Tuesday, June 30, 2009

And About That Movie...

So far Transformers 2 has been the best summer movie this year. Yeah, I said it. I know, I know, inane plot, flat characters, dumb script, but it is the most fun I've had at the theaters since Dark Knight. I think part two is a far superior movie than they original. Most of all I have to give Michael Bay props for putting together some of the best visual action sequences ever. Say what you want about the man, but he really knows how to blow shit up.

And Megan Fox is really, really hot.

Talking Smack

I would widen Coates' point here (Important: Please read the whole post to understand his context):

"With respect due, I am so heartily tired of reading certain white writers talk about what's wrong with us [Black people]. It's like watching a terminal cancer patient with, a few months to live, talk shit about another patient, with mere weeks."

I think one of the problems with our American debate is that we base our decisions and opinions on what hegemonic voices (ie. white males, but obviously can and does incorporate voices of other genders and races) tell us. My dad used to ask me, "Why is it that if I wanna know about Indians, or Africans, or black people or any colored people I have to ask a white guy or read a white guy's book?" Understand that my dad is 72 years old so he sees these things slightly different than we may. We may rightly say, well now we can read books on other cultures by people from those cultures, but in our mainstream media are those sources really getting through to us? Remember our march to war in Iraq? Wolfiwitz telling us that our troops would be met with roses and honey? Think maybe we could have gotten some better info if we asked an Iraqi? And I don't mean those dudes on the US payroll like Chalabi, but some less biased guys? We do have some in America you know?

You know why the Daily Show's coverage of Iran was so good? Because they went there and spoke to them.

Now we have a situation in Honduras--how much do you want to bet that on CNN and FOX and MSNBC we're going to have an influx of "experts" where most will not be Honduran, telling us what the Honderan people want? I recently taught a class with a Honduran woman who wrote a paper on the enviromental and social damage done to the Honduran people by the timber interests that are empowered by American and European companies. These timber companies have huge control within the government. Think that information will come out in our "weekly roundtables" as they tell us why Honduras doesn't have a stable and efficent democracy?

If we truly want to have a just and effective foriegn policy that protects American interests without alienating and offending indiginious populations we must give these populations voices to present their issues and then listen to their grivences with good faith.

PS: I do not mean, of course, that a person outside of a community cannot write on that community. If that was the case academics would cease, or would be incredibly hindered. But good scholarship means gathering as much first hand information as possible and then fleshing out arguments from that information. Much of what passes in the media for commentary doesn't seem to go through this process. Rather first hand information is either cherry picked, or is imagined. This is how we get people like Bush telling us that terrorists hate us "because of our freedom." Or, better yet, Ahmadinjad telling is that there are no gays in Iran.

On That BET Tribute to MJ

Odeisel's got the scoop on what went wrong with it, and how reflects the overall degeneration of BET.

I'm Back

My classes ended at the beginning of June, and since then I've been bumming around, but one can't just sit around smoking...stuff, drinking beer, reviewing magic cards, reading Tolstoy, jogging, and playing bad video games forever (unless you're one of the characters in this movie), while the world goes to shit.

In review--I think Obama's doing a good job, but not a great job, and while I think Maher is grilling the Prez a bit hard, his overall point, that there's really no left to our political debate, I think is correct. Maybe if there was these bailouts wouldn't be so out of control, universal health coverage would be the center piece in reform, and the Democrats wouldn't have replaced the GOP as the party of no ideas and more rhetoric than substance. We still have captives in Guantanamo who haven't been tried (and Obama claims they may never get a trial), we still have over 130,000 troops in Iraq, and unemployment is still rising.

And Michael Jackson died. Though this may not be the government's fault.

Obviously, it's still too early to judge how this administration is doing, but the tone, the flavor of the overall debate seems as stagnant and stale as the Coleman/ Franken election (I mean they're still fighting? Really?) or NY's legislative crisis (The Republicans lost--they need to get over it, hand over the reins to the Dems, and shut up. And no equivocation Gov. Paterson, you are not getting elected--ever--so try to leave office with at least one ball intact).

Obama was elected one the referendum of change, and while we know that change takes time, it also takes action and it takes determination, two traits seemingly missing from our debate. I think the people made it very clear what we want our leadership to do, and now its time for them to follow through.

Anyway, hope some of you are still out there. If not, then it's still good being home.

LabPixies TV