food for thought: a stream of consciousness & general rantiness

nuggets of  truth & hilarity from my marathon talkfests with fiqah, of possum stew.

– racism doesn’t need hate in order to function. no form of oppression does. in fact, ignorance is quite the consummate fuckery fuel. think about how many times you have been confronted with information to the contrary of your (racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, or otherwise oppressive-to-a-group-of-people) opinion or belief & found that information was all you needed to set your lil brain in the right direction? that doesn’t, of course, mean that hate isn’t fuel for oppression.  it means that even without hate, these things exist & still manage to fuck people over.

– love can move mountains. it can also be used to justify the ugliest things humans do/ say.  love doesn’t erase fucked up shit. it can and does exist alongside this fucked up shit. don’t excuse the fucked up shit.

– when talking to a child, imagine that what you’re saying is the last thing you will ever say to that child. especially if that child is your own. what do you want their last thought of you to be? don’t assume shit. (i personally believe that this should be extended to everyone.  you can tell someone about themselves without destroying them or dragging them into a fight.  don’t be that asshole who tries to climb in the fucking casket at your girl’s funeral cuz you weren’t doing right by her before she passed away.)

– either you play the victim role or act as a survivor. you can’t throw up the shield of “i’ve been hurt” and then use that as a reason to treat people like shit. to generalize. to lump folks into the same group because it’s convenient to do so.  this includes jumping to conclusions based on something that’s triggered you instead of simply keeping yourself aware that something triggering just happened. also: if your responses to triggers of all sizes are rarely or never proportionate to said triggers, you’re fucking up. big time. & there may be a lot more healing left undone by you.

– never eat the pickles from a bodega. the pickle jars are older than that bottle of fucking steak sauce in the back of your mama’s fridge. no, really.  eww.

– most folks who feel they have alter egos may be just afraid of being their whole contradictory selves. there’s nothing wrong w/ admitting that, and eventually working that shit out.

– people who insult you in snide ways are often so intimidated that they really don’t know how to engage with you without saying some fucked up shit. cuz they are SCARED. shit. don’t feel bad. (not that i didn’t know that. but fiqah reminded me.)

– it is not absurd to love someone deeply as a person, think they’re a great lay, & then find them as a mate to be worthy of a kick across the face. the same is true of people who’d be awesome co-parents, but terrible long-term or lifetime partners.

– just because you’re louder than i am, doesn’t mean you win. allowing yourself to be dragged into a fight is feeding the bullshit.

more fiqah wisdom as it comes. i love that woman.

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i don’t fully know why

but i’m really having a hard time believing that h-town &; jodeci really made a song together.
even though there’s videographic proof. ::sigh::

in no particular order, i blame the following for this shit here: trey songz, crack rocks, the death of gerald levert, the recession, waffle house, spectacular smith of pretty ricky, bad weed, the prison industrial complex, reaganomics (why the fuck NOT? that’s where crack rocks came from!), autotune, charlie wilson’s comeback (because these fools forgot that they weren’t ever on his level), jahiem (yeah, i said it), the good black man shortage myth, zane, malt liquor, crown fried chicken, fruity loops, & motherfucking blackplanet dot com. i would sue for damages, but as a black woman in america, i’ve learned that my complaints are usually only heard by those who give a damn to begin with. that’d be YOU, blog reader(s). all twelve of you.

