Category: news

Media Blackout: Day One

The first thing I observed was silence.

Deafening silence.

I have never been deluded into not acknowledging that I have a fear of silence. I have always been of the belief that background noise settles my mind and focuses it, first on whatever I am listening to and then onto whatever else I deem important enough to think about. I grew up in a home that had something on at all times. My mother had either a TV or a radio on wherever she was. After thinking about it, I realize that this was something I took from her.

I didn’t struggle with disconnecting from Television very much at all. Of all the things that I was giving up, I found television to be the one item that I was LEAST bothered about. My most enjoyable experience of the day was replacing Random TV Viewing with a morning perusal of my local Newspaper, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (a McClatchy owned Newspaper, a fact I will pontificate on at a later date). Granted, there are several Documentaries that I have been meaning to watch along with my daily diet of talking head blather, but I know very well what a timesuck television can be. I will add that the primary reason that I am starting this project so much earlier than my classmates (it is due to be turned in on Tuesday, March 24, 2009) is because I knew that I didn’t want to deal with my lack of television overlapping with any meaningful part of March Madness, the name used to denote collegiate athletic conference championships and the NCAA Basketball tournament. While I will miss a few of the minor conference championship games, I will end my Media Blackout just in time for the Big East Conference Championship, which is where my favorite team growing up, the University of Pittsburgh Panthers, will play for back-to-back conference championships. Everything else that I find myself watching can be delayed or just plain old forgotten about. I didn’t even bother to adjust my DVR to see if there was anything I needed to record while I was away.

Unplugging from the Internet will be far more difficult (I say as I blog using a technical loophole as we speak)

I was slightly late to the phenomenon of the Internet, Joining AOL on Christmas Eve, 1997. It wasn’t until 1999 that I began to use the Internet for something other than chatting with other people and exchanging emails. As broadband connectivity became available, I found the internet becoming a more and more functional part of my life. Now, There are very few parts of my life that aren’t impacted by the internet, chief among them, my online banking and billpaying.

While I have long since soured on the radio, as someone who finds himself driving an average of 1500 to 2000 miles a month, it is an invaluable source of background noise. Whether it is the entertainment masquerading as information that is Talk radio, or the information masquerading as entertainment that is public radio, or the useful idiocy of sports-talk radio, It can always feed my never ending yearn for background noise in the event My ipod and my FM modulator are not playing nicely in the car. Easily the hardest part of this experiment will be avoiding the instinctive reach for the radio dial the instant the engine roars (or in the case of MY little four cylinder, putt-putts) its approval of the Starter. Driving in silence is going to be the most painful part of this experience, by far.

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The perils of judging a magazine by its cover.

The easy thing to do is to talk about how HORRRRRIBULL the New Yorker cover was.

I don’t blog to do the easy thing.

I’ll bet when Barry Blitt penned this lil ditty, he probably thought to himself…”yeah, I nailed that shit. This is off the chain.  I didn’t miss a thing. Look how complete the analysis is, down to the flag in the fireplace.  Ain’t no one seein this.  Pullitzer, here I come.”

While I am far too cheap to subscribe to the New Yorker, I read it regularly online.  It is classic Northeast Corridor insular intellectualism.  They do what they do well.  And yeah, the Cover is well done.

In a vacuum.

Out here in the real world…Blitt fucked up.

He should have talked to Spike Lee about the what happens (or what doesn’t happen) when you trot out heavy duty satire around Black folk.

Of course most folk at the New Yorker are so busy waxing geo-political and post-racial about Obama they seem to have forgotten that Barack Obama is Black man #1 right now.  What you say or do to Barack Obama, Michelle Obama or the WeeMichelles (Shouts to WAOD)

Black folk who wouldn’t know the New Yorker from a brochure for the Chrysler New Yorker have seen this cover and are…uh…Let’s just say they aren’t pleased.

On the heels of The Etherization of the Former First Black President and his Wife in the eyes of Black folk, Nuts-Gate,  and the still smoldering ashes of Tavis Smiley’s status as the King of the Black Pundits, it is becoming abundantly clear that in the eyes of many Black folk, anything that takes away from Barack Obama’s presidential aspirations is taken VERY personally.

Black folk were late to the party, remember, This time last year, Hillary Clinton was 25 points up on Obama in the polls, even amongst Black folk.  I am pretty sure that this over-protective impulse amongst Black folk is a subconscious reaction to being so late to the party.

