Monthly Archives: January 2006

Google-Free-Word-Association-Jazz 31 January 06

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The American Psyche…capturing/invading the minds of the world one sucker at a time. I’m fascinated by our (America’s) devotion to a very primary notion of the ideal Freedom. Watching, and sometimes running with (the flock) at the slightest prompt of whatever “blue light special” falls upon the cultural landscape (for example: the modern concepts of “ghetto”, “niggers”, “them”, “us”…stuff like that,ya know?) and embeds itself…whether positively or negatively, for better or for worse into our lives and becomes a part of our collective unconscious perspective.So I invented a game, for those times when I want to get a head start on reading inbetween the lines (A mandatory act, when engaging in any and all media).

I call it, Google-Free-Word-Association-Jazz. And with your consideration in mind…it is easy.

Pick a topic, any topic. Break it down to the simplest word or phrase that you can and Google© it, either a web search or a Google© Image search.

At best you will get a number of randomly succinct takes on the word or phrase, at the worst…a number of randomly succinct looks at the depths of ignorance. Google© is a living encyclopedia…a living museum of the American/Western worldview.

It’s the perfect game to play while watching/waiting on the clock at work. It’s an amazing party game. It’s even fun when your stoned.



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Filed under Soul Power

Ideas…So many ideas… 27 January 06

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I’ve got so many ideas knocking around in my head.

This is where the frustration begins…

*takes deep breath*

one at a time… I must remember not to try to put them in any order (they usually let me know the priority), just…one at a time.

*takes another deep breath*

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But…I just got one of these (whaddup C-Dub/Joy?)…MAN!!!

This thing is ridiculous, it’s about the size of a stick of gum. It takes one AA battery. It records 20 hrs of voice recordings (i.e., it’s a fancy dictaphone…which I totally dig) which it has a tiny lil’ mic for. It has a USB port,which allows you to store MP3’s. It has a 1/2 inch line in plug, which allows me to record vinyl off of my portable turntable directly into the jiggyboom…uhhhhm??? (digging spots…beware)


It’s not the fanciest toy in town…but it’s practical. ( Oh yeah….it has an A/B loop feature, so hell yeah, I’ve been walking down the street looping “found sounds”, hipster dialogue, beggars-a-beggin’, crackhead dialogue, yuppie dialogue, homeboy dialogue, gay dialogue, chinese/russian/pinoy/latino dialogue, beatboxing…you get the picture, right?). Not necessarily an iPod substitute (send any 60gig Black Video iPods to me c/o “the Super Black World of…©”, thanks in advance), but a perfect all in one electronic gadget for people like me. Full of ideas.

Oh yeah…it’s time some of these ideas made me some money again.

I’ll end it hear, before I get negative and start cussing.

over and out


in other news:

Image Hosted by If you haven’t heard Youssou N’dour’s “Egypt” album…please make a point to do so. Youssou and Cairo’s Fathay Salama Orchestra were made for each other, in my opinion, and I don’t want him to go back to making those wind chimey “world music” albums.

Oh yeah…this record ain’t in English. So don’t go looking for slow jams or club bangers…though I would consider much of the album suitable for either.


Filed under Soul Power

Who really wrote The Matrix? 24 January 06

(“thesbwo…”© note: I don’t know what to think, the story basically tells itself, right? Well keep on reading. This whole affair is very interesting.)
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usSophia Stewart

( – Screenplay writer Sophia Stewart is adamant that she is the author of the screenplay for the blockbuster movie, The Matrix, and her body of work was stolen. She is suing Warner Brothers, Joel Silver, Andy and Larry Wachowski in Los Angeles’ United States District Court in a case that has been defined as one of the largest suits for damages in the history of the film industry.

The case will be heard July 2005 by a jury to decide if, in fact, the defendants committed copyright infringement and racketeering for allegedly stealing Ms. Stewart’s work and then creating The Matrix. It has been a five-year battle with Ms. Stewart, as a little David against the motion picture industry as the Goliath.

“I’ve won major decisions in the court. I got the FBI involved from the very beginning. The copyright infringement involves two of the biggest movie franchises in film history, The Terminator and The Matrix. They stole my work and I have the evidence to prove it,” Ms. Stewart told The Final Call.

“I was completely blown away when I saw my work on the screen and I knew I hadn’t sold it to anyone. I shopped it around from 1981 to 1985 to Fox and in 1986 to the Wachowski brothers. I have the letters to prove they had access to my work. Fox is lying in federal court when they say they never had access to my work because I have the signed registered returned receipts and a lot of letters of access from them,” she said.

She further explained, “I created an epic—which is a body of work that you can get six or more movies from. The Matrix is a derivative of The Terminator. The Matrix comes from the future part of the epic.”

The book is called “The Third Eye” and is an epic science fiction manuscript with copyrights dating back to 1981.

“After viewing Star Wars, I thought, no one has done a science fiction version of the Second Coming of Christ, the foretelling of his Second Coming,” she said.

While Ms. Stewart was shopping her manuscript around, she also sent it to the Wachowski brothers in response to an ad looking for a science fiction manuscript to create a comic book.

During the FBI investigation, it was discovered that, in an effort to avoid liability, 30 minutes or more was edited from the original Matrix film. Further witnesses employed at Warner Brothers came forward claiming that the executives and lawyers had full knowledge that the work in question did not belong to the Wachowski brothers as they claimed.

The witnesses also added that the original work of Ms. Stewart had been seen, and often used during preparation of the motion pictures. During a Sept. 27 court proceeding, United States District Judge Margaret Morrow ruled against several motions made by the defendants in their attempt to get the suits against them dismissed.

The investigation done by the FBI not only established Ms. Stewart as the writer of The Matrix, but also surprisingly The Terminator. If she wins the case with her mounting piles of evidence, Ms. Stewart will receive damages in what may be one of the biggest payoffs in the history of Hollywood. The Terminator and its sequels, along with The Matrix and its sequels, have gross receipts totaling over $2.5 billion.

“Some people can’t believe a Black woman wrote The Matrix or The Terminator. I didn’t write it with my skin; I wrote it with my brain,” says Ms. Stewart. “Since when did skin color have anything to do with intelligence, like rich and powerful has nothing to do with theft. The poor steal because they’re needy; the rich steal because they’re greedy.”

© Copyright 2005 FCN Publishing,


Los Angeles Times

July 31, 2005

The Billion-Dollar Myth

The 'Matrix' movies portray a frightening alternate reality.
When a writer sued the movies' creators for stealing her
ideas, she inadvertently exposed another reality -- a racial
one -- that's no less troubling.

By Kemp Powers

Sophia Stewart didn't attend her June 13 hearing at the U.S.
federal court building in downtown Los Angeles. She saw the
proceeding as a minor hurdle on the way to an anticipated
July 12 trial in her copyright infringement suit against
directors Andy and Larry Wachowski, James Cameron and other
defendants -- a trial she imagined would be "one of the
largest suits for damages in the history of the film

Her lawsuit claimed that the lucrative "Matrix" and
"Terminator" film franchises were based on her ideas. Last
month's request by the defendants to dismiss the case was an
act of desperation, Stewart believed, because her proof of
theft was indisputable. Stewart had attracted many
supporters (mostly African American, who agreed that
Hollywood had ripped her off) and detractors who question
both the validity of her claims and her sanity ever since
she began trying to rally support for her case in 2003. She
claimed that she would have "big surprises" for the judge
and jury, as well as for all of the naysayers, when her case
finally went to trial.

Unfortunately, Judge Margaret Morrow wasn't interested in
surprises. In her 53-page ruling, Morrow dismissed Stewart's
case, noting that Stewart and her attorneys had not entered
any evidence to bolster the key claims in her suit or
demonstrated any striking similarity between her work and
the accused directors' films. Stewart says she is hiring
additional attorneys and is asking the court to reconsider
that decision, but earlier this summer, in a nearly empty
courtroom 790 of the Roybal Federal Building, Stewart's case
apparently ended with a whimper.

But as in the "Matrix" movies, there's an alternate reality
to this story that says a lot about the continuing racial
divide between a mistrusting black America and the
mainstream media. Stewart's courtroom defeat stands in
bizarre contrast to what many of her fellow African
Americans hold true, or want to believe happened as a result
of her lawsuit.

In that alternate reality -- created by Internet chain
letters, radio stations and reputable community newspapers,
and still flourishing on the World Wide Web -- people
sincerely believe that Stewart won her lawsuit last fall,
and that she now is the wealthiest African American in the
country, thanks to a record multibillion-dollar award. Her
supposed settlement has been hailed as a legendary
achievement in copyright infringement law, and a major
moment in African American history. People also think that
word of her victory has been suppressed as the result of one
of the most sophisticated media conspiracies in history --
even though none of that is true.

The Wachowski brothers' professional resume was limited
prior to "the Matrix"; they had written the screenplay for
the lackluster 1995 Sylvester Stallone action film
"Assassins," and in 1996 had made their directing debut with
the low-budget noir crime flick "Bound." To hear Stewart
tell it, that lack of experience suggests fraud.

"I'm the kind of master writer that comes once upon this
Earth," Stewart says by phone from her Las Vegas home a week
before the June 13 court hearing. "You don't go from [doing]
a mediocre movie to a work of genius like 'The Matrix.' "

The Bronx, N.Y., native makes her living doing paralegal
work and tax preparation. She is divorced and has two adult
children, though she won't reveal her age, explaining that
she doesn't believe in pagan rituals and refuses to
celebrate holidays or birthdays. "It's all lies and
illusions," she says. "We're timeless and ageless." She adds
that her spiritual attitude forms the basis for the wise
Oracle character in the "Matrix" films: "The Oracle is me. I
wrote myself into my work."

In 1983, she says, she completed a science fiction tale
titled "The Third Eye," which she copyrighted the following
year. Stewart says the as-yet unpublished work -- submitted
as part of the fact-finding phase of her case -- totals 120
pages, including a screen treatment, a 47-page version of
the manuscript and a 29-page "original manuscript" with
additional pages containing a synopsis, character analyses,
illustrations and a table of contents. In 1986, she says,
she saw an advertisement posted in a national magazine by
the Wachowski brothers soliciting science fiction
manuscripts to make into comic books and she sent them all
of her materials for "The Third Eye," including a copy of
her original manuscript. "My dream was to have my work seen
as a movie and a comic book," she says.

Stewart says she never heard from the Wachowskis, and never
had her materials returned. Morrow's ruling notes, however,
that Stewart did not produce the ad as evidence. In denying
that they ever placed such an ad, the Wachowskis said that,
in 1986, Andy was just 18 and brother Larry was a
21-year-old college student.

Flash forward to the March 1999 theatrical release of "The
Matrix." Stewart, then living in Salt Lake City, went with a
friend to see the film. "I said to myself, 'I wrote this,' "
she recalls, saying she recognized themes and characters
from "The Third Eye" in the film. In June 1999, she says,
she filed a written complaint with the FBI, charging that a
copyright crime had taken place. In April 2003, acting as
her own attorney, Stewart filed a lawsuit against a host of
defendants, including the Wachowskis, "Terminator" director
James Cameron, producers Gale Anne Hurd and Joel Silver,
20th Century Fox and Warner Bros., accusing them of
copyright infringement and of violating Racketeer Influenced
and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) laws, which were created in
1970 to combat organized criminal entities.

Not long after that, her story began to take a strange turn.
Stewart produced and circulated a news release, trying to
rally support for her copyright case by recounting her
claims and request for damages. The mainstream media
response was tepid, at best. However, one newspaper did find
her story quite interesting.

On Oct. 28, the Salt Lake Community College's Globe ran an
article on its website with the audacious headline " 'Mother
of the Matrix' Victorious." Written by a second-year
communications student, the article was among the first on
the Web to reveal aspects of Stewart's story. Unfortunately,
it also was rife with errors, stating among other things
that Stewart had won her case (she hadn't) and that she was
about to receive one of the biggest payoffs in Hollywood
history (she wasn't). The story also questioned why the case
had received no media coverage, and quoted Stewart's claim
on a website that Warner Bros. had been suppressing coverage
of her case for years because AOL Time Warner "owns 95
percent of the media ... They are not going to report on
themselves." Among the publications and businesses she
claimed the company owned: the New York Times, the Los
Angeles Times, Newsweek magazine and DreamWorks. In fact,
AOL Time Warner doesn't own any of them.

It didn't take long for some mistakes to get the attention
of Quentin Wells, the manager of the SLCC Student Media
Center, which produces the Globe. "My son, who is a
copyright attorney, read the article and said, 'This can't
be right,' " Wells says. After approaching Stewart and
checking the information in the piece, Wells discovered that
Stewart's supposed "victory" was nothing more than a
successful defense against an early motion to have her case
dismissed. "It was an error [by] the writer," says Wells.
"She had misinterpreted what Stewart had said."

Within a week, the Globe added a correction, but at the end
of the Web version of the story. Yet a few weeks later,
Wells noticed that the Globe website's server traffic had
exploded from 14,500 hits a month to more than 640,000. "I
contacted our [Internet] provider and told him that his
counter must be broken."

It wasn't, and almost all of the new traffic was linking to
the Sophia Stewart story. Also, in the brief time that the
Globe story was uncorrected on the website, it had been
copied and circulated around the Internet through mailing
lists. Several Internet blogs then had linked to the story,
bringing a steady stream of visitors to the site. The mythos
of Stewart's victory continued to grow despite the

The Globe ran a follow-up story this January, which
continued to stoke conspiracy beliefs by stating as fact
Stewart's assertion that "Warner Bros. and the other
defendants in the case have also sought, with almost
complete success, to prevent any publicity regarding the
suit from appearing in any national or even local media. The
result has been an almost total news blackout about the

Soon, both Globe articles were reappearing almost verbatim
on news websites such as and continuing to make
the rounds on mailing lists, sometimes with new bylines.
Unlike the original stories, these reprints never included
the correction stating that Stewart hadn't won her case.
Radio hosts and callers on radio stations such as Hot 97 in
New York City and KPFA's Hard Knock Radio in Berkeley also
were discussing the Stewart case. The story began to appear
in African American community newspapers such as the
Westside Gazette in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and the Columbus
Times in Georgia. Most of those articles echoed the bad
information in the original Globe piece. By April, a vast
number of African Americans had read or heard some erroneous
version of the Sophia Stewart story.

Such mistakes have long proliferated in American ethnic
communities, but the Internet has added to their speed and
potency. When the athletic footwear rage of the 1980s led to
violence and deaths among urban kids, rumors surfaced in the
African American community that one major manufacturer was
owned by South Africans, and its profits were being used to
support apartheid. After a particular brand of Mexican beer
got a foothold in the U.S. market in the 1980s, rumors that
Mexican workers were urinating in it were rampant in the
western U.S. In her 1994 book "I Heard It Through the
Grapevine: Rumor in African-American Culture," UC Davis
professor Patricia Turner explains that the symbolic quality
of some stories often is more important to certain groups
than whether those stories are true. Stewart's story seemed
particularly credible because she is a real person who filed
a real case. "Sophia Stewart is David against Goliath," says
Turner, and she represents African Americans who have been
victimized by corporations.

Still, the tide is slowly turning. Essence, a
million-subscriber magazine aimed at an African American
audience, had never published a story on Sophia Stewart. But
in its May issue it asked readers to hold off on repeating
claims of Stewart's victory, and it pointed out that the
case was not scheduled for trial until July. Some Internet
chatter in recent months has become less sympathetic toward
Stewart and her claims, with one fellow writer claiming "my
loony detector alarms started going off" as he read more
about her case.

That hasn't stopped columnists at many African American
newspapers and news sites from continuing to speculate. content manager Tamara Harris said the erroneous
version of Stewart's story is appealing because it
"vindicates all of the black artists going through this."

Not everyone believed the rumors. "The first time I saw it,
I dismissed it," says Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu, a technology
columnist at the Star, a 60,000-circulation daily that
serves Chicago's largely black southern suburbs. "But then,
even though it sounded unbelievable to me at first, I didn't
want to completely discount it until I saw evidence that it
wasn't true."

Despite the wealth of misinformation circulating on the
Internet, finding out the status of the case is as easy as
making a telephone call. Stewart makes herself available to
answer media questions, and a website called lists her contact information
and offers downloadable files of court documents. The site
is the first hit when Stewart's name is Googled.

Yet Bobby Henry Sr., publisher of the Westside Gazette in
Florida, remained confused recently when told about the
case's status. "She didn't win?" Henry asked. "I'm shocked,
because her having already won is all out there. It was even
on the Tom Joyner [radio] show that she won."
Representatives of the nationally syndicated Joyner program
say they haven't written about Stewart on the show's site,
and couldn't pinpoint when or if Stewart was mentioned on
the air.

Dr. Todd Boyd, professor of critical studies at USC's School
of Cinema-Television, says the Stewart case speaks to
African Americans' deep distrust of the media. "A lot of
people, regardless of race, continue to have very
unsophisticated views of the media," said Boyd. "And many
African Americans in particular are still very distrustful
of the media." That distrust comes from a history of being
either negatively portrayed or completely ignored by the

Bruce Isaacs of Wyman & Isaacs, the attorney representing
the defendants in the Stewart case, says a media conspiracy
is not the reason the case has seen little coverage. "The
question shouldn't be why hasn't the media covered this
case, it should be why would the media cover this case?"
says Isaacs. "It's a run-of-the-mill copyright case, and I
think the judge clearly addressed the case's merits in her

As for Stewart, she still believes that AOL Time Warner is
suppressing her struggle -- "Why am I not on 'Larry King
Live' or 'Oprah'? " she wonders -- and remains determined to
make the rumor into a reality. After the judge dismissed the
case, Stewart was upbeat. If Morrow won't reconsider her
decision, Stewart says she will appeal the judge's decision
to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and to the Supreme
Court, if necessary. "And they'll rule in my favor," says
Stewart. "So tell everybody that it's not over until the fat
lady sings, and she hasn't sung yet."


Kemp Powers is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles.

Copyright (c) 2005 Los Angeles. All Rights Reserved.

(“the SBWo…“© wants to make sure that you read the Sophia Stewart interview posted in comment #2.  Finding out the answer to the question of whether Ms. Stewart is in fact the author “The Matrix” is in fact more entertaining than the two sequels. Enjoy)


Filed under Osmosis

a Public Service Announcement from “the Super Black World of…”© 24 Jan 06

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Filed under Osmosis

From the New York Times 21 January 06


Black Humor

George Schuyler (with Malcolm X in 1963)
Published: January 22, 2006

My introduction to black – excuse me, Black – literature happened during the summer between eighth and ninth grades when the Los Angeles Unified School District, out of the graciousness of its repressive little heart, sent me a copy of Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” It was the first book I’d ever opened written by an African-American author. Notice I said “opened” and not “read.” I made it through a few pages before I began to get suspicious. Why would a school district that didn’t bother to supply me with a working pair of left-handed scissors, a decipherable pre-algebra text or a slice of pepperoni pizza with more than two pepperonis on it send me a new book? Why care about my welfare now?

I read another paragraph, growing more oppressed with each maudlin passage. My lips thickened. My burr-headed Afro took on the texture of a dried-out firethorn bush. My love for the sciences, the Los Angeles Kings and scuba diving disappeared. My dog, Butch, growled at me. I suppressed my craving for a Taco Bell Bellbeefer (remember those?) because I feared the restaurant wouldn’t serve me. My eyes started to water and the words to “Roll, Jordan, Roll,” a Negro spiritual I’d never heard before, rumbled out of my mouth in a sonorous baritone. I didn’t know I could sing. I tossed the book into the kitchen trash. I already knew why the caged bird sang – my family was impoverished every other week while waiting for my mother’s paydays – but after three pages of that book, I knew why they put a mirror in the parakeet’s cage: so he could wallow in his own misery.

After this traumatic experience, I retreated to my room to self-medicate with James Clavell, John Irving, Joseph Wambaugh, the Green Lantern and Archie and Jughead. It would be 10 years before I would touch another book written by an African-American. As my wiser sister Anna says, “Never trust folks like Maya Angelou and James Earl Jones who grow up in Walla Walla, Miss., and Boogaloo, Ark., and speak with British accents.”

It’s always struck me as odd that there hasn’t been a colored Calvin Trillin, Bennett Cerf or Mark Twain. Hell, I’d settle for a cornball Dave Barry who’d write, for the rap magazines, columns with titles like “Boogers: The Ghetto Sushi.” The defining characteristic of the African-American writer is sobriety – unless it’s the black literature you buy from the book peddler standing on the corner next to the black-velvet-painting dealer, next to the burrito truck: then the prevailing theme is the ménage à trois.

After throwing away Angelou’s book, I was apparently on some urban watch list. I’d been discovered by a consortium of concerned teachers who, determined to “get through” to me, introduced me to the expansive world of African-American literature, which in those days consisted of four books: Angelou’s autobiography, Richard Wright’s “Black Boy,” Alice Childress’s “A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ but a Sandwich” and James Baldwin’s “Go Tell It on the Mountain.” That was pretty much the entire black canon, though every SAT prep book that ever put me to sleep confirmed the existence of at least one poem written by an African-American. (“In the line, ‘What happens to a dream deferred?’ the poet dreams of: (a) equal rights (b) showing up at school naked (c) a white Christmas (d) a fancy car, diamond in the back, sunroof top, so he can dig the scene with a gangster lean (e) all of the above.”)

My journey to black literary insobriety isn’t so different from how I came to appreciate free jazz after growing up in a house that contained two records, the soundtrack to “Enter the Dragon” and “Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan.” It turns out that I enjoy never fully understanding what’s in front of me, and I masochistically relish being offended while thinking about why I feel offended and if I should feel offended. I also live in Manhattan’s East Village.

I found the work of the novelist Darius James while passing through Cathy’s bookstore on Avenue B and at the Living Theater on Third Street, hearing him deliver voodoo shibboleths as unruly as his stringy dreadlocks. No one laughed harder at his jokes than he did.

“Lil’ Black Zambo was a little nigger boy,” he wrote in his 1992 novel, “Negrophobia.” “Or pickaninny. Or jigaboo. Or any number of names we have for little colored children – shine, smoke, snowball, dinge, dust, inky, eggplant and chocolate moonpie. And since Lil’ Black Zambo lived with his mammy in a one-room hut made of mud and leaves near a croc-infested swamp in the Jungle, we can call him ‘gator bait, too. . . . Zambo’s pappy, Tambo, who liked to drink cheap coconut wine, ran off long before Zambo was born, so Zambo and his mammy were very, very poor. They didn’t give out welfare checks in the Jungle. The Jungle was uncivilized. Or at least that’s what Zambo’s mammy, Mambo, said. ‘When we gwine git civilized so I can git on d’welfare?’ ”

Bob Holman, then a director of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, probably feeling guilty for offering to pay the royalties on my first collection of poetry in draft beer, gave me a first edition copy of the poet Bob Kaufman’s “Golden Sardine” (1967). I’d heard the name, dropped by aging Beats looking to reaffirm their movement’s diversity. I read that, and quickly snapped up Kaufman’s “Solitudes Crowded With Loneliness” (1965) from St. Mark’s Bookshop, and therein found the answer to what happens to Langston Hughes’s deferred dreamers – they become what Kaufman called (in his made-up word) Abomunists, as demonstrated by these selected riffs from his book “Abomunist Manifesto” (1959):

ABOMUNISTS JOIN NOTHING BUT THEIR HANDS OR LEGS, OR OTHER SAME.IN TIMES OF NATIONAL PERIL, ABOMUNISTS, AS REALITY AMERICANS, STAND READY TO DRINK THEMSELVES TO DEATH FOR THEIR COUNTRY.ABOMUNISTS NEVER CARRY MORE THAN FIFTY DOLLARS IN DEBTS ON THEM.Some black humor I found on my own bookshelf. I reread Zora Neale Hurston’s freewheeling story “Book of Harlem,” written circa 1921. (“And she said unto him, ‘Go thou and buy the books and writings of certain scribes and Pharisees which I shall name unto you, and thou shalt learn everything of good and of evil. Yea, thou shalt know as much as the Chief of the Niggerati, who is called Carl Van Vechten.’ “) I heard Richard Pryor shout-out Cecil Brown on “Bicentennial Nigger,” and figured that if Pryor was giving the man some dap, then Brown’s novel “The Life and Loves of Mr. Jiveass Nigger” (1969) must be worth a look-see. It is.

My friends were the biggest help. I’ll never forget the film director Reginald Hudlin shaking his head in pity when I told him I’d never read George Schuyler’s 1931 novel “Black No More.” (“Don’t you know who that is?” a character in Schuyler’s novel asks. “Why that’s that Dr. Crookman. You know, the fellow what’s turnin’ niggers white. See that B N M on the side of his plane? That stands for Black-No-More.”) The poet Kofi Natambu practically refused to speak to me until I read Ishmael Reed, and the novelist Danzy Senna smiled wistfully when she showed me the cover of Fran Ross’s hilarious 1974 novel, “Oreo.” I’m usually very slow to come around to things. It took me two years to “feel” Wu Tang’s first album, even longer to appreciate Basquiat, and I still don’t get all the fuss over Duke Ellington and Frank Lloyd Wright. But I couldn’t believe “Oreo” hadn’t been on my cultural radar.

The writer Steve Cannon, professor emeritus of the Lower East Side, pointed me in the direction of the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, where I stumbled on the black-faced minstrel jokes of Bert Williams, typed on yellowed parchment. The paper was dry, but the century-old wit was still surprisingly fresh. Even more of a shock was my discovery that W. E. B. Du Bois, the pillar of African-American stolidity, had a sense of humor. His 1923 essay “On Being Crazy,” while by no means hilarious, is at least an example of the great man letting his “good” hair down to engage in a little segregation satire.

I wish I’d been exposed to this black literary insobriety at an earlier age. It would’ve been comforting to know that I wasn’t the only one laughing at myself in the mirror.

This essay is adapted from Paul Beatty’s introduction to his new book, “Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor.”

(sbwo…© note: I think Paul Beatty is a great writer,I will definately be checking for his new book…as titled above, and you should go to the library in your city and check out “Tuff”, it’s a great book. I wanna make the movie. Nuf’ said.)

1 Comment

Filed under Osmosis


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It’s strange…sharing your honest to God feelings with your family, friends, and anyone else out there…I mean at least here anyway, I know my folks and some of my friends folks read this. I don’t know if they’re really hip to my personal politics, I’m sure they’ve got ideas about me (which probably range from 99% accurate to EFFIN’ HILARIOUS ), but if you don’t know me by now…please stick around, and don’t be afraid to drop a comment…agreeable or not.
This isn’t 100% of how I’d like this place to be, but it’s a start in the right direction.

I try to keep the profanity down out of respect…but hell, I swear casually in conversation around/with my own mother and father(she being the eloquently poetic ‘cusser’…my father being the lyrical and passionate ‘bedamner’), so it’s genetic, I get it honest…consider it a part of my art. O.K.?
Well, schitt. Now that I got that out of the way…let me get some things off of my chest:


A wise man once said, “that would be…too much like right”

Bob Marley said, “they make the world SO hard…everyday we’ve got to keep on fighting”.
I believe both gentlemen were dead on it. If you peeped the Nikola Tesla post, and or done any follow-up research of your own on Mr. Tesla, you’ve gotten some idea that nearly a hundred years ago this individual had figured out a way to conduct energy/electricity through the earth to remote places… *sigh*, you may have also read about my neighbor with the solar panels on the roof of his house, and the electric Toyota Rav 4 (70% of his energy comes from the sky…have mercy,white jesus). This is not psychotic babble…this is REALITY. What are we waiting for? Yes, solar panels and electric cars can be expensive…BUT, that expense should not leave us inert in ignorance, or dismissive of an infinite resource or smarter technology, …if all else fails, tell these M.F.’s (the Edisons of the world/the big 3: Ford, GM, Chrysler) that the customer is always right.


  • Dude…Asian people…ARE TERRIBLE DRIVERS (Filipino’s not included)
  • Corporate Culture is some ¡ BULLSCHITT !, a hierarchy based entirely on the merits of one’s ASS KISSING. (WOOO!!! *hi-five* T.G.I.F. !!! 1st round is on Chad *snark-snark* )
  • AIN’T NOTHING TO BE AFRAID OF… (see the 2nd Amendment)
  • in the meantime: ¡ VOTE WITH YOUR PRECIOUS DOLLARS ! (it’s all they really see/hear of you)

Okay…feel free to read all of the above in your favorite “black preacher” voice, this is my cyber-soap box…I can say anything I want (see the 1st Amendment). I choose to try and talk about things that in my opinion don’t get talked about enough. Give it chance…and/or tell me something better if you know.

ginger…fresh ginger…$1lb, fight off all the viruses

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Filed under Soul Power

Remember M.L.K., Beyond Vietnam *speech* 16 January 06

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Filed under When the Saints Go Marching