Barack Obama : "This Is Not Who We Are"

I just received an email from the campaign office of Senator Barack Obama with a link to this video. It tells the sad but too common story of an Iowa couple, Amy and Lane, whose lives are in dire financial crisis due to Lane's long and expensive battle with cancer.

Is anyone listening? Far too many hard-working, decent, contributing Americans such as Amy and Lane are crying out for help. It seems a deaf ear has been turned to them. Health insurance premiums continue to skyrocket; the price of gas, food and shelter are at an all-time high...

Barack Obama is right: This is not who we are! Our priorities as a nation have become shockingly twisted.

Barack Obama promises a universal healthcare plan by the end of his first term, if elected president. Whether you like Obama or not, please play a role in bringing back love, support and compassion. When the time comes in 2008, please only vote for a presidential candidate who cares about everyday Americans like Amy and Lane.
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Memorial Day : Special Tribute to U.S. Troops

'Flag' by Jasper Johns, 1954-55
The death toll in Iraq and Afghanistan mounts every day, with thousands of U.S. families -- and others -- torn to shreds

U.S. soldiers putting their lives in the line in IraqThis Memorial Day and always, please join the South Side Star in showing love and appreciation for every U.S. soldier in Afghanistan, Iraq and beyond. Our troops continue to do one of the most important jobs any American can. Their brave services are invaluable; the danger in which they live is unimaginable.

Whether you believe strongly in the war or feel it's past time to bring our troops home, remember to pray for their safe return to their loved ones soon.

Essential Memorial Day Reading:

~ Hot at the Washington Post is "I Lost My Son to a War I Oppose. We Were Both Doing Our Duty" by Andrew Bacevich, who writes:

I genuinely believed that if the people spoke, our leaders in Washington would listen and respond. This, I can now see, was an illusion.
~ NPR audio file about the U.S. military's new restrictions on milbloggers, i.e., soldiers who blog:
The uproar circles around an Army regulation issued April 19 which updates earlier language about operational security (or "OPSEC") and blogs. Paragraph 2-1g says Army personnel must "consult with their immediate supervisor and their OPSEC Officer for an OPSEC review prior to publishing or posting information in a public forum."

~ Blogger and U.S. Marine Matthew Currier Burden, whose four-star book, The Blog of War, provides a unique view from the front-lines in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also check out Matthew's Weblog Award-winning blog site, BlackFive.

The Memorial Day Video Bar

Real talk from ex-soldier Darrell Anderson, about why he went to Iraq and what he saw

Jimi Hendrix : "Star Spangled Banner" @ Woodstock, 1969 Vietnam War

Barack Obama : Defending his May 2007 vote against the war funding bill

Bob Marley : "War" montage

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Designer Vagina : Don't Mum the Monologue

In a society that so loudly outcries on behalf of millions of girls and women in 28 countries who've been forced to have their genitals mutilated, a new cosmetic surgery craze in the U.S. and Britain chops, slices, and sews up "downtown" primarily to make the kitty pretty. Really, who could have imagined East meeting West on such intimate terms?

The suspect new surgery is called elective genitoplasty. It usually entails shortening or changing the shape of a woman's outer lips (the labia). The surgery also could include reducing the hood of skin covering the clitoris, or even shortening the vagina itself.

Some patients cite "lifestyle restrictions" as the impetus for pursuing genitoplasty, say researchers in this British Medical Journal article. However, the BMJ -- which does not condone elective genital plastic surgery -- warns that it can damage the all-important nerve endings that allow the sensation of pleasure.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, sometimes deadly female genital cutting (FGC) is practiced in 28 African countries. These dangerous and often unwanted circumcisions also are customary among women and girls in some Middle Eastern countries including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel, as well as among some Muslim groups in Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and India. Some immigrants practice various forms of FGC even in the United States and in European nations. Here's video of the ritual in Africa...

FGC is considered an important rite of passage into womanhood. It's closely linked to a woman’s/girl’s sense of purity, as uncircumcised women are considered unclean. Other rationale for it include beliefs that FGC enhances male sexuality; curbs female sexual desire; has aesthetic benefits; and prevents promiscuity because the clitoris is considered an unhealthy, unattractive and/or lethal organ.

Tools used for female circumcisionSo much talk of cutting one's "cookie" makes that Courtship of Eddie's Father theme song play on loop in my head. In my mind, I'm singing, People let me tell you 'bout my best friend. She's a... In other words,
Come near my "best friend" with these evil tools and it'll be a battle to the bitter end!


