An Open Letter to Mrs. Gloria (Herman) Cain

Dear Mrs. Cain,

Your husband’s a whore.

Kindest regards,

On My Square

p.s.

Since the last time I mentioned you, I found out why you have not been in the public eye.  First, you are above this.  Second, you are a registered Democrat in Georgia and more than likely support President Obama.

p.p.s.

Your husband seems to be buddying up to Newt Gingrich.  I hope you do not get diagnosed with cancer and Herman goes to Newt for advice on how a husband should handle that situation.

p.p.p.s.

Herman did a horrible job ‘getting out in front of’ the allegations from last month.  You should sit down with him and let him know that ‘getting out in front of a story’ does not mean go on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer and announce the new allegation yourself.

p.p.p.p.s.

Before you sit down with him, slapping the shit out of him is acceptable.

p.p.p.p.p.s.

I need clarity on something from you.  The woman who has stepped up today said she had a 13-year-affair with Herman.  Just to be clear, you don’t consider that an affair right?  Considering your education you think of the time they spent together as a relationship that he felt was a priority.

p.p.p.p.p.p.s.

I know you are wrecking your brain trying to figure out what that girl’s name is.  It is “Left-Eye” from the group TLC, she is the woman that set her boyfriend’s house on fire when she thought he was cheating on her.  Glad I could help.

p.p.p.p.p.p.p.s.

By the way, you are a very beautiful woman.  How did the two of you happen?  You look like a member of the 1964 Homecoming Court at Morehouse College.  He looks like the brother begging for ass from insecure chicks with daddy issues when the bar is shutting down.

p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.s.

Does he blink like that all the damn time and when making a point always say “and this is why for the following reasons”?  Doesn’t that get on your nerves?

p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.s.

No need to run to your kitchen cabinet… grits.  It was grits, hot hot grits, that woman threw on Al Green when she had enough of his cheating.

p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.s.

Herman said your response to this was “Here we go again”.  I was pleased to hear that response lets me know you are aware and pretty much given up on him.

p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.s.

No need to go to your computer and search for that information… Lorena Bobbit is who you are thinking about and yes you would be justified.

As Snoop and Xhibit use to say… “B*tch Pleaze”

Soul Train Music Awards Sunday November 27, 2011

I would rather watch the Steelers against the Chiefs, I was able to break away and see the last 20 minutes of Family Guy.  I missed the first 10 minutes because The Soul Train Awards opened the show with The Time; I never miss The Time when they perform.  If they are in any city I am in, I am there (The Time and De La Soul love their music and their stage shows).  I have seen The Time perform enough to know one thing about them, as long as Morris Day and Jerome are on stage together, any other five dudes can play instruments on stage with them and you still feel like you are seeing The Time.  Tonight was different the original members of the group, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Jellybean, and Jesse Johnson (I had forgotten how incredible Jesse was on the guitar, I use to wonder if he beat Prince when it came to playing funk.  He does, but nothing else).  They are going by the name “Original 7even” because Prince owns the name “The Time” and will not let them use it (so Apollonia or Vanity, if either of you thought about getting the women back together and hit state fairs around the country, think of a name ‘cause Prince ain’t having it).

So I stepped away to watch Family Guy and American Dad, with moments of the Steelers/Chiefs stuck in there.  I would step back to The Soul Train Awards enough to see “Mr. Chi-Town” himself Dave Hollister play a Pip in the Gladys Knight tribute, Anthony Hamilton lay down some straight soul which is always a treat.  Earth, Wind, and Fire (more Chicago representation) rips it every time.  Malcolm Jamal Warner introduced them; I believe he said he owes his acting career to them based on their music because he believed he could be whatever he believed.  I am sure Bill Cosby will slap him with a Jell-O Pudding Pop the next time he sees Malcolm (“Come here Theo, how many times do I have to pimp slap you frozen pudding until you give me the credit for your career I deserve? I should have followed my first instinct and cast you as Cockroach!”).

