Archive for January 26, 2014

There’s Always a Woman

So, a friend of mine just posted this on her FB page.

The problem with Black “It” Girls

It focuses a bit on Lupita N’Yongo being the girl of the hour, as Oscar Night approaches. I mean, why not? I haven’t even seen “12 Years a Slave” yet, and I STILL know who she is. Why? Because, Sista is FLAWLESS in public!
From her voice to her carriage to her fashion to her skin (LUMINOUS!) She has done NO WRONG in this awards season! And she’s doing it all without the assistance of a net (weave, that is.)

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Seriously. She is just… FIERCE!!

But the main question of the article kind of irked me. The author asked, point blank, does Hollywood only allow one Black actress to shine at a time?
Yes.
Next question?

Look, this ain’t news, but the thing is, when ANY actress is labeled an “It” girl, she’s got an expiration date stamped on her. And if her next 2 movies don’t live up to the hype, the audience will sour on her like bad milk, and she’s gone. And, as in most cases of well, everything, a Black actress’ span of time with the crown lasts, roughly, until the release date of her next project. And if it doesn’t “wow” the audience or the critics, it’s back to the salt mines of featured day players, with some infomercials on the side, for a lot of them.

Is Hollywood fickle? Duh!
But we can’t discount the general public’s hand in this, either. Because, what we love to do, as a celebrity gossip-hungry society is build up and then tear down. Like toddlers with wooden blocks, who patiently wait for someone to build a tower of popularity and good press, just so they can kick the foundation and gleefully watch the devastation afterwards.
We build up a particular person in the public eye until they are THE BIGGEST STAR IN THE WORLD. And that’s when we start looking for ways (rumors, relationships, drugs, conjecture) to bring the whole thing crashing down on our little social guinea pig. And there is ALWAYS some hungry little starlet, just waiting to take her place.

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Or push her down the metaphorical elevator shaft.

White or Black, an actress in this enviable, and yet treacherous position will start to feel the heat in no time at all. Remember Megan Fox? Can anyone name a movie she did after the Transformers gigs, where she was a standout? Anyone?

Anyone?

And as much as Anne Hathaway was lauded for her performance in “Les Mis,” she was simultaneously ripped apart online and in the papers, by random people who found her annoying and insincere. Her greatest triumph, completely undermined by public opinion that she’s “too polished”. They hate her, they’re just not sure why.

And hell, if there IS a Black “It” girl out there everyone’s talking about, it’s a step up. But sadly, the article makes the point that no matter how much chatter goes on about these women (a lot of whom are, in fact, phenomenal actors), it NEVER translates into more doors opening for Black actors in general. Why?

Honey, please don’t ask me. I’m still stalking Actors Access, looking for some featured day work.

Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Welcome to the post-holiday edition of:

DUMBASS of the WEEK (week, week, week)*
Got a lot to talk about, so I’m just going to jump right in.
Oh yeah, Happy Christmas, Merry New Year, I missed you, too, every holiday trope, ta-da.
Now…

Chris Christie
Okay, so it’s like this.
I no longer live in New Jersey, but for nearly all of my formative years, that was my home.
Only certain aspects of it do I miss, and I am not anxious to head back anytime… at all.
However, I cannot deny that through it all, I am a Jersey Girl.
I was raised in Jersey City. I went to high school in one of the all-girl Catholic schools in town. If I’m not mistaken, the rivalry betwixt the two continues to this day. (What up, Snob Hill!)
Like it or not, we are Jersey, and all that title encompasses.
Loud, opinionated, explosive, just a little crazy, with a touch of hood rat, and if you mess with Jersey, it WILL come back to bite you in the ass.
So, in light of Gov. Christie’s intimidation tactics, I need to see a little retribution come his way.
For him to say that he was “outraged” was expected.
To see him fire his scapegoats, uh, staffers, was textbook. He wants to be President and someone has to take the blame.
But, to announce to the state and country that he is quote, “Not a bully,” when there is overwhelming evidence & documented footage, showing him being precisely that, is beyond ridiculous.
Boy, please. You revel in tussling with people. Not just reporters, but teachers, soldiers. Hell, random people on the street are not exempt to your forked tongue.
They’re not quite bon mots, but you try. Bless your heart.
You thrive off of this. You have cultivated your own reputation of being the guy who tells everyone, “Sit down, shut up, you’re a moron.” Now, you’re trying to tell us that not only did you not know about the bridge closures, you were hurt that your trust was misled and that someone in your administration would employ such tactics, fueled by pettiness and vitriol.
Where could they have picked up such nasty habits?

