12 December 2011

Fightin’ Words: On Awkward Black Girl and the CFC

Of the many things I’ve received from the inimitable Grandma Charlotte, including second-hand smoke, the basics of knitting, and a tendency to yell at people appearing on television as if they can somehow hear me, her literary example and advice on general matters are probably the gifts I hold most dear. Grandma Charlotte is always reading; she has been known to give people book covers as gifts because she has not finished the book it clothed. Along with telling me that books were my friends, it was from Grandma that I first learned the following axiom on semantics, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it. It’s not the words that you use, but the way that you convey it.”

24 October 2011

Gumbel's Stern Words

Last week, Bryant Gumbel's closing remarks at the end of his Emmy Award-winning HBO series, Real Sports sparked controversy:

"Finally, tonight, if the NBA lockout is going to be resolved any time soon, it seems likely to be done in spite of David Stern, not because of him. I say that because the NBA's infamously egocentric commissioner seemed more hellbent recently on demeaning the players rather than his game's labor impasse.

17 October 2011

Alternatives to Occupying Things


Last week, I ranted a little about the language of Occupy _insert city here_, and how we really need to consider how semantics inform our actions. As a bit of a reminder, I support actions that look to significantly counter the growing chasm between the haves and the have-nots, but I don't think we need to adopt the language--and behavior--of colonialists to do that. Besides, occupying occupied spaces does not make us much--if any--better than the folks we're protesting.

All that said, I thought I might start a list here. What alternatives are availble to those of us who can't or won't occupy _insert city here_ ? What else can we do to disrupt the heart of capitalism? Since we live here, it's nearly impossible not to participate, but perhaps we can limit our activity in some noticeable way.

10 October 2011

Two-for-One Monday

Instead of giving you a long-winded blog wherein I attempt to make sense of (read: hate on) some nugget of pop culture, I thought I just comment on two issues that have stuck with me since I last wrote.

On Useless Knowledge and Occupy Wall Street
As a kid, I used to collect useless knowledge. You know, stuff like, If you tap the 57 on a Heinz bottle it'll make the ketchup come out faster. (You're welcome.) Now, I'm sure the invention of Google has made this kind of knowledge a little easier to come by and a lot less impressive--even when coming from the mouth of a 12-year-old. But I must share one more: Wall Street is called Wall Street because the Dutch built a wall to keep the indigenous folks from "invading." Perhaps this account is disputed, but even if this factoid is not entirely true, I think it's important to think about it in terms of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations.

03 October 2011

Today in Post-Race History: A Rock and a Hard Place

I really hate it when politics interrupt my fantasy football preparation. There I was checking Twitter for tweets that might help my abysmal fantasy team when I started seeing posts about presidential candidate Rick Perry's little problem.

In case you missed it, according to a story published in The Washington Post last Saturday, Perry's family's hunting camp was known as Niggerhead. In fact, the word was etched on a rock at the camp's entrance and, according to the article, the word was not painted over for quite some time.

Gosh, don't you just love vintage America?

26 September 2011

They Reminisce Over You

Last week I made the decision not to mention Troy Davis in my blog. This week, however, I feel the need to make a desultory remark or two. So random are my words that I am thinking about the law and morality. A bad move, I know. But I can't help it:

Transgender Pillars of Salt

Although I'd like to spend this morning ranting about how Peyton Manning's neck is going to make this the most intolerable football season in years, I understand that no one but me, Colts fans, and folks who drafted him in their fantasy league really care. And so, I dedicate this morning's post to something we all care about. That's right.Dancing with the Stars.
It seems that while I was preparing for fantasy football drafts and such, the ABC Network was looking for more than contestants when it enlisted Chaz Bono, transgender activist and child of Sonny and Cher. When DWTS announced that Bono, who underwent both a physical and social gender transition several months ago,  would be taking part in this season, controversy ensued. Organizations such as onemillionmoms.com have called for a boycott of the show, saying that Bono's casting was "unacceptable" and imploring Christians not to watch it--to prevent any requisite eye-gouging, I'm sure. The Family Research Council has gone as far as to suggest that ABC is attempting to indoctrinate viewers--because, I suppose, one surely catches "the transgender" by looking.

Game Theory #Pause

Not that I pay that much attention to hip-hop anymore, but rapper, [The] Game (when did he drop the article?) spoke out recently about gays and hip-hop, and I noticed. And by "notice" I mean someone mentioned it to me and I bothered to Google it. Call it preparation for LGBTQ History Month.
In case you were wondering or concerned, "Game don't have a problem with gay people." Let's all take a moment and release that collective sigh of relief. I wish I could follow that quote with "The Game don't have a problem with not making albums anymore," but that would be a lie--or a wish. Take your pick. But I digress. So, yeah, The Game don't have a problem with gay people, but he does have a problem with believing myths and spreading them as if they are factually correct. The Game may not have a problem with the gays--and by gays The Game seems to speak exclusively about gay men--but he does have a problem with closeted men sleeping with straight women and consequently spreading AIDS to straight men who, I guess, would otherwise not have gotten caught up. This theory, as many of us know, has gained the appellation, "The Down Low Myth," and several blogs have responded to The Game's comments by refuting his argument. I support those efforts. And I hope those fans of The Game (because, seriously, who else was paying attention) who believed his words read those responses and gained some clarity. There was, however, something that the pundits missed, and I'd like to address it here.

