Featured Post

DODGING EROS: Grown-Ups Getaway Giveaway Reviews Campaign

Grown-Ups Getaway Giveaway Hello, Reading has been a brain escape for me since my dad used silly voices at bedtime to enac...

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Color-Blind

What color?


Confession: People who haven't been medically diagnosed as color-blind, but claim not to see skin color make me suspect that they're willfully, culturally blind to the ways in which skin color still impacts individuals and groups in major ways in the 21st century.

     Color-blindness isn't the ultimate virtue; seeing skin color and not making assumptions or taking action based solely upon skin color is.

BATAF: All non-Caucasian people wish they were Caucasian.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Mainstreaming Multiculturalism

Image copyright and brand registered trademark by General Mills


Confession: Reading mainstream adult contemporary fiction set in Chicago, Atlanta, Washington, D.C. or anywhere in the 21st-century U.S. that doesn't include any Black people or includes them only as caricatures that scream, "Stereotypes! This author doesn't really know any Black people," sucks the joy out of the reading experience for me.

BATAF: Political Correctness is something new.
What was lynching, other than a violent backlash against Black people whose words and actions had been judged politically incorrect by self-appointed enforcers of entrenched racial boundaries?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Burden of Proof

Image by Jon Sullivan from public-domain-photos.com


Confession: The optimistic part of me believed that the jury for the Trayvon Martin trial would return a verdict of manslaughter, at least. The rest of me feared that the grown man who had deputized himself, armed himself (in direct violation of Neighborhood Watch rules) with the intent of finding a confrontation--or creating one--would be found not guilty for projecting his negative, racist assumptions onto the first younger, leaner, unarmed Black solitary target who crossed his path. Trayvon Martin's killer visually tagged him, followed him from within his vehicle, stalked him on foot, then executed him.

In the 21st century it's still open season on Black bodies.

BATAF: Black people are the least valuable humans; entitled to less protection under the law sometimes than animals.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Word Bomb

Image copyright 2013 Banks Art Partners


Confession: Use of the f-word outside of referring to sexual intercourse or expressing extreme anger, fear or pain makes an unpleasant reading experience for me. It's jarring and distracting when used copiously as every part of speech in a character's vocabulary.

BATAF: Frequent use of the f-word conveys intensity and edge--not just a limited and primitive vocabulary.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Readers in a Barrel

Image copyright 2013 Banks Art Partners



Confession: Whenever traditional publishers bemoan the shrinkage in their market share and profits, it makes me wonder why they're not cultivating new and future clientele by partnering with public school systems to make sure every student is literate. Making universal literacy and Internet access their goals supports the whole 70% retail consumer-driven economy, not just publishing, by increasing I.Q.'s, intellectual curiosity, ingenuity, academic engagement, professional aspirations, and earning power for the masses; the laborers in the workplace who become the consumers in the marketplace. (There's a reason luxe brands keep partnering with Target: It's mathematically impossible for the wealthiest 2% to buy every product offered for sale.)

     Some traditional publishers' reactionary solution of charging multiple times the hardcover list price for sales of e-editions sold to libraries ignores the fact that library budgets are strapped and rapidly shrinking. The exorbitant markup on e-editions means most libraries will buy fewer books overall, which generates negative long-term results for publishers, literary agencies, libraries, authors, and readers. Avid readers use libraries for introduction and access to evolving technologies and unfamiliar authors. Libraries are taxpayer-subsidized public relations, product advertising and marketing for publishers.

     The exclusionary philosophies of Imperialism are counterproductive in the 21st-century world of all access, all the time for anyone, anywhere with secure Internet access. In the U.S., public libraries and public schools cast the widest net among the masses. They also offer the broadest range of opportunities to catch the attention of students as future consumers and their parents as current consumers--especially poorer communities where the potential for expansion is greater because those markets are underdeveloped.

     In families where the adults work low-wage, low-tech jobs, children introduce their parents to evolving technologies through their curiosity-driven observations and exposure in school. The socio-economic digital divide doesn't just limit opportunities for poor and underprivileged people, it limits possibilities and constricts growth for the entire 70% retail consumer-driven economy.

BATAF: Most people are expendable.




Monday, July 8, 2013

Deja Vu



Confession: When my girlfriends call to rehash the most recent episode of the same recurring (that I can recite verbatim) fight with their men, I'm reading silently while occasionally murmuring agreement and saying, "Really?...No!...What?"

(My lesbian friends work out their relationship issues by discussing them with their partners and wives.)

BATAF: Women who say they're happily single are pretending.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Multitasking

Image copyright 2012 R.D. Banks
All rights reserved

Confession: The treadmill and stationary bike are my favorite pieces of gym equipment because I can indulge myself with reading while working out. Sadly, it's impossible to read while playing baseball, softball, tennis, golf, football, soccer, American football, basketball, badminton or volleyball. Although reading an entire short novel while watching a professional American football game is easy--especially during the Super Bowl.

BATAF: Being competitive is not feminine. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Read. Swim. Repeat.

Image copyright 2011 P.W. Banks
All rights reserved

Confession: On vacation, it's normal for me to read at least one full-length novel per day.
Sandra Kitt, Crystal Hubbard, Carol Taylor, David Handler, Dana Stabenow, and Frankie Y. Bailey can't write fast enough to keep pace with my reading habit. So I read other authors' fiction and skip all the descriptions of main female characters with blonde hair, blue/green/grey eyes, thin noses, skinny thighs, pale white skin, and single-digit dress sizes.

BATAF: All fat women want to be skinny.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Diversity

image from joinafrica.com
 
 
Confession: I love Zane for expanding the presence and raising the profile of Black characters as complicated, multifaceted imperfect human beings in the spotlight in sexy escapist fiction.
 
BATAF: Africa is a country, not a continent with 50+ countries that are as different from each other as Mexico is from Canada. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Priorities

Confession: I've stayed up all night to read one of my favorite author's new releases on a weeknight, then gone to work functionally comatose the next day. (No heavy equipment, dangerous machinery operation, volatile materials or classified information involved.)

BATAF (Bogus Assumption Treated As Fact): The pursuit of excellence is not the cultural standard for African-American, Hispanic-Latino and Native North American cultures; only Asian and Caucasian people routinely train their children to work hard to earn their success.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Temptation

Today's Confession: Sometimes during church service, I'm not always reading scriptures on my tablet... Yes, there's probably a special level of purgatory to torment the souls of binge reader sinners: They're chained in the center of the stacks in the Library of Congress, where they can see all their favorite kinds of books, but are unable to read any of them while other visibly giddy souls read one book after another without pause. The virtuous readers never need to sleep, work, cook, exercise, eat or clean.

Today's BATAF (Bogus Assumption Treated As Fact in mainstream fiction):
All Black people who aren't thugs or 'ho's are very religious, and sprinkle "Praise the Lord. God is good." throughout their everyday conversation.