Bear with me: ... I'm getting the hang of this host-change thing. It's quarter past 2 in the morning. I'm not at my best.

Shampooed the locks Monday, but didn't get around to shea-buttering them down till this afternoon. I think it went well. I can ponytail the ones at the base of my scalp, but the rest are too short to gather up in back properly.


Formica?: ... I like-a.
Tricky: ... from a July 2001 Remix magazine interview.
What effect would you like your music to have, and how do you see yourself as an artist?

I think I'm more about emotion than about being a head-rocker. Some music makes your head nod, and that's good; I love those drumbeats that make you go [bangs his head]. I'd like people to listen to my music with headphones by themselves rather than go out to hear it in a club. Sometimes I'd like to make a bangin' track, but I'd rather be there with the emotion. I want to touch people's souls. That's the one thing I wanted to do at the beginning of my career, and it's the one thing I want to do now. I'm really in it for that. You get all the good things that come along with it -- the traveling, people treating you good -- but I want to touch people's souls. And I don't think it's worth me doing music if I can't do that. I want to go a bit deeper than the ears. I want to touch you inside there. I want to make you feel something. I've still got that now. That's what keeps me going.

A woman once came up to me after a concert. She was telling me all this beautiful stuff, and I didn't want to hear it, y'know what I mean? I was just about to walk away, and she says to me, "Look, I don't want to seem to go on, but I mean what I say: you're in my home and you're in my children." And that blew my mind. That was the heaviest thing anyone's ever said to me. She plays my music to her kids. That's heavy, and that's what I want. That is better than a royalty check -- and a royalty check is good!


Cover stories: That's funny. The twins on the September cover of this magazine are wearing saris and jeweled bindis. And September's cover of this magazine has a headline for their cover piece taking readers "inside the city's wild new music scene -- a tour through rock, hip-hop, and house to the genius of DJ Qbert." But that curly-mopped lanky dude with the Led Zeppelin T-shirt, that couldn't be Qbert, could it? Nah. It's Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind instead.

Thank goodness Sheerly Avni's article is worth the two months she says she spent living on C--- Lights, screwdrivers and coffee to write it.

And I give Jenkins cool points for discoursing on cred and the Invisibl Scratch Piklz: "I made music to make my own world. I didn't make it to create borders and exclude others -- which is what having cred is all about. ... Qbert is the Dalai Lama of scratching. And their recognition is coming, don't worry. But then what will happen to their cred? Oh no! Fuck you, cred motherfuckers."

And Qbert has something to say, too: "I just like to dig up new sounds, find new things -- you have to continue growing. And I don't mind being sampled by others. I believe in Karma, and I think music should just make people happy."
Mack Reed: ... on morale-boosters for journalists and what you need to know before you wander off to Burning Man on impulse. (via James)
A letter from Cuba: ... Noy Thrupkaew recalls healthcare, jiniterismo, race and labeling as belonging.
I am called "china" quite often during the trip. But it doesn't really feel like people have an idea of what personality traits a china has or a stereotype in mind (i.e., hot geisha chick, godamn foreigner, come do my laundry and make me chop suey, etc.) when they say the word. It would make me feel quite different, I suspect, if I were to be called any one of those other words. But instead of sounding like a commentary on my personality or an ethnic slur, "China!" seems more of an astonished observation-a "look at that pink elephant" exclamation.

And for that reason, I start to feel much freer in Cuba than I have in my travels in Asia, where the clash of my appearance, clothing, behavior, language skills, and people's ideas about me cause much confusion and consternation for them, and oppressive feelings of being inescapably foreign and "off" for me. Not to mention the resentment I feel at the white people who claim to have found their spiritual home in these countries where I feel so strange. But in Cuba, if I explain what I am, I am never doubted. I am never expected to act a certain way (in contrast to "not Thai enough," "not really American, either," in Thailand; in Japan, "How much are you, baby?"; "Why do you speak English?"). Nor do I feel people scrutinize my behavior to make sure I conform to their ideas about me.

I don't really speak Spanish, however, and I am only here for twelve days, so perhaps ignorance is bliss. But this ignorance has been liberating in many ways-I am in no position to indulge my Virgo Gone Bad tendencies to be an expert, flog myself for not knowing everything, or plan my interactions with people down to the last detail like I've too often tried to do in Thailand and Japan. I'm a fish completely out of water, a "china" out of "China," finding out that charades are fun when language fails, that when you are lost you often find good food, and that chaotic uncertainty and gnawing fear can give way to a sense of spontaneity and discovery that is, well, brand new for me. I remember a Buddhist term I learned in school-shosin, or beginner's mind-a state of newness and egoless, clear perception that the beginner has and that an expert should strive towards, a state that I have only started to explore in Cuba because I have no other option.

So even if it is ignorance, it is amazing to feel free of my face even if someone chooses to remark on its difference. And it is yet more unbelievable on those nights when I am walking in just the right light, when I am with just the right dark-haired travelers, when I am wearing just the right clothes, and a Cuban person will speak to me in Spanish, asking the time or how to get to a certain place, and then say, puzzled at my nonverbal answer-"You aren't Cubana?" When this happens, I am tremblingly happy, ashamed of daring to think that I could be free of my hyphenated self and my privileged American life-a stranger eavesdropping on someone else's story of home who can just barely, guiltily picture herself a part of it.
Chocolate Genius: ... the musician also known as Marc Anthony Thompson in an interview with Vivien Goldman, talking about how music is still his passion: "Art is an effort to gather your tribe. Hopefully, mine will come with me."
Changing hosts: ... I'm doing it, so I may slow down a little bit on the posting-every-day pace for the next week. But what do you guys care, anyway? You're moving into dorm rooms, driving to Burning Man, making plans for the long Labor Day weekend or just laying low, aren't you?

In case you care, I'm heading from here to over here. Double the room, half the cost, slightly less data transfer per month -- and all the stuff I know nothing about, but intend to try on (CGI-BIN, MySQL, PHP, etc.).

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going back down to B-and-N's cafe at Jack London Square. I want to try out new site layouts and play with a couple of articles, and Ankita wants to do other stuff. This was us on Sunday:
George: *catches The Wife ogling a black-and-white photo of Vin Diesel bare-chested in the shower in the new InStyle magazine* Turn the page! Now!
The Wife: But you can't see his face!
George: Oh, yeah. It just increases the mystery for you, huh?
The Wife: *big smile*
Mondo Grosso: ... Ernie, weren't you listening to this a couple of weeks ago?
But I shouldn't care because above all, MG4 is a statement about the aspirations of the person who buys this disc. Such a person will watch "Sex and the City" to verify which shoe boutiques are currently en vogue. Such a person will look out for which West Village restaurants are the talk of the town. Such a person will not have read A Man Without Qualities, but will own and prominently display an import boxed edition. If these are your aspirations, here is a perfect album for you. But those of us who feel underdressed when shopping at Target can also enjoy MG4, as long as we're not paying too much attention.


Keba Konte: ... I got a copy of one of his prints at a fair in Berkeley a year ago. It depicts a little boy leaping over a graveyard, and it's on our kitchen wall.
Aaliyah: ... A June interview from
Canadian Ham: ... or rather, a Maclean's article about a brother from another planet country. (via Cecily)
Korla Pandit: ... He was on my mind 'cause of a Sylvia Chan article about Asian influences in hip-hop that mentions him. I had no idea Pandit was really black, not Indian.
Saul Williams on Macy Gray: ... excerpted from the September 2001 issue of Interview magazine.
SW: You seem to focus a lot on self-expression and exploring your taboos on the album. Are you OK with discussing some taboo issues?
MG: Of course.
SW: Do drugs play a role in your creative life?
MG: There are a few songs -- probably the majority of the album -- that were written when I was a little, you know, beyond. I think what drugs do is send you to places that you normally don't go and you can see things from a different perspective.
SW: Do you think that the use of hallucinogens in the black community could have a powerful effect on how black people perceive their experiences? Especially with all that talk about "keeping it real" -- what if reality was altered a little bit?
MG: I don't know, but speaking for myself, it happened to me when I was at USC, which was mostly white. One time when I was on acid at a party, I had this big revelation that because I was one of the only black people in the crowd -- the only one who had what I had -- I was powerful. That was the first time I completely flipped being black. And I've thought that way ever since.
SW: How dominant was the issue of race when you were growing up?
MG: My mother was an activist in our city [Canton, Ohio], and I was always really proud to be black. But I went to a boarding school with all these rich white kids. I think there were about 12 black people in the whole school. So even if you are proud of who you are and where you come from, [in a mostly white environment] you still have to do with subtle insults and being slighted. So I'm just saying that that [experience] was the first time I saw that for myself -- that I felt powerful.
SW: Do you think that black people are free?
MG: No. We've been so sucked into what society has brainwashed us to be -- you know, that slave mentality, that we're secondary. And I think subconsciously most of us have bought into it. But I think society has given us everything it's going to. No more emancipations of freedom or whatever else we feel they owe us. If we want to go any further, we have to emancipate ourselves, and think about ourselves differently.


