Friday, 29 October 2010

Oppression and Respect

A great post by Ta-Nehisi Coates reminds me that while Malcolm X may have been admirably humble in turning his critical gaze inward, he did not rethink his positions on gender. Sad.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The Very Model of a Modern U.S. President (cont.)

I just have to shake my head at this ish.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

The Very Model of a Modern U.S. President

An impressive spoof of Obama. I almost forgot my beef with the drone strikes, and the fucking with civil liberties thing (don't even get me started on the current U.K government!) 

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

From Sociological Images

an interesting video and post on gender non-conformity in one family. I couldn't help thinking how fortunate the young boy in the video was for having a relatively safe space to express himself, and the debate over Morehouse College's decision to restrict that kind of space.

A Rethink

The first Bioshock game was OK but I got a little bored with the gameplay so I swore off the sequel. After seeing this review of a (quelle surprise) well-done African American character I might just give Bioshock 2 a look:
As I read it, Grace becomes a symbol for the desire not to see African Americans succeed and create their own lives, families, and spread as do others. Despite her barrenness, despite her lover being taken from her forcibly, she is given hope, however. It is not hard to see why she would warm to Dr. Lamb, a white woman who believes in the greater good, regardless of race or class. Even though Lamb ends up the antagonist, she is still seen as human despite her hatred towards you. She is not a ‘great evil.’ She and Grace are humans, with concerns, lives, and stories of their own. They also become symbols of their plight, and ideology in the case of Lamb, through their lives.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

ATL Georgia

Back from a ten-day trip to Atlanta, Georgia. I'm one of those fellows who tries to take pleasure in both the journey and the final destination - the Flying Takeshi Monster knows that this effort is especially needed when the journey is 15+ hours. So, some highlights:

  • The aerial view of Miami.
  • The Chicago skyline at dawn.
  • The way that sunlight would transform rivers and lakes into molten gold. 
  • The unbelievably vast expanse of Lake Michigan.
  • Flying through the clouds over London in the moonlight.
I stayed with a close friend in a pleasant little neighbourhood of Atlanta close to Emory University. A friend of mine described Emory's campus as "very beautiful in and Abercrombie and Fitch sort of way". Indeed, these sons of bachateros have the kind of money that would make the vice-chancellor of my old alma mater green with envy. Each building I saw around one lawn, sat there like a huge white and pink marble "fuck you" to the rich neighbours of a poor man who has a sudden windfall.

I also took the opportunity to check out the Martin Luther King Jr. Centre. It was pretty cool if not a little overcommercialised and underwhelming. Visiting his natal home was much more interesting. I had the good fortune to visit on the 30th anniversary of the opening of the centre, so there was a little festival on the street in Atlanta where his natal home is located. There was a street festival a few blocks over filled to bursting with black humanity, and I ate at a soul food restaurant. Chicken, stuffing, gravy, hush-puppies, collard greens and baby lima beans. It was good, but that ish will kill you!

Thursday, 14 October 2010


I've been away for a while on a holiday (of sorts) to Atlanta - more on that in later posts- so I've been trying my best to avoid the daily reads and the ensuing desire to give forth on them, but alas...

A few days after my arrival I noticed, quite by accident, an op-ed in the New York Times by John Edgar Wideman. The article details Wideman's experiences on the train between his home in New York City and his workplace in Providence:
Over the last four years, excluding summers, I have conducted a casual sociological experiment in which I am both participant and observer. It’s a survey I began not because I had some specific point to prove by gathering data to support it, but because I couldn’t avoid becoming aware of an obvious, disquieting truth.

Almost invariably, after I have hustled aboard early and occupied one half of a vacant double seat in the usually crowded quiet car, the empty place next to me will remain empty for the entire trip.
I’m a man of color, one of the few on the train and often the only one in the quiet car, and I’ve concluded that color explains a lot about my experience. Unless the car is nearly full, color will determine, even if it doesn’t exactly clarify, why 9 times out of 10 people will shun a free seat if it means sitting beside me.
The account was so similar to experiences I've had, and those of some of my acquaintances of colour, as to be banal. In hindsight, perhaps it would be nice if some readers became more mindful of their behaviour. Anyway, it wasn't saying anything I didn't already know so I didn't really pay the article any mind. I was therefore, rather taken aback by John McWorther's response.

It really is a thing of beauty.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

It's Funny

... I was revisiting a post my mate Loco had done on his blog where he talked about his admiration for Malcolm X, I then check out Ta-Nehisi Coates' blog and see a post on -you guessed it- Malcolm X. I urge you to check out Loco's series on race, of which his latest post is a part. Also, the discussion at Coates' place on the Malcolm X post is top notch. There isn't much I can add to it, except to say that I get the sense that as a historical figure Malcolm X really isn't given his due. The man was wrong about many things, but I found his calling America out on it's failure to live up to it's own ideals to be totally on point. It was the way he delivered his criticism, with passion, humour and wit, and the way he turned his critical gaze upon himself that makes me a fan.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Open Up Your Mind and Let Me Step Inside

A little while ago I had the dubious pleasure of watching Highlander, and I am ashamed to say that I had kind of forgotten just how awesome Queen are. I was thankful for the reminder:

The bass guitar at 1:27 is just the kind of dirty I like.

This next one is also great.

Two of my favourite Queen tunes, "Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy" and "Play The Game" after the jump. Enjoy.