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Showing posts from February, 2017

Greatest Hits

Today marks the sixth of anniversary of this blog. After six years and (counting this one) 507 posts, I thought it fitting to celebrate the day by going over the Top 25 most popular posts. This was determined by the number of views each post has had. Note: I have the settings arranged so that my own views are not counted. To be truthful, the takeaway was a tad surprising. A few things of note:
- Readership-wise, the blog's best days are behind it. None of the Top 25 posts are from after 2013.
- I have purposefully not included any of the Pics of the Week, mainly because they're done as kind of a joke. For the most part, this doesn't impact the list, except for a few early ones which, somehow, garnered a lot of views.
- Pop culture seems to help with readership. A good half of the Top 25 are about movies, music and TV shows.
- 2012 appears to have been the blog's zenith, as 8 of the top 10 entries are from that year.
With those observations out of the way, let's de…

Getting Out

Like many others, I saw the new Jordan Peele movie Get Out over the weekend. It has (mistakenly, in my opinion) been referred to as a horror/comedy mash up. There is definitely humor in it, but it doesn't really fit into the defined boundaries of what constitutes a modern day horror movie. There isn't much blood, it isn't scary, per se, there is no supernatural or paranormal element. Get Out is predominantly a thriller, and a very good one.
Get Out also provides some commentary on race in America, though it does so (for the most part) in a subtle way. There are no grandiose speeches, we aren't hit over the head with preachy sermons. The film makes its points with a palatable smoothness. There is a black protagonist who is dating a white woman. He goes out to the country to visit her (ostensibly liberal) parents, and then an unsettling creepiness ensues.
Peele's dialogue and direction manages to convey an awkwardness and uncomfortable truth which we too often overlo…

Pic of the Week

Our latest Pic of the Week is Tom Daley and a puppy. Enjoy.



Generations

"I'm talking about my generation
Talking about that newer nation
And if you don't like it
You can beat it
(Beat it, baby)"

Brooklyn Baby, by Lana Del Rey

One wonders if inter-generational warfare is as old as time itself? It seems like every day there is a new article, argument or opinion espoused regarding Millennials, the generation of human being who have been categorized as being born between 1977 and 1994. I'd always thought that was Generation Y, though perhaps it's been renamed? Regardless, it would seem to be the whipping boy in the latest battle of the generations.
Millennials are often described as lazy, entitled, coddled, and I'm sure "whiners" has probably made its way into the critique at some point. Much of this has been done without a whiff of irony, though I can remember the same criticisms being labeled at folks from my generation (X) a scant two decades ago. Now (again, with no irony whatsoever), the Generation Xers are leveling tho…

After the Funeral

Recently I read a piece from NPR that, in a nutshell, suggested we always attend a funeral if at all possible. Not every funeral, of course, but the ones for those we knew in life, or (perhaps especially) the funerals for loved ones of someone we know. Our attendance can mean so much during those occasions. The piece is almost twelve years old but, as with most things these days, nothing truly dies on the Internet. It was resurrected recently on social media, and I read it with interest.
Over the years I have attended funerals and visitations that ran the gamut from sparse to overwhelming attendance. Some funereal proceedings were an odd mix of fire & brimstone religiosity that decided to use the occasion to touch upon seemingly every hot button topic except for the deceased, to ones that were intimately personal ceremonies that provided those present with comfort. memories and closure. I've even been to one where a group of my cousin's peers performed a beautiful renditi…

Pic of the Week

This week our focus is on Pietro Boselli, who has been dubbed "the world's sexiest maths teacher." Enjoy.


What Does It Mean to Be Black?

"Is you mixed?"
"You know you're black, right?"
Those are just a few of the things I heard growing up, from my black peers, as a biracial kid who thought of himself more as Matt, rather than about his racial identity. If anything, the more pressing minority status at the time was being homosexual, as it seemed to create more issues with people than anything else. Regardless, I've always struggled with what it means to be black and, as time has gone on, it has oddly not become any easier to navigate.
One thing to understand first is that, aside from the obvious biological aspect, there is a personal component to my desire of having the biracial definition applied. My father was black. My mother is white. With them come the requisite lineage. Whenever someone refers to me as being either "black" or (a lot less common) "white," it engenders a mental and, sometimes, physical pain. I think of the parent that such a label erases, of the aunts, …

Pic of the Week

We are once again graced with everyone's favorite gold medal diver, Chris Mears.



Time's Subjects

I read a rather over-the-top article recently that posits the notion of how Star Wars: The Last Jedi will render Return of the Jedi "meaningless," though the article never adequately explaining how it will do so. There are a jumble of thoughts about how The Force Awakens was just a remixed A New Hope (not untrue), and how the new trilogy is just redoing the original trilogy (an assertion I find odd, since we haven't seen 66% of the new trilogy yet).
Regardless, I will let one particular section of the article speak for itself:

Luke’s moral and spiritual triumph on the Death Star, the Rebel Alliance’s military victory at Endor, and even Lucas’ awesome special edition scenes of people dancing and shooting off fireworks across the galaxy were pointless. The “Star Wars” universe slipped right back into tyranny and the resolution of the original trilogy was as fleeting as Hayden Christensen’s acting career. If this movie is what its title implies, then Luke might just as well…

The Windmills of Your Mind

Once, several years ago, I was talking with a fellow gay man (who happens to be African-American), and remarked that I'm not really attracted to black men. "That's racist," he said, sounding affronted. Back then, perceiving racism as something of a choice, I retorted: "How can it be racist? I did not choose to not like black men, just like you didn't choose to be gay." This seemed to dissuade my friend from any further accusatory remarks.
Over the years I've thought back to that occasion, and wondered if my friend might have been on to something? Of course it depends upon one's definition of racism (an oft-overused word these days), and the social/cultural dynamics one has been surrounded by in life. It's true that racist homosexuals do exist (once, when a gay guy found out I was biracial, he promptly told me that I was the product of race traitors, and should be hung from a tree). Still, are our sexual preferences a product of upbringing/i…

Hitting the Jackpot

I was in high school English class, and we were focusing on the prose & poetry of African-American authors. I was somewhat nonplussed. Yes, there was a mild appreciation of how my teachers were putting this into the curriculum, something that isn't done everywhere. It was nice to have a balance of John Steinbeck one week, followed by Lorraine Hansberry the next. A nice parade of black voices were to follow: Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, Langston Hughes and Mark Mathabane, to name a few.
One day (I forget whether it was because we were about to focus on him, or if I simply flipped ahead a few pages in our reading), I happened upon a brief bio of James Baldwin. Of this, I took notice. It is said that gay men can tell if another person is gay, just by appearance. The curious notion of "gaydar" is one founded, like most things, in some sliver of truth. I saw the picture of Baldwin, the slim build, the smile, the twinkling eyes and thought, 'This man is gay.'
Memor…