Thursday, October 25, 2007

just had to post it...

i don't even really have anything to say about this. except the obvious: don't have sex with people and then deny you did it. it takes two to pretend like nothing happened.

exclusive: "i had sex with larry craig"

well isn't this typical

I mean come on, it's not like you weren't expecting it:

James Watson Retires After Racial Remarks
James D. Watson, the eminent biologist who ignited an
uproar last week with remarks about the intelligence of people of African
descent, retired today as chancellor of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on
Long Island and from its board.
In a statement, he noted that, at 79, he
“overdue” to surrender leadership positions at the lab, which he joined
director in 1968 and served as president until 2003. But he said the
circumstances of his resignation “are not those which I could ever have
anticipated or desired.”
Story Source:
You know, people just run their mouths all crazy nowadays. I'd feel more of a sense of justice being served if it weren't for the fact that he'll just comfortably settle back on all of the investments and just made-it-nesses that he's got going on in his life.
What a prick.

More substantial (but not political lol) post coming up soon. Just you wait.

Monday, October 22, 2007

most internet people are idiots.

That is all. I'm going to go read a book so that my head won't hurt as much right now.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

entitlement in U.S. reaches all-time high

I don't usually make it to the "fashion and style" section of the new york times, shockingly enough, but today i was directed there by a friend. specifically, i was directed to the "modern love" article today: a terribly-written little essay by a girl named Alexis Wolff, entitled "Too Bad for Me That She Was So Well-Loved."

I'd really recommend that you read the article to get the full effect, but just in case you don't want to/don't have time, here's the quick summary: this girl (Alexis Wolff, henceforth known as ms wolff or possibly the big bad wolff) spent a semester abroad in Niger. there, she fell in love (modern love) with a little 2 year old child, despite the child's rotting teeth and oversized features (features which reminded her of underprivileged children she's worked with right here in the us!). not speaking the language (because studying abroad in west africa is fun even when you have no idea what the fuck anyone is saying to you), she chose to hang out with this two year old and her shockingly young grandmother instead of getting to know some people her own age. now comes the bad news: she had to leave Niger and return to her life of privilege in the united states. and all she wanted was to just be able to take that child with her. its too bad she's not one of those orphaned kids you see on the news all the time, because then it would be easy and totally unproblematic for ms wolff to just take her. but alas (and now, she takes a quick little side-trip to remember her terrible childhood of a wealthy but dysfunctional family. tears well in my eyes as i read about her father's drug problem, which made even her pony-filled birthdays somehow less perfect) alas, the young child has a family who loves her. and ms wolff can't "just have her." she has to go home emptyhanded.

i could go on, but it would just be embarrassing for poor ms wolff. she sees no problem, apparently, with announcing in a national forum her horrifying amount of privilege and entitlement. sees no problem with the racialized words she uses to describe the people she met in Niger. apparently doesn't even see a problem with wanting to have a black baby of her own. too bad for her slavery is over. and luckily for that baby, and every other baby, there are some rules about adoption.

now according to the times, Alexis Wolff lives in New York, New York. I happen to be a member of that facebook network, so in the spirit of investigative journalism, i searched her name and found an unrestricted profile. there i learned that young ms. wolff attended Yale undergrad and Columbia to get an MFA in nonfiction writing. some cross-reference with my former roommate who is now getting an MFA confirmed that columbia offers no funding, so apparently her family's hearbreaking dysfunction did not extend to denying her limitless funds to pursue her educational dreams. and apparently columbia's MFA program is not all its cracked up to be.

what really made me sad, though, was not that someone could think that this article was good (more than someone, as evidenced by all the praise she's receiving on her facebook wall). i mean i think we all know there are plenty of fucked up people in this country who think that they're liberals because they're not scared to go to africa. what bothered me most was that this was published in the new york times. i kind of hoped when i graduated harvard that i'd finally be free of the kind of culture where complete ignorance is rewarded and praised. but the sad realization i've been coming to is that the real world is actually just one big harvard.

if that's not enough to depress you, i don't know what is.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

yet another gay celeb...

oh wait, he's not actually real. still, apparently dumbledore is gay. which i find to be quaint. i was going to let brittany post this since i know she loves harry potter more than i do, but this way it'll be a fun surprise for her too. plus i think she is still out of town.

apparently some fan asked Rowling if Dumbledore "ever finds true love," and she responds "Dumbledore is gay." which in retrospect, i find to be a tad odd because it in no way answers the question. but i'm guessing he doesn't, since she never mentioned that he had. which is really too bad, because he was pretty cool.

update: a quote from one of the books, pointed out to me by sara -

Veelas have no effect on me whatsoever. Curious, that."
- Albus Dumbledore

Friday, October 19, 2007

someone really put a lot of work into this...

which is cool, because it entertained me for a solid 15 minutes at least. and i have a short attention span.

what if conservatives had their very own facebook?

i would totally be ann coulter's facebook friend. and i would write things on her graffiti wall.