29 August 2011

What's Your Fantasy?

I keep trying to come up with reasons to justify my addiction to (fantasy) football. I praise the parity of the NFL and argue that the helmets help create anonymity that makes football the ultimate team sport. I discuss the elegance of a tightly thrown spiral arching through the air, landing in the hands of wide receiver walking the tight rope of a sideline. Those things may all be true. But what is also true is that football is America's gladiator sport. It is violent and boorishly brutal. And homoerotic as hell. I love it.

Last Friday marked the inaugural draft party of the Dirty Dianas Fantasy Football League. A small group of women gathered at my homie, Maeg's house to 
get drunk
 get in on the nerdiest way to watch sports. As the commissioner of this new league, I wanted a few things to happen: our league would be all women, we would throw a party (and there would be cake!), and despite my ophidiophobia, we'd hold a snake [!!!!] draft.

22 August 2011

Commercial Break: Athlete Slash Musician

It seems I've been more polemical than usual these last few weeks. So how about something completely worthless and asinine--ok, more worthless and asinine than what I usually post here--this Monday? Because, frankly, all I have to say about The Help's (and The Smurfs') continued box office success this weekend is: Effing really (God bless the interrobang.)

Anyway, in case you missed it, the NFL lockout ended, and I'm using the breaks from dissertating to prepare for the upcoming fantasy football season. I'm ready to defend last year's title (and take that money); I've also started a women's fantasy football league (because that's why feminists burned their bras in the 70s). In an effort to find enough women to participate, the homie, Liz and I Twitter-stalked ESPN's Jemele Hill trying to get her to take one of our slots. Despite the hilarity of our tweets to her, she eventually declined due to schedule (or so she says #notbitter). One of tweets I sent her was a mash-up of the New York Jets, Bart Scott's now hilariously infamous post-game interview and Nu Shooz 80s hit, "I Can't Wait." My foray into technological prowess combined with Deion "Must be the Money Sanders' induction into the NFL Hall of Fame a few weeks ago got me thinking about athletes and their musical careers. And so, instead of the scathing pop culture criticism you've grown used to, I present:

15 August 2011

On Not Seeing 'The Help'

I did not see The Help this weekend; I also did not read the book. Since I both read and saw The Secret Life of Bees a couple of years ago and am conversationally familiar with The Blind Side, I figured I had earned enough credit to sit this one out. Call it a mental health decision.

The title alone was enough for me to know to stay away. The synopsis confirmed that I had made the right decision: A young southern white woman with dreams of becoming a writer comes home from college and upon hearing the news that her mammy has abruptly left Mississippi for Chicago, realizes that black maids are treated differently from white people and thusly decides to write about them from their perspective. This, folks, is a classic case of cinematic enwhitlement...and exactly how Hollywood--and the rest of America--addresses race: A well-meaning (often southern) and heretofore racially oblivious (shall we say color-blind?) white person randomly discovers that the Negro they love most (and by extension other black people) is treated "differently," becomes tragically affected by the epiphany, heroically takes up the cause (on a micro or macro level), and gets some Colored Only signs removed. Oh and a whole bunch of funny shit happens in the middle. Like Klansmen becoming comic relief. Yep. That's exactly how Jim Crow was.

08 August 2011

Some Unsolicited Love Advice for Queen Latifah

(Since my last two blogs have been relatively serious, how about something light this Monday morning?)

Dear Queen Latifah,

Well, look at you! Just the other week I was considering the conditions under which you might come out, and now word on the street is you're all up in the magazines talking about what kind of women you like:
Queen Latifah: …I just like ladies who have class. Period. And if it’s “T and A” you’re sellin’, that’s fine, as long as that’s what you’re selling. But you don’t have to show everything, you know? You can hold some back and just be yourself and let your personality shine and let your individuality show. To me, that’s sexier. A confident woman is a sexy woman, in my opinion. And I think guys find that to be the same way.

Jamie: Right.
Queen Latifah: You don’t have to show everything; you don’t have to put it all out there to attract a guy. Because what kind of guy are you gonna attract? What is he really looking for? If you wanna be a booty call, I guess you can throw it all out there. (laughs) But if you’re looking for a relationship with someone who respects you and respects things other than your body—your mind, your spirit, your personality, your smile—then you have to kind of exude that more so than just yo’ booty and yo’ titties.

