Friday, May 30, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
The first selection is entitled One Thousand White Women, by Gary Fergus. No, the title's not about NFL groupies, or Reggie Bush or the USC hoops/football team's appetite. It is 1875. The Cheyenne Indians ponder the genocide of the East Coat and New England tribes over the course of 200 years. They've seen the futile battles of the Indians of the Midwest under Tecumseh. The so-called "Civilized" Tribes of Seminole, Creek, Choctaw and Cherokee in the South have been ripped from the their lands and hauled away to Oklahoma. They know it will only be a matter of time before the mighty Sioux fall dead on the plains, and the Apache are pried, bloodily, out of the desert. Their only hope of avoiding being erased: in return for ponies, disarming, getting out of the white man's way, they will ask for 1000 white women of breeding age. The aim? Marry them, learn from them, impregnate them, and build a generation of offspring that will have the rights of Americans and thus help the Cheyenne assimilate into this terrifying new world. These children will carry at least some tiny seed and memory of the Cheyenne people forward. Better that than be wiped out.
The chiefs travel to Washington to make a peace plea to President Grant. Though already beseiged by claims of corruption and the drain of Reconstruction in the South, the Grant Administration agrees to a sit-down. The First Lady literally faints dead away when the chiefs share their plans at a White House luncheon in their honor. The 19th Century equivalents of O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity go ape in their newpspaer columns. The Indians barely get out without being lynched...yet secretly, Grant assents to the request. Might not be a bad idea--pacifying the Indians without killing them all. So the word quietly goes out to prisons, debt farms, young womens homes (reform schools/orphanages for teenage girls), lunatic asylums. Along with women who willingly want to start over--including some freed slaves who see nothing but terror and ruin in the South and who likely want kids with good hair--the women arrive in the Dakotas. Chaos ensues...and not the happy sit-com kind.
Of course, this didn't really happen. This brand of historical fiction is a new one and breaths life in the genre. The narrative is that of a fiction character named Mary Dodd, who's sprung from a mental hospital as part of the brides-for-Injuns plot.
Not good for a beach read, but beats picking your ass whilst you wait in airports, train depots, on Metro platforms, in traffic (as a passenger...safety first) or as your kid's in line registering for summer camp. Read and learn...
Friday, May 16, 2008
Sue was a patient of my dad's in Baltimore, so that was especially amusing. And of course my favorite "journalist" of all time:
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
Here's the point: Too, too many of our teens and young black men are catching hell despite the mountains they climb and flags they plant. Whether they are poor or the sons of professionals, their trials are unique and their accomplishments grand must be chronicled!
Here's the rub: Unfortunately they each carry a ton of deadweight around their necks--the legions of their "brothers"...all too busy being angry or lazy or plain silly. Too busy wanting to be Lebron or Jay-Z ...or R. Kelly. Or lionizes that shithead Reggie Bush sleeping with that whore Kim Khardashian (yes I said "doody" and I said "whore." I'm no prude. fanboys and girls, but let's be real about who people really are and what they dothings). Too busy playing on XBox. Too busy cracking only books that cost less than $10 and have the word "Trippin'" or "Chocolate Ooze" in the titles. Too busy cleaning those $150 Nikes or Tims and waxing those rims but got no money to save for a notebook computer and classes...and hey, gotta spot clean those Nikes and detail your whip in front of your mama's or girlfriend's driveway...whilst you dump a quart of used motor oil down the gutter ...ditch your Popeye's box and bones, and your bottle of Fanta cherry on the sidewalk. All that is more important than sacrifice and achievement. The kicker: you have brothers who are jumping up for Barack, yet aren't registered to vote and can't even show up to polls on time and understand the touchscreen if they are. These folk will the first to jump off when McCain's elected, or the cops beat some junior thieves. "Woe, woe is us," this type of fool whines, growls or shouts. Black women, you gotta endure us 'cause it's tough out there and we can't do no better than what we're doing... Yeah, it's a struggle just get out and fight. But why oh why do we choose--yes, choose--to make it even worse on ourselves with this clowning?
