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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Afronerd Radio?.......Stay Tuned

Yes, folks I have decided to entertain the internet radio/podcast game. I initially started this blog for several reasons:

1) To provide an alternate African-American viewpoint not often heard in conventional mainstream media (i.e. Black Conservatism, critical analysis of African-American pop culture, the concepts of Black geekness/intellectualism, etc).

2)To facilitate a think tank environment for other like-minded bloggers and individuals to "hash" out ideas and strategies to combat the commonly held stereotypes of people of color found in various media outlets(tv, radio, advertisements, etc)

3) And plain ol' frustration. Just being able to speak my mind and vocalize my disdain at the misrepresentation and myopic promotion of Black culture in our country.

Hopefully, joining BlogTalkRadio.Com will be another outlet for me to bring forth important issues and experiences from a moderate Conservative point of view. The show will allow for live broadcasting including a call-in feature. This new radio venture couldn't come at a more opportune time based on what transpired regarding my last entry. If you happen to scroll down and check out my Carmelo Anthony/Do-rag rant, also view the heated exchange in the comment section. Based on the blatant misinformation of the commenter/blogger, named "Krisna"(pertaining to who did and did not participate in the creation of Hip Hop-something that is well documented and irrefutable), it is imperative that the next radio broadcast address what is occurring with those who are in and outside Black culture espousing false data. Stay tuned for more info regarding upcoming shows and scheduling.

  • BlogTalkRadio.Com

  • Afronerd Radio
  • Tuesday, November 28, 2006

    What's wrong with this picture?....Oh and If you haven't Guessed.....This is a Rant!

    I must confess that I am really chomping at the bit to discuss the recent and tragic events centering around the Queens police shooting that occurred this past weekend. But as promised, I'm not going to rush to judgment-unlike those who have already politicized this matter. I will, however, discuss something that is vaguely related. Culture. Or lack thereof. Those of you who have stuck with this blog for the last few months are probably aware of a previous disagreement that I had with a fellow blogger by the name of "Fresh" from Crunk and Disorderly. I am no longer warring with the blog as I do believe that it does serve a purpose. So let's just state that for the record, we have since reached a detente(think of the old Soviet Union and the US during the Cold War). Admittedly I do glance at Crunk on occasion. Don't we all slow down while driving when an accident has occurred hoping to see an injury? Well, the above photo is that accident up ahead. I have to give props to Crunk for highlighting the above moment in time pertaining to the lovely couple. If you have been living under Osama's rock for the last few years and haven't checked out a passing episode of MTV's TRL or a Denver Nuggets game, you might not be familiar with Alani "La La" Vasquez or Carmelo Anthony.

    If you haven't guessed, this is going to be yet another HipHop/Culture rant. And for those who say that I criticize hiphop too much.....you should be used to this by now. Can't we clean up people? Here we have a multi-millionaire and he can't tighten up his appearance for his lady/soon to be wife/soon to be mother of his child? As much as I try to stray away from critiquing hiphop culture, I'm still taken to different tangents with it. Is there ever a moment in this alleged culture where an individual classes up? Or is one always on thug protocol? And believe it or not this is not purely a racial issue as I have seen numerous couples(the males, specifically) of various racial and ethnic origin that insist on a downgrade of their appearance. The women are not even expecting much. Perhaps Mr. Anthony's bank account makes up for this. And god forbid that one should get profiled.....one might mistake Carmelo for a ne'er-do-well as opposed to a professional athlete.

    What really shocked me the most was that for a number of commenters under Fresh's entry, many of the women actually liked Carmelo's appearance. Does keeping it real entail never removing your do-rag for your lady and never actually marrying her before she is with child? Or does it mean that you honor her by giving her something sophisticated to look at during a meal? Or perhaps making her a wife and not a wifey. Mediocre fashion sense and a do-rag evidently appeals to some women nowadays. WOW! I guess I'll smear feces on my clothes and give Halle a call. Has anyone ever determined exactly when HipHop was deemed a culture? Was it the Blacks and Latinos that created it or Madison Avenue? A culture will always help your financial bottomline moreso than a fad. Just ask a burka manufacturer. This is allegedly a free country and one can dress as he or she sees fit but we need choices folks. Young people of color, specifically, need to bear witness to class and decency every once in awhile to at least be familiar with couture and etiquette. Ok that's it....I can breathe. I return you now to your regularly scheduled programming....I think The Flavor of Love is on.

