ali eblast

by Michael P Coleman

I am having trouble conveying my sadness at the passing of Muhammad Ali.  I've lost so many that were a part of my childhood.  Walter Cronkite.  (Yeah, I was THAT kid.). Michael Jackson.  Christopher Reeve.  And just a few weeks ago, Prince.  But a week ago, when a notification popped up on my iPhone trumpeting Ali's death at 74, I froze.  I literally could not move.  I was uncharacteristically speechless.

It took me a few days to figure out why. 

Ali didn't just call himself The Greatest.  He was the greatest boxer we've known.  For this 70s kid, he was a modern day Joe Louis who had battled the ghosts of a challenging childhood on his way to winning the heavyweight champ title in 1964.   

ali articlecontentAt the height of his popularity, Ali opposed our country's involvement in the Vietnam War, and paid for his defiance with his championship belt and his livelihood, being barred from fighting for three years.  As he supported himself via speaking engagements at college campuses, popular opinion over Vietnam caught up with him, and over time vehemence levied his way subsided. 

Then, Ali did what was then perceived as impossible.  Past his prime as a professional boxer, he fought his way back into the ring, regaining his heavyweight champ title and, ultimately, our nation's heart. 

Muhammad Ali was one of my earliest childhood heroes.  More than a boxer, he was a sepia Superman who, I dreamed, was the one person alive who could have helped me battle my own childhood demons, including an alcoholic, abusive father.  After my drunken dad broke the skin on my behind with an extension cord, or turned his fist from me to my mother, I imagined -- I KNEW -- that Ali could have stopped him.  As an adolescent, I drew on Ali's inspiration as I stood up to my dad, toe to toe and fist to fist.  To my knowledge, he never tried to fight my mom again. 

As much as I admired Ali as a boxer, I joined the world in being enthralled by his bravado.  Simply put, Ali ALWAYS talked shit.  Big shit.  He wasn't just the greatest fighter, he told us:  he was also pretty!  As a young kid, I copied that persona, first talking myself out of the negative messages that I'd begun to internalize, then taking that bravado to school with me.   I later learned that Ali was self-conscious as well, and that his bravado was his method for talking himself into the victories he sought in the ring.  In some ways, I still employ that technique, when I'm facing a challenge and begin to doubt myself.

Ali inspired me once more as I watched him battle Parkinson's with grace and dignity.  I hope I can do the same, when my physical body begins to succumb to time and usage. 

So I am sad that this man, this legend, is gone.  I just watched another hero of mine, Kareem Abdul-Jabar, share his own memories of Ali, and I'm preparing to watch Ali’s funeral online.  When I call on the ancestors, as I often do when facing a challenge, Ali will absolutely be one of them.

Thank you, Muhammad Ali, and by all means, rest in peace.

FullSizeRenderThis article was written by Sacramento-based freelance writer Michael P Coleman. 

Connect with him at or on Twitter:  @ColemanMichaelP

Janet Jackson shocked the world when she recently announced, days before her 50th birthday, that she was expecting her first child. (She steered clear of using the word “pregnant”, and with her penchant for secrecy and media deception, I’m skeptical…but I digress…).

Whether Miss-Jackson-If-You’re-Nasty is pregnant or not, a woman in India, Dajinder Kaur, has trumped her by giving birth to her son, Aman Singh.

The new, first-time mom puts her age at about 70, but the clinic where she gave birth released a statement that says she’s 72.

What’s a couple of years? At the sprightly young age of 70-something, Kaur has become a first time mom with her husband of 46 years, 79-year-old Mohinder Singh.

You’ll be as shocked as I was to learn that the gushing new parents conceived little Arman via in-vitro fertilization. They decided to go through fertility treatment over a year ago.

Well into their 70s, they’d better be praising God that their in-vitro pregnancy didn’t yield multiple births, as they often do. They’re going to have a hard enough time chasing after ONE kid, at their age!

Nonetheless, one can’t help but be happy for the couple, who finally got what they wanted after many years of wishing and praying.

“I feel blessed to be able to hold my own baby,” Kaur said. “I had lost hope of becoming a mother ever. There was so much loneliness. I used to feel empty.”

I don’t usually speak for mothers. I have one and was married to another, but by no means am I an expert on mothering. But I think that all mothers would agree that Kaur will be replacing emptiness with exhaustion!

Doctors initially told Kaur that she was too old to conceive, in-vitro or not. Relatives suggested that the cost of the treatment — close to $15,000 — would be better spent adopting one of the many children worldwide who are in need of loving parents.

Faur was not interested.

“I never wanted to adopt a child as I was unsure if I would be able to love it like my own, hence I was keen to give birth to a baby myself,” she said.

At press time, Kaur is breastfeeding her newborn, and plans to do so for as long as possible.

Breastfeeding at 70-something? Sweet little Arman is being fed powdered milk.

As happy as Kaur is, one has to wonder whether she and her husband plan to have another child, and give little Arman a sibling.

“I think I’d die if I try for another kid and wouldn’t be able to enjoy my precious Arman,” she said.

