Sunday, March 30, 2008

I doubt this is accurate

because I don't even watch Chuck. Plus, I am so into Cappie right now. Thank goodness quarterlife got cancelled, er, "shifted to Bravo". Thanks, Stephanie!


Friday, March 28, 2008

Picks and pans

Award-Winner Spike Lee Blazes New Trails in Acceptance-Speech Racial Tension, from Defamer.

I had given up on Mr. Lee after sitting through Bamboozled and avoiding She Hate Me on principle alone (note to Spike: lesbians don't line up to have sex with men). Now he's back to making some sense.


Making girls skinnier, one Sweet Valley High book at a time, by Jessica at Feminisiting.

. . . it seems that Random House is re-releasing the series with a new modern twist: skinnier twins . . .

In a side-by-side column comapring the 1983 version of the book with the present one, publishers write that the previous characters were a "perfect size 6." Now, they're a "perfect size 4." Charming.

Yes, this is terrible. However, the article did lead me to the insightful comments following the original Gawker post. It also led me to these sites: The Dairi Burger, and Elizabeth and Jessica are better than you. by 1bruce1. Oh, the hilarity. Here is my favorite recap so far: SVT Super Edition #4: The Unicorns Go Hawaiian. Ellen is funny!


Speaking of funny, two of today's three Steve Harvey Strawberry Letters:

Strawberry Letter #2 Subject: I Thought My Behind Wiping Days Were Over

Good morning Shirley, Steve, Tommy and welcome back Carla. I listen to your morning show faithfully and besides the prank phone calls the Strawberry letters are my next favorite thing about the show. I never thought in a million years that I would be writing to get help. Here's my problem. My husband and I have been married for almost two years, we've been together for seven. My husband and I have gone through good and bad times, but from where my husband has come from and where he is now I thank God. He is a loving husband and father (to children that aren't biologically his) and will do anything for his family to make sure that we have what we need. And I love him for that.

My problem is do I love him enough to continue to wipe his behind when he goes to the bathroom and does number 2? My husband has put on a few pounds since we've been together and he can't reach back there and anymore (his short arms don't help). I can't even tell you how it started or why it's continues. All I keep thinking about is in sickness and in health to death due us part. It's making me sick, affecting my health and I'm about to die. Even our daughters make fun of him now. Like if he's in the bathroom and he calls my name they say "mom, dad can't wipe himself again." And I thought we were being so discreet, but I guess they can hear me in there saying "Oh my God, this don't make no sense." I don't know, it's like automatic now. I don't think he even tries. I've asked him to try this way and that way and he always says he can't reach. I tell him that I'm a doggone good wife, because if anything were to ever happen to us you ain't going to find another woman to wipe your behind. Or is he?

Am I the only wife that does this for her husband? Is there a club I can join to help me to help him? Morning show as you can see in the beginning of my letter I have a great husband and I know good men are hard to come by. We're both working on losing weight. Mine seems to be coming off a little faster than his. But then I'll ask him what he had for lunch and he'll say somehting crazy. I mean his weight is coming off, but not fast enough where he can reach his own behind. PLEASE HELP. Signed BLANK AND TIRED

Strawberry Letter #3 Subject: Is My Husband In Love With His Cousin?

Dear Steve & Shirley I have a serious problem with my husband of 7yrs almost eight years he seems to be in love with his cousin. I can not get him to spend any time with me he's always on the phone with his cousin. They call each other in the morning in the afternoon and at night. If I say anything about her or the situation he gets upset. When we do go out together she calls and he sits and talk to her instead of focusing on us. Anytime I want to just sit and talk to him she calls and he leaves me and goes in our back room in the dark and lay in bed and talk to her. He recently told me that he has traded me for her. He talks about me to her and makes her feel I am this terrible person.

Last year they made plans with out me for her to come and visit he totally ignored me while she was here and everything was about her it was like he didnt even want me around. Then one night we were sitting together in our living room she gave him the eye and they got up went out side at 12:00 am to talk and left me sitting in the living room.

