Randomness: Halloween

I love Halloween.  It’s a chance to be someone (or some thing) other than yourself. My costumes have varied from sorceress to Badass Black Woman (this year, I’m leaning towards Michonne from “The Walking Dead”). The drawback of Halloween is that folks try to use the day as an excuse to get out-of-pocket (killing black cats and other wacky stuff). But what really annoys me, is that SOME white folks see the holiday as a chance to “act” as another race, usually in degrading ways:

photos for poster

I’ve been looking for spots me and my friends can hit up this upcoming Halloween weekend. I thought I found one cool place, until I scrolled through their gallery of photos from their event last year. I noticed some questionable costumes. One white guy looked like he was dressed as an Indigenous person. He had darkened up his skin, put tribal markings over his body, and had on a deadlock looking wig. Oh, hell naw. I had to cross that place off the list. If I go to an event and I see white folks have “blackened” themselves up,  I really will be cutting off heads like Michonne.

I guess I just want folks to think about how these outfits insult folks of color. There are many great costume ideas out there, why white folks resort to blackface, is beyond me. But I best not see it…

Michonne5

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Randomness: Rihanna & Chris Brown

So, I finally got a chance to see Rihanna’s new music video. I guess the song came out earlier this year, but the video was just released:

There’s been a lot of controversy about the video. Honestly, there’s been such an agenda in the entertainment industry to push pornographic images of women into mainstream media, I barely blinked an eye. Didn’t we just go through this with Miley Cyrus? Also, I have mixed emotions about representations of women who work as strippers. I do think there is opportunity to see the art/physical strength of strippers/sex workers. In the end, it’s a job. However, I feel uneasy constantly seeing black women being portrayed as azz shakers and literally only being shown as body parts. Rihanna to me is the new Britney Spears.  I know Rihanna isn’t the greatest talent or singer. She needs to rely on her body/sexuality to get her over. But, even she’s admitted to having to pretend with this whole “good girl gone bad” imagery. In her interview with OprahOprah asked her, “How did you become  so comfortable in your own sexual skin?” She said, “I had to fake to till I  make it. I had to pretend until I was comfortable.” I think if Rihanna could go back to living a quiet life in Barbados, she would. But the money’s too good. So compromises have to be made. Hell, she probably can’t get out even, if she wanted to. The industry will work her as long as they feel they can squeeze a dime out of her. Just like poor Britney Spears (even despite a very public breakdown), she’s stuck. At this point, Rihanna probably believes “if you can’t beat them, join them.” She co-directed the video. I have a feeling when she looks back on these days, she will cringe. It’s obvious she has succumbed to the entertainment industry’s manipulation of today’s young women pop singers. I hope she makes it out okay.

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A few days ago, Chris Brown shared something about himself that explains his current behavior.  The funny thing about it, Brown has been doing everything and anything to get people off his back about the Rihanna incident. Yet, something I believe he felt was giving him bragging rights, actually is the thing that is making folks view him differently. In an interview with UK Guardian, Brown shared about losing his virginity at age 8-years old. He stated, “It’s different in the country,” adding that he and his friends watched a lot of porn. “By that point, we were already kind of like hot to trot, you know what I’m saying? Like, girls, we weren’t afraid to talk to them; I wasn’t afraid. So, at eight, being able to do it, it kind of preps you for the long run, so you can be a beast at it. You can be the best at it.” 

The person he lost his virginity to was a teen girl around 14/15 years old. Of course, for myself/other folks this immediately set off alarm bells. When an 8-year old has sex with an older person, that is rape, not consent. Brown, like other folks, think it’s different when it’s a boy. But it isn’t. An 8-year old is a child. I can’t even imagine folks laughing about an 8-year old talking about being sexually active, and not wanting to call the police.

The combination of a too early sexual experience and watching his mother physically abused as a child, explains Brown’s attitude toward women, especially when he was dating Rihanna. Rihanna has also shared about domestic violence in her home as a child. It’s not surprising these two found each other, especially in an industry that exploits insecure/lost people. We see Rihanna acting out in videos and we see Brown tearing up stuff/fighting folks. This is not to make excuses for him, but rather, to put his behavior in context. It’s not mentally healthy for a child to be introduced to sex at an early age.

As blogger Olivia A. Cole noted:

“We know some of the behavioral signals that occur when girls have been raped. Depression, promiscuity, unexplained anger, anxiety. These are words we use when we describe the ways victims behave. It’s interesting that I have seen these same symptoms in young boys—alongside me in class when I was a child, in boyfriends as I got older, in men beside me on the bus in Chicago—yet no one looks at male anger and male promiscuity as symptoms of anything. These are just classic male behaviors. “Boys will be boys,” and boys sleep around. Boys have bad tempers. Right? Wrong.”–from http://oliviaacole.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/chris-brown-and-a-nation-of-raped-boys/

I really hope Brown gets counseling for his sexual abuse/the abuse he witnessed and suffered as a child. Or else he will continue to self-destruct. I pray that there are decent men in his life that will help him find his way. Other men need to let young boys know this is not healthy or cool.

Randomness: Breaking Bad

I’m always late to the popular shows because I don’t have a television.  I just started watching “Breaking Bad” on Netflix. It’s soo addictive. I pause it when I need to take a shower or make something to eat  :/  It’s sad really, but oh so good:

Photo from: patdollard.com
Photo from: patdollard.com

The show is well written, acted, and seems so real.  I like the Jesse character. He is very likable, for some reason. The Walter character is a bit more devious. While on the surface it looks like a good man pushed to the extremes,  I think he had it in him all along.

My only issue so far, has been the representation of brown folks. They have all been crazy/violent (I’m still on the first season).  I find it fascinating brown people are involved at all. I guess because the story is set in New Mexico. But the meth business is still predominately white. Or maybe it’s just the users? I tried to research, but it’s hard to find information about meth addictions/culture, unlike crack addictions. I wonder why dot dot dot

Other than that, great show!!

Randomness: My blogging is too Blogalicious

This past spring, I won a grant to attend the Blogalicious conference. I can’t believe it’s just next week! It seemed so far away. I am looking forward to the conference.  It’s an opportunity to travel, learn some new things, and meet up with family. If I am not feeling overwhelmed/lazy, I will post a video(s) from my time there, or at least blog. I wish I knew about the event, last year. The conference was held in Las Vegas. I would’ve hit up the slot machines. 😉

Oh well…

Badge-Create-Build-Fund1-e1361937588383

 

 

Randomness: My Black is Beautiful Inspiration Kit

This past summer, I wrote about the “My Black Is Beautiful” documentary. The short film was shown on BET (of all places). Any who, the “My Black is Beautiful” is really a movement to empower young black women. In a society that works hard to make them feel less than, black girls between the ages of 10-18 need to know that they do matter and they are worthwhile. It’s hard for many of them to believe this when everyone (including black media) is telling them their hair isn’t long/blonde enough, butts not big enough, skin too dark, etc.  So, despite this campaign being heavily product driven, I am all for what they are trying to do.

The organization offered limited free “My Black is Beautiful” Inspiration Kits.  I was able to get one . It arrived in the mail last week. I just cracked it open and it’s a small kit filled with empowerment activities for young women. There’s a Vision Board and Personal Manifesto to post photos, quotes, magazines images, to redefine what  beauty is. There’s encouragement  to write a I heart Me list  to write down the things young women like/don’t like about themselves and to work on this list everyday. The idea is that eventually they will have more good things than bad. There’s also information about how to start a journal. I think that journal writing is a good way for young black women to purge their oppression.

It’s a cute and thoughtful kit and makes me wish I had a daughter to give it to 🙂

Photo from: www.icravefreebies.com
Photo from: http://www.icravefreebies.com

Randomness: Hacked

The other night my email was hacked. It was so disturbing. It also was a pain in the azz. Everyone kept emailing/texting/calling concerned because they thought I was stuck in the Philippines 😉 Now, you just saw me yesterday at the Starbucks. I guess because I’m always on the go, it wasn’t far-fetched to folks. It did feel good to know that people cared about me and were willing to send cash to get me home. Hmm…

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Photo from: madamenoire.com

Randomness: Spas

This month, I have a little extra change in my pocket. I thought it would be fun to treat myself and go to a spa. Shockingly, I’ve never been before. The closest I’ve come to spa treatment, are those quick foot/leg massages, whenever I get pedicures. As I searched around town, for a good place to make an appointment, I couldn’t help but notice one thing. In the advertisement for spas, the images are mostly those of white women snoozing blissfully:

Damn, not even in the fantasy land of luxury are black/women of color allowed to take a break. Any who, what are your spa experiences?

Randomness: Busy Days

Wow! I went from twiddling my thumbs these past couple of weeks, to running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I’ve been so busy,  I’m behind on posting stuff. I hope to FINALLY write my book review on“Sister Citizen…” I hope to FINALLY finish up the last chapter of “All Decent Animals.” I hope to FINALLY pick up “Ghana Must Go” from the library. Meh, life happens…

Photo from: http://madamenoire.com/262779/signs-youre-ready-to-date-again/busy-woman-pf/

Randomness: Grimm Casting Call for Extras

This past weekend, I applied to be an extra on “Grimm.” The show is filmed in my city. I stood in line for almost two hours.  In the hot azz sun. I enjoyed chatting with folks, though. Many people were newbies, like me. Nothing exciting happened. They just took my information and snapped a photo. Crossing my fingers, I get picked! I think I would make a fabulous monster  🙂