Hypocritical Hyperbole

The Abomination of Obama's Nation

The Prophet of Zongo Street: Stories March 1, 2013

So this is a book of short stories, the first one I’ve come across on the shelf. I hope it isn’t the last because I really like these. They’re a breeze to read. The backbone to this entire book is that someone in the stories is probably from Ghana. 

This book gets a point for actually being written by an Afican American, as opposed to an African African. Now. The author is from Ghana, but currently lives in Brooklyn. Which is closer to African American fiction than “Things Fall Apart” or “Half of a Yellow Sun.” This has nothing to do with where books are written or who writes them, but more to do with how fucking stupid America’s book categorizations system is. If a black person wrote it, it goes into the African American Fiction section, no matter if the person is African, or American, or what other genre the book might be. It was kind of a joke when I started doing this, but it’s amazing how many authors in the AA fiction section aren’t AA at all. They’re just black from somewhere. 

Anyway, this book is a mixed bag of goodies. Oh the whole, I enjoyed it. When the book is dealing with issues of race or colonialization or imperialism and religion, it’s pretty on point. When the book touches on gender issues it’s not as cohesive. That stuff clearly isn’t the authors bag, but problems are problems.

So most of these short stories are very conversational. People talking about life and stuff. Since almost all the protagonists are men, you come across a few male gazey scenes. Those are whatever, and then there’s the representation. We get the single moms and the mean women and the needy queen bee and the poor maid and the big fat ugly domineering wife.

Not all of these are ‘negative’ or intended to be that way, but there isn’t the scholar or shop owner or leader to balance anything out, and the ones that are negative definitely get their full time. 

The positives are that the stories are all generally well written, and the language is good. I feel that he’s at his personal best doing the thoughtful conversation stuff (even though one of those stories goes off rails in the worst way possible). It’s a quick read and if a story doesn’t hit you in a page or two you miss nothing by hopping to the next one.

I wouldn’t recommend this really, because one short story turned me off so thoroughly it made the parts of the book that were remotely enjoyable less so.The more I think about it the worse it gets too.

Below the cut TW: Rape Racism

Avoid the story “Rachmaninov” at all costs though.



Don’t argue exceptions September 14, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Micah Griffin @ 07:20

It always makes you look stupid. Always. Society isn’t not racist because of one African-American president. It isn’t not sexist because a few women have positions of power. It’s real easy to try and pick out exceptions and allow yourself to ignore the actual argument. You can feel smug when you do that, but you sound stupid.


May 6, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Micah Griffin @ 12:57

Race Files

I’m often asked why I’ve focused so much more on anti-black racism than on Asians over the years. Some suggest I suffer from internalized racism.

That might well be true since who doesn’t suffer from internalized racism?  I mean, even white people internalize racism. The difference is that white people’s internalized racism is against people of color, and it’s backed up by those who control societal institutions and capital.

But some folk have more on their minds.  They say that focusing on black and white reinforces a false racial binary that marginalizes the experiences of non-black people of color. No argument here. But I also think that trying to mix things up by putting non-black people of color in the middle is a problem because there’s no “middle.”

So there’s most of my answer. I’m sure I do suffer from internalized racism, but I don’t think that racism is defined…

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Micah’s Back In School! August 16, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Micah Griffin @ 22:03

Yeah, I’m back in school! Here’s to another semester of education. This semester isn’t so crazy as some past ones. I’ve got American Literature from beginnings to 1800 (which is easily my least favorite period of time in American Literature), Health (which already appears to already be a super problematic and overly judgmental class), and Geology.

American Literature so far has just reaffirmed my hatred of European explorers. Everything I learn about them (seriously, everything) makes me hate them more and more. Fuck having an entire day devoted to Columbus. How do people even justify this? Well, possibly because we completely ignore American Genocide.  Like, it’s actually appalling that the dude has his own holiday. That’s cool. But for real. We are looking at the writings of people like Columbus and John Smith, and other white dudes who came in killing and raping and laughing about it.

Health class so far has given me one questionaire that left me super uneasy. Too many negative associations with things that aren’t negative. Too many completely subjective ideas on what is and isn’t healthy. Piercings are apparently just as unhealthy as bulimia (which is presented in a very thoughtless manner). We’ll see how this class goes.

Finally there’s geology, in which my teacher is doing a weird Cameroonian Morrisson/Hickman impersonation. I took lots of notes and don’t have the slightest idea of what happened in class.

Mostly I told you all of that to let you know what I’m going to be up to mostly for the next sixteen or so weeks and what you can expect to be reading about. Cause really, school is all I have time for once the work actually gets poppin.


Fun things about needing public transit. July 30, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Micah Griffin @ 14:36

If anyone knows how to embed a google map picture that’d be great.


So here’s the deal, my car is in the shop for some bogus stuff and it’s 100+ degrees outside. So, I can wait on someone to pick me up, I can walk, or I can ride the bus. (Now, I think they offer a service to pick you up, but not everyone does this. As much as I hate mechanics I have to shout out Griffin Brothers for only being mildly skeezy).

That’s not the point of this. The point is, I did a little Google map to see how long it would take to walk the distance as opposed to waiting for a ride and it would be about the same so I figure I’ll wait cause it’s 100+ outside and my ancestors died out there in that heat (and poor people die inside in this kind of heat all the time because they either don’t have AC or can’t afford it or their bodies can’t handle it even if they could get AC on. Mad Props to Cooling Centers) so I can sit inside by a bitchin fan and under a ceiling fan.

The real point is, the real point, is that Google offered up a faster way, bus transit. If I just walk a mile from my house (this is actually not a big deal, that’s how far bus stops are from everyone’s house unless they live in weird middle class type neighborhoods that buses run through. I’m not sure how that works. Cause rich neighborhoods don’t need buses and they don’t go in poor neighborhoods, and they don’t even go in all middle class ones. Just a certain group. it confuses me.) and wait for five or ten minutes the bus will come and drive me  a mile in the other direction where I would then get off the bus and catch another bus to drive me to the car place.

I live two and a half miles from the place. That’s all. Imagine if this is how I had to get to the grocery store, or to work or any of that stuff. When you start casting judgement on people who ride the bus and think about how much more work it takes for them to get where they have to than it does you.


No matter how dark the knight, The underwear must be seen July 18, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Micah Griffin @ 22:13

I’m far too tired to actually put things down in eloquent stylings tonight, but something must needs be posted!

So I’ll talk about Batman’s character design in Arkham Asylum. I played through the game for the first time just in the past week and it’s an interesting experience. I had heard how good it was and wanted to try it out, I just didn’t want to pay a lot to do it. Now that I’ve beaten it I’m glad I played it, and I’m glad I paid what I did. I’ve only done the main story mode once and am interested in going through it for a second time. There is a lot that can be talked about in this game. Some things I liked (combat and plot) and some things I didn’t (character designs and dialogue).

I’ll do a more in depth post on the character designs for all the characters in the game, right now, I just want to talk about Bat’s underwear. The game is going for a combination of DARK and GRIM Batman with a “realistic” looking outfit and a hard comic book tone with his underwear being on the outside. It would be one thing if that were an outline, but it’s modeled as underpants on the outside. He has the crazy gauntlets of a madman and the utility belt that doesn’t turn into a sword, yet he’s wearing underoos on the outside of his britches. He also has the mega pointy ears, which would totally get in the way of things the way he flies around in this game, but whatever. All can be forgive when you look at his underpants.

I’m know I’m a few months late on all of this, but that’s as it goes. I know it’s tradition, but Batman Begins broke that costuming tradition and there wasn’t much uproar. If you want me to take the steps with you on this darker and grittier path through the Batman mythos, you’re going to want me to buy into all of it. Unfortunately, every time I stop punching things I am immediately reminded of the fact that this guy made a conscious decision to put his underwear on after his pants.


Busting a Writer’s Block July 11, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Micah Griffin @ 19:31

Easiest answer is Vaus.

You’re probably lacking some soul or emotions or something. Listen to music. It’s amazing how powerful the stuff is. We really don’t give it enough credit there. Don’t necesserily listen for anything in particular, that could possibly leave you in the same mental place. That spot where you’re picking and picking and picking and can’t seem to find what you want. Worse yet, it’ll increase that thing where you’re on that endless quest to figure out what it is you actually want. None of that’s good.

Writers block, and it’s cures, has been written about by smarter and more experienced people than me, I just had a small epiphany today whilst working. I was just hopping around different albums, different artists, different genres and caught almost every conceivable emotion. Completely unbeknownst to my Zune I was stuck on where to go in both tings that I’m currently writing. I wasn’t lacking for plot ideas, I was lacking a proper funnel for those ideas. I had no idea which direction to take the story next.

As I’m listening to these songs I was able to catch hints of emotions that I’m currently not feeling at all right now. Bingo. I wasn’t really lacking direction, I was lacking emotion. No, I’m not sociopathic, I’m just not in the mood to make bold and rash decisions and so I can’t make any of my characters make bold and rash decisions. Then you catch a hint of a tidbit from a song and you know that’s exactly the thing you need. A twist of a phrase may be the little character note. Even less, your character may just be a fan of that song and them singing it will take you to the next place you need to go. Never know. A lot of different things can happen when your writing is in the back of your mind while you’re listening to music. A lot of magical and wonderful things.

As long as you don’t forget and write it down.