Wednesday, June 29, 2005

erace my tv, please: open letter #1

dear white men (and fellow bitches) running the world,

i know this may come as a bit of a surprise, but i'm writing to request that you remove all black people from television. seriously. listen, i know the n(iggas) a(pes) a(lligators) c(oons) and p(ossums) (mississippi burning swipe) gave you all hell for your fall television lineup a few years ago, but i'm here to take it back. i'd like black people removed from television until further notice.

why, you ask?

because everytime i turn on the tv and see a black person, they do black shit. why can't black people just be on t.v.? why they always gotta do black shit?

ok. i'm losing my shit. i need to slow down and tease out/put pressure on the phrase, 'black shit'. first: what is black shit? black shit--more formally known as niggafying (shout out
saf)-- very crudely describes those behaviors some group of rich, straight, white men believe black people exhibit during waking hours. they sit in advertising boardrooms and come up with scenarios where black people niggafy their products. thus, whenever black people are on television (namely, commercials), they exhibit such behavior. this behavior includes beatboxing, dancing, complicated greetings that include incomprehensible handshakes, and excessive use of slang. now some may think terms like 'black shit' and 'niggafying/niggafication' are problematic. indeed, they are a bit ignorant, but purposely so. i mean, how ignorant must you be to present and/or accept this process as necessary for reaching 'urban' (meaning: nig) markets (and young, white suburban kid ones, too)?

one example of this involves a producer of some of the finer meat products known to humans, including bologna and hot dogs. this particular company has a very catchy jingle that involves spelling. in this commercial, groups of people (friends, parents and their kids, etc.) sing this very famous jingle. everybody stands in front of a yellow background and sings the damn song--except the black girls. can the black girls just the damn jingle? helllll no. they gotta, they must, they have to step to the jingle, thereby "remixing it" with a niggafied beat. (stepping, for those of you who don't know, is a form of dancing where persons make rhythms by stomping their feet, clapping their hands, and/or slapping other parts of their bodies, thereby creating a rhythm.) granted, black people often do this, i highlight a group of black people singing 'happy birthday' as an example. yet, why is it impertive for these girls to step in the commercial when no one else does? they didn't make the asian people in the commercial do 'asian shit,' did they? so why do the nigs have to do black shit?

as stated above, i am not suggsting that black people do not conduct themselves in such ways. hell no. nigs be on their nig shit. yet when we asked for representation, i believe we meant we wanted black people on tv living regular fucking lives. true, living as a black person in this country is in many ways fucked up, but i do not sing a negro spiritual every time shit gets hard (though i have been know to hum "go down, moses" while cleaning the house). i have never, EVER in my life greeted another black woman by calling her sistuh or sistuh girl. believe it or not, often black people just say smile and 'hi' to each other.

even animated black people be on their black shit:

'grrrrrl, where'd you get that fruit and walnut salad?'

'from mcdonald's, honeychile, and i'm lovin' it.'

such images remind me of a conversation
traci and i were having concerning greeting cards several months ago. as i recall, we were both commenting (her more than me) about how we just can't get regular greeting cards with black people on it. you know, just a black baby in a tire with some big ol' sun glasses that says 'have a great day' on the inside and shit. nooooo. black cards must be niggafied: some red, black, and green, kente cloth bordered card with a bunch of niggas playing the drums with an inside message that reads something like, 'may the light of mother africa shine on you on your birthday.' wtf?

this, obviously, has perturbed me beyond sanity. i am therefore requesting that all black people be removed from television until further notice.

summer m., self-appointed (un)official voice of 'the race'


language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

the love below: take i

let's face it: i'm a hater. i'm good at it. it's why the five of you read this bullshit blog. it's genetic. vardaman's mother is a fish; my mother is a hater. thus, in contrast to my usual shallow, superficial, assholish, highly unsophisticated shitty self, periodically i'm going to post things i love. yeah, it's true. summer m. loves things. but this isn't gonna be some i love my mama and my family list. i'm gonna post random shit, because that's how i do.

anyway, let the stream of consciousness begin. shit i love:
  • banana popsicles
  • the way a basketball sounds when it goes through the hoop without touching the rim.
  • to hear people who can really cuss, cuss.
  • watching white people eat 'soul food.'
  • the way a certain recent u of c graduate's ass looks in her workout gear. spandex was made for you, sweetie. (yeah, i objectify women. sue me. you'll get some worn books and about a half a bottle of grey goose.)
  • jean grae's flow
  • my homegirl rrrrachel's laugh. (her general disposition--in seasons not winter--is pretty fuckin' great. even i smile when she's around.)
  • the feeling you get when the dj plays that song. you know, when you throw your hands up and go, "oh!!!"
  • the smell of new sneakers.

now you spread the love.

what have the chix gotten into now?

