Monday, February 27, 2017

Reel Talk- Get Out

By Da CogNegro  & Khalil Hamiduddin 

Synopsis: Chris is invited, by his girlfriend,  to spend a weekend, with her affluent parents, in a remote and exclusive community.

Director: Jordan Peele

Release Date: February 24th, 2017

CogNegro's Take: The chills and thrills can come off  a bit too conventional at times. But what Jordan Peele's debut film ,Get Out, lacks in original approach to horror, is made up for  in its strong social commentary. Each conversation, interaction and revelation acts  to remove the veil of acceptance, expose the underbelly  of racial patronization, and  defines the nefarious purpose such tactics serve. Furthermore, the humor, which is sprinkled all through out the film, never acts as a deterrent or device to dilute the overarching  theme. This can also be said about Peele's music selection. The most impressive fact about the movie though has to be the use of  its horror tropes in creating logical reasoning for the existence of the paradoxical dichotomy of admiration and hatred! In closing, Get Out is relevant viewing! Especially, in these racially divided times! (B+)- CgN

Mr. Hamiduddin 's Take: From the mind of Jordan Peele, one half of the comedic duo known as Key and Peele...think of them as Chappelle Show light or what Pepsi One is to Pepsi, comes one of the most controversial movies about interracial dating since Spike Lee's Jungle Fever. Get Out is quite successful in using tried and true horror tropes. This results in Peele creating genuine tension by focusing on real life situations as oppose to cheap jump scares. In addition, he also succeeds at blending social commentary with humor! To say that I was a bit skeptical on  viewing this film would be an understatement. Let's just say that I shared the sentiment as one of the sketch comedy's original characters, Luther (Obama's translator), when he vehemently pronounced "  NO, I DON'T THINK I CAN"!  Nevertheless, Get Out's humor, effective use of tropes and common sense approach proves that you still can experience a breath of fresh air in the horror genre. This is a must see! (A)

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Talented 10th and the Ignorant 5th:: You Don't Know My Name!

by Khalil Hamiduddin 

I have to admit, I'm quite confused. You see, as of last Friday's episode of Real Time Bill Maher, Milo Yanpowhatever (I don’t care enough to look up the actual spelling of his name)  has had a video released, by republicans operatives, that reveled him praising pedophilia and was promptly, as in it took a large public backlash,

1.) Fired this week from Breitbart. 
2.) Lost his book deal. 
3.)Was uninvited from being the keynote speaker at CPAC. 

Sounds like a pretty s*** week if you ask me. From what I read on a random cereal box, Sir Yanpowpowwow is a professional troll that has successfully infiltrated the highest ranks of the GOP with a brand of “humor” ,that had everything except the humor but it bears mentioning anyway, that was quite repellent. His biggest claim to fame, before being chased off of various college campuses by idealistic young liberals ,involved him writing a racist tirade towards actress Leslie Jones simply because she chose to star in the reboot that no one wanted: Less Funny Bridesmaids With Proton Packs... I mean Ghostbusters! His comments, in addition to releasing nude pictures of Ms. Jones, resulted in him being removed from Twitter.Do you know how racist you have to be to get kicked off Twitter? It's like being too racist in the 80s! It should prevent you from doing all sorts of things like, I don't know, being named Attorney General! Literally, if you dare go down that rabbit hole of Twitter, and I’d advise you not to, you will see the very worst of humanity in 120 characters!

You guessed it, released in the 80s!

But how, after being chased off college campuses, and causing riots in his wake, was he able to get so far in this modern era of fame without talent?  I tell you how! He mastered the art of controlled anger, co-opt a movement point it in a direction ,egged on a resistant audience, and then hid his hands. Only now, after he crossed the comedy third rail, has his 15 minutes come to an end. To allow such a individual to rise, even to a level of temporal infamy, should lead us to wonder how entrenched we are in our own biases and prejudices. Especially since this is a reputable and respected political party!