& while we’re on former 90’s r&b starruhs, let’s take a gander at what aaron hall is doin w/ himself these days, shall we?

who dresses in their easter best to whisper to dogs?
is he using this $ to buy more suits?
note that there are no black folks letting this man into their homes. why? cuz we KNOW about aaron hall’s fool ass already!
his german sounds like his vietnamese sounds like his farsi sounds like his spanish. i’m just sayin.

now i have to watch coming to america to cleanse my mind. i hope it works.

presenting: the absurdity of tina knowles.

now, y’all know i love clothes. i live for sparkly, brightly colored shit that some may shy away from. but one day about two years ago i had the misfortune of discovering that tina knowles (mother of beyonce, solange, & play mama to kelendria) had unleashed on the unsuspecting & undeserving masses released, in addition to dereon, a line of clothing via the home shopping network’s website and live broadcasts.  be still, my heart! more profound fashion fuckery? i tuned into HSN to learn just what awaited me.  i wasn’t ready. not at all. & i know you aren’t, either.  let’s take a stroll down the hallowed halls of miss tina’s fashions. shall we?

first up:  the caged beast leather hobo handbag.  this thing is what nightmares are made of, i’m sure.

it originally sold for $250. WHAT? note that the bag not only has interchangeable inserts, but that they are all in an ambiguous “animal print”, sort of furry fabric! hence the name caged beast, i presume. cleva! i am still amazed that when i perused the hsn website around this time last year, there was an alarming note proclaiming that only three bags remained.  i have yet to see one of these bags in person — i pray that i never do. (& i do NOT believe for one second that the woman doing this video believes anything she’s saying. dig the clowning that begins at about 1:47.)

next: from the ‘heritage’ section of misstina.com, a bit of background (my notes in italics):

The visionary behind the Miss Tina Collection blessed with her mother’s talent and creative ability, Tina Knowles rose to fame as the gifted designer and world renowned stylist for her daughters, Beyoncé and Solange Knowles and Kelly Rowland and the Grammy award winning group, Destiny’s Child.  (oh, so she’s the one to blame for the piss-poor clothes in such fabrics as bright orange camoflage & “what is that, velvet?” worn by destiny’s child? don’t act like y’all don’t remember that shit from the soul train awards!)  This accomplished interior designer, celebrated author and talented chef, serves as the creative force for the collection. (what the fuck has cooking got to do w/ this? and she’s a celebrated author? for realzies? i can’t.)

Tina’s unique vision; a combination of high style, attention detail sprinkled with a taste of couture, enables her to create a distinctive blend fo signature and luxe for the Miss Tina Collection. (the comma splices and extreme misuse of a semicolon have made reading this so much more absurd for me. ugh. let me guess: miss tina herself wrote the shit, & nobody dared correct her on mechanics.)

further, the names miss tina gives to her creations are not indicative of any level of fashion knowledge. sorry to say. there’s no way she couldn’t have finessed “Quilted Entice Handbag with Pyramid Studs” into something else?  the same goes for the “Miss Tina Tall Boot with Studs“, “Miss Tina Logo-Print Studded Tapestry Peep-Toe Boots“, and “Cotton Shirt with Cuff“, which implies that the creole (don’t act like she doesn’t mention that shit at random) creative juices just were not flowing after a certain point. 

the fabric, y’all. the fucking fabric! the charmeuse, the not-even-modal jersey, the stretch denim (some of that shit is more than 3 percent lycra, which is nonsensical), & the crazy looking materials employed to make shoes all make me wonder what in the tangerine fuck is even going on here. i had the misfortune of coming across a miss tina dress in a local store. it was a mess. the cut was terrible (it even looked wack on the hanger), the fabric felt like the cheapest of cheap polyesters, & i think that for some reason the arms were inordinately huge. it was a hot pink tragedy w/ ruching (miss tina loves her some ruching!).  i felt bad for whomever paid full price for the damn thing a year ago. cuz it was most certainly hanging on the super duper last ditch effort clearance rack for $12. 

miss tina gives makeovers.

in conclusion, i’ll just say this: if you don’t understand what my big gripe is with tina knowles’ proliferation of bamma style, then simply do a google image search for ‘miss tina fashions’ & see what you come up with. i promise, you won’t be disappointed.  or, maybe you will? depends on what you’re expecting.

you can’t stop my go!

so, i love mos def’s “casa bey” to pieces. in this clip below, mos breaks down the meaning of the song to him:

& here’s the song itself, probably one of my top 5 mos songs ever.

a colored girl’s love letter.

