Tuesday, July 29, 2008

An appropriate tagline for Black in America

From Discuss: CNN’s Black in America, by Reecie at Honorable Media.

"Hi my name is Jerome. My father is in jail and my mother is on crack so I have to steal in order to put food on my table".


The following quote from A.D. Odom's post "Black in America" at State & Lake identified some of my feelings about the ancestry of the Rand family, who were featured in the first part of CNN's "report":

I am not going to go research the rapist of my great, great grandmother and upon finding him, be happy about it. No thank you.

The cousins' meeting for the first time was heartwarming. The story of their slave-owning, self-possessed, adulterous great-great-grandfather was not.


Also, white women: do you "know your role"? (Skip to 2:32.) I definitely don't; I'm way too uppity for that man. So you all can have Mr. "Jamie Coleman, Single Father, Age 34". He is so Bill Bellamy in The Brothers. But take note ladies: he is a Christian.


Earthquake! and More Black in America: The Menz

What I learned from the earthquake:

  • My energetic dancing probably didn't cause the shaking of the room I was in, much less the swaying of entire building.
  • KCAL 9 will continue to preempt The People's Court and its other daytime programming for hours on end for the sake of "Breaking News", even if their anchors have absolutely nothing to report. I think their reporters talked with whoever called in to the station for an hour, while continuously showing only a seismograph reading on the screen.
  • The Noticias on Univision were actually "A Su Lado" (By Your Side) after the earthquake. The reporters talked to people about their experiences. They also wanted to get the most accurate information for their viewers on how to stay safe. On the other hand, CNN's coverage looked like the network was hoping for something to explode at any moment.

What I learned from Black in America: "The Black Man":

  • 1 out of every 3 black men in America will have a criminal record in their lifetime.
  • Despite the converse statistic that 2 out of every 3 black men in America will not have a criminal record, the only black men worth interviewing 1) have come from the ghetto, 2) smoke crack, 3) dropped out of school, 4) flagrantly shirk their parental duties, 5) deserve to be in jail, and/or 6) are celebrities.
  • The (Christian) church is where all black folks go when they are down and out. This church almost always has a gospel choir and members in the pews who vigorously feel the spirit.
  • Black men don't want to be fathers to their children because black women have figured out how to successfully raise their children without deadbeat dads. If black women displayed a need for their baby daddies, then the black men would take responsibility.
  • Black men are also bad fathers because of slavery. I don't know why other ethnic communities have bad fathers among them. Maybe the Irish can blame it on the potato famine.
  • Spike Lee should stop complaining about the obvious racism in the entertainment industry because Martin from The Cosby Show says so.
  • If you are a light-skinned black man, you will become famous author, professor and minister. If you are the dark-skinned brother of that light-skinned black man, you will go to prison for life. That's where most black men end up anyway.
  • Local news programs and the rap industry perpetuate stereotypes about black men. CNN also repeatedly shows these negative images and has no notable black anchors except for the one charged with running this four-hour "report". But CNN isn't a local news channel. So it's okay?
  • If you are in an interracial relationship, the product of an interracial relationship, or the parent of someone in an interracial relationship, you have been adversely affected by that relationship in some way. And if you don't think so, Soledad will badger it out of you.
  • Intelligent, successful black men of all ages are accused of "acting white" by their peers. This is a phenomenon that happens only to black men, because while the white community (all of them) praises education, the black community scorns education. Most black men would rather be popular than smart. Smart white people are all popular. No women of any color, even black women, have this problem because women would rather be smart than popular.

At first I agreed the assessment of Black in America by Variety's Brian Lowry, via Blackonomy:

At times, "Black in America" seems like a Nickelodeon special for kids who have never met a black person -- aimed at an audience completely naive about the African-American experience. As a consequence, the four hours crawl by, drizzling out a hodge-podge of explanations and theories but failing to enhance understanding for either blacks or outside groups.

