Saturday, January 28, 2017

John Legend And A Racist Paparazzo

Gossip columnist Rachael Clemmons reported in "The Word" (Metro New York, January 24, 2017) that recently singer John Legend and his wife Chrissy Teigen were approached at JFK airport in New York by "a bonehead paparazzo" [Clemmons's description] who made a racist comment about Legend that Teigen later discussed on Twitter. The paparazzo said to her, "If we evolved from monkeys, why is John Legend still around?"

If that had been said to, say, Spike Lee, no doubt Lee would have gone ballistic. But Legend, being very gracious, told Variety that "I'm not hurt by someone saying that to me because I'm smarter, I'm stronger."

I wish Legend had said something like this to the paparazzo: "I have evolved. Unfortunately, it's primitive people like you who haven't evolved. Otherwise such a stupid, backward, and unnecessary comment like the one you just made wouldn't have come out of your mouth."

Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Better Word For Suicide Due To Bullying Is Needed

Whenever I hear or see the word "bullycide," the image that comes to mind is someone killing his or her tormentor, not someone killing themselves because they were bullied. I wish someone would come up with a more precise term for suicides caused by bullying. "Bullycide" is not it.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The "Hidden Figures" Book Proposal

Entertainment Weekly (December 30, 2016/January 6, 2017 Double Issue) reports that Margot Lee Shetterly, the author of the New York Times Bestseller Hidden Figures, a non-fiction book about four black female NASA mathematicians, wrote a "55-page book proposal for Figures [that] eventually made the rounds in Hollywood and caught the attention of [film director Theodore] Melfi."

I'm sure there are budding writers and a few long-time pros who would love to see Ms. Shetterly's book proposal in print so they can study it and learn how to write a winning proposal that lures literary agents, book editors, and possibly Hollywood directors.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Cleve Jones's Former Roommate

When I read gay activist Cleve Jones's riveting memoir,When We Rise: My Life in the Movement, I was surprised to learn that he and historian Eric Garber were roommates in San Francisco at one time.

In 1982, at New York's Hunter College, I attended Garber's slide lecture on the gay and lesbian aspect of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. I later interviewed him for the New York Native, the now-defunct gay weekly newspaper.

Garber's research inspired me to do further reading on the gays and lesbians of the Harlem Renaissance like the artist/poet/novelist Richard Bruce Nugent, who I wrote about for Joseph Beam's 1986 anthology, In the Life.

Note: See my 1983 New York City News interview with Eric Garber that I posted on this blog on April 20, 2013.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Chris Brown And Souljah Boy, Two Palookas

It was reported by Rachael Clemmons in her gossip column "The Word"(Metro New York, January 11, 2017) via the website TMZ that rappers Chris Brown and Soulja Boy dislike each other so much that they have decided to "duke it out" in a boxing ring in Dubai. "Chris Brown is being trained by Mike Tyson," writes Clemmons,"while Soulja Boy is being trained by Floyd Mayweather."

Could it be that the two rappers--described by Clemmons as"man-children" --have record sales that are so low and have a craving for attention that is so high that they need to challenge each other in the ring in order to fill up their bank accounts?

Since both rappers like to post full-frontal nude selfies of themselves on the Internet, maybe they can boost ticket sales by boxing in their birthday suits.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

"Hidden Figures," The Movie

Last night I saw Hidden Figures (twice). This excellent film focuses on three African-American women who worked at NASA in the early 1960s and whose extraordinary math skills helped launch astronaut John Glenn into space aboard Friendship 7.

I have the book by Margot Lee Shetterly on which the movie was based and I plan to read it very soon.

I hope to obtain the DVD of the movie when it becomes available. I'm sure bootleg copies are already on the street. But I'll wait for the official version with all of the features that are sure to come with it: commentary by the director, screenwriter, and actors, a documentary about African-Americans at NASA (with an on-screen interview with the book's author), etc.

No One Can Be Food-Deaf

Book and magazine editor Robert Gottlieb in his memoir, Avid Reader: A Life (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016), described his lack of culinary skills this way: "...I can't do more in the kitchen than boil an egg, and am generally considered food-deaf."

The term "food-deaf "is an inaccurate description. A person can be tone-deaf because that refers to sound. But a person can't be food-deaf because one doesn't listen to food as its being prepared in the kitchen. The terms that are more accurate, although imperfect, would be food klutz and cooking inept.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017



Happy New Year, everyone! I hope this will be a healthy, happy, and prosperous year for all of us.