Suggestions: ... for covering the transgender character on the upcoming CBS drama "The Education of Max Bickford." (via jessi)
  • DO refer to Helen Shaver's character as Erica. Only refer to Shaver's character as Steve as needed to detail Erica's backstory.
  • DO use female pronouns when referring to Erica.
  • DON'T use quotation marks around "female," "woman," "Erica" or female pronouns when referring to Helen Shaver's character.
  • DO use the term "gender identity" to describe Erica's sense of herself as a woman. Gender identity is not the same as sexual orientation.
  • DO refer to Erica as "a transgender woman," or "a male-to-female transgender person" - not as "a transgender." "Transsexual" may be used, but "transgender" is preferred. Do not use "transvestite."
  • DON'T say that Erica is "pretending" to be a woman or "posing" as a woman, or imply that Erica is not "really" a woman.
  • DO use the words "many" and "most" when discussing transgender people. The transgender community is very diverse, and over-generalizations should be avoided.

    Today's tune: ... is Zap Mama's "Call Waiting" (narrowly beating out "Songe"). eerily acid-jazzy extension of the Alexander Graham Bell fixation Daulne revealed on Seven's "Telephone."

    ... The only weak link in the tracks of Am A Zone is "Call Waiting's" very basic drum n' bass and an ungraceful attempt at trance; Zap Mama sounds more like Bjork and the dialing and telephone ringing blares like it?s supposed to hammer the songs? name into our heads."

    ... Une d�claration d'amour par fax. Les moyens de communication modernes sont un th�me r�current de l'album. Nous sommes aujourd'hui tellement press�s que tout doit se faire par t�l�phone ou par les autoroutes de l'information.

    ... This song just makes me grin, due to the fact that, well, it's just so simply sexy.

    ... "Call Waiting" features Marie Daulne's haunting voice set to light drum-and-bass and the brisk, striking sound of pizzicato violins and an acoustic bass. If the boys of Massive Attack were to grab some djembes and African folk records, hang out with Angelique Kidjo and smile (much) more, the result might sound something like this.
    Newt Gingrich: ... book reviewer?
    Greece is the word: ... when it comes to two D.C. theater companies' latest offerings here and here.
    Madonna: ... first condoms (a kind she doesn't seem to like, actually), then a bit of common sense (which I think she'll like even less).
    By insisting so neurotically on her four-year-old daughter's femininity -- when the nearest Lourdes should be getting to make-up is Burnt Sienna on her nose during finger-painting sessions -- Madonna reveals more about her own insecurity than we ever wanted to know. We've seen her nipples, we've seen her bush, we've seen it all - but her naked psyche is, I fear, the most unacceptable private part of them all.

    DJ Spooky: ...last night, That Subliminal Kid played with Matthew Shipp at the Aldrich Museum on Main St. (heh, DJ Spooky, playing on Main Street -- now that's overground acceptance!) in Ridgefield, Conn. Anybody know how it went?

    I mean, I only know 'bout it 'cause I went to the Stamford Advocate's homepage looking for a Patrick Verel article on bhangra and found this.
    "Anything can be remixed, whether it's the sound of wind or the rain, even satellite feedback," he says. "It's just the basic ways it all flows. All songs are just remixes of each other; there's nothing that's really original."

    But if, as Miller states in the liner notes of "Under The Influence," "hip-hop, techno, ambient, illbiant, drum'n'bass, and dancehall reggae are just terms used to hold a place in our minds where we dance together," how does he know where to begin?

    "I just go on my own internal intuition," he says. "It's like a language that we all speak. You can understand music better than even a foreign language."
    The boob tube: ... the Boston Globe's Derrick Z. Jackson says it's turned black folks into boobs.
    No one watches television as much as black folks do. The television is on in the typical African-American household 76 hours a week, or 101/2 hours a day, according to Nielsen Research Media and TN Media. That compares with 54 hours a week in all other households. That means that a television is on a lot more hours than a child attends school. It means we are letting television run our lives and running education right out the door.

    Based on scores from the National Assessment of Education Progress tests, 34 percent of the poor readers watched six hours or more of television a day. Only 6 percent of the best readers watched that much television. And you can guess by now which children were consuming that much television.

    A recent study by the department of instruction in North Carolina found that 40 percent of African-American children watched six hours or more of television a day, compared with 16 percent of white and Asian-American children. Students in North Carolina who watched six hours or more television a day were a full year or more behind in classwork.


    "Golden Boy": ... today, though, I am feeling it. (RealAudio | RealVideo)
    RES found Doc, the missing link to her sound, after a friend turned her onto Esthero's Breath From Another. "I just thought that record was dope and I knew he was the one I needed to work with in order to do what I wanted to do," she explains, adding, "I liked the string arrangements he had on that record, the different noises he creates in his music, and how he uses the guitar to build every song from scratch. He also had that hip-hop appeal and edge I wanted."

    How I Do opens with the incendiary "Golden Boy," a loungy, drum 'n' bass-tinged track about illusion vs. reality and blowing up spots: "Why are you selling dreams of who you wish you could be / A prince in all of the magazines / They have no words for the man I've seen / You talk real fast before they see your face / Now would they love you if they knew all the things that we know?� Those golden boys are all a fraud / Don't believe their show."
    Dinner last night: ... There was delicious food, enjoyable company -- and the oddly appropriate feel of following some cable channel's broadcast of "What Lies Beneath" with the first few minutes of the Gary Condit/Connie Chung ABC interview.
    "You Rock My World": ... Listened to the first single (RealAudio) off his Oct. 30 album, "Invincible," at Michael Jackson's site.

    You get a bit of pop-culture convergence in the first minute, with MJ and Chris Tucker (whose love for the Gloved One is evident in the smack-talking -- "I bet you Never-Never Land you can't get that girl! ... All right, then: Jamonit! JAMONIT!!").

    From Valsadie's "America Misses Michael Jackson":
    Just watch one of the surprise hit films of late 1998, "Rush Hour." The film�s star, Chris Tucker, refers to Michael in a handful of the film�s lines and even performs some of Michael�s signature dance moves.
    Producer Rodney Jerkins overhauls some "The Way You Make Me Feel"-style lyrics (which Michael sings but I can't quite clearly make out, other than the chorus), grafts them onto a really pretty piano, a rhythm that barely pushes 90 bpm, a few of those odd percussive sounds that I could probably duplicate on my cheap Yamaha pre-MIDI keyboard and some canned strings.

    I give it a 6.5 out of 10, mostly 'cause I haven't heard him in a while and it's nice to. (Nostalgia, I guess.) That, and I'd rather listen to him than most of the stuff on this week's charts. *shrug*


    Race fetish: ... Christine Duh talks around (not about) interracial dating and relationships. I want to know how she feels about the stats that Sailer dude mentioned before, and the rate imbalance between Asian male/white female and Asian female/white male couples.
    Gentlemen who prefer blonds are "normal." So too are gentlemen who prefer brunettes. But if one of those brunettes happens to also have almond-shaped eyes, everyone cries fetish. We are exposing biases that exist in other areas of society but are hidden due to social pressure. But these biases exist even when people aren't talking about them. So maybe we haven't come a long way yet. Maybe we're not ready to admit that there is so much more to a person than her race, that every person has her own unique qualities and quirks that attract the people she dates, and that every person has the potential to be attracted to others for those very characteristics, regardless of race. That's not what people want to hear.
    Marvell-ing at Jesse: ... I'm not surprised. I read Ernest B. Ferguson's "Hard Right" in my junior year in high school, all the better to play a senator-type character in a civics class exercise. I had more fun than the law allows.
    A piece of this state's history is lost. "Disappeared," maybe on purpose. Or maybe no one knew how valuable it one day would be. I'm talking about the footage of pre-Senate Jesse Helms delivering political commentary for WRAL-TV.

