Saturday, October 3, 2009

Drop It Like It’s Hot

Hey everyone.  Posting has continued to be light because I am still not well.  I am trying to rest and take it easy in the meantime.  Last night in in my codeine infused haze, I cut off the dreadlocks that I had been growing for 7 1/2 years.  It’s amazing how light my hair feels today.  The baby was a bit concerned this morning but after I let him play hairdresser, he declared I was still his pretty mommy.  With that seal of approval, I am quite happy, though I am not sure how weird they will feel when I start dying my hair wonky colours.  I have been wanting to die my hair blue for a awhile now.  HEHEHE.

Below are some posts that I found interesting this week.  Please show these bloggers some love and check them out.  When you are done, don’t forget to drop it like it’s hot and leave your link behind in the comment section.

In Which I Argue for the Homoerotic Potential of Mainstream Porn

Thoughts On Feminism: Children Edition

Why I’m Fat

Anger at the Register

A Prostitute I am

You don’t see colour – Is something wrong with your eyes? Do you need me to bring you the emergency eye wash?

Ghana’s Kayayo girls do the heavy lifting

Next on the list of things that really annoy me

No one wants to be The Slut

An open letter to Gordon Brown (Magdalene Homes are wrong)

Legal and Official Rape in Iran Prisons

Gay men are men, and some men are sexist

Women and Gay Men Are Sluts. Jealous Straight Guys?

Utopian Promise of Porn

Why The C Word is Loosing Its Bite

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Friday, October 2, 2009

Jon Gosselin May Someday Put His Children First

image Since it became clear that Jon and and Kate Gosselin were experiencing marital troubles, the situation has been a hot mess.  The media initially took Jon’s side, painting Kate as a shrewish harpy incapable of experiencing happiness, unless she was ordering Jon around as though he were one of her sons instead of her husband.  Even though John engaged in what could clearly be determined as playboy behaviour after their separation, it was Kate that was lambasted by sexist attacks after she refused to pose for playboy.

Well it seems as though all of the playboy, man on the make behaviour has suddenly caught with Jon.  TLC announced that the show would be changed to Kate plus 8 and that Jon would appear in the occasional episode.  I saw that decision coming a mile away.  For this to work it has to be a family based show and if Jon is running around judging bikini contests, he hardly makes a positive representative of the ideal dad.  Ward Cleaver would be very disappointed Jon, very disappointed.  Jon could not take this news sitting down and much like a child screaming, I’m taking my ball and going home, he issued a cease and desist order through his lawyers.

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Jon was suddenly expressing concern that his children were being exploited.  Funny how these objections were not raised until he was dumped from the show.   Jon’s lawyer Mark Jay Heller, told the Insider, “Jon realized his family was like a trainwreck, so he decided to put the brakes on the divorce and on the show … because if he didn’t the family would be in a mortal accident … the victims of a trainwreck.”  Perhaps, Jon should have thought about all of that before he undid his zipper. His sudden concern is touching, though not in the least bit believable.  Year after year he seemed to have no problem allowing his children to be filmed while he scored freebies from companies.

TLC released the following statement in regard to Jon’s actions:

"We are aware of Jon Gosselin's recent statements, and remain deeply disappointed at his continued erratic behaviour. He and the family were shooting as recently as last Friday, without incident, and his latest comments are grossly inaccurate, without merit and are clearly opportunistic. Despite Jon Gosselin's repeated self destructive and unprofessional actions, he remains under an exclusive contract with TLC. Direct filming of the children has been currently suspended, pending further conversations between both parents."

Looks like super dad struck out.  It seems Jon believed that TLC would be forced to their knees to keep the kids on the air.  I guess he should have had a look at the ratings before he decided to play hard ball.  If he had not acted like an ass repeatedly since the announcement of the divorce, TLC would have had no reason to attempt to center the show around Kate. 

Just like any other “reality” show on television, Jon & Kate was highly edited to produce a certain message and attract a specific viewer.  Even with all of that mind, people quickly chose sides the moment the impending divorce was announced.  It was not until the constant glare of the TLC cameras lifted that we got a semi-accurate view of either Jon or Kate.  As time has passed, Jon has revealed himself to be a self concerned child.

Regarding Jon’s recent actions, Kate stated:

"I do the show for my family because I believe it provides us opportunities we wouldn't otherwise have," she said. "Jon used to share that belief until as recently as the day the network announced the name change of the show and indicated that Jon would have a lesser role in the show. It appears that Jon's priority is Jon and his interests. My priority remains our children and their well being."

