Monday, June 30, 2008

Google For President In 2016?

So as far as I can tell, Google continues to dominate and pave the way to the future, at least on the internet (and all things considered, the internet may very well be our world once we consume most of the earth). The NY Times relays that the Big-Brother-Internet has struck a deal with Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy. As a content producer it's a very interesting deal as Google thus far is known for organizing content, and getting contextual ads on content pages. Now if they get into producing content, that feels like some sort of Holy Trinity. Praise Google!

Apparently Seth is creating 50 two-minute episodes of cartoons that are likened to "animated versions of the one-frame cartoons you might see in The New Yorker, only edgier," and Google is going to charge premium rates to companies that want to get those ads. There are plenty of ways this can not work, especially with a foul-mouthed twisted mind like Seth as the brain behind the toons; not quite sure if he's normal and tame enough for mainstream. But more important is the thinking behind it, because even if they strike out, there's enough $ and common sense in the concept that they will definitely try try again. And as I jump around from my google mail account, to my google blogger account, to my shared google docs, and check out blogs in my google reader, and makep lans via the google calendar, and upload pics to picasa, I kind of feel like if Google starts producing decent content in the next 5+ years -- even if it's all directly tied to advertising agendas -- I will have no reason not to vote for them as President in 2016. They're already Emperors of the Web; leader of the free world might be a step down at that point.

Google and Creator of "Family Guy" Strike A Deal [NYT]

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Glastonbury Gets Assimilated

So apparently the Glastonbury Festival was the scene for some contemporary cross-cultural hotness yesterday. As an appetizer we have Amy Winehouse punching fools on the set of her first show in 7 months. Can't blame her, I'd be pissed as well if everyone was saying I had emphysema from going "back to black", so to speak, from the crack and the menthols, but really it was just pops hating. That's even before getting into heads lining up to win a free ipod by predicting when you're gonna die. So yeah, she let someone have it after Rehab. This was followed up by Jay-Z executing the assimilated coup de maƮtre: apparently Noel Gallagher of Oasis -- a group that hasn't been popular with black people since, I don't know ... nineteen ninety-never? -- was hating on Hov headlining the festival. So what does President Carter do? Opens his set by strolling out with a guitar singing Wonderwall, followed by 99 Problems. Holla!

Peep the opening below (and the rest of the 38 minute set, if so inclined):

Now he's just gotta work on getting Cat Power to do it with him, and we'll really be cooking.

(vid via: WSHH)

Friday, June 20, 2008

White Capsule: Dude Love Letters

So I read this recent Crap Email From A Dude on jezebel, and then I read some more, and I wonder about them. Aside from being impressive windows into the bowels -- to borrow a word from one of these love letters -- of the male soul, and cringe-worth moments of insanity, I'm thinking these letters also cut right to the heart of ethnic-as-cultural differences. I mean read this one, here's some excerpts:

What I was trying to convey — obviously very inartfully — was the depth of my hurt at your decision to marry Jonathan [ed: this marriage was apparently 5 years ago]. I have tried almost every way I know besides doing sign language while standing on my head yodeling the national anthem to explain to you why the entire situation is so painful for me and why I take it so personally. It seems manifestly obvious and glaringly self-evident to me why being rejected for another man is hurtful and why it would cause tension in our relationship. But there still seems to be some confusion here, so in the interest of disambiguation I will do my best to explain further.

Let me stipulate first, just for the record, what you have already alluded to: My ignorance of the details of your relationship with Jonathan is pretty much comprehensive. As you suggest, this is by design. For reasons that I think should be (but apparently aren't) obvious, your marriage is a source of constant hurt for me. And because my personal predilections do not tend toward the masochistic, I prefer to spend as little time thinking about it as possible. I would rather not dwell on the particulars of a relationship that feels to me like a personal affront, a slap in the face and a complete negation and mockery of my feelings. So yes, I will readily plead guilty to ignorance.

I know that despite that tough veneer, you are an exceedingly sensitive soul. Surely somewhere in your heart of hearts, my profession of love means *something* to you or touches you in some way. But that apparently didn't register at all when you made your decision. Seems to me like a pretty big thing not to take into account when considering something so major and life-altering.

