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  1. Eliminate The Password! By Rhonda Hansome

    Thursday, September 26, 2013

    When together last time, we paid homage to the plethora of electronic devices, smartphones, ATM’s, tablets and ubiquitous micro-sensors enabling our modern, efficient, soulless lives. 

    Glorious days and nights filled to the brim with non-information overload, hyper-stimulation and the efficiency of automated daily exchange!  

    Mechanized life seamlessly integrated into every day.  Quiet electric emissions enveloping us like a smallpox infected blanket, offered with benign intentions and rendering devastating results.

    What could raise our modern technologically fueled existence to a quintessential superficial experience?  What innovation could possibly enhance our electronically based somnambulistic rituals of electronic interface? 

    Eliminate The Password!

    Abolish pesky passwords and PIN’s required to access every aspect of living. 

    Jettison secret codes, numbers and memory prompting acronyms.

    In your lifetime, possibly next week, access WITHOUT A PASSWORD: Blogger, Twitter, Hulu, Gmail, Fandango, Facebook, Xbox, ATM’s, gas at a pump; and LITERALLY OPEN DOORS - to your apartment, car or gym with your heartbeat.





    Oh joy, oh rupture – I mean rapture! With biometrics , forget passwords and keys.  You have all-access using your unique electronic sign in – your heartbeat.

    Imagine the convenience of: 
                                                Forgetting your Unername
                                                                  Never having to carry a jangling ring of keys
    No passwords to remember 
                                                 PINS - a useless relic!

                      What could possibly go wrong with a system in which access to

                                                    EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR 

                                                              ENTIRE LIFE 

                                                 is based on a biometric sensor?

               Guess we'll find out soon enough...





    Rhonda Hansome is an actress, writer, director and stand-up comic. Follow her
                                                                 Hire her!
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  2. David and Goliath

    Monday, September 23, 2013

    By Samantha DeRose








    Dear Blog Readers,

    Due to an unforeseen battle with giants, I am unable to blog today.  I will, however, post the details of this encounter later this week.

    In the interim, beware of Microsoft.

    Regards,
    David

    (See facebook for details)
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  3. Forget Your Password! By Rhonda Hansome

    Thursday, September 19, 2013

    Remember the cost effective move to mechanical banking? That ubiquitous ATM machine offering access to your money on every corner and points in between. 

        How convenient. (said in my Church Lady voice) 


    Yes, very convenient, as long as the ATM has not been tricked out by a scam artist to acquire your PIN number and life savings. Yeah for the banks!  They revel, yet again, in record breaking profits, higher fees for transactions and numerous jobs performed by humans -  now eliminated.



    Remember the efficient and cost effective move to the MTA Metrocard? 


    The card, purchased from machines standing silent sentry in subway halls eliminated many of the jobs human clerks performed at 24 hour train stations. Now, if the machine is actually operating, you are charged for the formerly free card when buying rides. And now there’s no MTA human on site to monitor platform activity. No one to hear a passenger’s cries protesting sexual assault or the incessant live accordion version of Blurred Lines.

    Isn’t it great and oh so time efficient having technology at our beck and call? Addictive moment to moment pleasure sensations, triggered by scores of daily exchanges with multiple devices, rendering real human interaction superfluous. A truly advanced existence.

    But what about those pesky passwords and PIN numbers needed for every mechanical interface? And don’t forget the oft repeated caveat, to change our secret codes daily to avoid virus dispensing hackers and stolen credit card cartels.  What’s the solution?  

    Listen to your heart!?!!!?

    To be continued…

    Rhonda Hansome is an actress, writer, director and stand-up comic. See her:
    Sat. Sept. 21st - Pat's Place with Randi Lupo, or Wed. Sept. 25th StoryTalks Semi-Finals - Gotham Comedy ClubSupport her cultural legacy project, view the Drama Mamas The Film trailer honoring #BlackWomenTheaterDirectors and contribute to @DramaMamas2 finishing funds, here 
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  4. Are teachers in the house? Say "Yeah!"

    Tuesday, September 17, 2013

    As the sinfully greedy attempt to make our society become what I think our Founding Fathers tried to prevent, there are signs of the beginning of the end of public school.  That means only those born into some money would get educated.  That would mean basically a caste system, certainly the end of the American dream.  Teachers and parents, when united, determined, and brave, are a strong voice.  I think pediatricians and child psychologists should contribute their voices as well.  Sitting in front of a computer for hours with no other children, no experiences of sharing, singing, smiling, making crafts is far from a kindergarten experience.  We know too much about childhood now to allow this to happen.  A four-year-old is not a little adult.
     
    For those teachers who have returned to work and sat through depressing staff meetings, I thought it important to share some reminders, inspiration, nourishment, and appreciation.
     
    Enjoy...
     
    When She Realized Her Students Were Suicidal, This Teacher Changed Her Curriculum
    www.upworthy.com
     
    Students are why teachers exist.  Politicians and administrators are not why teachers exist.  So when you see what the teacher in the above video saw -- ten-year-olds with little will to live -- please think about their needs.  Loving oneself is much more crucial than knowing what years one country's military slaughtered another country's military.  Patriarchy and capitalism to an extreme has us ignoring our children, not recognizing nor rewarding those who bother to love the children (our future), and destroying the planet.  It so goes against nature and our souls.  It really shouldn't surprise us that so many of our citizens are medicated or need to be.
     
    Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion
    Filmed May 2013 • Posted May 2013 • TED Talks Education
    TED Talks Education
     
    Try to remember that life is huge, as my friend Jackie Sheeler reminds me.  It is certainly bigger than any one crisis.  I happen to work with adult basic students.  The future of basic education is very uncertain for them.  New York State sold the whole high school equivalency ordeal to a for-profit company who intended on charging people who are trying to finish high school to take a new test.  That is not legal in New York State.  So now it is with yet another for-profit company.  Word has it that the new test will be harder and ultimately to be taken on computer.  We have students in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s who are not computer literate.  This adds to the mountain before them.  No matter what is going on with policy makers and their lack of knowledge of how people learn and/or their lack of concern if people have access to any hope for their future, I try to keep my eye on my students.  I try to address their needs.  I have been fortunate to have worked at places that have pretty much allowed me to be, and I tend to be much more student-centered than curriculum-centered.  I try to accept wherever my students are at, and we go from there.  
     
     
     
    So my teacher peeps, in spite of a lot of awful shit going on, close your classroom door, fight the good fight, and try to provide a meaningful and happy school year!   As a member of society, I thank you.
     
    Mindy Matijasevic
     






    P.S.
    ....said no teacher ever
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  5. Walter White

    Monday, September 16, 2013

     By Samantha DeRose


    It's 8:06 on Monday night.  In the past 24 hours I have:

    Done stand up comedy
    Cooked 3 breakfasts
    Flat ironed hair
    Administered 5 exams (to which I am opposed)
    Fielded departmental questions that were intended for my boss
    (Though I'm not an administrator) Trained supervisors on software (designed to annihilate my job and/or tenure)
    Picked kids up from school, drove kids to store, cello lessons
    Cooked dinner
    Cleaned kitchen
    Ironed familial clothing for tomorrow
    Probably forgotten at least a dozen other items that should be added to this list

    I'm tired and I'm going to bed.  I'm also starting to think that, despite the outcome of last night's Breaking Bad, Walter White had the right idea. 




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  6. I'm A Liar by Rhonda Hansome

    Thursday, September 12, 2013

    Well I'm as surprised as you are to find me here today. 
    Life has a way of keeping that curve ball in motion.

    If you donated to my documentary Drama Mamas The Film,
    honoring black women theater directors - 
    THANK YOU!
    If you did not get the chance while the Indiegogo campaign was in full swing, 
    I'll soon post a link where you can contribute to our post-production finishing funds.

    Last night I saw the Tony Award winning musical Kinky Boots.
    It was a healing experience for me. I needed healing.
    In fact I feel too good to talk about my (fill in the blank) Landlady
    or how many places I had to visit this morning to get wifi and post this blog.

    I'm gonna go spend my twenty cent residual check.

    Have a great day! Have a good laugh!


    Rhonda Hansome is an actress, writer, director and stand-up comic. Oct.10th at New York Times Headquarters she performs at the 1st Impact Leadership 21 Summit and Awards; a platform committed to transforming women's global leadership at the highest level of influence in the 21st century.

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  7. Rooftop to Rooftop; Nation to Nation

    Tuesday, September 10, 2013


    At the beginning of the summer, I thought of writing a letter to the local paper challenging the community to a murder-free summer.  Before it went from a thought to an action, a 21-year-old man was murdered across the street from me in his lobby.  The neighborhood has been flooded with cops ever since.  I don’t know if they caught those responsible for that murder.  I do know there are shootings going on as a lifestyle around here.  I am actually grateful for getting home each day.  I am in and out a lot.  And being I am on vacation from work, my schedule is almost non-existent.  So I might be going to the store at any time in a 24-hour period.  Due to my unconventional way of living, I tend to hear tidbits from all kinds of folks in the neighborhood – from the young hoodlums who consider me somewhat cool to the store owners and the folks who are horrified at what’s been happening.  Sometimes, I get my info because people feel free to speak to each other in front of me.  During much of the summer of 2013, these have been the sounds of my neighborhood:


    “You can’t make a call until you’re moved to the second cell.”

