Wednesday, December 31, 2003

I feel pretty bad that I did not buy this comic when it was in print. I always wait for the trade in my defense, but now that this comic is out of print and isn't being reprinted, I feel a bit down. At least Abel has the good sense to put the issue up on the net instead of letting people get ripped off by dumbass comics stores that still have that old tired collector's mentality. I'm sorry, but charging overinflated prices for old books is what keeps them in the boxes and out of people's hands. People shouldn't wonder why their old stock moulders if they are still playing on the old 'rip off the fans' mentality.
I'm torn on this issue. On one hand, I know that teachers should protect students, even if they are blatantly asking for an ass whupping. On the other, I like to have the little douchebag slapped hard a few times, and maybe kicked in the nuts. This nativist bullshit gets old. We had it against the Germans, we had it against the Irish, we had it against the Chinese. I know he's still in high school, and not the brightest apple in the barrel, but dang, read a book instead of just spouting your daddy's racist views all the time.

In some real good news, here is a link to a apparel company that doesn't make stuff with slave labor, and uses American workers. W00t!

However, sometimes I feel that no matter my own failings, at least I'm smarter than the KKK. Of course, that's nothing to be proud of- that's like saying 'well, I pay my taxes!' or "well, I didn't beat my kids to death this year' not very high expectations all around.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

I have decided to join Sequential Swap. They set it up so people can swap their gently used graphic novels. Sounds like a good way to get some of that stuff out of the house, while getting new stuff for little to no money. Of course, I worry that I do not have many desirable books, but that'll be alright.
An interesting thought occurred to me yesterday. I noted that I had taken a Japanese class for two semesters, read some books about Japan, watched some anime and read some manga, and engaged various Asians in conversation, yet I do not believe that I know much at all about Japan. Contrast this with someone who has watched a movie about some black people once, so thinks he/she knows all about the complicated history of black folks, and you might notice why I get so irked by morons. Basically, the take home message is- don't assume you know.

Also, here's an article about how the American Dream is really the American Myth. People seem to think that hard work makes you rich despite the people working two and three jobs and still not making it, despite the fact our job market went south and many people are still not on the ladder. I worry even a BA isn't enough nowadays.

Monday, December 29, 2003

I've decided to sell a bunch of my old stuff on eBay. First, I am auctioning off three Card Captor Sakura DVDs. Buy them together, and I might give a discount on shipping.

Also, I am selling two MTT!(Magic User's Club) Tv DVDs.

Chance Pop Session DVD number one is also going.

Also, an authentic Wedding Peach CD.

All of this stuff is starting bidding at two and three dollars, so this could be a cheap chance for you to cute up your anime collection or to buy something for the anime fan you forgot this Xmas.
I have continuing performance anxiety about actually writing(blog entries don't count), so I will talk about magazines. I'd like to encourage magazine readers that if a magazine gets too ad full, too fluffy and too plain ignorant to cancel their subscirption and to subscribribe to a better magazine. Vote with your wallet to promote intellegent reading matter.

Also, here's a link for teachers about prejudice. So many people are asshats in regards to this topic. Maybe some of the people reading right now have heard of a guy saying 'all girls are golddiggers' because one girl was a skank or 'all blacks are lazy' due to watching a Tv show with biased imagery. I think that 5 or 10 people can not represent millions or billions of people. Especially not just five people you just said hi or bye to.

And now for some authentic good news! Black Commentator talks about people trying to bring healthy food to the ghetto. So get out there and revitalize a community! If everyone went and did a little extra, things would improve, I think. It doesn't have to be anything big- donate community garden food to the poor, go in and clean up a vacant lot, maybe volunteer in a soup kicthen. With the time people spend listening to AM radio or Fox news they could have cleaned up the country I think.
Man, look at the photos of this store! It's like my dream comic store- too bad it's all the way in California. I prefer clean, well stocked comics shops to dirty fanboyish ones.

Speaking of entrepenuership, here are the stores of two ladies who have decided to go into the health and beauty buisness. I am rather tempted by the low poo bar, myself., and I would like a black nerds unite shirt. wonder if the majority of women who become web entrepenuers go into the health and beauty or clothing buisnesses. It would be interesting to see a break down on that.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

I think I have linked to American Elf a million times. I just can't resist. It's a comic that makes you feel good, but not in a sappy way. There are cute moments and a cute art style, but not the over flowing river of glurge you often get from some comics. It's the kind of down to earth, but still positive thing that I just can't get enough of. Usually when you're looking for something that doesn't make you hate the whole human race, you get a bunch of unrealistic bullshit. Like this Christmas special my mom was watching. It was all about the magic of belief- and I'm thinking what has belief ever done for us? It hasn't fed any babies, it hasn't cured any one of anything, all it does is keep us sitting in the same damn place while the powerful folks fuck us over.