As much as he seems to resent the fame that he has gained from the show;  it appears that he  craves the money and the status of D list celebrity.  Jon may believe that he is only using his constant media interviews as an opportunity to defend himself, however; those of us that are routinely subjected to his idiot babble see it as nothing more than a bid for an attention.  Any parent can recognize a temper tantrum when they see one.  Though he is still a fairly young man, it cannot be fun to have a mid life crises during a 24 hour news cycle.  Much of what he is currently experiencing is of his own creation.  I really do hope that he can finally start putting his children first.  TLC may use them for ratings but he is exploiting them for celebrity status and shiny baubles. 


Fiona Pilkington inquest: how ableism can lead to suicide

I have a new post up at Global Comment

Who would be mean to someone with a disability? We function under the belief that we take special care of those that are differently-abled, because of their vulnerability, yet the truth is quite opposite of that. Ableism has become a normalized part of the social discourse, which often leads to disastrous results for those whose bodies have been understood as different and therefore “inferior.”

According to MSNBC:

“Fiona Pilkington suffered more than a decade of abuse from a gang of youths who terrorized her family by urinating on her house, taunting her developmentally challenged daughter and beating her severely dyslexic son.

Despite repeated calls to police and desperate letters to her local lawmaker, no one intervened to stop the persecution, and Pilkington killed herself and her 18-year-old daughter when she set fire to their family car in October 2007.”

Here we had the tragic loss of two lives because of the abuse of people who were neurologically atypical went unchallenged and unheard. Socially we protect those who we value, and a refusal to intervene can only be understood as a desire to make the Pilkington family disappear. Each time Fiona reported these incidents and they in turn went unchecked by local authorities, the behaviour of her abusers was encouraged. Now, following a lengthy inquest, Leicestershire police have been found partially responsible for the tragedy. It’s too late for Pilkington and her child, though.

The differently-abled are understood to exist without power because some of them need accommodation to negotiate the world today. The accommodation can come in the form of alteration, to make the environment physically accessible and it may also come in the form of a refusal to subject themselves to the same sort of standards as a neurotypical person, depending upon the circumstances.

How many adults would stand idly by while a four year old girl was being abused by a gang? I daresay any adult within eyesight would intervene, yet the police force ignored the hate aimed at Francesca Hardwick, Pilkington’s daughter, who had the mental development of a four year old girl.

Finish reading here

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Surrey Used Bird Feces To Scare Away Homeless

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I am a bit late to this story but it certainly deserves commentary.  Once again the generosity and caring of the Canadian government must be heralded for the world to see.  It seems that the city council, in conjunction with the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), and local business owners decided that the best way to reduce the visual presence of the homeless, was to spread a concoction of chicken feces and dirt.

According to RCMP watch:

On Aug. 14, witnesses saw City of Surrey staff pull up to the Front Room Drop In Centre in the 10600-block of 135A Street and line the building with putrid poultry manure. The desired effect was to create a smell so repugnant that it would repel vagrants who were hanging out around the building.

The dung was spread around a social services building and a park. Somehow the foul stench of feces was deemed more acceptable than homeless people.  If the city and the RCMP are so disgusted with “the homeless problem”, they should actively create programs to reduce poverty, instead of attempting to shove them off to a different location.  The homeless are not cattle to be herded, they are flesh and blood human beings. 

David Eby of the Vancouver Sun states:

Someone at the city clearly forgot to check in with legal on this strategy to render public property unfit for human use. It's surely illegal 10 different ways at least, violating human rights codes, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, environmental laws, the property rights of private property owners and leaseholders, police and public employee codes of conduct, and on and on.

Clearly laws were broken in this terrible solution to the homeless problem, but the greater crime is that the city literally decided to value feces over people.  How much lower can we possibly sink than that?  The homeless are considered the underclass of our society. In some provinces we have criminalized their very existence, rather than understanding that the failure is not theirs but ours.  Canadians routinely brag about the social services that are available but the continuing presence of the homeless, serves as evidence of how much further we have to go to ensure that all of our citizens have a decent standard of living.

Many of our homeless are neurologically atypical and face revolving door treatment that leads to extended periods of living on the streets.  They are treated at hospitals until the symptoms are under control and then released.  Many then either stop taking their medication by choice, or are forced to stop taking their meds because they cannot afford them and quickly find themselves back on the streets.  How is it that smearing feces is preferable to treating someone who needs help?  Is chasing people from our vision the greatest offering of socialized medicine?

