News Roundup Archives

January 1, 2004

News Roundup

Davey D on Sean T - Somehow I didn't know Davey D had a SJ Mercury News column.

Profile of Australian Hip-Hopper Bias B - Has anybody heard this guy?

Legal Troubles for Utah Rap Label - ...Utah? ...rap?

Local Columnist Hands out "Da" Rap Awards - Eminem as producer of the year? Nyet, comrade, nyet.

January 19, 2004

Blogs Worth Reading

Sorry for the lack of blogging this weekend, I've been in the studio recording a dis record about jessica hopper, named "I Know Why the Unicorn Cries." Here are some other worthy blogs to quench your thirst while I go slip this DAT to Kay Slay.

sleep not work is doing some deep thinking on hip-hop and consumerism.. highly recommended (and not only cuz he cites me).

anil dash laments how chance encounters may no longer be part of our social interaction, in the internet age. A great read as usual. (anyone who links to gets mad props over here)

o-dub's got the scoop on that remix of Jay-Z's "Black Album" by Dangermouse, done entirely with samples from the Beatles' "White Album".

different kitchen and aeki tuesday are getting prolific with the linkage.

And of course shoutouts to the blog fam stinkzone, diesel nation, lingosphere, and everyone else over there to your right.

February 12, 2004

Don't It Make you Sad About It

Trina's record label is feeling insecure about releasing her new single, dedicated to measuring the err "gifts" of various male rap stars. What are you afraid of guys? Huh?


Latifah is producing a remake of Truck Turner. Not sure how much I trust Latifah as a producer, but the original film might be my favorite of the blaxploitation era. Isaac Hayes in the only starring role of his career (I think?), alongside Yaphet Kotto and featuring Nichelle Nichols as the villain, AKA Lt. Uhura as you've never seen her before.

---------- displays a very uhh casual interviewing style in this talk with Eminem's former bodyguard Big Naz, author of "Shady Bizzness: Life as Marshall Mathers' Bodyguard In An Industry Of Paper Gangsters"

---------- reports on the silencing of Dangermouse's Grey Album, and is kind enough to offer the entire album for download. (via eyebeam)


Newsday notes Justin's troubles with his Black audience after hanging Janet out to dry. Our homey Miss Info is prominently quoted.


And the NY Times says Michael Jackson really is broke.


ALSO, congrats to two of our family members, DJ Spinna and Andre from Wax Poetics, who both became proud papas recently.

February 14, 2004

Boo Da Doo Dweee, Da Doo Da, Doo Dwee.

Loon, who I had forgotten even existed, just got arrested for attempted murder. If anyone cares. David from the New Orleans Real World also got busted, for a far less serious but perhaps more embarrassing charge.


In case there was any doubt the Hip-Hop Summit is just one big catch-all photo op, this latest one will feature Michael and Janet Jackson, "a host of NBA, NFL and WWE athletes," and probably Bruce Vilanch.


Eminem may want to buy MJ's Neverland Ranch? There's a joke here somewhere but I don't have time to find it.


Bush's Press Secretary Scott McClellan once again showed he ain't half as smooth as Ari Fleischer, when got roasted at this press conference, by the great Helen Thomas and others.


Someone has done a satire of the Jayson Williams site I mentioned earlier.


Canada is mad at Conan, and they have a really good reason (for me to poop on). Actually I didn't see the show so I can't judge.

February 17, 2004

International Relations

The Guardian publishes reactions to the war in Iraq from 25 prominent authors, including John Le Carre, Sara Paretsky and Studs Terkel. Jim Crace's quote is tight:

It was never likely that the violent overthrow of a regime with base standards by a couple of govern ments with double standards would add much to the gaiety of nations.

While DM Thomas sets a new standard for naivete:

I felt too that Blair's conviction was - for once - convincing; that a man of sincere Christian faith would not make himself responsible for death and destruction without good reason.

(via Eric Alterman)

Desmond Tutu also has 2 cents to put in.


Meanwhile Capundit is setting fools straight on gay marriage. (no pun intended)


Also, thanks to Aaron I finally get to see Triumph's scandalous visit to Quebec. Now I just need someone to post Dave Chappelle's Rick James episode.

February 18, 2004

I'm Choire Sicha, B***h!

John Lee, who founded the once-trendy industry gossip site, lobs charges of racism at the now-trendy industry gossip sites Gawker and Wonkette. John's site was the bomb back in its heyday, and as a general rule I endorse any chastisement of white folks, but this piece struck me as muddled and poorly reasoned. Frankly, it looks like Choire and Ana's humor simply went over John's head.

Buzzmachine seems to agree, as does All About George who sums it up perfectly: "Bulls**t, bulls**t and bulls**t. You're mistaking Lenny Bruce for Trent Lott."

(via Anil)


Meanwhile back at the ranch, Hua Hsu digs into Kanye West.

----------- offers a Rough Guide to African Rap


While the Shanghai Daily, which has some sort of aversion to <P> and <BR> tags, explores the Chinese Scene.


Fredro Starr and Kel Mitchell will co-host a talent competition on UPN that pretty much looks like "You Got Served: The Series".


The battle to save Angel has commenced. But if the forces of good do not prevail, Joss Whedon fans can still look forward to his new X-Men comic.


