What’s cool and what’s not and why you should give a hoot:

1. Do The Right Thing – I’m a self-proclaimed disciple of such luminaries as Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West. I believe they have infinitely important points to make not only to black Americans, but to white Americans as well. Having said this, I’m not entirely sure how I missed the boat on the Spike Lee 1989 “joint,” Do The Right Thing. Maybe it’s because I was 17 or so when it was released and was mightily naive. Maybe because of that, I never really gave the movie a second thought. Finally, though, I’ve come around and, needless to say, I’m very glad that I did. Do The Right Thing is so powerful, so relevant even today, and so damn good that I have to recommend that anyone who is as ignorant as I was to the power of this film (in both its drama and comedy) go and rent this DVD. Oh and, lest I forget, the pumping Public Enemy and the classic jazz are characters all their own in the film. There isn’t much more you can ask for in a piece of urban art. Now……..GO!

2. Sort Of, Kind Of – News pundits and reporters use the phrases sort of and kind of like one night stands: they don’t mean anything. And even worse are the hand waving, orgasmic-smiling chefs/cooks that use the phrases to describe the flavors of the food they’re tasting. Nothing sort of tastes like anything else! Either they taste like it or they don’t! Stop it!

3. Open Letter To Detroit - I’ve thought a lot about Detroit over the last few years mainly because I miss our friends there but also because I miss the city itself. In my wandering mind, I’ve often written letters to Detroit asking it questions such as: Why aren’t there engineers starting smaller auto manufacturing companies to make American cars that are actually American cars? Or, having moved away myself wrongly thinking that everything else is somewhere else, why don’t the people just do the very things that they look for in you? Or, sometimes, I ask the simple question in an Oprahmatic way: Why don’t you love yourself? You’re so beautiful…don’t listen to those other girls in your class that wear too much make-up and are devoid of soul!

4. Iberian Delicacies - The best food in the world is Spanish and Portuguese. That’s all.

5. I Am Communism - There’s a fellow I work with that is a Romanian that escaped communist Romania. His story is very interesting, but he’s pretty conservative and is an angry man (as so many conservatives tend to be). In fact, one evening he ranted about how the boxes we were separating were packed terribly which led to a rant about how people don’t do things right which led to a rant about how terrible President Clinton was which, eventually, led to a rant about how Democrats are Communists. I could only infer from his train of thought that the people who packed the boxes were Democrats. Nonetheless, because I’m an affable chap and have caught the attention of my bosses simply because I can do a monkey’s job well, said Romanian fellow has decided I’m his enemy. I’ve turned into communism.