Monthly Archives: August 2008

Obama 2008 DNC Speech

Sometimes, I really just have to put aside my cynicism and marvel at the power of a skilled orator. Despite all of my frustrations with the Democratic party and Obama himself, you can never say that he doesn’t know how to deliver a damn good speech; the man is a seriously gifted speaker. Those skills were on display at the final night of the DNC, where Obama gave his speech accepting the Dem’s nomination to run for President, the first Black candidate to ever do so.

I was really feeling how he emphasized that: “This race was never about me, it was about you and what’s happening all across America…Change doesn’t come from Washington, it comes to Washington.” I actually take that message as a rallying cry for us in the social justice movement. We’ve seen how much the Democrats cave in to conservative demands, it’s the nature of our rigged two-party duopoly in 2008 America. However, if he gets in office and we organize our communities to demand progressive action, my hope is that this man would listen. At the same time, we should be doing the same thing with our city council people, county people, state people, etc. Even Lyndon Johnson, a conservative southern good ‘ol boy, had to sign the Civil Rights Act into law because people were taking it to the streets and demanding action from the government.

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Governor Charles?

Interesting interview with Sir Charles at the DNC the other day, in which he mentioned his interest in possibly running for governor of Alabama. I liked how he talked about being a registered Independent, how the two parties are so corrupt, and how he would really like to run as an Independent. Anyone who’s talked to me throughout the election circus this year knows how fed up I am with the Democratic party.

I was always under the impression that Charles was a Republican, so I looked at his wikipedia entry and was pretty surprised about the details of his politics. In his words:

“I was a Republican until they lost their minds, “The word ‘conservative’ means ‘discriminatory,’ practically. It’s a form of political discrimination. What do the Republicans run on? Against gay marriage and for a war that makes no sense. A war that was based on faulty intelligence. That’s all they ever talk about. That and immigration. Another discriminatory argument for political gain.

“…I’m serious. I’ve got to get people to realize that the government is full of it. Republicans and Democrats want to argue over stuff that’s not important, like gay marriage or the war in Iraq or illegal immigration… When I run – if I run – we’re going to talk about real issues like improving our schools, cleaning up our neighborhoods of drugs and crime and making Alabama a better place for all people.”

Interesting. He apparently has publicly announced running for governor in 2014 as an Independent, again citing his frustration with conservatives and Republicans, calling them “fake Christians.” When asked to elaborate, he said:

“Well, I think they — they want to be judge and jury. Like, I’m for gay marriage. It’s none of my business if gay people want to get married. I’m pro-choice. And I think these Christians — first of all, they’re supposed to be — they’re not supposed to judge other people. But they’re the most hypocritical judge of people we have in this country. And it bugs the hell out of me. They act like they’re Christians. And they’re not forgiving at all.”

A conservative guy who is pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, against the Iraq War, doesn’t really think illegal immigration is a big deal, and wants to improve schools? Interesting. Charles does commentary for NBA games at the TNT studios in Atlanta, so I always expect to see him walking around downtown sometimes. Haven’t seen him yet, but I’m definitely going to keep an eye out for his possible gubernatorial run.

C-SPAN is the Truth: Kucinich @ DNC

I first saw this video posted at Rage’s blog, Down on the Brown Side. His blog is awesome and I highly recommend folks check it out to see what this conscious brother is thinking and doing in NYC.

That being said, Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich’s speech a couple days ago at the DNC was the shit. I was so sick of all the pundits on CNN talking about how “no one was firing up the crowd” on the same day that Kucinich gave this speech. See how fired up the crowd gets when you give them a progressive populist message? That’s because those are the kind of politics that the people are hungry for in these bleak times. And yet, the Dems continue to move to the right in an attempt to appeal to everyone (I was really not inspired by Joe Biden’s Cold War-esque jabs at Russia and China and his call to send tons of troops to Afghanistan in his speech last night). As one of the last staunchly progressive voices in the Democratic party, I hope that Kucinich doesn’t continue to get marginalized by his own party.

Also notice how Kucinich’s speech was only televised on C-SPAN, which brings me to my next schpeal. You don’t hear this too much on The Cheddar Box, but God bless this old white guy:

Who is this old white guy, you ask? That’s Brian Lamb, the founder and CEO of C-SPAN. I’ve come to appreciate C-SPAN more and more lately because of its position as a television station airing nonstop coverage of government proceedings and public affairs programming that is unedited, uncensored and commercial free. According to it’s wikipedia entry:

Uncommonly for a television network, C-SPAN is operated as a non-profit organization by the National Cable Satellite Corporation, whose board of directors consists primarily of representatives of the largest cable companies. C-SPAN accepts no advertising; instead, it receives nearly all its funding from subscriber fees charged to cable and DBS operators. Contrary to popular perception, C-SPAN receives no funding from government sources.

In its early days, cable companies tried to replace C-SPAN with revenue-producing channels. As stated above, C-SPAN is funded by the cable industry; thus, the industry loses money airing C-SPAN. However, C-SPAN had developed somewhat of a “cult following” among political junkies and citizens who had always wanted to see what was really happening with their elected officials. Avid C-SPAN viewers often refer to themselves as “C-SPAN Junkies,” “SPANners,” or “Spanheads”.

Over time, the cable companies and the general public realized that C-SPAN provided a desired and much needed public service; a “window” into the operations of Congress. C-SPAN has never had the ratings of major networks, but it has a devoted following.

It’s crazy to me that in the hyper-capitalist cable industry that is so centered on ad revenue, there is a space for politics that is unedited, commercial free, and paid for by the cable industry itself! That means C-SPAN’S existence actually loses money for the industry, but they keep it going because the people demand it. Bananas. So even though I might not always be glued to my seat while watching a four hour session of the joint House and Senate Printing committee, I appreciate knowing that if I really wanted to, I could watch it on C-SPAN.

Chop Shop

Just saw the film Chop Shop, written and directed by Ramin Bahrani. It was real dope on some slice of life, everyday struggle of folks trying to get by on the streets of NYC type shit. I’m really feeling Bahrani’s visual style, and the kids in the main roles straight kill it.

Ramin Bahrani is an Iranian American filmmaker who also did another film called Man Push Cart that I also dug (but it’s a little more emo than Chop Shop).

Protesters give it to Fox “fair and balanced” @ DNC & more protests

Sometimes, I got love for anarchist hippy White folks. Especially when they protest at the DNC loudly to chants of : “Fuck Fox News/Fascism/The Police!” Even though they often want to cause a ruckus solely for the sake of causing a ruckus and wear arrests as a badge of honor, I’m glad there is a leftist protest presence at the convention. I’ll bet there are some activists of color sitting in the background letting all the White folks get arrested, looking at the police like “ya’ll ain’t killin’ me!”

Vodpod videos no longer available.

John Legend Feat. Andre 3000 – Green Light [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

This song GOES (I’m a sucker for pop RnB/Soul). I love how Andre’s verses lately sound like he’s not even trying, but never sound like he’s not trying, feel me?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

W

I don’t know what to make of Oliver Stone’s flick, W, which is supposed to detail Dubya’s rise from fuck up to the white house. It’s being released in October, just in time for the presidential election in November. Josh Brolin was a boss in No Country for Old Men, and I hope we get to see him deliver classic Bushisms like:

  • “To the C students I say, ‘You too can be president of the United States,”‘ (at the 300th commencement of Yale University.)
  • “Is our children learning”
  • “You misunderestimated me”
  • “It will take time to restore chaos”

How sad is it that we might be able to tell our kids one day that we lived through the worst president ever?