Saturday, July 24, 2010

Voices You Should Know

In my last post I wrote that the only voice speaking truth to power on this whole sordid Shirley Sherrod affair was Anderson Cooper. I was watching Anderson at the time I wrote the post and watching Anderson in that tight black tee shirt of his forced all other thoughts out of my brain. Don't judge me, even the straight guys out there are envious of the way Mr. Cooper can wear a tee shirt. I would like to apologize to all of the people out there on TV, Radio and on-line who added their wise voices to the chorus of truth tellers. Those who know me are well aware that Rachel Maddow, Keith Olberman and Chris Matthews are an essential part of my information gathering process. The people I want to give props to are not as well know but they should be.

These are folks who I have come to depend on to clarify my thinking and provoke me to expand my view of the world around me. I have mentioned some of these big thinkers in the past but I want to give them their due. I have added some new links on this side where you can find them after you are done with me.

Joan Walsh can be found over at Salon. She is not on TV nearly enough and whenever she is on she speaks with such clarity that most of her opponents wither in her presence. Recently she gave a colleague a history lesson. The topic turned to the battle for the soul of the Republican Party and the other commentator said that parties tend to swing to extremes from time to time but then usually find their way back into the center, no argument there. Then, he went on to give the nomination in 1984 of Walter Mondale as an example of the Democrats nominating someone from their radical side. Joan's response was fast and furious and she gave a history lesson that brought me to my feet in my living room. Ms. Walsh's writing over the last few days has been nothing short of brilliant. Her Tweets are all over the map which makes her even more interesting and I always feel so honored when she takes the time to respond or comment on my Tweets.

Over at the Washington Post and on MSNBC you can find editorial writer Jonathan Capehart and Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Eugene Robinson. As with Joan Walsh these two men are always calm voices during the shout fests that MSNBC can sometimes become.

Mr. Capehart is young, stylish, witty & urbane. He wears the best ties on TV and they are always perfectly knotted. He is quickly becoming the voice of his generation on matters of race, sexual politics and any other issue he decides to speak/write about. He is the voice of the Washington Post but I suspect he will soon rise above that lofty position to become one of the go to and essential voice of our times. Another great Tweeter and he often responds back to my Tweets.

Eugene Robinson is a no nonsense yet poetic columnist. I always think I am smarter and better informed after reading him. His thoughts on race, politics, war and any other topic should be a must stop along the way to enlightenment. He writes with great clarity, humor and a forthrightness that we can all benefit from.

From The Nation you can find 3 writers and pundits who are quickly becoming favorites of mine. Christopher Hayes, Melissa Harris Lacewell and Katrina vanden Huevel. All three spend quality time in academia so they come at issues in a very thoughtful manner, Ms. Harris Lacewell is a Professor at Princeton. I am new to these three but I have found them to be very clear voices in the debates of the day and their honest defense of the left will prove them to become the leaders of the of progressive thought for years/decades to come. Mr. Hayes is great on Twitter but Ms. vanden Huevel Tweets on everything; we watch football games; reality shows and the Tony Awards together via Twitter.

Give these folks a chance to inform, enlighten and entertain you. If you have some suggestions for me please leave a comment and I will check him or her out and let you know what I think.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Won't Waste Mr. Walsh's Plea

"At long last sir have you..." Oh never mind, I am not going to dignify this whole sordid affair by using that classic plea for decency.

This has been a disgusting few days.
  1. A less than trustworthy blogger (ass) publishes a video that shows black people are racist. Wow that's really big news. Some whites are racist, some blacks are racists, some Jews are racists, some Muslims are racist, some Catholics are racist, some politicians are racist, some parents are racist and they produce racist children. This is not news but the once Pox picks up a story the MSM has to pick it up in order to prove they are not trying to fellate Barack Obama.
  2. Every talking head on all networks (though it seems less so on CNN) goes crazy calling for the firing of the black racist as seen on (ass's)video. Everyone speaking knows that (ass) is a suspicious source but common sense be damned. If Pox is going crazy the MSM has to go crazy to because they don't want to be accused by Pox of trying to fellate Barack Obama.
  3. The Sec. of Agriculture decides to fire the black racist seen in the video because one of his assistance told him that a crazy man with a history of substance abuse was going to come out and talk about this black racist.
  4. An elderly white farmer comes out in support of the black racist. It turns out the black racist saved his family farm. The black racist hits the airwaves and asks people to watch the entire 43 minutes of the video not just the 2+ minutes (ass), Pox and now the MSM have been showing every 30 seconds.
  5. A producer (not a reporter) decides that viewing the entire video may be an act of journalism and discovers that the black racist is not a racist, though she is still black.
  6. Oh the hand wringing.
  7. The big story is the President and his administration over reacted and should not have fired the erstwhile black racist.
  8. My reaction is WHAT THE FUCK is going on here?
  9. All the media- left, right, center, print, on-line, TV, radio are talking about this and yet no one, not a single person is talking about the sleazy person who created this issue and tried to ruin the reputation of the honest and hard working woman. All the media is ignoring the fact that they fanned the flames of this fake story and created an environment that caused the formerly black racist to lose her job and worse yet her reputation.
  10. No one but Anderson Cooper.

This entire event is a disgrace to everyone involved except the formerly racist black woman and Anderson Cooper's tight black tee shirt.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I Am Not A Fan Of.........

I am not a fan of Oprah Winfrey. Surprised?

How can the guy who wept when Ted Kennedy died (it was my 50th birthday) and continued to weep throughout the entire funeral process, not be a fan of Oprah? How can the guy who gets emotional at good campaign events or the guy who wiped a tear at the Bethlehem Skateboard grand opening not be a fan of Oprah? Coffee commercials make me sad, Lana Turner movies break my heart, I cried along with Halle Berry when she won the Oscar, I was almost overcome with emotion as the Spanish players accepted their awards at the World Cup and when Maury say’s” Marvin you are not the baby’s father” I cry along with the trampy girl running off stage.

So how can this guy not be a fan of Oprah Winfrey?

She is a beloved by millions of women and men around the world. She is a successful business woman, actress, producer, writer and a noted philanthropist. She is friends with the high and mighty. She opened school for girls in Africa. It was her interview that helped Michael Jackson begin the long climb back and it was her interview that almost destroyed the career of Tom Cruise. She has tried to teach us how to accept people of all walks of life and when she speaks out on an issue she speaks with such moral clarity that people listen. In the early days of the 2008 presidential primaries Hillary Clinton was gathering up most of the endorsements of the African American elites. Once Oprah came out to endorse Barack Obama his support in the African American community exploded and it helped him win the crucial battleground state of South Carolina and break even on Super Tuesday. People are already beginning to mourn her departure from TV next year.

Why don’t I like Oprah?

There is fine line between what Oprah does on her TV show and what Jerry Springer does on his. They both exploit people; they both hold people up to judgment and scorn, they both encourage people to debase themselves in front of a national audience, they both think that humiliating people will teach them and us to be better people. Both Jerry and Oprah end their shows with mini lectures sometimes with a finger wagging in our collective faces. We are told what we learned from our past hour together and that if we are smart we will follow their sage and wise advice.

Granted Oprah does it at a much more classy level than Jerry but exploitation is exploitation.

My detractors on this topic, and I have many; always talk about all the good things Oprah has done. I ask for examples.

She gave away all those cars to her audience: She did not give away anything and never has. All the things she gives away are provided by the marketing departments of the product they are pushing. Do you really think she paid for all those cars or even those Carrie Underwood CDs? The car company paid for the cars and the audience members had to pay the taxes, fees and the cost of transporting the car back home. It cost some of these women well over $1,000 to accept this “gift” from Oprah.

The school she built in Africa is the other prime example given as to the future sainthood status of Oprah Winfrey. She did build a school and if it is successful will benefit the most underserved population on the planet; African women. This school opened with great fanfare, all of which was generated by the Harpo media machine. When Angelina Jolie opened her complex she invited a few press people along to document it, when Madonna built hers the same thing. Brad Pitt moved to New Orleans so he could over see the rebuilding of the neighborhood he adopted and there was little fan fare. Sandra Bullock was the first to give a million dollars each to the 9-11, Katrina, South Asia and Haiti funds and there was never even a press release from her people.

But, When Oprah opened up her boarding school she flew multiple plane loads of celebrities, talking heads, media types and anyone else who worship at the altar and drink the Kool-Aid of all things Oprah Winfrey to Africa. She housed, fed and partied with some of the wealthier people in the country all on the dime of her foundation and we got to share in all this largesse because she filmed the entire thing and broadcast it not only on her show but on ABC prime time. Imagine if she used some of that money to do a background check on the violent predator she hired to run the school.

We have become a nation of whiners, victims and cry babies. We do not accept responsibility for our own actions nor the results of those actions. We feel the need to wear our hearts on our sleeves. We have no secrets; we have to share everything with everybody. We think it’s OK to discuss the size of our breasts and penises and we are compelled to tell everyone our innermost secrets. We have become a culture where dignity and honor are not valued. People have no manners or ethics. People think if they go on the Oprah Winfrey show and confess the burdens of their lives all will be forgiven and Oprah thinks that all this dirty laundry airing results in teaching moments. Sorry oh mighty oracle of Chicago not everything needs to be discussed and not everything results in a teaching moment.

What lesson did we learn from the woman whose face was chewed off by a monkey? What are we learning from the whole John Edwards saga? Bringing Monique’s brother in for an hour to discuss the effects of his raping his sister was a teaching moment? Oprah asks her guests and audience to bare their souls but she threatens her family members if they discuss their history or their memories of her life.

The Oprah Winfrey Show has led to the dumbing down of this country; she makes our women feel like victims and she makes our men feel weak and undeserving. Only two people have benefited from the Oprah Winfrey reign of terror; Gayle King and Oprah Winfrey. I suspect Stedman is regretting the day he met this wonderful woman.

I had no idea that texting while driving was a bad idea, thank you Ms. Oprah Winfrey for telling me.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Break Does Not Mean I Was Broken

I have a big urge right now to just run away and lose myself somewhere, a big city preferably. I am not sure what the root of this need is but when I figure it I may decide to share it. Or not.

So instead I took a break from blogging both reading and writing. Another reason I stopped was because I was beginning to bore myself with what I was writing. How many times can I point out the absurdity of many politicians especially on the right? How often can I defend the President? I was beginning to get redundant, so I took a break.

During the break I did not read any of the blogs that I really enjoy and the only columnist I read was Maureen Dowd, I cannot imagine a time that I would not crave her every thought. So, no Frank Rich, no Charles M. Blow, no Joan Walsh, no Bernie O’Hare, no Lehigh Valley with Love, no excitement from Penny @ Vineyard Road and I regret to say I even stopped reading my good friend Hillary Kwiatek over at Lehigh Valley Independent. It’s not that Maureen Dowd is more important than anyone else; it’s just that we have a long history together.

It’s not that I had nothing to say, anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that I have a lot to say. I think I was finally in an information overload state. Who knew? I never in a million years thought that would happen to me but it did. I tried writing something erotic but I was told it was boring.

As Cher said in Moonstruck “Snap out of it”, I need to buck up, be a man and start writing again. I am going to try to not write as much about politics and more about life. I am not sure what that means but there has to more than politics. I will still write about current events but I hope I will be able to move beyond the politics and explore the root cause of my opinion of the current event. I will of course still offer solutions to everything. My friend Silagh told me the other night that one of the things she likes about me is my moral certainty and that I am very clear about what I believe to be right and wrong. So, I am going to expand this project to bring my moral clarity to a wider variety of topics.

Suggestions are always welcome and of course polite feedback is encouraged.