Tuesday, May 31, 2011

For Real???

Over at TheYBF they report that Naomi Campbell says she is willing to sue Cadbury over their ad that states
Move over Naomi, there is a new diva in town
I preface this by saying that I am aware of society's obsession with skin-complexion and the debilitating complex that many Black people have regarding it, especially Black women. I will also say that I also recognize that "I am not that dark". I actually hate when people go there when we have discussions about skin color and its psychological effect, but I can admit that it may present a difference in perspective. That said...I am utterly confused and terribly embarrassed by this. Chocolate has always been a complement for a brown skinned lady and one I am sure Naomi Campbell in the past has happily accepted. As you can see on the photo on the left, the theme might be in fact "Sexual Chocolate".

My issue is two-fold. Naomi is notorious for being a Diva, so is Mariah Carey but Naomi more so. No reference was made to her skin color in the slightest. We cannot assume that every Black woman takes 'Chocolate' as a compliment. however the photo with the chocolate Playboy bunny is more damning and she willingly posed for it. Interesting, right? Perhaps she was upset with being called a diva. Fair enough but PLEASE don't call it racist. People...White, Black and Others throw the term racist around like it's a joke. It has been diluted with nonsense that we can't really tell what is racist. Seriously, purposefully disenfranchising ex-felons after they have paid their debt to society ONLY in states with the highest percentage of minorities is racist. Yes, actual prisoners can vote in some New England states.

There are real issues of racism and this sort of thing sets Blacks and other minorities back. She should show some social responsibility.
For Real???SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

While We Were Preparing for the Rapture, Gov. Scott signed the "Elections Bill"

The economy had to have experienced a little jolt this past week as Christians that are clearly unfamiliar with the Bible prepared for the Apocalypse that was scheduled for May 21, 2011 at 6pm. Seriously? I understand the human desire to be forewarned but the Rapture isn't something that can be scheduled in a Blackberry. Can you imaging the 10 minute reminder? Rapture in 10 mins. Then what, you'd hit snooze??

Sadly people maxed out credit cards, quit jobs, gave away life savings and the media much more sadly covered it. What's worse is that as we were watching, laughing but anxiously looking at our clocks, two days earlier the Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law a bill to fight against the Lockness Monster of American democracy--Voter Fraud.

The issue of Voter Fraud could very well be taken seriously if number one, didn't fall on party lines and number two, was indeed an actual issue. National voter turnout hovers around 50% during presidential elections and 37% during midterm elections. Citizens aren't exactly clamoring to vote so it's hard for me to imagine covetous non-citizens scheming to have their one vote count. It is unfortunate because the very ill it is supposed to correct is what it will perpetrate. HB1355 or the "Elections Bill" as it is commonly referred, makes it harder to register, harder to vote and harder for your vote to actually be counted. Voter registration groups like the League of Women Voters (a.k.a. the nice old ladies asking if you are a registered voter) once had 10 days to turn in forms from registration drives. Now it is shortened to 2.  It sets a deadline for voters to update their legal address, nullifying a law that for 4 decades allowed them to do so on Polling Day. It also reduces the number of early voting days from 15 days to 8 days.

What does this all mean? Well studies show that increases in voter turnout tend to favor Democrats, so to suppress turnout would likely do the opposite. College students often have a permanent address and the one they actually live in and the new deadlines would make it difficult for them. Obama's victory is largely attributed to the youth vote. The League of Women Voters, who have a century long tradition of encouraging people to do their civic duty have said they will no longer operate in Florida because the strict deadline and fees that accompany it if unmet make it .... Wage-earners who are often lower income and/or minorities utilized the early voting provision and instead of 2 weeks you just get one.

