Is It Safe To Sing Along? Pop Culture and Post-racial America

 

“The coolest stuff about American culture—be it language, dress, or attitude—comes from the underclass. Always has and always will.” – Russel Simmons

The release of Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and my current enrollment in a class on film and cultural politics has inspired me to bring up something that’s been on my mind.

It’s recently come to my attention that I’m supposed to be living in a Post-racial America. Granted, right now I’m studying in England and not living back home in California, but when I was in the U.S.A, I didn’t think too much about what electing Barack Obama meant for race politics in America. Obviously it was a progressive step in a positive direction for a country with a history steeped in racism, but the term “Post-race,” though flaunted by the media after the election, was not something I really thought about. After spending some time studying the topic, I can summarize what it’s about. Basically, the Post-racial philosophy assumes that what the Civil Rights movement strove so hard to achieve when it began fifty-plus years ago – equal opportunities, respect and compassion for all people – has been realized. Since we’ve elected a Black president, issues concerning race have been, for the most part, satisfactorily resolved.  Race is no longer a current issue because a Black man is in the White House. Does this make sense to you? Continue reading Is It Safe To Sing Along? Pop Culture and Post-racial America

Meet the Holy Bee

Hello…hello

Check 1-2-3. Is this thing on?

*Long pause*

Jeeesus…

Isey here, and here we go again. I’ve penned more introductions to Idle Time/Holy Bee-oriented websites than I’ve had hot breakfasts. Take a look around the internet…

…that’s long enough, you pervert. What do you see, besides lots and lots of porn? That’s right, desiccated corpses of message boards. Empty husks of blogs, with the last update dating from 2006. These sad reminders of how easy it is to start– and then forget– a web project litter the landscape like Fago bottles after an ICP concert. The Institute of Idle Time was almost one of them. The IT Google Group turned into Frisbee golf circle-jerk, which drove everything of substance away, and the “official” website also dwindled into obsolescence, like an old GeoCities X-Files fan page from 1998. (There was a sad lack of hot Gillian Anderson .jpegs on the IT website, though.)

However, I’m pleased to report that the venerable Institute of Idle Time has a new web presence here at WordPress, where we will provide enough music reviews and pop-culture piffle to choke a horse (if that’s your idea of a good time) until everyone loses interest again in about four to five months.

Continue reading Meet the Holy Bee

Dating Chemistry

Allow me to apologize for the fact that my first real blog post is nothing more than a re-post of an old entry from another site, with some minor edits and an addendum.  I needed to get something on here to get the ball rolling… and that other site, being a paid membership site, is soon going to have one less member.  I felt the need to preserve some old ramblings.

Originally published November 22, 2004:

My “wasted” years at UC Davis studying biological sciences elicited little more than an unreasonable fear of hydrochloric acid and a passionate distaste for scan-trons. I spent three years taking as many liberal arts classes as I could enroll in just to keep my GPA up, before it finally occurred to me that I’d simply be better off changing majors.

I’m a stubborn fuck.

Always one to make the best out of any given situation, I have recently revisited some of my college coursework. Some quarters were less mind-numbingly dull than others. You won’t be privy to any eight-year-removed insights into paleobotany (easily the worst class I ever passed), but you are about to benefit from this little life-changing revelation.

Continue reading Dating Chemistry