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Monday, March 30, 2009

On Tuesday, The Comic Shoppe Show Opens-7pm ET-Discussing The Next Group of Comic Heroes Slated For the Silver Screen, Last Week's Smallville & More!

Keeping it simple, folks! Join Dburt, Max and Daryll on Tuesday at 7pm (ET) to discuss the following: Marvel Entertainment is allegedly increasing their writing staff to address movies centered on obscure characters; our thoughts on the Superman/Batman: Public Enemies animated DVD being released shortly after the Green Lantern animated project; more on Smallville (the greenlighting of 9th season, Zatanna's recent appearance, JLA revelation), more opinions on upcoming comic book celluloid projects and graphic novel related properties being opted for future films (i.e. Godkiller, Iron Man 2, Wonder Woman, No Heroics) and of course our favorite comic picks from last week. Feel free to call in with your comments/questions at: 646-200-0104 or via IM/email-thecomicshoppe@yahoo.com.

The Comic Shoppe's Week in Review

Ok....now this was just funny:

Man, O Man.....and So It Begins....Pathology Run Amuck in Oakland, CA!

Time constraints.....Time constraints. I will say my piece in a few hours but the excuses have to stop. Black death at the hands of other folks of color must cease and just getting angry when it's a White power structure model (in this case the police) is a tired precept as well. Again more in a few...check this out in the interim:

Cop killing is a bad political cause

And while some in the African-American community continue to rail against the police, Black death at the hands of other Blacks goes unanswered. Where are the marches? But we'll talk about (my constraints, you know)....again, as a preview, check out this excerpt from JournalGazette.net:

It’s been three years since Wendy Morris lost her youngest boy. When she remembers the good times, she laughs. But then her expression turns serious, tears well up in her eyes and the pain resurfaces.

“I haven’t healed. I don’t think I’ll ever heal from it,” she said. “There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of Antoine.”

In February 2006, Antoine Latham, 20, was shot to death in an argument over a game of dice.

Sadness overwhelms Morris when she thinks about both her son and the man who killed him, Ezekiel Jones, who was sentenced to 55 years in prison for the murder.

“There’s two more kids that are just gone,” Morris said. “My heart goes out to him and his family.”

Over the last 10 years, nearly 60 percent of Fort Wayne’s homicide victims were black, according to police records.

Only 17.4 percent of the city’s population is black, according to the most recent available U.S. Census data.

Nationwide, Indiana ranks third in the percentage of homicide victims who are black. Nearly 33 of every 100,000 blacks became homicide victims in 2006, according to a study released by the Violence Policy Center this year. That number is six times the national average.

Here's the article in its entirety:

Black victims ‘too many’

Friday, March 27, 2009

Just A Spring Time Rock & Funk Intermission.....His Royal Badness on Thursday's Tonight Show

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Just a Preview for Sunday's (7pm ET) Afronerd Radio Broadcast-Educator, Garrard McClendon Stops by to "Ax or Ask!"

I must confess, I am really excited about this particular interview. We have been trying to schedule a sit down with Mr. McClendon for quite some time and again, his efforts are to be applauded. For those unfamiliar with Garrard McClendon, I think it's safe to say that he received a great deal of recent notoriety centering around his book, Ax or Ask? The African American Guide to Better English. I have referenced McClendon a few times throughout this blog's journey because Mr. Starks and I (in the vein of Drs. Cosby and Poussaint) are sticklers for communities of color to embrace the need to speak Standard American English (SAE, for the uninitiated). African American Vernacular English (AAVE) or Black English has its cultural place and significance but being able to speak the King's English is paramount, if one (irrespective of color or nationality) is to progress in this society. But you guys know this.....just listen to your president. Remember to mark your calendars for this Sunday at 7pm eastern.

And for your further edification, take a gander at this brief snippet from a PBS documentary entitled, Do You Speak American?-

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Why Does This Stuff Keep Happening? Radio Host, Tammy Bruce Believes the Obamas To Be "Trash"

Wow...and some folks still remain befuddled as to why our party is in disarray. For folks who are familiar with the conservative bent that this blog possess, they should also know that we are not ideologues-one's political buttock (left or right cheek) will surely be placed on the George Foreman grill, if speaking out of turn. I suggest that Tammy Bruce should be the next person to get sauteed! It's one thing to question, our conservative cred but Bruce, who is gay, a pro-choice advocate (and conservative....go figure) still felt compelled to lambaste the Obamas (more specifically, the First Lady) as "trash." Do I really have to dignify this with a serious response? Tammy..stick to the issues and drop the Ann Coulter act! Ms. Coulter already has the patent on crude and obtuse non sequiturs-stop going to the shallow end of the political pool to find yours. Let's hear from our readers on this one.....

Hey as an added treat, check out this Sharpton vs. Hitchens debate. I actually believe Hitchens got the best of the usually unflappable Rev. Hot Comb:

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Comic Shoppe Opens Tues at 7pm ET-Discussing The New Stargate Universe Series, New Star Trek Series?, Comic Book Must Haves & More!

Let's keep it succinct and simple, shall we? Comic Shoppe Radio returns tomorrow at 7pm eastern to discuss the latest news in the world of pulp and fantasy. Join Daryll, Max and I as we discuss the following: A continuation of the Afronerd Radio discourse concerning last week's BSG finale; The Sci-Fi (soon to be SyFy) network is proposing a new Phantom series; and speaking of a new series....is Star Trek next to be revitalized on the boob tube?; Star Gate returns....sort of, in the form of Star Gate Universe; what are your comic book/sci-fi/fantasy must haves? Kirk's Captain's chair? Thor's prop hammer? A special comic? And of course, we will highlight our favorite graphic novel reads from last week. Feel free to call in with your questions/comments at-646-200-0104 or via email/IM-thecomicshoppe@yahoo.com.

The Comic Shoppe's Week in Review

And check this out, while you wait....Bruce Lee vs. Iron Man:

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I know this is Dumb but still......Can This Guy Really Play the Guitar?

I know this is an inane subject considering the country is in a financial crisis, but real musicianship is a concern of ours. The question remains, can Lil' Wayne really shred? In recent years I have seen rappers use instruments as props which serves as further evidence that our music is dying. I have seen some live footage of Lil' Weezy attempting to play the guitar and it was something akin to a pre-schooler playing Guitar Hero (speaking of which, don't forget that the Jimi Hendrix edition is forthcoming) but does the above video show a glimmer of at least mediocrity? What say you? We may have to revisit this on tomorrow's Afronerd Radio broadcast.

