ebogjonson.com's me me me archive

sweet, sweet self promotion for Gary Dauphin

July 9, 2007

more bella mafia

john walker lindh

I'm not really here (I'm technically still getting my ass kicked in Seattle at Clarion), but I did want to share that the new Bidoun Magazine is out, with edits from Mike Vazquez and pieces by me, Jace Clayton/rupture, Anand Balakrishnan, Kai Friese, Nimco Mahamud-Hassan, Binyavanga Wainana, and Sophia Al-Maria. Bidoun's issues are always themed, so this installment's theme is "Failure" while my piece is about American Taliban John Walker Lindh. It's called "A Portrait of the Jihadist as a White Negro." Enjoy!

The webs being what they are I also got an email today from a blogger named XYBØRG, who is completely is completely already there in terms of thinking through some of the racial perversities of the current era. I actually already regularly check their youtube feed, which is a great source of black Muslim material. (I owe you an note XYBØRG!)

more later.

(I'm obviously still alive. I'm resisting the urge to blog Clarion, so you can read about it here and here and here, fanning out to other pages as needed/inclined. I don't have much to say except that it's been amazing, troubling, depressing, banal, trying and strange all at the same time - everything you'd expect from a 6 week writing marathon.)


Posted by ebogjonson at 1:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

May 30, 2007

hall of mirrors

Wherein I write about being written about. From Strange Horizons Reviews: Mistakes and All: Defending Battlestar Galactica, written by Jeremy Adam Smith:

And if Battlestar Galactica is, as many insist, an extended commentary on the war on terror--a war that might never end, fought in a moral and political negative zone--then who are "we" supposed to be? Battlestar Galactica, culture critic Gary Dauphin writes, flirts "with a whole bunch of heretical notions . . . most of them related to the possibility that some or another 'we' (it's just a tv [sic] show, right? nothing to do with 'us') might be on the wrong side of history." In the third season, when the human resistance puts on ski masks and sends suicide bombers into crowds, Dauphin writes, Battlestar Galactica "quit[s] with the coy stuff," and

the up-tempo scoring charts a rising arc of anxieties: Are we the cylons or the humans? Am I [Gaius] Baltar or [Laura] Roslyn [sic]? Was the show always about the war? Is it against the law to root for terrorists on TV?

When ex-President Roslyn [sic] says, "Our children need to know that some people fought back while others collaborated," half the audience will hear some kind of founding fathers bullshit, and half will hear a Hamas or Hizzbollah leader rallying the proverbial irregular troops.

Jeremy is a friend of a friend. The all-powerful network does not just live, it works!

Posted by ebogjonson at 11:02 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

March 30, 2007

la bella mafia


Me, Mike Vazquez, Anand Balakrishnan Sukhdev Sandhu and Binyavanga Wainaina are all in the new issue of Bidoun.

Mike is also in Slate this week.

What's that Ice Cube lyric again?

Had to do a week in the county
A piece of cake it was just like a party
Cause in the county you know everybody


Posted by ebogjonson at 1:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

March 26, 2007

me and shirley q liquor

shirley q liquor is not that funny

Not really, but I did get quoted in a Lexington Herald Leader article about Charles Knipp's blackface act:

The debate over Shirley Q. Liquor -- for the most part previously confined to the black and gay media -- is about to spill over into the mainstream, with among other things a profile in Rolling Stone magazine. The issues have raised questions about whether Knipp is shining light on something that the rest of the country has politely refused to discuss for decades. It has called into question the motives, as well, of his audience. That is, if we laugh at Knipp, who are we deep down, anyway?

"Blackface is a charged and wild symbol," says journalist Gary Dauphin, who is black. "It gets out of your control quickly no matter your intentions."

Dauphin, a film critic for The Village Voice and for Essence and Vibe magazines, has written extensively on race and blackface. The problem with Knipp is that he doesn't realize that "things are bigger than his intentions," Dauphin says. "You have to have the maturity to say some things are bigger than me."


Many in the black community, even when not backing Knipp, do not support Cannick's protest.

"I'm not interested in banning and boycotts," says Dauphin, the journalist, adding that he doesn't think Knipp is a racist, but "I do think he's being kind of a jerk." [full article]

[Sweet, sweet networking! Those of you wondering how they found me in Kentucky can blame this gent, as he also writes for the Herald Leader.]

Three comments: First off, I don't remember, but I hope that what I really said was "I do think he's being kind of an asshole," as that gets you closer to my thinking than the wan, family-paper-friendly phrase "jerk."

Second, I was a film critic for the Village Voice once upon a time. I'm not any more and although I worked at the Voice for about a decade my back goes up a little anytime it shows up in a bio, especially after Voice stalwarts Greg Tate and J. Hoberman chose not to include me in their Voice 50th anniversary recaps. Such are the vicissitudes of institutional memory and crewism, and, anyway, given the VV's current sorry state I'm fine with striking it from the record. Was, is what I'm saying.

Lastly, it's not that I "do not support Cannick's protest," it's that "I'm not interested in banning and boycotts," especially media-related bannings and boycotts. I know I'm splitting a hair, and that I blog about media-related outrages all the time, but I'm pretty much of the First Ammendment absolutist, "bad speech calls for good speech" school. I also view the boycott as being most appropriate for addressing corporate, institutional or labor-practice level issues. Boycotting, like, a dude strikes me as being a bit like breaking-up with him; it's personal and involves dynamics of betrayal and rejection that make me hesitant to label my refusal to consume or patronize said dude's comedy a "boycott," this even if I get a 1000 other people to join me.

I also have to confess to long harboring a fear that we go after offensive images only after we've lost every possible other battle. (That, or we've won every other battle, and so have the leisure to focus on glamour outrages like who won an Oscar.) Happy-go-lucky media people tend to be more liberal, more susceptible to shaming and easier to stare down than, say, fundamentalist terrorists and warmongers who think god talks to them, and so whenever I meet a self-described "media activist" I'm like: what? Working on housing equality involve too much heavy lifting?

But I'm exaggerating and self-denigrating, of course. Keeping folks honest about their racism is important work and I'm glad people like Jasmyne Cannick are out there doing it. I think it's fine to educate people about Shirley Q. Liquor and to also urge them not to give Charles Knipp their money, I just dunno if you will be able to get me up on a Saturday morning to physically picket a comedy club. But e-picket? (iPicket?) Absolutely. That not only jibes with my own slothful, late-sleeping habits, but the frame - word vs. word, image vs. image, code vs. code - strikes me as being better aligned as well.

Posted by ebogjonson at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)

March 1, 2007

on the radio 002

I recently had a chance to help a bud - jimi izrael - out with a new radio segment being putting together for Michel Martin's upcoming NPR show. jimi was asked to convene a group of gents willing to engage in some free-wheeling smack talk and have it recorded for posterity. In addition to me, Eugene Robinson, the good Dr. Lester Spence and Alvin Patrick of ESPN's Cold Pizza agreed to act as crash test dummies. (God help us all!)

Michel has taken the unusual (but super-smart) step of documenting her show's development on a blog, meaning missteps, growing pains, trials and brave new directions are all being shared with the audience before the show's launch. The results of our particular experiment can be heard here. I haven't listened to it yet, largely because my recorded voice sounds painfully nasal to me, but you guys can tell me how I did.



Posted by ebogjonson at 2:52 PM | Permalink

July 9, 2006


I'm on the road a bit these days. Went to a very lovely wedding, among other things.

Posted by ebogjonson at 1:50 PM | Permalink

May 5, 2006

always the last to know

Apparently I was on the radio on Wednesday, commenting on Haiti for Ed Gordon's News and Notes.

Posted by ebogjonson at 11:26 AM | Permalink

April 4, 2006

on the radio (updated)

I'm on the radio Tuesday 4/4 (I think), doing a commentary on Hollywood and homelessness in downtown LA for News & Notes with Ed Gordon. Check yer local et cetera.

update ---> Actually, make that tomorrow or the next day.

Posted by ebogjonson at 12:04 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

December 17, 2005

wiretappie, you're doing a heck of a job!

from the Huffington Post, written by me.

Of his recently revealed, illegal, and impeachment-worthy authorization of extracurricular wiretaps within US territory, King George II says:

"The American people expect me to do everything in my power, under our laws and Constitution, to protect them and their civil liberties and that is exactly what I will continue to do as long as I am president of the United States." Full story

I don't know about you, but this American people wants to publicly pat himself on the back for the heck of job I/he's done in continuing to be astounded by successive revelations detailing the breadth and depth of this administration's corruption. You'd think that by now I'd have become inured to GWB's blatant disregard for the first principles of civil liberty, that I'd become desensitized to the stream of petulant and messianic self-justification that bubbles up from Georgie et al.'s empty souls like false confessions flowing straight outta Gitmo. But no. It really is always just like reading about the stolen Florida and Ohio vote counts for the first time all over again. I really am doing a heck of a job!

On the specific issue of the wiretaps, this morning our homegrown caesar basically told each and every American to go boink themselves. He will do whatever he damn well pleases as long as he is Imposter President and (unless you are a terrorist or talking to one) you will enjoy it. Like his similarly ridiculous and self-serving praise for Brownie, Gaius George's articulation of his wartime prerogatives, of the swell job he's done erecting the thoroughly un-American edifice of his Imperial Presidency, flies in the face of reason and the bulk of our jurisprudence. Still, I read stuff like that wiretap bit almost every day now, I see the ripples of outrage confined to the same associated pools of opinion, and I (if I say so myself) do a heck of another type of job by not running out into the streets of Downtown LA and shouting at people. I mean, I seriously DO NOT want to end up just another crazy colored dude shouting in Downtown LA - ignored by all (except perhaps Russ Feingold), talking to myself, trapped in lingering, debilitating thrall of outrages and crimes that are visible only to me. The world proceeding around me, business as usual, my "friends" in Democratic officialdom rousing themselves so late in the game I paradoxically begin to hold their new animation against them. I certainly don't want to end up like that, and not on Christmas, which is under some sort of siege from what I am led to believe.

Hey, speaking of living in a bleak, absurd world of heck:

Triangulation, you're doing a heck of a job, too! There are about ten different things in this country can be said to be going in the crapper. We stand in stunned witness to epic struggles over torture and civil liberty that bear directly on the fate of the nation's soul. Polar bears are drowning. And you know what? All Hillary and her poop-eating DLCish pals (I'm talking to you, Joe) can think to do with themselves is make craven bids for points with an anachronistic, fantasy center.

Heck of a job, Hil! Heck. Of. A. Job.

Posted by ebogjonson at 4:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

December 6, 2005


I got around to posting on the Huffington Post again, this time on the awe inspiring horror of the white female suicide bomber. The drill, if you don't know it, is as follows:

If you are going from here to huffy there, please leave me an affectionate comment.

If you are coming from there to eboggy here, welcome, stay a while, and all that generic hostessing jazz.

Posted by ebogjonson at 4:43 AM | Permalink

November 15, 2005

huffing, not puffing

Through a rather convoluted chain of association that doesn't bear explicating here (thanks, Sarah!) I'm going to be doing some blogging for the Huffington Post. If that's how you found this blog, howdy! If not, my post is here. Leave me a comment there, raise my ratings!

Posted by ebogjonson at 4:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)