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Politics: Evil To Him Who Evil Does

Posted in 104, bad ideas, blame society, entertainment, family, freedom, politics, randomness, warfare on December 5th, 2012 by Hannibal Tabu
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Re: Homeland Season 2, Episode 10.

Huge, huge SPOILER ALERT, and I’m sorry if you haven’t seen it.

In all seriousness, if you haven’t seen the show and want to, you should stop here. I’ll give you some space before I continue …


Yes, I understand the irony of the above image, that’s why I chose it.

Anyway, notorious international “terrorist” Abu Nazir has taken the CIA’s craziest analyst, Carrie Mathison, captive for reasons that are not really important for what we’re discussing here. He asked her if she carries the same dedication he and his followers do. That discussion, as quoted, follows:

CARRIE: “Whatever it takes.”

NAZIR: “Really? With your pension plans & organic foods? Your beach houses & sports clubs? Do you have the perseverance, the tenacity, the faith? Because we do. You can bomb us, starve us, occupy our holy places, but we will never lose our faith. We carry god in our hearts, our souls. To die is to join him. It may take a century. Two centuries, three centuries … but we will exterminate you.”

CARRIE: “Like I said. You’re a terrorist.”

Is it bad that a very horrible part of me wanted Abu Nazir to respond, “I prefer to think of myself as a teacher …” in that moment?


What Israel is doing to the Palestinians is wrong. The support afforded to them by the United States is wrong. Hate engenders hate. When the oppressed respond with hate, it’s just where they are in their stage of development, especially if the boot of oppression remains on or even near their neck. When their wrongs have been redressed — and please don’t try to talk to me about the idea Palestine has not been wronged, like the Serbs were wronged, like the Jews were wronged, like the Africans were wronged, like the Tasmanians were wronged and so on, down the line — then maybe they can begin to heal, maybe they can begin to collectively forgive.

Also, please understand that I am not saying it is right for children to be killed — by bombs from the Israeli forces or as sacrifices and suicide bombs. Both are equally wrong. The methods used by both sides are deplorable, the guilt is shared equally and I am embarrassed for the portion of my tax dollars spent furthering this conflict. I’d hope I’ve made that abundantly clear since few of us ever really get to be “innocent.”

As for the sentiments of Abu Nazir, in the words of Chris Rock, “I’m not saying I condone it … but I understand.”

Spirit knows I understand.

Watching (Television): Homeland, “Broken Hearts”

yeah, I know, the Department of Homeland Security will be all over this blog like Lindsay Lohan over a line of coke … such is life under Ingsoc …

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Comics: The Commentary Track for the April 13th Buy Pile (mostly about Komplicated)

Posted in awesomeness, buy pile, comics, freedom, inspiration, ranting, whimsy on April 14th, 2011 by Hannibal Tabu
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Every week I do a column full of comic book reviews as I’ve done since March 2003 and currently published at Comic Book Resources. Then, after the reviews post, I try to come over to my blog and expand on the thoughts and ideas listed there. Sometimes it’s profound, sometimes it’s gibberish, but it’s always about comics … let’s see what we get this week!

What? This week’s reviews

WHAT COMICS? Honestly, after doing the reviews, I was kind of baked. I’ve been focused so heavily on something else …

... truth of the matter is, I'm komplicated ...

... truth of the matter is, I'm komplicated ...

… that it’s pretty much eaten up my brain this week.

I’ve been sitting on this information for maybe six months. That’s when Geekweek head honcho Jeff Katz and I first started about working together. Then there were the lawyers. Then there was the cage match. Then there was the staring contest. Then there was the crying. Finally, two signatures on one piece of paper and I’m the proud co-owner of a website you can’t see yet.

Why do this now? Well, first of all, please don’t believe there’s anything I have against Comic Book Resources, my home for many years and a collection of some damned fine people. Jonah Weiland has gone to the mat for me more than once, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for him and the amazing body of work he’s created.

However, it’s not mine. If the site does well or the site does badly, I make the same amount of money. Since I stopped noting the column on Usenet (and yes, I miss that environment some times — when somebody hated my stuff, it always led to such interesting discussions) I’ve never done a single thing to promote the work. I’m too busy. To actually say I own part of a site gives me a great deal more flexibility. If I wanna celebrate Dwayne McDuffie’s birthday every year with an entire day of McDuffie-related programming, I can. “There’ll be no one to stop us this time.” That kind of freedom is intoxicating, especially when I don’t have to stop doing the things I love with CBR. Now I can just do more.

