Racism Still Exists? GASP!

Is it me or is the rest of the country just ignorant to the fact that rich white kids in the South are, for the most part, racist. That’s not to say that they are bigots. They may not act on that racism against other races, but they certainly think it.

Take this story on CNN, Racist Party at Clemson. They seem almost breathless that white kids might be insensitive on MLK, Jr. day. As a graduate of a southern state school, I can guarantee that those kids knew exactly what they were doing. They were intentionally exhibiting stereotypes of black people in an attempt to belittle and mock MLK, Jr. day. Some of it might have been motivated by a misplaced sense of hipster irony, but the majority of it was that they simply don’t see anything wrong with what they were doing.

What bothers me most is not the racism itself (that cause is far beyond my ability to solve for anyone other than myself and those I deal with), but the fact that journalists and others around the country seem so surprised. In that same vein, CNN is also showing some video coverage of the “E-Gate scandal” out in Seattle. The tone of the whole thing seems to be surprise and mocking horror.

I wonder what world these people live in that they see such little racism around them. It’s hard to avoid in the news, in commercials, and in almost all media. How can these people not be aware of the huge undercurrent of racial tension in this country? How can they not see that the poor and the minorities are still being walked on, even in the military, where they serve as cannon fodder while only hoping to make a step up the ladder.

Where does this surprise come from?

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Yonder Mountain String Band

Woohoo! I just bought tickets to see Yonder Mountain String Band at City Hall in downtown Nashville. This is in addition to the TV On the Radio show I bought tickets for a few days ago.

Unfortunately, I had to use Ticketmaster. So, for $40 worth of tickets, I ended up paying $62.50. That’s more than 50% in fees and taxes. It’s absolute highway robbery. It’s $6.95 per ticket, plus tax, plus a nebulous $4.95 charge for something, and then $2.50 to EMAIL me the tickets. That charge to email something is just amazing, especially considering that they put ads in the files which they email.

It’s a testament to Yonder Mountain String Band’s draw that I would put up with Ticketmaster’s bullshit. Why can’t someone take these guys out of the market?

Max It Out

Nick Bradbury, of Homesite, TopStyle, and FeedDemon fame, is asking folks in Nashville to spread the word about Max It Out. This is a worthwhile charity event, and though I’ve not attended it (I’m new to Nashville), you can read more about it from Nick.

The charity is involved in raising money to study and hopefully, cure bacterial meningitis while raising awareness of how devastating the disease can be, especially in children.

If you’re in Nashville, check it out.

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TV on the Radio

I’m finally going to get to see TV on the Radio live. They are playing at the Mercy Lounge in Nashville in March. I’ve already ordered the tickets. I really up they live up to the hype in my head.

Buying a Car

I just bought a new car. It’s a 2005 Kia Spectra5 with 19,000 miles. I have pretty bad credit because of some dumb decisions when I was right out of college.

With that, the credit companies feel free to rake me over the coals. It’s their perogative in the free market, I suppose.

For all the recent chatter about the consumer being empowered by the web and car buying becoming a buyer’s transaction, I still feel like I just got done filming my first movie with Jeff Stryker. What would it take to make car buying as good and easy an experience as buying a book from Amazon?

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CNN Homepage Screenshot I came home this afternoon expecting a lot of news about the bombing in Greece. Instead, there is nothing on the cable news shows and nothing on the major news outlets online. This is a screenshot from CNN.com as of 4:40pm CST. There is nothing about Greece and certainly nothing “above the fold.”

Foxnews.com ScreenshotFoxNews.com is having the same problem as there site is showing nothing. I have been flipping between CNN, MSNBC, Headline News and Fox News for an hour now. There has been no word at all about the bombing in Greece. Am I missing something or this some sort of media blackout? The only news I can get is from European sources. This really stinks.

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Has It Begun?

On CNN at this second: “Explosion rips through U.S. Embassy compound in Athens, Greece.”

Is this the beginning of the end? Will there be a worldwide about-face against the U.S.? Perhaps there already is and this is the result of that downturn.

Let’s hope it was just a gas leak. Of course it’s not. I am beside myself.

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President Bush has decided to send 20,000 more troops to Iraq. He takes responsibility for the mistakes that have been made. In effect, he apologized for what he has gotten us into.

This apology is meaningless. Bush says that failure in Iraq means that “Radical Islamic extremists would grow in strength and gain new recruits.” He understands that we are in an untenable situation with seemingly no path to victory.

How can he even stand in front of us? Does he not realize that he is the only reason we are in this situation? His repeated attempts to continue to connect Iraq to the “war on terror” only prove how insane this man must be. Then, he throws in a few fear-mongering comments about Iran’s nuclear ambitions. It’s the classic scenario of the man who is building more and more lies on top of lies to try to cover up his mistakes.

None of this had to happen. There were no missiles aimed at our citizens. There were no missiles at all. It was a concoction designed for political gain and nothing more. 20,000 more troops are being placed in harm’s way only so that one man can save face rather than save lives.

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If Bush’s plan is wrong, what is the right path? I don’t know. I’m not sure anyone knows. It may be unsolvable. However, Bush thinks he knows and that’s the most dangerous kind of knowledge. He feels as though he has a moral and righteous duty to follow the path he has created. He feels as though he is bound by faith to continue to press forward.

That faith is as dangerous as it was for the Crusaders, because it is blind to the reality in which it exists. Faith is blind and dump to anything that might speak against it. Bush, a man of faith is lost because faith has let him down.

Some part of him now knows that he is a man with no nation and a God that has forsaken him. My greatest fear is that he will attempt to sacrifice something to gain God’s favor again.

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Dually published here: Fylmic Glory at Fylmz.com

There is already a chorus of great criticism for Children of Men. Metacritic is showing a score of 85. RottenTomatoes is showing a score of 93. I will add my voice to that chorus after seeing the film this evening. Alfonso Cuaron’s take on the P.D. James novel is disturbing, heartbreaking, frightening, and awe-inspiring. There are virtuosic moments surrounded by profound and deeply affecting thematic insights.

With inspired camera control and acting of such a perfect tone, the film immediately pulls you into the dystopian vision it creates. That vision is present in every scene, yet never seems heavy-handed. It merely seems like the terrifying reality that it is. The fascist government of this future creeps in at the corner of every frame. Within this fully-realized society on the brink of chaos, we are met with the spark of humanity and we will do anything to see it protected.

Cuaron easily balances the high-concept political themes with the amazingly realistic scenes of random and explosive violence at its mindless height. When the film might devolve into a mindless action movie, Cuaron pauses and presents us with another nugget of the beautifully horrible possibilities facing the characters. That is, the action is always tempered with moments where the viewer is allowed to contemplate how frighteningly possible this future is.

I’m trying not to give too much away here, so I won’t go into plot details or ruin some of the amazing moments in this film. All I can do is beg you to go see it.

He broke all the rules with his announcement. I loved every minute of it.

I really thought Tom Vilsack had something going with his video blog. In fact, I am still rapt when I see it pop up in my news reader. However, John Edwards has really grasped the idea of the grassroots and letting the citizens lead his campaign.

With his downbeat demeanor, yet his insistence on hope, Edwards makes for a compelling candidate for many all along the political spectrum. I can’t wait to see his energizing message sweep across the nation. With Saddam Hussein’s execution today, his punch might be somewhat limited, but it’s impossible to stop a message like this. Even if you disagree with the message, it’s powerful to see how his different approach has seemingly woken up the progressive voter base.

You will have noticed that I am not taking a neutral journalistic approach here. I am supporting Edwards for President and I will try to be circumspect in what I cover. Like all really good citizens, I am excited by his message, but I am also aware of being led by the nose. In other words, there is still a margin of cynicism that I will use to keep Edwards and his campaign honest to the best of my abilities.

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