Sunday, March 28, 2010
First, Howard's take......
And now Jamie Foxx's Foxxhole Radio Show (also a Sirius XM production)...
I'll reserve my comments and analysis for an upcomingAfronerd Radio segment. Stay tuned!
Posted by desmond burton at 11:14 PM
Monday, March 22, 2010
Well It's been a week since President Obama signed his health care bill and the world has irrevocably changed...or has it. The neo-tea party movement, inclusive of many of my hard line fellow Republicans are incensed, frustrated and plodding (or is that plotting) toward this years mid-term elections. In spite of my Republican voter card, I remain indifferent to the concept of alleged socialized medicine. I suspect that many conservatives would label me a RINO (Republican In Name Only) since I am supportive of this president and simply not a right wing ideologue. I prefer the "wait and see" approach. The bill has not yet been finalized and there's no public option attached, so it's more of a boon to private insurers as they will expect anywhere from 30 to 40 million new customers. But you're probably asking-"what does this have to do with the above clip?"
If you have been paying close attention to recent internet chatter, there was a pretty heated on air spat between Rev. Al and PBS commentator, Tavis Smiley pertaining to the need for a "Black Agenda." And believe it or not, I actually sided with Sharpton! It's his contention that it may not be prudent for the nation's first Black president to openly broadcast or spearhead a Black agenda-emphasis on the word, openly. So what does Smiley decide to do? He streamlines his decade old State of the Black Union event, names We Count, holds it at Chicago State University and invites the same cast of tired Black progressives from the previous incarnations. Many believed that this latest event was just a round table excuse to bash President Obama for failing to focus on Black issues. The irony is...."Obamacare" passes during the same weekend as the Smiley affair-undoubtedly helping millions of Black and Brown folks who are the chronically uninsured. I implore you to take a look at the above clip decide whether the invitees have egg on their faces or were they speaking truth to power. I like my eggs scrambled.
Posted by desmond burton at 12:20 AM
Monday, March 15, 2010
An interesting piece from NPR's Michelle Alexander.....But I Don't Agree Wholeheartedly-"The Nation: The New Jim Crow"
While taking a walk down the cyber halls of the NPR website, I came across an article from NPR's Michelle Alexander entitled, The Nation: The New Jim Crow in which she posits that the breakdown of the Black family in conjunction with minority incarceration rates is analogous to the discrimnation/segregation standard of the pre-Civil Rights era. I believe the issue is far more complex and nuanced than her assertion. Here's an excerpt, courtesy of NPR.com:
Obama's mere presence in the Oval Office is offered as proof that "the land of the free" has finally made good on its promise of equality. There's an implicit yet undeniable message embedded in his appearance on the world stage: this is what freedom looks like; this is what democracy can do for you. If you are poor, marginalized, or relegated to an inferior caste, there is hope for you. Trust us. Trust our rules, laws, customs, and wars. You, too, can get to the promised land.
Perhaps greater lies have been told in the past century, but they can be counted on one hand. Racial caste is alive and well in America.
Most people don't like it when I say this. It makes them angry. In the "era of colorblindness" there's a nearly fanatical desire to cling to the myth that we as a nation have "moved beyond" race. Here are a few facts that run counter to that triumphant racial narrative:
• There are more African-Americans under correctional control toda—-- in prison or jail, on probation or parol—-- than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began.
• As of 2004, more African-American men were disenfranchised (due to felon disenfranchisement laws) than in 1870, the year the Fifteenth Amendment was ratified, prohibiting laws that explicitly deny the right to vote on the basis of race.
• A black child born today is less likely to be raised by both parents than a black child born during slavery. The recent disintegration of the African-American family is due in large part to the mass imprisonment of black fathers.
• If you take into account prisoners, a large majority of African-American men in some urban areas have been labeled felons for life. (In the Chicago area, the figure is nearly 80 percent.) These men are part of a growing underca—e -- not class, ca—e -- permanently relegated, by law, to a second-class status. They can be denied the right to vote, automatically excluded from juries, and legally discriminated against in employment, housing, access to education, and public benefits, much as their grandparents and great-grandparents were during the Jim Crow era.
To review the article in its entirety, click on the link below:
The Nation: The New Jim Crow
More of my opinion and synopsis after the jump............
Ok, I know it's been approximately two weeks since that "jump" but you know what they say....better late than...
Anywho....after reading Ms. Alexander's NPR piece, I became frustrated and disheartened with its non sequiturs. At times I honestly try to keep my contrarian sensibilities in check but in the last few years I can't help but view matters from a more centered perspective instead of a wholesale tribal viewpoint. A glaring example that irked me was this excerpt from Alexander:
"There are more African-Americans under correctional control today in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began."
I'm not doubting the above statement is factual but its the implications that Alexander is attempting to convey about minority incarceration versus historical chattel slavery that are problematic. Sure, one can liken colonial servitude to new millennium imprisonment but the obvious demarcation point lies with the unique concept of free will. Slaves were captured human beings that committed no infractions except for being able bodied and Black. Committing a crime, especially a heinous one, relies on some degree of personal decision making. We can pontificate on the disparity of sentences between our minority and White citizenry but to ascribe ubiquitous victimization to those who victimize others (especially our brethren) appears to be tiresome and disingenuous at best. But let's hear from our readers...any thoughts? Are we really looking at rising incarceration rates in Black and brown communities as the new age Jim Crow?
Posted by desmond burton at 11:12 PM
The Comic Shoppe Returns! Tues at 7pm-Discussing Predators, Agent Smith as The Red Skull, Watchman 2 ? and Daryll B's Latest Op-ed!
We're back and in full effect! Join Max, Daryll and yours truly, tomorrow at 7pm eastern as we discuss the latest pop/pulp culture news. During Tuesday's Comic Shoppe broadcast, we will discuss the following topics: our impressions of the Robert Rodriguez' reboot/sequel, Predators; Watchman 2? (maybe or maybe not); Sarah Connor's Summer Glau gets a new superhero gig, courtesy of NBC; further analysis of DC and Marvel's Blackest Night and Siege major event story lines; Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving of the Matrix films) to play Captain America's Red Skull?...and lastly our favorite graphic novel reads from the last few weeks. And feel free to stop by with your comments/questions at-646-200-0104 or via email/IMfirstname.lastname@example.org. And remember make yours the Comic Shoppe!
The Comic Shoppe's Week in Review
And now, the latest words of pulp wisdom from the Shoppe's Daryll B:
I suppose I am in a position now to have to back up what I have said on the show about DC's Blackest Night and Marvel's Siege events and know that I will because I have 5 common arguments about both events. These arguments will let you all decide whether I have valid points or just have event fatigue:
1. It is not uncommon to have 2 or more writers having different "voices" for the same character and that is fine because we all don't think the same. However, when it is the SAME writer giving their character two different personas/voices in the same event? That is all sorts of wrong to me. Johns, with Hal Jordan and the Corps and Bendis, with Osborn along with most of the Avengers have been guilty of this on numerous occasions.
2. Both events for all of the groundwork being laid down for years seem to be rushed. Think about this, for both events and all the manipulations to get to where they are now, you would think the Big Bads in both would have a better handle or plan than what has been shown.
3. Don't get me wrong, I am a Fanboy by nature BUT I do not want plot sacrificed for "OOOOH Fanboy-gasm" moments. You folks have heard me rant on things like Ganthet needing a green lantern ring or Sentry dispatching Ares the God of War in 3 pages in the MIDST OF A WAR! Do these writers think the majority of their readers are dumb? ...ok ok *deep breathe*
4. Speaking of events not lining up, for example just look at the Siege timeline between New Avengers, Dark Avengers, Siege, Invincible Iron Man and Thor involving the Thor beatdown and Maria Hill. You would think editorial would line these events up better. I wouldn't laugh too much DC because the lining up of GLC and GL has been horrid also. Think about this: In one book you get an explanation on how to defeat the Black Lanterns. You would think that the Lantern in question would spread that news out RIGHT AWAY to his comrades? Try 2 issues later and it is a member of a different Corps who does it.
5. Inconsistent power levels and too many extraneous books for my tastes. How do the Hawks get taken out right away in 3 pages but Ma Kent, Batman and Robin last 3 issues with light injuries? How does Sentry all of a sudden have powers topping a God's? Did we need the oversaturation of books from both companies that lightly touched on the event?
Saying all of this, there are some gems in my hatred. Avengers: Initiative and Green Lantern Corps have been BETTER than the stupid events they tie into. The Suicide Squad/Secret Six crossover and the Dark Reign: Electra and Zodiac minis were great in their own rights. I am just frustrated that I could see potentially epic stories of greatness here from both companies that have been utterly wasted.
I love the interviews that Newsarama does in and around the fantasy industry. However DON'T give me an interview you did a year ago that I read about Chuck and try to pass it off like you just did it before THIS season: http://www.newsarama.com/tv/Chuck-Levi-Gomez-Interview-100305.html
I have to give Newsarama credit though, they had the news of Smallville's renewal up a good 8 hours before the rest of the comics 'net verse.
Here you go Dburt, the first official video for the London Souls. The song is called "The Sound" and I caught it on MTV2 late night over the weekend: http://www.mtv.com/videos/the-london-souls/485467/the-sound.jhtml#id=1632531
Got to give credit to Greg Burgas over at Comic Book Resources for his article on politics and superheroes. Definitely a good read for heavy thinking comic fans: http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2010/03/01/the-political-leanings-of-superhero-comics-revealed/
Thank you Gail Simone for your work on Wonder Woman. Best of luck on Birds of Prey. And a hearty welcome back to comics to Devin Grayson who did a great story involving Jean Grey, Cyclops, and Wolverine in last week's Girl Comics #1.
Green Lantern movie in 3D...now that's awesome...wait got one thing else....Boondocks Season 3 scheduled to begin May 2nd according to Adult Swim
Thanks for reading Afronerd followers and until next time, Keep Fantasizing.
Posted by desmond burton at 9:40 PM
Monday, March 08, 2010
More on Precious-But This Time It's A Debate-Columnist Stanley Crouch Vs NYU Film Professor Sheril D. Antonio
More on this debate, last night's Oscars and Precious' Monique in a few......
Okay, it's a week later but again, better late than never! After viewing the above exchange, I was a bit surprised at Mr. Crouch's stance on the Precious film. Crouch has been a vigilant critic of the minstrel elements endemic in current (and commercial) hip hop culture and yet he is somewhat conciliatory as it relates to this particular cinematic effort. The only thing I can surmise (and this might also be construed as a capitulation on my part) is that the film and by extension Ms. Sidibe's acting prowess (and Monique's, of course) might be better appreciated if this type African-American depiction didn't exist in a vacuum when compared to other current Black works. The majority culture (aka "White") possesses a "full plate" when it comes to artistic diversity. Black multi-faceted cultural displays exist but are not readily accepted, promoted or exposed. In other words, Precious (as a film and archetypal film) sets a standard and utterly exists alone for Black cultural representation. Without an appropriate counter balance, Precious promulgates a dangerous message of minority failure. But I've said this before....again, am I wrong? More comments from our readers....
Posted by desmond burton at 10:42 PM
Monday, March 01, 2010
Check Out The Comic Shoppe, Tues at 7pm-Discussing How I Just Discovered The UK's "Being Human; Nolan Doing JLA & Supes?, Next DC Animated & More!
To keep matters succinct....stop by tomorrow at 7pm in order to listen to another pop/pulp culture and comic laden broadcast, thanks to the Comic Shoppe crew! Join Daryll, Max and yours truly as we shed light on the latest sci-fi/comic/fantasy oriented issues: our thoughts on the next DC animated effort (after the JLA Crisis saga) will be Batman: Under the Red Hood; it appears that Chris Nolan (and his brother) may have influence over not only the Supes reboot but also a prospective JLA film; my recent discovery of the BBC's Being Human (think Three's Company as a dramedy with supernatural creatures); more independent comic book highlights and lastly, our favorite graphic novel reads from the previous year. So feel free to call us "live" at 646-915-9620 or via email/IM-afronerdradio.com.
The Comic Shoppe's Week in Review
And now here's the latest op-ed from the Comic Shoppe's Daryll B!
Hi Afronerd Followers. Once again it is time for a little quick fantasy fun with Daryll B.:
This is the current Comic Critics strip http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2010/02/28/comic-critics-107/ and no other comic hits the life and times of comic book fans and fanatics like this. Kudos to Sean Whitmore and Brandon Hanvey for allowing me to laugh at myself every week.
If you are a science fiction / fantasy fan and have not read any of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time novels, I cannot recommend them enough. Here is the interview with Brandon Sanderson over at CBR: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=25006 He is essentially Jordan's Heir to the "Time" throne.
Can Dynamite over-saturate the Green Hornet market enough? 5 freaking books planned by April for release? Are you guys taking tips from Marvel's handling of Deadpool? I have to give Dynamite credit though for picking up Charliene Harris (True Blood's Author) and the rights to Dabel Bros. library. That is quite the catalog of books to manage.
Flash Rebirth #6...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA Could Johns could swipe enough beats from Mark Waid's run or what?
Speaking of "copying"..all the credit in the world to Radical Publishing in their handling of the Nick Simmons fiasco. This is the original blog that kicked the controversy off: http://community.livejournal.com/bleachness/446299.html and a fun retrospective does by the fine bloggers at Newsarama: http://blog.newsarama.com/2010/02/26/incarnate-controversy-keeps-heating-up/ Dude, seriously, if you are going to plagiarize someone's work...Bleach (among others) is like in the top 5 selling Manga WORLDWIDE. You stupid man...Gene talk to your boy!
Hmm is it me or does this feel like a panic move by DC in the Superman rights case? http://blog.newsarama.com/2010/02/28/dc-fires-lawyers-in-siegel-superman-case/ You know who is paying close attention to this? Kirby, Marvel and Disney..for obvious reasons.
That's it for me this week as I try to contemplate what I just read in Blackest Night and Siege. Yes, I am still trying to make heads or tails of these events. You look up glutton for punishment in the dictionary and you will see a smiling Daryll B. a la "Buddy Christ" from Dogma.
Until Next Week, Keep Fantasizing Folks!
Posted by desmond burton at 9:54 PM