Black History Month: Wanda Sykes

[Note:  Wanda Sykes uses adult language — sorry]

So admittedly I really like Wanda Sykes.  I think she is witty and just brilliant.  I also love that she did a fantastic job at the 2009 White House Correspondence Dinner (it’s on YouTube if you’d like to see it).  So enjoy todays video, and get a good laugh in on a Monday!

A bitty bio fro our good friends at Wikipedia:  Wanda Sykes (born March 7, 1964) is an American writer, comedian, actress, and voice artist. She earned the 1999 Emmy Award for her writing on The Chris Rock Show. In 2004, Entertainment Weekly named Sykes as one of the 25 funniest people in America.[2] She is well known for her role as Barbara Baran on The New Adventures of Old Christine and for her appearances on HBO‘s Curb Your Enthusiasm.

In November 2009, The Wanda Sykes Show, her own late-night talkshow, premiered on Fox, airing Saturday nights, until it was cancelled in April 2010.[3][4] Sykes has also had a successful career in film, appearing in Monster-in-LawMy Super Ex-GirlfriendEvan Almighty, and License to Wed, and voiced characters in Over the HedgeBarnyardBrother Bear 2Rio, and Ice Age: Continental Drift.

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Financial Friday: Banned from TED?

So as you all know I recently watched and fell in love with the film: “Inequality For All”   

I was curious as to who this very well spoken and researched millionaire was in the film.  He is Nick Hanauer — a venture capitalist who only buys a few pairs of pants every year, and was one of the first non-family investors in Amazon.com.  

And he has a banned TED talk…..wait…what?

Yes folks, apparently even some talks are too controversial for the good people of TED.  But as Time points out — the topic of inequality is not really controversial.  What I think was the controversial part was that Mr. Hanauer has the street cred to say that the multimillionaires are NOT job creators, because he actually is one!  During the election year of chief job creator Mitt Romney vs President Obama…I can see this ruffling some Romney-loving donors.  However, that is what I always loved about TED.  I love that they have speakers who challenge preconceived notions, who challenge your own world view.  To me, that is the point of learning — is to grow and maybe even change.  Beyond that …here is his talk for this Financial Friday.  

 

For sake of fairness, here is a Forbes article stating how wrong Hanauer is: CLICK HERE

 

Let me know what you think — should this have been banned from the TED site and hidden away on YouTube?  Is he saying something controversial, or just stating the facts?

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Black HIstory Month — SNL 28 Reasons

So I appreciate that SNL, despite being under extreme duress, has tried to increase the amount of African-American comedians on their show and in their writting room. The history of comedy as an artful expression in the African-American community is long and historic. Who would deny the impact of even modern comedians such as Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Katt Williams, Dave Chapelle and others (yes yes I do know I focused on males, but in all honesty they have had a larger overall national reach). The new young comedians are taking the torch from the masters including Key & Peele on Comedy Central and now the new (and seasoned) actors on SNL.

Last Black History Month I focused on women of color who had made great contributions to the United States. However, I’ll be honest ….I’ve had a bad January. So I think I’d like to laugh and loose myself for just a few moments. For this February, I will be trying to find some of the skits from African-American comedians that make me smile and laugh; maybe even adding in some information on other African-Americans making strides in media art forms (e.g. TV and Film). I’ll try to post one at least every Monday — so lets start with this piece of satire from SNL. Enjoy!

Financial Friday: Rigged Monopoly and Psychology (TED Talk)

In this TED talk focuses on how a person may psychologically react to feeling rich.   Paul Piff shares his research that utilized a rigged game of Monopoly to show how people behave when they feel wealthy.  This is super intersting to a nerd like myself, but is also really telling ….think of the recent statement from Shark Tank Investor Kevin O’Leery.  O’Leery delighted in the fact that 85 of the richest folks on Earth are worth as much as half of the entire worlds population.   So this talk really looks at how the mind can make sense of advantage, great incite.  Enjoy (as I defend my qualifying exams….oy…happy thoughts are most welcome!)!

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Clap along if you feel like that’s what you want to do….

Clap along if you feel like that’s what you want to do….

Now for some levity!  The students, faculty, and staff of Howard University (Washington, D.C.) dance and sing along to Pharell Williams’ “Happy” (the theme from Despicable Me 2). [Hey Hollins University!  Where is your video?!]  There is something about this song where I dare you to be a sourpuss while listening to it…..its amazing to lift your spirits…like say if you are currently writing a qualifying exam ….like I am….right this second (prayers and happy thoughts welcome — and just as an FYI this is a pre-scheduled post :P)

 

Review: Inequality for All

“We are in proportion, me and my car.  Facing the world” — Robert Reich

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So opens the film “Inequality for All” — with Dr. Reich in his little Mini Cooper on his way to an engagement.

I’ve been waiting to see the movie for a while.  Living in the sticks has its downside, and one is getting to see art-house style films.  I only got to see Waiting for Superman in the theater because I was on a date in Charlotte, NC (please don’t ask….) where one tiny theater was showing it.   My neck of Virginia is fantastic for many things — beautiful mountains, great small businesses, communities — but good documentaries are not one of them.  So when it finally appeared on Netflix, I popped it into my Husbands DVD list and waited for it to arrive at the farm.

One of my interest personally and academically is wealth and personal income through the lens of their effects on law, policy, and public administration.  And upon reflection, most of my “big-girl” jobs have touched on income — the one I have currently runs into income head on.

However, the current issue is income INequality.   From the 1970s to now the average wage has flat-lined or decreased.  In 2010 the average American worker makes about $33,757 per year, where the average TOP earner makes $1,101,089 per year.    Further, while the middle class is defined as individual making between $25,000-$75,000 per year.  Whereas the BOTTOM of the top 1% makes $380,000 per year.

Did you know that a single top income could buy housing for every homeless person in the United States? Or that the poorest 47% of Americans have NO wealth?  [CITE: Inequality for All]

The film “Inequality for All” dives into the historical roots of income inequality, capitalism, business and innovation, and policy.  Your tour guide is Professor Robert Reich of the University of California Berkeley.  The film follows Professor Reich from his very very large Berkeley classroom to his speaking engagements.  (Sidenote:  Dr. Reich can I please take your class?  Can you webcast a Virginia girl in?!).

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Soapbox: Trashtalk, NFL, and Perceptions of Decorum

 

 

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Full disclosure:  I am not a football girl.  I can watch it, I can understand plays, I get it.  I just don’t have time for it. Coupled with the fact that I am married to the one man on the planet who hates watching sports.  NO really.  He hates it.  He will watch the occasional game, but his perspective is why watch something that he could go play.  He was a football and baseball player in his youth, so he just thinks its lazy to be an arm-chair quarterback.

However, I am an academic — and a person who is completely interested in the perspectives and assumptions that humanity makes dealing with controversy.  Even more so controversy that falls under racial stereotypes and assumptions.  [Note:  My undergraduate research dived into racial psychological and sociological issues on a fairly consistent basis, my law school work honed in on critical race theory and critical gender theory and the law.  I have done less CRT/CGT studies in my Masters and PhD work, choosing to focus more on the prison industrial complex and fiscal inequality through the lenses of policing, local government, nonprofits, and networks.]

So in walks the Sherman post-game interview:

In case you have trouble deciphering what he is saying (or if the link dies) here is a written transcript thanks to the Young Turks:

Sherman: “Well I’m the best corner in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that is the result you are going to get. Don’t you ever talk about me”
Andrews: “Who was talking about you?”
Sherman: “Crabtree.  Don’t open your mouth about the best, or I’m going to shut it for you real quick.  ‘LOB!’ (Legion of Boom)”

And BOOM goes the internet!  Like this was the first time anyone had ever trash talked on an open mic…..

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