Friday, February 27, 2009

Magic Was Always A Caucasian Man's Game

Even when it went "street", and then post-racial with David Blaine, you never got many assimilateds picking your card out the deck, or pulling colored tissue-paper from the ol' esophagus. I guess history (or a late 90s Def Jam comedian) would say we were too busy making your shit disappear, like, for real. Like, hold the applause and call the cops cause your missing ipod is not going to turn into a dove; it's going to turn into tears of embarrassment and a return trip to the apple store...

In any event it's good to see hipster pied-piper Gavin McInnes reclaiming the craft. And adding a little extra something-something for your troubles.

(I wouldn't say this vid is unsafe for work (original post here), but there could be some undesirable imagery. magic!)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

TAN's House Of Hot-Ass Interviews

I like interviews. I'll be doing more and need an air-tight glass jar to keep them in...

The Roots: Part 1, Part 2 (on Gawker)

The Jeff Chang Interview: three part exchange on hip hop, Obama, post-racial identity politics.

The Sasha Grey Interview Experience
: interview with 21-year old porn starlet and Soderbergh muse in The Girlfriend Experience. it gets messy.

Stuff White People Like Interview: I think I interviewed Christian Lander, the proprietor of SWPL, one day before his blog blew up to hefty six-figure astronomical proportions.
Post-Hype: Christian Lander... after the buzz.

Larry Wilmore
: of The Daily Show, for The Daily Beast.

Read A Book: The satirical viral-video sensation ... for King-mag.

Daniel Radosh: in which I call Mr. Radosh one of the smartest caucasians i know.

Julius Lester: in which i do a nice grown up interview with a black-jewish renaissance man.

Dodgeball: don't have interview online, oops, will investigate... do have a song.

Lauren Williams, Stereohyped
(RIP): editor of black jossip site, competition?

a 27 year old virgin: that's right fellas, a real life late-20 year old virgin... and cute too! start your engines!

the real live show: back in the days interview, they're a nyc based hip hop band and dope.

No Ebony Porn Section For This Guy: interview with a black guy who skips the ebony section on porn sites and feels bad about it. no really. kinda.

Email me if you should be on this list.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Curious Case of Blacks & Monkeys

I wrote about the New York Post's monkey cartoon over on NBC New York.

Much like the post I wrote for Fanhouse around this time last year when LeBron and Gisele Bundchen posed for a controversial Vogue cover shoot, I don't really get the hubbub. These images strike me as racial Rorschach tests; they reveal more about your own personal racialized perspective, than actual objective truth on malicious racist intent.

Also, in the post I didn't get to include my two scientific nits on this matter:

1. monkeys and chimps aren't the same. check the wiki.

2. monkey scientists are telling us there's only 2% difference between the DNA of chimps and humans, so technically, the insult wouldn't be that far off from the truth. And is universally applicable to blacks, whites, asians etc. So, like, Irina Shayk is almost a monkey too! It's really not such a bad deal in that case, right Al?

anyways, that's all kind of silly and beside the point. But I do wonder, especially here in NYC, when will Black people get the monkey off their back? Will there ever be a time I can call my president a monkey, and have it just be a corny joke about how he walks to the bathroom on all fours with weight on his knuckles or something? If any city should be able to roll their eyes at this, you figure it would be NYC. It's not like we think Obama's stressing any of this, right? If Irina Shayk doesn't care if you call her a monkey, why should Jessica White? All seems a little silly, or curious.

Anyape, give me a banana, some hi-fives from a cute girl, and I'm all good-- racial associations be damned.

Post Cartoon Is Not Worth Protesting Over [NBC NY]
Vogue Is Not Saying Give LeBron A Banana [TAN, AOL Fanhouse]


I got sent this video a couple days ago, but put it in the pile for later viewing cause I thought the NY1 part of it was fake, and sketches demand a little more scrutiny.

But turns out the campaign to replace the n-word with the word "president" is very real. And the NY1 shout was actually a bit of a breakthrough for a mission that has been underfoot since Obama won the primary.

