Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I saw Handala at the On the Boundary conference at Baylor. I was able to meet the film's producer Peder Wiegner and one of the main subjects of the doc, Lucia Pizarro. Handala takes an interesting look at the occupation and deserves a wide audience. The film also focuses on the growth of non violent resistance movements within Palestine and Israel in addition to foreign organizations that are active in the occupied territories. Handala relates that the ultimate security and peace to the region is a one state solution and not the "roadmap" to a two state myth that will never go anywhere.

Lucia Pizarro, a Mexican convert to Judaism from Catholocism, is one of the subjects to the film that I had the honor to meet. She explained to me the dark irony of her Israeli citizenship. She told me that as a Mexican, she has absolute no connection to Palestine whatsoever. However, her Israeli citizenship and identity as a Jew has given her more rights than a native Palestinian who cannot even live in the land which his or her father lived. Lucia's work with ICAHD (Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions) has gotten her forcefully removed from the site of a Palestinian house reconstruction but has never landed her in an Israeli jail like it has her Palestinian co-workers.

is currently screening on a grass roots level to small cinemas, universities, and community centers. Screening information is available on the film's blog.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Red Bull BC One Recap

This was the first bboy battle that has ever been streamed live on the internet, so that in itself is a bit of a milestone. Paris was a perfect venue for the event because Bboy culture is alive there more than it ever was in the US. Parisian culture mixed with the poor immigrant presence in France is a perfect environment for an art like Breakin.

On a production note, the segments that were produced to air before the battles were cool but really awkward. The directing of the extra segments are downright poor. The only portion of the pre battle footage that felt natural was the underground battle in Paris and Lilou playing soccer with kids in a park. The production of the battles were great but had some faulty directing choices in the early battles.

The battles themselves were dope and looked great in the high quality flash player on the site. The bboys this year were probably the best of any of the previous BC Ones. I went into it looking forward to seeing Just Do it, Taisuke, and Kid David.

I had seen Just Do it (Germany) from a couple clips on the internet and was really impressed by his dynamic flow and creative blow ups. I think the judges should have given him the win in the first round over Cico because even though Cico's power is incredible, all of his enders were either flopped or he just quit early. His presentation was quite low and his tops were non existent. In the judges defense, Just Do It was holding back a lot. A newcomer to the BC One should know that if you're battling someone like Cico you have to come 100%. If he would have came as hard as he did during his German qualifier he could have taken it to the finals.

Kid David has only been around as a newcomer to the big scene for about a year. I met Kid David when he was much younger in 2005 when he came to Tucson for a 2 on 2 battle.
Jesus and I showed up to this battle with some ridiculous outfits which Jesus still claims to this day messed up his performance. We lost to them in the finals after running into the crowd while flopping a double team we came up with called the 2 man coin. Kid David is the protege of Roxrite, who is one of the smartest battlers and one of the original stack style bboys. Kid David has developed his style and has more character than most. I wanted to see Kid David go further but Lil Ceng's execution of some of the most difficult power tricks I have ever seen knocked David out early in the event.

I favored Taisuke from Japan to win the whole thing this year after I saw him at Freestyle Session 11. His beat rocking skills and character in addition to being well rounded with power and tricks make him the model for an amazing bboy. He showed a lot of great battle strategy in the early rounds but eventually fell flat in the finals where it seemed like he was running low on juice and moves. The final battle was a bit disappointing overall because of the fatigue of both competitors. 1 on 1 battles are incredibly difficult and can only be won by bboys with endurance and a full arsenal of moves. Wing of South Korea definitely showed that he had those ingredients.

My dream for next year, is to have a bboy from Iran in the BC One but it's going to take a lot of training to get there. If I go back within the next year, I will train the someone to be the next BC One competitor, God Willing.

*all photos courtesy of Red Bull BC One

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A New Page

It looks like what seemed very unlikely has just happened... More comments to come after I figure out what this all could mean for the world.

لا حول ولاقوة إلا بالله

but I hope this is right

Karl Rove predicts Obama to win

McCain is going to win the election

I apologize for this prediction blog but I feel like it's something that I have to say.
This election season has been quite interesting and unique considering that Barack Obama has gotten so far as a Presidential Candidate. However, my prediction that Obama will lose today is solely based on my cultural and media observations. I would say that the media frenzy surrounding Sarah Palin was a major turning point for the Republican party. Even though the Obama camp was able to out fundraise the Republicans, Sarah Palin attracted more press than they could have ever paid for. The way TV producer's drooled over Palin's presence was testament to the fact that this woman was TV gold in front of the camera.

Now you may be saying, "Palin has gotten a lot of publicity for looking unintelligent and unqualified so that should hurt the Republican campaign." This would be a great argument in a country that didn't elect George W. Bush twice. No matter how unintelligent the candidate may be, many of the voting public do not base their decisions on the issues most rational people would. From what I

have seen in the last year, those who will be voting McCain this election are either;
a. People who who put adherence to conservative interpretation of social issues before anything else.
b. Wealthy Americans who fear that new fiscal plans may threaten their standard of living.
c. People who see a person of color in office as a threat to the fabric of American (read "white") values.
Sarah Palin's media phenomenon has further perpetuated the appeal to "real" Americans who may not have all the right answers at the right times but they represent someone "we wouldn't mind leaving our kids with" and "are a friendly, familiar face we can trust."
There are many Americans who wouldn't trust a black man with their kids, what makes us think they would elect him into the highest elected office?
I'll say that I hope and pray that I am wrong about what I have said but don't be surprised if McCain wins. Barack Obama winning the election would be a major turn in America for the better, not because Obama is capable of changing the whole country but the election of a man of color into the presidency would give hope to millions of people who feel they will never be able to accomplish much nor be treated as equals. In addition, Obama winning could bring us a tad closer to an America that sees more people like Cynthia McKinney in Congress.