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WNYC News

A Down-To-Earth Leader

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Robert George
Robert George

WNYC Guest Blogger: Robert George

1) Barack Obama played against type. He eschewed the high-soaring rhetoric that typified his campaign, choosing instead to stay down-to-earth, laying out a centrist (some would say 'middle-of-the-road') theme trying to paper over most partisan differences.

2) He had an appropriately hawkish tone to the enemies of America:

We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

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WNYC News

A Spectacular Anti-Climax

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Young Jean Lee, photo by Raul Vincent Enriquez
Young Jean Lee, photo by Raul Vincent Enriquez

WNYC Guest Blogger: Young Jean Lee

I’m at an inauguration party hosted by singer/songwriter Mike Doughty. Almost everyone here is either a theater person or musician, so all of us are simultaneously judging the event as an entertainment. Rachel Murdy points out that Dick Cheney in his wheelchair looks like Dr. Strangelove, while Mike thinks he looks more like the evil Mr. Potter from It’s a Wonderful Life.

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WNYC News

The Obama Conundrum

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Watching the inauguration at the LGBT Center

Watching the inauguration at the LGBT Center

WNYC Guest Blogger: Michael Lavers

Outgoing President George W. Bush’s first inauguration in Jan. 20, 2001, seems a distant memory. I was a 19-year-old freshman at the University of New Hampshire. My parents still had their health and I drove a 1989 Mercury Topaz. Things have certainly changed in the last eight years—I order café con leche from the bodegas near my apartment in Bushwick. Employment insecurity and health care costs continue to burden my mother and father. And I am about to witness President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration.

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WNYC News

Does A Difficult Home Make A Great President?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

WNYC Guest Blogger: Robert George

In today's New York Post, Richard Brookhiser notes this about Barack Obama:

We are inaugurating a man who has lived an unusually displaced life - an absent father, a roaming mother. These circumstances have made Obama used to calling his own tune. What tune that will be is something we - and perhaps he - will have to find out as his presidency unfolds.

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WNYC News

What About Mt. Rushmore?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

WNYC Guest Blogger: Afronerd

It's One Thing Not To Look Like The Other Presidents on US Currency But What About Mt. Rushmore?

It's a strange thing being the nation's first president of color. As much as I lament about Blackness being viewed as a peculiarity (as opposed to simply being a benign physical chracteristic), I still must concede to the unprecedented nature of this historical event. The African-American experience seems to be chock full of the spectacular and I wonder when will we stop celebrating Black Firsts. I suspect the hoopla may diminish if we are able to see another president of a different color (or dare I say a different gender) in the next few terms but Blackness still seems to elicit a great deal of dynamism. So the question remains-what about a new face on Mt. Rushmore?

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WNYC News

"I Need to Make a Gay Show Soon"

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

WNYC Guest Blogger: Young Jean Lee

I’m thinking I need to make a gay show soon. The double-whammy of Prop 8 and Rick Warren is starting to give me a really bad feeling. Obama’s defense of his choice of Rick Warren to deliver the invocation sounds as reasonable as everything else he says, but I’m not buying it. His whole “agree to disagree” stance sounds okay on the surface, but if we follow that logic to its conclusion, then where does that leave us?

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WNYC News

Gene Robinson's Exclusion from Lincoln Memorial Broadcast

Monday, January 19, 2009

Guest blogger: Michael K. Lavers

Bishop Gene Robinson
Bishop Gene Robinson

Activists, commentators and others have flooded my inbox with messages of disappointment and downright outrage over the decision not to broadcast openly gay Bishop V. Gene Robinson’s opening prayer at the Lincoln Memorial yesterday afternoon. HBO has indicated to a number of sources the Presidential Inaugural Committee made the ultimate decision to exclude the invocation, but this extremely unfortunate choice does precious little to ease concerns within LGBT and other progressive circles over Obama’s decision to ask the Rev. Rick Warren to deliver his inaugural invocation.

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WNYC News

Afronerd: No More Excuses!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Guest blogger: Afronerd
The Afronerd blog

Who or dare we say what is an Afronerd? The short answer is a person of color with intellectual, artistic and perhaps 'geekish' interests. More specially, Afronerd is the brainchild of Desmond Burton (co-authored with long time friend and colleague, Robert Bishop--code named, Mr. Starks) that initially started out as web presence to vent about the lack of diverse imagery in current African-American culture.

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WNYC News

Can Obama Make a Post-Racial Society Reality?

Monday, January 19, 2009

WNYC Guest blogger: Young Jean Lee

Young Jean Lee, photo by Raul Vincent Enriquez
Young Jean Lee, photo by Raul Vincent Enriquez

I'm a Korean-American playwright/director, and I've spent the past two years working on a black identity-politics show called THE SHIPMENT (you can read the Times review here). Nothing excites me more than a masochistic challenge (my artistic mission is to make the last show in the world I've ever want to make), and the goal was to collaborate with a black cast to make a show that addressed racism against black Americans in a way that a jaded and defensive audience couldn't dismiss. Usually it takes me a year to make a show, but this one was so difficult that it took two. I worked on it for a year and ended up throwing out everything I'd worked on and starting over from scratch. (I documented this second process in a blog).

I mistakenly thought that the biggest challenge in making the show was going to be the fact that I'm not black. Bizarrely, that ended up being the least of my problems. As soon as the cast knew that the show was going to be collaborative and that that had full creative agency, they were on board and my race never came up as a problem. When we did the show (first at the Wexner Center in Columbus, OH and now at The Kitchen in NYC) there wasn't a single audience member, black or white, who brought up the fact that I wasn't black. Maybe it's because the show never attempts to achieve any kind of cultural 'authenticity' (whatever that means).

The Shipment,  (c) 2009 Paula Court

The Shipment, (c) 2009 Paula Court

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