Lynne d Johnson



« December 2001 | Diary | February 2002 »

01.29.02 11:25 PM

Funny read from alternet today

Funny read from alternet today about the growing majority...

"Next: Copyright all jargon, colloquialisms, and slang terms you invent. Pop culture works from the bottom up, and it usually draws its language from African-based minorities. Protect yourself and get the whole enchilada. (Hey! You may want to start with that one.) If the terms hit big, you get paid. If they stay local, at least you retain control. God knows we'd be gazillionaires had we just copyrighted things like rock 'n' roll, jazz, rappin', booya! and that greeting for the 21st century, Wuzzuuuuup!"
--- Marcus Reeves, "Fear of a Latin Planet"

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01.29.02 10:40 PM

"Six million ways to die

"Six million ways to die
Choose one! (heh heh)
A what dem a try fi do
Try fi test me?
You waan test the rocket launcher?"
-- Cutty Ranks, "A Who Seh Me Dun (Wake De Man)"

It's late. I'm tired. I've had a long, hard trying week. But when I'm driving from the Boogie Down to Brook'nam, I know the road. I know that path with my eyes closed. So why dem fools onna de road wanna try fi test me? Tonight, my 30+ years flashed past my car window, as the dude on my left, realizing he was about to miss his exit, decided to change lanes. Smart move champ, you nearly rammed into the side of my car. Real. Smart. Move. Not only did he try to change lanes w/out looking in his blind spot, he switched over in a slow drag. Reckless fool. Yeah, so what I was cruising at about 65-70 MPH in the right hand lane. That in no way meant I should've been blind sided. All I wanted to do was get home.

If there are truly six million ways to die, dying by car crash would not be my choice. I would've been cursing up to my very last breath. I'd rather go out with a smile on my face.

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01.29.02 05:05 PM

New chapter in life

As I move into a new chapter in my life, I am faced with that question that has an ever changing answer. What do I want to be when I grow up? Not as if I'm not grown. It's just that the priorities keep shifting and readjusting. One day, you think your life's goal is one thing, and then another day, you're faced with opportunities that lead you in a whole new direction. I'm in that phase now. Writing, has not only been my bread and butter as of late, but it has been my lifeblood. The thing that revs me up in the morning. The thing that stirs and percolates my little engine. And while I write, mainly because I must, there are other things I want to do and can do. In the face of new challenges, I am rethinking my game plan.

Today I interviewed for a graduate student internship that would entail designing and developing instructional technology tools for community-based programs. How did I get here? To this place, I mean. This place that seems to have nothing to do with writing, being a critic or a journalist. (I'm asking myself this question now. Out loud.) It didn't happen by accident. I started computing back in the keypunch and Commodore 64 days, so the love of technology has always been there. I didn't really envision teaching technology, until offered an adjunct post at the College of Mount Saint Vincent. And now, in graduate school, I am building the foundation for a program that would teach high-tech media skills to inner-city girls. And also, as of late, I have become one of those folk who teaches computer skills in an Adult Education Center. So then, it makes sense that I am at this place. Now.

The thing about the digital divide that has always bothered me is that most folks are simply complacent to put computers in schools and in homes. But that would never be enough, and I never thought it would be. Once I interviewed bell hooks, and she said this whole technology push was nothing but another form of transnational capitalism. I can agree with her statement on some levels. As was said to me in my interview today, I believe folks should not only be trained to be consumers, but instead to be producers/creators/entreprenuers. I've written about this, and spoken about this. And now, finally, I am putting my words into action. Perhaps, I'll also get this internship and it will steer me in the direction that just might be my calling.

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01.27.02 01:04 AM

just one of those weeks

It's been one of those weeks. Haven't had time to post anything. But thanks to George and BlueRobot I have a new look for the site. I don't want to talk about myself right now. What I've been doing or where I've been. I'd just like to make some media mentions. This whole Jay Z and Nas thing is really getting overdone now. The New York Press covered it this week, and there was a special on MTV and a feature on the music channel's site. Alright already. It's a shame that folks think this is the most interesting thing in hip-hop right now, when the real interesting thing is all the music that independent artists are putting out. I'll talk more about this later. For now, it's bed time. And I have to keep working on the site. All the pages have not received the makeover treatment yet.

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01.19.02 11:09 PM

mum's earth day

Today is the mum's earth day and I was supposed to go spend some time with her. But I had classes all day, and the snow held me back from driving all the way up to the tip of the Bronx. I hope tomorrow is really as nice as they say so I can go spend some time with her. I'm saying, I only have one mother, and she is getting older. Have to get all the quality time in that I can. This year I will be the age that she was when she had me, so today she turned twice my age. I'm not telling what it is, but I can say that I have started to gray just a bit. But then again, I have friends older than me that have absolutely no gray, so that's no real measure I guess.

