The Hate that Hate Produced

Melissa Harris-Lacewell lays it down. I don't know how much more hate and stupidity I can take (the two go together), but I guess I better get used to it because it's not going away.


Better halves.

No political rant today because I'm lighting up the blog boards. Controversy du jour is Skip Gates and the white folks who are saying calm the fuck down - to which I say, people of color will calm the fuck down when we all admit that there is a problem with institutional racism and acknowledge that a black man does not see a white officer entering his home the same way that a white man sees it. And that's how I feel about that.

Artist of the Day: Keith Urban. I liked him a lot back in 2004-5. Then I went to China and there were sadly no country music stations. That's why we have youtube. Here is a live version of one of my favorite songs of his, Better Half.


Dumb Ass

Birthers. I don't even know why I'm legitimizing this shit by posting, but it's almost 8a and I haven't slept or done much writing and this just about makes me want to shit my pants it's so crazy. The dumb ass birther conspiracy goons have invaded cable news and will not get a motherfucking life. They brewed this Molotov cocktail of stupid, racist shit and now are lobbing it into every news show they can find. I can't even write about how illogical, unnecessary, and RACIST this all is. I've never smashed my head into a brick wall, but I don't need to; I just listen to fuck up birther goons.

Here is Chris Matthews squaring off with a straight up crook, G. Gordon Liddy. I'm posting this because of all the interviews on this stupid ass subject, Liddy's broke ass, punched in the face one too many times response sums up the whole deal. Matthews presents him with the facts and the evidence more times than he has fingers and all Liddy can say is Obama's step-grandma gave a signed deposition stating he was born in Kenya (later shown to be a gross mistranslation). Fuck you.


Round Three

Rachel spitting the truth.

Here's the shit that started it all, if you can stomach listening to this.

Let's kill racism once and for all. I'm sick of this guy. I'm sick of writing a thesis about race in the 19th and 20th centuries and drawing parallels to the 21st. Stop the hate already.


Round Two

Another Daily Kos post that refutes Pat Buchanan's nonsense. Word to your mother, fucker.


Pat Buchanan is racist and other observations.

Pat Buchanan has been spewing crazy again. He tussled with Rachel Maddow over the Sotomayor hearings, and the result was an ugly, intolerant, patronizing, self-absorbed train of verbal shit in a week where there was a lot of it to go around. It was racist plain and plain, effortlessly distilled into the one argument that "This country has been built basically by white folks." Yes, that's right, he said it. Rachel Maddow smacked that bitch around a bit, but he needs to be whipped (figuratively, not literally - no violence here). MSNBC needs to stop treating him like a grumpy old man because he ain't just a grumpy old man; he's a grumpy old racist man and there ain't no reason for that to be on television - unless it's some made-for-tv movie on ABC Family (is that channel still around?) about old school bigots back when Jim Crow was still flying high. Daily Kos breaks it down but you can find similar chatter all over the blogs. Bastard.

Glenn Greenwald offers an enlightened take on Walter Cronkite's passing, more specifically on the self-serving journalistic lovefest that these tv tributes are turning into. I'm glad he wrote about it because I had similar feelings watching Anderson Cooper 360 today. The Silver Fox gave a short memorial but he wasn't anchoring; in his place was John King who waxed lyrical about Uncle Walter's lasting contributions to journalism and to the nation and about his irreplaceablity. Clearly CNN did not see the irony in pushing two of its pretty stars to expound on the greatness of journalism past. I've said before that I do enjoy some of Cooper's reporting, namely on 60 Minutes, but giving him a show kind of ruins it. Once these cable folks get a show, they have to become a brand. Good reporting doesn't have to be snazzy though; it just has to be good.

U2's I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight. Sounds like a win-win situation. Actually sounds like my daily predicament. From their Letterman appearance earlier this year.