Monday, October 15, 2007

the tale of al snore and his wildly undeserved fame

i wanted to write this a few days ago but i got lazy, so we'll all just have to deal with that. here's the thing: Al Gore just won the nobel peace prize. or half of it, technically, i guess. congratulations and all that, but come ON. are we serious? i really honestly would like someone to explain to me what exactly al gore has done that deserves any kind of prize at all, yet somehow he's managed to scoop up an oscar AND a nobel prize. did anyone besides me even SEE his movie? wait, did i say movie? i meant power point presentation. and it looked like he used one of the pre-made templates for it. talk about a big payoff for something that probably took him 2 hours to make.

here's the thing: it seems like all the conservatives are all pissed about al gore winning the nobel prize, and as a result all the liberals are rushing to his defense and congratulating him. perchance could this be yet another example of liberal political thought in this country being nothing more than a reaction to conservative thought? i mean i don't like ann coulter any more than the next person (that's a lie, i'm kind of amused by her), but that doesn't mean i'm going to eat shit just because she says she finds it disgusting. i'm here to say it once and for all: Al Gore's movie was the worst fucking movie i've ever watched, and I think america should be embarrassed that it's gotten as much publicity as it has.

now i'm in no way trying to say that the issues themselves aren't important. global warming is a HUGE issue, and i bet there are tons of people right now who actually spend their lives working on environmental issues that legitimately deserve a nobel prize. but al gore did not get a nobel prize for helping the environment. he got a nobel prize for helping make global warming a sexy issue. and he made it sexy by being already famous, because apparently americans are too stupid to pay attention to an issue if it doesn't have a famous face attached to it. i mean i get it. if he hadn't made "an inconvenient truth," maybe no one would have watched any of the actual movies about the environment, and maybe the oscars wouldn't have 'gone green' this year and blah blah blah. but if you can get a nobel prize just for having a memorable face, i think michael jackson got robbed. twice.

i guess at the end of the day, it boils down to two main things that are really pissing me off:

1) that it took almost-president al gore making a shitty movie and hiring some really REALLY good PR reps for people in this country to even notice the damage we're doing to the environment, and chances are people will forget about it as soon as celebrities stop talking about it and we'll all drown in the next hurricane

and 2) that people who have probably spent their whole lives working towards an oscar or working towards a nobel prize got robbed this year by a dopey-looking dude who can't even make a halfway decent power point presentation. i mean seriously. if your documentary had been nominated for an oscar this year, how would YOU be feeling right now? al gore is sitting there with his on some shelf in his house thinking "oh that old thing? i had my assistant make that movie on his lunch break."


Sunday, October 14, 2007

madame president

i have to say - i wasn't planning on going to Drew Faust's installation this past week, but I'm glad I ended up there. in my experience Harvard University is not the most enjoyable place as a minority or as a woman, but i actually felt a little bubbling of optimism inside me as i stood in the rain and watched Harvard's first female president in 371 years accept the responsibility that comes with that heavy load. i think you may know by now that i'm not one for optimism, but what can i say? i think i have a bit of a crush.

President Faust really went all out making sure her installation was focused less on tradition and more on positive change. all of the food and materials for her installation weekend were locally made and grown. she requested that her procession be led in by the pan-african dance troupe. she invited all of her teachers from elementary school on to be a part of the "president's division" at the ceremonies, because each of them helped her get where she is today. i mean seriously. what DIDN'T she think of? she's fabulous.

her speech was also clearly well thought-out. she challenged criticisms of higher education today: "Those who long for a lost golden age of higher education," she pointed out, "should think about the very limited population that alleged utopia actually served." she was humble but inspiring. and she ended on a humorous note:
"Last week I was given a brown manila envelope that had been entrusted to the University Archives in 1951 by James B. Conant, Harvard’s 23rd president. He left instructions that it should be opened by the Harvard president at the outset of the next century “and not before.” I broke the seal on this mysterious package to find a remarkable letter from my predecessor. It was addressed to 'My dear Sir.'"
my point: for once i'm not feeling particularly rageful. i think the coming years will bring improvements at Harvard, especially for those of us who felt less than welcome under the slightly less inspirational figure of Lawrence H. Summers.

My dear Madame, welcome to Harvard.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

is ann coulter an idiot?

