Thursday, January 31, 2008
Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson, just gave $10 million dollars (US) to The Church of Scientology.
Bart Simpson is a Scientologist.
Which brings up a bigger point. There is no celebrity who is a Scientologist that I am impressed by. And by that I mean. There are no celebrity Scientologists who I think are that intelligent OR self-reflective OR interesting.
Here is a List of Celebrity Scientologists. I know the fact that the list is from Wikipedia makes this completely UNscientific... much like Scientology.
Now admittedly, there are some notable names on there. But I really think you have to discount any musicians. (Beck, Chick Corea, Issac Hayes, Doug E. Fresh... DOUG E. FRESH?) Everybody knows musicians are crazy. It's why the music is so good. Also you have to discount anybody who was raised a Scientologist (Again, Beck, Giovanni Ribisi). I have many people in my life who were raised Catholic and I don't judge them. it's not their fault.
After that the list is a mixed bag of C-List Actors and C Minus List Actors and "Who the hell is that?"
Where's Samuel L. Jackson? Harrison Ford? Alec Baldwin? Oprah Winfrey? Hell, if Charles Barkley said he was a member, I'd at least read the pamphlet... maybe I'd even hold those two metal rods to find out how I am broken. BUUUUUUUUUUT none of those people are Scientologists. Their two big names are Tom Cruise and John Travolta. Both of whom I think are decent to pretty good actors, and both of whom I've never heard speak and thought, "Man... This dude is really on to something."
I also feel the same way about the Evangelical Christian movement and their celebrities: Stephen Baldwin... Kirk Cameron...
And now a reading from The Book of Crazy by Tom Cruise, himself... (Thanks to Jeremy Townsend from theghet.com for reminding me of this.)
P.S. Free Katie Holmes!
P.P.S Do yourself a favor and spend sometime watching videos at Kirk Cameron's website. Specifically the one on proof of God. It's is truly the best in Alternative Comedy.
P.P.P.S. There's NOTHING worse than Christian Hip Hop.
The W. Kamau Bell Curve
w/ Guitarist Paul E. Hunt & Conjure
March 1st & 2nd
@ The East Bay Jewish Community Center
We're going ALL OUT for the the these two shows. I'm really excited and honored to be able to do this shows at THIS place. When I began putting "The Curve" (as we've begun calling it) together, I sincerely hoped it would open doors for me in ways that stand-up has not, and performing in a JCC is CERTAINLY that kind of door. Years ago I saw Eric Bogosian perform his greatest hits show (which was called "The Worst of Bogosian") at The Marin JCC. Since then I have attended many events at The SF JCC. (Have you seen that building? It is AMAAAAAZING. It's like a space ship landed.) I even performed in the SF JCC on Heather Gold's Talk Show.
I just love the fact that the show is already in it's short life being done in a venue that is outside the comedy box. I LOVE stand-up comedy, but it feels great to stretch my wings.
So I need all my East Bay people to come out and support. My roots in the Bay Area began more than ten years ago in Oakland. I lived on Jean Street off Grand Avenue... Arlington off of MLK (which was the only time in my life I thought I might die)... and finally I lived in downtown Oakland at (location held by request of the people it would incriminate). (Also I basically lived in Rockridge at my girlfriend Melissa's house, where I earned honorary 5th roommate status.) My first day job in the Bay Area was at a now defunct CAL school supply and clothing store called Ned's Den. It was located on Bancroft near Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley. in The Well's Fargo Building and people always thought it was a deli. Every girlfriend that I have had in the Bay Area lived in Oakland. (OK, one moved here with me but STILL!)
All I'm saying is that my East Bay credit is GOOOOOOOOOOOD. So it's time to redeem it for cash, prizes, and great diverse audiences.
As always, BRING A FRIEND OF A DIFFERENT RACE & GET IN 2FOR1.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Occasionally, I will repost blogs from over on my MySpace page as way to insure that nay new readers over here get to further witness how far back my genius goes... and Also to fill prevent them getting deleted from Myspace's stoopid blogging program.
Anyway enjoy this CLASSIC WKB MISSIVE from May, 2007. Ahhhh, the country was so much younger then.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Nigga please! Seriously. Please, nigga please!
So now Def Jam CEO and Orignal Buddhist Gangsta, Russell Simmons, has jumped on the acceptable language bandwagon. Now although the media is trying to make it seem like Simmons is advocating the banning of the words 'ho', 'bitch' and, 'nigger' completely, from what I can tell he is only saying that these words shouldn't be on the radio. I have no problem with that. And if I thought about it, there would probably be many things that I would like banned from radio like any bands whose names sounds like a bad accident... Panic At The Disco, Arcade Fire, Fall Out Boy, Ashlee Simpson. Thankfully my iPod has made thoughts of radio unnecessary.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
First of all, lemme 'splain.
I guess I got caught up in the hype. First of all there was this ridiculous trailer that appeared online a few months ago...
