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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

AOTL Introduces He-Man Hoo-Hah Haters Club Trading Cards

The He-Man Hoo-Hah Haters Club is an informal group of mostly Republican men who don't want to hear no woman's jibber jabber on her so-called reproductive rights unless she concurs that her only God-given right is to push out babies. Though they have never been a shy bunch, the HHHC has become hyperactive during the presidency of Barack Obama. Stinging from the combination of the failed presidency of Republican George W. Bush and the loss of the White House to a Democrat, these control-obsessed men began fidgeting for something, anything over which they could demonstrate their power. They settled on women's hoo-hahs. 


This series of trading cards salutes the men in this group who have made the most conspicuous moves or comments against women and their genitalia. Collect them all. They are only available here at AOTL and you don't have to buy a Big Mac to get them!



Friday, February 10, 2012

If You Don't Like It You Should Put a Gag In It



Hopefully it will be the biggest shame of Black History Month 2012 how a bunch of race harpies jumped on Beyonce's claim of ethnic variety in her heritage. As reported in the Grio this week, Beyonce appears in a commercial for L'Oreal attributing her skin tone to a mixed racial background. According to the Grio article, "critics" charge that Beyonce is attempting to distance herself from African-Americans. 


Beyonce's critics have a right to their opinion, but they open themselves up to accusations of old-fashioned pettiness that began as the ugly step-child of the Black Pride movement of the sixties. The message of esteem for people who felt frustrated and disenfranchised was valuable for that generation coming of age. But what detracted from what should have been a positive movement was the sect of Black Police that anointed themselves the judge, jury, and executioner of modern black orthodoxy. Who were these people specifically? I have no idea just as I have no idea who the people are who are criticizing Beyonce for the way she identifies herself in a stupid makeup commercial. Obviously though, they exist.


My impression of those people is that there is a current of low self-worth that belies their so-called pride. I don't think this is just true with the Black Pride police, but with anyone who insists on any kind of purity for membership to whatever club of which they act as guardians. That sort of rigidity suggests a discomfort and a fear of isolation. Instead of learning to be happy with the person they are they surround themselves with those who are equally rigid, miserable, and judgmental. Misery loves company.


There was a time when Blacks who could do so passed for white. It often required them to perform tragic compromises including disowning their loved ones. It was this kind of stuff that the Black Pride movement was supposed to be good for. The point was not to force people to militantly deny, disavow, and ignore whatever other ethnicities they had in their background. It is going from one form of unhealthiness to another when people are forced to "love" themselves by hating other parts of who they are. 


Accusing Beyonce of distancing herself from African-Americans is pure stupidity and her critics know it. One does not distance themselves from African-Americans by marrying Jay-Z and having his baby. For those critics, it is more of statement on their own self-loathing that they make Beyonce's claims of Native American and French ancestry about themselves. In their complaints one can actually hear their fear of being abandoned by someone they have adored. 


Instead of this being a moment of shame, there is the potential for it  to be lesson time. Beyonce strikes me as a savvy woman. An ideal response from her would be to demonstrate that divulging our multi-ethnic backgrounds today does not make us any less black than we were yesterday. And most of us do have multi-ethnic backgrounds. To deny that is just as crazy as trying to pass as white in this day and age. Maybe more so. At least people who tried to pass were engaged mostly in self-destruction. Those people dumping on Beyonce are contributing to the destruction of otherwise upstanding role models. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

More Republican-Speak That Should Make You Say "WTF"

Upon (not) conceding  the Florida Republican primary to Mitt Romney on Tuesday, Newt Gingrich let loose with the type of language that someone trying to distinguish themselves as more conservative would use. 


"It is now clear that this will be a two-person race between the conservative leader, Newt Gingrich, and the Massachusetts moderate" said Gingrich after loosing decisively to Romney. Those words went in and out of most ears without any alarms for offensive language going off because we have been so used to this type of talk from Gingrich and other conservatives for a long time. What most of us have become so inured to is regions or states being used as pejorative modifiers


The putting down of U.S. states goes on in general discourse as a matter of ribbing, be it light-hearted or mean-spirited. Liberals, for example,  love rolling their eyes at the South, Texas, and now Alaska. Everyone has taken shots at New Jersey which has found it hard to live down its reputation as the kind of place that rhymes with chithole. The difference is that not everyone engages in this sort of regionalism when running for president. It is certainly not a habit of liberal-leaning presidential candidates who are more likely to embrace inclusion and acceptance.


Gingrich, on the other hand, may give lip service to the notions of inclusion and acceptance, but then will turn around and hold up the entire state of Massachusetts as a symbol of derision. Like all name calling, the root of Newt's denigration lies somewhere amid the "disvirtues" of anger, insecurity, and fear be it his or that of the few people who egg on his antisocial behavior. What is most absurd about this is that Gingrich is running for president of the entire country which includes Massachusetts. Are we to assume that Newt Gingrich loves his country with some exceptions?


The use of Massachusetts as an adjective has been around at least since the 1988 presidential election when Vice President George Bush ran against Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis. Bush dispatched Dukakis in part by referring to him as a Massachusetts liberal. It sounded mean, but it was acceptable coming from Bush. He was, after all, born in Massachusetts. It would almost be akin to a black person calling another... never mind. 



Got Gasland?

As you may have heard, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Josh Fox was recently arrested while attempting to film a congressional energy and environment subcommittee hearing. I'm no lawyer and Fox may very well have been in violation of the law. I will not take sides there, but I will take this opportunity to recommend putting "Gasland" in your Netflix queue. "Gasland" brought attention to the process of fracking which uses multiple poisons for the purpose of drilling wells to extract natural gas. Those poisons then simply seep into our groundwater. In 2005 energy policy was rewritten to exempt gas drilling from the Safe Drinking Water Act. In other words, companies that drill for natural gas are excused from any responsibility of knowingly poisoning people. 


Fox is on a mission to inform Americans on the damage being done to a principle national resource. Hopefully his arrest will bring more attention to his film. 
http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/

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