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)


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.


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. 

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?
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