Thursday, December 27, 2007

That's Okay With Me ....

That's where they made me at.

GET IT.

in this shirt:


Rocking it with Gold Doorknockers is optional. Take it Janet Jackson style and loop your housekey around a hoop. At least you won't get locked out.
found at:http://www.karmaloop.com/products.asp?ProductID=27608&VendorCode=BEP&utm_source=mybuysweb&utm_medium=homepage&utm_campaign=27608&mybuyscid=849380216&

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It happens for the dark ones...

...and they can't call ACS...or they will get beat again.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Can Maddy the black princess help erase Disney's past?

stolen from Cracked.com http://www.cracked.com/article_15677_9-most-racist-disney-characters.html


Is it a problem that I love lists like this? I actually purchased Ego Trip's Big Book of Racism and still think it's one of the greatest books ever? Do I secretly like racism because I enjoy humor about racism? Am I contributing to white hegemony by buying the Disney image

Sorry, I couldnt resist putting the crazy psuedo-academic questions that over ran my college experience. That's another thing I also like to make fun of...hahaha

For more humor please check the other list's on Cracked....and also cop your own copy of Ego Trip's book, your life will be better for it.

Throwback Pop Culture Clip of the Week

Another edition of the Throwback Christmas series...got to love the chimpmunks...almost as great is Justin Timberlake's performance on SNL along with his great Christmas Gift in a Box...

Saturday, December 01, 2007

A Different World Style Flashback

Okay, while the title of this post would lead you to believe that I was going to delve into the wonderful world of clothing worn by my fellow Hillman Alumni, I'm not. Yes, Whitley had some prim but fierce outfits and Lena James could work some baggy pants, but instead I take you all the way back to season 1, episode 12 "Advise and Descent." In this episode Denise Huxtable (who the show was created around as a spinoff of The Cosby Show, if you're not familiar with this awesomeness) was not studying for her finals and working at a peer counseling center with a guest character named Z. Denise was a girl after my own heart and Z was your typical Californian dude. I too should be paper writing/doing laundry now, but instead started watching A Different World when I bumbled with excitement at this scene:




What's that we spot on Z's feet? Snoogy Boots! These are possibly UGGs, but definitely a predecessor to the style that later took over. They made a showing on A Different World back in the eighties...and this was a moment that I had to share. Among its other great values, A Different World also brought the Snoogy Boot to the East Coast. I'm still not a huge fan of the UGG, but I am a fan of this great moment in Pop Culture History.

HAUL,

The Queen..

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Throwback Pop Culture Clip of the Week

In honor of the impending Advent season, I bring to you my favorite song off of Boyz II Men Christmas Album. I formerly thought the name of the song was White Christmas, making me a jaded child who believed that all the white children were having a better Christmas, and I also thought the play on "white Christmas" was genius. This week I came to sad realization that the song is "Why Christmas." I think part of my childhood just died.

If anyone ruins the Kirk Franklin and the Family Christmas Album or the A Motown Christmas Album, it's going to be on. Let's preserve my childhood ...please.

HAUL,
The Queen

Saturday, November 24, 2007

American Gangster: What Happens When They Put a Brother on the Wall

I just came back from seeing American Gangster, and my most prominent thought is Do the Right Thing. I know, two different directors, and with the exception of Ruby Dee different casts, but the similarity of two simple scenes was left etched on my mind. In the words of Buggin' Out (Giancarlo Esposito) from Do The Right Thing, "Why ain't there any brothers on the wall?"

What trips me out in this historical fiction (mostly historical, but adapted for the screenplay) is the subtle commentary on race that director Ridley Scott does not play up, but he does recognize. In Russell Crowe's character's attempts to figure out who disseminated Blue Magic, he starts by placing pictures of suspects on the wall. The bulletin board in his office quickly becomes full of Italians. Watching it, I did all but say, "Hey Sal, why ain't there any brothers on the wall?" Time and time again the idea that it would be ludicrous for a black man to have power over the drug game was hinted at. Once Frank Lucas was discovered, the question then became "Who does he work for," and the Italians still remained on the wall.

American Gangster is a difficult movie to dissect. While many are quick to put it with the legions of mob films like Godfather and Scarface(which I admittedly haven't seen), the film becomes complicated with race issues which then gets tied up with morality. Hearing cheers in the theater as Frank Lucas, a black man, took over the drug trade in Harlem, it became necessary to pause. You want to say yes for black business, but not to black on black crime. Is black on black crime better than Italian on black crime? Is that a question that should even be justified?

Still in the end, a racial scorecard is kept and Blacks still lose. At one point in the movie Lucas mentions that these are immigrant groups that came to America after Blacks were first imported as slaves, and they too were able to exploit blacks. If you need a movie reference for the history of this, go watch Gangs of New York. Frank Lucas ends up in jail and his family and operation are torn down, but the mob families go untouched, and are even used as a possible threat to Lucas's career.

Thinking back to how everything came down the weakest link proved to be one of Frank's brothers, who allowed himself to be wired in order to save his life. Is this to say that blacks can't mobilize because the one that's threatened always gives up the answer instead of fighting to the end. It was always the house slave that told the master about the plots to run away, wasn't it? If that's the case then I say the disciple Peter was black, because he betrayed Jesus three times in less than 24 hours.

So, American Gangster doesn't leave any main character as the hero. Frank snitches, Russell Crowe's character is extremely flawed (and really just took on Frank because he found Blue Magic on his dead friend) and the crazy NY detective commits suicide because he was crooked. Still, the mob can go on and live their life and continue to destroy families. Should we honor the mob? No. But something about the resilience of Ruby Dee as Frank Lucas's mother leaves a beacon of hope for us all. Maybe, the real lesson lies in her strength and her largely untold story.


On another note, isn't it strange that JayZ's most acclaimed album since Reasonable Doubt brings him back to the drug game. I know there are deeper lessons about life, business prowess, and respectability to be gained from the movie as well as Mr. Carter's album, but it's interesting to note that his tales of being rich and a mogul don't strike the same cord as his rhymes about an O-Z.

HAUL,
The Queen


P.S.
props to Russell Crowe on the accent, and Cuba Gooding Jr. I still have a bone to pick with you. Don't dupe me into thinking you're going to do something worthwhile ever again. I think I've lost whatever hope I was holding out for you

Friday, November 23, 2007

Save the Princess!

A few weeks back AOL had a feature on Mario and the timelessness of the game. At that point I thought it would be a great post for Vanity Dark, but kept saving it for a throwback post. Unfortunately I cannot find it anymore. But now the NYTimes has beat me to the post, and I can't stand for that anymore. So click on the link for the article and get lost in the wonder. All of the new hype is because a new game is coming out, so if you're still into gaming this may be one to buy. It's not HALO, but its classic....

Mario is indeed a cultural phenomenon, from the addictive tune to that cheesy movie , to its ability to attract people from all walks of life and various age groups to the mission of getting to the princess in time. Goodness there was even a cartoon:

It's funny that Mario has all the basic elements of violence that other games have, but no one attacks it as such because its coded in traditional fairy tale language. Ordinary plumber goes on mission to save the fair maiden. This is the game that came in a package with Duck Hunt, which used an actual gun as the player control and you pointed at the screen.

This video became a viral hit a few years back and I thought it was brilliant when I first saw it:






Also play the game below.

