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Friday, August 29, 2008

Obama Hustle

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Selene Luna Will Be a Very Big Star

By Holly Wood

Sometimes when you see someone for the first time you know right away they are going to be a big star. Think Prince. Madonna. Jimi Hendrix. Well put Selene Luna, pictured at right with Margaret Cho, in that category. And it is not just her small stature that makes me say this. It is the entire package. Selene has acting talent and style. Plus, although she has a political edge, she has a dignity in the face of what could be cruel mockery. This year, Luna is co-starring alongside Margaret Cho in Cho's new VH1 comedy series, The Cho Show. Luna can also be seen in a supporting character role in Lionsgate's 2009 release of My Bloody Valentine 3D feature.

Selene Luna is a one-of-a-kind entertainer with a look and style all her own. At 3'10", Luna is a small package with a very big presence. She is a talented performer with timeless sex appeal that makes her equally viable as a vintage Hollywood glamour girl or a modern music video vixen. She is part burlesque star and part rock and roll queen. Luna is a performer who embodies the eccentricities of 1930's screwball comedies, combining a keen sense of comedic timing with smoldering sensuality. She is a larger than life personality, with a body of work, which is as impressive as it is eclectic. Luna began her career performing among Hollywood's eccentric artist community.
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Thursday, August 21, 2008

AAEA President and Sheryl Lee Ralph on Congress Panel

AAEA President Norris McDonald, left, and actress/activist Sheryl Lee Ralph, right, have been invited by Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) present testimony at the Science and Technology Braintrust panel on September 26th during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Annual Legislative Conference.

Original DREAMGIRL, Sheryl Lee Ralph is an acclaimed veteran of film, television and the Broadway stage. Her award winning body of work includes creating and originating the role of Deena Jones on Broadway in the landmark musical Dreamgirls, which earned her both a Tony and Drama Desk Award Nomination for Best Actress. After Dreamgirls, Ms. Ralph turned her attention to music, television and film. She scored a top-ten selling dance hit in the mid-eighties and again in the nineties.

Actress, Activist, Social EntrepreneurAward-winning actress, singer, and producer Sheryl Lee Ralph has embraced the role of AIDS activist. In 1990, she founded The Diva Foundation, a national not-for-profit 501C(3) charitable organization as a memorial to the many friends she had lost to HIV/AIDS. Diva Foundation's goal is to focus on generating resources and coordinating activities to create awareness of and combat the pressing issue of HIV/AIDS. The DIVA Foundation utilizes music and entertainment as a vehicle to inform, educate and erase the stigma still attached to this deadly disease. The organization’s first production was Divas Simply Singing, a star-studded, fundraising extravaganza, produced by, and featuring Ms. Ralph and a host of committed Divas, the likes of Chaka Khan, Stacey "Fergie" Ferguson, Miss Nancy Wilson, Loretta Devine, Melissa Manchester and Raven Symone. This annual event has helped raised millions and put the Diva Foundation on the map as one of the pre-eminent AIDS-awareness organizations.

Ralph is a graduate of Rutgers University, and is a member of the Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni. She holds the distinct honor of being the first woman to graduate from Rutgers College, a once all-male institution, and an accomplishment she achieved within just three years at the age of nineteen. In 2004, Ms. Ralph was inducted into Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. because of her steadfast commitment to arts, community and women's well being. Ms. Ralph resides in California with her children and is married to Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Hughes.
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Monday, August 18, 2008

Kim 'Poprah' is the New Omarosa

By Environment Man

There is a new angry evil black woman America might come to love to hate. It is Kim 'Poprah' on Diddy's new show, "I Want to Work For Diddy." She is morbidly obese and has a sword-like tongue. She is smart as a whip and a cutthroat businesswoman. She would clearly be the best assistant for Diddy. She will have to drop some weight though. If for no other reason than her health.

She has so far outmaneuvered the other reality cast mates with cunning and trickery. She has baited and switched and bamboozled her competitors with vigor. On one show it was debated as to whether she faked and asthma attack to get out of hiking through the wooods. She might have induced the attack but the wheezing and coughing were real. I am an asthmatic. I know. She actually beat a guy who was in the military who had map and outback experience. He got the compass and map directions wrong.

Kim is narcissistic to the point of delusion. She has compared herself to Jesus and Martin Luther King, Jr. But you can tell that she is super sharp. Super aggressive too. She has that snarky self confidence that Omarosa has too. And the take-no-prisoners style. She snaps at people. She is mean. Yet she cries during the decision making process. Then in the 'after' comments brags that it is all an act. Watch out Omarosa. You have competition.
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Robert Downey, Jr. is Kirk Lazarus [Black Man]


"Tropic Thunder" opened at number one with $25.8 million for the weekend and $37 million including the Wednesday opening. Everybody was waiting to see Robert Downey, Jr.'s performance as a black man. Evidently he pulled it off. No big outcries. In fact, most blacks seem to be enjoying the role and the humor. Kudos to Downey, Jr for his brilliant performance and Stiller for having the knowledge and sensitivity to pull it off. Clearly Ben Stiller 'gets' black people.



