Tuesday, June 30, 2009

On Michael Jackson

It’s crazy and unfortunate that people are so fascinated with the ugly side of life. People crave the particulars, more so the bad than the good, of a person's being without a thought or care of what that level of pursuit does to the pursued. Maybe its the news culture of - if it bleeds, it leads - that's been created where people are conditioned to seek out the most intimate and inane details of a person's existence which they choose to label “interesting” and follow with pseudo investigation, pseudo meditation, or even a pseudo discussion of why a person (the pursued) has become whatever they (the pursuer) perceived or otherwise, has become. It’s deplorable that a person cannot live and engage in the life they wish, but sadder yet is the irony that pushes those to the ultimate extremes, extremes that continuously fuel the pursuers and thus creates a never-ending cycle of lunacy that’s not even broken in death. A cipher that begs the question; is life even appreciated in the first place.

We appreciate you Michael Joseph Jackson, and may you finally get some Peace.

Below are a few well thought comments on Michael Jackson’s life. It is with hope that these written and spoken comments can be used as tools to combat the negative and allow us to hold on to the essential spirit of the man who, since childhood, brought so much joy to a multitude of lives around the world.

James Baldwin on Michael Jackson from "Here Be Dragons" (1985)

The Michael Jackson cacophony is fascinating in that it is not about Jackson at all. I hope he has the good sense to know it and the good fortune to snatch his life out of the jaws of a carnivorous success. He will not swiftly be forgiven for having turned so many tables, for he damn sure grabbed the brass ring, and the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo has nothing on Michael.

All that noise is about America, as the dishonest custodian of black life and wealth; the blacks, especially males, in America; and the burning, buried American guilt; and sex and sexual roles and sexual panic; money, success and despair--to all of which may now be added the bitter need to find a head on which to place the crown of Miss America.

Freaks are called freaks and are treated as they are treated--in the main, abominably--because they are human beings who cause to echo, deep within us, our most profound terrors and desires.

This clip is about 50 minutes long, but check out the comments by a caller and the hosts in the first 10 minutes.

“You can’t use the same ruler we use for ourselves to measure their inches.”
-- James Mtume on artists like Michael Jackson, Miles Davis, et al.
, The Open Line 98.7 KISS FM, NYC - June 28, 2009 - Part II

Now playing: The Jacksons - This Place Hotel

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Friday, June 19, 2009

The North Didn't Have No Slaves!

Funniest ish, Chris Matthews wild out on Steve Cohen who sponsored the Apology for Slavery bill. Dude gotta be bi-polar, lol.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Now playing: UMCs - Blue Cheese

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

A Long Response To An Article

This article is very interesting to me on a few levels, besides my building a program to make our students ready for college, with an emphasis on HBCU, I'm also dabbling in the writing another novel that considers this very premise only expanding it to Black Nationalism on a whole, and as we know The Nation plays a major part in that. We all have recognized and been amazement by the amount of change that's taken place on the political landscape in the past 20 years. While we celebrate Obama and generally Black folk having advanced opportunities towards being progressive, in the 'hood those 20 years don't necessarily look unfamiliar, in fact they look very familiar; they look like they've always looked for some unfortunately. And it’s not just the 'hood, for many our world at large looks very familiar, when it comes to racism and justice progress seems to take two steps ahead, and then four steps back. There's still police brutality and unjust killings, race/sex/religious based killings and crime, Mumia and other political prisoners from that era are still locked up while racist murders go free, and while it seems that we're moving towards lifting the embargo on Cuba, we have politicians (both Black and white) still stuck in their ways of 20 years ago and unwilling to adjust to the times.

So while I understand that the necessary rhetoric and movement of Black Nationalist is urgently important, I think the question is how do the tactics evolve. I think the author’s argument about the Million Man March points to this. Not that I completely agree with her, however, there is the issue of continuing the momentum. The example of Obama’s first 100 days could possibly stand as sort of a road map to addressing this issue. He hit the ground running, and while many of us are already on the ground, some are nowhere near running and others (do to age/lack of young new blood or resistance to new technology) are continuing at that snail’s pace chipping away at the problems as they’ve done for the past 40 years. I make this point particularly because I know of grassroot level organizations that’s been doing their thing for years, but ask them for a simple email address and you damn near get a conspiracy theory about why they don’t have that or a cell phone. Now that may not be the norm, and I don’t hold them to fault on anything but point is it exists.

I say all that to say, I love the old school Civil Rights and Black Power movements, it’s hard for me not when I fancy myself a student of history, however there is a generational gap – much of which picked up steam due to President Obama’s election – that tends to break away from that spirit. That’s why I equate it all together, just like the movement away from HBCU by our students. The argument or dilemma is akin to asking “what’s the need or necessity for all that old school Black talk?” Which is like asking “what’s the need for community action?” when we know for a fact it’s needed and why. Or for that matter “what’s the point or need for HBCU?” Now while there are those of us knee deep in answers, those questions still remain and many of us feel and believe we have overcome so The Nation, Black Nationalism, HBCU, and much of what has traditionally been apart of our history during our sojourn here is passé. And I guess therein lies the opportunity for a progressive discussion towards evaluating and moving forward many of our old ways of addressing the same issues we face in this new day.

Now playing: Jackson 5 - I Am Love

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