~ BBC story looks at the practice and complications of FGC, clitoris removal and more in the Sudan

~ Afrol News covers Ethiopian women who say "no more!"

~ Association for Genital Integrity classifies the four distinct types of female circumcision practiced around the world

~ Vagina Monologues [Wiki], the Obie Award-winning play, includes a sketch highlighting the tragedy of female genital mutilation (FGM)

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Peter Braunstein : The Fashion, 'The Factory', The Prison

Women's Wear Daily (WWD) fashion writer Peter Braunstein The Halloween Sex Fiend, the New York Post has dubbed him; a brilliant fashion writer, would say his colleagues at Women's Wear Daily. The tragedies surrounding WWD fashion journalist Peter Braunstein, who was sentenced yesterday to 25 years in a New York prison -- and not, controversially, a mental institution -- are disturbing. It's clearly been devastating for Braunstein's torture and sexual assault victim, a former fashion co-worker. God, grant her the spirit to shed the scars surely left by Braunstein's bizarre, 13-hour "mostly intellectual" abuse -- and the painful, open court trial.

As could be expected, this Vanity Fair article puts the victim's hellish night with Braunstein in context:

"It was a performance," says a longtime friend (of Braunstein's), one that was full of symbols, although nobody was sure of their meaning. There were the expensive designer shoes that he allegedly used to humiliate the victim. There was the video camera with which Braunstein, a devotee of Andy Warhol, appeared to record the assault, as if invoking some aspect of Warhol's oeuvre. There were also, as New York's police noted, the striking similarities between the Halloween attack and one of the best-known photographs by Guy Bourdin, the renowned, and savagely misogynistic, French fashion photographer. The 1968 image showed a woman wrapped in plastic sheeting, tied with packing rope—and holding Charles Jourdan shoes.

Famous fashion photo by Guy Bourdin, which Braunstein had his victim pose similar to
Equally disturbing and thought-provoking is what Braunstein's family members are telling the media. His 74-year-old father, Alberto Braunstein, doesn't understand why Peter was charged with "so many" counts. Let's see... Peter acquired an NYFD uniform, faked a fire in an apartment building, forced his way into a co-worker's unit, held her hostage, forced her to perform various sexual acts and drugged her.

Alas, there's nothing so strong as a parent's love. Even after the adult child emails you a message like this:

Had you said to me 20 years ago what you did at the Picasso the other day—the put-downs about the play, the inane, pathetic jealousy, the relentless negativity—they'd still be scraping pieces of you off the walls… You don't deserve love, respect, or sons, for that matter… You were always a brooding, self-absorbed man/child, but with old age you've become patently malevolent. You're a toxic piece of shit…
Conversely Peter Braunstein's brother, Allan Starkie, in a New York Post interview about yesterday's verdict sounds more concerned about the tainted reputation of their degreed family. The brother then divulges a dark, family secret:

Starkie said Braunstein's trouble started soon after he learned of a well-kept family secret. Braunstein was born after his mother had an affair with her sister's husband, Starkie's father. "Peter is the offspring of my father and my aunt," Starkie said. "As soon as he found out, he committed his first crime."
Sad but true, here's a hot-selling book and possibly a movie begging to be scripted. One that'll possibly be written by Allan Starkie, who authored the tell-all book about Dutchess Sarah "Fergie" Ferguson. Or by Braunstein himself, to the extent that he survives prison life.

...And I fret my family's dysfunction. But that's a story for my own memoirs... Ask me the sordid details now, and I'll clam up worse than Andy did here:


~ Peter Braunstein's "manifesto" tells of his desire to kill Anna Wintour, the Vogue magazine "devil who wears Prada"

~ Full video interview of juror Tanya Rivero, explaining why they didn't buy Braunstein's mental defense

~ FindArticle archives Braunstein's past fashion column works for W, including this one on the Sheer Blonde Twins

~ Dateline transcript about Halloween night in 2005, when Braunstein dressed as a NYFD fireman handling an emergency in order to enter the victim's apartment
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NBC's David Gregory a Shoe-in for Don Imus's Slot

David Gregory does a wonderful job on MSNBC, filling in for Don Imus's old spot

Fans of the former Imus In the Morning show must be breathing a bit easier this week -- even crying a little less at the crack of dawn -- thanks to NBC's ultimate multitasker, David Gregory [Wiki]. The ever-personable White House correspondent made Don Imus's old MSNBC slot feel like home the last couple of days by holding down the hosting duties. The ad hoc show -- or trial show, per this Media Bistro article -- has been dubbed "Gregory Live."