being bobby brown: THE BLOG!!!!
just like the reality tv show, except even more ridiculous.

featuring commentary by: safire, nahmix, and yours truly.

language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison

Monday, June 27, 2005

(start a rumor monday...)

oprah channels vivian ward**: 'they wouldn't let me shop.'

mon dieu. those french. just when freedom fries once again become french fries, they go and snub america's favorite mammy.

for those of you out of the entertainment loop, hermes, a luxury store in paris, recently apologized to media mama, oprah winfrey for not allowing her into the store after closing. according to reports, store employees denied winfrey and her crew entrance when they arrived 15 minutes after the store closed. employees were preparing the store for a private public relations event, when winfrey and crew appeared after regular business hours.

though winfrey plans to talk about what she has called her, 'crash moment' when her talk show resumes taping in the fall, fecundmellow caught up with winfrey and her lover, er, uh, best friend gayle king earlier this week.

can i have a million dollars?
oprah winfrey: no.

it was worth a shot. so, ms. winfrey according to reports, you showed up at hermes after the store closed. why were you there?
ow: i had planned to have dinner with tina turner [clink!] that evening, so i went to hermes in hopes of getting her a gift.
gayle king: she wanted to buy her a watch.

you showed up more than fifteen minutes after a store closed to buy tina turner a watch? that's ironic. what happened next?
ow: the security guard told me, oprah winfrey [clink!] that the store was closed and that i, oprah winfrey [clink!] could...not...enter. so i told the security guard what my friend maya angelou [clink!] once told me, 'only the black woman can say "when and where i enter" in the quiet, undisputed dignity of my womanhood.'

that's anna julia cooper, but i digress. what happened then?
gk: he went and got the manager. she's a black woman, and she told us when and where we could enter: at that same entrance tomorrow during regular business hours.
ow: i was offended and appalled.

and you've described this ordeal as your crash [cha-ching!] moment. what do you mean by that?
ow: i mean to say that i believe i was discriminated against because of my skin color.

when's the last time you felt that black?
ow: this morning when i was breast-feeding julia roberts' twins.

helllloooo nurse!! and it couldn't have been anything else?
ow/gk: like what?

like the fact that the store was already closed.
ow: but i'm oprah winfrey [clink!]. it's not like it was somebody

well, did you have your face on? i mean, you have on no makeup right now, and let's be frank, without some serious plaster, you don't really look like oprah winfrey. matter fact, right now you're so ugly, if i woke up in bed next to you and couldn't remember the night before, i'd pray to god for ashton kutcher to jump out of the closet and tell me i'd just been punk'd.
ow: i did not have on any makeup, if that's what you're asking.

so you didn't look like the oprah on tv?
gk: that's a possibility.

so then there is the possibility that you looked like some random ass black chick trying to get into a store?
ow: did john travolta [clink!] tell you you could use his nickname for me?

random ass black chick?
ow: yes.

right. so lemme get this straight, the most horrible moment in your life is when you were denied entrance into a store that was already closed because the management didn't recognize you as oprah winfrey, but some random ass black chick trying to get into a store she prolly couldn't afford anyway?
gk: that's not the point.
ow: it was a powerful moment for me, for all of us. my friend tom cruise [clink!] said he was 'just shocked' when he heard the news. he has a black son, you know.

ok. i won't press it. let's move on. i'd like to get some facts straight. ms. winfrey, you were born in what year?
ow: 1954.

ow: kosciusko, mississippi. i was a came from nothing. believe me, i know poverty. and like my friend maya angelou [clink!] has said time and time again, 'i know why the caged bird sings.'

so you were born a poor black girl in mississippi during jim crow, and not being able to buy tina 'i'm from nutbush, tennessee but have some crazy european accent' turner a super expensive watch because you showed up after the store was closed the most humiliating experience in your entire life?
ow: like i said, it was a crash [cha-ching!] moment for me. such blatant discrimination. don't you think so, audience?

there's no audience, ms. winfrey.
ow: sorry. bad habit.

and this is (one of) your most humiliating experiences? ever?
ow/gk: undoubtedly.

you're calling this racism?
ow: what else could it have been?

the fact that the store was closed? i mean, granted, one could logically say that the reason why you showed up 15 minutes after the store was closed was because you were on cpt [colored people's time], which would then make it an issue of race. but that's a bit of a stretch. you sure you're not just shitty because your divaness was not immediately recognizable?
ow: i'm oprah winfrey [clink!].

get the fuck outta here!...i apologize for that outburst, ms. winfrey. please, excuse my french. **laughs hysterically**
ow: you know, your interviewing skills are deplorable. star jones could interview a mute and have a better go of it.

do you and star sometimes switch significant others to see if either (stedman and al) can tell if they've been tricked?
gk: this interview is over.