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Gray’s Papaya
Strangely, the Christie mishegoss doesn’t make me as angry as this does. Maybe because the Christie thing wasn’t a surprise.
As a Jersey City teen, when I wanted to go out with friends, we hopped on the PATH on weekends and headed straight for 9th St. Back in the day, when the Village had all of the shops your parents would be loathe to know you frequented. Trolling up and down 6th Ave. to Astor Place and back. To the bookstores, the vintage clothing hangouts and the displays of pure Shoe-topia. (Loved walking into Funhouse.) And when you’re young, broke and hungry, only one place could help you out: Gray’s Papaya. When you’re a starving artist, meeting with others of your ilk for a brain-storming session, you scrounge up $3.00 and get yourself a couple of dogs with the onion sauce & some mustard. When you have been out clubbing with your friends, it is 2:00 am and you feel like splurging, you get the recession special with the pineapple or papaya juice (those cost a little extra.)
GraysPapaya

So, to suddenly be blindsided (Sorry, Christie) with the news that the institution that is Gray’s Papaya on 6th Ave. closed, was devastating. I couldn’t possibly count the number of hot dogs I have devoured there in my youth. Were they healthy? NO! But they were the perfect cure for hunger pangs.
And now, it’s gone. No warning, no nothing, it’s just… gone! A New York landmark, for crying out loud. To be replaced by a juice bar! It hurts me. There’s only one left now, the original location on the Upper West Side. And according to EaterNY, we can thank their landlord for deciding for hike up the rent to the point where they simply could not stay. Yes, it’s prime real estate, but this is a stand alone, authentic NY experience. For the natives, it’s a comfort. For the visitors, it’s a welcome. For the kids who dream of one day living in the Village, it’s a rite of passage. And now, it’s gone, thanks to possibly the (new) greediest jerk in the city.
P.S. Yes, all of New York hates you.

Christian Stoners
But of all the things that have ticked me off in the news this week, this is without a doubt the most sickening.
Pastors Kevin Swanson and Dave Buehner of Colorado were on their Generations radio show, bemoaning the decision of Rose Bowl parade organizers to incorporate a gay wedding on one of their floats.
I understand that they are homophobic pastors and that’s what they do, but dude…
It’s a parade.
The entire thing is all about fabulous design and stunning floats, mainly comprised of flowers. Did you really think gay people were not involved before this year?
But instead of letting it go, they take it 9 steps further by musing about how the committee and audience would feel if they introduced a float in the parade, staging a gay person being stoned to death.
Well Kev, I’m guessing they’d feel the same way anyone would feel about ANYONE BEING STONED on live television. HORRIFIED.
It’s statements like this that reaffirm my belief that the “War on Christians” is complete bunk. You don’t hear gays and transsexuals discussing stuff like this in private conversations, let alone on the air. “You know what would be fabulous for Pride? If we got a random, devout Christian and hanged them in the middle of Christopher St.”
THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN!
Then, for some reason, they tried to “cushion the blow” by suggesting they just re-enact a stoning by throwing flowers at them.
How many times have they seen “Jawbreaker?” Just wondering.

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Look, if you have not gotten the message yet that gay and lesbian people are human beings with the sole agenda of being able to live their lives without shame, denigration self-hate or I don’t know, the constant threat of DEATH hanging over their heads, then I don’t know what to tell you.
They’re not out to get you guys, okay? First off, pastors like you rejected these kids ages ago. They’ve mostly learned to accept themselves for who they are, and your opinion of what God wants them to be has been taken into consideration. It won’t dictate their lives, but they don’t bother with you or your indoctrination. You don’t understand them, you won’t accept them. They know that, they’ve made their peace with it.
Second of all, no offense, but you guys are not hot enough for them to want you. In any sense of the word.
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Gay men and women are not minions of the Devil. Move on.
Now, of all these dumbass moves of this week, Christie is surely one of the dumbest. No one believes he was “unaware” and in the grand history of NJ political strong-arming, this deal is relatively tame.

But I have a feeling this is just the tip of his Iceberg of Stupid, so I’ll wait until it all spills out.
No, this week, I award the crown to our biblical stoners.
Good job, guys.
Way to make Christians look unreasonable and ultra-violent.

Oh, and special honorable mention goes to the pastor in West Africa who proclaimed himself capable of walking on water (just like Jesus) and taking his congregation to the beach to watch him do it.
Yeah, that did not end well.

* My echoes need work. I realize that.