Coffee Rhetoric: Just a thought
Showing posts with label Just a thought. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Just a thought. Show all posts

December 06, 2011

Love Rain...


I fancy myself a pop-culture pundit of sorts and so am not ashamed to admit that this includes my succumbing to the Reality TV/Celebreality machine. Likewise, I also try to stay abreast of social media buzz and peep what blogs, cyber-mags, and social networking forums are on about. The two mediums seem to go hand-in-hand, particularly when the "Black Twitter" collective is concerned. Black tweeters bring the LOLz and they come, guns blazing, when skewering Black celebrities for some foolish infraction. Black politicians, especially of the Conservative-Republican variety, aren't above Twitter reproach either... (Herman Cain-kabob anyone?).

Perhaps the best, below-the-belt barbs and Twitter hash-tags come during the hours reality shows such as Real Housewives of Atlanta, The Braxtons, Basketbell Wives, Love & Hip Hop and shows of that ilk are on. Some of the more snarky Black tweeters hit their mark with their quips during some of the more ridiculous, off-the-cuff scenes. Then there're those who incite the rest of us to chorus and ask "Huh?" after they’ve tweeted something... well... dumb or misguided.
Per usual, folks did not disappoint during Love & Hip Hop, which was followed up by the premiere of T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle, VH-1's latest reality offering, which documents the lives of rapper T.I. (fresh from a second prison stint) and his long suffering girlfriend-turned-wife Tiny, of Xscape and BET's Tiny & Toya fame.

Surprisingly, Black women on Twitter seemed to saturate their chonies with crème-de-la-lady leche and began espousing the virtues of  true  love during some of the more pivotal scenes on Love & Hip Hop (when rapper Jim Jones finally implored his  mother to stop antagonizing his embattled and always battling lady-in-waiting, Chrissy Lampkin. Jones later pledged his undying affection for Chrissy by placating her o’er top of a roof for a Moroccan inspired dinner with all the decorative fixings). T.I's - (who makes it known under no uncertain terms, that he wears the pants and bankrolls day-to-day operations in his relationship with Tiny) - obvious loyalty to his blended family and wife is undeniable. In fact, seeing it played out on TV caused a collective genital quake across Twitter however; the relationship has been fraught with well-documented legal troubles and alleged cheating. But this did not stop some women from christening Jim and T.I.'s dysfunctional relationships with their women as the blueprint for Black love. I’d be willing to wager that some of these admirers of dysfunctional love, were some of the same detractors of single-motherhood who suggested single moms should aspire to be like Beyonce and Jay Z, shortly after her pregnancy announcement. They lashed out, calling all Snarky McSnarksteins jealous haters who can't get a man or sustain a relationship ...  ...  ...  OK.

One writer for the popular online publication, Clutch Magazine, posted a whole article citing these two televised relationships as heartfelt and wrote:

"Say what you will about Tiny and T.I.’s hoodrich love, but theirs is the type of relationship many long for: Loving, affectionate, fun, respectful, and supportive. Just like Jim and Chrissy, watching T.I. and Tiny interact on screen made it clear that they are genuinely in love and they want the world to know."  

Much to the chagrin of some commenters, who cyber side-eyed the piece... 

"T.I and Jim Jones… you have to be kidding!  What I don’t understand is this constant need to look to celelbrities [sic] as role models. I mean I really don’t understand it. I would like to hope these old a$$ men would want to settle down. T.I with all those d@mn kids! Jim jones and Dipset with the way the [sic] talk about women…"

Listen, while no one deserves to be crucified for their past and everyone has the right to err, love, and be loved; Why is it that some in our community put these dysfunctional "ride or die" relationships on a pedestal (especially when a man of questionable character is at the helm, trying to overcompensate for having put  his paramour or wife through years of hell), yet will belittle others (usually when a woman *read unwed baby mama* is the crux of the conversation)? While it's undoubtedly love that they're feeling, it just isn't the standard for Black Love like some people are trying to suggest. Relationships riddled with drama may work for some, but doesn't for everyone else, and if that makes me sound like a bitter, single, jealous hag then... that's the ignoramus, narrow view of a naysayer. 

This comment from the aforementioned online magazine sums it up: “You can’t turn a hoe into a housewife, but you can turn a drug dealer into a husband?” Well, I guess you should ask Beyonce and Tiny.  Apparently thugs can grow into men, probably an exception and not a rule though. While it’s cute, sweet, and seems genuine, don’t get wrapped up in the love and hip-hop thinking it could be you."




December 01, 2011

Down The Rabbit Hole...


The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down what seemed to be a very deep well.  Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her, and to wonder what was going to happen next.  –Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

VH-1 is widely known as a repository for "celebreality" and all the foolery that we've come to associate with that particular sub-genre of “reality” entertainment.  In fact, someone on Twitter joked that it was like the “National Geographic for sassy Black women.”

The network is undoubtedly at the top of the trash heap with its sports and Hip-Hop centered series, detailing the lives of the wives/ex-wives/girlfriends/groupies/bed-warmers/long-term fiancées of athletes and rappers who fund the lavish lifestyles of women (most of whom are women of color) who present demeanor of sexy-street toughness dipped in the finest linens and jewels.  It’s not difficult to see beyond the impeccably lacquered lips and sky-high $1,000 Christian Louboutin heels, because more often than not these women deliver the goods when it comes to the ratings game. Whether they’re screeching vulgarities at one another across a table at some posh restaurant, throwing drinks, or clawing at one another’s weaves, these women of dubious status and leisure draw in millions of viewers and become hash tagged on Twitter before the hour is even up.  The allure of these quasi-reality shows present a weird dichotomy of love and loathing… they’re guilty a pleasure viewers love to pontificate about or skewer on social networking forums (the skewering especially done by folks who like to feign as if they never watch).

Shows like Basketball Wives and Love  & Hip Hop generate an interesting discourse about the portrayal of Black women on reality shows across the blogosphere and among social media journalists. The word buffoonery gets tossed around a lot, as does the Angry Black Woman meme. 
Each week there is some sort of online poll asking viewers if the (insert reality fight here) make Black women look bad.  Somehow, whenever NeNe Leakes of Bravo TV’s Real Housewives… franchise engages in a verbal meltdown with a fellow cast mate or Tami Roman of the Basketball Wives: Miami cast punches someone in the teeth, all Black women in the United States of America are held accountable for that behavior.  We’re prodded to explore why Black women act like foolios on network TV, for a check.  However, there was little tsk-tsking after the group of mega-wealthy Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (all of whom are Caucasian) imploded during  a game-night  hosted at the home of a cast member, where sisters Kyle and Kim (who happen to be Paris Hilton’s aunts), verbally smacked down newcomer Brandi Glanville, calling her a “ho” and a “slut pig.” Daytime talks show hosts and Bloggers chuckled about it and called the finger-jabbing duo feisty… they ate it up in fact. White women in general weren’t taken to task as an entire group, for the brash televised behavior of a few. Unless obvious ethnic stereotypes are somehow thrown into the mix, as was the case with VH-1’s Mob Wives, (where the group was asked if they considered their aggressive behavior and mafia ties to be offensive to all Italians), they rarely ever are.

Needless to say, VH-1 is taking viewers to the brink of nonsense again with their new offering, Baseball Wives, which premiered this past Wednesday night.  This particular group is predominantly comprised of White women. The gravelly voiced, ex-stripper wife of one retired player said, “We are not like Basketball Wives, we are classy.”  This claim is debatable considering the legacy of VH-1’s sports wives series and that said ex-stripper wife is already mired in controversy for reportedly menacing a fellow cast member with a 12-inch dildo during a taping.

If anyone bothers to watch Baseball Wives (if only for the dildo incident), I’ll be interested to know how these women’s behavior will be received and if they’ll be accused of making the entire population of White women look bad, or whether the entire population of White women will shoulder the burden of the Baseball Wives’ behavior.   Just a reversal of thought .