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November 23, 2005

in the FMC (isn't it a holiday yet?)

tiana and i are in the FMC today. had to teach a workshop for some students (who are doing blogs, websites, ppts, and short videos for WoSt 3102). great ideas, great students. would love for my students this term to do some great mixed + multi media projects.

here's me today (looking EXHAUSTED cuz i'm packing for the move!):
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and fixing the camera, pressing the quick flick button (oops):
r2

and tiana playing millsbury and singing hillary duff (yeah! radio disney online! my favorite is hearing : mom, did u know that hillary duff owns 100 pairs of shoes???!!???):
tt

and i jumped on her computer and snuck a flick on her cam. she's wearing a headband that she is in the process of making by tying felt strips on the band (cute huh?):
theadband

November 21, 2005

needing to travel

i have this thing about feeling trapped. once i've lived in one place - a certain city, a certain apartment, a certain neighborhood - i need to move around. i have been in the twin cities for 3+ years and resisted that itch to flee. i am trying to finish school, settle in and build more of a family foundation here. i have been very successful planting roots here (and now can't see us leaving! hopefully the job market won't pull me too far away, but that's a few years off).

so (even tho i'm moving in a week) i feel a bit like the walls are closing in. i also am feeling that overwhelmed single mom feeling. i'm exhausted, sort of creatively blocked, living by a list (becuz my school/work/life stress is causing major short-term memory loss). so.... it's time to travel and study, study and travel.

$1500 for 3 to 6 day trips
$5000 for one week or longer

the application is due on jan 13th

i want to apply for a Jerome Travel & Study Grant . The grant states: The Travel and Study Grant Program awards grants to emerging creative artists (writers of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and spoken word; film and video artists; and choreographers). Funds support periods of travel for the purpose of study, exploration, and growth.

My friend Theresa got one to study graf and aerosol art in New Zealand. That was an amazing experience for her.

I don't know where to go. I don't know what to do. Any ideas? Suggestions?

I've thought of this -
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Video Volunteers

but they want filmmakers for 2 - 4 months and i can't leave tiana for that long.

i've also thought about The Workshops. trips shooting photography and video in Oaxaca, Rio, Paris, Crete.... and delve into one of these "adventure" trips, packing my PhD critique in my back pocket. it might be a refreshing and fruitful thing to do.

i would like to link with an organization or a school. any ideas? thoughts? suggestions???

November 20, 2005

B-Girl Be Video Screening at U of M

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You can also print the flyer in pdf format HERE

November 19, 2005

Hip Hop Violinists!


so you all know i'm on this hip hop violin thing. my girl clancy (her fab blog is here, and btw has great stuff on 70's ads from women's magazines) linked to this group, discussing a clip of them on leno. you can watch it here or listen here!

Rize Revisited: Rae Spot Comment on Blast

rize_poster.jpg

Last July I reflected on RIZE. I haven't spent much time on the blog recently but am reading the comments (some beautiful things that are sparking me, like this one, from this professor - "As an anthropologist, I'd like to point out that while we are definitely descendants of a discipline that did more than its fair share of exoticizing and myth-making about Black people and other people of color..."

I also got a comment from an old acquaintance from Hell-A (who doesn't realize that I am me, that we used to work together & met thru a mutual UCLA film alum - where are u Nicole Jefferson??). I think his points further the reaction that I had to the film.

* * * Read on (and G.Bone you keep writing on, filming, and speaking the truth):

My name is Gregory "G.Bone" Everett. G.Bone is what I go by when directing music videos (I've done about 20 clips of various musical genres, mostly hip-hop,about 6 which have aired on MTV or BET). I was the famous music video director, Dave Meyers 1st Assistant Director for the first two years of his career. I am currently working on two documentary films, one on the origins of the Crips and Bloods, an another on the Southern California chapter of the Black Panther Party for Self- Defense. MCG is what I was called as a DJ in the early 80's when I created what was called the "Trendy Scene".

The "Trendy Scene" is what gave birth to the dance styles which evolved into Krunk. The name of my dance promotions crew was Ultra Wave Productions. I (along with DJs General Lee, Rock Bottom, Blvd Rod, The Wiz, The Warlock, Roddy Rod, Rick Rock & the Ultra Wave Crew) gave dance oriented talent shows for teenagers up and down Crenshaw Blvd at various clubs (The Kingston 12, Maverick's Flat, The Total Experience, etc.) and eventualy graduated to Veteran's Auditorium in Culver City.
The Ultra Girls, Bandstand Boys, Groovers, Groover Girls, Romeos, and about 20 other crews compeated on stage for trophies and cash prizes. I called these talent shows "Battles" and Tommy the Clown used them as a blueprint for his "Battlezone" in Rize.

They touched a little on the Trendy Scene in the L.A. Weekly article about the movie "Rize" but did not go into depth about it. 80% of the teenagers which frequented my Ultra Wave parties (also the precurser to the "Raves" of the 90's) were African American and from South Central or the Westside (Blacks considered the westside anything west of Western Avenue). I was 20 years old when we I started Ultra Wave in 1983 as a westside alternative to a dance promotor called Uncle Jamm's Army. Anyone could go to an Uncle Jamm's Army party. To get in my dances one needed a membership card, be on the guest list, and sometimes bring 2 cans of food which we donated to L.I.F.E. (Love Is Feeding Everyone) Dennis Weaver's organization which fought poverty in South Central.

These kids at my parties started thier sped up dance styles (the Skate, the Prep, the Guess), interesting dress styles (tapered khakis, thick soled-animal print-pointy toed creeper shoes, paisley shirts, etc.), and curly-top hair styles (shaved on the sides, curly permed on the top) to set themselves apart from the Crip and Blood culture of their neighborhoods. This is the same as the Krunk dancers in Rize. Rebelling against the negativity of the other youth in their hood through dance. I have some pictures and old video of these events to prove this scene actually existed.

But guess what? All of these dance crews got so popular that they became gangs themselves. The Kings of Drag joined up with the Rollin' 60's. The Sex Jerks started their own Crip Set. The Groovers became affiliated with the Black P Stone Blood gang.

A rap group that performed weekly at my parties called Too Damn Fresh (which included feature film director Tim Story [Barbershop, Taxi, Fantastic Four] broke up after the lead member was murdered by a member of the Hoover Gang because of his affiliation with the Rollin' 60's.

These were the children of the effluent African American Angelinos of La Dera, Baldwin Hills, View Park, Windsor Hills, and Westchester who were being bussed to University High, Westchester High, Palidades High along with the kids from South Central. I know because aside from giving the dances I was DJ'ing parties at all of these schools. So the bourgeois kids wanting to be tough started calling each other Cuz and selling a little dope. Instead of thinking about college they were thinking about Crenshaw Blvd. and a Nissan truck with chrome rims.

Ask any native African American Angelino in thier 30's about Ultra Wave, especially those who lived or went to school on the westside and they will tell you- without Ultra Wave there would be no Tommy the Clown Battlezone or Krunk.

It took three years, from 83' to 86' for the Trendy Scene's dance crews to turn into Crip and Blood gangs. Let's pray the Krunk dancers keep it Krunk.

Another interesting note. Most Crips do not like the fact that clown dancers imitate their Crip walk with the Clown walk. They consider it disrespectful. How come david LaChapelle didn't interview any gang members for his film? They were talked about- but completely ignored. I dare any of you who watched the movie and felt sorry for the kids who rose above gang banging to not feel for the ones who are not as strong- the ones who fall prey to the poverty, poor educational system, broken families and institutionalized racisim, which sets the climate for easy recruitment to the Crips and Bloods. What about them?

For more info on the Westside Trendy Scene of the 80's or my documentary film projects, hit me at gbone@ultrawavemedia.com

A&F (again this year)

abercrumb.jpg

so the latest line of offensive Abercrombie & Fitch t-shirts:





http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/ny-chifitch1103,0,3539255.story?coll=ny-homepage-mezz
http://www.pandagon.net/archives/2005/11/more_offensive.html
http://www.masslive.com/living/republican/index.ssf?/base/living-0/113178482081680.xml&coll=1
http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1513153/20051107/index.jhtml?headlines=true

A&F do this every year. it's a part of their marketing strategy: put out racist, sexist (or both) line of t-shirts. organizers protest & get them more press, they pull the t-shirts as an "apology". (bad promotion = promotion)

* this would make a great case study for final project (hint*hint)

11/21/05 - B-GIRL BE COMMUNITY GATHERING


11/21/05 - B-GIRL BE COMMUNITY GATHERING

Help a Sistah Out!: Join us for a B-Girl Be Community Gathering. We are planning B-Girl Be: A Celebration of Women in Hip Hop 2006 Summit and would like to invite you to a community gathering to give you a chance to hear what we've been planning and offer you the opportunity to give ideas and get involved!

Monday, November 21; 7:00-8:30 PM
Intermedia Arts
2822 Lyndale Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN 55408
612-871-4444
http://intermediaarts.org/index2.htm

B-Girl News: B-Girl Be is featured in We B'Girlz book released this month by Martha Cooper. Click here to find out more!

November 8, 2005

Election Day. What do u stand for?

so few people (in the media and in larger society) care about this:
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so i'm still on the journey, campus to campus to discuss this:
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and to encourage ladies to aspire to, and get skills (filming, writing, painting, speaking, studying, dancing, whatver...), to avoid being this:
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people rally and get these taken down:
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and cnn headline yesterday:
"what's up with the snowman?"
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paris is burning, literally.

my guys got icr-ed for wearing hats inside cuz it's a securty risk.

i'm getting a headache as images pass in my head. how could we so quickly forget this:
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yes, lil kim in a burqa on the cover of OneWorld magazine.

time to get the day started.

November 7, 2005

What do u think?

"In the twenty-plus years of hip hop history on record, a period that has produced black vocalists Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston, Anita Baker, Tracy Chapman, Mary J. Blige, and Erykah Badu, there are no women who have contributed profoundly to rap’s artistic growth. Aside from Latifah and Salt-N-Pepa, MC Lyte has recorded for over a decade and Yo-Yo has garnered some respect. (Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliot, a rapper, singer, and writer from Virginia, has emerged in the late 90’s as the multifaceted female in the form and is becoming a seminal creative force). Yet I would argue that if none of these female artists had ever made a record, hip hop’s development would have been no different." NELSON GEORGE

tell him what you think about that - info@nelsongeorge.com

November 4, 2005

about 25 years ago...

rachelshirt

25 years ago i spent most of my time with my face buried in my mom's lap. i walked under her long flowing skirts. i didn't talk to many people (except mommy, jen, kate, mimi and a couple other friends). and now i can't shut up.

guess i'm making up for lost time.

up next:
gettysburgh college. nov 10th. info here
univ of az @ tucson. nov 14th. info here

On Speaking Truth To Power


We Don't Need Them
by Joe Carpenter
www.dissidentvoice.org
November 2, 2005

"But the proles, if only they could somehow become conscious of their own strength, would have no reason to conspire. They needed only to rise up and shake themselves, like a horse shaking off flies. If they chose, they could blow the party to pieces tomorrow morning. Surely, sooner or later, it must occur to them to do it? And yet --"
-- George Orwell, 1984

I've never understood the idea of speaking truth to power. The truth, surely, is that in almost all countries of the world, political and economic systems are designed to benefit only the rich and powerful, at the expense of those with less money and power. This is how the world works, and I see no reason to think that the powerful don't already understand that. After all, they designed it; they maintain it.

They steal our money, sacrifice our children in their wars, send the poorest and most victimized among us off to jail for petty mistakes, and crush those of us who might present a real threat to the arrangement. They know we don't like it. They don't care. They don't need to care. They also control most of our avenues of dissent. It's a very simple, very elegant design.

Meanwhile, we get angry and toddle off to tell the truth to the powerful. We have been telling them the truth for centuries. We travel to their great palaces by the hundreds of thousands, to express our anger and despair. We shout and sing and stomp and whine. We threaten. We plead. Sometimes we're beaten up, or sent to jail. It's a tradition of great courage and personal sacrifice, no doubt.

We go to tell them to stop using our money and our children and our energy and intelligence to further rob and rape and murder us. We tell them to be more respectful and compassionate. We're like angry but terrorized children, anxiously scolding our stern, all-powerful parents. And, in the end, we look to the Democrats or to some congressional panel or to the
Supreme Court and demand that they come to our aid. As my friend Harry puts it: "We're left in the terrible position of trying to decide which elite group will be less likely to prey on us".

Well, the government and their pals are not going to stop using and abusing us. They're not going to stop preying on us. They cannot stop! Republican or Democrat, they are rich and powerful precisely because they prey on us. They are rich because they rob us. They're robbing us right this minute. They are powerful because they dominate every aspect of our
lives, because they've taken control of all the major social, political, economic, and communication systems in the world. These systems were designed to increase their wealth and power by taking both from all the rest of us.

But, we are not children, and they are not our parents. We're not little people and they are not big people. We're not insignificant and they are not significant. In fact, we do not need them.

They are very few and we, here in the US alone, are roughly three hundred million. We don't need to rush out to tell the few that they are abusing the many. They already know that. We need to stand upright and walk out to tell the many that they are being slowly devoured by the few, for -- incredibly, they do not know. We need to look to our next-door neighbors,
and to their next door neighbors and to the folks all along the block. We need to tell the truth to each other -- for we are the answer.

While hundreds of thousands of anti-war demonstrators gathered in Washington, DC, back in September, hundreds of millions of American citizens went about their business without even a vague awareness of the protests. The media to which most of them attend barely mention such things -- obviously. And, most Americans don't live in the DC area, so they didn't see a thing.

Most Americans live in my neighborhood, or in your neighborhood. Most Americans eat breakfast right next to you in the local cafe. Most Americans get their car fixed at the same garage as you and I do. Most Americans visit my library, my bookstore, my grocery store, my local park -- or yours.

But the rich and powerful have convinced us that we cannot, we must not communicate with the people we can see and hear and touch, right here, right now. They have convinced us that we need to travel to some government office to persuade elected officials and bureaucrats to change our world for us. The government and media drone on, endlessly, hypnotically, and convince us that if we just elect the right leaders, they'll talk to our next door neighbor for us.

Government programs, they promise us, will fix that gaping hole in the pavement, right out beyond your driveway. Government will help poor Mrs. Wilson, languishing in the old, dilapidated house right across the street. Government will settle your dispute with that family right down the block. Government will take care of your neighbors who can't escape the hurricane:

"It's OK, just hop in the SUV and go, we'll take care of everything!" Government will help; government will heal; government will bring us together.

That's not going to happen, of course. The elites are too busy dividing us, setting us against each other, exacerbating every animosity, every misgiving, every anxiety, however slight. They insinuate themselves into every new crack and crevice and offer convoluted, expensive legislation and bureaucracies to bring us back together again. "There oughta be a law," says the old complaint. Well, there will be, to be sure - but it will just make things worse.

We're all looking in the wrong place for reason and compassion and justice. It's not anywhere to be found in Washington, DC. It's not in governments or state houses. It's not there in that prestigious gathering of experts and big brains.

It's right here. It's wherever you are, and it's right next door and it's everywhere along your street and all around your neighborhood. It's in the cars that pass you on the roadways and in the shops where you buy your dog or cat food. There's no need to travel a thousand or even a hundred miles. It's not necessary to make the climb up to the penthouse. Our hope, our possibility - our only hope, our only possibility, lies in the ordinary people who compose our world, who are the very stuff of our lives.

Want to change the world? Tell the truth to the plumber. Begin with the lady who hands you the stamps at the post office. Talk with the check-out people at the grocery store. Chat with the waiter at your favorite cafe. Speak with the cops who sit down at the next table. Gab for a few minutes with the guy who changes your oil or with the elementary school teacher
with whom you've been discussing your child's future. Lean out of your window while stopped at the light and tell the truck driver some truth he's certain to recall and ponder.

Feel the need to march? Gather a bunch of folks and wander about your neighborhoods with signs and leaflets. When people walk by, stop and gab with them. When that huge guy with the Hemi-powered Ram pulls alongside
and tells you to "love it or leave it," ask him to stay and talk. Smile, offer your hand, make nice. He's one of us. He'd make a wonderful ally. When a carload of high school jocks slows to offer some single-fingered communication, hand them some cold colas and tell them about the probability of a draft. They're our people, too. Convince yourself that this is so, then convince them.

Get together with like-minded people and think of simple, brief, meaningful ways to communicate with the folks all around you. Think about little things, easy things, immediate things. Think about what you can do together, and what you might accomplish alone. Think about your real day-to-day life, and how many opportunities there are to educate and
enlighten, every day. Blab and babble and blunder and tell the truth, one ordinary person at a time. We're all ordinary people, and we are our only hope. Tell the truth to the guy who pumps out the septic tank - he's one of us! Forget about telling the government, forget about the hot-shots.

To the extent that we believe we need them, exactly to that extent will we continue our dependence upon ruthless, murderous plunderers, people entirely opposed to our needs and deepest longings. As long as we believe we need them, exactly that long will we live life on our knees, begging - as Mickey Z. says - for crumbs from their table.

The depth of our apparent need is the measure of their height above us. The nightmare of our poverty is our dream that they have a right to take our money. The illusion of our impotence is the chimera of their monstrous strength. We shall be slaves as long as we're convinced that we have masters, and not one moment longer.

Time to wake up, time to grow up. We're not children. We do not need to ask permission to live like sane, reasonable, thoughtful, compassionate human beings. We do not need to beg or bow or kneel. We do not need to look to government or to experts or to the rich and famous. Whatever we need, we can get it ourselves. Whatever we want to stop - we can stop it
ourselves. Whatever must be done, we can do it ourselves. We do not need them; we need each other.

All else is distraction and delusion.

Joe Carpenter is a guy living in Southern Oregon who has traveled extensively and kept his eyes open. He can be reached at:
joecarpenter@charter.net.

--------

If knowledge is power,
speak truth to the powerless,
speak lies to power.