Saturday, November 1, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
I can't lie I got this idea from the blog VexedintheCity, but it's a good one and I wanted to expound on it. The below theme exemplifies the current financial crisis in the U.S. Don't get it twisted just because we bailed them out, and yes WE since WE the tax payer will be paying for it doesn't mean the crisis is over. Pay attention to the lyrics. They are perfect.
Funkmaster Flex responds to the R. Kelly September 2008 interview on BET. In case ya didn't know, R. Kelly was acquitted of all charges on June 13, 2008 in his child pornography trial, ending a six-year ordeal. He was found not guilty on all 14 counts. The Grammy award-winning singer had faced 15 years in prison if convicted.
This is a 2008 update to the All-Star remake to Wake Up Everybody with captions of facts about the current campain.
Notorious is an upcoming biographical film about the life of hip hop star The Notorious B.I.G. , who is played by fellow Brooklynite Jamal Woolard. It will also feature Angela Bassett as his mother Voletta Wallace, Derek Luke as flashy record producer Sean "Diddy" Combs, and Anthony Mackie as rap rival Tupac Shakur. Other roles include Naturi Naughton as Lil' Kim and Antonique Smith as ex-wife Faith Evans. The film is directed by George Tillman Jr. who also directed 1997's Soul Food.
The film is currently in post-production and it will hit theaters on January 16, 2009. The official trailer hit the Internet Friday, October 24, 2008. You can check it out below.
I reported about this film in March on my site Cool Black's Media Madness when the casting was announced. I posted links to the casting session as well as a link to our African American profile about Biggie. You can check it out here. Below are promotional pictures as well as pictures from the film.
You can see a bigger version of this slideshow here
Below is a widget from the official website for the movie where you can REALLY read more about the film.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
September 28, 2003
A wigger is defined as a Caucasian person who dresses, speaks, or otherwise behaves in a manner that is stereotypically associated with certain aspects of African-American, Caribbean or hip-hop culture.-Wiktionary
Elizabeth Regen (pictured far left) isn't a black woman, but she plays one on TV. Well, almost: she actually plays the role of a white person who plays the role of a black person - on "Whoopi," NBC's new sitcom starring Whoopi Goldberg. Despite blond hair and rosy skin, her character, Rita Nash, wears snug denim minis and hefty gold earrings, talks "sister to sister" with black co-stars, and makes it known that the correct pronunciation is "gangstas, not gangsters."
The casting call sought "a white girl who talks, moves and acts like a sister," recalls Ms. Regen, curling her fingers to set that last word in quotation marks. "That's s-i-s-t-a-h. So I guess I assume that means a black woman." Marching into the audition armed with all the attitude she could muster, she landed the part, and became Whoopi's sidekick, a woman euphemistically described by producers as "extroverted and culturally confused."
Call it what you will - nouveau blackface, hip-hop-face, or simply an "act black" routine - the white-as-black character that Ms. Regen has perfected is fast becoming an American comedic staple. In four recent films - "Malibu's Most Wanted," starring Jamie Kennedy; "Bringing Down the House," with Steve Martin; Chris Rock's "Head of State"; and the jailhouse rap sequence in "Austin Powers in Goldmember" - ultra-white people earn laughs by using phrases like "fo' shizzle," boogieing down to gangsta rap and wearing extra-large basketball jerseys. For a sketch on his new MTV show "Doggy Fizzle Televizzle," Snoop Dogg deprogrammed a "wigger" - that now-acceptable term for a white boy armed with hip-hop slang and low-riding pants - and returned him to his white self (a Lacoste-wearing racquetball player).
One of several satirical Web sites devoted to "wiggers" offers a run-down of their uniform, which includes "T-shirt, bearing logo of clothing company that doesn't want the wigger wearing its clothes" and tattoos that "will be hard to explain to the grandkids ('grandpa - what's 'thug life'?)." Last month's MTV Video Music Awards show bubbled over with Rita Nash moments: Adam Sandler and Snoop Dogg out-shizzled each other. Meanwhile Chris Rock teased Justin Timberlake for getting "real white all of a sudden" when told he was broke; when the news turned out to be a prank, Mr. Rock continued, "then Justin gets all black again and says: 'Aw, yeah. You got me, dawg. Yeah, dawg. Salaam aleikum, dawg.' "
So what's so funny here? Why does Rita Nash - and the white-boy-dropping-slang routine - have America, to cite Eugene Levy in "Bringing Down the House," straight trippin', boo? It depends on who's asking the question, and when.
In the 1920's, adventurous white Manhattanites got a thrill by visiting Harlem nightclubs. In his famous 1957 essay, "The White Negro," Norman Mailer codified the phenomenon in hyperbolic language.. The 1976 comedy "Silver Streak" featured Gene Wilder disguised with black shoe polish, a Rastafarian-style knit hat and an arsenal of stilted slang; it played for laughs, but it was funny because it was so unlikely. His Jewish Afro notwithstanding, Mr. Wilder seemed about as far from African-American culture, or even from African-American caricature, as could possibly be. Since that time, however, the immense cross-racial popularity of hip-hop has turned the hilarious improbability of white people who experiment with blackness into a perfectly familiar, everyday fact of American life; today, Eminem is one of the biggest rap stars alive, making it hard to tell where one culture ends and another's appropriation of it begins.
So Rita and the rest of the "wiggers" populating recent comedy are funny not because they're unlikely, but precisely because they are so very likely. They're walking, rapping embodiments of a new racial frontier that shaped American culture and especially American music - the frontier that optimists call racial hybridity and pessimists call cultural theft.
Part of the fun of "Da Ali G Show," on HBO, is the chance to watch white bureaucrats and politicians respond politely to outrageous provocations by the jive-slinging b-boy host. You get the strong impression that they just don't want to be seen criticizing a black person; the fact that the character is actually played by a white comic only makes their discomfort that much funnier.
These comedies may not use identical formulas - some mock the white wanna-bes, others poke fun at hip-hop posturing itself, while others, like Ali G, play a joke on us for buying into the whole routine - but all share the attitude that the racial amalgam is a fact of contemporary life. If you can't beat it, parody it.
By Baz Dreisinger, New York Times. Title and introductory paragraph by Cool Black. Original article title "The Whitest Black Girl on TV".
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
June 23, 2003
Every one of the actors has to help a white guy find his soul or there won't be a happy ending. Bruce (Jim Carrey) won't get the girl. Neo (Keanu Reeves) won't become the next Messiah. And klutzy guy Peter (Steve Martin) won't get his groove on.
It isn't that the actors or the roles aren't likable, valuable or redemptive, but they are without interior lives. For the most part, they materialize only to rescue the better-drawn white characters. Sometimes they walk out of the mists like Will Smith's angelic caddy in "The Legend of Bagger Vance. " Thanks to Vance, the pride of Savannah (Matt Damon) gets his "authentic swing" back.
|Cartoon courtesy of The Black Commentator|
Audiences -- black and white -- seem to be accepting of these one-note roles, judging by the financial success of "Bringing Down the House, " which brought in about $130 million, and "Bruce Almighty, " which has raked in $149 million and was ranked No. 2 at the box office last week.
And yet other viewers and most critics were appalled by the extreme odd-couple comedy "Bringing Down the House, " in which Charlene (Latifah), an obnoxious escaped con, invades the staid bourgeois universe of Peter (Martin), the uptight suburbanite.
Charlene not only shows Peter how to jump, jive and pleasure a woman, but teaches his son to read (a nudie magazine piques the tyke's interest),saves his daughter from a date-rapist and then reunites him with his estranged wife. And she does it all while pretending to be Peter's maid.
"If you were to say to the average person playing God was representative of a stereotype, you would get a curious look, " Boyd says. "People are uninformed. They see a black man playing God and that's a good thing. The same principle is at work when it comes to 'Bringing Down the House. ' People know she had a hand in creating the movie, so everything must be okay. White people and black people are getting along and having fun. Isn't that great? '
Aaron McGruder, creator of "The Boondocks" comic strip, didn't think so. He upbraided Latifah for her "less-than-dignified and racially demeaning performance. " His character Huey e-mailed Latifah, informing her that the "Almighty Council of Blackness has unanimously voted to revoke your 'Queen' status. "
Damon Lee, producer of the hard-hitting satire "Undercover Brother, " has come up with a similarly intriguing hypothesis drawn from personal experience. "The white community has been taught not to listen to black people. I truly feel that white people are more comfortable with black people telling them what to do when they are cast in a magical role. They can't seem to process the information in any other way, " he says. "Whoever is king of the jungle is only going to listen to someone perceived as an equal. That is always going to be the case. The bigger point is that no minority can be in today's structure. Somehow the industry picked up on that. "
Robert McKee, who has taught screenwriting to about 40,000 writers, actors and producers, says, "Try to see [the issue] from a writer's POV. He or she wants to be PC. But you can't expect writers to think like sociologists. They aren't out there trying to change the world; they are just trying to tell a good story. "
Morpheus (Fishburne), named for the Greek god of dreams, has an interesting mission, to ensure the rise of the messiah, Neo (Reeves). But Morpheus is the ultimate outsider. He and 100,000 or so others have been enslaved by the Matrix.
Above editorial from DV Republic, “The liberated zone of cyberspace.” http://www.dvrepublic.org/
Cartoon by: http://www.blackcommentator.com/
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Traffic report for Friday, September 12, 2008.
-- Site Summary ---
Total ....................... 26,379
Average per Day .................. 4
Average Visit Length .......... 0:42
This Week ....................... 26
Total ....................... 27,589
Average per Day .................. 5
Average per Visit .............. 1.4
This Week ....................... 37
This last report is for the archive page for all of my "Rants". The Rants that are still on the site that is. I wrote them for three years so it was kind of impossible (at the time) to keep them all on there. I think I still have most of them on floppy disks (remember them?) and when the right publisher comes along and wants to publish them I might just dig them up. (LOL) Until then here's the latest report...
Traffic report for Thursday, September 11, 2008.
-- Site Summary ---
Total ....................... 32,642
Average per Day .................. 8
Average Visit Length .......... 0:47
This Week ....................... 58
Since I know you are dying to see what all the fuss about you can click any of the graphics above to check out that page the report refers to. WARNING if you are NOT a fan of General Hospital you probably won't get a lot (pretty much any) of the references I make in the column. But if you are just nosey check it out. LOL
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Around that time I was looking for a General Hospital fan site, when I found a site called General Hospital Happenings, GHH for short. See a guy watching a soap opera ain't exactly something you tell your boys. (By the way: My Grandma got me hooked on the show around 1985 and I have been a fan ever since.)
When I found the site I was a message board/group virgin. Never even participated in an online chat. I only used the internet for research and shopping. To join a group like this you have to pick a nickname. This was around the same time I was developing the tv show and the name I chose...you should know the rest.
About a month after "making my voice heard", the site manager asked me to e-mail her. (Being a newbie I didn't feel comfortable with having these new people know my e-mail address.) Below is an excerpt from her e-mail reply.
Subj:*Re: Cool Black says Hi!*
Date:*9/6/2000 9:15:07 AM Eastern
The reason I asked you to e-mail me is to find out if you would be interested in writing a column for GHH on occasion. Since you are back in school, I could understand you can not do a weekly one, but how about a monthly one (or twice a month)? You offer a unique perspective as a male, (never mind a black male!), and your writing is eloquent, humorous and to the point. I see how our members respond to your posts on our board and I am sure that would be supportive of you.
Think about it and let me know. (Obviously I cannot pay you, but this is something you could add to your resume!)
Suffice it to say I accepted her offer and started writing the column I dubbed Cool Black's Mad Rant.
|Cool Black Mad Rant - main title|
Eventually I started my own sites devoted to media. I started Cool Black's Media Madness devoted to African Americans in the media and Mediaphiles a similar site this time devoted to ALL media.
So after writing for almost a decade on the Internet under the pseudonym Cool Black it is what I’m known as on many sites not just my own.
There you have it. The origin of “Cool Black”. Always Cool, always Black.
*UPDATE-July 2009: MSN Groups was a website part of the MSN network which hosted online communities, and which contained Web pages, hosted images, and contained a message board. MSN Groups was shut down on February 21, 2009 as part of a migration of online applications and services to the Windows Live brand.
Cool Black's Media Madness and Mediaphiles were also hosted on MSN Groups, but I have migrated some info to this the Cool Black Media blog.
Last count on the Cool Black's Mad Rant page was 33,323 visits and 35,672 page views.
By the way I haven't watched General Hospital for about a year or so, but you know soap operas, it's always easy to jump back in.