Not only are the actions of the RCMP and the local Surrey government a stain upon their community, they are a stain upon ALL Canadians.  This action is purposefully fostering anomie within the community.  It encourages citizens not to care for one another and to value aesthetics over people. If homelessness is really so disturbing that we simply cannot stand the sight of it, don’t we owe these people more than throwing a pile of shit at the problem?

H/T change.org



Dr Allows Patent To Die In Order To Steal Rolex Watch

 

When I first came across this story, I must say that I was completely horrified.  It seems that Dr. Cleveland Enmon, a former emergency room doctor at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Stockton, stopped doing CPR and then allegedly stole the dead man’s watch.  It was apparently a shiny presidential rolex.  A nurse reported the watch missing and security was notified.  The doctor later left the building and was recorded throwing something into the bushes.  The watch was later found in the same location.

image Enmon, 32, of Hermosa Beach is now facing a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the adult children of Jerry Kubena, Sr.  The last thing a person should have to worry about when they go to a hospital for care, is the loss of their possessions. 

According to News 10:

In the civil lawsuit, Kubena's family is suing Enmon as well as St. Joseph's and the hospital's owners Catholic Healthcare West for wrongful death, conspiracy, negligent hiring and supervision. The suit alleges St. Joseph's attempted to cover up Enmon's crime after he was removed.

The family's attorney, Jeff Silvia, told News Ten, "The family is completely appalled. They expected the hospital would have hired a doctor concerned about the well-being of his patient and not about his personal gain. He abandoned his effort to resuscitate their father."

Normally this is not a story that I would blog about, however; the alleged actions of Enmon are so disgusting, that I could not help but to post about it.  It is so tempting to hide in a shell and focus on our issues.  The ugliness that we are capable of as human beings can be so very hard to take at times.

I have not been able to blog about the terrible beating death in Chicago of an honours student, nor have been able to blog about the rape apologism in the Polanski arrest.  There are days when all I see before me is the devaluation and hatred of others.  Humans function at a very high level and yet we routinely sink to the lowest common denominator to hurt another.  At times there are background issues like poverty, racism, sexism or ableism that serve to explain, if not absolve the behaviour but in the case of Enmon, all I see before me is greed.

We have placed a monetary value to this rolex watch and apparently to Dr. Enmon, that price was worth more than the dignity and life of a fellow human being.  We say that life is cheap and incidents like this help to reify that.   We are raised to believe that the individual is worth more than community and it is this attitude that serves as a basis for the devaluation of human life.  This is why we can walk past the homeless on the street or not give a damn when the senior woman across town does not have enough food to eat.

When we feel a moment of guilt, we may donate a few hours at a shelter or throw a few dollars based on name recognition to a charity but seldom are we inspired to take the next step.  To care about another, or to put the best interests of another above ourselves even temporarily, seems to be more than many can do.  It saddens me to think of our beautiful earth soaked in blood that never should have been shed.  We do not take responsibility for each other and ironically this leads to the death of the individual – the person we claim to care so much about. Humans are social animals.  This is an unarguable fact and yet daily through acts of violence, rape, racism, ableism, homphobia, and transphobia, we deny this essential truth.  When we commit crimes against one another, we rupture the delicate collective that we are dependent upon.

Enmon stole a watch from a man whose care was entrusted to him.  He may or may not have been responsible for his death in the process, but what is certain, is that his alleged actions stem from the inability to see the man lying in front of him, desperate for help, as someone of value. With each breathe we extinguish and each shiny bauble we lust after, we diminish ourselves.  Enmon may have acted as an individual but his actions will be felt by all in ways we may not immediately recognize.


Laughing in the Face of Same Gender Love

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The Wedding of MICHAEL K. COLE & JAMIL SMITH COLE

I am not a fan of weddings but I do enjoy seeing people in love. Clearly this couple are celebrating their love for the world to see and that should be enough to make even the most cynical smile.  It is very rare that we see gay Black men out and proud and that makes these images all the more special to me.

If this were a world of tolerance, images like  above would be celebrated rather than ridiculed.  Don’t we have enough issues in the Black community without hating on our own because of sexuality?  Of course, Bossip does not seem to think so.  For those who are not aware, Bossip was ranked number three on the Black blog rankings last month.  It is a blog that is clearly widely read by the Black community, and therefore; the messages that it sends out are of great import.   Homophobia has become a mainstay of Bossip and I for one find it to be absolutely disgusting.

