Sunday, November 30, 2008

Barack isn't black. So it ain't history?

So says Marie Arana, author of American Chica and outgoing Washington Post Bookworld Editor.
Thoughts? Read it here.

Commander in Chief Barack Hussein Obama long as he doesn't try to land on an aircraft carrier. That's him with Princetonian proconsul Gen. Petreus, who's overseen the cutting of many checks payable to random Shiite militiamen in Iraq, thus making the surge a success. I've already said we can duplicate that here--flood the streets with cops WHILST buying off the thugs and drug dealers. Hey, fellow author George Pelecanos came up with that in his scripts for The Wire, third season (Bunny Colvin's "Hamsterdam"). Barack and Petreus, pay the man his royalties...

Anyhow, this photo and story are from MSNBC/Washington Post. Read here. The dek (sub title): President-elect tries reassure top brass that he will listen, do nothing rash. A lot of folk who voted for him did so in the hopes he would be, well, rash. As in turn 180 degrees from 8 years of bizarre homage to what brought down Rome, right down to supporting wars so we can can support our legionnaries...oops...troops.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Twilight--Another Harry Potter?

Yes, it's OK to hate on other authors. Venal, stupid. Sure. But it feels good. Stephanie Meyer is one I despise. I drool with vitriol. Twilight is made, manufactured, contrived, measured, alchemized, tailored for your average Ugg boot flip flop texting post-Hannah Montana tweener. Destroy every vampire convention and paradigm? Fine--that's cool. Just replace it with a new mythos, like my girl L.A. Banks has. Don't transform it into "The Hills" and "The O.C." and "Gossip Girl" meets a female verison of SE Hinton's/Francis Ford Coppola's "The Outsiders." It's not insipid as Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. But Sisterhood doesn't have any melodramatic pretense nor does it provide a crutch for a braindead generation. But hey, you know your audience. Such will spawn pretenders and editors who'll say "Hey, can you do a sort of Twilight?" Even in a recession, teenage girls will buy, buy, buy. And yet again, don't crow "At least they're reading." They won't graduate to other stuff. No. Please.
So here's the skinny on the film adaptation Twilight (click). Yeah, yeah. I'm hating. Jealous, even. But I'm not on this earth to indulge teenage girls. Be nice to challenge them. Insipire them. Teach them to think out of the box. Ummm...then again, we are talking about American teenage girls here...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Terrorists = Thugs on the Corner = Terrorists

Mumbai (update here). Baltimore. D.C. New Orleans. The ABLA Projects in Chicago. Philly. Peshawar.

Don't underestimate the power of nihilism. Oh, they claim Jews have starved and murdered their people. Or white people won't hire me. Or I'm poor. Or my program's been cut and I haven't anything to do. Or a Hindu farmer shot my goat. Or I'm just "angry." Oppression and poverty cause this? No. Nihilism. Utter disregard for anything. Not even "anger." You destroy your own community by selling drugs, you Deebo someone out of their school books for trying to advance themselves, murder someone walking by for disrespecting you, shoot up a restaurant, take hostages...
Nihilism in the dictionary: a doctrine or belief that conditions in the social organization are so bad as to make destruction desirable for its own sake independent of any constructive program or possibility.
Nihilism in practice: a destructive, ultimately self-destructive form of self-pity, self-indulgence, selfishness. Not cowardice or anger. Or even revenge. No: self-pity. Like Lucifer the Son of the Morning, shoved into Hell. God chucked me out. Woe is me. Let me mess shit up, then
I'm sorry. I see no difference between some teenager we're urged to mentor shooting another teen, or murdering an old couple for their car, and a fool who decided to hurl grenades in a hotel lobby yesterday. Listen to the justifications and rationalizations they spout. Listen to the ambivalence of families, communities (e.g. yes, they are destroying themselves, us, others...yes we march in defiance and to show we are fearless...but they are our sons...and well, if they only had love/jobs/respect...and we weren't oppressed...). No difference. If Kashmir was autonomous and Islamic. If the halls of every inner city school were sheathed in gold and classrooms stocked with laptops, if Israel was plain gone. If a black man was President--would things change? A Scripture-centered life? The Quran as lodestar? All that providing a purpose, an aim? I dunno. Perhaps there's only A Clockwork Orange's cure: Drugs and aversion therapy.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bonus Feature: What real black folks look like

(From Bossip, link on the right)

No L'Oreal lightening. No weave. No red carpet posing with bodyguards. Just a schlumpy bruthah and wife watching a game.
For all we regular folks--like them--Happy Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving, yet meanwhile...

