Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sour Grapes: Hillary's Supporters and Identity Politics

In watching this video it is clear that the majority of Hillary's supporters don't have a clear reason as to why they refuse to get behind Barack Obama's run for the White House. Let's face it, folks: the numbers just didn't add up. Hillary Clinton ran a hard-fought campaign, but she lost.

Let's go through a couple of the arguments that Hillary's most ardent supporters use to justify their refusal to get behind Obama and directly, or indirectly, support John McCain.

The first argument that I hear most often is that Hillary was disrespected by the media who gave Obama a free pass. Well up until Super Tuesday, Hillary was billed by her campaign, as well as the media, as the "inevitable" candidate. After Obama won the first contest in Iowa, that inevitable perception was tarnished which put the Clinton campaign on the defensive. This created a negative storyline that dominated the news cycle up until Super Tuesday. When you lose the media will pounce on you...period.

The Clinton campaign assumed that she would still win the primaries on Super Tuesday and, thus, failed to retool the campaign in time to stop Obama's momentum. Obama won 13 straight contests and that pretty much sealed the deal. From there SHE became disrespectful towards Obama and rolled out her "kitchen sink" strategy (which he is still battling today). The point here is that she didn't have a Plan B and had to go extremely negative. She even admitted this fact recently when her campaign memos were released a couple weeks ago, highlighting an unorganized campaign plagued by the wrong message in a "change"-driven election year.

The next reason given by angry Clinton supporters for not supporting Obama is that he doesn't have experience. The flaw in this argument is that there have been plenty of unsuccessful Presidents with a wealth of experience and there have been unexperienced Presidents that have had wildly successful terms. Bill Clinton had no Washington experience but had two successful terms. Ronald Reagan was a Hollywood actor and is praised by Republicans as the greatest President ever. Dick Cheney has been in Washington for decades and look at where we are (...yes, Dick Cheney is the President).

Also, what direct experience has Hillary had that trumps Obama's? She was the first lady, but so was Barbara Bush. She has one term on him in the Senate, but her experience pales in comparison to Bill Richardson's, Joe Biden's, Dennis Kucinich's, Mike Gravel's and Chris Dodd's, all of whom ran against both Hillary and Barack in the primaries. If experience is the issue, why was there no support or outcry by these die-hards for those experience-heavy candidates that lost in the primaries?

The list goes on-and-on.

The real reason I suspect that these folks won't vote for Obama is identity politics. The fact is that the majority of Hillary's supporters that refuse to support Obama are middle-aged to older White women who take it personally that their candidate lost. These are women who never thought that they would have the opportunity to see a woman President, and in many ways they vicariously feel like they, themselves, lost.

Notice that even though Barack and Hillary are almost identical on their major policy positions, neither of these guys in the video acknowledge that. Issues don't seem to matter. It's all about identity and we are all guilty of it.

I can understand their position, as I'm sure that if the shoe were on the other foot, Black folks would be very reluctant to vote for Hillary in the aftermath of such a close race. There's no doubt that many of us would feel that the election was rigged and that "they just didn't want to see a Black man become President."

Unfortunately, somebody had to lose. Clinton just happened to be outflanked by an extremely organized and innovative campaign with the right message at the right time.

When are we going to get past divisions and stand together to vote in our best interest?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

This Is My Sh** Right Now

This is Paper Planes by Brit artist M.I.A. The song is mad catchy (especially the hook) and comes from the Pineapple Express soundtrack. Yesterday I heard the remix with Jim Jones, and today I heard a new track by T.I. featuring Jay-Z, Kanye, and Wayne called Swagger Like Us that uses a vocal sample from this song. She also has some cuts produced by Timbaland.

Hmm... a British artist that is hip-hop-influenced and is being embraced by hip-hop heavyweights. Are we looking at the next Amy Winehouse? For her sake, I hope not.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Strictly for My Ladies: I'm So OVAH It. I'm Grown.

By Carah L. Herring

*** Disclaimer: You might not be able to relate to this until you’re at least 24, but hey, feel free to read on anyway***

Ladies, have you begun going through ‘the change’?

Of course, we're too young to be menopausal. No hot flashes or mood swings here, babe (well, aside from the ill-tempered ‘tudes that comes out as PMS or circumstances dictate). Yet you’re not alone if it feels like your entire being is evolving; as you make the transition from a young woman into a bona fide adult.

Your 20s have probably been an emotional roller coaster, with the highs reaching Mt. Everest and the lows being nothing short of rock bottom. In other words, the Quarter Life Crisis was in full-swing. From missing college after graduating, to embarking on a frustrating job search, breaking the collegiate mentality and learning the ‘image is everything’ game of office politics, falling out with a few old friends, attempting to make new friends, and dealing with the huge life-changing steps from currents friends and associates (marriage, children, relocation, grad school)... it's been a ride we'll never forget. And it ain't over!