DISCLAIMER: Don't watch if you have weak stomach.
So, after being blown away by the "B" movie ridiculosity of this trailer I began to get on that "It's going to be soooooo bad, it'll be grrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat!"
But then time passed, and my interest level waned, and then I started seeing these...
How come they made him look like Anthony Kiedis?
These posters are ALL OVER The Bay Area. And something about the idea that they (They being Stallone, I guess.) are trying to turn the biggest war mongering superhero of the 80's into a pretend graffiti campaign --- as if Rambo is a man of the people --- the idea of that struck me as sooooooooo funny that I thought, "I gotta see this."
And if you're going to see Rambo in the year 2008, you have to do it opening night.
I quickly put that aside when I realized that my mom and girlfriend. Melissa, would be in town (for my show and birthday), and I figured that there was NO WAY to convince them of that plan, birthday or not.
Well apparently, they REEEEEEEEALLY love me, because when my roommate Kevin strolled into my room Friday night and said he was going, both my mom and Melissa saw the lonely hound dog look in my eye and said... "OK, we'll go with you." (This was key because no other movie was playing at the same time that they wanted to see. DAMN YOU, MULTIPLEX! YOU PROMISED THAT WE WOULD HAVE MORE CHOICES THAN WE WOULD EVER NEED OR WANT! DAMN YOU!)
So we went to see Rambo.
Now, I know what you're thinking? "Rambo? Why is it just called Rambo? Isn't this like the 9th sequel?"
No. This is only the 3rd sequel. What you're doing is adding the number of Rocky movies (6) to the number of Rambo movies (4)... A common mistake.
And also this is the first one to be called simply Rambo --- Actually "Simply Rambo" would have been a good name too. --- Anyway, the first Rambo movie is actually titled "First Blood". It was based on a book about a American Vietnam War Veteran who when traveling through a small American town gets harassed by the local police and proceeds to... kill everybody.
Ok, not exactly Shakespeare... Actually, that IS eerily similar to many Shakespeare plots.
The book didn't have any sequels, but Hollywood always knows better. They didn't start calling these movies Rambo until the second one. And I guess this is an effort to go back to basics or something.
My review of the NEW Rambo... THANK GOD IT WAS ONLY 93 MINUTES!!!
I spent the bulk of that 93 minutes dividing my time among these activities...
1) Covering my mom's eyes. Not that she couldn't handle it, but I just felt bad being responsible for her taking this crap into her 70 year old system.
2) Trying to find some joy in a joyless movie. It's an action movie. Shouldn't somebody be having some fun?
3) Feeling sorry for the brown people in the film who had to be blown up and killed in ways that most special effects crews dream of. "Maybe we could have Rambo slice his stomach open, and then his intestines could fall out onto the ground?" This literally happened.
4) Wondering how come none of the Burmese bad guys in the movie actually got to have fully rounded out characters. They were just all EVIL. The leader of the bad guys, who had NO LINES, was even sooooooo evil that (HORROR OF ALL HORRORS!) he was gay... Or maybe the movie was just implying that he was a molester of young boys. I can't really be sure. I was too busy doing the next activity...
5) Pondering my life's choices and decisions. I'm 35 years old now (at least I was the day after the movie.) And it is time that I not waste time doing things like Rambo movies, when I could go see something equally violent but more thoughtful like "No Country For Old Men" OR "There Will Be Blood" or THIS GUY.
At some point at about around 5 minutes into this movie, I remembered, "Hey, wait a minute!.. I never liked the old Rambo movies. I was always a Schwartzenegger fan. When he ripped your arm off and beat you with it... it was supposed to be funny. Stallone wants you to take this stuff seriously. He says as much here in an article talking about making the movie...
"I was being accused, once again, of using the Third World as a Rambo victim. The Burmese are beautiful people. It's the military I am portraying as cruel,''
Well unfortunately Sly, it's hard to tell that you're on their side when you're the writer and director and you didn't give them one stinkin' line.
And now kids, we'll end with a reading from the Book of Hypocrisy. This is Stallone talking about his struggle to get the movie an "R" rating instead of an "NC-17" rating.
"This is full scale genocide. I want an 'R' and I want the violence in there because it is reality. It would be a whitewashing not to show what's over there,'' he told Associated Press "I think there is a story that needs to be told," Stallone said.
Yeah, Sly. There probably is a story about living in Burma that needs to be told. And it still does.
P.S. For the record the people in the 25% filled theater that I watched it with seemed to love it. One kid even cheered throughout.
P.P.S. Yes, they are already talking about a sequel. So, don't worry. We'll get to 9 sequels eventually.
P.P.PS. If they do make another sequel, I hope they get Anthony Kiedis to play to play Rambo.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Also, my mom, Janet Cheatham Bell, flew in from Bloomington, Indiana to see the show. That was AWESOME! Although, I forgot to introduce her (along with my director and several other people) and the end of the show to the audience... which was totally thr opposite of awesome.
Anyway, I want to use this blog as a way to thank many of the people who worked hard on this run of the show. These people were there for every show, most donating their time & skills, and without them, I would have just been a crazy guy, ranting in an empty theater, in the dark talking about, "I swear it's true! I read it on the Internet!"
In no particular order other than psychological...
My Producers and friends Bruce Pachtman and Lisa Marie Rollins
My friend Danielle "Just tell me what to do and I'll do it." Hoffman
My graphic designer and friend Lee "So, you need this tomorrow. right?" Hahn
My friend and Chief Transportation Engineer and Superior Supporter, Jenny J. Johnson
Paul E. Hunt and the MANY Musicians of Conjure who graced the stage and raised the bar every show
My Future Star of The World, Friend, and DIRECTOR Martha Rynberg
Special shout out to Mike Paunovich & Webec Faulkner for filming and to Adam "Why haven't you gotten more of my brilliant photos of you in the papers?" Davis fo rnot only taking all the press photos but also for showing up and shooting LIVE!
Also, thanks to Hiya Swanhuyser at The SF Weekly, Kimberly Chun at The SF Bay Guardian, and Reyhan Harmanci at The SF Chronicle who all wrote incredible pieces on me and the show.
And finally (and maybe mostly) THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO SHOWED UP and wanted to see what this dude was up to with this crazy thing.
And the awesome news is that THE CURVE will be BACK March 1st & 2nd at The East Bay Jewish Community Center. The Curve will live ON and ON and ON and ON and...
The Love of My Life Melissa "Maloops" Hudson
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Check this out. WOW! All props due to Kimberly Chun
See it online HERE!
Oops! They did it again
W. Kamau Bell takes his swing at racism
The best comedians always shear close to the bone with their truths, but believe it or not, few are necessarily a gut bust in conversation. Why is this a surprise? After all, the comic is on the interviewer's mic, not on the clock and on script. Yet W. Kamau Bell plays against type and comes with not only the insights you wish you had spewed first but also the wit, centered on the issues of race that he's been grappling with since childhood.
The rising incidence of racist cracks that reveal the persistent fissures in a country seemingly disinterested in identity politics — and those emerging from the 34-year-old San Franciscan's own milieu, the alternative comedy scene — has led Bell to sharpen his attack with The W. Kamau Bell Curve, which focuses on the ugly slurs spilling from Sarah Silverman, Michael Richards, and Rosie O'Donnell, as well as other, unexpected quarters. And the nastiness keeps coming — cue Golf Channel commentator Kelly Tilghman's recent remark that young players who want to defeat Tiger Woods would need to "lynch him in a back alley" — and spurring Bell to continue updating the show he first performed in October 2007.
According to Bell, racism is on the comeback trail with a crucial difference: "This time it's coming from liberals and creeping in through pop culture in some weird way. I call it political correctness acid reflux. People are just burping out racism." The comic rose to the occasion to make Bell Curve after reading a story about Southern blackface comic Shirley Q. Liquor in Rolling Stone. He was outraged by the fact that the article even questioned whether the Liquor act was racist, much as he was troubled by the things coming from his own field. "It's, like, wait a minute — this is my industry, and again, it's not coming from redneck comics or blue-collar comics. It's coming from alternative comics who are supposed to be liberal comics.
"It's, like, 'Look, you know I like black people, so it's allegedly OK for me to use a joke with the word nigger in it' — even though there's no black people in the audience and you don't have any black friends!" he continues. "Like I say in the show, the most racist things that have ever happened to me have come from people who were friends of mine. I had a friend who once said to me, 'Kamau, I like you. You're black, but you're not black black.' What does that mean? I'm black but you still have your wallet?"
The only child of author Janet Cheatham Bell, Bell is all too familiar with that kind of chum, having moved from private to public to private school throughout his life. "A lot of times I would be the only black person in school," recalls Bell, who now teaches solo performance at the Shelton Theater and frequently opens for Dave Chappelle. "And when you're that person, either they forget you're black, so things happen and you're, like, [in a meek squeak] 'Wait a minute — don't forget I'm black, everybody,' or because you're black they unburden their, you know, 'Kamau, lemme tell you something about black people I've never been able to tell any other black person.' Oooh, please don't!"
Be glad, however, that Bell is telling us about it all.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Bush honors memory of.
Friday, January 18, 2008
As I'm sure you would have, too.
Congratulations, Allen. I'm proud of you.
Although, your field goal percentage is still too low for someone who shoots as much as you.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Okay. First of all, Karl Malone was never my favorite NBA player of all-time --- (Michael Jordan). Or even my favorite Take No Prisoners, Bad Ass, Independent NBA player --- (Charles Barkley). And he certainly wasn't my This guy is no perfect citizen but DAMN, I like to watch him play NBA player --- (Dennis Rodman). And he certainly wasn't my favorite, "Man, I just like this guy!" NBA player --- (Steve Kerr).
(Is there any coincidence that three of these four players are from my beloved Chicago Bulls? --- Nah, probably not.)
In fact I never liked Karl Malone. First of all, he played for the Utah Jazz and apparently he ENJOYED living in Salt City?!! Now, I have never been to Salt Lake City (except for the airport --- How many cities can we all say that about? Pretty strange.) Anyway, I have never been there but I ahev also never talked to a Mormon (the dominant culture of Salt Lake City). And I consider it strange that I haven't talked to a Mormon, since I often see them in San Francisco talking to people. See San Francisco is one of the places that young Mormons do the missionary work. --- I wonder why they won't talk to me... OH! That's why! I never trusted a black dude who could make a home in this city.
Second Karl Malone is one of those type of black people, who says something that he frames as if it is daring OR controversial, but when you actually listen to it, it just supports the establishment. (For more on this see most black conservative public figures.)
Also Karl Malone was a dirty player. He (along with his Ace Boon Coon, teammate, John Stockton) was an dirty player throughout his career which seemed SOOOOOOO unnecessary to me, because he was such a skilled and talented player. He was constantly was throwing elbows at other players, which was made worse that these elbows were attached to a 6'9", 255lb, muscle bound, Rogaine spokesman. I never understood why he felt the need to be sooo cheap shot-y.
Having said all that... I NEVER thought SOOOOOOOO littel of Karl Malone that I thought he'd would actually be in a FRIED CHICKEN COMMERCIAL!? Yikes! And he's soooooooooo EXCITED about it. I know endorsements are great and they are part and parcel of being an athlete, but DAAAAAAAAAANG!
In conclusion, here's a clip from YouTube, that not only shows Karl Malone being an ass, BUT has the added benefit of showing Michael Jordan being, ummm... Michael Jordan.
You can watch the whole awesome 8 minutes of it, or if you don't have time you can just fast forward ahead to 5:50. And then you get to see Karl, being an ass TWICE in two and a half minutes.
P.S. As part of the truth and reconciliation commission, i will admit that I am a comic who had (has?) a fried chicken joke, but it ain't about how excited I am about it. Although my joke does compare different fried chicken restaurants... But, I don't go so low down the fried chicken totem pole to actually comment on Hardees. Ewwwwwwwwwww.
P.P.S. Hardee's is the same as Carl's Jr. to all you people on the west coast.
Congratulations, Mr. O'Ree!
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
"So Hillary... What do you think about Gandhi?"
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Why oh why must chicken be soooooooooooo delicious?
His record deal is four albums, 160 million dollars.
THAT'S A PLANTATION!?
P.S. I also don't think most black people should use that analogy either... for the other record.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Clearly Tilghman (never trust people with silent 'g's in their names), Don Imus, and Rosie O'Donnell need to enroll in my joke school.
For me, this boiled over today while I was watching of one my favorite TV shows for the first time in like weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeks, Pardon The Interruption on ESPN. (It may surprise some of you who may not associate me with sports, but I try to be full of surprises.) And in truth my boil started a half hour earlier while I was watching Around The Horn (also on ESPN) which is a show too stupid to even deserve a hyper link. I hadn't seen PTI (as we in the know call it) in weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeks, becuz I have been away from home for all the holy days, and I was out of my much coveted rut. On Around the Horn they talked about Kelly Tilghman's "joke?" and three out of four of the sports reporters defended her. One, Woody Paige, even said she shouldn't be suspended for two weeks. The only one who didn't defend her --- and in fact went after her --- was SURPRISE, SURPRISE the black guy, Kevin B. Blackistone. (Although with a name like that how could he not go after her?) Kevin CLEARLY brought his soapbox for the occasion. RIGHT ON, BROTHER.! The other three excused Tilghman because they said it's hard to be on the air for three hours of golf coverage. The mike is always on. And sometimes bad things happen.
First of all, NO THEY DON'T! If every week we had golf commentators (or ANY sports announcers for that matter) --- If every week they were all saying violently racist (or sexist, or homophobic, or any "ist" or "ic" comments) then I would agree, "Wow! It must be harder to do that job than I thought. Maybe we shouldn't leave them on the air for so long." But in truth this doesn't happen all that often, so that excuse is more disgusting than the word itself.
What is happening here is the same thing that happens when a cop is accused of brutality OR when comedian Sarah Silverman says CHINK on national television... The industry that they to which they belong circle's around them to protect them. Cops call it the thin blue line. You don't betray one of your own no matter what. Later I was even further saddened when Michael Wilbon, who I like, gave the same defense of Tilghman on PTI. I guess the one thing to celebrate here is that for the first time in history a woman was allowed into a fraternity. Apparently sports reporters are more racist than sexist.
Also my real question anytime ANYONE does something like this is, Why are the tools of hatred so on deck for you in the first place? What's going on in Tilghman's head that 'lynch' is even available as a choice of words EVER? It's especially disturbing that it exists in her mental library of things to joke about.
I am also tense about the word 'lynch' because of the latest Denzel Washington movie, The Great Debaters. (YUP! I just linked you to my own blog!) In the movie Denzel has a speech about the etymology of the word 'lynch', that I have since discovered may not be the true etymology. However it doesn't change the fact that many people (of all kinds) don't want to hear that word over something as frivolous as golf.
And here's how racism got better this week...
That's right! That's a 6'8" white dude DUNKING on a 7'7" black dude. My favorite part is how Kenny George (the black dude) puts his head down after he gets dunked on. It's like he's hoping we all missed it. And George didn't even jump. Take that Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson (and Woody Paige for that matter).
Although wait a minute... a white dude dunking on a black dude? Does that make racism better or worse?
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
That's a pretty good quote, but I've always believed it's more correct the way my best friend and favorite bookstore owner, Jason Smith, said it to me, "If you can keep you wits about you while all others are losing theirs, then you've clearly misunderstood the problem."
That quote, I believe, DEFINITELY describes the situation of one, Janet, "Ms. Jackson, if you're nasty" Jackson. The following is her latest music video release to promote her new album.
We have a word for things like that. It's pronounced, "YIKES!"
Don't get me wrong. It's not like it's bad. It's just so EXTREMELY ordinary. She could have (and did do) this song and video twenty years ago. For a woman who clearly is responsible for bringing down the unforgiving, uncompromising, and un-understandable wrath of the Federal Communications Commission on the heads and mouths of every artist in the country. (I STILL blame her for the reason Comedy Central wouldn't let me say 'nigger' on Premium Blend, even though I counted another comic who said it on their network literally fourteen times before Tittygate. --- Well, I still said 'nigger'. They just didn't air it.) That titty ruined EVERYTHING! All over the country artists had to deal with censorship in ways that recalled Macarthyism (not the worst of it, but the head hunting side of it.) The worst part about it was that Janet didn't claim to be trying to challenge the status quo, or to be making a political statement. She just blamed it on the infamous and equally nonsensical WARDROBE MALFUNCTION. She NEVER owned up. Janet, please learn a lesson from the Dixie Chicks. When Natalie Maines made anti-George Bush sentiments and blew up the band's career --- even though (like you) they didn't know what they were getting into, they STOOD UP AND FOUGHT BACK!
(Actually in truth the real worst part was how Justin Timberlake came out of this COMPLETELY unscathed even though HE WAS THE ONLY WHO ACTUALLY WHIPPED IT OUT! --- Can you say RACISM? --- I knew that you could.)
But now she comes back --- Well actually this is her second album since the titcident. The one she was promoting at the time bombed. The next one, which was attempting to be a throwback to Rhythm Nation ate it. And this one is suuuuuuuuure to follow.
At the time of the titastrophe I told my friend and cohort Kevin Avery that the ONLY way Janet Jackson would EVER be able to comeback is if she shaved her head, played acoustic guitar, and sang lesbian folk songs. Well apparently Janet thought the way to comeback was to buy a loooooonger wig, put on the catsuit that Halle Berry wore in the movie, Catwoman (I'm sure there's no bad juju in THAT thing.) and then the piece de resistance is to release music that shows no change or growth. It's as if the whole thing never happened and she learned nothing.
Again I quote my best friend, Jason Smith...
"If you can keep you wits about you while all others are losing theirs, then you've clearly misunderstood the problem."
P.S. The only reason I knew about this is becuz of Yahoo is my homepage and they considered this news. I read this blog about the album. Has this dude lost his mind? He hasn't even heard the whole the album?!
So let me get this straight.
Hillary is projected to win the Iowa caucus.
Hillary comes in third.
Barack is projected to smoke Hillary in The New Hampshire Primary. (Which is supposed to be Hillary territory.)
Hillary wins, and it is called an upset. WHO THE HELL WERE THEY POLLING?!
Would someone please explain to me exactly HOW this is different than sports?
None of this really matters since I live in California and am a Liberal (well maybe a Liberaltarian). Becuz when the real big presidential election comes, since CA is a blue state, they won't count my vote any way.
THANKS ELECTORAL COLLEGE!!!
And now the media has made me mad at Hillary. And I really don't know how I feel about Barack either. Although I think he should keep the gravelly voiced thing going. It works for him. The hard part about this is it really is a popularity contest. At this point there is no way to know which one of them will be a better president. I just know I like the way Barack "feels" more than Hillary.
Yes, I believe I mean that both ways. She seems like you might get a paper cut from touching her.
Ahhh fuck it. Read this instead.
Monday, January 7, 2008
How did THIS...
end up like THIS...
Clinton Makes an Emotional vow To Fight On
I'm not saying that crying is a sign of weakness... (despite what my dad told me when I was a kid) ... Hell, the older I get the more I cry at the drop of the third act of an Adam Sandler movie. I actually cried at the end of Cool Runnings, the Disney Jamaican Bobsled movie. So I'm not of those Men-Who-Don't-Think-Women-Should-Cry guys. Although American history does show that Americans aren't kind to politicians that cry. (For more information see Edmund Muskie & The 1972 Presidential Election and Pat Schroeder & The Presidential Election of 1988.) I think the problem with Hilary is Hilary.
Much like AL Gore before her, Hillary doesn't know exactly how to use Bill Clinton to her best advantage. While she isn't running from him at the speed of light like Gore did, she isn't exactly putting him out there to lead the parade. Big Bill is undoubtedly one of her big strengths (arguably her biggest --- He is an EX-PRESIDENT after all.), and yet she is clearly uncomfortable with where to place him... something about not wanting to look like she's relying on him (WHO CARES?) or not wanting to look like she can't do it without him front and center at all times (AGAIN, WHO CARES?). This disconnection leads to strange moments. Like in Iowa, after the results were in. Hillary was the only candidate who didn't thank her spouse. Every other candidate whose speech I watched was quick to thank their spouse. (Okay. Admittedly, I didn't watch Duncan Hunter's concession speech. What is a Duncan Hunter anyway? --- Oh, thanks.) Huckabee thanked his spouse. Barack walked up holding his spouse's hand. Edwards was even INTRODUCED by his spouse! (Does that mean he is exploiting her cancer?) Hillary actually made a big effort to thank people at the end of her speech and STILL she never got to Bill. Now I know this wasn't an oversight. I'm sure it was a carefully calculated decision on the part of Hillary's team (which I'm guessing includes Bill.) It was made even stranger by the fact that he stood over her shoulder during the speech.
And then in Hillary's attempt to win back support during the New Hampshire Debate, in addition to directly attacking Barack (bad move), she let loose with this gem.
Uh oh, aren't we supposed to judge you, Hillary, (to paraphrase MLK, JR) by the content of your character and not by the lack of something between your legs?
I repeat. The wheels are coming off the bus.
Well, here goes... Now, I'm just going to say it. Hillary Clinton's run for president has the familiar feeling of Kobe Bryant buying his wife a four million dollar diamond ring after his accusation of rape. I'm sure Vanessa Bryant deserved a four million diamond ring, but even she would have to admit that the timing was odd. It was clear to all of us that Kobe was buying her off. And I am wondering if Hillary's run for president is her way to buy off the public's memory of her as the Most Famous Wife of a Philanderer of All-Time. And before anyone gets too fired up remember what the title of this missive is...
OF COURSE HILLARY CLINTON IS QUALIFIED AND CAPABLE OF BEING PRESIDENT.
But as we all know, that simple fact is not all it takes to actually become president. In fact it may even not be relevant at all.
In A Related Story...
Sunday, January 6, 2008
Last year the states of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Alabama apologized for slavery. Virginia actually did it DURING Black History Month, which I thought was a little tacky. You don’t tell your spouse that you’re cheating on them on your anniversary. What is interesting to me is that several other states, Texas, New York, and Delaware have considered apologizing for slavery but haven’t decided yet. On one hand I’m like what is there to decide? Slavery is one of the most brutal and ugly blight on America’s already brutal and ugly history. But on the other hand I get it. How do you apologize for something that ultimately worked out so well for you? Slavery really in all truth worked out for America. Apologizing for slavery is difficult. It’s like if you secretly were responsible for your neighbor’s death, but instead of getting in trouble, his family gives you his plasma screen television. Ewwwwww. You might feel guilty, but you wouldn’t want to say sorry and arouse any suspicion.
Plus it is such a meaningless apology. The apologies all kinda have the flavor, “I borrowed your hammer, and oops, I forgot to return it for 400 years.” The apologies didn’t even come with a tuna noodle casserole. Isn’t that how white people generally apologize? With a warm entrée and some Tupperware? Japanese people got 20 grand for the interment camps. Now I know that 20 grand doesn’t solve everything, but it certainly goes further than an apology.
‘I’d like to buy this house.” “What do you have as down payment?” ‘Ummm… I have an apology from the state of Virginia for slavery.”
Native American’s even got casinos. I just saw one of those commercials the other day where some politician is asking Californians to vote on a measure for Indian casinos to share revenue with the rest of the state. There’s this theory that the Indian casinos are these huge cash cows. But I don’t know if that is true. For one thing, I’ve never seen a rich Native American. Everybody else who owns a casino is rich, Donald Trump, The Maloofs, Andy Garcia in Ocean’s 11…. But I have never seen a rich Native American. Why is that? Is it because America devastated Native Americans so completely that the casinos are just a drop in the bucket OR is it because Native Americans are smart and know how to keep quite about there wealth this time? Still sensitive over that whole Manhattan deal?
But still black people can't even get a meaningless apology.
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Imagine if the government announced tomorrow, “KKK, we will pay you to set up your headquarters in Harlem.”
1) It would completely take the gang members focus away from each other and put their homicidal tendencies in a more productive place.
And 2) If the government offered the KKK money to live with black people, we would find out exactly how racist the KKK actually is.
“KKK, are you racist? Or are you just broke?”
I think most of them are just broke.
They don’t hate black people and Jewish people. They just need some new tractors, maybe an extra shift down at the plant, maybe a low interest loan...
Never miss a thing.
Friday, January 4, 2008
Thursday, January 3, 2008
I'm currently watching republican presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee (PRESIDENT HUCKABEE????), give his Iowa Caucus victory speech, and directly behind him on his right shoulder like a grizzled Tinker Bell, is YOU GUESSED IT! Chuck Norris! I knew hated him. See, I'm a Bruce Lee fan. And it is impossible to be a Chuck Norris Fan once you watched Bruce Lee kick his butt in Way of The Dragon.
See THAT? Look at the artistry. Look at the virtuosity. Look at the butt-kicking! Look at the disgusting amount of hair on Chuck's body! How could ANYONE be a fan of the slow footed, cro-magnon, Mr. Magoo-ish, Chuck Norris after that? And more than that how could anyone trust anyone that he endorses?
As you see my hatred of Chuck Norris goes waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back before the CBS TV show, Walker Texas (Hey, get my stuntman. I'm 60 years old over here.) Ranger. That show was like Murder she Wrote w/ roundhouse kicks. (Not that I ever really saw either show, but I'm an American so I'm allowed to judge without actually knowing what I'm talking about... I still stand by my statement though.)
And as funny as I think the Chuck Norris Facts are it also doesn't sway me. In fact I think it only proves how uninteresting that Chuck is, because some one had to invent stuff to make him interesting.
Look, it's not his fault. Chuck has lived a damn interesting life. And it's not his fault that the most notable part of his life (his meeting, training w/, and getting his butt-kicked by cultural icon, Bruce Lee) was one of the leeeeeeeeeast notable part of Bruce Lee's life.
P.S. For the record I'm also not a fan of Jet Li or Jackie Chan either.
P.P.S. The scary part is, Huckabee as that same folksy charm and down home humor and dear in the headlights stare of fundamentalism of someone else who became president when we all least expected it.
P.P.S. How deep do you think that the bucket is that Hillary Clinton has her head in right now?
P.P.P.S. Barack's speaking right now. And he's using his black preacher voice. History shows that you can't defeat a black preacher voice (MLK, jr., Assorted Richard Pryor Characters, Bill Clinton). Uh oh, Hillary. Uh-FREAKING-OH!
P.P.P.P.S. I actually read Chuck Norris's autobiography when I was in high school. It was pretty good.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Related fact #1: American Gangster is Denzel's biggest box office money maker of ALL-TIME w/ nearly 130 million bucks in receipts... not Malcolm X (49 million), not Hurricane (50 million - FUCK YOU OSCAR VOTERS!!! Kevin Spacey? PUHHHHHHHHHLLLLLEASE!), not Devil in A Blue Dress (16 million? If that movie had been a hit the entire direction of black actors in Hollywood would have changed for the better.), nothing w/ Spike Lee (Although Inside Man did make 88 million.)
Related fact #2 Denzel's number three biggest money maker, you ask. ... Pelican Brief (100 million) starring at the time an up and coming actress named Julia Roberts.
Where does Pelican brief rank on Julia's list of box office receipts, AGAIN, you ask. It just baaaaaaaaaaaarely squeaks into the Top 10, behind such classics as Hook, SLeeping With The Enemy, and (drumroll please...) Ocean's 12... (I still want my 10 bucks back Mr. Clooney.)
ANYWAY, this should have been the perfect storm of box office success, but America stayed away in droves. Why wasn't it? Three reasons...
1) The Great Debaters is about a debate team from the small historically black, Wiley College. And if there's one thing that America hates more than black people... it's black history. Nobody cares about black history. Not black people. Not white people. Not no people. This is nearly a death blow in and of itself. I think we all got our fill of black history with Roots. Or maybe we just want our black history for free on TV.
2) While Oprah has an impeccable (IMPECCABLE!) record when it comes to pushing books... Say what you will about A Million Little pieces, but the book sold very, very, well.
(By the way, nobody can ever tell me that Oprah's Book Club is bad in anyway. I hear people (like my ex-girlfriend) complain about the books she chooses, but it is NEVER bad to encourage people to read, no matter what you tell them to read. At least they are reading. No matter how bad the quality of the book is ALLEGEDLY. We all started by reading stuff like See Spot Run, not exactly classics of literature. Hopefully it led you to reading better stuff... like this blog.)
ANYWAY... Oprah does not exactly have a great track record when it comes to making big box office at the movies. Her biggest public failure was the adaptation of Toni Morrison's Beloved. Now, understand. I'm not so narrow minded to equate big box office with good filmmaking. In fact I'm not so dense as to think that they even usually go together. But it certainly shows that despite common beliefs, her immense audience doesn't run out and do everything she says. Uh oh, Barack. Uh-freaking-oh!
(For the record I saw Beloved and it's depiction of horrors of slavery matched up against the horrors of a ghost story was so viscerally... horrific I don't know how ANYONE could have thought is was box office gold... or even box office tin. I have in fact blocked it from my memory.
3) Even I wasn't that interested in seeing The Great Debaters, and I tend to feel about Denzel Washington the way I'm told I'm supposed to feel about Jay-Z (even told so by Jay himself.) Actually, it's bigger than that. Denzel falls into my pantheon of great men that includes, my dad, Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Bruce Lee, John Coltrane, Jimi Hendrix, and Malcolm X, himself.
Having said that, I am not interested in seeing him play second banana to anyone, not Antoine Fisher, not the Wiley College Debate Team, not even Shakespeare. I never saw those other two movies, but I DID see The Great Debaters and I apologize, Denzel, for not trusting you fully. First of all, the movie is a totally serviceable story of inspiration set against the background of The Wiley Debate Team, and secondly it is great to see Denzel's work as a director. I felt like I could clearly see the touches he picked up from Spike Lee and Remember The Titans (His second highest grossing film.). But MOST importantly, this movie contains a CLASSIC Denzel Speech, which are to me like manna from heaven. This speech is right up there with the "Bamboozled" speech from Malcolm X, and "I'm 50 years old..." from Hurricane, and even "The Crab Cake Scene" w/ Dean Cain in the little known gem, Out of Time. This speech will forever be known to me as "The Nigger Speech", and it is a CLAAAAAAAAAAAAASIC! If you consider yourself any level of Denzel fan then you should RUN, don't walk, to the theater. (Mostly cuz it won't be there very long.)
But that's not why I write this blog. I write it mostly to ask... WHERE THE HELL IS MY DENZEL WASHINGTON T-SHIRT? You can get t-shirts of ALLLLL the rest of the men on my Mount Rushmore (except my dad, but I'm workin' on it), but NOT DENZEL?!
Every movie he makes is yet another brick in The Sidney Poitier "Take Pride in Yourself Negroes!" Museum. In a culture as obsessed with celebrity as ours. It is a shame that Denzel's celebrity has gone nearly unnoticed. (Isn't it a shame that black men take more pride in Al Pacino's Scarface than Denzel's EVERYTHING ELSE? Anyone who has ever watched MTV's cribs knows the ubiquitous Scarface DVD in every rapper's collection.) Denzel is like a walking black monument to pride and responsibility. And although on one hand he is carrying on the legacy of the original colored leading man, Mr. Sidney Poitier, on the other hand he is also an actor on par with Robert De Niro. Only De Niro has played such a variety of roles, but unlike Denzel, you don't exactly want to see him as the shiny leading man. Only Brad Pitt compares as far a range of roles, but he is in no way as historically relevant as Denzel. All I'm trying to say is...
Can't the brother get a better T-Shirt than THIS?
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
But ten years ago I moved to The Bay Area (First, I lived in Oakland and then San Francisco.) And I discovered that The Bay Area is The Gotham City of Racism. (Yes, I realize that I am mixing superhero universes here. But the cause of ending racism may actually be bigger than a conversation between Superman and Spider-Man. The Bay Area (specifically San Francisco and Berkeley) has a reputation for ultimate liberalism in it's politics and sexual proclivities. And that may be true (I would argue that too!), but as far as issues of race and racism, I was (and still am) totally confused and discombobulated by what I observe occurring out here on a daily basis. I finally feel like I am coming into my full power as... THE RACIAL AVENGER! (umm... maybe).... How 'bout BLACKMAN!? (ummm... Sounds too much like the Damon Wayans movie Blankman)... How 'bout... RACEMAN!... (Sounds too much like a public service character, like Smokey The Bear.) Well, I'll come up with something.
And all that stuff is what has led me to my first full length solo show, The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism In About An Hour. Me and my crew have done it three times, and have had three sold out shows. I believe that a part of the success is because many people like myself think that racism is making a comeback, and the rest of the success I attribute to the promotional deal that we have set up: Bring a Friend of a Different Race and Get in Two For One.
That show has led me to this new blog that I will be updating in the new year. Now, I can't promise that it will all be about race. (God, I hope not.) But that will certainly be "the straw that stirs the drink" (All credit for that turn of phrase goes to Reggie Jackson). The challenge that has been put upon me by my girlfriend and life partner, Melissa, is to update this blog daily in 2008. She says I should look at this like it is vitamins. I've never been that good at taking vitamins. Hopefully, this will go better.