Then I thought about it, and I realized that the review was insulting . . . to Nickelodeon. I grew up with Nick News. Linda Ellerbee's 1992 interview with Magic Johnson educated the network's young audience about HIV and AIDS. Bill Frist could have learned something from this interview, too. Nick News later gave us "Mi America: A Celebration of Hispanic Culture" and "Do Something! Caring for the Kids of Katrina". While CNN gave us Wolf Blitzer's Situation Room unfortunate, yet accurate reporting of the 2005 hurricane.

Speaking of HIV and AIDS in the 90s, who knew Greg Louganis was still working . . . as an actor? (He's at 2:08.)

If his doppelgänger Mario Lopez still has a career, I think Mr. Louganis should, too.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Black in America and The Goal

(I couldn't find a related video, but I always have issues with my hair.)

These are two things that would appear to have little in common. However, as I have been consuming both media over the past few days, I have noticed some similarities between Eliyahu M. Goldratt's The Goal (the book; not Goal, the soccer movie whose sequel I surprisingly enjoyed) and Black in America. They both contain stories about the lives of Americans. Also, they both continue to irritate me.

One of the many problems with Black in America was illustrated for me in The Goal. The Goal is supposed to be a education novel about how to become a successful operations manager. In reality, it is a step-by-step manual on how to destroy a family. The main character, presumably-white guy Alex Rogo, devotes every waking moment toward saving his failing mechanical plant. I say presumably white, because there is no mention of anyone's color or race in the book until page 191, when foreman Mike Haley enters the story for three pages. "He's a big black man whose arms always look as though they're going to burst the sleeves on his shirts." Oy vey, Mr. Goldratt. Alex also calls a child "Fat Herbie", names his plant malfunctions after him, then tells his children about it. Nice.

During the few hours that Alex is actually at home, he ignores his wife Julie and their two young children, because he brings his work with him. So Julie leaves Alex and moves back in with her parents. Instead of listening to Julie's pleas for him to stop working so hard, Alex enlists his own mother to take care of him and the children until Julie comes to her senses. Then the children end up moving in with Julie and her parents for the summer. I have 57 more pages before I finish The Goal, but eventually Julie and the children return home, in my opinion because Julie's parents want them out of their house. Throughout the course of the novel, Alex takes Julie on a few dates so he can "relax with her." He never changes, though, nor does he ever consider what Julie needs. In fact, after Julie returns, Alex gets a promotion which carries the new responsibility of running three plants. When the two of them celebrate the position over dinner, Alex feels guilty. For a moment.

. . . why do I feel it's inappropriate to toast my promotion?

"The family paid too big a price for this promotion," I finally say.

"Alex you're being too hard on yourself. This crisis was about to explode one way or the other."

[Julie] continues, "I gave it a lot of thought and let's face it, if you had given up, the feeling of failure would have spoiled every good part of our marriage. I think you should be proud of this promotion. You didn't step on anybody to get it; you won it fair and square."

That passage comes a few pages after this one:

" . . . I'll really try to understand your work," [Julie says] . . . "Look, Al. I know that leaving you must have seemed selfish on my part. I just went crazy for a little while. I'm sorry--"

"No, you don't have to be sorry," I tell her. "I should have been paying attention."

"But I'll try to make it up to you," she says.

What does all of this have to do with Black in America? In both parts of the CNN special, there was a noticeable focus on single mothers and absent fathers. And when I say focus, I mean much of the special blamed every ill in the black community on children raised by mothers who weren't married to their baby daddies. Yes, at one point Soledad did actually say baby daddies. This blame game was particularly questionable during the first half of Wednesday's "The Black Woman and Family," when Soledad followed the story of a single black father struggling to raise his two elementary-school children. The story that followed was about a woman who was raised by a single father, but started having her five children at the age of 17 by a 30-year-old man. Now 29, the woman had to work two jobs and received no support from her children's father. "If I don't make it, we don't have it," she said regarding the family income.

Soledad kept contrasting these stories of woe with a married couple who had five children that were enrolled in, or heading off to, universities. However, Soledad didn't take into account the class of the various families that she interviewed. The married couple had taken over a successful family construction business, and they clearly have some money in the bank. But all of the single parent families featured in part one of the special were poor. Soledad conveniently did not feature any single parent families who weren't poor, even though it was clear that the poverty of the families was the problem. The poverty determined the families' ability to acquire proper nutrition, health care, education and housing. This became blatantly obvious when Soledad interviewed Kriss Turner, the successful, single writer of Something New. If Ms. Turner decided to become a single mother, I doubt her child would turn to a life of crime, drugs, teen pregnancy, or whatever other things can be blamed on single parent households. Her child would probably matriculate in a good school in a good neighborhood, because Ms. Turner could afford it.

