Saturday, July 18, 2009

Boom ... goes Dougherty

Ladies and gentlemen, the next Champ Kind:

Mostly seriously, this is a good friend of mine from high school and he's in the market for something a little better and a lot bigger. He comes highly recommended by none other than Texas Tech football coach and part-time weirdo, Mike Leach.

Believe that Leach knows talent when he sees it. Or does he?

But because I don't like to see white people wasting taxpayer money, I want to see him working in front of the camera again sometime soon. Drew Dougherty is kind of a big deal. Continue Reading »

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Sotomayor hearing, with pictures

Oliver Willis pretty much nails this one. Continue Reading »

No more of "no more excuses"

Sometimes, I really hate it when I'm right. But every now and again - and against tremendous odds - it happens.

Last evening, in the middle of President Obama's mostly inspiring address to the NAACP for its centennial celebration, I made a prediction about the next day's headlines.

I even went through the trouble of posting it in the status line of my Facebook account at 7:50 p.m. eastern:
(Blackink) can already see the headlines tomorrow: Obama to blacks "No excuses." Sigh.
So, how did I do?

New York Times: Obama Tells Fellow Blacks: ‘No Excuses’ for Any Failure.’
Reuters (by way of Yahoo): Obama has tough-love message for African-Americans.
BBC: Obama urges "new black mindset."
Fox News: Obama Tells Blacks 'No Excuses at NAACP'
New York Post: School the New Cool. O to parents: It's Not Just About Rap.

But to the credit of several other news organizations, they went in another direction.

AP: Obama tells NAACP more yet to do on civil rights.
CNN: Obama to NAACP: Progress made but still much to accomplish.
Politico: President Obama: Discrimination still felt.
Washington Post: Obama Speaks of Blacks' Struggle.

Now far be it from me to tell another reporter which direction to go with their story. I also know that often you serve/report/write at the leisure of your editors, which basically means that you have to give your bosses what they want. And, finally, writers often have nothing to do with the headlines that accompany their stories.

But all that acknowledged and said, I'm mighty tired of those reporters who lean on the "tough love" meme as if Obama and Bill Cosby are the first black men to notice that maybe teh Negroes ought to take responsibility for their own situations.

It's not original, and most of all, it's complete bullshit. This is not the fault of Obama. This is the fault of really lazy reporters and editors. And people who don't know other black people.

You would be better off reading the text of the speech yourself. TNC has more about this here. Continue Reading »

So much for secession

Now that Texas Gov. Rick Perry needs some money. I hope the stimulus funds come in handy for his successor.

And when the ass-clown is voted out of office, we should throw a tea party to celebrate. Continue Reading »


Figures that I would forget. I started this whole little online operation on a whim, a year and four days ago.

But it's enriched me in ways that I can't quite explain coherently at the moment. But most importantly, False Hustle has extended my circle of friends and acquaintances and challenged me to read and think more than ever before in my life.

If that's all that ever comes of this, that's plenty. So thank you all for sharing in this ongoing experiment. I think the next year will be an interesting one indeed.

In the meantime, it's a celebration bitches! Today is a special day. Not just any day:

Post-script: Probably, "Anniversary" is in the list of my 20 favorite songs. There's never a bad time to play it. Continue Reading »

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Another reason to hate baseball

National Review's Andy McCarthy:
Put aside the unacknowledged booing for a moment. The other embarrassing fact is that my six-year-old throws a baseball better (far better, in fact) than Obama. Yet the media went out of its way to obscure that, too — no doubt wishing to avoid unfavorable comparisons to the strike President Bush famously fired from the mound at Yankee Stadium at the 2001 World Series. In its live broadcast, Fox (and remember, this is Fox Sports, not Fox News) covered Obama’s first pitch at a very weird angle that conveyed his spastic motion but didn’t do justice to how pathetic the toss was. But that’s nothing compared to ESPN’s laughable coverage. Here’s the clip. Besides reporting only that there was a “standing ovation for the commander-in chief,” the announcer made a point of noting that Obama’s pitch “didn’t bounce” before reaching home-plate (though the announcer did cop to the “horrible camera work that made the trajectory of the pitch impossible to see).
Also, he also sucks at bowling. What a bitch.

Anyway, John Cole has a reminder and a suggestion for McCarthy and his strong-armed crew (I suppose they're all righties) at NRO:

In fact, the “average” joe doesn’t even play baseball anymore. Hell, the average person doesn’t even watch baseball anymore. The average person didn’t even watch the All Start game his year, with ratings falling again to only around 15 million viewers.

So not only are these wingnuts extrapolating from a baseball pitch all sorts of perceptions of ability to be a leader and general machismo, but they are using flawed assumptions as the basis of their mythology.

McCarthy is welcome to prove me wrong. He and other known athletes like Jonah Goldberg, John Derbyshire, Mark Steyn, Mark Levin, Mark Hemingway, Jim Geraghty, and the rest of the manly man line-up at NRO can post a youtube of themselves throwing a strike from a MLB mound on youtube over the weekend. I assume they’ll be able to do that, because like every other Joe Lunchpail out there, they will no doubt be spending the weekend playing baseball. Just like every other average American.

And then when they are done, I’d like to see their three-point shot.

Yeah, let's leave baseball to all those macho men. I can't wait until the real American pastime gets started in a couple weeks. Continue Reading »

Question of the Day

Via BooMan:
Isn't it time we all get really serious about convincing MSNBC that Pat Buchanan is unacceptably racist?
It's actually past time. Continue Reading »

Memory Lane, part 2

Forget Jay-Z, Nas or KRS-One. Don't even talk about 50 Cent. No question, Clubber Lang was the greatest diss artist of my lifetime:

Hard words, from a hard man. But Clubber knows he was lying about Adrien being pretty. Continue Reading »

Memory Lane

If David Gates at Newsweek was right about Michael Jackson truly loathing his blackness, it's only because Eddie Murphy once showed us all how good life could be on the other side:

Being a race traitor has its benefits. How else do you think Alan Keyes makes his money? Continue Reading »

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What's playing in my deck

100 percent diss in honor of the wildly emotional response The Game to had to a fairly innocuous verse from Jay-Z.

I won't even bother pretending this is a comprehensive list of the best hip-hop diss tracks, nor will I attempt to place them in any sort of order of preference. I love all that hate equally.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go to work and put some water in Buck Nasty's mama's dish. Good morning (/Silky Johnson'd):

1. 2nd Round KO by Canibus. If the only real accomplishment of Canibus' short-lived rap career is taking an overly sensitive LL Cool J to task, then it was worth it. But actually, he remains one of the best mixtape MCs of my lifetime. He also gets bonus points for putting Mike Tyson on the track and in the video.

2. The Bitch in Yoo by Common. Some really unexpected heat against Ice Cube, who at the time was one of the giants of the game. Common was full of venom, starting off the song by calling Cube a "bitch nigga."

3. No Vaseline by Ice Cube. Pretty much, Ice Cube made it hard to take anyone from NWA seriously for quite awhile. Dre eventually recovered once he went solo but Eazy was never the same. What made the song so devastating is that, pretty much, Cube was right about all of it.

4. The Takeover by Jay-Z. Lots of people say he lost that beef with Nas. Nah, not to me. Some of that is because Kanye's track was so much better than what Nas was working with for "Ether."

5. The Bridge is Over by Boogie Down Productions. Not much to say about this one. This is pretty much the blueprint for diss tracks. A bonafide hip-hop classic. Biddy-bye-bye!

Honorable mentions: Ether by Nas, I already mentioned this above. It was helluva effort but I was never all that impressed with the track (it really hurts me to write that); Hit Em Up by Tupac, At this point, I was pretty much convinced that Tupac had lost his mind. I read somewhere once before that it sounded like a kid going through a temper tantrum. That sounds about right; 200 Bars and Runnin' by The Game; Dollarz and Sense by DJ Quik; F--k Wit Dre Day by Dr. Dre; and I'm an Animal by Jadakiss. Continue Reading »

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Deep Thought

If anyone would understand the struggle of transcending their personal sympathies and prejudices, it would certainly have to be one-time KKK sympathizer Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama. Continue Reading »

Game Theory

Maybe you have heard that rappers Jay-Z and The Game are involved in a dispute of sorts. Maybe you have heard that The Game said some rather unkind things about Jay-Z's pop star wife, Beyonce. And maybe, over the years, you have grown weary of hearing about any and all hip-hop beefs.

But have you thought about the implications of a response from Jay-Z, the so-called "closest thing to a hegemon which the rap world has known for a long time," in terms of an international relations perspective?

Mark Lynch at Foreign Policy* has:

But the limits on his ability to use this power recalls the debates about U.S. primacy. Should he use this power to its fullest extent, as neo-conservatives would advise, imposing his will to reshape the world, forcing others to adapt to his values and leadership? Or should he fear a backlash against the unilateral use of power, as realists such as my colleague Steve Walt or liberals such as John Ikenberry would warn, and instead exercise self-restraint?