Now, read on. It's inspiring and makes me proud of the student, all of his suportive classmates, and Morehouse's commitment to learning. But yeah, part of me's pissed off. Deeply.
Valedictorian A Different Kind Of ``Morehouse Man''
By Associated PressMay 12, 2008, 22:21
From his first day at Morehouse College, the country's only institution of higher learning dedicated to the education of Black men, Joshua Packwood has been a standout.
His popularity got him elected dorm president as a freshman. His looks and physique made him a fashion-show favorite. His intellect made him a Rhodes Scholar finalist. His work ethic landed him a job at the prestigious investment banking firm Goldman Sachs in New York City.
But it's his skin that has made all of this an anomaly. This month, Packwood is set to take the stage and address his classmates as the first White valedictorian in Morehouse's 141-year history.
The 22-year-old from Kansas City, Mo., will graduate on May 18 with a perfect 4.0 GPA and a degree in economics.
He could have gone elsewhere, to a school like Columbia, Stanford or Yale, but his four-year journey through Morehouse has taught him a few things that they could not, and he makes it clear that he has no regrets.
``I've been forced to see the world in a different perspective, that I don't think I could've gotten anywhere else,'' he said. ``None of the Ivies, no matter how large their enrollment is, no matter how many Nobel laureates they have on their faculty ... none of them could've provided me with the perspective I have now.''
When Packwood applied to Morehouse, he had frequent conversations with George Gray, an alumnus who was a recruiter at the school. Gray was impressed by Packwood's credentials and spent months trying to talk the sought-after senior into choosing Morehouse over other elite schools.
``He had outstanding numbers,'' said Gray, now director of admissions at historically Black Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark. ``He was the kind of kid we were looking for to be a presidential scholar.''
After several conversations, Packwood began to suspect that Gray had no idea that he was White. His suspicions were confirmed when one of Gray's calls caught Packwood in the middle of track practice.
``Don't let the White kids walk you down,'' Gray quipped.
``Wait,'' Packwood responded. ``You know I'm White, right?''
Silence. Uneasy laughter. Confirmation.
``The challenge was to get the best student that we could, and Josh definitely fit that,'' Gray said.
And for Packwood, knowing that he had been picked on his merits, and not as a token White recruit, made the difference.
``That said I could come here and, ironically, be accepted for who I am,'' With each semester, Packwood's grades remained high, his confidence grew and his resume became more impressive. Summers were spent on Wall Street at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, he studied abroad in London and Costa Rica, and his studies have taken him to China and Switzerland.
He also drew attention with his looks -- some Atlanta University Center coeds took to calling him ``Tom Cruise.'' His photo album on Facebook shows a smiling Packwood posing with dozens of young, Black women who fill his page with notes.
``He kind of sticks out, but he's still relatable and he works with all of us,'' Douglas said.
Friday, May 09, 2008
Christopher Chambers, a Georgetown University professor and Obama supporter, said a woman
tracked down his cellphone number, dialed it and called him a race traitor after
he said Wright's performance would doom the senator's presidential run if he did
not act decisively. Obama denounced Wright's appearance later that day.
Probably an ex. They all shriek alike, so it's hard to tell which one it was...
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Laughing, are you kiddies? Old crap. Well, we old people whose imaginations were born in cradles such as this now dictate and finance the games you play on Xbox and online, the adventure and Special FX films you pay $9 to see, the fantasy/horror/sci fi/manga books you read, the stacks of graphic novels and comics you keep on your nightstands. Laugh now, whippersnappers. Of course, we can do better. Marketing turds and the mean green tend to sniff out creativity. But hey, at least we had some classics to nuture us. I apologize for not bequeathing the best stuff to you youngfolks.
[addendum, by popular demand!]