Michael and Jamil were referred to as “flaming fellas” and the title of the post was, “What in the hell is wrong with these images”? There is nothing wrong with Michael and Jamil and if anything the problem is with Bossip.  They are participating in a wedding, which has been a part of our traditions for generations.  What Bossip has an issue with is two men showing their love for each other. Enough with the homophobia.  I don’t know why this site cannot stick to putting out trashy gossip and why it has to continually resort to this kind of hatred.

Who exactly are Michael and Jamil hurting by loving each other enough to get married? I think that they make a beautiful couple and seeing them this way reminds me of the good that exists in all of us.  Whether love occurs between people of the same sex, opposite sex, from child to adult, or adult to child, it elevates us and makes us more than the sum of our parts.


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A National Epidemic, Teens killing Teens

This is a guest post from Gemna of Gemna Speaks

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I wrote this post while wiping tears and yelling at my monitor. I watched a few minutes of the video of the senseless beating death of the Chicago teen, Derrion Albert, 16, who was an A student at his school. I could not get my mind around the fact that no one intervened. No one. I could not believe that no one yelled out or ran to get help. As I listened to "fonevideograper" give commentary while the life of a young man who had many possibilities slipped from his ravaged body, I literally got ill. I could not watch the entire video.

I thought of the parents whose son has been immortalized on You Tube dying because he was doing what young people should be doing; going to school and making good grades. My heart goes out to them. The details and the “whys” of this vicious crime has been lost among the cries of outrage and righteous indignation. An epidemic of criminal activity committed by young males has terrorized our nation. Chicago has become known for being most dangerous city for school children. Going to school can get you killed! Chicago is not alone in grabbing headlines. Florida’s horrendous rape and beating of a mother and son in the notorious Dunbar Village case left many calling them savages. Mainstream media by-passed the story that was covered by the blog What About Our Daughters. After two years, the young men were finally sentenced last month.

Teens killing teens have made the news right here in Nashville. In the last two weeks, two teens have been involved in shootings. Reading through the month of September’s press releases issued by MNPD, teens made up a third of the crimes reported. The number of teens that were nabbed from truancy sweeps in a one month period was staggering. Not attending school during school hours is a recipe for disaster. As I counted the number of children who were arrested for not being in school in a one month period, I wondered what they were doing if they were not in school. Looking for trouble to find them? What can we, as a city, do to help end the violence and get help for young people who have found happiness by pulling a trigger or beating another to death?

It is going to take more than a few people. It is literally going to take a village…our city. Working together across race, gender, or religious affiliation for solutions and to implement changes must start sooner than later. This should be top priority for everyone; parents, schools, and congregations. We cannot point to one particular situation or group to blame because the violence that has snared our youth does not care about situations or groups.

This week, everyone on radio, television and the blogosphere have talked about the condition of our youth. I heard one DJ complain that it was the musical lyrics that our young people listen too and a TV pundit suggested it was the glorification of rappers and stars who behave badly that have influenced young people to act the way they do. That may be the case but we as parents must step up as well. Home training must become popular again. The images of Nene cursing her “friends” at every turn and the Kaynes of the world showing us blame your foolishness on your mother’s death, only add to the discord that our country has embraced so proudly. We have glamorized ignorance. Add a Facebook poll asking about the assignation of the President and pics of every inch of one’s body swapped back and forth on the Internet like young people are trading marbles gives us an indication of the “condition” of our youth today. Often, our youth depict what we value and prioritize as a country or a people. Our national discord is fast becoming anarchy.

We must support community heroes who are trying to make a difference. Jeff O. Carr sitting on a roof for a week to raise $30,000 to keep our youth out of trouble is noble and commendable. At the same time, it is upsetting that it took a week for the community of color to donate $30,000 which will sustain a theatre that will nurture young people’s artistic talents and keep them safe. If that was a ball or gala to glorify egos, the money would have been raised within a few hours. Yep, I said it. In an Oasis board meeting on Tuesday, I could not help but mention the violence that we are witnessing among our youth across the country and in Nashville. We are not Somalia with teen pirates under the leadership of drug lords who kill for a dime and a pack of cigarettes. We are not Haiti, a country absence of leadership and nearly 75% of the people in the country are under the age of 19. We are not Mexico, Darfur, or the Congo. So why are we allowing abnormal gruesome behaviour become our expectation for our youth as if the are living in wild? I refuse to believe that our young cannot be helped even when I feel helpless at times or overwhelmed by the constant stream of ghastly news.