01 August 2011

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill's Fans

Last week, Lauryn Hill announced the birth of her sixth child, a son, and then somehow found the strength to perform in LA just days after giving birth. Of course, this newest edition to Hill's family surprised very few, since photographs of her on stage during her Moving Target tour last spring led to speculations that she was pregnant--a rumor she later confirmed. As is the tendency when news of Hill's personal life emerges, the commoners side-eyed, sighed, smh'd and almost angrily mumbled about Lauryn running game like the Knicks/build [us] up only to lose the championship. Would she still appear at Rock the Bells and perform 1998's axis-altering solo debut, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill as had been planned? Would we ever hear that follow-up studio album? This latest pregnancy put everything (the fans wanted) in jeopardy.

25 July 2011

Amy Winehouse (1983 - 2011)

Many of us were not surprised, but shocked nonetheless to learn of British soul singer Amy Winehouse's sudden death at the age of 27. Winehouse was found dead in her London home on July 23. As is the trend these days, fans and friends of Winehouse set Twitter on fire with condolences and all the mourning one can pack into 140 characters (or fewer). Sometimes, the internet is the only place big enough to collect all the sadness that accompanies such news. The world lost a very talented person two days ago.

18 July 2011

Ladies First (and Only)?

It wasn't until I sat down to write this that I realized I'd have to confess to watching Single Ladies--more than once. It's true. Admittedly, I watched the first episode because I think Dionne Stacey Dash is fine. And although I find the acting in some ways utterly intolerable, somehow I've seen enough episodes since to still be able to follow the story line. Saying I watch because I want to support Lisa[waaaaaybeyondhershelflife]Raye for miraculously still finding work--even in a recession--is pretty unconvincing. Perhaps I should just blame baseball season. Apparently, I'm not alone. Viewership of Single Ladies has been consistent, and Vh1, which has been steadily rebranding itself as a grown and sexy, older sibling counterpart to BET's blazing hip-hop and R&B, will more than likely renew the (two-thirds) black version of Sex and the City for another season.

11 July 2011

On Little Dragon

If I had to choose, I suppose I would list Little Dragon as my favorite band. In fact, I spent the entire weekend listening to the quartet's second album, Machine Dreams perhaps in a little subconscious preparation for the release of their new album, Ritual Union next week.

Normally, I leave the music posts to Dallas, but a few words about the quartet from Gothenberg, Sweden: THEY ARE FANTASTIC.

27 June 2011

Monday Morning Bullets

Here goes:

  • Last week, I was listening to NPR on my drive home and heard Michelle (say it with me, now Meeee-shell) Norris' description of FLOTUS, Michelle Obama's trip to South Africa.  During her introduction, Norris was sure to mention that the FLOTUS danced with some South African kids.
Did Michelle O's Dougie spark a minor obsession with her dance moves?  There's a partial list of news sources discussing FLOTUS dancing here.  I think this is something worth keeping an eye on.  Viral videos of the FLOTUS cutting a rug inevitably raise questions about black spectacle, white consumption, and also about the relatability/likeability of our head(s) of state and his family.  It's complicated, a very thin line, but worthy of unpacking.
Now, if FLOTUS does The Percolator and/or engages in a footworking contest with Chicago Bulls star, Derrick Rose, let me know, because I will want to see that.

20 June 2011


Last week, Atlanta-based fast food chain, Chick-fil-A opened its very first Chicago restaurant.  Although it does not counteract the negative effect of parking meters and winter, this culinary addition only helps the argument that Chicago is the greatest (American) city ever.  (New York, NOLA, I love you, but the City of Wind tops my list.)  I've not been yet, but please believe that Chick-fil-A may very well be the last meal I have before I go on my next detox.  Chick-fil-A nuggets--along with jibaritos and bleucheeseburgers--is what prevents me from actually believing I could ever permanently be vegetarian.

13 June 2011

Today in Post-Race History: Kreayshawn

*sigh* Well, there's one (or more) for every generation.

I think Kreayshawn (nee Natassia Zolot) is a fraud.  I don't believe she's serious; I don't believe she's real.  Some good discussion about Kreayshawn and appropriation is happening, but I'm still at the start line refusing to believe her alleged biography about being the child of a teenaged mother and growing up in East Oakland.  
White people do this kind of thing--and by "kind of thing" I mean fabricate a story that somehow makes them more authentic, more "down"--all the time.  Vanilla Ice was never really stabbed five times; Margaret B. Jones was never really a gang member in L.A. despite what her memoir said.  (Apparently, folks love to lie in memoirs.)  So, I'll just take Natassia's stage name at its word: Kreayshawn = Creation.

Perhaps the truth will come out now that she's inked a record deal.

We should, I suppose, ask: What would the point be of making all of this up?  To prove that even in Obama's America, even during the recession, blackface money can always be made?  To remind us that white people acting how they think black people do will always prove endlessly fascinating and lucrative?  To suggest that talent only actually matters when you're the person whose likeness is actually being appropriated?

What say you about Kreayshawn?

06 June 2011

On Black Beauty

The nature of blogging necessitates that each Monday I dedicate my time to commenting on the most recent news that I care about to varying degrees.  That said, I thought I'd take this first June entry to say something about an issue that I didn't have an opportunity to discuss because I was busy hating on Common and famous gay people.

