Monthly Archives: June 2008

on all the u.s. news this week, satirically

dear readers,

some satire for you. political commentary a tad tongue in cheek. because, really, where else would your tongue be?

1. far more interesting than the gay marriage story is the lesbian marriage story.

Same-sex couples in California get married

(Del Martin, 87, center left, and Phyllis Lyon, 84, center right, are married by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom , center, in a special ceremony at City Hall in San Francisco, Monday, June 16, 2008.)

2. in a similar story, two stone age forbidden lovers finally said fuck the haters and got hitched:

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(featured in

3. main courthouse in cedar rapids, iowa. talking heads of state continue to deny global warming, recession, and assert justice system is in neither deep, nor hot, water.

(Photo: Stephen Mally for The New York Times)

4. they say it would take 6 people to replace the one and only him. tim russert, may he rest in peace, shown here wistfully scheming on how to take a fucking break in heaven.

(Photo: Alex Wong/Meet the Press, via Reuters)

5. hillary clinton gracefully unclenches her hold on the most exciting race for democratic presidential nominee in memory. from a fist to a high-five, clinton pivots to endorse obama. hillary fans assure the national press: “we don’t feel left out in the cold…”

(Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times)

6. “…not when we have our bibles, flags, hi-tech gadgets, and her pretty little cardboard cut outs to keep us warm inside.”

(Photo: Todd Heisler/The New York Times)

7. senator barack obama and michelle obama, esq, on their wedding day, back when they were the same age.

(no credit attributed)



just a little late week humor for u.

stay tuned for more from your fav political poet, Naxal.



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a desi daughter, survivor, on father’s day.

dear readers,

this post is made up of six vignettes. for all my desis, my poets, my survivors on father’s day.

scene one: dig it

when i was growing up in san diego there three indians in my high school graduating class of 1000. me, sabina and ranjit. so i kicked it with black and brown folks. mainly black. i was co-captain of my high school step team, going to bhajan’s every thursday night, sneaking the car out to fuck my three mainstay dudes in southeast, lighting an incense to the gods in my mom’s kitchen closet after taking a shower, that’s just life.

left the 619 for college. went to a school my father was working at. free. ate lunch with him almost every day of my freshman year. its the first time i’d gotten to know him as an adult. he took himself up out the family home when i was 8 years old. saw him once a month, once every three months after that. cherry from carnegie, a ghost hood just across a bridge from three rivers stadium, was my first roomate in the dorms. cherry once cried and told me how beautiful it was that i had my father in my life, because she never had hers.

i could dig it.

but for those of us who have father’s in our lives who are perpetrators of violence, keeping them in our lives in a safe way is a super-hero feat. an act of monumental compassion. confusing and mind-blowing at times. it is like fireworks. sometimes amazing. sometimes dangerous. navigation becomes key. tactical strategy. a war to keep up some semblance of family. and it is one i am honored to engage in. i’d rather engage than abandon any fucking day.

can y’all dig that?

scene two: when i think of my father

when i think of my father.

i think of a man whose intellectual momentum slung my family to america.

when i think of my father.

i think of the house he grew up in is on cinema road in gorakhpur, it has:

1. a well.

2. open sewers.

3. three floors, a courtyard, a garden, and a four story high temple, wide enough at its base for four people to sit in, knees touching where my da-da ji the zamindar challenging lawyer meditated while clients waited.

4. graffiti on the walls where my father as a child played with beakers etched his name into fate.

5. my cha-chi, two cha-cha’s, two cousin brothers, their two wives, their total four kids, my cousin sister when she’s not trapped with her wack-ass man in delhi, and a host of every day passers-by.

6. a set of slingshots to take with you on the roof to scare off the monkeys, still.

when i think of my father.

i think of a man who is a natural community organizer, he can befriend a whole city bus just on his way home from work.

i think of a man nocturnal hideous/pity us/the children. i think of the sickness of humanity, its depth. i think of the funkadelic album called: america eats its young.

i think of a man who could be at the jiggy-est function and would still listen at the knee of a story telling elder with attentive care, a man who quotes from holy texts with ease, a man tri-lingual at least, a man comfortable in the kitchen, constantly filling and emptying glass jars, pyrex containers, tupperware with grains, fruits, leftovers.