We must work together…we are Nashville. We can do better. I will close with a thank you. Jeff O. Carr thanks for caring about our youth. You are a leader with heart and soul and your love for young people is contagious. Your spirit need to be imitated. Quickly!

Don’t Get The Black Church Twisted

image The Black church is often spoken of as though it is a huge monolith, that is not divided by denomination.  It is assumed that the Black church necessarily means Christian, though Blacks have embraced many different faiths.  For the purposes of this conversation, though I acknowledge the differing ways in which Blacks practice religion, I am going to focus on different Christian denominations.  As part of disclosure, I will admit that I was raised in both the Pentecostal and Seventh Day Adventist faith.  Today I would best be described as believing in God, without any particular allegiance to any one denomination.  I am not a church goer, or a regular reader of the bible. 

The Black church that we recognize today as representative of Christian believers, had its creation in the time of slavery.  It was introduced by White slave masters as a method of keeping the slaves docile.  The bible is filled with messages like render unto Cesar what is Caesars, as well as promoting the idea that suffering on earth is natural and that all we be rewarded in the great hereafter.  As a tool of submission, Christianity has had remarkable results. What the White slave masters did not envision, is that the Black church would ultimately become an institution that promoted community, which encouraged its members to speak truth to power.  It is not at all accidental that many of our greatest leaders have had their start in the church.

Today, we do have the sell outs like Creflo Dollar, Donnie Mcklurken, Bishop Eddie long, Bishop Harry Jackson, Gregory Daniels (Mr., If the Klan was against same sex marriage, I would ride with the KKK), Bernice King and T.D Jakes.  From their pulpit they do not speak messages of love and tolerance, but instead use their power for personal gain.  They sit in their thrones (read: megachurches) and prey upon the ignorance and fear of others.

They push the prosperity gospel, which has its basis in meritocracy, i.e. if you are poor then you have displeased God and if you are wealthy then conversely God is rewarding you with riches.  This serves to justify many of the criminal actions that have occurred due to capitalism, as well as diminish the role that systemic racism, homophobia, transphobia and sexism play in keeping certain members of the population in poverty.  This single guiding principal has also been used for justification for seeking political power.  It is not God that is the driving force behind these ordained ministers, but a desire to exercise power in its most coercive format.

These ministers do not care about humility, or about speaking to the poorest amongst us.  A visit to a megachurch on Sunday involves dressing like you are attending the Academy Awards. These ministers preach the so-called gospel in thousand dollar suits, forgetting that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.  They have become disconnected from their flock and I am quite certain that Jesus who was a rebel in him time, would not recognize these so-called messengers of God as spreading his message.  These ministers are fundamentalist in the same way that Pat Buchanan and Reverend Lou Sheldon are.  That these aforementioned self concerned Black ministers have become conflated with the identity of the Black church is representative of the ways in which we silence voices to privilege those that seek to assert norms.

Bishop Yvette Flunder, Reverend Al Sharpton, Reverend Joseph Lowery, Reverend Peter Gomes,  Bishop Desmond Tu Tu, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Bishop Carlton Pearson, Michael Eric Dyson (yes he is an ordained minister), Dr. Cornell West etc., daily speak out for those that cannot.  They speak truth to power, with the conviction that it is our moral obligation to fight the systems that seek to divide us from each other, so that a small circle of men may live in opulence.  While the above clergy are recognized in their own right, seldom are their names factored into the equation when conversations about the Black church occur. 

When the GLBT community rails against the homophobia of the Black church, they forget about the members that have repeatedly spoken in favour of gay rights or are gay themselves.  In this way, they are able to paint the Black church and all Black people  as a monolith of hatred.  The voices of intolerance are loud and overbearing, thus making it easier for those who speak about community and love to be ignored.   Just as the GLBT community is a microcosm of the larger society, so to is the Black church.  It is simplistic and reductive to deny that there is a  difference between the fundamentalists and the liberation fighters. 

