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Skippy’s Got Some Words About “The Help” August 7, 2011

Posted by Skippy in Black folks, Observations, Popular Culture, Racism, Rants.
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Fig. 1: The White Lady’s Burden

I’ve seen commercials for this movie every time I turn on the television. I’d heard about the book, but then when I heard they were making this book into a movie, I knew this would be yet another in a long line of movies that revolve around The White Man’s Burden and/or The Magical Negro.


Figs. 2 & 3: Hollywood loves this shit.

Hollywood loves crap like this because it allows producers of this tripe to think that they’re being all liberal and shit. What pisses me off about “The Help” is that the black women in the movie become the vehicle by which The White Lady achieves self-actualization. To me, it’s the rankest form of Hollywood racism; shitfilms like this make Hollywood whites feel good about themselves (“Look at us! We’re so liberal, we made a movie about them darkies the African Americans and how we helped them not be so backward/forgotten/mistreated! We’re awesome! Let’s give us an Oscar!”); at the end of the day, the movie isn’t about African Americans at all. These movies wind up being about white people…and their burden.


Fig. 4: Starring Emma Stone and a bunch of Black women!

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Why Did I Watch “Why Did I Get Married, Too”? June 20, 2011

Posted by Skippy in Movies, This Week In Netflix.
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SPOILER ALERT: The below missive will have many spoilers. If you do not wish to know major “plot” points of this movie, discontinue reading.

The “joy” of watching a Tyler Perry movie is knowing that I will not get anything other than a treacly, self-indulgent, badly written and directed two-hour tour de force of misogynistic tripe. So, Perry’s thoroughly unnecessary follow up to 2007’s “Why Did I Get Married?” completely fulfilled me. And by “fulfilled,” I mean “It enraged me to the point of apoplexy.” How his movies haven’t been brought before the Hague on charges of human rights violations is beyond me.

Anyway, so we return to the stupidly sordid world of four self-absorbed bourgeois African American couples and watch as they spout platitude-laden dialogue that could have been written by Oprah Winfrey or Deepak Chopra. This time, the stupid, self-absorbed bourgeois Buppies are jetting off to the Caribbean for their annual marriage retreat. Must be nice to go to the fucking Caribbean for a marriage retreat. Mind you, the first one was pretty fucking disastrous, so nothing says “smart” like doing the same damn thing again, right?


Fig. 1: Yeah, because these retreats are nothing but success!

You’d also think that these fools wouldn’t have much to be all angsty about after the first movie, right? Well, in order for there to be a second movie, Perry has to completely wipe away any character development that occurred in the first one. Angela (Tasha Smith), the Loud, Angry Black Woman has returned—if you remember, she supposedly had calmed the fuck down and had quit drinking. Well, not this time! She’s back, and louder and angrier than before. Her husband Marcus (Michael Jai White) is still cowed by her—the only difference is that now he has a job as an on-air personality (a job that Angela nearly gets him fired from). Gavin (Malik Yoba) and Pat (Janet Jackson) are still the picture-perfectly fucked up couple…and the death of their kid that you thought they had worked through in the first movie is still tearing them up. I guess Gavin wasn’t strong enough for the both of them. Terry (Tyler Perry) and Dianne (Sharon Leal) appear to be the picture of happiness…until we find out that Dianne is “emotionally cheating” on Terry. And finally, we have Sheila (Jill Scott) and Troy (Lamman Rucker), whose marriage is floundering because, at Sheila’s insistence, the couple has moved to Atlanta and Troy can’t find a job. Oh, and Snidely Blacklash (or, Mike, as he’s played by Richard T. Jones) returns, because he has a timeshare in the Caribbean and just happens to be there at the same time as the four buppie couples.

After yet another disastrous bit of sharing during which Pat announces to the group that she and Gavin are getting divorced, everyone abruptly returns to their fucked up lives. I won’t even bother with the tedious details of their stupid storylines, because they can all be summed up thusly: the marriages are all fucked up because these Black women are evil and will do evil shit. Let’s examine this, shall we?

Angela: Loud, obnoxious, abrasive, emasculating. Doesn’t trust “her man.” As of the first movie, she had been “domesticated” so that she had even quit drinking. Now, she’s back on the sauce and is always yelling at Marcus, driving him further and further away. A Good Black Woman would trust her man and not drink, for drinking is the sure sign of an Evil Black Woman.

Sheila: Selfish. Wanted to move to Atlanta, uprooting Troy from his job as a sheriff. His joblessness is all her fault. A Good Black Woman would have let Troy be the Only Black Sheriff in Colorado and not dragged him to the apparently jobless wilderness of Atlanta.

Dianne: Slut. In the first movie, she gets her tubes tied without telling Terry, knowing full well that Terry wanted a boy. Now, she got them untied and the couple has a boy and a girl. Only now, she’s having “an emotional affair” with some dude at work. And because women are more emotional than men, this is worse than having gotten some sweet, sweet lovin’—this wisdom is from the mouth of Terry. What an unbelievable slut. A Good Black Woman would shoot Dianne and then marry Terry and provide him with all the babies he wants.

Patricia: Evil Harpy from Hell. Her emotional disconnect from the death of their cross-eyed kid plus her selfishness leads to her declaring a divorce from Gavin. Further, she tries to hide assets from Gavin, leading to an acrimonious divorce, which ends…in Gavin dying in a fucking car wreck. A Good Black Woman would have taken care to properly strap their cross-eyed kid into the car and would have shared the profits from her book with her deserving husband.

This time around, nobody actually deals with their issues—after Gavin dies, all that happens is Patricia bellowing that everyone should get over their issues. And voila! Everybody does.

What?

Oh, and to add insult to (fatal) injury, a year after Gavin gets pancaked by a rental van, Patricia is introduced to a “wealthy donor”…played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The grin on Patricia’s face was all “Fuck mourning! Helloooooo, Mr. Hottness!”

Y’all, I don’t even.

Guess Who’s Back And Begging For Dollars? (A Hit Dog Hollers, Part 7) April 12, 2011

Posted by Skippy in Black folks, Observations, Religion.
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Fig. 1: Yep. This fool’s back.

Children, I’ve been slacking. I had stopped paying attention to Fake Bishop Eddie Wrong-As-Hell after I heard that the lawsuit against him by four men was going into arbitration. I assumed that we’d hear some tiny little blurb and then he’d agree to pay out millions of dollars and there’d be nothing more to say.

Well, I guess this jheri-wigged charlatan has to get money somehow in order to pay off those boys, because here he is, distorting the Bible in order to get dollars. What’s this foolishness about “calling all men together to pray”? Honey, you know what I call that? A Friday night at Bulldog’s in Midtown, that’s what. He needs to quit it with this foolishness. But unsurprisingly, this arrogant moron will persist in his nonsense and try to take every dollar he can from any and every besotted Atlantan who is silly enough to still be drinking his flavor of Kool-Aid. Reportedly, attendance at his “church” is down and he’s having to lay off people.

I wonder if he’s cut his own salary?

Mmm, hm.

Misery Pimpin’: Imbeciles on Parade April 25, 2010

Posted by Skippy in Black folks, Observations, Popular Culture.
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As I threatened/promised, I would write about this foolishness on ABC “News” that pimped the alleged misery of Black women—and the utter and complete wretchedness of EVERY Black person. Bear with me children and be forewarned: there will be copious amounts of profanity. Trust me, once you watch this unalloyed shit, you’ll be cursing too.

Ok, so let’s set it off, shall we?

The stupid program starts as one might expect it to start: a flurry of stupid statistics that don’t really say anything. According to the moderator, 50% of Black women 30 or older haven’t been married and Black women outnumber Black men in college 2 to 1. The moderator then starts with a question so fucking fallacious, so stupid in its formulation, I wondered if she hadn’t had a hit off of Whitney’s pipe: “Who’s to blame?”

Blame? Blame for what? That there are a lot of single Black women out there? Well, hell, by that logic, there ought to be someone to blame for me being a single Black gay man—it must be someone’s fault!

Well, for the non-response, we turn to this schlub named Jimi Izrael. I bet y’all think I made that name up, didn’t you? If I was making up names, he’d have had a cooler name than that. I’d’ve called him Mortimer Beeblebrox or The Sisko or something like that. As it is, he is allegedly the author of a book called “The Denzel Principle.” No, I didn’t look it up on Amazon, because I really don’t care.

