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Anthropologists talk about this idea of observers unduly influencing the subjects they observe. A child might behave differently if their parents are in the room with them. I might behave differently at Popeyes if there are judgmental white people around and any given person may act differently if they know they’re on TV. Deep down, most people are prone to performative behaviors if they know it brings attention, and the more attention that comes, the more amped up that performance may become.

Tonight, I watched a documentary on HBO titled Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart. It’s a documentary that came out over a year ago which captures the salacious story of a small-town woman accused of getting the teenage boy that she was sleeping with to murder her husband. The trial became famous due to media coverage of the entire affair from start-to-bottom and, as a result, her guilt by public opinion turned into guilt by the law. It was an almost perfectly gift-wrapped story: you had this woman, temptress if you will, who seemed to “love being a widow” as one talking head points in the beginning, who had an affair with a teenager and, worst of all, didn’t come off as warm or innocent enough. I don’t think it’s out of order to see that she did initially enjoy the attention of newscasters and reporters visiting her and putting a camera in her face allowing her to tell her story. Attention is addictive, no matter the context it comes in.

It’s 1990, the internet we know of doesn’t exist yet, there’s no social media and there’s no reality programs. When Pamela Smart went on TV for the first time to talk about her husband being murdered, this was the highest platform a woman like her from a New England town would ever get and she worked it. She tried to sell herself as a loving, caring wife; maybe this was because she didn’t want anyone to know about her affair, maybe she didn’t want anyone to know she was an accomplice to murder or maybe she just genuinely liked the lights and the cameras and the reporters (one of the original reporters mentioned that she’d told him her dream of being a news anchor at one point), maybe she just liked the attention.

As a collective people like to be entertained more than anything else (except maybe loved but even love can be entertainment, but that’s another essay). Neither Donald Trump nor Ben Carson have any business in an American political race, yet they persevere because they’re “fun”. They get the blogs bloggin and let them churn out that sweet, sweet content. There’s a reality show/webseries about any subject under the sun because why not? Everyone wanted to be on The Real World right? This is your chance. True crime and Court TV specials have assembled an audience on onlookers mesmerized by horrific, psychotic actions who remove themselves from the fact that they’re watching real people in order to enjoy it as pulp. Every year, there’s guaranteed to be a “Trial of the Century”, where the court of public opinion can armchair quarterback a case instead of worrying themselves about reasonable doubt or the justice system. It is a wonder that we haven’t installed court side seats at these trials for Jack Nicholson or Rihanna to show up in or installed a kiss-cam to hover over the trial audience. The next big televised trial might even be sponsored by DraftKings.

The Pamela Smart case gained attention fast and as more and more info about it came out, the more people became enamored of it. For as much as Pamela was assumed to have enjoyed the cameras, as the story got a national audience, you suddenly had local news reporters, local police and eventual trial witnesses being invited to talk on national news programs and daytime talk shows and wherever Geraldo Rivera’s mustache was located at that moment. It’s easy to say that this holds no bearing on a criminal case but you have local players going on TV and maybe they’re being completely honest, but they’re also visibly getting into being on a platform and having people listen to them and watch them. You become cognizant of this and you start acting like it, you put on a performance. Maybe it’s an honest one but it’s an exaggerated one for an audience that’s eager to eat it up. Pamela Smart’s case became the first huge Trial of the Century: filled with TV cameras, reporters and onlookers, many of whom already forming a belief about what they think happened based on the sensationalist, exploitative nature of the news up until that point. By the time the trial started, there were already TV movies and books being written about this case and this woman and key witnesses were signing TV rights for this story. It’s easy to say what the media can and can’t do to influence public opinion, but to be a juror (or judge) and see so many people this captivated and entranced by a story will put pressure on you to make the “right” decision. Because you know that everyone is watching.