Fans of the old Imus show, of course, already have a comfort level with David Gregory, who for years has been among the favored guest journalists appearing on Don's show. At times the adorable, smart and very funny Mr. Gregory even seemed to channel his pal Don Imus. Not Imus's rude, curmugeonly manners but his habitual throw-away phrases such as "That'll be fine."

One has to assume that David Gregory has Don Imus's blessing in filling his old MSNBC slot. According to this detailed recap at News Busters, David vigorously defended Don's infamous faux pas a few weeks ago while sitting in and interviewing the Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Dave's interview with the two civil rights leaders apparently grew mighty heated. But fans of NBC's lead White House correspondent know quite well how he rouses dander, a la his terse relationship with White House Press Secretary Tony Snow -- and before him, with Scott McClellan.

But about David Gregory and multitasking... He occasionally has filled-in for Matt Lauer on the Today Show and done a superb job. Ditto re: David's success at hosting Hardball on occasion for uber-hyper-hysterical Chris Matthews. Now, David's flirting with the possibility of permanently replacing Don Imus both on MSNBC and WFAN Radio, with Imus sidekicks Charles McCord and Chris Carlin delivering news and sports updates like in the good ol' days.

I've gotta say, though, there's a bit of an irrascible element there -- an unnecessary and unwanted "Bernard McGuirk" element on David's trial show. Her name is Leslie Gold.

Known as The Radio Chick, Leslie Gold took a moment to "acknowledge, but not apologize" to David Gregory on Thursday's show. She said that someone told her she'd been too rough in her banter with him on Wednesday. I'd noticed the same thing.

By the time Friday's show rolled around, I noticed The Radio Chick had seriously taken the edge off her remarks to David Gregory. Good move, but she may already have blown it with those pulling for MSNBC to recapture the old Imus magic. Here's why:

1. The public just vehemently rejected the overdose of mean-spirited banter on the Imus show. Leslie Gold's too-tough personality toys with forcing the old Imus slot right back to that unsavory flavor.

2. Charles McCord, Chris Carlin and Lou have a long relationship of joshing with David Gregory, and vice versa. Leslie Gold's trying so hard to "locker-room" feels like a throw back to Contessa Brewer, who tried unsuccessfully to fit in on Imus a few years ago.

3. Like Raymond, everybody loves affable David Gregory. It's a turn-off to see The Radio Chick roughing him up. And David's just too much of a nice guy and gentleman to shoot back with the same curtness.

If MSNBC general manager Dan Abrams wants this to work well -- and it certainly can -- he may need to rethink Leslie Gold. Or at least ensure she receives earnest feedback from fans of the timeslot. I doubt that diehard Imus fans will embrace a hard female element on the show. They'll be like I was: bracing and cringing everytime Bernard "Bernie" McGuirk opened his mouth -- eventually being so offended that I totally stopped watching.
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R. Kelly : Rise Up, World, 'Cause He's a Flirt

Due out on May 31st, R. Kelly's new album, Double Up, promises to be yet another mega-hit for the embattled R&B genius Check out R. Kelly's new CD, "Double Up," at Amazon!The King of R&B, R. Kelly, has a new album on the way

As this excellent Washington Post piece, "R. Kelly, Flirting With Empathy," well extols, there are few more enigmatic figures in music than the Chicago-bred R&B superstar. And despite his pending child pornography trial, R. Kelly's star continues to rise. I, for one, certainly can't get his infectious new hit, "I'm a Flirt," out of my head. Thing is, I can personally attest to the truth in R. Kelly's hot new song.

If you're not familiar with it, "I'm a Flirt" admits to one of the most peculiar "dating customs" I've observed since moving to Chicago a decade ago. The song warns that when you're out on the town with your honey, don't be surprised if when you momentarily step away, someone makes a stealth attempt to steal your cutie from under your nose. And this is precisely what I experienced on one of my first dates in Chi-town.

A new guy-friend had taken me to a swanky supper club for dinner and cocktails. Not many people were in the spot so early in the evening, so you couldn't help but notice a miniskirt-wearing Hoochie Mama seated alone at the bar a few yards away. Hoochie clearly was seeking male attention, and it could be assumed she would receive plenty, once the place filled up with a few unattached guys...