Likewise, the other major reason is that Black people in general have to kind of accept crumbs from everybody else’s tables. Sure, CBR has employed more Black people in comics than, say, most comic book companies and he’s gone out of his way to create a staff and a site that covers a diverse spectrum of entertainment options. But even if I learn to swim, I can never be Aquaman. Even if I flap as hard as I can, I can never be Hawkman. Even with all I say about this being “mine,” it’s already a collaborative effort. I’ll have … woops, almost let the cat out of the bag. Sorry, the exact stats on the team comes out next week. Suffice it to say you’ll hear my voice, but I don’t stand alone, and I will have the doors open to all kinds of African descended voices.

“No fair, what about …” Blah blah blah. A lot of the tech news will be inspired by my Hawaiian best friend and my Jewish best friend, both of whom are massively talented in technical arenas. I sing Coldplay and Owl City almost as much as I sing Stevie Wonder and X-Clan, so it’s not like there’ll be a monotone in the music coverage, even. Just like Public Enemy played to audiences around the world, just because there’s a slant to the coverage doesn’t mean it’s exclusionary. Heck, I’ve even had a good laugh at some O’Reilly Factor stuff. Can’t explain that.

I hope you’ll keep enjoying my work at CBR (I one day hope to be celebrating my 20th anniversary there) as well as checking out Komplicated.com when it launches (for now you can stay hip with the Twitter and Facebook pages). If not, hey, no worries, right?


Playing (Music): “Alligator Sky” by Owl City feat. Shawn Chrystopher

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Poetry: Nerdy At The Roots [#napowrimo2011]

Posted in awesomeness, blame society, cheap publicity, comics, creativity, culture, entertainment, freedom, hip hop, inspiration, life, music, napowrimo, randomness, star wars, steganography, technology, writing on April 13th, 2011 by Hannibal Tabu
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On May 1st, with the GeekWeek network, I’m going to help launch a new niche website called Komplicated. Advertised as being for “geeks of color,” in reality it’ll be as much a Black geek site as Power 106 is a Latino hip hop radio station. “Latin at the roots,” I used to say, and to borrow a phrase from Medusa of Feline Science, this site is “nappy at the roots.”

Which isn’t to say that there won’t be stuff to interest Latinos, Asians, white people, or even Martians (as many consider J’onn J’onzz a “brother”) in the same way Public Enemy is popular with audiences around the globe. Like Fox News, Komplicated has a slant to its reporting. Unlike Fox News, we’ll admit it.

So, alongside text and visual pieces to describe Komplicated, I hope to include this once it’s polished and workshopped …

Why are we doing this?

Third in line under pouring rain for latest iDevice.
Cosplaying meticulously crafted Chun Li costume,
but in red velvet instead of blue
because color works better.
Patiently giving directions to technophobic mother
who doesn’t know what street she’s on.

Glancing around for best spots to hide cables,
listening to Michael Davis panels in San Diego
Cursing at clock
determined to keep moving towards “late for work”
while one last mission keeps Playstation humming.

Why are we doing this?

Meticulously organized collections
of Babylon 5 folder icons
or Vertigo trade paperbacks,
we’re Bigger Thomas invisible
in convention photo galleries,
Friends and Seinfeld populations
drifting by background scenes
so rarely we’re easy to miss.

We’re still at blockbuster opening nights,
still making sure we have just the right snarky t-shirt
still secret fuel for Matrices and Mace
because possibility is often better than reality.
@tombrevoort says market isn’t interested,
Nielsen pretends we don’t exist,
beyond modern chitlin circuit cinema.
Jetsons and Flintstones say
we have no future nor any past
but we receive Nichelle Nichols hailing signals
And Lando lines from clouds
like phaser beams and @lupefiasco lasers
dancing in darkness.
Mocking laughter needs a higher THAC0
to put dirt on true Wakandan shoulders.

We are, in a word, komplicated.
Dubois dreams in @donaldglover reality,
incapable of being wedged into stereotypes,
our shape defies Euclidian geometry
because we know its Imhotep root.
Outcasts amongst outcasts
listening to Outkast
hyper-text hip hop rocking like Vernon Reid.
We have to do this,
creating ourselves
in worlds that deny our existence.

By Hannibal Tabu

... truth of the matter is, I'm komplicated ...

... truth of the matter is, I'm komplicated ...

Myshell wanted to hold this back, to film me reading it splicing in all the attendant images and what not, which can still happen … but a brother needed a poem for tomorrow and he who hesitates is lost, I’ve seen.

Anyhoo, by next week, Komplicated.com should be up and running, so either watch this space or keep an eye on the Komplicated fan page.

As always, thank you for your time and indulgence.

Playing (Music): “Fighters” by @lupefiasco featuring Matthew Santos

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