Friday, June 29, 2007

I'm Just Going To Put This Out Here

Like any good blogger, I keep statistics on who comes to the website. I know where all visitors come from, and, believe me, I don't use it for anything malicious. If anything, it is personal interest to find out how people find my little spot on the Internet.

With that said, I've been noticing a lot of questionable visitors to the website, people who have been searching with the phrase "bobby cutts" and "nigger". This is a huge problem, but I'm frankly unsurprised. Instead of giving this man his day in court regardless of guilt, people have already condemned him. Additionally, people are calling Cutts a nigger? Are you serious? What has he done to you aside from "violate" a principle that was considered asinine back in the day when it was created: the cult of white femininity? Oh wait, none of this matters since all Black people are the same to you racists: uneducated, unwashed masses waiting to kill oh-so-pure white women and serve the every need of White America, asking nothing in response.

People who come to this website with the expectation of reading a hateful diatribe about how they should hang Cutts from a tree are sorely mistaken. Let's iron out facts first. As much as I might not like her policy, Condoleezza Rice is a heavily educated Black woman who came from the Jim Crow south, who lost friends in the Sixteenth Street Bombing. Rice is the chief representative of the American government abroad. Colin Powell, also a Black man, is one of the best foreign policy minds in the world. Cornell West is widely regarded as one of the best intellectuals of the current era. Henry Louis Gates has brought the world fiction that it would have never read otherwise and presented a new side of the American experience. Additionally, Cutts is just as much of an American as you are and should be allowed the rights given to him by the 6th Amendment instead of being strung up like so many of my predecessors were to the great pride of white men who were too much of cowards to allow for real justice.

To call Black men bucks, women sluts, and my people savage niggers (like some of the other articles that come up with this page in a google search for the two terms) is to discredit my people's contributions. It is to discredit most modern music, which was primarily born of the Black experience. It is to discredit a very large section of the American experience, one that encapsulates Black culture as well as White culture.

This website is a celebration of the advances that Black people have made. I am a product of these people's work. I've read them, looked at them, studied them, and recognized that I am the future. I would never work in a manner to discredit them or diminish anything that they've done. I am a critic, and I will criticize when they have done something wrong. But, I will never call them a nigger in derision, like so many of the visitors who come to this site most likely want me to do.

Additionally, the cult of white femininity is a social construct of overly possessive white men who do not believe in something that many others do: freedom of choice. Davis chose to be with Cutts. Cutts chose to be with Davis. This is not a "violation" of her purity. Davis made a decision of her own free will; her "purity" was not "stolen" by some Black buck. To even suggest that is an insult to Bobby Cutts as well as all Black men on this planet. Additionally, this is an affront to Davis, suggesting that she was unaware of what she was getting involved with. She already had a child with him and was expecting his second. She did not deserve her end, but to suggest that she is some sacred object that must be defended by white men from the advances of others is ludicrous. To argue the cult of femininity strips a woman of her agency, which I'm sure would be fine for the racists who come to this website; they would love for a woman to sit at home all day barefoot waiting for their husband to show up so they can dote upon them and serve their every beckon call.

So, when you come to this website looking for racist, hateful speech while using terms like nigger, you are not just offending me, you are also offending all other Black people who are trying to advance themselves, Black people are trendsetters in all areas of culture and business. So, with that in mind, to all of the racists, I have two words that can basically summarize what I want to say: FUCK YOU!

And She Was Like Super!

Friday has come. I'm shelving the 5 A Day for the weekend. The blog is back in the game on Sunday unless something comes up on Saturday. So, go do something with your day. I'm going back to reading my book about shopping. Do whatever you feel as long as it's not sitting online writing or reading blogs or news.

On that note, here is a video from Schneider TM for Pac Man/Shopping Cart


Proof of my previous point. So What Ya Sayin?

I've now proven my point.

Why Rap is Garbage

Truest words for anyone that ever heard "Gold Digger" or "You Gots to Chill": EPMD is the consummate rap duo. Their rhymes were complex, their beats were hard, and they flew off of each other. New cats can't do this. They can't half rap to begin with. EPMD has recognized this and decided to make a comeback. New bucks, stop being minstrels for two minutes and take a lesson from the masters of the mic: Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith.

That's real rap. Real freestyling. Real rap talent. Period.

Mitt Romney is Not Competent

Along with being a terrible candidate who believes that Guantanamo, the eyesore of a prison that has brought shame to the good name of America along with the aimless war on terror, should be doubled in size, Mitt Romney is further proving that he is completely incompetent.

Romney is under investigation by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for his treatment of his Irish Setter Seamus. Seamus was put in a kennel and tied to the top of a car for a 12-hour car ride from Boston to Ontario. The dog eventually ended up shitting all over the car. Instead of cleaning it up and putting the dog in the car like most people would, Romney cleaned it all up...and put the dog back in the kennel on top of the car.

Now, Romney defends himself by saying that the dog loves being on top of the car. And I quote: "He scrambled up there every time we went on trips." Firstly, most dogs don't shit in excitement; they shit in fear. Secondly, how does a dog scramble to the top of a car. That's not exactly easy. And, seeing that he is a mormon, Romney probably owned a large car, so I doubt the possibility of the dog scrambling to the roof.

Think of this as a cautionary tale. Even though it happened in 1983, do you really think that he has changed since, especially since he clearly has a suspension of reality working on his side? Also, he can't treat his dog appropriately. What is there to make me believe that he could run the country appropriately? I wasn't going to vote for him anyway, but this is definitely the nail in the coffin.

So, Did She Not Go To Stab A Bitch?

Lisa Nowak, the batshit crazy astronaut who attempted to kill her former lover's current girlfriend, captured the imagination of America by wearing diapers along the drive from Texas to Florida. But, was this all a figment of the press's imagination?

Nowak's attorney says that it is. Donald Lykkebak, Nowak's attorney and a man with a few too many k's in his name for my liking, has said that Nowak did NOT wear diapers on this trip. Lykkebak argues, in submitted papers, that the diapers were from when the Nowak family had to evacuate following Hurricane Katrina.

Now, if this is true, this story has lost all interest for me. I wasn't necessarily interested to begin with, but the fact that the woman wore a diaper really made the story that much better. With the diaper, she was a desperate woman who was striving for efficiency. But, with this new revelation, Nowak is now just desperate and that's just sad. I can't get behind that.

There was a Debate Last Night

In case you aren't psychic, there was a Democratic debate on PBS last night. The reason there was no coverage was because it involved intelligent Black political commentator Tavis Smiley and a highly qualified group of well-respected Black and Latino journalists talking about issues relating to inner city residents who are overwhelmingly Black and Latino. And who says the media cares about Black people?

My anger aside, it was a very good debate. If you need some information and answers, I deflect you to Susie Madrak, the Suburban Guerrilla. Madrak runs a fine blog and was given credentials to the debate, so she liveblogged it. Summaries of all the answers are there.

If you want a critique from me, I would say that Hillary won clearly with Edwards and Dodd coming in second (Chris Dodd needs to get way more press; he's a good candidate). Barack Obama was one of the worst tonight with obtuse Mike Gravel and Bill Richardson, who got an unfortunate case of foot-in-mouth disease. That leaves Biden and Kucinich in the middle. Biden said some suspect things as well, but it wasn't as bad as Obama's disconnection with the Black community and his hollow rhetoric. He literally sounds like someone who went to Harvard but didn't learn to substantiate their points. He used lots of words and debate team tricks, but did not present any actual substance. All sizzle, no steak. Hillary brought the sizzle and the steak. And she knows how to work a room.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Interpol: Visuals and Stylistics

There's a new Interpol album out. I'm not a huge Interpol fan, but I do like their music. I definitely have all of their albums. They are really good for transitional songs on mixtapes. They are also updated enough to get the young kids into old bands like Joy Division and other art school favorites. Anyway, this is the video from the new album called The Heinrich Maneuver.

The video itself reminded me of an old, infamous Spike Jonze video. I'm sure most of you have seen it. If not, or you like it as much as I do, you can watch it here. It's from Wax and is called California.

The sound of Interpol on this song reminded me of older bands, like they've been getting back to the roots. This is one band that Interpol reminds me of: The Sound. Not necessarily this song, but the overall sound. The video is for sense of purpose.

There you are: a somewhat worthless exploration of my mind. I'm going to each dinner and watch the Democrats squirm in answering questions about Black people. PBS @ 9 PM. Don't talk about it; be about it.

Five A Day: Day Eight

Today has been uneventful as apparently a talentless celebutante can enrapture the attention of everyone in America, although our Supreme Court continues to erode the law with decisions that work against both precedent and the best interest of the American public, the body that should be protected by the Court. On top of this, the Congress has decided that partisanship is more important than actually solving problems so there is no immigration reform happening in the 110th Congress while the House passes a pay raise for not actually getting anything done and having one of the lowest approval ratings in history. They also found 20 decapitated bodies in Baghdad today. 20 more were also killed by a car bomb in Baghdad. There is also massive flooding in Texas that has killed 18 people, a wild fire spreading in Lake Tahoe, and a White House that is willfully obstructing the investigation of the scandalous firing of nine US Attorneys, which day by day begins to resemble the fall of the Nixon administration at Watergate. But, never you worry your head about that. The real world is far too severe.

If you are going into Paris shock, wondering what will be covered next incessantly by the media, don't worry. Lindsay Lohan was found to be twice over the legal limit and high on blow, but, given the fact that cocaine penalties are tilted to be unfair towards crack users (read: poor white and black people), she'll probably get a suspended license, a fine, and some extra alcohol counseling as the rich and famous do. But, that won't matter to the news. Mika Brzezinski's going to be in pain for the next couple of months as celebutante fever rages on.

My cynicism towards the world aside, I actually have listened to some pretty sweet records over the last couple of days for this batch. I listened to a Pulp album today and got intrigued by Britpop. Aside from select songs and the work of Pulp and Blur, most of Britpop totally sucks. I'm currently listening to the Elastica album, and it's completely underwhelming. It's sort of boring and the pacing is weird. It sounds like a band with less chops trying to do a copy of 154/Pink Flag/Chairs Missing Wire. At least, the Wire albums are more interesting as they aren't trying to place pop structures in fairly arty, angular guitar structures and failing somewhat badly at it. And this is from someone who grew up listening to Elastica. Anyway, to the reviews....

Black Sabbath - Master of Reality

Ozzy, Geezer, Tony, and Bill hammer out the jams on their third album Masters of Reality. This is a brilliant album that influenced generations of stoned kids in the suburbs, basements, and academic facilities of America and the UK. The first thing that is immediately noticed is the sludgy guitar player of Tony Iommi. According to the recording history, Iommi injured himself before recording, so he needed to crank the tension on his guitar down to make playing easier for himself. Unbeknownst to him, he invented a sound that would be duplicated for years to come.

Masters of Reality starts off with the weed smoker's anthem Sweet Leaf. Honestly, this song makes you re-think about your love for pot. For five minutes and between solos, Ozzy personifies weed, making it his lover. It reaffirmed my love for the sticky, but it is also a technically sound song as well. The album stays in this groove when it doesn't break into pointless English folk style instrumental interludes. Those are really dumb. Must have been recording while Ozzy was blowing.

On the whole, this album is super solid. A stoner metal foundational album. A metal foundational album. A rock foundational album. This is one of the reasons, with Paranoid being the other, for why Black Sabbath is revered by everyone.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Howl

This is the most recent release from the noisy garage-punk band Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. The sound from their first two albums is hard to describe. It flows between shoegaze feedback and more straight-ahead rock and roll. Howl can definitely not be described like that.

From the choral-esque openings of Shuffle Your Feet, Howl is a complete departure from the work of the previous garage rockers. Some attribute this to the departure of the drummer Nick Jago while he dealt with substance abuse problems. I don't really think that matters. This is a band that has completely shifted its focus towards more traditional Americana. The sound is driven by the guitar-driven roots rock and country that have been staples of the American music scene for a very long time now. This base is accented with gospel overtones and folk-style instrumentation in places.

On the whole, Howl is very introspective and mature. It makes sense from Take Them On, On Your Own. But, it is still weird to hear this band singing about Jesus and redemption. Howl is an enjoyable listen and will greatly appeal to folk and country fans. That pleasure will be more up in the air for people who liked the aggressive posturing and guitar feedback of the previous albums. I like country stuff, so this album worked for me. But, I do miss that posturing.

Celestial - EP2

Celestial is an up-and-coming pop band out of Sweden. Their sound is sweet and dreamy, very twee. The lyrics are strong and their sound is very good for an indiepop band, throwing them in line with many of their contemporaries from Sweden as well as recalling a little bit of the Sarah Records bands (The Field Mice, Heavenly, The Orchids, etc.).

The indiepop sound isn't for everyone. If you like, well, indiepop, I highly recommend EP2 to you. If you are brutalized by the whisky-soaked nihilism that is country music or the street grittiness of hip-hop, the sweetness, dreaminess, and overwhelming cuteness of Celestial will grow tiring for you almost immediately. If you are in the mood for a bright spot from your nihilism, Celestial is probably a good place to find it, and this ep is a good start.

Pulp - His n' Hers

Pulp is one of the defining bands of the Britpop era. I personally never understood this as that would put them with Oasis, Blur, and Cast, three bands that were guitar driven and sort of based on that old 60's Stones/Procol Harum style. While being based on those two bands is not a bad this, such a classification doesn't really work for Pulp. Their music is much more dynamic sonically, calling upon the ashes of fallen glam rockers like David Bowie and Roxy Music while still being heavily influenced by the sounds coming from the then-current British club scene. Additionally, those bands, on their standout albums, wrote fantastic hooks. Everyone who listened to alternative radio in the 90s can sing the choruses to Girls n' Boys (Blur) and Wonderwall (Oasis). This is not possible with Pulp. And this could be a negative towards them or a positive.

In the end, this is a positive thing. The lack of hooks helps to make them stand out from the cacophony of britpop bands crowding the scene that all are writing wiry, angular pop songs in the vein of the Jam and the Buzzcocks. Elastica stole the riff from Three Girl Rhumba verbatim, but my point is the same: those bands all have songs with the sing-along chorus, something simple and memorable. Pulp's jettisoning of the chorus has helped them to define their own sound as well as allowed them to explore all of the different textures they want to incorporate into their sound. Additionally, this abandonment of traditional pop structures has allowed the band to explore the darkness of Jarvis Cocker's lyrics of sexual obsession and frustration. Such freedom allows for them to never sound outside of their element, giving them full creative range.

His 'n' Hers starts off strong with Joyriders and continues on strongly from there. The overall sound of the band can best be summarized as a more new romantic version of Roxy Music. It is glam, synth poppy, and taking cues from the British dance culture. This sounds like a lot, especially considering the nature of Cocker's lyrics. As bizarre as all of this sounds together, it really works in a beautiful way. The album is exciting, exacting, engaging, immediate, and dark.

This album is a feat of a band that, to paraphrase Romeo Void, knew what it wanted and got what it needed: a shot to prove that they are a legitimate band with talent. His 'n' Hers is a coming out party for a band that continues to impress years after they stopped recording and for Jarvis Cocker's acerbic wit, which continues to grace the music world to this day as well as the news pages. It doesn't hurt that Pulp totally rocks, too.

