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August 08, 2009

"no homo" -- hip-hop protests too much?

The rise of no homo and the changing face of hip-hop homophobia. - By Jonah Weiner - Slate Magazine
No homo tweaks this dynamic because it allows, implicitly, that rap is a place where gayness can in fact be expressed by the guy on the mic, not just scorned in others. In the very act of trying to "purify" an utterance of any gayness, after all, the no homo tag must contaminate it first—it's both a denial and a flashing neon arrow. This isn't to suggest that saying no homo is a radical act, but there's an appealing sense in which the phrase refuses to function as tidily as some of its boosters might like. This is especially striking in those cases when rappers add no homo to statements of sexual pleasure we'd otherwise have no reason to think of as gay. "No homo, I go hard," Chamillionaire rapped on a recent mix tape, implying that an erection is inherently homosexual. ... Often, no homo appears not just as a disclaimer but as a punch line, a See what I did there? that flaunts one's cleverness. "Just shot a video with R. Kelly, but no homo though," Lil Wayne rapped in 2007. In this line—a sly nod to both a music video co-starring Wayne and Kelly and to the R&B singer's alleged sex tape—no homo isn't an afterthought; it's the keystone that holds the whole joke together. A funny side effect here is that the no homo vogue doubtless encourages rappers not only to scrutinize everything they say for trace gayness, but to actively think up gay double-entendres just so that they can cap them off with no homo kickers.

Jack Lessenberry is pissed: "annarbor.com is an appalling pile of crap."

He doesn't even mention that the "bloggers" offer either simple-minded, backward-thinking, inoffensive opinions about how great things used to be, or veiled advertisements for their small business or professional office. And on that writing -- done for free, thereby devaluing the product of all writers -- will the profit be extracted. Owner Advance Publications, publisher Laurel Champion and editor Tony Dearing threw away the institutional memory of the laid-off editorial staff of The Ann Arbor News, such as it was. This leads to article after article written with a tone of wide-eyed wonder about the most basic elements of Ann Arbor life and politics. Metro Times - News Views: The newspaper scam
Ann Arbor.com is an appalling pile of crap. And an insult to the intelligence of any functioning adult. Essentially, it is written for children who are at about the fourth-grade level, possibly, slightly below-average ones. Here's what the top story on Ann Arbor.com was Sunday afternoon: DEXTER PHARMACY DAMAGED IN MINOR FIRE. ("A damage estimate is not yet available. No information was available on when the pharmacy will re-open.") Not that there isn't a place for that kind of news. However, the real work of journalism is, say, examining how the city council works, spends money, gives out contracts. I would be astonished to see anything like that, ever, on Ann Arbor.com. What makes the website a swindle is that they promise occasional "special reports." (Eat your heart out, Sam Donaldson.) For example, there was one last week. We learned that — get ready for this — those who fancy child pornography tend "to keep it very hidden" and that most child molesters have child pornography on their computers. They are, a professor at Eastern Michigan University tells us, "looking for things that excite them." Who knew? What, however, about the printed version that comes out twice a week? The one I examined (July 30) could have been written by a properly programmed computer. We learned, in a hard-hitting lead story, that old people want to hang on to their senior center.... Back in the 1980s, I used to teach a beginning journalism workshop at the University of Michigan. I would take the students to Caro, and have them put out a special supplement to the Tuscola County Advertiser. Their work was largely better than Ann Arbor.com.

The Evolution of Traditional Marriage

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