September 11th, 2010

movies | Oh Captain My Captain

"Is the Old Spice Guy good for black America?"

Is the Old Spice Guy good for black America?

Old Spice's viral TV ads have turned black spokesperson Isaiah Mustafa into a star. Will his breakthrough success benefit other African-American men?

posted on July 22, 2010, at 3:49 PM

There's no question that Old Spice's current marketing campaign has transformed Isaiah Mustafa, the award-winning ads' hypnotically charismatic black spokesperson, into a pop-culture icon. Nearly 100 million viewers have watched him chastise unmanly men and straddle horses on YouTube. The ads have also earned Mustafa, a former NFL player who'd had bit parts on shows like "Ugly Betty," a lead role in a Tyler Perry movie and a talent deal with NBC. But will the prominence of a black Old Spice Guy have spin-off benefits for other African-American men? (Watch the Old Spice Guy's farewell.)

Yes, the campaign is a big step forward: Not long ago, black men had two possible roles in advertising: "Violent savage or passive, simple-minded gofers," says Cord Jefferson in The Root. "A muscular black man addressing America's 'ladies'—not just black ladies, but all ladies—in a sexualized tone could have gotten him killed." This sophisticated, intelligent Old Spice Guy throws such notions out the window (from "Why the Old Spice Guy is good for Black America" @

Mustafa is good for America, period: There is something affirmatively "post-racial" about the casting of a black man (with a Muslim name, no less) as a mainstream sex symbol, says Tricia Romano in The Daily Beast.  "One could argue that having a handsome black president has softened a lot of people’s ideas... Obama’s shaky polls notwithstanding." Let's hope Mustafa paves the way for greater diversity in pop culture (from "The Old Spice Man's internet triumph" @

But is his race really such a big deal, at this point? Mustafa wasn't chosen "because we have a black president," says Dodai Stewart in Jezebel. "We have a black president because we're living in a time when Isaiah Mustafa can be cast as the Old Spice Guy." With diverse representations of black men in TV shows from "The Wire" to "30 Rock" to "Lost," African-Americans are no longer conspicuously invisible (from "Did Obama prepare America for the Old Spice Guy?" @



Of all the blog analysis excerpts features in the article, I'm only really comfortable with the insights offered from Jezebel (
read the full version), even if I still disagree with a few points.  The other two fall for the whole Post-Racial America™ trope that glosses over still-relevant and complicated issues with regard to contemporary racial (VARIOUS racial)  representation/characterization in advertising/TV. Let's flesh out why we agree or disagree with the premise that the Old Spice ads have opened up the doors for minorities on TV.
Hi Haters!


The way this Showbiz Tonight special segment is framed is pretty disgusting. And who the F is Charles Gainor of the Culture and Media Institute?

There's a "furious new debate" (see screenshot) about gays on TV? I guess I didn't get the memo.

Imagine if Showbiz Tonight did a segment questioning if TV was too Black, or too Jewish?

It's particularly nasty when you see that CNN is also running a poll, which seems to be related to this sensationalist piece, but stands alone, with no apparent connection on CNN's front page.

Mail Mail

Girl Scouts breed "pro-abortion" lesbians, says Republican

Sometimes you can actually hear Republicans think to themselves, "Fuck it, I'm going to go for it." That's what Hans Zeiger, a Republican who hopes to join Washington State's House of Representatives, must have been thinking when he claimed that the Girl Scouts are godless, baby-murdering lesbians.

You're right, it's not fair of me to twist his words. Here, watch him twist them himself:

The Girl Scouts allow homosexuals and atheists to join their ranks, and they have become a pro-abortion, feminist training corps. If the Girl Scouts of America can't get back to teaching real character, perhaps it will be time to look for our cookies elsewhere.

Those green vests are pretty gay, but something just doesn't add up here. I mean, if all Girl Scouts went on to become either homosexual women or straight baby killers, then there would be no more girls, and thus no more Girl Scouts. And if there are no Girl Scouts, there are no Girl Scout cookies. And if there are no Girl Scout cookies, then... then there is no God, oh shit, Hans Zeiger is right! Noooooo!


Wow. Just wow. So anyway, what's your favorite Girl Scout cookie? Mine are the Tagalongs.
Rock the Casbah

Thanks for picking up the slack on this one, WBC!

Florida church may not burn Qurans, but Kansas church says it will
By Brad Knickerbocker, Staff writer / September 10, 2010

Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., may have “suspended” plans to burn copies of the Quran on the anniversary of 9/11. But the controversial Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., says it will burn the Quran. In fact, it already has.

The Westboro Baptist Church (which has been disavowed by all Baptist conventions and associations) is led by the Rev. Fred Phelps, and most followers are members of his extended family.

The church is best known for its controversial protests at the funerals of US soldiers killed in Iraq or Afghanistan as well as at the funerals of those who have died from conditions medically attributed to AIDS. A central point in the church’s protests is that Americans are being punished because the US tolerates homosexuality.

State and federal laws have been passed keeping such church picketers several hundred feet away from funerals. Motorcycle clubs and others have protested the Westboro protesters by gathering around military funeral sites with American flags. Military families have tried to sue Westboro on the grounds that protests featuring highly offensive signs (“Thank God for dead soldiers”) are not constitutionally-protected speech. In March, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal from the father of a Marine killed in Iraq.

Westboro’s attitude toward Islam (as well as toward Roman Catholics, mainline Protestants, Mormons, and other religions) is similarly harsh. Phelps has described the Quran as a “300-page work of Satanic fiction.”

Although the church burned a Quran in Washington in 2008, it did not get much media attention. On its web site Friday, the church called Pastor Jones in Gainesville a “false prophet … bullied by sissy, intolerant rebels worldwide into cancelling plans to burn that blasphemous idol called the Koran.”

Westboro also declared that it “will burn the Koran and the doomed American flag at 12:00 p.m. on September 11, 2010 at Westboro Baptist Church.”

Meanwhile, in the latest development in Jones’s off-again-on-again pledge to burn copies of the Islamic holy book at his small central Florida church, he says he’s going to New York Saturday to meet with Feisal Abdul Rauf, the Sufi Muslim imam leading the effort to build an Islamic cultural center and mosque near the World Trade Center site known as “ground zero” for the terrorist attack nine years ago.

But Mr. Rauf says there’s no such scheduled meeting with Jones.

"I am prepared to consider meeting with anyone who is seriously committed to pursuing peace,” he said in a statement Friday. But, he added, “We have no such meeting planned at this time.”

And just to make it clear about the proposed Islamic center near ground zero, he said, “Our plans for the community center have not changed.”

Earlier, Rauf had suggested that he might not have chosen that location if he'd known what trouble it would cause but that to change now would play into the hands of Islamic radicals. But he’s also made it clear that he would not be pressured by threats.


Chile: the other 9/11 anniversary

The devastating legacy of Pinochet's coup of 11 September 1973 goes far beyond the economy and the armed forces

The body of Salvador Allende is carried from the destroyed presidential palace of La Moneda, Santiago on 11 September 1973. Allende committed suicide before he could be captured. Photograph: El Mercurio/AP

Of the many military coups faced by the republics of Latin America, it is the coup of 11 September 1973 that has engraved itself most permanently on the collective memory. The images of the bombing of the Moneda Palace, of the despair on the face of Salvador Allende shortly before his suicide, of the defiant expression worn by Pinochet behind his dark glasses and of the public burning of books that circulated around the world and became the symbol of military brutality.

The dispersal into exile of 200,000 Chileans, most of them to Europe, added to the media images of men and women who had seen their lives destroyed by the death or disappearance of friends and relatives. The murder of thousands of political opponents and the detention and torture of people who were identified with the constitutional government isolated the military regime internationally.
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This is
[info]perfectisafault's obligatory posting about Chile's 9/11. But one small thing--I don't care what anyone says, I believe Allende was murdered, unless he committed suicide by shooting himself twenty times. Also it doesn't say here, but Chile under Pinochet was the first country to practice privatization of pensions...sound familiar? 

omg u guyz. What happened to the "real men"?

Skinny Jeans, John Wayne, And The Feminization Of America


Despite what feminists might argue, real men don’t wear skinny jeans. Real men also don’t wear V-neck tees, or accessorized scarves, and they avoid purple and pink like the plague. The mere idea of a pedicure or waxing makes a real man nauseous. If a woman hangs out with this kind of girly-man routinely, it’s only because she wants to share his wardrobe and his non-fat caramel macchiato. A woman can’t imagine a man reloading his double barrel shotgun or chopping wood when he’s donned in Donna Karan and drinking an Appletini. Men were meant to wear rugged Wranglers, leather jackets and boots, like they belong in a James Dean movie and not an episode of “Will & Grace.”

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MISC - moustache

If the 'Mosque' Isn't Built, This Is No Longer America

I am opposed to the building of the "mosque" two blocks from Ground Zero.

I want it built on Ground Zero.

Why? Because I believe in an America that protects those who are the victims of hate and prejudice. I believe in an America that says you have the right to worship whatever God you have, wherever you want to worship. And I believe in an America that says to the world that we are a loving and generous people and if a bunch of murderers steal your religion from you and use it as their excuse to kill 3,000 souls, then I want to help you get your religion back. And I want to put it at the spot where it was stolen from you.

There's been so much that's been said about this manufactured controversy, I really don't want to waste any time on this day of remembrance talking about it. But I hate bigotry and I hate liars, and so in case you missed any of the truth that's been lost in this, let me point out a few facts:

  1. I love the Burlington Coat Factory. I've gotten some great winter coats there at a very reasonable price. Muslims have been holding their daily prayers there since 2009. No one ever complained about that. This is not going to be a "mosque," it's going to be a community center. It will have the same prayer room in it that's already there. But to even have to assure people that "it's not going to be mosque" is so offensive, I now wish they would just build a 111-story mosque there. That would be better than the lame and disgusting way the developer has left Ground Zero an empty hole until recently. The remains of over 1,100 people still haven't been found. That site is a sacred graveyard, and to be building another monument to commerce on it is a sacrilege. Why wasn't the entire site turned into a memorial peace park? People died there, and many of their remains are still strewn about, all these years later.

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    Michael Moore hits it out of the park

Protesters rip pages from Quran in White House stunt

WASHINGTON: A small group of conservative Christians tore some pages from a Quran in a protest outside the White House on Saturday to denounce what they called the "charade of Islam" on the anniversary of 9/11.

"Part of why we're doing that, please hear me: the charade that Islam is a peaceful religion must end," said Randall Terry, a leading anti-abortion campaigner, and one of six people who took part in the protest.

Another activist, Andrew Beacham, read out a few Quran passages calling for hatred towards Christians and Jews, and then ripped those pages from an English paperback edition of the Islamic holy book.

He carefully put the torn pieces into a plastic bag, in order not to litter, and said: "The only reason I will not burn it at the White House is because to burn anything on the Capitol grounds is a felony."

Beacham, who describes himself as a leader of the rightwing conservative Tea Party from Indiana, added: "The Twin Towers were taken down because of the Koran and other religious teachings."

A few curious tourists stopped to watch the huddle outside the White House, while police took down the names of the participants but did not intervene.

The tiny protest came as the United States marked the somber ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks amid heightened tensions following a radical Florida pastor's threat to burn the Quran.

After days of global outrage and protests, pastor Terry Jones, from Gainesville, said today: "We will definitely not burn the Quran, no."

"Not today, not ever," he told NBC television when pressed for his plans.

President Barack Obama told a deeply polarized America today that Islam was not the enemy as the 9/11 ceremonies took place.

"As Americans we will not and never will be at war with Islam. It was not a religion that attacked us that September day. It was al-Qaida, (a) sorry band of men, which perverts religion," Obama said.

movies | Impish Fräulein2

ONTD_Political's PotD: September 11, 2010.

The City Sleeps
The Wall Street Journal sent several photographers out overnight to shoot [New York City] during the hours when most of its citizens are sleeping. 
(Related: The Sleepless City)
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Source: "The City Sleeps" | Photo Blog | The Wall Street Journal