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Thursday, October 21, 2010

NPR Fires Juan Williams

Yesterday, Liberal radio station NPR (National Public Radio) fired commentator Juan Williams for comments that he made on The O'Reilly Factor about his fear of Muslims.  I have to say, that I totally disagree with the way NPR has handled this. I'll go even farther than that-- I think it was an idiotic move.

Look, what Williams said yesterday was stupid and irrational. He basically said that whenever he's on a plane, and he sees someone in what he called "Muslim garb", he gets frightened. There are many things wrong with those remark-- most notably is the fact that none of the terrorist extremists that have committed acts in the name of Islam were dressed in "Muslim garb". The 9/11 hijackers were basically wearing what you would find at The Gap. In fact, I don't know of ANY of these terrorists that were wearing anything but what you would see most people wearing walking down any street in America. So that in and of itself is a stupid prejudice.

As idiotic as Williams' remark was...he did not deserve to be fired from this, or ANY organization. I don't believe that any journalist, or reporter, or commentator, or radio personality should be fired for saying stupid things. If what they are saying is that bad, people will stop listening to them, their ratings will drop, they'll lose sponsors, and their shows will just disappear. If everyone on television and/or on the radio was fired for saying stupid things, there would be no one left to listen to or watch! I mean, gimme a break-- Glenn Beck has said some of the most outrageous and stupid shit out of ANYONE that's out there...and that asshole still has his shows!!! Now granted, Conservative radio and television make their bread and butter on racist/sexist/moronic thought-- but still! I know NPR has an image that they want to uphold, but firing this guy without even speaking to him about it first...that's just wrong.

I'm not going to defend Williams for what he said-- besides, anyone that begins a statement with the words "I'm not a bigot...but...", you know they are going to say something bigoted. Sure, he's written books about race and civil rights-- that's all well and good. So he should, more than most people, know that marginalizing an entire group of people for the actions of a few is wrong. At any rate,  he's still got his job over at Fox News. And he'll probably write another book, maybe about free speech. Maybe after he gives things some thought, he'll realize that in this brief moment he became the very thing that he has spent a lot of time and energy rallying against. Or...maybe not. Irony tends to be lost on most Americans.

Smile Man

I don't know why this cracks me up. Maybe it's the repetition. Maybe it's the potential creepiness. Maybe it's because he's possibly doing this purposefully because he thought it'd be funny. I have no idea. But here it is:

Ew? Or, "Oh You...!"

Donald Duck Meets Glenn Beck, by Rebellious Pixels

Remix culture can be a wonderful thing. From EBN to Eclectic Method, there have been some extremely creative M'Fers out there taking ordinary footage, chopping it up, and rebuilding with some amazing and entertaining results. This is a audio/visual medium that's remenicent of the birth of the rap and hip-hop era; it's like the kids that were pulling out their parents' vinyl, and using turntables and tape decks to create new things. And like the hip-hop guys, who couldn't afford instruments and studio equipment, these are filmmakers that can't necessarily afford to rent cameras, hire actors, build sets, and shoot films. They have found a unique way to tell their stories.

Jonathan McIntosh calls himself a "pop culture hacker", among other things, who spotlights his work through a website called Rebellious Pixels. His latest film is called "Right Wing Radio Duck", which features Donald Duck in an ideological battle with radio douchebag  Glenn Beck. He has culled through vintage Disney cartoons to find all the footage he needed to compliment his vision. That, along with the mindless, ADHD rantings of Glenn "asshole" Beck, and you've got something that's quite special. N-joy:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Frash = Flash on Your iPhone

So, allegedly, you can now view Flash on your iPhone.

There's a new program available for jailbroken iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches called Frash, by Comex:

I am yet to jailbreak my iPod, so I have no idea whether this works or not. To be honest, I haven't really had any reason to use Flash on my iPod, If you have an Apple device, and have been bitching about not being able to use Flash, you may wanna give it a shot. Otherwise, have fun with your Android phone.

Jimmy McMillan: Sit Your SILLY-ASS Down!!!

It's been said that this election year has been the craziest in this nation's history. We've seen and heard all kinds of stupid, silly shit over the last several months. From Rand Paul to Christine O'Donnell to Carl Paladino, we have been getting a vast parade of...well, there's no other word for it: idiots. It's the state of our nation right now-- people are scared, and desperate, and losing sight of their sanity in the wake of 8 years of GOP fuckery. This has brought out a collection of lunatics that believe that they are more capable of running things than career politicians. The only thing is...they're not. This election season by-and-large reminds me of the 2003 California Governor's race-- remember that nuttiness? But instead of one state, it's damn-near ALL of them.

