Author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates was speaking at a public event recently and was asked by a student if it is OK for white hip-hop fans to rap along to songs with the n-word in them. His answer is both humorous and illuminating.
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Wildstorm started life as an independent, creator-owned comics universe of enormous verve and originality; following its acquisition by comics behemoth DC in 1998, it grew moribund, leading to its shuttering in 2010. Now it's back, in a revival helmed by Warren "Transmetropolitan" Ellis, who has reimagined the complex geopolitics of this paranoid superspy/shadow government/black ops world into a brutally fast-paced, dynamic tale that's full of real bad guys and ambiguous good guys who may or may not be trustworthy. The first six issues are collected in The Wild Storm Vol. 1
, out this week.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (previously) is in characteristically amazing form with his new essay in the Atlantic, "The First White President," in which he posits that Donald Trump is "the first president whose entire political existence hinges on the fact of a black president" -- the first president elected by appealing to white supremacy to the exclusion of everything else. Read the rest
Dave Maass writes, "In the 1890s, a tobacco company included collectors cards featuring 'American Editors' in its cigarette packs. In all, they were 49 white dudes and one woman, and the only diversity was in their beards and mustaches." Read the rest
"No President" is an unsigned editorial in N+1, and is, along with Ta-Nehisi Coates's My President Was Black, the best postmortem on the events of November 8 yet published: it begins with the door-to-door canvas of voters in the runup to the election and the strange ideological contradictions on display on America's doorsteps, reflects on the questions of gender and Clinton's election outcomes, and moves on to a realistic, but firm and inspiring, call for resistance in the years to come. Read the rest
Ta-Nehisi Coates's 17,000-word history of the Obama presidency in the Atlantic is called "My President Was Black," but it's about the very special kind of blackness that Obama embodied -- not because whites saw the biracial politician differently, but because Obama's extraordinarily supportive white family and unique boyhood in Hawai'i spared him the racial trauma visited on other young black people in America. Read the rest
When ex-CIA agent Tom King teamed up with a group of extremely talented writers to reboot Marvel's "Vision" in 2015, he had a lot of material to work with -- the character had begun as a kind of super-android in the 1940s and had been reincarnated many times, through many twists and turns: what King & Co did with Vision both incorporated and transcended all that backstory, in an astounding tale that Ta-Nehisi Coates called "the best comic going right now." With the whole run collected in two volumes
, there's never been a better time to see just how far comic storytelling can go.
Here's this year's complete Boing Boing Gift Guide: more than a hundred great ideas for prezzies: technology, toys, books and more. Scroll down and buy things, mutants! Many of the items use Amazon Affiliate links that help us make ends meet at Boing Boing, the world's greatest neurozine.
Gadgets / Books / Toys and Trivia
Illuminated magnifierI bought this illuminated handheld magnifier on Amazon for $3 (free shipping) last year and I use it a lot. It's a great splinter and lice checker. I've gotten my $3 of value from it just looking at tiny bugs and skin abnormalities. It has two built in LEDs and uses two AA batteries.
Squatty PottySquatty Potty is a $28 footstool that slides away under your toilet; you use it to bring your knees up to a squatting position while you poop, which makes pooping much, much easier. The product was launched with the best viral ad campaign of all time, which threaded the seemingly impossible needle of making an ad about a poop-assistance product; I bought one and (without getting into detail) I can personally testify to its efficacy.
Nintendo NES Classic EditionWhat’s Christmas without price gouging on the hottest geek gift of the year! Don’t fret. Soon, the rationing will cease and a $60 NES Classic Edition will be just a click away. And then, Mario my old friend, we will ALL be playing with power.
Cuisinart 14-Cup Food ProcessorThe latest model of the best food processor for people who are serious about broadening their happy foodie horizons. Read the rest
When we got to rounding up our favorite books for our annual Gift Guide, we found that there were simply too many this time to throw in the Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanukah/Yule/Solstice/Nonspecific Winter Celebration/New Year/Chalica hopper along with the tech and toys.
It's almost as if 2016 made the traditional way of learning more about our world — and of sharing dreams of other worlds — somehow more enticing.
Here's 65 of the best, then, from fairy-tales to furious politics, from the comic to the catastrophic, all waiting for you to turn the page.
Most of the links here include Amazon Affiliate codes; this helps us make ends meet at Boing Boing, the world's greatest neurozine. Don't miss this year's guides to Gadgets and toys too! Read the rest
Vertigo has tapped Cecil Castellucci (previously) and Marley Zarcone to reboot Shade, a Steve Ditko character last rebooted as a weird 1990s comic book about a transdimensional alien shape-shifter poet who used a "madness vest" in his quest to stem the tide of insanity leaking from Earth into his dimension; in Castellucci's capable hands, the new Shade is a fugitive who steals the madness vest in her escape to Earth and finds herself in the body of a Megan Boyer, a comatose mean girl who was about to have the plug pulled on her. Read the rest
Graphic novelist and sometime Boing Boing contributor Gene Luen Yang has joined the ranks of the small number of brilliant comic books artists and writers (Alison Bechdel, Ben Katchor, Junot Diaz, and Ta-Nehisi Coates) to be given the prestigious Macarthur genius prize, which is awarded to "individuals who show originality and dedication in their creative pursuits." Read the rest
The U.S. Supreme Court today delivered a damaging blow to the Fourth Amendment “by making it even easier for law enforcement to evade its requirement that stops be based on reasonable suspicion,” as a New York Times editorial puts it.
Justices ruled 5 to 3 [PDF] that a police officer’s illegal stop of a man on the street should not prevent using against him any evidence obtained from a search connected to that stop.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates, Macarthur-winning author of the outstanding Between the World and Me, was widely criticized when he condemned Bernie Sanders for saying that reparations for slavery were not a practical political goal (Coates won many prizes and gained much recognition for a superb essay called The Case for Reparations). Read the rest
NY Magazine has a great collection of essays from a bunch of writers, performers, athletes, directors, and photographers about the incident or realization that made them answer their calling.
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I wore that [cardboard Howdy Doody] magic set out. We had a dusty storage room in our little house, and I would sit in the dusty storage room in the afternoon and just work the things over and over again, for my own edification. I wasn’t really performing for anybody. I was just obsessed with it. And incidentally, on my 60th birthday, my closest friend in the world found a copy of the Howdy Doody magic set on eBay, and it was advertised as “the same kind of magic set that got Teller started in his career.” My friend gave it to me, and I just sort of collapsed and couldn’t stop crying, because it was so thrilling. - Teller
I had worked on the melody in my bedroom in my parents’ house, but I only knew about five guitar chords at the time. I think another realization I had was that even with rudimentary tools, I could enhance my world. Like suddenly I had a language to communicate my feelings, and that was also very powerful. I just remember hearing the guitar chords with the vocal melodies and having it sound like a semblance of something I’d heard, so it felt like I was joining a realm. – Carrie Brownstein
What I found out — what I discovered at City Paper — was that journalism is a done thing.
It's that time of year again! Welcome to Boing Boing's 2015 Gift Guide, where you'll find toys, books, gadgets and many other splendid ideas to humor and harry your friends and family! Scroll down and buy things, mutants!