Sunday, August 26, 2007

This says it all...

No editorializing necessary on this. Res Ipsa Loquitor. Even the most boneheaded NASCAR Dad gulped a little at this; Fox & Friends (the morning show) tried soooo hard to finesse it. (I mean, recall how Dubya's poor successor, Texas governor Rick Perry, had to eat a murder of crows when he attended a Nugent concert and Ted of course showed out. Jaded rednecks on Perry's staff were issuing apologies in a politically correct wuss style they usually pin on liberals! Outstanding!). Background: Renegade right-winger Ted Nugent recently went on a vicious onstage rant in which he threatened the lives of Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Decked out in full-on camouflage hunting gear, Nugent wielded two machine guns while raging, “Obama, he’s a piece of shit. I told him to suck on my machine gun. Hey Hillary,” he continued. “You might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless bitch.” Nugent summed up his eloquent speech by screaming “freedom!”
The one time you'd want these worthless rappers to back-up the thug talk with action--yet not one comes to at least Barack's defense and set their "boyz" in their entourages loose on The Motor City Motherfucker? Ha! Well Ted, how about this, then--I have something for you to suck on...
Come on folks. We deserve better than this and it's time to run this fool out the same way the wingnuts buried the Dixie Chicks for some utterly more innocent. I guess the NAACP is busy putting together a Michael Vick parole fund but perhaps time would be better spent address this?
I'm out till Labor Day, so take care Fanboys & Girls. More updates on Yella Patsy's Boys, The Darker Mask (including a word from Walter Mosely) and Gangsterland...and a sneak peek of something truly crazy.
Sports digression----
Speaking of sucking, how on earth did the Ravens lose a pre season game to the Foreskins? OK, it wasn't technically a loss there at Douchebag Danny Snyder's monstrosity in Lanham, as Zeus (or was is Jack Kent Cooke's ghost) rained lightening bolts onto the field midway throught the third quarter, but do you really think the Ravens would have won? Hey, maybe if it were regualr season but I still think Brian Billick needs to go and a Herm Edwards type black coach come in and shake us up. No, I have no loyalty to the football team of the city of my birth. My home, the Nation's Capital. The fans here are bigger clowns than Steeler fans, bigger jerks than Eagle fans, dumber than Bears fans. Sitting in my overpriced seat last year, munching on my $10 hot dog, lawd lawd I actually found myselfing cheering for Tyrell Owens when the Cowboys came to town. But Baltimore...comfortable stadium...reasonable prices...cheery blue collar fans...the ghost Unitas hovering above. What a pleasure.
Maybe Ray Lewis can go stab Ted Neugent. Ray-Ray, I know you know some brothers who'd do it for fiddy and some change. Call me...

Saturday, August 25, 2007

What would MLK want?

Interesting how the same people who were alive when he was, or who were too young yet brain-soaked with silly myths, have tried to de-humanize the guy as a means of neutralizing and santizing him. "De-humanize" as in try to make him a fairy tale, rather than own up to his real views--which they despised then and still do. (Note: I don't mean the other extreme--the hagiography usually hustled by Jesse or MLK's family et al--denying he slept around, or claiming ownership of his very public image). Indeed, we got a taste of the real MLK and how the "real" America felt about him when he was alive (other than murdering him). Two things happened: (1) LBJ turned his back on MLK (and thus didn't protect him from J Edgar Hoover, the dangerous transvestite) when MLK denounced the war in Vietnam, and (2) whites whom were either ambivalent or ignorant of his doings literally attacked and tried to kill him in suburban Chicago when he shined the light on de facto segregation, oppression and poverty above the Mason-Dixon Line.

Of course these same people or their grown kids now say MLK would have been against affirmative action and queer marriage, and for the war in Iraq and Gitmo prisons. Now I'd bet MLK would say "no comment" on gay marriage and nix Dubya on a whole lotta stuff. Safe to say he would vomit at the craveness of his kids and the professional martyrdom/queen-bee racket of saintly Coretta...but that's another story and don't hate me because ALL Y'ALL know I'm telling the truth about the family. But the monument, hmmmm, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't want one, as Gandhi abhorred deification. Yet is pressed I'm also pretty sure he'd prefer a young African American artist. Would that mean he'd be a racist, anti-Asian? Against "everyone being equal," against a "colorblind" society hahaha.

Hell no. He'd be anti-craven corporations and anti-shuffling negroes captive to these corporations and anti-Chinese government which has grown rich by dealing with these greedy, cheap US corporations (and shuffling negroes). There, I said it. The Foundation developing this monument is beholden to Big (you name it: Pharma, Oil, Insurance, Telecom/Entertainment, Credit/Banking/Collections, Tobacco, Food...every Michael Moore obsession out there). A private enterprise, yet the monument's going on public land. He, despite the King family's horseshit and corporate money, belongs to the ages, the people. And specifically, OUR people. Hold that in mind as I tell you that the Chinese have been sniffing around the donors' box. This Foundation is a creature of its sponsors and sponsors, like our own govenment, is dependent on Chinese (you name it: credit, goods, labor costs, raw materials). Our government is paying for itself and Iraq floating on a sea of cheap Chinese money, cheap Chinese goods and toys are sold in monster Wal Marts and poisoning us and our kids. And how this escapes the right wing rabid white folks...well, see the money and greed part, but here's a fact: they are still a totalitarian nation, communist, anti-religion, anti-free speech, anti-free market, too! Anti-free market?! Chambers is you crazy, boy?! How? Well it is now proven that China has what's known as a robber baron, who-greazes-who economy. Think "Deadwood" on HBO, then think skyscrapers and bloated credit markets and trillions of dollars. It is polluting at a rate that would make Dick Cheney's pals (and gi-normous SUV mavens) blush! Yep, we are beholden to them.
The punchline: the Chinese are indeed ponying up to fill funding gaps in the project. Fanboys and girls--you know me. I try to debunk every ghetto urban legend and conspiracy theory out there (now including the "victimhood" of scumbag Michael Vick). But trust me when I tell you there is internal drama in this Foundation that all Americans, not just blackfolks, need to question. There was a quid pro quo. Look, this totalitarian government would not put up with some dissident sculptor (who is oblivious that he's being used) doing this statue where it not part of a gimme. In return for their largesse they good good PR, pre-Olympics, post destruction of our industrial base and old union jobs with which people of color used to build equity in America. For their part the negroes in the Foundation get to boast to the corporate sponsors and our debt-hungry government dependent on that cheap Chinese money that they met their funding goal and yeah, China is our friend. The black man's friend. A friend of simple justice. Hell not even our own government is a friend of simple justice.

So what would MLK say? Well, it would likely be similar to that Boondocks episode where he was actually in coma from the assassin's (assassins'?) bullet, not dead. He awakes, sees how his legacy has been used and misused and says "All you n***gahs are f**ked up. I'm moving to Canada." Sign the petition. Support the effort to get some transparency here. Sometimes "I have a dream" is just a rhetorical point to get us motivated, not some bizarre holy mantra. He'd say that, too. Oops. I guess I have to pay a royalty to the family and to whatever corporation they sub-licensed that phrase. Do y'all take Paypal?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday Funnies

Jaws V...Fire Island. Yes, funnier than Sen. John Warner turning against the "Retard-in-Chief"(blame Ben Affleck and Matt Damon on Bill Mahr's HBO show for that one) on Iraq. Funnier than the Republicans in Va. voting to extend the $750 traffic fines to out of state folk (rather than just raise taxes to pay for alleviating the choking traffic jams and nightmarish commutes in No. Va. and the Tidewater--that's for all of you fanboys and girls in Arlington, Fairfax, and Alexandria).

Have a happy, happy end of summer...and beware if you're gay and frolicking in the surf!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

We're on a rollercoaster to Hell...

If living within 15 miles of George W Bush and Dick Cheney and Sam Brownback isn't disheartening enough, as if hearing more fools and thugs whine about Mike Vick than know a thing about the Jena Six, here are two stories that truly crushed my faith in America and humanity in general down to wafer-thinness.
1. OJ Book.
HarperCollins was going to have a first run of 400,000 of If I Did It. "Outrage" broke out. But did it? It was a nice ratings boost for any talking head but was the outrage that deep? Didn't matter. Like the corporate weasels warrens publishing houses have become (indeed, all of American commerce has become...but the President says let's NOT regulate private equity firms and hedge funds! Better to keep letting China and India make everything and we'll just move money around...though we do make useless vanity pharmaceuticals and overpriced uselful ones better), HarperCollins fired Judith Regan, the editor. Once a golden girl. Rightly she sued and settled with them.

