Monday, November 17, 2008

Parking Wars: A World of Warmth

I'm usually not one to watch reality television, especially not voluntarily. However, when flipping through the TV Guide, back to back to back to back episodes of a show called Parking Wars on A&E caught my attention. For a person who misses all things Philadelphia, Parking Wars is a great remedy. I figured that this show would be as smut-filled as everything else on the air, but wow was I wrong. There are heartwarming personal stories coming from all angles, and I have honestly developed a new respect for Meter Maids, especially those on the mean streets of Philly. I am a changed man-child.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Overnight Sensation

I chuckled to myself as I read this NYTimes article about America becoming more enlightened than Europe on the issue of race. I still believe that Europe is a much more progressive place than America, and one election can't counteract all of Americas flaws. Neither Europe nor America is perfect, but how can the world's supposed opinion of a country change so drastically overnight? Two words: THE MEDIA!

During my extensive European travels (all during the George W. Bush Administration, except for a family trip to Italy during the Clinton Administration) it was very difficult to get laid because so many European women had a negative view of America and Americans.

I'm sure that Italian women will continue to be notoriously difficult to hook up with, but maybe the generation slightly younger than me won't have to work as hard as I did in countries like England, Ireland, Germany, and Holland. I'd be very interested to see how kids studying abroad this semester fared with the ladies pre and post election.

*And for those who think I am being sexist by not mentioning women, American females can get ANY GUY they want in Europe, because American women have a reputation (that is in many cases rightfully deserved because they are so easily wooed by accents) for being "easy!"

The Final Word

It's time for me to make an admission for those who were unaware. I am the voice/camera operator behind the million-hit YouTube classic about Black Panthers guarding polling places in Philly. After I was tipped off by a voter, I raced to the scene, camera in hand. However, Rick Leventhal of FoxNews, who I must now declare an IDIOT, arrived at the scene thirty minutes after me, and tried to start a fight with the unarmed New Black Panther who remained on the scene. Rick completely MISSED the story and then tried to cover up his sloppy/late journalism by harassing people.

Though my second video about this incident garnered more than 250,000 hits on YouTube, it wasn't as poignant as the first video. Let me clarify a few things:

1. I said that I was a student at Penn in the video because I was SCARED OUT OF MY MIND and didn't know what to say, as I was standing three feet away from a dude brandishing a weapon.

2. This dude with a club is not a "regular black panther" but rather the leader of a splinter group based in Philly. I realized this only after my video was released and I began searching the Internet for more information about the individuals "protecting" the polling place.

The person I am most disappointed with as a result of this incident is Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter whom I formerly supported, but I will also now declare an IDIOT! Why would I be hating on a fellow Penn alum? The answer is very clear. When asked by NBC news about the incident, he said that these fellows were ALLOWED to stand outside the polling place. Nobody should be allowed to walk down ANY street brandishing a weapon! If this guy was openly carrying a billy club, who knows what weapons he had in his pocket? This is a man who wants to kill ALL white people, why did the police just let this guy go? Way to keep the streets clean Mayor Nutter!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Analysis

For the many critics out there, I am aware that there will be spelling and grammatical errors throughout the following post, but I don't really give a shit, because I've got some pretty important things to say.

The first class I took as an undergraduate at Penn was "History of the South" taught by Sheldon Hackney, a brilliant scholar and former President of the University of Pennsylvania. From day one, Hackney's thesis for the class was essentially that race relations have been the most defining, ubiquitous trait of the history of the American South.


Tonight, I cried. I didn't plan to cry, and as I watched the returns with Lisa, I thought it crazy that she was so emotional. After we watched the McCain concession speech and the Obama victory speech within the confines of the Friedman/Apostolides residence at 9th and Lombard I did some serious thinking. But it wasn't until Lisa and I walked to Broad Street that it all hit me like a ton of bricks. I missed the creme de la creme (sp? I don't give a shit!) of Philadelphia celebrations last week as I was three thousand miles away from an athletic championship that brought this city so much pride.

But, tonight was the most magical night I've ever lived through, at least for an hour. I'm no jingoist. I'm hardly a nationalist, and as of late I've been prone to question ALL predisposed beliefs, no matter how simple. Thus, post-Obama victory, at the corner of Broad & Chestnut, giving high-fives to everyone in sight ("that's what we do in Philly," says Lisa), I realized that the hundreds of young African-Americans around me really do have something to strive for and to believe in. The leaders of our country surely will have a tough road ahead of them economically, but when I heard countless chants of USA, USA, USA, like never before, I realized that maybe the American hegemony that is now in question will carry on for quite some time longer.

It was beautiful. I wanted to buy every bling bling Obama rhinestone studded t-shirt that was being hawkwed on the street. But I resisted temptations...that's the benefit of this economy.

Will Obama make due on all of his campaign promises? Probably not.

Will Obama radically change our world? Probably not.

But, as a frequent globetrotter, I must admit, that an Obama presidency makes ALL Americans seem more enlightened. America HAS lost respect around the world, and we must regain it.

We are giving Barack Obama a chance. That's what we decided. We hope that he won't be financially or morally corrupt, but if he is, we must know that the people have spoken.

And I forgot my camera tonight, which made me reminisce of the John Mayer song "No More 3X5s." This song has always been so personal to me, usually at times when I forget my camera. In such situations, I try to take mental notes that will make up for my lack of technology.

Future posts: 1. The divisiveness/failure of the GOP. 2. The abysmal failure of the American mainstream media. 3. Why America must recalibrate politically. 4. Failure of two-party democracies.

To be continued...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Due to Increased Demand Additional East Coast Tour Dates Added

Philadelphia: Monday, Nov. 4 through Wednesday, Nov. 6
New York: Wednesday, Nov. 6 through Sunday, Nov. 9

Saturday, November 1, 2008

What you haven't heard and what you didn't see

When you have a chance, go to, and then head over to Notice that NONE of the headlines or top stories are the same. This, more than ever, shows that the news is not news. It is all slanted, just like it was in the early days of print journalism when people read newspapers that extolled their choice of communist/leftist/rightist/conservative/liberal/socialist/nihilist/plutocratic beliefs.

It's sad.

Note this absurd quote from one of today's CNN headlines:

"Of 23,298,564 total in-person and mail-in ballots in 25 states, at least 6,057,527 -- or 26 percent -- were cast by Democrats or Republicans, according to election officials. Of that 6 million, 57.8 percent were Democrats, and 42.2 percent were Republicans."


Remember the "estate tax" known to some as the "death tax" and those little things called stem cells that the rest of the world is currently using for research purposes while we let them wither away in laboratory freezers? These were both HUGE issues in the 2004 election cycle that have all but vanished today. Thanks American Media for screwing up priorities and forgetting about issues that used to be considered very important.