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Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Stop Pretending to Be Black! 

Today I bought a book in ShopKo, which I'd never done before. The book was George Carlin's latest, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?, and it's got some pretty funny stuff in it. Plus, most of it looks new, unlike his last two. (Speaking of Mr. Carlin, I recently came across a military recruiting ad he did a while back.)

So then I look up and see Bill O'Reilly's latest book, The O'Reilly Factor for Kids. I swear I'm not making this up. I'd heard him plugging it on The Daily Show, so I had to take a look. I flipped to the section on music, and I found him railing against rap artists (as always), and he says something to the effect of (I wish I could remember the exact words): "So what if Eminem sells millions of records? You don't have to like him just like everyone else." Yeah, okay. Fine; think for yourself, whatever. But then he says: "These artists dis women and gays in their lyrics, so why support them?"

First of all, you've never given two spits for either women or gay people, Bill, so it's completely disingenuous for you to use that as a basis for attacking rap artists (even those as horrendously counterintelligent as Eminem -- but I've ranted about that elsewhere).

More importantly, Mr. O'Reilly, you are NOT allowed to use the word "dis" in your writing. You're not black, and you're not part of the hip-hop culture, so quit using slang words you pick up from Alan Keyes in an attempt to seem "cool" to kids you're trying to push your book on. Trust Me! If anyone knows how quickly young people will go deaf to phony "cool" appeals, it's the dorky white English teacher with an intensive rap hobby. (I know, I know -- worst Photoshop job EVER!)

Which got me to thinking: In the classroom, I have to act in a certain way, which is pretty different from how I act with my peers. (I don't use trying-to-be-cool slang like "dis," for one thing.) Because I don't want my students to think I'm trying to impress them by using the slang they use, I keep myself from using the slang that I use. In other words: I have to speak like someone I'm not in order to keep from seeming like someone who speaks like someone they're not. How bizarre.

Of course, Langston Hughes put it best.

Dred Scott, etc.

Did Bush reference the Dred Scott decision in the last debate because it's similar to Roe v. Wade? Makes some sense, I guess. It's amazing what you can find on the Internets. (You can even find out what Dred Scott was really about.)

Also from the Wikipedia, something for Jon -- Everything you always wanted to know about the tin-foil hat (but were afraid to ask -- because you knew that doing so would put you on the government's watch-list of people who know how to avoid their mind-control techniques).

Together is a good movie. Did I already promo this? (Just cleaning out the ol' bookmarks file, folks.) We also watched Horns & Halos last night. A very interesting story. And it features both Amy Goodman and Mark Crispin Miller! Woot!

Diane's away for a week. Time for some PS2.


Chocolate Niblet Beans. It's easy to do this sort of thing wrong; this person has done it right. (It's got the PowerPuff Girls!)

Today I'm listening to: DI Chillout!