But isn't that they way these things go? Eventually, society will begin to grow weary of those who feel the need to keep their relevance by resorting to outlandish and sensationalized rhetoric and actions. Thank God he isn't American.However, don't throw out your tambourines and confetti yet. I'm pretty sure that this is a precursor of   things to come!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Field Notes: Peaceful Resistance

by Teresa Leggard

Jan. 30, 2017

Now I wish I’d gone to the protest at the airport. Yes, I had to prepare for the week ahead, but so what? I don’t want to be afraid. I want to stand up—to speak up. I want to be on the side of the righteous. At the very least, I’ll take some time at the top of class to check in with my students—see how they’re doing; how they’re feeling . . . 

Feb. 5, 2017

It isn’t until I turn off my car that I realize the following:

1.) This part of town is really white.
2.) I haven’t lifted my voice in protest, so publicly, since undergrad.
3.) Exercising your First Amendment right surrounded by like-minded folks is sort of like Fisher-Price My First Protest.
4.) No seriously, this town is hella white.

I pull into the church parking lot and my gut is doing flips. I made the mistake of reading some of the comments on the event page before leaving my house.  There’s nothing openly hostile about the territory, but that doesn’t change the feeling. I’m on high alert. Can I spot anyone who knows me before exiting the car? How far is my car from the front door of the sanctuary? How quickly and easily can I escape? . . .

* * * * 
My gut is still flipping. I’d better drink this water. That cross is really big.

* * * * 
And this is nothing. I’m in a place of worship with peaceful people. This is nothing. No law enforcement, no riot gear, this is nothing. Yet, it doesn’t escape me that gunmen have walked into places of worship and taken lives. Temples have been vandalized, burned to the ground, bombed with four little girls inside.  . . . 

* * * * 
Why am I here? I am not thoroughly versed, well rehearsed, in the politics or even the latticed language of this executive order. I’ve probably read many of the same articles and headlines as everyone else, no more or less. For now, I’ll have to be motivated by the rationale that I would want someone to do it for me. I bet someone I know someone already has.

Feb. 8, 2017

On my way in this working, I saw a cop car. No big deal, right? Except it wasn’t a sedan, it was this imposing, big-bodied SUV. And it wasn’t local law enforcement, it was Homeland Security.

Teresa Leggard is a New York-born, Jersey-raised, Midwest transplant. She’s a writer, editor, poet, playwright, and recovering procrastinator. You can’t really find her online except for here and the occasional tweet at @LeggardTM, but if you’re in Kansas City she might be at The Writers Place( One day she's determined to find out "Where Brooklyn at?"

Friday, February 17, 2017

From The Stands: The Nintendo Switch

by The Fangirl

Press Release:

The Nintendo Switch is a breakthrough home video game system. It not only connects to a TV at home, but it also instantly transforms into an on-the-go handheld using its 6.2-inch screen. For the first time, players can enjoy a full home-console experience anytime, anywhere. The screen includes capacitive multi-touch capabilities for compatible games. Battery life can last for more than six hours, but will vary depending on the software and usage conditions. For example, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wildcan be played for roughly three hours on a single charge. While away from home, Nintendo Switch can be charged by plugging the AC adapter into the console’s USB Type-C connector.

The versatile Joy-Con offer multiple surprising new ways for players to have fun. Two Joy-Con can be used independently in each hand, or together as one game controller when attached to the Joy-Con grip. They can also attach to the main console for use in handheld mode, or be shared with friends to enjoy two-player action in supported games. Each Joy-Con has a full set of buttons and can act as a standalone controller, and each includes an accelerometer and gyro-sensor, making independent left and right motion control possible.

Nintendo Switch makes it easy for players to stay connected. Up to eight systems can be connected for local wireless play. The player can place the system upright anywhere by using the built-in stand, then easily share Joy-Con for multiplayer fun away from the TV. The system will support online Wi-Fi multiplayer gaming. Nintendo also unveiled a new online subscription service that will begin with a free trial at launch. The service includes a smart-device application available in Summer 2017 that will let users invite friends to play online, set play appointments and chat with one another as they play compatible games. The fully featured paid service will be available in the fall.

Nintendo Switch also contains a number of built-in features that make it more interactive. The left Joy-Con has a Capture Button that players can press to take instant screenshots of gameplay to share with friends on social media. The right Joy-Con includes an NFC touchpoint for interaction with amiibo figures, as well as an IR Motion Camera that can detect the distance, shape and motion of nearby objects in specially designed games. For example, it can tell how far away a player’s hand is, and even if the hand is forming a rock, paper or scissors shape. Both Joy-Con include advanced HD Rumble, which can provide compatible games with subtle vibrations that are much more realistic than before. The effect is so detailed that a player could, for example, feel the sensation of individual ice cubes colliding inside a glass when shaking a Joy-Con. With HD Rumble players can experience a level of realism not possible through sights and sounds alone.

Nintendo Switch will be supported by world-class third-party publishers including Activision Publishing Inc., Electronic Arts, Take-Two Interactive, Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and major Japanese publishers. Some publishers, such as Bethesda Softworks, are joining Nintendo for the first time. Players can look forward to major franchises on Nintendo Switch such as EA SPORTS FIFA, The Elder Scrolls, NBA 2K, Minecraft and more. Nintendo Switch software will not be region locked.

The unique capabilities of the console and Joy-Con have combined with innovations from past systems to create Nintendo’s most flexible, feature-packed video game system ever. This is demonstrated by the wide variety of unique games that were announced for launch day, this summer and into the 2017 holiday season, from both Nintendo and its third-party partners. From the engrossing open-air experience of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to the party fun of 1-2-Switch, Nintendo Switch offers something for everyone.

Fangirl Thoughts:

 The presentation was enjoyable and informative. I enjoyed whenever the presenters would dress up according to what they were presenting. Nintendo presented some great games that will be in the launch window and frankly I am super excited about the master edition of The Legend of Zelda. I think this version of Zelda may be the best yet. I have my preorder in and I will be gaming! 

Founded in 2013, FanGirl Review has captured the interest of folks abroad with its insights into the old of video games, movies, television, gear and so much more. Owner and editor, Victoria White, continues to ensure that Fangirl Review is your ultimate source in everything Geek and Hip! Be sure to check out and subscribe to any of the social media channels that share the same name!

Monday, February 13, 2017

The "Ji" Spot- Who Celebrates February 15th ?

But first, a word from the Da CogNegro:

Well folks, it's that time  of year again to express your love with special edition chocolates and flowers that will wilt within the next week. That's right, it's NFL hall of "famer"  Jim Kelly's birthday tomorrow! The same Jim Kelly, who played as a quarterback on the Buffalo Bills, who went on to four consecutive Super Bowl(s) and lost!! Well, he should take solace in the fact that in some foreign country, the Bills are considered one of the greatest sports teams of all time!

I don't have the heart to post a picture of a third world native wearing one of those Buffalo Bills' T-shirts. so in its' place,here's the cover for Not Too Young: the crossover hit (alternative fact) sung by 80s heartthrob Alfonso Ribeiro. (Spoiler Alert: This song plays in the background when you find out she's "NOT" on the pill!)

Oh, February 14th also marks Valentine's  Day. Look folks, you are just going to have to contend with my lack of excitement when it comes to commercialized love day! Between growing up a Jehovah's Witness and being rejected in favor of cardboard cut outs of  Morris Chestnut and Morgan Freeman ,  sometimes I like my women old and with great candy in their dishes, I've never had much luck on the 14th. Therefore, I have channeled all my disappointment into pure derision that's fun for the whole family. However, it seems that I am not alone in my feelings. Let's hear what our resident, non expert, has to say about her experience last year! - CgN  


Jihan  "Ji Ji" Carmichael is a self proclaimed relationship non-expert. When she's not sharing her dating experiences and giving questionable advice on The CogNegro's Corner, you can catch her on Facebook HERE, on IG  under the name jihantakestheworld and once in a blue moon on Snapchat under "Jihantheworld"

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Cornelia’s Nook: Pitfalls of the Resistance

by Cornelia Dolian

In the wake of the 2016 election, there was much discussion about the way various media operates and the ways we consume it. 

Fake news. Confirmation bias. Red feed/blue feed.

We circulated lists and graphs showing which news sources were trustworthy, which were inaccurate, which were slightly biased, which were basically mouthpieces for their political leanings. People seemed receptive to the notion that not all Internet sources are equal.

And yet, some of us are still sharing the kinds of things that made me cringe during the election cycle: Memes meant to stick it to, debase, or otherwise mock the “other” side. Incendiary articles from barely credible, blatantly slanted sites. Half-truths, misinformation, even posts urging people to call Congress about upcoming votes that have, in fact, already passed

I get it. We’re all trying to do our part. We’re trying to #resist and help keep this country from teetering into a deep chasm of multi-flavored hate, volatility, conflict, and economic and social despair.

So, I don’t want to be *that* person, the one pushing her glasses up her nose and correcting her friends in an exaggerated nerd-a-la-90s-sitcom voice, to the tune of “Well, actually, you see, that’s not exactly correct. In fact…” 

But, actually, you see, in fact...

We need to be discerning about what we consume and share. There is too much at stake and we can only make an impact if we are well informed and acting on things where we still have a chance to change minds.

Snopes and Google are (usually) our friends. So are reputable news sources.

No site whose articles are ultra concerned with slamming and shaming those it opposes — but only slightly concerned with accuracy in reporting — passes muster as a credible news source. Even if it makes funny memes. Even if it gets people fired up and does a nice job of searing the worst aspects of what it opposes. 

These sites are not helping us make our case about anything, to anyone who doesn’t already agree with us 100%, nor are they helping us make rational and well-formed arguments in favor of what we’re advocating or against what we’re opposing. If what we’re really looking to do is affect change or stand up and be counted against the things we disagree with in this administration, we have to reach higher.

Also, before sharing a call-to-action, let’s please take a moment to figure out whether it’s actually still relevant. And, if someone lets us know that something we have posted is inaccurate or no longer timely, let’s please do the right thing and either remove our post or somehow correct it.

In our efforts to do something now, we may jump the proverbial gun sometimes and post before double-checking. And sometimes news moves faster than we do, and just a day or two away can make us miss something big. But when someone gives us more accurate or timely information on something we’ve posted, it’s our responsibility to use our platforms to disseminate that updated information.

Energy and time are precious commodities, so we have to be careful to expend both on initiatives that have a chance of working.

If we’re going to be effective in pressing for progress, we must have our facts straight and focus on the things we can actually change. And we must engage with and share some of the less snappy, less fun parts of political discourse: thoughtful analyses, well-reasoned arguments, investigative journalism, facts, etc.

This isn’t to say abandon all fun, ye who aim to affect change. There’s nothing wrong with a little wit for wit’s sake. A little meme that our friends can “this” and “+1” all the way down the comments line.

I’m just suggesting we temper the fun and the catharsis with real news about the very real things going on and affecting very real people. Let’s think beyond click and “like” bait, no matter how plump and juicy they can be..

Cornelia L. Dolian writes fiction and nonfiction. She’s between websites, but you can connect with her on Medium (@cornelialdolian), Twitter (@cornelialdolian) and Facebook.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Reel Talk: I Am Not Your Negro

by Da CogNegro

Release Date: February 3rd, 2017

Director:Raoul Peck

Synopsis: Writer James Baldwin tells the story in modern America with his unfinished novel, Remember This House

Review: It's a shame that James Baldwin is not more of a household name when mentioning, in casual conversations that lie outside of academic circles, sociopolitical heavyweights of the civil rights era. But after watching  Raoul Peck's documentary ,I Am Not Your Negro, it would be shocking if that trend continues for anyone who happens to experience Baldwin's words, via Samuel L. Jackson's indistinguishable pitch, symphonically enhance vintage, as well as contemporary, footage that relates to the past and present state of Black America. No aspect of this documentary seems superfluous or wasted. From the pitch-perfect music selections down to the biting sound clips, it all works to create a masterpiece that no eyes should glance over. Not only is this documentary an empowering watch, but due to our current, social climate, it should be categorized as necessary viewing! (A) -CgN