Bits and Bobs for 7.11.09

News of the Day:
  • Pee in a bottle. That's what a family in Bristol have done in an effort to find their lost dog. Dogs have a crazy sense of smell, but unless it regularly smells your wee, this is futile, and gross?
  • O-M-G. Monkeys show that you betta watch what you eat.
  • A new bus system that could alleviate traffic congestion and carbon emissions. I like.
  • Hey, sister, soul sister. Where nuns go to die.
  • A.O. Scott takes on Bruno.
  • Good deal, Nicholas Kristof. On responsibility and saving the world, one life at a time.
  • Cheap! Cheap! Fun! Fun! No more designer duds for your 6 month old.
Soul Train Video of the Day - The Five Stairsteps and Ooh Child

Bits and Bobs for 7.9.09

News of the Day:
  • GQ hits China. This could be so good, or so lame.
  • When stars go to die. (Real stars.)
  • It came from the sky: falling ice chunks.
  • The BBC asks: Who is Neil Armstrong? American Hero.
  • Apollo gadgets. Why are all the space news and Apollo commemorations coming from the UK?
  • The Chinese government is laying the smack down once more no the Uighurs. The who?! An FYI about some of the major ethnic groups in China.
  • French tourists suck. Didn't know there was something worse than stupid, but apparently it's arrogance.
  • Larry King interviews MJ's doctor, and a journalist calls him out for doing a shitty job. Since when was Larry King a good interviewer? He doesn't prepare and prides himself on his ignorance of the guest and/or topic.
  • In light of recent news that science has brought us synthetic sperm, The Times decides to forward 101 reasons why men are still necessary. This list was clearly written by a man as any woman knows most of these things are reasons NOT to have men around.
  • Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. The Catholic Church softens its stance on suicide. It's still a sin so don't kill yourself, but they are now counseling compassion rather than blame. Nice. Now show some compassion for gay people.
  • To send your kids to Hogwarts or not to send your kids to Hogwarts. That is the inane question being bated around on The Times education blog, with links to even more detailed essays on the merits, and demerits, of said education. Most of the time my thesis makes me want to kick things, but at least I'm not writing about wizarding pedagogy.

I just discovered the Soul Train channel on Youtube, and it's one of the most brilliant things, ever. Awesome clothes, awesome hair, awesome dancing, but most of all, awesome voices. This is playing right now.

The O'Jays and Backstabbers:


Stuck in a moment.

Of course. U2 has the song for everything. Actually, half this song is advice a depressed person does not need. The end is nice though.

And if your way should falter
Along that stony pass
It's just a moment
This time will pass.

The Australian guy

Embarrassing. My so-called blog is quickly becoming a gallery of man. I haven't slept in at least 36 hours now, possbily more but I'm not lucid enough to do the arithmetic. I can still spot a hot guy, though I admit my eyes crossed a few times trying to pick a suitable picture. So the latest guy to be pasted on my wall o' fame is Chris Hemsworth, or Jim Kirk's equally hot pa, or the musclely kid from Home and Away, or that one Australian dude who will blow up on your screens in the next year or two. He has Thor in the pipeline, whatever that means. I'm guessing it's some comic book hero I should be privvy to? We shall see. In the meantime, massive eye candy because I refuse to act my age.

(And I still managed to get my Anderson Cooper on today.)


Wimbledon Edition

News of the Day:
  • Federer wins, Sampras unseated, Roddick bites the dust.
  • Paul Begala offers one of the more amusing takes on Sarah Palin's latest whack out. He lets loose on her English prowess, or lack thereof.
  • The MI6 Facebook row once again proves that Americans aren't the only ones who commit royal fuck ups. In fact, British intelligence has a pretty good track record of fouling up these last few years. It's curious that the story is now plastered across publications the world over. Way to minimize the damage.
  • You already waste your time looking at forwards of oversized animals and stupid human tricks. See which ones are real and which ones are really photoshopped. But mainly see the gigantic cat.
  • Blind man has sight restored via tooth implant. You can't make up this kind of crazy. Especially when it comes from the Telegraph.
I read a lot of news about a lot of places and, because I'm from a small town, always find it surreal to see a bit of hometown projected onto the national stage. Obama did a lot of Southern Illinois name dropping during his campaigns though so I started to grow accustomed. Anyway, I caught an article in Huffington Post about a handful of US cities clamoring for Guantanamo detainees - including Marion, Illinois. The report was even filed from there. Why that sends a chill up my leg, I don't know. Maybe because I was surprised to learn that Robert Butler is still mayor after many, many years. Whatever works for you, Marion, Illinois.

This went up on my Facebook the other day. It's a bit from the Times debating the merits of a masters degree. Oh, we know where I fall on that one. A wise friend also posted a status
recently that read something to the effect that these courses - Basic Life Skills; Meeting Deadlines; and The World Does Not Revolve Around My Research - should be required for all higher degrees. I vigorously second that motion.

Colin Powell lays it down.

From the New York Times, Colin Powell tells critics of Sotomayor to shove it. He then segued to his own criticism of the Republican Party and its shoddy record with minorities and briefly addressed the blowback from last year's endorsement of President Obama.

Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh has called Powell "just another liberal," said he should become a Democrat and charged that Powell endorsed Obama based on race. Powell said Sunday that Limbaugh "doesn't decide who I am or what I am no more than I decide who he is or what he is."'

Smack. And that's the difference between strength and a loud fucking mouth. Powell's statement says more about Limbaugh than the radio host manages to say about himself. It's hard to evaluate how truly infantile he is when taken in isolation; his bloviations, while not credible, might echo of import to the uneducated ear. But when you contrast his spittle-inducing diatribes with Powell's staid, confident demeanor, you see how utterly irrelevant Limbaugh is - or should be. Like the high school bully with the swollen head, and midsection, trying to pick a fight with some coed - with an MBA from George Washington - they inhabit two worlds. One is a place of nuance that requires complex approaches to difficult issues and the other is some hyper-reality that inflates with every blustery outburst. Unfortunately, free speech allows blowhards like Limbaugh to insert their helium heads into the national dialogue. Thank goodness for folks like General Powell who stand firm and immune.

Thought I'd revisit his endorsement given on Meet the Press shortly before the election. I can't admire him for his role in crafting Don't Ask Don't Tell, but I do respect him for something he said in this interview. More than his praise of Obama, it was his insistence that one's patriotism and Muslim faith do not conflict in America that I found important and necessary, especially considering the strong anti-Muslim sentiment pulsating through the McCain campaign. The very fact that he needed to address this though saddens me.

Turn on the AC; it's hot in here.

Yes, I'm clearly on my news binge. Actually, I'm never not on it. It's just that sometimes politics gets displaced by cravings for other...things, people. At last a happy intersection between the two though, in the person of Anderson Cooper. I know. It is embarrassing. But I've succumbed, as I've been doing a lot lately.

This one started so innocently. I was reading comments on the blogs about Sarah Palin's July 4th present to the country and caught a little gem about the Cooper's reaction. Immediately after her announcement, he apparently muttered something about her grammatical fireworks, which instantly endeared me to the man. A search on youtube for said clip came up short, but before I knew it, I was watching him work out with Kelly Ripa. Damn, Anderson Cooper. That man has guns of steel. I don't think I'll start watching Anderson Cooper 360; he just did a week of MJ reporting from LA after all - with that notorious chimp piece to boot. But I'll pay more attention to his 60 Minutes reports, which I genuinely like and respect. If I ever get my life back, maybe I'll reread his book Dispatches From the Edge. I randomly picked it up last year and found it a healthy distraction from my research. But who wouldn't be intrigued by a sexy silver-haired heir who went from Yale to Vietnam to my 8th grade home room tv screen? He's a lot more interesting than Wolf Blitzer for sure. And he fucking went to Club 54 when he was 10, which makes his mom either cool or crazy.

'I don't know which way the wind will blow.'

Continuing the U2 kick. Kite @ a performance in Boston. This is an earlier version of the song, before they changed the lyric from 'rock stars' to 'opera stars' for Bono's father.

Who's to say where the wind will take you?
Who's to say what it is will break you?
I don't know which way the wind will blow.


You Too.

Huffington Post keeps putting up U2 articles, first because the band greened their stage and put up Farsi lyrics for a recent performance of Sunday Bloody Sunday in support of the Iranian protestors. Then there was an article that called attention to U2's song Walk On, which was written for Aung San Suu Kyi. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon is currently in Myanmar trying to negotiate some sense into that government. I did the natural thing and went on a U2 binge, which is generally a positive, especially on the 4th.

Here's a performance of Sunday Bloody Sunday from the 1st stop on the 3rd leg of their 2001 Elevation Tour...must be University of Notre Dame. I was pretty close to the bottom of the heart (the stage was a big heart) so maybe I'm in some of these clips. It was the best concert I've ever been to, though not a tremendous distinction considering my track record. This concert was actually notable for being their first after 9/11. I think they closed out with a performance of Walk On, also notable because they shared the stage with members of the NYPD and FDNY.

Day of Affirmation

Happy July 4th!

"Few will have the greatness to bend history, but each of us can work to change a small portion of the events, and then the total, all of these acts, will be written in the history of this generation....It is from numberless diverse acts of courage such as these that the belief that human history is thus shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance." -- Robert F. Kennedy

From Day of Affirmation speech given at Cape Town University, June 6, 1966.


July 4 prelude

Feeling...political, which is just what I need to infuse myself with a sense of purpose. Here are 2 of my favorite speeches from last year's election season.

Dennis Kucinch's Wake Up America! number at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. Fighting the good fight.

Barack Obama's keynote at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, or the one that turned me into a believer. I have distinct memories of catching that speech midway through and being dumbfounded not only by his ability to identify certain problems plaguing the country but his willingness to articulate them. Few politicians before him could so boldly proclaim the simple truth that we need to "eradicate the slander that a black youth with a book is acting white" or that when "an Arab American family [is] rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process that threatens my civil liberties." Powerful. True.



Another one bites the dust. A few blockbuster movies have been getting the boot lately, and yesterday, the Denzel Washington/Chris Pine train caper Unstoppable became the latest casualty. Am I disappointed? Um, no. The movie was about an 'aging' engineer who passes on the reins to his younger, equally handsome protege. The transition, however, is interrupted by a locomotive full of explosives.

I'm not a fan of action movies that take place solely on trains. There aren't many options after all. You can stay on the track or derail, and that gets tedious after 120 minutes. I think I've seen 2 good train movies in my life - The Great Train Robbery and World Without Thieves (Andy Lau, Ge You, Rene Liu, Li Bingbing). The first is fascinating for the simple theatricality inherent in the early silents, and the second has a complicated emotional subtext that enhances and balances the action. I also think the action style coming out of Asia is better suited for train sequences. America has mastered big explosions and really punchy, and paunchy, fight scenes. It's one of the reasons why they do well with massive landscapes - leveling cities, obliterating planets, wreaking general havoc; Americans like space and fill it well. But even the oldest, clunkiest trains are slender, snakey creatures. The martial arts influence lends a more streamlined and economical style that's more adaptable to the confines of a train, unlike the raucous Hollywood-style fist fights that seem confined by a train. See some of the sequences in World Without Thieves that capitalize on that flexibility where the train becomes a character rather than a cheap device.

Anyway, hopefully this gives Mr. Pine better options. He really doesn't need to star in another action blockbuster as he's already in the pipeline for another 2 Star Trek sequels. Those will be enough to anchor his big budget credentials. I'd rather see him diversify with projects like Farragut North, a political power play he's doing out in L.A. at the moment, or Bottle Shock, a 2008 indie about 1970s Napa Valley. At least he's out of cheesy romantic teen comedy territory. Those are generally vehicles for B-list starlets and rely on a stash of up-and-coming leading men. And that's enough debate about the career of a person I do not know.

Here's The Great Train Robbery for your viewing pleasure. The music is okay and actually fits the movie well, but I prefer the piano parlour stuff. Silents don't necessarily have an 'official' score as music differed with venue. Anyway, an oldie but goody. If only Pelham 123 took note.