Now Barnes & Noble will only offer If I Did It, reprinted by Beaufort Books, online. Borders will carry it but "not promote it." Huh? Even I got a little poster and a cut-out. The solution to bad speech is not censorship but education and more speech. Publishing houses print and chain stores sell the most scurrilious, useless, devoid of any artistic merit crap in fiction, as well as drivel in the nonfiction section, out and out lies, self-indulgent celeb treatises--and yet the Juice somehow sullies this august industry? No wonder Judith Regan got paid off handsomely once she was fired. The punchline here: A bankruptcy court awarded rights to the book to Ron Goldman's family . Suddenly, at least from the Goldmans, there's no more "outrage." Fred Goldman once called If I Did It "disgusting and despicable" once the Juice and Regan went around the first time. So what's different now? Well...that's America.
2. The Baltimore Orioles
They lose 30-3. The worst game in either league since Grover Cleveland was president. Not such a shock when you consider how much they sucked this year, and the last, and the one before that...blah blah. No one of substance wants to manage in Baltimore. No marquis players want to come to Baltimore. This was a team even the Yankees feared as recently as 1997-8. A team which grew heroes, rather than buy and sell them. And from 1966 to 1983, you needed God on your side to beat them. The only analogies I can give this are what Rome used to be in 200 AD, the Greek civilization from 400-300 BC and Islam 1000 to 1500 AD., as opposed to Italy and Greece the past 100 years to today and the Muslim world now. My apologies to Italians and Greeks, but Guido and Spiros, please--y'all suck and are a shadow of your former selves. And Omar, Jeez, even with the oil and the propensity for mass murder, you are a joke!

Perhaps it was hubris down the line. A team and city and ownership that got used to a certain system and didn't adapt or got greedy or just tired. The muddle through but still show bright spots and then start to rot. And when there's rot what (or who) comes along but opportunistic germs and viruses and they twist everything to their own advantage and make the rot the norm. Ok, allegory aside yes--Rome, Greece, Islam all had their Peter Angelos, either by trends or indeed embodied in certain leaders. Angelos, like many money people and each town has them, isn't a scumbag any more than you can get angry at a virus or germ or a leech or fungus. They do what they do. Yet like sheep we as fans keep buying tickets, keep pressuring cable stations to carry the games, still grumble in private. That's how the virus takes hold. Apathy. A feeling of powerlessness. Sure it may be too late, but there is always one way other than death to get a body, civilization, a team and a city back. Its called bravery. Bullies, viruses, extremists--they hate it. They will file lawsuits and threaten and cajole...or torture, pillage, burn, fly planes into buildings...but someone who steps up and says "enough" already has half the battle won to take back a heritage.

Cal, even if you have to borrow the money from Bill Gates, please buy the team for this virus.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Say it ain't so, Rupert!

Mr. Murdoch! Were you were too busy buying Dow Jones (to make it a bit more fair and balanced), to veto this abomination? Janene Garofolo, the right wing's symbol of evil, will join the cast 24 this January as an FBI Analyst?! What's next--Natalie Maines doing the theme song? Well--is it karma for all these head-up-the-ass right wing white males who'd adopted the show as "theirs?" Nevermind a whole lotta other folks watch it. Kiefer Sutherland, appearing on un-Republican, very gay James Lipton's Inside the Actor's Studio, even said the show's merely the latest incarnation of the spy/adventure show (with "Jack Bauer" as the mythic paradigm of a lone warrior) and not paeon to Cheneyism; he lauded his dad's role in M*A*S*H* (yes youngsters, it was a movie) as the ultimate anti-war vehicle. Of course Kiefer waxes pretentious about a lot of things, but hey...

Karma...or just the usual Hollywood marketing horsecrap. Oh, the wingnut white boys will howl and scream, and it gives the retards something to blog about, to protest, etc. Now that NASCAR's gone mainstream what else can they watch? And more people understand that our president has his head up his ass, so they must find refuge in fantasy (note how they "adopted" 300...hmmm, how butch! hahahaha) . I personally just think its funny as hell. So rightwing and so-called patriots: shut the f-- up. Enjoy. She's actually a good actress and pretty amusing.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Black Folks. What would Jesus Do?

You all know I believe in the thing that scares the right wings clowns more than Bill Clinton as First Hubby: the Fairness Doctrine. So in keeping with my statement in my Sunday post(below) about Jews and Israel and Darfur, here it goes. Draw you own conclusions from the musings of these bama negroes, particularly the babble of the SCLC head. Yeah, I called them bamas. So? Oh how that mighty SCLC, like so many of our other august organizations, has fallen. Pick your battles. Defending this creep isn't one of them:

Rose organized the pro-Vick demonstration. He, like many black Vick fans, still stand behind the Falcons superstar, despite expectations that he’ll be going to prison.
Rose said Monday that Vick now has to regain the public’s trust.
"What he needs to do when he comes out is to call a press conference and explain where a young man making 130 million dollars would get caught up in something like that,” Rose said.
Fans at Playmakers Barber Shop in Midtown said they still support Vick, because they feel he is innocent, and that he is a victim of a racist judicial system.
"It's bad. I don't condone it at all, but the punishment is too severe, (they’re ruining) a man's career," said barber Dontrell Mapp.
Black civil rights leaders said Vick should be given one more chance.
"This is what we look for, for people to take a stand for what is right and admit they made a mistake," said Charles Steele, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Vick supporters will rally again Monday night, before the Atlanta Falcons’ preseason game with the Cincinnati Bengals

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Jews. What would Yahweh do?

