Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Face of Falsehood

¡Hola! Everybody...
Okay, the night before last I was up all night preparing a presentation I was to give yesterday. I spent all day yesterday from 8:30 - 5:30 at an all-day, strategic planning session.


After, fled the coop and hung with my Friday Night Crew. By the time I got home, I was spent...

I have to work today, but I’ll be back later tonight. We’re hosting a totally politically incorrect (and most likely racist) WASP/ Safe Negro/ Safe Spic “Mixer” later tonight. If you’re one of those assholes who like to scream about prejudice but almost never have anything to say about racism, sit yo ass home! LOL! Please be sure to stop by with all your pre-conceived notions and stereotypes, all your racist leanings, as we plan a bonfire.

BTW, don’t you just love the bitches squawking about how Geitner (sp) and Daschle have tax arrears? Gee, I wonder where these moral hypocrites were when Bush & Cheney were torturing people, spying on regular Americans and journalists, shredding the Constitution, blowing the cover of a CIA operative, and basically on vacation when they were told an imminent attack on our soil was about to happen?

::blank stare::

I’m going to borrow a phrase from my friend Dee and simply say to these people:


::grabs balls for emphasis::

* * *

-=[ I know the Face of Falsehood and Her Tongue ]=-

-- Edna St. Vincent Millay

I know the face of Falsehood and her Tongue
Honeyed with unction, plausible with guile,
Are dear to men, whom count me not among,
That owe their daily credit to her smile;
Such have been succoured out of great distress
By her contriving, if accounts be true:
Their dereference now above the board, I guess,
Discharges what beneath the board is due.
As for myself, Id liefer lack of her aid
Than eat her presence; let this building fall:
But never let me lift this latch, afraid
To hear her simpering accents in the halls,
Nor force an entrance past mephitic airs
Of stale patchoulie on my stairs.

* * *



Friday, January 30, 2009

The Sex Blog [Masturbation]

¡Hola! Everybody...
It’s Friday! You all have been mewling for this day all week – no what?!!

I will be away all day at a senior staff retreat. Yuck! I’ve been so involved in work-related writing that I haven’t written anything for creative purposes. Today’s blog is a repost...

* * *

-=[ Masturbation ]=-

The following is a recent true story. I got a phone call from a friend not too long ago and he was distraught. Apparently, he was caught by his wife masturbating, which isn’t so strange. What was strange about my friend’s predicament and the cause for his anxiety was his wife’s response: she was outraged! LOL! According to my friend, his wife felt that his masturbating was an affront to her sexual capability. In other words, if he had to masturbate, then that was a reflection of her not “satisfying” her man.

To make matters worse, she confided the incident to her best friend, who happens to be my friend’s sister! I know my friend’s sister and she has the biggest mouth in the world! So, now everybody knows my friend was caught spanking the monkey by his wife. LMAO! Don’t laugh, he tells me, because the whole incident has brought up some issues that threaten the marriage, namely my friend’s wife’s notions of sex and sexuality.

I too find her response strange, but it is not the first time I hear this kind of attitude regarding masturbation. I remember way back to a summer fling affair I had with an intelligent, highly sexual, college-educated Latina. We did practically everything that summer, but when I asked her if she ever masturbated (I wanted to watch/ participate in her masturbation), she looked at me as if I was crazy and told me that she didn’t need to masturbate. Her whole perspective on masturbation was that it was for women who couldn’t get a man.

I was shocked!

I masturbate – all the time. Who knows, I may have masturbated to a fantasy fueled by one of your pics! LMAO!


I masturbate all the time especially when I’m writing, or doing something creative. I read somewhere that writers are all incorrigible masturbators. My exes all know about my predilection toward pleasuring myself and for the most part, it’s never been an issue. In fact, some were grateful for it because if they weren’t in the mood, I would just take matters into my own hands. However, I must warn you: making me do that too often would eventually lead to you sleeping alone. ::wink::

Masturbation has been a taboo for a long, long time. Christianity actually considers it a sin of some type and I remember the kind nuns telling me I would go blind and me thinking: Fuck you bitches. At least I won’t be an old, bitter sexually repressed woman! Well, I didn’t phrase exactly that way, but it was what I felt.

Most religiously inflexible people will argue against masturbation from the point of view that it’s an unnatural act, hence a sin against God. But I beg to differ: if it were so unnatural, then why is there some preliminary research showing that fetuses masturbate? Yep, you heard that right! Fetuses masturbate! In 1996, two ob-gyns in Italy published a letter in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in which they described observing a female fetus at 32 weeks of gestation touching the vulva in a caressing manner primarily in the region of the clitoris:

“… Movements stopped after 30 tom 40 seconds and started again after a few minutes. Furthermore, these slight touches were repeated and were associated with short, rapid, movements of the pelvis and legs… In addition to this behavior, the fetus contracted the muscles of the trunk and limbs, and then clonicotonic [prolonged spasms] of the whole body followed. Finally, she relaxed and rested.”

They also noted “evidence of male fetuses’ excitement reflex in utero,” such as “erection” and masturbation movements.

In 1995, the British science series Equinox was the first to broadcast ultrasound footage of a male fetus playing with himself. One doctor, Dean Edell (a/k/a “America’s Doctor”) has gone so far as to write: “It is common during second trimester ultrasonography examinations to see the fetus touch itself repeatedly and rhythmically on the genitalia, offering proof that masturbation is rooted not in sin but in biology.”

So much for the “it’s unnatural” argument. Masturbation is a normal, and (I would say) necessary, function of human sexuality.