Sometimes I really miss my Quadra 630. It's absolutely a nothing machine compared to the strawberry iMac I have now, but it was my first home computer. I remember having to use RAM Doubler just to have Quark and Photoshop open at the same time. It came with 4MB of RAM, and I installed 4 more and still had to double the memory. And once Zip came about, I ran a lot of programs off of that instead of off the machine. That's back when I used New York Online as my main email account, and there were so few Websites on the WWW. Those were the days. I remember trying Apple's email client/ISP, AOL, Compuserve, and Prodigy, and ended up hating them all. Guess that's why I'm an Earthlink girl today.

BTW, NYO was a great BBS. Omar Wasow, Internet Analyst for MSNBC and Executive Director, was behind that community. NYO's site was still up awhile ago, but it looks like it's just a server now. It also looks like Omar was trying to start a blog. NYO was like afrofuturism and scifinoir all rolled into one. I'm still looking for a group that discusses music in the way we once did on NYO, and I think I've got something quite like it in the Acid Jazz list. But I was formally on that list in earlier in the '90s, left and then came back again. So it's not like it's something I stumbled upon since 2000.

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01.18.02 12:25 PM

shout outs to...

I'd like to give a shout out to:

Dani — for not being chopped down by the AT&T axe

George — the locs are looking lovely

Donald — for putting my retarded animated gif on his site

Sistagirl — for starting a blog ring for cool geeks of color

Cecily — for linking me on her homepage

New York Press — for publishing my review of Prince

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01.17.02 01:03 PM

the futuristic boom bap

De La Soul keeps bringing the futuristic boom bap to hip-hop to remind us that everything is not always about money, bitches, and hos. Reviews of their latest effort have been plenty good. And still their fresh, witty wisdom tells us there is hope for hip-hop.

"Fewer than a handful of MCs can say that they've dropped a handful of classic hip-hop albums. But, over the last decade and a half, De La Soul can. As hip-hop's great equalizers, they verbally counterpointed the genre's money-obsessed masses of asses in one fell swoop with connivingly worded smackdowns, a sly-fox sense of humor and a steadfast, think-smart philosophy," says Hamida Kinge in the Philadelphia City Paper.

While over at the New York Press, Adam Heimlich says, " De La Soul's whole career has been about nonconformity. Their version of it transcends anticonformity, which is itself a hard enough stance to maintain. When De La Soul achieves nonconformity-as on the whole of the Amityville-bred trio's debut, 3 Feet High and Rising, and now again, 12 years later, throughout Bionix-it's like they're on a cloud, gazing with sympathetic pleasure at a landscape marked by rebellion and struggle. Those are the abundant meat on which "real hiphop" feeds, but for De La Soul the guts of rap are the easy part."

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01.16.02 03:11 PM

Nas .vs. Jay Z

The Nas and Jay Z battle have made it to the major press. First, on January 6, in The New York Times, Douglas Century remarked that as hip-hop attempts to remain relevant, it has returned to its roots with an old fashioned battle. And in today's Village Voice, Selwyn Seyfu Hinds, former HNIC of and The Source, dissects both artists albums, merit for merit.

"Two of Rap's Hottest Return to the Dis," By Douglas Century, The New York Times, January 6, 2002

"In a season when real-life war in Afghanistan has made much of the violence in the entertainment industry seem like quaint posturing, hip-hop—a musical genre struggling to remain relevant—has returned to its roots with an old-fashioned, insult-laden feud. Past rap battles, not coincidentally, have been excellent for CD sales. Now, two young, up-from-the-housing-projects African-American multimillionaires—once fast friends, now bitter rivals—each acclaimed as among the most talented rappers of all time, are trading put-downs and below-the-belt innuendo."

"Kings of New York," By Selwyn Seyfu Hinds, Village Voice, January 16-22, 2002

"After all, Jay-Z's done everything possible over six summers to certify his chokehold on hip-hop, if not pop music at large. Why shouldn't we believe he could drop an album, The Blueprint, on the very day America found itself rocked back on its heels, and then proceed to sell some 465,000 copies over the course of a week dominated by national fear, anger, and growls of war? And in the wake of such a performance, who could doubt or challenge his hold on the elusive hip-hop throne? Well, at least one person, as it turns out—Nasir Jones, formerly known as Nasty Nas, then Nas, then Escobar, and now, thankfully, Nas once again."

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01.15.02 10:32 PM

living under a rock

I must be living under a rock. Thought I was hip to all things Internet, especially if it has to do with music. Well, Trent Fitzgerald, who scribes for, just turned me onto They've got streaming singles that haven't even been released yet. Heard some new QTip ish, and most definitely feeling brother man this time out. That flossing ish he pulled the first time he repped solo was wickety wack. But he's definitely bringing back that Tribe vibe. Pure jazzstrumentals chilling out over hip-hop beats. I really hope he brings it on the CD.

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01.11.02 03:51 PM

back to school

It's back to school tonight. There ends my life of leisure. As if it were leisure in the first place. Sheesh! Still trying to catch up on deadlines. The funny thing, though, you never catch up. There will always be something left undone. You always stay behind. Well, my behind has to get ready to get out of here and go to school. Hopefully, I'll be back again to post sometime soon. It's been real cool babbling on and on incessantly the past few days. I'm out.

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01.11.02 11:53 AM

Quote of the day:

Quote of the day:

"Is there such a thing as a genuine black culture? The black culture industry has an interest in promoting the idea that there is. Its products are created by blacks in concert with whites and consumed, in the main, by whites. The industry that started with the rough recordings of blues players now recycles itself on cassettes, laserdiscs and cd-roms, it begets baseball caps and other apparel, it becomes a movie, a novelization and, perhaps soon, a theme park ride --- Disneyworld's "Hood," where visitors can sample life as it is in LA's South Central."

-- Ellis Cashmore, The Black Culture Industry (London: Routledge, 1997)

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01.10.02 06:47 PM

"Break Ya Neck"

Busta Rhymes
"Break Ya Neck"

Yea.. Check it out, see/ The only thing you need to do right here is/ Is nod your fuckin head/ Yeah, yeah/ Break ya fuckin neck bitches/ Yeah, yeah/ Here we go now..

(Please, do not think I condone Busta's expletives, especially the one that refrences women. But hey, you gotta' admit, it's a banging beat. And Busta's rapid-fire delivery...superdopalistic. Word! Check Harry Allen's review in the Village Voice.)

Things don't get no better than this: I've been playing around with things a little bit too much today. I know I have loads of other things that I have to accomplish and the night is wearing on. Just gotta' get back into work mode...NOW! Can't help it, I'm just a girl interrupted by life. I've got enough posts in here to make up for all the times that I didn't post. But ooooo, the work is calling me. I can hear it now. "Lynne!" "Lynne!" "Get to work, dabnabit!" BTW, that's me over there. I know, the images don't really go together well. Like I said, I was playing around. One of the things I am working on today has to do with the future of music, and along comes The New York Times, just when I needed it. I vote for musicians needing no record companies to get their product to their fans. How about you? I'm also working on something that has to do with hip-hop battles, but more on that later. I'm outta' here, don't look for me anymore today.

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01.10.02 01:14 PM

the speculative fiction i promised

So I promised you some speculative fiction. The stories are based on real characters and a few real events, so don't go thinking that I'm a lunatic of some sort.

Here they go:

Series 1:

Installment 1: Sleeping with a Hacker

Installment 2: Supreme Mathematics

Series 2:

Installment 1: Egyptian extra terrestrials?

Installment 2: Civilization on Mars and other such mysteries

11:27:00 AM
Folks keep telling me to get some kind of blogger content management tool to manage this diary. Sometimes I think I should, but other times, I feel it would end up looking like a site within a site. It would just be totally different. I tried to start a blog about music before, but I just didn't have the time to keep it up. Well, I'm still thinking about making this a dynamic blog, or simply starting a new site. I'm currently reviewing all of these tools: Blogger, Movable Type, and Grey Matter. And Blogspot is a free blog hosting service, if you have no domain or host for your blog. If you think I should use one of these tools to manage my blog, holla', and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

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01.09.02 08:18 PM

the PDFs are gone

I've basically taken all the PDFs off the site. Had links to PDFs of some print articles, and there was a hidden html page with all my finals from this semester. Today, I reconsidered the PDFs. There were some stories I had written—a bit of fact meets speculative fiction type pieces—while working at that I am really proud of. So much so, I want to share them with you. I was going to attach them to this post, but I don't know yet.

