Coffee Rhetoric: Blogging Elsewhere
Showing posts with label Blogging Elsewhere. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blogging Elsewhere. Show all posts

April 23, 2012

Blogging Elsewhere-- When Thugs Cry: DMX Breaks Down on VH1's 'Couples Therapy'


Writing within the context of my own community; oftentimes a Black woman’s dating patterns--especially if that pattern is askew, like a Möbius strip-- and disposition is attributed to her relationship with her father.  We hear society wax poetic about a woman’s supposed Daddy Issues (clinical term: Electra complex); particularly if she’s prone to behavior that’s considered aggressive, wanton, attention hungry, and nihilistic; we never really explore why dads  take sole responsibility for their daughter’s dysfunctional behavior or ponder the opposite end of that spectrum… the opposite end being Black women’s (and especially Black men’s) relationship(s) with their mothers and how that maternal interaction impact their adult lives.
I don’t watch VH1’s “Couple Therapy."  I did however, read my social media platforms explode into cyber equivalents of nonplussed commentary and harsh assessments after rapper DMX-- (who, along with his estranged wife Tashera, is a participant on the show)-- apparently broke down during the most recent episode.  I watched the clip and immediately saw a troubled man— used to posturing in the steely, thuggish “Keeping it Real” role dictated by Rap music’s narrative—defeated.  And a lot of young, Black urban men are often expected to take on that same aesthetic, lest they be accused of being too soft or a punk.  This expectation leaves no room for Black men to express themselves and it can manifest in the myriad of destructive ways. Male children who have unstable attachments to their maternal caregivers are vulnerable to behavior problems and become aggressive, hostile adults sometimes incapable of maintaining healthy romantic relationships or friendships. For DMX it manifested into a drug addiction, womanizing, and multiple run-ins with the law.

 Family therapist, social philosopher, and advocate for boys, Michael Gurian has written extensively on how parents, especially mothers, can help cultivate their sons' development. In his book, "The Invisible Presence"-- which explores the positive and negative aspects of the mother/son bond and how it shows up in a son's adult relationships-- Gurian writes...  
"Unresolved issues in a man's relationship with his mother are profound sources of trouble in a man's life. In studies and surveys done by psychologists and researchers over the last decade... we have discovered that the majority of men in this culture have unresolved problems concerning their mothers. Some of those involve a mother's abuse, neglect, abandonment, or impingement on a son's healthy individuation."
When DMX confessed where his feelings of dejection stemmed from during the televised (for Reality TV) therapy session with Dr. Jenn Berman and Tashera, it was a very authentically raw moment… unheard of by today’s “reality TV” standards. DMX divulged an unrequited desire to hear his mother (who he hasn’t spoken to in years) say “I love you”...  Read the Rest at Intersection of Madness & Reality.




Get More: Couples Therapy

March 07, 2012

Blogging Elsewhere: Rihanna: From Ultimate “Niggabitch” to Ultimate Ignoramus...

It was only a few months ago when a Dutch Magazine crowned Rihanna as the Ultimate Nigga Bitch… The backlash over the editorial gaffe– (and poor judgment in journalism) was palpable, as people across the Blogosphere and social networking forums were outraged by the offense, and rightfully so.
Rihanna took the embattled former editor of Jackie Magazine to task with a series of tweets, demanding that she acknowledge the racially insensitive nature of the article: “… your magazine is a misrepresentation of the evolution of human rights!” read a portion of one tweet, “That’s your contribution to this world! To encourage segregation, to mislead the future leaders to act in the past!” read another.

Around the same time she was taking the editor of Jackie to task, Rihanna also went on an expletive laden Twitter-rant about a racist hotel guest she encountered while in Portugal;  So it was with great disappointment that one of Rihanna’s more recent tweets seemed to find her regressing in similar fashion.
The pop star — who has been making waves across celebrity news outlets as of late for collaborating with her troubled former boyfriend, Chris Brown and for mocking a displeased fan’s appearance – tweeted a  picture of a bag of rice cakes, decorated with a pair of shades, large hoop earrings and captioned “Ima make u my bitch”… more than likely, a catty and bigoted subliminal dig at Brown’s current love interest Karreuche Tran, who is part Vietnamese and often photographed wearing large shades and hoop earrings.  It’s also important to note that “rice cake” is one of many racial epithets hurled at East Asians and is reportedly used to directly insult Vietnamese people.  On the “Cake” remix, which features Chris Brown, Rihanna also purrs:
“Remember how you did it? Remember how you fit it? If you still wanna kiss it, come and get it. Sweeter than a rice cake, cake worth sipping. Kill it, tip it…”
While the sociological answer to the question of whether or not Blacks can be racist, is usually applied when these issues arise; what Black and minority folks who engage in hateful rhetoric against other marginalized groups need to realize is, anytime they make crass, racially insensitive quips about other ethnic groups, they’re culpable in the perpetuation of White supremacy regardless of whether or not they have the power to oppress an entire group of people… I liken it to a drug dealer or gang leader, Kanye-shrugging away any responsibility for contributing to the destruction of his neighborhood and its people... READ THE REST AT INTERSECTION OF MADNESS & REALITY


Also read: 
When Hipster Racism Fails: Rihanna Labeled the "Ultimate Niggabitch" by Dutch Magazine
Chris Brown, Rihanna, & the 'Cake' Remix: Yes, Shut up, & Let Them Eat Cake!
Karrueche Tran Fires Back At Rihanna After Racist Tweet




January 23, 2012

Blogging Elsewhere: Think Like a Dummy, Date Like a Foolio- The Myth of the Great White Hope

In the wake of all of the media attention aimed at Black women, which included but wasn’t limited to; ill-advised dating advice from comedians turned quasi-relationship experts, speculation about why we’re single and unmarried, No Wedding No Womb baby-mama campaign, why we are supposedly threatened by Kim Kardashian’s elegance, grace, and beauty, and play-play scientific charts documenting why we’re unattractive, many of us were flustered by the Tragic, Angry, Single Black Woman meme and exasperated with defending ourselves. The Black woman’s sensibilities definitely took a bit of a hit in the press and in popular culture. At Ariana Proehl’s (of Know This! TV) urging, I also resolved to put the tired trope to rest.  I didn’t want to lend the insanity any more credence or energy.
That promise notwithstanding, no agenda geared toward Black women is equally as annoying as the Black Women Are Better off  With and Simply MUST Date White Men or Will melt Into a Sticky Puddle of Nothingness and Despair propaganda, pushed by certain ones of my sistren is. Of late, articles are cropping up using another angle to access and publicly analyze our dating lives and there have been videos featuring groups of giddy Black women promoting bulleted lists of reasons why dating White men is somehow essential to our survival and livelihood. And it has to absolutely be White men… and none other, or else we’re doomed!
Author Niki McElroy has been making the social media rounds, promoting her book A Black Girl’s Guide to Dating White Men and espousing the attributes that will allegedly get Black women picked by a trophy husband (let’s cut the double-standard and call it what it so obviously is). In a video clip from a show called Everyway Woman, McElroy suggests that her current dating choices are relegated to White men and she wrote the book to placate her curious girlfriends’ queries. While I have no issue with interracial dating, believe in dating with an open mind, and have done so several times for no particular reason or sans any ulterior motives other than shared interests/mutual attraction/because I just wanted to make-out with a willing partner,  I do have a problem with people who date other, purely for opportunistic and superficial reasons or to prove some myopic argument. READ THE REST...
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January 13, 2012

Blogging Elsewhere: When Sh*t Hits The Fan


It all started with the video Shit Girls Say and then spiraled (and has since disintegrated) into a barrage of Shit (insert ethnic/gender group) Say… spoof videos. Shit Girls Say morphed into Shit Black Girls Say, which prompted Shit Black Guys Say, which encouraged Shit Latinas Say. And you know the natural and relaxed haired sistren had to create a spoof of their own: Shit Naturals Hair Girls Say /Shit Relaxed Girls Say to Natural Girls… until many of us implored, Enough!
The series has definitely run its course, yet people won’t let it die a quiet death until they’ve squeezed the last vestige out of the joke… adding Shit to an already heaping pile. Amongst the wreckage of daft Shit Whoever, Everybody, & Their Mama Say videos, popular YouTube vlogger Franchesca Leigh Ramsay, better known as Chescaleigh to the rest of us, managed to stand out and prompt an interesting discourse on race relations. In her spoof video Shit White Girls Say to Black Girls; Chescaleigh dons a blond wig and an affected Valleyspeak accent, as she cleverly lampoons the ways in which some White women may try to relate to Black women (or any woman of color).
As a Black woman who went to a predominantly White liberal arts college in the Midwest and who has interacted with White women from all walks of life during college and throughout my everyday life, Chescaleigh presents circumstances that are very familiar to me and many of my friends. The: “Come on! Lemme just touch your hair this one time, really quick!” and the “Look at my tan, I’m almost as Black as you!” comments or bizarre questions I’d get from White women, initially flummoxed and then frustrated me. Once during my first year at college, questions about my otherness from a floor (and dormitory) of mostly White women, ran the gamut. “How often do you wash your hair?” and “Do Black people get the chicken pox?” were popular ones. Whenever I divulged where I was from, I’d get asked, “Oh, do you know someone named Tyrone Jones? He’s Black and from Connecticut too.” I know Connecticut’s a small state, but umm…

December 21, 2011

Blogging Elsewhere: Dutch Magazine Labels Rihanna "De Ultimate NiggaBitch"

Ever since Barack Obama was voted into office as President of The United States, liberal types have been dropping constant memos stating: Obama’s presidency is proof positive that we’re living in a post-racial society!  In fact, they’ve been virtually imploring  people of color to stop griping about racism and to get a sense of humor about the piss-poor comedic stylings showcasing their hipster racism.
Barack’s presidency is considered the ultimate triumph over White supremacy.  Once the First (Black) Family settled into the White House, Black citizens suddenly felt comfortable enough to enjoy a slice of delicious, refreshing watermelon and that piece of chicken at the company BBQ without reproach or side-eyes from their co-workers.  People of the African Diaspora the world over (especially Afro-Europeans) rejoiced and seemed compelled to action as they re-evaluated their place among European society. Despite protests to the contrary, America is still grappling with racist agitators and questionable images portrayed in the media, even as we’re right on the cusp of 2012.  And while offenders in this country are often taken to task for fanning the flames of ignorance, Europe and European media outlets continue to have a complacent, laissez faire attitude or seem to harbor a lack of education when it comes to global race relations… particularly how it functions here in the United States. For instance, Vogue Italia came under fire this past summer for referring to hoop earrings commonly worn by women of color as “slave earrings” and made sure to amend their gaffe since the backlash.
This latest and flagrant act of ignorance came courtesy of a Dutch magazine called Jackie. Applying the wit of a hipster telling a racially insensitive joke, a writer for Jackie advised its readers on how to dress like super Popstar, Rihanna, without looking like “De Niggabitch”  …   …  Yes you read correctly. Someone from a legitimate fashion publication actually wrote an article touting the attributes that make a true “niggabitch”and titled it as such. See, a post-racial society prompts media types to use precarious language and reinforce stereotypes when referencing Black women…
“She has street cred, she has a ghetto ass and she has a golden throat. Rihanna, the good girl gone bad, is the ultimate niggabitch and displays that gladly, and for her that means: what’s on can come off. If that means she’ll be on stage half naked, then so be it. But Dutch winters aren’t like Jamaican ones, so pick a clothing style in which your daughter can resist minus ten. No to the big sunglasses and the pornheels, and yes to the tiger print, pink shizzle and everything that glitters. Now let’s hope she won’t beat anybody up at daycare.”  The journalist wrote… adding insult to injury by getting the Bajan singer’s country of origin wrong.
Jackie Editor in Chief Eva Hoeke issued a half-hearted and seemingly forced apology via the magazine’s Facebook page…
Dear readers,
First: thanks for all your responses. We are of course very fed up over this and especially very shocked. However I’m glad that we’re engaging in a dialogue on this page — not everybody does that. Thanks for this. Other than that I can be brief about this: this should have never happened. Period. While the author meant no harm — the title of the article was intended as a joke — it was a bad joke, to say the least...

October 31, 2011

They're Coming...

A snow storm in the middle of the FALL, trees have fallen... their large branches strewn all over the street, the bulk of the state of Connecticut has lost electricity and heat; and have been forced to huddle around candlelight whilst they eat beans and stew, emergency shelters have been set up, wires are down, yellow & red CAUTION tape is everywhere, folks are fighting at gas stations, children are shaking down the barista for Hallow's Eve candy... The Zombie Apocalypse is finally upon us...
What else could it be? What other explanation is there, that has chased me into this coffee house seeking warmth, coffee, and free electricity complete with WiFi?
Anyway, updated blog post coming soon, once I've been touched by electricity...

June 27, 2011

Writer and Actor, Terrill Closs Tangles with THE BEAST

2014 Update: Within the 3 years since this interview Terrill has hosted child pageants and was featured on 'Toddlers & Tiaras' and relocated to Los Angeles, where he has acted as a visible extra on several popular TV series, including 'Scandal' and 'Glee'. He continues to edit his book about 'The Beast', and hopes to release it to the masses sometime this year. 




Every now and again, I meet someone’s acquaintance or am introduced to a dynamic character I either end up wishing would suck on the open end of an exhaust pipe or who I'm intrigued by and will chop it up with in 3D over drinks, email, or social networking. 
Recently, I did a feature on a talented and exquisite Avant-garde   unicorn by the name of Dani Arranka, after having attended his birthday where he premiered the music video to his single, Be Like Me. A few days later my sister pitched me another idea: “If you liked Dani, you’d totally love my friend Terrill! She exclaimed. He’s a writer too! I think you’d like some of his work. He lives in Atlanta now! I told him all about you… ” At this point in the conversation, I sort checked out, because sister was rambling a mile a minute and my attention span has waned with older age (not my fault). 
In any event, I suggested she tell him to email me and give me the skinny all about himself, on his own accord. Sister sent me an email with one of his short stories attached. During that time, I was swimming in emails and in the midst of working on blogging the behind-the-scenes action for HartBeat Ensemble’s play, Flipside; and so it slipped to the back burner

Shortly after the initial suggestion to check out her friend, I got a Facebook friend request from one Terrill Creative-Closs. I noted we had my sister in common and remembered that this was the friend I was supposed to know about, and gladly accepted. The rest is history. I started noticing the lamentations in his status updates... one in particular, suggesting he'd need to soak in a Hazmat-sanctioned bleach bath (not really), before having to immerse himself in seedy goings-on at his job, which he called THE BEAST: Another night at THE BEAST! 
Subsequent posts would follow along that same vein, the underlying subtext seeming to be that folks wish him luck and the mental stability to sustain him through the evening...
"@THE BEAST: Sum guy got mad at us, on his way out. So he screamed & threatened to tell the cops that we’re ‘running a prostitution ring."
 another recent Facebook status read. 

But Terrill would also post updates about the progress on the book he's working on, inspired by exploits at THE BEAST.  
“…typing up my book and luxuriating… knowing I’m free from the grasp of THE BEAST tonight and tmrw.”  
Needless to say, my interest was, once again, piqued by this book-in-progress. I was anxious to delve into how found himself toiling away at THE BEAST and how he ended up in Atlanta. I also wanted to get a sense of his writing voice. So I had the opportunity to build with Terrill via an email conversation. What he relayed to me would prove to be even more compelling than his status updates on Facebook. It was so interesting; I couldn't bring myself to condense any of it and so, am presenting it on here exactly as he presented it to me, in its entirety. It’d be in your best interests to read on… not to mention he's rather easy on the eyes. 
Details about 'The Beast' are graphic and, perhaps, NSFW. 


April 29, 2011

Guest Post: Watch My Vagina Dentata-- (WARNING: Adult content NSFW)


Recently, while catching up on some interesting flicks, one film of note I'd seen several times before, was the comedic-horror flick, Teeth. A seemingly feminist manifesto of sorts (written and directed by a man, no less) about a young virgin named Dawn with a mean case of Vagina dentata, whose delicates snap, bite, and dismember any man trying to violate its orifice without her consent, including a male gynecologist who tries to molest her upon learning it's Dawn's first experience being examined. I started imagining the power every woman would have if her vagina were able to reject unwanted penis forced upon her during an attack or wayward penis that played games and whispered sweet nothings and lies ... Interesting concept when told from the perspective of the movie.
I did a little research on  Vagina Dentata and found its folkloric origins intriguing. It's apparently every man's fear of sex... that a woman's toothed parts will castrate and eat his throbbing member during intercourse. I'd be willing to wager the fear is derived from the age-old masculine dread  (and misunderstanding) of the vagina. The many myths that involve women always seem to revolve around the mysteries (and in many cases, evil) of her vagina. Psychologist and Carl Jung alum, Erich Nuemann relays one myth in which a fish (major side-eye over it being a fish) inhabits the vagina of the Terrible Mother archetype (a Jungian theory)- who is saved by a male hero who eventually overcomes her... breaking the teeth out of her punany, causing her to become a "real" woman. Chinese myths also dictate that a woman's vagina is not only the passageway to immortality... but "executioners of men." Another Muslim adage says: "Three things are insatiable: The desert, the grave, and a woman's vulva."
In any event, female genitalia is the most intriguing, hated, loved, studied, desired, feared trope and idiom of any part of a woman's anatomy next to her breasts and perhaps large posterior. It's the one part of a woman's body a man can't even begin to truly understand or inhabit, despite grunting and panting over top or underneath her with every painstaking thrust or exploration of the tongue. Therein lies the speculation that breeds suck folklore, perhaps? In the same breath, many women don't even completely understand the intricacies and power of her womanhood either, most of us don’t even like touch ourselves let alone utter the word VAGINA in and of itself and so have resorted to calling it a vajayjay or some other equivalent name. Interesting and compelling thought...