But little moments with family, now that I believe in. Not some sentimentalized idea of family, I mean your actual family- you know, the one's that screwed up and really annoying? The ones who drop in and draw all over your walls and eat all your food? Yea, that's what I believe in. Not some pansy ass idea that just believing in random shit, no matter the reality is going to get you anywhere.
An article about the mysogynistic comic artist Dave Sim. What I took away from the article is that while art is great and all, don't get too wound up in it or you'll go nuts. Of course, taking a shitload of LSD doesn't help your mental state either. So chill out, have some wine, raise a kid or two. It'll be cool.
I have finished The Way We Never Were, so I will attempt to review it. A bit about the book's politics first- while Coontz tries to portray herself as a moderate, often offering run downs of liberal and conservative takes on certain family issues, she takes a more liberal approach, seeing economic and social factors as things that cause certain family formations instead of moralizing or saying that the devil caused women to become single parents to defy god or something.

Basically, it was a pretty well written and informative book. Coontz succeeds pretty well in cutting through the hysteria with facts. The only area which I thought was a bit sensationalized was the one about the black family, but it's really hard for a white(?) author to accurately talk about it, and she did a pretty good job of not saying "well, those lazy blacks are inherently different and evil, that's why they have those alien family styles', but about talking about how history and economics intersect to cause problems. I really liked the approach she uses- talking about the historical background and the economic trends that cause certain family styles to be more adaptive is a lot more useful to my understanding than just screaming about how the family is falling apart.

All in all, I recommend this if you want to actually learn about the family rather than hearing self serving moralizing. Historical amnesia doesn't serve us well if we want to solve our problems.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

This review of Love and Rockets is great. Read the rest of the magazine too! I really like discovering new magazines that I haven't seen before- digging through the obscure ones, looking for one with real content. I wish I could subscribe to them all. I want to support people making words that can help us understand things, to give us a different perspective, and not have them buried under a million dull glossy magazines where even the articles are ads.

Friday, December 26, 2003

About Kwanzaa being 'made up'- all holidays are made up. Humans are the ones who say that this day or that day is significant. We are the ones that decided that Feburary 14th would be a holiday for lovers . We decided that we'd honor our mothers in May. In many other countries, children aren't dressed up every October 31st and sent around the neighborhood for candy. We create holidays by agreeing that the day is significant, and in what way to celebrate its significance. Nothing makes us celebrate a day for an idea or an event besides tradition, and you have to start a tradition for there to be one.

I know that much of the BS is just veiled racism- I mean, noone bicthes about Saint Patrick's Day- and someone had to decide on the date, and the manner of celebration. Humans created this celebration too. Of course, I think thinking about positive values is a bit better than drinking til you puke(I'm sure St. Patrick's Day originally had positive values, but nowadays mostly people just drink) , but that's just me.
There has been a lot of arguing on about whether relaxer or texturizer use is allowed to be talked about on the site. I'm a bit torn. On one hand, I'd like more people to learn that relaxers aren't good for you, that texurizers blow out kits and silkeners are just relaxers, and that the hair that grows out of their heads is perfectly acceptable. I mean, it must not be very good for your self esteem to think you need to 'fix' your hair.

On the other, folks just want to enjoy the site and talk about their nappy hair, not hear the ignorant comments of those who don't have clue one. There is a transitioners board for those who are growing their hair out before they cut it(perms are permanent- you can not reverse the straightening effect- that's why the hair must be cut) but some people bypass it.

The politics of hair are interesting to me. It seems strange to me that whole large amounts of people grow up thinking their hair is 'bad'. I remember I used to hate my hair, because it 'had' to be straightened unlike white people's hair. But now I like my hair. I merely disliked all the fuss with trying to change what it was. Being unable to scratch your head for a week and having scabs in your head, and having your hair always fall out would make a patient person grumpy.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Oh, and remember that Stanford is trying to research protein folding. Also, they want your computer processing power or something. It might not do anything or it might help someone discover a cure for Mad Cow disease. It's your computer processor, you decide.
You know, the bad part is that the world distinctly doesn't care if you're a good person or work hard or think happy thoughts. The even worse part is that people think it does. Some anti Christmas cheer to think on.
What I got for Xmas- I got Hana Yori Dango Volume 3, in which the soap opera madness gets even better. This manga takes the brutality of high school to its logical conclusion. I also got The Way We Never Were, a book that challenges the idea that all through American history the American family has been a man, a woman, their 2.5 kids and a dog who never depended on anyone outside the family(and especially not that evil gov't) for anything, and Forgotten Readers, a study of black literary societies before the Civil War. I also got earrings, a pen that is fancy, and a journal with a cloying picture of an angel. There was also a random pink and white makeup case given for no reason, and also, some money was given that I will invest into savings so I will have a stake. My plan is to save money so that I can either get a high ticket item like a car or save up for emergencies.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

I'd like to note that Slam Dunk is awesome and that everyone should go out and buy a million copies.
I wonder what to do with my crappy paintings. I like to paint, but due to my lack of actual talent, I can't paint anything recognizable/anything that isn't recognizable but just looks cool. However, I worry that it'd be a waste of materials just to toss them. Then again, if my mother finds them in the house(although now mostly I am in another city) my mom will hang them up, thinking that this is 'art'. I actually managed to persuade her to take down this horrible sun from the den- it looks just like a child's sun minus the smiley face, and contrary to the rules of good composition is smack dab in the middle of the canvas. She stuck it up in my room.
Go on gal! This woman has decided to promote her rosemary growth spritz over the internet. Web entrepreneurs are awesome, so I have linked to her site. Reminds me of this guy I know- went from selling his comic collection in the flea market to having his own shop. Sure, I don't like his shop, but hey, it's not like I know.