The changes in Jay-Z's approach over the years suggest that he recognizes the realist and liberal logic ... but is sorely tempted by the neo-conservative impulse. Back when he was younger, Jay-Z was a merciless, ruthless killer in the "beefs" which define hip hop politics. He never would have gotten to the top without that. But since then he's changed his style and has instead largely chosen to stand above the fray. As Jay-Z got older and more powerful, the marginal benefits of such battles declined and the costs increased even as the number of would-be rivals escalated. Just as the U.S. attracts resentment and rhetorical anti-Americanism simply by virtue of being on top, so did Jay-Z attract a disproportionate number of attackers. "I got beefs with like a hundred children" he bragged/complained on one track.

Actually, Jay-Z sort of addressed how he might handle conflicts with lesser talents in the future. Let's refer back to "Dig A Hole" from his forgettable comeback album, Kingdom Come:
You let that man hype you to go against your idol/Knowing good and goddamn well this what I do/Think I'm in the office, I lost my grind/That's how kids become orphans, you lost your mind?/I keep my enemies close/I give 'em enough rope/They put themselves in the air/I just kick away the chair ...

... Hov gon' get you, I ain't forget your little disrespect/No Hov, daddy gone spank your for that shit you said/It's hard to do, when you got nothing to prove/Everbody know you better, you in a lose lose/Even if you win, ultimately you lose/Real niggas like, "why Hov talkin to dude?"

Of course, Jay was talking to former Roc-A-Fella mates Damon Dash and Cam'ron. However, The Game fits neatly into that narrative.

The important exception: no one has ever attacked Jay, or Beyonce for that matter, in this way. Cam'ron, the one rapper who seemed best suited for that style of fight, broached the subject of Beyonce in one forgettable Jay-Z diss track - "You Gotta Love It" - but backed off in the end. Even Nas didn't resort to that line of attack in "Ether."

That's what makes this beef all the more different. Sometimes, self-restraint doesn't go quite far enough. And any dude - myself included - who has had to defend the honor of his girlfriend or wife in front of a crowd knows all about the dilemma facing Jay-Z.

Noted foreign policy expert and hip-hop scholar Matt Yglesias explains:
One thing worth noting is that even when restraint can be identified as the best strategy, it’s often emotionally difficult to choose this path. When someone comes after you, you get angry. You want to respond in an intelligent and effective manner, yes, but there’s also a desire to do something that will make you feel better. And lashing out as per the Ledeen Doctrine (”Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business”) often can achieve that goal. And of course there’s a risk that members of Jay-Z’s camp who urge a policy of restraint will be accused of actively harboring pro-Game sympathies or otherwise failing to manifest a sufficient degree of loyalty.
This seems true. It's one thing to call Jay old, say his skills are eroding or to ridicule him for wearing sandals and jeans. But it's quite another to imply his wife regularly had sex with, say, Bruce Bowen, Dikembe Mutombo and Erick Dampier.

That would make me, were I her husband, righteously pissed. Not that he would dare to detail her possible sexual exploits with other men, specifically a number of NBA players. But that he would punctuate those claims by saying, and I quote, "I mean my b--h dont slang p---y like that." (Certainly, you all can fill in the blanks)

And as obtuse and temperamental as The Game might be, he is certainly a capable challenger if we learned anything from his long-running feud with 50 Cent and G-Unit. He might seem a tempting target for Jay-Z, an overmatched contender who stepped up a bit too much in class.

But Lynch advises Jay-Z to not be lured by the low-hanging fruit:
His best hope is probably to sit back and let the Game self-destruct, something of which he's quite capable (he's already backing away from the hit on Beyonce) -- while working behind the scenes to maintain his own alliance structure and to prevent any defections over to the Game's camp. And it seems that thus far, that's exactly what he's doing.
Might Jay-Z handle this himself, just in time for the September release of Blueprint 3? Might he let it pass without another word? Or might he dispatch a subordinate, someone from the Young Gunz perhaps, and let them do his dirty work?

Actually, that's more than plausible. In the past, Jay has even hinted at a preferring the use of Dick Cheney-like secret (character) assassination program, warning foes that "I'll never make the news again/my man will shoot you" in La La La (Excuse Me Again).

Either way, you have to figure The Game** might have overreached this time. It's vaguely reminiscent of Georgia's mostly unprompted military attack of South Ossetia last August. Russia came back with a massive amount of heat.
Or, to bring it back to the street - because that's really where hip-hop beefs belong - The Game seems to have written a check that his ass can't cash.

* Reading Mark Lynch's post about this beef reminded me that the best writing about hip hop often doesn't come from hip-hop media outlets anymore. It makes me sad all over again when I think about the demise of Vibe.

** It's very tough to hear The Game passionately use the word "nigger" in front of a crowd of eagerly responsive fans in Madrid. Not in Spain, yo. Please not in Spain.
Continue Reading »

Monday, July 13, 2009

Good news for the Cowboys

Bad news for everyone else who loves football and has a soul: No more JeRomo.

Tony Romo broke up with Jessica Simpson on Thursday, the night before her 29th birthday, a source close to the pop star tells PEOPLE. "She is heartbroken," says the source. "She loves Tony. But it's been difficult lately. He's busy with his career and she's getting ready to shoot her show (The Price of Beauty). They decided to part ways."
Now that he's gotten rid of Jessica, Romo enters his third season as a NFL starter without the two biggest distractions of his short career. T.O. being the other. That can't help but make him a better quarterback.

And speaking of ol' No. 81, do you realize the first NFL training camp - the Buffalo Bills - opens in 12 days? My football pants are going crazy.

Post-script: I'm sure you will all breathlessly await developments on the couple formerly known as JeRomo on their respective Twitter accounts. Here's Tony, here's Jessica. Enjoy.
Continue Reading »

Free Period

I been banging that new Mos pretty hard over the weekend. There's nothing like sunshine, free time, the First Lady, good food and better music. Then it occurred to me that Mos and Kweli will probably never make another Blackstar album, and I might never like music again the way I did in 1998:

That made me a little sad. This made me a little happier:

And without any further ado, Your Monday Random Ass Roundup has been posted over at PostBourgie. Check it out.

In this week's edition of the roundup, we cover Dick Cheney's headlong rush into supervillain status; the start of Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearing; lots more about the Quitta from Wasilla; the good, bad and very grotesque of Texas; interracial porn; and the rise and fall and (rise) of Stephen A. Smith.

Enjoy. Continue Reading »

Liars, Idiots and Lying Idiots

John, guest-blogging at Eschaton, shows his work:

Everything makes sense in n-dimensional trait space. Continue Reading »

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Pot, meet Kettle

Newsweek on Michael Jackson:

The hopeless task of sculpting and bleaching yourself into a simulacrum of a white man suggests a profound loathing of blackness. If Michael Jackson couldn't be denounced as a race traitor, who could? Somehow, though, black America overlooked it, and continued to buy his records, perhaps because some African-Americans, with their hair relaxers and skin-lightening creams, understood why Jackson was remaking him-self, even if they couldn't condone it.
I see ... because, clearly, black folks are the only racial and ethnic group who have self-esteem issues or believe in the use of beauty products.

Riiiight. I never knew that using Royal Crown as a kid stemmed from some deep-seated self-hatred of my kinky hair and its African roots. Now it's all clear to me. And I only thought it was because I wanted to run a comb through my head without experiencing a world of hurt.

But if this is true - and it's not - then we need to look at the people who truly go the extra step of transforming themselves. Forget Afro-Sheen and hot combs. I won't even bother trotting out the entire tanning industry to counter that weak sauce about race traitors and such.

No, I'm talking about plastic surgery.

And what do we find? Racial and ethnic minorities, as of last year, had approximately 20 percent of all cosmetic procedures, a decrease of 1 percent from 2007: Hispanics, 8 percent; African-Americans, 6 percent; Asians, 4 percent; and other non-Caucasians, 2 percent.

Now, of course, there's certainly a few socioeconomic reasons that explain why black people don't make up a higher percentage of plastic surgery patients. You need a lot of money to fix your face. However, on the whole, you really don't see a sizable number of black people paying the ultimate price to break free of their nappy roots or ugly dark pigment.

Seriously ... the editors who allowed this paragraph into the final version of the story did the writers and their audience a serious disservice. To say that black America - and black America only, apparently - overlooked and understood Michael Jackson's increasingly grotesque physical appearance over the years is asinine.

Clearly, these writers have never seen an episode of "In Living Color":

Speaking only for myself, I could understand his physical changes in the context of the verbal and physical abuse he says he suffered at the hands of his father. And I overlooked those same changes because he was a great musician and a pop star oddity - I mean, who has time to sit around and mull over all the reasons celebrities undergo plastic surgery?

I didn't do this because I was black. And I'm certain that I wasn't alone. Continue Reading »