Sorry

The updates haven't been flowing as quickly, I've been , well sleeping which isn't usual for me, but it can be come quite addictive. Back to regularly scheduled programming.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

This is a problem

"This is what we expected," Simpson told The Associated Press before he left the courtroom. "If I have any disappointment it's that I wish a jury was here. As always, I rely on the jury system."

from Judge Orders OJ Simpson to Stand Trial on AOL News

No one should always rely on the jury system, unless they are a paid lawyer or judge. Besides that, its problematic when you find yourself relying on others to get you out of criminal cases. SMH...I told you O.J. ...you should have remembered Cochran was dead and Kardashian has troubled offspring to worry about.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Actually Alicia, We've Seen You Like This Before

Alicia Keys's new video, "Like You'll Never See Me Again" is conceptually interesting adds to the Alicia Keys/Common pairing that's become popular lately, and the song tells a nice little story...but I must say Alicia, we've seen this before. I'm not sure if its the same director, but a lot of the themes in this video are very similar to the ones in the "If I Ain't Got You" video, from the standing on the street near to the pay phone shots to the idea of separation, to the inclusion of a rapper (then Method Man, now Common). There's also the same fight scene, and then distraught Alicia afterwards. "If I Ain't Got You," I guess was her younger, more hood look at losing love and "Like You'll Never See Me Again" is what you get as she slowly edges towards the R&B/Soul/ (cue scary music...dunh dunh dunh)ADULT Contemporary lines. Anyway, If I Aint Got You is below...and I cant embed the other video, so you'll have to catch it on your own (edit found it...see below):






Monday, November 12, 2007

Help Others....


and learn a new word.



http://www.freerice.com/

Really you're procrastinating already anyway...

R.I.P. Donda West

People Magazine started reporting the death of Donda West, 58, mother of Kanye West yesterday. Rest in Peace.

MSN article

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Can I rock Chanel Sandals

...and still be a Reebok Vandal?

Ode to the 54.11s that cost 90 dollars.

Not to be outdone by Nike, Steve Madden, Puma or anywhere else, Reebok will let you customize your own 54.11s. Thanks to the Around the Way Girls for notifying me. Simply go to www.reebok.com and get your party started.

I'm so fly...kinda...couldnt show the whole thing, you just may jack my color palette. Lol. I know....there are sooo many colors in here.



Brooklyn Art Space

Out on Main Street in Dumbo is a neat exhibitions space called the Powerhouse Arena. Note, I've never actually been there (well I've been to Dumbo and I've even worked on Main street...but never been to this arena), but was put on to them just now by Around The Way Girls blog and am impressed with what I see. So many good exhibits are ending today, but some pics are up so you can get a taste of what you missed. Visit the Powerhouse website here.

A few missed exhibits

Black in White America: From what I can tell its a collection of black and white portraits dedicated to portraying a sample of the black experience in America, but on a real level. The pictures don't immediately shock or anger, but is reality on a day to day basis. There are kids playing in hydrants, ladies with rollers in their hair, and the such. Still through it all you get a sense of what life is : the highs and the lows, and injustices that occurred. I wish I could tell you more but I don't have much to go by. The photos are from Leonard Freed, a prolific photographer and artist.

Partnered with Black in White America is Jamel Shabazz's Seconds of My Life. I can't lie, I'm feeling the photo with the Nike Jackets and the parts in the hair( These are the same jackets Kanye blogged about on his blog, tho he didn't mention the book Seconds of My Life...I also think there's a pic of Ye in the book with Johnny, either its them or all black people look the same to me). This is another day to day exhibit and it goes far beyond the materialism of Nike and their hold on the black community (I'm taking Spike on for that one day...but that should be an exhibit in and of itself...Nike and the Urban Community). He also captures performances, ceremonies, a girl with a scary cat and a Sistah Souljah book, and what appears to be The Nation of Islam along with Israelites (well not in the same picture). The pictures also range over time, from people rocking fades and using Nynex pay phones to murals of Dipset. You can also check out the book and more images there from one of the links on the URL that is linked above.


Another two exhibits that are partnered together are The Breaks: Stylin and Profilin 1982-1990 and Born in the Bronx. These two exhibits take two different but complementary looks at Hip Hop culture in the early years. The Breaks, photographed by Janette Beckman showcases the B-Boy stance and shows a lot of images of both male and female artists, crews, djs...etc. It's EastCoast/NY centered and captures some of the more influential folk of the Period. Born in the Bronx examines hip hop as originating from the Bronx (even tho Run DMC sneaks there way in there) and was done by Joe Conzo. Looking at the Bronx, the Hispanic influence and participation receives more of a focus, but not an overpowering one. It's something that makes sense since it is the Bronx/NYC (and we all know NuYoricans are a huge part of the culture and its all jumbled anyway), but not something that's thought about (at least I never thought about it) that much: so a history lesson for all. They were in there before Big Pun and Fat Joe.

And according to the PowerHouse website, the Smithsonian is now taking on a Hip Hop exhibit...so brace yourself.

All in all, a neat exhibition space and someplace to keep in mind for the future. Brooklyn has so much to offer...if you can take it in, don't let it pass you by.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Omg:

So now this is almost like liveblogging my evening. As I sit here listening to the Quicklist of The Cool Kids on imeem, I remember that I opened up the Vibe website hours ago to follow up on a lead off of theybf.com concerning Al B. Sure's comeback . So, as usual, I don't read the article, but there is an article on The Cool Kids. Just re-emphasizing their on point nature at the moment. I'm not a stan or anything near that, but I like them. I also like Pacific Division and hope that they and U-N-I can make some waves too.

Also, I will write in defense of Hello Brooklyn once I think of a more substantive reason than the fact that Jay mentions Albee Square Mall....

HAUL,
The Queen

Writing about music

Its not something I will profess skill at, despite my love of arts and entertainment and a few stabs at album and video reviews in college and occasionally here at Vanity Dark. This doesn't mean that I can't appreciate some good commentary.

Some websites I like are Honorable Media at http://hmblog.wordpress.com, Sasha Frere Jones at http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/sashafrerejones and the Status ain't Hood blog over at Village Voice. Since I don't really have a sites I read section...I just thought I'd let it be known. Also, Kelefa Sanneh is the truth. Lola Ogunnaike was also on point...one day, I may make the list (my professional writing is nothing like the uber casual style I take here, although I maintain the same sentiments ...just in case a straggler on to the site was scared).

With that said two songs you should go listen to if you haven't yet, "Hostile Gospel" by Talib Kweli and "Drunk and Hot Girls" by Kanye feat. Mos Def

"Surviving Droughts, I wish you well"-Jay Z

HAUL,
The Queen

Throwback Pop Culture Clip of the Week

I miss when learning was easy and Saturday morning songs explained life. Anyone have a song for stats? I thought I'd do something different from Conjunction junction to illuminate the wonders of your favorite house schoolhouse schoolhouse rock! Schoolhouse Rock- How a Bill Becomes a Law

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

There she is....


If your like me, you've pondered in the last few months Julia Roberts whereabouts...I mean, iconic Oscar winning actress that has up and disappeared form the scene. Thankfully Vanity Fair informs us of her whereabouts in the December issue. Unlike the rest of Hollywood that out being talentless and causing a scene, our dear talented Julia has been at home with her kids while continuing to work. That's lovely and I sincerely applaud her.

Note, I have doubted her talent, but after seeing what untalented is, I admit that shes great. She also doesn't pull Cuba Gooding Jr.s and take random jobs. Plus she also provided me with my historical understanding of Wellesley through Mona Lisa Smile...and I now use that to explain the school to others while I'm across the pond. Chuckles...

Haul

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

First one guy gets Merrill Lynched

..and now Dick's Time is Parsoned Out.

Two major black heads in business have stepped down (or been ousted) recently. I didnt really follow O'Neal but I've been righy there along with Richard Parsons and the travails of Time Warner from the day I spotted a sketch of a minority on the fromt of the Wall Street Journal back in 2002. No matter what is said, he inherited a company rife with problems and afaults and manged to not sell off everything...which in my opnion makes him a strong man.
He's still chairman of the board, but not CEO.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Cool Kids

Around the same time I heard about U-N-I and one of my new favorite songs K.R.E.A.M., I also heard about this group called The Cool Kids. There is some buzz going out about them at the moment, and from what I've read around the net their performance at CMJ music festival was pretty ill. They're music is out on the indy scene, but their core is hip hop...Smurf ...Whop ..they bringing 88 back (a nice lil NASty shout out). Someone needs to talk about the flyness that was 86 tho. I'm just saying...

props to beats and rants and Sasha Frere Jones of the New Yorker for putting me on...

HAUL,
The Queen

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Throwback Pop Culture Clip of the Week

In honor of this article on the twist in Vanity Fair, I wanted to show the clip of Carl Winslow singing with his pals at his high school reunion. Since I couldn't find it, we'll settle for a Family Matters Clip and the Urkel dance. Sadly enough I was just alking about this in an email with a friend the other day. Im a loser: I remember most of the steps.

Enjoy!



ohhhh Snap...You can Crank that Urkel dance. Okay, someone stop the insanity tho...Cranking dances must end.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween?

My momma told me its the devil's holiday...but this is some involuntary participation.

I'm a SPOOK SITTING BY THE DOOR...cus aint nothing scarier than a SPOOK with a degree:

Holler!...

Don't worry tho...I'm leaving the door soon enough...be scared, be afraid.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Boondocks-Usher Confessions

This is a few weeks old, but I just found an edited down clip. Go about three minutes in: hilarious

Also, full episodes can be found at www.boondockseries.com

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Throwback Pop Culture Video of the Week

In honor of my new love of U-N-I and K.R.E.A.M. (also peep their songs Beautiful Day and Fat Girls), I'm posting two --yes two--classic Spike Lee clips from which U-N-I drew inspiration from for the K.R.E.A.M. video.

First up, someone uploaded this for a class I took last year, and I had the joy of analyzing this scene from Do The Right Thing. Here a white guy, wearing a Larry Bird Boston Celtics jersey(can anything symbolize more whiteness...repping racist ol' Boston? ugh..) steps on Buggin' Out's, played by Giancarlo Esposito, Jordans and all hell breaks loose. Gentrification==> dirty sneakers.




Second up, one of the series of Spike's commercials for Nike. Peep the hat...remember the Inglewood cap.."Money, It's gotta be the shoes!"




Step on my shoes, I will kill you....

HAUL,
The Queen

Monday, October 22, 2007

K.R.E.A.M.

I peeped this on Beats and Rants and had to share. First, the "Do the Right Thing"..Giancarlo Esposito reference is hilarious. Of course there is the obvious reference to Wu Tang Clan's C.R.E.A.M. and the Lupe Fiasco reference. It also bigs up one of my favorite sneaker brands of the moment, Creative Recs. In the tradition of Nelly's "Air Force 1s" and Kanye, Nas,Rakim and KRS One's Classic(Nike Remix)...this is one for the times of any sneakerhead. Like Run DMC in some Stan Smiths....hmm.

Sorry Cosby, you're going to have to sit out on this one...but I will hit you up when we celebrate Coogi sweaters.


Haul,
The Queen

Thursday, October 18, 2007

THROWBACK POP CULTURE CLIP OF THE WEEK

Won't even pretend that I have any recollection of this, but in honor of my new obsession with The Game and a post on the CW's board, I bring you old school Tia and Tamera Mowry...yep I think this is even before the The Full House episodes (why were all of Michelle's friends little curly headed black kids from huge entertainment families...Tahj Mowry, Jurnee Smollet?):




Bonus Clip: Now this I do remember. At the same time as Party of Five on Fox, the Smollett clan had their own version entitled On Our Own on ABC's TGIF. Classic.(For a review of both that I don't necessarily endorse, but it gives background and shows reasons for one show's success and the other's failure click here.) Has much changed in television and conception of shows?




Too bad it didn't last long. Maybe because this is how minority children are supposed to appear: Keke Palmer not urban enough? (redirected from YBF).


Sigh...
HAUL,
The Queen

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Colorado? Cleaveland?

That would perhaps be the funniest World Series ever...wait...wait ...I'm still chuckling.

Not that baseball doesn't already garner enough attention (and will continue to on virtue of it being the national pasttime..meaning elite sources will pay attention even if there was some large commonplace disinterest), but that will either be really good for the sport, bringing in more masses of the middle of the country, whom I suspect are the diehards or slightly bad...because all the crazy Yankee/Red Sox fans won't be watching hoping that one of them loses. In my hypotheses, a Mets fan would continue to watch the series if the RedSox play, simply because they want Red Sox victory since they hate the Yankees...even though the Mets [edit] beat the Red Sox the last time the won a World Series...in the greatest year ever.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

"Hip Hoppers Don't Do That...

..they shoot and move on to kill again." I've never heard of this radio commentator, John Gibson, but thanks to Young Turks on AOL, I had the pleasure of listening to his commentary on a recent school shooting in Ohio and then the differences between white and black kids shooting, after incorrectly assuming that the shooter was a black student (...the school is 85% black and all the pictures had black kids). Is there a witch hunt for fools after the whole Imus thing? I'm not sure anyone is going after this guy or if its worth it, but its at least worth the chuckle to listen to the characteristics of when "hip hoppers" or "you people" kill versus other groups. See the AOL post below. Also read about it on Media Matters, where you can learn about some of Johnny's other offenses.


Haul,
The Queen

Another Fox News Host with Another Racist Tirade

Posted Oct 13th 2007 5:35PM by Cenk Uygur
Filed under: Young Turks, Video, Fox News, Race Relations
This time it's John Gibson on his radio show talking about how he knew the school shooting in Ohio was done by a black kid who listened to hip hop music! Except it was a white kid. Oooops.

Then he was certain that the kid at least listened to hip-hop music (which, by the way, is not the same as gangster rap, in case Gibson is interested in knowing anything before he speaks; it's also not jazz, I know it comes as surprise to Fox News hosts when all black entertainers do not immediately break out in rap). Except the kid was a Marilyn Manson fan. Oooops.

So, Gibson desperately tried to pin this shooting on blacks or black culture, ignoring the fact that almost all school shootings in America are committed by young, white males (which also doesn't prove anything), including this one. Then, at the end, he unbelievably turns it around and tries to make the shooting seem more classy because the kid shot himself at the end. According to John Gibson, "hip-hoppers" are so cold blooded they they walk away from a shooting and do it again. Is his implication that white murderers have the decency to kill themselves afterward? Does that make it better?

It seems hard to believe he'd say these things, right? Listen for yourself:



I am not for seeing racism everywhere (I even defended Don Imus), but for those of you who refuse to see it anywhere, please tell me why Gibson went into this rant against black folks before he knew any of the facts of the case and kept it up even when it turned out it was a white kid who listened to "white" music who did the shooting?