I think Kaur may die anyway before little Arman grows up. 70-something and having her first kid?? Really??? I had both of mine in my 20s, and can’t imagine keeping up with one even now, let alone when I’m in my 70s.

Kaur will be pushing 80, and his dad will be well into his 80s, before Arman starts school. I don’t think that’s fair to the kid. My girls talk about me teaching them to catch a football and ride a bike, playing on the jungle gym with them at the playground, and riding amusement park rides with them. They don’t have memories of pushing me to the park in a wheelchair.

Nonetheless, I wish the happy new parents many, many days and weeks with Arman. And I hope to interview Arman one day, when I’m in my 70s, to hear HIS side of this story! blog was written by freelance writer Michael P Coleman, who became a first-time father at 21 years old.  As challenging as that was, he’s thankful to be decades away from his 70s with adult children.  

Connect with him at or on Twitter:  @ColemanMichaelP

You’re probably familiar with the name Shonda Rhimes. If not, you’re familiar with THESE names: Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, and How To Get Away With Murder. Those television shows are three of Rhimes’ babies, and thanks to them, she owns network TV’s Thursday nights like they haven’t been owned since the Huxtables were around.

If you’re a Shondaland fan, you’ll like her new book, Year of Yes. It’s basically a trip through the tackling of a few of the writer’s own demons, including (very surprisingly) crippling self-doubt and insecurity. Rhimes says she found herself habitually saying “no” to anything that scared her or was outside of her comfort zone, which included all public speaking engagements.

After receiving challenges of sorts from her sisters — who are hysterically candid with her, according to the book — Rhimes embarked on her “year of yes”, agreeing to agree to every opportunity that came her way.

Year Of Yes is undoubtedly making an impact. Scandal star Kerry Washington recently referred to it as required reading. That’s a bit like Jesus saying the bible is required reading, but it’s significant, nonetheless. And speaking of Jesus, at least one church was inspired to embark upon its own “year of yes” this year, after the pastor read the book.

I said if you’re a fan of Rhimes’ dramas, you’ll LIKE the book — but you may not love it. Rhimes’ writing style mirrors the repetitive speech patterns of her beloved characters. Those patterns are always entertaining and are most often hilarious during our favorite dramas. However, on the printed page, without the likes of actors like Viola Davis, Kerry Washington, and Ellen Pompeo to breathe life into them, those patterns can be static.

I read Year Of Yes during a flight recently, and at one point, I could have almost jumped out of the plane sans parachute so that I could avoid one…more…word. One more word! I’d have done almost anything I could to avoid one more word. One more!’m glad I talked myself off of the virtual ledge, as those maddening passages in Year Of Yes are relatively few, and the book was worth the time I spent sharing Rhimes’ journey from self-doubt through acceptance to self-love. But more than anything, Rhimes’ book is a testament to the acting genius of Davis, Washington, Pompeo and the rest of Shondaland’s exemplary team of Thespians. Without their exceptional gifts, Rhimes’ words just don’t sing.

That said, I’d recommend picking up a copy of Year Of Yes and taking Rhimes’ journey of self-discovery with her. If you’re a Shondaland fan, the book is practically screaming out to you: pick me, choose me, love me…BUY me!

Shonda Rhimes’ Year Of Yes is available at retail and digital outlets everywhere. P Coleman is a Sacramento-based freelance writer whose penis will never be on a dead girl’s phone.

However, he really wants you to be his person.

Connect with him at or on Twitter: @ColemanMichaelP





49430*Who doesn’t know the name Rosa Parks? Her name is arguably the most famous in the history of the Civil Rights Movement. And with what Ms. Parks has often stated was an uninvited wealth of fame, saying she simply did what she did because she was tired (I met her and these words came from her lips) comes a lot of opportunity for her image to be used and misused in commercial fashion.

I recently learned that retail giant Target had attempted to commission a series of Rosa Parks inspired items including books, movies and plaques, to commemorate her life.

But what may appear as an act of honorable homage being paid to this historical figure by some, may look like something else to others.

For the complete story, visit

by  Michael P. Coleman

nadkins single pack feature male refresher towelettes 121515 grande*Just like when you go to your favorite porn site (don’t judge me), let’s clear the kids out of the room and cut right to the chase: there is NOTHING more uncomfortable for the bruthas than an itchy, sweaty sack.

So for our collective relief, I present to you: Nadkins, “male jewels refresher towelettes.”

According to the company’s website, “a lot of thought and care went into the creation of Nadkins.”

I would hope so.

“After all,” the site continues, “this isn’t designed for any old part of the body.”

No shit. Kunta Kinte even opted to have a foot cut off to save his balls. As much as I love my feet (I said don’t judge me!), I’d have been hobbled, too.


Compiled by Kris Michele, Coleman Communications Intern from wire and online sources

T10300971 10152237624718691 1711380543506745010 nexting while driving — no matter how good you think you are at it, or how lucky you have been — is vehicular suicide and manslaughter that’s just biding its time.

In 2012, 3,328 people were killed in auto accidents that involved a distracted driver. An additional 421,000 people were injured — a 9% increase from the 387,000 people injured in 2011.

If those numbers catch your eye, take a look at some more statistics:

    •       More than 50 percent of teens admit to texting while driving

 •     ore than 3,000 teens die each year in crashes caused by texting while driving

    •       In 2011, nearly one in five crashes (17%) where someone was injured involved distracted driving.

PULL OVER TO TEXT®” is a movement created by Demetrius Thompson, the CEO and tech visionary at Global Mobile Alert™. After being hit twice by distracted drivers while in his vehicle, he knew it was time to step up and do something about it.

Thompson began by asking his social media friends to post pictures of themselves holding a handwritten note that reads, I PULL OVER TO TEXT®.” Then he encouraged them to tag their friends and family to do the same using the hashtag, #ipullovertotext or #pullovertotext.

The response was overwhelming, with people joining the movement from as far away as India!

But as pleased as Thompson was with this response, he knew he couldn’t stop there. He decided to build an app that would alert the distracted driver, especially when that driver might be approaching a changing light, a school, or a railroad track.

“I felt it was important to develop an app that would protect people from distracted drivers,” Thompson said via email.  “I knew the danger of people texting while driving and I didn’t want to wait for others to address the problem — so I did it myself.” 

The PULL OVER TO TEXT®” app is a quick and easy download to your Android phone.  (An iOS version is in development.)  When a text message comes in, the sender receives one of three SMS auto response that the user pre-selects, which can include I am not able to answer your text while driving,” I will call you in a few minutes,” or I will text you when I pull over.” The driver can also customize their own pre-determined, automatic response.

Coleman Communications is a Sacramento-based marketing and communications agency Connect with CEO Mike Coleman at 916-834-5567 or


*It may be a small world, after all, but it’s an increasing sad and dangerous one, as well.

In a real wake-up call, and in the wake of recent shootings in Paris and San Bernardino, Disney theme parks are installing metal detectors at their entrances. For the first time, they’ve banned costumes for guests over 14 years old, and banned the sale and possession of toy weapons in all of their parks, for fear that they’ll be confused with the real deal.

Disney’s move comes a week after they had to arrest a man for trying to enter the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida with a handgun, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

“We continually review our comprehensive approach to security and are implementing additional security measures, as appropriate,” Disney spokeswoman Jacquee Wahler told USA Today.

What are some of those measures? They include dogs that can detect explosives worn on the body.

Sounds like Mickey’s job just got a lot more dangerous and complicated.


The extra security is being put in place at both Walt Disney World in Florida and California’s Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks. Disney hasn’t been clear about whether their security enhancements are permanent, or just for the holiday season, which is traditionally one of the busiest seasons for theme parks nationwide.

What’s next?  Gas masks in the gift shop?  Body armor on the ride operators?

For what it’s worth, other parks are making similar moves. Universal says it has added metal detectors to its theme parks on both coasts. “We want our guest to feel safe when they come here,” Universal spokesman Tom Schroder said. “This test is a natural progression for us as we study best practices for security in today’s world.”

SeaWorld says that guests at its theme parks should expect more thorough bag checks and wand metal detectors. But as much as I loved seeing Shamu as a kid (boy, have times changed), its not Disney. No place on earth is as far as I’m concerned, so when “the most magical place on earth” has to take measures like this to make their guests feel safe, we’ve let this world go, as my mother would say, to hell in a hand-basket.

I’m not alone.

“Now, families can’t even go to ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’ to escape the realities of gun violence in this country,” Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said in a statement.


“Disney’s decision, undoubtedly made with the safety of their guests foremost in mind, reflects the sacrifices we are all being forced to make as reckless politicians kowtow to the corporate gun lobby.” Gross said. “It doesn’t have to be this way; we are better than this.”

I think we are, too.

Others believe the security measures are appropriate.

“I think the metal detectors are a reasonable precaution,” Tim Harden, an Orlando graphic designer, said. “You’re going to wait in lines all day long, so what’s one more line?”

It’s one more line. And as I stand in it this spring, in the same line I stood in as a kid, and later stood in with my kids every other spring break, I’ll be saddened, and reminded that we as a society have lost control of the gun control issue.

What do you think? Is this a reasonable precaution? Will you feel safer at theme parks with metal detectors at the entrance, or have Disney and other parks gone too far? Let us know in the Comments section.

This article was written by freelance writer Michael P Coleman, who’s rethinking his decision to visit WDW again next year.  Connect with him at or on Twitter.


by Michael P Coleman

IMG 3311Fans of The Wiz, and musical theatre in general, are getting an early holiday gift this year as NBC readies their new live, all-star broadcast on December 3rd, featuring ingenue Shanice Williams.  Stephanie Mills, who played Dorothy in the original Broadway production, is the new production’s Aunt ‘Em. 

Fans of Diana Ross, who played Dorothy in the 1978 feature film, were a bit disappointed when she wasn’t added to the cast.  (After all, she’s been playing Glenda in concert onstage for decades, right?  “Reach out and touch somebody’s hand…”)  But Motown is giving us a consolation prize with the November 27 release of “Diana Ross Sings Songs From The Wiz”, an album the diva recorded in 1978 as a planned companion piece to the movie’s soundtrack.  After the movie underperformed at the box office, the album was shelved — until now. 

Read the full story here: