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Real Housewives of Atlanta: Birthday Parties and Banjos March 19, 2012

Posted by Skippy in Uncategorized.
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Last Time: Phaedra wants to get her hands on a dead body, NeNe wants to divorce somebody, and Sheree starts shit between some bodies.  Cynthia defends her shitty husband after he treats her sister like a nobody.

We begin with the Supermodel of the World and her geriatric failure of a husband.  He thinks that the stupid one-year anniversary party “went great.”  I guess if you think dissing your wife’s sister is a good thing, then the party went splendidly.  Supermodel doesn’t understand what Mel’s “issue” with their marriage is and claims that she’s done.  She’s also dumb.  Papa Smurf doesn’t understand Mel’s issue with him.  And Supermodel is claiming that Mel caused a scene?  Damn, this woman is dumb, dumb, dumb.

Kandi goes back into the belly of the beast.  She visits the Biermann Manor…and is immediately asked by Lady Kim about what happened.  She wants Lady Kim to know that it was Supermodel who made the crack about holding black babies. They rehearse the music issue and make nice.  Me and you will never part!

Speaking of parting, NeNe visits her lawyers.  Well, they’re lawyers.  I don’t know if they’re her lawyers.  They’ve got some sweet offices overlooking Midtown Atlanta.  Anyway, NeNe has been separated from Gregg for a year and there’s a divorce settlement on the table.  She claims that she’s got a man ready to “scoop her up.” Um, yeah. Whatever. That said, NeNe isn’t sure she wants to divorce Gregg, but the lawyers keep thinking “billable hours,” so they won’t shut up.

Hey, Hot Piece of Ass!  Long time no see!  Anyway, HPoA is going to speak to the Masonic Lodge…about his passage to manhood.  I’m not saying another thing, other than this: fool, DO NOT read while you’re trying to drive, you fucking idiot!  The hell is wrong with you!

Ok, now I have to make fun of this Masonic Lodge.  They’re holding their event at a Picadilly Cafeteria?  Holy mother of Spock, I didn’t know Picadilly Cafeteria still existed!  Clearly, Prince Ayden Adonis ain’t crazy about the choice of venue either, because he smacks Lady Phaedra in the eye and cries.  Anyway, HPoA doesn’t share Phaedra’s “gift of gab.”  No, no he doesn’t.  But he sure is nice to look at. 

Kandi is at some dude named Lil Ronnie’s house.  Oh, so we’re back to this Kandi Goes Country bullshit?  Meh.  But damn, he’s got insane computer equipment.  Looks like the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise.  Kandi’s nervous about working with JoDee Messina.  I truly couldn’t care less. 

It’s Shit By Sheree!  Tierra, Sheree’s sensible child, visits.  She’s got a job in television production—good for you!  She’s got news for Sheree…Tierra’s boyfriend Damon might propose! This, for some reason, does not make Sheree happy.  It should—they’ve been dating for seven years!  Sheree basically shit-talks marriage.  Yeah, Tierra, I don’t think your mother is the best person to talk to concerning marriage. 

Speaking of idiots talking, Mel stops by Supermodel’s fugaboo agency.  She wants to apologize to Supermodel before she jets off to France, but Supermodel wants a pound of flesh.  Mel explains that when she sees Papa Smurf, she sees failure, but Supermodel wants to make digs on Mel’s man. “You are in my shadow, get it, bitch?”  That’s basically what Supermodel says.  She interviews that Mel is acting like a “hater.”  Supermodel is one dumb, dumb, foolish child. 

Prince Ayden Adonis is turning one!  More importantly, Apollo is shirtless.  More stupidly, the Lady Phaedra decides to have the baby’s first birthday party two hours away. 


And why the hell is Dwight there? 

The Lady Phaedra has twelve cakes presented to a one year old who couldn’t give a flying shit.  Sheree: “Now, who gon’ eat all that damn cake?”

Lawrence tries to talk sense to the Concubine.  It fails.  Commercials.

Ok, so now Sheree meets Damon the Boyfriend to grill him and present incontrovertible evidence that she will be a meddlesome mother-in-law.  I feel badly for Damon.  The minute he makes ANY mistake, she will be all up in Tierra’s grill and telling her that he ain’t no good.  Their only hope is to move far, far away from Sheree.  I’m just sayin’ 

We’re back in Nashville at JoDee Messina’s recording studio and…zzzzzzzzzz.  Oh, I’m sorry.  I fell asleep there for a few hours.  Anyway, when I wake up, Kandi is telling us something we already fucking know: there aren’t a lot of black country singers or producers.  JoDee sings the song that Kandi wrote about money growing on trees and then tells her that she wants to sing the song live in front of people.  It makes Kandi nervous.  Still don’t care. 