I had the most god awful pizza today, and it's a shame because Neuva York is known for pizza. This stuff not only burnt the roof of my mouth, it had no taste whatsoever. And the crust, oh, let's not talk about the crust. It was the taste of uncooked dough. God awful I tell ya'. And the damn place was crowded too. I also visited the library annex on 5th Avenue today. Now I know where all the homeless folks hang out. There they were, reading books and newspapers, looking at classifieds. Some, just chilling. I don't know what to make of it. Perhaps the weather brought them inside. There was a bunch of other folks, just sitting around. Just hanging, doing nothing. It's been awhile since I've been to the library. I was doing some research, but also decided to see if this Mid Manhattan main NYPL home had any Octavia Butler and Samuel Delany. Well, two books apiece. What did I expect? Who wants to acknowledge that African-Americans can write science fiction. While there, I did see a copy of Nalo Hopkinson's first book as well. Yes, I said "a" copy. Only one.

"What the hell is that pic," you're asking? Well accroding to the BBC and this optical telescopic view, stars burst into existence dramatically and suddenly. The views were obtained by a SUNY Stony Brook professor, and if his findings are! What is the wow in that? Really? Did we expect that stars came about any other way than through firestorms. Or did we just think man made them, as we somehow believe about most things. Anyway, it's an exciting discovery for the scientific community. I just think the views are awesome. Kinda' looks like an embryonic sac of some sort.

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01.07.02 08:15 PM

It's snowing

It's snowing and I really wish it would stick. I hate all this wet stuff.

Like most everyone else, I am contemplating the best of 2001. And no, I am not making any resolutions. I have set goals, but that's an entirely different story. I'm just sitting back and contemplating some of my best of lists...I guess I'll do music, films, TV shows, Websites, tech gadgets, etc. Not sure yet, but it's a wish list. Come back later this week, or early next week if you want to see what I came up with.

2002 seems to have some nice things in store for us. Have you seen the latest iMac yet? Thanks to Formica and allaboutgeorge, I remembered that Macworld SF is popping and that Jobs announced the new line of Apple products. The biggest thing going is the new iMac. I haven't finalized all my thoughts about it yet, but it looks great. Feel free to email your thoughts, maybe I'll post them.

Here's what Cecily and I discussed about Apple today on Cecily's Formica site:


Lynne had this to say on January 7, 2002 12:01:00 PM
I swear, I love Apple. Innovatice designers. But do they ever look at form .vs. function? Damn.

cecily had this to say on January 7, 2002 12:10:00 PM
I'm not sure what you mean, Lynne. The new iMac is a blend of form PLUS function. The high end iMac (at $1899) is the same machine (in a smaller package) as the high-end professional G4 that was released last year for over $4000. It's ergonomic (that flat panel monitor literally floats in space), it has a small footprint, the design is integral to Apple's "digital hub" lifestyle (because of the smaller footprint, you can get more of your peripherals hooked up to the machine and not take up quite so much desktop real estate). It has five USB ports, two firewire ports, and is available with a combo CD/DVD drive or the much cooler SuperDrive (CD/CD-RW/DVD). All this plus an 800 Mhz G4 chip, 32 MB of video RAM, 256 MB RAM (for the high end iMac) and a completely re-invented operating system...if that's not functional, I don't know what is.

Lynne had this to say on January 7, 2002 12:18:00 PM
sorry just looked at the pic. hadn't read up on it yet. just visited to do so. looking at it reminded me of the newton, that's all. i just get frustrated that apple is always ahead of the curve, but somehow doesn't seem to ever control market share. 1: should have never been able to take over. 2 PDAs...Palm is what apple should have been. (and there's more, I know there is.) Like I said, I love apple to death. But sometimes, I just wonder if the philosophy of the company is to simply be cool...and that's it. Maybe you get where I am coming from now.

Cecily had this to say on January 7, 2002 12:42:00 PM
Ah, now I see your point. The thing is, I don't think Apple's ever been about market share. Okay, they were at the beginning, but since Jobs came back, he's less concerned about dominating the market than he is on trading on his caché of cool. He doesn't want Apple to lose the image of being the brand for hip, creative, cutting edge people who are more concerned with doing than tweaking their systems. I don't think he wants people to look at their systems as just a tool, a big impersonal hulking thing that helps them get their work done. He seems to be committed to showing how the skillful integration of hardware, operating system, software and now peripherals (thanks to the iPod) is becoming an integral part of modern life, and the way to take harness the power of this modern digital existence is to go Apple. All the better if the stuff you're using has a futuristic edge.

The eye candy gets people in the door, makes them want to put their hands on the machine. Once their hands are on it, they'll want to own it. They'll want to learn, to push the hardware to it's boundaries. They're only limited by their imagination, and all that there kind of corporate speak.

However, he did make a point of saying that he feels that this current product line (from the iMacs and iBooks to the Pro G4 and TiBook) should help make Apple more marketable to "businesses big and small" and not just to creatives.

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