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Saturday, August 31
[ from George, yet another discussion about the infamous Joe Boxer commercial ] :

T&A commercials are stupid. Yes, they work. But still. I don't know if the ad agency that thought up this idea was thinking about race-specific caricatures. (Uh, to my ad-agency peoples who read this site? How often do you think about race-based caricatures?) You know what I loved? I lovedlovedloved that black guy walking past the window and making faces at the new iMac in the store window. I am seeing a smiling and dancing black man in his boxers, and I am feeling ... shame. More on this later.

It has generated a generous debate with most posters dissin' the spot. My initial reaction was one of "huh?" Never did racism, coonin', buck-dancing or stupidity enter in my thoughts. I still say sometimes a commercial is just a commercial. Even Oliver agrees with me. Maybe I'll have more on this.

* * * * * * * * *

* the following stolen from inspired by George's above post

ronn: Baby, even George doesnít like the commercial.
W-C: Who?
ronn: George.
W-C: ...
ronn: George! The copyeditor in Cali?!
W-C: OK. Do you have the link for the commercial?
ronn: Ummm...
W-C: You showed it to me before, remember?
ronn: *in a low voice* Try George's site.
W-C: *quickly types Youpi Key macro for George*
ronn: ...
W-C: *clicks on link; plays video*
ronn: ...
W-C: *plays video again, smiles*
ronn: ...
W-C: *plays video a third time, smile widens*
ronn: I change my mind, itís a goofy commercial!
W-C: Huh? *plays video a fourth time*
W-C: *drool forms at the corners of his mouth*
ronn: Ahem!
W-C: Whatís his website again?
ronn: *lying* I donít remember!
W-C: aboutvaughn.com, right?
ronn: ...

Friday, August 30
Tony's lie about Baltimore: "yeah, it's nice here."

Many of the neighborhoods are quite spectacular. And then, a block over, it's downright slummy. It's a lot like Harlem in this way.

Sounds a lot like my old neighborhood, Prospect Heights. The Main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, Grand Army Plaza and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden just around the corner, but crackheads down the block, used condoms littering the sidewalk every morning and 24-hour bodegas every 1-1/2 blocks.

Tuesday, August 27
[ From George Kelly, again! ;-) Part of his Headphone Project, Pt. 5 ] :

Donald says: I'm wearing Sony MDR-E827 Sports Earbuds (which are surely discontinued) and am listening to Petals: The Minnie Riperton Collection (by Minnie Riperton, of course) and Paradigm by Osunlade.


Ernie's going to be on TV!

So, remember how I auditioned to be on The Weakest Link a year ago? And then again six months later? Well, I'm picking up my friend David up from the train station when I get a call on my cellphone...

Go read the entire entry then wish him mucho luck...like now!

Still in lazy/busy mode. So instead of my usual half-assed "content," I'll continue to point to posts and stories of interest from others.

[ From George Kelly of allaboutgeorge.com ] :

Washington Post: No Rest for African Burial Ground

Two centuries ago, mapmakers noted a Negro burial ground in lower Manhattan, near the site of today's City Hall. Yet federal officials were surprised in 1991 when, at that precise spot, construction workers excavating for a proposed federal building began unearthing intact burials -- skeletal remains, grave goods and remnants of coffins. The site was part of a five-acre 18th-century cemetery that historians believe held the remains of as many as 20,000 people.

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, an independent federal agency, immediately advised the General Services Administration to develop a plan to preserve the site's historic value. But GSA officials, worried about costly delays, initially declined to modify the construction schedule. Instead, the GSA accelerated the excavation and in a year's time had unearthed more than 400 skeletal remains.

In the meantime, New York's Black community accused the government of desecrating sacred ground and mishandling the remains, some of which were wrapped in newspaper. A scientist gingerly handling one burial would later discover that the words "New York Post" had transferred onto a skull.

Outraged by the long ass delay? Contact Dr. Sherrill D. Wilson, Director of The office of Public Education and Interpretation of the African Burial Ground Project at 212-337-2001 or 212-337-1447 fax. The GSA funds this office.

New York City has a forgotten African Burial Ground in Queens: The Bunn Cemetry. A 19th-Century burial place, old records indicate this plot was used as an African-American burial ground, most prominently for the Bunn family. Pan-Africanists and other "radicals" want the park on top of the burial ground removed, a plaque installed acknowledging the historic site and a promise that it won't be desecrated again in the future.

I hope they don't hold their collective breath.

Monday, August 26
[ Zizka's dead-on advice/thoughts for the prospective Liberal Arts degree-go-getter ] :

Some years back a sociologist friend of mine told me about a study of why people went to college. None of the reasons given (economic, cultural, etc.) quite explained what was happening. There were too many exceptions, and no matter how you cut it, some students ended up going to college for no apparent reason. His conclusion was that going to college after high school is an "institution" -- like marriage for example. And one of the definitions of "institutions" is that you don't have to give any reason for them except that "everyone does it".

This reminds me: I'll post my personal essay, I Am So Not a Secretary, one of these days. *sigh*

[ link via Laura, 26 Aug 02 ]

Sunday, August 25
[ from Uppity Negro/Aaron ] :

See the Racial Segregation Statistics for Cities and Metropolitan Areas if you're into that whole objective data thing. Before the Racial Privacy Initiative types shut 'em down.