beloved sucked, miss sofia.**

**vivian ward is the name of the character julia roberts played in pretty woman.
**miss sofia is the name of the character oprah winfrey played in the color purple.

what have the chix gotten into now?

being bobby brown: THE BLOG!!!!
just like the reality tv show, except even more ridiculous.

featuring commentary by: safire, nahmix, and yours truly.

language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison

what have the chix gotten into now?

being bobby brown: THE BLOG!!!!
just like the reality tv show, except even more ridiculous.

featuring commentary by: safire, nahmix, and yours truly.

language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

fecundmellow presents: a whole lotta yella wasted, or, in defense of my chix

(can you pass a brown paper bag test?)

my asshole-ishness is genetic. yes, yes y'all (and ya don't stop), i was born with it. no assholification process for me; i was born assholificating. but i digress. the purpose of that random and quite odd point of entry is to give a shout out to nannie (who is less than yella, and prolly coulda passed), my great-grandmother and lil summer's first best friend. she gotta lotta sayings, one of which is, '(such and such is) a whole lotta yella wasted'. this term--for those of you whose blackness is (often) in question and/or who are white--is used to described ugly light-skinned people. oh yes, being light-skinned and ugly is quite possible.

now every now and then some random ass chick harrasses my girls nahmix and safire b/c both claimed--and rightfully so--that tiny from xscape looks like piglet. it seems as if said random chick doesn't believe that light-skinned people can be ugly. therefore, to defend my gyrls, and further disprove the 'if you're white (in this case i suppose light is more appropriate) all right...' theory, below i provide more examples of ugly light-skinned people.


reggie miller: and the light eyes, too? what a waste. even his jumpshot is ugly. he'd also make the list of 'nigs who wouldn't get laid if they ain't have money' if i had one.

tisha campbell: good lord, she ain't cute. plus she gotta funny shape. once again proving that light-skinned chicks trying to be actors in the late 80s and 90s had a helluva better time than their darker counterparts. remember little shop of horrors? whatever happened to ronette, the big dark-skinned(ed) singer? that's right: it is her only film role. and tichina arnold? well, she did have the stint as pam on martin, but where is she now? what about a.j. johnson--you know, sharane from house party; sydney's (arnold) homegirl? well all i know is she was in wack-ass baby boy playing tyreese's mama. it's a good thing she's a fitness trainer.

will smith: yeah, nigga, i said it. will smith is ugly. don't get fooled by the good-grooming, wack rhymes, and alleged charm. (frankly, i find him boring and uninteresting.) will you look at those features? those ears. them little, too far apart eyes. and--might i add--that very negroid nose.

tom joyner: oh man. there is a reason why this cat is on the radio. the fact that he gets on my last nerve further exacerbates his ugliness.

jasmine guy: personally, i think jasmine guy and prince look alike. she wasn't too bad looking during her a different world days, but damn she DID NOT age well. she, too, benefited from the 'light skinned(ed) chicks are in movement' during the late 80s and early 90s. i mean, damn, as annoying as she was on adw, she still got way more play than kim who was super pre-med student and worked at the pitt (she can cook!) but only got like 1 episode of play during the early years ('member the one where she had the pregnancy scare?).**

ronnie devoe: how many girls had a crush on the yella tall nigga in new edition? if anybody benefited from being the lightest member of a boy band, it's ronnie devoe.

tiny: i believe saf and nahmix have sufficiently argued for her inclusion on this list.

tayshaun prince: i love the way he plays basketball, and i really looooove the fact that he's left-handed, but that's about it. even the baby face doesn't help.

as saf often says, 'some shit is empirical.'
oh, i could go on, but i'm sure someone will fill in the blanks.

i rest my case.

**i know towards the end of the show kim got love from ron johnson and shit, but damn, she had to wait a long ass time. and i know freddie ain't get no play either, but she was weird and from new mexico. (who the fuck is from new mexico?)

once again: fecundmellow essentializes regardless of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, et. al.

language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

songs i never get sick of...
because when you're on the highway as much as i was last week, such things run through your head...

(shuggie otis)

shuggie otis, 'strawberry letter 23' (shoutout traci):
i been telling nahmix over and over again that 'strawberry letter 23' is lyrical perfection. on the surface, the words don't make a lot of sense, but if you just try to visualize what the nigga shuggie otis is singing, you realize that he's painted you a most vivid picture. like a song in technicolor, the words are so brilliant and descriptive: hello my love/i heard a kiss from you/red magic satin playing near, too/all through the morning rain i gaze/the sun doesn't shine/rainbows and waterfalls run through my mind/in the garden i see/west purple shower, bells and tea/orange birds and river cousins dressed in green... such lyrical prowess makes this song number 4 on my top ten favorite songs list. i just can't get enough of it. the song is damn near perfection.