Monday, December 22, 2003

On a more cheerful note- the using a metal tin lid for a palette idea actually worked really well. I feel like talking about something I notice, but I don't know what it is called. I see it in my brother and his girlfriend talking about their friend who is returning from Guatemala to open up a free trade store. I see it in people hustling- selling caps and scarves on the internet, selling collards and watermelons off the back of trucks. I see it in girls boldly carving cucumbers in science fiction club, and artists attempting to project porn out of car windows.

I see it in psychics that come to dinner, and complain about their crazy covens, and cartoonists selling subscriptions to their comics online. I see it in people collaborating to make true porn comics over the internet, and women serving vegan soul food, and the women outside selling earrings.

It's like painters in Paris painting outside where the tourists can see them. It's like musicians playing gritty clubs every weekend. I'm sure it is like the grandma who creates a day care in her very home. I don't know what it is, but it makes me feel a whole lot better about life.
Now that I'm back at home, I get to see more local news. Such as the fact that my old high school was firebombed. Of course, they probably won't get much punishment for this. Sure, they were hopped up on cocaine, and could have seriously hurt someone with their asshattery, but the police have more important things to do like hassling minorities. It just seems that if you're rich(and being white gives you bonus points) committing a crime just isn't as likely to mess up your life. George W. Bush snorted some cocaine now and then and he's President. Even Al Gore's kid will get away with a ticket for his weed, not jail, and this certainly isn't the first time he's messed up.

People would find all sorts of pathologies if it was a black kid- oh, the black family is breaking down, oh if only the black community would pull itself up by the bootstraps- despite the fact that these kids were not getting any parenting at home obviously. In high school, if I had even thought of smoking tobacco let alone cocaine, my ass would have been grass. Yet these kids did cocaine and didn't have any thing productive to do besides make up plans to get revenge on the school. And their mom had the audacity to be like it was a mistake. Dude, a mistake is when I misspell a word, or when I paint blue when I wanted to paint orange. I simply can not conceive of a way that you can possibly mistakenly firebomb a school.

My message with this posting is that asshats come from all classes, all colors, all religions. Some are not worse than others. Whether it's the asshat black kid who smokes weed, the asshat Chinese kid who shoots folks, or the asshat white kid who firebombs the school, they are all asshats, and do not reflect on the larger character of normal people. Also, that you should freaking parent your kids. It's ridiculous that it can get to the point that they are taking hard drugs and firebombing schools without your knowledge. I know it takes effort, but if you don't want to do the work, tie your tubes, so the rest of us don't have to pay higher taxes.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Some people say Kurds captured Saddam first? Could be.

But onto more pressing matters- the church's Christmas program sucked. Instead of more logically having the program where it was free to get in, we got tons of food, there was action at all times, and there was plenty of dancing for all, we had a program in which we had to pay ten bucks, we got nutritionally correct servings of food, there was an hour lull, and the only entertainment we had at times was some little babies who really needed a spanking.

I had stupidly thought the program would be from 3 to 5, but no, we sat there til 7, and most of the program had to be cut, due to the fact that we spent hours sitting there, when they could have been performing. It wouldn't be so bad if it was free- I mean, doesn't charging ten dollars freeze out the poorer members of the church?

They could have at least used the money to donate to the community instead of having 17 Christmas trees. I'm glad I'm not religious, or I'd be really mad.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

It's good to see gym class trying to be something other than a social pecking order orderer. Teaching kids competitive sports tends to mostly show them the negative values- winning is everything, only one person gets anything, and it's not you. Teaching kids exercises they can do and enjoy shows more positive values- multi tasking- exercising and having fun, that exercise is something they can do, which promotes good health, everyone can have fun.

An interesting article about race. Read it. I especially like how it contrasts what whites think about race( those lazy blacks woke up one day and decided to be offended) and what blacks think(these racist whites woke up one day and are still racist) but I must warn you it does rather take the blacks' side.
Wallpaper of the WeekIt's time for the wallpaper of the week- courtesy of Wilde Home for Wayward Catgirls.

On Civility

Also, I think civility actually benefits our civilization. For example, it is profoundly less likely that I would be called the n word on the streets than it was in the past, and nothing bad has happened at all. In fact, I see no evidence at all that petty insults, rudeness,etc, makes for a better society. So why do we think having our children abused in the schools by future criminals is a good idea? Schools should prepare you for life, and part of life is learning to not be a giant asshole. This may be shocking to some, but the qualities required to not be a giant asshole are some you might recognize- self control, empathy, consideration for others, responsibilty for your own actions, inner strength, recognizing differences without treating people differently, controlling your temper, learning not to be jealous, getting what you want without hurting others.

However, it takes nothing to be a giant asshole.

Warm Hats

These hats look warm. Remember to support small buisness. They are the people scrambling up the ladder to make the day brighter. Mixed metaphor fun!

Friday, December 19, 2003

I have to admit that once you get used to a certain hair routine, it's hard to break it. I am used to being able to put some good goopy conditioner on, and comb through with my wide tooth comb, and then be able to twist up with my lock and twist gel. What I miss most is my wide tooth comb- it's really hard to put your hair into a protective style without parting and combing it through, and I really want to try flat twists or something like that since it's winter. All these spiky combs with their teeth too much together aren't getting it. My hair is knotted up already. I wanna trim!
This says everything I wanted to say about books versus movies much better than I could ever say it.
The Christian Science Monitor cheerfully reports on rising scores in urban schools. My opinion is that you need to challenge the students. Don't just let them do boring word finds all day - prepare them for a higher level. Of course, I think parents should do their part too. Educate your child- watch educational films with them instead of whatever is the latest thing that is being hyped to the skies, read them books, have children's educational magazines in the house, get books with math games in them. Your kid will thank you later. Even if your school is teaching to the test, if you supplment your kid's education, they'll be informed.

I would exhort parents to teach their kids about their own culture and the cultures of other people as well. History instruction doesn't tend to be too hot in the public schools from what I remember. If you're a black parent, your kid could go around knowing nothing about the history of blacks in America besides Martin Luther King and slavery.

Also, a personal thought- I really liked those American Girl books when I was a kid. I highly recccomend them for parents of little girls. They had very lively stories about girls in historical times, and a back section with lots of pictures and history about the time period. Of course, they hock a lot of other merchandise. I have an Addy doll from when I was into those books. It's a really well made doll too.
I feel like writing because it seems like a vocation, and a man needs a vocation. Maybe males need it more than females, what with gender roles and all, but each person probably needs to find a vocation or they'll be lost, I believe.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Black Commentator remarks on Dean's uplifting speech. An excerpt:

'In America, there is nothing black or white about having to live from one paycheck to the next.

Hunger does not care what color we are.

In America, a conversation between parents about taking on more debt might be in English or it might be in Spanish, worrying about making ends meet knows no racial identity.

Black children and white children all get the flu and need the doctor. In both the inner city and in small rural towns, our schools need good teachers.

When I was in medical school in the Bronx, one of my first ER patients was a 13-year-old African American girl who had an unwanted pregnancy. When I moved to Vermont to practice medicine, one of my first ER patients was a 13-year-old white girl who had an unwanted pregnancy.

They were bound by their common human experience.' - Howard Dean
Do you want the right to say something about blacks? I have been advocating the read a book or shut the heck up plan on several of my posts. Well, here's a more detailed explanation of this read a book or shut the heck up plan. And don't worry about being too busy- if you read just a page a day, you're ahead of the game.

First, the novice should start with fiction. Due to watching TV too darn much, and not using their critical thinking skills, many people have gotten the idea that blacks are a monolithic mass of semi literate gangsters. This is not true. To become accustomed to the idea that blacks are people too, a glimpse into the black psyche is needed, Start with the masters such as Ellison, Baldwin, Hurston, Morrison, and Wright. Literary fiction tends to be best, although while much 'urban fiction' is trash, and I wouldn't read it to be informed about the human experience, it's still better than the stereotypes on TV.

Second, history. To segue into this, some works that blend personal stories with history may be helpful. Roots and Black Boy are recommended. Roots shows that slavery wasn't all blacks and whites dancing on the plantation, whistling Dixie, for example. Black Boy is a seminal work, focusing on its author's hungry boyhood in the South, his disillusionment in the North, and even his brief Communist leanings. History helps you understand such questions as 'why is there segregation today?" 'why can't blacks just pull themselves up by the bootstraps?",etc. My poor recommendations would include Forgotten Readers, which talks about literary societies in the North before the Civil War, A People's History of the US(while not all about blacks, it includes some good material) and the Autobiography of Malcolm X, which talks about one man's involvement in radical movements.

The third is sociology. This informs you about on going problems. I still need more on this myself, but read some bell hooks, or maybe Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together... One book I found interesting, although technically not about blacks, is How the Irish Became White- this was interesting to me, because race is a bit arbitrary (for example, what race do you think this man is? Can you tell right off?) and learning about how it becomes defined is interesting. Also, since AP History, I had wondered how society went from disliking the Irish and considering them only slightly above blacks to liking them. This, of course, is only the beginning. There are many different paths you can take and many different interests you can peruse. Hopefully, through trying to learn about race, other things will start to interest you as well. One can become quite intellectual on a library card- let us all remember the example of Richard Wright, who became educated on a library card he sweet talked his co worker out of.

Also, this is not part of the original post, but is related- white america- this chick is being paid to lie to you. She is being paid to stir up race hate. Note that instead of blaming this guy for his own actions, she blames 'diversity' - hoping to lull you into thinking "I bet if diversity went away, reporters would be honest and all would be right again" Don't believe it! She's just using the scapegoat of Cajun -Native Americans to sell her shitrag of a newspaper. Being a woman, she's benefiting from 'diversity' too, but that doesn't sell as many newspapers.
On Tuesday night, I went to a midnight viewing of Return of the King. I'd like to warn you that I may spoil the movie for those who haven't read the book/seen the movie hereafter. I thought it was amazing- the special effects were spot on, but didn't override the drama of the film. For example, the ghost tribe(I've forgotten their real name) is shown in glorious special effects, but the movie does not become an effects movie- it retains its plot. I liked how near the end, Frodo and Sam remembered the Shire- because there was no scouring of the Shire in this film, it became even more important to remember what they almost lost. The movie had all the right things- despite a few too many flashbacks(do we really need a flashback of something we were shown 15 minutes ago?) and what I call 'trailer lines'- stuff like Aragon saying 'What does your heart tell you?" to Gandalf or Eowyn saying "I'm no man!". I don't know whether either of those lines ended up in the trailer, but those sort of hammy lines annoy me.

Also, a final reminder- please shut up in the theater! Two of my companions(while great people, with good foresight- buying the tickets early and getting to the theater two hours before was a good idea- we were in the front of the line, which was really long) talked a lot and it was pretty annoying- not every quip is funny, and not every semi exciting scene needs to be clapped at or shouted about. Then again, that just may be my movie preferences- I just like quiet, I guess, especially if I have never seen a film before.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Hip hop- the new minstrel show. I especially agree with the author about how Caucasians will be listening to more rap, and then be scared of black folk. I don't listen/watch this crap since I don't want people to see these negative images. Like it or not, most people are too ignorant and lazy to pick up a book, in which blacks are represented well. For every 'OMG! We have relationship problems' book, there is at least one book that shows a good picture, and even the OMG, relationship problems books don't deal as much in stereotypes because books make it easier to represent people as humans instead of as types. That's why I say people shouldn't get their information from TV and movies- it's really hard to deal with complexity in those mediums, it seems. Comics can deal with complexity, such as Lance Took's Narcissa, and also give a visual punch.

Although, something strange happened. I got a holiday e-card from Lance Tooks and I do not even know him. Strange.

Monday, December 15, 2003

While half doing my work(still figuring out bond angles) , I saw this great news- Tokyopop in Walmart. Some comics fans see a divide between manga and comics, but I see them as two ways of doing the same thing. So when I see this, I say "Awesome, more comics in the mainstream'. It may appear to be a fad for some, and maybe it is to some extent, but if even just a few people keep into comics, comics will have a whole new base of customers.

I used to be exclusively a manga fan before getting turned on to comics. The first American comic(besides Betty and Veronica) I picked up was Stuck Rubber Baby* and then I was hooked. I don't have much cash, but I love getting into the more indy of American comics.

Also, I think manga is good for American comics because it inspires people to start making comics. Sure, they may use the big eyed style, but they are still new comics creators, and some are quite talented. Comics can't go on with the same little fanbase of 30ish men- they are going to die off. So young blood is needed, and if it's achieved by giving people what they want, so be it.

*which is a beautiful work about a gay young man, and his apathetic involvement in civil rights- I like how he is like it'd be great if blacks got their civil rights, but isn't on fire over it. It's more realistic seeming than the heroic white liberal swooping in and saving all those poor blacks. I also like how the racist whites are drawn. They aren't all wearing KKK hoods, some just think 'oh, maybe those communists are making them feel discontent' or 'maybe the negro isn't as smart as us white folks, but we should still treat them as human beings' (not actual quotes) I like that because it allows the reader to understand that racism isn't just going around yelling 'damn n words' it also involves other attitudes.
I feel like studying for my chemistry final is futile. I'm not going to be able to learn any of this, especially not enough to use it on the test. Most of this stuff I can only do the problems in the book- for those who don't know, the problem sets are very different- in the book, they give you information you need to solve, on the test, they do not give you any of the stuff you need , or expect magical intuition out of nowhere- which of course, can not be taught. But I know I must study to feel better, but then again, it just seems like a waste of time- no amount of practice is going to make me able to do the problems. Math geniuses, shut up. I know you are able to get all the problems right by just looking at the book, so how is that supposed to help me? The problem is that you can't teach math without being good at it, and if you're good at it, you have a certain sort of brain, so you can't reach the rest of us. Of course, this works better if you're not a giant jerk, and avoid ridiculing people.

Also, a man giving a beautiful tribute to his fallen brother.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

A page that is actually anti bullying. I am so shocked I am linking. But I have to make myself suffer by 'studying' (feeling like shit) for my chemistry final that I am sure to fail. Anyway, I haven't done enough suffering to feel good about it either. At least two weeks of painful studying need to be undertaken for me to feel good about failing a test.

And while not suffering, I also like to read Invisible Adjunct. You know it's bad when you've had so much sunshine pumped up your ass that you're like YEA! GLOOM AND FUCKING DOOM FOR ONCE~!!

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Natural hair can grow long. Look at the last picture on the left. Yea, the text is a bunch of BS about how 'great' it is that these people paid them to 'fix' their hair(what most folks need to fix is their wallet, and it's not getting fixed paying $50-75 every six weeks), but I thought it was good to see a black girl with long natural hair, as many say that blacks can't grow long hair.

And here's a fun site dedicated to one woman's hair journey. I may try banding my hair - I've always wanted a cute little afro puff. Also, this site has tons of infomation- check out the myths and FAQs if curious.
Yesterday, I went to the perfect sort of party for me. First, it was a small group of people I mostly knew. I'm scared of strangers, slightly. If we're introduced, it's ok, but I get mixed up trying to think of things to say. Also, I don't feel comfortable around large groups of people- I find them much harder to approach and start talking. Second, it was not the type where people just sit around in a room- I like parties with party games(although in this instance we played Super Smash Brothers and Mario Party instead of say...Parcheesi) . I feel much more comfortable with speaking in the context of something done together instead of just popping out randomly with something. If I have to approach people, I find it much harder to talk. Also, the noise level wasn't too high. I feel like I can't talk above loud music.
Another thing that confuses me. When people say that people liking you doesn't matter. What world do they live in? Certainly not the world where you have to be super networked to even have hope of getting a job, certainly not in a world where they think populairiy contests wins on your resume mean anything. The next time you feel this sort of contradictory bull come out of your mouth, think about it. How can I hold two opposing ideas in my head at the same time? I don't know how people do it, but it's mighty strange.

Friday, December 12, 2003

I am still too tired to do my work, so I'll write something that's been on my mind. I think being racist distracts folks from their real problems. For example, for all their huffing and blowing about blacks, most of the whites doing the blowing don't live anywhere near a black neighborhood, have barely any blacks on their job, and have very few blacks at their college(for all their huffing and blowing about blacks getting in and blacks getting scholarships, they could have studied for the SAT and increased their score or actually done their work, and raised their GPA)

This interests me because it's just amazing to me that people would spend their time spouting off lies without doing any critical thinking whatsoever. To me, the truth is readily apparent- that blacks are like people all over- we have good folk who work hard, and we have bad folks who suck, and we have people who are in the middle, and people who lean both ways, and people who are sometimes one way and then the other. I guess having a scapegoat makes people feel better, but doesn't it make your real problems worse? While you're complaining about how blacks are this and that, rich people are outsourcing your job, they are laying folks off for more profit. If the people aligned with those rich folks could get no more money or votes off of your race hatred, the rich people wouldn't be stopped, but they'd be pretty well slowed down.

This amazes me- I know there's no big conspiracy to make people believe lies, just a bunch of groups working in their own self interest, but how some people consistently choose race hatred over their own well being is amazing to me. It's like the poor whites before the Civil War- they could have gotten higher wages without all that cheap slave labor, but they didn't do anything about it. Some people will say, this is not the past, but when you guys are ready to come into the future, I'll stop talking like it is. Because that sort of thinking is past thinking- thinking you are entitled to all the power, all the money, all the spots.

People may be like 'well, race doesn't matter',etc,etc. But they say that because they don't believe they are affected. Just because race doesn't make any sense biologically(I mean, it seems you can be up to 80% white, and still be thought black - that old one drop for people mixed a bit less recently ) doesn't mean our society isn't controlled by it. I think even whites are negatively affected because all the time and money spent hating and spreading lies about blacks could be used in improving the situations of whites.

Here is also a link by a Canadian talking about race in Canada. I have heard that in Canada that even old white ladies don't shy away from black men, despite them the descendants of Africans just the same as American blacks. However, I do not know if this is true. But then again, I heard it's not true. (read this link, it says a lot of things better than I can)

Thursday, December 11, 2003

I don't want to do my work, so I will blog. I encourage everyone reading this blog to undertake a public mental health project. Say nice things to others. Bite your tongue if you have useless judgments to make. (like don't go around talking about stuff people can't help, like a lisp or a limp)Try to listen to others and have some empathy. Don't spread gossip or rumors. Don't cause a problem and then yell at someone for having it. Think of it like environmental volunteering. You don't throw trash on the street or burn your car in the yard, do you? Then don't mess up our mental environment by being a judgmental prick. I admit that I have strong opinions, and entirely do not have any patience for racism, I mean read a book, damnit, but I don't go around putting down chubby folk or spreading rumors like many people do.
A homeless girl talks about how it feels like to be called homeless trash. I think it is a good idea to get stories from the people themselves instead of feeling smug in our heated homes after tucking away a big meal, and talking about what other people should be doing. Whenever I feel the impulse to judge a poor person, I remember my difficulties in chemistry- hard work does not necessarily mean reward. Not to mention, it's not like there is some magic that prevents me from getting a brain injury, tomorrow, even. Instead of talking big about how we would never be homeless, maybe we should attempt some compassion. Something is breaking down in our society, and we can't fix it unless we stop blaming and start working. And no, giving a can when you are guilted out of it by the Boy Scouts does not entitle you to pass judgment on others cruelly.
James Kochalka Ruins Xmas. Warning: a hint of breast feeding. Of course, this link will not be relevent in a day, because I don't know how to link to the individual comics, and I can't access the archives due to my lazy non paying behind.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

This link talks about bullying. An interesting tidbit is that bullies are more likely to be involved in rapes and assaults later in life. To me, that's a no brainer, because if you are taught that you're allowed to hurt people with no repercussions, and this is reinforced by experience, how are you going to get the message that hurting people is wrong? I would prefer that schools and parents were more aggressive about this, but it takes less work to demonize the kids being bullied and to make excuses for bullies, so I'm not holding my breath.
Here's a stanza of poetry to reflect on-

Before our mettle is tested
We easily consider ourselves strong
Before we see our children want
Not elaborate things
But a christmas bike or easter shoes
It's easy to say what should have been done

Nikki Giovanni, 'Gus (for my father)' The entire poem is in the collection Cotton Candy for a Rainy Day.

This is slightly related. Tim Wise turns the rape of the corpse of MLK back on some folks. I dislike people twisting the words of a great man to fit their own racist agenda. The same people misquoting King forget some of his important words. A paraphrase- we should learn to live together or perish together as fools. Wouldn't that condemn people who are bent on not sharing society with everyone else?

Monday, December 08, 2003

The article "On the relevance of Education for Black Liberation" has awakened some new thoughts in my mind. For those interested it is in the Summer 1978 (Vol 47, No. 3) issue of The Journal of Negro Education(why the journal had not or even, I believe has not changed its name is a mystery to me) on pages 266- 282, and authored by Joyce Williams and Ronald Ladd. It critiques the idea that formal education will cause equality by talking about the pay gap for blacks and whites who lived in the ghetto and got the same amount of education.(hopefully this has been rectified by now)and posits that black self education has been more helpful since it does not mean that blacks need to assimilate to white culture, and doesn't have the culture based judgments that formal education seems to. (if you don't have a big vocabulary, well, just use the dictionary, is a bit less limiting in life than you don't have a big vocabulary, you're shit for brains. )

I think that people of all cultures should self educate. Even us college educated people should always be trying to read and learn. We can't take in all we can or should know in a life time just by sitting in a classroom, although classrooms are helpful. We should take the initiative ourselves to be where we are supposed to be in the realms of knowledge. If we don't educate ourselves, anyone can lie to us, and try to say that's the truth. If we have the knowledge, we are not so easily swayed by every jackleg politician. So read early, read often,and read critically.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Here's an interesting site about Wicca, from the point of view of someone who seems to be annoyed with people who believe they are Wiccans for fashion. I don't know much about it, but while pretending that chanting words will make stop lights last for a shorter period of time might be fun (I read this 'spell' in a book by some chick named something ludricous like Silver WolfRavenMoon when I was 14 at a birthday party, so don't take this as a real comment about anyone's actual beliefs. ), you should try to figure out what you believe and not just be making a fashion statement or going along just because your parents believed that.

Also, here's an uplifting (NYTimes, registration required. Just put in fake info) story about a bunch of people really excited about Howard Dean. This is what I call authentic good news. A lot of upbeat stories seem forced to me. They tend to gloss over real problems with some cute psych pop optimism. But I like a good story of people getting excited about things, putting some energy into life,etc.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

This is a pretty good essay about whining about the pussification of the American male. It also reminds me of something that has been bothering me for a bit. The co optation of the 'victim' stance by certain people, while acting like people with real problems can't say anything about them.

For example, there's the guy who is always whining about how he A)can't get into college B) can't get a job C) can't get scholarships because of those darn minorities, but if a black talks about a real problem, they are the anti Christ. I'm sorry, but I got waitlisted to Brown, and did I say "waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, they hate me because I'm black"? No, I sucked it up and went to another school. I am not getting fat scholarships but I'm not being like Oh, they hate me, they are so racist. I'm like I gotta get my GPA up. I mean, if gays are supposed to have 'personal responsibility' over the fact that they want to have sex with members of the same sex, why can't these people take responsibility for their own personal failings?

Friday, December 05, 2003

Wallpaper for the week, and FYI, internet accelerators are spyware.
Common Racist Ploys:

1)My best friend is this and that, or I'm not racist but....

If something racist comes out of your mouth, you're racist. If you don't want the consequences of being a racist ass fool, shut the fuck up.

2)Well, it's all the black's fault...

How is it the black man's fault that you can't think? I remember reading in Forgotten Readers about how hard people worked to make people respect the negro, and I remember many good blacks today that work just as hard. The racists don't care. We could be a superhuman race of saints and they'd still spew that shit.

3)But I didn't own any slaves!

But you sure did reap the benefits. Also, if every person just stood up, and say "I'm not believing any more lies about anyone else. I am reading and learning about a people before making any more claims about them" How many racists do you think there would be left? By not standing up against racists, not learning anything about blacks, and then parroting lies from others, you become complicit.

4)It's soooooo haaaaard to [learn anything, to read a book, to keep my mouth shut if I don't know jack]

It's not anymore harder than learning to wipe your own damn behind. Stop making excuses. I know guys who haven't been to college, and work regular jobs who aren't racist. If they can find time out of their busy schedules to not be an asshat, so can you.

5)[Any arguments from historical amnesia]

Read a book. I know shit about C++ programming, so I don't talk about it. Simarily, if you don't know shit about people don't talk about them. You lose your right because you're a dumbass. I don't go around making vast generalizations about fucking Pakistanis, because some Pakistani dudes pour acid on their women. I don't go up to Pakistanis saying 'You people hate women' or blaming any attacks against Pakistanis on that, do I? You know why I don't do this? Because I realize that the actions of crazy fools can't stand in for millions of people. Unless you realize that, shut the fuck up.

6)I'm soooooo discriminated against, like I had to apologize for saying the n word!

This echoes the popular whining of Recontruction, during which the KKK was formed. WAAAA! The slaves are free! I'm soooooo oppressed! Shut the fuck up and learn what it is to be oppressed, or shut your mouth. I like how people like to pretend to be victims and then yell at folks with real problems. F.Y.I. Having a black within 200 miles of you is not a real problem, and get off your ass and do your schoolwork instead of bitching about blacks, and you wouldn't have any problem with scholarships.

7)Any broad generalizations based on one or two blacks

Now all whites or [insert your group here] are sheep fuckers, because I know some nasty ass farmer is probably doing something. To simulate how this might be annoying, look at these guys. What if everyone thought you engaged in similar behavior because you happened to share similar coloring (you and millions of other people)? That's why you are being an asshat when you do this one.

The basic message of this list for illiterates is if you don't know anything about something, shut the fuck up.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

I discovered a bundle of the entire Fancy Lala series. This is a really sweet series about a little girl who discovers a magical pen that allows her to change into an adult. She gets discovered and is on the path to fame. My favorite features of the show are its general down to earth flavour. Instead of having this totally unrealistic little girl who is perfect in every way becoming instantly famous and getting a cute boyfriend, she's just an average kid who likes to draw and is a bit flaky, she has to work hard to become famous, and family relationships are emphasiszed over romantic.

Also, Utena is cheap now.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Linking to old news about Bush's AWOL so I will not be remiss in linking to this. Yea, that made no sense, but Rumsfield makes about as much. Here is a link to a photo that is not safe for work or people younger than whatever the legal age is to look at a naked woman's bottom. This was linked on The Comics Journal board as an example of David Boring's favorite type of woman. I would like to read that comic again- I can't remember much of it but the plot points, the art, and how somehow it seemed really complicated.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

I talk about race on this blog a lot because I feel not educating or not trying to at least get a tidbit of information out is being complicit with racism. If you just let something go on, you become guilty yourself, and I'm not going out like that.
This guy kicks ass for lighting a candle instead of blowing one out and complaining when others cursed the darkness. I applaud that he decided to listen to someone else instead of making excuses or being lazy. I'd also like to note that when you say "life's not fair" you're making it unfair. If you want life to be better, you don't give it up, you don't try to actively make it worse. You try to make it better. Talking about life's not fair when someone's in a bad situation is lazy as hell. Why don't you get off your high horse and get out and help?

Some infomation about Esctasy- drug trials may have been faked. Also, some more stuff by that guy
See the November 23rd post about the Borders strike on this page for context to this ramble. Anyway, I think they should keep on the people who actually know about books. It may be a few dollars cheaper to hire someone who doesnt' read, but the customer isn't going to buy a book he/she can't find because the idiot in your store can't even find the Madeline L'Engle books. I don't see how a store can even expect any customer service at all if they don't pay decent wages. Some people will whine about how the customer is always right, but if you're not being paid enough, it just gets easier and easier to just tell the customer to fuck off.

Monday, December 01, 2003

This comic strip shows my philosophy towards people better than I could say it. Also, Young African Americans Against Media stereotypes could use a bit more content, but it's a good starting place. If you don't have good sense, remember- people choose what news to run, what pictures to show, what experts to call in the media. Also, a special treat- it's an interview with Robert Crumb! Plus, Kochalka brand cuteness daily. It's American Elf! And no, it's not supposed to be funny- it's a diary strip. Also, satire=cool. And sweetness- Marmalade Boy's finally coming out!