Friday, October 24, 2008

David Alan Grier Is Respected, But Can He Be Relevant?

these pics couldn't run with my analysis of David Alan Grier's Chocolate News show on EbonyJet. so i'm posting/teasing here along with excerpts:

When black-oriented comedy or satire falls short it's usually because it's outdated. [...]

This is why I'd suspect most young bruhs and sistahs weren't especially motivated by the previews/trailers/ads for Chocolate News, David Alan Grier's attempt at filling the Black Hole in television programming with his urban version of The Daily Show. Fronted by a guy who hasn't made you laugh since In Living Color, and teasing us with clips premised around ideas like hip hop being sexist/violent/hoe-laden, and white people using the n-word. Ehhh, done and done. Even the mildly amusing ad campaign pictured above right was executed better a couple years ago by a different network.


2. Can The Satirical News Show Work For Negroes?: Beyond the challenge of execution and high expectations, this is the heart of the problem for a show like Chocolate News. And I can't articulate it better than this waffling Salon review:

When Stephen Colbert launched his "Report," he made it clear to anyone with a sense of irony that he was riffing on Bill O'Reilly and his ilk. But even if Grier were to base his caricature on a media figure like Tavis Smiley or Tom Joyner, how many of us would get it? And how much fun could you make of either of those guys, anyway? Political humor is best served as a poke in the eye of power; Smiley and Joyner's influence and name recognition aren't anywhere near as strong as O'Reilly's."

Only one of these guys can be a satirical news-anchor host

All this said, most of the reviews are optimistic with reservations. Acknowledging the show is not quite funny yet, but if it gets time the talent and concept could lead to a solid piece of television. Which is a fair assessment. Listening to Grier do his Maya Angelou on the radio for NPR translates a whole lot better than seeing another black-guy-in-a-fatsuit routine. So there's hope. Who knows, maybe by the time we get a Black president, we'll also have a Black Daily Show that's worth talking about.

Until then, even if it's a little bittersweet, I might have to settle for my chocolate news no matter what form it comes in.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I Don't Know If He's "Back", But A Relapse Is Definitely In Effect

Looks like Eminem has gotten over that whole "IT'S GOTTA BE PERFECT!" thing all creative folk deal with (the good ones tend to have that issue, at least), and is returning to the hip hop landscape.

Mp3's are starting to leak, video snips are starting to spread, and the publicity machine is revving up as only it can for the blonde hip hop wonder. And his return is a two-prong attack...

Officially: His book/memoir, The Way I Am, written with Sacha Jenkins comes out next Tuesday. Music aside, Marshall and Sacha are two of the most creative, smart, compelling minds in hip hop so I'm looking forward to peeping that.

Even more intriguing, however, is the "long-awaited" album, Relapse. There isn't an official release date, but looks like it's definitely coming out before the year's end.

For the most part Eminem's recent appearances have been skillful, but lethargic and not particularly entertaining. What one might expect from a once-hot rapper now dealing with fatherhood and the rest of the world that doesn't care about a hot 16.

Jay-Z dropped The Black Album, his best album, then retired (technically), and has since been fading into old age and diminished relevancy.

But Em is an artist who gives hope for countering that loss of edge. And unlike Jay's Kingdom Come it sounds like his mind is in the right place. From Detroit Free Press:

"I can tell you this much: Slim Shady is back. Not Marshall Mathers," he said. "Slim Shady, that jackass everybody fell in love with? Yeah, he's back."

Friday, October 10, 2008

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Fifty Years Ago, Van Heusen Advertising Was Run By The Devil

Great find unearthed by CopyRanter at Animal. This Van Heusen Shirts ad really speaks volumes about where this country was fifty years ago, oh, say before Madonna was born.

As Copy points out it wasn't just the racism that was preposterously brazen. The sexism was ill as well:

Holla! Now that's more like the kind of shirt I like to wear.... in the bed.... with a tie... under my bedsheets?

Wonder if that guy's an investment baker?

Copy's even got a link to a spanking ad (i.e. white guy spanking his wife for not ironing his shirt or something) over there. So definitely peep it.

But seriously? Four white dudes and an african guy with a bone in his nose! I know Mad Men is schooling us on old school advertising, blahse blah, but that is bananas. Like LeBron-is-a-gorilla bananas. How can that get printed up on anything other than an ironic hipster-tshirt in 2012?

I never liked corny-ass Van Heusen shirts anyways, but I'm definitely going to be sneering in their direction when I rummage past their clothes at the salvation army. Pffft.

Buygone Ad: Van Heusen Bones of Contention [ANIMAL]

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

How Do Writers Determine When To Reflexively Express They Know What We're Thinking?

So you know how when you read a magazine article or one of these blogs with "professional" writers, and it sort of starts off with a subject you've heard or read about elsewhere, or were interested in exploring, and then the writer basically tries to have a conversation with you on the subject? They establish the definition of what they're talking about and then follow a train of thought to an ultimate argument about the original subject. And as they do it they sort of anticipate what you are thinking?

Usually this is how it works.

So I often wonder how writers determine when they're going to announce that they know specifically what we're thinking as readers. Like they've been hit by a vision, and it revealed for a moment the inside of our brain, and now, THEY KNOW WHAT YOU'RE THINKING.

In this piece on Sarah Palin's Milfy Hotness, Amy Alexander writes:

Few Beltway commentators would dare call this stealth device by name, but the ever-crafty McCain/Palin camp seems to be counting on it to help pull its overmatched ticket across the finish line come November: "MILF" appeal, as in "Mother I'd Like to F...."

Oh, I know what you are thinking,

This is where I pause to look to my left and my right and crouch down a little because I'm only at the start of the second paragraph and I'm sort of like, uhhhh, ok, Amy, please tell me?

but as Chris Rock might say, don't kill the messenger.

Huh? Wait, what was I thinking again?? When did I get so offended???

Is Amy suggesting I might kill someone who uses a capital "F" and some ellipsi-dots in my person? On my computer screen, no less! ARGH, I'M GONNA KILL THE PERSON WHO INSINUATES FOUL LANGUAGE IN MY CONTENT!

No, no Amy. I do believe you AND Chris Rock are safe. For now at least.

(Seriously, does Amy know this is all online? i don't understand ...)

Now, I know what you're thinking .... so I checked out a couple other pieces by the prescient Miss(?) Alexander and I'm gonna say this nit is no real knock on her skills; if this meta career-analysis piece is any indication she enjoys playing with the 4th wall. Soooo, just having some fun. And really just curious.... but I guess I'll dig in more some other time.

The piece itself is solid, though a bit reserved. The sexualizing of Sarah Palin the last month or two is great fodder, but getting ruffled feathers over her being a "MILF," such that we need to spell it out and and gasp for breath? This is an indicator of pop culture coarsening? I thought everyone had seen 2 Girls 1 Cup -- aka our moral abyss manifested on youtube -- but I guess not. Our pop culture "morality" got sodomized to death a long time ago. A "MILF factor" in politics is child's play, even Obama himself got those beach pics out there to rally the Jungle Fever demo.

Now I know what you're thinking: The MILF vs. The NILF (nullus) ... EGADS!

Wait, you weren't thinking that? Well, you should.

And don't kill the blogger.


The MILFy Way [The Root]

linking the messenger [pic]

What's Yellow And Black And Getting Dissed All Over?

Def Poet Kelly Tsai was one of the wonderful participants in my Poets Vs. Rappers show a few years ago. And she's still doing her thing. Her video here hit the mark for me cause it's not just the politicians, even bloggers like me fall into the ol' discussing everything in black-and-white trap. When the first Asian-American runs for president, we're gonna have a lot of explaining to do.

Who Got Lyrics?

yo.....yo....yo....check it...

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Did The Beast Eat All The Black People?

So apparently this white woman Martha Stewart Tina Brown has launched a Big Deal Website. It's called The Daily Beast, and is backed by Barry Diller and IAC which mean they have $. And therefore, a chance.

We'll give it some time and let the content speak for itself before judging, but looking at the staff picture here I'm forced to wonder: Hello?!!? Does the recession mean even the quota-jobs for black people are gone? I'm not even saying maybe hire a black writer/editor for in-house perspective on, I don't know, Obama, or whether black people and their credit problems are to blame for the financial crisis, but at least let homey in the mailroom get to mug for the picture.

oh wait, I forgot Blogs have little need for an actual mailroom, so I guess there's probably not a genuine authentic nappy-haired negro in the mailroom. I take it all back then. My bad.

Good luck, Martha Tina! (Don't be too mad at the "name" gag, just havin' a lil' fun witcha, you know how all y'all caucasians look the same and all of that.)

(And, um, look out for my pitches! All things considered it is probably best for business to outsource for that negro perspective. So smart move, that. )

Wake Me Up Before You JoJo

Sooo, if you're a black-culture blogger you look at this ridiculous clip of KC and JoJo and you think about some old Jodeci albums and/or songs and you come up with a funny joke or pun that makes light of JoJo passing out on stage in the middle of a song.

But I can't help but be saddened by it a bit. It feels to me like a black show is the only one where a guy with a history of epileptic seizures can pass out and then be ignored by the person singing with him, his brother, and the stage manager who CHECKS THE MICROPHONE BEFORE THE PERSON.

I mean if this is true, they all walk away smiles at the end, but JoJo is gonna see the tape and have some deep-seeded sadness that will never go away because people don't care about people, they care about other ish...

UPDATE: Apparently this is some sort of stunt. Huh? Why? it was supposed to be a fake epileptic seizure in the middle of the show, because that's exciting for people to watch?

I mean, I guess it is. I wouldn't be writing about KC & JoJo if I didn't think it was genuine when I saw it. But really? Is that where we are these days? Why not just pull your joint out and masturbate on stage? Same shocking effect, but less cowardly. Own your willingness to sacrifice any shred of integrity to please a crowd and get some media buzz.

Sigh ... well the original premise remains: only for negro events do FAKE-SEIZURES-AS-ENTERTAINMENT make it through the Filter of Reasonable Thinking. At least now we can poke fun, because if you're gonna fake a seizure at least do some fake-convulsing and writhing on stage. Don't be the fading R&B dude who cried, SEIZURE!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Teaching Kids What C.H.A.N.G.E. Really Means

This is sort of amazing (and the relevant story is only the first minute or two, not the whole thing):

The topper is this guy was just transferred, meaning he's still working and just getting "training" and "a written reprimand". That response strikes as the only thing perhaps more ridiculous than the original offense.

via The Little Outlet and WSHH

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

McCain & Miss South Carolina In 2008

You can't help but think of the flammering Miss South Carolina when you see these Sarah Palin interviews, so of course this was coming:

via Videogum
Related Posts with Thumbnails