NeNe sees a therapist!  ‘Bout damn time. 

Oh, GOD. We’re back in fucking Nashville and now we’re at the Bluebird Café.  Pardon me for not giving a shit about this.  Anyway, they sing and they sing and then the episode is over. 


Real Housewives of Atlanta: Let the Dead Bury the Dead March 12, 2012

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Last Time: Africa might have been “life-changing,” but the Ladies Who Lunch came back to DRAAAMAAA!
We begin with the Lady Kim at the Biermann Estate as she tries desperately to maintain order and decorum in the home. Her slave assistant “Sweetie” is shiftless and trifling. What does this dynamic remind me of?

Fig. 1: Oh, yeah. This.

Our dear, put upon Kim reminds the viewer that she and her slave assistant have more of a friendship instead of a working relationship. Well, look who’s gotten all brand new since she landed a football player?

The Lady Kim bemoans her troubled home to her wig stylist. The slave assistant didn’t register the young ladies of the estate for school! She took too long to get food! She’s been rude to the young ladies of the manor! The Lady Kim is distracted to pieces and does not know what she must do! Oh, the dilemma. The wig stylist agrees: the slave assistant must be manumitted!

Speaking of brand new, Phaedra—who I’m really warming to—visits Willie Watkins’ Funeral Home (bet they’re loving this free publicity!) to get instruction on how to embalm and make-up a corpse. Phaedra names her model corpse “Anna Belle” and says she can’t wait to get her hands on a real corpse.

At Chez NeNe, Ne’er Do Well Bryson has been released from jail. She leaves it to Gregg to try to talk to him. He asks why he shoplifted. This boy is ten pounds of fucking stupid in a two-pound sack. He says that he needs to stop making dumb decisions, but that ain’t moving Gregg or NeNe. Idiot Bryson claims that he wants to “own a restaurant.” This boy is dumb. D-U-M-B. NeNe notes that if the divorce goes through, Gregg won’t be there for Idiot Bryson and Brent. NeNe says that it’s time for Idiot Bryson to move out—she’s tired of yelling and screaming at him.

Oh, hell, I guess we had to visit the Lady Cynthia and her Old Man, Papa Smurf. He’s planning their one-year anniversary, which, by the way, they’re over budget. Papa Smurf tells Lady Supermodel that “the type of people they roll with” expect for a one-year anniversary party to be ridiculously expensive…which is why he might have to borrow money from her. Here we go with the stupidity of new money. Oh, and he also doesn’t want Supermodel’s Not-Really-Evil Sister Mal in the car with them. Gee, I wonder what this evening’s drama will be?

Oh, hai, Mal! She’s back in town and ready for DRAAMAA! She tries to ask some sense into her stupid sister’s head, but we’ve heard this song before, haven’t we? She flat-out calls Papa Smurf an “asshole,” which pisses off the Lady Cynthia, so she strikes back by telling her she can’t ride in the limo. DRAAMAA!

Papa Smurf is on the phone, yelling at The Limo Company…because the limo ain’t there! Oh, no! Y’know, I think they might be putting a bit too much into this one-year anniversary party business.

THE FESTIVITIES BEGIN! All the C and D-List stars of Atlanta are there, clamoring for free food and camera time. Only thing is, there isn’t much food. At least there’s plenty of cheap booze! The Lady Supermodel is having her weave styled, and it makes her look like Dracula and Cleopatra Jones had a supermodel lovechild. NeNe shows up, wearing a hideous outfit and trying to show off, but the men are NOT impressed. As NeNe sidles up to Marlo the Concubine, they begin squealing and schmoozing each other. Just in view is a tastefully dressed woman who smirks and gives them the most awesome side-eye ever. If I were at that party, she and I would be shit talking the HELL out of NeNe and the Concubine…who happens to not be with the afflicted football player anymore. Oh, no, children, she’s “traded up,” which in the parlance of this show seems to mean “she’s now dating a white guy.” NeNe, who claims to be also dating a white man (O RLY?) interviews, “White is right, and I think it’s great.” I can’t even with that statement, because the DRAAMAA begins with the entrance of the Wicked Sister and Mother. The Evil Mother flat-out says she didn’t think Supermodel and Papa Smurf would make it a whole year…she’s “excited” that they made it, but immediately begins shit-talking Papa Smurf. Lady Supermodel claims that this $10,000 one-year anniversary party was a “small budget.” Bitch, that’s foolish.

Speaking of foolish, the Concubine explains why she isn’t with the afflicted football player, even though it’s not really much of an explanation. I’ve got a theory: New Dude has more money than Old Dude.

Sheree arrives…and shit ain’t far behind. Lawrence wants to get the tea from the Concubine about her dropping the F-bomb in South Africa…and the Concubine lies through her teeth. Straight up lies. Bitch, IT’S ON TAPE. Lawrence is not buying the shit that the Concubine is selling.


Kandi notes that Sheree loves to throw people under the bus…but won’t woman up and say straight up that the Concubine said the shit she said.

But back to the main shit of the evening, Papa Smurf straight up disses Malorie in front of everyone. See, new money. He has no class whatsofuckingever. Malorie is in tears. Does Cynthia apologize? Tell Papa Smurf he needs to get his ass in check? NO. Malorie tells Cynthia that she needs to stop taking up for that overbearing asswipe. And she does, cause that? Was some bullshit.

Real Housewives of Atlanta: Shit Stirring by Sheree March 5, 2012

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Last Time: The ladies went to Africa and all was well in the world…until Cynthia and Kandi shit-talked Kim. DRAMA!

DAMMIT, these heffas are still in South Africa! But it’s their last day, so I should probably schedule my coronary for later. Lady Marlo inveigles some poor woman to help pack her luggage. NeNe thinks the ladies who do not care for Lady Marlo are “petty.” Cynthia and Kandi discuss the events of the prior evening, thus setting up the drama for tonight’s installment. Kandi is concerned that Sheree is putting her on “front street.” I did not realize ladies of such breeding used such common language.

Lady Marlo’s indentured servant is still packing, but is soon inveigled by the Lady NeNe to help pack her items. The Ladies are serenaded on their way out, and the Lady Phaedra notes that one must do more than “superficial things.” The Lady Sheree notes that the Africans are just “happy to be alive.” She’s learned so much. The Lady Cynthia says that petty things don’t matter…at least until they get back to the United States.

Back at the Biermann Manor, the Lady Kim is trying to find a nanny of sufficient class and breeding. She has two housekeepers, but the Manor needs so much more help. It’s so difficult to find good help, as the Lady Kim is finding out. She is distraught that Sweetie is sunbathing. Such is the life of the 1%.

At the Lady Cynthia’s estate, we are treated to a complaint about flying first-class. Lord Peter is helping Noelle with homework—they don’t have someone for that? At any rate, the Lady Cynthia has brought gifts…for Noelle. Lord Peter doesn’t get shit, but he still tells the Lady Cynthia that he is planning a celebration for their one-year anniversary. Certainly, this will occur without ANY problems.

Speaking of problems, the Lady NeNe’s ne-er do well son Bryson has been arrested, leading Lord Peter to spout some misogynistic bullshit about a man needing a man to raise him. Shut up, Papa Smurf.

I do not like Mama Joyce’s wig. Kandi tries to explain to Mama Joyce that Sheree is a shit-stirrer and that Kim ain’t a racist. Kandi does not want to have a falling out with Sheree or Kim. Dear, what is a season of the Real Housewives WITHOUT a falling out?

Anyway, we return to the Biermann Manor as the Lady Kim relates her sudden problems with Sweetie the Assistant and Kandi to Kendra the Interior Decorator…who also happens to be the woman from whom she and Kroy’s Fine Ass are leasing the house. IT’S A LEASE?!?

Fig. 1: Mmm, hm.

And what does the Lady Kim do that she needs an assistant?

The Ladies Phaedra and Kandi drive through Buckhead and discuss moving on up to the East Side. They want to see how the Lady Sheree’s new palatial and modern estate is coming along…
…it isn’t.

At the Biermann Manor, the Lady Sheree arrives to discuss the excursion to South Africa. Lady Kim buys Sheree’s lies hook, line and sinker. She minimizes her role in the shit-talking about Kim. Phaedra and Kandi arrive. Phaedra: “Lord have mercy, I know before the end of this lovely luncheon somebody is gonna bring up something about this black baby shenanigans and I’m gonna have to relive another episode of foolery.” Yep, pretty much.

Lord Peter got a prescription for Viagra. COMMERCIALS. He wants to throw a lavish party, but doesn’t bring his checkbook. The party planner is all, “Fuck a bunch of THIS.” Speaking of, the Lady NeNe refuse to bail ne’er do well Bryson out of jail—she says it’s time to show him “tough love.” Lord Peter implores her to bail him out. He’s an idiot. Shut up, fool.

Anyway. Back at the Biermann (LEASED) Manor, the Ladies who lunch and lease discuss the trip to South Africa. A tense silence ensues…and then Sheree-induced hell breaks loose. Kandi tries to explain “what really happened,” but Sheree will have none of this. Facts? Not in Sheree’s world! Phaedra ain’t even bothering…until Kandi asks her to weigh in as a neutral party. Kandi notes that there’s no use in trying to deal with Sheree. Kim claims that Sheree is a friend—a friend who pulls weave and talks shit.

Real Housewives of Atlanta: A Golddigging Fantasy February 27, 2012

Posted by Skippy in Real Housewives.
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Gather ’round, children!

Once upon a time, there was a golddigger named Kim. She was the fairest in all the land of Atlanta. Her boobs were spectacular, but alas, they were not real. Her flaxen hair was the best that could be provided by Kim’s House of Wigs. She desperately wanted to be loved and showered with gold and baubles. She thought that her prince had come in the form of a married dude named Big Poppa. Alas, she was wrong. Our golddigger also wanted fame, so she thought that that ship had come in the form of a dalliance with another woman. But alas, that was not to last.

Then, one magical evening, Big Poppa dropped our golddigger off at a ball. An elegant ball attended by everyone in the land. And then, like a ray of light shining through dark clouds, a handsome, young, fine-assed football player named Sir Kroy appeared. Did I mention that he was a football player? For the Atlanta Falcons? CHA-CHING! I mean, LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT!

Our golddigger was happy! However, the road to true gold must be paved, and what better pavement than a baby. Thus it was, our golddigger got seriously knocked up by the Fine Ass of Sir Kroy. In the land of Atlanta, that’s called “taking it slow.” And thus it was, in the due course of time, our golddigger delivered unto the world a little bundle of gold—I mean, joy. Everyone in the land marveled at how fair Prince Kroy Jagger Biermann was, including Kim’s really creepy dad, Joe. I mean, seriously. Dude also made a boob joke about his daughter and later commented on said daughter’s sex life with the Fine Ass of Kroy. Freak.

Anyway, our goldigger’s happiness was to be made more complete when she and Sir Kroy moved into the Biermann Estate. The Lady Brielle did not realize that Sir Kroy wouldn’t be the pushover that her mother is and would require that she contribute to the well-being of Biermann Manor. Sir Kroy also revealed unto our golddigger that he likes firearms and chopping wood, things that the Lady Kim found déclassé. Not willing to disturb connubial bliss, our dear golddigger took up shooting. All was happy. For a time.

The unconfined happiness of the Biermann Estate was to be interrupted by the horror that is Sir Kroy’s job. Seriously, this show treats Kroy going off to NFL training camp like he’s going to Afghanistan. Anyway, this fairy tale is not over, as Bravo wants ratings gold in the form of a show revolving entirely around the Lady Kim’s wedding to Sir Kroy. Everyone in the land shall watch and be entertained!

Real Housewives of Atlanta: Same Screeching, Different Country February 20, 2012

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Last Time: Screeching chickens screeched in South Africa. NeNe wasn’t one of the screeching chickens. They saw animals and engaged in a bit of “philanthropy,” thus reinforcing the view of “Africa” as a benighted wasteland full of wildlife and poor black people. FUN!
The ladies ever so demurely sit down to take tea. However, there is no tea, so they drink white wine. I’m certain it is only the best that South Africa has to offer. As they take tea—I mean, wine, they reflect on the absolute blessing it is to Be An American and their burden to bring toilet paper to all the brown children in the world. Phaedra believes that this is a bonding moment and that the recent unpleasantness will soon be behind them.

She also believes that it is her duty to serve as a cultural ambassador, for not all of the ladies share her pedigree. Thus, she takes them to a museum based on Xhosa culture. The burden of enlightenment is such a heavy one! They meet a sangoma—an herbalist. He mentions bones, which offends the delicate sensibilities of our dear Phaedra. She wishes she had her holy oil and prayer cloth, for this ritual is not what proper women partake of. The sangoma tries to read Kandi and the Concubine, but since this ceremony doesn’t have a label attached to it, she really cannot be interested. Sangoma tells Sheree she is too old and will not get married. It’s in the bones. This is turning out to be a most decidedly uncomfortable cultural encounter.

The Concubine ever so gracefully shows the ladies all the sedate shoes and purses she brought. She brought 29 pairs of shoes. I’m gratified she was able to show such restraint. Over tea—I mean, wine, the ladies who lunch chat about providing domestic bliss. Carnal domestic bliss. Cynthia thinks the ladies are beginning to bond, but the Concubine and Kandi start a little tete-a-tete. Kandi finds the continued discussion of labels and brands déclassé. NeNe defends the Concubine’s honor, but the Concubine will not be defended! She LOVES FASHION! She loves it so much, she gets sick the next day. But, being a proper lady of breeding, she does not wish to go to an “African doctor.” She cannot go on safari. Cynthia: “I guess it’s gonna be a pretty quiet safari.” Phaedra thinks the sangoma put a hex upon the Concubine!

Julius the Patient takes the ladies—minus NeNe and the Concubine—on yet another safari. This affords “the Smalls” an opportunity to sway Cynthia to their noble cause. Kandi notes that Cynthia and she have similar backgrounds of proper breeding and taste. Sadly, it’s that which the Concubine lacks. How can she be so déclassé? Cynthia interviews that she feels The Smalls are more inviting. She and Kandi cannot visualize their dear absent Kim holding a poor black benighted baby in a poor, benighted orphanage. Surely this will not soon become a point of contention! As the ladies lunch, NeNe arrives, concerned that the Smalls will take the opportunity to convert Cynthia. This is a very war for Cynthia’s soul!

NeNe did not come to Africa to engage in distasteful conversation about a lady and is thus nonplussed with all of this unladylike talk about the Concubine. Why, obsessive concern about labels is perfectly normal, says Cynthia, to the surprise of the Smalls, who were convinced that they had convinced Cynthia of the error of her ways. Kandi: “She clearly has a different opinion when NeNe is around.”

The Smalls call Kim, so concerned are they for her welfare. Kim is doing her best to manage the Biermann estate. She reminisces about past unpleasantness with NeNe, but the subject soon turns to whether or not Kim would have come in the first place. Kandi is none too pleased with Sheree’s revelation to Kim of what Kandi and Cynthia said during the safari. Kim, reeling from these revelations, discusses this development with the help—I mean, her personal assistant, Sweetie. This does not bode well for future events.
As the ladies sit down to dinner, Kandi would like to discuss the recent conversation with Lady Kim. NeNe is quite amused by this: “So y’all had to get back and report to your boss?” Sheree would prefer that Kandi pull her aside and discuss this with her in private, as all ladies of proper taste and breeding do. But then, the conversation turns to the Concubine’s obsession with labels, but none of the other ladies will support Kandi in her correct observations. Cynthia notes that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Well, Lady Cynthia, if you’d had an ounce of a spine, perhaps things would have been different.

Real Housewives of Atlanta: Black Women’s Burden February 13, 2012

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Last Time: Marlo the Concubine took this opportunity to show her homophobic ass and begin squawking like a beweaved bird. Sheree followed suit.

Hey, we’re still in Africa. South Africa, that is. We seem to have picked up right where we left off, so I’m checking out until these chickens start speaking English again. Phaedra: “I rebuke the Devil.” Ha! Sheree’s friend is apparently a loud homosexual who rents out humans to play with fire. Sheree’s loud homosexual friend also knows a lot of hot people, such as Vince. He’s from Botswana. Vince from Botswana can totally get it. He claims to know who Xscape was, and that totally flatters Kandi. That means we must now start talking about sex. Sheree thinks that Kandi might finally get laid. But Kandi’s all “He doesn’t even have a job.” So no Kandi Koated Nights for you, Vince from Botswana!

Meanwhile, the Concubine, Cynthia and NeNe go to Nobu. A restaurant. Cynthia is disappointed, because she wanted to hang out in the bush. She is also surprised and insulted that the Concubine dropped the word “faggot.” NeNe is likewise chagrined. Maybe it’s a growth moment for our NeNe!

All the ladies make it to Jade. A nightclub. Because you can’t do that in the States! The Concubine gives Sheree the finger and starts making Euros rain. Kandi: “She wants to entice Sheree into something.” Kandi and Phaedra wisely start picking up all them Euros.

Y’all, this was only the FIRST DAY.

The next day, the ladies are quite exhausted, as they spent all night partying. Poor ladies. They make it to a game reserve to see animals. Dumb Concubine wants to know if this luxury game reserve does hair and make-up. Phaedra: “Get over yourself!” The Concubine whines about closet space. The ladies have to dip their delicate hands in a bowl to choose their rooms. Phaedra is thrilled that the Concubine is in the room she least wanted to be in.

The next day, Cynthia is ready to go. Where are the rest of you bitches ladies! Cynthia is ready to see South Africa! Because she’s been there before! And she is not a labelwhore, like NeNe and Concubine! Oddly, Sheree claims she isn’t one, either. I guess she can’t afford to be. Concubine name drops brands like a twenty year old.

So, the ladies safari and see animals. Well, they try to. Poor Cynthia is stuck with the Concubine and NeNe. She’s embarrassed and thinks they’re acting childish. I’d totally want to hang with Phaedra and Kandi. Their tour guide picks up some elephant dung and explains its medicinal properties. Sheree, Kandi, and Phaedra don’t appear convinced.

For some reason, this vacation involves a trip to an orphanage. I wonder why. Would this have something to do with social awareness? Phaedra wants to show them “the other side of Africa.” Ever notice how none of the other Real Housewives shows have such shows when the women go invade another country? Anyway, schoolchildren entertain the ladies and the ladies buy a ton of supplies for the school and the orphanage. Somewhere along the way, this turned into a Very Special Episode of The Amazing Race. We’ll be back to drama, screaming, and acting foolish next week.

Saying Goodbye to Whitney February 12, 2012

Posted by Skippy in Music, Observations.
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Yesterday, Whitney Houston died. When I found out, I was shocked—even more so than when I found out about Michael Jackson or Amy Winehouse’s deaths. Both of those singers’ untimely deaths were shocking and saddening. However, they didn’t hit me the way Whitney’s passing did. I followed the news and the tributes springing up on my Facebook newsfeed, and over the course of the evening, I grew sadder and sadder, feeling as though I had lost a loved one. It might seem strange to say this, but I felt like a part of my childhood had died. That’s a rather hoary cliché, but I think it’s quite apropos.

Growing up a black, poor, gay, socially awkward nerd in a place like Tulsa, Oklahoma in the 1980s was difficult–at best. At worst, it was occasionally unbearable. The only awareness about homosexuality came via Reagan’s America: in other words, we were vectors of plague and immorality. To be sure, I was a good church boy, a good son, and a good student—it was what was expected of me. But I felt lonely, isolated—like an outcast. There was this part of me that I couldn’t really define or understand. From every angle, I was told that I wasn’t even supposed to like that part of me; and, like a good churchgoing son and student, I didn’t. This was before YouTube and “It Gets Better” and Gay-Straight Alliances. There were no advocates for gay and lesbian youth in the Tulsa Public School system in the 1980s. And there was no advocate for gays in either the church or my home or in the impoverished neighborhood that surrounded me.

I had probably heard Whitney’s first two singles, but paid them little attention; however, it was her cover of “The Greatest Love of All” that grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. It was a song that got into my bones. The lyrics and the passion with which Whitney sang them made me think that I could eventually love myself. To be sure, there wasn’t anything in the song that explicitly affirmed being gay. However, it really spoke to my sense of estrangement and alienation and, in a way, told me that things do get better—if I trusted myself. It would take a while longer for me to actually internalize that message, but I think that hearing this song was a start. Because “secular” music was forbidden at home, I would wait until my mother had gone to sleep so I could watch a music video program in hopes of catching the video for the song. The video itself was a visual representation of what I hoped would be a life beyond those present circumstances.

Soon enough, I got out of the ‘hood, went to college, and eventually came out. I was still a big fan of Whitney’s, but “The Greatest Love of All” receded into the background, replaced by deep house music and acid jazz and neo-soul R&B. Her newer material didn’t move me the way her earlier work had. In the meantime, Whitney had become a punchline, a sad joke in the wake of her drug use, tumultuous marriage to Bobby Brown, and declining career. People like Kelly Price, Faith Evans, and Mariah Carey had supplanted Whitney. And then there was Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and current mega-star Beyoncé Knowles. I’d lament the loss of the old Whitney—or, as I would call her, “pre-crack Whitney.” I’d put Whitney’s songs on my iPod and iPhone, but as part of a “Very Best of” playlist. I’d play “Saving All My Love” and “You Give Good Love,” but hardly ever play “The Greatest Love of All.”

Now, she’s gone. And for the first time in a long, long while, I put the song on. I had forgotten what that song meant to me—it was an anthem of self-affirmation, perseverance, and survival. And it reminded me of why I love music. Songs like this spoke to me in a way that few other things in my life did. And I thought about the person I think I’ve become and how, when I’d listen to the song or see the video, I hoped to be the kind of person who could rely on himself and “never walk in anyone’s shadow.” I think I have become that—and the tears I shed today were for that past that Whitney’s version of “The Greatest Love of All” got me through.

So today, I am mourning Whitney Houston’s death. I am mourning the loss of such a phenomenal voice that could turn ordinary lyrics into classics. I feel like Whitney’s death signaled the death of another part of my past—and while I’m glad that I am the person I want to be, part of me will always miss that past when Whitney’s songs were new and fresh and her voice harbored the promise of better tomorrows.

Rest in peace, Whitney.

Real Housewives of Atlanta: Crazy People Squawking in South Africa January 30, 2012

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Last Time: All these bitches acted like they wanted to go to Africa. Except Kim. What’s up with that? Marlo the Concubine backdoors her criminal ass into the show. Then they go to Africa. The whole damn continent.

They’re flying. And yes, they’re going to South Africa. We get a lot of in-flight shit. I would hate to be in first-class with these women. I’d have to have some Bose headphones. But they and their metric ton of luggage make it to South Africa without major incident. Cue vaguely African music! Kandi does wonder if these bitches have any common sense. Short answer: NO.

NeNe has no idea that Cape Town would look like a city, and Marlo the Concubine hates sharing bathrooms. Well, the Concubine must really have hated being in the clink, then. She must have hated it each and every one of the seven times she got arrested. Phaedra notes that the Concubine should have planned her own damn trip so she could have her own fucking bathroom. The Concubine proceeds to try to give etiquette lessons. Remember, this bitch was NOT EVEN INVITED. Oh, wait. She probably was…by Bravo.

They get to their luxury apartments and it turns into America’s Next Top Model. Ladies, choose your rooms! The poor concierge then has to deal with the Concubine asking all sorts of stupid fucking shit. Ugly American? Thy name is Marlo Hampton.
Kandi’s about sick and damn tired of the Concubine’s attempts to “erase her past.” Well, Phaedra will not be outdone! She knows the King! Of what, I don’t fucking know. She got everyone a gift…well, everyone except the Concubine. Well, that’s what you get for getting casually plus-one’d, says Phaedra. To add to it, Sheree knows someone who is throwing a party, and she’s going. So is Kandi. And so is Phaedra. Oops. AWKWARD!

Oh, hai, Kim! Blah blah blah, stuff happens that isn’t remotely interesting. I hate Kim’s father. He’s creepy. Kim begins whining about her “assistant.” Bitch, shut up.

Back in South Africa, the women go on a boat. Phaedra notes that, Kandi excluded, the other women have no interest in discussing politics or South Africa’s history…because they probably don’t know it. We’ll have none of that, when there’s drama to be had! And we do, courtesy of the Concubine, of course. Will no one put this heffa in her place?

Ok, I’m’a say this: I like Sheree, Kandi, and Phaedra. The Cynthia-NeNe-Concubine triumvirate is just a black hole of stupidity and vapidity. Sheree invites Cynthia to the Friend Dinner…but not NeNe and the Concubine. And why should she? Anyway, Cynthia goes run-tell-dat to NeNe and the Concubine. NeNe stupidly says that Sheree could have invited the Concubine. Again, why should she? Showing her classiness, Concubine busts up in Sheree’s spot is all “Why ain’t you invite me?”

Oh, this bitch goes there: “That’s why you don’t have a man. Go and hang with them faggots with your ugly stupid ass. Fuck you, bitch.” Don’t believe me? WATCH:

Fig. 1: Diary of a Bunch of Crazy Heffas.

Rant time, children! Look, Marlo, you useless-assed concubine. I realize that Bravo knows that you are a ratings goldmine. You’re loud, stupid, delusional, and desperate to grab on to any kind of fame. You have a checkered past that makes a Bravo executive salivate. But bitch, when you drop the f-bomb, know that the children will NOT be lining up to support you. Please know, you troglodyte that we “faggots” have more class in our little fingers than you do in your entire body—trite weave included. You aren’t even a flash-in-the-pan, and you aren’t due fifteen minutes of fame. You’re trying to give people lessons on etiquette, but don’t have enough common sense to not invite yourself along for a trip to South Africa and you for damn sure don’t have enough decency to not complain once you get there! Check yourself, please.

Real Housewives of Atlanta: “Shaping Up and Shipping Out” January 23, 2012

Posted by Skippy in Real Housewives, Uncategorized.
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Children, I know I missed a week. Life has been busy, but watching this week’s installment, it’s clear that I haven’t missed a thing.

This won’t be so much as a recap as a bit of a rant about the proceedings. The framing device for this episode is a trip to “Africa.” Apparently, Phaedra has organized this trip–and I have no idea what that actually means. Anyone with two partially-functional brain cells knows that Bravo’s footing the bill for this. That doesn’t bug me nearly as much as the repeated invocation of going to “Africa.” They talk as though Africa is some undifferentiated whole. The women keep mentioning lions and safari and other stereotypical shit that you know they wouldn’t mention if they were going to, say, England. Cynthia mentions South Africa, so I can only assume that that is indeed where they’re going.

Speaking of Cynthia, she apparently inveigles NeNe to come along. The producers had nothing to do with that, I’m sure, just as I’m sure they didn’t bother to get Kim to go. They’re saving that dogwhistle for next week. Of course, NeNe says yes. What’s a trip to “Africa” without some damn drama? So NeNe does what any reasonable person does: she invites Marlo the Concubine along for the trip. And, of course, the Concubine says yes.

Let’s talk about the Concubine for a moment, shall we? There’s a little bit in which NeNe goes to visit Marlo the Concubine with a rap sheet longer than this recap. Remember, NeNe has described the Concubine as “high society,” as was allegedly displayed during the “Captain Planet” jewelry “charity” auction. Anyway, you’d think that someone as “high society” as the Concubine would be living in a Buckhead high-rise or in a palatial manor on Cascade Road.

No. This useless wretch lives in a tackily over-decorated townhouse. As the Concubine drags NeNe through the house, she shows NeNe every bit of nouveau riche bullshit. Again, this is all designed to put NeNe in her place. If NeNe foolishly thinks she’s high-society, well, Marlo’s going to go the extra mile to let Ms. Leakes know that she is not, in fact, hot shit.

Well, guess what, Concubine? Neither are you. Sure, you can show off a high-tech security system, designer furniture and a closet chock-full of designer shoes, but all this is garish “new money.” She–and I’d probably say the majority of the cast–don’t have anything the form of real money. Outside of Phaedra and Kandi, all I see are tacky homes, tacky clothes, and a pretense at wealth. Also, it’s a pretense which will quickly fall apart.

Anyway, off to Africa! The ladies are all at Hartsfield…when Marlo shows up. Watching the looks on their faces was priceless. Phaedra didn’t appear to bother to conceal her disdain at the Concubine’s arrival. Looks like next week should be quite interesting.

T&A In Comics: A Rant January 22, 2012

Posted by Skippy in Comics, Rants, Sexuality.
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Children, look at this image of X-person Psylocke:

Fig. 1: Chiropractors in the comic book world must be insanely rich.

Jesus H. Tebowing Christ from Vulcan. This is an image taken from Generation Hope #15. The woman with her tits and ass in such an absurd, spine-breaking position is supposedly X-person Psylocke. THIS is why we need more women artists and writers. I guarantee that you’d NEVER see Wolverine or Cyclops drawn wearing butt-floss and arching their posteriors like that. You’d NEVER see Spider-Man drawn thrusting his throbbing package in your face (well, you won’t see that in the mainstream comics–I can’t speak for what you’ll find in the form of fan art)*.
*warning: link is NSFW

As others have pointed out, if mainstream comics drew male superheroes the way female superheroes are drawn, fans (largely fanboys) would lose their shit. CNN would likely do at least one report on the sexualization of comic book heroes. Ever noticed how Batman, Superman, Thor, Spider-Man, etc., etc., are always fully-clothed? Ever noticed how most male superhero costumes are functional in some way? Granted, they are designed to be skin-tight and accentuate the exaggerated musculature, but never will you ever see an exaggeration of their crotch. Never. You will also never see a male superhero designed so that he is bare-chested, unless he’s Tarzan or Conan.

Folks, male comic book artists need to come into the 20th century and get it right. Even more so, the major companies (Marvel and DC) need to get it right. It might have been cute at one point to draw women that way, but holy mother of Spock, come on.