Somebody Blew Up America

[Note: This is re-posted from my weekly spoken word video/commentary for The Progressive magazine.] That there is even any controversy over building a Muslim community center in Lower Manhattan – the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque“- makes me wonder: do we Americans know the depth of our hypocrisy? Or do we…

First Comedy Set Ever! (And it’s So Gay!)

Yep, I did it. I figured, “If I can tell terrible, usually offensive jokes to my friends and family, and no one’s punched me in the face yet…well then, I probably can tell terrible, for SURE offensive jokes to total strangers, right?” So began my career in stand-up comedy. I…

The Art of Resistance — Arizona, Ya Basta!

I  got back in the Bay yesterday after three weeks of vacation. A restful, rejuvenating, way-too-short three weeks. I was able to see one of my best friends get married in Milwaukee, show my Mom where I’m going to get married next year here in the Bay, have my old…

Brave New Voices — I Have No Words Left

Wow. Every summer I go to Brave New Voices, the International Youth Poetry Slam Festival that I help organize with Youth Speaks. And every summer I leave more amazed than the year before. Not necessarily because the poetry is better (although this year I loved the renewed emphasis on WRITING,…

After the Verdict: No Riot, but No Leadership Either

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4k4pWkZm7ps&hl=en_US&fs=1] It’s three days after the verdict, and Oakland is quiet. People are at church, or watching the World Cup finals — which, for some people, is the same thing. The streets of downtown are eerily calm, a concrete island after the storm. Or maybe before another one arrives. I’m…