219 slaves

I know everyone’s talkin about taking the N-word outta Huck Finn. Just a reminder to those who think it’s no longer going to be offensive, there will still be 219 instances of the word “slave”. If I read 219 instances of the word “slave” w/in 300 pages, it’s still going to make me sick to my stomach.

They’re taking out the “n” word & the “in” word (that’s nigger & injun to those of you who haven’t heard yet). There are 219 instances of these words in the text, if you include the Table of Contents.

Here’s why I don’t mind it.

First, it’s ONE publishing company offering up ONE different version for a targeted demographic audience. Some of these students would actually prob not ever read this book if not forced to do so in school. We’re talking the deep South. Highly conservative ppl who likely have convinced their boards of education to not teach evolution. But I think we all remember some lumps of mass that we went to middle/high school with, & how they did nothing in class.

We live in a capitalist society, & I’m all for capitalism. Someone down in Alabama (a liberal prof, actually) found a need to push a product that can generate demand. He’s a smart dude. His daughter’s African-American friend felt uncomfortable being in a classroom w/ other kids reading the n-word here & there.

I don’t know if you remember your pre-teen & adolescent years, but they’re not easy for those who feel “different”…. & for the record, everyone feels different.

I despise censorship. But I also feel that if 12-17 year olds are reading this in a mixed class…. and I don’t mean “mixed” in ethnicity, but I mean it in terms of “mixed tolerance”…. then, some of those punks are going to emphasize that word w/ the mentality that they’re getting away w/ calling someone that. I can see some 16-yr old boy, raised by bigoted parents, sneering at someone else in the class as he e-nun-ci-ates the word clearly & deliberately.

This one publisher offering up this one edition of the book, targeted toward middle/junior-high schools is not censorship. It’s an opportunity for the text to be offered up to a greater audience. They can always pick up a copy of the actual text, then or in the future, from a bookstore/online/library.

I remember being 6 yrs old, & having a picture book of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn & Tom Sawyer. My parents bought me tons of “learner books” of stories & tales, so that I would read more & learn English. [You have to remember, I did not speak English when we first moved to the States when I was almost 5 yrs old]

There were picture books of it, then the original text by Mr. Twain. This new version is like a “stepping block”.

You know I’ve complained about the TX Board of Education stripping their curriculum… taking out Thomas Edison & wanting to teach more about country music!

Part of me is just scared of the direction some schools in the South are taking. It is my hope that this new edition limits the excuse that the book should be banned altogether in some schools, & that the students will learn upon entering the world (or from their parents) that it was not the truest version of what Twain wrote.

It is & will always be available in the uncut form everywhere else. I’ve watched edited versions of rated R movies on tv when I was 14. & I like that they play “radio edited versions” of certain songs/raps on the radio, b/c I don’t want some 8 yr who’s not going to understand it to hear it. I’m happy w/ letting my kids read the unedited (uncensored), rawest form of the book…. when they’re at an age when it’s appropriate for them. Even now, as an adult, I have an edited version of the Bhagvad Gita… b/c I don’t understand the old text, & I want to be able to read it, but need a version that I can comprehend.

Also, I am of the belief that Mr. Clemens wrote this book for adults. His fellow adult citizens of this country which, even after the Civil War, did not accept the end of slavery. So, it makes sense that a version w/out (what we consider) expletives is offered to a younger audience, just as is done w/ music on the radio or tv. Explicit versions of other media are still easily accessible for the youth via other venues (home/internet/library/stores).

Lastly, I certainly hope no one thought he was racist. He wrote a formal letter, asking to be able to pay tuition of a gifted young African-American, saying he was ashamed that this bright man was held down all his life & could be someone great one day, w/ his financial help.

“We have ground the manhood out of them, and the shame is ours and not theirs, and we should pay for it.”

This was from a letter to Francis Wayland, Dean of Yale Law School; written the same year that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published. In this letter, Twain offered to pay the tuition of a black student at law school. He also paid the costs at a Southern school of a black student who became a minister.

