Friday, November 30, 2007

republicans are good for something after all...

i've been a bit lax on the blog lately, so in a last-ditch effort to inspire myself, i turned to the cnn youtube republican debates. bingo. a veritable goldmine of idiocy and terror. i'm watching them now. or rather, i'm watching whichever questions look especially juicy. as i go, i'll let you know what i think. i'll include the videos for your perusal in case you so desire to judge for yourself. but in case you don't, i'll rain judgment down upon them right below the video:


ok what the fuck? a) why does america love to fear taxes? i mean i get it. no one loves to look at their paycheck and see that it is not much. but you know what i bet a lot of people love? education. and roads that are not going to cave in under your car as you drive. and clean drinking water. and pretty much everything else that your tax dollars help pay for. i mean i'll be the first to agree that taxation is fucked up in this country, but thats not because taxes are bad. its because rich people don't pay nearly as much as they should. cut my taxes if you want. but raise theirs.

i won't put in this video because i just have a quick comment about it. how come when asked what three federal programs he would cut to save money, the first thing that came to ron paul's mind was "department of education?" are you serious?


why are republicans so creepy? duncan hunter got his hunting license at the age of 9? you know killing animals is one of the first signs that your child is a sociopath.

Black-on-black crime:

mitt romney can go die.


mitt romney can go die.

The Bible:

have you noticed the people who ask the questions to the republicans are on the whole a tad creepier than the ones who asked democratic debate questions? also, separation of church and state has clearly flown straight out the window. no one's even trying to pretend anymore.
oh and also, mitt romney can go die.


i feel like i'm starting to sound like a broken record, but...
john mccain actually gets points from me on this one. first of all for being against torture, and second of all for really bitch-slapping mitt romney. ouch. although after having watched mccain's answers to a couple of questions, i'm starting to suspect that he has PTSD. now i feel a little sorry for him. not sorry enough to elect him president, but sorry enough to suggest he seek help.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

ok FIRST of all, most of the army is conservative?!?!? yeah, maybe most of those kids who sit down with their families over breakfast and decide they want to serve their country are conservative. but most of the people in the army are not those kids. try poor black and latinos who didn't get an education and had to join the army if they ever wanted to be able to afford one. and i'm sorry, "conduct?!?" so you're saying its ok to be gay in the military, but don't run around all day having sex with anything that moves? oh wait, that doesn't actually happen? well now i'm just confused.
oh and mitt romney: guess what you can go do.

ok well now i'm just tired. so i'll sign off for now. but dear lord, people, i just have to say one last thing: at the rate this country is going downhill, i'm starting to doubt i'll make it to my 30th birthday. i'm seriously frightened. i'd been planning for some time to take off for canada when the going got tough, but now i'm realizing the going's so tough, i don't think canada is far enough. suggestions, please. i want to live.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

would an hour by any other number be as useful?

"The first and great necessity of the present to free labour of this country from capitalist slavery, is the passing of a law by which eight hours shall be the normal working day in all States of the American Union. We are resolved to put forth all our strength until this glorious result is achieved."
Okay. So first off I would like to say- thank you Labor Movement and political pioneers for ensuring that industrial workers had rights that not only included the right to benefits and unionization, but also the eight-hour work day. This was an excellent idea, and a most advantageous step forward for the regular people's cause. All that being said, I feel that an eight hour day in corporate settings is now all but complete bullshit.
While you might think that I am only just recently realizing/learning or feeling this because I know have a regular ole' 9 to 5 but no no no, I realized this back when I was just a lowly intern and S.A. I mean, how do people in a corporate environment usually spend their time? Let me break it down for you in the standard 9-5 work day.
9-9:30 Settle In. This includes turning on one's computer, checking e-mails (and by checking I mean only looking to see that they are of course there, not actually reading them), putting away jackets, coats, etc. and deciding whether or not you are hungry enough to go get something to eat.

9:30-9:40 Still just figuring it out. Are you really hungry? Well damn, it's almost ten, you really ought to get it together.

9:40-10:00 Settle down.. again. So this is the time where our hungry and/or thirsty workers would go grab a cup of coffee or bagel or yogurt or order something. If you are not eating? This time is probably spent saying hello to someone in the office, either someone passing by or someone that you sit within close proximity off. High-wall cubicles are at risk of a 30 minute "settle down again" as their work spaces contribute to people walking by and standing within the otherwise isolated cubicle for a more intimate, and thus longer talk.

10:00-11:45 Get Down On It. Good job, you are really being productive. Answering e-mails, setting up or attending meetings, calling internal and external partners. This is great, this is what working is all about!!!

11:45-12:00 So, is it time to eat again or what? These fifteen minutes are crucial to your stomach, because this is the time that you will decide whether or not you will eat soon. You will also probably use this time to call an office friend or gchat some potential lunch partners. Then you will need to also figure out where you are going. We really should have dedicated 20 minutes to this.