Short answer yes. Long answer yessss?
Click this link to read Coulter's latest comments, these happen to be about the Jews, and how they can perfect themselves. A few choice quotes below:

Asked by CNBC host Donny Deutsch what the U.S. looks like in her dreams, Coulter said it would look like the Republican National Convention in 2004
"People were happy,” she said, according to a transcript provided to CNN by CNBC. “They're Christian. They're tolerant. They defend America."
When Deutsch responded, "It would be better if we were all Christian?" Coulter said "Yeah."

You know, part of me wonders whether or not it's all some big joke. Like one day she'll reach up into her scalp and pull down a zipper, and Samuel L. Jackson will pop out and scream "YES THEY DESERVED TO DIE, AND I HOPE THEY BURN IN HELL! BUY MY BEER! I'M SAM JACKSON!"

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Okay so first of all, if you couldn't tell, I'm at work, which means that this point will be short and probably not that juicy. But you know, I felt compelled to make a little entry. And p.s. this won't be like about politics or gender or race or society, but just about the crazy culture that is post-grad living in the city.

So as most of you know or have probably surmised from all of these posts and the things I tend to write about, I am a newly graduated young woman living in the Big Ole' City for the first time. What you may not have known is that apartment living is rough and I have been living on an air mattress and out of a suitcase for the past month. But no more, I say! Well, at least to the suitcase (the air mattress is here until I get together those thousands of dollars that places charge for decent mattresses!) because this past weekend I made a trip to- da da da daaaa-
Yes yes, cheers, jeers and deers, everyone
Okay so if you're post-20 years old and don't know what Ikea is, then please crawl from under that rock, wipe the crap out of your eyes and clean your ears. I mean really, it's time to catch up with the times. Ikea is a wonderland for all new graduates and starting-anews, an emporium of well designed furniture at highly competitive prices.
Translation? A warehouse of trendy particle board in boxes that you have to assemble yourself.
So making it to Ikea was one story (word of advice: if your directions say to take the Upper Level of the GW Bridge- do not take the Lower Level- this would be classified as a bad choice and can lead you to frantically screaming "WHERE ARE WE" while driving somewhere in Jersey with shallow pools of dank water and ominous crowds of geese flying everywhere) but once we got there it was all gravy.
I mean, the people at Ikea know what they're doing. Do a little glitz and glam with the blue and yellow thing (and you probably thought that our designing skills at afropologë had no rhyme or reason. Yeah suckas, showed you, didn't we??), make re-creations of amazing rooms furnished entirely with their crap so that you "ooh" and "ahh!" and try all of the features (okay so I swirled a couple lazy suzans and lifted up the secret-storage bed, don't judge me!) and you can reel in the masses.
What you don't realize until later- when you're hauling that 60 pounds of wood "finish" and pressed wood chips up to your fifth floor walk-up, stopping every floor to break for air with tiny dogs barking at you through doors and bachata coming loudly from somewhere- is that you have to put this crap together, and that even though they say that it's easy unless you have power tools it's a ridiculous task to undertake.
So I finally get the crap up to the apartment, get it out to put it together, open the instructions and.. THOSE CRAPS WEREN'T IN ENGLISH.
Not only were they not in English, but they weren't in any other language, either! Just pictures of an oddly-shaped smiley-faced dude putting together things, with arrows and angles and pictures that left way more to the imagination than I would have liked. It's like okay I get it- you're an international company with branches all over the globe, printing out a billion different instructions with languages suited to a particular country could be a pain. But I'll be damned if figuring out how to put that crap together wasn't like reading hieroglyphs.
The moral of the story? When within the realm of my affordability, buy quality furniture. Additonally, pay someone else to move it in and set it up.
P.S. Doesn't Lazy Suzan sound like something dirty? Like the town ho who brings a little chair to her corner so the bottoms of her feet don't get sore? Yeah, I thought so, too.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

"my grandfather's son" or "how i sold my soul for a chance at the big time"

i don't even know where to begin. but it just really seemed like time i stepped up and let the world know how much hatred i have for clarence thomas. i mean seriously. compared to this guy, condi seems like kind of a sweet, pretty girl with normal teeth.

so you've probably heard he has this new book out, and maybe if you have a tv, you've even seen some of his interviews or something. just in case you haven't, this'll get you started...

ok so seriously though. i watched the whole interview, and i know 60 minutes thought that it would prove clarence thomas is "not the man i thought he was," or at least it kept saying that, but i'm confused about where they got that idea from. what did they think people thought of him? that he was some kind of raving lunatic or neo-nazi? obviously he has to have some semblance of sanity to be on the supreme court. but nothing he said in that interview gained him the slightest bit of respect in my eyes. if anything, i think less of him than i did before. and let's face it: i didn't really think that was even possible. here are just a couple of my responses to some of the ridiculous shit that came out of that man's mouth:

1) when asked how much of his life was determined by being black, he responded, "how much of your life is determined by being a man?" - um, try a lot, idiot. he then compares that to being 5' 8'' as if there is no difference in this society between the importance of someone's height and the importance of their gender or race. and you expect me to believe that he's NOT enough of a sexist to have done those things anita hill said? please.