Speaking of comics, Neil Gaiman reports on the government's desire to stop deaf people from watching cartoons.


And George Steinbrenner continues to reenact that Simpsons episode where Mr. Burns loads up the Springfield Isotopes with a squad of all-star ringers. Seems like everybody is salty about it. Personally, I love it. Hate us now, America, HATE US NOW! And that goes double for anybody in Boston.

February 26, 2004


Emmis Broadcasting is putting a decency policy in place much like Clear Channel's. They own Hot 97 here in NY, let's see if they are be affected..


I'm glad gives all these twisted minds something to keep themselves occupied, otherwise they might be out in the world doing even freakier things. Some of those are brilliant, actually.


Choice quote on Passions from the Globe and Mail:

"Mel Gibson has made a movie about the God of Love, and produced two hours of non-stop violence. We can only pray that next time, looking to Mars, he'll make a movie about the God of Violence, and produce two hours of non-stop love. That might be porn worth paying for."

I'm on my way to see to see it now at at the Magic Johnson theater on 125th, will report back afterwards. Hope nobody dies at this showing.


BTW O-Dub had been on a rampage lately.

March 2, 2004

More on Haiti

You probably heard by now that my colleagues at Democracy Now got the big scoop this morning, word from Aristide that he was taken from Haiti against his will by armed US agents. Bush's people have offered their denials but this whole situation still smells funny, and most of the bloggers whose silence I wondered about yesterday are taking notice. More info here:

U.S. political maneuvering behind the ouster - A profile of the Bush advisor who led the push for Aristide's removal. (via Atrios who has a bunch of posts on the topic)

Counterpunch thinks the press here in America dropped the ball. (the Times reporter cited here happens to be a friend, so I'm staying neutral on this one.)

Billmon has more details, and Micah Holmquist also has a ton of links to more coverage. (via Jeff Chang)

My good friend Deepa Fernandes will be reporting live from Haiti this morning on the WBAI morning show, and BAI will have updates throughout the day, along with special coverage of "Super Tuesday" in the evening.

Also, there will be a protest today here in NY, at 4PM:


Tuesday, March 2nd, 4 p.m.
Assemble at 47th Street and Second Avenue.

>As this statement is written, reliable sources report that, contrary
to press accounts, the United States government arrested and kidnaped
President Jean Bertrand Aristide of Haiti. Witnesses saw US Marines
taking him in handcuffs and at gunpoint out of the Presidential Palace
on Sunday morning. Despite the reality, the US persists in reporting
that President Aristide "resigned voluntarily" for "the good of the
country." At the same time, US mainstream news media have refused to
report that Secretary of State Colin Powell told former US Congressman
Ron Dellums to deliver the following message to President Aristide
earlier this weekend - that so-called "Rebel leader" Guy Phillipe was
entering Port au Prince to kill him and that the US government would
not lift a finger in President Aristide's behalf. With these acts of
imperial arrogance, the US has sunk to an unparalleled low in its
violation of and contempt for international law.

This overthrow of a democratically-elected head of state is only the
latest and most cynical of recent US acts in contravention of
international law and cooperation.These include, for example: the
invasion of Iraq and its continuing aftermath; the refusal to join the
International Criminal Court and the demand that the US be exempt from
its jurisdiction; the withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocols on global

March 3, 2004

Another Victim of Dietetical Correctness

Good god, McDonalds is phasing out the super-size?? Shame on you for caving in to all these left-wing "nutrition" thugs, who have no respect for this country's core values of gluttony and obesity. The Hamburglar weeps.


In other news, Puffy tells his Broadway show "Don't worry if I read scripts.."


The Village Voice weighs in on the dark alliance between the Source and the US Army.


The Blueprint links to Michael Jackson's snazzy new website, which is probably good for hours of fun but I'll never know because the flash intro gave me a seizure.


Oh yeah and my Haiku was linked to by none other than the mighty Gawker. I guess all that sucking up I did last month paid off! Have I mentioned that I think Slashdot and are also totally not racist?? *hint hint*

March 8, 2004

Your Blog is Featherweight, My Haiku'll Make You Levitate

Looks like I have some competition out there. Do I smell Haiku blog beef? Think twice before you test the skills, kid.


In case you missed it, here's a photo of Snoop mesmerizing the Olsen twins with his pimp cup.


Have you ever heard of face blindness? Fascinating. (via Anil)


New Yorkish reports on the new show from our friend Sarah Jones. We haven't this yet but we endorse it wholeheartedly.

EDIT: Why am I speaking in the royal "we" all of a sudden? Must be all this talk of multiple personalities.


Democracy Now bids farewell to one of the greats of the Nuyorican poetry scene, Pedro Pietri.


EDIT: I should mention that WBAI will be ruinning 24 hours of special programming today, for International Women's Day.

March 19, 2004

There's A Bat in the House!

Reuters with the lowdown on Method Man and Redman's sitcom, set to debut on Fox this summer:

"Method & Red" revolves around the fish-out-of-water antics that ensue when two highly successful rappers move into a predominantly white, affluent gated community in New Jersey. The two are all set to revel in the high life until Method Man's mother decides to move in with them and restore a little order to the house.

Fish-out-of-water antics! Sounds like this will be, like, super proactive and totally in-my-face! No word yet on when Poochie will make an appearance.


EDIT: Movable Type is giving me this error when I try to add a new entry: "Out of memory during "large" request for 33558528 bytes, total sbrk() is 42100736 bytes at extlib/HTTP/ line 206." Does anybody know how I can fix that? There are a few threads in the MT support forum but they have no answers.

March 22, 2004

First Anniversary of the NYC Smoking Ban

One year after NYC banned smoking from bars and almost everywhere else, Gothamist readers list pros and cons of the new world Bloomberg created. My verdict:

Pros: The spectacle of smokers huddled outside every bar, shivering in the winter wind for another fix, highlights just how pathetic their addiction truly is.

Cons: Having to hold my breath when I walk in or out of any restaurant in Manhattan.

Fran Leibowitz is right that anyone worried about clean air should just move out of NYC. But for me it's not so much a health issue as a not having to smell something that smells like ass and causes my clothes and hair to smell like ass issue.

May 20, 2004

Welcome to My Blog, Now Please Go Away

Hello, readers of Spin magazine. You may have been given the impression that this is some sort of cool new music blog, regularly updated with funny jokes and such. Perhaps I can keep you from noticing how untrue that is by linking to a bunch of other places where cool stuff is happening:


If they had a pulitzer prize for music blogging, Aaron Wherry would be the frontrunner after scoring this e-mail interview with Ibrahim Ferrer.


Prince just put up some tasty little concert clips on the front page of his site.

--------------------- has decided there are not enough unreadable blogs in the world, and started a new contest to rectify this. But uhh, Nerve editors, I'm saying.. it's no surprise to find that you draw a lily-white demographic, but couldn't you have at least given us one person of color in this thing? Even Friends hit us off with some Aisha Tyler.

(in all fairness, I will grant that some of the contestants do not entirely suck)


Speaking of which, Richard Prince has the scoop on why Friends may be "NBC's Last All-White Sitcom". His page is worth a regular look for perspectives on race and media. Another blog steadily hitting home runs on racial issues is Prometheus 6.


Glutter (AKA Dan from the Real World's favorite blogger) has sparked a great conversation on Iraq, to which I briefly contributed.


We didn't get around to acknowledging Malcolm's birthday yesterday, but Democracy Now! was on the case.


And last but not least, I added a bunch of new sites to my links over there on the right side, be sure to check those out.

P.S. - I happen to think Apple is a mighty fine name.

July 5, 2004

Escaping (and Finding) America

This weekend on the radio show we were graced with the presence of the mighty O-Dub and the esteemed Mr. Len (along with his group Bully Mouth, who need some home training but are nice on the mic). Then after things wrapped up I went home to pack for a quick trip to Montreal, where I am sitting now in an internet cafe on St. Denis.

Some of you may know I've been scoping out this town for a while, as an escape route if Dubya gets in again. One thing I can tell you for sure is I will definitely be back here every July from now on, because this Montreal Jazz Festival is redonkuloso. I can't believe this has been going on every year and I've missing it..

Most of my memories will be from the random acts on various stages that I'd never heard of, and the unofficial performers holding it down on streetcorners around the fair, like the group led by one of these guys that was killing "Chameleon" in front of the Musiqueplus on St. Catherine.

But the highlight so far (since the Jorge Ben show got cancelled) was seeing the Funk Brothers last night with Joan Osborne, Sam Moore, and the Four Tops (sans Levi). Such an honor getting to see so much history on stage, and having a chance to give some love to these men who gave us so much and got so little recognition for it. The evening felt especially historic when Sam Moore came out, since as Sam pointed out we were witnessing the first time in history that a Stax artist was backed up by the Motown band, as he held it down on "Shop Around" and "Ain't Too Proud to Beg."

It was a beatiful night. I can't think of a better way to spend the 4th of July, in these strange and ugly times for our country, than taking the opportunity to step outside our borders and spend the evening with thousands of Quebecois and visitors from around the world, all coming together on Avenue Du President Kennedy to honor the pioneers of the Motown sound, the quintessential American music. A reminder, for one night at least, that America doesn't always have to be the shame of the planet. That once in a while, in our best moments, we ugly Americans can fill the world with beauty, and touch hearts around the globe with our love.

January 6, 2005

Tsunami Tardiness

In the second half of December I was up to my neck in a paid gig, then I spent my holidays in the Arizona desert of all places, taking care of some personal/family stuff which was hella intense and exhausting (though it had a very happy ending). All this meant I was never more than marginally aware of anything in the news, including what might be the worst tragedy of our lifetime.

So I've feeling guilty for my detachment from the Tsunami story, for not being around to invest all my emotion into it. Then I've been stepping back and wondering what this says about our society in 2005, that I feel derelict in my duties as a world citizen if I'm not fully present as a media consumer. As if anyone who was touched by this disaster needs their loss to be validated by me watching it on TV.

That being said, even my brief glimpses of it are overwhelming, beyond my power to comprehend, to find worthy language for discussing it. My heart goes out to everyone who was indeed touched by it. And for those of you in NY here is a related event:

a teach-in on the history of Aceh and the present catastrophe

When: Saturday, 1/8 1:30-4pm
Where: The Community Church of New York 40 East 35th Street in

AMY GOODMAN, of Democracy Now
ALLAN NAIRN, award-winning journalist and activist
WARZAIN, Acehnese activist
and other speakers

Aceh (pronounced "Ah-chayh"), the province on the westernmost tip of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, was right near the epicenter of the largest earthquake and was also impacted by the largest Tsunami waves. The coastline of Aceh was shattered, countless villages were wiped off the map, and much of the capital, Banda Aceh, was flattened. The Indonesian government has confirmed over 100,000 deaths in the country; most of these dead are in Aceh.

Despite this level of devastation, Aceh has been getting proportionately less attention and assistance than most other areas. This is due to a combined set of factors. First, a longstanding independence struggle by the Acehnese has led to a military invasion and "civil emergency" imposed by the Indonesian government. Up until the disaster struck, Indonesia had banned most journalists from Aceh. Indonesia is now relaxing that ban, but there are still few journalists present.

Second, because of the "civil emergency," there were no Western tourists in Aceh and, consequently, no interest by the Western media in the fate of their "own" people there. Third, because of its corruption and its repressive attitude toward the Acehnese, the Indonesian government cannot be counted on to provide proper assistance. According to a report from one independent journalist in Banda Aceh, much aid is piling up unused at military bases and airports. He also reports that every night military forces are looting those homes still standing in Banda Aceh.

The teach-in will cover the impact of the tsunami on Aceh as well as how the history of Aceh's oppression has affected the present situation. The event is free, but it is also a fundraiser for grassroots Indonesian and Acehnese organizations doing relief work on the ground in Aceh, so bring your checkbook.


February 11, 2005

Site Announcement

Since this site has been dominated by serious issues lately, I've started to lose sight of what blogging is really about: self-indulgent yapping about pop-culture trivialities. So to rectify that I've started another blog on the side, which I'm calling the Inane Asylum. I'd advise you to politely ignore it.

February 17, 2005

The Daily Show's Salute to the Blog

Last night Jon Stewart and the Daily Show focused on blogville last night, and its role in exposing the faux reporter Jeff Gannon/James Guckert (and getting Eason Jordan booted from CNN). Check the video here.

As we've seen even here in my humble abode, these little blogs have the power to make big things happen nowadays, and mainstream media folk are starting to take notice. Though Anil wonders if it's such a good thing, blogville becoming known as "those websites that get people fired."

March 17, 2005

Lil Kim Convicted of Perjury

Not surprising, given what I knew of the case. But sad, and so unnecessary.

Lil' Kim found guilty of lying to federal grand jury

Rap diva Lil' Kim was convicted Thursday of lying to a federal grand jury to protect friends involved in a shootout outside a radio station.

Lil' Kim and her assistant were both convicted of perjury and conspiracy but acquitted of obstruction of justice. They each face up to 20 years in prison; sentencing was set for June 24.

The 29-year-old former sidekick and mistress of the late Notorious B.I.G., known for her revealing outfits and raunchy raps, testified that she did not notice two close friends at the scene of the 2001 shootout her manager, Damion Butler, and Suif "Gutta" Jackson. Both men have since pleaded guilty to gun charges.

The jury saw radio station security photos showing Butler opening a door for Lil' Kim. And witnesses Antoine "Banger" Spain and James "Lil' Cease" Lloyd, who once teamed with Lil' Kim in the group Junior M.A.F.I.A, testified that Butler and Jackson were at the station with her.

Both defendants shook their heads as the verdicts were delivered. Lil' Kim's supporters broke out in sobs. After the verdict, when asked whether she had any comment, Lil' Kim shook her head.

The shootout occurred outside WQHT, a.k.a. Hot 97, when Lil' Kim's entourage crossed paths with a rival rap group, Capone-N-Noreaga. One man was injured as more than two dozen rounds were fired on the sidewalk.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Cathy Seibel told jurors that the 4-foot-11 rapper, referred to throughout the trial by her real name, Kimberly Jones, had repeatedly lied to them, just as she did to the grand jury. "The testimony was preposterous. It was insulting. It was insulting to your intelligence. It was insulting to the judicial process," Seibel told jurors.

March 24, 2005

Air America Replacing Chuck D with Jerry Springer

I just got some spam from Air America confirming that this story is true.. but I doubt Chuck will lose any sleep over it, since he is rarely heard at all on the show anymore. The show's website has a 39-line bio for Chuck and only two lines for co-host Rachel Maddow, but the actual show is about 97% Maddow..

The original third co-host Lizz Winstead got canned last week, which Air America handled with a real creepy corporate vibe, pretending nothing happened and allowing almost no on-air discussion or explanation of her sudden disappearance.

AAR needs to learn that the key to (talk) radio is its intimacy, the intimate connection you make with those voices.. that's why Howard Stern's approach, letting this type of in-house drama play out openly over the air, is so effective.. it reinforces the audience's feeling that they are part of the family. Air America's silent stonewalling approach just ruins that magic, and they'll have trouble keeping their listeners if they keep that up.

P.S. This documentary could be interesting.

May 20, 2005

Rise Up Radio Special, Tonight 7-10 PM

If you listen closely at the end of this program, it is possible you will hear me singing with Nellie Mckay. Either way you should tune in and support:

Rise Up Radio, WBAI 99.5 FM
Fri., May 20, 7:00-10:00pm
The Rise Up crew will be speaking with Ray Ramirez and Hector Rivera
from the Welfare Poets and playing tracks from their hot new album
Rhymes for Treason (available as a premium). Also: youth news and
updates on military recruiting in high schools. Our show will close
with an exclusive interview and performance by Nellie McKay. Tickets
to Nellie's perfomance at CUNY Graduate Center on June 15th will be
available as our second premium.

May 24, 2005

Anyway, Like I was Saying

I was invited to join this Nike blogger thing and declined.. the only way I'd feel comfortable teaming up with them is if I could get something subversive in there about sweatshop labor, and Jonah Eyebeam Peretti already took that angle as far as it can go. But that's not to hate on anyone who joined in, there are quite a few cool folks in there with cool shoes.


This Tom Cruise thing really is icky. (I mean him getting interviewed by Sway, of course.)


Common, on the other hand, sounds quite sensible looking back on Erykah.


So, like, we won the nuclear thing, right? I dunno, the image of Yoda keeps popping into my mind, shaking his head at Obi-Wan like "Victory? Begun, the clone war has.."


Are you ready for brain downloads? I can't wait to do some P2P mindsharing on Brainster.

June 2, 2005

Oscar Brown Jr. RIP

Oscar Brown had a big impact on my formative years as the host of "From Jump Street" on PBS. To my young eyes he was the epitome of cool, and taught me that knowing your musical roots was the foundation of that cool.

Oscar Brown Jr., Entertainer and Social Activist, Dies at 78

Oscar Brown Jr., a singer, songwriter, playwright and actor known for his distinctive blend of show-business savvy and social consciousness, died on Sunday in a Chicago hospital. He was 78 and lived in Chicago. The cause was complications of a blood infection, his family said.

Mr. Brown was most often described as a jazz singer, and he initially achieved fame by putting lyrics to well-known jazz instrumentals like Miles Davis's "All Blues" and Mongo Santamaria's "Afro Blue," but efforts to categorize him usually failed. As a performer, he acted his songs more than he sang them; as a songwriter, he drew as much from gospel, the blues and folk music as he did from jazz. He preferred to call himself an entertainer, although even that broad term did not go far enough: he saw his art as a way to celebrate African-American life and attack racism, and it was not always easy to tell where the entertainer ended and the activist began.

His song "Brown Baby," recorded by Mahalia Jackson and others, was both a lullaby for his infant son and an anthem of racial pride. Other songs, like "Signifying Monkey" and "The Snake," took their story lines from black folklore. The album "We Insist! Freedom Now Suite," for which Mr. Brown wrote lyrics to the drummer Max Roach's music, was one of the first jazz works to address the civil rights movement.

His commitment to art as a tool for change was most evident in the numerous stage shows he wrote and directed in his native Chicago, which addressed social issues and often had poor black teenagers in their casts. The most famous of these shows, "Opportunity, Please Knock," was created in 1967 with members of the Blackstone Rangers, a street gang. His most recent production was a 2002 revival of "Great Nitty Gritty," a show about gang violence that he had first staged 20 years earlier with young residents of the Cabrini Green housing project...

June 27, 2005

Grokster Loses in Supreme Court

Uh oh. What does this mean for BitTorrent and the other programs I'm afraid to even name now? Anybody? Bueller?

Supreme Court Rules Against Grokster

Peer-to-peer networks can be held liable for copyright infringements committed by users, court says.

Grokster and StreamCast Networks can be held liable for copyright infringements committed by users of their peer-to-peer file-sharing software, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday. The decision in the case Grokster v. MGM is a major win for the motion picture and recording industries, which took the case to the nation's highest court after losing in lower courts over the past two years or so.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs--Motion Picture Association of America, the National Music Publisher's Association of America, and the Recording Industry Association of America--asked the court to recognize that the Grokster and StreamCast's Morpheus P-to-P (peer-to-peer) software packages were created primarily to encourage users to illegally trade copyright songs and movies. They argued that while users are responsible for copyright violations, P-to-P vendors share a secondary liability.

The issue before the Supreme Court in the case focused on a relatively narrow question: whether movie and music companies should be able to sue the P-to-P distributors for the copyright violations of their users.

The Supreme Court ruling thus gives movie and music companies the ability to sue P-to-P distributors and sends the case back to a lower court.

Those who supported Grokster argued the case has broader implications, saying if copyright owners are able to sue inventors of new technologies for the sins of their users, few technology companies would be safe...

July 7, 2005

Terrorist Attacks in London Subway, Buses

Godspeed to everyone out there. Early reports from London bloggers:

and eyewitness photos posted on flickr, (via presetcentral):

Technorati tags: ,

July 13, 2005

A Day Late and 40 Acres Short

What's up with this sudden rash of apologies for the racism of yesteryear? It's making me nervous.

Too often when people randomly apologize for what happened long ago, they're really feeling guilty about something else they're doing right now, that we didn't find out about yet. So are y'all up to something or what?

S.C. Residents Apologize For Lynching

Eugene Crawford's grandfather was killed by a mob after arguing with a white man over the price of cotton in 1916.

But more was taken from the family than Anthony Crawford, a wealthy black farmer. His children inherited the farm, but the rest of his property went to the white man with whom he had the disagreement.

Tuesday night, hundreds of worshipers gathered at a church in Abbeville, S.C., for a service to atone for Crawford's lynching.

White church leaders confessed the sins of their ancestors and apologized to blacks for that and other racist crimes of the past.

A black minister wept as he offered forgiveness.

"It makes me angry," said Eugene Crawford, now 81. "But I'm glad we're coming together a little bit."

Nah, this actually seems pretty cool. I think. But I'm watching y'all.

August 29, 2005

New Orleans Journals

This page is tracking the livejournals of New Orleans residents, many of whom are staying in their homes for the storm. Wherever you are down there, we are all there with you..

September 2, 2005

Why Can't We?

We got to make this land a better land
Than the world in which we live.
And we got to help each man be a better man
With the kindness that we give.

I know we can make it.
I know darn well we can work it out.
Oh yes we can, I know we can can
Yes we can can, why can't we?

I never thought this particular song would move me to tears. Such a simple message, believing that human beings will do what ought to come naturally, and show up for each other when times get hard. Seems like the simplest thing in the world, more common sense than optimism.

But right now I can barely stand to listen to it.. knowing the man behind that message, Allen Toussaint, is one of the 20,000 human beings who spent this week huddled in the Louisiana Super Terrordome. Fearing for their lives, wondering when we were going to show up.

We did not show up.

If you want to deny how race and class are factoring into this, have fun in fantasyland. But surely not even the most wilfully oblivious among us can deny the basic truth here: We did not show up, for the people who needed us the most. We failed. It did not have to be like this.

The poorest among us were forgotten and left for dead.

I don't really have words to go on from here.

(EDIT: According to more recent reports Toussaint was not in the Superdome after all, but holed up in a local hotel..)

  • indyvoter's new orleans fund
  • red cross
  • mayor nagin going off
  • ned sublette on the lost musical history
  • wonkette's coverage
  • poplicks' coverage
  • crooks and liars

  • September 6, 2005

    Journal of a New Orleans Nurse

    This livejournal has a firsthand account, with photos, of what it was like being stranded in one of New Orleans' biggest hospitals. A couple of excerpts:

    ...One night, the generator died in the front building. They had to hand bag (Ambu bag) the ventilator patients. Everyone took turns. Patients starting dying. Our trach patient wasn't doing too hot either, but we couldn't move them to ICU (because it was a floor down--the patient was bedbound and there was no generator for venilator use). The doc came in and made him a DNR--"due to emergency conditions, patient's condition deteriorating. DNR." Later the next day, the manpower basically ran out and the docs in ICU decided to put t-pieces on the intubated patients (so if they could breathe on their own, they could. we stopped bagging). We lost 4, I believe. The new morgue was in OR suite number 5...God, I could only imagine the smell. No a/c. Dead bodies. Of course, we had NO MEANS to contact the families to let them know that their loved ones had died, and their bodies may not be recovered for weeks and weeks, making a open casket funeral impossible. Think about it, not knowing your family member died AND no body to have? The dead bodies in the morgue on first floor had floated away. Maintainance had to open the morgue doors to keep the pressure even (?), and those bodies were gone. No body of a loved one. That hurts...

    ...Also, our NOPD (cops) that we had stationed at the hospital, along with our National Guard boys (who were all teenagers and didn't help out worth crap) decided to use their "marshal law" and boat to Walgreens to get us supplies. They got some food products and water (which we got a small bottle of gatoraide and sparkling water, that's all. never saw anything else), but also went to Dillards and "used marshal law" to acquire expensive Polo shirts, jeans, Fendi purses, perfume, candles in which they traded (?) to family members on the floor. It didn't help patients or staff. I was disgusted about this. Our own cops LOOTED. They are all crooked. That's why I want out of Louisiana. You can't trust anyone...

    More Katrina linkage:
  • The college students who posed as reporters to sneak in and rescue people.
  • Rachel's Tavern on the race and class factors.
  • Celine Dion, in case you missed it. Now my second favorite artist. (via exo)
  • and of course The already infamous Barbara Bush quote: "What Im hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this--this [chuckles] is working very well for them."

  • September 15, 2005

    Will Not Post Bathroom Break Photo

    Been away for a while, but Poplicks and Different Kitchen have been holding it down on the Katrina front and elsewhere. And in the meantime..

  • Pandagon on all that nonexistent racism you liberals keep talking about.

  • My WBAI colleague Rosa Clemente was arrested while reporting from Baton Rouge..??

  • Did Terrence Howard really say all that? I mean did anybody actually see this? Can't find any corroborating sources so I'm hoping, for his sake, this is just another Hilfiger-on-Oprah urban legend..

  • Bill Maher on Bush

    via guerillanews:

    "Mr. President, this job can't be fun for you any more. There's no more money to spend--you used up all of that. You can't start another war because you used up the army. And now, darn the luck, the rest of your term has become the Bush family nightmare: helping poor people. Listen to your Mom. The cupboard's bare, the credit cards maxed out. No one's speaking to you. Mission accomplished.

    "Now it's time to do what you've always done best: lose interest and walk away. Like you did with your military service and the oil company and the baseball team. It's time. Time to move on and try the next fantasy job. How about cowboy or space man? Now I know what you're saying: there's so many other things that you as President could involve yourself in. Please don't. I know, I know. There's a lot left to do. There's a war with Venezuela. Eliminating the sales tax on yachts. Turning the space program over to the church. And Social Security to Fannie Mae. Giving embryos the vote.

    "But, Sir, none of that is going to happen now. Why? Because you govern like Billy Joel drives. You've performed so poorly I'm surprised that you haven't given yourself a medal. You're a catastrophe that walks like a man. Herbert Hoover was a @#%$ president, but even he never conceded an entire city to rising water and snakes.

    "On your watch, we've lost almost all of our allies, the surplus, four airliners, two trade centers, a piece of the Pentagon and the City of New Orleans. Maybe you're just not lucky. I'm not saying you don't love this country. I'm just wondering how much worse it could be if you were on the other side.

    "So, yes, God does speak to you. What he is saying is: 'Take a hint.' "

    September 16, 2005

    Davey D's New Orleans/Houston Audio

    Davey D has the Katrina radio coverage on lock:

    Cousin Jeff From Houston Astrodome (radio interview)

    We sat down with Cousin Jeff of BET to get a run down of what’s going in with the evacuees in the Houston Astrodome. He and Kanye West were there the other day…Cousin Jeff explained that all is not good… The primary problem is that poor displaced folks from New Orleans are being pitted against poor people from Houston

    Cousin Jeff and Zin From Houston Astrodome (radio interview)

    We continue are discussion with BET ’s Cousin Jeff about life inside the Astrodome for displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina.. he describes it as being very bad… We are joined by Houston Hip Hop artist Zin who confirms all that Cousin Jeff has mentioned… Both men lay out a number of solutions and plans of action to bring relief and resolve many of these issues in both the long and short term…

    Rosa Clemente Updates Us From New Orleans (radio interview)

    We caught up with Rosa Clemente who is now leaving New Orleans and Baton Rouge after her arrest this past wednesday night.. She is doing ok.. but has al ot to say about what's really going on…

    Fred Hampton Jr Updates Us from Mississippi (radio interview)

    We got a chance to speak with Fred Hampton Jr of the POCC the other day and he gave us a breakdown of what’s been happening in Mississippi, the plight of prisoners, displaced people in Chicago and the launching of the Black Cross…

    October 10, 2005

    Damn Blasted Liyah

    Does anyone still actually celebrate this holiday? Might as well have a Ted Bundy day.. But if you need a better reason to party, you can tune into WBAI tonite at 11PM to hear Toubab Krewe performing live in studio..

    Also check out our DJs Avee and 3D at APT tonight if you're in the area.

    October 25, 2005

    Rosa Parks

  • Rare 1956 interview on Democracy Now

  • Davey D Tribute Mix

  • Herbert Kohl on the mythology and reality

  • October 26, 2005

    Sheryl Swoopes Comes Out

    Even worse than the NBA's hip-hop phobia is how the WNBA's gay players and fans are so often treated like some dirty little secret. The league will never have a truer MVP:

    Three-time MVP 'tired of having to hide my feelings'

    Calling life in the closet "miserable," three-time Olympic gold medalist and reigning WNBA MVP Sheryl Swoopes announced she is gay in an exclusive interview in the current issue of ESPN The Magazine.

    "My reason for coming out isn't to be some sort of hero," Swoopes, a forward with the Houston Comets, says in the article. "I'm just at a point in my life where I'm tired of having to pretend to be somebody I'm not. I'm tired of having to hide my feelings about the person I care about. About the person I love...

    ...The news could be particularly perplexing for the WNBA, which has struggled to both recognize the homosexual element connected to its league and grow its fan base. Ironically, in its infancy, the WNBA marketed a pregnant, married Swoopes to put a heterosexual face on its promotional campaign. Now the league, which will play its 10th season next summer, has to decide what to do now that one of its best and most recognizable players has announced she's gay...

    November 4, 2005

    Kevin Federline's Rap

    You know what's really sad? This is still better than "My Humps" .

    (plus you gotta give him a few points for the pronunciation of paparazzi as "pavarotti")

    Track from Kevin Federline's album posted on the Internet

    The dawn of Kevin Federline's hip-hop career has begun, though it remains to be seen if it will last past breakfast.

    A track by Federline was posted on the Internet by Disco D, the producer of his upcoming album, "The Truth," to be released next year.

    Though the song has since been taken off Disco D's Web site, it has popped up elsewhere, giving a glimpse of Mr. Britney Spears' rhyming, um, abilities.

    "Back then, they called me K-Fed, but you can call me Daddy instead," he intones in the chorus of "Y'all Ain't Ready..."

    November 6, 2005

    Essential Reading on the Riots in Paris

    If you're looking for a comprehensive breakdown of the situation in Paris, Black Looks is the place to be.

    November 7, 2005

    Paris Riots: Not A Muslim Thing

    I knew something wasn't right when I kept seeing this framed as "muslims vs. whoever" in the American press...

    Paris heat not from Muslims

    The violence erupting in France reflects social, not religious, grievance, reports James Button in Paris.

    They wear hoods, baggy jeans and brand-name sneakers. Their heroes are American rappers like 50 Cent. They have begun to describe their assumed antagonists as "white". They have a particular hatred for police and when they go to fight them they say they're "dancing with wolves".

    ...The riots, described as France's worst since May 1968, have been linked to the threat of radical Islam. But both descriptions are misleading. The violent unrest is better compared to the riots that burnt down African-American ghettos across the United States in the 1960s...

    Continue reading "Paris Riots: Not A Muslim Thing" »

    November 16, 2005

    Air America Firing Marc Maron

    I'm a little late on this, but it looks like Marc Maron is gone from Air America? Apparently being replaced by Mark Riley from 5-7 and Rachel Maddow from 7-9.

    No disrespect to Riley or Maddow, but this is a bonehead move by AAR boss Danny Goldberg and whoever else is in charge there. Maron was the best on-air presence they had, at least in the regular weekly shows. And that's coming from a contributor to the show that competes against him on WBAI, but I gotta give props where they are due.

    On second thought, I should be happy our competition is playing themselves. Forget what I just said, this is a great move, Goldberg! And you should give Jerry Springer even more airtime, while you're at it!

    December 20, 2005


    I didn't have a need to be out of the house today, and slept until noon (hate me now!). Any New Yorkers got strike stories to share?

    Some links:

  • WBAI Radio Special on the Strike (10mb MP3)
  • Nathan Newman's Labor Blog on the issues behind the strike.
  • The TWU's Blog
  • NY Times: Transit Workers Union Uniquely Aggrieved, and Empowered, with Little Dignity on the Job

  • January 4, 2006

    Microsoft Censoring Chinese Bloggers?

    It's always fun to joke about Microsoft being an evil empire, but if this is accurate (check the back and forth on this in Scoble's comments) there's not much funny about it:

    Microsoft takes down Chinese blogger

    Microsoft’s MSN Spaces continues to censor its Chinese language blogs, and has become more aggressive and thorough at censorship since I first checked out MSN’s censorship system last summer. On New Years Eve, MSN Spaces took down the popular blog written by Zhao Jing, aka Michael Anti. Now all you get when you attempt to visit his blog at: is the error message pictured above. ..Note, his blog was TAKEN DOWN by MSN people. Not blocked by the Chinese government... - Rebecca MacKinnon

    OK, this one is depressing to me. It’s one thing to pull a list of words out of blogs using an algorithm. It’s another thing to become an agent of a government and censor an entire blogger’s work. Yes, I know the consequences. Yes, there are thousands of jobs at stake. Billions of dollars. But, the behavior of my company in this instance is not right...

    ...I do believe in a slippery slope. If they come after you today, maybe they’ll come after me tomorrow. Gotta stop this kind of stuff while we’re still talking about you... Guys over at MSN: sorry, I don’t agree with your being used as a state-run thug...

    July 5, 2006

    Net Neutrality: Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

    Like the Abstract, I've been slow on posting about this cuz I found it hard to make a pithy paragraph about it. But it's too serious to ignore so I'm just gonna let the experts speak for themselves:


  • August 28, 2007

    Who let the dogs out?

    Commentators were linking Michael Vick ‘s dog fighting enterprise to hip-hop even before police broke into DMX’s Arizona compound.

    It doesn’t matter that dog fighting has been around since the colonial era. It doesn’t matter that, under the current circumstances, one might just as easily link football playing to dog fighting. It doesn’t matter that, if one were to look with a level head, that dog fighting is probably more closely linked to poverty than any particular culture, or ethnicity, or race. Yet, blaming hip-hop has become as much of a convenient journalistic crutch to explain complex social problems as is, say, getting virtually anyone with a conflicting opinion to discredit a reputable source and make one’s reporting seem “fair and balanced.”

    Watch Adisa Banjoko’s sober response to the DMX affair here.

    What I want to know is this: If hip-hop is to blame for dog fighting, what music do we blame for cock fighting? Jazz?

    September 10, 2007

    The Torch Awards — VMA Edition


    Who held the torch at the VMAs and who dropped it? View the results here.

    September 28, 2007

    American Cuisine


    If the Sylviagate incident proves anything, it’s what happens when you let your opponents control the debate.

    As hip-hop grew ever more commercially successful, criticism of hip-hop enjoyed a similar boom, to the extent that the term “hip-hop” itself became synonymous with misogyny, violence, hypersexuality, and crime.

    Not that hip-hop’s critics hadn’t always laced the culture with those adjectives. And not that hip-hop didn’t do everything it could to encourage that criticism by its failure to support the artists who could make it a well-rounded genre. But hip-hop itself has begun to accept the fallacy that it is, by and large, a liability. What a shame.

    It pains me, in 2007, to have to defend hip-hop against the charges of people like Bill O’Reilly. It’s like being asked to defend Evolution from its Creationist opponents. Or putting Ahmadinejad (or Bush for that matter) onstage with academics looking for straight answers. In a proper debate, you and your opponent play by the same basic logic. In the above discussions, none of that happens. Science cannot debate Belief, because Belief doesn’t care about evidence. Humans cannot debate their humanity against people who believe them ultimately inhuman.

    Continue reading "American Cuisine" »

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