Lies, damned lies and forwarded e-mails:
... Got this from a family member. It's not true. With so much information out there to ding B--- on, no one should have to resort to a made-up institute's "report" passed around from in-box to in-box like so much pamphleteered propaganda.
President Bush Has Lowest IQ of all Presidents of past 50 Years
If late night TV comedy is an indicator, then there has never been as widespread a perception that a president is not intellectually qualified for the position he holds as there is with President GW Bush.
In a report published Monday, the Lovenstein Institute of Scranton, Pennsylvania detailed its findings of a four month study of the intelligence quotient of President George W. Bush.
Since 1973, the Lovenstein Institute has published it's research to the education community on each new president, which includes the famous "IQ" report among others.
According to statements in the report, there have been twelve presidents over the past 50 years, from F. D. Roosevelt to G. W. Bush who were all rated based on scholarly achievements, writings that they alone produced without aid of staff, their ability to speak with clarity, and several other psychological factors which were then scored in the Swanson/Crain system of intelligence ranking.
The study determined the following IQs of each president as accurate to within five percentage points:
147 .. Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) 132 .. Harry Truman (D)122 .. Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)174 .. John F. Kennedy (D)126 .. Lyndon B. Johnson (D)155 .. Richard M. Nixon (R)121 .. Gerald Ford (R)175 .. James E. Carter (D)105 .. Ronald Reagan (R)098 .. George HW Bush (R)182 .. William J. Clinton (D)091 .. George W. Bush (R)
or, in IQ order:
182 .. William J. Clinton (D)175 .. James E. Carter (D)174 .. John F. Kennedy (D)155 .. Richard M. Nixon (R)147 .. Franklin D. Roosevelt (D)132 .. Harry Truman (D)126 .. Lyndon B. Johnson (D)122 .. Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)
121 .. Gerald Ford (R)105 .. Ronald Reagan (R)098 .. George HW Bush (R)091 .. George W. Bush (R)
The six Republican presidents of the past 50 years had an average IQ of 115.5, with President Nixon having the highest IQ, at 155. President G.W. Bush was rated the lowest of all the Republicans with an IQ of 91. The six Democrat presidents had IQs with an average of 156, with President Clinton having the highest IQ, at 182. President Lyndon B. Johnson was rated the lowest of all the Democrats with an IQ of 126. No president other than Carter (D) has released his actual IQ, 176.
Among comments made concerning the specific testing of President GW Bush, his low ratings were due to his apparent difficulty to command the English language in public statements, his limited use of vocabulary (6,500 words for Bush versus an average of 11,000 words for other presidents), his lack of scholarly achievements other than a basic MBA, and an absence of any body of work which could be studied on an intellectual basis. The complete report documents the methods and procedures used to arrive at these ratings, including depth of sentence structure and voice stress confidence analysis.
"All the Presidents prior to George W. Bush had a least one book under their belt, and most had written several white papers during their education or early careers. Not so with President Bush," Dr. Lovenstein said. "He has no published works or writings, so in many ways that made it more difficult to arrive at an assessment. We had to rely more heavily on transcripts of his unscripted public speaking."
The Lovenstein Institute of Scranton Pennsylvania think tank includes high caliber historians, psychiatrists, sociologists, scientists in human behavior, and psychologists. Among their ranks are Dr. Werner R. Lovenstein, world-renowned sociologist, and Professor Patricia F. Dilliams, a world-respected psychiatrist.
This study was commissioned on February 13, 2001 and released on July 9, 2001 to subscribing member universities and organizations within the education community.
Phyllis B. Bischof, African & African American Collections
390 Doe Library���� University of California
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Tel:510-643-3143��� FAX: 510-643-6650
There is a Phyllis Bischof, sure, but this page
for her was last updated in November 1997. Most likely, this was sent out with her name on it to give it the imprimatur of authority and truth.
Furthermore, there is no Lovenstein Institute in Scranton, Pa., no sociologist named Werner R. Lovenstein and no psychiatrist named Patricia F. Dilliams. The last name is, in fact, some joker's idea. It's a play on the name of Patricia J. Williams, the MacArthur fellow
and legal commentator.
Lastly, there is no Swanson/Crain criteria of intelligence.
Please take care when forwarding documents like these to large numbers of people. Bad data does not help matters. After all, there's so much verifiable information about B--- out there that no one should have to resort to making up stuff about him or passing it around. The truth is worse than anything floating around in a forwarded e-mail. It's in our papers and on our TV screens nightly.
... Worse Than Queer
on us, and makes us like it. In the last week, she's been digging on "Tron," 10-hour trips from Berkeley to Portland, rigged missile tests and this ...
There is some of the most FUCKED-UP anti-trans discussion happening over at the Ms. magazine bulletin boards, seriously. The "best" part is that the worst transphobic remarks are coming from self-identified "radical feminists," who unbelievably continue to identify sexism as the root of all oppressions. (What cave have they been hiding in? Did they totally ignored all the feminists of color agitating in their midst, e.g., Audre Lorde, Gloria Anzuldua, et cetera?) Don't bother reading this board unless you have a strong stomach for outrageously fucked-up comments. Someone at strap-on.org (which was referred to by one "radical feminist" as "Frankenstein's castle" because of its public pro-trans position) said that reading the trans-related threads on the Ms. board was like being at godhatesfags.com, and that's not far off.
Dropping the soap:
... in the Nando Times (via Den Beste)
"We can't keep blaming O.J. anymore ... It's a few years back now. If we haven't recovered, it isn't because of O.J., it's because we're not giving the audience what it wants."
... for aspiring journalists, editors and media workers (a phrase that reminds me of "sex worker," the latter-day euphemism for "prostitute," "hustler" or "whore"), given freely and in number by readers of Jim Romenesko's Media News.
Hit up your local independent bookstore, librarian or freelance bibliophile for further suggestions.
My attention was magically lassoed:
... by Chaos Network's article about the sexual nature of superheroes;
suddenly I felt compelled to look for this old article on Wonder Woman
by the Washington Post's Hank Stuever.
... Yeah, David, B--- was right.
Let him tell you:
"I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe ... and I believe what I believe is right."
Bingo with gay senior citizens and cool new local music:
... RJ is funny as hell
I celebrated my return to real life by playing bingo with gay senior citizens last night. I went with the woman who I'm going to set up with my mother, if they ever find themselves on the same coast. We both won a little, lost a little. The game I won was called "Tops and Bottoms." The only bingo that counts in this game is the top row and the bottom row. When you win you have to stand up and declare which row you are. So fifty elderly people all laughed and pointed at me when I had to stand up and yell "I'm a bottom!"
"What was that, sonny? I can't hear you!" It amused them to make me repeat myself. "Haven't you asked around town" I said to them. "This is news?"
... but Flip learns me something cool
that I haven't heard about before.
And I have finally tracked down the mystery artist I have been searching around months for - and it turns out she lives right here in Oakland. Faun Fables amaze me. I've been hearing her in the mornings on kfjc for some time. Amoeba records had never heard of Fawn Fibbles, or Fawn Fables for that matter - but the computer finally recognized Faun Fables tonight and sent me straight into the unusual/experimental section. The track Sleepwalker is one of em that sticks in my head for hours. Since she's local I hope to catch her live soon.
Go to his entry for the necessary links. I don't feel like stealing them, and it'll do you good to visit. Go on now, shoo, shoo!
Liquid hijack Marlboros:
... or fame and its downside as explained by Benicio Del Toro's Benny to Jeffrey Wright's Jean-Michel Basquiat in Julian Schnabel's script
for the movie.
Maybe I should go see "Downtown 81"
opens in the Bay Area ... (via Drew's Script-O-Rama)
Famous people are usually pretty stupid. You're too smart. You'd get bored to death. You don't wanna be like John Henry---fighting the machine. Just do what you do. It's about integrity. Follow your heart.
Who's John Henry?
Oh man! Folklore guy--worked on the railroad. Y'know, pounding in spikes and laying down track. Then one day they invented a machine to do it. And he says "Fuck that, I'm a MAN" and he challenges the machine to a race to lay down a mile of track. It takes two days. Neck and neck the whole time. They get right to the end, and he beats it by one spike. (pause) Got a cigarette?
So then what?
