Lynne d Johnson



« November 2006 | Diary | January 2007 »

12.22.06 08:59 PM

John Ridley on the Modern American Nigger

Yeah, I know. But wait.

So someone sends me this link to an Esquire essay titled, "The Manifesto of Ascendancy for the Modern American Nigger." Before I even read the essay, I wanted to know who the writer was. It says, "By John Ridley." That didn't ring any bells. Not at first anyway. But a little searching put me in line.

I must be living in the darkness.

The bio, in a nutshell, reads:

"a former producer on NBC's Third Watch, he wrote and produced the film Undercover Brother, conceived the story for Three Kings, and wrote and directed Cold Around the Heart. His critically acclaimed novel Stray Dogs was made into the movie U-Turn, directed by Oliver Stone. In addition, he is also a regular commentator for National Public Radio."

Oh yeah. I remember where I've seen him, over at The Huffington Post.

But a Google Blog Search and Technorati Search reveal there hasn't been many posts about his essay. I saw maybe one or two. Same with a recent commentary he had at Huffington Post on Michael Richards.

So now, I figure I can read the article. I know, why do I have to do all of that background research before even reading the thing. I haven't even formed an opinion yet, but I'm of the mind that you need to know a little bit of whom you're reading, before you read. Not to bring any judgments with you when you're reading. Its mainly for perspective...the understanding of perspective that is.

So I'm going to read it now. Maybe you want to also, that is if you haven't already.

Ok, I'm back on vacation.

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12.13.06 08:20 PM

The New York Press on Social Media


I just couldn't stay away.

I had to come out of semi-retirement to tell you about the cover story of the NY Press this week. My boy, and editor-in-chief of the NY Press, Adario Strange, writes the cover story that reads:

MEDIA THREAT Social media, user-generated content, digital egalitarianism … big media has a big problem

And we want to know what he's on to here. Especially since we've had extensive, well detailed, discussions about social networking.

The piece, has us wondering whether recent technological (read web) events have ushered in the “post-human” era.

For instance:

The 109th Congress closed last Saturday without sanctioning the Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement (COPE) Act of 2006, a bill designed to redesign the Telecommunications Act of 1996 in a manner that would ultimately allow Internet service providers like Verizon, BellSouth, Comcast and AT&T to charge websites and companies for faster Internet access—essentially stratifying the Web into a fast lane business class and a slower, digital ghetto for those unable to pay a premium.


On Monday, Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, unveiled a new, free-hosting service called OpenServing, a site that will offer free hosting and use of the powerful Wikia software to anyone interested in creating a community site. Wales intends to make this all available while permitting users to keep 100 percent of any advertising revenue they earn on their site from ad networks such as Google Adsense.

Can someone say disruption? Isn't that what the Web 2.0 Summit was all about?

Go read the essay for yourself.

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12.11.06 10:52 AM

Love Break

Loving myself and taking a break from this blog. Besides I blog enough over here already. I'll be back in the New Year, which is very soon.

So stay subscribed to the feed, or keep me bookmarked, but also check over here, to see other things I might be writing about.

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12.07.06 02:22 PM

Chuck Klosterman Ponders Whether Ali Invented Rap

Chuck Klosterman, author of Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas, Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto, and Fargo Rock City : A Heavy Metal Odyssey in Rural North Dakota, wrote a meditation for's E-Ticket, "Did Ali Invent Rap? Of course I know the answer is no. It began even before Ali. But anyway, let's see what Klosterman has to say:

  1. While it's difficult to prove Ali invented rap music, it's almost indisputable that he spawned what is now referred to as "the modern athlete," a term that's generally used as coded, pejorative language. When someone complains about "the modern athlete," he or she is usually just saying, "This particular black athlete behaves like a rap star, even though I've never actually listened to rap music in my entire life."
  2. Sports columnists and rock critics have a lot of qualities in common...And this is especially true when the (mainly) white media covers the (mainly) black worlds of football, basketball and mainstream hip-hop. In both instances, journalists remain simultaneously fixated on two paradoxical positions:

    (1.) Most athletes/artists are boring because all they do is repeat safe, meaningless clichés.
    (2.) The few individuals within these idioms who do say provocative, controversial things are ill-informed media whores who should be more grateful that they are rich.