Throughout everything life has thrown at me – the good and the bad – I’ve learned that the keys to surviving and thriving are to never ever give up on your dream(s), have supportive, yet frank associates/mentors/ friends who are more successful and established than you, and to have a strong faith in God. That’s the only way to come out of your Quarter Life Crisis unscathed. Okay, that sounded so ‘after-school-special’-esque, but it’s the truth!

Aiight, so back to ‘the change.’

As I approach 25, I’m starting to be on some new shit. I’m switching up my style on so many levels – where I go, what I consider fun, my outlook on dating and my priorities, among other things.

What do we call this phenomena? G.A.W. Mode . Grown Ass Woman Mode .

It may not hit you at 25. Maybe earlier. Maybe later. But it’s inevitable. You’ll get to a point where the “same ol’, same ol’” habits that you’ve established throughout life thus far just don’t work anymore. There are some behaviors and routines that you now look at, shaking your head with the ‘stank face,’ like: “I’m so OVAH it.”

Ladies in G.A.W. Mode can probably feel me on the following:

Grown Ass Women are so OVAH… the club. This is not to say we’ll never do the club again, but it gets so predictable after while. It’s the same people, the same music (the chart-topper set, the reggae set, the NYC set, the ATL down south-get crunk-she gotta donk set, the go-go set, the old school set – which wouldn’t be complete without Maze f/ Frankie Beverly’s Before I let go, and >depending on your area< the House music set), the same overpriced drinks, the same camera guy taking pics for the same website… just different outfits and possibly a different venue. It gets old. So why be so pressed every weekend? Perhaps every other weekend ;o) I’m so lovin’ lounges, house parties and cook-outs, instead. They’re more personable, and add a little variety to the tried-and-true-but-waaaay-overdone typical social options.

And since, we’re on the club:

Grown Ass Women are so OVAH… droppin’ it like it’s hot. No, I’m not going to groan about getting old and only being able to drop it like it’s lukewarm. Trust, I can still get it (and I hope you can, too!), but I probably have to be inebriated or out of town. On the dance floor as a G.A.W, the two-step usually reigns. And don’t even think about putting your crotch near my bon-bon unless I know you like that or there’s some pre-established chemistry. Ew! Wow – a totally different tune from our college days. Lol.

Grown Ass Women are so OVAH… the whole drink whore thing. Saving $5 to $10 on a drink by banking on someone else shelling out the cash isn’t worth having that worrisome ass guy following you around the bar or the club all night. I’d rather foot the tab myself and have peace of mind. It’s okay to accept free drinks, but it’s not worth being on the prowl for them. If it happens, it happens. If not, no sweat. G.A.W.s can even flip the script, and offer to buy the guy a drink. It totally catches them off guard…

Grown Ass Women are so OVAH… friends with benefits. Well, in theory. We’re torn . We like the closeness, the intimacy and the >cough< head, especially following a stressful day at work, a week from hell, or hearing Chris Brown’s “Take you down” for the 22nd time on the radio – and you feel ready to jump somebody’s bones. Yet we know how the situation normally plays out (Please take a looksie at my previous piece, Strictly for My Ladies: Friends w/ Benefits – Can it REALLY work? if you haven’t already). Sometimes the short-term benefits outweigh the guaranteed long-term harsh realities. And other times, the benefits don’t outweigh the drawbacks, but we do it anyway… and are grown enough not to fault anybody but ourselves when our emotions start going berserk.

Grown Ass Women are so OVAH… a certain caliber of men. It varies. Trap boys are FUN – especially when there’s cash to blow. They don’t give a damn and they have no fear. Older men are an amusing adventure, too. It’s a definite ego boost to be the ‘PYT’ or ‘trophy’ – getting lots of attention and boukou freebies. Yet, as we approach our 30s, degrees, stability and social appropriateness seem to be more attractive. Even sexy. Med school? Love it! No kids? Let’s get married tomorrow! We’re talking long-term now. We don’t want someone that we love behind closed doors, yet can’t take out in public (work functions, reunions, church, social events).

Grown Ass Women are so OVAH… retail therapy. Okay, let me explain this one before I toally lose all my credibility. Lol. Who doesn’t love a new outfit? But honestly, our closets are packed; bursting at the seams. Instead of running to the mall every weekend, spending my hard-earned income, blowing my budget on items that will be out of style by next season, I now try to run to one of the following with the same intensity:
• to the gym to exercise
• to the bookshelf to read the oodles of paperbacks I’ve been meaning to tackle
• to the phone to catch up with friends I may not speak with that often
• to the DVD player to check out my newest Netflix pick

I still love to shop, but I’m woman enough to possess the self-control of balling on a budget.