    “I know.  I make all my calls from the second cell.”

     
    “They better lock up that white nigga.”

    “Yeah.  He’s gonna fuck her up.  They better lock him up.”

     

    Be my, be my baby

    Be my baby now

     

     
     
     
     
    “Hey, Ma.  God bless you.”

     
    “There was a gun fight last night.  Did you hear it?”

    “Yeah, like three in the morning.  I didn’t know where it was, but I heard it.”

    “It was from one rooftop to another on my corner.”

    “Holy shit.”

     

    “Hey, I heard you are planning on moving.  Is that true?”

    “Well, not at least for two years.  My daughter just entered a Master’s program at Lehman College, so we are staying at least that long.”

    “’Cuz the decent people leave, and I’m afraid I’m going to be left in the middle of a battlefield all by myself.”

    “No.  Don’t worry.”

    “I wouldn’t blame you for wanting to leave with all the shit’s been goin’ on lately.”

    “It’s crazy.”

    “The other day, a few yards from me, a kid pulled out a gun from his pocket right near C-Town and shot at a group.  It was daytime and many people were out and saw.  It’s like he thought he was in a movie.  But we’re real, and I really want to live.”

    “Oh my God!”

    “Yeah.  When I come out with the dog, there’s no good direction to walk.  There’s something going on everywhere.  I let him decide.  I figure he may know better just from sniffing.”

     

     Oye como va mi ritmo
    Bueno pa' gozar, mulata
    Oye como va mi ritmo
    Bueno pa' gozar mulata

     

     
    “Ooooh, I finally get to see the new person!  What’s his name?”

    “Joshua.  He’s a month old now.”

    “When I hadn’t seen you, I thought maybe you were away at relatives.”

    “No.  We’ve been in the house.  My stepkids are with us this summer taking summer school because they messed up.  We’re on lockdown.”

    “You might be better off with all that’s happening out here.”

     

     
     
    “Ani, you know what’s been going on here, right?  All the shootings?”

    “Oh please, they are shooting from one side of the Concourse to the other for drug territory.”

    “This is insane.  Anybody could be going to the store or to work and get hit.”

    “I know.  I applied for senior housing.  I figure by the time I get called, I’ll be eligible.”

    “This is some scary shit.  It’s starting to feel amazing that we get home at all.”

     

     
     
     
    “I really hope they get whoever they have to get and this passes ‘cuz I still consider this my neighborhood.”

    “It is our neighborhood, and I like it.”

     
    Celebrate good times, come on! (Let's celebrate)
    Celebrate good times, come on! (Let's celebrate)

    There's a party goin' on right here
    A celebration to last throughout the years

     
     
     
    “Hey girl.  I got approved for a place on Grand Avenue.  I’m so glad.  I gotta get outta that building.  I can’t even have my kid visit me there.  They put a gun to him and got mad that I called the cops.  What was I s’posed to do?  Wait ‘til they kill him?”

    “I’m glad for you that you got a place.  You really need to.  You’re in a very problematic building.”

    “It’s all people from rehab and shit.  The cops told me to stay upstairs.  But I can’t sit there all day.  They told me if I see a white van, to go upstairs because there could be a shoot-out.”

     

    “Get home safe.  I’ll call you later.”

    “You be safe too.  Vaya con Dios.”

     
    Obama argued Saturday that the United States would be setting a dangerous precedent if it did not respond to the Aug. 21 attack in a Damascus suburb, which U.S. intelligence officials say killed nearly 1,500 civilians, including 426 children.

    “This attack is an assault on human dignity,” Obama said. “It also presents a serious danger to our national security. ... It could lead to escalating use of chemical weapons, or their proliferation to terrorist groups who would do our people harm.”

    I agree with the president’s concerns.  I do.  I remember when I was a child hearing an older Jewish woman saying with pain in her voice about the Holocaust and saving the Jewish people, "What took the United States so long?"  I just want to point out that in the meantime, our own people are doing our people enough harm in many neighborhoods to make us feel we are already at war. 


