Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Mr. Imaginary

In the past two weeks, I've had three boyfriends. Astonishing really. Twenty five years of singlehood, and I manage to pull two in one week? Mackin!

I don't pull out the boyfriend excuse often, however this week I've had some really optimistic and pushy guys try to holler, and each time I've fallen back on my easy nail in the coffin.

"Sorry, I have a boyfriend."

We all know this is a lie. No I do not have a boyfriend, I'm just extremely not interested in:

1. Making a new "friend."
2. Having someone show me the "finer things."
3. Finding someone to walk with me.

No.Thanks. Pass.

However I always feel a bit guilty when I say this. I mean, I am not a liar, I do not like to lie. Yet I also do not have time to get involved in a five minute conversation on why we can't be friends, 20-year-old "Mo" who cornered me waiting for the 3 train at 72nd. I don't want new friends because. Since when was "no" not a good enough answer? Thank you for the compliment "Martin," but at 56 years-old, with a crucial halo of hair and government standard issued glasses, did you really think I was going to jump at the opportunity for you to "give me a call some time?"

Nevertheless, I always end up feeling torn deciding who is the biggest loser in these situations: the overeager bachelor, the imaginary boyfriend, or me?

Honestly, I give the "most sorry bastard" award to the imaginary boyfriend. This goes back to me not being a liar. I'm really bad at it, so the only way I can sell a lie is if I really believe it. Some times I can just say I have a boyfriend and the dude fall back. But a lot of times, I feel like when guys have come to that near conclusion, my guess is in their head they're saying "fuck it, go big or go home." So then it becomes "well you can't have friends?", "Is he treating you right?" Thus I have to go into warp speed lying, and some unsuspecting dude in my life is for all of ten minutes in a relationship with me. And I feel bad. I mean, here the guy is, probably out living his life happily, in a relationship or scheming on getting some ass, and poof, we're in a committed relationship. Propping me up on my excuses, like guess what? He's a big guy, who doesn't like me talking to other dudes, may have an anger issue, and I wouldn't want to hurt him like that, would I? Yea, ex-boo who I haven't talked to in three months, for thirty seconds today, we were together. And I'm sorry. You at least deserve to be told you're dating me. You're not even reaping any benefits. Not that there's a lot to reap, but still. Maybe I'll let you put up a suggestive photo on your facebook?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ahh yes, the hate is strong with you young kemosabe.

I know hate. How? Because I am a hater.

I'm not necessarily proud of this, however you know they say the first step is realizing you have a problem. I've been hating since I popped the bottle out my mouth, tossing witty barbs since I saw my first episode of Full House and peeped that that Stephanie Tanner had that hate game proper! F*ck Steve, it's all about Mister Bear (gon' head get your imdb on)!

I digress.

As a gift of being a hater, I can sense when others have hate strong within them as well. Take Essence magazine for example. In a slightly odd twist (as this mag has never given me edgy) to compliment their gay, straight or taken selection of "bachelors" for their 2008 "Do Right Men" listing, they have also created daily "Do Wrong Men" selections as well.

Um, okaaay... seems a little gratuitous and a haterade convention. So I partook. And who's week one?

Lebron James.

*scratches head*


According to Essence.com, James' offenses include posing with Giselle Bunchen, not signing a letter, and driving 101 mph. Oh. Ok. Yea, yea, he definitely is no good. Call the lynch mob, this one's got to go. Speeding? Photos? Letters? Homie you're too far gone, come back. Full link here.

Beware what the fashion future may hold...

So, I like to thrift shop. The way I see it, if retro is going to be in, why pay $30 for an old-looking dress when I can pay $4 for a real old dress?

That didn't come out right.

Either which way, if you want to go retro, thrifts are where it's at. Especially the mega-thrift Amvets in Buffalo, where I stocked up on many a cute retro looks for only $40 total.

So then I'm in my kitchen, about to cut the shoulder pads out of this dress, when that still quiet fashionable voice inside me says, "You're going to wish you didn't do that one day." I gasped no, it couldn't possibly be true! But then the visions began to spread over me like a blanket, tucking me in for my eventual sartorial nightmare. The peg leg jean. The high waisted pant. Wedges. And then, this picture flashed in my mind.

Not you Samantha! Sex and the City why hast thou forsaken me? Why must all things old be new again? I am not a linebacker! This is not astroturf! I, we, the American fashionable, do not deserve this! Make it be untrue.

