Tag Archives: thoughts

When I let myself wander–not wonder, for this for me always implies childhood amazement of the cotton-candy tinted variety–into the back parts of my mind, I ask–quietly and plainly–the questions: Who sings for the kid who never walked or threw or caught a ball? Who sings for the boy who is a speck of dust in a snow filled class photo but deemed soft and white on the inside when surrounded by his supposed reflections? Who sings for the boy with limp hands and a loose gait? Who sings for the boy passed around from one man to the next but is never asked his name? Who sings for the boy buying skin fade creams? Who sings for the boy too fat to ride the rides? Who sings for that boy still demanding love? Who sings for boys like these, outcasts casted out? Then it comes to me: I do. I sing for him with a voice of bird just escaped from the fire. But he shall hear the call and find it beautiful.

But, to ask, “who sings for the dark boy,” always and already places him in a position of need and dependence; moreover it is a useless question because we all know the answer, nobody sings for his body. The better linguistic movement would be to say: I sing for the dark queer fat boy passed around from one anonymous man to the next; I sing for him-looking-for-validation-in-the-dark; I sing for him because he is I and I am he so when I sing for me I sing for we. The question is not, nor has it ever been, who sings for the dark queer boy–we do and brilliantly–but why do you make a dedicated effort to not hear the truths of which we sing?

Magpie Songs

When I let myse…

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Whenever I see an email from a prof., especially the department chair, I have a mini-heart attack—every time. Grad school kills you slowly.

Whenever I see …

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I hate when they ask ‘Man or Woman’ and they don’t let me check ‘Other’.

I hate when the…

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The Fat Boi Diaries: Fat Listening: Things Fat Queer Men Hear From Gay Men

1) “Fat makes my dick soft.” (Said to my best friend by some semi-random dude.)
2) A conversation among appropriately weighted gays with a fat gay present:
“Would you rather have sex with a fat guy or a guy with AIDS?”
(In unison): “AIDS!
3) On Grindr: Looking for LTR; a great guy who can also be my friend. Someone smart and fun. Personality is most important. No Fats.
4) Online in general: No Fats
5) Gays don’t get fat.
6) From your skinny friends:
“You are such a great guy. You are cute, smart, it is his loss. You’re not even that big. You just thick.”
“But you never talk to big boys.” (and you are BLIND)
“Girl that’s different.”
“Oh…”

(in our mind we are doing this:

  sooooo lost)
7) Twink: “You should try the bear community.”

8) Bear Community: “You are not a bear. You are a chub. No woof for you.”
9) “I know you hungry.”
And to everything we say:

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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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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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Ugly is a construct that prevents us from seeing another’s humanity.

Ugly is a const…

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