    A delay for the facts......

    I had initially planned to write a piece regarding the alleged police brutality/shooting incident that occurred in the South Jamaica section of Queens a few days ago. Those of you who are most familiar with my writing probably have already guessed that my take on this matter would be different. I will address this tragic incident at a later date but I think it would be prudent for me to give a formal synopsis when all the facts have come forward. Meanwhile, click on the links below to find out what has been reported thus far:

  • Police looking for more witnesses to deadly Queens Police shooting

  • Mayor Says Shooting Was ‘Excessive’

  • NY police shooting of unarmed groom sparks outrage
  • Sunday, November 26, 2006

    A Rebroadcast.....Highlighting an interesting Esquire Article

    First, I have to give many thanks to Mat Johnson(of the blog, Niggerati Manor)for bringing this particular article to my attention. I have no idea how I missed this issue of Esquire as I have been an avid reader of the magazine for what seems like an eon. This month's Esquire has a feature story entitled, "The Manifesto of Ascendancy for the Modern American Nigger," written by author and sometime tv media pundit, John Ridley.

    In this case the talented Mr. Ridley(not to be confused with Ripley) lays down the gauntlet by clearly making the distinction between Black people and niggas. In my estimation, Ridley's manifesto is a codified version of Chris Rock's infamous Niggas versus Black people routine from his Bring the Pain HBO special. Unfortunately, I believe that many people will delve into a controversy surrounding semantics as opposed to analyzing the validity of the piece. It may be a painful assertion, but street life has risen from societal symptomology to a distinct culture; pretty much in the same vein as its White trash counterpart. And as I alluded to in the comment section of Niggerati, people of color are predisposed to participate in a Kirbyesque Uni-Mind mentality.

    Humor me as I go onto geek mode. If anyone is familiar with Jack Kirby's run of the Eternals comic series, the protagonists are a race of Godlike beings (akin to Asgardians or Olympians) when faced by a common threat merge into a single uni-mind entity. This uni-mind is essentially what Black people are forced to become in order to combat their problems. Ridley's article also gives high marks to Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell for their display of diplomatic aplomb during the 2001 Hanna island crisis which resulted in the release of the crew of an American surveillance plane ("spy craft" in Mandarin) downed in Chinese territory.

    Ridley posits that Rice and Powell were not able to receive their just accolades due to a competing story involving the Black underclass riots in Cincinnati, Ohio. In Ridley's colorful language, Black excellence lost out to niggas during this period. One may feel uncomfortable with Mr. Ridley's manifesto, but I do believe that a diversity of thought, art, politics and imagery is necessary for African-Americans to move forward as individuals and not one massive automaton. Bravo John Ridley. Bravo. For more on the Ridley piece and Mat Johnson's review click on the links below:

  • The Manifesto of Ascendancy for the Modern American Nigger

  • N vs BP

  • Next up, my impression of the Queens police brutality shooting(or 50 cent for 50 bullets).

    Thursday, November 23, 2006

    For the Die-Hard Trekkie(or Trekker)

    I would definitely consider myself a mild Star Trek enthusiast. My interest in Trekdom would fall somewhere between Trekkie and a Trekker. Believe it or not, many have hypothesized that there are differences between these two types of fans. Despite where I would be placed on the Trekdom scale, imagine my surprise when I discovered that Paramount recently released Star Trek: The Animated Series, a non canonical continuation of the original series. The animated version, which was broadcast in 1973 and barely made it through two seasons, is a surprsingly good interpolation of its live-action predecessor. I just purchased the new DVD release and have seen approximately 8 half hour episodes(out of the 22) thus far. To be honest, I barely remember this series(unlike Gigantor and Speed Racer for some reason) as a kid so it's definitely a fresh treat for someone familiar with the original series. The gang's all here-the original cast, sans Walter Koenig(Chekov) provided the voice talent for the short lived series. The animation, developed by Filmation Studios, is archaic by today's standards however the video transfer is excellent. Do yourself a favor and check out this excellent stocking stuffer for the upcoming (and annoying) holiday season. Also click on the link below for Wikipedia's synopsis of Star Trek Animated:

  • Star Trek: The Animated Series
  • Monday, November 20, 2006

    Gee...Looks Like Kramer Tripped into the Wrong Door This Time!

