Zennie62 on YouTube

Mad Men: The Suitcase - Don Draper Is A Racist, Deal With It

Will Don Draper's door ever open for blacks? 
Mad Men is unquestionably an excellent television program with acting and story that is edgy, provocative, and thought-provolking. But because the television show is an entertainment child of the 21st Century, some fans of Mad Men, tend to forget that it was set in the mid-1960s.

Thus, when this blogger asserts that Don Draper, the lead character well-played by John Hamm, is racist, some have a hard time dealing with that observation. Others might point to Mad Men creator Matt Weiner's claim that his work is one of "science fiction," except that Weiner admits the atmosphere of Draper's office is overtly sexist and racist.

Thus, Don Draper himself is racist.

Take Mad Men: The Suitcase. In fact, you should because it's great television. The overall storyline is really about two people, Don Draper and Peggy Olson, who's work lives are a cover for their damaged selves. Draper has only his work. Peggy wants to get more recognition from her work. But Draper's also a boxing fan, and here's where his watered-down racism reveals itself.

Draper issues the standard predominantly white fears of the man we call Muhammed Ali, who was then called Cassius Clay.  Draper complained that Ali always boasted.  Draper wanted Liston to win because, essentially without saying it, Liston was the "good Negro," the person that wasn't threatening to Draper's World view, which has blacks in a certain place.

Draper has not faced a black character who was his 1960s equal: someone who was smart enough to establish their own firm to help companies market to blacks.  There's nothing in Draper's makeup, and the Liston remarks confirm this, that indicates he could work with someone black who was his equal.

In reality, anyone who was a white male ad exec in the mid-1960s New York city could not get their by being a 21st Century non-racist. The fact is the Civil Rights Amendment was passed in 1964. It forbade discrimination in the workplace, in public schools, and in voting registration. Now, just because a law is passed does not mean businesses are automatically going to follow it immediately.

Unless Don Draper was out marching for civil rights, and hired black interns or had a black girlfriend, it's fantasy to think Draper wasn't racist. Indeed, it would be inaccurate to the period to present him as not having racist views, yet achieving that level of success.

Remember, Draper's firm has yet to hire an African American at any level above servant, and if they do, you can bet on this: that person's hire will be controversial and what that person has to do to remain at the firm - what they have to deal with on a daily basis - has to be a part of that story line if Mad Men is to be believable.

If such a hire happens it would have to be approved by Draper. If Draper does so, it would have to be only after he overcame a set of racial personal demons himself. It would not - or should not - happen in one episode. In short Don Draper would have to overcome his own racism.

Remember, it's the times. They were racist to an extreme by today's standards. The biggest problem is that many of fans of Mad Men weren't born at that time; this blogger was.

Which drives me to write this blog post.  The simple fact is that even with that racism, the 1960s were a time of pioneering achievements by blacks in the ad World.  As was pointed out in Racialicious:

It’s unlikely Mad Men will acknowledge executives for Pepsi-Cola—led by men including Edward F. Boyd—pioneered marketing to Black consumers in the 1940s and 1950s. Or the late Vince Cullers of Chicago launched the first Black advertising agency in 1956, while Luis Díaz Albertini founded Spanish Advertising and Marketing Services, the first Latino shop, in 1962. Hell, even Alex Trebek won’t recognize such trivia.

The other biggest problem is that television "critics" - either because of their own blindness to racism and institutional racism or because they want to pretend racism doesn't exist by not mentioning it - have written that Mad Men got the 1960s right. TV Critic Tom Shales committed this display of ignorance when he wrote "Details of the period, however, are nicely captured" when Mad Men was introduced in 2007.

He means details like the furniture; Shales left out the dirty issue of people and society in Mad Men.  The simple fact, is that save for Draper quizzing a black waiter on cigarettes, which says more about Don's desire to get information from any source than how he feels about African Americans, Mad Men has not addressed the issue of American racism toward blacks. That was the defining issue of the 1960s.

Toward A Better Mad Men

At first, I must admit, I didn't pay attention to Mad Men because I thought it was going to be a fake-period-piece that didn't hire non-white actors for anything more than five lines at best.   Now, I see it as a potentially useful show that can demonstrate not just the similarities but the differences between race in the 1960s and today.

The burden of proof that Don Draper's not racist is on those who would have to rewrite the history that was the 1960s. Those fans have to accept what President Lincoln said are "the hard facts that created America," and those that continue to shape it.

Michael Douglas Cancer, Paris Hilton Arrest: Celeb Contrasts



On Tuesday night, legendary Actor Michael Douglas was a guest on The Late Show with David Letterman.

It was already publicly known that he had throat cancer, but the news that it was at state IV was a shock to Letterman and the public.

This news and the outpouring of love and support for a celebrity who's contributions to the public good have been well noted, contrasts dramatically with last Friday's arrest of Socialite Paris Hilton.

Michael Douglas Will Beat Cancer

Douglas told Letterman that doctors found a "walnut-sized tumor" at the base of his tongue. According to WebMD.com, that means he likely has oropharyngeal cancer. Douglas said it was caused by smoking and drinking.

Just how much Douglas smoke and drank, and what kind of alcohol he was drinking on a regular basis is not known as of this writing. But Douglas vows he will beat the cancer. The son of he legendary Actor Kirk Douglas said he has an 80 percent chance of survival.

Hope That Paris Hilton Survives Her Drug Bust

That Paris Hilton's in trouble with the law again - having been arrested for felony possession of cocaine in Las Vegas last Saturday morning - is sad news. Hilton has been arrested now three times this year alone, but in different countries: France, South Africa, and the United States.

This is a sad current affair considering her 23-day stay in jail in 2007, and the really embarrassing visit to David Letterman which followed that year. On top of the cocaine bust, now Las Vegas police are reporting they found a "joint" in the car Paris Hilton was in.

The trouble is, while the car's being reported as "Paris Hilton's car," there's no evidence to indicate that's the case. It's more likely that the car belongs to her boyfriend Cy Waits. Thus, to even try to pin what the Daily Mail reports as a "wet" and "unable to be tested."

Moreover, the person police described as "the driver" - Cy Waits - said he just finished smoking. So, pinning that on Paris Hilton is at best piling on.

Hilton herself has responded to that rumor, and others like being banned from the "two Wynn resorts on the Las Vegas Strip" on Twitter. Paris tweeted:

These rumors going around are so ridiculous, untrue and cruel. I'm not going to even pay attention to them, because I know the truth.


Here's hoping the best for Paris Hilton: that she beats the charge and is able to get on with her life.   Hopefully Hilton uses Michael Douglas as a role model for the reformation of her image.

ESPN's "Around The Horn" Jay Mariotti Talk Classless

Yesterday, ESPN's Around The Horn TV Show took up the "awkward" subject of the problems of one of its own, ESPN Personality Jay Mariotti.

As sports fans know, Jay Mariotti was arrested on suspicion of domestic assault against a woman said to be his girlfriend.

Jay Mariotti was known for flaming athletes accused of domestic assault, so its weird still that he's accused of doing the same thing.

And while Jay's being raked over the coals for all of that in the media, and he should be, it just seems totally classless for his own show to talk about it. Here's the video:



That should be the one place where they at least take a wait-and-see out of respect for Jay. It's like this: Jay cracks on athletes for domestic abuse problems, Jay gets cracked on for his domestic abuse problems, Jay's own show cracks on him about same problems. So what"s next?

Maybe they don't have respect for Jay?

The logical next step is for someone else at ESPN's Around The Horn to get into the same trouble so they and we can talk about that person.

Does it ever end?

WE.G.I brings positivity back to rap By Nikky Raney

E.G.I brings positivity back to rap
Article by: Nikky Raney


WE.G.I is a New York rap group determined to bring positivity and motivation back to rap.

nikkyraney.com.jpgWE.G.I stands for "we go in." When brothers Rico Brown and Black Magic sat down with their sister Storm they figured the name fit well since they "go in and go hard."

The rap trio has been inspired by their family to continue working hard to get their music heard.

"Music has always been in my family, and my parent's didn't get their chance to shine," Black Magic says.

The members of WE.G.I want to bring rap and hip-hop back to the way it was during LL Cool J and Tupac's time.

"If you listen to the industry you will see it. You can tell it's really poisoned and negative right now. When you turn on the radio and hear the songs there's too much promotion of negativity. You got females that want to be other females and it isn't even about music anymore," Brown explains.

The rap group is currently unsigned, but they hope to get a deal with Shady records; if that does not work out they will try to start their own record label with the rest of their family. The group would also love to have their own reality TV show.

nikkyraney.com.jpg"My Business" is their latest single and the group members are trying to get a ring tone deal so that the song can be appreciated nationally. They really want their music to be heard all over.

"We want to bring it back to talent and motivation - not about money and fame. It's dark in the industry - we are trying to give it some fresh air," Brown continues. "We perform at many open mic shows. I was in a group with my cousins and we opened in Atlanta for T.I, but I left because I didn't have the drive and dedication I do now."

Storm is currently in the Dominican Republic promoting WE.G.I. She sees a bright future ahead for the group.

"[The] goal is to be known worldwide for our unique sound; make WE.G.I a brand," she says. "We have ideas for reality TV shows, a clothing line, cartoons etc. We are all versatile and different, but when fused together we're unstoppable."

WE.G.I has been compared to the Black Eyed Peas, according to the members.

The group has performed for Source Magazine, Thisis50.com, and has an upcoming performance on August 29, 2010 for underground artists that are unsigned.

WE.G.I. has been nominated "Respect Da Grind" award at the Indie Elite Artist Awards 2010 in Brooklyn NY, August 29, 2010.

An album for WE.G.I will be coming out in the near future; right now they are waiting for their single to be up on iTunes.

Spike TV Renews Deadliest Warrior For A Third Season

Deadliest WarriorImage via Wikipedia
Pay attention to Deadliest Warrior as an example of the future of entertainment.

To show how entertainment is rapidly becoming multi-plaform and meeting success in the process, Spike TV, a unit of MTV Networks and at Spike.com, has announced that it's renewed Deadliest Warrior, it's first original franchise hit, for a third season, according to Sharon Levy, executive vice president for original programming for Spike TV.

Deadliest Warrior is produced by 44 Blue Productions, Inc. with Rasha Drachkovitch and Tim Warren serving as executive producers, and described as a series that...

enlists warrior-specific, world-class fighters and experts to provide insight into what makes these combatants tick, analyzing every facet of their unique skills of destruction, culminating in a head-to-head final fight between two legends of the battlefield that will produce the deadliest warrior. The recent second season featured such iconic warriors such as SWAT, Attila the Hun, Alexander the Great, Aztec Jaguar, Jesse James Gang, Al Capone Gang, Roman Centurion, India’s Rajput Warrior, Somali Pirate, KGB and CIA.

But, in keeping with the multi-plaform nature of Deadliest Warrior, there's a video game called Deadliest Warrior: The Game, which is for Xbox LIVE Arcade, and has sold 140,000 copies since its June 14th release.

If you've never seen Deadliest Warrior, here's an inside look courtesy of Leah D'Emilio:



Catch Deadliest Warrior; the third season will premiere 10 episodes in Summer 2011.

Lindsay Lohan MIGHT be Out of Rehab This Week




Lindsay Lohan might get to leave rehab this week! That must be some good behavior she’s putting out! First, Lindsay serves just 13 days of her 90 jail sentence and is released to a MANDATORY 90 day rehab program. But now it looks like she'll only have two weeks of her rehab sentence as well...what's up?

A – Either Lindsay's problems weren't as serious as doctor’s first thought. That would mean – gasp – Dina Lohan may be right saying it was a setup, propaganda and wrong for Lindsay to be in jail. OK, not really, but we just wanted to give a shout out to Dina. Seriously, Lindsay might not have been doing as many or as hard of drugs as were first thought.
B – Or Lindsay is faking her way through rehab really, really well. And since this is her fourth visit in just a few years, it could be possible, though unlikely, that Lindsay is working the system.

Now, I doubt she could fool that many professionals, so maybe there was a combination of both options. Lindsay’s substance abuse problems weren’t as severe as predicted, thus leaving Lindsay with time to quickly heal and get on the right road. Rumor has it she is helping younger girls in rehab deal with issues and offering encouragement to them.

The real problem, it seems, is her family. Dina is going on TV proclaiming her daughter is innocent – even though we know she isn’t and did get in trouble in 2007. Then there is her dad Michael, who paints her as an addict who needs more serious help than what she is currently getting. Who will scream about an early release for Lindsay more - her dad or the media? Do you think Lindsay deserves to be let out early if the doctor’s say it is OK?

Scott Pilgrim vs the World - OK, I can't wait to see this film

Opening logo to the Star Wars filmsImage via Wikipedia
Is it the Star Wars of our time? 
Scott Pilgrim vs the World is a movie this blogger wants to see because its different.

It's not just that it's a 21st Century graphic novel come to life on the big screen, it's also a different kind of movie. It appears to skillfully blend real and fantasy Worlds in a way that's not been done before.  It could be the Star Wars of our time, except that it's not in space.

OK. You're probably thinking of the video where I ask if there's any black people in Scott Pilgrim vs the World. This video:



I still stand by what was said in the video, because this blogger never dissed the movie, but just said I'd like to see some black folks in it. But that's not what this blog post is about. It's about the pure excitement and interest this simple movie with major hype has sparked.

Normally, one's supposed to become jaded after, let's see, Jaws, Star Wars, Star Trek The Motion Picture, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of The Jedi, and so on. And because those are Sci-Fi movies, this blogger had to see them.

Scott Pilgrim vs the World is more earthbound, but still a fantasy. And maybe that's the reason it's interesting to me; the presentation of that neat alternative universe of someone's dream state.

Ah. Bong-induced views aside, I'm going to see the flick and take my Blackometer with me.

American Idol News - Jennifer Lopez out as judge, Asia'h Epperson in jail

In American Idol News, Jennifer Lopez, who was in the running, really a front-runner, to be a judge on American Idol, is out of the picture. According to The New York Daily News, J-Lo's demands became too much for The Fox Television Network to deal with.

And American Idol contestant Asia'h Epperson is in jail as this is written, for allegedly beating up a woman in a club in Hollywood called Colony Club. That's on the heels of Fantasia Barrino, the American Idol winner who suffered from an overdose on Monday.

Jennifer Lopez called Diva

Reportedly, Jennifer Lopez was being too much the bitch diva for Fox, so not wanting to deal with a formula that may have worked for the show, she was written off. A source told People Magazine Her demands got out of hand. Fox had just had enough."

What those "damands" were is not known, but it's too bad. J-Lo would have been fun to watch. But one thing's for sure, American Idol's still in a state of flux that should have sponsors very concerned.

Asia'h Epperson in jail

Asia'h Epperson, who should spend more time on her blog as it showed promise, was the focus of a citizen's arrest at the club by the beating victim.

That's sad news because, in just reading her few blog posts about Google SERP, she's obviously really bright. Whatever happened, it's a sure bet alcohol was involved in it.

Lindsay Lohan's Judge Quits Case by Tina Musial




Lindsay Lohan's presiding Judge Marsha Revel couldn't take the heat any more. Judge Revel removed herself from Lindsay Lohan's case allegedly because of some backroom phone calls the lawyers did not approve of. These lawyers met with Judge Revel on Friday to discuss the improprieties - but she just now vacated the case.

Now, what exactly didn't the lawyers approve of? According to TMZ:

We're told one of the issues -- Judge Revel took it upon herself to make contact with people from the Morningside Recovery rehab facility and then selected Morningside, even though it was not on the list of recommended facilities by her own court-appointed experts. Ultimately, Lindsay's lawyer convinced Judge Revel to send LiLo to UCLA. But the issue was raised on Friday.
Should it really matter that the judge made phone calls? She was checking around, getting background info on Lindsay Lohan. the lawyers should know that the judges do not follow gossip blogs, therefore she had to scoop out some info elsewhere!

Teen Choice Awards: Kim Kardashian, Megan Fox, Levi Johnston



YouTube, Yahoo, Metacafe, Blip.tv, StupidVideos and Viddler

The Teen Choice Awards is the center of pop culture in America and the World. It doesn't matter how old you are, some of the stars we watch and who were at The Teen Choice Awards are older.

LL Cool J's in his 40s as are people like P Diddy, and of course the incomparable Betty White, who's 88 years old.

Age is just a number, but the number of hot women was so high it made this blogger's ears pop.

Where else can you see Kim Kardashian tell Megan Fox that Fox is more beautiful than she is! And who let Sarah Palin's almost son-in-law Levi Johnston into the Teen Choice Awards?

How random is that?

Megan Fox! 
The Teen Choice Awards is a celebration that seems to have made the Twilight: New Moon cast stars before they knew what hit them. Taylor Lautner, who's now called "Taylor Hotner" on Twitter, picked up his third straight award this year.

The one thing missing was a Miley Cyrus song or dance number. We've got so much publicist from her machine, it seems the Teen Choice Awards is missing something without Miley Cyrus.

Oh, and her pole dance number!

Lastly, a big congrats to YouTube Partner Michael Buckley of The What The Buck Show for co-hosting the live stream of the Teen Choice Awards Red Carpet Show!

Tom Sherak reelected Academy President; Annette Bening gets post

Tom Sherak
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) or "The Academy," announced late Tuesday evening that Tom Sherak was reelected as President of The Academy by its Board of Governors. It's his second straight one year term of office in AMPAS.

Previously, Sherak served as treasurer of the Academy, and has started his eighth year as a governor representing the Executives Branch.

Joining the wave of good Academy news, Sid Ganis, the Public Relations Branch governor and past Academy president, was elected first vice president.  James L. Brooks and Phil Robinson, both of the Writers Branch, were elected to vice president posts, with Robinson being reelected. It's Brooks first election to a post.

Annette Bening gets post
Annette Bening

Actress Annette Bening, wife of Actor Warren Beatty, was elected to the post of secretary.   It's her first Academy-elected position.

Perhaps Bening will be Academy President one day?

Tom Sherak paid his dues

The reelection to AMPAS as President is a complement to Tom Sherak and his long standing relationships in the Academy and in Hollywood. For 40 years Sherak has been a marketing, distribution and production executive, and currently is a consultant to Marvel Studios and Relativity Media.

Angelina Jolie comes to Comic Con San Diego, Thursday at 1 PM

Anna Chapman's outing as a Russian Spy
 gives Salt new meaning
Sunday marks the week of Comic Con San Diego, and there's no more exciting event that superstar actress and activist Angelina Jolie's coming to help promote her new movie Salt.

Angelina Jolie will appear in the enormous Hall H at San Diego Convention Center at 1 PM this Thursday. It's a sure bet the San Diego Convention Center will be a frenzied madhouse.

One thing, Sylvester Stallone should thank Sony that its even is at 1 PM and not 4 PM thus competing with The Expendables red carpet and panel to be held at that time. By having two big stars spread out on that one day, Comic Con Thursday promises to be one of the happenings of 2010.

At first, Angelina Jolie was not set to come and present her film about a government agent accused of being a Russian spy (Salt trailer below).



The recent news of 11 Russian spies working in America, including the lovely Anna Chapman, gives new meaning to Salt and just before its release and Jolie's Comic Con appearance.

Also, as hubby Brad Pitt's film Megamind will also be presented, there's a chance he may show up too.

Stay tuned.