One of the more "colorful" races has been for the NY Governor's office. All of the candidates were recently on display at the NY Gobernatorial debate this past Monday. Among the lot is the current governor, a racist douchebag, and a former prostitute. And THEN we have Jimmy McMillan, from what he calls "The Rent is Too Damn High" party, whose platform is...that the rent in NYC is too damn high. Fair enough-- it is. I don't think anyone living here (except billionaires) will dispute that. But in my opinion, this guy...more than the others...needs to go the F**K home. Seriously, Jimmy-- take your goofy-ass home, and lock the door, and stay there.

This guy has turned out to be the "break-out" star of the debate. Why, you ask?

My skin aches. I mean, this is some embarrassing shit. Yeah, I could talk about the facial hair (what's up with the hairy ball sack on his chin?), and the gloves...but that's all a given. This guy is a freak. He's awful. And he has NO BUSINESS being propped up as some kind of...WHATEVER the hell he is! This is the last thing we need-- another minstrel show for the media to play and replay and replay some more. Now I'm sure that many people will think that I'm being a bit too hard on this guy. Many people may think this guy is cool. But there is NOTHING cool about another Black man being held up as a buffoon for public consumption.

None of this bullshit is funny. Aside from the racial overtones, we are growing into a nation of goofballs. It seems like NO ONE is serious about this country, and all of the problems we're having. There are far too many people with a Shake-N-Bake/microwave mentality to all of our problems; as if the last 10 years of bullshit can be cleared up in the blink of an eye. So now, we have a bunch of witless assholes who are stepping up and raising their stupid voices-- and we're supposed to take them seriously?! WHY?!!?!?!? THIS SHIT IS NOT CUTE. IT IS NOT ENTERTAINING. THIS IS REAL LIFE, NOT REALITY TV!!!!

I swear, as time goes on, that movie Idiocracy is becoming a documentary:

Is this what you want?! Of course you do! You think you can just pull a lever, and take your ass home, and just sit there and wait for "Change" or whatever shit to happen. You don't want to do the REAL WORK that needs to be done. You just think you can leave it up to one person.

You know, Bush told all of you to just go shopping and forget about what he and his administration were doing. And you did. And look at what happened. I hope you bought some good shit. Maybe you can sell it now.

Tom Bosely and Barbara Billingsley: America's Parents Pass Away

Wow, two in one week. We mourn the deaths of TV's June Cleaver and Howard Cunningham, otherwise known as Barbara Billingsley and Tom Bosely. I was a fan of both of their shows-- Leave it to Beaver was big on Nick at Night; it was my standard viewing, along with The Donna Reed Show, and Mr. Ed. But Happy Days was probably my favorite among the two.

Generations of fans will miss them both.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Why Christina and I Appeared on the Today Show On Sunday

Yup, that's us. We appeared in a segment this Sunday on the Today Show called "Dating Personalities". And the lady interviewing us is Dr. Helen Fisher, a Biological Anthropologist, and Chief Scientific Advisor for, which is where Christina and I met two a little over two years ago. Doesn't Christina look radiant and beautiful? More on that in a moment.

I have to tell ya, I was not at all interested in being interviewed for this show. Not in the LEAST. When it comes to my personal life, there are certain aspects of it that I have absolutely no interest in sharing with complete and total strangers-- ESPECIALLY on national television! So when Christina first told me about the interest in an interview with us, I answered with a flat-out "No." I should say that the first offer that we were given was for an interview on the Mike Huckabee Show (EEEEEWWWWW!!!). The only time I EVER want to appear on Fox News is to argue ignorant GOP policy with vapid news personalities-- NOT to discuss one of the happiest aspects of my life. That was an easy no, aside from the fact that Christina was not interested in appearing on Huckabee either (she's smart-- giggle-giggle!).

THEN we got the Today Show offer. And this was the one that she wanted to do. A little bit of background about my lady-- she's an actress (a great one, too). She's used to appearing on television and movies and stuff. I am MUCH MORE COMFORTABLE behind the camera than in front of it; I firmly believe that the camera HATES my face, and makes me look and sound like an absolute freak (more on that in a moment). I mean, don't get me wrong-- I proclaim my love for Chrissy daily. But I just didn't wanna do it on a TV interview show. To be honest, it just seemed like it would be too "reality show" for me. So again, I said "no". But obviously, that didn't work. She asked me at least 2 more times before her mother cornered me, and began her sentence with "Okay, this is what you're going to do..." and went about describing what my experience could will be like. can't really say "no" to Cindy Lord Cabot...and Christina really wanted to do it, you go (we appear at 1:42):

As a filmmaker, the greatest criticism that I can hurl at this segment is that they cut the LIVING HELL out of our interview!!! We talked A LOT. They had us there, in Dr. Fisher's office, for 45 minutes. And we gave very lengthy and articulate answers to Dr. Fisher's questions (she interviewed us, by the way). And the only things you heard Christina say was "Right,". And they you hear my stupid mouth talking about how bossy I can be-- TOTALLY TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT!!!!!!!! Jesus, that made me sound like I was some task-master or tyrant or something-- especially my goofy, arrogant cackle at the end (UGH!!). If you could only hear how thoughtful and charming Christina was-- and they have her say ONE word?! I mean, they could have cut out the clips of that new Kevin James movie (Trivia Tidbit-- Christina was in an episode of King of Queens), and the insipid man-on-the-street interviews to make a bit more room for what I thought were very meaningful and beautiful comments. And that horrible close-up of my dumb face-- UGH!! Sigh....Oh well.

Aside from my anal editing critiques, physical insecurities, and other assorted anxieties that went along with appearing on national was actually a lot of fun. They crew from the Today Show was delightful, and Dr. Fisher was really great. And it was an absolute honor and pleasure to have a televised documentation with the love of my life. Christina Cabot is an amazing woman; she's super smart, funny, delightful, beautiful, charming, and sexy, and I am blown away that she wants to spend the rest of her life with me. If you found me in high school, and told this nerdy film geek and artsy freak that I eventually end up with a woman like Christina...I would have been upset that you could be so cruel as to mock me like that. I GOT LUCKY, man!

So that's it. This is one of many more extraordinary experiences that I have had, and will continue to have, with my special special lady. And this one is for all the world to see. Just ignore the parts with me in it.

Friday, October 15, 2010

StSanders Shreds!

So this guy in this picture. I'm pretty sure that most of you have NO IDEA who he is. But a lot of you do. His name is Santeri Ojala, otherwise known as StSanders. This gentleman is responsible for the "Shreds" videos that have been a pretty big hit on the internets. What's "Shreds"? Well...

I have to admit, the first time I saw these videos, I just didn't get it. People were sending them to me, and I just thought "What the f**k is this?" But it was after that Santana clip above that it clicked with me. Then they just killed me! But not only does StSanders do the "Shreds" series...he also does these:

You've also gotta check out the Rolling Stones version as well-- quite silly!

Internet Memes come and go, but this guy seems to constantly deliver. And he's even made and appearance on Jimmy Kimmel's show, with Slash!

Well, nothing more to see here. Except his version of this iconic scene from BladeRunner. N-joy.

Whores in Politics: Really? This is News?

If I hear one more self-righteous politician complain about the use of the word "whore", I'm gonna...well, I'm not gonna do anything. If I were to do something every time that happened, I'd probably be doing a lot of said thing.

Let's be serious for a moment, shall we? What is the definition of the word "whore"? Well, let's ask our friends Merriam and Webster:

Whore    noun \ˈhȯr, ˈhu̇r\

1: a woman who engages in sexual acts for money : prostitute; also : a promiscuous or immoral woman
2: a male who engages in sexual acts for money
3: a venal or unscrupulous person

So, let's see...we have a woman who f**ks for money...a man who f**ks for money...and a venal person-- venal?

venal   adj \ˈvē-nəl\

1: capable of being bought or obtained for money or other valuable consideration : purchasable; especially : open to corrupt influence and especially bribery : mercenary : a venal legislator
2: originating in, characterized by, or associated with corrupt bribery :a venal arrangement with the police, this is inaccurate how? Seems that most of the politicians out there today (and for the whole of American/HUMAN history) are crazy with whores. I mean, filling our ears with loads of BS so they can score a few votes...well, if you replace "BS" with "things voters want to hear" (or ear f**king, maybe...), and "votes" with "money" (which usually go hand-in-hand anyway)...these things seem to be incredibly accurate.

Granted, calling someone a "whore" can be somewhat childish. Any sort of name calling, no matter how much fun it can be, is childish. But this tired, droll, fake outrage that these people love to proclaim in the face of such names is just plain silly.

And please, people...what's even more tired is comparing every and any kind of name calling to being called a "nigger". The last time I checked, the word "nigger" is not a very flexible slur:

nigger   noun \ˈni-gər\

1: usually offensive; : a black person
2: usually offensive;  : a member of any dark-skinned race
3: a member of a socially disadvantaged class of persons <it's time for somebody to lead all of America's niggers…all the people who feel left out of the political process — Ron Dellums

Not many other places you can go with that word, are there? It's funny how many people want to claim to be "niggers" whenever they are called some sort of name. Usually, the people that play the "nigger" card are people that tend to complain about other people victimizing themselves. When you play victim, what do you expect?

It's time that people start treating name-calling, and the people doing it, for what they are. It's merely a passive-aggressive way for cowards to deal with their emotions...without taking personal accountability for their own short-comings.

Take if from someone that's been called a "nigger" from a speeding car; if that car was parked, they wouldn't say a goddamn thing.

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Sesame Street: "I Love My Hair!"

It's amazing that Sesame Street has managed over the years to remain relevant. Aside from the recent news the show has generated over Katy Perry's boobs cavorting around with Elmo, here's something that is truly special and absolutely great. In this clip, a muppet version of a little Black girl sings about how much she loves her hair:

Now, I'm not a girl, but I am Black. I have to tell you, as someone who grew up around White kids for a substantial part of my life (from the age of 8), there is a tendency to make us feel "odd" or "freakish" when it comes to our hair. I couldn't possibly count the number of times I've had White folks ask to feel my hair-- not friends, or lovers...but complete and total strangers. Next to our varying hues in skin color, our hair seems to often be the focus of much unwanted attention. Even when we don't do anything unusual with it...people still want to comment on it, or touch it. Annoying? Yup.

Throughout my 20s, I often times experimented with my hair. I've relaxed it, shaved it, locked it. And that does warrant attention, as much as White folks shaving, dying, mohawking, moussing, gelling theirs. Now that I'm inching towards 40, I've settled on something a bit more conservative. My hair is naturally curly-- not tight curls, a bit loose and loopy; but it sits like an afro-- a little like the little muppet girl in this video actually! These days, I don't really get the kind of attention that I did when I was little. Maybe that's because I live in NY. Maybe it's because I'm older. Maybe it's because the times have changed, and Black folks have become more and more ecclectic with how we choose to style our hair. For whatever reason, I get more attention now for the fact that I wear suit jackets than for my hair. Still annoying? Eh. I guess sometimes people what to start a conversation, and don't really know what else to say. Who knows. I guess it doesn't matter. We all get some kind of attention, whether it's wanted or not.

My daughter is half-White, and has BEAUTIFUL hair (well, she's a beautiful girl!). And she gets A LOT of attention for her hair. And she always will. Sometimes she complains when I comb it-- the same way I used to complain when my mother combed my hair. But I tell her every time that there are people that would KILL to have her hair. And sometimes when something is this special, it takes a little bit of extra time and care to make it wonderful. My son will be born in February, and I have no idea what his hair will be like. But it's the same thing-- he'll get that attention too. But their generation will be different from mine, and definitely from the generations before. Perceptions have changed in regards to race, and the things that make us different (and the same). They won't have to deal with much of the silly crap that I had to deal with. And as long as there are things like Sesame Street around to illustrate these points, I think the next generation will be more than fine. They'll just be.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I don't know why this popped into my head. I worked on a movie 'zine MANY years ago that had a featured a story about this show called Bibleman-- a Batman-like superhero who is a "human transformed by the Word of God." Don't believe me? Check the link. STILL don't believe me? Cue the Tube of You:

Yeah, that's right-- that's Willie Aames of TV's Charles In Charge, and motion picture Zapped!. Funny that someone can go from Zapped! to Bibleman, but...there ya go. Aames played Bibleman from 1994-2006. Believe it or not, this is a HUGE franchise, with videos, books, toys, even a stage show that plays to sold-out crowds all over the Midwest! I mean, talk about indoctrinating kids-- this is nothing but Christian propaganda being sold to kids. It's pretty thick and a bit scary-- just check out this episode where Bibleman goes on a talk show, hosted by Sammy Davey. Can you tell what religion Sammy belongs to?

