Monday, November 30, 2009

"For Your Entertainment"

Surrounded by controversy. Adam Lambert's long awaited album has been released and it sounds like a gigantic ball of glammed up fun. He's an artiste. A true one. I recognised it from day one.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

How it Feels Like to Be 21

Alright. I'm kicking it. Just kicking it. 21 feels like liberation. It feels like finally having the license to perpetrate the way I always wanted to. It feels great, man. That's all I can say.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Gaga Disqualification

So, apparently Lady Gaga has been disqualified from the Best New Artist Category owed to the fact of her previous nomination. Oh, the grand bureaucracy. A call for dispute based on the prominence of her excessive bizarreness in video music, gigs, award shows and the like which have drawn so much attention worldwide, The Fame sold like hotcakes and became the most paid-attention-to piece of artistry this year.

But, rules are rules and it seems Ms Gaga will not be elligible.

This one made me laugh at some point. You know what, she's just so entertaining in her raw eccentric form. It's unpretentious madness and I love it.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

To Die for Freedom of Speech

You know that a nation is corrupt when those whose job it is to deliver news reports to the public are slaughtered. For the sake of protecting one's own power. In this case. The mayor of Manguinadano in the Phillipines ordered 57 journalists killed. The same mayor who assisted their current president to garner votes. Politics in developing countries is rarely a system that works for the good of the people. But as always, for the good of leadership and those empowered by elitism and privilege. These individuals will stop at nothing to protect this.

We Receive Strange Objects from Outer Space Too

This is interesting.

A meteorite lit up the close to midnight sky for Witbank residents two or so days ago

I have not seen nearly as much coverage as I'd appreciate with respect to this story. Besides, it's a lot more effectual to our intellects to hear about the unusual interactions between stubborne objects from space dying to taste a little bit of our atmosphere than Malema and them doing uuuuh...nothing of any significance. I mean that.

A friend of mine reported to have been a witness to the events. Stating that he saw the sky light up bright white and some object which seemed to appear as a "shooting star too close" settled after speeding through the atmosphere very quickly. This was at around 23h00 on Saturday the 21st November.

Interesting, indeed.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lambert's Debut at the AMA's

Well now. I must say, the performance was edgy. Covered my open mouth with the palms of my hands for a while after he rubbed that male dancer's face into his crotch. Hmmm. Adam. In fact, I think I heard a mixture of cheers and murmuring protests from the audience. I still think he's incredible though. I'm not about to launch into a homophobic rant because God knows, there is no logical reason to hate or condemn another person for the way they're living their life aside from the fact that you are a self-righteous bigot who needs to seriously consider keeping to your own lane because your lane-switching is annoying everybody. Well, those of us less prejudiced that is.

Monday, November 23, 2009

We've Got Pigs Too

Yesterday, I was taken aback by the lack of concern taken to the traumatic experience that racialicious' Fiqah endured at the hands of an officer. I was not able to watch Carte Blanche last night due to my family's deep obsession with Big Brother Africa 4, but I just read through the transcript and am horrified to say the least. Two unreported rape offenses by police officers here in South Africa . In the same month that a little boy was brutally murdered for no reason at all among others. Police brutality seems only to be escalating and not a single one of these officers despite the brutal and heinous nature of these offenses. Sad state of affairs. One does not know whether the police can be trusted to be called upon for safety. When they commit the same crimes as the men they arrest but are protected by their so called "badge of honour".

I can't help but try and find some relation between these events and the fact that South Africa has such a broken history. Living through apartheid South Africa left many blacks with a strong sense of futility and meaninglessness similar to what Du Bois posited about the problem of the black American underclass. I've seen this most potently displayed by black men of the lower class. I'm afraid to say that they are the demographic most expected to these commit offense both within their communities and beyond. Apartheid has left behind a frightening legacy of cold-spirited black men with a nihilistic killer mentality. Now that these same individuals occupy the police force and are given free roam with the illusion of safety and protection, they've simply taken to abusing their power for their own infantile gains. They feed their egos through the induction of unease. What these imbeciles don't see is that their actions benefit little in the long run. If South Africa gains a reputation for being a crime-rampant nation where police themselves exert the same kind of brutality that offenders do, not only will a massive brain drain begin to occur. Revenue from tourism will most easily be affected. Resulting in declining GDP. These utterly stupid, animalistic idiots are too dumb to see how their impulsive and foolish actions are causing or may lead to the overall decline of this nation's standard. What a useless goverment we have! What significant measures have they put in place?? What are they even doing aside from singing lame tribal songs and complaining about trivial matters.

