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Monday, June 30, 2008

Reggin Please?......Exploring Coded Racial Terms at the Workplace

I'm going to tackle this or rather editorialize this matter in a few hours. Oh and reggin is the n-word spelled backward-you learn something new (and childish) everyday.

This just in, courtesy of the Chicago Tribune:

Coded prejudice is cloaked dagger
Subtle slurs still shock, humiliate targets; federal officials see increase in complaints
By Dahleen Glanton | Tribune correspondent
June 30, 2008

Tomeika Broussard thought it was so absurd when she overheard her supervisor refer to her as a "reggin" that she just laughed. Then she realized it was the n-word spelled backward.

The only African-American in the small medical clinic in Los Gatos, Calif., Broussard said she was subjected to racial slurs almost daily. They were not the overt ones that most people would immediately recognize, but rather subtle, surreptitious code words that sometimes take a while to figure out.

"When 'reggin' came up, I'd never heard that word but I knew it was negative. So I had this kind of nervous, shocked laugh," said Broussard, 31, who was awarded $44,000 in damages last year in a racial harassment lawsuit filed after she was fired from her job as a file clerk. "I didn't know whether it was illegal, but I knew it was not OK. It was humiliating."

Federal officials say they have seen an increase in harassment complaints involving coded words and images in the workplace. Whether it is geared toward racial groups, religious affiliations, sex or sexual orientation, code words have proliferated in recent years through the Internet, where Web sites provide forums for creating, discussing and spreading new words promoting intolerance.

Click on the link below for more from the Tribune piece:

Coded prejudice is cloaked dagger

Talk About Black to the Future....Spike Lee to Helm Film on Time Travel Inspired By Real LIfe Black Scientist's Theories

Damn we need more stories like this one.....courtesy of IGN-UK.com:

Time Traveler Spike
Spike Lee plans scientific biopic.
by Chris Tilly, IGN UK

UK, June 18, 2008 - Spike Lee has announced plans to co-write and direct Time Traveler, a film about one man's efforts to make time travel a reality.

That man is Ronald Mallett, who became obsessed with the notion following the death of his father when he was 10. He endeavoured to create a machine that would allow son to travel back in time to save father, and this research resulted in his becoming the first African-American to earn a Ph.D in theoretical physics.

According to Variety, the film will be based on Mallett's own memoir Time Travel: A Scientist's Personal Mission to Make Time Travel a Reality, and will revolve around his rise from poverty as well as his scientific achievements.

Lee will produce through his Forty Acres and a Mule company, and said: "Time Traveler is a fantastic story on many levels [and] also a father and son saga of love and loss."

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Comic Shoppe Returns-Discussing Wanted, Last Week's Comic Reads, Our Favorite Writers, Artists & Characters-Mon, 7pm eastern!

Ok folks, Daryll, Max and yours truly will be returning for tomorrow's Comic Shoppe radio broadcast. And we will be conversing about the obvious-Mark Millar's celluloid interpretation of Wanted as well as our list of favorites (last week's comics, artists and writers). So join in on the fun, give us a call at 646-200-0104 or via email/IM-thecomicshoppe@yahoo. And while we are waiting for the show, check out the latest from the Venture Bros.

Comic Shoppe Radio

Oh and lest I forget, The Venture Bros were not the first cartoon to lampoon Jonny Quest-Check out Toby Danger:

And if you need reassurance that the Toby and Jonny intros are indeed similar, check out the original Jonny Quest intro:

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Afronerd Radio Reminder-Industry Ears' Lisa Fager drops by to Discuss Media Standards & The War Against Minstrelsy! Sun. 7pm eastern!

Have you ever wondered exactly how are we to fight minstrelsy, indecency and cultural imbalance? Well hopefully Ms. Lisa Fager and her Industry Ears organization will provide our listeners/readers and yours truly with the blueprints to do so. You know the drill-join Mr. Starks and I (again, Sunday at 7pm eastern)as we converse with Ms. Fager to get the lowdown on why certain records receive an over abundance of airplay and why other songs never get any exposure-call us live at: 646-915-9620 or via email/IM at afronerdradio@yahoo. You better be there and be square folks.....Imperius Rex!

Afronerd Radio Interview with Industry Ears' Lisa Fager

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Young Man Says All That Needs to Be Said About Souljah Boy vs Ice-t

We preempted tonight's Afronerd Radio broadcast to prepare ourselves for the upcoming interview with Lisa Fager of Industry Ears but I still couldn't resist from weighing in on the Ice-T/Souljah Boy beef. It's somewhat of a confusing issue to me as I detest commenting on the innocuous at times, however even pablum has its ramifications. If anyone is vaguely familiar with this online altercation, it originates from comments that Ice-T made on a mixtape lambasting the currently popular Souljah Boy for Hip Hop's alleged imminent death. Souljah responds like many teenagers would, by being dismissive of Ice-T based on ageism-the ravings of an "old man." I don't think McCain nor Ice-T (ironically) should be subject to barbs based on age-many young folks of color have a difficult time seeing passed 18, 25 or 30-how do they even know what maturation means? Just ask Tupac or Biggie-oh, I forgot, neither one of them made it to the ripe old age of 26! And then of course, as a person that has studied the culture with its peaks and valleys, an argument can be made that Ice-T himself could be construed as the harbinger of doom, since he has often been touted as the Godfather of West Coast gangster music. Many hip hop purists and historians have blamed the popularity and over saturation of gangsta rap for the demise of conscious/progressive hip hop almost two decades ago. But I do think that the gentleman in the video above pretty much summed up my feelings on this matter. Check out his comments and then I'd like to hear our readers' thoughts on this as well. And for the curious, check out the three videos that started this nonsense:

Ice-T Rants about Souljah Boy's Role in the Death of Hip Hop

Souljah Boi's Response

Ice-T's response

And one last thing, for those who believe that an elder can't correct a youngster, check out this video and ponder if a correction isn't necessary. Ice-T is a troublesome figure but if we are going to be somewhat nuanced, someone has to say something about the state of Black culture and music-even if it's a hustler/pimp:

That is what happens when a young male doesn't receive corrective admonishment.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Et Tu Ralph? Ralph Nader Says That Obama Needs To Stop "Talking White"......Who Knew?

You guys should know that I really made a concerted effort not to talk about Senator Obama for at least a few days. It was my intention to focus on other aspects of my Afronerdic sensibilities but this latest dust up with consumer advocate, Ralph Nader pulled me back in. I have never once stated that racism doesn't exist, only that it should not be relied on by Black folk as the default answer for all the foibles of the African-American universe. When you listen closely to the above video of Nader waxing on Obama being an alleged bought candidate, one can understand Nader's intent but the notion of "talking White" is quite perplexing. It's as if talking "Black" is the appropriate vernacular for Obama's station in life. And what's the deal with the half African-American remark? Either you're African-American or you're not. Perhaps it's a matter of semantics, but being biracial and using the term "half African-American" brings us back to matters of Black authenticity......again.

And you Black folks were so sure that the progressives had your back-think again. This is what happens when the status quo is being challenged. Heck, didn't it cause Bill Clinton from being just light-skinneded to White in a matter of seconds (I kid. I kid)? Anyone who becomes president is essentially a bought individual-whether it's corporate lobbyists, attorneys or soccer moms. The question is.....should a man of color be put into the racial corner paradigm just because of his pursuit of the presidency? Nader should be applauded for his decades long stalwart advocacy as it relates to fighting corporate avarice but playing the skin game seems beneath him.

For the last few years we have witnessed Nader interject himself into presidential races where he had no chance of winning, so perhaps this latest episode is an example of another ego run amuck in the face of racial change. We have witnessed ego implosions through out this entire campaign...just check past footage of The Clintons, Geraldine Ferraro, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Andrew Young and now Nader. Again folks, for this go around you can support Obama but remember it really is time to leverage your vote and to fight the monolith. The one-size-fits-all Black voting bloc must cease if we are to be taken seriously. All this because some melanin was dropped into the current political stew. You can't blame the GOP this time......its them-ahem, I mean the DEMS! Here's more about the Nader controversy from CNN.com:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Ralph Nader's presidential candidacy has received little media attention, but his latest critique of Sen. Barack Obama has come under fire for its seemingly racial overtones.
Ralph Nader is running for president as an independent.