At some point, I excused myself from the table where I'd sat with my handsome date, making a brief trip to the powder room. Once my lipstick and perfume were freshened, I headed back to the table. Interestingly, as I approached, I saw the leggy Hoochie Chick rise from my chair and scamper back to her little perch at the bar.

Naive me: I just couldn't imagine why she'd been at our table. The second I was seated, my guy chuckled and handed me a folded cocktail napkin. I opened it and squinted incredulously as I read Miss Hooch's name and phone number.

Flattered but disinterested, my date encouraged me to shred the napkin; I did so post haste and with great appreciation for his show of loyalty. Smart man: He didn't hesitate to tell me he'd come there with the most attractive woman in the room, so he didn't care to have Hoochie's number.

Did women in this town have no shame, I wondered. Call me old school, but I'd never been a part of a social scene in any other city where women seemed this bold and horny. Some Chicago "ladies" (sluts!) approach man-stealing like a competitive sport, I learned.

Over the years, I've told this story to many people. Now, R. Kelly has sublimely captured head-spinning moments like it in his hit song, "I'm a Flirt." I would have liked such a melodic, well-storied tune anyway. But having personally experienced this phenomenon in The Chi, I feel a special affinity with it.

So if you're planning a summer vacation in Chicago, just beware. Take to heart what R. sings: Unless your game is tight and you really trust him, don't bring him 'round here 'cause they are flirts!

More on good guy/bad guy musical genius R. Kelly:
~ Chicago Sun-Times on R. Kelly's clean-up of a recent quote comparing himself to Dr. King and Muhammed Ali.
~ on R. Kelly's new tribute song, "Rise Up," for Virginia Tech
~'s R. Kelly archive about his 14-count child pornography charge (Remember: Innocent until proven guilty!)
~ Blogger Paula Mooney attended R. Kelly's alma mater, Kenwood Academy High School, and wrote this piece on "The R's" uplifting song benefitting Virginia Tech
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SexyBack : Hip-Hop Pants Sagging to a New Low

Wow, is this bringing sexy back?

Hip-hop fashion is sagging to a new low with guys pants wearing pants with the waistband almost to their kneesI haven't been online much as I'm visiting my mom in St. Louis, where 1.) I only have access to dial-up service and 2.) cannot tie-up my Chatty Cathy mom's beloved telephone during the day. But enough about what I cannot tie-up here in St. Louis... The question is why so many young men in my hometown cannot tie-up their sagging pants?!

Living in Chicago, I see guys every day who opt for the low-riding, hip-hop pants look. Looks goofy and impractical, but whatev... However, I've seen a startling extreme here in St. Louis that absolutely blows my mind: I've witnessed about three inches of a guy's thigh meat showing above the waistband of a pair of low, baggy jeans! What the #$!*?

Is it my imagination, or are these things sinking lower and lower? I mean, another inch or two lower, and the world would have been seeing this kid's knees. Except no one would be looking at those rusty knees, believe me.

Sagging pants is 'gay'.  Not that there's anything with gay at all.  But homophobic hip-hoppers are showing too much ass and it sure says something deep about those would-be gay bashersThis is not fashion, guys; it is sexual advertising. Any man (boy) who reveals his entire ass for other men to see and admire is cruising for a bruising in the backside. Don't kid yourselves, fellas: It's not just teen-age girls checking out your SexyBack. It is possible that more male sexual predators are into your indecent exposure than girls.

A gay friend in Chicago recently commented that he doesn't bother going to most gay clubs any longer. A gang-banging element of hip-hop has taken over the clubs, he says.

So when you add it all together -- the butt-flashing, the fashion admiration of a beltless and womanless male prison system, the extreme homophobia spewed by rappers, the verbal female-bashing -- it seems apparent that homosexual desire is manifesting in some aspects of hip-hop culture. Need I even waste key-strokes typing about the missing fathers that sometimes figure in this equation?

Bottom line: Guys, you look gay. Seriously. If you don't like what's being said about you, then pull up your pants. Doing so may save your life in more ways than one. While I just think hiking up those sagging pants will help save you from being molested by some freak, my mom believes the fashion statement plays a part in the deaths of gang-bangers. As my wise, old Chatty Cathy says, "You can't flee from flying bullets when your gangsta pants are falling down around your knees, can you?"

