Thursday, February 18, 2010

"You've Already Won Me Over"

I may have been a casual fan/bemused observer before, but I have to say I'm now an official Rihanna fan lol! True, I liked some of her earlier stuff before ("S.O.S.," "Shut Up and Drive," "Unfaithful"), but her obvious biting of Fefe Dobson's style (look her up if you don't whom I'm talking about) must've subconsciously irked me, because I never could seem to cross into true fandom. Until now.

Chile Ms. Ri-Ri has won me over with her new video "Rude Boy." I liked "So Hard" but this is the first Rihanna tune I could listen to all day and not get tired of it. It's probably the catchiest thing she's put her voice on, and the visuals, while echoing Grace Jones (and a little Neneh Cherry) feel unique to her. Looks like Rihanna's finally finding her own voice. Look at the clip below:

P.S.- Five points to the person who can name where the post's title came from;).

Rihanna - Rude Boy
by UniversalMusicGroup

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Black LGBT Profiles: Audre Lorde

This being black history month and all, I figured I'd go beyond the obvious icons (Martin, Malcom, Rosa, Harriett) and profile those that are usually overlooked (i.e. black gays and lesbians). One of those individuals is Audre Lorde, a woman who was, in her own words, a "black, lesbian, warrior, mother, poet."

Born Audrey Geraldine Lorde in 1934 in New York City to Caribbean immigrants, Lorde was nearsighted almost to the point of being legally blind. However, that didn't stop her from learning to read, write and talk at four years old, and composing her first poem in her early teens. She changed her name to Audre, saying that she liked the artistic quality of both her names ending in "e."

While attending Hunter College in the 1950s, Lorde worked a series of jobs, including a factory worker, ghost writer and social worker. According to, "In 1954, she spent a pivotal year as a student at the National University of Mexico, a period she described as a time of affirmation and renewal: she confirmed her identity on personal and artistic levels as a lesbian and poet. On her return to New York, Lorde went to college, worked as a librarian, continued writing and became an active participant in the gay culture of Greenwich Village."

Lorde was married to attorney Edwin Rollins. The pair had two children before divorcing in 1970. She numerous relationships with women, becoming romantically involved with her partner Gloria Joseph until her death from breast cancer in 1992.

Her poety, regularly published by black literary magazines including Langston Hughes' New Negro Poets, tackled subjects such as love, motherhood, betrayal, and homosexuality. Lorde wrote about her own sexuality in the poem "Martha." Heavily involved in the civil rights, anti-war and feminist movements, Lorde criticized the women's movement for what she saw as a focus solely on the experience of white, middle class women, and its exclusion of differences among women such as race and sexuality. The concept of difference was a recurring theme in her work. "I am defined as other in every group I'm part of", she declared. "The outsider, both strength and weakness. Yet without community there is certainly no liberation, no future, only the most vulnerable and temporary armistice between me and my oppression."

Some Audre Lorde's famous quotations are below:

"If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive."

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences."

“When I dare to be powerful - to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”

“When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.”

Thursday, February 11, 2010

1967? Or 2010?

Via The Advocate:

Take about 45 minutes out of your day (or night) and watch this 1967 documentary by CBS entitled CBS Reports: The Homosexuals. The news report(if you want to call it that) trots out every horrible stereotype about gays, or gay men in particular: we have domineering mothers and distant fathers, we're out to recruit the young, destroy society, are incapable of get the picture.

However, what was so scary in watching it was that many of those same stereotypes still exist in 2010. It's even scarier to think that an entire generation of kids (that most likely grew up to be my parents and yours) took the things shown this report as facts. People still believe you can "pray away the gay"be "turned out" or any other number of ridiculous ideas. Even though so much progress has been made--it's not illegal to have gay sex, we have much more visibility in society, homosexuality's no longer seen as a mental illness--there is still a ways to go in changing societal attitudes. However, there all few sane individuals in the report, such as an openly gay man shown at the beginning, and writer/artist Gore Vidal towards the end. Watch the report below:

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Random Thoughts...

Yeah, it's that time again boys and girls lol. Time to get some of the random questions and observations out of my skull and on to paper (or screen in this case). As always, feel free to respond with your own random thoughts.

1. Weren't the Grammys unusually on point for change? (with the exception of the MJ tribute).

2. Speaking of the Grammys, didn't Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Pink bring the heat with their performances? Seriously it was like a holy trinity of divadom-Beyonce as the Father (cause she's been around the longest:), Pink as the Son (cause Lawd know she baptized herself and the audience with all that water) and Gaga as the ghost (androgynous, presenting herself as neither completely male or female).

3. Isn't the height of stupidity that the U.S. military says it needs a year to "analyze the effects of gays serving openly in the military" before deciding whether to end Don't Ask Don't Tell?

4. Why do Republicans feel the need to shout "You lie!" (Joe Wilson) or mouth "Not true" Supreme Court Justices (Samuel Alito) during President Obama's speeches? Where were their mouths when Bush was duping everyone into thinking invading Iraq was a good idea or when his do-nothing ass finally decided to drop down to visit New Orleans five days after Katrina hit?

5. Will things truly improve for Haiti after all the earthquake aid has been given? Or will the country just go back to way it was before, poverty stricken and struggling?

6. Doesn't it suck that Nicki Minaj (a new rapper for those who don't know) can "claim" to be bisexual just so young straight boys will lust for her more, but Queen Latifah still can't come out despite a 20-year career for fear that she will lose it all?

7. Speaking of bisexuality, could a hip hop/R&B artist like Drake or Trey Songz just say they're bisexual and get the same response? (I think we know the answer to that)

8. Am I the only one still hoping Amy Winehouse will finally get it together and make more music?

9. Aren't you just waiting for that Tiger Woods, post sex-rehab Orpah interview? I can just see the sea of pissed off women in the audience boring holes into Woods' skull with their eyes now.

10. Who could ever play Madonna in a biopic (and yes I'm already aware of that ghastly TV movie that was on the air back in the day; although the girl who played Madonna did look a little like her, albeit a little bit older)? The movie would probably have to be around 2 1/2 to 3 hours anyway to capture Madge's full fabulousness anyways, lol.

11. Will rock music ever truly make a comeback?

12. Am I the only person who hasn't seen Avatar?
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