Back To Our Sci-Fi Roots on Afronerd Radio, Sun. at 7pm ET-Discussing Battlestar's Finale, The 1st Lady on Talking "White", Obama on Leno & More!

We haven't addressed sci-fi in awhile on Afronerd Radio (The Comic Shoppe show,notwithstanding), so let's get back into it! Join us this Sunday at 7pm (ET) to discuss yesterday's Battlestar Galactica finale. We may also address the larger question of minority representation in the science fiction genre (or the lack thereof). And as custom, we will also use our analytical microscopes to discuss the following: First Lady, Michelle Obama takes on the talking "White" phenomenon from an African-American perspective (a topic which is timely as educator, Garrard McClendon of Ax or Ask fame will be our guest on the 29th); President Obama's historic appearance on The Tonight Show and the controversy swirling around it; taking a look at the latest 14 year old conservative wunderkind, Jonathan Krohn and a wrapup of what transpired on the blog this week. Feel free to drop by with your comments/questions at-646-915-9620 or via IM/email-afronerdradio@yahoo.com. And as always.....remember the Afronerd mantra-Be there and Be square.

Afronerd Radio's Week in Review

And while you wait for the show, check out these two "intermission" links:

Bad Paintings of Barack Obama

Anyone interested in a "green" PC? Cardboard, anyone? This may be a consideration in the future....for real:

Is it Recycle or Recompute?

Friday, March 20, 2009

And If You Missed It-The 1st Sitting President to be on the Tonight Show-President Obama

It's a shame that President Obama's alleged faux pas pertaining to his Special Olympics remark appears to be overshadowing the entire purpose of this interview. Talk about much ado about nothing.....anywho....check out the rock solo intermission for your consumption while you wait for the next Afronerd Radio broadcast-believe it or not it's Captain Kirk (on the guitar....and no not Bill Shatner, silly) featuring the Roots a few weeks ago at Manhattan's Highline Ballroom:

Oh and just one more thing....help us promote Afronerd Radio. Help us spread the word not just about our show but more about the need for a different discourse, especially as it pertains to varied music for folks of color (and everyone else, truth be told). Place this banner (below) on your blog/site or better yet email everyone who has a site that would respect our efforts (even if you don't respect the politics)-

Please email us at afronerdblog@yahoo.com for the code.....Thank You for your support.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

From the Mouths of Babes.......A Conservative Message Thanks To Jonathan Krohn!

Am I hallucinating or is this young man a better representative (certainly more articulate) for the conservative movement than the vaunted Sarah Palin? I have no problems with precocious young folk as long as they make sense and young master Krohn appears to have it! What I do not like is the small mindedness that is coming from the progressives who believe that Krohn is a victim of a form of child abuse or that he is a Republican parrot being duped by overzealous parents. Would these criticisms be levied against him if he were spouting a leftist message? First off, I can appreciate a young person who can actually speak, irrespective of his political bent. My main concern now is.....where is the young male or female conservative color who could (and should be) be the contemporary of Krohn? The difference between Krohn and Palin is that after their respective debut speeches (Palin at last year's Republican convention and Krohn at CPAC), Krohn actually appears to have the savvy (and a knowledge base) that Palin did not. And what is even more troubling is that I suspect that this young man would have fared better against Katie Couric than Palin. I may just pick up his book, Define Conservatism-talk about a kid on the move. Here's his website:

Jonathan Krohn's Define Conservatism

And lastly, this lad may also serve as an excellent spokesperson for the home schooled......makes one go, hmmmmm.

Curtis "50 cent" Jackson Subs for Forest Whitaker? What's Next......Eminem to Remake Laurence Olivier's Henry V?

Again, another shout out goes to our resident film critic/Afronerd commenter, Sergio for notifying me of this latest travesty. It appears do to scheduling conflicts, Oscar winning actor, Forest Whitaker had to opt out of an interesting "buddy" project entitled The Expendables. The billing in this film reads like an updated version of The Dirty Dozen-Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mickey Rourke, Jason Statham and Jet Li, just to name a few. But a former crack dealer replacing thespian heavyweight, Whitaker? And our detractors insist that the minstrel age doesn't exist in the 21st century.....think again. Here's more, thanks to ContactMusic.com:

Hollywood tough guy SYLVESTER STALLONE has defended his decision to cast rapper 50 CENT in his forthcoming movie THE EXPENDABLES - after fans slammed the casting call in an online forum.
The Rocky veteran is currently shooting the all-star action film The Expendables in Brazil, which sees some of Tinsletown's most notorious action stars team up, including Jet Li, Mickey Rourke and Jason Statham.
Forest Whitaker was also slated to appear in the movie as Agent Will Sands, but was forced to drop out due to scheduling conflicts after shooting on the Stallone's film was pushed back.
Stallone approached 50 Cent to take on the role, but the decision has come under fire from film fans who suggest the star isn't a credible actor.
Now, the the star has taken to his forum, StalloneZone, to assure fans he will guide the hip-hop star through the role.
Stallone writes to the forum's administrator, "Please tell the loyal followers to be positive not negative in their feedback. I am not self-destructive. The anger of the casting of 50 Cent is understandable, but not fair.
"A player is only as good as his coach. If a man can communicate in one medium, he can communicate in another if his strengths are brought out and he has the support of well-wishers. So, trust me, the change of Forest Whitaker to 50 Cent AKA Curtis Jackson is a good one."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

People Are Actually Disturbed By Madea? Shudder the Thought!

I was fortunate enough to receive an email from our consistent supporter, Sergio (of the Bloodsport blog) earlier today pertaining to what I consider to be a legitimate critique of filmmaker, Tyler Perry's movies. But it apppears that there are a number of criticisms that are floating around cyberspace (and beyond) as it relates to Perry's brand of neo-minstrelsy. First, let's take a look at a snippet from the article Sergio referenced:

Courtesy of the Washington Post:

At the AMC Magic Johnson Capital Centre 12 in Landover, where Madea is being shown 14 times a day, I was hoping to get a clue as to why this man in drag is so popular. And with the movie featuring guest appearances by Whoopi Goldberg, Dr. Phil, Judge Mathis and Al Sharpton, perhaps I'd even get in a laugh or two.

