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Check Out ‘Brick City’

I can’t bemoan negative media images, stereotypes and buffoonery without highlighting the positive. “Brick City,” executive produced by Forest Whitaker, is a five-night documentary set in Newark as the city’s mayor, Cory Booker, and residents strive to make the community a safer place. It airs all this week at 10 p.m. on the Sundance Channel. And for those of you without cable and whatnot — I’ll have to catch it online as well — you can watch parts of the series here on the Sundance Channel’s Web site. Here’s a preview of the documentary:

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Run This Town Spoof

I’m easily amused, and I always love a good spoof, so I had to share this. View this spoof of “Run This Town” below, which is actually more entertaining than the real music video.

Cartoon by Jimmy Margulies

Good Reads

I didn’t feel much like writing today, so instead I’ll just link to some interesting articles I came across today and would like to share.

As if Caster Semenya hadn’t already been through enough: “Athlete Caster Semenya has pulled out of her return to competitive sport amid growing fears over the psychological impact of rumours about her sex. The 18-year-old withdrew from a cross-country race in South Africa tomorrow after it was widely reported that a leaked sex test reveals she is a hermaphrodite. Her coach, Michael Seme, said she will not run because she is “not feeling well”. After dominating her race at the world championships in Berlin last month, Semenya underwent blood and chromosome tests, as well as a gynaecological examination. The IAAF has said Semenya probably would keep her gold medal because the case was not related to a doping matter. But it is less clear whether she would be allowed to compete again.” From The Guardian

And apparently Semenya isn’t the first athlete to have to deal with this type of ordeal. Click here to read Santhi Soundarajan’s story, an Indian athlete who was stripped of her medal in the 2006 Asian Games after failing a gender test. She attempted suicide after her ordeal. Soundarajan tells her own story, and also talks about Semenya.

Marc Lamont Hill writes about Maia Campbell’s story at Essence.com. Go here to read his commentary: “A Look At Our Indifference to Black Women’s Mental Health.”

Gertrude Baines, the world’s oldest person died Friday at age 115. “In her final years, she passed her days watching her favorite TV program, ‘The Jerry Springer Show,’ and consuming her favorite foods: bacon, fried chicken and ice cream.” And all this time I thought those things would shorten one’s lifespan. Who knew? Go here to read her story.

And in music news, Q-Tip’s album “Kamaal the Abstract,” which was shelved back in 2001 is finally being officially released this coming Tuesday. I can’t even listen to his last album, “The Renaissance,”  anymore — that’s how much I played it — so I’m excited. Go here to listen to him speak on the album.

How Was Rep. Wilson To Know?

Cross posted from my fictional blog: Relax.Relate.Release.

repwilson

After Republican Rep. Joe Wilson made his outburst during President Obama’s speech to Congress last night, he came out with an apology.

Because I felt like partaking in some pure foolery, my version of the night’s events are in bold. The rest is straight from CNN’s Political Ticker.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — GOP Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina issued a statement Wednesday night apologizing for his outburst during President Obama’s speech to Congress:

“This evening I let my inner hater loose! let my emotions get the best of me when I was kind of listening to the liar’s President’s lies remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the death to America health care bill. Sometimes when you’re upset, things just slip out. What’s a little “You lie!” every now and then? How was I supposed to know people would get upset? I did feel Nancy Pelosi’s cold side-eye, but really, was that supposed to let me know I was in the wrong?

So it’s OK to spread the death to Granny story and make posters of the President as a Communist Joker, but someone shouts a little bit of truth during a speech and people get all upset? I thought it was OK to disrespect the President and yell out during one of his speeches to Congress. Our behavior’s supposed to be different here than at an unruly town hall meeting? We’re supposed to pretend to be civil? Oh. Well someone should have sent ME that memo because I didn’t know.

While I disagree with the liar’s President’s statement, my comments were inappropriate and completely reasonable and necessary regrettable. Now I have to pretend to be sorry even though I’m not. I extend sincere yeah right, he can go suck it apologies to the liar President for my people not backing me up this lack of civility. You all were supposed to have my back! This was not how it was supposed to go down when we met before the speech.”

Here’s what went down after the apology statement was issued:

WASHINGTON (CNN) — CNN’s Deirdre Walsh reports that Republican Rep. Joe Wilson called the White House Wednesday night to apologize for his outburst during President Obama’s speech, and spoke with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

UPDATE: CNN’s Ed Henry reports that a senior administration official says that in the phone call, Emanuel accepted the apology on behalf of the president and told the congressman: “Eff That Sorry Apology After What You Pulled Tonight!” Click. “We can disagree without being disagreeable. That was the point of the President’s speech.”

For some reason I just got extra ticked off today. It started off with the coverage of President Obama’s Back to School speech and then ended with the mainstream media’s coverage of what he “must” say during his speech to Congress on health care this week. I don’t know what’s more frustrating – President Obama acting like he’s still campaigning for the presidency and waiting for the opposition to turn around and take him in open arms – or Conservatives acting like he needs their permission to even do something like make a speech to children urging them to do well in school.

I know President Obama is all about bipartisanship and all, but if someone shows you that they would drive over you if you tripped and fell onto the street, waiting for them to like you becomes futile. The longer he waits to be liked and hosts events like “Beerfest ’09,” the longer he’s going to have to placate people and ask permission to do his job. And the more the media and Conservatives will think it’s OK to make him ask permission.

On CNN today, there was a long panel discussion on “What President Obama MUST Say” during his speech to Congress on healthcare. What he has to say that will be OK to CNN pundits. Not what he may say, but what he MUST say to make them happy.

Then we have Ga. Sen. Saxby Chambliss on Fox News talking about how President Obama has to be “humble” when he speaks to Congress about health care.

Because Obama may be president, but we wouldn’t want him getting all uppity or anything. Remember who’s boss now.

Ugh.

It’s like bullies in school. Once someone lets the bullies get away with disrespecting him or her once, they’re not going to stop doing it just because you offer them a nice smile and some candy. President Obama: THEY DON’T WANT YOUR CANDY. No matter how sweet it is. They’ll throw it on the ground because it has the taint of that uppity Negro Communist who handed it to them. How you deal with this is up to you. But just remember that you actually won the election last year. You don’t need the media or Conservative’s permission to get something done.

Cross-posted from my fictional blog: Relax.Relate.Release.

Obama 2008

To: Staff

From: If You Don’t Know Who I Am By Now You Shouldn’t Be Working Here

Subject: P.A.S.S. or Parentally Approved Skip School Day

Staff:

I’ve heard rumblings that some of you are planning to keep your children home from school on September 8th because you don’t want them viewing the live feed from President Obama’s Back to School Speech. You don’t want him indoctrinating your kids with his Commie-speak. And that’s completely your prerogative. What I want to address is how this “Parentally Approved Skip School Day” will affect your work on Tuesday. Let me put it plainly so there’s no confusion: IT WON’T. It’s rather sad that I have to list what is unacceptable, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to do it.

Just because your kids are not in school doesn’t mean we want them here. We’re a place of business, not a daycare, so don’t bother packing up their lunchboxes and dragging them in here with you on Tuesday morning. And don’t act like you were confused about the contents of this e-mail. “Oh, I thought you meant no kids under five! I assumed Susie would be OK sitting beside me at my desk.” Uh uh. Not going to happen.

Moving on. Let me address those of you who see this as an opportunity to make your three-day weekend become a full blown four-day vacation. This is not Parent Skip day. We’re not off on Tuesday, so don’t try calling in talking about you’re “sick,” while we hear the sounds of your child singing in the car or getting ready to ride an amusement park ride. This also applies to those who don’t have children. Don’t make up some random child’s name on Tuesday as an excuse for why you have to leave suddenly. If you’ve been here for more than nine months and no one has heard you mention little Michael, leave him out of your mouth on Tuesday.

Finally, for those staff members planning to protest outside of the school building with “Keep Your Hands off My Child, Obama!” posters – just know that we do have televisions in the office. If we see you on television protesting when you were supposed to be on your 20-minute break, don’t bother coming up with a lie for why you were late coming back to your desk. This also accounts for those mysteriously missing from the office, but continuously updating your Facebook/Twitter accounts proclaiming how proud you are that you took your kids out of school that day.

Not reading the contents of this e-mail and claiming you didn’t know you couldn’t take off on Tuesday is also not a valid reason for your absence. If for some reason I’ve forgotten any possible excuse you could come up with for not coming into the office on Tuesday, just know that it’s not going to fly unless you have proof that you’re actually sick or dying.

Have a productive day,

Management