Friday, February 8, 2013

So, we’re bracing for another severe storm surge here on the east coast. I’m prepared though. Super Storm Sandy will live in infamy in my neck-of-the-woods and if there’s one thing that bitch taught me, its “preparedness is next to godliness”. I think I managed to score a few extra points on the “City-Dwellers Who Stand A Fair Chance of Surviving The End of The World” meter–fo’ sho! Here’s a bit of what I got out of the experience:

  • All those yellow Gristedes supermarket plastic shopping bags I’ve collected over years came in real handy when the power went out and toilets couldn’t flush. Thaaaat’s right! we did that! Hey! Don’t judge–did you know that human feces produces lethal amounts of noxious methane gas that can render a person unconscious for an hour? Yeah, I bet you didn’t. Wrap that sucker tight and store it somewhere away from you until you can dump it.
    religious candle
  • Get your battery operated shortwave radio or handset before disaster strikes. My sister and I walked around the city for hours during the blackout, looking for a weather radio from those hacks with the electronic stores all over the city. Everyone wanted to charge us $60 to $80 for something that would have normally cost about $25 during  pre-disaster times.
  • Water, water, water! Can’t stressed that enough. Once you hear a super storm is coming your way, get out in the streets with that cart and run to the nearest 24/7 market to stock up with as many bottles as you can. Fill up the tub too. You’ll be surprised how freaked out you get when you don’t  have access to running water.  Your ‘Inner Primate’ shows up pretty quickly. 

  • Your little transistor’s no good without batteries, so stock up and keep them in a kool, dry, dark easy to find area in the house.
  • Also get yourselves a dozen or so Spanish religious candles, veladoras, in the long glass jars. They double as a long-lasting, contained light source as well as a direct channel to God while praying to Her to put the lights back on, soon
  • Your cell phone will become your BF during a storm blackout. But it will only be as good as the next charge. Indoor ATM machines, post offices, Starbucks, Chinese fast food restaurants…if any of these establishments are open, grab all your charges and electronic devices and hike over there to get your charge on. But be prepared to fight other survivalists if you take up all the sockets with your multitude of devices. You will however be a hero/heroine if you bring a long power strip and a large thermos of black coffee and offer them up to the clan. Folks will herald your name, offer you lifetime indentured servitude and name their first born after you.

ku_klux_klan_03I’m giving the KKK another 4 years to fully merge with The Tea Party for a public resurgence of their brand name. These days, they’re looking to forge a huge rally against the renaming of  three Confederate-themed parks in Memphis, Tennessee  which they claim is an attempts to erase history. The Memphis City Council, fearful of intervention by state legislators, voted  Tuesday to approve changing the names of Forrest Park to Health Sciences Park, Confederate Park to Memphis Park and Jefferson Davis Park renamed Mississippi River Park.

A purported Klan Grand Poobah known as the “Exalted Cyclops”, who asked an interviewer to be identified only as “Edward”,  says of the proposed march:

“It’s not going to be 20 or 30, it’s going to be thousands of klansmen from the whole United States coming to Memphis, Tennessee.”

Gee, can’t wait….

A Brief History of Forrest Park in Memphis, Tennessee: Forrest Park for years has stirred up emotions. It contains the grave of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate cavalry leader who traded slaves before the war and went on to become the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, the infamous hate group that carried out a merciless campaign of lynchings, church fires and other terror against African Americans as well as other immigrant groups.During the war, troops under Forrest’s command notoriously were accused of slaughtering Federal black troops after the Battle of Fort Pillow. The “Fort Pillow Massacre” became a rallying cry for the Union, according to historians.

FREEBORN-obit-articleLargeStuart Freeborn, a pioneering movie makeup artist behind creatures such as Yoda and Chewbacca in the “Star Wars” films, has died. He was 98. Freeborn also worked with Stanley Kubrick to transform Peter Sellers into his multiple characters for the movie “Doctor Strangelove” before designing the apes for “2001: A Space Odyssey 2001″`s “Dawn of Man” sequence, in which primates react to that mysterious monolith.

“He brought with him not only decades of experience, but boundless creative energy,”  “His artistry and craftsmanship will live on forever in the characters he created. His “Star Wars” creatures may be reinterpreted in new forms by new generations, but at their heart, they continue to be what Stuart created for the original films.” ~ “Star Wars” director George Lucas.

As an artist and a lover of all things scifi, I salute your passing Stuart. Godspeed.

Soul Food Junkies is new PBS film by Byron Hurt, chronicling the dynamic and historical significance of soul food and its impact on American cuisine. The movie is touted as a non-preachy, autobiographical  look at the impact this genre of cooking had on the institution of American slavery, the period of Reconstruction and post modern-day racism. Hurt sets out on a historical and culinary journey to learn more about the soul food tradition and its relevance to black cultural identity.

Everyone, and not just African-Americans, have something to say about soul food. Some good, some downright condemnation. Whatever your take, this style of cooking should not be discounted for enabling Blacks’ survival in the New World, from the caloric requirements on slave ships, to the subsistence gardens of slave families. African-Americans invented soul food for survival and comfort and no price could be assigned to either of those.

“The hand of the African in the pot, transformed the taste of the pot.”

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Amy Conton is a freelance writer and graphic designer living in New York, USA.

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