Friday, May 27, 2011

Overcompensating at the Condom Factory

(Even post-rapture the lord continues to forsake me when I'm drunk. and has yet to weigh in on the proper size of condoms)


From the BBC:
"A survey of more than 1,000 men in India has concluded that condoms made according to international sizes are too large for a majority of Indian men."

awwww. Gives a whole new meaning to "Slumdog Millionaire", doesn't it? Oh wait, actually it doesn't do that at all.

It does mean, though, that the "majority of Indian men" don't have enough burger for comely Indian-American model/meat-eater Padma Lakshmi.

AnyHardee, yeah, maybe that's not true either, but it turns out getting the specs on these "condoms" the kids are all raving about is a tricky business. In India they're too small, but over in South Africa, *cough*, they have a different problem. All of this is racist, but apparently true!

Also, it makes me think that maybe average-size isn't so bad. Also also reminds me of that poem, "footprints in the sand". I had a similar experience, you see, where I dreamed of walking the beach with the Lord, and all the love-scenes from my life flash across the sky, and I notice footprints, sometimes one pair, sometimes two. And seeing that saddened me because I noticed that I'd see two footprints when i was sober, or when i had a girlfriend, but whenever I'd get drunk and out of control i'd only see one. And I asked the Lord, "why do you forsake me when I'm drunk??! that's when i need you most" And he/she replied, "it's true, I do get the f out of dodge when you get drunk. You're sort of an insufferable knowitall. But look again at the sand, because when I leave you i give you a little extra to work with in my absence."

footsteps image: via

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Who's Got Next: Which Ethnic Minority Will Follow Obama In Office?

(The NY Mag feature on Wesley Yang's Asian-American identity crisis made me think about this old post on Who Will Be America's Next Minority President. Asian, Puerto Rican, Female, gay? And how will they express their authentic-assimilated brand of identity politics? I CAN'T WAIT. the best part is, IT HAS TO HAPPEN, because what cultural or ethnic minority can run for office without some "hi-signing" about their roots? It makes me think the GOP messed up back in the days by putting their devil[ed] eggs in the Steele/Palin basket. Now I think the only way they beat O is with a GOPecan-Rican. amirite?)


I wonder what a "Puerto Rican Obama" would be like.

Would he/she charm America by dropping just enough español in the speeches? (he/she would have gone to Yale or some Ivy, obviously, so it's not like all he does is hablas español. Just saying, it's part of his charm.)

We've gotten a little spice this season con, "si se puede!" Now throw in a little "Ahora!!" o "me gusta el culo más grande!!!" and I'm confident we could get primed up for cambiar all over again.

But yeah, who's gonna get that Freedom-To-Dream USA Certification next?

Because, and please correct me if I'm wrong, that's what the superlative nature of the celebration seems to be about, right? The African-Americans have graduated! On their own merit! One got through the labyrinthine maze to power (a cool one we've been rooting for, like Ratatouille), and now we can really, truly look at them with the deep down respect they deserve. And that's so awesome!

And it's true. All you non African-American ethnics, let me tell you, it's pretty cool being official right now. I'm already drawing Obama's face on all my money, yo. Five Baracks gets me a macbook pro, cashmere hoodie, and an hipster chick that appreciates it ... And she expresses her love through comments on my blog.

Dear TAN: Why Did Ghostface Do Us Like That? (Pt. 1)

Send your questions/letters to theassimilatednegro [at] gmail [dot] com. In this edition: Yo, Ghost. Waddup with this? 

 Hey T.A.N., so I am a follower of your blog and really glad your back on Gawker on the weekends! I thought you would appreciate this story: 

I'm finishing up a masters in London and since my MA project is due in about a month I don't get to go out as much as I'd like because I am always so swamped with work. But a couple of days ago I saw that Ghostface was playing. My Dad's entire family, post-slavery, was born on Staten Island and I have fond memories of Wu-Day, and just the genius that was Wu-Tang clan. So I decided to pay my 25 pounds, that I don't really need to be spending in the first place, and go see one of my Hip Hop heroes. I ran from South East London to South West to grab my girl Kyla (my Essex soul sister) and then we headed clear across the capital. Thought we were late but when we got there a friend of mine DJ Snuff was still playing and UK MC Kingpin had the unenviable task of keeping the crowd from throwing things while waiting for technicians to sort the decks and mics before Ghostface came out. Thank God I witnessed Snuff and Kingpin as they were the highlights of the night. 

So after about 25 minutes Ghost finally arrives and Hes doing all the tracks you want to hear, an ODB tribute and of course Wu staples. The crowd is going nuts there is literally a metal style mosh pit in the middle. And then after about 25 minutes of playing something terrible happened. It was as if he just got...bored? He brings up two would-be future MC's which is annoying but as a fan of Hip Hop for my entire natural life you come to expect these things. But then after earlier praising the crowd for loving "real" Hip Hop he brings up a bunch of chicks on stage and the whole thing turns into a really bad Hip Hop satire. It was like a 50-Cent video sans the good looking girls who make you feel like maybe you should go to the gym. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised considering his video for the song that was playing in the background. Even with this though I was still there excited for the second half of the show that I, for some reason, just knew he was going to get back to after he took a break having fun with the 10/12 girls who were there. 

But then he did the unthinkable, after playing for about 25 minutes he claimed that "they were telling him his time was up" which I thought was weird considering he just got there and then he said "we've got t-shirts for sell." I assumed that like most artists he meant, you know, outside the venue there would be a stand with his merchandise. But no...this motherfucker started selling the t-shirts ON STAGE!!!! Who does that ever? I could have maybe dealt with it if he finished out a full set, did an encore and then came out to sign t-shirts. But no he went from legendary MC to a shop manager. "Get in line!" Kyla and I weren't the only ones outraged. Hardcore fans who not long before were reciting every line to "Ice Cream" were booing, I'm talking Amy Winehouse has shown up to a gig drunk again type booing. Most of the crowd left. 

 + + + 

My first job out of college was at Def Jam the summer he had come out with "Fishscale" during the Jay-Z years of Def Jam management. I went blue in the face pushing it to my bosses, begging-unsuccessfully-for them to take some money out of the Ne-Yo and Rihanna budgets to put into Ghost' marketing campaign. I preached about how great it was, how it was the perfect combination of dope beats, lyrics, an air tight flow that has been so perfectly honed over the years. I couldn't believe how much they were sleeping on someone who I thought was one of the last remains of Hip Hop as I knew it. You should know that I don't normally entertain conversations about what "real" Hip Hop is or isn't because I honestly don't know what the fuck that means. What is the criteria of being "real"? Do you have to write about a certain topic? Do CL Smooth or Premiere have to do your beats? To me the only thing more boring than mainstream Hip Hop is talking about how boring mainstream Hip Hop is especially when there is plenty of good shit to listen to. So its not the "realness" or lackthereof in this case. That is not what I'm upset about. If anything I am more sad that someone who is part of a group that defines an era, that has influenced most MC's I speak to from my sunny hometown of Los Angeles clear to South London actually thought it was okay, actually thought that there was nothing wrong with doing half a set and then peddling t-shirts on stage. Where is your pride? I'm not a performing artist but surely when you finish you want your crowd wanting more, chanting, cheering amazed at what they just saw and not booing. 

Because I always get the last word as I was standing outside starting to feel the effects of one two many ciders and a spliff guess who walks out? Oh yes Ghostface Killa himself. I turn around, looked at him and decided I wouldn't be able to leave without asking him what the fuck? It didn't help that Kyla was in my ear in a sweet English accent demanding "go give him abuse!" So Kyla and I marched over to Ghost' van in our finest hoochie attire and waited while fans passed him mixtapes, and girls gave him kisses.... What will happen at the Ghost Van?Will there be a confrontation?? Will it be anti-climactic??? And what role will the hoochie attire play???? All this and more CONTINUED IN PART 2 image: via, 2, 3

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Race, Religion, & Rapture



This is an interview about Christian pop culture...

Wait! Don't go yet! The power of Obama compels you!