    He was on five nights a week for a dozen years starting in 1960. And yet does a single recording exist? "No one really knows," said the young librarian for the Jesse Helms Center out in Helms' home county of Union. The Helms center -- part think tank, part Jesse shrine -- certainly hasn't found them.

    Neither has David Crabtree, political reporter and anchor at WRAL today.

    "We have scoured this building and the transmitter site, everywhere we thought they would be," Crabtree said. "I don't think a single tape exists."

    Oh sure, there are transcripts. The North Carolina Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has most of them.

    You can read Helms' commentary on the way a graduate student forced his class to read the poem "To His Coy Mistress." (As a result, the guy got fired and dropped out of grad school.) You can read Helms' commentary on busing, unions, liberals.

    But see and hear it? Nope.
    It's 2: ... but is Blogger terrible? I think not. Happy birthday, Blogger!
    Molly on specialization and the Web: ... She reminds me of Heinlein.
    S------- and M-----N-- access: ... everywhere in S.F., San Mateo and Santa Clara and nowhere in Contra Costa or Alameda counties. (via a Glenn F. column for 80211Planet and over here)
    Bad head: ... No such thing? Try this one, which reduces Donald Woods to a caricature (not unlike the one in "Cry Freedom") and inadvertently omits those other South Africans who lodged a dissenting opinion or two on the subject of apartheid over the last several decades.
    Angela Ards: ... Alternet shows her asking "Where Is the (Black) Love?" (as blogged previously via Ms. magazine)
    Transpotting: the American Prospect.
    Greg Osby: ... is who I'll be listening to, thanks to the good-lookin'-out wishlist-type kindness of E.C.
    If Earth could talk about other planets: ... what would it say? "Oh, God, if only they would notice us."
    Why smut is important to my liberation and yours: ... So I typed the phrase "bodice ripper" into Google and found an old Cecilia Tan essay. (Thank goodness, the word does show up in the essay's last 'graph.) Care to make something of it?
    Feminism for me is about many of the things it was for my mother: having the right to choose what to do with our bodies, fighting rape, fighting stereotypes. But until women are allowed to define within their own minds their own sexual reality and their own sexual fantasies, they will continue to be manipulated sexually by men and dominated by the cultural "norms" of beauty/desirability and behavior. We have to be allowed to have our fantasies, the fantasies that let us escape this oppressive world, the fantasies that let us dream of the utopia that I am trying my damndest to bring about.
    Smells like: ... teen spirit.
    He draws pictures of body parts, creates cartoons lampooning his mother and, at age 15, films a home movie called Kurt Commits Bloody Suicide. A friend suggests he should become an artist, but Cobain announces: "I'm going to be a superstar musician, kill myself and go out in a flame of glory."


    Back on the stroll: ... I've got my wig back on, my stockings straightened and my hourly rates newly calibrated.

    So yes, since you asked, I'm (semi-)employed again, working part-time at the very East Bay newspaper chain I left two years ago by the grace of a telephone query from a couple of kind editors. Walked into the newsroom, shook hands with cool peoples I've been seeing and who have been seeing me off and on for six or seven years now, gave a ex-co-worker some telephonic dap and settled in at the screen.

    Some things came flying back, some things haven't changed; others required a question or a brief paw-through of a training manual. And I know it was real work, because I came home after it was all over at midnight -- and couldn't sleep. Just laid up in the bed until 3 a.m., knowing I needed to be up and out by 9 a.m. for another interview pressing engagement.

    Came home this evening, walked down to B-and-N, pawed some mags (Whole Earth Magazine's summer issue -- guest editor Bruce Sterling, with articles by sci-fi cognoscenti "Big Willie" Gibson and Neal "Before Zod!" Stephenson; Artbyte -- can ya dig it?) and went home to chat with Jako and Monique, take in the change afoot at and the notice over at while my darling wife scans our lovely local weeklies.
    Bryant Gumbel's wife: ... took half.
    If I still watched television: ... I guess this study would matter. Or maybe it wouldn't. And in an aside: Can you imagine the field day "Boondocks" creator Aaron McGruder is going to have with this?
    Amnesia as hot cultural topic?: ... Forget about it. *pats paperback copy of Jonathan Lethem-edited book on the topic resting beside my bed, smiles*


    The view from 315 Pacific: ... as noted by the Chron's Dan Fost.


    Remixing Björk, ex-Standardites, (Blue)tooth pain and more: ... in the New York Times.
  • "It's like a recipe. You take the ingredients that they've already got and construct a different dish from it."
  • She and her colleagues are being deposited into one of the worst job markets in memory for people who sell advertising or report and write for a living.
  • "The last thing we want to do is take a new technology to market before it's mature, and get a huge black eye."
  • It seems strange, however, that with musicians shortchanged in so many ways and having so much money withheld by record companies, publishers, managers, lawyers and other middlemen, they are only mad at their fans.
  • "We're so used to seeing images of young black men that are fit into some convenience compartment to the exclusion of who we really are ... When I work with George, I have all of who I am available and made use of."
  • 2001/08/19

    Black flight in the Bay Area: ... the numbers make a case for it. (via jessi)
    Blacks, whose numbers statewide only increased by 55,000, now constitute just 6.7 percent of California's total population of 33.9 million, down from 7.4 percent in 1990.

    More telling are the black population decreases from the last decade in Bay Area cities: San Francisco, down 16.1 percent; Oakland, down 8.1 percent; and San Jose, down 2 percent. In East Palo Alto, the closest thing to an African-American stronghold the South Bay has ever had, the black population dropped 29.3 percent.

    Meanwhile, increases occurred in the Bay Area's less expensive cities: Antioch's black population increased 504 percent; Vallejo's, 30 percent. And in the Central Valley, Tracy was up 327 percent; Stockton, 50 percent; and largely rural Los Banos, 200 percent.
    Korey Stringer: ... I didn't expect to come across this profile while flipping through Esquire.
    Jolly good show: ... Click on some Sun Ra linkage below:
  • Alan D. Barbour's Dolomite 'splains things.
  • This tapeography page explains what Sun Ra was doing in Oakland in the early 70s.
  • Teleport City sums it up.
  • A Baltimore City Paper book review places Ra alongside Anthony Braxton and Duke Ellington.
  • Didn't enjoy "Heartland Reggae" as much. A Bob Marley documentary I have at home includes the handshake footage between Michael Manley and Edward Seaga. I saw a lot more Jacob Miller from Inner Circle than I wanted, probably less Peter Tosh and I didn't know what to do with the young boy who popped up for a few minutes singing the Jacksons' "Enjoy Yourself," so I tuned him out.


    On our cinematic radar today: ... courtesy of the Fine Arts Cinema in Berkeley, Calif., "Space is the Place" and "Heartland Reggae."
    Ape other critics?: ... the Toronto Star's Geoff Pevere won't do that again.
    "I guess this is my way of saying sorry. I was wrong. Planet of the Apes isn't as good a movie as I first told you it was. ... And if this leaves you wondering how skeptical you should be of any reviews you read produced under the conditions I've outlined ... then at least some good has come of my momentary slip in judgment."
    Hyperpulp: ... is an audio aesthetic I think I missed out on. I especially like the bit about "acts of audio-abduction or sonic viracy, in which existing mass cultural associations are radically deterritorialized and minoritized; the certainties of spectacular culture are de-faced, contaminated with traces of rogue semiotic virus."
    Hyperpulp is a mode of hyperdub, but defined by a particular relation to mass culture; it is a cybernetic monster that feeds on pop culture and trans- [or de-] forms it into a blobby, seething multiplicity.

    Hyperpulp culture finds its model not in the club scene, with its cult of the DJ, but the Jamaica n soundclash, with its ruff and rugged indifference to smooth mixing, and the pivotal role it accords to the MC. Oxide and Neutrino - the DJ and MC team - re-effectuate this abstract machine. For those schooled in a white European post-romantic tradition, MCing sounds like something supplementary to the 'primary text' of the music itself. But in hyperpulp, there is of course no primary text, only an intense multiplexed libidinal experience, which includes and is intensified by the MC's chatting on the mic. The MC's melting of dominant english into the lyrical flow of patois sloganeering functions as an excitation-heightener for those who want to get hyper. ...

    Where pop tends to interpellate the lone consumer, the solitary spectator, hyperpulp dissloves private subjectivity in the oceanic bassdrome of collective delirium. In overground capitalist popular culture, maturity is signalled by the move from impersonal collective pulp-out into privatized, facialized emotion. ...

    Hyperpulp trades in sonic fiction, and as such feeds upon pulp modes effectuated in other media, especially Horror and SF video. Video samples, once so conspicuous in jungle and speed garage, have been noticably absent in the re-musicalised, soul-dominated phase of garage.

    Over the years, there has been a remarkable consistency in the sonic textures of the various reactive, boracratic genres Style London has tried to foist on the rest of us. From rare groove through to acid jazz, from 'intelligent' drum and bass through to soulful garage, the same sonic traits are always evident : there's a preference for melody over rhythm, for 'real' instrumentation over the synthetic and the samploid, for personalised emotion over dehumanised abstraction. Naturally, these are reinforced by snooty social codes based on snobbery and exclusivity, which are diseminated by the scene's lapdogs in the depressingly hedonistic dance music media and in the style press - all of whom are dissed, hilariously, by Neutrino on Up Middle Finger.

    The so-called garage wars are nothing new, and in fact date back at least as far as the emergence of jungle. Jungle, don't forget, was so named as an insult. Devotees of the original US garage sound - that finessed-to-the-point-of-body-numbing-tedium 'lush' production identified most closely with that high priest of sonic bureaucrats, David Morales - decried the use of breakbeats, essentially for exactly the same reasons that Style London's current hipoisie are cussing Oxide and Neutrino - lack of purity.

    Purity is no more real in music than in ethnicity, and no more desirable. It is only ever a retrospective simulation, something hallucinated after the fact by a group of control freaks resentfully anxious about its fading status. Inevitably, purity has no positive features of its own, but is defined negatively, by what it excludes. What purocrats hate about hyperpulp is its ruffness, its refusal to close down into a well-formed aesthetic object. But this is precisely what is exciting about hyperpulp - its dubtractive removal of all that we thought we knew about identity, genre, about where sonicultures had come from and where they are going. Subtract identity, contaminate 'purity', and potential is produced. Now that Soul and Style are losing their grip on garage, something new can be heard emerging. Hyperpulp has come back to corrupt its illegitimate offspring. Celebrate its return.


    NYC: ... just like I pictured it, wireless and everything.
    C'mon Ken Layne: ... tell us how you really feel! Daily: Personally, I think he's too hard on Salon, which has a lot more quality material than he gives it credit for. It's the kind of column, though, that people working at Salon should read and take stock of, because I imagine that Layne is saying what a lot of other people in the media are thinking: "If you're so smart, how come you ain't rich."


    Ah, Iggy: ... "Occasionally I'll go to one of these VIP affairs or parties, and I always sorta look around thinking, 'My God, how shallow and crass these people are! Not like me!' That is honestly how I feel. At the same time I recognize the holes in that theory, because I'm there aren't I?''

    The Industry Standard: ... An Ad Age story says they're suspending publication.
    So maybe: ... I knew the video was deep, but I didn't know exactly how deep until PopMatters broke it down for me.
    The full weight of the James Brown sample is made clear in the video for "Fallin", which opens with Keys sitting at a solo piano and closes with Keys visiting her incarcerated boyfriend. While jailhouse visits have become an all too common occurrence in black popular culture, the video deepens the significance of these visits as a busload of mothers, girlfriends, wives, and baby-mamas travel from an urban center to the kind of rural community -- think of the north country in New York State -- where new prisons, along with the compulsory K-mart and Home Depot, often get constructed. While the primary discourse about the prison industrial complex centers on the unprecedented incarceration rates of black and Latino men, the video flips the script to highlight the equally unprecedented incarceration rates of women of all colors and black women in particular. Footage of the women and children traveling on the bus explicitly invokes the temporary "imagined communities" -- to use Benedict Anderson's term -- of families "torn apart" by the absence of a patriarchal figure. Thus the pastoral scene of "men" working in the field, evoking the image of southern chain gangs and the presumable emasculation of black masculinity that the realities of chattel slavery and Jim Crow segregation heightened, are meant to re-inforce the oppressive nature of prison labor.

    Ironically the video reveals that it was in fact a group of women who were working in the fields. This becomes dramatically clear when the women in the field raise their heads and sing along with Keys "I Keep on fallin' in love with you," suggesting the ways that female incarceration rates are deeply imbricated in the efforts of these women to protect men who are likely involved in illicit activities. The best example of this widely circulated case of Kemba Smith who was incarcerated as an accomplice to her drug dealing boyfriend despite not having an active knowledge of his illicit activities. (Smith was later pardoned as one of Bill Clinton's last midnight moves, moves in which he inexplicably failed to pardon Leonard Peltier.) The video's ability to make these ironic claims is buttressed by the use of James's Brown's "It's A Man's, Man's, Man's World" sample countering the general misconceptions about the increasing high rates in which black and Latino women are incarcerated and subjected to hard labor. The video offers one of the rare occasions when an artist and video director, in this case Chris Robinson, are in sync aesthetically creating a new object d'art that stands beyond the original track, bringing a new depth of meaning and passion to the original song.
    "That's Right (You're Not From Texas)": ... ain't just a Lyle Lovett song.
    ALBUQUERQUE, Aug. 15 -- The second graders at Griegos Elementary School had apparently not absorbed the message of President Bush's month away from the nation's capital, because when he asked a group of them today if they knew where he was from, he did not get the answer he wanted.

    "Washington, D.C.!" several students shouted in unison, eliciting a grimace from the president, who has cast his working vacation as a reconnection with his roots.

    "I'm from one state east of here," he prompted the children, gathered in a classroom here. "What state?"

    "Washington, D.C.!" they exclaimed again, at which point Mr. Bush gave up on helpful hints.

    "I grew up," he said, "in Texas."

    Questionnaire, questionnaire: ... I did mine in April. J. Dub (Care about looks? Yes, probably too much.), Dean (Have any bad habits: the Internet) and Jonno (Consider yourself tolerant of others: Yes, as long as they know how to spell) have done theirs.

    So, uh, when you gonna do yours, huh?
    A pro-jack-of-all-trades argument: ... in a Saul Williams inteview.
    How would you describe your various careers - have you got a word for what you do?

    I don't know, it's a constantly evolving thing that I'm doing, my latest invention of myself has been as a musician, I have an album coming out, and in the two years up until now -- since '98 I've been very focussed on singing and writing music and taking voice lessons and feeling like that is the way in which I get through this right now to create. That doesn't make me not an actor, that doesn't make me not a poet, all of those things go into the format of creation.
    Liberal Arts Mafia: ... is a broadminded blog with some worthy commentaries, like the one where they unpack the William F. Buckley mindset I mentioned yesterday and the music industry's problems (as well as the reasons why I spent two hours listening to Gilles Peterson's BBC Radio One set yesterday afternoon).
    It is common in America today when you ask white Americans what type of music they like to listen to, to hear a laundry list. Something like, "Oh I like everything. . . country, rock, folk. . . everything but rap." When you realize that in the forties the list was "Oh I like everything. . . big band, western, classical. . . everything but be-bop," then you realize what the real list is: "Oh I like everything, everything that isn't black." And Rap music is more than black, it is aggressively black.
    Hey ladies!: ... keep making sure your partner uses condoms each and every time -- but consider stocking up on certain over-the-counter lubricants, too.
    Three widely available, inexpensive personal lubricants have been found to block the replication of the human immunodeficiency virus in lab tests.The lubricants killed HIV infected white blood cells and HIV in seminal fluid, according to researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

    Dr. Samuel Baron and colleagues conducted the study to examine over-the-counter vaginal preparations for their ability to inhibit HIV production.

    While the spermicide nonoxynol-9 has been found in lab tests to fight HIV, it doesn't prevent the virus from spreading, probably because it causes genital irritation, the authors note in the July 20th issue of AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses. For this reason, the researchers only looked at non-irritating lubricants.

    Astroglide vaginal lubricant, ViAmor vaginal moisturizer and Vagisil vaginal moisturizer each inhibited HIV production by more than 1,000-fold when mixed in test tubes with cells contained in semen. When the preparations were mixed with cell-free semen containing the virus, they cut HIV replication eightfold.

    Inactivation of the virus began within 5 minutes after the preparations were added, and the lubricants remained active for more than 8 hours at human body temperature. When layered over cells, the lubricants were still able to kill, indicating that their protective activity can diffuse into seminal fluid. The lubricants were still active when diluted in a one-to-four ratio.

    Since submission of their report, the investigators have identified two components that are responsible for the inhibitory effects, Baron told Reuters Health. These components appear to interact with the lipid or fatty membrane that surrounds both the virus and the infected cells, he said.

    These materials we have identified are by the most stringent standards safe, falling in the Food and Drug Administration's No. 1 safety category,'' Baron noted. "This separates them out completely from nonoxynol-9.''

    He cautions that condoms remain the recommended method for preventing HIV transmission during sexual activity. However, Baron and his colleagues highly recommend that field trials of these agents be conducted among people at risk.
    Disidentifying yourself: ... from all the things that you are not is a common practice, says Boston University professor C.B. Bhattacharya re: a new study that says people don't just self-perceive based on groups they like.
    "By focusing on business practices such as environmental records, sweatshop operations or discriminatory hiring and the like, watchdog organizations and the media can heighten the role that organizational disidentification plays in our lives -- which, in turn can have powerful consequences both in terms of speaking out against the organization and buying its products ... In the long run, this should result in organizations being more socially responsible.''


    Missing H-bomb: ... off the South Carolina coast, according to In These Times. (via N.Y. Press)
    A skin too few: ... is the title of a documentary film about Nick Drake that just saw screenings in Brisbane and Melbourne. Upcoming showings, according to an e-mail I got a minute ago, include:
  • The NEW YORK International Independent Film & Video Festival, screening on Thursday September 13th
  • Cinema Texas International Short Film Festival, AUSTIN TX USA, September 14th -23rd
  • HELSINKI Love and Anarchy Film Festival September 20th - 30th 2001
  • Doclands Film Festival, DUBLIN, Ireland September 27th - 30th, 2001
  • BERLIN Beta Filmfestival, Germany 29th September -5th October
  • The Leeds International Filmfestival and in the same week at a Nick Drake Day in a bookstore (on video) in LEEDS UK, Sept. 27th-Oct. 12th 2001
  • VANCOUVER International Film Festival, Canada, September 27th-Oct. 12th �2001
  • Olympia Film Festival, OLYMPIA �WA �USA, October 12th - 21st 2001
  • SHEFFIELD International Documentary Festival, UK, �October 22nd - 28th 2001
  • GIJON International Film Festival, Spain, Nov. 23th-30th 2001
  • BUENOS AIRES International Filmfestival of Independent Film, Argentina, April 19th - 29th 2002

    Single and album, pt. 0.5 in a series: ... thanks to Randomwalks' notice of a Nick Hornby essay in the New Yorker that happens to reference my birth month.
    We have long known that there is a division between literary fiction and the mass market, but it says something about the fragmentation of pop music that there is now some kind of musical equivalent. The Billboard charts of top-selling LPs in the month of July, 1971, included "Sticky Fingers," by the Rolling Stones; "What's Going On," by Marvin Gaye; "4 Way Street," a live double album by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; "Aretha Live at Fillmore West," by Aretha Franklin; and "Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon," by James Taylor. You can imagine that at the time even the most curmudgeonly critics might have found it in themselves to gush over at least a couple of those. Now, however, in addition to the self-explanatory top-seller charts, we have myriad other lists, from MP3 downloads to top alternative albums to top college, whatever that may mean. (These lists may well have been born of the music critics' despair at popular taste.) There is "literary," critically approved pop -- Lucinda Williams, say, or Wilco, or Nick Cave, none of whom trouble the Billboard statisticians much -- and the MTV-driven hard rock, rap, and R. & B. that you can find at the front of your local HMV. Some might argue that the critics who wrote about Marvin and Aretha thirty years ago are the very same people who rave about Lucinda Williams today, and they'd have a point: rock critics now seem to have tenure, like senior faculty, which could explain why current youth-targeted music seems relatively unexamined.
    The Globe stops spinning: ... I think they were the second place I ever put up a Web page. (The first would've been at Sirius Communications, back in the spring of 1997.) I don't think I changed the content I put up there around November of 1997.


    S. Renee Mitchell: ... breaks down the See Evil, Hear Evil But Don't Say Anything Out-Loud Cause White Folks Might Be Listening Club's reaction to the fallout over a black male Oregonian reporter's coverage of a Portland school board member's comments about Jews. (via a BABJA mailing list)
    The black community is constantly judging black journalists through the historical lense of slavery, according to author Pamela Newkirk in her book, "Within The Veil: Black Journalists, White Media." If the loyalty scale tilts the wrong way, we face public censure, ostracism and humiliation. It's a position that few white reporters ever have to consciously consider because they generally aren't issued a group identity from birth.

    "For many blacks," wrote former journalist Newkirk, who also is black, "the exposure of wrongdoing by a black person is seen as more sinful than the wrongdoing that was exposed."

    And that's the real shame. When black leaders do wrong and then expect me to turn my head and keep quiet about it just because we share the same skin tone, let me let you in on a secret: Even if an issue is not put on the table and addressed in a public forum, guess what? White folks are going to talk about it anyway. Black folks are not invisible. But at times, we try to be by using complaints about black-on-black coverage as a convenient distraction from the misdeeds that warranted the articles in the first place.
    An end to my scattered feelings of worthlessness: ... and a boost to my ever-expanding ego, if is to be believed.
    Value of George: You are worth exactly: $1,975,338.00.
    Average value for a male is $1,927,941.00
    William Buckley: ... prefers Elvis to today's popular music: ''I don't listen enough to be a connoisseur in any responsible sense ... and the sort of stuff you hear on the radio is so alien to me. I'm terribly put off by it. ... And then you've got that rap business. I just don't understand that at all.''
    Survey says: ... Dr. Joyce Brothers is just winging it: "When men are young, they want sex for sex's sake. Young women want romance and to be loved with sex. There is a role reversal as they get older. When a man is around 40ish, he begins to want sex for love's sake. Hopping bed to bed isn't as fulfilling for them ... But women, as they get older, are more willing to have sex for the sake of sex. Maybe it's because they feel freer, or they trust themselves more. Men begin to realize that having sex with somebody they don't care about is as satisfying as a sneeze."
    How I like my divas: ... The way Village Voice's Frank Kogan doesn't: "There's a style of female singing that I'll call post-Lena Horne vocal mastery: a strong, cool, dignified sound that uses jazz timing to drift above the beat in a stately manner. By the '50s this had become a major style for high-end, supposedly sophisticated pop singing. Of course, rock'n'roll came along and redefined pop away from this stuff, but later, in the '70s, rockers like Bowie and Ferry set out to reclaim such pre-rock stylings; and then as a further development in the '80s and '90s you get all these blank British bores like Sade and Lisa Stansfield and Tracey Thorn putting retro jazz-pop mastery on top of modern dance tracks. This new mastery doesn't have the chops of '50s sirens like, say, Chris Connor or Rosemary Clooney, but it doesn't need to: The big lie of '40s and '50s sophisticated pop was that the performer had control over sound, whereas the big lie of sophisticated Brits is that they have control over style. So even weak-voiced singers like the chanteuse in St. Etienne and that whispering idiot in Black Box Recorder can come on with this empty Britcool and seem masterful in doing so."


    bell hooks on talking about sex: ... This essay, "Unnatural Acts," is what's linked to her name over at Gynomite's links (via randomwalks)
    To talk about sex now is to be seen as bringing up a subject that really isn't that important, since it has been assumed (mind you, wrongly so) that we are all capable of talking sex whenever we need to. Ironically, despite the fact that visual images of sex are everywhere in popular culture, not much has changed when it comes to the visualization of sexual acts or the talking that takes place before, during and after. It is still represented as easy, natural. Everybody knows what to do, there is no need for discussion.