12:00-12:45 Work it Out. So you've decided to push lunch back to one. Good! Now you can productively use this extra hour! You continue to e-mail and call and do other corporate-like work things.

12:45-1:00 Let's Get Ready to Rumble. During this time you call or chat your lunch parter to make sure that they will be ready to go. You establish a meeting place and destination. You check your personal e-mail and then make sure you have your wallet/purse and get your coat if you need it. Getting together these items is essential, you are lucky you can fit this into fifteen minutes.

1:00-2:10 Lunch! The most glorious part of the day. You eat something delicious and have a conversation. Excellent.

2:10-2:20 Settling Some More. Now that you're back at your workspace you have to un-get-ready. That means put away your personal items, say some more hellos to people in your office and look to see if you have voicemails.

2:20-2:40 Voicemail tiiime. Listen and respond to these. This is a very necessary but very boring part of your day.

2:40-3:10 The Internet is Your Friend. Let's not lie to ourselves. You will probably use this time to check your favorite blogs, see who has new pictures on facebook, answer a couple g-mails and/or do something for one of your out-of-the-office ventures.

3:10-3:30 Time for a Snack! This time is used procuring a snack or beverage of some sort. You will run into someone you like along the way and have a conversation either at their desk or in front of the water cooler- proverbial or real.

3:30-4:30 Work work work. Good job, you are back at your desk ready to contribute. You are a rock star at this point and get a bunch of crap done.

4:30-4:40 Lullaby Baby. Okay I'm not going to lie, you don't really do anything during this time. At least you don't really complete anything.

4:40-4:50 Oh Crap! It's almost time to leave, you better do something!

4:50-5:00 Ahhhh. You get something done. Check! Look at your checklist- don't you feel acomplished?

5:00-5:05 Peace Up, A Town Down. Somehow you manage to get ready, say goodbye and get your things in 5 minutes. You peace out until tomorrow.
Okay, so after reading all this, and if my entry-level brethren are completely honest with me and themselves, you can see that during the work day you spend a good 25-30% doing absolutely nothing that contributes to your company's bottom-line. I bet some of you even spend more time than I put on that schedule doing things like checking facebook. Let's see what the actual breakdown was:
240 min. Working
115 min. "Getting Ready"
90 min. Eating
50 min. Personal Internet
Like really, word? The most crazy part? YOU WILL DO THIS AND GET EVERYTHING DONE THAT YOU NEED TO DO ON-TIME OR EVEN EARLY. And be really honest with yourselves and break down your day's work-to-not-work-but-really-crap ratio and see what you come up with. Clearly I cannot speak for my finance and banking people- but if you are honest I am sure that none of you spend 100% of your work day doing things other than working and eating. All this has led me to believe that the eight-hour work day in these sorts of environments has become both null and void and that we need to institute something new. Something daring. Something different. Something like...
Oh come on, like you didn't see that coming.
I mean really, I feel like 6 hours would be such a more useful structuring of our time. More time to rest at home so that you are productive at work, less time to dilly-dally around. When you have less time most people have a fire under their ass to do things. I feel like this set-up could potentially really increase productivity ALONG with workforce contentment.

How do you feel?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

today is trans day of remembrance

and our friends over at quench have started a conversation about what that means. I really encourage you to check it out. as always when one of these "days of remembrance" or "history months" rolls around, I'm reminded of how annoying it is that we can't remember EVERY day, or learn everyone's history in school. but trans day of remembrance is kind of special in that I think a lot of people don't even take this ONE day to think about it. so you've been educated - today is trans day of remembrance, and for me that means at the very least taking a moment to realize just how many people, and especially people of color, all over the world have been killed or otherwise victimized because they are transgender. so take that moment. and maybe look around the internet a little bit and learn some more about it.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

with inflation, what would 40 acres be today?

alright so first of all, i recognize that brittany (*cough cough*) and i have been a bit lax in updating. turns out a blog is a lot of work. life can get hectic. sorry. we'll do better.

but back to business: skimming through the "most emailed" section of the new york times, i was delighted to find out that skip gates has an article in the op-ed section. i had been going through severe withdrawal since graduation, and since i've been watching less tv, it seems like "finding oprah's roots" is on less and less too. i refuse to ever admit to "missing harvard," but if i DID miss something about harvard, it would definitely be the af-am department. so when i saw that dr. henry louis gates jr. had written an article called "40 acres and a gap in wealth," i was on it before you could say "doesn't he mean 'mule'?"

