Sunday, July 26, 2009

SNL: Excedrin for Racial Tension Headaches and Chris Rock

Wow. It's been one hell of a week in the news.

I've not blogged about the Gates arrest because my opinion is simple. What on earth was an old and angry 58 yo black man with a cane going to do to a young cop with a gun that would justify charging him with disorderly conduct and taking him in? It's b.s., and it never would have happened if Gates were a 58 yo white man with a cane and a smart mouth.

Plus, everyone has an opinion on it, and there really is no need to join the fray. This post from Gawker pretty much sums up my opinion and they threw in some legal code, so I love them: No, Henry Louis Gates Is Not a 'Railer,' a 'Brawler,' or a 'Common Street Walker'.

With that said racial tension has been the name of the game this week.

I also got a comment on the Presumptuous Racist post I wrote last year from someone by the name of Tae. I didn't publish it, which is rare. However, not for that particular post. There have been two comments that crossed the line.

Wait, there is more the obviously more intelligent and genetically superior Tae stopped by again to spew more verbage. It's somewhat comical because, if I'm so hopelessly inferior, why bother?

I can always tell when someone has wandered in from a Google search, read one post and has decided they know everything about my point of view. Someone who disagrees with me is not offensive but someone who confuses disagreeing with being disagreeable is offensive. Someone who disagrees, even forcefully, will have their comment published, even if in my reply I'll skewer them ;) However, if a comment crosses the line to just a barrage of insults, it's not getting published.

This is my little section of the Internet and those are the rules. It's like going into someone's house, dropping your pants and taking a crap in the middle of their living room. Since I caught this fool unzipping, I avoided any damage. This is my house. I can reply at will and I did.

Someone on an online forum I frequent posted this video to comment on this week's events. I think it's very apropos, so enjoy. It's pretty funny. I added another from Chris Rock follows simply because he's brilliant.

Saturday Night Live - Excedrin for Racial Tension Headaches

Chris Rock on Race (hilarious)...

The most racist people in the world? "Old black men."

For those who cant see the SNL clip, here is the script that I found here:

Indistinguishable Black Woman (played by Queen Latifah): “Do I get stress headaches at work?” Yes, definitely. From the moment I get in, it's “Denise, we need this,” “Denise, we need that,” which is stressful, 'cause my name is Linda. Denise is the other black woman who works here.

By ten a.m., someone in the Copy room makes a joke about Kobe Bryant, and everyone looks at me to make sure it's okay. And I smile like it's okay, but, really, my head and neck are starting to throb.

Then, I spend the rest of the afternoon training my interns and answering their questions, like “Yes, black people use shampoo” and “No, I don't know any good reggae clubs around here” and, “Yes, Condoleezza Rice is very articulate. Why do you sound so surprised?” And, “No, I can't tell you where to buy weed.”

And that's when I reach for Excedrin—new Excedrin for Racial Tension Headaches.

Excedrin RT works fast, taking me from “Oh no you didn't!” to “I wish a motherfucker would.” I like that.

Voiceover: Excedrin Racial Tension Headaches—fast relief for hundreds of years of nagging pain.

(Please ignore the "read more" field below. I've got some renegade HTML code lurking somewhere.)


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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Michael Jackson: Pop Culture Fashion Icon

My post on Michael Jackson and fashion over at the blog.

I'm turning comments off here, but comments are welcome on the original post at anytime. I'll even make an effort to answer them all the way I do here ;)

Michael Jackson: Pop Culture Fashion Icon


When it comes to the world of fashion, both men's and women's, Michael Jackson is fashion icon.

He inspired us to wear loafers and white socks. He inspired us to wear jackets with military details. He inspired us to wear one glittery glove. He inspired a resurgence of aviator glasses too.

You get the picture. We know the looks. You don't need us to list them for you after the jump.

His influence on the world of trends and fashion is simply undeniable.

Additionally, he inspired designers. All you have to do is tune into some of the Twitter streams of those in fashion. Designer Brian Atwood lamented Michael's death as well as Farrah Faucet's passing on Twitter, RIP Farrah and Micahel Jackson...We will remember you both....!! So sad.”

What's great was the symbiotic relationship that Michael had with fashion and that fashion had with Michael.

The best example is the Spring 2009 Balmine collection.


Their military inspired jacket couldn't help but remind you of Michael. Of course, because fashion definitely influences entertainers we saw other celebrities pick up the trend. Now we're seeing a strong 80s-retro feel probably worn best right now by pop diva Rihanna.

However, it's symbiotic in that Michael was a legendary shopper. This year he was photographed wearing pieces from the Balmine collection.

