Friday, October 31, 2008

Flashback Friday: Halloween Edition

I was tempted to go the predictable route and recall some Rockwell, because what other time of year does he get any play? Seriously, he's proof that family ties can't make you a star.

Instead, I found a video that hits a little closer to home for me. I can't tell you much about KMC Kru because their recording careers ended 2 seconds before Charlie Daniels woke up. The song title is quite interesting considering the Kru's Detroit origins and the city's battles against pre-Halloween shenanigans. Luckily, though, that isht has calmed down lately.

Happy Halloween, y'all.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

From Slavery to Obama in One Lifetime

She's 109.

She was born to a former slave and she has cast her vote for Obama.

What a life.

Will You Be My Black Friend?

I'm not going to lie.  An article in this month's GQ Magazine entitled "Will You Be My Black Friend" is VERY long but the insights derived from his journey are also VERY good.  If you've got half-an-hour give it a chance.   For those up to the challenge, would love your feedback in the comments...


This Is Awesome In Every Way (Another Perspective)

(via The Daily Dish)

So Bashir posted the original version of this ad, but now the "No on Proposition 8" folks have decided to "modify" it a little bit to highlight what they feel (and I 100% agree) is the true discriminatory nature of Proposition 8.

In the comments section of my post urging "No on Propostion 8", I made a similar argument:

"I would argue that discrimination is discrimination is discrimination and should never be sanctioned by the law.

Two case-law examples from the civil rights movement certainly apply here:

#1. Brown v. Board of Education (1954) overturned the inherent discriminatory intentions of Plessy v. Ferguson - i.e. the 'separate but equal' doctrine. So how can we split hairs in 2008 and say we'll give you "almost" all of the benefits of marriage yet not the name?

#2. Loving v. Virginia (1967) In arguing for miscegenation laws, white supremacists claimed that interracial marriages were contrary to God's will or somehow unnatural, that they would corrupt the American family and confuse American children. Anti-"miscegenation" arguments usually included one or more of the following claims:

-Judges claimed that marriage belonged under the control of the states rather than the federal government.

-Opponents, including church groups, began to define and label all interracial relationships (even longstanding, deeply committed ones) as illicit sex rather than marriage.

-Segregationists insisted that interracial marriage was contrary to God's will.

-Interracial marriage was somehow "unnatural."

These days, one out of every fifteen American marriages (INCLUDING MY SISTER'S) is now considered "interracial" and the term "miscegenation" is no longer used."

Your thoughts?

Either You're With Us, Or...


Jay Z: Holding Concerts For Barack

Voters In Mostly White Rural America: Telling Pollsters That Race/Names Don't Matter As Much As Ideas (GOD...I Hope they're telling the truth)

Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard: The Last Two Black Americans In Baseball, Doing It Big


Massachusetts State Rep Diane Wilkerson: Caught stuffing bribes in her bra.

The City Of Chicago: Murderville, USA

Kwame Kilpatrick: Given Every Chance To Be A Mayor Famous For Good; Chose To Be Infamous.

Who'd I miss?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Chi McBride

Once again on the wrong side of history though no fault of his own.

For those that don't know: NBC and CBS are both airing the Barack Obama special tomorrow at 8pm. So ABC is saying to it's viewers "forget Obama and get with 'Pushing Daisies.'" Which is suspicious because we're talking about ABC here: home of hack debate moderator Charlie Gibson, hostile hack reporters like Jake Tapper, and former home of Fox News' Brit Hume.

Guess they take the "A" in their name seriously. Too bad they equate that with the politics of the Right.

SIDE NOTE: My sister waited 8 hours in line to vote down in Georgia. People are serious about voting y'all.

Maybe We Shouldn't Be Worried...

I grew up in the town that birthed professional hockey in the United States.

So when Gov. Palin started talking about being a hockey mom, I knew her type. My neighborhood was filled with hockey moms. Not my mom, though. I couldn't skate well but I was the Grant Fuhr of boot hockey.

Even more so, I knew her husband. Not literally but from the first time I saw him, he reminded me of the guys who'd ride around town on their snowmobiles and then stop off at the bar and walk around the place in full Polaris or Arctic Cat gear.

Because of all this, I'm really interested to see how my fair city casts its votes on November 4th. Although a segment of the population is highly educated (it's home to a well-regarded scientific university), it's also a place where the second largest employer is Walmart and there's a general sentiment that this is one of those rural outposts that city folk don't understand. The area is potentially prime McCain-Palin territory.

A few days ago, though, I received a forwarded message authored by a woman I've known my whole life who just so happens to know her way around a rink. The picture below was the attachment:

Needless to say, rural voters like those I lived around are the bloc the Republican ticket is counting on most but I think it might be a misnomer to believe hockey moms are a monolithic group. At least in this instance.

Just one week to go...

Monday, October 27, 2008


(via BOSSIP)


These commercials were huge and Mr. Stone got paid a ton (I hope) for them. Good to see he did it again.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Extended NOTORIOUS Trailer

Not sure about you, but this trailer presents more questions than answers (which is probably a good thing for a trailer to do).

You can view it here:

My main concern - how will Tupac be portrayed? Villain? Manipulated innocent? We shall see.

Friday, October 24, 2008

You Buy This Album Yet?

A "Cautionary" Fairy Tale?

Flashback Friday

I had the pleasure of interviewing a very talented rapper out of DC yesterday but talking to her left me wondering what the hell I've been doing with my life. She's only 17 but has performed with the likes of KRS-ONE and has had DC's hip-hop elite giving her props for over half her earthly existence.

I wish I had that much ability.

That got me thinking about other teenage phenoms in music and I instantly thought of the man behind one of my favorite songs of all time, Bernard Wright. Wright was 18 when his first album dropped and made a deep impression on the Queens jazz-funk scene of the late 1970s and early 1980s. He recorded this week's "Flashback" when he was 22.

What was I doing when I was 22? I was probably either in class or at a bar, obviously not making enduring music. Oh, if I could have my youth back...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Is This Real?

This is the latest right-wing outrage.

Obama supporters are carving up white women.

Drudge is pushing the hell out of it.