Back to The Goal. The two children in the novel were technically born into wedlock. However, their father Alex was absent. So absent that their mother Julie had to take a mental-health vacation from their dysfunctional home. And in the end, their father didn't change at all, but their mother still goes back to him.

Now, what would have happened if this woman had some self-respect? What if Julie had stood up to her husband and said, "I'm not going to let you treat our family like this ever again. I'm taking our children and making a home of our own. I'm not living this 'Cat's in the Cradle' nightmare."? Or, what if Alex dropped dead of the stroke that would most certainly develop after working nonstop at a failing plant for over three months? Those children would have probably been better off. Alex truly did not care about how his lifestyle was damaging his wife, or how it was affecting his children, the people who would later decide whether to put him in Shady Pines. He proves this by not finding a job with shorter hours, but instead taking a new job with three times the responsibilities.

Yet the CNN special "report" would have you believe that the best thing for the children would be living at home with their father. A father who couldn't properly feed himself or his children without an intervention by his elderly mother.

Maybe this is why some black women, and some non-black women, are raising children on their own. Maybe they don't want to raise their children with someone who is a liability, rather an asset, to their family. Or maybe they're lesbians. I wouldn't know, because from what I gathered from Black in America, there are no gay black people in America. More precisely, there no gay black people in American worthy of a Soledad O'Brien interview.

I have many other grievances about Black in America. Here's a gentleman whom I don't know airing some of them:


Friday, July 25, 2008

It's funny because it's true.

iRant: Puffy is Poison, YouTube via You're Welcome....

NSFW or for sensitive ears. I'm sure my Mummy will be all, "Who's Ray J?", and I'll be like, "Exactly."

I don't understand why anyone would want to work for Diddy, much less compete for the privilege.


Thrusting racism upon babies who just got here.

This story greeted me on the Yahoo! front page this morning:

Medical rarity, Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch. (Click on the last picture with the two tiny hands.)

Mixed-race couple Florence and Stephan Gerth show off their twin boys Ryan and Leo in a Berlin hospital. The twins, who have radically differing skin tones, were born by Caesarean section.

Here are some additional headlines about this allegedly rare occurrence:

Twins With Different Skin Color Born In Germany. Not bad so far.

Black and white twins born to German mixed-race couple. Hmm.

Black and white twins: Brothers from the same mother. Yeah, they're from the same mother. They're twins.

Rare twin boys born - one black, one white
. Rare? Really?

One-in-a-Million Twins: One White, One Black
. I don't think it's one in a million if it keeps happening. Did these reporters skip the genetics sections in their high school biology classes? Both parents pass on their genes to their offspring.

Two in a Million: Twins Born - One Black, One White
. Two in a million?! That's actually less rare that one in a million. And the closing line of the article:

"Both kids have definitely the same father," the doctor added.

Nice subtle suggestion of adultery when referring to an interracial family. That's Fox News. Keeping it classy with a K.

Medical marvel in Germany. Marvel? I'm not even certain that this baby is a medical marvel in 2008.

Miracle twins, one dark-skinned, one light, born to interracial couple. It would be a miracle if they could heal the sick, or turn water into wine. But fraternal twins with different skin colors is not a miracle.

Twins defy all odds. What odds? As far as I can tell, this was not a high risk pregnancy, and the babies did not pop out significantly early.

Woman gives birth to 'black and white twins'!. Exclamation point!

This whole thing simply confirms what kind of ignorant people run our news media. People who still cannot grasp the concept that skin color literally does not define who you are.

