Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Whoa, It's Our Blog-o-versary!

We almost completely missed the one-year anniversary of spanning_time. We've managed to stick with this for a full year, which is a bit surprising to us, but we're glad we've done it. We've already told you all how much we appreciate your readership today, but consider this post a reiteration. Thanks for your time, your participation, and for the comments. Huzzah to you! As always, let us know if there's something you'd like to see here - we aim to please.

Now we're off to take a celebratory nap.


A Revolution Stunted: Until Next Year...

This is the last post for the A Revolution Stunted series. It's an occasion, so I'm going to break out of the Editorial We for a moment. I'm glad my readers (this means you) have not only stuck around, but have enjoyed the series. I wasn't sure how it would be received and I won't be so quick to doubt my readership in the future. Thanks to everyone for the comments, both here on the Interweb and in the real world. Really, it means a lot to know my words weren't falling on deaf ears.

So how do you close out a series like this? It's been a fun, frustrating, disheartening, and enlightening exercise finding these videos every day and I'm really glad I did it, if only to get some thoughts out into the world. I feel so much pride in my history (as you should for yours), but it's hard to feel so powerless about where things stand. There's so much potential, so much progress left to be made and sometimes it doesn't feel like anyone's stepping in to fill the void. I certainly didn't do this to propose solutions, but venting about the problems has to count for something, right?

So to close things out, I'm flipping things a bit. After a month of samples of the revolution being stunted, here are three videos to close things out on a hopeful note. The revolution may be stunted, but the revolution moves on, and that's what matters most. Until next year...

This is from an episode of The Boondocks that posits that MLK didn't die, but instead ended up in a coma. This speech closes out the episode, and sums up things up nicely.

James Brown represents both the shame and the glory. He was a drug abuser and wife-beater, but he was also one of the greatest entertainers the world has ever known. R.I.P.

This is the book they're referring to at the beginning of this clip.


A Revolution Stunted: The Second-to-Last Day Blowout

Only one more day of videos left, so here's a blowout of three classics that we don't think would stand on their own, but in aggregate make for a fitting post. If you're up on your memes, there's no way you've missed these, but consider this a reminder of Internets past. If you're not so Internet-addicted, we're doing our part to catch you up. How these fit the series requires no explanation.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A Revolution Stunted: Black Cocaine

We came home tonight to find a man outside our building very obviously having a bad drug reaction. He was flailing about, pants around his ankles, looking like he was doing a cross between dancing and fighting. We watched from our window while waiting for the cops to show and it just made us sad. This was a man probably trying to escape his problems, but at this point his chosen solution was in itself the problem. Rather than feeling hopeful he'll get the help he needs, we're now feeling guilty for being the catalyst for someone getting in trouble with the authorities. We know it's a silly reaction, but we can't help it. Guess this is one of those "ripple effects" from drugs in the community.

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

A Revolution Stunted: Little Man

In honor of the Academy Awards, today's video is for one of the worst movies to ever grace theaters. We've dogged on the Wayans before in this series, but we have no problem doing so again. Other movies in the running included Soul Plane, White Chicks, and Big Momma's House, but really, there's no shortage of crap to choose from. And that's the problem. "Black" movies don't have to be bad movies. We had The Color Purple, we had Roots (yeah, it was a mini-series, but whatever). We can have movies as good as The Departed, but we're going to have to stop supporting the worst of the worst first.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

A Revolution Stunted: What What

Today's video has been making the rounds the last couple of days, and understandably so. It shows up here not because of the content. We actually think it could be considered progress that this video can be made, shared, and not entirely demonized. So on that front, it's a sign of how far the revolution has come. That said, the production on both the video and song leaves a bit to be desired (compare this with RuPaul's output, where the production values are a lot higher). So we applaud this video for what it represents, but we include it here as a reminder that being part of a niche is no reason for quality to slip.