Photo Friday: Debris

So, this week’s Photo Friday is Debris. & there is def a LOT of debris in this world. We spent the 80′s in conspicuous consumption. Then, the 90′s trying to pretend we didn’t. Now, we are so into “being green”, that we’re often throwing out perfectly fine products to replace them w/ greener options. How is that green? You’re throwing out good items? Try freecycle, ppl. If you’re a Clevelander, there’s a Yahoo Freecycle Group you can join.

Anyway, I was thinking about debris/trash/clutter. & in my new positive frame of mind, I was reminded of Louise Nevelson. She’s an artist that uses “found objects” to create her sculptures. Which instantly reminded me of Isaiah Zagar.

This is his studio on South Street in Philly. He finds things & creates these textured murals out of them. I have tons of pictures, but you can also go to his site to see more of his work.

Pictures 129

I know I had posted a Photo Friday submission about Isaiah Zagar before. So, I did a search through my site to see where it was, & turns out it was July 2006, my very 1st Photo Friday!! That was kinda cool to see that.

You know I’m gonna tell you to check out everyone else’s Photo Friday submissions in the linkviewer.

Photo Friday: Monochromatic

This week’s Photo Friday challenge is Monochromatic. I know what you’re thinking…. I just participate in the Photo Fridays sporadically. & you’re right. But let’s just take it as we can, huh?

Here’s my submission this week:

pic monochrm 009 crop

It’s a factory at E. 37th & St. Clair. & it’s blue. It’s blue-blue-blue-blue-blue. But I love that’s there’s a bright orange ‘Detour’ sign in the shot! & blue & orange are complementary colors, so it’s like meant to be. Gotta like that :)

As always, go to Photo Friday’s linkviewer to check out everyone else’s submissions.

I f’n hate rappers

I don’t wanna hear about how great you are, or how “great you is“. Show me, tough stuff.

oh, wait… you’re not tough stuff, you’re a sensitive lil pansy. You get all bent outta shape if someone makes a “yo mama” joke. Maybe it’s b/c of all the steriods you take, b/c you need to look buff when you take your shirt off. They make you all moody & whatnot? Rappers will react badly, & take sh*t too personal. News Flash: It’s not all about them.

Man, that’s right…. they think it *is* all about them. They are just as much divas as Mariah, J-Lo, or Madge. Many demand the type of smoke that really is only legal in Amsterdam right now. Pharell needs 20 crates of Grey Goose & Bacardi each, 15 magnums of Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque champagne, & a Rolls Royce on hand in case he wants to run around town. I forgot the belly dancers he requests to entertain them whilst they’re getting their drink on.

There was a time when a Rap meant something. Said something. & that thing wasn’t about your new sneakers & your fetish about having fresh clean white ones. Ppl were trying to bring issues to light. They wanted you to get mad, or upset enough to do something. RATM even has action links on their site, for ppl to get involved; as well as a parental link (for those parents that may still care to be involved in their kids’ lives).

I don’t want to hear your own personal battles; how you’re better than that dude. Then that dude puts out a song about how he’s better than you. Sort it out yourselves. Or don’t. I don’t care. Agree to disagree. You’re adults.

And another thing. Y’all have moms, aunts, sisters, girlfriends. You respect them. What’s wrong w/ saying that once in a while? Common’s The Light shows us that he’s harder than many other rappers just cause he can say what he says, strongly.

If rap is now folks like Lil Wayne*, & this Flo Rida** character, rap’s dead. You already know how I feel about lil Wayne, after he compared his “greatness” to that of the late Martin Luther King Jr.

Show some respect. & pull your pants up.

*(& how many lil ppl are there anyway?!?!)
**(who’s crap should NOT be on the radio, my jaw hit the floor when I heard what he did to that Dead or Alive song)

What inspired this? You have to watch the video below. I love hip hop. The really good stuff. But today’s rap’s just an infection. I was so ready to make a video & send it in for a t-shirt (the things we’ll do for a free t-shirt, what can I say?), but it ended on March 30th.

oh, & don’t watch the vid @ work, unless your work doesn’t care about the F-word & N-word being tossed around like Karrine Steffans.


UPDATE (5/25/2009): I don’t know if it’s just the allergy meds talkin, but this had me rollin! I mean, tears comin outta my eyes, laughing so much it hurt…

The 11 Most Unintentionally Gay Rap Lyrics Ever

and if you can handle it…

14 More of the Most Unintentionally Gay Rap Lyrics Ever

it wasn’t me….

If anyone asks where I’ve been, I wasn’t shopping for things I don’t need.

jan-025

Photo Friday: Garden

Yes, I know it’s Thurs. I’m trying the best I can, ppl. I still (just barely) made it though, eh?

So, you know how much I love Cleve. I almost posted a Photo Friday post last weekend of an NYC pic. It was pretty cool. I’m a big fan of architecture, asymmetry, urban planning, & such. Well, there’s a spot in the NYC that you’ll be walking down a street, skyscrapers on either side, cars (read: taxis) rushing down the roads. Then, BAM!, you’re in a tranquil garden area. I love the dichotomy. It’s form & function all together. There’s actually quite a few spots like this.

Anyway, I decided not to cause I had to post my beautiful city. You know how they say that if you wanna find the bad neighborhood in any city, find their MLK Jr. Dr. on the map? (Well, they do).

Our MLK Jr. Drive is breathtakingly beautiful. It’s lined w/ the Cultural Gardens, there’s 51 countries (I think). I saw them doing 2 new ones (Azerbaijan & something else), but I didn’t really “get” them.

Anyway, so here’s India’s:

autumn-020

As always, you can go to the Photo Friday link viewer to see other submissions. Of course, by the time you read this, it’ll be Friday, & you’ll have to check the Garden archives. Whatev.

Cherry Capital Airport

Have I ever told you guys about Traverse City, MI? It’s the Cherry Capital of the World.*

They have the best cherries up there; & they have farms where you can pick your own of course. Every year, I get 1 (one) jar of cherry preserves from this place called Cooper Farm up there. It has 3 ingredients: Cherries, sugar, & some pectin (to make it all jelly-like). I then proceed to ration out the cherry jam in my PB & J sammiches so that it lasts as long as possible. This stuff is prob the greatest jam EV-ER.

Back to the airport though. The whole town is cute, just adorable. But the airport is really something else.

I’m sitting in the airport right now, & a flight just boarded for Chicago. There is one passenger missing. I know this b/c the gal that checks the boarding passes locked the door, found the one patrol officer, & told him. They both then split up & walked around the airport to try to find her. She even announced the gal’s name on the speaker, asking her to come to gate 1.

Oh, there’s only 6 gates. That’s 6 gates, 1 terminal.

I can walk into the airport, go through security, & go clear to the other side of the airport to the furthest gate in just 2 mins. Remember, this is WITH going through security. That also means that the ppl who live here don’t just drop off their loved ones at the airport. They actually come in, go through security, & kiss them good-bye at the gate. Then look out the window & wave to the plane as it’s leaving. Do you remember that? Or, was that just something my family did before all this hub-ba-loo?

That’s how cute & small this airport is. I love coming here! That’s all I’ve got, just wanted to share.

Oh, & didja check out their address? It’s in that lil picture.

*self-proclaimed

Troubadours over the Rainbow

So, one of my fave bands/ppl are the Troubadours of Divine Bliss. They come ’round these-here parts a couple times a year.

And it’s so much fun. They came back in May for like 2 weeks, & they’re here now for about 2 weeks now. It’s great b/c you can either see them multiple times, or if you’ve got too much going on, you can at least sneak in a show into your calendar.

Wed night was their cd release party at Brothers, & tonight they’re playing at Harpersfield Winery.

Bet’cha didn’t know NE Ohio had a bunch of wineries, did’ja? I’m really excited about going to Harpersfield, cause I’ve never been there before. They’ve played there many times, but I never made it to those shows.

Here’s a clip from Wed night’s show. They played through their new cd (which I bought), & then their older stuff. The played 2 of my fave older songs, so that was cool. Most of their stuff is original, but they do have a couple covers. This is Somewhere Over the Rainbow:

Oh, & the person you see at the bottom there that pops up a couple of times is Bernie. Bernie is like their “unofficial Cleveland photographer”. Either that, or he is official. What you see going up is his flash thingie. Anyway, Bernie takes real pictures w/ a real camera. That is to say that he takes very precise photographs, takes the FILM (yes, film), & produces print photographs. Fancy.

PhotoFriday: Self-Portrait

A friend of mine & I were IM-ing last Friday, & she mentioned that maybe I should get stilts.

And Friday’s Photo Friday challenge was Self-Portrait. That made me think of my visit to the Getty a couple years back, where I took this pic:

Funny lookin, no?

For more funny-lookin (& normal-lookin) PhotoFriday Self-Portrait submissions, go here & click on the names in the left margin.

lower gas prices feel like blood money in my pocket

Do any of you feel the same way?

Few weeks ago, over $4.00.
Last week, $3.77.
Yesterday, $3.55.
My mom said it’s supposed to go down to $3.41 soon.

I feel like this is the gov’t.’s way of giving me blood money. My heart sinks everytime I see the prices go down. The lower we fall, I know the more we’re going to pay for it later. It’s gonna hit us in the gut & I’m afraid some of us won’t be able to rise back up.

I knew this would happen. I wanted to blog about this on July 14th. The day Bush overturned that ban on offshore drilling, I felt punched in the stomach. I just felt so sick to my stomach. Like seriously nauseous. I just hoped that we’ve elected a Congress smart enough to not make his executive order come to fruition.

The very next day, the price of oil per barrel dropped. It’s been dropping since. I know it’s only dropping cause ppl think that we’re gonna be drowning in all the crude oil our lil hearts can take real soon. But that ain’t happenin, Charlie.

What’s gonna happen when ppl realize that this isn’t the solution? It’s just gonna skyrocket way past what we thought was high before. The truth is, this country’s been spoiled as far as gas prices go for decades now. If ppl think they can’t afford gas now, they’re gonna be in for a rude awakening when it hits over $8.00 a gallon. That’s what I think will happen when ppl realize that offshore drilling’s not the end-all to this prob.

Please don’t let this congress let us down.

Here’s the long & short of it (mostly long, cause c’mon, you know I ramble):

- if (if) there’s oil to be found, it will be decades (decades) before we actually got that oil & the price drop from it would be minimal. It would come out to a 2¢ drop, 20 years from now.

- 80% of US produced oil (from US reserves) is from 4 states: LA, TX, AK, & CA. If we wanted to find more, our best best would be the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

- Um… do you know what “National Wildlife Refuge” even means? It means, you told those animals that you weren’t going to destroy their home for your own evil means.

- If they spent a decade looking/finding/drilling for oil, there’s only realistically a year’s worth up there. You’re gonna destroy the sanctuary for that? Really? Really?

- It is very (very) likely that any oil drilled from ANWR will never be sold in the US. It will be sold off to the highest International bidder (most likely China). (C’mon, ppl, didja forget we’re a capitalist society?)

- Currently, we have 500 oil spills in Alaska every year. Yeah, they don’t exactly advertise that. You don’t think that’s gonna decrease when they have more new drilling monstrosities?

- Seismic testing to locate oil creates decibel levels of 260 – twice as loud as an ambulance – underwater. Exposure to these levels of noise underwater can cause disorientation, brain hemorrhaging, or even beaching for whales and dolphins. Only last week over 100 melon-head whales beached off of Madagascar close to where ExxonMobil was conducting seismic testing. (6/19/2008, from Greenpeace website)

Here’s a video of a guy who spent 3 months hiking across Alaska, & spent a LOT of time in the ANWR (it’s 3½ mins ppl):

What we need is an alternate solution. My main concern is that we will lose track of what’s imp: trying to develop alternative renewable energies.

Like this Pickens Plan that this guy T. Boone has.

Here be the plan:
(click pic to go to site)

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