Vibe Confidential revokes Justin Timberlake’s ghetto pass

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

Apparently Justin Timberlake disses Janet Jackson in one of his new songs:

It’s not enough that he thinks he brought sexy back, but now word is that Justin Timberlake is talking smack about Janet Jackson on a new track. The song titled “Give It to Me”, which features Timbaland and Nelly Furtado, leaked to the Internet, and Justin’s lyrics are raising a few eyebrows:

“Could you speak up and stop mumbling / I don’ t think you’re even clear / When you’re sitting on the top / It’s hard to hear you from way up there / I saw you tryin’ to act cute on TV / ‘Just let me clear the air’ / We missed you on the charts last week / Damn, that’s right. You wasn’t there.”

So Vibe Confidential has decided to officially revoke his ghetto pass. They add: “Oh yeah, and he’s no longer allowed to rock a fade.” Hehe…

ghetto pass justin timberlake

Sacha Baron Cohen comes clean about Borat in Rolling Stone magazine

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

borat rolling stoneThe latest issue of Rolling Stone includes an interview with Sacha Baron Cohen — the only interview he’s done out of character. It’s our first time hearing — in his own words — what he was trying to accomplish with Borat. Here are some excerpts from the partial story they’ve posted online here:

When Baron Cohen first heard that the Kazakh government was thinking of suing him and placing a full-page ad promoting the country in The New York Times, he was editing his movie in Los Angeles. His reaction: “I was surprised, because I always had faith in the audience that they would realize that this was a fictitious country and the mere purpose of it was to allow people to bring out their own prejudices. And the reason we chose Kazakhstan was because it was a country that no one had heard anything about, so we could essentially play on stereotypes they might have about this ex-Soviet backwater. The joke is not on Kazakhstan. I think the joke is on people who can believe that the Kazakhstan that I describe can exist — who believe that there’s a country where homosexuals wear blue hats and the women live in cages and they drink fermented horse urine and the age of consent has been raised to nine years old.”…

“I think part of the movie shows the absurdity of holding any form of racial prejudice, whether it’s hatred of African-Americans or of Jews,” Baron Cohen says…

“Borat essentially works as a tool,” Baron Cohen says. “By himself being anti-Semitic, he lets people lower their guard and expose their own prejudice, whether it’s anti-Semitism or an acceptance of anti-Semitism. ‘Throw the Jew Down the Well’ [a song performed at a country & western bar during Da Ali G Show] was a very controversial sketch, and some members of the Jewish community thought that it was actually going to encourage anti-Semitism. But to me it revealed something about that bar in Tucson. And the question is: Did it reveal that they were anti-Semitic? Perhaps. But maybe it just revealed that they were indifferent to anti-Semitism.

“I remember, when I was in university I studied history, and there was this one major historian of the Third Reich, Ian Kershaw. And his quote was, ‘The path to Auschwitz was paved with indifference.’ I know it’s not very funny being a comedian talking about the Holocaust, but I think it’s an interesting idea that not everyone in Germany had to be a raving anti-Semite. They just had to be apathetic.”…

Notes from the workplace

by guest contributor Luke Lee, originally published at real men are not

cubicle lifeSo far, about 5 co-workers total have asked me in varying ways “what are you?” Almost all of them I answered honestly and I wasn’t that bothered by it because they, most importantly, didn’t ask immediately (you know, they actually waited to get to know me first) and they waited for some natural context of conversation. I’ve written too many times about this and the “I like [insert race/ethnicity] [gender]” so i’m not going to rehash but today as i’m sitting there at work, one of our “clients” comes up to me and it goes like:

Guy who looked like Howard Stern: Hey, what are you?
Me: What?
Guy: Your race. Are you Filipino? You’re Filipino?
Me: No.
Guy: Japanese?
Me: No.
Guy: Chinese?
Me: No. [Guy is baffled but amused]
Guy: Mexican?
Me: No.
Guy: What?! What else is there?! [Guy is still baffled but not offended that I just won’t flat out tell him]
Me: (Shrug)
Guy: Russian? Are you Russian?
Me: No. (Asks Guy work-related service question)
Guy: ALEUT! You’re an Aleut!
Me: No.
Guy: Oh cah-maaann!!!! (laughs)
Me: (chuckle)

links for 2006-11-17

Madonna wants to adopt a girl from Malawi

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

madonna malawi girlOh come on. She needs to “redress the balance?” From The New York Post:

“Yes, absolutely. I’m going to adopt another Malawian child very quickly. A baby girl this time, in order to redress the balance,” the 48-year-old singer-turned-Angelina Jolie wannabe told Paris Match.

She said her two other children, Lourdes and Rocco, would be given a “choice” in selecting their new sister like picking candy off a store shelf.

But she first wanted them to get used to their new baby brother, 13-month-old David Banda, whom Madonna is in the process of adopting.

Survivor Brad Virata’s coming out story

by guest contributor gay person of color, originally published at gay persons of color

brad virataIn a recent interview with Josh Aterovis at, Survivor: Cook Islands contestant Brad Virata talks about his experience on the show, being a role model, the “Nancy boy” comment, and much more.
Here is one excerpt:

AfterElton: Did you ever feel your sexuality played into the game at all? Did your tribemates know?

Brad: Everyone knew. I’m surprised that CBS didn’t show my whole coming out story. We had a powwow, sort of a roundtable campfire discussion when we merged, and that’s when I told my story. I told the story about the tattoo I have on my arm. It means “love” in Chinese, and I had gotten it with my father, who has the same exact tattoo, after I came out to him.

It’s unfortunate that the segment was edited out by CBS. The story of coming out of the closet to one’s father and then going out with him to get identical tattoos marked “love” is exceptionally positive, and it would have been a nice real story to watch amidst some of the overproduced drama of so-called reality television.

Race, Culture, and Identity in a Colorstruck World