    Nowadays, if you are a woman who talks about sex (especially a single woman), you are most likely perceived as speaking out of desperation. In lieu of getting any, you are talking about it. Or worse yet, saying anything about sex will be seen by any man in the conversation as a come-on. Naturally, I know of what I speak, as I am always trying to bring a little sex into the conversation. I have had to fend off tired misogynist men who have obviously been holding on to those little lessons about sex they learned in Pornography 101: a) if she talks about it she wants it; b) if she talks about it she's being a cock tease; and c) if she keeps talking about it when you are uncomfortable then you can always silence her with a dose of good old-fashioned harassment. Gosh, even Madonna has put aside her passion for talking sex to gush about motherhood. It's all about gaining cultural approval.
    How much of a freak am I?: ... G'wan, pull your mind out of the gutter, love! According to this CGI survey, my need to be unique is 81%, my need�to NOT conform is 69%, my willingness to express dissent is 50% and my overall result is 72%. Sounds about right to me: I (want to) think that I give people with whom I disagree the room to run their mouths without just cutting them off at the knees. And as for uniqueness and a need to not conform? Well, it's just typical of me, innit? *tongueincheek* (link via lia)
    Wind me up, B---!: ... "In a sense, go-go is a perfect metaphor for Washington. On one hand, it's remarkable: a sui generis, wholly original art form that has its own fascinating micro-economy of retailers, record labels, and clubs. It's the answer to simpleminded New York snobbery, which holds that our city on the Potomac is a cultural netherworld that produces nothing but politics. On the other hand, go-go has greater ambitions that it seems destined never to fulfill. It will always be somewhat underappreciated, somewhat provincial--or, in the parlance of black Washington, somewhat 'Bama."
    The flip side of "all about the Benjamins": ... must be when you're DMX, and you call your next album "The Great Depression." But as long as there are vintage jams to pimp, some rappers will always have food on their plates.
    The mood shifts about 180 degrees on "When I'm Nothin." Here, the Dog flips Stephanie Mills' '80s hit "What Cha Gonna Do With My Lovin' " to help him talk about fake friends and admirers who might not be behind him in times of need. Despite the subject matter, the song still gets the party going.

    According to a source close to X, Mills was so much in love with how X -- who co-produced the song with Dame Grease -- used the sample, she requested to sing on the track. She retools her old lyrics to "What you gonna do when I'm nothing?/ You're crazy about my style/ What you gonna do when I'm nothing/ Please don't have me acting wild/ Tell me now!" X later chimes in with ad-libs, yelling "What! What!" while Mills barks back "Tell me!"
    Scent of a wo(rld)(ly) m(usici)an: ... "So I guess the message is, really, we live on your block ... The smell that you smell when you walk by my house -- that's what this music is about. But this music was created in America. It's the product of the immigration over the past 20 years of Asians in America."

    *adds Karsh Kale's "Realize" to wishlist*
    Josi says: ... Fall Y2K+1's cheesy dance anthem is "Precious Heart." Michael Hutchence would spin in his grave (at or about 136 beats per minute).


    Santiago Calatrava digs Oakland: ... or maybe he's just buttering us up in "Suspended Animation," Jessie Scanlon's article in Wired magazine's September issue, on the subject of the planned Christ the Light Cathedral. And if I'd known Metaphorage was going to link to architect stuff, I'd've jotted down Calatrava's comments on globalization, too. (via a magazine rack near you)
    What are the big challenges and opportunities of the Oakland cathedral project?

    SC: Oakland is a very young city. It's like Paris 2,000 years ago. The physiognomy of the city is changing at a speed almost impossible to imagine in Europe. People tear down buildings, build other buildings -- there is movement, growth. Oakland has the personality of a young person who is receptive. And I like it very much. It motivates me to think about what the city will become -- where the forum will be 2,000 years from now, whre the temples and the agora will be, the museums and political institutions. Where will the archeological excavation happen in 2,000 years?
    Think the earth: ... How often do you?


    "Life and Debt" in Jamaica: ... Globalization, the movie! Turn your TV to PBS, wait for "P.O.V." to come on and watch Aug. 21st.
    Buy black? ... I don't think this is what African-American community leaders mean when they urge folks to do so: Artist Keith Obadike auctions his blackness on eBay. (via afrofuturism mailing list)
    Artist and composer Keith Townsend Obadike is auctioning his blackness online at This project is the most recent part of his "" actions. Obadike's past projects have explored issues around race, sexuality and community online. This auction is open to bidding by individuals and institutions. The auction runs Aug 8-18 2001 and is listed under Collectibles/Culture/Black Americana.

    This heirloom has been in the possession of the seller for twenty-eight years. Mr. Obadike's Blackness has been used primarily in the United States and its functionality outside of the US cannot be guaranteed.

    Buyer will receive a certificate of authenticity.

    Benefits and Warnings


    1. This Blackness may be used for creating black art.

    2. This Blackness may be used for writing critical essays or scholarship about other blacks.

    3. This Blackness may be used for making jokes about black people and/or laughing at black humor comfortably. (Option#3 may overlap with option#2)

    4. This Blackness may be used for accessing some affirmative action benefits. (Limited time offer. May already be prohibited in some areas.)

    5. This Blackness may be used for dating a black person without fear of public scrutiny.

    6. This Blackness may be used for gaining access to exclusive, "high risk" neighborhoods.

    7. This Blackness may be used for securing the right to use the terms 'sista', 'brotha', or 'nigga' in reference to black people. (Be sure to have certificate of authenticity on hand when using option 7).

    8. This Blackness may be used for instilling fear.

    9. This Blackness may be used to augment the blackness of those already black, especially for purposes of playing 'blacker-than-thou'.

    10. This Blackness may be used by blacks as a spare (in case your original Blackness is whupped off you.)


    1. The Seller does not recommend that this Blackness be used during legal proceedings of any sort.

    2. The Seller does not recommend that this Blackness be used while seeking employment.

    3. The Seller does not recommend that this Blackness be used in the process of making or selling 'serious' art.

    4. The Seller does not recommend that this Blackness be used while shopping or writing a personal check.

    5. The Seller does not recommend that this Blackness be used while making intellectual claims.

    6. The Seller does not recommend that this Blackness be used while voting in the United States or Florida.

    7. The Seller does not recommend that this Blackness be used while demanding fairness.

    8. The Seller does not recommend that this Blackness be used while demanding.

    9. The Seller does not recommend that this Blackness be used in Hollywood.

    10. The Seller does not recommend that this Blackness be used by whites looking for a wild weekend.

    �Keith Townsend Obadike
    Lenny Kravitz: ... didn't like being mistaken for a suspect.
    "Do you think that I am the one that did it/ Just because I'm tan? ... Just then the officer at hand said/ I don't give a damn that you are in a rock & roll band."
    The importance of being Ernie: ... Don't underestimate it. *shrug*

    Hi, my name is George. Can you tell I'm starting to feel better?
    6.1 ... is tons of fun, and it's dressed to a T. You don't think so? Try Mozilla. Dan says you should.
    Here's a Dashed-off entry: ... Anil Anil Anil Anil Anil Anil Anil Anil Anil Anil Anil Anil Anil Anil Anil Anil Anil Anil Anil Anil Anil Anil. Howzat? (via timothompson)


    After-layoff afterlife: I'm doing all right. I'm thankful for everyone who checked in on me and wished me well. I went out to lunch yesterday with some of the fellow folks (steak sandwich, French fries and a side o' sad). After bidding the buds adieu, I went home, hugged Ankita two times hard and we went down to Jack London Square for magazines and coffee. After that: barbecue at Everett & Jones, a bottle of Guinness stout and a walk back home to our place.