ANyways, harvard ramblings aside, i'm pointing it out on the blog for a few reasons:

1 - this way i dont have to email it to anyone, so its almost time-saving in a way
2 - i really needed to update the blog.

but more importantly, 3 - gates is pointing to something i think most of us know about, but for some reason hasn't made it into the canon of "things wrong with black america:" land ownership. the difference between owning property and not is huge, and gates is pointing out that this difference back in the day can be seen in the present (oprah's ancestors owned land. so did whoopi goldberg's). and of course people have all sorts of things to say about that. maybe if black people owned land they'd be more invested in their communities. maybe they'd be more upwardly mobile. etc. etc. the point is, it's clear that property ownership is a big step in the "right direction," and is a step that most black americans either haven't taken, or haven't been able to take.

so in the spirit of a) finding out how many people actually read this blog, and b) friendly conversation (or not-so-friendly argument. either way), i have a question to ask you:

so most people didn't get that 40 acres and a mule they were promised. those who did seem to be significantly better-off than those who didn't. so lets talk about reparations: how does the idea of straight-up land change the reparations debate? what if instead of getting a check, black people got some property? i'm not saying lets do this, because i think we all know it won't happen. but i am asking what you think.

Monday, November 12, 2007

you know how they say...

"guns don't kill people, people kill people?"

...people kill people WITH guns. its not rocket science.

cups don't drink water, people drink water.

that's all.

Friday, November 9, 2007

i'm making a list

i might not bother checking it twice. but the list of people who are "dead to me" just grows by the hour.

admittedly today's subject, sarah silverman, has been dead to me for quite some time. ever since i saw her feature-length special...what was it called again? oh yeah, "jesus is magic." anyways, that such a huge waste of life that i wrote her off forever. but lately i've been seeing her face on the train a lot, apparently because she has her own show. now answer me this: why would comedy central devote a whole show to sarah silverman? perhaps equally important, why would they then let her do a whole show in blackface?

yes, you heard right. sarah silverman is doing blackface now. you can check out a clip of it here (even though i hate giving her publicity), or click "older videos" on this list to find all of them.

so i shouldn't even have to say much more than that, but i will say just a couple things:

1 - blackface is never funny. people like sarah silverman and those who watch her show think "oh but dave chappelle did it that one time, so why can't i?" they clearly only watched the preview of chappelle's show, because any time blackface appears in the context of socially context black comedy or film, its not FUNNY. its uncomfortable, and its commentary. when spike lee made "bamboozled," i don't think he wanted you to laugh. when dave chappelle did "whiteface" on his show, he wanted you to think. sarah silverman doesn't even know HOW to think. which is how this show came into being, apparently.

2 - there is like, some kind of epidemic spreading of people doing ridiculous shit on tv and then claiming free speech, or that they didn't mean to offend, or blaming "pc culture" for making them the victim of some kind of "high-tech lynching" (thats right clarence, you get a shout-out). i don't really get that argument. like if you want free speech, take it. but if you say or do something hateful, "free speech" does not mean "no one can get mad." it means "you can't get arrested and thrown in jail for saying that." so congratulations, racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. etc. etc. people: you're not in jail. but your show still fucking sucks. and i'm not going to watch it, and also i hate you.

3 - on a personal level, sarah: you are not funny. ever. obviously this blackface thing wasn't funny, but also you are never funny. how did you get a show? like seriously. anyone who has ever seen her perform for more than like, 30 seconds can probably back me up on this: she must have learned in some class that "incongruous" is a small component of comedy, and then dropped out. so she says and does stupid shit and then looks at you like "isn't it funny that a small white jewish girl said that?" and you're like, "no..." and then she does it again. anyone on the planet could do a better job at comedy than sarah silverman just by getting drunk and standing on a table. she's ridiculous. she's dead to me. oh and sarah, in case you're reading this, in addition to the blackface, i also didn't think your immigrant jokes were funny, and i thought your rape jokes were in poor taste too.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

bye bye barack

you know, i wasn't even gonna post on this mainly because i'm lazy, but a recent trip to the comments section over on the field negro's post inspired me to have my (belated) say.

so you (hopefully) have heard already: Barack Obama fucked up big-time and booked "ex-gay" Donnie McClurkin to share the stage with him on his gospel tour. Needless to say, the gays got upset. among some of McClurkin's more memorable statements have been equating homosexuality to lying (its wrong, but some people just like to do it), and announcing a war between the gays, and the rest of "normal" america. i don't really want to go into the whole thing, so for your convenience i'll just go ahead and link to all the articles on this story over at pam's house blend. read from the bottom.

anyways, i have SEVERAL beefs i really just need to air and be done with it. so it's time for a good old-fashioned number-the-rage:

1. Obama: what the fuck? i mean i know you're not even that cool, and i never liked your face anyways, but this is a low even for mr "let's build a wall to keep the mexicans out." i mean not only did he book the guy, but when there was an outrage, he chose to stand by donnie "i used to be gay and now i'm not because its sinful, please don't interview my lover and blog about it because that would be awkward for me" mcclurkin.

did he expect NOT to lose the gay vote? and does he think he doesn't NEED the gay vote? like aside from being a shitty thing to do, it just seems straight up dumb. the amount of votes he might have gained by having a gospel tour cannot possibly be close to the amount he just lost for this fiasco. whoops.

