Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Good black men - Identity politics

Bear with me, many thoughts, tentative connections....

I went to see a movie this Tuesday [shot out to free Tuesdays at Clearview Cinema], it was called Noah's Arc: Jumping the Broom. For those of you unacquainted - the movie is an expansion of the 'gaybopra' [let the record show - I was the first to use the term] Noah's Arc sitcom that premiered on Logo about three years ago.

It follows the lives of four black gay men in various states of relationships, very much in the vein of Sex in the City, with Noah serving in the Bradshaw role, all the way down to the plaid cape adorned suit with knee boots that opened the movie. Let me just say - I am a fan.

The reason for the adoration has sparked the subject of this blog. One reason why I follow this show is because of its exploration of a side of black men that we women know exist but is never shown on television and rarely sees the light of day in the real world. These men are vulnerable, they cry, they search for love, they get taken advantage of, they take advantage of, they care about clothing, they are violent, they are weak, they are unsure, they are sweet and confident, they are arrogant and caring - in other words - they may be the most full expression of black masculinity as I see it. In popular culture, there are so many one dimensional cartoonish depictions of black men and the injustice of it drives me crazy - regularly.

Now to pass along a conflict that my mother mutters to the television - the liberal, and may I add racist, media seems to allow only black gay men to have the full range of emotional expression. For example, the black guy in the Starter Wife, the first episode. As soon as I saw that he was successful, classy, and hiring an interior decorator I knew he would later be revealed a gay. Fair disclosure - narrow emotional representations may betrue for men across the board but with so little alternatives for black men the rigidity carries a greater weight in its effect on the perception of what and who black men are.

Anyway, listening to these men discuss how these narrow, and ultimately false, archtypes of black masculity affect their daily lives got me to thinking about identity politics and what it would mean for black men to have a black man in the white house. Ideally, in popular media everyone's stories are told. Everyone can look to our culture and see themselves, but in reality only certain stories are told, and thus only those people 'exist'; and the rest of us must force ourselves into whatever archetypes are presented to us. The results of that are obvious to us who content with not being 'it' but are obscure to those who do not have to recognize it. Much like the way that certain white people say racism doesn't exist anymore, while few blacks would agree ( I would say none but every group has an asshole - what cha gonna do...?) - in other words, if you don't experience it you can deny its existence.

Can I diverge and give you an example of being reminded that you aren't 'the main charactor'? My friends and I were visiting Philly last year and there was a promotion bus for the Spiderwick movie that was coming out in the spring. They had this little round black girl standing out in the freezing cold asking tiny soccer moms and their chlidren if they wanted to come in and get their face morphed into a character from the movie. It was freezing, somewhere in the 20s, so we took out 28 year old behinds in the truck. They had two options; a tubby brown ratty knommy looking thing, or a beautiful elf-like fairy. Well dam it if we didn't all want to be the fairy, I mean who doesn't want to be a fairy [insert irony]? Have you been in the girls aisle of KB toy store lately? You would think its was our life goal to be dressed in pink glitter frilly plastic everything. Anyway my friends and I wait the requisite three days to receive our pic - the results...

Now upon seeing the pic it occurred to me that in the larger society I would never be the beautiful fairy. My fat nose and big lips -here to fore referred to only as luscious - were meant for the little fat knommy ratty furry looking thing!

I revisited all the work I had to do to love who I was and be comfortable with who I was and came out on top, but shit if it wasn't a shocker. Do you remember the comedy skit where Whoopy, as in Goldberg, puts the white shirt on her head and pretends to have long white girl hair? I thought I was the only one who did that - apparently it is a wide spread practice of girls with short nappy hair trying to be the "white blond girl main charactor"... enter round peg and square hole. What it means is that you are never the main charactor, never the person who deserves a side kick to help you through your angst. It means that outside of your surrogate role you have no meaning - unless you somehow convince yourself in your mind that you are the blond white girl main charactor or....the fairy.

My point, long ago, was this - having Barack and Michelle in the white house means that our story, to some degree, will finally be told (I said some!). America will be forced to content with our existence on a daily basis, force to deal with our intelligence, our success, and our competence every single time they look to popular culture. We will be able to fit in, to say that this is mine too; a round peg AND a round hole...snicker.

The black male Psyche will be able to look to popular media and see a new archetype with which to aspire; whether he wins or not. We have all been remarking how black men have so much of their personal identity tied up in this race and this why. I surmised that now they don't have to be the 'gangsta', or the successful but arrogant and emotionally unavailable doctor, or the perfect all around man who must be homosexual, or any of the other 'comfortable and non-threatoning' depictions of black masculinity. They now can be the hard working, intelligent, emotionally available father who takes care of his family, oh, AND has a strong black women beside him to close the deal.

Hold your head up good black men - I always knew you existed and now everyone else will too.

Update: Another irony tidbit - see how little they actually discussed the movie in this article whose title indicates the article is about the movie on

Monday, October 20, 2008

Quick and Dirty

A visit to SNL but not Meet the Press.

And we should take her seriously why?

H.Clinton really is shitting bricks...