Queens of the Stone Age - Lullabies to Paralyze

Queens of the Stone Age had a tumultuous time between this release and their previous release Songs for the Deaf. Original QOTSA members Nick Oliveri and Josh Homme got into a fairly well-publicized battle, which resulted in Oliveri's ejection from the band at the hands of Homme. Many, myself included, were concerned that the band was going to fall off and not be the same.

Much to my pleasure, my beliefs were completely unfounded. Lullabies to Paralyze sounds like previous QOTSA albums. There is no real attempt to crossover like on Songs for the Deaf. The songs are QOTSA-trademark heavy and fuzzed out, carrying in that stoner metal vein of Kyuss. The sound is as focused as ever. Honestly, if I hadn't known about the dispute, I would think that nothing changed in the band. It sounds like regular QOTSA.

I think that I can only say one thing when most of the band is gone but sounds the same, which is consistently awesome: wow. This album is just another notch in the belt of continual high quality musicianship, seductive evil, and power of Queens of the Stone Age. This album is only further fuel for why Queens of the Stone Age is the best rock band in the arena now.

The Obsession with Ms. Hilton

Apparently, everyone today has decided to mentally shut down and talk about Paris Hilton all day. There I said it. Are you happy, world? I used her name.

That done, I've been reading bits from the interview the dead one gave to Larry King last night. All I essentially have to say is that she pretty much confirmed what I thought: the interview was going to be worth less than the tape is was recorded on. She's about as charismatic as a boulder and three times less articulate. Also, just for reference, if you spend a bunch of time saying you read a book and can't recall anything from it, you probably should take a remedial reading class at your local Adult Learning Center.

I'm not saying that I can recall bible verses from memory, but I also don't call myself a christian or have purported to have read the bible for the past three weeks. The last times I read the bible, I was about to smoke up. The time before that, when I actually focused on reading it: I was 13. I'm going on 23. I have an excuse for not recalling things from the bible. She doesn't, especially for someone who has found her new spirituality in Christ.

Additionally, she said that she did not do drugs. While I don't consider marijuana a drug, I would say that using marijuana to most people is using drugs. It will keep you from getting employed, so that's a drug in the public sense of the word. I would also saying that you get fucked in the butt for coke is a pretty reasonable self-incrimination for a cocaine habit. There is no can of Coca-Cola in the world that taste that good. Also, screaming let's get coked up is normally not a good example either. But, you are one of those people who needs proof. Here. At around minute four is your freakin' proof.

It's OK if people are ashamed of their past. But, one cannot lie about it when you are as closely followed as the dead one is. She, with this interview, has only solidified why she is a terrible role model for the youth and is reviled by so many different people. But, then again, why am I even surprised by this? Was I expecting her to be more mature and grown-up? She's 26 and has marketed herself as a party girl with little other talent. I'm actually going to end this here because I'm disappointed with myself for spending so much time on this.

The Minstrelcy of Alpha Sigma Delta*

A while ago, I commented on a phenomenon that was sweeping across campuses of America: racially offensive parties. These would be celebrations of ghetto life or the Latino experience in America. I use the celebrations in the lightest sense possible, as should be recognized from the context of the paragraph.

At these parties, white kids show up in what amount to caricatures of the racial groups of America. Tim Wise, over at the Black Agenda Report, comments on the phenomenon further. For the record, he is a white guy who is offended by the phenomenon, but he blames the problem on something larger than the fact that these kids who find this acceptable are idiots, as proven by the following quote:

[C]onsider the internet posting of a University of Texas law student, who didn't participate in last year's "ghetto fabulous" party, but who found more fault with those critiquing it, than those who threw it in the first place:

"Get over it. You were offended. You complained...Prolonging the drama only makes you look like attention whores - you aren't trying to educate people, and you aren't trying to create an atmosphere of inclusion, where people can understand your point of view. You want to continue to spank the naughty 1Ls. The Dean gave you recognition. Everyone in the law school received that email. Do you honestly think that prolonging the drama is going to do anything productive?

And for the record, equating ghetto fabulous with blackface is really fucking stupid."

Wise actually blames the colleges and society for not discussing the power relations that exist between groups more than the fact that we have all been taught for years now that we are equal. The ghetto is not just some space where a lot of people have chosen to live. It is a prison created by society, infested with predatory people trying to juice the neighborhood of its vitality and soul.

It's a compelling read, something that all of the kids who think that painting yourself black and mocking Black culture or dressing like a Latin maid is amusing.

*Alpha Sigma Delta is the first string of greek letters I could come up with. I was trying to spell out ass, but it wasn't going to work because sigma is an Σ. Additionally, I reference the greeks because this is the primary places where these parties are happening. I expressly note at this time that this is not meant to be a slap at the more responsible greek organizations who actually maintain high standards and help to further a community of togetherness, as antithetical as that may be to the actual mission of a fraternity or sorority given the need for members to satisfy an ideal rather than express a straight sense of independence and defiance. And, yes, that was a slap at greek life, but not for blackface, but for being breeding grounds of conformity. While there is the argument that brotherhood is not conformity, is there not a sense of conformity required to become a member of that brotherhood? A conformity to the traditions and institutions of that fraternity? By accepting the principles and wants of the fraternity/sorority as well as suffering through rushing (they aren't as rough as they used to be, but it is still presenting a willingness to subscribe to the principles of the greek organization), aren't I not quite blatantly ascribing to a set of principles? The last time I checked, that's conforming ergo joining a greek organization requires conformity.

She Speaks For Herself

This is why she's dead to me:

"I think the crime did not fit the punishment. I don't feel like I deserved to go to jail,"

From The British Broadcasting Corporation's News Service.

Congratulations America!

We are living in the midst of history now. With the failure of another cornerstone piece of legislation for the Bush administration due to the infighting in Congress, President Bush now is going to go down in history as the worst president in American history. Worse than Buchanan who watched the country walk into a Civil War, making no effort to stop it. Worse than the Teapot Dome Scandal and Ohio Gang of Harding. Worse than Fillmore making searching for slaves in Northern states legal by signing the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850. Even worse than Tricky Dick with his paranoia and the fiasco that was Watergate.

And, the worst part of it all, Bush has well over a year and a half left in the office. This means he'll have more ways to blow it like he already has. Maybe he will actually accomplish something or someone will relieve us of this misery and remove him from office.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Sitting on the Virtual Can

Since I had to go to an interview this afternoon, I had to reorganize my day. This led to me being unable to actually complete my 5 A Day project for today. So that will not be posted today. It will be back up and running tomorrow. Instead, I will comment on a couple of things that are running through my mind.

I have been thinking about Radiohead for the last couple of days. Don't get excited or anything. I actually don't particularly care for Radiohead. The only thing that I can consistently think about from Radiohead is the fuzzy noise ending for Karma Police. I don't like the rest of the song, and listening to a song that I particularly liked from them in high school Just has only reminded me of one fact: Radiohead is completely overrated. Some of their songs aren't bad. I'm not stupid enough to say something that callous. But, I will say that they are given an unnecessarily high position in the pantheon of rock music, especially for a band that has been consistently inconsistent in its recorded work. Consistency aside, they play glorified arena rock. There's nothing particularly special about it. U2 played the same stuff and did it better. Mysterious Ways, when not done by Legion of Rock Stars, is way better than Just or High and Dry or Karma Police, which are the better songs of Radiohead's oeuvre. If you are a Radiohead fanatic, that's cool. I like U2. We both like shitty 90s alt-rock. That's really OK, as long as we both know that Beck own both bands' asses.