Today, we’re in the “age of social media”. The internet is evolving and with that comes ways for any person to reach a large audience. Twitter, i particular, has been in my life since 2009. What started as a silly platform to be an idiot on with friends during breaks between classes at my college, turned into my most honest public mouthpiece. I connected with people I never would’ve without it and it was cool. There were people who had more followers than me and whose tweets got more attention than mine, which was fine but like anyone else would, I wanted to say something that would garner similar attention for no other reason than the self-satisfaction of someone liking the things you say. I don’t know when exactly the first person who became famous because of twitter happened or even who it was; what I do know is that a shift happened where people realized that an online audience could translate to offline success. I saw people who never would have been given a chance without the internet prove that they could make something of themselves and build a loyal audience. In a lot of ways, it was beautiful but twitter/internet popularity is a lot like a popular TV show. Whatever persona you created to make yourself a more marketable personality becomes your calling card: if you’re a comic, you’re just the comic, if you’re a sports guy, you’re just the sports guy, if you’re a feminist, you’re just the feminist. People want all the old familiar beats from their old favorites and you can see people straining themselves to fulfill these roles. In the end, what you’re left with are characters rather than people and agendas over conversations. The worst byproduct of this is the need to be right on the internet. No learning, no growth for people who do this; the point is to look smart, worldly and perceptive in front of an audience. Admitting you’re wrong would make you human and being human isn’t marketable. Nobody wants to be the one who doesn’t say the “right” thing, even if that right thing is based on nothing but popular perception.

There’s a way in which you can become so invested in the news the way you are invested in a movie. It happened during Ferguson and Baltimore, it happened when Tonya Harding sent the goons after Nancy Kerrigan, it happened for the OJ car chase. As you watch these news stories, you invest in them the way you would characters in a movie and it becomes most dangerous when it’s time for the payoff.  When it was time for a verdict to be passed down regarding Pamela Smart, there had been days and days of content and rhetoric and opinionating done on her character. If you had access to a TV or to a newspaper, you knew who she was and a picture of her had been painted in your mind. Her guilt or innocence is almost an aside to the much more tantalizing story of a Hot-to-trot married psychopathic schoolteacher who seduced a teenager and got him to murder her husband. That’s a movie anyone would want to see but not if it doesn’t have the right ending. To pretend that the spotlight and wild narratives written had no bearing or influence on a jury is incredibly silly. Nobody is impervious to that shit. “Listen to the music. He’s evil!”. Perception isn’t the only thing but it’s a thing,

Attention is addictive. It might be more loved than money but the desire is supposed to be secret. It reveals our narcissism and that’s not proper etiquette. The Trayvon Martin case is one of the most heartbreaking public trials of my lifetime. One of the more poisonous, corrosive narratives that took place was that of George Zimmerman the folk hero who stood up to a scary black teenager. Whether or not the jury was influenced by outside media is unknown but what I do remember is rumors of a juror signing a book deal to recount her story of her time on the trial and going on the 24 hour newscycle to talk about how hard of a decision this was for her and her fellow jurors. Brave. What’s a good movie without a sequel right? The thing about the cameras is that they always leave and sometimes you’ll do what it takes to keep them around a little bit longer.

I don’t believe in conspiracy theories because most of them are boring. The truth is always more fascinating than some overly wrought, Game of Thrones-style deception. By the end of Captivated, I didn’t know if Pam Smart was guilty or innocent but what I do know was that her trial was not objective and everyone deserves that. The main takeaway from watching this was getting to see the early road towards twitter/instagram, reality TV and 24 hour news, and getting to see how the promise of ratings, fame and even money could play a part in influencing behavior. Blogs write outrage-inducing headlines because it gets clicks, the news shows exploitative images because it keeps eyes glued and violent images are popular in our media because people love violence. You do what works until it stops working. To pretend that the media or even other people are expected to keep a moral code is a convenient way to ignore how culpable we are in helping engineer this ship. You get the culture you deserve and so far we’ve all decided we want to be entertained.

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Chicago is probably my favorite city to look at. Every time I’ve been here, I’ve spent my time taking in scenic views of the city: from the tall buildings and waterfronts to the graffiti-stained, rusty buildings and grimy side streets. It’s Friday morning and I’m on my way to my hotel to freshen up and meet up with my friends before the annual Pitchfork Music festival gets started. This is my second striaght year going to Pitchfork with the same group of friends that I’ve known for at least 4 years through an internet message board and it’s the first time that I’ll actually get to spend all my time here with them.