The idea is simple, real or fake, Obama and his supporters are OUT OF FUCKING CONTROL. And this is only the tip of the ice berg. Further this story plays into alleged white fears. A stealthy black man crept along in the night to attack an innocent white woman.

Still...when you read all the details...I don't know if it's real or not, but it's very suspicious.

1. He robbed her then hung around

2. There were no witnesses

3. He carved a "B" and not an "O"...and not just any "B", but a very well written one...I dunno, if someone was doing that to me, I might squirm so it would be difficult for what they did to be that perfect.

4. He carved it backwards (i guess if he was standing over her the other way, it's reasonable to assume this is not substantive)

5. She was from Texas, a McCain staffer, and it happened just days after he announced he needed to win the state in which she was attacked.

6. She didn't seek medical attention

THAT's EXTREMELY possible every detail she recounts is true.

But this story has red flags all over it. And, unfortunately, after stuff like's hard to know what's real.

Only time will tell.

What do you think?

It's The Taxes, Stupid


so Obama has a large lead and things look favorable to his camp. Still and all, I try to keep my ear to the ground and finger in the wind to detect trends.

If Obama loses, it will be because of taxes.

Not racism and not, probably, vote suppression as both camps have a ridiculous amount of lawyers at the polls.

It will be about taxes. My favorite morning DJ Adam Carolla went on a tangential rant about "income redistribution" (aka Joe The Plumber-esqe concerns over monetary fairness). He was dead serious. It struck me how important this issue is to people. Even people whose taxes Obama would cut...think they'll be rich one day. This is the same logic that has people playing the lottery even though they won't win.

Illustrative Anecdote: One of my best friends is a finance guy in New York. We agree on most things yet his vote is usually based on one issue: Taxes. Here's his arguments and mine.

GOOD FRIEND: High taxes kill business. End of story. Further, on a macro level, high taxes dis-incentivize the very innovation that leads people to create things better for all of us. Put down Mother Jones and pick up Atlas Shrugged. Everything that everyone in America wants is based on the ability to afford it. If you don't have a job, you can't afford it. If your employer can't keep you, you won't have a job. High taxes are bad for everyone.

BASHIR: Rich people and corporations don't pay their fair share. Period. Oil companies pay low taxes but poison the environment making people sick who then have to go to the hospital. And the oil company doesn't pay those medical bills. The same rich guys who claim their taxes are too high and that they "earned ever penny" won't admit that without schools to train competent workers, land to build factories, healthcare so their workers don't miss days, federal protections on their investments, national defense for their safety even roads so their trucks can get to their destinations...they'd be nothing. But all that doesn't matter and is taken off the balance sheet. Infrastructure creates the ABILITY to even have wealth and taxes generate infrastucture.

Okay, guys, who's right?

So...taxes have become a bad word in America. And many people will vote on this ONE issues. Time and again I talked to friends much smarter than I about why they're voting for McCain. They admit Palin is worrisome...but taxes trump everything.

If anything, this is the result of the Bush years. The rich got richer during Clinton's years, but they got CRAZY STUPID RICH during the Bush years...more than they probably deserved. And they kept pushing the ball. They blamed taxes for outsourcing...

...meanwhile bridges in Minnesota collapsed, levees broke and our border patrol is a joke. (I'm liberal as hell, but if a terrorist wanted to bring a weapon of mass destruction into our country...the southern border offers little to stop them.) may be too late for McCain to pick up votes based on this one issue. But if he does win, this will be why.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Homegrown Hatred

There's no racism quite like the racism from your hometown. I was reading an article about pending city budget cuts in Chicago and came across this gem in the comment section.

To Wit:

The Irish saved this city. Under Harold Washington you had high taxes, property taxes increasing, bad bond rating, white flight, high crime, and affordable housing destroying good neighborhoods. Let's be honest Daley did the impossible and took down Cabrini Green, Robert Taylor, the Taylor Street homes, the State street homes--and brought in law abiding, clean white people, or minorities with money and class and not project animals. The project animals are in Harvey, Markham, Robbins and now crime is lower in Chicago.


Still, I love this damned city...and though I know it's segregated as all hell, I don't feel the racism when I'm home. I just feel the love.

See you in Thanksgiving, you Windy bastard.


ps - If I'm shot and killed on the South Side this holiday season, please delete this post. Cuz then it'll just look stupid.

Chuck Todd

With some amazing comments after interviewing McCain and Palin earlier today.

Apparently they are coming apart at the seams.

This Is Awesome In Every Way

(via Huffpo)

Same Sex marriage will lead to earth being engulfed in flames...or, something like that. I can't really tell what they were saying, cuz I was too busy laughing at it.

Man, this video challenges everything you think about young people. doesn't but is still priceless comedy, nonetheless.

Guess these kids didn't read Craig's brilliant post.

Saints Row: Better Than GTA IV?

Finally, a video game about Urban Planning and Renewal.

Watching this video game trailer the other day, I couldn't help but wonder if this game is better than the latest (and in my book disappointing) entry in the Grand Theft Auto series.

Any opinions out there?

I'd love to hear from some gamers.

The Next Club Anthem?

(via Kanye West)

You ever hear a song you don't like at first, then realize...

...wait a minute. This is gonna be a club banger.

I think Jim Jones' DAY AND NIGHT remix is that song.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Why Does It Take The Daily Show?

Why couldn't a regular news broadcast point out something so obvious about Palin's credentials...?

Jason Jones interviews the current Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.

Don't Get It Twisted

Friends of mine like to pretend that if Obama will be the end of the world.


I was reading CNN's excellent article on Sexual abuse and brutality as a weapon in Congo's decades long war; it forces a sense of perspective.

It's brutally depressing.

(Also, don't do a google image search for "congolese women"...I figured I'd find something to post with this blog entry. Big mistake. The images drain you of your ability to desire anything except curling up into a ball.)

Here's the accompanying piece.

My point?

1. If Obama loses: it's not the end of the world. Death is the end of the world. And, possibly, so is being an outcast in a small social network, where you can't just move to a new city and re-invent yourself....Everything else that happens is just shades of existence.

And please stop telling me at all the cool, upscale dinner parties I attend (what? I like brie)....that if Obama loses you're moving out of the country...that's the kind of weak-kneed bullshit that explains for why liberals lose elections. If Obama loses I'm staying right the hell where I am. Shit...somebody has to tell the tale.