    Today I went in, packed up my cube and deleted most of my personal folders on my 'puter (though whoever uses it will have to delete about 4 gigs worth of MP3s). Then back over the Bay Bridge to Oakland, and forward to the traditional Updating Of The Resume.
    Other lunch attendees included:

  • Carina
  • Andrew, Janelle + Katharine
  • Katharine + Max
  • Ben, Jill + Andrew
  • Dominic + Damien
  • Jennifer
  • Jill, aka "J.Ro"
  • Andrew
  • Janelle
  • Katharine
  • Max
  • nearby address sign
  • Ben
  • Belden Street sign
  • Jennifer
  • Amy, Jennifer and Carina

    MP3s listened to via iTunes during BART ride home yesterday:

  • Brian Eno, "Deep Blue Day"
  • Lamb, "Cotton Wool" (Fila Brazillia remix)
  • Basement Jaxx, "Breakaway"
  • Basement Jaxx, "Red Alert"

    CD listened to during drive into the office today:

  • Radiohead, "Kid A"
  • 2001/08/09

    I just got laid off: ... But you know what? I loved my job. Loved it, loved it, loved it. Loved the people, the work, the writing, the time, everything. Choosing to work there was one of the best decisions I ever made. I'll miss it.


    East/West: ... link to the new site and marvel at the cleverness of Philo, the puppetmaster.
    Fuck the police!: ... That's a criticism, not a crime. Let a thousand expletives bloom! (via my wife, sitting on the couch next to me and reading the Chronicle)
    Other parties heard from: ... ZDNet's David Coursey uncorks a fine whine of an extremely recent vintage, as does the San Jose Mercury News' Dan Lee. I'll have what they're having. A note from a fellow subscriber this afternoon did make me aware that the service was still up and running. As I post this, it's working: the modem's flashing yellow and the packets are sending and receiving like they should.
    Hey (wo)man, nice shot: ... The Chronicle's Christina Koci Hernandez took some cool weekend clubbing pictures in Oakland.
    Note to self: ... skim Steve Sailer's old National Review piece "Is Love Colorblind?" to separate the smack-talking from the serviceable data.
    LET'S review other facts about intermarriage and how they violate conventional sociological theories.

    1. You would normally expect more black women than black men to marry whites because far more black women are in daily contact with whites. First, among blacks aged 20 - 39, there are about 10 per cent more women than men alive. Another tenth of the black men in these prime marrying years are literally locked out of the marriage market by being locked up in jail, and maybe twice that number are on probation or parole. So, there may be nearly 14 young black women for every 10 young black men who are alive and unentangled with the law. Further, black women are far more prevalent than black men in universities (by 80 per cent in grad schools), in corporate offices, and in other places where members of the bourgeoisie, black or white, meet their mates.

    Despite these opportunities to meet white men, so many middle-class black women have trouble landing satisfactory husbands that they have made Terry (Waiting to Exhale) McMillan, author of novels specifically about and for them, into a best-selling brand name. Probably the most popular romance advice regularly offered to affluent black women of a certain age is to find true love in the brawny arms of a younger black man. Both Miss McMillan's 1996 best-seller How Stella Got Her Groove Back and the most celebrated of all books by black women, Zora Neale Hurston's 1937 classic Their Eyes Were Watching God, are romance novels about well-to-do older women and somewhat dangerous younger men. Of course, as Miss Hurston herself later learned at age 49, when she (briefly) married a 23-year-old gym coach, that seldom works out in real life.

    2. Much more practical-sounding advice would be: Since there are so many unmarried Asian men and black women, they should find solace for their loneliness by marrying each other. Yet, when was the last time you saw an Asian man and a black woman together? Black-man/Asian-woman couples are still quite unusual, but Asian-man/black-woman pairings are incomparably more rare.pairings are incomparably more rare.

    Similar patterns appear in other contexts:

    3a. Within races: Black men tend to most ardently pursue lighter-skinned, longer-haired black women (e.g., Spike Lee's School Daze). Yet black women today do not generally prefer fairer men.

    3b. In other countries: In Britain, 40 per cent of black men are married to or living with a white woman, versus only 21 per cent of black women married to or living with a white man.

    3c. In art: Madame Butterfly, a white-man/Asian-woman tragedy, has been packing them in for a century, recently under the name Miss Saigon. The greatest black-man/white-woman story, Othello, has been an endless hit in both Shakespeare's and Verdi's versions. (To update Karl Marx's dictum: Theater always repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as opera, and finally as farce, as seen in that recent smash, O.J., The Moor of Brentwood.) Maybe Shakespeare did know a thing or two about humanity: America's leading portrayer of Othello, James Earl Jones, has twice fallen in love with and married the white actress playing opposite him as Desdemona.

    4. The civil-rights revolution left husband - wife balances among interracial couples more unequal. Back in 1960 white husbands were seen in 50 per cent of black-white couples (versus only 28 per cent in 1990), and in only 62 per cent of white - Asian couples (versus 72 per cent).�
    You're just a wave, you're not the water: ... I've never heard any Jimmie Dale Gilmore, but he's on my mind 'cause his song title went floating through my head as I read fellow lemonyellow fan Mitsu's Aug. 7th post about observation of the body's processes (and playing pinball).
    We tend to think that what is happening to us at any given moment is a fairly clear thing: it has this flavor of the singular, like a thread, a sequence. Sort of the same kind of thread that one can observe in language, which has letter following letter, word following word. But if you really think about it or pay some attention to what is going on at any given moment, it's even more clear that there's a vast amount happening in parallel: all of the multiple tracks --- you could start with the various sensations that one experiences, sound plus visual plus tactile and so forth --- and you could add on all of the processes happening outside of your conscious awareness: your sense of balance, your heartbeat, breathing, homeostatic processes throughout the body, digestion, etc. --- and all of the activity going on in every cell of your body, and then all of the activity in the environment around you that is constantly exchanging material and information with you and all of your systems... it becomes this vast functioning without a clear center, and certainly without a singular quality. It's vast and beyond one's conscious awareness, yet not separate from it.
    Dial "D" for dissolution of partnership: ... "There are elements of doubt in a divorce that is conducted through SMS in that one cannot be sure of the sender's identity, nor of his intention ... Only a judge can confirm a divorce after deciding that there is merit in the complaint filed by the couple at the Syariah Court.''


    I miss my Ricochet modem: ... in case you couldn't tell.
    Squarepusher speaks: ... on dub and other things.
    "(T)hat's the first music which I remember. My dad was really into dub. ...

    "Without trying to sound too pretentious, dub is like the music of heaven and earth at the same time. You can't help but nod or move to it. And I reckon that a lot of my viewpoint in music is [having] this rhythmic thing that drives you but it's also blasting the top of your head off. Dub just answers the questions for me."

    Cool Disco Dan: ... I'm flipping through a copy of the 13th issue (the "bad luck" issue) and re-launch of While You Were Sleeping. Inside, I'm enjoying a nice three-page abridged excerpt from Neal Eckard's "Free Agents: A History of Washington D.C. Graffiti." It's a nice chaser to the Bay Guardian piece's Noise article on Chuck Brown.
    Now I don't have to feel so guilty: ... about chain-bookstore shopping. Not that I won't stop visiting and buying at worthwhile indie shops, y'understand. (via caterina)
    My favorite line: ... from Chris Ryan's Village Voice review of Redman's new "Malpractice" album: "Not to get all No Logo on that ass, or to make sweeping generalizations, but a big chunk of mainstream hip-hop is really just advertising."


    Word!: ... According to page 70 of my copy of the 1998 Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual, it's emcee, emceed, emceeing ("A colloquial verb and noun best avoided. A phrase such as: He was the master of ceremonies is preferred").