At another point while grabbing some water during a time out or a Family Guy commercial break, I noticed Lloyd and some other nondescript brother, named Miguel, singing.  After seeing The Time, Dave Hollister, and some other cats, watching these two dudes all I could say is what any other man would say at that exact moment, “these niggas look like bitches”!

Prince may have looked and even sounded like a woman at points and time in his career, but never that (although not letting The Time be The Time is a bitch move).  Lil Kim called herself the “Queen B”, Michael Jackson may have been accused of being one sometimes himself.  Hell, in the last 3 NBA Playoffs even LeBron James went out like one.  However, never did any of them look like one.  Let me clarify, this has nothing to do with manhood, looking or acting like a gender other than yours.  This is all about playing a role you have no reason playing (Example: LeBron when he tries to close a game/Mark Anthony trying to tell J-Lo to cover her ass up and stay home/Kanye trying act like he was knocking the stuffing out of Amber Rose).  Last year Lloyd was running around with the Young Money crew screaming how he could make the bed rock, this year he is doing splits surrounded by 20 dancers.  This other nondescript dude is singing a song about someone to play Connect 4 and I Declare War with.  Is this what’s hot? Short answer is no.  This is part of the reason record labels don’t think a Stevie Wonder album is a workable project in today’s market and why an artist like Van Hunt can be dropped from a label while he drops slow sultry joints like “Moments of Pleasure” and “Down Here in Hell”.  Babyface didn’t have much going for him and his name was “Babyface”, but when he sang “I’ll pay your rent/I’ll buy your clothes” damn it that was real and women wanted to hear it, even if they didn’t believe or think you could financially hold down that level of responsibility it was real and welcome.  Unless you are singing to 8-year-old girls, women do not have time for board games, unless it involves vodka and you created some different rules that get everyone drunk.

The nondescript brother jumped out into the crowd and nobody moved or reacted.  It is a law at an awards show or any event with more than 8 Black people in the front, that when someone with a microphone walks out into the crowd that people should stand up and treat that nigga like the pope.  This nondescript dude jumped into crowd walked halfway up the aisle.  Most people tried not to make eye contact with him and I could read the lips of one older sister in the fifth row saying “what the fuck is this bitch doing?”  Check your DVR’s tell me she did not say that, she had on a black dress and a silver wig, she looked like a negative.

It is not these two dudes were working their falsetto, that’s cool there is a long line of falsetto singers in soul; Eddie Kendricks, the aforementioned Prince, Maxwell, and the man who may have perfected it El DeBarge.  Even Robin Thicke (who looks more and more like his father) came on stage and showed you that a high pitch hitting the right notes can make women sweat and he is a white boy on stage in Atlanta surrounded by brothers, so it is not the voice.  Robin Thicke was doing his thing, he owns it with his background he has watched and learned the art of putting on a show.  He also understands the importance of being who you are and expressing yourself from where you are at.  He had been around for a while trying different styles and trying to please people.  When did he ‘hit’?  When did he connect with the audience he wanted?  When he wrote the song that dropped the mask he was hiding behind and expressed his honest opinion about his wife.  He forgot about a big name producer, told the studio musicians to go home, grabbed his guitar and told his wife he would be lost without her and damn what anyone thought about him for saying it.  Hello PLATINUM!

Men try to avoid ‘bitch moments’ and actually spend too much energy trying to not have one.  When it really simple to not have them, just be who you are and do not worry about the thoughts of others.  Again, this is not about gender issues or perceived masculinity.  In the Black community, what being a man is would confuse all involved in the conversation.  Nobody wants to be called a sissy.  The most beloved singer of the last quarter century for us was Luther Vandross, he was surrounded by rumor, the type of rumors that can kill a rappers career or make some teenage boys a target in their community.  I do not think he let the rumors stop him; I do not think he truly cared.  That scene at the end of Barbershop where Eddie was about to comment against Luther and the barbers and customers told him to not go there… written in the truth.  Luther was who he was, Luther was not a bitch.

