Wednesday, June 28, 2017

U2, Hailee Steinfeld, and Desire

Pumped up for the U2 concert in suburban Buffalo in September, I've been listening to The Joshua Tree quite a bit lately. The album has held up so well over the decades. I'd also say it's a great summer album. 70 degrees with a slight wind, chilling in the backyard, daydreaming, listening to "Trip Through Your Wires." Ooh, here's a steamy lyric: "I was thirsty, and you wet my lips." Granted, what I consider steamy is like PG 13 to the youngsters and in fact many oldsters, but I'm here to keep it honest. Well, this tremendous song doesn't leave much open to interpretation, it is fundamentally about desire, as we can see here: "You, I'm waiting for you...You, you set my desire, I trip through your wires." Here's the track in all it's seductiveness if you need it:

In listening to the song today, the maybe-steamy lyrics brought to mind the popular hit "Starving" by Hailee Steinfeld. This song has been on heavy rotation on Sirius Hits 1 for a long time. I'm more of a Sirius XMU guy, but the fam prefers Hits 1, so we listen to the station a lot in the car. I've taken a liking to this "Starving" tune. Anyhow, the lyric "I didn't know that I was starving till I tasted you" is rather close in effect to U2's "I was thirsty, and you wet my lips," if you ask me. Hailee (I dig that second E in her name, I must say) takes the desire up a notch in her song, though, especially with the lyric "you do things to my body." This is desire plus, I guess we could say.

One of the highlights of my recent semester teaching a Sexualities class for the first time was playing this song to see what students thought of it. I can't exactly remember the context. I like to mix popular culture into my courses. Maybe I was comparing then and now songs, and played Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" video and then Steinfeld's "Starving" video. They were like, "Yeah, professor, that's super mild, like 3 on a scale of 1-10" or something like that. Getting old works for me but stay young, everybody!!!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Articles and Videos for Teaching Race and Racism

Links are in the titles.

How Western media would cover Minneapolis if it happened in another country - Karen Attiah

Race & Redlining (Housing Segregation in Everything) - 6 minute video narrated by Gene Demby

The Real Threat To Campuses Isn’t ‘PC Culture.’ It’s Racism. - Tressie McMillan Cottom

"Black Panther" and the Invention of "Africa" - Jelani Cobb

The Limits of "Diversity" - Kelefa Sanneh

No One Is Coming to Save Us From Trump's Racism - Roxane Gay

Trump Puts the Purpose of His Presidency Into Words - Adam Serwer

Teaching White Students Showed Me The Difference Between Power and Privilege - Kiese Laymon

White ‘Power’ and the Fear of Replacement - Abigail Levin and Lisa Guenther

Old Questions But No New Answers in the Philando Castile Verdict - Jelani Cobb

The Fight for Decent Pay and Racial Justice - Jesse Jackson

Munira Ahmed on Being the Face of the Women's March: 'It's about inclusion' - Edward Helmore

The Deplorable Basket: Declaiming Who Is and Isn't Racist Is a Parlor Game We Don't Have Time For - Ezekiel Kweku

The five things no one will tell you about why colleges don’t hire more faculty of color - Marybeth Gasman

Black in Middle America - Roxane Gay

Remember, No One Is Coming to Save Us - Roxane Gay

Insulting Colin Kaepernick Says More about Our Patriotism Than His - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Dear Fellow White People - Kevin Van Valkenburg

Why Is Colored Person Hurtful and Person of Color OK? A Theory of Racial Euphemisms. - John McWhorter

Racial Politics After Obama - Brandon M. Terry

The Fine Line Between Safe Space and Segregation - Emily Deruy

Segregation Tomorrow, Segregation Forever? - Adia Harvey Wingfield

Tamir Rice and the Color of Fear - Brit Bennett

All Hollowed Out: The Lonely Poverty of America’s White Working Class - Victor Tan Chen

The Seduction of Safety, on Campus and Beyond - Roxane Gay

South Carolina Sheriff's Deputy on Leave after Dragging Student from Her Desk - The Guardian

Blame the Police (Sandra Bland's Arrest and Death are a National Scandal. The Police are Responsible.) - Jamelle Bouie

Dylann Roof And The Stubborn Myth Of The Colorblind Millennial - Gene Demby

Shooters of Color are Called ‘Terrorists’ and ‘Thugs.’ Why are White Shooters Called ‘Mentally Ill’? - Anthea Butler

Black Like Who? Rachel Dolezal’s Harmful Masquerade - Tamara Winfrey Harris

A Few Thoughts on Rachel Dolezal - Andrew Lindner

McKinney Pool Party Incident Has Everything to Do with Race - Dorothy Brown

Watch Texas Cop Point Gun at Unarmed Black Teens, Push 14-Year-Old to the Ground - Daniel Politi

In These Times of Racial Strife, A White Professor Explores The Prevalence of ‘White Fragility’ - Nick Chiles

Chapel Hill Shooting Victims Were 'Radiant,' Teacher Says - NPR

At Yale, the Police Detained My Son - Charles Blow

Why We Still Have to Say #BlackLivesMatter - Jenifer Bratter

Ferguson Must Force Us to Face Anti-Blackness - Michael P. Jeffries

Telling My Son About Ferguson - Michelle Alexander

Mike Brown's Shooting and Jim Crow Lynchings Have Too Much in Common. It's Time For America to Own Up - Isabel Wilkerson

Ferguson: The Fire This Time - Bob Herbert

The Death of Michael Brown and the Search for Justice in Black America - Mychal Denzel Smith

Chronicle of a Riot Foretold - Jelani Cobb

The Anger in Ferguson - Jelani Cobb

No, Your Ancestors Didn't Come Here Legally - Ben Railton

Why We Have So Many Terms for 'People of Color' - Gene Demby

The Real Problem When It Comes to Diversity and Asian-Americans - Jack Linshi

We Interviewed the Filmmaker Behind 'The Whiteness Project' - Jordan Sowunmi
(Click here for direct link to The Whiteness Project.)

Kamau Bell interviews Henry Louis Gates (13 minutes)

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva -- in a 10 minute interview on Book TV, Bonilla-Silva talks about this book Racism without Racists.

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva and Mark Anthony Neal: a thirty minute conversation.

Why Integrating America’s Neighborhoods and Cities is Harder Than We Think - Jamelle Bouie

Why I Am Optimistic About the Future of Race Relations in America - Jamelle Bouie

"Talking White" (Black people's disdain for "proper English" and academic achievement is a myth) - Jamelle Bouie

What Michael Sam's Kiss Means For The Most Invisible: Black AND Gay - Marcus Anthony Hunter

Whose Deviance Do We Notice? - Gwen Sharp

The Collateral Consequences of Mass Deportation - Tanya Golash-Boza

Scientific Racism Rears Its Ugly Head Once Again - Tanya Golash-Boza

The Problems with White Allies and White Privilege - Tanya Golash-Boza

Symbols of Control - Avi Goldberg

#DeChiefing Is the Anti-Racist Protest That Pro Sports Badly Needs - Zak Cheney-Rice

Donald Sterling: Slumlord Billionaire - Dave Zirin

Donald Sterling's Willing Enablers - Dave Zirin

Video: Ta-Nehisi Coates Talks White Supremacy and Reparations (Interview with Bill Moyers)

My President Was Black - Ta-Nehisi Coates

Color-Blind Policy, Color-Conscious Morality - Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Myth of Police Reform - Ta-Nehisi Coates

Other People's Pathologies - Ta-Nehisi Coates

In Defense of a Loaded Word - Ta-Nehisi Coates

The N-Word On The Fourth of July - Brittney Cooper

This three minute video can be shown to accompany the readings by Coates and Cooper.

The Politics of Being Friends with White People - Brittney Cooper

Who're You Going To Believe on Immigration? Mark Krikorian or Your Lying Eyes? - Ezra Klein

Fix The Census' Archaic Racial Categories - Kenneth Prewitt

Hopes Frustrated, Many Latinos Reject the Ballot Box Altogether - Jackie Calmes

Racism With No Racists: The President Trump Conundrum - Tressie McMillan Cottom

When Your (Brown) Body is a (White) Wonderland - Tressie McMillan Cottom

Whistling Vivaldi Won't Save You - Tressie McMillan Cottom

The Logic of Stupid Poor People - Tressie McMillan Cottom

The Truth about Asian Americans' Success (It's Not What You Think) - Jennifer Lee

From Unassimilable to Exceptional - Jennifer Lee

The "Asian F": Perils of a Model Minority - Jennifer Lee

The Real Problem When It Comes to Diversity and Asian-Americans - Jack Linshi

I Am Not a Model Minority - Bernadette Lim

Desegregation and the Public Schools - Michael Winerip

Will a 'Black' Name Brand My Son With Mug Shots Before He's Even Born? - Nikisia Drayton

Affirmative Inaction - various authors

Sonia Sotomayor Is a National Treasure - David Fontana

Alabama Counties: No Marriage Licenses for Undocumented Residents - Ashley Cleek

'Young Lakota': Reproductive Justice and Coming of Age on the Rez - Aura Bogado

In a Small Missouri Town, Immigrants Turn to Schools for Help - Abbie Fentress Swanson

Suey Park: Asian American Women are #NotYourAsianSidekick - Casey Capachi

Who's Afraid of Suey Park? - Julia Carrie Wong

Dear White People: Film Tackles Racial Stereotypes on Campus & Being a "Black Face in a White Space" - Video includes interview with film's director and one of the actors -- very interesting discussion.

Racism on College Campuses - Peter Kaufman

The Black Bruins (Spoken Word) - five minute video - a powerful speech by a UCLA student.

Why Whites Support Capital Punishment - Jamelle Bouie

America’s racial double standard: White celebs are excused, but black stars are “thugs” - Beanie Barnes

Stop Saying These Things To Asians (3 minute video)

Colorblind (3 minute video about the lack of Asian-Americans in media)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Spit On A Stranger is Pavement's Second Best Song

"Honey I'm a prize and you're a catch and we're a perfect match" The best Pavement song, of course, is Cut Your Hair. To say otherwise is trying too hard.

Immersed in Suburbia (Part 2)

As I've written before, this is the quietest place I have ever known.

The kids have finished the school year. They still haven't learned the art of sleeping in. They're both up in the 6:00 hour. It makes for long days. There are screens in the house and they're content to stare into screens as long as you let them. We do morning bike rides in the neighborhood to get outside early in the day and to fight against screen time. It's for me as much as it is for them. I need to put down the damn phone and ease off my reading of 1,000 hot takes and opinions. There are some good opinions out there, though.

To bike around the neighborhood is to have the sidewalks to yourself. It's amazing. Yes, there is a dog walker here and a person getting into their car there, but for the most part there is no action. It's houses not people. We've lived here 5 years and I still can't believe the attention to detail when it comes to lawn care and other property maintenance.

Yesterday and today we did two loops around the neighborhood. Yesterday a woman sitting in her car (coming or going, I'm not sure) noticed us and said "Two times" to us in a tone of encouragement. It's nice to be recognized in a positive way. I'm remembering now there were two old timers shooting the breeze in a driveway and during the second loop I caught their eyes and said "Good morning, gentlemen." One thing I've found in life is that most men don't mind being called gentlemen.

Today I caught the eye of someone doing work on a house, but just as I went into a head nod he turned away.

And soon we were back home. The kids played catch in our front yard for about 5 minutes before getting into an argument. They file many grievances a day and I assume it's that way for a lot of children. "I don't want to hear any complaining" I said, or something like that, and sent them off to their rooms to cool down.

There are a lot of kids in the neighborhood. Friendly kids that play well with my kids. If memory serves, it takes a few weeks for all of us to get into our summer routines, and eventually all the kids start buzzing around, playing together, and the grownups socialize too. Lately, one of my neighbors and I have taken to talking about Wilco and he's kind enough to always offer me a beer. He thought I'd like Sky Blue Sky more than Yankee Hotel Foxtrot but I definitely prefer Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. I'm glad to have a neighbor that shares a love of music and beer.

The end, for now.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

momentary freakout

friday night i'm at 6-year-old's baseball game. my wife is at 9-year-old's soccer game. it's no fun to be apart, or at least it's more fun to be together. maybe that's why we text back and forth or maybe it's just habit or something else, who the hell knows. anyway i'm texting updates about baseball game and she's texting updates about soccer game. i'm chatting with people to my left and right so it's not like i'm laser focused on my phone it's just a matter of ongoing communication and planning for later. you see, it's friday night and so maybe if the games end at the same time we'll meet up for ice cream. LIVING THE DREAM. suddenly my phone screen goes blank. what the f just happened? did my 3+ year-old precious iphone just shit the bed? i don't panic but i'm trying to get the thing back on and i'm half worried about having to spend too much $$$$ on a new phone and more worried about the lapse in communication. the lines of communication have been closed oh shit. i tell 6-year-old i'm going to the car for a minute. i plug phone in thinking maybe it needs a charge but that's not it. i grab 50 cents kinda pumped up about the prospect of using a pay phone for the first time in can't remember when but ain't no pay phone on the premises.

i sit back down in my folding chair about to be reduced to borrowing phone from person next to me to text or call wife to say "hey boo phone went dead meet you at home after game". then i'm fast forwarding in my head to saturday thinking gotta dip into savings account for new phone that's how these things go OR just maybe i can go without the phone. yeah, i can go without the phone. except that's how pictures are shared and that's primary means of communication with my brother and parents and full cast of characters in my life and one of my favorite means of communication with my wife. my lifeline. my wifeline. oh yes i did just write wifeline.

PLOT TWIST the phone comes back on what's up with that don't know don't care i'm back in business "hey boo phone went dead suddenly weird but working now game about to end where u wanna meet for ice cream"?

the end.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Arrogance and Silence

Bill Maher, pleased with himself as he delivers what he thinks is a joke. Arrogance and smugness all over his face.

And five seconds of silence, smiling, and nodding from the Senator. Looks like he gulps at the end of the clip. The Senator tweeted today to say he wished he had said something.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Quote of the Day from Roxane Gay

In writing about feminism, Roxane Gay, on p. 309 of Bad Feminist, says:
"Working has little to do with having it all and much more to do with having food on the table."

I like what she says about "have it all" feminism.

Ivanka Trump feminism is a form of have it all feminism.

LeBron James: Being Black in America is Tough

The Los Angeles home of LeBron James was spray painted with racist graffiti. Here is James talking about racism in America.
Here's much of what James had to say: "It just goes to show that racism will always be a part of the world, a part of America. You know, hate in America, especially for African Americans, is living every day. Even though that it's concealed most of the time, people hide they faces, will say things about you, when they see you they smile in your face, it's alive every single day...No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, you know, being black in America is tough. We got a long way to go, for us as a society and for us as African Americans, until we feel equal in America.”