    WOW! Isn't he special(in the words of Dana Carvey's Church Lady character)? To be honest, I have grown increasingly numb to racial tirades and the weekly celebrity implosions. As much as I loved the Kramer character and admired the high standard of writing on Seinfeld, I am not shocked that Michael Richards is nothing like his zany character. But don't forget that I am ever the contrarian here at Afronerd. I have friends who have done stand-up comedy in the past and dealing with hecklers is never a pleasureable experience when you are trying to do an act. Unfortunately, Richards showed us how he really feels just as his fellow thespian, Mel Gibson did a few months ago. But at this juncture, I am way beyond being affected by the word, nigger(or nigga, whichever fits nowadays). It's not my word. It's a European invention. And as I stated in a prior entry, just because a White person calls a person of color a nigger, does it make it so?

    An analogy I often use, deals with Columbus proving the world is round. A great deal of Whites at the time believed the world was flat....it didn't make it a fact. I can call the sky green....does it make it correct? Conversely, using nigger does not make it a fact either. What I do care about centers around the inevitable appearance of the usual cast of characters when these events occur-either Sharpton, the NAACP or Rev. Jackson. You can bet that they will bring the fire and brimstone with the customary rebuttal and call to action. Where are these gentlemen when we have 24-7 minstrel programming that assaults the Black image daily? You could hear a pin drop.

    One would have to be delusional to think that Whites(or Blacks and other nationalities) do not use the word. America is supposed to be about freedom.....if a person wants to use such language, so be it. Just remember that there are ramifications for its usage. One person may give you a hug, another may try to kill you. I'm not the gambling type so I'll stick to sir. The person that uses the word, regardless of his/her nationality really tells you more about himself than the individual that the epithet was directed toward. Richards singlehandedly defecated on his career, a beloved character, social standing and indirectly the Seinfeld franchise in one swoop. Just ask Mel, he knows the deal. Who's really the nigga now? For more of Richard's impression of Chernobyl click on the link below:

  • Michael Richards, a.k.a. Kramer, spews racial slurs during standup act
  • Sunday, November 19, 2006

    Am I the Only One Confused by Russell Simmons?

    I just don't get Russell Simmons. I have been feeling this way for a couple of years now due to how he juxtaposes his humanitarian efforts with the current hip hop music that he endorses. On one hand, in the past he has been very vocal regarding the reformation of New York's strict Rockefeller drug laws and on the other, the culture that he is marketing continues to glamorize a thuggish (and sometimes drug referenced) lifestyle. What prompted me to write this particular entry, relates to an NY Daily News article that reported now Simmons and model/Tsunami survivor, Petra Nemcova are on a fact finding tour of South African diamond mines. Ever the business mogul, Simmons coincidently has an endorsement deal with the DeBeers diamond company. Again, we have a culture that promotes bling over substance to the detriment of Africans who have died due to the exploitation of their labor as it pertains to the funding of civil wars.

    Russell has stated that he is attempting to empower these exploited diamond mining Africans but when will he own up to the damage that negative rap music has done to African-Americans? This is the root of the quandry that I find myself having with Mr. Simmons. You can throw President Carter(Jay-z for the uninitiated) in this mix as well. Recently, Jigga had a street named after him in Nigeria for highlighting the country's water crisis. In a prior entry, I was highly critical of his boycott against Cristal, a drink that many in his fanbase probably can not afford and yet the lifestyle that he promotes as well as hiphop's nihilism continues. More on Russell and Jay-z below:

  • Simmons on gem of a trip

  • Documentary Following Russell Simmons' Fight Against Rockefeller Drug Laws In Production

  • Uneasy Lies the Head

  • Jay-z Gets Street Named After Him In Nigeria
  • Why You'll Never See a Comic Book Store in the Hood....

    Excuse me for using the term hood. I'm not fond of the word and I'm not sure if it is applicable to certain communities that are currently being gentrified. Harlem has often been referred to as a hood. I'm not sure if this is accurate as many brownstones uptown have seven figure pricetags. But I digress. I used "hood" as a backdrop for my lamenting the desire for a Black comic store in my neighborhood. I do have to be fair, someone did operate a comic shop in St. Albans for a brief period albeit it closed in a few months-I suspect due to a lack of support. I have to give kudos to the young cat that made the attempt because at least he tried. And as much as I lambaste the current rap scene, I'm not goint to blame rap on this one...at least not directly. There are a whole host of variables as to why this young man's business endeavor failed. Running a successful comic shop in any community is difficult, however one major hurdle a Black comic shop would have is customer identification. Rarely does anyone want to be considered a nerd in the Black community. This may be an esoteric assertion but in my estimation it is a hard fact. Nevertheless, I do see my fair share of bespectacled men of color clamoring around graphic novels when I patronize White comic establishments. Perhaps one day, African Americans can see themselves as a truly diverse entity(and hopefully other folks will view us that way as well) and I can get my comic shop after all. If this ever happened, Black Starbucks is next.

    Friday, November 17, 2006

    Newsflash!!! Humans and Sheep Share the Same DNA!!

    I don't know if you were aware of this but human beings are sheep. Really. I suspect that even if you lived under a rock like Patrick Starfish(yeah, I look at SpongeBob Squarepants....I'm ready...I'm ready!) you probably heard that the Sony Playstation 3 was released today. At some point in the future, I plan to purchase this extremely powerful gaming console. Emphasis on some point in the future. I'm just not in a rush to pay $13,000!!! Yes, you heard me...thirteen thousand big ones. At least that is the highest bid I heard was reported to have been placed on Ebay. What is wrong with people? How is it that so many of us are so easily lead(hence the sheep analogy) by corporate manipulation and greed? It's bad enough that the game retails for $600, but many people need this piece of equipment NOW. I have heard of numerous robberies, shootings and mob malfeasance in various parts of the country, all in quest of this game. For once, I would like to see people(en masse) take a stand and not be so easily led when these alleged hard to get items are invariably released. I'll sidestep the potential bulletwound and purchase the system next year. If you absolutely must have the Playstation during this holiday season, I hear Circuit City has a deal on Kevlar vests....just kidding. Maybe. For more pertaining to Playstation madness check out the links below:

  • PS3 Launch Marred by Violence

  • Sony PlayStation 3 debuts amid shopper frenzy

  • Violence mars PlayStation 3 US launch

  • Two arrested after crowd stampeded store to buy PlayStation 3
  • Thursday, November 16, 2006

    When Too Much OJ Can Give You an Upset Stomach

    Who would have thought that the above clip from a British comedy show would provide a glimpse into O.J. Simpson's future. To jump to the punchline, the host, Armando Iannucci managed to get Orenthal's autograph on a piece of paper with the phrase, "I DID IT" emblazoned on it. Now, of course, Mr. Simpson has managed to garner a hefty paycheck thanks to publisher, Judith Regan and media outlet Fox television for a book/TV special combo, entitled, "If I Did It." WOW!...just when you thought the media could get no lower in a macabre limbo contest, they're actually able to get below the proverbial bar. The show will allow OJ to hypothetically discuss how he would have committed the murders of his wife and her alleged paramour Ron Goldman. Again, it's allegedly a supposition...wink wink. This is our media at their best. If it's time for OJ to confess then the media needs to own up to their complicity. No one ever seems to discuss how much money this decade plus case still generates due to the public's neverending prurient interest in it. A cottage industry has developed due in part (or whole) because of the "case of the century." If one were to calculate the revenue generated from CSI, its rip-offs and spin-offs as well as court punditry programming, it would be.....well..incalculable. I think I'm going to end this post right at this point....I will devote a more detailed analysis regarding the OJ case and its polarizing effects in an upcoming entry. Click on the link below for more regarding OJ's confession:

  • O.J. Simpson to confess — hypothetically
  • Wednesday, November 15, 2006

    A Truly Underrated Graphic Novel Series.....

    I just picked up the latest issue(#7) of the comic book series, Squadron Supreme and the book never ceases to amaze me. I've devoted several posts to this series and it definitely appears that Hollywood(hence NBC's Heroes) has finally figured out that suspense and super powers make for a great cinematic elixir. This particular issue entails a rematch between the team and their sociopathic nemesis, Redstone. Not to give too much away, but the art, pathos and violence literally jumps off the pages. For those who still insist that graphic novels are for kids, pick up the Supreme Power(the Squadron's first incarnation)trade paperback issues and then, of course, issues 1-7 of Squadron and I assure you that your views will undoubtedly change. Check out the link below for a preview of issue 7:

  • Squadron Supreme Preview, issue#7

  • Also check out a prior Squadron entry:

  • http://afronerd.blogspot.com/2006/05/must-read.html
  • Tuesday, November 14, 2006

    It's Official....We are Now at War......

    NYOIL has another soldier in his army to combat ignorance. Again..it's harsh stuff and excuse the vulgarity but I applaud the effort. I'm not going to belabor the issue with my viewpoint on this. You know what I think. Let's just make sure that this seed of an internalized movement grows.

    Monday, November 13, 2006

    Looking Backward to go Forward or My Gripe with Black Mags

    If you haven't guessed, I have a problem with some of the African American magazines that are currently available. It really hit me hard recently as I have taken it upon myself to collect vintage Ebony mags. I'm a collector to the core and along with my comics, vintage pieces(clothing, ties, watches), music and dvds, I have acquired a taste for Ebonys dating back to the mid 1940s. Who wouldn't want to have a framed 1949 Ebony with Billie Holiday or Jackie Robinson on the cover? When you read these particular magazines, you have an indelible sense that the purpose of the magazines was to highlight Black achievement as well as inform. During this time, it actually appeared that entertainers took a second tier position to those who possessed accomplishments in the medical, legal and scientific fields. Of course, jumping ahead to 2006, many publications are suffering from what I have dubbed the celebrification complex. It is the overemphasis of the celebrity lifestyle to the exclusion of far more informative and socially relevant stories. It has become a constant frustration for yours truly to uncover so many things that are ruining our rich and diverse culture. If you ever get a chance, try to pick up one of these vintage Ebonys-Ebay has been an excellent source. Again...it's your history.

    Sunday, November 12, 2006

    Sometimes The Cartoons Get It Right or From the Mouths of Babes

    It's funny how in the last 20 years cartoons have moved away from being just fodder for kids to an excellent format for discussing very adult issues. The above video is from The Simpsons' Treehouse of Terror series(the 17th)which is a great sendup of Orson Welles' infamous War of the Worlds radio broadcast. What differentiates this episode from past shows is the subtle(or not so subtle)reference to America's war with Iraq. Again, from the mouths of babes(or at least middle-aged adolescents).

    The next clip is from a controversial episode of the Boondocks. The plot plays out like the Marvel Comics What If series. However, we are not talking about what would have happened if Peter Parker had not been bitten by a radioactive spider. In this case...what if Dr. Martin Luther King actually survived his shooting? I liken this episode(and the Boondocks in general) to NYOIL's anti-minstrel diatribe. This episode is as severe as it is poignant. Maybe the movement that we have been asking for has actually arrived. Thank You Jesus(or Mohammed, or Confucius or Jehovah).....whatever works.

    More on Ed Bradley....

    The 60 Minutes crew remembers Ed Bradley...something to share with the class. Next up...another minstrel alert.

    Saturday, November 11, 2006

    We are losing our Greats......

    First off, I would like to send out my heartfelt condolences to the families of Ed Bradley and Gerald Levert. We really are losing our greats. We also lost Johnnie Cochran and Gordon Parks within the last 18 months. The common theme with these gentlemen was not only that they were extremely talented in their respective fields but also greatly needed by the African-American community. Johnnie was our attorney. Gerald was one of the last great soul vocalists in a time when real singers are fading from the public consciousness. And of course, Bradley and Parks exuded a timeless quality of class, culture and coolness that are bereft from the current Black media standard. This is perhaps one of the main reasons why I am so critical of commercial hiphop and how it has successfully demonized the Black image. When I look back at old photographs of the heroes of the Harlem Rennaissance period, it is a bitter pill to swallow when compared to who are considered iconic in 2006. We have to honor these soldiers by raising the standard...it is not only what they would have wanted but what we should want. Rest in peace gentleman...Rest in peace.

    Ok Now Finally.....The Election 2006

    Well, as predicted, the 2006 elections have worked in favor for the Democrats, who successfully took both the House and Senate. Unfortunately, there is a long road to haul between now and the White House in the next two years. As I have stated many times in this blog, I am formally changing my political affiliation from liberal to conservative for strategic as well as ideological reasons. I have no absolute love for either party and truth be told, I would like for an effort to be made for a viable third party that could truly harness the collective power of women and minorities. My longstanding problem with the Democratic Party involves their continued adherence to following the lead of the old guard Civil Rights hierarchy while simultaneously discounting the complexities and pathologies of the Black underclass. In simple terms, we are no longer living in 1960.

    We need to employ new millennium tactics....well, for the new millennium. It has been said many times that African-Americans, by and large are socially conservative. If that is the case, our vote should be more reflective of this phenomenon. In all fairness, the current neo-conservative/evangelical arm of the Republican party was long over due for their comeuppance. The constant (and convenient) terror alerts, the questionable state of the economy and the obvious finger pointing at liberal weaknesses(for political advantage and not for honest debate)was getting tired. So, let's see if people of color can galvanize and get ready for an interesting, if not eventful political battle in the next 24 months.....will it be Hillary or Rudy or McCain. President Barak Obama? Has an interesting ring to it....you decide.

    Friday, November 10, 2006

    We Interrupt this Blog for a Very Important Message...

    I have received recent comments regarding my recent barrage of criticisms against the current hiphop scene. But we may have found a savior in NYOIL(New York Original International Lovers). The above video uses some pretty harsh language but in all fairness, minstrel rap imagery has reached such a critical mass that a vituperative counterbalance is necessary. This my friends is the shot in the arm that hiphop has been asking for....Again, please accept my apologies for the vulgarity. The next few entries will deal with the 2006 elections in addition to my usual musings. And just like a Michael Steele or Deval Patrick campaign ad....Afronerd approves of this message.

    Monday, November 06, 2006

    VOTE.......it's as simple as that!

    My time is limited today, however as I have stated countless times in Afronerd, if you decide to vote tomorrow(yours truly has voted since the age of 18), vote from a strategic standpoint. Again, hedge your bets in order to demand respect. As I have heard many times from the musician/radio personality, Mtume(remember Juicy Fruit or Biggie's Juicy, he was the original melody maker)during his NY radio show Openline, he often states that whether it's right wing or left wing....it's still the same bird. I often disagree with Openline's politics but the bird analogy is correct. More on tomorrow's election.....well, tomorrow.

    Industry Ears is listening.....so be careful what you rap about!

    Although I mentioned Industry Ears a few months ago in a previous post, I think the importance and urgency of this organization must be reemphasized. Ears, founded by political/media consultants Lisa Fager and Paul Porter, is a think tank/watchdog group that focuses on parity, decency and accuracy as it pertains to minorities in the media. This organization has done a great job at making sure the FCC is aware (via the ability to file complaints from Fager and Porter's site)of the media's double standards as it relates to people of color. One radio station that felt the wrath of Ears was New York's Hot 97(97.1 FM)-sometimes referred to as Shot 97,appropriately named due to a number of past shootings in front of the station.

    One infamous incident that was squelched due to Fager's intervention, involved 97's "smackfest" game in which contestants(in this case 2 Black/Brown women) slap each other for a monetary prize until someone relinquishes. I would hope that those of us who are concerned about balance and respect for the Black image join Industry Ears' campaign to end the monkeyshines. The time to fight is now folks! Check out Ms. Fager as she points out a few of the aforementioned inconsistencies with these media outlets during an interview with John McLaughlin in the above video. Again, let's lend some assistance to this sister....she's fighting the good fight. For additional information click on the links below:

  • Industry Ears.

  • Essence Article-"Power to the People"
  • Sunday, November 05, 2006

    Let's Do a Recap Shall We? (or Reiterating the Purpose of Afronerd....Again)

    This entry relates to an experience I had a few days ago in the workplace. I was so excited about my site's redesign that while it was still in draft form, I showed it to some of my coworkers. Many liked the new look but I was also told that it may be antithetical to the intellectual disposition of the blog. A hearty discussion ensued and low and behold, when one of my colleagues stated that she does read my blog, another coworker (jokingly) insinuated that she was trying to be a wigger(or is that wigga....who can tell nowadays). If you couldn't tell, this was a ABC conversation involving White folks. I wish my Black behind could have C(seen) my way out of it. This leads me to the heart of this entry....to be accurate, the blog is for everyone. Of course, the blog is called Afronerd but why is it assumed in jest(or not) that you have to be Black to read it? To be even more accurate a wigga would probably read King magazine and not Afronerd.

    Again, going back to my "lack of a diversified Black image" complaint, this is what happens when the nigga(or wigga) aesthetic encompasses anything that is Black. I have said this many times in this blog-just as Whites are diverse so are people of color. There are a number of known White archetypes-the Midwestern farmer, the California Surfer dude, the Brooklyn Italian foreman, the Jewish New Yorker and so forth. But Black is just Black? We Have Black Brits, Caribbeans, Black Conservatives, straights, gays, southerners, northerners, various skin tone strata, educational levels, Afro-Latins, Africans.....I can go ad infinitum. The one thing we have in common is probably the difficulty in hailing a cab in midtown NYC. Again, I implore all to read my blog as well as any number of blogs by minority writers. You might just learn something....that we're all not the same.

    In the Immortal words of ODB...."We teach the chil-ren"

    I doubt the late ODB(or Big Baby Jesus) had The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Store in mind when he made his infamous Grammy award speech relating to the Wu Tang Clan's failure to garner any awards that night. I've been meaning to highlight this funky costume store/literary workshop for quite a few months now but I have so many thoughts racing through my mind that sometimes a great story will slip through the cracks. I first learned about this store from a local tv program entitled Cool In Your Code. Code is probably singlehandedly the reason I find it difficult to leave New York. The show does a great job of informing the viewer of so many cultural venues, niche shops and historical reference points that leaving the Big Apple (despite the cost of living) might be treasonous. Anyway, back to the Supply Store. The store is the brainchild of writer Dave Eggers, who devised a way to consolidate cans of anti-matter, masks and capes with a writer’s workshop for kids ranging in age from six to 18. I wish this existed when I was a burgeoning young comic book reader. If you ever find your way to Brooklyn, take your kids to this store or at least use them as an excuse to buy your invisibility belt.

  • Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co.
  • Saturday, November 04, 2006

    Et tu Kanye?

    This video really speaks for itself. I think hiphop(if not the personalities that produce the music) is imploding. For the last few years, Mr. West has been heavily lauded as the savior of conscious rap music. I don't think so. It pains me to think that so many of these artists are delusional regarding their questionable talent and the level of their importance in the grand scheme of things. We are not talking about Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix or Stevie Wonder here. Just a popular beat maker. Again, the level of musicianship is minimal at best....but he has a voice. No one ever told him to be graceful if you lose. Someone may confuse my rants as being anti-hiphop. I miss how hiphop used to be. Wow, how low have we gone. In an upcoming post I will revisit, Lisa Fager's Industry Ears campaign to add balance if not to diminish this ignorant musical imagery.

    It was time for a change........You Like?

    I know it's too late for spring cleaning but I figured it was time to give the blog a new look. I'm definitely going to commit to writing more entries related to my hobbyist nature to compliment the previous political blurbs. The site redesign is based on the 1972 Luke Cage comic book posted above. Ironically, the actor Nicholas Cage(aka Nicholas Coppola) took Cage as a stage name because of his interest in comic books(which he still collects to this day); the Luke Cage book reportedly being his favorite. I also have to give many thanks to a gentleman by the name of Seven for the site's new look. If you have an interest in changing your blog's look check out Seven's handiwork below:

  • Blogs Gone Wild

  • also more on Luke Cage here:

  • Luke Cage
  • Thursday, November 02, 2006

    Were we wrong about Clarence?

    As I grow increasingly more disenchanted with the current state of affairs pertaining to our country and people of color, I wonder if our chief justice, Clarence Thomas received a bad rap after all. I have to admit that I was always impressed with his achievements but remained indifferent regarding his politics. Now after witnessing a complete turnaround regarding what goes for African-American culture nowadays, it appears that the politics that many Blacks had a problem with may be our saving grace. Hear me out on this one. I'm not talking about the current administration of neo-conservatives, but a call to arms for Black conservatism. This just makes sense to me.

    Black folks voting solely democratic as if it were part of our genomic structure is just foolish. And to quote Dr. Phil...how is this working out for us now? Although it may be hard to vote for Republicans this coming Tuesday, imagine if both parties valued the Black vote. It's called hedging your bets. If we always vote in the 90 percentile range for the democratic party, what leverage can you have when it's a given as to how you will vote. It's akin to being married to an abusive spouse. No matter how bad the treatment, it is highly unlikely the abused partner will leave. Perhaps a 60/40 democratic voting ratio this time as opposed to 90/10. I think I will investigate and relay more info regarding Mr. Thomas in a later entry. Let's try to be strategic this time folks. In the immortal words of Spike Lee....WAKE UP!

    Wednesday, November 01, 2006

    Yourspace, Myspace......Niggaspace?

    This is yet another case of the be careful what you ask for because you might just get it disease. For the last few days, local media has shown macabre fascination with a New Jersey teen's recent launching of a website entitled, Niggaspace. Yes, it's based on Rupert Murdock's Myspace phenomenon. It has many folks in an uproar as the teen(conveniently named Tyrone) plays coy regarding his nationality. It has been speculated that Tyrone is white, as if it really matters at this juncture. In today's climate, it could have easily have been a Black youth making light of the n-word expletive. Tyrone has stated that he just wants to show his appreciation for Black culture and that nigga has transcended it's original meaning. He just wants to provide a place for Black people to congregate....to "kick it" as it were. This is a time that we should not heed Erykah Badu's advice and call Tyrone. Who would have thought that nigga and Black culture could be used interchangeably. Thank You Tyrone, but I'll pass on your cultural contribution.

    What happened to the Talented Tenth?

    It is a question that I often ask myself. It is also a question that has sparked many conversations amongst my friends and colleagues. If anyone is unfamiliar with the term, it was first propogated by famed social scientist and civil rights activist, W.E.B. DuBois. Dubois believed that one of the methods to ameliorate the African-American condition entailed the promotion of the top ten percent of the Black population as being the face of Black America. This "talented tenth" would be comprised of successful African-Americans(i.e. doctors, lawyers, scientists and professionals)with a set agenda for guiding the Black masses in replicating the success of these professionals.

    Of course there are many Black success stories that I can not even begin to enumerate in this blog, but the current "face" of African American imagery is rooted in a distorted picture of ghettoization, nihilism and pathology. It appears that at some point after the Civil Rights and Black Power movements(or perhaps at the beginning of the Black Power movement), the Black bourgeoisie was forced out as being a key voice for Black folk and in their stead were replaced with the Black underclass. I have a problem with this....and it has very little to do with notions of elitism. My chief complaint is that no single group should be the definitive Black voice. Everyone should have a voice for the sake of fairness and humanity. I've been lamenting for an internal, self-critical movement as it pertains to people of color for a long time now....The Cos can't do it by himself.

  • The Talented Tenth by W.E.B. Dubois