The report is seemingly straight-faced journalism, but then blurs the line getting into The Daily Show territory, leaving it chock full of hilarious quotables. I suspect the highlight is the dude/emcee complaining about how "nothing rhymes with president", but there's definitely competition.

So without further delay, here's a clip (a quick shout-out to my president Ryan, who reminded me about this. GQ is in the building!):

President Please

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Racist Japanese Think All Black People Are Sushi!

first the Lord Obama our Saviour is depicted as a monkey, now this: Obama sushi rolls!

I am not a slice of colored rice rolled up in some seaweed or somesuch, dammit!

image: here, via gawk

How To Assimilate: Fresh Air Fund Edition

The minimum donation to the Fresh Air Fund is $35, but we all know the cost of seeing some homeys in a boat for the first time is priceless (how do you think Obama knew to sail around the Palin iceberg?).

Seriously though, cornrows on golden pond? So worth it.

distinguished non-prof The Fresh Air Fund (serving urban smog-breathing fools fresh air since 1877, son!) is in recruiting mode, looking for hosts in the northeast area. If you're relatively sane and don't have roaches all over the place, you win! Your grand prize is, like, being remembered in someone's heart forever and ever. awww.

Also, when people talk about multicultural America, and the melting pot etc. etc, you can say you helped out with that. Look at all the children so comfortable around people of all shapes, sizes, and stupidities! think of all the pretty mixed-race babies they'll make! all because of you! yay!

if you're a guilty white or black liberal (we have those now!), it's sort of a no-brainer: giving to a non-prof during our great depression? no one will be more self-righteous or holier than thou, yo.

holla if thou hear me. help the next barack, michelle, or jessica gomes get some fresh air. This has been a TAN Public Service Announcement. word.

the Fresh Air Fund
Fresh Air News Release

Michael Strahan: From Defensive End To Emmy?

Former Giant and Nicole Murphy sack-artist Michael Strahan is rumored to be in negotiations to star in his own sitcom. Which is kind of bananas, as the kids say.

I blog about it on NBC, coming up with some sitcom-corny storylines and names.

(also, between Strahan and SI swimsuit models, gap-teeth might be en vogue right now.)

My favorite is the idea of pairing Strahan and office linebacker Terry Tate. I think that's the only one with a legitimate chance of being funny. At least for a few episodes.

Here are the audition reels, first the once-and-future-thespian Strahan:

Hmmm, I guess this whole post is a scam to run the original Terry Tate sketch. Classic:

image: via

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Steroids Are What Vitamins Do When They Grow Up

Beautiful programming on the NYTimes where in the midst of the A-Rod Inquisition, they also have a nice update on how vitamins are kinda-sorta bullshit (don't even act surprised!). Did you know American adults spend $23 Billion a year on "dietary supplements" and don't really know if the products are having the intended effect? Quick, someone call ESPN and Peter Gammons for the interview!

This has been a premise in development for a little while now; vitamins are supposed to help prevent disease or extend life, and concrete proof of either is lacking. The study linked and cited in the beginning of the piece tracked 161,000 older women over eight-years with nothing to show for it. There are many more. Mainly because it's hard to scientifically prove anything as "definitely" true.

But I doubt anyone's too shocked, all the debunking falls in line with the perfectly intuitive notion that there is no "magic pill" that will extend our lives and rid of us disease. We dream of this being possible, but anyone who's dealt with health problems knows the bottom line is some things work on some people, other things don't. Everything has context; vitamins might help sprinkle a little iron in the mix if your otherwise healthy diet skews away from the mineral, but if you're only eating cheese doodles they can't help with the yellow-orange fingertips or expanding waistline etc.

Of course the nebulous root of the vitamin problem, is the same muddy dilemma facing baseball, A-Rod and steroids. In the context of living a life where one eats healthy, works out, and does the things to maintain their body in top form, how does one discern what is the product of a healthy lifestyle and what is a product of taking vitamins/performance enhancers?

The lack of clear answers to this exposes the hypocrisy in the A-Rod lynching. We're all being a little naive, "young and stupid" (especially the wise elders who take the most vits) by ingesting and investing ($23B/year can buy you a lot of A-Rods) in products that we really have no definite proof/evidence/understanding of what it does.

The funny thing, then, in the case of vitamins, is the one thing we do know is they're not doing as much as we'd like them to do for the money we're spending. So maybe anyone who's really angry at A-Rod is only pissed because his multi-vitamins work better.

image: no vits, magic pills

Monday, February 16, 2009

Before ?uestlove, There Was ? and the Mysterians

Did you know latinos may have invented punk rock?

Yeah, me neither. And of course any premise related to an individual invention of a genre of music is destined to be refuted; but did you know latinos were even remotely in the realm of being able to claim punk rock as something they came up with? Much like harlem-born negroes and leaping off of snow-capped mountains in Norway, I figured mexicans and punk-rock to be on some never the twain shall meet sh*t.

Nothing better than filling the ignoramus holes in your brain, so you can imagine my cultural scavenger's delight in discovering an icon of american assimilation: ? and the Mysterians.

The myspace identifies them as "the first band to be described as punk rock". The wiki says, "the first Latino rock group to have a general audience hit record in the United States" (and you know what they mean by "general audience" riiight?). Throw in that the band formed in the apparently culturally-rich and Mexican-rich MICHIGAN (basic recon only identifies the mexican denominations in the "latino" group, so don't yell at me), and everything adds up to a whole lot of awesome. These dudes are like a youtube mashup video come-to-life.... in the 60s!

Plus, we have a pioneer of the change-your-name-to-a-symbol club in "?" née Rudy Martinez, and he is described in the wiki thusly:

The band's frontman and primary songwriter was Question Mark. Though the singer has never confirmed it, Library of Congress copyright registrations indicate that his birth name is Rudy Martinez. His eccentric behavior helped to briefly establish the group in the national consciousness. He claimed (and still claims) to be a Martian who lived with dinosaurs in a past life, and he never appears in public without sunglasses.

Yeah that sounds about right: if you're an eccentric latino, playing somewhat unprecedented garage-band rock, starting in the 50s 60s, you're probably going to keep the glasses on at all times. Lest you and everyone's head explode from being exposed to this Bizarro-America glitch in the matrix.

Hopefully some young punk-rock loving latino/a is reading this and deciding to write a book on these folks. Like right now! Cause it needs to be done! One of their hit songs -- 96 Tears, clip below -- has a nice riff done by a 14-year old Frank Rodriguez, so I haven't even begun to touch on all the WTFness going on here. 14-year old mexican music geniuses in michigan in the 60s, how come I didn't learn about that in social studies dammit!

I'm marinating with the music now; punk's not a dominant flavor for me, but I think it holds up nicely. Some video clips of their hit "96 Tears" below:

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Gapingvoid Collection

For those not familiar with the insular blogging world, Hugh Macleod of gapingvoid is an international man of mystery. He saves women from burning buildings, and breastfeeds African babies. He also blogs, consults, and draws these awesome little cartoons on the back of business cards.

Hugh was one of the ardent early TAN adopters, and he's done a couple business cards personalized just for me. Here's the most recent addition:

I like that one as it reminds me of one of my first posts, about the benefits of converting from "negro" to "assimilated negro". But does it beat the simplicity of his previous installment:

or the controversy of the one before that:

I don't know. Your thoughts, comments, preferences are appreciated.

Filling the Assimilated Void

Thursday, February 12, 2009

TAN Interviews Larry Wilmore

So I interviewed Larry Wilmore a week ago (maybe two now?), as he has a book out called "I'd Rather We Got Casinos and Other Black Thoughts" (here's his website). I love Larry's character on The Daily Show and he lived up to billing: very funny, razor sharp, and sort of intimidatingly fast with the jokes and humorous angle when hanging out with him in person.

I had a whole big interview with him on all sorts of stuff, and I previewed it with a clip of Larry and I talking Obama shop and The Daily Beast went and liked the preview so much they decided to run it as is. So here it is. With any luck we'll get to run some of the rest of it as outtakes or DVD-Blog extras or something.

