Saturday, January 3, 2009

And her last name is Jackson

I think I liked Victoria Jackson a lot better when she played bimbos and stereotypical dumb blondes during her heyday on "Saturday Night Live."

The roles have changed a tad in recent years. Now she's playing the role of someone who's a neocon nutjob. See for yourself:

So, wake up people!! Don't let our new administration "CHANGE" our free country to a communist state. Don't let this new administration "CHANGE" our Constitution and take away our rights. Obama wants to destroy the 2nd Amendment, the right to "bear arms." He also wants to give more rights to criminals who break into your home. Unbelievable!
Continue Reading »

Sex is the leading cause of children

Or something like that.

Anyhow, I wonder why so many people are becoming more critical of programs that encourage teens to make virginity pledges? Well, other than the fact that they don't work:

"We do abstinence because it's the truth," said Pattyn, whose organization is based in Moon Township, Pa. "Whether we've studied it or not doesn't matter. People in Christianity don't give their lives to Christ because it works. You become a Christian because it's the truth. You choose abstinence because it's the truth. Whether it works or not is irrelevant."

Sounds like Pattyn has started a whole new theological debate, to say nothing of the concerns he's raised about the efficacy of his particular program. Continue Reading »

Another song by Stevie

A little searching through the Internet revealed something to me today that I probably should have figured out years ago: Stevie Wonder wrote "I Can Only Be Me," one of my favorite songs performed in one of my favorite movies, "School Daze."

Here's a link to a YouTube version of the song. Apparently, someone named Keith John handles the singing during the homecoming coronation scene of the film.

How did people ever learn anything before Al Gore dreamed up the Web? Continue Reading »

Thursday, January 1, 2009


No matter what happens Monday night in that farce of a BCS championship game, I'm still holding strong to my preseason belief that USC is the best team in the country.

And it's not even close.

USC would render Tim Tebow and the Gators one-dimensional on offense. And the Sooners just don't have the beasts on the line or the athletes in their secondary to keep up with the Trojans. Without Vince Young, Texas doesn't have a chance of keeping it close. Alabama reminds me a lot of Penn State in that it's relatively slow and predictable.

No other major-college team is even worth mentioning in this discussion.

Also, I've said it before and I'll say it again: few things are more appealing to me than a New Year's Day afternoon spent "looking live" into the Rose Bowl. It's like everything is so much more vibrant and colorful there in the valley at the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, particularly when the Trojans are wearing their cardinal red jerseys.

And, yeah, it's even better on HDTV. Continue Reading »

Why kids should be asleep round about midnight

Speaking of the New Year, I happened to catch some of CNN's New Year's Eve show that was hosted by Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin.

Initially, I thought, "A live mic, Kathy Griffin and thousands of drunken revelers ... what's the worst that could happen?"

Well ...

That sort of material might kill on Bravo. However, I imagine CNN won't be inviting back Griffin for next year's bash.

I also thought it was pretty funny that Anderson knew that Star Jones hosted the "Bad Girls" reunion. Uh, not that I watched the show or anything. Continue Reading »

Merry New Year!

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hard out there for a pimp

In the following clip, Jamie Foxx does his part to escalate a seemingly-from-nowhere feud with Terence Howard.

Foxx launches into an impression of the quavery-voiced characters Howard is known for best, calls him "soft as doctor's cotton" and clowns his "zoot suits."

This has the potential to be at least as entertaining as Jamie's beef with LL Cool J. I hope the loser agrees to never put out another music album.

Dayyyyuuuummm. Honestly, when it comes to playing the dozens, few people come harder than Jamie Foxx. Continue Reading »

2008 in lists

One of my favorite and least favorite parts about the end of the year are the various and sundry countdown lists. I can't stand them; I can't stop reading them.

Here's a few that caught my eye in the past few days:

The 19 worst Americans, Michael Tomasky.
The 10 worst media moments, The Huffington Post.
Ten worst media blunders,
The best and worst sex scandals, Gawker.
The 10 worst sports predictions, Real Clear Sports.
Ten fads that need to go away in 2009, That's So Fetch.
The 10 best couples of 2008, The Frisky
Top 10 ethics scandals, MotherJones.
The 10 worst commercials of 2008, Digital Labz.
The best and worst of 2008, The Daily Beast.
The top 10 worst moments in black music,
The top 10 worst music videos of 2008,
The 10 best hip-hop mixtapes of 2008, New York Magazine.

Feel free to send me links to any list I might have missed.

And, appropriately enough, that should be my last post of '08. Everyone be safe out there tonight, and I'll see you in 2009. Hopefully, we all have bigger and better things in store in the new year. Continue Reading »

My year in cities, 2008

Stealing an interesting concept from Matt Y's blog is something I'm wont to do. This time, it's a list of all the cities I've visited in 2008.

One or more nights were spent in each place. And the asterisks are for places I'd never been before.

Longboat Key, FL*
Houston, TX
Shreveport, La.
Key West, FL*
Chicago, IL
Miami, FL*
Austin, TX
Dallas, TX

As you can see, I had a rather nondescript year of travel. The economy and my awful, awful work schedule conspired to keep the First Lady and I from doing much globetrotting this year - with the notable exception of the First Lady's trip to Amsterdam in May with her mother.

My 2008 was in no way as interesting as my 2007, when I visited Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, New Orleans, Hot Springs, Ark., Dallas, Austin, Tampa (for what turned out to be a very fruitful job interview), Mobile, Ala., and Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Given my subpar 2008, I'm putting together a very ambitious wish-list for 2009. It's been much too long since I've spent much time up and down the East Coast, places like New York, Philly and D.C. I'm also curious about the Pacific Northwest, Toronto, Montreal, southeast Asia and, I don't know, Cuba.

UPDATE: Along those lines, I have a friend who powers the entertaining and informative blog, My Long Strange Journey. He's spending a year in Singapore but seemingly takes a trip to Sydney or Bali or some other picturesque locale every other weekend. I'm definitely jealous. Continue Reading »

Blago and black folks

Regarding Blago's foolhardy choice of Roland Burris for Illinois' vacant Senate seat, please give black people - and black radio, too - more credit than this, Michael Tomasky:

There's a chance that is is going to be on black radio all over the country tomorrow morning, and if it is, it's going to have nothing to do with Blago on those stations. It'll have to do with whether the white Democratic leaders of the Senate, "who take our vote for granted in November," etc., will spurn this obviously qualified black man.
Look, Bobby Rush doesn't speak for me and I've got a sneaking suspicion that he doesn't speak for much more than a diminishing minority of folks who are still getting regular subscriptions to "The Final Call."

It's hard to figure out how anyone could take Rush or his empty threats seriously. Seems to me as if the only ones giving them much credence are Tomasky, Edward McClelland and a handful of other folks who probably haven't spent much time on the Southside of any city, let alone Chicago.
Call me naive, but I think black people can actually see through this unabashed play to racial politics. Any rejection of Burris by the U.S. Senate leadership will be a rejection of Blago and not a rejection of Burris himself. No one could possibly see Blago or his selection of Burris as legitimate.

And hopefully people will remember that for all the noise Rush is making about a lack of black representation in the Senate, he supported Obama's white, millionaire opponent, Blair Hull, in 2004.

I'm actually more embarrassed that Roland Burris would allow himself to be used as a pawn in this way. He should have known better than to get mixed up with Blagojevich.

But what should we really expect from the guy? He's an also-ran, a perennial political loser. In fact, MSNBC's Chuck Todd actually called Burris a "lovable loser." At 71, this is probably Burris' final shot at holding a public office.

I actually felt sorry for him during his appearance on MSNBC. It smacked of, uh, desperation. Continue Reading »

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"Superficial" Scarborough

Former U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski gave Joe Scarborough something of a devastating bitch-slap yesterday on his MSNBC morning show "Morning Joe."

