Vox Hunt: Breathtaking

Show us something that takes your breath away.

 Ladies and gentlemen, my husband, President George Bush. (Applause.)
And today, Laura and I have come back to discuss that pledge and your future.

[…] MRS. BUSH: In the year since Katrina, outsiders have made tremendous contributions to
New Orleans and the Gulf Coast rebirth. But the most important recovery
work has been done by the local people who are rebuilding New Orleans
because it's their home. I've been privileged to meet with many of these
people, with school superintendents, teachers and homeowners, and to see
their extraordinary work firsthand. Through their determination, this
region will be rebuilt.

But everybody has to pitch in, including neighbors all across America. We
need more Americans, especially teachers, to move to the Gulf Coast and
rebuild their lives here; to invest in new community by building better
schools, working for justice and equality, and sharing time, prayers and
love with neighbors who are still grieving. And until the Gulf Coast has
recovered, love, support and prayers will continue to be with you from
families all across America, including mine.

Ladies and gentlemen, my husband, President George Bush. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. Thank you. Good morning. From our
beginnings as a nation, the church steeple and the schoolhouse door have
been enduring symbols of the American community. And so it is today in New
Orleans. Earlier this morning, we gathered at St. Louis Cathedral in the
presence of a just God, who asked us to love our neighbors as ourselves.
And now we stand inside Warren Easton Senior High School. Warren Easton is the oldest public school in New Orleans.

In a little more than a week its classrooms will again be filled with young
men and women who will write the future of this great American city. And
that future draws from a rich past — the music of Fats Domino, the stories
of Tennessee Williams, shotgun houses and iron-lattice balconies, seafood
gumbo, red beans and rice on Mondays.

Over the course of nearly three centuries, a city that once was the center
of slave trade has been transformed to a unique and great American city.
This city is a story of hope and dignity and perseverance. And it's these
qualities that have seen you through trials of war and prejudice and
natural disaster.

One year ago today, your beloved New Orleans and surrounding parishes and
counties and the great state of Mississippi were struck by a cruel
hurricane. And here in this city, there was flooding on a biblical scale.
Less than three weeks later, with many of the homes and churches and
schools still under water, I came to Jackson Square. I said, we could not
imagine America without the Crescent City, and pledged that our government
would do its part. And today, Laura and I have come back to discuss that
pledge and your future. […]

That's from yesterday's White House transcript "President and Mrs. Bush Visit New Orleans High School, Discuss Gulf Coast Recovery"

Vox Hunt: Rearview Mirror

Show us what's in your rearview mirror.

I'd just gotten back in the car, fresh from getting the 'locks done,  after putting some coins in the parking meter twenty or thirty minutes beforehand. I just missed getting ticketed. The fellow parked behind me did not. If you look closely at his driver's-side windshield wiper, you can see his.

Practicing and performing the mnemonic rituals of a kinetic orality

[…] In The Games Black Girls Play, Gaunt argues that cheers —
songs and seemingly nonsensical chants performed in conjunction with
handclaps and foot stomps — offer entertainment for black girls across
the country, but they also play a more important role. They teach young
girls aspects of "musical blackness," placing them socially in step
with black tradition. The book examines black girls' forays into
popular culture — whether unconscious or deliberate — and what their
invisibility says about hip hop, musicality in the black community, and
when and where girls enter the annals of music history.

At first
it seems like a stretch to claim that the way girls play has influenced
a commercial behemoth like hip hop. But have you heard Nelly's "Country
Grammar"? Its sing-song chorus was sampled from black girls' games, and
Gaunt suggests that the song gained popularity in part because it was
immediately recognizable to black audiences. Gaunt emphasizes that male
rappers like Nelly use such games as material, but female rappers do
not — an assessment that's blurry and not as convincing as her other
arguments; it doesn't help that the aspiring female rappers Gaunt
interviews about why this might be don't offer illuminating

And lest anyone think girls have been passive
creators of sampling fodder for boys, over time girls have appropriated
snippets of New Edition's "Candy Girl" and the Jackson 5's version of
"Rockin' Robin" for their own rhythmic use in games, which underscores
the reciprocal and often unexamined relationship between black girls
and popular music. When Gaunt traces the origins of traditional games
like "Miss Mary Mack" by fusing academic prose with vividly rendered
memories, her journey is refreshing, if sometimes daunting in its
technicality. […]

That's the middle of "Playing for Keeps," a Joshunda Saunders review that C. shot my way a day or two after I saw this Yahoo Buzz Log post last week.