At TDB they have an excerpt from the book as well.

In Search of Black Jesus
[The Daily Beast]
I'd Rather We Got Casinos ...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Is There An EthnoCultural Bond For People Who Do Ridiculously X-Treme Sports?

So there's a trope of black-people comedy that is premised on white people being the nosy/adventurous/risk-takers. They get killed in the horror movie for snooping around unnecessarily in the dark cave. They're the ones snooty and stuck up enough to disregard the Amityville ghost telling them to vacate the house immediately. And they're usually the only race you see pushing the physical limits of our bodies by being [too] high on a mountain, or [too] deep in some ocean trying to reason with a shark or somesuch. Everyone else plays it smart safe. Especially black folk who, as the jokes go, have enough of an X-treme lifestyle just trying to come up in America (can I get an amen?).

Now we know this is a broad generalization, but there seems to be some truth to it. And I submit this "holy moly" video (this was the adjective used in the subject when it was sent to me) as the latest example, or maybe more appropriately, latest test of this theory. Because seriously, are there any black people "having fun" like this? I certainly don't see any in this video:

wingsuit base jumping from Ali on Vimeo.

See, now those guys look like fun, and they probably have all sort of multicultural friends, and I'm sure they sent them all the evite for "Death Jump Norway" and I suspect everyone passed except for the other crazy caucasians. Maybe I should ask Christian about this....

But how awesome and shocking would it be to see a bunch of young 20-somethings from Harlem in this video? Maybe that's the next stage in the assimilation revolution. First we can vote, then we can vote in a Black president, and now we can vote to poop our pants in mid-air! Yes we can!!

Seriously, seriously though, consider this a request: if you're black and think you might be doing something along these lines soon, contact me so i can interview you then freeze you in a cryogenic chamber for genetic study.

But Salma, Us Older African-American Babies Need Love Too

Salma Hayek is pulling out her boobs to feed African babies. They have all the luck etc. etc.:

via: videogum

Previously in African baby accessorizing:
Can Celebrities Adopt Us?

Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Curious Case of Blacks & Jews

since every blogger needs a post referencing the curiously cutely-titled Benjamin Button movie, and no blogger likes his little bio thing having to idle at the top of the page all obnoxiously, and i have this pic courtesy of Gordon Gartrelle at We Are Respectable Negroes ... and since that blog is currently running a series of pieces under the Project name:

"The Chitlins and Gefilte Fish Project"

broadly described as:"a series of collaborative blog posts exploring Black-Jewish relations from the perspective of left-leaning 30(ish)somethings whose formative years were informed by rap and sports."

hmmm ... it's also a collection of writers/bloggers with followings and publishing credentials, and most important, passion and purpose behind their writing ... so check it out if the subject intrigues, i'll update this post as the series continues ...

1. "I offer three stories which may or may not speak to the dynamics of a working class Connecticut Negro's experience with this Black-Jewish stuff" -- Chauncey

2.The Tao of Blacks & Jews - DLIC

3. "And while this isn't a reason for instant familiarity between the two groups, it's at least a start. Not a common heritage, but two sides of one history." -- Shoals

more coming from me, ohword, some others ...

Monday, February 02, 2009

From the Slums of the Super Bowl

there was a Super Bowl yesterday, and it was fairly amazing (i came in with no special rooting interest, but by the end I think I was rooting for the Cards; I wonder if a lot of people experienced that)...

here's some posts for NBC NY

Will Steelers Thank Jints for Santonio? -- (i didn't get to explore it all, but Ben vs Eli, Plax, Steelers trading with NY to get Santonio, there are a few interesting connections between the teams)

Ben vs, Eli II -- Ben's in another league again. Hopefully Eli can follow.

And in honor of the second African-American head coach winning a Super Bowl, and maybe even more in honor of no one giving that angle much pub, we take a trip down memory lane to remember the raging hubbub and furor over Negro Bowl I:

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