Speaking with Colorado's Rocky Mountain News, Nader accused Obama of attempting to "talk white" and appealing to "white guilt" in his quest to win the White House.

"There's only one thing different about Barack Obama when it comes to being a Democratic presidential candidate. He's half African-American," Nader told the paper in comments published Tuesday.

"Whether that will make any difference, I don't know. I haven't heard him have a strong crackdown on economic exploitation in the ghettos. Payday loans, predatory lending, asbestos, lead. What's keeping him from doing that? Is it because he wants to talk white? He doesn't want to appear like Jesse Jackson? We'll see all that play out in the next few months and if he gets elected afterwards," Nader added.

Obama said Wednesday in Chicago, Illinois, that Nader was simply trying to "get attention."

"What's clear is, Ralph Nader hasn't been paying attention to my speeches," he said. "Ralph Nader's trying to get attention. He's become a perennial political candidate. I think it's a shame, because if you look at his legacy ... it's an extraordinary one. ... At this point, he's somebody who's trying to get attention, whose campaign hasn't gotten any traction."

And for the article in its entirety, click here.

And oops.....More Obama-the Illinois Senator speaks to Rolling Stone and he critiques minstrel hop-god forbid!

Here's more from News.Scotsman.com:

Obama raps hip-hop stars for sending out wrong message

ABCs and the N-word. Her t-shirt got this second grader into trouble.

Do you think the school officials overreacted?

Amityville school targets 2nd-grader's 'N-word' T-shirt


Second-grader Jaiden Haber was sent to the principal's office -- not for bad behavior, but for her T-shirt's slogan.

Last week, the principal told Jaiden, 8, to change her shirt, which read, "N the 'N' Word" and "It's time!"

Jaiden's mother, Karen, 45, said teachers at Northwest Elementary in Amityville should have "seized the moment" to discuss the shirt because it aimed to encourage tolerance.

But district superintendent John Williams said the word's inflammatory effect outweighed the shirt's potential educational value. He said Amityville schools strive to regularly instill cultural lessons.

"To send a little white girl wearing this shirt into a very diverse district that is almost 90 percent nonwhite was not the way to address this word," he said yesterday. "It's a lightning rod."

A gym teacher noticed Jaiden's shirt and sent her to the principal, who asked her to change into a school shirt because hers was a "distraction," Williams said.

That violated Jaiden's First Amendment rights, said Tara Keenan-Thomson, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union's Nassau chapter. "All students have the right to wear what they want, and this does not stop at the school gates, regardless of content or how old she is," she said.

Karen Haber said she received some of the shirts from Intrigue Concepts Inc., of Roosevelt, as payment for work done. She distributed 17 of them during Jaiden's birthday party in school a month ago.

"I never expected it to be blown up like this," Haber said. "But innocently enough, Jaiden's made an impact on society -- maybe even history."

Jaiden said she didn't understand the statement she was making with her shirt. "My mom picked it out," she said. "She thought it would look nice on me. I don't know why they made me take it off."

Karen Haber said she should have explained the shirt to her daughter, but wanted to "keep her innocent.

"Some parents criticize me for putting it on her since she's so young," Haber said. "But when I hear a 5-year-old tossing around that word, I know I would stick it on Jaiden, even if she were a newborn baby."

One parent said cultural awareness should begin early. "Racial issues are still sensitive, but there needs to be a dialogue," said Angela Roberts, 27, who was picking up her nieces from Northwest Elementary yesterday. "The school might have felt unprepared to deal with something like this. But it's a reality."

Another parent said racial education should be saved for high school. "You need to start somewhere and sometime," said Elizabeth Jex, 29, "but does it have to start with an 8-year-old girl?"

Mr. Starks

the kiss of deaf

Taking a break from politics, since a true afronerd has a myriad of interests anyway, here's a story about an interesting and rare medical occurrence.

Child's kiss deafens Hicksville, NY mom


This is a story about a kiss - an expression of love so potent from a little girl - that it caused her mother not only to lose her hearing after a buss on the ear, but to be thrust into the pages of medical history.

Yet it wasn't the sound of the smackaroo that damaged the hearing of Hicksville homemaker Gail Schwartzman, but a suction force that displaced the woman's eardrum, paralyzed a tiny trio of bones and left residual sounds in her head. Schwartzman's case will be the subject of a medical journal report within the coming weeks, outlining for the first time what the author calls "the kiss of deaf."

Schwartzman describes the kiss as physically painful but says it has left a deeper emotional scar on her daughter. Even as she recounted details of the buss planted two years ago, the child, now 6, broke into tears, apologizing to her mom. Schwartzman requested that her daughter's name not be published.

"What actually happened, I was out of the house that day," Schwartzman said. "And when I returned, I went to say a big hello to my daughter. She was 4 years old at the time. She was sitting on the floor watching TV, and she had really missed me. So I sat on the floor next to her.

"She grabbed me and gave me a hug and a really big kiss on the left ear. And while she was doing it, it felt like she was sucking the air out of my head. I couldn't push her away because I had this terrible sensation in my head," Schwartzman said.

"When she was finished, I had no hearing in that ear. The hearing slowly came back but with screeching noises in my ear," she said, referring to sounds known medically as tinnitus. Although some of her hearing has returned, allowing her to hear in muffled tones, the tinnitus has remained.

Loud noises cause tinnitus

Lisa Freeman of the American Tinnitus Foundation said loud noises can induce tinnitus.

"Typically this is the perception of sound in the ears or head. The sounds can range from ringing, clicking, swishing or buzzing and can cycle to moments of highs and lows," Freeman said.

She said tinnitus can be induced by sustained exposure to sounds usually greater than 85 decibels. The average rock concert hits the ears at 110 decibels and has left countless musicians with tinnitus.

"That was some kiss," Freeman said.

Dr. Anil Lalwani, chairman of physiology and neuroscience at NYU Medical Center in Manhattan, who was not involved in Schwartzman's case, said he has never heard of a kiss causing hearing loss.

Many of the cases he has treated, involving extreme sound exposure followed by hearing loss and tinnitus, increasingly have included soldiers who've served in Iraq. Thundering explosives have stolen hearing and left tinnitus as a permanent reminder.

Tinnitus, Lalwani said, is caused by damage to hair cells in the inner ear's cochlea, a shell-shaped structure that transmits sound signals to the brain.

Schwartzman shuns attention drawn by the kiss, arguing strongly against having her picture taken.

"It's not like I won something," she said, referring to a lottery or a prize for a a major discovery.

Numerous doctors whom Schwartzman consulted immediately after the kiss were unable to solve the mystery of what precisely went awry. Scans and a battery of sophisticated tests were conducted. One physician prescribed a potent hormone. No luck.

Then, last year she read a story in Newsday about a hearing expert at Hofstra University who spices his lectures by delivering them in rhythm and rhyme, and thought she would give him a try.

Sherlock Holmes of hearing

Levi Reiter, Hofstra's chairman of audiology, who also has a private practice in Brooklyn, likens his role in Schwartzman's case to that of Sherlock Holmes. He posits the kiss created a suction as would a vacuum cleaner or plunger over a drain.

"It's possible that things will get better as time goes by. Her tinnitus has gotten better; the other ear is just fine," Reiter said. "It could have been a lot worse."

In addition to helping Schwartzman cope with her hearing loss, he has been studying the case over the past year, honing his hypothesis. Reiter believes the suction of the kiss dramatically disturbed the tiny trio of interconnected bones - the hammer, anvil and stirrup. He contends the kiss caused a slight detachment of the stirrup from the muscle and an inflammatory response. Reiter's report will appear in The Hearing Journal later this summer.