     
     
     
     
     
     
    LA gang member                                                
                                                                                                                        Korean War soldier

     
    “…he had killed his mark's 16-month-old baby, whom his target was pushing in a stroller, sources said.
    The horrific shooting was believed to be in retaliation for a drive-by shooting last year that left one of the suspect's brothers wounded in addition to a 2-year-old girl, according to the sources.”
     
    and on and on it goes…

     
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  8. Not Really About Miley by Rhonda Hansome

    Thursday, September 5, 2013

    I didn't see the live broadcast of the 2013 VMA Awards.
    I will admit that after a a few days of non-stop reactions to THE performance that eclipsed all others, I Googled Miley Cyrus 2013 VMA Awards and got an eyeful.

    Not being familiar with her and her music - yes I live under a rock!- I thought she had an affliction that left her with minimal control of her tongue.

    I watched the Blurred Lines number.  BTW, for this blog, I am by-passing the litigation regarding the song and the empowering / objectification of women debate associated with the lyrics of the song. What was happening on the VMA stage made me uncomfortable in a vague (Am I just too old to appreciate the artistic value and cultural significance of this spectacle?) kind of way.

    Then I came across When Your (Brown) Body is a (White) Wonderland by Tressie McMillan Cottom. Tressie's post placed the most talked about 2013 VMA performance in a sociological context. 
    Here is an excerpt from Tressie's post that shed new light on my discomfort: 
    What I saw in Cyrus’ performance was not just a clueless, culturally insensitive attempt to assert her sexuality or a simple act of cultural appropriation at the expense of black bodies. Instead I saw what kinds of black bodies were on that stage with Cyrus.

    Cyrus’ dancers look more like me than they do Rihanna or BeyoncĂ© or Halle Berry. The difference is instructive.
    Fat, non-normative black female bodies are kith and kin with historical caricatures of black women as work sites, production units, subjects of victimless sexual crimes, and embodied deviance. As I wrote in an analysis of hip-hop and country music crossovers, playing the desirability of black female bodies as a wink-wink joke is a way of lifting up our deviant sexuality without lifting up black women as equally desirable to white women. 

    Cyrus did not just have black women gyrating behind her. She had particularly rotund black women. She gleefully slaps the ass of one dancer like she intends to eat it on a cracker. She is playing a type of black female body as a joke to challenge her audience’s perceptions of herself, while leaving their perceptions of black women’s bodies firmly intact. It’s a dance between performing sexual freedom and maintaining a hierarchy of female bodies from which white women benefit materially.
    I suggest you read Tressie's post in its entirety, here.  Even though I may not agree with her every point, 
    I found her theme a refreshing change from the general outrage over Miley's desecration of a national treasure - the foam finger.



    Yes, if I had not switched my major from sociology to theater I might be teaching at a university, have health insurance and a life sustaining pension in my future. Damn you statistics for throwing me off that path!

    Thank you Tressie McMillan Cottom for your perspective.  I needed that...

    Rhonda Hansome is an actress, stand-up comic and director. There are only days left to donate to her legacy project, Drama Mamas The Film, Black Women Theater Directors In The Spotlight and Remembered. Tweet @DramaMamas2 I support #BlackWomenTheaterDirectors. Give to the Indiegogo campaign and share this link TODAY!


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  9. Men of Interest

    Tuesday, September 3, 2013

     

     
     
     
     
    These are some men who I’d be interested in knowing more personally.  This is only a selection of a bigger list.
     

    Some are dead.  (This would include my father.  We only knew of each other.  I was fortunate for my first eleven years to have a grandfather who cared about me.)

    Some are gay. 
    Meet the black, gay, badass pacifist mastermind behind the March on Washington who is finally getting his due.

    http://mojo.ly/1dMMtmr
     

    (Author James Baldwin helped me to begin to understand some of my own relatives and what being white means to them.)  
     

    Some are gay and dead. 

    Some are already in very committed relationships.

     
     
     












    Some do not know I exist. 
     
     

    One thing they all seem to have in common is their feminism (as you may know, making life right for all women ultimately means a better life for children, men, animals, and the planet). 

     

     

    I respect those who oppose and are sickened by oppression in all its forms and define manhood for themselves.  (I respect and thank God for a woman for the same reasons, opposing oppression in all its forms and defining womanhood for herself, showing all of us more choices.) 



     

     
    
    
     

    Back to the men.  I could be on someone’s list too whose interest I am not aware of.
    
    
    
     
     
     

     
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