And so I do what I always do when I feel panicked and confused. I google.

Then this:

ALL from 2008 fashion shows.

And there's more. Google "shoulder pads 2008 fashion" and you'll see the rumblings of a fashion devolution beginning.

I can't. Please God. Make there be a fashion calamity that wipes out all the ludicrousness that is shoulder pads, or shoulder pad inspired. We deserve better.

Monday, June 9, 2008

If a tree falls...

So it's been a while.


If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Probably not.

In the meantime, let me introduce you to my heart's joy, and his name is... David Gregory.

David Gregory is the senior White House Correspondent for the NBC News, but that's not why I love him.

No, at 6'5", I'm convinced that David Gregory's true calling is dance.

Watch this white boy groove to Mary J. Blige:

But there's more...

Go to 3:08, and understand why one of my heart's dreams is to dance with David Gregory.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


The back and forth of internet culture.

Barack Obama is your new bicycle vs. Hillary is mom jeans

Point, Barack Obama. No matter how much high-waisted jeans come in vogue, mom jeans will never be the shake.

Stuff White People Like vs. Stuff Educated Black People Like vs. this and that and this andthat but most importantly vs. Stuff Unimaginative Bloggers Like

Point, Stuff Unimaginative Bloggers Like. Though I have a bias. I made it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sex Advice from the Good Doctor

Meaning Dr. Cornel West, esteemed intellectual and professor at Princeton University. I guess in some sort of half-hearted nod to Black History Month, MTV crowned West artist of the week this past week. For all those who don't know, West dropped an album last year of his professorial musings over some hip hop and R&B beats, but that's not what this post is about.

This post is really about one of those MTV interstitial commercials in which West proceeds to talk to a library full of poorly acting teens about safe sex.

Things I think about when I see Cornel West:
1. Frederick Douglass
2. Multi-syllabic words
3. Hair care products

Things I don't think about when I see Cornel West:
1. sex.

So really, his speech did some good, in that it likely killed the libido of every kid watching, at least for a couple of weeks.

After the jump, a Professor Clifton East lays down the law on pop culture.

Media Clips...

If you though Flavor Flav was a bad actor on Flavor of Love, you ain't seen nothing yet...

More rappers turned actors, this time Will.i.am steps up as an X-Men character...

Madea gets more animated than ever.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Laurieann's Music Video Debut

"You embarrass me. You embarrass yourself." - Crash

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

How Will.i.am jaded me

At this point, if you haven't seen Will.i.am's video "Yes We Can" you have been living under a veritable rock. Hell, the day the video was released I received four different emails linking to the video, with such descriptions as "inspiring!" and "beautiful!"

Now let me disclaim the following commentary with an admission: before I viewed the video on youtube, a very good friend of mines IM-ed me saying "Am I the only one that wasn't that moved by the video?" So already I went into it with a cynic's eye for disappointment. I'd also like to fully disclose my skepticism: I am a critic's critic and have been described as "having something to say about everything." If I watched God create the earth I'd probably say something like, "Does Hawaii have to be that far? I'm just saying, that could get expensive..."

Disclaimers withstanding, let me go ahead and come out and say it - the video wasn't that great.

I will give it to Will.i.am for the creativity. I have always respected him as a producer and think he is an incredibly talented man.

However, seeing "celebrities" (not you Fonsworth Bentley, and sorry Tatiana Ali, not you either) sing/talk/act out a speech didn't really move me. People talking about crying over this video, I'm expecting seeing shots of Obama speaking intercut with old footage of civil rights protesters getting hosed down, single moms bouncing fat babies on their hips, little kids going to school... instead I got Scarlett Johansson singing in a studio, which distracted me more than a little bit.

That said, I think the concept of the video was a great gesture to the campaign, especially in light of the upcoming Super Tuesday. However I couldn't help but look at the celebrities involved as opportunist, jumping on the Obama wagon because that's what everyone else was doing. Hell, I bet if you asked half those people in the video how they felt about Obama's policies, they'd probably say something vague like "I like that he's for change..." Well no shit. Who ever runs for office saying "I'm going to keep this shit exactly the same, so don't ya'll expect shit from me, I'm putting this bitch on cruise control." It's a politician's job to say they're going to do lots of change, ESPECIALLY if they're from the opposition party.

So the video made me nervous in that I fear the kind of influence it could have on uneducated voters. The shit was very alluring, shot well, with the black and white to make it all moody and deep, that joint could def go to number one on 106 & Park. But does that make Obama a great candidate? I'd hope that people would research more of what he stood for and less of who stood behind him. I trust Will.i.am to make hit records, not inform my political vote. Hell, Will admitted it himself - he's not really into politics, and he was really won over by Obama's speaking abilities & win in New Hampshire, not his stance on the iraq war and universal health care.

And I won't parade around like I know much about politics either: after I took this online quiz, I learned that Hillary Clinton edged out Barack Obama to be the candidate that most lined up in my political beliefs, at 87%, 3 percentage points more than Obama. Now am I going to let this online quiz determine who my vote goes to? No. But if there's anything I learned, it's that it's my responsibility as a voter to really study the candidates and vote based upon my beliefs, not the alluring popularity of a candidate.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Redeeming Qualities

After my rant on Jay-Z's casting agency a few days ago, I didn't think my redemption would come via Diddy. But lo, just when I want to write black male hip-hop'ers off Diddy comes out with a casting call for, gasp, African American women!! He didn't even mention exotics or ambiguous ethnics! To quote from Sophia "Ise belives deh is a god!"

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Coonery Continues

Now to be honest, we've all been excited by some extra cash (I had to do a happy dance on Friday from a much overdue check), but a top 40 hit rippin' off my boy buckweat?? Come on now...

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Calling all Stereotypes

Look! A really creative casting for a music video:

Music Video Casting for Hip-Hop Megastar JAY-Z!!!!

Hip-Hop's Biggest Star is now casting for multiple roles for his new video due out in Spring 2008!
Expiration Date 3/1/2008

Location: NYC Area

Send Photos and Resume' to:

159 W. 25TH STREET


[WOMEN] Seeking 3 ethnically ambiguous females (African-American/Hispanic, African-American/Asian,Hispanic/Asian, Indian/African-American, etc.) who appear to be 18-26 years old. Talent should be extremely beautiful, exotic model-types.
Rate: $1,000

All they forgot to add was African American women need not apply.

The casting call continues on to request other extras, but never are black people specifically requested.

And fine, I mean people can't help that they're biracial anymore than I can help that I never reached 5'7". But forreal, this shit is tired. Like surprise, surprise, ethnically ambiguous women are wanted for a music video. How very original!

The sad thing is, while black folks in the hip hop world are still caught up tired cliches, the fashion world is finally realizing how played is the stereotype of the crackhead chic skeletor model. Last year saw some major shakeups in international fashion shows, with countries such as Madrid and Milan banning skinny models from their fashion shows. Even in the states some fashion labels are beginning to follow suit, like Lycra featuring normal sized women sporting swimwear at their 2007 Miami fashion week show.

Hell, the whole reason I was spurned to write this post was the stark contrast between what this Newsweek article reports on the growing popularity of street fashion blogs and everyday people becoming models, and what this tired casting requests for what will likely be another unimaginative music video. 

I always was torn in my disgust over the images of black women in music videos: was I mad because women were being exploited as sexual objects meant to bolster a man's status, or madder because these women became lighter and more vaguely ethnic as the artist's career began to take off? You can look at any hip-hop artist and see the cliched whitening of their music videos: the first usually takes place in their old neighborhood, featuring people they know, dancing in a crowd shot on the street in front of some hood ass cars. Close ups on the booty shaking and bad weaves. The next video will likely take place in a club, with nicer cars, someone throwing money, or shaking a bottle of expensive liquor, probably all while brandishing their advance check in the form of a blinged-out chain. The women in this video will be considerably both more beautiful and lighter in this video, and typically women that this rapper would have never even had the chance to wink at if it wasn't for his newfound "career". Cut to the third or forth video (which may be on the second album at this point), and you're destined to see an "exotic" locale video featuring the hallowed ethnically ambiguous women gyrating seductively for the camera. And from there on in expect that to be the only women in the videos. Sorry girls who look just like the rapper's mom, sister, cousin, and first three girlfriends - you're just not beautiful enough anymore.

So let me be the first to say it: I'm over black men in hip hop being obsessed with "exotic" women. It's tired, unimaginative, and really could construe to self-hate when you consider that most of these men are about as exotic as Hawaiian Punch. Put some brown-skinned African American women in your video for once.


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