Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Michael Moore Premieres "Capitalism: A Love Story" in The Burgh!

The AFL-CIO Conference is here and at the last minute, they were able to get Michael Moore to do the world premiere of his new documentary, "Capitalism: A Love Story". He said it's the culmination of his 20 years of filmmaking---and it shows. As usual, Moore interlaces old film clips and commercials in between his poignant observations and commentary on contemporary events. The use of older Westerns prove to be some of the most hilarious scenes, especially one, in particular that demonstrates Ronald Reagan's response to the Women's Rights Movement.

But what I most love about Moore's "Capitalism..." is, ironically, what I most love about HBO's "True Blood" series. In the end, it's a heartfelt engagement, dialogue and challenge to that which we hold most sacred --- our beliefs, our faith, our ideas about humanity, equality, shared goods and responsibilities, what it means to actually "provide for the common welfare" (an actual clause in the American Constitution, folks) and how much one considers to be "enough".

As a scholar, I absolutely love the fact-checking and the manner in which the money trail is so eloquently (and sadly) outlined. Even my present-cynical attitude regarding government powers and personal enrichment did not prepare me for the level of evil I witnessed in this documentary. Point blank: America is a plutocracy and the only way to wield back power to the people is via real democracy. The richest 1% of the population simply cannot outvote the other 99% of the American people. Thus, Americans have revolted and that is part of the reason why Barack Obama is in office.

Unearned privilege and rampant exploitation of the working class and the everyday person is slated to come to an end, as long as we stand up. Michael Moore can't do it alone and he shouldn't have to. Barack Obama can't do it alone and he shouldn't have to. And he'll have to figure out a way to deal with Goldman Sachs and Tim Geithner, for sure. Count me in that number. It's time to continue to change the course of human history in this country, as Kwame Ture always believed would happen, anyway. I credit him, more than anyone, with spreading the message about the evils of capitalism, its inevitable demise and the natural evolution to socialism---even Democratic Socialism---an idea Cornel West has touted for quite some time. These are exciting times and I'm glad to be here. Thank you, Michael Moore, for being a great educator! See you next week!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Back and Better Than Before, As If That Was Possible!

Hey Folks,

Now you know I haven't really been gone, just not blogging much but in the words of MC Lyte, I'm "back and better than before / as if that was possible!"

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So much is happening, so let me fast forward since my last blog:

1. The State of the Black World Conference was phenomenal in New Orleans. You'll find pictures, updates and conversation here on our Facebook page.

2. I have to admit, while I have some criticism for our new POTUS, I disagree with the Far Right (obviously) and also the Black and White Left (sadly). I'm quite proud of Barack Obama's first 100+ days in office. From the Inauguration to his volunteer work with Black, homeless, teenage boys to the Lilly Ledbetter decision to the creation of the Women and Girls Commission to the plans to close Guantanamo Bay to his talks with the Muslim World and showing respect for the human family in a manner no other U.S. President had (really) to having Spoken Word Poetry Night at the Whitehouse (whether I was invited or not, I am not bitter! He supports the genre! ;-) to getting out into the actual D.C. community to Michelle Obama planting an organic garden in the White House to their trip to see the Queen of England and Ben's Chili Bowl in DC before that, to the G-8 Summit and sashaying through France to ensuring that he stopped in Ghana (the first nation Independent of British Colonialism in 1957) before returning home to the soon-to-be appointment of another woman and the first Latina Supreme Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor (please pronounce her name correctly, which means don't say the word "mayor" as if she is the Mayor of your City, okay? --- 'So-toe-my-your'!!).

3. I'm sorry, did I not mention that NetRoots Nation will be in Pittsburgh August 13 - 16?

4. Oh dear, did I neglect to note that the G-20 Summit will be in Pittsburgh Sept. 24 - 25?

5. And back in my own neighborhood, the Historic Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, we have embarked upon the Masterplanning process. RFP's were accepted from various firms and 26 applications were short-listed to 4. "Planning School" was enacted by the Hill Consensus Group for four consecutive Mondays, the last of which was a presentation by a couple from Fayetteville, NC who helped put together their community plan and revitalize their neighborhood. The week prior, the short-listed firms gave their presentations to the Hill Community as well as to the Masterplan Steering Committee, which consists of various elected officials and community representatives. We could have been here a long time ago but at this point, I am not complaining, just happy to be here. "And still we rise." You can follow the Historic Hill District neighborhood (personified LOL) on Twitter and on Facebook!

Oh yes, these are exciting, exciting times.

Check this Revelations blog for updates on our collective stories but follow Facebook and Twitter for those daily updates you've come to know (and hopefully love. LOL).