had me really thinking about everything I was reading and it's context in the state of things right now.
had me really thinking about everything I was reading and it's context in the state of things right now.
"She's truly glamorous and it shows, she don't like your new clothes or your whack ass player pose..." - Guru
when the weekend comes and the weekend comes: quite simply, my friends rule. To addie, anna, beth, carrie, chiyu, courtney, felicia, jenny, moraya, penna, shannon, tracy and tiffany (and the mysterious benefactor) thank you for a lovely evening. I love my quincy jones - an autobiography, my mix CD, my gundam toy (who now sits at my desk after 2 hours of building him yesterday), my superman dvd box set (digitally remastered to visual perfection), willow on dvd, and impending gifts to come. I so didn't expect gifts...thanks much. E.T. was outstanding. The Grove is like a miniature disneyland/las vegas something...it works, sort of. The theatre was really nice though...good seats, people in suits taking care of us. The actor who played a boy named Sue in Swingers was there.
Anna had this to say about my friends: "They are stylish and funny." So True.
Sunday was breakfast and records (I bought a UK Import of The Blackbyrds - Flying Start just so I could have a picture of my dad jumping in the air in an African style shirt) and gundam and superman and HBO east coast and champagne and soul food at my parents house because black people rule the academy. Can we just talk about how Halle Barry is the most beautiful woman on the planet for a moment. And how scary her crying is? How the veins popped out of her shoulders like she needed heroin in the worst way? How I really wanted to know if Eric Benet was wearing shoes with his tux (I was screaming "Pan Down Pan Down!" at the cameraman)? The oscars are really good when you only watch the last 90 minutes. Let's break it down for real though about what was significant about last night:
Denzel Washington makes $20 million a picture. Halle gets paid an extra million to show her breasts in a movie. They didn't need approval from the academy. We as black people didn't need to be thrown a bone. In the 50 years since Sidney Poitier had to fight and scratch his way into well paying roles, we have moved to a time when the finest actors in the craft, no matter what their skin color get paid and paid well for being excellent at what they do and for doing what they are supposed to do - make other people money. The bootstrapping that Poitier, Cosby, Diahann Carroll, etc. etc. did allows for us today to not have to worry about whether or not we're getting shafted in hollywood. Racism has fallen away for profits. Spike Lee can make any movie he wants because he turns a profit, Denzel can get the same deals as Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks. Wesley and Will can rule the action film. And race is relevant in entertainment but not necessarily meaningful in any kind of jarring statement on society.
And somewhere, John Singleton is writing a story about a young black person that can't make it out the ghetto. Again. Except this time its a female lead. Its called Shaft's Hoodrat: Baby Girl 'N the Hood.
the pimpification of our children: You know 10 years or so ago, I was really rocking that Another Bad Creation CD. I loved that "Iesha Iesha..so nice to meet ya." but something always bugged me about that video. These little 8-12 year olds were running around dressed like little versions of Michael Bivins. No shirts on under their overalls. Rocking pagers and stuff in the video. Why does a 10 year old need a beeper and to show off his non-chest hair? Yeah, I know the Britney response to that - "that's just how we dress where I'm from." Bullshit. I've been all over this fair land. Most little kids are rocking osh kosh b'gosh and shit from mervyn's and target and bugle boy. There are only a few select children that look like this:
We don't need baby pimps! Let a kid be a kid. I don't need a 5 year old coming out in sean john. Its like the kids wearing Nike's at 3 years old. Why? Put the child in some keds. Let him wear his underoos with pride. These 2 kids in this picture are on their way to their baptism. Damn. I'm not a religious man but I'm sure the lord doesn't really need to see a kid that can't spell his name rocking a bowler hat and matching tie.
Have you seen 106 & Park lately? Lil Bow Wow? B2K? Talented kids for sure. And let's be clear that I'm not chastising these little rugrats, they don't know any better. When somebody is writing lyrics for you that have you saying "I rock an iced out Mickey Mouse around my neck" you don't have a chance at having any sense. At 12, the only ice you should care about are the cubes in your soft drink while you get twice baked potato boats in the lunch line.
But Lil Bow Wow is up there in his video at 14/15 with grown ass women in varying stages of undress chasing after him like he is a man. So all the little boys are at home going damn, I need some ice and a perm and an all white outfit in order to get a girlfriend. The girls are going...wow to get a true player you need to show that thong and shake that ass and wear high heels and be a video ho.
That's not what I want my sister to look at as her blueprint for life.
And maybe I have a vendetta against these young men as one of my sister's friends parents thought it would be a good birthday present to let these 4 hoodlums take out my sis and her friend to the movies unchaperoned but...
B2K. I hate it. Why must we be 15 with washboard abs singing sexy love songs? I know I'm showing my age and I just don't understand kids these days and what not but New Edition? They wore sweats and sang to Mr. Telephone Man or their Candy Girl.
New Kids? They wanted you to 'please don't go girl' and 'do the new kids' dance. Troop walked girls home from school while they harmonized.
B2K? XXX! I don't even know what they are singing about because I'm too worried that the police are going to come in my house and arrest me for being a pedophile when that video is on. I felt the same way about Britney Spears when she was first out. Let's not do belly shirts and show the big chest and hot nipple action when we should be learning how to draw a perfect circle with a protractor and reading Lord of the Flies.
And let's not have pimp children. Really. Tuffskins, corduroy, and a cute t-shirt with a cartoon character on it is enough to get kids ahead in the game.
Is that too much to ask?
People are you ready? Are you really ready? Are you really ready to try? We wanna try harder. - De La Soul
Disclaimer: I didn't actually see this fool on TV but monique posted this link and I just had to step back for a minute. I would post a link to his game but I can't bring myself to do it. I can't support this nonsense. I can just imagine what the producers at Fox News did this morning when this fool walked through the door. Chuck Sawyer is like a character straight out of bamboozled. I would think he was satirizing the black community except that I'm too sure that he thinks he's keepin' it real with this bullshit. And to think, its very likely that he will be the only black man on a national news program today. And then we wonder why black folks aren't taken seriously. Chuck Sawyer is the reason. Let's break him down right now.
The Man: Before we even get into his nonsense game, let's talk about the gap in his teeth, the fact that he is higher than a motherfucking kite and that he is rocking the mini-fro in the worst way. I bet he stutters. Motherfucker. Donald Rumsfield is on the channel wowing the press corps with middle America style blue collar jokes and this fool looks like its his first day on parole and he's still rocking the style he went into jail with 25 years ago. Chuck Sawyer...your new name is Huckleberry. Don't let me see you in Redondo Beach. I will punch you in the chest just on principle.
The Game: Life as a Blackman...what? I don't even get two words. Blackman is a last name, ya bastard, not a way to identify brothas like me. I'm going to go Cameo on your ass. Word up! And no matter what path you take, the government pays you? Let's just create that welfare state. You want to bring this into schools? I want to bring you into schools so I can show and tell what a buffoon is. Go back and look at his tongue sticking out the gap of his teeth. Do you hate him as much as I do yet?
Where are my black leaders? If Chuck Sawyer, Maxine Waters, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are the representatives of black folks in Political and News forums then nobody will ever figure out what the true issues are facing the black community. These carnival hucksters don't do shit about shit. They scream racism without looking deeper, they are so concerned about being something for every black person that they stand for nothing. I know that black people love an orator that sounds like a preacher but we have to find new leadership. Chuck Sawyer cannot be the only black man on TV He shouldn't even get near a TV There should be black political figures with enough intelligence, candor, and prominence that the Chuck Sawyer's of the world don't take up my time. We celebrate all these thugs, hustlers and shiftless crooks because 'they're doing something' without ever considering that there are tons of us out here really laying it down that never hustled, never was a thug, never went to jail. And we don't all think alike. Where are the black leaders that are having intelligent debate about issues? Where are the black leaders known more for their societal and political convictions than their criminal ones?
And Chuck Sawyer is on the morning news. Selling a game about the Blackman. And selling us out in the process.
Please Beat his Ass. I'll bail you out.
My father knew exactly what he was doing when he made me. Tried to get his nut and he got a nut and what? - Jay-Z, The Hustle
I guess I should explain what this whole "Mild Mannered Negro" thing is all about. Why I'm all lowercase b black instead of Big B BLACK. (back in the day I was a lowercase G but now I'm a big G dollar dollar bill y'all. Who names their child Montell? What does it mean?) Black means you're representin', you're keepin' it real. Black is thinking that race plays a factor in everything. Black is not wanting to move out of the ghetto because you're scared of selling out. Black is being mad that Black History Month is only 28 days (yet probably not knowing who W.eB Du Bois is...). Black is being mad that nobody says Happy Kwanzaa to you during the holidays (yet probably not knowing what the 8 days of the event are). Black is when you pull an Al Sharpton, performing a sit-in at McDonalds because you ordered black coffee and they gave you coffee with cream and it scalded your tongue because that white ass cream from that white ass restaurant is hot AND racist and they won't just give a brotha black coffee and let him be black with his black coffee and motherfuckers we are about to raise up because slavery's been going on for 400 years and you better give me what I ask for goddammit, I don't care that you dropped out of high school and your mother is a heroin addict and that you can barely read let alone know the difference between black coffee and coffee with cream and that's the reason you're making coffee at McDonald's. Besides, do you see I have a perm AND aligator shoes and drive a cadillac with gold rims and green leather interior because I'm fly like that. Racism is in full effect.
Yeah. I'm not that Black.
I'm that brotha that sat in the front row of your honors english class and didn't realize he was the only brotha in there. I'm that negro whose family has always lived pretty middle class in integrated neighborhoods and went to college and made money and were happy. I'm that brotha who thinks the civil rights movement worked. I'm that brotha who feels guilty that he's not a part of the struggle but not really because he doesn't know exactly what we're struggling for anymore. I'm that brotha who doesn't understand how his upper middle class relatives can scream about racism when they own houses in upscale neighborhoods and buy new cars every 3 years and worry about their retirement plans and stock options. I'm that black guy whose always had more white friends then black because there just weren't any other black folks around and it didn't even occur to him that he was supposed to go search them out to try to figure out his identity. Identity. I'm that brotha that struggles with that every day. I'm that brotha that gets scared to say that he's never experienced racism. That he's gotten every job he's asked for, every raise he's wanted, no one's ever physically attacked him for being dark skinned, no one's ever denied him a place to live, no one's ever had power over him because of their race. Except, of course, for other black people. I've been sat last at a soul food restaurant because I came with my white girlfriend. I was told not to come back to a north carolina mall in a black neighborhood because I was foolish enough to hold hands with a white girl while looking at t-shirts. I'm that nigga that forgot he was a nigga until another nigga suggested that he was supposed to be in the back of the bus with them instead of in the front of the bus reading John Steinbeck and discussing it with the old white lady and old korean lady that were taking the bus to their book club meeting.
I'm that black kid that was okay to bring to your parents house. I'm that black guy that your parent's just might be able to deal with if you brought me home as your boyfriend. I'm that black guy that you said some inappropriate shit in front of because you almost forgot I was black. I'm the one that you're complaining about when you talk about affirmative action because yup, every school wanted my ass because I was one of the 100 smartest black kids in high school in 1993. Harvard fed exed me an application and waived the fees when my smart ass pulled a 1340 on my SAT's. Your white ass couldn't get a call back from Harvard even though you scored a 1600 and complained that the test wasn't hard enough. I feel guilty about that...but not that guilty. Sorry.
I'm that Mild Mannered Negro who sees prejudice from everyone everyday and accepts it. I'm the one who just wants you to like him but doesn't think you're a racist if you don't. I'm the one whose just as comfortable in the ethiopian restaurant shooting the shit with his mother and father about what crazy shit black folks done got into now as he is sitting with all his white wimmins in the sushi bar discussing important things like movies and *nsync and how you don't like Venus Williams (and biting my tongue because I really want to ask if you don't like her because she's black. Hey I may be lowercase black but i'm not, y'know, white). I'm not angry. I'm just me. Hi, Jason. Yup, that brotha over here who spent saturday evening with a bunch of people watching an O-Town DVD and listening to the love song from Tootsie. Damn. I hate you white people.