Thursday, August 30, 2007

just a friendly reminder from your new york times..


more racism.


...oh update: the guy in texas is no longer being sentenced to death - his sentence was commuted to life in prison. sucks when those are your two options. damn.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

a smidgen of gayness

Well more like a smidgen of a post (yeah, I know, I'm slackin' on my updates, but at least Kaya's rockin' it out around these i-parts). Anyway, for those of you who know.. and I guess also for those of you who don't- my hometown is in the great ole state of Ohio (an obligatory "go Bucks!" has to be inserted here) and I'm currently visiting to see family and take care of some things, like doctor's visits since recent grads who haven't started work yet don't really have health coverage. Anyway, as I was at the doctor filling out my new-patient paperwork, I came across some questions, a choice sampling of which is below:
Do you have HIV/AIDS?
Do you have HIV/AIDS high-risk behaviors such as homosexuality, heterosexuality with multiple sex partners, shared IV/drug usage?
...Word? I wasn't aware that homosexuality was a scientifically proven risk factor for contracting HIV, I thought unprotected sex (which conveniently not mentioned in their list) was a little more risky. Additionally, this seemed to be a highly Lutheran practice, which was awkward for any promiscuous gays that might need medical care.
Just sayin.'

no wonder the GOP symbol is an elephant...

so the breaking news of a few days ago (we here at afropologe are like the daily show. we don't like to report news RIGHT as it happens. our lateness is what makes us unique.) is that GOP senator Larry Craig pled guilty to charges of disorderly conduct after being accused of "lewd behavior" in a public restroom. translation: he's a huge homo and repressed it so long under his republicanism that his secret gayness resorted to soliciting plainclothes cops in bathroom stalls in its attempt to be free. how awkward. you can read the actual story here on pam's house blend. apparently perez hilton linked to this story and it shut down her whole server for a bit. which i guess just proves that a lot more people care about political scandal when its sandwiched in between britney's mess of a life and rihanna's new boyfriend, shia lebeouf (gasp!).

anyways, two questions:

1- what the hell is going on with the republican party lately? seriously. more republicans are gay these days than hippies. the remaining republicans who haven't been shamed by turning up as secretly gay, black, or female are like, who? george bush and karl rove? thats gonna make for a really awkward national convention. and for those republicans who haven't come out yet (been outed by the po-po or the paparazzi yet), its only a matter of time. i mean come on, ann coulter. you're not ACtually fooling anyone. it does make you wonder, though, how the christian right can even function while drowning in this quagmire of hypocrisy. it would seem to me like every time anyone opened their mouth to speak, a bone would pop out, if not an entire skeleton. its no wonder all those closet doors stay shut.

2- is EVERYONE gay??? answer: apparently. in all seriousness though, i recently read (skimmed, looked at the pictures) a book about all the gayness that goes on in the wild, and it turns out that like, over 50% of elephants are gay. which is interesting considering that elephants and dolphins (also super gay) are some of the smartest animals around. even more interesting: tons of monkeys are gay. suspicious? i think so. if monkeys are supergay, it only stands to reason that so are humans. which means i guess you can't really blame larry craig for being both gay and republican. probability was against him.

laugh now, but when it turns out that 60% of people are gay and we're just such a fucked up society we never even realized it, were all gonna feel pretty stupid.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

like the such as and south africans in the iraq


This is sad on so, so so so many levels. Number 1: That question wasn't really a great question to have to answer in like 60 seconds, plus it's such a ridiculous statement that part of me can't even blame this poor girl for stumbling around in the dark recesses of her vacant brain searching for an equally incoherent answer (a quest which she clearly over-delivered for). Number 2: The Iraq? South Africa? Asian countries? Word? You couldn't pick one country in Asia? This is just.. ugh, blah...
And here I am sounding equally incoherent. Want to know why? Because Miss Teen South Carolina just coughed up a big ball of ignorance and hurled it at the face of every single person unfortunate enough to have seen/heard her answer (which includes you now, thanks to me :D). Stuff like this makes my head hurt because of the fact that it puts you face to face with thick ignorance that blankets so much of America. So maybe some Americans can't locate us on a map, yes, that is a severe problem probably more attributable to the fact that we have a shameful lack of focus on geography in public school education- but what I find slightly more troubling is that, while we are at war, in an age of incredibly tense international relations, this girl can't even pick a few countries out east other than the ones she's heard buzz words about.

Let's hope our government is a little better at picking out countries on a map. We're good with Iraq and I think we've almost located North Korea, now we just gotta find North Africa and we'll be fine.

...oh, Kaya has informed me that Africa has more than two countries. I guess further investigation is necessary.

And for pure enjoyment...

Wasn't that hilarious? I thought so. :D

Sunday, August 26, 2007

ding, dong, wait a second, who's dead?

so perez hilton announced on August 17th that Fidel Castro is dead. apparently rumors are flying in miami, however nothing has been confirmed yet. or denied. so this leaves me with two very important questions:

1. IS he dead?

well, it IS a little suspicious that no one has seen or heard from him in quite some time. on the other hand, he's old. he could just be senile. not dead. on the other hand, it is also a bit suspicious how under-wraps these rumors seem to be. the fact that everyone is NOT talking about it makes me kind of feel like maybe they're true. but i guess we'll find out eventually. so on to question 2...

2. who cares?

or let me rephrase: why is everyone so fucking thrilled? i mean, i'm sorry, but when Ronald Reagan died and i couldn't muster up a sympathetic face, i got looked at like i have no respect for the dead. and yet just reading the comments on perez's latest post about it (or talking to pretty much anybody, it seems) shows that "respect for the dead" is an honor reserved only for those who lean closer to facism than to communism.

first of all, fidel castro dying is not even that big of an event. sure, i would have liked to visit cuba before he died and it sucks i didn't make it to that point on my checklist, but i mean the man is 81 years old! or maybe he's dead at almost-81. either way, it hardly seems that surprising that he might die. and last i checked, his death wasn't about to mean a change in government for cuba, so... i mean i get it. its symbolic. but it seems like maybe its a bit rude to celebrate the symbolism of someone's death when i'll bet at least 75% of the people celebrating don't know what its symbolic OF.

second of all, i'm sick of people FROM cuba trying to argue that i don't know what i'm talking about when let's face it: you didn't leave oppression in cuba and get to freedom in america, you left oppression in cuba and got to someone else's oppression in america and got happy it wasn't you. and i'm sick of everyone else talking shit about fidel just for the sake of hating communism. the cold war is over. you're late.

so i mean, i never met fidel castro, although i've heard he is(was?) very charming in person. but if you disagree with his politics, just ask yourself this: did i celebrate ronald reagan's death? if the answer is "no" then you really don't have a leg to stand on. if the answer is "yes," i'd have to suggest you cut down on your number of death-celebrations and maybe start counting down the days til thanksgiving.

Friday, August 17, 2007

california dreamin

ok so when i said i'd write a city review of san francisco "soon" i kind of meant "i don't ever plan on doing that but maybe if the mood strikes me, i will." but if you'll forgive the fact that i constantly make promises i can't keep, we can all move on and i'll promise to post more here on out.

anyways i lied. i don't feel like reviewing san fran anymore. what i DO feel like doing is pondering for a second the whole "california" culture. my impending move to new york and my recent trip to san francisco have forced me to confront my various hopes and dreams about what these cities i've always wanted to live in are actually like. and here's my take on the...

now i'm not actually judging the entire west coast, mainly because i haven't really seen most of it. but i do know that as a chicago-born liberal hippie-type child, all through college i had secret dreams of getting the hell out of boston and going to live in the bay area where everyone is cool and hip and gay and eats organic foods and finds inner peace in the sunlight. i've always sort of secretly planned on getting into UC berkeley and going there for grad school, although up until recently i had never even seen the bay area. half of my friends (mainly those FROM the bay area) told me i'd love it. the other half told me it was "odd" and wouldn't elaborate. so i was wildly curious. turns out they were both a little right.

so after spending some time in the bay area i tried to pin down what was "odd" about it. its easy to say what i love - its warm outside most of the time, there are fun and hip cafes everywhere and bookstores like city lights where you can buy previously unpublished james baldwin plays and books of poetry by sonia sanchez. but at the same time i was constantly uncomfortable. sure everyone in san francisco kind of LOOKS gay, but it turns out they're not. and then when you scratch the surface even more, it turns out they're not real hippies either. yeah they might not shower, but they also don't seem to care that much about the world either. of course i'm generalizing, but it seemed to me that the bay area was overrun with people who are too good for the conservative, uptight rest of the country, but also too happy in california to care. racism doesn't exist there, so people will look at you strange if you notice it, and everyone is vegan because they care about the animals, or because its cool, or something... but the idea that being vegan might be a tad too expensive for some PEOPLE is as surprising to them as the amount of very public poverty and homelessness in the city was to me.

