General Disarray

Why Flamenco Chops Matter

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Two Completely Unrelated Stories

invisiblemen

Today, Stinque brings you two completely unrelated stories from the great state of North Carolina:

Our first item, comes to us from scenic Randolph County, where the local school board has voted 5-2 to remove all copies of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man from public school libraries, after the parent of an 11th grader complained about the book. Ellison’s novel has heretofore been considered  a classic of American literature and an invaluable portrait of the black experience in America and landmark narrative of racial alienation at a time in our nation’s history when, in many regions of the country, African American’s were routinely denied, not just the vote, but the right to eat, shop and attend school in the same establishments as whites. The novel won its author the 1953 National Book award.

However, this assessment has more recently come under fire by members of the Randolph County school board. Speaking for the majority, board member and literary authority, Gary Mason, pronounced that he “didn’t find any literary value” in the work, and so it has been banished.

Our second story, gentle reader, comes to us from Charlotte, where, in a comedy of errors befitting a Three Stooges film, or Movie Night in Hitler’s Bunker, an injured African American man who managed to drag himself away from a horrible accident, found himself, first shunned by a terrified homeowner to whom he had turned for help, and then, riddled with bullets by a police officer who mistook the young black man’s pleas for help as an impending attack. Before making questionable decision to turn to white people in North Carolina for help with his injuries, Jonathan Ferrell played football for Florida A &M, where he majored in Chemistry.

Now, there may be some among you who would seek to find some link between these stories, to see an underlying commonality in a story about members of a white North Carolina school board who see no literary value in the great American Classic Novel of African American alienation and residents and police officers of a North Carolina city who react to the pleas of a wounded African American man with fear and deadly violence. But if that was your first reaction then allow us to assure you that you’re barking up the wrong tree and you couldn’t be more wrong. Trust us, there’s nothing to see here. Apples and oranges. Now, please move on.

Newsflash: Politician Says Something Really Stupid

MichaelDumbergWe’ll be the first to confess that there are times when Michael Bloomberg comes across as an admirable voice of sanity in an otherwise insane world. The New York Mayor’s courageous stand on gun control would be one example. And even his much ridiculed legislative jihad against monstrous, sugar laden soft-drinks surely has a laudable concern for public health at its heart. But there are times when the man takes positions that can only be described as stupid.

This is one of those times. In an interview published today in New York Magazine Michael Bloomberg accuses Bill de Blasio, the current Democratic frontrunner in the race to succeed him, of running a racist political campaign for prominently featuring his mixed-race family in campaign commercials:

I mean he’s making an appeal using his family to gain support. I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone watching what he’s been doing. I do not think he himself is racist. It’s comparable to me pointing out I’m Jewish in attracting the Jewish vote. You tailor messages to your audiences and address issues you think your audience cares about. 

It’s truly mind boggling that the man who is most responsible for, and is the most prominent defender of, New York’s controversial stop and frisk policing methods, and who later in that same interview insists that the best way to reduce crime in the city is to get guns out of the hands of “minority males” could accuse another politician of racism for running campaign ads that prominently feature his mixed-race family. But then, I guess in a nation that accepts the notion that anti-gay propaganda equates to promoting “family values” while relentlessly slashing taxes in the hopes of driving the nation into bankruptcy and then dismantling our meager welfare state constitutes “fiscal/deficit hawkishness…” well, why not… Hell, let’s take it one step further and note that our president is perhaps the most racist individual alive today for having the temerity to run for office without once hiding the fact that he is black and the child of a interracial marriage.

(Update: New York Magazine is now offering the following text and tagging it as a “correction:”

Well, no, no, I mean he’s making an appeal using his family to gain support. I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone watching what he’s been doing. I do not think he himself is racist. It’s comparable to me pointing out I’m Jewish in attracting the Jewish vote. You tailor messages to your audiences and address issues you think your audience cares about.

The previous statement, in which Bloomberg describes de Blasio’s campaign as one characterized by ”Class-warfare and racist” remains unchanged.)

(Via: The New York Times)

Buddy Rich Is God. All You Had to Do Was Ask Him.

GI jazz, yeah, sure, but OMG the bands he could assemble. They happened once.

Remember When the Tonight Show Was Worth Watching?

. . . If only to catch glimpses of the band between commercial breaks.

Bristol Palin and Melissa Rivers switch lives on ‘Wife Swap’…

HIs this the sign of the End Times? “Single mom Bristol Palin recently left the rural confines of her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, to trade places with reality star Melissa Rivers on the season premiere of ABC’s “Celebrity Wife Swap.” The teen abstinence advocate had a chance to live the life of a busy Hollywood mogul when she moved in with Rivers’ mother, famed comedian Joan Rivers, into their sprawling Los Angeles mansion.” [Fox News]

Respighi Would Have Dug It

Worth checking out just for the arrangement of the Pines. The recording was quashed in 1975 when Hawthorne was ejected from the field after they were protested successfully for having overaged members. Some of the guys in the drum line looked like they were in their 30s but no one could remember a competitive protest that put out a national championship contender.

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