When I wasn't thinking about Radiohead, I was thinking about an article that I read from Eurozine about the shopping mall as a replacement for the city center. To regain those people, the city center has become a commodity zone within itself. Good examples of this sanitation are N. Michigan Ave. in Chicago, Chinatown in D.C., Lower Manhattan. These areas are areas of bombardment. Logos and corporate sterility abound while jostling through the hordes of young professionals and tourists who are shopping in stores that they, most likely, can browse in their own hometowns. This reality is best shown in the following quote from the article:

City centres are where the global power brands position their "flagship stores", which are not only the temples of the brand image, but also their site of production. The global luxury brands must be present in the most expensive districts, since that's precisely what makes them global luxury brands. No main street without the ubiquitous Kenzo, Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Dior boutiques. Not only are city centres the areas where brands are present, they themselves become brand zones – competing internationally for tourists and investors, the cities must themselves become brands with an unmistakeable brand image, brand statements of steel, glass, concrete, or stone – and sometimes also flesh and blood. Of course, people are only tolerated in so far as they are paying visitors or local extras that harmonize with the image of the brand zone. Loiterers are moved on.
This rings true with me, at least, because I remember when D.C.'s Chinatown was actually a Chinese neighborhood. It was never a good Chinese neighborhood, but it did at least feel like a Chinese neighborhood with mostly chinese stores fronts, not names translated into Chinese. Now, it's almost impossible to find the restaurants and it is all generic brand restaurants and stores. You know that an area is on the come-up when it gets its own Urban Outfitters and TWO burrito places. This reality is a sad one, as I do like cities that have city aspects to them. The downtown is still populated with local color and stores. This might scare away tourism, but it also gives cities a soul that is lost in this new era of hypercommercialism. I guess this is why I also prefer the outer edges of cities much more than downtown areas because these areas are defined by people, not consumerism.

If having all of this on your mind along with trying to consider whether or not you want to hold a job hawking cell phones wasn't enough, I was also thinking about a topic close to my heart: hating. This thought was inspired by my watching of Wimbledon. Yes, I do like tennis. The summer is the best time for it because I had the French Open a couple weeks ago. Now, I get Wimbledon. I get about a month and a half off then I get the U.S. Open. In the meantime, I can watch how the rest of the world plays football better than the Americans. I'll go into that in a second, but let me continue on with how tennis relates to hating.

Tennis is a hater's sport for commentating. It's way too easy to hate in tennis commentary. This ideal is exemplified by Mary Carillo. She's a fantastic commentator, but she's also a consummate hater. Any opportunity for praise also an opportunity for hate. And that's where Carillo shines. She can celebrate, but she keeps folks in line like a true hater should. Carillo's consummate hating got me thinking about other people who are consummate haters. TV Judges on reality shows or on those court shows are not allowed. They have to hate. Real hating is unprovoked. Mika Brzezinski displayed some hate as a journalist by refusing to read the stories about the dead one. But that is only one instance. I need to see more consistent hating before I call her a consummate hater. I'm really struggling with this right now. I've got only sports commentators going in my head right now: Bill Walton, Mary Carillo, Jonny Miller (and I don't even like golf). The only classifications to be considered a consummate hater are a complete and ruthless need to always critique. Compliments are appreciated as always, but a consummate hater must be ruthlessly critical when the time arises. If you have any suggestions, I'd appreciate a rationale to go along just to understand, especially if I'm not familiar with the person.

I think that is all that I had on my mind for now. I will leave with a classic of the Bay Area before it went hyphy: Rappin-4-Tay's Players Club

Also, German girl rockers The Liverbirds with Peanut Butter

I am off the can.

Too Chewy

Fox News:

Starburst Fruit Chews are exactly as their name would indicate: chewy. But one Michigan woman says the candies are so chewy, they should come with a warning label.

Victoria McArthur, of Romero, Mich., is suing Starbursts' parent company, Mars Inc., for more than $25,000 for "permanent personal injuries" she claims she sustained after biting into one of their yellow candy in 2005.

"I don't know, maybe about 3 chews and it literally locked my jaw … and it just literally pulled my jaw out of joint," she told

I don't need to say anything more. I really don't. This woman has made more than enough of an ass out of herself.

The Splasher, Abridged

In New York City, there is a very vibrant street art scene. But, some have become disillusioned with the fact that the art world is trying to commercialize this very organic and anarchic art form. Instead of dialogue, these someones have decided to take the issue into their own hands. This person is known as the Splasher.

The Splasher goes through the city and splashes on other people's art with a spiel of avant-garde art rhetoric pasted with it. The battle is interesting, and, while I'm sad to see the work that is being damaged go down, I have to say the new works are really interesting. It's sort of like SAMO (Basquiat's old tag questioning the nature of graffiti and society) but not like the shitty tags thrown up by CAP in Style Wars. The replacement is very interesting and a stunningly effective critique of the street art work that is now destroyed. A lot of the work destroyed is very generic street art; the splashing leads one to question the original art on its merits, as hard as that may seem.

Unfortunately, like every art movement that calls itself avant-garde like the Futurists, it has a manifesto. Gothamist has posted excerpts for everyone else who doesn't have the time to read a ridiculously verbose statement about the nature of art and the splasher's action or want to cop a copy of it. It's really, really ridiculous. I can't summarize it because it's unsummarizable. Gothamist did the best they could, but it's really challenging to compress anarchist ideals about art. Anarchist ideals are confounding to begin with; summarizing them is even harder. So, make up your own mind, but I think that anything that shakes up the stagnant art world is always an advancement. When a street artist is getting patronage from Angelina Jolie, the movement is in dire need of a shake-up. The Splasher is providing this, and I have to respect that as a fan for the advancement of art as a form.

Television: A Personal Appeal

The United States Congress has had a great interest in protecting the youth of America from the brutality of modern television programming, with its simulated violence and sex. Yesterday, the Senate Commerce Committee investigated the effect of media violence on children. My senator Jay Rockefeller feels that it is necessary for the government to step in and defend children. His rationale is reported as such:

Big Media companies are putting more emphasis on profits than the well-being of kids, he said, while hiding behind ineffective Band-Aids of voluntary action. Rockefeller said he expected broadcasters to argue for parental responsibility and content-control tools, which they did, but said that has not worked and the government was going to need to step in. He didn't seem to have a lot of takers on the committee.

Rockefeller also called the $300 million TV Boss ratings/V-chip education campaign that had been spearheaded by the late Jack Valenti "farcical" and a joke.

Rockefeller called the industry "cowardly" for putting the onus on parents to control their kids TV viewing, saying it was not always possible. Then, saying he wasn't sure if his colleagues knew how violent TV had become, aired a video montage--put together by the Parents Television Council--to demonstrate.

It was that video, which included a now-famous forced oral sex scene from FX's The Shield, that prompted the legislators to register their general disgust. The video was cut short after Rockefeller and company appeared to have had their fill.

I have to say, as someone who has grown up during this oh-so-violent time on television, that my senator is completely wrong on this issue. Firstly, as the rest of the article notes, no one actually agrees with Rockefeller. Democratic colleagues like Frank Lautenberg have no interest in censoring television. Like the Republicans, everyone knows that this reeks of Big Brother. Regulating television is a complete overstepping of governmental boundaries. The government does not have the right to tell me what is appropriate and what is not.

Now, with that said, forced oral sex on television is a bit over the top. But, as with all of FX's night programming, it is all lead off with very explicit warnings telling the viewer what the show contains and to display discretion. Discretion is the key word here. Good parents make the effort to watch television with their kids by not putting a television in their room and placing the television in a centralized spot. Such incidents are not unusual. In fact, they are quite the norm. If this is not possible, parents take care to look at what their kids are watching. If you don't want your kids to watch the show, you will turn the channel or explain to them that they can watch it when they get older. But, this is a game-time decision. Some kids are able to handle the violence. Others cannot.

