Showing posts from September, 2008

TONIGHT ON THE TERRORDOME: Shawn Taylor on "Big Black Penis," Part One

6 PM Mountain Time

Shawn Taylor is a complicated man with a remarkable capacity for telling his story and investing it with social and philosophical considerations. Currently living in the San FranciscoBay area, he’s a performance poet, a martial artist, a spiritual seeker, a philosophy grad student, an artist-provocateur, and the author of the memoir Big Black Penis: Misadventures in Race and Masculinity.As the subtitle suggests, Taylor’s book explores African-American and gendered experience, but in directions not commonly seen as intertwining.In addition to insightful and often hilarious reflections on dating, sexual awakening and marriage, Taylor explores his own complex intellectual and emotional life during the ending of relationships, the origins of his own homophobia and how he’s confronted it, his bizarre foray into the Euro-American men’s movement, his confrontations with violence and death, and even his experiences as a science-fiction and fantasy fan.…

Did Thabo Mbeki's own neo-liberalism do him in?

Martin Plaut writes: "Thabo Mbeki, although a former member of the South African Communist Party, has used conventional economic policies to drive the country's development agenda. "Tight monetary and budgetary targets have been set and met. The result has been a period of unprecedented economic growth, reaching 5% a year in recent years. "In June 1996 Finance Minister Trevor Manuel introduced a neo-liberal economic strategy known as Growth, Employment and Redistribution (Gear). "This included commitments to open markets, privatisation and a favourable investment climate. "The ANC is in a formal alliance with two groups on the left, the Communists and the trade union movement, Cosatu. Both were fiercely critical of the strategy and argued that they had been excluded from its development and implementation. "In the report to the Communist Party Congress in July 1998 the Central Committee spelled out their objections to Gear in great detail. "This …

Stop saying "LOL" when you don't mean it. But DO check out these hilarious signs.

I'm irritated by "internet-ese" expressions such as "LOL."

It's rare for people to read material which makes them laugh out loud. That expression should be reserved as high praise for those examples of writing for which it's actually true.

Today I want to commend the folks at the Telegraph for this photo essay which, combined with its magnificently sarcastic captions, made me laugh out loud--while I was working against a deadline past midnight--until I had tears in my eyes. And no, I'm not exaggerating. And please don't invent an acronym for that.

So please check out that essay by clicking on the above photograph.

Tim Wise: This is Your Nation on White Privilege

Tim Wise, the White social justice activist, writes the following:

"For those who still can't grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.

“White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because ‘every family has challenges,’ even as black and Latino families with similar ‘challenges’ are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.

“White privilege is when you can call yourself a ‘fuckin' redneck,’ like Bristol Palin's boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you'll ‘kick their fuckin' ass,’ and talk about how you like to ‘shoot shit’ for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug…

Ralph Nader on the Progressive Dilemma

I laughed, I cried. It's a special moment.

TONIGHT ON THE TERRORDOME: Refugee Camp in the City + the History of Elijah Muhammad

6 pm Mountain Time

When 2007 began, 26 million human beings were on the run or in camps inside their own countries, and that’s just from conflict. Add in disasters, you get another 25 million.

Top it off with the 16 million people forced to flee their own countries, and you get a staggering 67 million people.

Médecins sans frontiers is the international humanitarian medical relief organisation known to Anglophones as Doctors Without Borders. In Old Strathcona’s McIntyre (Gazebo) Park, MSF will be running the Refugee Camp in the Heart of the City, an outdoor, 3-D, full-sensory simulation of life in a refugee camp.

I spoke with Asha Gervan on Monday morning by telephone. She’s a 30-year-old Kingston native who’s MSF project coordinator on the camp.

The Refugee Camp in the Heart of the City will be in McIntyre (Gazebo) Park, 104th Street + 83rd Avenue in Edmonton. It runs Thursday, September 18 to Sunday, September 21. It’s free.

Last week on the ninth of September, W…

TONIGHT ON THE TERRORDOME: Dr. Ganz Ferrance on Psychology and the Afrikan-Canadian Family

6 pm Mountain Time

Over the years on The Terrordome, I’ve spoken with scores of people about the structural, systemic barriers to the freedom, prosperity and happiness of Afrikans and other groups. Tonight I’d like to address another set of barriers.

Even while influenced by the structural and systemic, these barriers are a distinct problem unto themselves. They’re also usually more difficult to perceive and define.

I’m talking about psychological barriers inside the human community generally and Afrikan-Canadian communities specifically, barriers which have been called by some “Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome.” For the majority of Afrikans, whose ancestors were not enslaved, it might as easily be called “Post-Colonial Stress Syndrome.”To address the variety of pains, and to point towards their solutions, tonight we’ll hear from Dr. Ganz Ferrance. Ganz Ferrance has been teaching mind-body health for over a decade in Canada and the United States. He holds a Ph.D. in Co…

Leader of US's largest Muslim congregation, Warith-u-Deen Mohammed, heir to Elijah Muhammad, dead at 74

"W. Deen Mohammed, one of the most prominent African-American Muslim leaders in the nation and the son of the late Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad, died Monday, sources told the Tribune.

"'Brother Imam,' as he was affectionately known, was 74. There was no immediate confirmation of his death by his family. The Cook County medical examiner confirmed that a Wallace Mohammed was pronounced dead at his home in the 16100 block of Cambridge Drive in Markham, a spokesman said."

Remarkable. This man presided over the largest Muslim congregation in the United States, as despite his break with his father was heir to a Muslim tradition dating back centuries in North America and West Africa.

See also:

"Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, a major Islamic leader in the United States who led thousands of African-American Muslims to orthodox Islam, died Tuesday in Illinois. He was 74."Born and raised in Hamtramck, Mohammed, also known as W.D. or Wall…

Guest blogging over at Ecstatic Days and having a blast

The delightful Jeff Vandermeer invited me to crash at his blog Ecstatic Days for the week, so I hope you'll join me over there. I'm having a blast.

TONIGHT ON THE TERRORDOME: Ngugi wa Thiongo on Kenya’s Struggle for Democracy

6 PM Mountain Time

In numerous liberation struggles, writers are key fighters in the battle for the collective imagination. In the case of Kenya, no one has garnered more glory, and few have suffered more gravely, than novelist, playwright, journalist and lecturer Ngugi wa Thiong’o.He’s the founder and editor of the Gikuyu-language journal Mutiiri. He’s a professor of Comparative Literature and Performance Studies, and he’s taught at NairobiUniversity, Yale, New York University and the University of California at Irvine. He’s the recipient of seven honourary doctorates.In his long literary career, he’s written many novels including Weep Not, Child; Petals of Blood; Devil on the Cross;and the recentWizard of the Crow; he’s also written the playsThe Black Hermit, and The Trial of Dedan Kimathi about Kenya’s revolutionary hero.In addition, wa Thiong’o penned many essays, particularly to describe the imprisonment and repression he faced at the hands of the post-colonia…

Pakistan's nuke-master recants confession

Follow the links on this ABC story regarding A.Q. Khan. The fall guy for Musharraf? With allies like this....