at todays Final Fantasy XV Uncovered event Square Enix officially announced that Final Fantasy XV will launch worldwide on September 30 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. I'm a big Final Fantasy so i cant wait for this game.
Most Dapped Posts
Page 167 of 169
- Thread: MUHF#KIN' METH
- Thread: Real Talk with RuPaul
YO...even though I'm not a fan of the show, nor follower of Ru Paul; this interview is on point and telling. Even though I will never watch the show...I support this Black Man.
RuPaul was born November 17, which makes him a Scorpio — a detail he has said accounts for his observant and analytical nature during interviews. I could feel his gaze settle on me as he sat down on a gold couch at the London Hotel in New York, wearing rectangular black glasses and a suit made of thick brocade in a resplendent print of pink roses. This was not the light and effervescent RuPaul-in-drag the American public has come to know since the release of his single, “Supermodel (You Better Work),” in 1992, but rather workroom Ru: serious, sober, and slightly intimidating. During our conversation, RuPaul, 55, clapped back at critics who said RuPaul's Drag Race used transphobic language, dismissed Spike TV’s Lip Sync Battle as a ripoff of his show, and explained why educating younger generations is a waste of everyone’s time. Grab your reading glasses, because the library is open.
Congratulations on the 100th episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race. With the eighth season, how do you keep things fresh?
We're always inspired by the queens. And because it's like a school, we get a new crop of kids every single year — that's how it stays fresh. This year especially, it's the children's Drag Race. These are the kids who grew up watching it, and their whole drag aesthetic comes from the show. So it's an interesting shift. And we knew this would come if we stayed on the air long enough — we'd see what we produced in the public. And they're beautiful! They're smart. We have to actually work harder to stay one step ahead of them.
Has that given you a chance to take a step back and reflect on what you've created on the show?
You know, I normally don't. I only even entertain those ideas when I'm talking to someone like you, from the press, and they ask me. I'm always looking forward. I do understand we've launched the careers of 100 queens, which is really the most important part of our job.
What are some of your favorite moments?
Because the kids are so courageous and their stories are so rich, they bring such a unique story every single time. I always think about Roxxxy's story when she revealed she was abandoned at a bus stop as a 4-year-old. It's usually their stories that surprise me of how resilient and strong they are.
One of the things I love about drag is that it’s an art form about survival.
It is, because each of those kids were little boys, sometimes in small towns, who were alienated and ostracized. And even in the face of such adversity, they prevailed and shine today. So it's a story of strength. That's what the appeal is for the audience. Here are these people who have prevailed and succeeded against insurmountable odds. It's a great story for anyone who watches.
Photo: Jenny Anderson/WireImages
They often say that drag saved their lives.
Right. And I'll tell you why. Because you get to a point where if you're smart and you're sensitive, you see how this all works on this planet. It's like when Dorothy looks behind the curtain. Like, "Wait a minute. You're the wizard?" And you figure out the hoax. That this is all an illusion. There's only a few areas you can go. First, you get angry that you've been hoaxed and you get bitter. But then, take more steps beyond the bitterness and you realize, "Oh, I get it. Let's have fun with it. It's all a joke. You mean I don't have to stick with one look or one whatever? I can shape-shift? Great." That's when you can save lives because otherwise the mediocrity and the hypocrisy is so mundane, it's better to just not do it. I'm not going to say "end it all." But that's why it saves lives. Because for people who are highly sensitive and super-intelligent, it tickles the brain. It gives them something to live for. It's the irreverence. I was the same way when I was 15. I said, "Okay, I'm gonna do this life. But I'm gonna do it on my terms, and I'm never gonna join the Matrix." That's why it saves lives.
Would you say that drag saved your life?
It actually didn't save my life, it gave me a life. I don't think there is a life in the mundane 9-to-5 hypocrisy. That's not living. That's just part of the Matrix. And drag is punk rock, because it is not part of the Matrix. It is not following any rules of societal standards. Boy, girl, black, white, Catholic, Jew, Muslim. It's none of that. We shape-shift. We can do whatever we want.
Do you feel that drag can never be mainstream?
It will never be mainstream. It's the antithesis of mainstream. And listen, what you're witnessing with drag is the most mainstream it will get. But it will never be mainstream, because it is completely opposed to fitting in.
Throughout your career, have you ever felt like you are part of the mainstream?
No. You know, I've never been on Ellen or David Letterman or The Tonight Show, and there's a reason for that, which I don't want to go into, but there's a reason that I've never been thought of as someone who can go on there. Because it makes those hosts feel very, very uncomfortable, especially if we really talked. It would be the opposite of what they're used to. So am I part of the mainstream? No. People know my name, people know what I look like, but am I invited to the party? No, and there's a reason for it.
Would you want to be?
No. In fact, I made a pact with myself when I was 15 that if I was going to live this life, I'm only going to do it on my terms, and I'm only going to do it if I'm putting my middle finger up at society the whole time. So any time I've had yearnings to go, "Aw, gee, I wish I could be invited to the Emmys," I say, Ru, Ru, remember the pact you made. You never wanted to be a part of that bullshit. In fact, I'd rather have an enema than have an Emmy.
The show is clearly one of the best reality shows, so it's insane to me that you haven't been nominated.
It's not insane when you take the car apart and you really look at what the car is. You understand that it can't recognize it, because in doing so it would recognize all of the flaws in their doctrine, in their whole ideology. Drag doesn't conform. It's actually making fun of [conformity]. Now, the talk-show hosts … get it if I'm making fun of myself and if I'm a punch line for them, but not as a human being. They would have a transsexual on because a transsexual is saying, "This is who I really am. I'm real." I'm saying, "No, I'm not real. I'm actually everything and nothing at all."
That's very Buddhist.
I didn't come up with this shit. I studied. It is very Buddhist, and all roads lead to Zen and Buddhism. If you are a seeker and you want to know the answers, you're not the first person to go there. And you don't have to look that far for the answers. They're not encoded in this ancient scripture. It's actually right there in front of you. It's in that flower that I'm looking at right now or that tree over there or that mountain. It's all there.
What do you think of Lip Sync Battle and Jimmy Fallon?
Oh, I don't think of it. It's a poor ripoff of our show. Regular, straight pop culture has liberally lifted things from gay culture as long as I can remember. And that's fine, because guess what? We have so much more where that comes from. Take it! That's why [my new show] Gay for Play is such a fun thing, because we've taken the best of the gay sensibility and put it all in one place. And we're showing these bitches how it's really done. But it's funny how that works, even in gay culture. There's a certain "gay shame." Gay people will accept a straight pop star over a gay pop star, or they will accept a straight version of a gay thing, because there's still so much self-loathing, you know?
They talk so much about acceptance now today and it's like, yes, but trust me — I'm old and I know this shit — it's superficial. Because as soon as the lights go out, you'll see how advanced people's thinking is. This so-called "Will & Grace acceptance" era is just people fucking posing. Things haven't changed that much. You see it in politics right now — that's the fucking truth of people. And you know, people will have you think, "Oh, we're fashion. We're gay. That's my gay over there!" It's like, no. We're still a very, very, very primitive culture.
Gayness is still treated as an accessory.
Exactly. But if we can just cut out the self-loathing, we could get really far.
There’s a sense on Drag Race that there's a way to win. With certain judges, there's a value of "fishiness" (a.k.a. looking like a real woman). Do you feel like that is counter to what drag is?
The criteria really isn't "fishiest." It's charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent. And if you got it, if you look at our iconic photo from the premiere, we have a wide variety of girls and, I don't know, are any of them fishy? Being fishy isn't like a home run to win. Because we've had every type of winner, and the iconic girls who didn't win who are still super-duper-stars, they're not necessarily fishy, I would say. They're a character.
Fishiness can be a part of it.
For some, it is. It was never for me. I always did what I thought was interesting. I always just did what caught my fantasy. Looking like a woman, that was never the criteria for me. It was always to do drag. And drag is not gender-specific. Drag is just drag. It's exaggeration.
It's about playing with gender.
Oh, it's poking fun at gender. It's mocking gender is what it's doing. But taking it seriously? No. Because that's what fishy alludes to. Fishiness alludes to the look and feel of "real." For most drag queens, that's not the criteria. Because the look and feel of real is boring.
Last week on Drag Race, you eliminated both queens, Laila McQueen and Dax Exclamationpoint. This has only happened one other time in Drag Race history. What was disappointing about their Gloria Gaynor, “I Will Survive,” lip-sync battle?