Anyway, Izrael says that Black women are looking for a “Denzel”—a guy who doesn’t exist. He says that Black women’s expectations are “too high”—they all apparently want a man who drives a Maybach. Y’all, I just found out what a fucking Maybach was. I thought it was a species of butterfly or something, not a damn uber-expensive car. But let’s get semi-serious. Look at this Izrael guy. Put him next to Denzel Washington—hell, put him next to a broke-ass Denzel Washington before he was DENZEL!!! and 9 out of 10 heterosexual Black women would choose Denzel. The other Black woman would have died laughing at Izrael’s pathetic presentation.

Fig. 1 If I’d known that getting rich and famous would have required so little competence and intelligence, I would never have gone to school

Sherri Shepherd, that paragon of reason, says that she’s not looking for a Denzel…but she is looking for a guy who loves God and his family and can fix a rotisserie and doesn’t mind seeing her in her natural state, cornrows and all.

Fig. 2 If you can fix this, let Sherri Shepherd know. She’s hungry.

Like I said before, I hate these people. I’m three minutes in to this nonsense and I’m wishing I had a drinking habit. There’s no way that watching this could be tolerable in a sober state.

And Hill Harper’s pseudo-intellectual ass jumps in with some old Michael Eric Dysonish “let’s scare everybody” statistic dropping and saying that it’s all about Saving The Black Family. Because no one—NO ONE in Black America is getting married and having families or anything like that.

Steve Harvey then opened his dumb fool mouth: fellas, did you know that taking out cornrows is not in your DNA? He kept using that word, DNA. It doesn’t mean what he thinks it means. Oh, and our first homophobic slur occurs before the ten minute mark of this landmark piece of bullshit: “If you got a man who can cornrow your hair and take it out, that ain’t your man.” Well, what is he, Steve? What, pray tell, is he? Help me understand, thou guru of Black relationships.

Fig. 3 Trust this man. He knows relationships.

But wait, there’s more! Basically, according to Guru Harvey, Black men don’t have their shit together at 30, while Black women are all about having kids and family at 30. So all you Black guys who I know who were married and had your shit together at 30? You don’t exist. You’re unicorns. Or you’re Barack Obama.

Soon enough, this foolishness turned into a Tavis Smiley-ish clapfest. All the panelists started making points to play to the audience, gain “Amens” and have fools laughing at their witty bon mots. In the meantime, it was the Black women saying that Black men aren’t shit, and the Black men saying that Black women are crazy. It was a Tyler Perry movie if it had been made for C-SPAN.

I’d say I’m glad to be gay, but we’ve got our own issues.

Jacque Reid said that there are a lot of good Black men out there—really? Really? Not to let this shitty show tell it. And not to let y’all on this stupid, shitty panel tell it. Oh, and Hill opens his pretty dumb mouth again: “95% of the women are trying to date 5% of the men” and allegedly vice versa. I’d love to see his statistical model here. Did he conduct a longitudinal study, or did he pull this out of his ass?

And why are these fools acting like only Black men cheat? All this show is doing is trotting out every stereotype of Black men and women, reifying them, and then acting like they’ve discussed something “new.”

Did I mention that I hate these people?

They kept using phrases like “our men” and “our women.” They kept reducing Black men and women to binary oppositions. And then they got all hysterical about interracial dating. Newsflash: Sherri gets personally offended when a Black man dates “outside his race.”

Fig. 4 Every time a Black man dates outside his race, God breaks Sherri Shepherd’s rotisserie.

Y’all know what? I’m done. I got to part 7 of this hot mess and after the contrived bullshit “Taco Bell” story, I had to navigate my browser away from this nonsense. I don’t really care how the rest of this clusterfuck ended.

First of all, why are these people participating in the continued pathologizing of Black people? And why are we so damned receptive to this? Could you imagine if this nonsense had been pitched to ABC News by some White folks with the title “Why Can’t Single White Women Find A Man?” They’d be laughed out the office. Furthermore, this particular bit of racial tomfoolery was supposed to be part of a series called “Face Off,” a series where “opposing sides debate hot topics.”So, from the outset, this foolishness is buying into an antagonistic relationship between Black men and women. These idiots played right into and off of supposed antagonisms between Black folks.

In short, this wasn’t about education, or even reasoned debate about relevant issues. It was buffoonery rooted in centuries of racist, sexist bullshit. It was entertainment masquerading as “knowledge.” Tyler Perry would have been proud.

Fig. 5 I’m Tyler Perry and I approve of this bullshit.

Misery Pimpin’: Prologue April 22, 2010

Posted by Skippy in Black folks, Culture, Humor, Popular Culture.
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So last night, Nightline aired the “Why Can’t A Successful Black Woman Find a Man” misery-fest. I didn’t watch it, as I was busy sleeping. But thanks be to the Interwebz, the one-hour shitfest is preserved in all its ignominious buffoonery–including the question and answer session!

Y’all, I’ve tried to watch this. I’ve tried several times now to start watching this, but I find myself muttering, “Just shut up, you dumbass!” and hitting the pause button. I want to recap this for you and add my own remarks. I really do. However, the few minutes I’ve seen are so full of full-on stupidity, that I fear for what’s left of my sanity should I watch the entire thing.

A few highlights from the five minutes I’ve seen:
* Sherri Shepherd saying that she wants a man who will help her take out her weave. Why doesn’t she marry RuPaul?
* Some lame-ass “author” I’ve never heard of in a too-tight fugly T-shirt and jeans (he couldn’t have been arsed to put on some slacks and a nice shirt? I dress better than that when I go to Wal-Mart!) saying some dumb shit about something.
* Hill Harper is foine and all, but I really don’t want to hear him say diddly about relationships. He’s the Kevin Powell of this generation–saying a lot, but really ain’t saying shit.
* Some fool in the audience who is playing to the camera starts blathering about “what Black men want.” Shut up and read some critical theory, you overdressed dandy. This ain’t a damn job interview.

Anyway, ABC has graciously posted the whole video…in ten parts. They’ve even included subtitles for each part! How kind of them.

Part 1: Sherri Shepherd and Jimi Izrael battle it out over standards and wigs.
Me: REALLY?? Wigs? Who the fuck cares about wigs? Oh, god, I hate you people.

Part 2: Hill Harper argues that misinformation is destroying the black families.
Me: Was this supposed to be self-referential?

Part 3: Izrael says that women need to set some standards when picking a mate.
Me: Wow. I’ve totally misjudged you based on such a stunning argument. Clearly, underneath that too-tight T-shirt, crappy beard and ugly pair of jeans lies the mind of a giant!

Part 4: The topic of fidelity brings out personal testimonies by the panelists.
Me: You know what this means. The women will go on about how some dude done them wrong and how they missed all the signs. It’ll probably sound a lot like Kelly Price’s “Friend of Mine” but less interesting.

Part 5: Steve Harvey argues that men aren’t ever intimidated by female success.
Me: Why the hell is this fool saying ANYTHING about male/female relationships? Seriously.

Part 6: Both sides offer different views on interracial encounters.
Me: “Encounters”? What the damn–? This isn’t “Race Trek: The Next Miscegenation,” you idiots!

Part 7: A past encounter between two panelists brings the audience to their feet
Me: Eyeroll. This sounds like some old minstrel shit.

Part 8: Panelists share their final thoughts as the audience prepares questions.
Me: I wish that I had been there. I’ve definitely got a question or two for them.

Part 9: Audience questions and comments push the panel to their breaking points.
Translation: a couple of panelists got told.

Part 10: Steve Harvey offers final thoughts as the Face-off comes to a close.
Me: Again: why the are you saying anything, Steve Harvey? You are a comedian. And not a terribly funny one at that. You also had a television show in which you–YOU–got the finest woman on the show to “fall in love with you” and put up with your tired, sexist wisecracks, none of which were in the same galaxy as “funny.” Of course, it’s television, so anything can happen there.

So here’s the deal: I’m going to watch this crap this weekend and take notes. I should have a post detailing this racist, sexist trainwreck and the eventual suicide note that I will write after watching this. Of course, Netflix also sent me Tyler Perry’s “I Can Do Bad All By Myself,” so this weekend should be chock full of Black misery!*

*I don’t know why I put that in my Netflix queue. I think I figured that since I was paying for the service, I might as well get TP’s crappy oeuvre out of the way.