When I go to business meetings, I'm still told way too often by some receptionist, 'The mail room is downstairs,' to believe that racial perceptions don't still exist. But I figure there are always going to be knuckleheads no matter how many of their herd get stuck in the tar pits of progress.
I don't think I'm alarmist. I'm more disappointed by the euphemisms in some instances than outright bigotry. Now, to me, you walk around with a Klan hat on or you've got a swastika on you arm, you just look like a dope, you know what I mean?
As far as superhero stories, what's appealing is of course that aspect of wish fulfillment. I mean, you start out reading them as a kid, and a couple things jump out at you - there are heroes out there, and you wish you could run into a phone booth and change your life, or be like Peter Parker and put on a mask and become a hero.
Writing a screenplay needs to be more than words on a page - and by the way, I think the words on the page are something you have to try to execute on the highest level you can; I'm not dismissing that by any regard.
The thing about working in Hollywood is that, at some point, you really get tired of hearing how godless you are, and how if you and the rest of the heathens in Tinsel town would put more God-centric shows on TV, people wouldn't be abandoning prime time in favor of their Bible study classes.
When times are tough, people want to escape to somewhere fantastic without having to pay actual escape-to-somewhere-fantastic cash. And offering a couple of hours away from the ordinary is what the movies do best.
As a coping mechanism, or as a way to make a little hard count by shilling demons in the shadows, I try not to belittle the thought process of the conspiracy theorists. As a cocktail waitress in Vegas once schooled me: never get down on anybody else's hustle.
I remember 'Roots' growing up and the cultural impact it had on the country. Watching 'Roots' was not the cool remove of reading about slavery in a book or hearing about it in class. It became something that swept people along.
In every election cycle that I can recall, there comes a moment - or a few - where charges of elitism and claims of commonness are wielded by presidential candidates like a sword and shield: 'Vote for me 'cause I'm one of you. It's the other guy who's out of touch.'
The hypocrisy and false piety of the deniers aside, the relationships of gays have no effect on heteros. Especially all the heteros who've done such a marvelous job of debasing marriage on their own all these many years.
Certainly as a kid, I grew up with Batman, Superman, whoever - they didn't need to be black for me to relate to them. But when a character like Cyborg came along, I got excited, because he looked a little bit more like me; his experiences were a little bit more like mine.
Fact is, awards shows were never really about recognizing achievement. They were a publicity ploy cooked up in the late 1920s by MGM topper Louie Mayer and his newly formed Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences which was itself, back in the day, nothing but a front organization to discourage unionizing.
Just mention the idea of warrantless wiretaps and expect to get hit up with a congressional investigation. But give somebody an avatar and a URL, and he can't tweet, post or hyperlink enough personal information about himself to as many people as possible.
As an ex-stand up, I can tell you that a comedy club isn't a place you go looking to get the abuse you just can't seem to find in daily life. The stage is a performer's domain. You protect that domain. You are not on stage to take what's given just 'cause you're getting paid. If you are attacked, you retaliate.
Perhaps the single most important thing for a child is to be with a loving, supportive family. And all things being equal, any child of any race should be placed with any qualified parents without restriction or special conditions.
I haven't tweeted once in my life, but I'm sick of hearing about it already. What once may have been the cool way of letting a hundred people know that you're about to go mow your lawn now has the feel of a used-to-be-fresh means of communicating. So yesterday, like two-way pagers. And AOL.
There are any number of very hard working people in Hollywood who deserve recognition. Mostly its the artisans and crafts persons - the 'below the line' workers - whose only reward is to be pejoratively labeled 'below the line' workers. I say get them all on the next thing smoking to Vegas for an all expense paid weekend of whatever.
So, is Hollywood anti-religion? Not in my opinion. But unlike, say, politicians and preachers who talk faith before going off to speak in tongues to their mistresses, Hollywood just doesn't wear its faith on its sleeve.
It's funny: over time, if you're fortunate, you build a nice career, and you have these interesting moments, and I would not, looking back, trade any of them - 'Red Tails,' '12 Years a Slave' and 'Undercover Brother.'
It is time to celebrate the New Black Americans - those who have sealed the Deal, who aren't beholden to liberal indulgence any more than they are to the disdain of the hard Right. It is time to praise blacks who are merely undeniable in their individuality and exemplary in their levels of achievement.
As an individual, and I have to say as a person of color, the thing about being an 'other' in America is I really feel like you're bilingual. I'm from a small town in Wisconsin, but even when I'm in New York and I'm working for MSNBC or CNN, you're used to being the only black person in the room.
Bad news: Complainers are rewarded for complaining. Indicative of the victim culture in which we live, people have not only come to expect something for nothing, but are then rewarded for how loudly they can ventilate their sense of having been victims of fraud.
The great thing about working with NPR - and, really, there's like a million of 'em - is all the cool stuff I get to do for the public. Meet the president. Hang out at the National Finals Rodeo in Vegas. Drink a $10,000 martini.
Why is it that the very people who have fought so hard and so long for the simple entitlement to love whom they choose to love are the very ones denied that right by those who routinely take their vows for granted?
There are still some people out there who believe comic books are nothing more than, well, comic books. But the true cognoscenti know graphic novels are - at their best - an amazing blend of art literature and the theater of the mind.
I still have my first 'Black Lightning' that I got way back in the day, and my first 'Steel.' And I proudly display those comics, by the way. I have a lot of comics, but those are among the ones that mean the most to me.
Until politicos take a true stand in defense of marriage by proposing an anti-adultery amendment to the Constitution, stop demonizing gays and lesbians when the one debasing your marriage is the individual in the mirror.
From the moment we were first dumped in Jamestown and had our teeth checked before getting sold off and later considered three-fifths of a human being, an abundance of 'likability' hasn't been something blacks have had to stockpile. Instead, it's been a centuries-long battle for respectability.
Conservative talkers love to throw numbers around: their ratings and their audience size. And to be sure, they have a sizable audience which numbers in the tens of millions. But having people tune in and being able to dictate their actions are two different things.