To the left is the ship Exodus. It secreted illegal Jewish aliens (refugees in other words) into what was Palestine, 1947. The British, given a mandate to run the region by the UN, captured the ship smuggling these people, all victims of the Holocaust. They were not allowed into Palestine. They'd initially been interned in camps in Cyprus and there was an offer to settle them any other place but a simmering Palestine. And let's not forget the first people to conduct acts of terrorism in the Middle East were the Hagenah and Urgun and Stern Gang. Jewish groups in Palestine, bombing and shooting folks (civilians, Arabs, British soldiers). Look, what's done is done, but don't turn around later and tell me chickenshit is chicken salad. Hats off to brother Ralph Bunche for having the balls to get involved in this mess; next time Jews whine about black people around the world, theyneed to recall that a black man pretty much birthed Israel as we know it. But that's another bit of hypocrisy for them to swallow, this state of plucky survivors who always claimed the high moral ground. Well what little they had going for them as we enter the 8th year of a new century, in this sea of hostility for which they've dragged us, is now gone. All I'll say beyond that is: only two ethnic groups out there seemed bound and determined to reinforce any and every nasty stereotype out there about them-- us black folk and Jews. From LilJohn and Jesse to Ari Gold on "Entourage," the neo-cons and the Israeli government. We just can't help ourselves, eh? So check this out (and note the utterly nonsensical quote from the clown from the Weisenthal Centre; think hard about it):

JERUSALEM - Israel said Sunday it will no longer allow refugees from Darfur to stay after they sneak across the border from Egypt, drawing criticism from those who say the Jewish state is morally obliged to offer sanctuary to people fleeing mass murder.
Israel has been grappling for months over how to deal with the swelling numbers of Africans, including some from Darfur, who have been crossing the porous desert border.
The number of migrants has shot up to as many as 50 a day, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, apparently as word of job opportunities in Israel has spread. The rise has led to concerns that the country could face a flood of African refugees if it doesn't take a harsher stand on asylum seekers.
But Israel has not turned back refugees from Darfur until now, and last month Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said a limited number would even be allowed to remain in Israel. On Sunday, a government spokesman said all new asylum seekers would be sent back to Egypt, with no exception.
"The policy of returning back anyone who enters Israel illegally will pertain to everyone, including those from Darfur," spokesman David Baker said. He offered no explanation for the change.
Overnight, Israel returned 48 Africans to Egypt. An Israeli government official said Egypt had guaranteed that any Darfur refugees would not be forced to return to Sudan. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release that information to the press.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit told reporters Sunday that Egypt would accept the refugees for "very pressing humanitarian reasons" but that this type of transfer "would not be repeated again."
Fighting between pro-government militias and rebels in Darfur has killed more than 200,000 people and displaced 2.5 million since February 2003.
Most of the displaced people remain in Darfur, but the U.N. estimates that 236,000 have fled across the border to neighboring Chad, where they live in camps. Tens of thousands of others have sought sanctuary in Egypt, which is ill-equipped to provide them with jobs and social services.
About 400 of the Darfurians who reached Egypt have driven and trekked through desert sands to cross the unfenced frontier with Israel, according to the refugees' advocates in Israel.
Israel's response to the unexpected arrivals has been mixed. Threats to expel them have clashed with sentiments inspired by the memory of Jews seeking sanctuary from the Nazis before and during World War II and being turned away. Some volunteers have helped migrants find jobs and housing.
Eytan Schwartz, an advocate for Darfur refugees in Israel, objected to any ban on the asylum seekers. "The state of Israel has to show compassion for refugees after the Jewish people was subject to persecution throughout its history," he said.
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel said in a statement that it is, "Israel's moral and legal obligation to accept any refugees or asylum seekers facing life-threatening danger or infringements on their freedom."
But Ephraim Zuroff of the Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center said the Jewish people could not be expected to right every wrong just because of its past.
"Israel can't throw open the gates and allow unlimited access for people who are basically economic refugees," Zuroff said.
The Darfurians found sanctuary from the killings in Sudan by fleeing to Egypt, he said, but their arrival in Israel "was motivated primarily by the difficult living conditions and bleak economic prospects in that country."
That the refugees are from Sudan further complicates the matter, because Israeli law denies asylum to anyone from an enemy state. Sudan's Muslim government is hostile to Israel and has no diplomatic ties with the Jewish state.
Although the case of the Darfur refugees is unusual, the late Prime Minister Menachem Begin set a precedent in 1977 when he offered asylum to nearly 400 Vietnamese boat people.
Israel estimates that 2,800 people have entered the country illegally through Egypt's Sinai desert in recent years. Nearly all are from Africa, including 1,160 from Sudan. Many spent months or years in Egypt before entering Israel.
Israel has repeatedly urged Egypt to step up its surveillance of the border to prevent the illegal flow of goods and people. Egypt has responded by beefing up its efforts recently, with almost daily reports of African refugees being arrested before entering Israel.
In July, Egyptian police shot and killed a Sudanese woman who was trying to cross into Israel, the first confirmed death of its kind. And earlier this month, Israeli media reported that Egyptian border guards beat to death two Sudanese men in front of Israeli soldiers. Egypt neither confirmed nor denied the incident.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Untouchable Myths