terence trent d'arby, 'wishing well': lyrically, the song makes d'arby a descendent of shuggie otis in his rendering of visual words. filled with apparent non-sequitors like, hugging like a monkey see/monkey do/right beside a river boat gambler/erotic images flow through my head/so i wanna be/your midnight rambler ...i get excited when i hear this song. no, for real, i actually smile when i hear this shit. if we're ever at a karaoke event, and this song is on the playlist, i'll sing it for you. promise.

maroon 5, 'sunday morning': look, yo, i just love maroon 5, ok? i play songs about jane at least once a week. this joint makes me bob my head from left to right the way kindergarteners do when they're singing 'john jacob jingleheimer schmidt' (his name is my name, too). no matter how shitty i'm feeling (usually about my perpetual singleness and two-month retirement from 'the game'), the song puts me in a much better--even happy--mood. (p.s. saf, tell your mom adam is pretty cute.)

prince, 'soft and wet': it's the move from the falsetto to the baritone when prince sings, 'tell me that you love me girl' that tickles me everytime. this song makes me wanna dance. even in front of white people.

bob marley, 'waiting in vain': ok, i'm not a stalker, but this song speaks to me. i live/love inside my head. i constantly daydream. in fact, as i write this, i'm daydreaming. when it comes to person-person interaction, i am incredibly shy, and i get awkward. (people scare me.) i either become an asshole or talk about mile a minute, while telling myself in my head that i'm an incredible fuck up. the past i've noticed that i don't say the right things when people were apparently flirting with me. as a result, i leave with no name, no number, no ass. yet i'll be smitten, and mentally create a scenario where i said the right things, and shit worked out. such mental excercises are often comforting internally, but externally, i'm a mess--often feeling physical pain, beating myself up for being so inept at such social interaction. if/when i ever see this person again, i'm reminded of such pain, and realize that i fucked up my chance to make a good impression. i therefore wait (in vain) for an opportunity to redeem myself which, of course, never comes. but bob has made such waits beautiful, because it seems to me that though the song is stalkerish, he's not so much in love with the girl, but in love with the wait. that's why i love it. *whew*

bob marley, 'natural mystic': of course natty dread would make it on the list twice. since i was a bit long-winded about 'waiting in vain', i'll try to keep this one as short as possible: 'natural mystic' creeps up on you; it's haunting. it is also the best first song on an album. ever. period.

michael jackson, 'stranger in moscow': an odd choice by the gloved one, i know, but this is the greatest mj song post bad imho. i know i've written about this song before, but every time i listen to it, i'm amazed at how impeccable it sounds. when michael sings, 'then a beggar boy called my name...and again, and again, and again...' i can sense his pain with not being able to be anonymous anywhere in the world. when i'm in the mood (note thee mood, just a mood), i play this over and over just to try and hear every part of the song, there are things in the background i'll hear for the first time, and become once again awed by mj's genius. if you can, you should also check out the video (i mean, short film). it's pretty dope, too.

roberta flack and donny hathaway, 'where is the love?': if you know me personally, you know i don't really sing unless i'm at a concert or messing around. i'm not a prime candidate for vh1's motormouth at all. but 'where is the love' by roberta flack and donny hath requires that i sing each and every word at the top of my lungs--every time i hear it. i know when it comes to male/female r&b duos a lot of you all roll with marvin gaye and tammy terrell. that's understandable, but i'm telling you, on their best day, they couldn't hold a candle to roberta and donny. their voices were meant to be together, i swear. and since they mostly harmonize in 'where is the love' you can really tell.

tracy chapman, 'fast car': tracy chapman, one of cleveland, ohio's greatest. when tracy chapman sings, it seems to be the most effortless act ever. though i am terribly saddened whenever i hear this song (only 'little red corvette' makes me sadder), i must hear it over and over again. if i hear it on the radio on my way somewhere, as soon as i get home, i'll play it over and over. the lyrics take us from someone with a little bit a hope, to someone who has realized such dreams will not come to fruition. (the moment of) homelessness never sounded so sad, but it also never sounded to beautiful. btw, i think the use of this song by nice 'n' smooth ('sometimes i rhyme slow, sometimes i rhyme quick) is one of my favorite hip hop samples ever.

van hunt, 'hold my hand': i don't know how many times i'm gonna have to tell you all to get on the van hunt bandwagon, but his debut album mighta been the best album you didn't buy last year. while you were all distracted by that nigga ye and the male alicia keys otherwise known as john legend, i was developing a boy crush on van hunt. 'hold my hand' is the second song in the trilogy of 'van hunt sings summer's life', and is reminscent of a good, mid-tempo 80s prince song with its simple but hypnotic guitar chords, combined with great lyrics and an awesome use of string instruments in the background. lyrical highlights include: day and night you watch me from your hiding place/but you don't tell anyone else about us/footsteps in the shadows reveal secrets of a young belle/fresh from her shell and curious/hold my hand/that's something you don't have to understand for you to do/hold my hand/young lover come and get under my skin/it'll all make sense to if that ain't a straight boy empathizing with a gay chick, what is? (hmmm...i haven't gushed about an album like this since res' how i do back in 2001, and we see what happened to her. [what happened to her?] maybe i should shut up about van hunt.)

