Saturday, December 30, 2006

Yo, What's Up With Coolio These Days?

Saw this pic of Coolio on Steve Aoki's blog, via Blagg and Blue States Lose, and thought it required archiving on TAN. It's so nice how, as we get older, we get more comfortable with showing the world our true selves.

Of course, in hip hop, some are only comfortable with that earlier in life *cough The Game cough*.

Keep it real in the '07 everyone.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Ghetto Pass: New Year's Resolutions

This week's Ghetto Pass is a New Year's edition I think my favorite excerpt is:
Resolution: Finding Love
Ghetto Pass Helper: Ghetto Pickup Artists
Real Talk: I harken back to the words of somewhat ghetto songstress Tina Turner in saying, what's love got to do with it? A partner is only as good as the shots of self-esteem they serve you when you're a little down because you haven't started drinking yet. Don't let these online matchmakers sell you up the river on a false dream; there's absolutely no need to subscribe to a Dating Cash Cow when you can go to your hood and get that love-milk for free. When those Ghetto Pickup Artistes, those citified cupids, those troubadours of urban romance start filling the skies with songs of booty-ballyhoo for your beautiful boobs, luscious lips, and jaw-dropping badonkadonk; well, that's when you'll know "Love" ain't nothing but a four-letter word. GPA's are true romantics, they should write Hallmark-Holla™ cards.
Or maybe Hollamark Cards? Don't know if that translates as well.

Ghetto Pass

Talking Race Relations At Trinity College? I'm Your TAN

Hartford Advocate follows up the Trinity College story in the NY Times and talks to TAN about the goings on at the home of the Bantam.


Ebony & Ivory Tower [Hartford Advocate]
Trin-Trin in the Times-Times [TAN]
Trinity Halloween: Not For The Racially Sensitive [TAN]

Trinity Related:
Worst. Sex. Ever.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Great AIMs in Life: End of Douche!

In classic TAN style, I have data that predicts and predates an event, but I don't reveal it for months later. In this case, the event was "End of Douche 2006." Of course credit is beside the point here, because I believe in the "communal reservoir" and the "end of douche" proved to be a prime example of the reservoir in action. On November 1 Gawker called the name into question, possibly their most commented on post. Best Week Ever, despite their heavy usage, seconded the motion. The subject may have gotten on to television. The thing is, the actual metaphysics behind the issue were being hashed out a few days prior. I actually chimed in on the Gawk post, but saved the full dialogue until now. The following is an IM conversation that would help seed the resistance to the wanton proliferation of the word "douche" (specificially with regards to usage).

