1. DFA sneaks up from time to time and reminds me of its rather Ninja-Tune-ish/Def-Jux-y consistency and longevity. (Other than that song with the screaming about the jealous lovers that everyone freaked out about because it was…white dudes playing diluted disco?)
This here is the Holy Ghost! mixtape, which in apt. 302 is a clear reference to that song “Holy Ghost” by the Bar-Kays that was later lovingly molded into the Beastie Boys’ “Hey Ladies” and Tupac’s “Trapped.” There’s some KRS in here, a lot of that bass-and-sirens combo that I thought I would’ve tired of by now, and something called “Greetings from Ghostface” that are some pretty sweet words where I come from (next to “Up next, another episode of Law & Order: SVU”).
2. After a decades-long period of admiration for the island’s health care and education policies, Black activists are being more critical of Cuba regarding racism. [LA Times]
“A group of 60 African-American artists and thinkers have launched a rare (and) unprecedented attack on Cuba’s human rights record, with a particular focus on the treatment of black political dissidents.” They’ve noted increased violations of civil and human rights for those Black activists in Cuba who dare raise their voices against the island’s racial system, and signed an official statement calling for changes.
“What has changed (since the ’60s and ’70s) is a heightened understanding outside Cuba of the plight of the island’s large Black population, which remains increasingly marginalized economically and underrepresented in the highest echelons of government.” I believe that these critics are now catching up to those who have been outraged at Cuba’s treatment of my friends The Gays for years now. My boyfriend Cornel West is part of this group that created the official statement (also: Ruby Dee, of course! So dope) and probably, dare I say, the brains behind it. And I bet you he did it all while wearing a nice suit and spectacles.
’90s rap song tie-in time! Regarding the nation of Cuba: you still haven’t freed Assata, so until that happens I’ll be borrachada de Bacardi. Tony G produced this, along with DJ Pooh’s “Whoop Whoop,” an anthem which descended from heaven to emanate specifically from ’94 Nissan Maxima speakers, is about some crucial Cube vs. Kam & Pooh beef that tore this city apart in the late ’90s (it’s ok, they’re friends again now!), and has lyrics you would be legally required to know by heart if you lived within a 50-mile radius of LA County.
3. “Top 10 Science Letdowns” [Scientific American] is rather amusing because it’s basically a bunch of grown-ups whining about things we dreamed of as kids that haven’t come true yet even though it’s THE FUTURE RIGHT NOW.
Dumb science is not working fast enough, clearly. We don’t have flying cars and we can’t live forever. No hoverboards. Mental illness is still a mystery. The planet is sweltering and will probably blow up soon. What this amounts to is basically a Stack of questions with no answers/Cure for cancer, cure for AIDS. This make me wanna stay on tour for days! Heee.
4. “Men’s bodies and minds agree on what’s sexy almost always. Women’s bodies and minds? Less so.” – Science Daily, openly discussing sexual arousal under the guise of “important science nerdery.”
In studies, researchers found that “men’s subjective and physiological measures of sexual arousal showed a greater degree of agreement than women’s. For the male participants, the subjective ratings more closely matched the physiological readings indicating that men’s minds and genitals were in agreement. For the women, however, the responses of the mind and genitals were not as closely matched as men’s, suggesting a split between women’s bodies and minds.”
So: what women want to think of as sexy is not really what our cells and hormones and bloodflow respond to*. This, of course, explains my troubling shamelust for Kim K. Because I’m gross. So gross you probably shouldn’t talk to me anymore. Gross.
Basically, even though we ladies really really want to think of smarties and nontraditional beauties as hot, our physical responses betray us. I, for example, want to think Rachel Maddow is pretty, because this would mean I’m defying that American thing of manufactured hotness. Instead, I like gorgeous dummies like Padma, that Bar Refaeli and her waist-hip situation, and various other glossy blank types on my TV screen. In the grand tradition of Things Women Have Always Done, this results in a lot of tiresome mental anguish. We try to psych ourselves out continuously and it’s dumb. Get a grip, ladies. Knock it off. (This includes myself.)
*Except for Joan from Mad Men, because at the Women Conference last year we all agreed that it’s OK to pine away for her. She’s like sexy kryptonite, that one.
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