Last month, a few completely different, yet not altogether unrelated issues made a blip on my pop culture radar.  Briefly:

23 May 2011

It Gets Better...When You're Rich and/or Famous

Note: I was so concerned about the rapture on May 21, that I failed to post last Monday. Now I realize that when they said "rapture" all they really meant was that Oprah was ending her show and Chicago's mayor is no longer named Daley. You can totally interpret such events as the end of the world. Anyway, I finished what should have been last week's blog and posted it here.)

True story: Although the maternal side of my family knew, I didn't tell my biological father that I was gay until (quite literally) the day of my sister's wedding nearly year ago, just before he was about to walk her down the aisle.  What began as an incredibly awkward moment involving me in draga dress and makeup and weird conversation before the wedding, resulted in an embrace and my father's loving (for him) utterance of "We deuces," to let me know that we were still cool by the time we were taking post-nuptial photos; he even took the time to tell my girlfriend she was welcome to visit anytime.  It was a tremendous relief.  Sure, I probably should have done it much sooner, but procrastination is a tough drug to kick.  Besides, I had never hidden anything from my dad or ever talked to him about relationships, so the idea of me sitting him down and telling him that he could add dating women to the list of things he and I had in common seemed really forced and inauthentic.  Although it has always felt as if coming out was a ritual reserved for privileged white folks and Logo series, once I figured out that my dad inquiring, "So you cut your hair again, hunh?" wasn't a euphemism for "Are you gay?"  I knew I had to say something.

16 May 2011

Mistaken Identity

So last week, the black blogosphere was ablaze about Fox News' objection to rapper, Common's appearance at the White House for an evening of poetry.  (I blame spoken word's roach-like ability to last so long on something incredibly jacked up I must have done in a former life.)  Calling the "controversial" rapper "vile," the right wing's media arm made the hip-hop heads, et. al. go ballistic.  They tweeted and blogged about the lunacy of such charges, in the process proving that Fox News is more out of touch than an AT&T cell subscriber not standing next to a tower.  Although Common performed anyway, and most of the Negro section of the internet has seemed to move on, I'm taking up the issue now, not because I can't believe the folks at the White House thought it was a good idea to invite Common to recite anything, but because I can't really be all that mad at Fox News.  After all, aren't people often inaccurately describing Common?  I'd like to take this blip on the pop culture radar to reiterate the fact that if one can glean any significance from Common's appearance at the White House, it's that he's exactly who some of his longest and most strident fans seem to forget he is: that is, a "conscious" rapper who finds the revolution--and its purveyors-- suitable for nothing but sampling and/or cameos.  Though ostensibly harmless and hardly who Fox thinks he is, Common has been confusing folks for the bulk of his career.  How mad can we be with Fox News for this latest flub?

09 May 2011

Proof: What is a Picture Worth?

Although I'd like to put Dead Prez on blast--like I planned on doing last week--I think it would be most appropriate to follow up last week's post.  I can't believe I'm about to force my fingers to type the following sentence, but here goes: I agree with the Obama Administration's decision not to publish the photos of Osama Bin Laden. 

One moment, please.  I feel a little dirty.

02 May 2011

Death Certificate

I had planned to write a mini-diatribe about why I did not at all enjoy the Dead Prez' song and video "The Beauty Within" (a "response" to Bruno Mars' "Nothing on You") that was released late last week.  However, I've decided to abandon a hate-filled monologue on something asinine, and be a more mindful blogger by saying a word or two about what happened last night.  I'll save that hate for next week.

25 April 2011

Beyonce, No

Last week's post on Kobe's faux pax and the subject matter of this week's entry are leading me to believe that I am fully committed to being unequivocally hated by my sister and my fellow homogays.  That's right.  I listened to Beyonce's recently leaked single, "Girls (Who Run the World)."  And you know what?  It's craptastic.  And by "craptastic" I don't mean it in that "Oh my god, what a vacuous, yet catchy new Beyonce song.  I think I'll shake my ass" type way.  I mean "craptastic" in that "Neither the world's most powerful wind machine nor all the of glitter in the world could save this dissonant shit" type way.

18 April 2011

The F-bomb

Seriously, folks, I want to put my basketball blogs in the Disney vault, but since it's the only thing I find worth watching, I kind of have to continue writing about the sport. Go with what I know.  Last week, Kobe Bryant got into all kinds of trouble for spazzing the bleep out at a referee after a call went against him.  Bryant received a technical foul for arguing with the official--NBA don't play that--but since he's a brat and a superstar he wasn't tossed from the game for violently, angrily heading to the bench, hitting his chair and a teammate, and throwing his towel.

Perhaps if the refs had tossed him from the game like they should have, the cameras wouldn't have caught Bryant calling the referee a "fucking faggot."  As always, here's the video:


11 April 2011


For the last couple of weeks, I've been detoxing.  That's right.  No cheeseburgers, no jibaritos, no vanilla malts.  First a vegan diet, then a raw one, now a vegetable juice fast.  Although some of the stuff I've had tastes like ass terrible, I did enjoy much of it.  Coconut water, an acquired taste for many, can be mildly addictive #teamvitacoco.  I'm very proud of myself for making it this far.  Heretofore, I've had very little food discipline.  I derive way too much pleasure from eating, I guess.  I tried The Master Cleanse for all of six hours, only to end up breaking that fast by eating a delicious, delicious hot dog.  The idea of syrup and cayenne pepper or whatever was ridiculous to me anyway.

04 April 2011

Bracket Buster

I know, I know.  I really, really need to stop blogging about basketball.  What can you expect from me if it's practically the only thing I watch these days?  Seriously, I'm going to start weening myself off of March Madness.  I have got to kick this college basketball jones.  This will be hard, but I have to do it.  I didn't fill out a bracket this year--a good sign.  And I only watched, maybe, fewer than a handful of games.  I imagine that I'll peek at tonight's final between Butler and UConn.  After that, though, I really need to change my viewing habits or something. Not that that will do anything but help me avoid being entertained by such blatant exploitation.

Last week, I caught Frontline's twenty-minute segment on the business of March Madness.  A story from the obvious files?  Perhaps.  Yet I had not seen a story that delineated the situation as clearly as this report did.  Here's the link.

28 March 2011

On Dirty Laundry

I swear I'll stop writing about Jalen Rose and The Fab Five after this week.  I promise.  I did, however, want to beat this dead horse one more good time take a moment to make a request of my (s)kinfolk.
What follows is a clip of ESPN's Chris Broussard discussing the Jalen Rose/Grant Hill issue on First Take.  What I'm mostly concerned with begins around minute 1:55.

21 March 2011

Full Court Press: A (Long-Winded) Defense of Jalen Rose

If last week's rather desultory and occasionally poorly rendered post on The Fab Five was any indication, my love for Jalen Rose and the rest of the Fab Five is immense and endures even today.  I appreciate many of the things they symbolized.  Just like back in '91, many do not hold this cohort of young black men in the same esteem that I do.   Since its airing, the reaction to the Fab Five documentary has mostly centered on Rose's comments about his views of the Duke Blue Devils and its black players, Grant Hill in particular.  In the documentary, Rose employed the term "Uncle Tom" to describe how his 18-year-old self understood black Duke players like Hill.  Here's the clip:

14 March 2011

March Madness: The Fab Five

Last night I caught ESPN's 30 for 30 installment, The Fab Five. The documentary chronicles the two years the University of Michigan men's basketball team captured the imagination--and ire--of the sports watching public. I was a young kid when Jalen Rose, Jimmy King, Juwan Howard, Ray Jackson, and Chris Webber revolutionized college basketball and rocked my basketball-loving world, even more so than the Larry Johnson-led UNLV Runnin' Rebels who came a few years before them. Growing up in basketball obessed Indiana, loyalities were given to either the Purdue Boilermakers or the Indiana Hoosiers. I had always been rather uninspired by the rivalry, couldn't care less about Gene Keady or Bob Knight. But the Fab Five? I wanted to be their little tomboyish sister or something. I wanted the baggy shorts, the black socks, the black sneakers--that I had to convince my dad to buy me, because according to him, "girls don't wear black gym shoes."--and maybe even the bald head. The Fab Five documentary took me back to those inevitably heartbreaking two years when Jalen Rose was my favorite Fab Fiver and the Duke Blue Devils were exactly that--devils. Although the film primarily spoke to the part of me that never got over the Wolverines losing in the NCAA tournament, what also coalesced in the film was perhaps a incredibly pivotal moment in black cultural when desire for respect and the pursuit for respectability were abandoned, inevitably resulting into a hyper-commodified and commericialized black culture that has now reached an extremely nihilistic moment.

28 February 2011

God's iPod

I was going to serve up a nice little nihilistic rant to begin the week, but I've thought better of it.  Instead, I will provide you with a list.  It's been a while since I've done a list, right?

Last week, I failed to give a special birthday shout out to Nina Simone.  After posting my blog, I spent most of the day listening to Nina (partly because it was her birthday, partly because I needed to get Soulja Boy's "Speakers Going Hammer" out of my head).  The exercise lead me to Youtube.  One of the comments on a clip of "Sinnerman" reads: this is on God's iPod.

I'm stealing that idea for today's blog.  What, exactly, is on God's iPod?  A few guesses (which may just look like a list of some of my personal jams, because the God I believe in has the same [excellent] taste in music that I have.  Me being made in His image and all.):

14 February 2011

Today in Post-Race History: Pepsi Challenge[d]

Now that the Super Bowl dust has settled, I am nursing my way out of an omg-no-football-for-seven-months depression with small bits of NBA basketball (Derek Rose has overtaken Chris Paul as my favorite player), until March Madness helps me get through the last leg of my winter hibernation.  Overall, the big game was rather entertaining, but the most discussion-worthy moments occurred before and in between it.  The reading of the Declaration of Independence by current and former NFL players and members of the military perfectly displayed why the terrorists hate us. Yet for that to be followed immediately by Xtina's flub of the national anthem perhaps best symbolized the cracks of ignorance jeopardizing the whole God Bless America foundation so many of Fox News' employees stand upon.  The Black Eyed Peas' halftime performance indicated that the only thing that rivals American faux patriotism is our tone deafness and love for a group that cashed in on its obnoxious sound and trendy racial diversity--although the latter only became America-friendly when they traded their black woman singer in for a newer, white(r) model.  The Super Bowl commercials were blah at best.  There was one, however, that caused me to pay attention.  And what better way to honor of black history month and Valentine's Day (a.k.a. Single Awareness Day) simultaneously than by mentioning the Super Bowl Pepsi ad that seemed to be all about black love?  Have a look:

07 February 2011

Snow Day Dibs

Your favorite (Chicago) blogger has emerged from the Chicago Blizzard of '011.  I know you were worried.  Had I waited any longer to leave campus last Tuesday, I would have been part of the group of lucky motorists who got stranded on Lake Shore Drive because of car accidents and snow drifts.  Yet I made it home and quickly caught cabin fever, tweeting and posting the most asinine things to my Facebook page for most of the night.  (Even in the most dire circumstances, one should not share a link to Snow's "Informer" under any circumstances--even blizzard conditions.)

31 January 2011

A (Friendly) Reminder

Antoine Dodson's fifteen minutes are not over yet.  Last week, I learned (via Twitter, duh), that Dodson, who became (internet) famous when his rant to the local news was remixed by The Gregory Brothers into "The Bed Intruder Song," has already begun filming a reality show based upon his move from the Alabama projects to West Hollywood (of course).  This should make for good television, as Dodson is charming (in both the southern and gay sense), has enough (gay) slang to keep the allegedly hetero masses tuning in weekly for lessons, and looks fierce in a pair of women's jeans.

24 January 2011

The Sweetest Thing

I cannot quit Lauryn Hill.

Several days ago, if you had asked me what I might entitle my post-Hill Chicago show blog, I would have said something like "Ex-Factor," "Lost One," or "Losing Lauryn."  Instead, I sit here, after witnessing my first Lauryn Hill show in years, having named this entry after my favorite Lauryn Hill song. 

17 January 2011

Sing, Sing Celebrate

Today is MLK Day, and if you're lucky, you're chilling in bed reading this on your smartphone.  Or perhaps you're not reading this at all.  And that's cool.  Rosa Parks didn't refuse to give up her seat on a bus for you to be reading blogs on your vacation day.

For those who are reading this, I won't keep you.  Last week's Huck Finn entry may qualify as the longest entry ever.  Moreover, the only thing I really had to say about MLK, I said last year in an entry you can read here.  Since I know you're going to spend your MLK Day taking in an enlightening lecture and/or reflecting on all that Dr. King has done for your life, I've decided to take a more ignorant road.  Here's how not to honor the life of Martin Luther (the) King:

If you have to work today, do not curse out your supervisor for reminding you to bring in doughnuts and coffee for the morning meeting.  Saying, "Dr. King didn't march so I could bring breakfast to my co-workers," is a thoroughly inappropriate use of his legacy.  Besides it was your turn, and Krispy Kreme is on your way to the office, anyway. 

Putting a Colored Only sign above the work water cooler is only funny in theory.  Trust me on this one.  Save it for April Fool's Day.

Do not show up to your King Day of service hungover.  Stay in bed; sleep it off.  Just wait until next year.  Besides, no Head Start wants the person reading Of Thee I Sing to be reeking of alcohol.  Seriously, they really don't want your kind.  The fact that you thought Kognac and King looked and sounded catchy enough to put on a flier was already appalling.  But the fact that you imbibed enough to be in the middle of the dance floor singing "freedom ring on it" instead of "put a ring on it" was just too much.  Nah, dog. It wasn't a good look.  You need a time out.

Do not participate in a sit-in held at the university president's office door because you heard there weren't enough volumes in your black culture center's library.  Why?  Because you only know where it is because your fraternity used their basement for step practice.  If you're joining the protest to get next to an activist cutie, however, I fully support this move. 

Do not tweet or populate your Facebook status with MLK quotes you just Googled.  Why? Because it's a lazy thing to do.  And the internet lies.  "The path to justice and equality can only be illuminated by the light of human kindness and love." - Martin Luther King.  Nope. not Martin Luther King.  I just made that up.  See how the internet lies?

By all means, do watch this video:

And this one:

Happy Martin Luther King Day, kids.

10 January 2011

Today in Post-Race History: Nigger x 219

*Someone please cue my righteous indignation music*

It seems that we have officially reached the end of days.  Birds are falling out of the sky; dead fish are coming in with the tide.  News outlets are doing their best not to refer to Jared Loughner's acts as ones of terrorism, and simply make efforts to describe him as a crazy person (because white people only do this kind of thing when they are mentally unstable, and we all know how violent mentally unstable people are.  Besides, it's only terrorism if you shoot Americans in the name of Allah.).  And soon you will be able to read Huck Finn without ever having to set eyes upon the word, nigger.

Why is Will Smith busy being a stage dad when we need him most?

06 January 2011

Chapter 31: A Preface

I'm going to post about the Huck Finn controversy on Monday, but in the meantime, I wanted to put something on the blog about it as, perhaps, a kind of teaser or preface.

I had read Twain's novel when I was a kid.  I didn't return to it again until college, when it was assigned to me by a professor, Bob Lamb--a remarkably nice man from the Bronx who loved the Yankees and rocked cowboy boots to class--in an honors American literature course.  These many years later, there are few moments I (fondly) recall in English lectures, but Professor Lamb's discussions were always rewarding, thoughtful, and enlightening; what he he said of Huck Finn, chapter 31 in particular has always stuck with me, and I've carried the memory with me all these years.  It's been an incredibly helpful weapon in this battle with graduate school, and a nice reminder of my love for literature and why fiction is so important.

03 January 2011

Summer M.'s Predictions for 2011

Admittedly, this blog is about a week late.  Teena Marie's unfortunate and untimely death caused me to bump my 2011 predictions back a week.  I'm not sure if I can technically call the following statements predictions since we are already a few days into the new year.  Nonetheless, I prognosticate for you, dear audience.  I will try my best not to cheat or be any lazier than I usually am.  And by lazy, I mean I won't predict anything (unfortunate) about Tyler Perry or Oprah Winfrey or how I plan to use my fantasy football winnings to adopt a puppy and name him Vick.  (Although if you'd like to read what I tweeted during Barbara Walters' interview of the Divine Ms. O, you may see that here.)  Instead, I offer the following hopes for the new year:


Barbara Walters interviewed Oprah. I tweeted about it, pretending to interpret O's words.

"barbara, if you ask me a fucked up question, i will have the ghost of madame cj walker come burn your scalp."

"ben franklin wants me to replace him on the hundred dollar bill. but i told him my money was too long for that."

"nigga, the mayans couldn't predict me."

"barack obama sold me fort knox. and i got a tax credit for it."

"when i'm done, white people will be asking for 40 acres and a mule."
"i didn't have children because you mere mortals don't deserve to set eyes upon my seed."

"i could impregnate gayle if i wanted to--and she'd have a white baby."

"when i say thyroid, i mean pork chop."

"dr. phil is an octoroon."

"on the low, the theme song i sang--"run on"--is a negro spiritual [subtly giving my people instructions on how to find their way to freedom]."

"frederick douglass is secretly in charge of my book club."

after the last tweet, i should say a few hail marys. i'm not catholic.

"i do favorite things b/c the audience's faces look like their ancestors' during a slave revolt."

"tyler perry is really my son."

"i dress up as jim crow for halloween, barbara."

"michael jackson is chillin' in my santa barbara compound making pancakes for tupac and steadman."

"nigga, i'm recolonizing the world. one 'amaaaazing' at a time. globalize deez nuts!"

"i'm calling the network OWN. to remind you of what you did to my people."