The belief in God or even organized religion does not necessarily mean bigotry and hatred.  The church in its various layers of organization has sustained the Black community through slavery, Jim Crow, the civil rights movement and into this very day.  When Blacks could not publicly gather for anything beyond worship, the Church was the place where we gained the community that was denied us. I believe it is important to acknowledge the imperfect nature of the Black church as an institution, as no social organization is perfect, however; while we are claiming faults, we should also recognize the ways in which the Black church is seeking to bring about change for all members of society in the tradition in which it was founded.  Black people do not operate with a hive mind and to reduce us in this manner,  once again ignores our contributions. 


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Transgender Mayor Eric Brewer Outed

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It is very difficult for the trans community to lead public lives.  Though we claim to be sexually progressive the high rates of violence that they experience proves otherwise.  Trans women of color are even more vulnerable because they make up over 60% of the Remembering Our Dead list.  Being transgendered is still considered to be a sin against nature to many.

Mayor Eric Brewer knew that these pictures of him existed (note: I use him because I have not read a report with him identifying as female).  He decided to run in a primary mayoral election. 

According to the National Examiner:

Brewer also criticized the East Cleveland police for spreading the photos. Brewer alleges that the police department leaked the photos in revenge for Brewer's calling in the U.S. Justice Department to investigate whether East Cleveland officers are abusing their power by, among other things, assaulting people in handcuffs, using racial slurs, and stealing. Brewer said that the police have strong motives to see him lose the election and that Norton, if elected, would never stand up to police corruption.

Lastly, the pictures supposedly were taken from Brewer's hard drive after he took his computer in for repair. Obviously, if the origin of the photos is true, there may be legal implications for whoever copied and distributed them.

Interestingly, Brewer has not acknowledged, or denied, that the photos are of him.

Even if we make the assumption that Brewer is indeed the person in the photos, how do they represent his ability to do his job?  This is nothing more than playing upon transphobia to gain a political advantage.  Trans people are regularly attacked in the media.  In fact just walking down the street can be a dangerous proposition if they are unable to pass.  I have read story after story of violence that was justified by trans panic.

What is even more disturbing, is that they obviously did not think about the violence they are now opening him up to.  Now that people are aware that Brewer is trans, he will face all of the discrimination that any other member of the trans community faces.  This is a decision that no one should have made for him, because ultimately it is his life at risk.  The media has been all to quick to out members of the GLBT community, in an effort to silence and shame them.  How does this speak to the tolerable times that we are supposedly living in?

It is my hope that the people of East Cleveland do the right thing and elect Brewer but I am not holding my breathe.  Other than Stu Rasmussen, there are no other trans mayors and even in the supposedly tolerant town of Silverton, Stu has been attacked for his presentation.  The lack of trans people in office has nothing to do with a lack of interest because many lobby the government and are extremely politically active, it has everything to do with our culture of transphobia.


The Cleveland Show

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On Sunday Seth MacFarlane debuted the much talked about Cleveland show.  Considering that this was to be a spin off of his popular Family Guy, I did not expect much.  MacFarlane traffics in ironic humour which is often far from palatable.  Some of his comedy is often quite racist, homophobic, sexist and ableist, and therefore; considering his history, writing about a Black family seemed to present yet another opportunity for MacFarlane to display his ignorance and privilege.

image On his way to California, Cleveland runs into the girl that he fell in love with in high school, Donna Tubs.  Just like the social stereotypes, Donna is the single mother of two children, who just cannot seem to say no to a deadbeat baby daddy.  She expresses exasperation with her life because no matter how hard she tries, her children Rilo and Roberta are just plain wild.  Everyone knows that a Black single mother is nothing but a hot mess with a big grabble ass.  Donna’s only redeemable quality is the fact that she like all other Black woman have a big fat booty that Black men are drawn to, like a moth to a flame.  We know this of course from the repeated commentary about her beloved ass. Say it with me, BOOTYLICIOUS.

image I am quite sure that MacFarlane has been watching Tyler Perry movies.  Isn’t it wonderful that he brought out the tired trope of a Black woman being saved by a good Black man, after going through pain and suffering for her misdeeds.  After staying with Donna for a day, Cleveland heads to Rilo’s school to get him reinstated. Uh huh, ‘cause everyone knows that little Black boys just cannot seem to be well behaved in an educational setting. Cleveland's lessons only goes so far, and therefore; he teaches Rilo how to look  up the skirts of girls at school without getting caught.  What a beautiful little combination of racism and sexism.  Gotta love it when the isms come together so neatly.

image Here we have Roberta, who just like her mother has a very pronounced ass.  You will note that in Family Guy, his series about a White family, none of the women are drawn this way. I fully support all Black women embracing their sexuality, but when it is presented by a White man in this way, it cannot possibly represent agency or empowerment.  It in fact plays on the mendacious lie that Black women are hyper sexual jezebels, in search of the first available penis.  It is further troubling that considering the nature of this character, that her boyfriend is White.  The tired trope of White men accessing the bodies of Black women, cause we just gotta have some dick, has been played out and acted upon since the time of slavery.  Leave it MacFarlane to be original in his racism and sexism.

