jeudi, décembre 29, 2005

Happy Birthday Connie!

This is a shout out to my sister Connie in the peace corps (Costa Rica) on her 23rd birthday. Wish you lots of love, happiness, health and success. Love, Court

vim - n. power; force; energy; spirit; activity; vigor.

"Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else"
-------- Will Rogers

vendredi, décembre 16, 2005

BeatBox Chronicles

So today I wrote the debut entry for my second blog : In this blog, I talk about things in the music world. As for life, I'm busy writing. I turned in my cinema studies application today to NYU. I hope I get in. Writing is such a draining process which is why I can't write much tonight but I'll be back tomorrow.

gamine -- n:1. A girl who wanders about the streets; an urchin.2. A playfully mischievous girl or young woman.

"i am caught up in the music of struggle and i can't stop dancing."
-assata shakur

vendredi, décembre 09, 2005

What's your least favorite word?

I'm a word person, always have been, probably always will be which is why I like to surround myself with them. My least favorite would have to be "pity", or any variation of the word. I think its very meaning is offensive. To pity someone, feel sorry for or to feel sorrow for someone seems quite condecending. I can understand being aware of and/ or sensitive to someone's troubles (or at least your perception of someone's troubles) but I believe pity to take that to the level of being patronizing, like you're looking above someone and shaking your evokes a "poor them attitude" that I find pitiful, rarely casuing someone to spring into action. Besides I haven't met anyone who likes pity. I guess a close second for me would be "ugly" for obvious reasons. What's yours?

epigone -- n: An inferior imitator, especially of some distinguished writer, artist, musician, or philosopher.

"I believe in saying the truth, coming out with it cold, shocking if necessary, not disguising it. In other words, obscenity is a cleansing process..." --- Henry Miller

jeudi, décembre 08, 2005

The Writing Process

So, I am trying to write a book --- a collection of short stories that I plan to try and get published in 2006. In order to beef up my writing resume so that I look better for publishers, I have applied for several writing gigs and two have come through: in late December I will have first post published on Popmatters as their new Television Columnist and I am also going to be a Music Blogger on The Red Carpet Network. For my TV Popmatters column, I need a name. Somthing fresh and original and I am all out of ideas. Do you have any suggestions??

In other news, check out this foolishness.

palimpsest -- n :1. A manuscript, usually of papyrus or parchment, on which more than one text has been written with the earlier writing incompletely erased and still visible.2. An object or place whose older layers or aspects are apparent beneath its surface.

"I believe in saying the truth, coming out with it cold, shocking if necessary, not disguising it. In other words, obscenity is a cleansing process..." --- Henry Miller

mercredi, décembre 07, 2005

Get Fit or Bust!!!

So, I have made the decision to work out like a white woman...well, maybe not be that crunk upon it. In other works, I'm going to get toned and buff. Now, I'm a very slender person but I'm still soft and jiggly in certain places so I figger that I need the exercise. It'll also help me feel better about myself I suspect. So, every morning, I'm going to head to the gym and work my ass off. Let's see how this goes...

In other unrelated news, I found this report on Its so ludicrous that it has to be true.The gist of the report states that an Italian court found that an instance of a a group of Italian men harassing and spewing insults at a group of Columbian women, calling them dirty negroes, is not racist because "an insult should be judged racist only if it is motivated by real hatred, or is likely to cause racial hatred in others or lead to discriminatory behaviour for reasons of race, ethnicity, nationality or religion". Furthermore, "the crime of racism is not constituted by expressions of generic dislike, intolerance or rejection based on race, ethnicity or religion".

abulia, also aboulia -- n: Loss or impairment of the ability to act or to make decisions.

“I believe in saying the truth, coming out with it cold, shocking if necessary, not disguising it. In other words, obscenity is a cleansing process...” --- Henry Miller

mardi, décembre 06, 2005

If you could be anyone for a week, who would it be?

I think if I could, I'd pick Paris Hilton.
interlard -- transitive verb: To insert between; to mix or mingle; especially, to introduce something foreign or irrelevant into; as, "to interlard a conversation with oaths or allusions."
“I believe in saying the truth, coming out with it cold, shocking if necessary, not disguising it. In other words, obscenity is a cleansing process...” --- Henry Miller

lundi, décembre 05, 2005

On Beauty and Other Books

Today I went to the library and picked up White Boy Shuffle upon Jalylah's suggestion. Last week I finished On Beauty and tonight I'm going to finish The Secret Life of Bees. Here's what's on my Reading List as of current:
  1. Einstein on Race and Racism
  2. Caucasia
  3. White Boy Shuffle
  4. They Forged the Signature of God
  5. Hattie McDaniel: Black Ambition, White Hollywood
  6. Smashed
  7. The Year of Magical Thinking
  8. Drown
  9. Sexual Violence and American Manhood
  10. The Kite Runner

On Beauty was definitely an interesting read. While I found Zadie Smith storytelling ability and use of multicultural, transcultural narrative themes compelling I regret her lack of understanding, depth and complexity with respect to African American culture and it will be felt so strongly by anyone who is deeply invested in Black life. Her lack of understanding about Black American culture is so evident in the novel that is makes much of the content and the book as a whole a commercially viable grotesquery. This book was the selection for a book club I held at my apartment on Saturday.

I actually glad I read it and I would suggest others to do the same. See for yourself and gather your own opinions. I was very curious about Zadie after hearing the international accolades of her debut novel White Teeth. After reading On Beauty, I am very curious to read White Teeth. This seems like back-tracking but I need to see what all the fuss is about for myself.

Though I find Mark Harris's flippant use of his appreciation of porn in this article quite disturbing, he does make some good points about Black women in film. Check it out:

gadabout -- n: Someone who roams about in search of amusement or social activity

“I believe in saying the truth, coming out with it cold, shocking if necessary, not disguising it. In other words, obscenity is a cleansing process...”
--- Henry Miller

dimanche, décembre 04, 2005

Power to the People

Tommie Smith and John Carlos, gold and bronze medalists in the 200-meter run at the 1968 Olympic Games, raised their fists in protest of the treatment of Blacks in the USA. With heads lowered and black-gloved fists raised in protest with the Black power salute, they refused to recognize the American flag and national anthem. Even though I wasn't born yet, each time I look at this picture, I have a sort of nostalgia for times past. Times when people actually made a bold stand against bullshit. I wish I could find this picture. I want to put it up in my apartment. I have an idea! I want to commission somebody like Kara Walker to take the essence of this photograph and shape it into something new. I want the men still there, but I want them to be in the Bush White House or something... I want to preserve this photo but put a different take on it. Now, the only thing I need to do now is pitch it to Kara...

patina -- n :1. The color or incrustation which age gives to works of art; especially, the green rust which covers ancient bronzes, coins, and medals. 2. The sheen on any surface, produced by age and use.3. An appearance or aura produced by habit, practice, or use.4. A superficial layer or exterior.

“I believe in saying the truth, coming out with it cold, shocking if necessary, not disguising it. In other words, obscenity is a cleansing process...” Henry Miller

samedi, décembre 03, 2005

The Case for Rape as a Hate Crime

So tonight during my monthly book club meeting, I was called into the hospital to be an advocate to a rape victim who was at the hospital. Needless to say, it was a trying case (as they usually are). As I was walking home from the hospital, I asked myself why rape is not a hate crime. The way I understand it, a hate crime is a crime motivated by hatred and bigotry towards a specific group of people. Now, its basically common knowledge that rape is a crime of power and intense anger/hatred. Sex rarely is the primary motivation for the assault, its just the means to an end. So why wasn't a hate crime attached to Ted Bundy's long list of convictions? He clearly was a vehement misogynist in addiction to being a violent psychopathic madman.

Of course this may not apply to every instance of rape. But this just makes sense to me. I feel strongly that if a determination of criteria is met, a hate crime should be tacked on to an individual's sentence. I'd be interested to know what people think?

hebetude -- n. Dullness of mind; mental lethargy

"Illusion is the first of all pleasures"
--- Oscar Wilde

vendredi, décembre 02, 2005

Ode to August Wilson: Icon #4

"Blacks have traditionally had to operate in a situation where whites have set themselves up as the custodians of the black experience"
---August Wilson

"I'm trying to take culture and put it onstage, demonstrate it is capable of sustaining you. There is no idea that can't be contained by life: Asian life, European life, certainly black life. My plays are about love, honor, duty, betrayal - things humans have written about since the beginning of time"
---August Wilson

God bless August Wilson. He is the 4th icon who died this year whose legacy will far outlast his physical presence. Currently, I am writing an article on the films Todd Solondz and his portrayal of Black, white, and Latino sexualities. His indie cred and fame shot through the roof with his 1996 film Welcome to the Dollhouse. This weekend, I watched Happiness and Storytelling. After watching them both, Storytelling in particular, I was riddled with a boat load of mostly negative feelings and thoughts: the ludicrisy of the racialized narratives, horror, preidctable surprise, etc. And I remember thinking what a privilege it was to have had someone like August who took pride in documenting the lushness, beauty and complexity of African American life not making a mockery of it like so many others.