...the world stumbles on. Welcome, President Obama.

On a lighter note (much), the Association of Black Princeton Alumni, DC Chapter, is holding its annual Hoops Party in the skybox high above the court in the Verizon Center. 12/1, 1pm. Come see the Coach Thompson '88 and the Georgetown Hoyas as you sip your drink and dine on gourmet lunch fare. Email me for details. Michelle, come on by with the Secret Service.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Source magazine

This got lost (as did most of Autumn...damn it's THANKSGIVING ALREADY?!) in the presidential maelstrom, but I figured I'd showcase it, as it's just plain harsh and amusing, and you know those are my weaknesses. Yeah, Denis Leary post coming soon. It's a response to the "new" incarnation of the Hip Hop mag The Source (originally conceived by another Princetonian, Brother Selwyn, back in the bad ole days) . Check this out here. I love this stuff.

There's always the "Video Vixen" or a phoned-in James Patterson book...

More on the denigration of culture. As literature goes, so goes civilization. Happened before. Happens every time. Read it here in Publishers Weekly. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt tells its editors not to accept any more submissions. Fahrenheit 451 in slow motion. Gee, does anyone even know who Ray Bradbury is? No biggie. Not important. Pass me my Madden Football 08 and my Lil' Wayne ringtones...tune in the Real Housewives, Heidi Montag. Now that's culture!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

New Media, New Comics: Bayou

Don't let the image fool you--this is fantasy with a little bit of horror with a touch of the Dirty South, ca. 1933 (Charon, Mississippi...remember who Charon the boatman is in Greek mythology?) DC Comics' web comic arm, Zuda, recently posted this new work by Jeremy Love and Patrick Morgan (collectively, Gettosake Entertainment). View the work here. This is the wave of the future, and the shoehorn for new (and frankly better) talent to edge into notoriety. Bayou is amazing. Bayou is a long time coming, and I'm sure will jump to print very soon. I cannot think of a time when I used the adjectives dreamy, sweet, alluring, historical, fantastical, vivid, disturbing, prurient and terrifying all in one thought. Well...when you read this thing, absord the sequential art, you'll have some choice adjectives of your own. The narrative and dialog are sparse but that's a gem here. The pictures tell the story and story is of hatred and lynching and a little girl's quest to save her daddy. Trouble is, she must immerse herself in a netherworld of Br'er Rabbits and Crocodile men to do so. Not for anyone under 11-12 years old certainly, but then again this isn't as lurid/adult as the film Pan's Labryinth, which also featured a child. So fanboys and girls: check it out, enjoy. It's free, after all. Such is why the web sucks, hahahaha

Friday, November 21, 2008

Meanwhile, what are the bankers doing?

Hey, re-read my post from yesterday. Please. I agree with you. The Big Tois in De-trois don't derserve a bailout. But deserving don't got squat to do with it. Thursday I opined, with some juice from novelist, poet and rare public intellectual (he'd die if uttered the p-word no doubt) Professor Condrescu that presents a once in an era opportunity to transform an industry...even a nation. Tantamount to a new industrial revolution. What could be more fun, fanboys and girls? After all, back when I was a little boy people told me there'd be flying cars that ran clean. But you party poopers said no. I'm crazy. Hmmm. Like the all the finance and marketing and commerce doges and shamans have done better? Well what they did accomplish was pulling the wool over Congress's eyes and kept The Great Changer (Barack) silent on transforming our banking and investment sectors. Ironic, as even right wingers are committing blasphemy, i.e. Mike Huckabee on the record stating that the market should "serve the people, not the other way around."
As that quote digs into your brain like the earwig of myth, walk with me to the halls of finance and see what they're doing with your tax money. Oh, that's right. We don't know. At least Ford, GM, Chrysler had the good sense to pledge adherence to strings and some transparency.
Ready? Here's the awful ruddy rub, per Senator Christopher Dodd on NPR. Read and listen and then convince me on why we shouldn't restructure the automakers.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bail Out Detroit--then fire everyone.