songs i won't go on about:
sade, 'kiss of life'
donny hathaway, 'a song for you'
stevie wonder, 'golden lady' and 'pasttime's paradise'
the roots, 'silent treatment'
pharcyde, 'runnin''
dido, 'thank you' to put it simply, i want dido to sing me lullabies.
fiona apple, 'criminal'
bill withers, 'ain't no sunshine'

c'mon and gimme know you want to.

language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison

Monday, June 20, 2005

(start a rumor monday...)
v is for versus

jacko, jack-off--once again it's on!!!!

black america has seen its share of beef, and not just from mcdonald's and other fast food places that cause a gazillion health problems: ll cool j versus kool moe dee. 'pac versus biggie. whitney versus wendy. and now....michael joe versus jesse lou.

this just in:

after serving as the king of pop's spiritual adviser, jesse jackson (sources from the jackson camp say his version of 'go down, moses' rivals that of paul robeson) has left team gloved one due to a major falling out between the two men who had seemingly grown close during mj's trial. 'now the only thing they have in common is an overly popular black last name,' a source close to jackson said. 'reverend jesse seemed like he wanna be startin' something, so the king of pop told him to beat it. '

persons close to both jacksons say things between the two became strained soon after 10 not guilty verdicts were handed down from the jury. celebrating his victory, the exonerated mj threw a slumber party at his neverland ranch for his young fans. it seems rev. jackson got quite upset when he realized that of the young boys present, all were either white or latino, and none were black. 'reverend jesse's reaction was so off the wall,' the source continued. 'he walks into michael's bedroom where the kids are, and just starts calling michael names, saying he's just like vicente fox. here your highness had caught a case and had just beat it, and reverend jackson starts calling him a smooth criminal.'

jesse jackson cries racism against the other jackson for what he claims was, 'a case of discrimination beyond my wildest imagination. the lack of presence of young black male pubescent adolescents requires a severance of relations between gary, indiana's most famous son and me.' with the financial backing of the rainbow/push coalition, jackson intends to sue jackson for discriminating against black boys. jackson claims he broached the subject to jackson peacefully, when jackson flippantly responded, 'what do you think this is? juvie?' the reverend reflected, 'that's when my soul experienced great agitation.'

though there is no legal precedent for such a case, run, jesse, run has already garnered the support of the rev. al sharpton and the naacp. the latter believes that they can lend tremendous support, and hopefully influence the paler jackson as they did tv networks who failed to have african american shows in their fall line-ups several years ago.

in related news...

michael jackson and court tv's jami floyd are not the same person, they are not related, and they do not have the same stylist.

eh...i have been wrong before.

language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison

Friday, June 10, 2005

this weekend's essay: i got a crush on you!!!!

this weekend's essay: who's your blog crush? you know, the blogger whose blogging personality you really like. i, for example, have a big crush on gbe. i figure i'd give her a shout out and further contribute to 'her myth' since she's convinced i wanna fuck her. well, you know, it's her myth so...

i also just loooove nick. he's so damn cute--like, f'real.

you know the drill...


fecundmellow: the mixtape part ii (the ep)
i'm a blogstar, baby!!

summer m. (did i just refer myself in the 3rd person?) is heading to the empire state with her mom and naleezy for the week. since internet access is as of yet undetermined, i can't promise i'll blog at all next week.

(stop crying, please...and put your monitor down.)

i've hooked you all up with another mixtape. i don't think any of you fucked with the first mixtape, but that's ok. just in case you get lonely and bored in the blogosphere, i'm doing this anyway. below, i've hooked you up with 3 blog-related activities for the weekdays i'm gone. you can leave all your work in the comments section.

pace yourselves.

  1. monday: start/suggest a rumor. if my dumbass can do it, you sure as hell can.
  2. wednesday: visit postsecret. this is a blog i came across recently; it might be the greatest blog ever. basically, people reveal secrets on postcards they've created (see below). highlights include: 'i had gay sex at church camp...3 times'; 'everyone who knew me before 9/11 thinks i'm dead;' and...
  3. friday: this weekend's essay: tell me how much you missed me while i was gone.

  4. love,
    summer m., blogstar

language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison

Thursday, June 09, 2005

let's play...muzik tag!!!!

when i was seventeen/i did what people told me...

last week, book tag really picked up. i'ma start my own similar meme:
  1. total number of albums/cds i own: hundreds. not including burned cds, and shit i've downloaded onto several computers. despite my love of muzik, my collection is hardly impressive. that said, i prolly have more cds than books. hmmm.
  2. the last album/cd i bought: esthero's we r in need of a musical revolution, and common's be.
  3. last album/cd i listened to: the beach boys pet sounds (don't sleep on this shit).
  4. currently listening to: tears for fears songs from the big chair.
  5. lyrics or beats: lyrics baby.
  6. first album you fell in love with: tie between rick james' (bitch) street songs, and janet jackson's control. i played the latter so much, it warped on my emerson turntable because i left it there exposed to the sun. as for rick james (bitch), i remember being able to play records before i could read. i couldn't read the motown label on the album, but i recognized its colors. sometimes the wrong albums would be in the wrong sleeves and i'd get street songs mixed up with lionel ritchie. but anyway, if you've ever seen the album cover of street songs, you'll notice rick wearing these bright red leather boots that go up to his thighs. when i was little, my mom's leather knee boots came up to my waist. i would put those on and rock out to rick james (bitch).
  7. album with the largest impact: marvin gaye's what's going on. i didn't really listen to this album until i was maybe 16, after i heard it, i became so obsessed with muzik i couldn't stand myself. i was so blown away by the lyrics of 'what's going on?' and 'mercy mercy me' that i copied them down to learn them. to this day, hearing marvin say, 'what about this overcrowded land/how much more abuse from man/can she stand?' i feel it in his voice. f'real.
  8. favorite album: so hard to decide. let's go with rastaman vibration; or the 3rd disc of marley's songs of freedom box set.
  9. most listened to album: the miseducation of lauryn hill; and aquemini (kast).
  10. sexiest album (some shit you{'d} fuck to): there are sooo many, including my own mixtapes. but let's just go with a black lezzie response and say meshell's comfort woman.
  11. biggest disappointment: too many to name, all of common's shit; talib kweli's shit; all nas after it was written; mos def's the new danger; so many more.
  12. five albums that mean the most to you: rastaman vibration (marley); thriller (m. jackson); it takes a nation of millions to hold us back (public enemy; bought this off some kid back in elementary skool. steppops took it from me. that's how i knew i needed to fuck with hip hop. p.e. saved my life.); purple rain (prince); donny hathaway (donny hathaway; you all need to know about donny hath, for real.); my life (mary j. blige). i know that's six, but i couldn't leave off mary.
  13. album tag, you're it: whoever wants to carry on the torch. (c'mon somebody do it, please!)

language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison

Monday, June 06, 2005

(start a rumor monday...)

where's my rumor, bitch?
forgive me, dear loyal readers, for the delayed posting of the now infamous rumor. but summer m. had to be talked off the top of one of the remaining robert taylor home buildings after hearing that oprah and her "book club" have decided to spend the summer reading faulkner.

she is trying to kill me.

but now, without further delay...

fda approves race changing surgery (shout out to saf)

in a scary case of life imitating art (see george shuyler's work), the fda has finally approved a race changing surgery. beginning in january 2006, this process will be available at several hospitals throughout the u.s. quite popular in europe for the past 15 years (rumor has it that michael jackson was part of one of the early european test trials), race changing is being compared to a sex change. 'for a while now we've known that there are people who believed that they had been born the wrong gender, and surgical technology has allowed us to alleviate that problem,' one doctor said. though african americans passing as white, and white people enamored with all things black have never been a secret, we are now finally able to permanently alter one's race through surgical technology.'

the surgery, generally known as melanization, is the final step in a long process that can take years. persons seeking the surgery must undergo at least six months of psychiatric counseling, and the doctor(s) must submit several letters and sworn statements testifying that the person has in fact shown evidence that he/she was born in the wrong racialized body. depending on one's skin color preference, patients often must undergo the (de)melanization process several times. people often wear body makeup during the periods in between surgeries. along with therapy and surgery, potential patients must undergo tests (such as a musical rhythm test) to further verify whether or not one has been born into the wrong 'race'.

one person, who had undergone the process from going white to black says, 'despite being born a white male, i'd always felt something like a 7 seventh son. like i had been born with this veil around me. yet at the same time, this veil made me feel as if i could see more. like i had a second sight, some sort of double consciousness. i talked to my other white friends about this, and they just looked at me like i was crazy. but now that i'm black, i feel so much more at home. when i was a kid, i used to steal my mother's make up and put on a black face. but with this surgery, i know what it's really like to wear the mask. plus, my adoration of a plump female ass is embraced, and not considered weird.'

another former patient, a woman who went from black to white, had this to say, 'i used to try to scrub the black off of me when i took a bath. i'd tried every fading cream under the sun until this opportunity to make a permanent change came along. i don't feel so self-conscious when i eat hummus or wear birkenstocks. i truly feel like the weight of the world has been lifted.

prices do vary depending on surgery--it costs less to become black (esp. if the patient is a male between the ages of 18-25 as one's life expectancy is much lower); it is most expensive to become white. all other race changes fall somewhere in between--except if one wishes to become native american. sources say those numbers are too low to appear on the pricing chart.

though thousands of african americans (including condoleezza rice, clarence thomas, and tiger woods to name a few) have signed up for the de-melanization process, only teena marie and robert deniro have applied to become fully melanized. as of yet, no one has signed up to become asian.

excuse me while i go commit a crime on one of america's most beloved living icons.

language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison

Thursday, June 02, 2005

book tag!

virginia hamilton (1936-2002), my first favorite author

i just got tagged by the inimitable bernard bradshaw of sex and the 2nd city. since i was so honored to be tagged on his blog (and i don't mean that in my usual sarcastic, assholish way), i'm postponing the "guys i'd lose 'the gay' for" entry until next week. so now...let's play book tag.

  1. total number of books you own: not enough. i mean, i pass for a grad student, but my library (though organized alphabetically) needs a lotta work.
  2. the last book i bought: the portable sixties reader, i believe. for the orals list, of course.
  3. last book i read: pauline hopkins' wack-ass of one blood for the umpteenth time. the shit makes me crazy.
  4. current book reading: i should prolly be reading one of those books on the sidebar, but i'm not. so we'll just go with gayl jones' corregidora.
  5. fiction or non-fiction: i'm a literary skolar in training, homie. fiction, of course.
  6. first book read: man, iono. prolly green eggs and ham or i can read with my eyes shut. dr. seuss was my nigga.
  7. largest impact: the house of dies drear. i read this in 5th grade, and i remember being so pleasantly surprised we were reading something about black people, that i read the first 7 chapters during silent reading. we read dies along with the hobbit and the phantom tollbooth in class that year. hey, publik skool wasn't so bad. anyway, i just love virginia hamilton. i was very sad when i learned she'd died. she was my first favorite author.
  8. favorite scholarly book: hmmm...whatever do you mean by scholarly? i do fuck with jimmy baldwin's essays, and years ago i was intrigued by marcuse's one-dimensional man. but wayne booth's the rhetoric of fiction, et. al. make me happy b/c they are so clear.
  9. most read book: prolly their eyes...
  10. sexiest book: i often read books with incest in them, and that ain't really all that sexy--unless you're a chester. but, um, i'll go with sula because e'rybody knows in the unrated version, sula and nel got down. then again, the ending of gayl jones' eva's man is kinda sexy (in a fucked up sorta way). i'll quote: "'tell me when it feels sweet, eva. tell me when it feels sweet, honey.' i leaned back, squeezing her face between my legs, and told her, 'now.'" i wouldn't really call it a sexy book, though.
  11. biggest disappointments: i've yet to get through toni morrison's love, so that's definitely up there. also, though it wasn't that bad (i actually really liked it), danzy senna's symptomatic kinda couldn't fuck with caucasia. flannery o'connor's novels aren't as great as her short stories. a few of the stories in z.z. packer's drinking coffee elsewhere were a bit disappointing. yet i tend to find something i love in each book i read. except, of course, faulkner.
  12. five books that mean something to me: the house of dies drear, definitely. the fall of freddie the leaf by leo buscaglia. sister outsider by audre lorde. the autobiography of malcolm x as told to alex haley. their eyes were watching god by zora neale hurston.
  13. book tag (you're it): i tag nahmix, saf, deshi, nick, and mwilli.

language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

father forgive me, for i am an asshole.

it's the end of the skool year, which means graduation and whatnot. you put on your cap and gown, march, listen to some asshole tell you to change the world, and boom! you take a gang of pictures w/ mofos you ain't never gonna see again.

oh yes, tis my favorite time of year.

i can recall it like it was yesterday: it was the spring of 1998, and i was finally getting the fuck outta r. nelson snider high skool. i hated my parents and actually thought west lafayette, indiana would be a great place to go. shit. i even left my own graduation party. hell, i wouldn't have had one if they weren't such a cash cow. plus, moms made me; she'd worked really hard. went as far as having a three volume scrapbook chronicling my wack ass 18 years on the planet (though i'm sure she regretted this as i was the first of four kids; she therefore had to do that shit another three times). plus, she got me a big ass cake with 'congratulations summer, you go!' on the top. god, i love brenda. i am truly her child. but i digress.

what's really great about this time of year is the yearbooks and shit. you know, that physical evidence that you were in fact in the chess club; that you were 50 pounds lighter; that you plucked your eyebrows a bit too thin; that you weren't popular enough to be voted 'most likely to do anything'; that that perm prolly wasn't such a good idea (shout out white girls); that you wore that dress to prom. etc. etc.

which brings me to some social commentary. for those of you who don't pay a lot of attention to the news, there were a couple articles surrounding yearbooks and younger members of 'the race' recently. interestingly, both of these stories took place in the south ({shoutout rrrrachel!} fla. known for a fuck up or two; and texas known for frying a nigga e'ry now and again). lemme get to a point...i do have a few.

1st case:

ok. so in boynton beach, fla. some dumb ass nigga allowed himself to be photographed with his then white girlfriend holding a leash around his neck. the photo was taken because he'd been voted 'most whipped' (or as my great-grandmother likes to call it 'cuntfused'). this more or less means that his girlfriend was running that shit. apparently, robert richards thought this would be funny-- until his mama saw it.

though richards thought the picture of he and melissa finley a way to stand out in the yearbook (he got that right), his mother, jacqueline nobles, started having roots flashbacks, and raised a stink about it being offensive and such. as a result, 460 of the 700 or so yearbooks were confiscated by the skool. now on monday, may 23, dewayne wickam of usa today wrote about this whole ordeal.** apparently wickam thinks nobles deserves applause because she saw how problematic the photograph was, something the skool didn't see. wickam starts his op-ed piece with, 'jacqueline nobles deserves a standing ovation.'

uh, dude, no she doesn't.

jacqueline nobles doesn't deserve shit, and i'm gonna tell you why:
  1. she raised a fucking dumbass. that does not get you points, props, or applause. if nobles were that cognizant of how race complicates shit, her fucking idiot son would have never taken the picture. instead of raising such a ruckus at the skool, she should have whipped her already whipped son's ass.
  2. to further bring home point number one, i'd like to highlight richards' response, which included, 'most people think it's funny.' and, 'we don't see a problem with it. if there was a black girl doing this in the picture this wouldn't be an issue.' oh my. in one sense you're right, if a black girl was holding the leash, it might not have been an issue. it prolly would have been a whole other set of issues that e'rybody would've ignored (because black chicks get ignored like that), but the point is your 'logic' is flawed. this is a prime example of how investing in political correctness handicaps us from having real conversations about race; this is why that whole color-blindness rhetoric is bullshit (though i did rock a 'love see no color' cross colours shirt in 6th grade). i will not blame this entirely on the fact that you went to (publik) skool, robert. like i said, i also blame your kizzie kinte-ass mama. but i digress. first off, it wasn't a black girl, it was a white girl (don't worry, i ain't mad at you for playing in the snow). second, black chicks and white chicks are not equally exchangeable. kinda like margarine and butter, you can't substitute one for the other, and expect the same results. it just doesn't work like that, homie. if you think i'm lying let's imagine that your girlfriend had parents who were against y'all dating. and let's say y'all saw each other anyway, fucked, and got caught. hmmm...if homegirl was black, you prolly just got an angry black mama on your hands among other things. if homegirl was white, you might be doing 3-5. just an example.
2nd case:

token black (girl). oh, there's one in every skool. at every party. in every movie.

shadoyia jones worked really hard in high skool. an honor roll student, jones was inducted into her skool's national honor society. as a result, she got to be in the yearbook picture. unfortunately, she was identified as 'black girl' under the picture.

the skool district (waxahachie, texas) immediately issued a 'my bad' and explained that 'black girl' had simply been used as a marker until they could figure out her name.

  1. the other students (all white) had been identified, but the skool district can't figure out the name of the lone black girl in national honor society? and her name is shadoyia jones? ok. i think i get it: the name of the only black chick is often super hard to figure out. hell, they could've asked another student in the honor society. i mean, i also was the lone black chick in my nat'l honor society, and on the night of my induction, eric miller turned to me and said, 'summer, have you noticed that you are the only black student here?' (uh, yeah. who do i look like? robert richards?) the point is, eric knew my name (which is a lot less 'ethnic' than shadoyia jones), and that i was the lone negro in the spot, so odds are some white kid in nhs knew shadoyia's name. then again, maybe not since we're all color-blind and shit.
  2. i regret to have to inform you of this, shay shay, but in a sense 'black girl' was sufficient identification. if you continue on this trajectory you shall be identified as such. i, for example, intend to wear a t-shirt that says 'token' to an english department party before it's all said and done. sorry, kid. it's like that (and that's the way it is). don't let that deter you, though. embrace it. make it ironic. work within the stereotype and transform it. blog about it. teach your colleagues how to dance. it's all good. but anyway, big up to you for beating the odds. with a name like shadoyia, i'm sure for a minute there it looked like you were on that vocational skool track.
i'm done.

and while i'm on it, will somebody tell me why i should be mad at/offended by el presidente vicente fox? i still haven't figure it out yet.

**shout out to studpoet for reprinting wickam's article on her blog. i'd heard about the whole thing, but i hadn't read this article. if your comments weren't disabled, i probably wouldn't have gotten on my soapbox.

language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison