Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Case of Will Leitch & The Burning Q-Tip

The Case of Will Leitch and the Burning Q-Tip
PART 1.

Mr. and Mrs. Negro had one child. They called him TAN, and so did everybody else.

Mr. Negro was the head of all media, and the chief mind on matters of race and culture. The CEO or Chief Ethnocultural Officer. Whenever a TV station or radio show or magazine needed counsel, ideas, or understanding of some race/culture related issue, they’d ask Mr. Negro. And Mr. Negro always had a good answer for them. His track record in the realm of race was without blemish since 2005.

But Mr, Negro had a secret weapon. And that was his son, TAN. No one would believe it, but it was really TAN that provided Mr. Negro all his fodder. The streak since 2005 was no coincidence; it was also when young TAN started his blog.

Now TAN would help typically help his father solve cases for free. But after a while he realized he enjoyed ethnocultural matters so much he should open up a detective agency to help others solve the mysteries of race and culture. So he stole some money out of his father’s wallet, rented out a bodega, and set up shop. He hung up a sign to advertise himself:

As fate would have it, one evening around midnight Q-Tip came marauding into the office. He was clearly bothered by something. Q-Tip, of course, is a living legend, the lead rapper of iconic hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest. TAN immediately roused to attention upon recognizing the face.

Tip scanned the sign and fished around in his pockets. Eventually he took a quarter-water out from inside his jacket and looked TAN in the eye, "I don't have any change on me, but I can give you this drink. I have a problem, and I want to hire you." Apparently Tip had happened upon some tough fiscal times of late.

TAN looked at the quarter water. It was cherry flavor. His favorite. He smiled and reached for the Bible on the desk that he hollowed out and used as protection for his copy of The Low End Theory. He lifted the CD towards Q-Tip and said, “Yo, Tip. Do you know how much prep school and college cooch this CD got me? If Obama owes something to the Cosby Show, then they owe something to you as well. You’re the soundtrack of our assimilation. Certainly mine. I’ll take the quarter-water -- cause you know I love me some cherry drink -- but trust, i got you on expenses and all of that for this case.”

“So, now, tell me, what’s the scenario? forgive me, but ... you on point, Tip?” TAN asked.

“all the time, tan!” Tip chorused back.

Q-Tip was calmer after quoting an old classic. but he was still pacing as he spoke, “I don’t know why I’m bugging out. But there's this crazy article online. I think it's offensive, but I'm not quite sure. it just feels wrong.”

TAN was puzzled, "well, it’s an internet article. why don’t you just ignore it?"

"hmmm, well yeah, I was going to do that.... but then after i read it I decided to say something."

“You COMMENTED?!!?” TAN knew entering the world of anonymous commenters could only spell trouble for a veteran hip hop artist .

“What did you say, tip?”

uh,something like this:


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How White Bloggers Use Exclamation Points on The Internet!

(In honor of my inclusion in the recent NYT Opinionator exploring #blacktags/the racial divide in Twitter culture, I repost some old theorizing on how white bloggers use !!!! on the internet)


ORIGINAL:

So this post about affirmative action on Gawker sparked some interesting dialogue on its own merits, but a seeming off-thread comment about how Moe, and Gawker in general, use exclamation points in excess ("when did a communicable "replace a period with an exclamation point in every third sentence (at least)" disease sweep through gawker?") struck a chord with me.

Cause it's true. Moe does use a lot of them. And so do most of the editors on the site. And many others across the nets. And I've thought about this. And so in the comments I responded (in part):
...But I now think there's legitimate ethno-cultural cachet to the usage, i.e. "exclamation points" could be an entry on Stuff White People Like. 
I mean, it's an easy way to add energy or personality or whathaveyou to writing, especially if you're churning out posts like some sort of machine that churns out a lot of stuff. But you really don't see it much on black, hip hop, or other ethnic blogs. Knahmean? [ed:I think they/we might do more coding through slanguage. Feel me?] 
In any event, since hanging around blogger/bledia types I do more drinking, smoking, and using of exclamation points. So I think it's a grammatical representation of some part of the assimilation process!...
And I couldn't get the thought out of my head....

Seems to me there are two types of exclamation points:

The first kind are the ones lots of people use. The ones that come big, or in different colors, and used to be a remedial tool for conveying excitement in advertising/marketing. Someday spammers might figure out a way to enhance them so much that they smoke and sparkle, and pop out and shoot lasers all so you know what that hole on the top of your OJ is for.

holla!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Negro Law: Can One Participate In Mandingo Parties?

More TAN Blasts from the Past. Remember that exposé on Mandingo Parties in Details Magazine? Well refresh your memory below, cause really, who wants to forget folks were maybe running Mandingo Parties in Florida a few years ago? my offer to BET to produce a Jackass-for-Black-people reality series called "Mandingo Mansion" still stands. 

ORIGINAL POST:
As delivered to Channel O:

So if you didn't get your wig properly pushed back last week, then you probably didn't read this Details piece on Interracial Orgies (the evite would actually say: "Mandingo Parties.").

Apparently this guy "Art Hammer" started a "Florida Mandingo Group" four years ago, where white couples and black sex addicts pay to have a party where negro studs re-enact the archetypal scene from any black-on-white porno movie; white housewives get the business while their husbands watch.

Now, explicit old school racism aside, the whole thing smells like Jim Crow's nutsack because of two main issues:

1) The wives are not necessarily hot, or even globally warm. The article paints a flaccid-inducing picture with descriptions like, "These women resemble Kathy Bates more than they do Kathy Ireland," and "a pudding of cellulite."

2) These guys supposedly have no less than 8 inches, well-tended bodies, and ivy league educations, yet are paying to whore themselves out at these parties. Do they not teach supply-and-demand economics at Harvard or Yale? Lesson 1: Hot & Smart doesn't pay to have sex with Fat & Racist. What is going on here?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Songs of Evil: Notes on Whitney Houston's "Saving All My Love For You"

A few weeks ago they released the 25th anniversary edition of Whitney Houston's debut album, Whitney Houston.

Whitney is sort of fascinating as a human embodiment of the philosophical conundrum of "Theseus' Ship (props to Jen Dziura's one-woman show for reminder on this).

The Ship of Theseus paradox poses questions of identity and authenticity in the form of a riddle/parable: If a ship leaves the port -- in this case Theseus' ship -- and while out at sea has all its planks replaced over time, piece by piece, when it returns to port with all new parts is it still Theseus' Ship?

Now you may or may not know that some scientists will tell you that our cells are regenerating every 7-10 years. In effect, we all have a little Theseus Paradox in us: our whole bodies are renewed over time, piece by piece, but we stay (in some essential way) the same person.

In the case of the fourth best-selling female artist, the paradox is striking: If when we met Whitney she was a god-fearing, clean-cut, singer from heaven, and then twenty years later all of her cells have changed, and she's a crack-smoking, Bobby Brown f'ing, reality show ghetto diva doing very little singing. Well, is that still Whitney Houston?

I don't know.... But, uh, ANYwhitney, I didn't want to unpack our enigmatic angel in this post, but rather her song, "Saving All My Love For You" which got stuck in my head upon revisiting her debut album.

Have you listened to this song recently? I personally had not, and after being briefly enamored with the parodic possibilities of turning the song into an ode to eye-crust called "Saving All My Crust For You", I realized the song is one of the most purely evil songs I've ever given my attention. It's selfish, obnoxious, and pretty much morally reprehensible. If that proves to be a harsh assessment, then it's at the very least disingenuous. Like some sort of romantic Trojan Horse purporting the spirit of true love, when it's no more than the the deranged fantasy of an intolerably narcissistic lunatic.

The title of this song suggets a paean to waiting, pining, fighting, and willing ones way into someone else's heart. In a different context, perhaps a noble sentiment. But as per the setup of the song, you get a sense of some rather questionable pathology lurking beneath the surface. Some notes on all this after the video below.


~~

Sunday, February 05, 2012

'Twas the Month After Negropedia

'twas the month after negropedia, and all through the sphere 

a few people were talking, but not fully three cheers 

the new yorker said yay, the daily beast says a hoot 

but some say "he’s racist, why give him my loot?" 



he’s not lindsey lohan, he’s not herman cain 

more often than not, that TAN just hurts my brain 

posts come without rhythm, no rhyme, little reason 

sometimes he’s long-winded, the blog is practically wheezing 

he’s trying so hard, as he sits and tap-tappers 

about race, about rap, how you might be a rapper

and so if on your roof you hear the sound of a clatter 

don’t call the po-po, get some wine and let’s chatter

let TAN into your homes, your hearts and your minds 

let TAN sing his song for four wings w/ some fries 

le book on the shelves, buy it now before noon 

and then go to steamboat, he’ll be reading there soon

Fin


Saturday, February 04, 2012

WORDEMUP


Born October 4th (a Libra!), weighing in at, uh, a few ounces, (even less if you cop the digi-baby). A bundle of joy, you have your mommy's eyes, and your daddy's, well, CENSORED TOO HOT FOR TV/INTERNET, and as of this moment you're all future potential YAY, SALES:

Why We Need Negropedia [The Daily Beast]
Gawker Book Club: Negropedia [Gawker]
The Exchange: Patrice Evans on "Negropedia" [The New Yorker]
The Clair Huxtable Code [Jezebel]
Talking with Michael Eric Dyson [The Michael Eric Dyson Show]
How to Build the UltimateBlack Comedian [Splitsider]
Most Exciting New Books Coming Your Way This Fall
 + Interview: Patrice Evans Talks Negropedia, Gay Rappers [Flavorwire]
Also: You Might Be A Rapper: Steve Jobs (RIP) [Grantland]

(more coming...)

The Root Recommends [The Root]
Playing 9 Questions w/ Patrice Evans [Examiner]
Talk w/ Shawna Renee [Cocoa Mode]

THANKS FOR SUPPORTING TAN, NEGROPEDIA, CIVIL RIGHTS, AND AMERICA.


FOR THE HOLIDAYS: BOOKS ARE THE NEW CRACK
Related Posts with Thumbnails