The day starts with drinking–because of course–and some waffle breakfast tacos (by the way, Taco Bell needs to desperately get on this) and then we finally make our way into Union Green Park to catch the bands for the day. Friday wasn’t my favorite really; I was really only excited for Bjork to get all weird and didn’t much care about anyone else that day. Joanna Newsom was lovely despite the fact that I was way too far away to really enjoy her harp-jamming and subtle and angelic vocals (it says a lot that she could command a crowd of hot, sweaty and intoxicated kids doing this by the way). Meanwhile my friend Katie was still stuck trying to find her appeal or why someone who looks 14 could get so many males to call her hot. Also, I guess it was cool hearing Savages play what sounded like the same song for 45 minutes–at the very least, it’s a good song. For me though,  it was all about Bjork and she didn’t disappoint. Armed with a giant squishie ball helmet and a groovy alien choir backing her up, she put on a great set of noise that people like me somehow think of as music. Of all the sets this weekend, hers was the most technically impressive (M.I..A. was a close second); she had lights and funky screen projections and was all prepared to dazzle until Sharknado showed up to wreak havoc on Chicago and cut her set off early. Afterwards, we braved that hellrain to get to an aftershow featuring Classixx and Chromatics in order to dance ourselves dry and listen to some dreamy dance music. I’m running on almost 48 hours without sleep and still drinking so I’m trying to keep moving and dancing in order to not pass out on the dancefloor (and if you think I’ve never fallen asleep in a club before, you’re sorely mistaken). By the time I made it back to the room I was half-asleep, my feet hurt and at some point me and three people shared a pizza at 2 in the morning: it was a good day.

Saturday was a new day, I’d gotten about 5 hours sleep and I was ready to get the day started and see two of my favorite acts: Solange and Belle & Sebastian. But first we checked out Ryan Hemsworth’s set to dance to hip-hop mashups and donkey kong beats. I’ve never been big on Hemsworth:his mixes are pretty good but I’m not crazy for his original stuff. Still, it is pretty cool that a kid who looks like a castoff from Laguna Beach is playing 3 6 mafia over a Lyfe Jenning’s beat. He also won us over by calling himself Asher Roth and saying to check him out on Datpiff. After that it was on to my mission of getting front and center for Solange and possibly getting a chance to ask her for marriage or at the very least getting to be in her presence long enough to have some of her coolness rub off on me. And she did not disappoint: with a fall of Afro-centric jumpsuit and dance moves that could fit in a Morris Day set, she made the world perfect for 45 minutes. Swoon city. Before long, it was time for me and all my internet friends to get ready for Belle & Sebastian, a band that holds a special place in most of our hearts and also a band that surprisingly put on a really fun, lively set to dance and sing-along to. I wasn’t expect some of these songs to work live as good as they did and singing along to If You’re Feeling Sinister was probably a highlight that it nowhere near as lame as it may seem. That night, we all went to a bar to drink, shoot the shit, drink more, play connect four, sing the Friends theme song with strangers, eat Mcdonalds at 2 am, feel shitty about eating McDonalds at 2 am and then when everyone else had crashed, the few of us that still had energy left made the trek to Millenium Park to watch the sunrise. Easily a top 10 day of my lifetime.

Sunday was probably the only day I wanted to get to the fest early so, naturally, that didn’t happen. Instead I rolled out of bed at 1, grabbed a quick breakfast and went to meet up with everyone and head to the park on what was the busiest day of the festival. I had a debate with a few people about how the R. Kelly set would go with this type of audience. I made the point that there was no way R. Kelly would have a Chicago performance without a typical R. Kelly fanbase showing up in droves and I was mostly right. There in the midst of hipster paradise was what looked like the members of every black person’s family reunion camped out on lawn chairs awaiting Mr. Robert Kelly. I don’t know what racial harmony looks like persay but I imagine that’s the closest we’ll get. It was wonderful. Sunday was probably the most spiritual day of the fest. Between Killer Mike putting on a fun yet conscious show that grappled with faith, the fucked up nature of our country and the violence pervading Chicago. Mike encouraged us all to be decent human beings to each other, which sounds simple but a lot of times simple is what we need the most. I found it especially smart that Killer Mike and El-P used their two separate sets to put on one big show that allowed them to perform their Run The Jewels material–which is a really great record if you didn’t know–but unfortunately, I had to make my way over to the other side of the park to catch Blood Orange who absolutely killed it. Dev Hynes really might just be the new Prince and I’m all for it. R&B is a genre that’s still stuck in a rut musically but slowly it’s making a comeback by pushing it’s sound into different realms and Dev is a big part of that, both with his band and with his production for Solange and Sky Ferreira. Speaking of spiritual, look we can debate the authenticity or musical validity of lil b if you’d like but for me, if nothing else, the music is a lot of fun. Whether it’s genuine or some sort of intense performance art doesn’t really matter much, it’s a misfit kid genuinely enjoying himself making music and taking the time to tell people that they should love each other. That sounds alright to me. Next up was Toro y Moi, who’s actually a whole lot better with a live behind then just behind a keyboard. His show was a fun set to dance around to and enjoy yourself before M.I.A.’s distorted party carnival and R. Kelly’s big close. Speaking of M.I.A., I haven’t been a huge fan for awhile but I’ll give her major props, she puts on one hell of a fun show. The entire crowd was going crazy and she went crazy with them. By the time, She finished with Paper Planes and Bad Girls, it felt like she had the entire festival dancing and singing along.

