Creationist Evolutionists
August 23, 2005

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In light of the recent media around the discussion of intelligent design, I found this quote rather interesting. It seems the evolutionist marine biologists who wrote copy for the Vancouver Aquarium signage have disproved their own theory. I snapped this photo of a sign posted next to a tropical fish tank. It read:

Beauty by Design

"Even a thousand engineers working together for an entire lifetime could not have designed a better ocean-going survival machine."

Nope. They sure couldn't.

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The 36-Year-Old Virgin
August 23, 2005

Despite its rave reviews, allegedly honest and non-mocking portrayal of the title character, and successful display of the "triumph of the human spirit" (whatever that is), I'm not about to get excited about a film that frames its main character in such a way that suggests being a 40-year-old virgin represents some sort of inherent problem. The film's tag line, "Better late than never" begs for some tangential statements. Granted, around about 39-years of age, I was probably AC Green's biggest cheerleader. But not because I thought something was wrong with him. I just wanted the man to get his due. With his wife, that is.

The concept of abstinence is finally gaining back some momentum in our society, but the concept of adult virginity is seen as downright peculiar. In a society that trivializes sex almost every chance it gets, a film with such a title can't possibly be taken as a nod to the chaste. I've had my fair share of discussions with people who couldn't even conceptualize "not having sex." I look at some of my guy friends who are virgins (handsome ones too) and I feel like I'm looking at a rare and uncelebrated breed.

I first met Lakita Garth when I was around 13-years-old. At the time she was in her mid-twenties and stood before our youth group and boldly professed to us that she was a virgin. She then rattled off statistics on teenage sexual activity and STDs like it was the alphabet. The girl knew her stuff. Not only that, she was gorgeous. Not only that she was smart, educated, accomplished, and a woman of integrity. Her style was classy and feminine. She was modest but not matronly. As a short and insecure teenager with big feet and braces, I was completely in awe.

I probably heard Lakita speak in person around four times throughout my teenage years. Every time she opened her mouth, her message was consistent. I know there were many factors included in my making a decision to remain a virgin prior to marriage, but without a doubt, I can truly say that Lakita's presence in my life gave me the confidence and the vision to make wise decisions for the future.

As an adult, I watched the former Miss Black California travel around the country speaking, testifying before congress, and regularly appearing on "Politically Incorrect" with Bill what-his-face. She always held her own amid a guest-line up vicious enough to make even a Bible-believing Christian cuss. And they do. I know some.

This all probably seems so insignificant to many, but the question I always ask people is, "What does a virgin look like?" If forced to concoct an image of purity, chances are you see "A young, white, girl." Rarely do we envision a guy, and even more rarely do we envision a person of color. Strange the way that works isn't it? Talk about rage against the machine.

Meanwhile, the collective representation of the "sexuality" of women of color can pretty much be summed up by flipping through a few beauty magazines, turning on the television, or going to the toy store (where you'll find the self-improvement Bratz Dolls complete with big lips, big butts, and of course, LACE THONGS). In a world of bad representation, Lakita broke some major stereotypes in a very public way. She may never get credit for this, today and every day, I salute her for being a trailblazer.

So why all the nostalgia? Well, eleven days ago, at age 36, Ms. Garth's abstinence card was revoked in a major way. She was united in holy matrimony to Mr. Jeff Wright and I'm sure it was well worth the wait. I'm not a big fan of patting people on the back for virginity or abstinence. It doesn't warrant applause or special recognition. But I am a big fan of celebrating the right way to do things so Lakita, get your freak on. And I mean that in the purest of ways.

(Photo courtesy of Crestine Hauser, imprintstudio@msn.com)

Links: In lieu of wedding gifts, Jeff and Lakita opted to build an AIDS orphanage in Uganda. If you feel led, give.

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An Interesting Question Posed
August 23, 2005

Reader "Terence" asks the following in the comments section of this post:

I have been reading some of the comments on this Blog and I would like to ask a question to the Black conservatives out there. I don't consider myself a liberal or a conservative. Depending on the issue, my opinion could fall into both camps. Just like you get offended when "liberals" talk to black folk like they are dumb or dont know what is best for themselves. I get offended when "conservatives" talk to black folk like they some how are being tricked into liberalism but they are too dumb or self-hating to know what is best for themselves. Also, since you use the word so much, what is a liberal? If I am Pro-life and believe in affirmative action am I mixed? Suppose I am Pro-war and anti-gun? Please help me understand.
Any answers?