Because Drag 101, the first song you learn to lip sync to is Gloria Gaynor's “I Will Survive.” And every human alive knows the words to that song, just by default, because they play it so motherfucking much. And it was like, “What the fuck? You don't know the words to ‘I Will Survive’? Then both you bitches need to go. I've heard these theories of, "Oh, they planned that." Bitch, we didn't plan that. Did you see the performance? It was absolutely awful.
You eliminated Naysha Lopez earlier this season. Why did you decide to bring her back this week?
Because she's fabulous. She had just left, and I was like, "You know what, you deserve another chance." I've seen all of the kids’ audition tapes for many years. Thorgy had auditioned every single year. And finally, this time, her audition was like, "Okay, she's ready." But why did I bring [Naysha] back? Because I wanted to. Because the show's called RuPaul's Motherfucking Drag Race. (Laughs.)
Drag has always been about playing with language and taking it apart and blurring boundaries, whereas currently the discourse on the internet is about creating demarcations within language and saying you can, or cannot, say something. What do you think about that?
It's stupid. They're dumb, and it's stupid. If I said, "Boy, I really love corn dogs!" it doesn't mean I actually love a corn dog. Because love has nothing to do with corn dogs. But it's just language. It's a state of mind. You take for granted that my intention is really to express that I enjoy them a lot and I want to eat one right now. That's what it's meant to do. But if you have an agenda and you want to take my sentence apart, you could certainly say, "Oh, my God! You love a corn dog? What do you mean by that? Do you want to marry it? Do you want to put it inside of you?" It's like, "That's not what I meant and you actually know that's not what I meant and you're only using it because you have an agenda so that you could get attention for whatever reason you have."
How then would you interpret taking out "She-Mail" from the show due to allegations of transphobia?
I don't know. You know, I didn't do that. The network did that, and you'd have to ask them why they did it, but I had nothing to do with that.
Did you feel like that was not a battle to have?
Well, the intention behind that word is a portmanteau that was meant as a way to be fun and to enjoy language. I talked earlier about the sweet, sensitive souls who find this world, when they uncover life's cruel hoax. The first stage is anger. Then bitterness. The third stage is laughter and irreverence and understanding that, "Oh! I can have fun. Don't take it too seriously. Have fun with it." So twist a phrase, curl a word, paint on a mustache. We do not stand on ceremony, and we do not take words seriously. We do take feelings seriously and intention seriously, and the intention is not to be hateful at all. But if you are trigger-happy and you're looking for a reason to reinforce your own victimhood, your own perception of yourself as a victim, you'll look for anything that will reinforce that.
How do you view drag's relationship to the trans community?
I think it's a boring topic. I don't really want to talk about that because everybody wants to ask about that. It's so topical, but they're complete opposites. We mock identity. They take identity very seriously. So it's the complete opposite ends of the scale. To a layperson, it seems very similar, but it's really not.
Right. But I mean, it is complicated, too, because …
I don't think it's complicated. Some people take identity very seriously. I don't. I choose to laugh at identity and play with it. I'll wear a suit or I'll wear a sailor's outfit. I'll dress femme. I'll dress butch queen, which is the name of my new album, by the way. I'll do whatever. All of the experiences I've learned and every ascended master you've studied will say the exact same thing: Life is not to be taken seriously. Most people are dumb as fuck. If you look at their voting habits and their eating habits, you realize people are stupid. So we could talk about stupid people or we could just stay with smart people who know how to have fun and not even focus on what dumb people do. It's not worth it. I tell you this as someone who's a smart motherfucker: Don't waste your time fooling with dumb people or trying to figure them out or trying to educate them. It doesn't work. It's a lose-lose situation.
How do you feel drag's function has changed?
The function hasn't changed. It's been the same since the beginning of time when shamans, witch doctors, or court jesters were the drags. Which is to remind culture to not take itself seriously. To remind you that you are not your shirt or your religious affiliation. You are an extension of the power that created the whole universe. You are God in drag. You are dressed up in this outfit of a body, which is temporary. You are eternal. You are forever. You are unchanged. And this is a dream you're having. So don't get to attached to it. Make love. Love people. Be sweet. Have corn dogs. Dance. Live. Love. Fuck shit up. But it's all good. You can't fuck it up because you're eternal.
There’s a discussion right now about how TV has become diversified because there are different channels, there are web shows, there are podcasts. Do you feel like there's more opportunity now than there was in the early '80s when you were coming up?
There are more opportunities because there are more avenues where you have a voice. But in saying that, everyone else has a voice too, and everyone else's voice is treated with the same levity as the next person's voice is. So there's a lot more opportunities, but the playing field is so, so crowded. You have to be very, very distinct to really get out there. And when you realize who the audience is and what their intellectual DNA is, it's almost like, Gee, do I want to be the most popular? Do I want to be someone who Betty and Joe Beer Can are not threatened by? Because they're threatened by everything.
Do you think it's true that audiences have become more niche?
Yes, definitely, which is not necessarily a great thing. When I was in clubs in New York, I'd go out every night. I'd go to four to five, maybe six clubs a night, and at all of those clubs, there would be uptown, downtown, black, white, gay, straight, everybody was there. And it was so exciting. And there was no shame. It wasn't like this hostile tension because we were all mixed together. But as the '90s rolled in, people started branching off into their little niches, and I thought it was very indicative of what was going on in the rest of the world. And we're witnessing that in television right now. I think it's a cycle that humans go through.
What do you think changed?
This is my twisted little theory: that because more and more people became narcissistic and became self-analyzed or in therapy, their own personal issues became omnipotent, and they wanted the whole world to know, “My personal issues are important, dammit, and so I need to be around people who understand me.” Rather than the other way around, and fixing yourself from the inside out, they wanted the outside to reflect who they are. I'm working on this theory as I'm saying it, but I think the answer is in there somewhere. It has to do with the Me Generation, the narcissistic generation needing to make their environment reflect who they think they are.
How important is history for drag in general? Do you feel like there's a generational gap with these young kids coming up who don't know the original references but they know what has been based on them?
Yes, drag traditionally has been a sampling machine. We have always taken little bits to piece together a bigger story. It's almost like an encrypted message. For young gay people before the 1990s, and forever, we had to speak in code. We had to speak so that we couldn't be found out. And a lot of that came in the form of references, pictures, one-liners, a twist of phrase. And that's the tradition of the young outsider — your tribe finds you once you send out these messages. In the “Supermodel” video we've got the Diana Ross urban legend of the Brewster-Douglass Projects with the Supremes, how they met. We've got Sunset Boulevard. Mahogany was in there where she's looking in the mirror and she puts the lipstick on the mirror. It's all in there.
It's a tradition, and will young people get it? They don't have to get it as much today because it's not like this gay underground railroad where if you're found out, you'll be run out of town. They don't need to have that secret language anymore. But on Drag Race, we still put it in there because it's our duty and our tradition to behave that way. To have little wink wink, nudge nudge references that people who do know will get it.
Do you think it's important for the younger generation to learn it?
I don't know. I don't really care about them. The truth is, they're on their own. They'll figure it out. There's nothing we can do to force them to say, "Look, this is important." Humans don't learn that way. I think about New York, and I had such a fucking great time there. Do I wish young people could experience that? Yes! Yes, I do. Am I going to work it out for them? No, bitch, you're fucking on your own. Work it out for yourself.
There have been lot of LGBT narratives recently: Carol, The Danish Girl. What did you think of them?
I loved Carol. I thought it was a beautiful film. I loved the story. The Danish Girl, I couldn't see past the wigs, which were terrible. I did love that one time where he gets dressed up and looks like David Bowie. He's in a suit that has these huge wide legs, cinched waist, and he's not in women's clothes, he's in a man's suit. It is gorgeous. It's worth watching the movie for just that one shot. Anybody in that David Bowie suit, oh my God, gorgeous.
I don’t really care about [the younger generation]. The truth is, they’re on their own. They’ll figure it out.
David Bowie was a big influence on you. Did you ever get to meet him?
I did, yeah. I was at a dinner party and when I saw he was there, I had to excuse myself into the library of this swanky house. Actually, it's a house that David Geffen owns now, but it wasn't his then. I excused myself to breathe a little bit, you know? Thinking back, I guess he came in there specifically because he knew that I went in there. And he said "Hi" and shook my hand. I said, "Hi, great to see you." And we spoke for a little bit. Then I actually escaped the party and didn't sit down for dinner because I had to go downstairs and let out the screaming and crying that followed.
What does he mean for you?
