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There are still some people out there who believe comic books are nothing more than, well, comic books. But the true cognoscenti know graphic novels are - at their best - an amazing blend of art literature and the theater of the mind.
For children, diversity needs to be real and not merely relegated to learning the names of the usual suspects during Black History Month or enjoying south-of-the-border cuisine on Cinco de Mayo. It means talking to and spending time with kids not like them so that they may discover those kids are in fact just like them.
Much as banks don't care where your money's coming from, the Electoral College is all 'don't ask, don't care' when it comes to votes.
In every election cycle that I can recall, there comes a moment - or a few - where charges of elitism and claims of commonness are wielded by presidential candidates like a sword and shield: 'Vote for me 'cause I'm one of you. It's the other guy who's out of touch.'
There are any number of very hard working people in Hollywood who deserve recognition. Mostly its the artisans and crafts persons - the 'below the line' workers - whose only reward is to be pejoratively labeled 'below the line' workers. I say get them all on the next thing smoking to Vegas for an all expense paid weekend of whatever.
Reactionary conservatives are smiling through the racial apocalypse. To them, race baiting is a joke, as 'humorist' Rush Limbaugh will tell you when he's calling Mexicans 'stupid.' Or it's a matter of semantics when they claim that Sonia Sotomayor is a 'racialist' which, far as I can tell, is the smooth jazz version of being a racist.
As a coping mechanism, or as a way to make a little hard count by shilling demons in the shadows, I try not to belittle the thought process of the conspiracy theorists. As a cocktail waitress in Vegas once schooled me: never get down on anybody else's hustle.
Slavery was not a bad day on the job. It was not your boss yelling at you. It was not hard work for little pay. This was a full system of human subjugation.
Gay marriage will be universally accepted in time. But if I may be so bold as to say to gays and lesbians, don't wait for that time to arrive. Just as my father and his generation did not 'wait' for their civil rights, nor should you. The toothpaste ain't going back in the tube. The tide has turned.
As far as superhero stories, what's appealing is of course that aspect of wish fulfillment. I mean, you start out reading them as a kid, and a couple things jump out at you - there are heroes out there, and you wish you could run into a phone booth and change your life, or be like Peter Parker and put on a mask and become a hero.
Every president to hold office has espoused some version of Americanism - the truths that we hold self-evident, even when those truths are not always in evidence. But for all their grand rhetoric and mostly good deeds, none was able to seal the deal on the trifecta of equality, plurality and socioeconomic ascendancy. Obama has.
Facts tend to take the punch out of a good hate rant and are therefore left best unsaid.
If the Olympic Games ever served a true altruistic purpose, they have long since outlived it. Yeah, the pursuit of athletic excellence, sportsmanship and international goodwill is plenty noble. But the modern Olympics are at best a vehicle for agitprop; at worst, a scandal magnet.
The great thing about working with NPR - and, really, there's like a million of 'em - is all the cool stuff I get to do for the public. Meet the president. Hang out at the National Finals Rodeo in Vegas. Drink a $10,000 martini.
Why do we cling to bigotry? Because bigotry, plainly, is convenient. It is a near-effortless way to both elevate one's stature and make a pity grab in this culture of victims that we have become.
White folks, no matter how well-meaning or open-minded, have no true idea what it's like to be black in America. That's not a slam against white people or an accusation of latent bigotry. But the fact is that we all live in an Anglo-dominated society.
Bigots are actually funny to me in the way that people who still wear parachute pants give me a chuckle.
For the vast majority of those who are obese - those with a Body Mass Index over 30 - their size is their choice. They choose to take in more calories than they burn. They choose to take in high fat calories over low-fat ones. They choose to fad diet, if they choose to diet at all.
It does no good to believe in what does not exist to the point one cannot focus on what is real. That would be the greatest tragedy of any 'conspiracy.'
I'm sorry, but chick fights are sexy. If you don't think so, you're either an uptight woman or a lying man.
There are some individuals who look at graphic novels as 'canon,' and they cannot change in any way, shape or form, and that's what makes them in some ways good fans.
When it comes to fighting for freedom, those who are willing to fight should not be limited by our bigotry. Only rewarded with our gratitude.
Fact is, awards shows were never really about recognizing achievement. They were a publicity ploy cooked up in the late 1920s by MGM topper Louie Mayer and his newly formed Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences which was itself, back in the day, nothing but a front organization to discourage unionizing.
Until politicos take a true stand in defense of marriage by proposing an anti-adultery amendment to the Constitution, stop demonizing gays and lesbians when the one debasing your marriage is the individual in the mirror.
It is time to celebrate the New Black Americans - those who have sealed the Deal, who aren't beholden to liberal indulgence any more than they are to the disdain of the hard Right. It is time to praise blacks who are merely undeniable in their individuality and exemplary in their levels of achievement.
As an individual, and I have to say as a person of color, the thing about being an 'other' in America is I really feel like you're bilingual. I'm from a small town in Wisconsin, but even when I'm in New York and I'm working for MSNBC or CNN, you're used to being the only black person in the room.
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