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Alls well that ends well though.  Cleveland, the good hearted Black man saves Roberta by making an honest woman of her; Madea could not have arranged this better herself.  Donna admits that what she needs is the strong hand of a man to guide her family.  Nothing brings a family together like a patriarchal overlord, ensuring that everyone stays in their place.  It’s all so beautifully normative, that many will miss the destructive stereotypes that are thrown in for good fun. WHEEE it’s all comedy and so why should anyone care about the destructive isms that are played upon?  Gotta love it when a White male pukes his privilege all over the television for everyone to see.


Tune In Tuesday: George Michael Amazing

I developed a huge crush on George Michael the minute I saw the video for wake me up before you go go.  I was nine years old and the man had my heart. I remember walking to school with my girlfriends singing/screaming Faith at the top of our lungs (and no Allison McCarthy it is not a Sunday Shame).  He has been one of the few musicians that I loved as a child, that I continue to love.  Yes, that means I know the lyrics to most of his music and will shamelessly sing along anytime I hear one of his songs.

I remember the unhusband telling me that George Michael was gay long before he came out.  Like all good hetero women with an idiot crush, I would deny, deny, deny.  When he was finally forced to admit his sexuality because of an arrest, I continued on with my love affair.  Yeah, I still think the man is hot as hell even if he cannot dance.  When his website was hit with homophobic attacks I remember being pissed as all hell.  Why couldn’t people just leave  his sexuality out of it.  Like it or not, George Michael has had many hits and is an undeniable star with incredible longevity.  Sure, he has made some mistakes but I can think of a lot of celebrities who have done much worse.

My childhood music crush was George Michael and I continue to love his music to this day.  There are many from back in the day whose names I cannot even remember.  So, do you have any memories associated with Amazing or any other George Michael songs? 

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dear Readers

I  am not feeling well today.  No amount of green tea is going to help me shake this and so I am taking the day off to watch bad television and get some rest.  I hope that all is okay with you and hopefully I will be back at it tomorrow.

Renee

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday Shame: Technology Edition

image Everyone I know is texting,  multi-tasking and sending e-mail.  In my life, the less technology the better.  I know this sounds strange coming from someone who writes a blog, but it’s the truth.  It is so bad, that I was excited when I recently learned to move the task bar on my computer.

I have stubbornly refused to learn how to do anything but the most basic functions on the computer.  When something goes wrong, I am quite sure that the neighbours can hear me shrilly screaming the unhusbands name, with the command to fix it.   I have sweet talked my less beautiful and younger brother.   I must admit despite my charms and the guilt I have tried to evoke, he has thus far refused to help me.  Sensing that I needed a back up, I convinced my girlfriends wife to promise to come to my aid in times of desperation. Unfortunately for me, she is often out of town for weeks at a time and therefore as a backup, though willing, is not a great choice.

I simply have refused to face the fact that part of being literate today involves knowledge of technology.  For me, computers are nothing but big word processors and screens to watch movies on.  What more could they possibly be used for? 

We are in the process of shopping for a new TV.  I think one should simply be able to look at the picture it provides and decide.  To me, it should be a simple task, however; apparently you need to concern yourself with the kind of screen, make, and whether it is compatible with some new fangled system that the satellite company has put out in the last few years.   It’s a damn TV.

People have joked about buying me technology or computers for idiots.  My brother has even recommended that I take a course at the local community college.  I have spent years pursuing knowledge, but the idea of learning about technology, does not inspire me in the least little bit.  Even the humiliation of having my friend teach me how to text did not convince me to learn more.  I suppose this stubborn refusal to learn will always put me at the mercy of others.

So there you have it, my shame laid naked for all the world to see.  It is now your time to share.  What common skill are you terrible at?  This includes anything from cooking to technology. I am sure I am not the only one that is inept at doing something that everyone else seems perfectly capable of doing.