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1
Books / The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
« on: August 21, 2019, 09:18:39 am »
Wednesday, 21st August 2019
The Water Dancer

by Ta-Nehisi Coates





And I could only have seen her there on the stone bridge, a dancer wreathed in ghostly blue, because that was the way they would have taken her back when I was young, back when the Virginia earth was still red as brick and red with life, and though there were other bridges spanning the river Goose, they would have bound her and brought her across this one, because this was the bridge that fed into the turnpike that twisted its way through the green hills and down the valley before bending in one direction, and that direction was south.

I had always avoided that bridge, for it was stained with the remembrance of the mothers, uncles, and cousins gone Natchez-way. But knowing now the awesome power of memory, how it can open a blue door from one world to another, how it can move us from mountains to meadows, from green woods to fields caked in snow, knowing now that memory can fold the land like cloth, and knowing, too, how I had pushed my memory of her into the “down there” of my mind, how I forgot, but did not forget, I know now that this story, this Conduction, had to begin there on that fantastic bridge between the land of the living and the land of the lost.



And she was patting juba on the bridge, an earthen jar on her head, a great mist rising from the river below nipping at her bare heels, which pounded the cobblestones, causing her necklace of shells to shake. The earthen jar did not move; it seemed almost a part of her, so that no matter her high knees, no matter her dips and bends, her splaying arms, the jar stayed fixed on her head like a crown. And seeing this incredible feat, I knew that the woman patting juba, wreathed in ghostly blue, was my mother.



No one else saw her—not Maynard, who was then in the back of the new Millennium chaise, not the fancy girl who held him rapt with her wiles, and, most strange, not the horse, though I had been told that horses had a nose for things that stray out from other worlds and stumble into ours. No, only I saw her from the driver’s seat of the chaise, and she was just as they’d described her, just as they’d said she’d been in the olden days when she would leap into a circle of all my people—Aunt Emma, Young P, Honas, and Uncle John—and they would clap, pound their chests, and slap their knees, urging her on in double time, and she would stomp the dirt floor hard, as if crushing a crawling thing under her heel, and bend at the hips and bow, then twist and wind her bent knees in union with her hands, the earthen jar still on her head. My mother was the best dancer at Lockless, that is what they told me, and I remembered this because she’d gifted me with none of it, but more I remembered because it was dancing that brought her to the attention of my father, and thus had brought me to be. And more than that, I remembered because I remembered everything—everything, it seemed, except her.



It was autumn, now, the season when the races came south. That afternoon Maynard had scored on a long-shot thoroughbred, and thought this might, at last, win the esteem of Virginia Quality he sought. But when he made the circuit around the great town square, leaning back, way back in the chaise and grinning large, the men of society turned their back to him and puffed on their cigars. There were no salutes. He was what he would always be—Maynard the Goof, Maynard the Lame, Maynard the Fool, the rotten apple who’d fallen many miles from the tree. He fumed and had me drive to the old house at the edge of our town, Starfall, where he purchased himself a night with a fancy, and had the bright notion to bring her back to the big house at Lockless, and, most fatefully, in a sudden bout of shame, insisted on leaving the back way out of town, down Dumb Silk Road, until it connected to that old turnpike, which led us back to the bank of the river Goose.



A cold steady rain fell as I drove, the water dripping down from the brim of my hat, puddling on my trousers. I could hear Maynard in the back, with all his games, putting his carnal boasts upon the fancy. I was pushing the horse as hard as I could, because all I wanted was to be home and free of Maynard’s voice, though I could never, in this life, be free of him. Maynard who held my chain. Maynard, my brother who was made my master. And I was trying all I could to not hear, searching for distraction—memories of corn-shucking or young games of blind man’s bluff. What I remember is how those distractions never came, but instead there was a sudden silence, erasing not just Maynard’s voice, but all the small sounds of the world around. And now, peering into the pigeonhole of my mind, what I found were remembrances of the lost—men holding strong on watch-night, and women taking their last tour of the apple orchards, spinsters remanding their own gardens to others, old codgers cursing the great house of Lockless. Legions of the lost, brought across that baleful bridge, legions embodied in my dancing mother.



I yanked at the reins but it was too late. We barreled right through and what happened next shook forever my sense of a cosmic order. But I was there and saw it happen, and have since seen a great many things that expose the ends of our knowledge and how much more lies beyond it.



The road beneath the wheels disappeared, and the whole of the bridge fell away, and for a moment I felt myself floating on, or maybe in, the blue light. And it was warm there, and I remember that brief warmth because just as suddenly as I floated out, I was in the water, under the water, and even as I tell you this now, I feel myself back there again, in the icy bite of that river Goose, the water rushing into me, and that particular burning agony that comes only to the drowning.



There is no sensation like drowning, because the feeling is not merely the agony, but a bewilderment at so alien a circumstance. The mind believes that there should be air, since there is always air to be had, and the urge to breathe is such a matter of instinct that it requires a kind of focus to belay the order. Had I leapt from the bridge myself, I could have accounted for my new situation. Had I even fallen over the side, I would have understood, if only because this would have been imaginable. But it was as though I had been shoved out of a window right into the depths of the river. There was no warning. I kept trying to breathe. I remember crying out for breath and more I remember the agony of the answer, the agony of water rushing into me, and how I answered that agony by heaving, which only invited more water.



But somehow I steadied my thoughts, somehow I came to understand that all my thrashing could only but hasten my demise. And with that accomplished, I noted that there was light in one direction and darkness in another and deduced that the dark was the depths and the light was not. I whipped my legs behind me, and stretched out my arms toward the light, pulling the water until, at last, coughing, retching, I surfaced.



And when I came up, breaking through dark water, and into the diorama of the world — storm clouds hung by unseen thread, a red sun pinned low against them, and beneath that sun, hills dusted with grass — I looked back at the stone bridge, which must have been, my God, a half mile away.



The bridge seemed to be almost racing away from me, because the current pulled me along and when I angled myself to swim toward the shore it was that current still, or perhaps some unseen eddy beneath, pulling me downriver. There was no sign of the woman whose time Maynard had so thoughtlessly purchased. But whatever thoughts I had on her behalf were broken by Maynard making himself known, as he had so often, with hue and cry, determined to go out of this world in the selfsame manner that he’d passed through it. He was close by, pulled by the same current. He thrashed in the waves, yelled, treaded a bit, and then disappeared under, only to reappear again seconds later, yelling, half treading, thrashing.

“Help me, Hi!”

There I was, my own life dangling over the black pit, and now being called to save another. I had, on many occasions, tried to teach Maynard to swim, and he took to this instruction as he took to all instruction, careless and remiss at the labor, then sore and bigoted when this negligence bore no fruit. I can now say that slavery murdered him, that slavery made a child of him, and now, dropped into a world where slavery held no sway, Maynard was dead the minute he touched water. I had always been his protection. It was I, only by good humor, and debasement, that had kept Charles Lee from shooting him; and it was I, with special appeal to our father, who’d kept him countless times from wrath; and it was I who clothed him every morning; and I who put him to bed every night; and it was I who now was tired, in both body and soul; and it was I, out there, wrestling against the pull of the current, against the fantastic events that had deposited me there, and now wrestling with the demand that I, once again, save another, when I could not even conjure the energy to save myself.



“Help me!” he yelled again, and then he cried out, “Please!” He said it like the child he always was, begging. And I noted, however uncharitably, even there in the Goose facing my own death, that I had never before recalled him speaking in a manner that reflected the true nature of our positions.



Excerpted from The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Copyright © 2019 by Ta-Nehisi Coates.  All rights reserved.

No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

2
Books / The 1619 Project
« on: August 20, 2019, 05:03:17 am »

3
Producing / Richard Williams, legendary animator passes away at 86
« on: August 17, 2019, 11:03:39 am »
Saturday Morning Cartoonist, 17th August 2019
Richard Williams, Oscar-winning Animator, passes away at 86

by Alex Ritman




Richard Williams, the triple Oscar-winning and triple BAFTA-winning animator famed for his work on Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, has died.

He was 86.

His family announced that he died at his home in the British city of Bristol on August 16 2019.

Born in Toronto but having moved to the U.K. in the 1950s, Williams – who claimed he was drawn to illustrations and animation having watched Disney's Snow White aged five – received critical acclaim with his first film The Little Island, which won a BAFTA in 1958.

His first Oscar would come in 1971 for his animated adaptation of A Christmas Carol.

Williams also worked on two Pink Panther films and Casino Royal, but it was his work as animation director on Robert Zemeckis' 1988 comedy Who Framed Roger Rabbit? which would cement his name into animation folklore.

The live-action/animated comedy starring Bob Hoskins was a critical and commercial hit, earning $330 million and becoming the first live-action/animation hybrid film to win multiple Academy Awards since Mary Poppins in 1964.

Two of the film's three Oscars went to Williams, who also won a visual effects BAFTA.

Elsewhere, Williams directed, produced and wrote his unfinished feature film The Thief and the Cobbler, a painstakingly hand-animated epic inspired by Arabian Nights, which he started in 1964 and is considered his magnum opus.

Williams was also an author and teacher.



His best-selling book,  'The Animator's Survival Kit' is considered a bible in the industry, and has ben sold around the world and translated into nine languages.

Williams was still animating and writing until the day he died.







Would You Like To Know More?
https://www.msn.com/en-us/movies/news/richard-williams-oscar-winning-who-framed-roger-rabbit-animator-dies-at-86/ar-AAFWAw6?ocid=spartanntp

4
Books / The Man Who Sold America - Joy-Ann Reid
« on: July 11, 2019, 07:20:36 pm »

One of my absolute favorite political commentators in the American politics game is enjoying the success of her new book, The Man Who Sold America by Joy-Ann Reid is number 9, two weeks in a row on New York Times, Best Sellers Hardcover Nonfiction list.


The MSNBC host of A.M. Joy talks about her analyses of Donald Trump's presidency as a guest on The Breakfast Club.

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Books / Dear Black Boy
« on: May 10, 2019, 11:03:51 am »
Martellus Bennett was a guest last night on CNN's CNN Tonight hosted by Don Lemon along with Jemele Hill, promoting his new children's book, Dear Black Boy.


Children's Book illustrations is always a deal breaker for me.

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In The News / LIFE, LIBERTY...GETTIN AWAY WITH S_____!
« on: April 29, 2019, 01:34:57 pm »
Don't know the story of America?
In the movie, 'Deliver Us From Eva' this line is mentioned that reveals exactly what this country's founding members meant when drafting the document, the U.S. Constitution, during the American Revolution that every elected official must swear an oath to honor, preserve & protect.


Let's call this topic, LIFE, LIBERTY & GETTIN' AWAY WITH SH!T!
The first subject & news story in this thread will be:

Monday, 29th April 2019
No Jail Time For School Bus Driver Who Admitted To Raping 14-year-old Girl
by Andrew Krietz
 


(WATERTOWN, New York) — A judge handed down 10 years' probation last week to a former New York school bus driver after he admitted to raping a 14-year-old girl.

Shane Piche, 26, will be registered as a Level 1 sex offender, according to the Waterford Daily Times.

The judge reportedly said because he had no prior arrests and there was one victim, the sentence was appropriate.

Level 1 is considered the lowest risk level out of three, and Piche will not be included in online sex offender databases.

He pleaded guilty in February to raping a 14-year-old girl who he met through his job as a bus driver with the city's school district, the newspaper reports.
 
Piche also was charged with unlawfully dealing with a child and endangering the welfare of a child after he allegedly gave the girl alcohol.

The Times reports Piche is required to pay $375 in court fees and surcharges, plus a $1,000 special sex offender registration fee.

The 26-year-old will also not be included in online sex offender databases because he is considered a low risk offender.







Would You Like To Know More?
https://www.khou.com/article/news/national/no-jail-time-for-school-bus-driver-who-admitted-to-raping-14-year-old-girl/285-d3c7f9c7-422d-4727-93c9-edfede9ed664

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Hudlin TV / Mama K’s Team 4
« on: April 16, 2019, 07:00:51 am »
Tuesday, 16th April 2019
Netflix Picks Up Its First Animated Series From Africa, ‘Mama K’s Team 4’
by Christopher Vourlias


Netflix is adding to its growing slate of African content with its first original animated series, “Mama K’s Team 4,” produced by South Africa’s award-winning Triggerfish Animation Studios and British kids’ and family entertainment production company CAKE.

The series follows four teenage girls living in a futuristic version of Lusaka, Zambia, who are recruited by a retired secret agent to save the world.

It was created by Zambian writer Malenga Mulendema, who in 2015 was one of eight winners of the Triggerfish Story Lab, a pan-African talent search backed by the Cape Town-based animation studio and The Walt Disney Co. The series is designed by the Cameroonian artist Malcolm Wope.

In the past decade, Triggerfish has become a powerhouse in South Africa’s burgeoning animation industry.

Its first two animated features, “Adventures in Zambezia” (2012) and “Khumba” (2013), are two of the five top-grossing South African movies of all time.

Mulendema said she was inspired by the experience of watching cartoons as a child in her native Zambia, where none of the heroes looked like her or lived in a world that resembled her own.

“In creating a superhero show set in Lusaka, I hope to introduce the world to four strong African girls who save the day in their own fun and crazy way,” she said.

“Most importantly, I want to illustrate that anyone from anywhere can be a superhero.”

Mama K’s Team 4” is the latest African original for Netflix, which recently announced its first two dramatic series on the continent.

The streamer is now collaborating with Triggerfish and CAKE on a pan-African search for local female writing talent to join the creative team on the series.

“In addition to giving African writers a global platform on which to be heard, we are excited to present this powerful and entertaining new animated series that brings Malenga’s incredible and unique vision to life on Netflix,” said Melissa Cobb, vice president of original animation at the streamer.

“‘Mama K’s Team 4’ has the potential to give a whole new generation of African children the opportunity to see themselves on screen in the powerful, aspirational characters they look up to.”

Triggerfish’s collaborations with the U.K.’s Magic Light Pictures have produced four multi-award-winning BBC Christmas adaptations, including Roald Dahl’s “Revolting Rhymes” (2016), which was nominated for an Oscar and won more than 15 international awards, including an International Emmy.

The studio is currently in production on its third animated feature, “Seal Team.”

Vanessa Ann Sinden, Triggerfish’s development producer, said:

“After animating four multi-award-winning BBC Christmas specials set in England, including the Oscar-nominated ‘Revolting Rhymes,’ Triggerfish is delighted to bring an African capital city to life on Netflix.”


















Would You Like To Know More?
https://variety.com/2019/tv/global/netflix-first-animated-series-africa-mama-k-team-4-triggerfish-1203189786/

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Other Comics / ALIENS: RESISTANCE
« on: January 16, 2019, 08:59:35 pm »
Dark Horse presents “Aliens: Resistance”


Aliens: Resistance follows the events of the popular video game Aliens: Isolation which starred Ellen Ripley’s daughter Amanda Ripley fifteen years after the events of the original film as she fought for survival against the monstrous xenomorph aboard a remote space station while attempting to uncover the hidden secrets of her mother’s disappearance from the insidious Weyland-Yutani Corporation.

Now, in Aliens: Resistance, Ripley is kept silent by Weyland-Yutani now that the xenomorph threat has been brought to light. But when Zula Hendricks, the Ex-Colonial Marine from Aliens: Defiance, arrives in need of Ripley’s help to expose a sinister bio-weapons program, the duo teams up to lead a resistance against an upgraded arsenal designed to keep the darkest atrocities secret!

With an intense script by Brian Wood (Aliens: Defiance, Sword Daughter), cinematic art by Robert Carey (Power Rangers, Transformers), dynamic colors by Dan Jackson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Call of Duty: Zombies), letters by Nate Piekos (Stranger Things, Black Hammer) covers by Roberto De La Torre (The Invincible Iron Man, Ms. Marvel), and featuring the return of Aliens: Defiance alum Tristan Jones on variant covers, Aliens: Resistance is the action-packed blockbuster comics series not to be missed!


Aliens: Resistance #1 (of four) goes on sale January 23, 2019, and is available for pre-order at your local comic shop.




Would You Like To Know More?
https://www.alienuniverse.com/post/news-aliens-resistance-cover-art

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Feel The Funk / CLYDIE KING
« on: January 10, 2019, 11:58:05 pm »
Thursday, 10th December 2019
CLYDIE KING

1943 - 2019

Clydie King was the background voice of many 1970s pop songs you've probably heard but didn't know who she was.

King naturally did backup for The Supremes' "Nathan Jones" to the Rolling Stones' "Tumbling Dice" and injected soul into classic rock ballards such as Lynrd Skynrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" (before the ditty became the anthem to southern racists) as examples of her musical presence.

Along with Merry Clayton, Venetta Fields and Shirley Matthews, King was one of the most in-demand backup and session singers of her time.

“I don’t remember all the people who I sung for,” she said in a 1971 interview in which she estimated she’s sung on 300 records by then.

In addition to several tracks on Exile on Main St., the list included hits like Linda Ronstadt’s “You’re No Good,” Arlo Guthrie’s “City of New Orleans,” Graham Nash’s “Chicago,” and Elton John’s “The Bitch Is Back.”

King also sang on albums by Steely Dan, Humble Pie, Joe Walsh, Phil Ochs, Carly Simon, Neil Diamond and Ringo Starr as well as the soundtrack to Barbra Streisand’s 'A Star Is Born' remake.

(King appeared in the film as well as one of the Oreos alongside Fields.)

Clydie King passed away Monday at age 75.





Would You Like To Know More?
https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/clydie-king-ray-charles-bob-dylan-singer-dead-777417/

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Books / How To Be Less Stupid About Race
« on: December 24, 2018, 02:47:09 am »

Author, Crystal M. Fleming was a guest on C-SPAN's Washington Journal over the weekend responding to random callers; some inquisitive, others rude.

Callers were asking questions about her latest, 'How To Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy and the Racial Divide'.

Dr. Fleming was knocking them down one by one utilizing sheer knowledge.  A performance so impressive, just had to post her work at HEF.

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Books / Fourth National Climate Assessment Volume II
« on: November 27, 2018, 05:39:45 pm »
Tuesday, 27th November 2018

According to the Fourth National Climate Assessment - Volume II, someday, horrible wars will be broken out on American soil because of 2 and a half factors:

1) Climate migration
2) Climate refugees




.5) ...and poor leadership.



Would You Like To Know More?
https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/
https://www.globalchange.gov/nca4

12
Hard Choices / Real male or Real female?
« on: October 22, 2018, 06:48:32 pm »

Check out this 30 second television ad presenting the Fall 2018 fashions for The Real Real.

Physiology affects mind and behavior.

I've seen quite a few televsion ads featuring transgenders.

Would you recognize a transgender if you saw one in a television ad?
 


Real male or Real female?


Would You Like To See More?

13
In The News / New California law first state to end cash bail
« on: August 29, 2018, 03:47:24 am »
Wednesday, 29 August 2018

New law to make California first state to end bail
by Sophia Bollag

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California will become the first state to eliminate bail for suspects awaiting trial and replace it with a still murky risk-assessment system under a bill signed Tuesday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Brown’s signature gives the state’s judicial council broad authority to reshape pretrial detention policies ahead of the new law’s October 2019 start date.

Based on the council’s framework, each county’s superior court will set its own procedures for deciding who to release before trial, potentially creating a patchwork system based on where a suspect lives.

Most suspects accused of nonviolent felonies will be released within 12 hours of booking, while those charged with serious, violent felonies will stay in jail before trial.

The new law gives judges wide latitude to decide what to do with other suspects based on their likelihood of returning to court and the danger they pose to the public.

It’s still unclear which suspects would fall into each category or how long they might spend in jail.

California’s new law is the latest development in the nationwide debate over bail, which many people say unfairly punishes people for being poor.

Other states including New Jersey, Alaska and New Mexico have overhauled their bail systems, although no other state has completely eliminated bail.

Advocates of the California law say incarceration should depend on a suspect’s risk to public safety, not the ability to pay.

“Our path to a more just criminal justice system is not complete, but today it made a transformational shift away from valuing private wealth and toward protecting public safety,” the law’s author, state Sen. Bob Hertzberg, a Democrat from Van Nuys, said in a statement.

Opponents, including some social justice groups, argue the new law gives judges too much power to decide who should be released.

Gina Clayton Johnson, executive director of Essie Justice Group, which advocates for women with family members in prison, says she worries the policy will lead to mass incarceration.

She said there’s not enough protection in the law to ensure it doesn’t perpetuate racial bias in the criminal justice system.

“This is a bill that has confused a lot of people because it does do something very positive, which is to end the bail industry,” she said. “Yet what we had to trade for that win actually sets us further back.”

Others, meanwhile, argue it will allow dangerous people to go free and perhaps not return for trial.

Such arguments are playing out in New Mexico after a judge decided to allow the release of several members of an extended family accused of child abuse at a desert compound.

The judge said her decision was tied to recent reforms that set a high bar for holding suspects without bail.

Other states have been watching California as they weigh overhauling their bail systems, said Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, who works on criminal justice issues for the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU has been in talks with more than 30 other states about bail overhaul and is now advising them to avoid using California as a model because its system won’t ensure due process and won’t prevent racial bias, she said.

In California, overarching rules will be set by the judicial council, the policy-making body for California’s courts headed by the state’s chief justice.

The new law lets counties set up their own pretrial assessment agencies or run their risk assessment programs through existing probation departments.

It gives officials 24 hours to determine whether a suspect should be released before trial. That time can be extended by 12 hours if necessary.

Some criminal justice reform advocates worry defendants will spend weeks in jail while their lawyers try to prove they should be set free.






Would You Like To know More?
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/bill-to-make-california-first-state-to-end-bail-before-trial/2018/08/28/c461f8c0-aaf9-11e8-9a7d-cd30504ff902_story.html?utm_term=.c1da08164d57

14
Books / Douglas Blackmon
« on: August 26, 2018, 06:19:07 am »

Saw this intriguing guest on MSNBC's Politics Nation hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton, Writer  Douglas A. Blackmon talking about his book,  Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II.

Considering that our worn-out, disorganized criminal justice system is utilized as an extension of America's bygone slave era, you might discover Mr. Blackmon's findings on this subject rather useful.

Here's an excerpt from 'Slavery by Another Name':

“When white Americans frankly peel back the layers of our commingled pasts, we are all marked by it.

Whether a company or an individual, we are marred either by our connections to the specific crimes and injuries of our fathers and their fathers.

Or we are tainted by the failures of our fathers to fulfill our national credos when their courage was most needed.

We are formed in molds twisted by the gifts we received at the expense of others.  It is not our “fault.”

But it is undeniably our inheritance.”

15
In The News / Emmett Till Case Re-Opens
« on: July 13, 2018, 10:36:03 am »
Friday the 13th  July 2018

Justice Department reopens investigation into 63-year-old murder of Emmett Till
by Eliott C. McLaughlin and Emanuella Grinberg


caroline bryant

(CNN) - The investigation of the murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till, barbarous even in an era in which blacks in the South were subjected to untold viciousness, has been reopened based on "new information," according to a US Justice Department report to Congress.
 
The 1955 slaying was listed in a March report among "activities" the department was pursuing under the 2007 unsolved civil rights crime act that bears Emmett's name.

The act paves the way for the department to "expeditiously investigate" unsolved pre-1980 civil rights murders.

Emmett's crime? He had been accused -- we now know, falsely -- of flirting with and making advances at then-21-year-old carolyn bryant, who, along with her husband, Roy, owned a grocery store in Money, Mississippi.

Emmett had traveled there from Chicago to visit his great-uncle, who lived in the area.






Would You Like To Know More?
https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/12/us/emmett-till-murder-case-reopened-doj/index.html

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