When checking with experts nationwide to determine whether others had encountered patients deafened by a kiss, he found only one, a retired professor from the University of Connecticut who knew of a case in the 1950s. A scientific report was never written.

Reiter said Schwartzman lost her ability to perceive sound in what he calls the mid-frequencies. Normal conversation, he said, hits the ears at about 50 to 55 decibels. But her loss covers a large range. She cannot use a telephone on her left ear.

Reiter sees the case as a platform to discuss the etiquette of kissing. "The moral here is very simple," Reiter said, "try not to hurt the one you love."

Mr. Starks

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

An Early Portrayal of a Black Person as President......1972-The Man starring James Earl Jones

Sarah Brown, Senior Journalist with Al Jazeera English-

2) How do you think MLK would view the candidacy of Barack Obama, and Obama himself? How do you yourself view Obama and the other candidates regarding race relations?


In a nutshell, I would suspect that MLK would view Senator Obama's candidacy as truly an amazing accomplishment, if not the stuff of science-fiction.

The above conversation was just a portion of an online interview that I was fortunate to be a part of, thanks to Al Jazeera English. You can refamiliarize yourself with this exchange here. We do have to remind ourselves that a Black POTUS was never really perceived as a reality.....until now. I want you guys to check out this latest article (link below) from Poppolitics.com that posits that popular culture might have played a crucial role in prepping America for an African-American presidency.

Racial Conditioning: Has Pop Culture Set the Stage for a Black President?

Don't Call It a Comeback......We've Talked About Comics For Years!.......Thanks James Todd Smith

Ok...sorry for the LL Cool J reference, but it has been awhile since I addressed the comic world in print and there will be more to follow as I take a brief reprieve from socio-political talk. What would "Afronerd" mean without some discussion of comic and/or graphic novel related fare? Actually in the next few entries, I will review a few interesting comics (Image's Air and Guerrillas, to be specific) that are coming up on the horizon so stay tuned for that but what's up with the statues you may ask? Well as if comic book collecting wasn't expensive enough, I thought that you may want to take a look at the two latest Bowen comic statue designs (of both "classic" and modern interpretations of Luke Cage) slated for a July 8th release. I only possess a few statues but I think that I will pick up the classic Sweet Christmas (Cage's 70s catch phrase) design. Which one (of course, this question is directed toward our comic aficionado audience) will you be picking up?

Further Evidence That Hip Hop Has Degraded-Shaq Disses Kobe in Song!

I know that this is quintessential anti-intellectual fodder at its best but I will lend a few words to its cultural significance (or lack thereof). The above video was an impromptu performance by King Monotone himself in which he really lays into Kobe Bryant-I guess he didn't get the email that rappers have exchanged bullets for less. It's funny that during Shaq's rap he states that Kobe "couldn't do it without him," referencing Bryant's recent loss in last week's NBA finals-but outside of the Miami Heat's championship win in 2006, one could say that Shaq can't do it without Kobe either. All I can say about this episode is where is the class? What do you guys think? Or have we accepted that we are already experiencing the fall of the Roman Empire, circa 2008?

And Oh...this just in (and as expected)-it looks like Shaq can answer his own question as it pertains to auto-analingus, thanks to the Associated Press:

Shaq gets slapped by sheriff for rap about Bryant

PHOENIX (AP)—Shaquille O’Neal will lose his special deputy’s badge in Maricopa County because of language he used in a rap video that mocks former teammate Kobe Bryant.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said the Phoenix Suns center’s use of a racially derogatory word and other foul language left him no choice. Arpaio made Shaq a special deputy in 2006 and promoted him to colonel of his largely ceremonial posse later that year.

“I want his two badges back,” Arpaio told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “Because if any one of my deputies did something like this, they’re fired. I don’t condone this type of racial conduct.”

Shaq was seen in a video posted on the celebrity news and gossip Web site TMZ.com rapping that “Kobe couldn’t do without me.” O’Neal skewers the Lakers’ star, with whom he won three straight NBA titles from 2000-2002 while with Los Angeles, for not being able to win a championship without him.

“I was freestyling. That’s all. It was all done in fun. Nothing serious whatsoever,” O’Neal told ESPN.com Monday. A call to the Suns on Tuesday seeking comment from O’Neal was referred to his public relations firm, which didn’t immediately respond.

Arpaio, who describes himself as “America’s Toughest Sheriff” and is best known for feeding jail inmates green bologna, clothing them in pink underwear, and making them work on chain gangs, said he didn’t expect his actions would teach Shaq a lesson. But he hoped he learns that as a role model who wants to someday be a full-time sheriff, he needs to know his words matter.

“Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I don’t think that either conduct should be out there publicly, even if media wasn’t there,” Arpaio said.

O’Neal previously served as a reserve officer with the Miami Beach Police Department while playing for the Miami Heat. He also volunteered with the Tempe Police Department after being traded to the Suns in February.

Afronerd Radio Preview-Stay Tuned for Our Interview Next Sunday w/Industry Ears' Lisa Fager!

Don't forget to mark your calendars folks-on June 29th, 7pm eastern Industry Ears' Lisa Fager drops by to chop it up with our Afronerd Radio audience. I first became aware of Ms. Fager and Mr. Paul Porter's Industry Ears project a few years back, courtesy of an op ed piece by Stanley Crouch. Ears is a think tank/watchdog organization that monitors questionable content that is oftentimes propagandized by today's media. Ironically, Crouch just posted another updated piece, once again highlighting Porter and Fager's efforts. Here's a snippet from yesterday's NY Daily News:

Direct action has its benefits and its irritation.

Paul Porter knows this well. A former programmer for Black Entertainment Television, the infamous BET, he is now a member of Industry Ears, a nonprofit watchdog agency that he co-founded with Lisa Fager in 2004. It is dedicated to cleaning up those aspects of popular culture in which irresponsible material is aimed at children.

Porter's most recent victory was over Motown Universal when he organized a protest against a slick trash video promoting Ashanti's new recording. The protest was to be held at the fifth game of the NBA Finals. That would put the problem in a high-profile position.

Ashanti was to sing the national anthem and Porter's people would have been outside of the arena protesting the league's choice of a woman who was advertised in an ad designed to titillate with violence.

Sylvia Rhone, the black woman at the top, must have howled before firing off an e-mail announcing to Porter that the ad would be discontinued. She might well have commiserated with Debra Lee, who is at the top of the BET executive pyramid that has sailed atop a garbage scow for some time now, making it clear that it is all about the Benjamins. After all, black people should be free to make money, too. Don't forget this is a capitalist society.

But it is, just like the fate of pimps, getting hard out here for a black businesswoman. Especially since Procter & Gamble, Pepsi, Wal-Mart and General Motors have just pulled ads from BET rap programming. Porter believes it is the result of "The Rap on Rap," a study done by the Parents Television Council (parentstv.org), another watchdog organization which has on its Web site this statement: "Children who watched BET's 'Rap City' and '106 & Park' and MTV's 'Sucker Free' were bombarded with adult content - sexual, violent, profane or obscene - once every 38 seconds."

Click below for the remainder of the Crouch piece and we'll keep you guys abreast of the Fager interview as the week progresses:

Industry Ears, Parents Television Council making it hard for media execs

Industry Ears' Lisa Fager visits Afronerd Radio

Monday, June 23, 2008

You Said it Milk D.......Imus is At Again.....This Time It's Pacman Jones And Guess What?.....I Don't Care!