So who inspired whom?

Does it really matter? He drew from the fashion world and they drew from him.

We won't be able to see Michael in the planned bedazzled Swarovski designs for his scheduled “This is It” concert dates. But what we do know is it would have been attention grabbing and influential.

King of Pop, you'll be missed. You'll inspire fashion for years to come.

Rest in Peace, Michael.


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Friday, July 3, 2009

Totally Behind the Curve ;)

My favorite series ever, Six Feet Under, started and ended while I was living abroad. Initially, I had to download it via IRC. However, I stopped doing that when I quit work to go back to school. I couldn't afford to take a risk I'd ruin my computer when it was necessary for school. I had it in the back of my head that one day I'd get the videos and finish watching the series where I'd left off.

The characters putting Nate into the ground (a green burial).

I discovered that the second half of SFU's last season is on Verizon's FIOS, so I watched them back to back. They killed off my oh-so-troubled Nate by having him finally succumb to his AVM after cheating on his wife. (Wow, really?) I bawled like a newborn baby because, troubled or not, I grew to love the character. His death was sudden and shocking. Having been through two sudden and shocking losses in my own life, I could relate maybe a bit too easily to the story arc.

The final episode I've watched many times over. It's the end of the story and massively therapeutic for me. Claire, played by Lauren Ambrose, is a young woman trying to decide whether to move to NYC to pursue her dream of being a photographer. Of course, I relate as I'm doing something quite similar now. My calling is with something else, but I've been fighting this pull to Manhattan for years. The "can I do this?" questions and anxiety that a big change brings up I can completely relate to.

I'll quote a comment I left on the award-winning LGBT blog, Towleroad. The show covered it all in terms of subject matter, and, rightly so, featured a gay couple prominently in its story line.
"The draw of SFU for me was always the realness I felt. My parents died within five weeks of each other years ago. My mom first, right after Thanksgiving, which made that Christmas hard to take for me and my father. Then five weeks later, my father died. I should have known something was looming when I woke up to the jolt of an earthquake that morning. Later that day my father died. So, when it comes to death and loss, I've been a bit cynical but also very sensitive.

It was great seeing a show based around death. So often people are just uncomfortable with it. However, for me, it's a real part of life. I'm not morbid. I'm not depressed. But I liked the realism of having both the light and dark of life portrayed in a TV show."
Also, the artistry of the show was gripping. The opening sequence and song are incredible.

Not only that, I commend the series for what felt like an accurate portrayal of the diversity of my hometown, Los Angeles. You have black characters, Latino characters, and representatives of many ethnicities and religions in the various episodes. With it being based around a funeral home, it's easy to work diverse characters in. The thoughtfulness of not being ignored was great. Also, now that I think about it, having the show based in L.A. probably was another reason I connected so well to it. I really did see part of my home when I watched.

What I've had to deal with, of course, shades my perspective now. With the recent high profiles deaths of Farrah and Michael Jackson, last week forced the topic of death to the forefront. Along with the media circus going on, people started talking about their feelings and emotions surrounding these deaths. Farrah, unfortunately, we knew had been suffering with cancer for awhile. In fact, Barbara Walters was plugging an ABC special she'd done on The View the day Farrah and Michael died.

Michael's death was shocking and sudden. I had many people tell me they couldn't believe it. I, however, could believe it. Believing it doesn't diminish the scale of the tragedy, especially, when you consider how traumatic his personal life was. Like everyone else, I didn't want to believe it, but I know that death sometimes comes when you're just not expecting it. I've had deep losses before. Experience with it doesn't make loss easier to handle, and it certainly doesn't make me expect it. It's just that when it occurs I tend to shun hysterics and irritating theories on death. I simply lean towards being as real as I can. That means, I allow myself to initially deny it, accept it, get angry, get sad, get numb and get on with life. There is just this feeling that comes with loss. When someone you love and are connected to dies, a bit of you goes with them.

So with that said, here is the final 10 or so minutes from my favorite TV series ever. It ended in 2005, so I'm almost 4 years behind the curve. No worries. I gave up on the quest of being hip years ago. I much prefer content, confident and happy.

If you've not seen the show, you'll probably miss out on the significance of this segment. Maybe read up on the characters and storyline. However, for me, the final episode is cheap therapy: reflective, thoughtful and cathartic. It was that way for most of the episodes I saw (not all, but most).

Even though the makeup was a big dodgy in some cases, the ending is a perfect wrap: The character's obituaries.

Plus, it ends with Sia's Breathe Me.  Sia and that song are great.


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