Andrei Codrescu opines on America and Detroit the bail-out request from the automakers. As only a novelist can. Listen here on NPR and give me your thoughts. Moi, fanboys & girls? I say do it. In the spirit of real change, not just putting frozen Clintonians in the microwave (ya here me, Barack?), I say give them $100 billion. In essence, nationalize them. Then fire every senior executive. Re-bid everything from law firms to materials vendors. Hire go-getters, innovators, big thinkers. Tell the unions salaries will shrink and there will be hiring of minority youth in mandatory training programs, but benefits will increase--including nice touchy feely European massage and quiet room stations on the line. Go green--for real, not marketing b.s. Build smaller cars, smart cars. Cut production F-150 type redeck pickups, mini vans and any SUVs over a certain weight. 50% non-gasoline fueled. Put the example out to the Third World--which from all accoutns just wants to repeat our mistakes by importing muscle cars and gas guzzlers. Tell US communities we need smart roads with mag-lev technology within 15 years, and go about designing this new generation of vehicles. Yes--Minority Report and I, Robot. Impossible? SciFi? Hell no. It just takes will. And that's all it really about. What do you think?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What happend to Neo Soul?

Why is the latest iteration of ignorant bamma rap ascendant? T-Pain? Lil' Wayne? Come on. Whatever happened to neo soul? Too bourgie for the least common denominator? Too intelligent? Not enough $$ for white label executives (too expensive to produce)? Not escapist enough? What are your thoughts? Seriously--will this change? Can Barack and Michelle set a new aesthetic?
I know it's a function of youth culture, and every older generation harrumphs and grouses about the tastes of the younger one. Yet it appears we are reaching the end of that chain...a saturation point where you really CAN say that younger African Americans truly do have their heads up their asses? No taste? Fewer mores? Even more nihilistic...or in a fog of un-reality (e.g., "yeah when I get of school I'm gonna start my own club and record label and cage fighting league"). This is their music. The trouble is that there is little or no self-reflection. No critical thought. Hard to do when you're downloading ringtones instead of the reading. Neo Soul afficianados read...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cockroach in the Potato Salad

Ballot questions in Nebraska, California and Arkansas on affirmative action and gay rights expose ugly things about the country—and ourselves—which we’d rather ignore as we celebrate President Obama’s victory. But what happens when the dancing ebbs?

