Category Archives: Uncategorized

Your Monday Random-Ass Roundup: In Praise of Pootie.

“Do The Right Thing” and “Malcolm X” are on the short list of my very favorite films. I fell asleep 30 minutes into “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” merely to escape the unholy rubbish unfolding before my eyes. And don’t even ask me what I think about “Meet the Browns.”

But when it comes to choosing sides in any silly beef between Spike Lee and Tyler Perry, and deciding who will be the ultimate gatekeeper for on-screen representations of colored folks, I think we’re all better off picking Pootie Tang:

pootietang

Sa da tay, people. Sa da tay.

Now for your weekly random-ass interruption of links:

1. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass) is close to introducing legislation that would revamp the U.S. financial system, a historic attempt at reining in institutions deemed  “too big to fail.” (Blackink)

2. Speaking of fail, as talk of a public option gives way to a public mandate, the LA Times notes that insurers are absolutely giddy about the impending healthcare overhaul: “… there are likely to be no limits on what insurers can charge, while at the same time the plan is expected to limit competition from any new national government insurance plan that lawmakers create.” (Blackink)

3. Rudy Giuliani’s race-baiting on behalf of Michael R. Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City, rested on the presumption that an electoral victory by William C. Thompson would take the city back to the bad old lawless days of David Dinkins. But Michael Powell of the NYT thinks that the narrative assigned to Dinkins’ mayoralty — crime, homelessness, unemployment — has overshadowed much of what he did right. (G.D.)

4. Also, Giuliani is making half-hearted overtures about challenging the flailing David Paterson. “Friends and foes alike say they wonder whether Giuliani, who obviously considers himself fit to lead the United States of America, could really want to relocate to the state capital and play ringmaster of the Albany circus.” (Blackink)

5. AMERICAblog points us to a “fascinating and devastating” video from Media Matters, proving that Fox News has little understanding of the concept “Fair and Balanced.” Or perhaps they do and don’t give a damn. David Waldman at the Daily Kos breaks down the tape.  (Blackink)

6. Shortly after Obama took over the Oval Office, Jamelle repeatedly pointed out that presidents don’t like to roll back their authority, which meant that Obama was probably going to hold on to the sweeping executive powers that the Bush Administration carved out for itself. Julian Sanchez echoes Jamelle’s point, saying that the virtually unchanged update to the Patriot Act that passed last week proved that the Obama administration is likely to stay on the same path. (G.D.)

7. More than 300 prospective jurors showed up at a west Texas courthouse today in the start of trials for a dozen polygamist sect members charged with abuse of underage girls. “Seating an impartial jury in this community of fewer than 1,900 voters may prove difficult, because most residents know one another and the April 2008 raid on the Yearning For Zion Ranch drew intense media coverage.” (Blackink)

8. Frank Rich comes to the defense of Balloon Dad, likening his desperate lurch for fame as a sign of the times. “Richard Heene is the inevitable product of this reigning culture, where “news,” “reality” television and reality itself are hopelessly scrambled and the warp-speed imperatives of cable-Internet competition allow no time for fact checking.” (Blackink)

9. The BBC uses a retrospective on John Howard Griffin, the white guy who took medicine for vitiligo and went underground as a black man in the south in the 50s, to talk about recent incidents of blackface. Griffin, of course, wrote “Black Like Me.” (Quadmoniker)

10. Four San Jose police officers have been placed on administrative leave while the department reviews an incident in which a 20-year-old college student was repeatedly struck with a baton and was shocked with a Taser gun. There is video, and it is disturbing.  (Blackink)

11. A new bill in Oklahoma that would have required physicians to provide the state with detailed personal information about women who have abortions has been delayed by a state court, providing a glimmer of hope that common sense and decency might prevail there. (Blackink)

12. A popular Chicago nightclub doesn’t like the cut of your jib … if your jib happens to be black? (Blackink)

13. South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford goes Galt. Also, he should keep going. (Blackink)

14. From Heather Havrilesky in  Salon, “Arrogance Rules the Small Screen”: “Smugness and swagger play well on TV. Eye-rolling know-it-alls, snorty laughter, brazen disregard for other people’s feelings, bullying, condescension, superiority complexes, afternoon glasses of bourbon, grumbly stoicism, infidelity, overconfident banter: These things are the rainbows and unicorns of the televisual schoolyard.” (Belleisa)

15. Charity expert Dan Pallotta argues in The Daily Beast that sexism is holding back the non-profit sector, preventing them from adopting aggressive business practices. (Blackink)

16. Daily newspapers are reporting a nearly 11 percent decline in circulation over the past year, part of an entirely predictable but disturbing trend. (Blackink)

17. Shiloh Pepin, who was born with a rare condition often called “mermaid syndrome,” has died. She was 10. (Blackink)

18. Mary Elizabeth-Williams on creepy showbiz dads. (Belleisa)

19. Sigh. Texas Southern University in Houston has stripped Tavis Smiley’s name from its communication school for failing to fulfill his Covenant with a Black School. A sad quote here: “TSU’s well-publicized problems made it impossible to raise money from corporate donors, Smiley said Friday. ‘And obviously, not unlike most Americans, my personal income has been impacted by this recession.'” (Blackink).

