Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 1

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 2

2

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 3

MoJo Journal 2006: Thank You, Congressional Pages!!! (for being so damn sexy!) Copyright © 2007, by Baratunde R. Thurston. Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License. For information, address: Kingly Companion Media, LLC 955 Massachusetts Ave., #207 Cambridge, MA 02139 publishing@kinglycompanion.com (877) 859-9394

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5

You are free: • to Share -- to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work • to Remix -- to make derivative works Under the following conditions: • Attribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor. • Noncommercial. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. • Share Alike. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. Any of these conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder. Your fair use and other rights are in no way affected by the above. This is a human-readable summary of the Legal Code. -----This work is licensed under the Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 543 Howard Street, 5th Floor, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

MoJo Journal Series, Volume II Cover design by wQ, Cambridge, MA Photos by Baratunde Thurston unless otherwise noted Printed in the United States of America a.k.a. Freedomland

3

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 4

Welcome to my MoJo Journal ........................................................................................ 5 A Guide to Celebrating Black History Month for Those Who Aren’t Black ................. 6 Chappelle Stole My Joke! ................................................................................................ 9 Guns don't shoot people. Cheney shoots people ......................................................... 10 The First Black Southern Senator Since Reconstruction? .......................................... 11 Right Wing Radio Had Me Fooled ................................................................................... 13 Why is Colin Powell still talking #$@!??? ..................................................................... 14 What Would You Say to the Driver Behind You? ........................................................... 16 I called McCain on his B.S. SIX YEARS AGO! ............................................................... 17 Why I want to stab MySpace with a rusty knife in the ear canal ................................. 18 "Listen to me. They come home from war, and they kill themselves!" ....................... 20 Baratunde’s NY Times Bestselling Book(cover)s ......................................................... 21

User Error, Gentrification and How I Got Jacked in Chicago ....................................... 27 He Came. He Danced. He Conquered ............................................................................. 31 Anwar ................................................................................................................................ 32 Thank You, Congressional Pages .................................................................................. 36 Jesus Wants YOU to Use E-ZPass ................................................................................. 37 Ahhh!!! I just wanna rape Kerry Healey Right Now!! .................................................... 38 Baratunde’s Day After Election Thoughts ..................................................................... 40 I Conjured “Mr. Bag” ....................................................................................................... 41 The Year in Racism .......................................................................................................... 42 Spread the word! .............................................................................................................. 45 and visit wherever “baratundes” are found online ....................................................... 45

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 5

Welcome to my MoJo Journal
Welcome to the second volume of MoJo Journal (formerly known as MoJo Quarterly back when I was insane)! This is a Best of 2006 collection featuring the best Momentary Jokes (MoJos), essays and, new this year, photos, by comedian and author Baratunde Thurston. It’s generally in chronological order, so you can re-live the best and worst moments of 2006, laughing at both. This book is free to download, print, pick up off the street and pass along to friends. You are encouraged to leave copies on the subway, at coffee houses, barber shops and secret presidential exploratory committee meetings. We believe in Creative Commons and have selected photos from flickr.com to accompany the text. These photos are clearly marked. Otherwise, assume Baratunde took the picture. To stay current on his writing and performance schedule, visit Baratunde on the interweb Visit baratunde.com and everywhere else “baratundes” are found online including MySpace, Facebook and YouTube. Also, links in the online version of this book are clickable. You can join Baratunde’s mailing list, read his blog, find his live performance schedule, listen to his podcast and even buy crap like t-shirts and stickers and weak-ass North Korean nukes.

Baratunde at the Apple Store with his cool hat and glasses.

5

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 6

A Guide to Celebrating Black History Month for Those Who Aren’t Black
3rd Edition
A lot of people don't really know what to do when Black History Month rolls around, especially if they are not black. For me, the options are clear: be proud of my race. As I've learned in over a quarter century of life in modern America, the best way to feel good about oneself is to put others down. So I'll be spending the shortest month of the year downplaying the achievements of all non-black Americans. It'll be fun. But that leaves open the question: What do you do during black history month if you're not black? Fortunately, I have a solution for you people as well. (And when I say "you people," I mean it in "that" way). Here is my Guide to Celebrating Black History Month for Those Who Aren't Black There are 10 things you can do to show that you value the contributions of African Americans to this great country of ours. Ready?

1. Read The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Better yet, watch the movie. That book is really long. The basic story involves a young man who goes through many life challenges, finds himself and gets killed as his message begins to really spread. Key takeaway: you cannot make a difference!

2. Invite me over for dinner
Whenever it's not Black History Month, I get sad. It's not because I miss the television specials or the Coca Cola commercials featuring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Although, if there's one thing he stood for, it was for our right to consume high fructose corn syrup). Free at last! No, I get sad because February is the one month when my white friends invite me over for dinner. It's their way of making up for the 400 years of free labor and institutionalized racism. I don't even mind being the token dinner guest. The only real problem is that after Black History Month, I'm still hungry! So, invite me over for dinner.

3. Get a black friend
I'm a busy man. I can't be the black friend for all of non-Black America. So it would behoove you to get your own. If you find yourself in this unfortunate position, locate a large group of black people in a poorly lit urban alley. They should be wearing the same colors (it's a sign of unity). Run up to the group and scream, "I FEEL YOU DAWG!" They will welcome you with open arms..

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 7

4. Once you have a black friend, appreciate him!
As a black person, I can honestly say I don't feel all that appreciated in America sometimes. You could go a long way toward healing the racial divide if you simply said something like, "Leroi, George Washington Carve invented the peanut!" It helps if your friend's name is Leroi; just a tip.

community, such as what type of candy is best after it’s shaken. (Here's a hint: Laffy Taffy).

6. If you own a retail store, put pictures of black people on the wall
Anyone who's seen Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing knows that if there's one thing which will activate the dormant riot gene in an African American (ask Dick Gregory about that), it's the absence of their peers on the walls of a neighborhood retail establishment, especially a pizza shop. And if that pizza shop is owned by those I-talians, well, fuggetaboutit.

5. Watch BET
I know it's not owned by a black person any more, but this Viacom cable channel still stands for Black Entertainment Television. For your February purposes, the "E" in BET also stands for education, because you will learn much about black people while watching it. Primarily, you will learn that black people are a very musical people. Through the magical storytelling power of song, you will learn of the great challenges facing the black
7

7. Don't be racist
This one can be a struggle for many, and it's understandable. Racism is everywhere. It comes naturally. But it's considered to be "offensive" if you are racist toward black people during Black History Month. If nothing else, it shows a lack of discipline. If you're serious about hating black people, prove it by delaying that hate for four short weeks. Think of it as a vacation from racism, or "vacacism." On March 1, you'll return to peak racist form, charged up and ready to marginalize.

No Swine on My Mind at 13

4th and Lenox in New York

City

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 8

8. Know the key people
Sure, there have been lots of unsung heroes in the history of Africans in America, but they're unsung for a reason: there are only a few that count -- the sung ones. These include Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcom X, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, W.E.B. DuBois, Booker T. Washington, Frederick Douglass, Langston Hughes and maybe OJ SImpson. When in doubt, see if there's ever been a feature-length film about the person or if Chevrolet has ever used their image during a February commercial. If the answer to both of these questions is no, move on. That's it. I know I told you there would be 10 things to do in this guide, but, quite frankly, there's just not that much to celebrate. And look at it this way: with this manageable list of eight, you can do two per week without adversely affecting your life's delicate schedule. It will be like Black History Month never even happened!

8

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 9

Chappelle Stole My Joke!
A friend just sent me to a Washington Post article explaining one of Chappelle's funny new jokes. Thing is, I wrote something better two years ago! From the article: Chappelle has another bit in his routine that shows flashes of what made "Chappelle's Show" so jawdroppingly raw. Commenting on the movie "The Passion of the Christ," he notes that the actor who portrayed Jesus was struck twice by lightning during filming. This suggests one of two things, he says: a) that God is smiting those who would create graven images of His prophets, or b) "The Jews have a weather machine." On Feb 27, 2004 I wrote the following MoJo as documented in my NewsPhlash newsletter that day: During the filming of Mel Gibson's "Passion" people on the set were struck by lightning three times. In related news, Jews own the lightning machine. And I later revised it longer to the following: During the filming of the Passion of the Christ, three people on the set were actually struck by lightning! Some people see this as a sign that God didn't want his son's story told in that particular way. I see it differently. I see it as a sign that Jews also control the lightning machine.

Oops, pow SURPRISE! Thanks, Chappelle, for validating my comedy career! The fact that I can't use that joke again is a small price to pay for your flattery.

hear my joke @ http://odeo.com/audio/1130087/view

Most disinterested interviewer in the world

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 10

Guns don't shoot people. Cheney shoots people
Here's the easy joke I wrote: "Dick Cheney shot a longtime Republican friend in the face this weekend. Imagine what he would do to a Democrat." But there's way more interesting stuff to say. Read on brothas and sistas. Read on! As if there were any doubt in the world that this is the most gangsta administration ever, Dick Cheney went and upped the ante, yall. Dubya has proved himself a rough rider time and time again. He proudly spies on Americans, tortures prisoners and says the reason we went to war (WMD) wasn't really that important after all. That's some gangsta ish. But Dick Cheney's like, "Great, Dubya, so you violate international treaties. La deee da. N-gga I shoot my own friends!!! In the face!!!" I swear even Stringer Bell would stay away from these fools. (that's a reference from the best show ever on television ever for those who don't know) The story doesn't end here though. Here are some observations about VP Slaughter's "accident." 1. They didn't tell the press until the next day that the incident had happened. How you gonna shoot somebody and not tell until the next day? That's some gangsta ish.

2. I got a text message from my boy CNN yesterday, and they purposefully let you think Cheney got shot. Here's what it said: "Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and injured a man during a hunting trip in" I stopped reading after "shot," and I was thinking, "Why would you accidentally shoot Cheney?" If Cheney gets shot, that's gonna be some premeditated stuff. Trust me. (note to not-so-secret NSA data gathering probe. yes this was a MILD VP assasination joke, but only mild and only a joke. Please move on to another blogger now, thank you). 3. I was browsing online and came across this.

Predator Facial Armor System Protects Against IEDs

I couldn't help but think that Dick Cheney's hunting buddies might want to order up a batch of these too.

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 11

The First Black Southern Senator Since Reconstruction?
The Democrats actually have a chance of taking both the House and Senate this year. In the Senate, it's really close, and it comes down to a set of unlikely states like Mizoorah, Virginah and Tennesah. Latte-sippin liberals probably think of it as Tennessee, but real Americans know it's pronounced Tennessah. Down there we've got an interesting situation. On the one hand is brother Harold Ford, Jr. If elected, he would become the first black senator from the south since Reconstruction. On the other side we've got some racist white dude. Now, campaigns get ugly, and campaign commercials get even uglier, but the anti-Ford ad shocked even me. It's set up like a standard political testimonial ad. They grab some random person on the street and have them dis the candidate. Here's how it goes for those who haven't seen the commercial: CUT TO: Thirty something white man dressed in fatigues with war paint on. "Ford's right. I do have too many guns."

CUT TO: Middle-aged white woman. "I suppose terrorists have rights too." CUT TO: Older white man. "Harold Ford wants the government to tax me twice!" And then, there's the money shot. CUT TO: Blonde-haired, blue-eyed white woman with no visible sign of clothing. "I met Harold at the Playboy party. Call me Harold!" What the?!?!?! This ad ran in Tennessah! The thing is, after the ad, major national Democrats complained and demanded an apology, but I have a problem with all these reactions because they involve words. I want to take the fight to the enemy. I propose my own response commercial with the same testimonial setup. The target: House Speaker Dennis Hastert CUT TO: Middle aged white woman.

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 12

"Dennis Hastert doesn't believe in a woman's right to an abortion even in cases of rape. My sister had to go to a backdoor clinic, and she never came back." CUT TO: Young white dude. "Dennis Hastert didn't ask any tough questions about the war in Iraq. My cousin went over there and got killed." CUT TO: Older white man. "Dennis Hastert doesn't believe in stem cell research. How can you not believe in science? It was my brother's only hope. Now he's got nothing left." CUT TO: Blonde-haired, blue-eyed 14 year old white boy with NO VISIBLE SIGN OF CLOTHING. "I met Dennis Hastert at the Congressional page ice cream social. I.M. me, Denny!"

Momentary Jokes A Massachusetts first grader was suspended from school for allegedly sexually harassing a female classmate. The little boy grabbed the girl's waistband in an apparent attempt to get her Laffy Taffy. Protests have extended throughout the Muslim world in response to cartoons of Muhammad depicted in a Danish newspaper. First, they say we can't flush their holy books down the toilet. Now, we can't even insult their prophet. The next thing you know, we won't even be allowed to exploit their natural resources! US Congressmen have accused Internet companies of supporting China's repressive regime by doing business there. The lawmakers typed up their self-righteous accusations on computers made in Chinese prisons, then walked home in shoes made of Chinese dissidents. Impressed by the success of Brokeback Mountain, Brad Pitt says he wants to play a gay man in "the edgiest work he's done." Hollywood writers are scrambling to finish scripts for "Tom Cruise, the Musical."

12

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 13

Right Wing Radio Had Me Fooled
Today I left Austin, TX on my long journey home to Boston from South by Southwest. It can't be a simple flight because my life isn't simple. The return requires a stop in San Antonio and then New York and then I rush to a radio interview in Boston. Anyway, I was driving South on 1-35 in my rental car (BTW in Texas, "Intermediate Sedan" means "GiNormous Ford F-fivebillion pickup truck" when you translate it into Chicken Fried English), and I turned on AM radio. I couldn't find any Air America, so I settled on my other diverse and competitive local radio choices: conservative political talk or conservative religious talk. Thank you, relaxed FCC media ownership rules! I stumbled across a call-in segment where a man was explaining how Muslims actually worked on behalf of the devil. The host, a minister, agreed then took the next caller. This guy began to recall his earlier years when he worked in a gun store in San Antonio and remembers selling guns to Palestinians. The host reigned him in: "Sir, please get to your point. I don't like when people launch into vague stories like this." I was hopeful. So the caller got to his point: "I think these Palestinians need a lot of help. They're consorting with the devil--" And the host/minister jumps in: "Now wait a minute sir. Please don't paint them all with a broad brush like that. It isn't fair."

I was so impressed. This dude was gonna make sure the caller didn't judge all Palestinians for the actions of a few. He continued. "It isn't fair to judge them all. Some Palestinians are Christian! And we need to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ to make sure they maintain their strength and don't succumb to the pressures of their culture or evil religion surrounding them." Nice.

of the Texas state capitol. Home se Dark Lord Sauron. For tho the tower of reading this in print, -red the capitol is filled with blood lighting

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 14

Why is Colin Powell still talking #$@!???
This is the first news I heard today: Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell advised President Bush before the Iraq war to send more troops to the country, but the administration did not follow his recommendation, Powell said. Monday morning quarterbacks are universally annoying. Some guy, who can barely walk up his own stairs without losing his breathe, waddles into the office talkin smack about "If I were in charge during the game, this woulda been and coulda been, blah-de-blah-blah.” Imagine instead you have the actual quarterback from the game rollin by your watercooler: "Man, what a messed up game that was yesterday. If they put me in, I woulda done this and coulda done that and blah-de-blah-blah." That's Colin Powell. If this unprincipled, cowardly, trash-talking mo-fo doesn't shut up, I'm gonna find a way to go Oops, upside his head. More than any of us, Colin Powell had the ability to at least bring attention to America's efforts to manipulate ourselves into an unnecessary war. He went in front of the U.N. and sold a bunch of b.s. about trailers and robotic planes, gutting his own credibility in the process. But what did he do about it? When things were really heating up, and generals were saying we didn't have enough troops,

“shut up you white bitch” by txd via Flickr. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
and analysts came out questioning the intelligence and the post-war strategy was looking a bit non-strategic, this bastard didn't say a thing. I will never forgive him for that. As the election of 2004 approached, he defended the president. He stood up for bullshit over national security and common sense. He deserves nothing. I don't want to hear him utter another word, unless those words are a protracted, weeping, groveling, desperate cry for forgiveness. I wish this biatch would consider running for public office, just so we can remind him, that he had his chance to be a real leader and blew it. God, I hate that man.

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 15

Momentary Jokes A British fathers' rights group has disbanded following some extremist members' plans to kidnap Tony Blair's son. The group's founder said he closed shop because a "lunatic militant fringe" was hijacking the organization. If only Islam and the Republican Party would follow his example. 86 evangelical Christian leaders have decided to fight global warming. However, Jerry Falwell publicly disagreed with his colleagues, saying, " Churches should be reluctant to attach the name of the Gospel of Christ to contemporary political agendas that lack a clear scriptural mandate and consensus among the faithful." In other words, he'll never speak publicly again. Iran says it won't use oil to retaliate against the West for attempting to stop its nuclear program. Instead, they'll use nukes Support for slot machine legalization is growing in Massachusetts... because there's just too much hope in that state

Ha. Ha. Health care is so hilarious.

White people spontaneously “dance” on the streets of Austin, TX

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 16

What Would You Say to the Driver Behind You?
A year or two ago, a friend of mine and I were discussing a genius concept: what if you could put an LED display in your rear-view window to send messages to the car behind you? Well, the company known as Perpetual Kid hacked into our conversation, clearly, and came up with a LED display on a license plate. According to the website: Scrolling License Plate Flash Frames are an incredible new accessory for any car! Featuring a lighted, scrolling message display built into a license plate frame. Flash Frames allow you to express yourself while on the road or stuck in traffic. Simply create and enter up to 5 messages (up to 120 characters in length each) using the included wireless remote control. Then select from 3 different scroll speeds. The super-bright LEDs ensure that your message is seen day or night. You can announce to everyone on the road that youre a fan of your sports team, advertise your business or tell

the person behind you they don't know the first thing about safely operating a car! Here are a few things I'd like to say to drivers behind me: • For the tailgater who’s driving a USS Destroyer-class H10 Hummer -- the type that runs on a mix of high octane fuel and Iraqi baby blood -- I say: YOU HAVE A SMALL PENIS • OSAMA 2008. If we can have Barack Hussein Obama, why not the real thing? • MY KID MADE THE HONOR ROLL... KIDS CRY • BABY IN TRUNK. I’m just being more specific. • BRING THE TROOPS HOME, BUT ONLY IF THEY BRING OIL WITH THEM

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 17

I called McCain on his B.S. SIX YEARS AGO!
Stephen Colbert did a great thing last week when he called out John McCain on his change of heart regarding Jerry Falwell and the "Reigious Right." Much has been made of the fact that McCain called Falwell an "agent of intolerance" in 2000 but spoke at Falwell's university recently However, back in March of 2000, I not only cited McCain's more agressive dis, but I documented his flip flop even then. (originally posted in NewsPhlash on March 3, 2000) McCain "Punks Up" for Bauer John McCain made waves earlier this week when he referred to hate-mongering Christian conservative types as the "forces of evil" that they are. Wednesday, he was crushed by those waves as he rescinded his comments and apologized in order to placate Gary Bauer. Who the hell is Gary Bauer? Good question, readers. He is what we in the parody business refer to as "a nobody." You'll probably not recall that he ran for president, threw in the towel and endorsed McCain. After McCain's comments about the Religious Wrong, Bauer (who loves to play "Pin the head on the Coon") demanded an apology. McCain, the upright Republican soldier that he really is, followed orders like a good prisoner of political warfare. In laymen's terms, he was punked! Way to lead Senator! Is this how you were in Vietnam?? No wonder you were a friggin prisoner! This brings me to the larger issue of these military men seemingly losing their cajones once they've left the field. I've already hated on Colin Powell for talking meaningless smack out of office that he should have been using in office. John Kerry was another example -- a war hero that wouldn't even fight for the job of president when people accused him of being a coward and when his own Church turned against him. Say what you will about the Texas Air National Guard. At least it produces people who stand up for what they believe.

sanne via world wide flip flop by .su 2.0 Flickr. CC Attrib-NoDerivs

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 18

Why I want to stab MySpace with a rusty knife in the ear canal
To think, I had somewhat gotten over my insane hatred of MySpace. Well, that is over. Look, I understand that MySpace is "cool" and it's "social networking" and yes, it's a relatively safe place for kids to have their own, well, space (as argued by respected academic, danah boyd). I get that the design is somewhat intentionally ghetto. But my current frustration goes beyond web design snobbery. Answer me this simple question: how can a site that's all about social networking and communication make it impossible to send messages to people????? GOOODAAMMIT I HATE MYSPACE SO MUCH RIGHT NOW!@#!@#!@# I cannot find a simple way to compose an email message within the system. Sure, I can look at someone's profile and "send a message," but how do I find their profile?! especially if they have a common name, like John. Oh my god, I can't even explain how asinine the system is, it's gotten me so upset. To all those people who say MySpace is superior to good old email, you can suck my postage stamps! Let me try again from the beginning.

I want to send a message to a MySpace friend of mine. How do I do this? Here's what I tried. I went to the "Mail" tab, which showed me my inbox. I looked for an option to "create" or "compose" or "send" a message. I clearly ask too much of a messaging system. There was no such option. I clicked on something promising called "Address Book." I though, "this must be where all my happy socially-networked MySpace friends are!" I was wrong. According to MySpace, my address book was empty. I have 417 MySpace friends, but my address book showed zero. Please explain to me how this is "cool" or "hip" or "Web 2.0" or "indie." It's neither of those things. It's pure crapola. So then I thought, "well, I've sent this person a message recently. I'll just check my 'sent' folder till I find that, click on the profile and send a message that way." Wrong. According to the rotten placentas at MySpace, "Sent mail is automatically deleted after it is 14 days old." Wha??? Why would they do that? There is no good reason for this. This is not cool. This is dumb, and don't tell me it's about saving space on their hard drives. We're talking about simple text-based messages. Meanwhile the company is hosting, probably millions of hours of audio and video files. I went back to the Home page to look for other possibilities. There was a section all about my friends. I chose "Edit Friends." This took me to a page showing my first 20 of 417 friends. There was no apparent order to the listing (though I've been told they're ordered by their sign-up date with MySpace). There was no way to sort by name or even search. So I'm

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 19

supposed to manually flip through my friend list, 20 at a time, for all 417??? So, the more friends I have, the harder it is to communicate with them?? I swear, all these statistics about how much time people spend on MySpace is not a positive thing. It's an indictment against the whole structure of the service. I mean, people spend mad time in line at the DMV. That doesn't mean the DMV is the hot new place to kick it. That means they suck at what they do.

Momentary Jokes President George W. Bush said on Tuesday that a deal for a state-owned Dubai company to manage major U.S. ports should go forward and will not jeopardize U.S. security, adding "The war in Iraq has already done that." A middle school student's science project found that the ice at fast food restaurants has more bacteria than the restaurants' toilet water. Dogs across the country responded, "That's what I been tryin to tell you man!!" Meteorologists predict that New England could be hit by a major hurricane this season. I'm preparing early. In a few minutes, I'm heading to Best Buy, and I'm looting everything. The immigration debate has gotten very ugly. On the conservative side, you have people who want to "outlaw illegal immigration." On the liberal side, everyone is worried about what will happen to the children. I'm more worried about the nation's lawns. Until you can find me a selfmowing lawn, I say, keep illegal immigration legal.

19

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 20

"Listen to me. They come home from war, and they kill themselves!"
I'm still blogging from the YearlyKos political convention here in Las Vegas and attended a panel yesterday that consumed me with sadness and rage. I cried. There's a group called IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America) which represents just the people it sounds like. It was founded when returning vets realized that the America they left behind had forgotten them, obsessing over Branjelina and not acting at all like a country at war. Members complained about the lack of a human face on the troops that we have, regardless of how we feel about the war. (P.S. check out my Interview with a Returning US Marine from last year’s MoJo Quarterly). IAVA hosted a panel with veterans from Iraq talking about their experiences over there, but most horribly, their experiences here in the US once they returned. The quote in the title was from a female vet who joined the military at age 17. She was describing the heart-breaking, backstabbing and outright cruel lack of resources available to veterans once they get back, especially psychological help.

She told of how she was sexually assaulted by a major when she was 19 (a subject I've blogged about before), traumatized by her experience in Iraq, and forced into nearly 9-month delays once she returned. She was officially noted by the military health staff as having suicidal tendencies. If it weren't for IAVA, she said, she'd be another statistic. "I know people who came back from the war and blew their brains out because they couldn't take it. Listen to me. They come home from war, and they kill themselves"

www.iava.org

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 21

Baratunde’s NY Times Bestselling Book(cover)s
In America's charged political atmosphere, the level of acrimony seems to know no bounds. Nowhere is this more clear than in the publishing industry, where books from the Right accuse liberals of everything from having mental disorders to being extremist, pro-death, godless, slandering traitors. Authors such as Ramesh Ponnuru and Ann Coulter have lowered the political discourse with baseless charges and, in the process, raised their income and speaking fees. Well, it's time the Left fought back. Comedian, author and vigilante pundit Baratunde Thurston is proud to answer these accusations with the release of his bestselling book covers. These empty volumes are the perfect response to the disingenuous, unsubstantiated and sometimes laughable accusations from so-called right wing "pundits." The fact that many of these people are household names is an insult to those who have worked hard to earn that position, namely Paris Hilton and TomKat's baby. Responding to America's short attention span, Baratunde's publisher has decided to skip straight to the merchandising phase, foregoing printing of the actual "book."

KITTENS FOR BREAKFAST:
AND OTHER DELICIOUS RECIPES FROM THE CONSERVATIVE KITCHEN With a new chapter on Senator Bill "Kitten-Killer" Frist! Excerpts: "And that's when it occurred to them! Baby seal blubber would really enhance their Independence Day bunny burgers." Chapter 36, "Killed on the 4th of July"

buy @ goodstorm.com/stores/baratunde

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 22

buy @ goodstorm.com/stores/baratunde

THE 700 CLUB GANGBANGED MY PUPPY
They've called for the assassination of elected foreign leaders. They've blamed feminists for 9/11, and homosexuals for Hurricane Katrina. They said Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was struck down because he failed to adhere to biblical prophecy. In this never-before-told story, find out where this very special club gets its strength: the buttholes of virgin puppies. Because it's not gay if your partner is a dog. Endorsements: "Of course! It all makes sense now." - a former member of Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority Coalition Don't forget to check out the alternate cover!

22

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 23

CONSERVATIVES HAVEN'T DENIED CREATING AIDS:
Bill Frist's Secret Plan to Spread the Disease with his Sweaty Hands: And why I want Rick Santorum to meet him
Consider the evidence: 1. We have no conclusive proof on the origin of the HIV virus which causes AIDS. 2. It's well known that conservatives have launched a new effort to reach out to traditional Democratic voters, which include homosexuals and African-Americans. 3. Political campaigns generally include handshaking with key civil rights leaders. 4. In a 2004 interview, Republican Senator Bill Frist, a licensed doctor, claimed he "didn't know" if HIV-AIDS could be transmitted by sweat. Well, the conclusion is clear. The STD-ridden, kitten-killing, puppy-banging wing of the conservative movement created AIDS. If they didn't, then why don't they say so? Endorsements: "Baratunde Thurston has uncovered the most frightening secret in America. He should be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, a Purple Heart and 30 years on the lucrative lecture circuit."

buy @ goodstorm.com/stores/baratunde
23

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 24

Finally, against all odds, we tracked down Ann Cooter's tortured conscience, which managed to sneak away long enough to give us this inside scoop.

HUSBANDLESS:
Whine, Screech, 9/11, Buy My Book
by Ann Cooter She's made a lucrative career of blaming liberals for every failing in society. Now, in her first honest work, Ann Cooter tells all about her loneliness, her lies and her selfish motives. Endorsements: "It made me feel sorry for her. Cooter's story made me want to give her a hug... after punching her in the Adam's apple, of course." - a reader "This broad is a millionaire, lionized on TV and in articles about her, reveling in her status as a celebrity and stalked by neoNazis. I've never seen someone enjoying other's deaths so much." - the 9/11 widows

buy @ goodstorm.com/stores/baratunde

24

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 25

Momentary Jokes A Catholic priest in Chicago was charged with possession of child pornography. I can't believe this is still happening. I can't believe they want to charge this man with a crime! I want to present him with a medal… for Most Improved Catholic Priest. Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar admitted to driving through a crowd at UNC Chapel Hill and declined a public defender saying "the truth will be my lawyer." As it turns out, the truth will also be his prison rapist. Today, San Francisco commemorates the 100 year anniversary of the Great Quake which leveled the city and killed 3,000 people. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson are pleading with God for a 2006 repeat. Three US military contractors have confessed to smuggling marijuana into Iraq using the military postal system. The news isn't surprising to those familiar with the military mail's new motto: "neither lack of body armor nor sexed up intelligence nor local law stays these couriers from delivering those fatties."

Abe Lincoln shops at Whole Foods

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 26

Momentary Jokes With a recent spike in oil prices, George W. Bush says he will keep an eye out for gas price-gouging, because, he explained, "I need me a piece of that!" The UN committee against torture has demanded that the US provide more information about its treatment of prisoners held in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. The US responded by moving the UN headquarters from New York to Guantanamo Bay. Catholic group Opus Dei has told Sony Pictures that putting a disclaimer on the movie "The Da Vinci Code" stressing it is a work of fiction would be a welcome show of respect toward the Church. Sony responded that not molesting children would be a welcome show of respect toward Jesus. Veteran rocker Neil Young has recorded a protest album featuring an anti-Iraq war track and a song titled "Let's Impeach the President." The album coincides with the release of a White House memo titled "Let's Wiretap Neil Young." Best wedding cake ever

In the NYC Subway, the city declares its motto

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 27

User Error, Gentrification and How I Got Jacked in Chicago
The Background
I've been in Chicago for one week now and, for the most part, it's been really positive. The day I arrived, George W. Bush left town. That's always a good sign. Maybe I should move back to D.C.? My studies at the Improv Olympic are going great. I figured out the El and have made a bunch of new friends. Of course, I've got my share of small complaints. It's hot as heyall; the six-way intersections have got to go; and, while it's true that Boston has really bad drivers, Chicago has really deadly drivers. People here treat red lights like ideas they just don't happen to believe in. The low point, though, was last Friday at 1:30am when I found my car broken into. As is my custom, I can't just tell you the details of the incident. I need to touch on all surrounding issues like urban development, gentrification, class transcendence and common sense. Prepare yourself. I have been to a shit-ton of American cities over the course of my life, but especially over the past seven years. Boston (obviously), New York, San Francisco, Portland, LA, Tacoma, DC, Lansing, Austin, Chicago. Even the cities I haven't seen recently, I've experienced through college friends who landed there post-graduation. Almost all of these cities share a major

storyline: urban (re)development. The slums are getting a makeover, becoming home to high-priced condominiums. After the riots of the 60s and 70s, white people left cities. After the crack wave of the 80s, the few remaining bounced too. They fled to the suburbs which became the ex-urbs. Commuting time grew from 30 minutes to and hour to sometimes two hours in each direction. Meanwhile the innercities were largely underinvested and left to decay. I'm not sure what turned the tide -- maybe the excessive commute and distance from a city center became too much or land got more expensive outside the city -- but in the late 1990s, people started talking about the return to the city. My own neighborhood in D.C. bears this out. My mom packed me and the dog up in the summer of 1991 after the beating, shooting and dealing became too stressful for a single mother

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 28

with a teenaged black boy. For a few years later, things in the old hood didn't improve, but I've gone back in 2000, 2005 and just a few months ago, and there are now two nice white people from Iowa renting a renovated version of our old basement for the price of the mortgage payments my mom was making. When money comes back to the city, however, it's not a simple binary transfer from hood to neighborhood. See the recent Americablog post about how the tension between old school and new school can lead to disastrous and deadly consequences.

was maybe 20 percent black, 70 percent Latino and 10 percent white. Now it's 10 percent black, 50 percent Latino and 40 percent white. Walking around, it doesn't feel dangerous at all, but it just feels a little hood-ish. Anytime your major retail options are no-name groceries that end in "-Mart", check cashing places, auto body shops and laundromats, you're in something more on the hood side of the neighborhood-hood spectrum. There are plenty of boarded up homes and abandoned lots around too. At the same time, people are selling condos for $200K and even $300K+, and you can't pass a block without seeing some sign promising a new condo unit "Coming Soon" right across the street from the check-cashing spot. The trend isn't limited to pseudo-hoods like west Bucktown either. I got to see some of the South Side, and it's starting to happen there too. So what does this have to do with my car stereo getting jacked? Well, I let my guard down. I haven't lived in a hood in a really long time. I left DC in 1995 and left the place with the shootin in 1989. My friend Glenn said I got soft. I had a removable faceplace on my stereo, but did I remove it? Noooooo. I was no longer living in a world where I assumed people were assholes. I assume politicians are assholes, but not my neighbors. Why didn't other cars get broken into? Because I was the new car, I had out of state plates, and I had a cheap but nice looking head unit.

The Chicago Version
I forgot all these things when I came to Chicago. I'm staying with a friend who lives in West Bucktown (2600 W, 1700 N for those who know the lingo), on the edge of Humboldt Park. His landlord was telling me that 10 years ago, the neighborhood

What Did They Steal?
Oh, and I had let the car sit in the same spot, un-accessed from Sunday through Thursday. So here's how it went down. They broke the rear passenger side fixed window (thanks for

28

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 29

breaking the cheapest one guys!) and unlocked the door. Then a thorough search of the car revealed the following must-have list: • must break window to enter car ($40) • sony head unit ($130) • portable TomTom GPS 300 ($600). I know, if it's portable, why did I leave it in the car? to my credit, I hid it in a seat pocket, but I acknowledge the dumbness of that, • car chargers for iPod and cell phone ($45) • roll of quarters ($10). for laundry? tolls? • $10 bill ($10) • Tupac CD I hadn't ripped to iTunes yet ($10) • the cover for my spare tire with a Deval Patrick for Governor sticker on it ($10). They were trying to take the spare but gave up All told, that's $865 worth of stuff I lost, but the only real things of value are the stereo and the GPS. The stereo I consider acceptable. The GPS I had disabled by the company that made it. They left my EZ-Pass/Fast Lane toll booth billing thingy, laundry detergent and most importantly, THE CAR. They also broke the cheapest window and did a clean job of removing the stereo.

Basically, I forgot where I was. I can't just be stupid happy guy with his cool, political, pink t-shirt and iPod blocking out the world and car not moving and valuable shit exposed to the world. It was an expensive reminder but also one that I needed. So thank you burglars. Oh, and if you mess with my car again, I'll firebomb the whole goddamned neighborhood. :)

29

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 30

Momentary Jokes The US warned Russia to act more like a democracy. Russia said it would when the US stopped acting like the USSR. Millions of AOL users suffered several hours of email delays this week due to a "software glitch," according to the company. He explained, "It seems the NSA filters got backed up a bit." Presidential advisor Karl Rove blames the Iraq war on Bush's low approval ratings. Now if he could only find the strength to blame Bush for the Iraq war, we'd be getting somewhere. The White House said that people who become US citizens should have command of the English language. Whatever makes the president feel better. A US state is to enlist web users in its fight against illegal immigration by offering live surveillance footage of the Mexican border on the internet. Anyone can then call the border patrol to report illegal crossings. Version 2.0 of the service will allow web users to remotely shoot Mexicans for a $50 income tax credit. “Freedom” Toast is still around?!?!^%$@ wtf?

PM Dawn is still around!?!?! WTF?

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 31

He Came. He Danced. He Conquered
On Damon Street in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood, I caught this kid. He put his thing down and rolled.

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 32

Anwar
No, I'm not talking about the Alaskan nature preserve “Pimprov” at Chicago’s Improv Olympic some people want to rip open for a few years of oil. Anwar is an Egyptian man who drives a taxi cab in Chicago and hates it. I've got a history of cab driver bonding. I worked a job in Boston that kept me at the office late with my cab rides home covered by my clients. I actually got to a point where I could call the dispatcher, and they'd know my voice: "Hey, Mr. Baratunde!! Where you going today?" I swear I could have run for office in Boston or Cambridge and won just with the cab driver vote. This past Friday night in Chicago, I was forced to take a cab because the L made some sort of detour which put me as far away from home as the station where I boarded the train. I got off the train and into a cab, asking the driver to take me to a major intersection: North Ave and Western Ave. "Ok, can you tell me how to get there?" he asked. For my Boston readers, that's like asking for directions to Mass Ave and Newbury. For D.C. folks, maybe it's 14th & Pennsylvania Rd. For those who live elsewhere, you get the idea. The driver did, however, have a TomTom GPS unit -- one that was very similar to the unit that was stolen from my car one week before. He plugged in the intersection and listened to

modern technology for directions. He had been driving a cab for just one week. It turns out Anwar doesn't really like driving a cab. I asked him why, and he answered so quickly and articulately, it was clear he thinks about it ALL THE TIME. 1. He doesn't like the passengers 2. Passengers are generally very rude and too stressed out 3. Other cab drivers will do anything for money Anwar has been in the US for one year. He's hear because, as he put it, "my wife was obsessed with moving to the United States. She insisted that there was more opportunity here. It was very annoying." They won the green card lottery and moved to Chicago. In Egypt, Anwar was a doctor and surgeon. He paid $100 per month to rent a spacious two bedroom, two bathroom apartment. In the U.S., he has to pass three medical exams before he's allowed to be a doctor here. He has passed the first two and is studying for the third. In the meantime, he drives a cab and pays $800 per month for a studio apartment. Oh, and his English was incredible. Considering that one year ago he spoke no English at all, I was extra impressed. His grammar and pronunciation were great. He talked to me about the misconceptions Americans have about the Middle East, especially Islam, and how the media just doesn't get it right. He also loved that I do comedy! Given the increasingly crazy political world we're in, he thought comedy was a great means to express certain ideas to the people. I agree man!

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 33

Momentary Jokes McDonald's is rolling out a premium coffee in a bid to compete with Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks. The new drinks will be advertised as "McDonald's Coffee: now with REAL COFFEE" President Bush selected Fox News anchor Tony Snow as his new press secretary. He then renamed the press secretary's office to "The Ministry of Truth." Coca Cola is running TV ads in India denying that its drinks contain pesticides. Other companies are taking note. Oscar Myers recently ran an ad saying, "Oscar Myer hotdogs. There's no AIDS in there!" Israel poured troops into southern Lebanon moments before a cease fire was to take effect. Meanwhile Alcoholics Anonymous will begin sponsoring a Booze Cruise for new members as an initiation gift. Saudi Arabia is planning to build a fence along its border with Iraq. They don't get it. Iraqi immigrants are simply willing to do the jobs Saudis won't: that is, blow themselves up.

Like the Iraq War, this ramp has no exit plan

Can you spot the problem with these O’Hare airport signs?
33

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 34

Momentary Jokes A 3-year old girl in Minneapolis was hospitalized for drunkenness. Doctors warned, "she could have easily died." But I say, look how good Lindsay Lohan turned out. This kid's gonna be ok! French doctors have successfully operated on a man in near-zero gravity. That's great. We have 44 million uninsured Americans, and the French want to rub our noses in their socialized "space medicine." A 73 year old used car salesman in Texas ended an argument with a customer by whacking the man's arm with a machete. He normally uses the machete to slash prices, but sometimes the customer isn't always right. A 3-year old boy bought a $16,000 BarbiePink Nissan off of eBay this week. Apparently he was trying to get to Minneapolis and hook up with that drunk girl. A British fathers' rights group disbanded following extremist members' plans to kidnap Tony Blair's son. The founder said he closed shop because a "lunatic militant fringe" hijacked the organization. If only Islam and the Republican Party would follow his example.

“Sammitches” are available on N. Clark St in Chicago at the Pick Me Up Cafe

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 35

Momentary Jokes After Apple opened its iTunes movie store with Disney Studios, other studios wanted to join in. However, Wal-Mart threatened those studios: "if you sell with Apple, we won't sell your DVDs anymore." Yes, Wa-Mart thinks it will lose its customers to a digital download service. Do they know who their customers ARE??? They should be more worried about their customers gnawing on the DVD packaging in the store According to the BBC, a UK team has been given permission to carry out the world's first full face transplant. And if ever there was a nation in need of this procedure, it would be the United Kingdom. Cheers. Al Qaeda's number 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri announced plans to release a video message about the Pope, Bush and Sudan's Darfur region. He had planned to release via Apple's movie download service, but changed his mind after learning his distribution deal with Wal-Mart would be cancelled

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 36

Thank You, Congressional Pages
Ok. Let's draw a thick line in the sand. Let's call that line "appropriateness." Now watch me leap across it. Thank you Congressional Pages for making Rep. Mark Foley horny. Thank you for saving the instant message logs. You've done a great service to your country. Think of how many people have died in the past few years due to stupid Republican policies. If a few teens had to get textually assaulted to bring an end to this corrupt madness, I'm all for it.

“ze frank catch...” by spcoon via Flickr. CC AttributionSharealike 2.0. Fox News wants you to think he’s a Dem.

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 37

Jesus Wants YOU to Use E-ZPass
The "e" is for evangelical. Don't be left behind When the Rapture comes, the last thing you want is to get stuck in traffic. actually the last thing you want is to be a non-believer, but right after that is traffic!

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 38

Ahhh!!! I just wanna rape Kerry Healey Right Now!!
I'm sorry. I can't help it. I'm a black man. Kerry Healey is a white woman running for governor of Massachusetts. She has continually implied that her opponent, Deval Patrick, a black dude, is pro-rape. I better not see her in my garage, or there's gonna be a rape-a-thon son!!!! I'm taking pledges now at 1888-RAPE-HEALEY. Operators are standing by with condoms.

Lil’ Creature by welovethedark via Flickr. CC Attribution 2.0

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 39

Momentary Jokes KFC announced it will abandon trans fats in its cooking process. Now all they have to do is get rid of frying and chicken, and it'll be all good. Donald Rumsfeld is out. At times like these, I am reminded that you go to war with the secretary of defense you have, not the secretary of defense you might want or wish to have. Consumers groups are complaining that the Nintendo Wii's controller risks child injury because it makes the players too active. We wouldn't want that now would we? Former Senator Bill Frist has ended his 2008 presidential run. While he gave no specific reason, rumors abound that he accidentally kissed an HIV-infected baby and was afraid his campaign would spread AIDS across America.

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 40

Baratunde’s Day After Election Thoughts
I am slightly less ashamed at being an American now. When I go abroad, I will drop my poor version of the Canadians' "eh." This election has been great for me because it was aBOUT (no longer aBOOT) sanity and awareness returning to the American people. My mother, and many other black mothers, always told me that I had to work twice as hard to get as far as a white person in this country. It was an astoundingly simple yet often accurate lesson. Yesterday's elections show that Rebublicans must fail twice as hard in order to fall as far as the Democratic party. A little bit of my faith has been restored. Deval Patrick. I cannot express my excitement over this man's campaign. I was involved from the very beginning. In addition to personal pride in someone I believed in, I still can't believe that an outsider, in almost every since of the political word, has triumphed in this state, known for its boy's club allocation of political capital. It's not just that Deval won (which makes his billboards' blocking all light in my apartment for the past 3 - 4 months worthwhile), it's the fact that he triumphed so completely (20+ points) over an opponent who got about as dirty as you can. It's the fact that at every step the "pundits" said he would not and could not succeed. It's the fact that his campaign actually involved more people than any in the state's history. It was more

than advertising. It was more than speechifying. It was an actual movement. Even opponents of his should be impressed. Back to the national scene. I say my faith has been restored this morning because the words "opposition party" may now actually mean something. Five years ago, America overdosed on "patriotism," and while some of us detoxed quickly and saw the truth of what was happening, the majority was scared into trading liberty for socalled "security," and it has been a horrible, horrible exchange rate. No-bid contracts for highly inefficient war profiteers, falsification of intelligence reports, unconstitutional domestic surveillance, advocacy for torture, vilification of homosexuals, politicization of stem cell research, denial of global warming, unprecedented levels of corruption, provocation of potential nuclear powers Iran and N. Korea, blind concession to oil addiction, intimidation of voters, rigging of elections, closeted gay behaviors among the most righteous, attacks on immigrants, support for corporate malfeasance, idiotic and irrational "homeland security" measures and a failure to investigate any of these things. All this was done in the name of "9/11." It has taken a long time, too long for my taste, for this nation to awaken, but it's finally morning in America.

sunrise19.6 by AdmScoo via Flickr. CC Attrib-ShareAlike 2.0

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 41

I Conjured “Mr. Bag”

Read Matthew 7! Don't pick motes of everybody else's eyes! US product liability cour decisions have reagarded every US citisen as having no horse sense, being thus absolutely incapable of doing business, thus any US administration is illegal because any US election is void! WFT???!?! I decided to see the photos of "mrbag_de" to learn more about this nonsensical person. Here is what I found. There were 14 more like these. I’m scared.

vaudeponchoinverted

twinfarmersfrisianminks

Ziploc “Body” Bag
In May of 2006, I posted the photo above to my Flickr account. I had seen the ad somewhere and commented on the photo, “There is no legitimate, psychologically sound, non-criminal reason to make a Ziploc bag this big. None.” Several months later, someone under the Flickr username “mrbag_de” left the following comment:

“my business suit”

greyhood.orig

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 42

The Year in Racism
Originally published in Boston’s Weekly Dig December 20, 2006
It’s easy to find grand proclamations about the state of race relations in America. I have heard all of the following. First: “Back in the day, you knew when folks didn’t like you. It was bad, but at least it was honest.” Then there’s: “It’s all a matter of class, not race, man.” Finally, my favorite: “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” The year 2006 has been an old-school, authentic wooden roller coaster of a year when it comes to race in America, and the ride has mostly been downhill. Since discussions of race often make people uncomfortable—OK, they make white people uncomfortable—let’s start with something light. Niggers. This is clearly the word of 2006. (It’s alright. I can say this word. Some of my best family members are black.) In June, Nicholas Minucci of Howard Beach in Queens, NY, was convicted of a violent hate crime for beating three black men who were hoping to steal a car. Minucci called them “niggers” in the process of sending them to the hospital. During the

trial, Harvard Law professor Randall Kennedy testified on behalf of the defense. Kennedy is the author of Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word. Kennedy explained that the term could have many different complex meanings, not all necessarily racist. Um, Randall? It’s Howard Beach. N-word, please! During Black History Month, Damon Wayans tried again to get his trademark application for the word “nigga” approved so he can sell T-shirts and other merchandise under the brand. Thankfully, the US government rejected his application, depriving Wayans of the chance to sue niggaspace.com for trademark infringement. Yes, niggaspace-dot-com. Pleeeease check out that site from your offices. Then tell me all about the awkward cubicle conversations it generates. Last up in the Nigger department, we’ve got KKKramer. Michael Richards did for racism what Dick Cheney did for hunting accidents. Not only did he massively offend black people with a racist rage that recalled the glory days of George Wallace and Bull Connor, but he grossly offended the art of standup comedy. I’m still not sure which hurts me more. In affirmative action land, conservative activist Ward Connerly struck again, this time in Michigan. Michiganders passed an anti-affirmative-action initiative similar to the ones Connerly has backed in California and other states. As much as I’d love to buy Connerly a Howard Beach vacation, I prefer his methods to those of our own college students, who’ve proven embarrassingly inept at solving Boston’s problem of an excessively large minority population.

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 43

At BU, the College Republicans started a $250 “Caucasian Scholarship,” designed, they said, to trigger a debate about race-based programs. However, the state and national GOP called the move “misguided,” “offensive” and “inappropriate.” Do you know how hard it is for the Republican Party to call you inappropriate? They didn’t even think Mark Foley was inappropriate. By the way, BU Republicans, please update your website. It says you’re offering internships for the Healey for Governor campaign starting last spring. First, you don’t even mention if the job came with a rape kit. Second, such a lackadaisical attitude toward site maintenance could lead some to think you aren’t really qualified to attend BU. I’d hate for that to happen. Proving my long-held suspicion that the internet has merely allowed village idiots to friend each other on MySpace, Tufts University’s conservative paper, Primary Source, one-upped its BU brethren with a Christmas carol titled “O Come All Ye Black Folk.” The song, they said, was published as a critique of affirmative action. It presented more played-out stereotypes of black students—all standards-undermining seven of them at Tufts—as earning F’s for grades and being born in the ghetto. Yawn. For a place that I was introduced to as “the most racist city in America,” you kids don’t represent Boston at all. What happened to the rock-throwing, anti-busing, American flagimpaling racism of Boston’s illustrious past? Of course, there has been some good news for 2006 race relations. Deval Patrick was elected as our state’s first black governor! Barack Obama could be the 21st century’s first assassinated US president! Jay-Z came out of “retirement”! While Coretta Scott King passed on, Rosa Parks was upgraded posthumously. Her image is being used in Chevy truck commercials, which is perfect. When she refused to sit in the
43

back of that Silverado, she made America extend its great promise to all citizens. Let’s face it. 2006 was painful. There’s a war on Latino immigrants; the NYPD is still convinced that black people are made of Kevlar; we lost Hot 97; and even when the Republicans in Congress lose, they win. Trent “Strom Thurmond for President” Lott is back. And his new title couldn’t be better: Minority Whip.

New Mass. Governor Deval Patrick at his inaugural party

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 44

Momentary Jokes Despite the warnings of meteorologists, absolutely no hurricanes made landfall in the US this year. Scientists explained that a late El Nino pattern was responsible, but the truth is that since the destruction of New Orleans, there was simply a lot less gay sex in 2006. A man shopping at an Oklahoma WalMart found cocaine on the shelf. That's right. Wal-Mart is selling cocaine, which I think is just really sad for the local drug dealing business. These big box stores come in and all they care about is profits. Sure, it costs a little more from the local distributor, but you get great customer service. Is Wal-Mart gonna let you pay for that gram with a blowjob? I don't think so

Baratunde’s MoJo Journal

---

www.baratunde.com

---

Page 45

Spread the word!
Recommend this book to a friend

http://tinyurl.com/2hdzo6

and visit wherever “baratundes” are found online
www.baratunde.com

baratunde on

baratunde on

baratunde on