On the night Barack Obama made history Nebraska voters approved a vaguely worded ballot question dubiously labeled “The Civil Rights Initiative,” making affirmative action illegal in public employment, education and contracting. In California, Proposition 8 passed, banning gay marriage. Similarly, the Arkansas Unmarried Couple Adoption Ban makes it illegal for gays to adopt or serve as foster parents. African Americans danced in 1776 and 1863, despite the misery, bondage, war. In 2008 our jubilation knows no bounds. And that’s the problem. We cock our heads away from anything party-pooping or nettlesome and this cloud of euphoria seems obscure what scurries at our skipping feet. Indeed, the cockroach jumping in grandma’s potato salad may say something ugly about ourselves more so than any insidious enemy vanquished at the polls last Tuesday.
Despite a lack of identifiable “victims,” all black conservative Ward Connerly had to was get petitions signed and place an anti-affirmative action question on the ballot. Quietly. White voters would do the rest. ( Allegations of chicanery in the ballot petitions abound, and no there was no indication that affirmative action efforts were abusing white students, employees, businesses. Still, the measure passed easily. And quietly.
Many African Americans outside of Nebraska remain oblivious at best, insouciant at worse. Don’t step on my Barack high, we hear. And who cares anyway—how many black folks can there be in Nebraska other than in the Cornhuskers’ backfield and secondary? Indeed one longtime pro-Obama blogger states “There are what, 25 blacks in Nebraska?” Another Obama supporter in Washington, D.C. shrugs “This isn’t on my radar. I’m too busy celebrating.” Some of these opinions are from the same folk who mobilized thousands for the Jena 6. So where is the love for Nebraska?
Shawna Francis, lobbyist and former director of Congressional Affairs for the Democratic Leadership Conference, laments the result in her native Nebraska, and the muted initial response from African Americans nationwide. “Nebraskans are good, caring people,” she says. The state is home to a large, dynamic black community and culture there. Nevertheless, certain racist notions and power relationships remain. As for Nebraska not being on anyone’s map as opposed to Atlanta or D.C., she reminds people that Omaha is the cradle of Malcolm X. To Francis and many others, it is ironic that an outsider, Ward Connerly, could invade Nebraska and change lives, while some African Americans outside of the state scratch their heads or just don’t understand what’s at stake.
Newly elected Nebraska State Senator Brenda Council is certain Connerly coordinated the effort with conservatives in the state government to prevent key actors like the University of Nebraska from creating awareness and lobbying against the ban. Likewise, the initiative’s wording was “fraudulent.” One young black voter came up to her, frantic with apologies for voting for the ban because he thought it was a civil rights ban on discrimination. Council is certain this practice of artifice and muted TV coverage was central to the ban’s passage, as well as cloaking the issue for blacks nationwide. Nevertheless, she’s flabbergasted that African Americans in more populous states or urban areas ignore or shrug off this story. “It’s like what happened in Nazi Germany. You can sit back and say it’s happening to those folks but it won’t happen to me. Guess what—it will happen to you.”
And it did happen to someone else, in California and Arkansas. Not owing to a lack of knowledge or inaction by black folks. This time it’s with our active participation.
Student Jina Mowery is an Arkansan and proud of it. Her mother was a canvasser for Bill Clinton in ’92 and ’96, her stepfather is a retired police officer and deacon back home. The Mowery family voted for Barack Obama on November 4 and even drove elders to the polls. John McCain took the state overwhelmingly. But Jina’s parents voted for the ban on any gay couples adopting or acting as foster parents. They said the Bible is clear, and there is a gay agenda being pushed by white activists. Jina’s brother is gay. He moved out of Arkansas when was 16. Jina’s roommate in Washington, D.C. is a bi-racial lesbian. Jina volunteers for an advocacy group watchdogging what critics have a called dysfunctional D.C. Department of Child and Family Services—the same agency which paid accused child killer Renee Bowman to be a foster parent. Renee Bowman is charged with murdering and mummifying her adoptive daughters. But at least she isn’t gay.
“My parents didn’t want to hear that. They didn’t want to hear that the governor [Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe] is dealing with similar crisis back home, and this ballot thing comes along. Gay men and lesbians want to open their homes with love, most of them have more money and resources than average a lot of towns in Arkansas and a lot of them will raise children with special needs that no one else wants. But you say they are unfit?” Jina says the taxes they pay go toward a foster care system in which they cannot now legally participate and that system is stressed to the breaking point. (
“How many children will black people who voted for this adopt? How could they be allies to the same people in the state who openly hated Barack?” Of course, we don’t want to have such a thorny questions posed.
The President-elected posed it indirectly, of course, Tuesday night in Chicago, stating that this was our America, all of us, “gay and straight.” In California, Proposition 8 would not have but passed for black folks who asserted they were only keeping the faith.
Of course no one wants to check that moving speck in the potato salad—that more than a few African Americans don’t practice what they preach regarding the “sanctity” of marriage, monogamy, adultery, lying—not to mention “thou shalt not kill.” But that’s not the point, in the minds of some of our people.
The Washington Post quoted young Obama voter Jasmine Jones as saying “I think it's mainly because of the way we were brought up in the church; we don't agree with it," said Jasmine Jones, 25, who is black. “I'm not really the type that I wanted to stop people's rights. But I still have my beliefs, and if I can vote my beliefs that's what I'm going to do. God doesn't approve it, so I don't approve it. And I approve of Him.”
Michael Brown, a black AIDS activist in Maryland with married gay friends in San Jose angrily calls out “mega-preachers” like T.D. Jakes and Atlanta’s Eddie Long and others in the black pulpit for fostering this attitude that marriage isn’t about civil rights. “They [mega preachers] have long been associated with conservative white Republicans who stood against Obama but now they want to cheer for Obama.” Their duplicity matches Ward Connerly’s in Brown’s mind.
Even to someone lost in the fog of celebrating November 4, there’s one very simple notion about marriage that shouldn’t confuse or distract: rendered to essence, marriage is a civil and legal construct, not a religious convocation. You need a license from the government, not God, to perform one, and you need a license from the government to get one. When the government singles out a person or group in that context, the question becomes constitutional, not Biblical. And yet it appears many African Americans remain ready to deny one group a civil, legal right based on religion…or in Brown’s view, simple ignorance and fear. The irony is not lost on him. “The Civil War was fought and thousands died so black people could be citizens and have equal protection under the Constitution. This vote is like our Dred Scot. How could our own people abandon us?”
But don’t step on my Obama high. One blog and listserv commenter who fiercely supported Barack is still celebrating and doesn’t care about Proposition 8. “I’m entitled to be selfish now.” Another opines, “We should show solidarity to President-elect Barack Obama and not raise this kind of thing right now. But also, we are a very conservative people that should be respected by people who do not attend church regularly.”
Derek McCoy, a black Mormon and African American outreach director for the Protect Marriage Campaign stated in the Post, “What the church does is give that perspective that this is a sacred issue as well as a social issue,” he said “The reason I feel they came out so strong on the issue is one, for them, it's not a civil rights issue, it's a marriage issue. It's about marriage being between a man and a woman and it doesn't cut into the civil rights issue, about equality. The gay community was never considered a third of a person.”
Maybe it is now.

