Sunday, March 28, 2010

Republican National Committee RNC & Tea Party leaders: Obamacare might work, so sabotage it?

Consider the scoop:
RNC colludes with Tea Party leader Mark Williams to put out the word--in a whisper this time, not the guttural cries of ignorant old white folks--that Obamacare MIGHT just work if the exchanges catch on? Therefore, pressure GOP state Attorneys General and support GOP governors to file suit (I guess it's okay for the government to tell its citizens what to do or deny those fruits when the GOP's in charge)...and worse, put pressure on big employers not to join these exchanges. Concomitantly, they will attack and discredit unions who might be pushing the management to hook up with the exchanges, or community groups who are advocating the same.

In other words, this isn't about right and wrong, or examining policy alternatives? No duh. The wingnuts have a good model for a combination of sabotage and terror: Reconstruction. Read A Fool's Errand by Albion Tourgee.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

National Black Writers Conference: some placid ripples on a restive sea

I'm staying in DC to help care for an ailing father, and my mother in law who's up here from Florida for spinal surgery. But you didn't think I'd hold back on the commentary, did you, fanboys? My dad and mother in law spend their downtime reading this blog, among other things, so I'll keep it upbeat!

Here's something to note as you read the links: The subtle contrast between Martha Southgate's observation and that of poet/performer (and I guess, my fellow Yardie on my dad's side) Stacyann Chin. Yes, Center for Black Literature Director Brenda Greene's National Black Writer's Conference will bring together almost 2000 people--many of them nascent authors and artists, or established ones looking for a new groove. "Royalty" (blog-provocateur-speak) like Toni Morrison, Darker Mask (buy it for Kindle, folks!) contributors Walter Mosely and Victor Lavalle, Miracle at St Anna author James McBride, Berniece McFadden, Amiri Baraka et al will descend on Medgar Evers College in the resurgent , robust (and gentrified--and there's some interesting counterpoint for yo' ass) borough of Brooklyn to lead panels and colloquy with, hopefully, the few black representatives of a reeling publishing industry. Read about it here in the New York Times (and check Martha's comment).

Very good piece; wonderful description of the essence of this annual conference. Okay, here's Stacyann's comment, from the New York Post: “Often book festivals and conferences tend to be an inside crowd, but here you can get real people and not just fellow writers that tend to be a little more cynical and sometimes jealous,” said Brooklyn-based poet and novelist Staceyann Chin. “This conference gets real people from the neighborhood.”

As I said, subtle contrasts. As for the cynicism, I think Stacyann's a little pie in the sky. I'm sure it will be there. Street lit and general Tyler Perry-ism enriched a few folk, gave opportunities to many to call themselves published writers. But now, like subprime mortgages and derivatives, the inflated gravy train has derailed (my colleagues would jack me up for ham-fisted joint simile-metaphor but hey...). The Medgar Evers even has always pulled writers in a more literary rather than pop orbit, but they...we?...are feeling the pinch...amputation? well. Recycling into script writing or graphic novels is not the answer for many, and I wonder, like Martha, what will be the take-away besides bitching about the same ole same ole, clawing for relevance. Before, this year, it was about relevance in the face of black chick lit, ghettofiction and the Real Housewives of Atlanta. Now, we're competing with "2012"-like cracking and shifting of culture, politics and commerce generally.

Yet it seems the undercurrent, T-minus-48 hours to go, is, well, hopeful. I salute fellow authors, be they coddled or ignored, even as the loam and clay crumbles from under our cultural heritage, and our future. Maybe we're the answer to keeping things together. That's what my proud dad, and my beaming mother in law say, at least...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hannity, Limbaugh, Malkin attack an 11 year old boy

...but that's ok. He's black so who'll really care, eh? Easy target directly or subliminally, for the rabid fans.

See here. Sad when an 11 year old is classier than adults; look at his response to these dicks. Maybe when he gets older, he can be the dragon killer Joseph Nye Welch was with McCarthy: "Have you no shame?"

Mama'd be proud, kid.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour is scum

Forty seconds of contrast on this Nancy Grace clone show speaks 40 decades of racism. And yep, the judge who sentenced these girls was the same piece of sh*t who granted criminally low bail to the Klansmen who murdered 3 civil rights workers in 1964.
Haley Barbour's a product of the fellow travelers of this system; white folks love him.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Books aren't dead: without them there'd be no Oscars!

Keisha Parks schools all of you fanboys, iPhone/Droid app junkies, geeks, gamers and assorted miscreants who feel the written word, and the book, is dead. Many of you squealed...discomfitted (yes that's a word), that 21st Century Tarzan flick, Avatar, lost the Best Picture Oscar. But think about this--Avatar was one of the few movies nominated that wasn't based on the printed page. Yes, even the films Nat loves to hate, like Twilight and the The Blind Side, where wordsmithed in late night sessions with the laptop and scribbled notes (a Princeton classmate of your's truly, Michael Lewis, penned The Blind Side).

Computer games are based on works of literature/epic poetry, short stories, seminal mythology. And indeed the geek wet dream, The Watchmen flick, is based, of course, on 1986-87's The Watchmen graphic novel, which in itself, is so far above what's out there both now & then that scholars consider it a work of literature.

G'won Keisha. Review the piece here.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Nip/Tuck finale: it was a far, far better thing

The image should clue or the flava on how the show--for six years alternately shocking, titillating, shark-jumping--ended.

I won't spoil it. However, as a fan of Charles Dickens I will say that Christian finally had his Sidney Carton in A Tale of Two Cities moment. No he didn't go to the guillotine for Sean, but in sacrificing, all went out happy. Matt the elfin, dumbass son, was, well, Matt. We got to see Wilbur again...once. Everything went to equilibrium, to the strains of Art Garfunkle's "I Love You."

I liked it. Look, given the lame or fanboyish finales of now versus yore, it wasn't bad. "Lost" is looking lame; and remember the "Sopranos" fiasco? The only satisfying finale I note recently was the amazing montage at the end of HBO's "Six Feet Under." Back in the day we had the last "M*A*S*H*," or the second "Newark" series merging with a wink and chuckle into the first.

Nip/Tuck does literally end with a wink--involving Christian, of course. It produced the grin, then chuckle, in me. Then it was 11pm and bedtime. No controversy or debate. No rush to Twitter or fan sites. No gossip over a Nip/Tuck movie or reunion. Just contentment. Equilibrium. Thanks, Ryan Murphy. Thanks for a cool run.