i think of a cancer survivor, a man eating away at his own gut, a man who used to ride his bike 20 miles to work, a preeminent aids researcher who worked for time magazine’s man of the year when magic johnson first came out as hiv positive.

a man who bought carrots and oranges by the bushel to make fresh juice for me and my brother.

when i think of my father, i wonder if its denial that keeps him alive. denial ain’t my style. but im glad he’s alive.

scene three: just let it all out cause you sure can’t keep it in

last night i was at:

WONDER-Full(X) Sat 6.14.08

and the scene was thick. church up in there, hands raised in testimony, hulk sized speakers booming, stars streaming in lights across the ballroom sky. earlier in the day, i cleaned house and left my apartment in hot pink and black on my way to bk pride. shoes soaked in four blocks. fast forward 5 hours, im still leaving wet puddles every where i step. so when it was time for my dancefloor poetry, i set the dripping shoes aside. danced barefoot all night.

a gift.

because i woke up and it was father’s day. and the stiffening of my heart is matched by the limber of my body. balance is really such a blessing.

does anyone have a cigarette i could bum?

scene four: reflection

there’s a desi father and daughter on the front page of the sunday business section in today’s new york times. he’s the richest man in india (monetary wealth). she’s got braces. i feel reflected. i am reminded.

(pic by ruth fremson/nyt)

scene five: daughter’s day bbq one year ago today
last year on this day i was at lake temescal in oakland, ca.
signs on the road directed my folks: this way for the daughter’s day bbq!
i’d organized it with lots of help from my folks, malkia, jasmine, derrick. an alternative father’s day for women folks with fathers with issues. attendance was pretty damn good.
here’s the scene: barbeque’s blazing, sun on fire, under the tree a blanket with bush mama and her two kids holding it down in the weighted shade, shakira running around getting grown and little omani, tottering after balls. savannah brought the screaming vegan cake with my name written on it in hindi. i was leaving that town. the picnic was also a going away fundraiser.  finally heading out to new york city.
thuy from law school wore a big lidded floppy hat, classic like fate. big mac gave me a photo book send off, shot outs on every page. we had a partners balloon game with only fun at stake. afterwards a few of us dipped mermaids in the lake. daughter’s day bbq, a year ago to the date.

scene six: true story
father’s day aint easy for so many. my homeboy javier, artistic director of a bay area based youth hip hop theater company called “colored ink,” put it this way in his most recent email update:
“I ask you all to send an extra prayer out to all of these kids whose fathers have been getting murdered locked up, dying in wars and because of wars. For all of the Fathers who won’t be getting honored this weekend because of the lack of responsibility, I say this to you; if you really knew the impact that a strong visible father has on their children and their community; you would have never left in the 1st place. But as you look now, you are seeing the impact by you not being there. It is never to late to make amends.
true story jav.
happy father’s day all.
stay tuned for more from your fav political poet,

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on the national conference on media reform

june 11, 2008

dear readers,

gatherings of national scale are important. they whip up energy like four winds colliding, roiling, toiling to birth a new day. the sun makes it look so easy, right? like olympic gymnasts, or savion glover with his lightening feet. gatherings of national scale are important whether they are liberal led, radical red, or conservative cred, they are important. even when they aren’t perfect, they are important.

why was the national conference on media reform (june 6-8, minneapolis) important?

all the faces/all the moments/all the panels/

were media/

media of the mouth/media of the moment/

fresher than anything on tv/

moment as media/

it was/in its moments/monumental

moment 1:

when hip hop journalist davey d asked grouchy greg, founder of (“we get more traffic than vh1 and bet combined”), about the imminence of corporate sell-out. greg sat there, next to arianna huffington, in front of a long stretch of seats filled by older, whiter people than himself who twittered uncomfortably at his every comment and had the balls to say he and his partner weren’t going to sell their site to the corporate buyers hovering like flies above their sticky sweet site because “our readers won’t let us.” how’s that for a new model of accountability? we’re watching grouchy greg, we heard what
you said to davey d, and yes, we’ll hold you to it. but yo, greg, wassup with dogging newspapers man, saying newspapers are a “waste” and are going to be “obsolete in 3 years”, yo, you gotta pick your eyes up off the stunning visage of america and look worldwide, motherfuckers of all walks are reading papers on the daily in so many countries, globally the newspaper ain’t dying any time soon, i promise you that.