~ on sagging
~ Sagging Pants Poll
~ Urban Dictionary defines "Sagging"
~ Sagging Pants History
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White House : Wacky Weed & Birds In the Bush

Several 2008 presidential candidates want to legalize marijuana~ Did you know that Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel and Bill Richardson would legalize marijuana if elected president? If you didn't know that (as I surely didn't), perhaps you'll benefit from the 'score card' at about the 2008 presidential candidates. Democrats and Republicans alike are summarized, letting you know where everyone stands on issues ranging from taxation to abortion. There's also a debate schedule for each "team."

~ Speaking of smokin' and tokin', what's this about the Bush twins and their parents smoking? No wonder President Bush almost referred to Queen Elizabeth as a 200-year-old.

Queen Elizabeth at the White House~ (Singing): Go, Cabbage! It's ya' birthday! Go... What? I can't call the Queen of England "Cabbage?" Well, that's what her hubby in the fabulous movie, The Queen calls her: Cabbage! Isn't that the cutest?! I was thankful that in the film, the man who played Prince Philip didn't try to heat up the Queen with his big corned beef... He was telling "Cabbage" to slide over so he could join her in bed... Wouldn't that have been like seeing the woman get royally screwed?

Queen Elizabeth at the White HouseIn any case... I'm absolutely taken by the regal head gear that Her Royal Veggie sprouted for her visit to the United States. Of course Queen Elizabeth really came here for the Kentucky Derby. The event is like a Mad Hatters Ball, with the ultimate in wild haberdashery on display. A millinery zoo of fine feathered things that appear ready to fly the wearers off to bird paradise.

Don't get me wrong: I LOVE hats! I'm just tickled by the thought of how invested the Queen must have been in selecting just the right ones for her trip -- including the tiara! Me thinks Queenie should get out more.

Queen Elizabeth at the White HouseAlso interesting was hearing Robin Roberts of Good Morning America talk about her big evening, hanging out at the White House last night with Cabbage & Crew. Robin says that when she was in the receiving line to greet the Queen and take a photo, she'd wanted very badly to tell H.R.M. that her own mother attended the Queen Mum's extraordinary coronation. But she didn't feel comfortable taking up so much of the Queen's time, so was about to walk away... When Laura Bush spoke up on her behalf and told the Queen, "Oh! This is the woman I was telling you about, who's mother attended your mother's coronation!"

Wasn't that nice of the First Lady? Robin didn't say what Cabbage's response was. Cabbage doesn't appear to be the "down-to-Earth chit-chat" type, though. Which may be why Robin Roberts didn't tell America more about her bush with royalty. I mean brush.

~ Veggie Video: Her Majesty visits the College of William and Mary
~ Official Website of the British Monarchy
~ Queen Elizabeth at the Kentucky Derby
~ Washington Post covers gala, White Tie and Tiara
~ Breitbart covers the Queen's bling at the White Tie affair
~ The White House microsite with every detail of QE II's U.S. visit
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Humor Memoir : Brian Frazier's 'Hyper-chondriac'

And this is why I don't do MySpace. Not when you have "friends" like Sen. Barack Obama spamming you the way this LOL comedian describes. In an Op-Ed piece in the L.A. Times, hilarious Brian Frazier satirizes the world's most dangerous social network and presidential candidate who uses it most carelessly. "I'm Sorry Barack, We're Through" is about the funniest thing I've read in months. A taste of Frazier's goodies:

Obama's (Spam) Subject: "NEW VIDEOS"

Barack announced that he "just put two new videos" on his page. Which isn't really a reason to brag. I mean, I have five videos on YouTube and don't feel the need to tell everyone in my address book. Plus, at the end of the bulletin, he adds that he's "working on getting some podcasts back on the page." If you can't figure out MySpace, are you ready to run a country?
Brian Frazier received excellent reviews for his humor memoir, Hyper-chondriac: One Man's Quest to Hurry Up and Calm Down.
Glowing book reviews for Frazier include...

