Saturday, March 31, 2007

Mia Spanks Spielberg

"One World, One Dream" is China's slogan for its 2008 Olympics. But there is one nightmare that China shouldn't be allowed to sweep under the rug. That nightmare is Darfur, where more than 400,000 people have been killed and more than two-and-a-half million driven from flaming villages by the Chinese-backed government of Sudan.

That so many corporate sponsors want the world to look away from that atrocity during the games is bad enough. But equally disappointing is the decision of artists like director Steven Spielberg -- who quietly visited China this month as he prepares to help stage the Olympic ceremonies -- to sanitize Beijing's image. Is Mr. Spielberg, who in 1994 founded the Shoah Foundation to record the testimony of survivors of the holocaust, aware that China is bankrolling Darfur's genocide?

...Does Mr. Spielberg really want to go down in history as the Leni Riefenstahl of the Beijing Games? Do the various television sponsors around the world want to share in that shame? Because they will. Unless, of course, all of them add their singularly well-positioned voices to the growing calls for Chinese action to end the slaughter in Darfur."

-- Mia Farrow, in an editorial that appeared in the Wall Street Journal, on Steven Spielberg's agreeing to help the Chinese goverment with their presentation of the 2008 Olympics.

For the rest of the editorial, click here

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Video of the Day


MC Karl Rove

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Video of the Day



"GO BACK TO AFRICA AND DO YOUR GAY VOODOO LIMBO TANGO AND WANGO DANCE AND JUMP AROUND AND PRANCE AND RUN ALL OVER THE PLACE HALF NAKED THERE.
-- U.S. Army recruiter Sgt. Marcia Ramode, using her military email address to respond to Jersey City resident Corey Andrew, after Ramode learned Andrew was gay."


From what I've been able to gather, shortly after Sgt. Ramode sent her first racist/homophobic reply, Corey Andrew responded with some fucked up slurs about Ms. Ramode's Native American heritage. But homegirl, being all that she could be, would not back down, and came back with the cap-lock double barrel of racism and homophobia that must surely make her superiors proud. Repping the military hard in the '07.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Of course, it's in Texas... They're just real with theirs


I am a 14-year-old black freshman who shoved a hall monitor at Paris High School in a dispute over entering the building before the school day had officially begun and was sentenced to 7 years in prison. I have no prior arrest record, and the hall monitor--a 58-year-old teacher's aide--was not seriously injured. I was tried in March 2006 in the town's juvenile court, convicted of "assault on a public servant" and sentenced by Lamar County Judge Chuck Superville to prison for up to 7 years, until I turn 21. Just three months earlier, Superville sentenced a 14-year-old white girl, convicted of arson for burning down her family's house, to probation.

I wrote a long blog about this case a few days ago, only to have it vanish into cyber-murk forever. I was too frustrated to re-do the post and let it fall to the back-burner. Extemely lame on my part. I've received a few emails on the story and thought I'd at least give a brief overview and pose some items for you to ponder as you (hopefully) read the links provided. The story above is what happened, in a nutshell, in the words of 14-year-old Shaquanda Cotton, who has reportedly already attempted suicide 3 times since being sentenced.

Interesting to note:


Shaquanda has no priors.

Her mom has been a thorn in the side of the city's powers-that-be for the shoddy state of the school system. Black parents have filed at least 12 discrimination complaints against the Paris, Texas school district with the federal Education Department, asserting that their children, who constitute 40 percent of the district’s nearly 4,000 students, were singled out for excessive discipline. The Paris public schools are under investigation by the U.S. Education Department.

A 19-year-old white man, convicted last july of criminally negligent homicide for killing a 54-year-old black woman and her 3-year-old grandson with his truck, was sentenced in Paris to probation.

Judge Superville sentenced a 14-year-old white girl, convicted of arson for burning down her family’s house, to probation.

All the above facts can be found here.

The Chicago Tribune has a good write up (which also contains the above info and more) here, but for those who'd rather not register to read, I've cut & pasted:

TO SOME IN PARIS, SINISTER PAST IS BACK
In Texas, a white teenager burns down her family's home and receives probation. A black one shoves a hall monitor and gets 7 years in prison. The state NAACP calls it `a signal to black folks.'

By Howard Witt
Tribune senior correspondent
Published March 12, 2007

PARIS, Texas -- The public fairgrounds in this small east Texas town look ordinary enough, like so many other well-worn county fair sites across the nation. Unless you know the history of the place.

There are no plaques or markers to denote it, but several of the most notorious public lynchings of black Americans in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries were staged at the Paris Fairgrounds, where thousands of white spectators would gather to watch and cheer as black men were dragged onto a scaffold, scalded with hot irons and finally burned to death or hanged.
Brenda Cherry, a local civil rights activist, can see the fairgrounds from the front yard of her modest home, in the heart of the "black" side of this starkly segregated town of 26,000. And lately, Cherry says, she's begun to wonder whether the racist legacy of those lynchings is rebounding in a place that calls itself "the best small town in Texas."

"Some of the things that happen here would not happen if we were in Dallas or Houston," Cherry said. "They happen because we are in this closed town. I compare it to 1930s."

There was the 19-year-old white man, convicted last July of criminally negligent homicide for killing a 54-year-old black woman and her 3-year-old grandson with his truck, who was sentenced in Paris to probation and required to send an annual Christmas card to the victims' family.

There are the Paris public schools, which are under investigation by the U.S. Education Department after repeated complaints that administrators discipline black students more frequently, and more harshly, than white students.

And then there is the case that most troubles Cherry and leaders of the Texas NAACP, involving a 14-year-old black freshman, Shaquanda Cotton, who shoved a hall monitor at Paris High School in a dispute over entering the building before the school day had officially begun.

The youth had no prior arrest record, and the hall monitor--a 58-year-old teacher's aide--was not seriously injured. But Shaquanda was tried in March 2006 in the town's juvenile court, convicted of "assault on a public servant" and sentenced by Lamar County Judge Chuck Superville to prison for up to 7 years, until she turns 21.

Just three months earlier, Superville sentenced a 14-year-old white girl, convicted of arson for burning down her family's house, to probation.

"All Shaquanda did was grab somebody and she will be in jail for 5 or 6 years?" said Gary Bledsoe, an Austin attorney who is president of the state NAACP branch. "It's like they are sending a signal to black folks in Paris that you stay in your place in this community, in the shadows, intimidated."

The Tribune generally does not identify criminal suspects younger than age 17, but is doing so in this case because the girl and her family have chosen to go public with their story.

None of the officials involved in Shaquanda's case, including the local prosecutor, the judge and Paris school district administrators, would agree to speak about their handling of it, citing a court appeal under way.
But the teen's defenders assert that long before the September 2005 shoving incident, Paris school officials targeted Shaquanda for scrutiny because her mother had frequently accused school officials of racism.

Retaliation alleged


"Shaquanda started getting written up a lot after her mother became involved in a protest march in front of a school," said Sharon Reynerson, an attorney with Lone Star Legal Aid, who has represented Shaquanda during challenges to several of the disciplinary citations she received. "Some of the write-ups weren't fair to her or accurate, so we felt like we had to challenge each one to get the whole story."

Among the write-ups Shaquanda received, according to Reynerson, were citations for wearing a skirt that was an inch too short, pouring too much paint into a cup during an art class and defacing a desk that school officials later conceded bore no signs of damage.
Shaquanda's mother, Creola Cotton, does not dispute that her daughter can behave impulsively and was sometimes guilty of tardiness or speaking out of turn at school--behaviors that she said were manifestations of Shaquanda's attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, for which the teen was taking prescription medication.

Nor does Shaquanda herself deny that she pushed the hall monitor after the teacher's aide refused her permission to enter the school before the morning bell--although Shaquanda maintains that she was supposed to have been allowed to visit the school nurse to take her medication, and that the teacher's aide pushed her first.

But Cherry alleges that Shaquanda's frequent disciplinary write-ups, and the insistence of school officials at her trial that she deserved prison rather than probation for the shoving incident, fits in a larger pattern of systemic discrimination against black students in the Paris Independent School District.

In the past five years, black parents have filed at least a dozen discrimination complaints against the school district with the federal Education Department, asserting that their children, who constitute 40 percent of the district's nearly 4,000 students, were singled out for excessive discipline.
An attorney for the school district, Dennis Eichelbaum, said the Education Department had determined all of the complaints to be unfounded.

"The [department] has explained that the school district has not and does not discriminate, that the school district has been a leader and very progressive when it comes to race relations, and that there was no validity to the allegations made by the complainants," Eichelbaum said.

Not so clear


But the federal investigations of the school district are not so clear-cut, and they are not finished. In one 2004 finding, Education Department officials determined that black students at a Paris middle school were being written up for disciplinary infractions more than twice as often as white students--and eight times as often in one category, "class disruption."

The Education Department asked the U.S. Justice Department to try to mediate disputes between black parents and the district, but school officials pulled out of the process last December before it was concluded.
And in April 2006, the Education Department notified Paris school officials that it was opening a new, comprehensive review to determine "whether the district discriminated against African-American students on the basis of race" between 2004 and 2006. Federal officials say that investigation is still in progress.

According to one veteran Paris teacher, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution, such discrimination is widespread.

"There is a philosophy of giving white kids a break and coming down on black kids," said the teacher, who is white.

Not everyone in Paris agrees, however, that blacks are treated unfairly by the city's institutions.
"I've lived here all my life, and I don't see that," said Mary Ann Reed Fisher, one of two black members of the Paris City Council. "My kids went to Paris High School, and they never had one minute of a problem with the school system, the courts or the police."

A peculiar inmate


Meanwhile, Shaquanda, a first-time offender, remains something of an anomaly inside the Texas Youth Commission prison system, where officials say 95 percent of the 2,500 juveniles in their custody are chronic, serious offenders who already have exhausted county-level programs such as probation and local treatment or detention.
"The Texas Youth Commission is reserved for those youth who are most violent or most habitual," said commission spokesman Tim Savoy. "The whole concept of commitment until your 21st birthday should be recognized as a severe penalty, and that's why it's typically the last resort of the juvenile system in Texas."

Inside the youth prison in Brownwood where she has been incarcerated for the past 10 months--a prison currently at the center of a state scandal involving a guard who allegedly sexually abused teenage inmates--Shaquanda, who is now 15, says she has not been doing well.

Three times she has tried to injure herself, first by scratching her face, then by cutting her arm. The last time, she said, she copied a method she saw another young inmate try, knotting a sweater around her neck and yanking it tight so she couldn't breathe. The guards noticed her sprawled inside her cell before it was too late.

She tried to harm herself, Shaquanda said, out of depression, desperation and fear of the hardened young thieves, robbers, sex offenders and parole violators all around her whom she must try to avoid each day.
"I get paranoid when I get around some of these girls," Shaquanda said. "Sometimes I feel like I just can't do this no more--that I can't survive this."

----------

I have no problem with her being disciplined for shoving/pushing the worker. But that should be detention, suspension... not 7 years in lock-up.

Write to Shaquanda at:
Ron Jackson Correctional Complex,
Unit 2, Dorm 4
P.O. Box 872
Brownwood, Texas 76804
1125308

Write to the judge:
Honorable M.C. (Chuck) Superville, Jr., Judge
Lamar County Courthouse
119 North Main
Paris, TX 75460
Phone # 903-737-2410
Fax # 903-785-3858

The governor:
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428

Office of the Governor
State Insurance Building
1100 San Jacinto
Austin, Texas 78701

Citizen's Opinion Hotline: (800) 252-9600
[for Texas callers]

Citizen's Assistance and Opinion Hotline: (512) 463-1782
[for Austin, Texas and out-of-state callers]

Office of the Governor Main Switchboard: (512) 463-2000
[office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST]

Office of the Governor Fax: (512) 463-1849

Shaquanda's blog.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Me and Miss Winehouse: 'Scuse Me While I Gush



The other day, mi amor de la vida (este semana), sent me a link from Gawker. Folks at that site were asking/talking about Amy Winehouse. I replied back that I had to stop reading mid-way in 'cause I'm not crazy about the site or their demographic. Then I wrote out the following:

Amy is hilarious and soulful and insane/ly talented. But she doesn’t have anywhere near her the snark or smarm or “ironic” posturing that has infected and decimated too much American pop culture and criticism – and that is the defining trait of far too many of these culture blogs that clog the net. That “too-cool-for-school” shit is gonna be around for a long while to come but it’s already over. Tired. Played out. What’s brave is those folks – artists, civilians and bloggers alike – who are willing to lead with heart, to expose soul. To be vulnerable and risk fucking up in grand and public ways as they seek love, knowledge and self. I think that’s the reason Amy has connected with so many real people. The crowd at her show, thank every deity of every faith, wasn’t just Gawker / Dlisted / Defamer hipsters and gossips looking for the next big hype. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised at how many of that brigade was not there. Instead, it was a human buffet: middle-aged women singing their hearts out; next to me was a trio of friends – two black women and a Latina, all beautiful – who looked like they probably work in the same dreary office and were out for a night to see a woman who sang some real shit with which they could identify, and they were all playfully bitching about the humidity and the paucity of straight men in the crowd; there were obnoxious WeHo queens of all ages and hip-hop kids sporting their Okayplayer gear and folks of every stripe who just are starved for some good music… And, yeah, there were hipsters. I hate contrived Kumbayah Benneton gatherings but this was real, organic.



I love Amy because she plays with femme artifice in a half-ass way, like a knowing and indifferent old drag queen, letting you know she enjoys the haphazardly worn female gear but doesn’t take it seriously at all. That it’s only the ribbon on the prize that is her gift. I mean, the woman is missing a big ass tooth on the side, and clearly does not give a fuck. And she can do all that because she knows – aside from whatever insecurities and fears gnaw her nipples late at night (and her busted-relationship-fueled boozing, drugging and rail-thin frame make it clear she ain’t the most Disney of characters) – that she does have something to say, that she is talented. She luxuriates in her voice like some booze-sopped old jazz singer who can do more on cruise-control than your average pop or r&b starlet can with a team of militaristic dancers and state-of-the-art DAT equipment. She’s a beautiful, fucked up mess.



Highlight of the night for me: After she fake-finished her set and headed offstage before returning for the encore, “Rehab.” (When she announced that “Me and Mr. Jones” was the last song of the night and the crowd groaned loudly, she rolled her eyes and playfully chastised us, “C’mon, now. You know it’s not really the last song of the night. I think this is a game we’ve all played before…”) As she exited stage right, the thick velvet curtain covering the exit was pulled back by one of her musicians so she could step through. She was flanked by her back-up singers and band. A naked, super bright light-bulb hung from the ceiling backstage, creating a silhouette of Amy that was made of towering hair, the curve of her shoulder and the arm of someone steadying her as she walked down the stairs. It was beautiful, like the back of some old “live” album from the ‘50s or ‘60s.

Here’s my review of the concert, found in this week’s LA Weekly.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Coup Beg to be Audited


from a press release sent out today by their label:

The Coup Calls Up MySpace Friends To Encourage G.I. Rebellion

Boots Riley – The Coup’s revered, thought-provoking MC – is hoping to utilize a post of his band’s incendiary, anti-war song “Captain Sterling’s Little Problem” on its MySpace Blog (www.myspace.com/thecoupmusic) as a means to spark a G.I. Rebellion against the War In Iraq.

Riley is encouraging The Coup’s 25,000 MySpace friends to download the Pick A Bigger Weapon track, which features guitar by Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello, for free and send it via email or burned CD to everyone they know in the military. In doing so, Riley believes the G.I. dissent could prompt Congress to act more decisively.

“I have this suggestion: the soldiers should demand to be returned home, using any means necessary to make this happen,” Boots blogs. "This would lead to a swift end to this war, saving countless lives, both U.S. and Iraqi… Congress hasn’t done more than give lip service to wanting the war to end. The people that are directly affected by this war are going to have to act.”

“Captain Sterling’s Little Problem” was originally recorded as the theme for “Sir! No Sir!,” David Zieger’s recent documentary of the Vietnam War. Inspired by the stories that some of the veterans tell in the film, Boots reports that “at one point a Pentagon report deemed half of the soldiers in Vietnam were ‘mutinous and not to be trusted’,” adding that “the largely unreported G.I. rebellions played a very important role in stopping the Vietnam war.”

Counting lines like, “You brought us to this country not to free but bodybag them/And free up all their money so accounting firms can add them ," the scorching song – from the Associated Press’ #1 album of 2006 – cannot be ignored.

“So far about 600,000 Iraqi civilians have died in this war and at least 3,100 U.S. soldiers have died,” Riley writes. “Much has been publicized about the role that music plays in the military today. I’ve seen a few news segments about the music that soldiers are listening to on their Walkmans and MP3 players – how they listen to certain songs to get in the mood to do what they have to do. Besides the motivation of purely expressing my thoughts, my experience and my emotions, I also make music to influence people to see my point of view.”

Riley – who was recently selected as keynote speaker for UC Berkeley’s Black Graduation on May 12th – will join The Coup for an explosive set next month at The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on Sunday, April 29th.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Homophobia, Race, Power and Politics

Why Are Whites So Homophobic?

By Keith Boykin

Why are white people so homophobic? That's the question I want someone to answer today after the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Monday that he considers homosexuality to be immoral. Marine Gen. Peter Pace compared homosexuality to adultery, which he said was also immoral, and said the U.S. armed forces should not allow gays to serve openly in the military, according to the Chicago Tribune. "I do not believe the United States is well served by a policy that says it is OK to be immoral in any way," Pace said.

Every time a Tim Hardaway or an Isaiah Washington or an unknown black preacher makes an anti-gay comment, reporters call me up and ask why are black people so homophobic. But when high-profile white people make homophobic remarks, nobody ever asks why are white people so homophobic. They should, because the answers to the two questions are related. African Americans are homophobic because white Americans are homophobic. We all live in the same homophobic society, and in this case the prejudice starts from the president on down.

Rest of essay is here

Thursday, March 15, 2007

YouTube Clip of the Day: FOX Attacks Black America

Paul Mooney interviewed by The Onion A.V. Club


An interview with the great Paul Mooney. A couple of pull-quotes:

On his giving up the word nigger:

"...And the way I used the word, I was an ambassador for the word. The way I used the word, I was a part of it too. It became an equal-opportunity word. All the little white kids, all the little Latin kids, the Asians, the Mexicans, they were all using it. And it shouldn't be equal opportunity. Even though some people say "We use the n-a, not the n-e," it doesn't matter. A goat's a goat. Whether you sauté or barbeque it, it's still a goat... I'm backing off it now. I have to tell you a story. Whoopi Goldberg called me when all this was going on, and said, 'Paul, you're the ambassador for the N-word, but I'm going to have to ask you for a week pass. I have to cuss some black folks out on Friday, but after that, I won't say it any more.' That's a true story, and I gave her a pass because she asked for one."

On whether he was angry with Dave Chappelle for ending his show on Comedy Central:

"No. That's his show. That's not my show. They asked me to host some "lost tapes" or something. I told them no, If Dave doesn't approve it, I don't want to do it. You have to have some loyalty somewhere. That was his choice and his show. I wasn't angry about that. It was a smart move. It put him on the A-list. And then he went to Africa. He did what white people have been telling me to do for years: go to Africa. So that really caused controversy. And he turned down that money. That stressed people out. Millions. People in America worship money, and a white man's face on a green piece of paper does not make me wealthy. My health makes me wealthy. I used to work at a hospital, so I know the real deal."

On why he never did drugs:


"I've been around a lot of drug addicts. Redd Foxx, Flip Wilson, all of 'em. I don't do drugs. Because my grandmother raised me. I think like an old, black, Southern woman. If I'd have done coke, I'd probably be cooking pancakes."

For the rest of the interview, click here

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Quote of the Day

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?"
--Mary Oliver, "The Summer Day"

What Kind of Fuckery is This?


Not really feeling the strong undercurrent of Great White Hope-ism wisping the stateside media reception that's been granted the aptly surnamed Amy Winehouse, but goddamn Back to Black is a fantastic CD. I only heard a few tracks when it was available solely on import and I liked what I heard (a big departure from her debut, Frank) but I wanted to hear more before becoming a convert. I'll now gladly sign off on the hype. That she dropped the word "fuckery" in a lyric long after it's receded from popular usage (at least among the malcontents I know) makes me love her boozing / allegedly ('cause I ain't trying to get sued) drugging / clearly tortured ass even more. I'll check in later with a more detailed review but I'll just say now that the wit, humor, pathos and intelligence of her songwriting, the near perfection of the production, and that aged, wizened voice are just killing me right now. And I am a dick because part of me is keeping fingers-crossed that she actually just shows up for her LA concerts next week and puts on the kind of show that has made jaws drop in awe... But the trainwreck she can so often be also has its admittedly fucked up appeal. In the meantime, here are some clips:

MUSIC VIDEO 1 from the new album


MUSIC VIDEO 2 from the new album


MUSIC VIDEO 1 from debut album (available on import here in the U.S.)


MUSIC VIDEO 2 from the debut album


TRAINWRECK

Kali Speaks...

A few weeks ago, I came across a story in the LA Times that was chilling in what it portends about the future, especially in regards to black and brown folk. The thing is, it wasn't even really news. It's something that anyone with half a brain knew was coming and (in some form or another) it's actually been in effect for more than a minute throughout the country... and that's the use of prison inmates as basically slave labor for big business. The March 1st LA Times ran the headline and sub-head, Colorado to use inmates to fill migrant shortage: Tough laws passed last year against illegal immigration have created a need for farmworkers. For those who missed it, the story itself is can be found here.

An interesting side/not-so-side note is this news item from June of last year, noting how Colorado's prison population is growing at five times the rate of the national average. Mmmm, fresh livestock. Click here.

But really, the Times headline and subhead just capsulize the relationships between the prison industrial complex, big business (even though the inmates will be working on farms, you know this is just the beginning of how their cheap labor will be used), the pimp-da-po' function of the American politcal structure, and the low-regard for and interchangeability of black, brown and poor white bodies. Chattel, in other words. Given the increased far-right presence in the nation's courts (just google the right-wing purge spearheaded by current Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, which is only the latest and most high-profile exhibit) and given the sham of equal protection under the law for colored and poor white folks , you won't even have the shaky comfort of shrugging this news off with indifference because it's just "crackheads and gang members" who are locked up. Pull-quote: "Prisoners who are a low security risk may choose to work in the fields, earning 60 cents a day. They also are eligible for small bonuses."

I used all of that as an intro to this essay by Kali Tal, an artist, anti-racism activist and former professor in the U.S. who finally moved to Berlin in disgust at the direction this country was headed. It's a bleak prognosis and those who are more fight than flight minded will definitely take issue with a lot of its conclusions, but I think it's well worth reading. An excerpt:

The U.S. prison population will continue to swell, as will U.S. "guest worker" programs (indentured servitude), so that the corporations that remain in the U.S. will have access to an enormous slave and indentured labor force. This will not, however, work out well for corporations in the long run, since even a huge drop in the wages in the U.S. won't bring the work force down to the level of labor in the third world countries they prefer to exploit, and U.S. made products will never be competitive with those produced in Asia, even if it were possible to retool the U.S. infrastructure and rebuild the country as a kind of third-world manufacturing base. The U.S. has also squandered the bulk of its easily accessible raw materials (oil, timber, copper, etc.), so that it is more cost effective to turn to richer stocks in Africa and Asia.

Destruction of the U.S. public school system and the promotion of largely unsupervised charter schools has already produced two generations of poorly educated additions to the citizenry and the work force. The lack of foundation makes it impossible for students to rise to high levels of achievement even in good colleges and universities. The U.S. underproduces highly trained personnel in almost every field in the sciences, and it has largely given up attempting to educate persons in the humanities and the social sciences. Increasingly, those corporations remaining in the U.S. will be forced to recruit from Europe and Asia to fill technical and professional positions.

For the rest of the essay, click here

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Pronunciate

It is a word.

Redbone Press Up for Three Awards

When I got my publishing deal with Redbone Press, it was more significant to me than I can actually put into words. I was thrilled to be on a Black-owned press. Even more thrilled that it was owned by a lesbian (fierce ruling diva, Lisa Moore.) It was a relief to be on Redbone after years of being told by agents and publishers that they liked my work a lot (they keep you on that Sally Field...) but had no idea what to do with my writing. I was often told the work was too black or not black enough, too gay or not gay enough. If I would only pick "one" identity box to check, then maybe I could get a publishing deal. I think the bigger problem was that I don't "act" gay or black, don't make a performance of my identity/identities in my writing. I just be what I be. With Redbone, none of that was an issue.

It's exciting to be part of a cultural legacy that stretches back to the small but hugely influential and immeasurably important indie black publishing houses of the '60s and '70s. Lisa has the same drive and passion that drove the visionary men and women behind those upstarts. I'm proud to be on the same roster as Samiya Bashir, Sharon Bridgforth, G. Winston James, Ana-Maurine Lara and Marvin K. White. And we just recently found out that three Redbone titles have been nominated for Lambda Literary Awards. They are:

Ana-Maurine's novel, Erzulie's Skirt.
The anthology of writing on black spirituality and sexuality, Spirited: Affirming the Soul and Black Gay / Lesbian Identity.
My book, Blood Beats: Vol. 1 Demos, Remixes & Extended Versions

And now, to celebrate the nominations: The Blood Beats Dancers...

Who Dat Is? Dat's Just...

Ricky Lackey has six children on the way.

Just don’t call them sextuplets – they’re all with different women.

When Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Melba Marsh asked Lackey during sentencing Friday on a charge of attempted theft how many children he had, the 25-year-old said, “None, but I have six on the way.”

A stunned Marsh tried to clarify. “Are you marrying a woman with six children?” she asked.

“No, I be concubining,” he said.

For rest of the story, click here.

Headline of the Day

Naked, drunk, surrounded by sex toys - it's the Israeli ambassador

Read full story here.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

300, the movie...

I haven't yet seen the film 300, but here are my two favorite reviews so far:

From the Datalounge site:
"It's gay porn and a military recruitment film all in one. What's not to love?"

And from J. Matthias on MySpace:
"The combined might of Asia, North Africa, and The Middle East cannot defeat three hundred determined white dudes...

You know if you combine this with Frank Miller's constant need to punk Ultimate Jew, a.k.a. Superman every time he gets a chance, and the treatment of women in Sin City, I would have to say the Frank has some serious issues he needs to work out. Seriously... Miller needs a hug. Oh, and why were the Persians led by RuPaul?

Great movie though. Just don't let it get into your subconscious."

Friday, March 09, 2007

Quote of the Day

I jacked this from my home-slice Goz over at the Evil Lucy radio site:

"most people do useless work. three quarters of all activities are parasitic. but what counts for work today, isn’t work, it’s laziness. everyone says work is but a means to an end. we speak of a civilization of leisure. by then, we’ll have lost our sense of leisure. some people work for 40 years, then rest. and when they get to rest, don’t know how to, and die of it. i think sincerely that i serve mankind better by resting than by working. one must have courage to not work." - la collectionneuse, 1966

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Let's Get Lost: The New Lewis Taylor CD

...Back in 1996, Taylor’s self-titled debut drew ecstatic comparisons to Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye and even Prince. The diminutive Lewis, an Englishman of Jewish heritage, could easily have coasted as an MVP of blue-eyed soul. But from the start of his third-act solo career — he was in the prog-rock Edgar Broughton Band, and then worked for a time under the name Sheriff Jack — Taylor has exhibited unease with celebrity. More importantly, his interests and musical influences leap the boundaries of genre. You can feel that questing in his music, the journey, the search. It’s what makes him a volatile, unstable “commodity”: the fact that he refuses to be one, easily packaged and mechanically sold.

For the rest of the review, click Lewis Taylor

Monday, March 05, 2007

Video of the Day: Baby Queens Stand UP!



You know his daddy is somewhere slowly dying inside... I wanna get my Jolie-Pitt on and adopt him.

Friday, March 02, 2007