Friend: so how was uptown?
TAN: ok ...
Friend: just ok?
TAN: dinner and drinks at hi life
Friend: hilife?
TAN: yeah, hi [picture of martini] life
Friend: sounds like a candidate for the gawker hall of douche
Friend: I take that back
TAN: i'm about to start campaigning against the word douche ...
Friend: overplayed?
TAN: waaaaaaaaaaay
Friend: but it has such nuance
TAN: plaaaaaaaaaaaaaayed
Friend: though I admit I have heard this complaint, friends have not come up with better solutions
things like cheese-dick have been suggested
TAN: if you drop douche, you revert back to [old] standards like "asshole," "dickhead"...
Friend: actually I had a whole conversation about this while drunk at soho house
which was kinda ironic considering
TAN: [it was] full of douchebags?
[you were] talking to a douche?
Friend: ehhh, the guys who pay for it
TAN: my man "Adouche"
Friend: unhuh
TAN: I might be cool with it if we changed the pronunciation ...
Friend: douché?
TAN: doo-chay
has to have "e/ay" at the end
like dulce de leche
Friend: its dulcet tones?
see asshole is about a guy being kinda a bad guy
a douchebag is just sort of an unfortunate guy
like [redacted], he isn't an asshole, I love [redacted], but he can be kind of a douchebag
TAN: eh, the line has definitely blurred
right, the pro-active, free will element...
Friend: well rest assured that you aren't one and be happy with that
yes, see asshole is a choice
there is a "will to asshole"
TAN: but i'm dubious that that rule is abided in all uses of the word
or even 50%
Friend: probably not, it has gotten too far from the source culture
TAN: "this will to power, has me counting the hours..."
Friend: see I believe douche originated in tech which makes it very much an anti free will proposition
counting the hours till what?
TAN: yeah, but i'm not debating the meaning. i'm debating the usage
Friend: well in our rarified circles we can maintain its original usage yes? ;-)
TAN: it wouldn't be overused if people abided by some particular, more nuanced definition
it's too late for that [exclusivity] ...
Friend: well once things hit a certain place on the cultural-diffusion-curve nuance doesn't exist anymore
TAN: exactly ...
Friend: but that doesn't mean we should kill something. It means that we in the source cultural should respect its original meaning even more
TAN: it has to go ...
once it's lost nuance, reached that place, "respect" of the original meaning is wasted effort
to try and bring it back would be a waste of resources. you can't rescind cultural diffusion
Friend: hmmmm, do you discount public enemy just because flavor flav went off into vh1 land?
TAN: it's a different thing
flava flav isn't doing Public Enemy
Friend: well you ignore vh1 but remember that at one time he wasn't a buffoon
TAN: and it's like he was a part of a group, associated with music, concerts etc. now he's something else [entirely] ...
Friend: just as douche once had great meaning but has now associated itself with something that has some of the spirit but none of the original essence
TAN: right, douche is to hip lingo as Flava Flav is to Public Enemy
there's also a race problem with the word ...
Friend: with douchebag?
this I have to hear
TAN: no big story, i don't think i've ever heard a black person use the word
or anyone with brownskin ...
Friend: you use it
TAN: no i don't
[that's] projection
Friend: alright, but we are having this huge discussion about it at 2am
TAN: so?
Friend: you could use it or apply it
I don't know
TAN: I'm going to marinate on it ...
Friend: are you saying only white people use the term douchebag?
mmmm marinated tan
TAN: no. asians use it also. but just saying the lack of support from the african-american population adds another bullet point to the proposal for its dismissal
Friend: there are totally black douchebags
just because one doesn't use the term
TAN: yeah, but a black person wouldn't say that .... i'm not debating meaning, i'm debating usage
a person who uses the term "douchebag" can identify anyone, of any race, color, creed as such
Friend: and I keep trying to steer that debate away from usage, I am a bad girl I know
TAN: well it's the only way to argue [on douche's behalf] ... cause you know it's overused also
Friend: it is true, I use it all the time
mostly because I dislike "asshole" or "dick"
because I respect guys that have actively engaged in a given behavior
it is the ones that don't "will to power" about their own behavior that gross me out
TAN: "in 96 they got they shit off ...
swallowed what they bit off ...
now everyone's a ripoff ...
of darius bikoff ...
didn't stutter or hic-cough ...
Friend: lost here my dear
TAN: the only solution is to bring in the "chay"
Friend: pronounced like tar-ghay?
TAN: if you bring in the "chay" then it's ironic enough to sustain mass exposure
i'm thinking a hard ch, but it could be soft, or zsa-zsa, -ghay ish
Friend: hmmmmmmm, I would question irony's power but I see your point
TAN: seriously, calling someone a doo-chay bag is so much better ...
like gucci ...
there it is
Friend: I am so excited! I am going to gucci next week to pick up my boots
TAN: ducce
Friend: I think you have the makings of a brilliant blog post
have you considered like comedy writing on tv?
TAN: yes
it's on the to-do list ...
[along with sleeping with Angelina Jolie and Jessica Biel]


Sunday, December 24, 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006

"Why The F*ck You Want Me To Rap About Dinosaurs?"

In this clip we have GZA, of the Wu, screaming on someone in the crowd who asks him to "rap about a "dinosaur." This is some funny ish for any emcee who's been on stage trying to do their material, and have had people in the crowd yelling at you to freestyle about ish. Like that's all an emcee with a mic is good for. GZA sets em straight. Obviously some hot off-the-dome ish is gonna get a party/show live, but the best emcees are artists, and to only respect the spontaneous is a disrespect to their craft.

Freestyle Vs. Off The Dome

Friday, December 22, 2006

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Ghetto Pass Person of the Year: You, Caucasians

This week's Ghetto Pass came to me as I slept in the middle of the night. The headline of "You, Caucasians" really brings a smile to my face.

But the real joy of joys came when I googled a term that I wondered if I coined, and you can imagine my delight when I googled "Hipsturd" and not one single solitary entry came up. There's nothing that won't return you a few items. I feel I should be able to sell this term to Google for $40M or something.

Anyway, it's perfect. When people talk about "hipsters" they only want to talk about them as "nerds" and most importantly, they only want to talk sh*t about them. Hence, "hipsturds™."



Ghetto Pass Person of the Year: You, Caucasians [Gawker]
Time Person of the Year: You. [Time]
Previously on Ghetto Pass

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Fairly Ridiculous Music Machine

Got this in the inbox. Pretty remarkable. Here's the copy that came with the forward:
This incredible machine was built as a collaborative effort between the Robert M. Trammell Music Conservatory and the Sharon Wick School of Engineering at the University of Iowa . Amazingly, 97% of the machines components came from John Deere Industries and Irrigation Equipment of Bancroft Iowa, yes farm equipment!

It took the team a combined 13,029 hours of set-up, alignment, calibration, and tuning before filming this video but as you can see it was WELL worth the effort.

It is now on display in the Matthew Gerhard Alumni Hall at the University and is already slated to be donated to the Smithsonian.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Trin-Trin in The Times-Times

My alma — and overall "big player" in assimilating negroes — Trinity College, made the NY Times today with a look at racial tension on campus, the most recent inciting incident I helped break over a month ago. The Times looks at Trin's status and approach to diversity, most of it critical:
Thee harshest assessments of Trinity’s diversity efforts have come from its own students. Based on student surveys, Trinity has made the Princeton Review’s annual list of schools with “little race/class interaction” for the past eight years. Trinity topped the list in three of those years, and is currently ranked fourth. College officials have disputed the methodology of the surveys.
Some hard numbers of note from the Times - Trinity's tuition is now at $42,410 (gets you a lot of wings at the GCS). Trin's "minority rate" is 20%, while other liberal art schools in the area (Wesleyan, Swarthmore, Amherst) register around 30% on average. Trin admits over 50% of negro applicants, compared to 43% of all applicants. Enrollment is 2,165.

