- Barack Obama and Malcolm X
- New Jean Grae: “U & Me & Everyone We Know” (AUDIO)
- Snoop Dogg On “The Price Is Right” (VIDEO)
- Cee-Lo Green singing Imagine (VIDEO)
- DJ JS1 Breaks Set
- On Lauryn Hill and Shaking the Vending Machine
- Reading the Debt Ceiling
- People’s Champion: The Eli Porter Documentary (Full Video)
- How The BET Awards Changed My Life
- The Last Thing I Learned From Gil Scott-Heron
A must-read from Jelani Cobb on Race and Obama.
BARACK X: RACE AND THE OBAMAS _newyorker.com_ The post-racial myth is the logical outgrowth of an older mythology that the black struggle for freedom was anchored in a moral crusade to redeem America at large. The truth of the matter is that Martin Luther King, Jr., was more of a backroom operator than that. The idea of redemption stemmed from a moral sales pitch proffered by King, a transaction in which whites would confront the awful contours of American history and be granted exemption from its implications. Black people had a more tangible yield in mind: removing the dusty boot of Jim Crow from our necks. If fashioning spiritual redemption as a form of higher patriotism was enough to end abominations like the waterlogged obscenity that was Emmett Till’s body, then so be it. But the deeper truth is that black people were more concerned with saving our own necks than saving America’s soul. For this reason, white claims to have “marched with Dr. King” eventually became an unintentional punch-line, a disclaimer for whatever racially obtuse commentary followed that preface. The joke, however, was on us. Few could conceive that forty years after King’s death, the nation would elect a black President—an event deeply rooted in the civil-rights ethos, a bolder redemption, a stronger immunization against the claims of history. And, as with the claims to have marched with Dr. King, the very fact of Obama’s election has been a disclaimer against the racism that came after it.
Drew Carey welcomes Snoop Dogg as guest co-host and announcer on The Price Is Right. Snoop seems more enthusiastic about game show hosting here than he has about rapping in years. Even though his uglier moments like "Can U Control Your Hoe" always linger in the back of my mind, I always enjoy seeing him in venues like this. See more video at miss info's spot.
Here's the video of CeeLo Green doing a controversial cover version of John Lennon's "Imagine" for New Year's Eve. Not the worst performance from Cee-Lo even if there were some struggles in the high notes. But Cee-Lo also offended some John Lennon fans by changing one of the song's key lyrics, when he changed "and no religion too" to "and all religion is true." I gotta agree it's kind of a shame for Cee-Lo to edit Lennon's words here. I always admired how Lennon's songs can be so irresistibly loving and positive, giving them a universal appeal for any audience, while also being so cynical and subversive at times in their substance. See Cee-Lo Green's performance of "Imagine," with lyrical alterations, below, (source here lyrics after the cut.) JOHN LENNON "IMAGINE" LYRICS (AS SUNG BY CEE-LO GREEN HERE) Imagine there's no heaven It's easy if you try No hell below us Above us only sky Imagine all the people living for today Imagine there's no countries It isn't hard to do Nothing to kill or die for And all religion is true [ORIGINALLY: no religion too] Imagine all the people living life in peace You, you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one I hope some day you'll join us And the world will be as one Imagine no possessions I wonder if you can No need for greed or hunger A brotherhood of man Imagine all the people sharing all the world You, you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one I hope some day you'll join us And the world will live as one
Just a few thoughts on Lauryn's good news last week. For those who have been asking: I'm not sure I have anything to add about the debt ceiling farce, that hasn't been said already, but I did post about it here.
SOME OF THE THINGS I'VE IN THE LAST 24 HOURS: Early rundown of the deal NYT hates the deal WSJ loves the deal (note even they use language that acknowledges it as a hostage situation.) Daily Kos defends the deal Daily Kos hates the deal Paul Krugman really really hates the deal Mother Jones also doesn't like the deal The deal shows how the whole system is screwed The deal shows how Obama has moved to the right The deal really really shows how Obama has moved to the right That's not true, Obama just had no choice here Ezra Klein Ezra Klein Ezra Klein Eugene Robinson Zerlina Maxwell's twitter Robert Reich's twitter MY CONCLUSION: Uhh, yeah. Which take do you agree with? What else should I be reading?
People's Champion: Behind the Battle from Trent Babbington on Vimeo. I've been sidelined from making videos by getting a tooth pulled, and should be back on it this week. but in the meantime here's a newly released documentary about hip-hop's viral "I deed it" sensation from a few years ago, Eli Porter. I haven't had a chance to watch it yet, but I look forward to seeing what happens when you explore the human story behind this type of internet meme. I appear in the film briefly, in my capacity as an expert in the field of Random Internet Stuff It was hard to wrap my head around the Eli Porter phenomenon, at first. People were obviously sending the video around for the purpose of mocking him, and I didn't want to join in on that. But I couldn't deny the clip had an addictive kind of oddity to it, especially after the remixes by helios2003 that took the surreality to a whole other level. But over time I think, or at least I'd _like_ to think, that Eli has earned a sort of respect from the public (even if that respect is still partly tongue-in-cheek), and that he's gone from butt-of-a-joke to a sort of underdog hero. And I hope this film helps brings a bit more of that respect to Eli Porter-the actual human being-and helps make this whole viral phenomenon end up as a positive experience for him. Even if I still wish he had more enlightened views on certain social issues, such as Rosie O'Donnell's attendance at bridal showers.
Giving thanks to Tiffany Green and BET, for the picture that captures everything I would've said in all the videos I never made this past year. If you were smart enough not to watch that show, here is the snafu I am referring to, and that Tiffany's reacting to in the photo: I usually like to avoid taking shots at BET since they're such an easy target, and they have done some good things over the years..but at times like this they just make it impossible!
A lot of people asked me to post DJ Monk One's Gil Scott Heron tribute mix from our radio show, and I wanted to say a few words to go along with it. This video might not be too interesting for anyone, but it's one of those things I just had to put into words for myself. And more importantly, here is DJ Monk One's superb Gil Scott Heron mix, from our tribute show two weeks ago on WBAI 99.5 FM: The Gil Scott Heron mix by jsmooth995