It reminded me of Andrew Kennedy, the comedian, who was born to a Colombian mother and a British father. And a black grandmother. Yet he came out white like his father, just like many other Latino people. But sometimes when Mr. Kennedy speaks Spanish to Latinos of a browner persuasion, he gets stared at in horror, as if he were a dog that started talking. In his act, he also mentions that he and his siblings all look different, with their various sizes and colors. So when they get together, they look like a bunch of strangers gathered at a bus stop. I couldn't find that specific clip, but this one is fun, too:


Monday, July 21, 2008

"You're so articulate. Where did you learn that?"

Today I learned that CNN will air a special report this week called Black in America, hosted by Soledad O'Brien. The first part, "The Black Woman & Family", premieres on Wednesday, followed by "The Black Man" on Thursday.

I would like to note that neither CNN nor Ms. O'Brien contacted me for this special. Last time I checked, I was still black and in America. Maybe they'll give me a ring-a-ding next year.

I really liked the Black in America celebrity interviews given by Vanessa Williams and Whoopi Goldberg (featured above). However, I did not appreciate what Bishop T. D. Jakes had to say. I had to transcribe his words myself. Apparently CNN does not realize that not everyone can watch videos on their computer. Also, not everyone is a member of the hearing community. Transcripts would be helpful.

Many, many men are in a dilemma today where they're really trying hard to understand their own worth and their self-esteem. Uh, the woman is excelling educationally and academically and economically often beyond the man. I think cuts to the core of your self-esteem, and men are struggling to find their relevancy in the family today, in a way that we did not experience in the 60s.

And I think years out from now we are going to see huge fallout because there are no fathers in our homes. Fallout in terms of the inability to sustain relationships as adults because you don't understand male language, how men communicate. Well-meaning people trying to hold a relationship together, but don't understand the uniquenesses, and the unique nuances that exist between men and women.

We now think in this generation "men are optional", "fathers are optional", "because I can afford a child, I don't need a man." We don't understand that the contribution goes beyond the paycheck. And I think the emotional fallout is going to be very, very destructive in years to come.

Looky here, Mr. Jakes. Just because I have continued to excel "educationally and academically" does not mean that other people, i.e. men, cannot do the same. Education is not a zero-sum game. I can't horde all the education and prevent other people from getting it. It's not my fault that men supposedly have poor self-esteem because they are "struggling to find their relevancy in the family today". What kind of farkakte logic is that? If these men you are talking about choose to leave their family because they chose not to get an education and therefore cannot provide the kind of paycheck that their educated female partner can, how is that my problem? Why should I be responsible for men who aren't even trying to do something with their lives? I have my own self-esteem issues. As D. L. Hughley says in his celebrity interview, those men need to get out of their own way.

Additionally, most of my closest childhood friends and I did not have fathers. Mine didn't leave voluntarily; he died. His contribution to our family was indeed much more than a paycheck. But when he left, we did get along without him. My mother didn't need a man, and she could afford me. My friends and I didn't need male placeholders in our lives. We needed parents who cared about us, and that is what we had. We turned out very well, often better than some of our peers who had grown up with their two original heterosexual parents.

Furthermore, not every black woman wants to have a child with a man. Not every black person wants to have a child. Not every black woman wants to be with a man, and not every black man wants to be with a woman. Not every black man deserts his family. Overall, I am tired of hearing these same arguments posed as the problem with the black community. As if there aren't white deadbeat dads or Asian deadbeat dads. As if the problems in Latino communities could be solved if only Latinas showed more appreciation for trifling men. I don't think so.

The rest of the special looks enlightening though. Sheryl Lee Ralph (at 2:26) seems like a fun lady. I have nappy roots, too! I'm not happy about it, though others are. My hair doesn't make those fun ringlets. It just grows out angry. Argh.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I wouldn't call it Horrible,

but I would call it lacking. Specifically, lacking in melanin content and quality roles for women. I watched Dr. Horrible today, the online musical created by self-proclaimed feminist Joss Whedon. The three-act production stars both Nathan Fillion of Serenity and Firefly fame, and my favorite child doctor Neil Patrick Harris.

Some say "Dr. Horrible is good!". Some say "Dr. Horrible is Fabulous!". I say it's the same stuff I've been complaining about for two years now. Happy early birthday, blog! It's about two white heterosexual men (including the main character played by "very content gay man" NPH) who fight over a skinny white woman. The woman, named Penny, is younger that both of her male suitors, and she has no real character of her own. Her defining personality traits include doing laundry, volunteering at a homeless shelter and eating frozen yogurt.

Rebecca Allen of A Nerd at Peace writes:

The problem was that the story was so caught up in its trickery—you really liked Dr. Horrible! But he’s eeeeevil! Mwahahaha!—it forgot to not suck. Though to be fair, the parts with Penny had always been kind of weak, because as a character, Penny had absolutely no agency whatsoever. She existed to be Dr. Horrible’s dream girl, and Dr. Horrible was an archetypal Nice Guy through the whole thing. The scenes were cute enough, and Neil Patrick Harris was darling enough, that I gave it the benefit of a doubt. But in the second part, it’s clear Penny exists as a prize for Dr. Horrible. She dates his nemesis, [Nathan Fillion's] Captain Hammer, instead, and that’s what sets off his fall into darkness. She falls for Captain Hammer and never questions his bullshit, even though from the watcher’s POV it’s obvious, which makes her look pretty stupid. She’s generically nice and sweet, but has no other character traits.

So Captain Hammer uses her (both her body for sex and her cause for glory), and it drives Dr. Horrible mad. When Captain Hammer begins to brag publicly about having sex with her, she grows uncomfortable. But before she can actually do anything about it (she seems to be slinking off in shame, but she never speaks about it, never confronts Captain Hammer about it, never takes a decisive action) she is tragically, accidentally killed. Dr. Horrible was trying to kill Captain Hammer, his death ray exploded, Hammer ran off in pain and shock, and she was caught by the shrapnel and dies. But her death gets Dr. Horrible entrance into the Evil League of Evil and turns him into a respectable villain.

The end.

Purtek of The Hathor Legacy writes:

Since it’s Joss Whedon, it’s practically guaranteed to come with high expectations attached, both for quality creative work and, in many circles, for feminist content. On the former, Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog definitely lives up to the hype. On the latter, unfortunately, I have to say that it failed miserably. Of the three characters, Penny is by far the least developed. She’s a sweet, somewhat naive, save-the-world local activist with big, romantic dreams for her life. While the two male characters are also stereotypes in a way, they’re both larger than life, hilarious caricatures, whereas Penny just seems to lack personality. The fact that Dr. Horrible initially falls for her as he encounters her twice weekly in the incredibly mundane setting of the laundromat is fitting, here.

And naturally, in a story with three characters, two male and one female, there is a love triangle at work, and as is often the case, the woman in that story becomes more of a prop at play in the interaction between the two men. The real relationship struggle, the real competition is between Dr. Horrible and Captain Hammer. The reason Penny has lasting appeal to Captain Hammer is because it’s one more front on which he can assert his superiority over Dr. Horrible - while the scene where Captain Hammer assures Dr. Horrible that he will be having sex with Dr. Horrible’s crush was admittedly hilarious, due mainly to Nathan Fillion’s delivery, it depended entirely upon playing out their battle with one another using a woman’s body as a way of scoring points. Worst of all, Penny dies at the end, in exactly the kind of death scene we’ve complained about several times on this site - one that serves almost exclusively to progress the character development of the men in her life. She dies as a result of the competition between the two men, accidentally, by getting in the way. Despite the fact that immediately before Dr. Horrible arrived on the scene, she seemed to be recognizing her boyfriend’s incredible arrogance and selfishness, with her dying breath, she sings “Captain Hammer will save us”. Not only does this show her as the woman to be rescued (if unsuccessfully), the main point of having her say it was to take away that last thing that made Dr. Horrible want to be…not horrible, and cement his commitment to proving himself as the most evil person alive.

I agree with both assessments, which I found on Joss Whedon's fan site under the July 20 entry. Commenter rufustfyrfly summed up my second problem with Dr. Horrible:

. . . [the musical] had exactly no named characters of color. Yet another bizarro parallel universe in which Southern California is mostly white.

Come on, Joss. We know you can do better than this! I push because I love.