2. Donnie: also what the fuck? first of all, don't embarrass yourself. you're claiming that you "quit the homosexual lifestyle" circa 2002, yet i just read an interview with a dude who claims to have been sharing your bed from 2001-2004? it just doesn't quite add up. also, i don't like you.

3. EVERYONE ON THE INTERNET: just shut the fuck up, really. i know, i know. don't read the comments on blogs, dont' read the comments on youtube. it will only make you mad. but guess what? i read them. and i'm mad. over on field negro's post, the conversation about obama and mcclurkin quickly did a downward spiral into various people arguing over whether homosexuality is a choice or not, whether boys who play with dolls are gay, how if gayness grosses you out that doesn't make you a homophobe, and of course how most lesbians are totally still attracted to men.

come. on. if you don't know what you're talking about, there's no need to write an essay about it and post it on the internet. just think what the internet would be like if before hitting "post comment" people stopped and said to themselves "i wonder if what i just wrote has any value at all?" and possibly "i wonder if anything in my life has made me knowledgeable on this subject, or whether i'm just talking out of my ass." ugh.

bottom line: if you're homophobic, and apparently most black people still are, maybe there's nothing i can do about that. but don't go bitching all over the internet that we shouldn't be so hard on obama. he, much like yourself, lost my respect a while back. i know black people continue to hold on to him and defend all the stupid-ass shit he does, but this is my announcement: i'm officially over it. obama sucks, and frankly i doubt he'll ever get a chance to prove that. but if by some miracle he does, don't say i didn't tell you so in 2009 when the supreme court cuts down roe v wade and affirmative action in one fell swoop, and obama shrugs his shoulders and goes back to building his wall.

Friday, November 2, 2007

popcorn now, genocide later

So, one of the cooler parts of working at a media corporation is that sometimes you get cool perks. Sometimes it's a heads up about a party, a cool artist is doing an afternoon performance in your building, sometimes it's that you see John Norris or Sway in the cafeteria, or discounts on Broadway tickets, or maybe that you get a discount on your phone bill (but let's be real, what company isn't giving those away?). Other times you get to see movies- they can be funny, smart, boring, but very rarely political. So when the opportunity came for me to see a *free* advanced screening of the Warner Independent film Darfur Now you know I couldn't pass it up.
For those of you who haven't heard of it- and I'm willing to bet that "people who haven't heard of this movie" makes up about 70% or more of the population- I'll go ahead and give a brief synopsis:
The documentary Darfur Now follows the effect that the genocidal conflict in Sudan has had on six people's lives as they try to affect change in what has been an almost 5-year strong (at least in violence) genocide that has devastated not only the lives of the people living in Darfur, but the land's resources. Pulling on Warner Brother's connections, the movie follows Ocean's 11-13 and Hotel Rwanda star Don Cheadle (and features a good bit of fine-ass George Clooney) in order to get some Hollywood type leverage with the public.
Things I liked about this movie: I feel like they do a pretty good job of giving historical context to the genocide at the beginning of the movie with facts and dates. Most people (read: regular Americans) are just getting up to speed on the fact that something is even happening in Darfur, and of that small percentage of the American population, even less are likely to sit down and dutifully research (read: go on Wikipedia) the history of the conflict. I mean I'll admit, I was one of these people at first, so I can't even act like I'm above that. So yeah, this was definitely a plus for the movie. I also liked that the movie showcased change and action rather than depression and trauma- it is a film that is about moving you to do something other than just feel sad.
While I liked all that about the movie, I will say that this being a production of Time Warner (Warner Independent, we know you are owned by something bigger.. psh) probably made it more likely than not that this was a little watered down. I mean, I can't be mad- if you want to get a message across to people here you have to package it in a certain way. Unfortunately, while making a genocide cinematically appealing (have a good plot line, characters with whom the audience can engage and a visible villain that all can unify against) can really draw in people emotionally and intimately connect them with a theme, it also runs the risk of fictionalizing not only the event in question but the people living in and through it. Once you connect to and internalize a person's struggle through a movie based on real life, I feel like people are apt to illegitmately assume that they understand that person's struggle when really they don't. And when you feel like you understand something you feel like you are living through it. And if you're living through it okay, what's the rush on changing things?
So yeah. I mean, all in all it was a good movie. It gets wide release today, so I encourage those of you who have a local theater where it is playing, and have an extra $20 to spare (I threw some concession $$ in there for you- y'all know I got your backs ;) to go and check it out. It's worth it.
SIDENOTE: The saddest moments of the movie? When the Black Sudanese hoped for help, and encouraged fellow displaced persons that "The white people will come soon, they will bring troops and save us."