    Just so you know. *adjusts virtual Kangol, folds arms in B-boy stance*
    Black love: ... I read Cecily's post about the latest Donna Britt column. I hoped I'd come across something almost as cool this weekend, and Brooklyn, N.Y., freelance writer Angela Ards' article in this month's Ms. magazine'll more than do. Go get a copy if you can and give it some thought.
    "Of all Americans, black people are the least inclined to marry. Black women get divorced at a rate that is double the current average. And while black women considerably outnumber black men -- if you don't count all the men in prison -- twice as many available black men marry someone other than a black woman. ...

    It's an old lament that interracial marriages, especially between black men and white women, shrink the pool even further. But the reality is, the vast majority of black people marry other black people. Maybe we choose to be with each other, or maybe it's because so few others choose to be with us, a fact that would explain the obsession with interracial relationships. Last November, when the Alabama Legislature finally erased a constitutional provision barring interracial marriage -- a provision that the Supreme Court struck down in 1967, mind you -- 40 percent of the electorate voted against rescinding the century-old rule. ...

    I believe people should embrace love wherever, and with whomever, they may find it, and I have a shameless double standard when it comes to black women dating white. I dated a golden-haired white boy my entire senior year of high school, and to this day he ranks as one of the nicest men to have graced my little black book (figuratively speaking). As my best girlfriend says, if a man has nine out of the ten qualities you're looking for, and the only thing lacking is black skin, he's a better choice than the man who only has two, one of them being that he's black.

    I raise a silent "you-go" cheer when I see sisters escaping the numbers crunch by dating or marrying interracially. I refrain from open applause because my love hates this: to him, a black man living with his white wife in Sweden is a giant step for the race, while a sister marrying across the color line is a betrayal. "What kind of psychological dissonance is involving in dating white for a black woman aware of our history?" some brothers ask. No more than that which comes from wondering if the black man you're dating sees you or bodacious T&A à la BET music videos. And let's not forget, those race men -- Frederick Douglass, Richard Wright -- got over the pyschological dissonance of marrying interracially.

    Increasingly, sisters are getting over it, too. There's this cell-phone commercial where a white boy flirts with a cute chocolate sister whose Afro is reined in by a psychedelic scarf. The din of a party drowns out his rap, so he sends her a message via cell phone. By commercial's end, she's charmed, and so am I. It's rare that I see a black woman -- unmistakably of African descent -- portrayed as someone whose affections should be courted rather than ravaged. I tease my boyfriend that it's probably only as white men start to find black women attractive that brothers will give us the correct time of day. ...

    It requires patience and undoing some damage. I don't want to be another bitter black woman haunted by my father's absence or that man who opened my heart only to leave scars. He doesn't want to be another bitter black man still smarting from his mother's shortcomings or that woman who used him. Nobly trying to be above it all means that the hostitilities appears as stories of friends who are struggling with no 'count brothers and evil-ass sisters. The misogynist rap lyrics he shares supposedly so we can both concur that they're hateful feel like sly ways to vent anger towards women . When he winces at my rants abou the boys in the park who follow me around, sharing unimaginative musings about the uses of my "fat black ass," I suspect I'm doing the same. We endure and embrace these eruptions of unresolved history like labor pains, knowing that we are creating something new, from scratch.


    Librarians: ... Going through about a dozen magazines in a couple of bookstores this weekend, it was nice to come across Abigail Leah Plumb's "Smarty Girl" in Bitch Magazine (Issue No. 14). Plumb appears to have a collegiate site here, and a weblog here and here. Consider her take on "Desk Set," "The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag" and "Party Girl":
    "When we're interested in what pop culture thinks of smart women, we would do well to study what they give us of librarians. And when culture providers frequently present women's intelligence, or individual intelligent women (as I would assert is the case now), as unimportant or unattractive, these three films stand as exceptions. The library in each of these movies provides a structure and a symbol -- it's the physical and psychic location of a sea change for each heroine. In a world, cinematic or otherwise, in which tradition holds that we undervalue women's intelligence, these movies serve as a potent refutation. Instead of portraying the intellectual woman as neurotic, lonely, or trapped between her desire for love and her need for intellectual fulfillment, each film shows its protagonist changing and flourishing in the space the library provides, and reshaping that space to better accommodate her own intellect."


    FutureMouse! in "The Ratrix": ... I saw him last night. No, not the rodent from "White Teeth," but an actual mouse. We thought we had hallucinated seeing one a few weeks ago, but it turns out Ankita (the believer -- or David Duchovny role, for fans of "The X-Files" who read this site) wasn't kidding me (the Gillian Anderson manque, if you will).

    We're sitting by the couch, eating and talking, when I see a small, gray thing moving fast and low to the ground -- not unlike an Unidentified Flying Object. My adrenaline jumps, my reflexes become catlike, so to speak, and as the object heads for the plastic bag and the cover provided by the Styrofoam case that formerly held my wife's Indian food, I used the bag to come down around the space it appeared to be in, and scooped it up into the bag and grabbed it all up.

    After a brief discussion, touching on matters of pest control vs. capital punishment and subtextually on the episode of ABC's top-20 rated comedy "Dharma and Greg" we saw last Tuesday -- where, in part, Greg gets guilt-tripped into trying to trap a mouse humanely -- I got on the cage-elevator and rode down to the first floor. Striding through the lobby, I went to the edge of the curb, leaned down and unwrapped the bag. The bag's contents stayed put, except for a small, gray mouse, who only took a second to move fast and low to the ground before disappearing beneath a nearby parked car.

    Turning from the curb and preparing to go back in, I briefly lamented the fact that I didn't know the melody to "Born Free." A fellow building resident, a tall lad not dissimilar in appearance to Ev, asked if I had, in fact, set a mouse free. I nodded my assent. "My roommate killed one the other day," he said. "We just moved in two days ago." I shook my head. "What floor?" I asked him. "Third" was the reply. A pause. Then: "Fifth," I confided. Then I went back in and rode back up.

    This morning, Ankita wondered why we hadn't seen a mouse before now. I remembered Laurence Fishburne talking to Keanu Reeves about agents in "The Matrix," and pictured two mice having the same conversation about humans:
    Neo: What are they?
    Morpheus: Sentient programs. They can move in and out of any software still hard wired to their system. That means that anyone we haven't unplugged is potentially an agent. Inside the matrix, they are everyone and they are no one. We are survived by hiding from them, by running from them. But they are the gatekeepers. They are guarding all the doors. They are holding all the keys, which means that sooner or later, someone is going to have to fight them.
    Neo: Someone?
    Morpheus: I won't lie to you, Neo. Every single man or woman who has stood their ground, everyone who has fought an agent has died. But where they have failed, you will succeed.
    Neo: Why?
    Morpheus: I've seen an agent punch through a concrete wall. Men have emptied entire clips at them and hit nothing but air. Yet their strength and their speed are still based in a world that is built on rules. Because of that, they will never be as strong or as fast as you can be.
    Neo: What are you trying to tell me, that I can dodge bullets?
    Morpheus: No Neo. I'm trying to tell you that when you're ready, you won't have to.
    How do I know the mouse I let go was The One? 'Cause he didn't have to dodge me. He was probably on the way downstairs with me, tiny sunglasses on, clutching a miniature Trinity to himself in his head and thinking "There is no Plastic Bag."
    A personal site: ... would be a really good thing to visit, especially the Sole Proprietor's Journal to see how she enjoyed her visit to Portland and Seattle.
    Discrimination: Ed Sederbaum, associate director of the Anti-Defamation League's New York regional office, gets the last word in an article surveying some Empire Staters about Michael Bloomberg's recent comments. (via e-mail from Pennant)
    "We get calls all the time from elderly people whose neighbor has painted a swastika on their door ... In New York City, you don't have to travel far to find a subway poster with 'die fag' on it or a black teenager who's been followed in stores because she's black.

    Most biased sentiment does not rise to the level of a crime, and its impact in fear and lowered self-esteem is not always visible ... It's important that our politicians and our social discourse recognize the seriousness of discrimination and not just feel that because history has made it a less constantly visible phenomenon, it's not an issue."
    What happened 10 years ago last Thursday:? ... Here's a tiny hint: "He's a very freaky formerly substance-abusing R-'n'-B star/The kind you don't take home to Mother ..."


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