"Frazer's first book is the perfect medicine for anyone suffering from a case of treacly-memoir syndrome. Hilarious and biting, Hyper-Chondriac recounts the author's lifelong battle with various ailments and maladies, ranging from minor instances of frostbite to rage-filled meltdowns. Frazer's reflections are distinct and laugh-out-loud funny. During a teen rendezvous, Frazer contemplates how his date, suffering from scoliosis, removes her brace: 'It probably had to involve her entire family, as if they were an Indy pit crew.' It's that kind of spiked, wickedly funny observation that makes this sickness-filled book so easy to swallow. A-"
-- Entertainment Weekly

"How did Brian Frazer take his neuroses and write a hysterical book, while mine just annoy my family? Seriously, this is one funny book. Damn it."
-- Ray Romano

"Hyper-chondriac is my new favorite memoir! It was so funny I laughed out loud, so honest I gasped out loud and so relatable I immediately called my therapist. I love this book!"
-- Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, author of Sippy Cups are Not for Chardonnay
Since I'm such a youuuge fan of humor memoirs and soon will have my own humor memoir published, I'll have to stop at Borders while I'm out and check on "Hyper-chondriac." Sounds as though Frazier's writing very funny stuff, in a zone that takes you to the edge -- perhaps where my faves, David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs, so boldly go.

One day, you'll see cool book reviews praising a humor memoirist named Viqi French, right along side the dopest there are: David Sedaris, Augusten Burroughs and from the looks of it, possibly Brian Frazier, too.

~ David Sedaris [NPR audio catalog]
~ Augusten Burroughs [blog] [NPR audio of Burroughs's mom denying her treatment of him].

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YouTube Girlie : Obama Comments : PETA : Shock Jocks Won't Stop

PETA meatPETA meat

~ Oh no, not again!! PETA sure "pans" my desire for meat with these gory advertisements. After seeing these images, I may have a tough(er) time eating meat forever more. I already go through this weird mental thing when I'm prepping chicken. I sort of have a flashback to the David Lynch cult film, Eraserhead. You know... The scene where the scrawny chicken on the dinner table starts... Awww, don't make me say it! And the creepy family just sits there watching their dinner... Ewww!

I swear, since seeing this bizarre film many years ago, I have not been able to deal with raw chicken quite the same... ... Sometimes, I just have to walk away from the chicken a moment. I think it's going to suddenly start... You know!

~ The New York Times finds that, even in the wake of the Don Imus controversy and a number of DJs being "unplugged" for similar comments in poor taste, radio personalities have not slowed their roll. Few are speaking with more prudence; most are as outrageous as ever. According to "Shock Radio, Playing Rough, Shrugs at Imus's Fall," top shock jocks like Mancow, Howard Stern and the Jersey Guys haven't slowed their verbal assault one bit.

~ Again: no one has shut down America's venomous First Amendment factory. is experiencing this in a most embarrassing manner. They site decided to disable the comments section for all its Barack Obama online stories. Racist remarks were just too voluminous and ongoing. It's sad commentary on who some of us are. I've written here before about the American online undercurrent that harbors uber-nutty 666 suspicions about Senator Obama. Interestingly Sally Quinn's column yesterday in the Washington Post, "A Welcome and A Question," makes one realize there's deep, perhaps unusual puzzlement about Obama even among those who like him.

~ In the category of utter grey matter, YouTube fans are hatin' this cute Barbie Girl for unleashing her mundane Barbie World on video. What's all the fuss about GreenTeaGirlie? Here, the Los Angeles Times's "Webscout" solves the mystery of a Seinfieldian (i.e., about 'nothing') video clip that generated 170,000 YouTube hits in a day. The video was followed by the YouTube crowd, like sheep being led to slaughter -- with massive complaints. GreenTeaGirlie was accused of trying to pull a stunt a la LonelyGirl15.

[Lonely Girl's YouTube videos]
[Lonely Girl news story about marketing ploy]

The only redeeming aspect of this is that a couple of smart viral marketers are ekeing some business out of it.
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Want Link Love? Just "Feed My Feed"!

I feel like a jerky Bride of Frankenstein, nervous about getting this link love thing done right... I'm like a virgin...  I said LIKE!

Thanks to blogger extraordinaire Jason at Gorilla Sushi, the South Side Star has been invited to participate in a blog-linking effort. This will be my first, as it seems some of these link-building thingies are too complicated and time-consuming to join. So I'm feeling like a confused Bride of Frankenstein, moving with wide-eyes and electrified hair into the unknown of my first linkboom experiment!

Every blogger reading this is welcome and encouraged to grab the blogroll below and strengthen their community ties -- not to mention Technorati ranking.

Here's Gorilla Sushi's list of blogs:

Subscribe to BobmeetsWorld
Subscribe to LifeisRisky
Subscribe to Thoughtsfrommylife
Subscribe to CountRamblings
Subscribe to TheThinkingBlog
Subscribe to NotsoBoringLife
Subscribe to DoshDosh
Subscribe to KumikosCashQuest
Subscribe to Fuery
Subscribe to
Subscribe to Alien Hunter
Subscribe to Bryan-Baker
Subscribe to GorillaSushi
Subscribe to Ubertramp
Subscribe to Queen of the Surf Pirates
Subscribe to South Side Star
Subscribe to Vrtualme
Subscribe to Its Monkey Mamou

And I am adding the following outstanding blogs/writers to the list:

Subscribe to Paula Mooney
Subscribe to Tisha! / Serendipity Quest
Subscribe to Groovy Lady
Subscribe to Blog Band-Aids

If you're a blogger who'd like to participate, here's a copy of the instructions from Gorilla Sushi's sponsor, ...

...My traffic has soared, and my links have jumped from 90 to 125. So here’s the deal, I’ve added some of the blogs I follow to the bottom
of the list...

Okay, we have seen the Technorati Fave Train steam by, got 2000 links from 2000 bloggers and followed your comments to the ends of the earth.

Thousands of bloggers have reaped the rewards of these projects by getting their Technorati rank sky-high. Now it’s time for the new linkboom: Feed my Feed!

The idea is simple: You want readers and you want linkbacks too because that’s all us bloggers want, it’s more precious than water
for some.

So what do you do?

Easy! Copy the (above) link list to your blog, hence creating linkbacks for your blogging friends. And then click the RSS feed link to subscribe to all of the blogs on the list.

Add yourself and up to 3 other blogs and their feeds to the list before you post it.

Show some love! Just imagine if 10 people would do this and then 10 more after them. That would get your blog 100 extra linkbacks and 100 extra feed subscribers!

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Don Imus : Legal Battle With CBS Takes Off

Are you a fan of Don Imus and Bernard "Bernie" McGuirk? Or do you follow hot media issues and the legal system? Either way, stay up-to-date with the latest on Don Imus's emerging, high-profile lawsuit against CBS. Imus and his new First Amendment attorney, Martin Garbus, argue that his firing was improper due to language in the embattled DJ's new $40 million contract. CBS is filing a counter-suit against Don for his causing the station to lose millions of dollars in advertising revenues.

By the way... Those who're ready to move on from the Imus and McGuirk controvery may be happy to learn that Stephanie Miller hosted in Imus's old MSNBC TV slot the last couple of days. She seems to have done an excellent job. If MSNBC signs smart and spunky Miller as the permanent replacement for Imus In the Morning, I'll be tuning in. Any DJ who plays Todd Rundgren, the B-52's, Deee-Lite, Missy Elliott and Fergie all in the same show -- plus chops it up with fierce political opinion -- ought to be "In like Flint"!

In any case, the Imus lawsuit promises to be one well-watched dog fight, as it touches on so many hot topics: contract law, media and ethics, race matters, advertising, the First Amendment and a strong ancillary conversation about hip-hop culture, to boot.

Be sure to explore these six hot links to news and opinion about the I-Man, his increasingly popular sidekick Bernard McGuirk, and how the legal defense of Don's CBS contract is being formed...

~ The Washington Post serves up this fresh story, "Legal Battle Brews Over Imus Contract With CBS." If you're interested in knowing exactly how the law suit -- and counter suit by CBS -- is crafted, this article breaks it down.

~ The Houston Chronicle just filed this report, which includes a good recap of attorney Martin Garbus's appearance on Good Morning America to discuss the case:

Attorney Martin Garbus told ABC-TV's "Good Morning America"
that CBS Radio and MSNBC had delay buttons but didn't use them when Imus made racist and sexist comments about the Rutgers women's basketball team last month...

~ If you didn't catch Vanity Fair's huge feature story on intriguing Don Imus last year -- and I mean it is an amazing 360-degree look at the talk show legend -- here's your chance. Learn all about Don's humble beginnings, stumble upon success in radio, past cocaine and alcohol addictions, marriage to the much younger and beautiful Diedre Imus, and more.

~ Media Matters has this summary and actual video clip from Imus In the Morning, where Don suggested that Charles McCord and Bernie McGuirk apologize for previous comments they made about Jill Carroll.

~ Kung Fu Monkey describes classic Bernard McGuirk venom, regarding McGuirk's comments about kidnapped journalist Jill Carroll of the Christian Science Monitor.

~ Check out Diedre Imus's site for Imus Ranch Foods, which sells for charity great chips and salsa, salad dressing and coffees. Diedre Imus also sells her Greening the Cleaning products here.

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Don Imus, Bernard McGuirk and... Snoop Dogg?

Don Imus 'comedy' - ever irreverent Snoop Dogg Pets is a licensing opportunity the best known, pimped-out 'dogg' lends his name to.  Cute pet apparel that surely garners lots of love and attention for pets wearing this designer line

~ Check out this CNN story about Don Imus retaining top first amendment lawyer Martin Garbus, a heavy-hitter at the law firm Davis and Gilbert in New York. The I-Man is "suiting" up to clear his right to have spoken freely about *hos with hair woes* -- and other controversial things Don and Bernard McGuirk have said on air over the years. Doing so could help Imus keep the brand new $40 million contract he'd pretty much just signed with CBS Radio. The new contract, of course, was swift-kicked by Imus's (ex) "pal" Les Moonves in conjunction with canceling Don's popular talk show.

This could get ugly for CBS and racially overwrought America. If a settlement isn't reached, It could lead to scrutiny for all of the nutty/worse things that Don and Bernie McGuirk have said over the years. The question is whether CBS reprimanded them with proper warnings before terminating them. In all likelihood CBS did not. There's good reason to believe that Imus and his lawyer can prove just the opposite: that CBS somehow encouraged the controversial behavior that made Imus In the Morning a hit TV show.

And if that's the case, would a possible court case impact CBS's already jittery stock? Perhaps it's time to pull out the PR gat, guys, as only tough talking Gangsta Snoop and gun-toting Gangsta Don would do...

This dog is clearly a fan of Snoop Dogg, and wears a hot Afro to prove it Don Imus has a sprawling ranch in Reader's Digest, New Mexico, where each year he and his wife, Diedre Imus, host children suffering with life-threatening illnessess.  Horse riding is among the big activities the city kids enjoy at the Imus Ranch, a non-profit organizationPerhaps Don Imus should "go nappy" and hook up with the rap game's #1 ho-dropper, Snoop Dogg. Wouldn't these two make the ultimate 'Dog and Pony' Road Show?

Rapper Snoop Dogg licenses a line of exciting dog fashions and accessories for pooches.
Check out Snoop Dogg's Pet Accessories & New Music, The Blue Carpet Treatment [Wiki], @ Amazon:

But a final Snoop Dogg & Don Imus Dog & Pony Show question... Would African American gangsta rappers stand by Imus's first amendment rights if they learn some of the other ridiculous slurs that Imus's Bernard and Sid Rosenberg have made about black men? CBS had better settle this I-Mess out of court before too long...

We need more Crayola Crayon colors, Mom!~ Like your art with an element of danger? Well check out these sharp beauties: Crayon Sculptures! One of these delicate wax sticks might last about five minutes around here. Somehow, it would wind up snapped in two... How much do these cut-up crayons -- I mean works of art -- cost, anyway?

Lost In Space
~ Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!! According to this British study, being lost in pot space has more devastating effects then previously believed. Try puff, puff schizophrenia. Or puff, puff psychosis... Perhaps my idea of a summer vacation in Amsterdam isn't so great, after all. *cough*

Want Amsterdam links?
Amsterdam Hotspots
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In New York : A Transgender Haven

Don't miss this heart-tugging New York Times video -- "A Place For Transgender Youth" -- which is about Carmen's Place. Carmen's Place is a unique homeless shelter in Queens, New York, for transgender runaways. All of the young residents are biologically male, but on their way to looking and living like women.

Carmen's Place is run by an African American Episcopal priest who seems to have the spunk and generosity of a Desmond Tutu. As such, Reverend Braxton seems to possess a brilliant mix of loving acceptance balanced with the confidence to challenge his young charges to better managing their overwhelmed lives.

This is one blessed man, Rev. Braxton, for doing this work to truly help some of America's least understood and most marginalized citizens. In turn, he is blessing the handful of "sparrows" who likely know more pain than we could imagine.

Also check out:
~ Carmen's Place at MySpace
~ New York Times's complete article "After Work, Bunk Beds and a Mass"
~ Transgender [Wiki]

~ Sexual Reassignment Surgery
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"Urban Islands" Photo Gallery | Viqi French