Daily Dose: 12/26/16 George Michael dies at 53
Daily Dose: 12/26/16 George Michael dies at 53
Clinton Yates is not here this week, as he’s busy trekking the mountains of Georgia, knucking and bucking and ready to fight. So, in his absence, I’ll be taking over Daily Dose duties for the entire week. Enjoy.
The never-ending nightmare that is 2016 strikes again. This time, Grammy-Award winning British singer George Michael. The pop icon, who went from teenage heartthrob in the 1980s to matured singer-songwriter over the past two decades, died “peacefully at home” on Christmas evening, according to his publicist. He was just 53. The eccentric musician rose to prominence as part of the duo Wham! before transitioning to a solo career that led to over 100 million albums sold, including over 20 million from his 1987 solo debut Faith, featuring genre-defining hits Father Figure, I Want Your Sex and title track Faith. Michael, who could give late musicians Prince and David Bowie strong competition in the unlikely-sex-appeal department, collaborated with some of the most well-known black performers in music history, including Mary J. Blige, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, and Beyoncé. BBC News has a detailed breakdown of Michael’s life.
The “Problem of Whiteness” has a problem. The African culture studies department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is offering a course next semester called “The Problem of Whiteness,” which explores the social construction of whiteness and how to “dismantle white supremacy,” leaning on the works of famed writers W.E.B. Du Bois, George Yancy and Ta-Nehisi Coates. While the class appears to be a revolutionary examination of how race works in America and across the globe, members of the Wisconsin state government are none too pleased. Gov. Scott Walker called the class “goofy” and “unusual,” Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke tweeted that it’s “racism against white people,” and Wisconsin Rep. Dave Murphy all but threatened to revoke state funding from the university if the class isn’t discontinued. The university has backed the course and its professor, Damon Sajnani, through a statement, explaining that the class “will benefit students who are interested in developing a deeper understanding of race issues.”
A&E’s failed publicity stunt. Last week, the cable network announced a docuseries called Generation KKK that centered around the Ku Klux Klan and four families with members trying to escape the domestic terrorist group. Initially scheduled to air Jan. 10, the series explored the inner workings of the heavily secretive organization and the effects a system of hate such as the KKK can have on young children. After the announcement, there was a chorus of backlash from social and traditional media, abhorring A&E for normalizing a hate group by giving it free airtime on cable television. While network executives could have squashed the television show right then and there, they instead doubled down, telling FOX411 that “the documentary series takes a clear stance against hatred of any kind.” Five days after the announcement, though, A&E abruptly canceled Generation KKK after it learned the show’s third-party producers violated company policy by paying Klan members for access during filming of the show. So, instead of dropping a series about the KKK due to the group’s documented violence and oppression of African-Americans for almost two centuries, A&E only had a change of heart when, ironically, ethics came into play.
Winner of the weekend: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick
Kaepernick has had quite the tumultuous season, from his stand (pun intended) against the national anthem before the regular season began to the 49ers’ 13 consecutive losses since a Week 1 victory. But Kaepernick & Co. got the job done on Saturday, defeating the Los Angeles Rams, 22-21, for the second time this season. After scoring with 10 seconds left in the game, down 21-20, San Francisco coach Chip Kelly, with nothing else to lose, went for the 2-point conversion and the win. Kaepernick rolled to his right, saw an opening and glided into the end zone to give the 49ers a one-point lead. As he made his way up from the ground, the quarterback raised his fist in the air, resembling Tommie Smith and John Carlos.
Loser of the weekend: Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson
Thompson was one half of the Splash Brothers last season with reigning MVP Stephen Curry. This year, he’s arguably the fourth-most important player on his team, enjoying beers during postgame interviews and getting embarrassed (!!!) by geriatric ball players. On Christmas Day, Thompson got dunked on by 36-year-old Cleveland Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson in one of the most highlight-worthy plays of a game that involved LeBron James. To add salt to the wound, Thompson gave up the game-winning points to Cavs guard Kyrie Irving. Also, it’s being argued that this is the reason the Warriors have lost four straight to the defending champs.
What to look forward to on Monday: Day-after-Christmas sales
Grab those return receipts and hit the outlets. The way 2016 has gone, you deserve it.