Caught In a Fashion Faux-Pas: Ann Coulter
May 11, 2005

I'm going to say this once and hope that someone important takes note. For credibility's sake; for the future of the conservative movement's sake; and above all, for Pete's sake: Ann Coulter needs a stylist. Desperately. Now.

Where oh where to begin? The only time Coulter looks halfway put-together is on her book and magazine covers which were no doubt taken during a photo shoot where there was a stylist on set.

Remember, here at the goal isn't criticism. The goal is to help improve the world one outfit at a time. As you know, it's not normally my practice to call people out by name when conducting fashion critiques, but for Coulter, I'm making the exception. Last night was the last straw. Someone needs to say something.

Last night on her appearance on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno, Coulter sauntered out in what can best be described as "Premium Hooker Couture." The main act of Coulter's racy ensemble was a handkerchief masquerading as a little black dress (picture forthcoming). Suffice it say, fabric was lacking. When Coulter sat down, there wasn't much left to the imagination. Something tells me it wasn't a mistake that we could see 95% up her leg. It's not like she hasn't done it before. This time around the dress was bad. Really bad. Simply put, Ann looked like a skank.

The sad thing is, I'm willing to bet she's better than that.

As Time Magazine's most recent cover girl, Coulter's publicity has significantly increased over the last few weeks. As an author, a columnist, and a commentator, she definitely deserves her props. Regardless of political affiliation, in a male-dominated arena, it's great to see women staking their claim and being recognized where it counts. As far as I'm concerned, nearly any woman on the cover of Time magazine is a very good thing. For you, for me, and for the free market society.

So why bring up the petty issue of fashion?

Well, we complain about how people should be paying attention to a woman's brain and not her clothing, but what happens when the woman makes it clear she wants you to see more than just her brain? It's one thing to have flair. To show excessive skin is quite another. Let's not kid ourselves here. Appearance is very important for a woman. Unfortunately, we don't have the luxury of going on national television and looking like decrepit raisins like some of the men who shall remain nameless. No; we are judged and measured according to how we look and how we carry ourselves. It's not bad. In fact, I view this as one of the great adventures of being a woman. It's extremely imperative that women who wish to achieve legitimate success take note of this. Whether good or bad, people care about the way you look.

Selling sex appeal as a means of reaching an audience is a cruddy way to go about achieving success. I salute the women in visible media who have maintained modest yet fashionable standards. In the end, the classy ones will be around the longest. Right now, I wouldn't count Coulter in that bunch.

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Rockstar Radio
May 9, 2005

I did a brief 5 minute phone interview last week regarding my "Blog Like a Rocksar" series on the "Capital Region People" radio broadcasat on WYJB B95.5 FM.

Audio here

Thanks Dave Lucas for inviting me on.

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How to Blog Like Rockstar: get over the need for cyber affirmation (Part 2)
May 9, 2005

One of the most common complaints I hear from bloggers new and old is, "I wish I had more hits." To them I say: welcome to the club, and be quiet about it already. Complaining about how you wish more people would visit your website is the antithesis of cool. Keep that stuff to yourself. Don't rant about it on your weblog. That is what nerds do. Are you a nerd? I didn't think so.

As discussed in the previous installment of "How to Blog Like a Rockstar," the three main coveted forms of affirmation are: comments, hits and links. Last time we found out that comments (or lack thereof) aren't what make or break a weblog. Today we're going to talk about the average blogger's over-obsession: hits (also known as the number of times/people to visit your site).

As a blogger, you don't want feel like you're writing for a party of one. And let's just be honest with ourselves here. We might front like you we don't care how many people read our blogs, but tell to the truth, deep down inside, we know it's important. It feeds the ego. Even the random lady in Bangor, Maine, catblogging and posting her favorite hot chocolate recipes wants to know people are reading.

On the more serious note, not only does having a lot of visitors make one's labor feel important, it can also lead to big opportunities, and for some folks, big money. To date, bloggers have received book deals, newspaper columns, speaking engagements, and even employment offers just from capitalizing on the marketability of the blogosphere. Hi-traffic websites can command more by way of advertisements. A prime advertising spot on the popular Daily Kos goes for $14,000 a month. Not bad for some nobody lawyer guy who's in love with the Democratic Party.

God Bless America.

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Chastity Made Her Do It.
May 9, 2005

I've completely avoided the Jennifer Wilbanks bruha because dagnabit, who cares? Who cares about that dumb blanket she used to cover her head? Who cares about how many people were invited to the wedding? And who in their right mind cares that she got caught shoplifting? These days I can't figure out if I'm watching CNN or E! Entertainment News. I expect next we'll be learning about what Wilbanks will be wearing to this year's Victim Card Awards Ceremony. When we do, I still won't care.

While I concur with the many who've suggested Ms. Wilbanks should be somehow forced to pay financially for lying to police about her abduction, I also believe the media needs to get a life. Sensationalism, sensationalism, sensationalism.

The latest claim being purported by news media? Chastity made her do it. The more the press learns about John Mason, (Wilbanks' intended), the more ridiculous the stories sound. The ever-credible New York Post reports:

Bolting bride Jennifer Wilbanks was chaste away — by her fiance's insistence on abstinence, friends of the sex-deprived couple claim.

"She told people the fact that she and [husband-to-be John Mason] were not having sex was upsetting," a friend of Wilbanks' told People magazine, which hits newsstands today.

Mason was once a "wild" guy who "dated a lot," his running pal Ted King said.

But he became a born-again virgin - eschewing premarital sex - five years ago after pledging himself to his Baptist faith, friends said.

"He's been saving himself for the right woman," Mason's friend Andy Parsons told the magazine.

And friends say that likely drove the marathon enthusiast to run - from the altar.

Come again? Not being able to hold out for four days was just too hard eh? If that's not a stretch, I don't know what is. Suprisingly, I first heard this story on Fox News' "Heartland." Even they aren't exempt from wasting air time on foolish stories.

From the day Wilbanks was found alive and well, "analysts" (code for people who make stuff up and pull mysterious diseases out of their underarms) began speculating her motivation for running away. First she was distraught, then afraid, then diagnosed with a psychological disorder, and now she has abstinencephobia?

Today's Lesson on Race in America:

  1. If you are a black woman in the South and you lie to the police, you have criminal charges.
  2. If you are a white woman in the South and you lie to the police, first you have a pyschological disorder, then you might get charged.
Where were these pyschological analysts when I was 16-years-old and explaining to my parents why I was late for curfew? Enough trying to make excuses for this woman. Clearly she has issues to deal with (and if all goes well, a few checks to write). There will be no prize medal for figuring out why Wilbanks did what she did. My best guess? Her lies finally caught up with her. I feel sorry for her family and those she's dragged into her mess. I don't however, feel sorry for her. Not one bit.

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Insanity in the GOP Church
May 7, 2005

Have you heard about the Waynesville, North Carolina Baptist Pastor who led efforts to kick out congregants that didn't support Bush? Maddening. The AP reports:

Some in Pastor Chan Chandler's flock wish he had a little less zeal for the GOP.

Members of the small East Waynesville Baptist Church say Chandler led an effort to kick out congregants who didn't support President Bush. Nine members were voted out at a Monday church meeting in this mountain town, about 120 miles west of Charlotte.

"He's the kind of pastor who says do it my way or get out," said Selma Morris, the former church treasurer. "He's real negative all the time."

Chandler didn't return a message left by The Associated Press at his home Friday, and several calls to the church went unanswered. He told WLOS-TV in Asheville that the actions were not politically motivated.

The station also reported that 40 others in the 400-member congregation resigned in protest after Monday's vote.

There is a proper way to dismiss members from a local church--voting and partisan politics isn't the answer. This proves to me yet again that there is huge deception going on that the GOP is synonymous with righteousness or morality. If this were truly the case (which it most definitely isn't), the people of God would be in a big heap of trouble (don't make me name Republican names).

It seems political controversy is familiar territory with this Baptist pastor. The AP continues:

During the presidential election last year, Chandler told the congregation that anyone who planned to vote for Democratic Sen. John Kerry should either leave the church or repent, said former member Lorene Sutton.

Some church members left after Chandler made his ultimatum in October, Morris said.

I'll tell you who needs to repent. Pastor Chan Hussein that's who.

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May 5, 2005
  • GoDaddy's Boobs Pay Off
    It seems the Superbowl publicity stunt paid off. GoDaddy is now the top registrar of domains. Yawn.

  • Al Gore Awarded Lifetime Award for Internet
    This must be a joke. Oh but it isn't.

  • International Respect for Chickens Day
    There is a disturbed group of people called "United Poultry Concerns" that are calling for chicken amnesty. Why are they disturbed? The answer can be found in a statement on their website: "Chickens are people too!" No you fools. They are animals, and they are here for my consumption. In honor of the day, Matt at Rosenblog is calling for your best chicken recipes. Personally, I like mine greasy and fried or baked in herbs.

  • South Park Conservatives
    I'm gonna have to agree with Michelle Malkin on her latest column in which discusses her disappointment that First Lady Laura Bush recently stooped to South Park-level masturbation humor to win a crowd. Everything was peachy keen until she went there. Brian C. Anderson's new book "South Park Conservatives" is one I think I'll skip. I must say, never have I encountered a more foul and unpleasant group than some of the conservative male bloggers on the 'net.

  • Star Wars is for Nerds
    In her birthday post on her love of Star Wars, La Shawn Barber (affectionately known as L-Breezy) confirms a suspicion I long had...She is a NERD. All you "Star Wars" fans can have it. I've never made it out of a Star Wars film awake. Never. Incidentally, Happy Birthday L-Breezy.

  • Is Bill Cosby Right?
    Such is the question asked by Michael Eric Dyson in his latest capitalization efforts (read: his new book). Molotov at Booker Rising takes Dyson's arguments to task. I on the other hand refuse to read anything that man writes. He uses too many big words. I think he confounds even himself.

  • Blogger Conferences
    As blogging grows as a medium, conferences on the subject are popping up everywhere. First there was BloggerCon in California. Now there are conferences by city and specialization. I've heard of conferences in Canada and Paris. BlogNashville is happening this weekend, GodBlogCon is in October, and plans are in the works for "BlogHer," a blogging conference for women in July. Curious tidbit: in October, I've been asked to teach a class for the county here on "How to Blog Like a Rockstar." This will be grand.

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Know Your Rebels: Damien & Tourie Escobar
May 4, 2005

Rebels: Damien & Tourie Escobar

Age(s): 17 and 19, respectively

Representing: New York City

Why You Should Fear Them: They're classical violinists and they rock cornrow braids. Need I same more? In a quest to merge classical music and hip hop, the Escobar brothers have formed the breakout group, "Nuttin' But Stringz," also known as NBS.

When most elementary school kids were staring at the television, Damien and Tourie began taking violin lessons. Raised in the inner city, they endured the taunting of friends and stuck with the violin in spite of its lack of popularity. Together, on weekends they studied at the Julliard School of Music as well as the Bloomingdale School of Music.

As the brothers grew up, they found their love of hip hop didn't mesh well with their love of classical music. They sought to change that. The brothers began performing their music in the subway and in front of anyone who would listen. At first glance, the Escobar brothers appear like the average hip hoppers--hair braided, the bling, baggy jeans, and clean sneakers. But they wield a secret weapon that promises to upset the average traditionalist. While in the past, hip hop has often incorporated strings, there hasn't yet been a true crossover into the classical music genre. With their fusion of R&B, hip hop and jazz, the brothers wear head mikes and incorporate their own vocals into their performances.

As it stands, the Escobar brothers have deferred any college plans so they can tour schools, do concerts and gear up for their album release. Their first album, "STRUGGLE FROM THE SUBWAY TO THE CHARTS," is set to be released this summer. Thus far, the brothers have been featured on the "Ellen DeGeneres Show," "The Tonight Show," "The Today Show," "The CBS Morning Show," VH1, BET and Nickelodeon.

As the brothers often say at the end of their set, "Welcome to a new era."

Man I love my generation. I am sooooooo coppin' this album.

Website: Nuttin But Stringz

Press: New York Daily News and Times-Ledger, New York Cool.

Past Rebels: Roger Powell, Jr., Taylor Moore, Ben Shapiro, Erika Harold, Farrah Gray, Hans Zeiger, Adam Hunter, Dwight Howard, Sheri Valera, Princella Smith

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Lifting Up the Standard
May 3, 2005

Call me unpatriotic for saying it, but outside of the Olympic Games, I get nervous when I see too much of the American flag. Mind you, it's not the red, white and blue that concerns me. It's the attitude that the falsely represents those colors. What's supposed to be a symbol of freedom has now become a license for people to do and say anything they want while dragging the integrity of the flag into the mire.

Here and throughout the world, patriotism plays a key role in the lives of most people. Every country has a flag, and every country has citizens who at some point in history, risked their lives for the sovereignty and principles embodied in that flag. I've never questioned the importance of the American flag, but today, in 2005, I am suspicious about what it represents.

At best, Americans are a thriving, blessed, and patriotic people. At worst, we are arrogant, ungrateful, and gods unto ourselves. We call ourselves a Christian nation, but our total reliance on God is just another item on the pick 'n grab menu--take it or leave it. If we can't afford "the dream life," we can always buy it on credit; if we're unhappy with our circumstances, we can numb the pain with Oxycontin; if we don't have joy, we can buy counterfeit happiness in a bottle and drink ourselves into oblivion; if we're pregnant and we don't like it, we can go to a clinic and have the child killed. This is the stuff that makes America great, right?

Which isn't to say that America isn't a great nation. "Liberty" as it were, seems to be both our virtue and our vice. Hear me correctly: I can assuredly say that if I had the choice, I wouldn't want to be born anywhere but America. Unlike the ninnies who threatened to vacate as a result of last November's election, I love my country and the liberty therein.

America's flag has become symbolic of many things. Among them, freedom and liberty. With the exception of the pyromaniac segment of the country, many Americans are proud wavers of our flag, yet its significance varies from place to place. On any given day, you can see the American flag boldly waving atop governmental structures (wherein legislators are passing laws that will strategically keep children from receiving their full inheritance), or raised in front of schools (wherein children are being handcuffed, and black kids get called "dumb" by their teachers), hospitals, and businesses. On that same day, you might see American flags waving in the midst of a gay pride rally, draped over a fallen soldier's casket, hanging in the lobby of a church, or affixed in sticker form to the bumper of a truck owned by a white supremacist.

Our flag's representation is...sketchy.

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Radio Re-cap
May 1, 2005

The audio from this past Saturday's Republican Radio show is now up. Even after 3-4 times on the radio, talking into a microphone with no feedback takes getting used to. My radio voice never seems to sound much like my speaking voice. It's always a privilege to be invited on-air, but every day I become more convinced that I would never make a good talking head. Why? Because I'm not about to continuously sing any political party's praises without good cause.

The theme of the show was "diversity in the conservative movement." The were a number of different guests on the program, but in the studio, it was myself and blogger Nathan Scott AKA "Homocon," a homosexual conservative writer. I'll get to that in a minute.

Talk radio shows are generally broken into brief 7-9 minute segments with commercials in between. This doesn't usually give a whole lot of room for deep conversation and you'll often get cut short right after they ask you a question. If you're anything like myself (i.e. a "quick wit"), radio can be tortuous. Curbing the desire to say what you really want to say and replacing it with something more "charitable" is difficult. Every question I'm asked has to be put through my mental sieve in order to remove traces of bluntness, sarcasm and pop culture references. I spent my life in all-white private schools, so I'm used to this exercise.

The show was...interesting.

The very articulate, Nathan Scott's philosophy surprised me big time. He's probably the first, last, and only non-straight man I've ever heard argue that homosexuality is a choice with consequences. I found myself sitting there nodding my head and co-signing. That is, until he used the phrase, "Gay Uncle Tom." But that's an entirely different topic.

The hosts were very charitable and very good at what they do. I got put on the spot and was asked who my heroes are. A question to which I fumbled because, well, I don't have any heroes besides Jesus Christ and saying that could've sounded trite. I look up to many people, but "hero" implies something greater and I'm of the "one pant leg at a time" philosophy. I believe my ultimate answer was, "great men and women of God."

Note self: think of some names of heroes.

At the very least, this experience was certainly better than my last.

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I Never Thought I'd See the Day
April 30, 2005

I'd be on Republican Radio (as a non-Republican nonetheless). I'm sitting in the studio right now and all I'm thinking about is how humiliated my mother would be right now. It's not often I get to be the token.

The theme of today's program is "It's a Big Tent," debunking the myth that all conservatives are rich white men. The show will feature a number of different non-white, and in my case, "non-rich" HA! conservatives. Among them are Muhammad Ali Hasan, founder of "Muslims for America," and Nathan Scott, a homosexual conservative (sitting right next to me) who runs the blog HomoCon. Andrew Sullivan, eat your heart out. You'll recall I find some conflicting philosophies there. But I won't waste my breath, er, finger strength right now.

The show is two hours long and Nathan and I will be more in the second half than the first. The black conservative and homosexual in the same segment? Wasn't I just talking about this yesterday? We'll see.

We're broadcasting live online 11am-1pm (PST). Does that mean I'm live-blogging? Never. That is for nerds.

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Why I'm Not a Republican Parts I, II, III, IV
Reflections on the Ill-Read Society
The ROI of a Kid
The Double-Minded Haters
Hip-Hop in Education: Do You Wanna Revolution?
Oh parent Where Art Thou?
Requisite Monthly Rant: the State of the Nation
College Curriculum Gone Wild
Walmart Chronicles
An Open Letter to American Idol
Gonorrhea and the City

I Have a Talk Show