2. If Obama wins: We still have SO much work to do in the world. Perhaps, and it is my hope, that his administration will lend more support those visionaries trying to restore Africa. Some of us are probably related to some of the women in these stories. I understand that we have to fight the battles before us, and Obama winning is VERY important to me...but still, let's get a little perspective.

3. Why isn't African life precious? Or Arab for that matter?

(Obama's gonna win, by the way.)


ps - What the fuck is wrong with some men?

I don't believe in the death penalty...not because life is precious, but because it doesn't work as a deterrent to ANY crime. The only people the death penalty people like us, reading this blog, who would be hard pressed to commit a murder in the first place. Also, I'm pretty sure the government shouldn't be in the business of killing people...please, leave that to the mafioso's and gang bangers.

Still and all, maybe rape should be punishable by being stabbed in the face. Just sayin'.

Damn You, Hollywood (p. 4)

So I watch this trailer for WATCHMEN about once a week.

I'm a sucker for a good trailer, and hope at some point to have a hand in editing one... (Forrest Gump still has the best trailer of all times, IMHO.)


I first saw that trailer on IMAX (waiting to see The Dark Knight)...and was blown away by the way the music and images worked. Also, is that young William Patrick Corgan, Jr. lending his fine vocals to the track?

BUT...I wasn't planning on reading the graphic novel. As much as I love graphic novels (300 is WAY better book than the annoying/fake wife-stabbing storyline) I was gonna sit this one out. I got video games to beat....

Well, rumor has it, Hollywood is considering changing the bleak ending. I haven't read the book and don't know the ending (DON'T GIVE IT AWAY)...but why change it?

Sometimes, my industry really irks the shit out of me.

Read it now before it's ruined forever.


ps - not all ending changes are bad. Apparently the ending for FIGHT CLUB is better in the movie than the book.

ps 2 - I saw WHAT JUST HAPPENED last night. Not a great movie by ANY stretch... but parts of it were hard to watch as I think it was brutally accurate about the entertainment industry. DeNiro's character has to basically live as a man so steeped compromise that he doesn't really stand for anything. Sadly, those are the kids of people who have LONG careers.

This Guy Is A Beast

(via Daily Kos)

Look at Senatorial Candidate Scott Kleeb DESTROY the answer given by his Republican Incumbent counterpart at a Nebraska State senatorial debate.

In many respects Kleeb has what Obama has, he's young, good-looking, well spoken...and has no extensive legislative record.

It's very easy to take the high road, when your record isn't extensive; just like Palin tries to do all the time. My boy Mike and I talked about this at length, every day you're in office (House/Senate) you LOWER your chances of becoming President.

Every bill that passes has things on it to offend some interest group.


ps - Is it me or does this guy look SUPER scandal-prone. He's just a little too polished by half. Still and all he's WAY DOWN in the it's a long-shot he'll even get to office.

"God" Bless America!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Caption, please!

I'll just start this by saying it's good to see Com and Serena are enjoying each other's company.

But if 2008 Jacarl visited 1994 Jacarl and told him that Common Sense was in Hawaii surfing with his girlfriend, 1994 would've thrown his bootleg Enta Da Stage cassette at 2008's head and declared that the "Boney Homey from Stony" would never be caught dead anywhere but the Southside.

Fourteen years can bring a lot of change.

Terry Tate Vs. Sarah Palin

did NOT see this coming (thanks for the link...I forget who, sorry)

Terry Tate vs. Palin

how in the HELL did they do this? clearly the world of editing is getting better and better.

RIP - Dolemite

Rudy Ray Moore passed this weekend.

"Dolemite - Original Trailer"

But the Avenging Disco Godfather will live on forever.

"The Avenging Disco Godfather Trailer"

Also, Dee Dee Warwick (Dione's younger sister) and Levi Stubbs, frontman for The Four Tops, also passed.

Gay Marriage, Homophobia, HIV & the African-American Community

So Barack Obama raised $150,000,000 last month so I have decided to move an additional donation that I was planning to make to his campaign to another cause closer to home.

I'm voting against Proposition 8 here in California and I'll be supporting the efforts against this proposition financially and I'd like to explain why I think this issue is one that ALL Americans (and particularly African-Americans) should be doing some serious soul searching.

First a confession. I am a policy JUNKIE! I have a Masters of Public Policy from Harvard that I am severely underutilizing, but give me a good set of numbers and econometric possibilities are endless. So let's begin...

I've always felt that African-American's had a "privileged perspective" in this country due to our perseverance and eventual success (in THIS country) in spite of absolutely insurmountable odds in the face of CENTURIES of despicable and inhuman treatment. I believed that this perspective allowed us keen insight into injustice everywhere and calling it out. But lately I have come to unfortunate conclusion that "my" world-view is not necessarily my "community's" world-view and I'm not sure how this came to be?

Just a little background. I am a third-generation Los Angeleno. I have lived in California for almost me entire life. Believe it or not, African-American's only make up approximately 7% of the state's population (the majority of which live within the city limits of Oakland & Los Angeles and their respective surrounding communities). 

On May 15, 2008, the (judiciously conservative - remember we've had LONG LINE of Republican Governors running this state) Supreme Court of California overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage in a 4-3 holding that "that the California legislative and initiative measures limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples violate the state constitutional rights of same-sex couples and may not be used to preclude same-sex couples from marrying." Almost immediately, Proposition 8 was created to override the Court's decision and now it is up to the state's voters (not the judicial system?) to decide the future of gay marriage in this state.

Really? What if we had allowed the good people of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia (you get the point) to DECIDE if African-Americans should enjoy the same freedoms that its white citizens enjoyed for hundreds of years? How do you think that vote would have gone? Exactly. Proposition 8 is a blatant attempt to neuter court's mandate to protect the rights of ALL citizens and impose the "supposed" views of the majority.

One of my favorite political bloggers, Andrew Sullivan, posted this tidbit on his blog on September 30th.

Citing a recently released study, Andrew noted: "Young evangelical Christians display generational differences on some key social issues. A majority of younger white evangelicals support some form of legal recognition for civil unions or marriage for same-sex couples. Older evangelicals remain strongly opposed. At the same time, young evangelicals are as solidly pro-life on abortion as older evangelicals."