See, these days with reverends calling out future presidents, and future presidents giving dap like they're chilling at the 40/40 club, the tides of race, religion and pop culture have washed us all up on some sort of unchartered island. Everyone's a little Lost for clear definitions: What does it mean to be black? What does it mean to be Christian? What does it mean to be Tyler Perry?

So here's the deal: Daniel Radosh -- one of the smartest Caucasians I know (statement verifiable by his blog: -- immersed himself in the mostly white-washed world of Christian pop culture for 12 months. And he survived to tell the story! Annnd that story is available for purchase at your local book store, Rapture Ready!.

Intrigued by how this seeming societal outlier could be a 7-billion dollar a year industry, I emailed Daniel a bunch of questions looking for connections between issues of race and Christian evangelicals. Basically trying to keep it "Spiritual, but not Religious", so we can get more perspective on if those folks are "Christian, but not Crazy."

In so doing we explored why church at 11AM is still the most segregated time in America, and why Jesus "can be your girlfriend, but not your ho", all set-up so that I could pin him down on one question: would he rather wake up as an evangelical christian, or a black person?

Will Daniel provide some compelling data to help us navigate this dark island of cultural politics, or will he say something inflammatory or insensitive? Find out in the interview below

TAN Interviews Writer Daniel Radosh [EbonyJet]

Friday, May 20, 2011

Some Drunk White People Are Very Very Special

(Still dutifully researching "Drunk White People". Have a bunch of them passed out in my basement RIGHT NOW, but studies remain inconclusive. However, send me your tales of Drunk White People preposterousness and I'll let you know when the official academic logs and reports come out. Look quizzically at a drunk white person, take mental notes, and we can change the world! More drunken TAN content to come! See below for more background.)

More on the you can not pass out around white people" beat. A few days ago T tipped me to a bizarre story, almost a direct re-enactment of this Chappelle joke: 25 year old white guy passes out on a friend's couch, wakes up to find his peeps have drawn human genitalia on his face, then proceeds to pull out a POCKETKNIFE because, apparently, Murfreesboro Tennessee mf'ers don't play that. A pocketknife.

The Smoking Gun picked the story up a couple days later with an amusing addendum:

In a TSG interview, Masse denied pulling a knife, but confirmed that a penis had been drawn on his face and that it "took some scrubbing" to remove the image, which apparently was applied with a Sharpie-like marker.

(Ha. how much for the impressionist peen, sharpie-on-canvas?)

I honestly believe that if we could figure out how the psychology in a series of events like this works we could end racism. Or something similarly monumental. There is definitely some gold in the deranged pathos that leads to getting joy out of drawing a penis on your friend's face.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Negro 101: Yo Son, What is Up With The Kids Saying "Son" All The Time?


In the comments of a recent Dear TAN, the esteemed Orange poses a question:

How come "son" tacked onto something, often in a somewhat admonitory fashion, is a black thing? Why hasn't this caught on among white folks? Can we get some unassimilated etymology here?

wonderful question. sometime in the past decade (i'm pretty sure it was chappelle, but haven't actually run the numbers) the slang term "son" crossed over into mainstream. like real MAINstream. Oprah could use it as a quip (she probably has). Judd Apatow is writing it into a script as we speak. I'd take some odds on Obama dropping it sometime in the next four years. (especially if these journys want to keep asking tough questions. Obama's definitely gonna snap on someone like, "YO SON, I TOLD YOU WE WAS GONNA ISSUE A MOTHERF'ING STATEMENT NEXT MOTHERF'ING WEEK. DO YOU WANT TO ASK ANOTHER QUESTION, SON? No seriously, do you?")

Anyson, I disagree that white people aren't using it. Maybe normal white people aren't using it? But there aren't [m]any of those left here in NYC (ha!). And for that matter, normal black people aren't using it either. (fyi, I'd draw the line of normalcy somewhere around 35-36 years old.)

The term has definitely graduated though. It's in the urban slang Hall of Fame. It didn't break in with the inaugural class of superstar slang like, "dope" "word" "fresh" "wack" etc. Or the suspect second generation of "phat" and "jiggy". But now it's got the necessary votes. word.

And it's a nice piece of slang, especially when you know about it ... so herewith is a brief lesson on "son" history/usage:
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