Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Jared Weisfeld is the hardest white boy on the planet

Anyone who can manage ODB is hard in my mind. Umm, I can't really say more about this video because I can't ever talk shit about Wu, or ODB. But, umm, that stuff about the butt...Umm, Yeah. Ok, so more articulate stuff later, but umm...Ok I gotta...sorry. WHAT THE HELL ODB? WHY DIDN'T THEY FIX YOUR TEETH FOR YOU MAN?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

And I'm out!

After some serious consideration, I made the decision to no longer be associated with, or contribute to, the AfroGeeks blog. It has turned into something that is symptomatic of the web-verse: fruitless animosity. AfroGeeks started damn near two-years ago after Ayize and I attended a tribute to the late Octavia E. Butler. An icon of Black SF was no longer with us, and (I’ll only speak for myself) felt the need to celebrate her contribution to my life, and the lives of other AfroGeeks and Alterna-blacks. It was really important to me that we had a voice in these genres (SF/fantasy/horror/etc.) that we loved so dearly, in any medium: from comic books to television. I wanted a place where, if we couldn’t all meet in person, at least we could respond to each other in cyberspace. And you kind folks responded in such great ways.

The commentary was lively and hilarious—on both sides—and the divergent personalities of Ayize and myself made for a good cross-section of viewpoints. Then things changed a bit on both sides. Critique became snarky while what was supposed to be community building became a bit divisive. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have been too overly optimistic that AfroGeeks would be a nice atoll in the sea of cyber bullshit. I’ll own my naiveté. It would be easy to defend this shift by hiding under the aegis of “that’s how the world is.” Like we aren’t a part of the world. I wanted this spot to be better than the world. And now I realize that that idea was a bit much to pin on a little blog.

Maybe I’m being too overly sentimental (read as soft) but I really wanted AfroGeeks to be THE destination for people like myself—to be able to discuss our favorite stuff without having to worry about the sometimes-ridiculous task of being a Black person in this society. I also wanted folks to get together and create their own stuff, no longer having to eat the crumbs of Joss Whedon’s table or suck at the entirely too-old teat of George Lucas. Basically, I wanted this blog to be the harbinger of a new Black genre aesthetic. Milestone comics was a long time ago and I wanted that same fire to be applied to movies, comics, video games, and puppet shows (which I’m putting the finishing touches on). Hell, I wanted a fucking revolution, but it didn’t happen.

A while back, I started to remove some of my older posts because I wasn’t feeling how the blog was going. Then I got inspired, but my inspiration wasn’t enough. Reading some of the commentaries, and the responses to them coming from this end…that shit disheartened me. So I slowed my contributions and focused on other projects. And now it is time for me to focus all of my energies in a new direction and try my hand at my own personal revolution.

My change of heart came about because of a few personal, yet beautiful, incidents in my life and also my desire to not be so damn confrontational or defensive. I’m just trying to chill. So, as K-OS said, it’s time for me to exit. But you’re in good hands.
Ayize seems to have a real passion for this and I will enjoy reading his future posts…and your commentary. Well, some of the commentary.

I hope folks start to create more genre stuff because I like to consume as much as I like to create.

Be good and be good to each other. Hope to see you all at WonderCon.

Shawn Taylor

Sunday, January 06, 2008

I'm mad as hell...and the Price is right made me that way

Ideal music for reading this post:

If you can find the black Sun Empire track that starts with the famous Network sample above. Much as I love hearing old white men pissed off, it sounds better with the drum and Bass behind it.

Ok so during this academic break I’ve been getting up later and going to the gym. Different crowd, same sweat. Not much difference in the working out demographic, but different stuff on the tele for sure. For the infrequent reader I pretty much sacrificed my first born tv to the literary gods and have been reading and writing up a storm ever since. My only exposure to regular tv is at the gym. And at around 11 in the afternoon they have this show on which is basically a bunch of speed freaks doing the weirdest shit just for a chance to earn some gaudy ass prizes. It’s called the Price is right.

Now understand folks, I’m about twenty five paces away from the misanthrope line as is. If there were a way to be advocating for the apocalypse without joining any particular religion, I’d be there. If God came down right now and said “Fuck it, you’re all going the way of the dodo bird.” And somebody said “But why god?” I’d smack them with pictures of starving babies in one hand and Las vegas in the other and prepare for divine annihilation. In my view humanity has only a few redeeming characteristics that make us worthy of survival, and those traits are being eroded day by day. None of those traits are found on the Price is right.

First and foremost, how dare the Reagan/Bush oligarchy tell me to not do drugs growing up while allowing that show to stay on the air. I’m sorry, but no one gets that excited over a fucking washing machine. And if they do, then its called a fetish and they need to see someone about that. I never watched the price is right before. My mom and grand mom used to, but that was just my time to go and read comics. It’s ridiculous. Alien cultures will descend/ emerge being willing to converse with us as though we were all on equal intellectual footing, then see the Price is right and erupt in alien gut laughing at how easy it will be to dominate us . “Just give them prizes M’kknc, and watch how they dance.” One will say to the other.
Slightly more seriously is the Valorization of disposable income this show promotes. One of the contest I saw was nothing more than guessing the correct prices of crap you don’t need. And if you one then you got to spin a wheel for a dollar in order to get to the final showcase showdown. And once you get there then you compete against one other person for more crap you don’t need. The best of which is of course…A NEW CAR! The show has been on since 1972 according to, and I can totally see the Soviet union using that show as a prime example of the “Problem of the decadent West”. No doubt Al-queda is doing the same. Since when is knowing the price of things knowledge enough to get you those things? Aren’t games supposed to provide chances to hone essential or desired skills? Aren’t prices of consumer products in large part left up to the will of the profit makers? I know, I’m a communist.

To be fair, I never listen to the show. The monitors sit above me in the gym like the great square demi-gods demanding their sweat sacrifice while I tune into my new gym playlist (see below), so aside from the closed captioning and my paltry lip reading through my watery gaze, I don’t know what they are saying. All I know is I look at the Price is right and I see what’s wrong with America.
“Who cares?” I hear you asking. “Stop picking on tan innocent tv show, ya freaking afrogeek. It’s not important.”

Here’s why it is important in one word, hegemony. The price is right, the young and the restless, gossip girl, all this shit is the norm, coming from a long line of culturally vapid elites. Meanwhile The wire is starting its last season tonight. Put it together, Someone could have been born and raised a child watching The price is right. The wire only gets five seasons. Why? No cultural dominance. We’re so happy to see complex people of color stories that we revel in the one story and allow it to exist in a contemporary desert, searching for others like itself. Meanwhile The price is right contestants are given free samples of Phen-phen then told by the voice of God to “Come on down” and guess how much the American psyche should go for on the open market.

Fighting the Toby complex workout mix

Lionrock, packet of peace-The chemical brothers
My street-Muderbot
Are you ten years ago-Tegan and Sara (Don't ask, but twenty something twin teenage lesbians make me want to run faster)
Dig a hole-Jay-z
paper planes-M.I.A.
Hustlin-Rick Ross (Blame Kat Williams)
Jungle brothers (Aphrodite remix)-Jungle brothers
Work it, extended remix-Missy Elliot
coke and Wet-Spankrock
YOu'll find a way-Santogold
We be clubbin-Ice Cube and DMX
The knock-U.N.K.L.E.
Party like a rockstar remix-Shop Boyz
Till I collapse-Eminem
Got your money-ODB
Duppy Durex-Mr. Vegas
Simon says Pharoahe Monch
This is why I'm hot (Jamaican remix)-mims, Baby Cham, Junior reid
shakiyla-Poor righteous teachers
Stand up-Ludacris
I'm so hood Dj Khaled
Broke Niggas!-Turf Talk
dumb it down-Lupe Fiasco
release yo delf-Method man from the 187 soundtrack
Fiddle with the volume (Ghislain remix-Lady Sov
Sirens (Chase and status remix)-Dizzee rascal

Beware the Mp3, coming to you soon

Friday, January 04, 2008

Lenoardo dicaprio is Willie Lynch!..just kidding

Let me start with a clarifying point. I am not a positive black man. I do not buy Bean Pies. I don’t own Dashikis. I am not Mr. Super black. Arrested development is my current favorite tv show, seconded only by Angel/Buffy. My favorite dish is goat cheese pesto lasagna (My secret ingredient is lemon soaked eggplant), and yes, I date stringy haired white women. I am no thug, but I do not run from that street shit some seem scared of. That does not make me positive, only a survivor of the cracked out streets of Harlem circa 1980-1990. My point is that I make no claims of authenticity about negritude, it is a tedious claim at best.

However, I was raised by authentic hardcore intellectual activist negroes. And while I may be a disappointment to them, I learned some of their lessons well. To wit: How to make a slave by Willie Lynch is completely and totally false! NO for real! I know everyone from Wu-tang (By the by the pretty Toney album is like self help for former thugs, purchase it ya’ll) to Talib Kweli. If you are a black person in the US, no doubt you heard or were even possibly raised with the myth of some white slave owner who documents the breaking of the negro spirit in order to fashion a competent docile field hand. I rank this tale among one of the greatest science fiction stories ever produced for black audiences, in part of its near universal appeal , not to mention its humanistic view of slavery; In my mind the notion that people have to be taught to abuse and denigrate others speaks of a natural ignorance I simply don’t believe human being possess.

Be that as it may, continue to dance with me on the point that the willie lynch narrative is a total fiction (By the way, if anyone knows of any thesis work that examines the multiple Lynch narratives please send it my way). Ok so this non positive negro(myself) goes to the movies yesterday to fulfill familial obligations and checks out The great debaters. By and large the movie does not offend. The best twenty seconds was no doubt Denzel's verbal sparring with preacher ghost dog. Shut up, I know his name, but he'll always be ghost dog to me. I am an old time fan of Denzel and so I watch and enjoy…except for the woman casting her affirmations “Umm-hmm!” and her aspersions “Now you know that’s not right”, in her outside voice, directed at the screen while sitting behind me. Yet and still, I remain clam…UNTIL THE WILLIE LYNCH B.S is cited in the film by Denzel! Come on, Denzel, Oprah! Get with it. It’s the 21st century, we can’t be quoting lies about black people to black people in movies anymore!

The point of all of this is simple: Oprah and Denzel are not the king and queen of all black people and the word lynching did not come from a slave owner named Willie Lynch. And my resident niggerologist agrees with me. I’m happy to take on any challengers about this one, so long as you come at me with more than something you found on the internets.