Andrew then concludes by saying, "Black evangelicals are another matter. There is, alas, no ethnic community as homophobic in America as African-Americans. Which is why the ballot initiative in California could be close."

I was admittedly offended at his suggestion that African-Americans could play a decisive role AGAINST another person's/group's civil rights and immediately sent him an e-mail demanding proof of his claim.

Well folks, here's the proof. Please take a gander at a VERY recent SurveyUSA poll on Proposition 8. California's African-Americans SUPPORT Proposition 8 by a margin of 20 points, 58% to 38%. To put that in perspective with other Californians: White 47% Yes - 48% No, Hispanics 47% Yes - 41% No, Asian 42% No - 48% Yes.

Wow. How did we get here? Look I'm not in complete denial. I will certainly admit that there is a strong homophobic undercurrent within the African-American community, although I have never been able to ascertain what the SOURCE of that angst is? That being said, I've also seen nearly an equal of amount of flat-out "acceptance" that I BELIEVED is the result of our legacy of slavery and civil rights in this country. But now I'm not so sure.

I wonder how many African-American's believe that Dr. Martin Luther King would be FOR Proposition 8? Clearly more than I ever imagined. The reason I bring Dr. King up is his because he was a minister AS WELL AS a civil right leader. The political and religious have long been intertwined in the African-American community and I can think of no other institution that has played a more significant role in African-American's views on homosexuality than the black church. Bararck Obama has tried to address this issue from the pulpit. Hell, Al Sharpton has tried to address this issue from the pulpit. Unfortunately, these words have mostly fall upon deaf ears.

These same deaf ears have failed to tally up the true COST of homophobia in the black community, but we'll do that here with the help of the Center for Disease Control. According to the 2000 census, blacks make up approximately 13% of the US population. However, in 2005, blacks accounted for approximately 49% of new HIV/AIDS diagnoses in the United States. Wow! To put that in perspective, the rate of AIDS diagnoses for black adults and adolescents was 10 times the rate for whites and nearly 3 times the rate for Hispanics. The rate of AIDS diagnoses for black women was nearly 23 times the rate for white women. The rate of AIDS diagnoses for black men was 8 times the rate for white men. This is a public health CRSIS that is rarely discussed neither within nor outside of the African-American community. Shameful.

So what does this have to do with gay marriage you ask? Everything. The level of homophobia in the black community and the rate of HIV infection is NOT one of coincidence. The longer we are complicit in denying equal rights, the longer we are complicit in preventing people from being 100% truthful about who they are. As African-Americans we can keep having "gossiptorial" conversations about the "down-low" or own up to the fact that our community's lack of tolerance has contributed to the incubation of this phenomenon and its "innocent" victims.

Lastly, Andrew Sullivan posted a new blog today about the SurveyUSA results and what he believes Barack Obama should do about them:

"All this makes it vital, in my opinion, that Barack Obama strongly and unequivocally oppose Proposition 8 in California, rather than keeping mainly quiet as he has done so far. We need him to make an ad opposing it. This is a core test of whether gay Americans should back Obama as enthusiastically as they have in the last month. If he does not stand up for gay couples now, why should we believe he will when he is in office? And if black Americans are the critical bloc that helps kill civil rights for gays, that will not help deepen Obama's governing coalition. It could tear it apart. Memo to Obama: make an ad. Speak loudly. Defend equality. Defend it when it might actually lose you some votes. Show us you are not another Clinton."

For the record, Obama IS opposed to Proposition 8, calling it a "divisive and discriminatory effort to amend the California Constitution", but he is AGAINST gay marriage BUT supports equal rights for gay couples under the law. Got that?

Look. Clearly gay marriage has emerged as this decade's third-rail of electoral politics. Remember how well Karl Rove has used it thus far? Obama's playing out the clock on this one and Sullivan knows that. Younger voters don't have a problem with gay marriage and older voters won't be around to prevent it from happening. I'm not saying that makes blocking gay marriage today "okay", I'm just saying I think most gays and lesbians rightfully think that having Obama/Biden in the White House is better than McCain/Palin. Calling on Obama to thrust himself into this issue by "making an ad and speaking loudly" is defeatist at best. After 8 years of George Bush, I think Obama's earned the right to play it safe...


Film Commentary: "The Secret Life of Bees"

I thoroughly enjoyed watching this movie. I will repeat, I REALLY liked it.

I don't ask for much any more in a film. All I ask is that you make me care enough about the characters to either sympathize with them, laugh at them, or be very impressed by their stunt doubles. Oh and the acting should be strong, and the writing and the directing. Umm, maybe I am asking for a lot. Anyway, this movie covered all my bases and I strongly recommend it.

Alright yes, one could label it as one of those 'female films,' but I think I am doing it a disservice to call it a 'chick flick'. It is a good movie. Period.

One dissenting voice - my mother. In a nutshell she grudgingly liked it. Two points she made:

(1) She thought it was unrealistic and,

(2) She is tired of having black stories told through the prism of white people. As if without them we don't have stories to tell, which of course isn't true. However, try and get big dollar financing for a story involving black people where no white person is prominently featured and you tell me how long it takes you. I'm not saying it can't happen, I'm just saying it's going to take some time.

Even though I thought she was being a downer, I had to concede that she had a point. I actually posed this same assessment to a friend about films based on the African experience. I will reserve additional commentary on that point until a later date. I gotta wrap this up.

I also mentioned to my mum that the film is adapted from a best selling novel - she rolled her eyes at me. Oh well.

I think I was just happy to see a well done, positive representation of black people on the big screen. Frankly I can't get enough of it. Having Barack Obama as the democratic presidential nominee has brought out the best and the worst of our citizenry. The ignorance and hatred running rampant at these McCain/Palin rallies is depressing and if I watch too many clips I feel my spirit start to weaken. Watching the film, which takes place in 1964, reminded me of just how far we have come as a nation and that there is always hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Yes - no matter where my posts begin, all roads always lead to Obama!

Very many props to Gina Prince-Bythewood!!

Film Commentary: "W"

How one man's need to receive approval from his father led to America's downfall

Saw "W" this weekend. Oliver Stone presented a fairly balanced film. He certainly didn't Michael Moore it and destroy the man - even though he had plenty of ammo. He honestly tried to provide a legitimate portrayal of his strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, goals, etc.

I cannot tell you whether or not the film is good. I was so shaken by watching the beginning of the end play out before my eyes that I couldn't register the film as a whole. Watching the origins of our descent into military chaos and hell, the origins of our loss of credibility abroad and the whys and hows of how all that kicked off was all consuming.

I did maintain presence of mind to notice the acting:

Josh Brolin did a magnificent job although the parts where he played the young George Bush were uncomfortable to watch. No amount of hair dye and make up was going to convince me that a 40 year Brolin was an 18 year old college Bush. Naw. Nevertheless his acting was superb.

Jeffrey Wright's Colin Powell was stellar and Stone's portrayal of Powell was interesting to watch. Portraying Powell as the lone voice of reason during the first Bush administration, Stone presented a classic "me" against "them" scenario - until it wasn't.

Richard Dreyfuss's Cheney could have been more sinister but I may think that only because I think Cheney is evil incarnate.

Thandi Newton as Condi Rice. Apparently I missed the memo about who was playing Bush's girlfriend (just kidding but she was definitely his gal 'friday'). Here I am wondering who the hell is playing this character and why on earth is she so god awful. Let me repeat - GOD AWFUL! I don't really care for or at this point even respect Ms. Rice however that was the absolute worst portrayal and performance in the damn film. Both Stone and Newton should be scolded. Newton for not recognizing that she was in over her head with this one and Stone because well he was the damn director and should have discerned how truly horrific that performance was. Yuck!

James Cromwell's GB1 was a quite likable statesmen, except that by the end of the film Stone leaves you thinking that if GB1 hadn't been such a distant and disapproving father (rightly so) to GB2 the last eight years may have never happened.

Stone's assertions:

(1) GB2 desperately wanted his father's approval and love (damn that overachieving Jeb Bush!!)

(2) GB2 was a scrappy, good natured frat boy who hated to lose. No really, I mean HATED to lose. Oh and he has a wee bit of an ego . . .

(3) GB2 is not a stupid man, he's just a lazy and indifferent learner - come on you knew what he was trying to say during all those occasions when he MANGLED the english language.

(4) GB2 actually had good intentions for the country. He really thought he was doing what was best for everyone. It was that diabolical Cheney who wanted to control the rest of the world.

Like I said, Stone let him off easy. Perhaps he didn't want to make a truly partisan film. Perhaps he saw it as a challenge as a filmmaker to find the humanity in GB2 and to present as objective a film as possible. Whatever. In any event it really doesn't matter. Everyone (whether they want to admit it or not) is acutely aware of the damage that has occurred in the last eight years and unfortunately not just for America, the rest of the world has suffered as well.

And that is why a President Obama is so desperately needed. I do not trust McCain to apply the type of temperament, nuanced thinking and judgement that we need to start to undue the mess Bush will leave behind.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Black Alaskan OUTRAGE!!!

Black Alaskan Carlos Boozer is pissed.

I was doing some of my regular Sunday morning newspaper reading and came across this headline:


I was naturally intrigued but encountered a story that was more gripe than substance.

First off, I assume that minority equals Black, or at least it does for the article's author. Apparently, Alaska's black political establishment feels slighted due to a lack of representation in Sarah Palin's administration.

Maybe Palin is still upset that she lost the Miss Alaska crown in 1984 to a black woman. Yes, A BLACK WOMAN. IN ALASKA.

Or maybe the lack of minority (read: Black) participation in the administration is due to the fact that Palin is the governor of ALASKA, which, according to the Census, is 3.7% Black. The article's figures put the percentage of black appointees in her administration at 2%, a number that might be higher if political employees were required to report their race. Also, if you factor in that Alaska has sizable military installations, the population of permanent black Alaskans would be smaller.

Basically, I can't fault Palin on the hiring front. I wonder what would be the proper percentage representation in the eyes of those interviewed.

This isn't the first time someone's brought up a lack of black hiring in a state with a miniscule black population. In the 2004 presidential race, Al Sharpton made it an issue that while Howard Dean was governor of Vermont, he had few black political hires. Great point, Al. Oh wait, maybe the reason why there weren't (many) black appointees was the fact that Blacks make up about .7% of the state's populace.

I'm all for black folks being in the upper echelons of government in significant numbers but making a case in Alaska, Vermont, or any other state with similar demographics, is a hard sell.

But best of luck to them, though.

I'm rootin' for ya!*wink*

Palin on SNL

I completely missed SNL last night but caught two clips with Sarah Palin online today.

Both apperances were short and I don't think they'll drastically shift public opinion either way on her. But, I have to say, it was good to see a more humanized verison of a candidate (I still think Bob Dole on SNL was probably the best). And having Alec Baldwin walk her out to the faux press conference was ironic.

Below is a rap Palin supposedly refused to perform during Weekend Update.

Once again, hip-hop shown in its best, or at least most popularly conceived, form...

It's Official...


Well, you heard it here first (probably not, but I'll take the credit).

Since it looks like Powell won't hit the trail, the Obama supporters out there better hope a campaign ad hits the airwaves in Ohio and Florida ASAP with Powell displayed prominently. You raise me a terrorist Muslim who wasn't born in America and I'll trump you with a respected retired general and former Secretary of State. Your tactics just got ethered, son.

Any other suggestions for Team Obama to seize this opportunity? Will there be a Republican counter to Powell?

Saturday, October 18, 2008


ST LOUIS, Missouri (AFP) — A gigantic crowd numbered by police at 100,000 people turned out for a rally here Saturday by Democrat Barack Obama on the closing stretch of the White House campaign.

This Shit Is Wild!


I was procrastinating this morning from writing and did some ego-surfing.

Did you guys know about Huffpo's "FUNDRACE" website.

This shit is WILD.

You can search AMERICA to see who gave what to what candidates. For example if you put in our names you can see that Diallo gave about 3x as much to Obama as I did...

(though I think this thing is laggy cuz I gave O-dog more than is listed but I moved recently...whatever, but still...I always suspected Diallo was rich and now I know...maybe this thing is just from the primary cuz Clinton's name is on it...?**)

But the possibilities of this thing are endless.

Wanna know if your neighbors are Republican or Democrat? Put in your address. Wanna know if your boss gave as much to Obama as she claimed? Put her name in. Wanna know if your favorite actor/singer gave? (well, Thom Yorke can't donate cuz he ain't Murikan, but you get my drift.)

Damn...I just checked on my mom...

...we gotta talk.

(how is this legal?)


ps - **Okay, I just gave some more money to Obama. Damn this WEBSITE!!!

ps2 - okay, so, on a lark I put in the name "Muhammad" the most poplular Arabic name on the planet:

... $750 from 2 people to Republicans
$28,406 from 48 people to Democrats

now we know. There are only 2 Muslim republicans. this site is FANTASTIC.

Increase Obama's Security Detail

Nothing funny here (par for the website's course). Thankfully, I think these folks are outnumbered.

But its sobering nonetheless (h/t to Talking Points Memo).

Friday, October 17, 2008

Here At The Office

It's Friday and it just so happens we're all in the office today...

Bashir is researching the holiday of Kwanzaa. Because he is a Kwanzaan.

Craig stopped by.
"Michelle Malkin is the worst..."

Banging out a killer sketch with Bashir....

All in a day's work.

Flashback Friday: Hip-House Edition

I was going to kick some hardcore isht today but I figured this was one of the lightest weeks we'll have up until the election.

So let's celebrate with some tunes to dance to.

First up, I really enjoy the remix to this joint. Regardless, it's some classic Chicago hip-house.

And we couldn't have hip-house without the JBs.

Ahhh...Enjoy it while you can. Things are going to get hellish quick.

Happy Belated Birthday, Fela

He would've been 70 this week. In 1997, he died of AIDS-related complications.

I have to credit Common's Like Water For Chocolate for putting me up on Fela Kuti in 2000. Man, I'm glad iTunes didn't exist then because I may have never flipped through the liner notes to find out whose son was providing background vocals and what track was being reinterpreted for the Com's father's usual outro, thus depriving me of knowledge of the Nigerian James Brown's insanely addictive rhythms.

And dude had swagger like few others...

I urge you to enter "Fela Kuti" for a YouTube search to check out the documentary on him, if you're interested. He was quite possibly one of the most dynamic characters in music during his time.

Wish you were still here, Mr. Black President.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Coming Soon To A Theatre Near You

Oliver Stone's "P."

Find more videos like this on The Movie Community

The New King Of The Castle

If you're wondering why video games are slowly taking over from movies as sources of ridiculous amounts of revenue, look no further than here



And here...



or here...


(Pavlovian...oh and BTW, Real war sucks...but fake war is the best thing in the universe)

Or...maybe even here:


Maybe...but really it's all about the great minds that foster this kind of innovation.



....yes please.

The Best Thing About The Internet Is The Pictures (p.1)

This page is full of good "what if ads told the truth" pix.


An Open Letter To Some Women

Dear Some Women,

Stop dating douchebags and then making songs...

...about how much he's a douchebag.

Jesus Christ. Date a good man or stay single.

We're all bored by you and this constant fake sorrow. I know these songs make money ever since Gloria Gaynor sang about surviving her brush with a douchebag in 1978...

Don't listen to Bashir, ladies. Return my damned text.

In closing: You have every right to date a douchebag. But when you do so, you lose the right to expect us to care about your complaints about his douche-osity.

Grow up.

The REAL truth about "Joe the Plumber"

From ABC News:

"Wurzelbacher conceded today that he is not in danger of being hit with the higher tax rate. He acknowledged that he wants to buy a plumbing company for $250,000 to $280,000. That wouldn't be how much profit he would make from the firm. He would make much less, he said. That would seem to indicate that Wurzelbacher would not be subject to Obama's proposed tax increase from 36 percent to 39 percent for those making more than $250,000 per family. Instead, he would be eligible for a tax cut that Obama is proposing."

So here is a man that would actually be HELPED by Obama's tax plan (if he actually owned the company, which he does not) and in spite of this, is still pro-McCain. But what's more interesting is what this whole thing says about Americans that CONSISTENTLY vote against their own self-interests. Read this quote from "Joe" and you'll understand what I mean:

"Nevertheless, the plumber said people shouldn't be "punished' for success even if you become a billionaire. 'I don't like it,' said Wurzelbacher. 'You know, me or -- you know, Bill Gates, I don't care who you are. If you worked for it, if it was your idea, and you implemented it, it's not right for someone to decide you made too much' ".


So a guy that is not rich. Will NEVER be rich. Is thinking about how he would feel if he was worth BILLIONS and then basing his vote on his financial FANTASY but not his financial REALITY.

Dear Joe:

There is a two-fold reason why don't hear billionaires (with the exception of Bob Johnson) complain about taxes:

1. They're RICH.
2. They know that if you can't afford to buy their products, they will not make lots of money. Therefore, they understand that the more money you have, the more money you'll blow on their products.

Grow-up Joe!



An Amazing Piece Of Work

I love this picture of Barack.

This man is accomplishing one of the most impeccable balancing acts in all of history. Having to appear both black and not black, both passionate and steady, both American and cosmopolitan, both elite and grounded... and he's pulling it off. He has to have a professor's understanding of the issues and a communicators ability to get the message across. And he's pulling that off too.

Win or lose, this is a man worth knowing, and an American original.

He has my respect.

Chocolate News Open Thread

You can let us know what you thought. Praise or scorn.

But please remember, honesty is the best policy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Please Take Me To Nov. 5th Right Now

I don't do this often, but I went to Fox News' web site and was greeted by this headline...

Hip-Hop-Dancing Colin Powell Fuels Speculation He'll Endorse Obama

I shit you not.

Just put a comma in between "Dancing" and "Colin" and the headline takes on a whole new dimension. Gotta love Fox.

That said, there was a really interesting quote attibuted to Powell:

"I stand before you as an African-American. Many people have said to me you became secretary of state of the USA, is it still necessary to say that you are an African American or that you are black? And I say yes, so that we can remind our children."

I've admired Colin Powell since the 1996 Republican Convention when he spoke before the crowd about his support for affirmative action, a declaration that got noticably booed. And he even made what was then just an allusion to war in Iraq more palpable for me while he was Secretary of State.

With the above quote, though, I just had to say to myself, "Dang, he's going all out". Given his previous statements on Obama, I had a sense he would make an endorsement of him (though it's still unofficial).

But I just have to wonder if this will have any effect on anyone or could this just be seen as another (black) celebrity backing Obama.

What say you?

Pretty Damn Funny

Palin As President

(hint, don't click the red phone 'til the end)

Support This Or Else

Diallo, Craig and I have had the good please of being acquainted with Phonte of Little Brother. (Raleigh/Durham stand up!)

Well, his collaborative project Foreign Exchange with Nicolay has produced the best album of the year so far: Leave It All Behind.

Even BET agrees.

Diallo already told you to go buy but I wanna second it.

It's great. My personal fave is "Sweeter Than You".

So...go buy it right now.

No pressure or anything but if you don't buy it today you must hate America and Black people.

That is all.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

So Far...

...So Good.


Guys, the show airs tomorrow night. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on it. We'll do a post on it tomorrow for all the things you think.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hot Music Monday

In case you were wondering what I was bumping all weekend:
"Take Off the Blues" (that fire)

Friday, October 10, 2008

I'm Not A Fan

When comedy website Stuff White People Like first debuted, tons if imitation sites sprang up, like "Stuff Asian People Like" and "Stuff Indian People Like"....

....and, sadly, Stuff Educated Black People Like.

I was immediately offended by its title.

We're the only race who take pride in looking for any Goddamn reason in the world to internally self-segregate.

OBVIOUSLY...the other sites didn't speak for all whites or all Asians, but we had to make it a point to take pride in the cultural stratification of our community. We couldn't wait to say..."we're not like those bad ones."

Just as white people separated us between house and field, so too do we keep it up.

(Jack & Jill, I'm looking in your direction.)

LOOK, I get it. The idea of a "black community" is a tough sell nowadays as anyone would be hard pressed to define the parameters of said community. And I get it that there are legitimate socio-economic differences that play themselves out in our preferences.

And yet, in my family, and in yours I bet, education and opportunity run the gamut. In my family we have rich and we have scraping by. We have light and dark and all shades in between. And we have those who start their day with a blunt and those who end their day by closing a multi-million dollar deal.

And we are all black.

Our internal stratification is why intersections like Crenshaw and King in LA or 118th and Cottage Grove in Chicago are so different from Fort Greene in Brooklyn.

Some of us got a little money and just broke the fuck out, WHICH IS FINE, I'd never begrudge a woman or man from living in a great location...

...but we also broke the fuck out MENTALLY as well.

Chris Rock's description of the difference between "blacks" and "niggers", while hilarious, is itself a problem in that it furthers the abdication of our responsibility.

YES...we have a responsibility. Historically, those more fortunate GAVE BACK...yet my generation is spotty about this. And I don't care if you were born and raised in a rich some point, if you're a black American, someone in your family is better off because of the SACRIFICES of our shared ancestors.

Thank God this guy doesn't think like we do.

I know we are all different. And I know we all lead different lives.

I just WISH we didn't care so little about how much we SHOULD be connected to each other.

Frankly, sometimes I'm shocked Barack has 90% of our support.

(thanks, David)

Breathtakingly Depressing

Saw this on Daily Kos.

Holy crap.

I guess if it gets young people to vote that's a good thing.

Flashback Friday: Producers on the Mic

This week I got a new CD in the mail that made me think about the great hip-hop producers that are, or were, strong on the mic.

That CD was from this dude...

Classic material.

But you can't have a discussion of dope producers on the microphone without mentioning Diamond D...

Gotta love a skinny Anthony Mason having what was likely his only hip-hop video cameo.

Other than Pete Rock and Jay Dee, who are some other beatmakers who've held their own with the verbage?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Something I Haven't Been Able To Get Out Of My Head

My early teens occurred prior to me having the Web access I now enjoy. I grew up in the boondocks without the critical mass necessary to demand BET from our cable supplier so, therefore, MTV was my doorway into the popular black culture of the time.

I used to record episodes of "Fade to Black" and whatever other black program they had. Every once and awhile I'll pull out one of the VHS tapes and take a trip back to the early '90s.

This is one of the videos that appeared on a tape and it's been stuck in my head ever since.

After watching this, I'm glad, in a way, that present-day BET and MTV won't show anything this deep. I know we all tend to berate the current state of urban music but there's something to be said for brain candy. Should we really be asked to comptemplate social inequities at every turn and confront them in every medium we consume?

Who here is with me on the need for mind numbing goodness?

I Will Never Get Tired Of This (p. 4)

What Hussein Really Means...

I read Bashir's post below and it made me think. Barack's middle name isn't the issue in and of itself. It's how said middle name enables the myth. The problem's with myths is that for many people, they ultimately become real in spite of all evidence to the contrary. See example:

A myth is difficult to kill...especially when your using said myth to mask your racism.

When can we stop pretending that this Presidential race is one of ideas?

Just asking...

P.S. You know what I would love. Is that on the evening of November 4th, when Barack gives his speech...oh nevermind.

What Am I Missing?


You guys know I'm a STAUNCH supporter of Barry "the big dog" O.

And I GET IT...that McCain/Palin wanna use his middle name to make him sound foreign.

But why is that off limits?

Why do Campbell Brown and other pundits feel this is unfair race baiting. I mean, even if it IS race baiting (by the way it IS race baiting) I just don't see how one can argue:

"don't use his middle name, that's not fair".

W T F?

(and I also KNOW that Obama has NEVER argued as much and is much too classy and civilized to do so)

A small part of me thinks it's a slippery slope if it's off limits to say his middle name. It's his heritage and, by avoiding say it, we're saying that:

a. The implication is that Muslims are evil.

(I was raised Muslim. I'm not evil. Well...okay, I fu*king HATE small if you try to strike up small talk with me I might dismiss you. Also, something in my heart died a few years back in that I used to give pan-handlers money every single time I saw them and now I don't any more...I dunno why either, I just don't. But that's not evil, is it?)

b. The other implication is that White people are so damn stupid they will change their vote cuz they'll think he's secretly a terrorist.

Is there ANY OBAMA VOTER IN THE LAND who doesn't know his middle name? Is there ANYONE currently planning to vote for Obama because of a litany of good reasons, that don't know his middle name?

Swing Voter: "Hussein?!? Awwww, hell no. Are you serious. Well to screw the health care and economic stability...I can't vote for him now that I just found that out...also, dad, you wanna play catch?"

People know his middle name and he still has a ridiculous lead in every poll.

What am I missing?

And is this PC gone too far...

...or am I talking when I should be shutting up because, even if Campbell Brown is wrong, her statement helps Obama and that's what I want and I need to be big picture the way Republicans are so we can finally win one of these.



ps - Campbell Brown is right about one thing...The only net negative I see is that, just like some Hillary voters still plan on giving McCain support because Hillary whipped them into such a frenzy, so too can whipping up people by saying his middle name could endanger his actual life...not that racists/evil people need any more of a reason to hate Obama.

However, I think that whipping the crowd into a frenzy starts on the web before the candidates even the time people show up in a McCain/Palin rally, they don't need any incentive to get crazy.

New Music - The Foreign Exchange

A new album this week from friend of The Message Phonte (also of Little Brother) and Dutch producer Nicolay, aka The Foreign Exchange.

"Leave It All Behind." Cop it, if you haven't already. Definitely worth it.

My fave tracks so far? "Take Off the Blues" and "House of Cards."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"What the hell happened to Jennifer!?!?"

Damn, calm down, people.

She's Right Here:

Phoenix (The Amazing Flight Of Lone Star).

Now go show her blog some love.

Beyonce, W T F?


I've been a staunch defender of Beyonce for many years when friends said she couldn't sing, or wasn't that talented.

But BOSSIP posted her latest song "Single Ladies"...and I've had enough.


Check out this "new"'s hot. (right?)

Craig can probably tell you better than I who her producer is or why her label thinks she needs to release the same damn song over and over and over...but I don't get it.

I still think she has singing talent, but her work is becoming repetitive. And boring. And, worst of all, predictable.

Say what you will about Mary J. Blige (her only LEGIT* contemporary competition) but at least she TRIES to re-invent herself and her art on every album. I KNOW Mary will be doing tours til she's in her late 60's BECAUSE her music, while not at exciting as Beyonce, is certainly more diverse and reaches more types of listeners.

I was at the Mary J (sold out) concert with Jay Z at Madison Square Garden. A group of like 15 year old girls were in the sky box next to mine...I figured they were there for Jay. They KNEW and SANG all of Mary's OLD stuff from when I was in high school.

You can pre-order tickets for my "No More Polar Ice Caps" tour in 2032.

Mary J has staying power...

...While Beyonce keeps doing the same song. And at a time when music is more disposable than ever, sooner or later that's gonna catch up with her.

Am I right?



Yeah I said it. Let's look at the competition: (I like these singers, but let's keep it real)

CIARA - Glorified one hit wonder.

ALICIA KEYS - Not on Beyonce's level. She couldn't sell out Gothenburg, Sweden.

RIHANNA - Decent voice and great international appeal. But I'm not sure she even LIKES singing. She's always doing other shit. Let's see if she decides to do another album.

JANET JACKSON - Officially in the doldrums. I still think she can pull off another winning album, but it hasn't happened in a while

ASHANTI - See Ciara.



KEYSHIA COLE - potential, but has terrible singing form. With the way she strains, she will be permanently hoarse by summer 2009.

THE OTHER LADIES OF DESTINY'S CHILD - waiting patiently for Beyonce to return their text messages.

...nuff said...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Finally! A campaign ad for "thinking" adults!

Where Our Time Goes

Wonder why our blogging has been sparse of late?

We've been writing on this:

October 15, premiere.

Monday, October 6, 2008

We Knew This Shit Was About To Happen

(Just saw this on MSNBC)

With McCain DOWN in every single poll...

They needed to change the subject...

So our REPUBLICAN RAN executive government just issued a warning that...

wait for it....

Terrorists are plotting against America.

The best part of the article is this:

Authors with the U.S. Office of Intelligence and Analysis added that they have "no credible or specific information that terrorists are planning operations against public buildings in the United States." The FBI and DHS analysts said they were releasing the note because "it is important for local authorities and building owners and operators to be aware of potential attack tactics."

Happy October,'s about to get NASTY

Tyler Perry v. The Writers

Tyler is being picketed by the Writers Guild. Seems he was less than enthused about the writers on his show getting the same benefits they'd get on most shows (most network shows are Union work).

Now Anne Marie Johnson has come out on the side of the writers as well.

"As a unionist and 11 year National Board member of the Screen Actors Guild, I was extremely disappointed to hear about the current situation facing the four fired "House Of Payne" writers. As an actor who occasionally appears on Mr. Perry's show, I am conflicted and angry. I realize that speaking publicly in support of the writers will jeopardize my recurring role, but Mr. Perry's firing of writers, for negotiating for fair WGA coverage, including health insurance, does not speak well for a man who claims to believe in family, pride in ones race and artistic equality. It's time he steps up to do the right thing."

We'll see how Tyler responds.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

There Is No Justice!


I believe in karma. OJ is going to jail.

This dude flaunted his previous acquittal...but sooner or later it was gonna catch up to him. He may now, ironically, spend the rest of his life in jail over trying to regain mementos to his sports triumphs. (he's a black man after all and 61, so he ain't got a ton of years left.)

Cruel world.

"I'm at the top of my game and can't POSSIBLY be stopped."


BY THE WAY - if you actually read the AP article to which I've linked, Simpson is CLEARLY innocent as hell...

But then again, so was Nicole Brown.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Future Shock

Creating comedy is a lot like creating music.

From Pete Rock to Kanye, a lot of my favorite hip hop producers put a new spin on something obscure from the past. In other words, nothing is ever completely irrelevant and nothing is ever totally new.

With that in mind, the below clip is a comedic filmmaker's version of "digging in the crates."

When I grow up, I'm gonna be just like Orson Welles. Moving through the airport, smoking a cigar and spitting out facts to y'all!

But seriously, if you get a chance, watch the FUTURE SHOCK documentary. Someone was kind enough to post the whole thing on YouTube.