Almost every person in the entire musical was white and male. Seriously. Even in the dedication of the homeless shelter, almost every person in the room was white. There was one possibly Asian woman who had a singing part, but she had to share all of her screen time with her two white friends.

This kind of nonsense is plausibly excusable when your production is governed by media conglomerates like Viacom or NBC Universal or Time Warner or Disney. But Mr. Whedon, when you decide to create a project with no strings attached, and you have complete creative freedom, you should do better. Especially if you call yourself a feminist, a label which some question.

Here are some related perspectives on Dr. Horrible:

...but., by elisha at sixth_light.

Dr. Horrible, or Why I'm So Pissed Off, by per_maybe_haps.

Blogging along with Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, by Holly at Feministe.

Also, here is Why film schools teach screenwriters not to pass the Bechdel test, by BetaCandy at The Hathor Legacy.

Finally, I leave you with Joss Whedon's Equality Now speech via Mother Jones:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

How much will Howie get?

Boy band promoter ordered to repay victims $300M, by Travis Reed, AP via Yahoo! News.

Lou Pearlman and federal authorities have finally agreed on how much the former boy band promoter swindled from banks and investors in a decades-long scam: a staggering $300 million.

That's how much creator of the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync will have to repay, at a minimum, for restitution on the fraud conviction for which he's serving a 25-year prison sentence . . .

I still miss Kevin. He's alive, just not in the group anymore.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Yummy yum fruit

This weekend I bought some giant nectarines at the grocery store. The nectarines I'm used to aren't that big. Each one is usually the size of a plum or a squeezable stress ball. But these new nectarines were large, about the size of navel oranges.

I felt them, and they seemed ripe, so I purchased three of them. Yet I was still skeptical. I figured since these nectarines were large, they wouldn't taste as good as the small ones.

I waited until today to try one of my giant nectarines. It took me a while to cut the whole thing into pieces. Then I tasted it. It was yummy yum yum in my tummy tum tum! Who knew?! I'm going to eat these fist-sized nectarines all the time! Of course, with the hormones and pesticides that were probably used to grow these big fruits, my third eye and sixth toes will be a-glowing with radiation by the end of the summer.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Look, a quote!

"It's rare that we find anyone that we want to be a part of Frangela - but reading Steve the Penguin was like talking to our other girlfriend. Mahlena-Rae is that voice inside all of our heads - wishing for more, wanting more - sometimes scaredand sometimes crazy. Mahlena-Rae Johnson has done what few authors have been able to do; she has created an experience, a journey that feels familiar and real and yet, takes you places you don't ever expect. We loved it!"

- Frances Callier and Angela V Shelton aka Frangela

How exciting. Thank you, Frangela!

Monday, July 07, 2008

What a putz.

Yes, I'm breaking out the Yiddish on this one:

Obama and the Acceptable Abortion, by Jill at Feministe. Jill links to !!#@$!!!@*!&*#$*&@, by Melissa McEwan at Shakesville. Melissa links to this AP article by Jim Kuhnhenn: Obama: Mental distress can't justify late abortion.

Here is the quote from Relevant Magazine, in context. Emphases mine, so you know why I have my mad pants on:

[Cameron Strang, Publisher]: Based on emails we received, another issue of deep importance to our readers is a candidate’s stance on abortion. We largely know your platform, but there seems to be some real confusion about your position on third-trimester and partial-birth abortions. Can you clarify your stance for us?

I absolutely can, so please don’t believe the emails. I have repeatedly said that I think it’s entirely appropriate for states to restrict or even prohibit late-term abortions as long as there is a strict, well-defined exception for the health of the mother. Now, I don’t think that “mental distress” qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy, where there are real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term. Otherwise, as long as there is such a medical exception in place, I think we can prohibit late-term abortions.

The other email rumor that’s been floating around is that somehow I’m unwilling to see doctors offer life-saving care to children who were born as a result of an induced abortion. That’s just false. There was a bill that came up in Illinois that was called the “Born Alive” bill that purported to require life-saving treatment to such infants. And I did vote against that bill. The reason was that there was already a law in place in Illinois that said that you always have to supply life-saving treatment to any infant under any circumstances, and this bill actually was designed to overturn Roe v. Wade, so I didn’t think it was going to pass constitutional muster.

