May 19, 2004

Quote of the Day

"There has been a real lack of leadership in having someone emerge as a Christian voice, someone who doesn't speak for the right, someone who doesn't speak for the left, but someone who speaks for the people, and someone who speaks from a THEOCRATICAL perspective."

- Pastor Robert G. Upton, executive director of the Apostolic Congress, a fundamentalist Christian organization that regularly meets with Bush and other White House staff members, who're generally in agreement that Jesus won't come back until Israel controls all of the land promised them by God in the Old Testament.

These people have the President's ear, and they are actively lobbying against peace in the Middle East to fulfill their interpretation of the Book of Revelations.

Moreover, is anyone else freaked out by the fact that this non-government organization has adopted the following image as their logo?

Personally, as a Christian and an American, I find this to be immensely offensive.

While I'm on the subject, this week's episode of Frontline, entitled "The Jesus Factor", quotes Bush as saying "I believe God wants me to be President".

Personally, as a Christian and an American, I find this to be unspeakably frightening.

Oh, and they also believe the findings of some crank who alleges that traditional marriages grinded to a halt in Scandinavia after Sweden legalized same-sex marriage. Can someone please explain to me why all these good Christian heterosexuals are assuming that, given the chance, more men would choose to marry other men instead of women? Could this be an indication of their own state of mind? Hmmn....

May 18, 2004

ARIANNA ONLINE - Books: Fanatics & Fools - Excerpts

I've stayed away from politics for a bit, so, I suppose that now is as good a time as any to dip my toe back in the water.

Let's talk about words.

What are the so-called "neoconservatives" actually conserving? As the horribly misnamed "Healthy Forest" or "Clear Skies" initiatives demonstrate, it's clearly not the environment.

It certainly isn't the federal treasury, which, by all accounts, will make the full faith and credit of the United States roughly equivalent to a ball of lint in your empty pocket if we continue on the current fiscal policy.

Remember when Bush raised his hand during the Republican National Convention in 2000
(you know, the one where they paraded all six of the Black people deluded enough to run for office on the GOP platform (who were subsequently shocked, SHOCKED, to learn that other Blacks might think they were sellouts) on stage to prove how diverse they are?) and pledged to restore honor and dignity to the White House?

Nice one, George.

My point? The conservatives pretty much suck at conserving anything. Are we self-styled progressives any better at living up to our moniker?

Well, Arianna Huffington, who is an interesting figure on the political landscape, to say the least, is trying her best. Here, on her website, she's proposing a new progressive platform intended to push both the Democrats and the country into a new, bold direction. It's an attempt to envision a country that actually lives up to the ideals we espouse, instead of the vapid rhetoric of Bush & Co. Along with and Joe Trippi, she's hoping to push John Kerry to officially adopt this agenda.

Check it out. It could be the future.

May 16, 2004

The Official Site of Kobina Wright

She Does It All
Many of you may remember how I sung the praises of Kobina Elaine Wright last fall when she launched her blog as a first step to blessing the world with the words of her hypnotic pen.

What many of you may not know is that the smattering of verse she rationed out on that blog where just the tip of her artistic iceberg.

In the months since, she's completely sold out her first volume of poetry, "Growth Spurt".

She's continued to expand her original language, Anibo, to a vocabulary of well over a thousand words.

She's putting the finishing touches on a second volume of poetry, dedicated to the memory of the Rwandan genocide, due out today.

She's established an online gallery for her paintings at her newly cristened website,

AND, in addition to finishing her first feature script and outlining a second, she's hosting and performing for her very own spoken word event, tonight, May 19th, at Shelly’s Courthouse Bistro in Santa Ana, starting at 7:30.

I don't know about y'all, but I'm exhausted.

But I'll still be in Santa Ana for her show tonight. If you're in town, you should join me. And tell her I sent you.

Oh, and buy Growth Spurt AND the Rwanda book. It's well, well worth it.

May 10, 2004

.::joe hernadez-kolski aka pocho joe::.

You want a piece of him?
OK, disclaimer: Joe Hernandez-Kolski is my friend.

In fact, Joe is one of my dearest friends in the world. We go back to the days when we were just a pair of wee lads, loudly arguing in a stadium in Cambridge, MA, which sucked more, Yale or Harvard?

(Of course, the astute among you already know that the answer is Yale. Harvard, after all, does something that sounds like those lovely birds that return to San Juan Capistrano every year. Go, Tigers.)

Anyway, we've long since left behind my box fade and his mane of shoulder-length hair. And, while I busy myself these days with edutainment, cleverly wrapped in the guise of the written word, Joseph has become the consumate performer. His rhymes, moves, and just the sheer force of his conviction hits you like a brick through a store-front window.

Now, after years on stage with renowned L.A. theatres like Zoo District and Sacred Fools, countless open mic victories where he tells you exactly why McDonald's Fiesta menu is NOT COOL, and endless hours of pop-locking from the Windy City to the streets of London, Joe is bringing it all home for his multi-dimensional one-man show, "You Want A Piece Of Me?", from July 8th through the 11th, right here in the City of Angels. Check out his site, for details.

Buy his book.

And, if you're in town, check out his weekly high-school open mic event, Downbeat 720, on the 2nd & 4th Tuesday of every month at the Miles Playhouse in Santa Monica.


I love comics (can you tell) and I love science. So, sci-fi comics are like nectar for me. Which is why I'm surprised that I'm so underwhelmed by Alan Moore's Tom Strong series.

However, one of my all-time favorite characters has always been Adam Strange - an archeologist who finds himself riding an intergalatic transport beam that takes him to the futuristic planet Rann. There, he gets to play with all the toys, be a superhero, and get the girl. Except, every few weeks, the transport beam wears off and sends him back to earth. So, he has to scour the planet to figure out where the next transport beam with hit so he can go back to his preferred life.

Well, it looks like comic writer Andy Diggle, whom I've heard alot about, but never actually read any of his work in The Losers or Swamp Thing, is going to resurrect Adam this summer. And, if the story is anywhere near as juicy as the sample art, I'm in.

May 07, 2004

Out Of The Shadows
In this corner: a horde of intergalactic vandals who rape and pillage entire planets, leaving the charred corpses of whole worlds in their murderous wake.

And, in the the other corner: a triple-jointed guy with a knife who can see in the dark.

Amidsts all the well-deserved Spider-hype, disaster epics, and the freakin' Illiad on film, don't overlook "The Chronicles of Riddick", the sequel to Vin Diesel's "bogeyman in space" movie, "Pitch Black".

For the life of me, I cannot remember the last, honest-to-God, space opera that I've seen on film that was actually good and original, from top to bottom. But this sounds like it.

Check the trailer.

Uncle Joe
The last head of state to preside over such an extensive system of extra-legal prisons where gross human rights violations where a norm justified in the name of national security was Stalin.

Way to bring honor and dignity back to the Oval Office, Mr. President.

May 03, 2004

\Men*dac"i*ty\, n.; pl. Mendacities. [L. mendacitas.] 1. The quality or state of being mendacious; a habit of lying. --Macaulay.
2. A falsehood; a lie. --Sir T. Browne.
Syn: Lying; deceit; untruth; falsehood.
Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

Lying has always been hard for me.

Coming from someone who is a self-professed storyteller, that very statement may, in and of itself, sound like a lie. But I've always had an easier time finding really sophisticated ways of telling the truth without getting in trouble. I suppose it comes from the assumption that I'm probably not a very convincing liar.

Of course, this is not to say that I never lie. That statement would ABSOLUTELY be a lie. But I try to avoid situations where I might be tempted.

Which is why the news I read on ArtBomb's blog absolutely floored me tonight. On more than one occasion, you've heard me herald the work and writing of Micah Wright, author of one of my favorite comics, Stormwatch: Team Achilles. Wright said he was a former Army Ranger who took part in the invasion of Panama back in the '80's, which made his stinging critiques of Bush & Co. all the more powerful.

Micah Wright is a big fat honkin' liar.

He never even did active duty service in the military. The closest he came was ROTC. And even though he tried to clean it up on his forum by saying he just couldn't live with the lies anymore, the truth of the matter is that the Washington Post was about to come out with an article based on a bunch of Freedom of Information Act requests that completely debunk him.

Would that there was a single word that could encompass both "angry" and "disappointed" to accurately portray my feelings right now.

"Angry" because I don't like being lied to, particularly in an instance where it was wholly unnecessary. Micah is a great writer, and his work in Stormwatch speaks for itself. He didn't need the padded resume. "Angry" because I have plenty of family who were active duty in the military, one of whom is a Gulf War veteran, and he's basically taken a big steaming dump on their commitments and sacrifice. "Angry" because Micah wrote reams on how much damage Jayson Blair did to his contemporaries and how awful George W. Bush is for inflating his military service. Jesus, at least Bush went through basic training!

"Disappointed" because so much of what he had to say was spot on, but will now be completely invalidated because everything he ever says will now be prefaced by the byline "Micah Wright, Liar". "Disappointed" because Stormwatch really was one of my favorite comics and, quite honestly, I'm simply not going to buy it or recommend it to anyone anymore because I refuse to support someone who would abuse his supporters and fans in such a way.

You'll notice that I've removed the links to all of Micah's books on Macroscope. I've promoted him so much, I figure it's only fair to let you all know the deal.

May 01, 2004


The Black Pages
[UPDATE] My apologies for having the incorrect link to GettoSake. Everything should work know. Please go check them out.
As most of you know, I'm a life-long comic book fan who has absolutely no intention of outgrowing that particular habit.

Of course, the problem with being a little black boy who reads The Avengers or Justice League of America is that there aren't very many superheroes I could reasonably expect to grow up to be without pulling a Michael Jackson. And the few Black superheroes out there always wore their blackness like a giant billboard sign.

Black Panther was an African prince. Black Lightning had a mask that actually included a prosthetic afro (needless to say, I appreciated the costume and name change to "Black Vulcan" for the Superfriends cartoon). Rage was 10 year old boy trapped in the body of a big, scary, angry Black man. It was just alot of cliches to me.

Sure, there were exceptions. Amazing Man was a Black World War II era hero created in the early 80's who was still accutely aware of the fact that he was black while not making a particularly big deal of that aspect of his personality above and beyond the fact that he was a hero. And what can I say about Blade that hasn't already been said?

Of course, now, there are enough kids like me who now create comics for a living, so they have a bit more to say about it. Hence, Dwayne McDuffie's Milestone Comics, a subgenre under D.C. that was an entire universe of Black superheroes, like Icon (Superman analogue), Hardware (Iron Man analogue), and, most notably, Static, who still appears to this day on Saturday morning cartoons.

Of course, while I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for superheroes, I also just kind of like comics as a vehicle for storytelling, just like all movies don't have to be Westerns and all TV shows don't have to be cop shows. So it's so refreshing to see my people on the printed and drawn page in new contexts.

So, I am WAY WAY proud to re-introduce to some of you and present to others the brothers (literally) at For years, they've been quietly doing Hip-Hop inspired online comics and animated web shorts. Well, after an extra-fly revamp of their site, it looks like they're ready for their close-up with a whole line of comics, from all different genres, featuring Black protagonists, courtesy of Dark Horse Comics. I have to tell you, the very notion of "The Life And Times of Credence Walker", kind of a Black Doc Savage, is down-right nerdgasmic. Check the article which describes GettoSake Comics in detail in the main link for this post, and be on the look out for the books in the coming months.

In the meantime, take a gander at their site here.