Award shows have really fallen off, they were once must see events.  I believe the death of award shows can be added to the list of things the internet killed.  Why sit through 2 hours of badly read bad jokes from pseudo stars that can’t read a teleprompter, when you can wait until the next morning at work and see the list of winners on your desk computer at work.  When you hear someone gave an outstanding performance or someone had an embarrassing moment (look at that J-Lo gets 2 mentions from me.  How is that Fiat endorsement looking now?) you can pull them up on YouTube.  Question, are you going to pull up the performances of Lloyd and that one nondescript brother?  Answer, no.  How do I know that is your answer, because there is a written rule for both men and women… we do not have time for bitches.

A Straight Jacket This Christmas for You My Friend!

The list of names of what I consider friends is brief.  I got rid of my Facebook page because it is ‘friend’ focused.  My last post on Facebook was “FB says I have 137 friends… I do NOT have 137 friends”.  To be a friend of mine chances are you have to own a pretty sick sense of humor, be in no way annoying, be able to discuss politics, own books, drink coffee, and never asked me for more than 20 bucks and that’s just to hold him tight until he gets to an ATM.  More than likely my friends are very funny comics at various levels of success in the field or in law enforcement that pull people over with the hope of getting a funny story out of the ‘side of the road’ interaction.

As you can see, the biggest character trait you must have to be my friend is to make me laugh and to laugh at my random sick thoughts.  This works best for me because when I see their name come up the display on my cell phone I do not have the urge to ‘ignore’ them because there will be some humor involved in the conversation (moment of truth about me: I have names listed on my contact list, so I know when NOT to answer the phone).  I have friends that are well-known comics, some comedic-actors with a great amount of success.  However my funniest friend, the funniest comic, the best writer is the least known.  We met each other on the road, I watched his set and saw a comic much like I was trying to be… a brother trying his best to not be a Comic View comic.  Nothing in his life was off-limits, just like in my set.  Pretty much we had the same interest, whiskey, jazz, and the gym.  We would try to get weeks with each other because when you are on the road it is rough when the other comic/comics don’t click with you outside the club.

When able to work with each other we knew a few things, we would not step on each other’s toes with our material.  We would give notes on jokes that would actually make the bits better.  Find the best dive bar in that city, drink Jack, bullshit some chicks (moment of truth about me #2: I love telling lies to women in clubs, once they completely buy into the lie and become interested… walk away and ignore them for the rest of the night.  Clubs are a joke and most of the people in them are too, I never took anything about bars and clubs serious except the drinking).  The next day when killing time before the show, we both workout so hit the gym, go grab some supplements, eat a chicken breast on lettuce, then find a music store and find the coolest guy in there and listen to stories about some 60’s rock star and kid he fathered in that town.  I know, we sound really gay.  Not gay in the negative ‘public service announcement you shouldn’t say that’ way or get a heated mention from Perez Hilton because you said that way… but we sound like two gay dudes trying to figure life out and eventually adopt a Malaysian kid.

Hell if we did not have women in our lives I would have had to ease up on at least the time in the gym with dude.  When we first met on the road, he had just started dating a new girl.  For the sake of this let’s call this girl Molly, because that’s her f*ckin’ name (that is actually his line, once she became a part of his act).  When I rolled into Ohio, where they both lived, one week to perform it was necessary for me to meet Molly.  She was okay, cute, but not what you think a guy would lose his mind over (moment of truth about me #3: in situations like this where the woman is not ‘knock down drag out fine’ I just assume she does some things so freaky that you have to hold on to her, because most women won’t let you do that or she makes biscuits from scratch).  She was cool, funny, happy to meet me, complimented me on my shirt, and told me I filled it out nicely… well that’s a flag.  We went to a few places that night, one great thing about Ohio is there are some nice places to hang out and they do not seem to want people outside of the state to know that, Molly knew hostesses and they made sure we got a nice spot to sit even when crowded with a line.

The bartenders knew Molly and knew what she liked the drink, nothing wrong with that, they were really nice to us and even nicer to my friend when they found out he was dating her… flag number 2 (moment of truth about me #4:  I use to be make extra bucks working in bars and clubs as either a bouncer or a bartender, when a guy walks in with girl the bartender is either interested in or has been with before that guy gets more Hennessy in his glasses and a few of those drinks never find their way to tab).  When we did the mandatory 4:00 am Waffle House visit, there is the booth of guys that notice Molly point and laugh a little.  The staff didn’t say anything to Molly but it was clear that they recognized her.  Then the ‘regular’ homeless guy that gets a single pass through before the manager tells them they have to leave, he saw Molly and said “you always have something for me”… okay that’s enough flags!  This shit ain’t gonna end well.

It did not, a fight with a guy she was cheating with, a warning from his landlord because of complaints about yelling from neighbors, a warning from a cop after checking on them when arguing in a bar parking lot, a blow up with that cop when he was off-duty because she cheated with him, an abortion, and lots of lost CD’s later it was finally over.  Over for her, I had to go through a year of crazy talk from him.  Wondering who she is with, while saying he didn’t really care if she was with someone else.  Hoping that when I did answer his call there may actually be a funny line or two on the other side, something to make the effort of pressing ‘accept’ worth it.  Leading only to hear a depressed voice on the other side then wonder if that rattling sound in the background is a bottle of sleeping pills.

Eventually it came to an end, not because he got over it but because he got busy.  Some time in LA and some ‘power meetings’ with some major people followed by some checks that equal my yearly salary can preoccupy anyone.  Once in a while, I would hear his ex had a baby with some guy or that someone saw her, or she had landed into a boat load of money (really?  I should hit it, I still fill out my shirt nicely).  Another reason he stopped chatting so much about his ex, is because of a new girl.

There are a group of guys that look up to my friend, he is in his 40’s late 40’s now and he still pulls 20-year-old women.  I am not one of those guys that look up to him for that (moment of truth about me #4: when I turned 35 and was meeting 21-year-old women after shows and in bars I set a firm rule for myself.  If I can think really hard and remember what I was doing the day you were born, I cannot date you. “October 23, 1988… uhh, English test in Mrs. James’ 3rd period class.  Sweetie keep your number, but if you see me 5 years from now I have a nephew I would like to introduce you to.”)  This is a major part of his problem… 20-year-old women can drive you crazy!  Not all of them but most of them,  a 20-year-old woman who has her head together does not have 20-year-old women as friends, she knows better.  You ever wonder why 20-year-old guys where sagging –skinny jeans?  20-year-old women are driving them crazy and they cannot focus on anything other than their bedazzled shirt (which is another issue all together).

The new girlfriend and him dated for 5 years, cuter than Molly.  He was not happy ever with her.  No need for flags on this one… this shit ain’t gonna last either.  Does she party a lot? Check.  Do random guys know who she is and all the bartenders treat him really nice? Check.  Is there this one guy who is just a friend that she always has drinks after work with? Check.  Does she know a cop that gets her out of traffic tickets? Check.  Is she a 20-year-old woman? Check.  Should I change my number and not give it to him before this ends badly?  Did not get a chance to check this off, he broke up with her out of the blue with no warning… shit!

It is not the constant updates about who she is messing with, the questions of why she is not calling him, or the complete and total lack of anything funny coming from his end of the conversation.  It is that nobody has told him that she is dating someone else, he believes that is the only reason why she wouldn’t call him, and when I say something I know is funny not even a chuckle, now he is just being a bastard.  Instead of an acknowledgement of my humor, he keeps talking about why she is not calling him.  I am not a relationship expert but when breaking up with someone your point is pretty much made when the last thing you say to her out the window as you drive away is “and bitch don’t call me no more”.  I thought he was a little off-balanced but this is psychotic.

He now swears he was happy in the relationship, even though all of friends have documented the times talking to him in the last 3 years when he stated he was ‘not happy with her’.  People come up to him after shows in Georgia, have conversations with him then believes that these people know her and she told them to fish for information after the show.  People make statements in passing about their kids and he thinks they have had a talk with her about how she wanted a baby but he didn’t and now they are making comments around him to mess with him.