Well maybe we all could have set our clocks to this one-Imus made another racial comment and like the last go around, I could care less then and this latest faux pas even ranks lower. I'm sure the same crew (Sharpton, Jackson, NAACP) will appear for Imus-The Sequel and the current minstrel hip hop community (again folks not to slam progressive, classic or alternative rap music) will get their Easy Ghetto Pass and continue disrespecting people of color without hindrance. I really wish I could get mad at Imus' ignorant statement (misconstrued or not) as an entire race should not be judged by their dysfunctional minority but Pacman Jones is a foolish young man who continues to defecate on opportunity with reckless abandon (sigh). I'll leave it for our readers to get upset about this. In the immortal words of the great Jack Nicholson-Sell crazy someplace else, we're all stocked up here. Here's more from the Associated Press:

Don Imus: Race comment was misunderstood

NEW YORK (AP) — Months after returning to the radio with a pledge to mend the wounds caused by his comments about a women's basketball team, Don Imus is once again defending on-air remarks regarding race.

During an on-air conversation Monday about the arrests of suspended Dallas Cowboys cornerback Adam Jones, Imus asked, "What color is he?"

Told by sports announcer Warner Wolf that Jones, who used to be nicknamed Pacman, is "African-American," Imus responded: "There you go. Now we know."

In the face of criticism that ensued, Imus said Monday that he had been misunderstood.

"I meant that he was being picked on because he's black," Imus said in a statement released by his spokesman.

The on-air exchange came six months after Imus' return to work on a new show on WABC-AM following his firing from MSNBC and CBS Radio for making a sexist and racially charged comment about the Rutgers University women's basketball team. When he returned to work, Imus gave a lengthy on-air apology and pledged to use his new show to foster an open dialogue on race relations.

Before Imus offered his explanation Monday, civil rights leader Al Sharpton criticized the remark, saying his National Action Network would look into it.

"I find the inference of his remark disturbing because it plays into stereotypes," Sharpton said in a statement. "We will determine in the next day or so whether or not his remark warrants direct action on our part."

Sharpton was one of the chief critics who successfully pushed for Imus' firing from his televised radio show in April 2007.

WABC and Citadel Broadcasting Corp. Vice President Phil Boyce said Imus would explain his comments on his Tuesday morning show and said it was unlikely the broadcasters would take disciplinary action.

Boyce said Imus had explained himself in a private conversation Monday afternoon and the explanation was satisfactory.

"I think some people may be misunderstanding what he meant," Boyce said.

Jones' attorney did not immediately respond to an e-mail.

Rutgers University women's basketball spokeswoman Stacey Brann said there was "no need to revisit the past" and wouldn't comment further.

On Monday's show, Imus and Wolf were discussing Jones' request Saturday that people stop using his nickname. Wolf explained Jones was suspended from the NFL following a shooting at a Las Vegas nightclub, and he added that Jones had been "arrested six times since being drafted by Tennessee in 2005."

Imus' next words were, "What color is he?"

F%$k! Comedic Icon George Carlin Passes at 71

My editorial on Mr. Carlin's passing coming up-meanwhile, this just in from the AP:

Oh and I'm pushing my conservative leanings to the side on this one, Carlin like Richard Pryor was just funny-true genius.

LOS ANGELES - George Carlin, the dean of counterculture comedians whose biting insights on life and language were immortalized in his "Seven Words You Can Never Say On TV" routine, died of heart failure Sunday. He was 71.

Carlin, who had a history of heart trouble, went into St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica on Sunday afternoon complaining of chest pain and died later that evening, said his publicist, Jeff Abraham. He had performed as recently as last weekend at the Orleans Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas.

"He was a genius and I will miss him dearly," Jack Burns, who was the other half of a comedy duo with Carlin in the early 1960s, told The Associated Press.

Carlin's jokes constantly breached the accepted boundaries of comedy and language, particularly with his routine on the "Seven Words" — all of which are taboo on broadcast TV and radio to this day. When he uttered all seven at a show in Milwaukee in 1972, he was arrested on charges of disturbing the peace, freed on $150 bail and exonerated when a Wisconsin judge dismissed the case, saying it was indecent but citing free speech and the lack of any disturbance.

When the words were later played on a New York radio station, they resulted in a 1978 Supreme Court ruling upholding the government's authority to sanction stations for broadcasting offensive language during hours when children might be listening.

"So my name is a footnote in American legal history, which I'm perversely kind of proud of," he told The Associated Press earlier this year.

Despite his reputation as unapologetically irreverent, Carlin was a television staple through the decades, serving as host of the "Saturday Night Live" debut in 1975 — noting on his Web site that he was "loaded on cocaine all week long" — and appearing some 130 times on "The Tonight Show."

For more on Carlin's untimely death, click on the link below:

George Carlin, counterculture comedians' dean, dies at 71

OK...More on Carlin. One might wonder what does a conservative find funny with an alleged counterculturalist like George Carlin? The quick answer is.......everything. Carlin often described himself as apolitical but it's very hard not to put him in a socio-political context. Pretty much in the same vein as Richard Pryor, Carlin was unafraid to question America's social institutions and its utter hypocrisy. If you were a child of the seventies and eighties it's hard not to have come across an infamous Carlin routine and as I have stated previously, perhaps like many young people of color, I was raised a progressive.

It's when you reach maturation that one should develop the ability to be a free thinker and Carlin was very much about freedom-it's just that I went right when others veered left. I am also about nuanced decision making-deeming me more of a moderate conservative (as the findings from my conservative exam can attest to) as opposed to a lock step neo-conservative. Carlin's views on religion, race and materialism very much appealed to my nascent individualist sensibilities, never once conflicting with my conservatism. And to keep it simple-funny is funny. We're losing the greats folks.....we're losing the greats.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

It's BAAAACK! BET's Hip Hop Vs America 2: Where Did The Love Go?

Of course what can be witnessed in the above Youtube clip is from last year's BET Hip Hop vs America special but guess what?.....BET decided to to take another crack at it with their second annual town hall gathering relating to Hip Hop's influence on our youth. No doubt BET will run Flavor Flav and other minstrel promos during the airing of this tripe. One can easily deduce that the problem originates with media outlets like BET that disseminate the madness-what a joke. The same cast of characters reciting the same enabling excuses-when will we get off this dysfunctional merry-go-round? Here's more on this story from Multichannel.com:

BET Sets Second Hip Hop Town Hall Series
Three-Part Series Focuses On Social Implications Of Music Genre
By Larry Barrett -- Multichannel News, 6/20/2008 1:27:00 PM

BET News next week will air Hip Hop Vs. America II: Where Did The Love Go?, the second installment of its popular town hall series featuring prominent African American music artists, journalists and activists candidly discussing the societal impact of hip hop music and music videos.

Hosted by BET News correspondent Jeff Johnson and hip hop pioneer MC Lyte, the primetime special provides “a platform for a heated debate that aims to uncover the cause and effect of relationships between Black men and women.,” network officials said.

Part I premieres Wednesday, June 25 at 8 p.m. ET with Part II airing Thursday, June 26, also at 8 p.m. on BET. Part III will air exclusively on “BET On Blast,” the network’s broadband channel, immediately following the conclusion of Part II.

Participants in Hip Hop Vs. America II include: David Banner (rapper/producer); Lil X (director); Talib Kweli (hip hop recording artist); Lyfe Jennings (R&B recording artist); Lola Ogunaike (journalist); Allison Samuels (Newsweek magazine); Nelson George (author/director/producer); Kevin Powell (writer/cultural critic); Michael Eric Dyson (author/professor, Georgetown University); Deelishis London Charles (winner, Flavor of Love 2); Angel Lola Love (video model/actress); Kim Osorio (author); Fershgenet Melaku (video model/actress); Michaela Angela Davis (journalist); Esther Armah (BBC journalist); Eugene Rivers (Christian activist); Clayton Gavin (hip hop artist/activist); Marc Lamont Hill (professor, Temple University); Melissa Harris Lacewell (professor, Princeton University); Lavonne Alford (recording artist); Beverly Bond (founder, Black Girls Rock, Inc. / hip hop DJ); Moya Bailey (activist/actor); Byron Hurt (filmmaker); Henry Bonsu (journalist); Akosua Anobil-Dodoo (journalist); LaShawna Stanley (President/CEO, Ethnicity Models); Ali LeRoi (producer/writer/director); M1 Dead Prez (hip hop artist/activist); and San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris.

Selwyn Seyfu Hinds is executive producing the three-part series.

And transitioning again just a bit-more evidence that Obama's alleged exotic ancestry is really not a whole lot different from other African Americans-but remember the media wants to make distinctions when its presidential:

Gene Expression-Black, but how black?

Another Test To Determine How Conservative or Liberal You Are!

DBurt's Political Profile:

Overall: 65% Conservative, 35% Liberal

Social Issues: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal

Personal Responsibility: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Fiscal Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Ethics: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Defense and Crime: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Well those are my results above and it's fairly accurate although I'm not sure about the ethics portion. I want our readers to take this exam and give us the results in the comments section.

How Liberal or Conservative Are You-The Exam!

We Took a Break from Broadcasting Tonight but Let's Make Time for Links & Musings!

We took a reprieve from Afronerd Radio today but we will be returning with extra verve this Thursday at 8pm eastern. In the interim, I wanted to serve our readers some food for thought (as well as some interesting links) before the next show. First up-as expected, as Senator Obama gets closer to a national election and possibly the presidency articles of his biracial classification appear to be increasing exponentially. For centuries anyone with questionable to obvious African heritage was deemed Black and yet now that the executive branch is within reach to such an individual, questions of Black authenticity still loom. In 2008, racial classification has in part acquiesced to one's right to self-indentification. Senator Obama has clearly described himself as African-American and it appears extremely disingenuous for certain factions within the media to question otherwise. This phenomenon clearly is a way to assuage White voters and to rattle the purveyors of Black achievement. One can also theorize that matters of phenotype, culture and life played a role in Obama's racial conclusion eons ago. Halle Berry was never questioned in this matter but oh yeah....she's just an actress-Blackness really counts when you're running for a higher office. Here's more on this issue, courtesy of the Huffington Post:

Our managing editor was told by a media colleague that there is dialog taking place between mostly white editors and producers in newsrooms on how to identify Senator Barack Obama now that he is the Democratic nominee. Should he be identified as Black or Biracial? The colleagues added that very few blacks or bi-racial voices in the newsrooms were included in the internal discussions. No surprise, but the outcome of those internal exchanges was that whites chose "biracial" and blacks chose "black" as how they would identify Senator Obama.

These seemingly harmless, behind-the-scene dialogs often lead to a change in course, and in this case a change in language, and racial identification of the first Black man who may very well become the next president of the United States. Two months from now we might read in daily newspapers, or hear news readers identify Barack Obama as the "bi-racial" candidate.

Up to now the media has identified Senator Obama the same way he identifies himself, as a black or African-American man. Should news media now decide how it will identify him?

And click on the link below for more from the Post entry in question:

Barack Obama: "Black" Or "Biracial"?

And as far as more musings, I'm curious as to how our Afronerd listeners/readers are dealing with travel concerns as gas prices are approaching the five dollar mark. Just two months ago I was in a Jaguar dealership perusing a late model XK-8 coupe and now I'm looking at something like this:

This is Japan's answer to purchasing a economy car from a vending machine. Don't worry, only pamphlets are being dispensed-but can you imagine?

And transitioning once again-I want you guys to check out my brief appearance on another BlogTalk show entitled The Remix. The topic dealt with the power of the media and their ability to shape Black perception. I come in on the action at approx. 30 plus minutes into the podcast. What troubled me about the program was not its content but who (or what) I encountered in the chat room portion of the show. When I described myself as a conservative, all hell broke loose. It really is in the minds of some folks of color that to promulgate an alternate political persuasion is tantamount to racial or cultural treason. But when I challenged these individuals to think inwardly and to provide insights into gang violence, pathology and asking Black men to make fatherhood a priority, I was derided for being an Uncle Tom-Wow....I really have no words.

And yet I do have just one more (or is it two?)-R. Kelly. I'm not going to overstate the obvious but after reading this latest Newsweek piece-questioning the motivations for Kelly's female supporters might get me another Tom slur. Again....Wow! Check it out:

Sexism on Trial-Why did so many African-American women support R. Kelly?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Take a look at what these girls are doing in school. And it's not math and science.

Mass. teens made pact to get pregnant, school says

Associated Press

GLOUCESTER, Mass. — A pact made by a group of teens to get pregnant and raise their babies together is at least partly behind a sudden spike in pregnancies at Gloucester High School, school officials said.

Principal Joseph Sullivan told Time magazine in a story published Wednesday that the girls confessed to making the pact after the school began investigating a rise in pregnancies that has left 17 girls at the school carrying a child. Normally, there are about four pregnancies a year at the school.

Sullivan told Time that nearly half of the expecting students, none over 16, were involved. Sullivan said students were coming to the school clinic multiple times to get pregnancy tests, and "seemed more upset when they weren't pregnant than when they were."

Some of the girls reacted to the news they were pregnant with high fives and plans for baby showers, Sullivan said. One of the fathers "is a 24-year-old homeless guy," Sullivan told the magazine.

Superintendent Christopher Farmer confirmed the deal to WBZ-TV, saying the girls had "an agreement to get pregnant."

He said the girls are generally "girls who lack self-esteem and have a lack of love in their life."

Mayor Carolyn Kirk told The Associated Press today that many factors are involved in the surge in pregnancies in her community, a hardscrabble fishing village which has fallen on tough economic times and cut teachers and services, including some health classes.

"I don't think there was a pact in the order of a dozen girls conspiring to get pregnant. That would really surprise me, and I have seen no evidence of it," she said.

Christen Callahan, a former Gloucester High School student who had a child when she was 15, said on NBC's "Today" show that some of the girls would ask her about her own pregnancy.

"They would say stuff like, oh, I think my parents would be fine with it and they would help me, stuff like that," Callahan said.

But she said she had no firsthand knowledge of a pact between the girls to get pregnant.

"They were just kind of like curious about it, they never actually came out and said it," Callahan said.

The first reports of the students' apparent plan to get pregnant were in the Gloucester Daily Times in March, when Sullivan said students were reporting that the girls were getting pregnant on purpose.

The rash of pregnancies has shaken the seaside city about 30 miles north of Boston. Last month, two officials at the high school health center resigned to protest the resistance from the local hospital to the confidential distribution of contraceptives. The hospital administers the state money that funds the clinic.

Mr. Starks

38 years? Oooh....That's Gotta Sting-H.S. Student Hacks into School to Change Grades for his Mans & Dem!

God forbid that our nation’s student populace attempt to garner a respectable GPA through hard work, intelligence and perseverance! This next story involving young master Omar Khan who I suspect will end up getting rewarded for his thievery, is being charged for hacking into his school’s computer system to change his grades. For more specifics, check out this Times Online excerpt:

Prosecutors claim that between January and May, Mr Khan, who lives in Coto de Caza, one of Orange County’s oldest and most expensive gated communities, repeatedly broke into Tesoro High School, which was made famous by the reality TV series Real Housewives of Orange County.

In an alleged plot that resembles the script to the 1986 high school comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, prosecutors claim that he then used teachers’ passwords to hack into computers and change his test scores. In at least one test, an English exam, Mr Khan had been given an F grade because he was caught cheating.

Prosecutors claim that the teenager, who is alleged to have broken into the school late at night with a stolen master key, also changed the grades of 12 other students, and that he installed spyware on school hard drives that allowed him to access the computers from remote locations.

Tesoro High has 2,800 pupils and often appears in Newsweek magazine’s annual list of best high schools.

Mr Khan’s plan, the prosecution argues, was to get a place at one of the colleges within the University of California system. After his application was rejected, he requested copies of his student records, known as “transcripts” in the US educational system, so he could appeal. But when teachers looked at his files and noticed all the A grades that had magically appeared next to all the courses he had taken they realised something was wrong.

“School administrators alerted law enforcement after noticing a discrepancy in Mr Khan’s grades,” the Orange County District Attorney’s office said. “Subsequent investigation revealed that Mr Khan was in possession of original tests, test questions and answers, and copies of his altered grades. Khan is accused of stealing master copies of tests, some of which were e-mailed to dozens of students.”

Click on the link below, for more info from the Times Online:

Schoolboy hacker Omar Khan who upped his grades faces 38 years in jail

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Real Life Mississippi Masala-Except There's No Denzel & Somone Dies, Next on Afronerd Radio-Thurs-8pm eastern!

Never let it be said that there aren't enough topics to cover for regular Afronerd Radio broadcasts-they just keep coming and coming! Mr. Starks and I will be opening up our conservative medical bags and using ever discerning stethoscopes to discuss the following: An Indian father is currently on trial for putting out a hit on his Black daughter-in-law (hence the Masala reference), Dallas Cowboy linebacker Demarcus Ware and his wife Taniqua, adopt a "White" infant...allegedly, coincidently another football player, Javon Walker (you guys know why I highlight these names) was recently mugged and found unconscious (sustaining an orbital fracture) having been robbed of approx. 100k in jewelry and lastly fallout from Senator Obama's Father's Day speech-if you can believe it. So you guys know the drill, call in (Thursday, 8pm eastern) with your comments and opinions at 646-915-9620 or via IM/email-afronerdradio@yahoo. And Be There, Be Square......oh.....just stop by!

Afronerd Radio's Week in Review

Oh....and as an addendum to the previous entry highlighting CNN's upcoming Black in America special, check out recent photos of various VIPS that attended the ATL screening:

CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien at the Black in America screening on June 16, 2008 at the High Museum in Atlanta, Ga.

CNN anchor Betty Nguyen, CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien, CNN anchor Fredricka Whitfield and CNN anchor T.J. Holmes at the Black in America screening at the High Museum in Atlanta , Ga.

CNN anchors Don Lemon, Betty Nguyen and T.J. Holmes at the Black in America screening held at the High Museum in Atlanta, Ga.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Always Controversial Rev. AL....and Remember You Too Can Purchase Civil Rights Insurance......For a Fee!

This next story has been bandied about for the last couple of weeks regarding allegations stemming from the NY Post that Reverend Al Sharpton has not only threatened boycotts against popular rap artists but also major corporations in hopes of obtaining funding for his National Action Network organization. At first glance, boycotts levied against the minstrel music industry and unscrupulous corporate entities seems like an admirable endeavor but if the threats are veiled and are only to achieve personal financial gain well.....perhaps radio host/Guardian Angel leader, Curtis Sliwa is correct in referring to the Reverend as Slim Shady Sharpton-I'm just sayin'. Check out this snippet, courtesy of Eurweb.com:

*The New York Post is reporting that Al Sharpton and his National Action Network group squeeze money out of corporations by threatening to march on their businesses and boycott their services if they don't pay up.

A rep for General Motors said it had been turning down NAN's repeated requests for contributions for the past six years, beginning in August 2000. Then, in December 2006, Sharpton threatened to call a boycott of the carmaker over the closing of an African-American-owned GM dealership in The Bronx, and he picketed outside GM headquarters on Fifth Avenue. Last year, General Motors gave NAN a $5,000 donation. It gave $5,000 more this year, a spokesman said, calling NAN a "worthy" organization.

In November 2003, Sharpton marched on DaimlerChrysler's Chicago car show and threatened a boycott over alleged racial bias in car loans. "This is institutional racism," he said at the time. In May 2004, Chrysler began supporting NAN's conferences, which include panels on corporate responsibility and civil rights and a black-tie awards dinner to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Last year, Sharpton gave Chrysler an award for corporate excellence.

Also in 2003, Sharpton targeted American Honda for not hiring enough African-Americans in management. "We support those that support us," wrote Sharpton and the Rev. Horace Sheffield III, president of NAN's Michigan chapter, in a letter to American Honda. "We cannot be silent while African-Americans spend hard-earned dollars with a company that does not hire, promote or do business with us in a statistically significant manner."

Two months after American Honda execs met with Sharpton, the carmaker began to sponsor NAN's events - and continues to pay "a modest amount" each year, a spokesman said.

Almost 50 companies - including PepsiCo, General Motors, Wal-Mart, FedEx, Continental Airlines, Johnson & Johnson and Chase - and some labor unions sponsored Sharpton's National Action Network annual conference in April, according to the Post.

Sharpton says none of them were pressured for cash.

For more on the original Slim Shady via Eurweb.com, click on the link below:


And while were speaking of controversy-time for a vintage Prince vid:

A Belated Father's Day Acknowledgment-Real Men Cook!

A very special hat tip and shout out to Mike from Icedmedia.com for hipping me to the 19th annual Real Men Cook Father's Day event held this past Sunday in the heart of Harlem. I would be remiss in not mentioning these type of events because it does demonstrate that there are individuals who are trying to develop initiatives to bring back the institution of fatherhood in sorely deficient inner city communities. You might recognize the young thespian in the picture above-kudos to Mel Jackson (of Soul Food, DAG and the soon to be released Black Man's Guide to Understanding the Black Woman) for participating in this event. For more information and photos of the notables in attendance click on the link below:

Real Men Cook

Monday, June 16, 2008

I promised You Some Conservative News-Tim Scott slated to be 1st Black Republican in SC Legislature Since Reconstruction!

While the news seems to be centered on African-American conservative angst over Senator Obama, I still managed to find something that stills highlights Black achievement occurring on the right. Check out this brief snippet, again courtesy of the LA Times:

Tim Scott, a businessman who also chairs the Charleston County Council, won his party's nomination for a seat in the state's House of Representatives. He faces no Democratic opposition in the general election, setting the stage for him to become the first black Republican to serve in South Carolina's Legislature since Reconstruction ended in 1877.

In writing about Scott's achievement, the State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., reported that when Scott takes office, South Carolina will be "on par with Georgia" as the only Deep South state where the ranks of state legislators include black Republicans.

And for more specifics on Mr. Scott's accomplishment, here's yet another excerpt, thanks to Fitsnews.com:

A strange thing happened in the middle of rural, predominantly white South Carolina last night. For the first time since Reconstruction (i.e. right after the Civil War, people), they elected a black Republican.

Charleston County Council Chairman Tim Scott never made a big deal about that fact - he ran on a conservative, reform-minded platform encapsulated by one of the best campaign slogans we’ve heard in a long time, “Taxpayers First.”

We first met Tim last Christmas, when he invited us down to North Charleston to attend a benefit he organized for Brittany Riffe, a Lowcountry teenager who was paralyzed in a car crash last summer.

Right away, we knew this guy was something special, and the more we learned about his stellar fiscal conservative record on County Council, the more we hoped he’d be able to bring that common sense approach to government in Columbia.

But given that Tim was running against not one, but two White Republicans (one of whom received the endorsement of outgoing Rep. Thomas “Doc” Dantzler) in a predominantly white district, we feared that voters in this largely rural part of the state would select “one of their own” to represent them.

Well, they proved us wrong … electing Tim with 53% of the vote, one of two races last night that went a long way toward restoring our faith in the political process.

Just as Tom Davis’ stunning victory over status quo incumbent Catherine Ceips proved that voters could see beyond a barrage of dirty tricks and negative attacks, Tim’s historic victory proved they could see beyond the color of a man’s skin as well.

And make no mistake, “Mr. History” (who is unopposed in the general election) isn’t going to Columbia to sit back and play the “token” black Republican.

Click on the link for the FitsNews.com piece in its entirety:

Mr. History

First Russert and now Stan Winston-Another Icon Passes at 62!

