Author: chuckdaly

New York is many things at once.

New York is many things at once.

Names in lights, inspirations;

And the stench of piss, both new and stale.

Towering ‘scrapers, your head in the clouds,

And stifling B.O., strong enough to choke you.

Dazzling stars and blinding wonder,

Mixed with the foulest notes to hit your nose.

But even with the stank that overwhelms you,

So too are you taken, by all of it’s awe.

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Kesha’s Rockshow Comeback

As summer officially transitioned into fall, I spent the equinox watching Kesha and the Creepies perform at the Warsaw in Brooklyn. This was my third time seeing the formerly dollar-signed singer, but the first in over three years since her very public legal drama began.

For those who haven’t heard, Kesha has been trapped in legal limbo for the last few years. She sued her producer Dr. Luke, accusing him of sexual and emotional assault. Because artists have to sign their life away to labels, Kesha’s contract with Sony stipulates that she can only work with Luke– essentially forcing her to work with her rapist. The legal proceedings are ongoing, but she has been prohibited from releasing new music for almost four years.

But last night, Kesha was not about to let those problems inhibit an incredible show.
She addressed the lawsuit early, telling the crowd how grateful and appreciative she was of our support. The crowd was deafeningly loud in response, with such powerful cheers and chants that Kesha at moments was on the verge of years. She noted- and I felt- the palpable love in the room. It was both a heavy moment but one of reassurance. Love always conquers hate. (more…)

People are missing this crucial detail that proves TSwift is right and Kimye is wrong

Note: none of this actually matters. 

If you have the Internet, you may have heard that there is a war going on between two camps: one headed by Taylor Swift, the other by Kanye and Kim Kardashian West. Basically, Taylor Swift is pissed about some lyrics in Kanye’s song “Famous,” but Kimye (referring to Kim and Kanye as a team) alleges that Kanye told Swift about the lyrics, she gave her approval, and is therefore a liar and a snake and all these awful things. 

What really escalated things was when Kim released audio recordings of Kanye and Taylor talking about the song. According to Kimye, this proved that Taylor’s outrage was fake and that she knew what the song would be about. But here’s the detail that everyone is missing: Taylor took issue with one specific line: “I made that bitch famous.” BUT– crucially– even on the dubiously released phone conversations, Kanye never told Taylor about that specific line! 

To recap: Taylor was pissed about said line. Kim and Kanye went in on her, saying she knew what the song was going to be about and released taped conversations. But there were no conversations about that line in question that Taylor took issue with! It was a Kimye bluff, and everyone fell for it. 

Now, let’s break down why Taylor Swift was offended by that line: “I made that bitch famous.” The reasons are two-fold. First, he called her a bitch. For some reason, rappers are given a free pass when it comes to sexist and misogynistic lyrics. But if a woman takes issue with being called a sexist and derogatory slur, she is more than entitled to do so. 

How are so many people missing that point? Yes, Kanye has poetic license to use whatever words he chooses, but if you call a woman a bitch, she has the right to be upset by that. 

Secondly, and perhaps even more crucially, was Kanye’s lyrical assertion that he made Taylor Swift famous. This is where the sexism goes into overdrive. Here is a man saying that his shitty actions (specifically when he stormed the VMA stage in 2009 trying to take an award away from Swift) are what made an incredibly successful woman famous. He is trying to take credit for this woman’s success. And calls her a bitch while doing so. 

(It’s important to note that prior to the infamous 2009 VMA’s, Taylor Swift was a global superstar who has toured the world, sold millions of records, and connected with millions of fans. She made herself famous, by the merits of her songwriting abilities. Kanye West did not, in fact, make that bitch famous.)

In summation, Taylor Swift was doubly justified in being pissed off at a monumentally sexist line. Kimye used smoke and mirrors to fake a backstory and make Taylor look like a liar, when in fact, it was the Kardashian-Wests doing the lying. 

Again, none of this really matters, but it was very frustrating that everyone seemed to be missing such a crucial detail in this feud. 

Now back to reality!

An Open Letter to My Fellow White People

handsupTo my white friends: we need to wake up! Racism is real and is directly impacts black people EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Let’s start here: White privilege is real, and we experience it every day. Like when we write a nice white-sounding name on a job application, we know that we’re going to be judged only on the experience listed on the resume, and not a proven prejudice against “black-sounding” names. Racism exists in our every day lives. We need to acknowledge that.

But is *not* a two-way street. Racism only goes one way: white to black. From the descendants of slave-owners to the descendants of slaves.

