FX’s Pose: The Fabulous & Flamboyant Child of Paris is Burning!

•June 7, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Jennie Livingston’s documentary Paris is Burning (1991) was the most important documentary I’ve ever seen; it was the only one I ever went to the theater to see; and it’s still resonates with me decades after seeing it. 

Paris is Burning focuses on drag queens living in New York City and their “house” culture, which provides a safe home, community, and support for the fabulous and socially shunned performers. It examines racism and poverty in the LGBTQ community and features interviews with a number of renowned drag queens, including Willi Ninja, Pepper LaBeija and Dorian Corey. Livingston’s approach offered a view into a world that was both inspirational and heartbreaking all within the same scene. Their dreams were your dreams, but their access to those dreams were blocked in every way.

Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Horror Story) has reintroduced this world once again and brought us the story we didn’t know we were desperate to see. He’s taken the hopes and dreams expressed in Paris is Burning and while continuing to tale that tale, has made those dreams come true for over 140 LGBTQ and transgendered performers and behind the scene workers! I can watch the children of house mother Pepper LaBeija talk about how they were gonna be stars (actors and models) and know that Indya Moore and MJ Rodriquez (the stars of Pose) are the personification of those dreams. 

Like Pose star Billy Porter says, “This is our time…we’re not going anywhere! Get used to it!”

Pose is funny, irreverent, biting, heartbreaking, and fully heartfelt and will stay with you for days after viewing. It’s hard to shake, but that’s as it should be. These are the stories and people that society has actively ignored and that time may have “finally” come to an end. You can’t ignore the marvelous darling! Ryan Murphy won’t let you!

Pose is essential viewing! If only for the magnificent 80’s soundtrack! 

And like the breathtakingly gorgeous Indya Moore, who plays “Angel” in the show states, “Pose is a show about family and it explores that dynamic through the most marginalized group of individuals most people think are incapable of having family.”

Watch Pose, 9pm Sunday nights on FX.

Pose

//players.brightcove.net/219646971/default_default/index.html?videoId=5794277483001

 

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The Why in Wakanda

•May 22, 2018 • Leave a Comment

People have had difficulty understanding the Black reaction to the movie Black Panther. They don’t understand why it means so much to Black and Brown people, or why we seem to want so much for a fictional place to be real.

I say it’s very easy to understand the desire to have a real country that was never colonized and its natural development never interfered with by countries assuming they were better than the “savages” and the natural resources theirs to steal.

I’d give the soul of my people to know what life feels like for people never having been colonized or suffering with the stain of slavery.

What type of freedom would I feel?

How light would my soul be?

How would I view the yoke of racism if I lived in a society that had never experienced such a thing?

And how would I seek to help heal those that had suffered this way?

I think about the weight on my soul and the constant rage I feel everyday living in this society and cannot comprehend NOT knowing that dread or feeling that pain. I cannot conceive of a time when I wasn’t keenly aware of my status as a Black person in this country. I stopped calling myself African American during my teen years because it simply didn’t fit. I knew nothing of my African heritage and knowing too much about my slave ancestry I decided Black was more than sufficient to illustrate who I was.

I’ve done the Ancestry.com thing and now know that I am 87% African and still, I consider myself, simply Black. By the way, I’m also 3% Russian, go figure…

Black Panther made me want to explore my African Heritage not only because of its use of the many traditions displayed on the continent, but also because of the power projected by all of those beautiful Black faces. The characters aren’t just characters, but archetypes that young Blacks can aspire too. However, I don’t allow myself to wallow in the fantasy of Wakanda, because it’s not a fantasy. It is a thought experiment that I’d never considered. A place I never thought could be because the crime of colonialism and forced religion has so corrupted nearly every place on this planet, Black and Brown people are forced to look to a fictional kingdom for what true cultural evolution and freedom could look like.

And now that the idea of that possibility is in my head, I will destroy anyone who tries to take the power of that idea away from me.

Away from us.

I have never considered my slave heritage something of which to be ashamed. To me, the shame lies at the feet of the descendants of those who enslaved others. However, I see where that heritage rears itself in ways I didn’t even realize comes from that legacy. There is a void in me, an emptiness that made me nearly cry as I watched Okoye say, “We’re home.” I have never felt that way about the US. I have never felt at home.

Black Panther gave me a “home,” even if it only exists within the confines of my heart.

 

” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>The Why in Wakanda

 

5 Years a Rage…

•May 16, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I t has been months since the last time I thought of posting and 5 years since I have and that’s for some very good reasons. Laziness pretty much covers 2013-2016. However, 2016 was a right shitty year. I lost my grandmother and the USA lost its damned mind! It took a year for me to get over the dual traumas and get back to where I need to be.

I’m not sure if this blog will have a definitive theme, but it will have a definitive tone: Mine.

I am Intelligent.

Aggressive.

Compassionate.

Argumentative.

Emotional.

Combative.

Vastly aware and mad Woke!

It might sound like bragging, but it really isn’t. Many of those traits have gotten me into a lot of trouble in my life and still, I hold them in great regard because they’re me.

Even with the acceptance of those characteristics, I’m older now and the rage spoken of above has tempered. It’s a cold slow burn that I’ve learned to control and value. I can laugh at it, at myself and the silliness of the hot rage I used to be so well known for.

These days I look for the quiet, the comfortable, the pleasure in the smaller things. Don’t get me wrong, you do not want to get into an argument with me! I’ll take you down, but now I will also listen and consider your side of the story-even though you’re probably wrong!

I will post every day, because I should.

It will be good for me…

And even better for you!

Welcome back.

V~

Smartypants: Trust vindicated

•September 15, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Smartypants: Trust vindicated.

I’ve learned that those of us who believe in President Obama are called Obamabots. Okay, not very original, but I’ll accept that. The fact is my programming responds positively to the way he handles his job. The above link is to an amazing essay on why President Obama actions on Syria were stunningly brilliant and why you should slow down and think before you start attacking him. The one thing that I do love about the man is that he is about the long game and even more important, it’s not about his ego.

When I taught English at the local community college, I was inundated with students that had to repeat the course because they weren’t taught anything. Their teacher’s egos got in the way. It’s simple: if a teacher walks into a classroom and says that no one here will get an A, that is their ego talking. Period. And they have no interest in being an engaged educator. I suggest if any student get’s that speech before a class, you get up and leave. That teacher will do nothing to help you learn what you need to know. Besides that, it’s a shitty thing to say and a worse thing to wish on your students.

President Obama doesn’t listen to the MSM’s bitching, moaning, or their armchair quarterbacking on how best to run a country. He doesn’t give a shit if the right, and more importantly, the left whines and bitches about how he’s supposedly “weak.” He does what he has to do to make sure a situation is handled with as much care as possible, even if what’s required is a threat of force.

There is no ego there.

He does what he’s supposed to do with or without approval from the left and more importantly, in my opinion, without the threat of ego. No “mission accomplished” banners on destroyers here.

A grown up doesn’t require the ego stroke.

 

This High Tech Apocalypse Seems Very Familiar…Oblivion.

•April 21, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Possible Spoilers Ahead. Read with Caution!

If you’ve seen Aeon Flux, than you’ve seen about forty-five percent of this movie.

I loathe Tom Cruise, there is just no getting past it, but I tend to love his choice of movies. I also love Morgan Freeman and Olga Kurylenko, so for them, the genre, and the cinematography, I was first in line to see this movie.

Unfortunately, I pegged most of the storyline right from the beginning. Hell, I knew what he was before I even hit the theatre. I knew pretty much what was going on, not the full scope of the story of course, because when they go back and tell you what happened that’s when the known parts come together. The love story was also familiar, but satisfying. As a post-apocalyptic, the visuals and sets were stunning and I so want that house in the sky! Absolutely beautiful!

I can see why this was greenlit. There are just no new stories in Hollywood and they couldn’t be happier! And there is nothing new in this story, but it was entertaining. Expect it to move more slowly than you think. It has some really high action scenes, but they are spread throughout the movie. It’s a lot more cerebral than I think people might expect after watching the trailers. It also keeps you waiting for clues to the story a little longer than necessary, but it works to keep you awake.

I give Oblivion a solid B. However, the grade would have gone higher if I didn’t already know the game.

Obama’s budget and the put-up-or-shut-up challenge

•April 10, 2013 • Leave a Comment

“The Beltway said Obama needed to reach out to Republicans, so he reached out to Republicans. The Beltway said Obama needed to schmooze Republicans in a more personal way, so he did that, too. The Beltway said Obama needed to be willing to alienate his own supporters, and the president’s base has been duly outraged. The Beltway said Obama needed to put Medicare and Social Security on the table, and they’re on the table.

Will pundits who continue to blame “both sides” for partisan gridlock look ridiculous in the coming months? I sure as hell hope so.”

The Maddow Blog’s Steven Benen

Obama’s budget and the put-up-or-shut-up challenge.

My Progressive Brothers and Sisters Need to Chill!

•April 10, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Haven’t we been here before?

Yeah, I distinctly remember Liberals and Progressives losing their damned minds when they found out that President Obama was cutting Medicare. Yup, he dared to harm the sacred cow of the Democrats. He committed the ultimate sin of touching an entitlement. Committed the sin of trying to find a way to make the program more efficient so that many more who needed it could get and stay on it. I mean really, how fucking dare he try to make the system work for more people.

And after all of the bitching and moaning past, and the details of the cuts finally were finally revealed…

Didn’t you all feel foolish for doubting him?

The Medicare cuts he proposed, over $760 Million dollars worth, came from the waste the program has been bloated with for ages. What he did added 8 years to the life of Medicare and was so good that that asshole from Wisconsin chose to add the savings into his own bullshit budget.

What I’m saying is that we give the man a chance. He hasn’t disappointed yet when it’s come to entitlements. This is a dance, Kabuki Theater as many news sites like to call it, and until this dance comes to an end and President Obama takes his final bow, I’m going to hold my booing or applause. For this performance, like all the others, shows us that no matter what the President proposes, even if it’s enough to get all of the Democrats panties in a huge bunch, the Republicans will continue to make excuses and go against him.

So tell me why again, my Progressive brothers and sisters, are you running around like your hair’s on fire?

 
The Obama Diary

President Barack Obama ... photos, videos & a word or two

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