America Gets a Post-Racial: The Legacy of Lee Atwater

Posted by Charles Reece, August 30, 2009 10:03am | Post a Comment
The latest issue of The London Review of Books has an excellent essay, "What Matters," by Walter Benn Michaels (author of The Trouble with Diversity). In analyzing the recent arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Michaels answers my fellow blogger Eric's question of "who's black?" with another, more telling question: "who's poor?." To wit:

Gates, as one of his Harvard colleagues said, is ‘a famous, wealthy and important black man’, a point Gates himself tried to make to the arresting officer – the way he put it was: ‘You don’t know who you’re messing with.’ But, despite the helpful hint, the cop failed to recognise an essential truth about neoliberal America: it’s no longer enough to kowtow to rich white people; now you have to kowtow to rich black people too.


In the US, one of the great uses of racism was (and is) to induce poor white people to feel a crucial and entirely specious fellowship with rich white people; one of the great uses of anti-racism is to make poor black people feel a crucial and equally specious fellowship with rich black people. Furthermore, in the form of the celebration of ‘identity’ and ‘ethnic diversity’, it seeks to create a bond between poor black people and rich white ones. So the African-American woman who cleans my office is supposed to feel not so bad about the fact that I make almost ten times as much money as she does because she can be confident that I’m not racist or sexist and that I respect her culture. And she’s also supposed to feel pride because the dean of our college, who makes much more than ten times what she does, is African-American, like her. And since the chancellor of our university, who makes more than 15 times what she does, is not only African-American but a woman too (the fruits of both anti-racism and anti-sexism!), she can feel doubly good about her.

In the words of our first "post-racial" president's speechwriters, it's the economy, stupid (or, rather, the racially stupid economy -- even its staunchest proponents this side of Ayn Rand will tell you that capitalism is amoral). As the harbinger of racial peace through commercial success, a prescient Arsenio Hall managed to signify our current climate through one particular performance that bridged the old racial divide in popular culture, that of the poor black's blues and the poor white's country:

Continue reading...

Solid Gold! Interview with David Lynch

Posted by Charles Reece, August 29, 2009 07:18pm | Post a Comment
My pal Kyle and I had a chance to interview the best living director. Here 'tis:

Stick around for the credits; the Amoeba film crew did a beautiful job making it.

One Last Thing About August ...

Posted by Whitmore, August 29, 2009 02:14pm | Post a Comment

Now that August is basically over, here is my last chance to mention that it’s been National Catfish Month across this great, chowing-down, eater’s paradise of ours. Back in the late 1980s, the month of August was officially designated by mysterious entities as National Catfish Month. Today, seafood consumption in the United States exceeds 4.9 billion pounds annually and more catfish is now produced on a yearly basis in the United States than all other farmed fish combined. Personally, I’ll eat Catfish any way you serve it: blackened, broiled, grilled, poached or pan fried. At one time catfish was regarded as only a Southern staple. Times have changed. Diners nationwide have doubled their waistlines and their per capita consumption of Catfish since 1986, becoming the fourth most popular fish served in the United States.
Another thing, ninety-four percent of all Farm-Raised Catfish harvested in this country is from family-owned farms; many of these growers are second or third generation farmers. Today, the farm-raised Catfish industry employs more than 13,000 people and contributes more than $4 billion to the economy of states like Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Louisiana.
Catfish is also a lean fish and is an excellent source of protein, low in saturated fat and is a moderate source of polyunsaturated (the good) fat and omega-3 fatty acids. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, moderate fish consumption -- one to two meals a week -- may cut the risk of sudden cardiac death in half.
Anyway, why am I writing about catfish? Sometimes between art and movies and music you have to eat, and it might as well be something that isn’t absolute crap. Here is a great recipe from The Catfish Institute. So, throw on some good music (personally I’d go more old-school, maybe some Clifton Chenier), open up the right bottle of beer, maybe an Abita Amber, and enjoy some Catfish with a spicy fireworks rub. Bon Appetit!
Catfish with Spicy Fireworks Rub
Serves 4, this recipe makes enough spice rub to keep in your pantry and use many more times throughout the grilling season. (Sidenote: You can store the fireworks rub in a dark cupboard, away from heat; it will keep for two to three months.)
¼ cup (50 mL) chili powder
¼ cup (50 mL) ground cumin
¼ cup (50 mL) ground coriander
2 tbsp (30 mL) packed brown sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) salt
1 tbsp (15 mL) red pepper flakes
2 tbsp (30 mL) freshly ground black pepper
4 U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish fillets, 6 to 8 oz (180 to 250 g) each
Preheat grill or broiler to high.
To make fireworks rub, mix spices in a bowl and spoon into a glass jar with tight-fitting lid.
Spray both sides of each catfish fillet lightly with vegetable oil.
Sprinkle 1 teaspoon (5 mL) of fireworks rub (or adjust to your taste) on each lightly oiled catfish fillet. Grill or broil over high heat for 3 ½ to 4 minutes per side or until the fish begins to flake when tested with a fork in the thickest part.
By the way, here’s some Skip James, “Catfish Blues,” and the great Clifton Chenier.


Posted by Billyjam, August 29, 2009 01:24pm | Post a Comment
Napalm Clique: Unity & Trevor "Shining (Michael Jackson Hip Hop Tribute)" (2009)

Today, August 29th 2009, marks what would have been Michael Jackson's 51st birthday. To celebrate the date and the legacy of MJ and the King of Pop's music there are numerous parties planned for this day in various cities, including San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles.

In LA tonight QuestLove of the mighty Roots (who killed it the one time I saw them play live at Amoeba Hollywood two years ago -- see pics here) is overseeing the Remember the TIme special MJ birthday party tonight with a three hour set along with DJs Vikter Duplaix, Rashida and Loslito at The Church in downtown LA. The party starts at 10pm and goes til 4am. 21+ $20 admission or $15 if you send an RSVP message here by 6pm. The Church is located at 606 E. 6th St. at the corner of Crocker, and one block east of San Pedro.

In San Francisco tonight at Yoshi's A-List Musiq Circle & Mohogany Events are presenting what they have dubbed "The Official Bay Area Michael Jackson Birthday Celebration" with music by Rick & Russ Show. The event is an after party for the sold out Mint Condition show also at Yoshi's.   Those with ticket stubs from that show get a $5 discount on the $10 admission tag. Doors 9:30pm. Party til 2am. Yoshi's is located at 1330 Fillmore Street. Also tonight at 9pm at The Madrone at 500 Divisidero in San Francisco there will be a screening of the new MJ tribute video above by Naplam Clique's Unity and Trevor that was directed and edited by Trevor Parham for Eklectyk Creative Media and includes the MJ eulogy speech by the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Continue reading...

La Belle Rouge: Japanese pop merveilleuse Kanon Wakeshima casts a spell on Amoeba SF...

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, August 29, 2009 01:04pm | Post a Comment

kanon wakeshima performs live at amoeba music san francisco


Japanese pop cellist and chanteuse Kanon Wakeshima's instore appearance at Amoeba San Francisco was anything but typical. Performing a short set that included a few moments in which she explained her interests in preciously accented English and a dance prelude where she impersonated a mechanical doll come to life, Wakeshima graced the stage, flanked by a enraptured frenzy of devoted admirers, clad in an ensemble that suggested, or rather enhanced, the overall vibe of her music: a black kimono with puffed sleeves (the likes of which Anne "of Green Gables" Shirley would have frothed jealously over) topped with a raised, Elizabethan-esque ruffled collar, detailed at the hem with a volcanic red pattern-play à la Nipponisme. From beneath this romantic, east-meets-west hybrid of a cloak spilled a crimson confection of a cinched waist giving way to flowing skirts trimmed in endless ruffles and princess frills. One could see among the many avid onlooker's faces varied swooning expressions of delight, esteem and joy for miss Wakeshima as she danced, coaxed song after song from her cello-friend and sang enthusiastically from her frame of burnt caramel-colored ringlet curls. It was, in a word, very Disney in feeling, albeit Disney after dark.
kanon wakeshima performs at amoeba san francisco
Judging by the inspired fashion choices showcased by many of her fans at her instore show, Wakeshima, and her maker --- mysterious and reclusive musician/producer/fashion-designer/rockstar
Mana, are lending a rather substantial hand in popularizing the Gothic Lolita fashion movement, a phenomenon that is said to have been started by Mana here in the states. (In fact, last week one of Japan's most famous houses of GothLoli fashions, "Baby, the Stars Shine Bright," opened a flagship store here in San Francisco's Japantown ~sugoi!) Add to that the current trend of Vampire-centric fantasy fictions and the long-standing popularity of anime, in this case a very popular with the ladies anime series entitled Vampire Knight, which features Wakeshima's single "Still Doll" as the closing theme, and voila! You've got yourself a pop culture force to be reckoned with. 

BACK  <<  1331  1332  1333  1334  1335  1336  1337  1338  1339  1340  1341  1342  >>  NEXT