I wonder where Greg Tate or Nelson George were when the idea for this piece came about? They, especially Tate, could have offered a more indepth perspective.

But in the end, the big deal behind whether Ali invented rap or not is more or less marketing hype for ESPN's airing of "Ali Rap" on Saturday @ 9 PM.

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12.06.06 12:07 PM

Dame Dash Likes Social Networking

The other day, on FC Now, I picked up a news piece on Damon Dash getting involved with a new urban social networking site. Here's the blurb.

I had noticed that urban and hip-hop oriented sites had not picked up on this interesting piece of news, considering that his cousin, and brother of Stacey Dash, Darien Dash, was playing as an early competitor to For those of you new to the Web biz, I mean post bomb that is, you may not know that Darien Dash was a major player in the Web game. (Look him up if you don't believe me.) Like his cousin, he's also a major hustler.

So when I heard that Dame was getting into the social networking biz it didn't surprise me. Finally, the urban press has covered this, with a story appearing on today. Here's the link.

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12.06.06 01:17 AM

Black Professionals Networking

I'm excited about this Thursday. There'll be an event for Black professionals working in or around media and digital technology at the offices of Community Connect, parent company of,, and Those sites are the ethnic precursors to the MySpace's of the Web. At one point, BlackPlanet was one of the fastest growing social networks (back then known as a community portal) on the Internet.helped a lot of

I'm excited because it'll be a sort of homecoming for me, as it was probably one of the best loved gigs of my career, as I was once a reporter/editor there. I'm also excited because Omar Wasow will be giving a presentation on social networking. He ought to know a bit about it, considering his background with New York Online (a little like The WELL), that introduced a lot of creative professionals in and around the NYC area to early social networking and the concept of email. Go figure.

And NYO was one of the first services to use First Class Client on such a large scale. Folks like Gary Dauphin and Touré were there. And yes, of course I was there. That site was definitely primordial linkedin and myspace rolled into one.

It only made sense that after NYO, the folks at CCI would hand pick Omar to help them launch This should be an interesting event, especially since BP is in the process of reentering the arena and claiming its spot.

Let's just hope I take good photos and notes.

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12.05.06 06:06 PM

Tyra Banks Gets Philosophized

Daniel Mendelsohn, the critic and author of the best-selling book reveals what´s behind your obsession with "America´s Next Top Model" at the New York Public Library tonight. In a talk titled "From Roman Games to Reality TV — Mass Entertainment and Imperial Politics," he will discuss the continued popularity of entertainment based on "spectacles of humiliation," and what it means for us, for society and for Tyra Banks´s career.

The Robert B. Silvers lecture by Daniel Mendelsohn, 7 p.m., Humanities and Social Sciences Library, Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street,; free.

(via The New York Time Urbanite)

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12.05.06 05:43 PM

Beyoncé Wanted to Play Effie

In an earlier post, I hinted at a Jennifer Hudson/Beyoncé fued over who the real star of the upcoming Dreamgirls really was. Adding more fuel to the fire, are Beyoncé's own comments in a recent People article, denying a feud -- but coming off sounding extremely envious.

Exhibit A: "I'm already a star. I already have nine Grammys. Everyone knows I can sing."

Exhibit B: But the R&B star did admit that she would have liked to have sung Effie's song, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going."

Exhibit C: I mean," said Knowles, "I wish I could've gained 20 pounds and played Effie."

Exhibit D: "Jennifer Hudson had such a pressure, first of all, never being in a film and never have done an album and still having to live up to those expectations," said Knowles.

And you say...

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