You absolutely forget that Robert Downey, Jr. is Lazarus. Or you look for Robert Downey, Jr. in Lazarus. The oveall satire, the actions of every character and the send up of action movies and stars are so over the top that you know going in not to take anything in this movie too seriously. It starts with the scene when Lazarus is overacting and so is Stiller in the scene where Stiller's hands had been blown off by a grenade. Yet Stiller's character, Tugg Speedman, was shot several hundred times in an earlier scene.



The implications of the Lazarus character are interesting when juxtaposed to Spike Lee's upcoming movie, "Miracle at St. Anna," whereby black soldiers who were overlooked in World War II movies are featured. Both movies will hopefully get Hollywood to be more balanced in including, or at least not excluding, blacks in roles where they should be included to accurately reflect events. Not only can blacks be included in dramas, but also send ups that do not spill over into stereotypically racist images. The movie "Caddie Shack" was ruined by having the black guy in the small boat 'bug' his eyes when Rodney Dangerfield's huge yacht was coming towards him.


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Brandon T. Jackson is Alpa Chino in "Tropic Thunder"

Brandon T. Jackson, left in photo, is an up and coming actor who was kind of discovered by Chris Tucker. He adds legitimacy to the movie "Tropic Thunder" because the blackface Robert Downey, Jr. role would have been harder for blacks to accept without another black in the movie. Props to Ben Stiller for knowing this. We hope Brandon will 'handle' any criticisms directed at the movie because it is a very funny movie. And Downey, Jr's performance is the most memorable in the movie. Others should not go thinking that anybody can pull this off in any movie. It has to be in the right context or it will just come off as racist.

Brandon's character Alpa Chino is a hip-hop star looking for crossover fame. See the Robert X. Golphin, of ReelBlack TV, interview with Brandon in the video below.


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New Spike Lee Movie Features Blacks in World War II

Spike Lee's new movie, "Miracle at St. Anna," will give black soldiers in World War II the starring roles that are missing in other Hollywood films about that epic conflict. History books and documentary films seem to have missed the service of these black heroes too. AAEA also still experiences this type of blackout even to this day. The movie is based on James McBride's 2002 novel of the same name and chronicles the story of Joseph Stephenson, who fought in the all black 92nd Infantry Division.

There were no blacks in "Saving Private Ryan"--[maybe Vin Diesel, but he seems ambivalent], "Flags of Our Fathers," "Letters From Iwo Jima," "The Thin Red Line," "From Here to Eternity," and many other films. A few other films have featured blacks in integrated casts. And of course, now you have a white man, Robert Downey, Jr., playing a black man in the satire on Hollywood war movies, "Tropic Thunder." Of course, they also have other blacks in this funny film.

Unfortunately, when our society thinks World War II, they do not picture any blacks participating. The reality is that many blacks served in that war. They also dealt with the racism waiting for them when they got back to America. Spike Lee recently goosed Clint Eastwood for not including blacks in his two war films. Needlessly to say, Clint fired back. Clint has produced films starring blacks, including "The Charlie Parker Story" starring Forest Whitaker.

Many in America continue with the insanity of purposefully excluding blacks from history making events and activities. This speaks to the continued need for black operated and owned institutions, because if not for Spike Lee, it appears that no white person would tell this story. But with the insanity that permeates American society, even when a white person does step forward, as Steven Spielberg did with "The Color Purple," blacks complain about the white director. The same thing happened with the movie "Malcolm X," where the white director was eventually replaced by Spike Lee. Racism is a whacky confounding variable in normal activities and an incredible inefficiency in the American system.
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The Al Gore Houseboat: Very Nice. We Want One Too.

Some purist environmentalists and some of our friends on the right are trying to paint Al Gore as a global warming hypocrite for having a 100-foot houseboat. He has a big house too and they complain about that. Well we are on your side Al. We particularly like the sliding board and jet ski on the back of the boat.

Al Gore is simply living the rich American life. He is living the life we all want. Big house. Big house boat. Big car. Big yard. Extra houses if we can
afford it. Hollywood leads the nation in this sort of lifestyle. And they still promote energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. We would like to do it just like them. Now to be fair they do purchase hybrid vehicles and put solar panels on their homes. But there is nothing wrong with being prosperous. Al Gore purchases offsets for his energy use. That is reasonable. Moreover, one can have large items with state-of-the art technology that can make them environmentally friendly.

