Short Takes: News From All Over: July 29, 2004

‘Black People Love Us’ Hilariously Satirizes Unspoken Tensions
By Staff,
Sally and Johnny, in polo shirts and khakis, are the whitest kids on the block, and black people ‘really do seem to’ love them. On their cult website, their ‘real life [black] friends’ offer testimonials. ‘Johnny is generous enough to remark upon how ‘articulate’ I am! That makes me feel good!’ Another friend shares, ‘Sally’s always saying: ‘You go girl!’ while ‘raising the roof’ to mainstream hip-hop tracks at cheesy bars. . .’ The growing popularity of this website on college campuses suggests that it expresses something many black people feel when white people try to ‘relate’ to them by way of the media’s racial caricatures, and that humor can come to fill a tense silence. But the readers’ reactions, everything from moved to insulted to confused, are the most revealing parts of the website. — Elizabeth Dwoskin

Chakra Test
By Staff, Eclectic Energies
On the pommel horse of life, balance is an undeniably crucial skill. Become a regular Chakra Khan with this handy questionnaire, which helps make sure your energy centers are open and balanced. — Brendan Themes

Sex, Hypocrisy and the GOP
By Bill Berkowitz, WorkingForChange
Is prostitution a family value? Thousands of sex workers seem to think so as they plan flights to New York City for the Republican National Convention. It will be quite the Fahrenheit 8/30, say New York madams, who know that though conservative morals are the Republican party line, delegates are often free-marketers when it comes to the sex industry. — Brendan Themes

Dubbing, Italian Style
By David Bezmogis, Walrus Magazine
Don’t expect to see Fahrenheit 911 or Spiderman II in the theaters on your next vacation to Italy. Or, rather, don’t expect to hear them. That’s because, according to David Bezmozgis of Walrus Magazine, the Italians dub with ‘near-total exclusivity.’ Subtitles are almost impossible to find. In Italy, dubbing is a complicated art, taken up with pride by both professionals and amateur hobbyists. According to Francesco Vairano, one of Italy’s top three leading dubbing directors, dubbing has its roots in fascism. ‘Mussolini didn’t want to hear any foreign languages, so we started dubbing.’ — Elizabeth Dwoskin

National Barbie in a Blender Day
By Staff,
What did you do this week? Did you destroy any Barbie dolls? If so, you’ll find solidarity with the National Barbie in a Blender Day, a cream-colored plastic bullet fired against censorship and corporate control. The dream home is America, the cherry-red convertible is free speech, and with guests like Mattel’s corporate lawyers, America’s most beloved waif is caught in the worst dinner party of her life. — Brendan Themes

Radical Southern Girls to Bring Organized Chaos to Memphis
By Staff, Southern Girls Convention
On August 12th, Radical Southern women activists will come by train (probably hopping), car (probably hitchhiking), bus, and pogo stick to Memphis for the Sixth Annual Southern Girls Convention sponsored by the Women’s Action Coalition. For radical southern ‘wimmin,’ a convention in the South allows them to address issues specific to both the region’s history and present; and to protest the conventions of southern womanhood and the kind of racism that exists there. Workshops range from group discussions to presentations, such as ‘100 Years of Revolutionary Women’ or ‘Boycott Taco Bell: Florida Farmworkers Organizing for a Fair Wage.’ Do-it-yourself Workshops, also known as skill-shares, keep the radical women up to snuff on the latest skills to combat helplessness and cheers for their radical cheerleading squads back home. — Elizabeth Dwoskin

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