Ok, so about R. Kelly, look I get that part of this has to do with whatever ironic love he’s gotten from hipsterdom since Trapped In The Closet, Chappelle’s Show and Aziz Ansari jokes, but the thing is 1) He’s actually a really good artist and performer and 2) I’m pretty sure he’s in on it; which is why I had faith he’d put on a really good set. Would there be people who are only there and singing Ignition remix ironically? Sure, but I mean those people obviously don’t have much going on in their lives so why get sour over it. From the moment Kels showed up in all-white and a sparkly T-shirt amongst a choir, I knew this show would be everything. He damn near spent went through the first verse of every song he’s ever done, while also freestyle singing about being hot and needing a towel, performing for 27 years and yes, being a grown ass man. When the set ended with a choir backing him up for I Believe I Can Fly while inflatable doves flew through the sky I knew I was in the right place and I was so happy that I got to share this with my friends before we all made our way back to our respective cities. Thank you Pitchfork and see you next year.

In the midst of nearly dying or wondering when I’m actually going to die, I never got around to talking about Yeezus. In what is Kanye’s latest cry for help album, Yeezus seems to be a testimony of a celebrity who’s self aware enough to recognize how stupid, meaningless and full of shit fame and status is, but also still egotistical and shallow enough to enjoy the perks. It’s organized chaos; it’s a record that purely baits people into hating it and him forever and it’s way better than it really has any right to be. so real quickly, let’s go ahead and go bobby boucher on this record and somebody please get me some fucking croissants.

1. Send It Up

The albums starts of with what is, I assume, a tape of potential theme music for Space Invaders and Galaga. All it really needs is a bunch of kids yelling like little assholes and the sound of miserable disdain coming from shitty 16 year old employees to fully capture the sound of an arcade. There’s a neat sample of “Sermon” in it, which is neat. It contains the lines “got this bitch shakin’ like Parkinson’s  “Indian hair no moccasins” “she got more niggas off than Cocharan” and “don’t judge em Joe Brown”, so you know… there’s that.

2. Black Skinhead

It kind of sounds like a pack of black vampire wolfs attacking a small town during a full moon on Halloween in musical form. Kanye does that thing where he pretends to be a revolutionary despite that being really hilariously ridiculous. Also I heard this song in the trailer for Wolf Of Wall Street so now all I can think of when I hear it is Leonardo DiCaprio throwing mimosas at shrubbery… also I really wanna throw mimosas at shrubbery.

3. I Am A God

This one sounds like Jack Nicholson murdering Shelly Duval and Danny Lloyd and making splash puddles in their blood (no mention of this interpretation of the film in Room 237 btw). There’s a lot of jamaican-rasta noisewords at the beginning that sounds like Dave Chappelle speaking spanish into a megaphone when he was rocking out with John Mayer, ?uestlove and Sanchez. I imagine when God came into the studio to record this he didn’t actually get a chance to hear the final product but just figured it’d be a song about rolling up, smoking a pound and fucking some angelic bitches up in heaven. Kanye really wants croissants.

4. New Slaves

If a xylophone could be possessed by the devil and then got a chance to make a song with Kanye this is the beat it would make. Frank does a good job making people go “was that Frank? Are you sure? Nah I don’t think so but I don’t know it was way too quick to tell.” Kanye would like you to know that he’ll take your money and spend it on Alexander Wang but he’s not gonna like it. That’ll show ’em Yeezus.

5. Hold My Liquor

This is exactly what drunk driving sounds like. These are the actual sounds that are taking place while a drunk driving event occurs: Bon Iver slurs, Chief Keef doing that Master P meets drunk Frankenstein sing-rap, horns, autotune whimpering and lots and lots of loud noises. It’s becoming clearer and clearer to me that before this record ends, Kanye will host a seance, sacrifice someone, eat their flesh and drink their blood to absorb their energy and become even more powerful than imaginable in order to appease the illuminati grand wizards. My guess is: it’ll probably by Cyhi Da Prynce. I mean, that’s his purpose right?

6. I’m in it

This sounds like a vampire orgy taking place in that blacklight club from the movie Belly (I realize this doesn’t narrow anything because the entire movie looks like it takes place in a blacklight club but bear with me). In fact, being perfectly honest, this whole album sounds like Belly if Belly had been about vampires fucking each other the whole time. There’s a Beenie Man sample to make the song feel like a cross between the Zion partyorgy sweatporn in The Matrix Revolutions and a juice party thrown by a black greek fraternity. Kanye needs a nightlight and so do I now. I’m not fluent in swaghili… that Rosetta Stone hasn’t come in the mail yet.

7. Blood On The Leaves

Best song on the album truthfully. It’s all power, what with that marching band from hell and Kanye in full on My Chemical Romance mode. The song contains a sample of “Strange Fruit”, the Nina Simone version, which is a song about the gruesome lynchings of blacks. Kanye uses it for another song about groupies who should get abortions but now with more C-Murder references. It also sounds like he’s either murdering a puppy at the end or mourning the groupies aborted fetus in a storage closet somewhere; it’s unsettling and kinda sounds like it could be used for those sad abused puppies commercials that come on at 4 am.

8. Guilt Trip

Kanye does that thing where he’s “singing” or, more accurately, just droning and making noises out of his mouth and autotuning them while playing Sonic 2 bonus stages in the background. Kid Cudi does that “emo kid turning his notebook poems into a song for his shitty band” thing for a second. There’s a lot of loud noises meant to scare small children and grown men who write on blogs that nobody reads here too which is always fun. I’m pretty sure the devil is asking for my soul in this song but I’m not all the way sure–either way just tell him I’m using it right now–and also Kanye does that thing where he sounds really bummed guys.

9. Send it Up

This kind of sounds like the scene in Blade where Blade shows up to that club with all those strobe lights and then makes eye contact and death stares Tywin Lannister, who’s sitting on the King’s throne in the center of the club. And yes I recognize that’s not a scene in the movie but that’s still what this song sounds like, I can’t think of another description for it. Kanye’s not into helping you get your friend into the club.

10. Bound 2

This is the light at the end of the tunnel. Like if this whole album was like being locked into a rave-meets death metal-meats acid house shed for 8 hours and then they opened the door to let you out and you find out it’s now the next day and you don’t know where you are and you can’t remember how you even got there or what your name is or where your underwear is or why you’re sucking on a lollipop or why you’re handcuffed to a fat guy in a bib and a diaper and why he’s sucking on the same lollipop as you or whatever, this would be the song for you. It’s Kanye’s love song but it’s not a “love song” love song; it’s like the equivalent of a guy who’s upset that he’s in love with someone and has feelings and shit like that. It’s the disheveled grimace of love songs. If nothing else, I’m glad that me and Yeezy both enjoy Martin references.

8.5/10

Big news on this morning: as I may have mentioned here before, I’ve been volunteering my services to the greater good of getting shows by black creators made in some form or fashion. The show in question: Quarter Century, a show about mid-to-late 20s young professionals in DC, by FAMU alumna Shayla Racquel (@ShaylaRacquel). The show is really well done and getting better each episode (and I’m not just saying that) and just recently HBCU Digest, popular online magazine about the goings on in historically black schools, recently named it one of its top 5 web series.

You can read the article here and check out episode 1 and episode 2 right now. While you’re at it, go ahead and follow the series creator and the show itself (@QCwebseries). In the words of Ron Howard: “Please tell your friends about this show”. Man, I can’t wait for Arrested Development to get here already.

(photo courtesy of elitedcmag.com)

So here’s the thing: Modeling is hard. I’m not being facetious, I genuinely mean that. Well ok, maybe hard isn’t the right word–it’s tough I guess one could say. At any rate, the point is it’s not easy. There’s pressure in the air, tension afoot and it’s essentially one big, fancy endurance test of sorts. I should start from the beginning, I worked backstage for a fashion show last weekend–Fashionably Loud DC to be specific–using it as an opportunity to entertain my interests in fashion and to dabble in something I’m only partially experienced for. I was not ready for this at all, but I think I handled it like a champ.

Given what we (we being the other backstage helpers, the models and the designers) had to work with it well better than one would expect. The biggest trial I had to deal with was the models getting in and out of their clothes. Some payed me no mind, some felt a little uncomfortable. Both reactions are valid: I wasn’t about to be THAT guy at this time, yet at the same time, there really is no way for me to argue that I should be in there–it’s more than professionalism or trust, it’s about comfort. I think I handled it well all things considered, but then again, I can’t see my own face.