Brzezinski went on the show to offer his take on the conflict in Gaza. At around the 6:30 mark of the following TV clip, Scarborough obnoxiously butted in as he's wont to do, telling Brzezinski that "you cannot blame what's going on in Israel on the Bush administration."

This prompted Zbig to reply: "You know, you have such a stunningly superficial knowledge of what went on that it's almost embarrassing to listen to you."

Ouch. Check it out for yourself.

Ah. That was satisfying, wasn't it?

I can only hope Dr. B's next appearance is with O'Reilly or Hannity or Beck or someone of that ilk. But I won't hold my breath.
Continue Reading »

Monday, December 29, 2008

Clubber and Me

Avery is on some wild ish over at his site, talking about Clubber Lang and his place in the boxing hierarchy (the following from the comments section):

You gotta check out the opening scenes of Rocky III. Clubber was an animal. If you look at Tyson highlights and then Rocky III, you’d almost think Tyson’s early career was based on Clubber Lang. Reality imitating art, down to some of the same kinds of knockdowns. That would be some big-money betting, though. In fact, it would be the perfect scene for Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier to fix the fight by hypnotizing somebody.
One of my favorite writers, the late, great Ralph Wiley, essentially thought Clubber was a clown. And, in many ways, a sort of caricature for what most white sportswriters and fans imagined popular black athletes to be in the post-Ali era. That's why Clubber had to go down and go down hard in the film, according to Wiley.

The gritty, spunky, less-talented Rocky would always get the best of the loudmouth, preening Clubbers and Apollos of the world. Those buffoons just didn't have the heart when things got tough, right? Not in the face of the Italian Stallion. Or Larry Bird. Or Tyler Hansbrough. Or Wes Welker.

Not to mention, you might argue that we have more Clubbers than ever before - T.O., Kevin Garnett, Rampage Jackson, Joey Porter, etc, etc. And, yes, Mike Tyson. Those guys just feed the myth, for better or worse.

Anyway, I've never felt quite the same way about "Rocky" or Clubber again. Ralph Wiley ruined it for me.

But, yo, Avery took me back. Maybe Clubber and I can make amends. Here's let try this:

Continue Reading »

The NFL, in review

Here's a look at the NFL teams I picked in September to win their respective divisions, with the actual winners in parentheses:
AFC East - New England (Miami)
AFC North - Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh)
AFC South - Indianapolis (Tennessee)
AFC West - San Diego (San Diego)
NFC East - Dallas (N.Y. Giants)
NFC North - Minnesota (Minnesota)
NFC South - Carolina (Carolina)
NFC West - Seattle (Arizona)

So, four of eight ain't terrible. I also must note that I said Miami "will be much improved, and to be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if they get into the playoff mix."

But 50 percent ain't good either. I also said this about Atlanta: the Falcons "have some of the worst skill-position talent in the NFL this season." Sorry about that Matt Ryan and Michael Turner and Roddy White.

My prediction for the playoffs? Pain. (More on this later).

Also, in short:

Dallas - The inclination will be for pundits to blame the Cowboys' implosion in Philly on Tony Romo and Wade Phillips. And some of that is merited. But really, Dallas' soft o-line, undisciplined receivers and highly overrated o-coordinator Jason Garrett should be on the hook for this one. Roger Staubach and Tom Landry wouldn't have looked much better with that gutless bunch.

Detroit - The best thing about this season for Lions' fans is that it came to an end. Not that 2009 figures to be much better.

Tampa Bay - Godspeed to Cadillac Williams. I haven't seen a more snakebitten running back since Ki-Jana Carter. In other news, the Bucs looked awful over the final month. If Eric Mangini was canned for the Jets' horrid performance down the stretch, how does Jon Gruden manage to avoid the hot seat?

Houston - Mark my words: the Texans will tease their fans again in 2009, only to come up short of the postseason. Continue Reading »

Bush the Bookworm

From about first to third grade, I read books at an impressive clip. Especially when compared to my classmates. Impressive enough, in fact, to win myself dozens of little personal pan pizzas from Pizza Hut.

But it would seem soooo elementary school, I'd think, for adults to brag about how well read they are. Unless, of course, you're Karl Rove talking about his annual reading competition with President Dubya.

A glutton for punishment, Mr. Bush insisted on another rematch in 2008. But it will be a three-peat for me: as of today, his total is 40 volumes to my 64. His reading this year included a heavy dose of history -- including David Halberstam's "The Coldest Winter," Rick Atkinson's "Day of Battle," Hugh Thomas's "Spanish Civil War," Stephen W. Sears's "Gettysburg" and David King's "Vienna 1814." There's also plenty of biography -- including U.S. Grant's "Personal Memoirs"; Jon Meacham's "American Lion"; James M. McPherson's "Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief" and Jacobo Timerman's "Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number."

Each year, the president also read the Bible from cover to cover, along with a daily devotional.

Great, so Rove and Bush are the readiest readers out there. Good for them.

But the days of measuring their intellect by the quantity of tomes read should have ended in their schoolboy days. Reading a lot of books means nothing if you take nothing away from the texts.

Ta-Nehisi sez:
Anyone who actually reads books knows that reading the words off the page is half the job, at best. The hard part is digesting the book, getting to its essential themes and then weighing them against your own body of knowledge. Look I love books, was raised in the business of publishing books and printing books. But watching a pundit- or president--brag about reading a book a week, is like watching a freshly-minted 21-year old get smashed at a wine-tasting. Only a rookie would set that sort of goal- and then brag about it. Either that or, you know, someone who doesn't really read...
But it really doesn't make much of a difference to me whether Bush is hacking his way through Tolstoy or Baldwin or Dr. Seuss. He'd have been better off doing the actual work of being president than burying his nose in a book. In fact, we'd all have been better off. Continue Reading »

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Our literate citizens

Because I find this interesting, here's a list of 10 of the nation's most literate cities.

1.5. Minneapolis
1.5. Seattle
3. Washington, D.C.
4. St. Paul, Minn.
5. San Francisco
6. Atlanta
7. Denver
8. Boston
9. St. Louis
10.5. Cincinnati
10.5. Portland

I must say, it's really hard to draw any conclusions from the list other than there are some really well-read people in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. You'd initially expect large, metropolitan coastal cities like New York and Los Angeles to rank high but, no, there's a healthy helping of middle America cities like Denver, St. Louis and Cincinnati in the top 10.

In fact, Rust Belt surprises like Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Baltimore - to name a few - appear on the overall list before N.Y. checks in at No. 24. L.A. ranks 56th.

It'd be really interesting to quantify the benefits of living in a city with a highly literate populace. Does that translate into a better local economy? Better public schools? Better cultural offerings? A better pool of potential mates? And what can a city and its government do to ensure that its residents are well-read?

Oh, and without being a jerk about it (honest), I had to note that all but two of the cities listed in the top 10 (11) were located in "blue" states. Coincidence or not?

Continue Reading »

The GOP's real magic negro

Ken Blackwell: ruining the good name of all Uncle Toms.

"Unfortunately, there is hypersensitivity in the press regarding matters of race. This is in large measure due to President-elect Obama being the first African American elected president," Blackwell, who is black, said in a statement.

"I don't think any of the concerns that have been expressed in the media about any of the other candidates for RNC chairman should disqualify them," he said. "When looked at in the proper context, these concerns are minimal. All of my competitors for this leadership post are fine people."
Blackwell's statement doesn't even make any sense - someone should have him explain his correlation between the election of Obama and the press' "hypersensitivity" regarding matters of race. If he can.

But his response was predictable. Pathetic, even. Often, I wonder how that guys like Blackwell, Michael Steele, Armstrong Williams and J.C. Watts make peace with themselves. I mean, Watts even went so far once upon a time on Chris Rock's HBO show to say he hadn't heard of George Clinton.

I guess that's just the deal you have to make to hang out with Sean Hannity.
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