Saturday, March 22, 2008

Wow! Tay Zondy is sharp!

Tay Zondy's a strange dude. His YouTube smash hit Chocolate Rain was just voted most popular music video of 2007 despite -- or perhaps because of -- the fact he comes across as a humorless oddball with a marginal, though startlingly deep, voice. The song's catchy in that maddening commercial jingle way; once it infects you it doesn't let go easily (which may be why Chocolate Rain has inspired hundreds of parody responses, beginning with this hilarious remix).

Check out this interview with Zondy (nee Adam Nyerere Bahner), in which the 25-year-old doctoral student holds forth on selling out, Richard Wright, social justice, and media bias. He's a prickly interview subject, perhaps because he's way too smart not to sense the media narratives unfolding around him. My respect for Zondy just took a huge leap.

Tip of the old hat to Salon's Farhad Manjoo for the link.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama's Masterstroke

Yesterday, Obama gave what I think is the single most important political speech of my lifetime. Obama assumed he was addressing mature adults, and he wrote and delivered the speech with a bluntness and honesty I've never seen in another American presidential candidate, ever. Obama addressed the full spectrum of race and its legacy in America. He called on all Americans, including the media, to leave the past behind and embrace a new vision of a united America.

If this isn't political courage, I don't know what is.

Watch the full speech here.