Who did more to cripple the Mob in the bad ole gangster days? A brave little black woman, one of first sisters to practice law in the city of New York, named Eunice Hunton in Harlem, or Treasury Agent Elliott Ness and his so-called Untouchables in Chicago? Stay tuned, fanboys and girls, as I bring you the answer in an upcoming graphic novel, Gangsterland (copyright 2007 all rights reserved).*
*in the end, it was neither, because of a world war, politics, a cold war, an FBI Director hell bent on destroying other people's civil liberties while wearing a bra and panties. But the die for the Mafia's demise was cast in the bloody alleys, numbers parlors and whorehouses of Harlem...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Friday Funnies

Hi fanboys & girls...forgot the Friday funnies. No YouTube tonight. Just a mellow melody. A verse or two for some dear departing douchebags...hum along with this distrubing song from the 80s as I sing...

So true
Funny how it seems,Always in time, but never in line for dreams

Head over heels, when toe to toe
This is the sound of my soul.
I bought a ticket to the world
But now I've come back again.
Why do I find it hard to write the next line?
When I want the truth to be said.
I know this much is true.

With a thrill in my head and a pill on my tongue,
Dissolve the nerves that have just begun.
Listening to Marvin all night long.
This is the sound of my soul.

Always slipping from my hands
Sand's a time of it's own.
Take your seaside arms and write the next line
Oh, I want the truth to be known.

I know this much is true.
I bought a ticket to the world
But now I've come back again.
Why do I find it hard to write the next line?
When I want the truth to be said!

I know this much is true.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

RIP Max Roach

Max Roach, Gene Krupa, Ringo Starr, Keith Moon, "?uestlove," Phil Collins--drummers drive the beat of the world. And Max was the best of all. Max was a master of "our" gift to the world, Jazz. No, you boneheads--it wasn't Hip Hop. JAZZ.
I met him in 2002 in NY when my first book came out. We were guests on BET Tonight with Ed Gordon, along with Miz Jones (of big boobs and radio fame) and a celebrity gossip columnist whose name escapes me but she was one of Michael Jackson's mouthpieces on the pundit shows during the molestation trial. I was in the chair getting the oil shine on my face reduced before the taping, and Max walked in and said: "Make up? Man, you are a writer, not a movie star. It is your job to be natural." So I shined on TV. But he and I entertained Ed and sounded halfway intelligent. We were schduled to come back, but then BET cancelled all of it's news and public affairs programing. But Max rises above the fads and marketing and pandering. Max. The artist. Being natural.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The book you should be buying...

The debate over Wal-Mart and what black folks read is, well, sort of "academic," pardon the joke, when laid against more important matters. Now, while many of us find happiness in spinning rims and wanting to be the next Beyonce, others yearn for a college degree and here, Peter Schmidt's new book , Color and Money: How Rich White Kids are Winning the War over College Affirmative Action should be instructive.

Watch for my interview as the school year begins; hopefully we can arrange it for you folk with teens or anyone considering law or med school. He even touches on this fiasco at Duke re: the Lacrosse Team.

Check out testimonials like this: "Books on the highly-charged issue of affirmative action are usually one-sided and inflammatory. Peter Schmidt’s Color and Money is a wonderful exception. It provides an honest and fair examination that is also passionate and illuminating. Schmidt carefully weighs the arguments for and against affirmative action and then lays bare higher education’s naughty secret--that for all its self-congratulatory embrace of diversity, poor and working-class students of all colors remain largely shut out.”--Richard D. Kahlenberg, Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation, and author of The Remedy: Class, Race, and Affirmative Action

Schimdt doesn't pull any punches. He does indeed warn that this is a two-way street. So instead of buying cheesy romances or thug novels at Wal-mart or Madden Football or them new rims, black parents should be using what resources they have to enrich and prepare children to enter this battle--and win it. Too much of "winning" seems to be tied to getting a record contract with a Hip Hop label, and indeed the elites at these schools reinforce this by the implicit and even explicit notion that we CANNOT compete with them and win on that level. This irony of entitlement (ironic because it is usally they, either in school or the workplace, who claim WE consider ourselves entitled to X, Y and Z because of color and slavery) means they say "stick to crime, rap and stripping, and bein' sassy like Mo'Nique and Queen Latifah, or cooning like Flavor Flav." And damned if too many of us kinda-sorta do. Schimdt, a senior editor at the Chronicle of Higher Education, shows us just how insidious this is.

