Thursday, March 6, 2008

America’s Next Top Mulatto

Leona Lewis is a 22-year-old singer who, in 2006, won Simon Cowell’s U.K. talent competition, “X-Factor.” Simon called Leona “absolutely the best contestant” he’s ever seen... “American Idol” included.

He has been mentoring Leona Lewis ever since. And she is now poised to make a splash in America.

Her debut album, “Spirit,” will be released in the U.S. next month. (It has already sold 2 million units overseas.) She will perform on “Oprah” on March 17.

The girl sure does take a nice picture, I’ll give her that. With an Afro-Caribbean dad and a Welsh mum, Ms. Lewis is all the more equipped to fulfill Simon Cowell’s wet dream of finding the next Mariah Carey.

But what about those of us who didn’t give a damn about the first Mariah Carey?

All this super-slick pop diva stuff is not my idea of good music. On YouTube, there are two officials videos for Leona Lewis’s first single, “Bleeding Love.” The British version has clocked more than 30 million views. The U.S. version, 3.5 million.

I don’t know. Didn’t do much for me.

Below is one of Leona’s “X-Factor” performances. She does the obligatory rendition of “I Will Always Love You.” Hang on for Simon Cowell’s comment at the end.

18 comments:

Michael Fisher said...

I think the term "Mulatto" is despicable. Or do you see yourself as a Mule?

Black is black, David.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Define "black."

Michael Fisher said...

Mills...

"Define 'black.'"

A Victim of Racism, a/k/a a non-white person.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Got it. But these folks don't seem to mind the word "mulatto."

My granddad was officially classified as "mulatto" by the U.S. census. It's just a word.

And, in the right context, a funny one.

August Darnell, a.k.a. Kid Creole, used to say he made "mulatto music."

Michael Fisher said...

Mulatto is just another word for Nigger. The use of it serves the same purpose.

Lock said...

Fisher, if you just ... don't ... like ... the word Mulatto, it's all good. While the term is archaic, no doubt, here it was used in prose and with accuracy.

But as for these comments from the judges like "as good as" and "one of the best" renditions of the tune, those Brits have gone wacky! She's not bad, but that kid ain't worthy of carrying Whitney's luggage!

Michael Fisher said...

On another note...

I think it is time to gather all the black bloggers around a statement. Namely this:

(1) The Democratic party base has spoken. The numbers show that Mrs. Clinton has lost this race for the nomination.

(2) Mrs. Clinton's increasingly shrill attacks against Mr. Obama has taken on the airs of racism.

(3) That is regrettable because via the candidacy of Mr. Obama for the first time in the electoral history of this nation, the vast majority of African-American stand united with untold millions of white Americans and Americans of all colors.

(4) It appears that Mrs. Clinton is about to shatter this historic unity.

(5) We therefore call on Mrs. Clinton to face the reality of the numbers, concede defeat and thereby heal this wound which she has opened and continues to widen.

(6) It is clear that Mrs. Clinton can not be considered for the Vice-Presidential slot on the Democratic ticket. Mrs. Clinton has denigrated Mr. Obama to the point that any possible praise she would heap on him as a member of the Democartic ticket would ring hollow and hypocritical.

(7) If the Democratic Party leadership were to nullify our votes by giving Mrs. Clinton the nomination despite the popular vote, we call on all African-Americans to withdraw their support from the Democratic Party and to stay at home. e have survived eight years under President Bush, we will survive four years under a President McCain. We will NOT survive the nullification of our most hard-fought for right - our votes.

Lisa G said...

I hope Simon has a better single in mind to launch the New Mariah's debut in the US. "Bleeding Love" sounds like the track to a tampon commercial.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Talk about off-topic. But I ain't mad.

You're thinking right, Michael. But this thing is complicated by a couple of factors:

1. The Democratic voters have not spoken yet. There's more primaries and caucuses to go. Seems like you're trying to declare victory at half-time.

2. The racism charge is unsubstantiated... and, at this juncture, would do more harm than good. Yes, her campaign is trying to destroy Obama... just like they'd be trying to destroy John Edwards if he were the one in front. But the bases of her attacks -- for the past week, anyway -- are legitimate. Is he experienced enough? Is he too young and untested to be entrusted with the most powerful job in the free world?

Obama decided to run for president at 46. Gotta expect to be challenged on that.

Plus, you gotta expect to campaign tough and overcome adversity... no whining to the refs.

Now... we should all be ready to pounce if Team Clinton does go into the race bag... like Bill was doing in South Carolina before they slapped a muzzle on him.

Meanwhile, have you squashed your bullshit with Nulan? Now's the time. Because he's all about tactical response.

Undercover Black Man said...

Lisa G: You slipped that one in on me before I pulled the trigger on my last comment.

My ^ was aimed at Fisher. Sorry it got pointed at you.

And thanks for cracking me up. Tampon jokes always work.

Michael Fisher said...

Dave, this thing is over. The math is relentless. Check this analysis out that someone did at the Daily Kos. I checked it. It's all good.

"Here an analysis from the daily Kos:

"After today, there are 10 states left, plus Guam and Puerto Rico.