I talk about the sweet, sensitive souls, the people who are my tribe, you know? And how hard it is to navigate your heart in this plane, in this linear, basic, mediocre, hypocritical world. To find those beacons of light in that darkness is such a gift. And he is that. He still is that. Through his music and his art, how he projected this image out there. And it was never cocky. Part of the rock creed is to wear black and cover up and smoke a cigarette and be exclusive. His wasn't that way. His was always open. That's why my generation of kids flocked to that. Because it was a continuation of the exploration of the '60s and '70s.
Is there anyone who interests you in pop culture right now?
The only person who interests me in pop culture right now is Judge Judy. That's it. Because of the realness — she has kept the story of mankind. There's a certain decorum and civility that keeps our society together, and it has crumbled so much in the past, really, 20 years. But when you watch her during that hour in the afternoon, she has remembered it and is saying, "No! We do it like this." And I love it! She remembers the rules of civility. Because if you've gotten to the point where you need to go to court to figure out what to do, then you've lost your right to be cocky. You need someone. You need a mediator. And she's that person.
You mentioned your upcoming game show, Gay for Play. Can you talk a little more about it?
It's a pop-culture trivia show, where contestants win over $5,000 in cash and prizes with a panel of celebrities who are there to help them answer the questions if they choose to listen to them. And it is hilarious, sexy, cheeky, irreverent. It's the gay aesthetic done by gay people. Through our show and social media, the gay vernacular has been adopted by mainstream pop culture. Every blog is now in the voice of gay culture. Sex and the City was a show that was a gay aesthetic done by straight women. That's what made it successful. And it starred New York City. So we decided to take our gay aesthetic and put it on a game show and do it the way it should be done. These other shows that rip off little bits of our show? Have at it. We've got plenty. You could try to come for us and try to do it. You could never do it the way we do it.
- Thread: BGC: Black Gay Coons
When I came across this meme of the “Gay Coon” on social media I was a bit taken aback because I hadn’t heard the term used in this capacity before concerning effeminate Black gay men.
The meme shows a picture of 1830’s Jim Crow black faced caricature next to a waifish Black fem appearing man. It looks like he is in the throws of voguing in front of a small audience of on lookers. His body positioned similar to that of the Jim Crow picture.
I have heard the term “Gay Coon” before, as spoken by some Black people (regardless of sexuality) when describing Black Gay celebrities like Don Lemon, Michael Sam or Lee Denials. I’m not saying I agree with their usage as it relates to these celebs’ point of view on certain issues but I understood the context when it was being used towards them.
With this meme, the author states:
“Be yourself and stop being their coon. Images of Black men as “Gay Coon” caricatures were popularized in the 20th century media. Even women do not naturally act this flamboyantly fem. You can be a proud same-gender-loving man without becoming a caricature of what you think will prove that you are not insecure. It is as unnatural as hyper-thug behavior. Both are expressions of insecurity. Be a secure same-gender-loving Black man, not a coon image.”
I understand and agree with the sentiments and framework. On many levels, outwardly appearances and mannerisms, homosexual male femininity surpasses female femininity. I feel what is being described here under the umbrella of “Gay Cooning” involves exaggerated hyper-effemininity, which to me are not necessarily the same things.
Coon (Zip Coon) was characterized by white performers in the 1830’s singing and dancing in black face to entertain white audiences. These performances were racially charged mockeries of stereotyped Black people of African decent living in America. These minstrel shows begin to employ actual Black people in the 1840’s. Even though these Black performers were declared “Real Coons”, (they were Black people to which the racial slur was intended) they still darkened their already dark skin and performed racist comedy routines for white and Black audiences.
As stated before I do agree with the meme that Gay Coonism was in heavy rotation in the 20th century as it is today but just like minstrel shows of the past, the Gay Coon performs and entertains for both white, Black gay and straight audiences.
Some would consider examples of Gay Cooning like the deeply stereotypical fictitious Antoine Merriweather and Blaine Edwards characters on In Living Color in the 1990’s to 2015’s Titus Andromedon on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Some would consider examples of actual real life Gay Coons, the almost “pet like” Black Gay sidekicks of female reality television personalities or the characters and personalities within Black Gay reality web series or vlogs. Even though the basis for these characters exist in everyday real Gay men, mainstream media has sold a bill of goods stating the overwhelming majority of homosexual men are effeminate. Even though over the years that have been a handful of more masculine leaning Black gay male characters represented; hetero and homosexual audiences have bought into the Gay = Feminine view of LGBT lifestyle and culture.
A more engrossing issue I feel at the core of the discussion is the adoption and performance of exaggerated hyper-effemininity. This topic is rarely (if ever) touched upon in mainstream popular Gay media. Gay mainstream media has unapologetically unwaveringly pushed and propagandized male effemininity and exaggerated hyper-effemininity as the day-to-day, normal representation of male homosexuality.
Many gay men exhibit exaggerated hyper-effemininity but are not performing for an audience or cooning for white people. Many have been conditioned due to environment, media narratives and influences that this is how the male homosexual is to behave or conduct themselves. This is what “living in your truth” is supposed to look, sound and act like. The pontifications state that gender norms and roles are destructive negative forces that are hindrances UNLESS the gender attribute is feminine. Feminine is empowering and embracing the fem element is the correct path to living your best Gay Queer Life as it’s really intended.
Mostly all mainstream popular Gay media will examine, question, dissect, vilify, demonize, psychoanalyze and provide details on the problems with masculine, normalized maleness and hyper-masculinity within male homosexuality; however they will never collectively scrutinize the possible negative attributes of hyper-effemininity and its destructive impacts on the LGBT community.
At no point have I witnessed the authenticity or naturalness of femininity being questioned in Gay media. Yet male homosexual masculinity routinely has its usefulness and legitimacy questioned and is quickly associated with internalized homophobia, used to mask one’s true genuine gay (fem) self.
I appreciate the Facebook group Kemetic Same Gender Loving Community, who to my understanding is where this meme originates. I’d be foolish to think it would cause a shift in the Black Gay community for self-reflection or even start a large scale discussion on the topic to change the perception dynamics. I just don’t see segments of the Black Gay mainstream holding up a mirror on itself and admitting, “I’m A Hyper-Effeminate Gay Coon.”
Read the whole post here.
HAVANA — In Cuba, just having a news conference is news.
President Barack Obama jokes that he likes news conferences and wants to do more of them, and let them go on longer. That tends to be less the case at the White House than abroad, when Obama’s trying to make a point about a repressive regime by turning to the news media.
He did it in China in 2013 by giving a New York Times reporter a question to President Xi Jinping right after the government in Beijing had kicked out a reporter from the newspaper. He did it in Ethiopia last year, when he forced the journalist-jailing prime minister to stand next to him for a long news conference during which Obama talked about the country’s record on human rights and held forth on American politics.
Monday afternoon here in Havana, he did it to Raúl Castro, right in the Revolutionary Palace, letting him be pressed with questions for the first time — ever — and joining in himself. And not just that: He had to answer for the political prisoners whom the government rounds up almost daily — yet denies even exist.
Cubans watching on state television, which broadcast the whole thing live and in full, had never seen anything like this. Neither has the White House press corps. Or anyone who works at the White House.
The awkward photo that ended the event, with Obama looking like he had a limp wrist because he resisted Castro’s attempt to raise their hands together in victory as they walked out of the room, couldn’t change what had happened in what’s likely to be the most important hour of the president’s two-day trip here.
The negotiations continued until the final hours and came down to White House officials counting on Cubans watching American movies and TV. U.S. officials pressed their Cuban counterparts early Monday morning, according to one American familiar with the discussions, and leveled with them: You’ve seen how this goes. The president finishes speaking, everyone shoots a hand in the air and the president takes a question. It’ll be really embarrassing if your president is just standing there or walks out.
Just before the news conference, reporters were led in for a brief look at the bilateral meeting between the two leaders, the U.S. and Cuban flags behind them, the delegations facing each other on either side. Obama never does a great job of hiding how silly he thinks that kind of access is. Castro seemed to be picking up on that, saying through a translator as they posed for the handshake, “Make them happy.”
By the time the leaders moved into the news conference next door, it was clear it was Castro who wasn’t happy.
First he stood, eyes blinking as he listened to Obama take several questions from CNN’s Jim Acosta. Then Castro took a long drink of water and coughed theatrically as the reporter, whose father had left Cuba, turned to address the Cuban leader in Spanish. Smirking at Acosta’s pronunciation, Castro leaned into the lectern as Acosta asked him about political prisoners.
As Obama continued ticking through his answers, Castro called an aide onstage and conferred with him at length. Obama kept answering his question, but his eyes started to flit to his left.
“Excuse me —” Obama said, his disbelief immediately becoming mocking. White House officials tensed. Castro looked back at Acosta, pretending as though the later question hadn’t been for him.
“Second one was to you,” Obama said, prodding Castro along (and along the way, managing to deftly duck Acosta’s question about why he wasn’t meeting with former President Fidel Castro on this trip).
“He talked about political prisoners,” Raúl Castro said, turning back to Obama, according to the official simultaneous translation.
“Also Trump and Hillary,” Obama said.
“For him or for me?” Castro asked, looking at Acosta.
Finally, Castro relented and asked Acosta to repeat his question about political prisoners, then cut off the reporter, his right hand chopping the air.
“Give me a list of the political prisoners and I will release them. Just mention names,” Castro said. “If we have those political prisoners, they will be released before the night ends.”
Obama looked on with a smile.
Castro remembered the second question, about whether he preferred Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, and recovered for a moment: “Well, I cannot vote in the United States,” he said.
The bubble was popped. The reporter for Cuban state television had a question for Obama but started with one for Castro about what steps he was taking toward improving the countries’ relationship.
Castro started to answer, but stopped himself.
“You are making too many questions to me,” he said. “I think questions should be directed to President Obama.”
So Obama took another. He turned to NBC’s Andrea Mitchell. He quickly answered her question about the future of the embargo, which he said is “going to end. When, I can’t be entirely be sure. But I believe it will end, and the path that we’re on will continue after my time in office.” He talked about his faith in what would come from more person-to-person contact between Cubans and Americans.
Then, playing media moderator, he passed it to Castro, who had been fiddling with papers the whole time, except for another long, theatrical drink of water.
“Now I’m done, but I think Señor Presidente, I think Andrea had a question for you,” Obama said.
He turned to Mitchell.
“He did say he was going to take one question, and I said I was going to take two,” Obama said, before pivoting to Castro. “She’s one of our most esteemed journalists in America. I’m sure she’d appreciate just a short answer.”
Doing his best impression of Dick Dastardly from the old Hanna-Barbera cartoons, Castro rubbed his hands together, rolling his “r”s as he said, “Andrea,” several times.
“I know that if you’ll stay here, you’ll make 500 questions. I said I was going to answer one, and I’m going to answer one and a half,” he said.
He had his answer about her human rights question prepared: “I’m going to make the question to you now,” he said.
There are “61 instruments of human rights,” Castro said, quoting a number he seemed to have invented on his own.
“What country complies with them all? Do you know how many? I know. None. None whatsoever. Some countries comply some rights, others comply with others,” Castro said, by way of defense. “Of these 61 instruments, Cuba has complied with 47 issues.”
He turned the exchange into an opportunity to beat up on the U.S. In Cuba, they think universal health care is a human right, Castro said. Every child is born in a hospital, no matter where they’re from, or who their parents are, he added. They believe education for all is a human right, he said. And finally, in a point that got Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett nodding at communications director Jen Psaki, implying the Cuban leader had a point, Castro said he thinks equal pay for women is a human right, too.
Human rights issues, he said, “should not be politicized.”
“That is not fair, it’s not correct. I’m not saying it’s not honest, it’s part of confrontations of course,” Castro concluded.
Castro checked his watch. There’s a schedule to keep to, he said, though his scheduled time with Obama was until later in the evening, when they would attend a state dinner.
But he returned to the point that had gotten under his skin a few minutes earlier.
“It’s not correct to ask me about political prisoners in general,” he said.
Then he looked toward the exit.
“I think this is enough,” Castro said. “We have concluded. Thank you for your participation.”
Read more: How Obama set a trap for Raul Castro
- Thread: Aint Nothing But a GIF Party
Singer Danny Boy, who sung hooks on such famous songs as 2Pac’s “I Ain’t Mad at Cha” and “Picture Me Rollin,” spoke to VladTV about deciding to come out as a gay man at the beginning of 2016. The former Death Row singer told us that he made the decision after a man he was dating, who was the first man Danny Boy said he felt comfortable with, committed suicide because he was gay. He explained that initially he disguised his boyfriend, Anthony, as a woman while announcing his death on Facebook, but Danny Boy told us that he decided to tell the truth after going to the funeral.
The backlash Danny Boy received after making his announcement was tough to deal with, as the singer told us that he lost longtime friends and members of his church started to speak out against his new lifestyle. One of the hardest conversations Danny Boy had to have about the news was with the mothers of his children, including his ex-wife, and he admitted that his oldest child’s mother took the news the best. However, Danny Boy told us that his ex-wife took the news hard, and he added that he hasn’t spoken to his third child’s mother due to their already strained relationship.
Check out more of what Danny Boy had to say about his coming out in the above interview, including if he hooked up with anyone from Death Row.
Read the whole post here.
- Thread: Miles Davis Movie
MILES AHEAD (2016)
This looks like its going to be a good movie and one I actually would like to see. I also cant wait to listen to the movie's soundtrack its going to be dope. Its produced by Robert Glasper who Im a big fan of. Glasper also has an another album coming out at the end of March that will also feature songs inspired my Miles Davis and the movie with Bilal , Badu, Phonte, Illa J (J Dilla's lil Brother) Steve Wonder and more. Its all going to so dope. What a time to be alive lol.
Personally, I love uncut men.
But while watching Bill Maher show I was reminded that many people have the opposite reaction to the extra foreskin. On his show, Bill Maher, a heterosexual, said this:
BILL MAHER: "I've seen [uncircumcised penises] in porn...they're ugly...that'll ruin a porn in a second"
Here's a stand-up comedy bit he did on uncut dicks, basically saying that they look like Sea Creatures.
I don't agree, but I know a lot of people are not feeling Foreskin.
What are your thoughts on Cut vs Uncut?
Are you uncircumcised? Have you been either rejected or fetishized because of it?
- Thread: The Best Years of Your Life?
I've always thought there are certain ages that are the best ages to be...
21-Years-Old is dope, for obvious reasons. You're finally legal, in every aspect.
26-Years-Old is dope, you're more of an adult but not so much that you're considered "grown." Turn Up!
35-Years-Old is dope, you're grown and still young enough to be considered "young" in the media and politics.
42-Years-Old is dope, you're at that age where you should have the grown man body, bank account, lifestyle (home, car, job) and maturity.
50-Years-Old is dope, the salt-and-pepper is fully seasoned into the hair and you are likely fully established in your life.
So far, these years milestone years have panned out to be the best for me.
When I was 26, I had a great year socially and career-wise. This was the year my career really got on its feet and I became a business owner (that still exists to this day).
At 35 years old, not only did I start Discreet City/Cypher Avenue, I also made another huge leap in my career. By this point I was super confident in the gay dating world as well.
So I'm looking forward to 42-Years-Old.
What have been the best Years/Birthdays of your life so far?
Came across this article. Found it interesting;
I’m quickly approaching my 25th birthday and have come to the realization that I’ve never been in a long-term relationship. And not for lack of trying. That's not uncommon among millennials, but as a Black gay man, I've begun to wonder how my race has affected my chances of finding love.
I like to think of myself as someone who’s adventurous when it comes to love and sex, someone who’d never rule out potential partners or new experiences. But when I discussed my issue with friends, other queer men of color, they all said I have a type: white men. I tried to deny it, but when I thought about my dating history, I realized that my friends were right. While I may flirt or develop friendships with other Black gay men, I’ve never seriously pursued a relationship with one.
When I’m on Tinder, the men I’m more likely to swipe right are usually athletic white men between 21 and 30. And when I scroll through Grindr’s grid of faceless torsos, I find myself only messaging guys with complexions lighter than a paper bag. Even in person, when I’m trying to muster up the courage to talk to a cute guy, I first wonder if he’s "into black guys." I hate myself for even having to contemplate these things, and I’m now left asking myself:Why am I not drawn to other men of color?
And the more I think about it, the more complicated the answer seems.
I grew up closeted in a very religious community. The only gay people I saw in the media were white, and the few Black queer celebrities that I knew of, like Wanda Sykes and Michael Sam, were in interracial relationships. My childhood in the Black church led me to believe that Black people were inherently homophobic — a myth — and that the only Black men who were gay were on the down low or infected with HIV — also a myth.
Within my own family, I had two gay uncles who died of AIDS-related illnesses before I was 10. They were estranged from our family, partly because of their health and their sexual orientation. I never had the chance to speak to either one while they were alive, but I often wonder what advice or mentorship they could have provided me as a young Black gay male coming of age in such a sheltered environment.
When I finally came out in college, I was at a predominantly white school. Many queer folks were closeted, and of the few who were out, most of them were white. After graduating, I moved to New York, and though here I was able to find queer friends who are also people of color, we are still always in the minority at gay bars and clubs.
A friend of mine, who is Latino, once asked why I didn't approach Black men in bars. I replied, "Look around — I'm one of three Black guys here." There’s a clear lack of queer spaces in POC communities, and that definitely affects the ability of men of color to meet one another. But while the absence of queer POC-centric establishments is definitely an issue, many of the other Black men I see at gay bars around Manhattan and Brooklyn are booed up with white men, too. Could we all be perpetuating internalized racism by consciously, or even unconsciously, excluding Black men and other men of color as romantic prospects? And in doing that, are we only reinforcing the politics of desire that deem Black people less attractive?
When I read a recent essay by Michael Arceneaux, his words hit me hard. He questioned why Black men in particular want so desperately to be acknowledged as desirable by white men who have no interest in dating outside their race. He wrote, "As Black men, we need to value ourselves so much that no outside force, no prejudice — even one guised as preference — can make us feel second place." Clearly, this dialogue wasn’t only happening in my head.
A larger conversation about the racist, fat-phobic, and misogynist language of gay dating apps has also begun, which has allowed me to see that my dating prospects may also be a result of problematic societal messaging. Statements like "no fats or fems" or "no Blacks or Asians" litter profiles in hookup communities on Grindr, Jack'd, and similar platforms. Thankfully, marginalized queer communities have started to call out those hurtful comments as acts of discrimination rather than statements of preference. All of this has shed a glaring light on my internal struggle.
About a year ago, I came across an article entitled "28 Questions for Black Men Who Only Date White Men." Each question from the article was a damning indictment of my apparently not-so-simple dating choices. Do you feel more attractive dating white men? How do you view yourself? These questions forced me to think critically about my intentions with the relationships I sought out.
The truth is, I am insecure about my Blackness — which is painful and embarrassing to admit. As a Black writer who writes about issues of race and culture, I can’t help but feel a certain sense of hypocrisy when it comes to my dating habits.
As a dark-skinned Black man, I have faced both overt and subtle instances of racism from white gay men. The ways in which I have been objectified and fetishized by them has often made me feel that I’m only good enough for sex and not for a relationship. I’ve received messages that said, "I love BBC," or "I never been with a Black guy before," or, on the opposite end of the "no Blacks" spectrum, I've seen white men who are "not into white guys, sorry."
When I'm dating a white man, I occasionally feel like I need to confront the issue of race head-on and acknowledge the difference in life experiences between me and my partner. It can be frustrating, but also deeply enriching, to teach someone about my cultural upbringing. But the older I get, the more I find myself wanting a partner who can relate to me without needing to be taught. I’ve become increasingly drawn to the concept of Black love, which celebrates Black couples and affirms Black pride within relationships, and I eventually want to experience this.
There are also times when I feel like my white partners are trying to overcompensate for their whiteness. They start social justice conversations, bringing up racism and homophobia almost as if they're trying to prove how down they are. It makes me wonder why they’re interested in me. Are they using me as an experimental phase? Does it give them a sense of moral superiority around other white people, as if they are more progressive? Does it make them feel less guilty about gentrifying the neighborhood?
My understanding of relationships is developing, as is my knowledge of race, but I’m still unpacking how my sexuality really relates to my Blackness. As I continue on this road to self-discovery and acceptance, I often think about my gay uncles who died, and I wish they could have been a part of this journey.
Now that I’m aware of my pattern, I’ve had to confront my own personal feelings of anti-Blackness and internalized racism, which has made it difficult for me to love other Black men and love myself. These feelings of self-loathing have not only affected my ability to develop intimate relationships with other Black men, but also friendships. My insecurities about my identity are hard to talk about and even harder to write about, and it’s increasingly exhausting to engage in this dialogue with Black men who don’t get it or white men who don’t understand it, either.
At the end of the day, I’m not ashamed to have dated white men, and I’ll continue to do so. Who I do or do not date isn’t going to solve racism, but if I really am as woke as I say am, I have to unpack how my Blackness and queerness influence the way I see myself and potential partners. I want to be able to wait patiently for the partner I both desire and deserve, and to welcome him in whatever form he comes. But I know it’s not that simple. Maybe I’ll have to be single a little longer until I have a better understanding of myself — and I’m starting to realize that that’s okay, too.
Chicago Restaurant Owner Feeds His Community
Quentin Love's restaurant, on Chicago's west side in a neighborhood called West Humboldt Park, lives by a simple rule: "No beef. No pork." There you can get unique dishes like the Jive Turkey Burger on a whole wheat bun or the Rich Boy Sandwich, a grilled fish twist on the classic Po Boy, which usually uses roast beef or fried seafood.
But Love knows it's not just well-to-do Chicagoans who need more diverse meal options. Chicago's sizable homeless and poverty-stricken community could sure use a helping hand, too.
So every Monday afternoon, the restaurant closes for business and offers free meals to the community, instead.
Turkey Chop Gourmet Grill opened in 2012 as a continuation of Love's years long effort to "attack the food desert theory." He wanted to bring more diverse eating options to neighborhoods around the country in dire need of them.
In 2014, he took the concept even further at the West Humboldt Park location by transforming the restaurant into a local food pantry once a week.
On Monday afternoons, residents of the community pour in to grab free, ready-made meals. It's for anybody in need of a hot, fresh, nutritious bite to eat, whether they're homeless or not.
Love also runs a cooking class out of the restaurant on Monday nights that teaches people in the community how to prepare nutritious meals for themselves and their families.
With support from the Chicago Food Depository, Love and his staff at Turkey Chop Gourmet Grill have given away over 60,000 meals in the past two years, mostly on the back of donations and community volunteers.
But Love says funding has been a constant issue, with him spending nearly $2,000 a month out of his own pocket to finance the project.
When Love got the chance to compete on Food Network's "Guy's Grocery Games," though, he knew he had a chance to fund the program for a long time to come.
"They called me (to be on the show)," he said. "It was just a random call. And I saw it as an opportunity."
An opportunity to battle against other chefs in a nationally broadcast, pressure-packed cooking challenge. But it would help him keep his restaurant's community program going.
If he won, anyway.
And that's exactly what Love did. In "Guy's Grocery Games" (or "Triple G"), contestants sprint up and down supermarket aisles, scavenging for ingredients that fit their allotted budget, and have 30 minutes to whip up a meal that'll impress the judges.
Love blew away the competition with his cooking skills and a little help from his grandma's famous mac 'n cheese recipe.
When all was said and done, he walked away with $36,000 in prize money. And he knew exactly what he was going to do with it.
Half of Love's prize money will go toward making sure Turkey Chop Gourmet Grill can continue to feed the community.
The other half will go to another cause close to Love's heart, the United Services Organization, which provides relief to military members and their families.
"The prize money pays for sustainability" for the program, Love said. There are no grand plans to expand nationally, renovate the restaurant, or launch more ambitious projects.
That's not what really matters to Love.
For now, the Turkey Chop Gourmet Grill is just going to keep on giving delicious, nutritious meals to Chicagoans in need.
And thanks to Love's big Food Network win, that's not going to change any time soon.
"Being on the show was great," he said. "I just kept thinking about what I had to do. And the rest is history."
A selfless chef won a reality game show and used the prize money to feed his community.
The new show Hap and Leonard will premieres Wednesday March 2nd on the Sundance channel. As we previously covered, the 6 one hour episodes are based on the novels by author Joe Lansdale (who first introduced the duo in 1990 with Savage Season. My interest in the show was based upon reading the description of Leonard, “a Black crime fighting Vietnam vet who is also homosexual.” The series’ time period takes place in the 1980s.
Leonard will be play by Michael K. Williams, better known from his breakout role as Omar in HBO’s The Wire. Additional details on the main characters:
Leonard Pine is a gay, black Vietnam vet with serious anger issues. He was raised by his uncle who shunned him after learning he was gay. However, when his uncle passes away, he leaves his house and all his assets to Leonard. Leonard has zero tolerance for racist or anti-gay slurs. Although Hap dislikes guns, Leonard has no problem carrying or using them. Quick to anger, at times he cannot understand Hap’s aversion to violence or killing if necessary, even when provoked. His relationships are also short and tempestuous. Leonard is the much more aggressive of the two and repeatedly burned down a local crack house that used to be his new next door neighbor.
Hap Collins (played by James Purefoy) is a white working class laborer who spent time in federal prison as a young man for refusing to be drafted into the military and serve in the Vietnam War. In his late forties, he is often haunted by the various unpleasant jobs he’s held over the years such as working at an aluminum chair factory and working the East Texas rose fields. The two now work for the former police officer turned private investigator Marvin Hanson. Hap tries his best to avoid violence and also tries his best to avoid the taking of another human life. Often lovesick, most of his relationships haven’t worked out. He is currently with his on-again-off-again girlfriend Brett Sawyer. Some of his past has been taken from Mr. Lansdale’s own past. The stories are told from Hap’s narrative point of view. Not as quick to anger as Leonard, he often finds himself attempting to talk Leonard out of committing serious violence.
Check out the below trailers from the six episode run of Hap and Leonard.
Read the whole post here.
I’m not a card caring fan of either comedian. I’ve never watched a Kevin Hart stand-up routine or film. I’ve only seen one Katt Williams’ stand-up routine. However; I have watched clips of both comedian actors numerous times over the years.
Kevin Hart is cool but I cringe at many of Katt Williams’ ideology and views.
I had no knowledge of any ongoing tensions between the two but it’s not surprising being that Katt Williams always has a beef with somebody or something. He is similar to Kanye West in that regard.
At a recent stop in Atlanta on his Conspiracy Theory Tour, Katt goes in on Hart calling him a Hollywood “puppet”, why…because fuck you it’s Katt Williams.
“I’ve already proven that if the best they got in comedy is Kevin Hart than — don’t you boo a black man working hard, baby. Even if that nigga’s a puppet, it’s not his fault. We don’t get mad. Just because I’m better than some black dudes doesn’t mean I’m better than no black dudes. I’m saying if you want to be mad at Kermit The Frog, don’t be mad at Kermit The Front. Be mad at Jim Henson. Don’t say, ‘Fuck Donald Duck” when you really mean, ‘Fuck Walt Disney.’
I don’t care nothing that happens to Kevin [Hart], I just wish him the best. I just know that that’s somebody’s hand stuck up that baby, you understand. Oh, we’re a puppet show, boo boo. Please believe it. You’re looking at the only nigga that ain’t.
So, since I’ve already officially proven to myself that I really am who Richard Pryor passed his torch to, and that I was able to do it without letting a man suck my dick, or sucking a man’s dick. I walked in with a virgin asshole, I walked out with a virgin asshole. I got the same soul today that I had when I did Pimp Chronicles all the way to the end of Pimp Chronicles.”
There’s a factual saying that Black people have to work twice as hard as white people, just to get a foot in the door. For many, there are some additional parameters that need be met in order for success to be gained by Black Hollywood mainstream celebrities.
For Black conspiracy theorists and the Black consciously woke, there are two primary reasons why Black celebrities are successful in Hollywood;
1.They have been influenced by and have accepted the illuminati.That’s it in a nutshell and you just heard and read it directly from Katt Williams.
2.They are closeted homo/bisexuals who have offered up their bodies for sexual favors to the Hollywood elite ruling class.
Regardless if you believe or don’t believe in the illuminati, it’s damaging and sends the wrong message to the Black community. The message is that only a hand-full of Black entertainers can achieve a certain level of mainstream success by selling their souls and bowing down to the white man.
This line of thinking guides the idea that, Black writers, directors, actors, etc.; no matter how hard they work, no matter how disciplined their grind is…unless they join the illuminati, they will not make it. This furthers the narrative that successful Black people who “made it” are now sell-outs, dysfunctional or think-they’re-better-than the Blacks who haven’t made it but may work just as hard. The latter Blacks embrace the struggle because they will not bow down to the white “illuminati” man.
Because Katt Williams has yet to achieve the level of cross-over mainstream success of Kevin Hart, somehow Hart achieved it wrong and is a puppet being controlled by Hollywood white elites. Katt’s struggle is real, true and righteous, even though he is still (by many metrics) a successful popular Black house-hold-name comedian.
An interesting element of possible contradiction within Katt’s statement is that he feels and claims “I really am who Richard Pryor passed his torch to.” This is his opinion and I’m sure others may share it…cool. Nonetheless; Katt followed this up with negative characterizations by contrasting himself against Kevin’s sexuality when he proclaims of not sucking dick and having a virgin asshole.
Deflowered assholes aside, is he (Katt) and others aware that Richard Pryor openly admitted to dating a transgender woman, fucking f@ggots (Pryor’s his own words) and sucking dick?
Katt’s supposed torch passer performed in the same realm of sexual activities he is attempting to belittle and insult Kevin Hart with.
I’m not in the mind of Katt but it could be he’s stating, “at least Richard Pryor acted out his homosexual activities on his own and with no quid pro quo,” and Kevin Hart is basically “gay for pay”…maybe. I don’t know but regardless this is still very damaging because the message to the audience is because Kevin may have homosexual tendencies, this makes his success less valid because his sexuality makes him less of a real man. This attitude reinforces anti-homosexual sentiments within the Black community.
I know from firsthand experience, that there are closeted homo/bisexual Black and Hispanic professional entertainers in sports and mainstream (movies, tv, music) media. These types of under-handed anti-homosexual sentiments play a part in keeping these professional entertainers in their proverbial closets. This kind of public spectacle reaffirms that if they’re open with their sexualities, it would be a killer to their careers. Unlike those White Hollywood illuminati participants who can be out / open with their sexualities while still being championed and have mainstream accomplishments.
Due to the appeal of both of Katt and Kevin, this is a national mainstream story. Within the sections of the more urban, hip-hop themed web sites and within Black social media, the comments are littered with Black people calling both Katt and Kevin, f@ggots, homos, queers, and suspect. “Suspect” being code word for one’s perceived questionable sexuality. Katt Williams supporters are calling him the Tupac of comedy and saying he will be assassinated by the Hollywood elites for bring attention to the Illuminati. All the while saying Kevin Hart is a gay Hollywood puppet because he wore a dress that one time.
As the world watches, Kevin Hart just so happened to release a “let me rise above this foolishness” statement via Instagram:
Read the whole post here.
- Thread: Preview: Aliens: Defiance #1
Battling demons from her past while fighting for her life, Colonial Marine Private First Class Zula Hendricks, in the company of Weyland-Yutani synthetics, is forced to question her strength and loyalty when the discovery of an insidious alien species on a derelict hauler sends her on a dangerous journey across the stars.
For the first time ever, federal officials estimated how likely blacks and Hispanics are likely to be diagnosed with the virus that causes AIDS.
Half of gay and bisexual black men and a quarter of gay and bisexual Hispanic men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetimes, the Centers for Disease Control announced in a first-of-its-kind study on Tuesday.
While the lifetime risk of a positive HIV diagnosis has fallen from 1 in 78 Americans overall in 2005 to 1 in 99 today, the decline has not been distributed equally among the U.S. population. For the foreseeable future, the CDC estimates that gay, bisexual, black and Hispanic people will continue to bear the brunt of the HIV epidemic. The new study is the first time that the CDC has estimated lifetime HIV risk based on race.
Overall, the CDC projected that one in 64 men and one in 227 women in the United States will be diagnosed with HIV at current rates. For black and Hispanic people, however, that risk increases dramatically.
Regardless of sexual orientation, one in 20 black men and one in 48 black women will be diagnosed with the virus that causes AIDS in their lifetimes, according to the CDC. For Hispanic men and women, the risks are one in 48 and one in 227, respectively.
White people have the lowest chance of an HIV diagnosis, with an overall lifetime risk of less than one percent. Gay and bisexual white men still have a lifetime risk of one in 11, though.
The CDC’s projections are based on data about HIV diagnoses and death rates collected from 2009 to 2013, and they assume that rates of new diagnoses remain constant. If that’s the case, one in six men who have sex with other men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetimes.
“These estimates are a sobering reminder that gay and bisexual men face an unacceptably high risk for HIV—and of the urgent need for action,” said Dr. Eugene McCray, director of the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. “If we work to ensure that every American has access to the prevention tools we know work, we can avoid the outcomes projected in this study.”
For Hispanic people living in the United States, the CDC has already outlined an array of factors behind the alarming rate of new infections: a high prevalence of HIV, poverty and lack of health insurance coverage, “machismo” that can encourage men to engage in risky sexual behavior as a show of strength, and reluctance to access prevention services for fear of revealing one’s immigration status.
In South Florida, for example, an already high prevalence of HIV has combined with low awareness of the virus and social stigma to produce the highest rate of new infections in the U.S., driven largely by new infections among young Hispanic men.
For black people, CDC resources show, prevention challenges are similar: poverty, stigma, barriers to health care access, and too few people knowing their status. Risk in black communities is especially high, the CDC notes, because “African Americans tend to have sex with partners of the same race/ethnicity mean[ing] that [they] face a greater risk of HIV infection with each new sexual encounter.”