So, it's true we've got pigs too. Only that ours are not a white male majority.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Homie

I don't want to hear about the law of attraction and ideas about "you teach people how to treat you" when it comes to this problem described through a terrible experience of harassment from a male po-po by Fiqah at racialicious

That he got away with this loathsome behaviour is reflective of power privilege afforded in this case to a law enforcer. Just last week we had incidents of police brutality here. So far, I've heard of no serious measures taken against the officers. There is a good chance they'll get of scott-free. How ironic it is that their main victims were a woman and a little child.

As a person I like to believe I radiate self-respect and hold my self in high esteem. In fact, I live by statements such as the one Alanis Morisette made, "I see my body as an instrument rather than an ornament." I carry this notion in the way I walk, dress and behave. This vessel is for doing, it is for action. Not for showing and for passivity. There will always be individuals that disrespect my presence and try to interfere with my existence by trying to get much too personal with me despite my being a complete stranger and showing on interest at that. Or worse still, invading my personal space or staring at me incessantly. These things happen. Even sporting baggy sweats and a T-shirt, it happens. (I always thought this would deflect unwarranted attention)

Must I excuse these imbeciles as just that and go on with my day. No, as always I see these as a reflection of ideas that the men in South African society hold of women. It's clear I live in a highly misogynistic society, a society that favours the idea of women as objects not women as people. It's a fact I've known since primary school when rape statistics were constantly aimed at us from all platforms of media. I remember Charlize Theron even ran an ad campaign about it. "People often ask me what the men are like in South Africa." she states. The answer obviously wasn't good which the commercials sought to expose. There is a definite sickness in this nation when it comes to the way people interact. Racially and most specifically in terms of gender. All South Africans seem to know of each other are the stereotypical notions they learned via talk and TV that ignorance is banal. Whites live in fear of blacks. Local blacks hate foreign blacks. Blacks think whites are racist haters. Coloureds strive to be white and refuse the "black" label that similarly mixed race people in America are never to afraid to adopt. Near-Eastern Asians well...they seem alright but whites and blacks seem to despise their small business sensibility. Don't know much about the Far-Eastern Asians though there's a good chance they may be exposed to the same amount of xenophobia that Nigerians are. It's one enormous racial gash that's been left over for post-apartheid South Africa to endure. With a president singing songs like "Umshini Wami", how is it going to heal.

The same goes for gender. A survey was conducted in June that revealed that 25% of males in S.A. are rapists. That's a remarkable figure. Since the world cup is coming around, these figures are under intense scrutiny. They scare people. Coupled with the AIDS statistics. It's just too much.

It seems that no measures are being taken to educate young men about the dangers of conforming to these false notions of "masculinity". Something needs to be done but nothing is.

It seems the more insecure a man in his knowledge of how "masculine" he is, the more strongly he tries to exert machismo. Studying the majority of individuals that take part in hollering practices. They appear similar in that they are low-income, of African descent and male of course. Social conditioning in most cases teaches men that money and status (as well as the ability to be a "provider") are symbols of manhood. When these are not attained, one is therefore not fully a man. So, masculinity, they perhaps feel must be redeemed in other ways. These are often in relation to women. In making sexual advances, they engage in the act of being masculine; which turns a rejection on the woman's part into an assault on this assumption of manhood.

In my experience, the non-black males that tried to assert themselves to me in this way were defected in ways that were not money or status related but rather in relation to appearance. The popularly accepted notion of masculinity is one of being tall, muscular, strong, broad shoulders, a pronounced jawline etc. Often, when men are aware of their inability to meet these standards is a cause to try and over compensate similar to the description above. I do not believe that a man comfortable in his own skin will need to objectify, attempt to humiliate, harass, grope or disregard physical boundaries. I don't think that anyone with enough intelligence'll treat a fellow human so.

An old but pertinent post in relation to redefining our presently accepted notion of "manhood" at Shakesville puts it all into perspective - how important it is to give young men an alternative form of expression that does not involve misogyny and homophobia.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Some Kind of Nepotism Going On

Wow, wow, wow. After seeing Henry give that ball a little tap, tap, I thought Fifa would order a rematch immediately. But according to Law 5 of the Fifa Rule Book. In every instance, the referee's decision is final after the match has terminated. So...
Sorry Ireland, it seems no matter what sensibility of injustice takes place, the French run tings when it comes to Fifa. Sept and his boys outruled over any morsel of conscience by ensuring that their side get a chance to reclaim their fallen glory.
It's what it has been all about since they won. Conquer and conquer once more. Yet will it be possible to reaffirm why they are the '98 World Champions. Are the French going to bring fire to South Africa next year? Time will tell. But really, Henry should be ASHAMED! What a remorseless creature.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Scapegoating Faith for the Economic Crash

Watching Larry King interview TD Jakes this morning. Whoah now. Why do I get the sense that King is bitter about something. Religion. Aside from saying that Jakes is "selling God" and "preaching prosperity." Religious cynics are usually inclined to point fingers at churches and faith-based organisations as poised to do good in the lives of others but surrepticiously out to enhance their own selves financially. In fact, a writer in Atlantic magazine posited that Christianity in America could possibly have caused the economic downturn here:

This is such an ambitious thesis. One has to ask, if you are to say that this is the sold reason then that means that the majority population in the US is devout and Christian which I beg to differ. I don't want to allude to stats either because there are plenty even here in South Africa that claim to be Christian or faith-following but barely practice what is expected of that label.

From what I've seen and understood of the crash, is that a sense of greed and want. Constant desire for things driven by the brutal yet subtle coercion of the capitalist regime played a significant role in raising up individual debt on Main Street whilst banks fooled themselves into thinking they could get away with handing out mortgages without proper thought and that this in turn would have no effect on the nation's balance sheet. They wanted their commission because they wanted that vacation to Venezuela in the summer, they wanted that yacht, they wanted that bigger home, that Chrysler, that diamond wristwatch, those designer purses. Greed. Want. Working on the impulse to show others how well they are doing even if it meant they would have to sacrifice their morals, sleep and peace. Look where it's gotten everyone. This should be a lesson not an opportunity to scapegoat.

To that, these so called prosperity messages do not appear to me a way of assuring people of financial wealth as provided by a divine power. It only encourages a less negative approach to take in looking upon a crisis. It avoids fatalism and that doomsday mood that many seen to attain at times such as these to keep people's heads up. One can even say that they are forms of motivational talk rather than a proselytizing of magical provision. It seems to reinforce this notion that religion disconnects one from reality to the point that they forget basic concepts of living such as that which implies hard world and focus, persistence and dedication are likely to bring forth prosperity rather than simply praying and hoping for a better day.

On the "Torture" of Invisibility

This is an excerpt from Toni Morrison's latest offering, A Mercy, which had me standing up and saying "AMEN". I get like that when I come across a moment of commonality between my and the author's expression of a certain issue. It happens often and this is perhaps why reading is one of the most pleasurable things in life. It makes me know that beside the barriers that place us up against one another, there are aspects very very similar about each one of our experiences and this is not revealed more lucidly than through literature. I believe.

"But then Job was a man. Invisibility was intolerable to men. What complaint would a female Job dare to put forth? And if, having done so, and He deigned to remind her of how weak and ignorant she was, where was the news in that? What shocked Job into humility and renewed fidelity was the message a female Job would have known and heard everu minute of her life."

My immediate response to this was:

What those of us observant enough to witness and acknowledge will see is how much alike men and children are. Yet it seems that in an attempt to forge an antithesis to this truth, the myth of the emotionally discordant "babygirl" was forged. That somehow, it is the other way around and therefore it is necessary to monitor and infantilize the ones who held the original power. The keepers of life, the passers-down of the gene. And in spite of all this, complaints are few and far between - the humiliation is this cliche. Yet if the men who want dominion so hungrily were to experience firsthand the treatment women themselves have been accustomed to, what frustration. Each and every time. They throw their toys out of the cot like the infants they truly are and complain about the pain and suffering that we women know too well already.

In all my days of being made invisible by those who for on reason other that to express megalomania and insecurity, I have taught myself steadily to adapt to the weather. Same too of being viewed as a thing of ornamental rather than human worth. Of by default appreciated as ignorant, foolish and uncultured. Of depending wholeheartedly on external validation for my self-worth and them having to deal with some juvenile wrath owed to my dismissiveness (an obvious repurcussion). Of being spoken of in my very own presence as if I were a mere pedigree perched in some corner of the room flapping my tongue. All this to have to endure yet if I choose to make you invisible in my mind's eye, petition against you attempting to "privilege" me by granting me attention or worse yet begin to elevate my status in the heirarchy and strengthen my powers against yours then, then your "entitlement" must act. For it is unacceptable, you believe, that nobody is not to bear witness to you and yours and that a woman achieves higher playing rank. All because you are a man and the world around you has groomed you with the notion that you deserve, you deserve, you deserve. Therefore to be seen not as I have been on more occasions than I can even recall and you could not possibly fathom is quite simply and justly on intolerable hell to you. It is true what Soyinke once said, "Men are just like children. They really cannot bear much pain."

 Note: I may be making harsh generalizations, this is not a sign of hatred - I am just playing observer. That's all. 

Video Phone featuring Lady Gaga

Okay, I am neither excited nor roused into hysterics after seeing this. It's quintessential Beyonce with a brand new weapon - Lady Gaga. It's really nothing new here. In fact, right away it is clear that Hype Williams is the director. We've seen similar products from him namely the "Check on It" video and the "Gold Digger" and "Digital Girl" videos both similar in nature. Now the same oversexed, video vixen image is used this time with leading artist and guest star instead.

I am left disappointed. It's not all that creative. A mere repetition of old styles of choreography and filming. It's getting a tad bit boring. When things become redundant, some of the more observant ones lose interest. After this, highly unimaginative effort, I am starting to lose interest in Lady Gaga, the same way I lost it long ago with repetitive Beyonce and her crew of formulaic design and image team members.

All I'm saying is that for a song so nuanced with such a brilliant instrumental from Shondra "Mr Bangladesh" Crawford, they could have and should have taken this video to the extreme. Blow people's minds. Instead they chose to re-work vintage Beyonce and take on a tired-of-thinking-up-fresh-ideas-like-I-did-in-the-late-nineties Hype Williams to do the same old same old and bore us once more.

Well, on the bright side of things - at least the video is not in black and white!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pre-viewing Review Of "Precious"

A certain journalist working for the New York Press has come to plenty of people's attention by offering an utterly scathing and critical review about "Precious". Courtesy of the blogs I follow (to the right) that made mention of this review, I got a chance to read what he had to say here:

I have not seen the movie. It's not been released in my region but I am interested of course as I have been for several months now. So there is no stance assumable on my part but I will say that it's box office performance so far is severely impressive. This fact alone may be used by sceptics as a way to evince the Western fascination with black suffering. That a movie about African Americans is only capable of doing this well when it involves the harsh realities of life for those slugging through poverty, physical and sexual abuse, teenage pregnancy and illiteracy as the lead character Precious does. I've pointed this out before. It is banal for whites to play leads in most of the movies that get this much attention. But very rarely do we see a woman of colour get the opportunity and if she does then it is in the most negative light possible. I can see how some may take this strand and use it as a way to denomize the movie. That it only seeks to galvanise the popular view of the black woman as the abused, misused person who needs saving (usually from those with lighter skin as it portrayed in "Precious") from a life destined for doom because of these pathological wounds.

I don't want to dwell to hard on this notion. We know movies perform a tremendous deal of damage in the archetypal images they create. So I will say this instead. As an antithesis to White's criticism of Oprah and Perry. Knowing what I know of the horrendous abuse that there two incredible individuals have encountered, I believe their support for this film emanated from a sincere place within themselves that believes stories such as these need to be told. We need to be reminded through film that the world is rife with stories of this nature and to carry on ignoring them is insensitive and somewhat inhumane. That wehave a movie that explores so deeply the psyche of a woman of colour and affords her a voice so raw, truthful and in-your-face means despite the negative aspects of her life that we can see a level of humanity to a people whose dignity and humanness are often ignored by mainstream society. This is not a representation of African American life. Whoever resorts to that thinking simply lacks rationale. But perhaps there are people who are that ignorant. I can't rule that out.

