chance a 163rd game might have to be played in case of a tie for the second wild card spot.

While the NL has a chance as the Mets, Pirates and Marlins are all within three games of the final wild card spot, the American League has a logjam of teams fighting for that final spot.

 

TEAM W L PCT WCGB
Red Sox 74 59 .556 +2.0
Orioles 72 61 .541
Tigers 72 61 .541
Astros 71 62 .534 1.0
Yankees 69 63 .523 2.5
Royals 69 64 .519 3.0
Mariners 68 65 .511 4.0

records via MLB.com

A whole bunch of scheduling conflicts could be in play if two or more teams finish with the same record. As of right now, the Orioles and Tigers would have to play a  163rd game to determine who gets the chance to play the Red Sox. However, the Astros, Yankees, Royals and even Mariners are within striking distance of making October very interesting.

Kyle’s Answer: The Red Sox and the Orioles hold off the competition heading into October

6.) Will Tim Tebow be signed to a Major League Baseball Contract?

Tebow 3:16. TebowMania. Tebow Time. It seems that the man can’t go a few months without his name being heard around the country. The former football star recently had a tryout in front of Major League Baseball scouts for over 25 teams. He showed off his speed for his size, a strong arm, and some decent power. But, what are the chances Tebow gets signed during the month of September? Tebow could do well in the minor leagues, perhaps, but I’m not so sure someone’s ready to give him the opportunity.

Kyle’s Answer: Tebow doesn’t get signed and is back as an analyst before month’s end. 

5.) Will Marvel’s Luke Cage follow in the footsteps of Jessica Jones and Daredevil?

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We’ll have to wait until the end of the month to know if Luke Cage will be a hit just like fellow superheroes Jessica Jones and Daredevil. Netflix hasn’t missed a beat recently with its comic book adaptations and there shouldn’t be any worry that this will change with Luke Cage. Cage was a towering force as Jones’s lover and partner on her Netflix series, so its exciting to see what he can do on his own.

Kyle’s Answer: I binge watch it in one night…and it delivers. 

4.) Will South Park’s 20th season premiere crack two million viewers?

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The boys of South Park have been crossing lines and dropping jaws for 19 strong seasons with number 20 on the way, September  14th. However, last season saw a drop in viewers as the premiere only brought in 1.76 million viewers. That was down from the 2.40 million for Season 18 and 2.89 for Season 17. Actually, the show didn’t crack 2 million U.S. viewers once in its 19th season. 20 seasons is a big deal and with plenty of Trump to go around, we can be sure the animated comedy has some material to work with.

Kyle’s Answer: South Park’s premiere does not mention Kyle’s mom, but reaches 2 million viewers. 

3.) How will the Patriots do without Tom Brady?

If you weren’t aware. Tom Brady had some problems with his balls; more specifically the air quality in said balls. The man was on a mission to take down Roger Goodell and get his four-game suspension revoked for Deflate Gate, but ultimately Goodell won the battle and Brady will be forced to sit out his team’s first four games against the Dolphins and Texans at home and on the road against the Cardinals and Bills. Jimmy Garoppolo has zero career starts in the NFL and will be tasked with facing some tough defenses to open the season.

Kyle’s Answer: Patriots lose both road games and one at home to the Texans to fall to 1-3 before Brady comes back to save them and carry the team to the playoffs. 

2.) Who says the most offensive joke at the Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe?

Every year Comedy Central hosts a roast where a bunch of comedians and celebrities get to tear each and pretty much anyone and anything going on in the world apart. Justin Bieber and James Franco have been previous roastees, but this year’s honor goes to Rob Lowe. Will Rob make the most offensive joke of the night? Probably not. That honor will have to come from one of his fellow roasters: Jimmy Carr, Ann Coulter, David Spade, Pete Davidson, Nikki Glaser, Jewel, Ralph Macchio, Peyton Manning, Rob Riggle and Jeff Ross.

Kyle’s Answer: The safe bet is to go with Jeff Ross who is never afraid to address touchy topics. However, I’m gonna go with Pete Davidson who will try to follow up some of his 9/11 references from last year.

1.) Will Game of Thrones sweep the Supporting Actor/Actress categories at the Emmy’s?

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Game of Thrones had a huge sixth season. Deaths: CHECK. Battles: CHECK. More Deaths: CHECK. With all those deaths and battles came some great performances from the regular actors and actresses on the show. This was made clear when the Emmy nominees were announced and five GoT actors & actresses were nominated.

In the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series category, Peter Dinklage(Tyrion) and Kit Harington(Jon Snow) will try to fend off Jonathan Banks(Better Caul Saul), Michael Kelly(House of Cards), Ben Mendelsohn(Bloodline) and Jon Voight(Ray Donovan). Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series finds three ladies of Game of Thrones as nominees. Emilia Clarke(Daenerys), Lena Headey(Cersei) and Maisie Williams(Arya) all will be vying for their first Emmy awards against Maggie Smith(Downton Abbey), Maura Tierney(The Affair) and Constance Zimmer(UnREAL).

Kyle’s Answer: The women have a better shot to come away with a victory and I believe Lena Headey powers through and notches the Emmy win for her role as Cersei. On the men’s side, Kit and Peter will have some competition particularly in the form of the great Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut on Better Call Saul, but I think Kit Harrington as Jon Snow pulls out the victory for the Starks!


Kyle Boris is a contributing editor for YourSitch.com

Twitter: @KyleNoStyle

21 American Horror Story Gifs to Get You Ready for Season 6

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via wikimedia

By Kyle Boris

American Horror Story has made us visit a Murder House, check in at an Asylum, join a Coven, attend a Freak Show and get a room at a Hotel. We’re not totally sure what we’re in store for on September 14, 2016, but if history is any indication, we’re in for some kind of ride. Don’t believe me? Check out these 21 American Horror Story Gifs to Get You Ready for Season 6!

 

Use protection kids

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Why Tate, why?

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Damn, Dandy! Back at it again with the creepiness

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That murder was legen…wait for it…dary

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Nothing like some good ‘ole fashion swinging…with blood…and vampires…

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via FX

“I told you not to spoil Game of Thrones for me!”-Twisty, probably

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Bloodyface took walking a mile in someone else’s shoes to a whole new level

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“This girl is on fiyaaaaaa”

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“Just like animals, like animals, like animals-mals”

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via FX

 

Me on Instagram

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Me in real life

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via FX

*smiles for hours at the cuteness*

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Me vs. my responsibilities

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via FX

Me: Watch American Horror Story

Friend: I don’t think I’d be into it

                                        Me:

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When you lose your mind at the end of every season

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When part of you finds AHS’s WTF moments entertaining and the other part of you questions your sanity

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Friend: Wow, this show is actually pretty good

                        Me:

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“I’ve never watched AHS before”

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When you gotta kill vampires, but your hotline blings

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When AHS ends

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When AHS returns

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Kyle Boris is a contributing editor for YourSitch.com

Twitter: @KyleNoStyle

Things to Do While Waiting for the Next Season of Game of Thrones

 

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By Kyle Boris

Hold the door. Winter is here. Promise me, Ned. A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell, and I’m going home.

Season 6 of Game of Thrones provided us with some heart-stopping lines and heart-breaking moments. The sixth season of the HBO fantasy-drama gave fans some of the best television of the year with insane battle sequences, unpredictable deaths and more twists and turns than ever before. It’s no surprise that the finale was the most watched episode of the series to date. 

All of this has made GoT fans go nuts about possible future storylines and where the show will go next in Season 7. However, fans aren’t as excited about how long they’ll have to wait to see more Thrones. According to show-runners, fans won’t be getting new episodes until the summer of 2017. If you were wondering if that equals eternity, than yes…yes, that is an eternity.

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via hindustantimes.com

But not to worry, I’m sure there’s plenty of things you can do in the meantime to keep your mind off the best show on television. The one with the dragons, the one that keeps you on the edge of your seat, the one that pulls at your heartstrings week after week. Yeah, there’s definitely ways to keep your mind off of that…

How about just picking up a new television show? Every September our television screens are blessed with brand new programs that attempt to become the next big thing and perhaps the next Game of Thrones. If you’re a fan of movies being turned into television shows (because they ALWAYS turn out good) than you have some stellar choices this year.

Fox, CBS and NBC all thought it would be a great idea to test the waters on this whole ‘let’s take a pretty good movie and see if it works better as a pretty good television show’ phenomenon.

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via i.ytimg.com

Your first option comes to you from CBS. Remember how perfect Denzel Washington nailed the character of Detective Alonzo Harris in Training Day? Yeah, me too. CBS has decided to try to work off of that success and put together a series based off the original film.But no, Denzel will not be reprising his role.

How about NBC? They’re putting their own spin on a more recent movie, but instead they’re focusing on the events that happened before the film. The Taken franchise is coming to the small screen and will follow the main character, originally played by Liam Neeson, before he had a family.

Alright Fox, your turn. What do you got? Oh, you want to do a series based off the Lethal Weapon movies? Hmm.. Well, we give them credit for getting Damon Wayans to play Murtaugh, but I think I’m more interested in Lethal Weapon 6 by the gang from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. 

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via hindustantimes.com

So finding a new television show to replace Game of Thrones doesn’t sound like it’s going to work. Another option is just owning a Pokemon gym. I’d rather catch Pidgey after Pidgey instead of crying over Hodor’s death while waiting for the next season. I take that back. Hodor, you heroic bastard, I will never stop thinking about you holding that freakin door.

If you want to just keep yourself busy, maybe take a trip down to Charlotte and ask them WTF is wrong with them. Like seriously, just go there and ask them. They could have hosted the 2016-2017 NBA All-Star game and made millions of dollars in revenue while bringing thousands of people who may have never visited the city, but they decided to hold pat on their unreasonable standards on the LGBT community’s rights. 

Writing always gets my mind off of things. Why not try and write a song? It doesn’t seem to be that hard these days. Step One: Drive a car? Think of that car. Step two: think of an animal that most resembles your car. Step three: get a sick beat. Bam! You got yourself a hit. It worked for Desiigner with his white BMW and “Panda”. I’m sure there’s some solid choices. That pink and black Lamborghini sure does look like a flamingo. Ah, your mud-stained yellow station wagon sure does resemble a dirty duckling.

If you’re one for drama, maybe it’s time to start up an internet feud with someone. Internet feuds last for months and usually get you back in the spotlight or give you more spotlight than you bargained for. Meek Mill vs. Drake, Drake vs. Joe Budden, Joe Budden vs. Drake fans. Oh, and of course anyone around Kanye West; ie Taylor Swift, Wiz Khalifa, Amber Rose. Just go log onto Twitter and start spitting out some rumors about Walking Dead fans.

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via wikimedia

It doesn’t look like any of these options can really live up to Game of Thrones so as a group we might just have to make sure we keep George R.R. Martin healthy and motivated. We’ve waited this long for Dany to finally start heading to Westeros and we can’t be let down.  We’ll be patiently waiting…for over a year…for new episodes…of Game of Thrones…ugh.

 


Kyle Boris is a contributing editor for YourSitch.com

Twitter: @KyleNoStyle