Combine this default nuclear response to anything percieved as disrespectful of the Obama Family with the universally unmentioned fact that Obama (like Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice before him) isn’t alloted a certain regal status afforded other National level Politicians.

Barack Obama carries around issues that don’t actually exist, while John McCain gets a pass on Upgrading from his disabled wife who sat by and waited for him to come home from Vietnam to a sugar daughter who could afford McCain with the economic infrastructure to parlay his admirable Military history into a national career in Politics.

That is an everyday situation for Black folk and white folk just don’t get it.

Satire doesn’t play when people actually think what’s so over-the-top satirical is true.

Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.

and the WORST part of all this is…

The Obama article INSIDE the magazine is a a revealing insight into what makes Obama tick.

But who cares about all those words when there is a pretty picture on the front.

But…I’m STILL mad. Why is that?

I should be estatic.

I am not.

The speech was magnificent and all, but I almost seem to see more self-congratulatory (look how far we have come) bullshit than anything.

I reckon I was just blindsided, so caught up in my own happiness that I forgot everyone else was just as obtuse and myopic about the REAL issues of race and class that the actual lessons of this campaign have yet to be discovered.

But the fist bump is still the greatest example of Black Love in Action to grace Prime time television in a MINUTE

Alcee Hastings, kindly get your facts straight before putting your foot in your mouth

So says Congressman Alcee Hastings

At the beginning of our great country’s history my ancestors were counted as only 2/3 of a person.  Until passage of the 15th Amendment in 1870, they weren’t allowed to vote. During that same time and until 1920, women could not vote.  White men who did not own property could not vote at one point in our history as well.

Um…Sir…it was actually only 3/5 of a person.  As a person whose ancestors were the same as Rep. Hastings, let me be the first to say that while it may serve Mr. Hastings’ purposes to equate slavery and non-personhood to what is happening to Florida, I am inclined to find it rather hyperbolic and wishes he would shut the fuck up.

Respectfully.

It is a LONG ass way from 2/3 3/5 of a person to being caught up in some intra-party squabble that diminishes the weight of a citizens vote in a party primary to determine the party nominee.  A punishment passed along as a result of breaking party rules.

Of course, breaking rules is something you know something about, isn’t it?

Paying the price for breaking rules?

Not so much, huh, Mr. Impeached judge turned congressman?

What Part of the Game is THIS?

Just what are the circumstances that are involved in having wall to wall coverage of the sentencing phase of the Bobby Cutts, Jr. trial in the middle of the day?

Such that we have televising of the family of the victims testifying in regards to the punishment phase?

hmmm…

Nothing else going on today?

Does this happen a lot?

I mean, Don’t get me wrong.

If they arranged to inject Officer BabyMama & Baby Killer in between mediocre American Idol acts, I would be fairly indifferent, but my Spidey Sense is tingling.  Something isn’t adding up.

Memo To Mickey Kaus: If you don’t know…Just Ask

Much has been brought up about Mickey Kaus and his obsession with the Bradley Effect.

Black Bradley Effect? Noam Scheiber has speculated that black voters might tell pollsters one thing and do another in the South Carolina primary, just as (it’s theorized) white voters did in New Hampshire:

Is it possible that some black voters would tell pollsters they support Hillary (or that they’re undecided) because they don’t want to sound like they’re voting mainly out of racial solidarity, even though they actually intend to vote for Obama?

He could be right! But what if this black Bradley Effect operates in the other direction–black voters tell pollsters they are going to vote for Obama (because they feel that’s expected of them) and then vote for Hillary or Edwards? In other words, they behave exactly like the white voters in the Standard Bradley Effect. That would take some of the sting out of the implicit charge of “racism” that always lurks underneath the Bradley Effect, no? … Of the two possibilities, I’d guess the latter is more likely. Are African-Ameican voters really worried that they’ll “sound like they’re voting out of racial solidarity”?** I’d think fear of being considered a self-hater or Oreo (or practitioner of “middleclassness“!) looms larger in most black communities, unfortunately. But I don’t know. … P.S.: Of course, it’s possible neither effect will materialize, and it’s also possible they will cancel each other out. …

Mickey, if you actually TALKED to Black folk, you would know that POLLS DON’T ASK US ANYTHING.

And if they did call us, we wouldn’t answer because we all have caller ID.