So, if it’s natural, why all the beef about masturbation, you ask? Active disapproval of masturbation has largely been based around the widespread concept that the supply of semen is limited. In ancient Chinese culture, masturbation among men was forbidden, as causing irreparable loss of male essence. Similar ideas are the foundation for the majority of attacks on masturbation. Beginning in the 18th century, descriptions by religious zealots of men gone mad through excessive masturbation led to generations of hysterical anti-masturbation texts. Gadgets inhibiting masturbation and even operations such as adolescent circumcision were done as a way to discourage masturbation. Some young girls were subjected to chastity belts, modified girdles, and in extreme cases, clitoridectomy. Even Freud agreed with another psychoanalyst that habitual masturbators caused harm to their psychological well-being.

Societal attitudes to masturbation have probably varied more than any other sexual act. For example, masturbation is not mentioned in the catalogue of sins in the book of Spiritual Exercises (1548) of St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, but the hugely influential Catholic philosophizer and theologian St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-74) reviled masturbation as a sin worse than fornication. Aquinas dismissed female masturbation as “mere feminine lewdness,” probably because there was no spilling of seed.

However, nothing in the Bible directly condemns masturbation. The New Catholic Encyclopedia of 1967 calls it a “serious sin that will keep one from heaven,” but only quotes a verse stating that the “covetous” will never inherit the kingdom of God. From the looks of it, I wonder if I even want to inherit the “Kingdom of God.”


Masturbation generally refers to bringing oneself to orgasm using manual stimulation. If this is accomplished with the help of a partner, it is called mutual masturbation, petting, or foreplay. Masturbation is a normal process of sexual development and maturity. Boys generally begin ejaculating between the ages of 10-13 years. One researcher has concluded that masturbation is like sexual rehearsal and if interfered with, can lead to sexual dysfunction in adult years.

As I noted previously, the late 17th and early 18th centuries marked the beginning of a two-hundred year period where masturbation came to be viewed as a form of unhealthy self-abuse by the morally degenerate or mentally ill. This led to widespread public phobias that resulted in many cases such as the one reported in the 1894-5 edition of the International Medical Magazine:

A doctor in Ohio decided to eliminate a girl’s desire to masturbate by cauterizing the clitoris. When this failed to bring the desired effect, he infibulated the area with a silver wire. These she tore loose and in a final effort, he cut out the clitoris. Adults have been castrated. As late as 1897 a man was documented to have had his penis amputated as a cure for masturbation.

As with anything else practiced to an extreme, masturbation may have harmful side-effects, but this can be said about almost anything. However, one unintended of experiencing orgasm primarily through masturbation is premature orgasm. I remember explaining to my son after I accidentally caught him jacking off that masturbation is ok (just don’t fuck up our bed sheets! LOL!), but over dependence on masturbation can lead to premature ejaculation. The hand is not a good substitute for a vagina, and clenching your cock with a tight-fisted king-fu grip can never be emulated by a vagina, I don’t care how many kegels a woman performs.

In addition, this can be a problem for women who rely primarily on masturbation toys and their hands to achieve orgasm. No man can ever hope to reproduce the vibrations created by sex toys and if that’s all you’re doing, it could lead to some dissatisfaction with sex. In other words ladies, go get some fuckin cock once in a while and learn how to ride that tiger in the quest for some mutual orgasm.

Some would say that regular masturbation helps one’s ability to orgasm by keeping the pubococcygeus (PC) muscle toned. This muscle covers the genital region from the mons pubis to the anus. We all know by now that a physician named Arnold Kegel developed an exercise that improves the PC’s muscle tone. How cool it is to have a vaginal exercise named after yourself, huh?!!

For the devoted masturbators among us there are masturbation parties where people come together to meet and partake in mutual masturbation. Safe sex kits are supplied and some add to the festivities by wearing costumes.

One final note: there is no universally accepted theory as to how often one should masturbate. Some men regularly masturbate as often as six times a day with no apparent harm. However, as I mentioned above, men and women who masturbate excessively may risk being accustomed to the stimulus of the hand, which often cannot be equaled by stimulus in intercourse. Abstaining from masturbation for a period of time can restore sensitivity. For my purposes, masturbation should be seen as a thermostat for our emotional well-being and should be used according to a person’s needs.

Sex is good for you…



Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Ballad of the Rambler

¡Hola! Everybody...
First, allow me to send out my apologies for about the one million people who are without electricity because of yesterday huge snowstorm across a major swath of this great nation of ours. I apologize because, while we have a deeply embedded, knee-jerk, Pavlovian tendency to give the Fat Cats in our society huge tax breaks and handouts, we don’t feel the same way about our national infrastructure. So, my apologies, though I know it doesn’t do much to keep you warm...

I honestly don’t get it: Obama makes these gestures for creating a more reconciliatory tone in DC, actually changes the stimulus package to appease the neocons with the end result that not one repugnican voted for the bill. They want more corporate tax breaks! There’s a report out, no not the non-existent report the neocons were citing in order to trash Obama’s bill. This report, or study, actually exists and was put out by a socialist, left-leaning entity, Standard & Poor (<--- sarcasm).

I was watching Rachel Maddow, one of the most intelligent reporters around, period. Aside from explaining in simple language that economic stimulus is really about stimulating the demand side of the supply and demand equation, she cited a study by Standard & Poor that showed that every $1.00 spent on food stamps, for example, brings back $1.73 in economic activity (that’s a net gain of $.73). Similarly, every dollar spent on infrastructure, generates $1.59 (a net gain of $.59).

How about that sacred cow of conservatives, tax cuts, you ask? Well, tax cuts could have a positive effect on the economy, generating $1.03 for every dollar (that’s a net gain of $.03). How about corporate tax breaks, or, as it should be called, welfare for the rich? Corporate tax breaks have a negative effect on the economy. Every dollar spent on welfare for the rich generates $.30 of economic activity (that’s a net loss of $.70). (click here to watch this segment of her show).

Knowing all this, why would the Obama administration bend over backwards to appease a wing deeply wedded to an ideology and subservient to their corporate masters?

I think this was a misstep on Obama’s part and he spent political capital on a political bloc that sees friendly overtures as weakness.

* * *

-=[ Ramblings ]=-

I love being raised in NYC. I was exposed to different cultures, different ways of seeing things at an early age. I grew up in a city where almost language you can think of is spoken. Not only that, I mean, enough people can say they lived here and there, or were raised in different countries, blah blah blah...

It’s not the same...

Some things are, well, as the cliché goes: only in New York.

Many people aren’t aware that street corner singing influenced much of American popular music. At various times, it was called Doo-wop, and other names. Nowhere else was this tradition practiced as it was practiced on the streets of New York City. What people also don’t know is that street corner singing had a wide array of root influences. Of course, there was the black experience and the blues, as well as R&B and what have you. However, Doo-wop also had influences from the European balladeer tradition. In neighborhoods across The City, all these traditions would come together in a rich melding of musical expression.

This brings me back to a tradition that no longer exists, but was really cool. If you look at a photo of NY’s skyline, the sheer number of buildings immediately strikes you. In most cities, that kind of skyline is limited to the ‘downtown” area. Not so in New York: all the boroughs, for the most part have this great mass of buildings. There’s a street culture in New York that you just don’t find anywhere else (the closest I’ve been to was Chicago).

What you may not get by looking at a photograph is that all these buildings have basements and backyards, alleyways and here is where the balladeer tradition thrived. Back in the late 70s, I was staying at my sister’s apartment in the Bronx, and at about 9:00 AM I heard a man singing “Pennies from Heaven.” He had a great voice and was actually doing a great interpretation. And the whole experience was life-affirming: it was early Spring, and as the man sang, the birds in the trees chimed in with their own songs. Furthermore, people were opening their windows and throwing out change for him.

I was amazed! My sister laughed and told me the man would do that on weekend mornings.

One day, I managed to track the man down. He was an older gentleman, retired, but he was smartly dressed, his crisp white shirt worn but ironed and buttoned at the neck, a Cavanaugh on his head with a threadbare, but clean sports jacket and slacks, his shoes shine to a high polish.

He was Irish, and he told me that at one time balladeering wasn’t that uncommon, that the route he took on weekend mornings would have three-four singers and that most entertainment took place in the basements and nooks and crannies of the prewar buildings of that neighborhood. He told me of that rich tradition, a tradition that influenced luminaries such as Frank Sinatra and the doo-wop singers that would come in the early 60s.

I remember that, and I am filled with gratitude for having lived in such a place.



Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Mulatto Vibe

¡Hola! Everybody...
In keeping with the recent vibe, I’m re-posting the following -- sure to insult

I got the following from Claudine Chiawei O’Hearn’s book on biculturalism Half and half: Writers growing up biracial and bicultural.

I strongly recommend the book for anyone interested bicultural/ biracial issues.

Senna, D. (1998). The mulatto millennium. In C. C. O'Hearn (Ed.), Half and half: Writers growing up biracial and bicultural (pp. 12-27). New York: Random House.

[Note: to be read aloud with tongue firmly in cheek ]

* * *

-=[ Variations on a Theme of a Mulatto ]=-

Standard Mulatto: White mother, black father. Half nappy hair, skin that is described as “pasty yellow” in the winter, but turns a caramel tan in the summer. Germanic-Afro features. Often raised in isolation from others of its kind. Does not discover his or her “Black identity” until college. At this point, there is usually some physical change in hair or clothing, and often speech, so much so that the parents don’t recognize their child when he or she arrives home for Christmas vacation. (E.g., “Honey, there’s a black kid at the door.”)

African-American: The most common form of mulatto in North America, this breed is not often described as mixed, but is nevertheless a combination of African, European, and Native American. May come in any skin tone, and of any cultural background. Often believe themselves to be “pure” due to historical distance from the original mixture, which was most often achieved through rape.

Jewlatto: The second most prevalent form of mulatto in the North American continent, this breed is made in the commingling of Jews and Blacks who met while registering votes down South during Freedom Summer or at a CORE meeting. Jewlattos will often, though not necessarily always, have a white father and a black mother (as opposed to the more common case, a black father and a white mother). Will also be more likely to be raised in a diverse setting, around others of his or her own kind, such as New York City (Greenwich Village) or Northern California (Berkley). Have strong pride in their mixed background. Will often feel that their dual cultures are not so dual at all, considering the shared history of oppression. Jewlattos are most easily spotted amid the flora and fauna of Brown University. Famous Jewlattos: Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet (and we can’t forget Zo, their love child).

Mestizo: A more complicated mixture, where either the black or white parent claims a third race in their background (e.g., Native American or Latino) and therefore confuses the child more. The mestizo is likely to be mistaken for some other, totally distinct ethnicity (Italian, Arab, Mexican, Jewish, East Indian, Native American, Puerto Rican) and in fact will be touted by strangers as a perfect representative of that totally new race. (“Your face brings me back to Calcutta.”) The mestizo mulatto is more prevalent than commonly believed, since they often “disappear” into the fabric of American society, wittingly or unwittingly passing as that third “pure,” totally distinct race. It takes an expert to spot one in a crowd.

Gelatto: A mixture of Italian-American and African-American, this breed often lives either in a strictly Italian neighborhood if the father is white (e.g., Bensonhurst) or in a black neighborhood if the father is black (e.g., Flatbush). Usually identifies strongly with one side of the family over the other, but sometimes with marked discomfort becomes aware of the similarities between the two sides of his cultures, and at this point, often “flies the coop” and begins to practice Asian religions.

Cultural Mulatto: Any American born post-1967 See Wiggers.

Blulatto: A highly rare breed of “blue-blood” mulatto who can trace their lineage back to the Mayflower [note: you will find many of these among the island-born Puerto Ricans – Eddie]. If female, is legally entitled to

membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution. Blulattos have been spotted in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Berkeley, California, but should not be confused with the Jewlatto. The Blulatto’s mother is almost always the white one, and is either a poet or a painter who disdains her WASP heritage. The father of the Blulatto is almost always the black one, is highly educated, and disdains his black heritage. Unlike the Jewlattos, the parents of the Blulatto are most likely divorced or separated, although the black father almost always remarries another blue-blood woman much like the first. Beware: The Blulatto may seem calm and even civilized, but can be dangerous when angry. Show caution when approaching.

Negratto: May be any of the above mixtures, but is raised to identify as black. Negrattos often have a white mother who assimilated into black culture before they were born, and raised them to understand “the trouble with whitey.” They will tend to be removed from the white side of the family and to suppress the cultural aspects of themselves that are considered white. Will tend to be more militant than their darker brothers and sisters and to talk in a slang most resembling Ebonics circa 1974. Has great disgust for the “so-called mulatto movement” and grows acutely uncomfortable in the presence of other mulattos. Despite all of this posturing, there is a good chance they have a white lover hidden somewhere in their past, present, or future.

Cablinasian: A rare exotic breed found mostly in California. This is the mother of all mixtures, and when caught may be displayed for large sums of money. The Cablinasain is a mixture of Asian, American Indian, Black, and Caucasian (hence the strange name). A show mulatto, with great performance skills, the Cablinasasian will be whoever the crowd wants him to be, and can switch at the drop of a dime. Does not, however, answer to the name, Black. A cousin to other rare exotic mixes found only in California (Filipino and Black, Samoan and Irish; Mexican and Korean). Note: If you spot a Cablinasian, please contact the Benetton Promotions Bureau.

Tomotto: A mixed or black person who behaves in an “Uncle-Tom-ish” fashion. The Tomatto may be found in positions of power, being touted as a symbol of diversity in otherwise all-white settings. Even if the Tomatto has two black parents, his skin is light and his features are mixed. If we are ever to see a first black president, he will be a Tomatto.

Fuaxlatto: A person impersonating a mulatto. Can be of white, black, or other heritage, but for inexplicable reasons claims to be of mixed heritage. See Jamiroqui.

Ho-latto: A female of mixed racial heritage who exploits and is exploited sexually. See any of Prince’s Girlfriends/ Some Video Ho's.

The categories go an and on, and perhaps, indeed, they will. And where do I fit into them? That’s the strange thing. I fit into none and all of the above. I have been each of the above, or at least mistaken for each of them, at different moments in my life. But somehow, none of them feel right. Maybe that makes me a [postmodern] mulatto? A Postlatto!



“Every man takes the limits

of his own field of vision

for the limits of the world.”

-- Arthur Schopenhauer

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Victims in the Heart of Darkness

¡Hola! Everybody... This is the busiest time of the year for me! The dead of whiter, short days, work overload! LOL!

Happy birthday Princess!

* * *

-=[ Victimology ]=-

“Enlightenment is not imagining figures of light but making the darkness conscious.”

-- Carl Jung

It’s enlightening to observe how some people love me when I write about safe topics, but avoid me like the plague when the topics are uncomfortable. I always tell my workshop participants that if they’re within their comfort zone, then nothing has changed. And doing the same actions and expecting different results is the best definition of insanity I have come across.

People say that I shouldn’t write or talk or agitate against racism. That doing so is the problem and that if I only stopped thinking and talking about it so much, it wouldn’t be so much of a problem. Individuals who point out racism, it follows, are the problem!

I’m here today to write a little about this so-called victim mindset I am being accused of. Let me state what is probably already evident. To delve into the study of racism is to come face-to-face with the heart of darkness, to borrow Conrad’s phrase. To look into this darkness is to know despair. I know this journey was difficult for me. It’s easy to be overcome by the reality of de facto racism -- to realize we haven’t really come that far.

But I will say this much: to know despair, to see injustice and resolved not to do anything about it is the essence of victimization. Want to be a vic? Go ahead, keep your head in the sand. Don’t talk about, don’t do anything about it. Neurosis is never a good substitute for suffering, it’s merely a series of strategies designed to avoid the painful.

If you’re going to read some of my upcoming posts, you will surely feel the despair I speak of, you will begin to see some of this darkness. Many will not engage me, many more won’t even come around. That’s okay; I am not here to judge, only to tell the truth. I will say this much: Dr. Jung was correct. You don’t evolve into an integrated human being by stubbornly refusing to peer into the darkness. That’s better known as neurosis. It’s the same as looking for a lost key under the street lamp because it’s the only area where there’s light.

People will tell you that you’ve lost your mind, that you’re part of the problem, and you will feel an almost overwhelming pressure to stop. I’m here to tell you that if you succumb to that fear, if you collapse under the weight of that despair, then you’re the ultimate victim.



Monday, January 26, 2009

The Warrioress Creed

Hola Everybody...
I didn't have time to write today... this is a repost.

I like to say a tribe of fearless women raised me. Women who, while enduring all forms of abuse, still cared for me and offered to me a true template for a warrior creed. They raised me as a “Scholar-Warrior,” but it was their
fearless hearts that blazed a light for my path. And so it went throughout my life: I would be fortunate enough to meet, over and over, women who exemplified spiritual courage in the face of the same hardships.

Though many were beaten, raped, and emotionally and psychologically abused, though they were often stigmatized for daring to speak against these same atrocities, they still managed to face life with their hearts, always willing to give.

It is to all these women, and the countless others, that I offer the following. May you never have to suffer in silence ever again.

* * *

-=[ The Warrioress Creed ]=-

-- by Mirtha Vega

A warrioress...
is honorable;
has strength, determination, and perseverance;
is magical and optimistic;
is wise and powerful;
revels in silence;
can appreciate both inner and outer beauty;
is dedicated to the sacredness in her life;
loves to live fully;
is unwavering in her quest for the infinite;
is respectful;
can commit to those she deems worthy;
can let go of what is no longer useful, or necessary;
is compassionate;
possesses the will to walk away from illusion;
is willing to trust and surrender when appropriate;
has extraordinary vision and clarity;
faces her fears head on;

* * *



Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Sermon (Cognitive Dissonance)

¡Hola! Everybody...
It’s soooo cold.... By now, I’m sure that I am considered on a par with such luminaries as Farrakhan and Sharpton. Yes my friends, I am a hater of white people!

BTW, that’s my lovely mother in all her glory... notice something? I must hate my mother too! LOL

In an effort to show that I am willing to stop hating white people, my friend Sweet Potato and I will hold an all-night “WASP/ Safe Negro/ NegroRican Yeehaw” this coming Saturday! Please bring all your hate, as we’re going to burn it in effigy. Also, please bring food, but try to keep it WASPy, OK? No fried chicken and shite like cuz it might encourage unsafe Negros, Po’ White Trash, and Nuyoricans of low morals (who are all unsafe) to attend. Pate and cheese, Chardonnay, not Gin ma’fuccas!!

* * *

-=[ Cognitive Dissonance ]=-

Frames are a way that people use make sense of their reality. It’s using metaphor to create preconceived notions. When presented with evidence that refutes a deeply embedded frame, people will keep the frame and throw away the evidence.”

I was invited to a national conference one to present my community-based model on re-entry. I knew beforehand that there would be a young prosecutor from Mississippi essentially presenting the exact opposite of my view. I prepared...

She was young, not bad looking (as prosecutors go) and had blazed a trail in her state basically locking up every (mostly black) young person who dared sneeze in an inappropriate context (well, I am exaggerating, but she was a huge proponent of the “broken windows” theory in criminology). She came on before me, taking most of the morning session. As I mentioned, I prepared and part of my preparation was to develop an empirically sound rationale for my approach (I argue that incarceration should be a last resort). My research led me to some great findings showing that mass incarceration actually made communities less safe. I even supplied data from the state of Mississippi to illustrate my case.

Of course, I was at my best behavior, but even when I’m being nice, my blade cuts deep. I then went on to show how my approach created safer communities and I managed to change the frame of the debate. I insisted that the debate at hand wasn’t about criminal justice per se, but about community safety. Moreover, I went on, if we’re implementing policies that have negative consequences and make us all less safe, we need to take a good hard look at such policies. I finished off my presentation by using one of the prosecutor’s points and taking it apart.

I was given a huge round of applause -- from people concerned about crime and safety from across the country. The prosecutor was beside herself. When the question and answer period came up, she kept throwing objections at me. They were more like pronouncements, rather than actual questions and she had to be reminded by the moderator to keep her comments to any questions she had regarding my presentation.

I stopped the moderator and asked that she give a rebuttal. And you know what? She fell apart.

She couldn’t cope with the conflicting feelings created by the existence of evidence that refuted her cognitive frames. Essentially, her rebuttal was something like, “I don’t care about your evidence!” she looked bad and the more she ranted, the more she put her foot in it, until she walked out.

Fuck that bitch, was my thought.

My point was made. Now, I’m not going to sit here and say that my presentation was accepted without question, but it did open up a discussion that wasn’t happening before. Namely, is it smart, from any perspective -- economic or morally -- to use incarceration as the sole means to address a wide range of social ills.

To me, that’s a win.

I have been confronted with cognitive dissonance many times in my life -- coming face-to-face with new” data” that contradicts my frames of reference. I will be honest and say that my initial impulse is always to throw away the data and keep the frame.


I guess if there is a real sermon here today, its message is not only to thine own self be true, but even when you want that honesty, there are obstacles we need to recognize. I have learned over the years that these moments, as uncomfortable as they are, are opportunities for growth.



Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Kool Logic of Late Capitalism

¡Hola! Everybody...
I’m going to evolve into a “Safe Negro” -- I mean! -- a “Safe NegroRican”! This will entail a huge sacrifice on my part. My passion for facts and love for empiricism in discussing complex social issues with far-reaching consequences will have to be scrapped for whatever I can pull out of my (preferably unwashed) arse. Safe NegroRicans don’t wash their arses. Heck, we don’t even call them arses, we call them culos! So there'll have to be some vigilance on my part. (Maybe some condescendingly compassionate white
person will take it upon his/ herself to smell my nicotine stained fingers to make sure my ass is just the right smell of shite?)

* * *

-=[ Kool Logic ]=-

The Cultural Logic 0f Late Capitalism, Frederic Jameson

-- by Urayoán Noel

I hope this finds you in good health (Or at least gainfully employed). We're here to discuss the hologram-self In the era of the void.

Some say modern man is hollow, Others say it's a condition Called "postmodern." Do you follow Could this use some exposition?
O.K. See the common graves Rotting in the ancient cities? The Fast food? The porous borders? The ambiguous sexualities? The debt-bludgeoned ethnicities? The wars of chemical roses?
Cash flows from Utopian rivers And the market never closes!
"This is the kool logic
Of late capitalism."
In the Prozac marketplaces
People hoard new models of leisure; Love has been deregulated: Plastic breasts! Prosthetics! Seizures! In the suburebs neighbors mourn The death drive of their libidos, Late summers full of soft porn, Stolen Wonder Bras, torn Speedos.
"This is the kool logic
Of late capitalism."
You can consume what you please:
From work music to new age; Ricky Martin and John Cage Are touring the Basque Pyrenees; You can sing your song of peace (Pop! Punk! Folk! Tribal! Assorted!) But the violence will not ceasae, Hate's fetus can't be aborted!
"This is the kool logic
Of late capitalism."
Macrobiotic-cybernetic- Fiber-optic folderol! Neo-gothic supermodels! Satellites and virtual malls! Vegan power lunch grand slams! Word elites! Money-go-rounds! Free will or free (pillow?) shams In the global shantytown?
"This is the kool logic
Of late capitalism."
NBTFA, Mercosur, Hamas!
DVDs and open mikes! Watercross and motocross! SUVs and mountain bikes! Trailer parks! Gated communities! High-rise ghettoes and favelas! Acquired diplomatic immunities! Self-help prophets! Braille novelas! Mexico, Miami, Rio! Euro-Disney, Bollywood! Dell, Intel, Taco Bell, Geo! Stanford post-docs in da hood! I'll stop fronting pedagogical... One last question (extra credit): This kool logic ain't too logical But it's still "kool." Do you get it?!
"This is the kool logic
Of late capitalism."
[About Urayoán Noel (click here): Puerto Rico-born and Bronx-based performance poet Urayoán Noel has been delighting and confounding the enlightened masses since the late 1990s. Solo and as part of the rock band objet petit a, he has performed-sung-scatted throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico, as well as in the Dominican Republic and Perú. His laugh-tracked new wave guarachas have rocked the rafters and/or emptied the room at the Nuyorican Poets Café, Bowery Poetry Club, Bar 13, Cornelia Street Café, Instituto Cervantes, and Roka Espacio.]

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Friday, January 23, 2009

The Sex Blog [Blame The Collazo Sisters]

¡Hola! Everybody...
I probably won’t finish the following to day... I have a lot of work and a few meetings to attend to today -- I’ll be scarce...

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-=[ Blame The Collazo Sisters ]=-

“A womans behind -- an altar to be worshiped on ones knees.

Actually, the title is incorrect: we shouldn’t blame all the Collazo sisters, only Nellie Collazo’s big sister. But there are all manner of connection in all this...

Nellie Collazo was in my eighth-grade class. She was a Taina princess -- long, straight dark brown hair that brushed the tops of the cheeks of her cute little ass. Her skin was like cinnamon and when she smiled, it was like the sun coming out after days of cloudiness.

I am convinced to this day that Nellie descended from Taino royalty.

All year I entertained fantasies about Nellie, but I was too shy to ever say anything to her. My two friends would tease me about it all the time. Finally, about a month before the “prom,” I managed to muster up the courage to ask her.


“Would you be my prom date?” Or something to that effect.



I was heartbroken and humiliated. I was very shy, a nerd, and girls always made me nervous. I had other options. There was the impossibly and prematurely curved Susana Susana (that was her name!). Susana looked like what I imagined a young (and dark brown) Mae West would like look and her sexuality -- even at 13 -- smoldered. To look at Susanna was to see the smoke-filled rooms and smell the rum I’m sure she ventured later in life. She had the habit of cornering me between classes and trying to cop a feel and kiss me. I hated it.

That summer, I was sent to a special program for gifted students and I would fall in love with Milva, but that’s another story. What happened that summer was that I changed everything. I did a fashion and personality make-over. I was too dammed shy and wearing a suit and tie everyday to school wasn’t cool. I discovered that I could be funny in an insightful way that humor was a great way to approach women, so I honed my craft that summer and polished my image.

That September, I entered high school with my new cool make-over: I was known for my long, black cashmere coat, and my favorite ensemble (a wardrobe makeover with the financial help and fashion sense of my mother), was a black Italian knit (it had three barely noticeable electric blue stripes on each side of the buttons), and black sharkskin pants. And, of course, a pair black suede and leather “Playboy” shoes.

You may laugh at this today, but back then, the girls thought is was hot. I cut my hair in a modified “Caesar” look all the bad boys wore, and -- voila! -- a new Eddie emerged. I was still intellectually inclined and at fourteen, I was in the process of reading “every great book ever written,” but I was also “cool.” I was also part of a program implemented by the City of New York. It was an effort to identify gifted students, what I would later jokingly call the “talented tenth,” and segregate us from the rest of the unwashed and stupid black, Latino, and poor white masses. It was called the “College-Bound” program. I went to a school that housed close to 3,000 students in a building that was meant to house half that number and the average class size was probably 35-40 students. Students in the College Bound program would attend classes that had, at most, 10-15 students. The idea being that smaller classes would allow teachers to give more specialized instruction to the students.

I was on the Dean’s List -- a straight- A student -- but I was also cool, and I became very popular. My school was also a dangerous place. the hallways, bathrooms, locker rooms were all places where the “bad students” the one’s abandoned by the state and the city, would congregate and sell drugs, smoke cigarettes, fuck and extort the more meek. I happened to be friends with many of the riff raff, many of them having grown up with me. So, I began then to travel the different worlds I would travel all of my life. I was as likely to appear on the Dean’s List as well as with the guy who would take your lunch money at the point of a knife.

One of my friends was Michael. Michael was an abandoned child who was raised by numerous different adults, related and not. He was also the one child no mother wanted you to hang out with. Michael was famous for sniffing glue, something popular in those days. He was also the only Puerto Rican I knew that wore his hair in the style of the Partridge Family’s David Cassidy. That was a huge fashion fuax pas in the black and Latino ‘hood we grew up in but he managed to carry it off and the girls loved it! LOL

One day, we all decided to go to the movies and who was with Michael the glue-sniffer? None other than my Taina princess, Nellie Collazo! Not only that, he treated her like crap and she paid for his entrance and bought him candy! I was conflicted and Michael, who was in actuality an extremely intelligent young man, just laughed, said,

“They’re all ho’s Eddie.”

I was stunned, but I learned an important lesson about the allure of a bad boy that day. More importantly, it was the first time I laid eyes on Nellie’s older sister. They didn’t look like sisters at all. Nellie’s older sister was light-skinned with curly light-brown hair and her eyes -- impossibly large --were a wicked shade of yellow. It was winter and she had a coat on and Michael, seeing my gaze, whispered,

“She’s a stuck up bitch, you’ll never get that.”

At that point in time, I considered Michael a sexual genius. After all, he had Nellie, she of the Taino royalty ancestry, smoking his cock in the balcony of the movie we went to that day.

A couple of years passed and I was walking up those dangerous stairways in between classes when I looked up.

And that’s when it happened.

I looked up and what I saw changed my life forever.

Right there, just a few steps above me was the most rounded, most deliciously curved ass I had ever seen in my life. Up until then, I never paid much attention to the female derriere. It was just something you fondled on your way to the flower of a woman’s vagina. But this was no ordinary ass. I t was perfect. It was rounded, just the right size, and the owner of that ass had the smallest waist I had ever seen on a woman. I t seemed that if I tried, I could wrap my hands around her waist and my fingertips would touch. She was curvy, but lean and she moved like a puma -- all stealth, sex, and grace.

I walked up those stairs in rapture.

I guess she sensed something, quickly turned around, demanded,

“What are you doing?!!”


“I’m praying.”


“Praying? What are you praying about?”

I was wondering if this was a good tact to take, decided it would be foolish, but said anyway,

“Your glorious derrière.”

And she laughed. She was beautiful in every sense of the word. Her small pert breasts were contemptuous of gravity, her impossibly large eyes frame by exquisitely formed cheekbones. And those eyes. Those wickedly yellowish/ amber eyes. But most important, Nellie’s older sister had the most beautiful ass in the world.

“Very funny,” she said, not knowing what else to say. I jumped on my chance, decided I needed to say something, but not knowing what else, I managed,

“I’m also a genius.”

At that she laughed.


“Can I walk you to class?”



And with that she turned around and continued with that divine ass of hers. I watched, and she knew I was watching, but didn’t say anything.

As she left to go on to her class, I asked,

“Do you come by this way often?”


“Everyday!” And she laughed again.

Everyday, I would wait for her and follow her up the stairs and everyday she would appear. She wouldn’t engage me in conversation except to inquire if I still prayed. My answer was always,

“Everyday at this time.”

And she would laugh.

One day, I didn’t show, I was making out with Cinderella -- well, not the Cinderella, but Cynthia, who I called Cinderella for reasons I can’t get into at this juncture. And little by little, I would stop waiting for Nellie Collazo’s big sister's ascent. Besides, she had a parade of worshipers, I realized, that walk up the stairs with her. In addition, Cinderella adored me and she would let me taste the fruit of her pale, puffy nipples.

One day, totally by accident, I looked up and saw that wondrous ass once again and the angels sang. She tuned around and asked,

“Where have you been?”

I answered,

“I haven’t been praying lately, my goddess refuses to answer them.”

She laughed, and said,

“And what would your prayer be asking?”


“That I could walk you to your class, then take you out on a date, then someday taste your lips.”

With that, she turned around without saying anything and looked over her shoulder to make sure I was praying to her ass, I guess, said,

“You can walk me to my class, and I would like to go out with you, but I want to know...

to be continued

Thursday, January 22, 2009

White Privilege: Intro (sorta)

¡Hola! Everybody...
Okay! I didn’t even write about white privilege yesterday. All I did was post a cartoon about it and I was called everything from a hater of white people and of being obsessed with race (I’ve posted the cartoon again below). In fact! People! Didn’t you know I am a bigot?

I’ll be out all day, but I’m leaving part of an unfinished post I’m doing on racism... I will finish my series on race in the coming days. I simply didn’t have the time to finish this section -- formatting the references and lining up all my research notes... But since I was shown so much love by my white brothers and sisters yesterday, I couldn’t help putting more out there for them.

* * *

-=[ Racism: White Privilege ]=-

White privilege exists. White privilege is pervasive. If you doubt me, then please 'splain reeky how a poor student, failed businessman , and draft dodger became president for two terms though he never really won a plurality of the popular vote.

::blank stare::

Seriously folks: there’s just no way of denying it. Up to now, I have focused my discussions of racial inequality on labor markets, the criminal justice system, residential segregation, and education. But the fact remains that race also counts in ways that are almost invisible to White Americans. While they often go unrecognized, these patterns of racial disadvantage highlight the insidiousness and power of racism in American life. Because most Americans use a narrowly defined concept of racism (which is actually prejudice, not racism), they fail to recognize the subtle manifestations of racial inequality that are deeply embedded into the fabric of our society.

To see better the pervasiveness of white privilege, let us take something as seemingly simple and mundane as shopping. I have shown in previous posts that blacks and other minorities are denied mortgages far more frequently than whites with comparable incomes and credit scores. But even in other situations, race plays a powerful role. Researchers studying automobile dealerships in the Chicago area, for example, found that salespeople offer significantly lower sales prices to white men than to blacks, even when economic and other factors are taken into account. Another study found that blacks pay significantly more for car loans arranged through dealers than whites did, despite having comparable credit histories. Similarly, clerks in retail stores are frequently more concerned with the color of the shopper’s skin than their ability to pay (as any person of color who has been followed by security while shopping already knows). One clothing chain, for example, stamped an information form on the backs of personal checks. The form included a section marked “race,” and shoppers were classified “W” for white, “H” for Hispanic, and “07” for black (well, what did you expect: “N”?)

Sociologists have found widespread evidence that black shoppers were treated less respectfully than their white peers. One sociologist, Joe Feagin, reported, “No matter how affluent and influential a black person cannot escape the stigma of being black even while relaxing or shopping.”

[This is merely the tip of the iceberg. My full post will be more rigorous with a reference list appended as an intellectual courtesy.]

Now, you would think that any fair-minded and reasonably intelligent person, when presented with these facts, would stop and reflect, right? No! What I get from too many white people is hate and anger. For pointing out the reality of white privilege, I am often called a bigot, I am accused of hating white people, and of being obsessed with racism.

I say those people can go fuck themselves. I’ve had it with them. For me, being aware of racial inequality and benefiting from it and not doing anything about is racism.



Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Hola! Everybody...
We watched the inauguration at work yesterday as a community in what we call the “community conference room.” I work for a non-profit, community-based organization (CBO) whose mission so to fight for “economic and social justice.” I work around progressive-minded people, but even within that environment, I find resistance to any substantive discussion of racism...

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-=[ Privilege and Resistance ]=-

Yesterday, at least two white people called me a racist outright or implied it. One took issue with my use of the term “white racism,” the other informed me that pointing out racism is itself racist.

I love all people regardless of skin color, but it never stops to amaze me the extent of ignorance some whites possess when it comes to race. For example, for some whites, yesterday had nothing to do with Obama being an African American. Either it wasn’t important, or emphasizing Obama’s race was proof positive that I suffer from some form of pathology. In psychology, this is called projection.

I am also aware that many whites still entertain racist notions of what it means to be a person of color. I know this because my subjective experience has been borne out through the systematic study of the issue. I call it the “black holes of ignorance.”

Someone suggested that we should perhaps forget about skin color. My response to that was to question if a person of color really has that luxury. It was pointed out to me that saying something like that is itself racist.


Allow me to clarify: I conceptualize racism in structural and institutional as well as individual terms. My definition of racism describes a system of oppression of African Americans and other people of color by white Europeans and white Americans. There is no black racism because there is no centuries-old system of racial domination designed by African Americans that excludes white Americans from full participation in the rights, privileges, and benefits of this society. Racism requires not only a widely accepted racist ideology but also the systematic power to exclude people of color from opportunities and major economic rewards.

I could sing kumbaya till the cows come home, but when we go our separate ways, a person of color suffers, while a white person benefits from racism. I find it the height of arrogance and condescension that a white person would exhort me to be less conscious of race.

It is a well-worn cliché that the last thing a fish notices is the water. Similarly, we take the air we breathe for granted, just as European Americans take their race as a given -- as normal. While it is true that white Americans may face difficulties in their lives -- with finances and family, for example -- race is not one of them. Whites can afford to be nonchalant about race because they cannot see how this society produces advantages for them because these benefits appear so natural they are taken for granted. They literally do not see how race permeates America’s institutions and how it affects the distribution of opportunity and wealth.

For blacks, Latino/as, and other people of color in the U.S., the same culture, laws, economy, institutions, and rules of the game are not as automatically comfortable and legitimate. In a white-dominated society, with color come problems...

I’ve had up to...


... with people getting testy around the “race issue.” If you don’t like it, don’t befriend me -- leave -- and don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out. If discussing race in a frank and intelligent way offends you, then get off my friends’ list. Fuck you and the white horse you rode in on.

That’s the way I feel about it.

I am light-skinned with blue eyes and the easiest thing for me would be to deny racism and just enjoy the benefits that my European features afford me, but I can’t. I have this thing with truth and being true to myself, I just can’t keep quiet, and I pay a personal and professional price for my outspokenness. So fuck you and your hurt feelings, there are lives at stake here.

I am also sick and tired of the fact that if I call attention to the way we are treated or to racial inequality, if I try to change the way advantage is distributed, if I try to adjust the rules of the game, white Americans see me as a troublemaker asking for special privileges.

Black holes of ignorance...



[un]Common Sense