20. Lebanese chefs prepared more than two tons of hummus Saturday, breaking a world record held by Israel and hoping to assert their claim to proprietorship over the popular Middle Eastern dip. Donkeylicious calls it “the kind of Middle Eastern conflict I can get behind.” (Blackink)

21. Trying to be “more competitive” has gotten former Miss California Carrie Prejean sued. To save you the trouble, this is a story about her breasts. (Blackink)

22. I don’t even know how to categorize this – where does Sully find this stuff? (Alisa)

23. This article really makes me want to see Avatar. (Belleisa)

24. Cracked puts together a list of the five most unintentionally racist movies about racism. And of course, the god-awful “Crash” is on there. (Blackink)

25. Wonder why the Yankees haven’t won a World Series in so long? Well, it involves God a quadrennial summit between God and Satan… (G.D.)
26. I’ll refrain from providing many details here about the sordid scandal that unfolded at ESPN last weekend (trust, it’s easy to find) but a few sports blogs were appropriately disgusted at the childish and incendiary “coverage” by Deadspin. (Blackink)

27. Sadly, former NBA star Antoine Walker’s lack of on-court discipline was merely a hint at the troubles he had off the court. Yet another cautionary tale for pro athletes. (Blackink)

28. What it’s like to play for the nation’s only all-black college lacrosse team. (G.D.)

29. Now that the NFL’s costly building spree of the past 15  years has more than quadrupled debt held by the teams, club owners are pushing for a new labor deal with the players.  (Blackink)

30. And finally, former Florida State football star and Rhodes Scholar Myron Rolle – once again – is simply better than the rest of us. “The nicest thing about Oxford, Rolle said, is that it makes him feel as if he is in no hurry. He graduated from high school early and finished his education at Florida State in two and a half years, cutting short his football career by a season. He said the pace of Oxford had allowed him to throw himself into his studies without feeling harried.” (Blackink)

Until the next time, I gots to say na nay no.

Enjoy the rest of the week.

Your Monday Random-Ass Roundup: What Up?

I hear today (yes, it’s still Monday) is Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele’s birthday. But is it really? Can we get some sort of birth certificate to back this up?

Michael Steele

We offer Steele sincere birthday wishes, as he parties out there beyond the cutting edge and changing the game. Really, we all owe Steele something. From Day One, he’s been the gift that’s kept on giving.

A little later than usual, some random-assness from the weekend and beyond:

1. Adam argues against splitting hairs when it comes to calling something a “racial provocation” when it is, in fact, racist. (Shani-o)

2. Via Rumpus.net, The Huffington Post has a piece on “The World’s First Terrorist.” (Belleisa)
3. From the Journal-Sentinel in Milwaukee: “In March, he was laid off from his job as a raw materials coordinator for a plastics company called PolyOne, where he’d worked for 20 years. His severance package had provided several months’ salary, but by August the paychecks were winding down. Soon the cost of his family health coverage was going to triple, then a few months after that, nearly triple again. They needed coverage so Mom could fight her cancer. Dad’s solution: a four-year hitch in the Army.” Remember: the best health-care system in the world. (Blackink)
4. The N.Y. Times announced today that it will cut 100 newsroom jobs, or about 8 percent of the total. (Blackink)

5. Is Fox News “un-American”? Jacob Weisberg thinks so. (Blackink)

7. Estranged right-winger David Frum conducts an interesting thought experiment: “Suppose an agent arrived in the offices of Limbaugh/Beck/Hannity/O’Reilly etc. with an offer. ‘I can guarantee you a deal that will pay you twice as much – bring you twice as much fame – and extend your career twice as long – if you’d say the exact opposite of what you are saying now. Which of them would sign?” Also on his new Web site, Frum seems to be soliciting interns who resemble Anne Hathaway. But aren’t we all? (Blackink)

8. And proving Frum actually has a legitimate point about the death spiral of conservatives, ladies and gentlemen: the South Carolina GOP. (Blackink)

9. At Bitch PhD, Ding writes a post that’s about black hair, but isn’t really as much about black hair as it is about white people who question the existence of things they know nothing about. (Shani-o)

10. A review of Searching for Whitopia by Richard Benjamin from BookForum.com: “For two years, Rich Benjamin insinuated himself in some of the fastest-growing communities in America: ‘Whitopias,’ places in Georgia, Idaho, Utah—and even parts of Manhattan’s Upper East Side—where white people are currently migrating in massive numbers.” (Belleisa)

11. Penelope Trunk explains that the internets have created a generation of great writers (minus the trolls, one presumes). (Shani-o)

12. Junot Diaz on becoming a writer in O Magazine (Belleisa)

13. Can’t get enough of “Mad Men”? Want to know where they get all that “technology” you see on set? (Yes, I’m mocking you fans, but you should still read this cool interview with the show’s prop master.) (Shani-o)

14. Athenae goes on a righteous rant about the news value of the Balloon Boy story and beyond. (Blackink)

15. Bill Cosby, social embarrassment, and social media. What more could you ask for? (Shani-o)

16. Want the country to fail? There’s a rep for that. (Blackink)

17. After a relatively interesting week on the matrimony front, Melissa Harris-Lacewell reflects on marriage. (Blackink)

18. Not everyone is impressed with Malcolm Gladwell’s latest piece on football, concussions and dogfighting. (Blackink)

19. Tracy-Clark Flory on the GQ pic of January Jones: “My default setting is: Objects in magazine are other than they appear.” (I must admit that I watched Mad Men last night with an extra eye on JJ believing, like Tracy, that GQ had enhanced her bustline.) (Belleisa)
20. Did Eddie Murphy predict the housing crisis as far back as 20-plus years ago? Probably not. But still. (Blackink)
21. John Mayer seems to think a lot of himself, and not very much of anyone else. Punk. (Blackink)
22. Beyonce’s Galveston Island home apparently violates the Texas Open Beaches Act. (Blackink)
23. For Nas, money is now a cruel, heartless, unfaithful bitch: God’s Son reportedly owes the IRS more than $2.5 million in back taxes. (Blackink)
24. If this was 1988, son, I would definitely be looking for tickets: the Fat Boys’ Markie Dee has challenged retired WWF wrestler Iron Sheik to a match. I mean, I did see “Disorderlies” after all. (Blackink)
25. In case you missed it, Instapundit is leading a crusade against the NFL after poor lil Limbaugh was turned away from owning a piece of the St. Louis Rams. Adam explains it all to the Dittoheads. (Blackink)
26. Stephon Marbury is taking the year off. Which is good, because no one wanted him anyway. (Blackink)
27. A three-month investigation by CBS’ Armen Keteyian is raising a number of questions about the law enforcement investigation into the shooting death of former NFL star Steve McNair. On Tuesday, CBS is promising to reveal a “big” mistake that Nashville police made in the investigation. (Blackink)
28. And speaking of untimely deaths, the University of Connecticut is mourning the weekend stabbing death of football star Jasper Howard at an on-campus student party. A suspect has been taken into custody. As always, words fail. But Orson Swindle at EDSBS sums up the tragedy pretty well here: “Go hug someone. Don’t stab people. Be human. Avoid being a total asshole and try not to kill anyone. This isn’t hard.” (Blackink)
Sorry for working on c.p. time today. Enjoy your week.

More Justice in Texas.

From Texas Monthly

I think, as dispassionate observers of the legal system, we can all agree that Charles Hood probably got a fair trial despite the newly established fact that the prosecutor and judge were having an affair. Besides, if that was an issue, Hood’s lawyers should have just raised it at trial. What, don’t think so? Communist.

This is the highest court in Texas, but he might be able to appeal still in federal court. I can’t find any mention of it in the news stories.

MJ: The Reader.

After a walk by the Apollo theatre or a visit to the local music or book store, it’s clear that Michael Jackson is going to make people a ton of money posthumously. And as the media stories speculate on how he died, and people start barking for who owns what of his estate, the rights to his children, MJ’s music catalog and The Beatles catalog, juxtaposed with all that other noise, the story below on MJ’s 10,000 book library was surprisingly refreshing.

From Carolyn Kellogg of the LA Times:

“He loved the poetry section,” Dave Dutton said as Dirk [California bookstore owners] chimed in that Ralph Waldo Emerson was Jackson’s favorite. “I think you would find a great deal of the transcendental, all-accepting philosophy in his lyrics.”

Largely an autodidact, Jackson was quite well read, according to Jackson’s longtime lawyer. “We talked about psychology, Freud and Jung, Hawthorne, sociology, black history and sociology dealing with race issues,” Bob Sanger told the LA Weekly after the singer’s death. “But he was very well read in the classics of psychology and history and literature . . . “

The article originally came across as a wonderment of MJ’s normalcy like a segment in a celebrity magazine picturing stars shopping for groceries or walking their dogs. There’s no doubt that the naming of Freud and Jung in particular drums up support for the thesis that MJ was a child in a man’s body.

Putting that aside, I thought about the type of person who reads, psychology, sociology in wide abundance is a person dealing with emotional pain. The type of person searching for something. Identity perhaps?

I wonder how much of what he was reading was reflected in his music. I wonder what the rest of his library reveals about him. And if people were left to rifle with your own belongings, in particular, your books, what would those things which narrowly define us all reveal about you?

Happy Juneteenth, Y’all.

Or, at least, to my people west of Galveston, TX. Are the Easterners among us even familiar with the holiday?

Iran Blogging.

If you’re interested in more Iran coverage, you should really holler at Andrew Sullivan. As usual, he’s putting up a fresh post every ten minutes or so. This is one of those moments when new media wipes the floor with traditional media in coverage. (He’s even changed his banner green out of solidarity with the protesters.)

Pat Buchanan prefers “the old bigotry”

Apparently, not much has changed.

Apparently, not much has changed.

But of course he would.