Luckily he has an older sister, who has dealt with this for 30 years from him and now that she is in her 50’s she no longer has time for this bullshit.  Summing it all up his sister said, “stop dating 20-year-women!  If you do date another find one that has been through some shit in her life, you keep finding the 20-year-old with no responsibility and parents paying the rent.

“You cannot find a 20-year-old with a dead parent or a child or two working all day and taking online University of Phoenix classes?  Those heffa’s are mentally 39 years old, better yet find a 39-year-old with a gym membership and an ex-husband their tolerance to take part in bullshit, the receiving or delivery of it, left years ago”  (moment of truth about me #’s 5 and 6:  First, I find his sister hilarious.  Second, when I have reviewed a résumé from someone with a degree from the University of Phoenix I laugh uncontrollably and then place it in the same pile with names ending in “-niqua” and emails addresses like “toohot@somedomain.com” or anything@uofphoenix.edu).

The few times I thought he was joking recently, I realized he was not joking.  Like last week when someone commented about wanting to buy a car and he swore, that person must be sleeping with his ex and she must have told the guy that he wanted a new car, so he must be saying that to let him know that he is aware of his finances.  I laughed a little when he said, “I could just start picking these dudes off, 25 years in a state pen is enough time to get some reading done”.  That is funny to me… until a couple of days ago when he informed me that he had actually gone to his car and grabbed his gun that day.  Now I have to check this dude for weapons when we go out for whiskey and music now (moment of truth about me #7:  I ain’t going to jail for nobody!  I don’t believe in snitching, unless the snitching keeps me from being on the business end of a prison shower anal-rape.  I don’t care if that is too graphic, did you ever see the HBO show ‘Oz’?  That was graphic too and they won Emmy Awards.  Can a brother get a Pulitzer or at the least a NAACP Image Award?).

Like I mentioned, I have very few friends and I like it that way.  You take the good with the bad when you make friends.  We all have our moments, some more than others.  We all want the best for our friends and you deal with the crazy moments because when they do find that person that makes their life full, it makes your time talking more enjoyable.  It also allows your therapist to focus on your own issues instead of sorting through all the bull your friend has pumped into your head.

More Dangerous to Black People… Guns or Madea?

I do not hate Tyler Perry I just hate everything he does.  It really isn’t even Tyler Perry and his work that bothers me.  It is the blind following of his film, plays, and TV shows by the African-American community.  Ten years ago there was so much talk about Tyler Perry plays that when offered a chance by my family to see one on DVD I sat down and ready to be impressed.  I set my expectations too high.

As I watched Madea’s Class Reunion, I knew two things immediately: 1) my family is dumber than I thought 2) This was the biggest waste of time in my life, ‘new employee orientation’ you are now off the hook.  (Really, how long does it take to tell men on their first day of work “find booty on your own time”)  Okay, it is a man dressed as a woman, nothing ground breaking.  I wanted to ask my cousins if they had ever watched Martin or the Flip Wilson show.  Madea pulls a gun out on a waiter… okay my cousin that is a VP for IBM is also offended, no need to ‘DNA test’  my relationship with her but the rest of these idiots can expect their Maury Show invite from me within the year.

My aunt is upset because I am not laughing.  How can someone get offended because you do not find something funny?  Be offended if I spit on your rug, be offended if I drink the last of your kid’s juice, and please be offended if I pull the DVD player out the socket while throwing it and Tyler Perry out the family room window.  Do not get offended that watching Black culture take a 30 year step backwards is not giving me side-splitting pleasure.  I walked out the house and took a walk.  Oh I did not mention to you I was with my family in Mississippi, so I thought a Black man taking a walk down an unlit Mississippi back road was a better idea than looking at Tyler Perry.

