Tag Archives: pop culture

ON: Racism is So HOT: Davis Mallory, AfterElton, and that Hottest Real World Guys List

Okay; so it is not that I know Davis Mallory or anything, I don’t, and it is not that I never go on AfterElton.com, I do  (even if I would rather it be called AfterJames, or AfterOscar, or the WildeBunch, or a plethora of other names), it is not even that AfterElton’s “11 Hottest Real World Guys List” is ALL that important (in the grand scheme of things it isn’t), it is about what the inclusion of Davis Mallory on the list means or signifies.  Before being an AfterElton employee Davis Mallory was on the Real World Denver out to show how one could be gay, Southern, and Christian. His Southern charm, blonde locks, and football player next door looks was sure whip the boys into a frenzy, but he is rather memorable for an awful confrontation with a fellow cast member whom he called a “nigger.” Yes ma’am this boy (drunkenly) called someone a “nigger” calling forth another southern stereotype. Sure, Davis apologized, there was a (slightly pathetic) contrition tour, and for all I know he and Tyrie (who is not unproblematic) could be the best of friends. But the point is that it doesn’t matter; I don’t really care, but apparently neither does AfterElton but for different reasons.

You see, for me Davis Mallory’s coming to Black Jesus moments are well and all but since I am not in his life, nor does he have an affect on mine, I don’t much care; all I do know is that in 2006/7, on an episode filled with racial tension and absurdities, an intoxicated white boy and a hot-headed black boy got into it and that white boy tried to call his then-boyfriend over the phone because he was “going home” because  some “nigger” trying to “kill” him.  I lost all attraction. Apparently, for AfterElton, the fact that Davis called Tyrie a “nigger,” revealing how he, on some level, at the time, thought about at least certain types of Black people, doesn’t matter. In fact they state:

Denver! That was a caustic cast. Oh, Brooke! You have almost certainly killed someone before. Tyrie! You’re diagnosable. And Davis! You are gay and good-looking and that confrontation with Tyrie was scaaaaaary. Thank God you’re a part of the AfterElton family where I can be sure you’re safe. Phew.

Clearly they are team Davis and he gets to be HOT. And this is why you hear so many of us who are Black and Brown saying the same refrain over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, again.

It is exhausting.

White gays are ALWAYS forgiven for their racist comments, thoughts, and ways. The way racism and whiteness permeates through beauty culture  the market place of desire, pornography, employment, the actual crafitng catering to and imaging of the gay rights message is an assault on the black (and here by black I mean in older english sense of nonwhite) conscious and body and spirit. It is so prevalent that a stupid list like this which included a guy who called a black person a “nigger” is enough to infuriate, annoy, and make one roll their eyes and sigh a sigh informed by years of treatment and that sigh say “why?” 

To put it in another way, lemme offer this: Can you imagine AfterElton making a list of the hottest X and including a black man who called a white guy a “faggot”? Say Isaiah Washington, can we picture AfterElton including Isaiah Washington on a list of the 4 or 5 hottest Grey’s Anatomy doctors even though he called T.R. Knight a “faggot”? I couldn’t either. 

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The Super(queer)bowl

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What this whole night is about: 3 Black divas

waiting with an…tici………pation

slain by bey

 

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Yeah I Need One (A coin Operated Boy)

 

It is so fun and great when you get introduced to new-to-you music, movies, or books. Today I heard about The Dresden Dolls, and yeah so far loving them.

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Justin Timberlake and the Art of (White) Cool

He oozes sex. Justin Timberlake with his non threatening smile, barely there slighlty nasal speaking voice, and boyish vulnerablity managed to rredifine sexiness. He took his safe boy band lead singer appeal and  frat boy cockiness, threw it in a  white suburban hipster blender and viola, JT was no more and instead we had Justin Timberlake: swag, assuredness, always seemingly down with the brown (but never dating them; at least not openly), singing about his precious dick but never showing it, a shiny tease, new cool. So cool that he could disappear from his main gig, singing, for years and comeback and not even question whether it would work. Whether he still had it.

I admit I was one of the ones screaming for his return. Justin Timberlake was everything for me from this moment:

 

Shows my age but god; in high school that was EVERYTHING.  But then today something happened; Justin dropped his new single Suit & Tie:

 

and while I wanted this:

I was given this:

and I am like:

Then I had an ah hah moment: I didn’t like Justified at first; I felt “gone” was a stronger single (the others guys were back up) and it wasn’t until JT hit us with Britney’s lookalike that we were all like, “Oh shit this dude is amazing” and then when he was all like “I’m bringing sexy back” we were like, “Yes! bring it back; I didn’t know it left, but you said it did so it must be so!” 

Justin Timberlake has made a career resting on not his entire catalogue but rather one album and two songs. And because we are so quick to give this (and any) cute white boy extra credit for being aloof, cute, uncomplicated, and hip (basically your average frat boy at a semidecent university) we expect greatness from him. He hasn’t worked his ass all that hard musically in years—not like his female peers or even, gulp, Usher—and yet he has been able to retain the title of blue-eyed soul wunderkind.

So what’s the point? I am not really sure except that this could not be possible for most women or artists of color. Minus say the Huffington Post, there really isn’t the tag of “comeback” that haunts every female who leaves the game for any period of time over six months; instead we get “releases,” and “returns” both of which are either status quo in nature or positive; neither haunts, neither places everything on the line  like “comeback.”  Who else but cute straight white boys don’t have to constantly prove themselves? Who else can rest on the laurels of one (albeit fucking hot) try? And who else can release a song like “Suit & Tie” and have it undoubtedly be a hit? JT is just so cool.

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To be Clear, Quentin Tarantino is NOT Your Slave.

That moment when the white gay says to the POC, “I am not your slave; I am not your monkey,” while trying to promote a movie about slavery. Accuses said reporter of trying to get ratings after saying that the interview is a big commercial for his movie.
The Django-heads will cheer; I just scratch my head and think *side-eye*
Sidenote: Were you aware that we dealt with our American Indian holocaust?

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More than just a “reality chick”: How Mo Ivory got “Scandal” and Olivia Pope wrong.

ImageConfession: I love Scandal; I go through withdrawal the moment my Thursday clock hits 10:01PM. I love Scandal and I love Olivia Pope. Reality Check: Not everyone agrees with me.Second Reality Check: As with most things, life would be better (for them and me) if they just did. Final Reality Check: I have slight issues but that is another post. Mo Ivory over at CBS Atlanta published “Olivia Pope is No Different Than Any Other Reality Chick (She Just Costs More),” and in it she proceeds to analyze Oliva Pope and Scandal  and comes to the conclusion that Miss Pope is a lot more of the same, and that she, and those of us who also complain about reality shows and their depictions of women of color, is a hypocrite because she likes Scandal. Ivory makes a considerable effort to break down the show and expose its flaws, and in a committed determined effort show us that:

Olivia Pope is no different than Joseline from “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” or Kim from “Real Housewives of Atlanta” – she just has more expensive clothes, a higher paying job and tighter security. She is no breath of fresh air, nuanced or complicated, and definitely not a rarity in black female representation. She is merely presented on a shiny platter in a sparkly house instead of at the bar in a strip club.

Excuse me, just a queer black boi here, but um, yeah, no. Olivia Pope is not at all like the women Ivory listed, and moreover Ivory’s entire piece is just problematic. Her argument pretty much hinges on the embracement of a politics of respectability. Can we just agree that while the status quo is not desirable, the politics of respectability is not much better either? 

Much of Ivory’s gripe seems to circle around Miss Pope’s sexual life. Sigh. This to me is the only thing about this whole argument that is familiar  Black Women are often damned if they do, damned if they don’t. Let’s put this in context: Scandal is a Shonda Rhimes show; I don’t even currently watch other Shonda Rhimes shows but I used to watch Grey’s Anatomy so I know that on each of her shows, her main female characters (who have all been characterized as strong but flawed) have engaged in extramarital affairs. So in that sense, Scandal is following a Rhimes formula. In another context, Olivia Pope is the latest in a long line of women post Ally McBeal who have their professional lives tight (at least at the beginning of the series) and their personal lives are a mess. Think of this as the female equivalent of the very male antihero ( Olivia Pope: Don Draper).  What is refreshing about Scandal is that it refuses to victimize Olivia Pope, and much like the (problematic) character Carrie Bradshaw from Sex & the City dares and demands that you love her and root for her despite her being a mistress and doing things you don’t agree with. There is not much room in pop culture for Black and Latina women to be flawed in any way (and if you disagree just wait for the respectability police to speak) and still respected, admired, and strong. Scandal demands this from its audience.

Now let’s talk about the rest of the article. Ivory just gets facts wrong.
1) “She’s having an affair with a married man who made sure he secured a really good job for her that she has been able to turn into a profitable business.” ~ Ivory. Ummmm No. Cyrus brought Olivia Pope in to help Fitz. You can bet Cyrus was not wanting an affair as that would just be a problem for him to clean up. Fitz was attracted to Olivia because she was beautiful and smart, and the show has implied she is opposite from his wife. Indeed, while we can see what draws him to Olivia and Olivia to him, what we have not seen is what drew him to Millie in the first place. Olivia left the White House because she did not want to just continue the affair. She started her own business  So at no point during any of this did Fitz help her. She helped him. 

2) “She sneaks over in the middle of the night for booty calls and has her “yes” men and women to cover her tracks.” Ummmmm yes and no; middle of the night illicit sexual sessions are somewhat par for the course in affairs, but this has also happened, more often, during the day and in the daylight. Her ” ‘yes’ men and women” do not really know about her personal life; the only exception is Huck. 

3) “She keeps a thug around (Huck) for protection and to do her dirty work.” Huck is not just a “thug.” He is a smart, internet savvy, Latino with a certain set of skills; he used to work for the government and he is damaged. It is no wonder they have such a bond because after Olivia, Huck is arguably the most interesting character on the show. 

4) “She keeps a good guy on the side who she should “really be with” in order for her to claim to herself and others that she is finished being a whore.” She doesn’t keep Edison on the side (she finally broke up with him); he popped BACK into her life and she decided to end things with Fitz and date Edison. What is important here, at least what I find interesting, is that Edison shows that Olivia doesn’t date weak or unambitious men. She is a woman who demands an equal (black or white); this is different from the script Black women are often fed. A white woman may have sung it, but Black (and Latina) women have been living the damn “Stand by Your Man” life way too long.
And can we please address the language Ivory uses: “whore,” “stripper,” “escort,” “hooker.” I am skeptical about a piece that seems to judge a person (but especially women and queer people) based upon their sexuality and its expression. At no point is Olivia Pope paid for her sexual services, and at no point can she be boiled down to just what is between her legs.

My biggest gripe with Ivory is that there are things to criticize about Scandal but this whole respectability angle really isn’t one of them, or at the very least it is the weakest aspect. We could talk about the Olivia’s obsession with the color white; the seemingly asexual nature of the very attractive Harrison (I am holding out hope that he is gay); the way Olivia had Harrison use Abby’s history with domestic violence against her; Quinn’s presence on the show; the way Shonda Rhimes is address same-sex adoption with Cyrus always manipulating James, and James always ready to drop anything and everything when he hears the word baby (an odd subversion of the typical man-woman paring, and a possible commentary on homonormative Americans [granted I doubt it]); the characterization of Millie; a SCOTUS justice not being aware that Huck would be tortured; Olivia Pope continuing a looooooong tired tradition of Black women taking care of everything and everyone around them and leaving little to nothing for themselves. You see, tons of stuff. And yet, Ivory chose to write what? Incorrect, weak stuff.

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Game of Thrones (i.e. my life in gay world)

There are so many problematic aspects to this show but I still love it. Bring. It. On!!!!!

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