The actual clothes themselves were interesting: from simple sets of evening wear to more experimental showcases. Much like most fashion shows geared to the black audience,  the sets seemed almost trade-like. Not so much worried about being provocative or abstract but mainly geared toward showing off things ready to be bought already–which is fine. Sometimes, simple is the way to go. A worthwhile activity for sure and one that served to better get me out of the trappings of my comfort zone. Also, I fell in love. I don’t know her name but I know she looked like Whitley Gilbert and when she did her walk in a full out wedding dress, I never wanted to recreate this more than at that moment.

As life becomes bleaker and the economy and culture spiral ridiculously out of control, there are certain things you hold onto dearly to keep things in perspective. While we all know that love is dead, we held onto the idea of friendship as a strong reminder of the good still left in the universe. Well, on friday night, the universe decided to say “fuck you, friendship is dead too!”

“Wait… no…”

“This is not happening…”

You can read the full story here. Longtime collaborators and best friends forever, Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame seem to be on non-speaking terms. Sure, they’ve had disagreements before, but you always knew that they’d rise above and that the two of them could make it through anything. I mean, what good is living in a world where strong friendships can’t even last (are we no longer a redeemable society?) Maybe there’s a chance though that all isn’t lost. I mean Flocka was at SXSW at the time of this tweet while Gucci was in LA at the Spring Breakers premiere, so presumably they haven’t returned their diamond-studded BFF rings. Maybe–just maybe–this can blow over before they take that ultimate step.

One of the big issues about HBO’s Girls was the lack of diversity on the show. Is it noticeable? Yeah, but not to the point that it actually matters to the show. It’s a reflection of the creator, i.e. a show about entitled rich kids dealing with life away from their parent’s checkbook. It doesn’t really bother me who is or isn’t on the show. What this debate did do though was remind me how we still don’t have enough black directors, writers and other behind-the-scenes workers. It’s amusing how the self-righteous on these predominantly white blogs and magazines call out shows like Girls for their exclusionary practices while ignoring the lack of diversity in their own site (no the one black guy you get to talk about hip-hop and review Tyler Perry movies doesn’t make you progressive).

Truth be told, I don’t really care how many black people you put on screen on your mostly white show, I care more about how many minorities in general are getting hired to write and direct–or even getting a shot to make their own show. Since the Telecommunications Act of 1996 there’s been no country for nonwhites–particularly for network television. For those not up to speed, the act basically allows corporations and ad agencies to be involved with entertainment production–basically taco bell and coca-cola can decide what you watch and SURPRISE! being white and looking like you have even moderate wealth sells products inadvertently to a lot of people. This explains why not only are there barely any shows led by all minority casts, it also explains why blue collar families (like the ones on Roseanne and Malcolm In The Middle) are rarely seen anymore. Companies are in the business of selling a lifestyle now more than ever and that means catering to the people they actually want buying their bullshit.

Knowing this and understanding the world we’ve always lived in, the only thing I truly want to see in the world are black and (other minority) creators. No more rappers, no more “vixens”, no more athletes. Tyler Perry and people who want to be like Tyler Perry aren’t going to cut it. What I’d give for the days of those early Eddie Murphy, Keenan Ivory Wayans and Robert Townsend days. Black directors and writers creating movies that happened to be black rather than being “black films”. Movies that respected the intelligence of the viewer instead of steeping down to the lowest common denominator in order to trick people into laughing at buffoonery.

The talent is out there, they’re just not being given their due. I understand that but frankly at this point, we all have to use whatever avenue we have. They have the internet which has always been a haven of true artistic integrity as long as it’s done with earnestness. There are still shows on the air that actually show minority faces in somewhat entertaining lights–The Mindy Project, Key & Peele, The Eric Andre Show, Totally Biased–even Community features a diverse background. It’s not all lost but it’s not exactly good or showing signs of getting better. As long as we keep looking at race from a thin microscope based on what we saw that one time from that one minority person, we aren’t really going to get anywhere… and if we don’t want to get anywhere then we have to force our way in. As a somewhat tolerable writer, I’m making my own place the best I can in this business. If I make it, I make it and if I don’t then… well, the game is the game.

My whole issue is that I want something more than faces of different colors holding hands under some misguided white liberal worldview that if we all play nice then race won’t matter. I just want to create, we all should want that and we all should get a fair shake. To quote the great Paul Mooney: “I don’t want a piece of the pie, I want the fuckin’ recipe.”

 

-I realize this mostly reflects a black view, I can only speak for my own race but there definitely need to be representation from all people.

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