so in conclusion, the jury's still out on california. i'm not trying to diss all of california because i haven't even spent that much time there, and you know, places are full of lots of different people. but nonetheless, my job is to arbitrarily judge, so my word of the day for the west coast is "escapism." it seems like a good place to be if you want to live the dream and are willing to ignore a hell of a lot of stuff to do it. i hate to be that east coast "i'd rather be stressed out about the world all the time" person (actually i hate to be that east coast any kind of person. i'm from the midwest dammit) but i mean come on. i don't need to be stressed, but if given the choice between stressed and oblivious, i guess i'll grudgingly drag myself over to new york and throw myself into the stress. i'll let you know what i think of THAT at a later date.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

a little light reading

so i was sitting on the plane yesterday watching people walk down the aisle towards me trying to figure out which one would sit next to me. naturally all of my top choices passed me by, so i felt lucky when instead of the super old dude with tons of bags, i got the very petite suburban housewife-looking woman with an expensive purse. i was planning on ignoring her and taking a nap, but she pulled a magazine out of her purse and started reading so intently i felt like it was pretty much my obligation to glance over. she was reading an article on vaginal restoration. or rejuvination. or something. i can't quite recall, but the point is if you're old, you're supposed to get a new vagina. i thought that was kind of odd, but it wasn't until like an hour into the flight that i realized it wasnt just an article. the ENTIRE MAGAZINE was nothing but page after page of how-to-not-look-old techniques. from the vagina she moved on to "firming up" your face, then on to how to get fabulous feet. keep in mind this magazine was oh, about 150 pages thick.

so here's the thing: what the fuck?!? i mean i know our society is ridiculous, but i didn't realize it was entire magazine full of articles about why you're too old to be a real woman anymore ridiculous. or maybe i did realize that. that's not the point. the point is that this is all pretty disgusting. the fact that this middle-aged woman is reading magazines on how to make sure her feet are pretty and her vag is tight for i assume her husband who even from across the aisle i can tell is not putting any such effort into his own personal upkeep is really fucked up.

conclusion: she should have been reading skymall instead. while she was wasting her time trying to get young again, *I* learned that for just $120 i can purchase a fake rock, size "tall," to cover any blemishes in my yard. i think instead though, i may go with the robotic shark.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

the bourne audacity?

So a friend and I went to see The Bourne Ultimatum last night. First off- that movie was freaking great. If you like action, action, and... oh what else? Action- then this movie is for you. Also the plot was pretty okay, mostly it was the fight scenes and the suspense that kept me interested.
Anyway, this blog isn't a movie review, it is mostly a recounting of the events that transpired at the Lincoln Center AMC on 66th and Broadway, and about how people on the Upper West side (particularly older people.. particularly old white women) can be completely out of their minds. The best way to tell this is probably in a little narration, so go ahead and sit back and enjoy the story.

Two girls walk into a theater, excited about the action movie that they're about to see. With a week filled with the monotony of office work and the dull buzz of computer monitors taking a quick break to enjoy a bit of heart-stopping action is just what they need.
As they stepped into the actual theater the sticky floors and the slight smell of stale popcorn overcame them, as well as the realization that this, unfortunately, was a small, old-fashioned theater- the kinds with seats designed just so that each and every moviegoer can be lucky enough to have their very own head partially blocking their vision. Just their luck. Despite all this the girls are determined to have an excellent time, after all, they've been looking forward to this for a while, and it wouldn't make sense to let some architect's half-developed idea of sight and comfort disrupt their evening.
"So what were you saying before?" Brittany asks her friend, anxious to hear the rest of a really good bit of gossip.
The previews begin, and so AJ lowers her voice and moves up in her seat a little in order to finish the story quickly and quietly. "Oh, yeah- so when she said that you could tell that people felt really awkward, everybody was just looking at one another-"
"Excuse me!" A voice exclaims in an exasperated tone.
The two girls turn around, not understanding if the voice was directed at them. They turn and a woman with sharp features, short hair and incredibly disdainful eyes stares them down. They look at her, still slightly confused that she would have the audacity to interrupt them, and continue to speak, albeit more softly.
"EXCUSE me!!!!" The voice returns and the woman, seated next to Brittany, leans in, as though preparing to discipline a child or student of hers.
Annoyed, Brittany responds: "Yes?"
"You're talking and I'm trying to watch this!"
"Well excuse me, but it's the previews, they've only just started, and you have no right to tell us what to do. You are not our mother, and quite frankly, you're being very rude."
"What? I said excuse me!" Visibly thrown off, she puffs herself up in her seat a bit more, like an ruffled bird attempting to look menacing, all the while her quiet husband sinks slightly in his chair.
"Maybe so, but your tone was incredibly disrespectful. I appreciate that you said excuse me, but next time show a little more respect. Thank-you. I'm going to enjoy the movie now," Brittany responds, looking the woman directly in her eyes before turning back to AJ, shaking her head and laughing quietly.

