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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Stay Tuned for the HipHop Analysis Show.......

Wow....what happened to hip hop's innocence? Just sending out a reminder that we are broadcasting our hip hop analysis show this Wednesday at 7pm. We will be providing a synopsis of Byron Hurt's recent Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes PBS special as well as taking calls. All are welcome!

Does Hip Hop Have a Negative Influence-the radio show

Monday, February 26, 2007

State of the Black DisUnion 2007.......Some thoughts

I finally got around to viewing a rebroadcast of Tavis Smiley's annual State of the Black Union conference which originally took place earlier this month at my alma mater, Hampton University. Perhaps what Smiley is attempting to accomplish is admirable, but I believe his annual political barbecue is misguided and ineffective. Mistake number one, The Union always appears to showcase the usual suspects-Reverend Al Sharpton (before we found out about his Thurmond shocker), his vice president, Reverend Jesse Jackson (Sharpton and Jackson alternate the Black presidential title based on circumstances and need) and Cornel West as well as a cavalcade of other African-American notables.

Over the years, I have grown increasingly weary of these gatherings that are set up as self-aggrandizing/promotional vehicles for the notables in question-with no real solutions for the Black community that they are targeting. What was most noticeably absent at Tavis' Union was a Black conservative perspective. And putting politics aside, people of color are sorely in need of hard constructive plans that can be implemented (and monitored) instead of motivational infomercials. Even the mentioning of Barack Obama at this particular function was met with suspicion as he does not come from the civil rights vanguard. The Civil Rights hierarchy currently posssess a stranglehold on the Black community with past accounts of the glory days and dated precepts. Mind you, I have great admiration and respect for what those of the Civil Rights era have accomplished, but there must be room to adopt new strategies as well as conversing and collaborating with individuals like Mr. Obama that may possses fresh ideas and ideologies. As I jokingly alluded to previously, the time for passing the sweet potatoes at these functions must cease-let's try to pass some ideas around (with rules of implementation)...for a change.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

New Podcast available.....

Just keeping you guys in the loop. A new podcast is available with Authentic Blackness being the main topic and cohosted by my friend and colleague, Mr. Starks(aka Ironman). Please accept my apologies regarding the hip hop analysis show which has been rescheduled for the 28th at 7pm. Trust me....we brought the heat on this topic. Next up.....a discussion on the Tavis' State of the Black Union (or Passing the Sweet Potato Pie Convention)....I'm joking...maybe.

What is Black Authenticity

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes......Continued!

More information for the class. I found additional snippets of a Houston, TX PBS affiliate program that actually had a roundtable discussion regarding The Beats and Rhymes special. Take a look at Part 1 of Hip Hop in Review. Parts 2 through 5 are available below.

Hip Hop In Review-Part 2

Hip Hop In Review-Part 3

Hip Hop In Review-Part 4

Hip Hop In Review-Part 5

New Radio/Podcasts Scheduled

Just letting you guys know that we plan to have weekly radio broadcasts every Sunday at 2pm. This week we also intend to do a special Hip Hop analysis show for this upcoming Saturday at 9pm. The hip hop show will deal with a documentary that aired on PBS yesterday entitled, Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes (snippet above)as well as a CNN/Paula Zahn Out in The Open show that is also taking a look at hip hop's influence on the nation's youth, scheduled for 8pm tonight. Feel free to call in because this is going to be a hot one!

Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes

Monday, February 19, 2007

In My Case......Video Did Not Kill the Radio Star

For those who might have missed my first radio/podcast broadcast, feel free to check it out by clicking on the link below.

Afronerd Radio

In addition, check out Tavis Smiley's 2007 State of the Black Union, which was broadcast last week from my alma mater, Hampton University. Click on the link and then scroll down to parts 1 and 2 of the CNN program. I will give my thoughts on this show momentarily- however I can say that as usual the same cast of characters arrived for Tavis' meet and greet. But again, I will save my thoughts for the next entry.


Friday, February 16, 2007

A DVD of Interest.....Before the Music Dies

Thank God for dvd! The above clip is from a PBS documentary entitled, Before The Music Dies that I actually missed viewing-I believe it was originally broadcast during the last quarter of 06'. Before The Music Dies, perfectly encapsulates my frustration with the present music scene-formulaic songs, the lack of originality and diversity as it relates to Black music. This is a must see for any music fan that needs answers as to how we arrived at this point in our music/pop culture consciousness. Joel Rasmussen and Andrew Shapter, the filmmakers/documentarians of this cinematic piece, essentially were fans first, who out of anger and disillusionment decided to travel the country asking music fans(and music/radio executives) their opinions of our flailing music industry. Check out this excerpt from a November Washington Post article pertaining to the film:

The film includes testimonials from Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Erykah Badu, Elvis Costello and Questlove, all of whom bemoan the changing corporate structures that make it harder for new and lesser-known artists to win radio airplay or anything resembling freedom or patience from a recording company. (XM Radio, the Washington-based satellite service, has adopted the movie to highlight its commitment to genres of music that don't find an outlet on terrestrial radio.)

Do yourself a favor and take a look at this important documentary. For more on the Washington Post piece, click on the link below.

'Before the Music Dies' Diagnoses an Ailing Industry

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Obama against the World(of Public Opinion)

It looks like there are two campaigns to coincide with Obama's recent announcement that he is running for President-the actual campaign and the campaign to discredit him. Last week his elementary school was called into question as potentially being a terrorist Madrassa. Now his Christianity is being called into question. Thanks to my radio cohost, Mr. Starks for sending this recent transcript from Tucker Carlson's The Situation program. Remember.....this is only the beginning. Check it out.

Tucker Carlson on Obama's church: "[I]t's hard to call that Christianity"
During the "Obameter" segment on the February 7 edition of MSNBC's Tucker, host Tucker Carlson criticized Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), a presumptive candidate for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, for being a member of a church that Carlson claimed "sounds separatist to me" and "contradicts the basic tenets of Christianity," a subject Carlson said he was "actually qualified to discuss." Carlson was referring to the "Black Value System" advocated by the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, of which Obama is a member. A February 6 Chicago Tribune article reported that "conservative critics have seized on Trinity's 12-point Black Value System, especially the portion relating to 'middleclassness,' as evidence that Obama is a divisive candidate who rejects mainstream American values and is primarily focused on the black community." Carlson pointed to the "disavowal of the pursuit of 'middleclassness' " in the church's tenets, calling the church's mission a "racially exclusive theology" and "a theology that ministers to one group of people, based on race." Carlson claimed that Trinity's theology is "racially exclusive" and "wrong," adding that "it's hard to call that Christianity."

For more on the Tucker/Obama story, review the video and in addition, click on the link below:

Tucker Carlson on Obama's Church

Ok.....Finally the Radio Show

Finally! Please check out our radio/podcast program which is scheduled for this Sunday, 2pm. We will be taking calls and taking prisoners (just kidding...maybe). This will be an intro show and of course an extension of the blog. More info below:

Afronerd Radio

Monday, February 12, 2007

More Links of Interest........

I just wanted to hip you guys to some interesting takes on Obama fever as well as a cool Black culture shopping site. Enjoy!

Huffington Post Commentary regarding Barack

Obama's Path Typical Of New Generation Of Black Political Leaders

Black History Hut

A Few Random Thoughts before I retire for the Evening

Was I hallucinating or were the Grammys actually good this year? I was actually entertained and did not see too much fluff this time around. I saw some musicality and talent-perhaps for the first time since the eighties. The Police reunion. The Corinne Bailey Rae (previous performance above), John Legend and John Mayer trivecta. Christina Aguilera's homage to James Brown. Ceelo of Gnarles Barkley channeling the late Sylvester. The redemption of Mary J. Blige. My boy Prince was in the audience. If only this translated into radio diversity. I guess lightning can strike every once in awhile. One more thing(unrelated). I want to give a shout out to the Nat Turner's Revenge blog for highlighting a new book, entitled Ghettonation. It might as well have been the Manifesto of Afronerd. More below:

Ghettofab revealed and reviled?

Ghettonation and Black Power Inc.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Time to be Proactive.........No not like what Diddy & Vanessa Shill

I suspect that some folks may get the impression that I do not believe that police misconduct exists. That would definitely be a false assertion. My problem lies with our reaction to police brutality claims. I also have difficulty with how some in minority communities place a blind eye to civilian misconduct and how our youth have become enamored with thug culture. And imagine trying to differentiate between the innocent and not so inoccent-this is what the police are required to do daily. At some point, people of color must relinquish the constraints of victimhood and try to develop strategies to prevent situations that may result in tragedy. As I have alluded to many times here at Afronerd, too many in the Black and Brown communities are adhering to predetermined stereotypes (i.e. possessing prior criminal records or thuggish posturing) that are being promulgated around the clock in our media. This has to stop. Another simple thing that I plan to purchase when I get my next vehicle is a video surveillance unit. Now....if some of our youth can plunk thousands into stereo systems, high performance equipment and glossy wheels-why not a camera to record when a cop gets out of line. Time to think covertly-click on the link below for the auto surveillance info:

In Car Video Recording Security System

Thursday, February 08, 2007

With (Black) Friends Like These......ah you know the rest

I really wanted to discuss the links showcased in the previous entry but I need to expound on this story first. Do you guys remember this chorus?:

How many of us have them?
Ones we can depend on
How many of us have them?
Before we go any further, lets be

If you are a true hiphop afficionado, the lyrics are from the song, Friends by the legendary rap group, Whodini. The meaning of the song definitely resonates today as it relates to the above clip. Despite my conservative leanings, I do not have any problems critiquing other folk whose views lean toward the right. Just as I do believe that there is a liberal bias in the media (sometimes resulting in the coddling of Black folk), I am equally vigilant when I see discrepancies with right wing media outlets. Talk about making much to do about nothing. Notice how Biden's comment about Obama has morphed into a referendum on the validity of interracial friendships. Actually I have two clips, featuring Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly confessing that they do not (or can not) have Black friends because of alleged Black sensitivity.

To be fair, I do think that many people of color can be overly sensitive regarding certain issues, but this is not an absolute supposition. It seems that these two gentlemen, just do not associate or run in the same circles as people of color (allegedly), and now have found a reason that justifies it-in case they come under public scrutiny. It appears that Beck and O'Reilly literally believe that the entire Black populace is some sort of team that just doesn't understand them. Last time I checked, people of color are not like the Yankees. And don't these guys speak for a living? Does becoming relaxed amongst friends mean that one is likely to slip up and say something racist? Well, maybe for Mel Gibson (or heck, Isaiah Washington).

The bottom line is...friendship is a tenuous experience to begin with-as long as you don't make gross generalizations and see folks as individuals, having friends cross-racially or intraracially should be no big deal. I guess Beck and O’Reilly never received that memo. Take a gander at the O’Reilly clip in question-and then sigh. With friends like these.....

We’re ‘Afraid’ To Have ‘A Lot Of African-American Friends’

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A couple of Miscellaneous Thoughts(and links)

Due to time contraints, I can't elaborate on some new sites, issues and links but I at least wanted to share them with the class. More discussion tomorrow-meanwhile here's a preview:

Forgotten Genius

Racial Profilng In Chocolate City

What's behind stop & frisks?

The Other "N" word

And of course stay tuned for Afronerd Radio-coming Soon! Check the radio link/banner to your right or Afronerdradio.com-shows are slated to start this Sunday. Again More tomorrow.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Tyra Banks Stars in Entitlement of Mediocrity

I want to let you in on a secret. My all-time favorite talk show was the Phil Donahue Show hosted by the King of all liberals, Mr. Marlo Thomas a.k.a. Phil Donahue. In my estimation, Donahue represented the last bastion of liberalism when it actually made sense to be on the left. And in all fairness to Mr. Donahue, he was (and is) an extremely engaging and talented interviewer. Unfortunately, the Oprah juggernaut arrived and the Donahue show was its first casualty.

Fast forward two decades-now the archetypal talk show format which addressed hard-edged serious issues, has now been replaced with shows that cater exclusively to the public’s prurient interests. God forbid if the talk show medium actually educates its audience. Call it the Oprahfication (or Springerization) of the modern talk show. Enter the Tyra Banks Show-the Oprah Show for Generation X and Y. If you haven’t heard, Tyra wants you to kiss her fat ass. This proclamation arises as a response to her recent weight gain that garnered media scrutiny probably because of her model/celebrity status-go figure. Her stance is endemic in our culture, which I have dubbed the entitlement of mediocrity. Tyra wants you to accept her weight gain, which translates into complacency. Is it disingenuous for an ex-model that has amassed a fortune based on the premise of aesthetics to now complain about gaining weight? But then again we have individuals that want to smoke, drink and eat into oblivion and then list grievances when the ramifications of their behavior rise to the surface.

High-fiving weight gain is not the answer when our nation leads the world in excess and obesity. In addition, the latest stats show African-American females as comprising the largest segment of the US population for obesity-Latin women coming in a close second. This is just unacceptable. It has also been reported that this may be the first generation due to bad habits, not to reach the same life expectancy as their predecessors. And giving credence to bulimia/anorexia or binge dieting to uphold model thinness should not be acceptable either. What should be promoted is the owning up to our frailties by overcoming such obstacles through hard work (i.e. diet and exercise) and discipline. We are an obese nation-let’s face it unabashedly. That’s when someone can kiss your (healthy) ass. Check out Tyra’s tantrum for your enjoyment.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Another Great Moment in Black History......Oh You Know I'm Joking

First order of business for President Obama, take away BET's broadcasting license. Trust me, that's something that I would actually applaud. If the KKK ever decided to get their own station, I suspect they would do a better job at representing Black folks' interests. My comrades at Blackprof.com begrudgingly found Throw Some D's infectious while acknowledging the cooning factor-I'm sorry folks, you lost me on that one.

Throw Some D's

And it get's worse, the clip below has been circulating the web for many months but it definitely makes me wonder if the space time continuum has been breached and I'm mistakenly living in 1924. One thing I do know, I have even more empathy for the Native American actor who always shed a tear during those anti-pollution ads from the 70s. WOW!

And just one more...check out the latest send-up by a relative of Al Jolson. When will this minstrel show end?

Someone should Biden their tongue......ok that was a bad pun

I'm pretty sure many of you are vaguely aware of recent comments made by Senator Joseph Biden that essentially were meant to compliment Barack Obama but instead went into the inevitable racial territory that seems to be quite fashionable these days. In an interview with the NY Observer, Biden made observational remarks about several Democratic presidential hopefuls, but when it came to Obama, he came down with a case of footinmouth disease. Ol' Joe stated, "You got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy... I mean, that's a storybook, man." My, isn't he special?-If I were Dana Carvey's Church Lady, I couldn't say it any better. As we go deeper into the 21st century, it amazes me the lack of sophistication that our citizens (civil servants included) continue to demonstrate. But as the official vendor for Bill Cosby's Truth Serum for the Masses, I could care less about the Joe Bidens of the world. I'm more concerned about combating the 24 hour media minstrel show that coexists with my beloved bourgeoisie fraternal(and sorority) order. It's the aesthetic of underclass Black tomfoolery and ineptness (with a good dose of fresh baked racism) that can impede Mr. Obama's presidential plans. The more complacent people of color are, regarding media perceptions, the easier it is for Biden (and others) to casually contend that the Obamas of the world are rare museum artifacts. Click on the links below for more on the Biden faux pas:

Some Day, Hipsters Will Wear "Biden '08" T-Shirts as an Ironic Statement

Biden Explains, Apologizes for Controversial Remarks

Joe Biden's Obama drama