I didn’t see this, but this review is hilarious 10 May 06
Akeelah and The Bee Even The Best Black Movies Get The Worst Audiencesby: Reggie Eggert, for Entertainment
Well, black folk, you have truly outdone yourselves this time. Akeelah and The Beehas tanked at the box office.
Just when I thought your apathy couldn’t get any more dire, you fail to support a well-made film about a intellectually talented little black girl who aspires to be so much more than what is expected of her. Instead of succumbing to the pressure of hopelessness that dictates her surroundings, she dares to be great and, in the process, uplifts her community inspiring them to do more than what is expected of them. I must admit, I was so impressed as I watched this movie that the idea of it serving as a catalyst for black parents to demand more of their kids in school vividly crossed my mind. Silly me. My fondest dreams for Black America are just no match for NIGGAS!
Man, black folks are fucked up. That’s reality. It’s bad out here.
Let me tell you how bad it is for us right now. This just crystallizes it:
So, I’m sitting in the theater, reading the paper, waiting for the lights to go down. I decide to look around and get a feel for the audience, just to see if any parents are gonna bring their kids. I saw a cluster of white folks in the center rows, lots of middle-aged sistas and brothas, quite a few elderly black people, a couple of bohos and maybe a half dozen young black professionals.
Then, it happened, a moment of hope. I see a sista walking down the isle with two teenage brothas. Glory be. A sista doing her part for our youth. I swelled with pride. I couldn’t tell you how happy I was to see these two young bucks take time out of their106&Park-filled day to watch a movie about this driven 11 year-old black girl determined to win the national spelling bee. That’s all right. Right?
Nope. It wasn’t all right. Those ghetto ass youngins sat next to me and practically ruined the entire movie for everyone present. These boys were so damn ignorant, I felt like I was being filmed for an episode of MTV’s Boiling Points. These little punk bitch ass knuckle-headed niggas TALKED LOUDLY through the first half hour of the movie. At one point, one of them got on the phone with some girl named Ebony. Apparently, he was going to be getting some ass right after this movie. Would you believe he actually asked her what she was wearing? Then, he asked her if she missed him. Do you understand how fucked up that is? This kid was no more than 16, talking dirty to some lil girl while Akeelah was trying to win that bee. I mean damn, I’m not making this shit up! (I mean it. I’m not making this up.).
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Well, why didn’t you say something to them, Reggie?” Two reasons: 1. I knew if I said something to them and they said something back to me, I was going to jail. 2. I was hoping someone else would get mad enough to attack them so I could get my licks in undetected during the scuffle. But, no one said anything to them outside of the normal “shhhh.” Eventually, a white guy went to get an usher. Still, it was too late. The damage had been done. I’m more jaded than ever. I have this sad unshakable feeling that aliens will land on Earth before black people get their shit together.
Please, just go see the damn movie before it leaves the theater. Don’t act like you’ve got better stuff to do with 10 dollars, because we all know you don’t.
The Weed nowadays, is too strong 17 February 2006
Seriously though. I live a peaceful life, the peace pipe is no stranger to me. I had my first real toke at the very old age (for most Ganja smokers) 24/25. I’ll never forget it…I felt like I had a summer breeze blowing up the skirt of my soul. My friend (whaddup Lucas?) popped in a VHS full of bootleg Led Zeppelinperformances from 1969.,*mindboggling*.
My girlfriend at the time (whaddup Big Head) managed to follow my directions to my friends house…and bring the requested chili cheese frito’s. I remember thinking then…IF ONLY I HAD THIS SCHITT IN HIGHSCHOOL/COLLEGE!!!!!Man was I stoned, and boy was it fun macking on that big headed woman in her car. I felt like I was watching myself on television.
As a matter of fact, I had a new favorite television show…ME, baked.
I went from vowing to never buy my own pot…to always having some herb on me. From making a big deal out of that first time, to emphatically wondering why thisplant was/is outlawed. That time span was roughly 2 years.