He drops dead! See? Just do your shit like you do it! Your friends like you, you get laid, everyone walks by, sees your stuff everywhere. It's good. What else do you want?
They watch a long stretch limo cruises up across the street.
Like I said--my liquid hijack Marlboros.
Is anybody reading Colson Whitehead's "John Henry Days"?
Party like it's 1995-7:
... I can look back at William Mitchell's City of Bits: Space, Place, and the Infobahn
and get a sense of the future that just happened
(that is, if I'm not feeling its would-be chroniclers
... go pop on the bestseller charts.
Henry Louis Gates Jr., chairman of the Afro-American Studies department at Harvard and editorial consultant at Basic Civitas Books, the black imprint of the Perseus Books Group, said: "This reflects the new capacity of the broader American reading public to identify with black characters; the black experience is a metaphor for the larger human experience. One doesn't read `Hamlet' to learn about the princes of Denmark."
He added: "Fifty years ago, white readers read Richard Wright to learn about the Other; now many whites have the capacity to see themselves through a black character." Still, he said that "one of the greatest changes in publishing over the last 10 years has been the realization that black readers are a large and growing market."
Pink nipples in a plastic bag:
... getting sold by business.
Zenobia Chan shares the new trend in Hong Kong. (Found by checking out Phonzarelli's links,
noticing one to Feminist Media Watch
a new 'zine, SaidIt.org.
I'm at Level 3:
... over here.
Not that there's anything wrong with that ...
LEVEL 3 -- MOSTLY STRAIGHT ACTING
You lead a normal everyday life and it's 'no questions asked' as people just assume you are straight. Every once and awhile a very aware person might notice something that causes them to think 'fem' but it's a fleeting thought because you turn around and surprise them with more masculine traits before they even have time to fully analyze the last one.
Sense and sensimilla:
Canada lets terminally ill folks and chronic sufferers of pain burn one down.
That's a progressive idea.
... "I guess on [The Invisible Man]
I made an effort not to be like a white guy with a guitar, depressed, you know. I tried to change that whole equation that I had. Because I'm sick of it. I'm sick of depressing music ... Maybe that's why every song has a groove and that's why I tried to do a album that sounded a little more lush, a little more arranged. Just because I want people of all ages and colors and everything to like it. I tried to make this big record for people ... Stylistically and personally I just want to do something that rocks."
... for megnut.
That'll teach me not to read reviews
-- or certain Web sites -- before buying tickets.
Say it isn't so:
... "To market a game that's played increasingly by young African-Americans, not hiding their history and heritage, to upper middle class white guys getting their companies to buy tickets is a continuing challenge
," said Jay Coakley, a sports sociologist at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
I'm gonna get myself:
The writing's on the wall ...
Two from the Times:
... From "A.I." to Zeitgeist
Audiences may have expected something more upbeat from Mr. Spielberg and even from the darker-toned Mr. Kubrick � who, after all, directed "2001: A Space Odyssey." In that film, HAL the computer begins to run amok, but he is vanquished when a human pulls his plug. By the end of "A.I.," though, there is no person left even to switch off the lights.
Somehow, in collaborating on this futuristic fairy tale, Mr. Spielberg and the late Mr. Kubrick morphed into the brothers grim. Theirs may be a fitting story for anyone who has seen his 401(k) portfolio wiped out by the crash of tech stocks. But it isn't the story many people feel like paying to watch right now.
... and Shashi Tharoor on Indians writing in English.
The new Indian writers dip into a deep well of memory and experience far removed from those of their fellow novelists in the English language. But whereas Americans or Englishmen or Australians have also set their fictions in distant lands, Indians write of India without exoticism, their insights undimmed by the dislocations of foreignness. And they do so in an English they have both learned and lived, an English of freshness and vigor, a language that is as natural to them as their quarrels at the school playground or the surreptitious notes they slipped each other in their classrooms.
Yet Indian critics still suggest that there is something artificial and un-Indian about an Indian writing in English. One critic disparagingly declared that the acid test ought to be, "Could this have been written only by an Indian?" I have never been much of a literary theoretician � I always felt that for a writer to study literature at university would be like learning about girls at medical school � but for most, though not all, of my own writing, I would answer that my works could not only have been written only by an Indian, but only by an Indian in English.
I write for anyone who will read me, but first of all for Indians like myself, Indians who have grown up speaking, writing, playing, wooing and quarreling in English, all over India. (No writer really chooses a language: the circumstances of his upbringing ensure that the language chooses him.)
"I am not running for social president anymore. I'm just trying to be, obey God and do my passion, and tell everybody else that life is a waste if you ain't doing that."
... I don't know him, but he messaged me tonight. Creeped me the hell out. His intent wasn't immediately clear to my trusting, unexpecting self right away. *shudder*
DFC4478 (10:47 PM): hi there
allaboutgeorge (10:47 PM): Hello.
DFC4478 (10:47 PM): where in Cali are you?
allaboutgeorge (10:47 PM): Oakland
DFC 4478 (10:48 PM): im in La, im originally from Boston, but im out here on business
allaboutgeorge (10:49 PM): Been to L.A. once. Nice town.
DFC 4478 (10:49 PM): how lod are you?
allaboutgeorge (10:49 PM): Never been to Boston.
allaboutgeorge (10:49 PM): 30
DFC 4478 (10:49 PM): oh ok im 28
DFC 4478 (10:49 PM): do you have a pic?
*adds DFC 4478 to AIM "jerks" folder with a quickness*
Silver screen shots:
... Saw "The Score"
with Ankita this afternoon at Jack London. It's adult entertainment (not sexy, but sober). Brando, De Niro and Norton play stand-in for the generations ("Greatest," boomer and Gen X). The young folks, repped by Norton and Jamie Harrold (the foaming-at-the-mouth, "Gimme a Kaypro 64 and a working dial-tone and I can do anything" living-at-home-with-his-mom hacker), aren't painted very flatteringly. Read generationally, the score is not about getting some French scepter out of a Montreal customs house; it's a dot-com era allegory. Is that giving too much away? Angela Bassett? Not enough screen time. Cassandra Wilson? Not enough screen time. Mose Allison? Not enough screen time. Sensing a theme? ... Trailers I saw? "Original Sin"
(which was hotter a couple of years ago as "Mississippi Mermaid"
(Keanu Reeves coaching an inner-city baseball team -- bleagh!) and "Rat Race"
(Cuba Gooding Jr., Whoopi Goldberg -- all the black Oscar winners you can shake a stick at).
Rhymes with "bigger":
like nobody's business. Folks can argue all they like about the silliness of giving the word (or any one word) too much power or significance. They'll still be wrong. The one place I ease up on its use is art (A Tribe Called Quest's "Sucka N----"
and Mos Def's "Mr. N----"
-- talked about by Josh
once upon a time).
Sunday morning coming down:
... from yesterday's exertions.
I woke up, got out of bed and biked over to Cafe 1428 for small and large coffee, bagel toasted with cream cheese and croissant and the Chronicle. Yes, I could have walked: It's less than 300 yards from my building's front door. But I like the feeling of riding across the parking lot that separates the corners of 14th and Alice from 13th and Jackson, and using my bike's front basket to carry all that stuff instead of juggling two hot cups, a paper bag with food and a newspaper. Plus, I can put my iBook in the basket and check my mail while waiting for the folks behind the counter to handle stuff. (I spend too much free time online, mostly because I can. And I can quit anytime I want, honest.)
Of note in yesterday's Chron: an editorial about Harry Bridges,
who led a dockworkers' strike back in the day and opened up the S.F. unions to blacks.
So, after sipping and noshing, I dragged some trash down to the basement, came back up and vacuumed the place. And we were off, over to A-------'s for food. I got limes for a party; Ankita got vittles for her get-together. We stopped by Arizmendi's for pizza slices and a couple of boutards. Then home, to cook and relax. (Bill Jennings)
Finally, I got off my duff to go to my party (stopping on Alice for a brief encounter with Mr. Bill
-- see above -- as well as a pause at the corner of 14th and Broadway to hear raised voices declaiming in rhythmic meter about how they were "not down with the lockdown" -- a protest against the Alameda County supervisors who are proposing the creation of a youth SuperMax facility in Dublin, Calif., and a chance encounter on the 12th Street-City Center BART's Richmond platform with local singer-songwriter Ezra Barany
-- he launched into "Ticket to Ride" and I couldn't resist keening a little McCartney harmony to his Lennon melody; apparently he's moving to Paris with his wife for a year to teach English starting in mid-August). The party was great fun: great music (I'd never heard the Velvet Underground's "What Goes On"; I did do a double-take when Curtis Mayfield's "If There's A Hell Below, We're All Gonna Go" came on, right when Mayfield's voice comes up and says "N-----s!" at the top of his reverbed, amplified voice), great food and excellent people I haven't seen in months. Hours later, I went home to drink a few S----- N----- Pale Ales, interpret horoscopes and blather about all sorts of stuff with the wife's friends.
