What Happened in Connecticut

I was recently invited to perform at the University of Connecticut on November 4th as the principal performer for a “Political Awareness Rally”. About a week before the event I got an email from the organizer, who ironically I met at Occupy Wall St, saying people were concerned about my performance, particularly the song “Occupy (We the 99).”  I thought this was very strange because this is supposed to be an institution of higher learning that welcomes all types of ideas, plus the event was a rally for political awareness. The organizer said he would not censor me, but if I performed it I might not get paid. Then I received an email directly from the comptroller of the Undergraduate Student Government saying specifically I could not perform “Occupy (We the 99).”

(More) Sad Black Girls

Last week, this site featured a trailer for the documentary, Dear Daddy, about young black women who grew up without fathers. In these last few months, it seems to me that documentaries about black women and their relationships to men and their relationship to the standards and mores of larger society have been of interest to documentary filmmakers. There was Bill Duke’s Dark Girls, which I discussed previously; there’s also a new film, Black Girl in Suburbia, whose subject matter I’m sure you can infer from the title. (See each trailer at the bottom of this post.)

NICKI MINAJ and THE FREAKY BOIS: Raunch-Rap As A Weapon

Big Sean’s new video for “Dance (A$$) Remix” is….okay. But Nicki Minaj’s incredibly raunchy guest verse on “Dance (A$$) Remix” is waaaaay better than ok.

Check out the video (NSFW):

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pn1VGytzXus

Minaj has perfected the art of what I’ll call raunch-rap. In a male-dominated genre, she owns her sexuality; declaring her sexual desires frankly and unapologetically, while mocking the public’s obsession with her body. Her performance is a stroke of subversive genius, and it immediately reminded me of YouTube sensations The Freaky Bois; two young gay rappers that spit the nastiest, sleaziest, freakiest raps you’ve ever heard.

Like Nicki, The Freaky Bois achieve more than just shock and awe with these songs. They’re wielding raunchy rap music like a weapon, forcing the listener to grapple with their sexual identities. You can either deal with it, or listen to something else. No compromises. No apologies.

And I love it.

Here’s just a sample of The Freaky Bois’ work (NSFW):

New Web Episode of The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl: Simply Hilarious!!

httpv://youtu.be/miGmVCb9C4U

I have written previously on how much I love the web series, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. The show is original and features a young black woman who navigates her way through seen and unseen awkward situations on her job and in her relationships. Well, I am happy to report that the show is so popular that in a matter of a month, the creator, Issa Rae, and her cast mates where able to raise $44,000 dollars to continue the web series for another 5 weeks with a grand finale.

To read more about her inspirational fundraising story, please read below.

The Reason T-Pain Can Be Sexy; A Critique of Popular Aesthetics Part I

Celebrity, the representation and popularizing of a face, determine our aesthetics—models that our minds, in one sense, refer to when judging a person’s beauty. We can say that the drastic changes in whom and what we find attractive are inspired by the popular surveillance of a specific body.  Upon seeing a face manifest through a television source, a face that overcomes exclusive requirements to be there, a viewer can sufficiently convert their jealousy into praise. Without a doubt, we viewers further a history of valorizing particular persons for their “transcendence” of being average, and in effect view the box-glaring body with lust. I would have no problem with this fanaticism if the value of the person were substantial, yet the appeal of celebrities often comes from the pity we feel for ourselves; for not making it past the bouncer of popular media.

Rethink

I have heard a lot in the media about the Arab Spring being called the “Facebook and Twitter revolutions.” I see this as great in terms of people taking control of technology and using it to create the change they want to see.

However I have a slight beef with Facebook, or rather, Facebook users. The willingness to give up so much private information is a little scary to me. Now I am also a Facebook user so I am critiquing myself as much as anybody, but didn’t people fight for the right to privacy in this country? Why is our generation so eager to share all of our personal data with a corporation like Facebook, who then makes it accessible to other corporations so that they can bombard us with targeted advertisements?

Facebook exploits the human need for social connection, and turns three-dimensional people into two-dimensional consumers.

The Deserving Poor, Welfare and American Dreams

Throughout the historical landscape of the United States a dream has been engrained in a pseudo-American identity. Some call this the American dream; others might refer to it as the American fallacy. Unfortunately, people who experience poverty in the United States very rarely have the opportunity to call this dream a reality. The trajectory of the poor is contextualized inside of a dichotomy. This polarization is two fold: those who are “deserving” and those who are “undeserving.” Furthermore, due to this dichotomous assessment, over the last hundred years the struggle to be considered “deserving” has dictated and been interwoven into policy, public opinion, and political agendas.

What "Do" do We do?

Standing in line at Potbelly’s deli, I hear “Excuse me, but.. I was just wondering what you do to your hair?” About sixteen inches of curly, usually frizzy, untamed, natural madness and somehow women ask me this a few times every week. Sometimes her hair looks just like mine, sometimes it’s heavily processed and looks like it  wants to be treated like mine, and once in awhile she has thin, straight,  blonde hair and a little girl by her side whose outgrowing pigtails.

Herman Cain's 9-9-9 Plan Has 6-6-6 Written All Over It

The number of Beast is a term in the Book of Revelation, of the New Testament, that is associated with the first Beast of Revelation chapter 13, the Beast of the sea. In most manuscripts of the New Testament and in English translations of the Bible, the number of the Beast is 666. Those who dwell on the Earth are deceived into making an image of the Beast as a means to worship his authority. It is the lamb-horned beast who breathes life into the “image of the beast”, so that the image becomes alive and is able to speak. It also declares death to anyone who does not worship the authority of the Beast. (Revelation 13:14-15)

 

While Herman Cain may not be a beauty or a beast, his 9-9-9 Tax Plan is just as surreptitiously deceiving  as the image of the beast. Cain has offered what he calls a simple tax plan to take the place of the current tax code, which he says is too complicated. Cain, a Republican candidate for president, touts a 9-9-9 plan: a 9 percent income tax, a 9 percent sales tax and a 9 percent business tax. When you denude all the masked up talking-points and actually examine the plan at it’s core, it spells Ronald Wilson Reagan sorry I meant 6-6-6.