Yeah. So, um ... white guy right? I wonder if that's false/faulty logic and we're being racist, or if with matters of the heart you truly bleed and show a little more of your DNA. We know there's some Myspace Missives that are definitely a "black guy". Or at least, black-guy-as-white-girl.

Anylove, this is going in the White Capsule. It has a certain cultural code methinks worth saving...

Crap Email: White Man Overboard [Jezebel]

Grandpa TAN: The Headache

we now present Grandpa TAN starring in a dramatic rendition of "I Have A Headache."


TAN: my head hurts. i don't know if i can play cards with you. you have any aspirin?

Grandpa TAN (GPT): huh?

TAN: my head hurts, do you have any aspirin? tylenol?

GPT: your head hurts?

TAN: yes, you have any aspirin??

GPT: you want aspirin?

TAN: yeah, do you have some?

GPT: no .... but go get that bottle over there.

TAN: what bottle?

GPT: that one over there, with the dropper

TAN: what??? oh, i don't need anything grandpa

GPT: go get that thing boy, you said your head hurt, right?

TAN: yeah ?

GPT: go get the dropper ?

TAN: this?

GPT: no.... on the thing there

TAN: here?

GPT: yeah...

TAN opens bottle and smells it, crinkles nose and feels resolute that he won't be taking anything with a dropper on the top of it

GPT: come here

TAN: what is that?

GPT: boy, do your head hurt or what?

TAN: i don't think i want any liquid ... anything.. out of a dropper, i don't think that's going to help. i just wanted an apsirin or tylenol or something

GPT: look [smells bottle], you just have to put a drop on your tongue like this? [does it]

TAN: [cringes, but ... ] a drop?

GPT: yeah, look ....

TAN: and that's gonna fix my headache??

GPT grabs TAN's hands pours a generous amount of the clear liquid over his hands. TAN screams, startled by the aggressive gfather attack.

GPT: [tone: pensive from the realization of how ungrandfatherly it is to sneak-medicate your grand-son]: you should rub it in there

TAN: i thought it was a drop on my tongue, what is this? my hands burn...

GPT: its alcohol. jsut spiced rum .... you breathe it in

TAN: huh?

GPT: like this...

TAN: ok ...


TAN: Hmmm, I guess my head does feel a little bit better.

[I'm sorry i made you have to sneak-medicate me? ...]

MLK: Dreams Now Less Contemplative, More Mildly Amused

So black folks are catching up in a big way these days. Aside from getting a black president, we're also getting a black statue. Or rather, a statue of an important black man. Hooray!

The 28-foot Martin Luther King Jr. national memorial -- also known as the "Stone of Hope" - is pictured below. Apparently there's been some hullabaloo over how angry MLK should be. The picture shows them making the move from, perhaps not angry(?), to mildly amused, or hopefully optimistic. Which I suspect falls in line with the facial expression for the black community en masse. Notice we still have our arms crossed so we're not totally open to conversation or embrace or whathaveyou.

Other bits of Americana worth noting: such a statue, should you want one for yourself, costs approx $100 M. And aside from the figure being memorialized, it feels appropriate that a Chinese sculptor, Lei Yixin, is helming the project with intents on outsourcing the beginning in China. All things that people of varied persuasions are protesting somewhere. Now ain't that America?

Altered MLK Memorial Statue OK'd [AJC, via Gawk]

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Attack of the Slacks People

When folks, like Obama, talk about The Black Experience, and what negroes as a collective have had to go through just to level the playing field, overlooked is stuff like this circa-1971 ad on the right headlined "Slack Power" (*GAG*). Copyranter nails the commentary on Animal:

"Our Post-Grad Slacks have soul" purrs the copy. Where? Are they reversible? It's not just that they're plaid pants, it's that they're those plaid pants. In the history of tough guys, I don't think a tough guy has ever looked less tough"

Seriously. I mean, we can laugh at it now, but Obama may have come into existence ten years ago if not for the "Post-Grad Slacks" that setback a generation of otherwise manly black men. Pour a little liquor for the poorly-slacked black people that paved the way.

Buygone Ad of the Week [Animal]

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dear TAN: Are Tattooed Epithets Hot?

I once started a neverending interview, but now we're switching to a "Dear TAN" feature. Send your questions/letters to theassimilatednegro [at] gmail [dot] com.

In this edition: N-Word Tattoos!

Dear TAN,

So my friend has this tattoo. It's your rather traditional heart banner tattoo, y'know, the kinda thing that normally says "Mom" on it, except his doesn't say "Mom", it says "My Niggaz" (In the same font as NWA's Second Album).

He's white.

He claims that the only unfortunate situation he could run into with this tattoo is if he ever wound up in prison, however, I say that he's more or less resigned himself to never being able to score with the hot black girls, because the second the pants come off and they see that on his thigh, it might as well be a big ol' bucket of cold water being dumped on her. He respectfully disagrees. Problem is, both of us being ignorant crackers, neither of us really can speak with a voice of authority on this.

So I now have been putting the question to all my favorite people of color in my life (and as much as I love your blog, I had to ask you.) If you met a nice looking white girl, took her back to your place, clothes come off, and she has a "My Niggaz" heart banner tattoo, do you (in the parlance of our times) stay the course, or cut and run?

Again, love your stuff, keep up the good work.
Jackson S. O'Brien


Dear Jackson,

What a wonderful letter! This kind of note helps keep me regular; it's like Racism Bran, chock full with two scoops of racism. Delicious!

So. There are a few things here. Let's enumerate.

1. White dude with a "My Niggaz" tattoo: First off, any person of any race with a tattoo that says "my niggaz" is -- to be kind -- difficult to take seriously. For one, the tattoo itself sort of makes no sense. If you were in a crew, or gang, or some other organized pack of ne'er-do-wells with a name, that could work. "Thug Life", for example. Or if you want to name or do some drawing of specific "niggaz". But "my niggaz" basically translates to "my friends", and who would tattoo that? It's too general and lame. Tattoo cachet is enhanced by specificity. And I'm not even going to get into the heart banner part of it.

That said, I wouldn't feel compelled to fire 50 shots at a white guy just cause he had that particular tattoo. Of course, I'm not one to get riled up over the n-word, or any word, so it's not to say he might not catch bruises from someone. I do think he's running some risk. But obviously he's "thought" about it (gotta air-quote there for reasons stated in prevous graf), so if he feels strongly enough to man up to the consequences, may god, and his niggaz, bless him.

What's done is done, but if he was just considering the tattoo I would tell him to wait and see if Obama gets elected. If Obama is in, there will be a lot more leeway and tolerance for ignorant ish like that.

By the way, does he know that NIGGAZ stands for Never Ignorant Getting Goals Accomplished. Plus a "Z" for... "huh??". I think Tupac confused acronym with antonym.

Also, I can't believe someone who reads TAN has a friend with the tattoo you describe. Is it ironic? I guess it is a joke that never gets old. I kind of want to hang out with you guys. My niggaz, if you will.

Moving on ...

2. Do hot black girls sleep with idiots?: In my experience hotness trumps ethnic differences. Which is to say while black girls do different things than asian girls who do different things than american white girls; hot is hot, and any hot chick is empowered to do most anything she damn well pleases. Again, as per the first paragraph, I would think your friend is already resigned to not scoring with hot chicks of any sort. Certainly not sober ones. Or ones who can see/read. But mediocre, drunk, blind/illiterate ... my guess is they wouldn't care much.

Honestly, I don't think it matters much with the lady. Sure, you bring that to a Jill Scott/Erykah Badu kind of sistah, and you'll probably have to call Tyrone to save your ass. But a hipster assimilated negress who doesn't care much for the neo-soul sensibility, you should be all good. Well aside from being a dude with an urban translation of "my friends" tattooed somewhere on your body.

3. Does TAN sleep with hot, possibly racist, white girls?: Now as for me ... firstly, for some reason a hot girl with a tattoo sounds a lot more palatable than a hot guy. There's a lot more irony and subtextual intelligence for a female to have a "my niggaz" tattoo than a dude. Or maybe there's just a lot more irony and subtextual intelligence in vaginas in general. Either way, me personally, I would probably have a celebration and ask the girl to marry me on the spot. Any white girl with the balls to do that -- provided she didn't really have balls -- is the unique independent-minded kind of lady I need in my life blog. We could even get his and her "my niggaz" tats, or 4-finger rings or any other urban lifestyle symbol she wanted to appropriate. I'd be down for whatever, knahmean?

Secondly ... I don't know, still fantasizing about the firstly. I guess secondly is if I get a picture of a girl with a "my niggaz" tattoo in my inbox, then you, Jackson Obrien, will be myni**a4life.



Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Spoofs That Should Be Real: My Black Friend

I dream of a post-racial america where this parody vid on a reality show where black folks compete to be "the black friend" is produced for real.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Stuff White People Like: Ceramic Poodlebutts?

TAN: where's the poodlebutts?


: ahhhh hahahah

: a fucking g ... for a ceramic poodle butt. at least buff humpty is a nitelite

: i would def go to someone's house and just be sort of casually fondling it, and they'd be like "its a poodlebutt," and i'd get all startled and retract my hands all quick ...
and smell them ...
and leave

: haha

: a f'ing g ...?
crazy white people...

: gay white people?

: there are NO black people with poodle butts, even the bougies... actually, i could see some brooklyn bougies having them.

: and you secretly want one

: my thing is as an artist, how can you take it seriously? How do you make, market, sell ceramic poodlebutts? How does that filter through as legitimate product?
i def want one ...

: it is crazy. i would feel guilty if even one person bought it at 50 bucks

: like with a straight face ... you can say: ceramic poodlebutt, $1150??

: ha exactly. but then again you wouldn't consider making poodlebutts for anything other than your personal enjoyment

: I wonder if someone is all hrrumphy about it too, like artsy-fartsy snooty ...
these are the FINEST poodlebutts in all the land!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Pitch Meeting: Obama

TAN: Ok, that Obama speech was huge last night. Historical moment. We need angles, people. The machine is hungry. Funny, deep, crazy, contrarian... what do you got?

TAN2: Well it's a big moment for black people. First black candidate. And the speech was good, almost feels like he has the game locked up.

TAN: true. but everyone's talking about that... what else?

TAN3: We could talk about his speeches. I mean, that's what's so special about him right now. His performance during these speeches.

TAN: Speeches, yeah. Tell me more...

TAN3: Well, I don't know, maybe the President of the United States just needs to give good speeches. The rest is dramatization. With all the money invested in the political machine, once you're in the driver's seat there's only so much you can do. A president is more symbol than true facilitator of change. No matter who's in position.

TAN: Well, we've done this a little bit already, but ...

TAN3: I was sort of motivated to get work done after the speech last night. Do my part to contribute to America, and put my best self forward. That's what good speeches do. The president is the country's motivational speaker. Or should be. And with Obama, he's does it so well. Public speaking as art? He brings back the lost art of grand speeches...

TAN: You have some bits and pieces there, work with that and bring me a couple pages. What else?... don't everyone chime in at once... TAN-slacker, you have any thoughts? I haven't gotten something from you in months. What's up?

TAN-slacker: Sorry, just been crazy recently. I'm working on a good one. But I don't know, I'm not into Obama or politics. It's boring.

TAN: Whatever. Friggin' stoner. Why don't you talk to your stoner friends and find out if Obama is hitting with them? Does the hippie message actually resonate with hippies? Get me some funny stoner-y interviews ... next?

TAN2: Well after the speech, his whole victory lap around the stadium. That was the reaction Bill Clinton used to get, but with an exponent. The guy's a rock star.

TAN: He is a rock star. So?

TAN2: So I don't know, rock stars get privileges, and have certain expectations ....

TAN: eh, move on.

TAN2: I could compare him to other rock/hiphop/celebrity stars and see who gets the most status/cachet for their buck. American Idol, American President or American ... I don't know, Asshole.

TAN: eh....

TAN4: I'm not gay, but I kind of want to have sex with him.

TAN: Yes! Me too! Why?

TAN4: For a president, at least to be voted in, it's all about sex appeal. Bush got in cause, in his way, he was sexy. When voting it boils down to: Do you want to sleep with him? Maybe tough for some of the guys to see, but surely they can see that he's literally like porn for women right now. It's like if you click on "Ebony porn" for youngish proessional American women right now, you're gonna get Obama doing something naughty. He turns them on...

TAN: Ummm ... let's hold on Obama Porn for now.

TAN3: I'm still on speeches... it might be funny if his speechwriter went on strike. His writers are really the ones paying the bills right now. And what if it turned out he was notably inarticulate without his speechwriter[s]. Like Milli Vanilli for politics.

TAN: mmmm ....might be funny, suss that out some more. Explore angles with his speechwriter, that person is hot right now. Can we get more hard info, a resume, a facebook page, anything?

TAN3: Maybe his speechwriter gets so cocky, he breaks camp with Obama and runs for president himself? All you need is the nice speeches, right? Oh! Or maybe he signs with Def Jam and prepares to drop a rap album?

TAN: hmmm, i'm not laughing. But i want to laugh. it does ties in with the other rock star stuff also. don't go crazy but play with it a little.

TAN4: Obama Speech Excites Country, Reignites Sexual Revolution?

TAN: ha're f'ing horny TAN4, make sure you have some sex this weekend .... what else we got?

TAN6: A lifestyle check might be in order: are young black men benefiting from Obamamania? Maybe the clean-cut negroes in the office collecting a few more flirty looks in the office? Yes We Can, baby. Yes. We. Can. Also time for young black professionals to push for that raise? We're all under the spell...

TAN: ha. yes! and don't think about it. go hit the streets and, um, mailrooms, and see what's happening. Grab TAN-Cam and get us some video..... what else??? keep it coming people, the people need content!

TAN5: Well there's that hillary/Obama sex tape rumor.

TAN: Any confirm on whether it's real or not yet?

TAN5: I have the tape, can't quite tell if it's really them. But the tape is hot.

TAN: Get me a copy ... I want to check it out. what else ...??????

Monday, June 02, 2008

Screaming Frog Productions Presents: The Job

This brilliant, hilarious take on "the immigration debate" was circulating around a few months ago sans credits, but now has an official youtube. This was so well executed (and, apparently, presciently written in 2001) that I'm surprised it hasn't hit the million dollar views mark. They got at least another hundred-thousand peepings coming from me. Well done, Screaming Frog.

Oregon, Meet Black People. Black People, This Is Oregon

Sometimes, when I find myself staring out the window like Malcolm X, I wonder if I'm making too much of the "race" thing. There's Obama, Oprah Tyra, Justin Timberlake etc. etc. all proving that our country is so clearly over needing to be introduced to black people. But then you encounter a story like this, where a market in Corvallis, Oregon actually sets up a seeming non-ironic "Meet a Black Guy" booth.

I find it hilarious, and would stop by any Meet A Black Guy booth I encountered. By Any Means Necessary, knahmean? But daaammmm, for real? Oregon needs help like that?

Anywow, back to my window.

"Black Guy" booth livens up market [Corvallis Gazette-Times]

h/t: Wes

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Politics: Hoarding Tails for the Donkey

Reading this Times story on Hillary Clinton's victory in Puerto Rico, I think it's clear why she isn't dropping out of the race:

Mrs. Clinton said from San Juan. “I will have won the most votes — more than anyone in the history of the primary process.”

She added: “Senator Obama has a narrow lead in delegates. And we’re going to have to make our case to the automatic so-called superdelegates. And I think my case is clear — more than 17 million people voted for me.

It's all about your record in politics, specifically the soundbyte on what you've accomplished that you can pin your agenda on. If Hillary loses but comes out with the "most votes in history of the primary" or even a number previously unprecedented (but still 2nd to Obama), that's a tail, even in the context of a loss, she can campaign with in the future. This is her life, so it's worth weathering the storm for preserving.

I've wavered with my feelings on Hillary being so bullheaded, but I think I fall on the side of respect in the end. There's no questioning her spunk and intestinal fortitude. And Obamamania will either sweep the country, or -- regardless of her timing -- we'd lose because of a split party.

Clinton Ponders Continuing [NYT]

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