2) when asked, "so you think of yourself as a black man?" he replied, "i'm a man." i'm sorry, but that sounds a lot to me like you DO have some issues with your own race. its hard for me to believe all this shit about "i'm not an uncle tom" and "i do care about black people" when you can't even force yourself on television to utter the words "i am a black man." and they claim he read james baldwin in college? must not have understood it.

3) he claims that his yale degree was worth 15 cents because he couldnt get a job. how poetic. except for the part where he got a job working for a yale grad. whoops. i guess what he meant was "i'm a huge fat liar in more ways than one."

4) when george bush interviewed him about his nomination, he looked him "dead in the eye" and told him "i will never criticize any decision you make?!?" i mean i believe it, but i fail to see where that's a good thing. pretty much every decision he's made has been horrible. so criticizing horrible decisions is a bad thing why? oh right. neo-conservative politics feeds on solidarity, lies, and the exploitation of those less fortunate than uncle thomas.

5) did anyone else notice that he mentioned that the whole anita hill thing set a precedent for "things like this" harming president clinton in the future? ok now i'm no genius, but president clinton DID have sexual relations with that woman, right? now i'm not saying i approve of how much of a deal the media made of the whole clinton-lewinsky fiasco, but the reason clinton got in trouble is he eventually admitted he was lying. i guess clarence thomas is a little smarter than bill clinton after all. america doesn't care what you did, it only cares that you continue to deny it for as long as you're a part of the government.

6) and this will be my last point, i swear, but how much did he pay them to do this 60 minutes special? he basically calls anita hill a lying bitch on television and they don't even give her a chance to respond. in fact the only negative portrayal of justice thomas in the entire piece is an old CLIP of jessie jackson, who i'm sure also wasn't contacted. like seriously? fair and balanced press? no? ok just checking.

ugh. i'm just...ugh. i know i just wrote a whole lot (what can i say, i ramble when i'm angry) but if you have it in you, i'd really recommend that you read frank rich's op-ed in the new york times. i think he brings up a lot of the points i failed to make.

oh, and just a side note, am i supposed to find it ENDEARING that he sometimes parks his gigantic gas-guzzling mobile home in the walmart parking lot? that sounds like something satan himself would find fun if he ever took a vacation here on earth. wal mart? seriously?

when thomas's grandfather said "don't shame me, don't shame the race," i can't help but think that this wasn't exactly what he had in mind.

eminent post!