Number of 3 delegate districts left: 1
Number of 4 delegate districts left: 19 (including all 8 in Puerto Rico)
Number of 5 delegate districts left: 21
Number of 6 delegate districts left: 14
Number of 7 delegate districts left: 10
Number of 8 delegate districts left: 1
Number of 9 delegate districts left: 3
Number of 10 delegate districts left: 1 (Montana)

Setting aside Guam with its 4 delegates, there are 11 delegate apportionments based on statewide popular vote totals.

Wyoming - 5 statewide
South Dakota - 6 statewide
Montana - 6 statewide
West Virginia - 10 statewide
Mississippi - 11 statewide
Kentucky - 17 statewide
Oregon - 18 statewide
Puerto Rico - 19 islandwide
Indiana - 25 statewide
North Carolina - 38 statewide
Pennsylvania - 55 statewide

In order to cross all thresholds except the initial break that give you a +2 delegate swing, you need to win by an extra 200/X%, where X = the number of total delegates at stake. Let's see how this works by easy example - West Virginia and its 10 statewide delegates. 200/10 = 20%. To go from 5-5 to 6-4 there you have to win by over 10% (55-45). But to get ANOTHER +2 you need to add 20% to your win and win by 30% (65-35).

To work through one more example, Indiana and its 25. You start with someone winning 13-12. To get an additional +2 swing (ie, 14-11), you have to win by 200/25%, or 8% even. 54-46 + 1 vote is a 14-11 split. You can also calculate this way: 13.5/25 = .5400. 14.5/25 = .5800 (58-42 is a 16% win).

So, let's look at if Clinton wins every statewide total by 10%:

Wyoming +1
South Dakota 0
Montana 0
West Virginia +1, giving her the +1 vote benefit of the doubt.
Mississippi +1
Kentucky +1
Oregon +2
Puerto Rico +1
Indiana +3
North Carolina +4
Pennsylvania +5

Total +19 delegates.

Do you see how totally impossible it is, and how completely significant Obama's South Carolina and February blowouts were? Remember, Obama beat Clinton by 8% in Iowa (a huge win) and netted only 1 extra pledged delegate.

Now, let's assume, in a very unsurgical way, that this 10% is exactly the margin in all the congressional districts.

1 3-delegate district: +1
19 4-delegate districts: 0
21 5-delegate districts: +21
14 6-delegate districts: 0
10 7-delegate districts: +10
1 8-delegate district: 0
3 9-delegate districts: +3
1 10-delegate district: +1, let's give her the 1 extra vote benefit of the doubt.

Total +36 delegates

Overall total +55 delegates.

And it probably is +58, see below.

Obama currently leads by 160 pledged delegates.

Update [2008-3-4 18:22:15 by PocketNines]:: Let me throw in another wrinkle. Let's assume Clinton wins every single remaining district and statewide vote by 16.5% exactly. How does this help her in the districts?

1 3-delegate district: +1
19 4-delegate districts: 0
21 5-delegate districts: +21
14 6-delegate districts: 0
10 7-delegate districts: +10
1 8-delegate district: +1
3 9-delegate districts: +3
1 10-delegate district: +1

Total +37 delegates

ONE EXTRA DELEGATE from going 10% to 16.5%!

Statewide, 16.5%:

Wyoming +1
South Dakota 0
Montana 0
West Virginia +1
Mississippi +1
Kentucky +3
Oregon +2
Puerto Rico +3
Indiana +5
North Carolina +6
Pennsylvania +9

Total +31 delegates.

TWELVE (maybe six, see below) EXTRA DELEGATES from going 10% to 16.5%!

So the overall total with 16.5% is a mere +68 delegates.

And it probably is only +64, see below.

So with all due respect to Jonathan Alter and wmtriallawyer and all the people who are playing with these numbers, everyone seems to be failing to grasp that it's the BLOWOUTS that matter.

It's blowouts, people.

All but 6 remaining congressional districts are either 4, 5, 6, or 7 delegate districts. There are 64 total districts in this range. Here are the magic numbers:

4 delegates - 25%+ to get from 2-2 to 3-1
5 delegates - 40%+ to get from 3-2 to 4-1
6 delegates - 16.7%+ to get from 3-3 to 4-2
7 delegates - 28.6%+ to get from 4-3 to 5-2

THOSE are the relevant numbers to break out of the incredibly rosy +55 delegate pickup if we absurdly assume that Clinton wins every remaining contest by 55-45 margins.

And I humbly submit that if Clinton IS breaching those numbers and blowing out Obama in states where he will have ample opportunity to campaign, then he has been caught with a live boy or dead girl.

It is over.

[UPDATED] Here's another fun one, just to truly show how impossible this catching up notion is. I ran the numbers for winning all 82 races (70 CDs + Guam + the 11 statewide splits) by a whopping 24.9%. Her gain? Only 110 delegates. Obama still leads by 50.

Update [2008-3-5 2:2:37 by PocketNines]: John DE points out in the comments below the split of statewide popular votes between at-large delegates and PLEOs (pledged elected officials). I confess I am not 100% sure whether the statewide total is applied separately to each of these two categories, but just for the sake of more number crunching, here's the math. And SLKRR in the comments says this process of separate calculations is correct.

Each state is broken down like this for at-large, PLEO:
Wyoming - 5 (3, 2)
Mississippi - 11 (7, 4)
Pennsylvania - 55 (35, 20)
Indiana - 25 (16, 9)
North Carolina - 38 (26, 12)
West Virginia - 10 (7, 3)
Kentucky - 17 (11, 6)
Oregon -18 (12, 6)
Montana -6 (4, 2)
South Dakota - 6 (4, 2)
Puerto Rico -19 (12, 7)

Applying the 10% standard to each separate number:
Wyoming +1 no change
Mississippi +1 no change
Pennsylvania +5 no change
Indiana +3 no change
North Carolina +4 no change
West Virginia +2 change of +1
Kentucky +1 no change
Oregon +2 no change
Montana 0 no change
South Dakota 0 no change
Puerto Rico +3 change of +2

Total change +3 for Clinton, i.e., +22 instead of +19

BUT

Applying the 16.5% standard to each separate number:
Wyoming +1 no change
Mississippi +1 no change
Pennsylvania +9 no change
Indiana +3 change of -2
North Carolina +6 no change
West Virginia +1 no change
Kentucky +1 change of -2
Oregon +2 no change
Montana 0 no change
South Dakota 0 no change
Puerto Rico +3 no change

Total change -4 for for Clinton, i.e., +27 instead of +31"

As you can see, Clinton has no statistical chance whatsoever to win this thing. Her maneuvering is about something else."


Clinton is on some other shyt right now. She's trying to bogart her way into this thing by using all the code words that resonate with white America.

As far as Nulan is concerned, he's a stupid asshole and always will be. Especially for calling a black person, in good 'ole racist tradition, "monkey" and "ape". However, if he has some sense left he ought to join this. I did leave the same post on his site.

Michael Fisher said...

Here the typo-less version:

I think it is time to gather all the black bloggers around a statement. Namely this:

(1) The Democratic party base has spoken. The numbers show that Mrs. Clinton has lost this race for the nomination.

(2) Mrs. Clinton's increasingly shrill attacks against Mr. Obama have taken on the airs of racism.

(3) That is regrettable because via the candidacy of Mr. Obama for the first time in the electoral history of this nation, the vast majority of African-American stand united with untold millions of white Americans and Americans of all colors.

(4) It appears that Mrs. Clinton is about to shatter this historic unity.

(5) We therefore call on Mrs. Clinton to face the reality of the numbers, concede defeat and thereby heal this wound which she has opened and continues to widen.

(6) It is clear that Mrs. Clinton can not be considered for the Vice-Presidential slot on the Democratic ticket. Mrs. Clinton has denigrated Mr. Obama to the point that any possible praise she would heap on him as a member of the Democratic ticket would ring hollow and hypocritical.

(7) If the Democratic Party leadership were to nullify our votes by giving Mrs. Clinton the nomination despite the popular vote, we call on all African-Americans to withdraw their support from the Democratic Party and to stay at home. We have survived eight years under President Bush, we will survive four years under a President McCain. We will NOT survive the nullification of our most hard-fought for right - our votes.

Pass it on...

Invisible Woman said...

This is completely off topic...but you know the song "Last Night A DJ Saved My Life"? Last night your boy Simon saved mine (so to speak).

I was trying to navigate the completely pitch black backroads of North Carolina, and didn't have a clue were I was.

I was having vivid visions of a noose party at my expense, or something like that (silly city girl).

I tried to find something on the radio that wasn't country, religious, or crunk (all of those added to my ill ease)

I found your boy on NPR's "Fresh Air". Thank God! :-) He was my lifeline to the real world, and I instantly felt calmer and found my way out eventually.

Sorry for the long comment, but I'll always appreciate him now. Love his stories, too. :-)

GenevaGirl said...

Back to Leona! I just came back from the newsstand where I saw her on the cover of British Cosmo. Her "exotic" look is quite the rage over here.

I've spent a fair amount of time in the UK and observed a number of bi-racial girls who seem not to know their roots. Just listening to how Leona spoke, I wonder if she's at all in touch with her black side. Her grammar could use some help too.

Interesting how Simon Cowell wears a suit and tie on his own show.

Jorge Vega said...

How does listening to someone speak make you question their cultural connections?

Not trying to be argumentative. It's just something I hear people say a lot-- "he/she doesn't sound black" --and it leaves me scratching my head.

procrastinating redcoat said...

genevagirl: English girl speaks with English accent? Shock horror.

You know, many African Americans sound, well, just American to us Brits. Have they lost touch?

Undercover Black Man said...

Just listening to how Leona spoke, I wonder if she's at all in touch with her black side.

Hey GenevaGirl. I must admit, I think Cockney accents are cute. And I liked Leona best when she was speaking.

I think Cockney is about as ghetto as you can get in England, by the way.

GenevaGirl said...

Procrastinating Redcoat: Of course Leona sounds English, she is. In the UK accents are very much about class, no? To me, she doesn't sound, well, classy. It was the combination of her grammar and accent that soured me. I don't mind her singing, but I don't want to hear her talk.