And of course he's white. What? Well, is a publisher going to take a black academic author seriously--unless its a treatise on "Tupac and Fiddy as Revolutionaries?" Hence we come full circle--and you fanboys and girls of mine know what I mean. Buy the book. Read it. Stop buying crap. There's too much at stake now. Seriously...

Romance Rules!

So you want to write the great American novel--a visceral piece embodying the hope and struggle of the common man? Screw that! The name of the game is love and hurt and the games the sexes play on each other, baby! From Publishers Weekly, here's a survey from one leg of the concentrated Soulful Expressions tour of Wal-Marts in Indiana and the Chicago 'burbs. As we all know, Wal-Mart, supposedly the symbol of American patriotism, single handedly destroyed the Main Street USA and its independent shops that the corporation's right wing officers and directors (and captive politicians) idolize for we masses, and has been the subject of an Oscar nominated- documentary on how it screws its workers and, of course, cheapens the community, increases traffic and pollution, floods the market with cheap-ass slave labor produced goods from overseas...but let's be practical here. You can sell goo-gobs of books in there!!! Hence, a slice of the itinerary:

By Lynn Andriani -- Publishers Weekly, 8/10/2007 7:04:00 AM
Chicago radio personality Bonnie DeShong stands at the front of a tour bus and speaks in a loud voice: "We gonna go to Wal-Mart! We gonna kick butt! We gonna sell books! Y’all excited?" A cheer erupts from the passengers and we’re on our way.
It’s day one of the Soulful Expressions bus tour, a four-day book publicity event organized by Levy Home Entertainment. Between Thursday and Sunday, 19 African-American authors will visit 12 Wal-Mart stores between Indianapolis and Chicago. They’ll sign their works, meet readers and attempt to sell some 6,000 books.
First stop: Wal-Mart Store #3529 - Lawrence, Indiana - 10 a.m.. Pam Nelson, Levy’s director of advertising and sales promotions, sends the authors off the bus and toward the massive superstore with the mantra "A signed book is a sold book." And she’s right; a crowd has already gathered inside the store, eager to shake hands with their favorite authors and have them autograph their books. At a U-shaped formation of tables, situated between the clothing department and the "portrait studio," the 19 authors charm customers. Most of the customers are women, though one husband and wife leave the area with their shopping cart piled high with paperbacks and the free tote bag Levy throws in--which all the authors have signed, too. The husband says these signed books make great gifts for his wife’s sisters.
Back on the bus, the women--and one lucky man, Keysha’s Drama author Earl Sewell--chat about where they’re from. Some are reading each other’s books, though one is heavily engrossed in HP7. The bus rolls through the August heat, past housing developments and churches. We stop for lunch at Tossed, and the waitress brings out complimentary desserts for three authors whose books she loves.
Second stop: Wal-Mart Store #1557 - Fishers, Indiana - 2 p.m.. There are fewer customers at the book signing area of this store, but that doesn’t deter the authors. They’re up out of their seats, walking over to customers and introducing themselves. Of course, they want to sell their own books. But for Weapons of Mass Seduction author Lori Bryant-Woolridge, it’s more than an individual effort: "It’s a great opportunity, not just for us, but for the entire classification of African-American literature. And it’s fun." Some of the authors know each other, but many are meeting for the first time.Third stop: Wal-Mart Store #1728 - Anderson, Indiana - 4:15 p.m.. This stop is supposed to be a "stock signing," so there are no chairs set up for the authors to meet and greet patrons. But a crowd has gathered nonetheless. It’s a little chaotic, as a large group gathers around the one small table piled with books, but no one seems to mind. We leave the store after a half hour, and step into the sweltering air outside. Nappily Married author Trisha R. Thomas isn’t dogged by the heat or the day’s grueling pace: "It’s such an honor to be on the tour. I’m so glad St. Martin’s sent me."
Fourth stop: Wal-Mart Store #1518 - Indianapolis, Indiana - 6 p.m.. We’re not even inside the store, and a customer rushes up to author Beverly Jenkins, clutching a battered paperback edition of a Jenkins book that’s at least 10 years old, Indigo. She's a diehard fan and had to be the first person at this store to meet longtime author Jenkins. We’re a half hour early to this store, but the book signing area is already crowded. A local radio station has set up speakers next to the book displays, and the mood is festive and relaxed as the authors and customers mingle. In an hour, many authors sell out their inventory--which is at least 40 books each.
Around 7:15 p.m., the authors and readers hug goodbye. One woman tells In Bed With Her Boss author Brenda Jackson, "Y’all keep writin’!" and Jackson answers with, "Y’all keep buyin’!" After a group shot, all 19 authors stumble onto the bus, exhausted. Bonnie, who has taken on the role of cheerleader/bus mom, assumes her position at the front of the bus. "Soul Expressions! One down, a whole lot more to go!"

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Cattleprod, rather than a wake-up call

I woke from a nap with my tee shirt sopping and my head on fire: "Yeah, that's what we need. "Wake up call" sounds so wimpy. And haven't we had enough of those? No more symposia or panels, no more "outreach" or "positivity" concerts arranged by self-aggrandizing pols and celebs. Look at what happened to Chauncey Bailey, editor and chief investigative reporter at the Oakland Post. Look at the schoolyard murders in Newark. Look at the USDOJs recent report on African Americans and murder (as victim and perpetrator) and then look at what happens in the parking lots of suburban malls close to Section 8 housing, or a corner in Baltimore or a row of shotgun shacks on the southside of Atlanta or the northside of Charlotte and any given weekend and tell me (1) the white man's utterly to blame and (2) our leaders, our clergy, our educators...and our own families haven't utterly dropped the ball. Shame on all of us.

Bailey was a true muckracker--white or black, ignorant politician, greedy corporate leader, corrupt pastor or silly rapper--all were in his crosshairs. Yet it was a member of a black Muslim cult-gang that used to be about something positive who gunned him down in cold blood because he was exposing their drug dealing, murder and racketeering and financial mismanagement of their "legitimate"/cover business and social programs. Your Black Muslim Bakery was the cover indeed, and in the 1960s they were at the forefront of community self help. But of course like many black institutions, it became about the cadre or single HNIC who ran the ting, and not the thing itself. Slowly they descended in crime, and a couple of the pseudo intellectuals whose usual tack is to support every gold-toothed fool in Hip Hop, have actually stated that this murder was a "fatwa" against "bourgeois" blacks. WTF? But these are the idiots who our young people look up to for some reason.

In Newark, a group of college bound young folks, the kind of folks we dream about rising from difficult circumstances, are murdered on a playground by yet another illegal alien--out on bail for sex offenses? And he had teenag help--other illegals and another kid who should have been locked up long ago. Thank God Corey Booker's been out in front on this but like most urban black mayors and other pols (be they in the lame Congressional Black Caucus right down to the local city councilman or district attorney), he refuses to go the extra mile. We have kids who are bound and determined to act like gangs of animals. Thus they should be hunted down like wild animals. No excuses, no kowtowing to the community because the community refuses to "snitch." If the neighbors want a decent life then must it come at the cost of a their sons, nephews, grandsons etc who are committing these acts against their own people? Yes. Jesus Lord, it already IS? The strategy: we don't let the buzz-clipped steroid white cops do it. We must clean up our own backyards, take care of this in the "family" as if we were Rudi G, unfortunately. Black cops, black sheriffs, black judges, black prosecutors dealing with the knuckleheads and thugs; black teachers and social workers locating the kids we can save. Help the parents of the kids who are salvageable; flush the others. No doubt. Some people just plain have got to GO. What else can we do? What else CAN WE DO? God, tell me...

In the suburbs we now have our own hoods. Many are near clusters of Section 8 housing, but some have middle class families. The trouble is, the kids think they have to emulate the same thugs and thugettes their parents labored to escape with an overburdening mortgage. Gangs of pre-teens roam the streets, the strip malls, the McDonald's parking lots in communities all over this country...bored, nothing to anchor them, nihilistic as their cousins in the cities or Dirty South shotgun shack clusters. The result? Oh no, not multiple murders but hundreds of armed assaults, burglaries, sexual assaults. Our black pols like the arrangement because the population plus gerrymandering assures them safe districts even far out into the ex-burbs that were once either rural or lily-white. Surburban police forces are ill equipped for this type of law enforcement, and usually just show up after the fact. if it's an illegal immigrant enclave, forget about it. So what do they do? They restrict their cruising (God forbid they walk a beat or get on a bike) to protecting the affluent white suburban areas. Interesting, for as we all know, if you're white, it's your spouse who's more likely to cap your ass in the driveway or as you're jogging, not a black person. We are our own victims.

Please, please people--tell me I'm wrong or ranting misguidedly. Tell me that this isn't the reality we've created. I want to see some glimmer. However, you can't have patchworks of mentoring programs and this and that, blah blah and say "here's the hope, just pump more money into it." That's not going to work. There must be something twisted going on. Either in the people out here destroying their own lives and communities, or we who exuse it, look the other way, deflect or displace. People, help me. My heart's so heavy. I'm afraid even a cattleprod won't be enough to jumpstart my spirit..."

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Joker? You're joking...

WTF? This is Heath Ledger as Jack Napier, aka the Joker, in the upcoming Batman: The Dark Knight film starring Christian "American Psycho"Bale as the caped crusader. Clearly this ain't your Caesar Romero/Marc Hamill/Jack Nicholson clown prince of crime. This is a goth, scary m-f, and I am soooooo itching to see this movie now!!! Note the "smile" scar--a bit ghoulish. Certainly not the symetrical evil grin on Jack Nicholson...wait, was that make-up or just Jack? Heath sort of resembles a young George W. Bush after a post- rugby game cocaine bender and accompanying gay sex (aka "That Yale thing" hahahaha).

Rumor has it that Bale, who's acted on stage doing Shakespeare since age 8 been in films since age 9 ("Empire of the Sun") can't stand Heath's method acting and general flakiness. Should make for cinema verite in the butt-whipping sequences.

Opinions? Observations?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Hank Aaron was there (via video) heaping praise. Willie Mays was there. The fans went nuts. Celebrate!!! (see my post below).

Yet Bud Selig representing the utter hypocrisy of MLB as a corporate entity wasn't there. He looks like an idiot now. And those douchebag fans (most fat white guys) and wimps like Bob Costas--why the whining and acrimony? Oh so he's "cheated?" That's what you've allowed sports (not to mention politics, business, culture in general) to become, so shut the hell up. Where you guys in the late 90s? Ha! Enjoying the games like the rest of us. This is MLBs chickens come home to roost, in a Giants uniform, just like Bush chickens et al are roaming back to the coop and whining over that wafts to the rooftops on Fox News and the right wing blogs. All I can say is--prostrate yourself at Barry's feet, peckerwoods. The record is broken. Chicks dig the long ball (isn't that what your marketing departments came up with back in the day before the juicing went public?)!!!

Discussion, debate?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Look Out for This Book!

That Old Mean Yesterday by Stacey Patton (local tie: Johns Hopkins U grad ). Coming out in September. Makes Antwan Fisher look lame. This memoir blows his away. I bet this will be on Oprah. Check it out. You demand better books. They are out there. Stop buying crap...

Her website's cool, too. More to come.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Go Barry!!!

Between you and me, to hell with Bud Selig, the owners, the Bob Costas and the sanctimonious white boys who bitch and moan. Selig and the owners got a decade of big cash money after the strike. The fans got the most exciting baseball ever. Bob Costas and the other wimp sportswriters said & did nothing yet made their names writing or doing color commentary about this heady era. They should all THANK Bonds and steroids...

So g'won Barry. Swing swing swing away...and it's outta the park, bee-ches!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Another right wing chicken clucks home to roost...

Hmm...several months ago the VP said money spent in Iraq was more important than "special interest pork" projects at home. Tucker Carlson told us that we had the "best infrastructure" of any "civilized nation." Yesterday I drove on the American Legion here on the Capital Beltway and saw engineers making all kinds of studies and measurements. Oh God forbid it falls into the Potomac. Quell embarassment. And forget mass transit, hydrogen cars, mag-lev, true urban planning. That's for commies and faggot grad students and sci fi authors.

Well, a reminder of reality fell into the Mississippi River tonight during rush hour. Perhaps instead of lining Betchel's pockets along with countless other contractors in Baghdad, Doha, Bahrain et al...can we get some help on Main Street. Or I-35? Huh Mr. President? Bet there are bridges even in screw mass transit Texas that need fixin'

P.S. One more hen's scratching at the coop. Millions of Fisher-Price/Mattel toys for babies, laden with LEAD recalled. Where are they made? Why, the communist ATM machine for thousands of American CEOs with stock options, private equity and hedge fund captains, dickheads hoping to break unions--China. More human rights violations than Hugo Chavez. More pollution than Eastern Europe. But hey, moneys to be made and that means the GOP, big business and even the neo-cons love the place. Maybe John Roberts was sucking on a Big Bird Fisher Price crib mobile over the weekend. Maybe it will wake HIS ass up. Unlikely, but keep sucking anyway, Mr. Chief "Justice." Hand some toys out in the White House if you get a chance...

Yeah, I'm pissed off.