By 27, my social circle was seriously on some “puff,puff,pass” activity. This was Texas. Most of the Ganja I saw down there was still in the curved shape of the inside of a muffler. Schitty dirt weed, no doubt. But in the social setting I was in…you could maintain the same level of buzzedness smoking for hours straight. Only a few times did I luck across some ganja that made me feel like I had magically transformed into Sly Stone’s lower lip, who knows what was going on with that stuff.
At roughly 28/29, another friend(whaddup Don-Don) and I swore to only partake in kind buds. This was the equivalent to only driving foreign cars, my favorite show had just gotten an exotic sidekick. Around this time I heard of Amsterdam, and dreamed of going there and huffing down all of the genetically engineered super strains I could lay my eyes on. That never happened though.
At this time I visited California. I’d never seen ganja like Calibuds, dense, sticky,loaded with crystals, and STINKY AS A SKUNKS ASS.
I’d never heard of medical marijauna providers either. Seeing/smelling shops along the block that I lived on was surreal. “You mean…I can get a doctor’s note, go to one of these places and buy…some herb?” Yes.
I haven’t gotten the doctor’s note…no need. For you see, even the medical marijuan providers have to get their herb from somewhere.
Wait… land ahoy, matey, this is San Francisco, CA…part of the illustrious Gold Coast. Not far from the infamous Humboldt County, part of the Golden Triangle (whaddup Mendocino, whaddup Trinity County). Yes, indeed California’s number one cash crop is not grapes, or apples…it’s ganja.
*does inzone dance*
But wait…there’s just one thing….
The weed nowadays…is TOO STRONG. It’s the herbal equivalent toJägermeister (www.jagermeister.com/welcome/welcome.com.aspx)…(make sure you click enter…too, that’s what I’m talking about) (look at this one too…www.jaegermeister.de/welcome/welcome.de.aspx).
Yeah…it’s medicine all right, and I seriously believe that. But it’s also the model airplane…and model airplane glue of scientific stoners. What I mean by that is…it’s not enough to just have some killer-diller, no, now you have to have the newest latest killa most dilla (whaddup to Jay Dee…I’ll only smoke in your memory, son. R.I.P.). Various strains, with fancy names have been coming down the pike and into the pipe for years, but now…it’s reached designer blue jeanslevels of insanity.
You’ve got the purples (mmmm, taste like grape Now-a-laters), blueberry (mmm, blueberry syrup), trainwreck (did I just move? I didn’t think so), white widow (hey, let’s do some calculus after we finish up this physics), jedi (????), chocolate thai (no lie…taste like a chocolate pop tart), Northern Lights (dude…watch me walk through this wall again).
I mean the list just goes on and on…and the growers are getting more competitive (I’m waiting for SaTivo©, myself…I imagine it’ll allow you to watch anything you’ve ever seen on television again…IN YOUR MIND).
But honestly, the stuff lays me on my ass faster than a burrito from El Farolito. It’s strong. I mean there’s no concievable way I could partake at say my 28 yr old intake level…no fucking way,man. …Dude… I tried. I’m more partial to a nice brownie or two. I like a good body buzz,y’know? I’ve never tried the vaporizer, but I’ve heard stories…it just seems to technically involved…I made a commitment with the bong…a vaporizer seems sort of odd to me, like a wino having an a mechanical wine bottle or something.
So yeah…I’m not quitting, who really quits weed? I don’t believe you Dave Chappelle…not for a minute negro (I picked up a distinct stoned vibe, when I shook his hand in November 2005…but that could of been me…whaddup Alex, Shawn, Chris G., Het)
This blog is too much fun. There’s only one thing left to do now.
No, I’m not gonna smoke out. I have a cold, and the sudafed is already got me stuck.
I’m gonna have a snack, just typing about weed this much has given me the munchies.
Come back to California
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.)Sophia Stewart (FinalCall.com) – 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, FinalCall.comTHEN THERE’S THIS…
Los Angeles TimesJuly 31, 2005The Billion-Dollar MythThe 'Matrix' movies portray a frightening alternate reality.When a writer sued the movies' creators for stealing herideas, she inadvertently exposed another reality -- a racialone -- that's no less troubling.By Kemp PowersSophia Stewart didn't attend her June 13 hearing at the U.S.federal court building in downtown Los Angeles. She saw theproceeding as a minor hurdle on the way to an anticipatedJuly 12 trial in her copyright infringement suit againstdirectors Andy and Larry Wachowski, James Cameron and otherdefendants -- a trial she imagined would be "one of thelargest suits for damages in the history of the filmindustry."Her lawsuit claimed that the lucrative "Matrix" and"Terminator" film franchises were based on her ideas. Lastmonth's request by the defendants to dismiss the case was anact of desperation, Stewart believed, because her proof oftheft was indisputable. Stewart had attracted manysupporters (mostly African American, who agreed thatHollywood had ripped her off) and detractors who questionboth the validity of her claims and her sanity ever sinceshe began trying to rally support for her case in 2003. Sheclaimed that she would have "big surprises" for the judgeand jury, as well as for all of the naysayers, when her casefinally went to trial.Unfortunately, Judge Margaret Morrow wasn't interested insurprises. In her 53-page ruling, Morrow dismissed Stewart'scase, noting that Stewart and her attorneys had not enteredany evidence to bolster the key claims in her suit ordemonstrated any striking similarity between her work andthe accused directors' films. Stewart says she is hiringadditional attorneys and is asking the court to reconsiderthat decision, but earlier this summer, in a nearly emptycourtroom 790 of the Roybal Federal Building, Stewart's caseapparently ended with a whimper.But as in the "Matrix" movies, there's an alternate realityto this story that says a lot about the continuing racialdivide between a mistrusting black America and themainstream media. Stewart's courtroom defeat stands inbizarre contrast to what many of her fellow AfricanAmericans hold true, or want to believe happened as a resultof her lawsuit.In that alternate reality -- created by Internet chainletters, radio stations and reputable community newspapers,and still flourishing on the World Wide Web -- peoplesincerely believe that Stewart won her lawsuit last fall,and that she now is the wealthiest African American in thecountry, thanks to a record multibillion-dollar award. Hersupposed settlement has been hailed as a legendaryachievement in copyright infringement law, and a majormoment in African American history. People also think thatword of her victory has been suppressed as the result of oneof the most sophisticated media conspiracies in history --even though none of that is true.The Wachowski brothers' professional resume was limitedprior to "the Matrix"; they had written the screenplay forthe lackluster 1995 Sylvester Stallone action film"Assassins," and in 1996 had made their directing debut withthe low-budget noir crime flick "Bound." To hear Stewarttell it, that lack of experience suggests fraud."I'm the kind of master writer that comes once upon thisEarth," Stewart says by phone from her Las Vegas home a weekbefore 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 paralegalwork and tax preparation. She is divorced and has two adultchildren, though she won't reveal her age, explaining thatshe doesn't believe in pagan rituals and refuses tocelebrate holidays or birthdays. "It's all lies andillusions," she says. "We're timeless and ageless." She addsthat her spiritual attitude forms the basis for the wiseOracle character in the "Matrix" films: "The Oracle is me. Iwrote myself into my work."In 1983, she says, she completed a science fiction taletitled "The Third Eye," which she copyrighted the followingyear. Stewart says the as-yet unpublished work -- submittedas part of the fact-finding phase of her case -- totals 120pages, including a screen treatment, a 47-page version ofthe manuscript and a 29-page "original manuscript" withadditional 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 bythe Wachowski brothers soliciting science fictionmanuscripts to make into comic books and she sent them allof her materials for "The Third Eye," including a copy ofher original manuscript. "My dream was to have my work seenas a movie and a comic book," she says.Stewart says she never heard from the Wachowskis, and neverhad her materials returned. Morrow's ruling notes, however,that Stewart did not produce the ad as evidence. In denyingthat they ever placed such an ad, the Wachowskis said that,in 1986, Andy was just 18 and brother Larry was a21-year-old college student.Flash forward to the March 1999 theatrical release of "TheMatrix." Stewart, then living in Salt Lake City, went with afriend to see the film. "I said to myself, 'I wrote this,' "she recalls, saying she recognized themes and charactersfrom "The Third Eye" in the film. In June 1999, she says,she filed a written complaint with the FBI, charging that acopyright crime had taken place. In April 2003, acting asher own attorney, Stewart filed a lawsuit against a host ofdefendants, including the Wachowskis, "Terminator" directorJames Cameron, producers Gale Anne Hurd and Joel Silver,20th Century Fox and Warner Bros., accusing them ofcopyright infringement and of violating Racketeer Influencedand Corrupt Organizations (RICO) laws, which were created in1970 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 torally support for her copyright case by recounting herclaims and request for damages. The mainstream mediaresponse was tepid, at best. However, one newspaper did findher story quite interesting.On Oct. 28, the Salt Lake Community College's Globe ran anarticle on its website with the audacious headline " 'Motherof the Matrix' Victorious." Written by a second-yearcommunications student, the article was among the first onthe Web to reveal aspects of Stewart's story. Unfortunately,it also was rife with errors, stating among other thingsthat Stewart had won her case (she hadn't) and that she wasabout to receive one of the biggest payoffs in Hollywoodhistory (she wasn't). The story also questioned why the casehad received no media coverage, and quoted Stewart's claimon a website that Warner Bros. had been suppressing coverageof her case for years because AOL Time Warner "owns 95percent of the media ... They are not going to report onthemselves." Among the publications and businesses sheclaimed the company owned: the New York Times, the LosAngeles 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 attentionof Quentin Wells, the manager of the SLCC Student MediaCenter, which produces the Globe. "My son, who is acopyright attorney, read the article and said, 'This can'tbe right,' " Wells says. After approaching Stewart andchecking the information in the piece, Wells discovered thatStewart's supposed "victory" was nothing more than asuccessful defense against an early motion to have her casedismissed. "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 endof the Web version of the story. Yet a few weeks later,Wells noticed that the Globe website's server traffic hadexploded from 14,500 hits a month to more than 640,000. "Icontacted our [Internet] provider and told him that hiscounter must be broken."It wasn't, and almost all of the new traffic was linking tothe Sophia Stewart story. Also, in the brief time that theGlobe story was uncorrected on the website, it had beencopied and circulated around the Internet through mailinglists. Several Internet blogs then had linked to the story,bringing a steady stream of visitors to the site. The mythosof Stewart's victory continued to grow despite thecorrection.The Globe ran a follow-up story this January, whichcontinued to stoke conspiracy beliefs by stating as factStewart's assertion that "Warner Bros. and the otherdefendants in the case have also sought, with almostcomplete success, to prevent any publicity regarding thesuit from appearing in any national or even local media. Theresult has been an almost total news blackout about thematter."Soon, both Globe articles were reappearing almost verbatimon news websites such as Manhunt.com and continuing to makethe rounds on mailing lists, sometimes with new bylines.Unlike the original stories, these reprints never includedthe correction stating that Stewart hadn't won her case.Radio hosts and callers on radio stations such as Hot 97 inNew York City and KPFA's Hard Knock Radio in Berkeley alsowere discussing the Stewart case. The story began to appearin African American community newspapers such as theWestside Gazette in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and the ColumbusTimes in Georgia. Most of those articles echoed the badinformation in the original Globe piece. By April, a vastnumber of African Americans had read or heard some erroneousversion of the Sophia Stewart story.Such mistakes have long proliferated in American ethniccommunities, but the Internet has added to their speed andpotency. When the athletic footwear rage of the 1980s led toviolence and deaths among urban kids, rumors surfaced in theAfrican American community that one major manufacturer wasowned by South Africans, and its profits were being used tosupport apartheid. After a particular brand of Mexican beergot a foothold in the U.S. market in the 