According to the CDC’s new projections, all of the states with the highest lifetime risk for HIV are in the South, with the exceptions of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. All of these states and the South tend to have large black and Hispanic populations, higher rates of poverty, and less health-insurance coverage.
The CDC estimates that HIV risk is highest in Maryland, Georgia, Louisiana, and Florida, with about 2 percent of these states’ populations believed to test HIV positive eventually.
No single area may be worst-hit than Washington, D.C., which is nearly 50 percent black and 10 percent Latino. According to the CDC’s projections, a staggering one in 13 D.C. residents will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetimes.
But the CDC doesn’t want its projections to be interpreted as a death sentence.
“As alarming as these lifetime risk estimates are, they are not a foregone conclusion. They are a call to action,” said Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Prevention.
If the U.S. can reduce new infections, those lifetime risk numbers will go down, too. The CDC’s current prevention approach emphasizes HIV testing, condom use, treatment for those who have already been diagnosed, and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a daily medication that has been shown to reduce risk by more than 90 percent when used correctly.
“The prevention and care strategies we have at our disposal today provide a promising outlook for future reductions of HIV infections and disparities in the U.S.,” said Dr. Mermin, “but hundreds of thousands of people will be diagnosed in their lifetime if we don’t scale up efforts now.”
This is an awesome story and video all around. My favorite quotes:
"...nails all done." --President Obama
"A black president. A black wife."--106 year old lady
"That's me!"--First Lady Obama
‘A black president, yay': 106-year-old finally meets the Obamas, dances like a schoolgirl
I love, love, love me some Russell Westbook...always have and always will.
At only 27 years old, he's a FIVE TIME ALL STAR and a two-time NBA All-Star Game MVP, winning consecutive awards in 2015 and 2016. He's also a top rebounding point guard and a NBA scoring Champion (2015).
He's def one of the BEST players currently playing in the NBA.
And he's cool as fuck...No matter what weird outfit he's seen wearing, I still fux with him...
I'm curious to know if any of you have ever dated a guy that seemed almost perfect, but just had one or two things or ways about them that you just couldn't get over. There's one guy I was dating that would be ideal, but I put him in the friend box pretty quickly. Why? He has the voice. lol. I knew it within moments of us sitting down at the bar we initially met at, but kept going out with him cuz he is mad cool and I really have a good time with him. (We haven't had sex, but have been intimate and the head skills are lacking, so that alone is potentially an issue. lol)
Then there's another guy I dated. This was basically one of those guys that always knew he was gay, but was a jock all his life. Looking at him, he's all dude. Nice worked out legs and booty, goatee, swag and all. He's into guy stuff...sports, cars, games, etc., but he's also one of those types that became very comfortable with his sexuality and just kinda "lets his hair down" sometimes. He says "chiiiiile," in a high voice but his voice is deep. And speaking of voice, he has a touch of the voice too that comes out more strongly at times. And I picked up on excessive hand gesturing during conversation.
I kinda feel bad, because I'm not one to discriminate or be superficial and all. But is it ok to just prefer that a dude talks like a "regular" dude and not have the urge to "queen" out? What is an acceptable level of "gay" that you could deal with before its a dealbreaker?
- Thread: Hooking up or dating friends
So I recently realized that I've seen a lot of my gay male friends naked and have kissed or gone even further with them. Sometimes it was before we became good friends, other times we just happened to be in the same place and horny. It has never ruined any of my friendships and things have never gotten awkward, but I was wondering if that was something other people did?
I'm a very sex positive person, and I don't shame anyone, nor do I tell others of my exploits, so I guess that's part of the reason it hasn't been awkward. I've also never had full sex with any of my friends, but we have a threesome with others before lol. I've also never truly dated a friend of mine either.
So my question is, have you had any dealings that were more than friendly with your friends and did it negatively impact your friendship?
Most of yous are too young to even know who this chick is (or too even care LOL) but, my "Kid Crush" from "The Last Dragon" and "Action Jackson" and the catalyst for my obsession with girl groups (and my cat's namesake) has died at 57yo. smh
Quite the opposite. He was not a fan of blacks or gays. If you were both, I am sure he had an amazing opinion. Here is an article I found that sums up my feelings. Very well written and drives to conversation back to the overall treatment of blacks, since slavery!
No, I'm Not Mourning The Death of Judge Scalia.
In the wake of Judge Antonin Scalia's death my timeline was flooded with posts from people of color expressing condolences. I was not one of those people. There is a long history of black folks mourning white folks who did great harm to us during enslavement which continues to resonate today. During the period Black folks were enslaved as chattel they were prohibited from gathering together for any reason to include funerals for fear of revolt . Therefore, slaves were buried in unmarked graves typically dug by slave children, with no public mourning period. In contrast, when a member of the master’s family died, slaves were required to wash, prepare, and dress their dead masters and to plan the repast.
It comes then as no surprise that many Black folks in the immediate contemporary struggle with the notion of bereavement. We have been systematically trained under threat of death to mourn the death of even the most heinous white folks all the while ignoring the passing of our own. This psychosis not only plays a central role in the intraracial devaluation of black life but also the politics of respectability surrounding the mourning of figures such as Judge Antonin Scalia who repeatedly made racist, homophobic remarks in his role as a supposed purveyor of justice for All citizens.
Judge Scalia not only compared gay people to predators and pedophiles he also suggested that black people would do better at remedial schools as opposed to high ranked universities due to what he perceived to be a naturalized race based educational disability. His rhetoric attempted to promote a race and sexual orientation based hierarchy that would undoubtedly support rampant discrimination in employment and higher education therefore exponentially increasing longstanding discriminatory gaps in wealth and outcome for non cis hetero white folks and our families.
In sum, I will not continue the tradition of mourning those who wished to do me harm. I cannot respect the opinions of those who wished to see me suffer. The rules of decorum and respect do not apply to those who call my humanity into question. There is now one less person available to continue that practice.
Full Article: No, I'm Not Mourning The Death of Judge Scalia.
- Thread: Beyoncé
As I've emerged from the shadows over the last 10 days or so and started reading and responding to more threads and posts, one trait that many of the squad members' exhibit is any easy confidence and self-assured manner. I find self-confidence very attractive. That got me thinking.
I am a fairly self-confident guy. It's not arrogance, hubris or even an over the top personality. I am simply comfortable in my own skin. I find that this trait has served me well in the friend zone. It hasn't always been a winner in the dating world, however. In the dating world, for me at least, a show of confidence has sometimes led potential candidates to be controlling (or at least make an attempt to be controlling), which invariably kills the party with a quickness.
For you, when considering potential candidates for dating, is self-confidence likely to draw you in, serve as a personal challenge to harness it, or cause you to turn tail and run in the opposite direction?
NAIROBI, Kenya — WHEN the Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainaina published his acclaimed memoir three years ago, he concealed an important part of his life from the public eye. Last Saturday, he unveiled “a lost chapter” of the book on the Internet titled, “I am a homosexual, mum.”
The chapter, about missing the opportunity to tell his mother before she died, is intensely personal. The response has been extremely public, a “gay bombshell” in the words of the newspaper The Daily Nation.
That is because, as a successful author, publisher, journalist and commentator, Mr. Wainaina, 43, has become one of the most prominent Africans ever to come out publicly. He did so at a moment when the issue is being fiercely debated here in sub-Saharan Africa.
Even as gay rights have gained ground in the United States and other Western nations, Africa has in some cases moved backward, with several countries increasing penalties against gays. Nigeria’s president this month signed into law a tough ban on same-sex relationships that threatens violators with 14-year prison terms, amid reports that gay men have been rounded up, arrested and even tortured.
The Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina is one of the most prominent Africans to come out as gay.
SVEN TORFINN FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
“The law is extremely cynical,” Mr. Wainaina said. “Any kind of bill like that has such extreme consequences that an immediacy of reaction of every kind is necessary.”
Mr. Wainaina, voluble and expressive, with his hair shaved on the sides, dyed red on one side, blue on the other, and yellow sunglasses perched atop his head, labeled homophobia a Victorian export brought to Africa by British colonialists. He placed the debate over gay rights in the context of a young, rapidly growing continent.
“I’m extremely optimistic about rapid transformation and change of things in Africa in general,” Mr. Wainaina said. “It’s set off. It cannot stop. It’s going to be turbulent. There’ll be dark bits and there’ll be bright bits, but it’s a speed train.”
While Mr. Wainaina has spoken out against the new law in Nigeria, his decision to come out was equally about his own experiences in his native Kenya, in particular, the death of a young gay friend called Kalota whose parents were forced to leave their church afterward. Another friend died of AIDS last year, and the aftermath also left Mr. Wainaina pensive.
He was uncomfortable with “that whole feeling of a certain kind of surreptitiousness, why didn’t so-and-so come to the funeral, but they loved him and they’re very close.” It was hard for him to pin down why he went public, he said, because “it’s not so much the event as a singularity but how that singularity compounds on things that happen all the time,” he said.
Mr. Wainaina at an interview in Nairobi. He called his coming out a “lost chapter” of his acclaimed memoir, “One Day I Will Write About This Place,” published in 2011.
SVEN TORFINN FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
SINCE his chapter went online, Mr. Wainaina (pronounced wye-NYE-na) said he had been getting messages of support, both public and private, from friends, relatives and even a retired Roman Catholic priest who was close to the family.
“Someone who was in high school with me who I haven’t seen or talked to in years, you know, sent me a private message saying, ‘I’m a cop now, so if you need any help, give me a call,' ” Mr. Wainaina said.
It was generous, and in a way comforting, but also a sign of the severity of discrimination and public insults, blackmail and beatings gay people in Kenya still face, said Peter Njane, a member of the task force for the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya. “The kind of oppression we go through, it forces us to come out and say who we are.”
It is not just Kenya. On his visit to Africa last year, President Obama found himselftrading barbs with President Macky Sall of Senegal. After Mr. Obama praised the United States Supreme Court decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, Mr. Sall retorted, “We are not ready to decriminalize homosexuality.” The news media and public in Senegal, where gay sex is illegal and gays are often persecuted, celebrated his defiance.
Mr. Njane said that while the coalition applauded Mr. Wainaina’s decision to come out, there had been “a lot of negativity on social media.” Some compared gays to pedophiles, while others made crass jokes or uncomfortable statements about gay sex, calling it “weird” and “unimaginable.”
“I blame the parents!” one Kenyan Twitter user said, for giving him an uncommon name like Binyavanga.
He was born Kenneth Binyavanga Wainaina, and his family still calls him Ken. But “the exotic” of the name Binyavanga “gave me a thrill,” he said, and he began going by his middle name.
His mother ran a hair salon in the city of Nakuru, while his father was a successful executive. In the lost chapter, Mr. Wainaina said that he had known he was gay since he was 5 years old.
He described shaking a man’s hand at 7: “This feeling has made me suddenly ripped apart and lonely. The feeling is not sexual. It is certain. It is overwhelming.”
He studied in South Africa during the final years of apartheid, and had friends there who were gay.
His mother died in 2000, and he still had not faced up to the thoughts he had been having since he was a child. He did not act on it until five years later with “a man who will give me a massage and some brief, paid-for love” in London, as he described it in the chapter. “I cannot say the word gay until I am 39, four years after that brief massage encounter.”
IN the meantime he had become an important voice in African literature. He won the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2002 and was a founder of the literary journal “Kwani?” His critical essay, “How to Write About Africa,” in the British literary journal Granta in 2005, took foreign journalists and authors to task for their clichéd approach to covering the continent.
For photos, he advised, “an AK-47, prominent ribs, naked breasts: use these.”
“If you must include an African, make sure you get one in Masai or Zulu or Dogon dress,” he wrote. Acceptable characters include “The Starving African,” but “she must look utterly helpless.” The biting piece became a minor sensation.
In 2011 he published a memoir, “One Day I Will Write About This Place,” which was a critical success at home and abroad. Women, especially, Mr. Wainaina said, noticed the absence of a love life. “I’m not ready to go there,” he recalled thinking at the time.
He had come out to confidants but had not taken the step publicly. He said that he and a few friends had been “brainstorming what to do for a while,” in half a dozen conversations in bars over the last eight months.
When he finally made the decision, it became a multimedia coming out, the initial online chapter followed by a cyclone of Twitter messages and a six-part video where he talks about education, creativity and his own experience, posted online as“We Must Free Our Imaginations.”
On Twitter Mr. Wainaina declared that he would travel to Nigeria, but when asked about it in an interview he said, “Such ideas really have to generate from Nigerians.”
“I’m not even sure I want to use the term ‘coming out,' ” he said, offering “being gay in public” instead. Mr. Wainaina seemed like a man at ease with the momentous decision he had made, but also still getting used to how the way he related to the world around him had changed.
“What is my urinal policy? Do you chat casually with the person next to you as would be the case before?” he asked, with his deep, knowing chuckle. “These are all the sorts of questions in my head.”
But he said he had no doubt that he had made the right decision. “There’s no point for me in being a writer and having all these blocked places where I feel I can’t think freely and imagine freely,” Mr. Wainaina said. “There just really is no point.”
original article: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/01/2...tes-gay-rights-writer-comes-out.html?referer=
So I may regret making this thread later but @Ockydub emailed my about his disappointment in how tame The Locker Room has been thus far, smh
This thread is for posting leaked celebrity nudes, celebrity peen prints and anything else NSFW featuring your fave athlete, actor, musician or public figure.
As always, keep the Nudity (bare ass and erect peens) in Spoiler Tags and No Porn/Sex Tape shit.
Sage The Gemini
Sigh...I've been there OMG. Man. When ever a job leaves the US its because the foreign labor is cheaper and the executives and owners of the company will make more money.
In a video uploaded to YouTube, a gathering of workers at an Indianapolis air conditioning manufacturing plant are stunned and enraged when told they’ll soon be out of work because the company is moving their jobs to Mexico.
The large crowd of employees of a Carrier Air Conditioner manufacturing plant in Indianapolis can be seen milling around as a speaker — dressed in a suit and standing on a stage — addresses them and gives them the bad news.
“The best way to stay competitive and protect the business for long-term is to move production from our facility in Indianapolis to Monterrey, Mexico,” the man can be heard explaining.
The crowd reacts with shouts of outrage, including one man who can be heard yelling, “F*ck you.”
Following that bombshell, he adds that the local distribution center will also be closed, putting more people out of work.
After attempting to calm the crowd down saying he had important information that employees will want to know for the future he explains that the move is being made to “ensure high levels of [manufacturing] quality.”
He goes on to provide them with the cold comfort that “It is important that you understand that there will be no impact on jobs today.”
According to Fox News, the closures will put over 1,400 people out of work.
Thanks NAFTA and TPP by the way Bernie was against both.
- Thread: Friday Foolishness
- Thread: Looks
SAY WHAT?! Now listen word on the internet streets is that the Queen Ava Duvernay is in talks about making a Sci-Fi Thriller Film titled "Intelligent Life"! Also it is being said that Lupita Nyong'o is in talking about starring in the film so i wanna know from y'all who would you like to see in the black sci-fi thriller film?
Me personally i would love to see Golden Brooks, Elise Neal, Paula Jai Parker, Countess Vaughn, Mo'Nique, Omar Epps, Boris Kodjoe, Morris Chestnut, Tommy Ford, Mike Epps, and so many more!
BY LUCY O'BRIEN Star Wars: The Force Awakens and 12 Years a Slave actress Lupita Nyong'o is reportedly in talks to star in sci-fi thriller Intelligent Life, with Selma director Ava DuVernay circling to direct.
Intelligent Life will come from Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, from a script penned by Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow and collaborater Derek Connolly. THR reports that Nyong'o is currently in negotiations to star in the film, while DuVernay will receive an offer an offer to direct in the next 24 hours.
This isn't the only major offer DuVernay is currently fielding. Deadline reports that the director has also been offered the adaptation of Madelein L'Engle's classic book A Wrinkle in Time from Disney, from a script written by Frozen writer and co-director Jennifer Lee.
Intelligent Life centers on a U.N. worker in a dystopian future who falls in love with an alien. According to THR, its tone will be similar to Trevorrow's Safety Not Guaranteed." Link: The Force Awakens' Lupita Nyong'o in Talks for Ava DuVernay Sci-Fi Thriller - IGN
- Thread: Late 20's living with your Mom
So I am in my late twenties and I am an only child living with my mother. I don't like it, but I know that I plan to move to New York by next year so at this point, I don't see the point in me moving out unless it is to New York earlier than planned. I made an attempt last year to get a place, but it fell through because the apartment complex was still being built and a whole bunch of financial changes occurred in the waiting time because the opening date got pushed back.
I don't like living here, but at this point I feel like I don't have too many other options. I wonder so often if this is a turn off for some guys to know that the person that is trying to talk to them still lives at home with his mother.
- Thread: Before the Darkside
Page 167 of 169