So guess who is the big proponent of fighting voter fraud? Republicans!! I believe the reasoning is if the election doesn't have the outcome that we desire than it must be a result of fraud. We Americans like to believe our elections are just and would fight to make sure it is so. (Although times have changed, people don't fight anymore we just make Facebook pages about it.) So while we weren't watching, the Republican Governor of Florida signed into law a bill that effectively rigs elections in the state. How about that for democracy?
While We Were Preparing for the Rapture, Gov. Scott signed the "Elections Bill"SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

In Case You Wondered What Could Break a 25 Year Marriage

...fathering a child outside the marriage. Yep. Wait no, it's the years of rumored philandering, the exploding career that had to be put aside because
being married to a narcissistic movie star is a lot of work. It is the sleeping with the house staff (classic case of messing around with the nanny/maid) who had worked for the family for 20 years AND making a baby from that. Oh wait, and telling your wife 10 years later about it (while the maid is still working for you) you know, to ensure that she feels like a COMPLETE idiot.

Yep, that would do it.

But to find this at 6:30 am? Seriously, again? They have one more time to break news overnight. Who actually makes this a press strategy??
In Case You Wondered What Could Break a 25 Year MarriageSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Saddest Ring of Fire: Battle for the Republican Ticket

The Republican heavyweights are begging, really begging, for a real candidate. This upcoming Presidential election is about to be as bad as the Lakers vs the Mavs. A big Sweep. In May 2007, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Edwards had officially launched their campaigns. I had already attended an Obama rally. In the race for the Republican primary, McCain was already leading Romney and Giuliani in the polls. Fast forward to the 2012 campaign and President Obama is practically running unopposed.

Let's see, Jeb Bush has said (repeatedly) he refuses to run. Rubio has refused. Huckabee has just announced that he is not running and was wasting our time. Trump has come to his senses and decided not to run. I mean, you can't base your whole campaign on that Birther non-sense. I can't really name any other candidate besides Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. Ron Paul is the Republican Ralph Nader. He just feels obliged to run. Republicans don't even like Mitt Romney.But then...they didn't like McCain either. A Massachusetts Republican is like a Southern Democrat and Romney is trying very hard to live down RomneyCare. Oh wait, there is Tim Pawlenty and I don't care to know more.

At this point the race for the Republican challenger looks like the high school talent show that no one wants to participate in...except for the lameOs
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Monday, May 16, 2011

The Return of Eugenics

Satoshi Kanazawa has a blog on Psychology Today entitled The Scientific Fundamentalist: A Look at the Hard Truths About Human Nature. His most recent post is "Why are Black Women Rated Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women, But Black Men Are Rated Better Looking Than Other Men?" Firstly, anything or anyone referred to as a "Fundamentalist" are almost always extremist. Fundamentalism in many sections of society harbors an element of racism. So with this in mind I can answer why anyone would do such a study. Why it would become published I'm still unsure.
The subjects in the study interviewed respondents and at the end of the interview rated their attractiveness from 1-5. Yep, like we did of the boys in middle school. There was a health component to it as well though it was not explained. He used factor analysis as his method of statistical analysis. Email me if you would like me to explain it. The general gist of the study is this:
  • *Women are considered more attractive than men on average, except for Black women
  • *Blacks are considered less attractive on average, than the other races( White, Asian and Native  American)
  • *However, within sex there is little variation among the perceived attractiveness of males.
  • *When health was included, Black women were considered far less attractive than women of other races.
  • *Black women are heavier than other women (higher BMI on average) which may contribute to their lack of attractiveness
  • *Blacks find consider themselves more attractive (subjectively) than they are considered objectively
  • *Intelligence makes Black men more attractive, no effect on the perception of Black Women
Kanazawa ends with this:
The only thing I can think of that might potentially explain the lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women is testosterone. Africans on average have higher levels of testosterone than other races, and testosterone, being an androgen (male hormone), affects the physical attractiveness of men and women differently. Men with higher levels of testosterone have more masculine features and are therefore more physically attractive. In contrast, women with higher levels of testosterone also have more masculine features and are therefore less physically attractive.
For Real??? With all the breasts and booty on Black women...on average of course... We have more testosterone? Bull. It's two things plain and simple: we find attractive what we are told is attractive and to a lesser degree, people who look like ourselves. White, Asian and Native Americans have more in common aesthetically than Blacks, small wonder that they would find Blacks less attractive. But I guarantee you that they find Naomi Campbell, Iman and Halle Berry. This is part and parcel because they labeled as attractive Black women. Similarly, star athletes are more often than not, Black men. And this is the epitome of masculinity, therefore it is understandable that though Black men differ greatly from other races they will still be considered attractive. Uma Thurman is supposed to be beautiful: A tall blonde, blue-eyed movie star. She graces magazines covers but quite honestly, I find her to be quite funny looking. Nothing close to attractive.