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Friday, February 23, 2007


Drunk Puppet Night 7: We haven't been to one of these, but the last time we saw "puppets for grownups" it was a puppet porno flick at the Grand Illusion that left us a bit emotionally scarred. We're hoping this is more funny than traumatic.

Bruce Nauman @ The Henry: We would have been sucked into this exhibit anyway, but it's only intensified with the latest piece at the McLeod Residence, which has us all amped up about the art possibilities of light (and the use of "amped" was not an intentional pun).

WeTube @ NWFF: Pay money to do what you do while you're getting paid.

Upcoming @ Rebar: "Sponsored by Pink Godzilla, this is a new night of video game competition- games will be announced soon. Fight your way to the end of each season and come out the victor! More info soon...."

A Revolution Stunted: How to Not Get Your Ass Kicked

Chappelle's Show gets a lot of credit for bringing racial humor to the forefront, but a few years prior to his breakout hit, Chris Rock also had a run as the Funniest Man In America with a similar style. His HBO show had plenty of great moments, the below being one of them. We thought of posting an Al Jolson in blackface video, but decided we wanted a funnier segue into the weekend.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

A Revolution Stunted: Two For One Post - Twice the Shame!

On account of our being late in posting a video for yesterday, here are two for today. The first follows the same logic as yesterday's (all of yesterday's statements apply), an abomination that squeaks through in the guise of music. This one's certainly got more of a minstrel aspect to it however - seriously, didn't they have anyone with any knowledge of history in the editing booth!? The second video explains that minstrel/rap connection a bit more. You'll want headphones for that one.

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A Revolution Stunted: This is Why I'm Hot

We're late with this one and we apologize. We thought this would have happened long ago, and yet somehow it took until the 22nd. Now on to the video.

This song is blowing up, and has even made it into our head, but for as catchy as it is, it angers up the blood. The legacy of great New York MCs leads to this?
I'm hot 'cause I'm fly, you ain't 'cause you not, this is why this is why this is why I'm hot.

Chris Rock explains it best, but it's hard to defend the current state of rap and hip-hop. CNN of the ghetto? Not so much anymore.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Revolution Stunted: Smackfest

This video doesn't necessarily need to be singled out for just this series, it's demeaning to all of mankind. Apparently the cost of one's dignity is a lot lower than we thought. Wow,

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Holy Crap, It's Free Pancake Day

We've been so caught up with "the revolution" that we haven't been spending much time on our bread and butter, things to do around town. We caught wind (by way of FierceFlawless) that today is the return of Free Pancake Day at IHOP. It was one of our favorite days last year, and despite the fact that today's a busy one at the s_t day job, our spirits are high upon hearing the news. Pancakes for lunch, dinner, whatever. This is a big faceless corporation looking to fill your belly. Let them.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

A Revolution Stunted: Def Poetry Jam - The N Word

Some days choosing these videos is easier than others. Something will stick out as part of our day, then it's just a matter of finding to right video to convey what we had in mind. Usually it doesn't take too much. Today took a bit more effort, and we went through at lot of videos before settling on this one. It's definitely on the more serious side of things, and while it is spoken word, it's at least not the crappy kind. Instead, it more eloquently states the case against usage of the N word than we ever could. Listen with headphones on.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

A Revolution Stunted: Tyra Banks

There's another video of Tyra Banks overestimating the importance of her being the first black solo model on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition that was sent to us as a potential candidate. Don't get us wrong, that is a notable achievement, but it's not like she discovered a million and one uses for the peanut. However, if Tyra Banks is making this series of posts, it's because of the video below (something light to close out the weekend). Way to perpetuate the stereotype of the hysterical black woman.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

A Revolution Stunted: I Was Once a Democrat

(This one's about politics, breaking a spanning_time content barrier a bit. Don't worry, this isn't a political blog, nor will it be despite this departure.)

We're all for freedom of thought and freedom of political choice, but to put it simply, this guy's an idiot. We'd hardly say that Democrats are saints, but after the last few years it's a lot easier to see the divide between the two major parties, and even if they are just the lesser of two evils, the magnitude of that evil reduction should count for something. Kanye (egotistical blowhard that he is) was closer to reality than this guy, although we tend to think "poor" could replace "black" in Kanye's penultimate statement.

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Friday, February 16, 2007

A Revolution Stunted - Leprechaun

We were just asked about this series that we've been doing and it brought up today's video in our heads. This video is actually the inspiration for this entire series. Why? Just watch the video and you'll quickly understand why it makes us hang our head in shame ("Who else seen da leprechaun say YEAH!"). There are a million essays by a million writers on the topic of media perception, but all those essays can be distilled into this one two-minute clip. Come on people, we can do better.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

A Revolution Stunted: Blacknificence

Dammit Dr. Kambon, you should know that the first rule regarding the revolution is that you don't talk about the revolution! (Longer version of the video here (which provides more context for his statements)).

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Revolution Stunted: Inside Looking Out

Here's a clip especially for Valentine's Day. We considered posting this one instead, but that one's not nearly as funny in dealing with the same topic: Interracial dating. Our take: just find someone to love y'all. Happy Valentine's Day.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A Revolution Stunted: SNL Blackness Scale

Not the funniest SNL skit, but not bad for their modern era. The fact that you can make a blackness scale and have that humor be universal speaks volumes. It's sad when the concept of a blackness scale plays out in the real world (trust us, we know), but that which doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right? Go Obama!

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Monday, February 12, 2007

A Revolution Stunted: 1988 Dunk Contest

We had some really great commentary about how sports is given too much of a priority over education, but we lost our train of thought as we got to watching these dunks.

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

A Revolution Stunted: I Got Me Some BAPES

We're going to preface this post by saying we're total hypocrites. We love shoes, and we're going to go buy some stuff right after we post this. That said, as much as we love shoes, we've never danced in the streets or felt compelled to make a video (the former we do in our bedroom, but that's it). With all the problems out there in the world, why is the hoarding and display of material goods so high on the priority list? We don't know - we do know we'll have that question on our minds as we go shopping.

Note: For those not familiar, "BAPES" is the colloquial term for "Bathing Apes," a brand of shoe known for its bright color schemes, limited-edition runs, and high price tag.

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A Revolution Stunted: One Rib

We don't really have any commentary here. It's late, this scene is funny. Way funnier than the tripe the Wayans are putting out now. White Chicks & Little Man!? Seriously, what the hell? The Wayans used to put out quality parody, now they're the joke. (OK, guess we had a little more commentary than we thought.)

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Friday, February 09, 2007

A Revolution Stunted: A N***a Moment

It took a few episodes for The Boondocks on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim to get its legs, but we love it now almost as much as we did the comic strip. Scenes like the below are why this is so.

Not kosher for work on account of language (you're ok if you've got headphones).

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

A Revolution Stunted: Pastor Tony Smith

Church-going was never a regular occurence for us when we grew up. By the time we were a pre-teen we started to feel pretty uncomfortable about the whole thing - we enjoyed the stories, but it often just felt like a show. There was a lot of hypocrisy, and we eventually just couldn't deal with that. Then we started to really disagree with some of the ministers' statements, especially when homosexuality came up. It just didn't make sense to us that a Black preacher couldn't see the correlation between the Civil Rights Movement and the Gay Rights movement. So much vitriol for something out of an individual's control. We haven't seen enough of Tony Smith to know where he stands in that regard, so we aren't insinuating that he's part of this problem, but we do know that a lot of the homophobia in the Black community is dished out from a pulpit on Sunday mornings. Here's Tony Smith keepin' it real for God.