Draw your own conclusions. I'll have more personal stories from The Long Walk to add in the future.

The saga continues ...

Some Say Dere's Racism At Dem Dere Liberal New England Colleges
[NY Times]
Breaking: Trinity Assimilation Program Stronger Than Most [TAN]
Letter To/From Trinity President [TAN]

Friday, December 15, 2006

Ghetto Pass 2.0: The Long Tail of Street Entrepreneurs

Today's Ghetto Pass examines The Long Tail of Street Entrepreneurs:
Internet futurism, meet the ghetto. Earlier this year, a book tagged as a manifesto on "the new economics of culture and commerce" set the business, tech, and publishing world on fire. That title, The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More (perhaps you've heard of it), comes highly recommended, and certainly constitutes an impressive presentation on how largely online trends are creating a new economic paradigm. The thing is, for a book that is landscaping the future, many of the trendsetting principles are well-worn truisms in the ghetto. So this week, we take a peek at a slightly more obscure manifesto called, The Long Booty™, and its Hood Hustlers holding ghetto MBAs. They may not have blogs or use Amazon, but they certainly understand Why the Future of Business in the Ghetto is More or Less Selling More of Less.
A tip of the cap, of course, is due to Chris Anderson for providing the template.

more later ...

Ghetto Pass 2.0
[ Gawker]
Long Tail Blog
Previous Ghetto Passes

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What Does Kidnapping Mean To You???

Have you ever been kidnapped?

Sometimes the English language is just confounding. I mean how did “napping” enter the picture? Napping?!!? There’s clearly a better name out there. Kidsnatching. Kidgrabbing. Same phonetic feel. Same syllables. None of the confusion. Even if I ignore the marginalizing genre-specific "kid" prefix, I know the last thing anyone thinks about during an abduction is taking a nap. (Although that now strikes me as the ultimate slap in the face to would-be "peepsnatchers." Just go to sleep on they ass. I would be so pissed if I hijacked someone and instead of being all scared and pleading for their life they just got drowsy and went to sleep. Arrrgghh!)

All that said, maybe I’m thinking about it too superficially. Because when I think about my kidnapping experiences, I could liken it to a nap. At least in the sense of starting an action, and it happens, and you know it, but you don't really know what happened exactly because your mind was in another place. Sort of how our internal body chemistry responds the same to "dream" stimuli as "real" stimuli, my cognitive and functional memory of my kidnappings are the equivalent of a nap with vivid, but hazy, dream sequences.

These memories are unique for me in that they are totally emotionless snapshots of my life. I'm normally a sentimental type, and a sucker for a nostalgic run through the photo album. Especially if StevieWon is playing in the background. But with the Kidnapping Gallery, I can look through the pictures and see the tears on my face, or the candid of me grasping the leg of a table while being yanked out the classroom as my classmates watched in shock (see on the right there, that's my 4th grade teacher Mrs. Cohen, she looks very concerned.) I can stare at those shots forever, but I never feel the emotion that a good picture inspires. I don't know, it seems like I should feel something, maybe I need to get a frame.

The fact is, much like our defiantly napping kidnappee earlier, I was never fully immersed in the zone of total fear and horror that would be an understandable natural response to being kidnapped by a stranger. Me personally, I’ve only been kidnapped by my mother. So I was never concerned for my life, per se. I was never worried about being tortured and abused in a cold dark basement. I never prayed for Morgan Freeman or Ashley Judd (or CSI, for a more contemporary example) to come rescue me. I just … I don’t know. I just. It wasn't quite confusion, confusion implies some proactive attempt to cut through the jungle and find the path. I just sat in the jungle. Waiting. Napping maybe. Not waiting for anything in particular. Godot possibly. Good hip hop perhaps. A soulmate is always nice...

Of course, I was around 8 years old when my mother first kidnapped me, the first of three episodes over the course of the next couple years, so I probably wasn't really thinking about soulmates at the time. I was precocious though, so it's entirely possible I was wrestling with the "idea" of soulmates. Did they really exist, or was it a quaint romantic notion stemming from a practical, but fundamentally flawed, and increasingly outdated institution of marriage? A silly vestige from a no longer relevant past, or the ultimate affirmation of an otherwise meaningless life? Either way, at the time, I certainly had no quality prospects.

None of my kidnappings lasted longer than 24 hours. Somehow they all ended up with me back home safe and sound. Nappy hair a little tousled, but no worse for wear. Just a little excitement for the day, then back to the grind tomorrow. On all three occasions my mother gave me a "Speak & Spell" to entertain me. I always liked Speak & Spell. I guess she knew that about me. (incidentally I'm quite sure S&S played no small role in the fact that I now spel veri wel. On the other hand, I'm told my speaking is a little forced and computerized. HA!)

So I guess for me, now that I think about it, the term "kidnapping" is actually very apropos. But I don't think it's for everyone and every case. I'm still fond of "peepsnatchers" for more mainstream general usage.

Monday, December 11, 2006

A Portrait of The Artist As A Young Booty Dancer

Great artists are at their peak when: 1. They have great tools, 2. They know how to use them.

So it figures that women maximize their potential when: 1. They have a great booty, 2. They know how to use it.

Well guys and gals, with regards to the first directive, the NY Times kindly informs us that psychologist David A. Holmes has come up with an equation to measure the perfect female posterior. This renders him immediately eligible for a Nobel Prize and inclusion in the Pantheon of Epically and Monumentally Important Supermen(PEMIS).

Holmes' formula is:
(S + C) x (B + F)/T - V = X(Booty Factor)
(earlier report on boingboing lists equation as (S+C) x (B+F)/T = V)

S = Overall Shape (“including tendency to droop”)
C = Circularity, B = Bounce Factor (not to be confused with “wobble”)
F = Firmness (with perfect being “like a comfy bed”)
T = Skin Texture
V = Vertical Ratio (the goal: “on the top-heavy side of symmetrical”)

Holmes showcases an amusingly incisive understanding of the human condition,
"... because you can dress yourself up in a suit, you can put on your makeup and cover up all of nature’s ills and pretend you’re in great shape, but if you stand naked and stare backward into the mirror, you have to confront reality.”
Ahh yes, stare into the abyss and the abyss stares back at you. Indeed, I often find myself provoked to tears when a backwards glance at the mirror forces me to consider the plight of my dimpled meaningless existence.

But I digress...

Most great artists understand that: 1. Tools are nice, 2. Great skill makes up for modest tools.

And so it figures that for females: 1. A booty is nice, 2. Superior booty skills can balance out an inferior booty. As with the average-sized penis, no one cares about the physical dimensions if your skills are genius.

To demonstrate we have video of a gifted artist/female. For the woman seeking perspective on how her abilities stack up, this performance serves as a seminal *cough*, benchmark demonstration of skillsSKILLZ. Master this routine and you master the world. And for the man who thinks sexual boredom is an inevitability on par with death and taxes, I invite you to bear witness to a living, breathing, 100-position appendix to the Kama Sutra. Her name is Junko, she is a dancer, she is a god. She's an artist who has the tools, and knows how to use them. We shall all worship at the altar of her semi-NSFW greatness (ascent into godly plane starts around 1:30 mark):

Junko's MySpace [Myspace]
Tushology [NYTimes Magazine]

Friday, December 08, 2006

Keep Messing Around And We're Gonna Start Making Sushi ... Actually, No We Won't, But Still, Stop OK?

I was sent this story on the Double Dutch Holiday Classics, apparently Japanese teams has won Best In Show eight of the past ten years.

Now I haven't been the most steadfast defender of appropriation of our culture. In fact those who do any looking around here, may find I have done more to provoke appropriation of our music and our neighborhoods, than to fight it.

But not the Double Dutch. I thought that would be ours forever. It's such an innocuous little niche we took over, who would think to impinge on our jump rope domination? Who else, but the Japanese. They like taking over sh*t you don't really think about, like hot dog eating, and um, technology. I bet their ropes all have smart chips and ish. This is like a Pearl Harbor situation flying below the radar here. Contact your congressman. And all you little negro boys and girls, step your Double Dutch game up. This is not a joke.

Ok, it is. But you should still reach out to your congressman.

Think Of People Playing Double Dutch, Now Make Them Japanese. [NYTimes Video]
(thanks Ali Z for the link)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Ghetto Pass: Ghetto Pickup Artists

Today's Ghetto Pass is on those romantic street troubadours:
What many people love about the ghetto is the lack of pretense. And Ghetto Pickup Artists (GPAs) are no exception. Don't look for any of that hi-falutin' passive-aggressive "hello, what's your name, can I buy you a drink?" bullshit here. Alcohol, pot, and cocaine? Pfft! These drugs are merely crutches for those who lack the esophogeal-dexterity, ESL skills, and fervent faith in "love at first sight" to properly project kissing noises while also saying, "ay mami, I'm gonna have to marry you if you put anymore culo in those pants." Today we examine the ghetto's inconvenient truth, the carnal conquistadors and true alpha-romantics in the Urban Jungle of Love. So come on in all you shorties and mamacitas, the water is fine, and y'all are looking so hot I think Al Gore is going to need you regulated to prevent Global Warming...
Ghetto Pass: Ghetto Pickup Artists

Ghetto Pass: Cabs & Extras [TAN]
Ghetto Pass [Gawker]

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

You Can't Hurry Blogs

I'm a little behind on some things, and thought if you were waiting for some content, you might appreciate this seldom-heard variation on The Supremes song "You Can't Hurry Love." I couldn't get Diana to sing it, but the original tune is posted below for melody, and you can sing along with the modified words.

MP3 File

original lyrics
(image/photog via monkeypants photos LLC)

I need a post, post
to ease my mind
I need to find, find
a blog to call mine
But mama said

You cant hurry blogs
No, you just have to wait
She said posts dont come easy
Its a game of give and take

You cant hurry blogs
No, you just have to wait
You got to trust, give it time
No matter how long it takes

But how many sh*tty posts must I stand
before I find a blog
To let me live again
Right now the only thing
That keeps me hangin on
When I feel my strength, yeah
Its almost gone
I remember TAN he said:

You cant hurry blogs
No, you just have to wait
he said posts dont come easy
Its a game of give and take

How long must I wait
How much more can I take
Before sh*tty blogs will cause my laptop to break?

No I cant bear to leave the net alone
I grow impatient for a site to call my own
But when I feel that i, I cant go on
TAN's precious words keeps me hangin on
I remember when he said:

You cant hurry blogs
No, you just have to wait
he said posts dont come easy
Its a game of give and take

You cant hurry blogs
No, you just have to wait
he said trust, give it time
No matter how long it takes

No posts, posts, dont come easy
But I keep on waiting, anticipating
for that snarky voice
To talk to me at night
For some U-R-L
To hold me tight
I keep waiting
I keep on waiting
But it aint easy
It aint easy
But mama said:

You cant hurry blogs
No, you just have to wait
She said to trust, give it time
No matter how long it takes

You cant hurry blogs
No, you just have to wait
She said posts dont come easy
Its a game of give and take

Soundtrack to TAN's Heart: You & I

This is not to be confused with the Soundtrack of Your Life. There's no randomness to this, these are the songs that play when my heart runs the itunes.

First up: You & I, by Stevie Wonder. This is the song I'd like Stevie to sing at my wedding. This is the song my heart cues up whenever my mind thinks about "The One." It may be my life is all about finding the person for whom I can simply play this song, with tears streaming down my face, and all will be understood. I also think You & I can earmark a new trend: The Love Song is the new Breakup Song. As opposed to wallowing in the past, it offers a bittersweet sentiment of hope and looking to the future. That's the new ish son.

MP3 File

Here we are
on earth together
It's you and I
God has made us fall in love, it's true
I've really found someone like you

Will it stay
the love you feel for me
Will it say
that you will be by my side to see me through
Until my life is through

Well, in my mind
we can conquer the world
In love, you and I
you and I
you and I

I am glad
at least in my life I found someone
that may not be here forever to see me through
but I found strength in you

I only pray
that I have shown you a brighter day
Because that's all that I am living for, you see
Don't worry what happens to me

Cause' in my mind, you will stay here always
In love, you and I
you and I
you and I
you and I

In my mind we can conquer the world
In love, you and I
you and I
you and I

Monday, December 04, 2006

Hmmm, Maybe I Can Rap My School Loans Away Also

Here was a stunning little news bit out of Arizona, apparently a cop (white) stopped a couple guys (black) and made them rap to get out of the ticket they were receiving for littering.

Now I know what you're thinking, no way race plays a factor here, because if it were two blonde girls pulled over they would have had to spit hot fire AND bat their eyelashes lick their boobies to get out of the ticket.

What's funny (or perhaps not so funny if you're, um, BLACK) is that this was only found out about because they recorded the segment for a cable show, Tempe StreetBeat. It's kind of like the "What would you do for a Klondike Bar?" commercials except they're real, and there's no ice cream, only a police officer in a position of power, and two black kids who are not. Yay!

Apologies have been issued, so all you black folk about to cry the beloved freedom, calm down, I'm sure those kids are quite happy they didn't get 50 shots to the dome instead. Or a littering ticket for that matter. Win-win baby.

One thing's for sure, once you see the video, it should certainly dispel the myth that all black people can freestyle. Jeesh. I'm surprised he didn't just go ahead and lock them up after that performance.

Arizona Police Give Littering Ticket, Gain Admission To Minstrel Show
[Yahoo News]

What's Your Soundtrack?

Someone sent this in to me, and I thought I'd play along.


So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool...

Opening Credits: Stan - Eminem
Waking Up: Rocket Man - Elton John
First Day at School: We Need A Resolution - Aaliyah
Falling In Love: Mad Crew - KRS-One
Fight Song: Don't Stop Til You Get Enough - Michael Jackson
Breaking Up: Speed Of Sound - Coldplay
Prom: Bad - Michael Jackson
Life: No Idea's Original - Nas
Mental Breakdown: Lose My Breath - Destiny's Child
Driving: The Basics (2.1) - Jor-El
Flashback: At Last - Joss Stone
Wedding: Cradle To The Grave - Mobb Deep
Birth of Child: You Can't Hurry Love - Diana Ross & The Supremes
Final Battle: I'm Like A Bird - Nelly Furtado
Death Scene: Flava In Ya Ear (freestyle) - Jay-Z
Funeral Song: These Three Words - Stevie Wonder
End Credit: One Eleven - Jay Dee

I didn't cheat. And there are a number of oddly appropriate couplings, "Waking Up," "Breaking Up," and "Funeral Song" are striking. Mad Crew and Flava In Ya Ear are amusing associations for "Falling In Love" and "Death Scene." I'm glad one of my songs made the cut (The Basics 2.1), and that song is great for driving. So yeah, that was fun...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ghetto Pass: Livery "Gypsy" Cabs

As TAN awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gypsy cab driver...

I wanted to lead with something like that and make this week's GP a little different. But I stuck with the program:
Sometimes you want to expand your cultural horizons, but you lack the tools. If you stop your typical yellow-cab on the street, it's very likely you'll be inhaling exhaust and burning rubber as they peel out before you can even say "Bedstuy Do or Die please." Enter Gypsy Cabs, like ghetto Charons ferrying you into Hades, these cabs shuttle around in territory where yellow cabs act, ... well yellow. Add in the flexible price plan, honey maple spice air freshener, and radio station locked into WBLS and you start to get an idea for why New Yorkers everywhere are starting to let the Canaries drive by in favor of "Going Gypsy!" So all aboard, and leave your token cab-hailing caucasian behind, they won't be needed. Your unmetered smellgood ghetto-chariot awaits.

Ghetto Pass: Gypsy Cabs [Gawker]

Earlier In The Ghetto Pass Curriculum:
Ghetto Chinese Spot
Corner Bodegas

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Morgan Freeman Deserves Some Ass Goddammit: A Petition in Three Parts

Part 2, Morgan's Movie Monologue

Morgan Freeman sits on a leather chair in a dimly lit room. His snifter is half full with cognac. He swirls it around slowly. He exhales, and sits deeper in the chair.

the familiar voiceover begins:

Sex was never a big deal for me. Ha. I remember I didn’t have sex for six months before shooting Lean On Me. I knew that role could really put me on the map. And it did. Two years later I was in Driving Miss Daisy, and it’s been relatively smooth sailing since then, ... at least with regards to my career.

Mmmm Driving Miss Daisy. It would never have dawned on me at the time, but that’s probably the origin of my frustration. It shouldn’t have been Driving Miss Daisy, it should have been Riding Miss Daisy. Or Miss Daisy Riding Mr. Freeman. Hell, with the reality show hysteria nowadays, if we shot it now we could call it, Morgan Freeman Bangs The Hell Out Of Jessica Tandy In The Back Of A Limo - Survivor. It wasn't a limo in the actual film, but it'd probably be one in an updated version.

Swirls glass and take a sip. Morgan smiles, this is his favorite Cognac.

My libido has always been an irrepressible component of my personality, but I knew professionalism was paramount at that point in my life, so I made a conscious move to do some guy movies. Then I was in Shawshank, a good film, but also far removed from that sexual realm. Not to say there isn't sex in prison ... but that sort of thing just isn't my style. So I was in a good, calm, unexcited position, there was little to be concerned about.

But then came a series of movies with Rene Russo, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Robin Wright Penn. And needless to say Mr. Daisy was ready to Outbreak. I could gave given it to any of them for Se7en days. Especially Moll Flanders. She’s underrated.

Morgan stands up, cognac still in hand, and walks over to a record player. He sets the glass down on a nearby table, looks over a stack of records, and carefully selects one. He gently blows away the dust and puts it on the turntable. Sweet sounds of Thelonious Monk fill the room. He enjoys it for a few seconds, grabs the glass of cognac and takes another sip.

Of course nothing cools that fire in your loins like doing a movie with Keanu Reeves. But the reprieve was brief, and it wasn't long before my life was changed forever via the The Ashley Judd Paradox. After Ashley, there would be no turning back on my desire to Kiss The Girls.

With my sex drive once again liberated, I wanted to chain all these girls up and treat them like slaves on Amistad. I wanted them to feel my Hard Rain and Deep Impact.

Ha. No, I'm just kidding. I still keep a lot of these feelings suppressed. That's what it means to be an actor. That's what it means to be a professional. I know if Nurse Betty has a black baby out of wedlock, I'm not going to be the one under Under Suspicion. It's gonna be Chris Rock.

But I do remember when they talked to me about Along Came A Spider, and when reading the book I saw my character and Monica Potter's character get it on. I thought the drought would be over. But they changed the story. A High Crime if ever there was one.
Morgan hears someone come in. His wife is home. He lowers the volume on the music, and takes another sip of cognac.

The sum of all my fears was realized when ... I had to do a movie with Ben Affleck. HA! No, my fears were confirmed when I was finally cast as "God" in Bruce Almighty, and I still couldn't conjure up a fine piece of ass for me to administer the Big Bounce to.

My heavens the girl in that movie was hot.

Morgan's wife comes in and sees an all-too-familiar scene for her.

"Morgan, what are you doing??

Nothing, just thinking.

Well put the cognac down, turn the record off, and come into the kitchen to help me make dinner. You can waste time reminiscing on your movie career later.

Ok baby, I'm coming."

Part 3 - A Call To Arms ...

Part 1 - The Ashley Judd Paradox [TAN]

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What Do I Look Like? I Don't Know, A Surprising Number Of People Say I Look A Little Like Julia Roberts In Mystic Pizza


And of course I get the whole Johnny Depp/Jake Gyllenhaal thing all the time.


I personally think Robert E. Lee is the most accurate call of them all. And, of course, if I really looked like Kristanna Loken I'd be the happiest man you know who never leaves his apartment.

But one question, are there no black celebrities? I don't need you to lie to me with a Denzel, or a Will Smith, even if you got me a Star Jones or Al Roker up in there (as beautiful as they are) ... that'd be fine. Just someone with melanin has to get in over Anthony Kiedis, or Michael Collins. I mean come on now.

I might need to e-mail customer service.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Football Is Stupid!

It's just a stupid game. Just stupid people doing stupid stuff. I used to think football was a cool and refreshing distraction from the stale, dry-mouth malaise of my everyday life. I even had teams I rooted for, Notre Dame and the New York Giants. One for college, one for the pros. You may have at one time called me a die-hard fan, I have never wavered on my team allegiances. But now I just think it's all stupid. I mean really, what's the point? It's just stupid, stupid, stupid.

Throw in the Knicks, and the sexual frustration of the '06 mets, and this whole "sports" idea-thingy is on very shaky ground with me. I don't need this type of aggravation in my life.

I am absolutely sick right now. I'm trying to think of a time in my life when I've felt this level of revulsion. Oh wait, I know... There was that time I thought I had a nice turkey-and-swiss sandwich for lunch, but when I bit into it instead of turkey I got doo-doo. And instead of cheese I got thin slices of swiss doo-doo. And then apparently some acne-ridden teenager squeezed his pimply face until he got a nice lather of bloody-pus discharge cream going, and washed it all off with my bread. I believe that was the sun-dried tomato mayonnaise.

After that someone rushed in to tell me not to eat the sandwich, but instead of words the chunkiest brand of Green Pea Puke came out of their mouth and splattered the side of my face. Then it oozed down my neck, underneath my clothes, and tendrilled down my body. Oh yeah, all over my back, ... there it goes, I can feel the trail of slimy-puke trickling down my thigh as I type this. And it feels strangely appropriate. Hold on for one second, let me just marinate with it for a moment... *M-A-R-I-N-A-T-I-N-G*... Ok yeah, right at that point, when the green pea puke that was spit on me — after I bit into a doo-doo and doo-doo sandwich (heavy on the mayo-pus) — right when it dribbled down to my thigh, the level of disgust I felt at that particular moment is similar to what I feel about my football teams right now.

God, what an awful feeling. I wonder where I got that sandwich from ...

Anyelimanningsucksway, I think that's all I have to say on the matelimanningsuckster.

Oh, and the first fifty people five-hundred billion people to say the word "football" around me are at high risk of physical assault.


And Now A Word From The President ...

In response to students dressing like enlisted negroes at my college (aka The Michael Richards School for Performing Arts), there was obviously much backlash. Amongst the whippers was a TAN friend and Trin alumnus who sent a letter to the President of the school. And while there's not much in the way of scintillating scandalous content here, it's only fair to post the exchange and not let Trin-Trin be solely represented on this blog by people in brownface-body.
To whom it may concern:

I recently saw a series of pictures in which a student was "disguised" as an African-American for a Halloween party. I have never felt so embarrassed to be associated with Trinity College in my 12 year relationship with the school. Clearly this person understands very little about the world; he has no place at an institution of higher learning.

I hope the administration is taking this matter very seriously. As the school continues to drift lower in the national rankings, I can't help wondering whether it is the fault of an admissions process which embraces individuals like this young man. I implore you to get the school on the right track quickly or you will never see a cent from me again.


[Redacted '##]


Dear [Redacted],

I very much appreciate your contacting me. I welcome your concern and am writing to assure you that the College is taking immediate and thorough action in response to recent events on campus.

I believe that intolerance and incivility in any form are antithetical to the mission of this College and should be combated by each and every one of its campus members. To that end, Trinity has taken several steps to improve the climate of the campus. As a first step, hundreds of students, faculty, staff, and alumni attended an open forum on November 15 to discuss socially offensive and unacceptable behavior and to engage all of us in identifying and implementing solutions. In addition, the Conversations on Community program, already in progress, will continue, in which campus members are engaged in a series of facilitated discussions from different perspectives about what each of us can do to make our environment more welcoming and inclusive.

Specific incidents are currently being reviewed by the College's official judiciary process. In addition, the Dean of Students office is bringing together a group of students, faculty, and staff to make sure the institution is doing everything possible to respond appropriately and promptly to offensive incidents and to communicate clearly the process for reporting them. The Dean's office will review the College's policies on harassment and the response mechanisms for bias incidents and will communicate these protocols through the annual Orientation programs for incoming students, residence hall meetings, staff training, and print and online materials to clarify what kinds of behavior are offensive and where an offended party can turn to for help and recourse.

Board of Trustees Chairman Paul Raether has stated that "the Board is committed to a diverse student body as well as to a diverse group of faculty and administrators. We are also committed to creating an atmosphere on this campus which encourages civility and sensitivity. Bigotry in all of its forms has no place on our campus. While the Board has not met to discuss this issue, we are certainly prepared to form a joint task force of trustees, faculty, administrators, and students, as well as alumni and parents." The creation of this task force or charter committee will be on the agenda for the Board's December 2006 meeting.

I also want you to know that we will examine the campus climate from a number of perspectives at once: the curriculum, with the faculty, the orientation programs, policies and communications over disciplinary decisions, a common reading of a pertinent book by a living author, even perhaps a Liberal Arts Colloquium initiative. We will examine the whole by examining a number of its constituent parts

We want you to be proud of Trinity and to know that in dealing with specific incidents in a public manner, my goal is to raise awareness, to encourage conversation, and to impact the climate. Join us in this work; now is not the time to turn away. If you would like to be part of the task force, let Kathleen Boelhouwer '85 in the alumni office know, and she will contact you. Thank you for caring enough about Trinity to write to me. And, please help us spread the word among alumni that Trinity needs their input, their ideas, and their vote of confidence in order to continue our work in making this the best possible College for all of us.

James F. Jones, Jr.
President and Trinity College
Professor in the Humanities

Trinity College's Assimilation Program Stronger Than Most [TAN]

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Ku Klux Kramer: The Saga Continues

Lukas Kaiser has made an amusing moshup/remix of Kramer's Racist Rant(™), and some clips from Seinfeld.

Found via Gawker, Complex

Also, here's a post with "Kramer's" apology on Letterman, which is fascinating in its own right, for the studio laughter, and his subsequent vehemence in trying to express ... I don't know what he was trying to express actually.

Kramer Is A Racist ... Remix [LukasKaiser]
Michael Richards Apologizes to Afro-Americans For Force-Field Of Hate
Ku Klux Kramer [TAN]

DO NOT Touch My Girl!

If someone touches your lady, there's really no need to ask questions.

This guy is the stuff fairytales are made of ...

Monday, November 20, 2006

Ku Klux Kramer

TMZ has video of Michael Richards, better known as "Kramer" on Seinfeld, going on a racially-charged rant after two black people heckle him in a comedy club in LA.
The camera started rolling just as Richards began his attack, screaming at one of the men, "Fifty years ago we'd have you upside down with a f***ing fork up your ass." Richards continued, "You can talk, you can talk, you're brave now motherf**ker. Throw his ass out. He's a nigger! He's a nigger! He's a nigger! A nigger, look, there's a nigger!"
The video is interesting as it's not just a totally manic rant, well it is, but he becomes self-consciously aware of the impending controversy, and eventually tries to appeal to the crowd, "They're going to arrest me for calling a black man a nigger."

When is a word that's just a word, not just a word? I can understand the confusion for white people. You loved Chappelle's Show. You see an offensive character like Borat become a box-office superstar. And you've got a guy like Damon Wayans trying to trademark the word. There is obviously a rising comfort level. And it's not just wacky entertainers like Kramer, teachers are letting it just roll off the tongue also. But it's best to just let it go, don't go there. It's not edgy coming from you. Maybe after we get a black president, we'll feel a little more secure in our position, and adjust some of the laws regarding "n-word" usage, but for now hold back. The double-standard remains in effect, ni**as can say it, crackas can't. Sorry.

Kramer's Racist Tirade [TMZ]
Trademarking Racism [TAN]
"Can You Loan A Ni**ah A Pencil?" [TAN]

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Ghetto Pass: Extracurricular

So this week's installment of Ghetto Pass is on The Corner Bodega.
"NY ain't the same, it's OT playa
you can go and cop coke from the corner bodega..."

- 50 Cent, Corner Bodega

On the surface you might think the Corner Bodega (Co-Bo) is just another wiki-able oasis of convenience. A sort of de facto ghetto 7-11. But, like the big rock in the forest, a look underneath reveals a self-sufficient ecosystem of subterranean life. Home of the 2 for $1 special, the Corner Bodega is the ghetto chamber of food and commerce for marginalized gentri-folk and ne'er-do-wells alike. Typically open through the wee hours, and stocked with all the bare essentials -- food, alcohol, horny-goat weed -- Corner Bodegas are not only a full service resource, but a genuine lifesaver.

more ...

Some interesting links were dug up in doing some Corner Bodega research:

This guy does some interesting Bodega based art [BodegArt]

I ended up cutting some bits about the Corner Bodega as a front for weed spots and numbers spots. Ultimately I had the 50 quote, and do think, as with the loosey cig, those bodegas are becoming extinct.

Apparently the Corner Bodega might be under siege. "The corner store vs. market reality" [The Real Deal]

I also cut bits about the gross lack of fresh food/produce at bodegas, but the Huffington Post has an interesting blog about a program to get more organic and healthy stock. "Foodies in 'da Hood"

Finally Ezra Klein explains "Why Immigrants Run Bodegas."

Ghetto Pass: The Corner Bodega
Ghetto Chinese Spot Excess [TAN]
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