That was last year now this past week they planned another visit this time I didnt know anything about it until 3 days before she was to arrive he had the nerve to ask me to clean the room for her and he was taking days off from work to spend time with her. I orginally told him no I would not clean the room for her to stay in my home again after they disrespected me the first time that's when he told me they would stay in a hotel TOGETHER can you believe that. He later apologized for not telling me and his reason he claims is because I would ruin his time with her. So the cousin came they went out to eat the whole time she was here they even went on a cruise together and to the movies and wherever else each night. He would not come home until I had gone to bed because apparently she was uncomfortable being around me. They would also take a shower every night as soon as they come in something I thought was strange. She barely even spoke to me and he was ok with that he said it's my fault and I need to apologize to him and her for even thinking something is going on between them.


Sad sad people making my life look good. :)


Another review for me!

An Easter Penguin, by The Law Fairy at Your Mom goes to Law School.

. . . Mahlena captures the stress and self-doubt I think most of us feel at the prospect of facing people we haven't seen in years, and thereby facing a version of ourselves we haven't seen in years. Have we improved? Have we stagnated? Have we grown up? Have we gotten old? Have we abandoned our hopes? Have we fulfilled them? Bianca reflects on her years as an argumentative, unpopular teen and realizes that, for some reason, she now cares what these people think of her. She hopes to impress them -- and perhaps to erase some of the sting of the rejection she, like the vast majority of us, faced in high school.

The book's tone is informal and conversational, which makes it an easy read -- and much moreso if you're relatively "up" on pop culture. As is fitting for a book about a woman enmeshed in the entertainment industry, a healthy familiarity with that industry will add to the book's resonance, as the book is liberally sprinkled with pop culture references. In fact, the title itself is a pop culture reference -- or, rather, two pop culture references tied together...

Thank you, Law Fairy!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Shocking Gossip

Exclusive: A Gossip Guy Comes Out! But Which One?, Ausiello Report via Defamer.

Is anyone 1) surprised, or 2) under the delusion that it's not Serena's formerly-highlighted brother Eric?

Although, I would love if the show finally admitted that Chuck is on the down low, because you know that is sooo how he rolls. "Top or bottom, Chuck? Top or bottom?"

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Polar bears are back in season!

Note to Judd Apatow: That's how you do tubby, scruffy guys. Not all of them have to be women-hating, socially retarded ne'er-do-wells. For additional reference, I suggest you observe Kevin Smith. Not necessarily his movies, but more his guest appearances on Degrassi.

Cliff is the best! He is now my favorite part of Ugly Betty As I told Stephanie earlier this week, you'd think I'd stay away from (polar) bears after Knocked Up, Superbad and the Daniel from Pajiba crazy situation. But apparently, I have some depth, and I can see past the pale, round, furry facade. Polar bears are back in season! There really need to be some more cute round guys of various colors on TV so I can make my brown bear/black bear/panda bear jokes.

Second runner-up: Gio.

See, Gio is about something. He has an entrepreneurial spirit. In less than a season, he created his own sandwich shop. Plus, there's this:

It's over between me and Mr. Grubstick, since he is going to Tuscon in five months to be with his baby mama. There is so much wrong with that sentence. Maybe Kenny can mop up my tears.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

An Inconvenient Truth

On Tuesday, I spent a portion of my evening yelling at my mother over the phone, expressing my annoyance at Senator Barack Obama's much ballyhooed speech.

Here is the speech: Obama Race Speech: Read The Full Text, from The Huffington Post.

Here is what caused the speech: Controversial comments made by Rev Jeremiah Wright, by Daniel Nasaw at The Guardian.

Here is the problem with the speech: The Great Conciliator, by manish at Ultrabrown.

Barack Obama’s Great Race Speech yesterday drew plenty of frothy praise and historians’ plaudits. But it was a disappointingly limited speech, projecting a static, black-and-white image of America which has little to do with its real racial makeup today.

Keep in mind that all Obama had to do was walk in, denounce Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s views without sounding like an angry black man, and not drool on himself, and the chattering classes would be rapturous. We’re at a time in political history when a politician who speaks like an adult startles us . . .

. . . there’s some truth to the Saturday Night Live portrayal of a press which fawns over Obama. The pundits are primed. The mere appearance of an adult at the table can send them into orbit. What Obama did not address in any detail: Latinos, who outnumber blacks in America. Asians. The multiracial. How multiculti the music industry and sports teams and many big city neighborhoods already are. America is not just black and white and has not been for a long time . . .

