PITNB's Weekly Discussion Forum
“Shannon, one of these guys is gonna f— you up.” Okay, we’ll get to that quote (from one of my friends, circa 2003) shortly. I don’t know how much you all have heard about this story, or whether or not any of you watch First Take (I do, and I love it) but Stephen A. Smith of ESPN got himself in some serious trouble over comments about women and men in domestic violence cases. The specific subject of his discussion with Skip Bayless was Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (who knocked his wife out and dragged her unconscious body out of an Atlantic City casino elevator… and was suspended from a whole two NFL games as a result), but I want to open things up a bit and talk about some of the greater questions about domestic violence that this raised.
Who run the world?
First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters Sasha and Malia were spotted at the Beyoncé and Jay Z concert in Chicago, IL a couple of nights ago and as you can see in the sneaky Instagram photo below, it looks like they had the time of their lives. A fan in the crowd took a selfie that surreptitiously photographed the Obamas (which is something that I TOTALLY would’ve done myself), which you can check out below. More »
PITNB's Weekly Discussion Forum
Last week we talked about what happens when a celebrity gets knocked up, and whether or not pregnant celebs are better off hiding their baby bumps forever. This week I’m inspired by a few stories that have been going around about celebrities speaking up about the Israeli/Palestine conflict. Before we get into it, let me just say that I know so little about the specificities of this conflict, I don’t even like bringing it up. Years ago I took a class on Sufism (which, now that I think about, I found reason to bring up recently in another post—proving that certain college courses really can have lasting impact on your life), and I remember my professor saying that she simply would not discuss Middle Eastern war or conflict with people who had not studied the history. I always appreciated that stance, and so I tread very carefully here. Click inside for more.
Posted under: Rihanna, Selena Gomez
SPOILER ALERT: She learned nothing.
As you all know, Trent and I went to see Kara Walker‘s latest exhibit in Brooklyn yesterday, titled “A Subtlety Or the Marvelous Sugar Baby…” Trent loved it, I loved it. And when I say “I loved it” I mean I stood in that space very upset that my mother (formerly a professor of African, African-American, and Women’s History, a woman who took me to my first protest—against domestic violence—when I was 8, and marched in her last protest—for political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal—when she was 52, and nearing the end of her battle with cancer) and her twin sister, my Aunt Grace (also a fierce activist and journalist) were not there to experience it with me. I thought of the words of a brilliant professor of the Sufi sect of Islam who I studied with at Sarah Lawrence, when she described certain ancient, preserved places of worship in other countries, saying, “The air is different in there.” The air was, indeed, different out there. And I had some experiences (some positively breathtaking, and some disturbing) that I want to share.
But, Yes, They Should Still Get The $40 Million
Back in 2012 I wrote about some movies that changed my life, and the Ken and Sarah Burns documentary The Central Park Five was one of them. I didn’t know much about Antron McCray, Raymond Santana Jr., Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam and Kharey Wise before I watched the film—and, obviously, there’s still plenty that I don’t know—but at least now I am informed about a huge case in American history that deeply effected their lives. So now that I’m seeing that the 5 men who were wrongly convicted by both the court of racist public opinion, New York politicians/racists, and an actual court that accepted racist and false evidence. Y’all know I question the over-use of the term ‘racist’ but this is THE example of a racist state if there ever was one. Forty million dollars is not enough, and if you watch the documentary you’ll see why. Click inside for more.
'Why Did Chris Die?'
In an effort to keep the conversation about the UCSB shooting going, I want to share this Facebook post from documentary filmmaker Michael Moore. But before I do I want to share a comment from a recent review I wrote. I watched a film called Farmland and a reader suggested that the film might have been “merely propaganda” given the people behind it. People have, similarly, accused Michael Moore of using propaganda in his documentaries (even as he accuses the subjects of his films of the same). In a way, I think most films carry some sort of propaganda with them. Documentarians have their own agendas, and—sure—everything should be taken with a grain of salt. So, before someone accuses me of supporting propaganda, or a particular agenda, let me just acknowledge my own bias. I don’t understand the value of guns. I understand the value of rights, but I don’t understand the specific value we have placed on the right to bare arms. So yes, sure. This piece (like every piece I’ve ever written) reflects my own personal agenda. Click inside for more of that!
After his opponent suddenly died
Back in February we learned that former American Idol contestant Clay Aiken decided to run for US Congress and today we learn that he has won the Democratic primary portion of his campaign. Clay won the Democratic primary with 40% of the votes after his opponent, 71 year old Keith Crisco, died yesterday. Crisco passed away due to complications from an accidental fall and, well, Aiken won. Click below to read Clay‘s official statement regarding Crisco‘s untimely death and learn more about his primary win. More »
Posted under: Clay Aiken, Keith Crisco
The Devil is in the Details
Back in January, The Satanic Temple decided to crowd-fund a statue of Baphomet so that they could install it in front of the Oklahoma statehouse, right next to the big state of the Ten Commandments that was installed there back in 2012. Because the Commandments state was a “gift”, the Satanists wanted to give the state of Oklahoma a gift of their own. The crowd-funding campaign sought to raise $20,000 for the statue and ended up getting about $30,000 in donations. The state of Oklahoma is trying to get out of letting the Satanists install this statue but the Satanists are moving full speed ahead with their statue plans. Click below to see what the statue will look like if the Satanists are successful in installing it in front of the OK statehouse. More »
“Sorry to disappoint"
Posted under: Justin Bieber
Selfie, Selfie, Selfie … there are a LOT of celeb selfies to share today … but this one isn’t really a celeb selfie, it’s a political selfie. Vice President Joe Biden joined Instagram yesterday and wasted no time uploading and sharing his first selfie on his official Instagram profile. Not content to share a selfie that features only himself, the Veep enlisted the aid of one of his good buddies to take his first selfie with. I mean, if you’re going to share a selfie on Instagram, you gotta make sure it’s one of epic proportions. More »