We need to stop pretending that everything is equal. We need to remember that until only 150 years ago, in modern human times with electricity and cars, white people OWNED black people. (Sorry for the caps, but this needs to be done):

WE USED TO ENSLAVE HUMAN BEINGS AND FORCE THEM TO DO WHATEVER WE WANTED THEM TO DO.  WE MADE THEM PICK COTTON AND FARM AND DO OUR BIDDING 24/7! AND THEY DIDN’T GET TO GO HOME AFTER WORK OR EARN ANY MONEY– THEY WERE ENSLAVED. THEY COULD NOT LEAVE THE PROPERTY WITHOUT PERMISSION. WE WOULD WHIP AND BEAT THEM TO KEEP THEM IN LINE.

This was NOT that long ago.

Until even more recently, we lived in a segregated country!

YEAH! We need to talk about how even after we “let go” our human being toys, we didn’t let them go anywhere. People could say “no blacks allowed” and that was enforced by the law! We, white people, need to acknowledge that the Civil Rights Act *ONLY* became the law fifty years ago.

From Wikipedia: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88–352, 78 Stat. 241, enacted July 2, 1964) is a landmark piece of civil rights legislation in the United States that outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public (known as “public accommodations”).

We need to remember that for 64% of the 20th Century, we didn’t let black people go to the same restaurants, schools, bathrooms, bars, anything. Many of the racist former slave owners stayed rich and powerful enough to influence laws. For 100 full years after the Civil War, in modern times. So in that nice, idealized, beautiful, simple world that we so like to dream of in the past, when our white families would gather round the TV and watch “I Love Lucy” and eat apple pie, even having these illusions is white privilege. Because in these picturesque “good old days,” things sure as shit weren’t good for black families! Watching “I Love Lucy” at the end of a day filled with not being able to go to school or work where you want kind of loses its charm. And baking that nice apple pie gets more difficult when a black mother could be prohibited from shopping at a bakery because of the color of her skin.

And it continues today. We are still killing them! Why do so many of us deny that this is a problem? So many young men and women are having their lives taken away from them for having toy guns, or just being too scary looking.

I was about the same size as Mike Brown was when he was executed. I guarantee you that if I did the same exact thing to Officer Darren Wilson, I would have gotten yelled at and maybe fined.

NOT. SHOT. FUCKING. DEAD!

Because of the color of my skin, my life is valued more than someone like Mike Brown. A cop would subdue and apprehend me. But because Mike Brown was big, black and scary, he was put down like an animal.

Every American should have the right to their own life. We need to acknowledge the gross inequities applied to skin color in this country, today, in 2016.

***

The oppressors oppress the oppressed. It does not go the other way around.

“Reverse racism” is not real, because we don’t get discriminated against. We don’t get shot when we get pulled over for a broken taillight. My dad just drove 300 miles through New England the other day with a busted taillight, and his absolute worst case scenario was *maybe* getting a ticket. At worst.

Phil Castile is dead because of a busted taillight. A nice man, a cafeteria worker who knew all of the students’ food allergies. An American. A human. Executed in a car. That is wrong. This happens too often. 

So, please, my fellow white people:

We really need to wake up. We did this. We caused these problems. But we need to acknowledge this truth if we are ever going to fix it. We need to get woke. If you don’t know what that means, just take note of the past tense. Because once you’re up, you’re up. We need to stay woke. We need to pay attention. We need to shift perspectives, realize the truth, and become more aware of our privilege. We need to become more aware of what other people go through. We don’t know half the awful stuff they go through, because we aren’t subjected to it because we are the majority.

Admitting this doesn’t mean that you are a bad person. It’s simply an acknowledgment of the world we live in, an acknowledgment that not everybody is given a fair chance. Some people, by virtue of the color of our skin, are born with a stacked hand. WE HAVE A SYSTEMIC ADVANTAGE. We need to wake up, acknowledge the truth, and try to get more white people to admit that institutional racism is real and wrong and hugely detrimental to the lives of our friends and neighbors. We can do better. We owe it to all of those young men and women whose lives were stolen from them because of the color of their skin. Racism is America’s original sin, and it is still destroying lives in 2016.

Oh and one last thing:

All Lives Matter is a racist statement. It dismisses the perils and disadvantage that black people have to face. It ignores the fact that black lives are under attack. It ignores the fact that in many ways today, black lives do matter less. They are less valued by law enforcement. They are taken away freely and without consequence.

That is why we need to say that Black Lives Matter. It needs to be said, because right now we don’t treat them like they do.

 

With love and gratitude,

 

Chuck