Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I'm not sure how long this video will be on YouTube. Similar versions of it have been deleted.

This is one of my sister's and my favorite SNL skits. Justin Timberlake and Andy Sandberg do a pretty good job of poking fun at some of the nonsense accepted as "music" these days. Enjoy!

*Warning: this clip contains some strong language*


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Kucinich = Andre's Choice 4 Prez?

According to this Candidate Calculator, I'm supposed to be a Dennis Kucinich supporter. I could do worse I guess. I mean, have you seen his wife?! She's not the hottest woman on the planet, but I'd much rather have her as a First Lady than Bill Clinton. No doubt!

Anyway, here's how I scored:

Top Match
Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich (D) - 81.82% match

Other Top Matches
Illinois Senator Barack Obama (D) - 72.73%
Delaware Senator Joseph Biden (D) - 72.73%
Former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel (D) - 72.73%

Middle of the Pack
Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards (D) - 63.64%
New York Senator Hillary Clinton (D) - 54.55%
Texas Representative Ron Paul (R) - 54.55%
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) - 45.45%
Businessman John Cox (R) - 45.45%
Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd (D) - 45.45%
Arizona Senator John McCain (R) - 36.36%
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson (D) - 36.36%
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) - 27.27%
Colorado Representative Tom Tancredo (R) - 27.27%

Bottom of the Barrel
Kansas Senator Sam Brownback (R) - 18.18%
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (R) - 18.18%
Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson (R) - 18.18%
California Representative Duncan Hunter (R) - 9.09%

At no suprise, most of the GOP wound up at the bottom of the list. But I admit I was pretty suprised (and maybe a little disappointed) that at least Ron Paul and I didn't see eye-to-eye on more things. What's worse is that Ghoul-iani scored so well with me. Freaky.

How do you rate?


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Political humor

Truthfully, I haven't been a huge Hillary fan lately. Frankly, she's got a lot of work to do before she can earn my affection. Still, I was pleasantly suprised to see that she's got a pretty good sense of humor, as evidenced by this campaign ad:

Just in case you didn't get the joke, this ad was a parody on the series finale of the hit TV show The Sopranos. Some die hard fans had some issues with the way the series ended, but I for one thought it was genius. Check it out:

But, back to Hillary. As I said, she's not on my friend's list right now. But at least I can count on her for a good laugh. This before she gives me a good laugh on her foreign policy.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Light = Right?

I love my people. But sometimes they can drive me up the wall.

In the latest installment of the "What the hell is wrong with us?" series, a DJ/promoter in Detroit apparently thought it would be a good idea to host a party where "light skinned" women received free admission. At no suprise, this idea was met with opposition on all fronts.

Honestly, I don't know where to start with this one. This is clearly another sad example of how the mentalities that were shaped during slavery (particularly with the conflict between house slaves and field slaves) have once again managed to rise to the 21st century surface. Further evidence that self-hatred and ignorance didn't end just because slavery did.

Hat tip to my big sis Robin for this article.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Apocalypse of College Football

Just to recap things up to this point:

- Michigan loses to Appalachian State at home. They then get blown out the next week; also at home.

- Notre Dame starts its season off at 0-5.

- Florida loses two games in a row; one of which is to an unranked Auburn at home.

- Five of the nation's top ten teams all lose in one week. Three more lose the weekend after that.

- Southern Cal loses to an unranked Stanford at home, while facing a second string quarterback.

- LSU, the number one rated team in the nation, loses to Kentucky.

- On the same day, number two California loses to an unranked Oregon State at home.

- The University of South Florida and Boston College are in the top five in BCS scoring.

This is all further evidence that the end is near.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Causes or trends?