(i was gonna write a letter to tyler perry, but i’ve decided against it.  for now, anyway.)

so i’ve been thinking about tyler perry being at the helm of this major motion picture adaptation of for colored girls. and i’ve been reading the choreopoem itself over and over again.  and something i’ve come to realize as a result of this development is that when there’s an adaptation of an original work, lots of things get changed and moved around. i think the “pass” he gets is that he’s going to adapt the choreopoem. which means to me that we’re likely to get the storylines of the women, but with some serious redux. since TP’s subject matter almost exclusively involves heavily dysfunctional black women & men, we’re gonna get the essence of crystal and beau willie brown. we’re going to get the concept of the latent rapist bravado piece, but maybe never the idea that it is never the victim’s fault.
it would pain me incessantly to see this choreopoem turned into an episode of jerry springer with a dash of church music thrown in at the end.  it seems that lots of women i know feel the same way — it would be so tragic to see something we love so deeply turned into yet another reason to hear oleta adams’ “many rivers to cross” or mariah carey’s “fly like a bird” in the context of something that really reduces the black woman’s experience to its lowest common denominator.

so i’ve been thinking about that, too. what is this film adaptation going to look like? is it going to follow the same basic archetype as his other films/ plays (emotionally damaged black woman/ women finding redemption after much pain and strife… with a heavy dose of jesus h. christ for upliftment)? according to the ‘dream cast’ article from broadway.com (linked above), the narratives of the ladies will be incorporated into perry’s own script that leads them to ‘the colored girls center’. i, personally, see lots of his tried-and-true storytelling methods. i feel like that’s a really bad idea, given that most of the impact that for colored girls has (in my experience) comes from the very fact that it is a CHOREOPOEM. not a scripted play with a set and huge cast. not a scripted film with a plot. because linear storytelling, though it can be impactful, is not in tune with how most of us reach our epiphanized selves. at the end of the piece, is there not the mantra of “i found god in myself/ and i loved her/ i loved her fiercely”?  what about that? knowing that most of tyler perry’s viewership identifies as christian, are we going to discuss the divine feminine in this movie? i doubt it. so, i’m pissed.  i think it’s apparent from this piece written by stacia on postbourgie that the concern of colored girls fans is very real, and definitely not imagined or overblown.

an idea i’ve wanted to do ever since playing “lady in green” back in my freshman year of college is to do a series of colored girls readings.  it could be really simple. dinner, cocktails, the reading, then a discussion with notes and feedback forms and stuff.

i will do this. in philly, in nyc, in dc . . . where ever.

interested? email me. sechitatgmaildotcom with colored girls dinner party in the subject header.

thanks.

peace.

baby makes me.

i got this from the lovely tiona via facebook. check it:

PLEASE POST ON YOUR BLOGS, SITES, LISTS etc. Help us reach the folks we need.

Many of you have already heard about our film, Baby Makes me. For you, this is an update. But for the folks who have not heard Tiona and I are making a documentary together.

For years, I have wanted to become a mother. But the timing has never been quite right. Either my partners weren’t ready, or I was scared, or I couldn’t find a donor or something. There was always something. By the time I rolled into 35, I was tired of being afraid, tired of waiting for the right woman with whom it would be the right time, tired of watching every Christmas roll over another Birthday, tired of watching my peers get knocked up and months later appear with the most amazing little bundle of potential—I was tired of waiting and ready to make the leap, and I was ready to make it alone.

I began the research with great heart—only to discover that there were little no resources for women who either wanted to, or had to embark on the journey of motherhood in the solo. There were one or two essays and a few books on artificial insemination, and some were even directed at lesbians—but most, if not all assumed that the mother would be operating from inside of a partnership, be that partnership heterosexual or homosexual.