Al Gore's houseboat is named "Bio-Solar One" because he put solar panels on it and it can use ethanol fuel. Of course, some mock him by calling it "B.S. One," but the purists and critics can be so dour. The houseboat is docked at the Hurricane Marina on Center Hill Lake in Smithville, Tennessee, about 70 miles east of Nashville. AAEA would like to have similar houseboats, one at Marina Del Rey in Los Angeles and one at National Harbor just below Washington, D.C. If any rich celebrities want us to live just like Al Gore, we would be happy to accept the donations. Oh, and by the way, a little [lot] of boat gas money would be appreciated too.
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Shaquille O'Neal Purchases Smart Car

Yes. Shaq actually bought a Smart Car
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Monday, August 11, 2008

Bernie Mac & Isaac Hayes Died On Same Weekend

Megastars Bernie Mac, left, and Isaac Hayes, right, both died this past weekend. Mac died on Saturday, August 8 and Hayes on Sunday, August 9. America was shocked to hear about the sudden death of Mac but then the next day another unbelieveable shock occurred with the unexpected death of Hayes. Bernie Mac was 50 and Isaac Hayes was 65.

Bernie Mac was best known for his roles in hit films such as "Original Kings of Comedy," "Charlie's Angels" and "Ocean's Eleven. Bernie Mac will star in the Bob and Harvey Weinstein studio (The Weinstein Company) film "Soul Men" in November with Samuel L. Jackson and, ironically, Isaac Hayes. Mac died of complications due to pneumonia and had been hospitalized for about a week with the lung disorder sarcoidosis.

Isaac Hayes was found dead in Memphis from a massive stroke. It is being reported that he had a mild stroke a few years earlier. He was found in his home unconscious next to a treadmill, and no foul play is suspected. Isaac Hayes played Chef in the controversial animated television show "South Park." He left the show when his Scientology religion was mocked in episodes. In his early career Hayes wrote hits for Sam & Dave, Carla Thomas, Johnnie Taylor, Otis Redding, the Bar-Kays, Rufus, Booker T & The MGs and more. In 1969, he released the album HOT BUTTERED SOUL, his breakthrough album. Then in 1970 he released SHAFT, soundtrack to the movie of the same title, which won an Oscar for Best Musical Score, the first black composer to do so. SHAFT also earned him Grammys, a Golden Globe, and the NAACP Image Award.

The film "Soul Men" is the story of two estranged soul legends (Jackson and Mac) who reunite at the Apollo Theater to honor their recently deceased band leader.
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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Diddy on Forests

Watching Diddy's show, "I Want To Work For Diddy," we noticed he commented on trees and forests. To quote Mr. Diddy:

"If you can't see the forest for the trees, cut the m-f-ers down."

Knowing [of] Diddy, right, we would not be surprised if he happened to be in the lumber business. If he is not he should call Karl Malone. Just remember to replant Mr. Diddy and your renewable resource will maintain your sustainable business.
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Friday, August 08, 2008

2008 Beijing Olympics: Magnificient Opening Ceremony

By Holly Wood

The Chinese showed the rest of the world how to put on an opening ceremony for the Olympics. It had to be the greatest opening ceremony in the history of the Olympic Games. The innovative 91,000-seat Bird Nest stadium was one big artistic expression. It is designed to really show its majesty at night. And it lived up to its billing.

The creativity included lighting the hundreds of people in on-field maneuvers to the marching of each participating country's athletic team. China can be very proud of this grand opening.

The Olympic torch was lit by a guy hoisted on wires to the top of the stadium. Incredible. Then he ran completely around the the top of the stadium. There is a 360 'membrane' around the top of the stadium where the images are shown. The torch lighting was magnificient. Lit at the end of the run. And then huge firworks displays all around the stadium

President Bush was there along with Russian Prime Minister Putin. Celebrity athletes included Kobe Bryant, Roger Federer and Yao Ming, among many others.
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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Aisha Tyler on Planet Green Supperclub Show

By Environment Man

Aisha Tyler, right, knows her energy and environmental issues. She recently appeared on Planet Green's Supperclub and she showed that she knows here stuff. She actually knows ecology and natural resources issues very well and drives a Prius. She reviewed the energy crises of the 1970s and talked about the solar panels that used to rest atop the White House.

Aisha said she wrote her college thesis on global warming. With her inimitable hyper style, she blasted through the issues. She said she has been an environmentalist all her life. She got a little spacey at the end of the segment, but overall she was excellent.

Tom Bergeron is the producer and host of Supperclub, which, so far, is the best show on Planet Green.
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