Okay, so that's all of what I'm going to write that way, but suffice it to say that crazy lady was decidedly a psycho. She actually took it upon herself to tell the married couple in front of her to stop being so close because she "couldn't see," to which the husband responded that she shouldn't have sat her [dumb ass] in the back row, and that he could hug his wife if he wanted to.
Oh, and as the movie started, during the quiet dialog in the beginning these two crazy old ladies enter the theater, loudly asking "IS THAT A SEAT?" in raspy voices throughout the entire theater, at EVERY aisle.
Also then this guy started talking on his phone at several intervals. Loudly. He was in another section of the theater and I knew that he had to "give the keys to Chris" at some point later in the day.
It's like, damn- really? Word? They all made so much noise and were so rude, probably mostly because they felt entitled, because they could do whatever they want. The lady that had the nerve to try to correct me and my friend's behavior? She probably thought she could say whatever she wanted because we were young and (yes, this could have counted to for all you "race isn't anything" people out there who for some crazy reason read this blog) racially 'othered' in that almost-all-white theater. And what's more, she probably didn't expect me to respond the way I did- she probably expected me to be rude and disruptive (warranting my removal from the theater) or to just quietly acquiesce to what she wanted. But no, sorry lady- I'm going to stand up for myself, you have no right to tell me what to do in that way. yes, you are my elder and I will be respectful, but I will not be deferential, especially not to somebody who thinks, for whatever reason, that I am bound to obey them at the drop of a hat.


All this goes to say that white (and old!) people- you are just as crazy/loud/embarrassing and rude as any other minorities or teenagers. Please do not continue to act like your shizz don't stink- because it stinks up entire theaters!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

intel: processors for the man

While browing the net I saw this gem of an Intel ad on a forum:

Yeah. That's right. Let it sink in real good.
Anything pop out at you? Anything at all?
Okay, so clearly you guys are smart enough to see what's incredibly problematic about this ad, but I'll go ahead and say it anyway, just to make sure that it's clear: RACISM.
So when I first saw this, other than the flaming anger that began to rise inside of me (with a fair bit of vomit in my throat, as this sort of thing just plain makes me sick) I was a bit confused at how it at all related to computers and technology. So not only is it problematic that these men (all conveniently Black men) are bowing down (yeah I know it's a stance in racing/track but clearly you see the imagery) to a white man, but even the copy that 'justifies' the imagery is itself problematic:
"Multiply computing performance and maximize the power of your employees."
Wow, so much to unpack. So first of all, even though "power" in terms of meeting deadlines and maximizing resources would be a relatively beneficial result of having really good processors, but to me the word power combined with the image of the men (strong, hunched and athletic, muscles very clearly sculpted, highlighted by shadows and even sort of glistening in the lighting) really connotes more of a brute, physical sense of power. In a sense, nothing about the image gives me the idea that the processors complimented the intellect and ability of the workers.
Which brings me to another problem that I have- the men very clearly represent the Intel processors and not the workers. Let me tell you why.. The print reads that "multiply computing performance" (clearly through Intel processors) but that you "maximize the power of your employees," nothing about the power of these men looks maximized. Instead, it really just looks like the same man (generalizing Black people, how nice) multiplied over and over again, ready to out perform (because he's about to run really fast, you know why? Because he's Black, and boy can those n*ggers run, huh?) those crappy old other processors. When it comes down to it, Intel equates these Black men (or even this Black man, since he really seems to be just copy/pasted onto the ad because of the lack of attention and detail given to his seemingly unimportant face) to technology, to machines- to tools that white men (read: corporate America, controlled by white men, obviously) can buy, sell, use and control and with no tough feelings- I mean look at the smug smile on that guy's face.
I mean damn, you'd think that after the ole 3/5 thing was in history that we'd actually start to be seen as human beings and not as property anymore, but I guess you really shouldn't overestimate the power of racism and the ignorance (i.e. ignoring racial issues) of white America. Damn. Like come ON- who let this ad run, and how many people approved it? Do Black people even WORK at Intel?
If you are Black, working at Intel, and you somehow saw the concept for this and had a hand in approving it before production then you suck ass and are a failure for letting this get out.

In closing, what does this mean for good ol Brittany?
The next computer I get will have an AMD processor.