Thursday, August 28, 2008

The New Norm - Why this all matters

Forty-five years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. led the March on Washington, properly called the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. This march was in protest to the situation many Americans were living. America was segregated, Blacks & Whites were forced to use separate facilities (bathrooms, water fountains, restaurants, etc.), Blacks were denied jobs due to the color of their skin, and violence against Blacks was tolerated and sanctioned by local governments in certain regions of the country.

The following year (1964) after the march, the Civil Rights Act was passed which outlawed racial segregation in schools, public places and employment. The year after that (1965), the National Voting Rights Act was passed which outlawed discrimination in voting practices, ensuring Blacks the right to vote.

Tonight, the Democratic Presidential nominee, Barack Obama, an African-American, gave his acceptance speech, a mere 46 years after de-segregation.

Just like those who marched on Washington, who wanted to change this country for the better, we have an opportunity to pick up where they left off, by electing Barack Obama President of the United States.

His presidency, won't cure all the ills America has suffered over the 400 odd years, since the first settlers arrived, but it will change the mindset of those who come after us. Our children will never have to wonder what it would be like with a Black President, or if they could really "grow up to become President", or say White people would never vote for a Black person. These thoughts which many of us have (or had a one time) won't exist for them. This will become the new norm.

As a 29 year old woman, I can not imagine a world where I would not be allowed to vote, but I'm sure my Grandmother can. Granting women the right to vote, changed history. I can't even fathom the idea of not having full rights. Now my children and grandchildren will never imagine a world where a Black person could not become President. This is a fundamental change, it is a social change which will effect us all, white and black.

Sometimes, I don't think I fully understand the importance of tonight, and only the future can tell as we reflect back after a decade or so, but Obama has already changed the course of our great country's history. He gave us all hope. Hope, that America is really what we believe it is. A place where everyone is created equal.

Waiting for Barack Obama

I do not have words right now. 

I hope everyone is getting ready to watch Barack Obama speak at the DNC tonight. I'm really excited and will try hard to remember how I felt when the speech is over, because I want to be prepared to tell my grandchildren the story.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I LOVE Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama is amazing! She is truly amazing. I hope everyone saw her speech at the DNC tonight. WOW!
As she was talking, I kept thinking "Is this real? Is this really happening? Could this really be our next First Lady?"

These are the moments we read about in history books; the March on Washington, Robert Kennedy's campaign, the Emancipation Proclamation, and now we are living history. That's how I feel watching Michelle tonight, that I was watching history... I was feeling history.

This feel amazing, I just hope everyone feels the same way I do.

America is truly an awesome country. 

P.S. The Obama children are the most precious children I've seen in a long time. Oh that Sasha is just adorable! "Hi Daddy!"

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Band of Outsiders

I just finished watching a very interesting french movie, Bande à part (Band of Outsiders) by legendary director Jean-Luc Godard. This movie is known for three famous scenes (which were the main reasons I decided to watch it).

1. While the characters are in a cafe, one guy suggests if no one has nothing to say, then let's have a minute of silence. He then goes on to say, "a minute of silence can last a long time... a whole eternity." So they have their minute of silence, but the director cuts all sound, so we, the audience participate in the minute of silence. Interesting. FYI - the minute of silence only lasts 36 seconds.

2. While the characters are still in the cafe, after their minute of silence, they decide to dance. They do the cutest dance routine. Man, they look real cool (you can watch below). I'm going to learn that routine and pull it out at the next time I go to the club (do you think it will go over well?)

3. To waste time, the characters decided to see how fast they can run through the entire Louvre Museum. How romantic! I'm sure other movies have made reference to running through the Louvre, they actually finish it in 9 minutes and 43 seconds. I wouldn't try that today, I'm sure the security at the Louvre has advanced in the 44 years since the movie was filmed.

I won't go into the plot, you can read that on their imdb page. But before you watch it, just remember it's in black and white, subtitled and a french movie. You make the decision, but I enjoyed it!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Flaunt This - Google Books

Today I discovered the most wonderful thing -- Google Books!

So, I am currently reading I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (off the recommendation of J.K. Rowling and Nick Hornby, they both listed the novel as one of their top 5 favorite books of all time). The book is actually really good and I highly recommend it (even though I'm still reading it). Now, the problem is, I have a job and it interferes with my reading. Seriously 9am - 5pm is prime reading time!
So, for some reason I thought, maybe this book is online. Maybe someone out there uploaded all the text and I can read it on the computer (and I didn't feel like buying the audio book from itunes). So... my research resulted in my discovery of Google Books.

Google books allows you to search the full text of books. So... that means the full text of books are online! Numerous libraries and universities are working with Google to allow them to scan their entire library! Okay, now, don't get too excited, most books are missing madd pages and you won't find the text of many new and popular books. But you can find the full text of many classics and books whose copyright has run out or are in the public-domain.

The best thing! My book I Capture the Castle is online! Well, most of it. 

Check out Google books, so you can read books while you're at work (rather, during your lunch hour, like me! reading during work hours is the same as stealing from the company!!)

I had to say that.

Debate coaches yellin' and cussin'

This is why I never joined the debate club (actually, that's not true, but I thought it would make a great first sentence). In this youtube video, you will find debate coaches yelling and cussin', students crying,... and we are talking about college level debate clubs! I don't even know what they were debating (me thinks a racial topic) but either way this is... priceless

Was Denzel Washington's movie The Great Debaters like this? If the answer is yes, then I'm adding it to my netflix queue today.

Originally found on the blog, boing boing.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Take me to the movies!

I decided to post all the upcoming movies I'm excited about. Check out the trailers and let me know if you're excited too!

Plot: Chronicle of the life and presidency of George W. Bush. How could you not watch this movie, it's too tempting!
Director: Oliver Stone
Starring: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Banks, James Cromwell

Star Trek
Plot: Basically a prequel to the Original Star Trek series. The early days of James T. Kirk. We have to wait until 2009, unfortunately.
Director: J.J. Abrams
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Eric Bana, Simon Pegg

Quantum of Solace
Plot: The next James Bond film! Nuff' said!
Director: Marc Forster
Starring: Daniel Craig, Mathieu Amalric, Judi Dench

Plot: The story of Wolverine, the most popular X-Men gets his own movie!
Director: Gavin Hood
Starring: Hugh Jackman

Sorry guys, I couldn't find the "official" trailer, but here is a link to a bootleg version - Wolverine Trailer

Plot: Four black American soldiers save the day in WWII. We rarely see the sacrifices that Black soldiers made during WWII, should be rather interesting.
Director: Spike Lee
Starring: Derek Luke, Michael Ealy, John Turturro

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Plot: Story of a man aging backwards. That alone should peak your interest. (not to mention the cast!)
Director: David Fincher
Starring: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton

Honorable Mentions

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Man or Woman?

I was messing about the 'net and I came across this interesting article. Apparently, the Olympic committee occasionally has to deal with unusual situations - is this athlete a man or woman? 

I have to say straight up - it's not fair for a MAN who has a sex change to compete in athletic ability with other women. Even though you made the change, you still have some of your manly advantages (strength - that's just nature, you know what I mean?).

Now, if you were born a full fledge hermaphrodite then yes, we need to think about it and be more flexible (kind of). 

But I guess in the end, it comes down to science. How many male and female chromosomes do you have? 
Heidi Krieger underwent gender reassignment surgery and changed her name to Andreas

Interesting read from the Guardian.

China is flexing!


Last night I sat in awe watching the Olympics Opening Ceremony. Hot damn! The Chinese spared no expense. I feel confident in saying that was the best opening ceremony ever!  They were certainly trying to flex their muscles to show the world their might.

Even though, I watch every opening ceremony, I usually find my mind wandering after a while, I mean, I don’t care for singing and too much dancing. But I actually watched the entire thing, only fast-forwarding through the commercials (don’t you love tivo). 

Friday, August 8, 2008

Gooble gobble - One of Us, One of Us!

If you never seen the movie Freaks, you must. You just have to!

Now, be warned, the movie is distrubing because, well, as the title suggests, it's about a bunch of freaks. And I ain't talking about walking downtown with purple mohawks or goth freaks. I'm talking about real life deformed people (no make-up, they are REAL PEOPLE). Yeah, that came out a little wrong, but you will understand after you watch it.

I haven't thought of the movie in years (It still scares me a little), until I was reading another blog (totally forgot which one now) and learned they made the movie available online (free)!

Here is a short clip, for your viewing pleasure. But you can watch the full movie here.

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