OK. This post will most likely get filed in the “Andre ain’t s@*t” category. I’ve got a few more of these up my sleeves so I’m prepared to deal with the onslaught of opposing diatribes. In this case, I'm hoping that my delivery won't be the source of a major breakdown in communication. We shall see. So without further ado, let’s get on with this:

I was in grocery store the other night to grab a few items (interesting how going in to grab one item wound up being about a hour’s worth of impulsive shopping. But I digress.). As I made my way through the store I was amazed to see pink…literally everywhere. From cans of soup, to apple juice, to laundry detergent, product after product adored pink labels used to recognize and support Breast Cancer Awareness month. Initially I have to admit, I was a little moved by the noble efforts of vendors and the store in general to promote awareness regarding this serious and life-threatening affliction. Even if most of the products themselves were laced with preservatives, mad calories, and (apparently) salmonella, it was still clear to me that the vendors were all doing their part in fighting breast cancer. This, coupled with individual efforts to support the cause (Sylvia, for instance, just wrote an amazing post about it) left me with a restored sense in people’s humanity.

But (here it comes)…

The more I thought about, the more incensed I got. With absolutely no disrespect intended to breast cancer victims around the world, I’m absolutely sick of days, weeks, or months that are set aside to commemorate well…stuff. It’s for that very reason that I’m done celebrating Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, 9/11, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Rape Victims Month, or any other trendy things the greater society can come up with. Please don’t read into me incorrectly: I’m certainly not implying that it’s no longer necessary to be aware and concerned about those things. I just don’t think that putting together some cheesy commemorative event or series of events is the best way to disseminate important information about these causes. As long as we walk this Earth, our hearts and minds should be on the problems of the world; not just during a particular month or when some particular celebrity endorses it.

Before I go any further (to take a break from any tension that might be building at this point), let me point out that I take no issue with people’s interest in identifying the problems; particularly as the hit close to home. Many people who meet certain problems with apathy often do so because they haven't experienced that particular problem in their lives. I get that. But I still find myself having some issues here that I need to get off my chest.

For starters, a major issue I have with these awareness-raising efforts is the limited scope of focus throughout the greater society. Frankly, there are far too many causes out there to arbitrarily assign a month or a week's worth of awareness to each one. I suspect that we simply identify the catchiest causes and make them the center of attention.

But ultimately, I suppose that the greatest issue that I have with our tendency to turn causes into a trend (well, I guess you can say that’s a part of the problem too) is that causes like AIDS awareness, breast cancer awareness, Black History, Hispanic Heritage, etc all fit into the category of things that should be inseparable from our understanding of the world in the first place. As I just mentioned, these are problems that need to be addressed everyday; not just for a month at a time. We buy potato chips in the bag with the pink ribbon on it, learn the words to “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, put an American flag in our yard, donate a little blood, and attend a Hispanic movie festival and think that we’ve done a great thing in the world. That’s all fine and dandy. But I submit to you that it’s not about what you do for breast cancer awareness in October. It’s about what you do in May. It’s not about using February to celebrate the contributions black folks have made to society. It’s about what you do to recognize them in September. It’s not about how holy you are on Sunday. It’s what you do Monday through Saturday that counts. We don’t honor America (the troops and otherwise) by wearing pins and putting magnetic ribbons on our cars. We do it through our day-to-day conduct (I feel you on that one, Senator).

My point here is not to attack or condemn the merits of Breast Cancer Awareness month or any other similar efforts of recognition. I’m simply pointing out that there is a general lack of concern about pressing issues in the world until some marketing and feel-good stories get attached to them. And even then the attention generated for that cause/event is pretty limited to a particular time period. The problems themselves aren’t limited to a certain amount of time. Why then, have our concern for these problems been shaped that way?

Your thoughts?


Monday, October 08, 2007

Blogger of the Month

One cool thing that I've taken from blogging over the past two years is the interaction that I've had with the diverse people from around the globe. I've debated, learned from, and exchanged thoughts with folks whose blogs reflect their unique personalities.

So as a component of me tracing my walk through cyberspace, I've decided to toss out the occasional "shout outs" to other bloggers out there. On one hand, I guess this is my way of thanking them for edifying me in their own ways. On another hand, this is my attempt to get you hip to other folks out there in the blogosphere.

I was going to start with my amigo the Hippie Conservative but it seems that right now he's got some technical difficulties he needs to work out (yeah, I called you out. Take that!). So I'll go somewhere else for my virgin "shout out" post:

My first featured blogger is my cyber homegirl, Mariana.

I'm not sure when I first met Mari. But since I did, she's become one of my favorite bloggers. Most of her blog follows her day-to-day activities; which admittedly don't necessarily speak to my need to stay hip to all the latest news and social commentary of the day. To that extent, I suppose we don't have much commonality. All the same, I still find myself enamored by how she sees the world; especially as she views it through the eyes of a student. I especially like how she's as fun, socialable, and cool as they come; but she can also buckle down and take care of business when she needs to. I think that what amazes me most about Mari is how incredibly sharp she is. She's successfully finished a four-year degree, graduate school, and her first semester of med school. What's more; she's only in her mid-twenties.

You should check her out some time. I think you'll find her just as interesting as I do.


Monday, October 01, 2007

The words to the song

"We hate America."

"I can say nigga, but you can't."

"The 9/11 victims were Nazis."

"I am no longer a Christian."

"Bush is a fascist."

"We cheered during 9/11."

Before I go any further, let me preface this post by informing you that none of these statements are mine; nor do they reflect sentiments I hold.

Well, sort of.

When you hear rhetoric like this presented with such extremity, it's very easy to get your message lost in the translation. It's for this reason -- I would argue -- that there has been such a major disconnect between liberals and conservatives in what would otherwise be a civilized and lucid discussion.

From my analysis of debates between pundits, activists, and media, I've come to the conclusion that the possibility of profound and intelligible exchanges between liberals and conservatives are often twarted when extreme rhetoric is tossed into the mix. When I first heard that rapper and activist KRS-One went on Hannity and Colmes to justify his comments regarding 9/11 for example, I just knew what to expect. He would be on the show defending his statements, Sean Hannity would fccus on what he said WORD FOR WORD, rip into him, give him a second to explain himself, and then -- of course --KRS-One would fail to adequately do so. Not suprisingly, at the end KRS-One would be labeled as another liberal nutcase who thought that 9/11 was a good thing (since his comments were taken literally, 911 must've really been a joke).

Then, I saw the clip:

When I heard KRS-One's comments, I immediately knew what he meant. I immediately picked up on the fact that he wasn't "celebrating" Jane Doe (the $9/hr secretary working at Merrill Lynch to take care of her family) being killed during the horrendous attacks of September 11th. I get the idea that the "celebration" was indeed over the assault on corporate America that ensued during the attacks (let's face it, America's economic system is greedy and exploitative and did take a major blow during 9/11). But that's not what Hannity heard. All he heard was "we celebrated during 9/11". From there, the usual antics of talking over each other and falsely contextualizing took place.

KRS-One's comments, Ward Churchill's anti 9/11 sentiments, the Daily Kos (and other liberal outlets), and defendants for the n-word all fall into the same category. They all share legitimate thoughts and ideas that quickly get lost and dismissed by poor delivery. I'm sorry, but using a series of extreme and sometimes hyperbolic statements will not make your message acceptable to conservatives. Conservatives (as far as I can tell by those I've seen in action) tend to process information concretely. This certainly isn't a character flaw. It's just how they are. So when liberals try to convey a point using abstract and figurative language, they'll never get conservatives to see things their way. Hence the communication breakdown. This is why there will always be a great divide.

This discussion conveniently fits into a conversation I had with the Hippie Conservative regarding Bill O'Reilly's comments about Sylvia's restaurant. After hearing another version of this story, it appears that his comments were taken out of context. So, allow this to serve as my public apology for bashing Bill-O (if your only sources are Media Matters and Crooks & Liars, you might wanna double check the information before forming an opinion). But this also goes to show that if people don't say what they actually mean it makes it all the easier to twist and manipulate comments to satisfy an agenda against them. If you leave it up to other folks to make assumptions on what you mean, effective communication will never take place; least of all not with political and social relations.