Today's Sunday Times

Peep the article below on the lack of minority models. There's also some interesting features in October's Marie Claire about race and a global trend of ethnic ambiguity and attempts at looking more white. Ebony's September issue also looked at blacks in fashion. Or you could look at this, but spare yourself. BethAnn Hardison, mentioned in this article, has also been hosting some conferences on the topic (The Fashion Bomb has coverage of the last conference). It seems like this is cyclical, but let's hope that changes noted now stand longer. Old news is still new...
Haul,
The Queen

Runways Fade to White

Published: October 14, 2007

IN the days of blithe racial assumptions, flesh crayons were the color of white people. “Invisible” makeup and nude pantyhose were colored in the hues of Caucasian skin. The decision by manufacturers to ignore whole segments of humanity went unchallenged for decades before the civil rights movement came along and nonwhite consumers started demanding their place on the color wheel.

Photograph by Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters; photo Illustration by The New York Times

THE LINEUP At recent spring shows, black models were scarce or nonexistent, including at the ChloƩ show in Paris, above.

Firstview

FRESH FACE Honorine Uwera was hired for five New York shows, too few to justify a trip to Europe.

Nowadays the cultural landscape is well populated with actors, musicians, media moguls and candidates for the American presidency drawn from the 30 percent of the American population that is not white. Yet, if there is one area where the lessons of chromatic and racial diversity have gone largely unheeded, it is fashion. This reality was never plainer than during the recent showings of the women’s spring 2008 collections in New York and Europe.

Although black women in the United States spend more than $20 billion on apparel each year, according to estimates by TargetMarketNews.com, it was hard to discern an awareness of this fact on the part of designers showing in New York, where black faces were more absent from runways than they have been in years.

Of the 101 shows and presentations posted on Style.com during the New York runway season, which ended a month ago, more than a third employed no black models, according to Women’s Wear Daily. Most of the others used just one or two. When the fashion caravan moved to London, Paris and Milan, the most influential shows — from Prada to Jil Sander to Balenciaga to ChloĆ© and Chanel — made it appear as if someone had hung out a sign reading: No Blacks Need Apply.

“It’s the worst it’s ever been,” said Bethann Hardison, a former model who went on to start a successful model agency in the 1980s that promoted racial diversity.

AMONG the people she represented were Naomi Campbell and Tyson Beckford, the chiseled hunk who broke barriers in the 1990s by becoming the unexpected symbol of the country-club fantasia that is a Ralph Lauren Polo campaign.

“It’s heartbreaking for me now because the agents send the girls out there to castings and nobody wants to see them,” said Ms. Hardison, referring to black models. “And if they do, they’ll call afterward and say, ‘Well, you know, black girls do much better in Europe, or else black girls do much better in New York, or we already have our black girl.’”

Last month in New York, Ms. Hardison convened a panel of fashion experts at the Bryant Park Hotel to discuss “The Lack of the Black Image in Fashion Today,” an event she will reprise Monday at the New York Public Library on 42nd Street. “Modeling is probably the one industry where you have the freedom to refer to people by their color and reject them in their work,” she said.

The exclusion is rarely subtle. An agent for the modeling firm Marilyn once told Time magazine of receiving requests from fashion clients that baldly specified “Caucasians only.”

The message is not always so blatant these days, but it is no less clear. Take for example the case of two young models, one white, one black, both captivating beauties at the start of their careers. Irina Kulikova, a feline 17-year-old Russian, appeared on no fewer than 24 runways in New York last month, a success she went on to repeat in Milan with 14 shows, and in Paris with 24 more. Honorine Uwera, a young Canadian of Rwandan heritage, was hired during the New York season for just five runway shows.

While Ms. Uwera’s showing was respectable, it was not enough to justify the cost to her agency of sending her to Europe, where most modeling careers are solidified.

“We represent a lot of ethnic girls,” said Ivan Bart, the senior vice president of IMG Models, which represents a roster of the commercially successful models of the moment, among them black superstars like Alek Wek, Ms. Campbell and Liya Kebede.

“We have new girls, too,” Mr. Bart added, young comers like Ms. Uwera, Quiana Grant and Mimi Roche. “We include them in our show package, give them the same promotion as any other girl, and get the same responses: ‘She’s lovely, but she’s not right for the show.’”

Although, in fact, Ms. Roche and Ms. Grant, both black, were seen on runways in the last five weeks, the reality was that only one black model worked at anything like the frequency of her white counterparts: Chanel Iman Robinson, 17, who is African-American and Korean. Particularly in Milan and Paris, Ms. Robinson’s was often the only nonwhite face amid a blizzard of Eastern European blondes.

It is not just a handful of genetically gifted young women who are hurt by this exclusion. Vast numbers of consumers draw their information about fashion and identity from runways, along with cues about what, at any given moment, the culture decrees are the new contours of beauty and style.

“Years ago, runways were almost dominated by black girls,” said J. Alexander, a judge on “America’s Next Top Model,” referring to the gorgeous mosaic runway shows staged by Hubert de Givenchy or Yves Saint Laurent in the 1970s. “Now some people are not interested in the vision of the black girl unless they’re doing a jungle theme and they can put her in a grass skirt and diamonds and hand her a spear.”

And some people, said Diane Von Furstenberg, the designer and president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, “just don’t think about it at all.” Ms. Von Furstenberg herself has always employed models of all ethnicities on her runways. (This September, she hired seven black women, more perhaps than any single label except Baby Phat and Heatherette.) Yet she is increasingly the exception to an unspoken industry rule.

“I always want to do that,” she said, referring to the casting of women of color. “I can make a difference. We all can. But so much is about education and to talk about this is an important beginning.”

But isn’t it strange, she was asked, that she would have to invoke the rhetoric of racial inclusiveness at a time when Oprah Winfrey is the most powerful woman in media, and Barack Obama is running for president?

“Why did we go backward?” Ms. Von Furstenberg asked.

Agents blame designers for the current state of affairs. Designers insist agents send them nothing but skinny blondes. Magazine editors bemoan the lack of black women with the ineffable attributes necessary to put across the looks of a given season.

The current taste in models is for blank-featured “androids,” whose looks don’t offer much competition to the clothes, pointed out James Scully, a seasoned agent who made his mark casting the richly diverse Gucci shows in the heyday of Tom Ford. In today’s climate, it is far more difficult to promote a black woman than her white counterpart.

“You want to sell the model on the basis of her beauty, not her race,” said Kyle Hagler, an agent at IMG. Yet when he sends models out on casting calls based on what he terms a “beauty perspective,” omitting any mention to potential clients of race, “You always get a call back saying, ‘You didn’t tell me she was black.’”

THE reasons for this may seem obvious, and yet the unconscious bigotry is tricky to pin down.

“I’m not pointing a finger and saying people are racist,” said Ms. Hardison, who nevertheless recounted a recent exchange with the creative director of a major fashion label: “She said to me, ‘I have to be honest with you, when a girl walks in, I just don’t see color.’ Meanwhile, they have one girl, or more likely, none in their show.”

Ms. Hardison explained: “‘I don’t see color?’ Does that mean, you don’t want to see?”

There is something illustrative of the entire issue, and the state of the industry, to be found in this September’s Italian Vogue.

Just one image of a black model appears in the issue, midway through a 17-page article photographed by Miles Aldridge and titled the “Vagaries of Fashion.” In it, the glacial blond Anja Rubik portrays an indolent, overdressed Park Avenue princess with a gilded apartment, a couture wardrobe, two towhead children and a collection of heavy rocks. The sole black model in the pictorial is more modestly attired, in an aproned pinafore.

She plays the maid.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Heneiken Party

http://ageverify.usa.heineken.com/index.php?template=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.heinekenredstarsoul.com%2Fageverify.html&next=http%3A%2F%2Fheinekenredstarsoul.com%2F

Hopefully it's better than the Bacardi event....

Click here:

And now for a little Bklyn History

Thanks to the NYTimes. There's a pretty informative article this week about the Underground Railroad and the form it took in Brooklyn, leading to the designation of Duffield, a popular street in Brooklyn's Downtown as Abolitionist Place, "On the Trail of Brooklyn's Underground Railroad." The article also touches on the history of Weeksville, an important historical but oft forgotten neighborhood of Brooklyn. Get edumicated here.

Watch the NYTimes video on the subject here

If you ever want to really get into NYC history on an almost block by block basis, there's this guy that often does specials on PBS. I can't remember his name of the title of the program right now, but they are on point.

On another note, does anyone else feel intrigued by the case of Pinky? yea..

For related reading check out Monied Metropolis by Sven Beckert. It gives everything through an economic history of the city. Quite informative.

Haul,
The Queen

Friday, October 12, 2007

Brooklyn's just better

Can't even really call this a battle, tho' that's what Perez chooses to title it. I'm a big Ye fan, but Mos Def killed it. If you haven't yet, peep their joins together on Graduation, Kanye West's latest album. They're called Drunk and Hot Girls and Good Night.


p.s. Am i the only one dying of laughter from Shar Jackson's rap on Celebrity Rap Superstar? She's been pretty decent on the show spitting other people's raps, but the Britney line in this piece takes the cake:

Thursday, October 11, 2007

THROWBACK POP CULTURE CLIP OF THE WEEK

I found it!. I used to put this in the VCR and watch it all the time. It's such a classic. We're all in the Same Gang...wait for the Humpty verse...




Happiness

Why following through on my random finds is a good thing

Remember when I said I had no real theme: This is one of those moments.

You'll end up famous like this girl...or well at least get to do free reviews: http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/ny-impulse-group7,0,5960583.photogallery

The whole guilty pleasure thing...basically means hanging out with me, and she kept our nickname sacred...though I thought I was Daddy's Pride and Joy. Someone's getting a phone call.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

NBC buys Oxygen



Does that mean one of them will start showing Different World reruns again? I mean it was an NBC show and the last place I saw them was on Oxygen. Do something about it people. This show inspired me, made we memorize Ego Trippin', introduced me to black Greek culture and South African mine stepping. Dreaming of a better world of reruns....

Monday, October 08, 2007

Happy Columbus Day!

What would America be if it didn't celebrate crooks and robbers? On the other side of the pond..im missing it.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Concerts Redux: My Summer/Spring

I've been fortunate enough to see some good concerts over the past year, and so I going to give a quick sypnosis (not a review..too tired for all of that) starting in the spring(whatever that means in Boston) and going through the summer in NY. It starts with John Legend and goes through some greats like India Arie, Lauryn Hill, Doug E. Fresh and the Lox. Be prepared..this is long...just scroll until something catches your eye.

John Legend and Corrine Bailey Raye at The Orpheum(Boston) April 19,2007

This concert was beautiful, and Corrine Bailey Raye as the opening act only made the experience more worthwhile. The crowd was older, which allowed for a more mature and classy feel to the night. Every song was performed at a level of perfection and the highlight came when Johnny and Corrine performed some items together. They should actually do something together for an album, because they sounded really good together. Perhaps the most humorous part of the night came when Johnny puled a girl from the crowd on stage and proceeded to take of his shirt to show his loose Hanes undershirt. That was definitely a Johnny what are you doing moment. When he performed "Coming Home" I definitely was touched, and he also had a slide show of kids and families waiting for people to come home from war. This concert finally brought me around to fully accepting "Once Again" after a slightly less than great review I had given for my school paper. If you ever have the opportunity to see either of these artists in concert, I say go for it and you shall not be disappointed.

Events on my campus
Jadakiss performed at a Fashion Show for a short bit, and he was good. Unfortunately kids on my camus are real tame, so while I was ready to bang out and enjoy, I was one of the only ones up on my feet.
Third Eye Blind performed in the rainy weather in the Yard. It was cool I guess, I made my way to the gospel group's performance and had a 20x better time there. Afterwards I swung around to the Latino group's reception for their concert and met Luny of Luny Tunes. That was also hot.

94.5 Summer Jam---Somewhere in the boonies of (Mansfield) MA June 2007
|
| >tons of artists (Kelly R., Bow Wow, Ludacris and Bobby Valentino,Bone Thugs n Harmony, Omarion, MIMS(i think)Lloyd, Fabolous, Swiss Beats, part of Dipset, some more..and the surprise guest, 50 Cent)

Special thanks to a friend, because this concert almost didn't happen and it was the most fun concert of the year. NY's Summer Jam is supposed to be better, but MA did good for themselves. It was my swan song of approval for the state as I prepared to head out. A gazillion artist performing all the latest hits, tons of people in outside seating made it a fun day overall. I can't talk about every single act, but there are some memories. I was disappointed that the acts didn't collaborate to perform songs together when they obviously had songs together, but beyond that it was cool.

Kelly Rowland obviously has songs but nobody knows them. This was probably the shortest act of the event as she came out, performed "Like This," performed some of her Patti LaBelle from Dilemna and walked off stage. After her Swiss Beatz probably had the shortest set. He sang his song of the moment, It's me Snitches, and then played a lot of songs he produced.
I think MIMS performed, but I can't remember...does that say much?

On to some highlights:

Lloyd is not a person you expect a highlight from, but his set was cute and he had a little Mr. Rogers moment, so that was appreciated.

The Dipset Crew is just hilarious.

Bow Wow gets a special shout out because I'm his biggest fan. He's been out for a minute, but I guess he's not at the LL point where he feels comfortable singing the songs he first came out with. No "Bow wow wow yippie yo yippie yay where my dogs at..." Truth be told he doesn't have a "Momma said knock you out" from his preteen years, but it would have been cool. In Freshazimiz, he changed up the lyrics to say that he's no longer with Ciara eliciting screams from all the 15 year olds in the crowd, it was a good look.

Omarion is a good performer. He danced around the stage, and kept the tempo up at a point when people were starting to get tired. He also had cute stories ready to whip out to transition into songs. I definitely see how he did the Scream tour for so many years. That audience must have eaten it all up.

LUDAAAAA...was great. He brought out Bobby V and let him perform as well. As one of the most established performers of the night, he had a larger repertoire of songs to pull from so that the audience could be truly entertained and rock out with him.

Bone Thugs and Harmony are just classic. They sang one of their new joints and killed it on some older pieces. Their promo piece spoke to who they were as they also had collabos with everyone (It's Bone and Biggie baby) We're gonna miss everybody..

50 Cent...I'm not a fan, but he gave a good performance. His whole thing for the night is that he didn't have to run around the stage to entertain and was going to perform from one spot. He did, it was cool.

Overall, great concert and I'll definitely hit up another Summer Jam.

India Arie and Lizz Wright at Carnegie Hall, June

My cousin hooked me up with tickets and I was happy to feel all mature and classy again. I wasn't that familiar with Lizz Wright's music. I heard a few songs but didn't have a spot on favorite. Thankfully I was not disappointed by her. She has a beautiful voice and an easy going performance style.

India Arie was something else. Her performance was great, but sitting there made me realize how bitter she was under the guise of empowerment. Someone did her wrong and I think they need to work that out in a conversation...not a song..

The Martin Luther King Concert Series at Wingate High School, Brooklyn New York. I did all of them except Anita, Boyz II Men, and the O'Jays. In some of my earlier posts I talked briefly about them:

Full list:
*1st week: Jason Fox (open)--MC Hammer, Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick and MC Lyte
Fun Fun Fun. Jason Fox came out and of course we only knew how to do the Aunt Jackie but that was fun. MC Hammer still has it and used his son to fill in dancing when he got tired. I was waiting to get a laugh out of him doing that semi-patriotic rap, but he didn't. Instead we all got reminded that We got to pray, pray everyday. His dancers were still energetic and the West Coast vibe that us Brooklynites usually miss out on was great.
I'm convinced Slick Rick was high, but he and Doug E. Fresh were still a great performance. Doug E. Fresh did his same old school rock and still looks like a 10 year old. They also brought out other old school heads and mixed it up. ..If I remember correctly Little Vicious came out and did a little. Happiness.
MC Lyte was the best performance of the night. She did some of the standards and added a little freestyling to the mix.
Added benefits: Cake Man Raven was there and we had red velvet cupcakes. YUM!

*2nd week: Gospel Night: Fred Hammond, Byron Cage, Vanessa Bell Armstrong
Compared to last year when they had crazy Tye Tribbet and G.A., this was more sedate, but Gospel Night is always great. Marty Markowitz shouted out church groups and pastors and Fred Hammond was the highlight of the evening. Beautiful evening.

3rd week:(i thought it got rained out) Ruben Studdard and Boyz II Men..apparently it went on

*4th week:Caribbean Night: Mighty Sparrow, Machel Montano, Morgan Heritage( and more!)
I'm certain I mentioned this week already, but it was great. How old is Mighty Sparrow? He still mashed up the place. But Soca/Calypso is a trip and I did not know thre was o many ways to say jump and wine in a chorus..and the trini people did not stop. My favorite for the evening was Morgan Heritage and their new song "Headline Fi Front Page." They also brought out tons of Reggae artists that lived in Brooklyn. Shaggy came out, got the crowd hype thinking he was going to do Church Heathen...and then left the stage. Shameful. But great night.

*5th week: Sean Kingston and Lauryn Hill
Sean Kingston can sing well live, but needs a confidence boost. It's sad when the camera mn thinks that your hype man is the performer because he gives that much more to the performance. Lauryn Hill kept the crowd waiting for 2 hours only to show up high on some week that must have been laced with quack. From her disheveled bag lady look to her destruction of Bob Marley standards, the song was a disappointment. Artists have the right to their own interpretation and changes to their song. Jill Scott, Leela James and several others do it all the time. What Lauryn Hill did wasn't good. People started leaving after the first song, but I stuck out for a bit longer before deciding to go back home and pray for her.

6th week: Anita Baker
I didn't make it, but I hear this was the best of the summer.

7th week: The O'Jays and the Spinners

Zune Live at the BBQ: Dumbo, Brooklyn: tons of folk...just a whole lot
I missed the beginning of this so I don't even know who was there. I hear Cham performed and mashed it up. It was a nice small event, with people sitting on the grass, soul food stands, and tables with games everywhere. It was also a good mix of performers. Special Ed came out and some people that were rapping when I was still listening to my Disney records. Lord Tariq was also there and those are the names I remember. The DJ sets were a little long and annoying. One major highlight was the LOX performing together. It was a special moment, and unlike my campus, people knew to get live for an occassion like this. We gon make it had everyone on their feet, people running from the food lines, and a beautiful organized madness. The closing act for the evening was LL Cool J. I have seen him before, and he's always been a good show. I was not disappointed by his performance and had to chuckle when he started talking about the monkeys over at Def Jam. In typical LL style he brought tons of people on stage to party with him and took a little girl on stage and gave her a speech on how special she was. It was endearing. I'm still a fan. The last time I saw him he told everyone to tithe. Greatness.

John Legend at Joe's Pub-September
I'm not a John Legend stalker, but I had the opportunity to go to this concert for work. It was a benefit for GQ's The Gentlemen's Fund, and Johnny is their spokesperson. So the highlight of the evening was that I got to go backstage and meet him and take pics, and was also sitting right up underneath him. This was 10x more intimate than the last time I saw him perform, and I still enjoyed it a whole lot. Even in the mellowness of his songs, he brings an energy to his performance, and manages to move a crowd by sitting at his piano. He also kicks up his left foot while he plays. I thought that was amusing. "Coming Home" did it to me again.

Bacard B-Live: Calle 13, Talib Kweli, and Sean Paul at Steiner Studios, with DJ Mark Ronson Brooklyn-September
I'm just going to pretend that John Legend was the end. This was yet another free outdoor concert to end my summer, but the most disorganized one I've been to yet. After having people stand on line for forever (thanks to friends I got to cut) they opened the gates to just have people run in. There was no seperate line for people with VIP tickets or press passes, so they had to push through the entire crowd of people waiting and it was a fire hazard.
Calle 13 is cool but the girls they pulled on stage made their set. This one chick thought she was Shakira.
Talib Kweli was the best performance of the evening. I saw him before with his whole crew (Pharoahe Monch, Mos Def, Jean Grae) so I was prepared for it to not be that experience, but even by himself he brought it. He did a mix of old songs and songs off of EarDrum. I'm a big fan of his MySpace Album with Madlib, so I was a little disappointed that he didn't do any of those. Still he mixed it up, brought out some old school raps as well as R&B/ Soul/ and Motown songs from decades past. The best part of his set wasn't even his performance, but how real he kept it. Two girls started fighting and he stopped to point them out and tell them about themselves, and then broke into "Say Something." A fire moment right there.
Sean Paul was the last act, and he was speeding through songs. Worse off he didn't do any of his older songs like Deport Dem or Infiltrate. Brooklyn has too many Caribbeans to try to only do the songs that made big commercial success, and not what put you on the map. Shame.

Mark Ronson: Great DJ.

That was my year thus far...There were a lot that I missed that I'm still sad about ...like Amy Winehouse (for 15 dollars..that'll never happen again), Stephen and Damian Marley (for 23 dollars...I told you Boston is a dumbtarded city) and Leela James (free in NYC yet again and I missed it..sigh)


HAUL,
THE QUEEN

Friday, October 05, 2007

Another message for Nickelodeon

Below my rant is a link to article published in Advertising Age that discusses Nickelodeon's attempts to become relevant again (well at least to me...they're obviously relevant to tons and tons of kids). It would only make sense that Nickelodeon has the bigger music presence, seeing as their parent company (MTV Networks/Viacom for those not paying attention) owns the most relevant music channels around, few people comparatively in the U.S. watch FUSE, which is the biggest music channel I could think of as a competitor (all deductive reasoning...I have no facts) and the Disney Channel airs its own videos on the Disney Channel. That's great Nickelodeon...compete with Disney..launch the Naked Brothers Band and find your very own "High School Musical" jackpot. But how about you focus on what Disney can't do...which is have an oldies night. I've expressed my desire, AdRants expressed their desire, millions of young adults on facebook create and join groups expressing their desire. You don't see this for The Mickey Mouse Club, Flash Forward, The Baby Sitters Club, Circus Smirkus, Bug Juice or any of the good older Disney Channel shows. Clarissa explained life for some of us. We're older and need her wisdom again, or just to remember the days when Kel told us Orange Soda was okay, before we learned about the sugar and calories in a single serving. I actually went to see Good Burger in the movie theaters. That's how much I loved you. Watching old "Legends of the Hidden Temple" on Nickelodeon GaS(Games and Sports) will not suffice, and Noggin's cool, but it ain't old school.

In closing Nickelodeon, remember the closing on The Brothers Garcia, "Todo para la familia." I'm family...do it for me (and Taina, cus that bit role in I Think I Love my Wife was sad)! Do it for the girl who was excited to go to her aunt's house because there awaited cable and quality tv.


Advertising Age Article

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Hermit like folk are Everyday People too...different strokes for different folks...

Has Sly Stone taken to hanging out with Young Joc? Is he doing the motorcycle? lol...


Random queries on this photo aside, peep this article on , you guessed it Vanity Fair, on Sly Stone's whereabouts and life out of the public eye. Theres also a pretty great slideshow and overall Vanity Fair amazingness.

The article goes into Sly being a "We Are the World" type of man and covers where he's been since basically going all hermit like

In honor of Sly,I'll throw in yet another video for the day. So get up and Dance to the Music!

This is Arrested Development performing People Everyday which samples Sly and the Family Stone's Everyday People. P.S. I saw Arrested Development perform at the Head of the Charles last year and they are still live...and the old man, Baba Oje is still fly...long toenail dancing and all:




Also, a tribute at the grammys with Fantasia, John Legend, Steven Tyler, Maroon 5, Black Eyed Peas

Pop Culture Throwback of the Week

Oh Carolina, Shaggy...taking it back to 1993...i remember singing this in the backyard of my elementary school and none of us knew the words beyond "Oh Carolina" ..it was probably a good thing too..

You got to love the respect paid through the insertion of ska dancing in the middle of the video. Classic

For some new Shaggy...check out Shut Up and Dance with will.i.am and Fergie, or Church Heathen

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

America's Most Smartest Model

So the obvious play on grammar in the title is cute, but why is American and well everyone obsessed with watching people be stupid? Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader is cool, AMST is entertaining but extremely sad to watch. At least Beauty and the Geek has Geeks..this just has one smart guy who has a graduate degree already, and the redeeming black guy. You can check out the casting special on VH1 and its also one of ITunes free downloads of the week. Why oh why did the black man not know who fought in the Civil War or what The Emancipation Proclamation was? Luckily they showed another black man later on to salvage the race, but this was straight foolishness. I'm not sure what statement was being made by including that portion in the casting special, but it sure should be a wake up call.

The Sankofa bird is a bird that flies with its head looking backwards. It's imagery is symbolic of the familiar quote "a people who do not know their history cannot know where they are going." No, the one man on the show is not all black people in America, but it is important for the entire nation to be aware of that part of history. The hundred years following the Emancipation Proclamation was one of the most turbulent times in American history. While there was the Gilded Age and the Roaring Twenties, a lot more of the period was spent in nationwide distress. During that time, the memory of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil War was so important to the nation, and it is continuously used as a bartering tool for rights and privileges in the nation. Martin Luther King used it in his speech at the Abraham Lincoln Memorial where he had a dream, the Million Man March used the memory of Lincoln and recently Barack Obama launched his campaign in Lincoln's hometown and penned a nice little piece in Time magazine called "Through Lincoln's Eyes." It was never about blacks truly loving Lincoln, but more about understanding his importance to national memory and how to use that memory to achieve equality.

7 score and 4 years after the U.S.A. was founded, this is still a major part of who we are. For someone of color to be blatantly ignorant of this on national tv (basic cable may as well be national), and for VH1 to decide to air it, does not show progress, but rather regression.


Go read some David Blight and Lerone Bennett Jr.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Sneaker



I asked my sis to look for sneakers that had orange, blue or burgundy in it for me and she came across these! Excitement! So it's a little more pink they burgundy, but it works for me....I can walk around looking like a skittle. Woot!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Pop Culture Throwback of the Week

Remember Immature..before identity confusion and changing their name to IMX...before Roger on Sister Sister...before B2K. Batman, Romeo and Little Drummer Boy were something. Remember the actual video with the much older woman...just another one in the trends of really young boys and old women in videos.

lie e yi e yi lie e yi e yi...

HAUL,
The Queen

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

a Friend on learning about the Brangelina's new kid

"they ran out of babies in foreign countries?"

Lol. I'm not seriously hating. I don't like dogs, but people are entitled to have pets.

Newest addition to the Brangelina crew

is a dog. Because you know, 3rd world country kids and dogs are all the same.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The TV Lover in me is way to excited

After a public fight with I Tunes, suspicions about HULU and other missteps, NBC has made my day. Hopefully this woks on Macs, and they're not taking their anger out on me.


Note: I can't even think of an NBC show that I watch on a regular basis, but I will now. Maybe Chuck or Bionic Woman will be worth it.

But for true excitement, ABC went and topped them.

Sadly AOL is still trying to be relevant.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

RAP CITY

I don't really watch BET and haven't for a long minute(blame it on the lack of cable while at school and other factors). The programming continuously fails to engage me, although I still give Reggie and Deb props for putting on some sitcoms during the day..next step will be uplifting ones (bring back Frank's Place). Still, something inside of me shed a tear when I learned that Rap City is moving to the 1 AM timeslot. It's like I lost something from my youth... and the show is dying.

Sigh
HAUL,
Queen Kimmy

NICKELODEON

Earlier in the summer, as I sat unemployed, I took the time out to compose this message to Nickelodeon:

To whom it may concern:


I am not certain how old Nickelodeon is, but it is definitely old enough to exist as a point of nostalgia for several people. I'm only twenty one, but even in conversations with those ten years older than me, I hear people fondly reminiscing of shows they watched as a child on Nick. From "You Can't Do That on Television" to "Legends of the Hidden Temple" to more recent shows like "My Cousin Skeeter," Nickelodeon has a long representation of shows made for kids that click. Although I am not sure that viewer services is the place I should direct my email, I would like to propose to the programming department that Nickelodeon has an "Old School" night..perhaps on Nick @Nite or Noggin, or even a day of programming. I know several people my age would love to watch some old "Keenan and Kel," "The Secret World of Alex Mack" or "My Brother and Me." Perhaps a countdown special of greatest Nick episodes of all time would be good. Really, the Viacom partnership that has Nick paired with MTV networks and other networks like BET Networks, should allow the information to be spread pretty quickly. Its not like many young adults and college kids my age don't already get their "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" fix through Nickelodeon anyway.

Thanks for taking the time to read this email. I truly hope that someone considers the idea..especially since Viacom does a pretty good job of pulling clips of shows off-line anyway, and the Nick Classics website selling DVDs does not seem to be the most legit. If for any reason you could like to contact me, you can email me at {redacted} or call the number you see above. Enjoy your day.


They probably thought I was bitter since they didn't hire me, but I was sincerely interested in seeing this happen. Turns out I wasn't the only one. Check this post on Adrants today:

Nickelodeon Clutches Heartstrings of Suffering Quarterlifers

clarissa explains.png

While conducting research for our last post, it came to our attention that there are a lot of bummed-out twenty-somethings sitting around making Nickelodeon tributes to shows they grew up with. (See more here.)

Why is no one -- least of all Nickelodeon -- exploiting this wellspring of self-obsessed nostalgia? If we saw Gumby or Inside-Out Boy pushing product at us, we'd be all over that in an irrational second.

And we'd possibly (though not probably) kill to see a marathon of Salute Your Shorts or something SNICK-like. We'd even revisit Hey Arnold! if we had to. Man. Remember when TV was good? Remember TGIF? WTF happened to TGIF?!



I want it, the real advertisers think its a good idea...Come on Nick. We all need to experience the awesomeness that was Amanda Diva on My Brother and Me or even The Brothers Garcia: toda para la familia.