Rockin' the 24-hour blogathon:
... is mermaniac.
Dig his site's crazy rotate-a-titles!
better than CATSpowered by greymatterlike a butterfly in heatstill wearing a hatwhy we tell the storystep, kick, kick, leap, kick, touchdance: ten, looks: threeyou want thingamabobs? i've got twenty!no day but todaywhere the gin is cold but the pianos hoteven the orchestra is beautifulusing antlers in all of my decoratingkeeps a cow for a friendits hot and its monotonouswhy are you telling me?surprisingly good for youjust a mean green motha from outer spaceif you touch me you'll understand what happiness ismystic crystal revelationno royal curse, no trojan horsewheres my prize?like a breeze off the riveri stuck my finger in a socket once . . . but it didnt kill me live better through show tuneslike a putz museum
What's black and white and red all over?:
... Well, besides Cecily.
I'm borrowing the color palette
for a while. Don't like it? Wait a few minutes. It'll change. In fact, things are changing as you read this.
Portrait of the blogger:
... as a 9-year-old
(from my old passport).
Close to the edit:
... Oliver gives props.
linked yesterday to a deep resource about post-WWII African American code-folk
("Tales from the Crypt"-ographers?). There's a movie's worth of stories that would come off better than John Woo's next joint.
Hollywood, and the screenwriters working for the machine, are doing it all wrong when it comes to history as represented in the films they make, at least in the last 3 or 4 scripts I've read. If you were hoping to learn something about the code talkers, the Navajo people, and their language, sorry, you will be stupefied beyond belief at how cliché ridden and dumbed down this story will be presented.
A final note about the script: The ending, I don't know if I've ever read a weaker effort. It's contrived beyond description. Remember the ending of RETURN OF THE JEDI? Where Luke sees the ghost's of his father (Darth Vader), Obi-Wan, and Yodi? Well, I don't want to give it away, you'll know what I mean if they keep the ending as is. Let's hope not.
If you don't like the news:
... go out and make some of your own. (I guess those stickers from yesterday were about something.)
... These are a few of my favorite beats
-- as well as a primer. (Tom F. at work tipped me off)
But while broken beat may be the newest buzz out of the London dance scene, another genre, 2 step, monopolizes the press's attention. Unlike 2 step, broken beat operates under uncertain guidelines and is therefore less appealing to genre-obsessed marketing schemes, which rely on singular musical trends to forward a commercial agenda. Could the elusive styles of broken beat-future jazz producers be in any form a conscious reaction to the aggressive mainstreaming of dance music or to the way in which another West London producer, bigwig 2 stepper MJ Cole, garners all of the spotlight? Seiji, who claims to derive inspiration from 2 step, says no: "The broken beat thing hasn't had much reference to another scene. It hasn't been in response to anything. No one sat down and said, 'Lets do that; maybe we can make a scene.' Its just genuinely people making music and doing something different and realizing other people were doing the same thing, so we managed to get together a little community, which has sustained it."
Still, Seiji admits that broken beat isn't exactly moneymaking music. The European glossies haven't been clamoring to put IG Culture or Dego on their covers, none of those artists seem to have press agents, and finding the music in the stores is a challenge. Hence, the music has taken an outcast stance: its refusal to conform places it on the outskirts of the commercial market. And also unlike 2 step � a black-innovated music whose media darlings, MJ Cole and Artful Dodger, are white � the West London scene is defined to the media at large by IG Culture and Dego, and therefore retains a black identity, even while the broken beat and future jazz scenes have a multicultural character. The 2000 Black label leaves no doubt as to what influences the music is rooted in, nor do names like Nubian Minds or Afronaught.
... has a reason to believe we all won't be received.
(But hey, I like to think I'm as much of a social butterfly as the next guy. Heh.)
When it comes to racial realities, the levels of ignorance are so ingrained as to be almost laughable. Perhaps that�s why 12 percent of whites actually say blacks are a majority of the nation�s population, and why most whites believe blacks are a third of the nation�s population, instead of the 13 percent they actually represent. We seem to see black people everywhere, and apparently we see them doing quite well.
Apparently, we even see them as our buddies. Some 75 percent of whites in one recent poll indicated that they had multiple close black friends. Sounds great, until you realize that 75 percent of white Americans represents about 145 million people. So 145 million say they have multiple black friends, despite the fact that there are only 35 million black people to go around. Which means one of two things: either whites are clueless about black people, friendships, or both; or black folks are mighty damned busy, running from white house to white house to white house, being our friends. In which case, we can put away all that nonsense about blacks �taking our jobs.� After all, how could blacks have time to work at all, what with all the backyard barbecues they�re attending at the houses of their white pals? Hell, maybe Elvis will even invite them all to Graceland when he makes his triumphant return to Memphis.
Quotes of the day:
... from ye olde slew of alt-weeklies.
P.Diddy on President B--- and how to deal with the media: (Miami New Times) "He has a problem because white people are starting to hate him. ... I use the media when I want to promote stuff, just like any other celebrity. When I do great, groundbreaking things, the media applauds us. And then when we get our asses in trouble and we slip and fall, they gonna be there for that too. ... If you're an entertainer, then you got to know there's papers that have to be sold, so there's going to be misinformation. You deal with it."
Top 100 reasons to celebrate the dot-com era's end: (San Jose Metro) We no longer have to see William Shatner reminding us, "You know what to do, dawg! Bust a mooooove."
Burlington, Vt., City Council Chapin Spencer on living one's values: (Seven Days) �Our society doesn�t treat everybody well. We have a responsibility as well-off citizens in a well-off country to combat that every day of our lives� Life is short. We all have values. If you don�t live your values, I think you are wasting a life. That�s just how I see it. ... I used to be an agitator. Now I�m a fighter for a vision where transportation nourishes a community instead of divides and destroys it.�
... After coming up out of Powell BART station in front of Old Navy, a co-worker's eye was drawn to a picture plastered over a newspaper box.
Frank Rich tries it on
in the Times today:
"A.I." tanked, "Pearl Harbor" is already history, and "Jurassic Park III" is getting sub-two-star reviews. The nation yawned at the prospect of a man holding a knife to a woman's throat on "Big Brother 2," and the hottest title that American publishing can come up with for a beach read is "John Adams." The Mrs. Robert Blake mystery had no legs, and New York's own summertime pride and joy, the Lizzie Grubman saga, lacks two essential elements that might make it fly west of the Hudson, sex and death.
Under these desperate circumstances, America, summer of '01, was fated to become Condit Country. And what a terrific place it is. ...
The press's pretense that it is energetically searching for suspects other than Gary Condit rings about as true as O. J. Simpson's claims to be looking for the "real killer." You'd have to be a fool to tamper with a hit.
Come back to the bloggin' grind:
... Daily Dean, Daily Dean.
... Long live
the Bandit Queen.
... Since 1996, the pattern's been rock
My prediction for this year's winner
come September 11th? I'm thinking dance.
OK, the extremely purple
"Breakaway" and the video for "Romeo" (RealAudio)
sold me. Slightly off topic: Who's this Susheela Raman
bird, then? *rar!* Slightly further off topic: 'Tween the trailer (QuickTime)
for "Ghost World"
(set to its opening song, "Jaan Pehechaan Ho" by Mohammed Rafi -- "puts Dick Dale on a longboard to Bombay"
), the Jaxx video and "Moulin Rouge"
last month, I'm not near tired of Bollywood-biting as I should be.
Dear Alanis Morrissette:
... You lost me on this whole artists-rights thing
when you say that, for you, it's "a moral issue equal to a woman's right to choose."
Sade and Craig David:
... Variety reviews them both
after performances in Los Angeles.
... Looking up "Oakland's Not for Burning" (a book I remembered seeing on my mother's bookshelf, but can't find anywhere) in Google, I came across an interview with X-Roads.
I see links to Oaktown Underground
(a nice listing of the figures on all the posters intended to celebrate Oakland folks that I see in front of the Alice Arts Center's lower level -- and also a domain name I thought about buying a few months ago, just for the heck of it, but didn't). Go down a wormhole
when you get a chance.
... this getting-older thing is pretty contagious, huh Monique
Cool book reading if you're in New York this evening:
... but heck, I think it's cool and I'm not even in New York. Maybe they'll have air conditioning: I hear folks on the East Coast could really use it.
READING THIS WEDNESDAY, SAMUEL R. DELANY AND HOWARD CRUSE
WHERE: DIXON PLACE AT THE VINYARD, 309 EAST 26TH STREET, N.Y. N.Y. 10010
TIME: 7:30 P.M.
PHONE FOR INFO: 212-532-1546
SAMUEL R. DELANY will be reading from a new edition of his innovative and controversial science fiction fantasy Dhalgren, and his recently published collection of private letters, 1984
HOWARD CRUSE will do a dramatic reading from the new omnibus cartoon collection "Wendel All Together," the complete set of groundbreaking Wendel comic strips which regularly appeared for many years in The Advocate
Cutesy and stupid:
... So I go by Ernie's.
I see he's been talking with Kevin.
I go check out Kevin,
nose around and see FBK
in his friends list (down and on the left). I think to myself, "Self, it's been a while since you visited FBK. Hmm, she's converted to Greymatter.
Wonder what the first post
You know how sometimes you'll see a girl...no, a woman actually...being all cutesy and stupid? I want to kick that girl's head in, I want to pummel her. I should be more specific here...I hate it when a girl is being all cutesy and stupid for a boy (or a man, even). I don't know who I hate more in that situation. The girl because she's being such an idiot or the guy because he's BUYING it. It's really annoying to me when a girl dumbs herself down for a guy. I don't think men are generally that stupid. But then, there's that whole lot of men that eat that shit up for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So. Yeah.
Nine times out of ten, I tend to want to pummel the man. The tenth time? I'm the man.
Which leads me to ask: Guys: How often are you the man? Dolls: How often are you the (wo)man sitting next to the man?
Life in a northern town:
... Eliot's link
to an analysis
of the parallels between Northern Ireland's troubles and this summer's conflicts between whites and Asian youth in Burnley, Oldham, Bradford and Manningham reminds me of the passage in Zadie Smith's "White Teeth" (just finished -- David, you're really going to dig it,
I promise) about Alsana Iqbal recalling how boots used to smash windows in East End basement flats.
It is 33 years since the late Enoch Powell was fired from the Tory shadow cabinet for predicting that the build-up of racial minorities in Britain would lead to a society "foaming with much blood". It is exactly 20 years this month since the police lost control of violent clashes in the Toxteth ghetto in Liverpool and had to withdraw.
There used to be signs in landladies' windows in the 1950s saying 'No Paddys and No Pakis'. These days there is very little noticeable anti-Irish prejudice in most of mainland Britain and it is against the Race Relations Law to ban ethnic minorities from jobs or housing or to inflict any other form of discrimination.
But the reality of everyday life does not match the tolerance supposedly enshrined in the laws of the land.
... for Web folks as written
by Zeldman. (via Molly)
I got it:
... man, I was starting to feel out of the loop there.
Sigh. *deletes virus-laden spam*
From: "Alfred Scheib"
date: Mon, 23 Jul 2001 13:51:01 -0400
Content-Disposition: message text
Hi! How are you?
I send you this file in order to have your advice
See you later. Thanks
Content-Type: application/mixed; name=INV1998.XLS.pif
Content-Disposition: attachment; filename=INV1998.XLS.pif
... my red-sportscar-driving ex-supervisor recalls the days and nights at 315 Pacific in the latest Montana Journalism Review.
I came onboard just after December's Tahoe bus ride; my last day was April 14.
On a delayed honeymoon a week later, I tried to send a "wish you were here" note from atop the Space Needle. (The Ricochet 28kpbs service I had at the time was fine; my laptop battery, well ... *shrug*) After getting home and settling in, I got my phone turned on at my desk and dropped her a line with my new number and address. She sent me an e-mail teasing me: "16th floor? You're suffering from altitude sickness!"
Single and album, No. 1 in a series:
(1971) "So Far Away" and "It's Too Late," Carole King / "What's Going On," Marvin Gaye.
"Tapestry" gets much love from the generation that spent the first half of the 1970s buying it and listening to it, looking deeply into its grooves for solace after the death of the dream of the 1960s, but I never got the chance to sit down and soak it all up in one shot. I mean, I'd hear "You've Got a Friend" or "I Feel The Earth Move" or "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" on soft-rock radio growing up, and it'd be, you know, cool. But I was too young to have experienced it like that, swallowed it all whole. So I made do by latching on to the songs I liked the best off that album: the ones that made me feel the most wistful and melancholy.
You know, right away I'm breaking the rules I've set up for the list I have. (This is supposed to be the first installment in a series of singles and albums I've listened to and loved between the time I was born in 1971 and this year.) As I've mentioned before, "It's Too Late" was the No. 1 single when I was born,
but I have to cop to "So Far Away" as well, to feeling it. It's not like it meant anything in conjunction with stuff, with the people in my life I was literally far away from when I first listened to it (like my dad). The song was about nostalgia, oddly enough. "Doesn't anybody stay in one place anymore?" I wondered then, 'cause I knew nobody did and yet and still it was something deep to me. Heh.
On the other hand, I picked up on Marvin's magnum opus more organically, even before I bought a cassette and started playing it over and over. (I remember liking the first side, even though my favorite song -- "Inner City Blues" -- was on the other side.)
I wish I had something profound to say about him that I could express, that was worth expressing. I did have to pull my car over to the side of the road a month or two ago when hearing "Music,"
that Erick Sermon joint on the "What's the Worst That Could Happen?" soundtrack, come on the radio when I was driving up Shattuck Avenue into Berkeley and parking the car, all set to meet Ankita at Au Coquelet and bam, right between the ears, I'm hearing him. So rarely is he heard in so sublime a fashion; it's almost always awful tribute albums. I could have died a happy man without hearing those Massive Attack twits aid Madonna in deflating and dessicating "I Want You," those Soul Asylum flannel flyers coughing out "Sexual Healing," Neneh Cherry spray-painting rust all over "Trouble Man."
Where things are ham-handed and clumsy, like when "Just to Keep You Satisfied" ("... it's too late for you and me ... ") turns up in John Singleton's "Baby Boy" (and yes, I did wind up seeing it -- but more on that later), I want to dope-slap someone. And yet the odd tributes -- Mary J. Blige and Method Man doing "You're All I Need," the subtext Spike Lee adds to "Jungle Fever" with a little help from Samuel Jackson, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, anybody's rendition of the National Anthem and the way it takes me back to the 1983 NBA All-Star Game -- stick with me in ways I don't expect them to.
The whole point of this exercise in navel-gazing is that it's not too late (" ... and it's too late, baby, yes, it's too late/'tho we really did try to make it ... ") (" ... much too late for me to cry ... ") to look back, poke around, play with a sound, a song, a side, a memory, a moment, a musical milestone or three or thirty.
The name was naggingly familiar:
... when it turned up in my e-mail queue at 6 in the morning ... bkyn: an online journal of art
... So I went there (v., v. Flashed up, just so you know), clicked on "Spencer Tunick and Kristin Bowler" under "images" and saw all these naked people in ads. And that's when I remembered ...
... I go by Pennant's
and he's calling it like he sees it.
Why is it some folk get all indignant when I say they'll flake, sure as shootin'
.... and they &$^%# do it ANYWAYS?
I know, no one wants to be known as a flake (ie: someone who doesnt show when they say they will)... but hey, good intentions and all that...
... and then I go by Stacey's
(all newly dipped in the fresh fly template) and click on one of his links, Perfect Sound Forever.
And the first thing I go toward, I see this at the end of this Mark Eitzel interview.
PSF: So you're willing to agree to such a project?
Oh, yeah. I would totally do it. I always say yes. That's my theory of life -- always say yes and then let the other guy flake out.
She's enormously flattered:
... as ANG copy editor and former co-worker Vicki Walker said when passing word of this
MEXICO CITY (AP) -- The Associated Press, relying on information from police, erroneously reported on July 14 and July 16 that the victims killed in a boating accident off the coast of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, included Dorothy Farnman, 32, of California.
The correct identity is Dorothea Pahrman, 77, according to government investigators in Cabo San Lucas.
... Ms. Wonderful turns the concept this way and that,
watches it catch the light and examines it for flaws.
Of course there is institutionalized racism. It is alive and thriving as I type this. But, systemic oppression does not eradicate the need for personal responsibility and personal involvement in the improvement of one's self and one's people and community.
Joseph and Ivan Rosenberg rock:
... I think so, and so does the Rocky Mountain News' Bill Johnson. (via Romenesko)
... for this site. What do they say? (via SiteMeter)
By time zone ... GMT -9: 11% (Pacific) GMT -8: 36% GMT -7: 2% GMT -6: 19% (Eastern) GMT -5: 22% GMT -1: 1% GMT +1: 1% GMT +2: 1%
By language ... English: 100 percent.
By OS ... Windows 98: 41% Macintosh Mac: 30% Windows NT: 12% Windows 95: 12% Unknown: 2% Macintosh MacPPC: 2%Microsoft OS: 1%
By domain ... Only IP address: 18% home.com: 9%level3.net: 8%salon.com: 7%mediaone.net: 6% rr.com: 6% aol.com: 6%mindspring.com: 4%wwc.com: 4%pacbell.net: 3% uswest.net: 2% swbell.net: 2% bellatlantic.net: 2% sfna.com: 2% .co.nz: 2% cctimes.com: 1%net.sa: 1% fedexsupplychain.com: 1% lasvegas.net: 1% att.net: 1% dialsprint.net: 1% icsupport.com: 1% lvcm.com: 1% miscellanous: 11%
By organization: .com: 44%.net: 28%Only IP address: 20%.co.nz: 2% .edu: 2%(Saudi Arabia) .sa: 1%(Greece) .gr: 1%(France) .fr: 1%(Canada) .ca: 1%
By browser share ...Internet Explorer 6.X 5%Internet Explorer 5.X 80%Internet Explorer 8%Netscape 5.X 2%Netscape 4.X 3%Netscape 3.X 2%
DHTML Share ... Supports DHTML: 98% Doesn't support DHTML: 2%
PNG Graphics Share ... PNG Graphics: 94% No PNG graphics: 6%
Style Sheets Share ... Supports style sheets: 98% Doesn't support style sheets: 2%
Race, ethnicity and genome-mapping:
... in the Times.
Capitalism stops at nothing:
... Police shot a G8 protester in Genoa, Italy, who threw a fire extinguisher at a truck. Then they used the truck to back over him. (via Indymedia)
Colin Powell won't sing:
... at this year's ASEAN forum.
What's up with that? He'll kill 'em in Vietnam (ahem) and during the Gulf War, but he won't kill 'em softly?
According to this Google cache,
it's not as if he doesn't have the power to be moved by song.
In Soweto he linked hands with HIV-positive youngsters and joined in the refrain of the rhythm-and-blues song "Lean on Me."
I don't want to sail:
... on this ship of fools.
I want to run and hide ... (via Den Beste)
What we're seeing is people who are damned sick of the way things are run now, who want to create their own perfect city, but who can't do it under the laws of any nation now in existence. And since every speck of land is part of a nation, then the only way they can build a city such as they want is to make it float so that it operates in international waters. For all their pious claims of being bound by laws of the nation whose flag they fly, in fact they'll only be subject to their own laws in the form of some sort of community charter. And this chilling statement: "The ship's demographics, pre-screening of property owners and tenants, and strict security procedures will all contribute to an uncommonly secure environment." I'm not sure I want to know what the criteria will be on that "pre-screening", but the use of the word "demographics" suggests a clue: could it be, perhaps, racial? (No, of course not! Perish the thought!)
More Samuel Delany:
... referencing non-tectonic shifts in urban landscapes in a Borders interview. (via a recent post in Camworld, same as the previous post)
You can find clear and hard-edged socio-economic explanations for what was going on. But what it looked like to most city dwellers (even to those with an intellectual handle on economics) was a kind of malevolent, unexplainable magic, which took blocks and blocks of what should have been thriving real estate and turned them into ruins and abandoned shells.
Today, of course, as Bill Clinton sets up office space in Harlem -- the most recent "event" in a series of reclamations that have been going on for a dozen years -- this period of "inner city" devastation is going in reverse. But it's partially intriguing that Dhalgren is being reissued now: It was constructed almost wholly from images of those shattered and burned-out neighborhoods in New York and throughout the nation, from those decades between 1960 and 1995.
Whose hand is that in your pocket?:
... Mr. Searls
tells a story.
Back when Steve Jobs was still at NeXT, he was interviewed by Robert X. Cringeley for a PBS special called "Triumph of the Nerds" -- a televised version of Cringeley's brilliant book Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Made their Millions, Battled Foreign Competition and Still Couldn't Get a Date. The best moment in the show came when Cringeley asked Jobs what he thought about Microsoft.
Jobs leaned back, put on his best ironic smile and said, "They have no taste."
There, in four perfect one-syllable words, Jobs not only nailed Microsoft, but himself as well. True: while Microsoft has no taste, Jobs has nothing but.
Babymaking ... from scratch:
... nice to see Jimi Izrael
doin' the daddy thang.
... for responding to racism
intends to canvass the modern male lifestyle,
a task that shouldn't be left to the world's Felix Dennises.
... are belong to Linda Houser.
... about the 1980s. (via freaky trigger)
Speaking of garlic fries:
... Yum. (Merc News)
I think I'm paranoid:
... but maybe I shouldn't believe this personality disorder test.
After all, it could be out to get me. *sigh* Almost
all things in moderation ... (via MeFi)
Disorder | Rating
... It's 8:23 p.m., and I'm sitting in the upper seating area of the C-------- P------- at Concord
in section 205, row EE, seat 116. Ankita's beside me in seat 115. In front of us is a jumbo ginger ale and a packet of G----- B------
We heard three songs ("Strength, Courage and Wisdom," "Brown Skin" and "Video") from opening act India.Arie at a distance, waiting for the crowd ahead of us to thin out a little, waiting to get our tickets torn in two at the entrance, waiting in line for food.
It's a replay of last year, when Sue Shor, Jeanne Fogler, Ankita and I went down to Villa Montalvo to hear Cassandra Wilson
and wound up missing opening act Olu Dara. (*gulp* Sorry, India. Sorry, Olu.)
The P.A. is playing the kind of soulful funk and folk oldies I remember reading that she liked to listen to ("Before I Let Go," "Low Rider," "Use Me") in a December 1992 Details interview,
as well as the stuff Sade probably bumps nowadays ("Umi Says").
Ankita: (looks at watch on wrist, ponders punctuality) I thought she was English.
George: (plays the race card; subtly alludes to C.P.T.) Does that mean she's not a person of color here?
The P.A. plays "Got to Give it Up." It's 8:55 p.m. Behind me, a brief dialogue unfolds:
Person Behind Me: You got your lighter?
Other Person Behind Me: Yeah, man.
Person Behind Me: I got five on it.
At 9 p.m. sharp, the lights go down. About sixteen bars of Bob Marley and the Wailers' "Three Little Birds" plays over the P.A. as the band assumes its places. A minute later, silhouetted against a thin white screen from behind, they strike up the first song, "Cherish the Day."
The screen disappears. Sade steps into the spotlight. She's wearing a champagne-colored cheongsam.
Her hair is pulled back. She's flossing the big gold hoop earrings.
Ankita: (whispers) Whenever she shows her butt, everyone has a collective orgasm.
George: (*too busy looking at Sade showing her butt to listen*)
The band launches into the second song in an evening of pre/present/post-coital classics, "Your Love is King." Sade continues to wiggle her butt. I continue to watch. It's lordosis as hypnosis, and you knooow thiiiiiiissssss.
Next: "Somebody Already Broke My Heart." The huge video screen behind the stage displays a slow-motion waterdrop hitting a flat surface. The drop's splash is synchronized to the synth hit on the refrain's 6th beat. Like many live-concert tricks, it's cool the first couple of times and annoying every other time after. I tune it out and watch Sade press her left hand against her ear, blocking out very brief episodes of buzzing on the microphone, the kind that sometimes flip into feedback (but, in this case, don't go there), and trying not to go flat (and succeeding). The song's last minute or so is graced by chanted verses from "Never As Good As the First Time," and melismatic tenor tones from one of the two backup vocalists top off the tank nicely.
The stage lights go deep red, and the band begins "Cherry Pie." Pilchard
lips, I think to myself, recalling that Details interview.
Ankita: (exasperated) All the cheering and clapping makes what she's saying in this song sound irrelevant.
The song's high notes seem hard on Sade. The corners pinch. I can see her thinking as she sings, shift gears on her vocal instrument in order to duplicate the original version's studio gloss. (*interior monologue* It's been almost nine years since "Love Deluxe" came out, George. Can you cut your girl just a micron or two of slack? Could you do that? Thank you!)
Next: "Every Word." The film snippet playing on the video screen behind the stage displays six words -- "Love is what the word was" -- and finally I know what the sampled voice under the original song was saying.
Next: "Smooth Operator." As bass player Paul S. Denham takes his solo, I make the sign of the devil's horns with one hand and mosh my head up and down a few times. While I do so, Sade makes her way to the back of the stage and waves her arms to the beat with those angular, bullfighter-with-invisible-cape moves.
Next: "Jezebel," "Kiss of Life," "Slave Song" (notable for a black-and-white film showing pitching and rolling sea waves), "The Sweetest Gift," "The Sweetest Taboo," "Lovers Rock," "Immigrant Song" (notable for a black-and-white film showing young men of apparently African descent, dressed neatly in mid-20th century finery and standing nicely for the camera), "Paradise" (introduced oddly by a bit of musique concrete that sounded like whirring helicopters), "King of Sorrow" (which manages the neat trick of having the visual -- the full-length video of the song
-- upstage the live musicians playing and singing before the audience), "No Ordinary Love" and "By Your Side."
First encore: "Flow" and "Is It A Crime." Sade changes clothes. She wears the hell out of a pale pink shirt with very small ruffles all over. The shirt has a Qiana-wide collar and cuffs with simple metal-bar cufflinks. It's open to the third button, and a black bra and very good posture join forces to serve up a tasteful bit of ta-ta-ra-boom-di-ay. Her hair's unpinned, hanging over the left side of her face all Veronica Lake-ish. Oh, almost forgot: she's also wearing tight black pants. Her belly button, sole proof of her human origin, moves from side to side as she stalks the stage. The spotlight scurries after her; the audiences eyes move ahead of it.
Second encore: "It's Only Love That Gets You Through." Sade and the backup vocalists stand front and center to deliver the slightly mawkish, sweet tune that closes "Love Deluxe." (Nice link turned up in the course of Googling up stuff: The Face, January 1983:
"Britain�s first genuine home-grown sex symbol in a long time, her voice is as beautiful as her face, as sensuous as her mouth and as warm and seductive as a kiss.")
The Tactile 12000:
... looks like just what I need to beatmatch and mouse/trackpad-click my way to MP3-DJ'ing
glory. I've downloaded it, and will advise as time and opportunity permit.
Guys with cigarettes:
... are cool.
When content was king:
... Josh Sens, who was a Danville beat reporter for the Tri-Valley Herald when I had the pleasure of working with him a few years ago, tells the story of my life.
... This is pulp fiction any reader would be proud to peruse.
Down and dirty:
... gets you (s)elected.
Sit on it!
... Kathleen Pender tells U.S. taxpayers what they can do with President B---'s "tax refund."
If you're swimming in debt, there's no better return on investment than paying down loans with double-digit interest rates.
If you've got a youngster, you could put $600 in a tax-sheltered college savings account. With an 8 percent annual return, in 18 years you'd have $2,398, according to brokerage firm A.G. Edwards.
A $600 investment in a stock mutual fund, earning 10 percent a year for 20 years, could grow to $4,036 before taxes, Edwards says.
Racial profiling in California:
... I used to get stopped
leaving Pleasanton, Calif., late at night in Nandi, the 1981 Buick Century we used to drive. The regular pretext was a blinking taillight, but we usually fit several of the CHP "indicators" of possible drug trafficking on the list in the article -- "mismatched occupants," fast-food wrappers, receipts, maps and coins. Out of the seven or so times I've been stopped, I was ticketed once for speeding (and truthfully, I was exceeding the speed limit coming down the hill on eastbound I-580 into Dublin, Calif.). I've had the good fortune never to have been arrested.
The skin I'm in:
... I wouldn't change it for love or money. Would you?
T'ain't nobody's business if I do:
shares the lowdown
on Steven G. Fullwood's D.L. life
I would be remiss if I didn't take a minute to talk about the black community's longstanding ambiguity concerning their menfolk and adulterous behaviors. For centuries, many men have led double lives, one as a faithful husband, and the other as a unconfined, free-wheeling bachelor. Before it even had a name, black folks condoned DL culture. Why else would it be a recurring theme in so many blues and jazz songs, with their messages of double lives, secrets and claimed freedom? "Just don't let me find out about her," "T'aint nobody's business if I do," and so on. I've heard women, and a few men, deliver soliloquies about this idea all my life. All any man had to worry about was being circumspect.
So let's take this opportunity to set the record straight (sorry). If a man is on the DL, that's his business. If he spends his time out having unprotected sex with men (or women), contracting venereal diseases and bringing them home to his girlfriend or wife or male lover, then that's another story. That's an issue of honesty, not sexuality � or, to the point, homosexuality. Honesty to the people we're involved with, especially the people we're sleeping with, is bottom-line crucial. But honesty to the whole damn world, especially a world prepared to hurt us for our orientation, is up to the individual.
A nice moment:
... We were walking back home from the bookstore yesterday night. We went past this Chinese restaurant (noted for long lines full of dim sum junkies outside on Sunday mornings) on Broadway between 8th and 9th streets. There was a wedding reception going on, Chinese folks mostly, a few black and one or two white people. I couldn't tell who'd gotten married to who, but I could see they had a "Soul Train" line going to Q-Tip's "Vivrant Thing." It was very sweet.
Gary Condit and the tap dance kid:
... Not as long as yesterday's dream. Three strong images: I was a little boy in a deserted post-apocalyptic San Francisco, wearing rubber-soled shoes and trying to learn how to tapdance from a boxer in a completely empty V----- R------ at Market and Stockton streets in San Francisco. She (the boxer, that is) somehow only knew how to do boxing moves through tapping, dancing and moving around. I suspected that it was how she learned the sweet science, back in the day before things went all to hell.
And then I was in a hotel room, hanging out with my brother Erin. He had to go back out again, so he just came up and showered, changed clothes, groomed himself like a peacock, cracking jokes all the while and making me laugh.
I'm pretty sure I was working. I was chained to the TV watching Regis Philbin, of all people, give Rep. Gary Condit a lie-detector test before a live studio audience. Condit seemed to think it was a Charlie Rose interview; for some reason, Condit kept cracking jokes about the depraved things he said he'd done in his life (rooted around in commodes for drugs à la "Trainspotting") and the funniest thing he'd ever seen (some old "The Tonight Show" kit involving Johnny Carson, a marching band and Gary Glitter's "Rock 'N' Roll, Pt. 2") He had the audience rolling. All the feds could do was glower, and ask the occasional zinger of a question when Regis (or Gary) felt like yielding the mike to the government's main interrogator. She was particularly peeved at the whole charade; you could almost see the heat baking off her steaming forehead ...
And then I woke up.
The weirdest high school reunion I've never been to:
... So Ankita and I were grocery shopping at a place like the Berkeley Bowl, in a neighborhood someplace that felt like deep East Oakland but was out in the 140th Street area. I want to say I saw street signs to that effect, but I can't be sure. It felt more like San Leandro, Calif., with a splash of D.C. Some confluence of the two that existed only in my head.
Anyway, I went to go get the car because I saw her pushing her cart toward a fairly short line. I figured I'd want to be in position when she was done so I could pick her up. I saw two guys from my high school clique, Justin Peniston and Nelson E. "Chip" Greene, tossing footballs around in a sunny field near the store parking lot. At some picnic tables, there were a few other people I knew from high school. Aaron Gordon was there, and apparently married to a girl he was sweet on back then (or was it a girl who was sweet on him?) Somehow I sensed it wouldn't be cool, bad form in fact, to bring up what I did for a living, or what life had been like since high school. Were they cooking out? I can't remember.
At some point, we were all watching a dance lesson. A lot of singletons were partnering up as the instructor ordered them to go through the steps, a little bit like the instruction scenes in "Shall We Dance?" It was like the initial steps for learning salsa, there were leaders and followers. We weren't participating, though.
Then Ankita (who'd found her way over to things somehow) was hashing out something with me about leaving the party later, getting a lift home with some guy who would then go back to the party himself. I don't know what happened to the groceries or our car. I only know I had to go ride with Aaron and his wife in their car. It seemed like a bad idea. We were going to go along Lakeshore Drive in their blue old-school convertible, a dubious prospect because Aaron was always the most Kennedyesque of us. And I didn't feel like playing Gov. John Connally just then.
So we're riding along the road, an A.C. Transit bus with its front face ripped off comes along in the opposite lane and somehow I have the idea that I'm supposed to get up from a sitting position, leap from the convertible's back seat into the air, across the yellow line dividing the street into lanes and land on the bus in the center aisle. Which is what happens next.
But damned if I don't leave my iBook back in the car! This royally pisses me off. It'll have to be OK. I'll catch up with him before the day ends, I tell myself, and remind him that I need it back. I'll just ride this bus back to the picnic.
The bus has no driver. All that's left of him is a smudge of blood and scraps of uniform fabric near the driver's area. The bus is also full of pre-teen white children, and they're all focused on manipulating these foot-long aluminum batons that twist and pivot in their hands. They're divided into inch-long segments and the batons have a right-triangle like form factor, they bend at the segment divisions. I make out a brand name in red on the silver batons: "COMPAQ" "They play MP3s," says one eager young lad when I ask about them. He hands me his; I fool around with it for a little.
Then the bus begins sideswiping cars beside the lake. Shouting and yelling ensues. Nobody is strapped down, or has any safety thing on. I decide to leap from the front of the bus and land on my feet near a busy intersection. It's night now, and Aaron, a few other people who have come looking fo rme and some dude holding up a sign bearing the words "Hathor the Journalist" are standing about forty feet away from me. They can't see me in the twilight or hear me in the roar of the cars passing us on the road.
I come up to them, the cloak of invisibility falls away and they welcome me. Aaron mock-scolds me about leaving the car the way I did, and we're walking along a narrow street suddenly. Passing people's half-eaten bodies in storefronts, ducking onto the sidewalk as an ambulance passes us on the left in the street. We head single-file into an ever-narrowing series of city blocks.
And then I woke up.
Funk balls, pt. 2:
... Mr. Anderson
at Metaphorage/Metaforage shares a harrowing story about what it's like in the fight clubs of Rio.
This is Brazilian music and sounds nothing like seventies funk, despite sharing the same name. Produced locally and on a limited budget, it lacks the polish of Western music but has a raw, infectious vigour. A mish-mash of influences, it uses the electronic beat of late eighties pop, with bass thuds and slithers of techno. An off-key aggressive rap is often sung live.
Tubarao, whose name means "shark" in Portuguese, says a good funk DJ is able to manipulate the clubbers' feelings of anger.
"A DJ gets to know his crowd because we play the same balls every weekend, so we understand the rhythm of their fighting," he explains. "I take great pride in controlling my crowd. If I see they want blood, I'll put on a fast funk tune. But if they need cooling, then I'll soothe them with something for the girls."
The gangs even have their own chants, recorded by their leader.
"The more you listen to funk," says Andre, "the more you . . . love it. It has a hard, intense sound. Great for fighting. It's our own music, about our people, about death and drugs. The things we know."
Funk balls and girls from Ipanema:
and here. (courtesy Brasilian Music Treasure Hunt)
... Vancouver is a liar and a cheat.
Perhaps you are all the things you promised me and more. When I arrived last February you heralded my arrival with a gentle snowfall, followed by one of the warmest and driest winters on record. I was eager to get to know you. I yearned to love you the way others loved you. Bjossa the Killer Whale charmed me, so much so that I bought a membership to the Vancouver Aquarium although I had precious little money on which to live.
Stanley Park was our own private grotto where we snuggled under a canopy of seemingly endless green. I worshipped you from the peaks of Cypress Mountain, sliding down your slippery slope, breathless, damp, and eager to ride just One. More. Time.
But you took it all away from me in April.
... says that having a right to say things
shouldn't stop you from saying them nicely.
It is, and I think an honest mirror would show an easy majority of black Americans sharing many of Hopkinson's views, though perhaps expressing them in different ways. Some would remark on the folly of being lured to the suburbs just when the cities are bouncing back. Some would say we've spent too much time worrying about integration and far too little about developing our own resources. And some would admit that they're simply more comfortable being among people of their own race.
But as former president Clinton found out with his disastrous "conversations on race," candor isn't the only value worth our notice. There's something to be said for learning to express views (particularly on a matter as delicate and divisive as race) in ways that increase understanding, not just animosity. And there is a lot more to be said for learning to hear what we say -- and learning to question sentiments that we would find offensive coming from others.
IM after visiting the shoeshine man:
... out front of V----- R------ after lunch.
allaboutgeorge (02:18 PM): Just got my shoes shined.
JustCallMeCagney (02:18 PM): how did it feel?
allaboutgeorge (02:18 PM): Why was the shiner bumpin' some ol' Sammy D.
JustCallMeCagney (02:18 PM): what else would you expect? ethel merman?
allaboutgeorge (02:18 PM): "If I Could Talk To The Animals"?
JustCallMeCagney (02:18 PM): wow
allaboutgeorge (02:19 PM): Merman? Naw, that'd be Mermaniac.com.
JustCallMeCagney (02:19 PM): i'm scared
JustCallMeCagney (02:19 PM): to click even
allaboutgeorge (02:19 PM): imitating Dean Martin, James Cagney "you dirty rat" and a host of others.
JustCallMeCagney (02:19 PM): wow
allaboutgeorge (02:19 PM): I'm gettin' high off these shoe polish fumes in my cube.
allaboutgeorge (02:20 PM): Oh, he told me to come back early next time.
JustCallMeCagney (02:20 PM): early?
allaboutgeorge (02:20 PM): Said he'd put some stuff on it that'd let me see my face in it.
JustCallMeCagney (02:20 PM): shoe polish on your face?
allaboutgeorge (02:21 PM): No!
allaboutgeorge (02:21 PM): Shoe polish on my shoes!
JustCallMeCagney (02:21 PM): tee hee
allaboutgeorge (02:22 PM): You know, it is possible to have too much fun in an IM conversation.
allaboutgeorge (02:22 PM): I've seen it done. It ain't pretty.
JustCallMeCagney (02:22 PM): i bet, i bet!
... as explained by Addwise (via a.i.g.w.t.s. dot-com)
Africans in India:
... I didn't know about the Sidis.
... hollers at "Baby Boy." (via an e-mail from my ex-ANG co-worker Tyler Porter, who saw it on the wires last night and sent me an e-mail about it)
The first thing we see is a black man curled up in a womb. The first thing we hear is a voice-over explaining a psychologist's theory that black men are babies. That because of racism, the African-American man remains an unformed person -- infantilized, immature and incapable of exploiting his own fullest potential.
Thus begins the new movie, Baby Boy. In it, we are introduced to Jody, a jobless, aimless 20-year-old from South Central L.A. Though he has fathered two children by two women, he flees commitment, whether that means marriage or just cohabitation. Instead, Jody lives with his mother, who's in her middle 30s. Apparently, he would be content to do that forever, except that mom has begun keeping company with a hulking ex-con whose very presence makes plain that it's time for Jody to grow up and get out.
That he seems unable to do this, we are asked to believe, is ultimately because of the white man. Which brings me to the following conclusion:
Everybody should have a white man. Even white men should have a white man.
Because when you have a white man, nothing is ever your fault. You're never required to account for your own failings or take the reins of your own destiny. The boss says, "Why haven't you finished those reports, Bob?'' and you say, "Because of the white man, sir.''
I'm not here to sell you some naive nonsense that racism no longer exists. One has only to look around with open eyes to see that it continues to diminish the fiscal, physical and emotional health of African-American people. All of us are obligated to raise our voices in protest of this awful reality.
But black folks are also obligated to live the fullest lives possible in the face of that reality. To live without excuses.
Size does matter:
... if the L.A. Times
is to be believed. (And no, it's not what you're thinking.)
Each day, Domb would set out with an assistant to find baboons. Then she would sit and watch them for hours at a time, carefully noting how much attention the males paid to the females who were in the fertile phase of their cycle and had swollen rumps.
Domb also measured the size of each rump--and while she certainly wasn't the first scientist to do so, her colleagues admire the precision she brought to bear. ("Very clever," comments Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, emeritus professor of anthropology at UC Davis.) Instead of simply eyeballing rumps and rating them from 1 to 10 for size, Domb videotaped the rumps, similarly videotaped a meter stick, then digitally compared the two images.
Analyzing the data, Domb found that males spent more time fighting over the females with the biggest rumps. And they spent a lot of time hanging around grooming those females so other males couldn't get near them.
And when Domb studied the detailed historical records for the 29 females studied, she found that the females with the biggest monthly swellings had matured earlier and had more offspring each year. The offspring they had were more likely to survive.
"It was really quite wonderfully surprising for us that we found such a strong correlation with so many measures of female fitness," Domb says.
How do you keep the music playing?:
... How do you make it last?
In a review entitled "Display in Monogamous Pairs," Carl-Adam Wachtmeister of the University of Stockholm describes some of the spectacular and often vigorous performances that a broad array of birds, mammals, fish and insects engage in long after they have secured a partner. The displays may be visual, sonic or sensual, or some artful exploitation of all body systems at once.
Birds are especially prone to these exhibitions because the vast majority breed in socially monogamous pairs. In at least 200 bird species, males and females sing tightly scripted duets throughout their relationship.
Many others dance, dive in synchrony or mount each other in a Kama Sutra suite of positions even when the male's testes have shut down for the season and conception is impossible.
And while pair-bonding is much less common among mammals, where it does occur, it is likely to be accompanied by a spectrum of marital rituals. Mated tree shrews, for example, regularly lick each other's faces and necks in a very specific fashion, with the recipient of the lick keeping its head at a 45-degree angle and its eyes half-closed. Not until the recipient's chin and nape have been exactingly groomed does it allow the licker to plop down on top of it so the two can take a nap.
Buddhism and assimilation in America:
... in the Bay Guardian.
Rev. Amos Brown's comments don't rankle me much: I was baptized as an Episcopalian, and confirmed at Grace Episcopal Church in Silver Spring, Md. I don't attend church regularly these days. "Black" doesn't equal "Baptist" to me the way it seems to for Brown, and it reminds me of the way Black equals, say, "Democrat" for some folks.
Quote of the day:
... from Tim Kerr of the Now Time Delegation (playing at Satyricon, 125 NW 6th Ave., Portland, Ore., 503-243-2380, 10 p.m., Tuesday, July 17)
"I grew up with two older brothers, and the radio was always on. The oldest was always listening to soul music -- Archie Bell and the Drells, the Impressions, all that. That was the kind of music I wanted to do on this record. To me, soul music is honest, real, timeless and relevant. That's why Black Flag, John Coltrane, Aaron Copland, Nick Drake and Sun Ra are all soul music to me. I'm almost embarrassed to say this, but it's now basically become a fairly spiritual thing for me to do this stuff. It's something that's inside that's real personal to me."
MO CASH 10 U:
says he's got a mansion and a yacht, perceptions notwithstanding
(peep the sidebars here
for mo' fun with statistics).
As I tell anyone who asks, I'm the proud owner of many Central and South American countries. That economic instability in Argentina
Non-disclosure agreements prevent my further explanation. Mention of me turns up in places far and wide.
... Jim Evans (via Romenesko)
probably won't remember me, which is cool. I have magazines to remember him by. They're sitting at home on a wooden bookshelf, the copies with my name buried way down in the masthead with the other copy editors, to remind me. Evans nailed the Friday night open bar scene: Staffers learned quick-fast to get a bottle of beer and bail. As soon as the bartender was ready, I'd ask for a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and head back downstairs to finish whatever stories were filing late.
Quotes of the day:
... from two stories in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (via Black Electorate)
"HIV and AIDS is going to make the black community deal with homosexuality ... African-Americans have to realize that everyone is not the same sexual orientation and it's OK. ... The ultimate commandment is to love. If it's conditional, it's not love."
"Some still think of green Dew as hick Dew ... Red could change that." (I guess that campaign is working)
Serves me right:
... to miss a new Pitchfork column's debut.
I plead distraction.
... I was heading to the Powell BART entrance at Fourth and Market in front of O-- N---, same as any other day. Across Market, DJ Onyx Ashanti had a small crowd milling around him in front of V----- M--------. Backpack on my back, and I'm thinking, do I want to get the trash bags at W------'s or not?
Then I saw this posterboard sign a passerby was holding up. I noticed the slightly stooped posture, the gait of a man used to pounding serious pavement, and I recognized him, Mr. 12 Galaxies Guiltied to a Zegnatronic Rocket Society
himself. I remembered all the postings a random search had pulled up. I used to see him at least once a week when I had to walk north from Montgomery BART through the Financial District.
I saw the space on the front side of the sign that usually had "Clinton" stenciled or lettered in. I think he even had "B---" at one point; it's been a couple of months since I saw him along Market. Today he had "Jefferson" written in. A protest against our third president, Mr. Sally Hemings?
Through the plume of steam wafting out of a manhole and into view, I could barely make out the other side of his sign. It looks like he's advertising on behalf of Q-----'s, a sandwich shop with at least a few more outlets somewhere than the only one in the Bay Area that I've been to, at City Center in Oakland. (The other one was in Seattle, I want to say, along First Avenue.)
So I watched him totter across the street on tender toes, valiantly holding that sign up, not speaking to anyone or stopping to proselytize. If he's sponsoring that shop, I hope he's getting some free dough out of it -- and I don't mean the kind he can eat, either.
30 years old:
... and it already looks like I'm pre-qualified for a hip-hop midlife crisis.
Shuggie Otis and Webvan:
... Brad Kava of the Mercury News caught the musician's show at the Fillmore, and was less than complementary.
(Joel Selvin of the Chronicle was no kinder.
) It's been a while since I've seen a really rough review of a performance in a local daily -- since the Tribune's CUE section dope-slapped Mariah Carey a few months ago. Speaking of the Trib, they're saying that San Carlos, Calif., police are on alert regarding Webvan layoffs.
For a second there, I was picturing angry customers wandering like zombies along tree-lined subdivision streets, grocery lists and freshly printed-out directions to brick-and-mortar stores in hand.
... or a few bars of Genesis as spoken by William "Big Willie" Safire.
Thus, I would dictate the Bible's opening as "Cap I In the beginning no comma cap G God created the heaven and the earth period new graf cap A And the earth was without form comma and void semicolon and darkness begin itals was unitals upon the face of the deep period." (I don't know why the second was is in italics, but that's how the King James Version has it.)
Chafee at the bit:
... "Before you start shoeing a horse you don't know, you size him up, let him size you up, get to know him a little bit. I
usually let him smell me."
... the original mini-series
-- filmed in 1989, shown on my local PBS television station tonight
and airing next Sunday evening
-- whups Steven Soderbergh's
The maternal unit speaks:
... Didn't know till we got to talking this afternoon that I was actually due on July 21st (a new moon) and that most first births are usually late. Figures my ornery self would show up two weeks early to the day. My dad, who taught school then, spent most of the 6th working construction (putting in sidewalks) out in Kettering, Md. Mom was working for Manpower.
She says she stayed two to three more days at the hospital after the day I was born: "Thirty years ago, you stayed in there and maybe you stayed in the fourth day. By then you can take a shower, dress your baby ... 'cause it's a major thing to have happen to you, you know." Much appreciated, Mom. *tips hat*
... Rev. Brian at Divinist
points me to the AJC's three-part series
and says it's excellent.