Entries Posted in "Culture"

Page 17 of 24

Hey Mister, Yeah You in the Dress
June 11, 2004

I'm not going to even begin to talk about the depths of low-ness and improper self-perception that would cause someone to resort to such self-loathing behavior as cross-dressing. I'm not going to write about how our society has tricked people into thinking that God made a mistake when they were born with penises instead of vaginas, or how we validate peoples' gender confusion via secular humanistic philosphies. I won't mention how gender identity is now a "protected class" against which most companies are not allowed to discriminate, or how the average seventh grader's "life skills" textbook includes a whole chapter on what to do when Billy wants to be Suzy. But what I will say is this:

If you are going to dress like a woman, please do us justice. Do not presume to just throw on a dress and call it a day. If your goal was to look like a football player in drag, then you've successfully achieved your goal. The least you could do is pick a dress that looks half-way decent and not that frock from the bargain bin. Whether it's red, purple or fushia, no matter what color you paint your toes, they are still gross and hairy, and they still look like man feet. Lastly, unless you intend on co-opting the entire menstruation process via osmosis, you don't exactly qualify for the high-heels or the make-up. You don't get lipstick without cramps. You can't have toe nail polish without a uterus. This spectacle you have created of yourself is a disgrace to us all. Please stop this foolishness lest you be "ruffed up" by some gun-toting woman on estrogen.

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Ray Charles 1930-2004
June 10, 2004

My word. Ray Charles died today at age 73. These things are indicators of time. People you thought would always be around pass on and I'm once again reminded that time waits for no one. I'm way too young to talk about the "good 'ole days", but I will always remember Mr. Charles' Pepsi commercial a la "You got the right one baby!" Uh huh.

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Everything I Ever Learned Was Wrong...Well, Some of It At Least
June 10, 2004

Sometimes you forget, people really are that ignorant. La Shawn Barber has an interesting discussion going on in her comments section about afroscentricism; a philosophy whereby black people are put at the center and root of all things; a philosophy with which I also happen to disagree. But that's not really my issue. What prompted me to write was not the post (which was good by the way), but the comments. Mike wrote:

Yes, white people made this country. There are many reasons for that, not the least of which was slavery. Blacks were not allowed to get an education. Therefore, they had little impact.

Those that did were always celebrated. Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, and MLK. But there is no reason to celebrate someone simply because they were black and did something notable. Many people of all races did something notable, and there is little room in textbooks to discuss everyone. Often those who are covered are granted space simply because they were "the first black" or "the first woman" to do something.

Let's celebrate accomplishment, not skin color.

Oh yes he did. Go. There. I can't give this any more energy than it's worth, but I thought I'd post it so I can go back into my archives and read it one of these days when I need some motivation. I will say this: as pagan as they were, there were some other folks here before the white man. We don't really talk about them too often. But enough about that. What did catch my interest was the proposition of another commenter going by the name of "Frank" who wrote:
Afrocentrism? Give me a break.

What Black American child really gives a d**n about "African Culture?" They are Americans. This stuff is only for the self-indulgence of the teachers.

More useful would be teaching Classical literature, with an elective on Black Americans who have "made it" in spite of Jim Crow etc..These are some of the finest Americans and should be role models - not preachers who can only bleat out loud about "social justice" but not get much done.

Someone was kind enough to step in and gently correct dear Frank with facts proving that indeed black kids do give a hoot about African Culture. But this whole thing of Classical Literature is what got me. We should only be teaching kids classical literature? Yeah, okay.

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To Be Young, Gifted and Black
June 10, 2004

At least once a day, I look in the mirror. This is less about narcissism and more about personal hygiene. For this reason alone I would hope we all take a look at least once. There are however, days when I am fully convinced some people don't. But I digress. Perhaps the biggest jump-start to my day is the fact that when I look in the mirror, I like what I see. Not only do I like it, I love it. I've always been a pretty confident person. With the exception of some terribly awkward teenage years (which included braces, pimples, and feet bigger than my arms), I have always been comfortable in my own skin. From the time I was very young, I would sit on the bathroom sink and stare into the mirror. This ritual took place at least once a month. I would examine every crevice of my face while constantly reciting in my head, "I am me...I am me...I am me". This probably sounds bizarre, but it was quite revelatory for me. I became completely fascinated with the fact that I was a complete original. I would mentally scan all the countries I could remember from geography class to put this fact into proper perspective and I was blown away every time.

For much of my childhood, I led a compartmentalized life. My day job included attendance at a predominately white school. I learned to cope. I'd never known anything different so it wasn't too hard. The rest of my life took place in the predominately black neighborhood in which my parents chose to raise us, my predominately black church, dance classes, track meets, and other extra-curricular activities. I got the best of "both worlds" so to speak. It sounds simple but it really wasn't at all.

Attending an all-white school while the rest of my friends were in more racially diverse public schools often put me at the center of ridicule and in a perpetual state of proving my "blackness" (instead of "blackness" insert whatever stereotype you should be fulfilling). If you've ever tried this, you know it will turn you into a schizophrenic loony.

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Cosby Need Not Make Clarifications
June 8, 2004

It's been awhile since any single commentary has sparked this much controversy in the black intellectual community. My experience with my personal colleagues has proved that most blacks, including my own family are pretty divided on whether Cosby was in the right or wrong for his now widely famous "pound-cake speech".

I say, it really doesn't matter if what he said was right or wrong. The fact is, he said it. And that's far more powerful and prolific than our mamby-pamby commentary and opinion on what he said. In fact, most black writers' articles in response to Cosby's words say the number one thing that Cosby did wrong was actually say what many have long been thinking in a public forum.

Even William Jelani Cobb's whiny criticism of Dr. Cosby managed to begin with,

"...the comedian has been praised by white conservatives and black folk at large for essentially keeping it real. For airing dirty laundry. For saying in public what your uncle Bobby has been saying behind closed doors for years."
Christopher John Farley of Time magazine wrote an article where he too remarked,
"There are still certain things some black people won't talk about in front of some white people. American culture may be seemingly more integrated than, say, 50 years ago, but cultural walls remain. Racial issues, in multiracial company, are often circled until they are impossible to ignore and have to be discussed; blacks, when there are only other blacks around, often cut to the chase...Last month, Bill Cosby broke the unwritten rule of keeping black dirty laundry in black washing machines."
This may be all and well, but the dirty laundry was bound to start smelling at some point or another. The biggest problem has long been that no one ever bothered to add any soap and water to the washing machine. So instead, the dirty laundry just sat there untouched and the stains set in. Cleaning up this mess is going to take more work than it would have if we started earlier.

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Phylicia Rashad Wins the Tony
June 7, 2004

The Cosby Show's former mom Phylicia Rashad, also known as Clair Huxtable, and one of my favorite actresses made history last night as the first black woman to ever win a Tony for best actress in her role as Lena Younger in the classic Lorraine Hansberry play, A Raisin in the Sun. Maybe this doesn't mean a lot to many, but I grew up in a theatre household so I know this is a hard-earned and deserved award. Far more so than an Academy Award for best Actress in Monster's Ball. When I found out this play was coming back to Broadway I was pleased. When I found out Sean "Puffy" Combs would be taking on Sidney Poitier's old role, I was not so pleased.

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Relationship Woes
June 7, 2004

Anyone who doesn't think the institutions of family and marriage are under attack in this nation needs to go back under a rock and get a vision. Things continue to happen in this nation that merely solidify that we have lost proper perspective on so many levels. The entertainment industry becomes more of a joke each passing day.

Jenny from the Crock "Marries Again"
From the "Can't We All Just Get a Life?" files. I will only give this two seconds: J.Lo + Marc Antony = Washed Up + Stupid. Multiply that by marriage #3 and #2 (respectively) and you get boosted careers. They'll give Janet Jackson some good company. Two seconds up.

Halle Berry/Eric Benet: Dysfunction's Poster children
This is what happens when you have unresolved issues. Two dysfunctional people come together and you get a dysfunctional marriage. Last night, in a family discussion, I seemed to ruffle some feathers when I inferred that I thought that as beautiful as she may be, Halle Berry has a poor self-image and low self-esteem. That's another post. To top it off, the first interview she agreed to following her file for divorce was on Oprah. Oprah of course being someone who has lacks any credibility whatsoever on the subject of marriage. Please be quiet Oprah and stop dragging other women into your "issues".

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Beware the Hustlers
June 7, 2004

My life never tires of fun and madness. I had extended family in town this past weekend for my sister's graduation so I was of course extremely busy at my parent's house. However, I did have the opportunity to take some much needed rest when my brother and I tuned in to some hot action on ESPN: The Scripps National Spelling Championship. It's safe to say, ya'll ain't ready for us! They even had the play-by-play. I felt my coolness factor slowly slipping away as I became more enthralled with my television--hanging on every letter. This was the epitome of true nerdom. Every now and then, when some pimpled-faced 7th grader would spell words like "autochthonous" or "sophrosyne", my 15-year-old brother and I would glance at each other as if to say, "how in the name of sane folk did he know that?" These kids were asking questions like, "Is this word of Greek origin?" and "Does it have any relation to the french word trouisellier which means I'm flippin' too smart for my own good." It was at that point that my brother and I decided that we were pretty dumb. I won a spelling bee once at a local level. I'm glad I never made it much farther as I am certain I would not have fit in with these nerds. There's nothing like middle schoolers asking "word of origin" questions to make you feel incredibly lame.

It was during the 13th round or so that the doorbell rang. My brother ran downstairs to answer it and I heard a male voice talking. I went down there to make sure someone by the name of "Elder" so-and-so wasn't down there preaching Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon to my brother. Instead I found my brother getting ready to hand over some money to what looked like a late-teen/early-twenties young man. I of course, stopped the transaction to get some clarity. I asked the guy what he needed. Prepare yourself for cliché madness.

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Fahrenheit 9/11
June 4, 2004

Frump boy is at it again. The poster child for funny-looking white men who can do and say whatever they want and make millions doing so has once again concocted a manipulative tale of conservative hatred in his latest film Fahrenheit 911 which opens Friday, June 25th. We're talking about a man whose very existence is centered around laying blame for the state of the country on anything and everything conservative, Christian, fundamentalist, anti-liberal or George W. Bush. Yes we're talking about Michael Moore. A website called Moore Exposed, calls themselves, "The website that dares to ask:

  • Should a 320 pound man advise us on the evils of overconsumption?

  • Should the resident of a million-dollar apartment claim to be a poster-boy of the working class?
  • Should a person who thought Enron was a great investment, Nader would win, and North Korea's Kim Jong was changing for the better, advise us on ANYTHING?"
This is hilarity at its best. I am unsure if I would dedicate my efforts to actually starting a website against a person. That seems a little like obsessive, no-life, behavior. But hey, it's a good read for me.

My first experience with Michael Moore's work was in my senior year film class. To kick-off our project on documentaries, we watched Roger & Me. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that with clever editing, you can say anything via film. Moore's latest endeavors in Fahrenheit 9/11 are to expose the "connections between the Bush family and prominent Saudis" as well as citing the faults of President Bush's administration. When Disney dropped out of the picture's distribution citing "political reasons" (rolling of the eyes), for a minute there it seemed like the film wouldn't have a distributor. Yeah, right I'm sure. Michael Moore is a walking contradiction who capitalizes on people's fear and promotes a God-less America. La Shawn Barber wrote a piece called The (Rich) Common Man that epitomizes Michael Moore. It will only be a matter of time before his 30 minutes are up. Moore is riding the wave of an ultra-liberal film industry. I just hate that his "voice" seems to be louder than many who proclaim the truth. That will change.

Update: This New York Post article reiforces the rumors about Moore's false "man-of-the-people" position. Apparently, he only takes calls from stars.

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I Love This...
June 4, 2004
Creed of the Modern Thinker -Stever Turner

We believe in Marxfreudanddarwin
We believe everything is OK
as long as you don't hurt anyone
to the best of your definition of hurt,
and to the best of your knowledge.

We believe in sex before, during, and after marriage.
We believe in the therapy of sin.
We believe that adultery is fun.
We believe that sodomy's OK.
We believe that taboos are taboo.

We believe that everything's getting better
despite evidence to the contrary.
The evidence must be investigated
And you can prove anything with evidence.

We believe there's something in horoscopes UFO's and bent spoons.
Jesus was a good man just like Buddha, Mohammed, and ourselves.
He was a good moral teacher though we think
His good morals were bad.

We believe that all religions are basically the same-at least the one that we read was.
They all believe in love and goodness.
They only differ on matters of creation,
sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.

We believe that after death comes the Nothing
Because when you ask the dead what happens they say nothing.
If death is not the end, if the dead have lied, then its
compulsory heaven for all excepting perhaps
Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Kahn

We believe in Masters and Johnson
What's selected is average.
What's average is normal.
What's normal is good.

We believe in total disarmament.
We believe there are direct links between warfare and bloodshed.
Americans should beat their guns into tractors .
And the Russians would be sure to follow.

We believe that man is essentially good.
It's only his behavior that lets him down.
This is the fault of society.
Society is the fault of conditions.
Conditions are the fault of society.

We believe that each man must find the truth that is right for him.
Reality will adapt accordingly.
The universe will readjust.
History will alter.
We believe that there is no absolute truth
excepting the truth
that there is no absolute truth.

We believe in the rejection of creeds,
And the flowering of individual thought.

If chance be
the Father of all flesh,
disaster is his rainbow in the sky
and when you hear

State of Emergency!

Sniper Kills Ten!

Troops on Rampage!

Whites go Looting!

Bomb Blasts School!

It is but the sound of man
worshipping his maker.

And to think this was written in 1980. Prophetic I suppose.

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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

I Have a Talk Show