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Saturday, I really saw Ice T at the Barbican

12 Movements: Ask your Mama

[I didn’t take out my notebook until after what would have been an intermission, so about halfway through. We’d had a few drinks while watching Liverpool beat the stuffing out of Man City so we were on top of the world.  This is what I scribbled in my notebook.]

Ice-T is here!


Yes. That Ice-T!

It’s the dozens.


Music: there were moments when it felt like the bass player was looking at the screen when a bass player came on and he was mimicking him. My eye went to the two of them.

The poems are lyrical. So lyrical that as a lyricist Ice-T can’t help but sing them. But it’s not sing songy.

They totally need an intermission. It’s a lot of information too. It needs a breather.

Blues, Afro-Brazilian, classic jazz quartet. Horn as voice. Ogun. “To the village of an anglo”. [Note to self: Langston Hughes tour (where he’s been, like the ones about the black expats in Paris)]

Cha Cha

White marshmallow drumsticks. Softer sound but cymbals have more ting drum solo during the Gods piece. DRUMS!!!

Sojourner   images-7

“Investigate them negroes, who brought them Doberman Pinschers.”


In the quarter of the negroes

Sister Betty in her black veil almost got me.


It always gets me.

[I want the pictures (there’s a slideshow on a screen between Ice T and the band. Ron McCurdy as voice and horn) to tell a story they should follow Langston’s studies & experiences. Moorland Spingarn Library/ HU.]

Brits need you to play an instrument fast and with passion to clap. Like they have to feel you earned it. Or when familiar riffs are played. And this guy [piano player] is cheap.

some song I don’t know or know in some other concoction. Cheap. Jingoistic and Langston would have hated it. Or loved it, nah, I don’t think so.

Astute audience? I guess…***face scrunch***

Spread the Gospel of Langston!


Ice T: music is too segregated and he hates a musical snob. music is here to make you feel good. Ice is having a baby this week.

Mood 12

Lindy hop, Savoy needed. Crisis covers.

There was a lady in our balcony section clapping and responding. But she might have been drunk.


So there you have it. I saw Ice T at the London Jazz Festival performing Langston Hughes at the Barbican with a jazz quintet.  What a sentence!! I need to find the visual producers Jumbo Arts Productions. If you know them, gimme a shout.


TMI #1


Yesterday I an older lady was rushing to get to the bathroom. She went in right before me. Then I heard, from her stall, her EXPLODE then the sound of utter relief. Like panting relief.  I wanted to say, “Good Girl!” because I know that there was a moment, a real moment, that she didn’t think she was going to make it.

That’s the stuff I think we should be able to share.


it’s that time of the year again…


Honest Best Picture Nominees Posters

My Favorite Things on TV now are commercials

I love them.  They used to be what I turned away from but now I actually find them more interesting than the broadcast shows that surround them.  I’m a big preacher of the fact that the medium is based on commercials as it evolved from its blind version- radio.  It was Philip Morris who helped us love Lucy, et cetera, et cetera.  I contend that if we would watch commercials 24h a day that’s what we’d have. [If they could just show commercials…]  but then commercials have to become something we were aware of Pay No Attention To the Man behind the Curtain.  We just wanted to sell luxury cars in a recession.  We like poking fun at corporate CEO by having them look silly with cornrows in their hair to make them like safe puppy people.  Sure they’ve paid their hair braider with your grandchildren’s college fund, but he felt like something different today.  Isn’t that cute.  

Of course commercials became irreverent.  They turned in on themselves and became the butt of their own jokes particularly in the 21st century where everything not so old is new again.  

Since we’re votaries of nostalgia the sky’s the limit.  Old concepts become new to an increasingly youthful culture whose concept of history begins at their birth.

Commercials are so good that you don’t often know what’s being sold.  It doesn’t matter anyway because it’s more a lifestyle that’s being sold than any products.  Products are by-products of lifestyle.

Or is it that we don’t care?  I mean, I don’t have a car- but I know how not to pay a lot for car insurance.  The IT commercial for eBay was so hilarious to me I wanted to tape it (I live in the dark ages of video tapes) so I could watch it all the time.  As a staunch anti commercialist the real problem is that I’m just discovering what Madison Ave. has known for years.

Advertising works.  Okay, so I’ve known it for some time now.  I’ve known it intellectually.  I have all of these pieces of paper saying I should know better than anybody.  But what I need you to understand is that I knew I was immune to it.  I know what they’re doing.  I’m above this because I actually work with the man behind the mirror.  

But I have to say, I have recently bought more bullshit that I don’t need.  The more money I don’t have, the more I need something off of eBay (okay, eBay seems to be a theme/ problem I might need to address with a shopping professional).

And in these times of devastation, blatant governmental corruption, war and crazy unemployment: commercials are more aggressively displaying beautiful lives of beautiful people showing us everything is okay.

But just when I’m rushing to my computer to type in “Popular Store with colorful” I’m stopped by my all time favorites.  Drug commercials.  Drug commercials help me come to my senses about what’s really going on.  They might as well have Phillip Morris sponsor television again because their non-smoking commercials only make me want a cigarette.  I don’t buy it.  These people don’t believe it.  They want to smoke.  They don’t really want to stop.  I can see it in their eyes.  

My absolute favorite commercials right now are about prescription drugs.  I love them.  But more importantly I love the irony of when they’re shown.  Drugs for social anxiety during “Friends” and “Seinfeld”.  Drugs for impotence and female birth control during “Sex and the City” reruns.

Insomnia drugs teasing me when I’m watching X-Files at 2a.

The little circle thing that has such severe social anxiety that he can’t get it on with his little ladybug friend.  Man he broke my heart.

The woman with adult ADD… who hasn’t’ felt like that after like 5 cups of coffee before noon and no sleep cause the kids had a play, and your husband was going out of town.  When I saw what her mind would turn to…hell I’d be a little scattered too.

And sorry to say that it’s a dangerous game to ask New Yorkers particularly (and Americans in general) if they’re depressed, afraid to go outside, fearful of the future…? Well duh, yeah!  So that means that most of NY City would be like that little circle and start bouncing again?  Really?  

So if commercials work and there’s an overabundance of commercials selling drugs to fix things that most every human being has experienced- what kind of society are we building?  We told outright lies by the people who are supposed to Protect? Care? Represent us and told no no no, don’t believe your lying common senses.  

We’re being catered to as a bunch of bratty kids.  Life’s tough and beautiful.  But we’re getting told- sold, the idea that natural human behaviors and reactions to an increasingly unsure world, made that much more unsure by news agency that now hype things that have been happening since Caesar was still just a general, like washing machines and luxury cars.  Washing machines people need.  Luxury cars- not so much.

Along side of these drug ads are the ads telling parents to take personal responsibility for telling their kids to not take drugs.

The idea of personal responsibility is both heralded and demonized in a schizoid society where lies roll down from the top of gov’t like water and even under a litany of indictments we’re told to trust distrustful people.

So you smoked a little pot when you were younger- doesn’t matter.  U must tell your children how bad it is.  Whether you believe it or not, you’re a terrible parent if you don’t and your kids will end up like Robert Downey Jr. (Pre-Iron Man RDJ, I’ve always loved him and never gave up.  Tell him to call me.)

But if you’re anxious about talking to your kids about pot, take some Prozac. It’ll make it easier to not do drugs.

Are you serious?

What is our legacy?

I do a lot of thinking about where we alleged hip hop generationers are headed. 

I’m a little obsessed with it. And not just as far as race, but relationships particularly. And I’m understanding that hip hop gen’rs aren’t relegated to blacks. Those of us who were raised around it and it’s infiltrated our psyche’s.

Coretta Scott King died today. What does that mean for us? What has that legacy left for us? The idea of “Black Leadership” is so obsolete because it assumes a homogeny that has been obliterated by the progress made during the civil rights movement. Our moving from the back of the bus into “mainstream” society has mainstreamed many of our ideas and behaviors as well. And these behaviors don’t have a single point of reference to be a rallying point as they did before desegregation.

So what happens when we can go anywhere our money can take us? Well that getmore to the point. I believe our segragation is now based on economics. I was raised middle class but my life choices don’t support my tastes and mores. What about poor people? This is real. We don’t like talking about poverty- real poverty that doesn’t’ have anything to do with how much money you have. The poverty that lives in one’s mind.


I didn’t want to see Selma because I was raised on the Civil Rights Movement and know EVERYTHING I need to know about it.  I’m sick of the same old stories and all the “We Shall Overcome”-ness of the nostalgia. Because now that the smoke has cleared, our overcoming has given us its ass to kiss.

But I was so wrong about this movie.  I watched it in protest as I twisted my locks, also in protest.  My husband came home while I was watching and said “I thought you didn’t want to watch that”.  I said, “I don’t and I’m crying and it’s SO GOOD”.  

I live in England now and I’m shocked by how seeing a bunch of Black Americans standing up for themselves in the face of adversity makes me cry.  Ferguson, NY, #BlackLivesMatter have seen an tsunami of my tears and had clapping like Squeek in The Color Purple when she sees Nettie across the field and has all that joy for Celie.  "Yass, Yass!“ hands clapped in front of mouth, tears rolling down my cheeks.

That’s how Selma made me feel.  That’s my blood, you see.  My family migrated north to Chicago from Jackson, Miss in the 30’s.  My grandma who didn’t leave the house much took me to vote with her for Harold Washington.  I know how important it is to vote.  I didn’t vote this year for the first time in my life.  I’d bungled the absentee ballot and missed my chance.  It’s a shame I’ll have to live with for a few years.  I’ll get over it, but I feel it.

Seeing all those beautiful, brilliant, brave Blacks please me greatly.  When Lorraine Toussaint’s character tells Coretta that her blood has prepared her for anything life can throw at her, that’s my mantra.  Everyday when systematic racism makes me think I won’t get hired for a job, or nobody wants to hear what I have to say, I tell myself that somebody survived a holocaust, several of them, for me to be here and to even have the nerve to sit at a magical typing box and say what I feel. 

I’m very grateful for watching that.  I’m so proud of Ava.  What a beautiful job.  

And didn’t that lady look just like Coretta?  Just. Like. Coretta.


I hate Redtails.

I wanted to throw something at the screen.

I resent having my black spite used against me.  It should only be used for good like getting National Nat Turner or Malcolm X day.


I’m bookmarking this here because these are all issues that must already be understood, I believe, before we can even get to the bits of white supremacist imperialist capitalist hetero-patriarchy I’m writing about.

To address race in America, we have to grapple honestly with our history

Good Wife Season 2 Episode 1

So I love Good Wife.  I’ve just watched the first season again and it’s super satisfying especially since I’m current on the new episodes.  I bing re-watched the 1st season yesterday and I’m not going to get into every detail here.

In this episode I can barely watch Eli delete Will’s message.  Ugh.  That makes it so Sam and Diane will they won’t they and I know they will and how fucked it ends and I wish they had that time together.  Life’s too short. 

Forgot how much Peter and Alicia were into each other.  Respected each other.  How he respects her opinion despite doing her so dirty.  They brought it back around with the new scandal and reminding us why we’re here in the first place.  Alicia’s evolved so much I’d forgotten how green she was, how torn she was, and lonely.  

And what a terrific lawyer she is.  I think I’ll continue watching this Good Wife.

Gentrification Blues part deux

In the bit about gentrification I kinda glossed over the fight part.

This shit is scary. I’m a little girl (well not little in the Sarah Jessica Parker sense- see other postings) but I’m a girl. These little monkeys are crazy.

It was so easy. I’m rappin’ with my homey about the season finale of the most excellent show on television and how mind twisting it was; having a few cocktails and now it’s time for a delicious smoky treat.

We’re headed out to smoke and walking talking. There’s this couple hemmed up in the doorway and my homey (I guess I’ll call him BC cause I’m gonna confuse the hell out of myself like that) tries to open the door and tells this little brother he can’t do that here. I’m stepping right behind him and the next thing I know is that this little MF is screaming and pushing BC and yelling.

When I told my sister she asked what he was yelling. I said it was unintelligible. “I don’t know. Something like ‘I’m a man’; ’ I got two eyes’; ‘I didn’t get enough love as a child’; ‘peanuts make my feet stink’; ‘public education has served me poorly’…” (You get the point. it actually tickled the both of us so we went on for about 5 minutes.)

That’s when BC punched the fuck out of him. I’m running out all Tyler Durden waving my arms yelling “whoa, whoa, whoa” (when he was in front of the van- favorite scene) and screaming for someone to call the police. The supreme queen bartender was on it already as were most of the patrons (the newbies. I do distinctly remember seeing a pair of eyes only peeking over the back of the bar. Like Cleavon Little was gonna come in shouting “where all the white women at?”). I moved through the crowd of ruffians that have BC jammed up against the door to the apt building and that’s my turf, so I kinda snapped a little. And remember it was like the Smiths in the Matrix so like a hundred dudes dropped out of nowhere (I think it was like 10 in the end).

So I get in front of BC and put my arms out tiger style and stood in front of him yelling, “STOP!” (Think Gandalf and the dragon thing). Then it was suddenly just the skinny troublemaker woozy looking and rising up in front of me. Then I was suddenly like shit, this kid’s gonna hit me. WTF? So before he could fully stand up, I kicked him in the chest. Kinda a bitch move- but I am a girl. I even had on a skirt and my Keds. Then he just staggered away. Remember when the LA cops said that Rodney King was on PCP and acting all hulk-like. Well that’s what this kid was like. Just not there.

Then BC calls my attention to the white body being dragged in the street and it’s another homey and that’s when I started shaking. For some reason that’s when it got real. And real scary. He was limp and this kid is a firecracker. These little animals were dragging him in the street. Do they even know the implications of that? I want to drop them in 1950’s Mississippi and then we’ll see when they drag someone in the street.

This is my home. This neighborhood is where I’ve spent my formative adult years. I’ve become an adult here. Now that’s not to say that I haven’t been called an ugly bitch from my door to the end of my block. And I was shocked because I’d never been called an ugly anything in my whole life. And ironically enough one of the ruffians was the grownup boy who called me out back then. He’s going to jail. And he has a baby now. Pity. But why come after people who look like you? And despite my animus for the newer residents, I also don’t want them to suffer at the hands of “angry black youth” but damn man.