In all honesty, I am always pleased to hear the suppressed voices in society find a platform. No matter how painful there stories may be and how difficult they are to digest, they need to be told and we need to hear them.

50's Imminent Self-Demise Quite Intriguing

Okay, I'm often cynical when it comes to this man. But after hearing the first release off of his brand new album, I'll say I'm starting to recapture the interest I had in him the moment I first heard "In the Club" six years ago. This song is ill - "Baby By Me" featuring Ne-Yo with Kelly Rowland making an acting appearance in the video. I'm liking this jam alot. Catchy lines and a tight beat.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I Did A Relaxer on My Own!

The result was far better than any relax that I've had done at a professional salon. Why? BECAUSE I FOLLOWED THE INSTRUCTIONS! Reading through the dos and don'ts section on the Organic Root Stimulator Pack made me realise why I'd always come home with some burn or other on my scalp after a relax.

1. Not mixing in the activator thoroughly enough makes a faulty mixture likely to scald you

2. Combing the hair while cream is intact

3. Not timing the relax with a timer and just thumbsucking a relax time

4. Placing relaxer on the hairline first - the most sensitive part of everyone's scalp

5. Placing cream directly onto scalp and relaxing previously processed hair instead of new growth only

These are common mistakes yet the major causes of hair loss and breakage. Doing it myself, adhering to all the instructions. I came out without a single burn and relaxed hair.

Easy. So much cheaper. I will not get into the political debate on black hair straightening. I'll leave that to Chris Rock. I do it because it makes life simpler. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Shoot to Kill Someone's Little Baby

A day after the Chief Commissioner Cele of the South African police department, a three year old boy Atlehang Aphane is shot dead. Being mistakenly identified as an offender. All because he stuck a pipe, which was perceived as a gun, through the car window in which he was seated.

Read the full story here:

Trigger happy cops not using discretion and logic. Is that really the solution to the crime epidemic in South Africa? Government must seriously reevaluate its approach toward this issue. I hope that this incident among others will spark debate about this so called "shoot to kill" issue. I get the feeling some unthinking officers will use this an a means to vent their suppressed urges to use a gun on assignment and this might very well occur again if intervention does not take place.

The majority of this country's problem lies in government. There is a trickle down of notions encouraging megalomania and using extreme force in the quest for power. If the police do not have the public's best interests at heart and a bevy of sociopathic killers on the loose, what kind of a country can we have that promotes healthy and safe tourism especially as the Fifa World Cup is scheduled for mid 2010. Is South Africa with all its hatred ready to host such a far reaching and important event for the world?

As for idiot Malema who seems to believe his life is under threat and needs the country's taxpayers' money to fund his bodyguards. Who does he think he is, Obama? This is what I mean when I talk about power-hunger. These apparent leaders do not have the people's interests at heart. All they are really bothered about is creating the illusion of power for themselves. After hearing the above accounts, it's clear that the we need more money pumped into our safety than politicians. It's unpleasant to think that simply standing outside of your home tying your laces, taking a drive while off from work or being a little innocent child playing witha pipe in the backseat of a car will get you the police. History repeats itself doesn't it. Only that the brutality is not white Afrikaaner but Nguni and very much black.

I was reminded of the killing of immigrant, Amadou Dialo who was shot 42 times after attempting to remove the wallet from his pocket whilst the officers believed he was armed and dangerous. More senseless killings.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

All For The Love for the L.O.V.E.

 Just checked out the 'This is It' flick and it was amazing. Or would have been amazing. Not much of a sentimentalist but jerked out some tears watching the 'Human Nature' section. The movie just highlighted even more strongly why his death was such a tragedy - this show would've been simply amazing but...
Thoroughly enjoyable. Especially hearing all the quirky rehearsal dialogue. I saw so much more of his conversational personality than I've seen in any of his interviews. He was just a plain old eccentric with plenty of humour. What more would you expect from an artist, I mean a genuine artist such as MJ himself.
A master performer at his peak, his music lives on. Doing it all for the L.O.V.E.