Posts Tagged ‘Daily Show’


It seems that, in the past few years, the narrative I’ve been hearing in certain circles that we no longer need Black History Month, because we’ve finally “made it.” Thus, being anti-racism means being anti-white. This past year in particular has been the greatest negation of that message, unfortunately.

There’s stop and frisk. Great video on this from The Daily Show laying out the issue. A pair of different comedy routines that I saw suggest that if those folks on Wall Street with their [shudder] briefcases were stopped and frisked to see if they were planning some economic crime, especially in the demeaning way it takes place – think the airport TSA, on steroids, only more rude – the policy would be off the books next week.

Reading the Floyd decision, “it seems clear that it was the stories of how Stop and Frisk and TAP operated on the ground to keep Black and Latino people under siege in their own homes, not the battle of the experts via statistics, that ultimately persuaded Judge Scheindlin about the complete irrationality of Stop and Frisk as implemented, and about the utter inability of the psyche of the NYPD to voluntarily accept its own racism, such that Stop and Frisk could be operated in a truly race-neutral fashion.”

Of course, it’s not just the state acting badly: The New York state attorney general is investigating Macy’s Inc. and Barneys New York Inc. after complaints from black customers who were stopped by police after making luxury purchases. As Larry Wilmore, the senior black correspondent for The Daily Show, noted, if we want young black men to keep their pants up, we can’t then have them arrested for purchasing a belt.

And one of my favorite examples, a restaurant asks 25 black people to leave because one white person felt “threatened“.

Sometimes, it’s not the big stuff, it’s the little irritants that get under one’s skin. Gee, you don’t sound black on the radio by Ken Screven, former local news reporter. I’ve not been on the radio, but I have spent time on the phone a lot at FantaCo and now at the SBDC and I have seen that response when meeting people in person for the first time.

I picked that vintage cover to illustrate a greater point: it can’t just be black people concerned about black people’s issues. We all need to be conscious of discrimination where we find it, whether it be discrimination by race, gender or sexual orientation. And it’s even more effective when white people speak out against racism when they see it – like here, men confront sexism, and straights openly reject homophobia. It can’t just be THEIR problem, it must be OUR problem.
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Great reads for the month from Departing the Text.

Monsanto, a large agricultural entity in the US, apparently needs protection, for the US Congress has passed, back in the spring of 2013, what has been dubbed the Monsanto Protection Act, which, critics claim, “effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of controversial genetically modified (aka GMO) or genetically engineered (GE) seeds, no matter what health issues may arise concerning GMOs in the future”. The bill has been recently reauthorized in the House, but not the Senate. (Meanwhile, while supporting corporate welfare, the House GOP axes food assistance for millions of Americans.)

So what’s the issue with GMOs? It is believed that GMOs are not safe. “They have been linked to thousands of toxic and allergenic reactions, thousands of sick, sterile, and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ and system studied in lab animals.” Read the rest of this entry »

©www.jimbenton.com. Used by permission.

Here’s the truth of the matter: I was away last weekend, overbooked. (Will explain, eventually.) I’ve been exhausted much of the week, rather ticked by something else, and it’s difficult to write. I’ve created ONE blog post for this site this week (the one about the possible Olympic boycott in 2014).

Since I write ahead, it wasn’t an IMMEDIATE problem, but eventually, it would be. At the same time, I hit on a whole bunch of linkage, enough (as of August 9, as I write this) for a whole post, with three weeks to (I hope) find more linking goodness for the end of the month. So consider this my summer vacation/”it’s my blog and I’ll cheat if I want” post.

The Mark Evanier News from ME section, in honor of him being named by TIME magazine, as one of the 25 Best Bloggers of 2013:
While I am very fond of his stories about his parents individually, I love Tales of My Mother and My Father #1. “My parents met in Hartford, Connecticut in the mid-forties. They dated for a time but there was enormous pressure for them to not do this. My father, you see, was Jewish. My mother, you see, was Catholic.” Read the rest of this entry »

When I have a subscription to Newsweek, which I get when they’re desperate enough to make me an offer I can’t refuse, one of the features I’ve enjoyed most is when they bring together a group of actors for which there is potentially Academy Awards buzz. But this year’s issue was lackluster, and I know why: some of the best stuff was excised and placed on the Daily Beast website. I’m sitting, reading my magazine, and the last thing I want to do is turn on some electronic device. Especially if I’m reading a week-old magazine and am having trouble FINDING the related piece.

Worse is PARADE magazine. Read the rest of this entry »


I’m watching The Daily Show with Jon Stewart recently, miraculously only a couple days after the show aired. John C. Reilly, who I know best from the movie Chicago, was on, ostensibly to plug his new movie, Cyrus. But it is what he said about music, at about 4:20 of this clip, that really struck me. Seems that when he was a kid, when his mom or dad would say a word or a phrase, he would come up with a song to go along with it. I did/do the same damn thing!

And while we both realized it could be really annoying, it was not done for that purpose. It happened because that’s the way we connect the dots in the world. I was reading a cereal box recently, FCOL, and the first sentence was “Life is complicated.” IMMEDIATELY, I thought, “Why is life SO COM-pli-cated?” That’s a line from which uses the Stevie Wonder-penned song, because I haven’t yet SEEN that yet.
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I wanted to write about the singer Jimmy Dean, but needed an angle, and didn’t find one until I read this article. Of COURSE! The Muppet Rowlf was a regular on the Jimmy Dean Show, sometime during its 1963-1966 run on ABC-TV, which I would occasionally watch. So Dean hired Jim Henson early on. Here’s a dated bit between country singer and dog, a Rowlf ad for the Dean show, and an ad for a Rowlf doll; note the early version of Kermit the Frog.

The other thing about Jimmy Dean is his big hit, Big Bad John, and how near the end, when the line reads, “At the bottom of this mine lies a big, big man.” Yet I always hear something coarser, such as “a helluva man.”

If I ever had his sausage, I have no recollection.
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Crispian St. Peters died, best known for song called Pied Piper. But he also had a minor hit with Evanier gives details of the great artist’s life.

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