This is our first female VP candidate (deep sigh of contempt)...beyond a joke...just pass the twilight zone and to the left of cruel insulting prank from white capitalist patriarchy. shots to b.hooks.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Its so dark and peaceful down here...

I'm still posting from my ostrich hole of denial but I wanted to point out how the mainstream press has FINALLY over the past week acknowledged that they too are concerned with the rabid race baiting of the McCain/Palin campaign (check out my previous blog which mentioned it waaaaaayyyy before those overpaid, successful, not in debt - never mind you know what I mean..anyway before those folks noticed it).

I just wanted to add and say that after careful consideration of the issues that I have been thinking about lately, especially of all the political things that have been revealed in the past week,

I don't give a dam.

About any of it. I registered to vote - so what. Obama isn't going to change anything. McCain, should he win, I suspect will fuck u further BUT, and here is the bright side, either way I still have to pay my student loans for the rest of my life. The whole end of it, whatever is left, even the tiny crumbs at the bottom of the bag - it belongs to citibank. Economy tanks, gotta pay my loans. Economy fixes itself, gotta pay my loans. I marry rich and have beautiful children, still...gotta pay my loans. Do you see a pattern here? I should sing it, add a hook, a video with naked girls and then maybe my life will mean something...and all before the age of 30.

I should just die. That would teach 'em. Come get this money now! I mean, I could just see myself looking up at those bastards from my grave like, "ha, who's winning now...shit faces..."

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


It just started and I've already started yelling! ha. Op...there goes another zinger!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Ayers who?

I would get into it but instead will post a for more interesting article...

The New Republic article reports:

It would have far more factual validity for Obama, or a surrogate, to publicize the fact that Track, the kid who joined the Army, did so because a judge told him it was that or jail due to his dealing drugs. I have a strong hunch, however, the Obama people would never get into that. Up until now the lady has annoyed me because of her ignorance and arrogance, but now I am furious, especially when her headline-making remark from yesterday was that Obama was not "fit" to be commander-in chief. I think the McCain people better lock the lady up again and tell her to zip it, because she is not fit to even ad-lib.

I really am speechless. One kid is a single parent and other a drug dealer?! Really, I just have nothing to say right now.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Admit it... It's okay we were all dissapointed...

Okay -

She didn't fall on her face and give you fits of disbelief and insane giggles like the Katie Couric interview.

I must say that it was important for me that she did fall on her face. Not for my own sense of the evil pleasure at someone else's, who happens to be evil, humiliation but so that when she states lies - okay, mischaracterizations - [like Obama has voted for tax increases 94 times] we can appropriately place that statement in the, "oh yeah, the woman with her face planted in the floor said that" file. In other words ignore her she is, at the very least, an idiot.

Let me dig up some numbers for you - I love the Internet....lets go
23 of those votes would not have resulted in a tax increase for anyone
7 were in favor of a tax increase for for many
11 would have increased taxes for people who made over 1 million bucks
the rest? repeat votes...

It does not need to be stated that we have moved from a place of communal disagreement - meaning that we disagree about our 'shared future' as a common people - to a place were we no longer plan on coming together as a people. We knowingly misrepresent the truth to win at the expense of community. You lie to your people to stay in power? As though you won't have to then be in community with the very same people you lied to and about. Am I making any sense? No?

One does not lie on one's own family - in this case the family being America - because it causes irreparable harm to the relationship between those two parties. What kind of person doesn't care about the affects of their own actions?!!! I'm an sadden to think that we have revealed the fissures of hate and intolerance between us and have no way to heal them. We kinda need like a uhm a therapist for the country...yeah, a big comfy couch for us to sit on and talk about our feelings.

It could go like this: Rebekah, Let's start with how you feel about your people being dragged over here to build an empire that they would not be able to participate in for 250 years....

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Ostrich syndrome

So I have decided that none of this matters anymore.
My impotence intolerance quotient has blown its top and has popped like the proverbial muscle cramp in that fleshy sensitive part of my thigh.

I figure I don't have any credit to lose, I don't have a mortgage, I'm at the bottom of the "who do we have to get rid of" recession list at my job, and my job is as recession proof as possible (gov't funded baby!!!). So I have taken to silently shaking my fist at Cspan and then gouging myself on movies...

The Duchess - overall great, rape scene spoiler alert (I am still shuttering)
The Brave One - black man saves white women, lacked substance (still rolling my eyes)
Ghost Rider - So bad it was good, (still wondering if nick cage will ever do a movie where he can hold up his head...)
Revolver - Guy Ritchie does it again, (seriously, the
The Emperor and the Assassin - Gong Li is always great

I could go on, sadly, I really could go on but you get my point....I mean there isn't anything else to do in this dark hole I've got my head stuck in.

Cant wait for THURSDAY... oh boy oh boy... this is one debate I might need company for...

and on tap for tonight's dark hole of denial:

Pushing Daisey's (seriously excellent intelligent clothes, I mean show - ha)
ANTM (excellent season, will it still spark without the head held high trannie???!?)
The Spanish Prisoner (supposed to be like 'the usual suspects' - a big shoe to fill...)

I should clean this hole, I think we're going to be here a while.