America has never been "just black and white", despite what my history text books insisted throughout my middle and upper school years. Racism didn't begin with slavery and end with the Civil Rights movement. There are countless peoples and events that came before, between and after 1492 and 1960.

Let's take Senator Obama's speech paragraph by paragraph, and ignore the passages that don't my points of view. My comments are in the brackets.

"We the people, in order to form a more perfect union."

Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men [Yes, men. White, landowning men in specific] gathered and, with these simple words, launched America's improbable experiment in democracy. Farmers and scholars; statesmen and patriots who had traveled across an ocean to escape tyranny and persecution ["patriots" who then chose to exact the same tyranny and persecution on the native people already living on this continent] finally made real their declaration of independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of 1787.

The document they produced was eventually signed but ultimately unfinished. It was stained by this nation's original sin of slavery [and by the mass genocide of the Indians], a question that divided the colonies and brought the convention to a stalemate until the founders chose to allow the slave trade to continue for at least twenty more years, and to leave any final resolution to future generations.

Of course, the answer to the slavery question was already embedded within our Constitution - a Constitution that had at is very core the ideal of equal citizenship under the law [except for women, nonwhite people, and non-landowning males]; a Constitution that promised its people liberty, and justice, and a union that could be and should be perfected over time. [Or, the founders could have chosen not to demean, enslave, and murder their fellow human beings. Either, or.]

And yet words on a parchment would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage, or provide men and women of every color and creed their full rights and obligations as citizens of the United States. What would be needed were Americans in successive generations who were willing to do their part - through protests and struggle, on the streets and in the courts, through a civil war and civil disobedience and always at great risk - to narrow that gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time. [No, what we needed was for our country not to be founded by successive groups of hypocritical, self-entitled, homicidal maniacs. Who in their right mind thinks to themselves, "you know what would be a great idea? Let's import some people from Africa, not pay them, and then kill off all these other brown folks squatting on our land." Was there no one to tap Thomas Jefferson on the shoulder and say, "How about you take some time away from impregnating your wife's half-sister, whom you own, and get a clue?]

The fun doesn't stop here, people. Keep reading!

I am the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas. I was raised with the help of a white grandfather who survived a Depression to serve in Patton's Army during World War II and a white grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line at Fort Leavenworth while he was overseas. I've gone to some of the best schools in America and lived in one of the world's poorest nations. I am married to a black American who carries within her the blood of slaves and slaveowners - an inheritance we pass on to our two precious daughters. I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins, of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents, and for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible. [Really? No other country on Earth? Not even Canada?]

But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren't simply controversial. They weren't simply a religious leader's effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country - a view that sees white racism as endemic [It's not endemic; it's institutionalized.], and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.

That last phrase is both inaccurate and inflammatory. I agree that the conflicts in the Middle Ease are not rooted primarily in the actions of the people of Israel. However, the conflicts in the Middle East should not be blamed on "radical Islam" either. That was an irresponsible characterization. I have never heard such phrases as "radical Christianity", "radical Hinduism" or "radical Buddhism" ever uttered in American media. But I can't swing a dead cat without hitting a political pundit shouting the phrase "radical Islam" or "Islamofascist". The situations in the Middle East are very complicated. It is not fair to label Israelis or Palestinians or Jews or Muslims or Arabs or Americans, or any combination of the above as the sole cause of centuries of tension and instability.


As such, Reverend Wright's comments were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity; racially charged at a time when we need to come together to solve a set of monumental problems - two wars, a terrorist threat, a falling economy, a chronic health care crisis and potentially devastating climate change; problems that are neither black or white or Latino or Asian, but rather problems that confront us all.

These problems do confront us all. However, economic inequality and the chronic health care crisis have disproportionately affected the black and brown communities for years, decades even. Yet now that these issues are affecting more white people, suddenly they are newsworthy problems to be addressed by Presidential candidates?

Given my background, my politics, and my professed values and ideals, there will no doubt be those for whom my statements of condemnation are not enough. Why associate myself with Reverend Wright in the first place, they may ask? Why not join another church? And I confess that if all that I knew of Reverend Wright were the snippets of those sermons that have run in an endless loop on the television and You Tube, or if Trinity United Church of Christ conformed to the caricatures being peddled by some commentators, there is no doubt that I would react in much the same way.

Why didn't you address this sooner, before it became the major news story of the month? You've only known the man twenty years. One of your aides could have told you, "this guy is going to present a problem."

That has been my experience at Trinity. Like other predominantly black churches across the country, Trinity embodies the black community in its entirety - the doctor and the welfare mom, the model student and the former gang-banger. Like other black churches, Trinity's services are full of raucous laughter and sometimes bawdy humor. They are full of dancing, clapping, screaming and shouting that may seem jarring to the untrained ear. The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence and the shocking ignorance, the struggles and successes, the love and yes, the bitterness and bias that make up the black experience in America.

Did you really need to cite "the welfare mom" and "the former gang-banger"? Was that necessary? FYI, welfare moms and gang bangers are prevalent in every other community as well. Don't you watch Law & Order?

But race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now. [I agree.] We would be making the same mistake that Reverend Wright made in his offending sermons about America - to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality.

A lack of economic opportunity among black men, [but not among black women?] and the shame and frustration that came from not being able to provide for one's family, contributed to the erosion of black families - a problem that welfare policies for many years may have worsened. And the lack of basic services in so many urban black neighborhoods - parks for kids to play in, police walking the beat, regular garbage pick-up and building code enforcement - all helped create a cycle of violence, blight and neglect that continue to haunt us.

And occasionally it finds voice in the church on Sunday morning, in the pulpit and in the pews. The fact that so many people are surprised to hear that anger in some of Reverend Wright's sermons simply reminds us of the old truism that the most segregated hour in American life occurs on Sunday morning. That anger is not always productive; indeed, all too often it distracts attention from solving real problems; it keeps us from squarely facing our own complicity in our condition [Complicity? I didn't do anything wrong!], and prevents the African-American community from forging the alliances it needs to bring about real change. But the anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races. [That's right!]

In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community. Most working- and middle-class white Americans don't feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. [Ha! They are so wrong.] Their experience is the immigrant experience - as far as they're concerned, no one's handed them anything, they've built it from scratch. [Yes, "as far as they are concerned".] They've worked hard all their lives, many times only to see their jobs shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor. They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense. [I feel that way, and I'm not white.] So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they're told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time.

Like the anger within the black community, these resentments aren't always expressed in polite company. But they have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation. Anger over welfare and affirmative action helped forge the Reagan Coalition. Politicians routinely exploited fears of crime for their own electoral ends. Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism. [Where would Stephen Colbert be without them?]

Just as black anger often proved counterproductive, so have these white resentments distracted attention from the real culprits of the middle class squeeze - a corporate culture rife with inside dealing, questionable accounting practices, and short-term greed; a Washington dominated by lobbyists and special interests; economic policies that favor the few over the many. [That's what I'm saying!] And yet, to wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns - this too widens the racial divide, and blocks the path to understanding. [But some white (and nonwhite) Americans' resentments are misguided and racist. Didn't you see the Goobacks episode of South Park?]

For the African-American community, that path means embracing the burdens of our past without becoming victims of our past. It means continuing to insist on a full measure of justice in every aspect of American life. But it also means binding our particular grievances - for better health care, and better schools, and better jobs - to the larger aspirations of all Americans -- the white woman struggling to break the glass ceiling, the white man whose been laid off, the immigrant trying to feed his family. [But black people have always dealt with those things, too, often at the same time.] And it means taking full responsibility for own lives - by demanding more from our fathers, and spending more time with our children, [My father died, and I don't have any children. Therefore, I will continue not to take any responsibility for my own life.] and reading to them, and teaching them that while they may face challenges and discrimination in their own lives, they must never succumb to despair or cynicism; they must always believe that they can write their own destiny.

This time we want to talk about the shuttered mills that once provided a decent life for men and women of every race, and the homes for sale that once belonged to Americans from every religion, every region, every walk of life. [Except that many of those homes belonged to blacks and Latinos, including the rich ones.] This time we want to talk about the fact that the real problem is not that someone who doesn't look like you might take your job; it's that the corporation you work for will ship it overseas for nothing more than a profit. [That's right!]

That's all of the nit-picky snarkiness I can muster for now.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Have you been watching High School Reunion?

Well, I have. And wow. This concept was kind of acceptable back in the early 00s, when it was on The WB for two seasons, and the casts went to a McMansion in Hawaii for their respective ten-year reunions. Okay, technically in the second season, three of the women had been sophomores when the rest of cast was in their senior year. Also, one of the guys in the house didn't even go to their school.

But back to my point. The people in the WB version of the show were in their late 20s. So it was kind of like a Real World reunion show, and you could maybe understand why they would let themselves get roped into a contrived reality series. Now that High School Reunion is on TV Land, and the show is trying to reach a more "mature" (ha!) audience, the cast members are going their 20th high school reunion. It's the same two weeks on a Hawaiian island with manufactured drama that somehow the classmates never see coming. For instance, on the first episode, Mike "The Rebel" is shocked that his ex-wife Lana "The Drama Queen" has deigned to show up at the house, even though they both graduated from the same high school in the same year. Then in this week's installment, the whole house can't believe that Steve "The Backstabber"--Mike's ex-best friend who slept with his ex-wife--has just arrived at the reunion, too.

People, you are on a television show! This isn't the first episode of Survivor back in 2000 when you could be semi-surprised at the producers' plot twists. What did you expect? A relaxing vacation with a few of your aging friends? That doesn't sell ad time. You all are grown-ups in your late 30s. If, as Matt "The Jock" has expressed on camera, you don't want your kids to see you acting a fool, then don't go on the show!

I hope you readers don't see me in eleven years on Season 14 of High School Reunion, trying to figure out why "The Stud" still thinks every woman in the house, including "The Lesbian", should be falling all over themselves to take him out on a Hall Pass. That is unless I'm the host of the show, like that guy they got rid of after the first season. Now that would be lovely; I would get paid to ask the inappropriate questions and stir up the drama. Plus, I wouldn't have to live in the actual house. TV Land had better put me up in a luxury hotel suite, far far away from those nutters. :)


Sunday, March 16, 2008

One nation under God

I received the following email in my Inbox today. It's not the first inflammatory forwarded message I have received. Though it is the first one I have posted here, which I must say demonstrates notable restraint on my part.

Subject: FW: FW: Muslims

Subject: Scary but real

Scary, and too real!!!

This is very interesting and just a bit scary
... But is it scary enough to generate something
besides talk? I'm afraid far too many Catholics,
Protestants, and Jews will wait until it hits them
upside the head on a very personal level before they
will do something besides talk about it. But by then
it will be too late.
The Muslim religion is the fastest growing
religion per capita in the United States, especially
in the minority races!!!
Allah or The Lord Jesus Christ? .. By Rick
Last month I attended my annual training
session that's required for maintaining my state
prison security clearance. During the training
session there was a presentation by three speakers
representing the Roman Catholic, Protestant and
Muslim faiths, who explained each of their beliefs
I was particularly interested in what the
Islamic Im am had to say. The Imam gave a great
presentation of the basics of Islam, complete with a
video. After the presentations, time was provided
for questions and answers.
When it was my turn, I directed my question to
the Imam and asked: 'Please, correct me if I'm
wrong, but I understand that most Imams and clerics
of Islam have declared a holy jihad [Holy war]
against the infidels of the world and, that by
killing an infidel, (which is a command to all
Muslims) they are assured of a place in heaven. If
that's the case, can you give me the definition of
an infidel?'
There was no disagreement with my statements
and, without hesitation, he replied,
I responded, 'So, let me make sure I have this
straight. All followers of Allah have been commanded
to kill everyone who is not of your faith so they
can have a place in heaven. Is that correct?'
The expression on his face changed from one of
au thority and command to that of 'a little boy who
had just been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.'
He sheepishly replied, 'Yes.'
I then stated, 'Well sir, I have a real
problem trying to imagine Pope Benedict commanding
all Catholics to kill those of your faith or Dr.
Charles Stanley ordering all Protestants to do the
same in order to guarantee them a place in heaven!'
The Imam was speechless!
I continued, 'I also have problem with being
your 'friend' when you and your brother clerics are
telling your followers to kill me! Let me ask you a
question. Would you rather have your Allah, who
tells you to kill me in order for you to go to
heaven, or my Jesus who tells me to love you because
I am going to heaven and He wants you to be there
with me?'
You could have heard a pin drop as the Imam
hung his head in shame. Needless to say, the
organizers and/or promoters of the 'Diversification'
training sem inar were not happy with Rick's way of
dealing with the Islamic Imam and exposing the truth
about the Muslims' beliefs.
In twenty years there will be enough Muslim
voters in the U.S. To elect the President! I think
everyone in the U.S. . Should be required to read
this, but with our liberal justice system, liberal
media and the ACLU, there is no way this will be
widely publicized. The most puzzling thing to me
is.. Once Islam takes over, there will no longer be
a liberal media or an ACLU, or a liberal justice
system. So in effect, they are slitting their own
throats by not publicizing this.
If you will, please pass this on to your
e-mail contacts. At least that is one thing we can
all do Then no one can say they were not warned in
This is a true story and the author, Rick
Mathes, is a well-known leader in prison ministry

I replied to the sender with the following paragraph:

Muslims are not taking over. Also, Jewish people and people of other religions have more choices than "Allah or The Lord Jesus Christ?" Furthermore, Islam is a religion of peace, just as Christianity is supposed to be a religion of loving your neighbors.

What I really wanted to say was "you bleepity-bleep willfully ignorant hypocrites spouting this hate-mongering garbage, talking about Islam taking over the 'minority races'. How dare you. You should be ashamed of yourselves." But I didn't. I just wrote it behind their backs on my blog. If you're reading, hello!

This is same kind of nonsense that has permeated Senator Barack Obama's Presidential campaign. I'm all for people being proud of their Christianity and proud of their Presidential candidate. What I resent is propogandizing zealots who choose to tear down any opposing candidates or points of view, or in both cases, other religions.

To catch everyone up, over the past few weeks and month and possibly years, there have been repeated accusations that Senator Obama is a Muslim. Instead of saying, "I'm not a Muslim. So what if I were?", Senator Obama decided to adamantly state his allegiance to his Christian church, which has also come under some scrutiny lately. I couldn't find suitable links for everything, so do that Googling yourselves. Ooh, I did find the supposedly incriminating photo. Shocking!

I agree with ck's points in his post Obama: "I am a Christian." on Jewlicious:

Look, I know everyone means well. Obama wanted to correct inaccurate biographical information . . . But seriously though… what the fuck? For starters, the United States is supposed to be a country wherein there is a separation of Church and State. A candidate’s religion ought to be irrelevant. More pernicious though is the implication that Islam in the US in 2008 is a stain, like Judaism was in Poland in 1990, that will automatically render a candidate unfit for office . . .

. . . A candidate for political office’s religious orientation ought to be irrelevant in and of itself unless said candidate was running on a religious platform. Obama should have bravely declared that his religious beliefs are irrelevant and that even if he were a Muslim, this ought not impact on people’s decisions. Whatever. I’m not voting for him anyway.

What about the zealots and the tearing down I mentioned earlier? Here you go. Emphases and parentheses mine:

Black Hillary Supporters May Be Receiving Death Threats, by Marc Sheppard, at American Thinker.

Earlier this month, popular black author and talk-show host Tavis Smiley disclosed death threats he'd received from those accusing him of blasphemy against their black prophet. Then, at Saturday's Smiley-hosted State of the Black Union forum [which I taped and enjoyed], Congressional Black Caucus member Stephanie Tubbs Jones lent credence to Smiley's claim by suggesting that many black elected officials not swearing allegiance to Obama have also been the target of violent threats.

While widely ignored by the mainstream media, the implications here are nothing short of momentous . . .

For nine years running, Smiley has hosted the annual symposium of black college professors, politicians, activists, and entertainers during Black History Month discussing matters of concern to those whose heritage the month honors. This year [and last year, too!], Barack Obama declined an invitation -- accepted by Clinton -- to address the panel of black dignitaries in New Orleans. The Illinois senator and presidential hopeful's unexpected rejection prompted a disappointed Smiley to blast the decision as a "major mistake," and that's when the trouble allegedly began.

The perceived racial apostasy apparently sparked not only thousands of angry emails labeling Smiley as a "hater, sellout and traitor," but also the relentless harassment of his entire family. And, while he has yet to elaborate, Smiley has also mentioned the matter of death threats - levied for the mere suggestion that the mighty Obama had somehow erred.

That's all I have to say for now.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Almost right, but not quite.

Jenna Fischer Will 'Piss On Your Face' If You Whisper The Wrong Sweet Nothing In Her Ear, from Defamer.

... now that she's a big star, she understandably has some choice words for the screenwriter who, a few years back, gave her shit for refusing to drop trou for him. In an interview with Playboy, Jenna tells a story about what happened after she ran into Halloween 5 screenwriter Shem Bitterman at a party one year into her move-west-and-act life plan. Apparently, her non-interest in starring in a "like, really raunchy" new film of his spurred the scribe to claim she was clearly "not a real actress." And while the old Jenna did nothing but go home and cry her newbie eyes out, the emboldened Office star has this to say to the Bitterman today:

"What an asshole, I should have told him, 'How about I piss on your face? Does that make me a real actress? Let's try that. I'll do that right here. I'll do that today.' Bring me Shem Bitterman."

The sentiment is all well and good, but Playboy? Complaining about female exploitation in a Playboy article makes as much sense as calling for a ban on firearms in Guns & Ammo.

Apparently real actresses only take off their clothes for computer magazines or for the children.


Friday, March 07, 2008

I'm sure you readers aren't avoiders.

Or are you?

Sixteen Maneuvers to Avoid Really Dealing with Racism
, by Holly at Feministe.

Which of these moves are you adept at? We all know some of them.

Confused? Feeling like you don’t understand how to execute or evade some of these maneuvers? Feel free to ask for help in the comments.

The Bootstrap Myth
“Racism is a thing of the past… this is a free country, and anyone who works hard can make it in America.”

The Backtrack

“Hey, wait a second, that’s not what I meant… I mean… you took my words out of context, don’t make it try to sound like I’m racist!”

The Remove the Right To Be Angry

“You’re too sensitive… if you weren’t so aggressive, vocal, hostile, angry, or upset, people would listen to you and you wouldn’t get in trouble!”

There's more. Keep reading!


What is it good for?

Hope's War (first discovered by me through Showtime's Black Filmmaker Showcase in 2006) :

Returning U.S. troops suffer hearing loss in record numbers, By Chelsea J. Carter, AP via Yahoo! News.

Soldiers and Marines caught in roadside bombings and firefights in Iraq and Afghanistan are coming home in epidemic numbers with permanent hearing loss and ringing in their ears, prompting the military to redouble its efforts to protect the troops from noise.

Hearing damage is the No. 1 disability in the war on terror, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, and some experts say the true toll could take decades to become clear. Nearly 70,000 of the more than 1.3 million troops who have served in the two war zones are collecting disability for tinnitus, a potentially debilitating ringing in the ears, and more than 58,000 are on disability for hearing loss, the VA said.

"The numbers are staggering," said Theresa Schulz, a former audiologist with the Air Force, past president of the National Hearing Conservation Association and author of a 2004 report titled "Troops Return With Alarming Rates of Hearing Loss."

Note the last line:

"You have guys that don't want to admit they have a problem," Hoffer said. "But if they can't hear what they need to on patrol, they could jeopardize their lives, their buddies' lives and, ultimately, their mission."

And what exactly is "their mission"? Yeah, I couldn't tell you either.


Thursday, March 06, 2008

Wondering if sexism still exists in the entertainment industry?

Well, someone had to greenlight these movies:

No Country for Fat Chicks, by Amy Monaghan at Radar Online, via Feministing.

Calling pretty much any Hollywood movie "a little sexist" (as Katherine Heigl did when Vanity Fair asked her about her star-making turn in last summer's Knocked Up) is like saying you're a little bit pregnant. The difference is one of degree, not kind.

Now that the Oscars are over and our first viable female presidential is floundering toward failure, it seems like a good time to take stock of sexism in our culture. That's why Radar, using Knocked Up as a mildly chauvinistic baseline, and employing the highly scientific method of surveying our girlfriends, set out to uncover the most misogynistic movies of the 21st century. (Excluded were intentionally offensive movies and any grindhouse film where coeds ended up in a woodchipper, etc.)

It's a crowded field, and getting more so daily (we're looking at you, Teeth), but here's our year-by-year timeline of the most woman-bashing films of the Oughts. So far.

My favorite one is listed first. Enjoy!