If you want a real throwback, better than my pop culture throwback of the week: start spamming Viacom, MTV Networks, Nickelodeon...I'm sure they can figure out a way to make a profit off of this and get people to watch. Hmph (also do it in December when I'll be back stateside..thanks!)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Wyclef Jean- Sweetest Girl (Official music video)

New Wyclef joint...nice to know that everyone from the Fugees didn't have their weed laced with quack.

HAUL,

The Queen

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

This Week's Throwback

is postponed until further notice.

Let's consider this a Recess. Was Spinelli just Italian? I always thought there was something more "Eastern" about her.

Later Dayz...
HAUL,

The Queen

Friday, September 07, 2007

CALL OUT

Let's hear it, one for the coons on UPN 9 and WB
Who 'Yes Massa' on TV, what ever happened to Wheezy? The Red Fox's?
Never got Emmy's but were real to me
Let's hear it, two for the spooks who do cartwheels
'Cause they said they played they parts well
Now they claim caviar, hate that oxtail
Lambda Sigma Phi badge on lapel
Whitey always tell him, "Ooh, he speak so well"
Are you the one we look to, the decent Negro?
The acceptable Negro -- hell nah
But they say, "These are our heroes"

One of Nas’s lesser known works, Coon Picnic focuses on what he viewed as coonery by blacks in contemporary media. Nas ends the chorus with the words, “These are our heroes,” in a sarcastic tone, pointing out the obvious flaws of those who are looked up to within the black community. Several colleagues reacted to this song when it came out, questioning Nas’s right to say anything about this topic at all. This is the same man that rapped on “Oochie Wallie” and along with Ginuwine said “Owe me back like 40 acres to blacks, Pay be back when you shake it like that,”-- points that will forever be his Achilles heel. Nas even realizes this point on his own song including a heckler at the end who derides the rapper for flaunting his wealth while making these comments.

After obviously attacking Kobe Bryant for his relations with white women who are of questionable status (a hotel worker and a former “video actress*”) in the first verse, and ranting some more, Nas starts blatant name calling towards the end, and called out Cuba Gooding Jr.

Now I’m calling him out as well, and his brother Omar is included: Let’s get it together people.


My beef with the Gooding brothers, as highly irrelevant as they may seem to be today, is not the same as that of Nas. I’m not as pre-occupied with them being “acceptable” as I am with them being as foolish as the foolish Galatians. They need to be smacked, hard, and then someone needs to smack their agents.

There have always been people that begin with promise before their career takes a turn fir the worse, but in the case of these brothers, their trajectory is a hair short of a low down and dirty shame. Lesser blame should be placed on Omar Gooding, since he obviously did not have the good fortune of his brother. Although riding on Cuba’s coat tails, his most memorable works are Hanging with Mr. Cooper, Smart Guy and Baby Boy. There was no golden role available for him to jumpstart his career. From there he went on to have some more supporting roles in movies like The Gospel, but also relies on episodes in an assortment of shows to stay relevant. It’d be one thing if he just moved on, but since he’s still trying, he needs to get it together. Omar is not exactly leading man material—he does not have the looks and has not shown the capability to do so, but he could make a solid supporting actor/television career, if he and his agent worked it out.

Cuba Gooding is a different story altogether. Despite what may have been witnessed in The Fighting Temptations (a movie I happen to like), he possesses talent and skill at his craft. Jerry McGuire and Boyz n the Hood are evidence of the brilliant work that he can do. But dear dear Cuba seems to have a problem with not taking roles. His IMDB roster leads one to think that his agent’s advice is to do every movie placed in front of you—leading to less than stellar works such as Daddy Day Care. After acting in Pearl Harbor and Men of Honor, Cuba Gooding then proceeded to star in Rat Race, Snow Dogs and Boat Trip. Although these movies may have taken in a decent amount at the box office, they only lessen his value as an actor. With each new commercial for an upcoming Cuba Gooding Jr., film , a roll of the eyes and queasiness is to be expected. These roles are acceptable for Ice-Cube, but not for someone with obvious talent and who is primarily an actor. Cuba, you and your agent are being called out for accepting stupid roles. Absence makes the heart grown fonder, and a few years could have gone by before American Gangster, which premieres later this fall, and an adoring fan base would have waited. Instead, you receive mumbled hallelujahs and silent prayers that your other works currently in production are well made, sensible films. Dabble in the goofy, but do it sensibly. This is my call out. And no…the Nas song don’t really got much to do wit nething, I just thought it was a song that more people should be aware of.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Whoopi Goldberg and Michael Vick

...should hang out with Jamie Foxx. I still haven't watched that episode of The View where she comments on Vick, but she is now denying defending him. Cus down in the souf dog fighting is popular. I did read about it in one of those Mildred D. Taylor books (Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry/ Let the Circle be Unbroken/ The Gold Cadillac) when I was little, so I don't doubt it...Betting 12million on a dog makes better sense than giving a dog 12 million to me.

Newho: watch the episode here and make your own decision. Better yet, go read a Mildred D. Taylor book. Get your mind right.

Related News: Apparently Sherri Shepherd is joining The View. I really though they'd let B. Smith get a shot, but oh well.

Minorities and Campus News Papers

So, I think this off topic from my usual postings, but then again--there is no real connecting theme, beyond my obsession with Vanity Fair, journalism, and the popular culture of my youth. So in that vain, I'd recommend checking out this article on racial politics in college newspapers from Campus Progress. This was a persistent issue on my campus that I suffered reading several emails about. Still not much change happened. I don't think that its simply that minority students lack an interest in the poor paying field of journalism (why did I choose this path again?), because as far as I can tell HBCU's have campus newspapers and shock even communications majors(note: never attended one and don't intend to). There's even a student branch of the National Association of Black Journalist (NABJ) I think it's a larger issue of minorities on medium to large size campuses not being attracted to various campus activities en masse. Sure there's a sprinkling over a variety of clubs, but there's only a sprinkling over the entire campus in general. Add on all the various minority groups, including minority papers, and you have a group of overspent students constantly proving themselves and their right to be there, that adding one more activity can be a bit much. In my experience, just among black students there was a umbrella group, an African group, a Caribbean group, a male group, a female group, a theater group, 2 singing groups (one became too integrated with whites for some folk), a business group (mixed with other minorities), a secret homosexual group, community service organizations within three of those groups, some dance groups, publications in three of these groups, loads of multi-thousand dollar events and people were still trying to start more.

I also have a feeling that some enjoyed the racial homogeneity of some of their clubs after mixing it up all day anyway. It may have been like going home at night to family. Not saying its right, but its human.

HAUL,
The Queen

POP CULTURE THROWBACK OF THE WEEK

This is hilarious, especially since its in Spanish, but it's deserving of a post because this is at the start of UPN really trying to come into its own. Malcolm Jamal Warner found something to work after The Cosby Show that actually featured his face (although we all love Magic School Bus). It was an entertaining show, and many more were introduced to the quackhead that is Eddie Griffin. I had the pleasure of seeing him at a Jimmy Kimmel taping earlier this year and will assure you that he is still a quackhead. At least someone put him in his place about the N word. Amen, Jesus saves.

HAUL,

The Queen

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Want more Cooper

As the other sister pointed out in my previous post, Cooper is available on AOL's In2TV. This particular episode not only has Cooper, Raven and Omar Gooding---but also Stanley and Kenny (from the Cosby Show). How many shows were they on together...gosh!

Enjoy!

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Message for El Debarge


You are the brother above this writing--not the one below. I know it's tempting to want to be like your younger siblings sometimes, but that should never lead you to jail. You know your voice is too high to survive a stint. And we still love you Chico--sorry you had to be the example.