Boy, was I wrong -- on both counts.

All around me you could almost hear the funny bones cracking -- deep guttural laughter coming not only from kids in the audience but from my peers in the AARP set, as well.

And there I sat, silently ranting: There is nothing funny about this black man in pantyhose. And where is all of this cross-dressing-black-man stuff coming from, anyway? First, comedians Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence star in high-grossing movies as the fattest, ugliest black women that Hollywood makeup artists can conjure up, and now here's Perry with his gussied-up version of the same butt of the joke.

By the way, I don't want to hear diddly about Robin Williams as Mrs. Doubtfire or Milton Berle in high heels. Having a black man play super mammy is not the same thing. Perhaps it would be were it not for America's perverse, systemic and centuries-long efforts to humiliate African men and women and turn them into slaves.

Click herehere for the remainder of the Post article and then check out another article excerpt with similar concerns:

Thanks to EW.com:

If you happened to buy a ticket to Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail without knowing what you were getting into, you might think you'd stumbled onto a cheery comedy about an overgrown granny with anger-management issues. A black Mrs. Doubtfire, say, with car chases and reefer jokes. You'd never suspect that you had strayed into the midst of a culture war — one that's been simmering inside the African-American community since before blackface. ''I loved working with Tyler Perry, but he's a controversial, complicated figure,'' says Viola Davis, who costarred in Madea Goes to Jail and recently snagged an Oscar nomination for Doubt. ''People feel the images [in his movies] are very stereotypical, and black people are frustrated because they feel we should be more evolved. But there are very few black images in Hollywood, so black people are going to his movies. That's the dichotomy. Tyler Perry is making money.''

A lot of money. Jail has already earned more than $75 million, making it Perry's highest-grossing film to date. And his seven movies — starting with his 2005 big-screen drag debut as Madea in Diary of a Mad Black Woman — have grossed more than $350 million combined, putting him on track to join John Singleton and Keenen Ivory Wayans as one of the most successful black filmmakers ever. He may already be the most divisive. At a time when Barack Obama is presenting the world with a bold new image of black America, Perry is being slammed for filling his films with regressive, down-market archetypes. In many of his films there's a junkie prostitute, a malaprop-dropping uncle, and Madea, a tough-talking grandma the size of a linebacker (''Jemima the Hutt,'' one character calls her). ''Tyler keeps saying that Madea is based on black women he's known, and maybe so,'' says Donald Bogle, acclaimed author of Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies, & Bucks: An Interpretive History of Blacks in American Films. ''But Madea does have connections to the old mammy type. She's mammy-like. If a white director put out this product, the black audience would be appalled.''

Click on the link below for the EW.com piece in its entirety:

Tyler Perry: The Controversy Over His Hit Movies

What do you guys think about the articles' assertions? Is Perry the only one making movies with Black imagery in mind? Is it a matter of a lack of diversified imagery for people of color or is this a matter of oversensitivity? I suspect you know what we think but what say you?

Oh and then there's the lack of good programming (or rather non existent Black programming) on network televison as well:

No Smooth Ride on TV Networks’ Road to Diversity

And after you read the above NY Times piece, all I can say is...is it incuumbent upon Whites to produce Black programs? In some ways the answer is "yes" and in many ways "no." If one looks at the issue in the affirmative (and not the "action" kind) race should not be a handicap when it comes down to providing good acting roles and showcasing talent. But one must ask, where is the Black "brain trust" when it comes down to developing movies and tv shows with depth and sophistication. And if these programs come to fruition, will a Black audience (and other racial/cultural groups) be willing to patronize such an effort?

Jane, Stop this Crazy Thing! The Jetsons Have Arrived-Check Out This Flying Car!

More serious fare (or not) coming up in a few....

Monday, March 16, 2009

There Was An Afro Punk Before There Was An Afro Punk.....A Dream Deferred-Introducing Death

I don't know if this next story is indicative of the cycle of life model but what transpired in this tale appears to be neverending. It's a story you've probably heard about or witnessed many times over. A person (or persons) of color attempts to fight the cultural box or expectation that has been ascribed to him. The overseeing corporate or social order denies him (or her) the chance to create a new box. The person of color's box is ultimately discarded, never to be seen again. What exactly am I talking about? While listening to Howard 100 (Howard Stern's channel on Sirius-XM) this morning, Stern sidekick Artie Lange alluded to a Black punk rock band that he found out about while reading yesterday's NY Times. Take a gander at this excerpt from the Times as it truly is another example of a dream deferred. It's time for a Black Rock station/channel folks.....more history uncovered:

Courtesy of the NY Times:

ON an evening in late February at a club here called the Monkey House, there was a family reunion of sorts. As the band Rough Francis roared through a set of anthemic punk rock, Bobby Hackney leaned against the bar and beamed. Three of his sons — Bobby Jr., Julian and Urian — are in Rough Francis, but his smile wasn’t just about parental pride. It was about authorship too. Most of the songs Rough Francis played were written by Bobby Sr. and his brothers David and Dannis during their days in the mid-1970s as a Detroit power trio called Death.

The group’s music has been almost completely unheard since the band stopped performing more than three decades ago. But after all the years of silence, Death’s moment has finally arrived. It comes, however, nearly a decade too late for its founder and leader, David Hackney, who died of lung cancer in 2000. “David was convinced more than any of us that we were doing something totally revolutionary,” said Bobby Sr., 52.

Forgotten except by the most fervent punk rock record collectors — the band’s self-released 1976 single recently traded hands for the equivalent of $800 — Death would likely have remained lost in obscurity if not for the discovery last year of a 1974 demo tape in Bobby Sr.’s attic. Released last month by Drag City Records as “... For the Whole World to See,” Death’s newly unearthed recordings reveal a remarkable missing link between the high-energy hard rock of Detroit bands like the Stooges and MC5 from the late 1960s and early ’70s and the high-velocity assault of punk from its breakthrough years of 1976 and ’77. Death’s songs “Politicians in My Eyes,” “Keep On Knocking” and “Freakin Out” are scorching blasts of feral ur-punk, making the brothers unwitting artistic kin to their punk-pioneer contemporaries the Ramones, in New York; Rocket From the Tombs, in Cleveland; and the Saints, in Brisbane, Australia. They also preceded Bad Brains, the most celebrated African-American punk band, by almost five years.

And for more Death, click on the links below:

This Band Was Punk Before Punk Was Punk

Death's Myspace page

And as corny as this pun may seem, you just can't escape Death. Check out their progenies, Rough Francis:

I Think This Will Discussed on Tuesday's Comic Shoppe Broadcast-Is The Resident Evil 5 Video Game Racist?

Just when the NAACP decides to tackle alleged discrimination against Black folk for being targeted by sub-prime mortgage lenders, the video game industry might be next on the famed civil rights organization's hit list. Perhaps further investigation (heck, I'll probably pick up this game in a few days) into this issue may be required. On the surface the previous incarnations of this game have taken place in other regions and included characters from varied racial strata-for the fifth sequel, it's Africa's turn. Again, this issue is deserving of more in depth clarity and we will revisit it on Tuesday. Meanwhile, read pro and con diatribes debating whether Resident Evil 5 truly is racist:

Courtesy of the NY Times (Not racist argument)-

There’s No Time to Rest Until the Last Zombie in Africa Is Toast

Courtesy of LiveScience.com (Yes, It's racism argument)-

For Better or Worse, 'Resident Evil 5' Exposes Racism

What do our readers think? Is this game promoting racial stereotypes or is it just Africa's turn to be depicted in this franchise?

And in maintaining the Afronerd comic book/video game motif as it relates to this entry, Black Voices has an interesting piece concerning Terrence Howard's loss of the "Rhodey" character in the Iron Man sequels juxtaposed with Sam Jackson's gain in 9 future Marvel Studios projects:

Samuel Jackson's Marvel Deal Adds Sting To Terrence Howard's Pay Revolt

Sunday, March 15, 2009

And Just To Give You A Quick Preview of An Upcoming Interview....Writer, Director Nelson George Pays A Visit to Afronerd Radio!

Just givng our readers and radio listeners a quick heads up! Mark your calendars for April 12th as that is the tentative date that the great Nelson George is scheduled to pay a visit to Afronerd Radio. We will be discussing his latest work, City Kid: A Writer's Memoir of Ghetto Life and Post-Soul Success more info forthcoming......

Oh and if you want to take a look at Mr. George's directorial handiwork in the interim, click on the link below:

A Great Day in Hip Hop

And juuuust one more thing! Please indulge us one more time as submit this next clip to you for your approval; a T.R.O.Y. (They Reminisce Over You-shout out to the classics in hip hop) moment-The Big Daddy Kane Story:

Saturday, March 14, 2009

New Afronerd Radio Broadcast For Sunday, 7pm ET-Discussing Rev. Mike (Dyson) on Real Time, More Mike Steele & Just More!

Keeping it simple once again! Join Mr. Starks and I (as noted above, tomorrow at 7pm (eastern) as we discuss the following: analyzing Dr. Michael Eric Dyson's appearance on last night's broadcast of Real Time With Bill Maher; Mike Steele steps in it again with his alleged stance on abortion rights; implications stemming from Harvard's proclamation that artificial life may be achievable in 5 years time; a Chicago couple decides to patronize Black establishments exclusively and our thoughts concerning Oprah running interference on behalf of Rihanna in the neverending Rihanna vs Chris Brown saga. Stop by with your questions and/or comments at: 646-915-9620 or via email-afronerdradio@yahoo. And remember our mantra (it rarely changes and it just may save your life)-Be Square, Be There and Be Aware. See you at seven!

Afronerd Radio's Week in Review

And while you wait for tomorrow's show (consider this an intermission), take a gander at the latest conspiracy film to grace our internet shores, dubbed, The Obama Deception. I'm not one to entertain Manchurian Candidate assertions (Mr. Conspiracy himself, KRS-1 makes an appearance at approx. 15 minutes into the piece) but it's worth a run through:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Is Michael Steele becoming the Right's Answer to Joe Biden, the King of Gaffes? The Man of Steele Supports Abortion Rights? Well, Maybe...

We'll get into this for Sunday's Afronerd Radio broadcast but too many flubs by Michael Steele spells a loss of his position as head of the RNC-just a prediction. I hope this is not the case but-especially since it's been barely a month that the gentleman has taken the job. The libs are bludgeoning (figuratively) against Chairman Steele's forehead and it's only a matter of time before our conservatives brethren (oops that's already happened....thanks, Dr. Fisher) do the same. Time to tighten your game up, Mike!

We Know That America Now Has A President of Color But Did The UK Ever Have A Black Queen-Exploring Queen Charlotte

How I find this stuff remains a mystery.....is it divine happenstance or incessant googling-probably a little bit of both! Anyway, let's keep it simple-Britain's Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (wife of George III) was reputed to possess "mulatto features" and that contention just has not gone away in the annals of history. The Libertarian presidential nominee in the 2008 election, Bob Barr comes to mind-I'm just sayin.' We thought Carol Channing looked a little suspect and we all saw how that turned out. My blackdar (rule of thumb, when you have to ask about one's Black identity..that answers the question) very rarely fails me. But back to the story at hand. Here's an excerpt from Buzzle.com on the Queen Charlotte supposition:

Charlotte's name was given to thoroughfares throughout Georgian Britain - most notably Charlotte Square in Edinburgh's New Town - but her lack of resonance and glamor in the minds of Londoners is typified by the fact that there is a little square in Bloomsbury called Queen's Square. In the middle is a sculpture of a queen. For much of the 19th century, the sculpture was thought to depict Queen Anne and, as a result, the square was known as Queen Anne's Square. Only later was it realized that the sculpture actually depicted Charlotte and the square renamed Queen Square.

Hold on, you might be saying. Britain has had a black queen? Did I miss something? Surely Helen Mirren played Charlotte in the film The Madness of King George and she was, last time I looked, white? Yet the theory that Queen Charlotte may have been black, albeit sketchy, is nonetheless one that is gaining currency.

If you google Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, you'll quickly come across a historian called Mario de Valdes y Cocom. He argues that her features, as seen in royal portraits, were conspicuously African, and contends that they were noted by numerous contemporaries. He claims that the queen, though German, was directly descended from a black branch of the Portuguese royal family, related to Margarita de Castro e Souza, a 15th-century Portuguese noblewoman nine generations removed, whose ancestry she traces from the 13th-century ruler Alfonso III and his lover Madragana, whom Valdes takes to have been a Moor and thus a black African.

It is a great "what if" of history. "If she was black," says the historian Kate Williams, "this raises a lot of important suggestions about not only our royal family but those of most of Europe, considering that Queen Victoria's descendants are spread across most of the royal families of Europe and beyond. If we class Charlotte as black, then ergo Queen Victoria and our entire royal family, [down] to Prince Harry, are also black ... a very interesting concept."

That said, Williams and many other historians are very sceptical about Valdes's theory. They argue the generational distance between Charlotte and her presumed African forebear is so great as to make the suggestion ridiculous. Furthermore, they say even the evidence that Madragana was black is thin.

But Valdes suggests that the way Queen Charlotte is depicted in Ramsay's 1762 portrait - which US artist Ken Aptekar is now using as the starting point for a new art project called Charlotte's Charlotte - supports the view she had African ancestors.

Valdes writes: "Artists of that period were expected to play down, soften or even obliterate undesirable features in a subject's face. [But] Sir Allan Ramsay was the artist responsible for the majority of the paintings of the queen, and his representations of her were the most decidedly African of all her portraits."

For more of the Buzzle piece, click on the link below:

Was This Britain's First Black Queen?

And then there's Wiki's take on the Queen Charlotte debate:

Wikipedia-Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

Did Marvel Comics Get It Right With The Vision? Synthetic Life Gets Closer to Becoming A Reality!

Ok, perhaps my allusion to the Marvel Comics' fictional synthezoid is a bit inaccurate, nevertheless, scientists appear to be gaining ground in the realm of synthetic life. It's not robotic life (yet!) but man's quest for godhood seems to be reaching fruition. If synthetic life actually becomes a reality, not only will our nation's current financial woes become a distant memory, but the internet stock gains from the last decade will pale in comparison to this biotechnological miracle. Take a gander at this snippet, courtesy of Red Orbit.com:

Artificial Life In Five Years?

Posted on: Thursday, 12 March 2009, 13:35 CDT

Experts believe the so-called "second genesis," or the creation of a new artificial lifeform, is getting closer and closer, the Telegraph UK reported on Thursday.

Researchers call this an achievement that would be one of the greatest scientific breakthroughs of all time.

And while building a new lifeform from scratch is a daunting task, Professor David Deamer from California University said he is confident it can happen in five to 10 years.

"The momentum is building - we're knocking at the door," he added.

Everything from new drugs to biofuels and greenhouse gas absorbers could possibly be produced by a synthetic, made-to-order living system.

However, it is controversial research and critics fear the technology could lead to machines becoming "almost human".

The New Scientist reported that there would likely be no safety issues for a long time, as any initial organisms would be very primitive and need large-scale life support in the lab.

Professor George Church and Dr. Michael Jewett of Harvard Medical School announced they had synthetically created part of a cell, called a ribosome, during a recent synthetic biology conference in Hong Kong.

Church even said the possibility of creating an entire cell would be a relatively minor challenge.

"There's nothing you'd expect to go wrong - the way we expected things to go wrong with the assembly," he said.

“Until you actually try this you won't know,” said Dr. Anthony Forster, of Vanderbilt University, Tennessee, who is also creating a synthetic living cell in a test tube with Church.

Forster added that science already knows cells can do it, therefore “we should be able to do it sooner or later.”

Oh and just one more Marvel Comics analogy....Professor Xavier's abilities may be on the horizon as well:

Scientists a step closer to ‘reading minds’

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Are the Andersons Racist?......I Say They Are Trying To Save The Black Economy-The Buying Black Experiment

While perusing the halls of the LA Times, I came across an article that I hope inspires more folks of color to employ a similar agenda. What is this agenda, you ask? It is actually the novel idea that people of color patronize businesses of color...exclusively. A well-heeled professional Black couple are attempting to buy Black to serve as an example (and perhaps a catalyst) to aid our economy-specifically, the Black economy. Here's the piece in question, courtesy of the Times:

'Buying black': Illinois couple's economic experiment
2:37 PM, March 10, 2009

Store owner Karriem Beyah, left, talks with Maggie Anderson as she shops at Farmers Best Market in Chicago A Chicago-area couple are taking unusual measures to repair what they term "the crisis in the black community."

Oak Park residents John and Maggie Anderson are working to make sure they spend their money in a way that benefits African American business owners, sometimes traveling miles out of their way to buy from black-owned businesses. The Chicago Tribune's Ted Gregory explains:

They call it the "ebony experiment."

"More than anything, this is a learning thing," said Maggie Anderson, who grew up in the crime-ridden Liberty City neighborhood of Miami and holds a law degree and an MBA from the University of Chicago. "We know it's controversial, and we knew that coming in."

But the Andersons said they also knew that a thriving black economy was fundamental to restoring impoverished African American communities. They talked for years about how to address the problem.

What they came up with is provocative. One anonymous letter mailed to their home accused the Andersons of "unabashed, virulent racism. Because of you," the writer stated, "we will totally avoid black suppliers. Because of you, we will dodge every which way to avoid hiring black employees."

Apart from that letter, most comments have been encouraging, the Andersons said, adding that most people see the endeavor as beneficial to all.

Do you think the ebony experiment is a good idea? Why or why not? Share your thoughts here.

Now check out a few of the comments in response to this article, again, courtesy of the Times:

This racist crap is a big problem in America. Whaqt if we had an experiement where Whites or Asians stated that they were only going to buy from like kind. Racism of any type should not be tolerated!

Posted by: Wally | March 10, 2009 at 04:00 PM

No matter how high-minded and faux-erudite the rhetoric used to try to dress up this "experiment" in bigotry, it doesn't change the fact that it is bigotry. No one owes any kind of economic "allegiance" to people who share the same skin color (or the same religion, creed, sex, etc.) as an accident of birth. I buy from merchants who offer quality goods and services at competitive prices, and who treat me fairly, irrespective of their ethnic affiliation. No one will ever make a compelling case that any other criteria ought to supplant those.

Interestingly, these bigots, the Andersons, seem not to be aware that the number of black-owned businesses rose 45% from 1997 to 2002, a rate FOUR times the national rate for the same period (see http://goldsea.com/903/02racial.html); yet the Andersons blabber on about a "crisis in the black community", by which they purport to mean there are not enough black owned businesses. This seems to show, yet again, just how out of touch with reality some overeducated people can be. But that can't be seen as too surprising - bigotry occurs in the first place primarily among people who are only loosely tethered to reality.

Posted by: Lou Bricano | March 10, 2009 at 05:44 PM

If a caucasian couple said this, or any Protestant couple said they were only going to buy from Christian merchants, or any other group, they would be slammed (rightfully) for being horribly racist bigots - but it's okay if you're black????? That's completely ridiculous, and does not at all uphold the "Liberty and Justice for ALL" that we are trying to achieve. Every time you insist on identifying yourself first by the thing you claim is holding you back (being black, gay, fill-in-the-blank religion, etc...) you have already defeated any possibility that people will judge you by what kind of person you are, and not by the identifier you force them to accept first.

Shame on them.

Posted by: Nina | March 11, 2009 at 03:47 AM

Can this really be construed as racism? Why is this couple being condemned when other communities do this to such a degree it should be considered high art! Interesting how the Black community receives this criticism when ethnic patronage is a staple for everyone else. I would like everyone to buy Black but I believe this couple's efforts are being misinterpreted-what say you?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Just a Quick Afronerd Brain Blast Moment!.........The First African-American Comic is Up For Sale....All Negro Comics#1

Again many thanks go out to Sergio of Bloodsport for hipping us to this very special auction. I have been trying to track down All Negro Comics #1 for a few years now but based on the current bid (approx. $6500 since I last checked), it's definitely beyond my price point. But I digress, let's take a look at the AP's take on this auction:

First African-American comic book up for auction

NEW YORK (AP) — The comic book that's billed as the first ever created by African-Americans for a black audience is up for auction.

A copy of All-Negro Comics No. 1, as it was called, is up for sale by comics entrepreneur Stephen Fishler. He says the comic is very rare — lasting one issue in 1947.

All-Negro Comics sold for 15 cents and was the brainchild of a black Philadelphia journalist, Orrin C. Evans.

The comic book, featuring such characters as detective Ace Harlem and Hep Chicks on Parade, is for sale as part of the online ComicConnect Event Auction. It began Feb. 27 and continues March 13, 14 and 15.

Comic Connect Auction-All Negro Comics#1

"Picking Cotton" Can Have Many Different Connotations......

More on this in a few, but cross racial identification is notoriously unreliable. A truly horrific story for both parties involved:

Eyewitness: How Accurate is Visual Memory

And when you read further into this story, Mr. Cotton received no multi-million dollar settlement for this grave mistake. His restitution? $10,000 dollars for each year he spent incarcerated. A true horror film pales in comparison to this tale.

Monday, March 09, 2009

The Comic Shoppe Is Open For Business, Tuesday at 7pm(ET)- Watchmen talk, More Specifics About the Green Lantern film, Jonah Hex & Fathom & More!

Keeping it short and to the point. Join Daryll, Max and I tomorrow at 7pm eastern to discuss the following: our impression of the Watchmen film and the 55 million plus box office take; more information about the Green Lantern film, Megan Fox is up for two comic book properties-Jonah Hex and Fathom, was Heroes actually good this evening?, deconstructing the animated Marvel Superhero Squad (with Freddy Kruger's Robert Englund as Dormammu) and our favorite graphic novel reads from last week. Feel free to join in the conversation with comments and questions at: 646-200-0104 or via email-thecomicshoppe@yahoo. Make mine the Comic Shoppe!

The Comic Shoppe's Week in Review

And Now Introducing a Woman Named Mary Jane......or is that Marijuana? Really, A Woman Named Marijuana! From Afronerd's Believe It or Not Vault!

I really do hate it when I'm proven right on just this very issue. Kudos to Sergio of the Bloodsport blog (as well as his gig with Ebony/Jet Online) for emailing yours truly this story. I have stated on numerous occasions, it is my estimation that many African-American parents (but this can be applied to non-Blacks as well) do their children a grave disservice when they give their offspring dismissive or questionable names. Actually, I narrowed the name issue to what I coined as ghettocentric, pseudo African monikers. You know the type-Trykeisha or Rayquan-names that one will undoubtedly see on a police blotter in a number of urban centers. I noticed this pattern and yet for the sake of political correctness, a discerning observer can expect to receive a verbal beatdown from the Black progressive thought police for uttering such a critique. Enter a woman named Marijuana. And mind you, this woman's tale is the exception and not the rule. Read about her story and then I'll leave it up to our Afronerd commenters to decide for themselves.....is it worth it to keep such a foolish name?

Excerpt courtesy of JS Online:

Police years ago pulled over a young woman who rushed through an amber traffic light. "I'm about to arrest this person right now," the irritated officer radioed to a dispatcher. "She's telling me her name is Marijuana Pepsi Jackson."

It's the truth. Marijuana and Pepsi are her legal first and middle names, and the Beloit woman embraces them as a symbol of her struggle to succeed and to help other children overcome obstacles.

No Mary or Mary Jane or Mary Wanda for her. It's Marijuana, thank you, she's told bosses, co-workers and friends over the years, and even wore it on nametags at work.

This tall, striking, self-assured, motorcycle-riding woman is a schoolteacher with a master's degree in higher education administration. Soon, she'll start work on her doctorate.

All of her achievement came despite that smoky, carbonated name. And partly because of it. No one named Marijuana Pepsi gets lost in the crowd.

"Everybody I meet says this: You're nothing like I thought you'd be," she told me when we sat down for an interview in Beloit last week.

These days she goes by Marijuana Sawyer, the surname of her ex-husband from Georgia, where she spent 10 years before returning to Beloit in 2008 to fulfill a promise to make a difference in her hometown. She has a 6-year-old son named, mercifully, Isaac.

Sawyer's mother, Maggie Johnson, picked her name. Her father objected but lost the argument. To this day, a lot of family members and best buds call her Pepsi.

"She said that she knew when I was born that you could take this name and go around the world with it. At the time as a child, I'm thinking yeah, right. You named my older sister Kimberly. You named my younger sister Robin," Sawyer said.

I've tried several times over the years to find Marijuana - the person, that is. When I was a cub reporter at the Beloit Daily News in the early 1980s, there was a rumor around town about an elementary school girl named Marijuana Pepsi Jackson or maybe Jones.

Some people swore that pot and Pepsi were her mother's two favorite things. Others claimed a mix of both coursed through her bloodstream when the child was conceived or born or both. You'll find chatter about this on the Internet.

For more Marijuana (ahem....I couldn't resist the pun), click on the link below:

A woman named Marijuana plays it straight - and wins

And in homage to the above story, let's take a stroll down memory lane:

I abhor drugs but this was the jam. Rick James is another one that didn't get his Rock cred either. Funny how both D'Angelo and RJ professed their love for canibus in the guise of the female form.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

You Have To Laugh.......Keenan Takes Aim At The RNC's Michael Steele

And as an addendum to the above humorous clip-check out what NY columnist and author, Stanley Crouch thinks about the Rush vs Steele dust up. More specifically, the excerpt (below) of Crouch's interpretation of Black conservative, Dr. Ada Fisher's disdain for Steele thus far:

Courtesy of the NY Daily News:

"I don't want to hear anymore [sic] language trying to be cool about the bling in the stimulus package or appealing to D.L. Hughley and blacks in a way that isn't going to win us any votes and makes us frankly appear to many blacks as quite foolish," Fisher wrote.

It could not be dismissed as just another salvo in the Republican war of offensive words, emaciated ideas, brown-nosing and melodrama passing for important disagreement. Since Teddy Roosevelt, the Republican Party has rarely been great, but it has served a function essential to our democracy.

Fisher is from North Carolina and is considered an ongoing and hopeless candidate who seems to exist as not much more than a bramble under the saddle. As one of the three black Americans on the Republican National Committee, Fisher is one-third of the proof that the elephants have a problem.

Colin Powell has tried to point out this problem since Bill Clinton was preparing to run for a second term in 1996. Powell had great gravitas back then, those days before he was ordered by the second Bush administration to sit covered with the honey of bad intelligence on a red ant hill, where his reputation was eaten away in the eyes of the world.

In 1996, Powell tried to promote the idea of a "big tent" party in which more than one line of thought or persuasion could define the elephants. As we know, stampedes were preferred and the kinds of thoughts found in the middle of stampedes became common and repetitious.

Those very same ideas, or imbecilities passed off as ideas, have nearly capsized the world economy.

To read more form Mr. Crouch on this issue, click on the link below:

One voice just a drop in the bucket for a drowning GOP

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Afronerd Radio Returns-Sun at 7pm ET......Discussing Rush vs Mike Steele, Snoop & the NOI?, Racist Pranks, Watchmen in IMAX & Much More!

As usual Mr. Starks and I have a lot on our collective conservative plates, so let's get into it! Join us tomorrow evening at 7pm (eastern standard time) as we pull out our ever discerning IMAX screens to discuss the following: our dismay at RNC chairman Michael Steele's apology to Rush Limbaugh; Snoop Dog's appearance at the NOI's Savior's Day gathering; some recent comments made by Dr. Bill Cosby regarding lower tier Black comedians; Watchmen hits theaters this weekend; more talk about folks of color in the world of pulp fiction and even more racist pranks make the national news. So you guys know the drill-call in with your questions/comments at: 646-915-9620 or via email-afronerdradio@yahoo. Be there, Be square and always be aware. Imperius Rex!

Afronerd Radio's Week in Review

Oh yeah...let me give you guys a blast of funk as an intermission while you wait for our show. Check out Mr. Amp Fiddler(full concert footage):

<a href="http://www.fabchannel.com/amp_fiddler_concert/2004-10-06">Live Concert Video - Amp Fiddler</a>

Friday, March 06, 2009

Afronerd Radio Info Coming Up in A Sec.....Meanwhile, This Cat May Be Worthy of Discovery! Introducing Ebrahim

And our citizens wonder why Youtube and internet interest/viewership is on the rise and conversely conventional media are waning. This young gentleman should have gotten a contract over Soulja Boy-I'm just sayin'. I must say that his usage of a sampler and singing ability definitely holds the viewer's attention and that's difficult in a land full of ADD sufferers. Do yourself a favor and check out Ebrahim.

And yet there's more:

Ebrahim's Myspace page

Ebrahim channels D'Angelo

Ebrahim channels Britney Spears

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Oh And One More Thing! Dyson Vs. Buchanan

Talk amongst yourselves....back in a minute. Dr. Dyson has to rebut the stats better doesn't he? Progressives must deal with issues of personal responsibility and dysfunctionalism without going to a default victimization response...but I'll speak on this momentarily.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

I Promised You Guys "Crazy" And here It Is-Women In Love With Objects......WOW!

Watch Married To The Eiffel Tower [Part 1]  |  View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

I was listening to Howard Stern on Sirius-XM (Howard 100) when there was a passing reference to a documentary about "objectum sexuals, or folks that are in love with inanimate objects. Before you laugh or think that this reeks of a bad SNL skit, check out the above clip for further edification. And, of course, to find out more about the documentary, Strange Love: Married to the Eiffel Tower, check out this excerpt from Jezebel.com:

You have got to see this documentary about "objectum sexuals," people who fall in love with objects like fences and amusement park rides, (one woman even married the Eiffel Tower). And they have sex.

If you thought that men in love with Real Dolls was strange, wait until you see Strange Love: Married to the Eiffel Tower, which follows these fetishists (all of them, for some reason, female). Interestingly, Objectum Sexuals — they call themselves OS people — believe their love with the objects are reciprocal and that they can telepathically communicate with them.

Amy Wolf is in love with a fairground ride called 1001 Nacht, for which she writes poetry. Based on appearances, she seems like an out-and-proud lesbian, but has no interest in humans. She also loves a church banister, a banister in her home, and the Empire State building. Having connected through an OS people forum on the internet, Erika goes to visit Amy. (Both women are said to have Asperger's and share a history of abuse.) They go to the fairground to see 1001 Nacht. In the clip above, Amy is left alone to have an intimate moment with the ride, while Erika goes for a walk. She happens upon a picket fence and feels an immediate attraction.

Erika La Tour Eiffel married the Eiffel Tower and then took its name. But she doesn't like referring to the structure as "it" because "calling something an 'it' instantly means it's inanimate." She gets "a sense" of an object's gender. According to her, the Eiffel Tower is female.

After suffering abuse as a child, and bouncing between foster homes, she joined the US Air Force but during her training, was sexually assaulted, and defended herself with a Japanese sword, which was her lover at the time. She refused to part with the sword, and was discharged from the military for psychological reasons. She then fell in love with an archery bow — she became a US medal champion in archery — but her feelings for the bow waned after time and she moved on to bigger things, literally, as in: tourist attractions. On their one-year anniversary, Erika goes back to visit the Eiffel Tower to consummate their marriage. She lifts up her skirt, and straddles one of the beams with "no barrier" between them.

Oh and to maybe lighten the mood from such a weird clip, check out the Roots and Jimmy Fallon-Slow jammin the news! Cool Stuff! Did anyone know that Black Thought could sing?

A Flux Capacitor Blast! Hit Me Three Times, Actually (JB Rest in Peace) D"Angelo & Ella & Jimi

I hear that D'Angelo is back in the studio and thank god for that! But what happened for the last decade? Perhaps the late Rick James said it best-"Cocaine is one hell of a drug."

Check out the legendary Ella Fitzgerald channeling Eric Clapton, and of course, she rises to the occasion. I can't seem to get this chorus out of my head so I have been lurking the halls of Youtube and found Jimi's rendition as well. More serious fare coming up....well, more crazy....

No need to "look" for racism, it's making itself very apparent right now.

Attempts to explain this type of thing away are futile at this point. You know what this is. Sadly, as the economy continues to slide into oblivion, some folks are still capable of finding the time and energy to engage in primitive behavior and juvenile antics.

Barnes & Noble would like to publicly apologize for what happened in our Coral Gables, Florida store. We believe that a customer played a cruel joke and placed an inappropriate title in the front window of our store, where we were featuring books written by or about President Obama. We want to assure our customers that the book placed by someone other than our booksellers was never intended to be included in our display and was removed as soon as we became aware of the situation. We are looking into it and are taking the steps necessary so that it does not happen again. From time to time customers will move titles from one area of the store to another. In this particular case, we do not condone whatever message may have been intended with the placement of this title in our Presidential display. It certainly was not part of our merchandising and we regret that we didn’t see the placement of this title immediately.

Mary Ellen Keating, Spokesperson

Barnes & Noble, Inc.

(funny how the blame is quickly placed on a customer when an employee could have easily done this)

Monday, March 02, 2009

An Articulate Hip Hop Artist? Q-tip Kicks Back With Tavis!

It really is refreshing (dare I say, almost unnerving?) to hear a Hip Hop artist speak like a normal if not an intelligent person. I know that there are a number of rap artists/musicians that debunk the notion of the monosyllabic ghettocentric stereotype, it's just disheartening that is not the current face of the commercial rap industry. Perchance to dream! Enjoy the video.

One more tidbit....and not related to the above entry. Take a listen to an interview that's won a Gracie Award for Outstanding Feature, entitled "Sounding Black." The interview denotes a conversation between author, scholar and Manhattan Institute fellow, Dr. John McWhorter (if our luck is still up, we may get for a second Afronerd Radio interview) and actress/Tony Award winner, Sarah Jones. Truly insighful, funny stuff.

And lastly check out another severe verbal breakdown by the one and only Stanley Crouch (another interview we are attempting to make happen). Here's an excerpt:

Courtesy of the NY Daily News-

The New York Post is not the jar of sputum that it is because of the color of the people whom it has hired. It is a slop jar because of what is hawked up and spit into it.

This exact sentiment was revealed during the controversy that led to the firing of Don Imus from CBS radio for calling young black women of the Rutgers basketball team "nappy-headed ho's."

Sharpton and a number of people, including this writer, were guests on Oprah Winfrey's town hall meeting where we confronted hip-hop moguls, executives and shills Russell Simmons, Kevin Liles and Benjamin Chavis. They tried to deflect all of the criticism brought to the hip-hop business for the very same level of demeaning insults and dehumanizations that Imus actually presented in a much milder version as he placed his head beneath the blade of public opinion.

But as proven by hip hop, the very existence of an industry that does not suffer from a lack of diversity cannot guarantee a higher level of taste than we got at the New York Post. So, what is the real issue?

The real issue is the indifference to irresponsible behavior and statements. Such indifference is fostered by profit - no more, no less. On a recent DVD featuring the supposed comedian Katt Williams, he justifies his and Flavor Flav's minstrel updates by saying, in essence, "If they want that from me, they are going to have to pay!" According to Williams, the salary can always ease his mind. At least somebody is serving up hot fact, not more fake artistic or social arguments.

A bunch of black millionaires hard at work in a toxic entertainment industry known to exploit and demean anyone and anything they can, demands a new consciousness from the public that cannot easily be dismissed.

Would you like to check out the remainder of the Crouch piece? Oh I'm sure you do, just click on the link below:

Cartoon controversy is fueled by those who won’t grow up

There's Quite A Lot To Talk About For Tuesday's Comic Shoppe Show- at 7pm (ET)-New Terminator trailer, Flash Returns, Sam Jackson's 9 Lives & More!

If you haven't heard (or experienced it), the northeast is literally covered in snow but our Comic Shoppe broadcast still plans to open for business at 7pm eastern as usual. Join Daryll, Max and yours truly as we bring analysis to the following: our thoughts about Terminator: Salvation-could the Governator and Linda Hamilton make an appearance afterall?; Sam Jackson garnered a 9 picture deal with Marvel Studies; the Silver Age Flash (Barry Allen) returns to current DC continuity next month; we spoke of a Green Lantern live action film in the works in a prior broadcast but what about Hal Jordan in animated form?; our thoughts of the upcoming Watchmen film this week and our favorite reads from last week. So as custom, feel free to call in with your comments and questions at: 646-200-0104 or via IM/email-thecomicshoppe@yahoo.

The Comic Shoppe's Week in Review

Oh and check out this Green Lantern animated featurette:

Green Lantern: First Flight

And heck, why not some footage of last month's NY Comic Con , courtesy of Ifanboy: