What’s up y’all? While I wouldn’t expect a return to regular posting just yet, I do have some stuff on my mind that I need to get out of my system. So what better place?
This list is not at all in order of importance.
1) Coping (How to Fail at It) featuring Trash
You all have to know what’s going on in Ferguson, MO at this point. I’m not here to recap it. I’m not even here to argue the facts.
I don’t have the strength to point out how all of this is because Black people and their lives are denied value in America.
You should already know that no matter what you wear, no matter how many degrees you have, no matter how much you avoid being “stereotypical,” you’re still just another black person. When the chips are down, you can be shot. They will get away with it.
We all know that this teenager is going be criminalized and smeared in the media, because any minor discretion is just another reason his life didn’t matter. You’re constantly going to be reminded that any fault in his character justified his murder.
We all know that clueless assholes are going to idiotic statements. Newscasters will say to use “water cannons.” The killer will talk about how his life has ended too, even though he’s at home on paid leave. New Blacks are going to talk about how Black on Black crime and rap music is the cause of all of this.
You’ve already seen someone on your social media try to make it about them with clueless statements, incorrect information, and a general ain’t-shit demeanor.
Truth is, I’m tired. I’m trying to deal with all of my outrage, my inability to create meaningful change, my inability to protect people I love from the same fate. There’s not a day where I don’t think, “I’m blessed to be alive.” I haven’t done anything to deserve it. But I am. Instead of productively letting it out, I’m just stewing in my anger and hopelessness. It’s making me feel ugly inside and preventing me from enjoying the day-to-day. I don’t want to be around people because all I want to do is talk about it and be angry. I don’t have the luxury of taking off and being alone until I’m able to face regular society again. I’m trying to just plow through life in order to sit home in the dark and think about this situation.
There’s no comfort in knowing that no matter what I do, no matter what advice I give my nephew and niece, no matter how many books I read, and no matter how polite I am, my life means nothing if a White person so deems it.
2) Taylor Swift
I haven’t really raged against the Swift in recent moments because she doesn’t really have a song out and she hasn’t been publicly dating anyone. Not so lucky for me and the rest of the world, she released “Shake It Off.”
I’m not going to link because she’s not getting a single view on my behalf.
But this is tangent to the first point. The root of my hatred of Taylor Swift (and Jennifer Aniston) is that for my money they represent peak whiteness. This isn’t a critique of every white person (again, I should not have to say this) but of the dominant American culture. I’ll let Omarosa take over…
Where a “wholesome” and “sweet” girl who are just “hassled” are given passes for complete mediocrity because of her perceived girl next door image. It’s like “Ooh, she’s bland and I can sing better than her. Give her all my money!”
Throw in some questionable appropriation moments and her absolute refusal to sing on key and it’s already terrible.
But this song has a message of “SUCK IT HATAZ” for critiquing her image. So she’s shaking off any criticism of her bland, mediocre, white bread music and image that appeals to middle-of-the-road, “put-upon”, middle class America. The very same America that is notably quiet whenever an unarmed Black man is killed in cold blood.
For me, this song is the essence of “First World Problems.” And this is not the day, the week, the month, nor the year for this shit.
Sure, that may seem like a reach for some readers, but think about it this way. Think back to a time where you felt depressed or upset over something in your life. Now somebody you don’t particularly like (a coworker or classmate) comes up gloating about their promotion when you know they do nothing or a great exam score on a test where they have cheated. You wouldn’t have the time for it.
And that’s what this song is to me. It’s Taylor Swift singing a song that say “nah nah ni boo boo” to all you minorities for not being White.
3) Reality TV Thoughts
On a lighter note, Project Runway and Top Chef Duels have come to television. Since So You Think You Can Dance continues to be pretty terrible, I had high hopes for each of these shows.
Project Runway is about as average as any of the other later seasons with some confounding judging thrown in. Three of first four episodes have handed out wins to questionable garments. Props to Tom & Lorenzo as the source of these photos. Also, if you love celebrity fashion, Mad Men, Project Runway, or RuPaul’s Drag Race, it behooves you to frequent their site. Also, read their book!
The first two are from comeback contestant Amanda. Fringe really shouldn’t be a thing. The second two are from Sandhya. I like the pink look with the metallic detail, but that poorly dyed, ripped shoulder, frayed edge abomination should have at least put her in the bottom. No thanks. That said, I do think that there’s some talent in the cast and the judges seem to be making good cuts. I have hope that someday Michael Kors will come back.
Top Chef Duels is pretty good! It’s a lot more low-key than your traditional Top Chef, but it brings back familiar faces and gives them space to be creative. As a huge Gail Simmons fan, I’m glad she’s a part of the show. I could live without Curtis Stone, but that’s not my decision. I hope that the show does well and continues to bring back some great chefs. (Although, go away Mike Isabella.)
Love & Hip Hop Atlanta is finally winding down after a particularly raggedy season. When Karlie Redd is the source of your most entertaining moments, it’s time to take stock. Seeing Rasheeda take Kirk back after complete and blatant disrespect for her, their child, his mother, their family, and her image (which is the family business) is not good television. Seeing Erica and Scrappy be friends is nice for the sake of their daughter, they’ve been complete non-entities since we stopped seeing O’Shea Da Model and The Bambi. Benzino continues to be neckless and ThiThi is the most obvious case of fame-hungry gold digger we’ve seen since Flavor of Love 3. Stevie and Joseline’s soap opera relationship is not funny. Joseline is best when talking shit about other girls, not crying about beefcake and her awful music. Tammy & Waka are sweet but boring. Karlie is trash on trash, but at least she gave us more terrible music and Yung Joc’s decision to air our her sexual habits. Momma Dee & Deb are reliably fun though.
But let’s about Mimi again. All of Mimi’s struggles, barring the death of her father, are her own doing based on her own choices. Her absolute refusal to be told that she is wrong only serves to make her look like the weak-willed dingbat that she is. It’s painful to watch her get mad at people when she is forced to reveal her lies. Like if you don’t want to hear what they have to say, stop going to them. If you’re going to defend being wrong so vehemently, you’re going to continue to have to eat crow.
To be frank, I’d have cut her off when she accepted Stevie’s car. Girl, you can’t be over him and accept things that aren’t child support. Your dependency is showing.
But truth be told, she needs to leave the show. Nothing has been good for her since it started and now the world knows her for being an idiot who is easily fooled and bought. Sucks to be you.
4) The Future Looks Bleak
If you haven’t gathered, I’m not in the happiest of places now. As cliché and standard as it sounds, I’m used to telling myself that it will all work out. It will all be okay. But these two weeks have reminded me of the feeling of despair that I either ignored or suppressed as a part of the move. It’s that I don’t know the future and not seeing much in the way of encouragement. It’s not that I don’t believe God has a plan or that I believe I should have all the answers. It just seems like I keep waking up to bad news. It’s like a nightmare. I want more than what this is for America and for my friends. I don’t know how to tell them that, being someone who
hates only tolerates melodrama/emotions.
That said, I’ll end this with simply. I care. I’m not great at letting people know that. I may not ever say to your face. But you’re cared about and I want what’s best for your mind, body, and soul.
Stay safe everyone and do your best to maintain positivity in your days.