My Radio

My attempts to channel what's playing on the many stations of my mind

Archive for March, 2010

The Oscar Race

Posted by and1grad on March 11, 2010

I read an article, on Facebook, today that pissed me off so much that I HAD to do another blog this soon. It centers around the Academy Awards, using the recent wins/nominations of Mo’Nique and Gabby Sidibe as a backdrop to speak on the history of entertainment and how it impacts the African American community. Articles like this put me on edge from the beginning because I normally know exactly how they’re going to read. This one is no exception. Even on twitter, as I watched the awards, I could see these arguments brewing and people preparing to launch in about what a movie like Precious is saying about our culture. A lot of it I’m able to shrug off due to the person being either ill-informed or just plain ignorant but after a while it really just tapdances on my very last nerve.

The article in question, in no short terms, criticized essentially EVERY Oscar an African American has won, post-Brown v. The Board of Education, by claiming that they won for roles that are either simplistic or just plain demeaning. In sequential order, the list read as follows:  Portier, Gossett, Washington, Whoopi, Cuba, Halle, Washington, Foxx, Freeman, Whitaker, Hudson, and lastly Mo’Nique. No attempt to celebrate the scope of what these actors and actresses had achieved, which is simply, to be considered among the BEST in their profession that year. Rather than any sort of recognition, vilify them for even taking the role?

The article goes on to compare the fact that any of us might be glad for their success to other successes seen by wayward musicians and other elements of society that serve to poison our community. There is no DOUBT that the latter is an issue but comparing the aforementioned Academy Award winners to THAT is so fraudulent that the fact that anyone agreed, and some did, really infuriated me. Its shameful. Its intellectually dishonest and its viewpoints such as these that only serve to weaken our ability to gain a notable foothold in the industry. It cant possibly be lost on the movie industry that casting a Black person in a role of anything short of someone who is a saint, will lead to criticism from the Black community. Even when we WIN AWARDS, we criticize the role!! We take a day of achievement and turn it into a stain on our very society.

In comes Precious. Honestly, I’m not the biggest Mo’Nique fan. I find her incredibly annoying and unfunny. So obviously, I have my doubts about her acting but whatever. She won. Its a hell of an accomplishment and one that the overwhelming majority of people believe she earned. Add to that, an unknown newcomer, by the name of Gabby Sidibe, was nominated for the best actress. In her first major role. Hello. I mean…do you understand HOW RARE it is to be nominated for BEST ACTRESS in your FIRST major role? No? She is the 16th…out of 82 awards shows. It literally happens no more than 3 times a decade. She’s only the 5th since Whoopi Goldberg was nominated for this other film, that I’m apparently supposed to be ashamed of, called The Color Purple back in 1985. Its an UNBELIEVABLE achievement on its own. Only 4 have actually won. Oh, and by the way, the roles they won for werent all the very model of positivity.

Shirley Booth……………Come back Little Sheba
Julie Andrews…………..Mary Poppins
Barbara Streisand……..Funny Girl
Marlee Matlin…………..Children of a Lesser God

Substitute a Black actress into ANY of those roles and tell me that she wouldnt be criticized. The article went on to ask who really won on Oscar that night. In my opinion, Gabby did. Did you see what Oprah said for her when they were introducing the nominees? That itself was a major win. (scroll to 4:00 mins) Being in that kind of company as a newcomer…the sheer amount of publicity she’s gotten over the past few weeks. That is major.

I just hope the people who decide what movies get made weigh THAT over the opinions of those who cant seem to bring themselves to congratulate anyone for anything.

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Posted in Equality, Life | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

ART Club: Kendra Wilkinson

Posted by and1grad on March 9, 2010

So the other day I was chatting with my good friend Paige and she asks me if I’ve heard of a young lady by the name of Kendra Wilkinson. I hadnt. Was told to google her and see what I thought. So I did. And here’s what came to mind: …. ZOINKS!! ….

THIS girl is BAD. Apparently she was one of Hef’s girlfriends and during that time was on a reality show called “The Girls Next Door.”  She is now married to Hank Baskett, who I think plays for the Eagles.

If there were ever a reason to stay out on that field and bring home the cheddah, THAT dude has it. GOODNESS!!

The ART Club officially welcomes Kendra Wilkinson!

p.s. Feel free to send me any ART Club recommendations on the blog or on twitter (@and1grad)

Posted in ART Club | Leave a Comment »

Relationship ≠ Game

Posted by and1grad on March 9, 2010

Been a while since I blogged anything. Been even longer since I blogged a serious topic. Lately, I’ve engaged in some interesting discussions regarding relationships and what people expect/will put up with when in one. I think relationships are also on my mind because there was one of those asinine “relationship rules” or whatever trending topics on Twitter. Those are always a good laugh because you can pretty much tell by the advice given who is single and going to REMAIN single for quite some time.

Now before I get started, I AM FULLY AWARE of how blogs are normally the WORST place to go regarding relationship advice. But honestly, a lot of that has to do with the fact that so many blogs are written by young folks. Like fresh out of college-just gettin their feet wet in a profession type kids. Dont get me wrong, no disrespect to those folks. But in your 20s, ESPECIALLY your early 20s, you’re still finding your footing in the world and probably shouldnt be giving out much in terms of real advice. You should be LISTENING to people give you real advice. And yes, I know that makes me sound like an old head. I’m ok with that. I’ve seen past my 20s and am in my 30s now. Frankly put, I’m grown.

So when people ask me questions regarding relationships, I dont give them one of those half-assed, reationary answers because relationships are complicated. It aint a place for half-steppin and if thats what you’re doing, it WILL fail. A question that came up yesterday, (#shoutout to @SlimMal, I see you) dealt with figuring out what it would take for you to leave a relationship that you had previously thought would go the distance. There are a LOT of kneejerk responses to a question like this but people need to REALLY be serious about it. Its very EASY to say certain things are dealbreakers but, if you think about it in the grand scheme of things, they prove to be somewhat trivial at best.

Also, there was a mild debate a while back regarding the state of relationships, especially concerning marriage. I cant help but think that part of the reason marriages/relationships are becoming so tenuous is because men and women dont really NEED each other any more. In the past generations, men needed women for things like keeping on top of essentially all matters of the family (house, food, kids, etc) and women looked to men to provide things like shelter, safety, money, etc. Nowadays, that just isnt the case, on either side. Do people WANT those things in each other? Sure. Do they need to depend on another for it? No. Society has changed and relationships are changing with it. I think we’re still struggling to navigate through these changes and find what it is that makes us happy. Thankfully, in our corner remains one of the things that has allowed humans to keep from going extinct. Our ability to adapt.

With these societal changes, has come our inclination to place demands on the opposite sex that are OFTEN frivolous, if not COMPLETELY meaningless. Things like he/she has to have a certain level of education, a certain job, a plan that you consider to be upwardly mobile, and/or something specific to looks. Dont get me wrong, we ALL have our preferences but people seem to prefer some things that border on the absurd. I dont feel the need to get into which is which. Decide for yourselves. But when you ask yourself what it is you want in a relationship and what it is you NEED in a relationship, I implore you to give it SERIOUS thought.

It is not a game.

Posted in Dating, Life, Relationships | Leave a Comment »