Designer Labels

$40 million slaves (3) 2010 (1) 4-letter words (1) 80s (1) 8th grade (1) 90s (4) a different world (1) africa (1) aladdin (1) american values (4) amy winehouse (1) anderson cooper (1) anniversary (3) antoine dodson (1) apple (1) arizona (1) athletes (1) awkward black girl (1) barack obama (13) barbara walters (1) basketball (6) beer (1) bet (1) BET Awards (2) beyonce (4) bill clinton (1) bill duke (1) bill withers (1) birthdays (1) black beauty (1) black girls (4) black kids (4) black like me (1) black love is dead (2) black masculinity (1) black people (13) black respectability (1) black thought (1) black women (7) blacks (1) blame it on the alcohol (1) blaphemy (1) blind side (1) blizzard (1) blogging (1) bob marley (1) Bobby Brown (1) books (4) brandy (1) bryan safi (1) bryant gumbel (1) burger kind (1) cam'ron (1) capitalism (2) census 2010 (1) cereal (1) chappelle's show (1) charles barkley (1) chaz bono (1) chicago (3) chick-fil-a (2) chris broussard (1) chris brown (1) christmas (3) cinema (2) class (1) college (1) college basketball (1) coming out (1) commencement (2) commercials (2) common (3) current tv (1) d'angelo (2) dad (1) daddy (1) dark girls (1) dave chappelle (1) david stern (1) dead prez (1) death penalty (2) dee rees (1) democracy (1) dibs (1) diddy (1) dilla (1) dirty laundry (1) disaster (1) disney (1) dissertation (4) diva (1) don't ask don't tell (1) donell jones (1) drew brees (1) dwele (2) ebony (1) eddie long (1) education (1) election (1) enwhitlement (1) erica jong (1) erykah badu (3) esperanza spaulding (1) espn (2) et. al. (1) etc. (1) facebook (1) faggot (1) family (1) family stand (1) fantasy football (1) federal holidays (1) feminism (1) film (2) football (7) for colored girls (1) forgiveness (2) fox news (1) free agency 2010 (1) freedom (2) gabby sidibe (3) game (1) gang starr (1) gay hip hop (1) gender (1) geraldo rivera (1) ghetto heaven (1) gifts (1) god (1) going green (2) golf (1) grace jones (1) graduate school (1) graduation (2) grandma (1) grant hill (2) grocery shopping (1) guns (1) guru (1) haiti (4) hall of fame (1) halloween (1) harlem (1) harper lee (1) harry reid (1) hateration (1) henry louis gates (1) high school (1) hip hop (3) holding history (1) hood pass (1) hoodies (1) huck finn (2) hurricane katrina (1) immigration (3) instant vintage (2) internet (1) introductions (1) ipad (1) ipod (1) isiah thomas (1) jail (2) jalen rose (2) janelle monae (1) janet jackson (1) jazmine sullivan (1) jennifer hudson (1) john howard griffin (1) john mayer (1) jokes (2) just jokes (1) kanye west (2) kelly dodson (1) kfc (1) kia (1) kim wayans (1) kinky reggae (1) kitty kelley (1) kobe (1) kobe bryant (1) kreayshawn (1) krs-one (1) kwanzaa (1) lamya (1) language (1) late night with jimmy fallon (1) latin america (1) laurence fishburne (1) lauryn hill (6) lebron james (6) lena horne (1) lenny kravitz (1) lesbians of color (1) levar burton (1) lgbt (1) life after death (2) lists (1) little dragon (1) live blogging (1) logan square (1) long live the message (1) lupe fiasco (1) macon d. (1) magic johnson (1) maia campbell (1) making the band (1) man men (1) march madness (1) mariah carey (1) mark twain (1) marriage (1) martin lawrence (1) martin luther the king (3) mary j. blige (1) masculinity (1) mayor (1) me (1) mexicans (1) michael jackson (9) michael jordan (1) michael vick (1) michelle obama (1) Mike Tyson (1) military (1) MLK Day (1) mo'nique (1) mom (1) monday (1) money (3) montana fishburne (1) morality (1) movies (7) muhsinah (1) multiracial (1) muppets (1) music (19) my block (1) my former life (4) my personal issues (14) mystic brew (1) n (1) nannie (5) national coming out day (1) nba (2) negroes (7) new orleans (1) nfl (1) nigger (1) nihilism (2) nike (1) nina simone (1) nobel peace prize (1) not voting (1) occupy wall street (2) octavia spencer (1) oprah winfrey (4) osama bin laden (2) oscar (2) oscar grant (1) painting (1) pariah (1) pat robertson (2) paul beatty (1) paul laurence dunbar (1) paula patton (1) peyton manning (1) phaedra parks (2) phd (1) pictures (1) playboy (1) plays (1) poetry (2) police (2) politics (10) polkadotted stripes (5) pop life (56) porn (1) post cereal (1) post-race (18) post-soul (1) postmodernism (1) precious (5) prop 8 (1) push (1) qpoc (1) queen latifah (4) queer as folk (6) quoteable (1) racialicious (1) racism (14) randomness (1) reading is fundamental (2) repeal (1) resolutions (1) retirement (1) rhoa (1) richard daley (1) Rick James (1) rick perry (1) rihanna (1) robots (1) robyn crawford (1) rolling in the whip (1) rumors (6) run on (1) running (1) sade (1) sammy sosa (1) samples (1) sandra bullock (3) sapphire (1) school (1) sesame street (1) sexuality (9) Shingai Shoniwa (1) shows (1) slang (1) slavery (2) slum village (1) slurs (1) snoop dogg (1) sotomayor (1) soulja boy (1) sports (8) starbucks (1) stuff white people do (1) super bowl (2) survival (1) Teena Marie (1) tell him (1) terence trent d'arby (1) the 70s (1) the 80s (2) the banal. (1) the blind side (1) the civil rights movement (1) the clipse (1) the color purple (1) the cosby show (1) the dougie (1) the everyday (1) the fab five (3) the foreign exchange (1) the golden girls (1) the gregory brothers (1) the help (2) the hunger games (2) the lion king (1) the lovers and friends show (1) the new year (1) the NOISEttes (1) the nutcracker (1) the princess and the frog (1) the puppets (1) the roots (1) the smurfs (1) the view (1) the white boy shuffle (1) this is it (1) tiger woods (4) to kill a mockingbird (1) toure (1) toussaint l'ouverture (1) trader joe's (2) trayvon martin (2) trouble the water (1) troy davis (1) tv (1) twelve (1) twitter (1) tyler perry (5) usc (1) valentine's day (1) viola davis (1) voodoo (1) voting (1) Wayne Brady (1) web series (1) white house correspondents dinner (1) white house press corps (1) white men (1) white people (1) white saviors (1) white women (1) white women rappers (1) whitney houston (4) whoopi goldberg (1) will.i.am (1) william rhoden (1) william wordsworth (1) willow smith (2) wishing well (1) women (1) world cup (1) writing (1) wyclef (1) zo (1)