Before you say you have to give him more a chance or ask if I based my opinion of Tyler Perry production off of a bootleg DVD (I have to give my family credit for not legally buying Madea’s Class Reunion).  I did watch more Tyler Perry productions/movies.  I had to watch more, I had to figure out what was wrong with his work.  “Diary of Mad Black Woman”, “Madea’s Family Reunion”, “Daddy’s Little Girls”… bad, bad, bad DAMN, DAMN, DAMN!!  I did figure out what one of the problems was.  The writing is so unbelievably bad, the writing, the story arc, the lack of depth to the characters makes watching the 88 minutes of his films fill as dirty as you would walking past a dog park with Michael Vick.

Biggest problem with “Diary of Mad Black Woman”, ‘Orlando’ played by Shemar Moore… ain’t no brother putting up with a sister treating him like that when they first meet.  As men we are hounds, we want the booty (that’s the reason why they take so much time telling us not to try to get it at work during new employee orientation), we will play games and put up with a lot for the opportunity to be with a woman but even we have a limit.  Most brothers would have told ‘Helen’, played by Elise Neal, “Okay sister, I see you are having a bad day.  My apologies for trying to push up, you have a good day.”  That’s most brothers, some brothers would have sounded like a Snoop Dogg and Xzibit duet “B#tch Pleeze!”.  The ending looked like the Compton Black Actors Ensemble’s production of “An Officer and A Gentleman”… really bad.

I will leave “Madea’s Family Reunion” alone, because it was silly.  If Tyler Perry just kept it at silly I would be cool with him.  It just gets under my skin to give me an hour of buffoonery, every character be a stereo type, all the jokes tired and insulting to your audience then justify all of it by a 3 minute seen where Madea puts out her cigarette and quotes one scripture out the Bible.  Is that for him or for the audience?  Slide a little God in the script that justifies all the doors you have shut for brothers and sisters trying to make positive moves in the industry.  You think Spike Lee’s problem is that he is not “THE” Black movie director anymore?  That Black people go see Tyler Perry movies in higher numbers than ‘Spike Lee Joints’?  No Spike’s problem with Tyler is that at the exact moment Spike is pushing through a new breed of Black and Latino filmmakers and getting his production budgets kicked up to 9 digits, here comes Tyler Perry.  Nothing wrong with Tyler getting in the game any way he could, but damn it man… DO BETTER!  Now movie studios can tell Spike:

Movie Industry: “Your target audience is the Black community Spike.  Our data shows we can put 8 million dollars into films targeted to Black folks and get a $30 million return.  Why would we give you a $105 million budget and possibly lose 60 million bucks?”

Spike:  “Because Black people deserve for their stories to be told in a quality equal to the general movie going audience.”

Movie Industry: “Ummm… Black people do not seem to care about what they see.”

Spike: “Unfortunately, that is the result of this current structure and my point.”

Tyler Perry has done more harm than good.  Are there some actors getting starring roles that they would never get if it was not for him, of course they are.  Should I be happy for Tyler for obtaining a level of power not seen for a person of color, I am.   Spending time in recent years as a stand-up comic and writer it bothered me when people suggested I try to write and do like Tyler Perry.  You can only spit up so much blood and hear that so many times.  I have taken a break from the stage and backed out of my one writing opportunity.  I am not the only person I know that has done this, many brothers and sisters have not because there is no appreciation for their work, but because there is not even openness from our own communities try it out.

Tyler Perry’s Christmas production will be in Chicago soon.  Most people I know want to go see it.  Which bothers me as well, because Chicago has a great theater experience if you are open to it.  The work at the Goodman Theater alone could give a great representation of the Black experience in this country.  Not happening for us.  I have shared with my friends a few times that is Tyler Perry died tomorrow, BET would change it’s program schedule in honor of “Tyler Perry, a great American play-writer and movie producer”.  Sadly the August Wilson, arguably America’s greatest play-writer of the last 30 years, a Black man died in 2005 and BET didn’t make a bleep about it.  Most people who have seen a Tyler Perry production have never heard of August Wilson.  Ironically, many of the actors that appear in the Madea movies can list a Wilson production on the résumé or have obtained roles because they used a monologue from an August Wilson play.  Denzel Washington performs on Broadway every year, usually Shakespeare or August Wilson.  When Denzel does a stage production of Madea’s “Fill in the blank” I will walk down the street in a wig, a dress, smoking a square, while holding a gun, daring police to mess with me.  Then I will throw away anything I own that puts me in contact with the outside world.

My best friend has been in a Tyler Perry movie (luckily his career benefitted from boost in his character on his TV show so did not have to go the TP road anymore), my little sister will have a first part in his next film. I believe he puts people I know in his movies every few years to force me to watch them.  I will I keep my words and vomit to myself.  Until I get to my laptop then I say what I need to with a bucket on the side of my couch so I can get everything out of me that I need to after a moment with Madea.

Yes his films are bad, his TV shows are worse, but it was a combination of a few of his movies that truly gave me confirmation that his movies are not for me.  “Daddy’s Little Girls”, “The Family That Preys”, and “Why Did I Get Married?”, these movies struck me for different reasons.

“Daddy’s Little Girls” because that brother would have been on Oprah for all he went through and before his ex-wife could take him to court all the legal help he needed would be in place by people who wanted to see him succeed.  “The Family That Preys”, the brothers in that movie are either in complete and total need of the women in their lives to survive and those that have it together are ass holes.

“Why Did I Get Married?”, there are so many things wrong with this movie that I have to force myself to deal with the one thing that makes this movie alright.  The relationship between Sheila and Mike, played by Jill Scott and Richard T. Jones.  Let me make this quick point, it is an absolute joy to see Jill Scott take on any role, immensely talented and gorgeous.  Try being upset while listening to or watching something featuring Jill Scott… not possible.  Her sad songs leave you smiling.  However, my biggest problem with this movie was this relationship, can’t no brother (yes I am in all out Ebonics fam!) talk to a  sister like that about her weight, then play her off in front of her people without it getting physical.  You getting ‘finger busted’ in your forehead at least bruh, believe me. (Finger busted: verb, when an angry Black woman puts an exclamation point to her words by thumping her middle finger into the forehead of a sorry-looking brother.  Example:  Halle Barry in “Boomerang” when she ‘finger busted’ Eddie Murphy as she said “you only care about your damn self”) Tyler Perry does not write for me.  I would say he writes for Black women, but I was raised by a Black woman who acts nothing like the women in those films.  He just does not write for Black men and he has no interest in doing anything that puts Black men in a positive light.

Actually, Tyler Perry is not my problem.  It is the people who blindly watch his movie.  If you open your minds for a second and give some of the people who are doing some amazing things a chance, you would be pleased.  Not just Black people, there are people from all different backgrounds doing incredible work today.  It does not do us any favors to make it easy for an industry that is inherently biased towards races, to continue to toss low-budget garbage at us because they know we will accept it.  I am not saying I want Tyler Perry to go away, I want us all to give more people a chance that would make Madea easier to deal with.  If there are more choices than these movies, it broadens our representation in American culture and it possibly challenges Tyler Perry to dig deeper and give you something that is true and needed in your life.  Honest reflection of you who you, who we are as a culture.

I have to say one more thing, Oprah is so liable in all of this.  I think of how Oprah has challenged rappers for their use of the word ‘nigga’.  How it is demeaning and does nobody in the Black community any good.  Then she pushes Tyler Perry films as the greatest achievement in movie history.  I wonder if she gets on Tyler Perry for using ‘nigga’ in his films?  What is it about Tyler that allows him a pass from holding up a standard for Black people to aspire too that rap artists do not get?  Answer, buffoonery.  Acting a fool gives Black people the freedom to gain success in this country.  Chuck D knew that his message would not be accepted by the public and main stream music audiences.  So having Flava-Flav was as important to Public Enemy as the S1W’s and his lyrics were.  The problem with Tyler Perry’s buffoonery is… what is his message?  The one I get does not sit well with me.

Beans Don’t Burn on the Grill… Who in Hell Burns Beans?