Grown Ass Women are so OVAH… some aspects of hip-hop. I love hip-hop – I grew up with it, so I’m not going to turn my back on it now. But baby, I have to be in the right mood for ‘Marco Polo,’ ‘Get Silly’ or anything by Yung Berg, Plies, Ray J and Souljah Boy. I don’t always want to hear about a chick’s fat ass, skills on the stripper pole or how much money you supposedly have to blow. You need to meet with a financial planner and invest that shit anyway . Give me Jazmine Sullivan, Estelle, Teedra Moses, Ledisi or Kanye instead. Something with substance. While, you're at it, throw in some jazz, smooth r&b, pop and >cringe< easy listening . Don't front, you listen to it at work, too! Phil Collins for life! Lol.

I’m not the official spokesperson for the Grown Ass Women of America. Hell, I’m not quite an official GAW myself...yet. I haven’t fully arrived, but I'm definitely not the same person I was last year, or even 6 months ago! But as I go through 'the change,' I just thought somebody out here could feel me. Please list some of your GAW Mode changes below in the comment section, if you’d like.

If you still hit up the club every weekend, that’s fine. If Plies is your favorite musical artist, hey, I’m not looking down on you. It’s all a process. It’s all a journey. Enjoy where you are, but continue moving forward. Don't get stuck, because we've still got a whole lot of road to cover... and a whole lot of drinks to buy (on our own!) as we reflect upon the trip thus far and look to the horizon for what lies ahead.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Bernie Mac's Final Hour

The following article comes from People Magazine


Bernie Mac’s wife and daughter were with him until the very end, says the late comic's sister-in-law in a personal and touching interview with PEOPLE that took place Saturday.

Speaking of a heartbreaking moment between her younger sister, Rhonda, and the 50-year-old actor-comedian – who succumbed to complications from pneumonia in a Chicago hospital at 2 a.m. Saturday – Mary Ann Grossett says that the night before Mac died, "He struggled for his life. He couldn't breathe.

"He opened his eyes on his own and looked at Rhonda. She called his name, and he opened his eyes and nodded to her. She smiled at him and told him, 'Don't leave me … 'I'm waiting for you to come back.' He shrugged his shoulders, and she said that's when she knew he was tired. He signaled to her that his body was tired."

Mac suffered from sarcoidosis, an inflammatory lung disease that produces tiny lumps of cells in the body's organs, but had said the condition went into remission in 2005. He recently was hospitalized and treated for pneumonia, which his publicist said was not related to the disease.

Mac's family had expected him to fully recover from the bout of pneumonia that put him in a hospital three weeks ago, his daughter said Sunday. However, Je'niece Childress said that as time passed she and her mother braced for the possibility that he could die.

Childress said Mac had been at Northwestern Memorial Hospital since the middle of July.

"Initially when he was hospitalized we expected him to come back home, but as the weeks went on, I kind of knew," Childress told The Associated Press.
Mac, born Bernard Jeffrey McCullough in Chicago, got his start doing standup as a child. His successful career included his own Fox television series, "The Bernie Mac Show" and starring roles in "Ocean's Eleven," "Bad Santa," "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" and "Transformers."

Childress said Mac, who maintained a home in the south Chicago suburb of Frankfort, was a loving father, husband and grandfather. Childress, 30, is his only child, and has a 1-year-old daughter. She said her mother, Rhonda McCullough, and Mac were married for 32 years.

"He was a hard man and he made no apologies for that," Childress said. "When it came to me and my mother and my daughter he was the softest."

Recently, Mac's brand of comedy caught him some flack when he joked about menopause, sexual infidelity and promiscuity at a July fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. Obama's campaign later said the jokes were "inappropriate."
"I kind of figured he was going to get a lot of backlash," Childress said. "Telling that joke at that time probably wasn't the best idea, but that's him."
Children said there was always laughter in their home.

"Because that's just who he was," Childress said. "I'm sad that my daughter will never know or be able to feel how much he loved her."

"I think he will always be remembered as one of the original kings of comedy," Childress said. "I think what made him so special to people was that even though he was a celebrity he just seemed so down to earth and so much like a part of your family."

She said funeral arrangements were pending. Smith said a public memorial would be held next weekend at House of Hope in Chicago.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

New Raphael Saadiq

The song is entitled "100 Yard Dash" from his forthcoming 60's-inspired album, The Way I See It.

Friday, August 1, 2008

J.B. Smoove

JB Smoove is hilarious. He's a protege of Chris Rock and Wanda Sykes and did a lot of writing for the Chris Rock Show when it was on HBO. He currently appears on HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm as one of the members of "The Blacks." Funny dude.