I am concerned about the attempt at some scientific explanation of why some races are superior to others, whether it be in social or economic standing, intelligence or beauty. It's called Eugenics and it is scientific racism, a blight on the field of psychology and science as a whole. I've gotten enough play from other races to know that Black women are found attractive. And yes, they go straight for my butt.
The Return of EugenicsSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Click Google.com Today!

Or check it out below. They had an animated doodle of "Google" today in honor of the Martha Graham dance studio. Just beautiful, the things they come up with. Also very smart...makes me go to Google just to see what they create next!

Google - Martha Graham from Ryan J Woodward on Vimeo.

Click Google.com Today!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

There is a word for this type of thing...

Bryan Williams aka "Baby" aka "Birdman" has reportedly purchased an $8 million 2005 concept car Maybach Excelero. Now, I have already expressed how balling can become disgusting with the $2 million dollar Bugatti. I seriously didn't believe this could be topped.

Needless to say I think this spending $8 million dollars on a car...even if it is the only one ever made... is terribly disappointing/ unattractive/ill advised/disgusting/irresponsible/a recipe for disaster. However, I do think we need to put this travesty into perspective and not simply write this off as "dumb things people do".

Forbes recently listed the top five wealthiest Hip-Hop artists, (because we really need to know):
  • Sean "Puffy" Combs (I still call him Puffy)-$475 million
  • Jay-Z -$450 million
  • Dr. Dre- $125 million
  • Bryan "Birdman" Williams-$100 million
  • 50 Cent-$100 million
So to be clear, Birdman has 50 Cent money and NOT Jay-Z money and there is a $300 mil difference. Oh and he also has the dreaded Bugatti...of course. Jay-Z rented the Maybach Exelero for his "Lost Ones" video...but Birdman bought it. Think Jay-Z is jealous? (or anyone for that matter?) He's probably laughing his head off.

So while other rich people are looking for tax-shelters and Swiss bank accounts, Birdman buys million dollar cars. I must say, when living in New Orleans I once heard on the radio station that Birdman walked into a Foot Locker and purchased a pair of shoes for everyone that happened to be in the store. So perhaps he gives back in ways that don't make the news. But when I think of all the good $8 million dollars could have done in his hometown I cringe. Their public education system sucks, there are homeless people who need a sandwich on Canal St, people who can't afford health care...

It is unfortunate that the richest people in "our community" are also the least educated. I mean this with love. You don't need diplomas, you just need a moral compass and to know when to "ask somebody". There is a word for this sort of thing... you know for buying an $8 million dollar car to add to your $50 million car collection when you are worth $100 million. Ignorant isn't it. No. It called fuckery. Pure fuckery. And now I must wash my mouth out with soap.
There is a word for this type of thing...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

For Good Reason...

I suffer from a chronic illness called Procrastination. It is something that I have to manage daily, but I often have serious flare ups. Another blog posted that Forever 21 had an "I love My Hair" tank for $13.50. I quickly followed the link and added the tank to my shopping cart. But you see, I needed a total of $50 to qualify for free shipping. I'm too cheap to just buy random things and Forever 21 has a discouraging return policy. So...I waited. A couple of days later it was sold out! *fists in the air*

So for the past few days I have been (1) kicking myself (2) checking Forever 21 to see if they have restocked and (3) looking for alternatives. It was in my search for alternatives that I noticed that (well it was pointed out) that the girl on the Forever 21 shirt was much lighter than the alternatives and the original character.  I am sure it would be argued that it was done to broaden the market for the t-shirt. This way Black, Latino, Jewish and Middle Eastern people with curly textures could wear the shirt.

Sure. But then again, it goes against everything that the character was created for. A little Ethiopian girl wanted to look like kids she saw in class, women she saw on T.V. and her adopted parents. It was expressed first through her disdain for her hair, but next it would be her skin. It's the natural progression of things in a society that primes us at birth to hate ourselves. Even when it's a smiling face telling you to in fact, love yourself.
For $10 dollars extra you can get a shirt with character with her original brown skin here. I guess I missed buying it on the low for good reason.  That would have been $13.50 down the drain.
For Good Reason...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, May 09, 2011

The Ignorance is becoming too embarassing...

