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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy "Dummy You're In Love So Be..." Day!

Valentine's Day Approacheth and if I were more helpful, I'd contort and torture the few brain cells I'm not using to conjuring ideal gifts, dates, gifts and moments to help all the lover's I know. Instead, I thought I'd give the only useful advice at my disposal.

Ladies, if you're asking yourself: "What does he want?"
The Answer is...>drumroll!< EVERYTHING!

Gentlemen, if you're asking yourself: "What does she want?"
The answer is...>dramatic pause< EVERYTHING ELSE!

...and vice versa...

See how easy that is?!!!

Can either of us be all this to each other? No!!!
Should we try?!! Occasionally...

I present to you a laundry/grocery/wish dreamlist of the qualities we look for in each other...(and yes, I applied empirical male data, as I'm genetically predisposed to "GIRLINESS"...)

Ladies first, you chauvinist clods...

So,'re travelling the aisles of the Relationship~Mart (think Walmart of Men) and what do you pick up?
The staples:
Now that we've gotten THAT out of the way, let's hit up our favorite aisle...

Our Neurosis:
We want a Father/Brother/Bestfriend/Pastor/Homegirl/Security Guard/Furniture Mover/Financier/Insect Killer/Teacher/Stud/Diary/TeddyBear/SuperHero/Therapist/Sun, Moon, Stars, Clouds, Ocean...

Yes, we do expect all that AND we expect you to guess which one we want when we're all silent and moody while telling you "nothing's wrong". Better yet, we'd like you to do all of the previous, in an open square of our hometown meeting district of choice while a hot~air~balloon circles, displaying "She's the best woman EVER to be born on earth!" across the LED screen, preceded and followed by fireworks as tulips and roses drop from the sky. Think you can handle all that? Good, because you must now do all of that in every city, in every state, in every country...on every isthmus, island, inlet, and celestial body in the galaxy...(including those unseen by the naked eye...).
To which we'll reply: "You don't spend enough time with me..."
*Quit whining!*
Oh should also love ya mamma, be drop dead gorgeous, (encompassing every cultural representation of perfection), taller, financially stable, educated, respectful and perfect...without making us look any less...

Empirical Data provided the following information regarding what "men want from women"...
Pay close attention...
Sex (in any way that they prescribe)
Isolation during their favorite activity,
(be that: sports, video games, reading, working,
yawning, butt scratching, chess,
anonymous booty, visits to the strip club
Unfair, but funny...(to me...and honestly, does anyone else matter?!)

Men confess when bound and gagged to wanting a Mother/Sister/Homeboy/Prophet/Ego Stroker/Financier/Sexy Instructor/Diary/Video"personnel"/Heroine~Heroin/Counselor/Cook/Secret Shopper/Customer Service Representative/Tree, Volcano, Lake, Hummingbird, Eclipse, Tsunami...

Yes, ladies...we are required to be more than "a lady in the streets and a freak in the bed", so PLEASE stop posting (on FB/Twitter/Blackplanet/GoogleBuzz/YahooMessenger/MSN...) Garveyite quotes next to pics of yourself 3/4's naked in your special "Scripture a day" panties...It'S NOT WORKING!!!

What does this tell you? (Shameless prompt: I won't know unless you comment)...It tells me this:

We have a myriad of expectations. A perfection that neither of us could reach, if either of us would reach, those things we wish we'd reach...that's a bit of stretch! I (and you) would have to summon all those additional personalities, imaginary friends and movies we've insisted on believing in to come ANYWHERE close...
But who has that kind of time?!!!

This Valentine's's my advice.

Take your 58%, 64%, 77% and be exceedingly happy. Sure, you're name isn't written on a ribbon in the sky, but, neither is Mrs. Wonder's...instead you got a smile.

No, she hasn't performed questionable acts for the amusement of your friends...but your breakfast in bed was SLAMMIN' (...besides, you wouldn't want her to ACTUALLY  do that other nonsense!)

He failed to book reservations at the la~dee~da eatery, didn't buy roses, and gave you a card last minute, as if it was a Houdini hat trick *voila!*...but only he knows that one silly joke that can make you laugh while the walls of Jericho fall...

No, she won't apologize for asking you to turn off the game, she has probably reserved this day (and this day ONLY) for breakfast in bed, and all you got was a crappy tie/watch/cologne/sweater...but if you had a bad can count on the echo of her voice cosigning and protesting every injustice that you've faced, while rubbing your head and trying her "make it all better".

Look, if you've got someone to make up what you can't/won't do for yourself...
Enjoy what you have.
Happy Valentines... Dummy!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Image...How many of us have them?

A couple of weeks ago, I engaged in a lively discussion regarding the images of Black Men in entertainment. The statement that proceeded the firestorm was:

"I'm proposing a boycott on all movies that portray Black Men dressed in women's clothing."
(The Tyler Perry bashing was surprisingly minimal.)