There is absolutely no self-respecting geek or nerd (ahem or Afronerd, as it were) that didn't know about the talent, genius and wizardry of Stan Winston. It seems poignant that his passing at the age of 62 (first Tim Russert and now Winston) came as he was experiencing great success with the release of Iron Man last month, a film that definitely showcased his trademark abilities. It would be safe to say that Winston was CGI before CGI-check out the 1982 remake, The Thing to get a frightening taste of his handiwork. And trust me-this film still holds up against if not surpasses, present-day CGI based horror/sc-fi celluloid efforts in comparison. Let's take a look at an excerpt from the LA Times regarding Winston's passing:

Academy Award-winning makeup, creature and visual effects artist Stan Winston died Sunday at his home in Malibu, California, after a prolonged illness. He was 62.

In a career that spanned four decades, Winston worked extensively in television and motion pictures, producing innovative work that was often honored for its artistic and technical achievement. In the early years of his career, during which he worked primarily in television, Winston earned five Emmy nominations from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, winning for Gargoyles and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.

Winston won his first Academy Award nomination in 1981 for Heartbeeps, and received another nine nominations – in both makeup and visual effects categories – over the next 20 years. He won a total of four Oscars for Aliens, Terminator 2: Judgment Day and the groundbreaking Jurassic Park for which he created full-scale animatronic dinosaurs.

Winston received his star on Hollywood ’s Walk of Fame in 2001.

Current releases from Stan Winston Studio include summer hits IRON MAN and INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL.

Upcoming projects include SHUTTER ISLAND, TERMINATOR 4, G.I. JOE, and James Cameron’s AVATAR. Winston was both collaborator and friend to giants in the film community.

[Winston Studio plans to later release quotes from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Tim Burton, et cetera.]

Winston was born April 7, 1946 in Arlington, Virginia. As a child, he enjoyed drawing, puppetry and classic horror films. He continued to pursue his interest in art and performance as a student at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, graduating from the institution’s Fine Arts and Drama programs in 1968. He headed West after graduation with dreams of becoming an actor, but found his true calling as a makeup artist and creator of characters – a career that enabled him to merge his sensibilities as an artist and performer.

After completing a three-year makeup apprenticeship program at Walt Disney Studios in 1972, Winston established Stan Winston Studio in the garage of the small house in Northridge he shared with his wife, Karen, and his young son, Matthew and daughter Debbie. The studio changed locations and grew in size, personnel and stature as his career advanced with work in high-profile films such as The Terminator, Predator, Edward Scissorhands, Interview with the Vampire, Lost World, Batman Returns, and A.I.: Artificial Intelligence.

Stan Winston Studio contributed characters and effects to more than 75 feature films, several music videos, and countless commercial spots. In 1988, Winston directed his first feature film, Pumpkinhead, a cult favorite. Winston also produced a series of horror films for HBO, as well as a number of genre feature films, and created a line of high-end toys based on some of his studio’s iconic characters.

For more from the LA Times piece, click on the link below:

Stan Winston, dead at 62; Oscar-winning visual effects artist suffered from multiple myeloma

Another child tortured by mutants. This time the suspects are the mother and her girlfriend

Mom, Girlfriend Accused of Child Torture

Police Say Boy Couldn't Open Hands Because of Being Burned on Stove


A 5-year-old Los Angeles boy was fighting for his life today after suffering what police called one of the worst cases of child abuse they have seen, allegedly at the hands of his mother and her live-in girlfriend.

Police said the boy had countless cigarette burns all over his body, including his genitals, was unable to open his hands because he had been forced to put them flat on a hot stove, and was repeatedly beaten and forced to sit in his own urine.

"In my time in policing in 27 years, I have never seen anybody with these kinds of injuries that has lived," Los Angeles Police Department First Assistant Chief James McDonnell said. "And this kid must have a tremendous will to live to be able to still hang on despite what he's been through."

The boy's mother, Starkeisha Brown, 24, was arrested after she turned herself in to police on Friday evening.

Krystal Matthews, 19, who police described as Brown's live-in girlfriend, was arrested earlier Friday when she showed up for an appointment with the state Department of Children's Services, police said.

Brown was charged with suspicion of torture and was held without bail. Matthews was arrested on suspicion of willful harm or injury to a child, and her bail was set at $100,000.

A police spokeswoman said she did not know whether either of the women had hired an attorney.

The boy was hospitalized in critical condition, officials said today.

Police said they first became aware that the boy was at risk on Monday, when Brown and Matthews were called to the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services for an appointment to check on the boy.

Brown and Matthews brought a healthy child of a mutual friend to the appointment and tried to pass him off as Brown's son, officials said. While the three were at DCS, a stranger found the boy abandoned and notified authorities, police said.

"Thankfully, we were later able to locate our victim who had been left abandoned with an unrelated stranger," McDonnell said.

At a news conference on Friday evening, McDonnell said the abuse the boy suffered included being denied basic necessities like food and water and being beaten while suspended from a door with his hands above his head.

The child had a broken tooth with a nerve exposed and was regularly forced to place his hands on a hot stove, McDonnell said.

"Because of the burns and scar tissue, he can't fully open his hands," McDonnell said.

"The treatment of this 5-year-old is akin to a level of torture we hope our military personnel would never encounter, yet this treatment came to this child at the hands of those in a position of trust," Lt. Vincent Neglia of the LAPD's Abused Child Unit said.

Police said they had no information about the boy's father, and they did not know if he had any other relatives.

Though McDonnell said the victim is the only child involved in the case, he said it was unknown if Brown and Matthews had access to other children.

Mr. Starks

Still want to know why Obama is "the man"? Take a look at how he responds to the haters

Gotta admit, he is cool.....

Mr. Starks

Sunday, June 15, 2008

And Speaking of Father's Day...Obama Channels Cosby (or is it Chris Rock?) at a Black Church

Ok...too much Obama news! We are a conservative blog and are also in support of Obama's efforts but we will focus more on our conservative brethren. But this Obama story is quite telling and serves at the core for why he is garnering favor with many conservatives of color-oftentimes he speaks to Black audiences in a non-pandering fashion. Dare I say that he speaks in a Cosby-esque tone to Black folk? And let's be honest, I think many folks of various ethnicities are looking forward to a hip president-I like McCain but can he riff off of a Chris Rock routine? Our president must be competent-better yet, highly competent but he must also be a person living in the present. Let's take a look at a snippet from today's NY Times piece concerning Obama's shout out to Black fathers:

CHICAGO — Addressing a packed congregation at one of the city’s largest black churches, Senator Barack Obama on Sunday invoked his own absent father to deliver a sharp message to black men, saying “we need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception.”

In an address that was striking for its bluntness and where he chose to give it, Mr. Obama directly addressed one of the most delicate topics confronting black leaders: how much responsibility absent fathers bear for some of the intractable problems afflicting black Americans. Mr. Obama noted that “more than half of all black children live in single-parent households,” a number that he said had doubled since his own childhood.

“Too many fathers are M.I.A., too many fathers are AWOL, missing from too many lives and too many homes,” Mr. Obama said to a chorus of approving murmurs from the audience. “They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it.”

Accompanied by his wife, Michelle, and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, who sat in the front pew, Mr. Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, laid out his case in stark terms that would be difficult for a white candidate to make, telling the mostly black audience not to “just sit in the house watching ‘SportsCenter,’ ” and to stop praising themselves for mediocre accomplishments.

And for more from the Times article click here.

And stay tuned for the next few entries as they will not be about Obama....we promise.

Happy Father's Day Folks......and remember The Comic Shoppe Returns, Mon at 7pm eastern!

Well folks we took a break from last week's Comic Shoppe broadcast due to Afronerd Radio business but we're back and ready to rock and roll this Monday at 7 (pm). The obvious green elephant (or hero/monster) in the room to discuss is this weekend's release of the Incredible Hulk as well as last week's Kung Fu Panda. And of course, Max, Daryll and I will mull over our favorite graphic novel reads from the past week as well as cover upcoming fantasy/sci-fi/comic news. So you guys know what's up-CALL US at-646-200-0104 or contact us with your statements/comments via instant message or email-thecomicshoppe@yahoo. Imperius Rex!

The Comic Shoppe's Week in Review

Oh and there's always the latest episode of the Venture Bros. to talk about as well:

The Venture Bros.

Week in Review for Sunday's Afronerd Radio-7pm eastern-Discussing R. Kelly's Acquittal, Teacher Attacked & Black Conservative Angst Over Obama

This is a late posting but there are quite a few topics to get into this week, so let's do it! You guys know the drill, call us live for today's Afronerd Radio broadcast at-646-915-9620 or via email/IM-afronerdradio@yahoo. Mr. Starks and I will highlight the following: a Brooklyn Catholic school teacher who was brutally mugged right in front of her school, R. Kelly's acquittal from child porn charges, greater analysis regarding the concept of Obamacans (Republicans for Obama) more specifically, conservatives of color and more tidbits today at 7pm eastern. You don't want to miss it!

Afronerd Radio's Week in Review.....this Sunday!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Oh And A Special Shoutout to AL (from Bayshore)........I Think Spike Made Your "Guy" Film Afterall-Miracle of St. Anna Trailer......

Another Reminder Alert (No....It's Not the Hulk...Shh..That's Friday)....Don't Forget CNN's Black in America Special

I must readily confess that prior to CNN's promotion for their upcoming two-day Black in America series, I thought that Dr. Henry Louis Gates' America Beyond The Color Line was the definitive documentary that challenged the concept of monolithic Blackness. Now it appears that a certain degree of capitulation is in order. What Afronerd has (and we will continue our efforts) attempted to do since our inception is to provide a forum to discuss alternate media for people of color. There absolutely must be a stalwart counter-resistance to the lower tier/gangsta imagery that literally defines current Black and Brown imagery. I think with the advent of Senator Obama's candidacy, a special such as Black in America should serve as a reminder that the story of the African-American community is still in progress-a tale that is both harrowing, complex and triumphant. So mark your calendars-July 23rd through the 24th are the days to hear from a myriad of voices detailing what's right (and wrong) with the Black community. I can't wait for this special airing but in the interim, click on this link to get more recon from CNN.com. We'll keep you guys abreast of further details as we get closer to the broadcast.

Reminder-Dr. Alvin Poussaint visits Afronerd Radio Tomorrow at 4pm eastern

Just a reminder to our readership/radio listeners that we are preempting today's show in lieu of a special 4pm (eastern) Friday broadcast when the nonpareil Dr. Alvin Poussaint pays Team Afronerd a visit. Once again, this is a show you don't want to miss. And I know that you know the drill-call in live with your questions/comments at 646-915-9620 or via email/IM-afronerdradio@yahoo. And once again, Be there and Be square!

Afronerd Interviews Dr. Alvin Poussaint

Wanna See Something Cool?

Check this out:

really cool

Ok This Time It's The Serious (Obama VP talk) to the Mundane (Wendy Williams, Thuggery, Black Radio and Murder Contracts?)

I really do not have a lot of tolerance for gossip or the industry that envelops it, especially as it pertains to folks of color. I have witnessed (and written/spoken about this at length previously) how the Black blogosphere and the public at large has been distracted by our nation’s celebrity culture. Just take a tally of the respondents to an African-American gossip blog (White/mainstream blogs do not seem to suffer as much) and compare that info to a Black intellectual or political based blog-Beyonce’s ashy feet trumps Obama’s candidacy. But I do find it interesting that NY radio shock jock, Wendy Williams appears to be embroiled in a salacious lawsuit that could have easily been a story from one of the celebrities she regularly lambastes on one of her gossip laden broadcasts. This lends further credence to my serious belief in karma or what I like to call cyclical toxicity. Check out the latest in the Williams drama, courtesy of 7online.com:

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The husband of shock jock Wendy Williams is now accused of plotting to kill radio host "Miss Jones." The allegations surfaced in a federal lawsuit.
Eyewitness News reporter Kemberly Richardson has more on the story.
A radio rivalry turned murder-for-hire plot-- that's the allegation this morning involving the husband of shock jock, Wendy Williams.
A new federal lawsuit says Kelvin Hunter was the mastermind behind a plan to rub out the competition...Tarsha Jones a DJ on radio station hot 97.

The alleged motive-- revenge.
The suit states hunter was angry over comments miss Jones made about his wife on air-- and claims he then went to a male employee at WBLS asking for help in hiring a hitman.
This all came to light in a harrassment lawsuit filed by Williams' booker, Nicole Spence -- who is suing Inner City Broadcast Corp. for $5 million. The suit claims Hunter, Williams' husband was physically abusive and propositioned her for sex.
Spence's lawsuit, filed Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan, claims Hunter screamed and cursed at Spence while she worked on "The Wendy Williams Experience" and repeatedly propositioned her, calling her late at night to tell her about his sexual fantasies.
When Spence refused his advances, the lawsuit says, the situation worsened and his sexual comments took on a more threatening tone.
In one instance, the lawsuit claims, he stormed into an office meeting, "pinning (his wife) against the wall with his hand around her neck, choking her while repeatedly pounding his fist into the wall directly by her head." The attack, Spence claims, was apparently prompted by Williams' failure to quit smoking.
When Spence's claims first surfaced, Williams said "her allegations are totally false." Her husband said the claims were "so far from the truth. It's insane."
A phone message left with a lawyer for Inner City Broadcast seeking comment was not immediately returned Wednesday. An e-mail sent to Williams and her husband through the show's Web site also went unreturned.

Yeah.....Right! Nice Thought But Pigs Will Sprout Wings If This Happened: Obama-Powell '08?

Now that Senator Obama has secured the Democratic nomination, his choice for VP is turning into a contest not unlike the search for the golden ticket in Wooly Wonka. If growing speculation that Hillary Clinton, Jim Webb or even NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg are being considered for the second banana spot isn’t titillating enough, former secretary of state Colin Powell’s name being added to the list should satiate the public’s interest on this topic. Adding a moderate Republican to an Obama administration would definitely raise the Senator's stock amongst Black conservatives but the reality is that tribalism is allowed for White folk (disguised by using the euphemism, “mainstream” culture) but not for people of color. This current election has proven that having one Black person as POTUS is controversial enough but another in the secondary position would be too much for the general populace to take. White presidential hopefuls have been choosing Caucasian counterparts for time immemorial and yet when a person of color follows suit, tribal criticisms are brought to light. But let me stop from overstating the obvious, let’s take a look at an excerpt from a PoliticalInquirer.com concerning a potential Obama-Powell match-up:

There are so many positives in favor of Barack Obama choosing Colin Powell as his Vice Presidential running mate, and so few negatives, that it just makes sense. The team of Obama and Powell would be “unstoppable,” to paraphrase a former President whose wife happens to be in contention for the 2008 Democratic nomination.

The Obama/Powell team would breeze to victory in the November general election. But should Obama name Powell as his choice prior to the general election, it would serve to make the candidacy of Hillary Clinton irrelevant.

The upside for Obama is that it brings him instant credibility as Commander-in-Chief of all the armed forces. Obama would have Powell’s guiding hand throughout his Presidency. The Powell influence would be felt, but only if Obama heeded Powell’s advise. There is not a person alive today that has more “good experience” in Washington than Colin Powell. John McCain would be unable to attack Obama on any issue regarding national security. He certainly would not want to offend his friend Colin Powell and diminish him in any way. Obama can always responds to McCain’s attacks as, “That is why it is so important that an Obama administration have Colin Powell as an integral part.”

For Powell there is even more upside and it is the very reason why if offered the position he would accept. Colin Powell would have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to redeem himself from the “speech” at the United Nations that advocated the Iraq War. Powell would be listened to in an Obama administration. Colin Powell will find that Barack Obama is a man that can be trusted. And Obama would find that he can trust Powell. And it is obvious that Powell already admires Obama as evidenced by this interview with Tavis Smiley.

For more on politics' answer to Jordan-Pippen, click on the link below:

Barack Obama and Colin Powell Would Be An Unstoppable Team