I literally can't fucking believe I'm typing these words. But Prince is dead. He passed away earlier today at Paisley Park, one week after being hospitalized when his plane made an emergency landing in Illinois. A rep for the singer said he'd been battling a case of the flu.
Anyone who's glanced at this blog knows I have little (read practically no) faith in god, a divine plan or the concept of an afterlife. But this wasn't supposed to happen. Death wasn't supposed to come for Prince like this. He was supposed to keeping putting out new music and be showered with adulation at award shows and tour until the year 2058. All while maintaining an ageless complexion. Then one night during a co-headlining show with The Rolling Stones (who, let's face it, will be road warriors until they close the casket), a chariot of fire would swoop down from the sky, sweeping his Purple Madjesty up into the heavens like a modern day Elijah.
If I sound flippant, I don't mean to. It's just my way of processing how of the most iconic, prolific and influential careers in pop music history could come to such a sad, sudden end. And all due to a case of the goddamn flu. It's just a reminder that life is an invisible hour glass. We never know how sand we have left.
Our latest podcast of Bayou Blasphemy is up. In this episode, we talk about the Military Religious Freedom Foundation's fight to stop bibles from being placed at V.A. POW/MIA displays, as well as atheism and religion in military culture. We also give our two cents on Mississippi's "Guns in Churches" bill, Scientology disconnection, race and gender bias in TV and film and the 2016 presidential candidates' stances on science.
Please take time today to read Jezebel's highly illuminating article "The Rise and Fall of an All-American Catchphrase: Free, White and 21," which discusses the history of the aforementioned catchphrase that originally began in the 19th century but became a pop culture staple thanks to it's appearance in dozens of Hollywood films in the 30's and 40's. Or if you don't have the time, watch the montage of clips of movies featuring the phrase--which has curiously been erased from film history--below.
While I haven't been hitting the keys here lately--Mama's still raisin' coin for a new laptop--I've been running my mouth aplenty. Back in January, myself and few other infidels in my local atheist group started a bi-weekly podcast called Bayou Blasphemy, in which we meet up at a member's house and flap our yaps about religion, atheism, currents events, pop culture and whatever else crosses our fevered minds.
In our latest episode, entitled "Sex and the Secularist," we discuss how religion influenced our views on sex and gender, as well as North Carolina and Mississippi religious liberty laws, Donald Trump's abortion snafu and a Shreveport pastor's Jesus Christ pose. Enjoy.
My apologies for the extremely light posting as of late. My laptop is pretty much on life support at this point, so until I get a new one I'll try to get in some posting wherever I can, literally (i.e. the library) and figuratively.
A protest was held at the School for Creative Studies in Durham, North Carolina after students from the group Young Women of Excellence were reportedly barred from wearing traditional African head wraps in honor of Black History Month.
According to The Root, the group was told by administrators they were in violation of the school's dress code and may face suspension. They were given the option of wearing the head wraps, or geles, in a way that would make their hair visible or remove them completely.
The dress code policy deems “hats, caps, hoods, sweat bands and bandannas or other head wear worn inside [the] school building" as unacceptable. However, in my opinion (and as one parent states), a head wrap is part of a cultural tradition, and should be given more consideration than a baseball cap or a hoodie. “It says to me symbolically that our girls—and our boys, as well—have to alter not only their attire but their whole selves in order to seem less disruptive or offensive,” said Dosali Reed-Bandele. Her daughter Nandi, an 11th-grader at the school, was among those admonished. “This is utterly ridiculous, and I am tired of those messages bombarding our babies day in and day out.”
You'd think the school, particularly one with words "creative studies"
in its title, would exercise a little more sensitivity when it came to
their students' self-expression, especially when the students are doing to pay homage to their own history.
Parents held a mass demonstration Monday, wearing head wraps and singing and chanting in protest. The school responded by saying it allowed the group to wear geles as an instructional tool Monday--which sounds more than a little like placating them--but in a statement, said it's currently reviewing and suggesting revisions to its Code of Student Conduct. Watch ABC 11's report HERE.
"I am a gay man with an extremely open heart. God, I’ve never had to talk about this, so I’m trying to find the words. If I had to label myself, I would label myself as a gay man. With that said, I believe that love is the only thing that matters, and I would hope that anybody would leave themselves open—not to gender, but to love. I would hope that people would not close themselves off from what could be if, lo and behold, you meet somebody that just sweeps you off your feet, and you just can’t do anything about it. If we truly believe that we are born this way, then why do we try to stifle the way we were born? If I fall in love down the road with a woman, I’m going to love that woman ... ... But this is a conversation that deserves to be had, because we don’t all understand each other. You’re not going to tell me that loving someone is wrong. That does not mean that heterosexuality is not very real. It does not mean that bisexuality is not very real. It does not mean that homosexuality is not very real. They are all very real. But what I’m saying is, I am a gay man. I am a gay man. I am a gay man. I don’t know how many times I have to say that."
Read Smollett's full interview with Out magazine HERE.