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Linkology
August 23, 2005

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Technology for a Better World
As far as I'm concerned, all the money being laundered on finding cures to diseases would be better spent on "The Life Straw." It's one of the many designs nominated for "The Index Awards," an international competition to celebrate practical design and innovation. For only $2, the Life Straw is an invention that could provide drinking water for one person for an entire year. It is absolutely incredible (and brilliant). Check out the list of top nominations which include the Toyota Prius, Google, and the $100 laptop.

The UNcategorized
This June, Paris France debuted book vending machines stocked with classics like HOMER. I'd eat Funyuns before I'd buy "The Odyssey" from a vending machine.

New to me blog: Dell Gines has impressed me with his content and insight. I also like that he doesn't play political sides.

Gas Prices from Around the World
Check out this table of prices. So you think we have it bad? Try $6.48/gallon in Amsterdam. No wonder they all ride bikes.

Rapper 50 Cent Releases a Book
Columnist Gregory Kane takes rapper Curtis James Jackson III (also known as 50 Cent and whom I affectionately call "Creflo Dollar's half-cousin") to task for the "fond embrace" of crime and ignorance in his his new book, "From Pieces to Weight: Once Upon a Time in Southside Queens." The number of times you get shot apparently likens itself to currency.

Tupac's Legacy Goes Altruistic
Here's some irony for your diet. Am I the only one who thinks a "Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts is just a bad idea? The newly opened facility in Stone Mountain, GA has plans set to unveil a bronze memorial statue of Tupac on the anniversary of his death. And get this, the statue will be placed in the center of the "Peace Garden." Enough, I'm getting sick to my stomach. This tripe deserves its own post. Let's all say it together, "Stronghold."

Adulterer Greeting Cards
Nothing says, "I want to cheat on my wife," like a nice greeting card. At least, that is the aim of the new Secret Lover Collection.

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Setting the Record Straight (Again)
August 22, 2005

Believe it or not, the list of things that truly bother me is incredibly short. It's fun to fake agitated and poke fun at trifling public figures and grown men with neck tattoos who call themselves "Diddy," but in the long run, those people do not pose a major threat, nor do their efforts have any sort of eternal value. Ranting and raving has its place, but when it comes to the realities that keep me up at night, I try if at all possible to keep the list to a minimum. Enter the great right-wing/left-wing debate. Partisan politics is a topic that bothers me to no end.

I've consistently discussed here, my refusal to attach myself to a political party, period. It's not a back-up plan or based on any dissatisfaction with the current political offerings. I am not waiting for something better to come along. I've simply sought fit to diminish the number of worldly labels attached to my name. Especially those God didn't give me. Moreover, I find the nature of political parties inherently twisted. I need to restate this for the sake of new readers who read two posts and think they have me figured out (again, do you see what a mess political parties have made of our ability to think independently, even about each other?).

A very familiar sentiment re-emerged for me today when I read the first sentence of prominent blogger Professor Bainbridge's gripe about the Bush administration:

It's time for us conservatives to face facts. George W. Bush has pissed away the conservative moment by pursuing a war of choice via policies that border on the criminally incompetent. We control the White House, the Senate, the House of Representatives, and (more-or-less) the judiciary for one of the few times in my nearly 5 decades, but what have we really accomplished? Is government smaller? Have we hacked away at the nanny state? Are the unborn any more protected? Have we really set the stage for a durable conservative majority?
Within Stephen Bainbridge's thesis is the inherent problem I find with the politics of "sides" based on unclear philosophies: the ubiquitous presence of personal agendas.

My question to Mr. Bainbridge is, "Who is 'us?'" Tossing around the phrase "Conservative" carries with it nearly as much confusion craziness as calling oneself a "Christian" because human beings are prone to define things based on experience instead of truth.

I don't excuse President Bush, and I don't agree with everything in his administration, but never, not once, did I make the mistake of thinking he represented my agenda. Yeah I voted for him, but not because he was going to do everything I wanted. If that were the case, sales tax on shoes would have been eradicated by now. The fact that the president is expected to further the entire "conservative movement" is simply a set-up for failure. That isn't to say that President Bush doesn't hold a great deal of responsibility in the direction of this country. I'm a firm believer in the power of principled leadership and the reality that everything flows from the head down to the people. What's interesting to me however, is how shocked and disappointed people become when their idol-like president hasn't lived up to their standards. He is a man, and he can lie.

The reason the conservative movement can't be furthered on the backs of sole individuals or leaders is because much like the liberal converse, the "conservative movement" as it were, doesn't even know what the "conservative movement" is. Show me the day when conservatives can agree on some core beliefs and I will sell you my first-born child. In other words, it ain't gonna happen.

You see, political parties are inherently selfish. The "greater good of the community" gets buried under agendas, pet issues, money, and me me me. Part of what supposedly makes America great is that everyone, and I mean everyone can have their own cause. This is why PETA members are allowed to mingle with normal people.

Continue reading "Setting the Record Straight (Again)">>>

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People Who Need to Retire
August 17, 2005

I have lots to catch-up on news-wise, but in the meantime, I have officially added Sean Combs to my blacklist. Remember "Vote or Die"? Umm, yeah. Not only is Mr. Combs a media whore, I truly believe he has overly-convinced himself of his own greatness. Today he came onto the "Today Show" and announced live that he was dropping the "P." and changing his name to just "Diddy."

Boy am I glad I tuned in for that announcement.

The Chicago Tribune reports:

In news perfectly suited to this column, P. Diddy has streamlined his name, dropping the P. He made the announcement on Tuesday's "Today Show," according to E! Online. "I felt like the 'P' was getting between me and my fans," Diddy said. "During concerts, half the crowd is saying 'P. Diddy'--half the crowd is chanting 'Diddy'--now everybody can just chant 'Diddy.'"
May I remind us all that Sean Combs (because I refuse to call a grown man who is not my husband pet names) has not had a hit in nearly half a decade? How about we just call him, "Dummy."

Yeah, that'll do.

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Self-Appointed Saviors of the Black Race
August 17, 2005

The following is a lengthy note to patronizing and high-fallutin' liberal thinkers: Simply put, black people are not dumb.

Nearly a year ago, I came into a new depth of understanding in regards to the social decay that is American liberal thought. Surprisingly enough, I have Michael Moore to thank for this. Despite commonly held beliefs, the man is indeed good for something. In a bold pre-election address on November 1, 2004, Moore wrote the following on his website:

"To African Americans:

First of all, let's just acknowledge what you already know: America is a country which still has a race problem, to put it nicely. Al Gore would be president today had thousands of African Americans not had their right to vote stolen from them in Florida in 2000.

Here is my commitment: I will do everything I can to make sure that this will not happen again. And I'm not the only one making this pledge. Thousands of volunteer lawyers are flying to Florida to act as poll watchers and intervene should there be any attempts to deny anyone their right to vote. They will NOT be messing around.

For my part, I have organized an army of 1,200 professional and amateur filmmakers who will be armed with video cameras throughout the states of Florida and Ohio. At the first sign of criminality, we will dispatch a camera crew to where the vote fraud is taking place and record what is going on. We will put a big public spotlight on any wrongdoing by Republican officials in those two states. They will not get away with this as they did in 2000.

In Ohio, the Republicans are sending almost 2,000 paid "poll challengers" into the black precincts of Cleveland in an attempt to stop African Americans from voting. This action is beyond despicable. Do not let this stop you from voting. I, and thousand of others, will be there to fight for you and protect you."

After I dragged myself from under his patronizing high-fallutination*, I came to three conclusions (in no particular order):
  1. Listening or even giving credence to anything Michael Moore has to say is like giving an audience to a special-ed monkey.
  2. Liberals, (white ones in particular) think more highly of themselves than they ought.
  3. There is a certain segment of progressive America who remain unaware of their sub-conscious convictions that black people are complete idiots.
The arrogance of Moore's missive runs deeper than his own narcissicism (which in and of itself is at Grand Canyon-sized proportions). Every day of the year the events taking place in America confirm suspicion number three.

Continue reading "Self-Appointed Saviors of the Black Race">>>

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Could it Be That Simple?
August 15, 2005

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This weekend, a friend and I took an impromptu trip up to Vancouver, British Columbia Canada. Despite the drunken revelry, it is a very pretty city. I hadn't been in awhile, so I dropped in on the famous Vancouver Aquarium to see the overweight and institutionalized whales we will eventually spend millions of dollars to set free. While reading the notes at the beluga whale exhibits, I just had to snap a photo of the sign which read
Male or Female

If you want to identify the sex of the whale, look in the ventral area above the tail. Female belugas have a short mammary slit on either side of their genital slit.

Males have a single genital slit.

Apparently, the whales have this one down without confusion. Human beings are the people who can't seem to get this genitalia thing straight. God help us all.

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Linkology
August 10, 2005

Google Earth
This announcement comes late, but if you don't have Google Earth yet, you MUST download it. That program rocks my world. Now if they would just get it compatible for Macs.

CNet's Top 10 dot-com flops
Topping the list is one of my most missed services, WebVan a home grocery-delivering service. I know, I'm pathetic.

St. Michael Schiavo
Michael Schiavo given "Guardian of the Year" award. That is some serious cow manure if I ever saw it. The gall I tell you, the gall.

Newsflash: Jackson Did It
Apparently the Jackson jurors are telling all. Americans and their book deals. I'm having trouble having pity on two people who want to go on national television and cry because they let a child molester go free. I'm sure the breeze from the cash coming in as they wrack up book sales will dry their pathetic tears.

Harry Belafonte's Definition of "Tyranny"
Linda Chavez sticks it to Harry Belafonte regarding his recent remarks that black Republicans are tyrants. La Shawn Barber had her say too. I shared the stage at a benefit show with Belafonte some years ago. He's a very nice and cordial gentleman, but I think he might need to go back to the dictionary. I find it hilarious that Belafonte has labeled a group with even less power than black Democrats tyrannical.

The Fat Girl's Beauty Pageant
Last week Comedienne Mo'nique (known for flaunting her fuller figure) hosted the first ever "Full-figured Beauty Contest" called "Mo'Nique's F.A.T. Chance." Ahhh, I have mixed feelings on this one. I'll expound later, but in the meantime, I'm going to do something out of character and link a new-age (they call themselves 5-percenters now) blog that mentions the word, 'Allah.' Why? Because he makes some good non-Allahified points about how we wrongly celebrate obesity in America.

Three down, an infinite number to go
So I met another cyber black conservative friend last week. Conservative Brotherhood founder Michael Cobb Bowen recounts the tale of eating dinner and me getting him lost in Seattle last week when he was in town. I must be getting a bad reputation because his second sentence to me was, "Does my outfit pass the test?" Also there's a reference in his post I have to clear up for consistency's sake. For the record, I didn't drink. I don't drink, and I never have. Cobb is even smarter in person than he is on his blog, which pretty much qualifies me for having a kindergarten-level blog.

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The Future of Black Media
August 9, 2005

The question of where the media is headed has always been weighty. When looking towards the future, for me it comes down to one question: how will truth be disseminated? That pretty much encompases everything--truth in reporting, truth in the images presented, truth about the reality of what this world truly needs.

Yesterday, John Johnson, a giant in the black media world passed away at the age of 87. So again the reality of time marches on. The people that once were pillars are no more and we are forced to deal with fact that someone must become responsible for moving us from where we are to where we need to be. Where "we" need to be seems to be up for debate right now, but more on that later.

If you don't know who John Johnson is, let me school you because in the aftershocks of Peter Jennings' passing, I am certain Johnson's legacy will be buried on the news desks. The Johnson Publishing empire is mighty. In 1942, Johnson began Ebony Magazine as his take on the traditional "Life Magazine" with the goal of focusing on black society. The goal of the magazine bounced around from reporting the bad to celebrating the good. In a time when blacks were nearly nonexistent in printed media, Johnson filled a void. Even to this day, you'd be hard-pressed to find a black American household that doesn't have Ebony or Jet Magazine on the coffee table. For most black families, Ebony magazine has become a household staple. Johnson later followed up by launching the smaller Jet magazine as well as the Fashion Fair make-up empire, book-publishing, television production, and more.

As a multimillionaire, in 1982 Johnson was the first black American ever to make the Forbes' list of richest Americans. That's right, even before Oprah. Let us all stop and clap for that please. My thoughts on the current state of Ebony Magazine aside, what I can most respect most about John Johnson was that he ran a family business, and unlike another famous "Johnson," he never sold out (financially, that is). Even today, the company is headed by members of the Johnson family. For his legacy and his contribution to the black community, Johnson should be honored and respected.

Over the last couple of years, however, I've had a difficult time figuring out just what type of message Ebony Magazine has been trying to convey. From cover stories on the "Down Low Culture," and Louis Farrakhan to top bachelor and bachelorette listings, I can't help but be unsatisfied by mediums that mostly seem to do more to entertain, comfort and pseudo-educate than they do to provoke and change. While this isn't necessarily a problem specific to race (I could list off perpetrators of all colors), I do find this reality at work among the few predominately black media institutions presently in operation.

Continue reading "The Future of Black Media">>>

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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
Hindsight
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

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