So there’s something ugly and dirty creeping about as we dance. How we address it will define our marrow. And our joy will either cement itself as an affirmation of our fortitude and belief in justice, or will betray itself as merely self-indulgent, temporary and fraudulent. Our new president is counting on the former.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Miriam Makeba RIP

Another loss. Mama Afrika. You saw a dream realized in South Africa (with notable deficiencies and inequalities still). You saw the U.S. elect Barack. I'm sure you're singing. But why're we loosing so many like you? Can't just be age, as there are plenty of old, souless, stupid people running around.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Real Housewives? Nah, Real Sad

"Real" Housewives? And this is the real Atlanta? Check it out at Bravo. Atlanta now calls itself Black Hollywood, Black Mecca. The former's true, if you define it as an artifice, fake, frivilous and plain dumb. Rappers, ballers, rump shaking vixens and posers with 5,000 sq ft homes/gas guzzlers--yet will no furniture but a 72 inch flatscreen, a stripper pole...and foreclosure/repo letter from the bank shoved in the stainless steel LG fridge. The latter would be an insult to Muslims. Mecca implies a holy place...a place to journey for knowledge and spiritual awakening. Ha! Guess that's DC again, eh? My story "Doggy Style," reprinted in Zoetrope about two stray dogs--one a Pit Bull escaped from sports-star financed attck kennel (hey this was two years before Vick--am I Asimov or what?) making their way outta da ATL into "lil Mecca" DeKalb County during a sleet storm was my way of lampooning that notion of ATL as place of Renaissance for blackfolks. And this was before the finacial crisis/Recession, and The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
What a lovely bit of metaphor, indeed allegory, is this friggin' show! It's like the toast to Tyler Perry's jelly! Low class, noveau-riche hoochie wives of NFL and NBA players, "real estate investors" (ha! what's that these days?) and alimony divas. Dentists, doctors, school teachers, engineers? Naw, gurl. Grown-up exemplars of Spelman Women? Huh? A Princeton Tigress like our new First Lady? Please! No, these are the REAL housewives per the white male producers on Bravo who have corrupted the image of women nationwide and figure black folks now need a dose like we need a hole in the head. Conveying the tackiest image of this mythic place called Atlanta. I love it when you fanboys & girls call me a snob, so keep it coming. My time in Charlotte and running back and forth to da ATL was painful, folks. Nothing but traffic and endless burbs, surrounded by malls, rendecks and smiling blond rightwing evangelicals. Like Hip Hop, I was a stank shell of myself when I moved to the Dirrty South...
If I were the mayor, I'd try to put the kabosh on this crap. Having these suburban hookers as ambassadors along with ballers, rappers and rump-shaking club owners is a double-edged sword, as good burghers of te metroplex are discovering. Needless to say, those true working single moms down there--doing checkout at Piggly Wiggly or driving school buses--love the show as entertainment, and then shrug and lament their true lives. Some have teenage sons literally killing themselves emulating the "real" husbands (baby daddies?) of Atlanta: it's not cool being an architect, but if I can show my hoop skills or get a demo to whatever strutting, body-guard/entourage traveling fool I see on the street outside Platinum 21 or Magic City, well my life will be golden! Some have teenage daughters mezmerized by a phony lifetstyle who end up seduced by it, degraded (whether they understand or not) by it, spat out. Now that's real.
Perhaps ...and this is part of the magic of Nove. 4...our young women and men can now look a little farther up I-85, then 95 to the White House for inspiration. Whether it will be a tonic for this tacky sh*t, this gildened ghettofabulousness, who knows. They certainly won't find it on Bravo.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

RIP Michael Crichton

From the Andromeda Strain to Jurassic Park and every in between and since--a master. Not pulp. Not resting on laurels and phoning-in best sellers. This man invented a genre. Asked us to care about the future beyond our on selfish needs. Dr. Michael Crichton, MD. As with too many authors, actors, intellectuals we've lost this year, the industry won't develop anyone of comparable talent to replace them. But hey, many Americans these days are too stupid to comprehend the classics anyway.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The N***** in the Woodpile

Amid the euphoric shouts, a few hacking coughs. Ward Connerly's anti-affirmative action ballot question wins in Nebraska. He makes lemonade out of lemons by declaring that Obama's win vindicates him. "Finally we are rid of the scourge of race." In Arkansas, gay couples can't adopt or atc as foster parents. Better to send the kids--and the state $$$--to scumbags who abuse and ignore these kids, and make a living treating them like cattle, than put them with affluent, caring, committed people. People. American, human people. Or in Cali, 7 out of ten black voters who voted on the gay marriage ban voted YES. I'm sure TD Jakes and the rest of these mega pastor turds are behind this (I wonder what these bamas would say when they realize their idol, Tyler Perry, is a fagolah as the Jews say!). When will we value people as people, as Americans?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I hear my mother, and many others...

She passed in 2005. Others died as long ago as 300 years ago, at Jamestown. The first. Or in 1987, or 1999. Or on a ship headed for Jamaica. But I hear them. You can too, if you open your mind...

Stony the road we trod, bitter the chastening rod, Felt in the days when hope unborn had died; Yet with a steady beat, have not our weary feet, Come to the place for which our fathers sighed? We have come over a way that with tears has been watered, We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered; Out from the gloomy past, till now we stand at last Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast...

Monday, November 03, 2008

Election Day

You do what you must. I will find my inner Nat. And I don't mean vis. race baiting. That's McCain's dilly. That's the pandora's box he opened by giving Sarah Palin the limelight. That's not the McCain I supported in 2000. He's dead. He has deluded himslef into thinking he can lead a nation through this shifting universe of the 21st Century by pandering to ignorance, fear, what's comfortable to a minority of Americans who've been conditioned by Pavlov's dog to the flag and cross (the analog of mindless Islamic extremists). Barack didn't run a cagey campaign; naive or stupid mistakes were made. But he says believe in me, and I'll lead. Not to hell with the other guy. Not they are traitors, unworthy.
Now we raise cutlass and musket, figuratively, to show that this old America must die if America must endure undivided as in 1861, or with the Roman Empire, splitting into moribund West and vibrant Byzantine East. No. Now we stand and be counted, and say "enough." Vote. Demand your time off to do so--even if the Wal Mart managers and the Diebold machines are stacked against you. Put Barack in and let's see what he can do. Let's invest. Let's rebuild and explore. We have no choice...

Saturday, November 01, 2008

RIP Studs Turkel

Studs, you almost made it. Pulitzer Prize winner. Father of the oral history style of chronicling our various American stories. Stories of true working men and women, from the Depression to today. Hard Times, Working--if genuine Joe the Plumbers would wake up they'd see that their heritage was in progressive labor and farmer politics, not wingnut fantasy.

A few more days and you may have seen the the dawn of a new New Deal. Or more grist for your steel trap mind and Depression-hardened wit. Either way, we'll miss you. We're left with people like Hannity or Bill Maher. Yeah Studs, I know, I know...