Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I watch Madea's Big Happy Family so you don't have to

Tyler Perry is mad. Here is a man who has made 13 stage plays, 12 films, two hit TV shows, and one New York Times bestseller, yet cultural critics still treat him like the scourge of black culture. What's a brother got to do to get some respect around here? Remake a Ntozake Shange play? Partner with the most powerful black woman in the world? Attempt a career as a legitimate actor?

Yet none of those things worked. No Oscars, no props, nary a handshake for trying to break out of the mold and do something different.

And so the gloves have come off. What's a brother to do when he can't get love from the critics? Go back to doing what you do best, and get the money that comes naturally.

Thus we arrive to Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family, the first Medea-headlined film to be released since 2009. I decamped to a Harlem theater for a midnight showing, studying up (if you will) on how, if at all, Madea has changed since Perry's foray into more serious artistic endeavors.

And survey says...ain't much changed. At this point, Madea-centric movies are carbon copy comedy-dramas, a world filled with angry women, emasculated men, disrespectful children, disrespected mothers, comedy, death and drama, drama, drama.

Read more at TheGrio!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Why Brangelina should adopt another black baby

Dear Brad and Angelina,

Hello to one of the most influential couples in Hollywood. You two have created a legacy that, try as they may, gossip tabloids cannot break up. Your family has become the idealized portrait of a post-racial America. You've collected children like stamps in a passport, and no doubt the spike in interracial adoption can be credited in some part to your pioneering rainbow coalition. New data shows that some 40 percent of American adoptions involved kids who are a different race from their adopting parents.

I especially have to credit you two for mainstreaming the adoption of black children, with the welcoming of your beautiful and bubbly daughter Zahara to your eclectic family. After Zahara was added to the Jolie-Pitt brood, celebrities like Madonna, Sandra Bullock, and most recently Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay, have all added a little brown face to their family. The trend is a little jarring, because it seems exactly that -- a trend. Just like Puggles or the Birkin bag, black babies seem to be the hottest (and likely, most self-righteous) accessory in Hollywood right now. It says "I support Obama and a post-racial America!"

But honestly that's not what I think you two set out to do, especially considering the vastly diverse (and happy) herd of babes you now command: two tots hailing from Asia, three cherubic blonde babies, and one lone brown beauty. One. Which brings me to the reason I am writing you -- I think you should adopt another black baby.

Read more at TheGrio!

Monday, April 18, 2011

A headline by which to justify my bad habit

I feel vindicated.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

pretty drunk people

You look like yes:

And you look like no:

These are the breaks people. No one ever said it would be pretty. Not even if you are famous.

Monday, April 11, 2011

What is more important: the art or the person?

It must be backwards month/year/era in music, when a white girl can have the top soul song, and a black kid from VA is dropping tracks that sound like they should be banging from some club speakers in Ibiza.

Chris Brown Feat. Benny Benassi- Beautiful People from Mechanical Dummy on Vimeo.

I ain't mad tho. I guess it's some sign of the globalization of our culture, blahblahblahjargonjargonjargon - as a kid who grew up slightly ashamed of her eclectic musical tastes, I'm glad people are opening up to different sounds and aural textures.

A sidebar about chris brown: this kid has me conflicted than a mothafucker. On one hand, he haz issues. Deep, dark, evil issues, that cloud his light and talent, and are threatening to sink his battleship. Compounded by his commitment to denial instead of acceptance and improvement, it's almost easy to want him to fail. His ignorance isn't bliss, it's irresponsible and corrupting. Can't help someone who doesn't want to help himself.

But on the other: The kid has so much talent. I've never felt more compelled to just watch someone the way I can when I watch CBreeze dance. If you let me get New Age-y for a second, I would say that he's compelling in those moments because in it he is the truest version of himself, exploding with natural joy and you can experience it with him just by watching. It's so powerful to watch someone doing what they love to do, and doing it well. Because of that, I want him to succeed, I want him to overcome the dark.

“If you love large, you've got to hurt large. If you've got a lot of light, you've probably got an equal amount of darkness.”

How much does personal life count? At what point do you walk away from someone as an artist, because they, as a person and human being, suck?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The essential happy list

 A guide to maintaining me (in no order, but all necessary):

1. Music – lots and lots and different kinds

2. Adventure – stimulates my imagination

3. Alone time – to engross myself with my own company

4. Learning – to stretch my mind in new ways

5. Cuddles – as much as I am a tough girl, I need cuddles. There is healing in touch.

6. Tears – in accepting I am a cryer, these are necessary to express the inexpressible

7. Writing – for sanity.

8. Exercise – it really boosts the endorphins.

9. Nature – I’m not the most outdoorsiest of people, but nature is the clearest expression of God for me.

10. God – to remember it’s not all on me.

11. Laughter – until I cry, or pee.

What makes you happy?

PS - What I'm reading right now: Be Happy! by Robert Holden. I believe.


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