Makes you sick, doesn't it? But why stop there:

I know, right? Speaking as a father, I have no problems with teaching my kids good values-- you have to! I was raised with good values...but without the Bible. My problems with religion by-and-large are not necessarily with the people that practice any of them. If that's what you want to believe, knock yourself out. If you want your kids to watch this silly crap, fair enough. But I hate the self-righteousness. Putting down other people, and their beliefs, to prop your own up on a pedestal is wrong. It's funny how Vanity is one of the 7 sins...but most religious people are incredibly vain. To think that you are a better person because you believe in certain things is just downright foolish. Personally, I find religious beliefs to be archaic and silly. But I would never put people down for it...until you start trying to shove your beliefs down everyone's throat, like Kirk Cameron for instance.

Believe what you want. But the moment you get all douchey about're likely to get embarrassed.

'Nuff said.

The Smodcast Podcast Network

In the beginning of the year, I wrote about Kevin Smith's Smodcast-- his weekly podcast co-hosted by his producing partner Scott Mosier (along with special guest hosts, including his wife and his mother). I have been a Kevin Smith fan for a long time-- particularly his writing, which tends to be very smart and funny (and FILTHY...which is great!) When I discovered his podcast, it was a great thing to look forward to. As I've said before, listening to these guys talk reminded me so much of my old friends...which, incidentally, I had to cut out of my life a few years ago because...well, they turned out to be real pieces of shit. And it sucks, because the conversations I used to have with those guys were so much fun; I really felt that I could geek out on all of my movie/comic book shit that would make other people's eyes glaze over. Listening to Smodcast is like reliving the good times with good opposed to the douchebags that I once knew.

So, to my surprise, one day I went to the Smodcast website and found....8 new podcasts! Holy shit-- I couldn't believe it!

Turns out that Smith, after that whole Southwest Airlines bullshit that he went through, started busing it. He bought a bus, which he now does the bulk of his traveling in. This prompted him to take Smodcast on the road-- kind of like his "Evening with Kevin Smith" DVDs. The live shows (called Live Nude Smod) were so successful, he decided to open up a small theater in LA called The Smodcastle, where he and his friends perform live shows, which are then broadcast from the Smodcast website, thus creating The Smodcast Podcast Network.

Every day brings a different show. Sundays are the original SModcast. On Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays are four shows that, frankly, I have not listened to yet: a hockey show called Puck Nuts (not a hockey fan), Tell 'em Steve-Dave (just haven't gotten around to it yet), Highlands: A Peephole History (again, haven't gotten around to it), and Live from Smodcastle.

My four favorite shows (including the original Smodcast) are the ones that remind me most of my old friends. Monday is Hollywood Babble-on, with co-host Ralph Garman-- who I did not know of until this show (and Sharktopus). He's apparently a radio personality in LA, who clicked with Smith and the two decided to do a movie news podcast. Funny? Jesus, yes! Garman is sharp and has a great ear (and mouth) for impressions (his Jerry Lewis and Harrison Ford are PRICELESS). And the references to film, music, and other pop culture icons is so fucking great-- I don't feel like I'm the only nerd in the world that knows any of this junk.

On Wednesdays, there's Blow Hard, co-hosted with filmmaker and bear Malcolm Ingram. Now, the only reason I know about bears is because one of my aforementioned former best friends is a bear. Not only did I know him when he came out of the closet (nearly 18 years ago), I remember when he came out as a bear. I've even been to a bear bar in Amsterdam with him. He was to me like Malcolm is to Kevin-- his "avatar" into the gay world.  This is a funny and enlightening show that always makes me laugh-- and has even featured Jason Mewes as co-host for a few weeks (Smith is currently filming Red State...which I cannot WAIT to see).

And speaking of Jason Mewes, Thurdsay's show is called Jay & Silent Bob Get Old. The first several episodes of this show chronicles the long time off-screen relationship of Smith and Mewes. Often times hilarious, sometimes sad, and always reflective-- theirs is a friendship that has seen a great deal of stress and strife, good times and bad times...but at the end of the day, their relationship has only grown stronger. Smith has said that the creation of this particular podcast was a way for him to keep Mewes, who has had a drug problem for several years, sober. He says that now, Mewes not only owed it to himself and the people in his life to stay sober...but that his new-found fan base could also help to keep him accountable. That, is a great friend. And it is this podcast in particular that makes me sometimes miss my old friends. These are friends that had come out of their worse situations, not unscathed...but able to grow and move forward.  After hearing these shows, I think of my old friends, and I do miss them. But when I remember why we are no longer friends, and I go through point-by-point why I decided to leave them behind...that's when I realize that I made the right decision. It kinda sucks that I no longer have a group like 18 years of friendships could be gone "just like that".  But it had to happen.

Maybe sometime soon I'll again have a group of friends that I can share with, in the same ways that Smith has been able to do with The Smodcast Podcast Network. When it comes down to it, these are people that enjoy each other's company, love each other very much, and have great fucking times together. And the best part is, we get to enjoy it every week!


For the last few weeks, I have been listening to Tell 'em Steve-Dave. Ho-lee-SHIT is this show funny! It certainly lives up to the tag-line "Let there be bickering!".  Tell 'em Steve Dave is a show hosted by Bryan Johnson and Walt Flanagan, friends of Smiths that host their show from The Secret Stash in Red Bank, NJ. The guys are joined by "tech guy" Brian Quinn, and computer guy Ming Chen. The show is named for a line that Flanagan uses in the movie Mallrats.

I highly recommend listening to their "Makin' Hay" episodes (#12 & 13), where the boys visit Collingswood Flea Market to interview some of the vendors. It's over 4 hours of show, and WELL worth the time (episode 12 is one of the funniest I've heard so far, and 13 has quite an amazing bombshell).  I'm currently on episode 17, and I'm still enjoying the shit out of it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Antoine Dodson, Live at the BET Awards

I think Fonzie is putting on the water skis for this one, but this is a nice way to end the ride.

Antoine Dodson and Michael Gregory made an appearance at the BET Awards to perform their internet hit "Bedroom Intruder":

Fun. Enjoy the house, Antoine. And Michael....keep up the good work.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell" Told to Go to Hell

"Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell" Told to Go to Hell

Today U.S. District Judge Virgina Phillips issued an injunction to halt the enforcement of the US Military's "don't-ask-don't-tell" policy, effectively ending the ban on gays serving in the military. The Department of Justice has about 2 months to appeal this ruling, but I don't think that's likely to happen. So...I guess that's it(!).

With all of the insane gay-bashing and hate crimes surging in the last few weeks, this is great news for the LGBT community. I know there may be many out there that will be happy with this ruling, in spite of their disappointment in President Obama's so-called inaction on this issue. But Obama's support will be felt in the fact that he will allow the 60 day window of appeal to pass. Had this been any other president, I think they would be working to appeal this ruling IMMEDIATELY. In this case, I don't see that happening. I could be wrong...but I doubt it.

With idiots like Carl Paladino and Jim DeMint running their homophobic mouths, it's great to see that there are some people with the power and the will to do what's right. The last thing this country needs right now is more divisive rhetoric.  At a time when our country is inching closer and closer to Third World status, we all really need to come together to help solve this country's problems-- ESPECIALLY when it comes to ending this goddamn war in Afghanistan. How many exceptional military personnel were let go because of their sexual orientation? It's sickening that we tend to give bigots so much sway in our national discourse. The last thing we need are more intellectually impotent people pretending they have "values". I don't think "hate" is an exceptional value. Do you?

I know there are people out there that will be absolutely outraged over this ruling. Good. Let them be. Personally, I'm sick of intolerant blowhards and emotionally stunted cretins getting their way. I'm sick of this country being held back by the wrong kinds of people. And as long as we continue to allow hate-mongers an open forum, while the rest of us are trying to have a rational discourse...we'll never be as great as we used to be.

And make no mistake, bigots-- you're a dying breed. The people of this nation have proven time and time again that ignorance only makes us weak. Granted, it takes us a while to get to do the right thing...but eventually, we do.

So there!

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Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly

This is one of those stories that used to exist as a sort of Hollywood folklore-- like Richard Dreyfus being offered the lead role in Total Recall, or John Travolta in Splash.

Eric Stoltz was not only offered the lead role of Marty McFly in Back to the Future, they shot the movie for 5 weeks with him. But when director Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg watched the dailies, they were not pleased. So they fired Stoltz and hired Michael J. Fox. And the rest is...history.

Courtesy of AV Club, here's a glimpse of the lost footage from the Blu-ray release of the trilogy:

It's very strange to see this footage, isn't it? Especially from such an iconic movie. It's almost like seeing a deleted scene from The Wizard of Oz. Five weeks is a lot of shooting to throw away. But when you look at clips, and compare them to what you already seems like they made the right choice.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Time to VOTE, M'F'ers!

Less than a month from now, we'll be holding mid-term elections in this country of ours. If you're not a particularly political person, and you have no idea what's going on, let me put it to you this way: Unless we all pretend like it's Oct/Nov 2008, we are really REALLY going to regret it.

Have you ever heard of the expression "The lunatics running the asylum?" I have to tell you, that's where we may be headed. There are a lot of kooky, uneducated, bigoted politicians and lobbyists that are stirring up all of the kooky, uneducated, bigoted, angry people out there. You may have seen them...holding those signs, saying those things....well, this time they are going to be turning out in full force to "take their country back". Thing is...we never lived in the country that they miss, or want.

Don't be complacent. Don't be lazy. Don't not care....

VOTE, M'F'ers!!!!!!!!!

Banksy Directs "The Simpsons" Opening Sequence

This was an unusual move. UK artist Banksy was asked to direct the opening sequence of The Simpsons. I'm not exactly sure if this was ever done before, but this is a great "gimmick" to keep this show fresh:

Speaking as someone who has been watching The Simpsons since The Tracey Ullman Show, I am sad to say that I haven't been keeping up with this series for more than several years now. It seems as if many of the Simpsons' fans that I know will only throw around references and lines from episodes that were made 10 years ago. And of course there's the movie, which...well, it wasn't bad...but how could anyone really make something that would live up to diehard fan expectations? It's not that I don't still watch it if it happens to be on...'cause I do. Aside from that, I have not kept up with the show (I find myself watching South Park, or Family Guy, or Futurama more often...which are The Simpson's illegitimate step-children, after all).

I see a lot of people posting and talking about this opening...but I have not heard a thing about this episode's storyline. So, this was a great thing for a viral existence. Whether or not it will continue to keep the show relevant...I dunno. But, it's still pretty great.

Banksy & The Simpsons: ain't nothin' wrong with that!

If you don't him, here's some stuff:

Political Fatigue: Or, America's Trash Problem

My God, man. What the hell is going on with this country?

I haven't been moved to write much about politics in the last couple of months. It just seems like the entire discourse in this county is getting more and more insane. Look, there are some deep policy and ideological disagreements in this country-- any rational human being can  understand that we all can't agree on every single issue. If we did, we would be like The Borg; and that's no fun. But I have watched the collective sanity of this nation veering out of control.

Look, we all have our "sides" we want to be on. In the world, we're the Americans. It's us, against...well, whoever "they" want us to "hate" at whatever point in our history. It used to be the Brits. Then the Injuns.  Then the Japs and the Krauts. The Jews and the Negros are always faithful targets. And these days it's the Muslims. There are the Queers too, but I'll get to that in a moment. But our hated for "the other" also manifests within our own. Politics seems to be the bloodsport of choice to express these feelings. It's the Blue v. the Red, as opposed to the Blue v. the Grey. Every election cycle, these silly news programs show us maps of the Divided/United States of America-- like a scoreboard for some goddamn sporting event. Millions upon millions of dollars are being spent to prop some ideological/corporate mascot to lobby for political positions that barely, if at all, work to serve the majority of the American people. And every election cycle, the misinformed and uneducated masses flip a switch to help elect some suited clown that they think is serving their best interests.

That's the biggest problem, and the most frustrating; lack of education. This is a country full of over-worked, under-paid, and exhausted people. For the last few decades now we have been denied the adequate tools necessary to properly educate our population. Every year, we drop lower and lower on the scale compared to other countries; Math, Science, you name it-- we are in the toilet. Why is that okay? Why are we not outraged? Sure, it's easy to get pissed at, and therefore blame the guy that's been in charge (so the speak) for a blink to solve the problems that's rotted this country from the inside for well over 10 years now. But our problems are bigger than that; and no one seems to understand, or care.

Now all of this anger-- that could rightfully be directed into something FAR more productive and fruitful-- is being culled to produce a crop of politicians that are dangerously unqualified, uneducated, dishonest, distasteful, crude, and ignorant. Politicians like Rand Paul, Jan Brewer, Marco Rubio, Sharron Angle, Christine O'Donnell, Sarah Palin, Jim DeMint and Carl Paladino are changing the political landscape into something truly ugly. Their trashy, hateful, bile-filled rhetoric is enough to make the blood boil. And this is a major reason why I have had to disconnect myself from politics.

It is incredibly frustrating-- you want to be able to find out what's going on, but they you wind up getting stories that focus heavily on "trash politics." To be perfectly honest with you, I really don't care about what some bigoted douche bag thinks about gays. I don't want to hear what some "holier-than-though" pseudo-religious blowhard's opinion of what they think good "values" are.  I am tired of listening to racists whine about "illegal immigrants" or "Ground Zero mosques" or "entitlement programs". All of these things are self-righteous, blindly-arrogant arguments that will do NOTHING to fix this country's problems. Religion is not going to keep corporations from shipping jobs overseas. Homophobes are not going to improve education in America. Racists are not going to improve this country's economy (not anymore, that is...). The only things that these intellectually-lazy social issues are going to do to this country is tear it apart. And ripping the social fabric of this country is only going to make us weaker. And then we will REALLY be in trouble.

We're are all furious about what has happened to this country. Is it Obama's fault? No. Was it Bush's fault? No. Was it Clinton, or Reagan, or Carter, or Nixon? No, no, no, no, and no. They are just men. They are human beings, just like the rest of us...all 99% of us. Who we're really pissed at are that 1% of people that don't want to give up their status. Politics is just a game. And the stakes are our livelyhood. And each and every one of us is responsible for ourselves.

It's true that there are a great many people-- no matter your race or ethnicity-- that are incapable of self-preservation. There are people that need help. And it's FAR MORE COSTLY to just let these people fall apart, than it is to make sure that every person is taken care of. The Housing Crisis, the Healthcare Crisis-- we cannot have people living on the streets, or dying in them-- REGARDLESS of their irresponsibility or mistakes. And don't get me wrong-- I don't want to coddle laziness or complacency. But I would much rather invest in our nation to take care of these people, rather than have these people breaking into my house, or robbing me, or anyone else because they have nothing else. And when you have politicians out there that are willing to throw these people under a bus, just so they can score some temporary political's a far scarier prospect. It's irresponsible, it's foolish, it's wrong.

We have real problems in this country-- I think that goes without saying. And when you have politicians that are offering stupid solutions, or NO solutions at all...when all they have to offer is hateful and irresponsible rhetoric to stir up people's anger and frustration for their own narrow-minded gains...well, we just can't have that. We need to THINK. REALLY THINK-- not just sit in our own piss and shit and anger. Be angry, be frustrated...but don't be stupid. Just because someone is saying something you WANT to hear, doesn't mean that it's the right thing.

How many times have you been angry and someone, and wanted to ABSOLUTELY KILL THEM? Did you end up killing that person? Hopefully not. And why? Because you understand that you were just angry at the time, and that daydream-- that temporary "solution"-- would have appeased your feelings for the moment. But when you snapped out of would most definitely regret it.

I've started watching and reading the news again. And it still makes me crazy to see what's passing for political discourse these days. And I'm sure it makes you crazy, too. But we all have a responsibility to make sure that we don't allow our collective temporary insanity lead this country. The crazies want to lead. Do we let them?

I'm not a religious man...but God help you believers if the trash wins.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"Kendall on Sharecropping"

I know we now live in a "Post-Racial America", but every once-in-a-while we Black folk end up experiencing something that always manages to jerk us right back into reality. In fact, it is safe to say that damn-near EVERY BLACK PERSON in America has had a run-in with our old faithful friend "racism". For me, it's been many things from a best friend in grade school calling me a "black ape", a (white) girlfriend's uncle who slammed a door in my face, a group of white kids yelling "nigger" at me in the middle of NYC 8 years ago...I could go on and on and on.

In the following video, a young man named Kendall recounts a field trip that he and his classmates (all Black) went on when he was a kid:

Technically, this is not funny...but it SOOOO is!

There are a great many (White) people in this country that seem to be genuinely shocked when we tell stories like this. Some may even say we're embellishing for effect or shock-value. I only wish that were true. It's sad that you could tell a story like this, and have it be 100% accurate-- no hyperbole required.

Fortunately, many of us have learned to develop a sense of humor about these things that could otherwise be very scarring and painful. We have to. There's no way we could function if we carried a chip on our shoulder every time this type of shit happens. I think that's why many of these "we want our country back" White Folks that seem to be flocking to the tea party are having nervous breakdowns after the 2008 Presidential Election. It's a fear of a retribution that does not exist. We've had to learn to deal with it. Unfortunately for them....they are horrified. I guess I would be too, if I've treated people the way some of them have treated us.

What a shame.