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Keeping It Simple: No Black Male Show

We'll just let the description say it all:
Dealing with pop culture and black male identity, the performance narrative features songs, music, and dance exploring the icon of the black male in today's pop culture and American myths. Rux was moved to write the poem that led to this show after attending out the controversial exhibition Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art at New York's Whitney Museum in 1994. This will be the Seattle Debut of the artist and his important work, which has toured all of the country. The New York Times called Rux "one to watch" in 2004.

We're going Friday. Buy tickets here.

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A Revolution Stunted: Black Rage

It's been years since we saw Chasing Amy, but this scene still manages to crack us up. We're admitted comic book geeks and we worry about Blacks' portrayal in the media, amplifying the humor in this excellent exaggeration. The angry Black man stereotype is still out there (yes, it does make us angry that this is so, keeping the cycle going), but if you're going to "go there," might as well use it for humor.

Not kosher for work on account of language.

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Free Gluttony!

Buy One Get One Free At Cold Stone

(We're a little annoyed the size on offer is only the Love It, since the Like It size is more than enough for us, but what you gonna do?)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A Revolution Stunted: BET Sucks Now

We don't post this video because of what it is (a touching, sincere statement), but because of what it isn't. Back in the early days of BET it was trying to be more than just a vehicle for bad television shows or bootylicious music videos. We used to love BET; we remember rushing home from school to flip between Rap City and Yo! MTV Raps. Now we get to BET and wonder how they've managed to decline so far, so fast (we're sure the Viacom buyout helped that process along).

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Some Stuff About Art

These events aren't for a few days, but there's some preparation involved with the last item, so we're giving you some lead time. Being fabulous takes time.

- Indicators @ BLVD - A new art show opens at BLVD Friday. Their opening receptions are always fun, plus Shorty's is only a block away.

- Group Show @ Roq La Rue - Before there was BLVD, Roq La Rue was our favorite gallery. We've still got nothing but love for them now, considering the two galleries to be a bit of a gallery two-for-one deal. Their new group show opens at the same time Friday.

- Free Parking @ OKOK - Another group show, this one at Ballard wonderland OKOK. Opening reception from 6-10 Saturday. Everyone should support this store (one of many reasons to head to Ballard).

- Red Dress Party @ McLeod Residence - Think of this as people art. It's a McLeod Party with everyone (EVERYONE) in red dresses. You know this is gonna get out of control. We were most excited about the shoe potential, but we're thinking drag three times in less than a year is a bit much even for us. We'll probably change our minds once FierceFlawless gets back into town and convinces us to go. No, we won't be posting pictures here.

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Monday, February 05, 2007

A Revolution Stunted: Fry That Chicken

Yesterday's video featured a proud man taking watermelon-eating seriously. It was a bit eccentric, but ultimately harmless, marking just a humorous moment in Petey Greene's television legacy. Today's video just makes us sigh in disbelief and hang our head in shame. Our elders marched for this!?


Sunday, February 04, 2007

Actually, You CAN'T Do Anything You Want

We came across this essay and think it's one worth sharing. We very much subscribe to the notions of self-determination. Put your mind, body, and energy toward some goal, and in most cases you can get there, or at least close. Well, here's an essay along those lines, but a more realist take. We're realists too, but some people need reminding that the key to goal-reaching is goal-setting - your goals should be realistic otherwise you're just looking for disappointment.

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A Revolution Stunted: Petey Greene's How to Eat Watermelon

It's Super Bowl Sunday. There's going to be plenty of eating going on, so in that vein, here's a video that's about as old as we are, with Washington DC's Petey Greene detailing how to eat watermelon. It's not fair to say that this goes against the revolution (he was the revolution) but damn, does the world really need a video floating around of a black guy taking watermelon-eating so seriously? *sigh*

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

A Revolution Stunted: More on Keepin' It Real

In honor of The Roots'performances tonight, here's their video for "What They Do," which deflates one hip-hop video stereotype after another. This post in no way is stating that The Roots are part of the problem; we find them and their music to be the opposite. Instead of focusing on materialism and all the trappings that come along with that, The Roots go a bit deeper, keeping things live literally (they're an actual band) and figuratively. We think hip-hop and music in general has the power to change lives, but too much of what gets exposure is out to do nothing but "party all the time." We just want some balance in the commercial landscape.

For those of you interested in more music by The Roots, start here.

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Friday, February 02, 2007

A Revolution Stunted: B-boy Stance

It's Friday. We don't want to close out the week with something heavy, so here's a video we came across yesterday. We find it hilarious. It's only tangentially related to the revolution since this is the comedic representation of taking something (in this case hip-hop) too far. There are manifestations of "keeping it real" all over the place, and in many of those cases "real" amounts to little more than "real dumb." Have a good Friday. Back to the soul-suckingly depressing videos tomorrow depending on our spirits.

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- Yo-Yo Championship - We mentioned this before, we mention it again. It's fun, it's free, and you can eat a beignet while you watch people do amazing things. It's a total win situation.

- Lebowski Fest - The Dude is coming. Buy your tickets. Learn the script. Go bowling.

- Science Fiction Short Film Festival - We have a feeling there are going to be a lot of robots in this collection. Nothing wrong with that though.

- First Saturday at SAAM - The Seattle Asian Art Museum is going all out this month with a big celebration for the Lunar New Year. There are going to be workshops on Chinese art techniques as well as a Lion Dance by kung fu master Mak Fai at noon.

Mission, You're Awesome - Wishbone Tournament Tonight

Mission won us over last year with the first Rock Paper Scissors tournament they held, which was at once the inspiration for this blog and a source for our newest obsession. Now they've gone ahead of the curve (RPS is so passé) to hold their first Wishbone Breaking Tournament. That's right, breaking wishbones. We won't be able to attend, so we're putting it on you readers to make sure to give us a full report. We're really disappointed we can't make it. One thing we really want to know is if they are using real wishbones or if they've got some more quality-controlled, vegetarian-friendly option. It's all sponsored by Captain Morgan as a benefit for Seattle 826, so your boozy fun is all for a good cause.

We’ve traded in the Rock, Paper and Scissors, and this year are having a Wishbone Breaking Tournament. The Bone Pull! Same format as last year. Prizes for participants and winners.
Groundhog Day, 2/2/07, 8pm, 21+
64 entries, double bracketed, single elimination
$10 entry – register in advance at Mission
Prizes for winners and giveaways for participants

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

A Revolution Stunted: Bugs Bunny

We remember seeing a lot of now-banned cartoons when we were a kid, and while we knew there was something wrong, we just focused on the fact that it was a cartoon and whether the humor worked or not. Now we're old enough to be a bit more upset by it. Bugs Bunny was hardly the only culprit, but this is just as offensive an example as any. What's annoying is that the race element is so unnecessary to the humor in this case. Up until the end, it's not racial humor, so the piece could have worked without it. It's a collision of lazy writing and racism. *sigh*

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spanning_time Celebrates Black History Month

A few months back we were looking at some video on YouTube and again made the comment that the people in the video were "setting back the movement." It's a phrase we've often uttered at things that just irked us in the media, most specifically as it relates to Black culture (news flash for those of you that don't know spanning_time in real life - we're black (and proud)). At that moment we decided to do something for Black History Month. We were originally going to spawn off a separate blog, but we think you guys can handle this project.

Every day (as much as every day is possible), we're going to be posting a video that relates to "the movement." For the most part it will be people holding back the revolution, but there might be some more positive moments as well (we don't want to lose all hope). We'll be including a few words of our own as well (just a few - we're too busy for diatribes). Don't worry, it'll still be in spanning_time spirit. (For those of you that are up on your Internet memes, there will be some classics revisited - this isn't necessarily about freshness.) The name for this series of posts will be "A Revolution Stunted." A post a day for a month!? Can we do it? Hope you enjoy it.

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