Happy Black History Month!! Today We Salute… BET

Today we celebrate BET and their inspirational programming… hold on, I threw up on my keyboard a little.  Let me wipe it clean, ;lkhjuyjikol;.,lmkjnbhujik

Okay, back to Black Entertainment Television, nice name.  Not an accurate name, but nice, there is nothing entertaining about it and what they consider Black borders on slightly embarrassing and a waste of talent.  I would rather see Malcolm Jamal-Warner selling oranges on the side of an expressway than watch him rot away on one more episode of Reed Between the Lines.  Only BET could take a good concept for a sitcom featuring a Black family and remove the humor and soul from it.  Some things should be left to ABC or CBS… only if they were interested in Black talent.  Sadly, you are our only hope for uplifting programming that features people who look like us.

To your credit BET, you have worked hard to avoid any drama you use to constantly associate yourself with and that can be called… progress?  Instead of being a ‘music video’ network, you decided to focus on actual programming, poorly, but you focused on it anyway.  Today on BET is mostly reruns of decent Black comedies, hood movies, and on Sundays 4 to 6 hours of Chit’lin circuit plays featuring talented Black actors dying slowly in front of our eyes.  Gone are 17 hours of videos, with one hour of ‘Black news’, followed by an hour of bad comedy, to be topped off with an hour of ‘mature’ music videos meant for adults but kids watched all the time… 3 hours of infomercials a half an hour of Joyce Meyers and Joel Osteen ministries each and back to videos.  I miss the days when the only advertisements you had were that “Rough Side of the Mountain” Gospel compilation “WHO IN THE HELL LEFT THE GATE OPEN” and the classic “Hey Love” compilation that featured 3 Black couple belly rubbing in a living room listening to an actual record (no 3 Black couples actually did that)… “Hey man you got to let me borrow that?”, say it with me people…  “NO MY BROTHER!  YOU GOT TO GET YOUR OWN”.

How we miss the days of The Mayor of Rap City, pushing the envelope and providing a space for the voiceless to have their say.  We think we miss when you were introducing artists, comics, and covering events that were impacting our community.  We think we miss these things, but as the network that ‘represents’ what is good in our community if you are not showing it to us, we must not really miss it.  Who are we to crave substance and credibility?  You keep telling us what we must like.

You are an equal opportunity employer as well; you will make anyone famous, even if they do not have talent.  After joining Def Comedy Jam to introduce great comics to us.  When Russell Simmons realized that the talent was running thin on good Black comics, they shut down production where as you let every hack in the world fly out to any place you were filming gave them five minutes and paid them nothing for their efforts.  Even repeatedly airing their material and not offering them one cent in residuals, nice.  Your pimp game is strong!  It took white comics like Jerry Seinfeld to ask for comics to boycott your shows until you paid your comics fairly.  When you finally agreed to pay at ‘scale’ you finally went the Def Jam route and shut down.  Although, you claim to have made more Black people millionaires… outside of the NBA.  It is always nice to see Black people play into a stereotype, now that’s progress!

We must give you credit for the one thing you do well, the BET Awards.  You do know an awards show is not about the awards but about the music and the performances.  Unfortunately, you let untalented people walk onto your stage and treat them like they are selling records like Prince in 1983.  You are like Jesse Jackson, supposedly our voice but nobody remembers selecting you to speak for us.  We have come to accept that you will reward those that limit our culture, you are not Fox News you have never claimed to be fair and balanced.  August Wilson, arguably one of the greatest play writes Black or White of the 20th Century, passed away without a blip from you.  Even though his plays launched the careers of many of our finest actors, including Denzel Washington, but if Tyler Perry died we know you will shut down what you call programming all week-long in memory of great American writer/director/activist… I am sorry, I threw up on my keyboard again.  A lot this time, let me wipe this off again, ‘[;phyjumgtfbvnhjmhjmhjmhjmhjmhjmhjmhjmhjmbjuki9867yugtbhjnuikmo897yuhjni9 043oilk-09.  Sorry about that.

Only you BET can present a show saying how much Black women rock right after airing 3 hours of videos where women walk around in G-strings, bouncing up and down around rappers lip-synching songs talking about how much they do not respect them. We all love that you tell our young men they can be more than rappers & felons then make Lil Wayne’s release from jail “breaking news”. Thanks BET for… All you do?  Oh Lord… I threw up again!!!  P’7yukjiop-0897uiljko09iojfhyupio6y89iojp0899709uiogjpu089yioj  Actually that is really symbolic… BET has been throwing up vomit on our community for over 15 years now.  Happy Black History Month BET!  Are you guys doing anything special for it this year?

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Happy Black History Month!!! Today We Salute… The Maury Povich Show

Always more comforting to see someone else embarrass themselves while eventually becoming the laughing-stock of whatever small town in Arkansas, they must come from. The Maury Povich Show has caught more men in lies than a prosecuting attorney.  Maury is an equal opportunity, opportunist we can all agree the show is much more fun when Black people are on it.

The ‘cut-away’ where one of the guests are taped saying whatever they want to say about the person that bought them on the show is always a delight.  The degradation of women by the men is usually reserved to an NWA song.  This is always made better when the mother or current girlfriend of the man is right behind him looking like hype man, the only thing missing is a clock hanging from their neck and an occasional ‘yeeeeahhh boyeeee’.  The woman escorting the man to the show is never more attractive than the woman he use to date and usually outweighs the ex-girlfriend by exactly 122 lbs.  Proving these men have never been told, “if you are gonna cheat… you do not fuck down, you fuck up”.

When the mother escorts her son to the taping of the show, the mother always takes over the cut-away segment.  The looks in the mother’s eyes are similar to the look of the dominant inmate during a brutal prison shower rape and it will end in a similar fashion, in tears with someone’s ass torn up.  The son is always in the back mouthing either ‘help me’ or ‘I still love you, help me’.  The mother’s never believe anything the lying tramp said and freely tells all she ‘heard’ about who the little heffa has been sleeping with.  LOVE IT!

For the record, not every question answered turns out to be a lie but every man is caught in a lie.  No man is going to pass the ‘have you ever thought about sleeping with another woman’ question.  No man can pass the questions:

  • “Have you ever thought about sleeping with your girlfriend’s best friend?”
  • “Have you ever thought about sleeping with your girlfriend’s cousin?”
  • “Have you ever thought about sleeping with your girlfriend’s sister?”
  • “Have you ever thought about sleeping with your girlfriend’s enemy?”
  • “Have you ever thought about sleeping with your girlfriend’s mother?”
  • “Have you ever thought about sleeping with any combination of your girlfriend’s relatives, friends, enemies, neighbors, co-workers, Facebook friends?”

No man can pass those questions without being really good at passing lie detector test or by just answering “Yes Maury I have thought about sleeping with all of them, and since we are being honest I am now thinking about sleeping with your wife Connie and your show’s producer”.  It is a no win situation for a man.

Now the moment you have all been waiting for:

Maury has made more men a “baby’s daddy” than Erykah Badu.  The Maury Povich Show has bought more recognition to DNA than crime scene investigations, wrongly convicted inmates, or even Watson & Crick!  Swab them cheeks, 24 hours later come back to the studio (usually in the same polo shirt) and find out if ‘in the case of … YOU ARE THE FATHER’.  From the women who have been on the show more than five times to the women that have had more than 30 men tested (let’s just make this clear, you should be able to narrow down the ‘possible’ fathers down to TWO.  It should either be Eric or Michael, anything more confirms you as a whore and that’s real talk) no episode has bought me such side-splitting laughter while cringing for the future of a child than the case of little Sammy Davis, Jr., Jr.

Yes that was Sammy Davis, Jr., Jr., not Sammy Davis III (the third) but yes Sammy Davis, Jr., Jr.  A woman had sex with a man by the name of Sammy Davis Jr. (we do not have time to wonder why his mother would do that to HIM), that woman ended up pregnant and in love with Sammy Davis Jr. had a boy and decided to name her after the father.  Showing her ignorance, instead of informing the hospital to name her son Sammy Davis III, giving the staff to joke about the father’s name, she told them to add a ‘Jr.’.  Why nobody called a social worker on her I will never know.  Why the Social Security Administration and local/state officials did not launch an immediate inquiry on the hospital for failure to report this woman to Child Protective Services and beat her ass with a rolled up magazine is beyond anyone’s comprehension.

Sammy Davis, Jr. was indeed the father of Sammy Davis, Jr., Jr. ending two dreams the father had.  One, being able to hold on to his entire check without a child support deduction; two) having his moment to breakout his version of the “NOT the father” dance.

We honor you, the Maury Povich Show, on this very special Valentine’s Day salute during Black History Month.  So after you buy the flowers from the gas station on your way to ya’ girl’s crib, after you have listened to every slow song you could illegally download, and after you eat that tough ass steak she fired up… remember to ‘strap it up’ before I am laughing at you next year!  With these economic times it is nice to know that we as people have something to keep us entertained until the next Tyler Perry mess… I mean movie, comes out.

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.