The idea for the film came out of a conversation with Tiona to film the pregnancy/labor, assuming that there would be one—because no one, least of all me, knows if my body will cooperate in doing such a thing as conceiving. I envisioned Tiona asking a couple of heartfelt questions and spinning the light to create a high-end home-movie I could show my child at eighteen. She agreed and we began to flesh out some ideas. That conversation, coupled with the lack of resource material out there spurred the project now known as Baby Makes Me.

Baby Makes Me, a feature-length documentary, will explore the challenges and triumphs of Single Motherhood, particularly in the lives of women of color, lesbians and women who make a conscious choice to be mothers in the absence of intimate/romantic partnerships with men.

The film will use as its narrative skeleton, the journey of activist/writer/performer, Staceyann Chin, as she navigates her personal choices with reference to motherhood. Author of the memoir, The Other Side of Paradise, Chin now brings her talents to the medium of film as writer and Executive Producer.

The Director, Tiona McClodden, is a champion of promoting positive images of women in media. Her last film, “Black./womyn.:conversations…”, garnered much respect in both accolades and awards. She now brings her attention to the issue of women and motherhood.

It is our intent to interview a series of women from all the demographic cross-sections. Issues of financial, ethical, medical, cultural, and political relevance will be fore-grounded. We hope that clinics, hospitals, families, children of Black lesbians, straight Black women who want children, mothers of gay women who lament the loss of grandchildren when they discover their daughters are gay, and anybody who seeks to have a clearer picture of the family that includes gay women will see that our lives go on, that women who are single, be they lesbian, or Black or poor, can and do have babies, and that we are simply another group of people who live and laugh and grow. We hope to paint the subjects in the film as human and likable characters who, though they are dealing with slightly different challenges than the women we traditionally see as mothers, are not very different from any other group of people considering parenthood.

We are going to need all the help we can get. We need help in reaching out to folks who would like to be interviewed; other single mothers, women who have been inseminated, women who are thinking about it, women who work in the medical field, women who work in the administrative world of policy etc. We are on the hunt for the all the voices that could represent our story in the film.

We have recently been awarded a grant from ASTREA Lesbian Foundation for Justice and are set to move forward. We write to you now, in the hope that you will want to be involved in this groundbreaking project in whatever capacity you choose: we need space to host fundraisers and screening and other events connected to the film. We need people to fundraise, to promote the film, to host community talks, to suggest topics for discussion in the film—we need to secure additional investors, we need the help of people who are experts in the business of making films, and we need the counter-perspective of people who have never made a film. We are hoping to make this a community effort; from start to finish we want the ideas to be representative of the various factions in our diverse village of the women who mother our children. If you are sure you are unable to do any of the above, we only ask that you make room for our fliers, questionnaires, invitations, and other promotional materials for the film.

We would be honored if you would join us as we attempt to break more ceilings, level more walls to make room those of us who are too frequently left out of the history and imagination of the world we live in. We look forward to a spirited journey with you, from the opening shot to the ending credits—complete with your name listed among the most stalwart of our supporters.

Thanks again to the women who have already offered assistance. We look forward to your being a part of our process.

Staceyann Chin
Executive Producer/Writer, “Baby Makes Me”
Tiona McClodden
Director/Producer, “Baby Makes Me”

Please send all inquiries and requests to: babymakesme@gmail.com

help a sista out.

this post is not about me, but some women who need my/ your help: donna, angeline, and tatjiana.

the best words about donna’s situation come directly from her (link here), but also joan’s post is excellent and sums up most of my feelings.  as far as i know, nobody’s heard from her. i’ve been praying and holding her in my heart, above all. i ask you all to do the same, or more if possible.

also: a child in the DC area is missing.  i’ve seen posts on speak up and raven’s eye.

in NYC, a sista named angeline’s daughter has been taken from her. info here. do what you can; show up, show out, SPEAK up, and SPEAK out.

silence does not protect anyone.

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