moment 2:

when malkia cyril of the center for media justice blew everyone out the water with gems like “we can’t win the fight for media justice without fighting for a more just economy,” and “we need to build a movement that moves from the city to the beltway and not from the beltway to the city,” and, my personal go-get-em-tiger favorite, paraphrased: we simply can’t expect the first amendment to hold back the tide of media injustice because the first amendment wasn’t created in a just era. malkia laid it down wedged into the discussion as the only grass roots based person of color between democracy now’s amy goodman and free press’s bob mcchesney. moreover, malkia bullhorned with no bullhorn this startlingly honest message in front of a packed house of liberal, older, whiter folks. what does that mean, “liberal, older, whiter”? well, imagine like its still slavery time and these are northern white folks, not southern white folks, and some of them, a small smattering few, are hardcore john brown abolitionists with a license to ill. this past sunday, the new york times featured a week in review article on obama and the idea of “being too black”. as in, obama can’t win if white people don’t like him, white folks don’t want a candidate who’s too black because it makes them feel like they have something to atone for, and its better for obama to stay “post-race” and not be “too black.” well mac, let’s just say you can’t be too black, you can’t be too butch, you can’t be too intellectual, and you cannot be too you. big ups for creating a national media network of good folks doing grassroots work from the rural to the urban and keeping doing you, better, and as much as you humanly and humanely can.

moment 3:

the star studded panel on un-embedding media and war. the football sized room was packed to the hilt. sizzling energy. the session starts with a short film, war made easy, put out by the media education foundation. i was moved by that shit. language poetic, message strong. war made easy spoke to the way “war machinery is fully linked to major media outlets,” it spoke to the way every news program on every channel every day leading up to the war sounded “a drumbeat of war,” an “echo” of war mongering that sought not to balance coverage but to tip the scale of blood to pour in iraq and forgotten afghanistan. afghanistan, 50% bigger than iraq, 4 million more people than iraq, all to say this is an important country to not forget. remember and not forget. afghanistan, the country that had never known the suicide bombing phenomenon until the u.s. invasion, and clocked 140 such bombings just in the last year. this according to afghani panelist sonali kholhatkar. the film ended with a grainy slow motion shot of reporters walking alongside (was it) lyndon b. johnson, old school thick rimmed glasses, skinny ties, and they moved, heads down, blindly, stepping in time to the administrations soundbites like so many sheep. an arresting visual.

moment 4:

same panel. 1st speaker. the hip hop reverend yearwood speaks on it. said he was a veteran and a proud member of iraq veterans against the war. the crowd roars. tells the crowd to yell harder for the cameras, so the war resisters in canada watching on the tv could hear our support for their on-the-run lives. the crowd amplifies. reverend yearwood moves into his speech, sinking his message into our local context, mentions the bridge collapse in minnesota last year, we got money for war and can’t keep our bridges up, our levees strong. the reverend said we need to impeach bush. another gigantic roar from the crowd. his most powerful message was “we should not continue talking to only ourselves,” that we should not “be afraid of losing our hardcore status by appealing to and through mass media,” and, he urged, “let’s get our movement past our media.” reverend yearwood represented lovely for the hip hop generation, and appealed to the white elders in the room by making links, “your vietnam is our iraq, your birmingham our new orleans, and your emmitt till our sean bell.” murmurs of acknowledgment from all around. when he said we need different voices to speak to all the different groups, i felt seen. and, he end, when he let loose his thunder most preacher throated energy with “reclaim democracy and impeach our president,” the crowd was on its feet. guess they felt seen too. who knew impeachment was on the minds of so many? i must not know because its not in the drumbeat of media machinery as it was for clinton.

moment 5:

dinner family style at bubba gump’s in the mall of america with center for media justice fam.

moment 6:

outside the kitty kat club, where underground cats and the dope trip hop band “black blondie” inspired the stage alight, me gettin nice in a freestyle cypher with four minnesota hip hop heads, necks bobbing, beat box dropping, a mouth made in heaven, i felt like, when i walked down the block to the reggeaton club on the corner and the tigres just hissed to let me know they was watchin, ssssss, i walked around them, under the fat green leaves that lined the nighttime sidewalk i walked and felt like a mouth made in heaven.

mmmmm, moments.



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