Sigh... Two Muslims Imams were kicked off a Delta flight for...being and having the unmitigated gall to look Muslim. For goodness sakes, why would two Islamic religious figures on their way to a religious conference about intolerance against Muslims---want to dress like Muslims? I cannot take it. They were not praying or chanting. They had cleared security. They were selected for additional security and of course, cleared the additional security. The pilot began to taxi on the runway and then suddenly made an announcement that they were returning to remove the two passengers. The pilot said that the Imams were making the passengers uncomfortable, when in fact they just made him uncomfortable. So much so, that the pilot resisted all efforts made by the airline to reason with him. The pilot took off without him. So this pilot better be without a job by the end of this week.

Secondly, minorities need to stand up against this type of bigotry. People started claiming Obama was a Muslim and no sooner were they walking around with Curious George dolls (and other Monkey related items) with Obama's name on it. This is a slippery slope to the overt discrimination of the most disadvantaged ethnic minorities and a large body of people are just itching for the chance to use the N-word at work without repercussions.

Where is Al Sharpton on this? *crickets*
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Saturday, May 07, 2011

What the Hell is Hipster Culture?

My sister often makes refernce to hipster coulture and I honestly believed she just means "cool and trendy". But hipster culture is now a bit of a force to be reckoned with as I am loosing my baby brother to it. Yes, loosing him, to this horrible gray space of a subculture that is useless and ill-defined. So ill defined, I think I may be apart of it. To gain a better understanding, I called my BFF who I thought should have better access to these folks... on the street, at the farmers market or Urban Outfitters. From there we put our heads together did the only thing I really know how to do, research.

I came across an article entitled Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization that actually describes the hipster in detail

    Take a stroll down the street in any major North American or European city and you'll be sure to see a speckle of fashion-conscious twenty-somethings hanging about and sporting a number of predictable stylistic trademarks: skinny jeans, cotton spandex leggings, fixed-gear bikes, vintage flannel, fake eyeglasses ...
Gasp!! that's my brother!! Twenty-something with skinny jeans, skinny tie, the bike! Then it goes on to include a Keffiyeh
...and a keffiyeh Рinitially sported by Jewish students and Western protesters to express solidarity with Palestinians, the keffiyeh has become a completely meaningless hipster clich̩ fashion accessory

Hold the phone, I love the look with the Keffiyeh. A white tee and skinny jeans and heels, a good hand bag and bangles. That's my fresh look! Am I a hipster? Assuming hipsters don't wear 4-inch heels is the only way I can sleep at night.

There is also a little golden nugget called "Hipster Hitler".  It's a cartoon/comic that portrays Hitler as well...a Hipster (again whatever the hell that means) styled in ironic T-shirts and armed with that weird attitude I usually attribute to "being a teenager". I am a little concerned about a subculture that feels comfortable using Hitler as satirical material that is apolitical and lacking of any moral lessons. After giving it weeks of thought (Okay, maybe not weeks if you add it all up) and comparing "Hipster Hitler" to an entire comic dedicated to Uncle Ruckus from the "Boondocks"(which would be a lot)...I kinda see where they are coming from. A little. Okay not really but I am still trying.
But couldn't they have used like...Manuel Noriega? Noriega in skinny jeans and Ironic tees? Stalin? Rasputin?   No...because that requires effort and knowledge. I understand my "not getting it" is part and parcel of the subculture. What gets me most is... Hitler...with a side-part (slicked with a little pomade or gel in his hair) and a man cardigan, sipping a juice box with a tee shirt that says...I love Juice. Say it out loud.  Yes...it sounds like Jews. If you felt the urge to chuckle...you're human and I won't hold it against you. If you didn't feel at least a tiny bit of shame afterwards however, then you my friend are not.

I kind of get this one. And it could have totally been useful except Eastside-Westside beef was soooooo 90s. Oh wait Hipster's like retro too. Damn.
What the Hell is Hipster Culture?SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, May 05, 2011

So I'm Wrong for Wanting to See the Post-Mortem Photos?

Sorry, but this is the country that invaded Iraq and killed Saddam Hussein as a response to 911. This is the country that has the national treasury set up and run by Goldman Sachs operatives (employees, past present and future) that preaches free market principles but literally provides welfare for the rich. Please don't give me a lecture about government trust. Yes, I wanted to see the picture of Osama Bin Laden deceased. The same way I can draw up a picture of Saddam Hussein dead in my memory bank. It is only fair and right if you ask me. The government insulted our intelligence (mine at least) with the war in Iraq knowing full well that the uber-wealthy Bin Ladens invested heavily in a banking group that Daddy Bush represented. Google it...it isn't a secret. Hell, it was in a movie...the country reelected George W. anyway. I wouldn't be surprised if the Bush family had a hand in hiding him. Funny no one is pushing that rumor. Makes better sense than Obama being born in Kenya in spite of contrary evidence.  But I digress.

I do understand and respect the decision to not show the photos. If it was gruesome, than that is just out of sheer human dignity not to show it. I wish they (U.S. media) would have done the same for the victims of Katrina in New Orleans and the Earthquake in Haiti...you know they way they did NOT show gruesome dead bodies in Japan.  Human dignity...for those they consider human...but again...I digress. I respect that they buried him right away in accordance with what ever form of Islam Osama Bin Laden observed (though buried at sea =dumped in the ocean). I am glad that they aimed not to disrespect Islam. We are at war with Fanaticism not Islam. (We got bombs for crazy Christians too read: Hitler)

I understand that giving people nothing, no grave site, so photos or video, limits Bin Laden's martyrdom. This provides no pictures to hold in the street as people scream for revenge, no grave site to journey to. But what that does is leave Americans with a gaping hole in our hearts and minds. Holes that we are asked to fill with "trust". Seriously? The condescending comments about those who still need to see the photos speaking to "what type of people they are" from Rachael Maddow was actually really annoying.

Considering this is the Obama administration and not Bush...I hope Osama Bin Laden is dead. I hope the government is telling the truth. Hope I have quite a bit of. Trust, not as much.
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Monday, May 02, 2011

That IS a great question...Why DON'T we have better birth control pills?

Megan McCardle at the Atlantic poses the question that I have asked for the last 5 years. Seriously, how come there isn't a pill that doesn't make you fat, depressed and doesn't stealthly snuff out your libido? (I mean I just look around and its gone!).  I am often reasured by my OB/Gyn that today's birth control pills are much more sophisticated than 20 years ago. I still suffer from those pesky side effects...from 20 years ago!

Depressed and crazy and fat with no sex drive? I'll keep my 45 dollars a month thanks. I'll continue to use my current form of birth control...prayer.
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Sunday, May 01, 2011

Professor Excited

I have finally tallied my students final grades and posted them to the student web page and I am answering the last of the following emails. Dear Professor O. ,

  • are you grading on a curve? (I said in the beginning no, never, will not)
  • Did this include all of the extra credit? (Holding on to a sliver of hope I see...)
  • I turned in Quiz X, where is my grade? (Mind you, the student also had the opportunity to simply resubmit it, I mean it was typed in Microsoft Word. Don't you have it saved? Ugh! Clearly...the student did not complete the assignment)
  • I don't believe that my final grade reflects what I have learned in your course, can my second exam count instead. (Really?)
These pale in comparison to the down right irate and indignant emails that my colleagues are receiving. One student requested that the final exam be canceled due to the tornadoes in Alabama and Tennessee ...we live in Florida. He didn't think it was fair that Alabama students finals are suspended but we will still proceed. Seriously. 

I am probably more excited about the summer than the students are. I was admittedly on auto-pilot this semester. All their quizzes were take home. I rarely made new questions or slides. They were a bright bunch but I was plagued with this feeling that I wasn't getting through to them. I wasn't changing any lives. It's sad because teaching the African American Studies Intro course was something that I usually found quite gratifying. I am going to use this summer to get some of that passion back.

Professor ExcitedSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend