The Best of the Internet: My Best Friend Gayle

As you may or may not know, folks of the internet, I like to analyze things, talk shit, and crack jokes. One of my favorite folks, Summer M., is quite adept at all three of these things. Her blog, My Best Friend Gayle, is a gem. I’m going to link my favorites of her more recent posts.

First off, this list of 25 lessons learned from watching Oprah. My favorite? Number three: “Everything Pras Michel knows about attaching himself to far more talented people and benefiting financially, he learned from Gayle King.” I laughed, I cried, I wished that I’d written it my damn self.

Next up, Summer’s post written on what would have been Michael Jackson’s 52nd birthday is not only a wonderful commentary on how to celebrate MJJ (tarring and feathering Joe Jackson’s raggedy ass sounds great to me), but it reminds my usually fist-in-the-air self that there is only one official black people holiday in the US.  I’d be all for having the day off and doing an enormous “Beat It” reenactment in the park, going to a Michael Jackson Day sale at Old Navy, and even dealing with my pain in the ass relatives for MJ Day dinner (though that’d soon die out, as my fave MJ activities include dancing w/ my friend Bill, singing “Another Part of Me” at karaoke, and watching Moonwalker).

And then, there’s the Montana Fishburne post. So brilliant. So fucking awesome. So . . . what I woulda written if I weren’t wasting my potential blog posts on the Twitter.  Because I’m a fan of having a soapbox, and folks will read and/ or tweet even from the toilet. Ain’t nobody getting into my long winded, high horsey, SAT-vocabulary-peppered posts while in a staff meeting. Or maybe y’all are. Nobody ever tells me.

Finally, the BET Awards post best chronicles the beyond witty commentary that keeps me in stitches when I read Summer’s posts on Twitter. God, I loooooooooove it! She said Debra Lee eats puppies. Ha HA!

Summer is a great writer, a hilarious thinker, and a deep lover of LaFace Records. How could I not appreciate her?

(Bonus post: a nice place where we can put our NAACP member relatives, neighbors, and former fifth grade teachers out to pasture when they get mad at the wrong shit.)

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Cramming to Understand

Now, good people of The Innanets, I’m an artist.  And, as such, I am not only sensitive about my shit but I am sensitive about other folks’ shit. The good, the bad, the wtf . . . I try my best, no matter what, to give everyone room.  Even when Kanye’s giving me naked emperor vibes. Despite my disdain for some folks’ singing voices, or vocals that don’t quite fit the song the way I’d personally like (see: “Still,” by Macy Gray), I will at least smile and nod.   Everything isn’t for everyone.

This also applies to visual media. Paintings, photographs, sculpture, and tapestries all. Clothing, too, but y’all already know how I feel about the “different” styles, right? Right. But, my original point: I’m tryna reach an understanding about a  painting I happened to see whilst trolling the web for pics of one James Ambrose Johnson, Jr.   Now, I understand that everyone’s taste is not my taste. I understand that, as someone who doesn’t create visual art for anyone other than myself (I make collages that I will never share w/ the masses. Ever.), I might need to keep my mouth shut.

But, fuck that.

Cuz this shit right here is too much. Behold:

Yes, that's right . . . she put on a prom dress for this.

 

It’s called Mz. Thang and Rick James.  The comment section is open for whatever the fuck you all wanna say about this.

I really just don’t get it.

CALL FOR PAPERS!

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS – Occupied Bodies: Women of Color Speak on
Self-Image – Deadline October 15, 2010

Monday, July 5, 2010 at 1:07am
I am soliciting essays for an anthology on women of color’s
self-image/body image as shaped by family, friends, media, society,
history, lived experiences, etc. I’m looking for smart, accessible, and
snappy personal narratives that also offer nuanced analysis of the
underlying constructs that affect how we perceive ourselves. Exploring
intersectionality of identities is extremely important. I particularly
want the voices of women of color that are not often heard to be
represented, such as trans* WOC, disabled WOC, queer WOC, WOC outside
the U.S., WOC with eating disorders, working class/poor WOC and fat WOC.

Of course, all the varied perspectives any woman of color can offer are
welcome.
This is an exciting project, as this topic has not been explored in
depth and including such a diverse collection of viewpoints before. The
final manuscript will be submitted to relevant independent publishers.
——
Some possible jumping off points include, but are not limited to:
– What images of yourself were instilled in you by your
parents/guardians/other family members when you were a young child? What

positive or negative encounters with adults as a child helped shape that

image?

– If you were born in a country other than the U.S. and then immigrated
to the U.S., how did the society in which you were born play a role in
your developing self-image, and what contrasts did you find difficult to

navigate between the two societies?

– How did the media you consumed as a child/teen shape your body/self
image today? How does it complicate it? How does the media you consume
NOW affect your body/self image?

– How did pressure from family and friends affect the way you perceived
yourself after you were old enough to take care of yourself?

– How did you feel about societal beauty and body standards as a teen?
Did you rebel, or conform by any means necessary to avoid confrontation?

– How has the globalization and dissemination of the Western beauty
ideal affected you and women of color worldwide?

– Debunk this: “in some cultures they ______”, – deconstructing a
commonly held belief about an ethnic group’s relation to body (such as
the black community supposedly being OK with fat).

– If you’re queer, how has being a queer woman of color affected your
self-image and how you desire your partner to look? If you’ve had
partners who were also women of color, did/do you gaze upon them with
the same critical eye you reserve for yourself? Why or why not?

– If you’re a trans* WOC, how was your perception of your gender
identity shaped? How has your self/body image changed over the years and

have there been any other shifts in your thinking about your self/body
image? How does being a WOC interact with your trans* identity? How does

it affect how other people perceive you and your gender?

– How has being a disabled WOC affected your body/self image? Do you
feel it’s a detriment or a positive part of your person? How did you
come to terms with your disability, or has it never been problematic for

you?

– As a fat WOC, has weight shaped your self/body image your whole life?
Have you developed an eating disorder? Was it exacerbated by there being

virtually no resources for women of color, especially for fat WOC?

– Are you a sexual assault/rape survivor? How did that trauma affect
your view of yourself?
——-
If your experiences overlap on any of the suggested jumping off points,
PLEASE feel free to explore that.

Guidelines:
– Deadline for submissions is October 15, 2010;
– Submissions should be saved in Word format or Rich Text, double
spaced, size 12 Arial or Times New Roman;
– 500 to 5,000 words;
– Include RELIABLE contact information and a brief biography;
– Only e-mail submissions will be accepted, however, if you can’t
arrange that please contact me and we’ll work something out.
– Send submissions to: occupiedbodies@gmail.com;
– Again, the deadline for submissions is October 15, 2010.

Who I Am:
The woman spearheading this project is Tasha Fierce, a freelance writer
who also happens to be a fat, queer, disabled woman of color. I’ve
written about race politics, fat acceptance, disability and feminism in
several zines, including Evolution of a Race Riot and the zine I edited
from 1998-2001, Bitchcore. I have contributed to Jezebel several times,
the fat acceptance blog Shapely Prose, the race & pop culture blog
Racialicious, and the feminist disability activism blog FWD/Forward. My
work has also been featured in The Huffington Post. I live, love and
write in Los Angeles, California. You can regularly read me at my own
blog, Red Vinyl Shoes (http://redvinylshoes.com/blog) and on Twitter as
@redvinylshoes.

i love | i need | i want

i love:
cardigans. long ones, short ones, shawl cardigans, boyfriend cardigans . . . it matters not. i love them. nothing says “funky librarian” the way a cardigan does! especially in colors i love.

sweaters galore!
sweaters galore! by dopegirlfresh featuring Old Navy

i need: tights!

tights!
tights! by dopegirlfresh featuring We Love Colors tights

i want: a badass, too big, super sparkly necklace. something w/ too many fucking sequins, and maybe some rhinestones. like either of these from anthropologie.

(i linked them because — surprise — wordpress is not allowing me to be great. whatever.)

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.

i love | i need | i want

it’s kind of been forever since my last post like this. so, here i am.  something i love, something i need, something i want.  heeere we go:

love:

like, yum. seriously.

like, yum. seriously.

indian food. channa, dal, basmati rice (with cumin!), chicken tikka masala, tandoori naan, roti, pakoras, samosas . . . dude. dude. DUDE. chicken vindaloo? biryani? i can’t live without the stuff. it’s going to be my undoing someday. especially with two indian restaurants within a 5 minute walk of my place.

need:
(there is no photograph to illustrate what i need.)

a particular itch scratched. i need some really good, gold foil, can’t speak in coherent sentences afterwards, sweating like a preacher during tent revival, let me make you meals between sessions sex. the kind that makes my neighbors think something real crazy is going on in my apartment, cuz all they hear is grownup noises & all they smell is bacon & waffles & shit being made. it’s so crucial. my toys cannot keep up. sending telepathic beams to the object of my desire right now. i need you to work me out again, sweets. like, over the course of 24 hours. please?

want:

(it seems that wordpress is being a ho about photo links right now. maybe i just need to go the fuck to sleep?)

a custom made dress from fly tie. somewhere between this maxi dress & this hooded dress.  really.  her blog is ill (see the first link), but her shop will take your breath away!

she’s a real sweet gal. you should check her out.

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