But it made me think (as debates often do...) about the portrayal of images in the media and how we are programmed to accept, embrace and possibly perpetuate stereotypes due to the entertainment industry's ability to spoon feed gruel with a suitable amount of sugar. The lively little discussion brought to light some of the caricatures that follow:

The Angry Black Man ~ and not just angry but a "boogie man savage who has yet to be imprisoned". I know precious few truly angry black Men. Most are too busy being Fathers, Husbands, Entrepeneurs, Homeboys, Friends and Family to find the necessary time/energy reserve for anger. Let's understand the culture for a split second: Black men rarely smile...on the dance floor, in church, at work, on public transit...a wide open grin is deemed less than cool...and we all know...
...Brotha's are the Definition of Cool

The Angry Black Woman ~ somehow, Black Women are louder, angrier and far more aggressive than anyone else on earth...and I thought that made us sexy >strikethrough<. VH-1 is singlehandedly packaging, processing and mass producing the image of the Aggressive Black Woman. Loud and erroneous, vocal and erratic, just plain angry and apparently powerless, the image of the "man eating Sistah" is a reality tv mainstay.

If you believe the hype: "We gone GET YOU CORRECT! Tell you da truf! Keep it 100!" and if you don't like ain't a man, "cuz we just keepin' it real!"

The Effeminate Male ~ The screaming tea kettle that set the cauldron boiling. Comedian, actor, Actor/comedian, Comedic/Actor, action star, extra...Icon, Layman...A BlackMan draped in women's clothing is apparently a Holly~huckster mainstay. This is no new phenomena, this question has been posed ad nauseum...and I'll pose it here: Name a famous actor/comedian in a major tv/movie/sitcom role who has NOT dressed in drag to make the joke, facilitate a catharsis, make a point...thus far, I'm aware of one: Redd Foxx!

The Idealized Female Saint/Inept Black ~ ...I stopped watching sitcoms about 4 billion years ago for one simple reason. If a Father figure is present (and that's a rarity), he is a fat, barely literate, sloppy, technologically retarded, and an unrepentant doofus slob who enjoys his doofosity ignorance. Seriously?!!! This is a two fold curse, ladies...follow me: If's he's "good for nothing" what is he good for? Nothing...what should you expect? Nothing...and what do you do when he's 5% short of your Lifetime ideals? You/we make them feel like nothing. The other side: Men...if she views you thusly, what do you do? Nothing. What do you expect? Nothing. Who do you blame? I'll leave you to that...

The Black President Who Precedes Armeggedon/The End Times/Catastrophically Life Ending Patterns of Nature.

Watch the Weather Channel closely, Sir...

We have so many more images to choose from, and somehow our entertainment dollar is appropriated to promote images that highlight/create/speculate/reinforce the negative.  In the course of this discussion, we sought to examine and understand the line drawn in the sand between "entertainment" and destructive generalizations...

Your thoughts?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Everything I Need To Know, I Learned Avoiding Lifetime

I like being female. Specifically, I enjoy being a girl and I cherish beging a woman. What I don't the Lifetime Network. Everytime I hear their slogan, "TV for women", I want to hunt down whichever mysogynistic, male chauvinist troglodyte shoveled that load of crap across the table and presented as a promotional tool.

*deep cleansing breath*

With that said, here are a couple of things I've learned by avoiding Lifetime like the scourge that it is...

1. A woman acts proactively.
While it's admirable that Judith Light/Valerie Bertinelli/Shannon Elizabeth, etc...rose from the ashes of a shattered life and started over on "a level playing field", what happened to identifying trouble BEFORE your life is set ablaze by bad, misinformed decisions?

2. A woman is not the sum total of her failures.
In the same vein as "proactive life participation", building moments don't necessarily require a burning bed, emotionally bankrupt spouse, rebellious hateful children or on the job sexual harrassment. Some of us have accomplished greatness by the practical application of our skills, not as a means of "proving someone wrong".

3. Developing self worth is ongoing.
One simple "triumph of spirit" does not a grown woman make. Our growth and developement is such as complex organism. I say "organism" because it is a living representation...a process, not the finish line.
4. A mate does not a life make.
Listen, we all desire that one person who encourages us to laugh, think and grow. Unfortunately, I've yet to meet a single, solitary woman who's every life question and trauma was solved by a man/mate.

5. Female lockdown facilities are NO place for a sane virgin...
(yes, folks...this is the comic relief!)

Never one to settle with being part of the problem, here are my suggestions based on the idea that maybe adversity DOES make us stronger (and NO Thelma & Louise will be NOWHERE on this list...those idiots killed themselves.):

A Long Kiss Goodnight
Strong amnesiac, butt kicking mom.  Rhianna got her eyeshadow advice from
Ms. Charli Baltimore, and one of raps first ladies, borrowed her moniker and swag in hopes of securing a place in hip hop history!  How do you know she's bad?
She made Samuel Jackson, lower his freakin' voice!

Strong, extraterrestrial mothers fight it out for inner/outerspace supremacy.  Weaver's strategic avoidance of slime should
serve as a lesson for that "There's Something About Mary" hair snafu.

Silence Of The Lambs
A how to manual for turning the good ol' boy, law enforcement network on it's ear, Foster extracting moths, challenging a cannibal, rescuing a lotion deprived, well bound idiot...all while sporting a fly bob~cut is womanhood at its best!
(Unfortunately, the same kind of feminine kick butt was not found in the series resulting in incredible disappointment for Agent Starling.)

Another "girl cop", flick without the rampant sexuality
shows what Columbo would be like if he were pregnant,
happily married and not bothered by looking in the woodchipper.
A Canadian must have..."ayuh".

Living Out Loud

A personal fave for the simple reason that she turned down the obvious "and they lived happily ever after" ending.  Don't get me wrong...she lived happily.  (Who can be sad strolling down the street while Hot Fun In The Summer Time plays in the background?)  But she turned down DeVito's offer (which cements the movie's realism) and found herself...and isn't that what womanhood is all about?

Its been my mission since becoming an adult to openly disparage the Lifetime movie network in the hopes that someone in programming will make definitive changes to their programming to something far more palatable...and like Scarlet O'Hara...I shall never be hungry again! ...oh never mind!

These are my favorites...what are yours?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I keep hearing people lament the state of music. Being constantly subjected to, drowned in and barraged by
images of New Coon Classics (I shall name no names), I thought I'd devote a day to music that you should probably be listening to...
(Caveat: The views of this blog are OBVIOUSLY my opinion...but, guess what. There's a handy little feature on the blog that allows you to tell me how full of craptacularness I am, or what an elitist, hippy, backwards retard I am...In other words...leave a comment. No rules, no censorship...just a comment that you're willing to stand by)

I joke continually that K brings "give us free" hip hop. His recent appearance on Austin City Limits made me stay awake like a "naughty child waiting to watch SNL circa 1980", knowing the jewels would be dropped. (AND brought Chubb Rock to the mix...RESPECT!) I wasn't disappointed! He makes anthems...Mashallah!

I don't have the lingual skills to do this sister justice.  Naija born and expressive as only she can be, I'm jamming her during my work out warm ups, high intensity AND cool downs...I challenge others to walk in her shoes!

Rob Jay
Initially, I was going to delete Rob Jay...not that I don't LOVE what he does...but I'm providing examples, and I could only find ONE of my favorite songs on YouTube...When I found out "Director's Chair" was the single clip...I could only laugh! Lyricist...I've missed you...thanks for reincarnating Self!

Hal Linton
The word "plaintive" would be an easy dismissal of all that Mr. Linton brings to the table. He makes that sound that amateurs reach for when attempting to convey sincerity. A You-Tube favorite for his ability to mix humility and humor into his creative process, Hal Linton delivers vocally. My personal fave? Abandoned Heart with Rob Mounsey...

Esperanza Spalding night E Spalding snuck into my subconscious and started playing music. In an era of  "show your backside AND tonsils simultaneously", Esperanza Spalding singlehandedly restored a Sade~like hope. If you saw her at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Houston, then you KNOW what I mean. If you didn't, get thee to the House of Blues, QUICKLY! She's converting those unrepentant jazz chanteuse haters, and I'm glad to lead the way

In a word: three words: Subtle head nodding...Muhsinah won't leave you cringing at high notes unreached, instead, you'll find yourself chair dancing and grateful that singer/songwriters are on the way back. While I tend to enjoy her more melodic endeavors, don't sleep on her ability to make you groove with both hands held high.

Jay Electronica
I want to say more, but I can't...Lyricist with the KNOWledge. Electronica provides that PE flow that allows you to learn without realizing you're learning. So holy, I dissect his echoes...Gods and Goddesses...Jay Electronica!

Foreign Exchange
There is something SO sultry about well placed string instruments and ambient sound. In a word, Foreign Exchange encompasses the incidental music of your "coolest moment". Deceptively simple in it's arrangements, but complex in delivery, allow these melodies to provide the soundtrack for a night of seduction.

New Corrine Bailey Rae
The lilting voice of the girl next door, Corrine Bailey Rae ain't folksy enough to be soul and ain't soul enough to be R&B...but what she IS draws you in like gravity. Holding to the haunting voice that gave Like A Star it's signature sound, Rae draws on her own person to bring us something special. When angels sing, they imitate her voice, face and sound. From the new album...

Wiz Khalifa
Been screaming on this one for a year or so...catching on, and I'm smiling. Been a minute since I gave a flip about garden tools, money I'm not spending or a car...Any wonder why Khalifa speaks to me? Let him speak to you!

And a throwback track
Rahsaan Patterson...