"When I saw his [Romare Bearden] work, it was the first time that I had seen black life presented in all its richness, and I said, 'I want to do that -- I want my plays to be the equal of his canvases". And he set about this task by vowing to complete a cycle of ten plays, each set in a different decade that depict the nuances and tragicomedy of Black life:

1900s - Gem of the Ocean (2003)
1910s - Joe Turner's Come and Gone (1984)
1920s - Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (1982)
1930s - The Piano Lesson (1986) - Pulitzer Prize
1940s - Seven Guitars (1995)
1950s - Fences (1985) - Pulitzer Prize
1960s - Two Trains Running (1990)
1970s - Jitney (1982)
1980s - King Hedley II (2001)
1990s - Radio Golf (2005)

So, in honor of August and his legacy, I have selected the following poem, "Black N' Blue Stylin" by Ntosake Shange:

(French sugar-beet farmers, overwhelmed by mulatto competitors, plastered Europe's cities with advertisements proclaiming: "Our sugar is not soiled with black blood." A popular Afro-Cuban saying is: "Sugar is made with blood," while in the South of the United States, cane growers processed natural sugar "to get the nigger out.")

Fragrant breezes in the South
melt to melodies round small fires
mount tree limbs
with bodies black
and swayin' black n croonin'
songs of sunsets
comin' from the fields bawdy
hard to put yr finger on
like the blues
like the strum of guitars on dark damp

southern nights
hard to put your finger on
like screams in the black bloody southern soil
sweet black blood echoin' thru the evenin' service
grindin' by the roadhouse door
sweet black blood
movin' with slow breath

outta breath
young negroes run to pick up a bale of cotton
run to flee southern knights
crosses bare blazin' signals black bloods
gone runnin'
for Chicago
for the hollow
for the C.C. Rider
for the new day sweet
blocked melodies ache in young girls' throats
rip thru their lips like the road to freedom was lit
all lit up with the grace of God and
Sears Tower
the Ford plane and Pontiac's vision
all lit up sleek fires
sheddin' the haunts of poll taxes and test questions like
where is America cost
a finger
a ear
a heart a teardrop fallin' from the saggin' front porch
to the project stairway
from the water fountain to the chain gang

the night train carried smuggled goods news
of struttin' signifyin' fellas with gold teeth
neath they feet and brawny sway for blocks and blocks
far as the eye cd see from Biloxi to Birmingham
the contraband of freedom seeped thru
the swamps the air hung heavy
with the cries of "ain't gonna let nobody turn me round"
and young boys in nice-cut suits
who was awready standin' with they heads up
awready prancin' with finesse and grand stature
like men wit eyes
don't never look down
men wit eyes burstin' wit glory
from the red sedans
and the seats in schools to the right
to set wherever they want
and when the sounds of the harmonica was slowed
by snarlin' dogs and hoses
when the washboards and bottleneck players
was skedattlin' out the bullets way
up came a roarin'
force a light blue controlled fire in un-mussed lame´
pleated silk and faces
bearin' no scars
to say "we ain't been touched"
we the sweet black fires of dreams
& of unobfuscated beauty

like the trails of freedom
the Good Lord himself lit up
we gonna take this
new city neon light
volumes for milliom
to hear to love themselves
enough to turn back the pulse of a whippin' history
make it carry the modern black melody from L.A.
to downtown Newark City
freedom buses
freedom riders
freedom is the way we walk that walk
talk that talk
gotta take that charred black body out the ground
switch on the current
to a new sound to a new way of walkin' a new way of talkin'

defyin the sound of gravity

for a people singin'
about the sashay of blood rhythms set free.

gaucherie -- n: 1. A socially awkward or tactless act.2. Lack of tact; boorishness; awkwardness

"Illusion is the first of all pleasures"
--- Oscar Wilde

jeudi, décembre 01, 2005

Today I feel like the only face stuck in a mountain of rippled waves...

Today the kind of day that is so common and encourages some of the same feelings that I feel so often, that its actually quite hard to explain. So I chose a poem:

It happens. Will it go on?---
My mind a rock,
No fingers to grip, no tongue,
My god the iron lung
That loves me, pumps
My two
Dust bags in and out,
Will not

Let me relapse
While the day outside glides by like ticker tape.
The night brings violets,
Tapestries of eyes,
The soft anonymous
Talkers: 'You all right?'
The starched, inaccessible beast.

Dead egg, I lie
On a whole world I cannot touch,
At the white, tight

Drum of my sleeping couch
Photographs visit me---
My wife, dead and flat, in 1920 furs,
Mouth full of pearls,

Two girls
As flat as she, who whisper 'We're your daughters.'
The still waters
Wrap my lips,

Eyes, nose and ears,
A clear
Cellophane I cannot crack.
On my bare back

I smile, a buddha, all
Wants, desire
Falling from me like rings
Hugging their lights

The claw
Of the magnolia,
Drunk on its own scents,
Asks nothing of life.

---------- Sylvia Plath

I love Sylvia. I think she's a timeless poet.

alpenglow -- n. :A reddish glow seen near sunset or sunrise on the summits of mountains

"Illusion is the first of all pleasures"
--- Oscar Wilde