Monday, February 28, 2005

Lebanon to Syria: Back Da Eff Up!

Well, well, well. Looks likes the Arabs, er Phoenecians, can take to the streets and effect change. Exercising what may be the Phoenecian loophole, Lebanese marched today in something that will get you killed anywhere else in the region, namely a political protest. No doubt the Egyptians are salivating at the chance to remove King Mubarak before his son ascends to the throne as news of the collapse of the Lebanese government wafts over the Nile. (Cue orientalist music now.) [, , , ]

Sunday, February 27, 2005

I Went, I Saw, I Went Home . . .


Da Gates Yo.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

This Sucks or How to Write for Slate

Five minutes ago I realized Slate magazine sucked and sucked bad. Trapped in this hipster, trucker hat, nothing-more-three-people-like-can-ever-be-that-good phase of life, it flails around looking for the next big thing to tear down and it's a sad thing to behold. Like realizing that cool friend you had in college is just a scared little soul too afraid to cop to the Fresh Prince & DJ Jazzy Jeff best of collection under his bed.

In fact, Slate sucks so bad you can write a Slate article without ever having a real opinion of your own. Just take one social phenomenon that's moderately well recieved and find some negative angle that purports to destroy the very reason why the thing was popular in the first place. Sure the first time you read it, it's mildly interesting, but the 3,000,000th time it becomes a tired schtick. [ ]

Friday, February 25, 2005

AU to Togo: Faure No Swiping!


No Swiping Togo Dude!

Bowing to international pressure (including no doubt from Dora the Explorer), Togo's boy president Faure Somethingorother agreed to step down from the post of President, a position the Togolese military thought would make a great early christmas present. Well, they could not have been more wrong. A round of applause and hats off to the African Union and Ecowas for pulling this off. Have a drink on me guys. [, ]

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Eva Mendes, Black Enough for America

NBC has a curious bit on the casting of Eva Mendes in the latest Will Smith vehicle, "Hitch." Moviegoers may remember Ms. Mendes from her headturning roles opposite Denzel Washington in "Training Day" and "Out of Time." It seems Mendes was chosen to appease an American audience still a bit squeamish at the sight of a Black man macking a white chick. Notice the muted media response stateside to Heidi Klum's marriage to Seal. However, the American market is not ready for Black romance on the big screen either thus enters Eva Mendes, just enough color to keep people reaching for their wallet. Luckily, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Venezuela amongs others have a steady supply of "cafes con leche" to protect white womanhood from Ms. Klum's (sometime's Ms. Kidman's) transgressions.[, , ]

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Correction: Amina Wadud is a "Niggah"

In a somewhat meandering rebuttal to Tarek Fateh's piece referred to last week or so, Amina Wadud claims that she did not refer to herself as a "nigger" but rather as the more colloquial "niggah" no doubt taking time to strut her gangsta bona fides at Toronto's Noor Cultural Center. The Crossfader is curious as to why Ms. Wadud chose such a venue as it is has not been previoulsy known for its street credibility. It is unclear whether Ms. Wadud is also a chickenhead. [, ]

Correction: The Crossfader has changed his opinion of Ms. Wadud and now sees her as the courageous woman she is. The earlier comment above was written without a full understanding. Ms. Wadud is perhaps the bravest woman in islam at this moment, the second bravest being the Pakistani woman who rapes by her village elders. For my undated position on Ms. Wadud please read here and here.

US Ends Military Assistance to Togo?

Out there in the "internets" there is a Voice of America report that ends with a statement that the U.S. has announced that it is suspending all military assistance to Togo yet I can't help but wonder (a) what the hell is the U.S. doing providing military aid to a country with less people than NYC and (b) what exactly does this aid consist of, other than ledger entry from the Pentagon to Lockheed Martin? It also begs the question, just what is the U.S. policy toward Togo such that they warrant military aid. [, , ]

Togo & Africa Come of Age

So it seems the farce that was the Togo coup is being slowly, methodically unravelled by Nigeria and ECOWAS. The Times of London has a nice recap of the events of the last three weeks or so. Suffice it to say that Nigeria has provided steady leadership on the issue and has shown that Africans can secure democratic institutions without the guiding yoke of former colonial masters. That all this happened with nary a word by the Bush Administration highlights the fact, as has been stated before, that "democracy" in and of itself is not priority for this administration.
File this under: , , and

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Standing With Lebanon

Mona Eltahawy has one of the best pieces I have seen commenting on the recent death of Rafik Hariri. The English translation can be found here. Essentially she says the Arab world is tired of the senseless violence that has been masquerading as politics in that part of the world for the last 25 years.

File this under: and

Another Ridiculous Pakistani Custom

One can always depend on rural Pakistan to provide Exhibit A on why so-called traditional societies are often the most demented and twisted. Take for example the recent "decision" handed down by the village elders who decided that the proper punishment in an adultery case was to wed the adulterer's two year-old daughter to the adulteress' forty year-old husband. Keep in mind all these people are cousins. All we can hope for is maybe the two year-old will get to see a book in her lifetime. Here's hoping.
File this craziness under: and

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Soldiers Gone Wild!!!!!!!!!

Apparently in the Army you can watch female soldiers engage in mudwrestling in the middle of a war zone but if you're a female soldier doing the mudwrestling and then you flash your boobs, well that is something the Army just can't stand for.
Please file under:

Friday, February 18, 2005

Lawrence Summers, Crackhead

Having now released the transcript to his infamous "women are too stupid for science" rant it is clearly evident that Mr. Summers has taken to smoking crack in his later years. Either that or the man has been employed at a position that far exceeds his cognitive abilities and it is just now comming to light. The Crossfader asks once again why is that certain academics tend to fall back on latterday phrenology when they look at a social problem? What the f-?

Another Ridiculous African Custom

The Crossfader has no patience for African "tradition" (or any other for that matter) especially when such tradition has the cumulative effect of squandering the immeasurable talents of whole swathes of the continent for the sake of little more than bullshit. The latest example of this can be found in this NY Times piece on Sub-Saharan Africa's AIDS widows and orphans. It seems that "tradition" often dictates that the belongings of a deceased male belongs not to his wife and children but to his brothers resulting in a man's immediately family being left destitute in the wake of his death. While this may have made sense at some point in the past, it is ridiculous in this day and age and is nothing more than a power grab under the guise of culture, as most things are.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

The Chicken Comes Home To Roost

You've got to appreciate the Bush administration's sense of humor--John Negroponte as Director of National Intelligence. I'm sure Mr. Negroponte will bring to the table all the skills learned while working to rout out the Sandinistas back in the 80's when a communist Central America sure had everyone on the edge of their seat. Remember that whole Iran-Contra thingy? I didn't think so.

Wyclef Jean, Evil Genius

I blame Wyclef Jean for forcing me to download "Your Love" by the midling late 80's band The Outfield. If he hadn't used a slice of its melody toward the end his Carnival collabo "The Survivors" with Machal Montano I wouldn't have to listen to Josie being on a vacation far away. Curse you Wyclef Jean. Curse you.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

NY Times Allergic to Arab Opinion

Can anyone explain to me why the New York Times chose to publish Andrew Exum's OpEd on Lebanon in the wake of the Rafik Hariri's murder? Lemme get this straight, one of the most influential Lebanese politicians is assassinated and the best the Times can do is rely on an American on vacation to tell us what the natives were feeling on that day? Doesn't the Times trust (gasp) an Arab voice to describe an Arab mood. When Rabin was killed am I to assume the first Oped run was by an Egyptian on vacation in Tel Aviv? I don't think so, playa.

Bush the Uniter

From Iranian state television:
Iran and Syria, who both are facing pressure from the United States, said Wednesday they will form a "united front" to confront possible threats against them.

"In view of the special conditions faced by Syria, Iran will transfer its experience, especially concerning sanctions, to Syria," Mohammad Reza Aref, Iran's first vice president, was quoted as saying after meeting Syrian Prime Minister Mohammad Naji Otari.
Well folks he did say he was a "uniter not a divider".

No Vaginas in Uganda

From Ugando Anarchism by way of The New Vision comes word that the Ugandan Media Council has put the kaibash on an upcoming performance of the Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues" to be held Kampala. While no reason yet has been given for why the play has been shutdown one can safely assume that the issue of violence against women was a bit too hot for the paternalistic authorities to handle. Following the ruling, one of the plays supporters, Sarah Mukasa of Akina Mama wa Afrikawas, was quoted as saying:
“Nobody should deny Ugandans a chance to listen to the testimonies of violence against women simply because of the word vagina. This word is in our biology books. Are we going to delete it?”
Good question.

Why Isn't Gregory Engle Stateside?

While the shock of Rafik Hariri's assassination still hung in the air, the Bush administration decided to pull its ambassador to Syria to show its disapproval with what it believes to be Syria's role in the killing. Yet this same administration with its professed love of democracy and the rule of law has so far failed to call Gregory Engle, U.S. Ambassador to Togo home for the Togolese military's role in enshrining Faure Gnassingbe as President of the country following the death of his father in clear contravention to the Togolese constitution.

Are we to assume that African democracies are less a priority than Arab ones for this administration?

Monday, February 14, 2005

Democracy for Iraq; Tyranny for Togo

Is it just the Crossfader or has the Bush Administration been curiously reticent in the face of the blatant power grab that has been Togo's muted coup. While purple fingers were still visible in the District of Columbia, nary a one has been waved in the direction of Lomé since the news went out that the late Togolese President's son would ascend, Syrian-like, to the throne. Alas, an African-American Secretary of State doesn't really translate into anything for the Africans left in the lurch.

Amina Wadud's Unforgiveable Blackness

My friend Ahmed Nassef's MWU has good piece by Tarek Fatah on Prof. Amina Wadud speech before Toronto's Noor Cultural Center. Amid a sea of hecklers, Ms. Wadud stood her ground and pointed to 2000lb elephant in the room, namely Arab/Muslim bias toward Black Africans. Asked why she was being heckled, Ms. Wadud stated:
"Usually I wear the hijab, and when I am wearing it, most Muslims do not consider me African–American; I pass off as a South Asian, but when they see me without a scarf, they can see my African locks and they know I am Black and suddenly their attitude changes. The fact is I am a nigger and you will just have to put up with my blackness."
Amen to that sister.

Another "Liberal" Bites the Dust

The Crossfader has to side with (gasp) the Wall Steet Journal on the Eason Jordan fiasco. CNN showed the judgement that we have come to expect from the institutionalized "left" namely, the swift dexterity of a spineless dismount.
[I]t does not speak well of CNN that it apparently allowed itself to be stampeded by this Internet and talk-show crew. Of course the network must be responsive to its audience and ratings. But it has other obligations, too, chief among them to show the good judgment and sense of proportion that distinguishes professional journalism from the enthusiasms and vendettas of amateurs. (WSJ)
Of course this why Fox News continues to each CNN's lunch day in and day out. The so called "left" lacks the cajones to stand and fight because at the end of the day they're scared to lose and yet the irony is they always lose as of late.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Back From Carnival


Back from Carnival

Fresh from seven days in Trinidad the Crossfader returns to find UCLA law professor Richard H. Sander with his head up his ass. Apparently Prof. Sander has spent his free time doing what has become the common pasttime among a certain class of academic, namely spending endless nights pondering just why the "Blacks" are inferior to the whites. Mr. Sander, bless his little heart, thinks affirmative action places Black students in law schools where "they don't belong."

The Crossfader is consistently amazed at the lengths to which academics try to mask their interest in phrenology with statistical analysis.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

A Little Vacay

The Crossfader will be in Trinidad for carnival for the next 7 days so the biting sacasm will unfortunately be on hold here until his return, Insh'allah.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Iran With Nukes? So What.

Here's the problem with all this hullabaloo about Iran angling to get a nuclear weapon. The assumption is that the U.S. cannot allow Iran, with its Islamist government, to obtain a nuclear weapon but no one ever proposes the question of whether a democratic government in Iran would still want to obtain nuclear weapons. If would it would, does the U.S. still invade. If so, who died and made the U.S. God?

Disco In"Porno"

The Crossfader is not one to knock anyone's hustle but the new 50 cent video is a tad bit much me thinks. The spotlight having shifted to his lable-mate The Game, Curtis Jackson has decided to up the hoochie mama element and it ain't pretty.

Girls in School? Crazy Stuff in Sudan

The WaPo has the sad story of the struggle for Southern Sudanese girls to get an education now that the civil war has ended. The Crossfader isn't one for cultural relativism so when he sees half the population of Southern Sudan shut out of the fledgling school system he scratches his head and thinks to himself, "What the hell is wrong with these people?" It's 2005; man has gone to the moon and back and there are still people worrying about how many cows you can get for your sister? Get your own damn cows you lazy bastard. Let the girls get a book in their hand so they don't have to put up with this backward b.s. any longer than they have to. Yalla.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

MTV2 Jumps Something

The Crossfader is amused by the announced changes to befall MTV2 this Sunday (and at which point the Crossfader will be safely ensconced in Trinidad awaiting Carnival 2005). The AP story explaining the transformation is a study of incomprehensibility so who knows exactly what is afoot. Suffice it to say the changes most probably will mean even less music videos which can only translate into that much more iPod time for the Crossfader.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Marisol, An American Girl Cliche

Hispanic groups are upset at the latest batch of clueless racism that we've come to expect from our fellow Americans whose "good friends" are almost always people of color. The American Girl doll company, an institution whose primary purpose seems to be to allow the ruination of one girl's childhood by the oppressive memories of her mother, has brought to market their Mexican-American doll Marisol. As luck would have it Marisol "loves to dance" but unfortunately she comes from (shock of all shocks) a "bad neighborhood" and must move to the suburbs with her family. No doubt to be closer to the consumers of this cultural hagiography. But on the bright side, at least all those little blond girls in the suburbs can now have a little brown refugee from the big bad city all their own.

Hot 97 Cries "Uncle"

Emmis Donates $1 Million to Charities to Aid in Tsunami Relief & Recovery

New York – February 1, 2005: WQHT/Hot 97-FM and Emmis Communications announced today that they have terminated the employment of morning show producer Rick Del Gado for his role in writing, producing and airing “The Tsunami Song,” a highly insensitive parody of the 1985 single “We Are the World.” Hot 97 and Emmis also terminated morning show personality Todd Lynn for making offensive, racially insensitive comments while on the air. Both terminations are effective immediately.

Simultaneously, Emmis announced that it will make a lump-sum donation of $1 million to Give2Asia to aid the organization in its Tsunami relief and recovery effort.

An internal investigation by Hot 97 and Emmis determined that the singularly egregious actions of Lynn and Delgado warranted termination from their employment at the station. Other members of the morning show crew: Miss Jones, DJ Envy and Tasha Hightower have each been given two-week suspensions. The salaries of these individuals will be redirected to Give2Asia for the duration of their suspensions, which will end on Wednesday, February 9. Another member of the morning show crew, Miss Info, has not been suspended.

“The actions of the morning show crew were socially and morally indefensible and the entire Emmis family is ashamed by this,” said Rick Cummings, President of Emmis Radio “Emmis and Hot 97 have investigated this matter thoroughly over the course of the last week. Our decision to terminate Mr. Del Gado and Mr. Lynn while suspending the other members of the morning crew sends a message that this type of insensitivity is utterly unacceptable.”

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Malcolm Gladwell States the Obvious

Apparently Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book that says white people make snap judgments about Black people. Uh, no shit dude. Where's Stanley Crouch to pimp slap this dumbass?

Muslim "Scholar" Robs Egyptian Writer

Famed Indonesian "scholar" Zakiyuddin Baidhawy robbed my friend Mona Eltahawy the other day. Nearly a month ago, Ms. Eltahawy wrote a piece for Muslim WakeUp! entitled "Where is the Jihad Against the Tsunami?" calling out the hypocritical salafi nutjubs for their failure to muster any comment on the devastation in the world's most populous Muslim country, Indonesia. Mr. Baidhawy saw this piece and decided that it would look better with his name on the byline. He was wrong of course, but he would have gotten away with it if it hadn't been picked up by the Wall Street Journal which referenced the piece. You can imagine my friend's surprise when she came across her own words coming supposedly from the pen of some two-bit "scholar" who somehow thinks he's the only one with an internet connection. (Somebody tell him the tsunami didn't hit New York City.)

Who knew plagiarism was so blatant amongst Muslim "scholars." [Update: Mr. Baidhawy has since apologized to my friend for his wholesale theft of her intellectual property.]

UN to Darfur: Genocide Schmenocide

The International Community breathed a sigh of relief today as the bodycount in Darfur came up ten bodies short of a genocide. A Sudanese official said "It was close, but we were able to keep it under the limit," he continued, "I'd like to give a shout-out to the Janjiweed for pulling back on the slaughter a bit down the stretch. It really helped us alot. I'd also like to thank the Arab League and Organization of African Unity for being especially ineffectual."

They only dark spot came when Samantha Power had to be restrained from choking Kofi Anan. A UN observer at the scene said, "It was ugly. She almost made Kofi spill his glass of Veuve Clicqout."

(of course none of this really happened, except in spirit)

The AIDS "Conspiracy"

The Washington Post's Jabari Asim had a good piece the other day about African-Americans and the various AIDS conspiracy theories. He leaves us with this wonderful nugget:
For argument's sake, let's say that AIDS was indeed created in a laboratory specifically to kill African-Americans. Wouldn't continuing to engage in multiple sexual relationships -- avoiding condoms all the while -- merely aid and abet our would-be murderers? I'm tempted to think that any group that wanted to do away with African-Americans would soon conclude that an organized campaign would be a waste of time and resources. Thoughtless self-destruction is apparently a task we can handle on our own. (WP)
We African-Americans, like Americans in general, think the world revolves around us. We think so highly of ourselves we delude ourselves into thinking it takes an army of CIA scientists crafting a deadly disease to take us down when all it takes is the simple devaluation we already give to each Black life implicitly. The Man can rest easy, our eyes are on the bling playa.

Todd Lynn, Curbside

It seems Todd Lynn of "I'm gonna start shooting asians" fame has been relieved of his "comedic" duties at WQHT/Hot 97. Asia Media Watchdog reports that Todd Lynn called to confirm that the group "got [their] wish, man. I'm fired. I'm gone." For those of you late to the party, Todd Lynn can be heard on the world famous "Tsunami Song" mocking the victims of the Tsunami that struck the Indian Ocean last December.