It’s New Year’s Eve, and tomorrow many of us will start making resolutions we will inevitably break. I don’t make resolutions; I’m also not into composing “Best of…” and “Worst of…” lists mostly because I don’t choose to dedicate my memory to cataloging such things. Since my blogging day has coincided with the event, however, I did take moment to think about a few things that were major in the ‘012 that I hope meet their demise today so that I don’t have to deal them in the ‘013. After the jump, check out the nominees and the winner.
And the nominees are…
  • Being in the Trap — You don’t know what the trap is and you ain’t never been nowhere close to there. So, stop.
  • YOLO — Oh god. Not since Asher Roth have I wanted anything to die a more fast and painful death.
  • The NRA’s deplorable idea of arming teachers and only caring when white kids die by the gun — There were 500 murders in Chicago this year, and that number is comprised of way too many black youth from the city’s south and west sides. Although this is the President’s (second) hometown, he neither shed tear nor held a press conference to address the issue. 260 Chicago school children have died in the last 3 years. Did Mr. President make any promises about gun control? Yeah, no.
What happened in Connecticut was so shocking to folks that the NRA met with the press and, among other things, suggested that teachers bear arms. Genius. At the unfortunate risk of appropriating violent language, this is what we might consider arming teachers with before/instead of guns (and the Common Core State Standards):
  1. Libraries — with books
  2. Classrooms — with, you guessed it, books!
  3. A good salary — pay teachers one-tenth of what those jokers who tanked the economy do. Just a thought.
  4. A non-test-based curriculum — children aren’t standardized. Why should their education be?
  5. Gym, art, music classes — OMG. Enrichment!?!?!?
  6. Politicians who want to create public schools they’d send their own children to — until and unless local, state, and national politicians move from that space, every education policy suggested is absolute garbage. GARBAGE.
And the winner is…
  • Ratchet — I guess over the weekend cats got upset that Beyonce took a picture of herself rocking doorknocker joints that say “Ratchet” and posting them on Instagram. Bey is a lot of things, but ratchet she ain’t. She’s, like, the anti-ratchet. I took a look at the pic this morning and was pretty much like “Oh.” I mean, I really want to give her love for the Houston Rockets cap. Just the other day I was talking about how The Dream is totally slept on as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. But I digress. I guess I’m not really mad at Beyonce because this is what I expect from her. If, for example, Madonna “employing” ball culture for her vogue phase is any indication, this is what divas do: Appropriate from the blacks and the kids and turns that shit into platinum records. Word to Willi Ninja. Beyonce has simply taken that m.o. to the nth degree.
I expect Beyonce to rock “Ratchet” earrings if that, is indeed, the name of a song on her next album. She’s a professional and shameless when it comes to promotion. And you know what? That song will prolly be a banger. But the fact is, once Beyonce does something–rocks it, commodifies it, etc.–it’s too late. It’s already been jacked by folks and put through a strainer so that Bey can serve it to the masses. Bey’s a lot of things, but cutting edge she ain’t.  So in actuality, I want ratchet laid to rest not because Beyonce is using it, but because of those lesser-knowns who came before her.
Black people are awesome employers of the thesaurus. I’m no etymologist or whatever, but my guess is ratchet became necessary around the time white people started calling things “ghetto.” Not that ratchet wasn’t being used before then, but I’m assuming here that the necessity of the term became greater. Ratchet was a pejorative to describe and justify acrimony towards all the ‘hood chicks, the anti-Beyonces, who weren’t at all respectable. And then those same women rescued the term on some, “Yeah I’ll be that,” only to have that attempt arrested by whatever-wave feminists, bourgie folk or whomever else trying to stage interventions or just be cute. Well, it’s not. Embracing, supporting, curating, and claiming “ratchetness” while cloaked in unchecked class, feminism, and respectability while not even bothering to trouble the positions from which such acts are done is bogus. It’s slumming, and if the folks in question were white, we’d call it semantic and voyeuristic hipsterism. And I say all of this fully knowing that I’m talking out of place. But since I’m non-ratchet talking to about other non-ratchets claiming varying levels of ratchet love, I hope I can get a pass.
I have no quarrel with Beyonce. But I do have beef with folks participating in conversations to which they weren’t invited or just straight jacking terms to describe the event of their incredibly basic lives. Your brunch order ain’t ratchet; neither is your tweet. Having beef with Bey for making money off of the very thing one was using to posture some kind of street cred is text book haterism. Think bigger than a webcam, a Youtube account, or a dissertation topic next time. Both are instances of capitalizing off something that is about degrading black women and thus no better than the other. Ridiculing and/or claiming allegiance–at an incredible distance, mind you–with those who might be described as ratchet because, I don’t know, they kicked your ass in school for thinking you were better than they are, for the sake of minimum or maximum attention and/or coolness is pathetic and no better than Beyonce. In fact, it’s prolly worse. And I hope it all ends today.

Happy New Year. May all of your troubles last as long as your ratchet-ass resolutions.