Ever since that time, emails have been sent out suggesting that, somehow, I would be in favor of letting an infant die in a hospital because of this particular vote. That’s not a fair characterization, and that’s not an honest characterization. It defies common sense to think that a hospital wouldn't provide life-saving treatment to an infant that was alive and had a chance of survival.

You’ve said you’re personally against abortion and would like to see a reduction in the number of abortions under your administration. So, as president, how would do you propose accomplishing that?

I think we know that abortions rise when unwanted pregnancies rise. So, if we are continuing what has been a promising trend in the reduction of teen pregnancies, through education and abstinence education giving good information to teenagers. That is important—emphasizing the sacredness of sexual behavior to our children. I think that’s something that we can encourage. I think encouraging adoptions in a significant way. I think the proper role of government. So there are ways that we can make a difference, and those are going to be things I focus on when I am president.

Did I miss something? Is this man Barry Obama, M.D.? Is Senator Obama hiding a uterus, ovaries and a vagina under his suit? No? Then in what way is he--or any other man--qualified to lay down proclamations over how women use their bodies?

Also, "the sacredness of sexual behavior"? The "promising trend in the reduction of teen pregnancies, through education and abstinence education"? Did he miss Jamie-Lynn Spears' surprise that having unprotected sex led to her getting pregnant? There are no words for this lunacy.

I'm mad because there is no one this man won't sell out. He knows everyone left of center has to either vote for him or not vote. So first he tells the gays and the lesbians and the rest of the queer community that he will keep them separate but equal. Then he tells sick people that he'll provide health care to everyone who wants it; as if there are people who don't want health care. Then he tells black people that we need to check our own racism and homophobia; because that's the problem with this country: the bigotry of black people? Then he tells our military, maybe I won't end the Iraq war as quickly as I said I would before I became the presumptive Democratic nominee. Now he's imposing his ignorant beliefs on women's bodies and advocating abstinence education for teenagers, even though abstinence education does not work.

Senator Obama, I did read Animal Farm. And right now, you look like a pig walking on two legs.

(Maybe I'll add some more linky-links later.)


Friday, July 04, 2008

Tommy's still working . . . kinda.

From the CMT website:

Hunter S. Thompson or Johnny Knoxville? Neither.

C. Thomas Howell is host, creator and executive producer of Hillbilly Deluxe.

Hillbilly Deluxe is made up of the potential ingredients from Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous big-timing in a small town with a splash of Dirtiest Jobs flirting with Jackass-type segments.

C. Thomas Howell, also known as "Tommy," has an impressive list of credits to his name. As an established actor, writer, director, producer, TV host and radio personality, he is recognized as a Hollywood favorite. A Junior Rodeo champ, at a young age he graced the silver screen in Steven Spielberg's E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Francis Ford Coppola's The Outsiders, The Hitcher, Red Dawn, SoulMan and many others. More recently, his film credits include roles in Hidalgo & H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds. Howell also directed and starred in War of the Worlds 2.

Who knew? Apparently heather did, and she's not happy. At least it's a step up from Soul Man.


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

When the time comes

to memorialize me in a made-for-TV movie--preferably with a title like Yeah, She Said It, or From Elijah to Backstreet, or What is She Complaining about Now?--please don't let my Randy Quaid-equivalent play me. Make the effort to sign my Dennis Quaid-equivalent instead:

Jumpstart Your Acting Career By Profiting Off The Death Of Tim Russert!, Defamer.

But who could play me? Looking through the latest Bright Young Hollywood feature from Vanity Fair, the talent pickings are slim-to-none. The closest person is Zöe Kravitz, whom the magazine made look as pale as possible. The only other option is to put a wig on Rob Brown (who?). Note in the picture that Mr. Brown, the only black guy in the entire article, is off to the left and in the back. Nice.

The entire photo spread seems to embody the qualities that the American media holds dear: racism, sexism, heternormativity. Heaven forbid a woman be allowed to drive a boat or pilot her own bike or hang out on the sand not draped over a fully-clothed beached whale. That last picture just says it all for me. Ugh.