The importance of the Jefferson’s begins and ends for me, as it does for most Black men, with the fact that George Jefferson is the only Black man in history to call a white man a ‘honky’ to his face and never lose his money, freedom, or life.  All the other great stuff about the Jefferson’s becomes filler.  It was great to see a brother “make it” on television through his own hard work and receive the proper credit.  “I Spy” Bill Cosby did all the work and Robert Culp got the girls, although HILARIOUS “Sanford and Son” saw a Redd Foxx call a junk yard in Watts his “castle”, and Jimmy “JJ” Walker (well read one of my earlier post).

George didn’t get off clean, here you are in a high-rise apartment on New York’s Upper East Side, you hire a maid and she doesn’t respect you.  CAN’T WIN!!!  He did put some of the help in their place, when Ralph “The Doorman” held his hand out for a tip, George handled it in style look at it like “what you want some dap?”  Unfortunately, it became ingrained in this country’s collective minds that Black men are horrible tippers, as a result I have to deal with bad service at a bar until I have been in there enough lay down an extra five before the bartenders realize “this guy tips well… but has a horrible drinking problem.  He’s been in here 6 times this week and it’s Wednesday.”

When I see the Jefferson’s now and “Helen Willis” walks on the screen, I know somebody somewhere is saying “you know that’s Lenny Kravitz’ mom”.  Then somebody responds “I thought Willona from Good Times was his mother”, always happens.  Side note: Willona from Good Times sings the theme song for the Jefferson’s, put that in your mental Rolodex during your Thanksgiving Trivial Pursuit games (and show some respect her name is Ja’net Dubois, don’t be an ass and scream out “Ooooh Willon!” idiot!”).  Speaking of Good Times…  Good Times is the reason we had different “Lionels”.  The original Lionel was Mike Evans (not the character Mike Evans you jag-off.  If you look at the credits for Good Time Mike Evans is a writer) he left the show to write and produce Good Times.  You know Good Times was like a virus, it infected everything in the 70’s.

The whole switching of the Lionels was handled poorly.  Not that I needed them to try to find someone who looked just like the original (they at least found a brother with the same last name as the original brother, Damon Evans… file that in your Trivial Pursuit Rolodex too), but do some sly issh.  When New Lionel  walks out a writer couldn’t be slick and have Weezy say “Lionel you get a haircut?  You look different”.  When old Lionel comes back a writer couldn’t have him say “I was sick, took some medicine feel like my old self again”.  At least let us know that you don’t think your audiences are complete fools.

With a character a strong as George Jefferson, it would have been easy for Sherman Helmsley to never do a bit of work and live off residuals for the rest of his days, but dude went on to another show a few years later, AMEN (That was the name of the show, not trying to imply it was God’s grace and mercy that allowed him to work again.  Okay, it was that).   Think about other Black male actors from the 70’s and 80’s, Garrett Morris of Saturday Night Live, he never even got a cameo part in any of his SNL partners movies (bruh didn’t even get a funny role in Car Wash).  Jimmy “JJ” Walker… you ever see him in anything since?  For a brother to be on TV in the 70’s and 80’s as much as Sherman Hemsley the police had to be looking for you or you had to running through an airport jumping over luggage and white children trying to get to your car rental… or both (If anyone gets this reference I will write 3 blogs of choice, any subject/topic).

It was nice that the producers gave some thought to what Louise Jefferson should do.  Instead of being seen as a woman sitting at home and her husband being outside the house, they folded in responsibility outside the home for her.  Louise and Helen ran the “Help Center”, a pretty generic title but well thought out.  Since the producers commitment to what Louise did for a living was the give a name to place and not actually do an episode about it, with it being named the “Help Center” you knew she “helped” people… shove that up your butt Gloria Steinem!  Yeah they had a couple of episodes where there was someone from the “Help Center” but that was when they couldn’t figure out which Lionel was which and instead of writing him into the show they would talk about the “Help Center” a bit.  One more thing, nobody in his circle has ever thought about telling Lil’ Wayne to not refer to himself as “Weezy”… really?  He has no friends.