From a personal standpoint and as someone who watched a lot of ridiculously adult programming at an inappropriate age (I saw License to Kill when I was eight, and I watched Oz in its original airing), the connection between violence and television is very much overblown. It is not real. It is a fantasy, a non-realistic presentation of day to day life. Shows that are reality programs that aren't game shows or news-based programs are just as fake. The fact that people who watch television and can't tell the difference should be greatly concerned. I was always able to tell the difference. I didn't think that I should do what I saw because it was illegal and pretty dumb. Also, I wasn't really trying to shank a bitch. My state aside, I don't think that the free speech allowed to broadcasters should be restricted. The Shield, when not forcing oral sex, is a very interesting program that should not be silenced because some stiff old guy has a problem with it. What will be silenced next? Will they start regulating authors? Will hip-hop no longer be allowed on the radio? Will they stop Barry White? I hope that you can see what I'm getting at here...

The fact that people are doing what they see on television aside from trying to construct something from The New Yankee Workshop or cook something from Barefoot Contessa is what the real problem is. Those people need to be studied to understand why they think it is a good idea to go and set things on fire or push their friends in shopping carts into curbs so the person falls out. If these kids are so desperate to do something, they really should try to build something from The New Yankee Workshop. Have you seen that show? There's so much work involved. Those restless kids will be busy for days!

Another to the Dead Wave

MSNBC Anchor Mika Brzezinski is also fed up with the Dead One. I'm amazed that I actually woke up to watch Morning Joe, which I hate to say is actually really amusing and moderately informative. While I'm not a huge Scarborough fan, I will give him credit for at least being even, giving everyone an equal shot at explaining themselves. Anyway, I refer you to Brzezinski because she made a few symbolic gestures during the show. Watch!

I wanted to post about this when she actually got out because I saw it when it happened, but I had to wait for the video to turn up first.

She's Not Only Dead To Me

The Dead One is now dead to Us Weekly as well. The wave is slowly growing. Soon, she will have to actually do something to get press aside from lounge out in prison for three weeks.

The Science of Homosexuality

In the past few weeks, gay people have become targets again. But, not in the way you might figure. Gays and lesbians are not becoming targets of violence, although that is still a huge problem within some societies (Jamaica, you're on notice). In the past weeks, people of the same-sex persuasion have been targeted by science to solve the eternal question of nature versus nuture.

If you are from a tolerant community, you may be asking yourself what this whole argument is actually about. The basis of this argument is, essentially, a left vs. right argument with gays stuck in the middle. The left, for years, has argued that homosexuality is something that you are born with; that it is a genetic trait which was assigned to the person at a young age. The right argues that homosexuality is unnatural; that it is a life choice made by people. So, to solve this argument, both sides have turned to the irrefutable form that is scientific research.

New York
ran an article detailing many of the details that they have found to correlate to preferring the same sex. This article points out small details such as 50+% of gay people tend to be left handed and gay men have more feminine hands, which means that their index finger is the same length or longer than their ring finger. These might be coincidental, but they could also be facts. No one is really sure yet.

In addition, CNN has run an article about research done by a graduate student at Northwestern University about the gait of gays versus straights (If you go to the article, you can take the visual test and see how good your gaydar is. Mine's pretty strong, but I did mix up the straight woman and the gay man). All of this research is being done to see if there is the presence of something in our genetic make-up that determines whether or not someone can be born gay.

While I do appreciate and understand the work, I have to make a simple statement: so what? I know that the scientists are doing the natural thing by exploring the unknown, but I don't understand how this will solve the problem of gay people being killed by people who are intolerant of them. Gays and lesbians should be fully accepted in our society regardless of whether they chose to be gay or were born gay. Gays make fruitful contributions to our society. They serve in the highest bodies of legislation. They are at the forefront of arts and culture. They add to the business culture of the world as well. Essentially, they are just fine whether it is genetic or cultural. There is no need for them to be poked and prodded to shut up a group who refuses to let them exist in peace.


Liz Claiborne has died. She was 78. She brought fashion to the masses through her reasonably priced designs. While she's not Lagerfeld or Chanel, she did change the world of fashion for the positive. Her presence will be missed immensely, although her name will live on.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

5 A Day: Day Seven

I've noticed that many of my reviews have been overly positive. I swear to you that I haven't listened to most of these albums before. These reviews are from first impressions and nothing else. Also, I took the time to type everything out today! Alright, here we go...

Stereo Total - Monokini

Stereo Total is a multinational coalition of pop fans. As their multiple backgrounds would suggest, the lyrics alternate between many languages, primarily French, English, and German. I only have a slight grasp of two of those languages (english being one), so some of the songs are completely incomprehensible to me.

Regardless of lyrics, this album is actually really fun. The rhythms alternate between punk speed and slower electro-pop, dance songs and ballads. Stereo Total is coming from everywhere across this album and this made it for me an exciting listen; I never really knew where they were going to go next. The first three tracks are a good example of this. The first song sounds like Kraftwerk. Then Kraftwerk changes into a song that reminiscent of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Then the next song recalls the sound of Serge Gainsbourg. And this isn't it. Monokini goes into French lounge singing, bossa nova, but the overriding groove is definitely electro-pop across the album.

In the end, Monokini is a great album because, while it does reference all of those sounds, it makes it sound like its own. After some initial spastics, the band settled down and found their their sound. The sound is still conflicted a bit, but, overall, it's pretty much an awesome sound. I would like a more coherent vision, but I do really like what I heard on this album.

The Ponys - Turn The Lights Out

The Ponys are a Chicago-based band that has been getting a lot of ink spilled about them due to their recent signing to the indie major label of Matador. From the onset, the sound is a bit shoegaze-y but not overwhelmingly so. It's definitely there, but it's infused with an early, post-punk Cure sound. Their lyrics aren't that heavy, but the heavy reverb and guitar interplay of those early Cure albums is definitely there. The rhythm section is perfect. The bass and drums are solid but don't really get in the way of the whole listening experience. Listening to the bass is like listening to Tina Weymouth on Talking Heads albums.

The bass is clearly there as a sonic foundation, but it doesn't get in the way of the overall sound. The bass playing is interesting to listen to and holds the song together with the drums while the guitars go flying all over the place on their solos. As chaotic and/or boring as that all sounds, that's exactly how a good band should sound. There should be a base that the guitars can jump to and off of at leisure.

This album grabs from the beginning and doesn't let go. The slowdown tracks are well placed and do not ruin the flow. The sound is always changing yet very consistent, showing that The Ponys have a fantastic understanding of their own sound. The lyrics are actually very good as well, if not slightly insignificant. The technical aspects of the album are amazingly well-done. The instrumentation is strong and the production accentuates the artists instead of overpowering them or muting them. There are no rough edges in the production; everything has its space. A thoroughly compelling listen. I was actually shocked when the album ended; I wanted it to keep going, even after 40 minutes. I listened to this album again in my car, and it was just as compelling. Turn the Lights Out is definitely a repeat listening album with each time being as satisfying as the last.

Peter, Bjorn & John - S/T

This is a Swedish trio that has been getting a lot of press due to the hit song on their most recent album Writer's Block called Young Folks. You probably know it as it has a whistling bridge between the chorus back into the verse and was featuring in Grey's Anatomy. This album is an earlier production from the band from 2002.

If you expect to hear the same sort of coy sing-along songs that are on Writer's Block, the first song on the eponymous album will shake you of that expectation quite briskly. I don't know what I want us to do starts with a blast. A rollicking organ line compliments the frazzled lyrics and the breakneck pace of the song. But, album soon finds its groove and becomes more reminiscent of the country that bred the trio: Sweden.

The album takes on a lot of the aspects of the Swedish pop scene that is populated by amazing bands like The Legends, Acid House Kings, and the ever popular Cardigans. Peter, Bjorn, and John is sweet and coy, but is not saccharine sweet; there is still a bittersweet tone. And the lyrics maintain a sad optimism that is very pleasant to listen to. Their sound changes from E6 positive to Legends-style power pop to Acid House Kings melancholic across the album. Regardless of what they do, these boys charm throughout the album with their consistent pop sound that knows how to rock and write a ballad while putting it over a catchy beat.

While this is their first entrance into the field, Peter, Bjorn, and John definitely makes them a band of note, someone who has been on their game since the beginning. The eponymous album of Peter Bjorn and John reminds us that Young Folks isn't a fluke; this band is actually amazingly good and should be the hero of anyone who calls themselves a fan of indie music. They aren't my heroes, but they would be if I had heroes.

Stereolab - The Groop Played "Space Age Bachelor Pad Music"

Stereolab is one of the more vaunted indie bands of recent history. Prolific in output and unique in sound, Stereolab has fans amongst experimental listeners, straight ahead pop fans, rockers, and punks. Most everyone in the indie world has a certain soft spot for the kraut-based magic that is Stereolab. Additionally, the fact that they are whip smart doesn't hurt too much either, as they frequently infusing their lyrics with marxist politics.

The more of an experimental album. The poppiness of later albums such as Dots and Loops and Emperor Tomato Ketchup is not to be found here. To begin discussing the record, it is important to note that the album is split into two parts.

The first part is very experimental and wandering, forgoing traditional pop structures. The second part is far closer to traditional Stereolab than the first half. The songs over the first half are not as lock groove as their better album work, but the songs do maintain a dreamy, futuristic, droning aesthetic. The second half does getting into the more traditional Stereolab sound, but not quite. It is still floating and more distant.

Without throwing any more adjectives around, The Groop... does sound like Space Age Bachelor Pad Music, like Stereolab sat in a room with Esquivel and Les Baxter albums and applied their sound to that aesthetic. The album overall is a good listen, but it is not a good place to start for someone who has no background with the band. This is an earlier release that could easier turn off a listener due to the fact it is a bit dreamy and not a good representation of the Stereolab experience. But, once a listener gets more acclimated with Stereolab, they should come back and explore this album fully. They will find it more satisfying that way.

Saint Etienne - Tiger Bay

Saint Etienne is a critic's band, primarily because they are made of critics. They know what they don't like and have created a band to satisfy not only them but other critics. Musically adventurous, Saint Etienne is known for cranking out good album after good album.

Tiger Bay is no exception. The ballads are beautiful. The beats are crisp and utterly danceable. And the songs tell the story of the mystical Tiger Bay, with travel and a story of a failed romance. You can see the story of the love between the two people rise and fall, the gossiping people, the beauty of the shore. This is an amazing album, further proof that Saint Etienne is one of the best indie acts of the 1990s (this album is from 1994).

The Blues Explosion is Number ONE!

I have been listening to the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion since I was around 13 or 14. They produced, without question, one of my favorite albums in Orange. While the title track is hot, this is the opener which is equally awesome, amazing, and explanatory of the entire JSBX project.


Why I Strongly Dislike/Hate PETA

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is a group that is very, very high on my shit list. Along with arguing for the rights of animals, which I think is a preposterous idea, they have a tendency of getting their nose in places it doesn't belong.

Today is a good example of this. MSNBC reported that PETA called out Michael Moore for being too fat to talk about health care in America. The leader of the organization said that Moore should switch to vegetarianism to lose weight and then maybe he would be suitable for PETA to talk about health care.

Firstly, he is overweight. But, this isn't a negative. If anything, this is a pro for Moore. He is someone who will most likely have to use the health care system anyway. So, why not let him stay at his current weight.

Secondly, this is why I have a vehement dislike, bordering hate, of vegetarians and vegans. I strongly dislike them because they try to hold this moral high ground over everyone else because they don't eat meat. That's fine. I could give two shits if you've decided to swap your hamburger for a gardenburger; that's not my concern. If anything, it's better for me as I can eat more meat. My problem comes with these very people chastising me and criticizing me for doing what I do. I don't tell you how to live your life; don't tell me how to live mine.

The same thing goes for Moore. He's living his life, trying to help the millions upon millions of people who don't have health insurance, and PETA's worried about how he looks. Along with being vain, it is distracting attention from the people who can benefit from the information contained in this movie. Thanks PETA. Thanks for nothing.

It's Still The Only Card I Need


Smoke Weed!

Today, Slate has run an article about the inherent magic of the stoner movie. As someone who didn't always smoke weed, I can understand where the author is coming from. Additionally, it is actually a well-written article about the phenomenon, good reading that isn't too stressful on the weary mind.

Chubbs Revisited?

Editor's note: That title means nothing to you if you never saw Happy Gilmore, possibly the best Adam Sandler movie ever and not because of Bob Barker.

From CNN:

A man who lost his ball in a golf course pond nearly lost a limb when a nearly 11-foot alligator latched on to his arm and pulled him in the water, authorities said.

Bruce Burger, 50, was trying to retrieve his ball Monday from a pond on the sixth hole at the Lake Venice Golf Club.

Another reason for why golf courses, along with being huge environmental hazards and propagating classist and racist ideals, are a societal negative. Also, the gator had one eye. I had to post it. One-eyed gators!

Hot for Teacher*

Radar has a profile today of teachers who have slept with their students. While there is the moral apprehension that should come from sleeping with minors, there is something inherently less creepy about female teachers sleeping with male students. It's still gross that these women are praying on their students for tail, but a lot more of these relationships seem consensual. I'm not sure that really makes it better, but I will say this: most of these women are plainly attractive, maybe hot if you want to make that step. I can't imagine what would compel them to be attracted to these pubescent boys. But, to each his long as it's OK with the Moral Majority.

*What? You thought I would leave and NOT make a Van Halen reference?

Why People Don't Snitch

From Yahoo! via Feministing:

PHOENIX - A woman had the word "snitch" burned into her face with a branding iron in apparent retaliation for helping police in a domestic violence case, authorities said.

The brand singed into her flesh during a June 13 attack is 4 to 6 inches long and stretches across her left cheek from lip to earlobe, Mesa police Sgt. Chuck Trapani said Friday.
This is unacceptable. The woman received the branding because she actually summoned the strength to come forwards and tell the police that she had been victim to a crime. Additionally, this story helps to elucidate a couple different points. The first being that this is why people in the hood don't snitch. I know, I should want to tell if I saw someone get gunned down, but, that's exactly why I wouldn't say anything. If I saw someone get gunned down, that means someone probably saw me, and, as proven by this story, we live in a world where revenge is always served with cruelty and indifference towards consequences. This means that I run a high risk of getting killed if I snitch by someone in the criminal's gang. And, while I do want to see crimes solved, I also would like to keep my life. This is the constant conundrum of snitching: do I want to solve a crime or do I want to live?

Slow Down, Young Man

From Yahoo!:

Takeru "Tsunami" Kobayashi said he can only open his mouth to make a gap the size of a fingertip after being diagnosed with jaw arthritis.
Takeru Kobayashi is one of the most recognized athletes from Japan. His sport is competitive eating. Yes, competitive eating is considered a sport. Not by this commentator, but by others. Kobayashi is, according to the article, the founder of an organization to change my mind. It hasn't really succeeded. It's offends me to watch people indulge in such blatant displays of gluttony. It offended me when I watch anything about ancient Rome, and those are fictionalizations. The horror of it all is only amplified when watching in reality like going through rich people's houses on MTV Cribs. But, my morbid fascination with Cribs will be explored separately.

While I do hope that Kobayashi does get better from his injury, I hope that he has learned an invaluable lesson from this whole incident: eating fast is really hazardous to your health!

Monday, June 25, 2007

5 A Day: Day Six

Yea, I'm mentally beat. I listened to five albums today: Sugababes - One Touch, Tindersticks - Curtains, Ultramagnetic MC's - Critical Beatdown, The Velvet Underground's Eponymous release, and Television - Marquee Moon.

I'll actually get back to typing posts again soon hopefully. But, I will note that these post-its are actually written like reviews and are comprehensible.

Clean My Mouth With Soap

So, today's unintentional goal was to offend as many people as possible. I think that I've accomplished that goal with great success since I suggested that the case against Bobby Cutts is a racial witch hunt due to the way it has been painted by the mainstream media to me. In addition, I also pointed out the hypocrisy of news coverage with regards to race and gender when it comes to public interest stories. I think I've really succeeded today in pissing the Internet off, but I only have technorati to blame for that by putting me at the front of the tag most of the day.

Also, while my comments could be considered offensive, some of the stuff posted on technorati makes my comments look like child's play. A lot of people are taking this opportunity to suggest that abortion is an immoral, improper concept because Cutts is being charged with double murder (In Ohio, the baby would have been able to survive outside of the body, classifying it as a human being. This is nothing close to actual abortion, but don't let the pro-life audience tell you that.). Now, contrast that against me saying that this may or may not be a race issue due to the portrayal of Cutts and tell me who is more evil?

While I'm still talking about this, can I please remind everyone that BOBBY CUTTS JR IS NOT GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW! Stop talking about him as if he is guilty. If he committed the crime, so be it, but don't make the assumption that he has yet. That is unfair to him and leaves the judicial system with little choices. His case must be heard fully before action is taken against him, as is dictated in the bill of rights (6th Amendment to be precise). The case against him is already unbalanced because of public opinion and oversensationalized reporting.

Just from reading technorati, it's clear that many will not be able to judge this case in an objective manner. As I was reading the other posts, it became clear that this is like the OJ Simpson case. We have a clear OJ situation here. This case will be a fiasco and set racial relations in America back years, especially if it turns up that Cutts really didn't do it (not like OJ. Black people were happy because OJ got one over on American justice, the system that fucks over the population everyday. Everyone knows he did that shit). Who would have thought that the actual pursual of justice would end up in negative effects.

I want to be crystal clear here. Absolutely clear. I could give two fucks if Cutts get death or walks. All I want is a fair trial. I want to see a case laid out by both sides and make a decision from there. I didn't put myself in debt to have ideas crammed down my throat by a public that thinks with its heart more often than its mind. With this comment, I have ended my one and only entrance into the field of public interest and missing white woman syndrome. Frankly, I'm disappointed with myself that I've spent so much time actually talking about this. So, from herein, this conversation is done here.

I Don't Have The Right Stuff

Late last night, I had a discussion with my friend Elana about something she saw on the train in Boston. She saw an ad for a new dating site. Big whoop there, but it was a big difference from other websites. The site "The Right Stuff" considers itself the Ivy League of Dating.

"The Right Stuff" maintains such a title by using elitist methods. For example, if you did not go to college, you are ineligible for the website. Period. You must be a graduate of a college. But, it does matter which college you went to. If you went to Party School, USA, you are ineligible. You had to of gone to a high-end college/university. Also, it is not enough to go to the college and tell them that you went to the college. Oh no. You have to provide proof that you went to the college. If you don't get emails from your alma mater, you have two options: sending a photocopy of your actual diploma or "The Right Stuff" can do a background check. That's really raw. In addition, you have to be straight to join their website since the site furthers ideas of heteronormativity. Your profile only goes to other women if you are a man and vice versa. I'm glad to think that my trailblazing college for individual rights is helping to further such patriarchal ideas.

If you decided that you want to go down this road and go through the lengthy application process, you are rewarded by being able to look through the around 5,000 profiles on the site. I've gone through the profiles. Some of them are genuinely sweet and interesting, people I would be interested in dating if they weren't as old as my mom. I don't mind older women, but I can't date my mom. I have to draw the line somewhere. But, I digress.

Other profiles were some of the most pretentious things that I've seen since some of the things that I was in college. But, to my benefit, they were howlingly funny even through the heavy layers of pretense. I'm not going to post them here because I can't bring you the full visuals that exist with some of these profiles (the sample profiles have accompanying pictures). They are best experienced in full on the website. I do recommend the gardeners, as they are actually very nice. Also, look at the pet lovers. For the love of the word, look at the pet owners. Also, if you need a good chuckle, the sample writing is terrible for people who have apparently been published multiple times. I'm not a professional, but I don't believe that some of these people actually are.

In the end, I have to say that if this is how my fellow alumni actually operate, I'm not sure I want to be affiliated with them. I'm honestly disturbed by the classism and elitism of this website.

Four Wars?

As many well know, America is involved in three current wars. There is the war against Iraq because Saddam Hussein was a threat to the American independence. There is also that war that no one remembers: the war against Afghanistan and al-Qaeda, the ORIGINAL al-Qaeda. Also, let us not forget that we are also involved in the larger war on terror, the one that has cut down on the freedoms of Americans and allowed the Bush administration to grow its britches too big due to the lack of oversight from the legislative branch.

But, news from the Guardian suggests that there may now be a FOURTH war that we will fight against...drumroll please!....VENEZUELA!!!! That is right, President Hugo Chavez has told the Venezuelan military to prepare for a possible guerrilla war against the United States. Speaking from a strictly military viewpoint, the Venezuelans stand a good chance of winning this war with the whole overextension of the American military across the globe fighting in an umbrella war against a shadow, non-existent subject in terror. Now, I don't want them to win primarily because I don't want there to be a fight on American soil. West Virginia is already a wasteland, a very pretty wasteland. I don't need it to become a post-industrial Mad Max-style wasteland. This war is going to SUCK if it actually happens.


apparently, I've started a maelstrom. I thought my point was something that everyone else was thinking about while watching the coverage of the Davis case. Maybe I am just a reactionary. I don't know.

The World Is Somewhat Sane

DC Judge and general asshole Roy Pearson was dealt a "blow" when he found out that his suit against Custom Cleaners had been thrown out by the court. The Judge presiding determined that the cleaners did not violate any city rules by not giving Pearson full satisfaction.

This is a fitting end to the tragedy that is this case. I'm sure I have not heard the end of this case as Pearson will most likely appeal, but that is unknown as of this time. But, this is a victory for everyone right now.


In Re: Jessie Davis, I believe that something is afoot due to the nature of the evidence surrounding the case. A mystery person calls and says that Cutts asked for help from a female friend. So, they pick up Myisha Ferrell on obstruction. They look through her house and pull out a bunch of fairly ordinary cleaning supplies. Search aside, the last time I checked unsubstantiated evidence does not a conviction make. I can't make unverifiable accusations against my neighbors. That is called circumstantial evidence and is not allowed in most courts of law.

With such sketchy information sources and the fact they harped on him since the disappearance of Davis, Cutts's alleged guilt seems specious to me on many fronts. I don't automatically pull out the race card because I think it is a copout. I only resort to the race card when I feel it is a real situation of racial injustice, which I think this may be. The Canton PD did not attempt to search for anyone else. It was automatically assumed that he did it. I'm concerned that they think this not because he is the boyfriend, but because he is Black. And this possibility is one that leaves me unsettled.

If he is found guilty, OK, he was found guilty. As long as it is by a multi-ethnic jury (I know about Ohio. I went to school there. I was called a nigger by white people, so don't give me any bull about a fair trial from a white jury.), I will accept it. Additionally, if he is found not guilty, this man's reputation, and black men's reputations, will be soiled once again by the White aggressor.

The New Priorities

Think Progress:

Yesterday, CNN proudly announced that it has scored the first post-jail interview with Paris Hilton. To make room for Paris on Wednesday, CNN canceled its interview with Michael Moore about his new health care documentary SiCKO:
The most trusted name is news, eh? I don't even like Michael Moore that much, and I think that this is fucked up. Also, Paris Hilton doesn't have an hour of material to talk about or at least an hour of material that I want to hear.

Supreme Court Sucks

In America, we are burdened with a positive/negative thing: The Supreme Court. In good times (read: when people understand the idea of precedent and facts), the Supreme Court has integrated schools and given minorities fair access to academic facilities along with making criminals aware of the rights afforded to them by the Constitution. In bad times (read: now), the Supreme Court tramples upon the rights of women to file workplace discrimination suits while pandering to corporate interests.

Today, the Supreme Court really pulled a fast one over on the high school students of America. While their rights are already being trampled upon by being forced to learn material that is of no interest to them while being groomed to take inaccurate measures of intelligence in the form of standardized tests, the high school student's right to free speech is now in question.

In the case, The Supreme Court determined that a school was allowed to suspend a student who held up a sign that said "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" while the Olympic flame passed through town. The student said that the phrase meant nothing, but the high school was certain that it was a reference to drug usage. The school suspended the student for ten days after he would not rat out his conspirators. He appealed his suspension to the school board to no effect. And he proceeded to file a civil rights suit against the school district, which brings us up to the present. It is also important to note that this sign was not displayed on school grounds, but, in fact, across the street from the school. Such an action places him on public property where free speech is allowed. But, according to the Supreme Court, this isn't really true. This leads to the question of where can high school students express themselves because this will allow for the schools to crack down on student publications, which were already heavily censored by administrations. If the Supreme Court has its way, high school students will become test-taking automatons. The sad part is, the Court's conservative majority, the side that decided this case, is still young.

While the Supreme Court has only been together for a year and a half, its mark is already being made to the detriment of America. Bad decisions that have limited the freedoms of many members of society. But, due to the Constitution, we can only wait until they retire from the bench because the Supreme Court is for life.

To Spread The Word

Mike Gravel, fan favorite and completely misunderstood political candidate, wrote a blog post over at The Huffington Post, the NY Times of liberal blogging. Actually, scratch that. It's the Washington Post of liberal blogging. Daily Kos is the NY Times.

By the way, Gravel's totally right. Hillary's a terrible candidate for the reasons stated in the post.

Discomfort is Unpleasant

While I am sad for the loss that the Davises have had with the discovery of the corpse of their daughter and sister Jessie, I have to say that I'm frankly discomforted with the racial connotations in this case. While I am not attempting to say that Bobby Cutts, Jr. is innocent or guilty, I am saying that this case is reminiscent of Susan Smith.

From the case's onset, it was already assumed that the boyfriend did it even though there is no clear proof that he actually did anything in this situation. Nothing really ties him to the scene. Yes, he is connected with the woman, but who is to say that he did it, especially if the child is his? He already had one child with her. Why would he kill her now before she has another that has been developed to term? This is all unimportant as he was, essentially, under arrest since she went missing.

I understand that he isn't the best cop of all time, but I have to believe that he had to know that he wasn't going to get away with this. I can't put my finger on it, but this case reeks of the assumption that he killed her because he's black.

Like I said before, I am not trying to defend him in any way. But, I would like more facts to come out and maybe an actual motive before I call him guilty like the rest of the world already has even though they don't have any proof to do so.

Also, if you are wondering why I haven't commented on this case before, I, as a rule, do not generally comment on cases involving missing white girls. The reason is because I think that the around-the-clock coverage awarded to white girls by MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, and others is utter bullshit like the Paris Hilton jail countdown. What makes a missing white girl more important than a missing Black girl? A missing Latina? A missing Asian? Or, for that matter, a missing male of any race? Every missing person is important. No one should have to suffer through the loss of a family member.

But, by constantly reporting on only missing white girls, the mainstream media is helping to reinforce negative stereotypes of women as frail and dependent. At the same time, they are also saying that the minorities who have been struggling to gain acceptance in this country as also unimportant and insignificant since those children do not make it past the local news or get Nancy Grace flying out to investigate their case on national prime-time television.

For me to comment frequently on the developments of such cases is antithetical to what I believe as a radical Black male. I'm actually disappointed that I've commented on this case, but I cannot ignore the negative racial undercurrent flowing through this case because it is so fragrantly in the forefront of this case whether the news channels want to admit it or not.

Why Isn't This Easy For Anyone Else?

Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democratic candidate John Edwards and cancer sufferer along with being a generally amazing woman, spoke at the opening event for the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade yesterday. Unlike her husband, Mrs. Edwards took a very solid stance towards gay marriage and deviated from her own husband. She said:

"I don't know why somebody else's marriage has anything to do with me,'' she said. "I'm completely comfortable with gay marriage.''

I'm in complete agreement with Mrs. Edwards here. I've actually been saying something like this for a fairly long time now. If dudes want to marry other dudes, that's on them. I don't care if they get married because it really doesn't concern me; they aren't marrying me. Hell, it's to their advantage to get married. Being married in America offers many high quality perks like higher quality health insurance for cheaper and a lot of smaller things.

And, for all of the people who say that marriage is a sacred institution, why is the American divorce rate at 50 percent? It can't be that sacred can it? More importantly, why are you so concerned with what other people do in the sanctity of their own homes? You aren't living with them, so what does it concern you?

My befuddlement at their argument aside, I'm glad that Mrs. Edwards stepped up to the plate and is willing to acknowledge the ever-present fact in this argument: love between two people should be of concern to no one but the two people in love. Society doesn't have to agree, but these people should be able to express themselves in such a manner. If the Democrats weren't such consummate half-steppers, they would have had the sheer bravado to do what Mrs. Edwards has done: step out of lock step and admit her own opinion.

A Sad Day for Me

While I will not attempt to say that the following has precedent over the dying in Iraq, Palestine, or Darfur, I still find today to be a personally sad day as a fan of sport.

Thierry Henry, the guy to the left, is an international class footballer. Coming from the slums of Paris, Henry is now wholly recognized as one of the best forwards in world football. Watching Henry on the pitch is always exciting. He's inventive with tremendous pace and can make some of the prettiest goals you'll ever see. Henry is one of my favorite players because he plays for my favorite club in England: Arsenal. Actually, he was the reason that I started following Arsenal.

Today is sad because, as can be seen in that photo, Henry took a physical today. Unfortunately, he passed it. So, this means that he is no longer a Gunner and is now a member of the juggernaut of Spanish soccer that is FC Barcelona. While they were defeated this year by the boys in white Real Madrid, FC Barcelona has one of the best catalysts in the world game in Ronaldinho (note: he is the best footballer in the world. Period.) and a fantastic supporting team. One of the best strikers plus one of the best midfielders equals one of the best teams in the game. While I'm happy for Barca now being able to overtake Real, I am sad by the fact that I will no longer be able to watch Henry streak through Ashburton Grove anymore and bring pride to the Gunners of Arsenal.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Turn A Corner?

So, I've been thinking about the following song. I'm currently working on memorizing this song in the same way that I have memorized this song:

This song is also proof of the fact that I know about every Phife Dawg verse from The Low End Theory. Anyway, the weekend is over and the 5 A Day project is starting over again. I don't really blog on weekends. Also, I am posting some random tracks. Let's hope the next week brings some real material for me to blog on. In reality, I should write a comment about Angelina Jolie playing in blackface in her new movie, but that would require me supporting the enterprise by seeing it. As well, I should write a fuller comment about something, but I forgot what. Regardless, random tracks!

Rough Gay At The Office - Arab on Radar
Everybody Needs A 303 - Fatboy Slim
Down In The Park - Gary Numan
Bluebird - Howlin' Wolf
If The Papes Come - A Tribe Called Quest
Feel No Pain - Sade
Bobby Can't Dance - Mr. Oizo
Reception - My Teenage Stride
Refractions in the Plastic Pulse - Stereolab
Real Niggaz Don't Die - N.W.A.
Pretty Words - Tindersticks
Never Say Never - Romeo Void
Send Me Your Ear - Puke, Spit, and Guts
30 Seconds Over Tokyo - Pere Ubu
Roaring Blood - Jet Generation