Send your questions/letters to theassimilatednegro [at] gmail [dot] com.
In this edition: Kings of Leon bump in South Africa!
Dear Uncle TAN,
So I’ve got this problem, see I thought I’d cured my malady of assimilation by growing some locks. But it seems the infection was a little more deep seated than I thought, because lately I have become an unabashed fan of some unbecoming music for an intelligent, South African black woman like me. I am… a fan of Kings of Leon.
I could go into the sordid detailed angst of being an assimilated individual on African soil. (I say this with my head hanging in shame, because even though there’s a valid excuse for my current state of being, apartheid, I’m not proud). I don’t think it’d help to dredge up painful memories of being called a coconut when growing up but rather go right ahead and ask for your assistance – or insight.
How can this be? What’s wrong with me? I don’t think something like this would happen inversely.
Nubian Queen of Leon sing-along fan
Dear Queen of Leon,
Why so glum? I refer you to the homey Nietzsche, "Maintaining cheerfulness in the midst of a gloomy task, fraught with immeasurable responsibility, is no small feat; and yet what is needed more than cheerfulness? Nothing succeeds if prankishness has no part in it."
It might help to know that by prankishness, he means farting. Nothing succeeds if farting has no role. And it's really true, when you think about it.
(*story idea: farting is the ultimate social palate cleanser; no one can be racist while people are farting. explore.* )
On to your particular issues:
1. One should not consider assimilation a malady, m'lady. Rejoice! Assimilation is alchemy of the human spirit. It is our collective will to power. The Kings bump in the mother-land? Good to know! TAN is an old swedish lady addicted to Too Short if you didn't just expand the matrix by a few dots with that particular impulse. give yourself a pat for being a true original.
2. You were called a "coconut"? Surely at some point in life you'll find this hilarious, but more important: did you grow up in the early twentieth century? In what era besides old-timey times can you call someone a "coconut" and have it register as being painfully offensive? Did they call you a coconut AND make fun of your pantaloons? Did they also call your mother a "liar"? There's really no conversation where "you're a coconut" is not a non sequitur. YOU'RE A DIRTY F'ING COCONUT!!! Uh, ok. *pause* Soooo, I was saying ...
3. I'm not as up on the Kings as perhaps I should be. But from a cursory checking out of their "media narrative" it seems they're a perfect example of how artists (or artists as identity-memes) often evolve over time (read: assimilate). They had grassroot support from the underground, then they blew up as pop stars of their genre. and now they have a faction of *original* fans who are like: yo, I remember when Kings of Leon use to not use deodorant and eat pork chops with their hands. Now they got haircuts and shit, Pfft!
Blah Blah. I refer you to the homey Hov, "everybody look at you strange and say you change, like you work that hard to stay the same".
4. This opens up the door for you, Queen of Leon, to appreciate that perhaps what resonates with you about The Kings is not the twang in their strings, but their southern rock approximation of being a coconut in Africa. THEY'RE A BUNCH OF FRIGGIN' COCONUTS, ALL OF 'EM!! At the very least, they'll let you bring a certain prankishness to any situation that arises.
Viva le Leon!
UPDATE: Kings of Leon Video Hot Pick, "Be Somebody"