1980s, rumors thatMexican workers were urinating in it were rampant in thewestern U.S. In her 1994 book "I Heard It Through theGrapevine: Rumor in African-American Culture," UC Davisprofessor Patricia Turner explains that the symbolic qualityof some stories often is more important to certain groupsthan whether those stories are true. Stewart's story seemedparticularly credible because she is a real person who fileda real case. "Sophia Stewart is David against Goliath," saysTurner, and she represents African Americans who have beenvictimized by corporations.Still, the tide is slowly turning. Essence, amillion-subscriber magazine aimed at an African Americanaudience, had never published a story on Sophia Stewart. Butin its May issue it asked readers to hold off on repeatingclaims of Stewart's victory, and it pointed out that thecase was not scheduled for trial until July. Some Internetchatter in recent months has become less sympathetic towardStewart and her claims, with one fellow writer claiming "myloony detector alarms started going off" as he read moreabout her case.That hasn't stopped columnists at many African Americannewspapers and news sites from continuing to speculate.Manhunt.com content manager Tamara Harris said the erroneousversion 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 technologycolumnist at the Star, a 60,000-circulation daily thatserves Chicago's largely black southern suburbs. "But then,even though it sounded unbelievable to me at first, I didn'twant to completely discount it until I saw evidence that itwasn't true."Despite the wealth of misinformation circulating on theInternet, finding out the status of the case is as easy asmaking a telephone call. Stewart makes herself available toanswer media questions, and a website calledhttp://www.Daghettotymz.com lists her contact informationand offers downloadable files of court documents. The siteis the first hit when Stewart’s name is Googled.Yet Bobby Henry Sr., publisher of the Westside Gazette inFlorida, remained confused recently when told about thecase’s status. “She didn’t win?” Henry asked. “I’m shocked,because her having already won is all out there. It was evenon the Tom Joyner [radio] show that she won.”Representatives of the nationally syndicated Joyner programsay they haven’t written about Stewart on the show’s site,and couldn’t pinpoint when or if Stewart was mentioned onthe air.Dr. Todd Boyd, professor of critical studies at USC’s Schoolof Cinema-Television, says the Stewart case speaks toAfrican Americans’ deep distrust of the media. “A lot ofpeople, regardless of race, continue to have veryunsophisticated views of the media,” said Boyd. “And manyAfrican Americans in particular are still very distrustfulof the media.” That distrust comes from a history of beingeither negatively portrayed or completely ignored by thepress.Bruce Isaacs of Wyman & Isaacs, the attorney representingthe defendants in the Stewart case, says a media conspiracyis not the reason the case has seen little coverage. “Thequestion shouldn’t be why hasn’t the media covered thiscase, it should be why would the media cover this case?”says Isaacs. “It’s a run-of-the-mill copyright case, and Ithink the judge clearly addressed the case’s merits in herruling.”As for Stewart, she still believes that AOL Time Warner issuppressing her struggle — “Why am I not on ‘Larry KingLive’ or ‘Oprah’? ” she wonders — and remains determined tomake the rumor into a reality. After the judge dismissed thecase, Stewart was upbeat. If Morrow won’t reconsider herdecision, Stewart says she will appeal the judge’s decisionto the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and to the SupremeCourt, if necessary. “And they’ll rule in my favor,” saysStewart. “So tell everybody that it’s not over until the fatlady 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.
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/22/books/review/22beatty.html?8hpibGeorge Schuyler (with Malcolm X in 1963)By PAUL BEATTYPublished: January 22, 2006My 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.)
http://www.fishbone.net/fbclipdr2.asx( gone ahead and clink dat lank )take a look at their new video, a cover of Sublime’s “Date Rape”,yes…yes…”WHO THE HELL’S PAYING TO FILM FISHBONE© VIDEOS?”is probably the first question you asked. ( I guarantee you…my mother is reading this and rolling her eyes, her 1st question was “FISHBONE©?, oh, boy…” )but TRUST ME, it’s good fun…These guys have been on my favorites list for a long time, they STILL put on a great show after nearly 25 years (Angelo Moore is easily in my top 3 performers to catch live…, #2 is Prince, and #1 is probably someone who’s dead…O.K., let me get back to you on #1)and honestly, when is the last time you saw a 8 black guys in a band (playing instruments), outside of church ?
O.k., so maybe the secret agenda of my blog is that I want to save the world.If there were time to do it one soul at a time, I’d have lunch with all of you.Instead, I’ll share my weltanschauung with you, and as much insight as I can each time (before I have to rap it up and hop in the dream machine with my lady).(to my grandmother: Aurelia, I actually learned the word “weltanschauung” in my very short tenure at Central State University…where I lost most of my faith in higher education. I learned it from a book I actually stole from the library, “Arthur Schopenhauer’s: The Pessimist Handbook”for the record, I eventually found western philosophy too hostile and cynical and currently oppose it with a rugged but folksy optimism)*back to Mad Hot Ballroom*First let me say this:¡¡¡Teachers need to get paid some real goddamn money!!!¡¡¡Children also need the arts to go with their propaganda…I mean EDUCATION!!!Oh yeah,¡¡¡ESPECIALLY CHILDREN OF COLOR IN THESE UNITED STATES!!!*so yeah, back to Mad Hot Ballroom*So, I’m watching this movie. Which takes place in N.Y.C., and the gist of it is that:“6,000 kids, 60 schools, 10 weeks, 1 dream”link:http://www.paramountclassics.com/madhot/Okay, in short…this movie is was awesome.You get to see children inspired. Yes they’re competing…but the trophy and the title of winner are really insignifigant in the big picture of what is being facillitated.I think of my friend Wes, who uses Capoeira to build bridges between Palestinian and Israeli children.(link: http://www.wu-wien.ac.at/usr/h96b/h9650297/cap-basics.html )(Seeds of Peace link: http://www.seedsofpeace.org/site/PageServer )Movement as an artform, movement to enlighten spirit in the flesh, movement to inform oneself and others.I have not yet seen the movie Rize, but it’s on the list.Yes, I too am over entertained, but I dare to find meaning in everything I watch or listen to.In my opnion this is how you build and maintain a culture.When you watch “Mad Hot Ballroom”, recognize that you are watching a revolutinary statement.The story centers mainly on a school in Manhattan who’s students are predominately Latino/Black, and according to the film 97% of the students in the school live below the poverty line.The students engage in various styles of dance (meringue, tango, swing, among others) and you can literally see them growing little tiny buds of rationale (win or lose).I mean, yeah…it’s a movie. The kids don’t just float off to heaven and live happily everafter once the credits roll, but it makes you wonder how much more needs to be applied…just to achieve that little bit that it takes to connect with youngsters.Will I sign up to teach children anything?Maybe… I should.Every kid deserves a fair amount of guidance and good teachers.¡¡¡RENT THIS MOVIE!!!¡¡¡SAVE THE WORLD!!!
- Posted in : Osmosis
- Author : thesuperblackworldof
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Life is like a high stakes game of “UNO”©. While you study your hand…strategerizing a way to utilize 2 skips, 1 reverse, and a few oddball cards, someone is sticking it to you with one “draw 4 Wild” card after another. The object of the game is to focus, play your cards out, and stall your adversaries.Sometimes we are our own adversaries, pulling the “draw 4 Wild” card on ourselves.I’m looking forward to being a tad more creative in the new year, swinging it around like a big stick (my creativity).I still can’t figure out how to add a decent full length song link to this blog (reverse, skip, draw 2), but when I do you’ll be in hear with your lunch and dinner on the daily.Yes…I be done seen bout everything, til I seen an So, I’m jaded.A challenge is nigh.I’m going to stop biting my nails too.No longer am I afraid of sucess…nope.I’ve got a few draw 4 wild cards stashed away.“UNO” ©“draw 4 Wild”–>
- Posted in : Osmosis
- Author : thesuperblackworldof