So first off, I know that this was a long time coming and I apologize for that- mostly to Kaya (by the way have you seen the previews for that "Kaya" show on MTV? Weirded out) since she's had to hold down the fort in my absence. And for you little internet surfers, well I suppose I could be sorry for you, too, but you know you probably didn't even notice. And if you did and were angry then you should send me a cookie for motivation. Oooh or a cake! Delicious.
Anyway, as time has gone by I've become ore accustomed to a New York state of, well, living and have not only gotten used to my neighborhood (yeah, emphasis on the hood) but have actually started to like it and get used to the heavy skew toward an almost completely minority-filled population (good luck if you not only can't speak Spanish but can't understand Spanish accents). Interestingly enough, though, just as I've started to get use to it all, I've noticed little variations to the pattern. For example: as I was walking up about 3 blocks with my giant blue Ikea bag full of my laundry and quarters (and my hair tied up in a scarf, what what, keep it real y'all) I noticed about 2-4 sets of white people. So okay, each set was about one or two people and none of them had a little fluffy dog, but even so they didn't look like they were white Latinos, and they definitely looked a little out of place- and that's to me and I am from Ohio and went to an Ivy League school.
And it just made me think about gentrification as a whole and how it affects places all over the country, but how its effects seem to be so much more noticeable in a tightly packed city like NYC. Especially when, on your train ride to work, you always see a big sign (in both English and Spanish, mind you) that says:
Yeah, Columbia, that big Ivy Leaguer just south of Harlem that, like Harvard, is trying to push its way into a local community. Even though Columbia didn't seek the bitches way out by going the Eminent Domain route (which could've been done not only in consideration for the residents but to oil the university's PR machine) the fact of the matter is it is still expanding (up to about 133rd street, I think) and people are still being "pushed out." I mean, there are some (and at times I can even be one of them) that argue that Eminent Domain exists for a reason- that it is a community's right to be able to expand, develop and improve itself for the good of all its citizens, even if that good requires that some private property is taken away from people who have been living in it for generations or months. On the other hand it's quite obvious that just up and kicking people out of their homes without their consent (and oftentimes without much means to find at least equal quality housing) is more than just a little fucked up. What about the people that don't have money saved up to pay first and last month's? What about the people who will now have their one hour commute turned into a 2.5 hour commute because they had to move into the Bronx or somewhere even more far than not-even-Harlem-because-it's-so-uptown?
The fact of the matter is, gentrification does do a lot of good- I mean look at lots of lower Harlem and Morningside Heights- thriving businesses, safer streets, cute cafes and little fluffy puppies, and seriously the expansion of a school and its research facilities will in the end provide a greater good than some abandoned buildings and a few hair salons (yeah, and the apartments above them). But I think the questions that we have to consider don't just involve the benefit of this sort of expansion, but the detriment.
Yes, people get kicked out, but where do they go? Because crime is lessened in one area, is that indicative of crime decreasing as a whole, or has it just set up shop somewhere else? I mean if you already live in a rough neighborhood you know your area, know people, have roots so it's not as bad as if you just plopped down in the middle of some projects from some other city. But if you're kicked out of the shitty area that you were at least used to and forced to find some other place to live (which according to your budget is still probably going to be pretty shitty) then what the fuck are you supposed to do when you move into a new hood that is even more dangerous because you don't know anybody?
Even though I am a big part of the gentrification of Harlem and gentrification as a whole myself (yeah, I'm real with myself) I think that there is still a big problem in the fact that for some reason the State and communities don't find value in trying to improve communities and areas by attacking tough issues like poverty, unemployment and education systems, but instead by treating the people who live in areas infected with these problems like roaches that have to be cleared out to make way for more suitable residents.
But I guess Americans turning a blind eye to the helpless severely in need of aid is nothing new.. and don't even get me started on that.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

wait 'til next year...

when i was working at wrigley field this summer, we had a pin that i always wanted but didn't remember to actually buy. It was just the cubs logo, and underneath it said "if it takes forever."


Monday, October 1, 2007

genda discrimination

ok so with all the hullabaloo going on around ENDA, it seem like high time i say something.

i HATE when you read a blog and it assumes you know the background on something, because then when you don't, you feel like an idiot. SO, here's the deal:

the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) prohibits discrimination in the work place based on sexual orientation or gender identity. pretty simple, right? oh so very wrong. so basically what's happening is after a lot of debate, the act is being revised to NOT include gender identity. the ever-popular Human Rights Campaign seems to be o.k. with this, while many other LGBT groups are outraged. Barney Frank (D-Mass-gay), one of the congressmembers who introduced the bill originally, is apparently in favor of dropping trans-inclusion to give the bill a better chance of passing.

so why am i writing about this?

well here are a few of the things that piss me off about this whole affair:

1. a lot of people don't even know about it. solution: write about it in this blog, and then like, ten people will know. good start. good hustle.

2. why do people think its ok to make compromises like this? i mean at this point in history i think its a little embarassing. the first time it happened, in like, 1 BC, i guess it was alright for people to be like "lets fuck over this minority within a minority so some of us can get our rights." when we got up to the civil rights movement and it happened all over again to women and gay people, it was irritating. and got us nowhere. now, its just sad. if you can't learn from history, what makes you qualified to govern the present? you're fired.

3. why are people so terrified of anti-discrimination? like...its NOT discrimination. that should be a good thing. i'm confused about who all these people are who NEED to discriminate against transgendered people. like thats not ok. and when you think about how many transgender people make far less than they need to survive (over 60%, it turns out) its sort of criminal NOT to have protections. like, you need money to survive around here. and you need a job to have money. its not rocket science.

4. (and i defer to pam on this one, because she knows more about it than i do) apparently bush is going to veto this regardless. so why the fuck would you deny a group of people the right to even be CONSIDERED for civil rights? like its bad enough that there are no protections for trans people right now. what they're trying to say here is that even though there is little to no chance that they'll be getting rights any time soon, we don't even want to talk about it? that is SUPER fucked up. and again, a tad embarrassing, wouldn't you say?

ok those are my few cents. come on, people. get it together.

update: apparently gender identity is NOT going to be dropped from the bill. or hopefully. or something. the thing about news is, it keeps getting updated.