On M.I.A., "Bring The Noize"

Die Antwoord did this song better.

Posted on June 25, 2013 at 3:22 pm 0

On Now We Have So Many Bike Racks And No Bikes

I've been seeing them all over Clinton Hill/Bed-Stuy. It warms my heart to see them already getting vandalized.

That said, I'll probably give it a whirl.

Posted on April 24, 2013 at 5:39 pm 0

On Your Sneeze: What Does It Say About You

@deepomega I too sneeze like I make love. A whole lot of buildup, then nothing.

Posted on April 23, 2013 at 2:53 pm 0

On Song Referenced

@deepomega Losing his division.

Posted on April 22, 2013 at 12:50 pm 6

On Poll: Who Thinks Anthony Weiner Should Run For Mayor?

New York City, scandal aside, will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever elect a Mayor Weiner.

Posted on April 11, 2013 at 9:53 am 0

On You Think Your Skin's So Special

Some of us define "sensitive" as "horrendous topical allergies that require steroids and weird antihistamines you've never heard of to treat - and god forbid I should ever ingest one of the compounds I'm allergic to, because it would probably kill me." One time I had a reaction from a laundry product that was so bad I looked like the Toxic Avenger. I am not typical in this regard.

Posted on March 26, 2013 at 3:23 pm 0

On The NYC Public High School with Nine Black Students

@millywaters Some of them were placed in the better classes, some of them weren't. The kid who bullied me the most, came from the projects, ended up at LaGuardia at the same time I did, and we became friends. So somehow he got the help he needed.

I guess I don't have an answer to your question. Other than that these kinds of biases are self-reinforcing. Once they become part of the dynamic, they're almost impossible to reverse. As someone who I'm assuming is a lifelong New Yorker, I'm sure you know how inextricably intertwined race and class are in this town. I don't know if it's ever going to get better.

Posted on March 25, 2013 at 12:46 pm 0

On The NYC Public High School with Nine Black Students

As a product of the NYC public school system, and someone who benefited from the not-so-subtle bias inherent in the system, it's really difficult to talk about this objectively. However, I think I can illuminate a little of how this works in real life (as opposed to statistics).

When I was a kid, the white and asian students were steered to the top tier classes from the get-go, as much out of bias, as to keep them safe in heavily mixed schools. White and asian kids (myself included) were the targets of almost constant, and frequently violent bullying (I grew up in the same neighborhood and at the same time as Jonathan Lethem's brother Blake - the inspiration for Fortress). It's not that I was an especially gifted student, but the security concerns were real.

What would the alternative have been? Throw a kid like me in with the kids from the projects (the kids with single parent homes and very little income, or a generally chaotic home life) and have me go home with a bloody nose and black eyes every day? That happened enough as it was.

Fast forward 30+ years, and the story is still much the same. I assume that when there's a discretionary moment, the less disruptive students are separated from more disruptive students. The more disruptive students tend to come from more disadvantaged or unstable homes, which also, because of economic factors as well as institutional racism, tend to be black and latino.

The sole anecdote I have to support this is the one white kid who was in the lower-tier had really bad behavioral issues. They would periodically try to bump him up, but he got into fights constantly, so they'd move him back down.

Once that separation occurs, whatever the day-to-day issues are that cause it, it becomes very hard to reverse the trend.

Posted on March 25, 2013 at 11:50 am 0

On The NYC Public High School with Nine Black Students

Posted on March 25, 2013 at 10:22 am 0

On David Thewlis Is 50

@Gef the Talking Mongoose - Husbands and Wives. What was I thinking?!?

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 1:36 pm 0